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their brethren in the interpretation they put on some parts of that testimony, I leave the reader himself to ascertain.
In his epistle to Titus, c. iii., v. 10, the Apostle says, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject?" But then he immediately adds, "Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." And in the first chapter of the same epistle, commencing at the tenth verse, he more largely describes those heretics of whom he speaks. "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." Any one may see that those passages most strikingly confirm all that has been said on the character of those who were regarded by the Apostles as heretics: they prove that the heretics spoken of in the New Testament were bad, ill-designing men; men whose own consciences convicted them of sin, and condemned them for their evil ways.
and false teachers like these, were not honest, well-disposed men, anxious to know God's will and do it, and only differing from their brethren in the sense in which they understood some portions of God's word? Heretics such as those described by Peter, ought to be excluded from the church of Christ, and thus far we have not met with the slightest intimation in the New Testament that there are heretics of any other class.
This view of the case is still further confirmed by Peter in the second chapter of his second general epistle. In that chapter he largely describes the character of heretics and false teachers. I have not space to give the whole of this description; but I shall give an extract or two, and refer the reader to the chapter itself, for the whole. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Ver. 1. "Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings, while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls; an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." 13-15. Who does not perceive that heretics
False teachers are again referred to in the first general Epistle of John. "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." 1 John ii. 18, 19. In the 22nd verse he tells us who these antichrists were. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son." It appears, then, that these persons denied the Messiahship of Jesus; it appears that they had never sincerely believed in Christ; that they had only pretended to believe in him for their own selfish ends; and when it suited their sinister ends, to throw off the mask, they did so, and openly avowed their unbelief. This is apparent also from another passage in the same epistle.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world: hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John iv. 1-3. It is in reference to those who thus deny this capital, or foundation doctrine of Christianity, the Sonship or Messiahship of Jesus, that John says in his Second Epistle, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him
God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." 2 John x. 11. That such is the case you may see by looking at the seventh verse: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." So that it turns out after all, that the passage so confidently cited by those who contend for the expulsion of Christ's followers on account of mere harmless differences of opinion, is neither more nor less than a direction to Christians to avoid the company of infidel rejectors and opposers of Christianity. The testimony of the Apostle John on the point is most decisive and triumphant. He, in fact, furnishes us with a text whereby to detect heresy. "He that knoweth God heareth us (the Apostles); he that is not of God heareth not us (but rejecteth our testimony). Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1 John iv. 6. As an application of this test, he thus writes in his third epistle, "I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." 3 John 9, 10. Diotre phes, the heretic, therefore, was not a sincere, though a mistaken follower of Christ, but an ambitious, intolerant man; a man who proudly resisted the divine authority with which the Apostles were invested, and unjustly and intolerantly cast out of the church those who respected their authority, and received the doctrines which they taught. Whether there be any thing here to sanction, or whether there be not every thing here to discountenance the exclusion of the saints from the church of Christ, I would have the reader himself to judge.
Christ." Jude iv. As the description, however, exactly corresponds with that given by Peter, and as these observations have already been pro longed too far, I shall not insert it here, but only request the reader to peruse it for himself, and determine whether it be not in perfect agreement with all the preceding remarks.
In the Revelation of John the Divine we have particular mention made of certain heretics and false teachers, and it will be found on examination, that their principles and character were just such as have been described again and again. In the letter to the angel of the church in Pergamos are these words, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrines of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate." Rev. ii. 14, 15. To the angel of the church in Thyatira the following words are addressed-"Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." These were the persons (most likely) alluded to by the Apostle Paul, where he exhorts the Ephesians to let no man deceive them with vain words.-See the observations on that passage in a former part of this article.
There is but another passage that I am aware of, that is adduced in favour of the right which some suppose the church possesses, to exclude true Christians from its communion. And when this passage comes to be examined, it will be seen that it says as little in favour of such a right as any that have been already considered. It is the passage in Matt. xviii. 15-18, in which the Saviour gives directions for the peaceful adjustment of all personal disputes between his followers. These directions are, 1. That the offended party tell the offender of his fault between their two selves. 2. That if the offender will not make reparation and be reconciled to his brother, his brother
In the Epistle of Jude we have another full description of "certain men who had crept in unawares, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus
clusion of heretics from the church of Christ, they would not all establish the right of the church to expel those whose only offence is, that they reverence the authority of the Gospel, and freely exercise their minds to ascertain what are its teachings and requirements.
(To be continued.)
USE OF PROPERTY.
