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does not depend either on your choice or mine. We must both act, as each is fully persuaded in his own mind. Hold you fast that which you believe is most acceptable to God, and I will do the same. I believe the Episcopal form of church-government to be scriptural and apostolical. If you think the Presbyterial or Independent is better, think so still, and act accordingly. I believe infants ought to be baptized, and that this may be done either by dipping or sprinkling. If you are otherwise persuaded, be so still, and follow your own persuasion. It appear to me, that forms of prayer are of excellent usé, particuJarly in the great congregation. If you judge extemporary prayer to be of more use, act suitable to your own judgment. My sentiment is, that I ought not to forbid water, wherein persons may be baptized : and, that I ought to eat bread and drink wine, as a memorial of my dying Master. However, if you are not convinced of this, act according to the light you have. I have no desire to dispute with you one moment, upon any of the preceding heails. Let all these smaller points stand aside. Let them never come into sight. If thine heart is as my heart, if thou lovest God and all naankind, I ask no more: give me thine hand.
3. I mean, first, Love me. And that not only as thou lovest all mankind ; not only as thou lovest thine enemies, or the enemies of God, those that hate thee, that despitefully use thee and persecute thee : not only as a stranger, as one of whom thou knowest neither good nor evil. I am not satisfied with this. No: If thine heart be right, as mine with thy heart, then love me with a very tender affection, as a friend that is closer than a brother: as a brother in Christ, a fellow-citizen of the New Jerusalem, a fellow-soldier engaged in the same warfare, under the same captain of our salvation. Love me as a companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, and a joint-heir of his glory.
4. Love me (but in an higher degree, than thou dost the bulk of mankind) with the love that is long-suffering and kind, that is patient, if I am ignorant or out of the way, bearing and not increasing my burtben, and, is tender, soft and compassionate still: that envieih not, if at any time it please God, to prosper me in this work even more than thee. Love me with the love that is not pro
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voked either at my follies or infirmities; or even at my acting (if it should sometimes so appear to thee) not according to the will of God. Love me so as to think no evil of me, to put away all jealousy and evil surmising. Love me with the love that covereth all things, that never reveals either my faults or infirinities: that believeth all things, is always willing to think the best, to put the fairest construction on all my words and actions : That hopeth all things ; either that the thing related was never done; or not done with such circumstances as are related : or at least, that it was done with a good intention : or in sudden stress of temptation. And hope to the end, that whatever is amiss, will by the grace of God be corrected, and whatever is wanting supplied, thro' the riches of his mercy in Christ Jesus.
5. I mean, secondly, Commend me to God in all thy prayers, wrestle with bim in my behalf, that he would speedily correct what he sees amiss, and supply what is wanting in me. In thy nearest access to the throne of grace, beg of him, who is then very present with thee, that my heart may be more as thy heart, more right both toward God and toward man: that I may have a fúller conviction of things not seen, and a stronger view of the love of God in Christ Jesus: may more steadily walk by faith, not by sight, and more earnestly grasp eternal life. Pray, that the love of God and of all mankind, may be more largely poured into my heart ; that I may be more fervent and active in doing the will of iny Father which is in heaven; more zealous of good works, and more careful to abstain from all appearance of evil.
6. I mean, thirdly, Provoke me to love and to good works. Second thy prayer as thou hast opportunity, by speaking to me in love whatsoever thou believe est to be for my soul's health. Quicken me in the work which God has given me to do, and instruct me how tu do it more perfe&ly. Yea sinite me friendly and reprove me, wherein soever l appear to thee, to be doing rather my owo will, than the will of him that sent me. O speak and spare not, whatever thou believest may conduce, either to the amending my faults, the strengthning my weakness, the building me up in love, or the making me more fit in any kind for the master's use,
7. I mean, lastly, Love me not in word only, but in deed and in truth. So far as in conscience thou canst (retaining still thy own opinions, and thy, own manner of worshipping God) join with me in the work of God, and let us go on hand in hand. And thus far, it is certain, thou mayst go. Speak honourably wherever thou art, of the work of God by whomsoever he works, and kindly of his messengers, And if it be in thy power, not only sympathize with them when they are in any difficulty or distress, but give them a chearful and effectual assistance, that they may glorify God on iny behalf.
8. Two things should be observed, with regard to what has been spoken under this last head.. The one, that whatsoever love, whatsoever offices of love, whatsoever spiritual or temporal assistance, I claim from him whose heart is right, as my heart is with bis : the same I am ready, by the grace of God, according to my measure, to give hiin. The other, that I have not made this claim, in behalf of myself only, but of all whose heart is right toward God and man, that we may all love one another, as Christ hath loved us.
