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in the use of them, except when to a trinity of persons, and othe they are applied as terms of re only to a trinity of attributes; proach; an application of them, the latter, some held that Chri often very unjust and injurious, was above Angels, and others, tha and seldom, if ever, proper and he was a mere man. Hence, t justifiable. But, as words in all designate these different sects, and living languages, often change their avoid a tedious description, when meaning, and, in process of time, ever they were mentioned, it be come to be used for purposes very came necessary to use names more different from those for which they particular and discriminating, than were first invented; so it not un that of Christian: and nothing was frequently happens, that appella- more natural or proper, than to tions first designed as terms of call the different sects after the reproach, become, at length, mere names of their leaders, or such as terms of distinction.
had been most influential in propaThe Disciples of Christ were gating their peculiar tenets.' Thus called Christians first at Antioch. we find the names Sabellian, AriWe are not informed, whether they an, Socinian, $t. early applied to were called so by themselves, or different sects of professed Christby their enemies; or whether the ians. These and various other appellation was originally meant denominations, some expressive of to be honourable or reproachful. the doctrines embraced, and others But, with whatever design this ap- expressive of the modes of discipellation was first given, it was pline and worship observed by the found
very useful to designate the various sects of nominal Christians, friends and followers of Christ, were found needful, and continued and to distinguish them from all in general use, during the dark others, who considered themselves ages, to the time of the Reformaas saints, whether among the Jews tion, in the sixteenth century.or Pagans. The common name, This ever memorable and happy Christian, has been claimed by all event, as it occasioned the neces. the professed followers of Christ, sity of a new name to designate and generally applied to them, the authors and subjects of reform; from the time it was first used, to so it gave rise to the name Protesthe present day. And had all the tant, which soon became the comprofessed followers of Christ, con mon appellation of all the reformtinued to embrace the same doc ers and the reformed. trines, and to observe the
But, it was not long, before the discipline and mode of worship, as Protestants became divided among the apostles and primitive disci- themselves, both as to belief and ples, the term, Christian, would practice; which rendered it neceshave remained sufficiently discrim- sary to adopt new names and apinating, and would have superced-pellations. Some embraced the ed the invention of any other name tenets of Calvin, and hence were or denomination. But it has been called Calvinists; some embraced far otherwise. While all the pro: the tenets of Luther, and were fessed followers of Christ, claimed hence called Lutherans; some aand gloried in the name of Christ- dopted the mode of government by ian, they soon became greatly di- diocesan bishops, and were hence vided, both as to sentiment and called Episcopalians; others adoptpractice. Some retained, and oth-ed the mode of government by ers rejected, the doctrine of the presbyters or elders, and hence Trinity; of the former, some held were called Presbyterians; while
others, again, adopted the mode of the name, Hopkinsiap, was the Congregational government, and most proper, that could have been were hence called Independents. applied to the sentiments of the
The followers of Calvin soon consistent Calvinists; and that for became very numerous and respect the reason already mentioned in able, and the name Calvinist, or my last essay, that Dr. Hopkins Calvinistick, which was, at first, explained and confirmed a greater generally considered as a stigma, number of the doctrines and duties became, at length, a title of hon- of Revealed Religion, than his preour; and, consequently, this name decessors, and did much more to was coveted and tenaciously re remove prejudices against them, tained by very many, who had and to disseminate them among the videly departed from Calvin's churches. views, not only of the mode of But, if the name, Hopkinsian, ecclesiastical government, but also were not the most proper, at first; of the leading doctrines of the Gos- still it would be so now, in conpel. The name, Calvinist, there- sequence of general usage and confore, became, in time, as indefinite sent.
ambiguous, as the name, Pro Though, by calling ourselves testant, had been before it. This Christians, we profess to receive was the state of things, when those Christ as our Lord and King; great lights, Bellamy, Edwards, yet, by calling ourselves Hopkinsand Hopkins, were lit up in the ians, we do not profess to receive American churches. It was the Dr. Hopkins, as our Father and aim of these Divines, and their co Master, any more than our orthoadjutors, to clear the doctrines, dox brethren, by calling themselves taught by Calvin, of the misrepre- Calvinists, profess to receive Calsentations and perversions of many vin in that high and sacred charof his professed admirers, as well acter. The appellation is used as of some trifling mistakes and merely for the sake of distinction, inconsistencies in his own writ- and to save a tedious circumlocuings, and to carry them out, more tion; and it is, perhaps, as free fully, into their legitimate conse from ambiguity, as any appellation quences. But, in doing this, they used by professing Christians. differed so much from many, who How long it will remain so, may be called themselves Calvinists, that i doubtful; since the same cause, a new name, to designate their which has rendered the term Calviews and explanations, became as vinist indefinite, may, in time, necessary as that of Calvinist was, render the term Hopkinsian equal at the commencement of the Re- | ly so. formation from Popery.
