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if “the religious world” do not “ cat" was inflicted upon us in agree
with Mr.Boys and his friends, one of the Nisbet-press pamphlets; it is not from levity or flippancy and we were told that we knew on so serious a subject. He ought that the parties did connect with at least to allow good motives and Miss Fancourt's case certain docupright intentions—not to impute trines, namely, the non-cessation Neologian propensities—and this of miracles in the church, and alone would do much to make their actual manifestation at this Christians understand each other moment. better.
But Mr. Boys still complains Mr. Boys complains, with some- that the question of miracles is what of a personal tone, of "mis- unfairly identified with the Scotrepresentation” in reference to the tish prodigies and with certain spematters at issue. The alleged mis- culations on prophecy; for neither representation is the juxta-position of which he makes himself acof the abstract belief that miracles countable. But who laid to his still continue in the church, with charge this identification? His the asserted “ miraculous occur- name was never so much as alrences” in Scotland, and with luded to, directly or indirectly, in “certain opinions on the subject of the discussion ; we were not even prophecy." Now we think we can aware that he had ever written a set ourselves, and those who have line on it till the late paper in the taken the anti-miraculous side of Jewish Expositor; and in alluding the question, right with Mr. Boys to that paper in a former part of in a few words; namely, by say- our present Number, he will see ing, what is matter of public no- that we expressly said that the toriety, that up to a very recent Jewish Expositor, though it had date, and posterior to the time of followed the Morning Watch in its Miss Fancourt's cure, the whole views on miracles, had not gone matter did thus hang together. into its other peculiarities. The Morning Watch, Mr. Nisbet's Mr. Boys, therefore, has no reamultitudinous press, Mr. Irving, son to complain, as if a personal Mr. Erskine, and several other charge had been urged against writers, connected the whole so himself, when no writer in the con. closely, that where we found mira- troversy even alluded to his name, cles, there followed Port-Glasgow or knew, we presume, that he held and various prophetical whimsies the opinion animadverted upon. and “Gairloch heresies; "-it is For ourselves, speaking unaffecttrue with various minor sub-divi- edly, we thought him much too sions, but with one general specific sensible a man to be carried away character. The infection, whether with such a notion, and were lost in Scotland or England, took on the in astonishment when we found he same characteristic symptoms. At had become one of its converts. length, however, came the alleged In his case then, it appears, and miracle at Hoxton : it was bruited doubtless in other cases of recent abroad, and an account of it was conversion to the doctrine of mosent to the Christian Observer; dern miracles, arising out of the but so anxious were we, even then, circumstance at Hoxton, there is to prevent “misrepresentation,” no connexion between this partithat we stated again and again (see cular belief and certain other noour November Number), that the tions advocated in the Morning parties only modestly urged the Watch and similar publications ; facts of the case, but grounded on and we give the fullest credit and them, and connected with them, no publicity to this disclaimer. But doctrine or point of faith;—for our Mr. Boys is aware, that till Miss charity in doing which a severe Fancourt's case made this new
class of converts, THE ONLY PUB- have cavilled " against the miracle LICATIONS which advocated mo- at Hoxton, “ avowed infidels have dern miracles, advocated also the bowed in silence, and scoffers laid validity of the miracles at Port- their hands upon their mouths." Glasgow, and the errors which Weonly regret that these converts, Mr. Boys renounces; but which if such they should become, have henceforth are not to be consider- not a better foundation for their ed parts of the doctrines of one faith ; for it is most probable that school; the school of believers in when they read the whole evidence, modern miracles being now divided they will be of opinion that, even into two classes,—those who are if miracles occurred every day, sound, and those who are unsound, Miss Fancourt's case was not miin other points; those who believe raculous; and then comes the reonly in Miss Fancourt's case, and coil, which from the first feared those who believe in the Scotch and predicted. We feel increasingly cases and the doctrines connected convinced that the only true or safe with them. Yet, to say the plain line is so to separate the miracles truth, though Mr. Boys complains recorded or alluded to in Scripture, that those who hold the senti- from all alleged miracles in subsements “entertained by him, in quent ages, as to maintain the uncommon with certain] other cler- impeachable truth of the former, gymen of the diocese of London, but to vouch for none of the latter. on the subject of miraculous gifts The infidels whom Mr. Boys menin the church of Christ,” are “mis- tions have proved by their ready acrepresented," when this their opi- quiescence in the miracle at Hoxton, nion “is connected with a belief while they deny the real miracles in certain miraculous occurrences of Scripture, that infidels are acsaid to have taken place in Scot- customed to draw inferences from land; he does not venture to very slender premises, and can disavow that connexion, or to say believe the word of man while they that he gives no credence to the deny the word of God. But does Port-Glasgow miracles : he only Mr. Boys really believe that any affirms that “the connexion may “avowed infidel,” who thinks at all, be just, or it may be unjust; from a Taylor to a Carlile, has been but if it may be just, where is the affected in the way he describes ? "misrepresentation ?" He must Let him produce one such instance; well know that the majority of and we in return will produce him those who believe in the one case, many an instance of those who believe in the others also : and we take advantage of what they consee not how they can be fairly se- sider the credulity of professed parated in general argument; for Christians to disparage the eviwhy is not Mary Campbell's cure dence for the Divine inspiration of as stringent as that of Miss Fan- Holy Writ itself. Let him take the court, or the new tongues at Port- case of Miss Fancourt to some of our Glasgow as much to be credited as medical men, and scientific men, some other modern miracles which and legal men, and political men, Mr. Boys earnestly maintains have infected with infidelity, and see occurred ?
how many converts he will make Mr. Boys replies to the fore- to Christianity on the strength of bodings of those who think that this occurrence ? A bird-witted this allegation of modern miracles infidel who receives his infidelity will afford a specious weapon to on trust second-hand from the the infidel against the Gospel, that blasphemous trash of Fleet Street, quite the contrary is the case ; for may take on trust also an alleged that while “religious professors miracle; just as a man may believe
a ghost story, who has no shadow We shall not weaken the claims of religion ; but a faith grounded of episcopacy thus singularly estaon such a basis is not to be urged blished by any surmises as to the in proof that the basis was solid. soundness of the argument. It is
But the most extraordinary part truly a remarkable climax, and will of Mr. Boys'saddress to the Bishop, probably convert as many Dissenand most extraordinary it is—is ters as Miss Fancourt's cure has the identification between modern converted infidels. The Bishop of miracles and episcopacy. He main- London must have felt his mitre tains that they rest upon exactly press more closely on his brows the same evidence, are held by the as he read it; and will doubtless same class of persons, and must take the first opportunity of retailstand or fall together. “ We al- ing it to Lord King.
What the lege,” he says,
“ the succession of Dissenters will say, we cannot conmiracles, as we allege the succes- jecture till we see the next Numsion of holy orders; " " there is a ber of the Eclectic, the Congregarealand peculiar connexion between tional, and the Evangelical Magaepiscopacyand miracles; they stand zine. Possibly they will repeat remarkably linked together in the what we have before rehearsed of controversialhistoryofourchurch;" their sayings in the present Num“ the Dissenters, in opposing epis- ber, that “the Established Church copacy, oppose the apostolic suc- is in its dotage." And curiously cession, and in opposing the apo- enough does it dove-tail into Mr. stolic succession they were led to Boys's argument, that we ourdiscountenance the idea of mira- selves, we Christian Observers, culous succession, or the continu- with all our professed veneration ance of miracles in the church.” for episcopacy, have just given The next step is, that “the Evan- several pages of quotation against gelical body in the church" lighted modern miracles, from a work their torch at the dissenting altar, issued from a Dissenting press ! and though they firmly retained If this be not evidence, what is? It episcopacy, lost sight of its twin- is true, there are some little flaws sister miracles.
