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tions, the table talk, should all bend, directing the public mind to the imso far as human frailty will allow, portant subject of specific clerical one way. Much should be heard of education. We need not quote largeGod and Christ and redemption and ly, as those of our readers who feel holiness, and the soul, and eternity; much interest in the question have of ministerial duties and personal re- seen, or will see, the volume. We ligion, and all the doctrines and the however copy two or three passages, precepts of the everlasting Gospel. which can be conveniently detached. Young men not spiritually dis- Speaking of commentators, he posed to this atmosphere of piety, says: would shrink from such an institu
“The meaning of an obscure passage may tion ; but the church could well dis- be more distinctly explained in the Chrispense with their services, and others tian-Knowledge Society's Family Bible. of better mind would occupy their The general tone of doctrine
may be most
satisfactorily traced by Mr. Scott. Pracplace.
tical improvement may be found most If any reader should have fancied, amply developed by Matthew Henry; and from the tone of the preceding re- more of learning may be displayed by marks, that Mr. Raikes would allow Patrick and his associates. He, there.
fore, who professes to interpret Scripture young men to be idle under the no- by the help of such guides, must be aware tion of being too spiritually minded of the character and power of those on to study, he has but to turn to seve- whom he leans; and instead of seeking ral of the next chapters in the work all he wants from one, must be content
to take from each, that which is most to correct his mistake ; for though likely to be found in it.” pp. 108, 109. our judicious author has marked out • The man who is unsatisfied with à course differing from what many these assistances must ascend higher. He other writers have prescribed for must go to the Synopsis of Poole, and
amidst the multitude of conflicting opiinitiatory clerical study, it is by no nions which he meets with there, he must means a course of indolence. It endeavour to collect that which approxicomprises commentators on Scrip- mates the nearest to reason. In this maze ture, the evidences of Christianity, of doubts, however, a more enlarged de
gree of information will be wanted to dithe doctrines of our established com
rect him. He must not only know the munion as collected from our creeds
names of the authors which are cited, but and articles, the history of the he must also know the churches to which church of Christ, internal and ex- they belong, their creeds, their denomiternal, with works of religious his- this, he must also be guarded against the
nations, their private opinions. Beyond tory, biography, and the various shock which may be felt at seeing the vabranches of pastoral duty. The riety of opinions held and maintained with
Some short acbooks recommended, are in general regard to a single text. admirably selected, and the remarks quaintance with this wonderful work, will
perhaps lead him to remark, that for upon them are discriminating and acuteness of mind, for that which we judicious. It would offer but meagre commonly call good sense, none of the information to attempt to abridge commentators cited is fit to be compared what is itself a digest; we therefore consult the commentary of Calvin, he will
to Calvin; and should this lead him to refer our readers, especially candi- be surprised to find, that in closeness of dates for holy orders, to the work practical application, in freedom from all itself. The character and attain the abuses of what has been called his ments of the writer, and his Scrip- system; few commentaries can be put in tural soundness of doctrine, and evi competition with his.”
pp. 111, 112 dent earnest desire to promote the We are gratified in seeing our reglory of God, the spiritual edification cent remarks on Calvin's great work of his readers, and the welfare of the thus corroborated; but in truth, what church of Christ, especially our own candid man who really knows that pure and Apostolical branch of it, work ever thought otherwise? The entitle his remarks and suggestions writings of Calvin are public Christo the most respectful attention; and tian property; and though there are we trust they will greatly assist in some things, it may be many things, in them not to be approved ; yet we
have affection, he may bave qualities which should pity the ignorance and party ful, but his first efforts in preaching are
hereafter may render him eminently usespirit which would deprive the reli
generally nothing better than experiments, gious student of so valuable a trea- and experiments which only lead to consure. The time we would trust has viction of error. He naturally begins by gone by, at least among the mem
imitating the manner of some one whom bers of the Church of England, when attempting some mode which he has been
he has been accustomed to admire, or by to abuse Calvin was a test of ortho- imagining to himself; but his first efforts dosy and a stepping stone to fame are attempts in an art which he has never and preferment.
