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round once in four weeks, and he'll thunder out his power upon them and threaten to turn out every soul of them. This to be sure, would be very alarming until next day, when he shall be off again. Well, next year the new preacher will be a thorough going disciplinarian and he'll set all to rights. Observe, we are speaking now of cunning against power, and we think that a little reflection must convince any one, that a change of preachers can neither correct it, nor match it. In this supposed case, it is a principle of reaction. The increase of the current only serves to increase the eddy.

If the time shall ever come, when motives and interests shall be strong enough to induce un principled persons to remain in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the present monopoly of power in the hands of the travelling preachers, will, as the same cause ever has done, drive things from bad to worse. We have listened with attention to the arguments employed to prove the lawfulness and the expediency of exclusive unbalanced power; but could hear nothing said of its effect upon the human heart, where it displays its greatest influence. We are indeed free to declare our disbelief in the omnipotent virtue of any system; as we know that ambition, as well as other evils, come from within, out of the heart of man; but we cannot help proge nosticating danger when the system under which men act, has a natural tendency to inspire them with a desire for the distinction of office. One may be habituated to climb until it shall become painful to walk on level ground. Every office in our church is so organized as to have one above it on which it depends, up to the bishops, who are equal among themselves. It is a problem which time alone can solve, how they, after being schooled on the step ladder of inequality, will agree to manage their co-ordinate jurisdiction. It will be happy for them, and happy for us all, if no strife creeps in among them, who shall be greatest!

When shall it be, that travelling preachers will submit to take lessons from the little child whom Jesus set in the midst of his disciples ? Nothing is to us a source of greater regret, than to observe how large a portion of the leavening influence of a hierarchical spirit is found in the ministry, amidst the greatest causes of humility. That this spirit should infect men in all the pride of learning, who wait in the purlieus of kings' palaces, is no matter for wonder; but one would be led to suppose from the circumstances of a travelling preacher's life and character, that the love of power would be his least and last besetment. Alas for us! stubborn facts constrain us to admit the mortifying truth, that power is an idol at whose shrine the unlearned, as well as the learned, the poor as well as the rich, the Ameri. can republican, as well as the European monarchist, can bow down and pay their vows.

P. P.

Wesleyan Repository, vol. iii. for 1823 and 1824. Rev. Dr. John French's Address to the General Conference of 1820, in behalf of local preachers, and written by their request ; appeared in the May No. of this volume.

No. 35.
Wesleyan Repository, vol. iii. May 1823, No. I. page 24.

Serious charges alleged against the Reposiotry.

I am a constant reader of the Wesleyan Repository. But the saying, “many men of many minds," I find is as applicable to the readers of this, publication, and to those who do not read it, as to other men. Whether the writer of the following extract of a letter I received a few days ago, is a reader of the Repository, I know not; but, I can assure you that he is not only one of my oldest and most esteemed friends, but a man of long and of deservedly high standing in our church, whose judgment has great weight among those who know him best; and he is both extensively and intimately known and beloved. Here follows the extract :-"As to the Repository, I find it attacks the Wesleyan, and Arminian government* indiscriminately; and, I

* "Arminian government !What sort of a government is that? Are its subjects represented ? If so, we have never published a syllable against Arminian government. A system of church pulity worthy of this distinguishing appellation, should have something, at least, resembling Arminianism. Now, if the religious creed which honored name, has any one doctrine more prominent than another, it is that which unites redeeming grace and free will. A system of ecclesiastical polity, according with the manly and rational system of Arminianism, is the very desideratum sought. As to "Wesleyan government,” it is certain, there is no fair sample in America. Such a go. vernment, may, however, we would hope, be obtained, as shall associate its principles and practices, with the morality and soul-renewing christianity taught by Wesley.


pes by this

think, all government. I can compare it to nothing but a desolating army, that burns bridges, mills, villages, cities, farm-houses, &c. &c. and leaves all the country a desolation. By this, I mean to say, it destroys all governments that now exist, and leaves nothing as a substitute. If my conclusions are erroneous in this respect, I wait to be corrected.”

Here, then, you have the sober and deliberative judgment of a wise and good man; not an office hunter, nor a flatterer of men in power; a man who would be found among the foremost to resist the progress of ambition. Now, though my friend has not made a convert of me to his way of thinking respecting the Repository, it seems to me that your correspondents and readers, and yourself also, should be apprized of it, in order that they and you may judge as favorably and as charitably as possible of those who oppose the Repository generally. I know that my friend was sincere in his opposition to the Repository, because he is sincere in every thing; but, I never should have conceived the ground of his opposition : nay, I never should have believed it, if I had not received the inforination from his own pen.

