of obtaining, in time, an influence, far more legitimate and less dangerously exciting, but equally searching and extensive, by the diligent inculcation of our true and scriptural claim?
For it is obvious, that, among other results of the primitive doctrine of the Apostolical Succession, thoroughly considered and followed up, it would make the relation of Pastor and Parishioner far more engaging, as well as more aweful, than it is usually considered at present. Look on your Pastor as acting by man's commission, and you may respect the authority by which he acts, you may venerate and love his personal character; but it can hardly be called a religious veneration; there is nothing, properly, sacred about him. But once learn to regard him as "the Deputy of Christ, for reducing man to the obedience of God;" and every thing about him becomes changed, every thing stands in a new light. In public and in private, in church and at home, in consolation and in censure, and above all, in the administration of the Holy Sacraments, a faithful man naturally considers, "By this His messenger Christ is speaking to me; by his very being and place in the world, he is a perpetual witness to the truth of the sacred history, a perpetual earnest of Communion with our Lord to those who come duly prepared to His Table." In short it must make just all the difference in every part of a Clergyman's duty, whether he do it, and be known to do it, in that Faith of his commission from Christ, or no.
How far the analogy of the Aaronical priesthood will carry us, and to what extent we must acknowledge the reserve imputed to the formularies of our Church on this whole subject of the Hierarchy; and how such reserve, if real, may be accounted for;—these are questions worthy of distinct consideration.
For the present let the whole matter be brought to this short issue. May it not be said both to Clergy and Laity; "Put yourselves in your children's place, in the place of the next generation of believers. Consider in what way they will desire you to have acted, supposing them to value aright, (as you must wish them,) the means of communion with Christ; and as they will then wish you to have acted now, so act in all matters affecting that inestimable privilege."