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his pen delivered in the first place, as addresses or sermons, from the pulpit. The whole movement looks to the establishment in due time, of a Bible Church, a Bible School, a Bible Asylum, and a Bible Press ; by which several interests, it is hoped, some proper beginning may be made towards the actualization of true Bible Christianity, in the way of needful supply for the natural, intellectual and spiritual wants of the world.

Of Mr. Craig's ecclesiastical history we have no knowledge. His location is Peapack, Somerset Co., in the State of New Jersey. The Religious Society, in whose service his sermon now before us makes its appearance, is not willing to be regarded, he tells us, as the nucleus of a new sect. It believes, "ihat God has but One Church; to which belong all who have submitted to him, and are striving to do his will." No sect then can be recognised as this Church, because no one is co-extensive with the entire discipleship of Christ. For the same reason, because there is but one faith, no particular sect can have this to itself alone in its separate confession or creed. acknowledge the Bible," says Mr. Craig, "as the sole authority in all matters of christian faith and life ;' which amounts to a real distinction, he tells us, from nearly all the religious denominations in the world; as notwithstanding the familiar watchword, The Bible alone is the Religion of Protestants, it is but too notorious that every sect has its own rule of faith besides this, to which it requires assent and submission as the price of full christian brotherhood. The Church needs no such legislation; Christ only has a right to draw up articles of faith, or to make laws, for bis people." The moment a man takes upon himself

“ a to dictate to his fellow man what he must find in the Bible, and what he must not find there; that moment he receives the mark of the prophetic Man of Sin. The man who makes a creed, or draws up a summary of articles of faith, and says to his brother, Subscribe these articles, or I will not fellowship you, whoever he be, whether the Pope of Rome or a Protestani Minister, that man has usurped the throne of the lawgiver, and is Antichrist.” This is the right of private judgment, certainly, 10 soine purpose.

“ It is awful,” says the New Hall preacher, ** 10 meddle with the Word of God. That Word is the power of God unto salvation. The destiny of present and unborn millions is suspended upon it. God in his infinite wiedoin bas given us the amount of truth which the world needs; and he has given it in the best and most useful form. Man has no right either to change the faith of the Church, or to alter its form. Not only are the doctrines of the Word given of God, VOL. II.-NO. IV.


but the form in which those doctrines are presented is also of God. Had God known that his truth could be more useful to some of his creatures in another form—say for instance in the form of the Presbyterian or Methodist creed-he would no doubt have given it in that form. But he has not. .

On the contrary, he commands us to receive and preserve his words in the form which he has given. 'Hold fast the form of sound words, writes the Apostle to his friend and fellow laborer, Timothy.

The form in which the one faith of Christ's Church is embodied, is authoritative and divine. Neither individuals, nor churches, nor synods, nor presbyteries, nor conferences, nor councils, have anything to do with the 'one faith' of Christ's Church, except to obey it.”-P. 11. Creeds, in the view of this system, are always wrong. They add to the Bible, or leave something out, wronging its authority seriously in either case. They are of the nature of chains moreover, such as the mind of one age has no right to impose on the mind of another. They stand in the way of freedom and progress; and it is a duty according. ly which the christian world owes to itself, to burst them asunder wherever they come in its way. A new era in this respect is proclaimed as near at hand. The very spirit which has seemed to some good men in Europe as the coming of Antichrist, or the letting loose of Satan, is hailed by Mr. Craig as the most favorable distinction of the age

“The Church is coming up from the wilderness! Who can doubt it? Compare the last half century with any of its predecessors since the Primitive Age. How striking and peculiar its characteristics ! Look at its unprecedented progress, its mental activity, &c.—Truth-loving men are multiplying; they dare to question the dogmas which in darker times men feared 10 touch, and now the hoary errors are descending to the tomb. The conflict of the sects has come, and they are performing their God-appointed work of mutual annihilation. The enlightened and ihe good of all sects, are forgetting their sectarian distinctions and approaching each other in love. They are the Army of Reform. Upon their banners are inscribed PROGRESS and BroTHERHOOD.P. 20.

It is hardly necessary for us to say, that we allow a certain measure of reason and right to this “ Undenominational Christianiiy,” as we find it arrayed here against the reigning sect system of the modern Protestant world. We too hold this system to be a great evil. In a special tract on the subject, (* Antichrist, or the Spirit of Sect and Schism”—N. Y. 1848), we have taken pains to show, that it forms indeed, in conjunction with its natural counterpart Rationalisın, the very power of the antichristian apostacy itself, as described by St. John, under its present Protestant form. It is against the Bible of course ; but only as it is, before that, against the life and constitution of Christianity, as this comes before us in Christ. The unity of the Church flows, not simply from the appointment of Christ, but from his nature; and it is not possible for it to be denied, accordingly, either theoretically or practically, without a denial at the same time, openly or by implication, of the proper mystery of the Incarnation. This mystery is the real, and not simply docetic, “coming of Christ in the flesh;" his entrance truly into the general order of man's life; the incorporation of his higher nature, by indissoluble bond, with the substance of humanity in its universal view. Such a relation implies necessarily a deeper and more comprehensive force, than all that the world is found to possess in the way of power besides. It must underlie and rule, so far as it is righily acknowledged, all other relations. No distinctions and divisions then can bold fairly among men, which are not carried in the bosom of this unity, the sense of what Christ is as the inmost and last meaning of man's life, the sum and comprehension of the world's bistory. Let the individual reason affect to make itself the fulcrum of truth, on the outside of Christ, measuring and settling in such extrinsic style the truth of his mission, or the credibility of his doctrine, and we have at once Rationalism in proper form. Let the individual will take the lead in the same way, and the result will be the development of Sect. In either case, the true universalness of Christ, the sense of Christianity as the real whole of our moral being, is subordinated to what in its own nature is but an inferior interest ; the greater is made to serve the less ; the “ obedience of faith" sinks into the character of a mere satellite to authority under some other form. Antichrist in this way takes the place of Christ; speaking in his name, and

