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ferent from the old forms and doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, except in the articles of the decrees, and atonement, and the literary qualifications of candidates for the ministry. In the preface they say they have endeavoured to erase from the old Confession the idea of fatality only, which has long since appeared to them to be taught in part of that book,
In the Shorter Catechism, for instance, the following answers will be found to be different from what they are in the Assembly's Catechism.
Quest. 7. What are the decrees of God?
Ans. The decrees of God are his purpose, whereby, according to the council of his own will, he hath foreordained to bring to pass what shall be for his own glory. Sin not being for God's glory, therefore he hath pot decreed it.
Quest. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
Ans. No. God of his mere good pleasure and love did provide salvation for all mankind, by giving his Son to make atonement for them, that he whu believeth should not perish but have eternal life.
Quest. 31. Assembly's. What is effectual calling?
Quest. 82. Assembly's. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
Cumberland. Is any man able perfectly to keep the moral law?
It is presumed that this body of professing christians have already given up as impracticable and absurd one of the principal causes of their separation from the Synod of Kentucky. They.certainly do not now admit men to the work of the ministry among them upon their adopting the Confession of Faith only so far as it appears to correspond with the Scriptures. Hence, in their Form of Church Government, the following question is directed to be put to every candidate for license and ordination, viz:
Quest. Do you sincerely adopt the Confession of Faith of this church as containing the system of doctrine taught in the holy Scriptures?
Hence, also, in the report of the Synodical Committee on the state of religion already quoted, we have these words: “No departure from the excellent standards of
your church have been discovered, but a more marked attachment to those rules."
By looking back to that report we find also that a very honourable testimony is paid to the necessity of Presbyteries being attentive to the inprovement of their candidates and licentiates in literature and divinity.
Upon the whole, we are disposed to believe that the Cumberland Presbyterians have embodied with them a considerable stock of well informed active piety, and notwithstanding their irregularities and speculative errors, they hold, the Head, and the gospel is faithfully and fervently preached among them, and the regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit is known and felt in their assemblies, and we trust also that the time shall
come when he who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock.
Clerical pride, under the specious name of great concern for souls that were perishing, was perhaps the great cause of the separation. “Not a novice, lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil,” is a direction full of meaning, and will apply to church courts and bodies of men as well as to individuals. While we are not to yield implicit obedience to any body of men, and while we are not to receive without examination any doctrines, however long they may have been considered as according with Scripture, yet we ought to be very cautious of allowing the impulse of the momerrt, or the impulse of the day, to set us in direct opposition to authority which has at least given some evidence that it is the authority of heaven, and of rejecting doctrines, as unscriptural, which have been often examined, and often adopted by men who were undoubtedly, to a very great extent, under tbe teaching of the Holy Ghost.
THE CHRISTIAN-OR NEW LIGHT,--OR so
CINIAN CHURCH OF KENTUCKY.
To give an appropriate name to any class of men, whether religion or politics is concerned, is frequently
a difficult task. It is plain, that every distinct class must have a name to distinguish it from all others; but as both friends and foes claim and exercise the privilege of giving the name, and as all human societies frequently change both their opinions and character, very opposite names may, at the same time, be given to the same class; and a name which may at one time be very appropriate and expressive, may, under other circumstances, be ill applied, and eren unintelligible.
The people of whom we propose to give a short sketch in the following article, had their origin at the second meeting of the Synod of Kentucky, which was in Sept. 1803. They have been known in the language of the day under various names: They have assumed to themselves the exclusive name of “The Christian Church.” They have usually been called "New Lights, or Stoneites,”' &c. &c. and if they are known at all in the future history of the church, they will be denominated Pelagian, or Socinian Heretics, Such an historian as Milner will at least thus name them.
At the above mentioned meeting of Synod, two members of Synod were charged with having been active in disseminating doctrines contrary to the publicly received doctrines of the Presbyterian church. And though scarcely any individual doubted the fact, yet there was a great deal of difficulty in bringing the accused to a legal trial. And after all the legal difficulties connected with the form in which the matter was to be tried had been settled, the accused brethren, and three others,' handed in their protest and declinature.
A great variety of means, both judicial and extra-judicial, were used during the sessions of Synod to bring these brethren to a sense of their duty. But all attempts failing, the Synod, after due deliberation, solemnly suspended them from all the functions of the ho.. ly ministry, until sorrow and repentance for their schismatical dispositions should be manifested. Their congregations were also, as usual in such cases, declared vacant, and commissioners were appointed to publish the sentence of suspension in these congregations, and to exhort the people to unity and peace.
The time which elapsed between the meeting of Synod in Sept. 1803, and the meeting in Oct. 1804, was a serious and important period. The suspended brethren possessing considerable popular powers, and aided by an enthusiasm in religion, considerably above the ordinary feeling, pushed their triumphs over orthodoxy and good order, through the whole territories of Synod. Scarcely a congregation escaped unhurt-and many were altogether annihilated. And from the pamphlets and tracts which were issued by the party this year, there is considerable evidence that they considered their triumphs to be complete and universal. A small tract, issued by them in June, concludes thus:
“We hereby inform you, that we have made an apa pointment for a general meeting of christians at Bethel, seven miles below Lexington, on Thursday before the second sabbath of October next. The design of this meeting is, to celebrate the feast of love, and unite in prayer to God for the cutpouring of his Spirit. The place of meeting was chosen as a centre for the states