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the wrath of the elements and animals and men and devils to praise him and to work together for the good of the universe; and we only need clearer eyes, larger minds and better hearts to see every apparent evil in every department of the divine government producing real good.

"All nature is but art unknown to thee,

All chance, direction which thou canst not see,
All discord, harmony not understood,

All partial evil, universal good."

[To be concluded.]




By S. S. Schmucker, D. D., Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology in the Theol. Sem. of General Synod of the Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, Penn. [Concluded from p. 131.]

WHILST Contemplating the church of the Redeemer from the time when the Master tabernacled in the flesh, to the present day, we are, as was formerly remarked, forcibly struck by the contrast between her visible unity in the earlier centuries, and the multitude of her divisions since the Reformation. During the former period, the great mass of the orthodox christian community on earth, constituted one universal or catholic. church; excepting only several comparatively small clusters of Christians, such as the Donatists and Novatians. Now, the purest portion of God's heritage, the Protestant world, is cleft into a multitude of parties, each claiming superior purity, each maintaining a separate ecclesiastical organization. The separation of the Protestants from the Papal hierarchy, was an insuperable duty; for Rome had poisoned the fountains of truth by her corruptions, and death or a refusal to drink from her cup was the only alternative. Babylon, the great, was fallen"

To the substance of this article, which, (as stated in the last No. of the Repository, p. 86, was prepared a year ago,) a few paragraphs only have been added in view of more recent events.

under the divine displeasure, and "the voice from heaven" must be obeyed, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her plagues.”* But that the Protestants themselves should afterwards separate from each other; should break communion with those whom they professed to regard as brethren, was inconsistent with the practice of the apostolic church, and, at least in the extent to which it was carried, and the principle on which it was based, detrimental to the interests of the christian cause. But it must not be forgotten, that the position thus assumed, was, so far as its ulterior results are concerned, rather adventitious than designed. The Protestant churches struggled into existence amid circumstances of excitement, oppression and agitation both civil and ecclesiastical. This state of things was highly unpropitious alike to the formation of perfect views of church polity in theory, and their introduction in practice. The Reformation itself, could not have been effected, unless aided by the civil arm, which protected its agents from papal vengeance. A total exclusion of the civil authorities from ecclesiastical action, would probably have blasted the Reformation in the bud; even if the views of the earlier Reformers had led them to desire such exclusion. Owing partly to these circumstances, and partly to the remains of papal bigotry still adhering to them, the Protestants in different countries successively assumed organizations not only entirely separate, as in some respects they properly might be ; but having little reference to the church as a whole, and calculated to cast into the back ground the fundamental unity which actually exists between them. Without entering into a detail of their origin, it may not be amiss, in view of the popular reader, to advert to the successive dates of their formation.

The Lutheran church grew up with the Reformation itself, which commenced in 1517. The early history of the one, in Germany, Denmark, Prussia, Sweden, and Norway is also the history of the other. The commencement of the church may be dated, either from 1520, when Luther renounced his allegiance to popery, by committing the emblems of papal power, the bulls and canons, to the flames; or, more properly it may be fixed at 1530, when the reformers presented their confession of faith, to the emperor and diet at Augsburg. It is to be regretted, that this eldest branch of the Protestant church adopt

* Rev. 18: 3, 4.

ed a sectarian name; thus fostering excessive reverence for the opinions of an illustrious yet fallible servant of God, erecting them into a standard of orthodoxy, and making his doctrinal attainments the ne plus ultra of ecclesiastical reformation. For, the church being termed Lutheran, it was a very popular argument, which bigots did not fail to wield, that he who rejected any of Luther's opinions was untrue to the church which bore his name. Had some generic designation been assumed, and only generic principles been adopted for the organization of the church, the work of reformation might have been gradually advanced until every vestige of popery was obliterated, without hurling the charge of unfaithfulness at any one. Yet, it is but justice to that distinguished servant of God to add, that the name was given to his followers by his enemies from derision, whilst he protested against it with his accustomed energy. “I beg (said he) that men would abstain from using my name, and would call themselves not Lutherans, but Christians. What is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. Neither was I crucified for any one. Paul would not suffer Christians to be called after him, nor Peter, but after Christ (1 Cor. 3: 4, 5). Why should it happen to me, poor, corruptible food of worms, that the disciples of Christ should be called after my abominable name? Be it not so, beloved friends, but let us extirpate party names, and be called Christians; for it is the doctrine of Christ that we teach."

