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njunction, requires its performance, that “the growing acquaintance with it, is upon the true word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom.” way to become strong in the faith. Every step Let him, therefore, who would desire that his faith | he advances in the path of holiness diminishes the may rest upon a broad, as well as on a sure founda- | influence of sin, and not only brings him nearer to tion, that it may be enlarged as well as sincere, the object of his desire, but more fully within the study the Bible,-study it for himself,—study it sphere of its attraction. The rapidity of his proas a whole. Thus, to change the figure, shall he gress towards the perfection at which he aims, will trim the lamp that has been touched with the be accelerated as he approaches it, till he shall be fame of celestial fire, to enlighten the eye of faith absorbed in the effulgence of that light by which in this world of darkness, that it may shed upon he shall see “ face to face, and know even as he his soul its cheering and directing ray, to guide him is known.” to the fountain of uncreated glory.
To keep the truths of religion habitually before The practical and purifying influence of faith the mind, is further necessary for the increase of will also be promoted by a habitual endeavour to faith. These truths are not matters of mere abfeel and act in conformity with the truths we al- stract knowledge of which it is essential to be inready know. It is a principle in the divine ad-formed, but subjects of deep personal interest, the ministration, that “ to him who hath, more shall influence of which we ought to feel. If, notwithbe given.” He is prepared to receive further com- standing their importance, they are allowed to lie munications, and to profit by them; and it is in in the inner chambers of the mind,—if they are not complete consistency with the whole economy of awakened, and kept awake by devout meditation,
upon the soul thus fitted for their re- they must lose all the power and vital efficacy ception, they shall be bestowed. When the truths which they are otherwise fitted to exert. No of" religion, so far as they are known, have been truth can properly be said to be the object of faith, inwrought into the moral constitution and habit except while it is present to the thoughts. And of the mind, they produce both an aptitude and a when it is remembered that the love of Christ, desire for higher attainments. The student who and his example, are the leading objects, the conhas mastered the first principles of science, is both templation of which, brought before the mind bisa prepared for a higher class, in point of qualification, divine agency, accomplishes its renovation, who and evinces an ardour aster excellence, which is does not see that he is most likely to experience the pledge of future success. This, however, is a their assimilating effect, who most steadily confeeble illustration of the manner in which an im- templates them? And this accounts for an approvement of present knowledge, for the increase pearance which occasionally meets the Christian of holiness, insures our further advancement. eye, that the humble cottager, whose knowles There is a speciality in the subject before us. The is limited, and whose opportunities are few, ha greatest obstacle to the influence of the truth upon sometimes exhibited a simplicity, a rigour, and ar our fallen nature, is our indisposition to receive it. intensity of faith, which may put to share the But in proportion as it is believed and felt, this man of much higher cultivation. He has mal. indisposition not only gives way, but is succeeded the sublime truths of the Bible his meditation a by a thirst after “the sincere milk of the Word, the day, till the reflected image of the divine that we may grow thereby.
beauty, in the mirror of the Gospel, has communiAn illustration of this remark, not the less appro- cated to his soul an impression of the lovelines priate because it has frequently been adduced, occurs he admires. in the instructive history of Cornelius. His bene- Much of our time must necessarily be emplore volence and devotion, according to the views of di- in the avocations of life. And as society advances vine truth he had acquired from the Jewish Scrip- in refinement,—as the arts that improve and entures, were the dawn of brighter discoveries of the bellish the condition of man approach to perfective way of acceptance and holiness. His faith in the the greater application of mind is required to stexistence and character of God, and of the Messiah tain the excellence which is necessary to succes foretold by the prophets, influenced his dispositions Diligence in business, is not only permitted, bet and his conduct. He feared God-gave much enjoined by God. Yet, where the paramount alms to the people, and prayed to God alway; portance of religion is felt, there are many interval Though not aware of the advent of the promised in the busiest life, and amid the most urgent worldDeliverer, his mind was prepared to welcome the ly engagements, which will be consecrated to my tidings of his arrival. He evinced not only a meditation. But this is not enough.
