Review of a sermon preached by the Rev. G. M. Innes,

in the Quebec Cathedral, on Sunday, April 5th, 1868, and published in the Quebec Mercury, April 9th.

J. N. Darby.

<14008E> 243

Dear. Mr. Innes,

Had you confined your sermon to the church in which it was preached, I should never have taken any notice of it. You were within the sphere of your own labours. If you thought we were an evil people, you were right to warn your congregation against us. At any rate, I have no thought of answering the thousand-and-one attacks which are made upon us. The best way is to work on and take no notice of them. If we are according to God in our doctrine and walk, the Lord will answer for us; if not, it is well we should be judged. I am convinced that, though failing, as every Christian will own he does, in carrying his convictions out, and admitting that all who advocate the truth are not wise in their way of advocating it, I am convinced, I say, we are right in principle and practice; that our position is the only true scriptural one; but that it should be spoken against can neither surprise nor much distress me. It has been the fate of the most undoubted truth ever since truth was published. I have not even read the attacks in the Record and Echo; I never see them unless someone sends me some special numbers, and I go on my way and work quietly. But you have put your sermon in a common political journal, and made it public property, not a pastoral address. This paper has been sent me from Quebec; and some statements in it lead me to take notice of it, because truths important to all Christians are canvassed in it; and it does not merely consist of attacks on "Brethren," which I should have left unnoticed. I believe you to be a servant of God. I trust not a trace of unkind feeling is in my heart, I am not conscious of any; but as the truth of Christ is in question, I shall speak plainly. I cannot but think you have been misled by the flattering demand of hearers in thus bringing the episcopal body into prominent notice as a security for truth. I will say more: seeing the inroads of popery (I may now add infidelity) long after I left the Establishment, I looked to it as a providential bulwark against these inroads. I satisfied the claims of my own conscience; but I would not have lifted a finger, had I had power to do it, against it. I have not the remotest sympathy now with the coalition of dissenters in England with papists and infidels to put it down. They are seeking to do so. It is part of the blindness and infatuation of these last days, and they will find it so to their cost. But everything is called in question in these days, whether we will or not, and it is of the utmost importance to know on what the soul can rely as sure ground with God. It is this which is now driving hundreds of souls into the snares of Romanism. It proffers certainty, and in this sense gives quietness to the spirit which has no hold of truth, nor sense of its importance for itself. Is the Anglican body such a security? That is the question Mr. Innes has brought before the public.

244 To come more directly to his sermon: - there are three points it suggests to me. He is thankful for a fixed standard of doctrine. The preacher's words are these: "Never before, beloved, has my mind been more deeply impressed with a sense of the value of such a fixed standard of doctrine as we possess as members of the Church of England in our scriptural formularies, as of late." This, then, is the first point I shall speak of: does the Anglican body afford a security for sound doctrine?

The next I shall notice is the false doctrines he ascribes to those whom his sermon denounces.

The third question raised by Mr. Innes is that of an ordained ministry.

The first point, were I an enemy, an infidel, not a Christian, would furnish subject for laughter and mockery. As it is, I feel far more inclined to weep … as I believe a Christian ought in these evil days. Who are opening the high road to popery? Is it not the sticklers for the formularies of the Anglican body? Is Mr. Innes ignorant of the monastic institutions of Anglicanism? Is he ignorant that transubstantiation is taught by a vast and increasing body of the English clergy, perhaps I might say a majority? Is he ignorant that the Eucharist is worshipped by a vast and increasing number, on the ground that Christ is there, and, wherever He is, He ought to be worshipped? If he has not, let him get a book called "The Church and the World," and he will see, not perhaps how many have embraced it, but what they embrace at any rate. He may be aware that at the Pan-Anglican synod, the prelates could not venture to touch the question, and that a royal commission has met on ritualism, which I adduce only as shewing that the gangrene affects the whole Church, so that it is felt something must be done: only they know not what to do, and meanwhile time is gained by the ritualists for the wide spreading progress of their popish errors. And I beg Mr. Innes to remark, all is founded on the rubrics and formularies of the Church, which have tied the hands of the prelates so that, when inclined, they cannot act; their popishly inclined defy them. But many of them concur.

A large meeting was held at Salisbury of clergy and laity, and parishioners were recommended to go to another parish church if they could escape the popish leaven thus; if not, to some godly dissenter's chapel, provided he did not speak against the Establishment.

245 Does Mr. Innes recollect the last election of a diocesan in a town called Quebec, where the laity would not have Puseyism and the clergy would? and the present prelate, of whom I would speak without the least idea of disrespect, suddenly found himself such in a way as unexpected to himself as to everybody? He might almost with truth take the Archiepiscopal title, "by divine providence," in lieu of the more modest Episcopal one, "by divine permission." Is Mr. Innes aware that the patents (for that is the authority for episcopal preeminence now of all the colonial prelates) have been judicially declared void wherever there was a legislative assembly? And if rumour be not false, he who, as I suppose, ordained (certainly was the diocesan of) Mr. Innes, declared to his clergy, on his return from England, that he did not know whether he was their bishop or not. I dare say Mr. Innes can inform us how far rumour was e act. I do not know whether an Act of Parliament has not been passed, regulating this. I am thankful if it is so, for peace is always desirable, and doubtless the clergy, from higher considerations, would have submitted to prelates who had no legal title at all, and they would have done well while they remained in the system.

But we are considering the comfort of having a fixed standard of doctrine. It is really going too far to speak of such a thing when the whole empire is reeling under the effects of the question whether what is substantially popish is not most truly Anglican, and the prelates are unable to interfere, and seek with hopeless anxiety to tide it over, while in the meantime the tide is carrying the clerical body into popery - not all, I admit, but this I reserve for further on. But meanwhile crowds, tired out, join the Roman-catholic body, and crowds leave the Establishment to be Christians unattached. But the formularies are what Mr. Innes refers to: I turn to speak of them. Come.

246 Does Mr. Innes believe that by baptism, every infant baptized is "made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven"? Mr. Innes does not use the Catechism perhaps; but it is surely a formulary of the body he belongs to. But he does say "that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ's Church." He gives thanks to the "most merciful Father that it has pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thine holy Church"; and this after having prayed "that he may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration," and exhorted all to pray "that God will grant to this child that thing which by nature he cannot have."* I believe the whole of this to be false doctrine as to baptism, which does not refer even as a sign to the membership of Christ's body but to Christ's death; but this I leave. Does Mr. Innes think this formulary gives us a fixed standard of doctrine on which our souls may rest?

