Imatges de pàgina

right in itself and justifiable on principles of strict equity. It seems to me however, that danger is to be apprehended to the church, from the proximity of a body of men so numerous, so artful in their plans, so indefatigable in their efforts, and at the same time bearing the same name with us.

Pastor. There is danger from this source, against which we should not close our eyes. It is of a two-fold character. First, it is to be apprehended, nay, it is certain, that the separatists will employ untiring diligence in attempting to create dissatisfaction in orthodox churches, and in seizing upon any local differences to organize factions against the settled ministry, with the ultimate view of erecting opposition churches. Their success in this method of encroachment has hitherto been very limited, and perhaps this in a measure is to be attributed to their want of pecuniary means to build churches for all the little factions which they might nourish into being. The other evil is more threatening. It is the insidious return of those who ought not to be in the church, because not cordially attached to its principles. Of course none should be prevented from returning who mani. fest a true and sincere change of views, and who give evi. dence that they abhor the modern heresies, and the policy which would protect them; but then there is danger of Pres. byterians being deceived by plausible and crafty professions. The orthodox have always been distinguished by their unsuspicious temper, and it is to be feared that they have retained too much of that easy eredulity which has once proved so nearly fatal in leading them to confide in men who deal in double meanings. Besides, many of the separatists are uneasy in their present position; they are united neither in faith nor feeling; they have had, and must expect to have collisions, among themselves; they cannot long remain in one body, and hence many would be glad to return to the Presbyterian church as a place of desirable refuge. This is to be deprecated. Far better that the church should be small than that it should multiply its numbers by the addition of men who had already attempted to betray its interests.



Could my voice be heard throughout the church, I would solemnly caution the Presbyteries to take heed upon what grounds they admitted a single man, who during a controversy of ten years, had uniformly been found on the side of error. Very strong evidences of a change of opinion should be demanded in such a case. The sin of the church in this generation will be great, if after all the warnings and rebukes it has received, all the suffering it has endured, it shall by its carelessness and unfaithfulness, do the very thing which at a future day will inevitably involve the church in another desolating controversy. We have the gates and walls of the city in our possession, and it must be our own fault if any enemy effects an entrance. Our hope however must be in God. He has been with us in many tribulations, and he will not now leave us. To Him should increasing prayer be made. He can guard the Zion which he loves, and which he has redeemed, and if intrusted to his hands by the prayer of faith, no weapon formed against it can prosper.









Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by

in the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the

Eastern District of Pennsylvania.




• How shall a man be just with God ?" is surely the most important question which can possibly be conceived. To be beloved by our friends, to be secure from the assaults of our enemies, to stand well with the world, and enjoy the favour of those who possess power and influence, are objects naturally desirable; and, as these things contribute to our happiness on earth, their pursuit, so far as it does not interfere with higher and nobler interests, is reasonable. But when we consider, that our continuance in this world, and our possession of its good things, is only for a short period, and that we are destined to an immortal existence beyond the grave, and are accountable for our conduct while in the body; so that our future happiness or misery will depend upon our character, and be measured by our conduct in this life, all temporal interests vanish into insignificance, in the comparison with those which are eternal. Of what account will it be a million of years hence, what our condition was here, whether we were rich or poor, honourable or despised, happy or miserable; but then, and through eternity, it will be of infinite importance, whether we became reconciled to God and lived humbly and piously while inhabitants of earth. It may indeed be alleged, that God our Maker is infinitely good, and will not deal severely with his erring creatures ; and, therefore, we may venture into eternity, entertaining the confident assurance that it will be well with us hereafter. This is, indeed, a plausible and flattering doctrine, and men are much inclined to believe that which affords them present comfort ; and it is by no means an agreeable task to disturb that peace which men seem to enjoy, on this ground, but as it is utterly fallacious, duty demands that we should plainly tell them that this is a sandy foundation. If we were innocent, then might we willingly and boldly appear in the presence of our Judge: for no one of his creatures need ever fear that he will treat them with injustice But if we are all transgressors, the more holy God is, the more reason have we to expect punishment. The hope ol

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