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Jerusalem;" and the plural when they wrote to those who dwelt in provinces, as, “ the churches in Galatia." The reason of this distinction appears to me to rise out of the very nature of søe case. There could be no inconvenience arising from the distance of members who dwelt in a city, to prevent their meeting together : for if we take Jerusalem for an example, a person could walk from the remotest part of that city to the place of meeting within an hour or two at most. But it was quite different in a province; for instance, Galatia, which appears, from a map I have before me, to be between two and three hundred iniles long, and from eighty to an hundred broad. Now if the disciples in a province, meeting together once a week, must assemble in one place, it is likely some would have nothing else to do but to walk backwards and forwards, which is surely a very unreasonable, if not an impossible practice.
Hence at proper distances, the apostles formed different assemblies for the conveniency of the whole; but it does not appear that these distinct assemblies had any authority over each other, either as it related to doctrine or practice; but if Mr. T. supposes they had, as appears from the beginning of his piece, I will thank him to shew it.
Mr. T. insinuates that there was but one élder tó óné assembly; upon which I would remark, that as there is no instance of any one church that met in separate classes, so there is no account of any chúrch that had but one elder; but, on the contrary, when church officers are inentioned, it is always, I think, in the plural number, and as they stand in connection with one church ; as for instance, the church at Jerusalem had its eldersActs, xv. 2, 4, 6, 22.
Ephesus was a famous city of Ionia, a province of Asia Minor; here was a Christian church in which we find a plurality of elders. Acts,
Lycaonia, a province of Asia Minor : here it seems several churches were planted. Paul and Barnabus preached at Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, and Antioch, cities of Lycaonia. We are also informed, “ When they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord on whom they believed." Acts,
Philippi, a city in the province called Micedonia. Ilere also we find a Christian church, and the elders of it expressly mentioned Phil. i. 1*]
Now, if we may argue from the churches whose officers are expressly mentioned to those who are not, and I cannot, at present, see the fallacy of such a mode) the inference will be iliat all the assemblies of Christians had a plurality of elders in them. With respect to difficulties attending the admission of a plurality of elders in all the churches, I do not know of any; perhaps Mr. T. may point out some in his next.
I fully grant that we had better be right than wrong in our opinions, let them be ever so trivial; and that party zeal and prejudice should be
That elder and bishop are synonymous appears from Tit. i. 52 7.
destroyed by every means in our power, and that all Christians should be joined together in love. But the scriptural plan is certainly the best 10 obtain such a glorious end, if attended to by all.
I confess I cannot see the agreement of Mr. T.'s plan with the Scripture account; but I shall wait to see what he will offer further on this subject, relying on the liberality and candour of his mind to pardon the freeness of my animadversions.
THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL SPIRITS.
SIR, HAVING some doubt upon my mind concerning the existence of
evil spirits, you would oblige me greatly if, through the channel of your valuable Miscellany, you give me your thoughts on the xxviiith chapter of the first book of Samuel, the 7th verse.
A CONSTANT READER.
THE WORD ANTICHRIST.
SIR, THE author of a piece in your Miscellany, intitled " A Letter to a
Professor of Humanity at Glasgow," Vol. II. p. 266, speaking of antichrist, says,
“ Need I tell a Greek scholar that anti signifies for, and therefore for Christ can only mean a pretended friend?" &c.Thinking this over in my mind I recollected I had heard you and others say, that anti signifies against, I therefore concluded that one of those explanations must be wrong, and, as I am no Greek scholar, I cannot determine for myself which is right; I shall therefore be obliged to you or any of your readers to point out the true meaning of that word.
WHILE thee I seek, protecting Pow'r!
vain wishes still’d;
this consecrated hour With better hopes be fill’d.
The powers of thought thy love bestow'd,
To thee my thoughts may soar;
In each event of life, how clear
Thy ruling hand I see;
Because conferr'd by thee. .
In every joy that crowns my days,
In every pain I bear,
When gladness wings my favour'd hour,
Thy love my thoughts shall fill; Resign'd, when storms of sorrow low'r,
My soul shall meet thy will.
My lifted eye, without a tear,
The low'ring storm shall see;
While still it rests on thee.
A. M. W. A POETICAL DREAM,
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE HOSPITAL AND NEW PLAY HOUSE AT
BY MARK WILKS.
T close of day within a rural bow'r,
But nightly silence, so profoundly deep,
Hail! Play House, Hail! thee I congratulate !
Cease, Hospital! why should'st thou thus repine?
No good or profit can in me be found,
HOSPITAL. Puh! Epicurea
reans value not expense, When buying trifles to amuse their sense; But though I loudly their assistance crave, Yet I, alas ! can no assistance have!
PLAY HOUSE. It must be wrong, I do in conscience own, That such unkindness should to thee be shewn; That thou by Christians thus should'st slighted bę, Whilst I'm caress'd and crown'd with dignity,
Christians, Theatre? Is it not a shame,
Yes, Christians can; pray do not go too far,
Fanatic fool! that is a grand mistake,