The Divine Institution and Perpetuity
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF THE
By TILLOTSON BRONSON,
IN the course of Divine Providence, that portion of the Church here assembled in convention, has been lately deprived of its visible head. Our late venerable Diocesan has received that summons, which all must obey, and is gone from this to the world of spirits.—His sacred office is vacant. He will no more preside in this body. His seat is left to be filled by another. Under the immediate view of such an event, it becomes all seriously to reflect on the ways of God, in his government of the Church, during its continuance in this transitory state.
Especially should we, my Brethren of the Clergy, be deeply reminded of the solemn vows we made at our ordination; and resolve before God to feed the flock committed to our care, with the sincere milk of his word; and neglect not to stir up the gift that is in us, by the laying on of hands. This gift many of you received through the instrumentality of those hands, which have been lately consigned to the tomb, and are mouldering into dust. Though they have ceased any more to perform the sacred rite, yet should they be active through you, in the spiritual work, to which you are called, in repairing the waste places of Zion. And that we all may be excited, in our several stations, understandingly to engage in this great [3/4] work, I propose calling your attention to the words of Inspiration recorded in
HEBREWS VII, 15th, 16th, and 17th verses.
And it is yet far more evident, for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.
The prominent object discernible through the whole of this epistle is, to show, that the law of Moses, and consequently the Aaronic priesthood, were types and shadows of better and more enduring things to come; and that, of course, they were to be superseded and done away, when the Messiah, to whom they pointed, should appear in the flesh. And this seventh chapter is wholly dedicated to the Priesthood: in which the Apostle argues, that as Levi, when in the loins of his progenitor Abraham, paid tythes to Melchisedec, his priesthood must have been of a subordinate grade; for, says he, without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better. He then proceeds to argue, from the uniform tenure of prophecy, that our Lord was to spring from the tribe of Judah; of which tribe there is no mention made, in the law, of any to serve at the altar: Consequently, as the messiah was to be the great High Priest over all, the law, and all its appointments, must have been intended by divine wisdom to be temporary. To which argument he subjoins the text: And it is yet far more evident; for that, or rather, as it should have been rendered, if, after the similitude of Melchisedec, there ariseth another Priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. If, from the constant testimony of prophecy, there was to arise another priesthood, from a source not noticed in the law, then certain it is, that those men made priests by the law, were not to have perpetual [4/5] succession: there was to be a change both of the law, and of the priesthood; since both are intimately united. And that such is the language of prophecy, in the last words of the text, he cites the 110th Psalm; Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.
Who this Melchisedec was, commentators have not been agreed. But when we consider, that in the patriarchal state, the priesthood descended by primogeniture from father to son, the better opinion seems to be, that he was the nearest first-born from Adam; and thus the high priest over all. Perhaps he may have been the grandson of Noah. And when he met Abraham, and received tythes of him, he transferred his office to that patriarch, for temporary purposes; in whom, and his posterity, it was to continue, until He, who was the first-born of all things, the eternal Son of God, should come in the flesh, and visibly commence his everlasting Priesthood among men.
True it is, the Apostle tells us, he was without father, without mother, without descent; having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. Yet the marginal rendering has it, without pedigree: “That is, (say the translators,) “the line of his family is not mentioned, neither his birth, nor his death.”
If this gloss should not be deemed satisfactory, as a type of Christ, and holding the everlasting priesthood transmitted to him, to be handled to another, and thus never to have an end; all that is said of him, in the text rendering, is true. Priest of the Most High God, he certainly was, as we are told in Genesis: and we have the authority of the Prophets and Apostles to determine, that Christ the Lord came into the world, a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.
The substance of the argument in this chapter, may then be thus summed up: The everlasting priesthood of Melchisedec was transferred, temporarily, [5/6] from him to Abraham; thence to Levi, to Aaron and his sons; and so on, down to the time of Messiah, in whom it was reinvested, there to continue to the end of the world. When to this we add the words of our Lord to his Apostles, As my Father hath sent me, so send I you, we come to this important conclusion, on which I shall first enlarge,
I. That there always was, and ever will be, a visible priesthood, a divinely instituted order of men in the Church.
II. And since mere men cannot continue, by reason of death, the office must be transmitted to ages and generations, by succession; for which God in his wisdom has made provision.
