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so many of the old clergy, their work was a failure, and the Church had to be revived by men and preaching of different character and doctrine? We think better of the ministry of Connecticut than to impute their success to uncompromising views of the Church and Sacraments. They were earnest men, reacting from what had been an extreme of harsh sectarianism; were opposed and persecuted; enjoyed, after a time, the prestige of a previously persecuted body. They were surrounded by uncompromising opponents. It was, therefore, but natural, and only human infirmity, that they should have caught the same spirit. But they had other and better quali. ties, which gave them success. They had the earnestness and personal piety which have given a still more abundant success to men of a different type of Episcopacy, within the last forty years, in Virginia
And this brings us to the comparison between these two Dioceses. Virginia is first compared with New England. It is a matter of surprise that a single Diocese has had so few noticeable clergymen, as compared with the sum total of half a dozen others. Upon this disparity is then based another, upon the effects of different types of Churchmanship in one of these Dioceses, and one out of the six in the other; and the conclusion is reached : first, that one of them-Connecticutis in a state of “almost unexampled prosperity;" that it is “growing in power," and of “ commanding influence;" that the other— Virginia—is in a condition of " mortifying depression;" of “overshadowed inferiority and feebleness." Secondly, that this great present prosperity to the one, and present disaster to the other, is the natural consequence of their different types of Church doctrine; or, as the writer states it, very complimentarily, to one of these Dioceses, that in it is preached “ Christ and the Church,” and in the other, “Christ without the Church” is presented. This, then, is the fact, as asserted to be in existence, and this is the explanation: Connecticut, preaching “Christ and the Church,” in a condition of abundant prosperity ; Virginia, preaching “ Christ without the Church," in a condition of feebleness and disaster.
Now there two modes of properly disposing of an unsound argument. One is, to show that the premise is incorrectly
stated; the other, that the conclusion does not flow out of it. And in some very execrably bad arguments, it is allowable to amuse one's self with both of these modes combined. Let us see how it is as to the one in question.
To begin, then, with the fact which is affirmed as explaining what is asserted to be an existing state of things: that the difference between Connecticut and Virginia consists in the one preaching " Christ and the Church," and the other, “Christ without the Church.” These are selected as the representative Dioceses of High and Low Churchism, or the Evangelical and Sacramental systems, or by whatever name the two great parties are distinguished. And it is affirmed, that in this formula we have an explanation of their conditions respectively.
But now let us ask, where are those who preach Christ without the Church? We hope that Christ in the Church is preached in Connecticut; as we conceive that a positive motto, which puts any thing else in immediate connection with Christ, and on the same platform, as does this writer's statement, is dangerous, if not a positive violation of the law of Gospel proportion, and we can remember nothing like it among the churchmen of the New Testament. We hope, therefore, as we have said, that Christ is abundantly preached in the Church of Connecticut—that by His spirit and doctrine it is filled and glorified—that it is not only proclaimed but recognized as His mystical body. And we trust that in every good gift, out. wardly and inwardly, she may be abundantly increased. But we come back to our question, Where are those who preach Christ without the Church? "All over Virginia,” is the reply of the reviewer, and every where else, is the insinuated conclusion, where Virginia Churchmanship has influence. For the reader will please take notice, that although Virginia is in the state of intense feebleness, which the reviewer bewails, her influence is so extensive and powerful, in other Dioceses, and she has such control over the supply of ministers for the home-field, and the whole Church is so dependent upon her Institutions, for the whole supply to Foreign Missions, she is so powerful, in spite of this her desperate “feebleness," “mortifying depression,” and “overshadowed inferiority,"
that her conventional statistics must be subjected to an almost annual sifting and assault from her more prosperous sister dioceses. The consistency of this, we are not bound to exhibit. But certainly it does not seem either generous or in good taste for others to be thus exposing her weakness—especially by way of setting forth more clearly their own strength and prosperity. But, however this may be, the question may well be asked, Is the reviewer correct in his explanation of Virginia's feebleness? Is it really true, or is it one of the unveracities which her opponents have imposed upon their own minds, that she preaches “ Christ without the Church” ļ We think there are some facts which may help us to the solution of this problem. Who, for instance, wrote a little book, scattered all over this country called, “Reasons for Loving the Episcopal Church ?" The senior Bishop of this non-Episcopal Diocese. Who wrote a treatise on Confirmation; another on Baptism; another on the Law of Proportion in the Church of God; another on Old Churches and Ministers? The same non-Episcopal Bishop. Who, again, wrote the distinctive principles of that Society, which was formed with the design, and