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“ On Friday, just before the going down of the sun, and as its last rays had forced themselves through the blinds, and were playing upon the wall not far from the bed, he said, Open the shutters, that I may see more of the light: O how pleasant is it; how cheering is the sun-but there is a Sun of Righteousness, in whose light we shall see light.' He delighted to speak of heaven. Once, however, when the blissful theme employed his thoughts, he remarked, He that would be most exalted in that world, must now most humble himself, and bend lowest before the Cross.' Often did he exclaim, I wish to talk of God and salvation-I wish to die with the name of God in my mouth but then,' he added, not God without the Saviour, Christ is all: God over all.'" Dr. Rudd adds the following:
Though Bishop Hobart did not consider himself alarmingly ill, till the latter part of his sickness, still he frequently observed, even in the earlier part of it, that it was the third attack of the kind, and one such, he had no doubt, would some day be his end. Perhaps,' said he, this may be that one-if so, God's will be done-O pray for me that I may not only say this, but feel it-feel it as a sinner-for, bear me witness, I have no merit of my own; as a guilty sinner would I go to my Saviour, casting all my reliance on him--the atonement of his blood. He is my only dependence-my Redeemer, my Sanctifier, my God, my Judge.' Such was the tenor of much of his conversation."
"The sacrament was soon administered by the writer, and long will that solemn scene be remembered by all who beheld the transaction, as one of the most tender and moving character. When the person officiating came, in the confession, to the words, by thought, word, and deed,' the Bishop stopped him, and said, 'you know the Church expects us to pause over those words--pause now, repeating one of the words at a time, til! I request you to go on.' This was done--and the pauses in one case were so long, that a fear passed over our minds that he had lost his recollection or fallen asleep. This, however, proved not to be so; he repeated each word, and after the third pause, added, 'Proceed: I will interrupt you no more.' At the proper place he requested to hear read the 93d hymn, as soon as the reading was ended he sung clearly the 2d and 3d verses.
"From this time, which was about 9 o'clock in the morning, there was no very important change. During the night he said very little, and for about four hours before he expired, was nearly if not quite insensible to what was passing around. He sunk into the arms of death without a struggle, and his face soon assumed that engaging expression which has in life so often delighted those who loved him."
Dr. Wainwright one of his clergy in
New York, gives the following account of the subjects of his pulpit ministrations :"He shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God. The fall and corruption of man-the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead-the atonement for sin by the death and sacrifice of Christour restoration to the favour of God through faith alone in the merits of the Divine Redeemer and sanctification of the Holy Spirit-the means of grace, as promised and conveyed in the sacraments of the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, which he purchased with his blood-the second advent of Christ to judgment, when we must all appear before him, and be received into eternal bliss, or be consigned to eternal woe, according to the deeds done in the body-these were the sacred themes upon which he dwelt with faithful constancy."
After this affecting account of our departed friend's sentiments and character, and the truly satisfactory memorials of his last hours, we have no heart to go back to subjects of controversy, or to agitate the many points of discussion which might naturally occur to our minds in connexion with the reminiscences of his life and writings. We fully accord with his great maxim, "Evangelical piety and Apostolical order;" though on some of the particulars arising out of it, we were accustomed to hold with him a not unfriendly controversy. Among his numerous publications, one of his earliest, and, as we think, one of his best, now lies before us; his Companion to the Altar. It was published in 1804, and the author had then fully imbibed those views, both of doctrine and discipline which he maintained through life. His great object, he said, was to keep in view two principles; that we are saved from the guilt and dominion of sin by the Divine merits and grace of a Redeemer, and that the merits and grace of this Redeemer are applied to the soul of the believer in the devout and humble participation of the ordinances of the church, administered by a priesthood who derive their authority by regular transmission from Christ, the Divine Head of the church, and the source of all the power in it." The same sentiments are inculcated in nearly his last publication, “ The High Churchman Vindicated."-Bishop Hobart was much attached to several of the writers of the non-juring school, and in general to the more devout class of high-church divines. He professes in his Companion to the Altar, to wish to imitate the tender fervour of Hickes and Stanhope, and of Bishops Andrews, Taylor, Kenn, Hall, Wilson, and Horne, and laments that the heart and affections are not more appealed to by devotional writers, and that to be fervid is condemned as being visionary. He would imitate, he says, "the devotional strains of the sweet Psalmist of Israel,
