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Obad. ver. 17, &c. Micah vii. 14,/ altarareanxiously enquiring, “How 15. Zech, viii. 7, 13. ch. x. 6, &c. long, O Lord, Holy and true, dost xii. 10. and xiv. 8, &c. Rom. xi. thou not judge and avenge our 25, 26. 2 Cor. iii. 18. But not to blood on the earth ?" Rev. vii. 10. detain the reader longer on this let us not forget that it is also said branch of the subject, let us pro- “ by terrible things in righteousceed to remark, that,
ness wilt thou answer us, o God 9. This view of the prophecy, of our salvation, who art the conas it respects the gradual advance-fidence of all the ends of the earth.” ment of Christ's kingdom in the Ps. Ixv. 5. See Rev. ch. xvi. world, is well calculated to sup- passim. port the faith of his people, under 11. Christians should be inevery dark and discouraging aspect duced from this view of the subof things, whether in the civil or ject, to keep aloof from every thing religious world. Though infidelity against which the awful predicted should tread on the heels of super- judgments of God are levelled. stition; and war and the shedding Even his own people are supposed of blood desolate the nations, yet to participate in the plagues of a glorious time is promised to the Babylon, if they are found conchurch of God, when these evils nected with her, and partaking of shall cease, and be succeeded by her sins. The voice from heaven, the reign of righteousness and therefore now addresses them: peace. " The Devil and Satan" Come out of her, my people, will be bound for a thousand years, that ye be not partakers of her and cast into the bottomless pit” — sins, and that ye receive not of her so that he will be restrained from plagues; for her sins have reached deceiving the nations, till the thou- unto heaven, and God hath resand years shall be fulfilled. Rev. membered her iniquities.” Rev. xii. 9. and xx. 1-3. “And I xviii, 4, 5. Let such persons study heard a loud voice, saying in hea to be found among Christ's poor ven. Now is come Salvation, and and meek subjects, whose cause strength, and the kingdom of our shall be vindicated when he will God and the power of his Christ, punish the wicked-not contend. for the accuser of our brethren is ing for power and influence and cast down-and they overcame worldly greatness, but pressing him by the blood of the Lamb after conformity to him, who was and by the word of their testi- | meek and lowly of heart. And mony. Rejoice, therefore, ye 12. Lastly, let us all study in heavens."
our respective stations, to promote 10. Let the disciples of Christ that kind of Christianity which have their minds constantly pre will then universally prevail, and pared for all those awful judg- so be a people ready for it. In ments, which will precede this order to fall in with this exhortaglorious period, for Christ "shall tion, it is indispensably necessary smite the earth with the rod of bis that we attend to the New Testamouth, and with the breath of his ment, in the simplicity of little lips shall he slay the wicked,” ver. children; and while we hold fast 4. These judgments are as cer- the profession of the faith without tain as is the glorious reign of wavering, we must beware of the Christ, for they are a part of the doctrines and commandments of prophecy; but viewing them as men, which have no other tenthe fulfilment of his word, instead dency than to turn from the truth, of stumbling or disconcerting us, Titus i. 14. Let the disciples of they ought rather to strengthen our Christ not forsake the assembling faith. While the souls under the of themselves together-but con
sider one another to provoke unto I wants of our brethren, the love of love and to good works, and so God does not dwell in us, 1 John much the more as they see the day iii. 17. whilst on the other hand, approaching. Heb. x. 23-25. our feeding, clothing, visiting and
entertaining the poor brethren of
Christ, is sustained as the most ON THE EXERCISE OF BRO. I decisive evidence that we are his THERLY LOVE.
people, and not workers of iniThe distinguishing feature of a quity. Matt. xxv. church of Christ is, the love of the We see these principles strikingbrcthren. “A new command. ly exemplified in the conduct of ment," says our Lord, “I give the first Christians. Of them it is unto you, that ye love one another: said, “ They were all of one heart By this shall all men know that ye and of one soul-neither was there are my disciples, if ye have love any among them that lacked ; for one to another.” John xiii. 34. The as many as were possessed of lands various duties which are binding or houses sold them, and brought upon believers, are only the prac- the prices of the things that were tical exercise of this love; such sold, and laid them down at the as teaching, exhorting, admonish. apostle's feet; and distribution ing, comforting one another, &c. was made unto every man accordbut especially the duty of minis. ing as he had need.” Actsiv. 34, 35. tering to the temporal necessities Paul, writing to the Hebrews says, of our brethren.
