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mal and the rock are not distin. pression on my mind, which hours did guishable." As our author remarks,
not dissipate. It disturbed my sleep.
The bare idea of such a religion, such a “ Your religion, what a well-planned despotism, pervading and controlling our device it is! It is a net expressly made to country, the idea that there are men of cast into the sea and gather of every kind. this man's order, sentiments and aims, at You have assorted it to suit all comers. work there already, and that more will You have works for the pharisaical, forms follow them, was horrible.” for the superficial, high pretensions for the bigoted, penances for ihe conscience We here take leave of these vol. stricken, romances and pictures for the umes, expressing the hope that they sentimental, vagueness, mystery, and shadows for the transcendental, fasts, vig. may meet with an extensive circu. ils, and seclusions for the austere and lation and an attentive perusal. We mortified, feasts and shows for the sen have not indicated a tithe of their sual and pleasure-loving, smiles for the contents. Almost any class of read. docile, terrors for the disobedient, marvels for the ignorant."
ers will find matter of interest in
the great variety of facts, incidents, And schools and colleges for descriptive and historical sketches Americans ! But if any suppose with which they abound. It is true that these last are any thing more there are here and there marks of than a special expedient, a tempo hasty composition which might fur. rary wheel in that machinery of dish a professed critic with topics conquest which she has put in mo of animadversion. And there is a tion on this side the water—if any vein of sound moral and religious imagine that Romanism, which at feeling running through the work, home systematically takes away which to some others (few we hope) from the people the key of knowl- might be no special recommen. edge, human and divine, is really dation. Ultra churchmen will of the friend of education here, let
course object to it, because of the them listen once more to the jesuit plain unprejudiced truth it tells reprofessor in the College of Rome. specting their mother of England,
"Mr. Mazio thinking to compliment and their grandmother of Rome. us, spoke of the great facilities their mis. We like it as the production of one sionaries enjoyed in our country. I re who evidently not only crossed the plied, why not reciprocate that liberality Atlantic with the spirit of a New and give us the same freedom bere. He evaded the question ; but I insisted Englander, but brought it back with why not you be as open to us with our him. We deem it peculiarly valumissions, presses and schools, as we are able as exhibiting in a popular form to you? • Why,' he replied, “were we to do so, it would bring in other religious Old world, which in view of the
a multitude of facts respecting the views and disturb our unity. We do not wish for that. Among you, our labors state of the times can not be too are necessary, because you are in error. deeply pondered by the New. We are right as we are, and therefore it would be unwise to admit such writings
No American patriot can read and discussions as you would introduce these Notes without feeling a deeper In saying this, I rejoined-you give me gratitude for the institutions of his to understand that your object in regard country, and a devouter purpose to to us, is, first to make us right, as you guard them from foreign innovaare, and then to keep us so. me to understand, that if you ever get tion and corruption. No American possession of our country, you will put Christian can rise from their peruyour censorship upon us-you will sup- sal, without a more profound conpress our schools, restrain our booksellers, viction of the responsibilities of our prohibit the Bible, and in short, deprive us of our liberty in every thing wherein
American Zion. In view of the we may not be conformable to you. He situation of so large a portion of was silent; and when I repeated my Christendom, fettered by state esconclusions with a look that demanded an answer, he admitted their correctness.
tablishments or essentially unchrisThe conversation left a melancholy im- tianized by superstition, how much
is required of the church in Amer. my's country. If this in her case ica, the famed seat and strong hold was the part of undaunted firmness, of Gospel voluntaryism in the busi. undaunted faith prescribes a similar ness of the world's regeneration. course in ours. True, our duty be. We are aware that our own citadel gins at home—but it does not end is threatened. We are aware that there. Wo to us and to our chil. papal superstition, under its own or dren, if we sleep while the enemy under a borrowed name, threatens is sowing among us the tares of to assail us at every point. We are transatlantic heresy. But our field aware that there are those who in is the world. Our country is a part view of this fact, would have us of it; but heathendom, but Italy, , concentrate our energies at home, but Rome herself is another part of who think we have enough to do it-and just in proportion to the to defend our own heritage. We faithfulness of our efforts to extend think differently. Ancient Rome the kingdom of heayen into other furnishes us with a better exam. lands, will be our guaranty that the ple. When Hannibal marshaled gates of hell shall not prevail against his army before her gates, at the it in this. While in obedience to same time that she manned her the divine command we do our part walls against him, she sent out from in conquering the world for Christ, the opposite gate an army of her he will never suffer us to be van. own to carry the war into the ene. quished at home.
THEORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND MINISTRY, ACCORDING TO THE CONGREGATIONAL SYSTEM.*
What is the Christian church? There is an invisible church comWhat and whence is the Christian posed of the whole body of believe ministry? The answers can not be ers in Christ. This is the general given without much careful definic assembly and church of the First tion. The church of Christ is a Born, whose names are written in term of various significations, and heaven. There is also a universal the conception of the Christian min.' visible church, embracing the whole istry is not the same in all minds. body of professors of Christianity. We here propose our opinion.
