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minister, by the Rev. R. Soper, of Farringdon, Berkshire. At the close of the morning service, the ministers and several other friends dined together in the Wesleyan School-room, kindly lent for the day. In the evening, the sermon to the church and congregation was preached by the Rev. James Sibree, of Hull. The devotional services were conducted by the Rev. H. F. Rushedt, of Thorne, and the Rev. R. G. Soper, B.A., of Manchester College. The whole of the above services were of a highly interesting and profitable order; and it is hoped that the day will prove but a promise of great good for the future.
ON Thursday, June 19th, the Rev. Willian Urwick, M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, and of the Lancashire Independent College, was ordained to the pastorate of the Congregational church at Hatherlow.
THE new Chapel, erected for the Congregational Church, under the pastoral charge of the Rev. W. C. Frith, was opened on Tuesday, July 1st, 1851, when the attendance of ministers and friends from London and the surrounding country was most encouraging. Two sermons were preached; that in the morning by the Rev. E. Mannering, and that in the afternoon by the Rev. J. W. Richardson, both of London. A public meeting was held in the evening, the pastor occupying the Chair. The following ministers took part in the services of the day, Revs. Messrs. T. Finch, W. Ellis, J. W. Bowhay, T. Hill, and R. Holden; Mr. A. New and Mr. Innell. Dinner was provided in a booth adjoining, the Rev. Dr. Stowell, President of Cheshunt College, occupying the Chair. The total cost of the new building, which is capable of seating about 250 persons, together with the freehold and old chapel, allowing for much gratuitous service given by members of the Established Church, as well as Dissenters, is £300, towards which £160 has been collected, including the collections at the opening, and proceeds of the dinner and tea furnished by the friends without cost to the funds.
ON Tuesday, 15th July, Mr. Henry Stacey, upwards of seven years Town Missionary at Bishop Stortford, was publicly ordained to the pastoral office over the church and congregation assembling in the Independent Chapel, Abbott's Roothing, Essex. Rev. T. Finch, of Harlow, opened the service by reading and prayer; Rev. J. Waddington, of Lon
don, delivered the introductory discourse Rev. C. Barry, of Hatfield Heath, put the questions, and offered the ordination prayer; and the Rev. John Alexander of Norwich, gave the charge from 1 Tim. iv. 16.
In the evening, the Rev. C. Bateman, of Lincoln, the former pastor at Abbott's Roothing, opened the service by reading and prayer, and the Rev. W. A. Hurndall, of Bishop Stortford, preached to the people from Eph. V., part of the second verse," Walk in love."
The church at Abbott's Roothing was founded in the year 1698, and the present Meeting-house, which is large, was built in the year 1729. The Rev. Dr. Watts contributed to the building fund.
Mr. Bateman, the former pastor, preached his farewell sermon on the first Sabbath in February last, and Mr. Stacey, who had been supplying for Mr. B. eight Sabbaths, commenced his stated labours on the second Sabbath in February.
The attendance at the ordination was very numerous. Several of the neighbouring ministers were present.
A SERIES of very interesting services has been lately held in the Independent Chapel, New Conduit-street, King's-square, Morpeth.
The Rev. R. Brindley, of the New College, London, having, about nine months since, accepted the invitation to the pastorate of the Church and Congregation, assembling in the above place of worship, was formally recognized on Thursday, the 3rd of July.
On the previous Sunday, the Rev. E. Henderson, D.D., preached two preparatory sermons. The Rev. J. Brown, of North Walsham, commenced the service by reading and prayer, after which, the Rev. J. S. Russell, of Yarmouth, gave the introductory discourse; the Rev. J. Alexander, of Norwich, asked the usual questions, and offered the ordination prayer; the Rev. S. Martin, of Westminster, gave the charge; and in the evening, the Rev. J. Harris, D.D., Principal of the New College, London, delivered the sermon to the people.
After the morning service, about seventy ladies and gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner, which was served up with good taste by Mr. Bollin, of the Duke's Head Inn, the tables being handsomely garnished with flowers, in pots and stands of the choicest kinds, and which received a large share of admiration from the company assembled.
