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to consist with sentiments and opi- really Congregational, a represennions which those of the first class tation in the supreme judicatory consider as impliedly condemned of our church, as well as in Presin those very expressions, and as byteries and synods. Hence, men very plainly condemned in other who have never been ordained or parts of the Confession and Cate. elected as ruling elders-men who, chismis. The result of this latitude in the churches to which they beof construction is, that the most of long, bave never held any other those included in this class, per- office than that of committee men, haps the whole, seem to us to think, and in some instances not even that ministers of the gospel who that, but have been merely church adopt the whole system of Dr. Hop- members, have actually come up kins, or the whole system of Dr. to the General Assembly commisEmmons, or the whole system of sioned as ruling elders, and as such Dr. Murdock, or the whole system have taken their seats, and exerof Dr. Taylor and Mr. Fitch of cised the same right of speaking New Haven, and who preach and and voting as is enjoyed by those print the same, ought not to be sub- who have actually been ordained as jected to any discipline of the Pres- ruling elders; and this, a large byterian church, for so doing. Not proportion of this second class apby any means, that every indivi- prove of, as right and proper. dual agrees with every other, that They accordingly voted against an these systems are all free from act of the last Assembly-which, error, even important error-error however, was carried by a considethat ought to be met and counter- rable majority-the object of which acted by oral speech and printed is, to prevent committee men and publications. But still, we verily mere church members, from herebelieve, if put to the trial, they after having any claim to seats in would vote that in none of these the General Assembly. systems is there such heresy, as Into these two great classes the should subject the holders of it mass of the last General Assembly to the discipline of the Presbyte- might, in our apprehension, be fairrian church; or prevent them from ly divided; and in feeling, speech holding as good and fair a standing and action, was actually divided. in that church, as any other of its Let it be noted that we have said members or ministers.
the mass of the Assembly might In regard to church government thus be divided; for candour reand order, there is some diversity of quires it should be distinctly stated, sentiment among those who are com- that there were a few who declared prised in this second class. Some that they were, and would be, of appear to agree very nearly, if not no party; and who actually someentirely, with those of the first class, times voted with the one class, and in a strict adherence to the Presby- sometimes with the other. Yet beterian principles of ecclesiastical fore the sessions were terminated, order. But a large majority appear these middle-men seemed to us to desirous to relax those principles draw pretty nearly to a complete to a considerable extent; so that union, with the one class or the the relaxation, taken in connexion other. There were, however, to with certain stipulations, which the last, two or three members who many years since were entered unequivocally declared, that their into between the General Assem- doctrinal opinions were those which bly of our church and the Congre- we have described as held by the gational churches of New England, first class; and yet they spoke would give to congregations, no- with earnestness, and acted with minally perhaps Presbyterian, but decision, in favour of most of the
measures proposed and urged by waking up of the old school Presbythe second class.
terians, to a sense of their danger It has been truly painful to us to and their duty, their influence in give the foregoing exhibition of the the General Assembly will forever difference of sentiments and views, afterward be subordinate, and unentertained and manifested by the der control; and we are willing members of the last General As- that men of all parties should know sembly. But such an exhibition that such is our conviction. We has appeared to us essential, in or- wish for no concealment on this der to let the people and churches subject. It need not be told that of our denomination among whom those whom we have ranked in the our miscellany is circulated, see second class of the constituent clearly their real situation. That members of the last Assembly, were situation could not be correctly a decided majority of that body. known, without some such state- They chose a moderator suited to ment as that which we have given; their plans and intentions; and it and unless the truth be not only was in their power to dispose of known but brought home to the feel- every measure that came before the ings of the members of our church, judicature, just as they pleased. the torpid security in which many How that majority came to be what have indulged, in regard to the con it was, what course the moderator cerns of the church, will be likely pursued, and some remarks on the to continue till it becomes fatai. measures attempted and adopted, We speak what we firmly believe will, if our life and health contiwhen we say, that unless, in the nue, be seen in our next number, passing year, there is a general
AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF
AN ESSAY ON THE WARRANT, NATURE
which we deem important. We
believe we have never yet read THE RULING ELDER, IN THE PRES
critically, a mere human composiBYTERIAN CHURCH. By Samuel tion, in relation to which we did Miller, D.D.
not differ in some shades of
thought from the writer, and were (Concluded from p. 302.)
disposed to think that we could After an entire and careful read mend, a little at least, some of his ing of this essay, and marking for language or expressions. But when extraction enough to fill many we can do no more than this in . pages of our work, we have changed the way of fault-finding-and we our purpose, and instead of an ex could do but little more than this tended 'review, shall present our with Dr. Miller's essay, if we should readers with a very short one. The try-we hope we shall always be truth is, we can neither do justice disposed to do notbing. “Usefulto the author of this publication, ness," says Dr. Johnson, the great nor to our own views of its merit, Corypheus of English criticksby short extracts and accompany
“Usefulness seldom depends on ing criticisms. The value of the little things.” work-its excellence, we say with We know it is a vain wish, but out hesitation—cannot be properly we must be allowed to express it, estimated by an unconnected read. notwithstanding—we do wish that ing of selected parts; and as to every Presbyterian in the United criticisms, we have none to make States would read this book care
fully—the unlearned, skipping over tract or a newspaper, is not less to the sprinkling of Hebrew, Greek be deplored. But we must take and Latin, which they would find things as we find them; and therein the first part; but clergymen and fore we respectfully suggest to the educated laymen, ruling elders es author of this essay, the propriety pecially, missing nothing. Presby- of publishing the last seven chapterians, almost universally, do ur. ters of his work by themselves. gently need to know a great deal These chapters are entirely practiwhich this book would teach them. cal; and taken separately, we should It would teach them, among other hope, that at least every elder and things, what little foundation there deacon of our church would have is in the scriptures of truth, for reading patience enough to go either Popery or Prelacy; and what through them. They would amount is still more important, it would to but little more than a third part teach them their personal duties of the present volume; and hence, their duties we mean as Presbyte too, the price of the extract would rians-of which too many are sadly be so small, that any one who had ignorant. Our church has long a disposition to read on the subwanted such a manual as that which ject, would be likely to give it. It is here furnished. We have re is not without sensible reluctance cently been gratified, indeed, by that we throw out this suggestion; reading in the Presbyterian,” a for we repeat, it is our wish that number of short and excellent this whole book, without any mutipapers on the qualifications and lation, could find its way into every duties of ruling elders; and we Presbyterian family of the United hope those papers will do much States. But as we know this is good. But we still wanted what hopeless, and as it is peculiarly we have here—the whole subject important that the practical part brought out, placed on the firm should be widely diffused, we venground of inspired warrant, and all ture to recommend the measure we that relates to the election, the in- have mentioned-hoping that there vestiture, and the offices of ruling will always be found a considerable elders and deacons, fairly stated, number, both clergy and laity, who and in such detail as to be practi. will prefer to take the work withcally useful. With this book in out any diminution. We shall only his hand, no Presbyterian minister, add, that we think the minute of ruling elder, or deacon, need be at the last General Assembly, relative a loss for any thing, as a matter of to the organization of new churches, principle or order, which his official might advantageously be appended station calls him to know or to do, to the reduced manual which we in relation to the eldership, or dea- have recommended, if professor conship (we dislike the word dia- Miller should think proper to form conate) of our church.
After all, -sorry we are to say it - there are too many who will think and say, that this small and cheap LUTHER'S COMMENTARY ON THE book, is too large and too dear. The wretched parsimony which prevails in our country, in regard
(Conclulled from p. 258.) to every thing in the shape of a In commenting on the 17th verse book, is hardly credible to those of the fifth chapter of this epistlewho have not had a taste of au “ For the flesh lusteth against the thorship; and the popular indispo- spirit, and the spirit against the sition to read any thing-novels flesh, and these are contrary the excepted-of greater length than a one to the other, so that ye cannot
EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS.
do the things that ye would”--Lu- is not condemned, if by and by he overther admirably shows his acquain- come not the motions and passions of the tance with the conflicts of the spi- is taught among the common people, it
flesh he feeleth. For when this doctrine ritual life; and that the genuine maketh them careless, negligent and evangelical doctrines, so far from slothful. This is it which I said a little leading to licentiousness, do pow. before, that if we touch faith, then carerfully promote the sanctification nal men neglect and reject works; if of the believer. We can quote science lost." Here no man can be com
works be required, then is faith and conbut a part of what he says on this pelled, neither can there be any certain remarkable text.
rule prescribed. But let every man di
ligently try himself to what passion of the “ The faithful therefore receive great flesh he is most subject, and when he consolation by this doctrine of Paul, in findeth that, let him not be careless, nor that they know themselves to have part Aatter himself; but let him watch and of the fiesh, and part of the Spirit, but wrestle in Spirit against it, that if he can. yet so not withstanding that the Spirit not altogether bridle it, yet, at least he ruleth, and the flesh is subdued and kept do not fulfil the lust thereof. under awe, that righteousness reigneth, “This battle of the flesh against the Spi. and sin serveth. He that knoweth not rit, all the children of God have had and this doctrine, and thinketh that the faith. felt: and the self-same do we also feel ful ought to be without all fault, and yet and prove. He that searcheth his own seeth the contrary in himself, must needs conscience, if he be not an hypocrite, at length be swallowed up by the spirit shall well perceive that to be true in him. of heaviness, and fall into desperation. self which Paul here saith, that the Aesh But whoso knoweth this doctrine well lusteth against the Spirit. All the faith. and useth it rightly, to him ihe things ful therefore do feel and confess that that are evil, turn unto good; Rom. vii, their flesh resisteth the Spirit, and that 28. For when the Aesh provokuth him these two are so contrary the one to the to sin, by occasion thereof he is stirred other in themselves, that do what they up and enforced to seek forgiveness of can, they are not able to perform that sins by Christ, and to embrace the right which they would do. Therefore the eousness of faith, which else he would flesh hindereth us that we cannot keep not so greatly esteem, nor seek for the the commandments of God, that we can. same with so great desire. Therefore it not love our neighbours as ourselves, profiteth us very much to feel sometimes much less can we love God with all our the wickedness of our nature and cor heart: therefore it is impossible for us to ruption of our flesh, that yet by this become righteous by the works of the means we may be waked and stirred up law. Indeed there is a good will in us, to faith, and to call upon Christ. And and so must there be (for it is the Spirit by this occasion a Christian becometh a itself which resisteth the flesh) which mighty workman and a wonderful creator, would gladly do good, fulfil the law, love who of heaviness can make joy, of terror God and his neighbour, and such like, but comfort, of sin righteousness, and of death the flesh obeyeth not this good-will, but life, when he by this means repressing resisteth it; and yet God imputeth not and bridling the flesh, maketh it subject unto us this sin ; for he is merciful to to the Spirit.
those that believe, for Christ's sake. “Wherefore let not them who feel the “ But it followeth not therefore that lust of the flesh, despair of their salva. thou shouldst make a light matter of sin, tion. Let them feel it with all the force because God doth not impute it. True thereof, so that they consent not to it. it is that he doth not impute it: but to Let the passions of lust, wrath and such whom, and for what cause ? To such as other vices shake them, so that they do repent and lay hold by faith upon Christ not overthrow them. Let sin assault the mercy-seat, for whose sake, as all them, so that they do not accomplish it. their sins are forgiven them; even so the Yea, the more godly a man is, the more remnants of sin which are in them, are doth he feel that battle. And hereof not imputed unto them. They make not come those lamentable complaints of the their sin less than it is, but amplify it faithful in the Psalms and in the whole and set it out as it is indeed; for they Scripture. Of this battle the hermits, know that it cannot be put away by sathe monks, and the schoolmen, and all tisfaction, works or righteousness, but that seek righteousness and salvation by only by the death of Christ. And yet, works, know nothing at all.
notwithstanding the greatness and enor. “But here may some men say; that it mily of their sin doth not cause them to is a dangerous matter to teach that a man despair, but they assure themselves, that
the same shall not be imputed unto them, stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, or laid to their charge.
