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jections, replies, and proofs, which, in our Lord's meaning of the expression ; as we are not reviewing the tract, it is not designed for worldly purposes, we shall not go into; but we copy and made worldly, as may any thing else ;
but for spiritual; it may, indeed, be abused a few detached passages which bear but this does not prove that there is no apon our argument.
right or scriptural use of it. Worldly men “Mr. G. I admit that a church establish. will debase for secular advantage what ment was lawful under the Old Testament, is religious in its intention, and theirs is but not under the New.
the crime and the guilt; but still this “ R. And how do you prove this? Did makes nothing against the legitimate use our Lord or his disciples ever say so?
of what they have misapplied. You may Did his Apostles forbid rulers or gover
write. My kingdom is not of this world, nors forming Christian institutions among
as much on the green cloth pew at Mr. their people, and doing all that was in Dickson's, as on the dean's stall or bishop's their power to secure the administration throne, and, perhaps, quite unjustly in of Divine worship? Did He, or did they, both instances.” pp. 21, 22. teach that under the Christian dispensation “ R. In the only nation for which Je. it was unlawful for kings to be nursing hovah condescended directly to legislate, fathers, and queens nursing mothers to the he saw fit closely and inseparably to unite church of Christ?
the ecclesiastical with the civil polity. “ Mr. G. And fine nurses they have We find temporal governors, as for insometimes proved! Witness our own stance David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and bloody queen Mary.
Josiah, frequently spoken of with appro“R. Yes; but she was doubly to blame; bation for their acts of legislation in fafor she was not content to use her just vour of religion. Our state, therefore, influence ; she exercised intolerance and as Hooker remarks, is in this respect cruelty ; besides which, even her just in- 'according to the pattern of God's own fluence was exerted in favour of a corrupt ancient elect people : which was not, part church. Her predecessor, Edward the
of them the commonwealth and part of Sixth, used his authority rightly. A Chris- them the church of God, but the self-same tian government is bound to promote true people, whole and entire, were both under religion ; and if its members mistake as one chief governor, on whose supreme to what is true religion, that has nothing authority they did all depend.' to do with the present question. A father “Mr. G. There is, I confess, something is bound to instruct bis children, and it is pleasing in that idea : and I observe no proof to the contrary that many fathers throughout the Bible, that God deals have misinstructed them. Guilt is upon very much with nations as he does with the heads of those who use any talent individuals. committed to them unlawfully; but this
" R. I am glad to hear you say so, for does not prove that they ought to have hid there is much ignorance in the present their talent in a napkin, and buried it in day on that point. If we are a Christian the earth.
nation we profess Christ to be our Head; “ Mr. G. I see the fairness of this dis. we view our kings, and legislators, and all tinction; and if you can shew me that the public authorities, as his ministers ; the national establishmentofa scripturalchurch federal bond of religion runs throughout is lawful, I will not replythat manyunscrip- every thing; and to take a different view tural ones have been established also. of the matter, is to render us, as a nation,
“R. You say, if I can shew you that it unchristian ; and to reduce us to the same is lawful; but it is rather for you to shew condition as a Pagan nation, among whom me why it should be unlawful. What law there may be individual Christians, though of God does it contradict ? ” pp. 16, 17. the nation, as a nation, is infidel. But to
“ Mr. G. What say you to our Lord's return to our question: I have brought words, ' My kingdom is not of this world?' down the scriptural sanction to the time
“ R. I say they have nothing to do with of the New Testament; it is for you to the question.
shew that it has since been done away. * " Mr. G. Do they not shew that our But where are you told that what had Lord disclaimed the assistance of the se- been scriptural before has become uncular arm?
scriptural now? “ R. They shew that he did not wish “Mr. G. I admit no where directly ; his servants, as he himself directly adds, and such passages as . My kingdom is not to fight to deliver him froin his betrayers of this world,' do not, I must now allow, and murderers. They forbid using the apply to the case, except a church estasword as Mohammed and the Papists have blishment becomes worldly in its characoften used it, for the purpose of persecution, ter, and not for the religious welfare of or to make converts; but what has this to do with the present question? How does " R. And that is not our present inthis forbid the Christian magistrate using quiry; for we are not now entering into his just influence and authority in pro- the merits of any particular church-estamoting a godly object? A Church Esta- blishment, but whether all such establishblishment ought not to be of this world,' ments are wrong.
" Mr. G. But why, if a national church- the voluntary efforts of individuals? Is establishment was consistent with our there any danger of any thing being lost Saviour's intention, did he not clear up that is found to be really valuable? You the point ?
have not a national establishment for the «R. Why did he not do so in many propagation of wheat, or the growth of other things? Why did he not in so many potatoes, because we find these to be of words forbid slavery? Why did he not value; and if men value Christianity, they clear up the question of supernatural ap- will preserve it without a national estapearances, when his disciples thought he blishment; and if they do not, an estahad been a spirit? Why did he not ex- blishment will do little good. pressly say whether it was lawful to be a “R. I am sorry to say the cases widely soldier? It is not, then, correct in such differ. If I could in a single sermon matters to reason from negatives. There prove to my farmers how they might grow are many things wrong which he did not rich, they would readily follow my advice; expressly mention. He in general gave but I may preach a hundred sermons to rules, principles, and motives, to be applied shew how their souls may be saved, and as occasion may require; and none of these they will reject all I can urge. Religion, oppose a' church establishment. But I I grieve to say, though infinitely importam not content with this answer, for I ant, stands in need of every possible can shew that there might be important support, on account of the natural enreasons why the New Testament should mity of the fallen mind of man to all not go much into the question.
that is like God, and leads to God. It “ Mr. G. And what are those reasons ? requires the effort of every good man,
“ R. The first is, that it was not at if I may so say without irreverence, to all necessary. Why should our Lord tell keep it in countenance.
Few persons his disciples that a church establishment comparatively feel deeply the necessity, was not sinful ? they never suspected or are fully conscious of the blessings, of that it was. Why should he tell them it the Gospel. If religion were not brought was lawful and scriptural ? They had home to their doors they would scarcely never had any doubt on the subject. All ever think of it, or inquire into it. Besides, their feelings and habits must have been the public sanction supports it as a national in favour of a national church ; they had system, and many who are thus introduced themselves been educated under one, and into its visible pale, and who might never could never suspect that underthe Christian otherwise have paid any attention to the such institutions had become unjustifiable. matter, become its spiritual converts. Had they themselves been made rulers Why, Mr. Grainger, are you at the cost over a heathen country, their first feeling and trouble of erecting yonder fence round would have been to set up the service of your paddock? God in the land; and they would probably “ Mr. G. Because my plantations rehave rather needed to be warned not to quire protection from injury. do too much, than against doing too little. " R. And Christianity in this world is But our Lord was not speaking to rulers, as it were a tender plant, and public relinor were his Apostles.
gious establishments are a sort of fence “ Mr. G. And what difference does thrown around it. that make ?
“ Mr. G. But you forget that God “ R. Why this, that it is the general watches over his church. rule of Scripture not to teach one class “R. No, my friend; God forbid I should what are the duties of another, but only forget that; it is my highest comfort and what are its own. It tells husbands to stay; but he uses means, and one means love their wives, and wives to obey their I think is a public church-establishment. husbands ; but it does not tell husbands You pray to him for his blessing on your to exact obedience, or wives, love. It labours; you know that every thing detells children to submit to their parents, pends upon him; but still you plough and and parents not to provoke their children; sow seed; in short, you use the proper servants to obey their masters, and masters
Your argument would go to set to be kind to their servants; but neither aside not only a church establishment, class is urged to insist upon the compliance but preaching, and the sacraments, and of the other. Now in the days of our every religious ordinance, under the notion Lord and his Apostles, there was no that Christianity needs nothing for its Christian king or legislature in the world; preservation and extension but the pronone such, therefore, are directly address- vidence of God, without human agency, ed; had they been, I doubt not they would
“ Mr. G. What keeps up religion among have been exhorted to favour the public the Dissenters ? worship of God. There are many good
“ R. Dissenters owe much to church things which rulers ought to do, and many
establishments. I believe, that if all the evil things which they ought to put down, established churches were done away, concerning which no directions are given the proportion of religion which is found in the New Testament." pp. 24-26. among Dissenters. would, in the course of
“ Mr. G. But why may not Christianity time, unless preserved by extraordinary propagate itself ? Or, at least, why not interposition, which we have no warrant leave it, under the blessing of God, to to hope for, gradually decay and come to
nothing. In the course of centuries there “ Mr. G. But there were no established would be great danger of errors, heresies, churches in the first ages of the Gospel. and, above all, of utter indifference. Piety “ R. No; nor could there be, for there would not be found hereditary; the sons were no nations converted to Christianity: of religious parents would too often go Besides, the two cases are altogether over to the world, till, in the end, both different, and the gift of miracles assisted the form and the power of godliness might to effect those very objects which we be extinguished.
