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the onsets of the enemy. In order to glorify her Jesus, she must walk in his steps, imitate his example, grow up into his likeness; and

“ Thus will she best proclaim abroad,

The honors of her Savior God.” Thus will she convince the world of the purity of her motives, and the excellence of her religion, and lead multitudes to shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David."

But who can admire the church, when they see it the arena of strife and sedition? Who can believe it to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone? Who will imagine it to be the image of a pure and lovely religion? Or who will be won over to the love and belief of the truth? And how can Christianity ever hope to take hold of the world, and secure its favor, while her professed friends are not at peace among themselves, but displaying towards each other the rancor and malice of bitterest foes? How can we dream of making conquest of the whole earth, and recommending the religion of Jesus to Pagan nations, until we shake ourselves from the dust, and put on the beautiful garments of peace ?—until, in one united host, accoutred in the armor of God, and wielding the spiritual weapons of the heavenly warfare, we go forth to conflict only with the powers of darkness, under the great Captain of salvation ?

II. But if peace be so important, and so manifestly incumbent on the children of the Most High, it will be interesting to inquire, what means should be used for its cultivation ?

1. Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. The lusts of the flesh include, among others, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strise; and are directly opposed to the exercises of the spiritual nature-love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness. If then we place ourselves under the guidance of the “Peaceful Dove,” and act in conformity with his suggestions, we shall be preserved from biting and devouring one another, and shall pursue the things which make

And when a brother errs, we shall labor to restore such an one, in the spirit of meekness. Whenever the church is rent with unholy contentions, and her members indulge inimical and untender feelings, she is not walking after the Spirit, but after the flesh, and led captive by the devil, throwing herself off from the heavenly influences of that Spirit, who flies from the scenes of turmoil and divisions, to seek for some more peaceful and quiet resting place. Let the church only listen to the wooings of the Spirit, let her members cherish his movements on their souls, and often sit with docility under his teachings, and they will necessarily cultivate the Christian graces of love and peace.

2. In contending for THE FAITH, avoid the usual concomitants of controversy. There is no allusion now to the controversy often existing between different departments of Christ's kingdom, but to that contest which the whole church is expected to maintain with the enemies of truth. The faith of which Jude speaks, as the connection will shew, is manifestly that which is included in repentance unto life and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; for it is opposed to the doctrine of those who were "ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, even our Lord Jesus Christ; sensual, having not the Spirit, walking after their own lusts ;” and is character

for peace.

ized as the common salvation.While therefore the church, as a body, is required earnestly to uphold the essential truth of the gospel, " the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.The whole contest for the faith once delivered to the saints, must be conducted without strife or vain-glory, and with the meekness and gentleness of Christ; so that the sanctifying power of the gospel may be manifest even in controversy, and win opposers from the snare of the devil. The enemy will come in like a flood, the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places will attack the citadel of truth, and the church must maintain her ground, standing fast in the Lord : but she will always do it most successfully by keeping the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, and putting on bowels of mercies, kindness, tenderness, humbleness of mind. “Union is strength." And union on such principles would be mighty indeed to the pulling down of strong holds.

3. In reference to differences of opinion among those who name the name of Jesus, and acknowledge his reign in their hearts, if they be of minor consequence, and not necessary to salvation, they must not be dwelt upon, as if of more importance than the vital and practical points of the Christian faith. On this subject there is doubtless much error in the practice of the church; much that prevents the cultivation of peace, grieves the Spirit of all grace, and throws a cloud over the horizon of the Christian world. The Psalmist considered the prosperity of the Redeemer's kingdom to be dependent on its peaceful condition, and every righteous soul will doubtless respond to this call to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem :" "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee." But how shall we sincerely offer up petitions for her welfare, or her unity, while those points on which we disagree, are magnified into mountains that separate us from each other; and the infinitely more important matters of agreement, are almost buried in oblivion, and excluded from exercising their appropriate influence to bind together the members of the body in sweetest harmony of love? Oh! when shall the children of God leave off doting about strises of words, whereof cometh envy, railings, evil surmisings, and perverse disputings, and desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby? When shall bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from the midst of them? When shall foolish and unlearned questions, which only tend to dissever, be dropped, and the weightier matters of the law be presented to the view of the church? Not until then will peace be extended unto her as a river, and her borders be enlarged.

We are too prone here to act on the principles of the world, too unwilling to compromise, and meet on the broad ground of the common faith. Why should not the precious, soul-reviving truths of the gospel on which we harmonize, have more influence in uniting us in love, and peace, and Christian communion, than the confessedly minor ones on which we differ, in driving us asunder? “Come,” let us say, like Abraham to Lot, “ let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me, for we be brethren." Let us yield all that we can, and yet be on the platform of essential, saving truth: and thus, while we mutually overlook small mistakes and misapprehensions, we can unite in praying for the peace, and laboring for the prosperity of Zion.

4. Peace will be promoted by not dwelling too exclusively on a single aspect of divine things, nor magnifying one particular doctrine above another of equal importance in the word of God.

From the various relations in which men are placed, and the different circumstances of their birth and education, they naturally adopt variant views, and cherish discordant sentiments. Some have always read the Bible with a certain system prominent in the mind, and others, with an opposing one. Hence their interpretations of many of the more obscure, and some even of the plainer instructions of God's word, will be dissimilar, and modified by preconceived opinions. And from the fact of never diverting their attention from this one view of the revelations of the gospel, in which they may have been built up by the only authors to whom they have had access, they are prepared to maintain it against every other system, and that, too, with warmth and zeal. Thus members of the church of Jesus Christ often engage in vain disputes of no avail, and oppose one another with all the unholy passions which nestle in the hearts of the

unregenerate. All minds will not apprehend the same system precisely alike, especially if it be extended over much ground; nor is it of high importance that they do, if there be mutual patience and forbearance, and no disposition each to exalt his own adopted creed to such a pitch of extravagant fondness, as to exclude all others as absolutely false and dangerous, and those who maintain them as unworthy of Christian courtesy and fellowship. We must be willing, for the sake of peace, to sacrifice a little selfish affection for our own philosophy, remembering that others entertain it as warmly for theirs.

