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we be sare he ever manifested scripture authority, but incon. in working out redemption for sistent with many things assertsinners? And what other grace ed of him in the Bible : and, is to be attributed to Christ, than instead of rendering the conthat of the humiliation and suf- struction of scripture more easy ferings of a mere creature, in all and natural, gives plausibility to that he endured for our salva- the glosses, which Arian writers tion? And if, in the whole of put on many passages usually this work of Christ, there were and justly urged in proof of the no other grace than that of a true and real divinity of Christ. mere creature; how natural to If the construction, put on the conclude, that a mere creature above-mentioned passages of was adequate to the work ! scripture, by those, who advocate
If the passages of scripture the opinion of the pre-existence How mentioned are to be under- of the created nature of Christ, stood only of the human nature be admitted to be rational and of Christ, pre-existing his incar- just ; with what facility may the nation, the words of the Saviour, wit and ingenuity of men evade when he said to the Jews, John the clearest evidence of the true viii. 58, “ before Abraham was, I and real divinity of the Saviour am,” may be understood in a of the world. similar manner, and infer noth- This being the case, the senti. ing more than that, though a ment, that the human or created creature, his existence was ante. nature of Christ pre-existed his rior to that of Abraham.
incarnation, is not to be consid. It must, therefore, appear, it ered, either as a trifling, or an is apprehended, that the opinion, innocent error ; but, an opinion that the human nature of Christ of dangerous and hurtful tenpre-existed his incarnation, is dency. not only without the support of
“ TESTIMONY TO THE ORDER OF THE GOSPEL,
IN THE CHURCHES OF NEW-ENGLAND,” Was written about the year 1700, eight years before the death of Mr.
HIGGINSON, who lived to the great age of 93 years. It was left in the hands of the churches by the two venerable men, whose names are subscribed to it, then the most aged ministers of the gospel living, as their dying Legacy. It is an invaluable document, and we earnestly recommend it to the careful and serious perusal of all our readers, and especially to the younger class of ministers now on the stage.
EDITORS. 1. ABOVE seventy years have having obtained help from God, passed away, since one of us, and we continue to this day. above sixty, since the other of us We are therefore capable to came into New-England, and make some comparison, between the condition of the churches assembled, in the Synod, that as when they were first erected in greed on our Ptatform of Church this country, and the condition Discipline, cannot forget their into which they are now fallen, excellent character. They were and more falling every day. men of great renown in the
· But we wish, that in making nation, from whence the Laudia this comparison, we had not cause an Persecution exiled them; to take the place, and the part of their learning, their holiness, those old men that saw the young their gravity, struck all men that men shouting aloud for joy, at the knew them with admiration, new temple, Ezra iii. 12. Ancient They were, Timothies in their men that had seen the first house ; houses, Chrysostomes in their pulwhen the foundation of this house pits, Augustines in their dispuwas laid before their eyes, wept tations. The prayers, the studwith a loud voice,
. ¡es, the humble inquiries, with 2. We are under a daily ex which they sought after the pectation of our call to appear mind of God, were as likely to before our Lord Jesus Christ'; prosper as any men's on earth. and we have reason to be above And the sufferings wherein they all things concerned, that we were confessors for the name and may give up our account witủ the truth of the Lord Jesus joy unto him. That we may be Christ, add unto the arguments the better able to do so, we judge which would persuade us, that it necessary for us to leave in the our gracious Lord, would reward hands of the churches, a brief and honour them, with commu. testimony, to the cause of God, nicating much of his truth unto and his people in this land. And them. The famous Brightmar this the rather because we are had foretold, Clariorem lucem sensible that there is risen and adhuc Solitudo dabit, &c. God rising among us, a number who would yet reveal more of the not only forsake the right ways true church state unto some of of the Lord, wherein these holy his faithful servants, whom he churches have walked, but also would send into a wilderness that labour to carry away as many he inight there have communion others with them as they can. with them. And it was emis
We are also informed, that nently accomplished in what was many younger men of great done for and by the men of God, worth, and hearty friends unto that first erected churches for the church state of the country, him in this American wilderness. scárce know what interpretation We do therefore in the first to put upon it; but find it a sen- place, earnestly testify, That if sible disadvantage unto them, any who are given to change do that the clder men are so silent rise up to unhinge the well esand remiss upon the manisest tablished churches in this land, it occasions, that call aloud for us will be the cluty and interest to open our mouth in the causc of of the churches to examinc, churches that we should be loath whether the men of this trespass to see led unto destruction, are more prayerful, inore watch
3.. We that saw the persons, ful, more zealous, more patient, who from four famous colonies, more heavenly, more universally
conscientious, and harder stu- that in that worthy book, there dents, and better scholars, and is nothing obtruded upon the more willing to be informed and churches, but, what they who advised, than those great and were here capable of observing good. men, who left unto the what was done sixty years ago, churches what they now enjoy: do know to have been professed if they be not so, it will be wis- and practised in the churches of dom for the children to forbear New-England, (except in one or pulling down with their own two ;) then, and ever since, unhands the houses of God, which til of late, some who were not were built by their wiser fa- then born, have suggested otherthers, until they have better sat- wise. Yea, it is well known, that isfaction.
the churches then publicly mainIt is not yet forgot by some tained those principles in sevesurviving ear-witnesses of it, that ral judicious discourses, which when the Synod had finished th¢ were never confuted by any men Platform of Church Discipline, whatever, unto this present time. "they did with an extraordinary And we do therefore most elevation of soul and voice, then heartily commend that book, of sing together the song of Moses the order of the gospel, unto the the servant of God, and the song perusal and acceptance of the of the Lamb, in the fifteenth churches of the Lord. chapter of the Revelation : God 5. It was one of the songs (as forbid, that in the loss of that the Jewish masters tell us) in holy Discipline, there should be the feast of Tabernacles, Blessed hereafter occasion to sing about be our youth, which have not made breaking down the carved work our old men ashamed. But, alas! of the houses of God, with axes we that are old men must confess and hammers; or take up the ourselves ashamed, when we sce eightieth psalm for our lamen- after what manner some of our tations.
