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ward in this public manner. Opportunities are fometimes offered of difcuffing the matter in the way of private converfation; and I would gladly avail myfelf of any fuch means of recommending it to the attention of thofe, who are well able to apprehend its importance; and if they faw it in a proper light, would, I am convinced, be well difpofed to give it a fair and impartial hearing. Yet any perfonal application for that purpofe, however naturally appearing as the effect of friendship or intimacy, might be mifinterpreted as proceeding from a very different caufe, and fufpected of having objects in view, which I feel no hefitation in pofitively dif claiming, as completely foreign to the present defign, and at variance with all thofe pure, irreproachable principles, on which it ought to be conducted. When the divifion, or feparation of any Christian focieties becomes not only unneceffary but unnatural, it must be very defirable to fee an end put to it; and I fhould think myfelf truly happy in promoting that peace and unity, in which it is fo "good "and pleafant to behold brethren dwelling toge"ther." To be in the leaft inftrumental to the advancement of a work so worthy of all that "la"bour of love," which we can poffibly bestow upon it, might be justly confidered as highly gratifying to every amiable feeling of the Chriftian heart, and it is all the reward I fhould look for on this fide the grave. An eternal recompence, as promifed to a "patient continuance in well-doing,"
may be humbly expected from the hand of a righteous and merciful Judge; but any temporal emolument is, in the prefent cafe, entirely out of the queftion; and though I were to fucceed to the utmost of my wishes, in establishing the most cordial union among the Epifcopalians in Scotland, yet, with respect to my own fituation, no acquifition of wealth. or honour, power or preferment, could poffibly arife from it.
Let me therefore be allowed to plead, as I now do, without hope of fee or reward from this world, in behalf of that wife and falutary measure, which, by doing honour to the caufe, and increafing the influence, of our holy religion, may be the means of fecuring to us everlasting honour and happiness in the world to come. With the prospect of fuch an "exceeding great reward" in heaven, and fo favourable an opportunity put in our power, of com. mending ourselves to his gracious acceptance, who, we are fure, will " give to every man according to
"his works," let us not behold the concern we have in all this merciful provifion, as a matter of indifference, nor put off the attention which we owe it, to a more convenient feafon; neither let it be any longer faid, or infinuated by thofe, who have been hitherto unfriendly to the order and unity of our Epifcopal church, that "things are well enough "as they are, and why fhould any change be pro"pofed" For, things are never fo well as they fhould be, while any good remains to be done that
might be happily accomplished; and no blame or cenfure was ever incurred by a change for the better, or by mens doing at laft what duty and conscience prescribe to be done, even though they had not thought of it before, or could not find the means of getting it fooner effected. This ought rather to operate in favour of the change propofed, and to point out, the propriety of obtaining that which is really improvement, even though it should appear to be fomewhat new and different from that, to which we have formerly been accuftomed. Unneceffary and unprofitable alterations are doubtlefs to be avoided, whether they refer to matters of civil or ecclefiaftical concern. And in fuch times as the prefent, when the defire of novelty feems to have reached its utmost height, innovations either in religion or government ought to be watched over with a jealous eye efpecially when violently urged by perfons, whofe wild uncorrected humours lead them to wish for the fubverfion of all regular government, and the defacing every veftige of true religion. But even this juft and well grounded fear of innovation ought not to be extended too far, nor allowed to embrace as its object, any laudable endeavour to improve our condition either in things temporal or fpiritual, and to put matters on a more regular footing than perhaps they have been for fome time paft. This is not to innovate, but to reftore things to a better conformity with the original ftandard of truth and order; and had no fuch change as this taken place,
the land in which we live had never emerged from the darkness of Romish fuperftition; nay, all that is called the Chriftian world had been still lying buried in the corruption of heathen idolatry.
May I therefore be permitted once more to express my humble hope, that these things will now be taken into ferious confideration, especially by thofe, to whofe pious attention they have been thus faithfully fubmitted, and earnestly recommended? Engaged as I am by duty, and attached by inclination, to the fervice of that depreffed, but pure and apoftolical part of the Chriftian church, in which I have been called to exercise my ministry, I can have no other wish, in this facred character, than to see the object of that miniftry fulfilled, and to be the humble inftrument of promoting the honour and interest of true religion, as far as the sphere of my ability or influence can be fuppofed to reach. The relation which I bear to the Scotch Epifcopal church in general, as well as to that particular portion of it more immediately committed to my care, will, I trust, be admitted as a fufficient apology for the liberty I have now taken, in addreffing all thofe who profefs to be of the Epifcopal communion in this country, and befeeching them "to walk worthy "of the vocation wherewith they are called," by manifefting a decent, orderly and united adherence to the principles, by which they are diftinguished. And with this view, as one of our excellent collects teaches us, let it be our fervent prayer to that "Al
mighty God, who has built his church upon the "foundation of the apoftles and prophets, Jefus "Chrift himself being the head corner ftone; that "he would grant us to be fo joined together in uni
ty of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be "made an holy temple, acceptable unto him, through "the fame Jefus Christ our Lord:" To whom therefore, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, three perfons and one God-be glory-in the church"As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall "be, world without end.