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Church or the religion of Christ; and who are, in truth, unbelievers, practical and theoretical, in the midst of all the means of instruction and grace. :: Many of the Dissenters from the Church of England, Papists, Presbyterians, Quakers, (whatever other denomination, they may have chosen) have at all times displayed examples of faith, charity, and every Christian virtue. Such men are without controversy members of the CATHOLIC CHURCII, though they may enjoy no secular splendor, power, or prosperity. I wish them to become Members of our own most excellent Church; but I cannot pronounce them to be excluded from the Church of Christ, because they are out of our own; and who art thou, O Man, who shall presume to exclude thy fellow creaturefrom the Mercy of thine and his almighty Maker :
I have' only to add, that when they wors thily communicate at the Eucharist, hová ever their modeof administering may differ, as to the external ceremony, they are yet united to the body of Christ by faith and love. The QUAKERS, indeed, who administer not the Sacrament at all, are, I
conceive, under a great error; yet as their worship is spiritual, and their dispositions, evinced by their ACTIONS, remarkably charitable, I am willing to believe that they hold communion with all other sincere Christians, by a mental or cordial communion, and so are not separated from the Catholic Church. I wish any thing I could say, (though I wish without hope,) could prevail with them to take “ the outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace.” I lament what appears to me to be their mistake; but, far be it from any Christian, to say, that they are cut off by it from the body of Christ, while they exhibit proofs in other respects of a Christian faith and a Christian life.
Let us all, who name the name of Christ, “ keep the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT in the “ bond of peace;" and remember, that God is the Father of us all, and will pity his own children, though narrow and seVERE THEOLOGISTS, from the schools, should pronounce their condemnation.
The Idea erroneous, that the Maintenance 5. of the Dignity of the Catholic Church and
the Rites of Christianity is unfavourable to civil Liberty.
Good order, subordination, tranquillity, justice, and mercy, are the legitimate and lovely children of true Religion. It is a most unfortunate mistake, and a most unjust calumny, to think and affirm, that the Catholic Church of Christ is hostile to the common rights of Man in civil Society.
Has any system of polity ever existed in the world which honoured the poorest and lowest ranks of men as they are honoured by the Christian Religion? In the Kingdom of Christ, which is the Church, MAN IS RESPECTED AS MAN, exclusively of all regard to the external circumstances of riches, honours, or station. All human beings in it are considered as one
family, the offspring of one parent, and all cherished with maternal affection. The nursing-mother seems to say to the world, in the pathetic language and beautiful imagery of our Saviour,“ How often “ would I have gathered my children to“gether, even as a hen gathereth her "chickens under ber wings; and ye 6 would not.” .
I should love the religion of Christ even as a heathen philosopher and philanthro-pist, for its beneficent effects on the human race. It is the guide of youth, the support of age, the repose of the weary, the refuge of the miserable. It arrests thie hand of the oppressor, by appalling his conscience; or, if haply the oppressor should proceed and prevail, it teaches the oppressed to look with confidence to a DELIV ERER, mighty to save.
save. .. .. :' Rome was free; yet slavery was permitted there, and slaves treated with singular inhumanity. We read in history, that when sick, they were often turned out of doors to take their chance, or sent in mockery to an island in the Tiber, to be cured by the god, Æsculapius. By the Ro
man laws a slave could not give evidence without the torture; and if a master were killed in his own house, all the slaves, howe ever numerous, were put to death, though their innocence were manifest. But the Christian Emperors made laws in favour of this unfortunate set of men, and their chains were at length broken asunder by the prevalence of Christianity. .
Slavery might, perhaps, be revived in Europe, if it were compatible with this philanthropic religion. There are persons living without religious restraint, who seem, from the unfeeling insolence of their behaviour to their inferiors, sufficiently willing that hereditary slavery should be again established. But Christianity has banished it, and nothing but a return to barbarous ignorance, and a total apostasy from CHRIst can ever restore it. .
Before the introduction of Christianity, infants were often exposcd to destruction by their libertine parents, as soon as born, and the practice scarcely deemed infamous; men were compelled to figlit with wild beasts, and to murder each other foi the entertainment of a theatre ; and the