Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

sion confirms the view already (tual contracts. In none of these given of the covenant with Abra- modes does it apply to God's coham. Recollect that view. God, venant with Abraham. God made by the slaying of typical purifiers, no contract with the patriarch, i e. brute victims offered in sa- but gave him a free promise-a crifice, assured Abram that the gracious grant. great Purifier, the promised seed Seals are annexed to decrees, of the woman, should die for sin : commissions, charters, or deeds and by his death confirm all the of a person, as a certain proof promises made to his people, or token of their being valid. which in him are yea, and in him. God's covenant or purifier was his Amen. Abraham believed in own deed, and circumcision his this promised seed as the Purifier own seal appended to the deed, who was to fulfil the conditions of independent of Abram's faith. eternal life for his people : and When Abraham used this seal, he by dying convey that life to them did not make it a seal, nor ratify in an irreversible testament. This the promise of God concerning faith was counted for righteous- the Purifier, to which promise it ness to the patriarch. Thus Mo- belonged. He only declared his ses and Paul agree perfectly with approbation of the promise thus each other. Of the righteous-confirmed, his faith in it, and bis ness of faith, or of the death and readiness to perform the duties obedience of the Puritier, as the connected with it. The effect procuring cause of righteousness and import of the seal would not with God, circumcision was the have been nullified, even if Abratoken or seal.

bam had refused to circuincise The nature and design of both himself and his family. are the same. When God gave tifying of a patent granted in faNoah and all flesh security against vour of any one is not the deed a second deluge, he promised to of the patentee, but of the sove. set his bow in the cloud as the reign, and though he should retoken of his covenant. Theject it, the deed still remains, and meaning of this token, and the still is ratified. security which it promised, had From this view it will be seen, no more dependence on Noah that circumcision did not seal the than the promise which it con person's actual interest in the profirmed. Whether Noah approved inise and the blessings which it or disapproved, believed or dis- contains. Abraham

was inte. credited the promise thus ratified, rested in the promise, and justiit made no difference in the deed tied by faith, long before he was itself. Can the validity of God's circumcised. His circumcision promise depend upon the preca- did not seal to him the certainty rious approbation or faith of his of his good state. It only sealed creatures ?

to him the certainty of God's Seals are used for various pur- promise, in which he already poses to keep secret, as letters ; believed. It was not, therefore, to discriminate the property or a mere carnal rite or a mark of goods of one person from those carnal descent, as some contend. of others; to secure, as bags, In that case the child of the stranchests, &c.; and to confirm mu-Iger would not have been circuir.

The ra

cised as God commanded, normystery. 1st. Thus they were could any proselytes have been taught that salvation depends admitted in the Church from the not on circumcision. 2dly. It time of Abraham to Christ ; for signified the imperfection of that surely, circumcision, as it could dispensation which was afternot make them the offspring of ward to give place to one more Abraham, according to the flesh, perfect, in which persons were so it could not certify that they to be initiated by a more easy were ; nor could it be a token of and common sacrament, of which a title to the temporal inheritance women themselves were also to of Canaan. The descendants of partake. Male infants, as well as Ismael and Esau were circum- adults, were commanded to be circised, and yet excluded from that cumcised. And not only the land. Circumcision related to children which came out of Abraspiritual matters : for the Apostle ham's loins, but also the child of calls it a seal of the righteousness the stranger who was bought with of faith. Abraham was justified money. All were under Abraby believing in the promised Puri- ham's authority, as members of fier as the Lord his righteousness. his family, and all were circumThis righteousness was to come, cised as well as himself.

