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(Tract No. 7, p. 2.) If every link is known, then they might be easily presented. And if they are known to be sound, it would not be to their injury but to their advantage to present their evidence, that each link was placed there and remained there according to canonical order and scriptural requirements, and we promise to follow the chain and the evidence with the test of our Savior, applying it fairly link by link, and abide the result, either showing the evidence to be defective or embracing the dogma. But to urge these claims in the absence of this proof, and that too in the face of such opposing declarations, as the following, made by their leading divines, "that there is not a minister in all christendom who is able to trace up with any approach to certainty, his own spiritual pedigree"; that "the succession of persons is so uncertain, that whosoever shall make the being of a Church, or the ministry, or the power of the sacraments, depend upon it, shall so offend Jesus Christ's little ones, and be guilty of such a scandal, as it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck and he cast into the sea." To urge such assumptions, under such circumstances, is an arrogance not to be respected, and which in my opinion is not guiltless in the sight of God.

I venerate it not, because it introduces a new condition of salvation. The scriptures present the human family as divided into two great classes, the enemies, and the friends of God. It becomes then a question of infinite moment, how can the former become the latter? The high Church hypothesis says, with Bishop Hobart, "In this regenerating ordinance [Baptism] fallen man is born again, from a state of condemnation into a state of grace." "Our Church," says he, "in all her services considers Baptized christians [i.e. baptized persons] as regenerate; as called to a state of salvation; as made members of Christ; children of God; heirs to the kingdom of heaven." With the Rev. Mr. Melville: "We really think no fair, no straight forward dealing can get rid of the conclusion; that the Church holds what is called baptismal regeneration." "So long as I officiate according to the forms of the Prayer Book I do not see how I can be commonly honest, and yet deny that every Baptized person is, on that account, regenerate." And what saith the Prayer Book? Then shall the minister say, seeing, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate, and grafted into Christ BY baptism," &c. "Regenerate by baptism"? The faith of the Protestant Episcopal Church, as set forth in her formularies of devotion and ex plained by her Prelates, is, that the child of wrath becomes the child of God by baptism; that by this ordinance they become heirs of the kingdom, children of God, in a state of grace and salvation. But is this the condition found in the Bible? There baptism is spoken of as an outward rite, a symbol of an inward

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change. What said Paul, “Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized." Why baptized? To bring them under the influence of the Holy Ghost? No; but, because they "have received the Holy Ghost as well as we." Paul also says, "Jesus Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." To the Jailor he said, when inquired of what he should do to be saved, "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." REPENT, that your sins may be blotted out." "Thy FAITH hath saved thee." Circumcision, is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but a new CREATURE." These are the conditions which the scriptures present, but how do they compare with the high Church dogma, that "repentance, faith, and obedience will not of themselves be effectual to our salvation." "The only mode through which we can obtain a title to these [Gospel] blessings is the sacrament of baptism." Such a right claimed by this corporation to institute new terms of salvation not known in the scriptures-to confer a title to salvation upon whomsoever they may see fit to sprinkle holy water and make the sign of the cross, as Protestants, we reject as containing in all its length and breadth the opus operatum of Rome.

I reject it, because it introduces anti-scriptural tests of our acceptance with God. The qestion according to this theory, with the Laity now is, are the genealogical credentials of my minister, from whom I have received baptism and the Lord's Supper, correct? This being settled in the affirmative, all is well. By the former I have been regenerated, and by the latter received the life-giving Bread from Heaven. The reception of Church sacraments from an authorized minister, be he never so great a sinner, removes at once all fear of the wrath of God and inspires the hope of heaven. Hence, as the London Observer says, "the preachers of this school address their auditors almost promiscuously as christians, because, professedly and by the sacrament of baptism, they are such. Our view, on the other hand, is, that a large portion of them, are not christians, except in name; and should, therefore, be addressed, not merely as needing to be exhorted to higher advances in goodness and virtue, but to become christians in the spiritual sense of the term." The test is, have you received the sacraments? not that you FEEL "His bliss inspiring presence.' Which of these tests are evangelical and scriptural, the reader must judge. The poet who had tried the former, becoming convinced of its insufficiency, thus expressed himself:

"Long have I seem'd to serve thee, Lord,

With unavailing pain:

Fasted, and pray'd, and read thy word,

And heard it preached in vain.

Oft did I with the assembly join,

And near thy altar drew,

A form of godliness was mine,
The power I never knew.
I rested in the outward law,
Nor knew its deep design:

The length and breadth I never saw,
And height of love divine.

To please thee thus at length I see,
Vainly I hop'd and strove;

For what are outward things to thee,
Unless they spring from love?
I see the perfect law requires
Truth in the inward parts;

Our full consent, our whole desires,
Our undivided hearts.

But I of means have made my boast,
Of means an idol made:

The spirit in the letter lost,

The substance in the shade.

Where am I now, or what my hope?
What can my weakness do?

Jesus, to thee my soul looks up:

'Tis THOU must make it new."

