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legislation of the State and the judicial wide-spread reception of principles so poweradministration of the country may be so ful to mould the characters of the people to conducted as to do honour to religion, and virtue. Though this is the case, it need through it give homage to God. The indif- not interfere with the supplementary efforts ference of the civil ruler towards religion, if of Congregationalism, wbich may gather to it were not impossible, would be sinful, be- itself everlasting honour by the erection of cause, if a thorough and consistent believer, places of Worship, the appointment of pastors, he is morally bound to do everything in his and employment of the various other agencies power to advance the interests of religion in to bring men under the influence of gospel all the diverse situations of life to which he truth. may be called. The instrumentalities or The Christian Church is a spiritual sochannels through which christian knowledge ciety, the qualifications for admission to is diffused are of this world, though the which are purely moral. It is capable of impulse comes from a higher; and the State, developing itself under every form of civil from the extent of its power and influence, government, and can we suppose that for, suggests itself as a favourable means for the such a sacred society, in which the truths extension of the gospel through all the to be believed, the worship to be observed, ramifications of society. To provide a gospel and the laws to be obeyed, are all most ministration for the millions who live in a clearly indicated and prescribed by its Distate of alienation from God, and who, if left vine Founder, there should have been no to themselves, would never support a church, provisions made by him respecting its polity is, in our opinion, a work worthy of the or church government, on the nature and highest efforts of philanthropy and patriotism. administration of which so materially deIt is not a question of discipline or doctrine, pends the order and interests of society? and where can these be had in their least These considerations forbid the supposition exceptionable forms; but it is whether whole that the government of the Church should peoples should be left to the bent of their have been left to the conflicting devices of own inclinations to accept or reject the truth the human mind. Accordingly, when we of God, or whether, by the establishment of turn to God's own word, we find, if not exchurches and missions, they should, through press and authoritative instructions on the the agency of pastors and teachers set apart subject, what we think ample indications of and appointed to the work, be brought to the the Divine mind and will to warrant us in saving knowledge of the faith; for we contend preferring and defending the Presbyterian that, in beginning with any new country, the form of church government. choice is only between a paid or established, The hierarchy of the Anglican Church is, and an unsuccessful mission—that Congre- we believe, unable to sustain its claim to gationalism is of a later development, and Divine sanction by an appeal to the lansucceeds only in proportion to the success of guage or spirit of the sacred writings. Acthe paid ministry which preceded it; and cording to its defenders, there are differences even when its existence has become a fact, of rank among those who minister in the it is inadequate to the charge of an entire Church: they assert the superiority of the population. It is good as an auxiliary, as bishop to the presbyter; while the Presbysupplementing the efforts of the Establish- terian, in direct antagonism to this, holds ment, but can never be more without proving the essential equality and authority of those itself a failure. We view it then as the act who minister in things holy. On this point of an enlightened legislature to make a sure the language of the Scottish Church has legal provision for the clergy. Surely the always been clear and emphatic; the pastors destitute and the indifferent should be re- of the flock, who are to give themselves to claimed from their spiritual ignorance and the ministry of the word, and to conduct the irreligion; and if so, should the scheme be ordinances of religion, are of one order, acventured upon the casual charities of private knowledge no spiritual supremacy in the individuals in preference to the certainty of Sovereign, and are as brethren, equal amongst a State provision. The State sees it to be themselves in rank and power. "In addition both its duty and its interest to make this to the pastors, or teaching elders of the provision, for the purpose of securing the Church, there are ruling elders and deacons :
