Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

Of Cbriflian Liberty, 121 (elves conformed, and exhorted other chri- S E R M. ftians to conform for the fake of peace and V. charity, to cuftoms in themfelves merely in- different ; fome ufages which in the apo- ftolic age obtained, are now by the uni- verfal cónfent of the churches laid afide, fuch as the kifs of Charity, and the order of deaconeffes ; the confequence from all which feemeth to be, that thefe points, be- ing in their nature not important, and vari, able, the determination of them is left to human prudence, and what prudence is fo equal to it as that of governors either eccle- fiaftical or civil, who are friends to the inte- refts of religion ? That fuch matters, how- ever, muff neceffarily be determined ; for a. diverfity of opinions concerning them, and in purfuance of it, a diverfity of practice, may be the occafion of ftrife and alienation of affe lions amongft chriftians, hindering their common edification, order, and peace, which by the general rules of fcripture, and the genius of our religion, ought to be carefully preferved ; and nothing is more earneftly urged or more frequently inculcated by the apoftles upon the profeffed fervants of Jefus Chrift, the members of his body, than an af- fedionate unity, and uninterrupted concord; and finally, fince this authority is ordained z for.