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the visiting of their flocks at home, merely an incidental duty. This is our opinion.
From such considerations we conclude, that a well digested system of itinerant preaching is best for the general good; and that such a plan, cannot be successfully carried on, in any other way, than the one we foster. The charge, that our plan calls for too much power in the hands of our general superintendents, cannot be sustained, except it can be shown, that the grant and the use of it have worked mischief in the dissemination of gospel truth. There is never too much power employed where the application of it works decidedly well. We would ask all, whose relation to us prepares them to answer the question understandingly, Could the Methodist church have been half what it is to-day, if we had operated upon the plan of a settled ministry; or Congregational Methodism? And if not, is not all the excess in ministers and members to be placed to the credit of itinerant preaching, and this credit, to the more evangelical order of our heaven honored economy? These conclusions, if rightly drawn, may be justly plead in proof of our primary idea, namely; that the existence of much executive power, in the hands of individuals, and the very direct application of it in matters of church government, may be best. That power in the hands of one or of more, may be improperly, yea, even oppressively exercised, no one will deny. But, that there is as much evil likely to arise to the church, through the abuse of executive power, in the hands of her pastors, as arises from the want of it, if it is checked at once by the right of direct appeal, we do, on our part, deny. We have before stated it, as our opinion, that the apostolic ministers did exercise over the churches, in regard to moral and spiritual discipline, a very direct and sovereign control; at least, in as far as St. Paul's example goes. And all that he meant, when he complained, among other burdens, of this, "the care of all the churches," it is difficult to determine. But that they were difficulties belong. ing to the pastoral office, we hardly think will be denied. And in his pastoral epistles, he exhorts to the use of strong authority, while in his letters to the churches, he injoins obedience to ministerial rule. Now all this is in accordance with what the writer has always conceived to be the model after which our governinent was fashioned. From much that is found in the first epistle to the Corinthian church, as Dr. Paley, in his Horæ Paulinæ, states, furnishes proof direct that that church felt it proper to ask Paul's opinion on points of order ; and did so, by writing to him. These queries he ultimately answered; but not until after he had administered a very positive reproof to them for the neglect of moral discipline; and even assured them that if they did not do it, before he reached Corinth, he would do it himself, even if he had to use sharpness. St. Paul could not have been the settled pastor at Corinth. Hence it is evident, his authority in the premises, must have been coincident with his commission; which would support our theory, or else there was in practice in this apostolic church organization, a universal superintending pastorate. And this would well sustain our Methodistic Episcopacy, with its general pastorate.
Some of our friends say to us, we do not understand your article in the October number. It was not intended to be definite, but suggestive. We have a general, perhaps a definite notion of what we believe would approach nearer to the apostolic mode of church government, than is likely to be maintained in these days, when the notions of human freedom are likely to degenerate into lawless self-rule, and the right of suffrage to be claimed in controlling questions of moral fitness, even though the Lord had settled it differently, under the high authority of divine inspiration. Our position is, don't let the acknowledged rights of Cæsar overrule the prior rights of God. We close all we may ever say on this momentous question, by observing that we cannot even hope for a fair and fearless discussion of the subject. The spirit of political misrule has entered so deeply into the American mind, that the moral as well as the civil notions of government, must be moulded, as much as may be, by the pattern
left us in our declaration of independence, and fashioned into beauteous order in the constitution of our federal government. What has been the effect of these wild notions of liberty upon the proper boundary lirre between the law of natural rights, as fanatics call it, and the restraints that may, and ought to be imposed by civil enactments, is portrayed before the eyes of the American people, in the lawless mobs which have, in too many instances, shown that civil law is respected no longer than the claims of natural law are asserted by a clique of insurgents, who are determined to force their oligarchy into controlling law, in the district over which their tyranny reigns. The effect of it on morals, in as far as morals are dependent on the civil law, is most fearful. Indeed, it may be said with truth; a fearful truth it is: that almost every where, in country, village, and city, the morals which need, and are nominally under the protection of the civil arm, are by indirect agencies, left not only unprotected, but exposed to a most godless onslaught. And this is the case in every district of legal justice, where the executive protectors of public morals are chosen by the populace. In a frenzy of the public mind, on a question of liberty, it is useless for the Bible itself to interfere. This, every man must have seen, in the direful effects of abolitionism in the north and west, both upon the constitution and the Bible. Just let your theme be liberty, and all other voices are drowned in its wild uproar. Let the declaration of American independence assert that God made all men free and equal, and no fanatic on liberty will ever consult the Bible to see from its frank disclosures on all such subjects, whether God did make all men free and equal, in any such sense as these moral and political agrarians maintain.
But the text of our articles will be their censure. The fundamental element in church government is monarchical. A monarchy, though God be king himself, is abhorred. And in our view of things, Christ, as head and Lord of his own church, did send out, with the especial commission of his chosen agents, the right to administer the divine law, as well as
the holy sacraments; both proceeded alike from him, and both belong alike to his power, and right of assignment; and therefore should, of right, be placed in the hands of his direct agents.
To us, all we contend for is sufficiently contained in St. Paul's direction, contained in Heb. 13:17; "obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” And in 1st Timothy, the administrative faculty to rule is recited as an indispensable qualification in the office of a bishop; meaning presbyters generally. To be a ruler is peculiar to the executive office, and cannot be applied to mere judges of law. If anything like executive administration in the execution of moral discipline in the church of God, belong primarily to the membership as such, or to any agency created by the church, we do not see nor feel the fitness of the words recited. But if the pastors of the church, acting under divine appointment, as God's responsible agents, are charged with the executive government of the church, we can see very easily how it becomes the duty of the church to obey the spiritual shepherds, to whom Christ has committed his flock. These men are overseers. But an overseer, whose authority is subordinate, and whose plans of life and business are merely advisory, is, at last, nominal. These thoughts are our own. These opinions we have long cherished. But we never acted upon them, because it seems to be an open question, whether church government should be administered upon a theocratic basis, or a democratic. We are in our individual view, decidedly in favor of the former. And we wish it to be distinctly noted, that we only commit ourself, not the church.
THEORY OF FEMALE EDUCATION.
By Prof. W. J. SASSETT, Oxford, Ga.
The country, within recent years, has been greatly awakened to the importance of female education; and the number of colleges already established in various important localities, and the extended patronage afforded them, attest the reality of the interest professed. The true friends of this cause should be careful that this praise worthy movement do not receive a direction tending to defeat its own ends. Such a result, since the movement itself partakes somewhat of an experiment, on the issue of which many minds interested for the race, are looking with anxiety, would be attended with inconceivable harm. It would, to say the least, be attended by an injurious reaction; and, for a long time, retard interests of the utmost value to society.
That females should be educated ; that their powers should be developed and disciplined with reference to a more suitable qualification for the duties of life; no enlightened man will deny, and well nigh all men now admit. But what that education should be, and the best course to impart it, are questions in regard to which much difference of opinion exists, and from which the only difficulties are likely to arise.
The popular mind, with difficulty, conceive of general principles, otherwise than in some of their applications. Convinced that education is important, they conceive of it only in such forms as they have seen and been familiar with. Hence, the education which they desire for their daughters is not such, the conception of which is derived from the idea of development as applied to females, but such as they have seen in the higher educational establishments, and which has grown