On the following Sabbath, the newly ordained minister addressed his congregation from 2 Cor. 2nd chap. 16th verse; and in the evening, the late pastor, the Rev. R. Hamilton, preached to the people. The charge, delivered by Mr. Martin, fully sustained his reputation, as did also the sermon of Dr. Harris.
THE Rev. George Shaw, of Rotherham College, has accepted a cordial and unanimous invitation to become the pastor of the Independent church at Patricroft, near Manchester. Mr. Shaw entered upon his stated labours on the third Sabbath in July.
THE Rev. H. F. Holmes, of Wendover, Bucks, has received and accepted the cordial and unanimous invitation of the Church assembling in the Independent Chapel, Grovestreet, Boston, Lincolnshire, and entered on his stated ministry there on Sabbath-day, June the 29th.
BRITISH SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL AMONG THE JEWS, 1, CRESCENT PLACE, BLACKFRIARS.
AMONG the various agencies in operation to extend the dominion of the Lord Jesus, there are very few that possess such claims to the sympathy of the churches of Christ as this. Yet, strange to say, it has not received the amount of support that it is so justly entitled to. Our obligations to the ancient people of God have been forgotten. Generation after generation have been permitted to pass away from the earth, without any attempt being made by the church to diffuse among them the glad tidings of salvation! We, therefore, rejoice that this unsectarian Society exists, and that its constitution and agency render it deserving of the help of all who really love the Redeemer.
At present, the Committee are desirous of calling attention to the Society's operations on the Continent. The readers of this journal are aware that the religious ideas, as well as the social position, of the Jews of Europe, and especially of Germany, have, during the last fifty years, experienced a remarkable series of changes. These changes are justly attributable to Gentile influence. The development of the Jew is necessarily dependent upon that of the people in the midst of whom he dwells. As they are, he aims to be. The reason is obvious. He is conscious of being looked upon with contempt, as a member of an always despised and often proscribed race. Hence, he struggles not only to equal, but to excel his Gentile contemporaries in every path of literature, art, or science open to him. Thus he seeks to make good his claim to respect, when he cannot command esteem or win affection. The sphere of his religious ideas is not exempt from this spirit of emulation; and, therefore, the synagogue has invariably given a clear and vivid reflexion of the forms which the religious life of the German churches has, from time to time, assumed.
When, for example, under the influence of unsound philosophy, and erroneous principles of criticism and interpretation, the divines and
university professors of Germany pronounced the Bible to be a collection of Oriental fables, -when they declared that there was no state of reward, or of retribution after death,—and when they crowned their impiety by denying the personality of God,-the Jew, adopting their principles, imitated their example. The infidelity of the Church produced that of the Synagogue!
On this state of things the Committee are endeavouring to fix the attention of British Christians. It constitutes an almost impregnable barrier in the path of the Missionary. When and where the Talmud was losing, or had lost, its power over the Jewish mind, an opening was found for the introduction of the Scriptures; but now that the Bible itself is placed in the same category with the exploded traditions of the Rabbis, the Society's agents find their need of works that demonstrate the integrity, genuineness, authenticity, and inspiration of the Old and New Testaments. To supply this demand, the Committee ask the help of the churches. We trust that they will not have to ask in vain. Help ought to be rendered at once. But this is not the only reason why it should be so. The Society maintains a college for the education of its Missionaries; it employs nineteen agents, in Palestine, Northern Africa, Gibraltar, Bavaria, Frankfort, France, Holland, London, and in the principal towns in this country. God has smiled upon their efforts. The Scriptures have been circulated where formerly they could gain no entrance, and many who were once the enemies of "the truth as it is in Jesus," have received it "as little children." We therefore trust that the churches will promptly respond to the Society's appeal, and thereby hasten the promised ingathering, which to the Church and to the world will be as "life from the dead."
THE CHURCH OF THE NESTORIANS; OR, THE CHALDEAN CHRISTIANS.
THERE is an interesting chapter in Layard's "Nineveh," devoted to some inquiries into the history of the Nestorian Christians, the chief seat of whose worship-the Kurdish moun
tains, a short distance to the north of the present Mosul, and consequently of the site of ancient Nineveh -- Mr. Layard personally visited. Mr. Layard points attention to the fact, that these Christians have never acknowledged the authority of the Church of Rome; whilst from the time of Nestorius, at all events (A.D. 428), in their government and ritual they have maintained an existence distinct wholly, and independent of that church.
Facts are almost daily turning up, helping us to treat with its merited contempt the foolish taunt, cast at the disciples of our present scriptural churches, "Where was your religion before the time of Luther?" Monastier's History of the Church of the Vaudois, -which Romish persecution has never been able either to subject to itself, or to root out of its fastnesses in the wild Alpine home in which God's mercy has for so many ages sheltered it, has done some service in this respect, as the records of that church, in common with those of this now prostrate and fallen Church of the Nestorians, sufficiently prove the existence of an early primitive Church, from which the Romanists, and not us, have dissented.
The charge, therefore, of novelty, of which some are disposed to make so much, if this witness be true, must lie at the door, not of the disciples of Luther, but of Rome.
We merely examine one of these witnesses now, and, as we have intimated, a sadly fallen witness; yet, even in her fallen and reduced condition, repudiating, as stoutly as ever, all connexion with the See of Rome. The facts are taken mostly from Mr. Layard's volume, from whose personal observation all that relates to their present state was supplied.
The Name of the Church.-This deserves a moment's attention. Giesler states, that they were called by their opponents, "Nestorians," though they called themselves "Chaldean Christians," and in India, "Thomas Christians." With these remarks Mr. Layard's observations strikingly accord. He was not able to ascertain, from the Kurdish Christians themselves, the circumstances in which the name "Nestorians" arose; but inclines to the belief, that it originated with the Romish Missionaries, who, in their disappointed attempts to convert the people, may have found it "necessary and politic to treat them as schismatics, and to bestow upon them a title which conveyed the stigma of heresy." By the Chaldeans themselves the name has ever been disallowed. Thus Ebedjesus, a Chaldean writer of the 14th century, asserts, that the Orientals have not changed the truth, but as they received it from the apostles so have they retained it, without variation. They are therefore called "Nestorians, without reason and injuriously: Nestorius ollowed them, and not they Nestorius." The
name still used by the people themselves is "Chaldani," except when designating any particular tribe: and the Patriarch still styles himself, in his letters and official documents, "The Patriarch of the Chaldeans, or of the Christians of the East."
The Doctrine from which their name has arisen.-To speak, first, of the person from whom this doctrine emanated. Nestorius, prior to his elevation to the See of Constantinople, was a Presbyter of Antioch, where, says Neander, and the remark is worthy of our attention, he was "esteemed and celebrated, on account of the rigid austerity of his life, and the impressive fervour of his preaching". two great points, in their way, in the character of "a good minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." One feature in his history stands prominently forward, viz. his habit to take his doctrines, not from the Church, but from the Scriptures. Such, then, was the man who, about the year of our Lord 428, was raised to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The doctrine of the man, however, is far more difficult to get at than his character. Mr. Layard remarks, that, whilst still denying to the Virgin the title "Mother of God,"
according to the testimony of the ancient Church Historians-"they do not admit, to their full extent, the tenets on account of which they are accused of heresy by the Church of Rome." This fact is of importance in its bearing on the remarks we are about to offer. He further adds, that the distinctions they make on the point in dispute, are however "so subtle and refined, that it is difficult for one who discourses with them to understand that which, most probably, they scarcely comprehend themselves." He appends their Confession of Faith-still repeated twice a day by these Chaldean Christians-which professes to have been settled by three hundred and eighteen Holy Fathers at Nice, "in the time of King Constantine the Pious, on account of Arius-the infidel accursed." It agrees almost, in all respects, with the present Nicene Creed. With reference to the person of Christ, their profession of faith runs thus:
"We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, before all worlds: who was not created,-the true God of the true God-of the same substance with His Father, by whose hands the worlds were made, and all things were created."
And now for the doctrine of Nestorius, as delivered to us by church historians. Το say nothing of the fact, that the correct meaning of the more abstruse distinctions respecting the person of Christ, in which the theology of those distant times delighted to indulge, seems hardly possible, except on a far better knowledge than we possess of the
ation to regard Christ in all points as God (Gieseler's History). Hence their dogmatic adherence to the phrase "Mother of God," to which Nestorius objected; and the consequent virtual substitution of the Virgin, as the great object of Christian worship,-" the Mediator between God and man,”—in the place of Jesus Christ.
