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ophy. They both recommend and practise, as a Christian duty, submission to lawful authority; but they do not think that a man by becoming a Christian, or joining their society, is under any obligation by the rules of the gospel to renounce his right of private judgment upon matters of public or private importance. Upon all such subjects they allow each other to think and act as each may see it his duty; and they require nothing more of the members than a uniform and steady profession of the apostolic faith, and a suitable walk and conversation. See Acts 17; 11. Rom. 10: 9. The Berean doctrines have found converts in various parts of Europe and America.


THIS denomination of Christians of the Congregational order, are chiefly descendants of the English Puritans, who founded most of the early settlements in New England. They derive their name from JOHN CALVIN, who was born at Nogen, in Picardy, in 1509. Calvin was made professor of divinity at Geneva, 1536, and was remarkable for his genius, learning and eloquence. He took an early part in the reformation, and by his zeal and labors, much was effected towards its accomplishment. He died at Geneva, in the year 1564.

The Calvinists are divided into three parties-High, Strict and Moderate. The High Calvinists favor the HOPKINSIAN System. The Moderate Calvinists embrace the leading features of Calvin's doctrine, but object to some parts; particularly to his views of the doctrines of predestination and the extent of the design of Christ's death. While they hold to the election of grace, they do not believe that God has reprobated any of his creatures. They believe that the atonement is in its nature general, but in its application particular; and that free salvation is to be preached to sinners indiscriminately. The doctrines of the Strict Calvinists are those of Calvin himself, as established at the Synod of Dort, A. D. 1618, and are as follow, viz:

1. They maintain that God hath chosen a certain number of the fallen race of Adam in Christ, before the foundation of the world, unto eternal glory, according to his immutable purpose, and of his free grace and love, without the least foresight of faith, good works, or any conditions performed by the creature; and that the rest of mankind he was pleased to pass by, and ordain to dishonor and wrath, for their sins, to the praise of his vindictive justice. See Prov. 16: 4. Rom. 9: from verse 11 to end of chapter.-8: 30. Eph. 1: 4. Acts 13: 48.

2. They maintain that though the death of Christ be a most perfect sacrifice, and satisfaction for sins, of infinite value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world; and though on this ground the gospel is to be preached to all mankind indiscriminately; yet it was the will of God that Christ, by the blood of the cross, should efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who

were from eternity elected to salvation, and given to him by the Father. See Ps. 33: 11. John 6: 37.-10: 11.-17: 9.

3. They maintain that mankind are totally depraved, in consequence of the fall of the first man, who, being their public head, his sin involved the corruption of all his posterity, and which corruption extends over the whole soul, and renders it unable to turn to God, or to do any thing truly good, and exposes it to his righteous displeasure, both in this world and that which is to come. See Gen. 8: 21. Ps. 14: 2, 3. Rom. 3: 10, 11, 12, &c.—4: 14.—5: 19. Gal. 3: 10. 2 Cor. 3: 6, 7.

4. They maintain that all whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased, in his appointed time, effectually to call by his word and Spirit out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. See Eph. 1: 19.-2: 1, 5. Phil. 2: 13. Rom. 3: 27. 1 Cor. 1: 31. Titus 3: 5.

5. Lastly: They maintain that those whom God has effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, shall never finally fall from a state of grace. They admit that true believers may fall partially, and would fall totally and finally but for the mercy and faithfulness of God, who keepeth the feet of his saints; also, that he who bestoweth the grace of perseverance, bestoweth it by means of reading and hearing the word, meditation, exhortations, threatenings, and promises; but that none of these things imply the possibility of a believer's falling from a state of justification. See Isa. 53: 4, 5, 6.-54: 10. Jer. 32: 38, 40. Rom. 8: 38, 39. John 4: 14.–6: 39.-10: 28.-11: 26. James 1: 17. 1 Pet. 2: 25. (See Orthodox Creed and Hopkinsians. Also, Note C. in the Appendix.)


