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ally expressed in the Assembly's them unite in fervent prayer to Shorter Catechism, be admitted as the Author of light and love articles of faith, and as the basis Such means, perseveringly used, of union. The door is open for have never been in vain. The the admissic: of those minis- truth is not covered with a veil ters, who, with all their minor which cannot be taken away ; differences, receive what are call. nor are the hearts of gospel mined THE DOCTRINES OF Grace. isters incapable of being melioNow with respect to such minis rated by light, and warmed with ters, the objection, above stated, brotherly affection. may be satisfactorily answered in 3. It is said, that such assem. two ways. First. There is no blies of clergymen naturally go difference of opinion among into notions of ecclesiastical power, them, which need to prevent and aspire after an unchristian brotherly love, or interrupt min- domination. isterial fellowship. As this is, Reply. It is acknowledged, in one way or another, granted that this has been the case in by all, no pains will be taken former times. But how much to prove it. Secondly. A gener soever the influence of ministeal association is of all methods rial associations or asseinblies the most likely to lessen the dif- has been abused ; this is no ar. ference of opinion among the gument against employing them orthodox clergy, and to termi- for wise and benevolent purponate forever that spirit of jeal- ses. Suppose a particular cler, ousy and variance, which has so gyman has taken advantage of long disturbed them. A little his superior influence to trample knowledge of mankind is suffi- on his brethren, and to infringe cient to convince us, that the the privileges of the churches. present state of separation, dis- Does this prove that ministerial tance, and reserve, tends to in- influence is in itself an evil, or crease, rather than to remove that it may not be made subsertheir discord in matters of faith. vient to the best purposes? How If their discord is an evil; if often has civil authority been an increasing harmony among abused? Yet who will prelend them is a blessing worthy to be that this is a reason why it sought ; let them come togeth- should not be supported ? This er, and see each other's face. well illustrates the subject before With respect to every point in us, if we carefully remember, debate, let them fully explain that ministerial or Christian in. their different terms and appre. Auence is, properly, the influence hensions, and engage in the of truth, of wisdom, and of prayer. most open and friendly discus- In this sense, the influence of sion. Let them strive to com- ministers is as necessary to the municate and to receive light, to welfare of the church, as civil disclose lurking errors, and to authority is to the interests of confirm the common faith. Let civil society. With what prothein jointly defend that scheme priety can evangelical ministers of truth, and jointly promote be suspected of aspiring after ecthat experimental religion, which clesiastical dominion, because is precious to them all; and let they endeavour, by union and
joint consultation, to increase infringe the rights, nor diminish their knowledge, their piety, and the usefulness of that respectable their usefulness, and to advance association. Surely the refusal of the good of Christ's kingdoni ? the Convention to encourage a The ministry in this State, pre- general association was not meant cluded from wealth and power, to lay any prohibition upon indihave no opportunity, and it is be- viduals. Particular ministers or lieved, no inclination to obtain associations have liberty to form any influence, but that of truth any ministerial connexion they and goodness. Animated by the choose, provided it be not inconspirit of Christianity, and taught sistent with the charitable object by the experience of past ages, of the Convention. If any should they will, we doubt notg seasona- attempt to deprive them of this bly and watchfully guard the liberty, they would show that proposed general union against spirit of domination, a tendency every pernicious tendency. to which they so hastily suspect,
4. It is further urged by way and so resolutely condemn in of objection, that a general as80ě others. ciation in distinction from the gen 5. Only one more objection cral Convention is needless, and, will be noted. It has been said, without the approbation of that that we ought to know beforehand body, would be dangerous. Jeal not only th: outlines of the propiosousies, animosities, and obloquies ed plan, but its particular ends, are apprehended, as the natural rules, &c. in order that we may consequences.
