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of which the episcopate was the executor and administrator. In the Greek theology man's position, here or hereafter, was necessarily conditioned by his moral state: with the Latins it did not seem unreasonable that Divine decrees proceeding from an absolute sovereign, should operate to fix the condition of man, apart from all moral considerations. With the Greeks the Church represented humanity in its ideal state, a body whose limits could not be defined ; the sacraments were symbols of that eternal life in Christ which God was always giving to men ; the resurrection was the standing up again in life of those who had left the tenement of flesh. The Latin Church identified the visible organization with the body of Christ; the sacraments took on a magical character, and, ceasing to be symbols of a process, became the exclusive channels through which Divine grace was mediated to man; and the resurrection of the body was interpreted as the rising again out of the grave of the same body which had been decomposed and seen eorruption. Eternal life was regarded by the Greeks as consisting in an ethical and spiritual relationship with God; as, in the words of St. John, “This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent'; and the loss of this knowledge, in which was life, constituted eternal death. To the Latin mind eternal life became a synonym for endless duration of existence in a state of bliss, and its converse became also the endless duration of existence in a state of misery. It is doubtful whether any of the Greek Fathers before the middle of the fifth century accepted what has been known in Latin theology as the doctrine of endless punishment."
From these extracts, which are a fair sample of the conclusions reached in these articles, it can easily be seen that this is a fruitful field that will repay the diligent working of our scholars. It can also be easily seen that the Universalist Church is a revival of the earliest Christian theology, before it was corrupted by the coarse ideas of the barbarians.
Rev. T. C. Druley.
Methodism as a Sensation.
WITH the approach of the centennial General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the discussion of proposed changes, a renewed interest is felt in that body of Christians. Methodism has been the religious sensation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and for this time the chief religious force ; and a great question for the Church Universal is whether it can continue so for another century; and, if not, what is to be the next sensation ? Some great agitation must ever stir the people to keep them as a whole interested in religion. Great movements each cause an intense interest; and no movement is greater than the gathering of a new generation into religion. Organization can do much for this, and the Roman and other churches are gathering, or rather keeping, those born within their folds, while a certain class of religiously inclined (who scarcely need a religion) also do something to keep up a continuity in the stream of Christianity. But these sources will furnish but a sickly current unless some sensational movement sweep in the masses. This movement in Protestant Christianity has been, for a century and a half, Methodism; and Methodism seems the only adequate movement for the future ; although for such adequacy certain changes seem necessary.
There are obvious reasons why Methodism should havė succeeded as a two-century sensation. Not considering now the truths and benefits involved, except as incidentally implied in the fact of its success, we find Methodism offering several remarkable agencies for getting up and keeping up a profound religious interest.
The revival, with which its name is almost synonymous, is the chief of these. With its intense excitement and sensa tional scenes — shouting, loud praying, and other startling noises — the revival must ever arrest attention, especially among the lower and least interested classes. Those who
cannot see a theological distinction can yet hear a shout; and those who will not give attention to religion will stop to look at an excited assembly. Men ever rush where deep feeling is manifested, and, as sympathy is contagious, many who go for the amusement are drawn into the interest.
The lively singing, also, of new and changing tunes, made stirring by direct personal application, has had, in connection with the revivals mentioned, a great drawing and holding power. Methodisın hias sung its way to success. Teaching Christianity to sing in popular airs, it has taught all the world to sing in religious airs ; and songs sung in such great volume became part of the people's life. Methodism rescued music from the few, and set it, like every other interest, in democratic relations. It made the songs of the world, whicl, has been pronounced a greater achievement than to make the laws; and it has received the harvest of those songs. Stamping Christianity as a singing religion, it transferred it largely from old and wise heads to children and the common masses, where it could spread with uninterrupted rapidity.
