Sidor som bilder



66 Put

is out of the present question. synagogues : and in John ix.34,
Nature itself, as well as the word we have an instance of an excom.
of God, teaches, that they should munication from one of them.
not exercise authority in the But whoever shall attentively
church. Natural laws are para. read that chapter, from the 18th
mount to positive. When a pos- to the 34th verse, will feel almost
itive institution is given to if not altogether, persuaded,
whole community, it must be that the Jews, the worshippers
kept within the limits naturally in the synagogue, cast him
set to it, and permanently estab- out.” Hence, they were prob-
lished by God; but to all within ably considered by Christ as the
these limits, it must extend. The church : the court of discipline.
male members of the church, as With this supposition, every
well as the pastors, are within sentence of Paul on the subject
these limits; and according to perfectly corresponds.
the natural, and irrepealable law He designates the christian
of God, they are justly consid. community by the synonymous
ered as the active men bers of the terms, church, them that are
church, as it respects the exer. sanctified in Christ Jesus, called
cise of authority. When Christ to be saints. The same com-
gives positive directions to the munity he also calls brethren,
whole church, those only can be and his beloved sons, whom he
excepted, whom a paramount


among law has incapacitated, in respect yourselves that wicked person.' to such directions.

1 Cor. v.13. Does the word, It is remarked by some of the yourselves, mean the church col. most critical writers on the sube lectively ? Does it mean the jeci, that there are in the New brethren including their pastor, Testament but two original seus- or pastors ? If it do; aed if es vf the word, church; and this be made clearly to appear ; that, when applied to believers, then the question under discus. it denotes either a single congre. sion will come to an issue in fa. garion of Chrisuans; or the vor of my statement. To what whole christian community, class of Christians then does the 6 The church in the house of word yourselves, refer? The Nyinphas" may have been as chapter begins thus “ It is re. really a congregation, as the ported commonly that there is church in the city of Ephesus. fornication among you.” You, In fact there seems to be no in this verse, and yourselves, in ground in the Scriptures for the the 13th, denote the same class of supposition, that the word Christians. There is an incestu. church sometimes denotes a coun. ous man among you ;

therefore cil of pastors.

put away from among yourselves It is said that “Christ's minis.

ihat wicked person.

Aud as in try was under the law. If he these two verses ; so in every had respect to the then exisung verse in this, and in the followstate of the church, it was that ing chapter, the apostle evidentof Moses, which had elders in ly addresses the same body of every city.” The author proi). professors. Was it then among ably refers to the churcoes of the the pastors, as a separate, dis

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tinct body; if such a plurality to the rest of the epistle on the existed, that this wicked person subject of discipline, and of recwas found ? Was it from the fel. tifging various disorders; and lowship of the pastors, only, that this subject, with great pru. that he was to be excommunicat. dence, and much address, is in. ed? Was it to the pastors, only, troduced, not to a council of the apostle had written “ pot to pastors, but to the community company with fornicators?” Was of brethren. Can this total si. it to the pastors he said, “Isit so lence on a council, or court, dis. that there is not a wise man among

tinct from the church, be ac. you !--Now therefore there is counted for, if such a court ex. utterly a fault among you, be.

isted at Corinth? And, espec. cause ye go to law one with ially, how can it be accounted another :-brother goeth to law for in an epistle designed to with brother." In these, and in awake the spirit of discipline, all the instances in immediate and to give directions for set. connexion with the 13th verse, tling difficulties in the church? it appears decisively evident, Conclusive as this argument that the apostle addresses, not may already be considered, it the pastors exclusively, but the will acquire augmented force, if brethren, the whole church : the premises be extended to the and it has been already shown, 2d and 7th chapters of 2 Cor. that directions unequivocally in which the apostle considers given to a whole community, the happy effects of his first cannot be justly consider«d as epistle, in regard both to the of. designed for a part only. Hence fender, and to the church. He the word, yourselves, in the 13th doubtless addresses the church, verse, denotes the whole church, and not a part of it, as baring or community of brethren. The acted in the casc. "I wrote term church, then, in the 18th this same epistle, he says, having of Matt. as understood and ex. confidence in you all ; that my plained by Paul, means the pas. joy is the joy of you all. Wheretor, and brethren together, em. fore, though I wrote unto you, powered to hear, judge, and de. I did it not for his cause, that cide, in all cases of discipline, had done the wrong, nor for his in regard to their own members. cause that had suffered wrong;

