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example admonishes the ambitious, that in his estimation the service of the meek and lowly Jesus is more desirable than the renown of courts and senates, and, that no powers of mind are too great, no stores of learning too rich, and no gems of genius too brilliant, to be cast down at the foot of the cross.
THE EARLY HISTORY
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES
ADDRESSED TO THE
LATE REV. ROBERT M. LAIRD.
Introductory remarks.The writer's object stated. - None but the pious entertain
right notions of the church.-God's moral perfections best seen in the church.
- The condition of the Peninsula comprehending Somerset and Worcester counties in Maryland, and Accomack county, Virginia, at the time of its early settlement, peculiar in regard to liberty of conscience. The government of Vir. ginia founded by James I., and partook of his intolerant character. This intoJerance increased by acts of the provincial legislature.—Most intolerant towards Puritans and Quakers.-Puritan missionaries from Massachusetts driven away. - Mr. Jefferson's mistake in accusing American Presbyterians of persecution.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
I have too long delayed the performance of my promise, to furnish you with such of the facts in my possession, in relation to the first Presbyterian churches organized on this peninsula, as I considered interesting. Other engagements and ill health have heretofore interfered with my purpose; but the very agreeable task is at length undertaken. I intend to write familiar letters to a friend;- be not surprised, then, when you find, that I neither “ pinch the plaits of my phraseology, nor place my patches and feathers,” to suit the taste of any one but yourself. My object will be to put you in the possession of a mass of facts, in relation to this subject, and you must suffer me to do this in my own way. Should my manner be wild, or desultory, or the matter be irrelevant, or unimportant, in your judgment, or should I appear to slight some subjects, and to give
undue prominence to others; or should I repeat the same thing over and over again; you will, I doubt not, bear with me. The web will be yours after I shall have woven it: but let me select its materials, and arrange its colours.
To one who knows nothing of the stupendous agency, exerted by the church of God in this fallen world, my present employment may seem a very humble one; but you and I view it differently. That none save those
-whose souls are lighted,
With wisdom from on high," can form any just notion of the church of Jesus Christ, I am as firmly persuaded as of any kindred truth; and that preacher who, by the grace of God, communicates a right knowledge of the character of the church to a fellow being, is made the instrument of saving a soul alive. No man hath seen God at any time, or can see him and live; but in his church he makes a most glorious revelation of himself, yet so veiled, that a
mortal eye can bear the sight.” All the works of his hands show his wisdom, his power, his goodness;—but they make no disclosure of his holiness, his majesty, his inflexible justice, or his purposes of mercy to a fallen and rebellious race. In the church, as in a grand panorama, the believer can see the whole of that “new and living way" in which God can be just, and yet justify the ungodly. The bloom of Eden, blasted by the first transgres