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is intended, and it requires still more good sense not to take offence where offence actually was intended. It requires a man to be a very wise Christian not to give offence ; and it requires him to be a magnanimous Christian not to take offence when offence is given. You may have seen in the circle of your own home, something illustrative of this assertion. You may sometimes meet with a very sensi e and magnanimous child in a nursery, who bears with the perverseness, with the unreason. ableness of a younger brother, because he will know better by and bye, and who takes pleasure in healing the quarrels of the less sensible children. There are some sensible Christians whose province and delight it is to heal the misunderstandings which arise among their less judicious or less magnanimous brethren. There are some who have got the grace which beareth all things, and endureth all things, and hopeth all things, and so achieveth all things. This is the Christianity essential to Christian union. But in the third place it requires that a Christian be a man of a right spirit. Just as there are some Christians not eminent for their sense or their wisdom, so there are many who are real Christians, but who have not got an excellent spirit. There is a sort of unbelieving, free-thinking catholicity, which is always offering to unite with all and sundries, and being itself so pliant and so unsubstantial, it may unite with anything, but it will strengthen nothing. And then, on the other hand, there are some who have that key-cold orthodoxy, that tenacious, unmalleable orthodoxy, which, though it be strong in itself, and fit to strengthen anything with which it would unite, is still so unmalleable from its cold temperament that there is no possibility of getting it to amalgamate with anything. Now the proper temperament, the right spirit for promoting Christian union, is what our dear brother took as the motto of his address. It is holding the truth in love. You must be of an excellent spirit--you must hold the truth and love the truth and also love those who have got that truth, and love them though they may not express it in the same words, though they may not defend it in the same way that yourselves would do. And, last of all, it needs a good character. If you would have brethren unite with you, you must make it plain that you yourselves are brethren. If you would be a bond of Christian union, you must make it plain that you yourself are a Christian-for if your conduct be so inconsistent, if your life be so worldly, if your temper be so bad, as to make it a query whether you are a Christian at all-it is not their fault, but yours, if they do not unite with you, and therefore it is that we believe that more personal holiness in individual Christians is the chief pre-requisite to more harmony. Let us shine in the beauty of holiness and we will draw our brother-Christians towards us. Individual consistency must be the pioneer to general concord. And just as I believe that carnality is the main cause of our contentions, so I believe eminent holiness and heavenly-mindedness would be the main step toward healing our divisions.
“Having offered these suggestions, plain enough if not practical, I would next notice that there are certain circumstances requisite for bringing about this blessed result, which do not so immediately depend upon ourselves. There are certain harmonizing influences essential to any true and heart-felt union. Two bars of metal may be of the same identity, they may be of the same material, but their temperature may be so cold as to make union impossible ; and just as it is possible that things may not unite because they are not homogeneous, so it is possi. ble that things which are homogeneous, which are identical, may not unite, because they are not of the proper temperature. They are the right materials, but not in the right mood. And what are the harmonizing influences ? A sense of safety, or anything which awakens gratitude, is one. If you ever noticed a cluster of people taking refuge from a storm under a tree or a gateway, how harmonious and benevolent they are. The peer will exchange words with the plebeian—people who never met before will make merry remarks and talk freely to one another—and happy bega gar! who asks an alms in this propitious hour. And all this humanity and harmony are the product of their common sanctuary. It is because screened beneath the foliage of the plane tree, or under the awning of the street-piazza, they look out on the dripping passengers, and the big drops splashing on the flooded streets. Their safety makes them thankful and benignant. And a common danger often makes a harmony. The civil war is suspended when the invader steps ashore. And a common sorrow sometimes does it. Isaac and Ishmael had not met for seventy years, and it was well they did not, for who could tell what might have been the consequence ? But when at last they met it was in a burying ground, and with the open tomb before them, and passing beneath the funeral trees of Machpelah—the two brothers, the sober, slow-paced, meditative Isaac and the restless, unscrupulous desert-ranger, the Arab of the swarth visage and the falcon eye, bore along Abraham's bier. For a time, at least, they laid their feud in their father's sepulchre. A common duty does it. Once during his regenerate life Paul was engaged in an altercation with a Christian brother. The contention was sharp between him and Barnabas-and the subject of contention was John Mark. Mark had shown a calculating and fleshpleasing spirit, and Paul refused to have him for his companion in travel. So Barnabas took his nephew, and both took leave of Paul. But twelve years after, Paul was at Rome. The work was heavy, and he himself was old and weary. There were many crowding to hear the word, and the best of his fellow-labourers were gone. So he thought of the days in Antioch, when his labours were so light, for his helpers were 80 many. And telling his case to Timothy he says, “Do thy diligence to come shortly. Take Mark and bring him with thee, for he is profitable to me for the ministry.' Paul's spirit was too excellent to let the Lord's work stand still, because of any ancient grudge.
