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exercised was illegal; it was usurped. to the Bishops of the seven churches of Every act, therefore, which they per- Asia, there is no mention made of their formed under authority of this power, union under one visible head; nor is was void. All their bulls, anathemas, that head addressed, as would certainly and denunciations were empty as sound. have been the case, if he had had any They did not touch the spiritual rights existence. From the manner in which of airy Bishop. “ The most common they are mentioned, we infer that each order in military affairs” (says a judi- had power to controul its own concerns cious writer) “ issued by an officer, without recourse to any superior. In himself notoriously in a state of mu- short, there is no hint given in Scrip tiny against some superior authority, is ture that the Church must be one under on that account vitiated, and to obey any human being. It is one only unsuch a mandate is legally considering der Jesus Christ. It is one in agreeit a crime, because it is to recognize ment concerning those essential docand accredit unlawful power.” Now, trines and rites, and those Apostolic the Pope may be said in one sense to appointments, without which no partibe in a state of mutiny against Jesus cular church can be sound. Neither Christ, the Head of the Church, be- do we find, in the times immediately cause he assumes more power than succeeding the Apostolic age, that was ever given by the Saviour to any union of the churches in Christendom of his servants on earth. Therefore under one head was ever inculcated. liis acts, which are bottomed upon We find many exhortations to unity, it this usurped power, are null, and con is true ; but it is only a unity of love sequently no person can be justified in and of agreement in the same doctrines obeying them.
and ordinances. In all other respects But, lastly, perhaps we shall be they are contemplated as independent. told, that if, according to our doctrine, There was, indeed, at times, an authoit is the duty of Christians to pre- rity exercised paramount to what was serve unity, and if the Christian world considered to be the authority of any was once so united under the Pope, individual Bishop. This was done by why, when renouncing illegal subjec- the meeting of several Bishops togetion to him, throw off all respect and ther. The heads of the churches in dependence? Why not acknowledge different countries, or in different dishim still as Head of the Church, al- tricts of the same country, when any though we do not acknowledge the ex act of great importance was to be pertent of his power? We answer, that formed, such as deposing a Bishop, or neither Scripture nor the practice of condemning a heresy, at first, by mutual the primitive Church give us any inti- consent, assembled, in order that, by mation that there should be a centre of their united authority and power, they union for all Christian churches in one might give a greater sanction to their person.
acts. This led in time to a compact The Apostle tells us “there is one between Bishops of the same district Lord, one faith, one baptism," but or country, in which they agreed that does not say there is one temporal in all matters of a general nature afprince of the Church, who is to rule fecting the interests of the Church, over all, and be the centre of union to their united opinions should be necesall. When, also, the Apostles travelled sary to a decision. And thus was the into different countries, we do not find Church soon organized in a manner them inculcating subjection to either of very much resembling that of the Epistheir number as to a common master. copal Church in the United States. In their Epistles to the different Each Bishop retained exclusive power churches, they address each one as in- in his own diocess, but in affairs that dependent. We find no where that a concerned the Church at large they departicular title was given to either of cided by their joint authority. These the Apostles, whereby he could be dis- national or district assemblies paved tinguished as highest in the Church. In the way in time for general councils, the reproofs and commendations made or assemblies of Bishops and Presby
ters from all parts of Christendom. and discipline. We might then with These meetings were called to suppress propriety venerate them as the centre dangerous and alarming heresies, and of union for all the churches in Chris, to declare the sense of the Catholic or tendom universal Church on disputed points.
