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STATISTICAL TABLE OF THE PRESBYTERY OF THE
CAROLINAS. Ministers. Congregations. Counties. States. Fam|Com Catec.
Lancaster S. C.
36 45 17 28
STATISTICAL TABLE OF THE PRESBYTERY OF
CHARTIERS. Ministers. Congregations. Counties. States. Fam Com Conts.
140 260 $26.25 1061 294 17
John Anderson Service&King's Cr. Beaver Penn.
Mount Hope and Washington do
Cross Creek Brooke Va. James Ramsay Canonsburgh Washington Penn. David French Buffaloe
do Alex. Wilson Peter's Creek, &c. do
do Alex. Donnan Mount Pleasant,&c do
do Waynesburgh Green Vacancies.
do Flaugherty's Run Beaver do
STATISTICAL TABLE OF THE PRESBYTERY OF
Congregations. Counties. States. Fam|Com Sy.Fd.
Francis Pringle Carlisle
STATISTICAL TABLE OF THE PRESBYTERY OF OHIO.
PRES Ministers. Congregations. Counties. States. Fam Com Cont's. T. McClintock Harmony
Butler Penn. 100 150 Daniel McLean Shenango
Crawford do 200 450 David Imbrie Greersburgh Beaver
do 150 300 Alex. Murray Newcastle
do 175 310 Elijah N.Scroggs Beaver
Columbiana Ohio 100 250 John Donaldson Yellow Creek
do Day. Goodwillie Poland, &c.
do Vacancies. Neshannock do
For the Religious Monilor.
ON CONVERSION, Transcribed from notes of a Sermon on Matt. xvii. 3.-"Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdon of heaven.”
Our Lord very lately had delivers a prediction concerning his sufferings, which made his disciples exceedingly sorrowful, and raised such fears in their minds, that they durst not ask him to explain it; especially, as they remembered that he had often inculcated it, and had repremanded Peter for being unwilling to hear it. But from the sequel we learn, that their fears and griefs soon subsided, and their carnality and Jewish prejudices recovering the ascendency in their minds, they quickly manifested how great their ignorance still was, respecting the real nature of Messiah's kingdom, and of his misson into our world. For, in a day or two after this, as they are travelling to Capernaum (see the corresponding passages in Mark and Luke, ix. chapter) some of them, forming a separate company, fell a disputing about the chief posts of honour and profit in their master's kingdom. This debate Jesus overheard; and though he said nothing to them at the time, yet after the collectors of the tribute were gone, he did not fail to ask them, what it was they were contending about, hy the way? But on his questioning them they held their peace,--not caring to discover “ that by the way they had disputed among themselves doing
shall be acknowledged to be greatest. Mark ix. 35. When the disciples heard these words, they immediately perceivej that Jesus knew what had happened, and that it was needless to attempt concealing the matter; for which reason they drew near, as Matthew says, verse 1st. and out of respect to him, desired him to decide the point in dispute. To check their foolish emulations, Jesus called a little child, and having set him in the midst that they might consider him attentively, he shewed them by the sweetness, docility and modesty visible in its countenance, what the temper and dispositions of his disciples ought to be, and how dear to him persons of such dispositions are, though otherwise weak and infirm. The assertion in verse 3d might first of all be intended simply to inculcate the necessity of their giving up with their mistaken conceits about a secular kingdom and glory; but though this may have been its primary object as applicable to the present case, it certainly had a much more general meaning, and was as much as to say, both to them and to all who should hereafter hear thegospel, “so far shall ye be from becoming the greatest in my kingdom, that ye shall not so much as enter into it at all, unless ye be like little children; free from pride, covetousness and ambition; and resemble them in humility, sincerity, docility and disengagement of affection from the things of the present life; and he inculcated humility more especially by this argument, that it leads a person directly to that greatness which the disciples were ignorantly aspiring after.This method of instruction, by setting a little child in the midst of them, was agreeable to the manner of the Eastern doctors and prophets who, in teaching, impressed the minds of their disciples, by symbolical actions, as well as by words. Thus (John xx. 22.) Jesus, by breathing on his apostles, signified that by the invisible energy of his power he conferred on them the gifts of his Spirit. In Rev. xviii. 21, an angel cast a great stone into the sea, to signify the utter destruction of Babylon. By this symbolical action, therefore, of setting a little child in the midst of the disciples, as well as by his express words, “except ye be converted," &c.our Lord shewed the necessity of being so thoroughly changed“ that they should become as little children” if they would partake of the blessings of the kingdom of grace here, or of glory hereafter.
In illustrating this subject, we shall in the First place, endeavour to ascertain from the Bible, in what conversion consists to illustrate our Lord's assertion of its necessity—and then particularize some of the effects, which may be viewed as marks or evidences of a gracious state.
The First of these topics, to ascertain what coversion, in the
scripture sense of that term, is, will form the subject of the present communication.
As there are some things which, in the opinion of many, pass currently for conversion which have no good claim to the name, the most successful way, we think, to discover what conversion really is, will be, First, to shew, what it is not; and then Second, positively, what it is. We observe then negatively
1st. A change from a quiet, tranquil state, to a state of ungov-ernable agitation of mind and convulsion of body, is not conversion. These violent agitations of mind and body, which in different periods of the church have appeared, and been represented by many as the fruit of an extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit of God among the dry bones, we cannot but judge so unfavourably of, as to pronounce them dangerous delusions, when rested in as the operations of the Divine Spirit, or as symptoms of the commencement and progress of his saving work. But however God may over-rule such extraordinary appearances for exciting a real concern about religion, either in the subjects or the witnesses of such commotions; or however the children of God themselves may catch the contagion, and be for a while deluded by it; yet, such persons as conclude, from their being the subjects of such uncommon work, that they are converted and sure of heaven, and have no other evidence to rest upon as a foundation of their hopes, are, we hesitate not to say, total strangers both to true conviction and conversion. It is a good rule, that applies, we apprehend, to physics, morality and religion, that mankind should never go in quest of remote, preternatural or supernatural causes, when causes more obvious and adequate can be discovered to account for any rare or uncommon occurrences. Though the convulsed condition into which persons have fallen during the preaching of the word, be so strange as to baffle all the conjectures of those who are not willing to consider it as a supernatural work; yet this will not prove any thing in its behalf, because a little acquaintance with the history of diseases and of medicine, will shew, that persons who made no pretences to religion have had the nervous system so powerfully impressed and their animal spi. rits so greatly agitated, as to produce effects not less strange, and uncommon and various than those, who because they have undergone such agitations under the preaching of the word, have ascribed them to divine influence. This shews then that this work may be accounted for, philosophically, as the result of a terrified, tumultuous imagination, producing a violent affection of the
But the agency of Satan here may also be great. When he