“Safety and sorrow, danger and duty, will bring strangers together, and make them friends at least for a season. But there is a bond of union more permanent and more endearing—I mean the family affection. How strong it is, I need not tell—for ye yourselves do know. What it precisely is no one can explain—but it is such an identity and interpenetration of kindred souls, that when one suffers all suffer with it-that when one is enriched or honoured you feel more elation than if it had been your own immediate self who got the glory or the wealth-that when you your. self are pained, the keenest pang is the thought of the pain it occasions to this secondary and dearer self—and when one is laid in the grave, you feel as if there were something of yourself laid there, which will not rise even when the dead shall rise-a joy which knows no resurrection. This family affection is the strongest feeling in the world, and is more fertile of the spirit of harmony than any feeling whatever. But it is capable of increase. It has its oscillations, its ebb-tide and its flow. A common joy or a common sorrow, mutual danger or mutual duty, will work it up from the level of each day's good understanding to a paroxysm of tumultuous emotion. It is not till the advent of some unexpected bliss has made the household cup run over, that they feel the inebriation of that joy which forgets all ceremony, and in the Saturnalia of gladness speaks out their mutual love and admiration. Or it is not till that same circle gather round a humbler hearth and bestir themselves to make the brick chimney bright as the marbled and mirrored mantel-piece was wont to be, and succeed beyond all expectation, that they find how much of the fireside feeling lives only in the fireside bosoms. Or it is not till the vessel is aground, and the old sea-farer sits bim down on the dark surf-sprinkled deck, with an arm round either child, and the watch-cloak over both—it is not till the shattering knock, and the under rush of water in the filling hold, tells him that the time is short, and each sobbing bosom is closer pressed to his—it is not till the surplus affection of a shortened life is condensed into the unutterable emotion of that heart-bursting pang, that you understand how, amidst his often chiding, that rough old sailor loved his boys. Or it is not till hand in hand the orphans weep over the new made grave, and tell one another that there is nothing now worth living for, that you say, ' Behold, how these children love one another.'
"Now there is only one affection stronger than this family attachment—the love of a ransomed soul for its Redeemer. The deepest love in a believer's heart is love for an unseen Saviour. As the French veteran exclaimed, when they were probing in his side for the musket ball — A little deeper, and you will find the emperor,'-50 when other affections are wounded, when other ties are severed, it is still a little deeper before you find the sovereign of that heart—before you find the Saviour. And as it is the deepest love, so it lasts the longest, and comes out in all its strength when the relationships of time are merging in the all-comprehensive relationship of eternity. As the young martyr of Zurich said to his father on the scaffold, when both about to die, My beloved father-henceforth thou art my father no longer, and I am no longer thy son. But we are brothers still in Christ our Lord.' The family affection which binds brethren in Christ together to one another, is a tie which, if it do not share the tenderness, shares the eternity of that tie which binds them to an unseen Saviour. It is a bond which exists between all believers, though many things may hinder them from knowing it. It is a source of harmony always extant, though not always operative. It needs some common danger, or some common duty, some joy, or some sorrow, which all share together, to make it fully felt. Its uninterrupted flow is the family affection of heaven. Its occasional oatlets are Christian union on earth.
