« AnteriorContinuar »
bly of the Presbyterian church cognized as the essential and disin Scotland, the preceding year. tinguishing docrines of Chris
About this time, the Savoy tianity, in the articles of thechurch confession of faith, embracing of England, and in the confessions the same doctrines, was adopted of the great body of the Presbyby a synod of the Congregation- terian churches in Holland, Scot al churches, held at the Savoy in land and America. These docLondon. The same doctrines trines were embraced and main.. were sanctioned afterward, in tained, as the truths of Scripture, 1690, by a general meeting of by the Reformers, and by the the Presbyterian and Congrega- Christian church, where it has tional churches in England. existed in its purity and simpli
In 1680, the New England city, from the days of the aposchurches, by their elders and tles. In evidence of the truth de legates, assembled in synod, of this assertion, I adduce the renewed their assent to the West- following result of the laborious, minster confession of faith. In inquiries of a very learned divine consequence, the General Court of our own country.* ordered it to be printed (to use their “ The doctrines contained in own words) " for the benefit of the Assembly's shorter catethe churches in the present and chism and the Westminster conafter times." This public and fession of faith, particularly the solemn act of the churches, as doctrine of the divinity and satissembled in synod, has not been faction of Jesus Christ, original annulled by any subsequent act; sin, the necessity of special nor has this confession been su- grace in regeneration, justifica. perseded by the public adoption tion by faith, &c. have been uniof any substitute. It must of versally received, taught and es. course now be considered, and, tablished in all ages of the Chris. taking into view the whole body tian church. After all the search of Christians in the common I have been able to make into antiwealth, belonging to the Congre- quity,I can find no single instance gational churches, I believe it of any public confession of faith, may correctly be considered, as drawn up by any council, or genthe adopted public confession of erally received by any Christian the faith of the Congregational country in the world, wherein churches in Massachusetts. any of these doctrines have been
In 1708, all the churches in plainly and expressly denied. Connecticut, assembled by their For though there have been ministers and delegates at Say. some scattered up and brook, unanimously approved down in the world, and someand adopted the Savoy con- times convened in assemblies, fession of faith. Their proceed- who have not believed these docings received the sanction of the trines, and have sometimes enlegislature. And the churches deavoured covertly to disguise in this state have continued them and let them drop, and steadfast in this faith to the pres- thus by degrees to root them ent time.
out of the Christian church, yet These doctrines have been, and still are, acknowledged, and re
* President Clap.
they have never dared openly, and gratitude of their posterity. and in a formal manner to deny This was the faith of the army them by any public act; because of holy martyrs, which enabled they knew that these doctrines them to triumph on the rack, had been so universally received and to exult amidst the flames in the Christian church, that all kindled to devour them. The antiquity would condemn them, truth and excellence of these and that such an open denial doctrines have been tested by would bring on them the resent their genuine fruits on the ment of the Christian world."* hearts and lives of those who
I am very sensible that truth have cordially embraced them, is not always with the multi: and lived under their influence. tude ; but admitting the correct.
Let them not, then, be hastily reness of what has now been stat. jected. For, “thus saith the ed, it seems absolutely incredible Lord, stand ye in the ways, that these doctrines should in all and see, and ask for the old paths, ages have been received so gen
where is the good way, and walk erally, as the truths of God, and therein, and ye shall find rest by the most learned, pious, and for your souls." exemplary Christians, unless they
PHILO PASTOR. had been plainly revealed in his word. If Christianity has prov.
(To be continued.) ed a blessing to the world, friendly to the freedom and happiness of man, to civil government, and
CONSOLATORY LETTER ON THE sound science ; if it has prevented the spread of vice and immorality,convinced and humbled the
June 17, 1807. guilty, and shed light and joy My dear friends, into the hearts of true penitents;
“ Is it well with the child ?" if it has soothed the sorrows of Infinitely better, I trust, than to life, yielded consolation to Chris- be here. O let us be forever tian mourners, and joy unspeak- thankful for that blood, and for able to the dying; it has been that spirit, which can at once that sort of Christianity, which is cleanse and sanctify both our characterized and identified by own souls and the souls of our these distinguishing doctrines.- infant children ; and for that This faith prompted the fathers gracious declaration of the Sabf New England to leave their viour,“ of such is the kingdom native land, to brave the dangers of heaven!” Thanks be to God of the ocean, to plant themselves for his unspeakable gift, and fot in a wilderness amidst savage the health, vigour, perfection, men, and to found and cherish glory, and immortality beyond those institutions, which have the grave. But, while my soul Tendered their memory pre- thus rejoices with yours in God cious, and excited the veneration our Saviour, strange inconsisten
cy, my weaker part dissolves in Brief history and vindication of tears of sympathy with my af the doctrines of the New England ficted friends. Sensibly do I churches, p. 26.