pretending to represent his person; but in truth substituting for his actual presence fulsely another conception altogether, and thus turning the mystery of the incarnation into a Guostic figment. The sect principle, the idea of religion that leads to sects and justifies them as right and good, carries with it constitutionally this antichristian character. It may be joined with much that is good, but it is still in itse Whole theory of Christianity. The

ulte bad always and opposed 10 Christ. utehe whole Christian world secretly condemns it; .ERU where it may appear to be defended, it will be found always that regard is had in the case to some other interest rather than to the proper honor of Christ and his gospel. The truth is however, as we all know that even the appearance of any such defence under a direct and open form, is for the most part carefully avoided. Our religious literature, together with our ecclesiastical policy, may be said to connive largely at the evil, quietly assuming its necessity, and frowning into silence all discussion of its merits as unprofitable, “ agitation;" but neither of these interests is prepared ordinarly still, to give its weight openly and fully in favor of what is thus allowed. What theologian would risk his credit, by writing a book in vindication of the sect system? Who thinks of signalizing himself in this way, even by a tract or an article in one of our more respectable reviews ? What minister feels it expedient to plead the cause of sects in his pulpit, as he would plead the cause of missions, or any other acknowledged christian interest? What ecclesiastical body would dare to take action of any sort, having for its object directly the encouragement and perpetuation of this system, as the glory of Protestantism and the promise of the millenium ? The fashion, so far as outward talk and speech go, lies altogether the other way. All sects unite in deploring the misery of a divided christianity, and are ready on fit occasion to pass resolutions and make speeches in favor of unity, toleration, charity, and peace. All this means a great deal. It shows that the sect system is an abomination, and that the inmost voice of Christianity is against it, with all the pains that may be taken to disguise or forget the fact.

In a practical view, the mischievous working of the system, at this time particularly in our own country, is great beyond all that can be readily conceived or expressed. While its tyranny continues to be what it is now, we can have no vigorous theology, no sound and healthy piety, as the general privilege of the Chureh. On this subject however we do not care here particularly to enlarge.

We are glad then, in the case before us and in other cases, to see the tyranny of this system challenged and resisted. It is an evil that calls for rebellion. We confess moreover, that on the ground occupied by the sect system itself, we see not how it can make answer successfully to the protest of Mr. Stockton, Mr. Craig, or any vihor man who may be pleased to step forward in the same way as the chance of Bible Christianily; nor how it can pretend consistently to conui. accouni in any way, for ihe assertion of such or call them to

it'äill. freedom. For is it not a fixed principle with all sects, ble is the only rule of faith and practice; and that the only sure and safe key for getting at the sense of this, is the mind of every man left to study it for himself with the help of the Holy Ghost ? Do they not all build professedly, from alpha to omega, on the same great Protestant watchword : “ The open Bible and Private Judgment !” Is it not a settled maxim again with this system, that an old ecclesiastical communion may be forsaken, ought to be forsaken, and a new one formed, as often as the lib. erty of conscience, in the use of such private judgment, is found to require such change? Is it not the boast of the sect spirit, from time immemorial, to be the enemy thus of all church despotism, and the friend of the most unbounded spiritual independence? What plea then can it put in against the use of such liberty, to the full extent of a renunciation of all church authority, as we find it here exercised by Mr. Stockton and Mr. Craig ? The Canandaigua Convention, denouncing the whole sect system as it now stands, and doing this on Bible principles, must be taken according to this theory to rest on just as good a foundation ecclesiastically, as any denominational convocation in the land. For what forms the ground of ecclesiastical right or power in any case? The Bible. And how is the Bible for this purpose, we ask again, to be interpreted and understood ? By ihe ability simply that every man may have, with God's help, to get at its meaning. And why then should not the authority of the Canandaigua Convention be full as much to the purpose here, as that of any common sectarian organization. Or why should not the ecodus of Mr. Stockton from the Methodist Protestant Church, and from the whole idea of church organization, be just as much entitled to respect, on sect principles, as the exodus of this M. P. Church itself from the Methodist Episcopal Church, or a little farther back still the exodus of the M. E. Church from the Episcopal Church of England? We see not, we say, how any effectual exception, in the sect world, can be taken to his course. The M. P. Church, it seems, is somewhat of the same mind; as he is allowed apparently to retire from its authority, and set up for himself, without any sort of ecclesiastical inquisition or account. So far, all right. The premises remain square with the conclusion. Mere toleration however in such a case, whether civil or ecclesiascal, is not enough. We may have that, and along with it only pity and contempt. To do full justice to the sect principle, as sects commonly make a boast of holding it, Mr. Stockton should not only be tolerated by the body he has left behind, as well as by other bodies, but cordially taken by the hand also all round, and welcomed into the circle of free and independent witnesses of the truth. Has he not made earnest with the great maxiın, which

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