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ro been very passive in the business.” Butlet any person only read these Letters, and recollect the candour and steadfastness of the man, and he will easily perceive what a vile reflection upon his memory this would involve. Nor can it be pleasant either to his friends, or his connections to have such conjectures detailed, as would infinuate a dereliction of principle. His conduct while he lived was fair and unimpeachable; and now when he is gone, we are warranted, only to conclude that he would have continued the fame steady advocate for our Confession, our Catechisms and Covenants, he had ever been.
Hear his sentiments and counsels addressed to Students in divinity and to his younger children in the immediate prospect and expectation of appearing before his God and his Judge.
“ ADDRESS TO STUDENTS OF DIVINITY," &c.
• You have stated yourselves public witnesses for Jesus Christ, who profess to adhere to, and propagate his injured truths, -and to commemorate with thankfulness the remarkable mercies, which he hath bestowed on our Church and Nation,—and to testify against and mourn over our own and our fathers' fearful backslidings from that Covenanted work of Reformation once attained in our land. See that you be judicious, upright, constant and faithful in your profeffion I now appronch death heartily satisfied, avith our excellent Westminter Confeffion of Faith, Catechisms and Form of Church Government, and cordially adhering to the Covenants, by which our fathers for lemnly bound themselves and their posterity to profess the Doctrines and practise the duties therein contained. I look upon the Seceffion, as indeed the cause of God but sadly mismanaged and dishonoured by myself and others
Study to see every thing with your own eyes but never indulge an itch after no.
VELTIES! Most of those which are now esteemed fuch, are nothing but OLD ERRORS which were long ago juftly refuted, varnished over with some new expresfions.-- If I mistake not the Churches are entering into à fearful cloud of apostacy and trouble! But he that endureth to the end Ihall be saved. Be ye faithful unto death and Christ shall give you a crown of life. But if any man draw back God's soul shall have no pleasure in him”!!!
His advices to his children when dying conclude thus.
“ Adhere constantly, cordially and honestly to the Covenanted Principles of the Church of Scotland, and to that Testimony which hath been lifted for them. I fear a generation is rising up
which will endeavour filently," (O how prophetic!) “ to let flip these matters, as if they were ashamed to hold them faft, or even to speak of them. May the Lord forbid that any you
should ever enter into this confederacy against Jesus Christ and his cause! This from a dying father and minister, and a witness for Christ.” (Signed)
“JOHN Brown." After such folemn admonitions, and published to the world, must not that man be a fool, or something worse, who would employ the name of Mr. Brown of Haddington, to recommend the very evils which he saw coming upon the Secession Churches, and a. gainst which he hath given such faithful warnings both to his pupils and his children? The righteous are often taken
from the evil to come. But had he lived to witness the late proceedings of Synod refpecting the magistrate's power in religion, and the obligation of our public Covenants on pofterity, are we not warranted to say without
any vaunt, that from the protestations he has made in the preceding quotations, a most unequivocal pledge is given to
what side of the question he would have chosen to have cast in his lot?
As to the subject of the 2d Letter, the obligation of our public Covenants on pofterity, this doctrine must stand or fall, with what is maintained in the preceding one. The arguments adduced are clear and conclufive in its favour: and upon the obnoxious terms, “ we shall endeavour the extirpation of Popery and Prelacy," used in the Solemn League and Covenant, the few things he has said are sufficient to take off all objection to them, with any unprejudised mind. And whoever will be at the trouble of looking into the sermons, preached before the Parliament and Westminster Assembly, at the taking of the Solemn League and Covenant, and upon other public occasions, he will find all ground of objection to the terms, as involving the destruction of men's persons, completely removed. If then the language used admit of a favourable interpretation, and the conduet of the Covenanters coriespond with that interpretation, how exceedingly uncandid, at this diftant period, to dig up out of the ashes of the dead, where it had been so formally and with all due honour laid to reft, an objection which can have influence upon no mind, but such as are unacquainted with the replies, by which it has been long ago repelled?
It only remains for me to apologize for the length of this paper, and to add my most fervent defire, that these Letters be universally read, and read without prejudice; and that all who read them may receive the truth in the love of it, so as either to be recovered out of error or farther established in the
Renton, 19th Sept. 1803.
CO N T E N T S.
LETTER 1. On the Abfurdity of all Authoritative Toleration of grofs Heresy, Blaf
phemy or Idolatry. The Question fairly stated,
page I---17 Arguments against Authoritative Toleration of gross Heresy, Blasphemy, &c.
Objections in favour of Toleration of grofs Herefy, Blafphemy, and
Idolatry, Answered. 1. God alone is the Lawgiver and Lord of men's conscience, 44 2. Every man has a natural right to judge for himself---He is to
follow the dictates of his own conscience. Even the law of God is a rule to him as he understands it in his own conscience. To force him to do any thing contrary thereto, is to force him to fin; and to punish him for following its didates is to punish
him for doing his duty, 3. To allow magistrates such power---is to render Christians the fervants of men,
so 4. To restrain men from what they think right in religion, and
especially to punish them for it, is contrary to that Christian charity which suffereth long and is kind-..
50 5. Even under law, Mofes tolerated men's divorcing of their
wives for flight caules; much more does the gospel difpenfation call for liberty to men,
$1 6. Gamaliel's counsel, Refrain from these men---Was certainly prudent,
52 7. Under the Gospel it is promised, that--there should be none to hurt or destroy in God's holy mountain,
53 8. Our Saviour commands his fervants to let the tares grow with the wheat,
53 9 By rebuking his disciples, who would have commanded fire
from heaven to consume thefe Samaritans who refused him lodge ings---our benevolent Saviour plainly intimated, That under the gospel, magiftrates ought to lay no restraint on heresy, &c.
54 10. Christ requires us not to judge others---to judge nothing be.
fore the time.--. We ought to believe our own opinions in religion
to be as probably erroneous as those of our opponents, &c. 55 11. Men ought to be persuaded, not forced into holiness--
12. Such is the reasonableness and glory of divine truths, that if
they be bút freely, clearly and distindly preached, their native
in these privileges, be their opinions and worship what they