which breathe the rapturous spirit of those celestial courts to which they are designed to lead the soul" As the book is in our hands we will copy, almost casually, a few sentences indicative of the writer's feelings at that early period of his life and ministry. We take them from the chap. ter on Self-examination. After speaking of his constant theme, the privilege of church membership as the authorised channel of covenanted mercy, he proceeds: “Have I frequently contemplated, with deep humiliation, the state of depravity and guilt in which man is sunk, while destitute of an interest in the merits of a Saviour? Have I reviewed, with lively compunction, the transgressions which have defiled my conscience? In the bit terness of my spirit, have I acknowledged the justice of God in my condemnation? Have I humbly and fervently adored the fulness of his grace and mercy in providing for me the means of redemption through Jesus Christ? Awakened to a lively sense of my sins, have I fled, with earnest supplication, to the throne of my Almighty Judge, and reverently presented there, as the only plea of my forgiveness, the meritorious blood of my Redeemer? Has faith opened to me the fulness and sufficiency of my Saviour's merits, and conveyed to my troubled conscience rest and peace? Have I experienced the power of Divine Grace, in awakening my sensibility to the evil and guilt of sin, to the excellence and rewards of holiness; and in exciting the resolution to renounce all the dictates of my corrupt nature, and to devote myself to my God and Saviour, in the services of a holy life? Am I sincerely desirous, and always ready to partake of the holy eucharist, thereby to commemorate the dying love of my Redeemer; to testify my communion with his church and people; to plead before God, for the pardon of my sins, the all-prevailing merits of his cross and passion; and to refresh and strength en my soul with his most precious body and blood? Am I diligent and faithful in all the exercises and duties of the Christian life? Am I uniform and sincere in the duties of private meditation and prayer; in all those pious exercises which have a tendency to strengthen the reign of grace in my heart? Are the services of God's sanctuary the source of my most exalted pleasures? Do I with constant and holy desire wait in his sacred courts, that I may taste his goodness, and experience his satisfying joys? Sensible of my own weakness, and of the dominion of sin in my heart, do I earnestly implore the grace of God, and constantly rely on the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit, to sanctify my soul, to guide, quicken, and preserve me in my Christian course? In reliance on the aids of this Holy Spirit, do I daily endeavour to weaken and subdue my sinful passions, to strengthen and exalt the holy graces of my soul? Does
my humility become more deep, my love to God more fervent, my zeal and delight in his service more exalted, my faith in my Saviour more uniform and supreme? Does my soul glow with gratitude to God, my Almighty Maker and Benefactor, Father and Friend, for the manifold mercies of life; and, above all, for the unspeakable gift of his Son Jesus Christ, for the inestimable blessing of redeeming love?"
Among his other literary labours was the republication of Bishop Mant and Dr. D'Oyley's Family Bible, with additional notes; chiefly with a view to supply what he considered a lamentable defect in that work, the want of devotional matter apt to affect the soul of the reader with a deep sense of its native guilt and wretchedness, and to raise it to humble faith, to adoring gratitude, and to heavenly contemplation and communion with God. Among the writers whose names, passed over in the original work, he introduced into the reprint, was the venerable commentator Scott; and though the writings of that author were certainly not exactly to his taste, he more than once expressed to us, in warm terms, his disapprobation of the party-spirit which could introduce some names of little note or value, and invidiously omit all mention of the largest and most complete doctrinal, critical, and practical commentary in the English language, from the pen of a clergyman, and upon which the readers of commentators in Great Britain and America, have not grudged to spend, we believe, some hundreds of thousands of pounds. But, whosever names are omitted or introduced, the want of a sufficient portion of directly devotional matter in a Family Bible is so serious a defect, that we hope, even yet, in some future edition, it may be supplied.
