larly set forth by, and in the thirty-nine articles, printed and published in their Book of Common Prayer, or form and ceremonies of worship.

The following is a summary of its principles, and manner of worship: 1. The church of England' has thirty-nine articles, of which some contain the matter of faith relating to the church of God, and others are civil articles, relating to its government, order, and discipline. 2. The 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th articles set forth, that there is but one living and true God; that in the Godhead there are three persons, Pather, Son, and Holy Ghost, all equal in power, majesty, and glory; that the second person in this Trinity took our nature upon him, and is both God and Man united in one Christ; that he was crucified for us in the flesh, was buried, rose the third day from the dead, according to the Scriptures ; that he ascended into heaven, and there makes continual intercession for us. 3. They own in article 9) original sin, and that by Adam's first disobedience, or transgression, all mankind are tainted or infected with evil, have a natural inclination to sin, and therefore are obnoxious to the wrath of God; and (in article 10) that man's condition since the fall is such, that he has no power, or free will of himself, to do good works, acceptable to God, without the grace of God working with him. 4. The 11th article affirms, that we are justified by faith only, and are accounted righteous before God, for or through the merits of Christ only; but the 12th recommends' the practice of good works, as the only proofs of a true faith. 5. This church teaches us, in article isth, that works done before justification, or before grace is given, cannot be pleasing to God, nor do such works make us meet to receive grace, as they spring not from a true and lively faith: and the 14th Aatly denies the works of supererogation, and acknowledges, that when we have done all we can possibly do, we are still unprofitable servants. 6. The 17th article treats of the doctrine of election and predestination. 7. The 18th article says, that the church holds all persons accursed who will presume to say that any man is saved by the law, or by any sect, profession, or persuasion : and the 22d depies the Romish doctrine of purgatory, paying adoration to angels, and relics of saints. *8. The 27th and 28th articles acknowledge two sacraments only, namely, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and say, that after consecration the bread and wine are unchanged, and both are to be received by the faithful only, in commemoration of the body and

blood of Christ, broken and spilt upon the cross.

9. The church holds infant baptism, requires godfathers and godmothers, and marks the child in the forehead with the sign of the cross by the finger at the font. 10. These are the articles relating principally, though not wholly, to the tenets of the church of England: the other articles contain only rules and orders concerning its government and discipline.

The church of England worships God, first, by confession of sins, then calling upon his name in prayer, praises, and singing of Psalms. The Collects are short prayers used by the minister and people, and are allowed to be well suited to almost all occasions; and the whole way and manner of worship is regularly and explicitly laid down in the Book of Common Prayer.

As the Romish church calls all people heretics who separate from her communion, so the church of England calls all those who separate from her communion schismatics.

As the Protestants separated from the doctrines of the church of Rome, on account of its errors and superstitions, so a certain set of men (formerly called Puritans) separated from this church, under the notion that several of its forms and ceremonies were unwarrantable, and that their conscience could not bear them.

All other sects who profess Protestantism in England, but dissent from the established church, are called Dissenters.

The Dissenters are divided into many sects, namely, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Arians, Arminians, Antimonians, Socinians, Unitarians, &c.

PRESBYTERIANS. PRESBYTERIANS are those persons who deny episcopacy, or the government of the visible church by bishops; or those that assert that the church should be governed by elders or presbyters. :

They choose their ministers by making choice out of several persons, whoin the elders first examine in principles and abilities; and when they have fixed upon a pastor, teacher, or minister, they nominate, elect, or ordain him, by fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands.

All common affairs in every particular church or assembly are regulated by their ministers and elders. If questions arise which require more judgment to determine, they then appeal to the ministers and elders of other congregations. They have yet a higher appeal than this; and in case of differences and disputes, they call a court or synod of the most able among them, who meet to regulate all affairs, and to adjust every dispute to the satisfaction of inferior congregations.

Their tenets concerning God, the Trinity, the sufferings of Christ, &c. are equally the same as that of the articles of the church of England; and they baptize infants by sprinkling, and have sponsors for them as the church has, but refuse the names of godfather and godmother.

