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" human sys
we may safely believe, that « human-formularies and sys. two thirds of the church mem- tems,” those things, which bers place their confidence in ought to be used only as means the Pastor and some leading of instruction, operate characters in the church, and real barrier to improvement. adopt the articles proposed In respect to all the doc. by them on the ground of this trines contained in the conconfidence.
fession, the inquirer after While we thus freely ex- truth is thus addressed by the press our opinion on the adopted systein,
“ Hitherto manner in which these con- shalt thou come but no far. fessions
admitted in thcr ; here shall thy progress churches, are far from be stayed." saying or believing, that such Such confessions regarded compendious systems can be as standards of faith, not only of no use If they were em- check free enquiry, but cxployed only as means of in- pose professors of religion to struction, like other writingsreproachful duplicity, or bitter of fallible men, they might be contentions.
In almost every of real service, to christians. community there They might be viewed as ex. minds that cannot submit to pressing the opinions of the such fetters as compilers, and afford a variety tems." They will prefer the of topics for profitable discus. Bible as a standard, and insion, and thus be means of quire, whether the human sysreal improvement in knowl. tem does agree with that edge. But when these human standard or not. systems are made the standard cases thorough inquiry will of faith to the churches which first produce doubt and then adopt them, in such a sense dissent respecting some parthat the members feel bound ticular Articles.
The more by them, they are evidently a popular the confession, the substitute for the BIBLE; and greater is the danger, that dumore or less of " gross mis- plicity, or contentions, will representations of it, are sube result from a person's being stituted in the place of the convinced that some of the simple and perfect original." articles are erroneous, Those The confession of faith will who have not sufficient fortithen be employed as a Rule tude to meet opposition and by which particular passages reproach, will be exposed 10 in the Bible niust be maasured, perpetual duplicity to conceal and with which he words of their dissent from the popular inspiration must be compelled creed, But such as may be 10 accord. Instead of cor- copyinced that some articles recting the confession by the in the confession are erroneBible, the Bible will be ex- ous, and have too much virtuc, plained by the confession of. fortitudc, and independence of faith. Yea, so far as the mind, to expose themselves to churches feel bound by such a coursc of degrading duplici
ty, will avow their disserit ; man system which he does and this arowal will probably not understand, he expresses be followed by bitter animosi- his confidence in man, and not ties, and bring on the dis- in God or his woRD. If, then, senters the most severe re- it be more safe to trust in the proaches.
Lord, and in the Scriptures Such are some of the natural as the word of his grace, than consequences of admitting to trust in man, and his word, "humar systems" as binding it is more safe to assent to on the consciences of church articles of faith in the language members. In view of these of inspiration, than in the lanthings we cannot but recom- guage of uninspired men. mend, that confessions of faith We may add, if believers in i should be in the language Jesus'subscribe to the words which the Holy Spirit has dic- of inspiration with incorrect tated. This, it is presumed, views of their irnport, and afwould be no disadvantage as terwards, by advancing in to unily in" sentiment, and it knowledge, find
to would be of great advantage as change some of their opinions, to unity of affection, which is they will have no occasion to a thing of the highest impor- alter the articles of their contance.
fession. The articles may It may probably be objected, stand from age to age, whatthat many professors would not ever advances the church, or understand every article of a individuals, may make in theo. confession of faith, if they logical knowledge. But when were all in the language of human systems are substituted Scripture. It is admitted that for the language of Scripture, such would probably be the neither the church, nor indi. case ; yet, in our opinion, the vidual members, can make language of Scripture is any considerable advances, , generally far more simple and without being exposed to the intelligible, than the language inconvenience of needing a of '« human systemis." But corresponding change in the admitting, that as many church. articles of their confession. members would give their as- It may probably be asked, sent to articles which they what shall christians do, after do not understand, in the having given their mutual asone case as in the other, still sont to articles of faith in the there would be one very strike language of scripture, if on ing difference in the two cases. comparing their ideas, it shal! By giving his assent to the be found, that there is a real language of Scripture, without difference of opinion on some a clear understanding of its important articles? We frank. iinport, the believer would ly answer, Let each do to his only express his confidence in brother as he would that his God, and in the Scriptures as brother should do to him. As the word of God. Eut when each individual would reasonhe gives his assent to a " hu- ably desire the spirit of love
and forbearance to be exercisa persons are intended no more ed towards himself, let him than "three attributes" of the do the same to each of his one God ; a fourth, that by brethren. In this way they the three persons are intended will keep the unity of the only " three distinct offices” of spirit in the bond of peace, and the same. Being, &c. &c. leave the work of judging the Yet with all this variety of heart to him who has been or• discordant opinions, they can dained of God for that pur- love one another, and we hope, pose. But, consistently with “ with a pure heart fervently." this spirit of love and forbear. Such forbearance among chris. ance, each one may, manifest țians is highly commendable ; concern for his brethren whom and we are not able to see why he views to be in error, and the same brotherly love might may do all in his power to cor- not be exercised, in regard to rect their supposed mistakes. differences of opinion, if their
