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arguments. The importance of the case is well stated by Mr. Ewing in his introduction :
If it were probable that the opinion, in the case of Bascom vs. Lane, would be suffered, except by ultimate compulsion, to stand as the law which governs, and is to govern, the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, it might be well for the sake of peace, and the ending of an unhappy legal controversy, to give to that opinion, though but interlocutory in the case, the full weight of authority due to a final decision. This, however, cannot be for a moment admitted or supposed : for that opinion pronounces the destruction of the Methodist Episcopal Church as an organized body; and declares, that what is called the plan of compromise, dissolved it into its original elements. It takes from it at once, at and from the moment that plan went into effect, all consideration and recognition in a Court of Equity, and declares it to be incapable not merely of receiving a charitable bequest or gift, but of administering a charity. So utterly is it destroyed, that a charity which grew up within itself, and which had been from its first foundation administered by it, falls for want of an administrator, and the Court feels itself called upon to construct a scheme for its administration. The beneficiaries of the charity, who were a description of persons in the bosom of the Methodist Episcopal Church, are no longer to be found there, under this opinion, and the Court of Equity feels itself constrained to seek for them elsewhere, and administer the charity Cy. pres. This decision affects also the present condition of the Methodist Episcopal Church ; for if it were destroyed, it knew it not, and has never reorganized. It affects its future; for if secession of a part of its conferences, great or small, without controversy, and in kindness, have dissolved, and must hereafter dissolve it, it is doomed, in the natural course of events, to repeated scenes of destruction and reorganization, or hostile strifewhich is against its nature--with its seceding sections. This is so contrary to what was believed to be the law regarding organized ecclesiastical bodies-90 contrary to what was believed to be the law governing this Church, so far as the municipal law reaches and touches her in her organization-and it is so ruinous in its consequences, that it cannot be submitted to and recognised, till it is pronounced by the highest judicial tribunal of the country. The question of property is trifling and insignificant when viewed in connexion with the principle which is now involved. A decision, therefore, by this Court, in accordance with that in Bascom vs. Lane, would not aid, but rather tend to retard or prevent an early adjustment of this unhappy controversy:-Pp. 33, 5t.
Our limits will not allow us to state Mr. Ewing's argument or Judge Leavitt's opinion in detail: we can only give the summing up of the latter, as follows:
As the result of the views I have attempted to present, it follows:
1. That the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church is a delegated or representative body, with limited constitutional powers; and possesses no authority, directly or indirectly, to divide the Church.
2. That in the adoption of the “Plan of Separation” in 1814, there was no claim to, or exercise of, such a power.
3. That as the General Conference is prohibited from any application of the produce of the Book Concern, except for a specified purpose, and in a specified manner; and as the annual conferences have refused to remove this prohibition, by changing or modifying the sixth restrictive rule, the General Conference has no power to apportion or divide the Concern or its produce, except as provided for by said rule.
4. That said Book Concern is a charity, devoted expressly to the use and benefit of the travelling, supernumerary, and superannuated preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, their wives, widows, and children, continuing in it as an organized Church ; and any individual, or any number of individuals, withdrawing from, and ceasing to be members of the Church, as an organized body, cease to be beneficiaries of the charity.
5. That it is the undoubted right of any individual preacher or member of said Church, or any number of preachers or members, or any sectional portions
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. V.-9
or divisions thereof, to withdraw from it at pleasure; but in withdrawing, they take with them none of the rights of property pertaining to them while in the Church; and that the withdrawal of the southern and south-western conferences in 1847, being voluntary, and not induced by any positive necessity, is within the principle here stated.
6. That the defendants, as trustees or agents of the Book Concern at Cincinnati, being corporators under a law of Ohio, and required, by such law, “ to conduct the business of the Book Concern in conformity with the rules and regulations of the General Conference,” in withholding from the Church, South, any part of the property or proceeds of said Book Concern, have been guilty of no breach of trust, or any improper use or application of the property or funds in their keeping
7. That this is not a case of a lapsed charity, justifying a Court of Equity in constructing a new scheme for its application and administration ; and that the complainants, and those they represent, have no such personal claim to, or interest in, the property and funds in controversy as will authorize a decree in their favour, on the basis of individual right.
There are some points made by counsel, which, not being regarded as material in the decision of the case, have not been specially noticed.
It now only remains for me to say, that it was with some reluctance and selfdistrust that I entered upon the investigation of this controversy; and although the conclusions to which I have arrived have been satisfactory to my. self, I experience the highest gratification from the reflection, that if I have misconceived the points arising in the case, and have been led to wrong results, my errors will be corrected by that high tribunal, to which the rights of these parties will, without doubt, be submitted for final adjudication.—Pp. lõ4, 155.
