individual application, and by a REMARKS ON THE PRESENT NUMcertification that they were Con- BER OF DISSENTING THEOLO. gregational as well as Pædobap GICAL STUDENTS. tist and Calvinistic; because the principal societies of partial Con

(To the Editors.) formists are not Congregational. GenTLEMEN,-I am amongst the The minister, or trustee, or mana- number of your readers, who were ger, is the supreme authority. In gratified by the completion of the most instances, the communicants list of Congregational Churches, are admitted, not by the society, as published in your last Supplebut by the officiating or residing ment, and which I esteem very minister. There is, in fact, with valuable, as furnishing important them no church. They disclaim data for some much-needed pracCongregational church govern- tical inquiries, respecting the ment, and are regulated by a movements of our wide-spread junta of managers and the mini- denomination. ster. As a body, therefore, such. As the reputation of our body churches can never be recognized and the peace of our churches are as Congregational, because they closely connected with the num. are Anti-congregational. The ma- ber and respectability of our mini. jority of instances must form the sters, allow me to suggest the rule—the cases of those for whom inquiry, from the documents you Libertas pleads are the exception. have furnished, whether at the preThe principles of the body of par- sent time the supply of candidates tial Conformists are as repugnant for the ministry amongst us is not to Congregational principles as greater than the wants of our those of the Presbyteriaps, or the churches will justify? The followWesleyan Methodists. I hope ing list of our theological semiLibertas and his two ministerial naries presents what I conceive to friends will not take these re- be an average return of the nummarks as unkind, or intended in ber educated by all our English the slightest degree to oppose the collegiate establishments in four admission of the partial Confor- years :mists, who may seek it, into the Congregational Body, provided

Highbury College ... 40

Homerton College . . they agree with that Body in all

Wyıpondley College ... other particulars, except in the Rotherham College... use of free prayer. The question Ayredale College. ... has not yet been debated, much

Blackburn Academy. .. 16

Hackney Ditto ... . 16 less decided. I may, therefore,

Axinioster Ditto .... 16 teserve my opinion; but not with

Newport Pagnell Ditto . . 10 out reminding Libertas, that his complaints, on both the points to

166 which they refer, appear to me unjust, and very much to resemble Now, Gentlemen, I assume that the complaint of a man who wears the average period of ministerial a blue coat, against another who labour is 28 years, (and which wears a black one, because the appears to me a very low estilatter would not acknowledge, mate;) and then multiply the numthat both their coats were of one ber of students educated in four colour.

years by seven, and you will find

1162 young ministers, introduced I remain, Gentlemen,

to our churches every 28 years! Your's, &c.

From your list it appears, that A CONGREGATIONALIST. the number of English Congregational Churches is 1072! so that, consideration of the Congregaif we could suppose that all our tional Ministers, and to which, active and useful ministers die at therefore, I feel it my duty serithe close of twenty-eight years' ously to invite their attention. service, still it will appear, that

VIGIL. the direct academical supply is fully equal to the wants of our

REV. BENJAMIN BROOK ON THE churches. But, Gentlemen, you

LOST NONCONFORMIST MANU. cannot forget, that there are other

SCRIPTS. sources of ministerial supply; many become pastors in our churches

(To the Editors.) after receiving private education GENTLEMEN.-The learned Mr. with some competent minister ; John Quicke, one of the ejected and many others are supplied from Nonconformists, prepared for pubthe Academies of Scotland, Ire- lication a large collection of the land, and Wales ; besides those lives of Protestant divines, which who occasionally join the Inde. he entitled

he entitled Icones Sacræ. Dr. Capendents from the College of the lama

College of the lamy informs us, that this MS. jate Countess of Huntingdon, or consisted of three volumes folio, through ill health, from the Mis- containing the lives of fifty French sion College.

divines and twenty English, some If I mistake not, this will in

of whom were old Puritans, men of some measure explain a most

great celebrity for literature and distressing fact, that there are

piety. The Doctor adds, that the many ministers of irreproachable

Duke of Bedford was so far character at this time unable to

pleased with this work, that he reobtain pastoral engagements : the

solved to have it published at his effect of which, upon their own

own expense, but was prevented minds, and upon the minds of our

by death. brethren in the ministry: but espe- . It is also well known that Mr. cially on the minds of our peo. Thomas Wilcocks, the learned ple, is most depressing and mis

old Puritan, and a great sufferer chievous.

in common with his brethren, left Allow me, therefore, to inquire,

at his death a large folio volume 1. Whether our churches ought of letters in MS., many of which not to pause before they counte.

