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ART TEACHING PRINCIPLE.
school and academy in the land. I would have it to teach liberty of conscience; I would have them learn that lesson in the first sweet song of the lark that mounts in the morning, and the last soft melody of the nightingale that welcomes the shade of night. I would have liberty of conscience in all its beauty, speaking to the eye here, speaking to the heart through the eye, speaking to the refined taste and the refining susceptibilities of our nature. Oh! we have too long allowed superstition to wage war with us by architecture. We have too long allowed idolatry to clothe herself in the fine arts. We have too long left despotism to employ the attractions and the witchery of poetry and of painting to render acceptable and admirable those scenes of carnage, of oppression, and of slaughter, by which our country has been debased. Let us come forward, and take the scenes of England's best times, of her most heroic men, of her most gallant achievements, in reference to personal suffering, in reference to principles, in reference to truth itself, and paint their images as they arise, and breathe their spirit on the canvass, as art can well do; and then let our children come with gracious and graceful steps to render their homage to the spirits of those that bequeathed to them this inheritance, and that wrought out for them this glory, and the renown of this their land.”*
* The dissenting brethren, though disappointed and outvoted in the Westminster Assembly, were sustained with the energy of truth, and cheered with the hope of its ultimate and universal prevalence. They met as congregationalists by permission of the Protector at the Savoy, and after a lengthened conference, agreed to a document which was regarded as their “confession,” and acknowledged exposition of 6 those things which were most surely believed among them.” In doctrinal theology they concurred with the “ Westminster Assembly.' But on ecclesiastical discipline and the power of the civil magistrate, they advocated congregational liberty, ministerial equality, and independence of all secular power in the church of God. In a chapter on these subjects they asserted :—“That every particular society of visible professors agreeing to walk together in the faith and order of the gospel, is a complete church ; and has full power within itself to elect
and ordain all church-officers, to exclude all offenders, and to do all other acts relating to the edification and well-being of the church.
“ That no persons may administer the sacrament but.such as are ordained and appointed thereto. Nor are the pastors of one church obliged to administer the sacraments to any other than to the members of that church to whom they stand related in that capacity. Nor may any person be added to the church, as a private member, but by the consent of the church, after a confession of his faith, declared by himself, or otherwise manifested."
“ They disallow the power of all stated synods, presbyteries, convo. cations, and assemblies of divines over particular churches ; but admit that in cases of difficulty or difference relating to doctrine or order, churches may meet together, by their messengers, in synods or councils, to consider and give advice, but without exercising any jurisdiction.”
“ And lastly they agree that churches consisting of persons sound in the faith, and of good conversation, ought not to refuse communion with each other, though they walk not in all things according to the same rule of church order; and if they judge other churches to be true churches, though less pure, they may receive to occasional communion such members of those churches as are credibly testified to be godly, and to live without offence."
“These opinions may appear new to a great many people, because they have not been openly and publicly professed in the English nation; but we are able to trace the footsteps of an independent, congregational way in the ancientest practice of the church, and in the writings of the soundest protestant divines.” They add "that their principles do not in the least interfere with the authority of the civil magistrate, nor do they concern themselves upon any occasion with him, any further than to implore his protection for the preservation of the peace and liberty of their churches.' They gloried in this, that ever since they appeared in the world they have distinguished them. selves in the cause of Christian liberty. • We have always maintained this principle—that among all Christian churches there ought to be forbearance, and mutual indulgence to Christians of all persuasions that keep to, and hold fast, the necessary foundations of faith and holi
This principle we have maintained for the sake of others, when we ourselves had no need of it.” They were thankful to their present governors for permitting those who could not comply with the presbyterian establishment to enjoy the liberty of their conscience, and equal encouragement and protection with others; and that this liberty was established by law as long as they did not disturb the public peace. “ This should engage us to promote the honour and prosperity of such a government; to be peaceably disposed one towards another, and to love as brethren : forasmuch as these are differences between fellow. servants, neither of them having any authority from God or man 10 impose their opinions upon one another."
Paul was a descendant of Abraham, of the stock of Israel, of the purest and most direct extraction, in which the men who were Jews valued themselves above other nations. He was a Christian of truly devoted character and eminent piety; on whom his Lord had conferred signal favours; and had been called to the apostleship by peculiar manifestations of power and condescension. As an apostle, he had laboured more abundantly than all his fellow-disciples; and, endowed with miraculous gifts, he had been honoured with such measures of influence and success in the church of God, as would compensate for every loss, be a present reward for his sacrifices here, and a crown of joy and rejoicing in the great day; and act as a sufficient inducement to disregard the distinctions which come from among men, and to contemn the privileges and prerogatives of citizenship in this world; yet, on an emergency, he urged what he deemed a seasonable plea, and said, “I am a man who am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city.” The relation which he thus claimed was with a political state; a government whose rulers were heathen, whose privileges were secular, and whose citizenship was representative of a voluntary compact, and reciprocal obligations; though Paul was free-born. Although a Christian apostle, therefore, Paul ranked himself as a Roman citizen, and stood