If the foregoing answet articles of faith were all exshould be unsatisfactory, we pressed in the language of will give another :-In the the Holy Spirit. case supposed, let the differ- As the doctrine just menent members be as forbearing' tioned, is considered by many towards each other, as per- as of the very first importance, sons of the same sect usually and as there is no other docare who have mutually assen. trine respecting which proted to a “human system,” but fessors of religion are more have different views of the at variance, than those are a same articles. Among those mong themselves who make who have adopted a human this an article of faith; we creed respecting the Triniu, think that if equal candor and we often
an admirable forbearance should be exer: spirit of forbearance. You cised by then in all other ca. will rarely find two persons, ses, and all denominations of who perfectly agree in ex- professors would imitate such plaining this article of their an, example, the christian faith; and you will often find world would soon know by their explications in the most experience "how good and perfect opposition one to the how pleasant it is for brethother; yet, among those who ren to dwell together in uniadmit the article, you will ty!" seldom find any hardness or We have been much gratiibitterness, on account of the ec! by finding in the writings diversity in their explanations. of the learned and worthy Pri. One may believe that by the mate of Ireland the senti. three persons in one God, are ments we have quoted. As intended a three distinci ben an intelligent dignitary of the ings united by 'mutual con- Episcopal Church, he was in a scieusness ;” another, that the situation to know the sad efeo three persons are but one be- fects of having the “ religion ing; a third, that by the three of Christ orerwhelmed with
human formularies and sys. the opinion, that “Christiani. tems." We rejoice in that ty can never have its free uprightness of heart and in- course among men of improve dependence of mind, which ed understandings, and even led him to express his opin- among rational creatures in ion on this iinportant subject. general, while gross misrepe We unite with him in lament- resentations of it are substituing the overwhelming influ. ted in the place of the simple ence of “human formularies and pertect original." and systems ;' and concur in
MALLET'S ACCOUNT OF HUMAN SACRIFICES. In a work entitled “ North- price with which they could ern Antiquities" Mr. Mallet purchase the Divine favor, gives the following melan. In this manner the first king chcly account of human sac- of Vermland was burnt in honrifices :
our of Odin to put an end to a " It is probable that this great dearth. The kings in barbarous practice was form- their turn did not spare the erly almost universal, and that blood of their subjects; and it is of remote antiquity. It many of them even shed that was not entirely abolished a- of their children. Hacon, mong the northern nations till king of Norway, offered his towards the ninth century.- son in sacrifice to obtain of In every ninth month they re- Odin a victory over his enemy newed the bloody ceremony, Harold. Aune, king of Swewhich was to last nine days. den, devoted to Odin the blood They chose among the cap- of nine sons to prevail on the tives in time of war, and a god to prolong his life. The mong the slaves in time of Ancient history of the North peacc, nine persons to be sac
abounds in similar examples." rificed. The wretches upon
Mr. Mallet quotes
fron whom the lot fell were treated Dithmore, bishop of Marsberg, with such honours by all the a historian of the eleventh assembly_they were so over- century, the following article : whelmed with caresses by all 66 There is in Zealand a place present, and with promises for which is the capital of Denthe life to come, that they some mark, named Liderun. At times congratulated them this place every nine years in selyes on their destiny. But the month of January the they did not always sacrifice Danes flock together in crowds slich mean persons. In great and offer to their gods ninetycalamities, in a pressing fam, nine men, as many horses, ine if the people thought they dogs and cocks, wilh the cerhad some pretext to impute tain hope of appeasing the the cause of it to their king, Gods with these victims." they even sacrificed him with
“ Dudo of St. Quintin,' a out hesitation, as the highest French historian, attributes the
same practice to the Normans. proach." « The Peruvians There are still in Friesland, anciently offered human sacri. and in several parts of Ger. fices. T'he Mexicans once of many, altars composed of such fered five thousand prisoners large stones that they could of war neither be destroyed by the Such is the account which ravages of time nor by the this istorian gives of' the zeal of the first converts to former prevalence of a custom Christianity These altars wbich is now universally abaccording to the tradition of horred by Christians the custhe inhabitants and the report tom of offering human sacrifi. of creditable historians, have
ces to God. This custom has served for the same horrid been abolished in Christenpurposes.
The Gauls for a dom by the influence of Chrislong time offered men to their tianity. May we not hence supreme God, Enes or Teve derive a well grounded hope tat. The first inhabitarts of that the same benign influItaly and Sicily, the Britons, encé will yet abolish the more the Phenicians, the Carthage. malignant and barbarous cus nians and all the nations we tom of offering human sacri. know of in Europe and Asia fices to men ? are covered with the same re
DR. CASPER WISTAŘ. The following account of was a good scholar may be in, Dr. Wistar, late President of ferred from his knowledge of the American Philosopliical the Greek and Latin languaSociety, at Philadelphia, has ges. Uniil the age of sixteen been extracted from a Eulogi- his faculties were expanding; um, delivered before the Soci- but the peculiar cast of his Ety, by the Hon. Wm. Tilgh- genius had not been developman, Chief Justice of the Com- ed. About this period occur. monwealth of Pennsylvania,' red an event which called and one of the Vice Presidents forth his ruling passion and of the Society. March 11th, decided his fate. This event 1818.
was the battle of Germantown, Dr. Casper Wistar was born in the year 1777. His religin Philadelphia, the 13th of ious principles kept him out of Sept. 1761, and was grandson the battle, but his humanity led of Casper Wistar, who emi- him to seek the wounded solo grated from Germany to Peon- dier, and he was active in assylvania in 1717. As his par. sisting ihose who were admin. ents and ancestors were of the istering relief His benevolent Society of Friends, he was heart was affected by their brought up in their religious sufferings; and so deeply was principles, and received his he struck, with the happy efclassical education at a school fects of the medical art, that established by them. That he he determined to devote his Vol. VI. No. U.