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not the trunk, at least the leaves, fruit, and limbs of the trees of righteousness. There is indeed no tyranny in America, such as that which crushed the church in France, but the Head of the church never can want instruments to punish those particular sections, which by a relaxation of discipline invite an invasion from Satan's kingdom of darkness. The question must come to decision. The day of the church's glory approaches, and the Redeemer will not permit the wound of the daughter of his people to be healed slightly. “ Error must be grubbed up by the roots." Let the pulpit, the press, and church discipline unite at once in contending for the faith, and the strong holds of error will be battered down. Light must dissipate the darkness.
The ecclesiastical intercourse which subsists between the General Assembly and the Eastern General Associations has now become a matter of regret; because the delegates from the Associations are congregationalists, and therefore cannot be very well qualified to judge about questions of presbyterial order: and because the ministers whom they represent, however Calvinistic some of them may be in other respects, with almost a perfect unanimity reject the doctrine of an atonement exclusively for the elect. The number of delegates which Vermont, Massachusetts, NewHampshire and Connecticut may send to vote and determine in all matters is twelve, of whom eight or nine are commonly present. This is a greater number than is fre. quently present from some of the distant synods that belong to the assembly. Were they like visiters from a neighbouring family, to advise and maintain social intercourse, without interfering in the government of the family by a vote, the relation would be less objectionable. It may be said, that the Delegates from the General Assembly enjoy an equal representation and influence in the Congregational Associations: it is true: but in either case it is indelicate and improper for persons of different sentiments about government and discipline to interfere with each others family regulations. The door should not be kept open by the Assembly for the introduction of teachers and principles which have
a tendency to disorganize and distract the churches under its care. It may may seem unwarrantable to declare, that this clerical intercourse ultimately embraces the Arians, and Socinians; but it really does, for the members of the General Association of Massachusets belong to the Convention of ministers, that annually assemble in Boston; and so the association becomes a link in the chain which connects the Convention, at which a Socinian often presides and preaches, with the General Assembly. The Association is the middle person of three, who have joined hands, that the electrical fluid of heresy may be conveyed through them all, from the grand battery in New England.
No such union as that which we have described exists between any of the other Presbyterian bodies in the middle states and the northern associations. Until lately, the Associate Reformed synod have had no ecclesiastical connection with any other denomination, in America. Various propositions have lately been made for forming a connection between it and the Reformed Dutch church; and many of its ministers and people partake of the sacrament of the supper in the congregations of that body, as well as of the General Assembly. Dr. Mason was the first who introduced this intercommunion. His congregation and that of Dr. Romeyn sat down to the sacrament together. For this departure from their established order, Dr. Mason's conduct was investigated before the Associate Reformed synod at various sessions, many of whose members were warmly opposed to such intercommunion. The principal opposition was from the western and southern clergy, who were so much dissatisfied that they withdrew their support from the theological seminary, over which the Doctor presides. What they contributed to its funds did not perhaps exceed the contributions of Dr. Mason's congregation. The affair was never brought to a decision, and had it been, Dr. Mason would probably have been victorious; for most of the ministers, who had received their education in New. York, entered into the views of the professor. The peace of that branch of the church has been disturbed, and almost
destroyed; and harmony in their counsels has disappeared. In vindication of the course which he had taken Dr. Mason has published a book, which he entitles“ Catholic Communion,” the object of which is to prove that any Presbyterian who is known to any session as a creditable professor of faith in Christ in any denomination, ought not to be refused occasional communion in celebrating the Lord's supper, by the church under the care of said session. The repose
of this church too has been disturbed in many instances, by a synodical permission to any church to use the Dutch psalmody in their congregational devotions. The act by which this permission was given, passed the synod in 1816, at its sessions, in Philadelphia; and appears to have had for its object a union with the Reformed Dutch church. The result of all these measures has been, that the Associate Reformed church draws near to its dissolution, and will ere long be merged, partly in the general assembly, partly in the Dutch, partly in the Antiburgher, and partly in the Reformed church. Mr. Matthews, the assistant professor, is already pastor of a Dutch churth, the Rev. Arthur Stansbury has joined the general assembly, and is settled in a congregation in Albany; and others of them have joined other churches. Hence, though the synod consists of upwards of sixty ministers, all orthodox, yet its influence in advancing the cause of truth is rather to be estimated from the effect which its members will produce in other relations which they may form, than from their own combined energies.
