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they doubtless are more independent of their peo

ple. *

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 vol. ii. p. 36. Edit: 1723.






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 Lur theran Church.

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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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of Luther and his associates. It is true, most of the corruptions in the Church of Rome which he condemned, had been attacked long before his appearance, and almost the same opinions which he propagated had been published in different places, and were supported by the same arguments. Waldus in the 12th century, Wickliff in the 14th, and Huss in the 15th, had inveighed against the errors of Popery with great boldness, and confuted them with more ingenuity and learning than could have been expected in those illiterate ages in which they flourished. But all these premature attempts towards a reformation proved abortive. Such feeble lights, incapable of dispelling the darkness which then covered the church, were soon extinguished; and though the doctrines of these pious men produced some effects, and left some traces in the countries where they taught, they were neither extensive nor considerable. Many powerful causes contributed to facilitate Luther's progress, which either did not exist, or did not operate with full force in their days; and at the critical and mature juncture when he appeared, various circumstances concurred in rendering each step which he took successful.

Hence, while the worthy and pious professors of Christianity almost despaired of seeing that reformation on which their most ardent desires and expectations were bent; an obscure and inconsiderable person arose on a sudden, and laid the foundation of this long expected change, by opposing, with undaunted resolution, his single force

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