« ZurückWeiter »
cated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereunto.
Art. XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church. It is not neccessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like ; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the Traditions and Ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly (that other may fear to do the like) as he that offendeth against the common Order of the Church, and hurteth the Authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak Brethren.
Every particular or National Church hath Authority to ordain, change, and abolish Ceremonies or Rites of the Church, ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to
Art. XXXV. Of Homilies. The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined, under this Article doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these Times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, wbich were set forth in the time of Edward the sixth ; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.
Of the Names of the Homilies. 1. Of the right Use of the Church.-2. Against peril of Idolatry.-3. Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.-4. Of good Works : first of Fasting: -5. Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.-6. Against excess of Apparel.—7. Of Prayer. 8. Of the place and Time of Prayer.-9. That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known Tongue.-10. Of the reverent Estimation of God's Word.-11. Of Alms-doing.-12. Of the Nativity of Christ. -13. Of the Passion of Christ.-14. Of the Resurrection of Christ.-15. Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Chirst. 16. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.-17. For the Rogation-days.--18. Of the State of Matrimony.-19. Of Repentance.-20. Against Idleness.--21. Against Rebellion.
Art. XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and ordering of Priests and Deacons, as set forth by the General Convention of this Church in 1772, doth contain all things necessary to such consecration and ordering ; neither hath it any thing that, of itself,
is superstitious and ungodly : and, therefore, whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to said form, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.
- Art. XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.
The power of the civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal ; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the civil authority, regularly and legitimately constituted. Art. ' XXXVIII. Of Christian men's Goods, which are not
соттоп. The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
Art. XXXIX. Of a Christian man's Oath. As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle : so we judge that Christian Religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Magistrate requireth,in a cause of Faith and Charity, so it be done according to the Prophets teaching in Justice, Judgment, and Truth.
Such are the 39 articles of the Church of England, which all candidates for holy orders must declare that they do willingly and ex animo subscribe.
It is estimated that there are upwards of 300 congregations of Episcopalians in the United States.
SECTION V. OF THE KIRK* OF SCOTLAND. The conversion of the Scots to the Christian faith began through the ministry of Paladius, about the year 430, and from the first establishment of Christianity in that country, till the reformation in the reign of Mary, mother of James 1. of England, their church-government was Episcopacy ; at that time the Presbyterian discipline was introduced, but it was not finally established in Scotland until the reign of King William and ** Kirk, a Church. An old word, yet retained in Scotland.”
Mary, A. D. 1689, when episcopacy was totally abolished. TO the intrepidity, the zeal, the learning, and the piety of the immortal John Knox, the Scots owe their emancipation from the chains and hurthens of the ancient Roman Catholic religion and service.
The word kirk is of Saxon origin, and signifies church ; or, as some have thought, it may be a contraction of two Greek words, meaning the house of God.
The only confession of faith which appears to have been legally established before the revolution, in 1688, is that published in the history of the reformation in Scotland, and attributed to John Knox. It was compiled in 1560 by that reformer himself, aided by several of his friends, and was ratified by parliament in 1567. It consists of twenty-five articles, and was The confession, as well of the episcopal as of the presbyterian church. The covenanters, indeed, during the grand rebellion, adopted the Westminster confession; in the compilation of which some delegates from their general assembly had assisted. At the revolution, this confession was received as the standard of the national faith, and the same act of parliament which settled presbyterian Church-government in Scotland, ordained, "That no person be admitted or continued hereafter to be a minister or preacher within this church, unless that he subscribe the confession of faith, declaring the same to be the confession of his faith.' By the act of union in 1707, the same is required of all, ' professors, principals, regents, masters, and others bearing office in any of the four universities in Scotland.' Hence the Westminster confession of faith, and what are called the larger and shorter catechisms, contain the public and avowed doctrines of this church ; and it is well known that these formularies are Calvinistic.
In this church the worship is extremely simple, and only few ceremonies are retained. John Knox, like Calvin, seems to have been less an enemy to liturgies and established forms, than his more modern followers ; for, though he laid aside the book of common prayer about the year 1562, he then introduced one of his own composition, which more strongly resembles the liturgy of the church of Geneva. There is, however, now no liturgy or form in use in this church, and the ministers' only guide is, the directory for the public worship of God; nor is it thought necessary to adhere strictly to it ; for, as in several other respects, what it enjoins with regard to reading the Holy Scriptures in public worship is, at this day, but seldom, practised. • By the ecclesiastical laws, the sacrament of the Lord's supper should be dispensed in every parish four times in the year ;' but this law is now seldom adhered to, unless in most chapels of ease. In country parishes it is often adıninistered not above once a-year, and in towns generally only twice a-year. The people are prepared for that holy ordinance by a fast on some day of the preceding week, generally on Thurs
day, and by a sermon on the Saturday ; and they meet again on the Monday morning for public thanksgiving. They have no altars in the kirks, and the communion-tables are not fixed but introduced for the occasion, and are sometimes two or more in number, and of considerable length.
