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than by recording the pure wish many ascending clouds of, in of the excellent and venerable cense before the Most High! Sutcliffe, “ O. for thousands upon May he shower down blessings thousands, divided into small on all the scattered tribes of bands, in their respective cities, Zion! Grace, great grace, be towns, villages, and neighbour- with all them that love the Lord hood, all met at the same time, Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen." and in pursuit of one end, offering
R. A. up their united prayers like so 1
STRICTURES ON A PASSAGE IN “THE MODERN MARTYRS.”
To the Editors.--A few days man comes into the neighbour. ago a member of the church I hood; that, of course, á dissent. serve in the Gospel, requested mying church is bound to receive opinion of some statements in a such an applicant as a member; recent publication, entitled, “ The and, that, in admitting members, Moderu Martyrs, by the Author of the church is not to be consulted, the Evangelical Rambler.” Being the minister alone having the much engaged in the practical de- power of introducing persons to tails of ministerial duty, I have fellowship. . not leisure for perusing those Now, to me it appears that the works of half fiction, half fact, Church Established by Law, is, now so frequently issuing from the in its whole framework and adpress, and I have a degree of ministration, so widely different scepticism how far compositions from Churches of the Congregaof such a style and tone are cal. tional order, that persons conculated to serve the interests of scientiously preferring the one, genuine piety. As, however, cannot conscientiously concur in they gratify the popular taste for the other. It is a law of the excitement, and form a sort of Established Church, recorded in connecting link between worldli- her XXVIth Article, that the ness and spirituality, they will be noworthiness of ministers does not extensively read, and are likely binder the effect of Sacraments to produce a considerable impres- administered by them, and that sion. It is, therefore, necessary therefore the Lord's Supper, to keep them under a measure of though administered by an unsurveillance. Dit
godly man, may be received with - The sentiments on which, as a editication. Consistently with the Congregationalist and a Christian, belief of this, no one could desire I am disposed to comment, occur connexion with a dissenting church in pp. 15–21 of the second von on the ground referred to. Publume. The extract is too long for licly becoming a meniber of a insertion, but the substance is as society implies an approbation follows:--that a person, conscien- of the general rules and principles tiously attached to the Established according to which its affairs are Church, who has no opportunity conducted; and how a consciena of attending an evangelical minis- tious Episcopalian can propose to try in that communion, ought to become a member of an Indepenjoin a dissenting church, in order dent Church, I am at a loss to to partake of the Lord's Supper, conceive, seeing he must, by so until a godly Episcopal Clergy. doing, place himself under the
disagreeable necessity of hearing tianity, requisite among church principles inculcated, and of seeing members, in order to preserve them continually acted upon, identity and harmony in the body. which are opposed to his belief Were conscientious Episcopalians of the will of God.
and conscientious Independents But, in case an individual be united in fellowship, the former willing to submit to these unpleawould naturally wish that the con. santnesses,' what should be the gregation should be placed under conduct of the church which he episcopal jurisdiction, which the proposes to join ? Far be it from latter would conscientiously resist. us to cherish the spirit which says In the admission of members, where to any, “Stand by, I am holier it is, as with us, vested in the than thou.” As intimated above, body, Episcopalians would desire however, I consider that statedly that almost indiscriminate admisaud fully joining our ecclesiasti, sion to the Lord's table should be cal body rather than another, granted, whereas the Independents ought' to proceed from the per would insist that none but those suasion that the body joined, is, who were, in appearance at least, in the peculiarities by which it capable of discerning the Lord's is distinguished from others, more body, should have the privilege cousonant with the divine word of that ordinance. In the apWhen a person offers himself aş pointment of a minister, serious a candidate for church fellowship difficulties would arise as to with with us, the first inquiries made whom the power of appointing regard his experimental knowledge lay. How could a church, con of the Gospel. Having satisfied stituted of persons differing so myself upon that point, I next widely and conscientiously upon inquire, (as an enlightened and ecclesiastical, order, unite to act sincere regard to the will of in such cases as are described God should regulate the Chris, in Matthew xviii. 15-17, and tian in every thing,) does he, after 1 Corinthians v.1-8?. I appreexamining the Scriptures, con- hend that in such cases the much scientiously approve of our eccle; extolled “safety-valve of private siastical order? If his reply be opinion” would be insufficient to in the negative, and he avows prevent a disastrous explosion. . , the constitution of another com- Miss Lister, the Modern Martyr, munity to be, in his view, more inquire's of her dissenting friend, scriptural, I have no hesitation in Miss Winkworth, whether the recommending him to attach him- church to which she belongs does self to that body which he reli- not require, when a person wishes giously prefers. I do no violence to partake of the Lord's Supper, to his conscience; I only endea, that his name shall be announced vour to prevent his taking a to the whole body, when assemstep opposed to its dictates. I bled together? “and do you not am guilty of no breach of charity; for a whole month keep him in I rather act in the spirit of love, suspense respecting the issue of advising him to practice as he be his application ? and do you not lieves to be most consistent with require from him, in writing, a dethat which is, in all things, the tailed account of his religious exrule of faith and duty. We con- perience ? and then let the vote of ceive agreement in the general the majority decide, whether he principles of church order, as well shall, vr shall not, do what he as in the leading doctrines of Chris- conceives to be his duty ?" &C.
