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guided as to believe us. It is not in that direction that our danger lies; it is all on the opposite side. In contending for a purer faith, we may carry our puritanism too far, and actually overlook or exclude important matters, both of fact and of doctrine. Because they disavow the ghostly authority claimed by an endowed priesthood, is it necessary for the Bishops of our churches to disclaim all right to rule? or because they hold that true apostolic succession is found not in an appointment to office, but in a fitness for it, is it necessary for them lightly to esteem their designation or appointment, by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery? or, because certain ecclesiastics have profanely made that ceremony the sign of an apocryphal bestowment of the Holy Ghost, is it becoming on those who seek ordination among us, while they request the prayers of their brethren and fathers on that occasion, to require that those prayers shall not be offered in that manner, although confessedly the most solemn mode of devotion set before us either in the Old Testament or in the New," &c. "DEF."
"Lynington, Sept. 1839."
In the Christian Observer similar remarks have been made, and almost in the same words, expressing a fear of reaction in consequence of the Oxford Tracts, and on the side of puritanism. Who cannot understand this mystery? The clergyman of the Establishment is an "endowed" priest, the dissenting minister is unendowed; but each feels the same interest to defend the prerogatives of the clerical body against the laity" and Rome looks on and smiles."
ORDINATION AMONGST THE WESLEYAN METHODISTS.
THE British Magazine for October, is indignant that the Wesleyan Methodists should presume now to ordain ministers with imposition of hands. It gives from the Leeds Intelligencer, an account of a recent ordination of fifty-two Methodist priests, at Brunswick Chapel, Liverpool, on the 17th of August last. Of that ceremony, the following are a few frag
"The president, delivered an address, closing in this manner : 'I present to you these persons present to be ordained
elders; if after due examination we find not the contrary, but that they are lawfully called to this function and ministry. Let us pray.'
"The president then read the Collect, 'Almighty God, Giver of all good things.' He also read the Epistle Eph. iv. 7-13, and the Gospel John x. 1-16. Turning to the candidates, the president next said, 'I now address myself particularly to you, who have presented yourselves for this sacred office.' He then read impressively the exhortation, beginning, Ye have heard, Brethren,' &e. The president then proceeded to the ordination questions, which were answered by each candidate, and occupied a considerable time. The president then said, 'We will now offer up before God the Ordination Prayer, exercising faith in the promised presence of Christ.'Almighty God and heavenly Father,' &c. The ceremony of laying on of hands was then proceeded with, the candidates coming in parties of four to the centre of the platform, and meekly kneeling on their knees. The president, ex-president, and secretary, laying their hands upon the head of every candidate, together with two of the other preachers.'" Here follows a list of a score of Methodist priests, who laid their hands on the candidates. "Each of the candidates, on the imposition of hands, was addressed by the president in the usual form, Mayest thou receive the Holy Ghost,' &c., after which he delivered to every one a copy of the Bible, saying, 'Take thou authority to preach the word of God." "
The correspondent of the British Magazine, who furnishes the account of this ridiculous ceremony, concludes by putting the following question: "Is there, or is there not, the sin of schism in this act? Is not the sin of schism the greater in proportion as the separating party allege less objection against the doctrines and institutions of the Church from which they depart ?"
It is to be observed that the ceremony here transcribed is taken from the PrayerBook: the Collects, Epistles, and Gospel, and the Address are all to be found in "the form and manner of ordering of priests." The Collect reads thus, "Almighty God, Giver of all good things, who by thy Holy Spirit hast appointed divers orders and ministers in the Church: mercifully behold these thy servants now called to the office of priesthood, and replenish them so with the truth of thy
doctrine, and adorn them with innocency of life, that both by word and good example, they may faithfully serve thee in this office, to the glory of thy name, and the edification of thy Church; through the merits of our Saviour, Jesus Christ,' &c.
The Epistle, Eph. iv. 7-13, seems to have been selected in the Prayer-Book, as if for the express purpose of confuting and confounding the ceremony to which it is appended.
Without participating in the clerical indignation of the British Magazine, we cannot allow the record of this solemn child's-play to pass without noticing it as one more proof of the weakness of human nature, and of the inherent love of power, mystery, and artifice, in the clerical genus.
The Wesleyan clergy three or four years ago, when sitting in conference at Birmingham, came to a resolution to adopt clerical ordination; and for that purpose had recourse to the Prayer-Book and the Ordination of Priests; but how sad it is to behold a self-constituted body, whose origin has been seen by persons now living, thus voting themselves into "the Apostolical Succession," by pilfering ceremonies from the Established Church, and playing, as it were, at making clergymen !
If conference were to come to the determination to inaugurate their president with all the ceremonies of a royal coronation, unction, crown, ball, and sceptre, it would not in our eyes be so objectionable as this worse than idle ordination of priests.
ADDRESSED TO ROMAN CATHOLICS.
"The perusal of this letter will convince you that it is written by a friend. The heart has an accent of truth that finds a response in other hearts; and I trust it will be acknowledged as pervading my letter. But though I address myself to all of you, it is not by all that I can hope to be heard. Amongst you, as amongst other men, there are some who occupy themselves but little about truth, and much about their private interests. Such are to be pitied, and I would pray for them; but I address myself to you, upright and conscientious men, who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
"By you, as well as by me, Jesus Christ is acknowledged as the Son of God, the Saviour of those who rest their faith on him. It is our mutual belief that the Bible is the word of God, and that the Christian faith is the only way of salvation. But is your Church, the Church of Rome, in this way of salvation? This is the question which I would affectionately beseech you to examine. Fear not that I am going to enter into a polemical discussion, or, by rancour and abuse, to render you still more inimical to what I believe to be the truth. No, I repeat it, I come to you as a friend, as a brother; and it is from a heart filled with love and charity that I beg you to listen to me.
"Is the Church of Rome in the way of salvation? I ask not if true Christianity may sometimes be discovered in some of her councils, or in the hearts of some of her members: without doubt this is the case; but I ask if the general teaching and doctrine of that Church be conformable to the Gospel, and if, in following it, we may be saved? Do not imagine that I would here reproach you with a form of worship too much burdened with ceremonies, with some useless observances, with some errors of disci
WE gladly present to our readers the following letter, as extracted from The Record. It was first published in L'Es-pline. pérance, a French religious newspaper, and ten thousand copies have been sent to different members of the Roman Catholic clergy, to whom it is especially addressed. The sentiments contained in it present a cheering contrast to the false religionism which it is often our painful task to notice. We know not the writer, and could much have desired that, as a testimony to the truth of God, it had been sent forth with the name of the brother in Christ bearing this witness for Jesus :
No; it is not upon these things that salvation depends; and you will readily acknowledge that in their decisions on these matters, popes and councils have not been infallible. I speak of doctrine; and that we may not lose ourselves in details, I put the question in terms as general as possible :-The fundamental doctrine of the Church of Rome, that other upon which every hinges, the doctrine of salvation merited in whole or in part by the works of man -is this doctrine conformable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I speak in all
simplicity; seek not to avoid the question by telling me that such is not your belief, that it is only through the sacrifice of Christ that the works of man are meritorious, according to the Church of Rome, for this would be only to affirm and to deny the same thing in a single sentence. If it be by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that the works of man are meritorious, man has then no merit, he is saved by pure grace; but this is what you do not admit. If you understand that Christ and man concur to give a value to these works, it is evident that, according to your Church, the works of man are meritorious in part, and this is precisely the doctrine which I attribute to you. If you believe not this our controversy is ended; we are agreed: but if, on the contrary, you do believe it, it remains for us to examine together whether it is or is not conformable to the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
"Before attempting to resolve this great question, let me remove some of the difficulties that naturally lie in your way.
"In the first place, have you not some prejudices-pardon the word, for I would be far from making this a subject of accusation, since they are involuntaryhave you not some shade of prejudice against Protestants, and do not these prejudices in some degree attach to their doctrines? That there are amongst them unbelievers, Deists, Socinians, who would deny? Are there not such to be found also among Catholics? But, believe me, there are also amongst us faithful men, devoted to the service of their Divine Master, who have no other ambition than to save souls, and who feel themselves in communion of spirit with a Fenelon, a Pascal, a Francis de Sales, an Augustin, on those points which are essential to salvation. Do not, then, make such men bear the penalty of their co-religionists in name only, but believe that their words are worthy of confidence.
"In the second place, supposing-what, however, your charity will not permit you to do supposing that there is amongst us nothing good whatever; should you for that condemn our cause? Might we not have fallen from piety, and yet the doctrine of our church be the truth? If we are evil, lay the blame on our unbelief; but do not impeach that faith in which we are deficient. I entreat you not to condemn it, because we have so imperfectly practised it; ex
amine it impartially, and without the idea of receiving from us.