II. 1. Ore inference we make from what has been said. We may learn from hence, what is a Catholic spirit.
There is scarce any expression which has been more grosly misunderstood, and more dangerously misapplied than this. But it will be easy for any who calmly consider the preceding observations, to correct any such misapprehensions of it, and to prevent any such misapplication.
For from hence we may learn, first, That a Catholic spirit, is not speculative latitudinarianism. It is not an indifference to all opinions. This is the spawb.of hell, not the offspring of heaven. "This unsettledness of thought, this being driven to and fro, and lost about with every wind of doktrine, is a great curse, not a blessing; an irreconcileable enemy, not a friend to true Catholicism. A man of a truly Catholic spirit, has not now his religion to seek. He is fixt as the sun in his judgment concerning the main branches of Christian doctrine. It is true, he is always ready to hear and weigh, whatsocver
can be offered against his principles. But as this does not show any wavering in his own mind, so neither does it occasion any. He does not halt between two opinions, nor vainly endeavour to blend them into one. Observe this, you who know not what spirit ye are of: who call yourselves men of a Catholic spirit, only because you are of a muddy understanding: because your mind is all in a mist : because you have no settled, consistent principles, but are for jumbling all opinions together. Be convinced, that you have quite missed your way: you know not where you are. You think you are got into the very Spirit of Christ; when in truth'you are nearer the spirit of antichrist. Go first and learn the first elements of the gospel of Christ, and then shall you learn to be of a truly Catholic spirit.
2. From what has been said we may learn, secondly, That a Catholic spirit is not any kind of pra&tical latitudinarianism. It is not indifference as to public worship, or as to the outward manner of performing it. This likewise would not be a blessing but a curse. Far from being an help thereto, it would, so long as it remained, be an unspeakable hindrance to the worshipping of God in spirit and in truth. But the man of a truly Catholic spirit, having weighed all things in the balance of the sanctuary, has no doubt, no scruple at all concerning that particular mode of worship wherein be joins. He is clearly convinced, that this manner of worshipping God is both scriptural and rational. He knows none in the world, which is more scriptural, nonc which is more rational. Therefore, without rambling hither and thither, he cleaves close thereto, and praises God for the opportunity of so doing:
3. Hence we may, thirdly, learn, That a Catholic spirit is not indifference to all congregations. This is another sort of latitudinarianism no less absurd and unscriptural than the former. But it is far from a man of a truly Catholic spirit. He is fixt in ' his congregation as well as his principles. He is united to one, not only in spirit, but by all the outward ties of Christian fellowship. There he partakes of all the ordinances of God. There he receives the supper of the Lord. There he pours out his soul in public prayer, and joins in public. praise and thanksgiving. There he rejoices to hear The word of reconciliation, the gospel of the grace of God. With thesc his nearest, his best beloved brethren, on solemn occasions he seeks God by fasting. These particularly he watches over in love, as they do over - his soul, admonishing, exhorting, comforting, reproving, and every way building up each other in the faith. These he regards as his own houshold, and therefore according to the ability God has given him, naturally cares for them, and provides that they may have all the things that are needful for life and godliness.
4. But while he is steadily fixt in his religious principles, in whai he believes to he the truth as it is in Jesus ; while he firinly adheres to that worship of God, which he judges to be most acceptable in his sight, and while he is united by the tenderest and closest ties, to one parti. cular congregation: his heart is enlarged toward all mankind, those he knows and those he does not: he embraces with strong and cordial affection, neighbours and strangers, friends and enemies. This is Catholic or universal love. And he that has this, is of a Catholic spirit. For love alone gives the title to this character. Catholic love is a Catholic spirit.
5. But if we take this word in the strictest sense, a man of a Catholic spirit, is one who in the manner abovementioned, gives his hand, to all whose hearts are right with his heart. One who knows how to value, and praise God, for all the advantages be enjoys; with regard to the knowledge of the things of God, the true scriptural manner of worshipping him; and above all, his union with a congregation, fearing God and working righteousness, One who retaining these blessings with the strictest care, keeping them as the apple of his eye, at the same time loves as friends, as brethren in the Lord, as members of Christ and children of God, as joint-partakers bow of the present kingdom of God, and fellow-heirs of his eternal kingdon), all of whatever opinion or worship or congregation, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; who love God and ma!!; who rejoicing to please and fearing to offend God, are careful to abstain from evil, and zealous of good works. Hois the man of a truly Catholic spirit, who bears all these continually upon his heart, who hav