“ God is not unrighteous to forget . Christians ubited together in the your work and labour of love, profession of the gospel are re | which you have shewed towards presented as one family; " the his name, in that ye have minis. household of faith," and are ex- tered to the saints and do minisa pected to take part with each other ter.” Heb. vi. 19. both in their sufferings and in their When the property of the church joys. , From the relation they bear of Jerusalem was exhausted, and to one another, how is it possible the brethren still in need, Paul, they should see any of their who was always forward to remembrethren in need, and not relieve ber the poor, gave orders to the them? They are joint heirs of the gentile churches to make collecgrace of life, heirs of God, and tions for their relief as God had joint-heirs with Christ, in all his prospered 'them, with which they glory, and shall they not in some readily complied, See 1 Cor. xvi. measure be heirs together in the 1, 2. 2 Cor. viii. and ix. Rom. xv. perishable, though necessary, things 25, 27. The liberality of the of this life?
| churches of Macedonia was ex. The scriptures command us to ceedingly exemplary; of them the do good unto all men, but es- | Apostle says, “ Brethren, we do pecially to the household of faith,” | you to wit, (or, we inform you,) of Gal, vi. 10. to “ distribute to the the grace of God bestowed on the pecessities of saints, and to be churches of Macedonia; how that given to hospitality,” Rom. xii. 13. in a great trial of affliction, the to “ remember them who suffer abundance of their jov, and their adversity as being ourselves also in deep poverty, abounded unto the the body,” Heb. xiji. 2. to“ labour riches of their liberality. For to with our own hands that we may their power, (I bear record,) yea, have to support them who are and beyond their power they were weak.” Acts xx. 35. They also willing of themselves, praying us insist that if we shut up our with much entreaty that we would bowels of compassion against the receive the gift.” Every circum
stance brought forward by the supply their wants; and should Apostle in the above verses, en- | their persons and wants come to hances the liberality of these their knowledge, they seldom churches, and was well adapted to minister any thing more to them beget the same in those to whom than what amounts to" be ye he was writing. Much more warmed and be ye filled.” There might be added, were it necessary, are, I believe, at this time, a great to set forth the care of the first number belonging to these societies, Christians for one another, as it who are reduced to the utmost respected their temporal wants. extremity through want, who have We cannot read the precepts and not wherewith to satisfy the crav. declarations of the apostles, with ings of nature, and the cries of out being struck with the great their children. It surely becomes stress they lay upon this practice, those of their brethren, who can as being the chief ingredient in live in large and elegant houses, " pure and undefiled religion ;" furnished in the most fine and nor the practices of the brethren, fashionable manner, who can without seeing a similarity betwixt clothe themselves with costly apthem and what the apostle alludes parel and fare sumptuously, to con. to, when he says, “He that sider the circumstances of the poor gathered much had nothing over, among them, to curtail a little their and he that gathered little had no own extravagant expenditure, and lack.”
supply the urgent wants of their But when we turn our eyes to brethren. the religious world, in the present | Oh, ye Christians, to whom God day, what do we behold? An inti- has given a portion of this world's mate acquaintauce with the poor good; consider your ways. Your who are among them ? Solicitude riches are not your own; you are to know when they are in want? only stewards for God. He has and a cheerful and liberal supply not given you wealth to consume of their wants ? Quite the reverse. upon your lusts—to squander away The poor alas are very much neg. upon the pride of life--to support lected. There are, indeed, some religious pride,' and clerical dig. who profess and I hope do, in a nity-or to treasure up for yourgreat measure, supply the wants of selves as a security for infirmity their poor, though it would be and old age; but, in connexion more satisfactory, if one could be with providing honest things in the lieve that the poor met with equal sight of all men, to disperse abroad encouragement as the rich do, to and give to the poor, thus laying join these societies; and that the up treasures in heaven, and making failings of the one, were as much rich towards God. See Matt. vi. examined into, as those of the 19. Luke xii. 15—33. 1 Tim. vi. other! It is to be feared that even 17-19. Consider, the end of all among these, the reproof is too things is at hand; you brought often applicable: “ Are ye not nothing into this world, and it is partial ?" And, what is equally certain you can carry nothing out; lamentable, when the wants of so that to treasure up your wealth their brethren become great and is the greatest folly. Your treaoften repeated, they “ grow weary sures are held amidst anxieties and in well doing,” and, either cease fears, and you hope to enjoy them to give to them altogether, or give in future with the utmost uncerto them grudgingly.
tainty. But how much better is it But as for the more popular to trust in the living God who gives societies, the rich scarcely know us richly all things to enjoy! and, their poorer brethren, much less in the assurance of having trea.
sures in heaven, to be rich in the v. 378-392. My intention was works of liberality. Besides, to not to litigate this subject; but as give in a way which God has not you insist so much upon unity and directed, neglecting the poor, and forbearance, I wished to know if supporting the corruptions of men, the forbearance you contend for, is highly wicked. You may in-extends to all religious differences deed by giving to these purposes, among Christians; and if not, by get your name held up to public what rule or rules you draw the applause, and receive that honour line of distinction between forwhich cometh from men ; but can bearable and unforbearable things. have no assurance that you will be All parties will acknowledge that found among the number, to whom forbearance is a duty, but it will Christ will say, “ Come ye blessed not be easy to convince any of of my Father, inherit the kingdom them that they are materially deprepared for you from the founda- ficient in this without condescendtion of the world : for I was un ing upon some clear instances to hungred and ye gave me meat : I explain your meaning. was thirsty and ye gave me drink: You have indeed produced the I was a stranger and ye took me conduct of the Antiburgher Synod; in : naked and ye clothed me: I but I did not think that a proper was sick and ye visited me: I was instance to illustrate the subject, in prison and ye came unto me~ for reasons which I have already for inasmuch as ye have done it given. Your reply to these rea. unto one of the least of these my sons does not appear to me satisbrethren, ye have done it unto me.” factory. The question is not,
whether the person alluded to
should have sought to continue ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FORBEARANCE IN A CHRISTIAN
with them while he wished to overCHURCH.
