This Pastoral Letter of Bishop Potter came none too soon. It has been manifest for some time, that Ecclesiastical matters were approaching a crisis in New York city and its immediate vicinity, and that an issue of some sort was about to be made; though in what form it would present itself, of course, no body could tell. The only question, now, concerning this Pastoral, is, whether it will answer the end for which its amiable and peace-loving author designed it. We confess to some doubt on this point. Positive treatment, vigorously applied, is sometimes the mildest, most judicious, and only effective method, in dealing with physical diseases; it has seemed to us that there was a degree of virulence manifested in the spiritual distempers of our time, which would be much more likely to feed and grow on gentle remedies, than be subdued by them. We may be mistaken.
The Church in New York city has always been strong enough to be secure against open assaults. Churchmen in New England were persecuted, fined, and imprisoned, simply because they were Churchmen; and the vilest placards were once posted in Boston to stir up the mob in resistance to the landing of a Bishop at that home of "Freedom of Conscience!" Here, in New York, the hatred of the Church has been bitter enough; but it has vented itself in milder and more harmless ways. It has usually been content with snubbing such men as Bishop Wainwright when it could get them into one of its "Fore-fathers" Meetings; or, with publishing and puffing such stupid octavos as Mr. Shimeall's "End of Prelacy." It is, however, a little [3/4] amusing, that the same sort of men who set Mr. Shimeall to write his ridiculous book,--a book filled with the most scurrilous charges and historical misstatements, and then gave to that book their public written endorsement, and who seemed then to pour out their fiercest rage against "Evangelical Low Churchmen," charging them with being men guilty of "deception and fraud," "confederates of Rome," plotting in the dark in their "concealment of the Romanistic virus,"--we say it is not a little remarkable that this same class of men are seen, at the present time playing a different sort of game. They come now cooing and billing around "Low Churchmen" as men who really may, perhaps, after all, have a little vital piety in them. But they have not lost a single particle of their bitter hate of Episcopacy; or of their own intolerance of any belief different from their own. Thus the Rev. Dr. Vermilye, a Dutch Reformed Minister, at a public meeting of the "Christian Union Society," called, it was publicly said, to discuss Bishop Potter's Pastoral Letter,--a meeting opened with prayer by the Rev Dr. Muhlenberg!--stigmatized that Pastoral with every opprobrious epithet which his imagination could conceive, or his tongue utter; as "a tail to the Pope's kite;" as "anti-Christian," &c, and wound up his diatribes of fury by declaring, "we must put it where it belongs, under the heel!" And this is what these fraternizing men mean by Christian Union! This is the sweet concord to which we are so affectionately invited.
Why these haters of Episcopacy have chosen the present as the time for their fresh onslaught upon the Church, is, of course, a mere matter of opinion. We confess we believe it to be the very same reason which summoned the late Unitarian Convention together in this city, the sessions of which proved the scene of such ribald, blasphemy. The members of that Convention thought they saw something in the temper of our times rendering this a good opportunity to renew the war on Creeds and positive Christian Institutions, &c, and so to substitute a mere system of Humanitarianism for the Religion of the Cross of Christ. But whatever the special incentives may have been, if any, for this renewed attack upon the Church, yet certain it is that repeated and systematic measures have been taken to [4/5] commit our clergy, as many of them as possible, to a wide-sweeping radicalism, which should practically revolutionize the Church, and effectually overthrow the principles on which she is based.
And now we come to the most mortifying part of this history of details. A few of our clergy, holding prominent positions, have yielded to this outside management. A "Christian Union Society" has been formed; of this Society they have become members; they have attended its meetings; taken part in its discussions; and occasionally have avowed sentiments which, if reduced to practice, would of necessity do one of two things; they would either revolutionize the practical workings of the Church, as established in this city and Diocese, or they would produce an open rupture and separation between these gentlemen and the Church, of which they are ordained Ministers. There are not wanting indications that both these alternatives have been distinctly contemplated. This "Christian Union Society " held a meeting in the "Reformed Dutch Church," on Washington Square, on the evening of April 6th. The New York Observer of April 13th gives the following account of its proceedings:--
"Three ministers of three different denominations spoke from Dr. Hutton's pulpit in the Reformed Dutch Church, on Washington Square, last Thursday evening. One of them was an Episcopalian, one a Baptist, and the third a Lutheran. The meeting was called to discuss the question of Christian Union. The Rev. John Cotton Smith, Rector of the Church of the Ascension reviewed the standards and practice of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in this country, declaring with great emphasis, explicitness and power that there is nothing in the theory, in the foundation or the rules of his Church to forbid the interchange of pulpits and the recognition of the validity of the Ordination of non-Episcopal Ministers. For himself, he believed his Ordination to be essential to the well-being though not to the being of a Church, but he regarded Presbyterian Ordination as perfectly valid. Indeed he said that Episcopal Ordination was by laying on of "the hands of the Presbytery."
The movement, of course, did not, and could not, stop here. Such revolutions go not backwards, but forward, and that rapidly. In the Sunday morning newspapers of Easter Sunday, April 16th, the following notice appeared:--
"There will be a special Service this evening in the Church of the Ascension, corner of 5th Avenue and Tenth Street. The Rev. Dr. [5/6] Muhlenberg will officiate, and the Rev. Dr. William Adams will preach. Service to commence at 7 1/2 o'clock."
This Rev. Dr. Adams is a New School Presbyterian, of New England Congregational origin and education, and holds, we suppose, the Congregational theory of the Ministry, Church and Sacraments, which prevails mostly among the New School Presbyterians. The Rev. Dr. John Cotton Smith, Rector of the Ascension, in giving public notice of this service, to his people on Easter Sunday, is reported to have done so in language which indicated, on his part, both determination and defiance of opposition, let the opposition come from whatever source it might. How this service was looked upon by outsiders may be seen in the following quotation, which The Moravian (newspaper) gives from the New York Observer:--
"After Sermon, the Rector, Dr. Smith, stated that the service was designed as a testimony to the grand doctrine of the essential Unity of all those who held to Christ as the Head, who was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification. A collection was then taken up to aid St. Luke's Hospital, a fitting and beautiful exemplification of the spirit of the occasion. We record this event as one of more than local interest. It is a public, prominent and emphatic declaration that the barrier to ministerial intercourse between Episcopal and non-Episcopal pastors is one of feeling only, and that there is nothing in the rules or theory of the Church, to prevent any Clergyman here from doing as they have done many a time and oft in England."
We shall not stop now to notice at length Dr. John Cotton Smith's argument for Presbyterian Orders, drawn from "the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery." (I. Tim. iv. 14.) Any tyro in Greek will tell him, what the learned Presbyterian, Grotius, confesses, "I do not dare to bring, in confirmation of this, that expression of Paul's," &c., &c., because "presbyterium signifies not an assembly, but the office to which Timothy was promoted." Neither do we here discuss at length this question of "interchange of pulpits," on the low ground of mere expediency. There are in this country some fifty or more distinct Religious Sects, a list of which is before us. If the Church is to recognize the Ministry of this heterogeneous mass of Sectarianism at all, by what rule is the line of demarcation and exclusion to be drawn; and who is to draw that line? If the Rev. Dr. John Cotton Smith, may invite the New School [6/7] Presbyterian, Dr. Adams, into his pulpit; so also the Rev. Dr. ____ may invite into his pulpit the Rev. Dr. Osgood, the Unitarian, or the Rev. Dr. Chapin, the Universalist, or the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the Congregationalist, or the Rev. Dr. Weston, the Baptist; and, in this progress of breaking down the old bulwarks of the Church, our congregations will, assuredly, and at no distant day, be invited to a savory dish of the very newest kind of Christianity, as their Sunday morning's entertainment. The question is one, not merely of Orders, but of Doctrine, of Faith. The Church, we are quite sure, is not yet ready for an experiment of this sort, nor is she willing to be exposed to the probabilities of its occurrence.
Besides the instances of irregularity noted above, other Clergy of the Church have lately been in the habit of publicly fraternizing with Sectarian preachers; preaching in their pulpits, and admitting them to their own; and flaunting all this in the face of the public by advertisements, editorial notices, &c. The New York Independent thus describes one of these scenes. The Dr. Budington alluded to, is a Pelagian of the Taylorite School, and, doctrinally, thoroughly opposed to the whole teaching of the Church; while, ecclesiastically, he belongs to the most radical Sect among modern Sectarians;--
"The Union Service in Brooklyn, last Sabbath evening, where the unusual if not wholly unprecedented arrangement took place, of a Congregational Clergyman preaching and conducting the Service in an Episcopal Church, was an occasion of much interest. Dr. Canfield very cordially invited Dr. Budington to take the entire Service into his own charge. Dr. Budington accepted it in the same spirit, and said, that if he were to preach in the Church of the Pilgrims, he should expect the pastor, if present, to conduct the opening exercises up to the hymn before sermon, and he should prefer to take precisely the course in Christ Church. This was done. Dr. Canfield read the prayers of his Church, then Dr. Budington ascended the pulpit, gave out a hymn, preached from John xvii. 20, 21, prayed as usual, gave out the closing hymn, and pronounced the Benediction. The large audience was profoundly attentive, and several Episcopal Clergymen present, expressed their unfeigned satisfaction in the whole exercise. We understand that one of the most distinguished of the Clergy in Brooklyn says, that Dr. Canfield had a perfect right thus to open his Church, if he thought proper, and that there is no Canon of the Episcopal Church against it. So this vast humbug of exclusiveness, on being boldly approached, vanished into thin air. Dr. Budington, in his discourse, cited both Bishop Burnet and Hallam, the historian, to [7/8] prove that the Church of England, in its early days, fully recognized the Ordination of the Reformed Churches on the continent, and of the Church of Scotland. And he quoted from Lord Bacon a strong expression of regret, that in his day, one man was found at Oxford who openly denied the Validity of such Ordinations."