youth have expressed and behav, 4. It was a joy unto us to see ed themselves, and with what and read a book which the reve- scoffs they have assaulted the orrend President of our college der of the gospel, in some things lately published under the title lately published & scattered about of “ The order of the gospel, the country : which have been professed and practised by the so far from answering the arguchurches of Christ in New-Eng- ments brought for our church land :" A book most highly order, that they have been by the needful, and useful, and seasona- wonderful providence of Christ ble, a most elaborate and well made useful to establish, the composed work, and well suited minds of serious Christians in under those two worthy designs; those very points, which they Ist, the maintaining the congre- sce so weakly and so rudely opgational church discipline ; and posed. We have taught our 2dly, the maintaining the sweet children in the catechism called spirit of charity and communion milk of babes, that there is to be towards reforming presbyteri- a covenant of God in the churchans, who are our united brethren. es, wherein they give up theme But we must here withal testify, selves, first unto the Lord to lvę
his people, and then to the elders pline, which is evidently calcu-
our duty to leave this warning If they take away from us one to the churches, that probably of the songs among the Jews, the apostasy will not stop there : they would however leave us for the same spirit that will disroom for one of the sighs utter- pose the next generation to ed by a Rabbi among them; the change their way, in one point, worst fruit we eat in our youth will dispose them to more and excelled the best which we now more changes (even in doctrine eat in our old age, for in our and worship as well as manners) days the world is changed. until it may be feared the can
6. Concerning all sinful at- dlestick will be quickly removed tempts to overturn the order of out of its place. the gospel, hitherto upheld in 7. We do therefore humbly the churches of New-England, propose it, unto all the churches, and to spoil that glorious work as a great expedient, for the of God, which we have seen him preservation of our church state, doing, what a series of remarka- that more prayer (even in whole ble providences, in erecting such days of prayer set apart for that congregational churches in these end) with other appointed means ends of the earth ; we would may be used in the churches to now therefore bear our testimo- obtain from the Lord, the outny, that they are doubtless dis- pourings of the Spirit of grace on pleasing to our Lord Jesus the rising generation. If so rich Christ, who walks in the midst a blessing were obtained, and of these golden candlesticks, and our heavenly Father will give they will prove bitterness in the his Holy Spirit unto them that latter end.
ask it) and if the rising generaAnd this we declare with the tion might be a praying, pious, more concern upon our minds, devout and regenerate genera. because of an observation, so
tion, there will not be such danplain, that he that runs may
ger as now there is, of their read it.
easily giving away the precious It is too observable that the legacy which their fathers (now power of godliness is exceeding- beholding the face of our Lord ly decaying and expiring in the Jesus Christ in glory) left unto country ; and one great point in them, of their doting upon the decay of the power of godli- innovations fatal to the order of ness, is men's growing weary of the gospel among us. the congregational church disci- 8. Now as aged Joseph said, I
die, and God will surely visit rogated, as to his discipleship, you ; even so, we the unworthy nor wished to conceal it; he was servants of the Lord, whose age known to be a disciple : Peter's bids us every day look for death, standing without was indeed exand our call to that world, where pressive of his fears; but, from to be is by far the best of all, do these circumstances, it should conclude with our prayers unto seem they could not arise from the Lord for these holy church- the mere apprehension of his bees, that he would surely visit ing known to be a disciple. them, and grant much of his The real cause of Peter's de. gracious presence and Spirit in nial of his Lord and Master, the midst of them ; and raise up seems to have originated in his from time to time, those who rash conduct in the garden. may be happy instruments of There he aimed a blow to cleave bringing down the hearts of the down the head of Malchus, a serparents into the children. The vant of the high priest ; but, Lord bless these his churches, failing in his design, he only cut and keep them stedfast, both in off his right ear. This circumthe faith, and in the order of the stance gave him just occasion to gospel, and be with them, as he fear the civil law; and had he was with their fathers, and never been known, he would, in all leave them nor forsake them. probability, have died for the ofJohn HIGGINSON,
fence. Fearing, therefore, that WILLIAM HUBBARD. he should be known to be the
disciple who aimed the deadly blow, Peter denied all connexion with Christ.
This view of the subject apTER'S DENYING CHRIST.
pears to account for a passage in (From the Biblical Magazine.) John, which introduces a new
It is very generally supposed circumstance into the that Peter's denial of his Lord tive :-“ One of the servants of was owing to the fear of perse- the high priest, (being his kinscution or death, on account of be- man whose ear Peter cut off) ing one of his disciples : but the saith, Did not I see thee in the scriptures do not appear to coun- garden with him ?” Peter knew tenance this supposition. John, what consequences would have who was known unto the high followed upon his confession, firiest, went in with Jesus into the and he therefore denied again. palace of the high priest, without The danger to which Peter apprehending any danger, while stood exposed, for his rashness Peter stood at the gate without: in smiting Malchus with the and from the conduct of this sword, may perhaps be the readisciple, it should seem that he son why Matthew, Mark, and thought Peter more in danger Luke, when relating the particufrom the cold, than from any de- lars of his conduct, conceal his signs of the Jewish rulers : for name : and as John wrote his he went out and spake unto her gospel when Peter was out of that kept the door, and brought in danger, if noi out of the world,
John was not inter- he was not afraid to reveal the
THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF