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THE AUBURN DECLARATION A.D. 1837.

[The AUBURN DECLARATION, so called from the place of its adoption, belongs to the history of American Presbyterianism, and although it never aspired to the dignity of an authoritative Confession of Faith, it may claim a place here for its intrinsic value and importance before and after the disruption. It originated during the conflict which preceded the division of the Presbyterian Church into Old and New School, A.D. 1837, and was prepared by the Rev. Baxter DICKINSON, D.D. (d. 1876). It had been charged, on one side, that sixteen errors, involving considerable departures from true Calvinism and the Westminster standards, had become current in that Church. (They are printed in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review for 1876, pp. 7, 8.) In answer to this charge, the New School party were led to embody their belief on these points in a corresponding series of True Doctrines,' which were incorporated in their Protest, as presented to the General Assembly of 1837. These doctrinal statements were subsequently considered and adopted by an important representative convention at Auburn, New York, Aug., 1837, as expressing their matured views, and those of the churches and ministry represented by them, on the several topics involved. The Declaration thus adopted became, not indeed a creed, but an authoritative explanation of the interpretation given to the Westminster Symbols by the leading minds in the New School Church, as organized in 1838. It was in 1868 indorsed by the General Assembly (0.8.) as containing all the fundamentals of the Calvinistic Creed,' and this indorsement was one among the most effectual steps in bringing about the reanion of the two Churches in 1870. The document is rather a disavowal of imputed error than an exposition of revealed truth, and must be understood from the anthropological and soteriological controversies of that period of division now happily gone by.

Both the Errors and the True DOCTRINES may be found in the Minutes of the Assembly for 1837: also, in the New Digest, pp. 227–230. See also Art. on The Auburn Declaration by Prof. E. D. MORRIS, D.D., of Lane Seminary, in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review, Jan. 1876, pp. 8-40.

The original document is deposited in the library of Lane Theol. Sem., Cincinnati, O. The text here given is an accurate copy from it, and was kindly furnished for this work by the Rev. E. D. MORBIS, D.D. The beadings in brackets have been supplied by the editor.]

[PERMISSION OF SIN.] 1. God permitted the introduction of sin, not because he was unable to prevent it consistently with the moral freedom of his creatures, but for wise and benevolent reasons which he has not rerealed.

[ELECTION.] 2. Election to eternal life is not founded on a foresight of faith and obedience, but is a sovereign act of God's mercy, whereby, according to the counsel of his own will, he has chosen some to salvation : 'yet so as thereby neither is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; nor does this gracious purpose ever take effect independently of faith and a holy life.

[FALL OF ADAM.] 3. By a divine constitution Adam was so the head and representative of the race that, as a consequence of his transgression, all mankind became morally corrupt, and liable to death, temporal and eternal.

CUMBERLAND CONFESSION.

WESTMINSTER CONFESSION.

OHAPTER XVII.— The Perseverance of the CHAPTER XVII.-Of the Perseverance of Saints.

the Saints. I. They whom God hath justified I. They whom God hath acceptand sanctified he will also glorify;" ed in his Beloved, effectually called consequently, the truly regenerated and sanctified by his Spirit, can soul will never totally nor finally neither totally nor finally fall away fall away from the state of grace, from the state of grace; but shall but shall certainly persevere therein certainly persevere therein to the to the end, and be eternally saved. end, and be eternally saved.'

II. This perseverance depends on II. This perseverance of the the unchangeable love and power saints depends not upon their own of God; the merits, advocacy," and free-will, but upon the immutability intercession of Jesus Christ ;5 the of the decree of election, flowing abiding of the Spirit and seed of from the free and unchangeable God within them; and the nature love of God the Father;2 upon the of the covenant of grace;' from efficacy of the merit and intercesall which ariseth also the certainty sion of Jesus Christ;' the abiding and infallibility thereof.8

of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them ;' and the nature of the covenant of grace :: from all which ariseth also the certain

ty and infallibility thereof. III. Although there are exam

III. Nevertheless they may, ples in the Old Testament of good through the temptations of Satan men having egregiously sinned, and of the world, the prevalency and some of them continuing for a of corruption remaining in them,

Rom. viii. 38, 39.