We have not yet reached the worst phase of this exhibition of disorder. While sober-minded Churchmen in New York were querying whereunto all this would grow, and what was their own duty, Bishop McIlvaine, of Ohio, appears upon the stage. One of the three oldest of all our Bishops, he, too, fraternizes publicly with this same Dr. Vermilye, whose poisoned venom has since been poured out upon the Pastoral of Bishop Potter, as "Antichristian;" and after partaking in a most humiliating discussion on Church Unity, the Bishop receives an official "Benediction" from the Presbyterian Dr. Ferris. In these days of "Secession and Rebellion," is this "Loyalty?" Is it for him, an appointed leader of a distinct portion of the army of the Church Militant, to obtrude within the ranks of his Rt. Rev. Brother of New York, and give countenance, openly and publicly, to a man who virtually denounces his Brother Bishop as Anti-Christ! and who threatens utter extermination of the Bishop's principles? Is not this sowing the seeds of "sedition?" Is it honest? Is it Christian? Is it doing as he would be done by? Is it not a flagrant violation of Law and Order? Or, are such things grievous and insufferable wrongs, only within the domain of the State, and not of the Church? If a Presbyter is prohibited by Canon from trampling upon the rights of a brother Presbyter, must we have a Canon to keep even a Bishop from setting such examples of intermeddling and disorder?
Look at the matter in another light. Is the Church in New York in such a deplorable condition, that it needs the introduction of the policy of the Diocese of Ohio? Must we, indeed, learn lessons of Church growth and progress from such a source? The Church in that Diocese, through the wonderful foresight and untiring efforts of its first Bishop, has its College, Theological Seminary, and training Schools, such as no other Western Diocese can boast. The State of Ohio, in 1860, had a population of almost two millions; and in agricultural [8/9] wealth, and in the actual cash value of such productions, is the richest State in the Union. It is dotted all over with a multitude of flourishing towns and cities, and has offered, for the last twenty-five years, one of the neediest and noblest fields in the world for Church extension. An organic Christianity, of some sort, will be established there, and at no distant day. Will it be Romanism? Will it be that Church for which Bishop McIlvaine is specially responsible, and of which he is the appointed head and leader? As a matter of fact, has the Church there kept pace at all with the wonderful growth of the population? We have some statistics before us, which look, in the highest degree, mortifying and alarming. Will the Bishop give us the true meaning of these tables of comparative Church growth?
As one illustration of the condition of the Church in Ohio, there are in that State eighty-eight Counties. Of these, a considerable number have only one feeble Parish each; while there are forty-three Counties, containing six hundred and eighty-seven towns, in which there is not a single Parish of the Church!
The City of Cincinnati, the Bishop's own residence, has a population of over one hundred and sixty thousand. Will he tell us why it is that the history of the Church there is almost a record of disaster, and is so known the country over? Had the Church flourished there, as it has in New Haven, Conn., under the very shadow of Yale College, there would be in Cincinnati, today, thirty-two parishes, instead of four. Will the Bishop give the true reason for this singular contrast? While the Bishop is intruding into Dioceses other than his own, disseminating sentiments and encouraging a policy utterly hostile to those which the Bishop there in charge holds sacred, detecting "Puseyism" and false doctrine in another Bishop's Diocese, Romanism, rank and deadly, is quietly taking possession of the strong places at his own door. The Romanists have thirty-three Churches and Chapels in Cincinnati alone; and their list of Ecclesiastical Institutions there, shows that they thoroughly understand the work before them, and are doing it effectually.
 To Bishop McIlvaine himself, we say,--with all due respect for the high and holy Office which he bears, and for his character and talents,--the Church of which you are a Bishop, however much or little she may hold in common with the swarming Sects of Christendom, yet she was planted, originally, and was subsequently reformed, on a basis radically distinct from that on which these Sects sprang into being. And we assure the Bishop of Ohio, in all earnestness, that if the Church which has clothed him with such solemn duties and responsibilities, is not only to supplant Romanism in this country, but save the country itself from the reign of that Infidelity which is following in the wake of Sectism in New England, and everywhere, she is to do it, not by identifying herself with the almost countless Sects, of modern origin; but, by boldly avowing and clinging to her birth-right, as a true Branch of the Primitive Catholic Church of Christ, and by proving her faith by her works.
As a specimen of the wants of the Church in Ohio, and of her method of meeting them, we give the following. At a late Meeting of Convocation in Ohio, the Missionary "made a detailed statement of his visit, under the appointment of the Missionary Committee of the Diocese, to several of the North Western Counties, which were entirely destitute of the services of the Episcopal Church. In nearly every place visited, he had found the fields ripe for our entrance, and in several county seats of adjacent counties, there was an earnest expression of desire for our ministry." Will the Bishop tell us why such calls as these are not promptly met?
Bishop McIlvaine's Diocesan organ, The Western Episcopalian, has answered these questions. In its issue of June 1st, 1865, after maintaining that,--
"Every barrier, every mark, every test, which serves to perpetuate the present exclusive principle and condition of the Church of the Redeemed, should be at once and entirely removed, and an inclusive principle and condition substituted,"--it goes on to say; "We think that Dr. Vermilye, at a recent meeting of the Christian Union Association in N. Y., hit the nail very squarely on the head when he said, that the only barrier in the way of Union was, the exclusiveness of particular denominations. * * * * Then there were his Episcopal brethren, many of whom were very dear to him; he did not object [10/11] to a word in the XXXIX Articles, and their Liturgy was one that was full of the purest spirit of devotion. But they, too, were so exclusive, and placed so much stress on one point, that they would not acknowledge the validity of the ministry and ordinances of the other evangelical denominations."
The paper thus concludes--
"As Episcopalians, then, let us cast away that fatal "non possumus," which rises, like an insurmountable precipice, across the path of our advance, and, in bare justice to the spirit and to the express principles of our Scriptural Church, let us, with loving satisfaction, remove out of the way, so far as in us lies, the artificial, the useless, the mischievous test, which--we verily believe, contrary to the distinct meaning and purpose, and the express practice of the founders of our Church--now stands as a wall of division against brethren who own the common Lord, confess the common faith, and live the holy life of the ransomed Sons of God."
Here is the secret, and the whole secret of the mortifying history and condition of the Church in Ohio. No Church, in which there is not enough of the esprit de corps to labor heart and soul for its extension, can ever prosper. Even the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Romanists, do not do things in this way. Nor is this all. Indifference as to one's individual belief, will soon degenerate into indifference as to all belief. If a man does not yield the homage and loyalty of his heart to what he has solemnly, before God, professed to hold, how shall he yield that homage to what somebody else professes to believe and to hold? How extensively such extreme radicalism as this prevails in Ohio, or elsewhere, we know not; but there is not in it enough of life and power to make aught else than a mere cypher, him who entertains it.
* We commend to the Western Episcopalian the following, from the pen of Bishop McIlvaine, and also the whole Sermon in which the argument is given with great clearness and force. It was his Sermon at the Consecration of the late Bishop Polk, and was re-published entire in Am. Quar. Church Review, Vol. viii. No. 3.
"The beginning of every institution of God must of necessity be extraordinary; its regular continuance, ordinary. So with the course of Providence in all its branches. What is now an ordinary Providence, was once an extraordinary. What began with miracle, is continued by laws of familiar nature. And so it is with the Ministry of the Gospel. What was created by the direct ordination of God, is propagated and continued by the authorized ordination of men. Its seed is in itself, after its kind, and at every step of the succession, it is precisely the same Ministry, and just as much of God, sanctioned by his authority and sustained by his power, as if it had been received from the laying of the hands of Christ himself. And so with the Office of the Apostles. It was the promise of Christ, the Lord, that it should continue to the end of the world. It is not more sure that sun and moon, seed time and harvest, will continue to the end of the world; and though its succession be now in the hands of very feeble and fallible men; of men unspeakably inferior to the Apostles in every personal and official qualification; yea, though many Iscariots be found under its awful responsibilities, the integrity of the office, as essentially identical with that of the Apostles, is in no wise affected."
The Church [11/12] will die out, as a matter of course, always, and everywhere, under such an inefficient system of propagandism; and so will every other institution whose leaders are equally faithless to its principles.
This extreme of radicalism in the Church is something new. Low-Churchmen, so-called, of the type of Bishop Griswold, for example, differed from their brethren on many points; but none of these were vital, or touched the Orders, or Constitution of the Church; and in their public ministrations they were faithful, as honest men, to their Ordination vows. No stronger argument for the Three-fold Ministry and the Apostolic Succession, has ever been given, than Bishop Griswold presented in his Sermon on the Apostolic Office. What it is that has precipitated upon the Church in our times such reckless trifling with the most solemn obligations, and the most fundamental principles, is a serious question. The leaders of the Sects explain the matter by saying, that "a few of the more spiritually-minded of the Episcopal Clergy, have broken the fetters of bigotry and exclusiveness, and sought fellowship with the truer types of piety which they see outside of their own system."
