PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.
THE writer has been patiently waiting, for several months, to see this production reviewed, but to the present nothing has appeared. He cannot, therefore, in conscience suffer the thing to remain unanswered; although he would have been most happy had it fallen into abler hands. He is constrained to say, with Elihu, "I was afraid and durst not show my opinion. I said, days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom; but there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise, neither do the aged understand judgment; therefore, I said, hearken to me; I also will show my opinion." --Job 32, 6-10.
The profits, if any, arising from this Review will be applied to a benevolent purpose.
Sweedesborough, June, 1842.
The Church, the fulness of Christ: A Sermon, preached by request of the Vicar, with the consent of the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, at the Consecration of the Parish Church, Leeds, (England,) on Thursday, Sept. 2nd, 1841: By Right Rev. GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, D.D. Bishop of New Jersey, (U. S. North America.)
TEXT.--EPHESIANS i, 22-23.
"Head over all things to the Church which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all."
IN reviewing this Sermon, which is dedicated "to the Most Reverend the Lord Archbishop of York, and the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Ripon," we shall be as brief as practicable. Instead of introducing our own opinions exclusively, we shall confine ourselves, as much as possible, to the authority of the Scriptures, and such standard works of Orthodoxy as have stood the test of criticism. A considerable portion of the Bishop's language in this discourse is flowery and poetical in the extreme, and we shall have to be cautious that we are not carried away by its fascination, and hold in admiration the man at the expense of the truth.
In perusing this production, some beautiful and appropriate lines of the immortal Cowper were brought forcibly to our remembrance:
"Would I describe a preacher such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner: decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty man."
 The sermon is written in a desultory way, and as such we must take it up and handle it. Coming from the pen of a "Right Rev. father in God," as he considers himself in p. 22, and according to his Trans-Atlantic title appended, of "My Lord Bishop," in Dr. Pusey's dedication, we had reason to expect that all his statements should accord with the Word of the Lord God; but not so. In his commencement, p. 5, he says,--"the divine instructer, walking with the two disciples, on the evening of the day on which he rose." We have objections to make, in answer to the resurrection of Christ on the first day, which will come under consideration when we come to speak of the Ark of the Covenant, referred to in p. 26.
The Bishop is not so explicit as we could wish in opening the text which he has taken for his discourse; and we are at a loss to learn with precision from him, what the Body is composed of which constitutes the Church referred to by the Apostle; but we presume that he considers that the power of appointing successors in the Christian Church was vested in the twelve Apostles, and in virtue of which, the whole Church militant, by complying with the requisite formularies of the Episcopate, first Bishops, then Priests and People, in rightful succession, become the consecrated Body of Christ, and non-conformists left to the uncovenanted mercies of God. Of this we shall have occasion to speak more fully as we proceed.
The Epistle, from which the text is taken, is replete with sound doctrine. We cannot forbear remarking, that in this short chapter we have counted about twenty-five repetitions of the participle IN, emphatically descriptive of the eternal and indissoluble union of Christ and his Church. The Bishop has heaped together a large mass of precious portions of Scripture, expressive of the union of Christ and his Church; but if we understand the nature and constitution of the Church which he endeavours to set up, they will not in any fairness apply to it. And we do not know that we can express our own view of the doctrine so happily as our old friends Rushton and Bunyan have done in very few words. We transcribe it:
On the Federal Union of Christ and his People.--By federal union, I mean that covenant or representative union which subsists between Christ and his elect prior to their believing in him, and which is the foundation of vital union to him. There is a sense in which the chosen of God are not in Christ until renewed by his Grace, Rom. xvi, 7. When by faith and love he dwells in them, and they dwell in him; and this has been rightly termed vital union. But there is another kind of union which subsisted between Christ and his elect in every step of his mediatorial work, and in every act of his most glorious redemption; so that when he obeyed, they obeyed in him; when he died, they died in him; and when he rose, they rose in him. This union is the foundation of all the benefits which believers ever did or ever will receive from the death of Christ; and this union, by whatever other name it may be called, is what I mean by federal union."
One design of the Apostle in his chain of reasoning throughout Romans v, is to establish this important doctrine. He introduces the two Adams as [4/5] the covenant or federal heads of their respective seeds. He insists upon the union of the first Adam and all his seed, so that when he fell they all fell in him, and when he committed the offence, judgment came upon them, because of their federal union unto him. Now Adam was a figure or type of him that was to come. As Adam and his seed stood and fell together, so is it with the Lord Christ and his seed; for as when the one federal head offended, the offence came upon all men whom he represented; so when the second Adam obeyed, righteousness came upon all the men whom he represented. "For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous." All this proceeds from the supposition of union, and of federal union; for unless union subsisted at the time Adam's offence was committed, justice would forbid that the offence should be imputed to all men. Yet we know that death reigns even over them who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression; even so, because of the union of the second Adam and his seed when he obeyed. Righteousness is imputed to them all and they reign in life, although in their own persons they have never perfectly obeyed the law. Accordingly we find it clearly taught in the scripture that Christ and his people are one; He the head, they the members; and that in the eye of the law they were one body when he obeyed, died, and rose. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise." In this scripture we are taught that those for whom Christ died, are "members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones;" that (federally) they died with him, revived with him, and rose with him. And this will appear more fully if we consider that the words "together with" are a supplement, and that the text may more literally be thus rendered--"Thy dead men shall live, even my dead body shall they arise;" the meaning of which is thus explained by the apostle. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." That this refers to federal union is clear, for believers are not yet exalted in their own persons to sit in heavenly places; but having a representative existence in Christ, they sat down there with him when he entered into the holiest, and took his seat at the right hand of God in the highest heaven. And in reference to this federal union, believers are said to be crucified with Christ, dead with him, buried with him, justified in him, and raised up together with him. For that spiritual or vital union to Christ which believers enjoy by faith, is the effect of this federal union, as the word of God abundantly teaches. "We thus judge," says an Apostle, "that if one died for all, then were all dead." That is, if one died as the Covenant head or representative of all, then all died in that one. This is federal union. "And that he died for all, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them and rose again," Whereby the Apostle [5/6] teaches that because Christ died as the representative of all his covenant seed, the Spirit causes them to die unto sin, through his death, and to live unto him, through his resurrection. This wilt appear still clearer, if we consider Paul's prayer for the believing Ephesians that they might know the Spirit's work on their hearts, and understand how it corresponds with the resurrection and exaltation of Christ. "That we might know what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and sat him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Here we see that the work of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of the saints, which produces spiritual union to Christ in his death and resurrection, is a work corresponding with the work wrought in Christ himself, and is the necessary effect of it. This is the mystery which the Apostle desired above all things to comprehend. "That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."
The doctrine of federal union, as the foundation of vital or spiritual union to Christ, has been acknowledged by most writers who have maintained eternal and personal election; but it is gratifying to know that the Lord's people, who are more remarkable for their attachment to the first principles of the gospel, than to deeper doctrines of it, have been led to see that their salvation depends upon this very thing.
John Bunyan, in the account he has given of the Lord's dealings with him, has recorded with artless simplicity, the establishment of his soul in this most glorious truth. "Now I saw," says he, "that Christ Jesus was looked upon of God, and should be looked upon by us, as that common or public person, in whom all the whole body of his elect, are always to be considered and reckoned; that we fulfilled the law by him, died by him, rose from the dead by him, got the victory over sin, death, the devil, and hell by him, when he died, we died, and so of his resurrection. "Thy dead men shall live," &c.; and again, "after two days he will revive us, and the third day we shall live in his sight,"--which is now fulfilled by the sitting down of the Son of Man on the right hand of the Majesty of the Heavens, according to that to the Ephesians: "He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ah! these blessed considerations and Scriptures, with many others of like nature, were in those days made to spangle in mine eye; so that I have cause to say, "Praise ye the Lord in the sanctuary, praise him in the firmament of his power; praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness."
