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Rev. A. W. Vernon Discussed This Question in Dudleian Lecture.


In delivering the Dudleian lecture on "Christianity and Ministerial Ordination" last night Rev. Ambrose White Vernon, D.D., Pastor of the Brookline Harvard Church, reached this conclusion: "When a man comes to believe that redemption consists in taking the brotherly attitude towards God, and the brotherly attitude towards men, then ordination as an indispensable qualification for any Christian service becomes an impertinence. When a man, through reverence and trust in Jesus, makes his attitude to God and man his own, he has become a King and priest to God; no ordination can give him more than an opportunity for the exercise of that priesthood which his faith has already bestowed upon him."

Before reaching this conclusion Dr. Vernon said that the question was not so much the validity of non-episcopal ordination as the validity of ordination itself.

Should we do away with ordination altogether? We should, if we regard the act of ordination as conferring necessary grace; we need not, if we regard the act of ordination as a public recognition of grace. The service of ordination does in the church precisely what a degree does in a college. It testifies to the church at large that in the opinion of the representatives of a group of churches a certain man understands and reveres the gospel and the Lord sufficiently to preach them. It is a certificate of standing. But such ordination should no more deprive other Christians from performing those same Christian functions in churches than the absence of a college diploma should prohibit a scholar from writing and teaching

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