« PrécédentContinuer »
lowest point of your approaching infamy and degradation, not all your sobs, and sighs, and solicitations, will be heeded, nor even receive the sympathy of unavailing pity, from your unrelenting taskmasters. And who are these? The occurrences of every day point them out. They are the congregated cobblers, the odoriferous tanners, and profligate hordes of Westminster, whose trade is now converted into the fumigating, and patching up of Administrations: they are the smutty tinkers in Council, assembled at Coldbath Fields, who are now hammering out Constitutions : they are the brilliant financiers of Tothill Fields and
have apparently been, yet did they all converge thus to the same origin; as St. Cyprian beautifully expresses himself--" As there are many rays of the Sun, yet there is but one light; and as there are many branches of the tree, yet there is but one stock, fastened in the earth by a tenacious root. And though innumerable rivulets flow from the same spring, spreading on all sides an overflowing quantity of diverse waters, yet a Unity is preserved at the source" (Cypr. de Unitate Eccl.). Now of all these emblems, considered as representative of particular churches, there is, as the same Father declares, but "One God and one Christ. His Church is one. His Faith one. And the people is joined into the solid unity of a body, by the glue of concord" (Cypr. Ibidem. "Plebs in solidam corporis unitatem concordiæ glutine copulata."). Thus in short is explained the sentence of the Apostle, that in the Church, there were to be but " One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism" (Eph. iv. 4-5. Tertullian in the second Century, it is well known, delivered the sense of the Catholic Church in language, corresponding to that of Cyprian, and St. Paul :-" Una nobis et illis fides, unus Deus, idem Christus, eadem spes, eadem lavacri sacramenta, semel dixerim, una ecclesia sumus. -De Virgin. Veland. chap. ii. Corpus sumus de conscientia religionis et disciplinæ unitate et spei fædere.”—Apolog, chap. xxxix.). Thus as we have found that the Faith was enshrined in the Antiquity, so we here are led to conclude, that this same faith is to be found among the Universal, as well as among the Ancient members, of the Church. Both these tests, then, are the simple deductions of Holy Writ. And since this Faith cannot but be unique, inasmuch as it is the enditing of the Holy Spirit, so wherever it is to be found, such as it " was once delivered unto the saints," the concurrent, Unanimous testimony of all believers will accompany it. In the Word of God, therefore, is to be seen the complete rule of Faith, Government, and Practice; referring however to the Catholic Church all succeeding ages, where only is to be had the sound interpretation of evangelical doctrines: and this because that the very elements of the Church Universal are Antiquity, Universality, and the Unanimous
Bethnal Green, who now are to decide if Bank Charters are to become waste paper: they are the low-born feasters at the Crown and Anchor, who are now to decide on Royal Prerogatives and privileges of both the Houses: they are the blacksmiths of Birmingham, illumined by the coruscations that so vividly, and so genteelly flash from the cultivated genius of Hunts, Cobbetts, Atwoods, Humes, O'Connells, Shiels, and other such illustrious fry of accomplished legislators, who so beautifully grace St. Stephen's, and labour so unremittingly to perpetuate that noble dignity, which the Walpoles, the Carterets, the Newcastles, and the
consent of the faithful: elements, also, that claim an undoubted sanction and force from a due application of Holy Scripture. We have thus, we trust, fully established the soundness, rationality, and validity of the maxim of Vincentius Lirinensis, that such doctrines must necessarily be received for true, as we find to have been believed at all times, (semper)-in all places (ubique) --and by all the faithful (et ab omnibus). In our last Number, we applied these tests, among other matters, to the Divine Institution of the Sabbath, and of Episcopal jurisdiction and ordination. Both of which, as they must rise or fall together, their basis being the same, are being daily outraged even by those, who upon the very same authority, as there is for the observance of these two institutions, are privileged to "wait at the Altar." And in respect of these Divine ordinances, catholicity and antiquity are of special service. For, as it may be said, that there is but a generally conceived explication of these two institutions in the Scriptures; or rather the germs of Apostolic teaching are given only as a monitor to the faithful; so the Unanimous voice and Universal practice of all Antiquity fully instructs us, on this head, even from that moment, when upon the fulfilment of the promise of Christ, his Messengers as directed by the Holy Spirit, first formed the Church, subject to both these Institutions; the records of that early age confirming, and handing down to us, without doubt, the Apostolic practice, and the prevailing, and corroborative tradition of the very first era of the Christian Church. It is thus that the Divine obligations of the Sabbath, and the Order of Bishops, are confirmed by the same evidence, that substantiates the truth of Christianity itself. Let it not be said, that more detailed instructions ought to have been given about them, in the Word of God. They who were deputed and inspired to model and regulate the Church were satisfied, as well they might, with the permanently enduring fabric of those institutions, that they founded by their precept and example; and which appertained to a Society, that enjoyed so many Divine promises, and "against which" they knew, "the gates of hell should not prevail" (Matt. xvi. 18.). The imperishable monuments of their
Chathams of olden times stamped, even amid all the variety of their political discrepancies, on the history of British legislation! Yes, such are the master-spirits -the task-masters, who are now inthroned, as the leviathan sovereigns of the crowds of venal paupers, to enforce and exact obedience to the loud and deepening yells, which these harlequins and mountebanks of faction, disloyalty, and disorder, may flatteringly condescend to bellow out over the rank, property, faith, and religion of the empire!!!