I. Every organized society of men, for whatever purpose intended, requires some to preside and govern, and others to obey. That the Church is such a society, is certain. Nor is it less clear, that the authority alone which institutes, can rightfully appoint the grades of office, and the manner in which they are to execute their powers. Such is the uniform understanding of all men. If then the Church be a divine institution, the Priesthood is equally so.
Let us then inquire, from the records of inspired truth, how this matter stands. On this point, the history of God’s dispensations to men, will afford us the best lights from whence to reason. To this, of course, I shall confine myself, in discoursing on this head. God, having created man, breathed into him the breath of life, endowed him with a reasonable soul, capable of knowing and worshipping him, and invested him with immortality; he placed him in the blissful garden of Eden, where he held communion and converse with his Maker, and enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life. And had man continued faithful to the divine command, we have every reason to believe the whole race, in union and fellowship, would here have continued to partake of the divine presence, [6/7] visibly displayed, not as since, by signs and symbols, but in reality. Here would have been a blessed Church state, without schisms and divisions. Here was a divine institution, the tree of life, as a bond of union between man and man, and between God and man.
As man was formed with faculties far superior to all other creatures on earth; to be the lord and sovereign of all; and partaking of the spiritual nature of God; it was fitting, God should specially institute the kind of society he was to enjoy, and the manner in which it was to be preserved. This we have seen he did do, for our first parents; constituting them a church or spiritual community; himself being the head and governor. What kind of visible power, or whether any, was lodged with man, in this state of the Church, it is idle to inquire, since the word of God has left us no hint on this subject. Its continuance was short. Man rebelled. A new state followed. A mediator became necessary between God and man; for man had lost the image of God, and was become incapable of enjoying that church fellowship, for which he was formed. Still he was a social being—still he might be restored to communion with God, in fellowship with his brethren. The Son of God undertook the task, became surety for the atonement, and brought man back to his God. And how? By the new erection of a Church, bound together with holy rites and ordinances, with sacrifices and offerings. Now indeed we find power lodged in the hands of men to govern and administer. The patriarchs were God’s ministers, in sacred things. And in process of time, when schisms had arisen, and corruption prevailed, the Church was confined to the Ark, in which Noah and his family were saved.
But few centuries elapsed, before the same dismal consequences followed. Abraham was now called, and set apart, by the superadded rite of circumcision. To him and his posterity the Church was confined. And when that posterity had become numerous, Moses was called to be a ruler and governor in civil matters, and Aaron in sacred. The priesthood was specially [7/8] arranged; and all the holy offices designated. High Priest, Priest, and Levite, had their grades of power assigned. I need not stop here to prove, that all this was done by the immediate appointment of God. It is too plain in scripture to need illustration. it is what all acknowledge, who admit divine revelation. God was, then, the founder of the ancient Church of Israel. And nothing that he established, might be altered or abolished by men.
If such was his conduct towards men, before the coming of the Messiah, we might well argue that such it would be after his advent; for he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever—his counsels are everlasting—his Church must be always the same thing in essence, varying only in non-essentials, in external rites, or in extent. Was he once the founder, he must ever be so; and man has no right to do less or more in these matters, to add or to retrench. The bounds are set; and we must not think to pass them, but under the penalty of rebellion, the heinous sin of Korah.
What we thus may argue from the institution of the patriarchal and Jewish Church, we find actually confirmed by what the Son of God did, when he came in the flesh. For he appointed officer of different grades under himself; with different powers and functions, answering to those under the law of Moses. He left not this to be regulated by the wisdom, or caprice of men. No: We find the Twelve Apostles with one kind of office, and the Seventy with another subordinate: emanating from the same source, his own will. We find him instituting holy rites, as a bond of union to the Church, like those under the patriarchal and Mosaical state. And finally, when about to leave the world, he gave a solemn commission to the Apostles, investing them with a supreme power in ample form, As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you—Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature—Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain, [8/9] they are retained. In pursuance of this high authority, they went forth and preached. They appointed others, as their Master had appointed them; and thus established the Church by divine power. What they established, man has no right to alter. Thus the whole tenor of Scripture, the history of all God’s dispensations from beginning to end, conspires to prove that god is the founder of the Church. And all this is in perfect conformity with the reason of man, and the nature of the case.
