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his first epistle to Timothy ; where, in dresses himself here, as in the epistle evident allusion to Judaizing deluders generally, to those who, from among of the converts he bad made at Ephe- the twelve tribes, scattered abroad, sus, he says, “ the end of the com having received the Christian faith, mandment is charity out of a pure yet retained many of the habits of reheart, and of a good conscience, and ligious errour, which so greatly characof faith unfeigned ; from which some terized this period of this unhappy nahaving swerved, have turned aside unto tion's history. As in the Jewish syna. vain jangling; desiring to be teachers gogues, it was customary, after a chapof the law." To the Romans also, the ter had been read from the books of same apostle says of these aspirants, the old testament scriptures, that eve. 'as indiscreet as they were ambitious, ry one who bad sufficient learning and that being “confident of their ability to ability, might be permitted to expound be guides to the blind, a light to them and to exhort, the same custom is supthat sat in darkness, instructers of the posed to have prevailed in the assemfoolish, and teachers of babes, yet they blies of the primitive church. St. had only the form of knowledge and James, therefore, it bas been supposed, of the truth in the law.” It is against here warns his readers against the the affectation of an office so ill desired, abuse of this liberty, and advises them and so ill administered, aspired to to be cautious lest they executed this through motives which had nothing in task to the perversion of others, and of them becoming true religion, and ex
to their own condemnation. ecuted in a manner not in any degree Whether this interpretation of the lansuited to promote the interests of truth guage of St. James, in this place, or or sound knowledge or godliness, ac that which was first stated to you, be cording to the law, that St. James received as the true one, it is evident, seems to warn the persons whom he that although he adverts to an evil of addresses. Aware that through the his own peculiar day, he yet adverts presumption of teaching others, they to errours of feeling and of conduct, would expose themselves to the severer which have been transmitted through consequences of their disobedience of all ages of the church. Legalized practhe law and its requisitions, he urges tices, exactly corresponding with those, upon them the folly and wickedness of on the abuse of which, his admonition their proud aspiring to be masters, ac was founded, may not, indeed, make cording to the so prevalent spirit of part of the discipline of the church in their day, to which our lord bimself is our day; but, perbaps, we may find, shown us by the evangelists so fre- on consideration, that St. James does quently adverting, over their brethren. not utter in this place, that which may Brethren, be not many masters, know- not bear an application, in which we ing that ye shall receive the greater may reasonably indulge an interest, condemnation. The epistle of St. and from which we may derive useful James, having been addressed alike and wholesome instruction.
Let us to Jews yet unconverted to the faith then inquire, whether in general, there of Christ, and to those among the na- is any evil in the church of Christ, to tion who had received the faith in which this admonitory precept may be general, yet had nourished errours in- applied, and see what the consideraconsistent with its purity, this inter- tion is, by which such evil, so far as it pretation of his meaning, in this place, may be admitted to exist, should be seems reasonably to demand our ac- restrained. Brethren, be not many quiescence. There is, however, ano. masters, knowing that ye shall receive ther, which is modified according to the greater condemnation. the supposition that the apostle ad The history of the church, as well as
experience and observation, make this rect counteraction of advice, such as a copious subject. My purpose must that which the apostle may be undernecessarily be, simply to suggest to stood to give, when he says, “ My - you, a practical application of the ex. brethren, be not many of you mas. position of it, as an obscure, and, as it ters.” appears in our translation, somewhat Of the extent to which this evil has difficult
passage of this epistle. prevailed, we inay form some concepThe apostle need not be understood tion, by adverting to the innumerable to direct bis advice and admonition, divisions and subdivisions of religious against the desire to exercise an office, party, which, at the instigation of such sacred in its institution and authority; as would be masters, in all ages of relibut against the ambitious affecting of gious liberty, have dishonoured and the character of masters in religious disturbed the church. The severe imthings, on the part of those who held positions of popery, by which heresies no office in the church, having sacred and schisms were for some centuries obligations and intent. Where, then, repressed, constituted a greater evil in the history of the church, since his than they, and claim our reasonable day, may not the spirit of this be seen, abhorrence. But the liberation of the agitating, in a greater or less degree, human mind from the shackles of arbithe household of faith, and disturbing trary imposition, was the liberation althe peace
of the followers of Christ? so of the spirit of dissension, insepara- · We look, indeed, with wonder and ble from the infirmity and corruption with gratitude at the dispensation of of man, from the confinement in which heavenly wisdom, which, in one or it had been kept, and a new confusion another age, raises up the bold asser- of tongues was its consequence. Wbile tor of truth, and endues him with we rejoice in the blessings of religious strength and fortitude for its defence, freedom, which it is the manifest will against the unhallowed designs of its of God that the professors of the relicorrupters, or for its rescue from the gion of Christ, ever should enjoy, we hands of weak and pusillanimous trai- must lament the abuses to which man, tors to its cause.