To these enquiries Miss W, re- of the church, who is invested by plies, with much self-complacency, Jesus Christ with power to con* I know that such requirements duct it." are made by some dissenting Now, Gentlemen, I cannot but churches, but I am happy to in- think that the plan of admission form you, that they are not de thus commended, savours much manded by us : if they were, I more of - the principle of domishould blush for our inconsis- nation which placed the Bishop of tency. You ask me, what chap- Rome in the papal chair,” than the ter or verse of the New Testament plan which is so strongly cengives its sanction to them; and, sured; for it is ever to be rememin reply, I unhesitatingly say, I, bered, that the papacy had its cannot tell. I have read the Gos-' origin in the usurpations of the pels, and the Acts of the Apostles, clergy, not of the laity. I am not and the Epistles which were ad- going to defend the conduct of dressed to the churches; but I those churches, if such there be, have never met with a single para- who require a detail of experience graph or sentence that authorizes in writing, as a sine qua non of the adoption of such a plan of admission. I think the requiring admission to Christian commu- it altogether unwarranted. At nion; and, in my opinion, it is the same time, I have been accusa as anti-scriptural as indiscriminate tomed to read the New Testament, admission to communion-taking and do not recollect any passage its rise amongst us, from the same which warrants the ordinary miprinciple of domination which nisters of the Gospel assuming in placed the Bishop of Rome in the churches now, whatever powers the papal chair; and which prin- may have been exercised by ciple has led to all the corruption's Apostles in the beginning; neither whicb, in every age and in every have I met with any passage country, have disfigured and de- which invests ministers with the filed the beauty and the purity of whole and sole power of deciding the Christian church.” -“ Our on the admission or non-admission plan resembles that which was of members to a church. On the adopted by the Apostles, in the contrary, there. are some statefirst ages (Query, age?) of the ments in the New Testament which church, which was the purest seem to imply that the people had If a person wish to join the church, a voice in such affairs, even in tlie and partake of the ordinance of first age, which was the purest. the Lord's Supper, he waits. on For example, from Acts ix. the minister, as the primitive con- 26-29, we learn, that when Saul vert waited on an Apostle, who attempted to join himself to the converses with him, and, if satis- church in Jerusalem, the disciples, tied with his confession of faith, not believing him to be a sincere and avowed motives, he admits convert, declined receiving him to him into fellowship with his Chris.. their fellowship. Barnabas then tian brethren, without being sub- made such representations to the jected to that anti-scriptural or- Apostles, as gave full and unideal, against which you have so*versal satisfaction. I infer from very justly entered your sarcastic the statement, that a church has a protest.” Of all this, Miss L. right to decline holding commuapproves, and declares, “I can nion with those, in whom they have no objection to submit myself have not confidence, that they are to the examination of the pastor sincere in their profession. Here is at least the power of a veto, means, under his control, of exlodged in the people. To whom tirpating orthodoxy, and of estaI would ask, was the direction blishing in its room, the profession given, Romans xiv. 1. “ Him of doctrines subversive of the that is weak in the faith receive Gospel of Christ. ye, but not to doubtful disputa- . Whether, Gentlemen, you will tions,” or, “ not to judge his consider the subjects I have redoubtful thoughts." Here, I con. ferred to of sufficient importance ceive, the right of deciding upon for discussion in your miscellany, the admission of persons to tel. or the observations offered suffilowship, is recognized as belong- ciently in point, I leave with ing to the body who are united in yourselves to decide. Convinced fellowship. The power of ad- as I am, that our principles are mission, it is reasonable to sup- sanctioned by Scripture, and that pose, rested originally where the the interests of Christianity depower of excommunication rested, pend upon their being maiutained which was undeniably in the inviolate, I cannot regard without church, Matthew xviii. 17; 1 Cor. apprehension the disposition which V. 4, 5. The bond of fellowship, is sometimes discovered, to sacriin a Christian church, I under.. tice those principles in accommostand to be mutual affection and dation to the spirit and fashion of confidence, inspired by rational the world. By , adopting the evidence of each other's piety, course of spirit and practice re. and as it is among the members commended in the Modern Mar. generally, and not merely between tyr, we may secure a short-lived individuals and the minister, evin and useless applause with some dence of piety must, in some time-serving worldlings; but we way, be given to the church, and shall gain nothing in our stability the sufficiency of it be recoguised as a denomination, or in our by them. As the union is mutual, spirituality as Christians. I am there being a proposal to join not for depreciating the influence on the one part, there must be, in of pastoral authority. The testiorder to complete it, a declaration mony of the minister, if he be a of willingness to receive on the person such as the Scripture reother.