We shall not detain our readers with a detail of the numerous posthumous testimonies of respect and affection which have been paid to his memory, not the least pleasing of which is a highly liberal and honourable provision which has been made for his widow and family. This mark of attachment is the more appropriate, on account of the singularly generous and disinterested character of Bishop Hobart. Never was there a man less selfish and money-loving: what the world calls the mean and sordid vices, for in the eye of God pride and ambition are vices also, were utterly alien to his character; and if in their place he had, by nature, some lofty aspirings, we trust that Divine grace had subjugated them, in heart as in act, to far more glorious purposes than self-exaltation. Under his fostering care the clergy and lay members of his large and important diocese had multiplied four-fold, and institutions had been planted by his hand, or grown up under his eye, for the education of ministers, the circulation of the Bible, prayer-books,
and tracts, and the promotion of Christian missions both foreign and domestic. May the blessing of the great Head of the church rest upon these institutions, and upon the whole pale of the American episcopate; and oh, if our brethren in
the West will listen to us in the East, let them avoid, as a canker, the party-spirit and ungodly contentions which have so often rent infant churches, and strive together in purity and peace for the faith of the Gospel.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE meeting of parliament next month is likely to bring before the nation so large a range of momentous topics, that we gladly repose ourselves and our readers, for the present, with a slight mention of passing occurrences. The tumultuary risings, and destruction of property have abated; but we see nothing that indicates an immediate return of public tranquillity; for the causes of discontent, whatever they may be, continue in action, and it will require no little skill and firmness in government and parliament, to discover and carry into effect an adequate remedy for the existing evils.
We mentioned in a former page the zealous efforts in progress for the better observance of the Lord's Day. We rejoice to be able to announce, that since this sheet went to press, a central society has been formed in London for promoting this great object; and we hope, by our next Number, that its plans will be so far matured as to enable us to lay them before our readers, and to invite their hearty concurrence in the design. In the mean time, we most strongly commend the object to
their serious consideration and earnest prayers. We know of no subject at this moment of greater and more pressing importance.
In Ireland, Mr. O'Connel is openly contending with Government; and himself, and several other chief actors in his plans of agitation, have been obliged to find bail to answer for their conduct in contravention to the proclamation against seditious meetings.
Nothing of much importance has transpired in France. In Belgium every thing remains in suspence relative to the election of a king. The Poles continue determined to achieve their independence ; while Russia, on her side, is concentrating upon them an overwhelming army. base spoliations of Poland, and the breach of faith in not granting to that aggrieved country an efficient representative legislature, as promised at the allotment at the peace, must excite a strong prepossession in favour of the Polish cause in minds the most averse to popular revolutions, and thus increase its moral strength throughout Europe.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
B. H.; W. L. N.; J. W.; D. B.; PASTOR; E. G.; T. H. K.; C. H. M.; R. K.; X.;
J. L. will find a statement respecting the general Index in the Appendix published
First, we have an interesting and instructive paper from Mr. Newnham, giving a detailed account of the miracles of Prince Hohenlohe. We propose opening our next Number with this paper.
Next, we have a letter from Mr. Tripe, the medical gentleman who attended Miss Fancourt for a year and a half in Devonshire. He states that he was fully convinced at that time that the affection of the spine and hip was only nervous; that it was "simulative," and "not that hip or spine disease, which by continuance disorganizes the bones or joints, and produces permanent lameness;" that he " never perceived any curvature, protuberance, or thickening in any of the vertebræ, no deformity of the hip, no lengthening or shortening of the limb, and no appearance of disease in any part of the bony structure of the body." His conviction on these points, he adds, was so "very strong," that "he expressed his opinion to the parties at the time that Miss Fancourt would resume the use of her limbs, and be again enabled to walk." There is one further statement in his letter, which it may be necessary to notice, as it supplies a link in the chain of argument. We had inferred from the circumstances of the case, that the patient was very susceptible of excitement; but our friend H. S. C. H. doubted this, and considered her as peculiarly
unlikely to be wrought upon by nervous feelings. But Mr. Tripe, after attending her medically for a year and a half, affirms, that when she was under his care “the cerebral excitement was so excessive as to call for very active and reiterated remedial measures, which after the severest struggling, ultimately effected her safety, contrary to the expectation of all her friends." Had these facts been stated in the first instance, there would have been no appearance of miracle, and scarcely an air of mystery, in the cure.
Our readers have now before them the decided opinions of all Miss Fancourt's medical attendants, except Dr. Jarvis of Margate, whose recollections do not allow him to give any precise statement as to the nature or extent of her disorder; but he says that he does not deem her cure miraculous ;" for that "the disease had probably been some time since subdued, and there only wanted an extraordinary stimulus to enable her to make use of her legs." "Had she been awakened," he adds, "from her sleep by the house being on fire a month before the same beneficial effect would have arisen."
