Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

They love foreign travel, and the Yankee is a great cosmo

have the means. politan.

The Liturgical Movement in the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. By

Charles P. Krauthi, D. D., Norton Professor of Theology in the E. L.
Theological Seminary, in Philadelphia, and Professor of Intellectual
and Moral Philosophy in the University of Pennsylvania. Lutheran
Book Store, 807 Vine Street ; Reform Publication Rooms, 54 N.

Sixth Street, Philadelphia. This is an able, critical, and historical survey of the liturgical question, beginning with some notice of the books issued by Dr. Shields and Rev. Charles W. Baird relative to this subject. It is more prominently, however, a review of the controversy between Drs. Nevin and Bomberger in regard to the liturgy of the German Reformed Church. Dr. Krauth strongly sides with Dr. Nevin, on whom, along with some minor criticisins, he bestows the highest praise. lle evidently favors that view of public service and of liturgical forms, which exalts the altar, and maintains a real presence of the substance of our Lord's body and blood in the eucharist, i. e., conformed to the Lutheran doctrine of con-substantiation. The tendency to exalt the pulpit he opposes as Puritanical. We cannot assent to his main idea, whatever we might think of the propriety of a brief authorized liturgy, to be tolerated, but not enforced. But while we thus differ from Dr. Krauth, we think bis pamphlet of high historical and critical value.

Third or Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Ky.Jurisdic

tion of Federal and State Courts--Civil v. Ecclesiastical Courts—
Righis in Church Property, etc. Opinion of Special Chancellor A.
Barnett, meinber of the Louisville Bır, October, 1869. Louisville :
Courier Journal Job Department. 1869.

The Great Presbyterian Case. The Declaration and Testimony v. The

General Assembly. Decision of the Supreme Court of Missouri in
he Lindenwood Female College Controcersy in favor of the General
Assembly. Opinion of Judge Wagner. Published in the Missouri
Democrat of Nov. 23, 1869.

These are the decisions of the courts thus far reached in the litigation arising upon the claim of the declaration and testimony secession to the rights, franchises, and possessions of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky and Missouri. In the latter State the case has gone through the court of last resort, and been decided in favor of the adherents of the Assembly. The case arose upon the claim of the Presbytery of St. Louis, composed of seceders, to the Lindenwood Female College, which, according to its charter, is to be held and controlled by trustees appointed by the Presbytery of St. Louis "connected with the General Assembly of the United States of America, usually styled the Old School.” This claim was met by the counter-claim of that Presbytery of St. Louis which adheres to the Assembly, to the custody and control of the college. The court unanimously came to the following result, which they sustain by incontestible argument:

** That under proper construction of the charter, it was indispensable to a valid election that it should be held by the Presbytery of St. Louis, being at the time in connection with the Old School Presbyterian General Assembly. VOL. XLII.-NO. I.

12

“That the decision of the General Assembly as to the status and ecclesiastical rights of the two bodies in question, each claiming to be the Presbytery of St. Louis, being a matter solely of ecclesiastical right and organization, is conclusive on the civil tribunals, and must be adopted by them.

" That even if this court had felt authorized to review or control the action of the General Assembly in respect to such questions, its action in thes, matters would have been sustained as lawful, and in entire conformity with the constitution of the Presbyterian Church."

The great and conclusive feature of this opinion is, that the judgments of ecclesiastical courts are conclusive in their own sphere, and not to be interfered with by civil tribunals, and that the determination of the highest court of a church, as to courts and members below, and who are and are not suclı, is conclusive. It is the prerogative of the General Assembly to decide who are in connection with it. It is not the province of the State to review, or hear appeals from such decisions. If it were, the church has lost its spiritual independence, and is bound, hand and foot, to the State.

