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he did once entertain and avow the best effect. This council, the doctrines alleged as erro- being convened, will request a neous ; but plead that he has conference with the pastor, and since renounced them, and em- such others, as he shall choose braced the opposite sentiments. to bring with him ; or, (if there The council will then judge, be a church meeting existing) whether this retraction be suf- with such as the church sball ficient to satisfy themselves and depute. If this request be reothers. And their favourable jected, the council will obtain the judgment will depend on the best information they can, conhopeful appearance of sincerity cerning the state of the church, in the retractation. If he ap- and the grounds of uneasiness pears, on the whole, to be sound in the dissatisfied. If they find in faith, they will acquit him. If the uneasiness groundless, they he appears obstinately heretical will say so, and advise the disthey will admonish him ; and if, satisfied to remain in quiet comafter a second admonition given munion' with the church. If at a proper distance of time to they find just ground of unobserve the effect of the first, he easiness, they will advise to a still remains obstinate, they will mutual council.
This advice, reject him. In such a case it with the reasons of it, will be may be expedient for the coun- given in writing to both parties. cil to adjourn, either in a body, This is all that a council, called or by deputation, in order to see ex' parte, have in the first intheir sentence of a second admo- stance a right to do. They may nition, &c. carried into effect. do nothing judicially, which QUESTION V.
shall affect the absent party, beIf the pastor and church re- cause nothing is by agreement ject the proposal of their dissat- submitted to them. isfied brethren for a mutual coun
QUESTION VI. cil, what course can the latter If the pastor and church still take for redress?
refuse to join with their dissat. ANSWER.
isfied brethren in a mutual coudAccording to the platform cil, what can further be done? and the usage of churches, they
ANSWER. will call a council ex parte, for If this refusal be known before advice. For any person or num- the ex parte council is dissolved, ber of persons have a natural (for it is not to keep the business right to ask advice when they in its own hands by adjourn. need it. In the choice of this. ment) then, according to the council, prudence and charity, platform, another council is to as well as the apostolic direction be nominated under the inspecbefore mentioned, will lead them tion and superintendency of the to seek advice from those who present council, who will act in bare not interested themselves, behalf of the absent party, and or taken a decisive part in their prevent any improper choice. controversy. The advice of If the mind of the absent parsuch persons will usually be ty be unknown, then such a deemed the most judicious and council, as is above described, impartial, and will always have will be chosen provisionally, to
be superseded, if a mutual coun- rejected all measures of accomcil be afterward agreed on; modation with their brethren, otherwise to be convened. This and have refused the assistance council, if convened, is to have of sister churches, in a case all the power of a mutual coun- where such assistance appeared cil so far as respects the dissatis- strongly urgent and absolutely fied. They will, when conven- necessary ; that consequently ed, first seek a conference with they have renounced the come the absent party, who will be al- munion of other churches, and lowed to make this a mutual put themselves in a state of noncouncil as it now is, or by adding communion, and that they ought a proper number of churches, to be considered and treated,' as or to join with their brethren in being in that state, in which they calling a council de novo ; and have voluntarily placed themthe present council will adjourn, selves, and pertinaciously conor dissolve, as the case requires. tinued. But if the pastor and church will
This result of council ought accept no overtures for accom- to be respected by all other modation, then the council will churches. Thus will it have all proceed; and will judge, that the effect, that a sentence of exthe aggrieved have taken all rea- communication could have, if sonable measures to obtain peace pronounced by a mutual council. and reunion with their brethren;
TITUS. have exercised due patience and forbearance ; have exhibited becoming charity and condescention ; and therefore ought to be considered as Christians in good
Continued from p. 463. standing, and ought to be admitted to the fellowship of other 2. We shall consider the churches. Or, if there be a character of the persons to competent number, and it be whom this name was originally their desire, they may be incore applied. porated into a distinct church, This name was not applied to and recommended as a regular all indiscriminately, who lived in church of Christ.
the town of Antioch; but to a This council have no power particular description of persons, to dissolve the relation between distinguished from others, by the pastor and the people who their being followers of Jesus adhere to him, or to receive and Christ. Their badge of distinc-' judge upon any complaint tion did not consist merely in sayagainst him for heresy or immo. ing, “Lord, Lord;" but in dorality; for no such power is ing the things which he comcommitted to them, nor does the manded them.
