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after the example of our Lord, to co-equal in divine right and power; minister and serve gratuitously: which, like similar and homogeneous Matt. xx. 28. X. 8. Acts x8. 35. parts of the same body, connected Paul proposed the same to the imi- by a boud of mutual equality, form tation of ministers in general, and in conjunction one catholic church; recommended it by his example; nor need any one church have re. Acts xx. 34. 2 Thess. iii. 7-9. course to another for a grace or pri1 Cor. ix. 15, 18. 2 Cor. xi. 9-12. vilege which it does not possess in xii. 14.. And if at any time extreme its independent capacity.-Particunecessity compelled him to accept lar churches, however, may comthe voluptary aid of the churches, municate with each other in a spirit such constraint was so grievous to of brotherhood and agreement, and him, that he accuses himself as if co-operate for purposes connected he were guilty of robbery; 2 Cor. with the general welfare: 2 Cor. xi. 8.--If, however, such self denial viii. 19. i. 24. 1 Peter v. 3.” P. he thought too arduous for the mi- 491_-493. nisters of the present day, they will Perhaps few of our readers will most nearly approach to it, when, admit the force of the following obrelying on the providence of God servations, which occur in the chapwho called them, they shall look for ter on church discipline :-" The the necessary support of life, not custom of holding assemblies is to from the edict of the civil power, be maintained, not after the present but from the spontaneous goodwill mode, but according to the apostoand liberality of the church in re- lical institution, which did not orquital of their voluntary service: dain that an individual, and he a Matt. x. 11. Luke x. 7, 8. 2 Cor. stipendiary, should have the sole xi. 9. Phil. iv, 15, &c. P. 485. right of speaking from a higher
. It was to be expected that Milton place, but that each believer in turn would plead for the independence of should be authorized to speak, or churches" Every church consist- prophecy, or teach, or exhort, acing of the above parts, however cording to his gifts; insomuch that small in its numbers, is to be con- even the weakest among the bresidered as in itself an integral and thren had the privilege of asking perfect church, so far as regards its questions, and consulting the elders religious rights; nor has it any su- and more experienced members of perior on earth, whether individual, the congregation: 1 Cor. xiv, 26, or assembly, or convention, to whom &c." P. 498. it can be lawfully required to ren. We anticipate a much more exder submission ; inasmuch as no be- tensive unanimity in reference to liever out of its pale, nor any order Milton's views of religious liberty. or council of men whatever, has a and the difference between civil and greater right than itself to expect a ecclesiastical power. These subjects participation in the written word are frequently adverted to. For inand the promises, in the presence stance: " Herein it is that the preof Christ, in the presiding iufluence eminent excellence of Christ's kingof the Spirit, and in those gracious dom over all others, as well as the gifts which are the reward of united divine principles on which it is prayer; Matt. xviii. 20. Acts xiv. founded, are manifested ; inasmuch 23.” Again :-" At present there as he governs, not the bodies of is no national church, but a number men alone, as the civil magistrate, of particular churches, each com- but their minds and consciences, plele and perfect in itself, and all and that not by force and freshly weapons, but by what the world very nature matter of ecclesiastical esteems the weakest of all instru. discipline alone, and incapable of ments. Hence external force ougbt being affected by the determinanever to be employed in the admi- tions of human tribunals : not to nistration of the kingdom of Christ, mention the absurdity and impiety which is the church." P. 314. of compelling the conscientious to
Again:-“ The civil power dif. adopt a religion which they do not fers from the ecclesiastical in the approve." P. 701. following respects. First, every man Here we close our extracts. The is subject to the civil power; that second book is far less interesting is to say, in matters properly civil; than the first. It consists of an Rom. xiii. 1. On the contrary, nove enumeration of the various duties but the members of the church are connected with our relation to God subject to ecclesiastical power, and and to one another, forming a kind that only in religious matters, with of skeleton-system of ethics, that a liability to ecclesiastical punish- furnishes scarcely any materials for ment alone, that is, to punishment quotation. . Its only peculiarity is inflicted by their own body : Matt, an attempt to shew that, the Jewish xviii. 15, 16. John viii. 11. 1 Cor. sabbath being abolished, no parti. v. 11-13. Secondly, the civil pow. cular day is appointed under the er has dominion only over the body gospel for public worship, but that and external faculties of man; the Christians may assemble when aud ecclesiastical is exercised exclusive. where they please. ly on the faculties of the mind, Those who have read these pawhich acknowledge no other juris. pers cannot but have observed that diction : Luke xii. 14. 1 Cor. vi. 4. the theological errors of Milton were 2 Cor. x. 3, 4. James iv. 12. Nay, neither few nor trivial. Let the we are expressly enjoined not to wanderings of this great man shew suffer ourselves to be governed by us the folly of appealing to names the commandments of men in mate and authorities in matters of relitérs of religion: 1 Cor. vii. 23. gion, and remind us of the import. Tbirdly, the civil power punishes ance of that docility and humbleeven such as confess their faults ; ness of mind, without which we the ecclesiastical, on the contrary, must not expect to attain sound pardons all who are penitent: John scriptural knowledge, and which,
viii. 7."_“It is therefore highly de.' when joined with earnest prayer for . rogatory to the power of the church, divine illumination, will often give as well as an utter want of faith, to to the “ wayfaring man” a decided suppose that her government can- superiority to the lettered sage. We not be properly administered with- admire much Bishop Horsley's reout the intervention of the civil ma-' marks on this subject. Having registrate." P. 503.