judge whether it is expedient to Reply. No objection of this encourcge it. kind can be reasonably urged, I observe, in reply, that it does unless the general association in- not belong to an individual, who terfere with the business of the advocates the general object, to Convention. But the slightest enter into all these particulars. examination will show, that there And if those, who have already is no interference. The busi- met with a view to a general asness of Convention is highly im- sociation, should proceed at once portant; but it must be very re- to agree upon an ecclesiastical Stricted. So various are the obe constitution; it might be thought jects of attention on that public unseasonable and injudicious, and occasion, and so small is the prevent, instead of facilitating number of ministers commonly the addition of other associations. present, that little information As it is designed, that the gencan be obtained respecting the eral association shall embrace state of the churches, and little the great body of orthodox mincan be done for the general in- isters in Massachusetts ; it is best terests of religion.
that they should come together the most ardent friend of Con- for deliberation, and that the vention be dissatisfied, if minis- particular rules adopted, the ters, still maintaining their con measures to be pursued, and the nexion with that body, think it direction given to the whole buproper to meet at a different siness should be the result of time, and for different purposes ; their united wisdom. The greatpurposes, however, which do not er the number of discerning,
pious characters collected, the sus Christ be with the ministers more likely will they be to de- and churches of Massachusetts ! vise a plan, which will pro
Pastoa. mote the interests of Christianity.
PIETY OF PRIMITIVE NEW EXGThis, then, is the drift and
LAND RULERS. conclusion of the whole. The common practice of men, espe
The piety of the primitive cially Christians, the present rulers of New England is as state of the ministry and of the worthy of notice, as the piety of churches, and the genuine spirit the primitive ministers. The of Christianity are considera following directions, extracted tions, which strongly urge to a
from “ Instructions for Maj. general association in this com- Benjamin Church, commander monwealth. The objections
in chief of the Plymouth forces, raised against it will not, we con- &c. does honour to the religious ceive, on candid examination, ap
characters of the commissioners pear of sufficient force to invali- whose names are undersigned. date the arguments in its favour.
“ You are lo take effectual care The foundation is already laid by that the worship of God be kept a respectable number of associa- up in the army, morning and tions in the western counties, evening prayer attended as far who have met several times with as may be, and as the emergenthe general union in view, and cies of your affairs will permit, to are taking prudent measures to see that the holy Sabbath be duly facilitate the admission of other sanctified. You are to take care associations. The proposition as much as may be, to prevent has been respectfully laid before or punish drunkenness, swearthe Convention of Congregation- ing, cursing, or such other sins, al ministers, who, as a Conven- as do provoke the anger of God. tion, thought it not best to adopt You are from time to time to any measures in its favour, though give intelligence to the Governor a large part, then present, were and Council of Massachusetts or friendly to the object. The way Commissioners of the Colonies is now prepared for the admis- of your proceedings, and the oca sion of particular associations. currences which may happen, There is nothing to debar any, and how it shall please the Lord who receive the great doctrines to deal with you in this present of the reformation. The union expedition," &c. will take place on a basis, which
THOMAS DANFORTH, Pres. includes all the essential articles
ELISHA COOKE, of the orthodox faith. The next
Samuel Mason, annual meeting will be at Wind
WILLIAN PITKIN, sor, on the last Wednesday of
Thomas HINKLEY, June, 1807.
John WALLET. Grace, mercy, and peace from
Similar directions were given God the Father, and the Lord Je by Governors Phipps, Stough.
lon, and Dudley.
ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE A- to die, is ascertained by our SaTONEMENT.
viour's words. « The Son of
Man came not to be ministered In a Series of Letters to a friend.
unto, but to minister, and to give (Continued from p. 455.) his life a ransom for many." A
ransom is what is given and acLETTER II.
cepted instead of the person ranThe Doctrine illustrated, proved, and somed. This ransom was the defended from Scripture.
