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same time, when convinced of the righteousness of the means we have adopted for the furtherance of a righteous end, we may and we ought with grateful hearts, to return thanks to the Sovereign Disposer of all human events, if we find that he has been graciously pleased to give the increase where we, in obedience to his commandments, have planted and watered.
It must be apparent that I have addressed myself exclusively to those who, not being members of the Society, are but partially and imperfectly acquainted with its nature and objects. And these I must divide into two parties, into those who can and those who cannot become annual subscribers. As to those whose incomes are not sufficiently certain to enable them to pledge themselves to contribute every year, I will simply ask them, in the name of the Society, to give proof of their good inclination to the cause it is designed to promote, by a liberal contribution as they quit this consecrated place.
Let them give as every man is inclined in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver. With respect to those who are enabled, by God's bounty, to become members of the Society, by an annual subscription, I would exhort them to send their names to the Secretary at once, and to attend the meeting which will be held at the national school room as soon as divine service is over.
Yes, my brethren, I do most earnestly exhort you to become members of the District Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and regularly to attend our meetings. For this Society may thus be rendered a rallying point, a centre of union, for all the friends, laics and clerics, of the Church of England. It is by thus uniting in one common object, notwithstanding the shades of difference which may exist in our opinions, that we can best expect ourselves to act upon, and to promote in others, the genuine principles of christian unity and concord; not that chimerical and spurious concord which is attempted, but attempted in vain, by the junction of various and discordant sects, but that genuine concord which ought to exist, and which
exist among conscientious members of the same communion. (u) To treat all
persons, sects, denominations and parties with toleration, forbearance and respect ; to be courteous, benevolent, and kindly affectioned
towards those who differ from us, whether in doctrine or in discipline, and in the bestowal of our alms (while we have especial regard to those who are of the household of faith,) to relieve Samaritan and Gentile as well as Jew, dissenter and sceptic as well as churchman,these are duties which I trust will always be enforced from the pulpits of the Church of England. ', But to expect from an heterogeneous mass of lukewarm friends and open adversaries, of professing churchmen and avowed dissenters, of right reverend lords and reverend artizans, of enthusiasts furious in their zeal, and cold politicians speculating on evangelical votes, from a combination formed by an unholy and unhallowed admixture of the orthodox with heretics, of those who worship with those who deny the Saviour,: of those who adore with those who blaspheme the triune Deity, of christians with socinians ;* to expect from such materials as these to distil the pure blessing of christian unity and concord, is to indulge a hope as wild and vain as that which would look for gold in the alchymist's crucible. No, my brethren, for religious purposes the conscientious churchman and the conscientious dissenter never can unite; they may
* " Illud mirandum est, imo indignandum potius et dolendum; christianos antichristis assistere, et prævaricatores fidei, atque ecclesiæ proditores, intra ipsa septa ecclesiæ contra ccclesiam stare." Cyprian, Epist. 69.
profess one common object, the promotion of christianity : but they must seek its accomplishment by means diametrically opposed. The churchman by upholding, the dissenter by destroying the Establishment. The churchman by representing schism in its true colours, as a heinous offence, will seek to promote genuine christianity by staying the progress of dissent; the dissenter by endeavouring to exhibit schism as a thing indifferent, and acknowledged to be indifferent by churchmen themselves, will always attempt to place sectarianism on a par with the Establishment. I blame not the conscientious dissenter; far from it. If he deem the church worthy of support, his sin in seceding from it is doubled on his head ; what he gains in liberality, he loses in integrity. I simply state the fact; a fact not sufficiently borne in mind by churchmen. It is, moreover, always to be remembered, that the sectarians have seceded from us, not we from them. It is not therefore for us to follow them into their schism, but it is for them to return to us, and to the bosom of our Holy Mother, the Church. When they do return, we shall assuredly be prepared to receive them with open arms, and with the kiss of
peace. In the mean time, there are political unions, and revolutionary unions, and dissenting unions, and popish unions, and unions of latitudinarian churchmen; nay there are unions for the promotion of atheism, and the
propagation of infidelity. Now all these may, as to their particular principles, be wide as the poles asunder; but on one point they are all agreed ;-namely, in a fixed and fell determination, either by secretly undermining or by openly attacking, to overthrow the Establishment. O would to God, that all who profess right principles, were actuated with but half the zeal which animates the advocates of error, and the workers of iniquity! Why should we only be inert and lukewarm? If we be not judicially demented, let us learn of our enemies ; let us sharpen our weapons, if it must be, even at the forge of the Philistines. Let us unite. Let the District Committees of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge be our centre of union, for