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of God, immediately to give all di- over which he presided in this ligence to make your salvation place, held a meeting, at which we
Beware of satisfying your were appointed a committee to selves lightly, in this most impor- express to you their sympathy and tant of all concerns. Be assured, condolence, in the severe loss you that nothing short of the regene- have sustained, and the heavy airation of the heart, will qualify fliction you have been called on to you for the heavenly joys. Such, bear. remember, is the declaration of We are directed by the congrethe Saviour himself—“ Except a gation to ask your permission, to man be born again, he cannot see have the remains of their late the kingdom of God.” The graces friend brought to this place for inof repentance and faith, are found terment; supposing that no spot only in those who are born of the could be so appropriate as that Spirit. Supplicate his almighty where so many of his years were aid, in every purpose you form, passed in the able and faithful disand in every effort you make, in charge of the functions of his high returning unto God. To him, calling. Sure are we, that in no without any farther procrastina- other place can the last offices of tion, devote yourselves—your friendship be more feelingly perhearts, your life, your all. Be of formed; and no where could his the number of those who resolve, remains be more piously guarded. that let others do as they may, as We are also charged by the confor you, you will serve the Lord. gregation, to invite you to reside Never will you regret such a de- with them, as their guest, during termination, if you form it sin- the winter; that they may be enacerely and keep it faithfully, bled to administer to your comfort May God dispose and enable you and happiness, under the severe to do it—"And to him that is able bereavement which, in the dispento keep you from falling, and to sation of Providence, you have so present you faultless before the recently sustained. presence of his glory with exceed This letter will be handed to you ing joy-To the only wise God our by Messrs. Wilson and Harris, apSaviour, be glory and majesty, do- pointed by the congregation to minion and power, both now and visit you on this melancholy occaever-Amen."
sion, to superintend the removal of the remains, should their request be complied with; and to wait on
you to this place. We readily comply with a re
With our best wishes for your quest, to give publicity in the happiness, and our kindest sympaChristian Advocate to the follow- thies in your distress, we are, maing interesting letter.
dam, very respectfully, yours,
SAML. J. WILKIN, A Letter from the First Presbyte
WM. HORTON. rian Congregation in Goshen to Mrs. Esther Fisk, Widow of the late lamented Ezra Fisk, D. D.
The strokes of death seem to Goshen, Dec. 9, 1833. be falling in rapid succession on Mrs. Esther Fisk,
the ministers of the Presbyterian Madam,
church-on men of promise and On hearing of the lamented of eminence—and of every age; as death of your husband, their late if to impress us with the truth, respected pastor, the congregation that at any period of our ministe
rial labours our opportunity to do company with Dr. Herron, went further service in the vineyard of in a steam boat to Wheeling, to the Lord may be finally, perhaps settle a difference in the church suddenly, terminated, and we be there. He returned on the Tuescalled to give an account of our day before his death to this town; stewardship. Two months since, came to my house, sat about three we inserted a short account of the hours in my office, conversed with death of the lamented FULLERTON, Dr. Brown and others, and said he in the 32d year of his age; in the was in his usual health, but someforegoing article, we give the obit- what tired with his ride. When uary of the distinguished brother he parted from me he said, if my who died in his 48th year; and to carriage does not come in for me, this we are here to add a short no I will call with you to-morrow. In tice of the decease of the Rev. Dr. bed that night, at the widow John M‘Millan, in his 81st or 82d Ritchey's, he was taken extremely year—a venerable father, in cha- ill, got up and came down stairs, racter as well as in age, of the but gave no notice to the family. Presbyterian church. We trust When day appeared, by the help that his funeral sermon will be of his crutch, he proceeded to Dr. published, and that with it some Leatherman's house, about sixteen further account of his life and la- rods from Mrs. Ritchey's—and so bours, will be added to the auto- remained there, till his soul wingbiography, contained in his already ed its way to its eternal rest—that published letter to the President of rest which is provided for the peoNew Jersey College. Our notice ple of God. He was buried on the must be confined to the following Sabbath (the day after his death] extracts of a letter, for which we and a large funeral [assembly] atare indebted to the kind attention tended. I hear that Dr. Ralston is of the post-master of Canons- shortly to preach a funeral sermon burg—The letter is of the date of on the death of the old doctor. No 19th of November ult.