But the divine institution of the Priesthood rests not alone on this argument. It results from the reason of the thing itself; from the end and design of the Church; and from the duties to be discharged by the sacred office. The ministers of Christ are styled Embassadors for Christ. Now none but the Sovereign, who sends, and in whose name they act, has a right to appoint embassadors. They are to publish and proclaim to sinful men, terms of peace and reconciliation with God; and therefore must have authority from him so to do. They are to apply, in his name, the seals of the covenant of grace, and therefore must be empowered by him, or their acts cannot be authentic. Without such commission, they would be forgeries of the name and authority of God. The Church is designed to promote spiritual harmony and union between man and man, and between man and his Maker—to be the means of nourishing the spiritual life of the soul, by the instrumentality of sacred rites and ordinances: And surely, none save God has a right to appoint such ordinances, and authorize those who are to administer them.
The gifts and graces of His Spirit are in his own keeping, and he may dispense them as he will. Man has no choice, but to comply with the terms, and use the appointed means, in faith unfeigned: and God will own and bless his appointments, with growth in grace, and in holiness of life. In short, visible, external ordinances, as means of grace, divinely [9/10] appointed, obviously imply the divine appointment of those who are to administer. Divine institutions administered by the authority of man, is an absurdity; or rather, perhaps we may say, an impossibility. So far as they are of man, they are not from God; and therefore not to be styled divine. So long as we continue in the present state, external ordinances are congenial to our nature. Consisting of soul and body, both are dependent on God for support. Both are therefore bound to express that dependance; to be employed in his service, in rendering praise to his name. This the body can do only by external acts; those acts which God has appointed under the administration of his Church, in which the Priesthood takes an essential part.
But whatever may be thought of the reason of the thing, certain it is, all states of religion, authorized by God, have contained visible ordinances. The tree of life in Paradise, sacrifice with the patriarchs and Israelites, and the eucharist under the Gospel, are so many examples of what is here advanced. Not that we are to believe divine ordinances operate any other way, than by being accompanied with faith in the receiver; but that thus God has chosen to communicate the influences of his Holy Spirit; to plant and nourish the seeds of divine grace in the heart; and to support the spiritual life of the soul. Such appears to be his will, by his having always authorized external ordinances; and with this we should be satisfied. And thus, in every view, a divine instituted Priesthood solicits our faith.
II. We are now to show, that as mere men cannot continue, by reason of death, God, in his wisdom, has provided for the transmission of the office, by succession from generation to generation.
As, under the former head, we have argued the divine origin of the Priesthood, from that of the Church; so here, from the perpetuity of the Church, we may, with equal security, argue a succession in the ministry. Men are evanescent beings, in regard to the things of time, the present state of the Church. [10/11] They come up here for a short time, and disappear. One generation flies away, and another takes its place. If, then, God’s institutions are perpetual, he must have provided for transmitting the sacred office from one to another. It is not reasonable to think, he should have left a thing of so much importance, to be ordered by the caprices of men. It has been already remarked, that the Church was always the same in substance, varying only in non-essential forms, in the manner of ordinances, and in the succession of the priesthood. It began in Paradise—was not demolished by the fall. It continued with the patriarchs—rode above the flood with Noah—Under Abraham, Moses and the law, underwent little other change, than a transfer of the Priesthood from the first-born to a succession, by immediate designation of the tribe of Levi; and for the High-Priesthood, to Aaron and his sons. And when Christ came, little more was done, than to open its doors to all nations.
Had we then no assurance that it should not fail, we well might argue it would not, but with the world itself. Having survived so many changes, well might we conclude it was founded on a rock sure and stedfast.
