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OF THE ,
CHURCH OF GOD,
AS IT EXISTED PRIMITIVELY,
* AND AS IT IS PERPETUATED UNDER THE MORE LUMINOUS
DISPENSATION OF THE GOSPEL;
PARTICULARLY IN REGARD TO THE
By SAMUEL AUSTIN, A. M.
MINISTER OF THE COSPF.t IN WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.
"HIS KINCDOM IS AN EVERLASTING KINCDOM,"
for the Author ; sold by him and by Isaiah Thomas, Jun. in Worcester; bv
district of Massachusetts, to wit: f^) IBt it tememfcetCB, that on the sixteenth day
V J of April in the thirty first year of the Independence of
the U. States of America, Samuel Austin of said District, has deposited in this Office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit.
"A View of the economy of the Church of God, as it ex. isted primitively, under the Abrahamic Dispensation, and the Sinai Law; and as it is perpetuated under the more luminous dipensation of the Gospel ; particularly in regard to the Covenants. By Samuel Avstis, A. M. Minister of the Gospel in Worajitr, Massachusetts.
"K13 KINGDOM It AN IVF.RL ASTINC KlKCDOM** "AMICUS SOCRATES, AMICUS PLATO, SID MAJOR AMICA VIRITAS"
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the U. States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps^ Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned ;" and also to an Act entitled, i' An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical, and other Prints,
,,mtTmc cj.TO ? Clerk of the District of WILLIAM S. SHAW, £ Massachusetts.
SEVERAL works have been published within a few. years, both in Europe, and in this Country, concerning tie Church of God; particularly, the qualifications • which are requisite for membership in it, its institutions, the persons to tatkom they ought to be extended, and the discipline which its officers, and ordinary members are to maintain in it- The Baptist controversy, in which all these subjects are more or less involved, has been lately revived- Books are multiplied, without bringing this controversy to a close. Difficulties still remain, to perplex the humble enquirer, and keep up thevehemencc of debate. Much truth is exhibited. But a clear, consistent scheme, disembarrassed of real difficulties, seems to be wanting. Such a scheme the Bible undoubtedly contains. To elicit this scheme is the only way, to bring honest minds to an agreement. Whoever will candidly review the most ingenious Treatises which have been published in the Baptist controversy, will perceive that the Pcedobaptists have a great preponderance of evidence on their side of the question. It will, at the same time, be perceived, that they are not as united as could be wished in the principles of their theory. Some rest the evidence that the infant seed oj believers are proper subjects of baptism, almost wholly upon the covenant which God established with Abraham. Others have not so much respect to this kind of argument; but prefer to rest the defence of their opinion, and practice, upon what they apprehend to be the clearer intimations of the Gospel, and upon the records oj history. Different views are entertained of the nature of the Abrahamic covenant: It is debated whether this covenant was strictly, and properly the covenant of Grace; what was the real import, and who were the objects of its promises. Different opinions are entertained, and contrary to INTRODUCTION.
hypotheses advocated also, respecting the Sinai covenant, the
It is the opinion of the Author oj the following Treatise, that this hypothesis has been adopted unwarily ; and not only without,- but against evidence.
In view of this diversity of sentiment, and the obscurity which seems yet to lie over these subjects, it was his opinion, that a distinct and accurate view, if one could be given, of the Hebrew economy, as established by J-ehovah,jr§m its rise in the call of Abraham, and the covenant entered into with him, to its consummation in the Christian Church; deduced, not from the fallible theories of men, but jrorn the Bible itself, was a great desideratum in the science of theology. Such a view he has attempted to furnish. Of his success the public must judge. Though he cannot but entertain the hope that he has succeeded, as to the main principles, kc uould be adventurous indeed to avow a confidence, that his work is with
out error. Circumstantial errors however, whether they resped the matter or the manner, the reader is requested to remember, will not invalidate the truth of the leading principles. If these principles can be shewn to be wrong, the writer will be constrained to conjess he has altogether failed of his object*