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For we have sufficient evil in our hearts, and men see enough of it in our daily walk, without making a public exhibition of our. selves in a court of justice. When we enter there, we lay aside our religious character; renounce our principles of love and communion, and fellowship with our brethren." We declare before the world that we have no confidence in those principles. We come down from the high and holy ground which we have assumed, and put ourselves on a level with the open enemies of religion, who have always treated our principles and professions with contempt. And need we wonder, when professing Christians place themselves in such a position, that the enemies of religion should rejoice ; that they should feel themselves encouraged, and consider it a great triumph ? Is it not astonishing that men who have any respect for themselves, or regard for religion, should be willing to sacrifice their own honor, and the honor of religion, for the sake of gratifying a little selfish feeling, or gaining some trifling wordly advantage?

4. It tends to the destruction of souls. It is very unfortunate for many professors of religion, that they are so much governed by what they conceive to be their worldly interest, and lose sight of their spiritual interest. They are often prompted by their worldly feelings to do what their religious interests, if they were properly understood and regarded, would forbid them to do. They suffer themselves to be carried away by their worldly propensities, without considering the injury they are doing to their own souls and the souls of others. Thus they are tempted to go to law, because they consider it their interest. And if you endeavor to convince them that it is their Christian duty to keep out of the law, and rather suffer wrong than injure their souls od bring reproach on the Christian profession, they are ready to say, “I have been injured ; I have been deprived of my rights, and I can not let this matter rest; I must have satisfaction and appeal to the law, for the law only gives me redress. If I do not resort to the law, I must be deprived of my rights, and suffer myself to be injured and defrauded.”. What then? Suppose you are injured. Is it not better to be injured in your property than in your soul ? Would it not be much better for you to lose a little property than to lose your soul ?. Has Christ not taught you that it is better to suffer wrong than do wrong? Has he not told you that you ought rather to take wrong and suffer yourself to be defrauded than to go to law with your brother? Has he not made it your Christian duty to make a sacrifice of your worldly interests for the sake of promoting the interests of religion? And will you refuse to make this sacrifice; or rather, will you sacrifice the interests of religion for the sake of your worldly interests? Do you really think that it is your interest ever to violate the obligations of religion? If you do, you are

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laboring under a great mistake. Your interest as a Christian is to act like a Christian, live like a Christian, and avoid every temptation to sin, and every appearance of evil, and engage in nothing that may prove a snare to your own soul or the souls of your brethren. When, as a Christian, you are called to suffer wrong, it is your interest to do so; to bear the cross and despise the shame ; to endure the mortification, and not think strange of it. Did not Christ suffer wrong? And should not you be willing to suffer it for the sake of following his example? Do you think it would injure you to follow the example of Christ ? No Christian was ever injured by suffering wrong, forgiving injuries, or doing good when he was tempted to do evil. But, oh! how many have been injured by yielding to temptation to do wrong; by indulging in unforgiving dispositions, gratifying revengeful feelings, and following what they considered their worldly inter: ests! How many souls have been destroyed in this way, and what multitudes are still led away by this delusion which Satan has so long practised on the minds of men !

From the views and arguments that have been presented, it must appear evident,

1. That it is manifestly wrong for professors of religion to go to law against each other, and that it is an evil which should be discountenanced by every Christian. If Christians are to love and treat each other as brethren; if they are not to offend, not to irjure each other; and if by their conduct towards one another before the world they are to evince their mutual love and regard ; then, surely, it is wrong ever to place themselves in a situation in which they must appear as enemies, who are endeavoring to injure and persecute each other. When professors of religion place themselves in such an attitude, they contradict all their professions of love and attachment for one another. They set at naught all the counsels and admonitions which Christ has given them, and they destroy that good and virtuous influence which they might exert in the Church and upon the world. A Christian arrayed in open hostility against another Christian in a court of law, in a contest before the world, where all the bad passions and vindictive feelings of the human heart are exhib. ited,—what a spectacle! Who that has any regard for religion, any respect for the Christian character, does not feel pained and mortified by such a spectacle? Who that loves the Church and the honor of Christ does not mourn over it? And should not every Christian avoid placing himself in such a situation ? Should he not feel that he ought rather to cut off his right hand than furnish such a spectacle before the world? And is it not the duty of all Christians, who feel for the honor of Christ and the credit of the Church, to discountenance an evil which bas done so much injury and destroyed so many victims among the

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For we have sufficient evil in our hearts, and men see enough of it in our daily walk, without making a public exhibition of ourselves in a court of justice. When we enter there, we lay aside our religious character; renounce our principles of love and communion, and fellowship with our brethren.' We declare before the world that we have no confidence in those principles. We come down from the high and holy ground which we have assumed, and put ourselves on a level with the open enemies of religion, who have always treated our principles and professions with contempt. And need we wonder, when professing Christians place themselves in such a position, that the enemies of religion shoald rejoice; that they should feel themselves encouraged, and consider it a great triumph ? Is it not astonishing that men who have any respect for themselves, or regard for religion, should be willing to sacrifice their own honor, and the honor of religion, for the sake of gratifying a little selfish feeling, or gaining some trifling wordly advantage?