in our friend's reasoning; for it " Thus when we come to sift things to
so happens that the Puritans were the bottom, one cause of the present re- much more disposed to believe in jection of miracles, and that by many prodigies than the Episcopalians, sound, decided, ardent Episcopalians, and that at this very moment“ the proves at last to lie (little suspected by them indeed) in the rejection of episco general body of Churchmen are pacy itself! What a remarkable circum- as little inclined to believe in alstance! Who would ever have expected leged recent miracles, as those that we should come to such a discovery as tbis! Do we not at once perceive a reason,
Evangelical Churchmen ” whose why, while, in some instances no objec: incredulity in this matter degrades tion to the doctrine of miracles is express- them into 'semi-Dissenters, and ed by churchmen belonging to the general body, pullers-down of Episcopacy. But some Evangelical churchmen are found op- let this pass : it is enough to know posing it with so much violence? The parallel, then, between the claims of episcopacy the general fact, that the contest and the doctrine of miracles in the church, is “a question between Churchmen is drawn from no fanciful analogy, is urged and Dissenters;" from which we to serve no temporary purpose ; and there infer, among other things, that Mr. ing the miraculous character of the Chris Irving, Mr. Erskine, and all the tian dispensation comes to be properly Port-Glasgow abettors of miracles understood in all its bearings, and the have become Episcopalians, and points on which it really hitches to be felt, all our bishops and clergy, with it will prove, in the end, to be neither more nor less, than a question between Churchmen the exception of Mr. M'Neile, Mr. and Dissenters.'
Boys, and a few others, virtual Dis
senters. We can only echo, and to the Bishop, he has not shunned re-echo Mr. Boys's own words, to bear his full share of the re“ What a remarkable circum- proach of that so-called “religious stance ! Who would ever have world" on whose sins, real or supexpected that we should come to posed, he had strongly commented such a discovery as this !” We in the Jewish Expositor. Our partreally shall begin to think that ing word, therefore, with him is, that miracles have not ceased !
in pursuing the question of miracles, We were about to conclude with or any other question which he may a few words, sincerely dictated by connect with it, he should beware the respect we feel for Mr. Boys; of causing strife among brethren, but that we almost fear to do so, by urging charges, such as those lest we should come under the im- of lukewarmness, neology, and we plied censures upon those who, he know not what else, in quarters says, in defending him and others where there is not the slightest who « set themselves to oppose reason to impute them. Let him the spreading evils of the day,” also not disdain to “ discuss ;" to defend them“ only on the plea, weigh" both sides of a question;" AS IF WERE WRONG, of and to argue with his brethren in good intentions." Now this was somewhat of that tone in which he unhappily the precise line which we has couched his letter to the Bishop, had chalked out for our defence of and which would have spared us Mr. Boys, as respects modern mira- the pain of the remarks which we cles. Webelieve him to be “wrong" were constrained to offer on the in this matter; but we also believe paper in the Jewish Expositor. him to be a pious, a zealous, and a These are not days (if any days truth-loving man; a man of prayer, there had ever been) in which and a diligent student of the Scrip- Christians can afford to “ fall out, tures ; a man of most excellent by the way." The common ene* intentions," and, we doubt not, mies of God and of Christ, are on of excellent deeds also. He has every side; and we need a united penned what we are sure he thought army under the Great Captain of it is duty to pen, and we honour our salvation to oppose their fearhim for his “ intention." We must ful inroads. add, moreover, that in his letter
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into popular use much earlier than is The ceremony of the royal touch for generally imagined. We find the good the cure of scrophulous affections came Archbishop Bradwardine writing five, hun
dred years ago,
