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TO

deem Christians, and performing PROTESTANT DISSENTERS. by yourselves the rites of divine

worship? Will they not think you

guilty of violating the unity of BRETHREN,

the church, of interrupting the You have not to learn that youth fraternal intercourse that ought is the season best adapted for in- to prevail among Christians, and stilling into the mind religious of establishing an interest hostile principles, and forming it to ha- to the communion of saints ? bits of piety and benevolence. What answer will you give to their But while, in the general, with inquiries, and how will you justify laudable diligence you train up a procedure, which appears at your children in the way wherein first sight so little consonant with they should go, are you not defi- the maxims of scripture, and the cient in one point, namely, in incul- practice of the purest ages of the cating on their minds the principles church? Surely, you ought to by which you are distinguished explain to them the necessity in as Dissenters? These principles, which dissent originated, and by it is granted, are of far less im- which it is still justified. In order portance than the truths common

that your ancestors may not be to sincere Christians of all deno-considered as the authors, and minations.

Yet, while I would yourselves as the abettors, of a discourage as much as possible wanton and detestable schism, it sectarian feelings, I cannot for- behoves you to state the grounds bear entreating you to instruct on which you think yourselves your children more thoroughly in obliged to form a religious comthose views which you entertain munity by yourselves. as Protestant Dissenters.

It would tend to correct your When Moses commanded the remissness in this particular, if Israelites to keep the passover, he you were to pay attention to the supposed that, in the lapse of zeal and diligence of churchmen. time, their children might be de- With them the excellence of their sirous to know the origin of that church is an incessant theme of rite; he therefore taught them to panegyric. The evangelical purity say, It is the sacrifice of the of its doctrine, its apostolical conLord's passover, who passed over stitution, its primitive discipline, the houses of the children of its decorous ceremonies, and its Israel in Egypt, when he smote charitable spirit, are the topics of the Egyptians, and delivered our innumerable charges and orations. houses.* And is there not some

The accusations which they bring thing in you which will equally against Dissenters, of diversity of excite the curiosity of your chil- opinion, of imperfection in their dren? Will they not wonder, mode of worship, and of a needsince the disciples of Christ ought less and therefore criminal sepato constitute one body in

ration from the most pure and

appearance as well as in reality, they most primitive of churches, fürbeing all branches of the

nish them with matter for copious tree, at your separating from declamation, strengthen the atthose persons in the established tachment of their adherents to church wbom there is reason to the national church, and aggra

vate their abhorrence of dissent. Exod. xii. 27.

To counteract these effects, and

same

How many

to prevent these representations them; the intolerance of the from imposing on your children, clergy being restrained by the is it not necessary to tell them civil authorities. again and again, that there was churchmen are there who beno religious establishment until grudge you the exercise of the nearly the middle of the fourth privileges with which you are by century; that the Christian church the laws invested ! In this state became greatly corrupted soon af- of things, it surely becomes you ter that dreadful event; that be- to transmit to your offspring the lievers ought not to be yoked toge- legacy of noble and generous ther with unbelievers; and that principles, which you inherited. therefore every religious establish. If you take not pains to instil ment is necessarily wrong and an- them into the minds of your tiscriptural? When you have deep- children, you will seem ungrateful ly laid this foundation, you may to your ancestors, who maintainthen proceed to state to them, as ed them at the risk of liberty, forminor considerations, your objec- tune, and life. Let it not be tions to the general frame and imagined that you have relinconstitution of the church of quished those exalted sentiments England; to its officers ; to its to which this vation owes its liturgy; to its ceremonies; to fame, its security, and its happiits impositions ; to its discipline; ness. to the forcing of ministers upon

You think the views which

you the people without their choice; entertain of the constitution and to its spiritual courts ; to its discipline of the Christian church tithes ;* &c. &c. It may also not consonant to the scripture, and be amiss to furnish them with to the practice of the first ages, a history of the Nonconformists, Of course, you must suppose the and of their sufferings in the cause prevalence of them connected in of religious dissent.

