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“The Adamites, the Cainites, the Serpentarians, and Satanians, must all be admitted members of your Sociéty._Upon the same principle, I conclude, you are by far too liberal, to exclude from your community the sect of the Cainites. You would not condemn this sect, for holding in the highest veneration such worthy characters as Cain, Corah, Dathan, Abiram, and the Sodomites, but particularly Judas Iscariot, who was singularly useful in betraying the Redeemer, by whose blood we are saved !
“The Amsdorfians asserted, that good works were not only unprofitable, but obstacles to our salvatiop.
"The Beguines maintained, that when once we are united to God, we arrive at a state, not only of sinless perfection, but impeccability -that we may indulge all our appetites and passions without restraint--that the greatest enormities arc perfectly innocent—and that we are bound by no laws, neither civil nor ecclesiastical.
* The Libertines contended, that God was the immediate Author of every action-that, properly speaking, there was no such thing as sin, nor any essential difference between right and wrong-that we might mdulge all our appetites and passions without restraint that all our actions and pursuits were perfectly innocent—that our blessed Redeemer was nothing more than a mere je ne scai quoi, composed of the Spirit of God, and the opinion of men.
“Now, Sir, is it not evident, that, apon your principles, Amsdorfians, Beguines, and Libertines, must all be admitted and recognised as church members? Professing to believe in the word of God, you could not refuse them. Nor could you at all condemn their tenets. Why?-You will answer the question yourself. You are as fallible, as liable, and as likely to err, as any Beguine, Amsdorfiau, or Libertine in the world. The utmost we can expect of men, is, to act on their opinions.'.
“Thus, Sir, it appears, that upon your principles, persons, whose opinions are the most fanatical, the most erroneous, the most immoral, the most impious and abominable, must all be admitted, and recognized as church members; professing their faith in the Scriptures, they cannot be rejected. Of the heterogeneous materials of such a church, the population of Noah's Ark would be only a faint representation. So far from living together in tove and peace, the whole British army could not restrain them from cutting each others throats. From such a church, 'Good Lord, deliver us. If this be liberality, let me for ever remain a bigot.”-Pp. 14-18.
T'he Presbyterian Church in Ireland has not been without her " Worthies." Their history is indeed little known, and their names are shrouded in comparative obscurity. But they are not less entitled to our gratitude as the preservers of religious truth and freedom in the most perilous times, nor less worthy of our veneration as men of deep
and fervent piety, than the celebrated “Worthies” of our parent church in Scotland. The establishment of Presbyterianism in this province, with all its attendant blessings and privileges, is the result of their exertions and sacrifices—their privations and their prayers. They were the zealous and intrepid defenders of the truths of the Gospel, and the purity and independence of the church of Christ. They were the firm and consistent advocates of civil liberty. At the trying period of the Revolution, their most strenů. ous support was given to King William; and their united efforts on that occasion ensured the triumph of freedom and Protestantism not only in Ulster, but ultimately over the whole empire. Yet, notwithstanding their invaluable services, the memory of these men, whether ministers or laymen, has fallen into lamentable and unmerited oblivion. Even their names are scarcely known to their descendants, who are reaping the fruits of their disinterested labours. No attempt has ever been made to place their history before the world so fully or so conspicuously as it deserves; and our church continues to the present day both inexcusably ignorant, and culpably unmindful of her best benefactors and her brightest ornaments.
To remove this reproach, in some measure, from our church, and to offer the humble tribute of our respect for the memory of these men, we purpose devoting a few pages of our work to the illustration of their history.The payment of this debt of gratitude, however, has been so long deferred, that it can now be very imperfectly discharged. Owing to the loss of necessary papers, and the extreme scantiness of existing materials, the record of their lives is rendered sadly defective. But we are not for that reason discouraged from prosecuting, our design. Though we cannot hope to rival the interesting biographies of our " Scottish Worthies,” our present effort will at least preserve from being altogether lost what yet remains of their history, and may perhaps form the foundation of a more extended and durable fabric to the memory of our Ulster Worthies." We are not without our hopes, too, that this undertaking may prove not only interesting but profitable to our church. It was to promote the edification of his countrymen, that Paul thus exhorted the Hebrews, (xiii. 7:) “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." And we trust that the contemplation of the lives and labours of our Presbyterian fathers, may not be less useful to ourselves and our brethren. Their zeal may serve to rebuke our inactivity.-Their piety may dissipate our formality.--Their labours may possibly rouse us from our indolence. - Their privations and sufferings in the cause of Christ, may silence our complaints under the inferior hardships we have to encounter, and put to open shame the, selfishness of those who ingeniously contrive neither to do nor to suffer any thing for the truth. May we be followers of these holy men of God, even as they were also followers of Christ!
We sball commence our work with a brief memoir of the Rev. ANTHONY Kennedy, who was for above half a century Minister of the Gospel at Templepatrick. Our attention has been tbus early directed to him, not so much on ac. count of any marked superiority which he possessed over his brethren, but for these two reasons: first, because he. was the immediate successor of Josias Welsh, whom we bave already noticed in a former number; and secondly, because of the schism that has lately taken place in the congregation over which be presided so long; a portion of its members having, with its Minister, joined the com. munion of an Arian body-a sad declension from the principles both of its venerable founder and his successor.
