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our hearts. The truth, the whole truth, is brought forward, without fear; but it is brought forward also without offence: all is temperate ; all is candid; all is practical; all is peaceful; and every word is spoken in love. This is an excellency that deserves particular notice, because it is so contrary to what is found in the worship of those whose addresses to the Most High God depend on the immediate views and feelings of an individual person, which may be, and not unfrequently are, tinctured in a lamentable degree by party views and unhallowed passions. And we shall do well to bear in mind this excellency, in order that we may imitate it; and that we may shew to all, that the moderation which so eminently characterizes the Offices of our Church, is no less visible in all her members.

Sorry should I be, when speaking on this amiable virtue, to transgress it even in the smallest degree: but I appeal to all who hear me, whether there be not a want of this virtue in the temper of the present times; and whether if our Reformers themselves were to rise again and live amongst us, their pious sentiments and holy lives would not be, with many, an occasion of offence? I need not repeat the terms which are used to stigmatize those who labour to walk in their paths; nor will I speak of the jealousies which are entertained against those, who live only to inculcate what our Reformers taught. You need not be told that even the moderate sentiments of our Reformers are at this day condemned by many as dangerous errors; and the very exertions, whereby alone the knowledge of them can be communicated unto men, are imputed to vanity, and loaded with blame. But, though I thus speak, I must acknowledge, to the glory of God, that in no place have moderation and candour shone more conspicuous, than in this distinguished seat of literature and science: and I pray God, that the exercise of these virtues may be richly recompensed from the Lord into every bosom, and be followed with all the other graces that accompany salvation.

From this view of our subject it will be naturally asked, Do I then consider the Liturgy as altogether perfect? I answer, No: it is a human composition ; and there is nothing human that can claim so high a title as that of absolute perfection. There are certainly some few expressions which might be altered for the better, and which in all probability would have been altered at the Conference which was appointed for the last revision of it, if the unreasonable scrupulosity of some, and the unbending pertinacity of others, had not defeated the object of that assembly. I have before mentioned two, which, though capable of being vindicated, might admit of some improvement. And, as I have been speaking strongly of the moderation and candour of the Liturgy, I will here bring forward the only exception to it that I am aware of; and that is found in the Athanasian Creed. The damnatory clauses contained in that Creed, do certainly breathe a very different spirit from that which pervades every other part of our Liturgy. As to the doctrine of the Creed, it is perfectly sound, and such as ought to be universally received. But it is matter of regret that any should be led to pronounce a sentence of damnation against their fellowcreatures, in any case where God himself has not clearly and certainly pronounced it. Yet whilst I say this, permit me to add, that I think this Creed does not express, nor ever was intended to express, so much as is generally supposed. The part principally objected to, is that whole statement, which is contained between the first assertion of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the other articles of our faith : and the objection is, that the damnatory clauses which would be justifiable, if confined to the general assertion respecting the doctrine of the Trinity, become unjustifiable, when extended to the whole of that which is annexed to it. But, if we suppose that this intermediate part was intended as an explanation of the doctrine in question, we still, I think, ought not to be understood as affirming respecting that explanation all that we affirm respecting the doctrine itself. If any one will read the Athanasian Creed with attention, he will find three damnatory clauses; one at the beginning, which is confined to the general doctrine of the Trinity; another at the close of what, for argument sake, we call the explanation of that doctrine; and another at the end, relating to the other articles of the Creed, such as the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ, and his coming at the last day to judge the world. Now, whoever will compare the three clauses, will find a marked difference between them : those which relate to the general doctrine of the Trinity, and to the other articles of the Creed, are strong; asserting positively that the points must be believed, and that too on pain of everlasting damnation : but that which is annexed to the explanation of the doctrine, asserts only, that a man who is in earnest about his salvation ought to think thus of the Trinity. The words in the original are, Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de Trinitate sentiat : and this shews in what sense we are to understand the more ambiguous language of our translation : “ He therefore that will be saved, (i. e. is willing or desirous to be saved,) must thus think (let him thus think) of the Trinity.” Thus it appears that the things contained in the beginning and end of the Creed are spoken of as matters of faith ; but this, which is inserted in the midst, as a matter of opinion only: in reference to the first and last parts the certainty of damnation is asserted; but in reference to the intermediate part, nothing is asserted, except that such are the views which we ought to entertain of the point in question. Now I would ask, was this difference the effect of chance ? or rather, was it not actually intended, in order to guard against the very objection that is here adduced ?

This, then, is the answer which we give, on the supposition that the part which appears so objectionable, is to be considered as an explanation of the doctrine in question. But what, if it was never intended as an explanation ? What, if it contains only a proof of that doctrine, and an appeal to our reason, that that doctrine is true? Yet, if we examine the Creed, we shall find this to be the real fact. Let us in few words point out the steps of the argument.

The Creed says, “ The Catholic faith is this, That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance :” and then it proceeds, “ FOR there is one person of the Father,” and so on; and then, after proving the distinct personality of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and their unity in the Godhead, it adds, “ So that in all things as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He THEREFORE that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.” Here are all the distinct parts of an argument.

The position affirmed—the proofs adduced—the deduction made—and the conclusion drawn in reference to the importance of receiving and acknowledging that doctrine.

From hence, then, I infer, that the damnatory clauses should be understood only in reference to the doctrine affirmed, and not be extended to the parts which are adduced only in confirmation of it: and, if we believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is a fundamental article of the Christian faith, we may without any breach of charity apply to that doctrine what our Lord spake of the Gospel at large, “ He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Thus, in either view, the use of the Creed may be vindicated : for, if we consider the obnoxious part as an explanation, the terms requiring it to be received are intentionally softened; and if we consider it as a proof, it is to the doctrines proved, and not to the proof annexed, that the damnatory clauses are fairly applicable.

Still, after all, I confess, that if the same candour and moderation that are observable in all other parts of the Liturgy had been preserved here, it would have been better. For though I do verily believe, that those who deny the doctrine of the Trinity are in a fatal error, and will find themselves so at the day of judgment, I would rather deplore the curse that awaits them, than denounce it; and rather weep over them in my secret chamber, than utter anathemas against them in the house of God.

I hope I have now met the question of our Liturgy fairly. I have not confined myself to general assertions, but have set forth the difficulties which are supposed to exist against it, and have given such a solution of them as I think is sufficient to satisfy any conscientious mind : though it is still matter of regret that any laboured explanation of them should be necessary.

Now then, acknowledging that our Liturgy is not absolutely perfect, and that those who most admire it would be glad if these few blemishes were removed; have we not still abundant reason to be thankful for it? Let its excellencies be fairly weighed, and its blemishes will sink into nothing; let its excellencies be duly appreciated, and every person in the kingdom will acknowledge himself deeply indebted to those, who with so much care and piety compiled it.

But these blemishes alone are seen by multitudes; and its excellencies are altogether forgotten : yea, moreover, frequent occasion is taken from these blemishes to persuade men to renounce their communion with the Established Church, in the hopes of finding a purer worship elsewhere. With what justice such arguments are urged, will best appear by a comparison between the prayers that are offered elsewhere, and those that are offered in the Established Church. There are about eleven thousand places of worship in the Established Church, and about as many out of it. Now take the prayers that are offered on any Sabbath in all places out of the Establishment; have them all written down, and every expression sifted and scrutinized as our Liturgy has been: then compare them with the prayers that have been offered in all the churches of the kingdom;

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