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with the strongest disapprobation when they consider how he feels for their sins. I beheid much themselves have done to the transgressors, says David, and bring reproach on the sacred was grieved.-- Rivers of water name of Jesus, and to open the run down my eyes, because men mouths of blasphemers, they keeyr not thy law. Here was the sometimes feel as though their holy, affectionate zeal of a childunhallowed lips should be forever of God. It did not vent itself in sealed from uttering reproofs to the language of unhallowed re- others. Or if an overbearing .proach, of loud and angry ex- sense of duty constrain them to clamation. It retired, and wept this painful office, they feel as if in silence. How amiable the every reproof they dispensed to example! Let us see to it, that others, fell with tenfold weight our zeal be of this excellent kind; upon themselves. And this is a zeal that can pity as well as the very spirit in which all redisapprobate the wickedt; that proof from one sinner to another can grieve as well as reprove. should be administered. It is Let us beware of attempting to proper it should be so. We are press human passion into the never so well prepared to act service of God and religion. Let such a part, as when we are prest us feel the justice of that remark, with the deepest sense of our that “he who hates another for unworthiness. And reproof, in not being a Christian, is himself such a case, comes with new not a Christian."* Let us trem- force and solemnity, and with a ble at the thought of brandishing far greater probability of a happy the vengeance of the Almighty, effect. of calling down fire from heaven Again, our zeal should be upon the enemies of Christ, or chastened by prudence. our own. Such a zeal, surely, is a certain decorum to be obnever came from above. It is served in selecting the place, earthly ; it is sensual ; it is the circumstances and the occadiabolical.
sion, for the exhibition of such a Again, our zeal for God and spirit, and for the performance religion should be attempered of the duties connected with it. with humility. To stand up on
To stand up on A discreet regard to this object the side of Jehovah and his truth, is of high importance. Its negbefore an ungodly world; to ap- fect is attended with multiplied pear in behalf of Christ and his evils and infelicities. If an honreligion, in the presence of ene- est and zealous Christian grossly inies and blasphemers, is surely step out of his proper sphere ; to be engaged in a noble cause. he flagrantly misjudge in regard It is to act a sublime part. For to the season of bis exertions ; this very reason, the deepest or if they be, in their manner, "humility becomes us. The best uncouth, unkind, or extremely of Christians are but too un- vehement, they will too probaworthy such an honour. And bly, however well intended, dethe best of Christians most sen- feat their own object. It is a sibly feel this unworthiness. gospel injunction, that all things
be donc decently and in order. Lord Lyttleton.
Doubtless, it is through the neglect of this rule, that religion who differ from them in some has not unfrequently been dis- small points of opinion, act a honoured by its friends; while strangely inconsistent part. its foes have found occasion for Something must be wrong, eitriumph, and for hardening ther in the head or heart. That themselves in sin.
may be safely pronounced the Still further, our zeal should true zeal, which is sacredly and be firoportioned to the importance inflexibly tenacious in all great of its particular object. It was points of faith and practice, and the fault of the Pharisees of old, generously candid in all those of and a striking evidence of their inconsiderable moment. insincerity, that they were ex- In fine, our zeal against sin tremely scrupulous respecting should manifest itself in such many observances of small mo- ways only, as are warrantable ment, and omitted those weightier and lawful. For a single of. matters of the law, judgment, fence in this point ; for a rash mercy and faith. Nor is it uncom- and angry expression to a pro. mon for hypocrites to be super- voking people at the waters of stitiously tenacious of thingscom- Meribah, Moses, that eminent paratively unimportant, while servant of God, was denied the the great essentials of religion honour and happiness, which his are neglected. All truth, in- heart so ardently wished, of deed, should be sacred with us. conducting the Israelites into So should all duty. But all the land of promise. Nor are truths and duties are not of equal any of us out of danger, while importance. Some are plain. conversant with erroneous or Others are more difficult to be wicked men, of being transportdiscovered. Some lie at the ed by that wrath of man, which very foundation of religion. worketh not the righteousness of Others are not fundamental. In God. It is unhappily the case regard to some, all good men that zeal, being a strong emoare agreed. Respecting others, tion of the mind, and, like other the best of men have thought strong emotions, apt to magnify and practised variously. Now its object, naturally unfits us for it argues a strange narrowness judging accurately what methof mind, or perverseness of ods of its expression are right, heart, or both, to be equally te- and what are wrong. Men are nacious and engaged upon all too prone to suppose, that if these points ; to be as ready to their general intentions be good, exclude another from our chari- they cannot mistake in the exety, to pronounce him a heretic, cution of them. Many have and no Christian, for a small er- been so far carried away by a ror in judgment, or practice, as torrent of zeal, as quite to forget for the greatest. And certainly or neglect the maxim, that we those Christians, if there be any must not do evil that good may such, who hope well of the come. Yet this maxim lies at openly profligate, if, in their the very foundation of all moopinion, they are but orthodox, rality, and of all practical religwhile they can have no good ion. How absurd, not to say, opinion of the most exemplary, impious, to entertain the idea of
bly of the Presbyterian church cognized as the essential and disin Scotland, the preceding year. tinguishing docrines of Chris
About this time, the Savoy tianity, in the articles of the church confession of faith, embracing of England, and in the confessions the same doctrines, was adopted of the great body of the Presbyby a synod of the Congregation- terian churches in Holland, Scotal churches, held at the Savoy in land and America. These docLondon. The same doctrines trines were embraced and main. were sanctioned afterward, in tained, as the truths of Scripture, 1690, by a general meeting of by the Reformers, and by the the Presbyterian and Congrega. Christian church, where it has tional churches in England. existed in its purity and simpli
In 1680, the New England city, from the days of the aposchurches, by their elders and tles. In evidence of the truth delegates, assembled in synod, of this assertion, I adduce the renewed their assent to the West- following result of the laborious minster confession of faith. In inquiries of a very learned divine consequence, the General Court of our own country.* ordered it to be printed (to use their " The doctrines contained in own words) " for the benefit of the Assembly's shorter catethe churches in the present and chism and the Westminster con. after times.” This public and fession of faith, particularly the solemn act of the churches, as- doctrine of the divinity and satissembled in synod, has not been faction of Jesus Christ, original annulled by any subsequent act ; sin, the necessity of special nor has this confession been su- grace in regeneration, justificaperseded by the public adoption tion by faith, &c. have been uniof any substitute. It must of versally received, taught and es. course now be considered, and, tablished in all ages of the Christaking into view the whole body tian church. After all the search of Christians in the common. I have been able to make into antiwealth, belonging to the Congre- quity, I can find no single instance gational churches, I believe it of any public confession of faith, may correctly be considered, as drawn up by any council, or genthe adopted public confession of erally received by any Christian the faith of the Congregational country in the world, wherein churches in Massachusetts. any of these doctrines have been
In 1708, all the churches in plainly and expressly denied. Connecticut, assembled by their For though there have been ministers and delegates at Say- some men scattered up and brook, unanimously approved down in the world, and someand adopted the Savoy con- times convened in assemblies, fession of faith. Their proceed- who have not believed these docings received the sanction of the trines, and have sometimes enlegislature. And the churches deavoured covertly to disguise in this state have continued them and let them drop, and steadfast in this faith to the pres- thus by degrees to root them ent time.
out of the Christian church, yet These doctrines have been, and still are, acknowledged, and re- • President Clap.