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tended to efface the sin of schism from our minds. But though we presume to judge no man, leaving all judgment to that Being who is alone qualified to make allowance for the ignorance, invincible, prejudice, imperfect reasonings, and mistaken, judg ments of his frail creatures; yet must it not from hence be concluded, that it is a matter of indifference, whether Christians communicate with the Church or not; or that there is a doubt upon the subject of schism, whether it be a sin or not.

"There is one plain rule to direct all men in this enquiry; that wherever there is a Church established by public authority, if there be nothing sinful in its constitution and worship, we are bound to communicate with that Church, and to reject the communion of all other parties and sects of Christians. For the advantage always lies on the side of authority. No public establishment can justify sinful communion; but if there be nothing sinful in the communion of the national Church, which is established by public authority; to separate from such a Church, is both disobedience to the supreme authority in the state, and a schism from the Church." "Now (proceeds the Bishop, in another part of his discourse) if schism be an innocent thing, and the true Catholic spirit, (as from the present too prevailing practice among Christians we might be induced to think it was) I have no more to say, but that the whole Christian Church, ever since the Apostles' times, has been in a very great mistake. But if schism be a very great sin, and that which will, according to the judgment of the primitive Church, damn us as soon

as adultery and 'murder, then it must be a dangerous thing to communicate with schismatics."*

Indeed, with respect to the reality and heinous quality of this sin of schism, it scarcely seems possible for Christians, who enter sufficiently deep'into the subject, to entertain two opinions.

Looking into the writings of St. Paul, "I' see schism spoken of as a a carnal sin; and that this sin consists in a separation from the communion, and a setting up of teachers independent of the govern ment, and destructive of the unity of the Christian Church. A sin, which, besides its being the parent of confusion and disorder in the Church, is moreover destructive of that charity or brotherly love, by which it was designed that Christians should be joined together.

In the Epistle of St. Jude, mention is made of those who "perished in the gainsaying of Core," even those who separated themselves, being sensual, having not the Spirit. From whence it is to be concluded, that there is a sin in the Christian Church, answering to that of Korah in the Jewish; some resemblance, consequently, there must be between the two Churches, to justify, in this case, the Apostle's application: for if there were not, the method adopted by the Apostles and primitive writers, of making the law minister to the explanation of the Gospel, by considering the former as intended type of the latter, (a complete specimen of which we are presented with in the Epistle to *Discourse of Church Communion, by Bishop Grove. See

London Cases, No. 1.




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the Hebrews) would have been calculated, not so much to inform as to lead their disciples into error.

By referring to the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Numbers, we find in what the sin of Korah consisted. Korah conformed to the law, the doctrine, and worship, which God had appointed; for we do not read that there was any dispute upon either of these points. But Korah, being a priest of an inferior order, wanted to encroach upon the authority of Aaron the high-priest, and to continue no longer under subjection to him. The sin, therefore, of Korah, consisted in his rebelling against the order of government established in that Church, of which he was an inferior minister. An order of government, therefore, must exist in the Christian Church, against which it is a sin to rebel; otherwise the sin of Korah, described in the Old Testament, and the gainsaying of Core, mentioned by St. Jude,* cannot constitute parallel cases.

That a particular order of government has been established in the Christian Church, an unanswerable proof has been already brought from the writings of St. Paul, where he calls upon the members of the Church "to obey those that had the rule over them, and to submit themselves."t To give force, therefore, to the Apostle's injunction in this case, spiritual governors there must be in the Church, to whose authority submission is required. In withdrawing, therefore, that submission, in consequence of certain self-sufficient ministers of an inferior order setting themselves up as heads and leaders of separate congregations, independent Epist. of Jude, 11. + Heb. xiii. 17.

of their respective bishops, the sin of schism in the Christian Church, corresponding with that of Korah and his associates, alluded to by St. Jude, originally consisted.

The light in which this sin was seen in the primitive days of the Church, makes it a subject of serious consideration. The Apostles, and those who lived with them, could not be mistaken upon this point. Knowing what the constitution of that Church was, over which they were commissioned to preside, they must know in what the sin of those persons consisted, who set themselves up in opposition to it. An appeal, therefore, to their writings in this case, must afford unanswerable evidence to all who are open to conviction.

What St. Paul and St. Jude have said upon it has been already remarked. To which the testimony of St. John may be added, where, in his third epistle, he speaks of one Diotrephes, who, in the true spirit of Korah, loving "to have the preeminence,”* created a division among the brethren, by not submitting himself to St. John, who was his superior in the Church. And whatever different interpretations, with the view of favouring different opinions, have been put upon the Apostolic writings, evidence is to be produced from the primitive writers of the Church so decisive, as to take away all reasonable ground for dispute on this subject.

It will be sufficient to produce one of these writers; because, if his authority, direct to this point, be not sufficient to determine the opinion of every reasonable man, all further appeal becomes

* 3 John 9.

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