To a min willingness, but an avidity to believe, and to do absorbed by an object of great and overwhelm». whatever God might reveal. He was, therefore, interest, every appearance in nature, and ever blessed with the manifestations of the divine light, occurrence in life, by the principle of associate for which he had been prepared. His faith was which regulates the succession of our thouska. directed to its proper object. He received the suggests that object. Happy the man whose ca Holy Ghost, and magnified God. Thus he, who, employments lead his thoughts to the contem... with the superior opportunities for the attainment tion of the truths that shall fit him for the E-> of Christian knowledge now happily enjoyed, is employments of heaven; in whose bours of anxious that the purifying, elevating, and quicken- ness as well as in whose seasons of recreation, som ing power of the truth should correspond with his I new scene awakens some new recollectis
Christian promise, or brings before the mind some devoted character which he afterwards bore. Instead varied aspect of Christian doctrine or precept. of profiting by the instructions he received, he indulged His diligence in the lawful and honourable pursuits in the most vicious practices, and proved a source of of life, retards not his walk of faith. He proves, grief to all his relations. Nay, so far did his wayward in his experience, that there is nothing incompatible disposition carry him, that he joined a band of border between activity in business and fervency of spirit thieves, living, for some time, entirely by plunder. in the service of the Lord.
This mode of subsistence he was not long in finding to The last I shall mention, though not the least be no less precarious than it was dishonourable, and he important of the means that promote the increase resolved to quit his abandoned companions, and return of faith, is the duty of prayer. By this spiritual to his father's house. In returning, he stopped for exercise, the soul is brought into nearest contact some time at Dumfries, where he resided at the house with the affecting realities of the invisible world. of Mrs Forsyth, who was a relative of his own. This By meditation, indeed, the truths of religion are good lady kindly undertook to effect, if possible, a rebrought before the mind, but by prayer we volun- conciliation between the profligate youth, and his offendtarily solicit the notice of God, and lay open our
ed father. Providentially, while John remained with souls to the inspection of his pure eye. "To a mind her, his father came to pay her a visit, and, after the at all impressed with the solemnity of such a posture, usual salutations, she inquired
“ whether he had ever in reference to the great object of worship, nothing heard any news of his son John?” The mention of his can be more humbling, or purifying, or elevating.
son touched the parent's feeling beart. “O cruel woBut, independently of the moral influence of man! how can you name his name to me?” said he, prayer to induce the dispositions which increase “ the first news I expect to hear of him is, that he is the strength, and promote the maturity of faith, banged for a thief.” Mrs Forsyth attempted to comfort it has a direct efficacy in bringing down pro
him with the hope of better days. “Many a profligate mised blessings from on high. Prayer and its boy,” said she, “ has become a virtuous man.” A ray answer are connected, as cause and effect. When of hope seemed to dart across the gloom, and he eagerly there has been given a disposition to ask, there inquired “whether she knew that his son was yet alive ? has been given a pledge that the spiritual favour She answered in the affirmative, at the same time expressasked shall be bestowed. The prayer of faith has ing a hope that he would prove a better man than he never been offered in vain. Sometimes, indeed, had been a boy. John was immediately called in, and his sloth and inadvertency may prevent the be- falling at his father's feet, he burst into tears, and earliever from being aware of the answer when it nestly entreating pardon for his past misconduct, he enAs a fickle child, having made a request tionate son. For a time the father was inexorable, but,
