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seized. No charity child, however trinal discourses, because they conwell he may read, gives so much at- vey with them an air of greater retention to the sense as he is obliged search, and serve as vehicles for to give to the words.
closer and more interesting arguThe language of the cottager ment, I would remark, that religion abounds in metaphors ; and so does is not a thing intended merely to ours, but they are taken from very captivate the understanding, or to different sources; and those most interest the reason.” familiar to ourselves may be unin- Wide as the Poles asunder :" telligible to him. In using figures, “ Relative duties :” “ Everlasting therefore, we must adopt such as be- destinies:” “Enrich your minds with long to the class of readers, or the the Epistles, which are a fuller exmost obvious of our own.
plication of several articles of the In sermons, the words are often Christian faith which were but sumlong and unusual ; the sentences are marily delivered by our Saviour :" involved; and the sense is confused, The decision of eternal truth :” from pains to make it clear. A · Vitality of religion :” “ Career :" friend of mine asked an old woman “Amputate:” “Demonstrate:” “Arwhat she thought of the sermon she raigned :” “ Palpably,” &c. &c. had just heard ; she answered, “ I
W. Y. dare
say it is all very right, but our great clumsy hands cannot take hold of such fine threads ; we want a
RIGHTEOUSNESSES large rope, that we can feel and turn
SAINTS, REV. xix. 8. about.” What an admirable hint is this to writers and preachers! I am
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. more frequently grieved, in hearing Feeling much obligation to you for sermons to country congregations, your judicious and useful observaat the complexity of thought, than tions on Principal Whately's differof expression. The preacher may ent works, I would ask, whether
your reject every word beyond two sylla- reviewer's reference to Rev. xix. 8 bles ; but if his reasoning require (in your Number for April, p. 225), fixed attention, if he have argument, was made with an explicit recollecif, in short, he carry on two ideas tion that the word, though rendered at a time, half of his congregation “righteousness” in our national verwill not understand him.
sion, is in the plural number? Your I am aware that poor persons take learned readers can easily refer to the offence at books that they think passages of the Septuagint and the not fine enough.” This is to be ob- New Testament in which the word ocviated by giving dignity and power curs. Permit me to solicit the opinion to our style; and what is so likely to of your able Biblical correspondents, give it, as clearness and simplicity? whether, in the plural form, it does It is not necessary to be puerile be- not usually follow the analogy of cause we are easy to be understood. verbal nouns in pa, and denote acts
I will conclude by quoting, from performed ? and whether, in the pasbooks written expressly for the un- sage alluded to, it is not to be taken learned, a few words and sentences, in the signification of such acts as which may serve as an illustration to evidences of character ? Upon this the foregoing observations.
interpretation, “the righteousnesses “ You are all wise enough, and of the saints” may here express their learned enough, to know that he holy deeds, as justifications of their whose boat is upon the sea of life character against the criminations of cannot hope to end his voyage with- their Antichristian persecutors. This out some storms to vex and to
sense appears to suit the connexion. affright him”
At the same time, the remark is “ To those, again, who love doc. worthy of attention which has been
ON THE CAUSES OF DISSENT.
made by a recent commentator, who and happiness—in a word, all possidoes not appear to have any strong ble blessings—upon those for whom predilection for Evangelical senti he thus condescends to interest him. ments: “ Byssinum hoc indumentum self. Thus all sincere believers recandidum justificatio est sanctorum; ceive an infinite benefit, which he i. e. sanctos a Deo justos beandosque had deserved or earned upon the declarari notat. Alawwua igitur non principle of strict equity; which is est virtus, sed justificatio ; quod alibi therefore his, and lies at his disposal; semper notas.'
(Ewald, Comm. in but which to them is a matter of free Apocal. Leipzig, 1828, p. 288.) I bounty, of infinitely gracious donadoubt the justness of his concluding tion. Thus they are “ saved by assertion; and he seems to overlook grace, through faith ;” and
grace that the word here is plural; yet reigneth, through RIGHTEOUSNESS, his observation on the strict mean- unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ ing of the term supports the inter- our Lord.”
