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his third communication, page 503, he asks-—“Why should the Founder of the church assign to her certain good works, to be done by her, and compel her to reject all auxiliaries in their performance, and assign to her other good works, in the performance of which she might avail herself of every auxiliary of every aid." Again, in speaking of the organization of the Sons of Temperance, on the the same page, he says—“As a Christian, I can deem, and so use, such an organization as auxiliary to the church." "I ask,” says he, “where have the Sons said, we are not auxiliaries to the church?-We do not, as Sons of Temperance, recognize the church any more than we do Jews and Samaritans.” But if they had said so—"A Christian who is a Son, may, nevertheless, as can the church, if she thinks in reference to it as she does of many other matters, recog. nize the Order of the Sons of Temperance as auxiliary to the cause of Christianity, and can act upon that principle.
In his last number he says—"I assent that a College, a Bible Society, and numberless other organizations, may be auxiliary to the church.” “An association of individuals to be advantageous to the church must be auxiliary.” Every thing that is an advantage to the church is an auxiliary to the church. “Whatever institution is advan. tageous to the church, I claim to be auxiliary to it, and I do not, therefore, equally repudiate the auxiliary character as I do the substitute character of any merely human or worldly institution, as it respects the church of Christ.” p. 622–23.
Brother Williams is, therefore, fairly committed to the opinion that Christians may regard Sons of Temperance as auxiliaries to the church of Christ, and of course, in this view of them he justifies himself for belonging to them, and must consequently censure those who withhold their support or countenance to these auxiliaries of Christ's church. A good argument, indeed, if, in truth, they are or may be made auxiliaries to the kingdom of God. The kingdom or church of God is, however, regarded by an Apostle as not consisting of “meats or drinks,” nor in regulations concerning them, “but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Our brother Williams, in all this reasoning, affords a striking illustration of the necessity and importance of choosing just and appropriate terms to set forth our views of divine truth; or, what is in effect the same thing, of the disadvantage and loss sustained by the adoption of inapposite or inappropriate language in matters of great moment. To make myself intelligible to every reader, let me ask, what is the meaning of an auxiliary-an auxiliary to the church?
In grammar we have auxiliary verbs, without which a principal
verb cannot be conjugated. Such verbs are essential to the various flexions and applications of the principals to which they are prefixed or annexed. We have, also, auxiliaries to a main army, without which, it would be incomplete or incompetent to the end of its existence. Thus the term is applied to persons or things to indicate an assistance or essential service; and in all cases it intimates that without it, the agents or agencies to which it is added is defective, inoperative, or in some measure inefficient to all the ends and uses of its existence. Such is the well established meaning of this term, in all its applications. In every conceivable case it imports help or assistance, and that necessarily implies weakness, or deficiency of some sort, in that institution, agent or agency to which it is added. If, then, any human institution stands to Christ's church as an auxiliary, without it his church is a lame or defective institution.
Are these the views of our brethren who have gone over to Odd Fellowship or Sons of Temperance! If so, they need to be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly, or, at least the nature, design, and character of Christ's church.
A human substitute for Christ's Church is, to my mind, quite as conceivable and possible as a human auxiliary to it. Such an idea is not in the whole Bible. Never, in my opinion, could men of this world cherish a more dangerous conceit or opinion of themselves, nor a more disparaging view of Christ's church, than to suppose that they could, by any institution of their own devising---by placing themselves under a human constitution or a few by-laws of their own enactment–become an auxiliary to Christ's Church, either in the work of conversion or sanctification. And that a Christian man could enter into, or seek membership in an institution intentionally and avowedly composed of every thing in this world of a fair exterior, Turk, Jew, Infidel, or Sceptic, in the hope of helping the cause of Christianity, or of building up the church, is one of the most palpable evidences of the bewildering influence of the present apostacy that has fallen under my observation.
On the contrary, evory member of Christ's Church that unites with any of these societies to seek opportunity of honoring Christ, or of doing spiritual service to his chureh or people, seems as far out out of the way of duty and reason, as a lady that without formally leaving her husband's bed and board and enters a Sultan's harem or a Grand Seignor's seraglio, in order to honor her husband and build
"pt" up his family. But I will not press the subject farther. It is enough to know SERIES IIJ.-VOL. V.
that Christ's church is never sent by him to any human institution in quest of help to enlarge, elevate, or purify itself. Such a thought would be most dishonorable to its Head, and in bad taste, I doubt not, with all the lofty and pure intelligences in the universe. The friendship of the world, in the most benevolent forms it can assume, is enmity with God. So speaks an Apostle.
Brother Williams does not, indeed, presume to prove from Prophet or Apostle, the propriety or necessity of Christians becoming members of human institutions as auxiliary to the church of Christ. But he opines that such institutions may be useful to the church, inasmuch as the Sons of Temperance say—“We prepare the drunkard for the preacher by making him a sober man.” Better, you sober Sons of Temperance, first prove that your sobriety has been a means of your own conversion; or, rather, explain the mystery, on yous theory of sobriety, that of all the sober men and women in your knowledge, a majority of them make no pretensions to Christianity.