gaged to shew himself, in future, a dutiful and affecto an indulgent parent, but attracted afterwards by some other object, is followed by the kindness for
overcome at length by the urgency of the youth's imwhich it does not wait, the Christian is sometimes portunities, combined with the kind intervention of Mrs overtaken by favours for which he was not suffi- Forsyth, he yielded, and a reconciliation took place. ciently solicitous, and thus fails to perceive the advantages of home, and the correctness and consist
The profligate son was restored to all the comforts and connection between the gift, and the prayer
ency of his after life evinced that a change of a higher procured it. At other times the answer to the
and holier character had taken place in his heart-a prayer of the believer may come at an unexpected
change so evident as to warrant his relatives in believe season, or in an unexpected form, but it shall assuredly arrive. His prayer, like a winged mes
ing, that, though once dead, he was now alive again;
though once lost, he was now found.” senger, shall reach the presence chamber of Jeho
As Mr Welch perceived that his son was anxious to vah ; and if it receive not an immediate regard, shall enter its record in the book of God's remem
become a minister of the Gospel, the young man was brance, and when years, perhaps, shall have passed satisfaction of all his teachers. Having been licensed
sent to college, where he acquitted himself to the high away, and it seems to have been forgotten, it shall
to preach the word, the first place in which he was inreturn to the bosom of him who sent it, with a
vited to labour was in the town of Selkirk. Faithful suitable and seasonable supply. Who that is con
to the cause of his Lord and master, he proved himself vinced of a truth so consolatory, would not be in
“ a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly stant in prayer—would not, with a frequency dividing the word of truth.” His zeal was not long in and urgency in some measure corresponding with drawing forth the opposition of the careless, who strove the greatness of the request, adopt the language in every possible way to defeat his exertions, and disof earnest solicitation, and say, Lord, I believe,
his heart. But the constant resource of the help thou mine unbelief ?”
godly minister was to a throne of grace. From the be
ginning of his ministry indeed, he reckoned that day ill BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
spent, seven or eight hours of which were not dedicat. THE REV. JOHN WELCH,
He was often accustomed to spend a Formerly Minister of the Gospel at Ayr. great part of the night in secret communion with the This distinguished man was born about the year 1570, Almighty, and in his pastoral duties, he was active of parents in a very respectable station in life, his father and indefatigable, preaching publicly once every day, being laird of Coliestoun, in Nithsdale. His conduct and spending much of his time in visiting and catechisin early life, though displaying a bold and adventurous ing his people. spirit, afforded not the slightest prospect of the pious and As might have been expected, the fidelity of Mr
ed to prayer.
Welch excited the violent enmity of not a few under might have a door of utterance opened to him, as his charge; and, in particular, a person of the name of felt himself to be deserted by the Almighty. Often he Scott, proprietor of Hawickshaw, a small property in would retire to the Church of Ayr, which was at some the neighbourhood of Selkirk, seems to have persecut- distance from the town, and there spend whole nights ed this man of God with such unrelenting perseverance,
in prayer, in an audible, and sometimes a loud voice. that he felt himself compelled to quit a place where his The plans wbich he followed in reclaiming transgter labours were far from being truly appreciated. An sors, were, in many cases, at once ingenious and sueopportunity soon offered, by a call from Kirkcudbright, cessful. As an instance, we may quote the following, which he readily accepted.
