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genuine sense of the Sacred Writers does by no means countenance some of the particular hypotheses which they then espoused."
This is the account of Roger Williams, the founder of the State of Rhode Island. It has been entitled "Some Account," that the reader might not be disappointed. For the promulgation of the noble sentiment of complete religious Liberty, he was cruelly banished Massachusetts, and driven with his wife and family into a wilderness, in the very depth of a most inclement winter. Here, amidst the barbarous and uncivilized Indians, they might have perished! But the goodness of God preserved and befriended them. He founded a city, and from a principle of gratitude to the Supreme Being, called it Providence, which, is at present one of the most flourishing ports in the United States of America. He twice crossed the Atlantic, and finally procured a charter from the reigning monarch upon the principle of complete religious Liberty, in spite of the decided opposition of the Lords spiritual and temporal of the land. This signal service rendered to Rhode Island, was repaid by his bigotted persecutors with the inexorable continuance of banishment to his dying day; but his character and principles are immortal!
The True Christian, of whatever denomination, Catholic, Churchman, or Protestant Dissenter, cannot altogether forget either the new commandment of The Blessed Saviour, that ye love one another; or the impressive delineation by the apostle Paul, of love or charity. From his bosom, even through the mists of prejudice and passion, a spirit of kindness will beam forth towards an erring brother of the great family of mankind. Like the pure and vestal fire, Charity is never altogether extinguished.
"Surely, (says Dr. Philip Doddridge) after having attentively surveyed the beautiful description which the apostle gives us of this divine grace, Love, it cannot be necessary that its cause should be further pleaded. It speaks for itself—speaks to our very hearts. But, O !• who that enters into the description, must not mourn that its angelic form is so much a stranger to multitudes who bear the Christian name! In many instances, it can hardly pass uncensured, while those extremes which most evidently violate it, are often consecrated under honourable names; and men build much of their hopes of Heaven on breathing indeed what is the temper of Hell! How many that style themselves Christians can endure no provocation—can cover no faults of their brethren—can keep themselves within no bounds —can believe nothing to their advantage, against whom, on party principles, they have entertained prejudices! They vaunt themselves—they are puffed up with the conceit of their own wisdom—they behave unseemly—they seek only their own reputation and profit—they believe the worst they can hear of others, and suspect more than they hear—they envy those, whose endowments and stations are superior to their own, and instead of labouring themselves to excel, they affect, by calumny and slander, to bring
down their brethren to their own level, or rather, as far as possible, below it. Alas! that the dictates of Our Divine Master, and the genius of Ouh ReLigion are so little understood, are no more regarded, and that we so entirely forget the precepts of Christianity, as not to remember even those of common humanity! Yet, surely, if these precepts are wholly forgotten, it is in vain that we remember or contend for any of its doctrines and principles. As all languages and gifts, so all know/edge sad faith are in vain, if it be separate from Love, by which true faith always operates.
"Let us cultivate Love more and more, and so much the rather as it is a plant of the celestial Paradise which will there for ever flourish, when tongues shall cease, and that knowledge on which men value themselves highly, shall utterly vanish. The ripeness of adult age, and the knowledge of the most improved sciences, human or divine, is but as the trifling of an infant, when compared with that manly and perfect state, after which we are aspiring! The dim mirror of faith shall then be laid aside, and the truth of the objects now so imperfectly discerned, shall in full lustre be presented to our eye, purged from every film, and strengthened with a brightness which would now overwhelm it! In the mean time, attending humbly to the narrow limits and necessary objects of our present knowledge, let us not be puffed up in ourselves—let us not despise others—but by a modest estimate and a faithful improvement of such degrees of light as God shall be
pleased to afford us, let us press on towards the regions of Eternal Day, where in his light we shall see light; and where amidst the fullest com -munications of his love, we shall for ever love him and each other with ardours, which the best hearts, in their best moments on earth, can neither attain nor conceive
Listen now to Mrs. Hamilton, a sensible member of the Established Church—" It is a great pity that the Heads of our Church of England had not, instead of prescribing Confessions Of Faith, -with regard to abstruse and speculative points of doctrine, confined themselves to those which are chiefly insisted upon in the discourses of our S Aviour. The creed universally enjoined should then have begun with—
"I believe it is my duty to love my neighbour as myself, and to do to others as I would have others to do to me on the like occasion." And so go on through the virtues of Humility, Meekness, and
CHARITY, BROTHERLY LOVE, FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES, Stc. 8tc. which articles might have been subscribed to by the most tender conscience, and might probably have been repeated with as much advantage to the soul as the most incomprehensible mystery. This would have done more towards coalescing the different sects into which The ChrisTian World is so unhappily divided, than any mode that has yet been adopted. I fear, however, that the measure would meet with some opposition from
* Family Expositor, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, 13.
the zealots of every party. The confession of ChaRity and Brotherly Love would be justly deemed an innovation big with alarm, and quite inimical to the spirit of party*."
Mr. Roger Williams was a strict Calvinist, nor do I esteem him the less on that account. But be it known, that he had not within his bosom a spark of that spirit of John Calvin which instigated him
* Dr. Doddridge has been censured for throwing his Theological Lectures into a mathematical form, ill adapted to the nature of moral evidence, and of course not favourable to the demonstration of truth. The following singular specimen of (lie application of mathematics to Christian FAITH And Practice, may be amusing to some readers, as well as make'an impression on youthful minds. It is an Epitaph on a Philomath, or lover of mathematical science—
"Sacred to the Memory of W. K. whose Life demonstrated these Christian truths—that the sum of the Squares of faith and hope is ever equal to the Square of charity and Good Works! Therefore, when any two of these are given, the third will always be found. That as no Figure or Space is contained by less than three Sides, so these three are essential to the form of godliness; for without faith no man is justified—without charity our faith is not seen—and without hope we are of all men most miserable.—By the 13th Prop, of Euclid, also, the Sum of the Angles of every Triangle is equal to two right Angles—and two right Angles infinitely produced on all Sides, must extend through all Space, so the sum of faith, hope, and charity, is equal to the two right Angles of love and obedience, which produce infinite happiness, extended throughout all Eternity—Qf E. D. which was to be demonstrated."