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seem to have satisfied all parties: as, indeed, have most of the other alterations adopted in the Anglo-American Liturgy, and which are chiefly grounded on the suggestions of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of 1689.
Having just alluded to the records of the Ecclesiastical Commission of 1689, we take the opportunity of observing, that clergymen and others engaged in ecclesiastical researches complain that access is not granted to these important documents, which are deposited in the Lambeth Library. There ought, of course, to be the most anxious care taken of valuable documents; nor is an official trustee to yield to every intrusive application, tending to no useful purpose; but it is required, not only by the urbanities of scholarship, but by the public service, that reasonable access should be allowed, under strict precautions, for important objects, to our national archives; and such are these interesting records. The attention of the country having of late been awakened to them, we presume they will before long be published by authority but if not, it will be easy for any proper person to get a Parliamentary inquiry into the matter. Dr. Birch tells us, in his Life of Archbishop Tillotson, that his successor Archbishop Tennison, who had possession of these records, was always afraid of trusting them out of his own keeping; alleging, that if they came to be public, they would give no satisfaction to either side, but be rather a handle for mutual reproaches; as one side would upbraid their brethren for having given up so much, while the other would justify their nonconformity because those concessions were too little, or however not yet passed into a law." And for this memorable reason was all knowledge of the matter attempted to be kept from the public and to this hour, though the substance of the papers has transpired in various forms, the originals have never been allowed to be printed. We have long thought of calling the attention of our readers to the regulations of some of our old libraries, the doors of which are closed with a jealousy far beyond what is requisite for the safe custody of papers; as if every inquirer, however respectful his request or important his researches, were an impertinent intruder; and that documents were preserved, not for public information and utility, but for the sole benefit of some book-making officer. In some libraries the printing of important manuscripts is forbidden, because they might thus lose a part of their value as curiosities; a sufficient reason, indeed, where the collection is private property, but no reason whatever in regard to what is held in trust for the public. We do not apply these remarks to the particular case of recent refusals to allow the records of 1689 to be inspected, not knowing
precisely under what circumstances the inspection of them may have been either solicited or refused; but the statement is of considerable range among several of our public collections.
Having alluded so far to the subject of the Commission of 1689, it may be as well to transcribe for reference the heads of its proposed alterations in the Prayerbook, as given by Calamy in his Life of Baxter, and transcribed from him word for word by Birch in his Life of Tillotson, and which are copied into some of the late publications on Church Reform. Burnet and other writers of that day detail various important facts; but the complete exposition is yet in reserve by the publication of the documents themselves. It is somewhat extraordinary that Wheatly, in his work on the Common Prayer, never alludes to this commission. He tells us of the compilation of the Liturgy, in the days of Edward VI.; of its revision by Bucer and Martyr; its further alteration in the days of Elizabeth; the Hampton-Court Conference of James the First; and the Savoy Conference of Charles the Second; but he never even mentions the Jerusalem-Chamber revision, which, though it was not acted upon, was surely a matter which deserved some notice. Was he, too, of Dr. Tennison's opinion?
The matter was briefly thus. Dr. Tillotson, who, with Dr. Stillingfleet, Judge Hale, and others, had long laboured for a comprehension with the Protestant Dissenters, proposed to King William, on his accession, a commission "to heal the wounds of the church" by preparing for the sanction of the Convocation, and afterwards of Parliament, such measures as might appear to the commissioners requisite for that purpose. The commission consisted of ten bishops and twenty divines, including the most eminent churchmen of the day. Its members were charged with the duty of reviewing the Liturgy and the Canons; suggesting remedies for "the defects and abuses of the ecclesiastical courts," particularly in regard to "the removing of scandalous ministers, and the reforming of manners either in ministers or the people;" and to devise what might be requisite for "a strict method of examination of persons for holy orders, both as to their learning and manners." Tillotson drew up several heads of concession, which, he says, "will probably be made by the Church of England for the union of Protestants." These were, in substance, that ceremonies should be left indifferent; that the Liturgy should be reviewed, and such changes made as would take away all ground of exception -among others, the omission of the Apocryphal Lessons ;-that the clergy should merely subscribe, in general terms, submission to the doctrines and discipline of the Church, and promise to preach and
practise accordingly; that there should be a new code of Canons, having especial regard to discipline; that the ecclesiastical courts should be revised; that ministers ordained in foreign Protestant churches should be able to hold English preferment; but that no persons might do so who were "ordained in England otherwise than by bishops :" though persons thus circumstanced were "not to renounce their orders," but were to be considered episcopally ordained if they would submit to a hypothetical form, as in baptism, "If thou art not already ordained, I ordain thee," &c.