The discipline of the church of Scotland, though now rather relaxed, was never so rigorous as that of Geneva, the church on whose model it was formed. It was formerly the practice to oblige the fornicators to present themselves in the kirk, for three different Sundays, on a bench, known by the name of the stool of repentance, when they were publicly rebuked by the minister, in the face of the congregation ; but this punishment is now frequently changed into a pecuniary fine, though seldom by conscientious clergymen. For this change, however, there seems to be no law; and the old practice of publicly rebuking fornicators and adulterers, though very much disliked and cried down by the gentry, &c. is still continued in a great majority of the parishes of Scotland.
of the societies. at present formed upon the presbyterian model, it may safely be affirmed, that the Church of Scotland is by much the most respectable. In this church, every regulation of public worship, every act of discipline, and every ecclesiastical censure, which, in episcopal churches flows from the authority of a diocesan bishop, or from a convocation of the clergy, is the joint work of a certain number of ministers and laymen acting together with equal authority and deciding every question by a plurality of voices. The laymen, who thus form an essential part of the ecclesiastical courts of Scotland, are called elders, and ruling elders.
The next judicatory is the Presbytery, which consists of all the pastors, within a certain district, and one ruling elder from each parish, commissioned by his brethren to represent, in conjunction with the minister, -the session of that parish. The Presbytery treats of such matters as concern the particular churches within its bounds, as the examination, admission, ordination and censuring of ministers ; the licensing of probationers, rebuking of gross or contumacious sinners, the directing of the sentence of excommunication, the deciding upon references and appeals from the kirk sessions, resolving cases of conscience, explaining difficulties in doctrine or discipline, and censuring according to the word of God, any heresy or erreneous doctrine which has either been publicly or privately · maintained within the bounds of its jurisdiction.
The number of Presbyteries in Scotland is seventy-eight. From the judgment of the Presbytery there lies an appeal to the Provincial Synod, which ordinarily meets twice in the year, and exercises over the Presbyteries within the province a jurisdiction similar to that which is vested in each Presbytery over the several kirk sessions within its bounds. Of these synods there are in the church of Scotland fifteen, which are composed
of the members of the several Presbyteries within the respec tive provinces which give names to the synods.
The bighest ecclesiastical court is the General Assembly, which consists of a certain number of ministers and ruling elders, delegated from each Presbytery, and of commissioners from the royal boroughs.
This church is now confined to Scotland and the islands of Scotland, and contains within its bounds nearly 900 parishes. The number of ministers belonging to it who enjoy benefices, and possess ecclesiastical authority, is 936. Of this number 77 are placed in collegiate charges, mostly in the proportion of two ministers for each of these charges; and the remaining 859 ministers are settled in single charges, each of them having the superintendence of a whole parish.
The ministers of this church have long maintained a very respectable character for piety, learning, liberality of sentiment, and regularity of conduct ; and those of the present day cannot well be said to yield in these respects to any of their predecessors.
It has already been stated, that the doctrines of this church are those of Calvinism ; but many of the members have, of late years, given in to the more liberal spirit of Aminianism.
These, however, are departures from the ancient faith of the church, which both, in doctrine and discipline, assimilates with the Calvinistic faith.
Baptism in this church is practised by none but ministers, who do it by sprinkling ; and whether performed in private or in public, it is almost always preceded by a sermon. • The Lord's Supper is not administered so frequently in Scotland as in some other places. Some time before this takes place, it is announced from the pulpit. The week before, the kirk session meets, and draws up a list of all the communicants in the parish, according to the minister's examination-book, and the testimony of the elders and deacons. According to this list, tickets are delivered to each communicant, if desired, and the ministers and elders also give tickets to strangers who bring sufficient testimonials. None are allowed to communicate without such tickets, which are produced at the table. Those who never received are instructed by the minister, and by themselves, in the nature of the sacraments, and taught what. is the proper preparation thereunto. The Wednesday or Thursday before there is a solemn fast, and on the Saturday there are two preparatory sermons. On Sunday morning, after singing and prayer as usual, the minister of the parish preaches a suitable sermon ; and when the ordinary worship is ended, he in the name of Jesus Christ forbids the unworthy to approach, and invites the penitent to come and receive the sacrament. Then he goes into the body of the church, where one or two tables, according to its width, are placed, reaching from one end to the other, covered with a white linen cloth, and seats on both sides for the communicants. The minister places