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or of his adversary. And, amongst other things, we happen to know what is the true meaning of this word church, which you and your acolytes repeat to us at every moment. Our parish priest, we remember, used to teach us in the catecism, that church means an assembly or congregation of believers; and since we are the believers, who assemble ourselves, so we thought that we were, properly speaking, the Roman church, which is holy if we are holy, and apos. tolic if we have the doctrine and spirit of the apostles. What the priests are we are also taught, viz: elders and ministers of this church, having a chief who is called a bishop-that is, a president or inspector. Now, then, who shall dare to take from Christian people the titles and the privileges of the Christian church? The priests, forsooth, and their inspector! If so, we, the church, will punish them for this their arrogance, and, with good reason, will deprive them of the exercise of their ministry, calling others to their place, and doing, as our fathers did, excommunicating the unruly, be they priests or bishops. It is our duty to watch over the rights of our church; and the bishops and priests must carry out cur will. If our fathers granted to the chief priest of Rome the privilege of governing the society, we, by the same right, can deprive him of it. The sister churches of France, of Austria, and of Spain, may, for the same reason, turn their chief priest into a king, an emperor, or a president, if they choose. We do not meddle with their affairs, and we demand that they should leave us alone.
To you who, dethroned by the inscrutible providence of God, persist in still raising such an uproor, we will submit some considerations, old and new, as reasons for what has occurred. Ist. Because, after the manner of kings, you have abused the people, by oppressing them and ill using them, and have done this, moreover, in the name of St. Peter and of Christ. 2d. Because, in the government of this realm, bishops and priests were employed, so that the church, instead of having good ministers to watch over the Christian flock, was neglected and overlooked; the government monopolized all the talent; while the inferior priests were entrusted with the care of the church. The government was conducted by court intrigue, and arts and tricks of cabinets--the church taught false doctrine and a superstitious worship. The first care was given to the heaping up of gold and silver, but none bestowed to giving to the church the truths of the word of God. Hence activity and vigilance among cardinals and prelates-idleness and carlessness among mass-sayers. The one given up to luxury and gluttony, and others to want and misery.
[The writer then goes on to show the evils they have suffered from a union of church and state, and shows that the princely and Pontificial powers can no longer co-exist. He then continues:]
But if you persevere in trying to keep your temporal power, do you not see that you will lose the other? "If you, who are a pontiff, cannot be a king, because God no longer wills it, and the people no longer consent to it, you had better attend exclusively to being a pontiff, or else you may cease to be either the one or the other.And here let us speak plainly, since concealment avails not. We hold the religion of Christ dear, because we believe it to be true, saving and holy. But this religion, which is no other than faith in Christ, by which we are justified before God and forgiven all our sins, can well exist without bishops and priests. This religion of faith, professed by many persons in all parts of the world, constitutes that invisible church of believers which is universal, whose Head, and Priest is, and can only be, Jesus Christ. To every man who belongs to this church appertain all the great promises which we read in the gospel. In this church there is neither hierarchy nor aristocracy, but only God and people, and Christ, the mediator and intercessor. This invisible and spiritual church does not prevent the existence of another church, visible and material, which is divided into as many îractions as there are nations and languages; and these again are subdivided into smaller fractions; and it is possible for one country to contain many churches, in the liberty which every man has to choose that which best suits him. To the first class belong the Greek, Syriac, Armenian and Latin churches, and the Anglican, and Swiss, and German, who three centuries ago separated themselves, or rather recognized their liberty and their independence of the Latin church. To the second class belong the Roman and Milanese churches, and those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, &c. These are all parts of one whole, not because they have the same bishop and the same priests, but, as says St. Paul, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Some, indeed, of these churches have no bishops, as the German, Scotch, and Swiss, and the Evangelical churches of France and Italy. Who is the bishop of the church of the Waldenses, in the kingdom of Piedmont? No one. Yet it is a Christian church, full of fervor, established there at the end of the eleventh century, and which, after most cruel persecutions, and slaughter and massacre, presents to us at this moment a body of twenty thousand believers.