Now, aside from the Sectarian shading of this picture, there is really a principle involved in it, more important, and likely to lead to more serious practical results, than is generally apprehended. The distinction between the Church and the Sects, is not one, merely, of Doctrine.. It is not one, merely, of Order. It involves the whole question, What is Christianity? And is the Visible Church, Christ's Mystical Body, with its divinely appointed Ministry and its Sacramental Means of Grace, a part of the System of Christianity? The [12/13] question, of course, involves also the Law of the Christian Life, its culture and growth. The Church and the Sects differ, and they are differing more and more widely, on all these points. Let the question of the Order, Ministry, Sacraments, and Constitution of the Church continue to sink into comparative non-importance, as among the non-essentials of Christianity, with any considerable number of our Clergy, as it has with a few individuals; let them be allowed to trifle with their own solemn vows and obligations, and such men will, on occasion, go where they really belong, and where their conceptions, affinities and sympathies have already placed them.
There is a difference, also, not only in the two Systems, but in the types of the religious life, as developed in the Church and in the Sects; and that difference is sharply defined. The popular religion of our times is self-assertive, boastful, vituperative, irreverent and shallow. Aiming to be intensely practical, it has become empirical; a thing of expedients. Having lost its connection with, and its hold on, those supernatural verities and conditions on which its vitality depends, and which distinguish Christianity from mere Humanitarianism, it has lost its power. It can, with its ceaseless clangor, change the outward form of Social and Moral Evils, and so, boast of conquests, and win the temporary, noisy applause of the unthinking. Yet it only lops off the branches; it does not, and cannot, reach and exterminate the roots. These strike deeper, and re-appear, sooner or later, with renewed strength and vigor. We have no room here to illustrate what we mean. But, as to Social Evils, look at the French Revolution; its causes, its methods, and its results. In Religion, compare the most popular religious treatises of the day, with the exegetical, didactical, and devotional writings of a past age, or with the better works of our own; compare Dwight, with John Scott; or Barnes, with Burgon; or the Abbots, with Thomas a Kempis; or Henry Ward Beecher and Spurgeon, with Jeremy Taylor; and the distinction to which we have alluded is palpable. The depth and the humility, the fervor and the gentleness, the symmetry, and the power of the Christian Life, which glow with such heavenly beauty in the one class of works, are not a [13/14] thing of accident; they are the legitimate result of fundamental, clearly-defined principles. And we do, in all this, undoubtedly find a remote cause of the irregularities which we are noticing.
If we look for the more immediate causes of this new outbreak of radicalism, they will be found to be many and varied. Perhaps it is, that access to the most holy Offices of the Church has been thrown open so unguardedly, that men are hurried into her Ministries, who have not the slightest sympathy with her spirit and principles. Coelum non animum, mutant. True Churchmanship is of slow growth. Perhaps it is, that there is a growing influence of Doctrine among us, thoroughly unChurchly, Calvinistic, narrow, irreconcilable with, and hostile to, the Faith as taught in our Primitive Creeds, Liturgy, and Sacramental Offices. The text-books of some of our Theological Seminaries, indicate such a source of our troubles. A High Calvinist, with his metaphysical theory of "invisibles," can never feel quite at home in our System, nor work that System efficiently. Perhaps, the evil springs from disappointed ambition; or from a spirit of ceaseless unrest; or, from a Puritanical, ungovernable self-will; or, from a perpetual tendency to one or the other of two wide extremes; or, from a want of faith in divinely appointed instrumentalities; or, from weariness in simply, unostentatiously, doing one's duty in that state of life into which it hath pleased God to cast him, and a determination to make a noise in the world, of some sort. Whether it be any, or all, or none of these, which has led to such gross disorder, and violation of the vows of Ordination, yet it is most certain that some at least of its consequences and palpable results, will be a thing of absolute certainty.
The Churchmen of New York have been growing exceedingly uneasy under this new aspect of affairs. Private letters of entreaty and remonstrance have been written. Ways have been suggested in which zeal in behalf of the cause of Christ and the souls of men might expend itself, if this were really the great object of solicitude. In return, they have only been taunted for their forbearance. The language with which they [14/15] have been met, practically, if not openly, has been, "we are grossly violating the laws of the Church; and we know it as well as you; arraign us, present us, discipline us, if you dare." This question of the Christian Ministry is, with the great majority of the Clergy and Laity of the Church, not a matter of mere opinion. It is with them a subject of conscience,--of most solemn duty. Not a few of them have sacrificed almost everything but life, and some things dearer than life, in tearing themselves away from early associations and cherished friendships, that they might seek that Ministry which Christ Himself appointed, and which He promised to be with, until the end of the world. They are as certain, as they are of their own existence, that the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States has that Ministry. They are equally certain that the Sects, whose name is legion, have not that Ministry. They are ready to meet that question, anywhere and everywhere. All that they ask, is, honest investigation. Believing, furthermore, as they religiously do, that Apostolic Order and Apostolic Truth are bound inseparably together, they will never consent to see that sacred Deposit, the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments, and the Priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices, trampled under foot. They will defend the heavenly treasure at every cost; not factiously, not unkindly, but they will do it, and they will do it thoroughly. We tell our erring brethren in the Ministry, towards whom, personally, we have no feeling but that of kindness and good-will, that if they will persist in trampling under foot what the Church holds to be the Ministry of Christ, that then "offences must come;" and "woe to that man by whom the offence cometh." The precious, priceless gift, which Seabury gained and gave to the New World, shall be preserved, untarnished. Of this there is not a shadow of a doubt. If these men wish, and are determined to test this question, they will, beyond a peradventure, have an opportunity.
It was some relief, perhaps we ought say it was an entire relief, when the Pastoral Letter of the Right Reverend Bishop Horatio Potter was issued. No public document lately given to the world was received and devoured with more avidity. [15/16] So intense was the public interest, that the Secular press published it entire. The Sectarian Religious Newspapers fairly raved. Shrewd pens, in those papers, at once began to ply their vocation; and the spirit which was evinced, showed how high their hopes of trampling upon the Church had been raised. Hate, bitter hate of the distinctive principles of the Church, and disappointment that their game was exposed, were most apparent. Appeals were made to our erring brethren of almost every kind, except to their loyalty and their duty to their own solemn vows; and those insidious arts which such men know how to use, are not left untried, even up to the time at which we write.
As this Pastoral has been published freely, and read almost universally, we shall not re-produce it here; we only ask our readers to preserve it, as one of the most important publications of the times. It is kind, and manly, and paternal in its tone. It is such counsel as a faithful Bishop, in virtue of the responsibility inhering in his Office, might be expected to give to his flock; and there are not wanting, in the Pastoral, intimations that mercy to individuals may be cruelty to the Church at large, and that, if need be, its author will not shrink from effectually vindicating Law, and Order, and Justice. We confess, that we breathed freer after reading the Pastoral; and could not but thank God for a Bishop who, we believe, is ready to stand where Athanasius stood, alone, for the cause of Christ and His Church. But he is in no such peril; the Clergy and Laity are with him, heart and hand; and will uphold him only the more earnestly, amidst the disorders and insubordination of the times in which we live.
Let it suffice here to say, that "this interchange of pulpits," and this repeated union of Episcopal and non-Episcopal ministers in Public Worship, has been universally regarded as an official recognition of non-Episcopal Orders, on the part of these Episcopal Clergy concerned. Some of these have publicly avowed their belief in the validity of such Orders; and they are understood as designing to express this belief, in their late official public conduct. Such conduct, of course, brings such persons, fairly and necessarily, within the language of [16/17] the Rubrics and Canons of the Church on this point, which were framed expressly to meet just such cases as this. To avoid such an issue, was the point and the only point involved and aimed at, as we believe, by the Bishop, in his Pastoral Letter. It is not Prayer Meetings, nor a full Liturgical Service in school-houses and out-of-the-way places, nor "Mixed Societies." It is not a question of two Schools of Theology in the Church. It is simply the question of the open violation of the Law of the Church. That Law does, unquestionably, by necessary implication, deny the validity of a non-Episcopal Ministry; but it is the deliberate trampling upon the Law itself, against which the Bishop cautions and remonstrates. Waiving, therefore, all evasions, and carpings, and quibblings about the bearings of the Law, the Pastoral is to be fairly assailed, if at all, upon this, and only upon this ground,--its paternal counsel against the violation of Church Law, her Canons, and her Rubrics; which forbid a non-Episcopal ministry from performing the Offices of the Church, in the Church, and for the Church.
The Bishop's statement of the Law of the Church, touching the irregularities which have been practiced, is so clearly made, and the Law itself is so minute and specific, and so absolutely incapable of being misunderstood, that we give this portion of the Pastoral. The Bishop says:--
"Suffer me, then, dear Brethren, in all meekness and charity, to lay before you, for your consideration, some of the principles and laws of the Church, which we accepted when we became her Ministers, and which, with all the solemnities of an oath, we bound ourselves to observe."
"1. Just previous to our Ordination (when admitted to the Diaconate, and again when advanced to the Priesthood), a ceremonial which rises above everything else that we know in life by its awful religious solemnity, we deliberately write and pronounce to the Bishop, the following emphatic declaration: 'I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for Salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the Doctrines and Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.'