doubt there will be [published] an “ The Rev. John M‘Millan de- obituary [article]. If ever disinparted this life on Saturday last, terested benevolence beamed forth the 16th inst., in the 81st or 82d in a clergyman, no small part of year of his age, and the 56th of his this belonged to Dr. M‘Millan-I ministry. He attended Synod in have made free to communicate October last in Pittsburg. Af- the above to you.” ter the Synod adjourned, he, in
LETTERS TO PRESBYTERIANS, on the differ more among themselves at
Present Crisis of the Presbyterian this hour, than did those who diChurch in the United States. By rected her affairs ninety years ago, Samuel Miller, D.D. Professor of at the date of the unhappy rupture Ecclesiastical History and Church which has been described P” We Government in the Theological answer, yes—ten times as muchSeminary at Princeton.
unless this question be understood
equivocally. A difference, it is (Continued from page 507.)
well known, may be as real and Professor Miller asks, (page 12) as great, when only a trifle is the “Do the great mass of the minis- matter in controversy, as when the ters and members of our church most important concern is the
cause of discord. The difference the dust of the balance, when comninety years ago, as we have shown pared with prevailing heresy, the from authentick records, was about open violation or disregard of the the revival of religion which then solemn pledges, given in ordinaexisted, and the education of men tion vows, to sustain Presbyterian for the gospel ministry. We would order, and the almost total banot call these trifles; but the dif- nishment of discipline from our ference on these topicks was found church. But whatever be the difto be small and immaterial, when ference about new measures, it is the parties came to understand only to be added to the more imeach other, as they did in forming portant articles we have mentionthe act of union. On one side, ed, to show how much greater is there had been a charge of the the width of the separation now want of vital piety; and on the existing between the parties in our other, of a disregard to an act of church, than that which has taken Synod, and the want of literature place at any former period. in those who were licensed to We have not been inattentive to preach the gospel. But there was the language of Professor M. in no charge of heresy, or unsound- the interrogatory on which we reness in doctrine, and no ground for mark-that he speaks of "the such a charge, on either side: and great mass of the ministers and as to church order, we have shown members of our church,” when he that both parties maintained Pres- compares the present difference byterian church government, more with that of former days. We strictly while they were separated, have also noted his more explicit than they had done before. At language, in another part of his present, the chief points of differ- first letter, (p. 14) where he says, ence are wholly dissimilar from “that a very large majority-nay those of the period referred to by nineteen-twentieths of the whole the Professor. The very vitals of number of our ministers, are suffiour whole system are now struck ciently near to the scriptures, and at. Our complaint, and that of to each other, in respect to all the those who think with us, is in re- essentials of truth, to be comfortagard to the want of soundness in bly united in Christian fellowship the faith, and adherence to the and co-operation, I cannot allow Presbyterian government, as laid myself to doubt.” Now we condown in our constitution, in those to fess, that we cannot avoid having whom we are opposed. We there- strong and painful doubts, where fore speak in exaggerated the Professor declares he has none. terms, when we say that the pre- We have, nevertheless, cherished sent difference is ten times as im- the hope, and still cherish it, that portant as it was ninety years ago; there is a majority-whether a whether the difference itself, that large or a small one, we will not is the alienation of the parties from say—who are, as yet, essentially each other, be greater or less—a sound in doctrine. But what of question of comparatively little mo- this? If the majority are so much ment. As to what are called at pre- afraid of offending the minoritypresent new measures, we admit if they have such a Polemophobia of there is a considerable resemblance producing a conflict in the church, between what is now seen in our that they will not stand up for the church, and what was witnessed truth, and meet a departure from in some places during the Whit- it with that necessary discipline, fieldian revival. But we have al- by which alone it can ever be reways considered these new mea- pressed, but will suffer the minosures, much as we dislike them, as rity to disseminate heresy ad libi
tum—“the great mass,” as to any --we still have some hopes of the practical efficiency, are on the eldership-are not willing to sussame side with those from whom tain strict Presbyterian governthey doctrinally differ. We shall ment in the judicatories of the here quote anew—and we beg the church, is, we fear, a fact that canspecial attention of our readers to not with truth be denied. Here is the quotation of—a part of an ex our bane, and till it be removed, tract from the farewell sermon to every fancied remedy will prove his presbytery, and as it has proved but a mere placebo. to the whole Presbyterian church, We must say a few words on of that patriarch of the West, the the evidence which Professor M. Rev. Dr. M‘Millan, who has re thinks he derives of the substancently gone from contending for tial unanimity which exists in our the truth on earth, to receive the church, from the manner in which plaudit and reward of his Master the narrative of the state of reliin heaven. “At the present day,” gion, and the pastoral letter of says this departed saint, “I believe 1832, were adopted by the General that the church is in greater dan- Assembly. Toward the close of ger from those who style them- the protracted sessions of that