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

iC j 1S2 Of Chraflian Liberty. S E R M. vifions muff render them fufpe&ed of a con- V tentious fpirit, and party-views in their com- mon oppofition to the eftablithment ; and if they bite and devour one another, they are in danger of being confumed, Gal. v. is Now, upon what principle can fuch a firm union fubfift ? no other, I believe, than that of liberty. When chriftians have full free- dom to profefs and aft according to their opinions in matters of religion, which are the refult of an impartial and diligent fearch of the fcriptures, what can hinder their concord ? what pretence of reafon, or colour . of confiftency with charity, can there be in judging or defpifing one another, at leaft, whilft there appeareth no fundamental er- rors in the profeffion, nor fcandalous immo- rality in the lives of any ? But to the great dilbonour of the Diffenters it muff be ac- knowledged, that, efpecially of late, they have appeared to be, as the apoftle fpeak- eth, carnal, and have walked as men, for there have been envyings and flrifes among them, which is principally occafioned by their departure from the catholic foundation of their nonconformity. Every one know - eth, that their warmeft difputes have been about human expedients for preferving truth and purity in religion, which are impofed 3 by