by William CunninghamThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1863 edition. Excerpt: ... the congregation must be informed of it, and must have an opportunity of giving in objections; but that the church courts, if they think the reasons of objection ill-founded, are entitled to intrude ministers upon reclaiming congregations; while we maintain that, under these provisions, the refusal of the consent, or the positive dissent of the congregation, was a conclusive bar to the settlement. Now, here we may observe, that a very great antecedent improbability attaches to the notion that the Second Book of Discipline gives to the people only a right of stating objections of which another party is to judge. The First Book of Discipline gave them the right of election. We know of no ground for believing that in the interval there was any material change of sentiment in the church on this point; and, therefore, even if we were forced to admit that the Second Book took away from them the initiative, we would naturally expect that it would still leave them the right of giving or withholding their consent. We never could suppose, without very conclusive evidence, that the church would sink so rapidly from the high Protestant principle of the right of the people to choose their own ministers, down to the lowest depths of Popery and Moderatism, and give them only a right of objecting on cause shown. When the Second Book holds up the standard of the apostolic and primitive kirk, and denounces so strongly the corruptions introduced on this subject by Antichrist, it is surely in the highest degree improbable that it should give the people no higher rights than what Mr Robertson concedes to them, and what no Papist has ever in theory denied to them. Our opponents, indeed, sometimes speak as if there was something so essentially absurd about our...
|Title||Discussions on Church Principles|
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