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propriate meaning discoverable by the context or by analogy. Otherwise also the word l'emple would have no appropriate meaning in any place, because, Christians are sometimes called Temples; and Christ himself is meant by a Temple, (Matt. xxyi, 61.) I shall begin my remarks with an explanation of that part of Matt. xviii. which relates to the church; and from thence, as from a fountain head, shall derive and deduce an appropriate meaning of the word Church. Matt, xviii, 15. The whole of the preceding context relates to controversies and to scandals introduced by worldly men into the church. In thiş verse, our Lord directs, that if a Christian should injure another Christian, (1 Cor, vi. 6.) the injured person should endeavour first to gain redress by a private conference. Ver. 16. Should that fail, one or two witnesses (two or three, including the injured person) are to be taken to a second conference, in order to bear true wit, ness (John viij. 17.) before the church. Ver. 17, 18, Should their admonitions likewise be disregarded, they are to bear witness before the church; whereby it is implied, that the two or three above-mentioned, did not constitute a church; for, if they did, they might have seltled the controversy. But to the church is here given the power of chaining and unchaining criminals, i.e.
of escommunicating or of pardoning-offenders, with a į promise, that God will conditionally confirm their sen
tence in the kingdom of heaven. (Compare Matt. x. 13.) Ver. 19. The meaning of Talı deyw upe is I repeat unto you, (ver. 18. Phil. iv. 4.) and this repetition Dr. Hammond calls a Palinodia :-Eupowinowow means speak the same thing, i. e, agree in evidence, (compare Acts x. 43. with Acts xv. 15, 19.) bring legal proof, or bear true witness.Tlpaypalos signifies a suit. (1 Cor. vi. 1.) Actnowolat means, shall petition or plead. (Luke vi. 30.) and xxiji. 22, 23. Deut. xvii. 6, 12, and xix. 15. Acts v. 9, Tit. iii. 10. the Greek, 1 Tim. v. 19. and Leigh's Critica Sacra, under aitew.) In this verse, therefore, it is repeated, that when two or three witnesses bear an agreeing, i. e. trúe evi, dence before the church concerning any offence, the sentence of the church shall be confirmed in the kingdom of heaven. Ver. 20. Eurnyjevov, signifies brought together, (see. ver. 16, 17.) as witnesses before the church. EIS TO opcov ovoua, is, to my authority, i, e. tribunal. (Acts xxv. 11. the Greek) or to an oath in my namie. (1 Cor. vi. 10, 11. and v. 4. 6 peow, means, the mediator or judge, and per
version, if they are mentioned rely it is the
Greek, and 2 Cor. xiii. l. and Acts xxv. 11. the Greek. Heb. vi. 17. the Greek. Rev. i. 13, 16. and xi. 3-7, and Parkhurst's Gr, Lex. under Meovpls. Here then it is shewn, that the judgment of the visible church upon earth is confirmed (if not guided) by the Holy Ghost; and hence it appears, that in its primary sense, the whole 'context relates to the controversies, (Eraydache heresies and offences,) and to the settlement of the controversies of Christians; and that the visible church essentially consists of more than two or three belieyers; but that the agreement of two or three witnesses in any cause is as necessary in the Christian, as it was in the Jewish church. And from hence most manifestly the apostles derive their authority, and according to these directions give judgment. (Compare, rer. 18. and Matt. xvi. 19. and Acts xv. 10.) In the following verse, the explanation is continued in the same retrospective manner. (Compare ver, 15. and Luke xvii. 3, 4.) see Hammond.. * Upon the whole then, it has been shewn, that in the sense in which the word Church is here used, two or three could not constitute a church; secondly, that the disciples did not constitute a church ; (coinpare ver. 1. with ver. 17. and 18.) Thirdly, that the church received froin Christ authority to judge righteously her members who offended or gave scandal, (see Parkhurst's Gr. Lex. under Exavdanor) and finally, that excommunication from the church, when deservedly inflicted, was likewise exclusion from heaven.
The CATHOLIC PETITION impartially eramined.
S we conceive the mere presentation of this peti.. A tion to both Houses of Parliament, to be a matter of most serious import, and as one which may, if not soon, yet remotely, produce momentous consequences, we have given it a very minute, and we trust impartial inves
tigation. Ill indeed should we merit the title of Ortuo. DOX CHURCHMEN, if we suffered such a remarkable measure as the present to pass by unheeded, or with a cursory kind of notice. It behoves every man who has the slightest regard for the civil and religious privileges which he enjoys under our invaluable constitution, to watch with jealous circumspection any attempts that may be made to weaken or riyal the ecclesiastical establishment of these realms, knowing, or at least as he ought to know, that it was by that establishment those priviJeges were first settled, and have since been secured. Let no man deceive himself. The republicans in the reign of Charles I. began with the Church, and in destroying that, they soon effected the downfal of monarchy amidst an ocean of blood. In that dreadful contest it is an undoubted historic fact, that many Romanists took an active part, rejoicing in the general confusion which overwhelmed the great bulwark of the reformation. The rebellion in Ireland broke out in consequence of the civil commotions in England, and was fomented by the Court of Rome, and regarded by the popish party, every where, as a glorious struggle against heresy, even while the same party expressed their outward attachment to the royal cause. And what was the real ground of their attachment to that cause? Nothing more or less than this; that they hoped from the influence of the Queen, and many powerful persons in the court, to see their Church re-established. The stedfastness of Cbarles I. turned their attachment into enmity, and many of the religious order of the Romish persuasion, were seen active and triumphant at his murder.
We are not willing to reyive antient animosities; nor is it our wish to create prejudices against any of our fel. lof subjects on account of the practices of their forefathers. But when the principles which formerly actuated the Romanists, still exist, when it is avowed, that their Religion is still the same, and that their Church is unerring and unchangeable, it is but right and prudent to see what direct effect those principles have had in other days upon political affairs, and how far the decrees and practices of țhat Church may be trusted. Openness and impartiality are requisite on both sides. It is essentially neçessary that each party, viz, the petitioners and the legislative authorities, should conduct themselves 'prith the utmost candour and attention
to each other. On the part of the latter there can be no doubt, but that this will be abundantly, the case: but has it been so with the former?--That it has not we shall here prove, by a inost remarkable instance on the face of the petition itself.
Much of it appears to be doctrinal. . It professes that the applicants do not assent to certain articles of Faithe which form some of the most important and distinguisli ing Credenda of the Roman Church, established and ens. forced on penalty of anathema by the Council of Trent, subscribed and assented to by all of the clergy of that communion, and carefully inculcated into the infant minds of youth by their, public catechisms. Now a bundred laymen of that church, come forward and sign their names to a petition, wlierein these articles are denied. And suppose a bundred or a thousand, or ten thousand laymen, calling themselves members of the Church of England, were to subscribe a similar declaration against the liturgy and standard Confession of Faith of the established Church, would that be a proof that the bishops, the clergy, and the great majority of lay
a renunciation ?, Whence, comes it, that on matters of faith, the Romish Bishops and clergy of Ireland have not come forward, and expressed shemselves as the petitioners have done? But we know that on the contrary, all that is therein declared doctrinally has their decided disapprobation; and though political prudence inakes them silent, yet amongst themselves they condemn such acts of the laity, as contrary to the obedience which they owe to their spiritual superiors Now when the wonderful influence of the priests over the great mass of their persuasion is considered; it would be extreine weakness, not to say folly, to concede what is claimed in the present petition, on the simple declaration of a few india viduals, Dr. Geddes called himself a Catholick to the last, and died according to the forms in which he had been bred, though for the greatest part of his life, he had laboured to sảp the foundations of the Christian faith, and to turn revelation into ridicule; and his munificent patron Lord Petre, though he sånctioned the doc. tor's infainous labours, wlien he died ordered masses, for his soul. The declaration of such persons, therefore, with regard to what they believed of the papal claims, or the faith of the Roman Catholick church, is not to