Congregationalism is not a strong government to look at. Neither is the solar system. Its enemies call it a rope of sand. It is rather, a rope of iron filings held together by a magnetic current. Wordsworth: ?Mightier far Than strength of nerve or sinew, or the sway of magic portent over sun and star, Is love.? President Wayland: ?We do not need any hoops of iron or steel to hold us together.? At high tide all the little pools along the seashore are fused together. The unity, produced by the in-flowing of the Spirit of Christ, is better than any mere external unity, whether of organization or of creed, whether of Romanism or of Protestantism. The times of the greatest external unity, as under Hildebrand, were times of the church?s deepest moral corruption. A revival of religion is a better cure for church quarrels than any change in church organization could effect. In the early church, though there was no common government, unity was promoted by active intercourse. Hospitality, regular delegates, itinerant apostles and prophets, apostolic and other epistles, still later the gospels, persecution and even heresy promoted unity, heresy compelling the exclusion of the unworthy and factious elements in the Christian community.
Dr. F. J. A. Hort, The Christian Ecclesia: ?Not a word in the Epistle to the Ephesians exhibits the one ecclesia as made up of many ecclesu . The members, which make up the one ecclesia, are not communities but individual men. The unity of the universal ecclegia is a truth of theology and religion, not a fact of what we call ecclesiastical politics. The ecclesia itself, i . e., the sum of all its male members, is the primary body, and it would seem even the primary authority. Of officers higher than elders we find nothing that points to an institution or system, nothing like the Episcopal system of later times. The monarchical principle receives practical though limited recognition in the position ultimately held by St. James at Jerusalem and in the temporary functions entrusted by St. Paul to Timothy and Titus.? On this last statement Bartlett, in Contemp. Rev., July, 1897, says that James held an unique position as brother of our Lord while Paul left the communities organized by Timothy and Titus to govern themselves, when once their organization was functional. There was no permanent diocesan episcopate, in which one man presided over many churches. The ecclesu had for their Officers only bishops and deacons.
Should not the majority rule in a Baptist church? No, not a bare majority when there are opposing convictions on the part of a large minority. What should rule is the mind of the Spirit. What indicates his mind is the gradual unification of conviction and opinion on the part of the whole body in support of some definite plan so that the whole church moves together. The large church has the advantage over the small church in that
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