The Commissioners opened their proceedings in the Jerusalem Chamber Oct. 10, 1689. Some of them, however, soon deserted their brethren-chiefly those of the non-juring or Jacobite party. The rest worked closely for several weeks, and discussed all the objections of the Puritans and Non-conformists, with various suggestions by episcopal divines, of which Bishop Stillingfleet had made a large collection. The result was as follows, as given by Calamy.
"That the chaunting of Divine Service in cathedral churches shall be laid aside, that the whole may be rendered intelligible to the common people.
"That, besides the Psalms being read in their course as before, some proper and devout ones be selected for Sundays.
"That the Apocryphal Lessons, and those of the Old Testament which are too natural, be thrown out; and others appointed in their stead by a new Calendar, which is already fully settled, and out of which are omitted all the legendary Saints' Days, and others not directly referred to in the Service-book.
"That, not to send the vulgar to search the Canons, which few of them ever saw, a Rubric be made, setting forth the use. fulness of the cross in Baptism, not as an essential part of that sacrament, but only a fit and decent ceremony: however, if any do, after all, in conscience scruple it, it may be omitted by the Priest.
That, likewise, if any refuse to receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper kneeling, it may be administered to them in their pews.
"That a Rubric be made, declaring the intention of the Lent Fasts to consist only in extraordinary acts of devotion, not in distinction of meats. And another, to state the meaning of Rogation Sundays and Ember Weeks; and appoint that those ordained within the quatuor tempora do exercise strict devotion.
"That the Rubric which obliges ministers to read or hear Common Prayer, publicly or privately, every day, be changed to an exhortation to the people to frequent those prayers.
"That the Absolution in Morning and Evening Prayer may be read by a Deacon; the word. Priest' in the Rubric being
changed into Minister;' and those words, 'and remission,' be put out, as not very intelligible.
"That the Gloria Patri shall not be repeated at the end of every Psalm, but of all appointed for Morning and Evening Prayer.
"That those words in the Te Deum, Thine honourable, true, and only Son,' be thus turned, Thine only begotten Son;' 'honourable' being only a civil term, and no where used in sacris.
"The Benedicite shall be changed into the 128th Psalm; and other Psalms likewise appointed for the Benedictus and Nunc Dimittis.
"The Versicles after the Lord's Prayer, &c. shall be read kneeling, to avoid the trouble and inconveniences of so often varying postures in the worship. And after these words, Give peace in our time, O Lord,' shall follow an answer, promissory of somewhat on the people's part, of keeping God's laws, or the like: the old response being grounded on the predestinating doctrine, taken in too strict an acceptation.
"All high titles or appellations of the King, Queen, &c. shall be left out of the Prayers; such as, 'Most illustrious, Religious, Mighty,' &c. ; and only the word Sovereign' retained for the King and Queen.
"Those words in the Prayer for the King, Grant that he may vanquish and overcome all his enemies as of too large an extent, if the King engage in an unjust war-shall be turned thus: Prosper all his righteous undertakings against thy enemies,' or after some such manner.
"Those words in the Prayer for the Clergy, Who alone workest great marvels,' as subject to be ill interpreted by persons vainly disposed, shall be thus: Who alone art the Author of all good gifts:' -and those words, The healthful Spirit of thy grace,' shall be The Holy Spirit of thy grace;' healthful' being an obsolete word.
"The Prayer which begins, O God, whose nature and property,' shall be thrown out, as full of strange and impertinent expressions; and, besides, not in the original, but foisted in since by another hand.
"The Collects, for the most part, are to be changed for those the Bishop of Chichester has prepared; being a review of the old ones, with enlargements to render them more sensible and affecting; and what expressions are needful, so to be retrenched.
"If any Minister refuse the surplice, the Bishop, if the people desire it, and the living will bear it, may substitute one in his place that will officiate in it but the whole thing is left to the discretion of the Bishops.
"If any desire to have godfathers and godmothers omitted, and their children
presented in their own names to baptism, it may be granted.
