to public rebuke, is one of the most powerful tests of the sincerity of his repentance. A question has been raised, viz., whether suspension from church privileges is justifiable. I should be disposed to reply, never as a punishment. While the case of an offender is under examination by the church, before its members can come to a decision upon it, it may be justifiable, perhaps expedient, to suspend him, (though some very experienced ministers prefer leaving it to the individual himself to withdraw, or not, as he may think best,) and, perhaps, as long as the church remain unable to decide whether his conduct be compatible with the existence of real religion, it may be proper to continue the suspension. But, then, suspension is not inflicted as a punishment. The sin could not fail to bring the character of the offender into serious suspicion. His professions of repentance have not force to avert that suspicion; and the suspension is merely intended to afford better opportunity of judging of the principles of the offender, and the sincerity of his repentance.

3rdly. Upon the spirit and manner in which discipline should be conducted.

First, With manifest affection to the offender himself. In the proceedings of the church, there must be no display of personal exasperation, or resentment, or dislike. All must be done with an evident desire to reclaim the offender. If the conduct and decision of the church do not flow from love to him, or even do not appear to flow from this source, they will irritate and harden, and thus do injury rather than good.

Secondly, With strict impartiality. There must be no respect of persons: the rich and influential must not be screened. Nothing would more certainly incur the displeasure of the great Head of the church. The laws of Christ must be executed upon all; even though a prince, or a sovereign, should be the offender.

Thirdly, With great solemnity ; because, first, Christ walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He is


present with the church (and this truth should be vividly impressed upon the minds of all the members) in all their deliberations, and carefully observes whether the spirit of obedience to him will succumb to the maxims of worldly policy, to the influence of wealth, to the supposed claims of friendship, or relationship, to private partiality, or pique; and, if he does not see it rise

superior to any, yea, to all of these things, he will assuredly say, I have somewhat against thee.” Secondly, Because the church acts in the place of Christ. This should be made to appear in the most impressive man

No decision must emanate, or seem to emanate from the church, as its original and exclusive fountain. It must be made to appear that it is Christ that restores, or rebukes, or puts away, by them. Thirdly, Because the decisions of the church, when governed by Scripture, are sanctioned and confirmed by the Head of the church himself. Whatsoever they bind, or refuse to forgive, on earth, is bound in heaven ; whatsoever they loose on earth, is loosed in heaven.

No case of discipline should be proceeded in, or concluded, without solemn prayer for Divine direction; and the hearts of all should ascend to God in earnest supplication, that the execution of the laws of the kingdom may

be rendered a blessing to the church, and preeminently to the offender himself. It will be expedient to remember that, when cases of discipline are wisely and properly conducted, they tend most powerfully to promote the spiritual profit of the body. The members of the body at large are impressively taught their moral frailty; and each departs from the place with the prayer of one of old upon his lips, “ Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.”

4thly. When discipline has terminated in exclusion, the remaining members of the body are to avoid all unnecessary private intercourse with the expelled member. He is to be unto them as a heathen man, and a publican.

There is no harshness or severity in this injunction. It is the command of love, which forbids us, by countenancing a man in his fault, to incur the danger of hardening him in his transgression, to his final ruin. On this account, as well as others, it is a point of great consequence, that the exclusion of the offender should be effected by an unanimous vote of the church. When this is not the case, the dissentient part of the body may be unwise enough to express their opinions not only in but out of the church ; and may even think it their duty to show countenance to one whom they regard as an injured man. And, when this is done, the discipline of the church can produce no beneficial result upon the mind of the offender. Where a church is not radically corrupt, a short delay in reference to the final decision will generally bring all to one mind in a case which ought to be a case of excision ; and, in that case,

the heart of the stoutest offender will be likely to quail before the sentence.

5thly. The results of inattention to discipline. These are disastrous in the highest degree. To the church itself: mutual confidence is shaken,-love declines,zeal languishes,-torpor seizes upon the body,—the Holy Spirit withholds his influence,-and Ichabod will generally be found written upon the doors. To the honour of Christ and his religion: for nothing tends so powerfully to dishonour both as the neglect of discipline: Christ is by that means wounded in the house of his friends. To the world: sinners are not converted, for the minister labours in a field on which, through the misconduct of the church, God has forbidden the clouds to pour down water.


W. Tyler, Printer, Bolt-court, Fleet-street.

pp. 530.


Price 12s. London, 1828.

“ We look upon this volume as one of great interest and worth, and cordially recommend it to all who are anxious to find a large portion of information on the subject treated of, in a small compass. The style in general is simple and perspicuous, and the matter clearly arranged. Throughout the whole, the author has shown himself possessed of a very acute and philosophic mind ; and one who has read much, and thought much, and can express his thoughts firmly and decidedly. With less of polish and comprehension than Dugald Stewart, he is scarcely behind him in depth and discernment; and inferior to Dr. Thomas Brown in varied learning and splendid imagination, he possesses no small share of his acumen and dialectical tact; and, perhaps, more of the aspice, respice, circumspice, than fell to the lot of that very distinguished philosopher.”'-Edinburgh Magazine.


pp. 404.-Hamilton, Adams and Co. London, 1836.

of grace,

“A volume which cannot fail to transmit the Author's name to posterity as an acute and judicious advocate of the doctrines

L“a masterly specimen of theological controversy, conducted in a Christian spirit, and with unflinching deference to the supreme authority of the word of God."'-Evangelical Magazine, August, 1836.

“We take leave of Dr. Payne's work, with the highest respect for the Author's character as a devout and able divine. His book is a most valuable addition to our contemporary sacred literature, eminently adapted to the present state of knowledge, opi. nion, and thought, on the vitally important subjects of which it treats. It will fully repay what it indispensably requires, that, if it be read at all, it should be read with care and thought, for with care and thought it has been written. It has our warmest recommendation; and whoever of our readers is induced by that recommendation to purchase and give it a thoughtful perusal will, we doubt not, warmly thank us for introducing to his notice a work which cannot be so read without great advantage and pleasure."--Congregational Magazine, May, 1837.

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