Twenty-four Discourses On Some of the Important and Interesting Truths, Duties, and Institutions, of the Gospel, etc.
This book contains twenty-four sermons delivered to what was likely aCongregational church in Hartford, Connecticut, around 1795. Your Transcriber,a Baptist layman, obtained access to the book 220 years later and half acontinent away, in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
The dedication provides some information on the occasion for publishing thebook. However, the details of its production were not presented. The sourcematerial may have been the minister’s notes or one or more of thecongregants could have transcribed the messages as they were delivered. Atthe print shop, it appears that the task of setting and printing was completedover a number of days by a number of different craftsmen, of varying skilland interest in the project. On some pages, almost every line ends with ahyphen as one tried to put as many words as possible on a page. On otherpages, very few words end with a hyphen and there is a bit more white spacebetween words. The orthography (“labor” vs. “labour”)and capitalization (“Christian” vs. “christian”)varies from page to page and may vary within a given sentence.
The book includes spellings that the electronic spell checker flags forcorrection. The Transcriber consulted the Oxford English Dictionary and retainedsome spellings that were termed obsolete because they may reflect the time when thebook was published. Changes to the original are documented in the Transcriber’sNotes at the foot of the document. Linked to detailed notes.
The Transcriber followed Project Gutenberg style guidance by removing dropcapitals and small cap text from the beginning of paragraphs. The book includesmany dashes. They have been standardized to either one or two em-dash characters.In the original text, some of the dashes are quite long.
Rev. Perkins refers repeatedly to the “Christian Religion.”The Transcriber prefers to refer to Christianity as a relationship with JesusChrist, rather than a religion. Over time, religion may degenerate into ritualand tradition, and lose its relevance and vitality.
Rev. Perkins speaks enthusiastically about the New Testament ordinances,Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. While he does not provide specific details,he evidently considered these practices to require justification and defence,which he provides, at some length. He interchanges the terms “sacrament”and “ordinance” as if they were similar or equivalent. The word“sacrament” may give the impression that participating in the act isa means of gaining merit or favor. The word “ordinance” indicates thatthe act was instituted or ordained by Christ who set a pattern or model for Hisworshippers to follow.
When Rev. Perkins discusses baptism, he states that if a minister performsthe act, water is employed in some manner, and the proper words are spoken, oneis baptized. He discusses only in passing, the death, burial, and resurrectionsymbolism that is reflected only in full immersion baptism. See Romans 6:4 andColossians 2:12.
The Bible tells us:
- Everyone is a sinner. Romans 3:10–12, 23.
- The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God). Romans 6:23a.
- Our good deeds (works) do not save us. Isaiah 64:6.
- Salvation is available as a free gift. Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 6:23b.
- Salvation is available to everyone who chooses to receive it. John 3:16.
- Good works are the proper response of a grateful heart. Ephesians 2:10.
- “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31
- The Gospel in four verses: 1 Corinthians 15:1–4.
Technical note: This book makes extensive use of small cap text.It may be necessary to experiment with browsers and fonts to find one that shows the formatting correctly.
on some of the
Important and Interesting
TRUTHS, DUTIES, and INSTITUTIONS of
and the general Excellency
Calculated for the People of God of
particularly for the benefit of
Instruction of all, in the things which
concern their salvation.
By NATHAN PERKINS, A. M.
Pastor of a Church of Christ in Hartford.
printed by hudson & goodwin.
To the people of my Pastoral Charge—Thefollowing discourses are most affectionatelydedicated. I account it a happiness tocontribute to your establishment in the truth—tounfold to you the great principles, duties, andInstitutions of the Christian Religion—to defendthem against such as may rise up and deny them—andto lead you and your children in the rightway of the Lord.
I can bear you witness, that when these discourseswere delivered, you afforded an uncommonattention. You have been very solicitousto have them made public, for your own instructionand benefit; and for the use and benefit ofyour children, when you shall be gathered tothe great Congregation of the dead. They containnot the disputed peculiarities of a party,but the grand principles and truths of ourcommon Christianity, held sacred by our Churchesin this Land, and by the whole protestantChristian world, as appears clearlyfrom all their public Creeds and Confessionsof Truth.
They are published, as you will easily recollect,nearly word for word, as they were delivered.Particular reasons have induced me to[p. iv]do this. In one discourse only is there a deviationfrom the original form; that on the Apostle’scaution Be not carried about with divers andstrange doctrines, or the danger of instability,and pernicious tendency of error. What wasmerely local is omitted, but the sentiments insubstance are carefully retained.