"About the Athanasian Creed they came at last to this conclusion: That, lest the wholly rejecting it should by unreasonable persons be imputed to them as Socinianism, a rubric shall be made, setting forth, or declaring, the curses denounced therein not to be restrained to every particular article, but intended against those that deny the substance of the Christian religion in general.
"Whether the amendment of the Translation of the Reading Psalms (as they are called) made by the Bishop of St. Asaph and Dr. Kidder, or that in the Bible, shall be inserted in the Prayerbook, is wholly left to the Convocation to consider of and determine.
"In the Litany, Communion Service, &c. are some alterations made, as also in the Canons."
Whatever may be the merit or demerit of these alterations-and there is not a little of both the whole design dropped; for the non-juring party contrived to get a strong body of its friends into the lower house of Convocation, and grievous feuds ensued the house of bishops siding with King William, and a friendly comprehension of Dissenters; the house of presbyters opposing both; till at last, before any thing could be effected, the Convocation was prorogued with the Parliament, and the king, by the advice of his cabinet and the bishops, did not allow it to meet for ten years; by which time the whole affair was forgotten. And thus, by the violence of the Jacobite clergy, was lost this celebrated scheme of comprehension and Liturgical amendment. Bishop Burnet, though he was of the moderate party, says in his History, that he was glad that it had failed; because the Jacobite clergy, who were under suspension, were trying to make a schism in the Church by persuading the people that the Orange party were not sound churchmen; and had the Prayer-book been altered, they would have told the public that they were the old orthodox school, and that the reforming clergy were Erastians and Presbyterian innovators. Theywished in their hearts for the alterations to have been carried, in order to get a handle against the Moderates; but their vehemence prevented it, and the design died away. We have digressed somewhat from our purpose in running into the above narrative; but it is full of instruction at the present moment. We submit the consideration of it more especially to those who are urging the reassembling of convocation. It is a fact worth their remembering, that the bishops have always been far in advance of the body of the clergy on the side of Church Reform. At the present moment, a convocation would either throw back for half a century reforms which, we feel persuaded, a majority of our bishops would
agree to; or would plunge the nation into such a ferment as to threaten the very existence of the Established Church.
In a pamphlet lately published by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, under the title of "Reflections upon Tithes, with a Plan for a general Commutation of the same;" occurs the following statement. "That tithes are at present an objectionable and impolitic mode of provision for the clergy, is a fact very generally acknowledged and deplored. It is due, however, to the cause of truth and justice to observe, that this circumstance has been in no degree occasioned by the ministers of our Established Church; but, on the contrary, is by none more deeply regretted than it is by them. The present system has been alleged to be unfair, inasmuch as the amount of the value of tithes is far greater now than it was at the time of their first institution. Since that period, the produce has much increased, from the increased expense and labour of cultivation. According, therefore, to the industry and capital expended on the soil, is the sum now received by the owner of the tithes a mode of payment which, as it has formed the ground of animadversion, the ministers of our church would naturally rejoice at seeing altered. Hence the demand of tithe must have very frequently put a stop to the increasing improvement of the soil. The public, consequently, as well as the proprietors, are losers by the system. For, as in the natural body, so also in the body politic, where one part is affected, the others suffer also. And the loss sustained by the nation is of no inconsiderable amount. But these effects, prejudicial as they may be, yet still are trifling and evanescent, when compared with the injuries which the tithing system inflicts upon the clergy of our church. With pain we must acknowledge, that the stewards and ministers of God's holy word and ordinances have, on this account, and by no fault of their own, incurred a degree of unmerited odium, and been rendered less efficient throughout the land. Nor is this all: the cause of Christianity itself has suffered, through their diminished estimation and usefulness." His lordship proposes an allotment of land, in lieu of tithes, and meets the objection of the impossibility of finding land, by saying that, if it cannot immediately be procured, the amount of the sale of tithes might be invested, in the mean time, in the funds; and that the main purchase may, without inconvenience, be situated at some little distance from the parish. His lordship thinks "that the real value of the tithes would amount to a sum far exceeding the computation at which they are generally estimated."
The Theological College of Geneva proceeds well. Courses of Lectures are given in Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic;
in systematic theology, church history, and practical divinity. The conductors are very anxious to add a chapel to their establishment, in order that the students may have an opportunity of attending on a scriptural and edifying ministry, specially adapted to their circumstances.