At a fitting time, hereafter, we purpose to give as thorough a survey of this whole unfortunate case as may be within our power.
(6.) “ The Personal Adventures of our oron Correspondent in Italy, by MICHAEL Burke Ilonan,” (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 12mo., pp. 428,) is a book full of incident, such as inevitably befalls a rollicking Irishman of the more cultivated class, when he wanders into foreign lands. Mr. Honan was for many years a correspondent of the London Times, and, as such, followed the army of Charles Albert in the unfortunate year 1848, the events of which—or rather the personal history of the writer in following and recording them-form the staple of the narrative. Mr. Honan's private morality hangs quite as loosely about him as public virtue does about his great employer—"the Thunderer"of Printing House square.
(7.) The last volume of Albert Barnes's Commentary on the New Testament is before us in his “ Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Book of Revelation.” (New-York: Ilarper & Brothers, 12mo., pp. 506.) Like all Mr. Barnes's volumes, it is valuable rather for the reverent spirit and practical aim which characterize it, than for scientific basis or remarkable skill in interpretation. The Preface gives an interesting personal statement of the way in which Mr. Barnes was led to his Biblical labours, and of the gradual manner in which his work grew under his hands :
“Having, at the time when these Notes were commenced, as I have ever had since, the charge of a large congregation, I had no leisure that I could properly devote to these studies, except the early hours of the morning, and I adopted the resolution—a resolution which has since been invariably adhered to—to cease writing precisely at nine o'clock in the morning. The habit of writing in this manner, once formed, was easily continued; and having been thus continued, I find myself at the end of the New Testament. Perhaps this personal allusion would not be proper, except to show that I have not intended, in these literary labours, to infringe on the proper duties of the pastoral office, or to take time for these pursuits on which there was a claim for other purposes. This allusion may perhaps also be of use to my younger brethren in the ministry, by showing them that much may be accomplished by the habit of early rising, and by a diligent use of the early morning hours. In my own case, these Notes on the New Testament, and also the Notes on the books of Isaiah, Job, and Daniel, extending in all to sixteen volumes, have all been written before nine o'clock in the morning, and are the fruit of the habit of rising between four and five o'clock. I do not know that by this practice I have neglected any duty which I should otherwise have performed; and on the score of health, and, I may add, of profit, in the contemplation of a portion of divine truth at the beginning of each day, the habit has been of inestimable advantage to me.”—Pp. iii, iv.
Our own experience does not coincide with Mr. Barnes's as to the advantage of working at such very early hours. No general rule can be laid down in such matters; every man should find out what is the best plan for himself. In general, we are inclined to think it hurtful to the eyes to write by candlelight immediately after rising. The eye does not bear artificial light so well after the night's rest and darkness, as after the day's use of sunlight.
(8.) Dr. Kıtto's capacity for work seems to be boundless: nor is his work slighted from undue haste. He has now commenced an Evening Series of the “ Daily Bible Illustrations, being original readings for a year,” (New-York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1852, 12mo., pp. 419,) of the former series of which we have heretofore spoken in terms of commendation. The volume before us treats of " Job and the Poetical Books," and manages, in short and compact readings, one for every evening, to convey a large amount of information on sacred history, biography, geography and antiquities, interfused throughout with practical reflections and exhortations. As this volume gives readings for thirteen weeks, we suppose that this series, like the former, will run to four volumes.
(9.) We should be glad to have such a memorial of every Methodist Church in the land as we find in “ A Historical Sketch of the First Presbyterian Church in Nero-Brunswick, by Robert DAVIDSON, D. D., Pastor of said Church.” (New-Brunswick, pp. 52.) This sketch was read as a paper before the Historical Society of New-Brunswick, Sept. 8, 1852. It begins with the earliest mention of the Presbyterian Church in 1726, when Rev. Gilbert Tennent was called to the pastoral charge, and continues the record through all vicissitudes down to the present day. We have in this sketch an illustration of the manner in which such a record, in judicious hands, may be made a thread on which many pearls of local history, secular as well as religious, may be strung and preserved. Dr. Davidson has evidently gone to the sources” for information, and has used his materials with great skill in preparing this neat and well-proportioned outline.
(10.) “ Remarks on the History, Structure, and Theories of the Apostles' Creed," (8vo., pp. 81,) is a reprint of an article (ascribed to Dr. Proudfit, of Rutger's College) from the Princeton Repertory for October, 1852. It gives the history of the Creed from the sources, showing that, in its present complete form, it can be traced no farther back than the fifth century. The Tridentine theory of the Creed, which ascribed it, historically, to the Apostles, and gave it an authority coördinate, in fact, with Scripture, is then briefly examined. But the body of the article is taken up with the modern mystico-philosophical theory which came to a head in Möhler, was taken up by the pervert Newman, and has been addling Dr. Nevin's brain for a few years past. The discussion is an excellent specimen of historical criticism.