We find in page 9, an ambiguous sentence of the Bishop, in exposition of his text, "And gave him to be head over all things to his Church." These words, presented thus in their connexion declare, as isolated passages never could, the functions of the Church in carrying on that greatest work of [6/7] God, salvation, through the cross of Jesus Christ, to its entire completion. We do not here profess to understand the Bishop; but from its complexion, we fear he overrates an arm of flesh in the sinner's salvation. Paul to Timothy says: "Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest," &c.; and Jude says, "Sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Christ Jesus, and called," &c.
On the same page we find an unscriptural statement, and wholly repugnant to the articles of his own Church. "When the full time had come, the meek and holy sufferer hung in bleeding agony upon the cross, making atonement in his suffering human nature, for all the sins of all mankind." We can find no portion of Scripture in strict unison with this sentiment. There are, we know, several expressions which appear, on the face of them, to approximate to it; but upon examination will not sustain it, nor are they analogous to the current testimony of Scripture. Under the old dispensation, we know that all the revelations made by Jehovah to man were addressed to the Hebrews; even our Lord's ministry was confined to Israel. When he sent forth the twelve, he commanded them "not to go into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans to enter not; but to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Our Lord's Prayer to the Father in the 17th John, is pointedly against this doctrine of the Bishop's. "I pray for them which thou hast given me; I pray not for the world," &c. Nearly all the epistles were addressed to the elect of God, the saints, the Church of Christ, &c., consequently what may be found in them to bear on the doctrine of general redemption, must be read attentively in its connexion. We refer the Bishop to the 9th Article of his own Church, on Original Sin; to the 10th on Free Will, and to the 17th, on Predestination.
We are naturally to infer from this portion of the Bishop's sermon, and the manner in which he elsewhere expresses himself that it was the human nature of Christ ALONE that suffered and atoned; for, in page 12 he says, "That he emptied himself of his divinity." [* A most erroneous thought and expression, exceeding that made use of by Satan to the Lord Jesus. "If thou be the Son of God, command, &c.'' For was he not the very and eternal God, from everlasting and to everlasting? And did he not say to his adversary, "thou shalt worship the Lord thy God?" And again--"I have power to lay down my Life, and I have power to take it again. And could it, under such circumstances, be possible that he could have ever, as here stated, "emptied himself of his divinity?"] How then was it that the blood of God was the purchased price of the church? Acts 20, 28. Paul, in his charge to the elders of Ephesus, uses this emphatical expression "Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Was it not, then, the blood of the God Man Mediator? Had the blood of [7/8] any human or angelic sacrifice been offered, could it have been at all available? If we understand the Bishop's doctrine of union and atonement, it amounts to this. That Christ took upon him our nature, yet without sin, and in that nature obeyed the law perfectly, sealing the truth of his mission with his blood; in virtue of which he consecrated a new and living way to the Father, and so brought mankind into a salvable state. That he gave commission and authority to his apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel; with the promise of his presence and blessing, and that whoso believed this, and were baptized, received the remission of sins. That this power was transferrable from the apostles to the primitive bishops, and thence down to the present day, in rightful succession, to ministers and people. Should we be correct in our estimate of the Bishop's doctrine of atonement, we solemnly pronounce it not worth a straw, and cannot consider it better than Arian or Socinianism.
We heard a minister of his diocese from the pulpit, not long since, avow that there were millions of souls in hell for whom Christ died. Had he not viewed the blood of atonement, as we presume the Bishop does, as the blood of mere humanity, we must have pronounced such a declaration as most impious.
In page 15 he says: "Head over all things to his church by his abounding grace; anointing his ministers with holy oil." We cannot divine whether the Bishop uses this phrase in a figurative sense, or literally, in reference to the sixth Sacrament (of Holy Orders) of the Romanists. For, he says, in illustration: "Keeping forever bright the Golden Chain, let down from Heaven, of their perpetual priesthood."
In our observations on this (the Bishop's all-important doctrine,) we may be found, in opposing the doctrine of the divine right of Episcopacy, to be travelling out of the accustomed path; but we believe not out of the record, and we shall be prepared to show, to every unprejudiced and unbiased mind, that when we have taken away the pillars of the temple of Dagon, the lords of the Philistines (not to say my Lord Bishop,) will be found beneath its ruins. The Episcopalian will be ready then to say, with simple Micah, "Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and what have I more?" But truth is invincible, and must prevail.
Flowery and figurative as his Lordship is, we cannot be mistaken that this golden chain means the Divine right of Episcopacy, descending in a direct line from the apostles of the Lord Jesus.
To constitute an apostle the Scriptures aver that two things are indispensable. First, that he should have seen the Lord Jesus after his resurrection; and secondly, received his commission at the Lord's own hands. In order to understand the subject more fully, we will transcribe from the inspired penman what passed between our Lord and the eleven disciples at their last interview, just previous to his ascension. Acts i, 2,3: [8/9] "After that Jesus, through the Holy Ghost, had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen, to whom also he showed himself after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Among the commandments here referred to, did he not institute the Divine right of Episcopacy, with the transferable power of forgiving sins? We shall see. Ver. 4. "And being assembled with them, commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me." He imperatively commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. We shall see, by and by, how dutifully, and believingly they conducted! They were to wait for the descent of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord, during his ministry, had repeatedly told them that he had many things to say unto them, but that they could not then bear them; but when he, the Spirit of Truth was come, whom he would send unto them from the Father, he would lead them into all truth, for he would take of the things of himself and show to them, and he should then bring all things which he had said unto them to their remembrance. The evangelist Luke, in his Gospel, ch. xxiv, 49, records the same thing. "Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high." Verse 5 reads,--"For John truly baptised with water, but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence."
It was just ten days for them to wait from the ascension to the feast of Pentecost, instituted in commemoration of giving the law at Sinai,--and yet to the present, they understood not the nature of our Lord's mission or the necessity of the Spirit's illumination, as is evident from what follows. Verse 6--"When they were come together, they asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Did not this question betray their utter ignorance of the nature of the Messiah's kingdom? The kingdom of Israel had been for some time taken away from the Jews, and Judea was reduced to a Roman province. The Hebrew nation, as well as the disciples, was looking for the Messiah as a temporal prince, to deliver them from the Roman yoke. The death and resurrection of Christ seemed not to have made any alteration, even in the minds of the apostles. They had said before (but since his resurrection,) "We trusted that it had been he that should have redeemed Israel." Surely such utter ignorance of their divine Lord and Master was enough to disqualify them for the work they presently undertook, in making an apostle, even supposing any thing was left for them to do in the matter. But it was no business of theirs; and our Lord's answer to them, in the next verse, ought to have disposed them to do as they were bid. "And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in his own power."  Jehovah worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. There is a set time for all his purposes; he will work, and none can let or hinder him. Verse 8--"But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." A very different power and commission than anything they had anticipated, meaning, doubtless, the power of the Holy Ghost as we see it exemplified, Acts ii, 1-4. Then it was, and not until then, the apostles themselves came to a right knowledge of Christ and his kingdom. Then it was, that Peter was enabled to understand and open the Scripture, and his preaching was blessed to the conversion of three thousand souls. Verses 9, 10, and 11, are descriptive of our Lord's ascension; and now follows the work of supererogation in appointing Matthias to the apostleship,--which the eleven, with the WOMEN, (!) and others did,--(the names together were one hundred and twenty.) And Peter, who had before been very courageous in fighting for his Master in Gethsemane, denying him with oaths and curses in the hall of Pilate, and to the present as ignorant of Christ as Mediator, and of the nature of his kingdom as ever, proposes to appoint an apostle in the room of Judas the traitor. Forgetting that only a few days previous to this, his Divine Master had cautioned him against his propensity to rashness. "Simon! Simon! Satan has desired to have thee that he may sift thee as wheat; but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." We presume that our Lord has reference here to the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, when he would be illuminated and led into all truth. See verse 12-26.