{*The Presbyterians and Lutherans also teach that a child is born again in baptism. Only the Presbyterians confine it to the elect.}

Again, if Mr. Innes uses the Visitation of the Sick, he has occasion to say - must, if he uses the formulary, say - "and by His authority committed unto me I absolve thee from all thy sins in the name," etc. Nor is this a vague matter. In the ordering of priests the formulary says "Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of my hands; whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven, and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained." Does Mr. Innes believe this, that he has received the Holy Ghost, giving him this authority, by his ordination? And this is the more distinct and definite; because when the deacon is ordained there is nothing of the kind. It is merely, "Take thou authority to read the gospel in the church, and to preach the same if thou be thereto licensed by the bishop himself." So that it cannot be pleaded that the pretension to confer the Holy Ghost is merely communicating an orderly authority. That is done to the deacon so called. But in the case of the priest the ordaining prelate professes to confer the Holy Ghost so as to make a priest competent to forgive sins. Hence the deacon, when he reads the morning service, is not allowed to read even the declaratory absolution which follows the confession of sin. Alas! does Mr. Innes accept all this as a fixed standard of doctrine? It was not these things which drove me out of the Establishment, but the discovery of what the true Church of God was, and consequently that the Establishment was not it. But can we be surprised at the nation's running into popery, or at the perplexity of souls attached to the Establishment when the fixed standard of formularies fully authorizes the clergy, yea, binds them, if they are honest, to believe such things as these? It may be alleged that this practically only concerns the clergy, and that the laity do not enter into these questions. It is an unhappy state of things, if that were true, that all the teachers are bound to doctrines which are popish in their character, even if the taught do not find it out. But it is not so. Every one knows that it is infecting the whole Establishment, or dividing it. And as regards the Catechism and Baptismal Service, it concerns the flock as much as the pastor. I have no desire to seek objects of attacks, or I might say much on the Liturgy. I notice only the second of thirty-nine Articles. I suppose it means to affirm the vital doctrine of atonement, or propitiation, the just appeasement of God's wrath by the blessed sacrifice of Christ - a vital doctrine assuredly; but it is put in a way in which no intelligent Christian could sign it, "to reconcile his Father to us." As if atonement was not something which met the immutable righteousness of God and glorified it, but meant that the love being in Christ changed the Father's mind where that love was not. This is a most evil way of putting it, though I am willing to think they meant right, and erred through ignorance and tradition. But scripture affords no ground whatever for such a statement.

247 But I have said that there is not in all the clergy that tendency to Romanism, and adoption of its essential principles in baptismal regeneration, priestly absolution, and the worship of the Eucharist.

248 But what is the character of the other chief part of the Anglican Establishment? The name of Colenso is in every mouth, and the Essays and Reviews familiar to every person acquainted with current literature: that is, open infidelity in the highest authorities of the Church. But this is not all. Suits have been instituted and decided in the highest court of ecclesiastical appeal. And as to the Essays and Reviews it has been decided that no English clergyman is bound to believe in the inspiration of the scriptures or in eternal punishment, and Colenso remains recognized by the same authority, and we have had the scandal of his shutting his cathedral against the Metropolitan of the Cape, and the latter breaking it open with axes and hammers; the said Metropolitan having deposed Colenso and determined to consecrate another, and the English prelates remonstrating and declaring it illegal if done in England. I do not blame the Metropolitan, who, however, has the reputation of semi-Romanism. But what are we to say as to the certainty of a fixed standard? All this is notorious from the public papers. It is a very serious thing its having been decided that no clergyman is bound to hold the scriptures to be inspired, and that infidelity has full swing in the clergy. A very large body of them indeed are known to be rationalist.

Let no one suppose that I say all this without profound sorrow. I believe the Lord is soon coming, and that all this is the power of evil allowed to rise up rampantly before judgment comes. But our enquiry is whether, in this uprising of evil, such a system can afford any security or standard of truth. I might in conscience leave it on ecclesiastical grounds, yet believe it was in the main a bulwark against error and the power of evil. But it is not so. It is torn into popish and infidel factions, a few pious earnest souls in vain struggling in the stream. It is no security for one single truth (save such as it holds in common with popery) and is the sanction for a great deal of popish error. I have stated above from its own formularies in what that conformity to Romanism consists. I think we need some sure fixed standard; but it is not to be found in that which allows denial of the inspiration of scripture and infidel chief ministers on the one hand, and on the other holds the baptized child to be regenerate by the Holy Spirit in baptism, and the power of the priest to absolve from sin by an authority distinctly committed to him of God. I mourn over such a need; but I do feel, in the present upheaving, that it is well to know what we can trust to for truth. I believe the word of God, the scriptures, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be the only standard or fixed rule, while the gifts of teaching and the faithful confession of the Church of the living God may be useful as means of acquiring and holding the truth fast - the word of God the only rule, and grace the only power. Self-will will go astray, the humble soul be kept and prosper; and God means it should be so.

249 I may now take up a far less important part of the subject, the points on which "Brethren" are attacked, some of them by name. Mr. Innes says, Mr. Mackintosh practically denies the entire humanity of the blessed Saviour. This is simply (I may say it as it does not concern myself) a foul falsehood. He holds, and states he holds, the full true humanity of Christ. I do not charge Mr. Innes with inventing the false statement. But he who picks up dirt, made by the wheels of others, to throw at his neighbours is likely to get dirty hands at least himself. I dare say Mr. Innes may have the statement second or third-hand. Mr. Mackintosh called the Saviour a heavenly man and, I think, a divine man too. I think the words most seemly of a man who was also God, and divine in all His ways, of One who could say "the Son of Man who is in heaven." The charge was made in an attack by one in the greatest spiritual ignorance; and, two pages beyond that in which the accused terms occurred, there was the denouncement as vapid and worthless theories of the very thing he was accused of holding, and the true humanity of Christ fully insisted upon, and in the clearest terms.* Either Mr. Innes knows this, and it has been fully pointed out, or he has taken up a false accusation against an active servant of the Lord at secondhand without giving himself the trouble of ascertaining whether it be true or not. It is for Mr. Innes to say which it is. Mr. Mackintosh's writings are too widely spread and too well known, more especially that very one to which Mr. Innes's accusation applies, to make Mr. Innes's judgment of him of much moment.

{*Mr. Mackintosh's words are these: "It was a real human body - real flesh and blood. There is no possible foundation here on which Gnosticism or Mysticism can base its vapid and worthless theories. The early promise had declared that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and none but a real man could accomplish this prediction, one whose nature was as pure as it was incorruptible," and he continues largely to the same purpose. This was not only published before the attack was made, but is in the publication which forms the subject of accusation.}

250 Mr. Innes's statement as to myself and imputed righteousness is not much more honest. I have published four considerable tracts on the subject, as it raised a great deal of enquiry at the time, and the subject itself was important. Either Mr. Innes has read the controversy or he has not. If he has, he is personally dishonest in his statement. If he has not, he has no right to say what I hold.* I have stated there and I state here, I have no idea of any one being righteous before God but by righteousness being imputed to him as contrasted with inherent righteousness, though never actually separated from it, or the life that produces fruits of righteousness. I hold the statement in the articles of the Establishment to be sound and just. What I deny is the doctrine that, while the death of Christ cleanses us from sin, His keeping the law is our positive righteousness, and that His keeping the law is imputed to us as ourselves under it, and that law-keeping is positive righteousness. I believe that Christ perfectly glorified God by obedience even unto death, and that that is to our profit in such sort that, while His death has cancelled all our sins who believe, we are accepted according to His present acceptance in God's sight according to the value of that work, being held to be risen with Him, that our position before God is not legal righteousness, or measured by Christ's keeping the law, but His present acceptance, as risen, in the whole value of the work, and we accounted righteous according to the value of that.

