« 上一頁繼續 »
The shepherd, the tinker, the journeyman printer, the shoemaker, the carpenter, the lastmaker* the blacksmith, the clockmaker, the barber-- have gained nothing in public estimation or social privilege, by the intellectual superiority and miraculous achievements of a Shakspeare or Ferguson, a Bunyan, a Franklin, a Sherman or. Bloomfield or Carey, a Lea, a Morrison, a Burritt or Bäer, a Rittenhouse, an Arkwright, a Burns, a Fulton.
* Dr. Morrison was a last and boot-tree maker.
THOUGHTS ON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GOVERNMENT
OR ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.*
HEADS, TOPICS, HINTS, FACTS-FOR DISCUSSION, ILLUSTRATION, ETC.- BEING THE
OUTLINE OF AN INAUGURAL DISCOURSE, AS PROFESSOR IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OF NEW ALBANY, 1851.
It is proposed, in the present discourse, to attempt little more than a simple exhibition of the principal heads or topics which the subject naturally suggests as worthy of notice; and which, under other circumstances, and especially in the theological class-room, would demand a more ample discussion or illustration. I shall not follow any very strictly historical or logical order in the arrangement of either the facts or arguments which I am about to submit to your consideration. They may, however, be comprehended under two general captions or divisions, viz. :
* It is due to the author to state, that the manuscript from which these fragmentary thoughts are taken was evidently not prepared by him for publication. A part of the matter was delivered by him before the Board of Directors of the New Albany Theological Seminary, in 1851, when he was inaugurated as Professor of Biblical Archæology and Church Government in that institution. As stated by him at the time, it was intended as a synopsis or compendium of his course of instruction. It was never fully written out, and only a part of it is here published: and that mainly to show the outline of his instructions as a Teacher of Theology. The several heads of discourse, in all probability, became the themes of his extemporaneous and eonversational lectures to his pupils.-EDITOR.
I. The elementary principles and distinctive features of the Presbyterian Church Polity.
II. Its peculiar advantages and practical results.
With these two objects mainly in view, I shall dispose of my miscellaneous materials in numerical order, just as they occur to mind, without reference to their direct bearing upon either of the above purposes or propositions.
1. Government is a divine institution. This proposition will not be questioned by any who derive their opinions from the Bible; nor, indeed, by any who soberly. reflect on the character, condition and necessities of social
No community, large or small, from the family to the empire, could exist without it. No association, literary, philosophical, religious or benevolent, secret or public, voluntary or involuntary, for good or for evil, can be sustained without government-or without laws, rules, sanctions and penalties.
2. The Bible is replete with examples and lessons on the subject of government-family or domestic, civil or political, religious or ecclesiastical.
3. While it is not pretended that the Bible furnishes exact models for either civil or church polity-adapted to all ages and countries—yet much that is valuable and pertinent to both may thence be learned: and not a few radical and essential principles are clearly inculcated as of universal and perpetual obligation. Such, for instance, is the decalogue.
4. In reference to the Church, we must bear in mind the wide difference between the Mosaic and Christian