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Thus the fxTEXTO, chosen ones, of the Eternal purpose, became the xantor called ones in time. But as these are called both by the internal xanois call, of the Spirit and the external xhnous of the Word, thence arises the external &xxa noia church. The exxa noia then must begin as soon as the revelation of the purpose in time begins. And so doos the Scripture actually hold it forth. It is the same church from beginning to end of the revelation, under the same Head, embodying in her ordinances the same theology, under the very same symbols, and administered by the very same officers, viz: the elders. And this it is which gives the Bible its wonderful unity of idea throughout.
This being the fundamental conception of the church, as gathered by Professor Robinson from the Scriptures, the doctrine of his discourse was treated under these heads:
1. The abstract principles which underlie the structure of the church visible, as a separate government on the earth.
2. The concrete form in which these principles embody themselves on the polity, attributes, functions and relations of the church.
3. The ordinances and agencies through which the life of the church manifests itself, and by which its great end is to be accomplished.
Among the inferences were these: 1. That all which pertains to government and ordinances in the church must be of Divine warrant.
2. That the order and ordinances established by Christ must be obligatory on every part of the church.
3. That in respect to ecclesiology, as in respect to theology, it is an open question how far departure from the truth may cousist with being part of the true church. Nor does this view unchurch, any more than our claim of Divine warrant for the doctrines of theology.
Professor Robinson closed by declaring his purpose in teaching to go just where the Word of God goes, and to stop where it stops.
We congratulate the church on her securing, for the seminary at Danville, such a man as Stuart Robinson to be professor of church government. And we congratulate him, our beloved and honoured brother, in being called, in God's providence, to so noble a field of study and instruction as the doctrine of the church. It is in many repects the question of this age. May he be long spared to fill the chair into which we saw bim inducted, and may God, in mercy to that portion of our church and country, send many students of theology to be trained by him and his colleagues !
So far as we can learn, the impression made by our last Assembly has been both decided and bappy all over the church and country. We deem it both an honour and a happiness to have been a member of that body. In our bumble opinion all, or very nearly all the action taken, was in the right direction. There has evidently been within a few years past a very great progress of right opinions annongst us as was exhibited very plainly on various occasions in this Assembly. There is manifestly a growing confidence in our Divine system of government–in the sufficiency of wbat our king Himself has given us. We would thank God and take courage. The church is again upon her onward march. All who love her must make up their minds to follow on vith her, or be left behind. Some of the things which have been clogs to her progress, she is preparing, so we judge, to cast aside. Let all concerned make ready for the coming change. Her last Assembly was one more upward step for our dear church in the sight of ail men; one more powerful exhibition, not only of the steady advance of right views in her bosom, but of the manifest power and depth and completeness of the evangelical spirit which accompanies those views; one more evidence that God approves and blesses the aims and the spirit of the men who have, during so many years and amidst discouragements as well as encouragements, constantly and steadfastly laboured to reform the evils and to fortify the good things which have been so mixed up in the Presbyterian church. Some of them bave gone to their reward, and some of them remain to this day. Of one of these, in particular, we feel impelled to say: May he never want faithful sons, nor faithful friends, nor faithful servants, who, whether as a son, or a friend, or a servant of the church, bas always proved himself faithful! May his bow long abide in strength! Long may he live to assist in training that improved ministry the church so much needs! And distant far be that night of gloom from the many who love him so well, when bis eloquent voice shall be hushed in death, and his fearless heart shall cease to beat !
Annals of the American Pulpit, or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of various Denominations, from lhe early settlement of the country, to the close of the year eighteen hundred and fiftyfive. With Historical Introductions. By WILLIAM B. SPRAGUE, D.D. Vol i. and ï. New York: R. Carter & Brothers. 1857. These two volumes are but a part of a voluminous work, to which Dr. Sprague, with indefatigable industry, and indomitable energy, has committed himself. Nothing short of an enthusiastic passion, could sustain any man in the prosecution of such a task. We rejoice that God has imparted this to Dr. Sprague, and has enabled him to accomplish so much already.
In these two volumes, we have the memorials of orthodox Congregationalists for the last two hundred and twenty-five years; those for the first one hundred and fifty years, being compiled by Dr. Sprague from previous biographies, and the remainder from similar sources, with letters also, from living writers, to whom the individuals referred to, were severally known.
The work is one of incalculable value, and must increase in interst and importance, as the origipal materials perish and are forgotten.
The work is not less patriotic and national. No class of men deserve better commemoration by a grateful posterity, than the early clergy of this country; men of missionary zeal, hardy endurance, self-sacrificing toil, faithful labour, and evident piety. Many of them were giants in ability, erudition, and far-sighted Christian policy.
New England may well be proud of the long procession of her noble ministers here brought in review, and the whole Christian church may truly rejoice in a succession of these devoted men of God, who did so much to build up the wall of our republic, and from whose writings and lives, she may derive many lessons of wisdom and experience. May a degene
rate race not basely sell for a mess of fanatical and carnal policy, the noble birthright inherited from these New England worthies.
As a book of reference, the work will be rendered greatly more useful by the addition of a general very full and comprehensive index to doetrinal, practical, experimental, and textual subjects; and this, though involving much labour, will, we trust, be provided for the completed work.
In view of the great labour and expense of the work, we hope individuals or churches will see that these volumes are put into their pastors' libraries.
The American Sunday School and its adjumcts. By James ALEXANDER, D.D.
Children are the hope of the church and the State, and the religious training of children in the principles and practice of Christian piety, is their only hope for a useful life and a happy eternity.
This has ever been a fundamental principle in the Church of God, through every dispensation—the mode of training being adapted to the state and condition of the church. This duty rests primarily on parents, but more emphatically upon churches of which parents and their children are, or ought to be members.
To feed Christ's lambs is, therfore, the most important and hopeful work and missions of the church—first disciplining, and then teaching them « all things whatsoever Christ has commanded."
The Sunday School is that method by which, under the leadings of God's providence, and of Christian experience, the church has been led to undertake and accomplish this great work more efficiently than ever before. It is to the church, what the Bible and Tract Societies are to Evangelical Christian effort--a powerful helper.
Indeed, the Sunday School prepared the way for, and made necessary and practicable, these great Christian agencies, since it was to supply the wants of Sunday Schools they were first created.
This volume unfolds the nature and relations of the Sunday School to the family, the church, and the world; vindicates it from all supposed interference with the obligations of parents; and points out with striking power, its vast importance as the only adequate instrumentality by which the growing spirit of irreligion and vice can be resisted and a leaven. of bealtbful, preserving and purifying vitality be diffused through the rising generation of American citizens.