To this effect, the Prophets of the Old Testament are full of predictions, when they speak of the Kingship of the Messiah, of the extent and duration of his kingdom. To David was the promise made, that his royal house should not fail for ever; that he should not want a Man to sit on his throne; which can be understood of no other than Christ the Saviour; who, in the line of his human nature, was descended of David, and now reigns over his Church. Isaiah, in predicting his birth, says, His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with justice, and with judgment, from henceforth even for ever. And the prophet Daniel concludes the remarkable [11/12] vision, which he had, of the four great beasts, prefiguring all the great temporal Kingdoms of the world, with the assurance, that the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High; whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom; and all domisions shall serve and obey him. With such predictions as these before us, from the Spirit of eternal truth, well may we look forward to the universal triumph of the Gospel over the whole earth. We know, that since the gate of Zion has been set open to all nations; since the Church of God has been offered to the Gentiles, under the visible reign of Messiah, the mountain of the Lord’s house has been established in the tops of the mountains, and all nations have flowed into it. It has increased, it is increasing, and will continue to increase, until it embrace the whole progeny of Adam. Living in the age we do, at this distance of time from the commencement of the Church Christian; witnessing the conflicts she has had to encounter, from open foes without, and traitors within, corrupting the pure fountaion of truth; yet still triumphant, and spreading wide her tent in the four quarters of the globe; offering the bread of life to perishing Heathens; we may well adopt the glowing language of an eminent Father of the Church, and triumphantly say, “Invaded by war, she conquers.—Surrounded with treason, she extricates herself.—Corrupted, she recovers, and shines the brighter.—Wounded, she falls not under her wounds.—Tossed by the waves, she sinks not.—Beaten by the storm, she suffers not shipwreck.—Waxing in years, she decayeth not.—She wrestles, and is not vanquished.” [St. Chrysostom]
In the faithful page of History, we have seen the Church survive the persecutions of Pagan Rome, extricate herself from numerous early heresies, rise in renewed splendor from the corruptions of papal Rome; and is at this hour rapidly extending herself among [12/13] the Heathens. Shall we then doubt but that she wills hake off the heresies and divisions, with which she is now infested, and shine with more than pristine brightness, in the latter day glory? God has promised, and his word shall not fail. He will cause even the wrath of man to praise him; and the remainder thereof he will restrain. He will do all his pleasure. His promise is, On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. All his promises are yea and Amen; for he changeth not. What he promises he is able to fulfil, and his truth faileth not.
Thus no one declaration in the word of God, is more certainly announced, than the perpetuity and universality of the Church: that it shall spread wherever human nature is found, and end only with time. When such glorious things are predicted of the Church, they must be understood of that society founded by God, which we have seen, of necessity, includes a divinely instituted Priesthood. For this we may rest assured, God, in his wisdom, has made provision. And this could be done only by a constant succession of miracles, to attest the divinity of the appointment; or by an orderly transmission from age to age, by the hand of man. But miracles, by becoming too common, would cease to be miracles, and amount to no evidence. Succession therefore by the hand of man, so far as we can see, is the only mode consistent with the nature of the case. And of this we have ample testimony in the word of God.
When he who remaineth a Priest forever, came into the world, to make propitiation for sin, and was about returning to his Father, he said to his Apostles, as we have seen, As my Father hath sent me, so send I you. And how did his Father send him? Certainly to send others, or he would not have sent them.—Certainly he sent them as embassadors in his name, to proclaim the glad tidings of the Gospel, or he would [13/14] not have said to them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature—Certainly to prescribe the terms of Salvation, or he would not have said to them, He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not, shall be damned—Certainly, as Priests to apply the seals of the covenant of grace and pardon, or he would not have said to them, Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained—Certainly to send others, and thus continue the succession, or he would not have sent them, as he was himself sent.
