The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Observations on Church Government

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Title

Observations on Church Government

Description

"Observations on Church Government, in which the world will see the beautiful simplicity of Christian Church Government, stript of human inventions and lordly traditions." The last will and testament of the Springfield Presbytery.

Source

The Filson Historical Society Library Collection

Date

Relation

cbf0013

Type

Identifier

RB 269.24 M169 1807

Text

OBSERVATIONS

ON

CHURCH GOVERNMENT

BY THE PRESBYTERY OF SPRINGFIELD

TO WHICH IS ADDED;

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

OF THAT REVEREND BODY:

WITH A PREFACE AND NOTES, BY THE EDITOR.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord-make straight in the desart a highway for our God.

The word of our God shall stand forever. ISAIAH.

CINCINNATI: FROM THE PRESS OF JOHN W. BROWNE, OFFICE OF LIBERTY HALL.

1807.
PREFACE. THE READER is here presented with the Observations on Church Government, promised to the public three years ago, in the address which accompanied the Last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery, in these words--" At their last meeting, they "undertook to prepare for the press, a piece entitled "Observations on Church Government, in which the "world will see the beautiful simplicity of Christian "Church Government, stript of human inventions and "lordly traditions. The materials for the above pub"lication are in our hands, and we mean to send them "to the public as soon as curcumstances will admit ; in "which our reasons for dissolving will more fully ap"pear." (See last Will & Test. page 7 & 9.)

Concerning these Obsrvations, several things are worthy of notice: I. That they were written in the meridian light of the Kentucky revival, by those six men whose names are annexed to the last Will and Testament, and designed as their last legacy to those who had looked upon them as ministers of the gospel. 2. IT is evident from the Observations, that these men considered the true primitive power of the Church Government to have been lost from all the denominanations--that they themselves had it not-- that God was now about to revive it in these latter days by the mighty out-pourings of his Spirit -- and that they dissolved their presbyterial union, which they considered as anti--christian, in hope of receiving the true power from on high, when it should be manifested. Altho' it was contemplated, both before and after the presbytery dissolved, to have the Observations come forward to the public more full and complete than they appear at present : and to this end the materials were put
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into my hand : yet to avoid unnecessary reflections from such as might seek occasion, I have neither ( designedly ) added nor diminshed, not altered a single sentence. As the presbytery honestly confessed, that from the connection in which they stood, when the Observations were written, "they were off the foundation of " the apostles and prophets of which Christ himself is " the chief corner stone," It need not therefore seem strange if some things in their writings should appear dark and inconsistent. For instance, whether the divine Spirit has its abode in the human heart, or in the letter of the Scriptures, is left rather uncertain in some part of the Obsrvations : and this will no doubt ever remain a doubtful question with those who are disconnected from the true foundation. But considering the presbytery as standing in such a situation, their Observations are no doubt astonishingly bright in the main, and may be of great service to the honest soul that is sincerely enquiring the way to Zion. And to such it is particularly dedicated, as the last legacy of a dying friend.

The Obsrvations were not intended as any law, rule, or form of discipline for the government of any church, but merely to describe that church which is governed by an internal law, without any written form of words, and thereby direct the enquiring mind to the true foundation of God when it should appear. In every dispensation of divine grace, God has still given the shadow before the substance ; the pattern of things in the heavens, before the heavenly things themselves : Therefore consider the following, as the example and shadow of those heavenly things, which thousands expected to be substantiated by means of the late revival. Spiritual light is of an increasing nature, measured to us as we are able to receive it. We could not bear to see every thing at once, which respects the kingdom of God. The work of God is gradual : his kingdom is not erected all at once. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once ? (ISA.lxvi,8.)
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If the kingdom of God does not immediately appear, according to our layings out, we ought not to imagine that God is slack concerning his promise. Men may alter and fail but God cannot. Therefore all who have received light from God to see the approaching glory of Zion, in this latter day, may rest assured that not one tittle of what God has revealed shall fail. Let none imagine that Christ delayeth his coming, and from thence take occasion to bury their talent, to hide and conceal what they have manifestly received of God ; for the day is near when he will reckon with each one according to what they have received, and require his own with usury. From all who have received any measure of divine truth and power, God does expect an increase of the fame : and to be five fold, or ten fold more deeply immersed in what the world have been accustomed to call enthusiasm, than at first, will be no unfavorable situation at the day of final reckoning. such as have been warped aside from the light in which they once stood, may now view the Observations very differently from what they would when they were first written. But if the should now be unable to comprehend the pattern ; must if not be 'a vexation to understand the report.' when the substance comes forward. According to the saying of the prophet --" If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee ; then how canst thou contend with horses ? ---and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they have wearied thee ; then what wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan ? JE - REMIAH xii, 5. THE EDITOR.

