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This I solemnly and cordially believe. How great and how many are the matters in which you are agreed; in which you aim decisively at the same thing! and profoundly may we question, whether, from the certain imperfection of christians in this world, and the variety of your educational and local influences, and the individuality which the plastic hand that formed has stamped upon your minds, and the acknowledged idiosyncrasy of character which has always existed in the church and diversified her modern as it did her ancient ministers-men of conscience and independent thought and habituated investigation pre-eminently; we could ever wisely anticipate, in the true church of God, a much greater degree of theological coincidence on earth, than now exists among you! In the great facts and principles of a common system, you are certainly united. What insipidity and stagnation and supineness, might we not expect as the sure result of perfect uniformity! Now, there is debateable ground enough to keep acumen awake; and not enough to rouse or authorize any alienation. You are brethren and ministers of the same Lord Jesus Christ. I know and love and honor you all. So do thousands of better judges. What I now write is rather for others than yourselves. I believe you hold the truth in common; the truth of the Reformation ; the truth of christianity. I believe you all hold the truth, as the world all hate it; and as it would be now corrupted or opposed by its enemies; and as contradistinguished from the errors of Sabellius, Arius, Pelagius, Arminius, Socinus, and Fox—and from the more abstract errors of antinomianism, stoicism, fatalism, fanaticism, radicalism, ultraism, neology; " and if there be any

, other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which is committed” respectively to our “trust.' From a general acquaintance with all, and a special intimacy with some of you, I aver, that I am unable

I to see any differences among you which should alienate you from my christian esteem and confidence, or that could properly engender alienation among yourselves. You differ indeed ecclesiastically, as belonging to several denominations of christians; who are all allied in mutual correspondence and engaged nobly in the same missionary action. You differ theologically, only in the mode of explaining and vindicating and applying the same great truths of a common system. Suppose then, fathers and brethren, that there was among us more of a manifest assiduity of kindness ; more of magnifying the things of unity and diminishing the things of dissidence; more of liberal and generous allowance where variance might be of reason and in a sort of right expected; more of personal conference and prayer on topics of ambiguity or doubt; more intercourse, frankness, and love, according to the temper of the blessed Paul; more of manifested confidence and holy magnanimity and reciprocal esteem; more dependence on moral and evangelical influence, and less on the machinery of church government; more of a practical sense of personal responsibility to a common



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and a reigning and a witnessing Lord; more of an unwillingness to misunderstand, suspect, inculpate, or avoid, one another; more of a just appreciation of the motives and the sanctions and the symbols of professed sincerity ; more of watchfulness against the spirit so often censured by one that “ made himself of no reputation ” for our sakes; Mark, 9; 33–50. 2 Thess. 2 : 7, 8. 3 John, 9 : 12. Rev. 1 : 20. more of unity in action and service, as indispensable, and very eminently efficacious, to promote unity of vision ; more of the spirit of benevolence, and of the sympathies of goodness, and of the living portraiture of piety; more sense of what is common and identical in our interests and duties, our principles and dangers, our histories and prospects; more of the wisdom that discerns our common enemies and necessities and weaknesses and exposures; more in short of the temper and the acting of the gospel of our Lord, the Lord of Glory, our example as well as our expiation and onr righteousness : what would be the result ? I answer; it would be excellent, manifold, certain, permanent. It is just what God is waiting for, what the church desires, and the world perishingly needs! Some of these results I could venture to predict : such probably as these; we should see that in the things of faith we were all more alike than perhaps we supposed; that it was easy, and sweet, and safe, to forbear with each other in minor peculiarities; that imperfect phraseology, and the passion for philosophizing, and specious logomachy, make a great quantum of all our con

structive or real differences; that evils could now be a hundred fold better corrected, when love came fresh from the cross to qualify orthodoxy into rectitude, and when our colloquial and printed rhetoric always honored heaven's rule of demonstration, speaking the truth in love ;" that the moral

power of each, and the collective power of all, would be increased, refined, amplified, in all legitimate influ

that the spirit of the ministry would become every where elevated, purified, homogeneous ; that other denominations and the whole country would derive a kindred benefit; that our theological seminaries would become schools of experimental piety and the culture of gracious affections, as well as the high places of theological lore and exercise and accomplishment; that we should all increase in practical wisdom ; that religion's power would be quadrupled in all directions ; that the evident blessing of God would attend us, making our ministrations living and effectual, as "the ministration of the Spirit and the ministration of righteousness;" that conversions would abound and revivals of religion become the steady order of the day; that the churches would more and more love their ministers; that the wicked would be confounded, and refuted by their own consciences; that error would die of necessity or retreat to courted and distant solitudes ; and that jealousies would fade away, antipathies expire, sectarianism wane to its destined dishonor, and the vices of bigotry, superstition, fanaticism, mystical divinity, unsanctioned observances, with other and kindred evils that annoy us now, would be continually reduced and superseded, by the triumphant influence of the gospel. Of these results, proportionate mainly to the reform or the advance attained, I have no doubt : and always does the thought occur, when I see with pain THE LITTLE DIFFERENCE magnified reciprocally into THE MIGHTY ALL of the controvertist, that if those brethren had been educated as thoroughly in the inward-light scheme, or any other grand error of the earth, as some of their acquaintance were, they would know how to appreciate each other better; and they would thus begin to brighten the prospects of the nineteenth century before the history should be written of its earlier and its less honorable years.

Allow me to advert to some evils that especially claim correction. 1. Sectarianism ; a love of sect, that seeks its praemia laudis in this world, and as the reward of mistaking the denomination to which one happens to belong for “the kingdom of heaven," or at least the frequent implication of such a shameful sentiment. How often do we hear“ our church, our denomination, our judicatory, our people,” spoken of, in such terms of personal appropriation as carelessness or earthiness alone could inspire; such as seem to forget who“ purchased the church with his own blood.” The first epistle of Paul to Timothy was written to instruct that lovely young evangelist, “how he ought to behave himself in the HOUSE OF GOD, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIYING God." The proprietor of the church is its claimant too; and if not “his glory,” neither will he give his property to another. Besides, do those

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