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even common honesty observed here ? No, Sir ; not even the semblance.
Thus was the “ official character” treated. Such was the indignity intended for the “Preachers," whom also they profess to revere.
What cause can that be, which is propped by such arts, such faithlessness as I have exposed ? What reliance can be placed on men, who regard not truth nor their plighted word ? What compromise can be made with those, who associate but to deceive and to destroy—to whom faction is religion, and truth and honour are unknown ?
I would not be understood to mean, that all who have dabbled in this Association are to be thus characterised. There may be, there are some, who have been misled, and who will repent; but I speak of the associators in their associated character, than which nothing can be baser or more malignant, and those, who submit to be joined in the unholy union, cannot expect even their own personal character to remain long unsullied.
This letter of invitation, but not inviting letter, was of course the work of the collective associators. The honour of each man was pledged. The chairman has for ever forfeited all pretention to it. He, who was the representative of the faith of his party, has charged' himself with the full weight of its dishonour. We have yet to learn which of the associators has the manliness and virtue to resent the slur which has dimmed his individual fame. Still more will it be curious to observe how those, who, in their official characters as secretaries, have been made the active instruments of chicanery and falsehood, how they, J. A. Picton and John Bridson, will rescue themselves from the foul shame, which clings to them. They cannot deny their knowledge of the pledge. There are their own signatures attached to it. Did they remonstrate with the chairman, when he belied himself and them ? Did they earnestly entreat him and the meeting to grant the “ full opportunity of reply ?” Did they insist that their integrity would be compromised, their plighted word a mockery, their character dishonoured before the whole world ? No, none of this. And will they now do that which alone remains for them, if they have a spark of honourable feeling? Will they resent the injury which has been done them, and abandon their connexion with the Association; or, will they be content to be known as authors as well as instruments of the foul thing? We shall see. We shall see. In the mean time, I will but apply to the Association their own celebrated phrase, “no honest man can longer remain among them.”-Yours truly,
PROBUS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE ILLUMINATOR. Sir--In an article contained in a former number of the Watchman's Lantern, I find an attempt made to establish the fact that the apostles of the primitive church employed the co-operation of
on whit with the presentative ever forfeitenour of eat, course
laymen, not merely in the temporal affairs of the church, but also in its government; whereas it applied solely, in the instance referred to, to the management of the funds appropriated to the poor, widows, &c.; the deacons, or, as the word originally signifies, servants, being appointed to take care of and distribute the alms collected for that purpose ; nor can we at all infer that subɛequently they were ever invested with authority to legislate in ecclesiastical matters. The number of disciples having greatly increased at Jerusalem, the Hellenistic Jews murmured against the Hebrews, complaining that their widows were neglected in the daily distribution of the church's bounty. The twelve Apostles who had hitherto discharged this office, convened the church, saying: “It is not reasonable that we should leave the ministration of the word of God and serve tables. Look ye out seven men whom we shall appoint” (xQTACTICOLE), and not “whom ye may appoint," as the writer in the Lantern chooses to quote it, and on this misquotation arrogate to the people the power to appoint their own officers, and to these subordinate officers, the right to intermeddle with church government, as he sagely infers, -" Although we have no minute record of church government, we have amply sufficient to prove, that laymen were associated with their ministers on all important occasions.” If the plea for the introduction of laymen into the Conference rests on no better a footing than this, it falls to the ground at once; and we would advise the writer, whoever he be, to be more accurate for the future in his quotations, especially if they are to form the basis of an argument.
Such' however is a specimen of the fallacious reasoning, which men impelled by party zeal, or who take but partial views of truth, will employ ;—but when, with profane hands they take the word of God, and wilfully pervert its meaning to answer interested and sinister ends, deep indeed must be the depravity, and desperate the hardihood which can venture over the sacred threshhold of divine truth, and sacrilegiously appropriate to their unhallowed purposes the words of inspired Scripture “Procul este profani !" We may always suspect that cause to be intrinsically bad, which requires the aid of sophistry to justify it. To promote truth, it is not necessary to have recourse to the tortuous windings and tricks of artifice ; and when the clear and sober deductions of right reason are laid aside for specious fallacies, we may rest assured that error lies concealed beneath the folds of sophistry, however nicely. adjusted, which will not bear the light of fair and open investigation.
“As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone,
Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its' defects.”
· Y. Z.
CANADIAN GUARDIAN AND THE AGITATORS.
begins to sprecontroul in tnation, and
“When an individual rises in the church, and acquires influence and importance in his neighbourhood, he is tempted to think that his means, and information, and standing in society, claim for him more controul in the management of church affairs. He begins to speculate upon questions of church order, and abstract right, and balance of power, &c. &c., until, aided perhaps by some republican theory, he sees his rights invaded at every turn, his principles trampled upon in every arrangement and appointment of the pastors of the church, though they be the same in every thing, but in name, with the acts and duties of the same body from the beginning. In the meditations, feelings, and conversation of a person thus exercised, questions of church order usurp the place of Christian experience, and plans to implicate and oppose the ministers of the word are devised, instead of efforts to aid forward the work; and suspicion and uncharitableness take the place of charity and brotherly kindness, until peace within and without are lost in the chaos of rankling passion and unhallowed contention, which results in the hardening of sinners without, and the grieving and withdrawing of the spirit of God within, or an open schism in the church. The whole of this may perhaps be traced to individuals who have been exalted in society by the desire and effort of intellectual improvement, and the blessing of God upon their labours, which was acquired through the instrumentality of Methodism, and who are strangely urged on, under some pretext or another, to do all in their power to injure and oppose the very ministry by which they have been turned from darkness unto light, and by the productions and under the labours of which they have been nurtured to their present standing in society. How often has a Christian ministry cause to adopt the language of Isaiah to the Jews, who, in their success and prosperity forgot the source of it, I have brought up children and they have rebelled against me. Seldom has any schism in the church ever been commenced by a person in low condition of life ; but almost invariably by those who have acquired their all of property and influence in the church. Very many examples of this kind are recorded in Mr. Wesley's Journals.
