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Churches recently gathered from the wilds of Africa, thé degraded inha. bitants of the Sandwich Islands, or the miserable devotees of Hindoo Idolatry? If in the best instructed and best regulated Churches in Christendom, a majority of the members are utterly unqualified to participate in the government of the sacred family ; what can be expected of those recent, and necessarily dubious converts from blind heathenism, who must, of course, be babes in knowledge and experience, who are surrounded with ignorance and brutality, and have just been snatched them selves from the same degradation? Surely if we may say, with propriety, of some nations, who bave recently thrown off the chains of slavery, to which they had long been accustomed, that they were not prepared for a republican form of government; with still more confidence may we maintain, that, whoever may be prepared to take part in the government of the Church, the poor novices, in the situation supposed, are totally unqualified. Even if the popular form of ecclesiastical polity could be considered as well adapted to the case of a people of more enlightened and elevated character, which may well be questioned ; -it must be pronounced altogether unfit for a Church made up of such materials. Now it is the glory of the gospel, that it is adapted to all people, and all states of society. Of course, that form of ecclesiastical government which is not of a similar stamp, affords much ground of suspicion that it is not of God, and ought to be rejected.

“But further ; if the greater part of the members of the Church were much better qualified than they commonly are, for co-operating in its government, would their co-operation be likely to be really obtained in a prompt, steady, and faithful manner? All experience pronounces that it would not. We know that there are few things, in the government and regulation of the Church, more irksome to our natural feelings, than doing what fidelity requires, in cases of discipline. When the ministers of religion are called upon to dispense truth, to instruct, to exbrort, and to administer sacraments, they engage in that in which we may suppose pious men habitually to delight; and to be always ready to proceed with alacrity. But we may say of the business of ecclesiastical discipline, that it is the strange work,' even of the pious and faithful. It is, in its own báture, an unacceptable and unwelcome employinent. To take cogs mizance of delinquencies in faith or practice; to admonish offenders ; to call them, when åecessary, before the proper tribunal ; to seck out and array proof with fidelity; to drag insidious error and artful wicked. tress from their hiding places; and to suspend, or excommunicate from the privileges of the Church, when the honor of religion, and the best interests of the body of Christ, call for these measures ;-is painful work to every benevolent mind. It is a work in which no man is willing to engage, unless constrained by a sense of duty. Even those who are bound by official obligation to undertake the task, are too apt to shrink from it; but where there is no particular obligation lying on any one member of the church, more than another to take an active interest in this work the consequence will probably be, that few will be disposed to engage in the self-denying duty. Where all are equally bound, all may be equally backward, or negligent, without feeling themselves chargeable with any special delinquency. And, what is worthy of notice, those who will be most apt to go forward in this work, and proffer their aid with most rea, diness, will generally be the bold, the vain, the ardent, the rash, the im: petuous,--precisely those who are, of all persons living, the most unfit

for such an employment. But ever if it were otherwise, if all the men, bers of the Church were equally forward and active, what might be expected in a religious community, when every member of that community was equally a ruler ; and when the most ignorant and cbildish busybody among them, might be continually tampering with its government, and fomenting disturbances, with as much potency as the most intelligent and wise? The truth is, in such a community, tranquillity, order and peace could scarcely be expected, long together, to have any place.

“If, then, the maintenance of discipline be essential to the purity and edification of the Church ; if enlightened, impartial, and efficient inspec. tion and discipline, especially over a large congregation, cannot possibly be maintained by the pastor alone; if it would be unsafe, and probably mischievous in its influence on all concerned, to devolve the whole authority and responsibility of conducting the government of a Church on a single individual ; if it would, especially, in all probability, essentially injure the clerical character to be thus, systematically, made the depository of so much power, without control, and without appeal; if every other mode of furnishing each Church with a plurality of rulers, besides that for which we contend, would either deprive a great majority of our Churches of the means of grace altogether; or, by bringing ministers within their reach, reduce and degrade the ministerial office far below the standard which the Scriptures require : -If these things be so—then we are conducted unavoidably to the conclusion, that such officers as those for which we contend, are absolutely necessary : that, although a Church may exist, and, for a time, may flourish without them; yet, that the best interests of the Church cannot be systematically and steadfastly pursued without these or some other offices of equivalent powers and duties.

