« ForrigeFortsett »
i in the World, that one would think
there pould not be such Matter of Debate and Controversy among Christians, upon these Subjects, as we have unhappily found.
For besides the Reasonableness of the Things that are required for this Purpose, our blessed Saviour himself bas given us so many Promises in his Word to favour this Praćtice of boly Fellowship, and to encourage our Hope, as give abundant Reason to our Expectations of divine. Success. Has be not told us, that where two or three are met together in his Name, there he is, or will be in the Midst of them? And when St. Peter made a glorious Confession of his Faith in Jesus the Son of God, the promised Saviour; upon this Rock, said be, will I build my Church,
and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
So that if there is found but fuch Faithfulness, fuch Christian Virtues of Meekness, Patience and Forbearance, as may be juftly expected among Christians, I would hope such Settlements as these might continue without Interruption. And I trust I have bere represented these Things so faithfully, so plainly and clearly, that no fingle Perfon, in any part of bis Pra&tice, will find bis Conscience imposed upon by any Article' or Canon bere mentioned; nor will any Society find itself obliged to do any Thing in receiving, continuing, or excluding any Perfons from their Church, but what lies natural and easy before the Minds of Persons, who do but exercise the common Rea- A 3
Pan by which they conduet themselves in the Affairs of human Life.
Nor is there any Thing bere afferted, which confines Christians to so exa&t a Uniformity in their Principles and Practices, but by the Exercise of their. Reason, with a small Degree of Charity, they may make and allow such Alterations, as will afist and promote the general Peace and Edification of the Churches, under the Care and Patronage of Jesus the great Shepherd.
And upon these Foundations, if the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his Spirit, which is promised to afif the Christian Church, does but continue among his Ordinances, from Time to Time, we may hope to find a
comfortacomfortable Succeffion and increase of Members added to the Church, and built up in Faith, Love and Holiness, till our Lord Jesus Christ bimself shall return to this world, and finish the great and important Work of Judgement.
I would only add further, with Regard more especially to the Questions relating to Christian Communion, that if any Thing contained in them may be effe£tual through the divine Blefing, to set the Terms of Christian-Fellowship in a juster Light, to secure the great and necessary Principles of Christianity, to remove any Causes of Offence from among the Churches, and to lead the several Parties of Christians, to more moderate and charitable Sentiments con