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ers of Tory principles (in which this Brother seems to glory), which ought to have shown him that he has misrepresented us, is adduced by him as inconsistent and self-confuting on our part. Seventhly, he puts us before his readers in the light of hypocrites, who hate the Brethren for concealed reasons, and attack them for sham ones. Their intolerance; their hatred to civil liberty and apathy as to breaking the chains of the slave; their infatuated contempt of mental cultivation ; which are with us prominent and avowed grounds of opposing their system, this Brother represents as so many points, which, we suppose by great acuteness, he has discovered that we dislike. Eighthly, to aggravate all the above, he most gratuitously imagines that we disapprove of all the opinions which we name as current among them; and makes use of this to give us some very needless
grave admonitions. Yet we distinctly declared, Many of their opinions appear to us to involve valuable truth;' words which he quotes, but does not believe. Ninthly, he has in two instances really misquoted our words, while putting a false sense upon them, so as to obtain pretence for contradiction. These will be noticed presently.
By help of so many engines he produces the appearance of much injustice on our part; and yet, as to the general result, every practical and important doctrine which we ascribed, he accepts, either by passing over our pointed statements, or by express avowal; sometimes using stronger and more precise terms than we would have ventured to adopt. On the other hand, the points contested by him are not practical, and several of them are marked by us as necessarily theoretic. Indeed, as regards the case between us and the Brethren, we should willingly. adopt this Brother's own letter as the groundwork and book of reference; for every erroneous and hurtful principle which we ascribe to them is defended or exhibited by him.
He plainly intimates that he is justified in charging us with falsehood, because we did not verify our assertions from the Christian Witness. We did not do so, first, because, while convinced ourselves that the great mass of its sentiments is held by the Brethren, we knew that they would appeal against it, if we tried to demonstrate' by quotations that they held an opinion which it was not otherwise notorious that they held. And herein this Brother justifies us, for he declares that such quotations would go for nothing (p. 499). But, secondly, having had considerable means of personal observation, the writer held himself at liberty to use such sources, particularly because the system is one which is not always the same on paper and in reality. Reading this Brother's déclaration, that they do not think it wrong • to agree to differ,' and the eloquent extracts which he makes on this subject, any one might imagine them a most comprehensive and liberal body, which is very contrary to the fact.
Read their declamations against the imposing of a creed, and you will not suspect what the Brother unawares confesses, as we shall show, that this is but a name. Moreover, by numerous expressions the reader was given to understand, that we had other means of knowledge beside the books whose titles were prefixed; as indeed it is very customary with reviews to set the names of books, as mottoes, at the head of an article. Whatever personal responsibility the writer hereby incurred, is relieved, if not entirely removed, by this Brother himself; and as for a few points that remain, not affecting the general question, the writer is most willing to bear it.
The bad features which we ascribed to their system may be described as intolerance, censoriousness, exaggeration, peremptoriness, hatred of freedom, contempt of mental cultivation, and (consequent) loss of common sense in the exposition of Scripture. The Brother refutes none of these; but avows some, and pretty clearly exhibits the rest. Their chief practical opinions may be concisely stated, as those concerning open ministry, concerning educating ministers, concerning democracy in the church and the receiving of ministers, concerning separation, test articles, church history and other literature, the canon of Scripture, worldly property, worldly power, political rights, and improvement of the community on all which the Brother has none but a fictitious difference from our statement. When in addition to this, we volunteered to say (as from personal knowledge) much that was honorable concerning them, and which we might as well have suppressed, it appears to us an unworthy thing in this Brother, by measured yet sufficiently definite and often repeated language, to hold us up as false witnesses.
In such a mass of confusion as he has produced by his misinterpretations, it is difficult to us to know where to begin explanations; for if we take every detail in order, we shall fill a volume.
I. We begin, then, with what, he says, “surpasses all our other 'statements in careless hardihood,' the opinions of the Brethren, and particularly of Mr. P. Hall
, concerning magistracy. Here the Brother is ignorant of the contrast of meaning between the phrases ordained by God's providence,' and ordained by God's gruce ;' which we have heard so often from eminent men among the Brethren, that we supposed it to be understood by them all. And if not, our own words explained it; for we made providence to be that which also ordains banditti, earthquake, pestilence;' and said that God regulated and controlled even the devil's acts, and yet this Brother pretends it is contradictory to say, ' ordained ' by providence,' and appointed by the devil. Now, while we think élie doctrine to be
mischievous that a Christian ought to forswear political power and rights, and in so
far, mischievous to hold that the devil is the immediate source of this power, we did not pronounce the latter to be an ungodly * and wicked opinion, which would seem to imply impiety in those who hold it. " What we do regard as ungodly is, that the Brethren should force upon others their tenet about political disfranchisement, as one main test of their Christian character. This Brother will not deny, that whoever interprets the New Testament herein differently from them, they pronounce to be worldly. · Union with the world,' with them means very chiefly, the retaining and exercising political † rights; and though most of them see that Paul must be the first person condemned, they do not shrink from this haughty conduct.
