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exact; but never so exact as to be being pursued with the fears of hell, hated for their religious conduct, goes further still, and labours for unless they expect more recom just so much holiness as will barely pense in the love and credit of some carry him to heaven at last. He will other men, for having incurred the ask, very inquisitively, What is the hatred of a few. They have little least measure of grace and the religion, where that little will
least grain of faith ? The best seranswer; and more, in places where mons, with such persons, are not it is necessary; so that they even such as humble them most, but commend good men, good sermons, those which flatter them best; by good books, and drop two or three informing them how acceptable good sentences. They cover them good desires are to God: and if selves over with the fig-leaves of these will save them, God shall be common honesty, to hide their spi served with good desires only, and ritual nakedness; and fish. for the the devil by all their actions. Thus applause of men. But follow them they make any thing serve for God; to the place of trial, to their own and labour not after so much holihouses, and their chambers, and ness as will honour Christ, but just you shall see the worldliness, pas so much as will pay their charges to sion, and looseness of these stage Paradise. Here is one of the greatplayers. Here no honesty is to be est differences betwixt a child of found, because their windows are God and a hypocrite: the first per shut, and none is to be displayed. forms duty from love to Christ, Let some minister, or faithful friend from a desire to possess him ; and search, try, discover, accuse, and mourns, daily, because Christ is condemn them, as unsound, hollow not more honoured by him; but the hearted persons, and they will swell last obeys merely from love to himlike toads, hiss like snakes, and bark self, to save his own soul; and like dogs, against those who have mourns over his sins, only because detected them, and thus robbed they may damn him. them of their gods.
5. Our doctrine should induce The guilty, self-condemned sinner men to seek after the restoration of goes further than the formalist, and the divine image. Honest men will contents himself with so much ho labour to pay their debts; and this liness as will pacify his conscience. is due to God. How do men labour Hence all the heathen have had to be in the fashion ? But to be like some sort of religion, because they God is the fashion of angels, is heahad some conscience to trouble ven's fashion ; and it will be fashionthem. The convinced man, having able one day to be holy, when the lived in foul sins, begins to be
Lord Jesus shall appear in glory. troubled for them, and will confess Then if thou hast the superscripand forsake them; but how? As a tion and image of the devil on thee, dog his meat, when he loves the car God and Christ will never acknowrion, but fears the cudgel. He per ledge thee. Labour, then, to have forms some holy duties, not because Satan's image washed out, and he delights in them, but because God's image restored. Put off the they are necessary to his quiet. If old man, and then put on the new. conscience be still, he omits duties: Seek not to purchase any Christian if conscience stirs, he falls to pray
grace but labour to subdue that sin ing, hearing and sorrowing; and which is opposed to each grace of boasts over hypocrites, because his the Spirit. "Strive to have a tender holiness is not a mere show. He heart in relation to the least sin. bribes conscience, but his Judge has Gold when melted only is fit for heavy things to lay to his charge. receiving a desired impression; and
The pining and devout hypocrite, when thy heart is heated at a ser-
mon, pray, Lord, now strike, now framed by his own wisdom, and imprint thine image on me.'
committed their interests to one Labour to see the Lord Jesus in devised by the wisdom and pruhis glory; for as wicked men, by dence of fallible men. We believe becoming familiar with the evil ex that he has provided a constitution, ample of the great ones of the and appointed officers for the goearth, grow like them in villany; vernment of the Christian, as he so the very beholding of the glorious had before done for the Jewish grace in Christ, this Lord of glory, church. Great diversity, it is true, transforms men into his image. 2 does exist in the views of Chris. Cor. iii. 18. As a mirror receives tians in regard to the plan prescribnot only the rays, but the image of ed in the New Testament for orthe sun, so the understanding, with dering the affairs of this heavenly open face beholding Christ, is turn society; but this diversity of sentied into the likeness of Christ. Men ment no more proves that no such too frequently look only to the lives plan is to be found in the inspired of the best men, to see how they writings, than the discordance in walk and rest there : but Oh! look the views which Christians of difhigher to the face of God in Christ. ferent denominations entertain in, (To be continued.)
regard to revealed truths, proves
that the particular doctrines in disfieviews.
pute are not taught by the sacred
writers. That some doctrines are The Divine Appointment, the Duties
not revealed with such clearness as and the Qualifications of RULING
to secure uniformity of faith among ELDERS'; a Sermon preached in
all the pious disciples of Christ, is the First Presbyterian Church, manifest : and therefore, while we in the City of New York, May
deplore this want of unity of judg28, 1819. By Samuel Miller,
ment, and pray for the arrival of D. D.