studied, and where he has no adviser to
direct him. Even the theory of the sysSis fur, sis nebulo, sycophanta, aut turpis tem is unknown; and it is probable that adulter,
years must elapse, before experience and Calvinum ferias fulmine, magnus eris. reflection will lead him to discover that
mode of preaching which is suited to his We might quote much from the powers, and best calculated to edify his excellent remarks on preaching, but hearers.” pp. 213—216. we must content ourselves with the
“ There are certain primary qualities,
which seem almost essential to usefulness; following detached passages.
without which, no great or permanent edi“ But beyond those general feelings fication can be reasonably expected, and which it is essential for the young mi- which every one should regard as the nister to form, there are certain specific means through which a blessing is to be duties involved in the ministerial office, sought. Of these it might be obvious to which demand more particular considera- mention, clearness in statement, both as tion. He is called, specifically called, to regards division of subject and language; preach the word. This is the chief, the seriousness of manner; earnestness of peculiar part of his work; and without tone; and that indescribable mixture of overlooking or undervaluing those several fervour and of affection, which is usually branches which may be subsequently dis- known by the name of unction. These cussed; it is in the pulpit that he appears not being the results of any particular as the ambassador for Christ, as the he- talents, but rather the expression of that rald of salvation, the messenger of recon- state of mind which we feel to be implied ciliation. For this purpose his previous in the office, are looked for in all who education has been including studies, the undertake it, and may justly be required chief end of which was to strengthen his from all.” pp. 219, 220. reasoning faculty, or to enlarge his powers “ If men were generally aware of the of illustration. For this purpose, litera- charm that belongs to simplicity; or, if ture has been added to theology; and they did but bear in mind that gifts may some knowledge of the art of explaining be various in quality while they are equal and enforcing truth, has been combined in amount, and that each man's duty rather with knowledge of the great truths which leads him to cultivate his own gift, than are to be believed. Little, it is true, has to covet those of others; the general style been done towards realizing this end, by of preaching would be less ambitious than the resources which a common education it is at present, but probably more useful; includes. The materials for the preacher and men, instead of labouring to assume are in some degree provided; but the art, and to support a tone which was not nathe proper, the specific art of him who is tural, would be improving one which was to employ them, who is to exercise his capable of indefinite improvement, if they powers in persuading, in convincing others, followed up the course which strictly as yet is left to be acquired where it may seemed their own. be, from experience, from imitation, from “ Peculiarities of manner would unreflection, or the mere bias of constitu- questionably remain, and might be more tion.
strongly developed on this plan; but in " It is impossible to contemplate calmly truth, manner does not signify much, the situation of a young man, who is first where other qualities of greater importance called to appear in this most important, are not wanting.” pp. 221, 222. most responsible post; and who ascends “ With regard to written and extem. the pulpit with little advantage from pre- pore discourses, let but a sermon be previous instruction, and with none from pared under the influence of prayer; let previous exercise. It is impossible to it but be aimed at the souls of men, and see him, preparing to teach others, and be delivered from a heart overflowing with to see hundreds hanging on his lips, for love to those wlio are addressed, and the that word which is to feed their souls; difference will be small, whether it lies without mourning over the circumstances on paper before the preacher, or is only under which this part of the ministry is lodged in the recesses of his mind. Its generally commenced. He may have final success depends upon the grace of knowledge, he may have zeal, he may God; and that grace will generally acCHRIST, OBSERV. No. 361.
company the most faithful labours, and the auspices of its pious, learned, the most earnest prayers, whatever may
and judicious prelate, these instituhave been the manner or mode in which they have been exerted.” pp. 229, 230.