{*My words in "Brethren and their Reviewers" are these: "A man is held to be righteous in God's sight. Here it is the estimate God forms judicially, not the intrinsic state. If the state be such, He will hold it such; but this is impossible for sinful men. Hence if a man partakes of the divine nature, loves righteousness, and, as to the new nature, nothing else, yet relatively and judicially because of the old man he cannot pretend to be, is not in himself, truly righteous in God's sight, because of what he is.

"Because of Christ God holds him relatively and judicially to be perfectly righteous, according to His own divine estimate: righteousness is imputed to him."}

The statement of Article 11 I hold to be perfectly sound, that we are accounted righteous before God only for the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own merits or deserving. What I object to is the doctrine of such books as Theron and Aspasio, and the imputing Christ's keeping the law to us as our positive righteousness; we being under it and not having kept it, and Christ having kept it for us.

251 The controversy arose out of a statement of Mr. Molyneux, a clergyman, in Exeter Hall, that if a man was cleansed from his sin in the blood of Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, he cannot then go to heaven; and that there was written up over the gate of heaven, "Do this and live!" To this I demurred. I hold, then, righteousness imputed without works to be a vital truth: Christ's work being of course the sole ground of it. I do not hold that a Christian is under the law, and that his keeping it is the righteousness which entitles him to heaven, but that, he not having kept it, Christ has kept that law for him, and thus has given him the title. I hold that he is in Christ, risen and Himself as man glorified according to the whole value of His work, and accounted righteous (the true sense of righteousness being imputed), according to the price of that blessed work in God's sight, and withal as in Christ Himself Yet I have no quarrel with any Christian who holds this legal righteousness to be his title. All I think is, he is not clear on this subject, and deprives himself of a very blessed and glorious privilege in connection with a risen and glorified Saviour.

The next point is the Lord's prayer. Here, too, I have no quarrel with any; I leave every one perfectly free to use or not to use it. No Christian, in his senses, but thinks whatsoever the Lord did or said was absolutely perfect in its place. The question is, what is the place He gave it? I add, further, I think the argument against its use drawn from asking forgiveness is weak. The forgiven state is the witness of our being that in which we have forgiveness, like all other proof of life. But, for all that, the demand of it is generally a proof that true forgiveness is not known; but this is a question of spiritual perception and judgment. But Mr. Innes is singularly unhappy in his way of insisting on it. He takes the Lord's prayer, in Luke, because it is said: "When ye pray, say!" But nobody says the Lord's prayer as it is in Luke, but as it is in Matthew.

But more than this: probably Mr. Innes's military education has given him little opportunity for critical enquiry; nor is this any blame if he attends to what is more important; but if he had attended to it, he would know that the superstition as to the Lord's prayer has led to the interpolation of Luke, in order to assimilate him to Matthew, and that in fact we have two Lord's prayers, both assuredly perfect in their place, and given by inspiration. The prayer in Luke really runs thus: "Our Father, Thy name be hallowed; Thy kingdom come; give our needed bread for each day; and remit us our sins, for we also remit to every one indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation." Now, for the purpose for which the Holy Ghost gives this version of it here, I believe this to be perfect, and for that for which it is given in Matthew it is perfect there: only there too "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever," has been added from ecclesiastical use of it, and is interpolated. But this makes sad havoc of its use as a prescribed formulary; for which are we to use, Luke's Lord's prayer, or Matthew's Lord's prayer? for they are not the same.

252 I repeat, no Christian in his senses, doubts of the perfectness of the Lord's words; and in principle every desirable thing is summed up in this prayer. But there is a very important feature in the nature of this prayer which Mr. Innes has overlooked - it is not, and could not then be, in Christ's name. The Lord's own statement is distinct on this point: "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name." Now that Christ has accomplished redemption and gone up on high, as the Saviour who has finished His work, our Great High Priest, the essential character of true prayer is that it is in Christ's name. The Lord's prayer, as decidedly, was not, because it was perfect.

But the truth is, that the "Brethren" assailed have never given any judgment or prescribed any rule whatsoever about it. Individuals may have done so. Its habitual use has dropped out, as it has amongst many other Christians, generally, I believe, save among Romanists and Episcopalians.* Just as we never find it in the prayers of the New Testament after Pentecost, because the Holy Ghost led them on each occasion according to the particular wants of the moment: all surely consistent with the summary so beautifully given in this prayer; but in the freedom given by the Spirit to express every want as it arose. The use of it as mere paternoster, having some virtue in it, is a superstition and nothing else. Mr. Innes's statement is a pure blunder, because nobody ever says it as it is in Luke, and it is, in fact, not simply recited, as it is in Matthew, but as tradition has given it from the Church use, the passage in Matthew having been interpolated to suit this, and nearly half added in Luke to make it in some measure agree with Matthew. Tampering with God's word is the constant and sure effect of ecclesiastical traditions, when that word is not set aside by them.

{*I have met providentially with an unlooked-for confirmation of what I have here said as to other Christians, in "The Worship of the Presbyterian Church, by Samuel Miller, D.D., extracted by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, Philadelphia"; so that it is accepted so far by the Presbyterian body: -

"The Lord's prayer, given at the request of the disciples, forms no objection to this conclusion. It was evidently not intended to be used as an exact, and far less as an exclusive, form. It is not given in the same words by any two of the evangelists. As it was given before the New Testament Church was set up, so it is strictly adapted to the old rather than to the new economy. It contains no clause asking for blessings in the name of Christ, which the Saviour Himself afterwards solemnly enjoined as indispensable. After the resurrection and ascension of Christ, when the New Testament Church was set up, we read nothing more in the inspired history of this form. And it is not till several centuries after the apostolic age that we find this prayer statedly introduced into public worship. Accordingly it is remarkable, that Augustine in the fourth century expresses the decisive opinion 'that Christ intended this prayer as a model rather than a form; that he did not mean to teach his disciples what words they should use in prayer, but what things they should pray for.'"

Poor unhappy Augustine!}

253 The third point which calls for remark is an appointed ministry. Now, that God has appointed or given a ministry in His Church for its edification and for the evangelizing of the world, is as certain as the word of God can make it. The question does not lie there, but in this: Is the clergy that ministry? Mr. Innes would permit irregular ministrations. He is very kind, no doubt, if God sent them. But there is another question: Is not his position the false and irregular one, and a hindrance and denial of true ministry? If there be a ministry given of God, and man has set up another, it is this which is in fault, this that is false and evil, worse than irregular.

I will make what I mean very plain. If Paul were to come to Quebec, he could not preach, according to Mr. Innes' system. He has never been ordained. It will be said this is ridiculous. He is an apostle, and would preach of course. I agree: sovereignly ridiculous. But the ridiculousness is in those who have concocted a system which leads to such a result. Paul would preach assuredly, and no thanks to Mr. Innes or his clerical system, because God sent him. And so would every one sent of God. The irregularity, according to the word of God, is in the clergy, not in the preaching of those whom God has sent. I will put another case, one which Mr. Innes knows to be quite common, alas! the most common: an unconverted clergyman in a parish, and the parish spiritually in the dark; or, if the clergyman be converted, a determined Puseyite, teaching to worship the Eucharist, as hundreds do now in England. Well! an evangelist sent of God is blessed to the conversion of many souls: that is, the Holy Ghost has wrought by him, and souls are brought to Christ. Which is irregular - I appeal to Mr. Innes' conscience - the evangelist who has wrought with God, or the unconverted clergyman? Who brought the latter there? Not God: it were a heinous blasphemy to say so. Who brought the evangelist there? God's grace. But this on Mr. Innes' system is irregular. Well! in this world it is so. But it is a mercy there is such. But perhaps Mr. Innes will say, let him keep to his place as evangelist, and put these unconverted souls under the existing orderly pastoral care. What pastoral care? That of an unconverted man, or a worshipper of the Eucharist, or a rationalist? ay, or even a man who, if he is honest, believes he was made a child of God and a member of Christ by his baptism? Is this regular?

254 What is the real state of the case according to the system, imperfectly carried out perhaps in a colony, because they cannot help themselves, and are happily more irregular? The country is divided into parishes, and universities and other schools supply incumbents, without the smallest or most distant reference to the Church of God, or gift fitting on God's part for the office. If they are good men, so much the better - if indeed it do not help on delusion; but, good or bad, the ordaining prelate gives, if they are priested, the Holy Ghost to all alike, in order that they may have power to forgive sins. Is this what Mr. Innes calls regular, and the free action of the Spirit of God, according to the word, irregular ministry? A sober, godly mind, a mind taught by the word, let me tell him, will count such a system worse than irregular. He may - ought - to mourn and weep over it, not expose it, save as the growing power of evil forces us to enquire what can be trusted in as true, and what cannot. This feeling alone makes me speak thus. An Edomite "Down with it, down with it," I have no sympathy with whatever. But we are forced, and, as an occasion, forced by such statements as Mr. Innes's, to enquire what is of God and what is not - to separate the precious from the vile. I would receive every saint, episcopal or anything else, with my whole heart; but the system is leading souls by thousands into popery and falsehood on one hand, and infidelity on the other, because there is no plain solid truth in it. Evangelicals do not believe what they sign and acquiesce in. Can Mr. Innes be surprised if I doubt that he believes Dr. Cronin conferred the Holy Ghost on him that he might have the priestly power of forgiving sins? And it is a serious thing to trifle and make empty forms of serious things - a serious thing for the state of the soul. The state of things is forcing all this into view. It may be so best in God's wisdom, for all is surely hastening to the end; but at any rate it is sorrowful. Whether it be wise in Mr. Innes to draw attention to it, he must judge. I should have a great deal more to say on this head, but I refrain. The great principles are what we have to enquire into. I turn to more general points, and I will state some general principles, I am bold to say, incontrovertible according to the word of God. Mr. Innes will see it is not against his system more than another, but that I speak of what the word of God teaches.

255 Member of a church is a thing unknown to scripture. The words, the thing, the idea are unknown there. Christians are members of Christ, and, if you please, one of another, and of nothing else. And membership of anything else is only schism, and denying the true meaning of the word.

A flock other than God's flock is equally unknown. God's flock alone is known in scripture, of which Christ is the chief shepherd. There is one flock, and only one, meeting it may be in different localities, and elders belonging to those localities; but all the faithful there at any time were of it, because they were of God's flock. A pastor and his flock, in the modern sense, is wholly unknown to scripture, and an utter denial of its contents, if it be not of the words: "I am of Paul, and I of Apollos," etc. These statements I leave for every honest-minded saint to see whether they are according to scripture or not.

I will now take up the proofs by which Mr. Innes attempts to justify the ecclesiastical forms of his system. I only press the fact, that these forms say nothing as to the substance of the system - namely, sacramental birth to God, priestly forgiveness of sins, pretending to confer the Holy Ghost by ordination in order to that power. Anglicans must accept this, they must pretend to do it; at any rate they all sanction it. It is important to keep this clearly before us. A man may prove meat to be good; but if poison is in it, the proof of its goodness means nothing, or a snare.

256 But I will take up the alleged proofs of the forms, and shew what scripture teaches as to the ministry. In doing this, I must apprise my reader that there is a constant confusion in most minds between ministry and local office. I do not reproach Mr. Innes, in particular, with this; I remember when, from habit, I made the same confusion. But for all that, the difference is important. Nay, my own conviction is, that the gradual decline of gift led to the confusion of the two, ministry and office; and thus establishing the clergy led the way for papal anti-christian claims. The elders and deacons were local officers; ministry, in the sense of the exercise of gift for edification, was not. It was a given member (eye, foot, ear, as is said) of the whole body of Christ. Elders were ordained in every city, but God set in the Church various gifts. This difference is all important as to the nature of ministry, and the whole clerical and denominational system crumbles together under the unquestionable scriptural fact. Let me add a question here, which I have often and long ago put, as shewing the practical result: - "If Paul were to address a letter to the Church of God which is at Montreal, who could get the letter?"

It was necessary for me to begin with this distinction, because Mr. Innes' first question involves the denial of it. His question shews, indeed, ignorance of what he might see all over Canada and Europe and everywhere else. It is this: Has God ordained a divinely appointed ministry to rule and teach in the Church? Now, it is perfectly clear that scripture recognizes teachers who do not rule, save as far as general influence goes, and rulers who do not teach; that teaching was a desirable qualification for those who ruled, but that all had it not. The whole Presbyterian body, whatever their other defects may be, recognize ruling elders who are not teachers. But further, Mr. Innes, having his mind filled with the identity of ruling and teaching, supposes that the admission of a divinely given ministry is rested by those whom he opposes on 1 Timothy, and that they think that 2 Timothy has set it aside. He deceives himself and his hearers altogether. It is because we believe in a divinely given ministry, that we do not believe in the geographical system of parishes, and a ministry ordained of man and not of God. Some clergymen may be ministers; but a divinely given ministry sets aside the clerical system, in which Paul and all the early labourers of scripture could not have been permitted to exercise their ministry.

