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enlarging upon controverted subjects. The effects of this kind of preaching are as injurious, as of that which gives no fundamental principles, but leaves the mind in a state of vacillation and suspense, as to what Christianity is. Such a mode of preaching tends to undermine all the duties of practice, particularly the social and divine. Suffer me, therefore, affectionately to exhort you, to watch diligently, lest the subjects which have recently occupied so much of your attention divert your minds from the sweet enjoyments of practical piety. The tumult will soon subside, if it have not already subsided. The violent perturbation will soon be succeeded by a calm. Beware lest the calm prove like the stagnant lake, productive of baleful weeds and noxious vapours, instead of that refreshing vigour, and exhilerating coolness which under the guidance of Omnipotent Goodness, "the war of elements," "the tumult of the waves, and the tumult of the people," are admirably calculated to produce.-Your principles being once fixed and your minds once firmly satisfied, look to your conduct; give to your principles their full
sway, then see their effects. For my part, I can conscientiously say, that I never feel the devout emotions of my soul carried away in such delightful extacies, my desire to love and serve my neighbour so thoroughly disinterested, and my resolves to observe every selfish duty so firm and operative, as when I endeavour to behold in one comprehensive view that glorious prospect of the administration of God which is presented by Unitarian Christianity; which I trust I have from the purest motives embraced, and which is here fully presented to you. It seems to call the soul from its terrestrial habitation, to leave sublunary things far below its flight, and to give a foretaste of heavenly bliss.
Having impressed upon your minds the necessity of divine duties, look to the social: see that your firmness and decided attachment to your own opinions degenerate not into indignation and contempt of those of others. Too great allowance can scarcely be made for the effects of early education. Nor can any one decide for another, upon the proper medium or focus of vision. Firmness is perfectly distinct
from obstinacy. The one is the steadiness of the eagle's eye coolly collecting a ray of truth. The other excludes the beams of day, and dazzled with the taper's glare, moth-like, braves destruction. Firmness is perfectly distinct from indignation and contempt. The one regards principles, the others persons. The one is the offspring of Christianity, the others are the descendants of pride.
"Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye," was the language of firmness. "Unless I see him and handle him, and put my fingers into the print of his nails, I will not believe," was the assertion of obstinacy. Indignation exclaimed, "God shall judge thee thou whited wall." And contempt cried out "Thou wert altogether born in sin and dost thou teach us?"
Let not politeness or a compliance with the customs and maxims of the world, draw you into a dereliction of principle. Placed in the world as we are by the Almighty, our sphere of action is in the world. Endowed with social affections, it is in society that these affections must
be called into exercise. We do not, therefore, feel ourselves called upon to suppress these affections by monkish severity, nor to separate ourselves from the world by any badge of singularity. We are willing to go with the world as far as our Saviour will be our guide, and an unsullied conscience accompany us. Let us beware lest we carry our complaisance too far. Politeness is perfectly consistent with firmness of principle. Never, never let us sacrifice a particle of our integrity to our willingness to please and to obligé.
An attachment to our principles will, in the present state of the Christian world, bring us into some difficulties, and perhaps excite some painful emotions. Our relations, friends, neighbours, connections, shall condemn us. We may be personally affected in various ways and acutely suffer. Though we must feel these things as men, let us bear them as men. A consciousness of rectitude, and of the approbation of our God, will be a source of consolation that will never fail.
Be cautious never to return railing for railing. If those who oppose us adopt that mode of proceeding, they have to
learn that, in a worldly point of view, it is
now bad policy in them.
But to you I
would urge a much higher and nobler motive, that nothing can be more opposite to the spirit of the amiable Jesus.
If the revilings of others ought not to excite a similar spirit in you, much less ought it to diminish your acts of beneficence towards them. bour? He that is comes in thy way. whose wants are
Who is thy neighnear thee. He that He that wants relief; known to thee; and
which wants thou art able to remove. Every child of Adam is thy relation; and the Christian must ever
View with mercy's melting eye
A brother in a foe."
The two great enemies to religious integrity, with which you will have to contend in your journey through life, will be ridicule and interest. It is hard to bear the laugh of our friends. The trial is too great for many. Arm yourselves against it with Christian fortitude.
"Its sting outvenoms all the worms of Nile."
The seven-fold shield of righteousness