How little of all the property that possessed by professing Christians rightly employed.
take one or two more with him, that by their influence the quarrelsome, offending brother may be brought to a better mind; or, if this cannot be accomplished, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 3. That in case he still refuse to hearken to offers and counsels of peace, the case be laid before the church; that by the entreaties and admonitions of the church he may be induced to acknowledge his offence, and agree to be reconciled to his brother. 4. That in case he still harbour unkind, revengeful feelings, and show himself to be a stranger to the meek, conciliating spirit which Christ requires of his disciples, his brethren proceed forthwith to disown him, and that he be thenceforth regarded by them as a heathen man and a publican. It is obvious here also, that the person to be disowned is not a good man who faithfully follows his conscientious convictions, and acts according to a sense of duty in every thing, but a proud, morose, quarrelsome individual, unwilling to be reconciled to his brother, when his brother has made the first advances, and done every thing in his power to effect a reconciliation. Whether this passage, when it comes to be understood, proves any thing against the principles and reasonings contained in this article, judge ye.
I have now gone through the New Testament, and examined every passage with which I am acquainted, that has any relation to the subject; and if I am not mistaken, I have proved, by a separate examination of each passage, that there are no heretics spoken of in Scripture, who were not either infidel in sentiment, or licentious in practice, or both,that there is not a single passage authorising the church to expel from its communion any sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that while the right of the church to expel heretics, and even the imperative duty of the church to do this is most manifest, there is nothing in this fact to authorize the expulsion of those who love God, and make it the labour of their life to ascertain and do his will. Men like these are not heretics, and though there were ten times as many passages as there are, requiring the ex
What vast amounts are spent in pride and sensuality. What vast amounts are laid up as a security against future want. What vast amounts are employed in trade, with no other object than to acquire more wealth. How little do we see employed in genuine Christian charity. How scarce is the true self-denial and charity of the Gospel. How few do we see who have given up all pretence of title to themselves or any thing they have, and who have consecrated themselves and their all to God; resolving to employ their all in his service, studying only to be well informed in what particular ways it may best promote his glory, and the welfare of mankind. How scarce are those men who are covetous and laborious for God and for their fellow-men, that do as providently get and keep, and as diligently labour, and as much pinch their flesh that they may have the more with which to do good, as other men do in making provision for their flesh, and laying up for their posterity. Oh, when will men understand the religion of heaven; when will they submit themselves to the will of God. When will they acknowledge the wisdom of his laws, and begin to live only for his glory and for the welfare of their fellow-men.
He never studied God and heaven, nor his own heart, that knoweth not that it is a very difficult thing to have a heavenly mind in earthly prosperity, and live in the desires and delightful hopes of another world, while we feel that all things seem to go well with us in this. It is hard to be weaned from the world till we suffer in it; yea until we are plunged into an utter despair of ever receiving the satisfaction of our de sires.
means. We invite all our readers to help us.
Some individuals may do a great deal alone by purchasing and personally distributing Tracts. In other cases, two or three persons may act together for the same object, and besides what they do themselves, they may induce others to enter upon the same work. We would also urge upon Churches the formation of Tract Societies, that they may operate as a body-with proper officers-on a still more extended scale. In any way and in all ways that Christian principle sanctions, this important duty should be set about, and we feel no doubt that good effects will soon be realized.
THE TRACT PROJECT.
THE arrangements are now complete for the publication of a number of Tracts, and we hope the friends will afford us the help which will be necessary to enable us to carry out our plan. We intend, if suitably assisted, to publish at the rate of a twelve page Tract a week, for one year; and, when the price at which these twelve pages will be sold, is stated, it will be made evident that their extensive diffusion is not only practicable, but must take place, if right means are used, almost as necessary consequence. A single Tract will be sold for one halfpenny; three Tracts for a penny: twenty-five for eight-pence; fifty for fifteenpence: and, one hundred for two shillings and sixpence. In case smaller or larger Tracts be issued, the price will be less or more accordingly, the rates being for twelve pages as just stated, This is cheaper-much cheaper than any thing of the kind that we are aware of, whether undertaken by public societies or particular individuals. The separate Tracts will be so numbered that they may be bound together in volumes; and, when thus put together, the cost of a volume of three hundred pages will be only about eightpence; and if threepence or fourpence be added for the expense of binding, the whole charge will not exceed a shilling. This is surely putting knowledge within the reach of all. But cheapness will not be sufficient of itself to secure the attainment of the object we aim at, unless proper means be adopted by others, besides the publishers, to place instruction before the world. Ignorant persons are not like persons destitute of natural food, who feel hungry, and who must, and will be supplied with something to satisfy their cravings. An ignorant man has often no concern for knowledge: he is willing to remain as he is. It is for others, in the first instance at least, to care for him. It is the special duty of the Church to try to enlighten mankind in the principles and duties of the Gospel; and it is to stir up the members of the Church of all Churches-to do this duty that we are aiming at, by the publication of Tracts and other similar
Those connected with this undertaking believe that the publication, and the wide circulation, of a new order of Tracts are necessary to the general revival of pure and undefiled religion. They believe that it is by these means, in connection with preaching, delivering lectures, and holding discussions, that the slumbering masses of our population are to be roused, and prepared for a thorough reformation. They are wishful to spread the light and influence of the Gospel through the whole country, and through the whole world. They cannot doubt but by vigorous and well-directed efforts, accompanied with holy lives and fervent, persevering prayers, a greater and more glorious reformation may be brought about than any that the world as yet has ever witnessed. The world is prepared for a change; thousands on thousands of holy, devoted souls in various denominations, are longing and looking for such a change; there appears no probability that the religion of Christ will ever be the religion of the whole earth, unless a great and mighty change is effected in the spirit and proceedings of the professing world; and it behoves us to do what we can towards bringing the desired, the necessary change about. Let us do what our hands find to do with all our might. A solemn, a tremendous responsibility rests upon us, and mournful and terrible will be the consequences, if we should prove unfaithful.
