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PERMIT me, with the greatest cancor and sincerity of heart, to solicit your atten. tion to the importance of that religion, which is able to make you wise unto salvation ; in the channel of which, all your happiness and felicity flow, both in this life and in that which is to come.
RELIGION is every way calculated for the good of mankind, and the peace of society, and I regret that there has been so much contention, persecution and bloodshed, on its account.
True religion is that wisdom, which is from above, which is “ First pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy," and therefore cannot be the cause of evil, or of any calamity whatsoever; yet there hath been men in all ages of the world, who, through a false idea about religion, and under a pretence of doing service to God and honor to his cause ; and being destitute of the spirit of truth, which alone consisteth in Jesus CHRIST, have run into the most atrocious erimes, being filled with malignity against all those who did not think and worship exactly with themselves, which hath lead them on to persecution and murder.
THANKS be to God! we, the sons and daugh. ters of Columbia, have hitherto been in a good degree preserved from these calamities ! yet, we have reason to fear, and it evidently appears, that the same spirit of antichrist, which persecuted the primitive christians,reigneth too much among us. It creepeth into religious societies, maketh divisions, and disturbeth the peace thereof; and therefore ought to be suppressed by every true follower of CHRIST. The same spirit that hanged the Friends (called Quakers) in New England, would now hang a Universalist, if the civil authority did not prevent it.
But, blessed be God! we have reason to believe, that this “ Man of sin” will be destroyed. The time is fast approaching when the kingdom of Christ shall cover the whole earth as the waters cover the seas. “ For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD.". Hab. ii. 14. 56 As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numb. xiv. 21. - For from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles ; and in every place incense shall be offer. ed unto my name, and a pure offering ; for my name shall be great among the Heathen, saith the LORD of Hosts.” Mal. i. 11. " They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more." Jer. xxxi. 34.
These passages, with many others that might be mentioned, sufficiently prove that the knowledge of God shall be universal, and as this time has never been since the creation of man (or at least since the fall) we have abundant reason to believe that it yet remains to be fulfilled. And
a glorious and blessed time it will be : When .. all shall be harmony and love : No contention,
no contradiction in the public instructions :: “ Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice ; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord. shail bring again Zion.” Isa. lii. 8..
My youth and inexperience forbid my making any attempt to confute any false ideas about religion ;, yet I am determined to hold up the light of the gospel in as plain terms as I possibly can, according to my understanding and the best of my abilities; and proclaim the glad news. of salvation in and thro’Jesus Christ, as it becometh all those who follow him and love his ap. pearing.. “For there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved,” but in and through the name of JE. sus CHRIST, “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Acts iv. 12. 1 Tim. ii. 6.
I say therefore, with the Apostle, “ I am determined not to be ashamed of the gospel of CHRIST.; for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth.” Rom. i. 16.
CHRIST Commanded his disciples to 6 Preach the gospel to every creature." Mark xvi, 15.. Instead of which, do not many go about at this day, preaching their own sentiments about the gospel, while they neglect the gospel itself? The gospel knows of no sentiment but one, which is, “ Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Cor. ii. 2. “ Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus CHRISTI Now if any man build upon this foundations gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubu ble : Every man's work shall be made manifest : for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire ; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work ahide which he hath built thereup. on, he shall receive a reward ; if any man's work shall be burnt he shall suffer loss; but he hiinself shall be saved ; yet so as by fire." 1 Cor. iii. 11-15. Now to build upon the foundation of CHRIST, is, not only to hear his word, and to attend to the outward ordinances and externals of religion ; but to do his work, that is, to have religion internally, and from the heart, to yield obedience to all the commandments of CHRIST, and imitate him in all his imitable perfections.
Christ, at the conclusion of his sermon on the mount, saith, “Whoever heareth these sayings of mine, and cloeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock ; and every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.” Mat. vii. 24, 26. The house, which was built upon the rock (or CHRIS1) stood all