[small image of a hand with finger pointing toward text] For further information respecting this publication, those who have opportunity may enquire of MATTHEW HUSTON, JOHN DUNLAVY, or RICHARD M'NEMAR.

Turtle Creek, June 15, 1807.

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Observations, & c.

TRUTH has its foundation in the nature of God ; and is copied out in his word. Like the Eternal himself, it is one ; and is as necessary to the preservation of the foul, as food to the body, or heat and moj future to the plant. And yet, alas ! that best and only preservative of the noble mind, is unnaturally despised and rejected of men. The Saviour of sinners, who calls himself the truth, was made flesh, and dwelt among us ; but how few, comparatively beheld his glory. The men of the world knew him not, therefore they did to him what they lis ted. But though he was put to death in the flesh, yet he was quickened by the spirit, and now liveth forever more. The world seeth him not, but Christians see him ; for he is in them, and shall be with them : and because he lives they shall live also. He is the same in his word that he was in human flesh ; and in every form his treatment has been the same. How often, even among us, has he been crucified afresh, --and put to an open shame ; pronounced powerless, dead,-- and buried among the rubbish of human tradition. But amidst all this infamy. the blessed truth has been preserved, that not a bone of him is broken. And has not a great stone (the confession of faith) been rolled off him ? Has he not risen indeed ? and has not the earth quaked at his resurrection ? Surely the word of God could not be bound ; it was impossible that he should be holden of death. He is risen indeed, and we are witnesses of his resurrection, and do testify that this is he whom God has appointed to be the judge of both the quick and the dead. We have already shewn in our view of the gospel, that it is by the eternal word that we are to be new created ; the inquiry now before us is. How are we to be governed ? Must we be kept by the same power through faith
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unto salvation ; abide in the light as he is in the light ; have our fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, and grow up in him in all things who is the head ? or must the dispensation be changed - the creator withdraw and hide himself , and leave the subjects of his grace to certain delegated powers, ordained to scatter and divide ; to be shut up in particular apartments, and prepared for heaven by certain and definite forms ?

It will be granted that he who creates, has a right to govern. Upon this principle God is acknowedged to be the governor of the world. It will also be granted, that be, who has wisdom and power to create, has also to govern ; and that the same power, which brings any system into being, is necessary for its preservation. We learn that God created all things by Jesus Christ, and made him the head over all things to his body, that is the church. His eternal power and Godhead is the nail, upon which the glory of his house is suspended. We have know Christ after the flesh, and acted as vicegerents in his room, and by his supposed authority, but now henceforth know we him no more in such a point of light. He is the same yesterday, to day and forever. He is the everlasting Father, the prince of peace. Through the veil of flesh, the God had entrance into the world -- that God who was the same from the begining : He promised to be with those that love him unto the end of the world. Jesus promised to send the Comforter, that is, the Holy Ghost, to abide with his people forever. If this spirit of truth, which works by love and purifies the heart, can govern an individual, why not the whole body ? Would it be an introduction to anarchy, should all the human family come under the influence and government of this one spirit ? And can we suppose that any external rules could be more productive of order and harmony ? For example ; if the principle of love be sufficient to regulate the conduct of one man towards his wife, why may it not influence two ? and if two, why not a thousand ? But if the principle of love be wanting, can any external form of government and dis cipline make him a good husband ?
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Men have been generally fond of mending what, they supposed, God had left imperfect ; filling up and supplying what they judged deficient, and making plain what divine wisdom had left in the dark. Thus have they wanderes from the plain simple rule of God's word, and taken the reins of government into their own hands. They have changed, or amended, added or diminished, as times and circumstances made necessary till at length the church has become every thing, or any thing, but what it should be.

