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came what he was not, namely,' From this extract we learn a true man, and the son of man. 1. What Anslo and his col
They maintain, that the sacred leagues taught relative to the scriptures was the only rule, and leading doctrines of the gospel, infallible confession of faith, be- and how remote they were from cause in that was contained all that enthusiasm, &c. was necessary for a Christian to 2. That the Waterlander Men. know and confess, concerning the nonites who, in other respects, ground of salvation. They ad. have been thought generally the hered, moreover, to the conses- most latitudinarian and moderate, sion of faith which was received are, as well as the Flemish, Freise, by the church; not that they and German churches, carefully confirmed their doctrines from watchful for the second doctrine thence more than from the word of faith, and sincerely pledge of God; but to shew their agree-themselves against vain opinions; ment with other old teachers of in suspending such persons from their churches, against those who the Lord's table; yea, a minister calumniated them, and who from his pulpit, who is erroneous preached opposite doctrines to in the articles of faith, and who, the ministers in former times. / in their moral character, demonThey defined a confession as a strate they are children of doccompendium of what they be- | trines rather than of light; as lieved from the word of God, to they likewise clearly show, in distinguish them from others, to their resistance to the doctrines pretend likewise to adhere to the of Socinius. Not allowing any sacred scriptures, submitting their one to confirm a doctrine with opinions to the sacred scriptures a “ So says Socinius," as what might be proved thereby.
1 3. That the confession, called As to the then generally re- Hans de Rys, is not a particular ceived confession of faith, called but a general confession of the that of Hans de Rys, they stated, Waterlander churches. it was not a particular confession: We will just add an account of of Hans de Rys, but the joint the issue of this controversy beproduction of him and Lubbert tween N. Obbensz and the other Gerritz, being two of the oldest ministers. After different trou. and most distinguished ministers bles, and the publication of vaof the churches, who were con- rious replies against the Dialogue missioned for the purpose by de- of Anslo and the Apology of the legates from different churches. whole of the ministers, it was
They distinctly stated that agreed, that articles should be the word of God, sealed with prepared by six impartial Waterthe operation of the Holy Spirit, land divines, which should be effected the regeneration and sal- subscribed by Wybrandez, Husevation of men; that Jesus Christ ling, and Anslo, on one side, and his ratifying Spirit was the and by N. Obbensz on the other. sole cause of our salvation; that | These ministers [Rippert the holy scripture taught us who Eenlves, James de Ring, Hans Christ was, and conducts us to Almsen, Eagel Peters, Gerret him ; that in his regeneration Jansz, and John de Pla] prothat man was passive in regene- posed thirteen articles, fully orration, but co-operated in con- thodox, on the subject of dispute. version, &c.
These were signed by Obbensz,
who recanted every thing in his tained, and the word of life, as Raag.bezem that opposed them. the light by the golden candle
The following verse is placed sticks, exhibited. Amongst them under an old painting of Anslo: our Lord Jesus Christ, as the high
"A Rembrant, paint the voice priest of our profession, is repreof Anslo—the visible is the least sented as walking; observing the part of him; the invisible can be good, and applauding it; pointmerely known by the ears. Who- ing out the evil, and censuring ever will see Anslo must hear him." it; and holding up life and imSpinnituer has also composed mortality to those who should
overcome the temptations of the the following verse, which stands
present state. under his portrait in Moatschaen:
Let us suppose him to walk “Whoever looks at Anslo's por- amongst our several churches, and trait, feels himself excited in the to address us as he addressed the heart by the fires of zeal that glow
seven churches in Asia. We trust in the face and the eyes: but could the pencil of the artist cause us to be would find some things to aphear bis voice likewise, he would, prove; but we are also apprehenwith delightful force, allure every sive that he would find
many beholder to virtue."
things to censure. Let us then look narrowly into the Discipline
of the primitive churches, and DISCIPLINE
compare ours with it.
By discipline, however, we do
not mean to include the whole of PRIMITIVE CHURCHES. the order of a Christian church;
but shall at this time confine our The following Thoughts by the late attention to that part of church
Rev. Andrew Fuller, were origi- government which consists innally drawn up in the form of a
A mutual watch over one anoCircular Letter, addressed to the ther, and the conduct we are diBaptist Churches of the Northamp- rected to pursue in cases of distonshire Association by the Minis
order. ters and Messengers assembled at Olney, May 21, 22, 23, 1799. sists in cultivating what is lovely,
A great part of our duty conThey are so admirably adapted to sists in cultivating what is lovely, promote the purity and prosperity but this is not the whole of it; of our churches in general, that we must prune as well as plant, if we think it suitable to give them we would bear much fruit, and be a place in the Magazine.