The Rev. Dr. Malan, of Geneva, has lately published a new edition of his volume intituled, The Righteousness of the Saints; or No Works necessary to Salvation, and no Salvation without Works, in which he says, "The author of this treatise is anxious to declare, that he retracts, as far as is in his power, the two first editions, on account of the erroneous statements they contain concerning the doctrine of the appropriation of salvation. The author there taught, that faith consists in believing that one is saved, and so that to believe in Jesus Christ, is to believe that he is MY Saviour; while the Scripture calls upon the sinner first to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Saviour, and then to repose himself with all his heart upon that promise, Whoever believeth that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, hath eternal life.' Faith then consists in believing what God says, and not what one persuades himself of."
It is often affirmed, that pilgrimages for the remission of sins, one of the most delusive and degrading records of the fraud and folly of the dark ages, are chiefly confined to the least enlightened portion of the members of the Church of Rome, and that educated persons of that communion despise the mummery of penance-houses and holy wells, as much as their Protestant neighbours. What then will be said to a public address lately issued from Palestine by Count Genamb, formerly a major-general in the Austrian service, and chamberlain to his sovereign, now a canon of La Trappe, who states, that to implore forgiveness for the profaneness and contempt of the cross which he had been doomed to witness (in other words, the expulsion of the Jesuits, and the contempt shewn for the Church of Rome, unhappily identified in infidel France by Popish artifice with Christianity itself, so that both were repudiated together), he had taken a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, "to do penance for so many sins, and at the foot of the Mount of Olives, upon the blood-stained rock where Immortal Humility offered itself for us, to implore the peace of the church, the perseverance of the righteous, and the conversion of sinners." He beseeches the faithful to unite their prayers with his; that thus the grace which he the chief of sinners cannot hope to obtain for guilty souls by his own unworthy intercessions, may be granted to united supplication offered up to the God of mercy, on the spot where He accomplished his sacrifice." No Christian will undervalue the efficacy of prayer offered up in the name of Christ;
but why should it have greater value in Asia than in Europe? and what have a pilgrimage to Palestine, and a sojourn on the Mount of Olives to do with the foregiveness of the sins of the French revoÏutionists in expelling the Trappists from a monastery in Alsace? When will the members of the Church of Rome learn that under the Christian dispensation the Father is not more acceptably worshipped on the Mount of Olives or in Jerusalem, than in Paris or London, and that those worship him aright who worship not with pilgrimages, and crucifixes, and penances, but in spirit and in truth? The romance of religion, fascinating as it may be, is one of the deadliest enemies to its reality.
By a singular coincidence, we had scarcely written the last paragraph, when there fell into our hands a printed appeal issued in London, for the English Trappist Monks, late of Melleray Abbey, in Brittany. The claim urged is, that "at that house every person in distress found comfort and relief; the stranger and traveller, without distinction of creed, were hospitably received; from eighty to one hundred poor persons received food at the gate every day, and a greater number of peasantry found employment in the service of that house; notwithstanding which acknowleged good, the French government have, without any crime or provocation on our part, suppressed our house, and after repeatedly annoying us, by sending large bodies of armed military, to surround and investigate our establishment during nine months, have now compelled us to forsake it, though by our penitential, silent, and retired life, we could not be supposed qualified or disposed to give them any offence. We are now cast on the world, to which we had long been strangers, exposed to dangers, at the view of which we tremble, forced to abandon our peaceable possession, and to seek refuge in our native land." The arguments by which the appeal are enforced are, 1. We celebrate every day the Holy Sacrifice for our benefactors; 2. A Memento is made for them at every private Mass; 3. We pray for them at the Midnight office, and at the Canonical hours of the day; 4. The Community make a General Communion for them on the first Thursday of every month; 5. They partake of every good and Penitential Work of the Community; 6. They are prayed for after meals; 7. They are prayed for when we are informed of their illness; 8. At the death of any benefactor, prayers are offered for the deceased-every Priest makes three Mementos-every Lay member offers a Communion, and recites the seven Penitential Psalms; 9. A De profundis is recited every afternoon by the community assembled, for the deceased benefactors; and, 10. Every special benefactor shall be associated to the prayers and good works of our whole society."