"2. Then. in the midst of the service of Ordination, as we stood before the Bishop and before the Holy Table, we were asked: " 'Will you then give your faithful diligence always so to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ, as the [17/18] Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the same, according to the Commandments of God, so that you may teach the people committed to your care and charge with all diligence, to keep and observe the same?' " "To which each one of us deliberately replied: 'I will do so by the help of the Lord."
"3. Let us now see what are the Doctrines, Discipline and Worship of this Church, to which, with so much solemnity, we promised conformity at our Ordination.
First.-In the Preface to the Ordinal, the Church sets forth her principles and her law in regard to the Sacred Ministry, in the most clear, formal and authoritative way. She says, 'It is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture and Ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time, there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church--Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which offices were evermore had in such reverend estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by public prayer, with imposition of hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful authority. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed in this Church, no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon, in this Church, or suffered to execute any of the said functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, according to the form hereafter following, or hath had Episcopal Consecration or Ordination.' "
"Second.--Then the Church proceeds, according to that declaration, to enact, in her very first Canon, that 'In this Church, there shall always be three orders in the Ministry, viz.: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons;' of course Episcopally Ordained and Consecrated, for
"Third.--In the sixth section of her fifth Canon (Title I.) she enacts, that 'Candidates, who not having Episcopal Ordination, have been acknowledged as Ordained and Licensed Ministers in any other denomination of Christians, may, at the expiration of not less than six months from their admission as candidates, be Ordained Deacons on their passing the same examinations as other candidates for Deacon's orders.' Whence appears the importance which she attaches to Episcopal Ordination--for,
"Fourth, In the ninth Canon (Title I.), she provides for receiving a 'Deacon or Priest ordained by a Bishop not in Communion with this Church' (after due inquiry and examination, and a probation of six months, and a declaration of conformity), as a Minister of this Church, without reordination."
"Fifth, And in her eleventh Canon (Title I.), this Church enacts that 'No person shall be permitted to officiate in any congregation of this Church without first producing the evidence of his being a minister thereof to the minister, or in case of vacancy or absence, to the Church Wardens, Vestrymen, or Trustees of the congregation.' "
 "Having thus provided that none but Episcopally Ordained Clergymen shall minister in any of her congregations, this Church next prescribes with the utmost care and precision the form of worship to which they are to conform.
"In her twentieth Canon (Title I.) she ordains, that 'every Minister shall, before all Sermons and Lectures, and on all other occasions of public worship, use the Book of Common Prayer, as the same is or may be established by the authority of the General Convention of this Church; and in performing such service no other prayers shall be used than those prescribed by the said Book.'"
"Finally, in Canon 2 (Title II.), the Church enumerates the offences for which every Minister shall be liable to be presented, tried, and punished; and among them she mentions 'violation of the Constitution or Canons of this Church, or of the Diocese to which he belongs,' and orders that 'on being found guilty, he shall be admonished, suspended, or degraded, according to the Canons of the Diocese in which the trial takes place.'
"The same Canon provides that 'if a Minister of this Church shall be accused by public rumour," of any one of certain enumerated offences, one of them being that 'of violating the Canons,' 'IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE BISHOP TO SEE THAT AN INQUIRY BE INSTITUTED AS TO THE TRUTH OF SUCH PUBLIC RUMOUR,' and that if the accused be convicted after due process,' 'he shall be admonished, suspended, or degraded, as the nature of the case may require.' "
The conclusions which the Bishop draws from the Law of the Church as applicable to the present times and circumstances, are as follows:--
"It will be apparent, from the Canon last referred to, that the Bishop is as much under the guidance and control of the Law of the Church as is any other Clergyman; and that when charges, duly Supported, are presented, and even when public rumour, accusing a clergyman, takes a clear and definite form, with reasonable probability of being well founded, the Bishop has little or no discretion, but is bound to proceed 'diligently to exercise such discipline as, by the authority of God's Word, and by the order of this Church, is committed to him.' "
"From the preceding review of the Principles and Law of the Church, these particulars plainly appear:
" '1. The Church makes a fundamental distinction between Ministers Episcopally Ordained, and Ministers not Episcopally Ordained; for when she admits them to serve at her altars, she reordains the latter, but she does not reordain the former.'
"'2. The Church requires of all who minister to her congregations, two things: first, that they be Episcopally ordained, and second, that they be Episcopally ordained Ministers of this Church. Non-Episcopal divines are, therefore, doubly excluded--first, because they are [19/20] not Episcopally Ordained, and second, because they are not Ministers of this Church.
3. The Church clearly excludes ministers and licentiates of non-Episcopal bodies, not only from administering the Sacraments, but also from teaching within her fold, holding them to be incompetent; for she requires them to be regularly admitted as candidates for Holy Orders--to pass a probation of six months--and to submit to full theological examinations; those examinations having special reference to points of difference between the Church and the Body from which the minister comes.
"'4. The Church, so far from aiming at novelty or variety in her devotional services, is severe in the provision which she makes for securing absolute uniformity of worship. She will not allow her children to be disturbed in their solemn acts of worship by the intrusion of novel forms or expressions. She leaves nothing to the fancy or caprice of the officiating minister. If he becomes lax or unsound in his teaching, the Creeds, the Litany, the Te Deum, the Confession and Absolution, the Prayers and Praises, the offices of Baptism, for Confirmation, for the Holy Communion, for Matrimony, and for the Burial of the Dead in Christ--these will rebuke him, and help to sustain the faith and devotion of the people in spite of his ignorance or unfaithfulness. Nothing can be more clear and absolute than the Law which the Church has ordained and evidently means to enforce. "Every minister," she says, "shall, before all Sermons and Lectures, and on all other occasions of Public Worship, use the Book of Common Prayer as the same is, or may be established by the authority of the General Convention of this Church; and in performing such Service, no other prayers shall be used than those prescribed by the said book." The only exception to this rule is the permission given to the Bishop, and only to the Bishop, to set forth, temporarily, prayers or thanksgivings for certain special and extraordinary occasions.
"'Finally, we have seen that the Church repeatedly and in the most solemn manner, binds the conscience of every minister she ordains, to a strict conformity to her Doctrines, Discipline, and Worship. She holds God to be a God of order and not of confusion. She leaves others to employ their own methods; but within her own fold she will endure no irregularity, no trifling with what upon indubitable evidence she avers to be "the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth" of God.' "
We have already alluded to the greetings with which the Sectarian press met this Pastoral of Bishop Potter. Had a bomb-shell fallen in their midst it could hardly have produced more surprise. Episcopacy--that object of undying hatred--which, previous to the Revolution, the same party leagued together to oppose, and did oppose, with an expenditure of means and effort little dreamed of now; which they had already [20/21] begun to look upon as a worthless bauble beneath their feet--lo! it appears before them as a living reality. One of the strong features of the Pastoral, and to these gentlemen most difficult to meet, was its gentlemanly and Christian tone. Had the Bishop blustered and raved, a la Vermilye, they might at least have hid themselves, like the cuttle-fish, in the turbid waters of their own exciting. As it is, they have been compelled to succumb to the force of the Bishop's logic, and to confess, that so far as the question of Law and Order is concerned, the Bishop is clearly in the right, and that these clergy with whom they have been dallying, are undoubtedly in the wrong. The only point which they make in their appeal to the public, on which they seem at all to rely, is that of offended dignity! As if they, representing such overwhelming numbers in this New World, were to have their Orders called in question by a Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and that too, in this nineteenth century! Pray gentlemen, keep cool. At least nine-tenths, probably nineteen-twentieths of Christendom are Episcopal at this very day. The denominations which you represent were unknown and unheard of until a little while ago; and their history does not commend them as any very great improvement on the primitive pattern, and especially in such things as doctrine. and manners. We say to them what a Scottish Bishop, Dr. Wordsworth, lately said to a Presbyterian divine:
"The only Ministry which is to be traced in the earliest records of every settled Church that has existed from the beginning throughout the world, is a Ministry which requires for its three degrees neither more nor less than a threefold Ordination. In corroboration of what has now been said, on the one hand, I WILL UNDERTAKE TO PRODUCE FIVE HUNDRED CHURCHES, existing throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the four first centuries, with a Ministry similar in all essential points to that which now exists in England, Ireland, among ourselves, in the American States, and in the British colonies and dependencies; and, on the other hand, I CHALLENGE DR. PIRIE TO PRODUCE FIVE, NAY, TO PRODUCE ONE SETTLED AND WELL-ORDERED CHURCH existing in those centuries in any part of the world, with a Ministry similar to that which exists and is established in Scotland at the present day."
What effect this Pastoral Letter of Bishop Potter is to have upon those for whom it was specially designed, remains to be [21/22] seen. We deeply regret to observe the spirit in which it has been met in certain of our newspapers, which are supposed to represent the opinions of that class of men. The Deacons and Priests of the Church, before being admitted to Orders, made the following promise and profession.
The Bishop.--Will you reverently obey your Bishop, and other chief Ministers, who, according to the Canons of the Church, may have the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments? Answer.--I will so do, the Lord being my helper."
The criticisms of these anonymous writers are sadly at variance with the spirit of that solemn vow; they are captious, and, not unfrequently, factious and impudent, and full of historical misrepresentations. The Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, who appears over his own signature, in one of these newspapers, while he writes in good temper, he yet avows, and not now for the first time, his own peculiar theory of the Christian Ministry. So far as the question is one of argument and sound principle, we have seen nothing in this class of contributions which is not covered by what we are hereafter to say.
There have been three or four special replies put forth to the Bishop's Pastoral, which deserve a brief notice. One of these is a "Letter to Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, D.D., by Stephen H. Tyng,"--an octavo pamphlet of twenty-three pages. Why Dr. Tyng has thrust himself before the public in such a singular production as this, is, of course, mere matter of conjecture. He declares in the outset, that he does not feel himself "to be one of those clergymen" whom the Bishop describes. Why, then, did he not keep silent? Who, or what is the Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, D.D., more than any other of his brethren of the clergy, that he should obtrude himself into a controversy in which he was not personally involved? His letter is a singular production. It is rambling, garrulous, egotistic, impertinent, and irrelevant. No small part of it is made up in telling the public about himself. What has all this to do with the Bishop's Pastoral? The Letter, also, with all its professed and fulsome show of affection for the Bishop, is full of unkind insinuations, [22/23] of direct charges of inconsistency, and of an overbearing spirit, and of open threats for the future; it is also largely made up of recollections of old personal feuds and controversies, which have long since been dead and buried, and which have not the slightest or most remote connection with the Pastoral Letter of Bishop Potter. Whether all this is meant as an argumentum ad populum, or an argumentum ad invidiam, it is quite out of place, and deserves rebuke.
One of the most remarkable things in this remarkable Letter, is Dr. Tyng's pretended history of the election of Bishop Potter to the Episcopate of New York. According to Dr. Tyng, he and his party virtually bought up the Bishop at that election; and therefore, and thenceforth, the Bishop was bound to play into the hands of a clique; and, especially, to permit them to break the Canons of the Church with impunity. This, and nothing short of this, is the plain English of Dr. Tyng's version of that election. Now, denying as we do, utterly, and, as a Churchman, indignantly, all participation by Bishop Potter in any such bargain, for he is too high-minded a Christian gentleman to sell himself as a tool to the selfish designs of any such petty coterie, yet what a shameless disclosure is here made of the real character and intentions of a party which claims a monopoly of the piety of the Church. They have also, undoubtedly, hood-winked a few of the wealthy Laity into the belief, that the cause of true Evangelical religion in the Church, really rests with these men! and they have been flattered and "bled" accordingly. Once in a while, howover, the true secret comes out. It is place and power; it is the loaves and fishes, which is the real thing at stake, after all; and this, according to their own confession, now unwittingly, but frankly made. They made the same disclosure, when they failed to elect one of their party men to the Missionary Bishoprick of the North West, at the General Convention at Richmond, in 1859. Scarcely had the jubilant notes of joy and praise died away in the Church, over this accession to our Missionary forces, when the following language, and sentiments like it, were scattered over the Church: "At the last General Convention in Richmond, by the understood compromise, [23/24] we were entitled to one of the new Bishops; we got neither, but are earnestly exhorted to support them. Things have come to a crisis. Delay is defeat." And another of their Newspapers echoed the same complaint and disappointment: "The working of the Domestic department has given High Church Bishops to Wisconsin, Arkansas, California; Nebraska, Minnesota, and Texas. Oregon is only claimed as doubtful." Thus, the very missionary work of the Church, its sacrifices, and its glorious objects, sink down to a mere matter of traffic for the aggrandizement of a party. We leave such a motive to those who are capable of appreciating it. And now, when the Bishop of New York comes forward with a kind and gentle, but manly rebuke of open and repeated violations of the Law of the Church, he is taunted with infidelity to a virtual bargain with these men! a bargain which, we know, he not only never made, but which we know him to be utterly incapable of making.
Dr. Tyng, in the course of his Letter, throws out the following singular challenge:--
"For the facts of this ministry, (of near forty-five years), I ask the most thorough examination, as they have passed under the knowledge of my brethren, and in the midst of the various congregations of the people of Christ, which have been committed to me. Of my labors in teaching and edifying the people of my charge, in the Doctrines and worship prescribed, appointed, and received by the Protestant Episcopal Church, in its institutions, observances, distinctive principles, ordinances, and rites, I challenge, before the Great Head of the Church, an impartial scrutiny; being persuaded that, however infirm and incompetent in many things, I have never been a hypocrite, an idler, or a self-indulgent and perjured man, in the house of God."
Now, we have no intention of taking up the gauntlet, which Dr. Tyng has so defiantly thrown down; or of subjecting to an "impartial scrutiny," the course of his protracted ministry, as he here invites us. We do recollect several way-marks of that ministry, which we thought at the time required explanation; and one or two of them are now before us; but we do not care to bring them into the present examination. It would be an odious labor; and, more than all, such things have nothing whatever to do with the present discussion. We remind [24/25] Dr. Tyng, however, that men who live in glass-houses, should be somewhat careful in their choice of missiles.
"O wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And e'en Devotion!"
There is, however, one reminiscence of Dr. Tyng's Ministry, of which his present Letter to Bishop Potter reminds us. In the year 1844, he was a candidate for the Episcopate of Pennsylvania. Upon a careful estimate, the addition of a few "High Church" votes was thought desirable. Dr Tyng preached the Sermon at the Special Convention of that year, and as "Union" was his theme then, and as "Union" is his theme now, we will place a few extracts from his Convention Sermon then, and from his Letter now to Bishop Potter, side by side [transcribers note: the aforementioned extracts will be posted, not side-by-side, but one after the other]. So far as mere argument is concerned, Dr. Tyng answers himself in the most effectual manner. The italics, &c, are our own. The formula is simply this:--
DR. TYNG versus DR. TYNG. DR TYNG'S LETTER
"This new scheme of excluding and unchurching all 'non-Episcopalian Divines,' excluding ministers and licentiates of non-Episcopal bodies, not only from administering the sacraments, but also from teaching within the fold, holding them to be 'incompetent,' I do not believe 'the Lord hath commanded,' or that it is 'according to the Commandment of God;' and I certainly know that 'this Church hath not received the same,' but has rejected it, and resisted it, and renounced it, always, on every occasion on which individual persons in the Church have attempted to enforce it, or assume it, as the doctrine and teaching of the Church."--p. 17.
DR. TYNG'S SERMON
"We have unitedly received, and we earnestly adhere to, a Ministry which, we unfeignedly believe, Christ, our Lord, established for His Church; and which His Apostles, beyond all reasonable dispute, as it appears to us, maintained and transmitted, in opening the privileges and blessings of this Church to mankind. We unitedly believe it UNLAWFUL for us to subvert or annul an organization which the Lord hath constituted as the Law of His house. We could not, therefore, feel justified in ministering under, or ACKNOWLEDGING any professed authority, which does not conform to this Apostolic Standard, and derives itself from this Divine appointment."--pp. 11-12. [* Dr. Tyng's Sermon: A PLEA FOR UNION; At the Special Convention, in St. Andrews' Church. Philadelphia, Sept. 6, 1844.]
DR. TYNG'S LETTER
"But this High Church interpretation of Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline, this Church had never received; neither had the Lord commanded it, in any information then given to me, nor in any further information which I have since been able to acquire. I regard it as a new doctrine, 'unawares brought in, to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, and to bring us again into bondage,' to which I must say: We can 'give place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the Gospel may continue' in the Church."--p. 16.
DR. TYNG'S SERMON
"It is because we are fully convinced that our Church is, in its essential features, precisely that, and is directly derived from that, retaining and transmitting its constituted powers and blessings conferred by Divine appointment, that we acknowledge in ourselves no RIGHT, either to forsake its Communion, OR TO CONCEDE THE JUST CLAIMS OF ITS SCRIPTURAL MINISTRY, and its Divinely appointed Sacraments. In these views of the importance and authority of our Church, we are perfectly united. In declaring them, I speak the honest and mature conviction and judgment, I am sure, of the clergy who are here assembled."--p. 12.
DR. TYNG'S LETTER
"The American Church did not receive this interpretation in her settlement of doctrine. * * * It was never, as a scheme of doctrine, delivered to me. I have not received it in the Church, or from the Church. I have always considered it as among the 'erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's Word,' which I promised, 'the Lord being my helper,' 'with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away from the Church.' And I have always endeavoured, in fulfilment of my promise, with 'faithful diligence always to Minister the Doctrines and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the same,' but not as Archbishops Bancroft or Laud, or Bishop Hobart, have assumed to be its infallible interpreters."--p. 18.
DR. TYNG'S SERMON
"It is now a warfare with Episcopacy, and by that name, ('from the multiplied Protestant denominations around us, who renounce, and not unfrequently, revile our Episcopacy,') it has ceased to distinguish between different theories of Episcopacy. It will grant peace upon no terms, other than an entire renunciation of the claims which we make to a Scriptural Ministry, and of our derived right thereto, through appointed Succession From the Apostles. This is a point which we can never, with a good conscience, yield. We are, therefore, left, I fear, but little hope of toleration in this quarter. We believe ourselves contending for the faith in the Ministry which the Lord established. And precious and desirable as is peace abroad to us, as to all Christians, we cannot make shipwreck of faith and good conscience to obtain it. This resulting position of necessary separation from many Christians around, whom we highly esteem, is much to be regretted. But it appears inevitable; [26/27] and it is not we who have sought it, nor can the blame of it rest upon us."--pp. 16-17.
" If we are ever to find and enjoy any thing like spiritual Union on earth, the promised gift of the Saviour to His disciples, past events have sufficiently proved that we are to seek for it, and to expect it now, with a reasonable prospect of success only within the limits of our own Spiritual household."--p. 15.