feel your disappointment, your
DEATH OF A CHILD.
pungent sorrow. But with Him, a multitude of sins : To comfort who was made perfect through the best people in the world, and suffering, you will each say, help them on their way to glory. "the cup, which my Father bath When we apply ourselves in given me, shall I not drink it?" earnest, and with all suitable afEvery thing to reconcile : our fection, to convince and conhearts to the dispensations of vert, to edify and comfort our Heaven, to assuage our grief, to friends, our brethren in immorcomfort our souls, to animate tal bonds; the arrangements will our hopes and brighten our pros- be the more natural. The style, pects, is contained in that tender, though simplified by feeling, will that endeared word, Father. Let be the more pure and the more your minds dwell upon the impressive. Your whole manthought, and may the God of all ner will be the better : plain inconsolation fill each of your deed, and faithful, but inoffenhearts with comfort and joy un- sive, dignified, humble, loving, speakable through Christ Jesus! like the manner of good people And may the same divine Jesus, speaking from their dying beds. who himself once wept, while on We would not adopt a smooth, earth, forgive the weakness of cold manner, which brings noour tears, and in his own good thing home to the conscience ; time restore us to the enjoyment which leaves the careless sinner of our tender offspring, which and the hypocrite to sleep on he has thus early, and so kindly without disturbance. Nor may received to his arms!
we be content with being solemn, with telling what is wrong, in
veighing against sin, and holding EPITAPU FOR AN INFANT, BY FRANCIS HOP.
Our great business is to testify SLEEP en, sveet babe ! so drearns annoy thy reys, the gospel of the grace of God. Toy seal by grace renew'd flew from thy breast ; To make this intelligible, we Steep on, sweet innocent ! por shalt thou dread The passing storm that thunders o'er thy head. must faithfully shew men their Tarragh the bright regions of yon azuro sky; A viaged seraph now she soars on high;
sin and guilt, and how they are Or sa the boson of a cloud reclin'd, She rides triamphant on the rapid wind;
undone by it, and lie at mercy
in or from its source pursues the radiant day,
But Orca a sunbeam smoothly glides away i
more respects than one. Oz srusts serial to her blest abode,
the truth, in this case, inust be And siegs inspir'd the praises of her God.
spoken in love, and the vilest sinSater and sature's laws expanded lie.
per tenderly invited and encourTana gears, or ages, ever taught before.
aged to return. The grace of Eleaven must be held up without ceasing, to the most untoward ;
anu preached with a grace ; with ORIGINAL LETTERS
all our hearts ; with a good will AGED MINISTER TO A YOUNG
like that which the Saviour himSTUDENT IN DIVINITY.
self breathed to his crucifiers, My dear Sir,
and which the primitive heralds Have a care to make meaning sermons, such as aim at the great end of preaching : To • Acts xx. 24. save a soul from death, and hide Luke xxiv. 47.
