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considered as the same with the fovereign's ? Indeed the language of St. Paul, through the whole of this epiftle, is so very high, that we cannot enough wonder at its being supposed to give the smallest countenance to the power of the people in pafling the sentence of excommunication, or in re-admitting the penitent. 66 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye, be obedient in all things.'
“ I told you before, and foretel you as if I were present, the second time, and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have finned, and to all other, that if I come again, I will not spare.” “I write these things being absent, but being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord bath given me to edification, and not to destruction.”
Sensible, perhaps, that these expressions. lend little support to the independent scheme, Dr. Campbell translates the words sjetiliula auin Ý UTEO TWV TRELCI@V, “ the censure which was inflicted by the community," instead of “ this punishment, which was inflicted of many;" thus infinuating, that the incestuous person was excommunicated by a vote of the congregation. But this is directly contrary to fact; for St. Paul, in his fi.ft epiftle which was sent by TIMOTHY to the church at Corinth, speaking of the fame delinquent, fays,
“ I verily, as absent in body, but present in fpirit, have judged already, (neugixo) as though I were present, concerning him that haih so done this deed'; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my fpirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Saiän, for the destruction of the flesh," &c.
He then enjoins them to surge out from among them the excommunicated person, not to keep company with him, and with such a one, no not eat. This treatment would of course bring him into public disgrace; but disrace which is the literal translation of eruice*, was a part of the punishment, which the community only could inflict, though it was objerved by the apostle.
Whatever confidunce St. Paul might have in the discretion and in. tegrity of the elders of the church of Corinth, and we believe it would have been difficult for Dr. Campbell to prove that it was to any
other than the elders, he said, “ to whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive alfo," he could hardly have such confidence in the congregation at large, as to constitute a set of men judges of the moral conduct of each other, who had got drunk together † in the house of God at the very
* Of this we think there is no room for doubt. Honour it cannot poffibly mean in this place; and yet it is certainly derived from sitipaw, as that word is ultimately either from qiw, or from the Hebrew words tome, which fignifies to defile or pollute, or to become ile or contemptible. If this Hebrew word be the radix, our translation, is unquestionably juft ; and though, piw especially in the middle voice, frequently fignises I punish, the punishment implied must have a reference to Monour. * See it. Epift. Chap. rith. ver. ziit.
celebration of the Lord's fupper! Indeed the majority of much foberer congregations than that of Corinth, must then have had their heads so full of heathen notions as to render them altogether unfit to administer the discipline of the church ; and even now in this enlightened nation, it is impossible to suppose that there are not many parishes in which the majority of the people know so very little of the peculiar doctrines of the goipel, and of the principles of Christian morality, that no man of coinmon sense can deem them adequate judges of each other's faith, or each other's practice. But, says the ingenious lecturer, .cvery congregation at large is entrusted with the administration of discipline by the divine founder of the church ; and therefore all reasonings about their fitness for the office is useless.
True; all reasonings about the fitness of any class of men for an office to which they are appointed by our blessed Lord, are worse than useless--they are impious; but where is the evidence of this appoint.* ment? The pasiage, quot d as such by Dr. Campbell, could not lead a converted Jew to suppose, that when he should tell the church that his brother had offended him, the offender was to be judged by the whole congregation ; for that passage points out a method of discipline strikingly similar to that which was observed in the synagogue, where every thing relating to the morals of the people, the admiffion of proselytes, and the expulfion of offenders, was determined, not by the congregation, but by the apurouveywyou quippe quibus incubuit summa rerum cura et summa potestes, says Dr. Lightfoot. We quote this author with peculiar satisfaction, because his learning is universally acknowledged, whilst he cannot be accused, as we dhall probably be of pleading the cause of Priestly domination. Yet, in his Hore Hebraicæ in Evangelium Matthæi, et in Epift. prim. ad Corinthios, he gives so full a view of the process of Jewish excommunication, and so completely establishes the absolute authority of the rulers of the fynagogue, especially of the Angelus Ecclefiæ or Épiscopus Congregationis, that no one, we will venture to say, can read these two tracts impartially, without being convinced, that it could not possibly enter into the heads of the disciples, that our Saviour, by referring the offences of Christians to the church, meant to subject them to the jurisdiction of the multitude.
