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"of that great day and hour knoweth no man, nor the angels, neither the Son, but my father only." In another place, "In Jesus are laid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." In one place he is called David's Son, in another David's Lord. In one place, man; in another, God. In one place, a servant; in another King of Kings, and Lords of Lords. In one place a lamb slain, in another the Prince of life, who only hath immortality. Now, my hearers, deny the doctrine of our text, and how can you reconcile these passages. Admit our doctrine, and they sweetly harmonise. In his human nature, Jesus Christ could say, "My father is greater than I.” In his divine nature, "I and my father are one." In his human nature he was David's Son, in his divine nature David's Lord. In his human nature, he was man; in his divine nature, God. In his human nature, servant; in his divine nature, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In his human nature, a lamb slain; in his divine nature, "The Prince of life, who only hath immortality" 2d use. To sound a seasonable alarm in the ears of those, who reject our glorious creator-our final judge. You reject him, who holds your destinies in his hands, and can raise you to heaven, or sink you to hell. You reject your best friend-your great redeemer. The worlds last and only hope. In rejecting Christ, you incur his wrath, his burning wrath! And can you brave his wrath? You may brave the sweeping whirl-wind, but not the wrath of the lamb! Behold, he cometh, with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail, because of him, even so Amen.
3d use, To encourage penitent sinners to come to their gracious redeemer.-Trembling sinner! behold your Saviour, high in glory, looks kindly upon you-he calls you, he bids you come.-As man, he can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities-As God, he can save to the very uttermost. He is great, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him.-Yet his heart is compassionate, is still full of love. See him arrayed in glorious majesty, fear not.-This is he, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor.-Yes this is the good shepherd, who gave his life for his sheep.-Precious Shepherd, when he beheld a hundred worlds, rolling around his father's throne, and one was lost, he left the ninety and nine, and came to seek and save that which was lost. Amen. J. K.
DR. M. LUTHER'S SERMON ON SUNDAY SEPTUAGESIME.
Mr. Editor, I hereby send you for publication a sermon of Luther. Ever since I became acquainted with the standard works of English theological literature and English doctors of divinity, it was a matter of great astonishment to me, to see the false representations contained in the former and the inexcusable ignorance displayed by the latter with reference to the doctrines taught and held by the great Reformer Luther, and the Church that bears his name. To adduce
but one Author among many, Buck in his theological dictionary under the article" Lutherans" says, "Luther believed the impanation or consubstantiation." This is erroneous. He did not believe and maintain a corporeal or material presence of the body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. He never used such language. And again Buck says "it is in this article of consubstantiation that the the main difference between the Lutheran & the English church consists;" but this is entirely groundless. The doctrine of absolute predestination and reprobation constitutes a far greater difference than the one mentioned. Buck however says, "Luther maintained predestination." This is a third error, for Luther did not believe in such a predestination as Buck defines it. Is it to be wondered at, that the English clergymen have such an imperfect knowledge of the Lutheran Church, if the works from which they derive their information abound in misstatements ? They betray an ignorance of the fact, established by ecclesiastical history, that the publication of Calvin's Institutes in 1551. (in which he first made known to the world his opinion with respect to absolute predestination) gave rise to an unhappy controversy between him and the Lutheran divines and finally was the principal cause of that separation (in 1560) that still exists between the Lutheran and Reformed churches. From the assertions in the writings of the English divines, and from their expressions in conversation, we are led to believe that they know not the fact, that it is from this period (1560) we mu t date the ever to be lamented division of the Protestants into Lutherans and Reformed or (Calvinists) and that ever since that time those who adopted the opinion of Calvin with respect to absolute predestination were called (in Germany-the country in which the separation took place and where they have the best right to know how to make the proper distinction) Die Reformirten, the Reformed, that is to say, the followers of Calvin, and those who hold the opposite views, viz: that the kingdom of Heaven was open to all,-Lutherans. With this fact before us, what idea can we form of the literary acquirements of those who ask us: Are the Lutherans no Calvinists? Was not Luther a Calvinist? What would we think of the state of that man's reason who would ask us: Is water, fire? is light, darkness?