Who does not see in the successional test not only an entrenching upon the rights of other Churches, but an advance of formalism, a corruption of the truth, a counteracting of the influences of a spiritual christianity, and a war upon the dearest interests of our race? Who that has cast his eye over the world and watched the movements in Europe and America, for a few of the last years, but is convinced that there are two principles in Church and two in State, which are fast arraying themselves for conflict. It is formal religion against spiritual christianity: it is the free institutions of law and equality against those of will and arbitrary distinction; and, as the Rev. Mr. Eddy says, "let the issue be joined, the world is prepared for it. It may now be the conflict of argument, and not of arms; of mind redeemed, free, sanctified. Let charity be our spirit, truth our weapons, and God the umpire." The aristocracy of formalism is seeking to wield over the new world the iron sceptre of the "man of sin." Let it vail, and the incubus of death will be upon a spiritual religion. It is time the friends of spiritual christianity spoke out. Silence now, would be falsehood. Let them arise, and in love meet the claims of this new religion. We need not despair: truth will triumph, and the world be regenerated by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts!


The above is the first chapter of reasons why I do not esteem very highly the doctrine of a personal succession. When these are disposed of, I will present others. In closing my remarks upon this subject, I will present two extracts from the writings of Churchmen, which I recommend to the special notice of the Rector. The first is from Taylor's Spiritual Christianity, and reads thus: "In proportion as the gospel is understood in its purity

and in its power-in proportion as it is felt to be a spiritual religion, its independence of whatever is local and visible will the more appear; not, indeed, to the disparagement of visible institutions, but the higher glory of the spiritual reality. It seems scarcely to need proof, that any system of opinions, the purport and tendency of which is, to give an unusual prominence and a paramount importance to visible institutions, and especially as historically defined, and which with a severe consistency, denies the very name of Christian to whatever may be found beyond its pale, or may not acknowledge its jurisdiction; that such a system, so far as it takes effect, stands opposed to whatever is the most auspicious in the present age, and if permitted to work its will, must turn back the current of human affairs a thousand years, and would confine the blessings of the gospel within limits narrower than those of ancient Judaism. These exclusive opinions, so fondly embraced by many, are indeed, ‘a discipline of the secret,' likely enough to bury the gospel in a cloister along with the last hopes of happiness for mankind."

The other extract is from Arch Deacon Hare. "I cannot but make mention of a notion which has been brought forward somewhat prominently by certain very amiable and pious men in our days, viz. that our Lord's promise was not made to the collective body of His Church, to that body of which He is the Head, the blessed communion of all faithful people, in all nations and through all ages, but that it was confined to the Apostles exclusively, as the supposed representative of the Episcopal body, and that none are embraced in it, except the same Episcopal body, unto the end of the world. You would join with me, I would fain hope, in the earnest desire to purge our Church from all remains of that Judaizing Romish superstition, which would wrap up the free spirit of the gospel in the swathing bonds of forms and ceremonies, and would tether it to a name."

"That amiable and pious men should have taken up such a notion, which leads straightway to the most revolting conclusions, according to which the chief part of Protestant Christendom is cast out at once by a sweeping interdict from the pale of Christ's Church, nay, is recklessly declared to stand on a level with the heathen, and to be left to the uncovenanted mercies of God, that able and pious men should not shrink with awe from such a notion, that they should take it up under any thing less than the clearest, most compulsory, most irresistable demonstration, that they should not look carefully and anxiously around for some mode of escaping from such appalling conclusions, might be deemed unaccountable, if we did not remember how prone we all are to convert every object of our peculiar interest and affection, even the objects of our purest worship, into idols. This is the last wall of the citadel in which the selfishness of man takes


refuge and barricades itself; and it can hardly be thrown down altogether, so long as we continue here below. Our form of government, must be the only good form of government, not because it is a good one, but because it is ours. Our Church must be the only Church, not because it is founded on truth, few examine its foundation; still fewer examine the foundations of other churches with patience, and candor, and honesty, and a righteous self-distrust: : no, our Church is ours, and therefore, it is the only true one. We still cannot bear to think that the veil of the temple should have been rent; we still cannot bear that the Gentiles should have a free approach to the Holy of holies; we cannot bear that our neighbors should come to it by any other road than I can only express my regret that, where such strong arguments in favor of Episcopacy may be drawn from the history and idea of the Church, many of its advocates, not content with proving that it is the best form of Church government, have resolved to make out that it is the only one, and have tried to rest it upon scriptural grounds, which in fact only weakens their cause. For I cannot discover the shadow of a word in the Gospels to counter-balance the interpretation referred to. Feeble and flimsy as are the Scriptural arguments, on which the Romanists maintain the inalienable primacy of St. Peter, they are far more specious and plausible than those derived from the same source, on the strength of which it has been attempted to establish the absolute necessity of Episcopacy to the existence of a Christian Church."



"Let us my brethren, carefully beware of that most hurtful and narrow-minded of monopolies which would monopolize the grace of God. The way to life is narrow enough: let us not throw up any fresh mounds by its side, to render it narrower still. Let us rejoice that the salvation which Christ wrought for his people is not tied to any thing that man set up, or that man can pull down. Let us rejoice that in Christ Jesus neither Episcopacy availeth any thing, nor anti-Episcopacy, but a new creature. us rejoice that the gospel was to be preached to all nations, and that all nations were to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Admirable sentiments! Sentiments which will live when exclusiveness shall be burnt out by the spirit of a pure gospel. How pitiful do the arrogant claims in the tract, circulated, and now circulating by the Rector of St. James', and so strikingly condemned in the extract above, appear, by the side of these noble sentiments. These extracts are the more valuable not only on account of their fully defining the war now made upon Churches fancied to be out of the succession, but, because they come from Church of England-men condemning more fully than I have done the whole course of Mr. Bolles and the high Church party, and using language which had it come from me would have been called "reproachful epithets," of "re

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