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are found, among our most determined opponents. We claim them all to give strength to our cause in God's good time, the great cause of human nature; and they will, and do, give us their strength the very moment they are freed from the manacles and fetters of sectarianism. We may have to wait long for their complete emancipation from the unnatural thraldom which is crushing them; but we will wait with perfect confidence in the issue. The age for such thraldom is rolling away. The intellect and the heart, are breaking their chains. The sound has gone forth over the earth.

To return then to the moral of the argument with which I set out, let us carefully discern and unfeignedly love all that is good in all Christian sects; for thereby we love and advance our own. And let us convince them that we love them, by drawing their attention to this very intelligible ground of our regard. Let us feel, and make them feel, that we are not their enemies, but only the enemies of a few abstract propositions, among the thousands that lie in their minds. In all things else we would be, we are, one. They will listen to our arguments with a more compromising docility, when they see on what very broad common ground we stand, and how intimate a community of interest, affection, hope and aim, binds us together; while the foundation of all that separates us is a theory.

It is not enough just to assert in general terms that we love their persons but abhor their principles. It wounds them still. For their principles are parts of

themselves, as much their bodies. We must specify and explain. We must tell them, and convince them of it by showing how we think it for our interest, that we love more than their persons, that we love many of their principles, a great many of their practical principles; that we love their piety, their benevolence, their liberal pecuniary charities, their earnest zeal, their indefatigable labors and fearless exposures for the Gospel's sake, all their virtues, all their christian affections. Let it be shown that we are yet one body in Christ; and that, having necessarily so much union, so much identity, we differ in our speculations only as every two worshippers in the same church probably differ about some doctrine or other, and yet adore their common God together, and love as brethren. M.

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UNITY in religion has been the grand object sought in all ages of the church. It has been supposed to be of the utmost importance, and no industry or art has been spared in the attempt to secure or enforce it. Catholics have always made it their starting point in their reasonings against protestants, and protestants in their reasonings against each other. But the misfortune as regards both, has been, that they have made unity to consist in the wrong thing, and have thus looked for it where it can never be found, and endeavored to promote it by methods which have contributed effectually to weaken and destroy it. Under pretext of preserving unity, they have caused division, hatred, and strife..

Christians should be careful, before they insist on unity, to understand in what it consists, and how much of it is to be hoped or desired. There is a sense in which

VOL. 1.-NO. II.


it is impossible for us to have it, and perhaps need not wish it, if it were possible.

In the first place, true christian unity does not require consent in matters of form, outward observances, and modes of ecclesiastical polity. All these have been contended for, as if the very substance of religion consisted in them. In reply to all arguments for uniformity of this kind, however, one simple observation will be all which is needed. It is this. Our Saviour has no where enjoined such uniformity. One distinguishing feature of Christianity is, that it inculcates a spirit of liberty in opposition to the bondage of forms. The use of outward observances was commanded the Jews, but these were done away by Christianity, which carefully teaches us that true goodness is not a letter, but a spirit, not a posture but a disposition.

Nor was any mode of ecclesiastical polity prescribed by the Founder of our faith and hopes. He labored to erect the throne of virtue in the heart, but to accomplish this he relied on the divine truths he taught, and the revelations he imparted to the world. His religion was designed for all nations and all times, and he wisely, therefore, avoided whatever would have served to stamp upon it a local, temporary, and exclusive character. He pointed out the substance to be sought consisting in the great principles of piety and benevolence, in love to God, in justice and mercy, but all beyond this, all that relates to ceremony and forms, if we except the simple rites of baptism and the supper, he left to be

modified by human prudence, by views of expediency, by a regard to circumstances and times.

The primitive Christians for some time preserved the greatest simplicity of discipline and worship. But this simplicity was lost when ambition insinuated itself into the church, and then rites began to be multiplied, and forms and observances were ordained, and the 'right divine,' as it was called, to decree laws and govern, was claimed, and the teachers of religion adopted the state of princes, and pompous titles were assumed, and rubrics were formed, and the liberty with which Jesus made his followers free, a liberty consisting, in part, in the right of each assembly or congregation of believers, to manage its own concerns in the manner deemed best adapted to promote the cause of real piety and virtue, was taken away. But all this was an abuse, a departure from the simplicity that was in Christ, and to be attributed to human passions and weakness, to love of power, to pride and selfishness.

Christian unity does not, in the next place, require uniformity of opinion. Christians, indeed, are sometimes said in the scriptures, to have 'one faith,' that is, they acknowledge one Lord and Master, Jesus, and 'one God and Father of All, who is above all, and through all, and in all ;' or as the apostle, in another place expresses it, 'There is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.' In whatever speculations they may indulge, and however they may refine and distinguish, Christians thus acknowledge a common Father, and common Saviour. They

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