« VorigeDoorgaan »
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 and 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.
It appears that this resolution produced considerable discussion, when the Rev. Mr. Uhlhorn proposed, "that the Synod declare itself, whether or not such an institution be requisite and advantageous within the jurisdiction of this Synod." The Secretary then says, "that this Synod deems the course of the Fathers most expedient in such matters, and cannot sustain innovations which burthen the people or have a tendency to excite in this body, a strange spirit for proselyting." It was then decided by a large majority, "That the Synod will not form a Missionary and Education Society."
All our other Synods have however entered into the spirit of establishing Missionary and Education societies, and the continued zeal displayed, in sustaining them, proves that the Innovation, is not burthensome to their people, whilst hundreds of souls, have experienced their good effects.
From the report of a committe, upon the state of the treasury it appears that this Synod has at its disposal $2,100.
Two Missionaries were appointed, for six months, the one to labor in Lycoming county Pa. the other at Frankford and Lower Merion Pa. and at Cohancy N. J.
Several brethren connected with any of our Synods, would be appointed Missionaries, to labor in churches destitute of Pastors, within the jurisdiction of this Synod. The President has been authorised to accept the services of such that may offer.
We regret extremely, that no Parochial reports appear in the minutes. If they should be published hereafter, or if any copy containing them, should come into our hands, we shall insert them hereafter.
As a proof of the disposition of the Synod, to continue a good understanding with other Synods, Delegates were appointed to attend the next meetings of the New York, Maryland, West Pennsylvania and German Reformed Synods.
Two applicants were licensed, and seven Licentiates were ordained Pastors. The next meeting of this Synod will be held at Harrisburg on Trinity Sunday, 1831.
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD OF OHIO.
The Synod of Ohio convened at Zanesville, Ohio, on the 5th of June last. Rev. Weygandt delivered a sermon preparatory for the Lord's Supper, in the German and Rev. Brown in the English language. On Sunday Rev. Heincke and C. Henkel preached, after which the Lord's Supper was administered. Rev. Stauch and Rev. Schweitzer, Barth preached during the remainder of the day, the latter brother officiated in the English language.
On Monday morning, the Synod was constituted as usual. Nine
teen Ministers were present and eighteen absent. Sixteen Lay-Delegates were present. Six Clerical delegates from our other Synods, were in attendance and entitled to vote during the sessions. Rev. Andrew Henkle was elected President, Rev. H. Heincke, Secretary and Rev. J. Wagenhals, Treasurer. The Report of the Missionary labours of Rev. Mr. Stauch was read. He travelled three months, preached 39 times, baptized 41 children, confirmed 4 persons and administered the Lords s upper to 104 persons.
The Rev. Missionary Espich, travelled 400 miles, preached 13 times and baptized 4 children.
The Rev. Missionary Gruber, reported that he travelled through a part of Ohio and Indiana-preached 24 times, baptized 38 children, confirmed 28 persons, and administered the Lord's supper at different times to 98.
It was recommended to all the Ministers of this Synod, to encourage their people, to make suitable arrangements, for celebrating the 25th of June, as a day of Thanksgiving, it being the day of the 300th anniversary, on which the Augsburg Confession of Faith was delivered to the Diet at Augsburg.
It was ordered, that the English Catechism, published by the General Synod, with the 28 articles of the Augsburg Confession &c. be printed.
The Synod deeply concerned for our Zion, resolved that a Theological Seminary be established, in the State of Ohio to be located at Canton, Stark county. The Rev. Mr. Schmidt has been appointed, to take charge of the institution.
The following plan of instruction has been adopted
PLAN OF TEACHING,
For the German Theological Seminary of the Lutheran Synod of Ohio. PRELIMINARY REMARKS.
1. Whereas, the organization as well as the adoption of the rules, according to which the institution in question is to be conducted, will be left to a board of Directors, by whom the necessary arrangements, adequate to our present situation, will be made, therefore, reference will be had here only to the different branches that will be taught.
2. For the information of those who wish to be admitted, be it observed (a) that, whereas this institution is and shall continue to be a German institution, instruction will be given through the medium of the German language exclusively; and, therefore, it will be required of every one who wishes to be admitted, that he shall be able at least to read and write that language.
3. But whereas, it is indispensably necessary, in this country, for a man of erudition also to understand the English language, the Board of Directors will, therefore, use their utmost endeavors to
make such arrangements that a perfect knowledge of that language may likewise be obtained.
4. The course of studies is three years, and the first cursus will commence on the first day of October, 1830.
5. Tuition will be given gratis, but it is required that every student provide for his boarding, lodging and clothing.
The following branches will be taught:
FIRST CURSUS-Instruction, 1. In the German language. 2. In the Latin language.
3. In the Greek language.
5. Theological Encyclopedia.
NOTE-Whereas, it is impracticable to acquire, during the term of three years, in connexion with the above mentioned sciences, a knowledge of the Hebrew language also, therefore, those only, who attend the institution four years, will receive instruction in the Hebrew and Classic Greek languages.
SECOND CURSUs-Continuation of instruction in languages in general.
2. Introduction into the Old and New Testament.
4. Explanation of the New Testament in the Greek language.
5. Explanation of the Old Testament in the German language, with constant reference to the Hebrew original text and the septuaginta. 6. Church History.
7. Empiric Psychology
THIRD CURSUS-1. Continuation of the explanation of the Bible in the Greek and German languages.
2. Dogmatic, connected with the history of Dogmas and Symbolic. 3. Christian Ethics.
4. Practical explanation of the Holy Scriptures, calculated for religious instruction.
5. Homiletick, or Pulpit Eloquence.
6. Catechetick, or the art of imparting religious instruction by questions and answers.
7. Pastoral Theology and Liturgic.
Numerous applications were made for Ministers, and every arrangement has been adopted, by which our destitute brethren can obtain a partial supply, until our Seminaries shall send forth young men, well qualified to enter the field of labor. Our church in Ohio is increasing and improving in every respect. The parochial reports evince this. During the past year were baptized 2292, confirmed 677 communed 8706. The cause of Sunday Schools is also promoted, for several of the Ministers established twenty.
Two Candidates were solemnly ordained Pastors, and two Applicants were admitted as Licentiates, The next meeting of this Synod will be held at Canton, Stark County, on Trinity Sunday A. D.