It seems that immediately on their return to the city, they went to work. And we are bold to assert, that this act of the one hundred and twenty was uncalled for, and NUGATORY, and in disobedience to Christ's command. It belonged only to the Lord Jesus to appoint and qualify for the apostleship. The apostle Paul, in speaking of his commission, says "Am I not an apostle, have I not seen Jesus Christ?" He received the King's sign manual in the third heaven, at the hand of the Lord Jesus himself, and was commissioned, as were the eleven, to "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils; to provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in their purses." We ask that the would-be apostles, of the present day, would, in these particulars, give as full proof, in like manner, of their mission. That there never were but twelve, (beside Judas,) is manifest from the Scripture, and that Paul came in the room of the traitor, is not to be disputed. The Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, spake concerning Judas, that he had received part of his ministry, and had purchased a field with the reward of his iniquity, and falling headlong, burst asunder, &c. And further "Let his habitation be desolate, and his bishoprick let another take." [10/11] The new Jerusalem described in the Revelation, is said to have "twelve foundations and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Even the patriarch Abraham looked forward to this city, whose builder and maker is God. We imagine no one will doubt the apostleship of Paul. But if Matthias were legally constituted, we have thirteen, which we presume no one will be ready to admit. Matthias received his appointment from the men and women, immediately after our Lord's ascension; and not as Paul did, who says,--"For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship, was mighty in me." Again:--"I neither received it of man, [note this!] neither was I taught it but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. i, 1: "Paul, an apostle not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father." The twelve apostles, therefore, could have no successors, (although we were told by a minister, in the Bishop's diocese, that he was as much an apostle himself as any of the twelve!) For they must have been witnesses of Christ's resurrection; consequently, from the very nature of the office, it could have had no existence after that generation was extinct. The twelve received their mission directly from Christ, and not through any human appointment. But in the case of Matthias, we find the one hundred and twenty men and women could not agree; and they were obliged to cast lots (!) to settle the question; and we are told this lot fell upon Matthias, so that this "golden chain" of the Bishop's was literally raffled for!
We have been the more minute on this point, because we know the Episcopalians base a large share of their authority, for their Divine right of succession, (as they call it,) on this act of the apostles, as the first link of this golden chain of the Bishop's. [* The Catholics deny that Pope Joan ever filled the Pontifical chair, and that their chain of succession was ever broken; but our Protestant Episcopalians must admit that the one hundred and nine men and women united with the eleven apostles in the appointment and consecration of Matthias, and that his ordination was not the exclusive act of Peter or of the eleven.]
We would ask if there is in this appointment of Matthias, anything in the shape of consecration and the imposition of hands with the power of retaining and forgiving sins as practised by the Episcopalians of the present day? And if there had been (under the existing circumstances,) it would have been nugatory. Certain it is that the Scriptures make no further mention of this said Matthias in any way. The Episcopalians endeavour to keep this act of the men and women out of sight. But to attempt to found authority for the ordination of Bishops and Priests, with the power of forgiving and retaining sins, from this example of the hundred and twenty, is nothing short of profound ignorance and infatuation combined. But some will be ready to say that we are not justified in making [11/12] so free with the conduct of the Apostles of our Lord;--we answer if any one is to blame it is the inspired penman who wrote, or rather the Holy Ghost who indited the Scriptures, to put us in possession of all the information we have on the subject. We read "that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable:" as faithful historians, the Evangelists have given us a true account of the Acts of the Apostles; (as way-marks) they are not exhibited as perfectionists, but as men of like passions with ourselves, even after the descent of the Holy Ghost.
We shall not think it out of place to bring to view a few of their departures from the path of rectitude. There is no reconciling with Scripture the conduct of the Apostle James and all the Elders at Jerusalem in persuading the Apostle Paul to attempt to offer a ceremonial and bloody sacrifice, nor of Paul's concurrence therein, as we have in the 21st chapter of Acts, 17-26. The whole of the Ceremonial Law was only a shadow of good things to come (the body was Christ) and all expired by a divine statute of limitation when Christ expired, and the observance of the type after the antitype came, was sinful,--little less than trampling underfoot the blood of the covenant, deeming it an unholy thing, and doing despite to the Spirit of Grace. See Paul's 9th and 10th chapters of his Epistles to the Hebrews, which was written from Rome (during his imprisonment) three years after this event at Jerusalem took place.
Paul's circumcising Timothy for fear of the Jews is alike objectionable, as is fully manifest in his letter to the Galatians:--"If ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing; ye are fallen from grace." In this same Epistle we find Paul and Peter at variance, 2d chapter, 11th verse: "But when Peter was come to Antioch I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." He calls him a dissembler, consequently not infallible; and this too occurred after the Lord had favoured Peter with a special vision of a sheet let down from heaven. Paul exhorts his hearers to follow him as he followed Christ, and says "all these things happened for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come." The fallibility of the Apostles teaches this important lesson--"let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall," and "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm." The whole canon of Scripture teaches that it is the office of the Holy Spirit to empty the believer of self and dependence on any human arm, and to proclaim with Jonah from the belly of hell, "salvation is of the Lord."
In page 15, and in connexion with this golden chain of the Bishop, (which proves to be a rope of sand) we find a "Blessing their ministry (i. e. the priesthood) with sinners, so that whosesoever sins they remit they are remitted." We know that the Apostle John in his 20th chapter 22d and 23d verses, says--"And when he (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them; whosesoever ye retain they [12/13] are retained." Neither of the other inspired penmen makes use of a similar phrase, and this is in general coupled by Episcopalians with another expression of our Lord--"And behold I am with you even to the end of the world," which is not in connexion, and were it, could mean nothing more than the world's end, or the end of the earth. That the twelve apostles were exclusively endowed with supernatural gifts, such as raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out devils, discerning of spirits, &c. &c. is not to be questioned. But we have not found in the Scriptures that the power here referred to by the Bishop, and vested in the Apostles, to forgive and retain sins, was ever transferable by them to their successors in the ministry. And as the sixth article of the Episcopal church on the Scriptures, hold "that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith," we must leave it to the Bishop to furnish us with chapter and verse for his assertion, and further to give us ocular demonstration, as the apostles did by healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out devils, providing neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses, nor scrip for their journey.
But we have in this connexion more of the same arrogant and fulsome pretension: "Filling continually with the pure water of eternal life, the laver of the new creation."--p.15. If the Bishop had but copied his predecessor Paul, we should have been able, with more readiness to understand him. Paul, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, says, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God; and my speech and my preaching was not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
"In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers,
And serves the altar. in my soul I loathe
All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn;
Object of my implacable disgust.
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all besides,
Though learned with labour, and though much admired,
By curious eyes and judgments ill-informed,
To me is odious."
By "the laver of the new creation," we presume the Bishop refers to the baptismal font, and as such he obliges us to say a word or two in reply. We know that the Rubric of the Church of England orders that the subject in baptism "be carefully and warily dipped," and so the catechism expresses it, "water wherein the person is baptized." We would therefore ask the Bishop if he can direct us to a laver sufficiently large to baptize [13/14] even an infant of a day old within his diocese? The administrators of the present day in his church baptize not the subject but only the tips of his own fingers. But it is we suppose to the regenerating nature of the ordinance of baptism by his authorized clergy, to which the Bishop alludes; for in referring to the ministration of that ordinance we read, "He shall be signed, with the sign of the cross,--(which as it is not found in the Scripture must necessarily come from mother Rome.) The minister then saying, "Seeing now, dearly beloved, that this child is regenerate and grafted into Christ's Church;" and this is further confirmed by the answer to the second question in the catechism: "Who gave you a name?" The answer is "My sponsors in baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." We need make no comment on this, as what follows is of the same complexion. "By whose prevailing virtue the bread and wine become the meat indeed, and drink indeed, by which believing souls are nurtured for immortality, and giving to his faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve him with a quiet mind." Again, from p.9 which is in accordance with the above, and which requires the same notice, we here transcribe. "These words declare the functions of the church, in carrying on that greatest work of God, salvation, through the cross of Jesus Christ to its entire completion. They teach us how, from first to last, in all the stages of its progress, he has wrought, works, and still will work by means." If this is not priestcraft and transubstantiation, with a witness, we know nothing of the matter. We are bold to say that in the Church of Rome nothing more preposterous, absurd and unscriptural can be found. But that church has more of a sense of shame, for in the promulgation of its mummeries the performance of them in public is in the Latin tongue.