given by his biographer :Mr Welch's ministry at Kirkcudbright was of short “ There was in Ayr, before he came to it, an aged continuance, but while there, he appears to have man, a minister of the town, called Porterfield. The had much comfort and success in his work. He was
man was judged no bad man, for his personal in. blessed in winning many souls to the Redeemer, and, many times to go too great a length with his neighbours
clinations, but of so easy a disposition, that he used among others, Mr Robert Glendinning, who became in many dangerous practices. Among the rest, he used his successor in that very parish. In the year 1590, to go to the bow-butts and archery on Sabbath afterMr Welch was transferred from Kircudbright to noon, to Mr Welch's great dissatisfaction. But the Ayr. At the commencement of his incumbency there, way he used to reclaim him was not bitter severity, but wickedness prevailed to a great extent, and so violently this gentle policy: Mr Welch, together with Johu opposed were the people to religion, and its ministers, used to spend the Sabbath afternoon in religious con
Stewart, and Hugh Kennedy, his two intimate friends, that their new pastor had some difficulty in finding ac
ference and prayer, and to this exercise they invite dir commodation in the town. He experienced, however, Porterfield, which he could not refuse; by which means a warm and hospitable reception from Mr Stewart, a he was not only diverted from his former sinful practiæ, respectable merchant in the place, whose piety and but likewise brought to a more watchful and edifying prudence were alike conspicuous. Ayr was at that behaviour in his course of life.” period the seat of much contention among the different
Mr Welch married Elizabeth, daughter of John opposing factions into which the people were divided, Knox, the Reformer, a woman who had imbibed much and Mr Welch used his utmost endeavours to put an
of the intrepid and dauntless spirit of her father. A end to the unseemly feuds which were sometimes dis- black cloud was beginning to overspread Scotland, anei played even in the open streets. On such occasions, the time was fast approaching when the faith and fide when attempting to pacify the combatants, he would lity of the godly, both among ministers and people, rush between them with his head covered with a hel- to be sorely tried. Mr Welch, it may easily be conceived, met, and put an end, if possible, to the bloody en- was not unobservant of the signs of the times. Often counter. When at any time he had succeeded in his did he wrestle with God for the Church of Scotland, benevolent efforts to promote peace, he was accustomed that amid all her sufferings, she might come forth pure to cause a table to be covered in the street, at which and unscathed. The times were portentous, and the the parties, after a solemn prayer from the worthy pas. judgments of God were abroad upon the land. To tor, were invited to exhibit a proof of their mutual re- prayer, therefore, he had incessant recourse, and while conciliation, by eating and drinking together, and, as a
all around him were in consternation at the threatening suitable conclusion to the friendly meal, they engaged approach of the plague, which had carried its desolating in celebrating the praises of the God of peace. It may ravages even to the neighbourhood of Ayr, this man ei be easily conceived, that under the influence of the ad- God remained unmoved. His heart was stayed, trust. vice and example of a minister thus unwearied in the ing in the Lord, and he was supported by the though, blessed employment of a peace-maker, the spirit of dis- that “the angel of the Lord is encamped round about sension speedily disappeared, and Mr Welch rose daily them that fear him.” higher in the estimation and regard of his flock. They The ministry of Mr Welch at Ayr was crowned with respected bim as a faithful and consistent ambassador the divine blessing in a very eminent degree; but the of Christ; they loved and admired him as their coun- fire of persecution was lighted up in Scotland, and his sellor and friend.
labours, as well as those of many of his brethren, were In discharging his pastoral duties, Mr Welch was brought to a speedy termination.
James the Sirch, most exemplary. Besides devoting the third part of his from the date of his accession to the throne of Eng. time to prayer, and sedulously improving his mind by land, was evidently desirous to destroy the Presbystudy, he preached publicly, as at Selkirk, once every terian Church of his fathers, and to plant Prelacy in day. And if in labours he was truly abundant, his suc- place. He had succeeded, at the period to which w cess was most encouraging, so that many years after, Mr now refer, in establishing a system of partial episao Dickson of Irvine, who was himself a most able and pacy in Scotland, but he was far from being contentes efficient minister, was accustomed to say, when con- with the advantage he had gained. Bishops existei, i gratulated on the success of his ministry, “ the grape- is true, in the Scottish Church, but still the wily gleanings in Ayr in Mr Welch's time, were far above arch saw that their power was limited, and mus 400the vintage of Irvine in his own.” His preaching was tinue to be so, as long as the authority of the Genez plain, spiritual, and searching, with little or no show of Assembly was recognised. To accomplish his purpuss learning, but so tender and pathetic, that his hearers therefore, James resolved to destroy that Court. were often moved to tears. llis humility and ten- The General Assembly convened at Holyrood-based derness of conscience appear to have been very great. in 1602, appointed their next meeting, with the best Sometimes, before going to Church, he would send for consent, to be held at Aberdeen, on the last Tatay bis elders, and beseech them to pray for hiin, that he l of July, in the year 1604. Before that day, a mal
decree was issued, prohibiting the meeting for that sence of the monarch. The result of his mission is year. This decree was strictly obeyed, and the moder- thus stated by the biographer :ator of the former Assembly, Mr Patrick Galloway,
" The duke went with his guard, and as soon as he addressed a letter to the Presbyteries, appointing the entered the church where Mr Welch was preaching, Mr Assembly to meet at Aberdeen, on the first Tuesday of the duke might hear the Word of the Lord. The duke,
Welch commanded to make way, and to set a seat that July, in the year following, (1605.) James was deter- instead of interrupting him, sat down, and gravely mined to prevent the Court from being convened, and heard the sermon to an end; and then told Mr Welch, accordingly, he issued another prohibition before the he behoved to go with him to the king ; which Mr appointed day. In fact, the king's decree amounted to Welch willingly did. When the duke came to the a final dissolution of the Assembly, as neither day nor king, the king asked him why he brought not the miplace were named for any future meeting.
