« AnteriorContinuar »
in the World, that one would think there should not be fuch Matter of Debate and Controversy among Chrifians, upon thefe Subjects, as we bave unhappily found.
For befides the Reasonableness of the Things that are required for this Purpose, our blessed Saviour himself has given us so many Promifes in his Word to favour this Practice of boly Fellowship, and to encourage our Hope, as give abundant Reafon to our Expectations of divine Success. Has he not told us, that where two or three are met together in his Name, there he is, or will be in the Midft of them? And when St. Peter made a glorious Confeffion of his Faith in Jefus the Son of God, the promised Saviour; upon this Rock, Said he, will I build my Church,
and the Gates of Hell fhall not prevail against it.
So that if there is found but fuch Faithfulness, fuch Chriftian Virtues of Meeknefs, Patience and Forbearance, as may be justly expected among Chriftians, I would hope fuch Settlements as these might continue without Interruption. And I trust I have here represented these Things So faithfully, fo plainly and clearly, that no fingle Perfon, in any Part of bis Practice, will find his Confcience 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 eafy before the Minds of Perfons, who do but exercise the common ReaA 3
fon by which they conduct themselves in the Affairs of human Life.
Nor is there any Thing here af ferted, which confines Chriftians to fo exact a Uniformity in their Principles and Practices, but by the Exercife of their Reafon, with a small Degree of Charity, they may make and allow fuch Alterations, will affift and promote the general Peace and Edification of the Churches, under the Care and Patronage of Jefus the great Shepherd.
And upon thefe Foundations, if the Grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, and his Spirit, which is promifed to affift the Chriftian Church, does but continue among his Ordinances, from Time to Time, we may hope to find a comforta
comfortable Succeffion and increase of Members added to the Church, and built up in Faith, Love and Holinefs, till our Lord Jefus Chrift himfelf fhall return to this World, and finish the great and important Work of Judgement.
I would only add further, with Regard more especially to the Queftions relating to Chriftian Communion, that if any Thing contained in them may be effectual through the divine Bleffing, to fet the Terms of Chriftian-Fellowship in a jufter Light, to fecure the great and necessary Principles of Chriftianity, to remove any Caufes of Offence from among the Churches, and to lead the feveral Parties of Chriftians, to more moderate and charitable Sentiments concerning