The inference to be drawn from the And here, if any where, we may look foregoing observations is this—that the for the true earthly head of the Church Episcopal Church, in separating from w-that is the centre of union to all those the Romish communion, and renouncwho are far separated from each other: ing allegiance to the Pope, has not not any fallible individual, but the col- broken unity, but that the Church of lected piety and wisdom of all the suc- Rome is in schism. She has broken cessors of the Apostles. Let me not be that unity of which she boasts, by inunderstood as implying that general grafting upon the original stock the councils are infallible. They too have doctrine of the Pope's supremacy, erred. In the dark ages, when learn- and other doctrines and rites which ing of every kind had almost vanished are contrary to the word of God, from the earth, and the human mind and to the belief and practice of had sunk to a degree of degradation the primitive Church. Communion inconceivable, general councils em with her, therefore, is not essential to braced and propagated the most glaring unity. absurduties. Every decree, therefore, It would be an easy matter to show, which they issued, and which was that almost all the doctrines and rites not founded upon divine precept or peculiar to the Church of Rome are Apostolic usage, was void. The true unwarranted by the Divine Word, and Head of the Church is Jesus Christ. by the belief and practice of the primit The laws by which we are to be go- tive Church. But it is time to hasten verned, and the rites and doctrines to a close. which are to be observed and believed, We proceed, therefore, to observe, are to be found in the Gospel. By that there are many points in which these must every ambassador or assem churches may differ, and in which they bly of the ambassadors of Christ test have differed without destroying unity. the validity of their acts. The law of These points relate to ceremony and God is paramount to all other laws; government. For instance, the mode and if our spiritual guide or teacher of baptism has never been considered inculcate any thing contrary to this as essential to its validity. Immersion, law, he is not to be respected any affusion, and sprinkling, are each ad more than a parent is to be obeyed if mitted to be proper. Baptism is the he command his child to do any actrite by which we are initiated into the plainly repugnant to the moral law. Christian Church. It is a significant Although, therefore, general councils ordinance, in which water is used as appear to be the best centre of uni emblematical of that inward purity for the Church, yet their acts may not which the law of God requires. Ii, always be agreeable to the word of therefore, the emblem be preserved, God, and, where the Church is univer- the quantity or the mode of using it is sally corrupt, many of them will al- considered to be immaterial, provided most inevitably be erroneous. At this the Trinity be invoked at the time. day, they could not be convened, so The use of the cross may likewise be much divided is the Christian Church. retained or disused. But if ever that day shall arrive, (which Again, all which is essential in God grant) when the various churches prayer, is that the prayers we offer be in the world shall unite in those funda- in doctrine agreeable to Scripture, mental points which have been already and in language adapted to the mastated to be essential to unity, and the jesty of the Most High. Yet, as a progress of knowledge and piety at form was the universal practice of the ihe same time should not decline, we primitive Church, and as such a mode might then look up to these holy as is not contrary but agreeable to Scripsemblies as final in matters of faith ture, as well as for other reasons, Vol. VI.
We think it preferable. Different hands at once in the works of Chris churches also may vary with respect tian labour and love, and thus to proto the laws they make to regulate their mote that unity which we think so internal concerns. Each church we highly conducive to the prosperity of consider in this respect independent, religion and the stability of the Church. and as having full power to accom But we ask, in return, and we think the modate itself to times and circum- demand is fair, if we cannot be provedt stances, provided nothing be done con to be in error, and other denominations trary to the law of God. In things of cannot vindicate satisfactorily the conthis' kind, to differ does not eneroach stitutions of their different churches, on unity. Peculiar circumstances may that they resign the contest, and render a regulation useful at one time unite with us in maintaining the, and place, which would not be so at “unity of the Spirit in the bond of another. In such cases let all things peace.” be done to edification. Let the su
That such will be the case very soon preme desire of the servants of the we cannot suppose; for the barriers of Church be to promote its prosperity prejudice and error are not easily and the glory of God—and while such broken. They frequently present is the case, trifling differences of this stronger obstacles than those of truth. kind will never destroy harmony. Yet still their foundation does not stand While we are pursuing the straight and so firm. They have in them the seeds narrow path of life, it matters not whe- of decay. The walls may be strong for ther we all think alike on these inferior a season, but they are composed of mapoints. When we arrive at our jour- terials which time inevitably destroys. ney's end, these differences will vanish, Whereas the fortress of truth, although and we shall all be made alike in glory it may be entered and torn to pieces, and in happiness. The bright efful- consists of materials which never pegence of the Divine presence will then rish. The stones may be disjointed and prevent' any other object from being separated, but their beauty and strength
From the east and from the do not fade. Their Almighty archiwest, from the north and from the tect will also, in his own appointed south, we shall then assemble and unite time, replace them in their proper stawith one voice and with one soul in as- tions. cribing glory, and honour, and thanks What, then, is the duty of the friends giving, and praise to our holy and mer- of truth till this happy season arrives ? eiful Judge.