that time when all shall be of one The church Of God is that holy mind, we ought to bear with the insociety established by himself on firmities and errors of others, and earth for the maintenance of his cordially love all who hold the head, worship, and the promotion of his Jesus Christ, how much soever they glory, in the midst of a race of re may differ from us in points not esbellious creatures. It is styled his sential to the existence of unfeignhouse or family; and it ought not ed piety. From the fact, that men to be doubted, that this house of the of great learning and acknowledged living God, like that of every wise godliness have differed widely from man, is subject to wholesome regu each other in regard to church golations. Under the former dispen vernment, it is equally manifest, sation, it was governed by laws de that the principles of it laid down livered with great solemnity, and in the New Testament, are not staplaced under the ministry of men, ted with sufficient clearness to harwhose offices and duties were de monize the views of all Christians fined with great precision. As go on this important subject, in the vernment is as necessary to the wel present state of the world, liable as fare and prosperity of the church men are to have their sentiments under the present, as under the pre affected by education and a thousand seding economy, it were marvellous different circumstances. Whether indeed, if, at a period when God one and the same ecclesiastical pohas blessed his people with the clearest light and the greatest privi
lity will prevail over the whole
church, in that day of light and leges, he should have deprived them glory, to which the finger of proof the benefit of a government
phecy directs the eye of faith, we
shall not undertake to assert. But to that office in the First Presbytethis we venture to affirm, that, al rian Church in the city of New though diversity of sentiment has York, of which he was at that time sadly cut up the church into many one of the pastors; but owing to sects, yet Christians, by whatever the delicate state of his health, and name called, are bound to love one unavoidable engagements, he was another: and we see no reason why prevented from complying with his pious Episcopalians, and Presbyte promise to his friends, who had rerians, and Methodists, and Bap- quested its publication, till January, tists, &c. might not, in proper cir 1811. cumstances, hold occasional com The review of this sermon is unmunion with each other at the table dertaken at this late period, because of our common Lord and Saviour. the subject, though important, is
Principles of ecclesiastical go seldom discussed from the pulpit, vernment, however, are not to be and we wish to draw the attention regarded as matters of indifference. of our readers to a discourse that They are important; and it is the will amply reward a careful peruduty of every church; to endeavour sal. Let not this subject be supto discover those which have been posed to concern only ministers laid down in the records of divine and other officers of our church. truth, and to adopt them in the ma. Their stations do indeed impose on nagement of its affairs. A greater them official obligations to study degree of harmony of views on this the nature of that government, by subject existed among the reform which the affairs of the church are ers, than exists among ministers at directed and her interest promoted: present. Archbishop Cranmer, and yet it certainly is the duty of all many bishops and learned divines Christians to form as extensive an of the Episcopal Church of Eng. acquaintance with every subject on land, so far from advancing the ex which Jehovah condescends to inclusive notions embraced by some struct us in his heavenly oracles, as of their successors in that church, their ability and opportunities will and elsewhere, entertained the same allow; and consequently they canopinions on church government as not, consistently with the respect the Helvetic churches. (See note N. they owe to their divine teacher, p. 427, in Mr. M Crie's Life of John turn away their ears from him, Knox. On some future occasion when he utters his will in regard this note may be published for the to the regulations by which his infiinformation of our readers.) As
nite wisdom deems proper to goPresbyterians, we are sincerely at vern his house. tached to that form of ecclesiastical Our author has selected for his government which was adopted by text those words of the sacred histhe wisdom and piety of our fore
torian, contained in Acts xiv. 23. fathers; and we believe that it ap “ And when they had ordained them proaches nearer to the scriptural elders in every church, and had pray. plan than that of any other church. ed with fasting, they commended
The Christian public are indebted them to the Lord, on whom they beto the
of the author of this sermon lieved." forañable and temperate vindication It is the opinion of Dr. Miller, of the great doctrine of MINISTERIAL that “in every organized church PARITY, in opposition to diocesan there ought to be three classes of Episcopacy. In this discourse he officers : viz. Pastors, to preach the has selected as the subject of dis gospel' and administer the sacracussion the office of RULING ELDERS. ments; Ruling Elders, to assist the It was preached in May, 1809, when pastor in the government of the several individuals were ordained church; and Deacons, to serve ta
bles, and take care of the poor.
was only one kind of elders then in the (p.5.) In accordance with this opi
church, and that they were all teachers, pion he discusses, in the sermon un
or, labourers in the word, we make the in
spired writer employ a language utterly der review, the office of ruling el unworthy of his character. There was, der, by showing “its WARRANT," by therefore, a class of elders in the apostoexplaining “its NATURE,” and by lic church, who did not preach, nor ad. exhibiting “ the QUALIFICATIONS of
minister sacraments, but assisted in go
vernment. These, by whatever name they those who bear” this important of
may be called, were precisely the same fice.
with those officers which we denominate Of the first head of discourse he ruling elders.” p. 11. takes a comprehensive view, and establishes in a very satisfactory
In support of this interpretation
of the text, our author presents us manner the warrant for appointing
with quotations from the writings ruling elders, by arguments derived
of two learned and able Episcopal from four different sources. One is
divines, Dr. Whitaker and Dr. drawn from the fact, that the Chris
Whitby; from which it appears, tian church was formed after the
that they fully coincided with him JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, as its model.
