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The above quotations leave us no room to doubt what this modern theory is, in respect to the origin and nature of the Christian Ministry.

In respect to the basis of Doctrine, in this new plan of Unity, it is proposed that the Sects about us shall simply come back to the Nicene Creed, as an authoritative standard of the Faith ; and that we shall meet together upon that common platform. This is all very well, in theory. The giving up of the Primitive Creeds for metaphysical and philosophical interpretations of those Creeds, was, undoubtedly, the bane and curse of the Protestant Sects; and has led, by logical and necessary sequence, to the horrible dogmas of modern Rationalism and Infidelity. But will these Sects come back to the Primitive Creeds ? That is the question. Individuals might agree to do this, perhaps ; but the great body of the Sects will not, and cannot do it, without stultifying themselves. They, for example, who still adhere to the Calvinistic theory, of course will not do it; and they, on the other hand, who have swung to the opposite extreme of Rationalism, who have given up the doctrine of Inspiration, of the Fall, the Incarnation, the Atonement, the Resurrection, the Trinity, the Covenant, and Sacraments,—these men, most assuredly, will not accept the Nicene Creed, in its plain and honest interpretation. So that, in regpect to Doctrine, as well as Order and Discipline, we see no prospect of Visible Unity on the plan proposed.

But, suppose that we are mistaken, as to the temper and disposition of the Sects on the subject of Visible Unity. Suppose that they are conscious of the evils and the sin of Schism, and of the multiform Heresies which naturally are springing up among them. Suppose them to be ardently desirous to return to Unity, on what we believe to be the true and only possible basis of such Unity, to wit, the Faith, Order, and Worship of the Ante-Nicene Church ; what hinders such a return now? There is no compromise about it, either necessary or possible. It is not our basis, in the sense of belonging exclusively to us as Churchmen; or, to use the common term, Protestant Episcopalians. It is simply the basis of the Church, as

: it was confessedly founded by the Apostles, under the promised VOL, XVII.


guidance of the Holy Ghost. It is simply the Church, as it was in the days of her pristine simplicity, purity, power, and glory. It is the Church sub cruce, as it used to be called ; the Church under the shadow of the Cross ; or, rather, under the very Cross itself. This, of course, is the old Catholic rule, the semper, ubique, ab omnibus." This is what Tertullian means, when he says: “This principle avails against all heresies. Whatsoever is first, is true ; whatsoever is later, is adulterate.” Given, the supernatural establishment of Christianity AS AN INSTITUTION ; and from this rule there is no appeal. So the English Reformers believed ; and so they acted. And the Anglican Reformed Church stood forth, restored to its primitive purity and beauty ; Catholic, for every Truth of God; Protestant, against every Error of man. This rule, of course, gives the death-blow to Popery, ancient and modern; as Brownson, the ablest Romish controversialist in this country, confessed, not long since : “ These (developmentists] not accepting the authority of the Church, cannot, without such theory, get over the difficulties presented to their minds by the Fathers, nor can we, without it, satisfactorily explain those difficulties to them."

Why then, we say again, go to the Moravians, as a sort of middle ground between the Church and the Sects, and on which middle ground we are to meet them in the way of compromise ? compromise of what? If there is an essential principle involved, have we any such principles to sacrifice? And if we have, and we are ready to make it, is that the way to purchase a solid, substantial, lasting peace ? Not if we understand the practical retributions of the divine economy, or the lessons of history, or the laws of human nature. If the Sects are simply mistaken, in their ecclesiastical position, and we honestly believe they are, let them simply change their base ; let them merely come back to the Primitiye Church, as their pattern. That is all, If it makes them Episcopalians, instead of Presbyterians and Independents, we cannot help it. If it gives them the Old Creeds, and a Primitive Liturgic Worship, it only benefits them and does not injure us.

In such a step, there is no compromise called for, on either side.

If, however, they will insist on a return to Visible Unity,

but not through the Succession of the American branch of the Church, then we have a right, and it is our duty, to demand two things ; lst, that this restoration to Unity, shall be through a Ministry, whose primitive and Apostolic character is unquestionable ; and 2d, that it shall be through some branch of the Church whose past history and present condition as to Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship, render it fully worthy of our respect and confidence. And here we come to the special subject of our present examination. Are the Moravians such a branch of the Church ? Have they an unquestionably Apostolic Ministry? Is their past history in respect to Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship, such that we are willing thus to give them a virtual endorsement ?