., quires to sustain the office, should I cannot but consider the plan be principally relied upon by the of investing the minister exclu. church, in regulating their decisively with the power to decide sions. on the admission of members, My object in these remarks has as likely to endanger the pros- been merely to caution the friends priety of churches. Men of the of truth and godliness, agajost greatest piety and penetration are which I cannot but consider, an liable to be imposed upon. In evil fraught with disastrous rethe case of young ministers espe- sults to evangelical piety. Upon cially, who have little knowledge maintaining the purity of church of the world, and of the plausi-, communion, and adhering to the ble appearances assumed by false rules of Scripture in its adminisprofessors, there would be great tration, depends the preservation liability to imposition. If at any among us of the faith which was time a minister imbibed erroneous once delivered to the saints. opinions, his having the preroga. I ain, Gentlemen, tive of admitting members to the
Your's, most taithfully, church would be a most effective.
MISCELLANEA BIBLICA.- No. X.
“Grafting.”--Rom. xi. 17. The operation and design of cess of grafting, the difference begrafting are generally understood: tween the graft and the stock is it is ascertained, that the kind of specific; a stem of an inferior the fruit uniformly follows the kind is employed to afford supnature, not of the stock, but of port, and convey nourishment to the graft; and it is commonly tbe engrafted branch. It is otherasserted, that whatever be the wise in the case supposed by the stock, the flavour and quality of Apostle. According to this, the the fruit will remain unaffected. difference arises not from kind,
That such a process should be but from cultivation. The wild employed by the Apostle to illus. olive (aypielaioc) differs from the trate the introduction of the Gen- good. olive, simply for want of tiles to evangelical blessings, has attention, and especially of judibeen considered, by many, per- cious pruning. Olives neglected, plexing, if not unaccountable - degenerate and become barren ; adapted to convey impressions wild olives need nothing but care opposed to his own reasoning, and cultivation to improve and as well as to established facts. render them fruitful. The branch · Perhaps it may not be useless of wild olive, removed from its to remark in passing, that the re- neglected stock, and engrafted ceived hypothesis concerning the among the branches of another, indifference of the stock to the which is diligently cultivated, quality of the fruit, is not strictly presents a significant image of correct. That the stock will oc- that gracious alteration in the circasion no change of mixture of cumstances of Gentiles, which had species, is allowed; but that it taken place by the introduction of will affect the flavour and quality the Gospel. of the fruit, has been ascertained As just observed, there will, in by experiment. Cherries pro- the case supposed, be naturally duced by a graft on a laurel, expected a change in the graft are impregnated with a flavour from barrenness to fertility, from, of the original plant, so highly degenerate to excellent fruit. But aromatic, as to be very offensive this is not the precise point which to the palate.' And from the uni- the Apostle intends to illustrate. formity of natural operations, we He is aiming to impress on them, may therefore fairly infer, that a as converts from heathenism, a similar, though less observable sense of their mercies, their high change is in every case 'ef- advantages, .for growth, beauty, fected. The
fertility, by their introduction to These remarks, however, do not those moral means, which had apply to the case before us.' . for many ages been the exclusive
The difficulty above noticed privileges of the descendants of arises, partly, from misapprehend- Abraham. ** Destitute of divine ing the case supposed by the revelation, and the instructions Apostle; and partly from inato vouchsafed to Israel, you contention to the precise point which verts from heathenism, have been he aims to illustrate. on l ike the branches of a neglected
According to the usual pro olive, degenerate and barren.