They were perpastor appear before them, or sons, who not only had a name acknowledge their jurisdiction to live, but were also living over him. But the council have epistles of Christ, known and a right to judge on what they read of all men. By nature they see and know as a council ; viz. were like the rest of their towns, that the pastor and church have men, living without God, without
OX THE NAME CHRISTIAN.
Christ, and without hope in the in perpetual fermentation, bring world. A very great and impor- it into public contempt, and tant change had been produced greatly to retard the progress in their minds, before they be- of others. came followers of Jesus Christ. The term disciple, or scholar, This change, the Saviour de- suggests the idea of something clares, must be experienced by to be learned. In the school of all, who enter his kingdom. Christ, the only book to be used John iii. 1-8. Concerning it is the Bible, 2 Tim. i. 13, and the prophet speaks, Isai. liv. 13, iv. 3, 4, 1 Tim. vi. 3—5, Isai. * All thy children shall be taught viii. 20, Mat. xv. 1-9. This of the Lord;" and wherein it book, he assures us, " is profita. consists Jesus explains, John vi. ble for doctrine, for reproof, for 45, “ Every one who hath heard, correction, for instruction in and hath learned of the Father, righteousness; that the man of cometh unto me.” How this God may be perfect, thoroughly change was effected may be furnished unto all good works." learned from the following pas. All his disciples have not only sages of scripture. John i. 12, received an understanding to 13, James i. 18, 1 Pet. i. 22, 23, learn, 1 John v. 20, but also an 2 Cor. iv. 6, Eph. ii. 8, 9, 10, ardent love to the book to be Rom. x. 17. It was after this taught, Ps. cxix. 97. The truth change was produced, and in it contains is the joy and reconsequence of it, they were joicing of their hearts. All called disciples. This was the Christ's sheep hear his voice, name by which they were called, know it, and follow him. This is before they received the name one of the principal things by Christian. “ The disciples were which his disciples are distincalled Christians first in An- guished from others; for, saith tioch."
their Master, “ Everyone who The term disciple signifies a is of the truth heareth my scholar, or learner, and supposes voice, John xviii. 37. And again a master from whom instruction it is written by an apostle, “ He is received. John Baptist had
John Baptist had that knoweth God, heareth us ; his disciples; and we read also he that is not of God, heareth of the disciples of the Pharisees, not us; by this we know the who followed them as their mas-' spirit of truth, and the spirit of ters. When any were born of error," I John iv. 6. At their the incorruptible seed of the entrance into this school, they word of God, and made the chil- are but children, knowing only dren of God, by faith in Christ the first principles of the oracles Jesus, they were added to the of God. But leaving these, they church. This was the school in go on unto perfection, growing which the disciples were taught, in graçe, and in the knowledge and these were the persons over of their Lord and Saviour Jesus whom Jesus presided as master. Christ. The knowledge to be No progress can be made in his attained is important and extenschool without a change of sive. To be like their Master mind. To admit persons with is the grand object proposed. out it, is only to keep the school To effecl this, it may be observ.