"But why do I say 'from us?' It is not our assertions, our books, our confessions of faith, our liturgies, that we present to you to judge the question by. It is but one book, which you as well as we venerate: it is the source of all truth: it is the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible. Here, then, we are on common ground; and I do not even ask you to read the sacred book in one of our Protestant versions; I would beg you to read it, above all, in the Greek itself, or in the Vulgate.
"Dear friends, allow me yet another question. Have you never thought it strange that there should be so little of this book introduced into your studies, or into your ministrations so little of this Book of books? of this only Divine book, and, therefore, as elevated above all others as the heavens are above the earth? I say not that it has been positively forbidden or concealed, that would be impossible. But has it obtained the first place in your library and in your devotional exercises? And of that which you have had given you to read, is it not merely fragments, selected portions, often abridgements, and more frequently in Latin than in the vulgar tongue, fitted rather to be recited as a breviary than to be meditated as a study? It appears to me, then, that from the very little use that you have been allowed to make of the Bible, you may draw these two conclusions, that your superiors dread its influence, and that you yourselves are to this day scarcely acquainted with itmay I not even say, with regard to a great majority, entirely ignorant of its precious contents ?
"Let us then, my dear brethren, now place ourselves before this Bible, and ask, 'What must we do to be saved?'
According to you, this salvation is more or less to be merited.
According to us, it is a free gift. "Salvation is gratuitous-purely, entirely gratuitous; so that if you would obtain it, you have only to accept it. It is yours even before you have given “a cup of cold water." From the very moment of your receiving it, if you believe, you may rejoice, for you are saved. And if
you should die at the very instant of this faith taking possession of your heart, before you have had time to accomplish a single good work, you are nevertheless saved, and saved for ever.
"Is this a mistaken view which I am stating? Admit, at least, that it is well worth examining whether it be not the truth? For if it be thus, what should be your joy in making such a discovery, and in knowing that from this moment salvation is eternally yours if you believe?
"Let us examine, then, what the Bible really says in reply to the question, 'What must I do to be saved?' It simply answers, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' This declaration is of itself so positive that it might alone suffice; but there is no lack of others to confirm its testimony.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus' (Rom. viii. 1). Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace' (2 Tim. i. 9). And by Him all that believe are justified from all things' (Acts xiii. 39). For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God' (Eph. ii. 8). "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified' (Rom. iii. 20). For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all' (Rom. xi. 32). 'Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus' (Rom. iii. 24). Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption' (1 Cor. i. 30). But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour' (Tit. iii. 4—6). ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price' (Isa. lv. 1). 'There
is forgiveness with thee' (Ps. cxxx. 4).
"Before going farther, I wish to answer one objection. The Bible itself, you will say, declares that faith without works is dead; consequently good works as well as faith are necessary to salvation. Dear brethren, there is here a misconception; allow me to make use of a simile to dispel it. A man is in the act of drowning; a friendly hand is stretched out to him, and saves him; from that moment the rescued man devotes his life
to his preserver. I ask you, are his
works the means of his preservation? Is it not rather that his preservation, already accomplished, gives him the means of afterwards performing these works? In like manner, man is lost by reason of his sins; Jesus dies for him and saves him: from that moment man consecrates his life to his God. I here repeat my question, Are these works the means of his salvation ? Is not his salvation already accomplished, which enables him afterwards to perform these works? Without doubt, the man who is saved will do righteously, but he must be saved before he is able to do so. Salvation is, then, independent of works, although works necessarily follow it. What causes the confusion in many minds is, that they imagine that salvation only begins in the next life; whilst the Bible says it begins even to-day. They consider salvation a fruit that grows on the tree of good works; whereas, according to the words of Jesus, salvation is the tree, and works are the fruit of it. After the thoughts of many men, we must do good that we may be saved; after the will of God, we must do good because we are already saved. Dear brethren, examine if these are from myself or from the Bible; see if I have done anything except to copy the ideas and the words of Jesus Christ. Read from Luke vii. 41-43, 'There was a certain creditor which had two debtors,' &c. Yes, the debtor loves the creditor; but it is only when he has remitted his debt; till then he is rather disposed to hate him. Yes, Magdalene loved the Lord Jesus Christ, but it was not till she had felt in her heart that she was already pardoned; then she was able to fall at his feet, and express to him her gratitude. Once more; it is not I (poor, sinful, and weak creature!) who say this. It is Jesus Christ. This same truth is found in all the instructions of Christ, as we have also seen it in all the words of the Apostles. Read the prodigal son ;—his father receives him and pardons him, when he is yet clothed in rags-before he has touched the threshold of the paternal gate-before he has performed a single good work-he receives him as soon as he has exclaimed, "I am no more worthy to be called thy son." "Read the parable of the labourers called at different hours, and you will see the penny given to those who arrived but an hour before midnight, equally with those who came in the morning. Read the parable of the king, who receives at the
