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England is in no small danger, not so much from the active hostility of Calvinists; as from the zealous exertions, and evangelical tenets of men, who, however they may be thought inferior in all other respects, are certainly more earnest and active, and intent in preaching, and in teaching from house to house, than the parochial clergy in general are.
P. cclxxxiv. 1. 21. Let, &c.'* I most earnestly pray God, by his special grace, to incline the hearts of the parochial clergy, yea, all of them, to follow the excellent advice, contained in this conclusion of the chapThe substance of it is so excellent, that I have no disposition to except to any particular expressions, which
• 'Let the Parochial Clergy, by persevering zeal, combined with know'ledge, and tempered by charity, be instant in their endeavours to heal the 'divisions which rend the Church of Christ. Let them labour to understand and set forth the gospel in its original purity; not by dwelling on a few detached passages, which have been, and ever will be, the subjects of controversy, when considered without reference to the general tenor of Scripture, or the peculiar circumstances and opinions to which they allude; but, ' guided by the light afforded them by our truly venerable Reformers, in the 'articles, the liturgy, and the homilies of our church, let them take a com'prehensive view of the whole of Scripture, and “rightly dividing the word "of truth," "let them explain its doctrines and enforce its precepts in a
manner consisent with the general design of christianity, and the known 'attributes of God. Let them, while they exhort men to remember that ⚫ schism is not become the less criminal from its being more common, exert ⚫ themselves to stop its progress, by a diligent discharge of the various 'duties belonging to their several stations; and conformably with that spirit
of forbearance, by which our church is so especially distinguished, and which so clearly appears in the declaration prefixed to our articles, let not those, who are of one mind respecting the fundament, 1 principles of our faith, suffer" differences upon certain curious points" to break the bonds ' of peace and unity, so necessary, in this hour of common danger, for the preservation of true religion in these dominions. Thus by temperate zeal, 'sound knowledge, persevering diligence, and fervent charity, they will best ⚫ evince themselves genuine members of a church, founded upon apostolical authority. Thus, " showing their faith by their works," according to an apostle's injunction, they will most effectually reprove gainsayers, recal wanderers, and prepare themselves, "in this day of trial which is come ' upon all the earth,” to give account of their stewardship when summoned C before their Judge.'
may not exactly accord to my own sentiments. By zealously and steadily attending to these counsels, and by no other means, without this, the parochial clergy may recover, and establish that preponderance over the dissenting teachers, which is so much desired by them. It may, however, be foreseen, that if only a part of them do this; so that the total number forms by far the minority among the whole company; they will soon be either classed with the evangelical clergy, so called; or will receive some other name of opprobrious distinction, by the majority, which continues to neglect them.,