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IN answer to your question "How a man may pursue his secular business with success, and still maintain the power of religion," I have advised you to commit all your works to God, and thus make your secular business a part of religion. While you conduct in this manner, you will have a plain practical rule, by which you may judge concerning your duty, in cases where a deceitful heart will pretend doubts and contrive eva- C sions.

There are certain works, which you wish to do, and which you hope you may do without incurring guilt. Now put this question seriously to your conscience, "Can I comm these works to God?" If y cannot do this without mani1 impiety, then you must kn that the works are sinful.

In all our just and imp undertakings, we may wi. priety, and we ought in di seek the direction of God sel, the assistance of h and the concurrence of ing. The religious ht asks God's smiles on labours. The pious all his ways acknow' directing and pres dence. The good plores God's bie common meals. parent danger to substance he s

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eir instrucem, as far as e to the law utioned them to rs taught, and the 1 by these teachers. gdom of Christ, "all to be done decently der." There must be a decency, an external order church, that peace may be erved, edification promoted, i confusion prevented.

When a man offers himself as a candidate for the ministerial office, it is incumbent on him to exhibit positive proofs of his qualifications. But before a minister can be justly deposed te it from office, there must be adcil, duced full and indubitable evisters, dence of his disqualifications. The candidate must have a "good report;" and if there arise an ill report, he must disprove and remove it, before he is ordained. But Paul says, "Against an Elder," one already in office, "regers of ceive not an accusation, but becommon fore two or three witnesses."

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e presence of the e may hear, crossconfront them. end himself on the is not prepared-his are not present; he has objections against dges, who assume to try ; and they were called for Le different business. But rhaps, it will be said, "Here is minister, who has openly avowed his heresy, and who is therefore condemned of himself. i, There is no need of other witnesses." Be it so; still Paul tells us, that even in such a case, the heretic is not to be rejected, until "after the first and second admonition."

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If every man assumes to himself a power to judge, hereticate and condemn his brethren, on mere report, or on his own private opinion, or on surmise and prejudice, without a fair, open trial, whose character is safe? whose standing is secure? where is the peace and order of the churches? where is the liberty with which Christ has made us free? "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace in all churches of the saints."

.cions to very thing wed reason er is present, with him, then ords and actions, r ought not to be ated as a minister; ole council ought to m; that his people withdraw from him; Christians ought to shun s an evil and dangerous We not only slander him ore proof of guilt, but, as far our influence can avail, we lay him under censure; and it is our intention, (if we have any consistent intention) that our conduct shall operate to this effect. But where is our authority to censure and condemn him? We were not called for this business. Where is our evidence? Report or rumour, is not to be received against an elder. Have you or I personal knowledge in

We may know a minister, whom we think immoral in practice, or unsound in faith. Such a minister we should endeavour to reclaim by private expostula

* We regret that no ecclesiastical tribunal exists in our Congregational churches, before which such a trial may be had. We hope the wisdom of the ministers and churches will be employed to supply the great defect in our ecclesiastical d

means to accomplish an innocent design. Peruse and apply this advice from

Your affectionate parent,
EUSEBIUS.

INTERESTING QUERIES.

Is it an act of Christian and ministerial fellowship to sit in council with the delegates and pastors of churches? Or in other words: Does a minister, when he sits in council, especially in an ordaining council, by such act acknowledge all who sit with him, as pastors, in the council, to be ministers of the gospel, and fellow labourers in the kingdoin of Christ?

If this be answered in the af'firmative; it is then asked: How can a minister, who believes 'the doctrines of grace, and considers them essential to the gospel scheme of salvation, sit in council with those ministers who deny them?

These queries are stated with a hope, that some scribe, who is well instructed, will give that attention to them, which their practical importance demands, and kindly instruct those, who often know not what to do.

ANSWER.

TIMOTHY.

When we sit in council, be it an ordaining or other council, we acknowledge all the ministers, who sit with us, to be in good ecclesiastical standing; i. e. to have been duly inducted into office, and not to be now in a state of deposition, or under censure; and we acknowledge the delegates to be messengers of the churches of our common

Lord. Thus far, and no farther, as I conceive, we declare our fellowship with them. We do not by this act express any opinion relative to their grace, or their orthodoxy. If the ministers are visibly in good standing, have been regularly introduced into their office, and have not been regularly ejected from it, we are to treat them as officers in the church, whatever may be our private opinion concerning their personal character or qualifications. Our Saviour had communion with the Jewish church, though there were in it many things which he condemned. While the pharisean Scribes sat in Moses' seat, he directed the people to attend on their instructions, and observe them, as far as they were agreeable to the law of Moses; but cautioned them to avoid the errors taught, and the sins practised by these teachers.

In the kingdom of Christ, "all things are to be done decently and in order." There must be a visible decency, an external order in the church, that peace may be preserved, edification promoted, and confusion prevented.

