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ness, whether in the establishment or out of it, be watched against by all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. All must admire the peace-making spirit which led our venerable Primate in his letter of Jan. 11, 1845, to give the advice respecting the late rubrical divisions in our Church. It establishes the important principle, that there may be unity in a Church without exact uniformity in outward services.
The matters in controversy, considered in themselves, are not of vital importance ; the service in our churches has in general been conducted in conformity to the Apostle's direction, with order and decency; and, whether performed with exact regard to the letter of the rubric, or with the variations established by general usage, will still be decent and orderly. I therefore entreat you to consider, whether the peace of the Church should be hazarded by prolonging an unprofitable controversy, at a time, more especially, when her energies are directed, with such hope of success, to the promotion of religion and morals, and when the clergy and laity are zealously engaged in united exertions for the erection and endowment of churches and schools, and for other pious and beneficial objects in almost every part of the country.
What I would most earnestly recommend for the present, is, the discontinuance of any proceedings, in either direction, on the controverted questions. In churches where alterations have been introduced with
general acquiescence, let things remain as they are ; in those which retain the less accurate usage, let no risk of division be incurred by any attempt at change, till some final arrangement can be made with the sanction of proper authorities. In the case of churches where agitation prevails, and nothing has been definitely settled, it is not possible to lay down any general rule which
may be applicable to all circumstances. But is it too much to hope, that those who are zealous for the honour of God and the good of his Church, will show, by the temporary surrender of their private opinions, that they are equally zealous in the cause of peace and charity ?'
It is not the Gospel, but the evil of the heart in dealing with the Gospel, that really occasions all these divisions ;-our self-wisdom, self-will, and pride, covering itself with, and sheltering itself under the mask of love to the truth. And, blessed be God, true Christians are seeing this more and more ; and though the pleas even for union, may occasion fresh divisions, yet, God grant that on a larger and larger scale, the divisions of the Church may be seen to be its dangers, and truth be contended for with less bitterness, and by degrees the Church rise to the blessed state to which it is called, in the 14th of the Romans, and the 13th of the 1st of Corinthians, and attain the oneness of the
See many valuable Treatises on Union.
Heavenly Jerusalem. In the meanwhile evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, till their folly shall be manifest to all men.
6. INFECTION BY THE SPIRIT OF THE TIMES is the last inward danger which I will point out. Where we may be kept from fully joining any of those wholly actuated by Infidelity, Lawlessness, or Popery, our garments may be spotted by a too close approach to them. Have no evangelical brethren been moved from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus, by the spirit manifested in the Tracts for the Times ?' Have none lost the love due to all who love Christ, through the evils of political Dissent ? Have none lapsed into a secular view of the Church's danger, from the attacks upon its property, and have been tempted to trust to numbers, registration and votes, instead of the living God? Have none lost a sense of the real sin and evil of schism and dissent, in earnestly contending for the paramount importance of the great principles of the Gospel of Christ ? These are questions which it may at least be profitable with much searching of heart, and much close scrutiny, to put to our own consciences. It is a solemn charge of the last of the Apostles, Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
THE MORE SPECIAL DANGERS OF LONDON.
Having thus considered more at large the dangers of Christians in general, we will, in this chapter, confine the attention of the reader to what may be called the metropolis of the earth, and of the Christian world, and the chief seat of all efforts to diffuse divine truth among our fellow-men. And I would chiefly view the subject in the light of a neglected Gospel, producing gross spiritual ignorance, the real source of its greatest dangers.
True it is, London is the seat of commerce, law, science, arts, and every form of human wisdom. True it is, also, London is the moral metropolis of the world. Here all human attainments are carried out to their utmost perfection. Here everything may be had to instruct the mind, gratify the taste, or adorn the person.
But with God, whose judgment alone is infallibly and eternally right, the wisdom of this world is foolishWith God its boasted light is darkness.
He beholds, in the midst of this intellectual glory, the overspreading darkness of that spiritual ignorance which pervades every part of this immense metropolis. Nineveh had more than sixscore thousand persons that could not discern their right hand from their left. These in
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fants were probably but an eighth or a tenth part of the whole city, making its population above a million. London has now a far greater number than 120,000, who cannot discern life from death, God's blessing from God's curse, the strait way from the broad, the way of ruin and misery from the way of holiness, peace and salvation.
Some facts and views opening the particulars of this ignorance may assist us to feel the solemn truth more strongly.
1. The number of the ignorant here is very great. We will begin with THE WORST thieves, prostitutes, drunkards, and open profligates. 62,477 persons were, in 1843, by the metropolitan police, taken into custody charged with public offences ; a very considerable number of these are young in age : 16,918 could neither read nor write. Take one sin, fornication ; remember,—God has said, Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge ; they shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone,-and then look at London. A list very imperfect as to the number, gives 1,500 notorious houses where prostitutes dwell, habitations actually known to be so occupied. The exact numbers of prostitutes is unknown. Several tens of thousands of such unhappy and wicked women are now living within eight miles of St. Paul's, in this crime: more than double the real number are involved in this soul-destroying sin, prematurely terminating the life