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day, by our church reformers. These all forget the mediatorial character of the church, and fall into the superstition of regarding it as an end; they all forget, moreover, the helplessness into which the sinner falls through sin, the destruction of his moral power, which is the inevitable consequence of sin, and, therefore, that he cannot, of himself, without divine assistance, rise to the possession of the Christian spirit, or to the practice of the Christian virtues; and, furthermore, that it is only as the medium of this divine assistance, that the church question assumes the least gravity.

What, then, is this principle common to all, and to which we may appeal ? It is not a special dogma, a special form of church government; but the real belief, still retained by all, though in a sense more or less feeble, of the unity and catholicity of the church. Now, we say, that, however much these particular communions may differ in all else, every one does, in reality, though it be unconsciously, hold, that the vital principle of the ch ch must needs be one; that the church is really the living body of our Lord, the depositary, and authoritative interpreter, of his word, whether the written word or the spoken word. Here, then, is the

. foundation on which we must build ; here, in this common belief, as to what the church really is, what are its rights, prerogatives, and duties, is the principle, through the workings of which we must recover unity and catholicity. Here our readers may see why we have dwelt so emphatically on the importance of moving the main question of the church itself. It is simply and solely because this question will disclose both the necessity, and the ground, of unity and catholicity. This question can be moved in the bosom of any one of the communions extant, freely discussed, and the true answer proclaimed, without the least infraction of its order, or subjecting ourselves to its discipline ; and moved, too, and the true answer insisted upon, without, as would be the case with any other question, bringing one communion into conflict with another.

The matter now grows plain. We are to seek unity

and catholicity, by moving what we have called the church question. We are to grasp the true theory of the church, which, at bottom, is asserted, as we have said, by every conimunion, and to hold it up, in the bosom of the very communion in which we are, as the Oxford divines have done, and are doing, in the bosom of the Anglican communion ; and this will prove effectual. It may be done in every communion, because every communion, without knowing it, does hold it as one of its elements. It may, then, be brought into operation in every communion in an orderly manner; not, we own, without ultimately destroying that communion as a particular and independent communion ; but this is the very end we seek ; for what do we seek, in seeking unity and catholicity, but the absorption of all particular communions in the one Catholic Communion? There are, moreover, in all communions, at this very moment, individuals who are oppressed with a sense of the present torn and bleeding state of the Lord's body, and who sigh and yearn to heal its bruises, and restore it to its pristine health and vigor. Let these, then, where they are, turn their attention to the paramount question of the church, revive the true theory of the church, and preach it. We say, the true theory of the church, not the method of outward organization, where authority shall be vested, or how its administration shall be provided for ; but the true theory of what the church is, what are its powers, its rights, and its duties. Settle this, and it is already pretty well settled, thus far, in their minds, and then preach it. ry one who has come to believe in, and to long for, the great principles of unity and catholicity, preach them from his own stand-point; the Congregationalist from his congregational pulpit, the Presbyterian from his presbyterian pulpit, the Anglican from his episcopal chair, the Roman Catholic from his old cathedral; and let it be done here in Boston, in New-York, in Baltimore, in Oxford, at Berlin, at Paris, and at Rome ; and instantly it will be seen, that throughout all Christendom, in the bosom of the most exclusive and hostile VOL. 1. NO. I.


Let eve

communions, there is a real unity of faith as to what the church, as a body, really is, and as to what are its mission and its authority.

When so much shall be done, all is done ; for this very theory of the church, then becoming predominant, recognizes, in the church herself, the inherent right, by virtue of the indwelling Christ, to settle, authoritatively, all the other questions which may or can come up. All that would then be requisite would be to call, as would then be practicable, a new council, to adjust the bases of renewed communion, outward polity, and discipline. Let this new council, which would be a sort of ecclesiastical Congress, be composed of delegates from all Christian communities extant, which believe in the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, and are willing to submit to its authority, and abide its decisions, fairly and formally promulgated. We see no serious difficulties in the way of doing this. We are much mistaken, if the movement, that must lead to it, is not already commenced. The few, who would not submit to the canons promulgated by this new ecumenical council, would be rightfully regarded as heretics and schismatics, for they would have no excuse for not hearing the voice of the church. Moreover, they would be morally powerless against the church, healed of its divisions, and reinvigorated, and they would soon be absorbed.

This result obtained, the church no longer obliged, as in the first three centuries, and in these last three, to struggle for her very existence, would resume her work of social amelioration, interrupted by the rise of Protestantism, and delayed by the obstacles thrown in its way by infidelity and the supremacy of the temporal authority, - and devote new and unsuspected energies to the moral, intellectual, and physical elevation of the poorer and more numerous classes. Then the kingdom of God will come, and really, and confessedly, dwell with men; then will be in very deed fulfilled this Scripture, “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach

deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bound.”

Is this an idle dream? 0, no! God has promised it, and all Christendom is crying out for it. The angel, with his roll, flies through the midst of the heavens, preaching the everlasting gospel, and men are everywhere falling into their ranks. The great question comes up, Catholicism or Individualism ; which becomes, again, Church or No-Church; which, in the last analysis, is, Religion or Infidelity. Disguise the matter as we will, we must all rally, at the one or the other of these battle-cries. Can there be a question, to which the great mass of the Christian world will respond ? Protestantism, in all it has peculiar to itself, in all that distinguishes it from genuine Catholicism, no longer responds to the religious, or even the social, wants of the soul. It is weighed in the balance, and found wanting. Through all our souls, have we, who have been educated under its influence, felt its utter insufficiency. We have sought to supply its defects in Mysticism with the Quaker, in Rationalism with the modern Lutheran, in Naturalism with the old English and French Deists, in Pantheism with modern philosophers, in Socialisin with Owen and Fourier ; but all in vain. Let loose, like Noah's dove from the ark, ere the waters had abated, we have found no resting-place for the soles of our feet; and, weary with our endless flight over the wild and weltering chaos, produced by the deluge of rationalism and infidelity, we return, and beat against the windows of the ark, impatient till the patriarch reaches forth his hand and takes us in. Struck with the perpetual miracle of the church, some among us bow down and worship; others find their way back through history and tradition ; others, again, like ourselves, find, when least expecting it, their philosophy reproducing, and the wants of the soul, suffering from the ravages of sin, redemanding, unity and catholicity. In one way, or another, thank God, we shall all finally get back, and the new will become old, and the old will become new. There will be one fold and one shepherd ; one

faith, one baptism, one heart, and one mind; and it will be as the second coming of the Lord, to reign with men, and to make the salvation of God appear unto the ends of the earth, when all flesh shall behold his glory, and rejoice together. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and let the whole earth say, Amen.


Party Machinery. Mr. Van Buren and the Presidency. Civic Virtue.

It is universally conceded, that republics, especially democracies, can subsist only by means of the virtue and intelligence of the people ; but it does not appear to have been very generally considered, that democracies, or popular forms of government, which, through suffrage and eligibility, admit the great mass of the population to a share in the administration, have a strong tendency to counteract the very virtues on which their permanence and utility depend.

Our political history, we think, demonstrates this latter position, beyond the reach of cavil or doubt, to all who have accustomed themselves to look a little below the surface of things. Here, in this matter, the boasted maxim of political economy, that demand creates a supply, does not hold good. Looking at what we were in the beginning, and at what we now are, it may well be doubted, whether another country in Christendom has so rapidly declined as we have, in the stern and rigid virtues, in the high-toned and manly principles of conduct, essential to the stability and wise administration of popular government.

We commenced our national existence with many peculiar advantages, and advantages wholly independent of our peculiar political institutions. We began our labors on a virgin soil, in a new country, of vast extent, great internal resources, and remote from the vicious and corrupting examples of the Old World. We were, for the

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