Images de page

the effect (we do not say the principle) of that you may do in Pennsylvania on the those publications on which we have first day of the week, or more commonly thought it our duty more than once to called Sunday, whatever you may do on remark. Our much-respected friend who any other day of the week. Without conducts the Dublin Christian Examiner waiting to inquire whether or not God would not, of course, have inserted such bas, as one of the defendants said, made all a declaration without his Grace's sanction; days alike, and whether the distinction be and we must say that it does him much of Divine appointment or not, it is suffihonour.

cient to know, that the legislature of “ We are anxious to say, that after the Pennsylvania have passed acts restraining perambulations our prelate has made over and prohibiting the doing of certain acts, his metropolis, after one or two walks to and pursuing a certain course of conduct his cathedral of St. Patrick, bis Grace of on that day. It is forbidden that we Dublin, seeing the cursed effects of Sah- should engage in and follow our useful bath-breaking that are exhibited in this occupations, unless, indeed, it should be town, has sorrowed much that he has ever that our daily labour was that of performwritten one line that could be construed ing acts of necessity or mercy, which are into a weakening of Sabbath obligations; lawful at all times and seasons. The and has from his soul desired that he had policy of these acts, I think, ought not to the power of committing the whole im- be questioned. I presume it will be adpression of his former . Thoughts on the mitted, by any intelligent mind, that Sabbath'to the flames. We believe the religion is of the utmost importance to Archbishop to be a diligent, honest, faith- every community. The history of the ful inquirer after truth--not more inge- past furnishes abundant evidence of the nious than ingenuous; and consider him truth of this proposition. It is the basis to be just the man that would have the of civilization. Without it we should brave sincerity to say, I was wrong; and be in a state of moral darkness and deam sorry for having ever written any thing gradation, such as usually attend the most that could have the awful effect of giving barbarous and savage states. It is to the excuse for Sabbath-breaking.” Such being influence of it that we stand indebted for his Grace's sentiments, we earnestly wish all that social order and happiness which that he would exert his powerful efforts prevails among us. It is by the force of on this great question; and with no persons religion, more than by that of our muni. are they more needed than with his minis- cipal regulations, or our boasted sense of terial patrons, who are sitting, Sunday honour, that we are kept within the line after Sunday, in cabinet counsel, to the of moral rectitude, and constrained to great grief of all religious men, the scoff- administer to the welfare and comfort of ing of infidels, and the displeasure of each other. In short, we owe to it all that Almighty God. Perhaps these profane we enjoy, either of civil or religious liviolators of this sacred institution might berty ; blessings which certainly cannot be be induced to listen to his Grace's earnest too highly appreciated, but ought not, as representations to abate this nuisance and the defendants are said to have done upon refrain from this crime. And let it not this occasion, to be used as a cloak to be said that the public legal sanction given cover a design to disturb the public peace, to the Lord's-day is an unjust restriction and to promote a sinister end. Here, upon private liberty. Our trans-atlantic then, give me leave to say, that the instifriends are probably as zealous for liberty tution of the Sabbath is, in my humble as the Archbishop of Dublin, or his Ma- opinion, not only admirably adapted to jesty's Ministers; and yet we find Judge promote and establish religion among us, Kennaway recently laying down the law but to secure and preserve our physical as follows upon the subject :

as well as moral health and strength.” “I consider it a great mistake to say

POSTSCRIPT. We stop the press to announce, that our much loved and valued friend, the Rev. D. Wilson, is the new Bishop of India. The appointment reflects great honour upon Government, especially upon the President of the Board of Controul. We bave but one regret, in our Reverend friend's acceptance of this awfully responsible appointment-namely, the loss of his presence at home, added to our fears for himself ;-but he knows on whose grace and strength be relies, and he will go out accompanied by the earnest prayers and sympathies of multitudes of his fellow-Christians, who have long esteemed and honoured bim for his zealous labours in the work of the Lord. May these supplications be abundantly answered ! We had much more to say, but we are risking the hour of publication, and must postpone our remarks. The importance of the questions connected with the religious and moral welfare of India is great beyond expression.


