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affinity and relation, not only to the friends and patrons of religious liberty, but, in fact, to the reformers and the reformation. Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Friends and Protestant Episcopalians, will all disown us, and leave us among the Lauds and Parkers—the Bonners and the Gardiners—the Becketts and great Gregories—and all the great champions for supremacy and high church politics. It could easily be proved that the obnoxious principles of power

exist among us, in many instances, in a more unqualified manner and degree, than in several of the religious establishments. In England, no ecclesiastical law can be enacted or repealed without the consent of parliament, a part of whom are representatives of the people. And in France, though Catholic, the maxim is, the clergy kiss the pope's toe, but bind his hands. The power of travelling preachers are as plenary as it is possible for them be. They can, not only legislate for the church without its consent, but according to their own definition, make, and unmake constitutions. Are not these amazing prerogatives to be lodged in a body of preachers ? All with whom I have conversed, who were favorable to the conciliation, consider it as little more than nominal. Why then has it produced so much agitation and alarm ? In the same way that the scratch of a pin often ends in a dangerous sore, by giving vent to the bad humors and habits of the body. A vast amount of suffering and discontent are annually generated under the present regime. Men's minds have become extremely irritable under this morbid excitement of power. The body social is like the body physical, when the mass of fluids tend to mortification, the least cause may produce a crisis.

The two old friends, whose souls were once like the souls of David and Jonathan, may again be reconciled. The pledges of affection may again be interchanged among travelling preachers; and all may seem to unite; but, in one year after the General Conference, new causes of discontent may be again generated. The kingdom is divided against itself. Changes must ensue; or confidence will be irretrievably lost. One would think that the fate of the peace loving and cautious author of the conciliation, ought to admonish all to beware of half-measures and meditaions. The system is sinking under the weight of its own powers. All its disorders proceed from indirect debility. Its papal functions and attributes incumber it more than Saul's armour did David.

Before I conclude this letter, let me remark that the M-Kendreeans, have no cause of additional disaffection towards the Georgians on account of the opinions or actions of the third party, which, since the divisions of the travelling preachers, have risen in the church in behalf of its own right of suffrage. The only point in which they happen to agree, is matter of accident. The Georgians reciprocate no favors with them, nor have they asked any favors. This third party have neither leaders nor toad eaters among them. Conscious of their own rights, they desire not to trick or use artifice, neither do they stoop to fawn nor to flatter men in power.

No. 46.
Wesleyan Repository, vol. iii. March, 1824, No. xi. page 422.

A time for all things. The importance of times and seasons, is seldom if ever overlooked among practical men in the ordinary concerns of life; but in matters of government and religion, they are unaccountably neglected. There is reason to fear, that not a few of our brethren will suffer the time for reform to go by; and, when it is too late, be the first to complain. Instances of this kind we have oftened witnessed. A recent one may be mentioned without, as we hope, giving offence, though most of the parties be living.

During the stir about the presiding elder question, in the General Conference of 1820, a distinguished member was heard to say, your great men, meaning the influential members of the society in Baltimore, are working against us, viz. the freinds of the presiding elder's election. We have cause to believe, that it was indeed in a great measure owing to the influence of those great men, that that eventful case took its present attitude. The favor of the Balti. more society was calculated upon from the then appearan

But if our information is to be depended upon, not more than three years afterwards, the senior bishop was addressed by certain official members of the society in Baltimore, to have that station exempted from the jurisdiction of the presiding elder of the district. A movement which seems to us as unseasonable, and as inuch out of time, as sowing in harvest or reaping in seeding time.

We have long been in the habit of listening to chimney corner complaints, and to other complaints of a little louder


description. And we had often noticed the indications of irritation in the tone of reply, when complaints used to reach the ears of the bishop, of the want of talents in one or more of the appointments of the preceding year. Give us better preachers, was the reply and we will station them. Could any reply be more untimely in the mouth of a Methodist bishop, unless he could appeal to all who heard him, to bear witness, that he had done what he could, in the proper time and place to increase and preserve the talents of preachers. O the virtues! O the blessings of impartiality! They have indeed been loudly sung. No respect of persons in stationing preachers, is greatly to be commended ; but if no talents, and no age, are made equal with talents and

age, is not the charge of partiality to be transferred from the bishop to nature and art. If these happen to disagree in their dispensations, which is to yield ? The tendency of nature and art is, to make men differ. The impartial bishop treats all travelling preachers alike.

