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stood firm to the religious principles which they maintained and exhibited, amid persecution, and poverty, and neglect, somewhat of the faith and fortitude of the primitive martyrs. These disastrous days are passed ;-—the temporary wrath of men” has ended in “ the praise of God;”—and while we of this Church look back with gratitude to those humble but intrepid men who have secured to us the unbroken order of a spiritual descent, we look back with veneration upon those examples of patience, of perseverance, and of piety, which they have so fully afforded us, and by which alone we feel, that the Church they have preserved and adorn-' ed, can be in our hands either adorned or preserved. To be a member of such a church carries with it, indeed, a more than common obligation to become “ separated unto the Gospel of God,” without any private or less holy view!
In the days which it has been our blessing to see, the faith and the purity so admirably displayed by this Church, during the times of her persecution, have as hountifully been rewarded. The political calamities in which she was involved have happily passed away, and the Go
vernment of our country has wisely and generously felt, that the opposition which principle alone occasioned, would be converted into as strenuous support, when principle also demanded it.
In the samne auspicious hour, the CHURCH of ENGLAND stretched out the right hand of fellowship, upon the first notice of the wishes of her holy, though humble Sister, and, with the true feeling of Apostolical times, acknowledged the equality of her spiritual claims, although unsupported by the outward dignity of temporal distinction. The sons of that great and wise Establishment now join in communion, and in every reciprocal interchange of love and duty with their Episcopal brethren in this part of the island. Something of support, as well as honour, has thus been conferred upon this Northern Church, while she, in return, holds examples, nurtured in her bosom, of a welltempered zeal, of modest worth, and of professional learning, which well deserve to be studied and copied by the noblest and most prosperous establishments.
Thus, happy in her connection from without, She is now no less happy in her situation at
home. The jealousy of former times, let us thank God, is gone—the liberal and enlightened Establishment from which she dissents, looks upon her almost with a kindred eye; and I am sure I may say, that, of all who dissent from it, she would be the last to touch its privileges with a rude and sacrilegious hand. While she is sincere in believing that her own constitution approaches nearer to the purity of primitive times, she yet acknowledges, with gratitude and veneration, that the ESTABLISHED CHURCH of SCOTLAND has well performed its duty—that it has reared and fostered a thinking, a sober, and a religious people—that its roots are interwoven, and deservedly interwoven, with their habits and with their hearts and she is well aware, that nothing short of its own internal corruption, (happily, as little likely to ensue, as it would be deeply to be deplored,) ever can or ought to shake the stability of a church, the labours and fidelity of whose ministers Providence has long so conspicuously blessed.
In every path of light and of religion, their distinguished names, indeed, may well awaken her emulation,-but this is all the rivalry which she can ever feel. It is, in truth, her singular and characteristic glory that she is not established; and they, I am convinced, know little of the peculiar honours to which she has it in her power to aspire, who, for a moment, would wish her to be so. It is her lofty destiny, (shall I say?) amidst the recollection of her former faith and sufferings, -amidst her present friendly ties and friendly dissension, with the respect and protection of rulers, on whom, at the same time, she has no political dependence,-fostered in a country conspicuous for the light of genius, of science, and of philosophy ;-it is more within her reach than perhaps has ever fallen to the lot of any other Christian body, to hold up to the eye of a civilized and inquisitive age, the truth, the simplicity, and the independent dignity of the Gospel; to unite the primitive model of apostolic faith and purity, with every thing enlightened, excellent, and wise, which has been evolved in the course of ages; and while her sons are “ separated unto the Gospel of God,” free from political and worldly avocations, at the same time to exhibit them free from the narrowness of any partial sect, and wedded only to the boundless charity of their Master !
thusiasm, they yet are views and hopes which I should be loth to abandon. I trust that this humble Church may yet be a fellow-worker, of no mean account, in the progress of the Everlasting Gospel ; and requesting you, in this most interesting moment, to join your prayers with mine, that such glorious views may be realized, I now conclude in an appropriate collect of the Church," O Lord Jesu Christ, who, at thy first coming, didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee, grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries, may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that, at thy second coming to judge the world, we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen."