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course, seems quite needless, But in what way? The answer and affords a very feeble argu- is this ; that while evangelical ment against the proposed plan. ministers in general subscribe to We admit that there is some the Catechism, which will thus real difference of opinion be- become the standard of orthotween the two ministers sup- doxy, some others, as orthodox posed, But that difference will as they, will not judge it proper be managed with a much greater to subscribe. Of course, they degree of Christian candour and will be reputed persons of cormutual forbearance from the rupt sentiments, and their characcircumstance of their belonging ter and usefulness will be injurto the same Association, their ed. To this objection there having agreed in the same com- may be a double reply. mon confession of faith, and First. There is no probabilitheir often meeting together for ty, that the fact, here supposed, the advancement of religion. On will occur so frequently, as to this point we add one request. become any considerable inconLet our correspondent, or any venience. In order that the other man, with a mind un- Catechism may be raised to the prejudiced by names, and seri- dignity, and have the influence ously intent upon the great of a public standard of orthothings of religion, peruse the doxy, in the way above mentionvolume of Dr. Hopkins' sermons ed, it must be approved and lately published, and an equal subscribed by the generality of number of Dr. Doddridge's ser- those, who are deemed orthodox. mons on evangelical subjects, Now, if the great body of learnand then judge, whether the ed, orthodox, and pious minisdifference between them were ters, whose judgment, in this so great, as to prevent the most case, cannot be swayed by mohappy and useful ministerial tives of worldly interest or honintercourse. The feelings and our,are seriously convinced of the the practice of many ministers, safety, the propriety, and the adwhose difference of opinion is vantage of subscribing “the docthe same with the difference be- trines of Christianity, as they tween those two authors, abund- are generally expressed in the antly prove the mistake of our Catechism,” it must be candid. correspondent's argument. We ly supposed, that there are good wish him to inquire, whether in reasons for such a subscription, this matter, he has not over- and that others, who embrace the looked his own excellent rule, same doctrines, are equally can“not to magnify points of dis- did, and devoted, with equal zeal, agreement."
to the great interest of ChrisWe pass by several things, tianity, will be equally satisfied which are open 10 just animad- as to their duty. If there be a version, and come to the last ob- few exceptions, they will, in all jection offered against the plan probability, be of those, who inof the General Association ; viz. dulge needless scruples, ground
its being conducive to a wrong less fears and alienations, or estimate of clerical character." some singularities of thinking Vol. III. No. 10.
for which no remedy can be pro- usefulness; and should be as revided. In every class of men, luctant, as he, to authorize a plan there are some eccentric charac- injurious to either. But we are ters, who dislike all precise willing that those, who best know rules, bowever necessary to the what concerns the reputation and common welfare. But shall a usefulness of ministers, should fear of leaving out, or a wish to judge, whether the proposed plan accommodate a small number of of the General Association has such characters, supersede a plan, an inauspicious, threatening aswhich promises extensive utili- , pect upon the clergy. If, in some ty to the public?
