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tion, and profess to believe that “Jesus Christ died for all men, and hath purchased salvation for all.” Yet they say, “We do not become holy by our own power; but it is a work of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit.” There is no doctrine on which they seem to dwell with such delight, as that of the cross, or the love of Christ in laying down his life for sinners. This, they say, has been the preaching which the Lord hath mostly blessed to the conversion of the heathen. Perhaps there is no denomination in whom a meek, quiet, and child-like spirit has been more cultivated. In some instances however, it has been thought by other christians to degenerate too much into puerility; and the manner in which they have spoken and written on some subjects has been far from consistent with the rules of chastity. In their behalf it is said, that “some of their converts having previously imbibed extravagant motions, propagated them with zeal among their new friends in a phraseology extremely reprehensible; and that Count Zinzendorf himself sometimes adopted the very improper language of those fanatics, whom he wished to reclaim from their errors to the sober

ness of truth ; but much of the extravagance and absurdity that has been attributed to the Count is not to be charged to him, but to those persons, who, writing his extempore sermons inshort hand, printed and published them without his knowledge or consent. The church of the United Brethren is episcopal, and the order of succession in their bishops is traced with great exactness in their history. But though they consider episcopal ordination as necessary to qualify the servants of the church for their respective functions, yet they allow to their bishops no elevation of rank, or pre-eminent authority ; their church having from its first establishment been governed by synods, consisting of deputies from all the congregations, and by other subordinate bodies, which they call conferences. The synods, which are generally held once in seven years, are called together by the elders who were in the former synod appointed to superintend the whole unity. In the first sitting a president is chosen, and these elders lay down their office, but they do not withdraw from the assembly; for they, together with all the bishops, seniores civiles, or lay elders, and those ministers who have the generai care or inspection of several congregations in one province have seats in the synods, without any particular election. The other members are one or more deputies sent b each congregation, and suc ministers or missionaries as are particularly called to attend. Women approved by the congregations are also admitted as hearers, and are called upon to give their advice in what relates to the ministerial labour among their sex; but they have no decisive vote in the synod. The votes of all the other members are equal. In questions of importance, or of which the consequences cannot be foreseen, neither the majority of votes, nor the unanimous consent of all present can decide; but recourse is had to the lot. For this practice the brethren allege the examples of the ancient jews, and of the apostles ; the insufficiency of the human understanding, amidst the best and purest intentions, to decide for itself in what concerns the administration of Christ's kingdom ; and their own confident reliance on the promises that the Lord Jesus will approve himself the head and ruler of his church. The lot is never made use of but after mature deliberation and fervent prayer ; nor is any

* Crantz's History of the Brethren, section 82,

thing submitted to its decision which does not, after being thoroughly weighed, appear to the assembly eligible in itself. In every synod, the inward and outward state of the Unity and the concerns of the congregations and missions are taken into consideration. If errors in doctrine, or deviation in practice have creptin, the synod endeavours to remove them, and by salutary regulations to prevent them for the future. It considers how many bishops are to be consecrated to fill up the vacancies occasioned by death ; and every member of the synod gives a vote for such of the clergy as he thinks best qualified. Those who have the majority of votes are taken into the lot, and they who are approved are consecrated accordingly. Towards the conclusion of every synod a kind of executive i. is chosen, and called “The elders' conference of the Unity.” At present it consists of thirteen elders, and is divided into four committees or departments.--(1.) The missions' department, which superintends all the concerns of the missions into heathen countries.—(2.) The helpers' department, which watches over the purity of doctrine, and the moral conduct of the different congregations.—(3.) The servants' department, to which the oeconomical concerns of the Unity are committed.—(4.) The overseers' department, of which the business is to see that the constitution and discipline of the brethren be every where maintained. No resolution however, of any of these departments, has the smallest force till it be laid before the assembly of the whole elders' conference, and have the approbation of that body. The powers of the elders’ conference are indeed very extensive : besides the general care which it is commissioned by the synods to take of all the congregations and missions, it appoints and removes every servant in the Unity as circumstances may require; authorises the bishops to ordain presbyters, or deacons, and to consecrate other bishops; and in a word, though it cannot abrogate any of the constitutions of the synods, or enact new ones itself, yet it is possessed of the supreme executive power over the whole body of the united brethren.

Besides this general conference of elders, there is another conference of elders belonging to each congregation, which directs its affairs, and to which the bishops and all other ministers, as well as the

lay members of the congregation, are subject. This body, which is called “The elders’ cenference of the congregation,” consists, (1.) Of the minister as president, to whom the ordinary care of the congregation is committed, except when it is very numerous, and then the general inspection of it is entrusted to a separate person, called the congregation-helper.—(2.) Of the warden, whose office it is to superintend, with the aid of council, all outward concerns of the congregation, and to assist every individual with his advice.—(3.) Of a married pair, who care particularly for the spiritual welfare of the married people.—(4.) Of a single clergyman, to whose care the young men are more particularly committed.—And, (5.) Of those women who assist in caring for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their own sex, and who in this conference have equal votes with the men. As the elders' conference of each congregation is answerable for its proceedings to the elders' conference of the unity, visitations from the latter to the former are held from time to time, that the affairs of each congregation, and the conduct of its immediate governors may be intimately known to the supreme executive government of the whole church. Episcopal consecration does not, in the opinion of the brethren, confer any power to preside over one or more congregations; and a bishop can discharge no office but by the appointment of a synod, or of the elders’ conference of the unity. Presbyters amongst them can perform every function of the bishop, except ordination. Deacons are assistants to the presbyters much in the same way as in the church of England; and deaconesses are retained for the purpose of privately admonishing their own sex, and visiting them in their sickness: , but though they are solemnly blessed to this office, they are not permitted to teach in public, and far less to administer the ordinances. They have likewise seniores civiles, or lay-elders, in contradistinction from spiritual elders, or bishops, who are appointed to watch over the constitution and discipline of the united brethren ; over the observance of the laws of the country in which congrega

tions or missions are esta

blished, and over the privileges granted to the brethren by the governments under which they live. They have oeconomies, or choir-houses, where they live together in community: the single men,

and single women, widows, and widowers apart, each under the superintendance of elderly persons of their own class. In these houses every person who is able, and has not an independent support, labours in their own occupation, and contributes a stipulated sum for their maintenance. Their children are educated with peculiar care. In marriage they may only form a connexion with those of their own communion: the brother who marries out of the congregation is immediately cut off from churchfellowship. Sometimes however, a sister is by express licence from the elders’ conference permitted to marry a person of approved piety in another communion, yet still to join in their church ordinances as before. A brother may make his own choice of a partner in the society; but as all intercourse between the different sexes is carefully avoided, very few opportunities of forming particular attachments are found ; and they usually refer their choice to the church rather than decide for themselves. And as the lot must be cast to sanction their union, each receives his partner as a divine appointment.—They do not consider a literary course of education as at all necessary to the ministry, provided there be a thorough knowledge of the word of God, a solid christian experience, and a wellregulated zeal to serve God and their neighbours. They consider the church of Christ as not confined to any particular party, community, or church, and themselves, though united in one body or visible church, as spiritually joined in the bond of christian love to all who are taught of God, and belong to the universal church of Christ, however much they may differ in forms, which they deem non-essentials. But the most distinguishing feature of this denomination is, their earnest and unremitted labour in attempting to convert the heatheu. They seem to have considered themselves, within the last seventy years, as a church of missionaries. And though other denominations have of late emulated their zeal, yet are they far behind them. In modesty, imeekness, patience, and silent perseverance in this great work, they are unequalled. The following are the names of their settlements in heathen countries:–Begun in 1732, in the Danish West India Islands. In St. Thomas, New Herrnhut, Nisky; in St. Croix, Friedensburg, Friedensthal; in St. Jan, Bethany, and

Emmaus.--In 1733, in Greenland, New Herrnhut, Lichtensels,and Lichtenau. In 1734. North America, Fairfield in Upper Canada, and Goshen, on the river Muskingum.— In 1736, at the Cape of Good IIope, Bavians Rloof, (renewed in 1792.)—In 1738, in South America, among the negro slaves at Paramaribo and Sommelsdyk ; among the free negroes at Bambey, on the Sarameca; and among the native Indians at Hope on the river Corentyn.—In 1754, in Jamaica, two settlements in Elizabeth parish.-In 1756, in Antigua, at St. John's, Grace hill, and Grace Bay.— In 1760, near Tranquebar in the East Indies, Brethren's Garden.—In 1764, on the Coast of Labrador, Nain, Okkak, and Hopedale.—In 1765, in Barbadoes, Sharon, near Bridge-town.—In the same year, in the Russian part of Asia, Sarepta.-In 1775, in St. Kitt's at Basseterre.— In 1789, in Tobago, Signals hill, renewed in 1798. The East India missions are at present suspended. The most flourishing at this time are those in Greenland, Antigua, St. Kitt's, the Danish West India Islands, and the Cape of Good Hope. A new awakening has appeared of late among the Arawacks and free Negroes in South Ame

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