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

Of Chrian Liberty. 145 immediate refpe ± to God, as the fearcher S E R m. of hearts, and the rewarder of thefe who di- V. digently feek him. He meddled not with the forms of civil go- vernment; this did not lie within the com- pafs of his defign : But, in manifeft oppofition to all eftablifhments of religion then in the world, he openly calleth mankind back to the exertion of that unalienable right of judging every man for himfelf in a matter which of all others moft nearly concerned them ; a matter of original, independant, and moft facred obligation, prior to all focial contraEts, and incapable of being fubjefted to their re- gulation and controul, in which therefore any other perfons pretending to judge for them, is full of abfurdity. He taught, as nature had done before, that the effence of religion con- lifted in the love of God and of our neigh- bour, and the exercife of it in the univerfal practice of that which is right, as the apoftle Paul hath expreffed it, out of a pure heart, and a good confcience, and faith unfeigned. Se- veral circumftances in it admit óf, and eve'n require, publick affociations, and focial com- munion; but not one circumftanee requireth or will admit of human authority. An union there ought to be among the difciples of Chrift, but it can only be an union, the bond of which is affeftion, in the fpirit of Vol_ IV. L hu-