a degree with the purity and viThe free and generous princi. gour of the Christian religion. ples which constitute the civil While you teach your children polity of these realms, it is well the doctrines which you hold in known, originated with the Pu- common with other Christians, ritans, and have, at all times, can you be satisfied, as if you had been cordially cherished by their discharged your duty, if you exdescendants, the Protestant Displain not to them the opinions senters. A love of liberty, civil which distinguish you as Disand religious, enters into the very senters? idea of a Protestant Dissenter. The existence of Dissenters, The tolerating maxims that origin- too, is beneficial to the church ated with the ancestors of the itself. When their doctrines are Dissenters, were not spontane- illustrated by practice, it has a ously embraced by churchmen. great influence on the church. It The freedom of worship, at pre-checks the extravagant pretensent enjoyed, was extorted from sions in which her members are

prone to indulge; it lays a re

straint on her corruptions and * These last three things indeed are abuses; it promotes among her not articles of minor consideration, but clergy learning and decorum of result from the UNEQUAL YOKE manners; and it excites their BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND zeal, and stimulates them to a THE STATE.

more regular discharge of their from Rom. iv. 6, 7; and seeing duties.

it is promised of him that be. If these considerations should lieveth, that he shall not come induce you to pay a greater atten- into condemnation,' it must, in tion to the instructing of your some way, secure the pardon of children in the principles of dis- all his sins, and the possession of sent, it will gratify

eternal life. Yet to speak of sins A DISSENTER.* as being pardoned, before they

are repented of, or even com

mitted, is not only to maintain ON THE

that on which the scriptures are ACT OF FORGIVENESS. silent, but to contradict the cur

rent language of their testimony. Tothe Editors of the Baptist Magazine

If all our sins, past, present, and to come, were actually forgiven,

either when Christ laid down his QUERY.

life, or even on our first believing, WILL you, or some one of why David speak of 'conyour numerous correspondents, fessing his transgression, and of favour us with scriptural ideas, as God's .. forgiving his iniquity ?' to the time when the act of for. Why did Solomon teach us, that giveness was, or is passed, and • He that confesseth and forsakwhether it is supposed to be all eth his sins shall find mercy ?' at once, or as the poet says, Why did our Lord direct us, in

our daily prayers, 'to say, “ForA part to-day, to-morrow more,

give us our debts, as we forgive As we our sins commit.”

our debtors?' And why add, “If Keeping up a distinction between ye forgive not men their tres, the act itself, and the manifesta- passes, neither will your

heavention of it, to the comfort of God's ly Father forgive you your trespeople?

passes? Finally, Why did the PHILO.

apostle John teach us, that If May 18, 1818.

we confess our sins, he is faithful

and just to forgive us our sins, ANSWER.

and to cleanse us from all unWe know not what better an- righteousvess ? swer to return to the above quer. “ Nor is it sufficient to underist, than what is contained in the stand this language, of the manifollowing extract:

festation of forgiveness to the “We inquire whether justifica- mind. Forgiveness is not option includes the pardon of our

posed to merely withholding the sins, past, present, and to come.

comforts of religion, but to layThat it includes the pardon of ing our sins to our charge. The sin, has been proved already, his fellow-servant by the throat,

parable of the servant, who took * We would earnestly recommend to

and was delivered by his Lord to the heads of families in our congrega.

the tormentors, is thus applied tions, “ The Protestant Dissenter's Cate- by our Lord; 'So likewise shall chism :" by the late Rev. Samuel Palmer, my heavenly Father do also unto of Hackney; and “The Principles of

you,

if Nonconformity sanctioned by the New

ye
from
your

hearts for: Testament:" å sermon by Dr. Newman give not every one his brother -Edit.

their trespasses.' This undoubt: edly means more than withhold- ON MUSIC IN CHURCHES. ing a sense of forgiveness in the present life. Nor is there any

QUERY. thing in all this inconsistent with the certain perseverance of true

Is it lawful for Christians, believers, or with the promise when they are assembled togethat they shall not come into ther for divine worship, to unite condemnation. The truth taught instrumental music with vocal in us in this promise is not that if, the worship of God? after believing in Christ, we live

A SINGER. in sin, and die without repentance, we shall nevertheless

escape

ANSWER. condemnation; but that provision is made in behalf of believers,

RELIGIOUS worship falls unthat they shall not live in sin; der three heads ; viz. Moral, Inthat they shall not die without stituted, and Discretionary. repentance; but return to God, 1. MORAL.-Prayer is a moral and so obtain forgiveness. The duty; and the singing of praise promise of non-condemnation in appears to be so, Col. iii. 16. Ps. cludes that of repentance and civ. 33. There may be appenperseverance. I will put my dages to moral duties, which are law in their hearts, and they shall not morally obligatory. Thus, not depart from me.'