When a man offers himself as a candidate for the ministerial office, it is incumbent on him to exhibit positive proofs of his qualifications. But before a minister can be justly deposed from office, there must be adduced full and indubitable evidence of his disqualifications. The candidate must have a "good report ;" and if there arise an ill report, he must disprove and remove it, before he is ordained. But Paul says, "Against an Elder," one already in office, “receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."

The officer is not to be deposed, or treated as deposed, on mere "report:" There must first be an open trial; an accusation sus tained by competent testimony; he must have the accuser and witnesses face to face, that he may hear them, and have an opportunity to confront them. Even written affidavits, taken at a distance, are never to be admitted in such trials, nor indeed in any ecclesiastical trials; for the gospel requires, that the witnesses be present. Our civil courts require the same in criminal prosecutions. And church prosecutions are all criminal.

If we refuse to sit in a council, to which we are called, some reason must be assigned for this refusal; otherwise it speaks no explicit language, and may be interpreted by men's suspicions to speak any thing and every thing that is ill. If our avowed reason be, that such a minister is present, and we cannot act with him, then we declare, by words and actions, that this minister ought not to be owned and treated as a minister; that the whole council ought to discard him; that his people ought to withdraw from him; that all Christians ought to shun him, as an evil and dangerous man. We not only slander him before proof of guilt, but, as far as our influence can avail, we lay him under censure; and it is our intention, (if we have any consistent intention) that our conduct shall operate to this effect. But where is our authority to censure and condemn him? We were not called for this business. Where is our evidence? Report or rumour, is not to be received against an elder. Have you or I personal knowledge in

the case? One witness is not suificient. Are there other witnesses? They must exhibit their testimony before a proper judicature, and in the presence of the accused, that he may hear, crossexamine and confront them. Must he defend himself on the spot? He is not prepared-his witnesses are not present; he perhaps has objections against the judges, who assume to try him; and they were called for quite different business. But perhaps, it will be said, “Here is a minister, who has openly avowed his heresy, and who is therefore condemned of himself. There is no need of other witnesses." Be it so; still Paul tells us, that even in such a case, the heretic is not to be rejected, until "after the first and second admonition."

If every man assumes to himself a power to judge, hereticate and condemn his brethren, on mere report, or on his own private opinion, or on surmise and prejudice, without a fair, open trial, whose character is safe? whose standing is secure? where is the peace and order of the churches? where is the liberty with which Christ has made us free? "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace in all churches of the saints."

We may know a minister, whom we think immoral in practice, or unsound in faith. Such a minister we should endeavour to reclaim by private expostula

We regret that no ecclesiastical tribunal exists in our Congregational churches, before which such a trial may be had. We hope the wisdom

of the ministers and churches will be

employed to supply this great defect in our ecclesiastical discipline.

tion. If we fail of success, we may desire some proper persons, who know the case, to assist our addresses. We are to exercise meekness, patience and candour. And before we attempt, by any action of ours, to impress a stigma upon him, I should suppose, we ought to institute a regular process against him, before some proper tribunal, that if he is innocent, he may be acquitted, and

our minds relieved from painful suspicion; and if he is guil ty, and obstinate in his crimes or errors, his folly may be made manifest to all men, and the churches secured from dangerous imposition.

Thus, I imagine, peace and order in churches, and purity and soundness in ministers will best be preserved.

TITUS.

Selections.

We invite the attention of our Readers to the following observations from "The Religious Monitor," a valuable periodical work, published at Edinburgh, in Scotland. The few remarks, which are of a more local nature, contain information, which will not be unac ceptable to our Readers, while the general tenor and spirit of the whole, it will be readily perceived, render them seasonable and applicable to the existing state of religion in our own country.

A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE PRINCIPAL CONTROVERSIES AMONGST PROTESTANTS, WITH REMARKS ON THE PROGRESS OF RE

LIGION.

THE state of society is seldom long stationary, and Paul speaks of the course of this world: What then, it may be inquired, since the reformation, has been our progress?

I shall suggest a few hints on religion, rather with the view of calling the attention of others to this subject, than of exhausting it myself. From the reformation to the present day, the controversy between Protestants and Papists has existed; and a minute attention to the different as pects it has assumed, might serve to discriminate the religious character of the intervening ages. Another method of ascertaining our direction at least, and

perhaps somewhat of our progress also, is to attend to the successive controversies, which have arisen among Protestants themselves.

During the sixteenth century, the chief controversy among the reformers was about the habits, rites, and ceremonies. These were of themselves confessedly indifferent, and judging by the reasoning of Paul, Rom. xiv. the guilt of schism rested on the imposers. In a neighbouring church, a violent discussion has been excited concerning their articles, whether they are Arminian or Calvinistic. It has

The church of England.

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