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instances it has been greatly incrcased. A race of Wesleyan giants have been cradled in this storm, who will be the champions of another day. “ Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; and blessed be his glorious Name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen.”—IBID.
NOTICES TO GORRESPONDENTS.
Patience ! patience! Mr. Editor of the Lantern! The delirious effusions of our contemporary have excited our deepest sympathy. Poor gentleman! the failures of the Association at Warrington, Birmingham, and other places together with the results of the great (!) delegate meeting at Manchester, have most seriously affected his nervous system, and we tremble for his personal safety! What lucid intervals he may occasionally have, we cannot tell; but, from the feeble glimmer of his Lantern, we opine not many. The last interview we had with him exceedingly shocked us; and, pondering upon his ravings we involuntarily exclaimed—“ we would not have such a heart in our bosom, for the dignity of the whole body!” and justified the assertion of a favourite bard,
“Infected minds, « To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets." In that paroxysm of high feverish excitement, he talked wildly of “scouring the country," "formidable men in black," " battle," " firing broadsides !" "cudgelled brains," "handcuffs," “public officers,' “prisons," &c. It is, however, a source of relief to us, that Doctor Grindrod belongs to the Associa tion, and to his care we commit the poor Editor, hoping, that by the administration of an Association sedative pill, he may, at our next interview, be more composed, and enabled to attend to his important and responsible duty, of a guide in the dark! It is truly pitiable to see such argumentative talent, pros. trate in the dust!
Our corresponding friends are curious to know certain particulars respecting the “doings of the faction," a few of those we will briefly illuminate. “X." inquires whether the abstracted society book of the Leeds-street chapel has been returned. We believe not. The money (£18 88 4d) was restored as soon as the transaction was illuminated ; and, we suppose, a little further illumination may be necessary to effect the restoration of that document. At the proper time, more of our light shall be thrown upon this nefarious business, if we are not spared the trouble by a speedy restitution. “J. R." asks, “How is Dr. Warren to raise the £2500 he has so foolishly squandered in going to law with his brethren? This question is more easy to propose than to furnish a reply. Perhaps the Liverpool financial secretary to the “Grand Central," who so rudely forced his way into the Lovefeast, at Wesley chapel, Liverpool last Sabbath day, and who has obtained a contemptible notoriety by the zeal with which he has distributed forged Methodist tickets can tell. But the question, whether "travelling expenses to London," be not included in a certain learned cotton spinner's subscription of £100, must remain unanswered by us at present. Probably, when the remaining £2400 shall have been raised “through the length and breadth of the land," we may dispel some of the darkness in which this, and other similar items, are now involved.
“A Seat-holder of Leeds street Chapel," informs us of the sneaking insult offered to the Rev. S. Jackson, on Sunday forenoon, the 26th ultimo, by two of the Association travelling orators-men “ singularly fitted for great actions." It was a pitiful revenge to take, because they were thwarted in their attempts to seduce the leading singers away to the Music Hall, to spit their spite upon the officiating minister, who did nothing to influence, however he might gratefully approve, the conduct of those honest and faithful sons of Asaph. We hope those gentlemen (!) and the congregations generally, both at the Music Hall, Liverpool, and the Tabernacle, Manchester, would meditate upon the 1st Lesson for that morning's service, viz.-Num. xvi. In the opinion of multitudes, it was a singularly appropriate chapter to open those rooms with. We have not heard whether they dared to read it there or not; we confess, we have our doubts. This reminds us of the dissentient local preachers at Leeds, in 1827, who endeavoured to destroy that Society by throwing up their plans, &c. on the very Sunday when the appointed Ist Lesson was Ezekiel, c. ii. We fear the Association will pay very little attention to these almost unexampled coincidences; or, to our recommendation, to ponder seriously upon them; but sound Methodists, who not only venerate their Bibles, but read them, will think for themselves, under the guidance of that good Spirit who indicted them “ for our learning."
To our Manchester correspondent, “Omega," we tender our cordial thanks. We regret that the greater part of our present number was in type, when his favour arrived. We intend it to appear in our next, together with the communication from “An Admirer of the Case without a Parallel." We also assure “Omega," that we have by no means done with the Manchester delegates, either individually or collectively. We hope soon to hear again from him.
Communications have also been received from “W. P. B."-"An Enemy to Hypocrisy,"-"J. M."* Sigma,"_“ Philalethes," "0. R."-"A Lover of Methodism," "Epsilon,"-"Mentor,"_" Alpha," and “M."
Other Notices to Correspondents are unavoidably deferred.
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THE SCRIPTURAL APPOINTMENT OF THE MINISTRY DEFENDED.
AGAINST THE PRIMARY PRINCIPLE ADOPTED BY THE MANCHESTER DELEGATES.
WHATEVER opinion we may entertain respecting the spirit and proceedings of the meeting of delegates at Manchester, we cannot but rejoice that it has been held. It has fully opened up to public view, that which we always knew to be the real case in dispute between the Association and the Wesleyan connexion. We have repeatedly charged an intention of revolution upon them, and they have as often denied any design beyond the redress of grievances—the restoration of lost rights—and the impartial administration of the existing provisions of the Methodist constitution. It has turned out, that they have lost no rights—that they have no grievances_except such as are connected with their own misconduct; and, finding as they proceeded, that they have no case, they have resolved now, that Methodism itself, of which they avowed themselves the pure, well-principled, and faithful adherents, is the grievance against which they have to complain.