The hand of heaven, in the spirit more of antichrist, than of in such occurrences, may be recognise the gospel law of liberty, is for ever ed, and should be honoured and ador- perverting it; and applying the laned. But the restless spirit of the pride of guage of the apostle before us, to such individual wisdom, or of the impatience abuses, may reasonably feel ourselves of obligation, which would express and required to disapprove, and, by all confine men within prescribed limits prudent and consistent means, restrain of religious conduct, that neither cross and discountenance the pride of indinor interfere with any which the scrip. vidual opinion, or the excessive ardour tures have set, is not characteristick of of individual feeling and persuasion in the true and faithful disciple of the Son religious things, which would lead men, of God. God has his own instituted wit' little opportunity of qualification method of instructing and enlightening for such an office, to affect to be teachhis household.
He chooses not that ers and leaders of their brethren. We men should rashly take the office upon have seen this evil, in our day, operatthemselves of instructers, censors, and ing to no small extent; and perhaps guides of their brethren ;, and they, it may have encroached on the order who, in some portions of the Chris. and barmony, in some portions of its tian community, may be frequently territory, of our own communion. They found asserting their right and capaci- who should meekly follow the counsels ty, uncalled and uninstructed, to teach, of the church, in which they were and exhort, and admonish, are in di- placed by Providence, as hearers of
counsel, and not authors of it to others insufficient vigilance, and faithfulness at large, and receive with all godly to prevent the misery of others, bequietness, that which, not at variance come themselves cast away from the with scripture, is the engrafted word divine presence and favour, how manie adapted io their instruction unto salva- festly must the danger of even greater tion, have unhappily been found, in condemnation, attach to the unnecessome instances, far more ambitious to sary, rash, and unauthorized assumpteach, than willing to be taught. Even tion of an office, whose province is the the church itself, both as to its minis- direction of the sentiments, and the try and people, might receive, if it regulation of the habits of men, in their would, the benefit of their imagined relation to their God and Saviour ! excellence of qualification, to enlighten 0, who sees not the awful risk they its darkness, and correct its doctrines; run, who, thus take upon them to while their brethren within their own regulate the opinions, and authoritaimmediate personal sphere, shall hear tively influence the actions of their felthem exhort, expound, and pray ; or, low men, in things of sacred and eterfoolishly content with their authorized nal import! The admonitions of friends minister's instruction alone, remain but ship, and the kind suggestions of charihalf enlightened, and go on unconvert- ty for the souls of men, are always ed, in the course of the cold formali- consistent with the duty of every ties of the church, to their destruction. member of the church of Christ, howWe shall mistake, my brethren, if we ever humble his lot, or small bis opsuppose, that the spirit thus imperfect- portunity of improvement.
But we ly characterized, goes about, altoge- can be at no loss to distinguish these ther, within other borders than our own, from the magisterial attitude too often or that it has not risen in our own taken, and the task assumed for systeimmediate day, to distract the minds matick execution, of instructing and of the weak, and infringe the right or- guiding the minds of men, to the supder of the church. There are always ply of their deficiency in knowledge, those, to whom the admonition of the or the correction of their errours of text is applicable ; and it is perpetually opinion, or the animation of their too necessary to guard the church from cold and formal religious conduct. confusion, and the minds of its mem- Let the supposition of errour, in the rebers from distraction, by dissuading ligious doctrine or opinion inculcated men from the rash enterprise of at- or enforced by those wbo thus take tempting to lead the sentiments of their the spiritual interests of their brethren brethren in religious things, and laying under their care, be admitted, or let down for them the law of religious opi- the temper and conduct induced by nions and behaviour.
them, be supposed at variance with The consideration, by which the those fruits of the Spirit, which are apostle enforces his peculiar advice, is love, joy, peace, long suffering, genuniversally applicable, and may suita- tleness, meekness, brotherly kindness, bly be referred to, where we would and the like, and how easy is it to ado ourselves be instrumental of correcting mit the position of the text, that against an evil of a similar character and ten- them there is a heavier sentence of dency. “Knowing that ye sball re. condemnation, prepared of the Judge ceive the greater condemnation.” in heaven. The ministers of the gos
If, my brethren, it is true of the duly pel of Christ can, we trust, in no case, authorized ministers of Christ, that be insensible to the awfulness of the they bear upon them, a burden of ba- consideration, that the souls of men, zardous responsibility, and when they made a sacrifice to their perverseness, have preached to others, may, for their negligence, or caprice, will be demande
med at the day of account at their hands, thrown by the price and presumption: The best How reasonably, therefore, may they of spiritual precedence and rule, out
urge upon those who bave not the son of the restraint necessary to its right 1, 372 lemn responsibility with which they and happy use.