What effect such a remarkable Sermon as this would be likely to have upon the election of Dr. Tyng, or any other man, as a party Low-Church candidate for the Episcopate of Pennsylvania, it is not difficult to imagine. Dr Tyng himself soon after left the Diocese, and removed to New York. We are certainly under obligation to him for putting into our hands the means of giving the best possible answer to his equally remarkable, and equally ill-judged Letter to the Bishop of New York.
Before leaving Dr Tyng's Letter, we must call attention to his representation of the views of Bishop White, on this subject of the Christian Ministry. Dr Tyng says:--
"The controversy concerning these things in our Church, has been wholly within the line and field of my own personal observation, and in all its leading facts thoroughly known to me, in that observation. In the earlier years of our Church history, there was no discussion or discrepancy upon this subject. Not one of our earlier bishops, from the English Consecration, assumed this High Church ground. Neither White, nor Madison, nor Bass, nor, so far as I have known or heard, Provost or Moore, professed to stand upon that platform." * * * "Bishop White, who was personally friendly to each, and a lover of all good men, was eminently moderate in his utterances, but never, in his teachings or his conduct, sanctioned the claims of the High Church scheme."
On the contrary, Bishop White held in utter abhorrence the loose, low views of the Christian Ministry, which have lately been broached among us; and we affirm most confidently, and we are not uninformed upon this point, by a careful study of his writings, that there is not a word in Bishop Potter's Pastoral [27/28] which he would not have endorsed with all his heart. Bishop White says:--
"These Orders (of the Ministry), say we, three in number, were of Apostolic Institution, and existed universally in the Church, as now among us, until within a few ages of these later times." [* Conv. Ser., p. 22.]
"If the fact be as is stated--and we ought to be supposed sincere in the profession of it--is it not sufficiently important to induce us to adhere to, and not by any act to IMPLY the nullity of, what claims so high an origin?" [* Gen. Theo. Sem. Address, 1828. p. 8]
"Is it arrogant, is it unreasonable, in the Ministers of the Gospel, to assert the Divine institution of their office, as handed down from the Apostles; and to deny the propriety of every door to the Ministry of man's workmanship; whether it be that of popular Ordination, or the plea of an inward call? It cannot be." [*Ord. Ser., 1825, pp. 13-14.]
Dr. Tyng makes one representation of the opinion of Bishop White which deserves special attention. This representation would seem to cover one class of the irregularities of our own day. We know of no better way to settle this point, than to place Dr. Tyng and Bishop White side by side; the reader can thus judge how far it is right to claim Bishop White as an authority for such ecclesiastical dishonesty:--
DR. TYNG'S STATEMENT.
"This exclusive system had never ruled in Pennsylvania. I was received with a paternal kindness by Bishop White, which I can never forget. To him I submitted personally the very questions which are now discussed: Shall I accept invitations to preach in churches which are not Episcopal? In what way shall I use our forms of prayer on such occasions? Preach for all who invite you, if you can, and desire to do it. Employ the Prayer Book as much as you can usefully and consistently with their habits; was the substance of his replies. Thus I did probably in more than fifty cases in the Diocese of Pennsylvania."
BISHOP WHITE HIMSELF.
"Of all mistaken expedients for the increase of Union, there cannot be any one of them more delusive than the prospect here contemplated; professed to be for the combining in Worship of bodies of Christians now disjoined. Instead of this, it tends to the opposite effect of dividing our Church, as existing in its present form; and, into how many separate, and, perhaps, hostile communions, it is impossible to foresee." [* Gen. Theo. Sem. Address, 1828. p. 10]
 The above extracts from Bishop White's writings are sufficient to prove his firm adherence to the Three-Fold-Ministry, as a divine Institution, and his unwillingness in any way to compromise the claims of that Ministry. They greatly misrepresent Bishop White, who deny that this was his deliberate and often expressed conviction.
We leave Dr. Tyng's Letter without further comment.
There is also before us, a Letter of the Rev. Dr. E. H. Canfield, Rector of Christ Church, Brooklyn, to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Potter. He acknowledges that he was one of the Presbyters alluded to in the Bishop's Pastoral. He adopts two lines of defense, both of which are based on radical mistakes as to matters of fact, and the latter of which has nothing whatever to do with the question in dispute. His first plea is, that in admitting a Sectarian preacher into his pulpit, and in himself preaching after such Ministers had publicly performed the devotions, he did not disobey the Canon, because such services were not for the Church's "own congregations of worshipping people." Unfortunately for Dr. Canfield, the Canon makes, and allows of, no such exception. This is a sufficient answer to his whole argument. Besides this, the Service in his own Church was in fact for, and was attended by, his own people. The public at large, and the public press generally, regarded it, and alluded to it as a Church Service, for a Church congregation, at which non-Episcopal Orders were publicly and officially recognized by him. The preacher on that occasion so regarded it, and (most impertinently, we think) so declared it. Dr Canfield's conduct, therefore, was a violation of the Canons, both in letter and spirit.
His second line of defense is simply an evasion. The simple question, and the only question, is, whether he has broken the Canons which he has solemnly sworn before God to obey. He however raises the irrelevant inquiry, as to the bearing of these Canons on the validity of non-Episcopal Orders. He says:--
"The Pastoral Letter is evidently based upon the theory, that the Canons were expressly designed to deny the validity of non-Episcopal Orders, and to forbid any public acts which might appear to sanction such a doctrine. I do not question your right to draw this conclusion from them, and to hold it as a matter of private opinion, but I [29/30] do respectfully protest against your attempt to enforce your inferences, in an arbitrary way, as the law of our Church. You must know that this was not the doctrine of the Reformers, and Fathers of the Church of England, who framed the Articles and arranged the Prayer Book; and that the founders of our Church in this country were 'far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline or worship.' "
Now Dr. Canfield is equally unfortunate as to both the points which he here raises, irrelevant as they are. The Church by implication does, in the plainest manner possible, deny the validity of non-Episcopal Orders. In the distinction which she so clearly draws between those who have, and those who have not been Episcopally ordained, she accepts the one Ordination, and she refuses to accept the other. Most certainly, the man who denies this interpretation of the Church's requirements here, is not a man to be reasoned with on any subject. Bishop Potter, in his Pastoral Letter, has stated this argument as plainly as it can be stated.
As to the other point, "the doctrine of the Reformers and Fathers of the Church of England," Dr. Canfield is equally wide of the truth of history. He will allow us to say, that the dogmatic manner in which he accuses the Bishop of gross ignorance of the principles of the English Reformation, savors too strongly of that denunciatory spirit which characterizes a certain class of men. Has it never occurred to the Doctor that self-conceit and abuse are not argument? and that there may possibly be such things as true conscientiousness, genuine piety, and accurate learning, outside the circle of his own little clique? A little more modesty, Dr. Canfield, or a little more knowledge, would be quite becoming. You have read such second-hand, superficial, and one-sided works as that of Mr. William Goode, and you have been misled by them. That is all. Bishop Williams has stated the argument in proof of the real opinion of the English Reformers on the Christian Ministry, as clearly as it can be stated, in an Article in this Review. [Am. Quar. Church Review, Vol. xvi No. 4.] The conclusion to which the Bishop comes, is this:
"Surely, if they held anything, they held that Episcopacy was a Divine Institution, and, therefore, of binding obligation in the Church, [30/31] and that ordinary, lawful calling to the Ministry was, from it, by Imposition of Hands. This, if anything, was the point they reached, when they had worked out of their scholastic notions about the identity of the Episcopate and Presbyterate, and the conveying of Orders by the porrectio instrumentorum."
And near the close of his Article, the Bishop, in alluding to certain spurious and false opinions which are often sought to be fastened upon those Reformers, uses the following language, which we commend to the attention of the Rev. Dr. Canfield.
"The assurance which can claim that such persons represented the opinions of our Reformers, and the ignorance or party spirit which can admit such a claim, are equally matters of wonder."
Next in order, we have a Letter to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Potter, from the Rev. John Cotton Smith, D. D., Rector of the Church of the Ascension, New York; whose name has already appeared in our previous pages, in connection with the disorderly conduct, which called forth the Pastoral Letter. The motto which Dr Smith has chosen for his pamphlet is certainly significant, and seems to us quite appropriate Idcirco legum servi sumus, ut liberi esse possimus. Freely rendered, the sentiment seems to be this, "Therefore have we vowed obedience to the Laws of the Church, that we may break those Laws at our pleasure." This Letter, though numbering twenty-six pages, contains almost nothing in the way of argument which has not been already noticed, yet its dogmatical tone calls for a little careful attention.
He justifies his "fraternizing Services," on the ground of precedents which the Bishop had sanctioned. This whole subject, the Bishop, in his Pastoral Letter, had already disposed of, with a frankness, and in a manner which, as it seems to us, renders Dr. Smith's allusion to it now, in every respect, exceedingly ill-judged.
Dr. Smith also maintains, that he has not broken the Canons of the Church, because the Services alluded to were not held for "any congregation of this Church" As we have already said, this is an evasion, a technical quibble. Besides, the Twentieth Canon has no such limitation. It is absolute, and unqualified.
 He then endeavors to show, and at great length, that the English Reformers and eminent Divines of that Church, have acknowledged the validity of non-Episcopal Orders. Now, we repeat here, that all this has nothing whatever to do with Bishop Potter's Pastoral Letter. The only question on which Rev. Dr. John Cotton Smith is called to plead, is, whether he has, or has not violated the Canons, and broken the Law of the Church. In respect to his new line of defense, if it can be called such, we refer to what we have already said. Bishop Williams has settled that matter beyond further cavil, in his masterly examination of the subject, in the Article before referred to.
