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our birth does; a state in which our ca- worse than false philosophy. It is a pacities and sphere of perception and fraud. If it is science that speaks, it reaction may be much greater than at pres-veals the alarming fact that elements of ent. For as our relation to our external depravity have entered its sacred precincts organs of sense renders us capable of ex and corrupted its vision. Instead of lookisting in our present state of sensation, so ing with the serene and collected majesty it may be the only natural hinderance to of conscious rectitude, it leers with a sinour existing, immediately and of course, ister eye. It thrills us not with the true in a higher state of reflection.”
celestial voice. It has the accent of a 3. This new philosophy is unphilosoph- fiend. In short, it is not philosophy that scal in presenting dogmas for faith on in- speaks. It is not science. It is Proteus sufficient evidence, or evidence sufficient in disguise. only for the sheerest credulity.
4. This doctrine is hostile to human welIt is the glory of true philoso hy that fare by seeking to undermine the foundaher tripod stands on no treacherous or un- | tions of hope, and offering no substitule. certain basis. She is simple truth, and It is sound logic to test the pretensions like her infinite source, looks abroad upon of any doctrine by its influence upon the the world where conflicting interests, prej- | happiness of man in his different relations. udices, and passions are contending in The world in all its parts of matter and unceasing struggle for mastery, with the mind—its physics and metaphysics— is calm majesty of supreme intelligence. une grand, harmonious system, inspired by Indignity itself could offer no greater in a common intelligence, and pulsating with sult than to charge on her complicity with the throbs of a common life. Skepticism, error, or to suppose her capable of per- if it pleases, may shut its diminutive eye, verting her high functions to the corrup- and then assert that all is darkness. tion of man, or the dishonor of God. Doubt may cast stumbling-blocks in the Whenever she speaks there is light as way of willful folly, but to the eye of reawell as voice. The attendant flash al- / son no truth beams forth from the face of ways reveals the quarter whence the nature with greater transparency than the thunder comes. She sees nothing more harmonious ministration of all created pitiful than learning stooping from its high things to man's spiritual and moral wellestate, and filled with vain conceit, attempt-being. This, indeed, is the key which uning to give currency to falsehood. But it locks all mysteries. This is the finger of is not a new thing under the sun, for that God, pointing us to those sublime relations which is not science to claim to be science. which man sustains to him, and without It is an old trick for imposture to steal the which human life is an enigma-its incilivery of truth. Hypocrisy sports in the dents are accidents; and earth itself, with robes of piety. Perhaps we ought not to all its teeming forms of life, without a be surprised that the old Proteus of infi- meaning. delity should thus attempt, through the We may assume, therefore, that nothing science of physiology, to rectify the relig- can be true which wars against the will ion of the world. He is a veteran recti- of God, thus written on the constitution fier. He began this benevolent vocation of the world. As well might we war even in the garden with the first pair, against the laws of gravity, or the motion when they heard, “Ye shall not surely die." of the spheres. If a system of philosophy Proteus, a thousand times slain, has still a is at war with the laws of man's intellectnew life. Physiology has revealed to us | ual and moral being, it must, by consemuch of truth respecting man's physical quence, be false. If it denies to God the constitution ; why should it not turn psy- honor of his creation, it must be false. If chologist and theologian, and settle all it saps the foundations of hope yearning questions pertaining to the soul and God? after immortality, and struggling up to
We have already seen its failure to union again with heaven, it is at war with establish its main position, to wit, that the everything which contributes to purify phenomena of mind are properties of mat- and elevate humanity-is a foe to all ter.” Failing in this, it has nothing on goodness by taking away the motives to which to stand. Though it still asserts goodness, and is at war, therefore, with the its dogma, assertion is not proof. To laws of our highest nature. Such a sysclaim it to be so in science is something I tem must be false.
The Mational Magazine.
morials of Methodism,” are what we need, preparatory to our general history. They should combine both biographical and historical at
tributes and data. MARCH, 1856.