“And now, dear brethren, hath not God in his providence given to the churches of Christ Jesus, to bis people individually, every reason for falling back on their common unity, and for letting its eternal bond be fully felt at present? Is there no common danger ? Does not the enemy come in like a flood-Christ's enemy and yours ? Is there no common duty? Does not the Spirit of the Lord lift up a standard? Is there no common joy? Is it no joy the myriads converted from paganism within these thirty years? No joy the seals of apostleship vouchsafed to every evangelic church? The Lord has given us a threefold call to let the latent affection which strife, has sealed up or driven back, take free course, and flow fully forth. The Lord grant timely wisdom, an attentive ear, and a docile humble heart. The Lord speedily send the Spirit of peace, and make us one. The Lord grant that our first meeting be not in some scene of sorrow, and like Isaac and Ishmael's reconciliation, the feud of the evangelical brethren be not first healed at Machpelah !
“ This meeting is not such a one. I thank him who has put it into so many hearts to come together, and in such a spirit. Too much was assigned me, when it was required that I should state the actual ways in which this union may be effected. To prepare any plans of common operation is for older and more experienced ministers."
On another hymn being sung, and prayer offered by the Rev. P. LATROBE, Moravian minister, the Rev. Dr. LEIFCHILD, the Pastor of the Congregational church assembling in that place, made the following remarks for substance, on the motives to urge Christians to such associations and services for promoting their union; which had been the subject assigned to Dr. Harris, but who, a few days before, had signified his utter inability to fulfil the engagement, in a most touching and interesting epistle, which was read to the congregation.
"I had thought on some of these motives in the anticipation of this meeting, and have been powerfully reminded of them while listening to the interesting statements which have been made in our hearing, and which would seem to terminate somewhat abruptly without some such sequel as that I am attempting.
“I had thought of the natural and happy tendency of sueh meetings as these, on the part of different bodies of Christians, to produce a nearer approximation to each other on those points on which we still differ, and thus to increase still more our union and harmony of judgment and feeling. Whether these points regard doctrines, or modes of worship, or church constitution and discipline, our differences upon them would surely be lessened, both in number and degree, by the frequency of such associations. This nearer agreement they would effect, not by laying aside all controversy and discipline upon them, but by divesting that controversy of those appendages to it which have prevented it hitherto from being productive of the desired end. We have had controversy enough, and have it still on all sides, nor has there been any want of skill, learning, or logical acumen on the parts of the different combatants; but has there been no want of kindness, good will, desire to put the best construction on each other's arguments, and to see only the force of truth contained in them? Who knows not how apt controversialists have been to take the part of special pleaders, and to be intent only on the triumph of the side they have espoused, instead of acting as jurors, whose office and whose aim it is to sift out the truth from conflicting statements, and to agree in their verdict ! And is it any wonder then, that the result has not been different from what is actually the case—that we are still as far asunder as ever on these points, if not indeed farther. I say nothing now of the unhappy strife and divisions which such controversy is apt to engender, and has too often engendered; nor can it ever be otherwise, till we shall cease to look on each other with a jealous or envious eye, and infuse into all our communications with each other a predominant spirit of Christian love. Then how is this to be produced but by such fraternal and friendly associations as these, when we blend our devout emotions and feelings together, at the footstool of sovereign mercy, and dwell in our thoughts and meditations on the great topics which have commanded our mutual assent and faith? Then we recognize each other's Christianity; we see the features of resemblance in each other to our common Master and Lord, and in the recognition of our one union to him feel ourselves one in him. We can now talk and write on the points on which we differ in the most friendly manner ; can allow for each other's peculiarities; put the kindest construction on each other's representations, and make mutual concessions and approaches to each other : and if now we do not see eye to eye on all points, our shades of difference will be less palpable, more minute and imperceptible—somewhat resembling the colours of the arch of heaven, which so run the one into the other, as to leave no marked and definite lines of distinction, while all together constitute but one token of the covenant of peace between God and his redeemed and restored world. Is not this the result promised by the apostle to such a course as is now prescribed? Let as many as be perfect, be thus minded—to walk by the same rule and mind the same thing —and if in anything ye be otherwise minded God shall reveal even this unto you.' I confess I see no other way of ever lessening our differences. We shall not get to the temple of concord through the thorns of controversy, but we may get to controversy without its thorns, by frequent associations in that temple.
