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from the dignified gravity of their stations, to separate the combatants, risk the respect due to their persons; and seldom quit the scene of contention without receiving a wound fatal to their authority. The peaceable citizens escape with terror: the country is depopulated, and the state impoverished. Aided by intestine divisions, the foreign enemy attacks the kingdom, now unable to resist advances with rapidity-establishes himself beneath the walls of the capital-takes advantage of the distracted state of things within-redoubles his assaults— and having at length obtained an entrance, falls indiscriminately on all parties at once.

Is not this, My Brethren, a too faithful picture of religious discords, and of their ruinous consequences? Was it not thus that the Churches of the East, once so flourishing, were destroyed? How, indeed, could it be otherwise? From the moment when a restless sectarian spirit finds its way into the Church, a mischievous blow is struck. On all sides men's passions are roused: each party directs its efforts exclusively to establish its own system,

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to subvert the labours and even to decry the benefits of the other. This conflict of opinions upon essential points, this war of doctrine, produces a disastrous effect upon weak minds, by inspiring them with tormenting doubts regarding the fundamental grounds of their faith; the bitterness and contempt, the personalities and recriminations which it provokes, occasion Religion to lose that ancient respect, which, like an enclosing rampart, kept back the profane; they bring discredit upon the ministry of the Gospel and barrenness upon the "vineyard of the Lord." The most admirable talents, diverted from their destination, instead of being employed in meditating those truths which nourish the soul, are exhausted in raising useless questions, in maintaining idle discussions, or in repulsing unjust attacks; and while the ministers of the altar, exposed to these assaults, are occupied in defending themselves, the sacred fire goes out,

"The hallowed ark is mute, and now no more
Utters its oracles."

Party feuds and private animosities harass and afflict the Church, and banish from it quietness,

Christian charity, and edification. The temple of Jehovah, the "building of Christ," shaken by these concussions, totters, parts asunder, and falls headlong; presenting, for the time to come, only a pile of ruins to the affrighted gaze of the peaceful Christian, who no longer knows where to take refuge. The Daughter of Zion, driven from her dwelling-place, and " gone into captivity, mourneth as a widow; "the adversary mocketh at her Sabbaths;" "the enemy," who waited but the moment of her overthrow to enrich himself with her spoils, "entereth into her sanctuary." She weeps bitterly over the transgressions of her children; who, instead of defending her, are bent only upon persecuting and destroying one another. Methinks, Brethren, I contemplate in our religious dissensions, the inhabitants of Jerusalem besieged by Titus, tearing each other in pieces, and strewing their trenches, their streets, and the public places of their city, even to the very Temple of God itself, with the carcases of their fellowcitizens. What powerful, auxiliaries of the Romans were those intestine distractions! How

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must the besiegers have rejoiced when they saw that they had only to wait the issue of that bloody strife within the walls of the devoted capital, which was about to deliver it, an easy prey, into their hands! Oh! My Brethren, why

have I not the eloquence of Jeremiah, that I

might worthily "lament for the destruction of the daughter of my people?”

Church of my Country, dear and venerable Parent, to whom I owe those religious sentiments which have hitherto been the joy of my life, and which shall still be the comfort of my declining age,―to whom I ascribe what little good. I have done in the world,-how am I pained to behold thy bosom torn by thine own children! Oh! amidst the sorrows that overwhelm thee, in the bitterness of thine anguish, receive the respectful homage, the tribute of love and gratitude, of one at least among thy sons, whose absence could never weaken his attachments! May he be enabled to afford thee some consolation, while he thus renews his vows of filial respect and fidelity. Even to my latest breath, my prayers and blessings shall be poured forth

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