It were unnecessary, es are invested, that they do not need. however, to a sufficient enforcement of
z lessly expose themselves to danger, the advice of the apostle, which we ** greater than otherwise impends their bave been considering, and the subject 200 immortal destiny, by affecting to guide may therefore be dismissed with a mere Ek a their fellow men, where it may be recital of bis forcible and penetrating mel
, their unhappiness most perniciously appeal. This wisdom, which in the an de and perilously to mislead ihem.
pride of self estimation is affected, adThere is, however, another view in equate to all men's own moral necessican the which this conduct, to which the ad- ties, and their brethrens’ also, deand the monition of the text is directed, im- scendeth not from above, but is earthly, els plies danger of divine displeasure. It sensual, devilish. For where there is red na þespeaks a pride of selt, which the re- bitter anger on account of opinions, to
ligion of the gospel does not warrant which it unavoidably leads, and strife ios de and which its author cannot but disapa in maintaining them, there must be 2 prove and condemn. Spiritual pride tumult and every evil work. But the ole is the real principle of this conduct, wisdom that is from above is first pure, Dins unknown perhaps, sometimes, to him then peaceable, gentle, easy to be male who indulges it, whatever of benevo. persuaded, full of mercy and good
lence for men, or of zeal for God, it fruits, without partiality, and without Divál may affect to bave for its motive. It hypocrisy. Let us then, humbly seek
is because men, by some unaccounta, to be possessed of this true wisdom;
ble delusion of their own evil heart, are and under its guidance seek our way ucun persuaded that they are wiser and bet- to eternal life and glory.
ter than others, that they would un-
and while they let their it will perhaps he recollected by brethren have their prayers and their some of our readers, that, in our numcounsel, seasonably, and in the spirit ber for March, 1821, we republished of meekness and fear administered, from the Churchman's Magazine, the "labour to work out their own salva- address of the Scottish bishops, “to. tion with fear and trembling.'
the Episcopal clergy in Connecticut." It is from the pride of self, in which In tbat address, mention is made of " a this assumption of the office of censors concordate drawn up and signed by and guides of others in religious things, the bishops of the church in Scotland is so likely to have its origin, that the on the one part, and by bishop Seapernicious latitude of privilege in the bury on the other, the articles of which use of speech proceeds, on which the are" to serve as a bond of union beapostle in the remaining part of the tween the catbolick remainder of the chapter so strongly animadverts. It ancient church of Scotland and the were not difficult, perhaps, to illustrate now rising church in the state of. Con. and exemplify this evil of the tongue, necticut.” The copy of this concor. (a kind of self sanctified evil speaking) date sent to the clergy of that diocese, 35
ADVOCATE, VOL. II.
For the Gospel Advocate.
OF UNION BETWEEN THE CATHOLICK REMAINDER OF THE ANCIENT CHURCH OF SCOTLAND AND THE CHURCH OF CONNECTICUT.
not baving been deposited in any pub-' worthy bishop Seabury; and distinctly lick archives, or transmitted, as far as proves the soundness of their sentiments we can learn, from the first bishop to and opinions on the most important his successors in office, cannot now points of theology. The circumstances be found ; but through the kindness of of our church are indeed considerably the right' reverend Dr. Skinner, the altered since that period ; a change for present bishop of Aberdeen, and the the better, which is in a great measure son and successor of one of the rener. to be ascribed to the part which its able bishops who assisted at the conse- governours took in contributing to lay cration of bishop Seabury, we have the foundation of your American church. been favoured with a correct copy By this means they were made known of one of the most primitive docu- to some of those worthy friends in Eng. ments of modern times. We basten land, through whose benevolent exertherefore to lay it before our readers, tions we were relieved from the severe requesting them before they peruse it penalties of legal restriction, under to refresh their recollections by turn. which our pious predecessors had been ing to the address in the 94th and 95th so long depressed: and although in pages of our first volume. It may be point of numbers we are greatly infenecessary to premnise, that in conse- riour to our presbyterian and sectarian quence of the political disabilities of countrymen, yet in the respectability the Scottish bishops, many of the Epis- and rank of our members, we are, to copal clergy and laity in Scotland re- say the least, fully on a level with the mained in the anomalous state of pay- establishment. Those anomalous ining no ecclesiastical obedience to the truders of English or Irish ordination, of apostolick succession. However they whom the concordate complains in such may have justified this on a plea of severe terms, are now reduced 10 a very obedience to the civil authority, the mo. few congregations, not above six or sev. ment the Scottish bishops took the en in the whole kingdom; and in no oatbs required by the existing govern. long time, there will not, I hope, be ment, it became the duty of the clergy any in Scotland professing theinelves and laity to submit to their lawful Episcopalians who are not really such government. Those who did not thus by submitting themselves to the spisubmit, became guilty in the language ritual authority of their indigenous of bishop Horsley, of "keeping alive bishops." a schism.” It was this state of things in the year 1784, to which the third article of the concordate alluded. To
HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY, heal this schism has been for many Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, years an incessant object of exertion
ONE GOD, BLESSED FOR EVER, among the pious and consistent friends of the church; and we are happy to add that their labours for peace have The wise and gracious providence of not been in vain. " I feel most hap. this merciful God, having put it into py,” says bishop Skinner, “in having the hearts of the Christians of the Episit in my power to inclose for you a copal persuasion in Connecticut in correct copy of the concordate which North America, to desire that the you mention as likely to prove a very blessings of a free, valid, and purely acceptable present. This interesting ecclesiastical episcopacy might be document forms a pleasing record of communicated to them, and a church the perfect harmony and unanimity regularly formed in that part of the which subsisted between the bishops western world upon the most ancient of our church at that time, and the and primitive model: and application
IN THE NAME OF THE