More - PR3605 .M6 M5 1820

IN RELIGION. 139 doctrine, any irregularity of conduct, pre- serves them from each, while it affords them "all joy and peace in believing." But while we put in the fair claim of our church to rational religion, we do not make an exclusive pretension to this, or any other excellence. Every human institution bears on it some marks, greater or less, that it is human, of course im- perfect ; and it is sufficient to guard us against the folly of such a pompous as- sumption to know, that an erroneous church not only assumes the appellation of infallible itself, but gives it also to its infirm, mutable, human head, to a being certain of death, and liable to sin. But if we do not claim soundness as well as rationality, for our exclusive pos- session, we are more likely to perpetuate both, than the best societies of separatists. All that is good in our church is likely to be secured to it by the fence of an establishment. An enclosure is not so likely to be broken in upon fromwithout, as a society planted in the waste. We