4. It tends to the destruction of souls. It is very unfortunate for many professors of religion, that they are so much governed by what they conceive to be their worldly interest, and lose sight of their spiritual interest. They are often prompted by their worldly feelings to do what their religious interests, if they were properly understood and regarded, would forbid them to do. They suffer themselves to be carried away by their worldly propensities, without considering the injury they are doing to their own souls and the souls of others. Thus they are tempted to go to law, because they consider it their interest. And if you endeavor to convince them that it is their Christian duty to keep out of the law, and rather suffer wrong than injure their souls med bring reproach on the Christian profession, they are ready to say, "I have been injured ; I have been deprived of my rights, and I can not let this matter rest; I must have satisfaction and appeal to the law, for the law only gives me redress. If I do not resort to the law, I must be deprived of my rights, and suffer myself to be injured and defrauded." What then? Suppose you are injured. Is it not better to be injured in your property than in your soul? Would it not be much better for you to lose a little property than to lose your soul? Has Christ not taught you that it is better to suffer wrong than do wrong? Has he not told you that you ought rather to take wrong and suffer yourself to be defrauded than to go to law with your brother? Has he not made it your Christian duty to make a sacrifice of your worldly interests for the sake of promoting the interests of religion ? And will you refuse to make this sacrifice; or rather, will you sacrifice the interests of religion for the sake of your worldly interests? Do you really think that it is your interest ever to violate the obligations of religion? If you do, you are

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laboring under a great mistake. Your interest as a Christian is to act like a Christian, live like a Christian, and avoid every temptation to sin, and every appearance of evil, and engage in notling that may prove a snare to your own soul or the souls of your brethren. When, as a Christian, you are called to suffer wrong, it is your interest to do so; to bear the cross and despise the shame ; to endure the mortification, and not think strange of it. Did not Christ suffer wrong? And should not you be willing to suffer it for the sake of following his example? Do you think it would injure you to follow the example of Christ ? No Christian was ever injured by suffering wrong, forgiving injuries, or doing good when he was tempted to do evil. But, ohi how many bave been injured by yielding to temptation to do wrong; by indulging in unforgiving dispositions, gratifying revengeful feelings, and following what they considered their worldly inter. ests! How many souls have been destroyed in this way, and what multitudes are still led away by this delusion which Satan has so long practised on the minds of men !

From the views and arguments that have been presented, it must appear evident,

1. That it is manifestly wrong for professors of religion to go to law against each other, and that it is an evil which should be discountenanced by every Christian. If Christians are to love and treat each other as brethren; if they are not to offend, not to irjure each other; and if by their conduct towards one another before the world they are to evince their mutual love and regard ; then, surely, it is wrong ever to place themselves in a situation in which they must appear as enemies, who are endeavoring to injure and persecute each other. When professors of religion place themselves in such an attitude, they contradict all their professions of love and attachment for one another. They set at naught all the counsels and admonitions which Christ has given them, and they destroy that good and virtuous influence which they might exert in the Church and upon the world. A Christian arrayed in open hostility against another Christian in a court of law, in a contest before the world, where all the bad passions and vindictive feelings of the human heart are exhibited, what a spectacle! Who that has any regard for religion, any respect for the Christian character, does not feel pained and mortified by such a spectacle? Who that loves the Church and the honor of Christ does not mourn over it? And should not every Christian avoid placing himselt in such a situation ? Should he not feel that he ought rather to cut off his right hand than furnish such a spectacle before the world? And is it not the duty of all Christians, who feel for the honor of Christ and the credit of the Church, to discountenance an evil which bas done so much injury and destroyed so many victims among the professed disciples of Christ? The following incident, which appeared not long since in the secular papers, affords a striking illustration of our subject : “A complaint was made before a magistrate, by a prominent church member, of an assault by one of the brethren of the same church, and a warrant was issued. The parties were brought up for trial, but instead of proceeding with the case, the magistrate addressed them as follows: 'Gentlemen, you are members of the same church, professors of a faith that teaches peace and good will to all men. You, as professors of religion, are looked upon as guides to youth, in fact to all, no matter what may be your persuasion. By your example and course of conduct, as well as the doctrines which your faith inculcates, the public takes its moral tone. Now, how does it look to see two men, bound before their God to live in peace, and belonging to an institution in which all should love each other as brethren, standing in court, the one an accuser, the other a culprit? How will it sound abroad? What will be thought of you out of doors ?!” These remarks had the desired effect. The parties shook hands, paid the costs, and went home together. In the course of the day the magistrate received a large and elegant Bible, at the hands of the plaintiff and defendant, which teaches that we should forgive men their trespasses, as we hope our heavenly Father to forgive us our trespasses. This example should teach a lesson to such professing Christians as forget themselves and their religion, when they go to law with their brethren before the civil magistrate.

Let then every Christian, and especially every minister of the gospel, who regards the peace and prosperity of the church and the salvation of his flock, bear his decided testimony against the unchristian practice of professing Christians going to law with each other. "Let him warn his people against it, and show them the great evil of this sin, that they may avoid and discountenance it. Let all who love religion, and wish to see it prosper, unite in putting out of the way this rock of offense, which weighs 80 heavily on the Church, cripples her energies, and prevents her from assuming that high position before the world which she ought to hold.

2. It is an evil which can in no sense be justified. When men are guilty of this fault, they are exceedingly prone to justify themselves. They set up many excuses. They sometimes say that the law of the land gives them this right, and therefore it cannot be wrong for them to exercise it. It is true, a Christian has a legal right to go to law with his brother. So also a man has a legal right to manufacture poison and sell it to his neighbor, and take away his property by ministering tu his vicious appetite, and sending him and his family to the poor-house ; but would it be right? Is it right to make drunkards, and destroy

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