We are grossly mistaken if these things are not some of the anti-christian marks of the beast spoken of in the Apocalypse; and we would most earnestly implore the Bishop and his adherents to consider well the magnitude and turpitude of the errors they are propagating, and its ultimately fatal consequences. "If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation, and they have no rest day or night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receive the mark of his name."
Page 19, "It is in this great and glorious cause, the greatest and most glorious that can engage the interest and actuate the energies of men, that we, beloved brethren, have been gathered here today. Deeply and fervently does every pulse of mine,--dear friend of many years, (the Rev, Dr. Hook vicar of Leeds, by whose request the preacher came to England for this service) by whose suggestion I stand here, partaker of your joy,--beat in accordance with your own." [* It is said by the biographer of the late Mrs. Hannah Moore that she was [14/15] the instrument of the High Church Party in England, in sending the late Wm. Cobbett to this country to publish his "Bloody Buoy," in order to bring republics into disrepute; as also that the writing and publishing of her cheap repository tracts, (hawked by pedlars over the whole united kingdom) was done for the express purpose, and under High Church sanction, to keep the labouring classes in subjection, and to persuade them to be reconciled to their hard fare both in Church and State. Nor is it improbable, that it might be a concerted plan between the said High Church Party there, and the Bishop of New Jersey here, that he should be invited to England at the Consecration for a similar purpose. The following extract from the Presbyterian of the 5th February 1842, looks very much like it:--
"Quite Amusing.--Dr. Pusey (head man in the Oxford Tract Society) has dedicated a sermon recently preached by him to Bishop Doane of New Jersey, and as we are sure our readers will be amused to hear the very words of dedication, here they are:-- 'To the Right Reverend Father in God, George Lord Bishop of New-Jersey: This sermon, preached in behalf of a Society dear to both, in memory of the Communion of Saints departed, is respectfully inscribed, in grateful acknowledgement of the Christian Charity which believed all good, when the world censured, and when those near seemed estranged, owned us from afar as sons and brethren, and of the refreshment of his sympathy in a season (may it be shortened) of rebuke, distress, division, and anxiety'"]
Page 20. "This noble structure, projected in such deep, far-reaching wisdom, pursued to its completion with such fidelity, munificence, and perseverance, and now given up to God, and taken in his name, by his ambassador, is his own testimony to the truth and power of his own word, the fulfillment of his own promise to be with and to bless his Church." Can we give a more appropriate name to this extract than to call it bombastic eulogy? The building being given up to God, refers doubtless to its consecration; but of which the Bishop has not favoured us with the formulary. We presume it was such an one as was used by Archbishop Laud, in the consecrating Saint Catharine Cree Church, in London.
[* "The Romanists have a great deal of foppery in the ceremonies of consecration, which they bestow on almost every thing; as bells, candles, books, water, oil, ashes, palms, swords, banners, pictures, crosses, agnus deis, roses, &c. In England, churches have been always consecrated with particular ceremonies, the form of with was left to the discretion of the bishop. That observed by Abp. Laud, in consecrating Saint Catharine, Cree church in London gave great offence, and well it might. It was enough, as one observes, to have made even a popish cardinal blush, and which no Protestant can read but with indignant concern. "The bishop came attended with several of the high commission, and some civilians. At his approach to the west door of church which was shut, and guarded by halberdiers, some that were appointed for that purpose cried with a loud voice--open, open, ye everlasting doors, that the King of Glory may come in! Presently the doors were opened, and the bishop with some doctors and principal men, entered. As soon as they were within the place his lordship fell down upon his knees; and with his eyes lifted up, and his arms spread abroad, said, This place is holy; the ground is holy in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I pronounce it holy. Then [15/16] walking up the middle aisle towards the chancel, he took up some of the dust, and threw into the air several times. When he approached near the rail of the communion table, he bowed towards it five or six times; and, returning, went round the church, with his attendants in procession; saying first the hundreth and then the nineteenth psalm as prescribed in the Roman pontifical. He then read several collects in one of which he prays God to accept of that beautiful building, and concludes thus: We consecrate this church, and separate it unto thee as holy ground, not to be profaned any more to common use. In another he prays--That ALL who should hereafter be buried within the circuit of this holy and sacred place, may rest in their sepulchres in peace, till Christ's coming to judgement, and may then rise to eternal life and happiness. Then the bishop, sitting under a cloth of state in the aisle of the chancel, near the communion table, took a written book in his hand, and pronounced curses upon those who should hereafter profane that holy place by musters of soldiers, or keeping profane law courts or carrying burdens through it; and at the end of every curse he bowed to the east, and said, Let all the people say Amen.
When the curses were ended, which were about twenty, he pronounced a like number of blessings upon ALL that had any hand in framing and building that sacred and beautiful church; and on those that had given, or should hereafter give, any chalices, plate, ornaments, or other utensils; and at the end of every blessing, he bowed to the east and said Let all the people say, Amen. After this came the sermon, then the sacrament which the bishop consecrated and administered in the following manner;--As he approached the altar, he made five or six low bows; and coming up to the side of it where the bread and wine were covered, he bowed 7 times. Then, after reading many prayers, he came near the bread, and gently lifting up the cover of the napkin, beheld it; and immediately letting fall the napkin, he retreated hastily a step or two, and made three low obeisances; his lordship then advanced, & having uncovered the bread, bowed three times as before. Then he laid his hand on the cup, which was full of wine; with a cover upon it; which having let go, he stepped back, and bowed three times towards it; then he came near again, and lifting up the cover of the cup, looked in it; and seeing the wine, let fall the cover again, retired back, and bowed as before. Then the elements were consecrated; and the bishop, having first received, gave it to some principal men in their surplices, hoods, and tippets; after which, many prayers being said, the solemnity of the consecration ended."--Buck's Theological Dictionary.]
"And taken in his name, by his ambassador." We deny the right of any mortal save an apostle to assume the name of an ambassador of Christ; of such only were the twelve. They possessed their Sovereign's sign manual. "For truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds." (Paul to Cor.)
But such ambassadors as are here referred to are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ; and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.
The twelve, as God's ambassadors, were put in trust with the gospel, and sent forth his chosen witnesses, to bear his name among all nations. They went forth with full power, not to propose terms of peace, and to offer it to men dead in trespasses and sin, whose carnal minds were [16/17] enmity itself to God, (like false apostles do in our day,) but to publish and proclaim a full, free, and finished salvation, as made by Jehovah their Lord and Masters--saying unto Jerusalem, "Your iniquity is pardoned, your sin is covered, for he hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sin." And that "by one offering, he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." And also, with Peter, when, on the day of Pentecost, three thousand souls were added to the church by his preaching, who concluded his sermon with these emphatical words: "the promise is to you, and to your children; and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." And again we are told, "that as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."
We have in this same and the following pages, 20 & 21, more of this unscriptural jargon, which we transcribe without further comment, as below criticism:
"Here, through long ages, may the testimony of that truth be held, which holy men of old received from the anointed lips of the incarnate Word, and at their life's cost bore about for the instruction and conversion of a guilty and rebellious world; and, having sealed the message with their blood, committed it to other faithful men, who should come after them, and they again, in an unbroken line, to us. Here through long ages, may that sacred font pour, in perennial stream, its pure regenerating wave; that holy altar minister in never stinted, never disregarded, plenty; its spiritual and immortal banquet; and may they never fail from out these courts a priesthood, in the line which takes commission from the day of the ascension."