throw the constitution, order and It has often, and, as we think, very
ordinances of their church; but truly been remarked, that there are few since you think it was their duty subjects attended with more difficulty, to have forborn him in those things than that of ascertaining the exact limits
wherein he so widely differed from to which forbearance ought to be extended in a Christian church; and those
them, because they still esteemed who have thought the most closely on
him a Christian, the question is, the point, have been the most prompt to Would it not, in that case have been acknowledge it as such. Whatever,
equally his duty to bave accepted therefore, is calculated to place the subject in a scriptural view-to familiarise
of their forbearance and continued the minds of Christ's disciples to it-and with them, siuce he also esteemed to guard churches against extremes on them Christians ? If a nutual good either side of the question, merits serious
opinion of each other be the scripattention. It is with this view that we print the following unfinished paper,
tural ground of forbearance, then which was drawn up about a dozen years it follows that while that good ago, by the late Mr. Archibald McLean, opinion exists on each side, the of Edinburgh, and intended for insertion in the Quarterly Magazine, but, in con
obligation to forbearance must be sequence of the discontinuance of that mutual also. If this instance, work has not hitherto been printed.. therefore, suits your purpose I must
EDITOR. conclude, that the forbearance you To the Editor of the Quarterly Magazine. plead for extends at least to every
thing wherein Antiburghers and I HAVE read your reply to Baptists differ. what you are pleased to call “ the The rule you lay down for judgAnimadversions on the grounds ing of the objects of excommuni. and reasons of Excommunica- cation appears to me to extend fortion,” Quarterly Magazine. No. I bearance still farther, viz. " That
in every case of excommunication, I principle without unanimously conit should appear to us, that the cluding that such error if unrepersons so put away, have fallen pented of till death, will finally into some sin or error, which, per- exclude them from salvation. Supsisted in till death, will finally ex-pose then that a member of a clude from salvation, and from the Christian church should adopt favour of God.” This you think some Arminian sentiments; another is the only rule to which the in- plead for infant baptism; a third numerable diversity of cases are to deny that Christians are under any be reduced, and the conclusion to standing obligation to observe bapwhich every church of Christ tism, the Lord's Supper, the Lord's ought to come before they are day, the prohibition from blood. called, or have authority to put eating, &c. &c. would it not be away any one person from among very harsh to conclude positively them. But I am obliged to dis- that such errors will deprive them sent from this rule,
1 of everlasting happiness, unless 1. Because it appears to me they repent of them before death? dangerous in its principle. It Would not this imply, that no true supposes that there are sins wbich disciple of Wesley, no Pedobaptist Christians may safely persist in or Quaker can be saved, if they without repentance till death, and die such ? I am certain you would even after all due pains have been not agree in such a dreadful contaken to bring them to repentance. clusion as this. A church of You cannot mean the sins of infir. Christ who are united in the truth mity which cleave to all the saints may determine that such and such in this state of imperfection ; for sentiments are contrary to the plain these are not matters of church word of God, and to their unity discipline, nor are real Christians as 'a church; but how shall the insensible of, or unconcerned about most discerning church upon earth them until death: on the con- determine with any certainty what trary, they are their daily burden degree of darkness and error many and confession. Is it safe for a of the children of God themselves Christian to resist admonition, and may be permitted both to live and to persist in any known sin until die in ? Would it not therefore be death, from an opinion that it is so safest for a church, in many cases, trivial as to need no repentance? when they are obliged to put away Or is it fit that a church of Christ members, to leave the judgment of should admit such a principle, and their final state to God? On the proceed upon it as the ground of other hand, this rule tends to pro. Their public judgment? I hope duce great laxness in discipline. that neither of these is your fixed | Though some in a church should opinion, though your rule plainly pertinaciously maintain errors of implies as much. Another reason considerable magnitude, such as of dissent is,
may materially affect their faith 2. Because this rule obliges a and order, mar their unity, and church to pass a judgment for weaken their charity; yet this rule which, in many cases, they are forbids them to exclude such from altogether incompetent, and so their communion, unless they can forces them either into the extre- unanimously come to the conclu. mity of harshness or of laxness in sion, that such errors are not only their judgment. That it must incontrary to the word of God, but many cases compel them to form also, that all who die in them shall a very harsh judgment is evident; | finally perish. Now, as it is not for it does not permit them to put likely that any thing short of gross away any on account of error iu immorality or plain infidelity will