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conraged and itopt some intrusions, they encouraged others: and they gave no small occasion of osssence by their management in the asfair of Prosessor Campbell at St Andrews, who had vented severa' dangerous errors in his writings, such as his Oratorio Academica, his Er'quiry into the Original of Moral Virtue, hi? Discourse concerning Enthusiasm, &c. wherein he assrrts, That men, by their natural powers, without revelar tion, cannot sind out the being of a God: That the law of nature is sufsicient to guide ratio'nal minds to happiness : That self-love, interest, or pleasure, is the sole principle and motive of all virtuous and religious actions: That Christ's disciples had no notion of his Divinity besore his resurrection, and besore that they eipected nothing from him but a worldly kingdom; and, during the interval between his death and resurrection, they looked on him as an impostor." Likewise, while speaking against Enthusiasts, he utters several things very disparaging and reproachsul to the work - of the holy Spirit upon the souls of the people of Gr'd. These enors were brought besore the Assembly 1735, who reserred them to their commission; and they appointed a committee to consider them, and prepare their report to the nest Assembly. Mr Campbell laboured to give in found and orthodox explications of these his positions, which the committee brought besore the Assembly. 1736, with their remarks and censures upon them, and the recommendations they judged sit to be given him. The Assembly, upon hearing Mr Campbell at great length, were of opinion that the committee's examining and stating the matter as they had done, was susssicient to caution against the errors charged upon Mr Campbell, without giving any judgment or formal sentence upon the committee's report; only they recommended to him not to use doubtsul expressions or propositions, which may lead his hearers or readers into error. This issue of the process many, in the Assembly and out of it, were highly dissatissied with, judging that Mr Campbell did justly deserve a sharp rebuke scr the many incautious and unsound expressions Tie hath in his writings, however orthodox his explications might be: and with these we do heartily join.
Though the Assembly gave no judgment upon Mr Campbell's positions or explications, yet severals would charge the Assembly with adopting one of his errors; because, when he explained his positions concerning Self-love he declared he meant no more but " that our delight in the honour and glory of God was the chies motive of . all virtuous and religious actions." Now (say they) this Delight is the same with the Self-love, or the desire of our own happiness, which is the error charged on him: yet the Assembly dismissed him without quarrelling it. But this should be looked upon as a. pure oversight in the Assembly, through their not adverting to the import of the word Delight, but taking "delight in the glory of God," for the fame with *\ regard to the glory of God," because of their affinity. For when Assembly 1737 was insormed that severals had taken ossence, as if the Assembly 1736 had adoptedsome of Mr Campbell's ossensive expressions on the head of Self love, they vindicated this church from that charge, by making an act, declaring that they do stedsastly adhere to the doctrine expressed in our standards on that head, particularly in the answers to that question in our Larger and Shorter Catechisms, What is the chies end of man?
In the year 1735 there was an essay made by an unknown hand to alter our Shorter Catechism, which was printed at London under the title of The Assembly's Shorter Catechism Revised, and rendered sitter for General Use. The reviser casts it into such a mould, as to make it agree with Arian, Socinian, Popish, and Arminian schemes of doctrine. Assoon as it was publicly known in Scotland, the commissun took it under their consideration, as the synod of Lothian had done besore them, and past an act condemning it, and gave warning about it to all the presbyteries in this church, that they might be on their guard against the spreading and insection thereof. Aud would to God that our Assemblies had, in like manner, g.ven plain and saithsul warning to ajl the corners and members of this church,
against against Prosessor Simson and Prosessor Camp:beIlVCT¥o¥s, and others which have been vented and spread in this churchHand shewn to them their inconsistency with the word of God, and our Consession of Faith and Catechisms! May God in his insinite mercy revive our ieal: for all the truths therein contained, and against allftirts of error opposite thereto!
