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with a view of obtaining a thorough class and discretion in the present day. Our sical education. Of these, the greatest country has produced very few writers of number, probably, is at Cumberland Uni- merit and distinction. The reason is obversity. Some twenty or thirty are at vious. The enlightened reader will, this time pursuing their studies there with doubtless, not take it amiss if it be af. reference to the ministry.

firmed that education in general, in this A book agency has recently been country, is superficial. In England, Gerestablished at Louisville, Ky. This has many, and other European countries, it is for its object not only general circulation much more thorough. Properly considof valuable books and publications, but ered, this is no disparagement to this also to hold out facilities to writing, in country. Its age considered, probably this denomination, for the publication of no country on the globe excels it in any works produced.* Facilities of this point of education, and superior writers. kind, it is hoped, will draw forth from The youth of sixteen, who writes like a obscurity some valuable writers. Proper sage of fifty, will, probably, at fifty, write circumstances never fail to call forth a like a dotard. The same remark applied multitude of authors. Under the auspices to a nation, is equally true. It is not to of Mecenas, Virgil, Horace, and many be wondered at that the Cumberland others, flourished. During the reigns of Presbyterian Church has not, as yet, proJames and Elizabeth, when the Court duced many writers. The period, in the was an academy, England produced some ordinary course of things, has not yet of her nightiest authors.

arrived for writing. It has been the peIt must be confessed that the denom. riod for action. ination in question has produced compar- Among the clergy of this denomination atively few authors. With churches it is there have not been any instances of as with individuals and nations: they heresy. A remarkable harmony in doc

ive a youth, a manhood, and an old trinal beliefs has existed. This has been age. Youth, in all, is the time for ac- the case, whilst in other churches, many tion. Greece had its heroic age, in which of the clergy have shot madly into the Hercules and Theseus flourished. Then wildest and most extravagant heresies. followed a more sober, reflecting period, We have witnessed, within the last few in which Sophocles, Eschylus, Euripides, years, some of these ministers arraigned Herodotus, Xenophon, and Thucidides before their several spiritual courts, passflourished. The same is true with re-ing through the most perplexing trials, spect to Rome. It was not till near the under allegata of the wildest heresies. It close of the Republic that writers of emi- cannot be doubted but the propensity of nence began to make their appearance. writing books has been the cause of much The first two hundred years of the Chris. of this. In no science, save medicine, is

scarce produced any valuable there such an endless disposition to theowriters in the church. After this, a short rize, as in theology. There are no time, a swarm of them appeared. It grounds for theory in either. For the had been good for the cause of religion former is based on actual observation and if many of them had never appeared, or experience; the latter, on plain revelation that they were used with more judgment from God. But what has here been

stated, is not intended as an opinion in

opposition to theological works, or theo. * Rev. Reuben Burrows has written a book logical writers. It is a mere reference to on Baptism, that is in considerable demand. the abuse of them. It would be good for Rev. Milton Bird has recently written an able work on the doctrine of election. Rev. the cause of religion if it had many such Robert Donnell has produced more than one advocates as Chalmers and D’Aubigne. work of merit. All from him is replete with The Cumberland Presbyterian Church sound sense. His « Miscellaneous Thoughts” is mainly confined to the Southern and contain lucid and comprehensive expositions Western portions of the United States. of many points in theology. It is to be hoped that Mr. Donnell's life will be spared, and that From the Lakes on the North, and the his pen will be active.

Gulf of Mexico on the South, it is nu.

tian era


A few churches and ministers nicant, which is a still lower estimate, at different points, are to be found east of there are 400,000 persons in its connecthe Alleghany Mountains,

tion. In a growing country, and a proIt is not to be expected, in a church gressive age, a sufficient number of per. like this, extended over so large a terri- sons, this, to wield a powerful moral, tory, and many portions of it sparsely

intellectual and religious influence. settled, that the number of communi.

With due dependence on the God of cants can be accurately ascertained. In providence and grace, energetic efforts some of the new states the means of and wise counsels, future prospects are communication are very imperfect. But highly encouraging. we can determine accurately enough.

Such is an account submitted to the

reader, of the origin, progress, doctrines, On the authority of the Assembly, and present extent of the Cumberland which 'met in May, 1847, at Lebanon, Presbyterian Church. It is as minute Ohio, there were i7 synods, 68 presby- and extended as a work of this nature teries, 800 congregations, 650 ministers, would admit. The facts can be relied on 200 licentiates, 150 candidates for the as true, having been taken from authentic ministry, and over 100,000 communi- sources. It has been composed amid a cants. The number of communicants in press of pastoral duties, at snatches and some estimates has been placed consider. intervals. It is presented, such as it is, able higher than this. The lowest esti- to an enlightened and charitable Christian mate has here been stated. Estimating public. If allusion has been made to the four children, and other adherents, to each doctrines and practices of other denomi. communicant, which, it will be acknow. nations, it has been done out of no ill ledged is a very low estimate, there will design. Every church has a right to be found 500,000 persons connected with present to the world its own doctrines and this branch of the Redeemer's Kingdom. ctices, and show wherein these differ

Allowing three persons to each commu. I from others.