Daveiled thesce to her extensive eye
Death in ose moment taught this infant more,
of his grace exhibited.t Com- and call upon high and low to do paring these, we remark with the same. To keep him in view, irembling, that to preach the gos- with a just reverential esteem ; pel in its own gracious spirit, is a to feel his authority and the great very particular attainment, which iinportance of his messages : many a popular and many a sol- and a proper tenderness withal emn preacher never reached. to those we address, will proba
Christianity too must be bly command a better style and preached as a reality. She must manner than any of our own be delineated and portrayed in speculations could produce, or her own lovely form. To do any rhetorician point out to us. this justly, and enter well into I write with freedom; but the spirit of it, is much inore not without a thousand misthan to show what sin is, and tes- "givings. I know that a great * tify against it; much more than poet has said, “ Let those to say what is not religion. In- teach others, who themselves deed the most effectuał way of excel.” But in fact I should detecting what is not, is clearly have less to say on this subject, to show what is. Here then is a did I not discover, on å review of great object always to be kept in my own doings, a great deficienview. And
cy in this instance. Indeed whatHere let me add another hint. ever part of ministerial work I Let our discourses, as much as turn to, so many failures meet possible, be the product, not of me, that nothing but the force of mere study, but of practical med- truth, and a strong desire that itation. « Study," says Dr. Man- others may do better, could have ton, “is like a winter sun, that induced me to make observations shines, but warms not.” Medi- and lay down rules, with so little tation is a serious acting of the reserve. soul upon a subject, in the view Accept my love. May the of its serious nature, as it re- grace of our divine Master Le spects ourselves and others. ever with you. I am, &c. Composing in this way is profit.
(To be continued.) able to our own hearts. And sach discourses are much more SURVEY
ENGLAND likely to interest and profit oth.s
In the last volume of the PanIn fine, let us pray and endear. oplist, we carefully noticed sevour in all our sermonizing to lose eral existing evils, and suggestevery little concern, in the mag- ed some things, which are deemnitude of our subject ; and go ed necessary to the prosperity of forth to divine things, and to the our churches. It is the design souls of men, unfettered by any of this and several succeeding ambition of making a figure and numbers to unfold briefly, though gaining applause, or any fear of with some degree of minuteness, coming short of it. Our busi- the peculiar dangers, to which ness is to approve ourselves to the followers of Christ are exGod, to honour our Redeemer, posed, with respect to the Chris
tian faith, Christian experience, + Acts iii. 25,26, and xiii, 38. and Christian practice.
I conceive nothing more dan- erroneous owe much of gerous to the churches with re their success, is the misapplica. spect to the Christian faith, than tion of scripture. Sensible of the misrepresentations of its ene- the high authority, which the mies. Evangelical truth, in its scripture has obtained over the own divine form and dress, has minds of people in general, they so much to recommend it to the think it not consistent with pruhearts of believers, and to the dence, and perhaps it is not reason and conscience of all men, quite consistent with their conthat it cannot, without difficulty, victions, avowedly to reject it. be rejected. In itself it has a They therefore resort to it, not perfect agreement with the in- with that sacred reverence and tellectual faculties of the human implicit submission, which are mind. Whereas error, in its due to the word of God, but with own nature, is totally repug- a determination to derive from nant to reason, to conscience, it what arguments they can in and to every upright principle. support of their favourite tenets. “ Wicked men and deceivers," It is astonishing to observe what aware of this, and despairing of cunning and what boldness they success from direct opposition usein detaching passages of to the truth as such, have re- scripture from their obvious concourse to the art of misrepre- nexion, or in concealing their sentation. By their dexterity true sense by a plausible criticism, in this illusive art, they materi- or an artful gloss, or in forcing ally alter the form of truth. them, in some other way, to They disfigure its lovely fea- favour sentiments, which are contures, array it in a foreign dress, trary to the spirit of revelation, and surround it with false appen There are many modes of false dages. By concealment, by ad- reasoning employed by the addition, and by distortion, they versaries of truth, of which it is make the truth appear quite important for Christians to beanother thing. Shaped and
But I shall chiefly insist dressed by them, it ceases to ex upon the two which have been hibit its own engaging form, mentioned ; misrepresentation of and appears a frightful monster. the truth, and a wrong application It must be added, that in all their of scripture. misrepresentations, they apply, On no points do the enemies with great address, to the cor of evangelical religion carry rupt passions of human nature. their efforts to a higher pitch, While they endeavour to prevent than on those which immediatethe alarm of conscience, by pro- ly relate to God. The scripture fessing to be the advocates of doctrine of the Trinity is at the truth; they obtain success in their foundation of revealed religion, mischievous design, by giving and is peculiarly and inseparatruth an air,which is likely to of- bly connected with the economy fend the pride of reason and the of redemption. The cordial depravity of the heart, at the same and pious reception of this doctime decking error in such a trine, which is so incomprehenmanner, as to flatter and please. sible and mysterious, requires
Another method, to which that the pride of erring reason Vol. III, No. 1.