" And, again, will not such frequent meetings as these, for declaring our agreement in the great truths of the Gospel, and holding them forth, be likely to present those truths to the notice of mankind under a much more impressive and powerful aspect than has usually been the case? They would thus be presented apart from all our other differences with which they are associated in our several connexions, and by which our agreement in them is prevented from being recognized, if not, from the prominence given to the other points of discrepance, brought into question. Thus
divested for a time of all such associations, and seem to be of such power as to compel the homage and assent of so many minds of all descriptions, and differing from each other in many particulars, would they not arrest an attention and command a respect, which hitherto they have failed to accomplish. They could then be seen to be, not the opinions of a party merely, but the truth of God that binds and captivates the hearts of all his people. Such a united testimony in their favour would arouse the careless to consideration, and disarm the sceptic of his objections to revelation, as wanting sufficient evidence to command belief. And since these truths are thus all of vital importance, and their interests dear to our hearts, ought not every means to be adopted by us that would contribute to raise them to their proper place in the regard and attention of our fellow men? All solicitude for our party interests should thus be merged for a time in a zealous concern for their recognition and acknowledgment by the present unbelieving world.
“ Nor can I help thinking that we are powerfully called upon by the signs of the times to unite in this manner for the purpose of combining our resources in the defence and propagation of the great and fundamental truths of religion which we hold in common. That they are in jeopardy among us, not so much from open attacks as by diverting attention from them, to other things as of equal if not to superior importance, and so causing them to decline from view, and admit of no doubt by those who are at all observant of what is going on around them. On all sides we see an importance ascribed to the externals of religion, which the inspired writers attach only to its internal and spiritual principles. Their order is inverted, which was to call attention from the letter to the spirit ; but now the ceremonies, forms, and ritual observances of Christianity are made to be the substitutes for grace, or the infallible vehicles for conveying it; while a reverance is demanded for ecclesiastical authority and office which goes to enslave the mind, and deprive the truth of its lawful sovereignty. When we advert to the great apostacy from Christianity, we find that the deterioration of its doctrines was effected through the medium of distorting its outward and ritual observances : and that the reformation from that apostacy was accomplished by the opposite method of enforcing the doctrines of Christianity in their purity, and thus restoring to their primitive simplicity the outward and ceremonial observances. And in what other way can we hope to prevent the further progress of the deteriorating influence, at present at work, on the substantial verities of the Gospel—those which constitute its glory as a system, and its life and power as a system of salvation. But how can these doctrines be thus enforced, so well as by our aniting together, and employing our efforts and talents for that purpose ? By what, but a spirit of concert and agreement have the authors of those writings which have recently inundated the country, and led to the revival of the departure from the order of the apostles, been able to succeed to such an extent as they have done, and as is truly appalling ?-and combination and organization for the same purpose are, we are told, rapidly advancing. And how can combined attack be met, but by combined resistance? We must be preparing for this, by getting together, and understanding each other, and knowing how to unite with each other, that we may be ready for the arduous but honourable post to which we are likely soon to be called. Sad will it be, if, when we shall be in the field, we have to learn to marshal our ranks, and combine our energies.
"When we see that the sentiments to which I have adverted are infusing themselves into the highest organs of our literature, as well as into the more ordinary and extensively influential portions of the daily press,—that every means is employed for insinuating them into the public mind; and that no combined and sufficient testimony is borne against them from any quarter,-it is surely high time to consider what barrier can be raised against these accumulating streams of unsound and pernicious