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propose to ourselves is to examine the evidence on which a body, claiming to be the Catholic Apostolic Church, and as such entitled to the obedience of all baptized Christians, rests that claim. They profess to believe that in these latter days, in preparation for the second advent of our Lord, there has been a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost, accompanied with a revival of the miraculous gifts of speaking with tongues, and prophesying and healing; that there has thus been a new revelation of God's will, in obedience to which they have been led to the restoration of the Apostolate, and a new organisation of the Church. Their theory, in its later development, is substantially this. They assert that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended not upon the Church generally, but on the Apostles alone. • They were the link between Him in the heavens and His body on the earth. When therefore the original Apostles were removed, the link being snapped by the loss of Apostles, the Church fell as a dead thing to the ground. The ministry of the Apostles to the Church being interrupted, she drifted away from Christ.' The original plan of the Church provided for a Gentile Apostleship of twelve, to be added to the Jewish College of twelve. This is signified by the twenty-four elders on twenty-four seats, seen in vision, by S. John, Rev. iv. 4. Accordingly Paul and Barnabas were called and separated, but owing to the want of faith in the Church, God's purpose was changed. No more Apostles were then appointed. But now, after centuries, during which the Church has been in a maimed and mutilated state, the Lord, in preparation for His second coming, which is close at hand, has called and separated His Gentile Apostles to prepare the Church for His approach, and present it when He arrives.
"We can never,' says Mr. Drummond, be truly guided in His ways, never can be prepared to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ; never can be baptized with the Holy Ghost; never can be saved from the great destruction that is coming ; never can be filled with all the truth of God, but by Apostles, as the spiritual instruments of God, and the means by which He will give us these blessings.' So again, in an authorised document we read :
• Christian men have always possessed, in the sacraments and pastoral ministry, those means of grace and guidance, without which
When Mr. D. Dow declined the office, Mr. D. Mackenzie was put into his place.
The seven Prophets admitted to Council at first were, Mr. Drummond, Mr. Cardale, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Bayford, Lady H. Drummond, Mrs. Cardale, Miss Cardale, of whom two were also Apostles.
they could scarcely be saved; but it is no less certain, and Scripture asserts it, that no lesser ministry than Apostles can prepare the Church for Christ's second advent, and present her a chaste virgin to the Lord.' Whether, according to their present views, any other ministry, though sufficient in time past, is now valid, seems doubtful, since though at first episcopal orders were recognised, yet when afterwards the question was raised in council, the word сатен
“Know ye that no man in the Church of God who is called a Minister, and hath not received the call of the Lord by a Prophet, and been separated to the ministry by an Apostle, is called and ordained of the Lord.'—Council of the Churches, Aug. 6, 1839. On this as on many other points a good deal of reserve is practised, but be this as it may, it is manifest that the whole question turns on this assumption of a restored Apostolate, or rather new Gentile Apostolate. If they are right in their view, and all other authority in the Church is thus superseded, then we may concede their claim to be the Catholic Apostolic Church. If not, they have violated Catholic unity, they are guilty of schism, they have taken to themselves offices to which they have no call. This they themselves would allow. *They justify their meeting in separate congregations from the charge of schism, on the ground of the same being permitted and authorised by an ordinance of paramount authority, which they believe God has restored for the benefit of the whole Church.' "We admit that if God hath not spoken to us by Prophets, nor restored to us Apostles, then, however free from intentional schism, still we are found in the flagrant commission of schism.'1
This, then, being the key of the whole position, we proceed to examine how they defend it.
We will not enter into the questions, whether, à priori, there was any ground for expecting such a revived apostleship, or whether the verse in the i Cor. xii. 28, on which they base their theory of a fourfold ministry, 'Some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,' will bear this strain, or whether their view of the nature of tongues is correct. These points are very ably treated by Mr. Miller. We will confine ourselves to the simple matterof-fact inquiry: How are we to know that God has restored Apostles to His Church ? Granted, for argument sake, that Apostles were to be restored, how are we to recognise Mr.
Discourses delivered in the Catholic Apostolic Church, Gordon Square.
prophets. So 4 they were calleare told that nam, and you
Cardale and his friends as those Apostles? What credentials have they to show? What signs of apostleship?
They again and again insist that the peculiar distinction of the Apostle, his differentia, so to speak, is that he is not of man, nor by man, but of God, appointed immediately by God. But when again we inquire how we are to know that they are of God ?-are we to take it on the simple ipse dixit of each ? 'I believe myself to be an Apostle, therefore I am, and you are to receive me as such --we are told that, besides an inward conviction, they were called of God through the voice of Prophets. So there appears, after all, something of human intermediate agency. We go on to inquire who are these Prophets? How do we know that God speaks through them? What are their credentials? We are told that the Pentecostal gifts have been revived in them, that by the Spirit they are enabled to speak with tongues and prophesy. It becomes, then, very important that we should carefully sift the evidence for these so-called miraculous gifts. We fear that by such an inquiry we may cause pain to many who honestly and conscientiously believe that God really declares His will through these men, and listen to them reverentially and submissively as to a voice from God. But, even at the risk of doing so, we believe that we may be rendering a service to many who have been attracted by the lofty claims of the Catholic Apostolic Church without examining for themselves the foundation on which the fabric rests, if we endeavour to show how very slender that foundation is.
in our examination into the real character of this gift of tongues and prophecy we will take the evidence, not of opponents, but of those who would naturally be thought prejudiced in their favour, and we shall also avail ourselves of their own admissions.