'Phil. i. 6; 2 Pet. i. 10; John X. 28, 29; John iii. 16; x. 28, 29; Phil. i. 6.

1 John iii. 9; 1 Pet. i. 5, 9; [Am. ed. Job 3 2 Tim. ii. 19; Jer. xxxi. 3; 1 Pet. i. 5. xvii. 9]. * 1 John ii, 1.

2 Tim. ii. 18, 19; Jer. xxxi. 3. • Heb. vii. 25; x. 10, 14.

· Heb. x, 10, 14; xiii. 20, 21; ix. 12–15; * John xiv. 16, 17; 1 John iii. 9.

Rom. viii. 33-39; John xvii. 11, 24; Jer. xxxii. 40; Heb. viii. 10; X. 16, 17. Luke xxii. 32; Heb, vii. 25. * Job xvii. 9; John xvii. 21, 22; 1 John ii. * John xiv. 16, 17; 1 John ii. 27; iii. 9.

19; 2 Thess. iii. 3; Zeph. iii. 17; Mal. Jer. xxxii. 40; [Am. ed. Heb. viii. 10-12].
iii. 6; Numb. xxii. 19; Rom. v. 9; 2 Cor. John x. 28; 2 Thess. iii. 3; 1 John ii. 19;
i. 21, 22; John iv. 14; Psa. xii. 5; John [Am. ed. 1 Thess. v. 23, 24].
xvii. 12; 1 Cor. i. 8, 9.

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time therein ;' yet now, since life and the neglect of the means of and iinmortality are brought clearer their preservation, fall into grievto light by the gospel, and espe- ous sins;' and for a time continue cially since the effusion of the Holy therein:2 whereby they incur God's Ghost on the day of Pentecost, displeasure, and grieve his Holy we may not expect the true Chris- Spirit;' come to be deprived of tian to fall into such gross sins. some measure of their graces and Nevertheless they may, through the conforts ;' have their hearts hardtemptations of Satan, the world, ened, and their consciences woundand the flesh, the neglect of the ed;' hurt and scandalize others, means of grace, fall into sin, and and bring temporal judgments incur God's displeasure, and grieve upon themselves. his Holy Spirit;' come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, and have their consciences wounded; but the real Christian can never rest satisfied therein.*

8

1 2 Sam. xii. 9, 13, 14.
a 2 Tim. i. 10.
· Luke xxiv. 49; Acts ii. 4.
* Acts xvii. 30, 31; Matt. xi. 11.
• Eph. iv. 30; Rev. ii. 4.

" Matt. xxvi. 70, 72, 74.
* Psa, li, title and verse 14; [Am. ed. 2 Sam.

xii. 9, 13].
· Isa. lxiv. 5, 7, 9; 2 Sam. xi. 27.

Eph. iv. 30.
5 Psa. li. 8, 10, 12; Rev. ii. 4; Cant. v. 2, 3,

4, 6.

• Isa. xxxvi. 17; Mark vi. 52; xvi. 14; [Am.

ed. Psa. xcv. 8].
? Psa. xxxii. 3, 4; li. 8.

2 Sam. xii. 14.

' Psa. Ixxxix. 31, 32; 1 Cor. xi. 32. * NotF.—To this section the following note is attached in the official edition :

* This doctrine, although it is certainly supported by incontestable proof from the Word of God, as well as by the reason and nature of the union between Christ and his people, yet, like all other truths, has been and may be perverted. The idea of eternal justification and consequent perseverance is unscriptural : the way perseverance is insisted on by some preachers in connection with the preceding parts of their sermons is certainly dangerous. Example : First preach a superficial experience, then make a great many more allowances for weakness and wickedness, stumbling, straying, etc., than God's Word admits, then press perseverance, and you have the formalist or hypocrite confirmed.