nister with him, and why he did not interrupt him? The tyrannical spirit of the king excited a keen feel- but that he had brought him with him. Whereupon
The duke answered, never man spake like this man, ing of indignation among his Scottish subjects. They Mr Welch is called, and when he entered the king's were unwilling to part with their Assemblies, and a room, he kneeled upon his knees, and silently prayed number of the most devoted and faithful ministers of for wisdom and assistance. Thereafter the king chalthe time, refusing to acknowledge the right of the mon- lenged him, how he durst_preach where he was, since arch arbitrarily to suspend the proceedings of the Ec- it was against the law of France, that any man should
Mr Welch anclesiastical Courts, resolved to assemble under the preach within the verge of bis court ?
swered, Sir, if you did right, you would come and hear authority of the King of kings. A number of them, ac
me preach, and make all France hear me likewise. cordingly, met at Aberdeen, on the first Tuesday of For, said he, I preach not as those men you hear July 1605, being the last day appointed by authority. preach ; my preaching differs from theirs in these two No business appears to have been transacted; the points : First, I preach you must be saved by the death meeting was simply constituted, and immediately for- and merits of Jesus Christ, and not your own. Next, mally dissolved.
I preach, said be, that as you are king of France, you In the eyes of James, however, their conduct was
are under the authority and command of no man on
earth; those men, said he, whom you hear, subject you such as to call forth summary punishment. Within a
to the Pope of Rome, which I will never do. The month, accordingly, from the meeting at Aberdeen, king replied no more, but Well, well, you shall be my those who had been present on that occasion were minister; and some say, called him father, which is an seized as being guilty of treason. Mr Welch had not honour the king of France bestows upon few of the been present on the precise day of the meeting, but he greatest prelates in France ; however, he was favourhad gone to Aberdeen, and had declared his approba-ably dismissed at the time, and the king also left the
city in peace: tion of what his brethren had done, and he was there.
A short time after, the war was renewed, and St. fore imprisoned, first at Edinburgh, and then at Black
Jean d'Angely was again besieged, but express orders ness, after which he was banished from Scotland.