[blocks in formation]



cleaves to it; and the consequence is,

that some of her most valuable mi. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. nisters, being no longer able to enTo the Editor of the Christian Observer. dure the weight of their scruples, IN N the Evangelical Magazine for are compelled to quit her com

February, appears the following munion, in order to relieve their notice :

burdened consciences. It seems im. Secession from the Church of possible to account for the supineEngland.

ness of our prelates, amidst the “We have been requested to in- storm which has already shaken their sert the following notice by a cor- establishment to its very foundations ; respondent, whom we have reason except on the supposition of their to regard as an ordained clergyman being actually infatuated.” of the Church of England. We In prefixing this notice as a basis thank him for his very kind notice for the present communication, I of our labours ; but we do earnestly wish to confine myself to the inentreat those excellent men who are, troductory note of the editor of the with himself, quitting the church, to Evangelical Magazine ; since, whatbe careful not only of the grounds ever may be my opinions on the of their separation, but of the statement of his correspondent, the course they pursue as separatists. immediate question is, not by what Let them remember, that many who argument certain clergymen justify have left the church for one set of their desertion of the church; but, errors, have fallen into another not what the deserters are to do, if they less injurious to the souls of men. must leave it. I am not now, either Let our correspondent seek the fel- blaming or praising their conduct in lowship of prudent well-instructed the first instance ; since, whether for dissenters, and not that of such men evil or good, the deed is doing or as Mr. Bulteel, and others equally done. But it is of very serious unsettled in their religious views.- moment that themselves, and their Editor (of Evang. Mag.)

fellows of all communions, should We understand that several pious watch their future movements. It clergymen have seceded from the is due, however, in the first place, to Establishment within the last few give every credit to the editor, for months; and we shall probably live his timely warning to these seceders, to see their number greatly increased. It is one thing to discover real, or Not the slightest movement has yet supposed, errors in any given system; been made by the bishops, with a another, to know where to stop in view to correct the real abuses of the search after what we wish to the church, or to purge her Liturgy find. There have been, and I think from the popish leaven which still will be, deserters from the church, CHRIST, OBSERY. No, 364,

2 D

It ap

who entirely assent to her leading be well for these clerical separatists doctrines, but who complain that to be exceedingly jealous of fine some portions of her formularies speeches and violent graspings of and her Articles nullify each other. I hands. It was very far from being could name examples of men, who a needless caution, given to Christian have separated from our communion, by the shepherds on the Delectable pursued their ministry in other so- Mountains,— Beware of the Flatterer; cieties, or in independent assemblies and one also remembers something of their own; yet have never ut about the Enchanted Ground, and tered a sentiment but what was di- the way to Doubting Castle. Let rectly sanctioned by the confession these living pilgrims—if such they of the church in which they were really are-reflect, that the very act originally ordained. It might in- of abandoning any church on acdeed be added, that in the essential count of its alleged errors imposes doctrines of the Gospel, there is often upon the deserting party an obliperfect concord in the public instruc- gation to seek, and to exhibit, a purer tions, both of Church and Dissent; doctrine and life than he was able to with the exception, on the one side, find in the offensive communion. of such clergymen as betray their But in the present convulsionary own creed; and, on the other, of state of the church universal, it is those non-conformists, who, though far easier to agitate it by new expethey boast of their ejected prede- riments, than to administer the sedacessors of 1662, are strangers alike tive of truth and love. As matters to the personal holiness and sound really are, large premiums are actutheology of those confessors. Of the ally offered upon religious-rather comparative numbers of faithless irreligious - eccentricity. clergy and degenerate dissenters, I pears to myself, who have passed a offer no calculation. It is sufficient life, not inconsiderable in duration, to say, that no communion, be its in observing the ways of men, posapparatus the most complicated or sibly with some attention, that the most simple, can possibly ensure serious mind will interfere further the fidelity of its ministers.

