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without much difficulty, when they it is effected; and to reprint the first made their appearance. But subsequent review, extended as it the ministers of the gospel, although is, in which every wrong principious men, were not well furnished ple of the sermon is, in our judg. for their work. They were afraid to ment, most solidly and convinccounteract these abuses, under an ingly confuted. We hope our read. apprehension of resisting the Holy ers will peruse the whole with the Spirit. They therefore permitted, most serious attention; and if they or rather encouraged them, till they do this, we have little fear of the were beyond all restraint; and then issue. We have only to add, that had their eyes opened to mourn we know very little of the author of over the evils which they had not this sermon, except from what we resisted at the outset-, prudent have seen published; and that we and tender, but a firm and deter- have no wish to impeach his intemined opposition, to whaterer is grity. But if he be ever so honest, contrary to evangelical truth and or if he is even pious, his errors plain gospel order, should be made and delusions may, on that very acby all the ministers of the gospel at count, le not the less, but abunsuch a time. Hence we were glad dantly the more injurious. to see the “ Pastoral Letter of the Ministers of the Oneida Associa- Mr. Editor, -The Review which tion," and without delay we in- I herewith send you, was written serted it in our miscellany for June immediately on the appearance of and July last. But it is of the very the sermon. Events, however, nefirst importance to counteract effec- curred about that time, which entually all attempts, whether in oral couraged the hope, that its publicaspeech or by writing, to justify the tion would be unnecessary; and it abuses we complain of on principle; would not now appear, had not a that they may not be perpetuated and Review of Mr. Netileton's Remarks, extended. Now, such an attempt, we and some other kindred publicaverily think, has been made by the tions, recently evinced a disposition preacher and publisher of the ser- on the part of the friends of the new mon which is reviewed in the sub." measures, to defend and sustain the sequent article. We saw and at- sentiments of the sermon. tentively perused this this sermon,
NoVANGLUS. shortly after its publication; and we also saw its positions so completely subverted' by the remarks A Sermon preached in the Presbyte
rian Church, Troy, March 4th, of Mr. Nettleton, whose known cha
1827, by the Rev. Charles G. Finracter was calculated to give both weight and an extended circulation
ney, from Amos iii. 3—“Can tuo
walk together except they be to bis reply, that we thought the mischief we had feared would be
agreed?" Troy, Tuttle of Ri
chards, pp. 16. effectually prevented. But we are sorry to find that this expectation The revivals in Oneida county has not been realized. It seems and the vicinity, during the past that a reply has been attempted to year, have attracted much attention. Mr. Nettleton; and if we are not They have been hailed by many as misinformed, the principles of this the commencement of a new era in sermon, and the author too, are revivals; and the measures underlikely to travel to the south and stood to have had the most promiwest. This determined us to give ment place in their promotion, have the statement we have now made of been denominated the new measures, our own views of a work of grace, and thought by many to be a wonand the different methods in which derful improvement. Some bave intimated that the measures which emies of religion. Yet it is believ-. were successful in promoting revi- ed that they have generally borne vals, in the days of our fathers, had these reproaches in silence, and now lost their efficacy, and would have been backward to proclaim no more be blessed to that end: and their objections. Indeed, some of others have gone so far as to say, them have been so backward to our fathers did not know how to pro- make known their objections, that mote revivals, they did not know their friends abroad have not known how to pray, nor did they know how that they felt any, and in some to preach. Others again, have cases have been led to believe that thought, that they saw nothing new they had adopted the new measures in these measures, nothing but what in full. The friends of revivals they had seen among other denomi- abroad have at length become alarmnations in their own times, and had ed at the evils which have begun to read of frequently in the history of reach them from the West, and have the church in past ages. They have begun to communicate their fears, recognised, or thought they recog- and to state their objections in letnised, in these new measures, all ters to their friends on the subject. the leading features of those which Butso persuaded are some that these were pursued by Davenport and new measures must be right, and others, during the revival in New that all the real friends of revivals England, in the days of President must approve of them, that they are Edwards, and which are pointed ready to conclude that those who out, in his Thoughts on Revivals, are the known friends of revivals as among the things which are to abroad must have been misinformed, be avoided. The anthor of this ser- and grounded their objections on mon bas been considered the most exaggerated reports which bave been prominent agent in the introduction put in circulation by the enemy. of these new measures, so