the former share in all the duties of the called Rabbi, for one is your Master, even pastor, except in that of preaching; the Christ, and all ye are brethren," Matt. xxiž. latter see that the temporal necessities of 8—12. We further refer to Jas. iii. 1; the poor are alleviated. The Church of 2 Cor. i. 24; 1 Pet. v. 3. England, on the other hand, maintains that Numerous passages of scripture might be there are distinct orders of clergy-bishops, cited, proving that Episcopos and Presbupriests, and deacons; these differ in emi- teros are used synonymously; but even were nence, and are subordinate the one to the it granted that the Episcopi were of a higher other: this error has been aggravated by the rank, it by no means follows that they are addition of a long gradation of ecclesiastical either the representatives or the successors ranks, extending from the archbishop, or of the apostles; nor is there any reason for rather primate, down to the humblest curate. “ the supposition that an order of men supeNow, to say nothing of these other degrees rior to both of these is recognised in scripof dignity, the defenders of Prelacy are un- ture,” for, as Towgood well observes (page able to substantiate by reference to scripture 424), “From the very nature of the aposthe three orders already named; in short, tolic office, they could obviously have no this gradation of rank, for aught that we successors. We may, therefore, without can see to the contrary, seems to be a merely the slightest hesitation, reject both of the human invention, fitted only to gratify the hypotheses proposed by F. J. L., and did weak ambition of erring mortals. Our space permit, we might multiply instances Lord, while on earth, as if in anticipation in proof. We must, however, content ourof the Anglican institution, the offspring of selves with that of Acts xiii. 1-3, where we a bad ambition, has left us an instance on find presbyters ordaining Paul and Barnarecord in the rebuke administered to two of bas, at Antioch. Timothy, so far from his apostles, James and John, who, like some being—as is asserted by F.J. L.—"evidently of the “reverend fathers in God” of our one of a class superior to presbyters in own day, thinking he was about to establish general” was ordained “ by the laying on of a glorious temporal empire, were quick to the hands of the presbytery.” bespeak for themselves situations of ease and “ The simple principle of Congregationaldignity, where they might bask in the favour ism” does not appear to us to differ so of our Lord, and enjoy official pre-eminence widely from the tenets of that body " which over their brethren: their request was, “that holds its legislative councils and doctrinal they might sit, the one on the right hand, synods in the Presbyterian North” as B. S. and the other on the left, in his kingdom.” supposes. In this request may be seen the very dawn- Suppose some free inquirer should esings of prelacy: had they attained their wish press his belief in Congregationalism as then had the other ten been their subordi- understood and advocated by B. S., be adnates indeed. It is instructive, however, to mitted to membership, pursue his invesmark the peremptory check given to these tigations, arrive at views rather "protean" aspirations after preferment; aspirations in the judgment of B. S., would he still be which moved our Lord to say,—“ Ye know continued in his membership? assuredly not, that the princes of the Gentiles exercise because he could no longer continue condominion over them, and they that are great scientiously to promote the objects of Conexercise authority upon them. But it shall gregationalism, and (if need be) his expulnot be so among you.” Nothing could be sion would neither be ecclesiastical tyranny more graphic, forcible
, and to the point, than nor spiritual bondage; it would merely be this condemnation by our Lord of the en- the result of nonconformity—the ultimate deavour to introduce a gradation of rank expression of that spiritual independence amongst his servants. We submit this to which B. S. admires as a feature of Congreour opponents as the testimony of Christ gationalism. It is therefore the merest himself, against the system of dignities which trifling with words to say that the Congreobtains in the Anglican Church.
gationalist alone is guiltless of schism. It is Higher authority than this there is none; not to be supposed that by the taking away we may, however, strengthen the position by of church government, the possibility of adducing another passage :-—“But be not schisms will be removed.
CONGREGATIONALISM.-ARTICLE II. “When God commands to take the trumpet, / an indefinite time to come, more harm than and blow a dolorous or a jarring blast, it lies not in man's will what he shall say, or what he shall good, we should not hesitate to say it had conceal."
MILTON. better be abolished, even at the cost of “In society, there are tyrannies more deeply losing that good.” Before descending to the rooted than oaks, denser than rocks, stronger particulars of the present debate, we would, than granite citadels; cruel abuses more fierce and that we may the better judge of the actual savage than the beasts of the wilderness, and merits of the institutions in hand, briefly as against them we must use thoughts that breathe, and words tbat burn;' we must cry aloud, and possible set before the reader the religious spare not;' we must, in short, imitate Christ, system revealed to us in the New Testament, the lover of men, the blesser of babes, the weeper as we hold that system is false, and worthy terrible denouncer of oppressors, assailing them only of rejection and scorn, which is conwith the most awful and annihilating terms.' trary to the truth there made known,—that HowITT ON PRIESTCRAFT.
