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as a mere redundancy-a useless excressence on a perfect system and a perfect volume; and if false, it ought to be rejected because it is false and deceptious. And whether true or false, it onght, on a third account, to be renounced, because it makes parties and fac. tions among Christians, or it nourishes and perpetuates them. They are the coin of a sectarian world. They are Cesar's coin. Money, said the Emperor, will get soldiers, and soldiers will get money; and money and soldiers will support the Empire. Creeds will make partizans, and partizans will make creeds; and creeds and parties support the present superstitions and antichristian system.
For this last reason, were they as true and as demonstrable as mathematics, being truths that have no life in them, no power to save, but to alienate Christians, and to destroy their peace and harmony, they ought to be renounced by all good and benevolent men.
But they allege that we need by-luws for the government of Christian society, adapted to the ever-changing circumstances in which the church is found. Be it so. These hy laws are mere matters of expe. diency, of human origin, and never to become terms or conditions of ecclesiastic union. They stand not upon the same ground with the faith, piety, or morality of the Christian Institution. They are matters which ought to be clearly set forth as mere temporary expedients, and essentially distinct from the subject matter of the Christian religion. The family of God is one thing, and the house in which it meets and the circumstances of its existing in it, are as distinct as wood, and stone, and men.
The present partyism is a disgrace to our profession. It is fatal to the progress of piety and truth. Ignorance and supersti lon, enthusi. asm and fanaticism, are the fruits of these human institutions, which have displaced the Bible or refused to admit it as its own interpreter. The key of knowledge is virtually taken away, and ages of darkness are again spreading their sable wings over a slumbering world. We must awaken from this sleep of death-this fatal lethargy that has seized the body ecclesiastic. Men are fighting about chimeras, loving and hating, approbating and disapprobaring one another for reasons they do not comprehend, and, if comprehended, they would blush to see the illusions and phantoms that have bewildered them.
We believe the Bible io te God s own book, and well adapted to the ends of its existence. It is a lamp, and gives light. It makes the simple wise. s l'he law of the Lord is perfect, converting the sonl. The testimony of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” “All scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished for all good works"_"able to make one wise to salvation.” It is a perfect book.
We commence our career as a church under the banner of "The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible," as the standard of our religious faith and practice, We have our own opinions; but these we shall hold as private property. The faith is common. Our inferences and opinions are our own. If our brother asks for them, we may tender them; but must not force him to accept them. This is the very essence of Popery. Christians are the sons of liberty-the Lord's freed men. The right to choose and to refuse the opinions of men is the essence of liberty. He that forbids it is a tyranı, an inquisitor, a Pope. He that allows it humbly concedes his own fallibility, and benevolenily intimates to others the duly of examination.
Indeed, it has appeared to me that the very dictation of a creed is offering a substitute for the employment of our minds upon the oracles of God-is a challenging us to decide without reflection the greatest questions in the universe.
You offer a candidate for membership a human creed. Is he to compare it with the Bible, or is he not?Doubtless to compare it with the Bible. Does not that presuppose a knowledge of the Book antecedent to the creed and without the creed? What, then, is the use of the creed? To corroborate our own conclusions!! No, my friends, if you can decide whether ihe creed be scriptural, you can decide what the Bible means without the creed. The human creed is, then, a human expedient to place you under the power of men
If you adopt it without examination, you are a Romanist-a Papist. If you do examine it, you are a Proies'ant. But then if you can examine it by the Bible, you can understand and believe the Bible without it; and therefore it is lost time to read it, and lost money to buy it, unless as a mailer of curiosity.
But it may be said that the creed is rather a bond than a commentary-a guarantee of sound principles, rather than a declaration of present belief in men's opinions. But as no human laws can make men honest, no human creeds can make men virtuous or bind them to sincerity and good faith. Hence hypocrites, formalists, and temporizers will not keep them. They make out of them a scorpion lash to punish the sincere and conscientious.
We therefore renounce every teacher but Jesus, and all ambassadors from Christ except the Holy Twelve. Moses and the Prophets have led us to Jesus as the Lamb of God, the sin. atoning Lamh, and as the great interpreter of God to man; and we solemnly vow this day, before heaven and earth, that we do and will acknowledge no leader but Jesus, and no teacher but the Messiah. What we do this day might be donu by all Protestant Christendom, if they were only sincere lovers of truth, union, and peace.
Who are we? Persons of various ecclesiastic denominations of various creeds and parties-brought up under various conflicting and antagonist principles—ayreeing with each other to consiitute on the Lord's own Book, and to live at peace, and to endeavor to act out the Christian character.
For what are we here convened? To worship God, to commemo rate the Lord's death and rising again, and to grow in grace, in favor with God and men, by growing in Christian knowledge and in the practice of the Christian duties to follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord - 10 bear with one another's weaknesses, and to maintain unity of spirit in the bonds of peace.
Could not all Christians fraternize on these principles and with these objects? Nay, on what other principles can they ever all meet? Is there to be a Millennium, a state of universal peaee and good will among men? Are the swords of ecclesiastic strife never to be sheathed? Are wars, and sends, and parties never to have an end? If it be 80 destined, then all the present secis must be destroyed. A new basis of ecclesiastical union, communion, and co-operation must be ascertained and established.