life of Christ, his dying in our DEAR SIR,
stead, to save us from that death, That Christ died for signers to which we were condemned of mankind is often expressly as for our own sins. This ransom serted in the Scriptures.“ When was given (arti) substituted in. we were sinners, Christ died for stead of the many, who are ran
He suffered for us in the somed by his death. This is the flesh. He laid down his life for exact import of the words in the his sheep.” This is granted by original Greek, as the great masall, who bear the name of Chris- ters of that language agree. tiaas. But some pretend that Even the most learned Socinians, no more may be meant than however reluctantly, have seemthat Christ died for our benefit, ed at least to acknowledge this ; as a martyr or witness to the though they have taken much truth of the revelation he made fruitless pains to evade the plain of the will of God; as an exam- and obvious consequence. -ple of patience, fortitude, and The words of the apostle are charity, under cruel and abusive no less determinate. treatment; and that his resur- himself (artidurgar) a vicarious rection might be to us an assur- ransom." The expression is reing evidence of his divine mis- markable, and exceedingly emsion, and a pledge of the resur- phatical. Christ gave himself, rection of the dead. We readily his life, a ransom, a price of reacknowledge that the death of demption. This implies that Christ was designed for our ben- his death was instead of that of efit in these and other respects. the redeemed. But the expresBut this does by no means come sion is strengthened, by its being up to the intended meaning of termed a vicarious or substituted the sacred writers. The phrase, ransom for (utsię) instead of all the here used, properly signifies in redeemed. May it not now be the original, that Christ died in taken for proved, that, according the room and stead of sinners. to the Scriptures, Christ died in This is evidently the meaning the room of sinners, that by his of the phrase in Paul's epistle to vicarious sufferings and death he Philemon ; in which he says might ransom or redeem them that he would have retained from death, to which as sinners Onesimus with him
they were liable, and justly con(ume cov) in thy stead he might demned. minister to me.” That this is the Farther; the Scriptures teach sense, in which Christ died for us that :“ death is the wages of us, that is, as substituted instead sin,” that is, its deserved and of those, who were condemned threatened punishment. It was No. 11. Vol. II, Sss
sin, that brought death into the Those divines, who speak of world. It is sin, that has sub- Christ, as having suffered the jected all mankind to that con- punishment of sin, have not ondemnation, to redeem or ransom ly “ followed one another," but them from which, Christ died in have also followed the apostles, their room and stead. No one and speak as the oracles of God. is liable to receive the wages or And if Christ suffered the pun* punishment of sin, unless it be ishment of sin for sin, can it be for sin, as the meritorious cause. denied, that the sin, for which Now it is certain that, when he suffered punishment, was imChrist died in our stead to ran- puted to him? Was any otxe ever som us from death, he received punished for a crime, anless it - the wages, or punishment of sin was imputed to him ? Bat it was
in our stead. For what is death, not for any sin of his own, that the curse of the law, but the pun- Christ received the wages of sin,
ishment of sin ? Christ did die in and bore the curse of the law. our stead, that he might ransom For there was no sia in him. .us from death. He was madea He was tempted, as we are, yet curse, or bore the curse of the without sin : He did no sin : -law for us, that is, in our stead, He did always those things, that that he might redeem us from the pleased God, who was ever well curse of the law. It is true, a pleased in his beloved Son. It sperson may suffer that, which is was for our sins that he suffered
threatened in a law, as a punish- and died, and bore the punishment, and yet not suffer it as a ment due to us. Paut says that punishment. The cutting off he died for our sins according to some member of the body is a le- the Scriptures. He was deliver
gal punishment for some crimes. ed unto death for our offences. -But, if this be done by a surgeon His death was the deserved and to stop a gangrene, the patient threatened punishment of our -would not suffer it as a punish- sins, and he suffered this punment. But. Christ, in dying for ishinent for our sins. Is not this us not only suffered, what was a clear evidence, that our sins threatened as the punishment of were imputed, and our guilt sin, but he suffered for sin. The transferred to him ? apostle Peter says that Christ Of this we have also, I think, suffered for sins, the just for the a farther proof in the 53d chapunjust. Now, if Christ suffered ter of Isaiah. The prophet, the punishment of sin for sin; speaking of Christ, says, " He if he bore the curse of the law bath borne our griefs, and carrifor sin, (indeed how could he ed our sorrows. He was. Woundotherwise be subject to the curse, ed for our transgressions, and and punishment ?) how can the bruised for our iniquities, the conclusion be refused, that he chastisement of our peace was was punished for sin ? How can upon him, and by bis stripes we a person's being punished be are healed." These griefs and more accurately and logically ex- sorrows are termed ours, because pressed, than by saying he suf- deserved by us, and due to us, as fers what is threatened, as the the wages or punishment of our punishment of sin, for sin sins, though they were borne by