Is it not passing strange, that some divines are so utterly ignorant of the distinctive characteristic of the oldest Protestant Church, that they know not that a Calvinistic Lutheran would be an anomaly in the Church, and just as absurd as to speak of a triangular circle in Geometry. There are Calvinistic Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, Calvinistic Episcopalians, but there never was such a distinction heard of in the Lutheran Church from the time of Reformation to the present day. HELVETIUS.
MATTHEW xx. 1-16.
Refutation of the erroneous explanation of the passage:
called, but few chosen.
From the last words, " many are called, but few chosen" some inquisitive heads conceive very strange and ungodly notions, and reason after this manner: he, whom God has chosen, will be saved with
out means; on the other hand, he, who is not chosen, will be damned, let him strive as he pleases, let him be pious and faithful, it is to no purpose, God has decreed that he must fall, and he cannot be saved. Therefore I will let things have their course. If I am destined to be saved, it will be accomplished without my interference; if not, any thing that I could undertake or do, would be all in vain.-That people, who harbor such thoughts grow careless, wicked and secure, will be easily perceived by any one of you. It will be recollected that on Epiphany, while, treating of the passage from Micha we proved sufficiently, that such thoughts ought to be shunned and guarded against as the Devil, that a different manner of studying and regarding the will of God should be adopted, namely the Majesty of God in his decrees should not be meddled with, for in these He is incomprehensible. Nor is it possible that any should harbour such opinions and not find them a stumbling block, either driving them to despair or inducing them to become dissolute or regardless of religion and divine things altogether. Whoever wishes to come to a true knowledge of God and his holy will, must seek for it in the right way, then he will not be offended, but edified and improved. But the right way is our Lord Jesus Christ as he himself has said, John 14. 6. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Therefore whoever wishes to know the Father rightly, and to come to Him, let him first come to Christ, and learn to know him, viz. thus: Christ is the son of God and Almighty and eternal God. What does the son of God do? He became man for our soul, put himself under the law, suffers himself to be crucified and dies on the Cross, to atone for our sins, and rises again from the dead, that by his Resurrection he might conquer Death and obtain for us admission to eternal glory, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, to intercede for us and give his holy spirit, by which to direct and guide us and to secure his true believers against all the wiles and temptations of the Devil. This is to know Christ truly. And whenever this knowledge has taken firm hold in the heart, then it is time enough to let your mind soar to make an estimate of the disposition of God towards man, then if you reflect that the son of God accomplished these things for the salvation of man in accordance with the will and command of the Father, surely you will be constrained to exclaim: For as much as God has given up his only begotten son and for our sake did not spare him, there is good reason to believe that God intends us no harm, that it is not his will that any of us should be lost, because he devises and makes use of the highest and most suitable means, in order to lead us to life and salvation.Thus we come to God in the right manner, as Jesus himself preaches John iii. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life." Now compare these conclusions with those resulting from the opposite manner of reasoning stated at the commencement, and it will appear that those are the work of the arch enemy calcula ted to mislead and offend man, causing him to doubt and despair, or to approach the other extreme of utterly disregarding God and divine things, for he cannot and does not look for any good thing from God.
