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As to forms of worship or symbols of faith, the Sadducee in Methodism is quite indifferent, except that they must be modern. He has broken all the "ancient molds" and is striving to make new ones, but has not achieved a signal success. However grotesque the forms or crude the creed, they must have one virtue: they must be different from those approved by the Church. His service grows more elaborate as spirituality decreases, and so is never finished; and his creed more liberal as his skepticism increases, and is therefore always incomplete. He not only repudiates the Apostles' Creed, but the creed of his own Church as well, though he is utterly unable to construct one for himself. In fact, as to creed he is at sea, and there is no land in sight.

The Sadducee in Methodism talks much about "personal liberty." No Church shall interfere with either his habits or amusements. No matter that he has solemnly vowed that he will “cheerfully obey the rules" of the Church; he openly and defiantly sets those rules aside when they infringe upon his "personal liberty." He seems to forget that true “personal liberty" is found in his right to withdraw from the Church, rather than in violating its rules. The same doctrine of personal liberty which declines to allow the Church to lay its "withering hand” upon his habits or amusements may with equal propriety refuse any interference in faith or morals, which at once puts an end to all Church authority and discipline.

If the “Pharisee is with us, clad in the garments of a holy traditionalism,” there is also with us a far more dangerous personage, namely, the Methodist Sadducee, who, like the wolf in the sheep's clothing, herds with the flock only to devour it. By all means keep watch on the Pharisee, but at the same time remember that the Sadducee is in our Methodist fold also.

A. B. LEONARD. New York City.

DECLINE IN CHURCH MUSIC.

WHILE many are inquiring, "What is the matter with the Church ?" and each has his special reason for, and cure of, the supposed trouble, we wish to mention one thing which in our opinion is largely responsible for much of our leanness. We mean the wide diffusion of sentimental gush in the name of sacred song, supplanting the grand old hymns of Wesley and Watts, to which the Psalms of David alone are superior. Of this exalted poetry and music little is known by the average congregation, these being set aside for miserable jingle and doggerel. Thus we have a generation of Methodists as unfamiliar with our standard hymnology as Samson with the snare of Delilah, and robust, spiritual godliness suffers accordingly.

In this connection would it be improper or invidious to mention another unhappy defection from early Methodism? I refer to the failure of hearty congregational singing, which may have resulted from the usual performance of the present choir. Both piety and common sense have become wearied with the vast amount of silly drivel which has been substituted for the majestic strains of the better days. We do not raise the perennial question of the worth or worthlessness of the modern choir; but we firmly insist that its methods have almost entirely destroyed spontaneous worship of song, and have thereby greatly lessened the charm and vitality of the olden time, when the people while "waiting for the preacher” would sing so lustily and fervently that angels seemed bending to hear. Now they sit as listeners while the choir screams out an unintelligible jargon; and this, par excellence, is the "beginning of service,” in the house of the Lord among “the people called Methodists." What wonder if the celestial spirits hover sadly above us, and mournfully exclaim, “Ichabod is written upon the palaces of her power. While she has a name to live, she is in reality well-nigh spiritually dead."

How much more of this folly must our Church endure? When shall she inquire for the “old paths,” and walk therein? Who among us that is strong will smite this unseemly idol that it may fall, like Dagon before the ark of God, into the dust of everlasting oblivion? Speak, and thou shalt be heard and praised in the gates. York, Pa.

J. B. MANN.

REFORMERS' OBSTACLES TO REFORM.

In the March-April Review Professor Bowne treats us to an original paper on "Aberrant Moralizers.” From his high throne in the world of logic and metaphysics he looks down and with a wave of his hand drives from the field all “pulpit reformers and professional philanthropists." Yet he must know that his criticisms not only include "aberrant moralizers,” but inflict punishment upon Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Knox, Mrs. Stowe, Miss Willard, et id genus omne. If he will only formulate a line of reformation that does not involve “hysteria and nightmares and pharisaism,” he may keep the speechmakers and letter-writers out of the newspapers. The world would faip "distinguish between abstract principles and their concrete application.” It is to be regretted that our brother seems to put the question of using fermented wine at the communion service in the category where "all morality disappears in mechanical pettiness." If he were a pastor or a presiding elder he would have learned that reformed drunkards dare not risk even a sip of fermented wine, and that the smell of it has roused the sleeping tiger to the destruction of the communicant. And his fling that a prominent temperance organization discovered danger in root beer was unfortunate. If the wives and mothers occupying the low level of home have found the adversary where theological professors find only theological microbes, it is no sin if they try to run that adversary out of his lair.

The center of the road is the safest, and yet we cannot believe that reformers are obstacles to reform. And we must be careful not to be so intolerant of the convictions of those less wise than we as to raise the suspicion that we deem ourselves Sir Oracles. Los Angeles, Cal.

W. R. GOODWIN.

THE ITINERANTS' OLUB.

THE EXAMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR THE MINISTRY.

As a Church our methods have necessarily been peculiar, because they were called forth by exigencies that required new methods of work and new modes of training. Many of Mr. Wesley's colaborers had little of the lore of this world; but they knew Christ "and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings,” and this experimental knowledge connected with original gifts made these heralds of the great salvation far more effective than the polished scholars from Oxford and Cambridge when destitute of this deep Christian experience. At Mr. Wesley's Conferences, however, they had a theological school of a high order. How carefully they were taught to understand the cardinal doctrines and to discrimi. nate between the true and the false! His method of emphasizing great truths might well be imitated by all who aim to raise up an effective ministry. The accurate discriminations on doctrines made at Mr. Wesley's Conferences are very instructive still.

The establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church in this country led to independent legislation on this subject. For many years no formal scholastic examination seems to have been required, but satisfactory assurances were given, nevertheless, by the can. didates of their fitness for work of the ministry. In 1816 it was made the duty of the bishops, or of a committee which they should appoint at each Annual Conference, to frame a course of reading and study proper to be pursued by candidates for the ministry, and it was made the duty of the presiding elder to direct the candidates to the studies so recommended. In 1844 this work was assigned to the bishops only, the appointment of the committee being stricken out, and at that time, also, the course of study was made four years in length. In 1860 it was made the duty of the bishops "to prescribe a course of study in English literature and in science, upon which those applying for admission upon trial in the Annual Conferences shall be examined and approved before such admission.” This is the substance of our legislation on this subject to date.

It may not be amiss for us to consider the methods of examination employed in some of the other denominations. The Protestant Episcopal Church follows an entirely different method from our own. As soon as a young man graduates from college he is received and registered by the bishop of the diocese, having been suitably recommended as a postulant or applicant for orders. Such college graduation, however, is not essential. A candidate for priest's orders ordinarily is required to spend three years before he becomes a deacon, but the bishop may with consent of three quarters of the standing committee shorten the term of his candidateship, but in no instance shall the time be shortened to less than six months. A person thirty-five years of age, who is a graduate in arts and otherwise qualified, may also after examination be admitted at once to deacon's orders, and after one year more to priest's orders. His college course covers his literary preparation. His examinations are caiefly biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical, conducted by a committee duly appointed. Candidates for priest's orders can also obtain a dispensation from Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other branches of learning not strictly ecclesiastical by a vote of two thirds of the standing committee, approved by the bishop of the diocese.

The method of entering the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, which is the most severe in its requirements of any denomination except the Reformed, is about as follows: The candidate is admitted to the theological seminary on his college diploma and a certificate of good standing as a Christian from the church of which he is a member. In the senior year of his theological course, or sometimes in the middle year, he applies to be admitted to the Presbytery as a licentiate, that is, to be licensed to preach. He is examined before the Presbytery on theology, Church government, and the sacraments, and also by a standing committee in the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, and if found satisfactory is licensed, but not ordained. His college course relieves the candidate from examination in Latin and Greek and in general science and literature. He is next examined, when he has received a call to a church, on his theological views and on Christian experience. He must also at this time present a Latin thesis, an exposition of a passage from the Greek Testament previously assigned, a written lecture, and also deliver a sermon before the Presbytery. He is then installed as pastor of the church, and his examinations are ended. It is not absolutely necessary, but it is the almost universal custom, that he shall formally pass through the college and theological seminary before his ordination. He must, however, pass the required examinations. Three years from his graduation at college will suffice to meet all the requirements of his theological course and his entrance into full orders.

The method of training in the Methodist Church of Canada is in. teresting because this is a Methodist body working under conditions similar to those prevailing among ourselves. Their action in min. isterial education has been formulated with much care. Both their preliminary course for admission to Conference and the course for admission into full membership are worthy of careful study. An examination of their Discipline brings out the following facts:

1. The examination of probationers who are in the colleges or universities shall be by examiners appointed by the authorities of such institutions, and their moral character and qualification for the ministry must be deter:nined by the College District Meeting, composed of ministerial members of the faculty, in each case, and the ministers of the church residing in the place where the institution is located, the chairman of the district presiding, or in his absence the dean of the theological faculty.

2. “Graduates in divinity shall be exempted from the ordinary course of study. In the case of probationers who, by permission of the faculties of the Conferences to which they belong, are pursuing the B. D. course in any of our theological colleges, the annual examination in such course shall be accepted instead of the annual examination in the regular course for any year.”

3. A certificate that the student has passed on any subject in one of the colleges shall be taken in lieu of an examination on such particular subject.

4. The course of study for those in the arts is three years, and the examination must be conducted at colleges.

5. They allow substitutions, as, for example, the substitution of the B. D. course for the Conference course, and also Hebrew for historical theology.

6. All their students must study the Greek Testament prior to ordination.

This consideration of the method of examination in other Churches leads us to inquire what changes should take place in the course of study prescribed for our own ministers. It seems clear that the Church in its forms of examination should encourage the critical study of God's word. Our present method gives no encouragement to study the Bible in the original languages. The Church has established academies, colleges, and theological seminaries to prepare her students for the ministry. The theological schools are intended to promote the study of the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, as well as general theological culture. It is not claimed that every candidate should be profoundly versed in the original languages, but it is of great importance that the Church should raise up a ministry adequate to meet the most advanced questions in these departments. In order to the best biblical scholarship there must be an acquaintance with the languages in which the Scriptures were originally written, and our plea is that there should be in our course of study provision for the official examination in the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures. The absence of such an examination deprives our young men of a stimulus very necessary for high training. As the course of study is at present constituted, young men pursue these studies only out of, a desire to learn, and not from any inspiration derived from Church requirements. The inspiration for scholarship always connects itself to a greater or less degree with the religious life, but it should also be encouraged in the organic forms of the Church. The student's sole inspiration under present forms, that he may thereby be better able to expound the word of God, is a noble one; but it seems that a stimulus such as comes from an examination in these studies would be very desirable.

The Church should also continue to make allowance for previous work done in institutions of learning. The denominations to which

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