They not by the law, but by the pro-were circumcised by virtue of mise ; and circumcision was an their relation to him, as part of assurance given that it should bis household. Had he not be. come this way. Abraham's faith, lieved the promise of the Saviour, as we have remarked, did not they never would have been cir. constitute it a seal, but only re-cumcised. It was faith in the ceived it as a seal. As a seal it promised Saviour that entitled was exhibited to all his family ; bim to receive the seal of that nay, to those who were not cir- promise in his own person, and cumcised, but understood that it in the persons of his children and was a divine institution connected domestics. As the circumcision with the promise ; it was a seal of infants rests on different grounds of the Promise, which they might from the circumcision of adults, receive if they believed the pro- it requires a distinct examination. mise. Thus circumcision was But this must be deferred to a fuGod's own seal, or token in the ture Number. flesh, of the immutability of his Thus we have come to those counsel of peace towards sinful tivo distinct conclusions. First. men his own seal or token in That the covenant with Abraham the fish that Jesus Christ should was a dispensation of the covefinish transgression, and make an nant of grace, in which God proend of sin by his death. This mised to be a God to Abraham token or seal God commanded to and his seed, in and through be atfixed in the flesh of males Jesus Christ, the great Purifier, only: because women are ac- who was to be cut off in due time. count-d in he men; wives in Second. Circumcision was God's their husbands, and daughters in token to Abraham, of this protheir fathers, and with them reck- mise in all its parts. Abrabam oned in the covenant. Nor was received the token because he this, says Witsius, without its I believed it. His faith in this pro

depe

mise he had displayed before the the Evangelical Guardian and institution of circumcision ; for it Review, for October, 1818, Vol. had been already counted to him II. No. 6., relative to the ordinafor righteousness. Circumcision tion of Mr. Peter Van Zandt, as did not certify him of his interest Pastor over the first and second in the great purifier, but assured Dutch Reformed Churches in the him of God's design or purpose third and fourth wards of the city of mercy,

Thus circumcision of Schenectady. The sermon did not make him a believer, it was preached by a gentleman only confirmed the faith be alrea- who is not a minister of the dy had, for it was God's seal in Dutch Church: a charge was bis flesh that all which God had given to the pastor by a minister said he would fulfil. Zyta. present ; a charge to the people

by another; and another offered

up the closing prayer. Were Messrs. Editors,

our brethren of blessed memory, AS the following remarks re- who, but a few years since, marelate to an article in your valua. naged the concerns of the Church, ble work, it is presumed you will to rise from their dust, with what not refuse them an insertion, and astonishment would they look upthereby oblige

on those sudden alterations ! The A SUBSCRIBER. above is the mode of ordination

established in a sister Church, To the Members of the Dutch Re- (with the exception, however, of formed Church in America.

appointing a minister of another

Church to preside.) That Church, Fellow-CHRISTIANS,

and her ministers, I love and highAN affectionate attachment to ly esteem; especially such as the proper and devout religious maintain sound principles; and customs of our ancestors, instead her mode of ordination I cordially of meriting the opprobrious name approve, but I as cordially apof bigotry, must be viewed as prove our own In doing this, truly virtuous ; and the regard I act in unison with all lovers of we owe to their memory, renders good order throughout the Proit an imperious duty. If my po- testant world. Why, then, this sition is correct, (which I think needless deviation ?' Why adopt cannot be questioned,) you, as the mode of a sister Church, friends to the standards and when ours is as good ? Our Presusages of your Church, will not byterian brethren act more conhesitate to unite with me in re - sistently ; they never adopt ours. gretting the multiplied violations in the renowned Synod of Dort, of those forms and customs which our form of ordination was instiour fathers brought with them tuted, and its observance rigidly from the parent Church in Hol- enjoined. It is one among many land, and which, from that period which that reverend body styled until very lately, have been con- Forms of Union, (Formulieren scientiously and rigidly adhered van Eenigheid.) The uniform to as the boast of our Žion. My adherence to them, has for ages anxiety on this subject has been proved a palladium to the Church. recently excited by an article in 'By a devious course, we are

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

gradually becoming united to aof correcting one mistake of the sister Church. Let us not creep “ Subscriber;" the

gentleman into it by stealth. If such is our whọ preached the sermon,” is, wish, let us openly avow it, and we believe, a member of the let a plan of union be devised and Classis of Albany. We have seen discussed. Meanwhile, I think a printed copy of the minutes of our judicatories should concert the particular Synod of Albany, measures to restore and preserve in which bis name is recorded as uniformity among ourselves, and a delegate from that Classis to also with our mother Church. the next General Synod: and we The union of a Church will be presume that Synod would not shortlived, where unanimity of have delegated a person who did practice is not combined with not belong to the Dutch Church: unanimity of sentiment.