if it, either in its foundation, organization, COMING forth again, in another momen- tendency, or general results, stands opposed tous debate, to cast the broad guage of to Christianity, it is, in so far as that oppohuman reason across existing institutions, sition really exists, a system of destructive we deem it necessary to state, that divine error, and in so far the pure fabrication of philosophy is our basis, the New Testament the wicked one, raised through the instruour text-book, Christ our guide, and the mentality of wicked men! What then is attainment and accurate enunciation of the sum total of Christianity? How readest religious truth our highest ambition. We thou? We pretend not to the luminous take our stand as an impartial judge with grandeur and literary power of expression these three vast systems of religion, their and condensation displayed in the response origin, their history, and everyday workings; of a modern author to this momentous questheir good and evil tendencies; their beauties, tion, and therefore give it as preferable to enormities, or defects before us in marked anything we can offer the anxious reader. prominence and bold relief! We would It runs thus:-“Unlike all other founders of measure and estimate them on the one and a religious faith, Christ had no selfishness, no only safe, because true, principle, made so desire of dominance; and his system, unlike palpably manifest in the sublime philosophy all other systems of worship, was bloodless, of Christianity by its great Founder and boundlessly beneficent, inexpressibly pure, present Sustainer" By their fruits shall ye and, most marvellous of all, went to break know them,” associated at the same time all bonds of body and soul, and to cast with the grand distinction of his own do- down every temporal and every spiritual minion" My kingdom is not of this tyranny. It was a system calculated for world.” We feel fully confident that so long the whole wide universe; adapted to embrace as we avail ourselves of the philosophy of men of all climes, all ages, all ranks of life, the New Testament, and abide by the pro- or intellect; for the rich and for the poor ; found axioms and precepts of the great for the savage and the civilized; for the fool Teacher, we shall not fail to see the truth and the philosopher; for man, woman, and aright, and to cast light into the regions of child ;—which, recognising the grand docthe most deadly darkness-religious error. trine that God made of one blood all the We would judge of these three systems of nations of the earth,' represented the Alreligion as we do of Christianity, by their mighty as the Father, and all men as brethfruits,” and if they cannot abide the test of ren born to one universal love, to the same Christ we must pronounce them false, and inalienable rights, to the same eternal hope. seek their reformation or absolute extinction, He himself was the living personification of on the principle expressed in the words of his principles. Demolishing the most inone of England's mightiest geniuses, speaking veterate prejudices of men, by appearing a of one of these institutions,—“ If it were poor man amongst the poor; by tearing from shown that though there is a considerable aristocratic pride and priestly in»olence their measure of good in it, yet there is, and in masks of most orthodox assurance; by proall reasonable probability is likely to be, for claiming that the truth which he taught
should inake all men free; by declaring that taken concerning the first of them—Episcothe Gentiles lorded it over, and oppressed pacy, or our State Church Establishmentone another, but that it should not be so viz., that it is an institution contrary to the with his followers; by pulling down with simple though divine principles of the New indignation spiritual pride in high places, Testament;— that it stands opposed to and calling the poor and afflicted his breth- Christianity in its most essential and vital ren, and the objects of his tenderest regard, aspects;—that it is a system of this world, he laid the foundations of civil and reli- wearing the mask of holiness and truth, gious freedom, of mental power growing while it is morally corrupt and founded in out of unrestrained mental energies, and of error;—that its fruits are like itself corlove and knowledge co-equal in extension rupt, and its tendency invariably pernicious. with the world. This perfect freedom of That this is the case is evident from the universal man he guarded by leaving no origin, history, workings, and present condiDECREES, but merely great and everlasting tion of Episcopacy. What are they? Episprinciples, intelligible to the mind and con- copacy, whence came it? We are sometimes science of the whole human race, and on told that Episcopacy is the glorious result of which men in all countries might found the Lutheran Reformation. But we take institutions most consonant to their wants. such information to be an insult of our comBy declaring that 'wherever two or three mon sense! The Reformation in England, met together in his name, he would be in in the reign of that regal monster Henry the midst of them,' he cut off, for ever, VIII., was not a contest for religious liberty, every claim-the most specious—of priestly nor in reality a question of national good. dominance; and by expressing his unquali- True, Luther and others did pour the shutfied and indignant abhorrence of every out light of Christianity into the bosom of desire of his disciples 'to call down fire from our countrymen in that and previous reigns. heaven upon his enemies,' or to forbid those True it is, the nation was aroused to shake to preach and work miracles in his name, off the fetters of the most awful spiritual who did not immediately follow and con- feudalism and tyranny ever known among form to their notions, he left to his church men, and to rise, as if at the omnipotent a light more resplendent than that of the inspiration of the Almighty, to roll back the sun, on the subject of non-interference with overwhelming and encroaching power of the the sacred liberty and prerogatives of con- Papal hierarchy. But, nevertheless, this science.” We need offer no comment here, so-called Lutheran Reformation was made gentle reader; it would be literary profanity the scape-goat of a quarrel between two so to do! Keep these words in all their despots—the Pope abroad and Henry VIII. truthful and evangelical radiance before thy at home; two men who did indeed terrible mental vision; yea, enshrine them in the spirit- battle, not for the religious liberty of the ual depths of thy immortal self-hood-in people, but to sustain and increase their purest emotion-in fondest love-in deepest flagrant despotisms over the people: not for thoughtfulness—in omnipotent prayer, and liberty of conscience, but who should hold thou shalt be blest in divine life, and light, that conscience enthralled in all things and love!
