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in their hands until one bé raised up of God to stand as their head. For not many heads, but one head, is the order of God's house. And this power having received over them in the Lord, he is set over these same elders, to preside, and rule, and counsel, just as over the rest of the flock; and though he be one and they many, they are not on that account to over-rule him, which is as preposterous as if the hands were to rule over the head. Yet must he reverence them in their place of elders; they him, in his place of pastor; both he and they reverencing the church, as the pillar and ground of the truth. The pastor is the guardian of all ordinances, under the word in the holy Scriptures written and by the Spirit in the church spoken; he may not, he must not, on any wise, infringe any ordinance or usurp upon any. And to do this hath ever been my diligent study, as the Lord knoweth.
There ought to be such an eldership over every church, in every city, to stand as rulers and watchmen over the fock; and when any one hath been designated of God to be the pastor of any people, the elders, who are the heads of the congregation, are, with the congregation, to take knowledge thereof; and having been fully satisfied that he is the man whom the Lord hath chosen to be head over them, they do call, and invite, and entreat him to be their pastor and minister, and promise him all subjection and support in the Lord. From which time he standeth fully invested, being received into his place by the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
From this time forth he hath in him the heavenly gift conveyed by the laying on of the hands of an apostle, by the prophetic designation singling him out from among the brethren for that particular charge, and by the acceptance of the eldership, and the people in them represented. And being thus invested, Jesus calleth upon him to stand as his representative before the people, and as their representative before him: and the great Head of the church holdeth him responsible for every act of every person in the congregation, whose burdens he must bear, and plead their cause; going in to the Father with their offerings, and bringing out from the Father his blessing. Oh! it is a noble function; and woe be to the man that lightly esteemeth or rashly intermeddleth with it! The General Assembly have brought upon themselves fearful condemnation, in separating those most faithful pastors, John Campbell, Hugh Baillie M.Lean, and William Dow, from their flocks; and they are rushing on to do the same thing by me--which may God prevent them from attempting !-and they will not rest in their headlong wickedness till they have weeded out every faithful minister from the church. Oh ye, my brethren of the Church of Scotland, resist, and follow not, their evil courses, but rebuke them.
I see the good of ecclesiastical assemblies to give forth decrees
when the times and circumstances of the church require it; but it lieth with the pastor, eldership, and people of any church, to accept these decrees or not. And if any synod or assembly, by reason of its numbers, learning, or authority, would impose its decrees upon any church, they are to be regarded as lording it over the heritage of God, and stedfastly to be resisted. I count this to be such a case which hath arisen. The General Assembly of the pastors and elders of the churches in Scotland have convened, and take upon them to sit in judgment upon my doctrinewhich they may do, if so it please them--and then to pretend to a jurisdiction over me, and to set on foot a regular prosecution against me, through the presbytery of Annan. I deny their jurisdiction ; I regard it to be an usurpation : and I do solemnly withstand it, and will never submit to it; and I beseech my brethren of the presbytery of Annan, and all godly men, to desist from aiding or abetting them in their wicked courses, lest they be partakers of their guilt.
may then be asked ; And if these things be so, whereto serveth the array of ecclesiastical judicatories, of presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies ? As to the presbytery or eldership, we have already shewn that it is the standing council for the government of the flock of Christ in every place, and consisteth of the chief shepherd or angel of the church, and of the other pastors or elders whom the Holy Ghost hath appointed to feed the flock with instruction, and to rule them in righteousness. And it cannot be dispensed with, and ought ever to be in operation, ruling with diligence, and watching with all carefulness, as in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not that every offence is to be brought there, but only such as cannot by private admonition be put away, or such as break forth in the sight of all the congregation. And this council hath no jurisdiction beyond the bounds of the flock, and ought not to exercise any, however much it may be solicited to do so. It may give counsel and lend help to Christians anal to churches in all parts, but may not take nor receive any authority over them ; seeing there should be elders ordained in every city. The limitation of its bounds in place, is that which marketh its subordination to Jesus, whose jurisdiction is the only unlimited one; and for ụniting the churches thus constituted, and bringing them into all needful and profitable conformity with one another, the office of the apostle is constituted of the Lord --who much desireth to bestow the grace of apostleship again; and will do it, when he findeth vessels prepared to contain it; and he is with all diligence fitting such for the work. He hath, during the short while that this paper hath been preparing, called out from the bosom of my flock two brethren to stand in the place of pastors or elders, by opening their mouths to speak in the power of the Holy Ghost, and to bless the assembled congregation, and after
wards sealing them by the word of prophecy; and another hath he called, by prophesying, to the work of the evangelist, and another to the office of an apostle. And we all stand before him in the solemn attitude of waiting with all readiness of mind to be called into the offices of his spiritual house, as he may be pleased to honour us with his holy orders; for we nothing doubt that our holy and gracious God is preparing amongst us a people for his name.
And we, who already stand in the eldership of the church, do rejoice to see the working of his hand, and are waiting in continual prayer and supplication that he would accomplish the great things whereof he hath assured us by the ministry of the word, and by the word of prophecy which he hath given to us. When apostles and cvangelists and pastors shall have been given by the Holy Ghost, provincial synods and general assemblies will decease of their own accord from serving Christ, or will turn, as with all diligence they are already turning, to serve Antichrist.