marriage of his son not the great or the rich-who might have considered they had a right to be there-but beggars, the lame and the blind, picked up in the streets; that is to say, men devoid of all claims and pretensions, so that they come in to the feast, by favour, by grace, without works, without merit ;-it is the salvation of Jesus Christ! Look at the thief on the cross, saved after a life of crime, before he has been able to do any thing to repair his offences towards God and man; saved from the very moment in which he cast himself upon the Son of God by prayer;-it is the salvation of Christ! Zaccheus is saved after his extortions; St. Peter after his perjury; all the Apostles after their cowardly desertion; they are saved without having deserved it-without having done any thing; and it is when they are saved that they begin to do good works. Salvation is then completely gratuitous, and only gratuitous; and it is when we have received it that we are rendered capable of doing good. You see, therefore, wellbeloved brethren, that I do not set aside good works more than you do yourselves. I think, on the contrary, my way of seeing things (or rather, I should say, Jesus Christ's way) is much more likely than yours to give birth to, and develop, and ripen, good fruits in the heart of man. In the one system, salvation is a recompense granted to the labours of men,that is to say, that in order to stimulate man to do good, recourse has been had to the temptation of a salary; in one word, to the power of interest. In the other system, salvation is a gift made to man, to create and nourish gratitude in his heart, which is the source of good works; that is to say, to stimulate man to do well: the heart of man is appealed to; in a word, the power used is love. Interest and love are both of them powers capable, it is true, of making men act; but I ask you, which of the two is the most powerful? Even in the affairs of this world, which of them accomplishes the greatest things? Interest works with perseverance; but there is a term to the efforts it excites,-there is a pause when it seems to be baffled by difficulties,-love's labours are without limit, without reserve; it sacrifices itself, and it is in that very sacrifice that it finds its happiness. Tell me, which would you prefer, the services of a man who expected wages from you, or the cares of a mother who expected nothing? Judge,
then, which God must prefer, mercenary servants, or grateful sons? But there is more. If love is a more powerful motive than interest, it is above all much more noble. In this world, people often care little whether the motive be noble or base in its principle by which a duty is accomplished or a service rendered. Man looks at the result, and provided it is favourable to him, it is of no consequence to him by what motives it is produced. But God looks at the heart; it is the intention, it is the motive, it is what affects the soul, that he examines before all things, because it is the soul only that must live eternally. Your motive of interest is but the negation of love. Not only one is more noble than the other; but one is noble, and the other is vile; one is of the earth, the other is of heaven. God is love; and all that he does for us, for the angels, for the universe, all springs from his love. Well, my dear brethren, it is a spark of that love which animates me towards you, and with which, in return, I desire to inspire you, not towards me, whom you do not know, whom probably, you may never know, but towards your God-your Saviour, who has so loved you as to give himself unto the death for you; and who says to you, 'You are justified freely by his grace by the redemption that is in Jesus Christ' (Rom. iii). I should yet have much to say to you, but I am afraid of wearying your attention. Suffer me, then, to conclude with a question. Since you have known yourself; since you have rendered to yourself an account of your belief; are you happy? Is there peace in your conscience? Does Christian joy fill your heart? Have you no fear of death? No: I think I may say it, you are not really happy--your conscience is not tranquil -weariness pursues you the thought of death alarms you-and if you knew you must die in an hour, you would tremble as a leaf at the thought of appearing before God. Do you know why? Precisely because you do not believe in this salvation, complete and free, which drives all sadness from the soul, and all fear, and permits it to contemplate death and judgment, because it has given the certainty of the enjoyment of eternal life. Yes: the certainty: yes, I know that I am saved; because this salvation, on which I depend, comes not from myself, but solely from Jesus Christ-from my God-and this is the reason that I can say, I know, I am certain, that I am