« PrécédentContinuer »
except when the incumbent held other lu- called the Evangelical clergy; and many an crative preferments, particularly sinecures. incumbent would preach sound and sober Even as the matter stands at present, nur doctrine to the walls of his church, while clergy, and even our bishops, are very fre. his fanatical parishioners built themselves quently obliged to take up money the first a chapel, and planted a hot-bed of Methodyear, on the security of their preferment; ism in the very midst of his hitherto inbut sinking a whole year's rental, while tact domain. they may not live to enjoy it a second, We do not say or think that the Act would be a very harsh measure.
was sufficiently explicit, or that some fixed The Bishop of London has introduced a regulations are not necessary, in an EstaBill, which has passed the House of Lords, blished Church, to prevent new chapels for amending the church-building Act of being erected in such a manner as to in1827. That Act authorizes the church-build- terfere with those parochial and pastoral ing commissioners (whose commission ex- arrangements which are so highly imtends to July 1838) to give the right of portant, and which the proprietary chapel nomination to any person, building a chapel, system does not secure. We could, thereupon proof of a satisfactory endowment; fore have been well content that the Act and this, adds the Act,“notwithstanding no should be so amended as to comprise compensation shall be made to the minis- whatever necessary arrangements it had ter of the parish in which the chapel is omitted, and especially to allow of the situate.” Any alleged rights of the patron commissioners giving, and obliging them are not even alluded to by the framers of to give, either immediately or prospecthe Act; and we must presume the three tively, a district to every new church ; estates of the realm which enacted it, con- and, above all, to make their office judicial, sidered that, while the incumbent and and not arbitrary ; laying down rules by patron enjoy their own, they have no right which they were to act, and making it imto interfere with others; and that no man perative upon them to adhere to them. has,or ought to have, the liberty of prevent. But, instead of this, the new Bill is one of ing the building of churches wherever, or entire arbitrary power : the commissioners however, they are wanted. This Act, it are to have a veto without being obliged is matter of notoriety, has, from the mo- to assign any reason ; nay, each bishop is ment of its passing, been most ungrateful to have the same veto in his own diocese: to some of the very individuals who the patron and incumbent also, one or were to put it into execution; and as both, are allowed by the bill to intrigue in their power was only permissive and not the matter, and most probably to defeat imperative, irresponsible and not judi- the object; or should they even fail in cial, they have thwarted every attempt dissuading the commissioners, after trying to get churches opened under the Act. all their arts for that purpose, why then The causes of this proceeding have not to turn round upon them, and to say, been cleared up to the public. Some of “Well, then, we will build ourselves, them may have arisen from the brief but when, or how, is not specified. The wording of the Act, which did not give the Bill thus shackled is a mere nullity: worse commissioners authority to give any pro- than a nullity: a church may be built and mise before a church was built; or to make opened, indeed, where the patron and invarious arrangements which they might con- cumbent and bishop and the board of cientiously consider desirable, before they commissioners all approve ; but either the consented to the opening of a new church; bishop or the commissioners may forbid it and particularly with regard to the allot- peremptorily,and the incumbent and patron ment of a district to it, so as to secure the will in most cases be able to do so indi. benefits of the pastoral care, as well as rectly. And thus, while not merely honest merely the public services of Divine wor- Dissent, but vice and ignorance, profligacy ship. But the difficulties, we must think, and infidelity, radicalism and blasphemy might in most cases have been satisfactorily are pressing on every side, and chapels met by mutual arrangement, had the com- may be opened without delay or difficulty missioners really wished to carry the Act to propagate them, the Church of England in its present state into execution ; which is to be stinted and defrauded of the however, as a body, we are persuaded public means of grace by a party-spirited, they did not. On the contrary, it is cur- narrow, sectarian bill like this! If the inrently understood, that they thought it cumbent is captious or jealous, or the interfered too much with existing regula- patron views the Church only as a milchtions ; that it was too lax in reference to cow for his benefit, or the bishop has the supposed rights of patronage ; and, to a pique or prejudice against the person or speak plainly, what has been avowed in doctrine of the clergyman to be presented, some high and influential quarters (though or the commissioners are over-persuaded we do not mean that as a board the by some intermeddler that the new chapel commissioners admitted the validity of would be inexpedient, the people may such a reason, or that all its members, for perish in vice and ignorance, and live and we know the contrary, concurred in it), die without entering the walls of a church that the majority of churches built under or chapel. We are quite willing-nay, anxhis Act would be in the hands of what are jous-that there should be proper regulations to prevent any possible evils that and prevent it passing into a law in its might arise in an established church from present shape-in any shape which shall unlimited licence ; but let the rules be add to that arbitrary, irresponsible power known and defined ; and let the incum- which, considering what human nature is, bent, the patron, the bishop, and the com- is already one of the worst evils our missioners be bound by them. Let no- church. thing be left to caprice, arbitrary power, or Lord Brougham's splendid bills for the party spirit. It is quite easy to lay down correction of the abuses in Chancery are regulations as to those cases in which a slowly passing the House of Lords, to the new church shall be considered expedient. great satisfaction of the country, but with The compound ratio of the population no small share of factious opposition from and the distance from the present churches those who profit by the abuses, or who or chapels, would of itself furnish almost make these bills å handle for political a sufficient criterion; and if the commis- warfare. The Chancellor of the Exchesioners really wish to do the public service, quer has brought in a bill for the abolition and not to lord it over God's heritage, of the game laws, and allowing not only they will readily bind themselves down by the sale of game, but also that every person fixed rules; with a power, in any cases may kill game on his own property. We which do not come within them, to act by earnestly trust this much-wanted and mutual arrangement of all the parties con- valuable measure will pass through Parcerned. We trust that the Clergy and the liament in all its amplitude. members of the House of Commons will We have not a line left for foreign watch over the future progress of the bill, matters this month.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. A Country RECTOR; B.; C. S.; W. D. C. ; D. B. B.; G. J.; A. H. H.; J. P.T. ;
N. H. E. ; A Constant Reader; A FRIEND OF CHurch DisciPLINE; D. M. P.;
Bezaleel; and 665; are under consideration. One of our Correspondents will see that we have availed ourselves of his communi
cation. LITURGICUS (Jan. No. p. 13) wishes the reader to correct the misprint " at the eagle,"
to “ before the eagle;" that is, as he had just stated, at the low desk, “ between the porch and the altar," where the Litany is read. We have seen the papers on miracles to which D. D. D. alludes, but we are so wearied
(and we fear our readers also) with this neither pleasant nor very profitable controversy, that we feel unwilling to re-open the discussion. It is vain to hope to attempt to track folly and fanaticism to all their mazes, and other matters are pressing. We recommend D. D. D. to peruse an excellent pamphlet just published by the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, shewing, on Scriptural grounds, that there is no warrant for the belief in the manifestation of miracles in the present era of the Christian dispensation. As to what our Correspondent says on another part of the subject, we may reply, in the words of another Correspondent, who does not concur with us that miracles have been withdrawn from the church, that, however this may be, “ Miss Fancourt's case, even if fully established, differs infinitely (because it differs in kind) from those of the Apostles. It differs in this all minor considerations dropped), that there was no commission given to him who was said to have wrought it. The Apostles knew when they were going to perform a miracle : they had received a commission to do it; that commission was communicated to their minds; and they had no more doubt or hesitation about the matter than we have in any of the ordinary
affairs of life.” We continue to receive letters re-asserting the truth of the report that one of Mr. Fan
court's daughters, afflicted like her sister, recovered in an extraordinary manner; being carried helpless on her couch on board a vessel at Devonport, and restored to the use of her limbs very suddenly, in consequence of an alarm from a storm. On the other hand, Mr. Fancourt again states that there is not the slightest shadow of foundation for any such story; that it is altogether a fabrication ; and he considers that those who have asserted it are bound to retract their statement. Mr. Fancourt's veracity is unimpeachable; and on his authority, conveyed through H. S. C. H., we contradicted the report in our January Number, and here the matter ought to rest.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. We regret that our exhausted limits do not allow of our introducing the following mass of Philanthropic and Religious Documents, with a summary of their contents. We can, however, confidently commit them to the diligence and discrimination of our readers.
