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THAT HIS RELIGION SANCTIONS NO POLITICAL INTERFERENCE
WITH THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD.
A CITIZEN OF LONDON.
“ I expect to hear of a set of people who, because of the reso-
SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER,
I HAVE used the term Christian in many parts of this Address to avoid the too frequent repetition of the phrases
Disciple of Jesus,” and “ Member of the Church of God;" but in every instance where the term occurs, those are the ideas I wish attached to it, for I by no means refer to the multitude of professors, good and bad, who pass under the name of Christian. It will be well when the real disciple of Jesus, the anointed, can (without having his object misunderstood) drop a name which was at first given by the enemies of Christ, and has since been held by individuals and nations in successive ages, connected with errors, abominations, and iniquities, which ought never to attach to the member of the church of God.
I found it almost necessary, before stating my opinions on Political interference, to take a view of the nature and object of Divine Revelation ; but I call upon the reader not to throw down the Address at the onset, if we, perchance, differ on this part of our subject, because, though we may not agree in our premises, it is possible we may in our conclusions.
In sending forth this Address, I cannot but express a hope that my feelings and sentiments towards the present Government of our country may not be misunderstood. There are men in the present administration whose names cannot be mentioned without admiration and gratitude; men who, (if any men were fit,) are eminently qualified for human governments; men of whose good intentions I am so well satisfied, that to whom (did not my princi
ples forbid) I would give my humble support and fullest confidence. But this administration, excellent as it is, will, I have no doubt, sooner or later, afford another example in favour of my principles, and of the insufficiency and imperfection of any human government whatever.
If I have displayed in this Address undue positivity or presumption, I regret it as a weakness, sensible as I am, that I may be wrong in my views, and if right, that I am but a humble instrument in support of that right; but that, in some parts, I may have had my feelings warmed almost to anger, I by no means wish to conceal. Too many instances have come within my knowledge in private life, where religious indifference and apostacy have been the result of political drudgery and political ambition, for me to review these cases without having my feelings roused against a course of conduct pregnant with such serious evils.
The Address is doubtless in a very imperfect form. It was put to paper at intervals, in the midst of many other duties, and severe affliction; and, as I had no friend “ like minded” with myself on this subject, I was without that friendly assistance which is sometimes so necessary to detect an error or remedy a fault. If, however, I have written so as to be intelligible, and my hypothesis should appear to be correct, I hope individuals will arise, willing as well as able to carry on the work which I have imperfectly begun.
Peckham Rye, Surrey.
June 15, 1833.
HAVING seen with regret the bad consequences of a political course of life on many who profess the Christian name; having seen, in some instances, their faith wrecked on the rocks of political excitement, and in other cases their virtues buried beneath the cares of this world; and having, on my own part, felt the extreme difficulty and danger of such a course of life, I was led to examine, with serious attention, the records of our faith, to see if political interference be sanctioned by the religion of Jesus: to lay before you the result of such examination is the object I now propose.
I do not address myself to those, nor expect such to be influenced by my remarks, who merely profess Christianity; nor to those who merely assent to the evidences of its truth; nor to those who merely admire it as an enlightened system ; but I speak to those who (however mistaken they may be in some of its truths and duties) receive it in the love of it, as the rule of their faith and practice.
Incompetent as I am to a precise application of words, I shall endeavour to make my object understood by a reference to the things on which I am about to treat. purpose, then, is to shew, that the disciples of Jesus should lend no aid to the support of civil governments, nor adopt any human devices to support or overthrow them; that they should not be instrumental, directly nor