humbly think may now be promoted in “ Mr. G. And how does an established the ordinary course of Divine Providence church prevent this?
by means of a public church-establish“ R. In many ways, &c., &c.” pp. 31 ment for preaching the word, and the ad. -33.
ministration of the sacraments, and the “ Mr. G. But are not Dissenters in duties of the pastoral charge. You must general more religious than Churchmen; not say that the primitive church rejected and if so, what need is there for an esta- a church establishment, till you can shew blished church?
that its members had it in their power to “ R. I suppose you consider all the ir- form one ; which they had not, as the nareligious people in the parish, all persons tions among whom they dwelt were Jews of no religion at all beyond the outward or heathens.” pp. 36, 37. profession of Christianity, Churchmen; “ Mr. G. I should be glad to learn what and then you cull all the picked men have been the lessons of experience upon amongst the Dissenters; but is this a this important subject. fair comparison? All are not Israel that “ R. Well, look at the lesson of expeprofess to be of Israel. So far as this rience in our own church. I have been argument goes, I am not willing to call a much struck with the principle of endurbad man a Churchman at all; he is prac- ance and preservation which it has exhi. tically of no religion : and if he were a bited. How great have been its struggles good man, I do not think he would be and trials! yet it bas survived all, and made better by becoming a Dissenter. 1, will, I believe, survive many more. In therefore, do not admit, that Dissenters are the sixteenth century it had to cope with a more religious than Churchmen, if you take foreign hierarchy; in the reign of Charles I. on both sides those only who can fairly be it bore up against the disgrace brought brought into the comparison.” p. 34. upon it by some of its professed friends;
" Mr. G. But is not all this interfering it afterwards withstood the fanaticism of with the providence of God? The great some of its enemies; it survived the deluge object is the salvation of men : forms and of profligacy, which would have ruined it ceremonies are of little importance. in the reign of Charles II. ; and at length,
“ R. True; the great object is the glory after various alternations of prosperity of God and the salvation of mankind; and and adversity, of good report and evil forms and ceremonies are of no value for report, it has of late years aroused itself their own sake, but they may be valuable to new vigour; clothing itself with the in their relation to something higher. garments of its ancient sanctity; promul
“ Mr. G. But why not leave it to the gating with youthful zeal, yet with the providence of God?' He needs not man's wisdom of mature age and holy discretion, help.