Many learned and judicious Characters, bothof the Clergy and Laity, have urged to the publicationof these discourses, as being peculiarlyadapted to the day in which we live, andthe state of Religion in our nation: as calculatedfor, and greatly needed in Christian Families;there being no such series of discourses tobe found in any Volume already published.The design of them is to convince such as needconviction—to reclaim such as may be wanderinginto error—to confirm the wavering—toconsole the Christian,—and to exhibit to all;some of the important, essential practical principlesof pure and undefiled Religion.——It is onlynecessary to add—My prayer to God is, thatthey may, by his divine blessing, be the meansof preventing the spread of error and irreligion,and of reviving the decaying interest of piety andholiness, which can only be revived and supportedby a more strict and conscientious regard toall divine institutions.
That man has no principle within himself,by whatever name it may be called, whichis adequate to all the purposes of his salvation,or a sufficient guide in matters of faith andpractice.
Ephes. ii. 12. That at that time ye were without Christ, beingaliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from theCovenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in theworld.
The subject continued.
The ways in which the holy scriptures are pervertedby unlearned and unstable men.
2. Peter, iii. 16, 17. As also in all his Epistles, speaking in themof these things, in which are some things hard to be understood,which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do alsothe other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore,beloved seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also beingled away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Stated prayer a duty binding on all men.
Acts, ii. 21. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall callupon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
The duty of public worship, and its beneficialtendency.
Mat. iv. 10. Then saith Jesus, get thee hence Satan, for it is writtenthou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thouserve.
The subject continued.
The subject concluded.
The Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, not a humaninvention, but a divine institution.
Mat. xxvi. 26, to the 31. And as they were eating, Jesus tookbread, and blessed it, and break it, and gave it to the disciples, andsaid take, eat, this is my body.—And he took the cup and gavethanks, and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it. For thisis my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for theremission of sin. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforthof this fruit of the vine, until that day, when I drink it new withyou in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn,they went out into the Mount of Olives.
Baptism by water not a piece of superstition, butappointed by Jesus Christ.
Mat. xxviii. And this part of the 19 verse.—Baptising them inthe name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost.
The subject continued and finished.
It is the will of the author of Christianity that,in the New Testament dispensation, thereshould be particular Gospel Churches.
1. Thessalonians, i. 1. Paul and Silvanus, and Timotheus, untothe Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, andin the Lord Jesus Christ; grace be unto you and peace from Godour Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The right way to understand the inspired writings.
Luke, xxiv. 45. Then opened he their understanding, that theymight understand the scriptures.
The Gospel to be supported by those who enjoy it.
Gal. vi. 6. Let him that is taught in the word, communicate untohim that teachest in all good things.
The Apostles, infallible guides in Religion, beingcommissioned, and immediately qualified,and inspired by the Redeemer.
2. Thessalonians, ii. 15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, andhold the tradition which ye have been taught, whether by word,or our Epistle.
The first day of the week proved to be holy time,and set apart by Christ, to be a weekly Sabbathto the end of the world.
Acts, xx. 7. And upon the first day of the week when the disciplescame together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready todepart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.
The subject continued and concluded.
The parable of the Tares.
Mat. xiii. 24–31. Another Parable put he forth unto them, saying,the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowedgood seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came andsowed Tares among the wheat, and went his way. But whenthe blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appearedthe Tares also. So the servants of the householder, came, and saidunto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field, fromwhence then hath it Tares? And he said unto them, an enemyhath done this. The servants said unto him, wilt thou then thatwe go and gather them up? But he said, nay; lest whilst ye gatherup the Tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let bothgrow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest,I will say to the reapers; gather ye together first the Tares, andbind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into mybarn.
No immediate inspiration or miraculous teachingsof the divine spirit, since the canon ofscripture was closed or since the apostolic age.
1. Cor. xiii. 8. Charity never faileth; but whether there be propheciesthey shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall cease;whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away.
Sinless perfection unattainable in this life.
1. John, i. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselvesand the truth is not in us.
The Apostle’s caution to all Christians—be notcarried about with divers and strange doctrines,or the danger of instability, and pernicioustendency of error.
Hebrews, xiii. 9. Be not carried about with divers and strangedoctrines.
The general excellency of the Christian Religion.
1. Cor. xii. 31. But covet earnestly the best gifts: yet shew I untoyou, a more excellent way.
The subject continued.
The subject continued.