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has been made in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen turies, in the demolition of Satan's throne? Nothing was done, save what was done by the Moravians to enlighten the darkness of heathenism, nor to dispel the delusions of Mahomet, nor to purify the countries covered with the abominations of popery, and the corruptions of the Greek church; and how little, if any thing was done, to elevate the standard of religion in Christian lands, or to supply the destitute with the means of grace. And why has the church made no progress? Is not Christianity like a grain of mustard seed, whose tendency is to grow quickly into a stately tree, so that the fowls of the air lodge under its branches? Is it not like leaven, whose nature is to diffuse itself through the whole lump? How comes it then that the church has not increased in holiness and extent? The strength of the church lies in the union of its members; but the bond of union has been broken, and the church has consequently been involved in a protracted civil war between her own members, instead of invading and conquering the country of the enemy.

Satan, having drawn the church from the strong position of its unity, has persevered in his efforts to promote further divisions, and has been too succesful. Knowing that to divide is to conquer, he is still pursuing the broken ranks of his enemy, and is sowing the seeds of discord in the numerous fragments. Almost every denomination has, within a few years past, been broken into new divisions, and some appear at this moment to be ripe for another schism. Unless God in his mercy interpose and breath the spirit of union upon his church, we see not what is to prevent the process of subdivision to continue its course until the church shall in truth be brought to utter desolation.




1. That the benefit of emulation will be lost. 2. That it will involve a sacrifice of principle, to unite with Christians who have not the same faith. There is one faith common to all Christians. What is the faith once delivered to the saints, and how to be contended for.-Forbearance also a principle not to be sacrificed. -3. That divers denominations are necessary to preserve purity of doctrine. 4. That they are also necessary to operate upon all classes of the people. 5. The danger of uniting church and state. 6. That if sects were abolished, the church would soon again be divided.

HAVING exhibited at some length the evils of sect, we ought perhaps in the next place to inquire whether there are not some advantages which have resulted to the church from its divisions. None surely to balance the terrible evils which have been occasioned by them. Division being itself an evil, any advantage that may have arisen from it, cannot prove that it is beneficial.

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It proves only that God can overrule the greatest evils so as to produce from them some measure of good. In this point of view, every evil which has befallen the church or the world, has its use. We are informed, from high authority, that heresies have an important use, namely, to sift the church of its chaff; but this can scarcely be admitted as a solid reason why heresies should be countenanced and continued, nor would it be very wise to institute a comparison between the value of heresy and that of the truth of God. Even the apos

tacy of our first parents has been overruled to a very valuable purpose, namely, to exhibit the justice and the mercy of God, and his unfathomable wisdom. Must we therefore defend the apostacy and cling to it? Or is it not clearly every man's duty to use his utmost endeavours to recover from its fatal effects, and to become holy as God is holy?

If we have not made a very overcharged exhibition of the evils of division, it is scarcely possible to conceive that there can be any advantages to conterbalance them. If we have proved the unlawfulness and the unconstitutionality of sectarian divisions, then it matters not how many or how great are the benefits resulting from them; for we may not weigh the advantages resulting from continuing in disobedience to God's law against the crime of disobedience. This is utterly inadmissible. Yet may we be permitted, in order to give to our subject a full discussion, to examine the supposed advantages of the divisions in the church: this we shall do while we answer the objections which are made to the abolition of sects.

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It is objected that by abolishing sects, emulation between Christians, which is one of the most powerful motives of action, will be destroyed.

To sustain this objection, it must be alleged that while the church is divided into sects, one being jealous of the prosperity and honours of the rest, they will be more unwilling to be outdone in any good work, than if the church were united under one name. The objector may, however, deny that the emulation of opposing denominations is founded on jealousy of each other's wellfare and glory, and may simply appeal to the injunction upon Christians, to "provoke one another to good works," and may insist that this command will be best performed by the church in its divided state.

It is the misfortune of error, always to be driven to false principles to support its positions; and its advocates are often under the necessity of appealing to unholy motives, not sanctioned, but condemned in the word of God. We can readily conceive how the praiseworthy conduct of an individual Christian may provoke (that is excite) another to imitate and even excel him; and how the good works of Christians in one place may incite those of another place to follow the example; and we see not why the power of example cannot operate as effectually upon Christians in the united church, ́as when divided into parties. The only reason that can possibly be assigned, is that sects are envious and jealous of the success enjoyed, and the commendation bestowed upon other sects, and this gives power to the principle of emulation, which prompts each to excel, and thereby appropriate to itself the profit and praise

which would otherwise fall to the share of its rival. The history of sects abundantly shows that they have been more swift to follow evil than good example. What one has learned from and has been excited to do by the example of another, has been directed more to the interests of party than to advance the kingdom of Christ. And what better could be expected as the fruit of so unholy a motive, as that of envy or jealousy? From these sordid passions, arise all the emulation that exists between opposing sects, at least all that can furnish a more powerful motive than that which may actuate Christians in the united state of the church. It is this emulation which is condemned by the apostle as one of the fruits of the flesh, springing, as it does, from the corruption of the unregenerate heart. Gal. v. 19 to 21. When the happy exemplification of Christian character or conduct by one man, or by the church in one place, becomes the means of awakening the attention of other men, or of the churches in another place, and of exciting them by the exhibition of what others can do, and are willing to do for Christ, to go and do likewise, without the desire of gratifying jealousy or self glorying, then alone are Christians provoked or excited to love and good works from scriptural motives. This was the use which the apostle sought to make of a praiseworthy example, when he commended to the Corinthians the liberality of the churches of Macedonia. 2 Cor. viii. The apology for sectarian divisions, on the ground that the church will lose the benefit of carnal emulations, is only a specimen of the body of false ethics, which have been learned in the school of sect. We have already exposed numerous instances, and will disdiscover many more, as we proceed in our discussion.

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