257 I shall quote the passages which speak of a divinely appointed ministry, quite distinct from local elders, that we may know how scripture presents the ministry to us. In Ephesians 4, which Mr. Innes quotes when condescending to sanction what he calls "irregular labourers," we shall see what ministry is. Christ, who descended into the lowest parts of the earth, is ascended above all heavens, and has led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; a glorious origin and source of ministry. And He gave some apostles and prophets, some pastors and teachers, and some evangelists, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying the body of Christ, till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect Man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. We cannot conceive a more full or glorious expression of ministry than this; complete in every possible respect - in its source, in the sphere it belongs to, in the completeness of its objects, and in the enduringness of its character. And note, we have no miraculous gifts, no tongues, no healings, no miracles. It is proper ministerial service. The apostles and prophets, we read in this epistle, were the foundation; they have had their place, but pastors, teachers, evangelists abide.*

{*I cannot stop to notice the wild fanaticism of those who pretend that we are all come to a perfect man, etc.: they are the striking proof that we are not.}

Nor is there an idea of ordination: Christ gave. They are, Mr. Innes being witness, the irregular labourers, though Timothy, he tells us, proves there were regular ones. And note, these are the talents conferred when the nobleman went away to receive the kingdom, and to return; and woe be to that servant, who, in order to trade, waited for any other authority than the possession of the talents committed! And it is very striking here, that so distinct is the character of gift by an exalted Christ that the apostle knows nothing here of the apostles till Christ was gone on high. He recognized, of course, as we know, the fact; but he cannot know them other than endowed from on high, as he did not, in the same sense, know Christ after flesh. But this is certain - we get the regular ministry in the Church (pastors and teachers), to the world (evangelists), by gift from on high, without the most distinct hint of bishop, presbyter, or ordination. It speaks, Mr. Innes does not deny, of the irregular labourers on his system, I should say, of a divinely appointed ministry in its fullest character, and without any so-called merely supernatural or miraculous gifts, but that by which the Church was to be edified till we all come to a perfect man. I pity the regular ministry somewhat, if this was the irregular.

258 But let us search if scripture warrants this view elsewhere.

We have a more general list, in 1 Corinthians 12. Here the Spirit divides to every man severally as He will, and the gifts are given to every man to profit withal. These are various members in the one body. God has set in the Church - the sphere of action is the one body, the Church - apostles, prophets, etc., amongst which we have gifts of government distinct from teachers. Some of these gifts are lost, others not; but I suppose what remains are to be used; yea, I might almost dare to say it is not irregular to use them, to trade with the talents, if they are given to profit withal. Scripture will surely, and does, regulate their use, both as to order and morally. Not more than two or three were to speak. That is a wise rule of order. "Be not many teachers" is a moral instruction and warning. But neither could have any application at all in the clerical system. They could have had no application to the system Mr. Innes belongs to. We are not talking of what are called extraordinary or miraculous gifts but of teachers, of divinely appointed ministry. Or does Mr. Innes intend to tell us that the Holy Ghost is no longer in the Church to give teachers, but to make priests for the forgiveness of sins? Is that what he considers regular? But I proceed.

We have in Peter positive orders on the point. 1 Peter 4:10: "As every man has received the gift, so minister the same, one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Here again it is the irregular labour, but within, one to another.

259 Evangelical history tells the same tale, as Mr. Innes admits. "They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." And "the hand of the Lord was with them." Philip, one of the seven, purchases to himself a good degree, and an evangelist. Stephen has a still brighter crown - at least as far as man can say, and so in numberless instances. It is the history of the evangelizing the Gentiles. Paul boasts that he was neither of man nor by man. John in his second epistle has no rule for a woman to go by but the doctrine brought. Gaius and Demetrius are commended for receiving these irregular labourers. Diotrephes, indeed, objected. Such are the instructions, rapidly reviewed, which the word gives us of divinely appointed ministry. We may add, Romans 12, in which each is directed to confine himself to his own gift.

I now turn to Timothy. This does give us order and care of the Church, and watching over sound doctrine; which last was the immediate object of his being left at Ephesus. But it does not give us anything of appointment of ministry. Indeed, though scripture may and does regulate the use of gift, if God has given a teacher or other gift, he cannot, he dare not, wait on man to exercise it, and hide it in a napkin till then. Scripture does regulate, and where prophets were to speak, the rest were to judge; but the gift of God is to be exercised and not wait for the permission of man, as to the general fact of serving by it, though all of us have to be subject one to another, and we are to obey God rather than man, if man forbid us to speak in Christ's name. Timothy was left specially to watch over sound doctrine, and watch against false teachers; but the general order of the Church is unfolded. Yet there is no establishment of a ministry. He was to communicate to faithful men the things he had learned; but here there is not the remotest hint of appointing to office, and its absence is most significative. He was to instruct, not ordain. No such thought was or could be true. We have seen that the ministry was in full exercise and its order established in 1 Corinthians. It depended on gift, and gift had its place in the whole body. If Apollos was a teacher at Ephesus, he was a teacher at Corinth, and so of all. Indeed every Jew was familiar with this, and the rulers of the synagogue were distinct as to office from the teachers. Christ could stand up to read and teach; so Paul and Barnabas were invited at Antioch. As to the form, there was thus a wellknown liberty of teaching, and the distinction of teaching and ruling thoroughly understood. They might, doubtless, be united in one person, but they were distinct. It was the habit of our blessed Lord, of Paul, and of Apollos to teach and preach in the synagogue; none pretended to be ruler there. And in the Christian assemblies elders were local. Thus Paul and Barnabas chose* elders for them in every church (Acts 14). So Titus was to establish elders in every city. Gifts were exercised everywhere, as such or such a member of the body: so the whole history and doctrinal teaching of the New Testament shew. Elders were local officers. For this office it was desirable that they should be apt to teach; but their business was to oversee and guide the flock of God where the Holy Ghost had made them overseers. And we know that some recognized elders did not teach, though they might rule well. The apostle in this same epistle distinguished those among them who labour in word and doctrine; 1 Tim. 5:17. But, so far from ordaining teachers, or the elders alone being the regular teachers, there is in the epistles a prohibition which makes such a notion ridiculous. "Let your women keep silence in your churches." "But I suffer not a woman to teach." Can any one in his senses conceive such a phrase where the only orderly teaching was in the hands of elders? But it is certain that in the synagogue and in the early churches all who could do it to profit were to teach. Elders there were. It was desirable that elders should be apt to teach; but of their being the teachers there is not a hint but exactly the contrary. Women were not to teach; all men who could were free to do it, according to their gift, and bound too so to minister the same as good stewards. No honest man can doubt if he takes the word of God. In France, Switzerland, Germany, it is not now denied by those who have considered the subject. It was considered a whole day at the meeting of the Evangelical Alliance at Berlin. Do not suppose I mean that they act, or mean to act on it. That is a very different thing. One German professor, after an evening's discussion with a third person, said to me: It is impossible that any upright Christian can deny it is so in scripture; but think of the folly of acting on it after eighteen hundred years!