with an ecclesiastical or civil system, The temptation of the present than as his own conscience calmly class of seceders is, to be titillated dictates; or, than as change or quainto a self-importance, at once ridi- lification may be demanded, for the culous and dangerous - and far more reasonable satisfaction and apparent dangerous than ridiculous-by the benefit of others. As an individual, flatteries of the crowds, who are all. I would sacrifice, for the sake of ways ready to creep about any per- peace, all the accidents, all the dusons who make a small stir in the, bious and subordinate parts, and all so called, religious world ; and, in the decorations of a system, promany instances, with the hope of vided the foundations and necessary drawing deserters from one camp superstructure were preserved; ato the colours of their own. This ware, however, that the word in would be very allowable, were the italics is a term seldom definable motive not sectarian. But if I am amidst the hurry and personal intera churchman on purely Christian ests of debate. The seceders should principles, I no more value a prose- come before the public tribunal with Tyte to my communion, as a prose- an intelligible and definite reply to lyte, than, as a devout dissenter, I the inquiry,—Are your complaints could felicitate myself on a mere positive, or negative ? is it a secesnumerical transfer of so many irre- sion, where an asserted evil is to be ligious churchmen to the pews of my left behind, amidst many advantages; own chapel. The question is, What or, is it an aspiration after something is the value, on either supposition, non-existent in the old scheme? If of the new comer? Now, it may a clergyman leaves the church, be


cause his mind is harassed by this in again for his former possessor ; for or that form; or, because he mis- the auction mart will be crowded by likes its union with the state, but strangers, and there is quite suffistill retains his early admiration of cient rivalry among them to effect what he judges to be valuable; we a good sale. But this you will call can understand him. If he takes trifling with serious things. I stand, another estimate, and says that all is sir, corrected; and such exhibitions dark, or at best misty, and that he of human debility should rather must be guided by brighter lumi- awaken compassion and sympathy; naries, we do not understand him. for we too are men, and exposed to And, as poor Lear said in his storm, the self-same delusions as are en" that way madness lies."

snaring others. Yet this confession The only safe path for any one to needs not prevent me from urging follow-I am supposing him to be the seceders again to beware of the really earnest in Divine pursuits—is to flattering legion walk steadily along the narrow way,

But “ with the flatterers are busy where all the servants of God have mockers.” This citation is meant trodden, and will tread, till the end of to bear upon the various religionists this militant state. In this view, it of the times, who scoff at what you is the neutral ground of Christianity. and I, sir, with all our inconsistenThe phrase itself may be a solecism; cies and mistakes, believe to be for it describes a region of neutrality, the everlasting Gospel. By such where all the inhabitants belong to scorners will the seceders be beset. a party. A rich illustration of this What the several theories are, of has lately appeared in your own which the speculators of the day pages; in the questions discussed weave their snares, I confess that I during a long period of years, and know little. They are called nomany of these years luxuriant in velties, the very thing which I beconfusion, civil or religious, by a lieve they are not. Let any one clerical society, several members take up a popular pamphlet of the of which have entered the invisible moment to read what was the last world. In all that varied series of invention, and he has only to turn to subjects, scarcely one allures its ex- the nearest Dictionary of all Reliaminants from the plain and undis. gions, and he will soon find that puted verities of the Gospel. If what are called new doctrines and some bubble of the day floated within facts are merely revivals of by-gone their circle, it was eyed, perhaps, discoveries. Such things return with a transient curiosity; but such like the eclipses of the natural hea. as made the spectator ashamed of his vens, with almost as much regumomentary wonder; and then it larity, and almost subject alike to vanished. Not so in the present human calculation. They are the times ! And this leads me to ex- rank consequences of external prostend a former remark, earnestly perity; "the cankers of a calm pressing it upon the attention, if world and of a long peace.” You haply they will give it any, of these may readily apply this to any age of seceders. It is this: the flatterer the church where professors of Chrisat this hour comes not alone ; he tianity are at ease, and can specumarches with legionary numbers; late and harangue without fear of “not with single spies, but in bat- the rack and the stake. I do not talions;” of consequence, a deserter know that there is a single pheno. is not at all likely to languish for menon now in Regent Square or want of excitement and repeated elsewhere, but what glimmered in stimulus. There are many bidders England in 1706, when the Camisars, for him; and this will raise his price or French prophets of the Cevennes, among them, up to his own valuation. rose in our hemisphere. They had He is not, indeed, liable to be bought their day, and departed. They too

