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does believe it, must surely have forgotten every circumstance of the case ; the infancy of the religion, and of the church, scarcely indeed a few days old; the difficulty in all cases of breaking up old organizations, and forming new ones; the fierce persecutions to which the faithful were exposed; the necessity under which they were, occasionally at least, placed of holding their meetings in secret through fear of the Jews, &c. Regularly organized congregations in these circumstances! Dr. Dick surely did not sufficiently transfer himself in imagination from Glasgow to Jerusalem, or he would not have rested his conclusion upon an argument of this kind.

Secondly. That though we rejoice to believe that the number of disciples in Jerusalem was very great, it may

have been overrated by Presbyterians. They assume that the five thousand mentioned Acts iv. 3, were additional to the three thousand referred to in the second chapter, v. 41, 42. Now, though we do not wish to disprove this assumption, it ought to be borne in mind that the latter may be included in the former.

Thirdly. That how large soever may have been the number of disciples at Jerusalem, the greater part were strangers, who had come up to worship at the feast. How can we then suppose that permanent provision (hy forming distinct congregations, securing various places of worship,) would be made to meet merely a present emergency? Presbyterians are obliged to admit that a portion of the disciples were of this description, but represent that portion as very inconsiderable. The history, on the contrary, vide Acts ii. 1, 2, renders it manifest that the main body were not residents in the city.

Fourthly. That there are sufficient indications that the body of disciples at Jerusalem constituted but one church, in the Congregational sense of the term. We

negative evidence of this; for, if distinct congregations had been formed, as the Presbyterians affirm, how

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comes it to pass that not even the most distant hint of this is directly given to us in any part of the history? We have positive evidence of this: Then they that gladly received his words,” says the historian, were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” “ And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,” &c. · Did eat their meat with gladness, and singleness of heart.” Acts ïi. 41–46. In these words they are obviously represented as one congregation, having fellowship in the ordinances; they ate the Lord's Supper together ; they were together, they continued with one accord in the temple, &c. Further on in the history, we find them still one unbroken body. When Peter and John were let go, they “went," we are told, “ to their own company; and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.” Acts iv, 23; “and when they had prayed the place was shaken,” it is added, “where they were assembled together,-v. 31. In Acts v. 12, they are represented as “ being all with one accord in Solomon's porch.” It was to the whole body of disciples that the twelve addressed themselves previously to the election of deacons. They called," it is said, “ the multitude of the disciples unto them.” This same multitude selected the individuals who should be appointed to that office ; “for the saying,” it is added, “pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen,” &c. The history renders it impossible to conceive that this multitude was broken down into distinct congregations, and that each congregation selected its own deacons. In Acts xv. 4, and 23, the whole church is expressly said to have met, and transacted business; and this church consisted not of the apostles and elders merely, according to Presbyterian notions, for it is contradistinguished from them, v. 4, and 22: it contained the brethren mentioned, v. 23; the whole multitude, v. 12; certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, v. 4.

It is plain, then, that the multitude of believers was not broken down into distinct regularly organised congregations. No foundation for this notion exists but mere conjecture. The whole current of the history goes directly to support the opinion that, during the period of time which that history embraces, the disciples in Jerusalem remained one unbroken body; meeting probably for social worship (as different sections of large Congregational churches in the present day do) at different times and places; but assembling at certain periods, and transacting the whole of the business which concerned the body, when the multitude was gathered together. It is worse than useless for Presbyterians to tell us that the multitude must have been formed into distinct and separate congregations, because one place could not have contained them, while we find it expressly declared that they did come together and into one place, and that that place was sometimes, and may have been at all times, Solomon's porch.

When to all this it is added, that, by the confession of our opponents themselves, the ordinary sense of the word church is a congregation, we shall not be prevailed upon to believe that, in reference to the disciples in Jerusalem, there is a departure from this signification, by such arguments as our Presbyterian brethren are in the habit of producing.

We proceed now to an examination of THE SECOND GREAT POINT IN CONTEST BETWEEN THE TWO DENOMINATIONS ; viz. whether every separate church has the full power of government within itself, so that the Congregational is the ultimate court; or whether there should be a gradation and subordination of courts, and a right of appeal from an inferior court to a superior court, the decision of the latter being binding upon the former. Dr. Dick produces the following reasons in support of the notions and practices of his own church.

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· I. This is, he says in substance, a fair deduction from what we have already established concerning the union of several congregations in one church at Jerusalem. They were one, he adds, by being under one general government. Each assembly regulated its own ordinary affairs ; but when any extraordinary case arose, it was referred to the council of the presbyters, and decided by its authority. The reply of Congregationalits to this argument is, of course, that our opponent has failed to establish the explanation he gives of the term church. His imagination has been at work in dividing what remained in fact an unbroken body.

II. “We have distinct examples," says Dr. Dick, “in the New Testament, of appeals from an inferior to a superior court.” The passage

is Acts, chapter xv., containing an account of the dissensions which arose at Antioch in reference to the necessity of circumcision, and the mission of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem with a view to the decision of the controversy. The argument of Presbyterians is as follows. The inferior court at Antioch, not being able to terminate this controversy, appealed to the superior court at Jerusalem, which gave forth a decree, binding, in consequence of the authority vested in it as a superior court, upon the whole Christian world. It is further maintained, that this single case warrants their plan of forming standing local ecclesiastical courts, having a gradation of rank,—of subjecting the decisions of the lower courts to the higher, and of vesting the ultimate and binding authority with the latter. Upon this argument, I respectfully submit the following observations to the careful consideration of the reader :

First. On the principles of the Presbyterians, the inferior court must be represented in the superior; or it cannot be bound by its decisions. This, it must be carefully borne in mind, is a radical principle of Presbyterianism, which is throughout a system of representation. The Presbytery or Synod would have no power whatever to enforce the obedience of the inferior court, did not that court appear there by its representatives. The kirk-session sits, in effect, in the presbytery; the former, accordingly, binds itself in the decisions of the latter, as every man taxes himself in or by his representatives in the Commons' house of parliament.

Secondly. There were not representatives, at this pretended council, from the churches of God which have existed subsequently to the time when it was held, yet its decree has been binding upon them : and, moreover, it will have the force of law, in regard to all churches, till the end of the world.

Thirdly. There is not a particle of evidence that, at this pretended council, there were representatives even from the churches in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, to which the decree of the council was immediately sent, and over which it had, and exercised, the force of law. Dr. Dick admits that it is doubtful whether delegates from the churches referred to did appear at the council. Brown, the great champion of Presbyterianism, wishes to represent their presence, or the contrary, as a point of no consequence. This is, however, I cannot avoid saying, little better than delusion. The cause of Presbyterianism we must hold to be lost,--absolutely-irrecoverably lost, (as far, at least, as this argument is concerned,) unless it can be proved that delegates appeared at this council from all the churches on which the decree is binding. Non-representation in the council, on the very principles of Presbyterianism, deprived that council of authority to the extent in which it prevailed.

Fourthly.' If it were conceded that the assembly at Jerusalem was a council in the Presbyterian sense, having representatives from all the churches to which the decree was sent, still the facts of the case would overturn Presbyterianism ; for the decree is not mentioned as being that of the apostles and elders merely, (who only have church power in their view,) but of the

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