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pot, for this reason, have been esteemed an enemy to the work and treated with shyness. A deficiency in one might have been supplied by another, to the edification of the whole. Errors in judgment or practice might have been prevented or cured in time. The work might have been preserved from a number of hurtful excrescences, its credit preserved, and a thousand evils prevented. We should now learn wisdom from what is past, correct former errors, and endeavour to act more wisely in future.
Let us all, and especially ministers, exert ourselves more and more to promote a proper regard to the great fundamental principles of Cristianity; and, at the same time, with equal zeal and diligence, inculcate the life, power, and practice of it. These should ever be united, and always go together. By these means, and not by angry controversy, let us oppose every erroneous principle and practice. In this let us be firm, steady, and persevering, leaving events to that God with whom is the residue of the Spirit.
All who name the name of Christ should be anxious. ly engaged to depart from all iniquity, and live the lives of Christians, not being conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of their minds. Christians should carefully observe the precepts of morality, be temperate and sober, and make conscience of relative duties: do justice and love mercy, as well as walk humbly with God. Do justice to their country, to themselves, their neighbours, their relations, and their ministers. In vain we pretend to glorify God, or expect to enjoy the true comforts of religion, while we live in the
wilful known neglect of these moral duties; of which neglect many warm lively professors are known to be guilty. They are glorifying God with their lips, but he is condemning them in his word. They are indulging pleasing hopes of heaven, but God is angry with them every day, and bell is their certain portion.
Parents should realize themselves ministers of God's word to their families, that their houses are Christian churches, and the souls of their children and servants their charge.
A good moral life, arising from a sense of duty to God, is a much better evidence of a sound conversion, and more recommends religion, than the warmest talk, the most lively feelings, or greatest transports of joy, raised on particular occasions. Indeed, all that assurance and those joys, that do not tend to humble us before our Maker, and fill us with holy reverence, empty us of self, lead us to exalt Christ, resign to the will of God, and obey his commands, are greatly to be suspected. Such religion commonly exists no longer than these lively feelings can be kept up, because there is wanting an inward principle of spiritual life, there being no habitual change in the temper of the heart,
My dear brethren, the christian religion, which we have the happiness to be taught, and the great honour of professing, has always met with much opposition in our guilty world. All the power of persecution, all the arts of vain philosophy, all the delusions of error, have been armed against it. The reason is, it is directly opposed to the carnality, worldliness, and pride of the human heart, Yet it has been, and shall be; preserved in
the world: for the church is founded upon a rock, and infinite wisdom, grace, and power, has assured us that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. When persecution failed, when the rage of Jews and the power of Rome could not effect its ruin, the sunshine of peace and prosperity, the arts of sophistry, the errors of professed triends, proved more successful engines, and more threatened the demolition of this building of heaven. But God is on our side: Michael and his angels are fighting against the dragon. Let us then not be discouraged, but join the heavenly host, and fight a gainst those formidable foes under the banner of the Prince of peace. If we are called upon earnestly to contend for the truth, either from the pulpit or the press, let us do it in meekness and love, with firmness and perseverance. The best way to carry on this war is for ministers and people to be very humble, imbibe much of the spirit of Christ, and follow his example.
Though against the principles of our church in particular, philosophers should attempt to reason, and partizans or errorists exclaim, in or out of the pulpit, all this is no evidence that we are wrong, and ought not to discourage us. Let us not quarrel for our principles, but understand, believe, and practise them.
Ye, therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away by the error of the wicked one, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: To him be glory both now
The following Tract is upon a delicate, but vastly important subject. It is republished at this time, merely as a specimen of father Rice's fidelity to bis God, and to his country, and to his fellow men, at a time when he supposed that soinething might have been done towards obtaining deliverance from what all lament over as a great evil imposed upon the Southern States, and entailed upon the fathers and their children, and their children's children, by the British Government, previously to the era of the American Revolution.
SLAVERY INCONSISTENT WITH JUSTICE
AND GOOD POLICY.-By PHILANTHROPOS.-(First printed in 1792.)
There is an important question now lying before the public, which will probably be considered by our approaching Convention; viz. Whether Slavery is consistent with justice and good policy? But, before this is answered, it may be necessary to inquire what a Slave is?
A Slave is a human creature made by law the property of another human creature, and reduced by mere power to an absolute unconditional subjection to bis will.
This definition will be allowed to be just, with only this one exception, that the law does not leave the life and the limbs of the Slave entirely in the master's power: and from it may be inferred several melancholy truths, which will include a sufficient answer to the main question.
In order to a right view of this subject, I would observe that there are some cases, where a man may justly be made a slave by law. By vicious conduct he may forfeit his freedom; he may forfeit his life. Where this is the case, and the safety of the publick may be secured by reducing the offender to a state of slavery, it will be right; it may be an act of kindness. In no other case, if my con ceptions are južt, can it be vindicated on principles of justice or humanity.
As creatures of God, we are, with respect to liberty, all equal. If one has a right to live among his fellow creatures, and enjoy his freedom, so has another: if one has a right to enjoy that property he acquires by an honest industry, so has another. If I by force take that from another, which he has a just right to according to the law of nature, (which is a divine law,) which he has never forfeited, and to which he has never relinquished his claim, I am certainly guilty of injustice and robbery; and when the thing taken is the man's liberty, when it is himself, it is the greatest injustice. I injure him much more, than if I robbed him of his property on the high-way. In this case, it does not belong to him to prove a negative, but to me to prove that such forfeiture has been made; because, if it has not, he is certainly still the proprietor. All he has to do is to shew the insufficiency of my proofs.
A Slave claims his freedom; he pleads that he is a man, that he was by naturë free, that he has not forfeited his freedom, nor relinquished it. Now, unless his master can prove that he is not a man, that he was not born free, or that he has forfeited or relinquished his freedom, he must be judged free, the justice of his claim must be acknowledged. His being long deprived of this right, by force or fraud, does not annihilate it; it remains, it is still his right. When I rob a man of his property, I leave him his liberty, and a capacity of acquiring and possessing more property; but when I deprive him of his liberty, I also deprive him of this capacity; therefore I do him