is successfully accomplishing it, of furnishing a Church literature free from the pollutions of Tractarianism? The junior Bishop of the same Diocese. Where, again, does that Society, as does the Foreign Episcopal Mission, find its warmest and most generous supporters? In Virginia. Where did this very Evangelical Review, pledged to warfare against all semi-Romanism endeavoring to steal into the Episcopal Church, origine ate? At a Virginia Convention. Certainly, this looks as if that Diocese felt some interest in the Church. Men are very apt to preach for, and in a cause for which they labor, and contribute, and spend their lives. The truth is, that an Episcopal clergyman, in Virginia as every where else, when he reads the word of God, where the Church is displayed, can not avoid preaching it. The same may be said of the presence of the service—of the sacraments and ordinances of the min. istry in its distinct organization. If the writer of the article in question will visit one of the Conventions of the Diocese, in re
find its that som
gard to which he makes this statement,* he will get an idea not only of her feebleness, but of the warm attachment of her members, of which now he has no suspicion. In the mean time, he may not improperly be reminded that people sometimes violate the ninth commandment without being distinctly aware of it. There is not a clergyman in the Diocese spoken of, who would not pronounce the statement quoted above, of “ Christ without the Church,” if applied to his own ministry, as an instance of such violation. There are doubtless very different views of the Church, presented in the two Dioceses, compared by the reviewer, views presented and insisted upon with equal earnestness by both. But this does not justify either one in bringing a railing accusation against the other, that it presents no view at all.
And that ours is the correct statement of the case, the writer of this article is compelled substantially to admit. After having made his offensive statement in its most unqualified forms, it seems to have occurred to him, that its correctness might be called in question. And he, therefore, follows it by another statement, whether intended to be additional or exegetical is not very clear, but which in reality changes the issue entirely. “In the one case,” says he, “it has been Christ and the Church, in the other it has been an attempt to preach Christ without the Church ; or the Church undistinguished as a Divine Insti. tation, from the sects which have almost swallowed her up." In other words, Virginia churchmen attempt to preach Christ without the Church, when they refuse to unchurch all other Christians; when they refuse, as did the Reformers, as did Hooker, as has done every Archbishop in the English Church except Laud, and perhaps Potter, and as did the revisers of our American Prayer-Book, to make Episcopacy essential to ecclesiastical existence. Every intelligent reader can see the differ
• We see from the May number of the Spirit of Missions, that a domestic Spartan, whose broth was perhaps falling short, has replenished it by a week spent in the generous old Diocese. We rejoice to see that great light seems to have broken in upon him, as to the state of things there prevailing. But we must confess to some fear, that in the warmth of hospitable feeling, to a stranger, care was not taken to give that special direction to contributions, which would have saved them from the work of building up Tractarian Parishes and Dioceses.
ence between these two statements, the difference between the presentation, or holding of a fact in a certain distorted and extreme view of it, and not holding it at all; and yet the two statements are so put forward as to entrap the incautious reader into the idea that they are identical : the first giving the wrong impression, and doing its work of mischief, the other being a loop-hole of escape from an indefensible position. It is true, strictly true, that the Episcopal Church in Virginia, is presented as not unchurching all other Christian bodies. It is not true that she, through her ministers, “attempts to preach Christ without the Church.” Under no principles of interpretation, short of those of Tract No. 90, can this last charge be excused or defended.
So much for the fact which explains the prosperity of one of these Dioceses, and the feebleness of the other. It is a fact which is no fact; which has no existence in reality. If there be this great difference in the two bodies contrasted, the explanation must be looked for and found elsewhere. And it lies within the range of possibility, that the real explanation might reveal the fact, that the apparent prosperity of the one is failure, the apparent disaster of the other prosperity. Numbers constitute no unfailing criterion of success. The Unitarians in New-England, and the Baptists in the Southern States, have outgrown the Episcopal Church, however presented; and the Romanists in their missions have doubtless exceeded the whole combined force of Protestantism. The statistician of our different dioceses again will find a very different tone of sentiment prevailing as to what ought to constitute fitness for church membership. In some he will find all the members communicants; in some, part communing, and part only confirmed. Without presuming to say that any one of these is the explanation of the fact asserted by the reviewer, they at least, in connection with other explanations less offensive, may suggest a caution, against the inference of success or prosperity, or, what is better, truth, from comparisons of numbers.
No better illustration of these remarks could be afforded than that which is brought before us in the tables from which the reviewer has drawn his inferences. In glancing over those