Very possibly, in opposing this gross and fundamental error,-where the Divine nature alone was recognised in Christ,-Nestorius may have unduly exalted the human; at all events, if he did not do this, his enemies, we may be quite sure, would do it for him. For my own part, I am wholly unable to believe those accounts of his doctrine, which represent him as separating the Divine and human in Christ, or as allowing to them merely a
which I have given from the Creed of the present Nestorians, coupled with their denial of the doctrine commonly attributed to them, go far, I think, to show, that their Patriarch, in this matter, has been either misrepresented, or misunderstood, or probably both.
terms in which these distinctions were expressed, the mere circumstance, in the case before us, that the doctrine comes down to us through the distorted medium of Romish historians, whether their own, or historiaus of earlier times, adopted and adapted by them, is of little consequence, would hardly allow us to expect, that we should, from such sources, get a faithful record of the points urged by objectors to the "Catholic" faith. We know the monstrous doctrines they have attributed to Luther. Now, suppose he had lived in the 5th century instead of the 16th, how hard a matter it would have been to have ascertained what Luther's doctrines were. We must therefore expect something of the same kind with reference to Nestorius. The history of Luther's times might, how-moral and spiritual union. The extract ever, in face of all such misrepresentations, almost suggest Luther's errand. Let us apply this test to the case before us. In the period preceding the Nestorian controversy, the worship, as we must call it, of the Virgin Mary appears to have been extensively spreading itself throughout the Western Churches. The watchword of this advancing Mariolatry (θεοτοκος, "The Mother of God") represented evidently, in its influence on the popular mind, the root of this wicked superstition. The name "Mother of God" at once embodied and diffused the doctrine. Hence, destroy the name and you destroy the doctrine; so at least appears to have thought Nestorius; and hence on this point he brought all his weapons to bear, as he entered a solemn protest against the name, as unscriptural. Upon this Neander remarks, " His endeavour to keep close to the Holy Scriptures appears worthy of all respect. He very justly offers it as an argument against the use of the former term, that the Holy Scriptures nowhere teach that God, but everywhere that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord, was born of Mary." "This," quoting the words of Nestorius, we all acknowledge, for unhappy is his case who receives not what the Scriptures teach."
Now this does not appear the man who would hazard rash speculations, or trouble himself to elaborate intricate theories respecting the person of Christ. That he entered the arena at all, where such a matter was in debate, was not, we must believe, because he volunteered a new doctrine on this most mysterious point, but because, if he would explode the doctrine of which he was called to attempt the overthrow, he must, in some form or other, exhibit the truth, as he conceived it, respecting Christ's person.
Neander's mode of stating his doctrine would seem to have in it the elements of truth-"He teaches that there were two natures-Deity and Humanity "—" but from the first, in connexion with the duality of natures, there was but one dignity." "Hence one Christ,-one Son of God-inasmuch as the humanity had been taken up into union with the one Eternal Son of God."
If I were asked for a definition of his doctrine, I should be disposed, in the light of the preceding facts, to offer the following, as probably not very far from the truth. Substantially Nestorius taught that Jesus Christ was God and Man, and that in this twofold nature, whilst yet firmly maintaining the one undivided person, he offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
In the consistent, stedfast, persevering maintenance of this great Scripture doctrine of the Apostolic Church, Nestorius endured every species of persecution; submitted not merely to banishment from his see, but to degradation and exile; and after sixteen years' accumulated sufferings from the malice of his enemies, paid with his life the penalty of his anxious, stedfast, unwavering adherence to what he believed to be the doctrines of the Word of the eternal God.
But the matter does not end here. Even in the lifetime of Nestorius, and whilst his enemies were engaged in forging new weapons of persecution against him, these very enemies-the party who had professed themselves so offended by his doctrine-were themselves constrained to sign a Confession of Faith, which conceded the very point for maintaining which this great man was sacrificed by them. Ac
The Western Churches, in their anxiety, seemingly, to escape the Arian error, which contended for two separate and distinct persons in Christ, had recorded their determin-cording to this Confession, says Neander,
"the title, Mother of God, was applied to Mary, in the sense that two natures were united in Christ, while each still remained pure and unmixed in its individuality."