The vigorous preaching of Methodism, stirring, loud and cxcited, filled with personal and experimental anecdotes, also contributed largely to its success as a sensation. Equal to stump oratory or the popular lecture in interest, it attracted attention as an entertainment from those who cared nothing for it as a service. Methodism got a hearing which other religions did not. It bombarded the ears of the world, and compelled the nineteenth century to listen. For the first time men heard preaching as an amusement, and learned to need it as a gratification ; and in time the appeal to curiosity was felt in the conscience.
The bringing of the whole people into activity in religious service as never before, also contributed to give Methodism a sensational impulse. Instead of one man — the priest, or preacher — doing all, and the rest being quiet listeners, or only occasionally heard in perfunctory ritual, the entire congregation participated, from the man who could only say “ Amen” to the exhorter who occasionally took the pulpit. NEW SERIES. VOL. XX.
In its class-meetings Methodism taught all Christians to speak ; and every one became a preacher in some sense. It opened the religious mouth, long closed by the padlocks of sanctity put by ecclesiasticism upon the masses. Destroying the monopoly of the pulpit, it popularized religious speech, and raising up special classes of lay preachers, it doubled the ministry. Wiping away the distinctions between the clergy, it levelled the hierarchy and gave a republican equality to the Church. Making Cbristianity a speaking religion, it popularized sacred thought, and brought the themes of the pulpit down to the masses. Though suffering somewhat in depth and dignity, these soon flew from mouth to mouth, like gossip, and became familiarized, like politics. In the revival every man talked, and men and women went back and forth soliciting sinners to a Christian life. The Church became tongues instead of ears; and the Pentecost story received a modern version. A church all ministry instead of chiefly laity, all active instead of chiefly passive, it becaise a religious army in which all were officers, and exhibited a life never before known. In family worship, in " saying grace," and in many other semi-public devotions, the people accustomed themselves to work at religion froin habit, and piety became easy to the masses as a custom. The poor and intutored, who before dared not open their lips in public, now became teachers, expounding the Bible and offering prayers. Every family became a miniature church, erecting its altar, arid restoring the Penates. The father, mother, sons and daughters took turns at the prayers, and religion was brought out of the church into the home. To pray and exhort, and even to preach, was as much an individual matter as to believe, and universality was stamped on Christianity. Methodism was religion popularized, and the church individualized. Each man became a wliole church — bishop, priest, and congregation, - all in hinself. He was religion and its institutions einbodied, and exhibited the form which Christianity had to take in order to work out into the intense individualism of the present.
Methodism also gave men something to do in inorality, as
well as in religion. Stamping its adherents as a peculiar people in conduct, it advertised them to all the world as Methodists. Putting them in a social class of their own, it knit them together in their meetings and church-work. Prescribing marked customs, it even modified their appearance. Its women wore garments known as Methodist dress, discarded flowers and jewelry, and took to Puritan plainness from choice. The men lived in primitive severity, and gave an impulse to economy and imambitious satisfaction. All became severely scrupulous, and guarded with great energy against the sinallest wrongs.
Renoucing, as they thought, the whole world for Christ, they gave up much innocent as well as harmful amusement. Abandoning theatres, dances, and fashionable sports, they became separated from the rest of mankind, and appeared peculiar as men, women and children. Making a wide difference between a Christian and a sinner, and drawing a sharp line between the good and the bad, they put a visible mark on the converted”; and he who became a Methodist felt that lie had undertaken a new life. Religion was to him
profession,” and was to be his “calling ” for life. business had frequently to be changed, like his pleasures. If a liquor-seller', jeweler, or actor, or if employed by such, he had to seek other occupation. His new morality was a great task in many re: pects, and he had to do much to adjust himself to it. So much doing in religion always counts.
Sacrifice commits men. Feeling that there was something to do in their religion, they went from working in it to working for it. Impressed with its inportance in themselves, they sought to extend it io others, and, developing a denominational spirit, advanced its interest with a feeling of rivalry. Each convert counting a new life, as well as a soul saved, was thought to help toward a state in which Methodist customs should pre vail.
The doctrine and experience known as the “ witness of the Spirit,” also gave great interest to religion. In Methodis revivals everybody was after something, and knew when he