J. pretation which I have ventured to suggest.
To your excellent remarks on the imputation of the Saviour's righte. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. ousness, and, in particular, that it cannot be a transferring of the works Reading in your Number for the themselves which were done by month of March last a paper
“ On him, allow me to add, that it is the the Increase of Dissent in the Paeffect—that is, the rewards and rishes of pious Clergyman,” signed honours merited—of the perfect by a Friend to Fairness," I felt obedience of our blessed Lord, which an unpleasant sensation at the lack God, the righteous Judge, imputes, of fairness evinced in a part of reckons, or accounts, to the benefit his statement: the part I allude to of all true believers in him. Surely is that where he takes Manchester Dr. Whately himself would admit (with other towns) as an illustration that this is a perfectly conceivable of his views of the cause of Dissentand rational notion. It is simply namely, want of church room. Now, this : that the Divine Messiah, acting Mr. Editor, very sure I am that the in pursuance of the eternal purpose
“ Friend to Fairness” knows little and infinite grace of the Father, in- or nothing of Manchester, or he terests himself, in the way of pa- would not say that want of church tronage and blessing, on behalf of room was the cause of Dissent there. those among sinful mankind who No, sir, I speak from actual knoware distinguished by a certain quali- ledge (being myself a Churchman fication-namely, an affectionate, from conscientious conviction), that entire, and holy reliance upon him in Manchester there is abundance of for the attainment of the supreme
church room; there being no fewer good ;—that his merit, that quality of than twenty churches, and the madeserving which arises from his obe- jority can scarcely be said to be one dience to the unalterable law, is, in third filled. But, sir, the reason why the estimation of Unerring Justice, there should be such abundance of so great that the highest possible room may be readily accounted for. rewards are not more than adequate Were the churches in Manchester to it; and that the kind of reward supplied with devoted servants of which the Lord Jesus chooses to Christ, not ashamed of or afraid to accept is, not any merely personal declare the whole counsel of God, honour or aggrandizement, but that as revealed in his sacred word, and which is the dictate of the purest be- as preached by the men who indited nevolence,--the conferring of pardon, the Thirty-nine Articles, the churches renewal to holiness, preservation, would not exhibit, as they now do, and the ultimate perfection of purity almost empty pews.
ON COMMUNICATING TO THE DYING A
KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR DANGER.
But, sir, suppose our churches at Manchester were supplied with such men, still a great obstacle exists to their being filled; for this reason, that the labouring classes cannot Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. have admission into many of them, LEAVING to abler hands than mine because they have merely been built any general reply that may seem reto accommodate individuals possess- quisite to the arguments of N. in
means of paying for sittings your last Number, on the evils which or pews; and some of them are so he appears to consider would usually sumptuously fitted up, that were a result from communicating to the poor man to enter in, it would be dying a knowledge of their danger, almost considered a defilement. I would just remark upon an incorWhere, then, must the poor go, but rectness which seems to me to perto chapels, where they will be ad- vade his reasoning. He argues truly, mitted, and where they may also that hope is one of the most imstand a chance of hearing something portant medicines which the phyprofitable to their souls? That our sician can employ; and he therefore inprelates and clergy may be wise to fers that to allow the patient to know understand the true interests of the his danger might be a serious evil, Church ere it be too late, is the real
as it would prevent the operation of wish of a
this best restorative. But, in this,
does he not overlook the powerful P.S. I trust that in fairness you effect of religious hope, of spiritual will give this communication a place consolation, of that tranquil acquiin your miscellany *.
escence which whispers, “ to live is
Christ, and to die is gain?" If a • We have complied with Churchman's minister of Christ could be conappeal to our fairness, only omitting a few ceived coming to a dying person remarks, which, to say the least, were not
with fierce and terrific denunciacalculated to promote the desired reformation. As it is, the references are more tions, the evil effects which he local than comports with our pages ; nor prognosticates might probably follow did the statements of our former corres- —though not, perhaps, always even pondent refer either praise or blame to the clergy of any particular town. His
then; for the human mind is vaobject was to shew for what reasons, even riously modified ; and no man can where the clergy are exemplary for piety predict what will be the effect of and zeal, Dissent may possibly increase; though much more will it increase where any given stimulus or sedative on the clergy are otherwise. Without any any particular occasion ; and it is allusion to the particular town mentioned possible that the result would be by Churchman, or any other alleged un- the very reverse of what was antifavourable locality, let the reader, in order
cipated. to bring the question fairly to issue, select such a place as Sheffield, where
But, be this as it may, it will not the clergy are honourably reported of for follow that a very different mode of scriptural doctrine and holy life. Perhaps address, offered in a truly Christian, some of our clerical friends acquainted affectionate, and considerate spirit, with Sheffield will answer the following and properly adjusted to the nervous queries : Has Dissent increased in Shef. field ? If it have, has the increase been weakness of the patient, and with only numerical, corresponding to the in- faith and prayer to God, would be crease of population; or is it relative, as compared with the ranks of the Church equally inauspicious. Your other corIn either case, what are the causes and respondent, QUINQUAGENARIUS, in consequences of the increase ? The dates the same Number, specifies several of the increase might also be significant instances to the contrary, and many We have mentioned Sheffield as a case in others might be added. point, but not invidiously, as many other places might be specified to which the
But, passing by these general argument strongly applies.
views, the only point to which I would now address myself, in reply
to N., is to remark that religious in which, however, they are generally hope is itself the best consoler, and at issue with the medical friends of restorer, and a far more powerful the patient, including those who medicine than even the strongest are truly religious as well as the natural hope of life. I have heard of scoffer or sceptic. The subject demore than one case in which a phy- serves further examination; and parsician has said, that, though the mor- ticularly by the adduction of actual tal frame of a patient appeared quite
Quinquagenarius has given exhausted, he seemed as if he could us several striking ones: is N. prenot die for the vigour of his spirit; pared to discard them? or can he inand that the calm-nay joyful—hope validate them by testimonies of a of heaven was a stimulus to keep up contrary character? If not, I think the sinking body. Was St. Paul the fair inference is, That which is brought into danger by knowing religiously speaking binding, is me. that the time of his departure was dically speaking safe.