Or Christians, sometimes erroneously pronounced Chris-tians. This is a religious denomination of recent origin in the United States, and among the last that has arisen, which from its numbers and character, has attained much consideration and influence. Its beginning may be dated about the year 1800; and the circumstances attending its rise and progress are somewhat peculiar. This class of believers recognise no individual as a leader or founder. They have no Calvin, or Luther, or Wesley, to whom they refer as an authority for articles of faith, or rules of practice. The denomination seems to have sprung up almost simultaneously in different and remote parts of the country, without any preliminary interchange of sentiments or concerted plan of action. Their leading purposes, at first, appear to have been, not so much to establish any peculiar and distinctive doctrines, as to assert, for individuals and churches, more liberty and independence in relation to matters of faith and of practice; to shake off the authority of human creeds and the shackles of prescribed modes and forms, to make the Bible their only guide, claiming for every man the right to be his own expositor of it; to judge for himself what are its doctrines and re

quirements, and in practice, to follow more strictly the simplicity of the apostles and primitive Christians.

This, then, more than any other, appears to be the distinctive principle of the Christian denomination. Holding the belief to be indispensable, that the Scriptures were given by inspiration, that they are of divine authority, and that they are the only sufficient rule for the moral government and direction of man, they maintain that every man has the right to be his own interpreter of them; and that diversity of sentiment is not a bar to church fellowship, while the very basis of other, or most sects, and their condition of communion, seems to be an agreement to a particular interpretation of the Bible, a concurrence of sentiment in relation to its doctrines. With these views, the Christian Connexion, profess to deprecate what they consider an undue influence of a mere sectarian spirit, a tenacious adherence to particular dogmas, as an infringement of Christian liberty, as adverse to the genius of the gospel, and the practical influence of true religion. They maintain that this spirit enters too much into the principles and regulations by which religious bodies are generally governed.

In New England, where the Connexion seems first to have attracted attention by any public demonstration, or organization as a distinct class of believers, it was composed principally of individuals who separated from the Calvinistic Baptists. Soon after the formation of their first church, several larger churches of the Calvinistic Baptists declared themselves independent of the Baptist Association, and united with them. The Freewill, and Six-Principles Baptists, opened their doors to their ministers, and it was expected that they would ultimately amalgamate; they, however, still continue distinct, with very amicable relations subsisting between them. In the Southern States, their first associations consisted mostly of seceders from the Methodists, and in the Western States from the Presbyterians. Prompted by the leading motives which have been stated to the formation of an independent connexion, the individuals who first composed it, still held many of the doctrines, and cherished a prejudice in favor of some of the usages and practices of the sects from which they had respectfully withdrawn. Hence we can scarcely affirm, with justice, that any doctrine was, at first, held by them in common, or as a body; their distinguishing characteristic being universal toleration. At first, they were generally Trinitarians; but subsequently they have, almost unanimously, rejected the doctrine of three equal persons in the Godhead, as unscriptural.

But though toleration is still their predominant principle, and it would be wide of the truth to say that any doctrine is universally held by the Connexion, or is considered indispensable to membership, still it may be asserted with confidence, that discussion in their periodicals, personal intercourse and conference, have produced a manifest approximation to unanimity of sentiment, and that the following would be regarded in general as the leading principles of Christianity: "That the Holy Scriptures, including the