tions have been widely established, “A sermon without an application, is and with most beneficial results. like a letter without an address. It may We have said enough of this work be good, useful, instructive, but it seems
to shew our sense of its seasonableto belong to no one; and no one therefore takes it to himself, or is profited by it."
ness and utility ; we only pray in
conclusion, that it may please God Mr. Raikes strongly urges the to bless the labours of excellent importance of expositions of Scrip- author, to his own glory and the ture, and cottage lectures. A de- extensive benefit of the church of gree of prejudice has existed in Christ. In addition to all the other some quarters against this most reasons for the regular theological useful and necessary practice of education of the clergy, there is one familiar expositions and lectures, arising from the unsettled state of whether in the houses of the rich, religious opinion at the present moor the cottages of the poor. We ment, which is peculiarly important. fear that indolence, and want of We prefer stating it in the words of tender affection for the souls of men, Dr. Buchanan, who remarks, in his have sometimes disguised themselves farewell sermon preached at Calunder the stolen mantle of ecclesi- cutta, “ You will generally observe astical regularity; and that some who in the present day, that new opidid not care either to lecture or to nions concerning forms and doctrine be lectured, have been fain to hide are chiefly introduced by men who their spiritual apathy in reprobat- have had little learning in their ing the over zeal of their neigh- youth, so that when in advanced life bours. We rejoice, however, to say they begin to be serious, and to acthat the subject is now better un- quire knowledge, the novelty flatters derstood, and there are few places, their understanding for a time, and we presume, where a clergyman of leads them to adopt new systems, as active piety and sound discretion they acquire new knowledge. This would be impeded, at least in any is very natural. Whereas those in quarter of authority, in his wish to whom serious piety and sound learnbenefit his flock by reading and ing have united in early life are selexplaining the Scriptures to them, dom subject to such changes. But wherever he can gain access to their the unsettled man is designated by ear or their heart, in public or in St. Paul as a novice, whatever his private. As little should we sup- age may be ; one who, being lifted pose that he would be impeded in up for a time in his own conceit, graforming Visiting Societies among dually loses his reputation, or perthem, the value of which Mr. Raikes haps has a fall in the face of the convincingly demonstrates, and his church. And when his pride has testimony is of great weight, from been thus humbled, he generally rehis connexion with the diocese of turns to meekness of conduct and which he is chancellor, where, under sobriety of speech."
The details of the Reform Bill are drag- have reform or no reform, there are many ging their slow length along in the House circumstances in the aspect of the times, of Commons, whence the measure as to which must excite the most painful apits chief features will probably find its prehensions in the mind of every true way, by a large majority, to the House of Christian, and every lover of his country. Lords, again to be tested by that august To some of these, for they are too numetribunal. In the mean while, whether we rous and too extensive in their relations
to allow of our touching on them all, we in parliament or in private life, in Enshall devote a few pages. As to the bare gland or in Ireland, in Catholics or question of parliamentary reform, it is in Orangemen, in the church or the world. our view a comparatively secondary mat- This spirit is the worst possible for healter, or at least but one among many con- ing the wounds of the country. We may siderations; it is to the general character add also, that loss of temper in these of the times, of which this measure is only matters always leads to loss of argument, an index, that we must chiefly turn our at least in the eyes of others, if not of the attention. Long before the agitated and individual himself. We do not scruple agitating bill was introduced, the public to apply this remark to some of those who mind was in such a ferment, that the king have lately vindicated objects of undoubtand his late ministers durst not appear in ed importance, more especially those conpublie in London ; while in the country nected with the best, the spiritual, the the clergyman, the landlord, and the eternal interests of individuals and nations. farmer, were keeping watch and ward day