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that is done, comparatively little will be done by you for the cause of God and Zion. To your office it belongs to be examples to the flock, to visit the sick, to comfort mourners, to instruct the ignorant by whatever private means are competent to you, to warn the unruly, to strengthen the weak, to confirm the wavering; and in a word, to exercise a general superintendence over the spiritual concerns of the flock. There is no doubt, that in the faithful discharge of your trust, you will have difficulties to encounter; and that your efforts, instead of being appreciatad as they ought, and viewed in kindness as they are natle, will be viewed as officious and meddling. But such difficulties as these will in some measure be overcome, by a steady and prudent perseverance in the path of your duty. Much will be done to disarm prejudice, by perseveringly combining in your deportment, firmness and meekness, and by exemplifying, in your practice, your own rules. And whatever may be the issue in respect to others, you will, in such a course, have the approbation of him who is the Head of all your authority, and whose favour is better than life. We would say, then, to you, what the apostle says to the elders of Ephesus, "Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost has made you everseers."

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7. There are many among you who are in the morning of life. To such, we would affectionately say, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." You are the rising hope of the future church, and therefore, we cannot but feel a deep interest in your welfare. To you we must look forward for a succession of witnesses to transmit the cause of God and truth to succeeding ages, when your fathers are gone to the house of silence. And shall we look in vain? We fondly cherish the hope that the grace of God will touch the hearts of many among you, and form you for himself to shew forth his praise. But remember that he carries on his work by means of his own prescription, and the earlier these are employed, the more comfortable hope there is, that they will be attended with success. Read and examine the oracles of God for yourselves. Examine the principles which we have publicly espoused. Try them by the unerring test of God's word. And as you must give an account to God for your faith and profession and practice, decide and act as in the eye of the omniscient and heart-searching God. Be not carried away by the torrent of fashion. Remember the divine prohibition, "Be not conformed to the world:" and remember also the declaration, "He that will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Your faith will be beset with anany snares and temptations of various kinds. Be on your guard against them. "Be sober and vigilant." And remember that it is only by strength derived from above, that you can be safe. Be not ashamed of the name and cause of Christ. He has said, "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven; but whosoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels." We entreat you, then, to take your firm and decided stand among the witnesses for Christ. And let your profession and practice coincide. Show to the world that you are in good earnest, by acting according to the spirit of your profession; so that others seeing you, may "take knowledge of you, that you have been with Jesus." Thus, when our heads are laid in the dust, you will be prepared to maintain the Lord's cause, and transmit it pure and untarnished to succeeding ages.

Grace, mercy, and peace, be with you.

THE TRUE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH. This body was organized as a secession from the Reformed Dutch Church, in October, 1822. Among other things, they state, as grounds of their secession, "The universal laxness of discipline, which prevails in the Reformed Dutch Church; the sufferance of error especially Hopkinsian heresies without censure; the prevalence of inter-communion with ministers and people of other denominations, who are not sound in the faith; mal-administration in

church government, and refusing to take steps to recover the church from these evils and defections. For such reasons as these, at a meeting of six Ministers, with Elders and Deacons, they adopted the following Declaration as their declinature from the Reformed Dutch Church, and the instrument of their association as a Secession from her.

"WE, the undersigned, Ministers, Elders, and Deacons, finding our patience exhausted, and viewing with the most sensible regret the prevalence of the errors, offences, and irregularities above stated, and that all practicable endeavours to remove them have been frustrated; considering also, with the most solemn impression on our minds that when we entered our sacred offices respectively, we have sworn to maintain and defend the doctrine and discipline of the Reformed Dutch Church at every hazard, have unanimously agreed to restore the Church to its original purity, and, together with the congregations under our care, do unite in declaring ourselves the True Reformed Dutch Church in the United States of America; and as a rule of our faith and practice, to abide by all the standards ratified and established in the National Synod, held at Dortdrecht in the years 1618 and 1619, without the least alteration, viz: The Word of God as the Supreme Law. The Netherland Confession of Faith. The Canons. The Liturgy. The Heidlebergh Catechism, and the rules of church government; by which act, we do not separate from, but remain the identical Reformed Dutch Church,

For the justice and propriety of our conduct, and the purity of our motives and intentions we appeal to the Great Head of the Church and Searcher of all hearts, and invoke his divine blessing.

Done at Schraalenburgh, October 24th, 1822."