Should we attempt to impose any form of government upon the church, we should justly be abandoned by every child of gospel liberty. This is not left for us, nor any set of men in the world, to do. The author of the scriptures has not left us to supply any thing, either in doctrine, discipline or government. The precepts and examples of Christ and his apostles are sufficient, and left on record for this very purpose. The government of the church, like the gospel itself, is exceedingly plain and simple. If we advert to the new Testament, we shall plainly see, what is the nature of the christian church - who are its members, the mode of constitution -- its union -- communion -- government and dicipline.

I. THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

The church in scripture is denmminated the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God. This church is spiritual. " My kingdom is not of this world" JOHN xviii, 36. "They are not of the world even as I am not of the world." JOHN xvii, 16. It is invisible. The natural eye cannot see it ; for ' except a man be born of God, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' JOHN iii, 3. 'Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.' JOHN iii, I. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation ; neither shall they say, lo here, or lo there ; for behold, the kingdom of God is within [among Gr,] you.' LUKE xvii, 20, 21.

Hence we see the resson why Christ spoke so often to those who were without this kingdom in parables ; for they being in a state of unbelief, could not understand ;
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'To you it is given to know themystery of the kingdom of God, but to them that are without, all things are done in parables ; that seeing thay may see and not understand &c. MARK iv. II. While men reject the testimony of Christ, respecting plain facts, which they can understand. they reject himself ; and therefore remain in darkness, incapable of receiving divine light into their souls. Thus when Christ told Nicodemus, ye must be born again, he replies with astonishment, How can these things be. Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen and ye receive not our withness. If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not how shall ye believe, if I tell you of beavenly things.' JOHN iii. ' The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God ; for they are foolishness unto him : neither can be know them because they are spiritually discerned.' COR. ii, 16. But he that is spiritual judgeth [ or discerneth] all things ; yet he himself is judged [ or discerned ] of no man v. 15. Men in this state are not only incapable of receiving the things of the spirit, but also incapable of receiving the spirit himself. 'Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him ; but ye know him for he dwellwth with you, and shall be in you.' JOHN xvi, 17. It is not surprising then, if christians are unseen and unknown in the world -- if they be mistaken for fools and mad-men, for hypocrites and enthusiasts. It cannot be otherwise ; for these things are hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto nabes.

II. THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH.

From what has been said, you will easily see who are the members of this church : They are believers and only believers ; for no other can be a member. It is indeed, freely offered to all - to every creature under heaven ; no person or character is excluded, who does not through unbelief, exclude himself. " Go ye into all all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that be-
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lieveth not shall be demned." MARK xvi, 15, 16. Since the days of John, the kingdom of heaven is preached, and every man [ that is, every believer] presseth into it. LUKE xvi, 16. But there were many who could not enter in, because of unbelief ; for the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. HEB. iv, 3. It is impossible for men to come to Christ, who do not believe in him; nor can they seek to enter into the kingdom, who do not believe there is a kingdom.

While Christ remained visible on the earth, his body was the temple of God; for " In him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily," that is, corporeally. And though many hailed him, ' good master,' yet none were considered as real members, but those who believed his doctrine and felt its sacred influence in forming their hearts anew.

III. THE MODE OF CONSTITUTION.

Though God had much people scattered abroad among the men of the world, yet they were not proper ly constituted into a distinct body, nor vested with the powers of mutual government, until after Christ's resurrection. "Other sheep have I, (that is, loving believers) which are not of this fold ; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

That state of believers, or those that worshipped God at that time, in the spirit of simple love, may be compared to the materials of the tabernacle, before it was erected. They were scattered abroad in different places, and did not exhibit that beautiful appearance or construction which they afterwards assumed. The miracles of Christ, and the wonders which attended his death -- the unnatural eclipse of the sun -- the earthquake -- the rending of the veil -- the opening of the graves -- the resurrection, &c. were calculated to bring the expectants of his kingdom to Jerusalem, from almost every quarter of the world. Accordingly, about
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that time, we find a vast concourse of people met together at that place.