Some of our correspondents inquire of us respecting a story of Miss Fancourt's eldest sister having laboured under a similar affection, and being led, as miraculously as the present patient, to the use of her limbs in consequence of a fright from a storm on board a packet; and they ask us on what authority we stated (Appendix for 1830, p. 813,) that this lady "recovered naturally." We answer on the best authority, that of H. S. C. H., who, in an early stage of the correspondence, informed us, in answer to the inquiry whether a sister of Miss F. had not laboured under a similar disorder to the present patient, and had recovered in an extraordinary manner; that he had learned from the family that the sister had certainly been thus affected, but that she recovered naturally. We must therefore class the story of the thunder-storm among those "various statements" which Mr. Fancourt said, in his first letter, "would probably be circulated, for which those who follow after charity will not hold him responsible." We are also requested to contradict the report that crowds have flocked to the Jews' chapel to gratify idle curiosity. Many persons having wished to possess the documents and correspondence on this subject in a separate form, they have been reprinted as a pamphlet, with a few additional remarks. From the latter we copy the concluding passage, with which we would now wish to take leave of the discussion. Our readers are aware that Mr. McNeile had said, at the Jews' chapel, in his sermon, (as reported in "The Preacher," the Sunday before the cure, that what are called the extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit have never ceased any more than the ordinary; that it is the duty of Christians to seek the one as much as the other, and that it is only our want of faith that prevents our enjoying them. "O ask of God," he is reported to have said, "to bestow on one among you the word of knowledge by the Spirit; on another, the word of wisdom by the same Spirit; on another, faith by the same Spirit; on another, the gift of healing by the same Spirit; and ask for another of you to have the working of miracles by the same Spirit." To all this we reply in the concluding words of the pamphlet: "What Christian can close the above discussion without feeling of how little practical value, after all, would be mere 'gifts,' even miraculous gifts, compared with what is infinitely higher in its character, and incomparably more important? For, says our blessed Saviour, not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.' A deed may therefore claim to be done in the name of Christ-whether it be the utterance of a prophecy, or an exorcism, or any other wonderful work; and yet not be entitled to the epithet of Christian. Were it not, then, wise to turn from such questionable gifts,' to the solid, practical realities of vital, saving, sanctifying truth? Oh, who would covet even a faith that could remove mountains, rather than charity, without which it profiteth nothing!' Let, then, those who have attained to the 'more excellent way,' as we are persuaded have those friends on whose opinion in the present matter we have freely commented, be content with the higher manifestation, and not go back to doubtful speculations, or the assertion of miraculous gifts, which, even if vouchsafed, would have no necessary connexion with spiritual edification or eternal salvation."
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
We have only space to announce, without comment, the following appended papers :~ BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
ANTI-SLAVERY REPORTER (No. 74).
BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY EXTRACTS
PRINCE HOHENLOHE AND MODERN
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
N again inviting the attention of your readers to some supposed cases of miraculous cure, I beg to make a distinction between results which have accrued from the influence of fanatical credulity, and those from the enthusiastic agency of a true faith. In the former instance we may trace the covert wiles of designing hypocrisy, the barefaced impudence of mendacious imposture, or at least the clouds and darkness of the grossest ignorance in the latter, we find a warm heart, without a very expanded intelligence, carried away by the excess of its own right feelings, and led into extravagancies, which the more deeply thinking must deplore, because of their certain and inevitable recoil upon principles, which in common all Christians hold most dear, and for the maintenance of which we would earnestly contend. It is at any time painful to interfere with such hallowed emotions; but if it shall be shewn, that these agencies, however apparently dissimilar in their origin, do in fact produce similar effects, by acting upon an identical part of our compounded nature, and that their ultimate results are more conduCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 350.
cive to the progress of error, than of truth; it may well be questioned how far the indulgence of such feelings and emotions may be praiseworthy, how far they may be innocuous to the parties so indulged, how far they may not be injurious to the glory of God, and the eventual good of man.
I shall now take the example of Prince Hohenlohe, the most successful of all modern performers of miraculous operations, for the sake of exemplifying the former of these states. The influence of the latter has been already shewn in the recent cure of the young lady whose case has excited so much interest. The basis of the reputation enjoyed by this professor of the gift of healing in these latter days, and of his consequent success was probably laid in the exterior advantages conferred upon him by his title of prince, the honours he possessed as a knight of Malta, the prominent situation which he held in the diocese of Bamberg; and the attraction thus given to his pulpit eloquence; which appears to have been of a brilliant and effective order, though he seems to have excelled rather as an orator, than as a writer. This is a very common case; and many a public speaker, who has obtained, as such, great renown, sinks even below mediocrity, when his printed addresses come to be K