were given by the king that, should the town be capOn the seventh of November 1606 Mr Welch, with tured, Mr Welch should be permitted to escape. The several of his brethren, set sail from Leith, and though orders were accordingly obeyed, and horses and wagit was two o'clock in the morning, many came to wit
gons were provided to transport him and his family to ness their departure. Before leaving the harbour, they Rochelle as a place of safety. His flock in France engaged in prayer, and sang the 23d Psalm ; immedi- being now scattered, Mr Welch requested permission ately after which they set sail. The ship being destin
to return to England, which was granted him. His ed for the south of France, they landed at Bourdeaux. health had, before this time, begun to decline, and his
The first point to which Mr Welch directed his at. friends were exceedingly anxious that he might be altention, was the acquisition of the language, which, in lowed to revisit his native land. To this, however, fourteen weeks after his arrival, he had so completely James would by no means yield, alleging that he would effected, as to be able to preach in French. His pulpit never be able to establish his favourite system of Prediscourses were so much admired, that he was not long lacy in Scotland if Mr Welch should return thither. in receiving a regular call to the ministry, first at Ne- Enfeebled in body, but still vigorous in mind, the rac, and then at St. Jean d'Angely, a town of consi- good man languished for some time in London, anxious derable extent, where he laboured with much accept- to dedicate his latest breath to the service of his Masance for sixteen years. His fidelity in the exposition ter. “ He had his life from God," he said, "and thereof the truth was remarkable. Even in the presence of fore it should be spent for him.” Urgent applications persons of the highest rank, who were occasionally his were made to the king that Mr Welch might have lic auditors, he spoke with the utmost boldness, holding berty to preach in London, but James was inexorable. not the persons of men in admiration, but praying ear- No argument could prevail upon the unfeeling monarch, nestly to be delivered from “ the fear of man, which until he heard that Mr Welch's life was despaired of, bringeth a snare.
when he immediately granted him permission. The When Louis XIII. of France made war upon the dying man was no sooner informed that all restriction Protestants, the city of St. Jean d'Angely was besieg- was removed, than he immediately embraced the oppored, but Mr Welch encouraged the citizens so strongly, tunity of proclaiming those glorious truths which he that, under the blessing of God, they were able to had so long felt it to be both an honour and a privilege maintain their ground with such resolution and firmness, to make known to his fellow-men. Having received as compelled the king to offer them conditions of peace. access to a pulpit in the metropolis, he preached with While the king remained in the town, Mr Welch preach- all his wonted ardour and animation; and this was the ed as usual. On one occasion the Duke d’Espernon last act of his life, for after he had ended his sermon, was sent to fetch him out of the pulpit into the pre- he retired to his chamber, and, within two hours, he
peacefully resigned his spirit into the hands of his Re- at a public discussion, to betray the cause of the Reo deemer. “ Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give formed into the hands of the Romanists. It would seem thee a crown of life.”
that they had been largely bribed for this purpose, Though defeated in their object at the time by the su
perior fidelity of their brethren, yet the very fact that THE EARLY PROTESTANT CHURCH such an idea was entertained, and deemed practicable, OF FRANCE.
shewed how sadly both ministers and people were de.
clining from the truth. The General Assembly of 1598 No. III.
was still clear and decided. BY THE Rev. John G. Lorimer,
“Forasmuch as 'tis the duty of all the faithful heartily Minister of St. David's Church, Glasgow.
to desire the reunion of all the subjects of this kingdom
in the unity of faith, for the greater glory of God, the sa). I am still speaking of the twenty-six years which vation of millions of souls, and the singular repose of the stretched between 1572 and 1598, between the mass- common weal; yet, because of our sins, this being ratber acre of St. Bartholomew, and the granting of the edict a matter of our prayers than of our hopes, and that, of Nantes.
under this pretext, divers profane persons attempt openThough there can be little doubt that the Church ly to blend and mingle both religions, all ministers shah was already declining in her attachment to sound doc- admonish seriously their flocks, not in the least to bearktrine, and that light views of truth were beginning to en unto any such motions, it being utterly impossible appear, she was still, as a Church, decided in her opposi- that the temple of God should hold communion with tion to heresy, and to the corruptions of the Church of idols; as also, for that such wretches design only by Rome. At an early day, she had deputed a certain this trick to debauch easy credulous souls from the benumber of her ministers to protest against a Popish lief and profession of the Gospel. And whoever atcouncil of Trent, and to declare the nullity of all its tempts such a reconciliation, either by word or writing, decisions and decrees; and at a later day we meet with shall be most severely censured." the following deliverance :
We are happy to turn to a more pleasing contempla. “ The Confession being read, Monsieur de Beza ac- tion. While some longed for a union between Popery quainted the assembly of those heresies dispersed abroad and Protestantism, the Church of France cultivated a in Poland and Transylvania, by divers persons, against Christian union with the other Protestant Churches of the unity, divinity, and human nature of our Lord Jesus Christendom. Unity of sentiment and affection, as Christ, receiving the errors of ancient heretics, particu- well as a sense of common danger, led to this; and it larly of Samosatenus, Arius, Photinus, Nestorius, Eu- were well that it were more common now. The evan. tychus, and many others, yea, and of Mahomet himself gelical Churches of the present day are, in this respect, also: Whereupon the synod unanimously voted their a great contrast to the Christian Churches of the Redetestation of all those abominable errors and heresies, formation. The National Synod held in 1583, highly and advised all pastors, elders, and deacons, and gener-approved of a work entitled, " Harmonia Confessionua," ally all the faithful, vigorously to oppose their admission The Harmony of the Confessions of Faith, into the Churches of France.
