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tion or service; or, secondly, it is THE DOCTRINE OF IMPUTATION. The following short paper from any institution which may help us
to obtain it. In the first of these the Christian Observer, it will be
two senses the word is used in perceived, refers to a previous article in that excellent work. What in Luke 1. 6, Rom. i. 32, ii. 26,
Rom. v. 16, viii. 4; in the second, we insert, however, is perfectly in- Heb. ix. 1, 10, Rev. xv. 4. In the telligible by itself, and is evidently the production of a learned bibli- passage under consideration it is cal critic, and a man of sound been employed in seeking justifi
implied that all the saints have doctrinal sentiments. It deserves to be read with care and attention. the various methods by which
cation, every one for himself; and We have Italicised one sentence, they have severally sought and which
contains the scriptural doc- eventually obtained it, are summed trine of imputation; and shows that those who hold that nothing given them. Thus is the right
in the “fine linen” which is
up is imputed till it is actually possess
eousnes of the purest saint a free ed, deny altogether the doctrine of
gift at last. He is invested with imputation, as taught in the volume the righteousness of his Redeemof inspiration, and as held by the Protestant reformers.
I also apprehend that J. is inaccurate, in stating that it is the effect (that is, the rewards and hon
ours merited) of the perfect obeTo the Editor of the Christian Obseroer. dience of our blessed Lord, which
Your correspondent J. in your God imputes, reckons, or accounts number for June, is perfectly right to the benefit of all true believers in calling the attention of your in him. To impute, is one thing; readers to the plural form of the word translated righteousness” the believer the spotless purity and
to give, another. God imputes to in Rev. xix. 8. I do not, however, innocence of the Redeemer, and think him correct in interpreting therefore gives him the reward the word to mean righteous acts which his Redeemer has merited. performed. The verb dexelow is to
The whole doctrine of imputation justify, acquit, or declare innocent; rests on this principle, that some
and all its derivatives partake of thing is attributed to the believer the same meaning. Henee dixauw- in Christ, which, at the time of oig is properly the act of acquit- the imputation, he does not posting; dixatoruin the state of acquit- se88. The imputation, therefore,
sess tal; and doxalwade the acquisition is perfect at once, in his life; of that state, whether by imputa- whereas the reward and crown of certainly was not what is usually called righteousness are not fully bestow
ed till the next. Both as respects eloquent; but his audience were occasionally melted into tears, by the simple pathos justification, however, and reward, of his address. His preaching was emi- your correspondent and I entirely nently doctrinal and didactic, but always agree, that the Lord is graciously with a practical application; and it wore well
. To the last, his authority and in- pleased to treat the faithful disciAuence with his people were unusually ples of his Son, as if they were engreat. He had formed such high ideas of titled to all the privileges and what a minister of the gospel ought to be, blessings which his gratuitous obethat his own attainments and labours always dience has earned for them. appeared to him to be of a very inferior kind. Would it not be well if there was
“ Thanks be unto God for his unmore of those views and feelings? speakable gift!”
THE PRESENT STATE OF THE PRESBY- hands a complaint from Thomas Bradford,
Jr. Esq. against certain proceedings of the TERIAN CHURCH.
Presbytery of Philadelphia, in relation to No. VII.
the Rev. Albert Barnes. This complaint There were two powerful ex- was referred to the Judicial Committee." citements which operated on the Second day, P. M.-" The Permanent minds of the New School Presby- Clerk reported that there had been put
into his hands the following papers (seveterians to rally their forces, with a
ral are specified, one of which is said to view to secure a dominant influ- be]' A complaint by the minority of the ence in the last General Assem- Presbytery of Philadelphia, against the bly; the first was the case of Mr. proceedings of the said Presbytery, in the Barnes; the second, the change of case of the Rev. Albert Barnes. These
cases were referred to the Judicial Comthe Board of Missions—the former mittee.” “ The Permanent Clerk anaffecting more immediately the nounced to the Assembly that there had doctrines of our church; the latter been put into his hands a reference from its ecclesiastical order, or govern- whole case of the Rev. Albert Barnes be
the Presbytery of Philadelphia, of the ment. On the subject of missions, fore that Body. This case was referred we have already made some re- to the Judicial Committee.” Sixth day marks, and reserve it for conside. A, M. (inclusive of the Sabbath, and ration whether we shall hereafter Wednesday, spent in devotional exercises.)