But it is assumed that colleges, schools, &c. &c., are regarded by us as auxiliaries to the church, and that on our assumption he is right in adding a new auxiliary to the great army now in the field. This is his main argument. Indeed, with him it is supposed to be an unanswerable argumentum ad hominem. But in this he is wholly mistaken-so far, at least, as I have ever written or spoken. As much mistaken in this assumption as when assuming that I had once been a Washingtonian temperance man, and as such, had prayed with them. But in both these points his imagination or a false report has beguiled him into an error. I never took any temperance pledge but my baptism into Christ. I never met with a company of Washingtonians in a praying or worshipping society. I have delivered public discourses in meeting-houses, in favor of temperance, and in the presence of many Christians, and with them, introduced our sermon, as on other occasions, with prayer. But farther than this I have never gone. Brother Williams has been deceived in representing me as a Washingtonian temperance member, praying with them.
I wholly dissent from and repudiate all his reasonings on the subject of auxiliaries to the church of Christ. I have as much logic and reason in affirming that he that grows flax or cotton on his plantatation, he that wears a shirt, he that gathers up its fragments, he that manufactures them into paper; as well'as he that makes the ink, are auxiliaries to my printing office, as that any Lodge, Society, College, or School in America is an auxiliary to Christ's church, op a substitute for it.
There is much popular sophistry in the language frequently em
ployed in speaking of the church of Christ. Some institutions are “substitutes" for it, others are “auxiliary” to it, and many things are said to be “advantageous” to it, merely because it may, or rather the gospel, which it holds on deposit may, by them, be made more effectual to the salvation of mankind.
Brother Williams affirms that, in his opinion, whatever institution is advantageous is, in part, auxiliary to the church. I will indulge in no vain jangling about words. With me, no human institution, now created can, in the proper use of language, 'or in fact, become auxiliary to the Christian church. And certain it is, that there is just as much authority for a Pope, in the New Testament, as there is for an auxiliary to Christ's church.
But our next objection to this institution is its profanation of prayer, and religious worship in general. In vindicating the institution of "the Sons, &c.," from this imputation, our correspondent's logic is to show that all our institutions which have prayer in them are, on that account, as much to be repudiated as the weekly reli. gious and moral services of the “Sous of Temperance.” He retorts by an effort to show that myself and others, in praying in colleges and other institutions, on certain occasions, are as great offenders as the Sons of Temperance, who so practise in their meetings. This proved, and the consequence is, not that he can justify his own practice, but that he can show that we are as culpable as himself. Well, as the adage goes—"Two wrongs will not make one right.” But the cases are not parallel. It is a sophism of illogical comparison. However, it may inculpate, on the score of inconsistency, other persons and other practices, it applies neither to our theory nor to our practice. To pray in the presence of others, and formally to pray with them—and to pray with them as “Sons," as “Pupils," as any thing but as Christians, is unauthorized.
In this view of the matter, I have always repudiated chaplains in armies and legislative halls. In our college, composed as it is, of a good number of professors, I am careful, every session, emphatically and repeatedly to state, that we neither read the scriptures nor pray there, regarding the college as worshippers, either in fact or in form. We read the scriptures for general edification and instruction in the knowledge of God, and of the human race, and as the only proper Text Book of religious and moral science.
with the expressed understanding, that none can worship God acceptably, but those who believe in, and publicly profess and practise tue gospel of Christ. We are careful to state that when we say, “we pray," "we confess," "we praise,” or “thank God," we only mean and include
those who profess to be the worshippers of God. We pray with them, and before the others, as a means of moral instruction. Precisely, then, as we pray and commune in the church with our brethren only, and before spectators and auditors, or in our families with those that believe, and in the presence of those who do not, so we pray in our college, before or after reading the holy scriptures.
A seminary or school of learning is, and ought always to be, a place of moral instruction, and this never can be rendered effectual without prayer and the throne of grace. In this point of view it dif. fers nothing from an ordinary congregation assembled once a day, in one common hall, for religious and moral culture. Whatever, then, will justify reading the scriptures, expounding them, or invoking the throne of grace in public assemblies, met for religious instruction, will still more apply to this case, inasmuch as the members of a school are usually at a period of life most favorable to such in. structions and impressions. So much, then, in response to that portion of the defence of these moral societies as would place them on the same footing with schools and seminaries of learning, as respects their respective rituals of religious worship.
To allude to every thing said, or to attempt to expose the irrelevancy or apparently ad captandum style of much that appears in the defence of these new moral societies as auxiliaries to the church, or substitutes for it, would be as tedious and unacceptable to my readers as it appears to me unnecessary and uncalled for, on the part of th more intelligent and zealous apologists or defenders. I have given my views of the main assumptions on which they are founded, and of the principal reasons and assumed facts by which they are supported. We trust that our real position and views will be understood by all who are interested to know them; and that any apologist who may s`ek to defend any one of the three brotherhoods, as an auxiliary to the church, and who will defend their forms of wor. ship on the ground that prayer is made in other public assemblies, for certain reasons, will at least attempt to show that Christ's church requires auxiliaries, and that prayers made in any place where all are not Christians, will authorize prayers in all places, whether there be Christians or not, in profession or in reality, as a form or a rite pleasing to God or profitable to man.
Whatever is peculiar to the defence of our apologist for Odd Fel. lowe, and some other documents from Mr. Broaddus, recently receive ed, and laid over for another volume, I will note at my earliest convenience. Meantime, we consider that enough, on our part, has been said to satisfy every uncommitted Christian man that he has