After the death of Welsh, in the year 1634, (see Vol. I. p. 62,) the congregation of Templepatrick, owing to the commotions of that period, remained destitute of a Minister for several years. On the arrival of the Scottish army in 1642, and the subsequent formation of a Presbytery at Carrickfergus, (Vol. I. p. 91,) Templepatrick was among the earliest places where an eldership was regularly con stituted. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Kennedy coming from Scotland, the members of that congregation invited him to become their Minister. He accepted their call in the year 1645, and after passing through the usual trials, he was solemnly ordained to this charge by the Presbytery, on the 30th of October, 1646. The entry, on this occasion, in the old Session-book of the congregation, runs thus:"The admission of Mr. Anthony Kennedy to the parish of Templepatrick, was, by the providence of the Great God, on the penult day of October, 1646. Mr. Ferguson, (Minister of Antrim,) being that day Moderator; and with him, Ministers, Mr. Adair, (Cairncastle,) Mr. Battle,
(Ballymena,) and Mr. Cunningham, (Broadisland) with expectants, Mr. James Ker, (afterwards Minister at Bally. money,) Mr. John Greg, (afterwards Minister at Carrick. fergus,) and Mr. Jeremiah O’Queen, (after wards Minister of Billey, nigh Coleraine.)” On the 22d of November following, fourteen Elders and four Deacons were so, lemnly set apart to their respective offices in the congre. gation. At the head of the former, stands Major Edmond Ellis, of whom, and especially of the interesting circumstances attending his death at Templepatrick, we shall perhaps give some account in a subsequent Number.
This zealous session were not negligent of the trust res posed in their hands. The following enactments, agreed to by them, shortly after their ordination, are worthy of preservation, as curious relies of the state of congregational discipline in those days:
“ Ist. It is enacted by the Session of Templepafrick, that all complaints come into the Session by way of bill; the complaintive is to put in one shilling with his bill; and if he proves not his point, his shiling forfeits to the Session-book; this is done to prevent groundless scandal. 20. 'That all beer-sellers that sell best beer till people be drunk, shall be censured themselves, especially in the night-time. 3d. That if parents let their children vague or play on the Lord's-day, they shall be censured as profaners of the Sabbath. Ath. That all persons standing in the public place of repentance, shall pay the church officer one groat. 5th. That no children be baptized till the parents who present them come to the Elders and get their children's names registered, that the Elders may testify of them to the Minister. 6th. It is likewise enacted, (28th December, 1647,) if there be áby misdemeanour, as drunkenness or squabbling at bridals, that besides the censures, the persons themselves come under who commit the abuse, the persons married shall forfeit their privileges.”
The first censure inflicted by the Session is thus en
“That John Cowan shall stand opposite the pulpit, and confess his sin in the face of the public, of beating bis wife on the Lord's-day."
And not long after, Gilbert Young, Miller, was suspended from privileges, because he set his mill a-going on the last day before the communion. The first communion dispensed by Mr. Kennedy, was on the 4th of July, 1647. Forty pottles of the best claret were used on the occasion.
Mr. Kennedy was not long permitted to remain in the peaceful discharge of his pastoral duties. The civil war, which had been for some time raging in England, between Charles I. and bis Parliament, now began to extend its agitations to Ulster. The parliamentary forces, under Colonel Monk, had obtained possession of nearly the whole province. At first, the Presbyterians hailed them as friends contending for civil liberty against the arbitrary encroachments of the king. But the execution of the unhappy monarch opened their eyes to the real character of that party. They thenceforth warmly opposed their designs, and boldly espoused the cause of constitutional monarchy. Charles I. was beheaded at London, on the 30th of January, 1649. So soon as the news of this event reached Ireland, the Presbytery immediately resolved to testify their abhorrence of it. They met at Belfast, on the 15th of February, and drew up a spirited protest against the murder of ihe king, which was read in all their congregations. They wrote to the parliamentary leaders, at Derry and Dundalk, apprizing them of the step they bad taken, and beseeching them to abandon the cause of the regicides. And to Monk, the General commanding at the latter place, they dispatched one of their number, to induce him to unite with them in opposing the antimonarchical party, then dominant in England. In this attempt, however, they failed. The General adhered to Cromwell, and the Presbytery to the king; and from this period they suffered considerably on account of their bold and uncompromising adherence to the royal cause.
Mr. Kennedy had his foll share of the troubles and privations that now befel the church. His integrity and brmness fitted him for acting a prominent
in this agitated period. He was the person whom tbe Presbytery sent to wait on Monk at Dundalk. He was frequently engaged in similar conferences with the Republican leaders, who sought, both by blandishments and by threats, to induce the Presbytery to relinquish their opposition to the usurper. When Colonel Venables, who succeeded Monk in the command of Ulster, was preparing to seize the Ministers of Down and Antrim, for sedition in opposing the Commonwealth, and preaching and praying for the royal family, many of the brethren fled to Scotland. But Mr. Kennedy remained in the country.He was one of three Ministers, who only, out of the southern part of the County Antrim, continued in their parishes, though obliged to live in privacy, and in daily danger of being either confined or banished. In the month of June, 1650, he was imprisoned, together with