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that so, by the blessing of Christ on the endeavours of his faithful servants, his renovated Church might again possess the powers which he had himself assigned her, and instead of contenting herself with the annual and ineffectivef wish for the restoration of "godly discipline," might once more resume the exercise of that primitive authority, which stands yet unrepealed even in human statutes, and is demanded by the laws of God.
"in any other of their subjects; and with the growth of "heresies and errors. And mere shame would bring "matters to a decency, though every one had not the 66 pure zeal of Christianity; for which they have now too "apparent an excuse, viz. that discipline is lost, and "will not be permitted by the State; which by virtue of "Congés d'élire, Quare impedits, Prohibitions, &c. have "made themselves the sole and ultimate judges, not "only of all Bishops and Churches, but of their excom"munications, and every exercise of their spiritual juris"diction." Leslie's Case of the Regale, &c. Works, vol. i. p. 658.
f In the preface to the Office of Commination.
GALAT. VI. 10.
Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
THE consideration of the origin and principles of that alliance which the Church of Christ has so generally formed with the powers of the world, is closely connected with the important question relating to her defence from external hostility, and to the conduct to be observed towards those who have separated themselves from her communion.
If it have already appeared that the Church, though originally independent, and competent to her own support, was nevertheless fully justified in uniting her interests with those of the State;-if we have seen too that the benefits thence derived to both the contracting parties are so conspicuous and extensive, as that nothing short of the gross
est mismanagement could wholly annihilate them ;-whatever tends to maintain unimpaired this auspicious alliance, and secure its advantages, must be entitled to our most attentive regard. If, moreover, we have seen that our own Establishment, framed on the model of a federal and equitable union, was admirably calculated to preserve these benefits; and that even if it have in some de gree failed in doing so, this failure is to be attributed, not to unsoundness of principle, but to laxity of practice, not to the defect of its institutions, but to the negligence of its members, and the latitudinarian spirit of the age; so that every dormant privi lege, every obscured advantage is assuredly to be recovered, not by the adoption of növel maxims, but by the careful revival of the old, not by the violence of revolution, but by the calmer process of reform ;—it is incumbent on us to resist with jealous care every encroachment on a system, which under circumstances confessedly unfavourable to their complete developement, is yet productive of inestimable blessings, and to beware lest that reformation from within,
by which these blessings might be multipli
ed and enhanced, be anticipated by destruction from without.
1. I. In order to present a correct idea of the means to be employed in the defence of an established Church, and of the just measure of that toleration a which should be granted to the adherents of Nonconformity, I must be allowed to take for granted, what it is presumed has been already satisfactorily shewn in the preceding Lecture, first, that the assistance which the Church derives from an alliance with the State, to wards the propagation of Gospel truth, is most important and efficacious; in a word,
a To produce arguments in favour of toleration, and contend against the cruelty and impolicy of persecuting for religious opinions, is of course unnecessary when religious persecution has long been extinct, and a disposition to concede to the Dissenters every privilege not absolutely inconsistent with our safety is notorious. Wit ness the Toleration Act passed in the first year of William and Mary, exempting Nonconformists from the penalties to which they were previously subject, and the more recent removal of some of the disabilities affecting the Papists. But there is a manifest necessity for explaining and enforcing the just limits of toleration, lest indiscriminate concession should prove the ruin of Church and State.
that there is no human probability of genuine Christianity becoming a national religion without a national Church :-and secondly, that the two leading advantages towards the attainment of these her proper objects, which the Church had in view in forming this alliance, were a competent maintenance, and protection from external injury.
Now it must be obvious, that to separate these advantages is in fact to destroy them. To grant a liberal maintenance, and not secure it from invasion, is eventually to annul the grant;-it is at once to inflame and combine the spirit of emulation and envy, and allow free scope to its combined and mischievous exertions. "When one
religion is the established," says Bishop Warburton," and the rest under a tolera"tion, then envy at the advantages of an "establishment will join the tolerated
Churches in a confederacy against it, "and unite them in one common attack "to disturb its quiet. In this imminent
danger the allied Church calls upon the "State for the performance of its con