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of the Protestant Churches of Europe,) not only whether their lives be holy and unblameable, but whether they have such gifts as are absolutely and indispensably necessary, in order to edify the Church of Christ.
10. But what if a man has these; and has brought sinners to repentance; and yet the Bishop will not ordain him? Then the Bishop does forbid him to cast out devils. But I dare not forbid him: I have published my reasons to all the world. Yet it is still insisted, I ought to do it. You who insist upon it, answer those reasons. I know not that any have done this yet, or even made an attempt of doing it. Only some have spoken of them as very weak and trifling: and this was prudent enough; for it is far easier to despise, at least seem to despise, an argument, than to answer it. Yet till this is done, I must say, when I have reasonable proof that any man does cast out devils, whatever others do, I dare not forbid him, lest I be found even to fight against God.
11. And whosoever thou art that fearest God, “ forbid him not,” either directly or indirectly. There are many ways of doing this. You indirectly forbid him, if you either wholly deny, or despise and make little account of, the work which God has wronght by his hands. You indirectly forbid him, when you discourage him in his work, by drawing him into disputes concerning it, by raising objections against it, or frighting him with consequences which very possibly will never be. You forbid him, when you show any unkindness toward him, either in language or behaviour; and much more when you speak of him to others, either in an unkind or a contemptuous manner; when you endeavour to represent him to any, either in an odious or a despicable light. You are forbidding him all the time you are speaking evil of him, or making no account of his labours. O forbid bim not in any of these ways; nor by forbidding others to hear him; by discousaging sinners from hearing that word, which is able to save their souls.
12. Yea, if you would observe our Lord's direction in its full meaning and extent, then remember his word, “ He that is not for us is against us; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth :” He that gathereth not men into the kingdom of God, assuredly scatters them from it. For there can be no veuter in this war. Every one is either on God's side, or on Satan's. Are you on God's side? Then you will not only not forbid any man that casts out devils, but you will labour, to the uttermost of your power, to forward him in the work. You will readily acknowledge the work of God, and confess the greatness of it. You will remove all difficulties and objections, as far as may be, out of his way. You will strengthen his hands by speaking honourably of him before all men, and avowing the things which you have seen and heard. You will encourage others to attend upon his word, to hear bim whom God hath sent. And you will omit no actual proof of tender love, which God gives you an opportunity of showing him.
IV. 1. If we willingly fail in any of these points, if we either directly or indirectly forbid him, “ because he followeth not us," then we are Bigots. This is the Inference I draw from what has been said. But the term Bigotry, I fear, as frequently as it is used, is almost as little understood as Enthusiasm. It is, too strong an attachment to, or fondness for, our own party, opinion, churclı, and religion. Therefore he is a Bigot who is su fond of any of these, so strongly attached to them, as to forbid any who casts out devils, because he differs from himself, in any or all these particulars.
2. Do you beware of this. Take care, 1. That you do not convict yourself of Bigotry, by your unreadiness to believe that any man does cast out devils, who differs from you. And if you are clear thus far, if you acknowledge the fact, then examine yourself, 2. Am I not convicted of Bigotry in this, in forbidding him directly or indirectly? Do I not directly forbid bim on this ground, because he is not of my party ?because hic docs not fall in with my opinions ?-or, because he does not worship God according to that scheme of religion, which I have reccived from my fathers ?
3. Examine yourself, Do I not indirectly at least forbid him, on any of these grounds ? Am I not sorry, that God should thus
In and bless man that holds such erroneous opinions ? Do I not discourage him, because he is not of my church, by disputing with him concerning it, by raising objections, and by perplexing his mind with distant consequences ? Do I show no anger, contempt, or unkindness of any sort, either in my words or actions? Do I not mention behind his back, his (real or supposed) faults, his defects, or infirmities? Do not I hinder sinners from hearing his word? If you do any of these things, you are a Bigot to this day.
4. “ Search que, O Lord, and prove me. Try out my reins and my heart! Look well if there be any way of (Bigotry) in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." In order to examive ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the strongest
manner. What if I were to see a Papist, an Arlan, a Socinian, Casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid even him, without convicting myself of Bigotry. 'Yea, if it could be supposed that I should see a Jew, A Deist, or a Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid hiin either directly or indirectly, I should be no better than a Bigot still.
5. O stand clear of this ! But be not content with not forbidding any that cast out devils. It is well to go thus far; but do not stop here. If you will avoid all Bigotry, go on. In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be, acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but rejoice in his work, and praise his name with thanksgiving. Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you are ; defend his character and his mission. Enlarge, as far as you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he may save both himself and them that hear him.
6. I need add but one caution : Think not the Bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible, that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil. Another's not observing the direction of our Lord, is no reason why you should peglect it. Nay, but let him have all the Bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do not you forbid him, Rather labour, and watch, and pray the more, to confirm your love toward him. If he speak all manner of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of him. Imitate herein that glorious saying of a great man, (O that he had always breathed the same spirit!) “Let Luther call me an hundred devils; I will still reverence him as a messenger of God.”
“ And when he was departeil thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the
son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heurl is with thy heart? It
And Jehonadab answered, it is. If it be, give me thine hand.” 2 Kings x. 15.
1. It is allowed even by those who do not pay this great debt, that Love is due to all mankind; the royal law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” carrying its own evidence to all that hear it: And that, not according to the miserable construction put upon it by the zealots of old times, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour,” thy relation, acquaintance, friend, “and hate thine enemy:
say unto you,” saith our Lord, “ Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children (may appear so to all mankind) of your father which is in heaven; who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”'
2. But it is sure, there is a peculiar lore which we owe to those that love God. So David : “ All my delight is upon the saints that are in the earth, and upon such as excel in virtue.” And so a greater than he: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John xiii. 34, 35.) This is that love on which the Apostle John so frequently and strongly insists: “ This,” saith he, “is the message that yo heard from the beginning, that we should love another." (1 John ji. 11.) “ Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us : and ire ought [if love should
call us thereto) to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (Ver. 16.) And again : “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." (Chap. iv. 7, 8.) “Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love another.” (Ver. 10, 11.)
3. All men approve of this. But do all men practise it ? Daily experience shows the contrary. Where are even the Christians who “ love one another, as He hath given us commandment?” How many hinderances lie in the way! The two grand, general hinderances are, first, That they cannot all think alike; and, in consequence of this, secondly, They cannot all walk alike; but in several smaller points their practice must differ, in proportion to the difference of their sentiments.
4. But although a difference in opinions or modes of worship may prevent an entire external union; yet need it prevent our union in affection? Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike ? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion ? Without all doubt we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences. These remaining as they are, they may forward one another in love and in good works.
5. Surely in this respect the example of Jehu himself, as mixed a character as he was of, is well worthy both the attention and imitation of every serious Christian. “And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. And he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, Give me thine hand."
The text naturally divides itself into two parts, first, A Question proposed by Jehu to Jehonadab : “Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart ? ” Secondly, An Offer made on Jehonadab's answering, It is: “If it be, give me thine hand."
I. 1. And, First, let us consider the Question proposed by Jehu to Jehonadab, “Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart ?”
The very first thing we may observe in these words, is, that here is no inquiry concerning Jehonadab's opinions. And yet it is certain, he held some which were very uncommon, indeed quite peculiar to bimself; and some which had a close influence upon his practice; on which likewise he laid so