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your christian candour will make allowance for a weak brother.—I fervently wish and pray that you may ever be endued with the spirit of wisdom and discernment-and every divine gift whereby you may excel, and abundantly promote the divine glory, -My family, through mercy, are well, and join in our most cordial good wishes to yourself and dear Mrs. Jarratt.-Blessed be the bountiful author of all mercy, the harvest fields have been crowned with plenty in these parts, and the season for gathering in has been favourable.—That grace, mercy and peace, and all the blessings of the new covenant may be the happy portion of you and yours, is the real de serve of Your most affectionate brother,
I have given you Mr. MʻRobert's letter at full length, (a few words excepted re. specting his domestic affairs) that the motives leading him to dissent from the church may appear in their true light, and that the amiableness of his spirit and disposition may also appear. Many ill-natured reflections have been thrown out against him, or cast upon him, on account of his defection from the church ;--but whether he was right or wrong in so doing, I thinkit will appear to the impartial and unpreju. diced, that he was governed by no sinister views ;-nor was he influenced by any pecuniary consideration. To his letter I wrote an answer, the purport of which I shall here write down, as followeth :
Bath, August 2, 1780.:
The Rev. ARCHIBALD M-ROBERT.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER, .. YOUR's of the 13th ult. came safe to hand last night. It always affords me a singular pleasure to get a letter from you. This I have read over several times, and am greatly delighted with the candor and openness in which you write and express your present sentiments, and give your reasons for the change of your former ones. My brother, I feel a sweet union of spirit with you—and I am verily persuaded that your change of sentiment will never change or abate the fervor of my affection for you, in the least.We have long laboured together-and together have borne the burden and heat of the day.---We walked by the same rule, and, I believe, minded the
same things. I greatly desired to know what your letter informs me, ever since I heard, by vague reports, that you had ceased to walk by the same rule with me, in externals, as formerly; and for this cause I so repeatedly wrote to you on the subject: I need not. therefore tell you how much I am obliged for the information your epistle contains, and your affectionate expressions of brotherly love.
With respect to my own sentiments, they have suffered no change at all-but, like your concern for the people, they are identically the same as when I first had the pleasure and happiness of becoming acquainted with you. I dearly love the church. I love her on many accounts particularly for the three following. Ift. I love her, because her mode of public worship is so beautiful and decent, so well calculated to inspire devotion, and so com. plete in all the parts of a public worship. 2d. I love her, because of the soundness of her doctrines, creeds, articles, &c. 3d. I love her, because all her officers, and the mode of ordaining them, are, if I mistake not, truly primitive and apostolic. Bi. shops, priests and deacons were, in my opi. nion, distinct orders in the church, in her earliest and purest ages. These three para
church. with "appiness when I first they
į ticulars, a regular clergy, sound doctrine, i and a decent, comprehensive worship, con:tain the essentials, I think, of a christian
church And as these are in the possession
of the old church, I have been, and still I am, inclined to give her the preference.
Her being at this time under a cloud, does | by no means lessen my esteem for her:
but on the contrary, I feel myself more attached to the episcopal church, since she
lost her emoluments and the smiles of go| vernment, than ever I was before. “A
brother loveth at all times, and a friend was made for adversity.” I wish it had been in your power to have continued in this respect, even as I.
With regard to the hiearchy of the church, in England, and many things, extremely nugatory, which afforded matter of great contention and animosity, in the days of Henry, Elizabeth, &c. I appre. hend that I have nothing to do with them, be they right or wrong.--I never troubled my head about arch-bishops, arch-deacons, deans, chapters, proctors, &C. The crea ation of such orders and officers might be thought convenient and necessary for some good purposes, for ought I.know; but they did not affect me; and I gave myself no
concern about them. But as I saw, or thought I saw, in the church those essentials mentioned above, I shall always think my. self safe to abide where I am. But my thinking so, I confess, is no rule for others - and therefore am willing every one should act, according as he is fully persuaded in his own mind.
You say, with truth, Christ's kingdom i is not of this world : yet, as the counsels of God are brought into effect by secondary causes, so, I apprehend, the church of Christ is not independent on such causes for her support and well being in this world. If I am not mistaken, it is an ordinance of Heaven, that kings shall be the nursing fathers, and queens the nursing mothers of Christ's church here below. Undoubt. edly, Christ is the supreme head of his church, but yet, he makes use of the pow. ers of this world, as secondary causes, or instruments in his hand, for her support, and advantage. If this is not the case, I think it would be hard, or impossible to: understand and apply many of the prophe. sies, promises and declarations of holy writ, what would become of the woman (the church) when the serpent pours a flood from his mouth to carry her away, if the earth afforded no help. Rev. 12. 16.