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posed to be the most numerous denomination in the United States, and are said to have upwards of a thousand congregations in New England and nearly half that number of congregations in Massachusetts alone. In England they are thought to be. more numerous than the Baptists; and in Scotland they have received a considerable accession of late, by the zeal and exertions of the Messrs. Haldane and their friends, and fellow labourers.


MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS-To avoid, as much as may be, the multiplying of articles unnecessarily, as bespeaking distinct denominations, already by far too numerous, I have here included the American Congregationalists among the Independents; both as they originally sprang from them, and as they still seem to maintain the same doctrine with them on the subject of Church Government and Discipline, although they have now, as already observed, disclaimed the name of Inde. pendent. Indeed, it might be well that this term were universally disclaimed and laid aside, as the name of a sect; for other denominations may perhaps have as good a right to it, as the one which has been distinguished by it. No one, I presume, would assume it, to the prejudice of their depen: dence upon our Lord and Saviour; and, with respect to the influence of men, Presbyterians, or Episcopalians, may, in fact, have the advantage of Independents, and their ministers be more independent of their brethren, than theirs are, as they doubtless are more independent of their peo

ple. *

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Such are the different sentiments of professing Christians on the subject of Church Government and Discipline, and thus do the adherents in general of each lay claim to the exclusive right of divine or apostolical institution, and insist that the first churches were modelled according to their particular plan. How far their respective claims are well founded, and whose plan approaches the nearest to the primitive model, different readers will judge very differently; yet every reader, I presume, will be glad to learn, and many will, no doubt, pay some deference to the judgment of an able and minute enquirer into ecclesiastical antiquity, who, after examining and balancing the arguments for the above three forms of Church Government, as supported by experience, observes, that they “may be briefly stated thus:-In no one instance does the Independent plan appear to have a solid foundation either in Scripture or antiquity; yet the interference of the people, and the share of authority exercised by them, though never on the plan of Independent Congregations, gives some plausible colour to Independency. The Presbyterian system seems to be scriptural and primitive, so far as the institution of the clergy is concerned, but defective for want of a bishop. The Episcopal form, no doubt, obtained in all the primitive churches without exception, but—what effectually checks the pride of those who are fond of the pomp of hierarchy,-it must be confessed, that Ancient Episcopacy had no secular mixtures and appendages."*

* See a tract entitled, Apologia, or Four Letters to a Minister of an Independent Church, by a Minister of the Church of England, 12mo. 1784, printed for Buckland, Paternoster-Row.

I will only further remark on this subject, that, while some eminent divines have warmly maintained the Jus Divinum of Church Government, and earnestly contended for their own particular mode, as an essential part of the faith once delivered to the Saints;" others have wholly disclaimed it, and viewed the subject (too much, doubtless,) as a matter of indifference.—Thus, of Mr. Calamy it has been said, that “he fairly lays aside the divine right of Presbyterian discipline, and does in effect own himself indifferent to the Episcopal, Presbyterian, or Independent scheme, as, indeed, Mr. Baxter had done before him.”+

* Milner's History of the Church of Christ, vol. i. p. 587.

† Mr: Johnson's Clergyman's Vade Mecum, Pref. to yol. ii. p. 36. Edit: 1723.

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NAME.-A natural sentiment of gratitude to Luther,* the extraordinary man, whom Providence employed as the honoured instrument of the foundation and establishment of the Church now to be considered, which is the first in point of time of all Protestant churches, excited his followers to assume his name, and to call their community “The Lutheran Church."

RISE, PROGRESS, AND HISTORY.-The begin. ning of the 16th century witnessed an event the most glorious that had occurred since the days of the Apostles, the reformation of corrupted Christianity, by the blessing of God on the exertions

His real name was Lotter' or Lauter, which he afterwards changed into Luther.

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