- The Judicial Committee reported the add to them or not. On the case
complaint of the minority of the Presbyof Mr. Barnes, we have as yet said tery of Philadelphia in the case of the nothing, except to mention it as Rev. Albert Barnes, and recommended an connected with other topicks. But order to be pursued in hearing their com. the manner in which this case was
plaint. This report was accepted.” Sixth
day, P.M.-" The Assembly resolved to disposed of, was, we believe, en
take up the complaint of the minority of tirely novel—a complete unique, in the Presbytery of Philadelphia, in the case the proceedings of the Supreme of Mr. Barnes. The Moderator, agreeaJudicatory of our church, and bly to a standing rule, announced that the hence it serves to mark, in no in- deration of the business assigned for trial,
Assembly was about to pass to the consiconsiderable degrée, the present and enjoined on the members to recollect state of that church. We shall and regard their high character as judges therefore devote to its considera- of a court
of Jesus Christ, and the solemn
duty in which they were about to act. tion the remainder of our present The Assembly united in prayer for direcnumber, and perhaps the whole of tion in this business." "Seventh day, A. our next.
M.-" The Assembly resumed the consiWe shall, in the first place, lay deration, of the complaint of the minoribefore our readers all that appears the case of the Rev. Albert Barnes. The
ty of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, in in the printed minutes of the As- whole proceedings of the Presbytery in sembly, relative to the case in ques. the case complained of, and the printed tion. The dates of the several sermon of Mr. Barnes, entitled . The Way items of record, are of no material
of Salvation,' which led to these proceedimportance, but we shall notice consideration of the complaint of the mi
ings were read." Seventh day, P.M.-"The them, that the progress of the bu- nority of the Presbytery of Philadelphia siness may be seen.
was resumed; and their complaint was
read. The parties then agreed to submit The second day of the session, A. M. the case to the Assembly without argu-" The Permanent Clerk informed the ment; when it was resolved to refer the Assembly that there had been put into his whole case to a select committee. Dr. hands the following papers, viz. “ Com- Miller, Dr. Matthews, Dr. Lansing, Dr. plaint of the minority of the Presbytery of Fisk, Dr. Spring, Dr. J. McDowell, Mr. Philadelphia, against a reference by said Bacon, Mr. Ross, Mr. E. White, Mr. JesPresbytery of the case of the Rev. Albert' sup, and Mr. Napier, were appointed this Barnes;" and " The case of the Rev. Ho- committee.” Tenth day P. M.-" The race Belknap, referred to the General As- committee to whom was referred the sembly, by the Presbytery of Harmony." whole case in relation to the Rev. Albert These cases were referred to the Judicial Barnes, made a report, which being read, Committee." "The Permanent Clerk re- was adopted, and is as follows, viz. ported that there had been put into his % That after bestowing upon the case
the most deliberate and serious considera- tee; that committee had reported tion, the committee are of the opinion that it is neither necessary nor for edification,
on them, and pointed out the order to go into the discussion of all the various of proceeding; the moderator had and minute details which are comprehend. solemnly announced that the Ased in the documents relating to this case. sembly was now to sit as a court For the purpose, however, of bringing the matter in controversy, as far as possible, called on the members “to recollect
of Jesus Christ”—and had formally to a regular and satisfactory issue, they would recommend to the Assembly the and regard their high character as adoption of the following resolutions, viz. judges” in such a court; all the
"1. Resolved, That the General Assem. bly, while it appreciates the conscientious
papers, containing the evidence zeal for the purity of the church, by which
in the trial, had been read to the the Presbytery of Philadelphia is believed court, and also the protests and to have been actuated in its proceedings responses in the courts below, toin the case of Mr. Barnes; and while it gether with the complaint to the judges that the sermon by Mr. Barnes, en
en highest court; all which, taken totitled," The Way of Salvation,"contains a number of unguarded and objectionable
objectionable gether, contained in substance, the passages; yet is of the opinion, that, es. pleadings deemed necessary by the pecially after the explanations which were' parties on both sides-contained given by him of those passages, the Pres- the whole of the evidence, and so bytery ought to have suffered the whole to pass without further notice.
