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appointed the committee ? The Edinburgh meeting. And who appointed the delegates that were convened in that place? The congregations. Thus it is impossible to escape from the primal fountain. Whatever amount of labour we inflict upon ourselves, it is only travelling round a circle and coming back to the original starting point. But if any of us do seriously want an hierarchy we can go where the thing exists upon a scale of magnitude and lustre, accompanied by all those spells of antiquity and splendour, which give augustness to absolute power, and mollify the pain of servitude. We need not construct one upon so insignificant a platform-to have all the intolerable pangs of vassalage, without any of those charms which modify its bitterness. I have now done for the present.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
Some of our brethren have expressed themselves very
much displeased with us for introducing the articles of “Jethro on the Election of Elders. Others again are well pleased with the controversy. The balance is about equal. We are therefore encouraged to go on, supposing the subject, as a matter of debate, will soon be ended. In the mean time we shall here introduce a paragraph from the Millennial Harbinger for the consideration of " Jethro,” and all others who may feel interested in the subject
“My views of church organization, of its importance and necessity, are corroborated by every day's experience and observation. We have a good theory of church organization. We have placed the fountain of authority in the people. But no coinmunity ever did or ever can accomplish any thing by latent authority. Men will as soon set the ocean on fire by its ,latent caloric, as govern themselves by latent authority. This latent authority must be disengaged, and concentrated in deacons, evangelists, pastors, overseers. But authority in Christ's kingdom is derived not from the Pope, nor the council, nor ihe synod, nor the presbytery, nor the diocesan prelate, but from the Lord, through his people : but when constitutionally communicated it inust be subuniited to. It cannot both be communicated and retained.
“ The best means of co-operative organization between
congregations is a desideratum to which, as a community, we have not attained. In the want of it we are suffering much; and as some there are in all communities disposed to oppose every thing that may be introduced which they happen neither to comprehend nor to like, it is expedient that efforts be made to enlighten the dissidents, that our action on this great and most important point may be intelJigent, scriptural, and harmonious. All feel the need of it. And can we not ascertain what ought to be done to preserve union, harmony, and co-operation throughout all the churches, so far as such union and co-operation are necessary and desirable for the purposes of proinuting the best interests of our Lord's kingdom in the world."
Brother Campbell says "No community ever did or ever can accomplish any thing by latent or hidden authority." This we firmly believe to be correct; but the question is, who is to disengage or bring out this authority which is said to exist in each of the separate congregations of disciples of Jesus Christ ? Is a congregation of newly-converted men, women, and children to do this of their own accord ? or, are the evangelists to do it for them ? This seems to be the question of debate between “Jethro "and brother Greenwell. At present neither our own nor any brother's opinion on the subject will appear in the Messenger. These brethren have full liberty to proceed if they think proper to do so. Will “ Jethro further express his mind on the real question at issue? We wait his reply.
The article on “ Christian Organization” in this number will no doubt excite the fears of some, the direct opposition of others, and the open, undisguised hatred of those few who are opposed to all rule and government (except their own) among the congregation of saints.
The aim of every disciple of Christ should be to prove all things, holding fast only that which is good for himself, the world, and for all the brotherhood : this we know will be most acceptable to God. The first duty then is to obtain a correct knowledge of the will of God, and then endeavour by all possible means to bring every thought and lofty ima
gination into subjection thereto (2 Cor. x. 4, 5.) however much it may be opposed to our former opinions, most of which have been inbibed from the circumstances through which we have passed, and not simply from the word of God alone, as they ought to have been. Spiritual Babylon, into which we were originally born, is indeed a kingdom of darkness as well as of confusion, our escape from her precincts is but slow though determined, and we hope it will prove to be successful in the end.
THE LORD'S DAY. The sects charge us with denying the divinity of Christ; the operation of the Spirit; and with badly keeping the Lord's day. Of the latter charge we justly stand guilty. Here is an ugly ulcer in the very vitals of our church. Because no positive command is found in the New Testament, to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy," the moral obligation to keep it holy is thrown off by thousands of our brethren, with the example of many of our teachers “in high places.” Call a certain day, Lord's day, and we are instantly involved in a moral obligation to keep it as such. Call a certain day, Lord's day, and then go about our own concerns, to the plough, merchandise, or trade, if we cai), without violating a inoral obligation! It cannot be done. Now, what is Lord's day ? Does it mean nothing more than sound? Is there no obligation implied in the expression? Call it Lord's day, then how can any one, called by the hallowed name of Christ, go about his secular concerns; giving or receiving visits ; exchanged osten with the world in amusements, pastime, sports; conversing about any thing but Christ and him crucified ;. the news, politics, scandals, broils, mistakes, faults, foibles of all; evil surmisings, backbitings,&c. I decry not visits on Lord's day, where Jesus, glory, resurrection, iminortality, and eternal life, are the blissful theme : but how few and far between are such! The professor is badly taught, or badly inclined, who does not religiously keep the Lord's day. Call first day of the week Lord's day, and the Lord's business comes with claims involving the great concerns of eternity with its rising sun; calling the busy sons of earth off from the noisx
concerns of this world, to the mighty concerns of an invisible world to which we are all advancing in rapid step; calling pious believers to the house of prayer, there in fellowship of saints to remember the death and resurrection of Christ till he returns in glory. Eternal consequences ! The destiny of all the living, hang suspended on the moral concerns, which returning Lord's day obirudes upon the ceaseless rush of business and cares, which drown men's souls in the love of money. It intervenes between the master and his servant, bidding haughty man 10 reinember he has a Master in heaven, who will ineasure out to him the mercy or stripes he has meted to his slave. Call one day in seven Lord's day, and all are singing against heaven's majesty, and challenging his authority or right to a day of man's time, who do not religiously spend that day in God's service. The Lord's day relaxes our avaricious hold on the world, and directs the mental eye toward the invisible world described in the volume of inspiration. No man violates the morality of the Lord's day without becoming immoral, and falls into a loose observation of heaven's law in every shape. I never saw a man "keep the Lord's day indifferently, who did not indifferently keep all the gospel precepts. Nor have I seen a pastor church keep the Lord's day indifferently, whose flock did not as badly keep the road to heaven.
Are we to be silent in these things, and guiltless before God ?: The Lord knows my heart is pained at the idea of giving pain, Are we to be silent in this hour of peril and increasing crime, when the love of many is waxing cold ? Paul has well described the present age, saying, “ Moreover, know this, that in late times, difficult seasons will present themselves : for Christians become selfish, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, evilspeakers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, irreconcileable, slanderous, intemperate, fierce, enemies to goodness, betrayers, rash, infatuated, lovers of pleasure more than lovers. of God, keeping to a form of godliness, but having cast aside the
power thereof." (Wakefield's version.) Are we not in these last times ? Are we not approaching some eventful crisis ? When the Lord will “ render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”
S. M. M. EDITOR'S NOTE.. It is matter of surprise and regret that any of the disciples
of Jesus should exhibit such a spirit of worldly mindedness and desecration of the Lord's day, as that spoken of in the foregoing remarks. Surely they must be very fond of this perishing state, and in no way ambitious after the attainment of glory, honour, immortality, or eternal life. “He that soweth to the flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption.” Because there is no express command in the New Testament to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, therefore there is no obligation to keep the Lord's day in honour of Hiin who gave himself for the redemption of a perishing world! Such appears to be the sentiment of some who have taken upon themselves the profession of Christianity; and it would be matter of gratitude if we could say, This spirit belongs exclusively to some few individuals in the United States. But this is not the case : there are some in this country under the influence of this licentious, ungrateful, and disobedient spirit. Brethren, such conduct must be corrected; and while it is understood by the intelligent devoted Christiau that every day is the Lord's, yet the Lord's day, or first day of the week is his, in an especial manner; nor can we with impunity devote it to our own worldly interest, travelling, visiting friends, &c. to the neglect of that public worship instituted and appointed by the apostles of the Lamb, to be attended to till the Lord returns to judge the world in righteousness,
We have much to say on this subject, but it must be deferred for the present.
ASPECTS OF METHODISM.-No. 1.
The nature of every association, as well as its designs must be learned from its constitution, or from the conditions of membership authoritatively enjoined upon the candidate for admission. One condition only is proposed in the Me. thodistic constitution, as the door of admission into the society. It is expressed in the following words :-" There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, a desire to flee from the