In accordance with this, they first agree to an abstract principle, and resolve that the institutions and government of the connexion shall square to that principle. Abstractions and theories are the delight and glory of all reformers. Their brain teems with ideal pictures of constitutions, laws, churches, governments-cut and dried—fitted to all climes, places, and people, just as a tailor fits his coat to the back of the gentleman he intends to adorn, or screen from wind and weather. These constitutions for the church have all one origin, the vox populi ; which, we presume, in this case, at least, is taken as the vox Dei—for we hear of His voice in no other way. There might be no divine government-no revelation from God no acknowledged Head of the church-no spiritual kingdom in existence -no laws and rules propounded for the faith and obedience of Christians, by the oracular manner in which the leading principle of the Association is set forth. The first edition of this principle is stated as follows :-“That the basis of a plan for the reformation of Methodism, to be adopted by this meeting, shall be the principle of the right of popular interference of the members of the church in all the operations of the system.” Some of the members of the meeting, startling a little at the terms of this resolution, it was amended, as follows, and adopted, nearly unanimously—only nine lifting up their hands against it: “That the basis of the plan for a reformation of Methodism, to be adopted by this meeting, shall be the principle of the right of interference of the members of the church in the regulation of all its affairs." We know not why the meeting should have been at the trouble of altering the first form of the resolution. The second is exactly the same in principle; and all which was done by the change, was to get rid of the term “popular,” and substitute for the words, "the operations of the system,” those of “the regulation of all its affairs."
These terms are, in themselves, extremely vague; but we will take the resolution to mean what we believe to be the sense intended to be conveyed by those who passed it, viz. : the absolute, inalienable, and universal right of all the private members of the Wesleyan Methodist community to “interfere” in the management, direction, and government of the whole and entire system; that nothing shall be done, in any way, in Methodism without the consent, concurrence, and determination of all the members of the church, taken and had by some means. In other words, that they shall be parties in every part of the operations of the great machine, and that nothing can be lawfully done, except they are included. We infer this latter particular, because the powers in question are called “rights."
Now, if these great and inalienable "rights” belong to all the members of the church," then we ask, how they were obtained ? As the question relates altogether to the Christian church, it must be examined by the New Testament. It will not do for our politico-religious legislators to refer to their notions of law-of the principles of abstract justice-to one of the Abbè de Sayes metaphysical constitutions—to Jeremy Bentham, or the Utilitarians. The question is, whether, when it pleases God to convert a sinner from the error of his ways, and he unites himself to the visible church, he obtains the right to interfere in the regulation of all its affairs,” by the terms of his admission. We have long been accustomed to read our Bibles ; but we do not recollect, that, with the privilege of admission into the church, granted to every disciple, this right is super-added. When the Association will favour us with scriptural proof of such right being inherent in all the members of the church, we promise to bestow further attention on the subject. By the bye, how variously the wind blows in the quarters of these gentlemen! It is only a few weeks since Mr. Gordon, the mover of this notable resolution, denied, in the Music Hall at Liverpool, that the ministry had any inherent rights, and called it "inherent nonsense.” Now, however, the same gentleman maintains that every man, woman, and child, in the Methodist society, possesses an inherent right to legislate, to govern, and to “interfere in the regulation of all its affairs." We deny this principle; and dare any of the champions of the Association to the proof of the scriptural truth of their own proposition.
It is known by all the world, that this noise about rights, legislation, and government, is aimed against the Wesleyan ministry. The attempt is to make it subservient to the passions of the people; to despoil it of its divine origin and call : its scriptural prerogatives; its pure and distinctive character; and to trample it in the mire of democracy. We need not spend a moment in shewing, that the Wesleyan ministry has never yet rested on the basis of this resolution; and we deny the power assumed by the Association to "interfere” with this department of Methodism, in the manner they declare to be their right. The stress of the controversy lies on this point. The resolution of the Association claims the right of “interference," on the part of the members of the church, in “all its affairs ;' and, consequently, with ALL the functions, duties, and prerogatives of the ministerial office. On this question, we join issue with the Association. We flatly and unequivocally deny that the members of the church possess a right to interfere in all things with the functions of the ministry.
THE MINISTERIAL OFFICE, ITSELF, IS OF DIVINE APPOINTMENT.