the sacred truths, which are the standards " R. We do leave it to the providence of its opinions, and which amidst every of God, when humbly, and in dependence vicissitude, have remained imperishable, upon his grace and blessing, we employ in its confessions of faith, its formularies the means which he has put into our of instruction, and its manual of prayer. power, one of which we believe to be an How often during these periods, have established church. We do not substitute the Dissenters themselves kindled their human means for the Divine blessing. torches at our altars. And when any reBut it pleases God, in his providence, markable instance has occurred of ingenerally to make use of second causes; creased earnestness in religion amongst and one of these is disposing the hearts of the body of the people, what has usually men, especially of rulers and persons in formed the centre of it, but our own Proauthority, to accomplish his designs. He testant establishment ? Surely all this might act without means; he might have is not as if God would not vouchsafe to preserved the fire upon the Jewish altars bless a system of national-church worship. without a national priesthood to watch " Mr. G. But then you must allow that over it ; he might have carried into effect a bad church perpetuates error, as well as his promise to save the ship's company a good one truth. who sailed with St. Paul, without their “ R. It does; but then what is wrong using the means of safety ; but yet they in such a church is not that it is established, were commanded to use those means as but that it is corrupt, and I am not necessary to the end. And thus we do pleading for what is corrupt. not set aside bis over-ruling providence " Mr. G. Does any other historical when we speak of the necessity of a church lesson occur to you on the subject ? establishment; we only mean that it is ne
“ R. Yes, many;
There is a very recessary as a means of spiritual utility, which markable one in the case of the Syrian he is pleased to consecrate and employ. Church in India,” &c. pp. 38, 39,
We now turn to Chancellor Deal. ever be cause for this diversion from try's Charge, the whole of which subjects of higher interest, and that would not be too much to quote, as the ministers of Christ are sometimes bearing powerfully and convincingly obliged to carry a sword for defence throughout upon the important ques. in one hand while they are building tion under discussion. · And to this the spiritual walls of the city with question we ought to add that it is the other. Less we could not have nearly confined ; not, however, we said in regard to our own consistency; feel persuaded, from any want of in- more would be unfair to the excellent terest in the writer in regard to those author who has selected the topic higher and weightier matters for which, under all the circumstances, which alone an ecclesiastical esta- appeared to him at the moment most blishmentis of any value; but because urgent; and his discourse, now comhe considered that the peculiar exi- mitted to the press, will be found gency of the times required of him extensively useful, as embodying in this particular line of argument, for a small compass a variety of strong the instruction especially of the arguments and important facts, from churchwardens under his jurisdiction, which we proceed to copy the folwho probably were in general igno- lowing. rant of the matter, and might have no other opportunity of being put in of order in our places of public worship,
Important as it is for the maintenance possession of its real nature; for want
there are other questions which seem of which information they might be now to call for more peculiar attention ; led to join the popular outcry against questions not pertaining merely to the church establishments, to the subver- decent order of the church, but affecting
The sion of that very system which it subject includes some topics on which I
the principles of its existence. was their official duty to uphold. should not voluntarily dwell in a meeting After all the lamentations which like the present: the circumstances of from year to year we have penned the times must be my,justification or on the secular character—often in a
apology. It is, I think, incumbent upon
us to shew, as publicly as we can, that we great measure necessarily so—of the
are not ashamed of our cause, nor destitute majority of visitation charges, we of arguments to defend it. can only admit the plea of pressing
“ That religion is of importance to a
community and to every member of it, is urgency and extreme necessity as a
a position which no Christian will be inreason why the Reverend author clined to controvert. I assume that the should have chosen this exterior topic Holy Scriptures are a revelation from rather than some one of those spiri. God, and that the glad tidings which they tually and practically edifying sub- communicate are of inexpressible import
ance to every human being, involving the jects which he is so well able to dis- best hopes of the life that now is, and cuss. Unwilling as we are that any the imperishable interests of the life to opportunity should be lost which In what way, then, can religious might be improved to the setting manently diffused? How can it be best
knowledge be most effectually and perforth of matters directly connected brought to bear upon the great mass of with the human soul, the way of the community, and to produce, under the salvation, and the glory of God, as
Divine blessing, through all ranks and exhibited in the scheme of Divine gradations of the people its genuine fruits ?
