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50 00 J. D. Kilpatrick,
66 00 J. Robinson,
50 00 J. M. Wilson,
64 00 J. Carighan,
30 00 R. B. Walker,
60 00 J. S. Adams,
46 50 J. B. Davis,
35 00 J. Williamson,
55 00 A. Williams,
30 00 and W. S. Pharr,
25 00 Of Rev. Colin M'Iver, from Fayetteville Presbytery, for ditto
153 01 Of Rev. John Witherspoon, a note payable in New York, in October
next, for $700, and when paid, it is to be credited to the Presby-
endowed in part by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia 50 00
156 00 Of Rev. Henry Reid, of Fairfield District, South Carolina, three instalments of his subscription, for ditto
150 00 Of Rev. George Reid, the 3d instalment of Rev. John Cousar, of Salem, South Carolina, for ditto
50 00 Of Rev. R. W. James, from Mr. S. 1. Wilson, for ditto
50 00 Of Jonathan Wynkoop, Esq. Bucks county, Pennsylvania, for the Professorship of Oriental and Biblical Literature
100 00 Of Rev. John Goldsmith, his first instalment, for ditto
50 00 Of Rev. Thomas S. Wickes, his first ditto, for ditto
50 00 Of Divie Bethune, Esq. his first ditto, for ditto
50 00 Of Rev. Moses Hunter, in part of his proportion for endowing a Scholarship by the Senior Class of 1819
30 00 Of Rev. John Goldsmith, in part of his ditto for ditto
20 00 Of Rev. Elias W. Crane, from the Female Benevolent Society of Springfield, New Jersey, in behalf of his ditto for ditto
15 00 Of Rev. Francis H. Porter, from ladies of Poplar Tent, Concord Presbytery, for a Scholarship
30 00 Of Rev. John Clark, old subscriptions of Rev. E. Grant for a Scho. larship
61 61 And subscription of Samuel Bruster, for ditto
5 00 Of Rev. Dr. Samuel Miller, the donation of Deacon Ashley, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, for the Students’ Fund
100 00 Of Rev. George S. Boardman, St. Lawrence Presbytery, for the education of students in the Seminary, for ditto
8 29 of Rev. John H. Grier, from Northumberland Presbytery, for ditto 20 00 Of Rev. William Gray, from Strong Sturges, Esq. Rutgers street
Church, New York, for the education of students in the seminary, for ditto
13 34 Of Rev. Wiliam C. Brownlee, Baskingridge, for ditto
6 00 Of Robert Ralston, Esq. from Rev. William Weir, for educating poor
and pious young men for the ministry in the Theological Seminary at Princeton,” viz. The subscription of Samuel Postlethwaite, Esq. of Natchez, for ditto
50 00 And ditto of the Presbyterian Church, in Natchez, for ditto
50 93 Of Mrs. Margaret Carswell, per Rev. Dr. E. S. Ely, her donation for a particular student
20 00 Total S4578 02
We hope to give an abstract of the proceedings of the General Assembly, in our next.-ED.
FOR THE PRESBITERIAN MAGAZINE.
(Continued from p. 247.) 3. I shall examine what light the New Testament scriptures shed on this subject.
As the first gospel church was composed of Jews, converted to Christianity, I should expect to find the apostles admitting, to her ordinances, the same description of persons, adults and infants, and adopting, essentially, the same government, that 'was established among their ancestors.
Let us open and examine the records of this church. Here we find expressly mentioned the officers of the Jewish church, as already described, at p. 244: “ Their rulers and elders, and Annas the high priest, were gathered together.” Acts iv. They assembled to examine Peter and John. And this assembly is expressly called “the council” in the fifteenth verse. When Peter arose to make his defence, he acknowledged the authority of this council, in calling them “ rulers of the people, and elders of Israel.” The same title is here given to the Jewish rulers, which is ascribed, in the epistles, to the rulers in the gospel church. And Peter expressly calls the believing Jews “ the children of the prophets and of the covenant."
For some time, after this period, the apostles, though they travelled through many cities and countries, “ preached the word to none, but to the Jews only.” Acts xi. 19. Thousands of them believed in Jesus; yet they continued for a season with the old church, and were subject to its government and discipline.
From an excursion among the Gentiles, Paul arrived at Je. rusalem, and went in unto James: and all the elders were present.” Acts xxi. 18. And they said unto him, “ Thou seest, VOL. II.-Presb. Mag.
brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe." The original of thousands, may be rendered myriads. And as a myriad is ten thousand, and as the terms “how many cannot be less than four, five, or six, the number of Jewish converts must have amounted to forty, fifty, or sixty thousand. And it is added, “ they are all zealous of the law," and doubt. less of their ecclesiastical government and discipline. Though they believed in Jesus, yet it required time to instruct them, what parts of the ancient system was to be relinquished, and what to be retained.
It is hence evident that the great body of converts to Christ were Jews. And for some time they continued to perform some parts of the temple service, and the service of the synagogues, and submit to their government. After the three thousand were converted and baptized, it is said “they continued daily with one accord in the temple.” “ And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts ii.
These were not only of Israel, but the Israel of God. Thus the church, in the commencement of the gospel dispensation, was composed of Jews, and substantially the same church which existed from the time of Abraham.
From this church the unbelieving Jews were broken off. They were of Israel, but remaining in unbelief, it became evident that they were not the Israel of God. Hence as unsound branches they were lopped off the good olive. Those who embraced the Messiah were the Israel or church of God. The church is, therefore, the same now that it was before the advent of Christ. The members are the same, parents and children; and the government the same, by ministers and elders.
We read that a number of priests became obedient to the faith (Acts vi.); and more than probable many of the elders also believed. It is certain that some of the rulers of the synagogues were converted. And it is probable that some, or all these converted priests, were ordained, by the apostles, to the work of the ministry; and that some of the elders, or all of them, were ordained to rule in the church.
The ancient church was governed by priests and elders, and this government was of divine appointment. And as there is no intimation of a radical change to take place in the Christian church, I conclude that her government must be substantially the same. And this I shall attempt to prove.
In process of time, as the disciples of Christ increased, they were divided into particular churches. After the conversion of Paul, it is said, “ Then had the churches rest.” (Acts ix.) Paul went through Syria, confirming the churches. (xv.) “So were the churches established in the faith.” (xvi.) While the Christian church, at its commencement, consisted only of Jews,
it is said the “ Lord added daily to the church.” But we afterwards read of churches in the plural number.
When particular churches were established, it was necessary to have stated preachers, as far as practicable, and ruling elders in them.
Before I produce arguments to prove lay eldership, I would submit a few preliminary observations, which may be of some use to guide us in the investigation of the subject. In regard to several articles of our faith and practice, we have only some general hints, and some detached accounts, of the usages and practice of the apostolic age. From such principles we draw our conclusions, and feel satisfied that we are correct in our sentiments and practice.
Circumcision was a religious rite in the church at the birth of Christ. It can be traced back to the time of Abraham. It was appointed by express statute, and was to be applied to all the male members of the church, adult and infant. But there is no repealing act. And yet from general principles, and reasoning, we believe circumcision is not now in force.
Infant baptism is practised by the great body of Christian churches in every nation. It can be traced back to the apostolic age. So can the observance of the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath. But we have no express statute for either. The practice of both is established upon general principles, and by other arguments. In the same way we arrive at the conclu. sion that females may come to the Lord's table.
Ruling elders, exist in many churches, in different nations, and can be traced back to the Reformation, to the time of the apostles, and, still farther back, to the period of Israel's bondage in Egypt.
The same reasons may be given for the want of more partieular information of lay eldership, in the New Testament, that may be given for the silence of infant baptism, and of female communion.
Infants were members of the Jewish church, and the males were circumcised. And they were to be continued in the church, and baptized, because this ordinance, as a sign and seal of the covenant, was appointed instead of circumcision, which was abolished with the ceremonial system.
Females partook of the Passover, and hence the conclusion, they have a right to the sacramental table.
Females were baptized by the apostles, and there was, there. fore, no need of an express statute in their favour to give them a right to either of these ordinances.
If infants were to be cast out of the church, and females to be debarred admittance to the Lord's table, every principle of goodness, and justice, required, a new law to that purpose. Se,
elders were rulers in the church under the former dispensation, and if they were not to be continued in the church, under the present dispensation, it is natural to suppose, we should have found some express information on this head.
On such principles, I am, I think, authorized to reason in order to establish the doctrine of lay eldership.
The first ministers which Christ commissioned, after his resurrection, were the eleven disciples. To complete the original number twelve, Matthias was added by a divine designation, to supply the place of Judas the apostate. By their commission they were emphatically apostles. And these twelve apostles were selected, unquestionably, with reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. And this is presumptive evidence that the government of the gospel church was to be similar to that under the legal dispensation. From their commission the apostles de. rived ecclesiastical authority to preach the gospel, disciple all nations, organize churches, administer the ordinances, ordain evangelists, and ordinary ministers. All these offices they did actually perform, as it appears from their history.
They commenced the fulfilment of their commission, by preaching the gospel, and the fruits of the first apostolical sermon were the conversion of three thousand sinners. The next apostolic act was the baptism of these converts. And in due time the sacramental supper was administered to them.
The first officers they seem to have ordained, were seven men to serve tables, who have been considered as deacons. Some, or all of these deacons, were afterwards commissioned, by the apostles, as preachers and evangelists. I suppose they were regularly commissioned, because it appears contrary to good order, for them to have assumed those offices of their own accord.
After the Samaritans were converted, under the preaching of Philip, two of the apostles were sent, by the rest, (so orderly did even the apostles act,) to Samaria, to confirm the young converts in the doctrines of the gospel, and doubtless to organize and establish a church by apostolic authority. Acts viii.
Prior to the great persecution of the church at Jerusalem, recorded in Acts the eighth, a considerable number seem to have been ordained to the work of the ministry; for we are informed, “ that they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” The ordination of these men was probably posterior to that of the seven deacons.
Having ordained deacons, to take care of the poor members of the church, and a number of others for the work of the ministry; and having upon the reception of many penitent believers, formed a number of particular churches, another order of officers became necessary-an order of lay-ruling elders. The most, or