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must be a bad Cause that stands in needSErM. ofiuch Arguments as these.' As for Chri- VI. stianity, 'tis directly opposite to this Spirit ^^^ of Cruelty; even Nature itself abhors it: And yet it seems it must be kept up to do God good Service. But for God's fake, how? Where is there one Text of Scripture that fays, a Man must be destroyed for the fake of Religion? Does not the whole Tenor of it run the contrary way? But 'tis the everlasting Plea of the Advocates for Persecution, that we, and all but themselves, are Heretics: And suppose it were so, tho' there is no reason to suppose any such thing, for there are a great many Things to be made out first, where is there one Text of Scripture that fays, a Heretic must be destroyed? Has not our • Blessed Saviour determined this very Thing already with relation to the Samaritans, who were not only Heretics but Idolaters? And yet when the Disciples James and John were for calling for Fire from Heaven to consume them, he turned, and rebuked them, and faid, Ye know not what manner Spirit ye are of; For the Son of' Man


SEftta. is not come to destroy Metis Lives but to Yl save them.

But if others think, that tho' our Saviour did not come to destroy Men's Livee, yet that they have a Right to do such Things then I think too, they ought at least to be so fair a$ to make no Pretensions to Christianity, since thsy are as contrary to it as an evil Spirit is to a good one. So that up6n Supposition we wefd Heretics, in the Sense they are willing to under, stand it, yet Persecution is a manifest Breach of Christian Charity, which is employed, and delights in doing good to Men, and not in destroying them; and therefore, if it were to be put upon that Footing, they are in a much worse Condition than we, as being guilty of the great Sin of Uncharitableness, which is so m uch worse than Heresy, as Charity is greater than Faith.

But further, let us pursue the Consequence of this persecuting Spirit, and fee where it will end. Suppose then all that can be desired, that Persecution is a Christian Principle, and that there is sufficient

Warrant for it from Scripture; let all this

-for for once be granted, and what areweSFrM. now the better? Can this alter the Nature VI. of things? or make Hatred and Ill-nature be otherwise than they are? As long as things are what they are, it will still be a Moral Crime; and Human Nature, upon Supposition that it is what it is, can never approve of it, unless it be strangely byass'd by other Considerations. What then will an Argument drawn from hence prove? If it prove any thing, it will prove too much. For was there but one Text of Scripture that would justify Persecution, that would be sufficient to prove the Christian Religion to be false, and not to come from God; For that would be to make Christianity destroy its own End, as well as confound and destroy the eternal Differences and Relations of things. Accordingly we find the Deists have made this Use of it: And indeed were it not for the Hatred and Cruelty that has been so often found among Christians, a late Author, that has appear'd at the Head of their Cause, would have very little to .. fey. This is what He, and all the Enemies ,, of Reveal'd Religion have found their Advantage

*M" vantage in, and have triumph'd so much {SY\j upon; and indeed this is a thing never to be got over. I don't mean that it affects Christianity at all, for that teaches other things. A good Christian is taught to be an Enemy to no Man; He is peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated; His Charity forbids him not only to do, but to think evil; He pretends to judge no Man's Conscience, but leaves that to Him who searchcth the Hearts, a ndknoweth the Thoughts of Men; He prays for all Men, which certainly is very far from hating them, and shews every Man that Love and Benevolence, which he would desire of him in a like case. So that Christianity is not at all concern'd in it, but only those who have abus'd it to such . vile Purposes; and therefore I leave k to them to get rid of {his Objection, if they can. See then what this persecuting Spirit ends in, nothing less than in the Ruin and Destruction of that Religion it would be thought with so much Rage and Fury to defend. I should not dwell so long upon this, but that the Text naturally leads me to shew3 that an uncharitable persecuting Spirit is a vile and scandalous Abuse of Serm. Christianity; and the Church of Rome, VI. being the only Christian Church in the t/V^i World, that keeps up this unchristian Spirit, by claiming a right of judging them, who are not their Servants, but their Brethren, I think it my Duty, in order to promote the true Spirit of Christianity, to shew the dangerous Consequence of "it, that we may not run into the fame Inconsistency with those I have been already speaking of.

Every one must know, at least they must who have the use of their Bibles, that all Hatred and Uncharitableness is utterly inconsistent with Christianity: For however we may err in other Matters, we can never be ignorant of this, that tho Gospel is calculated to promote Peace and Love in the World. A Man may be mistaken in a difficult Point of Doctrine, and his Mistake may be very innocent and blameless, because it being not sufficiently reveal'd, a Man can't be blam'd for not knowing what he had it not in his Power tqknow; but a man can never be igno


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