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thought proper to criticise with all the asperity he could employ. So then, at last, we are both heretics together.—What a strange creature is man!

I hope that I have fairly disabused myself of the unjust and cruel insinuation of a want of integrity, as to the matter of subscription. If it has not been done to the satisfaction of the reader, I shall never return to it again, and shall hear of its renewal with composed silence. My feelings, on such a subject, are housed under the protection of a good conscience, and my heart is safe. Deeply regretting that any necessity existed to notice the review at all, and particularly that such a long explanation had become requisite, I now part from its author, hoping that it may be our happy lot to meet on that holy mount, where nothing shall hurt or destroy; in that home of the redeemed, where there is fulness of joy, and where there are pleasures forevermore. There the sectarian shall be found a spiritualised man; human inventions shall be forgotten, as the unsanctified elements of earthly strife; and God shall be ALL AND


The following remarks, on the Rise, Use and Unlawfulness of Creeds and Confessions of Faith are now given to the public, because it is conceived that the Lecture and the Review have furnished a very unfair view of the utility and importance of these ecclesiastical rules; and because these two publications, as has already been stated, have, in the minds of their readers, identified the con

troversy on this subject with my ministerial character. I do not deny the views which are ascribed to me: That is to say, I am an undisguised advocate of the following truths:-That God alone is Lord of conscience, and that his Bible is the only rule of faith and practice: Or, if the reader pleases, that church courts and human Creeds or Confessions, are not entitled, in any shape whatever, to control the human conscience. If these things be true, and if contrary principles of ecclesiastical policy are in operation in the church, the subject is worth an elaborate discussion. And if my discourse has particularly associated me with that subject in the public mind, I dare not decline to state my reasons for the opinions which have been advanced. Yet most cheerfully would the important cause be yielded into other hands, if any other advocate, to whom the church might be more willing to listen, would take it up. Under these feelings, and with these views, I write.

Though the early ages of the Christian Church are briefly reviewed in the first part of these remarks, and the testimony of such historians as were within my reach is freely quoted, yet I attach very little importance to any argu ment that may be derived from that source:For, admitting that human Creeds were then in favour and fashion, the fact would only prove these instruments of human authority to be lawful, by human authority. And can any given number of human witnesses, however learned

and holy they may be, and however frequently and unanimously they may declare their testimony, prove that one human being has a right to control the conscience of another human being? If our political ideas and institutions were subjected to such a process of reasoning, it would certainly follow that we have no right to be an independent nation; and that these United States were traitorous indeed, when they refused to live any longer in colonial servitude; for political despotism and hereditary rulers have long enslaved the human mind. We Americans say, that all men of right ought to be free, and that the people are the fountain of political power. If some sagacious statesman should rise to prove these principles unsound and dangerous, because they were not recognized in ancient times, when Nebuchadnezzar kindled his "burning fiery furnace," or when Tarquin despised the approbation of public assemblies, and trampled on the decisions of the Senate, who would listen to him? We have a political charter of our own, which we chose to frame for ourselves, and which other nations have been copying out in blood. The argument is equally futile in ecclesiastical matters; and if carried out, would prove that the Pope is of right our sovereign lord, both in church and state. The Scriptures alone are of any avail here; and if they have declared that God is the only Lord of conscience, and have forbidden any man, or any set of men, to usurp his prerogative, then the united testimony of all ages in sustaining con

trary principles, would only demonstrate the lamentable corruption of all ages. The argument must be taken fairly and freely from the Bible itself; and the authority of human Creeds must be established by divine right. Controversialists on ecclesiastical order most strenuously insist on this; and they do as they ought to do. Let them change terms, and give the argument they so loudly call for.

Then it may be asked, why has any appeal been made to ecclesiastical historians at all in these pages? I reply because that reference had been made to the early ages of the church, by those who have undertaken to defend Creeds and Confessions; because that reference cannot be sustained; and because the argument, in its present condition, seems to require it: though still such materials of reasoning cannot settle the question on either side. The Bible is the charter of our spiritual freedom: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." On the argument, therefore, that is to be derived from the Scriptures alone, must this cause finally rest; and in this view, every prayerful and attentive reader of God's word, is fully competent to decide for himself, though he had never read another page of ecclesiastical history, nor ever heard of the opinions of either the Apostolical or later Fathers.

It may be necessary for me here to state, that I am not courting controversy with any man, who may think it incumbent on him to reply. The

duties of a pastoral charge are arduous enough, and are attended by exhausting anxieties enough, to occupy the heart, and fill up the time, of a minister of the gospel. Perhaps this production may be permitted to sink into an early grave. Be it so. Then some louder voice may hereafter rouse the public mind from its lethargy, and more successfully proclaim to mankind what are their religious rights. Perhaps a rejoinder may very quickly appear. If so, whoever may undertake it, I ask him, for his own sake, as well as for the sake of religious truth, to show himself an honorable opponent; and to write on a christian subject, as though he knew it ought to be handled in a christian spirit. Let him be "valiant for the truth upon the earth;" but let him discuss the subject, not the man. Be the present writer what he may, or however his offended brethren may be pleased to estimate what he has written, the subject itself is of the most dignified and exalted kind. It involves the growth of immortal spirits; the habits of christian living; all that generous and benevolent effort which the churches are making for the regeneration of the world; the glory of God, and the present and everlasting interests of all mankind.

The day is at hand, when all this shall be seen, and most distinctly seen too, whatever obloquy they may now incur, who have hazarded almost every thing that is dear to them in a contest with public opinion. A happier hour is coming, when ministers and their people shall look at things AS THEY ARE; and when they shall

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