Others conceive this to be the meaning of the text: Many are called, that is, God offers his grace to many, but few are chosen, that is, this his grace is granted to a few only; because few are saved. This however is an impious and wicked interpretation, for how can it be possible, that any one who entertains and believes such things of God, should not hate him, whose will alone is the cause that all are not partakers of salvation. Again by comparing this opinion with the conviction resulting from the passage, which treats of first learning to know Christ, they will easily be detected as diabolical blasphemies. Very different is the meaning of the passage in question: many are called, &c. for the gospel is preached publicly to every one, that wishes to hear and accept it, and for this very reason God has it spread and preached to all, that all might hear, receive it, believe and be saved. But what is the result? The Gospel informs us: few are chosen, that is, few treat and receive the Gospel in such a manner as to be pleasing in the sight of God. Because some hear it but do not regard it, others hear it but do not take fast hold of it, nor are they willing to sacrifice or suffer any thing for Christ's sake; others again hear it, but are more for this world's goods and the gratification of their carnal desires. These things are not pleasing in the sight of God, neither can He love those, who slight his offers of mercy, and this is what Christ calls "not being chosen" that is, they do not conduct themselves in such a way, as would be pleasing to God. But such are "chosen" and well beloved people of God, who diligently hear the preaching of the Gospel, believe in Christ, evidence their faith by their walk and conversation, and are willing to suffer when God in his wisdom sends them afflictions and troubles. This is the true understanding of the text, which offends no one, but amends & improves people, causing them to think after this manner; Well if I desire to be acceptable with God and one of his elect, surely it will not do, that I continue my evil practices, and live in contempt of the holy laws of God, without striving to oppose and conquer my sinful desires; no, I must attend to hear the Gospel preached, treasure the words of Truth up in my heart, pray for the guidance and assistance of the Holy Spirit to withstand the Devil and his wiles, and sincerely pray God for patience, protection and assistance; such people become good Christians.
But on the contrary, those who hold, that God is not willing that all should be saved, either fall into doubt and despair, or more generally into carelessness and security, living as beasts of the field, who considering their doom as already sealed, say, it is either decreed, that I shall be saved, or it is decreed that I shall be damned, wherefore then should I put myself to any trouble about the matter? But this is wrong; you are required to hear the word of God and to believe in Christ as your Saviour, who died and made satisfaction for thy sins. With this requisition you must endeavour to comply. If you find yourself weak in faith or unbelieving pray for the Holy Spirit and doubt not, Christ is your Saviour, and through him that is if you believe in him and depend on his merit alone, you will be saved, which may our dear Lord Jesus Christ grant to us all. Amen.
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD OF EAST-PENNSYL
The Minutes of the East-Pennsylvania Synod, came to our hands on the last day of September, we hasten to present to our readers a synopsis.
On the 6th of June, the clergy assembled at the Parsonage, in Lancaster, and proceeded to the Church. Discourses were delivered in the Lutheran church, by the Rev. brethren, J. Miller, C. Demme and B. Keller. In the German Reformed church by Rev. Uhlhorn and Probst. In the Presbyterian church by Rev. C. P. Krauth and C. F. Schaffer. In the new Lutheran church by Rev. Hemping and Candidate Jager. On Monday the Clergy and Lay-Members of the Synod convened and the Synod was constituted as usual, by a prayer, from the President.
Thirty four Ministers were present, and nineteen absent-eighteen Lay-Delegates were present. Delegates from the West Pennsylvania Synod, German Reformed Synod and several members of other Synods of our church were admitted to the usual privileges.
Rev. J. Miller was elected President; Rev. J. Hecht, Secretary, and Rev. J. Beeker, Treasurer.
Among the letters received by the Synod, was one from their Senior, Rev. Dr. Schæffer. It was read and an extract ordered to be published. The substance of it is-Encouragement to be instant in prayer for the Church of Christ and its members-each Minister to be intent upon working out his own salvation. 1. Tim. iv. 16. "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." A conscientous application of the means bestowed enables the Minister to labor with increased success-experiencing in his own heart the grace of God-convinced of his nothingness, and of the riches in Christ, he will the more earnestly beseech his hearers "be ye reconciled to God. To continue preaching the reconciliation-death of the son of God, unto repentant sinners, for their justification and sanctification. To the sick and dying, the atonement by Christ, has frequently proved a complete source of consolation and comfort. Against the doctrine of reconciliation by Jesus Christ, opposition and hatred may be manifested, but the Truth must and will stand. If the spirit of Paul (Phil. iii, 8, 12.)- prevails, among us (Ministers) then the Truth will be preserved in its purity, in our Zion. Though we may not see any fruits of our labors, whilst here below, if only we shall be acknowledged by our Lord, to have been his faithful servants, and when we shall enter the eternal world, be welcomed by him “Well done thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, &c. enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
A resolution, was offered by Rev. Keller, that a Missionary and Education society be formed, and that a committee be appointed to draft a constitution for this purpose.