were addressed to persons of nance the establishment of another

quality. seminary, which I hear is contem

If any of your numerous readers plated in a midland county?

have any knowledge of either of 2. Whether the pastors, and

these MSS., and will be kind members of our churches ought

enough to state this in an early not to increase their caution, in

number of your Magazine, or be recommending candidates to the

so obliging as to forward their inseveral Colleges ?

formation by post, their friendly And, 3dly. Whether the tutors

communication will be gratefully and committees of the collegiate

received, by your's most respectInstitutions already founded, ought

B. BROOK. not to reduce the number of the students under their patronage? Tutbury, Staffordshire,

These questions involve topics, March 22, 1827. which I am sure deserve the gravest



WORKS ON THE SABBATH. rally kept pace with the observance 1. The Christian Sabbath; or an

or the profanation of the SabInquiry into the Religious Obli


It could not be otherwise; for gation of keeping Holy one Day in Seven. By the Rev. George

the Sabbath was not an isolated

or independent institution, which Holden, A. M. 8vo. pp. 515.

ole might be observed or neglected 2. Remarks on the Different Senti without affecting other things.

ments entertained in Christendom Its very nature involved almost relative to the Weekly Sabbath. every other part of personal and By Robert Burnside, A. M. social religion. 12mo. pp. 354.

If this was true of Judaism, it 3. The Authority of Jehovah as

would be difficult to show that it · serted; or a Scriptural Plea for

will not equally apply to Christhe Seventh Day Weekly Sab

tianity. Christians require rest as bath, &c. fc. By J. B. Shen

well as Jews; abstraction from ston. 8vo. pp. 48.

the business of the world, and the

pursuits of time, are no less necesThe mode in which the Sabbath sary to us than to the disciples of is observed, may justly be con- Moses. A time for public wor. sidered as the pulse of religion, or ship, and for other holy exercises the index which shows whether it of a private and social nature, is is in a healthy or diseased state. as essential to the existence and This remark will apply both to prosperity of religion now as it was individuals and communities. It during the continuance of the Lewill be found to consist with ge- vitical institute. neral experience, that as the duties It is somewhat remarkable, and privileges of this sacred day though we shall afterwards enare conscientiously or carelessly deavour to account for it, that very regarded, true religion will pros. little is said in the New Testament per or decline. On this account respecting the obligation or manner some historical notices of the sen- of observing the first day of the timents which have been entertained week. The circumstances of the respecting the obligation of a day early Christians must have renof religious rest, and of the prac- dered it very diffiult for many of tices resulting from those senti. them to consecrate the whole of ments, may assist our inquiry. that day to religious services. The

That very high importance was Jews were already in possession attached to the sanctification of of the seventh day, the observance the seventh day, under the Old of which they rigorously enforced, Testament, it is not necessary to not only in Judea, but wherever prove. The solemn injunction of they had a synagogue. Of the the fourth commandment, the abrogation of that day as a part threatenings denounced on the of the Mosaic system, even the Sabbath-breaker, and the encou, disciples were not in general conragements presented to the devout vinced. The apostles themselves observer of the Sabbatical laws, always attended the synagogueall show how the institution was services on the Sabbath as long as viewed by God; while it is evident they were permitted; while they that the progress and decline of re- met with their Christian brethren ligion in the Jewish church gene- also on the first day of the week.

The devotion of two entire days in reader has done, the Bishop makes each week to the worship of God, a sermon, wherein he instructs the could not universally be prac- people, and animates them to the ticable among the Jewish con- practice of such lovely precepts; verts.

at the conclusion of this discourse, The Gentiles were, in many re we all rise up together and pray; spects, not more conveniently si- and prayers being over, there is tuated than the Jews. Among bread, and wine, and water offered, them, though there were numerous and the Bishop, as before, sends days devoted to the worship of op prayers and thanksgivings, the “Gods many, and Lords with all the fervency he is able, many,” whom they served, the and the people conclude all with first day of the week was not held the joyful acclamations of Amen." more sacred than the other. The “Upon Sunday,” he says, laws of business and the forms of again, “we all assemble, that being society must often have interfered the first day in which God set with their regular attention to the himself to work upon the dark services of the sanctuary. Those void, in order to make the world, of them who were slaves, must and in which Jesus Christ our often have been placed in the most Saviour rose again from the dead; trying circumstances of deprivation for the day before Saturday he and exposure. Indeed, in countries was crucified, and the day after, where the appropriation of the which is Sunday, he appeared to Sabbath to religion is sanctioned his apostles and disciples, and or enforced by law, it is scarcely taught them what I have now propossible to form an idea of the si- posed to your consideration." tuation of Christians where this is These passages only show that not the case. Allowances must the Christians met together on the be made in the one case, that ought first day of the week, illustrate not to be made in the other. And, their public worship, and assign a perhaps, this is one of the reasons reason for the observance of that why there is so marked a difference day. But neither in these, nor in between the enactments of the any other part of his apology, law and the gospel, in regard to does he speak of their consecrating the Sabbath.