ed, in general, that to know more sitting at Jesus' feet, he looks up perfectly the doctrines he has to him, and prays, “ Lord, open delivered, to obey all the pre- thou mine eyes, that I may behold cepts he has enjoined, to observe wondrous things out of thy law.” all the ordinances he has insti- Love to Jesus their Master tuted, to follow the example he formed one radical feature in the hath set, and to imbibe the spir- original character of those called it he manifested, are a few of Christians. Love to him was the the leading principles of the principle from which all their knowledge to be attained. They obedience proceeded, and which who make the greatest profi- rendered his yoke easy, and his ciency in these are his disciples burden light. It led the Pagan indeed. To attain these, re- to renounce his idols, the worldquires application, perseverance, ling his pleasures, the Pharisee and constant dependence on the his self-righteousness, and the Lord ; “ for without him they Publican his wickedness, and all can do nothing.” As it is not to follow Jesus. “ The love of by turning over the leaves of Christ constrained them.” The his book any scholar makes love they had to him was both progress in knowledge, but by ardent and permanent. He was applying his mind to the matter the constant theme of their pubit contains ; so is it not merely lic discourses, and of their priby looking at the Bible, nor by a vate conversations. Through careless and partial perusal of it, him their prayers were always that any disciple of Christ can presented, and in all their praises grow in the knowledge of him, he was the burden of their song. but by digging in it as for hid Inflexible attachment to Christ treasure. “ My son, if thou and his doctrine made them sufwill receive my words, and hide fer persecution from their nearmy commandments with thee; est and dearest relations, reso that thou incline thine ear to nounce all the pleasures of sin, wisdom, and apply thine heart expose themselves to shame and to understanding; yea, if thou contempt, take joyfully the criest after knowledge, and lift- spoiling of their goods, and live est up thy voice for understand- in perpetual suspense, as to life ing; if thou seekest her as sil- itself. The doctrines of their ver, and searchest for her as for Master, which they firmly behid treasures ; then shalt thou lieved, were opposed to all the understand the fear of the Lord, ideas the world had of religion ; and find the knowledge of God.” his precepts, which they conProv. ii. 1-5, &c. The scrip- scientiously obeyed, were a contures contain treasures of wis- stant reproof of their unholy dom and knowledge which can practices; and their manners never be exhausted. The great
The great- throughout such, that hostilities est proficient in the knowledge on the part of the world seldom of them confesses, that compar- ceased. The united powers of atively he knoweth nothing. earth hell could not alienate The more he learns, the more their affections from him. The he perceives his ignorance, and, persuasion of friends, the influ. Vol. III, No. 11.
ence of interested priests, the passed every thing the world chreats of civil rulers, yea, all the had beheld, and constrained horrors of poverty, persecution, them to say, “ See how these and death, could not deter them Christians love one another." from preaching his name, nor Those, who wish to know the obeying his commandments. degree of love to which they The following sayings of their were exhorted, the extent to Master seem to have made an which they carried it, and the indelible impression on their various ways by which they exhearts ; “ He that hath my como pressed it, may consult the followmandments and keepeth them, ing texts of scripture. John xv. he it is that loveth me.
12. 1 John iii. 16–18. Rom. xvi. man love me, he will keep my 3, 4. 2 Tim.i. 16–18. James ii. words. He that loveth me not, 14–26. Acts xi. 27-30. Phil. keepeth not my sayings. Ye iv. 1418. Mat. xxv. 31–46. are my friends, if ye do whatso- Separation from the world alever I command you. For who- so distinguished the first Chris. soever will save his life shall tians. This separation did not lose it; but whosoever shall lose consist in abandoning the abodes his life for my sake, and the of men and retiring to a nunne. gospel's, the same shall save it. ry or abbey ; but in separation For what shall it profit a man, if from the spirit and practices of he shall gain the whole world, the world that lay in wickedand lose his own soul! or what ness. While interwoven with shall a man give in exchange for society in all its possible conhis soul !"
nexions, they performed all the Love to one another formed relative and social duties of life ; another prominent feature in and although surrounded with their character. It was by love temptations to sin, they kept to each other that they were to themselves unspotted from the be known ; “ by this shall all world. They were subject men know that ye are my disci- to the powers that be, not only ples, if ye have love one to for wrath but for conscience' another.”
This love they ex- sake; whether the government pressed to each other in every was monarchical, democratical, possible way. They visited each
or tyrannical, they rendered to other when sick, fed each other all their dues, tribute to whom when hungry, clothed each oth- tribute was due, custom to whom er when naked, were in bonds custom, fear to whom fear, honwith them who were bound, our to whon honour. If huswept with them who wept, and bands, they loved their wives, rejoiced with them that rejoiced. and were not bitter against They are represented as the them; but dwelt with them ac. members of one body ; " and if cording to knowledge. If one member suffered, all the wives, they were in subjection other members suffered with it; to their own husbands. If or if one member was honoured, parents, they loved their chilall the members rejoiced with it.” dren, and did not provoke them The mutual and affectionate love to wrath ; but brought them up which existed among them sur- in the nurture and admonition