had their predecessors in earlier there is a strange account of a woman periods. The only point, as far as who astounded half the kingdom by I have observed, where the two par- her powers of abstinence; but no ties thus identified seem partially to sooner did physiologists examine the have differed, was that the French subject than they had twenty tales prophets held no peculiar sentiments to tell much more extraordinary, and on the person of Christ. But the after a little farther watching, the miEnglish and Scotch prophets have racle of Tutbury burnt itself out. In only to look at what was said by the the days of alchemists and astrologers Monophysites, Severians, and many it would have founded a monastery, other sects with grand-sounding and very probably canonized the names, in the first six centuries; and fasting woman in the highest places they will soon see the expediency of the calendar. It is within the of surrendering all claims to origi- dusky remembrances of my own nality. Vixere fortes ante Agamem- boyish days, that the then religious, nuna multi. There was also poor as well as profane world, were Joan Bocher (the Maid of Kent), thrown into amazement by an alwho was burnt for heresy, in 1548, leged demoniacin Somersetshire, (and, alas, under the sanction of the man alluded to by one of your Archbishop Cranmer!) against whom correspondents in a paper on exorthe accusation was, “That Christ cising. (Christ. Observer for 1830, took flesh of the virgin you be- p. 153). His name was Lukin; lieve not, because the flesh of the and he resided at Yatton. This virgin being the outward man, was man had the address to persuade ten sinfully begotten, and born in sin. or twelve Methodist preachers and But the Word, by the consent of the Dissenting ministers, strengthened inward man of the virgin was made by an Episcopal clergyman,' to perflesh *." What does this mean? form upon him a solemn act of exAnd what is meant by all the efforts orcism, in the Temple Church, at of finite minds to explain infinite Bristol; its then incumbent, Mr. mysteries ? “It is a chronic malady, Easterbrook, being one of the party. that of metaphysics,” said a caustic The phantasm vanished into air, philosopher; and he should have after having produced the usual deadded, of the more malignant type, tails in newspapers and pamphlets ; when mingled with physics, or rather and found its regular divisions of adwith an attempt to analyse the com- herence and opposition. Yet even bination of spiritual with visible and to this hour, it is credited among material things.

many of the elderly inhabitants of It is advisable for the seeeders the neighbourhood ; and this, notthen to run through three or four withstanding Lukins, on his deathvolumes of physiology, before they bed, acknowledged the imposture. are startled at the mysteries of the Then came animal magnetism-and current year.

Let them read the then the French Revolution. This latest, and perhaps the best of these, last gradually taught all who named Dr. Abercrombie's Inquiries con- the name of Christ, to cultivate a eerning the Intellectual Powers, and spirit of mutual love, and to combine the Investigation of Truth ; and they against the common enemies of the will find in the records of medical Gospel. The speculative religionists philosophy far more wonderful facts of the present day are fond of chathan have emerged in Regent Square. racterising the existing state of Surprise is the daughter of igno- things as also revolutionary. But rance, and the parent of credulity. why do they not imitate the good In the Life of Mr. Legh Richmond, men, who witnessed the first out

breaking of confusion on conti * Strype's Memorials of Cranmer. nental Europe ? Let the seceders Book üi. ch. 8.

mark this inquiry, and endeavour to

« PrécédentContinuer »