most useful and needful for these our times," and a “ Information was also given concerning the errors vised that it should be translated into French, and the of Cozain, by the minister of Normandy; and Monsieur commended by the Church. A few years earlier," fany de Chandiese, and Monsieur de L'Estang, were ordered deputies, from sundry famous reformed Churches, king. to examine the table of the said Cozain, and to bring doms, and provinces, met at Francfort," to devise dich in a report of it; and finally, it was condemned, reject sures for uniting all the reformed Churches of Christes ed, and detested; and the English bishops shall be de- dom in one common bond of union, so as to termuinze sired to suppress the books of the said heretics, which all their differences. The Church of France rejoicedo began to be in vogue among them.
in this prospect, and appointed four of her ablest nime Indeed, it was common to censure and condemn ters to appear as her representatives. With regard to works containing erroneous sentiment, and to guard the the Church of the Netherlands, she highly approved of Churches against them; and a correspondence was even their confession, and established a still closer union. held with foreign Churches, where the heresy pro- “ This assembly doth now ordain, that as often ceeded from their borders. At this time, too, (1594,) the synods of the said Low Countries shall be convere the Church, as a body, was sound in her opposition to two provinces of this kingdom shall be obliged to send Popery. One of the ministers was publicly and warm- their deputies; to wit, two ministers and one elder, ly commended for his answer to part of Bellarmine’s who shall be expressly named by those two provinces Works, the great Romish champion; and those who had in every National Synod, and their charges borne by mi had the courage to hold a discussion with the advocates the provinces of this kingdom; and for this presente, of the Church of Rome, were honoured with similar approaching synod of the Low Countries, the provinces of probation.
the Isle of France and Normandy are appointed to send “ The present synod return thanks unto Monsieur their deputies. And whereas the brethren, their deputies Berand, Rotan, and the other pastors, for their pious have tendered unto this synod the confession of faith sad endeavours in maintaining the truth at the conference body of Church discipline owned and embraced by the held at Mants with Monsieur de Perrote, and other Po- said Churches of the Low Countries, this assembly h38• pish theologers, and ratifies their whole proceeding, ing humbly and heartily blessed God for that sweet unica and that offer made by them to continue the said con- and agreement, both in doctrine and discipline, between ference at the pleasure and commandment of his Ma- the Churches of this kingdom and of that republic
, ad jesty. In pursuance whereof, the synod hath nomin- judge meet to subscribe them both; and it did also reso ated twenty pastors, out of whom twelve shall be chosenquest those our brethren, their deputies, reciprocalis to confer with those of the Romish Church, that so the subscribe our confession of faith and body of Charee provinces may have notice, and come prepared for the discipline; which, in obedience to the commission gives said conference.”
them by their principals, they did accordingly; thereby But it is to be feared, that the seeds of compromise testifying that mutual harmony and concord in the at und degeneracy were now in the course of being sown. trine and discipline of all the Churches in both naza Several of the Protestant ministers, disappointed that Moreover, this assembly having, to its great at their preferments were so poor, proposed a reunion of understood the miserable condition of the greater part the two Churches, Popish and Protestant; and agreed, of the Churches in the Low Countries, how that tey