Besides this; Dr. Smith should remember, that, at the Reformation, it was Doctrinal corruptions, not the question of Ministerial Orders, which was then before the public mind. With regard to the Episcopacy, the greater and better part of the Continental Reformers, had no dispute with the English Reformers, upon that subject. They agreed that it was primitive, Scriptural, and obligatory; except so far as the Romish Schoolmen had been able, by their sophistry, to depress the Episcopacy, and build up the Papacy on its ruins. Rome, by her crafty arts, prevented the Continental Reformers from obtaining the Episcopacy then, and Rome laughs in her sleeve to see such men as the Rev. Dr. John Cotton Smith, playing into the hands of Episcopacy-haters now. In the turmoil of that unsettled, transition period, there were, undoubtedly, irregularities of conduct, and expressions of opinion, from which, if taken as precedents, almost anything can be proved. Even Rome herself had not then crystallized into its permanent Trentine form. The real question, and the only question, so far as the English Reformers are concerned, is simply this; as Dr. Smith well knows. What conclusion did the English Reformers then finally and deliberately reach, as to the constitution of that Ministry which Jesus Christ, through His Inspired Apostles, established in His Church; and which He promised to be with, until the end of the world? That conclusion we have already stated.
There is another point to be made here. Suppose the [32/33] "opinion" of some of the English Reformers was, as Dr. Smith represents it; what then? That "opinion" or the "opinion" of all the Reformers in Christendom, has not a straw's weight in settling the real question at issue. That question is simply this: Have we, or have we not, that Ministry which Christ established; and which He promised to be with until the end of the world? And then, again; suppose it can be proved, that some of the very best English divines did admit that, in cases of absolute necessity, an irregular, or man-made Ministry, might be valid. Such a necessity never has occurred, and never will. The Great Head of the Church will fulfill His promise. But suppose that certain English divines did grant as much as this. What then? Does Dr. Smith maintain that there is any such necessity now, which prevents Sectarian Ministers from being properly ordained; that is, if they are suitably qualified? Or is all this meant as a mere quibble? Besides, such "absolute necessity" would, as Dr. Smith ought to know, form an exception, which only establishes a general principle, instead of destroying it. It is, therefore, in itself, an unanswerable argument for the Apostolic Succession of a Three-Fold Ministry.
But has Dr. Smith represented the opinions of individual divines fairly and honestly? In a foot-Note, he makes the following important confession. In quoting page after page of what looks like a very formidable array of authorities, he says:--"for most of the quotations which follow, I am indebted to Mr. William Goode's Work." Now, Dr. Smith knows, or ought to know, that that work of Mr. Goode's has not the slightest authority with scholars; and that it has been proved, again and again, to be little more than a tissue of misrepresentations, so far as this question is concerned. And yet Dr. Smith ventures to cite those opinions as confidently as if they were the fruit of his own impartial reading, and as if their utter worthlessness had not been repeatedly exposed. Such a method of citing authorities would not be tolerated a moment by respectable lawyers in our civil courts.
Let us examine two or three of these authorities. This is the way in which he quotes Stillingfleet:--
[33/34] "Bishop Stillingfieet, in Irenicum, maintains that the stoutest champions for Episcopacy had admitted that ordination by presbyters, in case of necessity, is valid."
Does Dr. Smith really mean, that this was Stillingfleet's honest and deliberate opinion? We would have expected such language from such a man as Mr. Shimeall, or even Dr. Miller. The real facts were these. The "Irenicum" was published in 1659; when its author was only twenty-four years of age; and he afterwards solemnly and publicly retracted the opinions there expressed. Thus, in his preface to the "Unreasonableness of Separation," he says:--"Will you not allow one single person, who happened to write about these matters, when he was very young, in twenty years time of the most busy and thoughtful part of his life, to see reason to alter
his judgment?" And, at an Ordination Sermon at St. Paul's, in 1684, twenty-five years after the "Irenicum," he says, "I cannot find any argument of force in the New Testament to prove that ever the Christian Churches were under the sole government of Presbyters." "There is as great reason to believe the Apostolic Succession to be of divine institution, as the Canon of Scripture, or the observation of the Lord's day." "This Succession was not in mere presidency of order, but the Bishops succeeded the Apostles in the government over those Churches." And again, he says, in his "Charge on the duties and rights of the Clergy," "they who go about to unbishop Timothy and Titus, may as well unscripture the Epistles that were written to them." "We have no greater assurance that these Epistles were written by St. Paul, than that there were Bishops to succeed the Apostles in the care and government of the Churches."
This is the honest opinion of Stillingfleet, given in the full maturity of his ripe learning, and after he had publicly recanted the hastily avowed expressions of his earlier years.
Dr. Smith quotes Bramhall! in support of these loose views of the Ministry. Has he read Bramhall? Bramhall not only asserts, but proves, that the majority of the Continental Reformers approved, and desired to retain, the Order of Bishops; and he cites Blondell, Calvin, the Confessions of Augsburg [34/35] and Saxony, Melancthon, Moulin, the Prussians, Spanheim, Zanchy, Zwingle, Beza, and Salmatius. Bramhall declares, that the deliberate rejection of Episcopacy is a form of gross Schism; and he even raises the question, whether such persons can be regarded as being within the pale of the Church at all. Nay, Bramhall shows that the very men whom Dr. Smith cites as having been invited from the Continent to teach Divinity in Cambridge and Oxford, Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr, that even they, held the Order of Bishops to have been appointed by the Holy Ghost, and to be agreeable to the Word of God. It is the descendants of those Continental reformers, who have changed their position on this subject; not the Church of England.
As one more illustration of Dr. Smith's method of citing authorities, here is what he says of Archbishop Laud:--
"A man who, notwithstanding his admitted piety and devotion, could contemplate the acknowledgment of the supremacy of the Pope by the Church of England, who actually hesitated whether he should accept a Cardinal's hat from Rome, and who was executed as a traitor to the liberties of his country, in not the man, in my opinion, whose principles are to determine the interpretation of the standards of our Church."
We are not among those who profess unqualified admiration of the Archbishop's character and conduct. But in all the slander heaped upon the memory of that great, learned, and good man, we have never seen so much absolute misrepresentation in so few words. Laud's effective service in rescuing the Church of England from the moulding grasp of Puritanism, was the true secret of his own death, and of the undying hate with which the same party have ever since pursued him. Even Toulmin, in his edition of Neal's History of the Puritans, says, quoting Mrs. Macaulay:-- "It is plain that he fell a sacrifice to the intolerant principle of the Presbyterians; a Sect who breathed as fiery a spirit of persecution, as himself." [Vol. III. p. 252]
In respect to the charge that Laud was at heart a Papist; it is of course a mere repetition of the old Puritan falsehood. Here is the way in which Laud himself met it at his trial:--
"I have converted several from Popery; I have framed an oath for abjuring it; I have made a Canon against it; I have written a book against it; I have held a controversy against it; I have been twice offered a Cardinal's Cap, and refused it; I have been in danger of my life from a Popish plot; I have endeavored to reconcile the Lutherans and the Calvinists; and, ergo, I have endeavored to bring in Popery." [* Grant's English Church and Sects, Vol. II. p. 225]
It is really a severe tax upon one's equanimity, to see a man like Dr. Smith, at this late day, and in such a connection, reviving that old unmitigated falsehood against Archbishop Laud. Has he ever read Laud's Correspondence with Vossius, and seen, there, what Laud thought about Popery? Has he ever read Laud's Answer to Fisher, the Jesuit; which Laud himself alluded to at his Trial? Of that book, Sir Edward Dering, no friend to Laud, said:--
"That in his Book against Fisher, the Jesuit, he had muzzled the Jesuit; and would strike the Papists under the fifth rib when he was dead and gone; and being dead, wherever his grave should be, Paul's would be his perpetual monument, and his own book, his epitaph."
But Dr. Smith has told us where he has been for his authorities; we trust enough has been already said to show how much these authorities are worth. Yet William Goode will be quoted hereafter, as he has been heretofore, without the slightest intimation that he has been proved a false witness. The "world's people" look on such trickery, and say it is not honest. The "world's people" are right.
The last few pages of Dr. Smith's Letter, we are most sorry to see. While he makes a mortifying disclosure of his own opinions, he travels beyond the record to charge upon the Bishop's interpretation of the obvious Law of the Church, a connection "with principles which are subversive of the whole plan of salvation;" and then strives to deepen the opprobrium, by the free use of the cant phraseology of the past few years of bitter controversy. All this from a Presbyter to his Bishop! and then published to the world--the Bishop's Pastoral and his own censure--published, side by side, in another Diocese, and that Diocese, Massachusetts! Really, the assurance of Calvinism is something wonderful.