TERTIUS at hand, when he could say, “I am ready to be offered ?” and so of various other Scripture characters, and of the martyrs of Christ and of DEFENCE OF HIGH AND UNEQUAL the faithful in all ages.
It is true, these remarks apply only to the sincere believer; to him who
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. has “a good hope through grace If I understand correctly the writer of eternal blessedness. But even in who subscribes himself A real other cases the communication may Friend to the Church,” in your last have a good effect : though appal- Number, he considers that too large ling at the moment it may eventu- livings and splendid dignities tempt ally lead to this brighter hope; the persons to enter the ministry with startled sinner may be enabled to secular motives; and that, by “throwrepose in Christ; and thus, instead ing overboard all the partial and of sinking under the announcement, splendid baits that attract ambition may be sustained by new and and avarice,” this evil would be unwonted consolations. Besides, prevented. In this I cannot agree owing to physical insensibility, the with him; for, so long as any mainannouncement of death is often tenance whatever is provided for the much less alarming than might seem clergy, whether ample or scanty, probable ; so that the patient can the temptations to enter the minisscarcely be aroused from his torpor, try will be the same: the only difto think either of his soul or of any ference is, that they will operate on thing beyond the bodily want or different descriptions of men. The suffering of the moment.
careless and worldly minded gentleBut, after all, the great question man would no longer be a candidate, remains. It is not one of mere ex- but his servant might; and supposing pediency as tothe mortal frame, butone that the sweeping
reform, which your that concerns the eternal interests of correspondent appears to me to prothe soul. Shall a sinner be suffered pose, should take place,
“ there to proceed blindfolded into eternity? would be then, as now,” to adopt Should we not even risk something, the words of a recent publication, risk much, to prevent this awful “every possible mixture of motives, catastrophe? Where such solemn both in the same and in different interests are at stake, ought not individuals. There would still be the truth to be spoken plainly and some acting chiefly from pure, some affectionately, leaving to God the more or less from worldly, motives. result? This is certainly the view The only difference would be, that that most pious clergymen, and I presumptuous ignorance would be believe laymen, take of the subject; in many cases substituted for sound
ON THE PLACE AND MODE OF ADMI
learning, and a vulgarity, which would tend to degrade religion, for the deportment and conduct of a gentleman. But there would be no lack of prophets ready to pollute Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. the Lord among his people, for Your correspondent Dubitans rehandfuls of barley, and for pieces of quests counsel respecting his anxbread” (Ezek. xiii. 19). If we seek ieties with regard to the proper place to exclude all possibility of the ope
--whether the church, the private ration of worldly motives, we must chamber, &c.—for the performance absolutely prohibit the clergy from of the solemn ordinance of Baptism. receiving any emolument. Yet even I would call his attention to one or this would be insufficient, unless two circumstances, which I think motives of vanity also, the desire will prove to his satisfaction, as they of being followed and flattered as a have done to mine, that the place fine preacher, could also be pre- is immaterial. John baptized in cluded. And, in the mean time, we Jordan ; the disciples of our Lord, in should have incurred the danger of Enon ; Philip, in “a certain water.” spiritual famine, through the exces- The Philippian jailor seems to have sive dread of improper food.”—“The been baptized in the night; and as Right of the Church of England to her there is no mention of his going to Endowments vindicated.”)
any river, or elsewhere, we may I feel persuaded that your readers, suppose that there were circumand I would hope the “Real Friend stances about the prison proper for to the Church," upon mature reflec- the administration. However that tion, will admit the truth of this might have been, these cases shew statement. And if it be objected plainly that the place was not mathat persons from the lower orders terial, and I think ought to satisfy would be deterred by the expenses the doubts of your correspondent. of a University education, the ma- Having endeavoured to clear up jority of the present candidates the difficulties of your correspondent would choose some other profession; on one point, perhaps he, or someother and consequently, instead of being of your correspondents, will give us instructed by persons highly respect- a reason why our clergy, without able in character and attainments, an exception, set at defiance the inwho act up to the average standard struction of the Prayer-book, which of clerical performance, the people commands that the child should be would be left totally destitute of dipped in the font, unless it is certified moral and religious culture, or the that it is weak, and unable to bear it. blank thus formed would be filled up It is a sad imputation upon us or our by Roman-Catholic or Dissenting children, that there is not one born teachers. I am no advocate for cor- now-a-days, sufficiently strong to unrupt systems; but I fear that in this dergo the ordinance in the manner case any great change-such, for prescribed. I wish to know whether instance, as an equalization of in- the framers of the Prayer-book were come, which your correspondent to blame in introducing such an imseems to have in view—would not, practicable injunction; or is the blame I say it with sorrow, in the present to be attributed to our officiating constitution of society be a change clergy for not attending to the duty? for the better.
W.S.C. J. F. R.