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LETTERS

ON THE

MINISTRY, RITUAL, AND DOCTRINES

OF THE

PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH,

ADDRESSED TO THE

REV. WM. E. WYATT, D. D.
Associate Minister of St. Paul's Parish, Baltimore, and Protessor of Theology in

the University of Maryland,

Jn reply to a Sermon

EXHIBITING SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL DOCTRINES OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL

CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES.

BY JARED SPARKS, A. M.

MINISTER OF THE FIRST INDEPENDENT CHURCH OF BALTIMORE.

Baltimore:
PUBLISHED BY N. G. MAXWELL,
NO. 140 BALTIMORE STREET.

1820.
JOHN D. TOY, PRINTER.

CONTENTS.

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LETTER I.
On the ministry of the episcopal church.
Reasons for discussing the subject-Our Saviour gave no instruc-

tions respecting any particular mode of church government-
Said nothing of three orders of ministry- The first church at
Jerusalem was governed by the apostles, elders, and brethren-
Deacons—The ceremony of ordination was performed by any of
ficers of regular standing in the church-Paul and Barnabas
were ordained by “prophets and teachers”—Opinions of Kui-
noel, Rosenmuller, Hammond, and Le Clerc—Episcopalians
fond of quoting the Fathers-Authority of the Fathers—Opi-
nions of Milton and Jeremy Taylor-Ignatius' epistles Testi-
mony of the Fathers against episcopacy-Opinions of Paley,
Locke, the bishop of Lincoln-Ecclesiastical government essen-
tially a government of the people.

p. 5

LETTER II.

On the ritual of the church.
Baptism-Church form not scriptural—Sign of the cross-Con-

firmation–These forms nearly the same as in the Catholic
church-Ordination service-Expediency and utility of forms
of prayer-Their disadvantages-Origin of Saints' days-Bos-
suet.

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LETTER III.
On the authority of the church in controversies of faith.
Our Saviour gave no authority to any man, or body of men, to

judge others for their religious opinions--Christians have no
other rule of faith than the Bible-Chillingworth-Athanasian
creed-Historical sketch of the first conventions of the Ame-
rican episcopal church after the revolution-Injurious ten-
dency of creeds and articles, both on the clergy and the people
-Many christians cannot conscientiously worship according to
the liturgy of the church-Inconsistency of holding to the au-
thority of tradition, and rejecting infallibility_How creeds
keep schism out of the church-Milton's opinion.

12-17 Torne

p. 79

11-11

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LETTER IV. On the doctrinal character of the thirty-nine articles. The fundamental doctrines of calvinism fully set forth in the ar

ticles and homilies—Ninth article-Homilies-Seventeenth article-Bishop Burnet's exposition-Opinions of the first reformers calvinistic-Nowel's catechism-Latimer's sermons Bishop's Bible-Oxford theses-Ridley's letter on election and predestination-Lambeth articles_Heylin-University of Cambridge-Synod of Dort-English delegates were all calvinistsStrange doctrine of the eighteenth article-Arminian mode of interpreting the articles indefensible-Proposed summary of faith.

p. 109

LETTER V. Doctrine of the trinity as held by the episcopal church, Litany—The worship it inculcates-Doctrine of the trinity

contained in the articles-Opinions of learned episcopalians There is one true God - The Lord Jesus Christ is not this one true God, but a subordinate being-Doctrine of two natures—The Holy Spirit is not the true God-Jews had no conceptions of any threefold distinction in the Deity-Nor had the disciples of Jesus-Nor did the apostles preach any such doctrine after the ascension of Christ, The christians of the first century were principally, if not entirely, unitarians-Origin of the doctrine of the trinity.

p. 142

LETTER VI. Exposition of certain texts of scripture supposed to favour the

doctrine of the trinity. Objections answered-Use of reason-Mysteries-Burgh's Reply

to Lindsey-Jones on the Trinity-His singular mode of interpreting the scriptures--All the texts considered in which Christ is called, or supposed to be called God-None of these prove him to be the Supreme Being-Texts, which are thought to ascribe such properties or powers to Christ, as could belong only to God-How Christ and the Father are one Christ possessed the attributes of God in a limited degree-God the only object of religious homage-Form of baptism-Communion of the Holy Spirit-Concluding remarks.

p. 195

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REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,

When your late discourse on the ministry and doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church first appeared, I engaged with much interest in its perusal. The design you proposed of explaining at large the principal doctrines, and distinguishing characteristics of this church, led me to anticipate much pleasure and improvement from the execution. If I have been disappointed in some of my expectations, I could not fail to be gratified with the spirit of candour and good intention which pervades your discourse; and I hope I have not read it without profit, if I have without conviction.

In the remarks I am about to make, I have no design to point out intentional misrepresentations, or to question your motives. Nor is it so much your own private opinions with which I am concerned, as the doctrines and principles you have attempted to ex· plain and defend, and which you represent as form. ing the most striking features of the church to which you belong. Among these I cannot but think there are many errors; and not a few, which can have no other than an injurious tendency on the cause of truth

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