at least, so far as we are informA friend to the good olded, that is not the practice of

customs and usages of the either of the particular Synods. Dutch Reformed Church, We further remark, that if the as established in the Synod Classis of Albany, at the ordinaof Dort, Annis 1618 and tion alluded to, strictly adhered 1619.

to the form prescribed for that

purpose by the constitution of We have given the above a their Church, we, for ourselves, place in our Magazine, purely to see no impropriety in dividing “ oblige a Subscriber.” The those additional addresses among subject to which the communica- several ministers, which have tion relates, is, in our estimation, been usually made by the minisof no great importance, nor do ter who preached and presided. we feel any particular interest in We only add, that if any member cither of the modes of ordination of the Classis of Albany wishes adopted by the Reformed Dutch, to answer the “ Subscriber,” his or the Presbyterian churches. communication shall be inserted; They regulate this according to and that the controversy, (if any) their own pleasure. We gave so far as relates to our pages, the article alluded to just as it must there end. We wish to was communicated to us. We call the attention of our readers take this opportunity, however, to “ weightier matters.” Ed.

Selected.

CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN ALGIERS. to which Christians, falling into From an interesting work, entitled Nar- the hands of the barbarians, are rative of a Residence in Algiers.Trans- condemned, cannot form any idea lated from the Italian, by Edward Bla- of that greatest calamity which quierre, Esq. R. N.

fortune has in store for humanity; Those who have ever been or into what an abyss of sorrow at Algiers, and witnessed the fate and wretchedness their fellow.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

creatures, thus situated, have the charity of a rich Moor, who been planged. Even myself, who left a legacy for that purpose, saw and proved it to a certain de- Friday, the only day they are exgree, in my own person, am at a empted from work, would have loss for language equal to a de- seen them without any allowance scription of what Christians feel whatever. Shut up at night in and suffer, when precipitated into the prison, like so many malefacthis dreadful situation.

tors, they are obliged to sleep in No sooner is any one declared the open corridor, exposed to all a slave, than he is instantly strip- the inclemency of the seasons. ped of his clothes, and covered in the country they are frequentwith a species of sackcloth; he ly forced to lay in the open air ; is also generally left without shoes or, like the Troglodite of old, or stockings, and often obliged to shelter themselves in caverns. work bareheaded, in the scorch- Awoke at day-light, they are sent ing rays of an African sun. Many to work with the most abusive suffer their beard to grow, as a threats, and thus employed, besign of mourning and desolation; come shortly exhausted under the while their general state of filth weight and severity of tbeir keepis not to be conceived. Some of ers' whips. these wretched beings are de Those destined to sink wells stined to make ropes and sails for and clear sewers, are for whole the squadron : these are con- weeks obliged to be up to their stantly superintended by keepers, middle in water, respiring a who carry whips, and frequently mephitic atmosphere : others emextort money from their victims, ployed in quarries are threatened as the price of somewhat less with constant destruction, which rigour in the execution of their often comes to their relief. Some duty ; others belong to the Dey's attached to the harness in which household ; and many are em- beasts of the field are also yoked, ployed by the rich Moors, who are obliged to draw nearly all the may have bought them at market, load, and never fail to receive in the lowest drudgery of domes- more blows than their more fatic employment. Some, like the vourite companion, the ass or beasts of burthen, are employed mule. Some arc crushed under in carrying stones and wood for the falling of buildings, while any public buildings that may be others perish in the pits into going 00: these are usually in which they are sent to be got rid chains, and jastly considered as of. It is usual for one and two the worst among their oppressed hundred slaves to drop off in the brethren. What a perpetuity of year, for want of food, medical terrors, series of anguish, and attendance, and other necessamonotonous days, must not theirs ries; and wo to those who rebe! without a bed to lie on, rai- main, if they attempt to heave a ment to cover them, or food to sigh or complain in the hearing of support nature! Two black cakes their inexorable master. The thrown down, as if intended for slightest offence or indiscretion is dogs, is their principal daily sus punished with two bundred blows tenance; and, had it not been for on the soles of the feet, or over

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »