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while such, or before “any act, exercise, or exertion of their minds whatsoever;" consequently, before repentance; and that “a passive belief of this quiets the guilty conscience, begets hope, and so lays the foundation for love.” It is by this passive belief of the truth, that we, according to Mr. Sandeman, are justified, and that boasting is excluded. If any act, exercise, or exertion of the mind were necessary to our being accepted of God, he conceives there would be whereof to glory ; and justification by faith could not be opposed, as it is in Rom. iv. 4, 5, to justification by works. The authors to whom Mr. Sandeman refers under the title of “popular preachers,” are Flavel, Boston, Guthrie, the Erskines, &c.; whom he has treated with great acrimony and contempt. “I would be far (says he) from refusing even to the popular preachers themselves what they so much grudge to others, the benefit of the one instance of a hardened sinner finding mercy at last: for I know of no sinners more hardened, none greater destroyers of mankind than they.” Some of the writers who have vindicated these ministers from his invectives, have yet acknowledged that he has pointed out many
dark strokes in their writings; “And if (said one of them) he could clear off all their mistakes, he should beas welcome to them as any crow could be to take all the carrion out of our fruitful fields : but who would abandon their fruitful fields, because some crowsmeat was found there f" Others have endeavoured to shew that Mr. Sandeman's notion of faith, by excluding all exercise or concurrence of the will with the gospel way of salvation, confounds the faith of devils with that of christians, and so is calculated to deceive the souls of men. It has also been observed, that though Mr. Sandeman admits of the acts of faith and love as fruits of believing the truth ; yet “all his godliness consisting, (as he acknowledges to Mr. Pike) in love to that which first relieved him,” it amounts to nothing but self-love. And as self-love is a stranger to all those strong affections expressed in the hundred-and-nineteenth Psalm towards the law of God, he cannot admit of them as the language of a good man; but applies the whole psalm to Christ, though the person speaking acknowledges that “ before he was afflicted he went astray.” Others have thought, that from the same principle it were easy to account for the bitterness, pride, and contempt, which distinguish the system : for selflove, say they, is consistent with the greatest aversion to all beings, divine or human, excepting so far as they become subservient to us...—As there is no article in this work
which states the arguments of
Mr. Sandeman's opponents, we thought it but impartial to say as much as the above, under this. The practices in which this denomination differ from the generality of other christians are, their weekly administration of the Lord's supper; their love-feasts, of which every member is not only allowed, but required to partake, and which consist of their dining together at each others houses in the interval between the morning and the afternoon service ; their kiss of charity, on the admission of a new member, and other occasions; their weekly collection before the Lord's supper for the support of the poor, and other necessary expences ; mutual exhortation; abstinence from blood, and from things strangled ; and the washing of each others feet. Every one, it is said, considers all that he has in his possession and power liable to the calls of the poor and the church. They also hold M Ill -
it to be unlawful to lay up treasures upon earth, by setting them apart for any distant future, and uncertain use. They allow of public and private diversions, so far as they are not connected with circumstances really sinMr. Sandeman pleads, towards the close of his Letters on Theron and Aspasio, pretty much in favour of theatrical amusements; and it is said that an attendance on them is very common among his followers: but apprehending a lot to be sacred, they disapprove, (merely however on this account) of lotteries, playing at cards, dice, &c. They have a plurality of elders, pastors, or bishops, in each church. In the choice of them, the want of learning, or engagement in trade, is no sufficient objection, if qualified according to the instructions given by Paul to Timothy and Titus: but second marriages disqualify for the office. In discipline they are strict and severe, thinking themselves obliged to separate from the communion and worship of all such religious societies as appear to them not to prosess the simple truth for their only ground of hope, and who do not walk in obedience to it. Moreover, as in their church proceedings they are not governed by majorities, but esteem unanimity to be absolutely necessary, whenever a member, or members differ from the rest, he or they must give up the point, or be excluded. In their families, it is said, there is but little social worship: for conceiving it unlawful to join in prayer with one who is not a brother or sister, and finding no express precept or precedent in the scriptures for family prayer, that which by other christians is held sacred as a part of moral obligation, is by them very commonly disregarded.”] SATANIANS, so called because they taught, that Satan, or the devil, was extremely powerful; that he occasioned infinite mischiefs;
and that it was much wiser.
to respect and adore than to curse him ; this being a mean to render him favourable to men, instead of injuring them.
The Satanians were a branch of the Messalians, and appeared about the year 390. They pretended they were the only true observers of the gospel. They possessed no goods, lived by begging, and lay together promiscuously, on the pavement of the streets.
When any one asked concerning their quality, they would call themselves patriarchs, prophets, angels, and even Jesus Christ.t SATURNIANS, a denomination which arose about the year 115. They derived their name from Saturnius of Antioch, one of the principal Gnostic chiefs. He held the doctrine of two principles, whence proceeded all things ; the one a wise and benevolent Deity, and the other matter, a principle essentially evil, and which he supposed under the superintendence of a certain intelligence of a malignant nature. The world and its inhabitants were, according to the system of Saturnius, created by seven angels, which presided over the seven planets. This work was carried on without the knowledge of the benevolent Deity, and in opposition to the will of the material principle. The former, however, beheld it with approbation, and honoured it with several marks of his beneficence. He endowed with rational souls the beings who inhabited this new system, to whom their creators had imparted nothing more than the animal life: and having divided the world into seven parts, he distributed them among the seven angelic architects, one of whom was the God of the jews, and reserved to himself the supreme empire over all. To these creatures, whom the benevolent principle had endowed with reasonable souls, and with dispositions that led to goodness and virtue, the evil being, to maintain his empire, added another kind, whom he formed of a wicked and malignant character; and hence the difference we see among men. When the creatures of the world fell from their allegiance to the supreme
[* Glas's o of the King of Martyrs. Sandeman's Letters on et
Theron and Aspasio, letter ii.
Backus's 1)iscourse on Faith and its Influ
ence, pp. 7-30, , Bellamy's Nature and Glory of the Gospel, London
cqution; see the Notes, pp, 65–125.]
f Broughton's Historical Library, vol. i. p. 369.
Deity, God sent from heaven
into our globe a restorer of order, whose name was Christ. This divine conqueror came, clothed with a corporeal appearance, but not with a real body. He came to destroy the empire of the material principle, and to point out to virtuous. souls the way by which they must return to God. This way is beset with difficulties and sufferings; since those souls who propose returning to the supreme Being must abstain from wine, flesh, wedlock, and, in short, from every thing that tends to sensual gratification, or
even bodily refreshment." See Gnostics. SCHEWENKFELDIANs, a denomination in the six. teenth century; so called from one Gasper Schewenkfeldt, a Silesian knight. He differed from Luther in the three following points. The Jirst of these points related to the doctrine concerning the eucharist. Schewenkfeldt inverted the following words of Christ: this is my body; and insisted on their being thus understood: my body is this, i.e. such as this bread, which is broken and consumed ; a true and real food, which nourisheth, satisfieth, and delighteth the soul. My blood is this; i.e. such its effects, as the wine which strengthens and refresheth the heart.— Secondly : He denied that the external word, which is committed to writing in the holy scriptures, was endowed with the power of healing, illuminating, and renewing the mind: and he ascribed this power to the internal word, which, according to his notion, was Christ himself—Thirdly: He would not allow Christ's human nature, in its exalted state, to be called a creature, or a created substance ; as such a denomination appeared to him infinitely below its majestic dignity, united as it is in that glorious state with the divine essence.” SECEDERS, a numerous body of Presbyterians in Scotland, who adhere to the doctrine and discipline of their ancestors, and maintain the binding obligation of the Scotch covenant,+ and of the solemn league and covenant of the three nations. They always have declared that they did not secede from the principles of the church of Scotland as they are represented in her confession of faith, catechisms longer and shorter, directory for worship, and form of presbyterian government; but only from her present judicatories, who, they suppose, are departing from her true principles. A sermon preached by Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, minister of Stirling, at the opening of the synod of Perth and Stirling, gave rise to this party. In this discourse he boldly testified against what he supposed corruptions in the national church; for which freedom the synod voted him censurable, and ordered him to be rebuked at their bar. He and
* Mosheim, vol. i. pp. 176, 177,
* Mosheim, vol. iv.
three other ministers protested against this sentence, and appealed to the next assembly. The assembly approved of the proceedings of the synod, and ordered Mr. Erskine to be rebuked at their bar. He refused to submit to the rebuke. Hence he and his brethren were suspended from the ministry, after which they seceded from the national church. They were joined by others: and the ministers and their elders who declared their secession from the national church, did in 1736 constitute themselves into an ecclesiastical court, which they called the Associate Presbytery. In 1745, the seceding ministers were become so numerous, that they were erected into three different presbyteries under one synod. In 1747, through a difference in
civil matters, they were divid
ed into burghers and antiburghers. Of these two classes the latter are the most rigid in their sentiments, and associate therefore the least with any other body of christians.S
Those who desire to see a very particular account of
# The national covenant in Scotland is an engagement which was entered into by all ranks of persons soon after the reformation,
: The solemn league and covenant is an oath which in 1643 was sworn to by persons of all ranks in the three kingdoms. It was intended to bring about an uniformity in doctrine, discipline, and worship.
§ Marshal's Catechism. Evan's Sketch, p. 78,