That this name is unpopular, The only question now, is, whe- and even reproachful, in some plather consistent Calvinists (as I shall ces, is no reason why it should be take the liberty to call them) ought laid aside; for the way to shun the to rceive their denomination from reproach, is not to disown the Dr. Bellamy, or President Ed-name, of which we cannot rid our wards, or Dr. Hopkins? And, with selves, but to explain and vindiall due deference to the ingenious cate the system of sentiments, Author of the “ Triangle," who which it properly denotes. was pleased to say, that the sen Names of distinction will be timents falsely called new divinity; necessary in the churches, until Were very unappropriately called the professed followers of Christ Hopkinsian, I would answer, that shall all speak the same thing
and be joined together in the same unambiguous, as when it was first mind, and in the same judgment;' used by the Disciples at Antioch. which will not be until the Millen- May that glorious day soon come! ium. Then, indeed, we may ex-But, until professed Christians pect, that ministers and people shall become of one mind, it is will have the same views of the absurd to insist, that they shall leading doctrines and duties of the all be called by one name. Gospel, and that the naine Christ
A HOPKINSIAN. ian will again be as definite and
On Revivals of Religion. term to satisfy my feelings; and it
is too often applied to that change It will be the object of this es of external conduct which does not say, to show what a revival of imply any change of heart. religion is, and to point out some reformation may take place in an things which usually accompany individual, or in a number of indiit.
viduals, and there may be no reli1. What is a revival of religion? gion in any of them.--But a reviv. A revival is a return from a state al of religion cannot take place, of languor and deadness, to a state unless there is some religion to be of life and vigour. When any revived. thing is said to revive, the expres. Religion has been said by some, sion implies, that it has existed, to consist in love, by others, in and has been in a lively and vigor- the belief, and love, and practice ous state, but has suffered a de- of the truth. There is, perhaps, cline. A revival of religion, strict- no essential difference in these two ly speaking, is a phrase which definitions. If religion consists in applies only to real Christians.- love, it is such love as implies a When religion begins to exist belief of the truth, and leads to the where it has not existed before, practice of it. As far as religion it is not properly said to revive consists in love to God, it implies But as real Christians are usually a knowledge of God. No more of as much affected by those excite- God can be loved than is known. ments which are denominated re We cannot esteem his character vivals, as other persons are; and and perfections, while we are ignoas such excitements, seldom, ifrant of them. God has revealed ever, take place where there are himself in his works and in his not some real Christians, with word. But if we do not read this whom the work begins; a revival revelation, if we misunderstand of religion seems to be the most his communications, and form an suitable term to designate those erroneous idea of his character ; if religious excitements which pro- we set up in our own apinds a false duce a more lively and vigorous god instead of the true, all our exercise of religion in the hearts of love to that false god, is false rereal Christians, and are accompa-ligion, and opposition to the God nied by the beginning of religion in of heaven. Genuine love of the the hearts of others. The term truth also leads to the practice of reformation has been used by some, it. There is, indeed, something in preference to revival; but it has which is often mistaken for the always appeared to me to be far love of the truth, which is not conless appropriate. It is too cold a Inected with its practice. Some
men appear to have a very correct itself, arrayed in all its charms, knowledge of the truth, and to take and is eagerly embraced. The great pleasure in its contemplation, great enemy of souls spreads his whose lives do not correspond with toils around, and the unhappy victheir professed belief. No doubt tim yields himself an easy prey. they experience a high pleasure in And if the wretched professor of the investigation of divine truth, religion does not make shipwreck but it is a pleasure purely intel of his character and his hopes, it is lectual. “It plays about the head, often owing to no vigilance or firm! but comes not near the heart.” It ness of his own. But when reis the same kind of pleasure which ligion revives, he comes to his some men experience in the inves senses again. He awakes as from tigation of mathematical and philo- a delirium, and opens his eyes sophical truth; and it has no more with astonishment. The ingratiinfuence upon the conduct. But tude, the inexcusableness, the where there is true love to God baseness of his conduct, fill his and man, it leads to a correct prac- soul with keen remorse.
