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each other. They never stand low Christian, on account of some on the alert to hear, and propa- real or pretended failings, than gate slander against each other. they ever yet discovered to raise They never repeat stories to the sinking cause of religion; each other's disadvantage; es. when they show themselves to pecially old stories which have be actuated by low jealousies, long since been proved false, base envy, contemptible rivaland which are vamped up ancw ries, sinister views, a desire of to destroy the innocent." They personal aggrandizement at the never multiply, magnify, and de- expense of depressing better light in scandals, which dishon- men than themselves: and how or their own Aesh and blood, unhappy is the influence of such disquiet their parents, and tor- conduct; especially when minisment their brethren.
ters are engaged in it, and fall member of the family is proved victims to it, or, if not victims, to be guilty of a base and wick- have their influence diminished, ed action, all the other maembers their lives disquieted, and their Jament it, and endeavor to re- vigor impaired. Yet in this claim the wanderer from the er- course of conduct many profes. ror of his way. If their endeavors sed Christians systematically enare blessed they are very willing gage; and some real Christians, to let the remembrance of their it is feared, get into it before brother's fault die away. But they are aware. Let them ex. should they,contrary to every dic- tricate themselves without delay, tate of natural affection,moral pro- and repent of their sin and folly. priety, or even external decency, O Christians, let us bewail our strive to make the most of every ns, and strive to live like breth. failing in their brother, to sink
A. B. him utterly for every such failing, and to do all in their power to prevent bis rising again, there
For the Panoplist. would be one universal burst of indignation at their conduct.
OCCASIONED How, then, does the conduct of
THE THIRD CRAPChristians appear, when they act the part of talebearers against cach other; when they hunt up No person is subject to a greater old stories and circulate them variety of emotions, than a minanew; when they lay hold of ister of the Gospel of Jesus charges without evidence, and Christ. When he considers the then endeavor to guess out the object of the great and glorious evidence to support their ground work in which he is engaged, less charges; when they make a which is to reconcile sinners to jest of the failings of their fellow God, to deliver them from chains Christians; when they convert of darkness and give them a the social circle into a retail crown of everlasting and unfadshop of scandal, into a magazine ing glory, his pions and benevoof combustibles and implements lent heart palpitates with jos, of death and torture; when they and is fired with zeal. When discover more zeal to sink a fel- he contemplates the arduousnese
of the undertaking, and the num- teach the doctrines and duties of ber and magnitude of the obsta- the Gospel; and neither shun to cles he must encounter, he als declare the whole coursel of God, most sinks down in despair of nor transgress the commandments success. When he observes the of God by their traditions. To cold indifference of mortals to be enabled to do this, they must their eternal interest; when he make the Scriptures the princisees multitudes living as if they pal object of their studies. They believed there were no God in should neither desert the schools heaven, and no future state of of the prophets, to walk in the retribution, debasing their na- groves of Academus; nor quit tures by excess and totally re- the cedar in Lebanon, to gather gardless of futurity, his soul is nosegays on Parnassus. writhed with anguish at the fol- May rot every minister of the ly and madness of his fellow Gospel adopt the language of creatures. When he considers Paul and say, Woe is unto me if the vast responsibility of his sta- I preach not the Gospel? How tion, that a proper discharge of awfully must the voice of God its duties may save a soul, nay have sounded in the ears of the many souls from everlasting woe, prophet, when it uttered, son of and the neglect, or careless per- man, I have made thee a watchformance of them, may confirm unto the house of Israel: an infidel in unbelief and harden therefore hear the word at my a sinner in iniquity, and perhaps mouth and give them warning involve a succession of genera- from me. When I say unto the tions in perdition, fearfulness wicked, thou shalt surely die; and and trembling seize upon him, thou givest them not warning, and horror overwhelms him. nor speakest to warn the wicked
The greai responsibility of the from his wicked wny, to save his ministerial office, and the awful life; the same wicked man shall consequences of a neglect, or die in his iniquity: but his blood careless performance of its du- will I require at thine hand. ties, should be well weighed by Does not this same solemn warnevery candidate for the ministry, ing ring in the ears of every one, before he enters upon its sacred who has been set apart to the functions, as well as by those Gospel ministry? If he, who who are already in the holy of through carelessness, or neglect fice. What was said to the of duty, has caused the death of prophet is applicable to the another, has sleepless nights and Christian minister. Son of man, days of sorrow, how much more I have set thee a watchman over distressing must be the condithe house of Israel. The minis- tion of that man, by whose false ters of Christ are set as watch- instruction, or careless performmen over the souls of the people ance of ninisterial duty, a soul of their charge. They are to
has been lost. warn the wicked of his danger;
If a minister is cold in reli. to enlighten the ignorait mind; gion, can it be expected that his to cheer the desponding soul; people will be otherwise? It he and lead the humble penitent to neglects the duties of a pastor, the feet of jesus. They must for oiber pursuits, it will be dif
ficult for him to persuade his tions, for the conversion and salpeople, that religion is the one vation of sinners, will find peace thing needful; and, being igno- of conscience on this subject rant of its value and importance, even though his labors may not they will probably neglect it, till have been crowned with success. it is too late to correct the mis- But how clamorous, how tumultake. The effect of preaching tuous, must his conscience be, depends much, very much, on whose careless life, or want of the manner of it. Unless the ministerial fidelity, has lulled preacher feels what he utters, sinners into a fatal security and he will not make his hearers be- plunged them into everlasting lieve it. The natural effect of a woel Is it possible, that he, who sermon delivered in a cold and has been guilty of such misconcareless manner, is to convince duct, can find peace in his own a doubting mind, that there is no bosom, or look with an eye of reality in religion; or, at least, complacency on the world around that it is of no importance. Is him? can he find rest on his pilit improbable, that much of the low, or relief in the bustle of life? infidelity and indifference to re- If he retires to meditate in his ligion, which abound in the
closet, the cries and shrieks of world, is to be attributed to want tormented souls pierce his ears. of zeal and fidelity in the dis- If he lifts his eyes to heaven, he charge of ministerial duty; not a is appalled with the awful dezeal to make proselytes to a sect, claration, their blood will I rebut to imitate the example of quire at thine hand. L.. our divine Master; to inculcate the doctrines he taught, and enforce obedience to his precepts. To the Editor of the Panoplist, He went about doing good; he
SIR, was not afraid to admonish sin
The following thoughts respect. ners and reprove vice; nor did
ing the treatment which erthe fear of giving offence pre
communicated persons are 10 vent his benevolent heart from
receive from Christians, art warning the wicked of the awful
submitted for publication, and fatal consequences of his
should it be thought they may wicked way. The fear of man
be useful and instructive. bringeth a snare.
If he, who has been appointed PROFESSORS of religion enterto watch over the souls of men, tain different opinions on this should be restrained by the fear
subject. Some suppose, that of giving pain or provoking re- the laws of Christ do not require sentment, from admonishing in
that an excommunicated person dividuals of their danger, when should be treated in any different he sees them falling under the manner from that in which he dominion of sin, and walking was before treated, except being heedlessly down the broad road
excluded from the Lord's table; to ruin, his tender mercies would and that this solemn act of the be cruelty. That minister, who
Church only puts hin: back where has labored, both by his public he was before he made a publio preaching and private admonio profession of religion. It is not
improbable, that such a construc- by what the Apostle says, that tion of the laws of Christ relat. Christians may lawfully have ing to the subject may have the more connexion and familiarity natural prejudices of the human with those, who have never made heart in its favor; as, according profession of religion, than with to this, duty may be practised one, who is excommunicated with more ease, and with much from the church. His words less self-denial, than should it be are, I Cur. v, 9, 10, 11. I wrote thought to require, that the ex- unto you in the, (as it should be communicated person be treated rendered) epistle not to company with more neglect, and his socie- with fornicators. Yet not altoty more shunned by the breth- gether with the fornicators of ren, than that of those, who nev- this world, or with the covetous, er professed friendship to Christ. or extortioners, or with idolaters; The Apostle speaks of this act for then must ye needs go out of of church-discipline as a punish- the world. But now I have , ment inflicted by many, 2 Cor. written unto you not to keep ji, 6. And in 1 Cor. v, 5, he company, if any man ihat is calrepresents the design of excom- led a brother be a fornicator, ar munication to be, the destruction covetous, or an idolater, or a railof the flesh, that the spirit may er, or a drunkard, or an extorbe saved in the day of the Lord tioner; with such an one, no, not to Jesus.