“I shall close this chapter with the following extract from Dr. Owen, when speaking of the importance and necessity of the office of Ruling Elders in the Church. It is evident, says he, that neither the purity nor the order, nor the beauty or glory of the Churches of Christ, nor the representation of his own majesty and authority in the government of them, can long be preserved without A MULTIPLICATION OF ELDERS IN THEM, according to the proportion of their respective members, for their rule and guidance. And for want hereof bave Churches of old, and of late, either degenerated into anarchy and confusion, their self-rule being managed with vain disputes and janglings, unto their division and ruin; or else giving up themselves unto the domination of some prelatical teachers, to rule them at their pleasure, which proved the bane and poi. son of all the primitive Churches ; and they will and must do so in the neglect of this order for the future.'»*

NOTICES OF BOOKS.

THE IRISH SABBATH SCHOOL MAGAZINE. Phillips, Belfast.

Five monthly numbers of this little work have already been published. As the title imports, it is devoted exclusively to the objects of Sabbathschools: and these interesting and important scenes of labour are well entitled to occupy the pages of a periodical. It will be the object of the

• OWEN's True Nature of a Gospel Church, 4to. p. 178.

Editor to collect information respecting Sabbath-schools; to circulate instruction upon the best principles and methods of teaching; to encourage those engaged in the work ; and to show the happy effects of dirigent and faithful labouring in these interesting fields. We cordially wish him all the success he can desire in his useful undertaking.

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MILLENARIANISM INDEFENSIBLE. A Reply to Beggs' Defence

of that System. In Six Letters to a Friend. Gardner, Paisley. P. p. 132.

1832.

We know of few more humbling proofs of the superficial theology and sickly piety of these times than the reception which Mr. Beggs' work on the Millennium, has met with from the religious public. It has passed through several editions, and yet in an age of sound knowledge and lively Christianity, it must have fallen still-born from the press. Ignorance, and dogmatism, and fanaticism, are the characteristics of its pages, and yet it is the text-book of the Millenarian school. The writer of these Ictters has thought it needed a reply, and he has furnished one worthy of a sound Theologian. He lays hold of the principles on which Mr. Beggs proceeds, and completely subverts them, showing that they have no foun. dation, either in reason or Scripture. The subjects which he discusses are the following. In the first letter be examines the principle of literal interpretation of the Scriptures, for which Mr. Beggs contends, and demonstrates that it is indefensible. · In the second he discusses the doctrine of Christ's personal coming in the Millenium, and shows that the texts quoted to prove it are ioapplicable. In the third he takes up the subject of the first and second resurrection, and proves, that instead of both being understood literally, the one must be interpreted spiritually, and the other literally. In the fourth and fifth he exposes the monstrous doctrine, that the ancient sacrifices are to be restored in the Millennium. And in the sixth he rescues the doctrine of the Scriptures respecting the new Jerusalem, and the new heavens arid earth from the misinterpretations of the modern Millenarians. Thus in a few pages the author has entered into the substance of the controversy, and he has said enough to convince every candid student of the Scriptures, that the new-light is only darkness. The small size and cheapness of the work render it accessible to all, and we hope it will be generally read. It is greatly to be deplored, that the blessed doctrine of the Millennium, as taught in the Scriptures, should have prejudices raised against it by the absurdities taught under its name; but so it has ever been, that Christ should be wounded in the house of his friends. In a little time the fooleries that have been taught for religious doctrines will disappear, as they have ever done before ; but we trust they will leave one benefit behind them, by Teason of having excited to a more careful study of the Scriptures --. better understanding of the important truths, of which they were a earricature.

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AN INDEX to the BOOK of the PSALMS; with Notes on every Psalm.