It was tice. Where the heart is right, once a great relief to him to be it will be manifested by a life of told, that after a season of revival, conformity to the divine precepts. a declension is to be expected. Religion, then, consists in love; But now, such a suggestion only but it is the love of the truth, and serves to increase the anguish of
such a love, as leads to the prac- his spirit; for he sees that the ctice of the truth. When genuine known treachery of the human si love increases, and is in more live- heart is the only reason why it is
ly and vigorous exercise, and es to be expected. He looks back pecially if it increases in a re upon his conduct with deep selfmarkable and visible manner, there abhorrence. He admires the pais a revival of religion.
tience and forbearance of God, who II. What things usually accom- has not cut him off; and he returns, pany a revival of religion? Some with lamentation and mourning, to of the most usual are the following: the path of duty, from which he
1. Backsliders return. After a had departed. When such instances season of revival, there is often a are numerous, we think there is a season of declension; and many revival of religion. who manifested great fervency of 2. Some professors of religion spirit while the revival continued, renounce their former hope, and lose their fervour, and become experience what has been termed cold. This declension in their a re-conversion. I believe this is
hearts quickly shows itself in their not an unusual occurrence in the : lives. They have lost the enjoy time of a revival, where the work
ment they found in the discharge is deep and thorough. Many who of duty, and they begin to neglect have been professors of religion it
. They have lost their pungent for years, and have done nothing * : sense of the evil of sin, and they to destroy the confidence of their muy begin to indulge in it. One duty brethren in their Christian charac
way for the ter, now lose all confidence in it neglect of another, and one sinful themselves. Each one, on a careindulgence creates a desire for ful examination of his own heart
more. The voice of conscience, and life, finds so much that has 3 once resisted, becomes more fee- been wrong, and so little evidence
ble. A deadly stupour seizes up- of any thing right, that he is unaon the soul. The world presents ble any longer to think favourably
of his own state. He concludes clension, difficulties often arise in that he has been deceived, and is churches, which are a scandal te no better than a hypocrite. He the Christian name. The church renounces his former hope, and is is divided into parties. Brother is filled with deep and pungent con- arrayed against brother. Hard viction. When the members of a feelings are indulged, and hard ehurch experience such a shaking speeches are made. Mutual jeal as this, we think it an indication ousies and animosities arise; and that the Lord has come to “ search sometimes the very existence o! Jerusalem with candles," and to the church is endangered. Coun 66 sit as a refiner and purifier of cil after council is called, and la. silver.”
bours with unwearied patience, 3. Stumbling blocks are taken perseverance, and brotherly kind out of the way. It is a lamenta-ness, but produces no good effect. ble fact, that in times of declen When a revival of religion comsion, professors of religion them- mences, however, and its influence selves do more to hinder the suc is generally felt, the work is easy: oess of the gospel, than all that is Difficulties which have been acdone by others.--Bearing the name cumulating for years, can be setof Christians, and living in a man tled in an hour. By mutual conner so inconsistent with their professions and mutual forgiveness, fession as many of them do, they and a return to right feelings, harcreate a strong prejudice in the inony and peace are restored at minds of others against the religion once. they profess. The obstacles which 5. Professors of religion love one backsliding professors thus throw another more. They feel more of in the way, often remain, notwith the obligation they are under to standing all the efforts which their promote each other's welfare.--brethren can make to remove them. They cultivate a more intimate But when a revival takes place, Christian intercourse. They do they are very easily removed. not study every one to please himWhen backsliders really repent, self, buť" every one to please his there is no difficulty in persuading neighbour, for his good, to edificathem to confess their sins. When tion.” When they receive an inthey are thoroughly sensible of the jury from a brother, they are ready dishonour they have done to the to exercise forgiveness. When name of Christ, they are desirous, they see a brother go astray, they as far as possible, to undo what feel their obligation to endeavour they have done. They are willing to restore him in the spirit of to make public confessions, and to meekness. They are more ready make them full and ample. They to give admonition to others in a esteem it a privilege to make them, friendly manner, and to receive it and thus to wipe off, as far as may from others with grateful feelings. be, the stain they have brought The genuine spirit of gospel disciupon their Christian profession. pline, which is a spirit of brotherly When we see backsliders coming kindness, revives and increases. forward of their own accord, and They feel no disposition to suffer voluntarily taking up the stumbling sin upon a brother, nor to abandon blocks they have cast in the way, him that has fallen under the powwe consider it an evidence that a er of the adversary. revival is begun.
8. The love of the world de4. Difficulties in the church are creases. In a time of spiritual easily settled. In a time of de' declension, professors of religion