{*'Ordained' is a mere ecclesiastical perversion. In Acts 1:22 it is a wilful interpolation; all that is in the Greek is "must one be a witness."}

261 But Mr. Innes appeals to the word. Let him produce the appointment of any one to preach by ecclesiastical authority. Timothy is directed to communicate the truths he has learned to faithful men able to teach; but to ordain teachers, never either he or any one else. Having gone through the teaching of scripture, let us now see what Mr. Innes has to say. He will already have perceived that I believe in a divinely appointed ministry, and (because I do) I do not own his office, his system, which denies wholly that of scripture. He will have seen that it is not from 1 Timothy I draw the proof of such a ministry, for there is nothing about it, but about the order of the house of God, in which the ministry of all is supposed possible to the exclusion of women, aptness to teach being desirable in an elder. All the New Testament shews there was such a divinely given ministry. 1 Timothy gives the order of the Church. It is not even said that hands were laid on elders: I dare say they were, as it was the common expression of commending to God, and communication of blessing or curse; but it is not said. Such has been the wisdom of God. He knew what was before the Church in the way of clergy. We have how Timothy was to behave himself in the house of God, to have it in order: as to elders, deacons, widows, etc., 2 Timothy altered no principle as to ministry, as 1 Timothy established none; it gives individual guidance in the last days and perilous times when the Church should be in disorder.

Mr. Innes, I cannot help saying, shews much ignorance on scripture questions, and even as to what he is attacking. He takes Bishop Lloyd's chronology for gospel as to the date of the two epistles to Timothy, and even founds on it his argument as to the differences he supposes we make between the two. I do not pretend to decide any question in so intricate a matter as chronology, still less so vexed a question as that of the two Timothys. Some have thought the second the earlier: I cannot conceive why, I confess. At any rate it involves the question of Paul's release from captivity, on which volumes have been written. He speaks in 2 Timothy of events which it is impossible to find in the history of the Acts. Hence they are to be supposed to have happened after the end of that history. Thus he had left Trophimus sick at Miletus, but when last at Jerusalem, Trophimus was there, and he did not touch at Miletus on his way to Rome. On the other hand, in Acts 20, at Miletus he did not expect to see their face again. However, now (in 2 Tim.) he saw his end to be close. In Philippians he expects to get free from his first captivity, and in Philemon tells him to prepare a lodging. It would rather seem that 2 Timothy is the very latest of all his epistles. If so, it is at least four years later than the first, for we have four years of imprisonment in the Acts, perhaps eight or ten or more later, unless the first was written after getting free from his first imprisonment, which is full of difficulty if we take Acts 20 as a divinely given presentiment; but this is partly met by the direction to Philemon to prepare a lodging. These questions I do not pretend to solve here.

262 On the face of the epistles, one gives us the order of God's house, the other tells of departure and perilous times; all the beloved ones of Asia, whose order he had established, had turned away from him, and, while insisting more than ever on Christian courage, grief comes out in every passage. The scriptures and immediate apostolic teaching are the resource when the power of godliness was gone and its form there, and the house, once set as the pillar and ground of the truth, had become a great house full of vessels to dishonour from which a man had to purge himself, as well as to honour. Nor has Mr. Innes paid attention to the directions of this last epistle touching the last and perilous days. To this I beg his attention, and that of every one who may deign to read these pages. The second epistle to Timothy states that in the last days perilous times shall come, which it describes, when there would be a form of godliness denying the power of it. 2 Timothy does not contemplate the godly order of the first epistle, but a state of things in the professing church analogous to the state of the heathen as described in the epistle to the Romans. And it does direct us to have done with it. "From such turn away." It is not a question of breaking up the Church. Alas! what Mr. Innes calls the Church is breaking up by its own decrepitude, by the contradictory principles it contains within itself and by the absence of all power of self-government, leaving us exposed to, or rather dragging us unto, the deadly evil of popery and infidelity; so that we have to enquire where the resource of the individual is when he has to turn away. In 2 Timothy that resource is declared to be in the scriptures, not in the professing church, and not in the clergy. If Mr. Innes cannot find out the difference between the directions for godly order (1 Tim.), and the directions to individuals when false profession has brought in perilous times in 2 Timothy, his position must have singularly blinded his eyes.

263 Nor is this all. In chapter 2 we have a totally changed state of the Church contemplated. In the beginning of the Acts we read, "The Lord added to the Church* daily such as should be saved." To that one well-known assembly at Jerusalem, where the whole Church then was, souls were added. In 2 Timothy how different the language! False doctrines are overthrowing the faith of some; but the sure foundation of God abides. There is this comfort: "The Lord knoweth them that are his." They may not be brought out into the blessed unity of a manifested assembly as at the first; they may be hidden in the recesses of Rome, or the dark ignorance of Greece; but the Lord knows them, and that is a comfort.

{*[Or "together" (which comes to the same thing in effect) according to the more ancient MSS. Ed.]}

But there is a direction addressed to our responsibility also. "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ* depart from iniquity." If a godly man thinks it iniquity to say that a person has received the Holy Ghost, perhaps from an unconverted man, so as to have the power of forgiving sins, and such like - if his conscience tells him it is iniquity to establish crowds of unconverted men who hate the gospel, as ministers of God in parishes, what is he to do? Mr. Innes may call it breaking up the Church, but the word of God commands him to depart from iniquity.

{*[Rather, "the Lord," which only strengthens the case, as it is the best supported and the most appropriate reading. Ed.]}

But while this is a direction of the plainest kind for individual conscience, the passage in 2 Timothy goes farther. The apostle gives what I may call ecclesiastical teaching. When the Church becomes a great house, we must expect this evil. In a great house there are all kinds of vessels, and some to dishonour too. What is to be done? The great house is Christendom: no one thinks of leaving this. We turn neither heathens, nor Jews, nor Mahommedans, we renounce not Christian profession, but are called to purge ourselves from the vessels to dishonour who are in Christendom. Mr. Innes may object to this, and call it breaking up the Church; but the word of God directs us to purge ourselves from these, and we must follow it. But if Mr. Innes cannot see the difference between this and the beautiful order of God's house as depicted in 1 Timothy, I repeat, his position must have sadly blinded his eyes.

264 A divinely appointed ministry is then not only admitted but insisted on, in contrast with the apostate and anti-christian principle of a clergy which calls the blessed action of the Holy Ghost, and what is admitted to be such, irregular, and puts a human establishment in its place. The first epistle of Timothy does not speak of the appointment of ministry, nor does the second epistle take it away. A divinely appointed ministry subsists to this day. The first epistle of Timothy shews the order of the house of God, the second epistle tells us what to do in the perilous times of the last days, when we have to say, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." There was order in 1 Timothy. There is disorder everywhere now. The clergy mean that the title to ministry depends not on gifts and teaching the truth, but on human establishment, in the immensely vast majority, of unconverted men by unconverted men. The Romish priest or Greek pope is a clergyman. So is Mr. Innes. Mr. Innes is bound to own as a brother minister an ordained man who teaches the contrary of what Paul taught. Why? Because he is a clergyman. But he cannot own the one sent of God as a brother minister, because he is a clergyman. He may condescend to own from on high the Holy Ghost's irregular labourers. Let him not be offended by my referring to Romish priests as clergymen. So far does this principle of clergy go that, if a Romish priest came over to the Anglican body tomorrow, he is owned as in holy orders and a fellow-clergyman. If the greatest instrument God had in the world, who was not a clergyman, were to come, he could not be owned. It is this horrible wickedness that I reject, and from which I withdraw, the principle of clergy; and I do so, just because I believe in a divinely appointed ministry. I know there are good men among the clergy, and I love them; but the system is a denial of the Holy Ghost and His work, and a substitution of man in His place. Nor did I ever see one who was a good man, who had not suffered in his soul by being of the clergy, by falsifying his conscience in solemn things.