This conclusion seems to be but that our care for you, in fairly drawn from premises, the sight of God, might appear which result from a natural con. unto you.” Such pastoral ad. struction of the text in its dresses were made to the lock. pure and intimate connexions. They are different from those es. The argument however, gains pressly made to Timothy, and strength, if it be considered, Titus. If a council of pastors that from the beginning of this were the principal department of epistle to the end of the sixth power in the church; why has chapter, the apostle keeps up not the apostle made some dis. his address to the church, with. tinct, and honorable mention out descending to particular class. of it, in his congratulatory ades ; that the four first chapters dresses ? were designed as an introduction In a reply on this subject last

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

en :

May, Rom. xvi.17, and 2 Thes. say, that thou art John the Bapiii. 6, 14, 15, were considered, tist; some, Elias ; and others, in addition to the above; but, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. though they are to the point, I He saith unto them, But whom must pass over them here, as my suy ye that I am ? And Simon sheet is nearly filled.

Peter answered and said, Thou Should we admit that they art the Christ, the Son of the were not private brethren, but living God. And Jesus answerpastors, who were directly ad. ed, and said unto him, Blessed dressed in all these instances, we art thou, Simon Barjona ; for should of course be obliged to flesh and bloud hath not revealed admit, that the apostle directly it unto thee, but my Father, addressed pastors only in the which is in heaven. And I say greater part of each of his epis. also unto thee, that thou art Pe. tles to the churches. And in

ter; and upon this rock soill I this way, we should deprive the build my church, and the yutes churches of what they have of hell shall not prevail against hitherto enjoyed as a most pre. it. And I will give unto thee cious part of their inheritance ; the keys of the kingdom of heav. as well as deprive the apostle of and whatsoever ihou shalt much of his praise in the church. bind on earth shall be bound in es; and extend the pastoral of. heaven; and whatsoever thou fice, as to authority, beyond all shalt loose on earth shall be due bounds. If Jesus Christ, loosed in heaven. and his principal servant in It would be difficult, perhaps, founding the christian churches to point to another passage in have indeed addressed the breth. the entire book of God, on the ren collectively, without giving whole more deeply interesting, a preeminence to any one, in or deserving of a more attentive their injunctions on gospel dis- consideration, than the para. cipline :-God forbid that we graph here presented.

Some. should deny it. Such is the per- thing of its high importance fect connexion of things in the may be conceived, from a view system of truth, that a small de. of the occasion on which this viation may, in the issue, do in. conversation occurred, of the calculable injury.

R. A.

evident purpose for which it was January 6th, 1810.

intended, and of the use which has been made of it, in the sub. sequent ages of the church.

The occasion was interesting.

Within a short period before, THE FOUNDATION AND ORDER our Lord had made the most OF HIS CHURCH : from Mat. splendid displays of his divine xvi. 13-19.

power, which he ever exhibited

during the course of his public Wuen Jesus came into the ministry. He had performed in coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he rapid succession, a series of mir. asked his disciples, saying, Whom acles, calculated to strike, most do men say that I, the Son of forcibly, the minds of all around man, am ? And they said, Some him ; to arrest the attention of VOL. II. New Series.

2 W


all classes from the lowest to the privileges and its everlasting highest; and to give the clearest blessings. and most convincing evidence,

As the occasion of this dis. that he was the Messiah, the hope course was upcommonly interof Israel, and the expectation of esting, and the design of it equal. ages. By these astonishing works ly important; so the use which his adversarics were greatly has been made of it has been of alarmed, lest “all men should infinite consequence. To this believe on him ;” and deeming it distinguished passage, the faithful necessary that something decisive of all ages have recurred, as should be done, the pharisees exhibiting the essential charac. and sadducees, the great“ rival teristics of the true church of sects of the nation, suspending God, and the sure and immova. for a while their mutual animosi. ble foundation, on which all its ties, combined their influence in interests and hopes are placed ; a conspiracy against him ; for and to this, too, have the advothe obvious purpose of counter. cates of Rome, with great confi. acting the impression of his mir. dence recurred, as the basis of acles, and of bringing him and

the whole enormous fabric of his doctrine into discredit with the papal hierarchy. Let us, the people. They came and de. then, consider the passage with manded of him to a sign from serious attention. heaven ;' plainly insinuating

