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exhibited. I am fully persuaded, that whoever can claim a pan in the communion of saints, has a right to be admitted to every communion of such, or ought not to be admitted to any. If I count myself the nearer heaven for the church I belong to, it is a sure proof that I am as ignorantof the true church as of what is passing in the heavens. While in love, and in the spirit of meekness, we desire to come within the divine sphere of attraction, to be one in Christ,—all bitterness, and wrath, and hard thoughts, and hard speeches, will be put away from us, as becometh saints. We will no longer pride ourselves upon what church we belong to, but give due diligence to make our calling and election sure, by holding fast the head, Christ, and growing into one holy temple in the Lord, an habitation for God through the spirit." Such were the "last thoughts " of an eminent saint, and I aver, that such is the true language, and spirit of christianity ;—and who will venture to assert the contrary? Yet are christians excluded, by their brethren, upon the most trivial differences. They cast out of the church those for whom Christ died, saying, "Let the Lord be glorified," and assume, with self-satisfaction, and with all the air of infallibility, that what they have done (in the matter of separation) on earth, will be ratified in heaven. On the subject of such christian (or rather unchristian) divisions, Dr. Franklin has the following pertinent remark. "In regard to future bliss," says he, " I cannot help imagining, that multitudes of the zealously orthodox, of different denominations, who, on account of their differences, expect, at the last day, to see each other damned, will be disappointed, and obliged to rest satisfied and contented with their own salvation."
You will often hear poor, weak creatures, inveighing against what they are pleased to call "mixed communion." (That is— children of the same heavenly family, all holding the same head, but a little divided, in opinion, on some things of minor importance.) And, in support of their anti-christian separations from each other, they will point you to such passages as the following— "Be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgement."—How foolish such reasoning! I also can point you to a passage that enjoins—" Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Must we, therefore, look for that perfection in each other, which is to be found in God? I maintain, that christians are running counter to the genuine spirit of that christianity taught in the Bible, who declare they can have no christian fellowship with each other, in any one thing, unless there is a complete union of sentiment in every thing. On these principles there is no such thing as christian fellowship; for there is no such real union of sentiment to be found:—It does not exist, but in hypocrisy, in any one christian church, or assembly. »
I am fully persuaded, that the pride of a dominant religion, and the assumed superiority, so prevalent in almost every sect, or party, is one of the greatest obstacles to the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, and to the furtlierance of Hie true church. I have conversed with persons belonging to a particular sect, and the people composing that sect, were amongst the fewest in number of any religous denomination in Scotland. In that conversation, they have unreservedly declared, that there might be christians, in other connexions, but they were not warranted to recognise them as such; and, in short, that they could recognise none as belonging to Christ's visible church, who werenot in tlieir connexion. Isitnotpresumptuous for one out of forty or fifty different denominations of Christians, and that one amongst the fewest in number, and not more exemplary for piety than many of the others, to say, " We only are the visible ehurch,"—" We are the people, and wisdom shall die with.us." It is the duty of christians to think, and judge for themselves, and, while divisions of sentiment do exist, it is their duty, unquestionably, to unite in church-fellowship with those (within the reach of their communion) whose sentiments most accord with their own. But, should not the very fact, that a variety of sentiments does exist among christians, fill us with shame, and humility, and operate as a salutary check to presumption, and self-confidence: and, should not this teach us moderation and forbearance, towards those•who differ from us? But pride is the great obstacle in the way; it is, in short, the radical evil in the hearts of mankind, and is so subtile as to be fostered, even under the garb of humility and zeal for religion. Humility, on the other hand, adorns the possessor of it, whatever be his rank or condition in life; but it is that quality that, above all others, adorns the christian character. It is, in truth, the greatest ornament of human nature, and that which restores, as it were, proud fallen man. How suitable the exhortations of the Apostle Peter,—and how becoming, and how necessary for every christian to attend to,—" Ye younger submit yourselves unto the elder; yea all of you be subject one to another, for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble—humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Truly, humility becometh well those who are redeemed by grace!