The Walnut Street Church case of Louisville appears at first to have been decided in the same way, in favor of the body adhering to the Assembly. Here the question was, who were true elders of that church? those adhering to the Assembly, or those disobeying its orders, and withdrawing from its jurisdiction? On appeal, the higher court reversed the judgment of the lower, and decided in favor of the Declaration and Testimony appellants. Meanwhile the case was brought before the United States Court which, like the Supreme Court of Missouri, decided in favor of the adherents of the Assembly. At this stage, the seceders invoked the interposition of the Louisville Chancery Court, which gave the decision referred to at the head of this article, denied the jurisdiction of the Federal court, and awarded the property to the secoders. If this is persisted in, we doubt not the United States Supreme Court will set all right. The ground taken in this decision is, that “a claim of eldership asserted, involves a claim to the right of control, use, and management of the church property, and that far and no farther have the civil tribunals, etc. ... If not elders, they had po such right, and in determining whether they were or were not elders, the civil court was forced to look into the form of church government to see if the rules governing its action had been complied with ... to adjudge who are, and who are not elders.” That is, when the General Assembly representing the whole church, and its supreme authority, has decided which of the two sets of claimants are true elders, the courts of Kentucky are to review their proceedings and judg. ments, and if they can find any thing therein, which sems to them contrary to the Presbyterian standards, they are to set aside the ecclesiastical judgment, and declare them no elders. Such a doctrine would render every ecclesiastical decision-Congregational, Episcopal, Papal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodista nullity. An appeal, under pretext of litigating civil rights, would lie from all their decisions to the civil tribunals. True, the court must find who are elders. But how? Plainly by finding who have been constituted or decided to be such by the proper ecclesiastical body. And if they are adjudged elders by the body having jurisdiction in the premises, there is an end of the matter. Otherwise, religious independence and church authority are at an end.

This is not altered by the decision in the great Presbyterian Church case

in 1838. The issue then was, which was the true General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church—the true supreme tribunal. This required to be determined. It could turn on nothing else than the question, which was regularly and constitutionally established? But when this was ascertained, uo court has undertaken to review the action of this supreme tribunal, to ascertain whether such action is ecclesiastically valid—whether those whom it decides to be elders are such. This field of judicial investigation and authority has not been claimed hy civil courts, until recently. It cannot be conceded without a struggle.

Our Creeds. A Sermon preached in the Collegiate Reformed Dutch

Church, New York, October, 1869. By James M. Ludlow, one of the Pastors of the Church. Printed by order of the Consistory. New York: Sutton, Bowne & Co. 1869.

timely and wholesome arse, which we are glad the young pastor was moved to preach, and the venerable Consistory to publish in exquisite style. The historical account given in it of the genesis ard uses of the great symbols of the church, ending with the Heidelberg and Westminster Catechisms, is perspicuous and earnest. Aud we liope the closing exhortation to the adherents of each to “stand together in nearer sympathy and mutual co-operation," will not be lost.

Plans of Systematic Beneficence, prepared for the use of the Churches, by

a Special Committee of the General Assembly of 1869. Presbyte

rian Board of Publication. This is a carefully elaborated document, containing a great variety of plans for promoting systematic and increased giving in our church. We are glad that they will be furnished gratuitously to congregations applying for them. They ought to be sown broadcast throughout the whole church. We are well aware that no plans can be successful unless actuated and inspired by living piety. On the other land, good working plaps greatly facilitate and augment the contributions of Christian benevolence.

Two Letters on Causation and Freedom in Willing, addressed to John

Stuart Mill; with an Appendix on the Existence of Matter, and on our Notions of Infinite Space. By Rowland G. Hazard, author of

Language, Freedom of the Mind in Willing,” etc. Boston : Lee & Shepard. 1869. Mr. Hazard is, we believe, a civilian of some prominence, residing in the State of Rhode Island, He has long shown a taste and aptitude for metaphysical studies, the fruits of which have already appeared in volumes that have attracted considerable attention. His work on * Freedom of Mind in Willing," along with another on the same subject, by Dr. Whedon, was reviewed in an extended article in the October number of this journal for 1864. In that review it was shown that the author, on the one hand, appeared to admit and insist that the mind in willing is guided by its intelligence and its wants or desires, and, though determining itself freely, determines itself none the less, as it pleases, in accordance with its wants and conditions; while yet, on the contrary side, he carried the absolute autonomy of the will to the extreme of putting its volitions beyond the reach of the Divine foreknowledge.