JULY, 1847.

All who give attention to the history | together in persecuting those who adof the church, know something of the hered to these sacred engagements, who sufferings of the martyrs in Scotland, were, on account of that adherence, under the tyranny of the house of Stuart: called COVENANTERS. For a very interand all who love the truth in its purity, esting account of these people, see the admire the men who so earnestly con. History of the Covenantors in Scotland, tended for it,—who “ loved not their lives published by the Presbyterian Board, in unto death.” The principles for which iwo volumes, Nos. 76 and 77. See, also, they contended, as these are set forth Traditions of the Covenanters, in three in the formularies of the Church of Scot. series, and Annals of the Persecution in land, and illustrated by the history of Scotland from the Restoration to the their times, are worthy of the most care. Revolution ; all published by the same ful study, not only of the private Christian, Board. For the principles they contended but of the divine, and the civilian: for for, see the Cloud of Witnesses. while they contended most strenuously for REFORMED PRESBYTERIANS claim to the honor of God, they sought, as a part be the lineal descendants of those Coveof that honor, the full establishment of nanters, adhering to the same principles, the rights of man. They had in common however far they may come short in with many others, bound themselves to faithfully carrying out their application. God and one another in covenant : first, They have a Synod in Scotland, one in in the National Covenant of Scotland; Ireland, and one in the United States, and again in the Solemn League and besides a number of congregations and Covenant of the three kingdoms, Scot. scattered societies in the British provinces land, England, and Ireland, framed in in North America. 1643, and renewed, 1648. The church The Reformed Presbytery was constiand the nation, the rulers and the people, tuted in America, for the first time, in the had mutually and voluntarily entered into year 1774, by three ministers, the Rev. these solemn vows; but the majority soon Messrs. John Cuthbertson, William Linn, violated them, disowned them, and joined and Alexander Dobbin, with ruling elders. These ministers had been sent over from from their former ecclesiastical brethren. Europe, in order to organize the Church Those who did not join, turned their atin America.

tention again toward Europe, and called During the persecution, several mem- for ministerial assistance, which could not bers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, be immediately obtained. They were again lest their native country, to seek an asylum reduced to their private fellowship meet. in the western world. These, and their ings; but they did not however, despair, descendants were found collecting into even at their lowest state. They expected praying societies, as they were wont to do help; and, they received it. Rev. James in their own land, upon the footing of the Reid was sent as a missionary, by the Re. Reformation principles in the beginning formed Presbytery of Scotland, to exa. of the 18th century. They kept them- mine the affairs of the church in the Uni. selves distinct from the other worshipping ted States; and after having travelled societies which they found formed, or form- from Carolina to New York, and remained ing in the land, judging them no way dis. several months in America, he returned posed to enter into the full spirit of the to Europe in the summer of 1790. Mr. covenanted reformation. Mr. Cuthbert McGarragh was ordained by the Reformed son arrived in America, from the Re- Presbytery of Ireland, for the Church in formed Presbytery of Scotland, in the year America, and arrived in South Carolina 1752. Twenty years did Mr. Cuthbert about the year 1791. The Rev. William son serve alone, the Church in America. King was commissioned with instructions He visited the different societies which were to join Mr. McGarragh, and arrived in the formed throughout the colonies, on reform- United States, in 1792. Rev. James ation principles, and animated them to McKinney from the Reformed Presbytery perseverance. Exposed to danger almost in Ireland, arrived in 1793. Mr. McKinconstantly from the servants of the British ney possessed talents admirably adapted crown, who were then endeavoring to con- to the situation of the church at that time. firm over the American colonies, the doubly He possessed an intrepidity of character, grievous yoke of tyranny and Episcopacy; which could neither be seduced by friendhe endeavored to inspire his friends with ship, nor overawed by opposition. His confidence in the justness of their cause, powers of mind, his extensive knowledge, and with hopes that God in his providence and capability of enduring fatigue, emiwould, in his own time, deliver them. In nently qualified him for his Master's work. the year 1774, Messrs. Linn and Dobbin, Through his instrumentality, the church were sent to the country by the Reformed rapidly increased in the States of Penn. Presbytery of Ireland : upon their arrival sylvania and New York. Rev. William a judicatory was constituted, and the Re- Gibson arrived from Ireland, in 1797, ac. formed Presbyterian Church put on a re- companied by Messrs. Black and Wylie, gular appearance, as an organized visible who had completed a collegiate education society in the colonies of America. in the University of Glasgow, and were