'Tis revelation satisfies all doubts,
Explains all mysteries besides her own,
And so illuminates the path of life,
That fools discover it and stray no more.
Now tell me, dignified and sapient sir,
My man of morals, nurtur'd in the shades
Of Academus,--is this false or true?
Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools?
If Christ, then why resort at every turn,
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
Of man's occasions, when in him reside
Grace, knowledge, comfort, an unfathom'd store?
And thus it is. The pastor, either vain
By nature, or by flattery made so, taught
To gaze on his own splendour, and t' exalt
Absurdly not his office, but himself.
Page 21. "Most reverend brother, and right reverend brethren, (allusion is here made to the presence of his Grace the Lord Archbishop of York, the Metropolitan, the Lord Bishop of Ripon, the Diocesan, and the Lord Bishop of Ross and Argyle,) it is no ordinary providence of God that brings us here together."
 And in page 22, for the first time is announced in these United States of America, that a convention of Bishop Doane's diocese, passed the following resolution, on the eve of his departure for Europe: "That we hereby assure our right reverend father in God, of our affectionate interest," &c. [*We will examine the Scriptures and see how well these titles correspond with the word of God. Whoever read in the Scriptures of such titles given to ministers as those now claimed by Episcopalians? viz. The most reverend Father in God Thomas, by Divine permission, his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the Metropolitan, Lord of Parliament, and First Peer of the Realm. The right reverend Father in God George, Lord Bishop of New-Jersey. The Worshipful the Reverend the Dean of __, D. D. The Worshipful the Archdeacon of __, B. D. The Worshipful the Reverend A. B. Canon of __, B. A. The Worshipful the Reverend C. D. Prebend of __, M. A. The Reverend E. F Rector of __, V. D. M. The Reverend G. H. Vicar of __, L. L. D.]
We would ask his right reverence, if there could be any meaning in our Lord's charge to his disciples, when he prohibited them the use of such epithets as these. "Be ye not called rabbi, for one is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon earth, for one is your Father who is heaven; neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ; but he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. How can ye believe who receive honour one of another?"
The word reverend is found but once in the whole canon of Scripture, and there it is applied exclusively to the Divine Being. Psa. cxi, 9. "He sent redemption unto his people, he hath commanded his covenant forever; holy and reverend is his name." Elihu said, "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles, in so doing my Maker would soon take me away." Hear further what the prophet David says: "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men, they speak vanity every one with his neighbour, with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaketh proud things." And Solomon avers that, "a man that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet." Such persons fall under Paul's censure. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." Let such vainglorious persons inquire whether the marks of the man of sin, the son of perdition, bear any affinity to them. "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
 Page 24. "When fervent Seabury (consecrated in Scotland, Nov. 1784) set out on his adventure for the Cross, the bishops of the Church of Scotland heard his prayer, and sent him back, with the authority and grace of the Episcopate, to be the first apostle of the West." We have no doubt but that he felt more cross and perplexed when the English Church treated him and his fellows as rebels, and on that account refused him consecration, so that he was obliged to apply to the Episcopalians in Scotland for it, than he did in the consecration itself.
Page 26. "Brethren, right reverend, reverend and beloved, it is written in the elder records of our faith, that when the ark of God was on its progress towards the hill of Sion, it rested once, for three months, in the house of Obed-edom: and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household. And it was told king David, saying, 'The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth to it, because of the ark of God.'" The Bishop, in this and several following pages, (of which we shall have occasion to speak by and by,) eulogizes to the skies, his church, and compares it to the ark of the covenant, but with how much propriety we shall see. The ark of the covenant contained the two tables of testimony, written with the finger of God. These tables the Episcopal Church have virtually repudiated, and are holding up every first day to universal contempt and scorn. The fourth commandment, which reads, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." To which the whole congregation respond, (doubtless contemptuously,) "Lord have mercy upon us and incline our hearts to keep this law." This surely can be done only out of sheer contempt and disdain, for not an Episcopalian in Christendom can be found that regards the sanctity of that holy day. And here we will make our promised remarks on what the Bishop has said in page 5. "The divine instructer, walking with the two disciples, on the evening of the day on which he rose."
He here assumes that the Lord Jesus was seen of the disciples on the day he rose from the dead, but of which the Scriptures are silent. The Evangelist Matthew, 28th ch., 1, 2, in recording the resurrection, says:--"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre; and behold there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." And in the 5th and 6th verse, "And the angel answered and said unto the women, fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus, which [19/20] was crucified; he is not here, for he is risen, as he said:--come see the place where the Lord lay." Now, as this was the evening of the seventh, it could not be a part of the first day of the week. The account of his being seen in the morning of the first day, as given by the other inspired penmen, and compared with this in Matthew, is not in opposition to his rising from the grave on the preceding evening. If, therefore, any argument can be drawn from the resurrection in favour of observing the day on which it happened, the Sabbath is certainly entitled to the argument. Mark 16th chapter, 1-6, And when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulchre very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, and he was then risen. Luke 24th chapter, 1-6, makes the like statement. John 20th ch. 1, 2.: The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, and went unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre; then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him."
It is then sheer assumption in saying that our Lord rose from the dead on the first day, because there is not one word of Scripture to sanction it. And if he did rise on that day and did not unsanctify or abrogate the seventh; and did not institute and sanctify the first, the non-observance of the former, and the observance of the latter are both unauthorized. [* We will state a case of an unrepealed law of man's making, from thence conclude whether a Divine Law can be violated with impunity or not. About the year 1821 or 2, the following case was brought before a British court of justice. Abraham Thornton was arraigned for the violation and murder of Mary Ashford, when the prisoner, through his counsel, demanded "Trial by Battle," agreeably to the tenor of an old feudal law which had never been repealed. His prayer was granted; her next of kin refusing the challenge, Thornton was acquitted; but the law was immediately repealed by a special act of the British Parliament. N. B. The benefit of this law of trial by wager of battle could only be demanded by the criminal on failure of actual evidence of his guilt. This being the case of Thornton, his counsel procured his acquittal by citing the above law. An anecdote concerning the famous William Whiston and Lord Chancellor King is not foreign to the case in hand. Whiston being one day in discourse with the Chanceller, who had been brought up a dissenter but had conformed, a debate arose about signing articles which men do not believe for the sake of preferment. This the Chancellor openly justified, "because," said he, "we must not lose our usefulness for scruples." Whiston, who was quite of an opposite opinion, asked his lordship, "If in his court he allowed of such prevarication." He answered, "we do not." "Then," said Whiston, "suppose God Almighty should be as just in the next world as my Lord Chancellor is in this, where are we then?"]
In reference to the resurrection of Christ, it seems to be the intent of the Holy Ghost that it should be kept out of our sight and knowledge, as [20/21] was the body of Moses, lest it should be idolized. The Catholics laugh at the inconsistency of Protestants in their observance of the first day, and say that, as they (the Protestants) take the Scriptures for their sole guidance, they ought to be sabbatarians. The Catholic has the authority of the church which is paramount and infallible; and we can but advise my lord Bishop and all good Catholics to unite with her communion and submit to her delegated authority.
It is the commonly received opinion that the Lord Jesus was crucified on the sixth day (Good Friday,) at noon, and that he died at three P. M. We would ask how he could then, by any possibility, be risen on the morning of the first? For, if Jesus is to be believed, he assured his disciples "that as the prophet Jonah was THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the whale's belly, so must the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. A greater deception was never practised on the credulity of rational creatures, and yet nearly all professing Christians tacitly submit to the imposition.
We are free to confess that the world are exclusively indebted to the Episcopalians for this gross innovation in the profanation of Jehovah's seventh day sabbath, and their unjustifiable institution of the first, as well as the change of the period of time for its observance. The command of the Lawgiver runs, "from evening to evening, ye shall celebrate your Sabbath." But it is contended by many Protestants who advocate the observance of the first day, that they sanctify a seventh portion of time (to fall in we suppose with the Catholics) which they contend is all that is required by the Divine Lawgiver. [* We happen to have an answer to such a pitiful evasion as this; as man's sanctifying a day instead of Jehovah. In our travels some years since, we spent a first day at Poughkeepsie, and there found a farmer harvesting in his fields on that day. We inquired how it was that he did not sanctify the day: his answer was that he with all first-day protestants scrupulously sanctified a seventh portion of time--they did it once a week and he fifty-two days in succession in the dead of winter, as most suited his and their convenience.] Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: but in vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." We are told "that he that will do his will shall learn of his doctrine." As the Lord's Sabbath is scarcely any where observed, is it then to be wondered at that the professed Christian world is in such confusion, and that heresies so generally prevail, and will not the denunciation of the Lord Jesus fall upon all disobedient heads? "These my enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring the hither and slay them before me." Read 31st ch. Exodus, 12-18 v.
We lament exceedingly that we are unable to direct to any body of professing [21/22] sabbatarians whose consistency in doctrine and practice accord with the Word of God. All the Seventh day Baptists with which we are acquainted are, in both these particulars, defective in the extreme. The religious atmosphere we live in, seems to be a state of neither darkness nor light; but we have the promise that at even-tide it shall be light. We would prayerfully add, "hasten it Lord in thy own time! let thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth!"
"I testify unto every man that heareth the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of this book, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life."--Rev. xxii.; 18, 19. We hear from all quarters a great outcry against the machinations and influence of the Roman Catholics. Nevertheless, let it be remembered that all Protestants (not sabbatarians) dare not deny that in their partial attempt at renouncing popery, they have retained the most important of her anti-christian heresies, namely, the renouncing the Lord's Sabbath!!
The Lord Jesus informs us that the seventh day Sabbath was made for man, for Adam, consequently for all the human family, it was as necessary for, and obligatory on the antediluvians and all other nations before the giving of the law on Sinai as since. It was the only obligation laid on them. The Israelites were called upon to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;" and though under the Sinai covenant various rites and ceremonies were imposed: yet, since their demise, we know of none other but the Sabbath and Baptism and the Supper; all others being antichristian. The Apostle Paul entertained great fear for the Galatians in his day who observed days and months and times and years, lest he had bestowed upon them labour in vain. [* The writer of this was brought up an Episcopalian and lived sixty five years in the violation of the Lord's Sabbath, taking the alteration of the day for granted, and not venturing to set up his own opinion and take the Scripture his rule in opposition to (all but) the whole professing Christian world. The Apostle John when contrasting the church with the world uses these strong expressions, "Beloved, we know that we are of God because we keep his commandments, and that the whole world lieth in wickedness (or as it may be rendered) in the wicked one." But these are hard sayings, who can bear them?]
From these premises we conclude that the Bishop has in his ecstasy and haste substituted the ark of the covenant for the ark of Noah. And further, that the constitutions, rituals, and formularies, of the church to which he belongs, may be justly compared only to the latter, as it contained all manner of four-footed beasts, clean and unclean, fowls of the air, clean and unclean, with creeping things innumerable, which we shall be prepared to show. We shall not for the present go further back into the chronicles of the Established Church of England, than the time of Henry [22/23] the Eighth, who quarrelled with the Pope of Rome because he would not allow him to divorce and murder as many innocent women (his wives,) as his lascivious and abominable inclinations led him to sacrifice. All historians admit that prior to his day the whole English Church was Catholic, and subject to the authority of the Pope. He, renouncing the Pope's authority, set himself up as the Pope of England, which has existed to the present time: and since then England can boast of more popes in petticoats than mother Rome ever did, beyond comparison; for we have had a Mary, an Elizabeth, an Ann, and now a Victoria, as the head of this said Apostolic Church, all anointed with holy oil, and consecrated for the office and work by his Grace of Canterbury. The authority of the Church's head have been once and again manifested in the exercise of its power. In the time of Elizabeth, one of her bishops presumed to dictate to her majesty, who resented it with a profane oath, that if he gave her any more of his impertinence she would unfrock him. To the present day the power of appointing to the Episcopate is vested in the Church's head. We would here ask, whether the headship of this Church savours most of the contents of the ark of the covenant, or some one of the most unclean animals in the ark of Noah? As the head of the Church is the head of the State also. And as the supporters of the royal arms of England are the Lion and the Unicorn, (emblems of tyranny and fiction,) we will suppose these animals in Noah's menagerie are most suitable representations. Under the Jewish economy, the Levites composed one twelfth of the Hebrew nation; and as they had no inheritance in Israel, for they could not own any real estate by virtue of their office, they had therefore one-tenth of the increase (not of the produce,) of the land, which they also divided with the poor, the widow, and the stranger. The English Church possess about ten thousand places of public worship, allowing one minister to each, and with a population of twenty-four million would give two thousand four hundred persons to one priest, whereas, under the old economy, there was one to every eleven lay persons.
These English priests not only demand a tenth of the produce, (not the increase,) but in London, and (elsewhere we presume,) where the lands are built on, the clergy get as tithes two shillings and nine-pence in the pound sterling, on the annual value of all buildings erected within their parishes. We see they are tenacious of their tenths, and if they will ape the Levites for filthy lucre sake, why not keep to the seventh day Sabbath? Surely the magicians of Pharaoh never practised a greater imposition upon the Egyptians, than do these priests on the people of Old England. And if the High Church party here, with the Bishop of New-Jersey at its head, had only the same power, we fear these United States would stand a like chance of such a fraternal embrace.
Prior to the period of Henry's revolt, the whole of the Church property, parson's tithes, lay tithes, collegiate and Episcopal estates, were held in [23/24] trust for certain public purposes; but during the reigns of Henry, Edward, Elizabeth, and James, all the Church property was taken from the Catholics and given to Protestant ministers, and such other lay proprietors as sided with the Crown. Previous to this we are told one-third of the income of the Church went to the maintenance of the poor, one-third to the building new and repairing old places of worship, and the remaining one-third to the support of the clergy and religious houses. Since Elizabeth's time to the present, the pauper population have been turned over to the lay inhabitants to maintain, as also the building new and repairing old places of worship; and the clergy and lay proprietors engross the whole. Under the Article Tithes in Burn's Ecclesiastical Law, he tells us, That tithes were not paid at all in England till the Eighth Century, and were then given to the clergy by an act of tyrannical power and usurpation by two of our popish and superstitious kings, and in one of the instances as a commutation for murder. [* The writer of this article possessed land in Somerset, (Eng.) on a lease of lives, under the Earl of Egremont, that was not intrinsically worth ten shillings per acre per annum; but after an outlay of ten pounds per acre in manure, seed, labour, &c. it could be made to produce thirty bushels of wheat per acre. The Earl being the lay proprietor, was by law entitled to a tenth of the produce. In the year 1801, during the glorious war with France, "recording its feats of arms and fields of victory, as the Bishop has it, the current price of wheat was twenty-eight shillings per bushel; consequently the Earl's share of the tithe was three bushels, which at twenty-eight shillings per bushel, amounted to three pounds fourteen shillings.] Appended to the ark of Noah was a reptile called the horseleech; its perpetual cry was, give, give; its thirst for blood was insatiable, and will well apply to the tithe system of the present day.
As the Bishop is so profuse in his eulogies on England, and myself too "having (as the Bishop says,) gone from scene to scene of rarest beauty in this most favoured land of all the world." I am constrained to say a word or two for the first time in answer, after an absence of twenty-one years from my native land.