I have long known that our preachers and the members of our church, were not only men of like passions, but of like minds with the rest of our countrymen. I calculated, therefore, that the opinions which might be advanced in the Repository, though they might be abstractly correct, would give rise to a considerable degree of diversity of opinion and party feeling; but, that you and your correspondents, some of whom I know well, should be viewed as anarchists, and patrons of a work which attacks our government indiscriminately, and, as the writer thinks, all government, greatly exceeds my fears. You must now, sir, have the mortification to know that your first twenty-six, and succeeding twelve numbers, are compared to two squadrons of an army of Goths and Vandals ; breaking through the peaceful barriers of law and government, and laying waste, with fire and sword, all the works of art and agriculture. The silence which has been preserved, notwithstanding your frequent calls for answers to the various essays, you must perceive, are not to be taken as a proof that they are unanswerable. Who would think of reasoning with a desolating army?

This is not the only instance which has come to my knowledge, of the unfavorable opinions which are entertained of the motives and intentions of the writers for the Repository, as well as its editor; but, I had treated them heretofore as unworthy of serious regard, supposing that they were confined mostly to those whose prophecies (of evil) had gone before ; and, who, of course, had an interest at stake in their accomplishment, (for though we are in no danger now-a-days of being hung as false prophets, yet we are tenacious of our notions as well as of our necks,) or to those who are much more easily stimulated by zeal for existing rules or usages, than by arguments and evidences upon their merits, however dispassionate.

I would advise you, sir, by all means, if you go on as you contemplate, with a third volume, to be very cautious lest you introduce any thing into your pages which might be construed into an occasion of personal quarrel, as it appears that you can publish nothing, about men or measures, which will not be subject to the most unfavorable construction. The cry of “mad dog" has been raised against your publication, and you may expect that it will be attacked, whenever it appears, with stones and sticks.

In vain shall you reiterate a thousand times over, that the only object is to obtain a representative and liberal govern. ment. You see that you are viewed as making an attack upon Arminian government, though I would fain hope that this was a slip of my friend's pen.


No. 36.

Western Repository, vol. iii. May, 1823, No. I. page 30, 31.

Thoughts on Matthew xviii. There was a time when a General Conference was so much above the bishops, that the conference could vote away their opinions, though they were written in the form of notes on the book of discipline. Such an event actually happened in the beginning of the present century. Now, as the note on the manner of trying and expelling members is still extant, and is a curious specimen of episcopal reasoning, &c., we will take the liberty to offer a few thoughts on the same subject. The note assumes as evident, that the 15th, 16th, 17th verses, were addressed to the apostles, and through them, to all ministers, &c. But the proof is not to us satisfactory. The apostles are not mentioned, as such,

in the whole chapter; which begins thus: “At the same time (that Peter was directed concerning the paying of the tribute money) the disciples came to Jesus, saying : Who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?" Were these the other eleven only? Or were there some others with them? To us it appears that all that is spoken in the 20th verse, is spoken to disciples generally, without any reference to particular offices. For, the apostles themselves, in most instances, seem to be considered in many respects like other disciples, and were, in fact, in several points of knowledge, but little above them before they were endued with power from on high. Here are no intimations that there was any thing mysterious which was peculiarly given to them to know.

In the 21st verse, Peter comes and says, “How oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him ? Till seven times ? Surely no one who understands our Lord's answer, will affirm that it was spoken through Peter to the ministry only! If then, when the speaker is a designated apostle, the answer is general, and concerns all disciples as well as apostles, how much more, when the speakers are disciples, must the answer be supposed to be directed to them generally? The authors of the note lay great stress upon the binding and loosing power, which, as they conceive, can belong to none but the apostles and their successors. They seem to have overlooked the consequence of this restriction upon the following verses : "For where two or three (does he mean only apostles ?) are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Now we think that the disciples, while our Lord was with them, were "the church;" that is, that all the disciples of Jesus, during his ministry, were his church or congregation. We will now state the two cases : and FIRST, that we differ from ; then, our own. "Moreover, if thy brother (apostle or minister) shall trespass against thee, go, &c.—but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to thee,” &c. &c. Does not this scheme imply, that if the apostles or ministers should be trespassed against, they must make the nembers of the church umpires and moderators ? But did the authors of the notes, or any travelling preacher, ever do this? Those who have ever read of the manner of trying travelling preachers, deacons, elders, presiding elders, and bishops, will be at no loss to answer this question.

We will now give our own: “Moreover, if thy brother

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