[ocr errors]

holy scriptures, we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority there is no doubt in the Church.

The canonical books of the Old Testament are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the First Book of Samuel, the Second Book of Samuel, the First Book of Kings, the Second Book of Kings, the First Book of Chronicles, the Second Book of Chronicles, the Book of Ezra, the Book of Nehemiah, the Book of Esther, the Book of Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Songs of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Haba. kuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

The canonical books of the New Testament are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Acts, the Epistle to the Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First Thessalonians, Second Thessalonians, First Timothy, Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, First Peter, Second Peter, First John, Second John, Third John, Jude, Revelation.

VI. Of the Old Testament.The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is

; offered to mankind through Christ, who is the only mediator between God and man, wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching rites and ceremonies, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the ten commandments, which are called the moral law.

VII. Of Relative Duties.—Those two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and our neighbour as ourselves, contain the sum of the divine law, as it is revealed in the scriptures, and are the measure and perfect rule of human duty, as well for the ordering and directing of families and nations and all other social bodies, as for individual acts, by which we are required to acknowledge God as our only supreme ruler, and all men created by Him, equal in all natural rights. Wherefore all men are bound so to order all their individual and social acts, as to render to God entire and absoluie obedience, and to secure all men the enjoyment of every natural right, as well as to promote the greatest happiness of each in the possession and exercise of such rights,

VIII. Of Original or Birth Sin.-Original sin standeth not in following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk,) but it is the cor

ruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is wholly gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.

IX. Of Free Will.— The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ working in us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.

X. Of the Justification of Man.- We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings; wherefore that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.

XI. Of Good Works.-Although good works, which are the fruit of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgments : yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch as by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.

XII. Of Sin after Justification.-Not every sin willingly committed after justification, is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable ; wherefore, repentance is not denied to such as fall into sin after justification; after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God, rise again to amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, who say they can no more sin, as long as they live here; or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.

XIII. Of Sacraments.-Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession; but they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us and doch not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him.

There are two sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord, in the gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of our Lord.

XIV. Of Baptism.-Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the church.

XV. Of the Lord's Supper.— The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, it is made a medium through which God doth communicate grace to the heart.

XVI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished on the Cross.—The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption and propitiation for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore, to expect salvation on the ground of our own works, or by suffering the pains our sins deserve, either in the present or future state, is derogatory to Christ's offering for us, and a dangerous deceit.

XVII. Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches. It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be alike; for they have always been different, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Every particular church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification.

XVIII. Of the Resurrection of the Dead. There will be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, at which time the souls and bodies of men will be reunited, to receive together a just retribution for the deeds done in the body.

XIX. Of the General Judgment.— There will be a general judg. ment at the end of the world, when God will judge all men by Jesus Christ, and receive the righteous into his heavenly kingdom, where they shall be for ever secure and happy; and adjudge the wicked to everlasting punishment suited to the demerit of their sins.


Boundaries of Annual Cor ferences.-1. The New England Conference comprises the New England States, except that portion of Vermont west of the Green Mountains. In the bounds of this conference are contained thirty-four circuits and congregations, and nineteen ministers.

2. Champlain Conference includes that part of Vermont west of the Green Mountains; that part of New York State which lies north and east of Black river, and a line running from Carthage to the west corner of Vermont. This conference contains at present nine stations and eleven ministers.

3. New York Conference comprises so much of New York as is not included in the Champlain Conference, Eastern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In this conference are contained thirty-five stations and thirty ministers.

4. Alleghany Conserence includes that part of Pennsylvania west of the Alleghany Mountains, that part of Ohio east of the Scioto river, and Western Virginia. We find included in this conference thirteen stations and circuits, and eleven ministers.

5. Miami Conference includes the State of Ohio west of the Scioto river, the States of Indiana, Illinois, and the Territories of Wisconsin and Iowa, containing twelve stations and circuits, and five ministers.

6. Michigan Conference embraces the State of Michigan, containing nine stations and fourteen ministers.

Reserve List of Preachers-Contains nine preachers.

Thus making the summary, as before stated, reckoning from the best data in our possession, of six conferences, including about three hundred ministers and preachers, who itinerate, and upwards of three hundred other ministers and preachers who are as yet unstationed; and about twenty thousand communicating members of the respective churches belonging to this division of the vineyard of our common Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Having thus seceded from the other branches of the Methodist Church, after much prayerful deliberation, and purely from conscientious motives, whilst our devout and fervent prayer is, that grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and his anointed Son, Jesus, our Saviour, through the effectual operations of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, may be multiplied abundantly unto all who love and long for the appearance of the great God, our Saviour: we would go forward in relying on the grace of that God which maketh rich and addeth no sorrow, in accomplishing the work which God has given us to do; whilst we would ever look to the Redeeming Saviour to work in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Amen.



The names of Ecolampadius, Luther, Zwinglius, Melancthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Calvin, and others, whom God in his providence raised up as humble instruments to reform, to no small extent, abuses which had crept into the church, are familiar to almost every ordi- . nary reader; while that of Menno Simon is little known, although he was cotemporary with Luther, Zwinglius, and others, and with some of whom he had personal interviews—with Luther and Melancthon, in Wittenberg; with Bullinger, at Zurich; and at Strasburg, with Bucer.

In an article necessarily brief as this must be, the question, Whether the Mennonites are descendants from the Waldenses ? cannot be discussed. The testimony, however, of Dr. Y peij, Professor of Theology at Groningen, and a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, may here be appropriately introduced, on this point. In a work written by the Professor, published at Breda, 1813, he says: “We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times Mennonites, were the original Waldenses; and have long in the history of the Church received the honour of that origin.” This testimony is borne from high official authority in the Dutch Reformed Church.

The Mennonites freely acknowledge that they derived their name from Menno Simon, a native of Witmarsum, born in Friesland, A. D. 1495. He, as well as all his cotemporaries, was educated a Catholic, and in his twenty-fourth year, he undertook the duties of a priest in his father's village, called Pinningum, in Friesland; although in utter darkness of mind and worldliness of spirit, yet not without some tenderness of conscience and apparent piety. In 1530, he was in.


This article has been prepared by the aid of the Rev. Christian Herr, of Pequea, Lancaster county, a Bishop in the Mennonite Church, and has his approbation.-Ed.

« ElőzőTovább »