under the Old Testament dispen“ We may think, if the Lord sation, incense was an appendage appointed us to obtain salvation to prayer, and instrumental muby Jesus Christ, whatever be our sic to singing ; but neither the conduct, he will never threaten one nor the other was of a moral us with any thing beyond a se- nature. No one says that it is vere chastisement; but Christ did sinful not to use instrumental not act in this manner towards music in divine worship. his disciples. He not only gave

2. INSTITUTED.-Instrumentthe unforgiving to expect no for- al music was instituted under the giveness at the hand of God, but Old Testament dispensation. In enforced the giving up of that the time of Moses were used the which caused them to offend, trumpet and cornet: David addthough it were as dear as a right ed many other instruments by the hand, or a right eye, on pain of divine command, 2 Chron. xxix. being cast into heil fire. He al. 25. Instituted worship ceased lowed no one, while in an evil at the death of Christ. Instrucourse, to take it for granted, mental music was not instituted that he was nevertheless a good by Christ or his apostles: they man; but pointed him to the sang a hymn, Matt. xxvi. 30. end, whither that course, if per- Singing is not only a moral duty, sisted in, would lead him. Warn- but it is instituted under the New ings are as necessary in some cir- Testament dispensation, Eph. v. cumstances, as encouragements 19. Col. iii. 16, &c. are in others; and their being

3. DISCRETIONARY.-When enforced, on pain of eternal de a moral, or an instituted duty adștruction, may be the appointed mits of being performed in a vameans of saying us from it.”

riety of

ways, none of which are Fuller's Sermons on various Subjects.

inconsistent with its morality, or with the divine appointment,

there is place for the exercise of church, contrary to the opinion discretion in the selection of the of Luther; who, as Eckard conbest mode of performing it. fesses, reckoned organs among Thus, every church must judge the ensigns of Baal. Organs are for itself at what hour to begin still used in some of the Dutch public worship, what tunes to churches, but against the minds sing, bow often singing shall be of their pastors; for in the naperformed, and other similar cir- tional synod at Middleburgh, cumstances.

anno 1581, and in that of Holland If music, as a general term, and Zealand, anno 1594, it was were either a moral or an insti- resolved that they would endeatuted duty, instrumental music, vour to obtain of the magistrates, being included in it, might be the laying aside of organs, and lawfully used. But under the the singing with them in churches. gospel dispensation, singing only The church of England also, in being instituted, instrumental mu- her homilies, strongly remonsic is unlawful.

strates against the use of organs, The only case in which discre- and other instruments of music, tion appears admissible is, in the in churches. In the homily, on selecting of a mode of perform the place and time of prayer, afing a duty which must be per- ter mention of piping, singing, formed in some way, but where chapting, and playing on organs, the particular way is not ap- which was in use before the Repointed. From the introduction formation, we are exhorted greatof discretion, in other cases, ly to rejoice, and give thanks to arises all the will-worship of the God, that our churches are deRomish church. If the lawful- livered out of these things, that ness of instrumental music in re- displeased God so sore, and so ligious worship were to be grant- filthily defiled the holy house ed, we could no longer consist- and place of prayer.' I only add, ently condemn the farrago of that the voice of harpers and muPopish ceremonies. Instrumental sicians, and of pipers and trum. music was not admitted even into peters, is mentioned among the that church till after the year glories of the mystical Babylon, 1250. Thomas Aquinas, who that mother of harlots and abomiwas born in 1225, and died in nations of the earth, whom God 1274, and whose writings are held will destroy with the sword of his in the greatest estimation by the mouth, and with the brightness of Romish church, writes thus: “In his coming." the old law God was praised both If it should be objected, that with musical instruments and hu- we read in the Revelation of man voices; but the Christian harpers harping with their church does not use instruments harps ;" we answer, It is true: but to praise him, lest she should seem we also read in that book of 10 judaize." "So that it seems," the golden altar; of the offering says Dr. Jennings, (Jew. Antiq. of incense, as an appendage to book i. chap. 5,) “instrumental prayer; and of other imagery music hath been introduced into borrowed from the Jewish dis. Christian worship within about pensation. But no Protestant the last 500 years, in the darkest will from hence argue, that inand most corrupt times of Popery. cense ought to be used in divine It is retained in the Lutheran worship by Christians.

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