Perhaps few Christian confessors,—perhaps we ought rather to say martyrs,-have ever been privileged, in their own immediate lifetime, to enjoy a greater satisfaction in the triumph of their own principles, "even their enemies themselves being judges," than was here enjoyed by Nestorius. And yet, strange and all but incredible as it may appear, the persecution still raged against him hotter than ever, as though their forced acknowledgment of his doctrine added to their rage.
It was in vain that the members of his own devoted community at this time (A. D. 433) assembled themselves in crowds in the Imperial City, demanding the restoration of their beloved bishop; threatening indeed, when they saw there was no disposition to comply with their request, to set fire to the Patriarchal Church, unless this request was complied with. But this, says, Neander, only the more exasperated his enemies, who grudged him such love of his people.
branch of the primitive apostolic community. After his death new persecutions for his followers were devised. Imperial edicts insultingly ordained that-why, it is difficult to conceive, after the name of the man who had sought to buy the Holy Ghost, the Nestorians should for the future be called "Simonians;" that all the writings of Nestorius should be burnt; that those who should copy, preserve, or read them, should be punished in the severest manner; and that all bishops who ventured to defend the doctrines of Nestorius should be deposed. As the result of the opposition called forth by them, and other kindred "catholic" measures, a large number of the Tyrian bishops-who, in the midst, possibly, of much other error, still held fast by the principle, "My kingdom is not of this world," could not bring themselves to bow to the authority of the Emperor Theodosius, or to deny the truth which they had so long cherished-withdrew wholly and for ever from the church of emperors and Romish bishops, and emigrated-not to found a new church, but, like our own pilgrim fathers, to set up, under more favourable auspices, the standard of the old-to the kingdom of Persia, where, as we may see on another occasion, they long constituted a distinct and flourishing com
And what does all this go to prove, but that it was not the doctrine of Nestorius that so exasperated them. This could not now with decency be alleged. The "unpardon-munity. able sin" of this man of God, for which even the extremest charity of his enemies could find no excuse, must be sought for, I apprehend, in the fact that, with him, the authority of Scripture was paramount to that of the Church. For this, in those growing days of church domination, we may readily conceive, there could be no forgiveness.
Hence the abuse to which imperial edicts condescended. Hence the nicknames by which these same edicts designated the foul | malignant, who had dared to avow his acceptance of the authority of Christ, rather than that of the emperor, calling him now an Arius, now a Porphyry, and now a Simon Magus. Hence the application made to the emperor by the incipient pope, as we may term him, Coelestine, at that time Bishop of Rome, to remove this propagator of "blas. phemous errors," that it might be put out of his power to lead others astray.
And this most charitable prayer of Rome was granted assuredly to the heart's content of our Catholic (?) Coelestine, as the aged Nestorius was driven from the "dwellings of men" to the African desert, where, first, from the incursions of the native barbarians, and then, from the cruelty of the Roman governor of the district in which, after escaping from the former, he took refuge, he continued exposed to every species of indignity and insult, until death at length kindly interfered, to terminate at once his exile and his sorrows.
And now for the church of Nestorius, as a
Let us hear no more about the novelty of Protestantism, when here we have as early as the first half of the 5th century, the highest authority of the Eastern Church, with multitudes of bishops like-minded with himself, solemnly protesting against the errors which others were seeking to introduce into the church of Christ, and contending, at the sacrifice of means, reputations, and even of life itself, for the conservation of the primitive apostolic doctrine, as contained, not in the decrees of councils and synods, but in the inspired words of the "faith once delivered to the saints."
As we have intimated at the outset of this paper, the remains of this pilgrim church of A. D. 440 still exist, breathing the free air of the Kurdish mountains, in the retreat in which Mr. Layard found them-as a monument, if nothing more, like the worn and fragmentary inscriptions of some portions of the Assyrian ruins, which his enterprising hand disinterred from the grave-like heaps of Nineveh,-testifying, if not to all that we could wish, at least most plainly to this: that if we would look for a church entitled to take to itself the name of " Apostolic," we must go back some centuries earlier than the period when first the authority of the bishops of Rome became dominant. Here is a church, which has always repudiated their authoritywhich repudiates it still-which, moreover, as contrasted with the age of their own church, represents the age of Nestorius as of