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IN ONE PERSON ONLY:
BEING DISTINCT FROM GOD,
DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR HIS EXISTENCE,
MAINTAINED AND DEFENDED.
"And Jefus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O
BY JOHN SHERMAN,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN MANSFIELD, (CONNECTICUT.)
IN every period since the appearance of the Son of God upon earth, Christians, with his gospel open before them, have differed exceedingly respecting the doctrines it contains. Happy would it have been, had they mutually indulged to each other that liberty of speculation, which each has assumed to himself, and, like brethren in the same cause, walked charitably together, so far as they were agreed. But alas! this has never been the case. From the beginning they have exchanged the standard of Christ for that of Paul, Cephas, or Apollos, and raised those weapons against each other, which ought to have been directed against the common enemy. Scarcely a speculative doctrine of the scriptures, which has not, in one age or another, been branded as heresy. The dissenter from the prevalent creed has always been denounced an apostate from the faith; though, according to decrees of councils of the preceding or subsequent age, those only were heretics, who subjected him to condemnation. Thus every change of established sentiment has produced a new order of heretics; and, while orthodoxy has degenerated into damnable heresy, heresy itself has, ultimately, grown up into the orthodox faith!
NOR has this opposition arisen in consequence of a difference respecting the essential doctrines of christianity. The most trivial points have been decreed essential; and he, whose understanding could not follow the decisions of the majority, however his christian deportment may have assimilated in all piety and virtue with the great Pattern of righteousness, has not only been de
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