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dustry; and, above all, a provision of faithful men duly qualified for the ministry of the gospel, in which is eminently displayed the power of God unto salvation. That nation where this provision is best made, and the subordinate means best attended to, is undoubtedly in the happiest circumstances; and whether this is done by the people or the government, or by the co-operation of both, is a circumstance of no material consideration.
Whoever looks into the history of former ages, and observes how much religion has been obstructed and debased by tyrannic and corrupt governments, he may see reason .to congratulate a people when they are left to provide for themselves in their spiritual concerns, at the single impulse of their own consciences. Yet, considering the general disregard of mankind to every thing that relates to another world, he may see still greater cause of congratulation, when, by the special favour of heaven, a people is blessed with truly enlightened and christian rulers, who are no less studious to promote and perpetuate their just rights, and secure their temporal welfare. We conclude, therefore, on the whole, that an establishment with a toleration, especially when the toleration is complete, is preferable to either of them separately; inasmuch as it unites—" liberty of conscience with means of instruction; the progress of truth with the peace of society; the right of private judgment with the care of the public safety *."
On the ?nost effectual Methods by iihich an established Church may support herself under a complete Toleration.
The methods most adapted to the end here proposed, appear, in my apprehension, to be the three following:
I. To provide the best means of spiritual instruction and edification.
II. To advance no unjust claims of superior purity to other churches, either in point of doctrine, worship, or discipline; and even when such claims are well founded, not to assert them with a disproportioned or unhallowed zeal.
III. Not to narrow the terms of church communion beyond the warrant of scripture. .
I. The church must provide the best means of spiritual instruction and edifica
tion; among which the following I conceive to be the most considerable. 1. Her doctrine must be evangelical. She must not teach repentance without faith, pardon without atonement, nor morality without grace. Christ must be exhibited in virtue of his obedience unto death, as exalted to be a saviour as well as a prince; as seated on a throne of grace and mercy, dispensing the aids of his spirit and the blessings of forgiveness, as well as on a throne of dominion issuing his laws and commandments. Again, the doctrine of repentance must be thoroughly opened; the false notions concerning it, and that have always prevailed in the world, must be detected; its true nature must be unfolded, and shown. to consist in nothing short of a moral revolution, by which a man becomes so much changed in his principles and views (and not barely in his outward conduct) that, in the language of scripture, he may properly be denominated (kown liaig) a new creature. Further, in explaining the means by which this change is effected, it must be shown,
ture; that it neither originates from any principles derived to us as the offspring of Adam; nor follows as a natural consequence, either from our own exertions, or from the arguments or persuasions of others; that it is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; and must be sought as a gift from the Saviour of the world, who is no less the source of repentance, than he is of pardon and of divine acceptance. Lastly, when the church instructs her members in the duties and offices of civil and social life, let her not forget to connect them with those motives and considerations peculiar to the gospel, besides such as the gospel holds in common with natural religion. A doctrine thus evangelical, when duly dispensed by men who are truly interested in its success, can never fail to attract both a numerous and a willing audience.
But if the people be presented with nothing but a dry morality; if they be pressed with obligations, and have no adequate direction how they may discharge them; if duty be disunited from grace and pardon