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dence in himself, that makes older all his duties should begin and end Christians tremble for him. How | there. often, in the sermons of characters! Here the cause of Christ is most masuch as these, have we lamented the terially injured in the house of his absence of true evangelical principle! friends. It is here we see sin put on its We have seen the cross of Christ the most formidable appearance. Where glories of his person and work, cast the minister of Christ is thus throwing into the shade, to make room for the such impediments in his own way, youthful preacher's, display of his own against bis own success, destroying literary acquirements, and metaphysi- during the week, what he had been lacal subtilties, purposely selected for the bouring to build upon the Sabbath. The preacher's ingenuity; and we have re- | mischief of this lax, declining, aud intired from the house of God, lamenting different spirit, in the real servants of the absence of the God of the House! Christ, and ministers of his word, is infeeling the want of that food of the soul calculable; and the experience of many which only the cross of Christ can sup- of them can testify, what bitter reflec, ply, we have retired, exclaiming
tions, and what anguish of mind, when
brought to a deep sense of its evil, have « Tis Athen's owl, and not Mount Zion's Dore : been the consequence of it. Perhaps The bird of knowledge— not the Bird of Love !**
they have witnessed the fruit of their
labours cut off and destroyed by their • There is one character more, whose own imprudent conduct. Should not a inconsistencies are, perhaps, the most minister be led to serious self-examinabaneful of all to the church. I mean tion, when he perceives a hopeful youth, the minister who, we trust, has been one who, perhaps, has been roused from Tawfully called, and sent into the church, his sins, and appears somewhat alive to and in whose heart we have reason to the powers of the world to come-his believe that Christ is formed the hope mind deeply impressed with convictions of Glory; but whose deportment is still of sin, and this produced through the not marked by that serious and habitual instrumentality of a sermon preached piety which should attend the minister by himself:. should he perceive this of the gospel; but who gives in, and youth retiring back into the world, and conforms too much, to the maxims of this owing, in a great measure, to that worldly men, who wastes too much of disunion of principle and practice which his time in the company of carnal pro- | he noticed in the minister--in the very fessors, and whose conversation savours man whom he considered as the means too much of this world, and the things of his conversion, and the very ap. that belong to it. There appears a kind proach to whom he regarded with ' of desire to assimilate with them. He kind of veneration, How was he surcan even condescend to joke and trifle prised, upon a closer view, to find so with them, and perhaps pass away an little difference between him and other hour at the chess or draft-board ! How men, as well as between the people who does all this look? Does it not look as formed the church committed to his though his Master's yoke was at times care, and the world? Where shall be too heavy to be borne, and that he was find that unction of divine things, and glad occasionally to slip out of it: It that savour of spirituality which he had looks so much like accommodation; as | anticipated in their conversation! He though the preacher, on the Sunday, expected to find among them what and during the week days, in the pulpit, would tend to instruct his mind, to in. and in the parlour, were two different vigorate his purposes, and lead his soul men. As though the pulpit was the forward in the divine life. Instead of only place of teaching; and as though 'which, he finds, however, that they can
* A few Lord's days ago, que of these Tyros from a dissenting academy in the metropolis, was invited to supply a destitute pulpit in the neighbourhood, where the congrega: tion consists of seven or eight hundred persons." The object and aygwed design of the preacher was, to disprove the doctrine of Christ's substitution in the room of his guilty people; in order to which, he went into a subtle and elaborate metaphysical disquisition to the disgust of all who had capacity enough to perceive bis drift, On being remon: strated with afterwards, his apology was, “ Í have given you pothing which is not to be found in the writings of Mr. F." [Editor's Note.]
pass away the hour in idle frivolous | cially is this effect hastened, if he have conversation upon the passing occur- an opportunity afterwards, of noticing rences of the day! The minister, in the difference between the avowed senstead of cherishing these precious seeds, timents of the minister, and his practiand watering them, and carefully en- cal habits. Thus, instead of these condeavouring to rear up the tender plant, victions being deepened, they serve leaves the work of his own hands, and rather to strengthen his old habits, and then the temptations of the enemy, and to fix him the more securely in his foran ensnaring world, soon root it out. mer ways. He begins to think that the
Perhaps many churches experience minister was to be understood from the more losses than can well be estimated, pulpit with certain limitations and quafrom these inconsistencies; and yet, all lifications. It is reported of the late this while, the minister does not appear Dr. Young, that, to a young convert, indifferent to his character, nor can he who applied to him under serious imbe charged with any gross improprie- pressions, he said, “ Go more into the ties. But there exists a diminution of world !" and the conduct of such mithat ardour of mind which constantly nisters as we have been describing virpervades the man who lives under an tually is, Go back into the world !! habitual sense of the worth of immortal Wherever we see vital godliness flousouls, and the importance of their eter- rish, and a church in a thriving state, nal destination. "No sooner does the we always perceive it to be in conse. minister decline, than the church be- quence of the simple, unadulterated gins to grow sickly; the members are truths of the gospel being preached lax in their attendance, and cold and with simplicity, zeal, and affection, aid. formal in their manner; and it willed by the savour of practical holiness. manifestly appear, that the Holy Spirit When the doctrines of Christianity are with holds from them his gracious in- thus seen transcribed in the life and fuences, and leaves them dry and bar-conversation of the preacher, they come ren. His corrective hand will be most with a double energy to the hearts of surely and severely felt before their the people. If to this be added, that comforts be restored to them.
principle of holy love to the souls of The inconsistencies of ministers will men, so essential to true usefulness in be found to have a peculiarly baneful the church, it will complete the characeffect upon young converts, when we ter of the true, Christian minister. As consider the powerful influence of ex- this principle pervades his mind, and ample. Let it be considered, in addi-governs his actions, the constant prayer tion to what we observed above, in the of his heart, and the scope of his exercase of the young enquirer, that such tions will be, “ THY KINGDOM COME." generally seek for a time to hide and Two as eminent instances of the preconceal the emotions of their mind; dominating power of this principle, as and if under convictions of sin, they any with whose history I am acquainted, often, partly through pride, and partly | were the celebrated George Whitfield, from shame and conscious guilt, will and the late Samuel Pearce, of Birming. keep the matter locked up in their own ham; whatever difference existed be breast. · How encouraging to such per-tween these two holy men in other resons are the affectionate regards and spects, in this they resembled each kind invitations of their minister to un other; in an ardent thirst for the exburthen their minds; and when induced tension of the Redeemer's kingdom. to venture upon an interview, how This was the governing principle of much seems to depend upon his de- their lives. That more such may be portinent towards them. If, instead of raised up, and sent into the vineyard, probing the wound to the bottom, and is the fervent prayer of, faithfully applying the only remedy for
C. N.I. a wounded spirit, he soothe it over, and seem but little interested about the matter, what wonder if serious impressions wear off, and the subject of them begin
TO THE PROTESTANT. to think, that it was all imaginary, and We have more than once drawn the atten. that he had been guided by his own tion of our readers to a periodical work mere imagination, rather than by the of very superior merit, which has been dictates of sober judgment; and espe- carried on during the last four years, in SIR,
Glasgow, under the title of “ The PRO- shortly answer : That the assertion reTESTANT.” (See New Evangelical Maga quires more proof than what can be prozipe, vol. v. p. 407, and vol. viii. p 44, duced from their public creeds and for&c.) Having received its termination, mularies" - the oneness of sentiment, the following letter, addressed to the re.
which may appear in the letters of a spectable gentleman who so ably conduct
few individuals scattered up and down ed it, has been handed us for insertion in our columns, and it deserves the atten
among them, or from the set off which tion of the religious public. We under the subject receives from the introducstand that Mr. M'Gavin, the editor of tion of the text, that, among all the
“ The Protestant,” has read it, and pro- churches, “ the Lord kpoweth them -. mised a reply to it.
that are bis,” p. 306. Not that I disEDITOR. I pute the truth of the assertion contained
in the text;—what I deny is, that it is
any proof of the Protestant churches As it does not appear that any having but one Lord, and one faith; other person has noticed the subject, to and if this was not the thing intended, which I mean to advert, I shall now, in I see no use for the introduction of this pursualice of a former intimation, ad scripture in the connection in which it dress you respecting some things con- stands; for the Lord kpoweth them tained in No.cxcv. of“ The Protestant." that are his, in Babylon the Great, the In p. 305, when contrasting the union mother of harlots, &c. as well as in the of Protestants, with that of Papists, and purest Protestant church. But the deshowing the higher attainment in union ficiency of evidence, on the side of Proof the former to the latter, a Protestant testants, will be further evident when may, for any thing I know, have done it is considered, that religion is a perthe subject justice; but when he pro- sonal thing, and must be made the sube ceeds to compare the union which ex-ject of individual belief and confession. ists among Protestants, with that of The having but one Lord, and ope faith, the primitive churches, as recorded in therefore, in the sense and manner in the New Testament, there is such a which they existed in the first Christian manifest misrepresentation of circum- churches, can never be satisfactorily asstances, that I am quite at a loss to certained by public creeds and formuconceive how it has escaped his other-laries, or representative assemblies; on wise cautious pen. He says, “ A de- / the contrary, the evidence must be congree of union pervades all Protestantsiderably darkened by the introduction churches : I mean union in the acknow- of these, as people may thus pass unledgement of the divine truth, and the observed in a crowd, who could not observance of divine ordinances. This stand the test of individual examination. union is not dependent on the organiza- This, however, was not the case with tion and connection of any number of the first Christian churches; they were congregations in one representative all taught of God to know Him from assembly, or under one patriarch or the least to the greatest-at least appope. Jo the New Testament, we read peared to be so. And this a Protestant of many churches which were not so clearly admits, where he says, “So far united; and yet they were united in the as appears, none were received, or al sense in which church union ought al. | lowed to continue members, who did not ways to exist. There was, throughout give credible evidence of their being them all, but one Lord, one faith, one such;" that is, of being united to the baptism, and this is the case in most Lord, and to one another, by the belief Protestant churches at this day.-Iof the truth, p. 306. Permit me, thereshould say, in all who have any right fore, to ask a Proiestant, and let him to the name of Protestant."
not feel prejudiced at the question, is In the above extract, a Protestant“ this the case in most Protestant roundly asserts, that all the Protestant churches at this day?" If this cannot in churches have but one Lord, and one truth be affirmed, as I think it cannot, faith ; and that this oneness is to be un- (it is surely too much to assert, that they derstood as existing among them, in the have “all but one Lord, and one faith," same sense and manner, that it did in the either among themselves, or in the churchesdescribed in the New Testament sense and manner in which they existed or he is surely misleading his readers. (in the primitive churches. But it is And to this view of the matter I shall I added, that the Protestant churches at this day, have also but one baptism. I ing aside every previous prejudice, opiThis assertion is, perhaps, a more dis nion, and prepossession, which stands cernible misrepresentation of circum- opposed to such a meeting, as might stances than the former, although of have been expected, he appears to plead the former, it is equally true, and stands for all the different denominations, the in need of correction. By baptism I right, or privilege, of meeting just as understand, a Protestant as intending they are, encumbered, as some of them the ordinance of baptism, or baptism | must be, for they cannot all be right, with water; and in the list of Protestant with the rubbish of human opinion, the churches, I understand him as includ laws and institutions of men. It is ing the established church in England | true he says, page 306. “ I believe the and Ireland, the church of Scotland, principal reason why Protestants are Presbyterian dissenters of all denomi not all of one communion is, because nations, Independents and Baptists, and, they have not followed out their own for any thing I know, that large body fundamental principle of the Bible, and of dissenters who take the designation the Bible alone, as the religion of Proof Friends, but who are better known testants;" and then adds, " When they by the name of Quakers. Now, it is have all done this; they will be all of well known, that the Pædobaptists of one communion, as Christians were at all denominations, differ from, and are first, without the necessity of being all opposed to, the Baptists, both as it re- of one mind about every thing, or all spects the subjects and the mode of bap- observing precisely the same things tism; and that the Baptists equally dif. when things indifferent are left, as the fer from, and are opposed to, the Pædo- apostles left these things, in which the baptists in these respects, while the kingdom of heaven does not consist. communion of Friends differs materially The best way to attain union on these from both. To assert, therefore, as a points is, to let their comparative unProtestant does, in the face of such importance be on all hands admitted." facts, which must be known to him, Now the first part of this extract seems that they have all but one baptism, is a to reduce all to the Bible, and the Bible thing which appears to me to be rather alone as the standard of the Protestant unaccountable, and inexplicable. I say religion, while the latter part of it leaves this, upon the footing, that it is quite the things that are called indifferent, impossible for all the powers of oratory &c. so extremely vague, that people are. to unite the different views and prac. left at liberty to make them whatever tices, and to make out that they are all things they please; - the commandone, and but one. In this, therefore, the ments and institutions of men, or those Protestant churches differ from one of universal majesty, or perhaps what another; in this they are not one may be considered the more equitable among themselves; neither can they, method of including part of both, as in this respect, compare with the one exigencies may require. If the first of ness of the first Christian churches. these is intended, the terms, things in
In p. 308, a Protestant infers, from different, are terms too soft and delicate the fact of having received letters of for the description of them. The Scripapproval from individuals of the diffe- ture never treats the laws and institu. rent denominations mentioned, “ that, tions of men, when introduced into the 11 serious Christians, of all denomina. worship and service of God, as things tions, were to meet on the neutral indifferent, but with the most decided ground of the Bible alone, they would reprobation and rejection. “In vain do and that there was scarcely any differ- they worship me,” saith Jehovah, ence of sentiment among them. This " teaching for doctrines, the commandwould no doubt be the case; but the ments of men, or whose fear towards great difficulty is, to make them meet me is taught by the precepts of men," on this neutral ground.* Even a Pro- &c. If the second, or last of these
stant, with all his apparent readiness, things are intended, by things indifferent, qoes not seem prepared to submit to it. the ascription of such a phrase to them,
tead of showing the necessity of lay- / is paying no great reverence to the wis
By meeting on the neutral ground of the Bible alone, I understand to mean, That the
e is to be admitted, the alone standard of faith, and the alone rule of practice, and al nothing is to be added to it, or taken from it, in these respects.
dom, power, and authority of the divine Christianity has nothing to do, perpetuLegislator, less indeed than prudence ally brought forward as a precedent to, would dictate to do, to the laws of our and argument for, making indifferent fellow men. But to be short, I take my things of the kingdom of God, about stand upon this, and I do it without the which Protestants may differ. Had a fear of being overthrown. That there Protestant shown that the apostles made is nothing in the New Testament that the same allowance, and enjoined the teaches directly or indirectly, that any same forbearance, upon the primitive of the statutes or ordinances of the Christians, in differing from one anokingdom of heaven are things indifferent, ther about the things of the kingdom but the very reverse ; that they are all of heaven, the point in dispute had been necessary in their own place, and indis- cheerfully yielded to him; but this has pensably binding upon all the disciples never been done, and I may be bold to of Jesus, not only bound upon them as say, never can. The application of the individuals, but also in societies. The case of the believing Romans, therefore, duty respecting the meats and days of to such a purpose, or to solve such the Jewish ritual mentioned in the a question, must be seen, by a very little fourteenth chapter of the Romans, reflection, to be both unwarrantable and which seems to be the great stumbling untenable. The language of the aposblock which many have made to them tles, as it respects the things of the selves and others, on the subject of for- kingdom of God, is uniformly such as bearance, make nothing at all against this : “ Now, I beseech you, brethren, the position I have taken. The pecu- | by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, liar institutions of the Mosaic law, that ye all speak the same things, and either in part, or in whole, were never that there be no divisions among you; introduced into the Christian system ; but that ye be perfectly joined together they formed no part of it, and therefore in the same mind, and in the same the observance of them were, at no pe- judgment." And this sameness of mind, riod, bound upon Christians as such. and judgment, was strictly applicable And if, at the time the Epistle to the as to all things that they taught, as neRomans was written the time when they cessary to be believed, and to all things had waxed old, and were ready to vanish that they enjoined, as necessary to be away, they were actually in the state of practised, if they wished to stand apthings indifferent to the Jew, they were proved before their divinely inspired made so by the authority of the Law- teachers. It serves no purpose of mine, giver, who can do with his own as he however, to deny, that differences of pleases. But if they were so at that opinion, both about the doctrine and time, they were not so from the begin practices, of the kingdom of heaven, ning of that dispensation; the peculiar arose in the primitive churches ; but observances of that economy to all their these, so far from being approved of, or minutiæ were strictly bound upon the tolerated, met with apostolic reproof, a Jews. To him the word spoken by call to repentance, and were severely angels was steadfast, and every trans. threatened in case of impenitence. The gression and disobedience received a just true state of the case, therefore, is, that recompence of reward. These obsery no proper comparison can be drawn beances, however, had only a certain pe. twixt the union of Protestants as a riod of time assigned them, and when whole, “ in the acknowledgment of dithey had fulfilled that period, and the vine truth, and the observance of divine end of their appointment, they disap- ordinances," with the approved union of peared. But who can thus set aside, mind and practices of the first churches. nullify, or make indifferent, the things | A comparison may perhaps be drawn of the kingdom of heaven, and be guilt- betwixt the errors, corruptions, and divi less. The observing of them is as bind-sions that arose among them, and those ing upon Christians as ever they were, of the Protestants; but I do not think and will continue so till time shall be the comparison much to the honour of no more. What matter of regret, there- the latter; and it is surely not for our fore, must it be, to any thinking mind, safety to copy their example in these to see the differences of opinion and respects. However good the Protestant practices, that were allowed to the be- churches may be, they surely cannot lieving Romans, about things which stand higher in the divine favour, than were purely Jewish, and with which the apostolic churches did; and if they