I was a resident (after I left my father's domicil,) for twenty years at Saint Decumans, of which the then Earl of Egremont was almost the sole proprietor. The earl was so fortunate as to have nearly or quite half a score of children, and as they grew up, he had to make further provision for their settlement, as nearly all his freehold was land of inheritance, and would necessarily go to the rightful heir. His income was said to be £80,000 per annum. He married his eldest daughter to a son of William the Fourth by Mrs. Jordan; with this daughter he gave a dowry of £100,000; and as there were many more children to be provided for, the earl set about increasing his means. It had been the usage of the Earl to lease his houses on lives, and charge his lands with the poor's rates; [24/25] but in 1812 he commenced rating the houses and taxing the trade. His real estate was rated at four per cent, and all the local visible property of his leaseholders at ten. Mortgages, and also funded property were exempted; because it would bear on the wealthy; and Chief Justice Ellenborough had decided that the public funds were not liable, because the government never meant to pay the principal! The writer of this being a merchant, was taxed one-fourth of the whole parish. He first applied personally to the Earl for redress, who would not even give him a hearing. The form of the rate was as follows:
A. B. for his lands (annual tax,) £40 per annum.
Do. trade do. £100 do.
without specifying further particulars for why or wherefore.
The Earl had put the parishioners to many hundred pounds expense in valuing the parish, but would not allow the valuation book to be seen.
The writer; by a suit at law, quashed the rate on account of its informality; but could obtain no relief on the assessment, notwithstanding its inequality. Appeals can only be made to the Court of Quarter Sessions; which consists of Justices of the Peace, composed of land proprietors and beneficed clergy. To any other court, an appellant is not allowed to go, but with a question of law made out by the court below, provided that court be not unanimous in their decision against the appellant. In the present case; the court was divided, and although we asked for a case to go to the King's Bench, the Chairman, Sir John Ackland, refused, saying the court was unanimous, which we afterwards found was not true; and we were told, in public court, when advocating our rights, that right must submit to power and authority. Since the demise of the late Earl the estates have gone into other hands, as none of that family had any legitimate issue; and I have been recently applied to by the attorney of one of the parties to whom I sold my leasehold property, to make restitution to him, on the ground that the present proprietor claimed the property, the late Earl having no legal right to the property which he had leased to me, and many others beside.
So much (as the Bishop says,) "for this favoured land of all the world."
On the demise of a bishop, the reigning king or queen sends the Dean and Chapter a commission to elect a new bishop, and a letter recommending (as it is called, but they dare not, at their peril, choose any other,) some particular person. On receiving this, the Church set apart a day of fasting and prayer, that God would direct them in the choice. They always elect the person nominated, whoever he may be, and yet in another prayer they return thanks to God for directing them in the choice of so worthy a man. And when the bishop is to be consecrated, though he has been using all his interest to procure that office, the candidate says, when collared (by the beadles,) to be taken into the [25/26] Church for consecration, three times, "nolo episcopari," "I am unwilling to be a bishop." However, his fears become alleviated when he is told that the voice of the Church was the voice of God, and he, most unwillingly willing, submits to her authority.
In the consecration, the archbishop says, "Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the imposition of our hands." And in the office of a priest, in addition, "whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven; and whose sins ye retain they are retained." Persons applying for deacons' orders, are obliged to declare that they are moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon them the office of a deacon.
Consecrating water, to sprinkle the living, is deemed popish foppery but is the consecrating of ground by the Protestant Episcopalians, to bury the dead, any less so? In the office for the visitation of the sick, the absolution reads, "Our Lord Jesus Christ hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, and by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins."
Bishop Burnett, in his visitation at Salisbury, urged the authority of St. Bernard, who being consulted by one of his followers, whether he might accept of two benefices, replied, "And how will you be able to serve them both?" "I intend," said the priest, "to officiate in one of them by a deputy." "Will your deputy be damned for you too?" cried the saint. "Believe me you may serve your cure by proxy, but you must be damned in person." [* We knew a case in point: a Mr. Exon was the Rector of Exon, a nonresident, and professionally Evangelical, but to hire an Evangelical minister would have been to him a heavy expense. He chose to employ a carnal worthless son of Aaron, who served two or three other parishes, and gave him twenty pounds per annum. And also gave an Evangelical Baptist minister two guineas per annum to preach in his parish once in four weeks. The Baptist minister's name was Joseph Williams. David Simpson, in his Plea for Religion, p. 191, says, "we have observed that all the bulk of Church preferment is engrossed by about 1,000 out of 18,000 ministers."]
The reigning king or queen of England has not only the power of appointing her Church Ministers, but of instructing, suspending, or deposing them. Queen Elizabeth prohibited all preaching for a time: she composed a prayer for the use of the army; she might (if she had been pleased,) have done the same thing for her clergy. In Queen Anne's reign, the Clergy were much incensed against a book published by Mr. Whiston, concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. The Bishops and Clergy met in convocation and addressed the queen, pronouncing it damnable heresies, and cautioning all Christians against giving ear to it. Her majesty could not see with the Clergy, and refused their prayer; so her single opinion turned the scale against all the Bishops and Clergy (the successors of the [26/27] Apostles, and they themselves the ambassadors of Christ!) From the reigning sovereign emanates all ecclesiastical, as well as civil authority. The sovereign may make additional Bishops, as did Henry the 8th.; he may dissolve a bishopric, as did Edward 6th that of Durham; can keep the sees vacant as long as he or she pleases, and depose them, as did Elizabeth fourteen at once, and William seven. That this system is antichristian cannot for a moment be doubted. Paul states that the women in his day, took upon them undue authority, which he solemnly forbids. "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in subjection. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived; but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression."--1 Tim. 2 chap. 11-14. During Archbishop Laud's primacy, we are told that "lighted candles were put upon the altar; copes were bought of mass-priests, with crucifixes and images of the Trinity painted on them, consecrated knives to cut the sacramental bread, cannisters for wafers, lined with cambric lace, and images of the Virgin Mary erected, undoubtedly intended to enliven the beauties of Holiness in the Church." That he himself had the impudence to declare that he hoped to see the time when no "Jack Gentleman" in the kingdom, should be suffered to wear his hat before the meanest priest.
We think we have fairly shown that the Bishop ought to have compared the Established Church of England to the ark of Noah, instead of the hallowed Ark of the Covenant; and so far from its being a blessing to the people of England, it has been, and is to this hour, its greatest curse. [* The great Lord Chatham (the strenuous advocate of the rights of the American Colonies) once truly said in Parliament, "We have a Popish liturgy, a Calvanistic creed, and an Arminian clergy." We are free to admit that the American Episcopalians have no Tithes or Canon Law, or Spiritual Courts, and have in their Common Prayer expunged many absurdities, which the Church of England still retains, and of which we perceive the Bishop is exceedingly tenacious and deplores the loss. However enough is left of the family feature to evidence her relationship to the same Mother of Harlots.]
Page 25. "As I have gone from scene to scene of highest interest and rarest beauty in this most favoured land of all the world, contemplated its arts, its industry, its wealth; enjoyed its comforts and refinements; and shared, with a full heart, the peace and happiness of its dear Christian homes ;" &c. We happen to be acquainted with a person from Leeds who was there at the time of the consecration. He informs us that there was a line of carriages that extended from the church for upwards of a mile in length. That no one was permitted admittance for less than seven shillings sterling, others half a guinea. That Dr. Hook the incumbent received, in lieu of Easter offerings, £1400 per annum, and that his office besides brought him upwards of £10,000 more; so that amidst so [27/28] much wealth and grandeur, no doubt the Bishop was in ecstacies, and we suppose he felt no inclination to make further inquiry into the state of things elsewhere. But our informant says that great distress prevailed at Leeds at this time, whose population is upwards of 80,000; that they had deemed it expedient just then to take a census of the labouring classes, and that there were found 10,000 able bodied men out of employ; 10,000 more earning four-pence halfpenny per day, and 20,000 more earning ten-pence halfpenny per day. Married men out of employ were permitted, as a favour, to break four tons of stone per week, at 8d per ton, and no more; and single men only three tons per week, at 8d per ton--all to pass through a small ring for macadamized roads. This work was going on within a mile of the consecration. The poors' rates were two shilling and eight-pence in the pound sterling, and paid by the occupants.
