« EdellinenJatka »
seventh day was never abrogated by Christ. In every other respect, they are baptists, either general or par. ticular.
By Pædobaptists, are meant, those who baptised infants. These are not properly a sect, as all established churches, and all dissenters, who thus administer baptism, are so called.
From the time of the first schism of Arius, when all the Christian world was thrown into confusion, to the sixteenth century, so fruitful was the mind of Christian professors in generating new opinions in religion, that governments thought it prudent to put a stop to any thing of this nature, by enacting laws to prevent the like confusion in future. . But it appears, that wealth and power are dangerous acquisitions, when employed to regulate religion, and to direct the conscience. It has seldom been attended with happy consequences, except when guided by a power superior to man. Thus they introduced a number of things, which, by the reformers, were thought to be so inconsistent with the pure doctrines of the Christian religion, that Martin Luther, an Augustine friar, began to oppose the authority of the Roman pontiff; and his numerous followers were called after him.
I have spoken of the Greek and Roman churches, when they were not subject to those charges which have been brought against them: viz. before any of those things were superinduced, which have given offence to other sects of Christians, such as bulls, indulgences, &c.
In order to prove, that these things were neither consistent with the original profession of the Christian church, nor with the scriptures, Martin Luther, an Augustine friar, declared war against the doctrines and practice of the church of Rome. He opposed the use of images—the invocation of saints-excommunication the monastical life-canonical obedience-distinction of meats—communion under one kind.--He taught, that man is not a free agent, that he is justified by faith aloneand that though the faithful may sin, it is not imputed to them. He denied the supremacy and infallibility of the pope ;-asserted, that bulls and indulgences were not consistent with scripture-he denied the merit of workstransubstantiation—the mass--auricular confession-absolution-purgatory—orders—and extreme unction-being five out of seven of their sacraments. Hence began what is called the reformation from the errors of the church of Rome. Many of the higher orders, as well as the generality of the people in several nations, became Lutherans.
But it appears, that some of Luther's converts did not think him infallible. A new sect sprung up out of the opinions held forth by him, called
These modern professors were called Moravians, because they made their first appearance in Moravia. - They separated from the first Anabaptists, soon after the time of Calvin.
They originally observed many of the outward acts of the apostles, such as washing each other's feet, going bare-foot, and having all one property in common, after the manner of a sect, which arose 140 years after Christ, called the Apostolici, because they observed the acts of the apostles. They are subject to one supreme superintendant in their civil department. They are great encouragers of industry, and receive none into their connexion, but those who follow some occupation. They have also a supreme head in spirituals, who lays down, the fundamental principles of their sect. They are industrious in making converts to their opinions, and think it their duty to convert the heathen to Christianity. On which account, they send missionaries to various parts of the world to preach the gospel.
Count Zinzendorf, a German, about the year 1740, was the great supporter of the opinions of this sect of dissenters, from the old Anabaptists of Moravia; who were not called Moravians, because the first converts to his system were several Moravian families, as is asserted by some; but were originally called, Fratres Legis Christi, Brethren of the Law of Christ; afterward Unitas Fratrum, the United Brethren, and the Moravian Brethren 150 years before his time, for the reason above given.
They believe in justification by faith alone, through grace or favour ; they avoid saying any thing on partic
ular redemption, and do not call themselves either Calvinists or Arminians. They think they are spiritually joined in the great family of those who love and fear God. The order of their church is episcopal, and they are very particular as to those who are to succeed as bishops. They think episcopal ordination perfectly consistent with the patriarchal and apostolic institutions, because it was the order in the patriarchal churches; and the apostle says, Acts i. 20. “ For it is written in the Psalms, let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein; and his bishoprick let another take.” Phil. j. 1. 66 to all the saints of Christ Jesus, who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” 1 Tim. iii. 1. " desire the office of bishop.”
In their deliberations, which are conducted by synods after the custom of the first Christian churches, if any thing of very considerable importance be brought forward, the result of which is doubtful, they have recourse to the ancient custom of deciding it by lot, which they think is consistent with the scripture, Jonah i. 7. " And they said every one to his fellow, come let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us; so they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah." Acts i. 26. 6 the lot fell on Matthias.” But whether this method be the same as was resorted to by the ancient
Hebrews, or by the apostles, is not for me to determine | in this work. I believe the Moravians are the only sect of Christians who attend to any thing of this nature.
They think themselves peculiarly called to carry the gospel to the heathen: and in this labour they have succeeded to admiration in almost every part of the world.
These professors revived the opinions of the Arians, and Samosatenians, who denied the existence of a trinity of persons in the divine nature.
Are so called from arti, against, and yomos, the law, because they reject the law. They are also by some called Solifidians, from solus 6 alone, and fides faith ;' and affirm that nothing is required but faith, which is held forth in the gospel ; that neither good works, nor evil works, can forward, or prevent eternal happiness ; as those who have faith cannot sin, let them do what they will. They took their rise from Agricola at the beginning of the sixteenth century; and they made their appearance in England at the beginning of the seventeenth century. These and a great many more of less note are mentioned in the writings of Florimundus Raymundus de Origine Heres.
Were so denominated from John Calvin, one of the reformers in the sixteenth century. But there were professors of this description in the Christian church at a very early period, about the year 380, who were call