Members are introduced into the in.
visible church by a spiritual renova. * The plan of this article forbids any tion, and into the visible church by formal arguinent in support of the theory which it advances. Our aim is to give a
a public profession of faith in Christ. distinct view, in miniature, of the princi
The invisible church has no out. pal features of the ecclesiastical polity, ward form or organizaton, and is adopted by the fathers of New England, known only to the Searcher of hearts. and drawn by them from the writers of Nor has the universal visible church the New Testament. It would have much obscured the picture, to have loaded it any organization, or social compact, with proof-texis and labored demonstra or officers, or by-laws. All its memtions, and we flatter ourselves it is a needless task for the purpose of conviction. to its truthfulness, sufficient, we think, for The harmony of the system with the na. the satisfaction of unbiased minds. ture of Christianity, its simplicity, its per Proofs, however, of the ordinary kind, fect congruity, the lubricity of its joints are not wanting, and are ready to be fur: and free movements, the compleieness nished to those who need them; and will with which it provides for all ecclesiasti. be furnished from time to time, as, to some cal wants, without collision of parts, with. extent, they already have been, in this out a grale or a jar, is an internal evidence journal.
bers are equal. One has no author. tories, with power to overrule the ity and no preëminence over another. doings of individual churches, or to They have one Lord, and all they legislate for their government. But are brethren. They are all kings they may agree to act in harmony, and priests unto God. Whatever where their interests are common; one may do, in the service of his and to observe certain general rules master, may be done by all. They of procedure in respect to the call are all divinely commissioned evan and appointment of men to the pasgelists; and all, according to their toral office. The local churches are several abilities, are bound to propa. severally competent to invite men to gate the Gospel. They have au preach the Gospel in their assemthority to make known the way of blies, and to be their pastors, who salvation, to invite their fellow men have not received the sanction of to the cross of Christ, and to baptize any other body of Christians. When their respective converts and thus a disciple of Christ feels it to be his introduce them into the visible com duty to preach the Gospel to his fel. munity of believers.
low men, he needs no authority to Out of this universal visible church, do so, from any ecclesiastical body. particular churches arise. Any num He holds a commission in common ber of believers are authorized to with all other Christians of the proper form themselves into a distinct so- qualifications, to preach Christ, wherciety, or local church, for the pur ever he can get a hearing with a pose of mutual edification, for the prospect of usefulness. But al . administration of Christian ordinan- though he needs no authority from ces, and for the more effective exer man to be a preacher of righteoustion of their influence in the work of ness, yet he does need the support evangelizing the world. A church and countenance of his fellow laborin this sense is a society, and must, ers and fellow Christians in his work. from the very nature of a society, Whoever should enter on such a have officers, permanent or pro tem work, without consultation with the pore, and by-laws. The officers de. wise and good, would show a derive their authority, whatever it is, fect of character, fatal to his success. as defined by the rules of the asso. The preaching of Christ crucified, is ciation, from the brotherhood, and an arduous work, to which no one to them they are amenable (if not should approach, until his piety has otherwise determined by the rules of been tried, his intellectual powers the church,) for the right discharge disciplined, and his mind richly of their duties. The church is bound stored with doctrinal knowledge, by two classes of obligations, one systematically arranged. Evidence arising from the commands of Christ, of such attainments is what every the cther from the voluntary by church desires of the candidates for laws of the society; and it is her her pastoral oversight. It would be business to see that none of these madness to hear a man preach, much obligations are neglected or violated more to install him in the office of by her official agents. She may permanent teacher, without knowing however refer the determination of whence he comes, what have been questions relating to the conduct of his opportunities of improvement, her officers, and the infliction of what is his reputation at home. The censures, to some other body if she churches, therefore, very properly deems it expedient.
require letters of recommendaLocal churches have power to tion,” from some Christian body, form associations for their mutual from some other church, or from support and enlargement. They some association of ministers, testimay not create independent judica. fying to the good character, Chris.
tian conversation, and intellectual of the early pastors were "ordained” gifts and acquirements, of all can in this way; and it is obvious to readidates for the ministry. Every son, that the power of conferring an one, therefore, who aspires to the office by election, involves the power work of the ministry, whether as an of a formal investiture. evangelist or as a pastor, needs “let The pastor of a church has, by ters of recommendation"—not to in- usage, certain rights and powers not vest him with authority to preach, possessed by private members. In but to propitiate the good will and his relation to the universal visible confidence of the Christian commu. church, he is in no way superior to nity. This is the origin and reason them, even after he becomes a of the licensing system which pre preacher of the Gospel. In that vails among us. The graduate of church, as before observed, there the public seminary, or private are no distinctions of rulers and peoschool of theology, presents himself ple—all are brethren on a footing of to an association of ministers, to be perfect equality so far as rights and examined as to his qualifications for powers are concerned. Inspiration the sacred office, with a request that itself conferred on the Apostles if they find him worthy, they will no magisterial authority. All they recommend him to the confidence of could do, was to teach and inculcate the churches. This recommenda- the will of Christ. As elders of lotion is called a “license to preach, cal churches, if any of them held but the authority to preach exists such a relation, they had executive before, and needs not to be confer. power; but as mere ministers of red by man. And if it were equally the church universal, they and the safe for the churches, and equally evangelists had no authority to make influential to inspire public confi. or administer laws over individual dence in the candidates, it would be Christian societies. But the elders as well for the licenses to be taken
stituted, and compleated with all the orfrom the churches to which the can
ders and officers of Christ, the right of didates respectively belong, as is the ordination belongs to the teaching elders; practice of the Baptist denomina- the act appertains to the presbyters contion.
