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shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.' By such passages as these, which we cannot help deeming sufficiently clear and explicit, as well as by the general tenor of the discourses of Jesus, we think ourselves fully borne out in the belief, that our conduct has the sanction and approbation of our blessed Master himself, and that he who was meek and lowly of heart, will discern in our refusal of divine honours to his person, not a want of love and reverence for him-far from it—but, on the contrary, a strong desire to obey his precepts and follow his example; to serve the God whom he served in spirit and in truth; and to pay the homage of supreme veneration and love, where he declared it to be due, even to that Being whom he has pronounced greater than himself, and to whom, in the end of all things, an apostle expressly assures us, he shall resign his delegated power," delivering up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and being subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” †

No, if we refuse to Jesus the titles and honours of Deity, it is not because we do not love, it is not because we do not venerate him; for we do love him, as under God our dearest and best friend, as our Saviour that died for us; and we do venerate him, as. that beloved Son of God in whom the Father was well pleased, and solemnly declared that he was so; but it is because we dare not offer to Jesus homage, which, if we understand him aright, he has forbidden us to offer, and has declared that he will reject; we dare not call him God who claims only to be the son of God, and who, in our

1 Cor. xv. 24-28.

*John xvi. 23.

sincere and deliberate opinion, would refuse to accept a higher title.

But our views, say those who differ from us, are erroneous, our scruples groundless, and our interpretations of Scripture wrong. Suppose it were so-grant

for a moment that we have been mistaken-what then? Are we therefore enemies to Christ and his cross? Because we have erred, must it therefore follow that we have wilfully and wickedly erred? Such may be the opinion of some well-meaning followers of Christ; but not such, I am persuaded, would be the decision of 'the great Master himself. Even whilst he corrected our errors, he would approve our adherence to the dictates of conscience; and would forgive our scruples and our heresies, how weak and ignorant soever, provided they were serious and sincere. Were it true that beneath the disguise of the servant and the son, we had failed to discover the latent Deity, he would nevertheless pardon us if he found, that though his nearer presence was unperceived, that Deity was always loved and reverenced by us, and these feelings were testified by the honourable reception of his supposed ambassador, and prompt attention to his will as soon as shown.

Were a mighty monarch to assume the character of one of his own servants, and to travel in disguise to some distant corner of his kingdom, would he, I pray you, mark those of his subjects as rebellious and disloyal, who, though they deemed him far remote, nor dreamed of his presence with them, should yet speak of him with warm affection and unfeigned respect, and receive his will as law? Would he record it as a crime inexpiable, if, through ignorance, they could not discover the person

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of the real monarch in that of the apparent servant? Would he denounce vengeance against them because they did not render to the supposed messenger of majesty the homage due only to majesty itself? Would he not, on the contrary, be pleased to find that their loyalty had taught them to make a scrupulous distinction; to honour the servants of the king as such, but to reserve for the monarch himself, with watchful care and true allegiance, those higher honours which the monarch only has a right to claim? Assuredly it would be so, nor should we, for the case is exactly parallel, have the least ground to apprehend our Saviour's displeasure, even on the supposition that our sentiments were erroneous, and our conceptions of his person and dignity inadequate and defective.

For my own part, had I much less reason to be satisfied of the truth of my opinions than I feel persuaded that I have, I should, not on this head entertain the slightest apprehension. I might fear that my inquires had not been sufficiently diligent, that I had not searched the Scriptures in the spirit and manner that I should have done; but I should entirely acquit myself, and I can truly assert that I could do so with a conviction of perfect sincerity, of the remotest approach to a wish to degrade, in the least degree, the character of my Saviour. Of such conduct, feeling myself incapable, I should not fear to be accused even at the awful bar of the Searcher of hearts; and compared with this, to be judged of man's judgment is indeed a very little thing.

Let us only be convinced, on good grounds, that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; let the test of that sincerity be our active and cheerful obedience to his

will, our piety, our benevolence, our self-government, a conversation, in short, becoming the Gospel of Christ; and be assured, our revered master will not count us enemies, though in that great day when truth alone shall stand, and all the vanities of human opinion shall shrink and disappear before the eye of Omniscience as dew drops before the sun; though in that day, I say, it should be found that our peculiar opinions also have been of the number of these vanities. Let us thus act; and the countenance whose light will purge our sins, and disperse our errors, and enlighten our darkness, will beam a look of love and mercy upon us; our fearful trembling souls shall be enlightened and purified, but fear not, brethren; they shall live.

That which I hope and believe for myself, I hope and believe for all my Christian brethren, even for those who differ most widely from me. I deem them in error certainly, in gross error, in error which it is of material importance to the interests of Christianity and the Christian world to remove; but I do not therefore doubt their safety; I do not question their final acceptance with the Father. God forbid. I know, and my heart would be narrow indeed if I did not rejoice to know, that there are many burning and shining lights among them; many who are well prepared to meet the bridegroom; who are watching for the cry, "Behold he cometh;" whose lamps, ready trimmed, send up a bright and cheerful blaze; of whose oil it would be well if we could borrow. They may be in error; but what then? They are in charity, the love of God and man dwelleth richly in them, the law of Jesus is written on their hearts. God forbid that I should presume to try, by my petty scales of or

thodoxy or heresy, call them which you please, those who have been weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, and not found wanting. A heart right with God, a conduct and a conscience void of offence, an unfeigned and an active love of the Father, and of the brethren, these will far outweigh the most erroneous sentiments; these are the pure and solid gold, compared with which, a creed or a confession, whether mine or yours, is but a feather in the scale.

Let me quote, on this subject, the words of a late distinguished ornament of the established church, words which ought to find a responsive echo in the heart of every real Christian. "It is difficult," says Bishop Watson, in the admirable preface to his collection of theological tracts," for any man entirely to divest himself of prejudice, but he may surely take care that it be not accompanied with an uncharitable propensity to stigmatize, with reproachful appellations, those who cannot measure the rectitude of the divine dispensations by his rule, nor seek their way by insisting on the path, which he, in his overweening wisdom, has arrogantly prescribed as the only one which can lead men thither. If different men, in carefully and conscientiously examining the Scriptures, should arrive at different conclusions, even on points of the least importance, we trust that God, who alone knows what every man is capable of, will be merciful to him that is in error. We trust," he adds, with a generous candour which it grieves me to call singular," that he will pardon the Unitarian if he be in error, because he has fallen into it from the dread of becoming an idolater, of giving that glory to another, which he conceives to be due to God alone. If the worshipper

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