rare instances, it may be abused In the second method of reply, to the disadvantage of an individwhile we admit that, now and ual; this is nothing more than then, an orthodox and pious we are to expect from every minister may not think it best to measure, which is calculated for subscribe, we question the cor- the public advantage. rectness of J's supposition, as to We shall now attend to the its effects upon his reputation and plan, which our correspondent usefulness. If there were no proposes as a substitute for the other way of ascertaining his General Association. Here let theological character, the objec- it be understood, that we object tion would be more just. But to none of the measures, which this is not the case. Not only he proposes, in themselves con, his own congregation, but the sidered. We only aim to ex. congregations in the vicinity, pose them, considered as a suband his brethren extensively, are
stitute. One more remark will under advantages to judge of his be made in this place, that reasentiments and character, with- ders may apply it to every par. out any reference to his subscrib- ticular, as they proceed. Weining, or not subscribing. If, troduce the remark, without any from his preaching, conversation, qualifications ; that, contrary to and life, they are led to doubt the what we should have expected, soundness of his faith, they all the objections, which can be would certainly think none the urged against the General Asbetter of him for his subscribing sociation, may be urged with the Catechism. On the other equal, and, in
respects, hand, if, by the means abovemen- with superior force, against the tioned, they were satisfied, that proposed substitute. The parhe was sound in the faith, his ticulars of that substitute will not subscribing would make no now be considered. alteration in their opinion. At “ 1. Let those ministers, who first, possibly, they would be believe that inen are in a state, surprised, and would hardly be from which they need to be reable to account for it. But they newed by the Holy Spirit, enwould soon learn the reasons of deavour to cultivate a friendly inhis conduct, and his character tercourse." would stand in its just and proper
Thus J. begins his plan by light. We have as high a re- laying down a creed, which is to gard, as our correspondent man- operate as a standard of clerical ifests, for clerical character and character, and to regulate min
isterial intercourse. When he to go on to a more perfect sysspeaks of “those who believe" tem ; according to his second the truth specified, he undoubt- article ; " Let them collect the edly means, those who profess to most important points, on which believe it. To determine, with they do agree, and unite for the certainty, who really believe it, defence of them.” Such points is not the work of man. Those of divinity, collected, written ministers, therefore, who pro- down, and subscribed, or in fess to believe this article of some other way agreed to, are faith, “ that men are in a state, to constitute their standing creed. from which they need to be re- For the defence of this they are newed by the Holy Spirit,” are to " unite," or to join themthe ministers who are to culti- selves together in one body. vate a friendly intercourse. But, Here is the essence of a general to fall into J's strain of objec- association. And if the creed, tion ; how “extremely vague” thus formed, should happen to is the language here used ! contain “ the doctrines of ChrisWhat could we know of a min- tianity as they are generally exister's sentiments, from his sub- pressed in the Assembly's Shortscribing such a proposition ? er Catechism," how would the Men, whose religious opinions plan differ from the plan of the are as distant from each other, General Association, already as the poles, may profess such established ? And what would a belief. We might as well be the advantage of changing have no creed, as this. For the one already established for men may put their own con- another, when no essential difstruction upon the terms used; ference is contemplated? But or they may profess“ with if the creed to be formed upon mental reservation ;” or they the new plan should happen to may profess to believe “what contain a system of divinity difthey wish the article were.” ferent from the general system But this one proposition, be contained in the Catechism ; it more or less vague, is the then the new plan of Association, proposed creed. Now if the would, indeed, be very different plan of General Association be from the one lately establishobjectionable on account of its ed, and its adherents would be a comprising a creed, the propose different set of men. ed substitute is objectionable on On the third article of the the same account. But one new scheme we make only this question remains; viz. whether remark, that it is no improvethe creed, which our Correspon- ment on the plan of the General dent brings forward, be prefera- Association, which has the same ble to the Catechism, composed object in view. by the Westminster Assembly “ 4. Though they should not of Divines ? The Christian pretend union of sentiment, community must judge.
where it does not exist, let them But J. seems to carry his idea not magnify the points of disof articles of faith still further. agreement. Agreeing at first in the article If the sarcastic implication in above mentioned, ministers are the former part of this article
had any foundation, we would be newed by the Holy Spirit." the last to complain of it. As Perhaps he would go still furto the rest, we consider it a very ther. When the ministers, who important rule, a rule which has should coalesce according to his had no small influence in the scheme, had finished their colplan of the General Association, lection of "the most important
not to magnify points of disa- points on which tbey agree;" greement;" and we shall be glad they might, perhaps, think it to find our Correspondent co-op- important, that some or all of erating with others in carrying them should be received by canit into effect.