1. British and Foreign Bible Society. | 4. Sunday-School Society for Ireland. 2. Anti-Slavery Reporter (No. 77). 5. Reformation Society. 3. London Hibernian Society, 6. Society for Observance of the Lord's Day.
BY THE REV. ROBERT HALL.
For the Christian Observer. contain similar statements, so far
as the terms used are considered : SKETCHES OF ORIGINAL SERMONS
they contain assertions of certain
characters and attributes and names (Continued from p. 183.)
of Deity, and acts of power, beSERMON 11.*
longing to Christ; but these asPhil. ii. 5-8: Let this mind be in sertions are not brought to support you, which was also in Christ any particular argument, concluding Jesus: who, being in the form of in the manner which this does ; they God, thought it not robbery to be are not adduced to illustrate any equal with God; but made himself particular disposition in the mind of of no reputation, and took upon the Saviour, which involves the nehim the form of a servant, and cessity of his having been in a prewas made in the likeness of men: existing state of dignity and glory. and, being found in fashion as a
And therefore, if any lower sense is man, he humbled himself, and be attempted to be put on the separate came obedient unto death, even the terms, there is nothing in the argudeath of the cross.
ment of the passage which absolutely,
and on the From these words I shall, First, state
face of it, forbids and establish the doctrine, as to the such an interpretation.
But if such a lower sense should character and dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is apparent from be attempted to be put on the words them; and, Secondly, consider the before us, so as to make Christ, for practical view for which the Apostle example, a mere creature; yet, unintroduced it.
less that lower interpretation answer I. In establishing the scriptural the obvious purpose of the Apostle doctrine of our Lord's dignity, let in the argument, the solution would us first weigh the force of the ex
be utterly unsatisfactory. It is not pressions here used, in connexion sufficient to shew that the words with the argument of the Apostle in themselves will bear the lower interthe context.
pretation which is proposed; but it
must be shewn that under such Many other passages ascribe attributes to Christ, and contain de. lower interpretation the avowed end scriptions of his dignity and glory, from a certain disposition of mind
of the Apostle's argument, drawn as high as those in the text; but in Christ, would be equally served. I am doubtful whether any other
Now the end of the Apostle's passage speaks of his pre-existent glory in a way so conclusive as
argument is to illustrate the nature this passage does. Other
andobligation of condescension. This passages
appears from the context : • Delivered on Sunday, Nov. 12, 1826. nothing be done through strise or Christ. Obsery. No. 352.
vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind should ever be willing to lay aside let each esteem other better than all regard to his station in the comthemselves. Look not every man munity, on certain occasions which on bis own things, but every man
call for it. For instance, it is not also on the things of others." The generally the duty of the rich and Apostle then proceeds to enforce learned to attend in person the beds these exhortations by the example of the sick and dying. They may of Christ : “ Let this mind,” this far better procure these attentions temper, this disposition of heart,“be to their distressed fellow-creatures in you, which was also in Christ by the support of infirmaries and Jesus." And then he goes on lo hospitals, and by remunerating such state those parts of the character aids and such services when done and history of Christ which illustrate by others. This is doing more good, that condescending mind which he and doing it in a better manner, attributes to him.
than if done by themselves; because Whatever interpretation, then, they may set many designs of good does not illustrate in some remark. a.going, by munificence and encouable manner the condescension of ragement and advice, which they Christ, the condescending disposition would not know how to accomplish of his mind and acts, of his life and themselves. But if on any particular character, must be wholly inad- occasion a rich man, however ele. missible, because it will not support vated in rank, should find a fellowthe Apostle's argument.