 Dr. Smith denies "Episcopal Orders" to be the one Ministry "established by Christ through His Apostles, and designed to be permanent in the Church," even as an arbitrary arrangement. He declares such a claim to be "wanting in historic evidence, and unphilosophical, not to say unscriptural, in character." This is certainly the most remarkable, and the most reckless statement lately put forth by anybody professing to be a Churchman. If Jesus Christ established any Ministry for His Church, to be the permanent Ministry of that Church,--and nobody but an extreme radical denies it,--and as the Rev. Dr. John Cotton Smith denies that Ministry to be a Ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, the only question is, what Denomination he does really belong to? Here is, doubtless, the whole secret of his late official conduct. He may be very honest in his opinions; we do not question this. He simply occupies a false position; and instead of reading Homilies to his Bishop, and warning the public against the teachings of his Bishop! he ought rather to confess his own theoretical and practical inconsistency. Perhaps he holds that Christ, through His Inspired Apostles, established a Church, but no particular Church; a Creed, but no particular Creed; Sacraments, but no particular Sacraments; a Ministry, but no particular Ministry; a Lord's Day, but no particular Lord's Day; a Canon of Scripture, but no particular Canon of Scripture. If so; and if he can be an Episcopalian, or a Presbyterian, or an Independent, on occasion; so, also, he can and must, to be consistent with himself, be both a Baptist and a Paedo-Baptist; a Seventh-day and a First-day Baptist; and he must hold to one Sacrament, or two Sacraments, or half a dozen; he may, and must, reject one or another, or all the Books of the New Testament, as may be thought expedient. If there is a rule that prevents this, that same rule, as a matter of fact, binds him to a Three-fold Ministry.
We assure Dr. Smith, that he has not over-estimated the importance of the subject which he has gone out of the way to introduce, when he says, it involves "some great principle in the Christian System." The New York Observer, too, commenting on Dr. Smith's Letter, says:--
 "It is a question that touches the headship of the Church itself, the reality of membership with Christ, the personal salvation of professing Christians, the very marrow of Christianity. For all these things are necessarily involved in the doctrine of the validity of ordinances, which are appointed for the communication of spiritual gifts to the human race."
So far from differing from Dr. Smith and the New York Observer, as to the importance of the principle involved, they have not begun to estimate the extent of its bearings, and the weight of its import. Aside from the great question of the nature of Ministerial and Sacramental Offices, and their true place in the Christian System, which is altogether a distinct question, yet the argument itself for a Three-fold Ministry, covers, as we have seen, all the Institutions of Christianity; not only Infant Baptism, and the Lord's-Day, but the Canon and Inspiration of Scripture, the Creeds, the Doctrine of the Trinity, &c., &c. They all stand, or they all fall, together, inevitably. The whole history of German and New England Development is proving, as clear as the day, that if Private Judgment and Self-Will will set aside one, they will set aside them all. There is a great principle involved, indeed. The argument, in its natural and inevitable consequences, reaches, what all must confess to be, the very "marrow of Christianity."
In leaving Dr. Smith's Letter, therefore, we commend to his special attention the proof of the Divine appointment and perpetual obligation of the Three-fold Ministry, as given in the Sermons of Bishop Griswold and Bishop McIlvaine. This is the burden of their argument, and the argument is unanswered, and unanswerable. Such a Ministry, so appointed, is, and must be, practically, and so far as the Church is concerned, exclusive of all man-made Ministries. Bishop Potter has stated this matter clearly; and fair-minded men of all denominations will respect the position. He says, in his Pastoral:--
For many of those Ministers, [of non-Episcopal bodies,] as individuals, I feel great respect and regard. I honor them for their talents and for their piety. With not a few of them I have lived in private life in habits of most friendly intercourse. But I strongly approve of the principles and Law of the Church. I consider myself bound by her authority, having given my assent to it when I became [38/39] one of her ministers; and in my official capacity, I know of no Ministry outside of her fold."
We remind Dr. Smith, also, that if, before presuming to sit in judgment on a Pastoral Letter from his Bishop, he had taken the wise precaution to write from the stand-point of Scriptural, Primitive, and Churchly Theology, which underlies and interprets all the Offices of the Prayer Book, and is, in turn, interpreted by them, instead of writing from that of an Andover emasculate Calvinism; which he has inherited, and which pervades his whole production, he would have saved himself the unbecoming imputations in the last few pages of his Letter. This modern diluted Calvinism, while it has given up every one of the main points of that false but strictly logical System, and while it has dared to renounce Divine Institutions, the Ministry and Sacraments, and to declare them unessentials in Christianity, and has substituted in their place an undefined, chameleon-like, Transcendentalism, it has, at the same time, adopted a habit of thinking and of reasoning, which has led, by necessary sequence, first, to the growing Infidelity of New England, and then, to all the heathenish blasphemies of Parkerism and the Boston "Music Hall." Meanwhile, it has not lost one particle of its narrowness, its self-conceit, and its spirit of denunciation. It is the old story; the contortions of the Sybil, without her inspiration. Judging of this modern System by some of its leading representatives, it is thoroughly Jesuitical, very pretentious, and utterly unscrupulous.
It is a singular fact, that these three gentlemen who have taken in hand to instruct the Bishop of New York, and to set him right before his people, are New England Calvinists. A true Churchman of New England is relieved, almost of necessity, from that provincial narrowness which belongs to that section, and from the clannish sectarian spirit which Calvinism naturally fosters. But let a New Englander, with all his other peculiar characteristics, become possessed with the idea that he is the special favorite of God, and that it is his "mission" to dictate to, and rebuke other people, to assail dignitaries, to be an intermeddler and a busy-body generally; or, as St. Peter [39/40] has it, to play the Bishop in another man's field, (1 Pet. iv. 15,) and we have the secret at once of a great deal that we hear and see about us. And yet, we have heard Dr. Tyng boast, publicly, in one of his slack-rope performances, that he was a Puritan! thus identifying himself, openly, with a party, whose injuries to the Church and whose quenchless hatred, are known and read of all men. The three "Letters" which we have criticised bear, everywhere, their distinct marks of race and origin. Of the Puritans, we remind Dr. Tyng of what King James said of them. This king, who gave our present English Bible to his people, was, at the first, flattered and fawned upon by the Puritans; but when they found he would not be their tool to destroy the Church, they then turned to cursing and reviling him. This is what he says of them:--
"Take heed, therefore, my son, of such Puritans; very pests in the Church and Commonwealth; whom, no deserts can oblige, nor oaths or promises bind; breathing nothing but Seditions and calumnies; aspiring, without measure; railing, without reason; and making their own imaginations, without any warrant of the Word, the square of their consciences. [* King James Works, Folio, p. 160]
We have examined these several replies to Bishop Potter's Pastoral Letter with the more care, not only because these gentlemen are altogether in the wrong in the ground which they have taken, but because of the incalculable mischief which they have done, and are now doing to the Church, of which they are Ministers. There is, abroad, a deep and growing distrust of the popular Sectism of the day. Thoughtful men, by scores and hundreds, are searching for a Christianity which hath stability; which is founded on a Rock; some place, where their wearied spirits may find rest; some System, some Church, which is not a mere Sect among Sects, but which can claim to be, the Old, Scriptural, Catholic Church of Christ, against which the gates of Hell were not to prevail. They do not believe Romanism to be that System. They do not believe the Sects, any one of them, to be that System. Their attention is turned, more and more, to that Church, at whose altars [40/41] we worship. Her Faith appeals to their judgment, as Catholic, beyond question. Her Worship charms them, by its simple beauty and grandeur. Her Ministry, in its claims to validity, challenges their closest scrutiny. Multitudes are leaving the Sects and flocking to her shrines. At such an hour, these gentlemen, blindly, and most unfortunately, listen to the Church's enemies, and seek to arrest the great work which she is quietly, but most surely accomplishing. We beg these gentlemen to pause in their career.
So far as we have attempted a vindication of Bishop Potter's Pastoral Letter, we have merely placed ourselves on the side of Law and Order. As independent Reviewers, no one shall go further than we in defending the just rights, and guarding the true prerogatives of each Order of the Three-fold Ministry of Christ, as well as of the Laity. So help us God, neither the spiritual despotism of Rome, nor the miserable Erastianism of England, shall ever find place on these shores, to cramp and curse our American Church. Pope-free and State-free she is, and such she shall remain. The government of the Church is a government of Law. The Bishop of New York, as the chief Executive Officer of the Diocese, charged, in virtue of his office, with the paternal duty of watchful oversight, and discretionary care, has only done what rightly belonged to him, and he has done it well. We have no fears that he will be found wanting, in any future exigency. The spirit of the age is a spirit of Vandalism. It is irreverent, insolent, insubordinate, and reckless. In such a time, firmness for Justice and Truth is a great virtue. It is more. It lost, all is lost.
In conclusion, we quote, first, the common, but immortal words of the great Hooker. He says:--
"Of law, there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage--the very least, as feeling her care, and the greatest, as not exempted from her power--both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy."
 Not unworthy of a place, in this connection, are the words of the Rev Dr. A. H. Vinton, which he once wrote for our own pages
"The modern appeal to a "higher Law," which is fast becoming the common rule, and not the rare exception, is, in its nature and spirit, a real denial of all positive and objective Law, either in the Family, the State, or the Church. The individual is himself his own Law, and he ignores and defies all other. Such things as sin, vice, rebellion, treason, heresy, murder, adultery, theft, cannot exist, so long as the man is true to his own nature. And of this, he, and he alone, must be judge. This is the infidel theory, endorsed and propagated by our modern reformers, in the name of Christianity. In respect to the Family, it is Socialism. To the State, it is Treason. To the Church, it is Schism. In all, it is one and the same, poor fallen human nature, warring against the Ordinances of Heaven. The time has come when the State, the Family, and the Church, must keep sentinel by night and by day over the sacred deposit committed to their trust, even though the press and the pulpit unite in raising the cry of tyranny and bigotry."