didates. Their standard might “ 5. Let them agree not to finally contain a creed like the act in the ordination of a candi- general system of doctrines condate, unless liberty be given to tained in the Catechism. If so, examine his qualifications." it would agree with the plan of
Here again the plan of our the General Association. Correspondent falls in with the not, it would be entitled to a plan of the General Association. treatment, which we could better But we wish, as well as he, “ to determine, when the proposed understand the measures con- collection of important articles templated, and the probable re. should be made. sult.” If it be a rule to exam- I's last article is to be highly ine the candidate, it must be approved. It accords exactly upon the principle of some stand with the design of the General ard, with which his qualifications Association. ought to correspond. And one Finally, the attentive reader of these two ways must be adopt. will perceive, that the plan of ed. Either the members of the the General Association contains ordaining council must have dif- every thing valuable in the plan ferent standards, that is, each one proposed by our Correspondent, must have a standard according besides being guarded against to his own opinion; which, in those things which embarrass his case of different opinions among plan, and render it impracticable. the members of the council, We close with a suggestion. would create endless difficulties, It is not to be supposed, that the and would convert their meeting pages of the Panoplist can be into a scene of unhappy conten- consistently filled with a contintion ;-or there must be a com- uation of this subject. Our mon standard, in which all con- Correspondent “only wished to cerned in ordaining the candidate propose such objections as ocagree. Doubtless our Corres- curred to his mind.” He has pondent would prefer something had the opportunity. To his oblike this. His idea of a com- jections we have endeavoured to mon standard would extend as make a particular, a serious, and far, at least, as his first article ; a fair reply ; which we hope will that is, he would have it considó be satisfactory. The whole is ered by all, an essential qualifi- now before the Christian public, cation of every candidate, to be- and is respectfully referred to lieve, “that men are in a state, their decision, by the from which they need to be re
EDITORS. “ charity rejoiceth not in iniquiON THE NAME CHRISTIAN.
ty, but rejoiceth in the truth.” A Names, considered in them- banditti, in their depredations selves, are of no importance ; may compliment each other with but they become influential, in the phrase, “ honest fellows ;" consequence of their significa- and a company of drunkards may tion. Individuals and societies call each other “sober men;" may have names given them, but who would not condemn either by their friends, or ene- such gross perversion of lanmies; and the application of guage ; and who ought not to these names may be very im- pity such persons sporting them. proper, from partiality on the selves with their own deceivings? one side, or hostility on the oth. The writer trusts that his charer. Thus we find Jesus Christ ity is as broad as the Bible ; for was called a Samaritan, and ac- it is a maxim with him, chari. cused of having a devil ; and we ty more circumscribed than the read also of some who called Bible, is censoriousness; and themselves Jews, and were not, more extended, is libertinism. but were of the synagogue of His design is not to accuse and Satan; and of others, who said condemn; but, by stating what they were apostles, but were appears to him truth, to confound liars.
vince and correct, “ commendThe name Christian is al- ing himself to every man's conmost universally given to the science in the sight of God.” people living in this country; The end he proposes is gained, and from its indiscriminate ap- if any of his fellow men, trustplication, the country has receive ing in a name to live while they ed the appellation, “a Christian are dead, are undeceived, and land.” Respectability and inter. turned to the Lord ; or if Chrisest are associated with the title ; tians are led to walk more worand however unsuitable to the thy of the name by which they character of a Christian any are called. With a view to this, man's life may be, his language let us inquire into the meaning is, let me be called by this name and origin of the name Christo take away my reproach from tian ; the character of the peramong men. To unchristianize sons, to whom it was originally a man in name, however infidel applied ; and the improper apin practice, is to touch the apple plication of it to many at the of his eye; and to bring upon present day. one's self the odium of bigotry 1. The meaning and origin and uncharitableness. It would of the name Christian. This be matter of great joy to every name simply signifies a follower true disciple of Jesus Christ of Christ. In its proper appliif all, who received the name cation to any person, it supposes Christian, sustained the Chris- that person to be a believer of tian character ; for “ charity the doctrines Christ delivered, thinketh no evil." But to be ready to obey the precepts he enlieve any man to be a Christian, joined, to observe the ordinances while he has only the name, is he instituted, and willing, at the not charity, but cruclty; for risk of life, and all its comforts,