We have, however, stronger evidence, if possible, even than this, that such could not be his intention ; for, when he instituted the facrament of baptism, which Dr. Campbell acknowledges to be the rite of regular admision into the church, he did not commit the adminiftration of it to the disciples at large, but to a select number, whom he fent with authority fimilar to that with which he had himself been sent by his father. But a fociety into which members could be admitted only by one order of men, and from which offenders could be expelled only by the votes of the majority, so far from being "a body fitly joined together," as St. Paul describes the Christian church, would be such a Babel of confusion as myft quickly be dis
solved by the unavoidable jarring of its own members.
When our blefled Lord therefore directs offenders to be punished by the church, he must be understood to mean, by the sentence of the governors of the church; just as when we say, that a criminal has suffered civil punishment, we always mean by the sentence of the proper magistrate, and not by that of the community at large.
Though we differ thus widely from the learned principal respecting the government of the primitive church, we heartily agree with him, that the subjects over which ihe had an inherent jurisdiction were quite different from questions merely regarding right or property: “ The one is more analogous to a criminal, the other, to a civil process. Two persons may differ in regard to the title to a particular subject, each claiming it as his, though neither accuse the other of injurious or unchristian treatment.” The claim of right can be determined only by the law of the land or by voluntary arbitration ! ; an accusation of unchristian conduct falls under the inherent jurisdiction of the church. We agree with him likewise in believing, that the extensive jurisdiction, which even in fecular affairs was conferred on the bishops by Constantine and other Christian emperors, contributed to corrupt the fimplicity of the original constitution of the church, as well as of the manners of the clergy; but we think that he greatly aggravates the corruption proceeding from that source, and we are certain that he contradicts all antiquity, not excepting the Scriptures of the New Testament, when he says that “ Justinian first
allotted to the episcopal tribunal, the ecclefiaftical delinquencies of . clergymen !” Did Justinian live before St. Cyprian? We know not what character to give of that part of the lecture, in which he says, that“ the great engine of the magistrate is terror; of the pastor love; and that the pastor must forbear threatening." St. Paul threatened, and exhorted Timothy to reprove. Were not St. Paul and Timothy pastors!
But we pass over these things, and hasten to notice the calumnies, which, in this lecture, we meet with against the church of England. Previous to these, the learned author gives a very favourable view of the discipline of his own church, which we shall not controvert, both because we are in a great measure strangers to that discipline, and because it would be hard not to allow a Scotch professor of divinity to say, unchallenged, what can be said in behalf of a church, of which he has hithertó laboured to prove that the government and discipline bear hardly any resemblance to the government and discipline of the original church of Christ. But Dr. Campbell might have praised his own church, without belying the Church of England. That he has belied her is most evident; for he has more than intinuated (Pp. 72, 73) that the test was contrived to “ compel men by the coarse implements of human authority and worldly sanctions,” to embrace her communion; whereas it is universally known, that the test was forced upon Charles II, chiefly by the diffenting interest, not to compel men to unite themselves to the Church of England, but to exclude Papists
from civil offices. When our author fays, that “ecclefiaftical censures in England have now no regard, agreeably to their original destination, to purity and manners,” he directly contradicts the rubric prefixed to the communion in the book of Common Prayer, a rubric which constitutes part of the law of the land as well as of the constitution of the church. If he meant, by this impertinent obfervation, only to infinuate, that ecclesiastical discipline is relaxed in England; we beg leave to ask his partizans, whether it be not likewise relaxed in Scotland, and whether it be as customary now as formerly to exhibit fornicators on the flool of repentance?' We have heard, but we do not vouch for its truth, that it is not uncommon, among the Scottish clergy, to refuse the facrament of baptism to the children of parents whose moral conduct has riot been unexceptionable. That such an absurd and impious practice is authorized by the church of Scotland, we have too great a regard for that church to suppose; but if it be connived at by her judicatories, to the extent that we have been led to believe, it ill became Dr. Campbell to revide the Church of England for her abuse of discipline ; for such an attempt by weak fallible men to visit the sins of the fathers on the children is a greater corruption than any that he has mentioned as resulting from the test act. He should have taken the THORN out of his own eye, before he declaimed against the rnote in his brother's eye.