DURING the last month, W. Trotter has spent near a fortnight in visiting the churches in Staffordshire. He found all these churches in a healthy thriving condition, and through Divine mercy, his labours amongst them were attended with considerable success. He preached at Tunstall, Fenton, Burslem, Sneyd Green, Hanley, Newcastle, Washer Wall, and Stoke upon Trent. With the exception of the Saturday, he preached every morning at five o'clock and every evening at seven ; and so great was the thirst after the word which prevailed in the neighbourhood, that persons came regularly a distance of two, three, four, and even five miles to the preaching at five o'clock in the morning. The attendance at all the services was good, and at Hanley, on the Sabbath, the congregation was overflowing.A holy influence evidently rested on the congregation, and impressions were made, which it is hoped will not soon be effaced. On Sabbath day, the 19th of Dec., W. Trotter preached at Hanley morning and evening, and conducted a lovefeast in the afternoon. The subject on which he dwelt in the morning was, the character and success of the primitive churches compared with the character and success of the churches at the present day.Many, it is believed, were led to resolve that they would return to first works and seek the unction from above, with which the first Christians were so plenteously endued.In the afternoon, at the lovefeast, the convincing and awakening fervour of God was displayed, and three persons appeared to enter into the enjoyment of Gospel Peace and Liberty. The subject in the evening was, The Nature of True Penitence, as exemplified in the Case of David, Psalm li. 1-4. The presence and power of God were still more signally manifested than in the afternoon, and a number of persons professed to find peace through faith in a crucified Redeemer. A number more seemed to labour under deep convictions of sin, and there seemed to be a delightful cheering prospect of a great ingathering of souls. W. Trotter preached again in Hanley, on Thursday evening and
Friday morning. On Thursday evening, the large room in which the Friends worship, was comfortably filled, and again was the presence of God made manifest in the awakening of souls. On Friday morning, there would be not less than three hundred persons present, some of whom had come from a distance of four or five miles. A gracious influence pervaded the assembly, and numbers, we hope, resolved, in the strength of grace, that they would be altogether devoted to the Lord and follow him fully. Throughout the district, there are the signs of an approaching and abundant revival of religion. If the friends are only faithful to God and to his cause, his arm will be made bare amongst them, and blessed results shall fol
"Lo! the promise of a shower Drops already from above; "But the Lord will shortly pour "All the Spirit of his love."
We have received the following from our friend Thomas Smith, who is labouring with Wm. Trotter in the Bradford District.
DEAR BROTHER BARKER,
Our Christian brethren in Huddersfield and the neighbourhood, wish me to send you, for the Investigator, a brief report of the meetings, &c., recently held there.
I spent a very happy Christmas with them, during the week commencing with Dec. 25th, (Christmas Day) and ending with the year. In accordance with an arrangement which had been previously made public, I gave ten lectures and sermons, and had pleasing evidence that entire Christianity was promoted by them. These were delivered at Huddersfield, Berry Brow, Lindley, and Shepley. Those portions of Evan gelical truth, which in this age are most neglected, formed the chief topics of the addresses, and four of these lectures were devoted to the Wealth Question. We had several discussions after the lectures, which greatly increased the interest evinced by the audience. From the information given me in the various places, it is evident a widely-spread nquiry has commenced, and is fast extending throughout that part of