To “contend earnestly for the faith Upon reviewing the above, we fancy once delivered to the saints”—to rally to ourselves some one exclaiming round the fortressto be bold and un6 You have condemned every church dismayed amidst the discouragements in the world but the Episcopal. You they may have to encounter. Let their have endeavoured to prove that she watchword be “pro ecclesia Dei,” for preserves the principles of Christian the Church of God.* Even although unity, and in so doing have implicitly they may sometimes stand single and said that no other one does."
unassisted, let them not lose their To this we answer, in the words of faith and courage. Let them always that great and good divine, the “judi- keep the anchor of their souls sure and cious Hooker_" that which is of steadfast, and, perhaps, when they God we defend to the uttermost of that least expect it, they may find succour. which he hath given; that which is Light may spring up in darkness, otherwise, let it perish 'even in the root and joyful gladness for such as are whence it hath sprung." We defend true hearted." what we think to be the cause of truth.
The Country Clergyman. If we are in error, we trust we are open to conviction. Let, then, those who
point out where the error lies, and if they can show it, we pledge * The motto of looker. ourselves to resign the contest, to join
think we are,
For the Christian Journal.
sphere. While this circumstance im. Fifth Annual Report of the Board of poses upon all our proceedings the
Managers of the New-York Protest- salutary and profitable influence of the ant Episcopal Sunday School Soci: principles by which ecclesiastical unity ety.
and purity are to be preserved ; let us AMONG the various and extensive 'also reflect upon it as imparting to our duties and responsibilities imposed efforts the character of the truly scripupon the Church by her Divine Head, tural and primitive mode of dispensing none is more momentous than the in- religious charities, and as affording the struction of her young and ignorant humble hope of its sharing the fulfilmembers. For the lambs of his flock, ment of the promise of Christ's préthe
SHEPHERD” has been sence and blessing to his Churcli, even pleased to express a peculiar interest unto the end of the world. and care. These must be felt by his Grateful for the privilege of being Church, if she would sustain the cha- intrusted with the concerns of an inracter of his true and faithful spouse. stitution of so holy and excellent a chaBy instilling into them the doctrinal racter, and in the humble confidence and practical precepts of those Holy that this promised blessing has not been Scriptures of which she is the divinely entirely withheld, the Board of Maną. appointed guardian and interpreter, she gers proceed to lay before the Church is to prepare them for fidelity as her their fifth annual report. members--for diligently and profitably The schools at present in our union applying to the means of grace which are the same as at the last anniversary, she has a commission from God to dis- viz. pense, and, through the promised blessing upon them, growing up unto the St. John's Chapel, Male and Female fulness of the measure of the stature of
Schools, containing 482 scholars. Christ; and going on unto that perfec- St.
Paul's Chapel, do.
344 tion which awaits his faithful people in St. Philip's
Church, (coloured) do. 103
do. 160 a better world. In their character as an aid to the
Grace Church Female School 84 Church in the discharge of this high and Trinity and Grace Churches, Male
70 important trust, we perceive the true Trinity and Grace Churches, Male
58 excellence of Sunday school establish
St. Mark's Church, Male and Fements, and the only circumstance which
58 warrants the appropriation to their objects of a part of God's holy day, and
Total, 1359 committing to them the religious instruction of so large a class of fellow Of the above schools, ranked, it will Christians.