ear. It is manifest, that the AposIt is but too probable, that tłe is here spcaking of excomthere are persons, in many of
munication. He directs, in the our churches, especially where preceding verscs, to purge out the rules of discipline are more the old leaven, that the feast strictly and carefully observed, may be kept with the unleavenwho would be glad to be freed ed bread of sincerity and truth. from the restraints under which The Greek word for keeping they are there held, were they the feast; is here appropriately to suffer no other inconvenience used for partaking of the Lord's than to be kept from the Lord's supper. But when the Apostle table. Could they be admitted forbids eating with an excommu. to the same faniliarity with the nicated person, he makes use of brethren, in all other respects, a very different term-one which which they had before, instead imports any eating together and of esteeming excommunication of course eating at common a punishmeni, they would prize it meals. Had he meant to forbid as a privilege; and so far would no other eating with the unhapit be from being destructive of py brother, than at the table of the flesh, that it would evidently the Lord, it will be difficult to gratify the flesh.
give a reason why, instead of the It is not to be believed, that term he had before used for the the rules of ecclesiastical disci- sacramental ordinance, he subpline are not given with suffi- stitutes a word by which Chriscient precision and clearness in rians are evidently forbidden any the word of God. But to under- eating with an excommunicated stand then rightly requires at person, even at a common table. tention and candor. It seems,
The manner of expression, and Vol. V. New Series.
the connexion in which it is used, companying with him, until you seem clearly to imply, that have taken those brotherly steps Christian brethren are not to use with him, which Christ requires so great a degree of familiarity in case of offences, and the adwith one, who is cast out of the monitions of the church appear church, as to eat with him at to be without effect: This would common meals. As the church be to treat bim, not as a brother, is yet small, and Christ has but but as an enemy" And surely, few faithful followers, and these no church can have any right to scattered up and down amongst refuse companying with a brothunbelievers, their circumstances er, whatever offence he have necessitate them to company in committed, until he has been adsome degree with those who are monished, both in that private strangers to Christ.
It is not and more public manner, which, practicable for Christians to in such cases, Christ requires; keep at such a distance from and yet, under all, he remains persons of this description, as impenitent. When the Apostle God made it the duty of his an- says,
any man that is called a eient covenant people to keep brother be a fornicator, &c. it from the heathen nations. But ought not to be thought, that Christians need meet with no
the prohibition of companying difficulty in separating them with such an one, does not inselves altogether from the com- clude those, who are rejected pany of one, who is cast out of from the church. For the treatthe church. Therefore, says the ment required to be given to apostle, I have now written unto such an one, can respect no othyou not to keep company with To treat any other brother such an one, no, not to eat,
in this manner would be contra. But it is said that, after a per- ry to the rules of Christ to the son is excommunicated, he can. rules of love. But to treat one, not, with propriety, be called a whom the church is obliged to brother; therefore it cannot be, reject from her communion, in that he is the person intended, this manner, is an act of brotherwhen it is said, with such an one, ly love, and of the greatest friendno, not to eat. Of course, this ship, which the brethren, in that prohibition must relate to one, case, can express for him: For, who is found to walk disorderly, if any thing would touch the previously to his excommunica- feelings of the excommunicated tion. In support of this opinion brother, soften his mind, and it is urged, that the Apostle di- bring him to reflect with shame rects, 2 Thess. iii, 14, If any upon the offences he has comman vbey not our word by this mitted, it seems that this must chiolle, note that man, and have do it. Whereas, on the other no company with him, that he may hand, 10 treat him with all that be ashamed. But it is to be ob- familiarity, with which he had served, that he immediately adds, been wont to be treated before Yet count him not as an enemy, he joined the church, tends rath. but admonish him as a brather- er to make him unmindful of as much as to say, “I do not his offence, and harden him mean that you should refuse against remorse.