much of the arguments pro and “2. Resolved, That in the judgment of con, and this in writing or in print, this Assembly, the Presbytery of Philadel- as to be a strong inducement to phia ought to suspend all further proceed- waive any enlargement on them, ings in the case of Mr. Barnes. * 3. Resolved, That it will be expedient,
in oral pleadings, before the suas soon as the regular steps can be taken, preme court; and accordingly the to divide the Presbytery in such way, as whole cause, as is sometimes done will be best calculated to promote the in civil courts, was
submitted to peace of the ministers and churches be- the Assembly without argument." longing to the Presbytery.
"With respect to the abstract points pro. We wish these last quoted words posed to the Assembly, for their decision, of the record may be marked and in the Reference of the Presbytery, the remembered. It was to the Sucommittee are of the opinion that if they preme Judicatory, or highest court be answered, they had better be discussed and decided in thesi, separate from the
of the Presbyterian church, then case of Mr. Barnes.
formally and solemnly sitting as “ The Judicial committee reported that such, and to no other arbiters whatthe other complaints, and the reference in relation to the case of Mr. Barnes, they their cause without argument.
soever, that the parties submitted considered 'as merged in the report just adopted. This report was accepted.
2. From the time that the cause “The Assembly having finished the busi- was submitted, the prescribed ness in relation to Mr. Barnes, united in
course of judicial proceeding laid special prayer, returning thanks to God down in the constitution was abanfor the harmonious result to which they have come; and imploring the blessing of doned; and one of a different kind, God on their decision."
and entirely novel in such cases, We have now to ask that the was adopted in its place. The following particulars may be well constitutional course, after parties noted. 1. That up to the time are heard, is specified in the third when this case was submitted to section of chapter vii. of the Book the Assembly, the whole of the of Discipline. The section indeed proceedings had been in strict con- relates directly to appeals, but formity with the order prescribed since no other prescriptions are in our church government, for the contained in the constitution relaconducting of a trial in our eccle- tive to the mode of proceeding in siastical courts. All the papers
a judicial process, and the 5th and in the pending cause had been 6th articles of the fourth section, committed to a judicial commit- which relates to complaints, dis
tinctly contemplates a judicial pro- it had solemnly assumed, and in ceeding, there can be no doubt that this capacity it had acted till the what is said under the section of
was submitted; nor appeals was intended to be appli- there ever an intimation that the cable here. It was exactly follow- Assembly had ceased to act, in ed by the Synod of Philadelphia, this case, as a court of judicature, in disposing of a complaint re- engaged in trying a cause. But lating to the case of Mr. Barnes. thus it did in fact cease to act; We find the constitutional order and to this hour, therefore, there in articles IX. and X. of the has been no judicial decision, consection that relates to appeals, stitutionally made, on the case subwhich articles are as follows- mitted to the last Assembly, by “IX. After all the parties shall the parties in the Presbytery of have been fully heard, and all the Philadelphia.
. information gained by the mem- It may be remarked, and it is bers of the superior judicatory certainly true, that a proposition from those of the inferior which to submit this whole cause to a shall be deemed requisite, the ori- committee had been made, ever ginal parties, and all the members before the papers relating to it of the inferior judicatory shall had been read. It is also true, that withdraw; when the clerk shall the motion to submit the entire call the roll, that every member subject was renewed, as soon may have an opportunity to ex- the court had heard the parties. press his opinion on the case;* after But it is not true that the reprewhich the final vote shall be taken. sentatives of the Presbytery of X. The decision may be either to Philadelphia ever
consented to confirm or reverse, in whole or in give up their right to a regular part, the decision of the inferior judicial trial and decision. Had judicatory; or to remit the cause they done so, they would have befor the purpose of amending the trayed their trust. They had been record, should it appear to be in- explicitly instructed “to use their correct or defective; or for a new best endeavours to obtain a full trial.”