Then it is possible to be good Christians, and to form a visible national church on such a model, without having any bishop to interfere with it. At all events, you cannot deny, that a church may, for just reasons, change her bishop. Would you think it absurd, then, or contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the people of Rome, who are strictly the Roman church, should repudiate you, an apostate, treacherous, and bombarding bishop, and choose for themselves another, faithful, truthful and beneficent? And of what church would you then be a Pontiff? Of the church in partibus! Observe, that those who were formerly asleep are now awake; and those on whom you formerly imposed no longer believe what you say. When you quitted Rome, the Bible entered it. The Bible, so long persecuted by Popes, both the gospel of Christ and the holy letters of the apostles, faithfully translated into Italian, are now in the hands of the people, who read them, and they find neither Popery nor Pope. Take care that you do not meet with the same fate in Italy which your predecessors met with out of it, who, aiming at too much, lost all. The men who in February last deprived you of temporal power intended to better your condition in spiritnal things. From the 30th of April up to this day, you have laid aside every pledge, broken all friendship, and violated every law, by presenting yourself before the walls of Rome amidst muskets and cannons; and
you have announced to this city your return, your solemn ingress, with shells and incendiary violence, in the midst of the dead and wounded! Is this the duty of a bishop? this the return amonst us of the pretended vicar of Jesus Chris? Would He retain such a vicar at his post? Should the church of Rome receive such a bishop? Have you lost your senses? Do you not see that after such villainy your return is impossible?
Are these do es new, which are eighteen centuries and a half old, and are founded on the gospel and the letters of the apostles? And are we therefore called heretic apostates? We glory in being heretics from that doctrine which is contrary to the gospel, because St. Paul admonishes us, that though he, or an angel from heaven, should preach any other gospel than that which has been preached, let him be accursed.
To apostatize from you, and to return to Jesus Christ and his apostles, is that which we desire for ourselves and for our children; and if these are errors which corrupt the heart and the mind of all men, blessed are we who for such error are able to learn truth, and from such darkness to receive light. “But woe unto you, ye hypocrites and Pharisees, who call evil good, and good evil, who call light darkness, and darkness light.”
Giovanni Mastai, how long will you insult your country, and she bear with you? You, allied to kings in order to betray the people, bound in specialamity to the Neapolitan Bourbon, to learn from him how to oppress every generous soul, and to extinguish in the sons of Italy every noble sentiment. O, senseless we! that we should ever have believed you, ever have applauded your feigned promises and ephemeral concessions, to find ourselves now deluded in our hopes and cheated of our happiness! If you appeal to the religion of the canons, we stand by the holy religion of the gospel; you belie it,we are faithlul to God and to his Christ. Yes, we believe in the Christ of God, and our faith daily increases on comparing his doctrine with your practice. The more we disbelieve you, the more we are led to see that we ought to believe Him. He is the free Saviour of his people--you an oppressor and a destroyer. He taught us to bless those who curse, and to do good to those who hate us, to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. (Matt. v. 44.) He was given by God, not to condemn the world, but that the world by him might be saved. (John ini. 17.) He declares that he is not come to destroy, but to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke xix. 16.) You began by cursing those who to the last had blessed you, by hating those who had done you good, and by despitefully using and persecnting those who had prayed for you. You, who alone might have saved our country, and redeemed it from its lost condition, have joined yourself to her enemies, to condemn and destroy her.
And dare you call yourself the vicar of Christ? "Is Christ divi. ded?” Another comes who contradicts the Christ of the gospel, the Christ of our fathers.
His vicar you certainly may be. And be so, if you please, for we will assuredly have nothing in common with you--neither our country, which you have betrayed; nor our faith, which you have belied. Have a church of our own, provided it be SERIES 111.-Vol vi.
not ours. Rule if you will—but not over us. Go where you will, but dare not set foot in this city, where every thing accuses you, judges you, condemns you. Who will lift up his eyes to behold a traitor? Who would submit to be blessed by that hand, stained yet with blood? Who would enter the temple where stood that hypocrite who, while he was arranging and plotting for his most base ends, a deadly revenge, to be brought about by bombardment and slaughter, dared to utter those words which, to undeceive the present and to warn future generations, we transcribe, although with the greatest horror.
"Finally, most venerable brethren, we, resigning ourselves entirely to the impenetrable decrees of God, by which He works out his own glory, while in the humility of our heart, we render infinite thanks to God for having counted us worthy to suffer so many reproaches for the name of Jesus, and having made us, in fact conformed to the image of his sufferings, we are ready, in faith, in hope, in patience, in weakness, to eudure the most bitter travail and grief, and to lay down our very life for the church, if with our blood we could repair the calamities she endures."