“ Oh Christian, whoever If the writer, whoever he may be, (for there thou art who deniest miracles, come, and is not the slightest evidence that it is the with thine own eyes behold; come into production of the learned person to whom England, approach the presence of the popular report ascribes it.) have a tender king, and bring with thee the Christian parent alive, who made the word of God afflicted with this malady, and though it the companion of her children, with what be very unsightly, deep, and inveterate, in pain must she witness her anxious materthe name of Jesus Christ, by prayer, be- nal instructions perverted to point a sen. nediction, the sight of the cross, and the tence, or possibly to sharpen the weapon imposition of hands, he shall cure him." of irony, not at the forges of the PhilisIt is distressing to reflect that the blessed tines, but on the threshold of the sanc" name of Jesus" should have been pro- tuary: Sir Walter Scott had the grace to faned to sanction this royal jugglery. see his revered mother cold in the grave, Bradwardine was a man of piety, and be before he avowed himself the author of lieved what he said, and there was some those desecrations of Scripture allusions excuse that he lived in “ the dark ages ;” which disgrace some of his publications, but what shall we say of the same cere- and which could not but have deeply mony in the hands of Charles the Second? wounded the pious and sensitive mind
A small closely printed shilling volume, of a Christian mother. We see not why, entitled “The Results of Machinery,"con- in a case where the scandal is so pubtains a most valuable accumulation of facts, lic as in that of the Waverley Novels, which ought to be everywhere known, in or- even the much respected nanie of Sir der to put down by the best argument, solid Walter Scott should shield the author from proof, the vandalic horror which has gone public reprehension. abroad against mechanical improvements. The temperance cause in America is adWe particularly recommend its perusal vancing so rapidly that spirit-venders in to those who think that power-looms or various places have actually emptied their threshing machines diminish the demand remaining casks into the streets, and befor human labour. The work is currently, taken themselves to new occupations. Veswe know not how truly, ascribed to the sels continue to set sail without any spirit Lord Chancellor, and is well worthy of on board except in the surgeon's chest; the vast grasp, yet microscopic minuteness and medical professors are delivering lecof that widely-ranging mind. We cannot, tures to shew that even the saving clause in however, as Christian Observers, but no- temperance resolutions, “except as a metice with much pain the occasional dese- dicine," ought to be exploded. We are cration of a scriptural phrase to a secular surprised that our tract, and education, purpose. Who that reverences the word
and popular instruction societies, do not of God can read without grief the flip- take up this question, so as to disabuse pant parody of mechanical improvements, the public mind of its errors and preju« bringing healing on their wings," and so dices, and at least to prevent the next in some other instances ? A very few era- race following the evil career of their fasures would however remove in future im-. thers. Our American friends boast that if pressions these few blots. There was a ever they had a doubt whether the United Mr. Brougham who was often accused of States were to become the first nation in this profane habit of mocking Scripture; the world, it is banished by their being the but a Lord Chancellor, we must presume, foremost to expel ardent spirits from the would be better advised ; and if Lord land. It has long been a regulation of Brougham aspires to imitate his illustrious the Society of Friends that no spiritpredecessor Bacon, as a lover of science, drinker or spirit-vender shall be a member let him not disdain to emulate Lord of their body; and they certainly have not Bacon's devout reverence for Scripture. been less healthy or fit for business in conWe can understand why in the strife of sequence. The temperance societies adopt debate or pleading, Lord Brougham, when the same rule ; but their total prohibition Mr. Brougham, should have been induced of distillation is carrying the matter too to raise a laugh against an adversary, by a far, as alcohol is of indispensable value in mock allusion to Scripture ; for though his the arts; they might better imitate the own large mind, and better taste must plan once used in a hospital, of putting surely have scorned this cheap wit, he emetic tartar, or some nauseous ingredient, knew that there were those whose grovel- into the spirit of wine to prevent the nurses ing intellect would value it at more than it drinking it. But, after all, such artifices was worth ; but in a serious popular trea- are only fit for children: right knowledge tise honestly intended for public benefit, and moral restraint are the great objects ; we can see no motive which the writer and where there are these there needs no could have had for playing with Scripture, prohibition. Why does not the Useful and therefore impute it to a thoughtless Knowledge Society publish a treatise on habit rather than direct intention. But spirituous liquors? There is ample matter he must know that there are not a few medical, chemical, economical, statistical, persons whom one such casual allusion as and historical, as well as moral, to render that we have mentioned would cause to it abundantly entertaining as well as incast aside the whole volume with disgust. structive; always keeping in mind the