touching law and religion; not whether But we haste to the examination of these Christ should be recognised the true spiritinstitutions on the principles stated, by the ual Head of the Church, but whether Henry sacred model before us, and with a burning VIII. or the Pope should usurp the divine and sorrow-stricken soul within us for the and eternal prerogative of Christ! Thus it moral, religious, and spiritual welfare of our was an event which might, had a myste. countrymen, the great mass of whom do rious Providence seen fit to frustrate the either nominally or virtually belong to a ends of one the vilest men that ever sat religious system altogether alien to the holy on our great throne,--an event which might principles of Christianity. Having thus have so influenced the religious welfare of anticipated our first task, it remains for us our nation, as to have delivered us from to take these institutions separately, accord- nearly 400 years of medieval priestcraft and ing to the propositional order of the debate, spiritual despotism; but as it was, this so and first to substantiate our position already called Reformation resulted in a transition
from Papal domination to Prelatic tyranny, 1 years? Did one single Dissenter so act ? - change which all our history since that No; the clergy. Who were the most time clearly shows to be but a passing from generally hostile to the Catholic emancipaone monstrous system of hierarchical and tion, undeterred by the prospect of prolonged impious religious usurpation of the inalien- tumult, and ultimate civil war, ravage, and able rights of man and prerogatives of desolation in Ireland? The clergy. What Divinity to another! It was then that is, at this very hour, the most fatal and Papacy in one form lost its standing in our withering blight on the interests and hopes country only to assume it in another. For of the Protestant religion in that country? Episcopacy is as Popish in spirit and conduct The Established Church.” as Papacy itself, and, consequently, What a tale does history unfold concernAntichristian as Antichrist;" for in a few ing this Episcopal Church! Talk not of years after, we find the Act of Uniformity Papacy and its abominations; raise not the itself passed, than which Papacy itself never cry" No Popery," while its rival is found in struck a more fatal blow at true religious Episcopacy rampant among us. liberty, and Episcopacy, with all her crying But it may be urged by our opponents aborninations, sitting enthroned upon an that this is only Dissenting declamation: English Inquisition, and reacting the Great but this is a poor subterfuge, and at best Harlot by making herself “ drunken with but a futile argumentum ad ignorantiam, the blood of the saints, and with the blood of which we might expose, did space permit, the martyrs of Jesus."
by quoting from hundreds of the best men Well might that far-seeing and truth- Episcopac has produced. We might set revealing genius, John Milton, exclaim in his that great man Dr. Arnold by the side of day:-" Yet thus is the Church, for all this Foster, whose words we have just quoted. noise of Reformation, left still unreformed!” We might even set Lord Clarendon, that Episcopacy is in the nineteenth century es- High-churchman, beside W. J. Fox, of sentially what she was in the sixteenth. The Nottingham ; or Lord Chatham beside only difference being one of circumstances, Milton; yea, further, “Blackwood's Magaher vigour having declined, her reign having zine” beside the “Westminster” or lost its power, her dominion destroyed by burgh” Reviews: and, to complete the circle Dissent and vital Christianity! But what in its unbroken harmony of thought and has been her subsequent history down to the sentiment concerning this Episcopal hierpresent period? We will give Foster's brief archy, we might summons B. Noel, who but accurate summary of her history from has left the Church, and Bickersteth, who the reign of Queen Anne. He asks of did not; and what would be the result? Each Episcopacy:—“What did it do for the and all of them tell us that the Church of people of England ? There was one wide, England stands opposed to scripture in her settled, Egyptian darkness; the blind leading spirit, constitution, and tendency-that she the blind, all but universally; an utter is the church of the State and not of God. estrangement from genuine Christianity; But our opponents may say, give us some10,000 Christian ministers misleading the thing more tangible, which would mean, people in respect to religious notions, and a appal us not with the whole monster-fact; vast proportion of them setting them a bad but divide it into so many minute portions practical example. When, at length, some- that we may the better deny or misrepresent thing of the true light began to dawn,-them and so surmount them one by one till when Whitfield and Wesley came forth, the difficulty is at length swept away, and who were their most virulent opposers, ever the scriptural character of our Holy Episcoinstigating and abetting the miserable people pal Church vindicated. We object not to to riot, fury, and violence against them? put our statement, that Episcopacy is oppoThe Established Clergy. At a later time, sed to scripture, into as many propositions who were the most constant, systematic capable of logical demonstration as there are opposers of an improved education of the articles, or logical contradictions in the cominon people? The Established Clergy. Church Prayer-book. This, however, is not
Who formed the main mass of the now practical, but we will divide our proopposition to the Bible Society for so many positions into two classes: those which