&c. Thus do the chiefest saints and chil“This I say, lest any man should think dren of God speak and pray; as David, that after faith is received, there is little Paul, &c. All the faithful therefore do account to be made of sin. Sin is truly speak and pray the same thing, and with sin, whether a man commit it before he the same spirit. The popish sophisters hath received the knowledge of Christ, read not the Scriptures, or if they read or after. And God always hateth sin; them, they have a veil before their eyes ; yea, all sin is damnable as touching the and therefore as they cannot judge rightly fact itself. But in that it is not damnable of any thing, so can they not judge rightly to him that believeth, it cometh of Christ, either of sin, or of holiness." who by his death hath taken away sin. But to him that believeth not in Christ,
Throughout the whole of this not only all his sins are damnable, but commentary, Luther pays a partieven his good works also are sin, accord. cular attention to the case of those ing to that saying; Whatsoever is not of who are awakened to a sense of faith is sin; Rom. xiv. 23. Therefore their sinfulness, and their danger the error of the schoolmen is most perni. of falling under the wrath of God. the fact, and not according to the person. He recollected the deep anguish of He that believeth bath as great sin as the his spirit when such was his own unbeliever. But to him that believeth, it situation; and to this he often reis forgiven and not imputed; to the un. believer it is not pardoned, but imputed. fers, and tells in what manner he To the believer it is venial; to the unbe. received deliverance from his fearliever it is mortal and damnable : not for ful apprehensions, obtained peace any difference of sins, or because the sin of conscience, and an assured hope of the believer is less, and the sin of the of acceptance with God-Our space unbeliever is greater; but for the differ. does not permit us to quote the pasence of the persons. For the faithful as. sureth himself by faith that his sin is for. sages in which he speaks on this given him, forasmuch as Christ hath given topick. But all his consolation rehimself for it. Therefore, although he sulted, as he affirms, from clear have sin in him, and daily sinneth, yet he views of the Lord Jesus Christ, as continueth godly; but contrariwise, the unbeliever continueth wicked. And this having substituted himself in the is the true wisdom and consolation of the place of sinners, obeyed perfectly godly, that although they have and com- . the law of God, and suffered all its mit sins, yet, they know that for Christ's penalty in their behalf, and from sake they are not imputed unto them.
his being enabled to appropriate “Hereby ire may see who are the very by faith the finished righteousness saints indeed. They are not stocks and of the Redeemer to himself, so as stones (as the monks and schoolmen to stand invested with it in the view dream) so that thcy are never moved with and estimation of God. This was any thing, never feel any lusts or desires the experience of Luther, and this lusteih against the Spirit, and therefore the method in which he directs they have sin, and both can and do sin. awakened anxious sinners, and fearAnd the thirty-second Psalm witnesseth, ful trembling believers, to seek that that the faithful do confess their upright: “ peace of God which passeth all eousness, and pray that the wickedness of their sin may be forgiven, where he
he understanding." saith, ver. 5—I will confess my transgres.
We have heard much of late, sion unto the Lord; and thou forgavest and we have greatly rejoiced to the iniquity of my sin: ver. 6— Therefore hear, of revivals of religion in shall every one that is godly, prdy unto thee, &c. Moreover, the whole church, every part of our land, and of nuwhich indeed is holy, prayeth that her merous converts as the fruits of sins may be forgiven her, and it believeth these revivals. In what manner the forgiveness of sins. And in Psalm these converts were directed by cxliii. 2-David prayeth; O Lord, enter their spiritual guides to seek reconnot into judg meni zrith thy servant : for in ciliation with God, is unknown to thy sight shall no raan living be justified. And in Psal. cxxx. 3, 4-If thou, Lord,
One thing we think we know, shouldst mark iniquity; o Lord, who shall and that is, that unless their exerVol. IX.-Ch. Adv.