« ElőzőTovább »
satisfactory fair and judicious account of this matter iz fee Dr. Potter's discourse on church-government. The like resemblance may be perceived in the three moral characters of the three persons in the divine-life compared with the three offices just mentioned in the christian-church: as seems to be intimated by St. Ignatius (an apoftolic father), in advising christians (Epift. Smyrn. c. 8. Ignat. Epift. Tral. c. 2. 3:) to follow their bilhop ; as Christ, the Father į the presbytery, as the apostles; the deacons, as the com. mand of God (Epist. Philad. C. 4) one bishop, with presbyterv and deacons: even as there is one unbegotten God and Father, one only bcgotten Son, God the Word and Man; and one Paraclete, the spirit of: truth. This is plainly implied in the form of baprism, which receives subjects to the three-one divine-life represented by the constitution or government of the visible christian church (Rev. iv. 2-4, 5. v. '0).
Hence; the union between church and state is pere feet, as being founded in the resemblance of both to the divine-life which has been explain'd in the expofition of the Athanafian creed, and is accomplish'd (nor by changing the divine-life, or its copy the conftitution of the church into the likeness of the civilconstitution), but by changing the civil-conftitution into the likeness of the divine-life, · A like resemblance may be perceiv'd between the several steps of the regeneration-process, or the chri'ftian-life as explain'd in the 2d, part of the Athanafian-creed); and the corresponding steps of growth of our present happy conftitution during fix periods (each of 20 years) already past : but having not time fufficient now for declaring this matter; I shall leave it to your own observations, as being the occurences of ihe last and present ages, and particularly confi. der'd in another discourse.
Thus is Christ form'd politically, in the happy u• nion of his true scriptural church with the civil pow. er establishing it in our excellent constitution : where
in every man ficely cnjoys all his natural rights and liberties religious and civil; and is restrained in no-”. thing but the doing violence to the rights of others.
This is the constitutition, the enemies of our peace strove lately to deprive us of, ihro'a rebellion excited by the three frog-like impure spirits (Rev. xvi. 13.) of the Atheistic dragon-like robbers and murderers voracious and tyrannic in oppressive use of power; of the voluptuous sensual beast or Anarchy, of the antichristian false-prophet or false interpretation of scripture by the popish church changing the truth of God into a lie.
But they were discomfited by our armies headed by an intrepid, vigilant and wise young prince fighting under the banners of the living-God and of Christ our King, in defence of our christian and civil liberties the result of a conftitution truly copied from the divine-life and tenderly cherish'd with paternal care by a good prince now on the throne; whose royal virtues, we have well-grounded hopes, will be continued in his royal line by the same divine goodness that has given them for a blefling to
these nations, and to all the nations around that Thall · earnestly desire to obtain the same truly christian form of government.
Let us therefore, with one voice, in concert with all tiue christians and friends of mankind; sing praises to God, fing praises : fing praises unto our King, lipg praises.
FIN 1 $.
TYEEING the discourse referr'd to (P. 24,
4th line from the bottom) is not yet print
ed: it is thought needful, to add here an Extract from it, that will contribute to the better understanding the Exposition of the Athanasian Creed.
THE powers or faculties of the mind which constitute the divine image, and are capable of political perfection ; are three vital, namely, those of Perception, Discrimination, Operation. Three causal, namely, those constitutive of an end to be pursued, means to be used, and fruition of the end obtain'd: Three moral, namely, those of regiminal inclination, regiminal light or knowledge, regiminal power or habit.
The causal cannor subfift, but in the vital. Neither the moral, but in both causal and viral.
But the vital may subfift without the causal: as we see too often in a life of frolick and licenciousness, where no visible end is pursued. And both vital and causal may subfist withour the moral : as in multitudes of instances of bad lite, or foolish, or weak and impotent ; where the end pursu'd is not good, or the means chosen not fit, or the fruition of expected delight disappoinred (tho' ibe end be gain'd) either thro' flings of conscience, or falling short of expectation, or natural incapacity (in either faculty or object) of agreement be · tween them in state of poffeffion. ..!
A Being possess’d of all these faculties, is yet but miserable or imperfect in some degree or other unless an orderly harmonious system of life be formed in the due exercise of them all with diffuLive Godlike goodness. This is the divine likeness perfective of the divine image. This is that breach of life which God breathed into Adam (in the spiritual meaning), by which the faculcies of his mind, disunited in their exercise, were formed into a living soul : as his body formed of Duft, became a te. nantable habitation for that soul, whilst the material sign of life appear’d in respiration or breathing (a sign used by Christ in giving the Holy-spirit). This breath of life Adam loft, when expelled from Eden and returned to the Duft whence he was taken ; in spiritual death, by dis-union of his faculties ; in natural death, by diffolution of his body.'
. To render the system of life in the exercise of these faculties, perfectly healthful and happy; there must be a cri-unity in every class of them, and in all the three classes together."
DISCRIMINATION must be generated of perception, by habitually forming the judgment upon clear perceptions (proportioning the degrees of alfcnt to the degrees of probability in doubtful cases) : and operation must proceed from both difcriminarion and perception, in constant orderly harmoni. ous tri-union, never at random."
The means chosen must be such as are fit for ilie end, and, in that respect, generated of it : and fruition must proceed froin both, namely, from an end capable of fruition, and from the use of means fic to obtain the proposed end. Otherwise unfruitful dilippointment must follow, ending either in exsination of the causal-life, or in fruitless longing or