After all, it is to be regretted that the national church was not duly humbled by :all these awsul rebukes sor her manifold desections, and particularly for disregarding Christ's flock in settlements ; neither did fhe amend her ways and doings, and turn to the Lord: wheresore we sind the hand of the Lord stretched out agamstlrer still, and a new sharp trial carvtd out sor her from ah aiith that none could have expected. One Captain PorteoiiS, that had been condemned to die for several murders, having obtained a reprieve by the interest of some great men, the mob rose up notwithstanding, and executed him at Edinburgh the 7th of Septernber 1 736. The King and Parliament resented this assront so highly, that they framed a strange and extroardinary act sor discovering the actors : and because some of the church's enemies suggested, without all ground, that the Scots clergy, at least a set of them, encouraged the people in such mobbish actions, they appointed all the ministers of Scotland to read the said act in time df Divine service in their churches every sirst Sabbath in the month for a whole year, beginning in August 1737: and the penalty for the sirst neglect of reading it was, that "they shall be declared incapable of sitting or voting in any church judicatoryand this was to be executed against them by the civil judges in Scotland. The most part of ministers in many synods and presbyteries, though they scrupled not to condemn the outrageous insult of the mob as murder, yet they had not freedqrn to read the said act, because they judged the penalty foresaid to be properly a church censure, seeing by it ministers would be divested of the power of church government and discipline, which is given them by the Lord Jesus Christ the Head of the church, and is essential to their office as preaching or dispensing the sacrament. crament. Now, for the civil magistrate to assume the power of the keys, or of inflicting church censures, which Christ hath put in the hands of his own ofsicers, they judged a manisest incroachmenr upon Christ's Headship over his church, and contrary to the word of God and the Consession of Faith they had subscribed, chap. 30. par. 1. 1 and chap 23. 3. And for ministers to become the magistrate's heralds, to proclaim this law on the Lord's day, in such a solemn manner, would be an homologating of this incroachmenr, and a consenting to this Erastian power of the magistrate. Likewise they judged, to approve or concur with a law so prejudicial to the doctrine and discipline of ;his church, as established by law civil and ecclesiastical, would be to give up with sundamental securities, and act contrary to the solemn engagements ministers come under to maintain the doctrine and discipline of this church, and do rothing prejudicial thereto. Besides, they did not think it agreeable to the office of those, who were " ambassadors of the gospel of peace," to become heralds or executors of this or any sanguinary law; especially when they apprehended there were several things in it inconsistent with justice and equity, besides the Erastian penalty asorementioned. These and other arguments, set in a clear light in several pamphlets published at that time, determined us to join .with those who bore testimony against the reading of the foresaid act, and to run the hazard of all its penalties. And we wish the light of all the ministers of of Scotland had been the same with ours in this matter, which would have prevented much division and stumbling that disserent practices have occastoned.
But yet we must do justice to those of a disserent light, so sar as to own, that there were several pious and conscientious ministers who read this act, because of the quite disserent view they had -of it from those who resused it: and seeing, by the w hole ttnor of their lives and actions, it appears they have acted uprightly and honestly in other matters, we are in chalky bound to think they acted sincerely in this also. Their reasons sor reading were; A sinsul penalty in
XVL. IV. 3 L the the act, should not hinder their reading those parts of the act which might be lawsul; and they judged they were bound to read some parts of it, to warn their people of the danger of harbouring or succouring the rioters. And they did not look on the penalty scrupled at as any church censure, or Erastian incroachment upon Christ's Headship ; and, as they judged, no more was meant by it, but that the non-reader6 should forfeit the magistrate's protection in sitting in churchcourts: and that the magistrate, without assuming the power of the keys, might by his civil power as a magistrate, exclude or render ministers incapable of sitting in church-courts, by conssining or banishing them. And they sincerely declare, that, if they had thought their reading of that act had in the least wronged the Headship of the King of Zion, they would rather have sussered the loss of their stipends, or any thing else. Now charity obligeth us to believe pious men to be ingenuous in such declarations.
But, alas! notwithstanding of all these shaking dispensations, the church was not brought to a right sense of her siris and desections; and theresore the Lord's controversy with her was not at an end: for we sind the Assembly 1738 continuing in former steps, and giving new ossence to many in the church, by another decision in a process of error. The magistrates and town-council of Edinburgh having chosen Mr William Wishart a minister at London to be Principal of their college, and having got a call to him also to be one of the ministers of the city, the presbytery of Edinburgh resused to concur with the said call, and charged him with venting several erroneous propositions in two of his printed sermons, with respect to the power and office of the magistrate in religious n'atters, the liberty of Christian subjects, the subscribing of Consessions, the education of children, the influence of arguments taken from the awe of suture rewards and punishments, his excessive charity to Heathens and others who reject the gospel-ossers and institutions, and the sinsul and corrupt state of all men from their birth, &c. This assair being brought by ap