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Excerpt from Church Discipline, in Two Parts
Two editions of Four Thousand copies of "The Manual of Church Discipline," upon "offences" and their treatment - which now constitutes the Second Part of this work - have been published and sold. A re-publication of that work, is now called for, alike by the wants of the Churches, and the wishes of those best acquainted with its merits.
It has been thought best to enlarge the work, by prefixing a Part upon Formative Church Discipline; a subject truly first, both in the order of nature, and importance; and were Formative Church Discipline, closely studied, and well understood in its intrinsic nature and vast importance; and vigorously carried forward in the Churches, we fully believe, that there would be far fewer offences occurring; and so far less Corrective Church Discipline, required. The First Part of this work will be of great value to all classes of Religious Teachers; as clearly showing them the nature of the work they have in hand, in forming men to the true Christian Character, by the culture of depraved mind, with inspired truth. And as showing, also, that it is the intelligent, earnest, laborious, prayerful Teacher, alone, that succeeds in his work; and attains unto "the honor that comes from God only." Such success and such honor were reward enough, for doing the highest work of human hands, in the best possible manner.
And, if this little Volume shall shed any such new light upon the subject of Religious Teaching, as shall induce and ensure the greater efficiency of Teachers, through their own thorough personal culture, its very highest end will have been gained.
The Second Part of this work, will be found, we think, by all Church Members, to contain instructions of vital interest to them. For certainly, the peace of the Church of Christ, as flowing from her purity; and as opposed to "bitter envying and strife; to wars and fightings," is manifestly a paramount interest. And yet, what spiritual interest beside, is so greatly exposed and so frequently assailed, as the peace of the Christian brotherhood? There are a thousand forms of "offence" to disturb it; and twice as many forms of treating those offences, which disturb it more.
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