The Apostles who had long been in the habit of believing the truth, were then by faith and fervent prayer, waiting for the promise of the Father -- ACTS i. 4, 5, and ACTS ii, throughout. Christ had promised that they should be baptized with the Holy Ghost and endued with power from on high. Accordingly, on the day of Pentecoft, the spirit came, like the rushing of a mighty wind ; and they were all filled with the Holy Gbost, and spake with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance. They being thus publicly set apart, and annointed with the Holy Ghost, were laid as the foundation of this spiritual tabernacle. Men had long been accustomed to look for God on a mount that might be touched, or in a temple made with hands : but now the dispensation is changed, and we behold the foundation of a spiritual temple -- an house not made with hands, nor bulit of dead materials, but of living stones. 1 PET. ii, 5.

While Jerusalem was the place to worship, the temple stood there, and never moved out of the spot, nor grew any larger ; but this new temple was designed to eclipse all the glory of the former, and fill the whole earth.* HAG, ii, 9. DAN. ii, 35. The same day, there were added to this building about three thousand, who continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine, in breaking of bread, and in prayers ; and the Lord added to the church, daily such as should be saved.

This one chruch is represented as a growing body, but never a single idea of others being formed out of it. Unity is one of its essential characteristics. Eph. iv,

* There were two temples at Jerusalem, figurative of two gospel churches. The first church was established, in consequence of Christ's first appearance ; and the second to be in consequence of his second appearance. The latter of which, was to eclipse the glory of the former and fill the whole earth : but both to be founded, and built by the same agent, namely, the Holy Ghost.
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4. 5. There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling ; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of alll, who is above all, and through all and in you all. This one church whose centre was visibly marked at Jerusalem, spread its circumference to all the countries round about, and will not cease to increase, till it includes the whole world, as leaven which is hid in three measures of meal, till the whole is leavened ; or as mustard seed hid in the ground, grows up into a great tree till the fowls of the air can lodge in the branches of it. -- In a short time after the day of pentecost, we find the church of God planted in Samaria, at Damascus, in the house of Cornelius &c. where it still appeared the same composed of believers, set up and anointed with theHoly Ghost. Great opposition was made to its progress, but the more did it daily increase & believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.

This one church of God, did not respect the persons, but the characters of men. It included Jews and Greeks, Barbarians, Scythians, bond and free. Hence, we find, in a little time, its members were dispersed over all the world, and were found in every nation under heaven, of every kindred and tongue upon the face of the earth.

From this view of the matter, would it not appear next to impossible, that persons so widely dispersed could be preserved in unity?

how were they fashioned alike ? Upon what principle were they united ? and by what rules were they obliged to walk ? What consession of faith had they as a bond of union ? what compendium of doctrines, or dedinite code of laws, to be universally subscribed ? Unhappy for the church in our day, (if there were such) they have been lost in the ruins of time, so that not a single trace of them is to be found. The only bond of union transmitted to us, and which is indeed the only bond that can unite
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christians, is found in the holy scriptures, the true confession of faith, see EPH. iv. 15, 16. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body fitly joined together, by that which every joint supplieth, ( or by the supply of every joint ) according to the effectual working ( or energy) in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying ( or building up) of itself in love. COL. ii. 19. holding the head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered and knit together increaseth with the increase of God. We see here that from Christ the head, the living spirit flows to all the members, which fitly, or exactly joins, compacts, and knits them together in the bonds of love ; builds, or rears them up, worketh effectually, or exerts and exercises its energy according to the measure of size of every part, and ministers proper noursishment to promote the proportionate growth of every member of the body of Christ. This is the sweet anointing oil, the unction from the holy One, the spirit of God. or it is Christ himself by his spirit, shed abroad or diffused throughout the whole body, according to the capacity of every member.