We have supposed, that when complaints of the want of talents in certain preachers for certain stations, come from the people, the proper time comes for the bishop to address the members of the annual conferences, making this his text:

"You see, you hear," might he not say, "the inefficacy of my impartiality. It must be now evident to you all, that I can not by my stationing-power, prepare men for places, nor places for men; nor is my authority to say to one go, and to another come, sufficient to silence the murmurs and complaints of the people. What then can I do? What will ge have me to do?”

Does not necessity point out the course-to encourage talents and age by rewarding them ? When genius merits nothing, when mental industry merits nothing, and when age merits nothing, impartiality would require that the names of men should be shaken together in an urn and drawn by lot. We talk as much about gifts as other people ; but never in the right time. Times and seasons are the de-. crees of God, In vain may impotent mortals strive to con. trol or reverse them. The, union of the members of the church in favor of their rights, makes the time to gain them. Divide and and destroy, is a maxim peculiarly applicable to church liberty. The division of those who have the right to claim it, is its certain ruin. It will be the watchword and the rallying point in the next General Conference. Let but the opportunity invite its members to call the friends of

may be

church suffrage, a faction, and one part of the church will be played off against the other. These generous legislators will reward the neutrals and the passives with a protracted, if not additional yoke. The Repository will be put down, and no complaint will be heard in all our borders; but, will there be no murmuring, no whispering ? Rather will not the very men who have flung from them the golden opportunity, be the first to murmur? will not every corner be filled with whispers of disaffection? In truth it will be so. And not a few of these will take French leave.

To the members of the General Conference, we would humbly and earnestly recommend it, to be more attentive to the signs of the times than to the gaining of victory. You may, indeed, in all the plenitude of your power, put down the reformers; but, can you pluck up their claims by the roots ? can you annihilate their principles ? can you eradi. cate from the human breast all yearning after church freedom among a race of men who live in the very elements of civil liberty ? Look well to the matter; the


1824 your time-once past, and you can have no earthly security that you will ever have it in your power to meet again as the dispensers of religious liberty. Independence is not yet declared ; but if it be ever declared, it will never be revoked. As writers for a periodical paper, we have little prospect of acting a conspicuous part in a church revolution. Such occasions make their actors and agents. The men of the pen seldom figure in the field. In a crisis you may remember our advice, and may invite our mediation; but, it will be too late. All that we could do, would only involve us in the same loss of confidence with yourselves. Our labors are now entirely at your service; and, if we have said any thing wrong, or in a wrong spirit, you can neutralize it by giving up the rights of others. The time is come to produce changes in men and man

Genius with us, as a people, must expand; and, with it, the love of liberty. A few of the old men of talents may continue tenacious of former modes and habits, but the influence of liberal sentiments, even if resisted by them, will imperceptibly leaven the young men. The writers of the Repository have gained this point. All parties among us will find themselves impelled to enlarge the sphere of their mental action; they must think more, if they do not think better. Even the men who will not read, must hear. The matter will sound out. There is a time for all things.



The full time was come to write a periodical work, and we have improved it.


No. 47.

Wesleyan Repository, vol. iii. March, 1834, No. xi. page 425.

The Feudal System. The Longobards, or Lombards, are generally believed to have laid the foundation, or at least to have made the earliest improvements of the modern feudal system. That tribe having early left their seats in the northern part of Germany, after many migrations, seized upon Upper Italy, and established the kingdom of Lombardy, about the year 568. In order to enable them to secure their conquests, they found it expedient to divide the conquered country among their chief captains, reserving the superiority to their king: and these captains, after retaining what they deemed sufficient for themselves, parcelled out the remainder among the lower ranks of officers, under the condition of fidelity and military service. The policy of this system was so universally approved in that military age, that even after the overthrow of the inonarchy of the Lombards in Italy, it was adopted by Charlemagne, and eventually by most of the princes in Europe. It was introduced into England by William the Conqueror, who, with a view of keeping his English subjects under complete subjection, divided all the lands in England, with a very few exceptions, into baronies, which he distributed, according to the feudal plan, among the most considerable of his Norman adventurers. Feudal grants were originally precarious, being revocable at the pleasure of the grantor; but afterwards they were gradually conferred for life, and finally the title descended to the heirs in succession.

Although, from the nature of the feudal institution, fiefs were originally granted solely in consideration of military services, yet services of a mere civil or religious nature were early substituted in their room, at the pleasure of the superior. And in the course of time, the spirit of the original institution was so far left out of view, that services of all kinds were dipensed with in some feudal tenures ; but, in such cases the vassal who is exempted from the services,

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