Am I too sanguine when I say to my brethren here assembled, that I think we have found the sure foundation on which all the Lord's people can be visibly and truly one people? We can have no better creed than the Bible. The secis pretend to be founded on it: therefore the whole sectarian world acknowledges its excellency. We will not make it void by affixing to it the appendix of a human creed. We will build on the naked shoulders of ihe Apostles ahd Prophets, Jesus Christ himself the chief corner stone.
We shall begin with the Acts of the Aposiles, and as they intimate the apostolic doctrine and practice we shall follow these. In Jerusalem the church began. To Jerus lem we must then look for a fair beginning. Whatever we have got in our faith and practice which they had not, we shall return to the rightsul owners. What they had and we have not, we shall append to our inventory of Christian duties and Christian excellencies. Meanwhile, we shall assist each other in getting rid of our prejudices and errors as soon as we can, and "whereanto we have already attained, we shall walk by the same rule and mind the same thing;” and if we live in peace, the God of love and peace shall be with us: for he has promised it.
It is because I distinctly see the elements of a millennial church as
portrayed in the expectations of the present Christians, in the princi. ples and views which have brought us together, and made so many jarring sectartes lay aside their shibboleth and meet on common ground, that I have presumed to accommodate the words of an Arabian Prophet to the present meeting. Either the wandering sheep of Christ's flock will never constitute one visible fold, or they must meet on the principles we have this day avowed. We challenge discussion on this important proposition.
Believing the ground assumed to be strong and tenable, we affirm our conviction that "though our beginning be small,” both humble and obscure, "yet shall our latter end greatly increase.”
After presenting the scriptural reasons for the weekly observance of the supper, it was urged that we must not despise the day of small things. God has always disappointed the expectations of the proud by choosing the things that be not of much esteem to bring to nought the things that are.
Moses was raised from an ark of bulrushes to be lawgiver and king in Jerusalem; Joseph, from a prison to a throne; and David, from tending sheep to feed and to rule the millions of Jacob.
We are a weak band, an humble beginning; but so much the better. So were they of Galilee-such were they of Saxony-and such were the founders of this great nation. With the spirit of God in our hearts, with heaven in our eye, and the Bible in our hand, our God assisting us, “we shall leap over a wall," and "put to flight the armies of the aliens.” Our strength is in the Lord. “He is our help and our shield.” In him will we trust. The work is his; and if the time be come, "he will establish the work of our hands;" if it be not, we shall noi lose our reward for having attempted it. May he estab. lish our goings! for his is the power and the majesty, the dominion and the glory, both now and forever. Amen!
EDUCATION_No. I. NEW SERIES.
MORAL TRAINING. Tae voluminous fact that the Bacons, Lockes, Newtons. Franklins, and Howards, of every age and of every department in society, first entered life without a single idea, and without a single habit, speaks lessons of fearful and momentous import to every sensitive and reflectIng mind on the subject of human capacity and human responsibility, The ideas and the habits which constituted these illustrious men and gave them such a conspicuity and authority in the intellectual and moral world; and those ideas and habits that made the Nimrods, the
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Nero, the Domitians, the Torquemados, the Spinozas, and the Vol. taires of all lands and languages, were acquired in their first elemente from the persons and circumstances, the tutors and guardians under whose auspices they commenced the career of life. They may have greatly improved the original stock of ideas and impressions; they may have strengthened and corroborated the habits they were permite ed to acquire by those who had the first origination of them; but the elementary principles and forms of hoth were certainly given them by parents and tutors before they could distinguish truth from error or appreciate what is good or what is evil.
Miraculous interpositions and supernatural causes, it is conceded, may create a man anew, may subdue the most ferocious temper, change the most perverse habits, and introduce new principles of action into the human heart; but as such agencies are not under the control of mortals, they come not within the circle of human instru. mentality or accoutability; and therefore, in every attempt at the formation of human character, such means are to be used and such measures adopted as correspond with the nature and susceptibilities of man, and such as are within his reach.
We also exclude from our premises so much of human nature as io not moral, bat purely physical. The organs over which man has no control are not, of course, susceptible of education. Still, under tho guidance of an enlightened understanding and a rational discipline, much may be achieved in the development and preservation of even the physical and animal departments if our n ture. We cannot change the Ethiopian's skin nor the leopard's spots by all the science and art of man. We may, however, divest the leopard of his teeth and claws; and if we cannot change the Ethiopian's skin, we can hide it. It is also admitted that as the Egyptian, Italian, and American marbles, while yet in the quarry, materially differ from each other, and are therefore not equally susceptible of the same exquisite polish; so thero are such organic and constitutional differences, or such diversities of intellectual and moral endowment, as forbid the expectation of consummating one and the same finish under the most rationally adapted and most effectually carried out systems of education possible to man.
But these allowances and admissions being made, still it is no exaggeration to say that "education makes the man," and most emphatically the moral man. . All science, all observation and experionce concur in the demonstration that the moral elements of the human constitution are most of all under the control of education. We cannot give new organs, now faculties, or new powers to the infant man, but We can give a moral taru and tendency to them all, in virtue of that