This spirit is the cement, the true bond of union. Thus Christ prays, JOHN xvii, II, 21, 23 --" Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one, even as we are one ; I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. We find here that Christ's prayer is, that his followers may be made one, and kept completely so ; not by means of some external law or form of words, but by the name of God. That they may be one in us says he : living and walking in the Father and the son ; and the Father and the Son living and walking in them : and thus to form and prserve the union, he gives them the glory which he received from the Father, i. e. his one spirit, whereby they are constituted one : for "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit 1 Cor. vi, 7. Christ dwells in his heart by faith ;
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and as long as the members of the body continue in the faith, they are so intimately united, that any outward bond could only serve as a burdensome yoke. But if any of his professed members are not joined to the Lord in ore spirit, their outward bonds, are onlylike binding two or more dead bodies together, which hastens their purefaction, and renders their ill savor more intolerable to the living. Without this living spirit, the most perfect form or set of rules which could be made, tho' it were even by God himself, could not cement them together in the bonds of love, nor make them one in heart.

Mankind are not bound together like the parts of a machine, nor put in motion by external force ; they must be influenced by motive, and that motive must be in the heart. This is the law of God, received and engraven on the heart through faith ; hence it is said to be written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God ; not on tables of stone, but on fleshly tables of the heart. II Cor. iii, 3. After these days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their inward parts, and write them in their hearts. JER. xxxi. 33. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth. ROM. x. 4. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart. He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. The husbandman had an external law for his fig-tree ; -- that if it bore fruit, well, if not, he would cut it down. But the fig-tree was not governed by this law ; it acted according to a law in itself. So we are commanded to bring forth the fruits of HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD. But this command, so long as it is not in our nature, has no more influence in the production of those fruits, than the command of the husbandman to his figtree. We see no outward law necessary to impel the rivers to the ocean - bind the stones to the surface of the earth, or prevent the trees from growing downward. No more dose a believer want an external law to oblige him to love God and his neighbor : for if there had been an external law given, which could
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have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Examine your wheat-field, and you will find uniformity among all the grains : By what rule is this uniformity effected ? you may observe the same uniformity in every species of vegetables, plants and trees. and are those meaner things governed by real operative laws, and yet God's noblest creature, man, left at random to follow every shadow or image, and bend to every device of human wisdom ? No, there is one law and one government for man ; and all that are under that government are as uniform as the leaves on an apple-tree. This law is nothing less than the one spirit of the eternal God, which lives and operates in the chruch, as his body ; for by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, and have all been made to drink into that one spirit. Therefore, thay that have not this spirit, are lawless and disobedient, filthy dreamers, that defile the flesh, despise government, presumptuous are they, self-willed, who are not afraid to speak evil of dignities ; for if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Thus it appears that the Christian's law is in his heart, a copy* of which is drawn out in the new testament.

The members of the human body need no bond of union to cause them to act in concert, or to keep them from quarrelling and separating, but that spirit which animated the whole frame. The whole current of the new testament goes to shew that the spirit of Jesus is the true bond of union in his church ; but we find not the least intimation of any other bond being necessary. All who have received this one spirit, and are living and walking in it, are united together by the hand of God ; and what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder ; nay, it cannot be done, they are and must

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Our present copy of the new testament, is but a copy of a copy, &c. of a translation of a copy, &c. of what was written by the apostles ; and what they wrote, was only a copy of the internal law. Learned men say that a great many errors have crept in by so much copying and translating ; and if so, it must be the more necessary to have the original made manifest.
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continue one ; tho' they should be called by never so many names, or externally distinguished by many peculiarities. The most that these things can do, is to make them think they are divided, and to prevent their external communion, sweet fellowship and mutual comfort.

But seeing Christians are one * and have fellowship with the Father and the Son by one spirit, it is the most unreasonable thing in the world for them to be separated in their external communion. This separation has been the work of the devil ; and it is by his means that it is continued in the world.

Let Christians look back to the history of primitive Christianity, as recorded in the new testament. Let them take a view of the plain and native simplicity which shines out there ; -- the beautiful equality that reigned among the apostolic chruches -- and let them pant to breathe that native air.