creature so oppressed by a sudden What, then, is condescension ? It sickness, or by other accidental cadiffers from humility. Humility is a lamity, as to require immediate virtue of constant obligation : con- and personal aid, then it is the duty descension is a disposition to perform of the man of dignity and wealth certain occasional acts, for certain not to consider for a moment the purposes, beneath the usual course station which he ordinarily fills, but of our station and duties. Every at once to condescend with joy to man should be humble, and at all the state of the sufferer, to put himtimes, because it is only a just esti. self on a level with him, and cheermate of our own moral weakness fully undertake for his sake the most and unworthiness ; but every man degrading offices. should not always be in a state of Such was the condescension of condescension. Condescension has the Saviour, such the disposition of respect to two states of being : a his mind, in his incarnation, sufferstate which any one possesses, and ings, and death : his abode here on which he justly claims as his own; earth was an occasional act of conand a state to which he sinks, for descension. He continued, indeed, certain defined purposes, and for a some years amongst us; but this was given time. The order of society is but the flight of a moment, compared better preserved, generally, by each with the eternity in which he dwelt one keeping his own rank, but by before. It was a transient act. He performing occasional acts of con- did not abide here ; it was not his descension. The duty of the good natural home; particular circumman is to be always clothed with stances required this occasional conhumility ; but not always to be in a descension. He had a mighty diffistate of condescension, because this culty to meet. He had to relieve would be forsaking his rank and po- men from an abyss of misery and sition. All that the virtue of con- woe, into which they had sunk by descension requires, or indeed admits apostasy from God. “ He looked, of, is, that he should always be ready and there was no man, and he wonto do acts of condescension, when dered that there was no intercessor : the duties of benevolence cannot be therefore his own arm brought saldischarged without them; that he vation unto him, and his righteousDess it sustained him.” This act of heaven as his home, and assigns condescension is consistent with all mansions there to his followers. He the views we can entertain of bene- claims God as his Father, and bids volence, as filling the Divine mind. his disciples repose their full confi
Condescension must be voluntary. dence in him. Many are hurried from a pinnacle Here, then, is no descent whatof glory and power into an abyss of ever in the history of Christ : on the poverty and disgrace, whom we never contrary, all is a gradual emerging think of praising for their conde- from original obscurity. The only scension. The act, to be an act circumstance of degradation is his of a condescending mind, must be death. But this was no such unvoluntary: the descent from one sta- common thing: many sovereigns tion to another must be intended, have devoted themselves for the spontaneous, the effect of volition, good of their country; and many choice, design. And that design founders of new religions have sealmust be proportionate, in some way, ed their sincerity by martyrdom. Beto the act performed in furtherance sides, the Apostle represents Christ's of it. It is not sufficient to find out, condescension as displayed chiefly in the person and character of our before his death. The main circumLord, circumstances which mark a stance in his condescension is not descent from one station to another; that he, being a man, died, but--that but all must be spontaneous. Christ he who was in the form of God, and must appear to have been in a state thought it not robbery to be equal with in which he was not bound to under- God, made himself of no reputation, take the act of mercy and descent. and took on him the form of a serWe must find in his history two vant, and was made in the likeness of stations: an elevated and grand men.” This is his condescension, of state, and a low and mean one ; a which his death was only a subsestate which may be termed rich and quent part: “And, being found in glorious, and one which was poor fashion as a man, he humbled himand abased. And it must appear self, and became obedient unto death, that he voluntarily descended from even the death of the cross." the one state to the other, for certain The Apostle here represents two purposes of benevolence and grace. States of Christ, long previous to the
After these remarks, let any one, act of his death on the cross-—an first, look on the history of our Lord estate of glory and dignity, and an on the supposition of his being estate of depression and shame—and a mere man, like other men, as the he supposes all to be well acquainted Socinians assert; born in a mean with these states, and to require no state at Galilee; brought up in ob. information about them: he takes scurity; endowed with miraculous them for granted. But if Christ was gifts; and receiving the Holy Ghost a mere man, there are no such two at his baptism, and there hearing estates: a Jewish peasant bursts the heavenly declaration, “ Thou forth from obsurity to brightness. art my beloved Son, in whom I am If we shut out his pre-existing and well pleased.” He heals diseases; Divine nature, we have no elevation he raises the dead; he rises from ob- from which he descended. scurity to be the object of admira- Then observe, further, the force of tion and wonder; the multitude the expressions here employed by follow him with acclamations, saying, the Apostle : “Who, being in the “ Blessed is he that cometh in the form of God, did not snatch at, name of the Lord! Hosannah in the covet, anxiously and eagerly retain, highest!" In the temple he acts as a the appearance of God,” (for such is sovereign, driving out the changers the Unitarian version, which I here. of money, and claiming the place as adopt: it sufficiently serves the arbis Father's house. He speaks of gument, and may perhaps be fair