Christ's disciples. One of the When the apostles, by the things applauded in the church preaching of the word, had ga- of Ephesus was, that they could thered in any place a sufficient not bear those who were evil. number of individuals to the faith Yet we are not to suppose from of Christ, it was their uniform hence that no irregularity or impractice, for the farther promo- perfection whatever is an object tion of his kingdom in that place, of forbearance. If uniformity be to form them into a religious required in such a degree as that society, or Christian church. every difference in judgment or Being thus associated in the name practice shall occasion a separa. of Christ, divine worship was tion, the churches may be always carried on, Christian ordinances dividing into parties, which we observed, holy discipline main-are persuaded was never encous
raged by the apostles of our Lord, munity, who, under the name of and cannot be justified in trivial tenderness, are for neglecting all or ordinary cases. A contrary wholesome discipline; or if this practice is expressly taught us in cannot be accomplished, for des ihe Epistle to the Romans; (ch. laying it to the utmost. Such Niv.) and the cases in which it is persons are commonly the advoto be exercised are there pointed cates for disorderly walkers, esout. An object of forbearance pecially if they be their particuhowever must be one that may lar friends or relations. Their exist without being an occasion language is, “ He that is without of dispute and wrangling in the sin, let him cast the first stone, church: It must not be to doubtful My brother hath fallen to-day, and disputations. ver. 1. It must also I may fall to-morrow.” This spirit, respect things which do not enter though it exists only in individuals, into the essence of God's king- provided they be persons of any dom, the leading principles of weight or influence, is frequently which are righteousness, peace known to impede the due execuand joy in the Holy Ghost. ver. tion of the laws of Christ; and if 16, 17. That which does not it pervade the community, it will subvert the gospel of the king soon reduce it to the lowest state dom, nor set aside the authority of degeneracy. Such for a time of the King, though it be an im- was the spirit of the Corinthians ; perfection, is yet to be borne with. but when brought to a proper Finally, it must be something sense of things, what carefulness which does not destroy the work it wrought in them, yea what of God, or which is not inconsis- clearing of themselves, yea what tent with the progress of vital re- indignation, yea what fear, yea ligion in the church, or in one's what vehement desire, yea what own soul. ver. 20. In all such zeal, yea what revenge.-In opcases, we are not to judge one posing the extreme of false ten. another, but every man's consci- derness, others are in danger of ence is to be his judge. ver. 23. falling into unfeeling severity.
In attending to those things This spirit will make the worst which are the proper objects of of every thing, and lead men discipline, our first concern should to convert the censures of the be to see that all our measures church into weapons of private are aimed at the good of the revenge. Persons of this de party, and the honour of God. seription know not of what manBoth these ends are pointed out ner of spirit they are. They in the case of the Corinthian lose sight of the good of the of offender. All was to be done fender. It is not love that operates that his spirit might be saved in in them; for love worketh no evil. the day of the Lord, and to clear The true medium between these themselves as a church from being extremes is, a union of mercy partakers of his sin. If these and truth. Genuine mercy is ends be kept in view, they will combined with faithfulness, and preserve us from much error; genuine faithfulness with mercy; particularly, from the two great and this is the only spirit that is evils into wbich churches are in likely to purge iniquity. Prov. xvi. danger of falling, false lenity, and 6. Connivance will produce indifunchristian severity. There is ference; and undue severity will often- a party found in a com- arm the offender with prejudice,
and so harden hirn in sin: but quire to be noticed; but let him the love of God and of our bro- be told of it in a tender and rether's soul are adapted to answer spectful manner. While you exevery good end. If we love God, postulate with younger men on a like Levi, we shall know no man footing of equality, pay a deferafter the flesh, nor acknowledge ence to age and office.Rebuke our nearest kindred; but shall not an elder, but intreat him as a observe his word and keep his father, and the younger men as covenant. And if we love the brethren.' 1 Tim. v. 1. soul of our brother, we shall say,
In the due execution of Chris• He is fallen to-day, and I will tian discipline, there are many reprove him for his good: I may things to be done by the memfall to-morrow, and then let him bers of churches individually; deal the same with me.' Love is and it is upon the proper disthe grand secret of church disci-charge of these duties, that much pline, and will do more than all of the peace and purity of a church other things put together towards depends. If we be faithful to one insuring success.
