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ally, or that uniting with the Methodist Church is better than uniting with any other. They rarely proselyte, and would about as soon that people were good outside of Church as in it. They open their doors wide enough for any . body, however young or ignorant or unorthodox, to enter, and they leave them open for any body to go out. They take every body into Church with the understanding that it is only for six months, (!) and that he can go out any time during the trial period without notice. As showing how little they care for their Church organization, they are divided into no less than eleven sects, which have broken off on the slightest provocations, and remain on good terms, none of them caring for a reunion. There are also many independent Methodist Churches, and preachers belonging to no organization whatever. A Methodist preacher often leaves his own denomination for another, » sometimes temporarily, and sometimes permanently, not because of any change of opinion, but because he thinks there is no difference in which Church he works.*
"Again: the Methodist Church is a Church of reforms: not so much of reforms in favor of distant ideals as of reforms against prevailing evils and sins, such as slavery, intemperance, theater-going, dancing, tobacco-chewing, etc.; reforms that are immediate and personal—herein differing from the Unitarians, who purpose great schemes for humanity to solve, without any appliances to bring them home to individuals. They push these reforms with a zeaj that endangers the Church itself. "We have already seen how they have acted in regard to slavery and politics generally. A whole conference will sometimes declare itself so strongly against dancing, card-playing, and other amusements, as to frighten away nearly all the young people. The Minnesota Conference recently refused to admit any body to its membership who uses tobacco, caring more for reform in tobacco than for prosperity in the Church. The late General Conference declared all members dealing in liquor, whether as distillers, bar-keepers, or drinkers, to be
*There is truth enough in this paragraph to point us to our weak spot. The wisdom of our Church needs to be concentrated upon the question, How shall we not only convert souls but retain them? Dr. Foster years ago said, "We are a splendid army of aggression, but a defective army of occupation." This refers not so much to the retention of posts, for where we put down we are very sure to stay put, but to individuals and to floating numbers.
subject to disciplinary action. Very often a conference resolves, en masse, to oppose all political candidates who drink, or favor license laws. A church often turns out its wealthiest members for occasional drinking or dancing; not because they are unfit for the Church, but because they exert a bad influence. The Methodists mean to break down these evils whether it break the Church or not. In short, they think more about the ends they have to accomplish than about the Church, which is a means to accomplish them.* Herein they are the opposites of the Episcopalians, who hold Church first, and morals and salvation afterward.
"On the whole, the Methodist Church will be seen to be a great organization, moving on the world for definite and powerful results, striking where there is most to be done, and not caring whether nerves or Churches or nations are shattered; or whether it may not itself be lost in the magnitude of its own results. The Methodist Church is often called the great drag-net, which sweeps through all waters and gathers every thing into its folds. But, while it is a big net, it has big meshes; so that while it catches every thing, it leaves immense quantities of small-fry. The Methodist Church converts for all the other Churches; for, of the products of an ordinary Methodist revival, some go to the Presbyteriari, some to the Baptist, and some to the Episcopalian and other Churches.-!- And of those who unite with the Methodist
* We are glad to record this testimony to our persistent readiness to rebuke and make aggression upon sin, which some have at the present day questioned. As destroying sin and spreading holiness are the very objects for which a Church exists, so to purchase safety for the Church by sacrificing these objects, is to secure the existence of the Church by forfeiting her right to exist.
f A truth both annoying and consoling. We have more than once said to a Presbyterian who viewed Methodists as a superfluous sect: "My dear sir, so far from our detracting from your strength, you are all the stronger for our existence. We not only back up all evangelical Christianity with our strength, but we are continually gathering in raw material from the world, converting it, and distributing it among other denominations." The consolation of it is that essential Methodism is becoming infused into the entire evangelical Church.
And this reminds us of two prophecies, one of which was fulfilled and the other not, as follow:
One of the holiest men American Methodism ever produced was Rev. Nathaniel Porter, first Principal of Cazenovia Seminary. We never saw him but once, and his heavenly face still lives in our memory. On his dying bed he heard some zealous friends saying that they believed that every body would yet become MethChurch, including all classes of temperaments, many subsequently leave it for others, because not constitutionally adapted to be Methodists. But, notwithstanding it supplies all other Churches, it still keeps itself larger than any of the rest, and increases at a faster rate."—Pp. 292-295.
"Comparing now, by way of summary, the several religions above mentioned, the Methodist Church has least learning, the Episcopalian least thought, the Presbyterian too much learning for independent thought, and the Unitarian too much independent thought for connected systems, whether of learning or of Church work. The Methodists are, accordingly, one extreme, and the Unitarians the other, of practicalness, it being all with the Methodists; and vice versa as to thought, this being with the Unitarians. For while the Methodists have just enough thought and learning to be active, the Unitarians and Presbyterians have great, unwieldy stores of it, which they do not use. The Methodists, who know so well how to do, have not learned how to think without doing. They are spendthrifts of their powers, using their knowledge up so close as to turn it all into practical results.
"Touching the grounds of religion, the Methodists accept Christianity without knowing any thing about it! the Episcopalians take it on authority, the Presbyterians on faith, and the Unitarians reject it. The Methodists, in this matter, are simply ignorant, the Episcopalians stupid, the Presbyterians prejudiced, and the Unitarians indifferent.