commended a careful examination .“ Undoubtedly, as the kingdom of the parallel passages noted in the of Christ is not of this world, so margins of our Bibles, bis Lordship neither is it sustained by force and observes~"I will not scruple to compulsion, the supports of earthly assert, that the most illiterale Chrisrule. Hence the outward profession tian, if he can but read his English of the gospel ought not to be made Bible, and will take the pains to a matter of constraint; and as to read it in this manner, 'will not only the inner parts of religion, faith and attain all that practical knowledge liberty and conscience, these are which is necessary to his salvation; beyond its power, being from their but, by God's blessing, he will be
come learned in every thing relating no longer shining with the glories of to his religion in such degree, that summer, appears, as soon as it he will not be liable to be misled, rises, to languish for the grave of either by the refined arguments, or night. The fields have thrown off by the false assertions of those who their beantiful robe, and are asendeavour to ingraft their own opisuming the weeds of mourning. The nions upon the oracles of God. He moisture of the trees descends, and may safely be ignorant of all philo- ceases to impart greenness to the sophy, except what is to be learned foliage. The broad spreading oak, from the sacred books; which, in which so lately afforded a cooling deed, contain the highest philoso- shade to the weary traveller, is now phy adapted to the lowest appre dropping its withered and trembling hensions. He may safely remain leaves, and will shortly groan be ignorant of all history, except so neath the blast of winter. Though much of the history of the first ages there are times and seasons' which of the Jewish and of the Christian • it is not for us to know,' yet this church, as is to be gathered from is a time and season which we ought the canonical books of the Old and to know and improve, by deriving New Testaments. Let him study from it such lessons of instruction these in the manner I recommend, as, through the divine assistance, and let him never cease to pray for may subserve our present and future the illumination of that Spirit by happiness. which these books were dictated; Let us direct our footsteps to and the whole compass of abstruse yonder forest. Observe the leaves philosophy, and recondite history, as they quiver here and there on shall furnish no argument with which the almost deserted branches, or as the perverse will of man shall be they lie scattered in heaps at our able to shake this learned Chris- feet. Only a little while since they tian's faith. The Bible, thus stu- were starting from the bud; but died, will indeed prove to be what now, how discoloured and shrivelwe Protestants esteem it-a certain led. The other day, only, they and sufficient rule of faith and prac. hung on the trees, all verdant, and tice, a helmet of salvation, which in countless numbers, and rustled, alone may quench the fiery darts of and sung to the summer-breeze; the wicked.” Sermons on the Re. but now, how smitten and scathed surrection, p. 221.
by the blast! What a striking and humiliating picture of man! Con,
template the burial place. There Reflections on the Fading Leaf.
are graves of all lengths, containing
the remains of persons of all ages. HURRIED along on the stream of There lies all that is mortal of one, time, and still supported by the who a few years ago occupied one hand of a gracious Providence, we of the most busy and restless scenes have arrived at the concluding of life. There is the fresh made month of another year. The sun grave of a father, snatched away in has left that lofty point which a the vigour of life, who at the comlittle while since he occupied in the mencement of the present year was heavens, and seems to creep, faintly Aushed with the hope of success— in his course, just above the hori. bad formed a thousand plans of zon. The year no longer glows be. Aattering enterprise-anticipated oneath his rays, but sickens and de- pulence and a protracted life, and spoods at his absence. The day, as little expected to hear the sum
mons of death as we. There lies less delights? Those limbs will the mother of a numerous family, lose their strength-those passions who a few weeks ago was surround. their ardour - those eyes their brighted with all the endearments of do- ness, and in spite of all your at. mestic bliss: and there the ghastly tempts to put off reflection, you corse of a gay young creature, whose will sbriok and wither like the faded beauty and accomplishments were leaf! But what should be our conher pride and her boast. “All cern when we know, not only by fesh is grass, and all the goodliness the lapse of years, but by increasthereof as the flower of the field: ing infirmities, that we are approxthe grass withereth, the flower imating to the close of life? Aged fadeth, because the spirit of the people, are you inattentive to the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the admonitions you receive from your people is grass."