This is the question which I purpose mercy; we must, of course, admit of briefly to consider. that variety of subjects which pecu- “ The case obviously requires, from liar exigencies may require: and if, the very statement of it, a system of relitherefore, Dr. Dealtry, while prepar- part of the country: and therefore, a body
gious instruction which shall pervade every ing to trim the fire on the altar, or of religious teachers, to whom the whole to penetrate the holy of holies, was population is readily accessible. It will aroused by the sound of mattocks not suffice to plant a few ministers of and battering rams at the buttresses, religion, merely in the centre of a large
population, or in certain favoured places and rushed out to repel the invader, which hold out peculiar attractions; a We can only lament that there should system must be adopted which shall be
capable of providing these teachers in jects, to awaken a desire for knowledge, sufficient numbers to meet the spiritual that, in general, the very reverse is noto. wants of all classes of persons, however riously the fact. One of the most awful humble their pursuits, and however scat- but most certain consequences of such tered their habitations. No plan of itine, ignorance, is to make the unhappy subjects rancy, however valuable it may be as an of it contented with their degradation ; auxiliary, can fully answer the purpose. there is among such persons no spontaThe minister of religion must, for the neous movement towards a better state: complete discharge of his trust, be resi- unless they be acted upon by some powerful dent among the people whom he is to
extraneous impulse, they will, in general, train for beaven; he must be conversant scarcely make the slightest effort to acwith them on the week days, as well as quire any knowledge of religion. Every preach to them on the Sundays; he must large town in the kingdom, and not a few personally feel, and the people likewise country parishes, will abundantly illustrate must be led to feel with him, that he is and confirm this assertion. With such the distinct shepherd of the district in opportunities of instruction as to leave which he dwells; in order to adapt him- ignorance altogether inexcusable, many are self profitably to their several conditionsto be found who seem well satisfied to he must be well acquainted with their live and die with little moral or even-in, moral and religious characters, with their tellectual superiority above the beasts that views, principles, pursuits, and peculiar perish. trials; commencing his cares with the “ Hence the manifest necessity of some young, and never intermitting his minis- regular aggressive plan for penetrating terial labours while there is affliction to
into every inhabited district of the country, be soothed, and Christian knowledge to both to shew the ignorant their need of be imparted, and Christian hope to be in- being taught, and to lead them to the vigorated; warning every man and teach- fountains of knowledge. ing every man in ali wisdom, that he may * Now private zeal will never be able present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.' to accomplish this object. A Christiani By this daily and kindly intercourse, he society may doubtless send forth a number will see what are the subjects of instruc. of well-qualified and useful missionaries, tion which at any given time are particu- or it may plant in certain localities a stalarly required; and he will learn to apply tionary minister ; but neither can it, in an his exhortations, both public and private, extensive and populous country, provide in the best possible way; his words will the funds requisite to overspread the land be emphatically words in season ; in the with any adequate supply of religious insimplicity of Christian truth he will speak struction, nor can it give permanance to to the understanding and the heart; and its own arrangements. Not only ought a will commend himself to every man's Christian teacher to be settled in every conscience in the sight of God.
small district, but in a vast majority of “ But how, then, are these teachers to instances he must be rendered independent be provided ? By what means shall we of the voluntary contributions of his hearsecure the object of planting and perpe- ers. Without some independent provision, tuating Christian instructors, in a manner it is certain that many extensive districts adequate to the spiritual wants of a country must remain without a minister; and as through the length and the breadth of it? little can it be doubted that places which
". Apply,' it has been said, ' the prin- have been partially enlightened, would ciple which is known by the name of free often be again plunged into all the intentrade. It is admitted, that in general sity of moral darkness.” Dealtry, pp. 8 commerce, the demand and the supply - 13. will eventually accommodate themselves to each other; in proportion, then, as the under these circumstances some plan
Dr. Dealtry goes on to shew, that people are ignorant will be the demand for instruction, and in answer to that de- must be adopted independent alike of mand instructors will readily be found.' the zeal of individuals, of the exertions
“ To shew the unsoundness of this rea- of societies, and of the voluntary consoning, little more is wanting than simply tributions of the people ; and that, if to state it. Those who apply to literature and religion the system" just mentioned, noadequate means can be devisedwith: assume tacitly as the very basis of their out the intervention of government, it argument, that the want of instruction becomes the paramount duty of the will be as keenly felt by the ignorant and state itself, as the guardian of the che irreligious, as the want of food by the famishing, or of medicine by the sick; public welfare, to see that a system that the morally destitute will be as dis- of Christian instruction, and espetressingly conscious of their necessities as cially of public worship, be established are the physically destitute ; whereas no
and supported which shall be acceso thing can be more contrary to all ex. perience; so little is the tendency of ig- sible to all its subjects. In proof of norance, more especially on spiritual suh- these positions, be refers to the argu.