We have seen Dr. Campbell labouring to prove that the constitution of the Christian Church was, by the appointment of the Divine founder, congregational and democratical. It was not, therefore, without some degree of surprise, that we found him asserting, in the beginning of his fourth lecture, that the question in regard to the original form of church government is comparatively of little importance; that this or that form is merely a circumstance; nay that any ecclefiaftical polity whatever “ is a circumftantial no where either explicitly declared, or implicitly suggested in all the look of God!!" If this be so, by what means came the learned author to discover that the congregational form of Church Government (see our last Review)
was clearly pointed out to the first Christians by Christ himself.” We most cordially agree with him that “the effence of Christianity abstractedly considered,” or indeed any how considered, “ consists in the system of doctrines and duties revealed by our Lord Jesus Chrift" either immediately while he fojourned on earth, or through the medium of the holy spirit after his ascension into Heaven ; * and that the essence of the Christian character consists in the belief of the one, and the obedience of the other.” But in the system of duties, revealed through the medium of the holy spirit to the apostle, “obedience to those who have a right to rule over us and to watch for our fouls," is expressly mentioned; and therefore since it is impossible to conceive how such rights as this can be possessed by any man or order of men, who have not derived them from the supreme bishop of fouls, it mult surely be a matter of high importance to ascertain ; if we can,
what was the original form of Church Government, because to that government alone can such obedience be due ?
The doctor indeed allows, “ that a certain external model of government must have been originally adopted for the more effectual preservation of the evangelical institution in its native purity, and for the careful transmision of it to after ages.” He allows likewise “that a presumptuous encrwachment on what is evidently so instituted, is juftly reprehensible in those who are properly chargeable with such en
croachment;” but he contends that the reprehension can affect those only who are conscious of the guilt; “ for the fault of another, says 'he, will never frustrate to me the divine promise given by the Messiah, the great interpreter of the father, the faithful and true witness to all indiscriminately, without any limitation, that he who receiveth his testimony hath everlasting life.”
There is a sense in which this reasoning is unaswerable, and in that sense we are willing to receive it ; but we must have leave to add, that among those, whom the reprehension will most certainly affect, are all, who, having discovered, that the church, of which they are members, has, in the essentials of her constitution, deviated from the original model, yet continue in her communion, without la. bouring to bring her back to that standard of purity. Were the writer of this article as much convinced, as Dr. Campbell feems to have been, that the original constitution of the Church was democratical and congregational, he could not, without guilt, equal to that of those who first encroached on the rights of the people, continue for one day a member of either of our national establishments
. " Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partaker of her fins," is as much addressed to all, who are in fuch circumstances, as it was to those whom the Apocalypt called immediately out of Babylon. This, we think, can he denied by no man, who admits with our author, that a certain external model of government must have been originally adopted for the careful transmision of the evangelical insticution to after ages; for that institution, as we all know, is to be transmitted to the end of the world, and therefore the model of government adapted for that purpose could not have been intended to be of shorter duration. To admit the Doctor's premises and refuse our conclufion would be an absurdity equal to that of him, who, being entrusted by an absent Lord with the care of a vineyard, round which it had been found necessary to erect a fence fix feet high, should yet let the fence remain at the height of two feet, because it had been reduced to that level, not by himself, but by his great-grandfather when holding the office which he now fills.
But, says our ingenious lecturer, the original constitution of the church cannot be ascertained without great learning; and “ that fyftem must convey a strange idea of revelation, which exhibits it, 2, in respect of the truths necessary to be known by all, perfectly mute to the unlearned, and of service only to linguists, critics, and antiquaries,” And are not the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures equally