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in the field when the Son of God shall come to take to himself his great power; and, whatever positions may be assigned to other denominations, we have no doubt that the Episcopal Church is destined yet to be, throughout, the warm friend of revivals, and to consecrate her wealth and power to the work of making a perpetual aggression on the territories of sin and of death.




Answer to a Review (in the Quarterly Christian Spectator) of "Episcopacy tested by Scripture:" first published in the Protestant Episcopalian, for May, 1834. Philadelphia : Jesper Harding; 1834. pp. 19.

WHEN the review of the tract, "Episcopacy tested by Scripture," was prepared,* it was not our design to engage in a controversy on the subject there discussed. We well knew how unprofitable and how endless such a controversy might become; and we felt that we had more important business to engage our attention, than that of endeavouring to defend the external order of the church. The subject attracted our notice, because, on two different occasions, the tract which was the subject of the review, had been sent to us, in one instance accompanied with a polite request-evidently from an Episcopalian-to give to it our particular attention; because, too, the tract had been published at the "Episcopal Press," and it was known that it would be extensively circulated; because it has been the subject of no small self-gratulation among the Episcopalians, and had been suffered, notwithstanding the manifest complacency with which they regarded it, to lie unanswered; mainly, because it made an appeal at once to the Bible, and professed a willingness that the question should be settled by the authority of the Scriptures alone. This appeared to us to be placing the subject on a new ground. The first emotion

Christian Spectator, vol. vi.

produced by the title of the tract was one of surprise. We had been so accustomed to regard this controversy as one that was to be settled solely by the authority of the Fathers; we had been so disheartened and sickened by the unprofitable nature, the interminable duration, and the want of fixed bounds and principles, in that investigation; we had seen so little reference made to the Bible, on either side of the question, that it excited in us no small degree of surprise to learn that a bishop of the Episcopal Church should be willing to make a direct, decisive, and unqualified appeal to the New Testament. It was so unusual; it gave so new a direction to the controversy; it promised so speedy an issue, and one so little auspicious to the cause which the bishop was engaged in defending, that we were not unwilling to turn aside from our usual engagements, and to examine the proofs adduced in this somewhat novel mode of the Episcopal controversy.

Shortly after our review was published, an "Answer" to the article appeared in the "Protestant Episcopalian," understood to come from the author of the tract. With a copy of this the writer of the review was politely furnished by Dr. Onderdonk. The "Answer" is marked with the same general characteristics as the tract itself. It evinces, in general, the same spirit of Christian feeling and of candid inquiry; the same calm, collected, and manly style of argument; the same familiarity with the subject; and the same habit-by no means as common as is desirable-of applying the principles of the inductive philosophy to moral subjects. To this general statement, perhaps, should be made a slight exception. A candid observer possibly would discern in the "Answer," some marks of haste, and some indications of disturbed repose -possibly of a slight sensation in perceiving that the material point of the argument in the tract had not been as strongly fortified as was indispensable. As instances of this sensation, we might notice the train of remarks in pp. 8, 9, and

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especially in the following expressions: "The reasonings throughout his article (the reviewer's) are much the same as those usually brought against Episcopacy; and where they are not the same, they are so much minus the former ground," etc. "No one, for three years, brought these old reasonings against the tract,-no one till the reviewer fancied he had discovered a weak spot in it, and might, therefore, reproduce some of them with effect." "The present is only a start in its slumber." And again, on p. 15, the author of the reply speaks of the reviewer, as one whom he suspects "to be a new comer into this field of controversy," if not with the intention, at least with the appearance, of designing to disparage the force of the arguments which the reviewer had urged. Now, it is unnecessary for us to remind Dr. Onderdonk, that the inquiry is not, whether the arguments are old or new, but whether they are pertinent and valid. Nor is the question, whether one is a 66 new comer" into this controversy. Arguments may not be the less cogent and unanswerable, for being urged by one who has not before entered the lists; nor will arguments from the Bible be satisfactorily met by an affirmation that they are urged by one unknown in the field of debate. It may be proper, however, for us to observe, in self-vindication, that the arguments which we urged were drawn from no other book than the Bible. The "Tract" and the New Testament were the only books before us in the preparation of the article. The course of argument suggested was that only which was produced by the investigation of the Scriptures. Whether we have fallen into any train of thinking which has been before urged by writers on this subject, we do not even now know, nor are we likely to know; as it is our fixed purpose not to travel out of the record before us-the inspired account of the matter in the sacred Scriptures. If, however, the arguments which we have urged be "the same as those usually brought against Episcopacy," (p. 8,) it fur

nishes a case of coincidence of results, in investigating the New Testament, which is itself some evidence that the objections to Episcopacy are such as obviously occur to different minds engaged in independent investigation.

When the reply appeared, it became a question with us, whether the controversy should be prolonged. A perusal of the "Answer" did not suggest any necessity for departing from our original intention, not to engage in such a controversy. It did not appear to furnish any new argument which seemed to call for notice, or to invalidate any of the positions defended in the review. Almost the whole of the "Answer" appeared to be simply an expansion of a note in the tract, (p. 12, note z,) which, when the review was prepared, seemed not to furnish an argument that required particular attention. The fact, too, that then the argument was expressed in a note, in small type, and at the bottom of the page, was an indication that it was not of much magnitude in the eye of the author of the tract himself. Why it is now expanded, so as to constitute the very body and essence of the reply, is to us proof that the subject, on the Episcopal side, is exhausted. This fact is of such a nature, as to impress the mind strongly with the belief that, henceforth, nothing remains to be added, in the effort to "Test Episcopacy by Scripture."

In departing from our original purpose, it is our wish to reciprocate the kind feeling and candour of the author of the "Tract" and of the "Answer." Truth, not victory, is our object. We have but one wish on this subject. It is, that the principles upon which God designed to establish and govern his holy church, may be developed and understood. We resume the subject with profound and undiminished respect for the talents, the piety, and the learning of the author of the Tract and Answer, and with a purpose that this shall be final, on our part, unless something new, and vital to the subject, shall be added. In this, as well as in all other

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