In 1824 their numbers had encreased so much that they formed themselves into a Synod, consisting of three classes. (A classis in the Dutch Church, corresponding to a Presbytery in the Presbyterian.) They now number twenty-one churches, and twelve ministers.—In their judicial capacity, they have condemned the Hopkinsian heresy, as contrary to the scriptures, and their approved standards; as also the marriage of a deceased wife's sister, as incestuous, and directed process against all such within their jurisdiction, as form such a connexion. At their last meeting they turned their attention to the subject of Psalmody. The committee appointed on this subject presented a long report in which they pointedly express their disapprobation of human compositions, and on due deliberation, offered for the consideration of Synod one of three things.

1. "As to the version now in use, to discard at once all the unscriptural hymns, and all the imitatory and erroneous psalms, and continue the use of the present book, so ameuded. Or,

2. To adopt the Scotch version, with an amendment of the metre. Or, 3. To divide the book of Psalms among the clerical members of Synod, with an injunction to make or obtain a sound version of such portion as may be assigned to each, and to report at the next meeting of the General Synod.

After deliberation a committee was appointed "to examine the different versions extant of the inspired Psalms in verse; to make a selection from the same, in their discretion, of the one hundred fifty psalms versified, and suggest such alterations as they may deem necessary :-Also that they make a similar selection of a versification of the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Twelve Articles of the Christian faith, the songs of Mary, Zacharias, and Simeon; and suggest alterations, if necessary, and report at the next meeting of General Synod."

This society since their secession from the Dutch Church has been the object of much censure from their former brethren; even by some of them, who we know sincerely love the truth and regret the entrance of error into a church, once famed for her soundness in the faith. The opinion of these is, that their secession has been characterized by a degree of rashness and indiscretion, and that it would have been better, had they continued in the communion of the Church, and joined their efforts with those of their brethren who are desirous to effect a reformation of existing evils, than to render themselves incapable of

such exertion by withdrawing from her communion; and to weaken the hands of those who formerly united with them in contending for the cause of truth. As to the correctness of these opinions, we are not sufficiently acquainted with circumstances to enable us to form a judgment. Separation from a church is a step of vast importance and should never be taken without first making every possible exertion to effect a reformation. But if this cannot be effected, if long and persevering and rightly conducted efforts prove unavailing, and a church is bent on backsliding, it is not only the privilege but the duty of persons to separate from such a church, for the maintainance of the truth, and for "keeping pure and entire" the ordinances of worship. On this principle, our Protestant forefathers separated from the Church of Rome. And on this principle our fathers in the Secession acted, when, for the purpose of maintaining the doctrine, worship and discipline of the Church of Scotland, they felt themselves under the necessity of separating from the corrupt judicatures of that Church.

Whatever may be said of the Secession from the Reformed Dutch Church, as to the manner of their proceeding in this important measure, it must give pleasure to all the friends of truth, to witness their prompt condemnation of prevailing errors, and their earnest contending for the faith once delivered to

the saints.

APOCRYPHA CONTROVERSY.

divided the friends of the

The unhappy controversy which has British and Foreign Bible Society, respecting the Apocrypha, and which has already injured its revenue, does not appear to be entirely settled. The resolution of the Board, passed in November last, declaring, "that the funds of the society be applied to the printing and circulation of the Canonical books of scripture to the exclusion of the Apocrypha," is unsatisfactory to those who are from principle opposed to the circulation of the Apocryphal books by Bible societies; hecause, though the funds of the Societyshall not be applied directly to this object; yet, it is plain that any grant of money or of Bibles to the continental Societies which are in the practice of circulating the Apocrypha, indirectly affords to such societies the means of printing and circulating the errors of the Apocrypha, and enable them to devote the whole or a greater part of their funds to this object, much of which would otherwise be employed in printing and circulating the inspired books themselves. For sone years past, this has actually been done by Foreign Societies. And to secure the object to its full extent for which the British and Foreign Bible Society is pledged to the public in her constitution, it is contended that neither directly nor indirectly ought her funds to be employed in promoting the circulation of the Apocrypha. The Edinburgh Bible Society which has taken the lead in this controversy has therefore unanimously