In the two letters to Mr. Mill which swell out to this good-sized volume, while he justly redargues the idealistic materialism and fatalism of that renowned and acute writer, he sets in opposition to them the views of his previous work on the will, many of them just, but sometimes verging to the extreme just indicated.

In the paper “On the Existence of Matter” he virtually takes ground against its existence. His concluding words are, “That the changes in our sensations are, in all cases, caused by intelligent effort within or without us, in neither case requiring the existence of matter as a distinct entity to account for the phenomenon, nor furnishing any proof or indication of such existence.”—P. 273.

His reasonings take for granted that all our cognition of matter is in a change of sensations within us. He ignores any direct and immediate perception of externality and external objects, such as every human being is conscious of, with a certainty as complete as we have of our sensations, or of ourselves. It is quite as reasonable to deny the Ego as the non-Ego. If we must enter on this annihilating process, we think our true goal will be the nihilism of Mr. Mill, who attenuates and volatilizes both mind and matter into mere permanent possibilities of sensations." For ourselves, if we had reduced matter to a nonentity, we should hardly think it worth while to attempt to preserve spirit and its prerogatives. We have no evidence of the existence of mind stronger than that for the existence of matter.

ART. X.-LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.

GERMANY.

No other recent theological production has caused as much sensation in Germany as an article which appeared a few months since in the Augsburg Augemeine Zeitung, entitled “ Das Concil und die Civiità," and which has since been expanded and published in a volume (pp. xix., 450) with the title “ Der Papst und das Concil.” It appears anonymously, the author assuming the pseudonym "Janus.” It has already been published in England in a translation, and is there attracting great attention. It is written in the interest of the so-called "liberal" Catholicism, and exposes and denounces the doctrines and policy of the Jesuitical and ultramontane party with extraordinary ability, point, and learning. Hundreds of foot-notes refer to the literature and the authoritative documents of the church, and show how wide is the departure of the assailed party and tendency in Catholicism from the doctrine and practice of early Christianity. The first division of the book (pp. 8-37) relates to the proposed elevation of the propositions of the Pope's syllabus to the position of dogmas of the church. The second section (pp. 37-40) discusses the proposed development of Mariolatry, in the assertion of the assumption into heaven of the body of the Virgin Mary. The remainder is devoted to the proposed authoritative declaration of Papal infallibility. The doctrine of the early church (presented, of course, from a Catholic point of view) in respect to the simple primacy of the Bishop of Rome is set forth with great fulness and variety of illustration, and then t'ie successive steps by which the Papacy was built up are clearly traced. The falsification of primitive documents, early' undertaken in the interest of Romish claims and assumptions, the “magnificent fabrications" of the Decretals of Isidorus, and their influence from the middle of the ninth century, the decree of Gratian about the middle of the twelfth, the various assumptions of power by Gregory VII., Innocent III., etc., the services rendered by the great monastic orders in their turn, and especially the Jesuits, the occasional protests and oppositions in the church to these novel doctrines and usages-all this, and much more, is presented with a most masterly and unsparing hand. Modern interpretations of Scripture (i. e., the Papist) are exhibited in most significant and effective contrast with those of the Greek and Roman fathers, and the ingenuity and unscrupulousness with which history has been falsified at every critical point are set forth with great plainness of speech and ample illustration. The consequences to many unfortunate Popes of the past, if the doctrine of Papal infallibility should be made a dogma, are so presented that one would think that the kind, tender. hearted Pius IX. would beg his zealous bishops not thus to defame and hold up io ridicule his illustrious predecessors, and to spare him what the future may yet have for him.

« ElőzőTovább »