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when "he checked the intemperate zeal of his followers, who would have called down the fire from heaven on the Samaritans, when they refused to receive him ? _“ He turned and rebuked them, and “ faid, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; kc for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's “ lives, but to fave them.” But it is not merely in forbidding and reprobating every species, and every pretext of persecution that the heavenly wisdom of the gospel appears most distinguished. It is still more illustriously conspicuous, in its reprobating every prin. ciple and feeling which lead not to persecution only, but even to discord, and offence of every kind, and particularly on points of difference in religious opinions and religious conduct. What impetuous and over-bearing fanatic would have dictated such admitable precepts as St. Paul has done in language beautiful, because it is the language of a heart overflowing with benignity, with humility, with every pious and dignified principle which can ennoble the heart of man." ° Him, says he, that is, weak in “ the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputa« tions. Why dost thou judge thy brother ? or why « dost thou set at nought thy brother ? for we shall " all stand at the judgment seat of God. So then

every one shall give account of himself to God. * Let us not therefore judge one another any more; " but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling

* Luke ix. 55

ņ Rom. xiv. and i Cor. viii. & x.

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« block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
" For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
“ but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy
« Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ,
“ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
“ Let us therefore follow after the things which
" make for peace, and things wherewith one may
66 edify another. We that are strong ought to bear
o the infirmities of the weak, and not to please our.
“ selves : for even Christ pleafed not himself
« wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also
“ received us to the glory of God. Give none
“offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles,

nor to the church of God; even as I please all “ men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, “ but the profit of many, that they may be saved : « P be ye therefore followers of me, even as I am of " Christ." Let me appeal to the reason and the feelings of every man, whether such language and such sentiments could by any possibility proceed from a blind and furious enthusiast. But still fur. ther, though an enthusiast might entertain such fentiments, and inculcate such precepts, we can hardly fuppose he would make these the leading principles, the foundation and support of his whole system of morality, and put forward this peaceableness, this gentleness, this mercy, this tolerance, as preferableto all other virtues combined; or rather fo essential to the Christian character, that without them no Christian virtue could be supposed to exist. Would a fanatic have done this? nay, further still, would a fanatic, who we must suppose had worked himself up into a false conviction of his being inspired and directed by heaven, because this inspiration and direction had long been the constant object of his wishes and his prayers, and now formed his happiness and his pride ? would such a man, I ask, have preferred this mercy, this brotherly love-in one word, this Christian charity, to that very inspiration, to all his apostolic gifts, to all his miraculous

p This last advice of St. Paul to his followers has been advanced by some in proof of his ambition, and of that being the true principle of his conversion. How erroneously, is ma. nifest from the entire passage here quoted; moral imitation, and not factious adherence of followers to an ambitious leader, was plainly the object ef the apostle.

power

?
yet

this St. Paul has done. “! Though I speak, says he, with the tongues u of men and of angels, and have not charity, “ I am become as founding brass or a tink6 ling cymbal ; and though

and though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all “ knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that " I could remove mountains, and have not charity, ** I am nothing." Would an enthusiast have distinguished between unbounded generosity to the poor; nay, between the firmness of martyrdom and this sacred principle of Christian benevolence ? No. Yet St. Paul has so distinguished" though I be

stow. all my goods to feed the poor ; and though

i Cor. xii.

Ibid.

“ I give

" I give my body to be burned, and have not cha

rity, it profieth me nothing." Why? because when this benevolence is wanting, the source of every virtue is dried up; for from this only can they flow pure and genuine. 'Tis.“ charity only that “ suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not "! is not puffed up-is not easily provoked “ thinketh no evil : and finally, there abideth

faith, hope, charity; but the greatest of these " iş charity!"

I have thus considered a few, and but a few, of those characters of Christian morality, in which it is most strongly and directly contrasted with enthufiafm. Let me now entreat my reader to reflect for a mo. ment, who were the men who poffefsed thig wisdom, and whence did they acquire it? Were they the philofophic fages of Greece and Rome? No. Were they politic and experienced legislators and senators ? No. Were they in the Jewish nation the wife an learned doctors of the law? Noma Jewish peasant, the reputed son of a carpenter, and who for thirty years had resided with a private and obscure family, calls together twelve tax-gatherers and fishermen ; they become distracted with fanaticisin, and the system we have examined, is formed of the ravings of these fanatics collected and preserved :--but there was among them one learned, educated man, St. Paul; he, perhaps it may be said, connected this admirable system of purity and brotherly love. We admit the

learning

!

learning and the talents of the apostle to the Gentiles ; but let us not forget what we have already observed, that his natural temper was impetuous and warm, and that his education, added to his know, ledge of Heathen literature the doctrine and traditia ons of the Pharisees ; he was educated in their habits of pride, and bigotry, and intolerance ; while in his sober reason he was himself a bigot, and a persecua tor even unto death; but he was suddenly hurried away, as the objector would fuppose, by the frenzy of enthusiasm, and from that moment he bea came peaceable and gentle, merciful, liberal and tolerant. Gracious God! will men believe all this, and yet persevere to ridicule others for blind, irrational, implicit faith? No. Let us not judge hardly of those who differ from us; but if they judge unfairly of our cause, of the cause of Christianity and benevolence, let us not, as we value truth and piety, let us not yield lightly to their rash opinion. Surely, if these characters belong to the morality of the gospel, and are compared with the natural disadvantages under which its teachers laboured, they plainly bespeak a divine original.

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