When Jesus came into the that, without such a sign, all coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he his miracles were of no avail to asked his disciples, saying, Whom authenticate his clains, as the do men say that I, the Son of man, Messiah. Their impious demand am ? Cesarea Philippi was in however, he effectually repelled; the northern extremity of the their insidious attempts against land of Israel, on the confines of him, he made to recoil upon Syria. In this remote place, their own heads; and leaving Jesus, it would appear, was not them defeated and confounded, thronged, as usual, with the mul. he retired with his disciples into titude. Luke indeed says, that the territories of Cesarca Philip- "he was alone, praying, and his pi. Such was the occasion. disciples with him. After the

The design of this discourse combined attack, then, of the was not less important, than the pharisees and sadducees, occasion was interesting. The tired to this place privately, that design evidently was to bring his he might have opportunity with disciples to an explicit confes. his disciples for prayer and parsion of their faith in him; to ticular discourse. Accordingly confirm their confession in op- after praying with them he enposition to all the erroneous tered upon the subject, to which and diverse opinions of others

he intended to engage their atrespecting him; and, through tention. them, to declare to all nations Who do men say that I, the and ages the true foundation of Son of man, am 2În this ques. his church, and the appointed tion, he appears to have referred way of access to its peculiar to the people at large : for the

he re


pharisees and sadducees had re. a doctrine, according to which cently made a public declaration the souls of men generally, and of their sentiments respecting especially of good men after him; so far at least as clearly to death, are united to other bodics imply that they held him to be and are allowed to act a new part an impostor and a deceiver of on the great theatre of life. This the people. But as he had just doctrine was prevalent in Judea; been exhibiting his credentials in and upon the ground of this it the most striking and impressive was, that on a memorable occa. light, the attention of the people sion, the question was put to our generally must have been called Lord respecting the blind man : to his character and claims, and 66 Who sinned, this man or his much conversation, beyond parents that he was born blind?” doubt, had been held respecting Agreeably to this doctrine therehim. He would, therefore, fore the people imagined, some, know from his disciples what that the soul of John the Baptist, the opinions of the people were; others, that the soul of Elijah, not for his own sake indeed, or and others still, that the soul of for his own information ; but Jeremiah, or some one of the for their sakes, and for the sake ancient prophets, was united to of all, of every pation and age, another body, and appeared and to whom the word of the gospel acted in the person of Jesus. was to be sent.

John the Baptist was general. And they said, Some suy ly regarded by the Jews as a that thou art John the Baptist, prophet; Elijah they expected some, Elias ; and others, Jere. would appear in the world to mius, or one of the prophets. prepare the way for the Messiah, These, it is observable, were the and anoint him into office; and opinions, not of the pharisees Jeremiah they held as head, in and sadducees, who regarded a sense, of the whole order of him as an impostor, but of the the prophets, because God had people who thought favorable of said to him, " Before I formed him. Their opinions of him were thee in the belly I knew thee, and respectful indeed, but they were before thou camest forth out of erroneous. Though they regard. the womb I sanctified thee, and ed him as a true prophet and I ordained thee a prophet to the messenger of God; yet they did nations." One, or another, not acknowledge him in his true therefore, of these distinguished character as the Messiah. Those, prophets, the people seem to. who held that he was John the have supposed Jesus must have Baptist risen from the dead, ap. been. Their opinions of him, pear to have been very much of it may be repeated, were res. the same opinion with Herod the pectful but erroneous.

They tetrarch, and had probably im. acknowledged him not as the bibed the notion of the pharisees, Messiah himself, promised to that a good man might easily re. their fathers, and long expected turn to life ; or rather perhaps, by their nation.

Alas! they had embraced the more general had formed their expectations of doctrine of the metempsychosis, the Messiah upon an earthly or transmigration of the soul; model; they were looking for

« FöregåendeFortsätt »