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damental ideas all religions systems have been builded up. These three great primary and intuitional truths of religion Parker claims, in the Experience as a Minister, to have reached before his settlement at West Roxbury. Yet it is remarkable that the intuition of moral law, and human duty under it, makes almost no figure in this Discourse. The intuition of God and the intuition of immortality are rather mentioned than discussed, since, being intuitions of the reason, they depend not on reasons, but on reason itself.
I have as little time as my readers would have patience for any minute criticism of this work. After discussing and clearing the idea of God, Parker dwells on the power of the religious idea—traces the development of religion through Fetichism, Polytheism, up to Monotheism. Next he glances at the doctrines of the primitive state of man and the immortality of the soul. Then follow discourses on Inspiration, Christianity, the Bible, and the Church. It will be seen from this schedule that here was an admirable opportunity to declare his notions on all the points in discussion between his foes and himself. There is little wonder that the book awakened a storm among the more moderate and conservative Unitarians. The orthodox seem to have enjoyed the confusion of their heretical friends when they found a heretic on their own hands upon whom they felt obliged to shut the door. There was not only some ground for alarm in the doctrines of the work themselves, but this was aggravated by the tone and spirit of the author. Even toward those whom he deemed his friends he indulged his sarcastic vein. Miss Bremer gives a characteristic glimpse of him at one of Alcott's conversations. The talk that evening had been conducted by several parties, and had been as vague and unsatisfactory as possible. Parker recited in a quiet, effective, but covertly sarcastic manner, the substance of what had been said. Alcott especially was touched with sly ridicule. This stroke of Parker's was so keen that the entire company smiled as he concluded. But Emerson turned with an eagle glance and said, "That is all true, all perfectly correct, a#i it would be all entirely proper were this a debating clnb instead of a free conversation. But I am reminded of an inscription over the door of the room where an .English acquaintance assembles his friends for free and easy talk. I cannot give the words, but the point of it is that every body has the right to say what seems to him good on any subject, but that none has the right to criticise what is said." On this repartee the company laughed again, this time at Parker's expense. He seemed a little hurt, blushed, and blamed the vagueness of the conversation. This anecdote puts Parker before us in his natural attitude of sarcasm, and of vexation when his sarcasm was resented. When his sermon on The Transient and the Permanent in Christianity appeared, the general verdict was that its temper was harsh and sarcastic. Parker had already been forced to defend himself from the same charge in relation to his article on Palfrey's Lectures in a letter to his classmate, Mr. Silsbee. His friends, like Miss Healy and his own brother-in-law, warned him of this peril. On occasion of his letter to the Unitarian Association, Miss Peabody suggested the same fault in gracious terms. When the discourse appeared, Dr. Francis, a somewhat partial judge, while excusing Parker from any evil motives, writes as follows: "I find a great deal in Parker's book to regret. . . . The spirit of it seems to be bad, derisive, sarcastic, arrogant, contemptuous of what the wise and good hold sacred. Nothing of all this did he mean, I am persuaded. I wish very much that he had reserved the publication of it till years had brought more consideration."
Mr. Parker had a ready answer for all such suggestions, and that answer was a flat denial. Never did he write a word against man or maid in a sarcastic humor; indeed he dared not; it was quite against his principles to do so. We can hardly accept this defense as honest without a suspicion of some defect in the quality of his mind. He somewhere admits having said sharp things, but declares he does not think them sarcastic. He defines sarcasm as flaying alive and stripping the flesh off the bones. We shall perhaps have occasion to cite some of his gentle sayings, and then our readers can judge for themselves on this head.
Art. n.—The Priesthood Of The People.
Luther's Summtliche Schriflen, herausg. von Dr. Walch. 24 Vols. Halle. 1740.
Centuries. New York. 1850.
St. Peter's words, "Ye are a royal priesthood," were, to the great Lutheran Reformers, infinitely more than a rhetorical phrase, or hyperbolic expression of the dignity of the common Christian life. Luther himself, in asserting that "the priesthood is common to all Christians," called this, and similar texts, "thunderbolts of God," agaiust which, "neither all the Fathers, nor all the Councils, though they were innumerable; neither long continued usage, nor all the world combined, shall be able to prevail." They express one of the most effective ideas of the great Reformation, a characteristic idea of the primitive Church. They afford also, we think, the best solution of one of the greatest practical problems of modern Christianity. That problem is expressed to-day, throughout European aud American Protestantism, by the question: How can the laity be brought into more effective co-operation with the ministry in the life and work of the Church? It has been discussed in sessions of the Evangelical Alliance; it was the chief thesis in a Convention, gathered from all parts of thia country, not long since, in New York; and is an incessant topic in our religious journals. Nearly all evangelical denominations seem to be awaking to its urgency. In the New York Convention it assumed, perhaps, a somewhat "radical" form. Its supreme importance renders it desirable that it should be cautiously treated; but any just treatment of it, from the stand-point of the Reformers and of the Apostolic Church, will appear radical, if not heretical, to the confused vision of our times. We cannot fail, however, to perceive at a glance, that, if rightly developed, it may become an epochal idea of modern, as it was of ancient, Church history.