books of the Old and New Testaments, contain a full revelation of the will of God concerning man, and are alone sufficient for every thing relating to the faith and practice of a Christian, and were given by the inspiration of God. That the holy Scriptures are addressed to the reason of man, and may be understood, and that every individual possesses the unalienable right of reading them; and of exercising his own judgment with regard to their true import and meaning. That there is but one living and true God, the Father Almighty, who is unoriginated, infinite and eternal; the creator and preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and that this God is one spiritual intelligence, one infinite mind, ever the same, never varying. That this one God is the moral governor of the world, the absolute source of all the blessings of nature, providence, and grace; in whose infinite wisdom, goodness, and benevolence have originated all the moral dispensations to man. man is a free agent, never being impelled by any necessitating influence to either do good or evil, but has it continually in his power to choose the life or death set before him; on which ground he is an accountable being and answerable for all his actions; and on this ground alone he is the proper subject of rewards and punishment. That all men sin and come short of the glory of God. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the promised Messiah and Saviour of the world; that there is salvation in no other name, and that he is able to save to the uttermost all that will come to God by him. That Jesus Christ, in pursuance of the glorious plan of salvation, and for the benefit of all mankind without distinction, submitted to the painful and ignominious death of the cross, by which death the New Covenant was sealed, ratified, and confirmed; so that henceforth his blood is the blood of the everlasting covenant, and the gospel is the new covenant in his blood, and that on the third day after his crucifixion he was raised from the dead by the power of God. That the pardon of sin is communicated through the mediation of Jesus Christ, through his sufferings and death, and is received by repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. That God freely forgives sin on the ground of his own rich mercy in Christ Jesus, and not on account of any merit or worthiness in the creature, so that we are justified freely by his grace. That the Holy Spirit is the power and energy of God, that holy influence of God, by whose agency in the use of means, the wicked are regenerated, sanctified, and converted to a holy and a virtuous life; and that the saints, by the same Spirit in the use of means, are comforted, strengthened and led in the path of duty. That the souls of all truly penitent believers may be cleansed from the defilements of sin, and be brought into a state of holiness and purity with God, and by continued obedience live in a justified state before him. That the whole period of human life is a state of probation, in every part of which a sinner may repent and turn to God, and also in every part of which a believer may relapse into sin and fall from the grace of God; and that this possibility of rising and liability to falling, are essential to a state of trial and probation. That all the promises and threatenings of the gospel are


conditional, as they regard man with reference to his well-being, here and hereafter, and that on this ground alone the sacred writing can be consistently interpreted, or rightly understood. Jesus Christ has ordained two institutions, which are to be perpetually observed, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is to be administered on a profession of faith in the Christian religion, by which the candidate engages to renounce his sins, and walk in newness of life; the Lord's Supper is to be frequently observed by all true believers, in commemoration of his sufferings and death, by which death the New Covenant was confirmed. That there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. there will be a day of judgment, after which, all will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body."


The principles on which their churches were at first constituted, and upon which they still stand, are the following: The Scriptures (without any written creed) are taken for the only rule of faith and practice, each individual being at liberty to determine for himself, in relation to these matters, what they enjoin. No member is subject to the loss of church fellowship on account of his sincere and conscientious belief, so long as he manifestly lives a pious and devout life. No member is subject to discipline and church censure, but for disorderly and immoral conduct. The name Christian to be adopted, to the exclusion of all sectarian names, as the most appropriate designation of the body and its members. The only condition or test of admission as a member of a church, is a personal profession of the Christian religion, accompanied with satisfactory evidence of sincerity and piety, and a determination to live according to the divine rule or the gospel of Christ. Each church is considered an independent body, possessing exclusive authority to regulate and govern its own affairs.

For the purpose of promoting the great interest and prosperity of the Connexion by mutual efforts and joint councils, Associations were formed, called Conferences. Ministers and churches, represented by delegates, formed themselves in each State into one or more conferences, called State Conferences. One delegate from each of the State Conferences constitute a body, denominated the "Christian General Book Association." This body takes the charge of the books, and periodicals designed for the general good of the body. It is not an ecclesiastical body. In twenty of the States, there are between thirty and forty State Conferences; one in Upper Canada, and one in New Brunswick. The number of ministers is about 800, communicants from 100 to 150,000, hearers 300,000.

They have recently established a Seminary and Manual Labor Institution, denominated The New England Christian Academy, located at Beverly, Mass.

The education of many of the ministers of the Connexion, who universally preach extempore, is defective. Their maxim has been, "let him who understands the gospel teach it." They have considered the preparation of the heart more important than the embellishment of the mind. They have, notwithstanding, many

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