The cause of social order, the cause of and night to preserve their property from Protestantism, the cause of religion, and the conflagrations which blazed around the interests of the Established Church, them, and their lives from the fury of a are at this moment grievously suffering riotous peasantry: Our hope was that from this unguarded spirit. The weathe Reform Bill, if allowed quietly to pass pons of the world are brought to fight the at its first introduction, would have si- battles of the Lord of hosts; and a speech lenced these alarms, as the expectation of commenced with a defence of religion, of it did; and in the end, by rectifying ano- Protestantism, of Scriptural education, of malies, have done considerable good, with the circulation of the word of God, turns little harm, neither its good nor evil being out to be in the end a political invective at all proportioned to the hopes or fears against “ an unprincipled cabinet,” and of its more zealous friends and enemies. "theirunprincipled bill.” Thus things come But what a difference have the fierce con- to be blendedwhich have no real connexion. tests of the last nine months produced ;
In times like these, when numerous what tumults, what losses, what blood questions of extraordinary importance are shed, what exasperations, what political under discussion, and the rapid extension bandings together of rash, irreligious, and of intelligence brings them home to every reckless men; what ulterior, and boldly family and social circle, it is very important avowed, views of spoliation and revolution; that religious persons, and more especially and not least, what a virulent and factious the ministers of Christ, should come to a spirit in the minds of some who were once full decision as to the line of conduct accustomed to obey the law of God relative which they ought to pursue, so as not to to kings, and those in authority, but who, fail in their duties as members of civil in their exasperation at the measures of society, and yet not to be entangled in unthe present ministry, are indulging a strain profitable turinoils and party janglings. We of invective which used to be heard only refer, of course, chiefly to persons in prifrom the lips of infuriated political parti- vate life, who are not of necessity obliged zans. Such things were sure to spring
out to take an active part in public proceedings, of a lengthened political contest; but were though the spirit of the remark applies to the contest terminated, we fear that we all. In coming to a right decision, it ought could not be easily re-instated in a tranquil to be considered, on the one hand, that condition. There has been a shaking, a questions of extensive political interest convulsion, the effects of which may be felt are not of necessity alien to the thoughts for years to come; in particular, all esta- of a well-regulated religious mind, as they blished institutions, civil and ecclesias- involve the peace and happiness of society, tical, have felt a concussion, which not a and bear not remotely even upon higher few eager spirits are prepared to follow up interests than those of the passing scene. by a complete subversion. We do not There is nothing in the spirit of Chrisindeed believe that this is the general tianity that renders it unlawful for a character of public feeling ; certainly it is Christian to feel deeplyinterested in events not the feeling of any moral, religious, which regard the destinies of states and and well-judging men; but it is the feel empires; nor, even in the case of the ing of too many of the misguided multi- members of the sacred profession, does an tude, and it is fomented by some of higher individual, in becoming a minister of relirank and attainment, for party purposes. gion, cease to be a man and a citizen, or Thus we stand upon the brink of a pre- forfeit any privilege which he before poscipice ; and whether we shall be precipi- sessed as a member of civil society. He tated over it, or retrace our steps to a is not, indeed, to be so engrossed in more safe position, will mainly depend, things temporal as to forget the paramount under the blessing of God, upon the con- importance of things eternal, but is to duet of the sound mass of the community, view the fitting scenes of an evanescent of whatever name, party, or political in- life with the eye of a Christian, not perterest. In this view we deprecate, from mitting his affections to centre in " the Whatever quarter it may come, that spirit things that perish in the using,” but stuof animosity and virulent exaggeration dying the moderation enjoined by the which is afloat on every side ; whether Apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 29.-31.