‘On the other hand, press the doctrines of final apostasy, if the creature does not so and so, making the perseverance of the creature depend chiefly upon his doings: you raise in the mind of the unregenerate professor the fear of hell, as a high excitement to duty; confirm him in his legality; prepare his mind, indirectly at least, to give glory to himself for his perseverance; settle him down in a self-confident and deplorable situation. What God's Word

VOL. III.-DDD

hath joined together, let not his ministers put asunder ; but first let them give a clear, definite description of the new birth, and then let them press the doctrine of heart and practical holiness as the sure consequence (“For by their fruit ye shall know them "), and daily evidences (not the cause) of that gracious state which will insure their final perseverance.

• Then this true and comfortable doctrine will not be perverted, neither will it have a tendency to licentiousness in him “whom the love of Christ constraineth,"or the real Christian: no, he serves and desires to serve God with more zeal, and from pure evangelical principles, still laying the foundation in his own mind, and cherishing the principle of ascribing all the glory to God for his conversion, his perseverance, and his final and complete redemption.'

THE AUBURN DECLARATION. A.D. 1837.

[The AUBURN DECLARATION, so called from the place of its adoption, belongs to the history of American Presbyterianism, and although it never aspired to the dignity of an authoritative Confession of Faith, it may claim a place here for its intrinsic value and importance before and after the disruption. It originated during the conflict which preceded the division of the Presbyterian Church into Old and New School, A.D. 1837, and was prepared by the Rev. BASTER DICKINSON, D.D. (d. 1876). It had been charged, on one side, that sixteen errors, involving considerable departures from true Calvinism and the Westminster standards, had become current in that Church. (They are printed in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review for 1876, pp. 7, 8.) In answer to this charge, the New School party were led to embody their belief on these points in a corresponding series of 'True Doctrines,' which were incorporated in their Protest, as presented to the General Assembly of 1837. These doctrinal statements were subsequently considered and adopted by an important representative convention at Auburn, New York, Aug., 1837, as expressing their matured views, and those of the churches and ministry represented by them, on the several topics involved. The Declaration thus adopted became, not indeed a creed, but an authoritative explanation of the interpretation given to the Westminster Symbols by the leading minds in the New School Church, as organized in 1838. It was in 1868 indorsed by the General Assembly (O. S.) as containing all the fundamentals of the Calvinistic Creed,' and this indorsemeut was oue among the most effectual steps in bringing about the reanion of the two Churches in 1870. The document is rather a disavowal of imputed error than an exposition of revealed truth, and must be understood from the anthropological and soteriological controversies of that period of division now happily gone by.

Both the Errors and the True DOCTRINES may be found in the Minutes of the Assembly for 1537; also, in the New Digest, pp. 227-230. See also Art. on The Auburn Declaration by Prof. E. D. MORRIS, D.D., of Lane Seminary, in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review, Jan. 1876, pp. 8–40.

The original document is deposited in the library of Lane Theol. Sem., Cincinnati, O. The text here given is an accurate copy from it, and was kindly furnished for this work by the Rev. E. D. MORRIS, D.D. The headings in brackets have been supplied by the editor.)

[PERMISSION OF SIN.] 1. God permitted the introduction of sin, not because he was unable to prevent it consistently with the moral freedom of his creatures, but for wise and benevolent reasons which he has not revealed.

[ELECTION.] 2. Election to eternal life is not founded on a foresight of faith and obedience, but is a sovereign act of God's mercy, whereby, according to the counsel of his own will, he has chosen some to salvation : 'yet so as thereby neither is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; nor does this gracious purpose ever take effect independently of faith and a holy life.

(FALL OF ADAM.] 3. By a divine constitution Adam was so the head and representative of the race that, as a consequence of his transgression, all mankind became morally corrupt, and liable to death, temporal and eternal.

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