This regular organization was soon lost preparing for the work of the ministry. by a union of the Reformed Presbytery

The church was again by the goodness and the Associate Presbyteries ; by which, of her exalted King, favored with a reguinstead of combining two denominations lar organization. The Reformed Presby. into one, a third was formed of some parts tery of the United States of North Ameof the other two, known by the name of rica, was constituted in the city of Phila. the Associate Reformed Church. This delphia, in the spring of 1798. Mr. King new church has adopted the names of both died before the meeting of this court; but the bodies from which it was formed. the Presbytery was soon increased. Messrs.

The union was completed in 1782, after Donelly, Black, Wylie, and McLeod, were having been five years in agitation. A licensed to preach the gospel in 1799. In great part of the church joined their min. the course of two years, they were all or. isters in the schism from their former con- dained to the ministry, and had the care nexion, and united in this new body with of fixed pastoral charges. seceders, who had also irregularly departed The constitution of the Reformed Pres.

byterian Church in the United States, was ness, and the Presbytery met biennially. fully recognized by the ecclesiastical judi- At a meeting held in Philadelphia, that catories of the same church in Scotland, judicatory was dissolved, and the minis. and in Ireland ; a friendly correspondence ters with the delegated elders, being aswas established between the three Presby- sembled, agreed to constitute a synod. teries; and some encouragement afforded | The senior minister, Rev. William Gibof receiving ministerial help at a future son, being called upon for that purpose, period. In the year 1800, the Presbytery did constitute with prayer in the name of enacted that no slave-holder should be re- the Lord Jesus, the only King and Head tained in their communion, A committee of the Church, the Synod of the Reformed appointed the same year to visit the South Presbyterian Church in America, on the ern States, and regulate the concerns of 24th of May, 1809. The deeds of the that part of the church, abolished the prac- Presbytery were all recognized by the tice of holding slaves among church mem- synod; and the former committees were bers. No slave-holder is since admitted erected into Presbyteries. Thus the church to their communion.

was lengthening her cords, strengthening In May, 1806, the Presbytery issųed her stakes, and stretching forth the curthe Testimony of the Reformed Presbyte- tains of her habitation. rian Church in the United States of A brief sketch like the present, will not America. This work consists of two admit of a full development of her proparts; the first, historical, exhibiting the gress, and the changes through which she church as a visible society, in covenant has passed. To the general reader it will with God; and pointing out precisely the be more interesting to know something of situation which they themselves occupy as her distinctive features ; wherein she difa distinct part of the church universal. fers from other members of the great The second part is a Declaration of the Presbyterian family—children of the same doctrines held by them, and an enumera- Father, between whom there should be no tion of the errors which they reject. It strife; but, alas! they have grievously has ever since been contemplated, and is fallen out by the way. now in progress of preparation to publish A prominent, distinctive feature of this a third part, containing arguments in de- church, is, that her members will not own fence of the doctrines, and inaking a par. allegiance to the government of any nation ticular application of the principles of the which refuses allegiance to the Lord Jesus testimony. All who would understand the Christ, the Prince of the Kings of the doctrines of the church, must become ac- earth. And as they do not find any naquainted with the Testimony.

tion rendering allegiance to Him, they reAt the same session, (May, 1806,) two main in the character of aliens, neither acts were passed by the Presbytery, which voting for officers, holding offices, sitting are important, as containing practical di- on juries, nor taking the oath of naturali. rections for the conduct of individual mem- zation; whether in the United States, bers of the church-an act respecting Great Britain, or any other nation yet giving oath, when summoned before the known. constituted authorities of the nation-and This practice is based on the following an act respecting serving as jurors in doctrines : courts of justice. These acts and the 1. That the Lord Jesus Christ as Mereasons for them, and corresponding prac. diator, has committed to him all power in tice, présent some of the distinctive fea- heaven and in earth, as the vicegerent of tures of the Reformed Presbyterians, and the Father; and governs all creatures and called forth all their exertions, in preach all their actions for his own glory and our ing, writing, and conversation, in their salvation, as Head over all things to the own defence.

Church, which is his body. Mat. xxvij. In consequence of the extended field 18; Eph. i. 20, &c.; Phil. ii. 8, &c.; over which the ministers and the people Heb. ï. 8. were scattered, the Presbytery was divided 2. That submission is due to the media. into three committees for transacting busi- | tory authority, from all the intelligent

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