All are agreed that the earliest manifestation of these gifts occurred in Scotland more than a year before the time of which we are speaking, in the person of Mary Campbell, a young woman of humble station, residing in the parish of the Rev. Robert Story, of Rosneath, and in the neighbourhood of the Rev. R. Campbell, of Row, whose deposition by the Presbytery, confirmed by the General Assembly, on account of his preaching truths which they called heresy, had caused great stir and excitement in the minds of men throughout the whole countryside. We read in the Memoirs of Rev. R. Story, to which we must refer for fuller particulars, that, "Mary, on a Sunday evening, in the presence of a few friends, began to utter sounds to them incomprehensible, and believed by her
to be a tongue such as might have been spoken on the day of Pentecost. She desired to ascertain what the tongue was, in order that she might, when strengthened to do so, repair to the country where it was intelligible, and there begin her long-contemplated labours as a missionary to the heathen.
By-and-by she announced that she believed it to be the language of a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, but as nobody knew the speech of the islanders, it was impossible to refute or controvert her assertion.'
The characters which she afterwards wrote down of the unknown tongue were furnished to Dr. Chalmers at his request, and by him submitted to Sir G. Stanton and Dr. Lee, who gave an opinion in which Sir G. Stanton agreed 'that it contained neither character nor language known in any region under the sun.' Mr. Story, at that time, was not indisposed to recognise the utterance as a real spiritual gift. He says :
“The individuals who testify are very holy persons. Should the gift be conclusively ascertained, I see only for my part what would be in perfect accordance with the past manifestations of God's power, Ever since Mary Campbell became a Christian her desire has been to make known the Gospel. ....
“But I feel that I am called upon to be especially jealous in my scrutiny, seeing that it involves such weighty and important consequences.
Before stating to what conclusion Mr. Story subsequently came, we must explain that shortly after her first utterance Mary had been raised, as she declared, miraculously from a sick bed. A voice had bidden her arise and go forth and evangelize the heathen, or she and her father's house would be destroyed, and that speedily. She had, however, not gone forth, but married Mr. Caird, and with him, after staying some time at Bampton, had become the guest of Mr. Drummond at Albury. As Mrs. Caird she took a prominent part in the early utterances in Mr. Irving's congregation. Mr. Story had written to her, reminding her of the voice she had heard, and telling her that if it was from God she was bound to obey, and not act like Jonah, but all to no effect.
The following letter was written to Irying shortly before his death in 1834, after an interview in which he had pleaded earnestly with Story to enter into the ark of safety, i.e. the Irvingite community :
“Oh, my beloved brother, what in this whole matter has given me so much pain is the infallible proof I have received of the backsliding of one whom I so confidently set forth to the Church as possessed of a like spirit with her departed sister'(Isabella Campbell, of whom he had published a Memoir).
From the time she conceived that she had become the recipient of supernatural powers she lost much of what I had witnessed in her of the mind of Christ. The simplicity was no more, and the love of display which was natural to her from her childhood was visibly, but I doubt not, unconsciously to herself, an element in all her sayings and doings.
'I state to you mere outlines, that might be filled up with particulars, which would show you what a troubled sea of uncertainties my mind must have been doomed to walk upon had I admitted Mary's claim to inspiration. . .. I feel I have greatly sinned in not having given publicly to the Church a faithful narrative of the beginning of these things, but a tenderness towards Mary herself prevented me.
"This was the first of all those cases which within the last five years have led many to think that the Holy Ghost is again with power in the midst of the Church. By most, if not by all, who so believe, her case is considered the most remarkable and conclusive. To me, who know it better than any other human being, it is an unchangeable stumbling-block which I could get over only at the cost of all the powers of moral and spiritual discernment by which I can know the things of God at all.
You know what occurred afterwards. She was in the midst of those tumultuous meetings in Port Glasgow, receiving the homage of all classes of those religionists who were panting after novelties.
'I attempted from time to time to rescue her from such a perilous fellowship, and at last after much ado I succeeded in prevailing on her to live for some time away from excitement in the loneliness and quiet of the cottage at Mamore. Then, when away from those blasphemous scenes, where such gross familiarity was dared with the name of the Eternal, she came to herself, and confessed that she had spoken and prophesied in the name of the Lord Almighty when only giving vent to her own fancies.
“I take for granted that it was from Mary that Mr. Drummond received those notices respecting Isabella and the Johnstons, which his account of the rise of the Church at Albury contains. The halo round Isabella's head is a pure fiction. Mrs. Johnston denies entirely the statements respecting her husband and sister. Oh, my beloved brother, do you not hesitate before you admit such things are possessed of Divine authority? Are there in the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke, such exaggerations as in Mr. Drummond's account of transactions which he would represent as being equally important? What an awful compromise of truth there must be, and what guilt does it involve, gravely and as by Apostolical authority to give for infallible statements the false glosses of an excited and imaginative girl.'
1 At an earlier period she had written to Mr. Story, 'I had, before receiving your letters, come to the resolution to write to you and confess my sin and error for calling my own impressions the voice of God. Oh, it is no light thing to use that Holy Name irreverently, as I have been made to feel.'