A few words will suffice for Mr. Innes's select passages. He tells us Christ ordained twelve apostles. No doubt: what Christ ordained, we own of course. Yet even this most assuredly was not the Christian commission, nor the Church of God. When they were sent out, they were forbidden to go to the Gentiles or to any but Jews; they would not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man were come. Is this what Mr. Innes presents to us as ministry in the Church? It was after Christ's death and resurrection that they received their commission for the world, and were then told to tarry at Jerusalem till endowed with power from on high. It is in this character accordingly Paul owns them as apostles in their church character. "He ascended up on high and gave gifts unto men, and he gave some apostles," etc. But it is natural for those imbued with the idea of clergy to overlook all the doctrine of the Holy Ghost.

265 As to the seventy being deacons, it is a new notion, not, if I am not mistaken, very long got up, and as absurd as it is new, or, if indeed not new, an old absurdity. "The seven" are not called deacons, but Mr. Innes cannot reject their being so, for the Anglican Service for the ordination of deacons treats them as such, and they are generally so accounted; they were to serve tables, as contrasted with the word; as every one knows, they were the ministering servants of the Church. The seventy were sent before Christ's face, wherever He was coming, as a last warning to Israel, on Christ's last journey up to Jerusalem, to warn their cities that the kingdom of God was come unto them, the devils being subject to them as a testimony (Luke 10:9, 11, 17). No one, I conceive, but a clergyman, could have dreamed of connecting this with deacons. I am aware that the idea has been put forth by a Scotch Episcopal examining chaplain of the name of Farquhar: whether he is the father of the bright idea, I know not.

The next proof is that the apostles ordained a successor to Judas (Acts 1). This is an unfortunate example. Peter takes up Psalm 109 to shew that the word of God expressly taught that another was to take his office; of ordination there is nothing. "Ordained" is an interpolation, with what good faith others must judge. All that is said is "must be a witness." They (the hundred and twenty it would appear, for no others are spoken of in the plural) set forth two as answering Peter's description, and then they cast lots which it was to be (after the Jewish manner, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given), and he was numbered with the twelve.  The choice was given to the Lord by lot, and there was no ordination of any kind, nothing regular.

266 Deacons are set apart, if so we are to call them, to serve tables, that others might give themselves up to the ministry of the word. Was this setting apart to rule and teach, ordaining to serve that others might have full time for teaching? It is the only express case of laying on of hands for office we have in the New Testament. True, some of them who had gift became "irregular labourers"; but no wit, even of a clergyman, can make out of it an ordination to rule and to teach. We read that they that use the office of service well, would acquire a good degree and great boldness in Christ Jesus, would be efficient irregular labourers, as Philip and Stephen were in Jerusalem and Samaria, and in the desert of Gaza, according to the power of the Spirit of God.

In Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas chose elders ("ordained" is really a false translation), who ruled in a true scriptural sense; but of teaching there is no question. There is no doubt that the apostle appointed several elders as overseers or bishops, by the authority of the Holy Ghost, in churches which he founded. I say, "by the authority of the Holy Ghost," because in Acts 20 Paul says of the elders of Ephesus, "the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops." They were to "shepherd" the flock of God ("feed" is a different word). It is poimainein, not boskein. Yet, as we have seen, it was desirable they should be apt to teach; and in such case they doubtless did so; but we also know, by the same apostle, that some did not.

As to Timothy's being the first bishop of Ephesus, it is a mere fable. Every one who has enquired into these things knows that the superscriptions of the epistles have no authority whatever. Some, as on the face of it 1 Corinthians, are notoriously false. All of them were sentences tacked on by late copyists. But Acts 20 is a clear proof that Timothy was not so; for the apostle calls for the elders of Ephesus on his last voyage; and there is not the smallest hint of any Timothy, or any other bishop. On the contrary, language is used which excludes such an idea. "Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops"; and then he commends them to God, and the word of His grace. It is not merely the word bishop applied to them, though it does shew those whom he owned as alone made their "bishops" by the Holy Ghost, but he looks to them as the ones to watch for themselves and all the flock, and the fancied bishop is ignored in the most absolute and unceremonious way. No man in his senses can suppose that there was another superior functionary to whom the chief care of the flock was entrusted. Besides, Timothy, and so Titus, was called away when his special service was ended. They were employed as confidential agents by the apostle to complete needed order in new churches, but permanent bishoprics they had none. Gifted saints they were, and the apostle's own sons in the faith, in whom the apostle, as he declares, reposed especial confidence.

267 As regards "the angel of the church," who told Mr. Innes that he was the presiding officer? It is quite certain that, where all is plainly stated, there were several presiding officers or elders. The angel in the Jewish synagogue was not the presiding officer; this is well known. If the angel was the presiding officer, that is, if the original constitution of the churches had been changed, the Spirit of God would not own directly and openly any such change from His own constitution, but give a symbolical name. And it was when the Church had left its first love, and was already threatened with having the candlestick removed; while its history is preserved till, having had opportunity to repent, it had not done so, and was threatened with the sorest judgments on one hand, and on the other was found pretending to be rich, and was just about to be spued out of Christ's mouth. I do not believe that the angel was a presiding officer, but a symbolical representative of the Church viewed in those responsible in it. For this reason, that is the way the plural is used in Smyrna, Thyatira, and the interchange of it with the singular, as in chapter 2:10, 24, so indeed the language to Pergamos and to Philadelphia  - in truth, I might say, to all the churches, makes it impossible to apply it to an individual presiding officer, and obliges us to see a symbolical representative of the Church. This is certain that, if it was a single presiding officer, the Holy Ghost would not own him as such, by any direct name of office, and it was so only when the Church had left her first love, and was now threatened with being cut off.