discussion of the points submitted, From this course of procedure, and an explicit decision of the Asthere was, as we have said, a com- sembly in regard to the same. In plete departure; and one entirely waiving their right to plead, it was new, and of a different character, obvious to reflect that those memwas substituted for it. The subject bers of the Assembly whose opinsubmitted to the court was referred ions agreed with their own-and to a committee; and when the com- they knew there were present mittee reported, there was no “call. many such members, of high chaing of the roll, that every mem- racter for knowledge and ability ber might have an opportunity to would do full justice to the express his opinion on the case,' cause, when they should be called before the final vote was taken; to speak in the order of the roll. and this vote was taken precisely The proposition to submit the as is done in deciding on ordinary cause without argument was first subjects, when the Assembly is not agreed to by the complainants, on sitting in its judicial capacity. the express condition, however, This capacity, as we have seen, that the representatives of the
Presbytery would do the same. * Let it be observed that the language When the latter were asked if they here is unequivocally IMPERATIVE.
The clerk shall call the roll, that every member would accede to such an agreemay have an opportunity to express his ment, there was some hesitation. opinion on the case.”
The present writer, who was one Vol. X.-Ch. Adv.
of them, requested a little time to already before judges in a court; reflect, and to consult with his col- and we augured no good from its leagues. This was refused, and a appointment. We saw that the prompt answer was demanded. report of this committee would No more time was allowed or unavoidably have a great influence taken, than was barely necessary on the ultimate decision; and to ask each of the individuals re- hence our chief objection that a presenting the Presbytery, and who New England delegate should have was present (one was, at the mo- a vote in the committee, when he ment, out of the house) whether was precluded from one on the he would consent to waive his final award by the court. Yet we right to plead. The answer was could not say then, nor can we say. affirmative and unanimous. Whe- now, that the Assembly, even when ther this was the best course that sitting as a court, is not constitumight have been taken, may be, tionally competent to commit any and has been questioned; and we subject, for the purpose of digestwish not to exempt from merited ing and giving order to it, when it is blame, any party, or any individual, complicated; and the case in questo whom blame ought to attach. tion was doubtless one not a little One of the brethren who represent- complicated. We also thought it ed the Presbytery, has since told possible that the maker of the mous, that he understood, that oppor- tion might have in his mind sometunity for argument was to be al- thing which did not occur tous, that lowed the parties, after the contem- might be advantageous in presentplated committee should have ing the points of most importance, made their report. All, it is be- for the ultimate and distinct deterlieved, were impressed with the mination of the court: and we owe idea that pleading would consume it to this brother to mention, that much time, would probably pro- when the committee for which he duce much irritation in a large had moved, and of which hê was and deeply interested audience, the chairman, had been canvassing and ultimately have little if any the business committed to them effect on the decision of the court for a considerable time, he called --in which, as already intimated, us out of the house, with a view, there were many able men, pre- as he said, to assure us that when pared, as was believed, to give he moved for this committee he their opinions, as well as their had hoped and expected that not a votes, in favour of orthodoxy and little good would result from it; order. In haste, then, whether but intimated, as we understood right or wrong, the representa- him, that he was likely to be much tives of the Presbytery submitted disappointed. He did not say, nor the cause at once-to THE COURT, did we ask him, either then or (we repeat and appeal to the re- since, in what manner he had cord) and to no other arbitrament hoped the committee would be whatever.
useful. The only reply that, we In the speech which was deliver- made, was, that we never expected ed by the respected member who that the committing of this submade the motion for a committee, ject would result in any thing bethere were, we are constrained to neficial. Here the conversation say, some things that surprised us ended, and we returned to the Asmore and pleased us less, than sembly. Let it be distinctly noted perhaps any thing else that we then, that if consent of parties to ever heard from his lips. We change the constitutional mode saw that the appointment of such of terminating this controversy, a committee as he moved for was might be supposed to authorize a novel measure, when a cause was such a change, this consent was