Yet while this Christian moderation side. How many persons in these heated. forbids the virulence and entanglement of times who have no peculiar public duties partizanship, and limits within well regu- to discharge, live and breathe in politics, lated bounds the just interest which every to the serious injury of their temper, their Christian should feel in important secular happiness, their family concerns, and their pursuits, varying according to his particular spiritual welfare. What an injurious station and duties in life, whether as a effect also has this spirit in the social statesman or a private individual; there circle,and how detrimentally does it operate is nothing, we repeat, in Christianity, or in the exclusion of religious conversation in the highest elevation of a devout spirit, on topics of infinitely higher importance that ought to render any man indifferent than the rise and fall of cabinets, or the to the important scenes which are passing counting of parliamentary majorities. around him; and in this respect it is to Worst of all is it when it seizes the be lamented that many of those who are members of the sacred profession, and best qualified from their characters and converts a Christian pastor into a secular attainments to interpose in the affairs partizan. We are unwilling to go much of state, shrink from a public duty lest into particulars, or beyond those general it should be accompanied by peril and observations which each of our readers temptation; as if the providence of God may verify and apply in his own circle of had intended that legislation, government, experience; but we cannot refrain from and the whole economy of political and noticing an illustration of our remarks in national intercourse, should be conducted a recent instance to which the journals of by those who are morally least fitted for the month have been giving marked and it; or as if, because a Christian is not to
ostentatious publicity. We allude to the make the present world his final home Bishop of Chichester's published letter and rest, he is to retire to the abstraction to a reform club at Rye; of which the of his closet or the indolence of a cell, Times newspaper remarks, that “ the and to shun that share of responsibility in Church of England has no reward too the great movements of the world for high for the author of such sentiments as which his abilities fit him, or which his these; he is worthy to redeem a whole station requires of him. The very cir- convocation of your Philpottses and cumstance that he is alive to his moral Marshes; he is the staff to save an estaaccountableness, and is anxious to escape blishment long after it begins to totter." “ the corruptions that are in the world,” For this coarse, left-handed panegyric of and feels it a duty to avoid the snares of his radical eulogist, we do not of course ambition and the turbulence of interested make his lordship responsible; and as to strife, is powerfully in favour of his salu- the principle of parliamentary reform, we tary interposition for the general welfare; have before expressed our opinion that not burying his talent, or willingly leaving under all the difficulties of existing cirto less scrupulous spirits the whole re- cumstances it is a thing desirable, perhaps gulation of the public weal or woe. In necessary: so that we cannot be suspected this respect some good men have betrayed of selecting his lordship's letter for censure a culpable degree of moral cowardice; because he happens to be a reformer; but flying where they should have manfully we have selected it because it proves most contended, and sacrificing the public wel forcibly all that we have urged respecting fare to personal ease and indolence. the danger of clergymen mingling as leaders Christians ought not to survey with a or zealous agents in party politics. For careless eye the great events which are what says his lordship? In consequence ever passing on the arena of the world, of an expectation verygenerally entertained and instead of endeavouring to bene- that the recess of parliament at the present fit their generation, retire within them- season (the letter is dated Dec. 26) would selves in self-indulgent abstraction, leaving be extremely short, I made arrangements in this sense " the potsherds of the earth for remaining in town instead of holding to strive with the potsherds of the an ordination and passing the Christmas earth,” heedless of the momentous con- at Chichester, as I wished and intended.” flictions which are passing around them; His lordship then proceeds to discuss the caring little for war or peace; inquiring merits of the Reform Bill, and adds, " I not whether laws are good or bad; nor will not anticipate the possibility of defeat; turning aside to regard with the smallest for I trust that the idle fears and interested concern, the condition of empires, the vast hopes wbich in some quarters obstructed totality of their fellow-beings, if only they the success of the late measure may by can quietly read and meditate in an un- this time be sufficiently dissipated. If molested corner. This surely is not the the many marks of national feeling which duty of a Christian citizen; and it certainly have been since exhibited (some of them derives no sanction from the word of God; we must deplore and condemn) shall not a very large portion of which is occupied have convinced our opponents of their miswith topics of legislation, political history, take, still we have the satisfaction of and other matters connected with the social knowing that the constitution places in weal.
the hands of the sovereign a safe and easy But the danger in the present day, at remedy for ignorant or factious opposi-, least in many quarters, is on the other tion;" namely, by the creation of new