The following is an extract from the Mona's Herald, and descriptive of the distress prevailing about the same period in another part of Britain, the Isle of Man:
DISTRESS IN THE ISLE OF MAN--In our immediate locality, though hitherto not subject to much public remark, distress, deep and widespread distress, exists, and that too, we regret to say, amongst a class hitherto occupying a respectable station in society. As a direct issue of the recent mismanagement of our circulating medium, and in a great measure in consequence of the ruin which that mismanagement so extensively entailed, we have at the present time absolutely no trade; artisans of every description, joiners, masons, painters, and those belonging to nearly every other occupation, have been many weeks out of employment; the result we need not repeat. It is far from being the pauper population alone who are now in a state of misery and destitution; we have the names of scores of individuals, the heads of helpless families, who, if they could find work, could easily earn from 12s. to 20s. per week, in absolute starvation, willing, indeed, to work, but "ashamed to beg." As an illustration, we may here record the fact, that one day last week, the wife of a respectable artizan went to a brewery in this town and purchased two penny worth of the grains usually sold for the purpose of feeding cattle and pigs, secretly creeping away without paying that trifling sum. The person in charge of the brewery desired one of the workmen to run after Mrs. __, and say, "she had forgot to pay for the grains." The man followed, and overtook her when she had reached home. Having entered the house, to his astonishment he there beheld the poor woman, with her husband and four children, eagerly devouring the grains--not having tasted food for four days! And we are daily informed of labourers and tradesmen similarly circumstanced--themselves actually in a state of physical exhaustion for want of food, and the cries of their helpless children for bread continually piercing their hearts.
Page 25-26. "As I have recounted its feats of arms and fields of victory; as I have followed through every ocean and through every sea its cross emblazoned flag;" &c. Of all men professing discipleship of the meek and lowly Jesus, such language as this exceeds anything we have before met with. Will the Bishop please to inform us in what war the British [28/29] Government has been engaged that was justifiable? "Its cross emblazoned flag," (not quite so conspicuous as the crucifix stuck upon the top of the Bishop's palace at Burlington, N.J.) waved in vain to subdue her American rebel colonies--because they would not submit to taxation without representation--but the expenditure of so much blood and treasure was of no moment to her. Again will the Bishop justify the long and calamitous war of Great Britain against France, because she thought fit to alter her form of government! It is said in the History of George the Third, that during his reign, six months never elapsed but that some preparation for war was made, and that during that period a debt of nearly 560 millions of pounds sterling was created, and millions of the human family sacrificed!!! And what is she now doing in China, and British India but adding iniquity to iniquity, and transgression to sin, and yet the Bishop has the hardihood to say the glorious Episcopal Church of England takes all the merit to herself in affecting these infernal exploits.
Page 26. "Here in the very days of the apostles," &c. We are not aware that there is any authority for believing that any of the twelve apostles were ever in Britain. There is a popish legend believed by many (perhaps by the Bishop himself.) In the county of Somerset, within sight of the place of our nativity, is a hill of some eminence, called "Weary all," which takes its name from the circumstance of Joseph of Aramathea, after landing in England with his associates, having come to a stand at this spot, and thrust his staff into the ground, and said, "we are weary all!" that the staff grew, and further, that it has not failed to blossom on Christmas Day ever since! It is called the Holy Thorn, and is now to be found in that neighbourhood, which is called Glastonbury, where an exceedingly large abbey once existed, the ruins of which are yet standing. It was demolished by Henry the VIII. and its immense property called the "Twelve Hides" confiscated.
Page 26. "Here Kings have been the nursing Fathers, and Queens the nursing mothers of the Church." And so have the papas and mamas of Rome, but they were dry nurses only as we have heretofore shown; "and here the STATE WITH TRUEST WISDOM HAS ALLIED ITSELF TO HER! and in the shelter of her shadow sought for favour and protection, on itself, and on the people of its care." From what has been said in the former part of this discourse, we are quite prepared to meet with the Bishop's views, as here stated on the subject of the union of Church and State, notwithstanding we pronounce it most unscriptural, unauthorized, and unjust. We do not learn from history, sacred or profane, that for the three first centuries there was any union of Church and State in Christendom, nor until the time of Constantine. The advocates of the union, it is presumed, based their authority on the example of the church of the Israelites, and infer from this, that if Jehovah instituted that church and incorporated it with the state, (as was the case) it is [29/30] sufficient authority for them to do the same under the Christian dispensation--forgetting the two are vastly and essentially different. The Jewish Church was a theocracy, Jehovah himself being their Sovereign, and by his personal presence ruling in their midst; besides, on every emergency of importance, the Deity was consulted by Urim and Thummim. Their religious and civil rights were so blended as not to be separated. Very different is the Church of Christ--"My kingdom is not of this world;" his is not of a secular nature, neither propagated nor defended by an arm of flesh. "Those who take the sword shall perish by the sword." The Lord Jesus when on earth refused to act judicially in any case; witness the woman taken in adultery, in the very act;--"Render to Cesar" &c. Who made me a judge or a divider over you?"
Page 27, 28. "The strength of England is in Christian hearts. The sunlight of its splendour is the radiance which is reflected from its Christian spires. The anchors which have moored your island, and preserved it immovable, are the deep roots of old cathedrals." We would here ask the modest Bishop if it were not the Catholics that did all this? and for which they have the Bishop's thanks in page 27, "Here, when the force and fraud of fallen and corrupted Rome had piled its mountain mass of worldliness and pride, true hearts took strength from God, to heave it from its tottering centre." From all such inconsistency and such bare-faced ingratitude we would prayerfully add--"Good Lord deliver us." What did his righteous Holy Church of England do under the feigned name of protestantism? She plundered the Catholic Church of all its splendour, the radiance of its Christian spires, turned her ministers adrift for nonconformity, possessed herself of all its seminaries of learning, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; demolished its monasteries and convents, its houses of hospitality, the home and shelter of the widow, the sick, the fatherless, and the stranger, these their labour and work of a dozen centuries; and now turns all its possessors who will not succumb to her authority adrift upon a wide and homeless world. And then, again, turns round like the most heartless buccanier and calls her all the hardest and most cruel names she can find language to express.
But yet remember this precious Protestant Episcopal Church after she has stripped the Catholics of all their possessions, still retain the very dregs of popery. She holds to the most odious part of her anti-christian and damnable heresy (viz.) in the abrogation of Jehovah's seventh day Sabbath, and her vile and impious institution of the first; and to gloss it over, calls it, without the least authority, the Lord's Day, in which, on that day, agreeably to King Charles' Book of Sports, (which is commanded to be read in the churches;) May games and other recreations are now tolerated and encouraged. When will other more enlightened Protestants cease, in this particular, to follow in her unholy course--"the end of which is death?" The case of a murderer, a thief, or an [30/31] adulterer, will be, in the eye of the law, less criminal than that of the Sabbath breaker, for those are breakers of the precepts of the second table, but the Sabbath breaker of the first.
Page 30. "This solemn scene--the holy temple, the mighty congregation, the company of white-robed priests," &c., (the attending clergy were all in surplices.) This is in perfect uniformity with idolatrous pagan temples and their white-robed priests, from whom, we doubt not, they have their origin! In conclusion, we add the words of an English poet, who was even a bigot of the Established Church, and who has expressed himself on those subjects as follows:--
"Inventions added in an evil hour,
Human appendages of pomp and power,
Whatever shines in outward grandeur great,
I give it up--a creature of the state.
Wide of the Church, as hell from heaven is wide,
The blaze of riches, and the glare of pride,
The vain desire to be entitled Lord,
The worldly kingdom, and the princely sword
But should the bold usurping spirit dare
Still higher climb, and sit in Moses' chair,
Pow'r o'er my faith and conscience to maintain,
Shall I submit, and suffer it to reign?
Call it the church, and darkness put for light,
Falsehood with truth confound, and wrong with right?
No: I dispute the evil's haughty claim,
The spirit of the world be still its name,
Whatever call'd by man, 'tis purely evil,
'Tis Babel, anti-Christ, and Pope, and Devil."