What Protestant can read without extreme pain these unscriptural and superstitious statements; and what must be the condition of the Roman-Catholic communion in less enlightened countries, when even in the metropolis of the British empire, surrounded on all sides with the light of Protestantism, such an appeal is gravely issued. We pity men who have suffered adversity; but their vocation was at best an idle one; they were useless as members of the state: and the French government, we suspect, had strong political reasons for ejecting these and other orders of monks, who have never ceased plotting to bring back Popery and arbitrary power.
Formerly the Turks would not permit. the Christians in their territory to rebuild their dilapidated churches; but now, upon petition to the public authorities, who lay the case before the Sultan, they are allowed to do so if the Grand Mufti consents. A permission of this kind was lately given by a royal edict, for 35 Armenian churches, 29 Greek churches, one Armenian Catholic, and a Jew's synagogue. The edict says, that all patriarchs, metropolitans, and other ecclesiastical chiefs are to be considered as public officers; who ought to live in their dioceses to counsel the rajahs, and set them a good example. By a recent firman of the governor of Djidda, the arbitrary fees or imposts levied upon Jews and Christians visiting Jerusalem are abolished, and no tax is to be exacted upon pilgrims on any of the routes to that city. The priests who officiate in the churches and chapels are to be in future free from all vexatious charges and impositions. We have certainly no wish to encourage the superstitions of pilgrimage; but it is pleasing to see that either fear, policy, or some better motive is rendering Mohammedan Turkey more tolerant than formerly.
A bill for the abolition of lotteries in Pennsylvania was lately rejected by the senate. Such things are disgraceful to our American friends.
The majority of the inhabitants of London little think what a privilege they enjoy by the closing of the Post-office on Sunday. Let them visit Bristol or Liverpool, and they may perhaps learn to value the blessing of a Sunday free from the anxiety of commercial letters. The friends of religion in the United States, complain greatly of the evil in their towns, and not without reason; as the following extract from a New-York paper will prove. "There were received at the post-office in this city from Sunday morning at day-light until noon on Monday, eight thousand five hundred ship letters. Four thousand one hundred of the number were brought by the ship Hibernia from Liverpool.' As these letters were in the course of delivery all day on Sunday, it may be judged what kind of a
Sabbath must have fallen to the lot of the commercial portion of the inhabitants.
It is related in the Philadelphia Chronicle, that many decent women at service in the city, or otherwise too much occupied to take proper care of their own children, place them out to nurse, and often pay the greater part of their wages to persons who take care of them. A woman who made her living from this class of mothers lately called in a medical gentleman to prescribe for one of her nurslings who was ill. The physician was surprised at seeing strong symptoms of insanity produced by intoxicating liquors. He asked the woman what was the infant's food, and she said bread. Being farther questioned, she said, "he won't eat bread, sir, unless it's sopped in whiskey. They are very fond of that, and it's an excellent thing for keeping them quiet. It makes them sleep from morning to night." Assuredly Temperance Societies were not invented in America before they were needed.
The Christian Messenger gives a list of Universalist periodicals published in the United States. The whole number is fifteen, and the whole number of copies circulated weekly is estimated at about 20,000.
In a work entitled, Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, with the Shipwreck of the Princess of Wales Cutter, on one of the Crozets, uninhabited Islands; with an Account of a two-years' Residence on them by the Crew, and their Deliverance by an American Schooner; with a Narrative of near eight-years' Residence in Van Diemen's Land; by C. M. Goodridge, one of the Survivors, is mentioned the following fact, which illustrates the benefit of the societies established in this country for the circulation of the Holy Scriptures. As the ship in which the writer was wrecked went down the Thames, she was boarded by Captain Cox, the agent of the Merchant Seaman's Bible Society, who presented the owner with a copy of the Scriptures. In the progress of the narrative we hear no more of this present, till after the wreck of the vessel, when it is thus spoken of :
"The most valuable thing we preserved from the wreck was our Bible; and I must here state that some portion of each day was set apart for reading it; and by nothing perhaps could I better exemplify its benefits, even in a temporal point of view, than by stating, that to its influence we were indebted for an almost unparalleled unanimity during the whole time we were on the island. The welfare of the community was the individual endeavour of all; and whatever was recommended by the most experienced, was joyfully acquiesced in by the rest. If ever a difference of opinion arose, a majority of voices decided the measure, and individual wishes always gave way to the proposals that ob