(11.) “ The Microscopist" (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 12mo., pp. 191) is a complete manual on the use of the Microscope, with abundant illustrations, prepared by Rev. Joseph H. WYTHES, M. D., of the Philadelphia Conference. After a condensed account of the history and value of microscopic investigation, it explains the structure of the instrument and its adjuncts, and the modes of using them, in a manner so clear as almost to supersede the necessity of further instruction. The scientific applications of the instrument are then illustrated largely from Physiology and Pathology. Another beautiful little work by the same author is, “ Curiosities of the Microscope, or Illustrations of the Minute Parts of the Creation,” (18mo., pp. 132.) This work is adapted to the capacities of the young, and is written in the form of dialogue. From the intrinsic attraction of the subject, supplying abundantly the pabulum of marvels which the minds of children so generally crave, as well as from the easy and elegant style in which Dr. Wythes sets it forth, and the beautiful coloured plates with which the book is at once illustrated and adorned, we know of no prettier and more useful book of natural science to put into the hands of children.
(12.) In our last number we spoke of the Life of Bishop M'Kendree, by Mr. Fry, in very favourable terms. We have now to thank him for two additional volumes,—" The Life of Bishop Whatcoat,” (18mo., pp. 128;) and “ The Life of Bishop George,” (18mo., pp. 124,)—both published by Messrs. Carlton and Phillips, 200 Mulberry-street, New-York. The materials at Mr. Fry's command were very scanty; but he has used them very skilfully, and has given us biographies, brief indeed, but full of incident and interest. The three lives may be had bound in one volume; and we cordially recommend it as worthy of a place in every Methodist family.
(13.) “ Oracles for Youth, by Caroline Gilman,” (New-York: G.P.Putnam, 12mo., pp. 81,) is a very pretty book of pastimes for children in the shape of questions on personal character and preferences, answered by lot from the book. It will furnish innocent and attractive amusement for boys and girls.
(14.) “ Picturesque Sketches of London, past and present, by Thomas MILLER, (London, 1852, 12mo., pp. 306,) belongs to a class of topographical books whose interest is unfailing. The greater part of the work originally appeared in the Illustrated London News, and it is now reprinted as part of the National Illustrated Library. The rich historical and legendary lore that clusters about the edifices and localities of Old London is largely drawn upon; while the London of the present day is sketched from personal observation. The work, adorned as it is with multitudinous wood-cuts, could not be afforded for twice the price at which it is now sold but for the fact that the cuts were prepared originally for the Illustrated News. All the books of the National Library are kept on hand by Bangs, Brother & Co.
(15.) “ The Daughters of Zion, by Rev. J. D.BURCHARD, D. D.,” (New-York: John S. Taylor, 1852, 12mo., pp. 355,) is a series of narratives, drawn from the Old and New Testaments, exhibiting female character from the examples afforded in the sacred record. It is illustrated by a number of mezzotint engravings from Staal's pictures.
(16.) The final volume of " Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Chalmers, by Rev. William HANNA,” (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 12mo., pp. 593,) is, in our judgment, the best and most instructive of the four. It gives an ample account of Dr. Chalmers's share in the “ Ten years' conflict " and in the formation of the Free Church of Scotland—which amounts, in fact, almost to a history of the disruption itself, as Dr. Chalmers was the life and soul of the movement. His relations to the “ Evangelical Alliance” and to the general subject of Christian Union, form another interesting branch of the narrative in this volume. In the twenty-second chapter we find his views of University and Theological Education, and his share in the organization and management of the North British Review set forth at length. Everywhere we find abundant illustration of his earnest and practical way of thinking-putting life before theory, the Bible before creeds, and virtue before sentiment. Take him for all in all, he was, perhaps, the highest style of Christian minister that this century has produced.
(17.) “God ALMIGHTY,” says Lord Bacon, “first planted a garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks." Passages of this spirit can be gathered from the choicest writers, in prose and verse, in all ages. We are glad to welcome a collection from the latter, * Garden Walks with the Poets, by Mrs. C. M. KIRKLAND.” (New-York : G. P. Putnam & Co., 12mo., pp. 340.) The gathering of this nosegay has been a labour of love, and the taste with which it is done naturally springs from a sympathy with the subject. It will make a very appropriate gift-book for the holidays.