The great Head of the church has fixed this office by the exercise of his own legislative prerogative. It is a part of the system of Christianity, and is inherent in its economical provisions. Through all the generations in which it was arranged that the Mosaic law should continue, the office of priesthood remained, and the system would have lost its identity and peculiar characteristic, had that part of it ceased to be observed. The same is the case in reference to the ministerial office in Christianity. It is not an accident, to be or not to be, as circumstances may occur ; but it belongs to the economy itself, and wherever the one is established, the other, in some of its names and modifications, must co-exist. It is true, that some of the varieties of the office have ceased, since primitive times, because they had respect to that which was extraordinary or miraculous. When testimony was to be given to the personal perfections of Christthe truth of his doctrines, miracles, death and resurrection-it was essential that persons should be employed who had been eye and ear witnesses. Hence, the Apostolic office required that they should have seen the Lord, and be sent by him. But, in this case, this was extraordinary. The ordinary functions of the ministerial office belonged to them as well. They were pastors, elders, evangelists, as well as Apostles. We behold them not merely bearing testimony to the facts of the gospel, but planting churches, exercising the pastoral care and office over them, and teaching the whole doctrine of Christ. Whilst the sacred canon was incomplete, it was necessary that the prophetic spirit should be given; at least, to some that the remaining revelations from God might be received and transmitted—that the evangelical narrative should be finished, and the whole confirmed and established by miracles. Hence, the terms employed to designate the ministerial office, in some of its functions, have relation to these extraordinary events. With the necessity, they have ceased; but the ordinary functions of the ministry remain, as a part of the great evangelical economy, through all ages, in all places, and as an integral part of the Christian church itself. Our proof of this proposition must necessarily be limited to a very few references to the sacred writings.
In St. Paul's beautiful comparison of the church to the human body, we find the ministerial offices enumerated as a part-(see 1st Cor. xii. chapter from verse 12 to 31, inclusive):-"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Whatever position the ministry may hold in the body-whether the foot or the hand, or the eye or the ear-it is evidently a part. And the lan. guage of the Apostle may be addressed to all who murmur and complain: “If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it, therefore, not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it, therefore, not of the
body?-If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing ? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.” The point to which we wish to invite attention, is, the fact that the ministerial office, in all its varieties, is identified with the body of Christ. It is not an office, ab extra, existing accidentally; or raised up for extraordinary occasions, like many of the Jewish prophets, and then passing away, having accomplished its functions. Instead of this being the case, it is represented as belonging to the identity of the body; and wherever it may be placed, it is essential to the unity, beauty, vitality, and working of the whole. Then the proof that the church is to be perpetuated, through all time, will be evidence that the ministry, in its distinctive, isolated, and acknowledged character, is to be perpetuated too. Wherever the body exists, the members composing it must exist, or it is not the body of Christ. It may be some mutilated idol, set up in its place, destitute of the perfections, symmetry, members, senses, and vitality of the body of which Christ is the head ; and, if so, as lifeless as one of the statues in St. Paul's, or the slumbering mummy of an Egyptian mausoleum.
In the account given by the Apostle of the fruits of the Saviour's perfected work and intercession, we find the gifts essential to the ministry. Hence, the ministerial office, and the grace necessary to its discharge, arise out of the grand mediatorial scheme, and are, consequently, identified with it:-" Therefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, andgave gifts un to men.-(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth ? He that descended is the same also that ascended up, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things).–And he gave some Apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ : till we all come, in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ : that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried away by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and the cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted, by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effećtual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Many valuable and important lessons might be selected from this passage suited to the present circumstances of our connexion, but we have selected it for the single purpose of showing, that the ministerial office is here connected with the mediatorial power of Christ, and as one of the “gifts” which result from its exercise. Those “gifts," in other respects, are uniform and perpetual. The mediator procures for the world of sinners repentance towards God; for all believers the pardon of sin—the adoption of grace-the sanctification of the spirit-communion with the Father-succour both in life and death-and then the peace of heaven. As it does not fail in any of these points, there is no reason to conclude that it does so in any other, and that the “gift” of the ministry will continue to be one of the fruits of the Saviour's mediatorial power, “ till he shall give up the kingdom to God even the Father.” From this connexion, it is evident that the ministry belongs to the grace which results from the mediation of Christ, for the perpetuity of his church, and the salvation of the world—that it belongs essentially to the great scheme of love and mercy, in bringing an alienated race. into a state of reconciliation, that as a ministry of the Holy Spirit procured by the atonement and intercession of our Lord, and actually employed to bring man into a state of spiritual probation, enlighten his dark path, excite him to penitence, and, if obeyed, lead him into all the purity and comfort of a converted state ; so also, in subordination to that, the ministry of men set apart for the purpose, and filled with all suitable gifts for the vocation, is equally a provision of the spiritual kingdom of our Redeemer. The ministry of the Spirit is internal, silent, searching, and, in power, always operating on the principles of the evangelical covenant, and flowing in the channel of redemption ;-the living ministry is intended to be co-incident with the other, only to be external, suited to the natural state and wants of man, and agreeing to that visible form into which it has pleased God to place his church in this world.
Then, on this principle, the office of the ministry rests on the highest authority, and the most secure arrangement. It is a part of the great and sublime economy which has its centre of operation on the mediatorial throne; but which extends its exquisite and unalterable arrangements through the church and the world, for the edification of the one, and the salvation of the other. In exact proportion as the mediatorial government of our Lord developes its principles, pours forth its grace, exerts its power, sets up its dominion, gains its true glories, and establishes its peace, purity and love in these regions of earth and sin-in that proportion the office of the ministry will be en