stiluted of ruling and teaching, when an When a candidate for the pastoral these it is expressly spoken, even in the
officer is invested in his place: for of office is elected by the people, he letter of the text, I Tim. iv, 14. may be inducted into his place, with “ Though the act of ordination belong out the coöperation of sister church. ordinandi, is conferred firstly upon the
to the presbytery, yet the jus et potestas es and church officers, by the sole church by Christ, and resides in her. agency of the brotherhood. The It's in them instrumentaliter, in her origfirst churches of New England held inaliter.”
“In case then that the face and form of this principle distinctly,* and many all the churches are generally corrupted,
or else the condition of the church is “ Hence it is plain, that ordination such, that she is wholly destitute of prestherefore presupposeth an officer consti- byters, she may then out of her own powtuted, doth not constitute; therefore it's er, given her by Christ, provide for her pot an act of power, but order; therefore own comfort, by ordaining her own minthose who have not the power of office, isters; and this according to the regular may put it forth; therefore though it be appointment of our Saviour, and the order most comely, that those of the same con of the gospel." gregation should exercise it, yet the elders “ The church may be said to be indealso of other congregations may be invi- pendent, namely, sufficient to attaine her ted hereunto, and interested in the exer end; and therefore hath compleat power, cise of it in another church, where they being rightly constituted, to exercise all have no power, and upon a person who the ordinances of God."'-Hooker's Sur. hath more power in the place than them dey of the Summe of Church Discipline, selves.”
part II, chap. ii, pp. 59,76 and 77 ; chap. · When the churches are rightly con
iii, p. 80.
of these local churches were over This view of the theory of the seers or bishops. The extent of Christian church and ministry, retheir authority was no doubt deter. moves all embarrassments in remined by express definitions or well gard to the sources and extent of known usage ; but it never, in early pastoral and ministerial authority. times,comprehended legislative pow. The pastor of a Congregational ers, but merely executive. The church is ordinarily, in modern times, church has only one lawgiver, the sole elder. As such he has Christ. The by-laws are of her own functions to perform, both as teachadoption, designed merely for the er and moderator. Whence does he regulation of business, or as guides derive his right to preside? From to the elders in the discharge of their the vote of the church electing functions. Yet the officers of a him to the eldership or bishopric. church have as such, executive au. Whence does he derive his right to thority, defined and limited by the preach ? His right to be the preach. constitution and by-laws of the body. er of that particular church, he de. According to late usage, a Congre. rives from the same source ; but his gational church has but one elder. right to preach, is the gift of God. The office of bishop and teacher are The right to make known the gos. united in his person. He is there. pel, formally or informally, by prifore, by usage, unless the by-laws vate conversation or by public ha. order otherwise, the presiding officer rangues, is not an ecclesiastical gift
. of the church, specially charged The power to bestow it lies not in a with the conduct of its meetings, Congregational church, nor in a cler. both for worship and business, with ical association, nor in a bench of the oversight and discipline of its bishops, but only the power to recog. members, and a supervision of the nize it. It is the common preroga. business entrusted more particularly tive of all the qualified members of to the deacons. The grand princi- the universal visible church. All ple, that all church power is in the ecclesiastical power and authority, hands of the brotherhood, does in- it may therefore be said, resides in deed involve the right of excluding the local church, and extends to its the pastor from all participation in own affairs, and not beyond to the the government of the churches. affairs of any sister community. Still it must be admitted that in the But the power to make ministers in apostolical churches, the pastors the universal church, that is, evanwere overseers," as well as teach. gelists or licensed preachers or mis. ers of the churches. They held the sionaries, is not an ecclesiastical office of elder, not as preachers, but power, nor a clerical prerogative. as presiding officers. In this capa. The right to be a minister or preachcity they were entitled to obedience. er of Christ, belongs to every qual. Whatever they did, within the lim- ified person. Having the qualificaits of their authority, as executive tions, all he needs further, is to be officers, the members were bound to recognized, by the Christian com. respect, yet it would be a mistake munity where he labors, as a workreplete with danger to the church, to suppose them invested with legislative and judicial powers over the
their voluntary subjection it is, that the
party chosen hath right, and stands pos, church, or with any executive power sessed of rule and authority over them.” to do more than simply to execute "Hence the power that the pastor bath, the will of the brotherhood.*
extends no larger nor further than bis own people; he hath no more than what they
give, no more but this : for their subjec*"Those in whose choice it is wheth tion is onely from themselves."-Hooker any shall rule over them or no; from er's Survey, part II, chap. ii, pp. 72, 73.