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prosperity of the church. The principles on which they act ar argue, are obviously capable of an unlimited extension.
The argument is this. It is the duty of the church as such, see that the command, “ Go ye, and teach all nations,” is execute Therefore the presbyterian church in its distinctive character, mu have a Board of Missions. It is the duty of the church as such, provide an educated and pious ministry ; and, “as a moral parent to train her sons for her own service. Therefore our church mu have a Board of Education. Missionary and Education Societie possess much influence, too much to be trusted with individuals Therefore this influence must be concentrated in the General As sembly. On the same principle Theological Seminaries hay been established, all the endowments of which belong to the Gen. eral Assembly, and in which the professors are elected by the As sembly. And this is the extent to which the application of the argument has, as yet, proceeded. But is this all? Is it not the duty of the church, as such, to see that its destitute members, and the destitute nations, are supplied with the written word of God: Is not the American Bible Society wielding a mighty influence: Do not its agents, its reports, its correspondence, its monthly publications, go every where? And is not this concern too great to be left in the hands of an irresponsible voluntary association ? Surely the church as such, is by its divine constitution, a Bible Society; and the Presbyterian church ought to have a Board for the preparation and distribution of bibles. And as Dr. Green proposed, three years ago, that a large edifice should be immediately erect- :: ed at Philadelphia for the exclusive occupancy of the Board, of Missions and of Education ; so the new Bible Board must have its house and its full apparatus, in no respect inferior to that of the voluntary association at New York. What next? Is it not the duty of the church, to see to it that the gospel be published, as extensively as possible, in the form of religious tracts? Without the employment of this instrumentality, how is she ever to perform her high functions in her distinctive character ? Look at the power of Tract Societies. What they publish is circulated every: where. What the preacher utters, is spoken to a few hundreds; and as the sound dies on the ear, it may be forgotten. But what's gains currency as a tract, comes to the eyes and ears of myriads, and is before them in a permanent form. How great the influence in the hands of those who manage such an institution. And can it be left in the hands of men over whom the church as such, has. no direct supervision or control, and who may possibly use their influence for the subversion of the church? Surely the General Assembly must take this matter in hand, and must have a Board sor preparing and publishing religious tracts; and another “ large edi
fice" must be erected. And is this the end? By no means. Has the church in her distinctive character nothing to do with Sabbath Schools ? Among the glorious things which are spoken of Zion, is it not written, “ All thy children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children?” Can the church as a moral parent leave the sabbath school instruction of millions of her children in irresponsible hands? Can she permit a voluntary association to fill the land with sabbath school books, which she in her distinctive character has never revised ? How alarming the thought! The church must therefore have her Board of Sabbath Schools, with a corresponding edifice and apparatus; or ere she is aware, the ark of orthodoxy may be taken.
Here the application of the principle might be suspended for a season. The church in her distinctive character, having erected her quadrangle of large edifices for the accommodation of the departments of her Congregation de propaganda fide, might perhaps repose on her laurels, thinking that under such a system every thing must be secure. But would it not speedily be discovered that there are other influences more powerful, which demand an effective ecclesiastical supervision? Are there no books to be provided but bibles, tracts, and books for sabbath schools ? Ought not the church as such to see what books, devotional and doctrinal, go into the families and closets of her members ? Shall this influence, so mighty in respect to religious opinions, be left to the management of irresponsible individuals and companies ? Certainly it is very plain that the church ought to have her Book Concern ; and strange it is that she has slumbered so long over so important an interest. So the church, acting by her constituted authorities, níust prepare and publish books of doctrine and devotion, commentaries, biographies, church histories and theological essays and systems, for all her members. And furthermore: In these days people will have their periodicals, quarterly, monthly and weekly, for religious discussion, and religious intelligence; and what influence can affect the progress of religion and the stability of existing opinions, more directly or powerfully than these publications. All this then—the church might say-availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. If presbyterians are still to read the Christian Spectator and other periodicals published at all sorts of intervals by 5 associations of gentlemen,” what sufficient security is there for a permanent orthodoxy, or for the power of the General Assembly? The General Assembly then must have its own periodicals; and that man who subscribes for any other, shall be stigmatized as “not a sound presbyterian.
Thus the application of this principle may be carried beyond any assignable limit. We do not believe that it will ever be applied in fact to this extent within the presbyterian church. No; there is too much of the “ Pilgrim Spirit” there, ever to permit it. Vol. IV.
We believe rather that the principle will soon be exploded there, and given over to sects with whose institutions and habits it is more in keeping. But let the application of this high-church principle proceed only a little way; and so far as it does proceed, what is to be its operation on the General Assembly? Let it be established that the Assembly has a divine right to dispose of all that the members of their churches, in the exercise of the utmost zeal and selfdenial, can contribute towards the conversion of the world; and upder the operation of this principle, let the Assembly have the control of from two to five hundred thousand dollars every year ;and what is to resist or check the secular power which is thus concentrated in that judicature? The church as there exhibited is secularized. All its spiritual being is overshadowed by the great structure of its ecclesiastical organizations. And as it was with certain projectors long ago, who said, “Let us build us a city, and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us !nake us a name lest we be scattered abroad ;" so with these builders, their tower will be Babel. If the General Assembly had no seminaries, no prosessorships in its gist, no “ endowments,” nothing to
possess” but the affectionate confidence of the churches, and nothing to “manage” but things spiritual; it would no longer be agitated by contending parties; its meetings for christian consultation and brotherly intercourse, and for considering one another 10 provoke unto love and good works, would adorn and bless the city of brotherly love. But let the jurisdiction and authority of that body be extended as the new doctrine will naturally extend them; and there will be no variety of opinion without parties, no parties without fierce contention. Thus, on every turret and scaffold of their unfinished work, there will be voices of confusion, till the Lord shall have “scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth ;” and thus shall have vindicated for bis churches, once more, their sacred and unalienable liberty, and shall have secured for his word another opportunity to have free course and be glorified.