By JAMES M'GAVIN. Gardner, Paisley. P. p. 102. 1832.

Suco a book as this has long been a desideratum. Its principal use will be to assist the preacher in finding suitable Psalms for whatever may have been the subject of his discourse. Nor will it be without its use in the family or the closet, where there may be a desire to find any topic of religious truth, or any exercise of religious feeling, as it is expressed in the devotional compositions of the sweet singer of Israel. Every congre. gation is a witness with what effect a Psalm, appropriate to the discourse that has just been delivered, is heard and sung; yet the preacher has often been perplexed to find such a one. This little volume is intended to be helpful to him in such a selection ; and so far as we have had opportunity of examining, we think it well calculated to answer the purpose.

THE WESTMINSTEP. CONFESSION of FAITH, with Proofs from

Scripture ; qnd the Directory for Family Worship, with the shorter Catechism and Proofs at large from Scripture. "Gardner, Paisley. 1832.

The great advantage of this little volume is, that it will render its yalu. able contents more accessible to the public than they have hitherto been. The size and price secure tbis end." And how desirable it is that these important works should be more read and better understood. There is more sound theology in the Confession of Faith or the shorter Catechism than in any work, we had almost said than in all the works, which have appeared since the date of their publication. A neglect of them has been a principal cause of the flood of error that has for years been flowing in upon this country, of scepticism on the one hand, and fanaticism on the other. We cannot therefore but rejoice in any attempt to bring these standards of truth more prominently before the public mind, and to place them more conveniently in the hands of the public. And we do trust that the advantage thus offered will be generally and gratefully embraced, in the speedy purchase and diligent study of this cheap and valuable little volume.

RELIGIOUS. INTELLIGENCE..

ORDINATIONS.-Op the 5th inst., the Rey. Samuel Armor was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Congregation of Ineh. The services were conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Canding, Grey, and Ellison.

On the 5th inst., the Rev, Daniel G. Brown, of Moy, was ordained to the pastoral charge of the united Congregations of Creggan and Newtonhamilton. The services of the day were conducted by Messrs. Dill, Orr, Bell, Jenkins, and Henry,

On the 7th instant, the Rev. Samuel Taylor Wray was ordained to the pastoral charge of the 1st Congregation of Donaghady. The services were conducted by Rev. Messrs. Hemphill, Armor, and Clarke,

On the 12th inst., the Rev. George Steen was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Congregation of Newtonlimavady, in connexion with the Synod of Vlster. The services of the day, were conducted by the Rev. J. Bellis, Rev. Mr. Whiteside, and Rev. John Brown, Moderator of the General Synod.

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It is very

remarkable how Christian churches and Christian men, having the holy Scriptures in their hands, can, notwithstanding, habitually live in the violation or neglect of some of their plainest requirements, never appearing to recognise their authority or feel their own accountability. In no case has this been more observable than with reference to Christian missions. Churches have been organized, and established, and continued in the enjoyment of numberless privileges, while the obligation of extending the principles of Christianity has never been felt by them. And men have been found, blessed with all the privileges of the Christian profession, who yet never have been known seriously to address their attention to the propagation of the Gospel. We shall endeavour to collect some of the principles obviously laid down in the Scriptures on this important subject.

1. Christianity was at the beginning designed, by its Author, to be the religion of the world. The commission to preach it is universal, and yet at the same time the most minute. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”. Mark xvi. 15; Matt. xxviii. 20. All the world-every creature in all the world—every creature in all the world unto the end of the world ;-these are the limits, and the only limits, of the commission. Until it shall have been executed to the full extent of these limits, the original command of Christ will never have been obeyed. At first it was correctly understood by the preachers of the cross. The apostles, and those who laboured with them, never thought of limiting their labours within a narrower compass than the known world. “ They went every where preaching the word." They understood the saying literally," the field is the world,” and acted accordingly. And had their spirit continued in the church, in a few centuries the whole earth would have been blessed with the knowledge of Christ. Very soon, however, a different

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