All earnest Christian minds vaguely recognize the true solution of the problem; but this vagueness, to a great degree, neutralizes its solution. General inculcations about the duty of - "lay " devotion to Church interests will not suffice. Men of peculiar temperament, or special religious fervor, or ready utterance in the social devotional assembly, or of other marked capacity for usefulness, may, here and there, be inspired by such vaguo appeals; but the Church, as a whole, will unconsciously evade them. "We need more specific and positive teaching on the subject. The Apostolic and Lutheran doctrine of the "priesthood of the people" is the real dogmatic basis of the needed reform—the stand-point from which the responsibility of the laity should be asserted in our pulpits and religious journals. Thence alone can it take a readily cognizable and positive shape.
Our clergy need to study more the literature of the Reformation, to ascertain fully the importance of its teachings on this subject. The Reformation was projected on two great ideas— one theological, the other ecclesiastical. The former was Justification by Faith, the latter the Priesthood of the people. By the one it made the personal salvation of man dependent upon himself, striking away all supposed necessary dependence upon mystical, or rather magical, interventions of the clerical priesthood, and emancipating the individual conscience. By the other it struck, fatally, as we may still hope, the hierarchical ecclesiasticism by which Popery had bound down Europe for a thousand years.
Luther acknowledged the importance of the pastoral, or preaching, oftice; no man has more emphatically asserted its divine sanctions; but he insisted, in writing to the Senate of Prague, on the " institution of ministers," that the pastor is " one who, in the place and in the name of all, who have the same right, should perform the (sacred) offices, that there be not a base confusion among the people of God, and that a sort of a Babel be not made in the Church." In his "Articles of Schmalkald," written in expectation that they would be presented to a General Council, he affirms the same opinion. The Helvetic Confession, while asserting the importance of the ministry as a distinct function, declares that priesthood "is common to all Christians," though the ministerial function, of course, cannot expediently be so. "In the New Testament," it says, "there is no more such a priesthood as obtained among the ancient people of God, which has an outward anointing, and very many ceremonies, which were types of Christ, who, fulfilling them all, has abrogated all. He remains the sole priest, and, lest we should derogate from him, we give the name of priest to no minister."
Popery saw the portentous significance of this great thesis of the Reformation; and the Council of Trent issued an article expressly against it, declaring that "if any one affirms that all Christians are, indiscriminately, priests of the New Testament, or that they are all mutually endowed with equal spiritual power, he clearly does nothing but confound the ecclesiastical hierarchy," etc.
Such was the position the Continental Reformers assumed on this question. But we derive our Protestantism mostly through the English Reformation, and this, controlled by an unscrupulous monarch,and led by prelatical chiefs, never thoroughly did its work. The remnants of papal error have, down to our times, disfigured Anglican Protestantism, and are to-day distracting and disabling the National Church; while its Episcopal offshoots in this country (including Methodism) show, more or less, traces of its perverting traditions. In the late struggle for "Lay Representation" in the higher councils of American Methodism, the advocates of the innovation had continually to combat these traditions. A brief speech by one of them, arguing for it from the teachings of the Reformation regarding the priesthood of the people, was generally assailed in the journals of the Church as gravely heretical; and even now, after four or five years, it continues to be assailed in some quarters, though it assumed not one position which is not known to every student of the literature of the Reformation as fundamental in that greatest of ecclesiastical revolutions; not one which the most authoritative Continental scholars of Europe, in ecclesiastical history, do not admit to have been fundamental in the polity of the primitive Church.*
But the Reformation can be no authority for us, except so far as it accorded with primitive Christianity. What, then,
*For Luther's views of the subject seeWaleh's edition of hi3 works, volume x, and particularly Gessert's Evangelvschea P/arramt After reviewing the Scripture testimony on the subject, Luther says, as we have already partly cited, "Let this suffice, for these passages establish, in the clearest and most powerful manner, that the office of the word of God is the highest in the Church, and that it is one and common to all who are Christians, not only by right, but by command. The priesthood must, therefore, be no other than a single office, which is common to all Christians. And against these thunderbolts of God, neither all the fathers,