selves peace-men, than from all year, notwithstanding the palpable the errors that abound in her; for violation of the constitution of the these generally cast their weight church, in the first part of the sesinto the scale of the errorists, and sions, by invading the exclusive thereby not only countenance and right of synods to divide presbyteencourage them in their errors, ries, there seemed to be indications but weaken the hands of those who of good things to come, which inare labouring for the peace and spired hope, in those who felt purity of the church. And it is themselves aggrieved. Such cermy serious opinion, that our church tainly was our own state of mind, will never have peace and purity and we know it was that of several in union, until it is purged by dis- others. This may account for the cipline of the false doctrines which withholding of opposition, and aldefile it, and the false measures most of remark, by those who which distract it.” Here is our might have thought there were opinion, expressed with admirable some things objectionable, in the simplicity and perspicuity. Let statements of that narrative. For us stand on the same ground with ourselves, we thought and said, such worthies as Dr. M.Millan and that we considered it as among Dr. Fisk, whose sentiments, we the best compositions of the kind, have good reason to believe, were if not the very best, that we had substantially alike, and let the ma- heard on similar occasions. But jority stand as it may—The desire truly, on a reperusal of that narraof being and keeping with the ma- tive, we see bui very little that has jority, has proved the snare and any bearing on the point for which the ruin of many a hopeful man, Professor M. has alluded to it; both in church and state. Wé and we are rather surprised at his must remark here, however, that reference–The narrative chiefly “the great mass of the ministers consists of the statement of facts, and members of our church,” (yet which had been made in the we trust not “ nineteen-twentieths written reports of presbyteries, of the whole number,") are, as we and of corresponding churches; have shown,congregationalized, and and which the writer of the narthat this is the radical cause of the rative skilfully digested, with the whole evil. That a decided majo- addition of some remarks of his rity of the ministers of our church own-remarks to which his own
ferviù mind gave a warm colour- this pastoral letter was ever pubing, although not beyond what he lickly read in the hearing of fiftybelieved to be the truth—There we have heard of only one instance, ought to have been, what there after repeated inquiries. And if a was not, a distinct notice of many pastoral letter is not publickly read things in the state of the church, to a congregation, its very name is which called both for regret and a mockery; for after all the publi
cations of religious periodicals, As for the pastoral letter, its his- and the distribution of the printed tory is, we suspect, unique, in the minutes of the Assembly, the mass proceedings of our church judica- of our congregations not one intories. The proposition for the dividual in ten, taking the aggre. sending forth of such a letter at gate of the Presbyterian churchthat time, was submitted to the will ever know the contents of such Assembly by the present writer; a letter, if they even so much as with the explicit declaration, of know of its existence, unless it is what was strictly the fact, that it read in their hearing. If this letter was the result of no combination, was read from the pulpit of a single or preconcert of any kind, but the clergyman who voted against its spontaneous suggestion of his own being written, we should be glad to mind, brought forward after con- hear of it, as a surprising fact. But sulting with only a single member this is not all. The letter has been of the house, who was named, and treated as a nullity, by the most, who was then on the floor. The perhaps by all, of those whose erproposition, notwithstanding, pro- rors it was intended to correct, or duced one of the most animated to prevent. For six months after debates that ever occurs in delibe- the issuing of that letter, we err rative bodies, and which lasted greatly, if there was not nearly or through the day. It was boldly quite as much undue excitement in and emphatically declared, by religious meetings; as many bodily those who opposed the proposi. agitations; as little guarding against tion, that no pastoral letter could, indecorum in social worship; as at that time, be written, which great an excess of social meetings would not do much more harm and exercises; as much praying and than good. When the vote was exhorting of women, in promiscutaken, in a house consisting of 248 ous assemblies; as much disturbmembers, the majority in favour ance of the settled order of churches; of the proposition was, to the best as much regard to irregular preachof our recollection, only four. Yeters; as much disregard to the docthe vote in favour of the letter, trinal standards of our church; as when brought in and read, was by much hurrying of new made conacclamation—without debate, and verts into the church; and as many with only one feeble no—some as new measures for the promotion of serted, it was entirely unanimous. religious revivals, as there had been We confess we were never so sur- for six months before the letter prised, at any apparent change of was written. We know that some opinion in a deliberative body, that of the evils just enumerated, and we ever witnessed. We were for which are exactly those specified a while utterly at a loss to account in the pastoral letter, have been for it, and hoped it was ominous gradually lessening for some time of good. But the event has not past; although the most of them realized our hope. Of the 2253 yet exist, and in several places churches, then reported to be un- with little abatement. But the dider the care of the General As. minution of the extravagancies of sembly, we very much question if various kinds, which have unhap