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The Things Which Remain An Address To Young Ministers   By: (1840-1909)

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The Things Which Remain

An Address To Young Ministers



A Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church


Copyright, 1904, by JENNINGS AND PYE


This little book contains the larger part of an address I have delivered at several Annual Conferences on the occasion of the admission of probationary ministers into full membership. At the suggestion of some who have heard it when delivered and whose assurance that it would be useful in print I am bound to respect, I have consented to its publication.

Matter not directly relating to the theme, but of sufficient importance to accompany it in addressing an Annual Conference, is here omitted, that all possible space might be given to the discussion of the question, "How much Christian doctrine will still remain, though much of the most radical criticism be accepted?"


It will be understood that concessions made for the sake of the argument by no means represent my own views of that which must be ultimately yielded to the critical spirit.

Already some opinions which threatened the authority of Gospels and Epistles, and which have had wide acceptance, have been modified or withdrawn. My aim in this address was not to scout criticism, from which much of the highest value to faith is to come, but to steady the wavering young minister; to sustain his preaching power by helping him to a definite message, and to encourage him to a slow and guarded acceptance of critical opinions destructive of "the faith once delivered to the saints."

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., December, 1903.

The Things Which Remain

The followers of Him who said "I am the Truth" can never afford to hold or propagate that which is false. No man can preach with power unless he strongly believes. Teaching force depends on Faith.

[Sidenote: Doing and Knowing.]

[Sidenote: The Divine Call.]

[Sidenote: Conditions of the Call.]

Thus far our ministry has had teaching power because it has been founded on and inspired by a Christian experience. Our Church has always emphasized that essential Christian statement, "If ye do ye shall know." At every ordination we have demanded of every candidate a declaration of his persuasion that he was "called according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ" to the particular office to which he was then to be advanced. By this we do not mean a mediate call through the order of the Church or the judgment of the Bishop, but an immediate call by the Holy Spirit from Christ Himself. This call is antedated by that personal surrender to Jesus Christ; that blessed acceptance by Him of the self surrendered; that witnessing Spirit as to sonship which brings the consciousness of pardon, renewal, and justification known as "a religious experience."

[Sidenote: Evidence of the Call.]

Those who possess this know something. Whereas they were "once blind, now they see." They know they have "passed from darkness to light" through the changed love which now controls. However the persuasion reached them, it is a persuasion; not merely a hope. It is a conclusion borne in upon them by satisfactory evidence, and is a lasting certainty while the faith which brought it abides in its original measure.

Thus to day we have a pulpit substantially in doctrine and force what our pulpit always has been. Even in some cases where doubt has entered, it would appear that this Christian experience has steadied the wavering head by the full and regular impulses of the believing heart.

[Sidenote: New Problems in Theology.]

[Sidenote: The Modern Skeptical Temper.]

It is, however, to be admitted that the years to which we have come bring with them problems which our fathers did not have to solve. Doubts of which they knew nothing throng our atmosphere and crowd upon our consciousness. The attacks on Christianity are no longer the ribald jeers of the unlovely and the vile... Continue reading book >>

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