But here a question has been raised. Were all, whom he and the Apostles sent, of the same grade? Were all equally empowered to send others? It is readily admitted, that so far as the words of the commission go, there is no distinction. But in the subsequent history and writings of the Apostles, we find a wide distinction: we find them establishing different grades in the Priesthood. Some had power to administer the seals of the Covenant, Baptism and the Eucharist; and to feed the flock of God, without commission to send others: while some, as Timothy and Titus, are treated as having authority to appoint others; to ordain and govern the Elders of the Church. Surely the Apostles understood their own commission. What they did in this matter, they did by divine warrant; and therefore it is of equal authority, with what was done and ordered by Christ himself.
To this we may add, that all primitive Christianity, all those who had the best means of knowing what was the apostolical practice, so understood, and so practised. They, who at first were styled Apostles, and afterwards Bishops, and they only, ordained. And this continued to be the faith and practice of all, claiming to be Christians, until quite modern times. With such evidence, reasonable and well informed minds should be satisfied.
Thus does it appear, that God, in his wisdom, has made provision for the continuance of his Church, and of a divinely instituted Ministry, that he may gather [14/15] together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.—And to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Men may die, but the sacred office lives. The foundation standeth sure.—The Lord knoweth them that are his. Under the protection of his Providence, and by the guidance of his Holy Spirit, operating on the hearts of men, the Church has continued, and shall continue to flourish, until it embrace all nations; until all shall be converted, not in outward profession only, but in truth and spirit; until all shall be truly united unto Christ, by the renewal of the heart, in righteousness, and holiness of life; until with all, old things shall be done away, and all things become new; until the image of God, in which man was created, be restored in all men. Then shall commence the latter day glory, when all shall “hold the faith in unity of spirit, and in the bond of peace;” when, in the animated language of prophecy, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.—And they shall not hurt, nor destroy, in all God’s holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
To this glorious state, the transpiring events of a changing world are hastening the Church. Let no one then be shaken in his faith, but hold fast his profession unto the end. Under such a view as we have taken of the perpetuity of the Church, and its Ministry, we have abundant cause for exultation and triumph. For although our earthly head is removed from us, yet are we sure that the great Head over all, remaineth in heaven, and will do his pleasure; will take care of his flock, who put their trust in him, and remain stedfast in their faith. As men, we are, by this providence, reminded of our own mortality, and urged to prepare for our departure from this militant state, to that which is triumphant: but as members of the Church, our [15/16] minds should be led to a wider view of God’s ways, in his kingdom of grace; that we may be confirmed and built up in our holy faith; and thus bring forth its fruits, in unity and love unfeigned.
Here I might conclude, were it not that respect for the memory of our deceased Diocesan, and the office he sustained, required, on the present occasion, some notice of his personal character.
In common instances of mortality, such notices may justly be suspect of flattery to he living. But when we consider that he, who is to be our present subject, held the highest office in the Church, and was authorised, according to divine appointment, to ordain and send labourers into the Vineyard of Christ, it would betray a censurable disregard of propriety, not to commemorate his virtues. On the contrary, that, wherein he was worthy of imitation, should be noticed, in order that, being dead, ye may yet speak, and instruct the flock, over which he presided.
The life of a clergyman is, ordinarily, too tranquil and uniform, to afford incidents sufficiently interesting for historical remark. But were it otherwise, want of authentic documents, relative to the Bishop’s early life, preclude my undertaking the task. And during the time he held the responsible office, to which he was invited by the votes of his brethren, to much the greater part of my hearers, his history is well known. Suffice it, then, that I attempt a sketch of his character.
To those who were intimately acquainted with BISHOP JARVIS, it is well known, he possessed a good share of common human science, acquired in his youth; to which he added, what was of more importance in his station, as a Minister of Christ, a copious fund of theological knowledge. Few eminent divines of the Church of England, who lived and wrote in the last and preceding centuries, escaped his reading. He read them, not as mater of amusement, but he thoroughly studied, and digested their matter. In such a school, he was deeply impressed with all the great and fundamental Doctrines of Divine Truth—[16/17] the fall and original corruption of man—his consequent need of a Saviour, and the operations of divine grace, to revive the image of God in the soul, and quicken the spiritual life, were, with him, first principles in Christian theology. To these he added a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, and the divine institution of the Church, its Ministers and Ordinances, as means of grace. These he firmly believed were the doctrines of the Bible, of primitive Christianity, and of the early reformers.