own persons? What, do those Let us retire from the houses of wrinkled countenances give you no the dead, and bring the admonitions warping? Is there nothing in those with which they supply us, home gray hairs—nothing in that feebleto our own bosoms. The fading ness of limb in those tottering leaf affords us the idea of progres- footsteps, to awaken thoughtful. sive decay. All things in nature ness? Each of these circumstances have this tendency, and exhort us is calculated to impress you with to prepare against the humbling vi- the solemn cry of the propbet, cissitude. Does not the sun that • Prepare to meet thy God. A rises with so rich a glory in the slight disease in the present stage morning, sink into the west and of your existence will be sufficient leave us in darkness? Do not the to remove you hence. The leaf seasons perpetually revolve, and which, while green, could bear the have we not in every year a solemn assailings of the summer storm, now and interesting emblem of human that it is faded, may be precipilife in all its stages, from the spring tated by the whisper of a breeze. of youth to the winter of old age? The complaint which gave way, Do not the tides instruct us, and and was overborne, by the vigour give us silent lectures on the changes of youth, will now easily master of the present scene of being? Alas! you. • we all do fade as a leaf! Do you, This fading is universal. What my reader, possess a vigorous and an impressive resemblance of the commanding intellect? Should you whole human race is observable in live to an advanced period, your the accumulated heaps of foliage judgment will lose its tone, your that lie withering and rotting on the memory will prove unfaithful, and earth. Some leaves, while the heayour thoughts become incapable of vens were unruffled by the tempest, ihat expansion which is now their fell gently “here and there" almost element and their felicity. Are you unheeded: others, perhaps, were enamoured of the world ? and pur- torn away from the branches by a suing your projected improvements hurricane, and “ precipitated by with avidity? Soon the glittering thousands in a moment." Just so objects which now enchant and ex- is it with mankind. Death, in its cite you will lose all their charms, and more usual operations, diminishes your expected joys will appear like our numbers one by one, without the blighted foliage. Are you young producing any great impression on and gay and sprightly, and dream. the collected body of human soing of almost unmingled and cease- ciety:' but sometimes floods arise
and inundate whole countries: It is incumbent on us to prepare sometimes the malignant pestilence, immediately for the changes that and sometimes the murderous sword await us for death is not the priof war awake in wrath, and “ leave vation of being. The leaf withers the most crowded and social scenes and is no more, but man dies to
silent.” But whether death, in his live for ever. The body faints and • visitations, assume a milder or more expires, and returns to dust, bat territic aspect, all ranks of human the soul retains its consciousness, beings must submit, eventually, to its understanding, its memory, in his relentless stroke. The beauti. all their vigour and perfection. Still ful, as well as the homely counte- the indifferent cry: The day of nance; the strong and well-set frame, death is far hence the storm may as well as the weak and missbapen-- not come yet.' But has the storm the learned man not less than the never come unexpectedly? Has illiterate the master and his slave the blast never smitten the tree in
the king and the peasant-all, all summer? Have you never observmust bend without distinction to the ed a leaf struck prematurely and destroying angel, and resign their withered in its prime? Do the young spirit to him who gave it: for ' we never die? all do fade as a leaf,'
Have you a new heart, an interest But why this universal fading? in Christ, a portion in the unchangWhepce arose this terrible dispen- ing God? Then let the winter of sation? The word of inspiration life quicken its progress, let the answers this inquiry : By sin came storm descend with all its horrors, death. O it is sin that has poison- let the foliage wither and fall; still ed every draught of earthly happi. the Christian shall be like a tree ness, and armed our foe with a planted by the rivers of water, that fatal sting, and opened a passage to bringeth his fruit in his season; his the dark grave, and the world of leaf also shall not wither--and the perdition! It must be then a dread- end shall be everlasting life. ful evil. God is holy, just, and
' . S. good, he cannot therefore punish his creatures wantonly or caprici. ously; but he has given us the most
On the Admission of Members. evident proofs of his displeasure, by alloiting to us sorrow, and pain, and To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine. ; death : the secret of this lies in the SIR, evil of sin. It is the abominable No reply having appeared in your tbing which Jehovah hateth. columns to my former communica
But in this world we have only a tion, respecting the admission of partial expression of the divine dis, members to our churches, I may, pleasure. "The wrath is to come. perhaps, be warranted in conclud. What question then is so natural as ing that it is conceded that we have that of the jailor, “What must I do no specific law to direct us on this to be saved ? Divine mercy meets subject; and that, as a denomina: the sincere inquirer, and points to tion, we are agreed that the method “the Lamb of God who taketh away or manner in which meinbers should the sin of the world. She assures be admitted to our communion, is him that “the death of Christ is the solely a matter of expediency. To death of death,” and yet the source this point, then, agreeably to my enof life to millions of penitent trans. gagement, I now solicit the attengressors.
tion of your readers.