I cannot enter into a discussion of the interpretation of the seven churches here; but the plain declarations of scripture present several bishops in a Church, never one. That this crept in early no one denies, when all sought their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. But it is certain that it was not so at first. Acts 20 demonstrates the contrary; and we have the best ecclesiastical authority, Jerome, confirmed by other so-called Fathers, telling us that there was no such difference in the beginning, no such presiding officer, but that it was introduced for peace' sake, when the presbyters or elders began to seek to make separate parties for themselves. Clement, the earliest post-scriptural authority we have, knows only presbyters in Corinth, and if we have Ignatius, who boasts abundantly of them, we have not only interpolations, but forgeries, as has been fully proved, to make good the ambition of men. It is a sad history, but a predicted one. Paul's remedy for the very case Jerome speaks of was not Jerome's: of this the papal abominations have been the gradual and legitimate growth. Of this we have too many remains (in the pretension to confer the Holy Ghost in priesthood, which as a distinct order is the denial of Christianity, in priestly absolution, in baptismal making members of Christ, where episcopacy prevails, to say nothing of making the whole population the Church), to feel any confidence in substituting such presiding officer for the word of God, to which Paul commends us in the perilous times of the last days, and for the Holy Ghost by whom alone the humble soul can rightly use it, and who alone can give a true and effectual ministry.

268 For my own part, then, I am so far from rejecting a divinely-given ministry, that it is because I believe in one that I reject the clergy, which is not a divinely-given one but the fruit of the Church's departure from the faith. I beg Mr. Innes to believe that I have no enmity against him or any godly member of the body he belongs to. I receive them as members of the body of Christ; but in these last days, these perilous times, we are forced to see where the sure foundation is. Paul, that is, the Holy Ghost, assures us it is in the scriptures, not in the professing body. This would come, and it has come, to have the form of godliness and to deny the power of it. The part of the professing body he belongs to is of all others a scene of confusion and incompetency which confounds beholders. Presbyterianism - with its deserted Kirk, and United Presbyterians, and Free Kirk almost split upon the point of which they would unite with - has little to boast over it. I assure him that I say it with profound and unfeigned sorrow. The breaking up of these protestant bodies will only let in, and is letting in, popery and infidelity; and I have not one atom of sympathy with the worldly-minded ambitious dissenters who are joining papists and infidels in seeking to pull it down. I must leave all this in God's wise and holy hand.

269 But saints must in such a time look for some sure foundation. They have it, thank God, in the word of God, in the faithfulness of the true and exalted Head of the Church, soon coming to take us to Himself and set all things right in heaven and in earth - blessed time to think of! They have the Spirit of God to guide and help them if they are humble, and provision in the word of God for the very times we are in, moral provision for godly rule and order when official has been perverted and corrupted; not, perhaps, the order of the external Church restored, but the presence and faithfulness of Him who can never fail it, an ark of God which, if its ordered place was in the midst of the camp, can go a three-days'-journey in condescending grace before the host, to find in the wilderness a place where we may rest.

I have done. The clergy I reject, because the system denies in principle and fact the title and prerogatives of the Holy Ghost come down from heaven, the unity of the body, and the gifts by which Christ, its Head, edifies the Church and calls sinners; and it has substituted geographical divisions for faith, or sectional membership for membership of the body of Christ - has substituted human arrangement of one kind and another for a divinely-given ministry. There is no scriptural ground of any kind for church membership other than the unity of the body of Christ; none for a pastor and his flock; none for the divisions which have resulted from the attempts to rebuild the church when, three hundred years ago, excessive ecclesiastical corruption in the great professing body led masses, under God's mercy, to break loose from its galling and degrading chains. But the energy of faith which brought about that result has passed away, and the result is fallen into decrepitude, giving occasion to the energetic recrudescence of popery and the widespread influence of pretentious intellect and infidelity. It is under this we are now suffering; but we are forewarned in the word.

I cannot close this without pressing on my reader's attention, though briefly, the warnings I allude to. We have the solemn declaration in Romans 11 that if the Gentile Christendom, which has taken the place of Judaism, did not continue in God's goodness, it should be cut off. Has it so continued? Was popery continuing in God's goodness? If not, Christendom will be cut off, Laodicea spued out of God's mouth, as Thyatira punished with grievous plagues, both to give place, as you may see, to the throne and sceptre of Christ, and, it is added in Thyatira, heavenly possession of "the morning star." The mystery of iniquity, begun in the apostles' days, would continue till it resulted in open apostasy, and the man of sin to be destroyed at Christ's coming. Evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse.

270 Is there fear then for the saints? None - not more than for the saints of Judaism, who, when it fell, were transferred into the Church of God. But their external props will fail them; they will have to walk by faith as they were ever called to do. The Lord is coming, according to His promises, to receive them to Himself that where He is they may be also. He will gather the wheat, not into a church on earth as the remnant of Judaism, but into the heavenly garner. Meanwhile they have the word of God, and the Spirit of God; God Himself and the word of His grace; a word able to make them wise unto salvation. Let them recognize every gift God gives for yet calling sinners, or edifying His saints. These will continue in virtue of the faithfulness of Christ Himself, till all the work He has to do is done. The denial of gifts is the denial of the sovereign title of the Holy Ghost, and of Christ's authority in the Church, just as the clergy is.

Appointment to office is lost, the Church on earth being in confusion and ruin. If elders are to be appointed, I ask, not only who is to appoint them with authority (and there is no one), but where is the church over which they are to be appointed? A sectional body may choose for itself, an act of mere human will; but they can have no authority beyond the will of those who have chosen them. They cannot be what elders were in the early Church - bishops whom the Holy Ghost appointed over the flock of God. It is a mere unlicensed powerless imitation by human will over a little self-constituted corner of the church, perhaps indeed of the world. But scripture has provided for this case also, not officially, but morally, not only in the gift to rule, but in faithful service. (See 1 Cor. 16:15-16; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; Heb. 13:17.) In none of these is official authority given as the ground of subjection and obedience. It is an exhortation involving the spiritual state and duty of the saints themselves, founded on moral grounds, always true and available, and which, if the sorrowful need arise for it, can be enforced by the saints themselves according to 2 Thessalonians 3 :14-16, and Romans 16:17-18.

271 My object now is not to enlarge on this. I notice it only to shew that the blessed Lord has provided in His word even for the ruin in which our unfaithfulness has involved the Church. Only I beseech every saint to look in the face the confusion and ruin which exists, to see how surely we are in the perilous times of the last days, to be ready for the Lord, loins girded and lights burning, waiting for God's Son from heaven; to arise and trim their lamps, and to see what is the sure foundation of God which will abide, and thus build up according to the grace given to them, and leave to the enemies of the Lord and the selfishness of men and sects to pull down. We shall have enough to do in these days to deliver souls from abounding error, and help them in the path of grace and peace. Only may they remember that, wherever there is a priesthood, save that of all children of God, there is the denial of Christianity. A priest means one who goes to God for you - is between you and God. Christianity is the blessed truth that the veil is rent, and that through the efficacy of the precious blood of Christ we can go boldly into the holiest ourselves, that through Him we have ourselves access by one Spirit unto the Father. An ordained consecrated priesthood is the denial of true Christianity.

Since writing the above, a Montreal episcopal journal has reported Mr. Hooke's teaching a number of doctrines against which it warns its readers. Most of the statements are unfounded; the principal one arises from the ignorance of the writer, who evidently does not know what justification is, and is the result of confounding the perfect putting away of sin by Christ for us, and the absence of sin in the individual. But the statements do not deserve any further notice.