the day as the Jews did their SabPreviously to the establishment bath. of Christianity by Constantine, From a passage in the larger though we have frequent references epistles of Ignatius, if admitted to to the first day of the week by the be genuine, we find both Sabbath fathers and apologists of the church, and the Lord's-day referred to, as it is noticed rather by the way, as observed by Christians; but with the day on which believers pub- a very marked distinction made licly assembled for the worship of between them. “ Let us not, God, than as the day which was therefore, any longer keep the entirely consecrated to him. The Sabbath after the Jewish manner, celebrated passages of Justin and please ourselves in days of Martyr, in which he describes the rest." But let every one of you practice of the Christians, refer keep the Sabbath after a spiritual only to their public assemblies. manner; rejoicing in the medi

“On the day called Sunday, all tation of the law, not in the rest that live either in city or country, of the body, admiring the creameet together at the same place, tion of God. Not eating things where the writings of the prophets prepared the day before, and and apostles are read, as much as time will give leave; when the * Apolog. Prim. Ixxxvii. lxxxix.

drinking things lukewarm; and read for our instruction, as also the walking to a certain measure, and first epistle written by Clemens.” delighting in dancing an 1 noises This only shows that they kept that have no sense in them. And holy the Lord's day, by assembling after the observation of the Sab- on it. None of the passages bath, let every lover of Christ quoted, convey any idea of the keep the Lord's day as a festival; manner in which the Christians the resurrection day, the queen employed their time in private on and chief of all the days of the that day. week."

In vain do we look to the apoThere is here a very curious logies of Tertullian, where we contrast between the Judaical might expect to find some inforSabbath and the Christian; while mation on this subject. References both are treated as obligatory on are made to the day, and to ChrisChristians, neither is regarded as tian assemblies, but no statement a day exclusively devoted to reli- is given from which we might ingious duty.

fer that the obligation to devote Clemens Alexandrinus, who it wholly to the Lord was underwrote in the end of the second stood or attended to. century, speaks about the Lord's Jerome, who lived in the fourth day in the same ambiguous man- century, speaks with approbation ner with Ignatius, in the passage of Paula, a pious lady, who, with quoted from his smaller epistle. the women of the church, was iu «He that doth lead his life ac- the habit, “ as soon as they recording to the ordinances of the turned home on the Lord's day, of Gospel, then keeps the Lord's day, sitting down to work, and making when he casts away every evil clothes for themselves and others."* thought, and doing things with From the language of Chrysostom koowledge and understanding, to his hearers, it would seem as if doth glorify the Lord in his resur- this had been the general practice, rection.” This is much in the style of which he does not express his in which the Friends would treat disapprobation. the subject.

It was not till the Christian Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, Emperors began to enact laws who lived much about the same respecting the Sabbath, that time with Justin Martyr, tells the religious observance of the Soter, the Bishop of Rome, in a first day of the week was brought letter addressed to him, “ To-day into view; and from those very we kept holy the Lord's day, laws we perceive the imperfect wberein we read the epistles you ideas which had been and still conwrote unto us, which we do always tinued to be entertained on the

subject. The Lord's day then * Epist. ad Magnes ix. This we strongly came to be enforced, not by the suspect is one of the interpolated passages. sanctions of divine authority, but Tbe passage in the smaller cpistles is as by human laws and temporal pefollows:- " Wherefore if they who were brought up in these ancient laws come,

nalties. perertheless, to the newness of hope; Through the reign of papal no longer observing Sabbaths, but keeping darkness and superstition, it is the Lord's day, in which, also, our life is needless to trace either the sentisprang up by him, and through his death, whom yet some deny," &c. It is difficult ments or the practices of men. The to say wbat Ignatius means by the Lord's Lord's day was regarded as one of day in this place; he seems rather to refer the festivals of the church, de. to that period of spiritual rest, empha pendent for its obligation on the tically the day of the Lord, of which the Sabbaths, under the law, were symbo

* Ad Eustap. N.S. No. 29.


2 L


« ElőzőTovább »