Though local, they could take in a some
what extended area; and if our whole territory EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE. could be districted by a few good writers, and
brought under this kind of historical review, LETTER TO BISHOP SIMPSON.
the data of a general history would be pro
vided. PLAN FOR THE COLLECTION OF our HISTORICAL MATE
Besides the historical value of such works, it BIALE — "MEMORIAIS" - How TO WRITE THEY RELATION OF EDUCATED MEN TO THE CONFERENCIES
may be said, as an inducement for competent - WHAT IS IT TO BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN MINISTER ?
hands to undertake them, that they can hardly
fail to be remunerative. The area comprised -WHERE IS THE ITINERANCY?-How SHOULD WE
might be sufficiently large to afford an ample TREAT MEN WHO ARE DEVOTED TO THE LITERARY OR EDUCATIONAL LABORS OF THE CHURCH.
market, independently of the general demand,
which could hardly fail to be excited by & REVEREND AND Dear Sir,-I am not yet done really able and interesting book of the kind. with our denominational literature and our edu- | The memorials of Methodism, which are included cated men. The subject has not received its entirely or mostly in the State of New York, due proportion of attention from the press of the could not fail to be deeply and even romanticChurch. It is of no small importance to us, at ally interesting. That field alone presents some this stage of our progress; to all of us it ought | chivalric old characters and many extraordinary to be deeply interesting; and to many it ap- | incidents. A suitable pen could present them peals, with no little personal interest, as con- in a form and style that could not fail to rennected with their position in the denomination. der them attractive.
I do not wish to prolong these discussions ; The same may be said of that section of the they are not written as substitutes for my Church now comprising the New Jersey, Philar usual editorial articles ; on the contrary they delphia, and Baltimore Conferences. There have been, in most instances, thus far, extra to | are some veterans of our primitive ministry my ordinary amount of editorial writing per remaining in that region who could furnish month. I have thus prepared them because, interesting data. Is there no ready writer, and relating, as they do, to some of the greatest in- diligent searcher after historical antiquities, in terests of our cause, I have deemed them these sections, who will take the hint? worthy of a special review.
Memorials of the "Old Western Conferences" There are two topics which I could not com- would be exceedingly attractive as well as impress into my last letter, though they properly portant for the history of the Church. Some belong there, and to which I ask attention in the of the most heroic characters of Methodism present, viz., our Historical Literature and our fought and triumphed in that field. It extreatment in their relation to the conferences) tended as a single conference from Detroit to of men who are devoted to the Literary or Edu- | Natchez-from the Alleghanies to beyond the cational labors of the Church.
Mississippi. Its early annals are interwoven I used some emphasis in my late remarks on with the romantic history of the first emigra our historical literature. It was seen that of tions and settlement of the West. Many he trans-Atlantic Methodism we have no history roes of those chivalric days still bend on their whatever ; that of American Methodism we pilgrim staffs, in various parts of the West, and have some good but very limited attempts at a could furnish valuable and even thrilling remhistory--but need yet almost universally those iniscences. If they are not applied to soon, the local works which are the necessary prelimina- | opportunity will be lost forever. Some Memries of a history. These preliminary works we oirs, like those of Quinn, Collins, and especialhave now only in the form of biographies; if ly Finley, would afford aid; the articles of ever we are to have a good general history of "Theophilus Arminius," in the old “Methodist the Church, sectional histories must be pro- | Magazine," would especially help the design. vided ; and, if they are not soon provided, our I am not familiar enough with the Southern most interesting materiale will be irrecoverably and South-western portions of Methodism, to lost. I think that the last opportunity for say- / be able to say how far they afford materiale ing much of that material is now passing away. | for such preliminary works; but, I doubt not, The primitive Methodist ministry is almost that they have their romance, also--and their gone; we must appeal quickly to its few rem-l comparative recency would be an advantage to nants, or lose the aids which they can afford the writer. us. Methodism has done more than any other! It may not be amiss to indicate here a little Church in laying the moral foundations of more minutely the course to be taken by the many of these states; but it has hardly had a writer of such a book, so far as I have learned paragraph devoted to it in our national history. it by my own experience; for I preach not withIts own history must be more fully prepared out having practiced on this subject, as you perbefore it can be appreciated. You will hear me | sonally know. patiently, then, on & subject of so much inter He should furnish himself, in the first place, est to ourselves and our children. I have thus with the bound volumes of Minutes. Having far, in these letters, dealt in matters of fact determined the period of his narrative, he and direct practical suggestions; allow me to should select from the minutes the names of do so at present.
the men whose services, within that time, have Local histories, I repeat, in the form of “Me- 1 given them prominence. He should trace their
appointments from year to year—for a mere trial in its most painful form. Had I not been list of these will sometimes be full of signifi- | publicly pledged to bring out my " Memorials" cance. If they died in the itinerancy, brief bi- it is probable I should have abandoned the ographies will be found in the obituaries of the task in despair, and consigned the half-comMinutes, and will afford him some aid. If they pleted manuscript to the flames. No labor of died in a " local relation," some of their surviv my pen has been harder, yet none has been ing fellow-laborers, or family, should be written more unsatisfactory to myself; and I have alto for information. The alphabetic list, at the ways insisted that the critical reader should end of Bangs's History, will enable him to deter- never ask himself whether I had produced a mine which was the case. Having made out a really interesting work, (for this does not allist of these principal characters, he will find ways depend upon the writer,) but whether its many means, not expected, of information con interest is up to its material-whether the lack cerning them.
of interest, if it does lack it, is owing to the Second. Asbury's Journals will assist him writer or his data. much, meager and unsatisfactory as they are in In my own works of this kind I have only general. This great evangelist traversed the aimed to do the best I could with my resources, nation continually; nearly every part of the and thus prepare the way for some future writer Church, therefore, has some record in his Jour to do better. I have derived no small satisfacnals. The historian may introduce him, year tion from the conscionsness that I was saving after year, and make him a principal character what otherwise would be inevitably lost, though in the narrative.
I were doing so at the risk of some loss from The same may be said of such biographies as my own small reputation as an author. those of Garretson, Jesse Lee, Ware, Hibbard, Readiness to make this sacrifice, diligence in Spicer, Abbott, Collins, Quinn, Finley, &c. research, quickness in seizing and tracing the
Third. The writer should correspond with | clews of his narrative and tolerable powers all the surviving preachers of the first period of portraiture—with these qualifications, the of his work, not only for information respecting writer of such books may expect to do a good their deceased fellow-laborers, but for accounts service for the Church; perpetuate his name, of their own lives-consecutive, minute ac perhaps, as an historical authority of Methodcounts.
ism; and receive an adequate pecuniary reward. From these he should condense a brief per- | What an opportunity is here offered for the sonal sketch, to be introduced at an appropriate | labors of the literary men of Methodism! point in his narrative-say the first year of But let us turn to another topic. their appearance in the Minutes, and then quote I have thus far shown that both the educafrom them in the successive years of the work, tional institutions and the literature of the degiving them thus a suitable introduction to the nomination present open and ample fields. We reader at once, and a frequent reappearance in are met here, however, with an objection, viz., the progress of the volume.
that these spheres, especially the former, are Fourth. Lee's and Bangs's histories should not appropriate to men who are divinely called be always before him for reference in each to the ministry. My remarks thus far have year.
not had exclusive reference to the ministry, Fifth. The old Methodist magazines should but to the young literary men of the Church in be thoroughly examined. They contain bio general; the objection has therefore but a par. graphical sketches of preachers and principal tial application. It is somewhat plausible, but laymen, accounts of missionaries, &c., that may quite novel among us, and, so far as I can judge, afford no little aid.
quite peculiar to us. It has recently been much Sixth. Files of our own principal denomina discussed in the Southern Methodist Church. tional papers should be examined ; interesting I know not, however, that it needs any elabmaterial will thus be discovered.
orate attention in these more northern regions, Seventh. The local history of the prominent, where education is deemed something more imand especially the primitive Churches, should | portant than & mere secular provision, and be obtained. A visit to some of them will where it is so generally placed in its higher secure many details not to be obtained other- forms, at least, under the guardianship of rewise ; where this is impossible, the interest | ligion. which such societies will naturally feel to ap- This discrimination of preaching from instrucpear well in his volume, will generally induce tion in general, is undoubtedly just in a formal them to respond to the author's inquiries or technical sense at least; but that the divine
Such is the outline of the working method" | designation of men to a life of religious labor, of such a production. The author will find it in the sense of the “ministerial call," is conbeset with difficulties; but it will not be with- fined to what we technically mean by preaching, out its pleasures also.
I am not at all ready to admit. The original Whoever undertakes such a work may ex- | form of the commission was not merely to pect to be fairly paid for his trouble, for it can preach," but also to “teach”-to disciple;" hardly fail to sell, if brought out rightly; but and the great contrast between the circumhe must not hesitate to risk somewhat his lit stances of the Church now and in the apostolic erary reputation, if he already has any, by the age requires a large qualification of the original attempt. He cannot create his facts; and what. | form. ever may be his skill in arranging and pictur The word “ ministry" is the best designation ing them, he will often find the most osten- of the office, because it includes all abilities and sible characters and important periods unsat- | all kinds of labors which the necessities of the isfactorily presented for want of the necessary Church, or the opportunities of the times, may information. I have had experience of this I require.