The German Reformed church was next established through the agency of that distinguished servant of Christ, Zwingli. He commenced his public efforts as a Reformer in 1519, by oppcsing the sale of indulgences by the Romish agent Sampson. In 1531 a permanent religious peace was made in Switzerland, securing mutual toleration both to the reformed and to the Catholics, and thus stability was given to this portion of the Protestant Church.

The Episcopal church may be dated from 1533, when Henry VIII. renounced his allegiance to the pope, and separated the church of England from the papal see; although the work of actually reforming this church was accomplished at a later date.

The Baptist church may be referred to the year 1535, when Menno Simon commenced his career; or to 1536, when it was regularly organized.

The Calvinistic or Presbyterian church, using the phrase to designate the church established by Calvin himself, may be

dated at 1536, when he was appointed minister at Geneva, or more properly at 1542 when he established the presbytery there. The Presbyterian church in England, Scotland and America, may be regarded as a continuation of the church, founded by this eminent servant of God.

The Congregational or Independent church may be dated from 1616, when the first Independent or Congregational church was organized in England by Mr. Jacob.

The modern Moravian church or church of the United Brethren, may be regarded as originating in 1727, when Count Zinzendorf and Baron Waterville were selected as directors of the fraternity. Both the Moravian and the Baptist churches trace their origin to christian communities prior to the Reformation. But our design is merely to enumerate the dates of the existing most extensive Protestant denominations; in doing which, we have selected the earliest periods, in order that readers of no particular church might dissent or feel aggrieved.

The origin of the Methodist church may be traced to 1729, when its honored founder Mr. John Wesley, and Mr. Morgan commenced their meetings for the practical study of the sacred volume.

Numerous other denominations of minor extent, are found among us, whose principles coincide more or less with those of the churches here specified. All these together constitute the aggregate Protestant church, and are the great mass of the visible church of the Redeemer, engaged in promoting his mediatorial reign on earth, and owned by his Spirit's blessing.

Causes of sectarian strife between the different branches of the Protestant church.

In continental Europe the sectarian principle is not exhibited in its full development. There, either the Lutheran or Reformed church, and in some instances both are established by law; and the number of dissenters, if any exist, is very small. In England, where a greater amount of liberty is enjoyed, and the press is unshackled, dissenters from the established church are far more numerous. But it is only in these United States, where Christianity has been divorced from the civil government, and restored to its primitive dependence on its own moral power, that all sects are on perfect equality, and the natural tendency of sectarianism is witnessed in its full latitude. The separation between church and state is worthy of all praise, and demands

our warmest gratitude to Heaven. It has restored the American Protestant church to the original advantages of the golden age of Christianity in the apostolic days. In this land of refuge. for oppressed Europe, God has placed his people in circumstances most auspicious for the gradual "perfecting" of his visible kingdom. Here we are enabled, unencumbered by entangling alliances with civil government, to review the history of the Redeemer's kingdom for eighteen hundred years, to trace the rise and progress of error in all its forms, to witness the effects of every different measure, and by a species of experimental eclecticism, rejecting every thing injurious, to combine all that has proved advantageous, and incorporate it in the structure and relations of the Protestant church. And has not God, in his providence called us to this work? Has he not, by our peculiar situation imposed on us this obligation? Ought not every man, be he minister or layman, who wields any influence in any christian denomination, strive to rise to the level of this sublime undertaking, and inquire: Whence originates the strife among the different branches of the Protestant church; and how may their union on apostolic principles be most successfully effected? Among the causes of this strife we may enumerate the following:

1. The absence of any visible bond, or indication of union, between the different churches in any city, town or neighborhood, whilst each of them is connected to other churches elsewhere of their own denomination. This circumstance constantly cherishes the unfriendly conviction, that each church prefers other distant churches to their own neighboring brethren. If the churches were all independent, having no closer connexion with any others abroad, than with their neighbors at home, there would be less occasion for this feeling. No bond of outward union at all, would be more conducive to brotherly love among neighbors, than a bond which excludes those around, us and unites us to others afar off. The effect of this stimulant to apathy or disregard between neighboring disciples of the same Saviour is witnessed in our cities, which contain several churches of the same denomination, united by a common confession and by their Synodical or Presbyterial relations. How much nearer do the churches of the same denomination feel to each other, than to other sects not thus connected, though equally and sometimes more contiguous!

2. The next cause of strife among churches is their separate organization on the ground of doctrinal diversity. Separate

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