that they And though those gentlemen exare often called by his name; though pressly say that they have derived it is known by many that they had their information from the friends begun to be used in that region, of the new measures themselves, among Presbyterians, in some de- and from what has come under their gree, before be entered the ininistry. own personal observation, this does These measures have not, indeed, not free those in that region who been adopted in every place in that have been known to disapprove, vicinity, where there have been re- from the suspicion and the charge vivals during the past year. It has of being the source of that misinforbeen understood, that some minis- mation. From the best information ters and churches have been op- I can obtain I conclude that those posed to them, and have endeavour. ministers and Christians who have ed to keep them out, as far as pos- not approved of the new measures, sible; and that others have admit- have been the most silent on the ted them only in part. And this subject of any class of people in the backwardness of ministers and vicinity; and I fully believe, that, Christians to admit them, has been when the truth shall be known, it the subject of much animadversion, will be found, that the friends of the both from the press and otherwise. new measures have themselves done It is well known that some of the more to spread the knowledge of old and tried friends of revivals in them abroad, than all other classes that region have been much blamed put together. Some that did not on this account, and have been re- approve have been silent, lest they presented as opposed to revivals, should be thought to speak against hindering the work of the Lord, and the work of God, and be proclaimed strengthening the hands of the en- as enemies to revivals; and some have thought that the prejudices of which others use; therefore these many were so strong, and there was measures must be nearest right. so little disposition to make distinc- And, tions, that if they should attempt to If ministers and professed Chriscorrect any evils, their intentions tians oppose the same things that would be misunderstood, and they sioners do, and make the same obshould only lessen their own use. jections to them, they must feel just fulness, without the prospect of ac- as sinners do; but ministers and complishing any important good. professed Christians do oppose these But those who have not approved new measures; therefore the state are beginning to condemn them- of their hearts is the same as that of selves for the silence they have main- impenitent sinners, and they are tained, and to acknowledge it as an either hypocrites, or so cold hearted error that when they have seen the and dead that there is no present evil, they have suffered any con- difference in moral character besiderations to deter them from rais- tween them and the impenitent ing the warning voice. It is to be world, and they ought to be so conhoped that the publication of this sidered, and treated accordingly. sermon will relieve them from any This appears through the whole remaining scrupies they may feel, discourse, and will be seen in the and lead the way to a full discus- following extracts: Page 6. “We sion of the subject. It is certainly see why lukewarm professors and creditable to the author, that he has impenitent sinners have the same thus publickly taken the field, and difficulties with means in revivals of given so fair a challenge to those religion. We often hear them comwho object to his measures. No plain of the manner of preaching objection, can henceforth be made and praying. Their objections are by their friends, if they are made the same, they find fault with the the subjects of the closest scrutiny: same things, and use the same arfor the sermon is so open and direct guments in support of their objecan attack upon all those ministers tions. The reason is, that at that and Christians who do not approve time, their affections are nearly the of the new measures, that it will be same; it is the fire and the spirit, ascribed to cowardice, or to the con- that disturbs their frosty hearts. sciousness of guilt, if they do not for the time being, they walk tospeak in their own defence.
gether, for in feeling they are The object of the sermon evident- agreed.” Page 7.“Wesee why minJy is, to account for the opposition isters and Christians visiting revi. which is made to the new measures, vals, often at first, raise objections by ministers and Christians, as well to the means used, and cavil, and as others, in such a way as to make sometimes take sides with the wickthat opposition a proof that those ed.” “While their hearts remain measures are right, and that all wrong, they will, of course, cavil; who oppose them are wrong; and and the nearer right any thing is, especially that those ministers and the more spiritual and holy, so professed Christians who oppose much the more it must displease them, give evidence by their oppo- them, while their affections grovel." sition that the state of their hearts Page 12." That excitement which is the same as that of the impenitent does not call out the opposition of world.
the wicked and wrong hearted, is The sum of the argument is this: either not a revival of religion at all, Sinners must be most opposed to or it is so conducted that sioners do that which is nearest right: But not see the finger of God in it.” they are more opposed to these new The more pure and holy the meanis measures than they are to those are that are used to promote a revi.
