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Of the nature of a remedial law
The reason why the imputability of Christ's righteous-
Of the nature of the unity between Christ and believers
The universality of the gospel call
Of the capaciousness of the covenants
Of the individualising system
Mr. M'C.'s ideas on the subject so peculiar, that no-
The belief of the church, respecting the individuals
No absurdity in this belief
Of the reformation and reformers
Probable origin of Mr. M'C.'s system
Character of the investigator of truth
The reason why philosophy is advancing so rapidly-
IN the year 1814, the Rev. James M'Chord, of Lexington in Kentucky, published a book denominated the BODY OF CHRIST ; the object of which was, to exhibit a new theory of Christ's REPRESENTATIVE character in the covenant of GRACE, and of Adam's REPRESENTATIVE character in the covenant of works; and to demonstrate the beneficial practical results of that theory. Neither the theory, nor what Mr. M'Chord deduced from it under the name of practical results, were satisfactory to the Associate Reformed Presbytery of Kentucky, of which Mr. M'Chord was a member: so great was their displeasure with Mr. M'Chord's publication, that they preferred a libel against him, containing charges against both the theory, and the results, imputed to it, by its author; which bears date, Lexington, Oct. 13th, 1815. Under this libel Mr. M'Chord was eventually found guilty, and deposed from the office of the holy ministry. He protested against the sentence, and appealed to the General Synod. Papers containing the protest and appeal, and extracts from the minutes of the Presbytery, were laid before the Synod at its meeting in Philadelphia, in May 1816; but, as the whole matter was in a very perplexed state, and Mr. M'Chord not present to plead his own cause, the Synod directed him to submit to
the decision of his Presbytery, till he should appear, and shew cause why that decision should be set aside. Mr. M'Chord appeared before the synod at its meeting in May, 1817; and the Synod, after hearing the defence, affirmed the sentence of the Presbytery in regard to the THEORY ALONE, rejecting the other charges as irrelevant. Mr. M'Chord protested against this decision of the Synod, and has appealed to the judgment of the Christian church at large.
In a circular letter, directed by Mr. M'Chord to many, and to myself among others, bearing date Lexington, Kentucky, 12th Sept. 1816, Mr. M'Chord uses the following words :-" The opinions I hold up to the light of Heaven; shew me that they are erroneous, and I cheerfully relinquish them." As the Synod has pronounced the charges against Mr. M'Chord's sentiments respecting CHRISTIAN COMMUNION and PSALMODy irrelevant, nothing need be said on these subjects; and I candidly own, that they ever have been my own sentiments, and I have long been in the habit of acting on them, whenever the providence of God appeared to me to require it as a duty. And I do not think this an officious declaration of these sentiments, because all the world should know, that we are not disposed to surrender to any authority the liberty by which "Christ has made us free"-the liberty of submitting our consciences to no authority but his own: and of knowing no law of duty but his law, which is the perfect law of liberty. Those who know their conscientious liberty should be open and candid, but at the same time, modest, in asserting it. The THEORY alone is at present in question, and I consider Mr. M'Chord as addressing himself to me personally in these words: "Shew me wherein I am wrong, and I cheerfully relinquish
my opinions." I do know WHEREIN he is wrong, and I consider myself in duty bound, both as a Christian and as a man, to comply with a request so Christian and so manly. The duty also is strongly enforced by this consideration, that although it has been decided, both by presbytery and synod, that Mr. M'Chord is wrong, yet no person, so far as I have heard, has yet attempted to shew him WHEREIN is his error. And it now becomes Mr. M'Chord's duty to listen candidly and patiently, and to divest himself, so far as the state of humanity admits, of all fondness for his past opinions, that he may so listen, to what I am about to offer him. It is his duty, not only to be willing to admit the light, but to pray earnestly to the Father of lights for the spirit of illumination; and to take as much trouble, to submit to as much labour, to know the right from the wrong, as it has cost me to write this volume.
I enter upon this subject, with the stronger impressions of duty, when I consider that this is the error which has split up the reformed churches into so many parties, of Calvinists, Redemptional Universalists, Arminians, and a numerous list of other sects, as the reader will find in the sequel; and has converted them into hostile clanns, carrying on a perpetual war on each others borders, too much in the spirit, and with too many of the effects, of a bordering war, the embittered strife of brothers. The present subject is not new to my mind, but I have never been called in providence before, to trouble the church, sufficiently troubled already from other causes, with my ideas on this subject. And without such a call, they should have gone to the grave with me.
After this declaration, the reader will have prepared himself to move along with me, in the cool temper, and