5. In controversy, verbal or written, impute nothing to opponents which they do not allow-neither pervert their meaning, nor attribute consequences to them which they disclaim.

The peace of Christ's kingdom would be much increased if all controversialists would bear this remark in mind. How many seem intent on finding something erroneous in the writings of those who may not fully accord with them in sentiment. And for this purpose, when they cannot point out glaring error in the general propositions, either search for it in a perverted interpretation of the language, or conjure up horrific consequences which the candid reader can never allow. But how utterly unkind and unchristian, and how foreign from the Spirit of the Master is it, thus to refuse the hand of brotherly love to one who, while he agrees with us certainly in the main, would also rather retract his promulged opinion, than entertain the consequences attributed to it! Out of these imagined and falsely charged views, arise most of the heart-burnings and discords among brethren, and most of those clouds of dust which whirl about the paths of the church, impede her progress, and spoil her beauty.

6. Abstain from censoriousness, and pride of intellect. These faults are intimately connected, and where they exist have a direct tendency to stop the current of the river of peace, which makes glad the city of God. We must ever remember that the understandings of men are not all cast in the same mould, but almost as various as the individuals of human society, and that all have not the same appetencies. Some find one mode of worship adapted to their feelings, and in that experience most profit and pleasure; others choose a different form, and under it sit with most comfort and improvement. Now we may not presume to pique ourselves on our superior wisdom, and the propriety of our choice, and therefore censure those who depart from us into another chamber of the house, which, however inferior in our estimation to that we have selected, is in accordance with their taste, and best adapted to their wants. We must not be wise in our own conceits, and say, “we are the people, and wisdom will die with us," thus assuming to ourselves a singularly correct judgment, wrapping around us the robe of self-complacency, and walking forth in self-important majesty, expecting the world to follow in our wake. No! brethren, No! In those matters which are plain to the wayfaring man, and cherished by the whole Christian world, we must be steadfast, immovable: but while we cry with one voice for peace, peace, we must not imagine that all the light of Heaven has settled upon our minds, and that in order to the attainment of this blessed end, others must borrow of us, and extinguish their own. In things of “doubtful disputation," which from this very circumstance are less important, less necessary, and from which come the “wars and fightings” of the church, we must put away all censoriousness, distrust our own decisions, open our minds to further illumination, and continually wear the veil of modesty. Thus shall we enter into a covenant of peace, and dwell safely in quiet habitations, and the God of peace dwell with us.

In view of results so desirable, we cannot but reflect, how unholy the flame which burns in the Christian's heart, when he cherishes any dispositions opposed to the peace of Jerusalem. Oh! how should the church humble herself before God, and, weeping tears for past offences, pour forth the fervent prayer, “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.” Truly, “they shall prosper, that love thee, O Jerusalem !"—When, Oh! when shall it be said of Zion spiritual, “She is beautiful, the joy of the whole earth, her walls salvation, her officers peace, her exactors righteousness !"

“ How sweet, how heav'nly is the sight,

When those who love the Lord,
In one another's peace delight,

And so fulfil bis word:-
When free from envy, scorn, and pride,

Our wishes all above,
Each can his brother's failings hide,

And show a brother's love!
Let love, in one delightful stream,

Thro' every bosom flow;
And union sweet, and dear esteem,

In every action glow.
Love is the golden chain that binds

The happy souls above;
And he's an heir of heav'n who finds

His bosom glow with love."


Allow me to express my decided approbation of the object and plan of the National Preacher. It has opened a new channel for the religious influence of the press. It gives a durable form to a selection of able discourses; and probably gains for them a more attentive perusal, by distributing them, not in volumes, but in smaller portions, at regular intervals of time. The execution, so far as I have observed, is such as to satisfy the public expectation.”


" I have read, as I have had opportunity, the Numbers of the National Preacher with great satisfaction. I regard it as a work peculiarly desirable to Clergymen, and, at the same time, as worthy of a place in every intelligent family.”


“ Mr. Dickinson has a clear and discriminating mind; and is himself at once an able writer and preacher. Having spent four years at the South and West, and become extensively acquainted with Ministers and Christians of different denominations; and having at the same time, an intimate knowledge of the religious state and wants of New-England; perhaps no man is better qualified to make a powerful and salutary impression on the public mind, by combining (and in a sense directing) the talents of our most eminent divines in his Monthly Preacher.

“ Most sincerely do we wish him the co-operation of those whose inme and influence may make the work a blessing to many thousands."


“ The plan proposed by the Rev. Austin Dickinson, of publishing a Monthly Series of Sermons, from the pens of respectable ministers of different denominations of Christians in the United States, is one which, in our opinion, may be rendered highly interesting, and extensively useful. We do. therefore, willingly recommend the undertaking to the patronage of the Christian community.”


“ We do not hesitate to say, that Mr. Dickinson has adopted one of the happiest expedients hitherto devised, for eliciting that diversity of gifts,' in the Christian ministry, which infinite wisdom and benevolence have bestowed for the edification of the body of Christ, and for bringing sinners to the foot of the cross."


“This periodical has, from its commencement in 1826, been regarded as a standard work; and, afforded as it is at the low price of one dollar a year, and sustained by some of the ablest writers of our country, we should expect it would continue to have an extensive and increasing circulation.”

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