in the construction he has put on Having established this fact, and shown that the synagogue had ru
the passage. We should gladly
transcribe both quotations; but our ling or lay elders, as well as teach
limits. constrain us to content ourers, it was very natural to “con
selves with that of Dr. Whitaker: clude, that a class of officers so useful and important, could not have “By these words,' says he, 'the aposbeen left out in constructing the go tle evidently distinguishes between the vernment of the church." p. 10. bishops and the inspectors of the church, The second argument is founded
If all who rule well be worthy of double on the fact, that RULING elders were
honour, especially they who labour in the
word and doctrine, it is plain there were appointed in the church as organiz some who did not so labour; for if all ed and left by the APOSTLES.
had been of this description, the meaning That these inspired men ordain
would have been absurd'; but the word ed elders and directed others to
especially points out a difference. If I
should say, that all who study well at the imitate their example, there can be
university are worthy of double honour, no doubt. The great question is, especially they who labour in the study of did they appoint ruling, in distinc theology, I must either mean that ali do tion from teaching, elders ? In
not apply themselves to the study of theomaintaining the affirmative of this
logy, or I should speak nonsense. Where.
fore I confess that to be the most genuine question, Dr. M. reasons from that
sense by which pastors and teachers are well known passage in 1 Tim. v. 17. distinguished from those who only go“ Let the elders who rule well be
verned.'»* counted worthy of double honour,
This passage in Timothy is not especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." This impor
the only one which Dr. M. adduces
to prove that ruling, in distinction tant text he thus explains :
from teaching, elders, were found in * Every man of plain good sense, who
the apostolic church. He quotes had never heard of any controversy on
two others; one in Rom. xii. 6-8. the subject, would conclude, on reading
and the other in 1 Cor. xii. 28. Our this passage, that, at the period in which readers who
choose to turn to it was written, there were two kinds of elders, one whose duty it was to labour in
these passages, will please to obthe word and doctrine, and another who did
serve that, as Dr. M. justly obnot thus labour, but only ruled in the
serves, “in both of them there is a church. The apostle says, elders that rule plain designation of an office for well, are worthy of double honour, but especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. Now, if we suppose that there * Prælect. ap. Didioclav. p. 681..
ruling or government, distinct from tion, but also quotes as an authority
The third argument in this disThe sacred scriptures constitute course to support the distinction bethe only infallible rule of our faith tween ruling and teaching elders and practice. But from the wri in the Christian church, is drawn tings of divines of any age we may from the authority of the REFORMderive assistance in interpreting the ERS, and other distinguished witscriptures. The testimony of those nesses for the truth in different ages eminent men, usually styled the and countries. fathers, some of whom were con In urging this argument the temporary with the apostles, and preacher assigns to human authoothers lived in the second, third, rity its just place; and while he and fourth centuries of the Chris- rejects it as a rule either of tian church, is of great importance, faith or practice,” he justly deems particularly in relation to facts the opinions and decisions of men that occurred, either in their own 80 profound in learning, so fervent age, or in that of the apostles. Dr. in piety and so eminent in their M. tells us that it would be easy to services, as were many of the reproduce passages from the fathers formers, entitled to high regard. to prove that ruling elders were (p. 16.) Under this particular we appointed in the church from its find adduced the testimony of John first establishment; and that this Paul Perrin, the celebrated histoclass of officers continued to exist rian of the Waldenses; and of Gillong after the decease of the foun lis, another historian of that peoders of the church. (p. 15.) It would ple; both ministers among them, have carried the preacher far be who assures us that they had elders yond the limits prescribed to a dis as well as pastors : (p. 17, 18.) the course delivered from the pulpit, to testimony of “ Martin Bucer, a have gone at large into an investi learned Lutheran divine, whose gation of this testimony. He has, fame induced archbishop Cranmer however, favoured us with a pas to invite him to England, where he sage from Hilary, who lived in the received preferment, and was held fourth century, and who in explain in high estimation;" who testifies ing 1 Tim. v. 1. affirms that the that the Bohemian brethren mainsynagogue, and afterwards the tained the distinction between ruchurch, had elders, without whose ling elders, and ministers of the counsel nothing was done in the word, and speaks of their practice church ;” and ascribes the disuse in this respect as excellent and of this office to “ the sloth, or rather praiseworthy: (p. 18.) the testithe pride of teachers, while they mony of the celebrated Peter alone wished to appear something." Martyr, a Protestant divine of Ita(p. 16.) In a note (p. 15,) it is shown, ly, whose high reputation induced that two learned Episcopal divines, Édward VI. to invite him to Engthe Rev. Mr. Marshall and Bishop land, where he was made professor Fell, in commenting on the 29th of divinity at Oxford, and canon of epistle of Cyprian, in which he Christ Church ;" who speaks of speaks of teaching elders, acknow ruling elders in very « decisive ledge the distinction between teach terms,” as an apostolic institution : ing and ruling elders in the primi (p. 19.) the testimony of “the learntive church ;" and the latter, ed Voetius, a German divine of eminent bishop, not only allows that great eminence; and of Ursinus, Cyprian referred to this distinc another eminent German divine;