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subscribed by the clergy, and to be considered as exhibiting the national belief; and in particular, in the reign of Edward VI. Upon these, principally, the "Thirty-nine Articles" are founded; they passed the Convocation first in 1562, and received the royal authority; were subsequently ratified at various periods; and are now, in subordination to the Holy Scriptures, the standard of doctrine to the United Church. With less latitude as to forms and rites than those of the Irish Church, they are, as to doctrine, when fairly interpreted, and in accordance with the well-known sentiments of their compilers, not less decidedly Calvinistic; so much so, that no orthodox Presbyterian or Independent would hesitate to declare his belief of their contents. These, with some slight alterations, not affecting doctrine, are adopted by the "Episcopal Church of America."
Next follows "The Confession of Faith" drawn up at Westminster, with the view of being a bond of union to the Protestants of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and adopted afterwards by the Church of Scotland, Commissioners from which assisted in its compilation, and which is now held, not only by the Established Church of Scotland, but by the "Synod of Ulster," and the "United Secession" Synods in Scotland and Ireland, as also by the "General Assembly" of the Presbyterian Church of America, and the different
bodies of Seceders there. In point of doctrine, it is more minute and specific than either of the former documents, but is in substance the same; while it asserts the system of church polity known by the name Presbyterian.
To these we have appended a more modern document, published by the associated "Congregational" churches of England, and adopted by their brethren in Scotland and Ireland; which is valuable,-though, if "the Confession of Faith," as has been thought, is too minute, this on the other hand may by some be deemed defective on the score of omission,-as indicating that those who most widely differ from the Established Churches of the empire, yet hold, in most essential points, the same articles of faith and practice with them. The Congregationalists of America are one with their brethren in Britain, in regard to the great doctrines of the Gospel. And the "Baptists,"-though we cannot append any "creed" publicly issued, and generally adopted,—while their form of church government is "Congregational," and their only other difference from Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Independents, is in reference to the ordinance whence they derive their distinctive appellation,-in Great Britain and America, and throughout the world, hold substantially the same doctrines as those published in the documents subjoined to these remarks.
In truth there is, upon all points that each considers essential, substantial oneness; and the hair-spun distinctions that are sometimes fastened on, by pious and well-meaning-though often ill-informed and wrongheaded-individuals of any or of all these denominations, must be looked upon as the productions of morbid and ill-regulated minds: the exceptions, which prove the rule.
But while this little compilation is put forth with the view of manifesting the unity in essential truth,-under great diversity of outward form and government, of the professing Protestants of the world; and with the view of exciting, at least, caution-ere sentiments at variance with them are entertained, and separation from those who hold them, practised—is it meant to be insinuated, that agreement in the confession of such truths is enough? That if any one only subscribes articles containing them, he is safe? That every one who shall avouch a cordial belief in them is, therefore, to be recognized,—irrespective of all other considerations, as a member of Christ? No: there may be the recognition of truth without the feeling of its power, and agreement in sentiment without union to Christ.
THE TRUTH is important; and in the unity of its reception and maintenance, there is a ground of union and bond of love to all its friends; but there may be
acquaintance with its doctrines, and firmness in contending for them and opposing errors, without its vital influence, felt and evinced. Many call the Redeemer Lord, but do not the things he requires; and all professions of the knowledge of Him and relationship to Him, without the subjection of the whole being to his authority, will, in the end, prove utterly worthless. It is the knowledge of THE TRUTH which makes free,—in which there is eternal life: but this knowledge is not the result of the application of mind to the record, but of the application of "the truth as it is in Jesus" to the mind by the Holy Spirit. Anxious, then, to bring to the recognition and profession of the great truths of Christianity, all into whose hands this work may come, we are, if possible, still more anxious to have the hearts of those who receive them pervaded by their influence and subdued to their authority; to have Him who is the Truth enthroned in their souls, as their deliverer from the power and love of sin, no less than from its curse and condemnation; as the object of their supreme love and homage, no less than of their confidence and regard. Without this, however correct the creed, however sound the views,- " I NEVER KNEW YOU," must be his sentence at the last.
In fine-Some member of the Church of Rome may, perchance, look into these pages. If so, he will see, that all the objections to Protestantism, from the
discrepancy of belief among its members, are futile and invalid; that these diversities regard modes of government and forms of worship,-not essential principles; that there is tenfold more diversity in the Church of Rome, notwithstanding her boasted unity; and that, while Protestantism is unity in vitals amid diversity of forms, Romanism is external uniformity, to the destruction of all for which unity is valuable.
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make (those who receive the truth in the love of it) perfect in every good work to do his will, working in (them) that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”