Let so much impudence of words, joined with so much iniquity in action, close forever the page where, in characters of blood, is written the perpetual downfall of the Roman Pontificate.
ALEXANDER HALL AND W. F. M. ARNY.
A Gospel Proclamation Extra has appeared of 73 closely printed duodecimo pages. Of these some 36 are vlevoted to the proceedings of a sort of packed jury, specially called by one erty in the case of Alexander Hall versus the Church at Bethany, W. F. M. Arny and myself. It is an ample demonstration of the lack of scriptural knowledge on the whole subject of Church Discipline, on the part of all the prominent actors in this affair, or of a want of subordination to the laws of Christ. Had Alexander Hall appeared as requested to the call. of the Church of Bethany, in the case of W.F. M. Arny, accused by him of certain misdemeanors, this disgraceful pamphlet had never appeared, and the expositions consequent upon it had never been made. But evil and groundless suspicions on his part and unworthy counsellors prevented him, and therefore unsavory disclosures, pauseating to every gentleman and enlightened Christian, are now presented to the public, and no doubt will be used to the disparagement of the cause of Reformation. Still I fear nothing as to the result; but on the contrary anticipate, under proper management, the prevention of great evils, and the development of the necessity of a more scriptural organization as respects the intercommunion of Christian churches, and of the duties of those who conduct the religious press amongst us.
Had the recommendution of an appeal to a committee, selected from different churches, been acceded to, all this mortification and sham: would have been prevented. But in his Extra, this important communication, from the Church at Bethany, is withheld from the public by Alexander Hall, and another tribunal got up to adjudicate the proceedings of the Church at Bethany, wholly of his selection and choice. He must of course, then, abide the consequences of his own counsels and proceedings. Ile has laid upon us the necessity of this develonment, and while we regret the nécessity we must meet it with all firmness and caudor. We shall, then, on the present occasion, submit the Resolutions passed by that tribunal which he has created, and, for the present, append to them a few remark:.
Whereas the Bethany Church, and brother Campbell, have implied, and made direct charges against brother Hall, based upoil, and asier the trial and acquittal of brother Arny, and upon brother Arny's denials and state ments in answer to the questions asked him: and whereas, the Bethany Church, admitting the statements and explanatis's of her messenger, has been most unfortunate in her action and published statements, in conveying the idea, as we sincerely believe she has; that she has tried and condemned brother Hall, and made him the one that impugned the motives of brother Campbell, and whereas, the explanation and statements made by said mes senger before us; do not accompany said action and statements of the Bethany Church, as published in the M. H., therefore,
i. Resolved, That brother Hall be allowed to proceed in his own way, to present before us all the testimony, facts and documents that he has upon the whole premises.
The committee had in evidence before them, that brother Hall offered to meet brother Arny before brethren chosen, and settle the difficulty between them, before the publication of brother Arny's letter in the June No. of the M. H., and that he had made the same offer to the Bethany Church verbally by his authorised agent, and also in writing in his first and last letters to said church as well as in his proposition sent to them by brother Lard, therefore,
2. Resolved, That we deem it improper to comply with the request of the Bethany Church, and as brother Hall has proposed a settlement in this way at different stages of this affair, to prevent the matter going to press, that he is now justified in refusing to submit to a committee of churches.
3. Resolved, That with the testimony, facts and documents before us, we believe brother Hall told the truth, and nothing but the truth about what brother Arny had said to him, as published in the G. P., and that we believe brother Arny's statements before the committee of the Bethany Church, in reference to the points at issue between himself and brother Hall, to be a tissue of falsehoods.
4. Resolved, That the three charges preferred by brother Campbell against brother Hall, as found in the M. H., p. 403, paragraph 1st, are disposed of by the 3d resolution, and that the insinuations expressed by the Bethany Church are justly chargeable to brother Arny, and not to brother Hall.
Whereas, from a careful examination of the whole difficuity, from its commencement, we are led to the conviction, that it all originated in the attack made by brother Campbell upon brother Fall and his Register, and believing also that brother Hall's reply to said article, was written in a Christian spirit well calculated to conciliate and check the difficulty, had it been received in the same spirit: and whereas, brother Arny's letter to brother Hall, see G. P., V.2, No. 6, was of a very aggravating character, impeaching brother Hall's moral honesty, in the eyes of the whole community, without first adopting the course of preferring said charges before this church against brother Hall, as the Bethany committee have decided was the proper course; and whereas, the things stated by brother Hall, in