In times past they have been used of God as a substitute for that which he himself hath ordained ; and so long as they were composed of faithful and loving men, they were in no small measure blessed, both to the church and the realm of Scotland, and I desire to give them reverence for the fathers' sake. But for the last century, and especially the latter half of it, having been composed chiefly of unspiritual ministers, and worldly elders, and conducted in a spirit of party, with the love of pre-eminence, they have at length been given up of God to work iniquity with greediness, and are become the most active agents of evil, the most zealous persecutors of truth, at this day existing upon the earth. And by reason of the spirit of confederacy which existeth every where, and the entire decay of personal courage, and ignorance of personal ordinances, it cometh to pass that they are drawing, and have almost altogether drawn, all power into their own hands, and all personal dignity and personal responsibility are abolished. I have looked on with perfect amazement to witness the utter callousnsss which reigneth amongst the ministers and elders of Scotland, when their best and holiest men are treated as the off-scourings of the earth, and cast out as unworthy of a place in the Christian ministry. It hath abased me to the earth, and I am bowed down daily before my God, to witness the prostration of spirit which reigneth throughout my native land and mother church. Not an appeal, not a protestation, not a dissent, not a withdrawal from such abominable transactions, is to be heard of, the whole country over. The presbyteries, synods, and assemblies meet to murder truth, and persecute true and faithful men; and with a high and reckless hand they do their work, and not a tongue is moved against them. Shame upon you
! woe unto you ! howl for the shepherds! Woe worth the day in which you are visited ! and it is at hand.
Such meetings of men as in Scotland do pass under the name of presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies (and I know no exceptions, else would I gladly make them), are an abomination in the sight of God; scenes of pride, envy, covetousness, and turbulence; constituting no bulwark of religion, but the very battlements of heresy. They are the enemies of Christ, the ministers of Antichrist. The Lord is preparing for them a scourge of small cords, with which they shall be chased out of his house, which they have made into a house of merchandize and a den of thieves. It is a thing most honourable to be evil-entreated of them: to be cast out by them is the highest favour which they have to bestow. There is infused into them a malice and spirit of misrule far greater than hath been yet seen in the Christian church; equalled, I believe, in no land; surpassed only in Scotland itself by the ecclesiastical courts of the Dissenters, who are fast casting off the very appearance of religious assemblies, and becoming frantic reformers of the state, furious subverters of the church.
And what is to become of the church, placed under the teeth of these saws and harrows ? Retire into Christ, in whom her life is hid in God; enter into her chamber, and shut the doors about her, and hide herself for a little season, until the indignation be overpast. Let every faithful minister-and I believe, there are of such a few-silently withdraw themselves from these confederacies of iniquity, where to speak a word boldly for the truth as it is in Jesus would be to sacrifice their own standing and life as ministers, which every man is bound to take care of. Let them walk before their people as ministers of truth, or loving pastors, and as godly men, sighing and crying, and gathering around them all who will sigh and cry, over the estate of the church-worse, far worse than death-the miserable estate or fighting with all her forces against the Lord and his Christ. There let them cherish the life which still lingereth in the people. and by the word of truth beget more life; and as the life grows, set it in order, with all humble dependence upon the Master of the house, who will raise up helps to such ones on every and when the envy and malice of Satan stirreth up the forces of Babylon, which are the presbyteries, synods, and assemblies, let them root themselves in love, and go forth against them, and spare no arrows, and take away her battlements, for they are not the Lord's. And be assured, thou faithful pastor, that the hand of the Good Shepherd shall be stretched over thee, and nothing shall prevent thee from prospering, and thy people from prospering under thee. Seek not the conflict, but when it comes, flinch not from it. Thus have I sought to carry myself; and I am ready to serve the Lord in any place-in the lion's den; in the lion's mouth, if it please hiin; for I am his servant, and my life is hid with Christ in God.
Finally, I am assured in my own spirit, and by the Spirit of the Lord, that those who will not boldly brave the war, come out of Babylon, and fight against her, shall be taken in her snares. For " the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent taken it by force.” But it is a warfare of weeping and lamentation, with breaking of the loins and sounding of the bowels; not with envy and malice, strife and tumult, but with pity and compassion, with words of truth and coals of love, after the manner of Him who said, “ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. xxiii. 37, 38).
EDWARD TRVING, A. M,
Pastor of Christ's Flock in London.
THE RECORD NEWSPAPER.
The Record is still at its old work of misrepresentation, the mere statement of which we deem to be a sufficient exposure. It appears that a remonstrance was sent to them, from “a New Member of Mr. Irving's ejected Church,” on their misuse of terms, in calling Mr. Irving's doctrines novelties and heresy ; quoting a passage
from Flavel, to shew that similar doctrines were held by men esteemed venerable and orthodox. The Record refused insertion to the “New Member's” letter-which they were quite free to do---but they inserted an abusive reply to this letter which they suppress, and made it an occasion of vilifying Mr. Irving, and slandering the Morning Watch ;-all which we think no man is free to do but the man who has broken loose from the bonds of decency and honour,
Several letters passed between the “New Member" and the Record. These have been sent for our inspection, accompanied by a note from the former, saying, “This correspondence has convinced me of what I long feared,—that the Record is at once the most incompetent and uncharitable of religious critics; and that all the charges against it in the Morning Watch are true, and now true to my knowledge.” The passage from Flavel is this (Record, Oct. 1): Moreover, Jesus Christ did not only neglect the angelical and assume the human nature, but he also assumed the human nature after sin had blotted the original glory of it, and withered up the beauty and excellency thereof; for he came not in our nature before the Fall, whilst yet its glory was fresh in it; but came, as the Apostle speaks, in the “likeness of sinful flesh.' I say not that Christ assumed sinful flesh, or flesh really defiled by sin: that which was born of the Virgin was a holy Thing." This statement of Flavel the “ New Member” declared to be in perfect accordance with the doctrines he constantly heard preached by Mr. Irving; but the Record, which knows nothing of Mr. Irving's preaching, is pleased to assume that