Some have, others have not, any regular form of prayer, but worship by extempore prayer, preaching, and singing Psalms; some of them frequently conclade their prayers with the Lord's prayer. These secls are rather Arminians than Calvinists.

INDEPENDENTS. The word itself carries its own meaning with it. They are a sect who profess themselves independent of all other churches or persuasions, of all councils, synods, and jurisdictions, and argue that every church or assembly of men have a power lodged in themselves; and therefore deny all superiority and subordination. Their worship is the same as the Presbyterians, and their tenets much the same except it be that they hold a particular redemption, and are in general rather Calvinists ihan Arminians.

BAPTISTS, The Baptists are divided into general who are in sentiments Arminians; and into particular, who are Calvinists. Both however oppose the baptism of infants ; say it is unscriptural, and that none are proper objects of this first sacrament but adult persons, and such as are capable of giving account of their faith in Christ Jesus, and believe that it is an ordinance that he enjoined all his disciples to follow. They say further, that sprinkling with water is not baptism, but an innovation, contrary to the rules of Scripture; and that therefore no person is truly baptized, who is not dipped into or buried under water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Their manner of worship is by extempore prayer, praises, preaching, and singing Psalmsi and their government or discipline is by elders, from their own particular community.

METHODISTS. This term was formerly applied, in France and other countries, to certain polemic doctors, for their peculiar method of defending popery against the Protestants.; but what we now understand by it, is the sect founded about the year 1729 by Messrs. John and Charles Wesley, with whom, in 1735, was associated the celebrated Mr. Whitfield. However, in 1741, a separation took place; Mr. Wesley not holding the doctrine of predestination, which Mr. Whitfield and his friends supported. The principles of the Methodists approach nearer to Arminianism than those of any other sect.

QUAKERS. They are so called, because at first, when they spoke or preached, they had violent shakings or agitations. Their first leader was one George Fox, in the year 1650, who taught thatthe light within is more sufficient to guide men to heaven than the holy Scriptures; but they are now much reformed, and pay a great regard to God's word, but still deny the two sacraments, and all manner of ceremonies. They refuse to take an oath before a magistrate, and therefore are indulged to give their affirmation when called upon as witnesses. Their worship is very abrupt, any person rising up to pray or preach according as he is moved. They pray and then preach, or instruct their congregations in all moral duties, and speak continually against the modes, vanities, and vices, of the age. They are very plain and simple in their dress; and for order and discipline in governing their different assemblies and congregations, and for unity, harmony, and brotherly love, they equal any Christian sect of people or church in the universe.

ARIANS. ARJANS, or the followers of Arius, who in the time of Constantine the Great, A. D. 315, taught that the Son of God is not equal or consubstantial with the Father, but only the first of all created beings. His opinion was condemned as heretical by the council of Nice, in A. D. 325; but notwithstanding this many of the eastern churches adopled his principles; and are very numerous to this day.

ARMINIANS. ARMINIANS are those who adhere to the doctrine of Arminius, who separated himself from the Calvinists in the sixteenth century, and taught that predestination is grounded on foreseen works of righteousness; that a man has power of himself to embrace or reject the motions of the Holy Spirit; and that he may finally fall from grace after justification.

ANTIMONIANS. The Antimonians are a sect who reject not only the Mosaic law of ceremonies, but assert also that all manner of good works, such as honesty, charity, sobriety, temperance, chastity, &c. are of no signification, because good or evil works neither forward nor hinder a man in his salvation; that our righteousness is already complete in the offering of Christ; and that whoever believes faithfully that the work of redemption is already finished, it is suffi. cient.

SOCINIANS. SOCINIANS are those who follow the doctrine of one Faustus Socinus, who lived in the sixteenth century, and who taught that Jesus Christ was not only a mere man, but had no existence before the Virgin Mary.

CALVINISTS. CALVINISTS are the followers of the noted reformer Calvin, who lived in the fifteenth century. He taught that predestination is absolute and unconditional from all eternity, and that God elected certain persons before the foundation of the world to eternal salvation and holiness of life.



Advent is a time appointed by the Church as a preparation for the approaching feast of the nativity of our blessed Saviour.

« ForrigeFortsett »