Thus settled in his faith, he listened not to novelties. He believed that whatever was new in Divinity, was, for that very reason, false. To improvements in human science, he was a friend: while he believed that God had long since revealed every thing necessary for man to know, believe, and do, in order to obtain salvation. Hence, nothing new was to be expected in theology. This rendered him an undeviating advocate for primitive usage and discipline in the Church. This he was, to such a degree, as to be thought by some, too unyielding, too little disposed to accommodate the feelings of others. But those who knew him well, were convinced, it was the pure effect of principle, and a sense of duty. He well knew the pernicious consequences of needless innovation, and the imposing air with which novelty too often captivates the unwary; and therefore wished to meet them in the threshold, and shut them out of the Church.
The truth was, he deliberated long and thoroughly, before he formed opinions; and when they were formed, they became principles of action, and were not readily changed. This is a trait of character, that is of great worth, in the present state of the world, when innovations in civil polity are attempting to make their way into the Church of God. At such a time, persevering decision of character is of eminent use, to preserve order and regularity, and hence peace on earth, and good will to men. Such, in the fullest sense of the word, was the character of Bishop Jarvis. His object, when settled, was ever in view. It was steadily pursued in his conduct. Convinced of its worth and [17/18] importance, and trusting in the wisdom of Providence, he ever went on, undismayed by difficulties and obstructions that might come in his way.
He entertained a becoming sense of the dignity of the clerical character, and studied to promote it, in his words, in his actions, and in the measures he proposed and followed. He was indignant at meanness; at any thing which might lower the sacred office, in the view of the world. As the embassadors of the most high God, it has his sentiment, that they should respect themselves; and so conduct, that they might command the respect of others.
As a man, his talents were rather solid than showy. His discourses in the pulpit were marked by good sense and sound divinity, rather than fine conceits, or tricks of rhetoric. And as was his matter, so his manner of delivery—always grave, solemn, earnest, and frequently impressive, in a high degree. In proof of this, permit me to cite his address delivered to this body, at its last meeting. “As it hath pleased God to continue my life to a considerable length beyond that of my predecessor, that single reflection is an ample monitor to me, to look forward to an approaching period, which, as it respects myself, to human view, cannot be far distant. Under such impressions, I must be sensible of increasing uncertainty of meeting you hereafter, in your future conventions.”
The venerable appearance, the grave and solemn manner, in which these reflections were delivered, can but be remembered; and I trust, long will be remembered, by all who were present; especially our clerical brethren. They contain a specimen of that sound speech, which cannot be condemned. And it hath pleased God, that they should be prophetic. He has never had another opportunity of meeting the convention.
Though the Bishop, according to the direction of an Apostle, in doctrine, showed uncorruptness, gravity, [18/19] and sincerity, both in public and in private, in the Church, and in the friendly circle; yet was he affable, polite, and ready to converse on common topics, according to his company, and suited to occasions.—We, my brethren of the clergy, can witness, that he was always fond of seeing us at his house; that we were there hospitably entertained. Few men enjoyed society more than he. His hours were distributed, as we well know, between domestic concerns, conversation, study, and acts of piety. Fond of the family circle, formal visits were unfrequent. Correct in matters of economy, he was domestic in his manners. He was resigned to the will of Providence; patient under afflictions, of which he had his share in life; nor too much elated by prosperity; always preserving a well tempered equanimity. In fine, as a clergyman, he was correct in his sentiments; as a member of society, a well wisher to its order and peace. A tender husband, and an affectionate parent. Thus he lived, and at length, in a good old age, he has gone to that world, from whence none return.
May we, then, preserve his memory in our minds, cherish his virtues in our hearts, and imitate them in our lives. May the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost the Comforter, sanctify all our affections, preside in our councils, and, in due time, direct our choice to a suitable character, to fill the sacred office. May unanimity and harmony prevail, that this Church may be reorganized, and built up, in purity of faith, in holiness of conversation, and ever remain an ornament to the Church universal.