be perceived, according to the number The maintenance of this character is of scholars in each, we proceed to give a strong feature in the Society on whose a more particular account, drawn from concerns we are now about to report. their reports respectively, made to this By its constitution it is identified with Board. the Church, by giving to its pastors
In the Male School of St. John's their due influence and superintend- Chapel, the Superintendents report ence in its concerns—by embracing that there are 248 scholars, of whom in its instructions, the primitive and 169 has been the average number of reevangelical system of faith and prac- gular attendants during the past year. tice which has ever characterized the “The concerns of the school," the Church in its sound state--and by be- report states, " are conducted by two, ing held together by the same bond of Superintendents, a Secretary, and 15 ministry, doctrine, and ordinances, Teachers, who are all actively engaged, which has always constituted the unity and whose zcal evinces their sense of and purity of the mystical body of the obligation that rests upon them. Christ. Thus our Society is, in fact, “ No applicant is entered on the the Church, operating in this particular register without being first visited by
the Superintendents, the rules of the ment 540 white, and 110 coloured perschool" explained to the parents, and sons, making a total of 650. their co-operation insisted on in en “ The improvement of the scholars, forcing the regular attendance of their generally, is such as to merit commenchildren.
dation. Many of the elder girls seem " It is with peculiar gratification that piously disposed, and have profited the Superintendent adverts to the ex much by the instructions given them. emplary conduct of numbers of the Two of them were confirmed on the boys since their entrance in the school. 31st of March, 1822, and several others Many who were insubordinate and are anxious to prepare themselves for neglectful, are now conscientious and that holy rite. They have committed obedient. It will be pleasing to men- to memory large portions of Scripture, tion the case of a boy who recently lost read a number of pious tracts, and ap: his mother, (a widow) and who was pear to understand and reflect upon discharged by certificate to be admit- what they have read. ted in the Orphan Asylum. He was “ The improvement of the coloured frequently visited and exhorted to classes affords the highest satisfaction cleave unto his Bible, and serve the to their Teachers, and especially their Lord, who is the Father of the fa- attentive deportment during divine therless.” He manifested contrition service. Sixteen, mostly adults, have for his sins, and promised to walk in been engaged since the last summer in the right way all the days of his life. committing to memory the Gospels Previous to his leaving us for the one young woman no less than 65 Asylum, he called on the Supețin- chapters, containing 2,784 verses tendent to thank him for the concern some others, from 25 to 30 chapters. he had manifested in his behalf, and Although the ladies have not been hoped he would pray for him. This able hitherto to effect all they so earis mentioned as one of many instances nestly desire, they will still persevere, where gratitude may be calļed forth trusting that, by the aid of divine from those who have no other offering grace, their humble efforts will ultito give-by the operation of Christian mately succeed. The Superintendent benevolence.
cannot forbear expressing her high 66 Care is taken to instruct the chil sense of the continued zeal and diligence dren in the Catechism and service of of the ladies associated with her.” the Church, and to confine them to Of the schools of Zion Church, rethose parts of Scripture that are of a ports, from which extracts are here more practical and familiar nature. given, have been laid before the Board. There have been distributed,
since the “ The Superintendents of the Male opening of the school, 27 Bibles, 28 department of Zion Church Sunday
Testaments, 149 Prayer Books, with School, present the following report tracts and other pious works.”
“At present engaged in the school of the Female School of the same are two' Superintendents, and 16 chapel, the following extracts from the Teachers, who have under their care report of the Superintendent will con- and instruction 164 children, arranged yey a just idea.
in 13 classes, 12 white, and one of co“ The last annual report of the fe- loured: of these 119 are regular, and 45 male department of St. John's Sunday irregular in their attendance. Since School exhibited 190 scholars, white the last annual report; 10 Teachers and coloured, and it now consists of have been admitted, and 141 scholars; 234, of whom 160 are white, and 74 12 scholars have been honqurably disa coloured-41 of the last number are charged and transferred to other adults. The school is divided into 14 schools, and a number, owing to reclasses, under the direction of 18 ladies, moyals and the inattention of their viz. Superintendent, Assistant Superin- parents, cannot be found. tendent, and 16 Teachers.
66 In addition to the number of “ During the last five years there Teachers, there is a visiting committee have been admitted into this depart- of two members of the association, whp