But amidst the glaring effects of Ministerial misrule, which too vividly strike the most drowsy fancy,
heavenly labours and appointment, remain to the present hour, and will remain to the final consummation of all things. These monuments will not be less enduring than the very inspired Volume itself, for their guarantee of stability and permanency is with it identical and the same-even the assurance of the immortal Jehovah. If those who have so sedulously laboured to cancel the Divine sanctions of Episcopacy and the Sabbath, had condescended to detect and mark out the period, subsequent to the first propagation of Christianity, and the first establishment of the Church, when these pretended innovations were surreptitiously palmed upon all the faithful, by nothing less than the inspired dictation of Apostolic authority, certainly, then, modern aspersions and fancies might be heeded. This has not been the case, and never will, and never can. They are coeval and simultaneous with Christianity itself. If they fall, so must the Gospel, of which they are the heavenly designated barriers, and sure supports. As well might it be said, that Revelation itself, was the combined work of deluding conspirators and suborned impostors, as that the Apostolic directions in regard to the Sabbath and Episcopacy, could, without the detection of believers or the accusations of infidels, have been imposed without resistance, without cause, and without authority, all at once, upon all the most remote nations-all the most distant cities--all the most widely scattered Churches of the whole world. A strange fabrication -an unaccountable imposture—a wonderful agreement—an almost miraculous conspiracy, such would surely seem to be, as to be able to deceive posterity, and to hoodwink an heretical Archbishop-and anticipate presumptuous, independant Presbyterians, and all other such selfwilled, and impudent Sectaries!!! Truly the magician's wand itself, could hardly produce more electrifying effects, than that all the ancient Churches of the whole earth, without one single exception, should by a prophetic foresight from the very first ages, have been able to have thus darkened, and shut up so universally, and for so lengthened a period as 1500 years, all the avenues to the true government of the Church;-but at last so nobly found out, and opened,
and too easily give wing to the least prolific imagination, let us not wander farther from the origin of our present remarks. We were then, we candidly confess, somewhat gratified, when we perused the numerous professions, made by Ministers, in behalf of their attachment to our Apostolic Church! When we took a microscopic view of their various stratagems, in the moving-springs and results of their operations, we were pleased to find that the state of the public mind had not yet come to such an awful crisis, as not to require from them some such specious acknowledgment. We rejoiced that such a Ministerial sacrifice of feeling,
in modern times, by the Geneva, mob faction, and their sapient associates the magnanimous Ministers of the Kirk of Scotland, and of the North of Ireland Conventicles!!! (We would fearlessly challenge the whole body of furious adversaries to the Divine rights of Episcopacy, to produce but one single instance, from the shores of the Atlantic, to those of the Indian Ocean, from Abyssinia to Scandinavia, of any Church whatever, up to the period of the Reformation, where the three distinct Ecclesiastical Orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, each having their exclusive and respective privileges of rank and power, did not prevail. The absolute impossibility of even attempting any answer to this, incontestably proves the gross and unfounded nature of the innovation, or usurpation, or sacrilege of all our modern Sectaries. For the universal and uniform prevalency of Episcopacy, we recommend our readers to consult particularly Bp. Hall's Episcopacie by Divine Right asserted, Part. ii. §. 18. Hooker's Ecc. Pol. Book vii. §. 1. Leslie's Discourse on the Qualifications, &c. in Scholar Armed, vol. i. p. 93-95. Daubeny's Appendix to the Guide to the Church, p. 286, &c.). Let us have done as soon as possible with the rank absurdities, the bombastic nonsense, and the laughable contradictions of these valiant sons of religious and democratic freedom. A better lesson could hardly be given them, than to retail out to them, a few of the declarations and opinions of their own immortal, and patriarchal founders. They daily profess, for example, to venerate, to love, to worship the very names of their Calvins and Bezas. We have seen, and we are serious too, the full, big tear steal down their glowing cheeks, when swelled up in the extacies of a convulsive rapture, they but pronounced the name of Calvin, in the hearing of their admiring, rustic flocks! We have actually seen it. How desirable it wold be, that they had read something, aye, had even got but one momentary glimpse, in the whole course of their lives, of the external binding of a Calvin's, or a Beza's tomes. Reality, information, and learning, judiciously culled for them, even out of their own favourites, might then give a little more solidity to their rude gusts of loud and rancorous
was found necessary, to hide the hideous and atrocious villany, that was hatched under such tinsel and artificial trappings. The moral atmosphere of the land, from this we were assured, had not yet become so tainted and affected, with the blight and poison of the infidel "Penny Magazines" and "Cyclopædias,"-which are now deluging the land with a flood of the most irreligious, and infamous principles,—as not to require some public obeisance. The infidel dogmas of our Lord High Chancellor-the late Lord Rector of Glasgow College, and of Lord John Russel-the plagiary apologist of French regicides, irreligion and anarchy, in his contemptible and superficial view of the "Causes of the French Revolution," have not realized, we may hence presume, their Lordship's glowing, enthusiastic, Frenchified fervours. The chastity, the purity, the loyalty, the piety of many a lowly hamlet, have not as yet been assaulted and corrupted by the catchpenny pamphlets, that are weekly issued by the Society, which claims these Noble Lords, as its chief promoters and patrons. The harvest is not yet prepared for the sickle. The attack on the great leading principle of the Christian system, in the character given of Abel in the "Penny Cyclopædia ;"-the supercilious contempt, that is insidiously cast upon the fostering patronage of our venerable Aristocracy, under the infidel, but disguised and attractively engaging example of the French philosopher-D'Alembert, whose biography is embodied also in that dangerous publication;-the redeeming quality, which the "Penny Magazine" holds forth, as an ample compensation for the enormous atrocities of the revolutionary ruffian-Mirabeau, name
talking. The visages of their auditors might not then swell so big, lighted up with the catching fumes of the fanatic visions, held out by their self-commissioned, infallible, and dogmatic teachers. And what perhaps might be as important, they might then deal out the ancient doctrines and universal practice of the primitive Churches of Christendom, with nearly as much confidence, as they are now pleased to issue the oracles, from the tripod inspirations of their own crude brains, and distorted fancies.
[To be continued.]