"With regard to the constituencies of the Churches, the Methodists can be said to embrace the people generally—the workingmen, negroes, politicians, traders, and practical men. The Episcopalian embraces the aristocracy, especially the codfish kind—the swells, fashionable folks, snobs, clerks, coquettes, fine ladies, wives of officers and public men, (when their
odists. "No," replied he, "all will not become Methodists, but all the sister denominations will become Methodized. Our life and zeal will in time quicken them all." Of that prophecy we have seen a great verification.
The first interview we ever had with Dr. Durbin was in 1832. In that conversation he remarked: "We shall not grow, as a denomination, in the future as in the past. Heretofore when any one was in earnest for salvation he was obliged to come to us for sympathy and guidance. But other denominations have now become so enlivened that inquirers no longer need to come to us." Acute as the remark was its prophecy has been signally falsified, and Dr. Durbin has had the honor to contribute largely to its non-fulfillment.
husbands are not religious,) first families of Virginia, descend" ants of Pocahontas, and of old English (Norman) stock. The Presbyterian is the Church of professors, especially professors of the Greek and Latin classics, and of formal logic; the Unitarian the Church of physicists, chemists, geologists, metaphysicians, discoverers, etc. The Methodists are the heart, the Episcopalians the nerves, and the Unitarians the brains, of American religion. With regard to climatic distribution, the Methodist, like the dog, is of universal latitude, the Episcopalians are suited to the South, the Presbyterians to the Middle States, and the Unitarians to the North. And, finally, touching our historical relations, the Methodist is the present Church, the Episcopalians the past Church, the Unitarians the future Church. The Methodist is according to the age, the Episcopalians live in another age—a past age—the Unitarians expatiate in the imperfectibility of the ideal future, the Presbyterians have one foot in the past and one in the present. The Methodist will always be the actual Church, the Unitarian the ideal one; although, with their genius for change, the Methodists will more likely become the Unitarian Church, than the Unitarians, with their denominational inefficiency, grow to embrace the whole." *—Pp. 304, 305.
Southern Review, July, 1873. (St. Louis.)—1. Truth vermis Tradition. 2. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 3. The Thomp?on-Tyndall l'rayer-Test. 4. The Land of the Veda. 5. The Origin and Character of the Gipsies. 6. Modern Culture. 7. History of Christianity in the Southern States. 8. Folk-Lore. 9. The NewBirth. 10. The Genius of George Eliot.
We record with great pleasure the fact that the present number of the " Southern Review " contains not a single polit
* There is quite as much probability of our becoming Papists. The writer has no idea of our unchanging firmness of doctrine. He does not know that in England the Methodists hold thomselves to be the most immovable stay of English orthodoxy. Now, as at the begiuning, we hold fast to the theology of John Wesley, and could accurately express it on every point in Johp Wesley's own words. And this not by applying any staying forco upon ourselves, but by a spontaneous and loving preference for the mild evangelicism of the Wesleyan-Arminian system. And if there is any thing in which Methodism exults, and glories, and shouts aloud with her loftiest voice, it is in proclaiming to the world the joyous message of a full, free, abounding, and unlimited redemption through the priceless atonement of the eternal son of God. She runs with the feet of tho roe, and flies with the wings of the eagle, to fill the world with that wonderful news. This is her joy and her life, and when this censes she shiill give up the ghost. She is thon but a stupendous bubble, and the sooner she bursts and goes out the better
Fourth Series, Vol. XXV.—42
ical article. We do not sanguinely infer from this that it has renounced its double character as a politico-ecclesiastical periodical "under the auspices of the M. E. Church, South." Far less do we infer any renunciation by the Church, South of her politico-ecclesiastical position. Dr. Bledsoe, as we have formerly stated, was Secretary of War under Jefferson Davis; and the full unison of the extracts we have given in our Quarterly from his Review, with the celebrated speech of Davis lately delivered at the Sulphur Springs, fully evince that treason in the South is assuming permanent form and biding its time. We suppose there is a measure of truth in the extreme statement of the ex-President, that he never yet saw a reconstructed woman. And thus the true hiding-place of Southern treason is under the feminine petticoat and the clerical gown. And it is a truly painful thought that its most unequivocal hiding-place is " under the auspices of the M. E. Church, South." Her bishops, her press, her ministry, are the propaganda of ultra-Calhounism. For this, among many now existing reasons, we profoundly regret any offer of fraternal recognition, on the part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to the Church South. And knowing, as we do, that a political bias underlies all the repugnance of the Church South to reunion, we have a strong presentiment that no real fraternization will, for the present generation, take place.
If we rightly construe the antecedents of the General Conference of the Church South, it is pledged to reject all fraternity with us on any other basis than what they call "The Plan of Separation." This mythical "plan" requires our Church to withdraw entirely from the Southern States, and leave the entire area to said Church South. This was declared by their delegate, Dr. Pierce, in 1848, to be their only basis; his declaration was reaffirmed by their Bishops in their response to our Bishops at St. Louis; and their last General Conference reaffirmed both declarations in response to Janes and Harris. This condition has been elaborately maintained by some writers in the Southern papers. We doubt not, however, that the proposal by the Southern General Conference of any conditions whatever will settle the matter promptly in the negative. Our delegates will doubtless forthwith withdraw, and our Church would then wait, with perfect tranquillity, for