We find ourselves compelled here to close our remarks, though much which we designed to have said, must be omitted. Yet, we add, let no man say of us that we oppose the constitution of the presbyterian church. Some features of presbyterianism, we confess we never have admired. But the system of connection by presbyteries, synods, and assembly, so long as those bodies move in their proper orbits as meetings for intercourse and fellowship among the churches, as councils to advise and persuade in matters of common interest, and as means of keeping up a common seeling among the neighboring and the distant members of the great union, is truly an admirable arrangememt.' Peace to the presbyterian church; we honor it; we rejoice in its prosperity; and long may we be permitted to say of it,
" There our best friends, our kindred dwell,
There God our Savior reigns."
ART. X.-LETTER OF THE REV. DR. TAYLOR TO Rev. Dr.
We insert this letter, because, in the present state of theological discussion, many of our readers, we presuine, will wish to possess it in a more permanent for than that of a newspaper. Our limits do not permit us to gise Dr. Hlawig' letter, but the scope of it will be understood from the introduction to Dr. Taslor's.
YALE COLLEGE, Feb. 1, 1832. Dear Brother, -I thank you for yours of the 23d ult. in which you express your approbation of my preaching during the protracted meeting at Hartford. This expression of fraternal confidence is grateful to me, not because I ever supposed that we differed in our views of the great doctrines of the gospel, but because, for some reason or other, an impression has been made, to some extent, that I am unsound in the faith. This impression I feel bound to say, in my own view, is wholly groundless and unauthorized. You ibink, however, that I “ owe it to myself, to the Institution with which I am connected, and to the christian community, to make a frank and full statement of my views of some of the leading doctrines of the gospel, and that this cannot fail to relieve the minds of many, who are now suspicious of my orthodoxy.”
Here I must be permitted to say, that the repeated and full statements of my opinions, which I have already made to the public, would seem to be sufficient to prevent or remove such suspicions. The course you propose, however, may furnish information to some who would desire it before they form an opinion, as well as the means of correcting the misrepresentations of others. I therefore readily comply with your request, and submit to your disposal the following statement of my belief on some of the leading doctrines of the gospel. I believe,
1. That there are three persons in one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
2. That the eternal purposes of God extend to all actual events, sin not excepted; or, that God foreordains whatsoever comes to pass, and so executes these purposes, as to leave the free moral agency of man unimpaired.
3. That all mankind in consequence of the fall of Adam, are born destitute of holiness, and are by nature totally depraved; in other words, that all men, from the commencement of moral agency do, withoul the interposition of divine grace, sin and only sin, in all their moral conduct. . 4. That an atonement for sin has been made for all mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ; that this atonement was necessary to magDify the law, and to vindicate and unfold the justice of God in the pardon of sin; and that the sinner who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is freely justified on the ground of bis atoning sacrifice, and on that ground alone.
5. That the change in regeneration is a moral change, consisting in a new holy disposition, or governing purpose of the heart as a permanent principle of action; in which change the sinner transfers the supreme affection of his heart from all inferior objects to the living God, chooses him as the portion of his soul, and his service and glory as his supreme good, and thus in respect to moral character, become a new man.
6. That this moral change is never produced in the human heart by moral suasion, i. e. by the mere influence of truth and motives as the Pelagians affirm, but is produced by the influence of the Holy Spirt, operating on the mind through the truth, and in perfect consistency with the nature of moral action, and laws of moral agency.
7. That all men, (in the words of the article of your church,) may accept of the offers of salvation freely made to them in the gospel, but that no one will do this, except be be drawn by the
8. That the necessity of the influence of the Holy Spirt io regeneration, results solely from the voluntary perverseness of the sinner's heart, or disinclination to serve God, which, while it leaves him a complete moral agent and without excuse for neglecting his duty, suspends his actual salvation on the sovereign will of God.
9. That the renewing grace of God is special (in distinction from that which is common and is resisted by the sinful mind) inasmuch as it is that which is designed to secure and does infallibly secure, the conversion of the sinner.
10. That all who are renewed by the Holy Spirit are elected or chosen of God from eternity, that they should be holy, not on account of foreseen faith or good works, but according to the good pleasure of his will.
11. That all who are renewed by the Holy Spirit, will, through his continued influence, persevere in holiness to the end, and obtain eternal life.
Such is my faith in respect to some of the leading doctrines of the gospel. These doctrines I preach; these I teach in the Theological department of this seminary ; these I have repeatedly published to the world. With what truth or justice any regard me as a "teacher of theology introducing heresy into our churches,' the candid can judge.
But it may be asked, whether after all, there are not some points, on which I differ from my brethren generally, or at least, from some of them? I answer—it would be strange, if any two men should be found to agree exactly, in all the minute matters of religious opinion. With respect, however, to what is properly considered the orthodox or Calvanistic system of doctrines, as including the great Facts of Christianity, and as opposed to and distinguished