This was the character of the Levitical min- philanthropic schemes. Consecrated men in istry; it included all grades of office, from the such spheres may, with occasional preaching, high-priesthood to the singers. It is to a similar promote the interests of religion to a degree organization that we are to ascribe the marvel- which no mere pastoral position, however efous effectiveness of the Papal priesthood. fectual, could equal. Such men are usually
As to preaching, technically considered, it habitual preachers, among us at least. In fact, would be somewhat difficult to show precisely the qualifications that fit them for their posts, its apostolic example. If we are to strain at should also fit them generally for the ministry, gnats—at such technical discriminations--we and entitle them to its official powers and sancshall most probably be compelled at last to the tions. conclusion, that the office of " Exhorter"-un There is another consideration worthy of known in its functional character out of our some notice, before we dismiss the subject. own pale, and not recognized by us as within the Men, occupying these important places, comsphere of the regular ministry-is nevertheless plain that they do not meet an impartial treatthe true apostolic form of the ministry. Pul- ment in our Conferences. We regret this compits were unknown to the first preachers of plaint ; and we regret it the more, because there Christianity, unless we may give that name to is too much truth in it. In some instances, the platform of a synagogue. The formal enun though not generally, such laborers are treated ciation of a text, and “First," “Secondly," as a class of interlopers in the Conferencesas ** Thirdly," were never heard among them. anomalous in our ministry, to be tolerated be
They read the Scriptures, and exhorted the cause necessary, but not promoted as legitimate people, with or without reference to what had partakers of the powers and privileges of the been read. An intelligent, zealous Methodist body. Cases have occurred, in which brethren " Exhorter" is, we repeat, the truest example preeminently qualified for the responsible businow extant of the original Christian preacher. ness of the General Conference, have failed of The technical distinctions of modern pulpit in election, because they were “not in the itinstruction, are, in fact, customs of the corrupt erancy." This impolitic and unjust treatment, ages of the Church-figments of old Romanism; I am happy to say, meets with less and less yet, albeit, very good in their place.
favor. We cannot, then, justly restrict the functions It is fallacious and impolitic for two reasons. of the ministry to such formal or technical In the first place, capacity is what is wanted in limits. It should take within its noble sphere the counsels of the Church; and wherever it is all specially moral labors, preaching being the found to be available, it should be used. This chief. It is a grand institution for evangelical course is due to the Church, as well as to talent. propagandism; all the machinery appropriate to There is an honor attending such promotions, such a work is legitimate to it; all men special to be sure ; but in religious bodies, this should ly set apart by the call of God and the designa not be made a consideration; if it is, it then tion of the Church for this work, should be becomes a motive, and ambition must take the comprised within it; and all labors which are place of duty. Men who are best able to do immediately and permanently related to their the given duty, should be called upon to do it; position, be recognized as appropriate to them. and utility, not compliment, be the motive of Paul says: “We have some apostles, and some their election. prophets, and some evangelists, and some pas | In the second place, the reason for this dis tors and teachers, for the work of the ministry." | paragement is really without sufficient foundar
This I think a pertinent though general view tion. Is “itinerancy” the only great interest of the subject. It admits of qualifications, I al- | to be represented in the counsels of the Church? low. There are men whose peculiar abilities Have the momentous schemes and enterprises should confine them to pulpit labors; but there of education, missions, publications, &c., no are, on the other hand, men in the ministry, men relative importance by the side of this favorite who feel upon them the inevitable obligation theme? of a life of religious labor and self-sacrifice, And what a flimsy pretext often is this avowal whose qualifications do not fit them for the of " itinerancy" in most of our territory? No pulpit, but would be admirably successful in one has a higher appreciation than myself of the other modes of instruction, with occasional economic system of Methodism, and especially preaching. Is it not desirable that the latter of its old chivalric itinerancy; but there is should be placed in the position for which they something almost farcical in the manner in are best qualified? And is it desirable that which we sometimes hear the trials of the itinworking there with as direct a consecration to erancy bemoaned, particularly in sections of our the purposes of the Church as their brethren work where all men, whose eyes are open, can in the desk, they should be secularized in of- see that it is virtually abolished. Where is it, ficial character; thrown, in other words, upon among us of the east, now-a-days, except in an the usual responsibilities and motives of mere occasional and hardly-known circuit, and in the secular men. I do not believe it. It is a short-, travels of the bishops and presiding elders ? sighted, irrational view of the ministerial office, Some of our special agents are habitually more and, rigorously applied, would cramp some of its itinerant in their labors than men who are in mightiest energies, and disrobe it of some of its the regular pastorate. The “ itinerancy" conpurest and brightest honors.
sists now mostly in the biennial changes; and The ministry should then appropriate, in the these, with the diminution of the conferences, most successful manner, its various talents; it and the improved public conveyances, have lost should seek in its ranks, and properly place their chief disadvantages, while they afford, as men who are peculiarly fitted to be teachers, I have shown, real and most important advanprofessors, editors, secretaries, or agents of its | tages to the “ itinerant” himself.
Now, it is not right that a traditional idea, by the Church. True worth and true talent or phrase, should be thus made available can never be long unappreciated anywhere; the against a class of laborers who represent some circumstances of our own denomination, as alof the greatest interests of our cause, and who ready described, give them preëminent oppordrudge in our colleges, academies, &c., under tunities among us. tasks infinitely more exhausting to mind and Let those, then, who struggle with want and body than those which would devolve upon wearisome tasks, to prepare themselves for these them in the snug and comfortable parishes calls of usefulness, be of good courage ; let into which our pastoral work is so generally them not be turned aside by any diversion from divided.
the world, or more lucrative, or more ease-giving I speak an emphatic word for these laborers positions. Let them consecrate themselves to -I speak it, because I think such men as im whatever of self-denial and arduous duty Methportant as any other class among us; and be odism may impose; it will place its hand of cause it is time that this egregious practical benediction yet on their heads; it will open to absurdity, however limited, were utterly rout them effective carcers, and bear them triumpbed, and put to shame.
antly along them. If faithful, devoted, and The two objections which I have thus re assiduous, they will be crowned with a present viewed, do not, then, present very formidable success which can be equaled nowhere else, and obstacles to the success of the brethren referred with the better “recompense of reward," which to in this and one or two of my preceding articles. the great Master will one day award them. They ever will be more and more appreciated
I am, &c.,
Editorial Notes and Gleanings.
A NEW PROJECT.—The Legislature of this state without leaving the valleys that originate in have granted an act of incorporation to a society this state. Twenty thousand miles of natural of gentlemen who have for their object the navigation can be traversed through the waters erection of a building to be called the United which take their origin in New-York; and States Inebriate Asylum, with a capital of fifty twenty-five thousand miles of overland traffic thousand dollars, which may be increased to four by means of railroads. He then proceeded to times that amount if necessary. One-half of describe the advantages and the influence, in the net income is to be appropriated to the sup-1 the course of war, which the valleys of the port of destitute drunkards, or "inebriates" as Mohawk and Upper Hudson exercised, both as the society prefers to call them, and their families. I regards the Indians, and subsequently when The cardinal idea, namely, that drunkenness is France and England transferred their seat of a disease, was first made public by Dr. Reese, war to this country. He described the various of this city, in a little volume, entitled, A Plea armies sent here by England under Montcalm, for the Intemperate, published some years ago. Abercrombie, and Lord Amherst, to subjugate This association design to carry out that idea, the colonies of France, and followed the warand to endow, in the language of the directors, path of the Indians through those three great “ an institution whose object will be to lift up valleys, which exercise such powerful influence the poor, fallen, destitute inebriate; to provide over our country and fortune. It is a remarkfor him a retreat from the insidious spirit of able coincidence, that not only have these valtemptation ; to bring him under kind, skillful | leys been remarkably prominent in a historical medical treatment; to throw around him the point of view, as the scenes of martial exploits, restraints of truth, and thus to free him from but also that the first weapon captured in the the servitude of appetite." Such an institution, war of the Revolution was taken by Ethan if properly conducted, must be beneficial in its Allen at Ticonderoga, and the first naval entendencies, and the project is at least worthy gagement was fought on Lake Champlain, unof a trial. We learn that already one-fourth of der Arnold. All the wars of this country seem the amount deemed necessary to make a begin- | to have been carried on upon the principle, that ning has been subscribed.
the possession of these valleys would materially
affect the whole country. At the present day, THE EMPIRE STATE.—At a late meeting of the provisions that sustain the armies of France the Geographical and Statistical Society the and England in the East are borne over these Hon. Horatio Seymour called attention, in an valleys; the thousands of emigrants that weekelaborate address, to the influence which the ly land upon our shores pass through them to topography of the state of New-York exercises reach their destination in the far West. He over the history and commerce of the country. next showed how, from the earliest history of In this connection he described the character the state, the population has been cosmopolof the influence of the Hudson, Lake Cham itan ; how its geographical position invites the plain, Lake George, and the Valley of the Mo greatest commercial people in the world to take hawk. He showed that the waters which flow possession of New-York Bay. He spoke of the from the state of New York, pass every com particular influence exercised by the Hollandmercial city of note in the Union except Boston. ers over the destinies of the state, having setTwenty-one states, and three-quarters of the tled it at a time when their own country was territory of the United States can be traversed the most conspicuous among the nations of the