val of religion-so much the more, posed to embrace any thing the auof necessity, will they excite the op- thor may advance. position of all wrong hearts." "If And perhaps it may tend to con-, the matter of preaching is right, and vince some that the reasoning is the sinner is pleased, there is some- unsound, even though they should thing defective in the manner.' not be able to discover wherein, to Page 13." The more right and holy let them see a few other conclusions feeling there is, the more wrong which the same kind of reasoning and unholy feeling there will be, of would equally support.—Take the course." Page 16. "If we walk following: with the lukewarm and ungodly, or Some impenitent sinners are they with us, it is because we are greatly displeased with the new agreed; for two cannot walk to. measures for promoting revivals; gether except they be agreed.” some professed Christians and minPage 9. “We see why ministers isters are greatly displeased with are sometimes unsettled by revi- them also ; therefore, it is convals.” He supposes the minister cluded, they are walking together may awake, while the church will because they are agreed and are not, or that the church may awake both equally wrong. This is the while the minister will not. Page author's argument: But it will 10. “In either of these cases, they prove the contrary, just as well. may find themselves unable to walk For, together, because they are not Some impenitent sinners are agreed. In the former case, let the much taken, with the new meaminister obey the command of sures, and are very anxious to have Christ, and shake off the dust of his them introduced; some professed feet for a testimony against them.” Christians are also much taken with In the latter, let the church shake them, and are as anxious to have off their sleepy minister ; they are them introduced; therefore, they better without him than with him.” are walking together because they
These extracts I think clearly are agreed, and are both equally show, that the object of the dis- wrong: course is, as before stated, to prove Again: Some professed Christians that the new measures are nearest are pleased to hear a man preach, right, because they are most op- who treats his subject in a clear posed; and that those ministers and argumentative manner, though he is Christians who oppose them, thereby not very forcible in his delivery; give evidence that they are agreed some impenitent sinners are also in heart with the impenitent world, pleased to hear him; therefore, it and should be treated accordingly:
is concluded, they are walking toThe whole argument is highly gether because they are agreed, and sophistical, and the main conclu. are both equally wrong. But, sions of the discourse entirely un- Some professed Christians are warranted.-Yet, the prejudices of displeased when they hear such a many readers are no doubt so strong preacher, and complain of him as ly enlisted in favour of the author's "a dull man;" some impenitent system, that they will think it a sinners are also displeased, and finished piece of sound reasoning, make the same complaint;-thereand the conclusions supported by fore they are walking together beirrefragable arguments. A few cause they are agreed, and are both words might suffice to expose its equally wrong. sophistry to those whose minds are Again: Some professed Christiana unbiassed; but a more extended ex- wish to have the doctrines of the amination is doubtless expedient, gospel fully and clearly preached, for the sake of such as are predis- and are best pleased with su Vol. V. Ch. Adr.
preaching; some impenitent sinners Calvin, in their sentiments and also wish the doctrines preached, practice; therefore, they walk toand are best pleased with such gether because they are agreed. preaching; therefore, it is con- Some fanatical sects have been in cluded, they are walking together the habit of encouraging outward because they are agreed, and are bodily expressions of feeling, and both equally wrong. But, attaching great importance to them,
Some professed Christians are such as groaning aloud in time of very unwilling to have the doctrines prayer, falling down, rolling about, of the Bible dwelt upon, and are al- and the like, and speaking of them ways displeased with such preach- as evidences of the special and pow. ing; some impenitent sinners are erful influences of the Spirit; some also unwilling to have those doc- in these days do the same; therefore, trines dwelt upon, and are always they walk together because they are displeased with such preaching; agreed. therefore, they are walking together
Some fanatical and disorderly because they are agreed, and are persons in former times, have both equally wrong.
thought it highly meritorious, to These examples may suffice to crowd themselves into the parishes show how the method of argumen- of settled ministers, and introduce tation adopted in the sermon will such measures as were adapted to support opposite conclusions equal- promote discord and strile; some ly well. "A few other examples in these days think the same; therewill show how the same method of fore, they walk together because reasoning will support some con- they are agreed. clusions which would be as offensive l'he Pharisees prayed long and to the friends of the new measures, loud, so as to attract the notice of as some of these which are drawn in men in the street; some in these the sermon are to others. Take the days, do the same; therefore they following:
walk together because they are Impenitent sinners always pray agreed. for their own salvation without sub- The Pharisees compassed sea and mission ; it is an essential ingre- land to make proselytes to their dient in the prayers of some at this peculiarities; some in these days, day, that they be made without sub- do the same; therefore, they walk mission: therefore they walk to- together because they are agreed. gether because they are agreed. A person under the influence of
Some individuals now venture to an evil spirit followed Paul and his predict certain future events, in company, with the cry, “these men consequence of impressions which are the servants of the most high they suppose have been made on God;" some follow certain preachtheir minds by the Holy Spirit; ers now with the same cry; thereStork, Munzer and their associates, fore, they are under the influence in the days of Luther, did the same; of the same evil spirit, and walk therefore they walk together be together because they are agreed. cause they are agreed.
Such deductions as these are Stork, Munzer, and their asso- made, after the method of reasoning ciates, denounced Luther and Calvin, pursued in the sermon; and they as carnal, unconverted men, and might be multiplied to an indefinite strangers to the influences of the extent. If these examples should Spirit, because they opposed their serve to convince any that the wild and extravagant notions and method of reasoning is unsound, practices; some, in these days, do and will equally support truth and the same, in respect to those minis: falsehood, and equally prove both ters who are most like Luther and sides of a contradiction, my purpose