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The Rev. George E. Horr, D.D., president of the Newton Theological Institution, delivered the last of the four Dudleian lectures yesterday evening. He spoke on "Sacerdotalism."
The protest of Judge Dudley, who founded and outlined the lecture, against sacerdotalism, is based on three main points, the first of which is that the sacerdotal system obscures the broad distinction between the Church and the Kingdom of God. The true view of the question is that people are in the Church because they are already in the Kingdom, not that the Church is a stepping stone whereby the human soul may mount to the Kingdom.
That those who are outside the Kingdom also share in the divine grace as well as those within was his second point, and his last, that the sacerdotal system is irreconcilable with a worthy conception of the divine character. Bacon says on this aspect of the theme: "It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such as is unworthy of Him; for the one is unbelief, the other contumely." Dr. Horr also quoted, in defence of his argument from "The Shipwreck" in the "Colloquies" of Erasmus.
He closed by meeting the objection that historically divine grace has been mediated through specific channels as in Judaism, with the fact that the distinctive note of universality which Christianity introduced into the whole system of religion is incompatible with sacerdotalism.
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