Resolved, "That the Resolution of the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society of November last, is unsatisfactory," and "that it does not appear that any thing can restore the Bible Society to the purity of its original object, which does not put an effectual check upon the circulation, by means of its funds, directly or indirectly, of those books which are declared to be uncanonical; and that to carry into effect this principle, it is necessary that grants of money or books should be given only to those Societies which profess to circulate the inspired books, and the inspired books alone; and that while without it, the Bible Societies are actually doing what is wrong in itself, they are at the same time breaking faith with their subscribers, who have entrusted them with such ample means for the distribution of the Scriptures. A deputation from the British and Foreign Bible Society was sent to Scotland, last winter, but as they had no power to pledge any change in the measures of the parent Society, their mission was unavailing; and the Societies in Scotland adhere to their former resolution, to withdraw their contributions till such time as satisfactory security for their proper use is afforded. Unless this is done, the Societies in Scotland, with as many as approve of their measures, will go into operation as a separate institution.

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Delivered at the Exhibition of several Schools for improvement in Sacred Music.

"Praise is comely."-Psalm cxlvii. 1.

In this foreign land, the Christian's harp is sometimes hung upon the weeping willows. The child of God has here his hours of silent sadness. Amid the gloom of clouds, and storms, and darkness, his heart accords not with the high-sounding notes of joy.-In moments of bleeding anguish, he may not be able to attune his soul to Zion's sweet songs of praise. If he may attempt the "Lord's s s song," you hear the wailful strains, "Wo is me that I sojourn in Mesech! that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!" But this darkness, and sorrow, and silence, is by no means the Christian's constant lot, even in this vale of tears. Through the gloom of this dark vale, he can, with an eye of faith, descry a "weight of glory" beyond. In anticipation of this, his present afflictions become light, and his tongue is loosed in "high-toned hallelujahs.' Even amid these lurid shades of moral darkness, in a world of sin-amid all this desolation of human joy, and wreck of human hope, "praise is comely." It is comely or becoming in us, not only as saints, indebted to God for his saving benefits, but it is also becoming in us as the creatures of his hand, ever dependent on his care. There is no condition of man on this side the blackness of endless darkness in which Jehovah's praise is not comely. As all is not genuine, that is offered under the name of praise, we propose, in the sequel of this discourse

I. To endeavour to shew what praise is comely.

II. To add a few considerations which may enforce the declaration, "praise is comely."

VOL. III.

14

I. What praise is comely? It is manifest from the words preceding our text, that the praise here intended is that which is directed immediately to God, and in the way of song. Now no Christian can mantain that every thing sung, even in devotion, will be accepted by God as comely praise. For thus the Pagan's pæan, and the Christian's inspired song, would be of the same sacred importance. But in order that praise may be comely, several things are necessary.

1. The end and design of it must be good. The glory of God should be the supreme end of all our actions: all our "wellsprings," are in God-all our blessings are from him; and conse quently all our actions should be "to the praise of the glory of his grace.". But when we appear in his presence, and profess to engage in his holy service-when we are employed in " uttering the melody of his great goodness," and in "singing of his righteousness," it is fit that "our mouth should speak the praise of the Lord." It is, however, much to be feared, that multitudes engage in this part of divine service, with no regard to the glory of God's great name. Some, conforming to the custom of those with whom they associate, may tune their voices, and sing the heavenly strains of Zion; and yet, reflect not at all upon the solemn import of the service. There are other vain worshippers whose conduct manifests that their own praise, rather than the glory of Jehovah, is the end of their external performance. Some, by their. ill-timed force of voice, would elicit the consent of their fellow worshippers, to their skill in musick; and thus, would glorify themselves, rather than God. Nay, so conscious of ability, and so emulous of vain applause, are some Christless mortals, that they can propose themselves, with a few of their graceless companions, as competent to manage the sacred service of praise for a whole worshipping assembly! By the way, I would observethat could I ever feel it my duty to remain mute in an assembly where God's praises might be celebrated, and to employ others as organs through whom I might make "heart melody," I surely would choose other than such brazen wind-instruments.

Was it such vain ambition that elicited from the "sweet singer of Israel," the rapturous song of praise? Was it a fond desire to tickle the prurient ears of trifling mortals, that waked his sweet melodious strains? No: you find him alone-perhaps while his care was the sheep-fold-perhaps on that same field of Bethlehem, where to other shepherds, angels, in rapturous strains, announced the actual appearance of David's Son, and David's Lord. You find him in the solitude of night's shades giving glory to GOD in a song. Enjoying all the beauties of a rich nocturnal

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