To conclude:—When I take the principles of the Calvinists and Arminians, separately, I find the former teaching, or at least inferring, that God made the greater part of men to be endless monuments of his wrath. The latter declaring the love of God to all, but admitting his failure in restoring the greater part. But by admitting the doctrine that I am stating, it would tend to remove the difficulties of both, and to harmonize those otherwise irreconcilable passages of scripture, at which they stumble. And ; this I aver; that although many things which I have stated, may, on account of their disagreement with the prevailing notions and sentiments, be termed heterodox, it will be difficult, by the standard of the Bible, Truth, and Reason, to make them error; but whether heterodox, or orthodox, my opinions, / have not received them of man, they are formed from the scriptures alone.
ON THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF CHRIST S ATONEMENT.
Extracts from the Writings of Mr. Archibald M'Lean, and
I had the pleasure of being; personally acquainted with the late Mr. Archibald M'lean, one of the pastors of the Baptist Church, Edinburgh, of which church I was a member. There are few religious publications, that I esteem more than the writings of Mr. M'Lean. Very few, in his connexion, with whom I was acquainted, possessed such a liberality of sentiment, and benevolence of mind. I was lately reading a discourse of his on the extent of Christ's Kingdom, from which I shall give you some extracts, with a few reflections that occurred to me on reading the same.
"It is that kingdom," he remarks, "which, in the economy of redemption, the Father hath given to his Son, whom he hath constituted heir of all things.—(Psal. ii. 6, 7, 8.; Mat. xi. 27.; Luke xxii. 29.; Heb. i. 2.) Its foundation is laid on Christ's death and resurrection, and was conferred upon bim, as the reward of his obedience unto death, (Isa. liii. 10, 12.; Phil. ii. 8, 12.; Heb. i. 3, 10.)
"Here we have a promise, that all the ends of the world shall be made subject unto Christ, and that his dominion shall extend over the heathen. We may notice, first, The extensiveness of this promise, 'All ends of the earth; All the kindreds of the nations.' There are a great many promises to the same purpose, which are expressed in terms equally universal. The great gospel promise made unto Abraham ran thus, 'In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.'—(Gen. xii. 3.) Hereby Abraham was made 'the heir of the world.'—(Rom. iv. 13), not in his own person, but in his seed which is Christ.—(Gal. iii. 16.) Agreeably to this it is prophecied of the King Messiah, that' all nations shall serve him' that 'men shall be blessed in him, and all nations shall call him blessed.'—(Psah lxxii. ix. 17.) The Lord hath said, 'I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory '—' All flesh shall come and worship before me.'— (Isa. lxvi. 18, 23.; Psal. lxv. 2.; Jer. iii, 17.) Again, the reason assigned for the subjection of all nations to Christ, is this' For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he is the Governor among the nations.'
"All nations of mankind had revolted from God their Creator, and rightful Sovereign, and yielded themselves up to the usurped dominion of Satan, the god of this world, whom they served in all manner of idoltary, &c.—(Rom. i. 21, 32.; Ephes. ii. 2, 3.) and 90 had become liable to the just vengeance of Almighty God for their rebellion against him,—(Rom. iii. 19.) But God, out of infinite mercy, sent his only begotten Son into the world, to destroy the kingdom of Satan,—redeem men from his power and dominion— reconcile them unto himself, and procure for them the remission of sins, and eternal life, (John iii. 16., cap. xii. 31.; Col. ii. 15.; Heb. ii. 14.; Rom. v. 8, 11.) Again, some texts express (' that he is Lord of all;') in general terms, 'All things are delivered unto me of my Father'—(Mat. xi. 27.) 'The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand,'— (John iii. 35.) And upon the expression 'all things? the Apostle observes ' For in that he put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him,' (Heb. ii. 8.), so that it must be understood in the largest sense."
He observes farther, "If the Kingdom is the Lord's and his Christ's, every thing he has purposed respecting it must infallibly take effect, however impossible it may appear in the eyes of men. His faithfulness is pledged to make good all his promises, respecting the universal extent of his kingdom. Some of these promises we have already cited, and it is not possible they should fail, because it is impossible with God to lie.
"But we may observe farther," says he, "that he hath confirmed all these promises with the most solemn oath. He calls upon all the ends of the earth to look unto him and be saved—and their obeying this call is not left to a peradventure; for he adds, 'I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That to me every knee shall bow,' &c. Again, the Apostle Paul declares the same thing, 'God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which U above every name,' and the design was, 'That at the name of