another, there will be but few ocIn the exercise of discipline, it is casions for public censüre. Vanecessary to distinguish between rious improprieties of conduct, faults which are the consequence neglects of duty, and declensions of sudden temptation, and such in the power of godliness, are the as are the result of premeditation proper objects of pastoral admoand habit. The former requires uition. It is one essential branch a compassionate treatment; the of this office to rebuke, and exlatter a greater portion of severity. hort with all long-suffering. 2Tim. The sin of Peter in denying his iv. 2. Nor is this work confined Lord was great, and if noticed by to pastors : Christians are directed the enemies of Christ, might bring to 'admonish one another.' Rom. great reproach upon his cause; xv. 14. Indeed there are things yet, compared with the sin of So- which a wise and affectionate peolomon, it was little. He first gave ple will be concerned to take upon way to licentiousness, then to themselves, lesta prejudice should idolatry, and on finding that God, be contracted against the ministry, as a punishment for his sin, had which may prevent its good efgiven ten tribes to Jeroboam, he fects. This is peculiarly neces: sought to kill him. Cases like this sary in the settling of differences, are immediately dangerous, and in which whole families may be require a prompt and decided interested, and in which it is ex: treatment, and in which hesitating tremely difficult to avoid the sustenderness would be the height picion of partiality. of cruelty. Of some have com. In all cases of personal offence, passion, making a difference: the rule laid down by our Lord others save with fear, pulling in the eighteenth chapter of Matthem out of the fire ; hating even thew ought to be attended to; the garment spotted by the flesh.' and no such offence ought to be Jude 22, 23. Gal. vi. 1.
admitted before a church, till the In all our admonitions, regard precept of Christ has been first should be had to the age and complied with by the party or character of the party. An elder parties concerned. as well as other men may be in In many cases where faults are fault, and a fault that may re- not committed immediately against VOL. X.
us, but which are unknown ex- a church, yet seems to be rather cept to a few individuals, love addressed to the individuals who will lead us to endeavour to re-compose it— Now I beseech you, claim the party if possible with brethren, mark them who cause out any farther exposure. A just divisions and offences contrary to man will not be willing unneces- the doctrine which ye have learnsarily to make his brother a pub.ed, and avoid them. For they lic example. The scriptures give that are such, serve not our Lord peculiar encouragement to these Jesus Christ, but their own belly; personal and private attempts. and by good words and fair • If any of you do err from the speeches deceive the hearts of the truth, and one convert him; let simple. The characters to be him know that he who converteth avoided appear to be, persons a sinner from the error of his way, whose object it is to set up a shall save a soul from death, and party in the church, of which hide a multitude of sins. James, they may be the heads or leaders; v. 19, 20.
a kind of religious demagogues. În cases of evil report, where Such men are found, at one time things are said of a brother in our or other, in most societies; and hearing which, if true, must affect in some cases the peace of the his character, and the purity of churches has been invaded by the church, it cannot be right to strangers, who are not of their go on to report it. Love will not own community. Let the “ brelead to this. Many reports wethren” have their eye upon
such know are unfounded; or if true “ Mark them;" trace their in the main, they may have been conduct, and you will soon disaggravated; or there may be cover their motives. Stand aloof circumstances attending the case, from them, and “avoid” striking which, if fully understood, would in with their dividing measures. make things appear very different In case of their being members, from the manner in which they the church, collectively considerhave been represented. Now ed, ought no doubt to put away it is almost impossible that any from amongst them such wicked one but the party himself should persons : but as every collective be acquainted with all these cir- body is composed of individuals, cumstances, or able to give a full if those individuals suffer themaccount of them. No time there- selves to be drawn away, the fore should be lost, ere we enquire church is necessarily thrown into at the hand of our brother, or if confusion, and rendered incapable on any consideration we feel that of a prompt, unanimous, and de to be unsuitable, it would be pro- cided conduct. Let members of per to apply to an officer of the churches, therefore, beware how church, who may conduct it with they listen to the insinuations of greater propriety.
those who would entice them to There are cases of a more pub- join their party. Men of this lic nature still, in which much of stamp are described by the apos• the peace and happiness of a tle, and therefore may be known, church depends upon the conduct particularly by three things—First, of its members in their individual By their doctrine: “ It is concapacity. The charge given by trary to that which has been the apostle to the Romans, (chap. learned of Christ.” Secondly, xvi, 17, 18.) though applicable to By their selfish pursuits : " They