There has been one instance in this connection of a minis. ter's embracing the Hopkinsian doctrines;-the Rev. Mr. M.Chord, of Kentucky. This gentleman entered into Dr. Mason's views of catholic communion, and received the sacrament of the supper from the hands of a Presbyterian minister in Lexington. He was aware that many of his brethren were exceedingly opposed to this measure, and he wrote a number of essays on the body of Christ, which he published in the Evangelical Record, a magazine edited in Lexington. These essays he afterwards printed in a volume,
with some abridgments and enlargements. He did not conhoe himself to the subject of Catholic communion, but pushed his enquiries into the nature of the covenant of grace and the covenant of works; and introduced various new views, on these constitutions. He maintains that the covenant of works was made with Adam for himself, and so formed that, as his posterity actually come into existence, they are embraced in it, but that it contemplates no definite number. The covenant of grace he considers in the same light, as embracing no one until he comes into existence. On these points he goes extensively into detail, and manifests no small degree of intellectual vigour in the discussion. For the errors, which his book contains, he was brought to trial before the presbytery, and suspended from the exercise of the ministerial office; he appealed to the synod; but on account of his absence, the business did not issue in a regular trial of the appeal. Upon the whole, his system is perhaps no more than a new modification, or a new manner of exhibiting the Hopkinsian opposition to any such imputation and representation as would make it appear that all men sinned in Adam, and that all believers suffered and obeyed in Christ Jesus.
One of the bodies, from which the associate reformed synod originated, the Antibarghers or Associate church, has been visited too with these errors. The Rev. Mr. Duncan, one of its members, published a book, in which he de. nies that the righteousness of Christ is transferred to us; that is, that it is not imputed to us for our justification. He also was suspended for this Hopkinsian aberration; but with some explanations and recantations, he was again restored to his office. This denomination has grown to a considerable size, and has upwards of fifty ministers. With the exception of the doctrine of the civil magistrate's power relative to ecclesiastical affairs, the associate synod adheres to the Westminster confession. They have not altered its letter even on this point, but they receive it with an explanation, or rather a rejection of it, in an exhibition of their principles, which they style, “An Act and Testi
mony." They have a theological school established in Washington county, Pennsylvania, under the care of the Rev. Dr. John Anderson, their professor, a sound divine, and very pious man. He is from Scotland; and has published several books, among which is one entitled Vindicæ Cantus, or a vindication of scriptural psalmody; the object of which is to prove, that no other than divine songs should be used in devotion. The associate Presbyterians use none other, and this constitutes almost the only distinction, between them, and the associate reformed church, except that they are in connection with the Antiburgher synod of Scotland and Ireland, while the latter are connected with the Burghers in those kingdoms. All their influence in this church will be on the side of orthodoxy. They have neither ecclesiastical nor sacramental intercommunion with other denominations. On the subject of faith, there have been warm disputes between the ministers of this body, and those of the general assembly; for the former maintain that assurance of grace, and salvation enter into its nature, while their antagonists deny it. They are generally a pious people, and do not mingle with the world. They profess also a high respect for the covenants that were entered into in Great Britain, between the people and Almighty God.
There has lately sprung up in the west another denomination, who style themselves Reformed Dissenters, and who arose out of a secession from the associate reformed church. The latter body in accommodating their ecclesiastical system to the civil constitutions of the country, made alterations in the Westminster Confession of Faith, in those parts of it, which treat of the power of the civil magistrate in calling ecclesiastical councils. In consequence of these alterations, two ministers, the Rev. Alexander M'Coy and the Rev. Robert Warwick, seceded from them; and with their ruling elders formed a presbytery. This body has ex. hibited a view of its principles and a testimony against errors, which is published in a large pamphlet. Their principles are the same with those of the Westminster divines.
The reformed Presbyterians, or Covenanters, in America, adhere precisely to the creed of their brethren in Great