But be the sentiment ungodly or otherwise, it is not seldom professed, without incurring reproof, by many of the brethren; while all hold the practical inference from it, which is the main thing for which we care. In the Christian Witness, vol. vi. p. 66, we read : “Satan has in his power (subject indeed to an overruling control) the kingdoms of the earth during this age, and no longer. He is only the prince of this world for a time; • but he is termed even the god of this world. The world and • its kingdoms will be redeemed into the possession of the Lord of the whole earth, &c. ...(Note) I do not think that Satan
rightfully had the kingdoms of the world when he offered them • to the Lord : [I think] that he was not at that time prince of
the world ; and only became so by the world having rejected • Christ. Again, ch. iv. vol. v. pp. 2, 3: “Does the world belong to Christ or Satan? This is a question of immense practical concern, as involving our present standing and relationship both
to God and the world. There is no question it belongs to Christ . in title and in right, for all things were made by him and for • him, &c. ... But in this dispensation of long-suffering, there is “no visible assertion of that right, nor any exercise of it for the right ordering of the world. Such an assumption of direct control, we learn expressly from Rev. xi. 15, 17, 18, to be yet • future, &c. ... The devil had claimed the power of this world
in his approach to Christ as the tempter, and our Lord was far ' from denying the fact. Nay, in the progress of his rejection, . he could himself own him to be the prince of this world, &c. &c. • The Scriptures relative to these facts have been largely opened for our instruction in the Witness, and they have no doubt by
* Opinions may be either true or false, but they are not in any
strictness godly or ungodly: To call an opinion ungodly, could only mean (we apprehend) that the holding it is a mark of ungodliness.
+ It is not merely the exercising them ill to which they object (for who does not?), but to exercising them at all: to the being linked in a worldly system.'
this time become familiar to us.' Afterwards, p. 5, at bottom: • The relation and intercourse subsisting between wicked spirits
and ourselves, involves much more than a mere influence over our 'hearts, though that indeed is most pernicious. Their active personal interference in the concerns of the world, it would be most injurious for us to overlook; for assuredly it is real. We believe the writer is maintaining the reality of physical miracles wrought by devils; for he is discussing Rev. xiv. 13, 14. But it is more to our purpose to insist, that he deduces from the fact, that the devil is prince of the world, the practical inference that we may not exercise political rights or authority, which is what we asserted. If we understand the above, it is shortly thus : Christ is king de jure, but exercises no direct power; the devil
is king de facto, and in the real exercise of power; therefore all political office is unlawful to a Christian.' But we proceed to Mr. Hall. It is difficult to quote from so exceedingly diffuse a writer, but we must attempt it. In • Discipleship,' p. 31, he is arguing from the text, that which is highly esteemed*
among men, is abomination in the sight of God, whence he deduces, that God abominates rank, and therefore no Christian ought to retain it. It is not the misuse of rank or authority merely, but the thing itself which God hates, according to him. This convinces us that Mr. Hall does not hold God to be in any direct sense the author and ordainer of it, however he may deceive himself by the phraseology, ordained of God.' Again, p. 41, he says; Love has taught him (Mr. H.) to count the cost; and 'in truth he can say, it is sufficient for him to be as his Master: how then can he retain a commission of authority, when the source of its power is the darkness of the world? God knows it is not in harshness, &c. &c., that this is said,' &c. Mr. H.'s complaint is not that it was an abuse of power to put him into office; he objects to the power, barely because its source is bad. He proceeds: There are but two channels of authority, the power of the world, and God's ordained servants, the ministers of his Spirit. If I were of the world, it should be well that I should hold of the former; if the grace
God has translated me out of it into his kingdom, to be led of the Spirit is not only my privilege, but I should err in holding power from another, &c. &c. No doubt, after this, Mr. H. adds warnings to prevent it from being thought that he is a radical or a regicide, bowing himself to the sovereign as to 'God's anointed,' and declaring
* On a recent occasion, the writer had a long discussion with a much esteemed (Plymouth) Brother, who, on the ground of this text, maintained unflinchingly, that God abhors natural talents. Of course it proves this, if it proves Mr. Hall's point. The context seems to demand the rendering, " That which exalteth itself among men,' &c. &c.
that power is of God, and not of the people ;' [not of the devil, would be more to our purpose ;] which passage is now quoted by this Brother, as convicting us of falsehood! Truly, it may prove that Mr. Hall is an ultra Tory, who (under the belief of that religion demands it), inculcates political principles subversive of the existing constitution of this realm ; but so far it entirely supports and does not contradict our statements. Indeed, nearly all this Brother's quotations are to no purpose ; for they do but re-echo certain phrases of Scripture, while the real question is, how those phrases are interpreted— All power is of God,' ordained of God,' &c.
We must here go a little deeper. Two classes of things are ordained by God. First, all the moral relationships ; marriage, family ties, social duties; private rights—the right to one's own body, and to the fruit of one's own labor: mutual duties of Christians. These things so emanate from the will of God, that we count them therefore good, because ordained by him. A Christian errs greatly, who thinks himself too holy' for the marriage tie, or for menial service ; for that true virtue to which he is called, consists in rightly performing all these common duties. But, secondly, God also ordains the calamities and the minor trials of the physical world, the fierceness of beasts, the power of banditti, the revolutions of empires. All these are to work together for good to the Christian; yet he never infers that they are therefore intrinsically good because God has ordained them; nor is any moral or holy relationship found in any of these things. We have often heard some of the Brethren entitle the former, ordinances of God's grace; the latter, ordinances of his providence.
Our question is, To which of these does civil authority belong? If to the former, then obviously the relationship of ruler and subject, is very similar to that of master and servant, or parent and child. In all such relationships we must obey God rather than man.
If a child is ordered to steal or lie, he must disobey; if a servant be employed as an instrument of profligacy, he must leave his place; and so must a civil magistrate, if ordered to assist in idolatry. But no servant who leaves a wicked master, is right in denouncing the post of a master (or of a servant), as one intrinsically unlawful to a Christian; nor, by analogy, is it right to teach, that a Christian may not be a responsible officer, higher or lower, barely because many rulers misconduct themselves; and much less, if any (as these Brethren) disavow their right to judge of the conduct of rulers. (p. 508, 1. 40.)
That Mr. Hall, and all his party, should disown this analogy, appears absolutely required by their arguments. We do not find that they vindicate magistracy, as a righteous institution, founded on mutual benefit; the superior giving protection, the inferior