They were all brethren and sisters -- met together with one accord -- united in one mind and one judgment. They ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart : -- they went from house to house, from one love - feast to another ; -- were strictly forbidden to call themselves by the name of Paul or Apollos, &c. And such as did, were pronounced carnal, sensual, having not the spirit.

View the churches scattered abroad, planted and visited by the apostles and others : -- They had all access to each other, and communion together. And that one spirit of God which lives in every Christian, has made no provision for acting otherwise, till the end of time. **

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* And as uniform as the leaves on an apple-tree. ** But the followers of anti-christ, whose communion is in types and shadows, always did and always will act otherwise.
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The evangelists went out two and two or in larger companics, and in every place where the word was gladly received, those who gave public testimony of their faith, were baptized, received the Holy Ghost, and were set in order for the admission of others who might afterwards believe. ----[small image of a hand with finger pointing] Go, and do thou likewise. CHRIST.
Last Will & Testament, &c.

THE PRESBYTERY OF SPRINGFIELD, sitting at Caneridge, in the county of Bouurbon, being, through a gracious providence, in more than ordinary bodily health, growing in strength and size daily ; and in perfect soundness and composure of mind ; but knowing that it is appointed for all delegated bodies once to die : and considering that the life of every such body is very uncertain, do make, and ordain this our last Will and Testament, in manner and form following, viz.

Imprimis. We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large ; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.

Item. We will, that our name of distinction, with its Reverend title, be forgotten, that there be but one Lord over God's heritage, and his name one.

Item. We will, that our power of making laws for the government of the church, and executing them by delegated authority, forever cease ; that the people may have free course to the Bible, and adopt the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
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Item. We will, that candidates for the Gospel ministry henceforth study the holy Scriptures with fervent prayer, and obtain license from God to preach the simple Gospel, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, without any mixture of philosophy, vain deceit, traditions of men, or the rudiments of the world. And let none henceforth take this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Item. We will, that the church of Christ resume her native right of internal government --- try her candidates for the ministry, as to their soundness in the faith, acquaintance with experimental religion, gravity and aptness to teach ; and admit no other proof of their authority, but Christ speaking in them. We will that the Church of Christ look up to the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into his harvest ; and that the resume her primitive right of trying those who say they are apostles, and are not.

Item. We will, that each particular church, as a body, actuated by the same spirit, choose her own preacher, and support him by a free will offering, without written call or subscription - admit members - remove offences ; and never henceforth delegate her right of government to any man or set of men whatever.

Item. We will, that the people henceforth take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven ; and as many as are offended with other books, which stand in competition with it, may cast them into the fire if they choose : for it is better to enter into life having one book, than having many to be cast into hell.

Item. We will, that preachers and people, cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance ; pray more and dispute less ; and while they behold the signs of the times, look up, and confidently expect that redemption draweth nigh.

Item. We will, that our weak brethern, who may
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have been wishing to make the Presbytery of Springfield their king, and wot not what is now become of it, betake themselves to the rock of ages, and follow Jesus for the future.

Item. We will that the Synod of Kentucky examine every member, who may be suspected of having departed from the Confession of Faith, and suspend every such suspected heretic immediately, in order that the oppressed may go free, and taste the sweets of Gospel liberty.

Item. We will, that Ja- -, the author of two letters lately published in Lexington, be encouraged in his zeal to destroy partyism. We will, moreover, that our past conduct be examined into by all who may have correct information ; but let foreigners beware of speaking evil of things which they know not.

Item, Finally we will, that all our sister bodies, read their Bibles carefully, that they may see their fate there determined, and prepare for death before it is too late.

Springfield Presbytery, ] (L. S. ) June 28th, 1804 ]

Robert Marshall, ] John Dunlavy, ] Richard M'Nemar, ] B. W. Stone, ] Witnesses. John Thompson, ] David Purviance. ]

----------------------------------------- THE END. -----------------------------------------

Citation

Shakers, Presbytery of Springfield, “Observations on Church Government,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed April 22, 2024, https://filsonhistorical.omeka.net/items/show/5197.