On both these points, we are more than doubtful. In respect to the Ministry, the subject has been so thoroughly examined by an English writer, that we shall reprint his argument entire, at the conclusion of this Article. It covers the whole ground, and is so far exhaustive, as to put the reader in possession of all the main facts bearing upon the subject. These he can judge for himself; and we see not how he can come to any other conclusion than that the regularity and validity of the Orders of the Moravian Ministry are at least exceedingly doubtful.

In respect to the internal history of the Moravians, the state of practical religion among them, of Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship, we cannot but believe that a most erroneous impression prevails among us. An outline of their exterior life and history will be found in the paper to which we have alluded. But almost nothing is generally known among us, respecting the real character and the past internal history of the Moravians themselves. We have ordinarily heard of them, as a body of Christians somewhat insignificant in numbers, yet of certain strongly marked features ; possessing an earnest missionary zeal ; exhibiting a spirit of persistence, and self-sacrifice, worthy of all praise. Their recognition by the British Parliament, and by certain English Bishops, during the first half of the last century,-concerning which more will be said in the paper reprinted below,--the Missions of the Moravians to this country, especially to the Indians, so also the character of the Moravian settlements themselves in this country, which have been, to a large extent, free from many of the gross abuses and corruptions of the System, in its earlier days,—all this, has given to the Moravians a general reputation, by which they have been favorably known. It is due, however, to ourselves, due to the Moravians, due to the cause of truth, due to the Church of Christ, especially if the question of communion and fellowship with them is to be brought before us as a practical matter, that we should know more respecting the doctrinal belief, the interior life and character, the inspiring genius and controlling element, the practical operations and historic developments, of the Moravian Christians.

Every new Sect is based upon the revival of some forgotten or neglected truth, or principle, or duty. The essence of Sect consists in giving to such development of an individual truth or duty a central, controlling position and power ; in substituting one truth, for the whole circle and body of Truths. Count Zinzendorf, under whom the “Renewed Fraternity” came prominently before the world, and who may be called the father and founder of the present Moravian System, was a remarkable man. He had many of the elements of what is called a “Reformer.” He had genius, wealth, rank, zeal, energy, and industry. He had that sort of magnetic presence and

power, which made him a central, rallying point; so that, unconsciously, and we may say, at first un designedly, he became a leader, a representative man. He had more than all this. In that deadly stupor, that internal spiritual decay and corruption, which had already taken possession of the Lutheran body, one great truth was ignored. It was the Atoning Sacrifice of the Cross.

That truth, Zinzendorf seized hold of with all his heart. It became a passion with him. Among the little band of refugees who gathered around him at Herrnhut, in 1722, he found his first field of labor; and there, was developed the germ of that system which afterwards, during the remaining almost forty years of his life, grew into such large proportions. Like John Wesley and Whitefield, in the depth and engrossing power of his religious character,-like them, in his ability to infuse his own wonderful spiritual vitality into the hearts of others, and mould them to his will, he was, yet, most unlike John Wesley in the constructive and administrative element. Whether Wesley did not owe his success in this respect to the English Church, in which he had been educated, and to which he clung to the very last, may fairly be asked. And, that Moravianism depended, for its permanency, on the organic form into which it grew mainly through English influence, is a point on which we see no room for doubt. But Count Zinzendorf built up his System, at first, without any system or method. It grew up without any organic type, like that which is hidden in the heart of the acorn. Zinzendorf did not, at first, intend to found a Sect. As Spangenberg says ; “Those are right, who regard the Congregations of the United Brethren as institutions, as founded by our Lord Jesus Christ in His Church, in order to present a barrier to the flood of corruption now breaking in upon doctrine and life.”* It seemed expedient to have an Episcopacy, at a certain period, and so he sought and pretended to have Episcopacy. He saw the necessity, at certain crises, of having some avowed System of Faith or doctrinal belief; and then he professed to hold to the Augsburgh Confession ; yet Pietists, and Separatists, and Calvinists, flocked to his standard, united by a bond of love, not of faith.

The life and history of Zinzendorf, from the year 1722 to the year 1760, when he died, is the history of Moravianism itself. We do not attempt a sketch of that history here. All that we propose, is, to notice some of its more peculiar features, growing largely out of the idiosyncracies and weaknesses and faults of Count Zinzendorf; and so, to correct popular misapprehensions as to the System.

A leading feature of Zinzendorf's plan, in the outset, and he never lost sight of it, was that to which we have already alluded, and which he borrowed from Spener, The Ecclesiola in Ecclesia, the little Churches within the Church ; the gathering together, in the most intimate communion and fellowship, and

* Idea Fidei Fratrum, p. 542,

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