“ Another cause of schism in the church is political party spirit. By this we mean, not an adherence to certain principles of civil polity, and the upholding of them; but the boiling of party feel. ing, the despotism of party tyranny, and the slavish subjection to party combination. This is one form of the spirit of the world, as withering to soul-prosperity as the spirit of the world under any other form. On whatever side it hoisis the party banner, the plant of heavenly-mindedness and genuine Christianity withers under its shade, and dies while it is yet floating on the breeze. Look at Christianity as pourtrayed in the New Testament Christians, and how infinitely above and how diametrically opposite to such a spirit! They were firm in the maintenance of their individual rights, yet peaceably and truly submissive to existing authorities, and were never found, for three hundred years, associated in any combinations or plots to oppose their fellow citizens, or subvert the existing government. They had another callingthey had received another spirit. And, whatever party spirit takes possession of any religious community, it produces barrenness, strife, and schism. Its shouts are not the shouts of the king in the camp of Israel—its songs are not the songs of Zion-its festivals are not the feasts of the Lord of Hosts. We have indeed known persons to secede from the church, because it was not loyal enough"; we have known others to renounce it because it was too loyal. In both cases the political good of this world was equally predominant ; and in both cases was the church alike relieved and benefitted. One enemy within the walls of a city can do more harm than a thousand without. In every such case the church has but one duty—to go straight forward, not trusting in man, or making flesh its arm."
DR. WARREN AND HIS LAW-SUIT. Our readers doubtless with ourselves were not surprised when they heard of proceedings instituted in chancery, by the now celebrated Dr. Warren. Indeed the measures he has taken since last Oct. to alienate himself from the connexion wherein he obtained his spiritual benefit, have been of such a character that we are fully prepared to hear of means the most fatal to his own peace and prosperity, and, as far as his influence extended, awfully injurious to the edification of others—adopted and followed by him with reckless obstinacy and perverseness. A bill has been filed in chancery, at the suit of four of the trustees of the Wesley chapel, Oldham-road, Manchester, and Dr. Warren, against the ten other trustees, and the Rev. R. Newton, and seeks the re-instatement of Dr. Warren in the pulpit of the chapel referred to. A second bill has also been filed by Dr. Warren alone, against all the trustees of Oldham-street chapel and Mr. Newton, having in view a similar object. The infatuation which has marked this step of the Doc. tor, fully justifies ourselves in the opinion which we have long entertained of his singular and unhallowed career. One object contemplated by this Methodistical anarchist may be answered, and which perhaps is the only one which he has in view, namely, that of keeping alive in his immediate neighbourhood the feeling of agitation and discord, which has been evidently on the decline for some time past. This is the worthy Doctor's sheet anchor. What has been said of Ireland's great agitator : “ Tranquillize Ireland and his occupation is gone.” So with the case before us. Let the spirit of grace and supplication be poured upon the Methodist societies in Manchester and Liverpool, and the learned Doctor descends to “the tomb of all the Capulets,” and his fame will but occupy a few lines in the page of Methodistic history-an awful warning to all individuals, who, influenced by the evil one, set themselves to war against the church of the living God, to appease the turbulence of an angry and malevolent spirit roused into destructive energy by mortified pride and disappointed ambition. We cannot but consider the case of Dr. Warren a hopeless one : this we are confident he will prove to his own cost, and to the expense of his equally infatuated followers, when the case is fully heard be. fore his honor the Vice Chancellor, in whose court we understand the case will be heard. We also rejoice with the friends of Me. thodism, that the defendants have secured the services of Sir Wm. Horne, a gentleman who has fully studied the various bearings of affairs similar to this, which, together with his vast practice, and commanding talents, would lead us to anticipate the most triumphant results, even were there any part of the case of a dubious character. But this there is not. Lawsuits cannot be carried on without money, and consequently in page 79 of the iniquitous Lantern, we read, “It must be well known that a legal undertaking like the one I have mentioned, cannot be commenced and carried on without considerable expence, and to whom have we to appeal, but to the friends of genuine (!) religious liberty? The prompt forwarding of any sums which may be collected for this purpose will be, I have no doubt, particularly acceptable !" We believe it. So those deluded individuals who have joined the Association, and who have been so earnestly entreated to withdraw all their support from the Missionary (!), Chapel, and Contingent Funds, are most coo'ly, and with an impudence doubly bronzed, are unblushingly called upon to support à most flagrant violation of gospel precept ( see Isi Cor. vi. 1, &c.)
THE LANTERN AND THE METHODIST MAGAZINE,
We have been much amused by the vituperative language used by our contemporary, the Lantern, respecting this periodical ; because, forsooth, the editor does not lend his pages to foster the the spirit of anarchy and disunion, for which the Association was formed. This appears to be the sole calling of the Lantern. The leading article of this publication, in two recent numbers, contained strictures on certain declarations from various circuits, expressive of their firm and unflinching attachment to the constitution and discipline of Methodism, as it is now administered. With these declarations the editor of the Lantern is much offended, and therefore endeavours to exhibit these documents, and the gentlemen whose names are affixed to them as unworthy of notice or regard.
This, to say the least of it, is most uncourteous, especially when the great majority of them are altogether unknown to the editor.