תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

He was

which the amalgamation was brought ance with the whole scope of his about, and two sets of contradic- doniestic policy, must rather have tory principles introduced into the arisen from a desire to affect the same mind, we should say that the Union with Ireland, than from a phenomenon originated with Mr. well-grounded conviction that it was Pitt, and that it is his authority in itself desirable and safe. In the which has misled so many of his state in which the sister island then friends and followers.

was placed, he might reasonably trusted so implicitly, both by indi- have thought that nothing but an viduals and the public, that no dan. Union could save it; and would, of ger was apprehended from a scheme course, be disposed to look with a which had received his approbation. favourable eye upon the grant which The most eloquent of his disciples, was demanded as its price. Being Lord Grenville in the House of unable to make good the bargain, he Peers, and Mr. Canning in the resigned his place and his power; House of Commons, have been ener but he never afterwards urged the getic advocates of his plan; and completion of it as indispensable, or their patronage bas secured the de even as expedient:- and when his çided support of some, and weaken- followers rely upon his authority for ed the conscientious opposition of the removal of Catholic disabilities, many more.

It is thus that the they rely, first, upon a private opi. measure was enabled to reach its nion; secondly, upon an opinion present stage. The nation did not which never was acted upon; and demand it,--the Catholics were not thirdly, upon an opinion which in all prepared to receive it; the very probability was produced by very fathers of the bill were taken up- important and very honourable, but awares, and when they had obtain- still extraneous considerations. We ed a majority were unprovided with do not wonder however at the stress an enactment. For iheir bill was which is still laid upon

that opinion ; sent to the Lords in a state of piti. we can sympathize with those who able confusion; and the Peers, who venerate the memory of Mr. Pitt, defended it most warmly, admitted and his friends are not inexcusable that alteration was indispensable, even if they embalm his errors. But and that a committee should en it is not necessary that the public quire whether alteration were prac- should follow their example. This ticable. To what cause then shall example has not been followed by we attribute the encouragement the mass of the public; and the which such a bill has received ? to decided though temperate expresan undue reliance, first, upon the sion of public opinion, and the authority of Mr. Pitt; and, secondo manly declaration of the Duke of ly, upon that of friends and disciples. York, that he had been born and

Mr. Pitt never publicly advocated bred in his present sentiments, and Catholic Emancipation ; . and the hoped he should die in them, we public are consequently ignorant of trust that they may afford shelter to the grounds on which he would have the Constitution until the storm has defended the measure, and of the passed, and the inconsistency of limitations with which he proposed their present conduct has been disto accompany it. All we know is covered and owned by those who that the scheme had his approba- are destroying with the left hand all tion; and we cannot but suspect, that they are supporting with the that a scheme which was at vari- right.

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS,
C.P., W., and H. Cotton, shall appea.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

man now-a

SINCERITY NO EQUIVALENT TO

will to mankind, so beautifully THE TRUTH.

described in the Scriptures, by his

sending his servants the Prophets, Of the general value of sincerity “ rising up early, and sending in the common affairs of life, and them"-are all his admonitions to more especially in our religious his chosen people to walk steadily conduct, there can be no question, in his statutes-are all the docWithout it, as we all know, the trines and precepts and promises warmest professions of friendship, of the Gospel --nay, the very shedand the most solemn engagements ding of the precious blood of the are empty and worthless-without ever blessed Son of God come but it, our piety, however fair in its out to this, that a man may be equally ward shew, and set off with the safe with or without them ? And strictest observance of rites and yet what is this but a fair statement ceremonies, is but a wretched hy- of what was, and, I fear, is still pocrisy, useless to ourselves and but too prevalent an opinion insulting to the majesty of heaven. amongst us.

Let a Can we then, it may be asked, days, deny the Divinity of our Lord estimate its value too highly? 1 and Saviour Jesus Christ-let him answer that we may—and ihat we broach the most unheard of docdo estimate it too highly, when we trines-let him dissent from a pure make it an equivalent to the truth it- and Apostolical Church, in which self. Sincerity is confessedly of he has been born and educated, very high importance; but are we and hitherto passed his life-let him hence to conclude, that it is all be of this or of that communion, in all ? Because sincerity in the or of no communion whatever; still profession of the true religion is forasmuch as he follows his conindispensible to our salvation, is science, however uninformed and it to become a matter of indif. biassed, and consequently however ference of what religion we are, unfit a judge in such a matter his of what communion or denomination, conscience must be; forasmuch as or whether we are of any religion, he is secure in his profession, and any communion, or denomination secure of his own integrity, he has whatever, provided we be but sin- nothing, we are told, to fear from cere in our opinions? Is man on the divine displeasure, however great the most momentous of all questions, and fundamental may be his erto suffer his thoughts to follow just roor; he has every thing to hope where his caprice and fancy may from the divine favoor, even tho' lead, and hope to shelter his ex- he may have piaced himself out travagancies under the plea of of the covenant of promise. sincerity? Is the care of our hea. surely, where the truth is within venly Father to communicate his our reach, it is not enough for us to

RENBMBRANCER, No. 80.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

be sincere, unless we are sincere three Persons expressly mentioned also in the truth. It is not enough under the name of the Father, the that we have a confident persuasion Son, and the Holy Ghost; and to that we are right, for this may be these three are assigned every posthe result only of feeling and pre- sible attribute of Divinity. We have judice, but we must have submitted the Father declared to be God, this persuasion in the best manner the Son, God blessed for evermore; in our power, to the test of those the Holy Ghost, God, whose temScriptures, that are alone, “able,” ples we are. We have many colas they themselves declare, “ to lateral arguments of great weight, make us wise unto salvation.” A all tending to the same point. We man may err, even when he is most have the anthority of the earliest conscientious in his errour; he may and best antiquities decidedly in think and feel himself to be in the favour of what, for brevity's sake

, right, and yet be no less in the has been termed the doctrine of the wrong. Nay, as Law has well re. Trinity in Unity: and can we supmarked, “a little knowledge of pose, that because a man in the human nature is sufficient to teach pride of human reason, or from us, that our sincerity may be often whatever other cause, (God knoweth charged with guilt; not as if we the heart) chooses to work himself were guilty because we are sincere, into a sincere disbelief of all this, but because it may be our own that therefore his errour is blamefault that we are sincere in an ill. less, nay, for the sake of his siugrounded opinion. It may have cerity, even acceptable to the globeen from some ill conduct of our rious Being, whose right he so own, some irregularities or abuse openly invades? of our faculties, that we conceive We hear the further mention of things so wrongly. And can we a visible Church, existing as a disthink so much owing to a sincerity tinct society, under its own laws and of opinions, contracted by ill habits rules; governed like its earlier and guilty behaviour?" Certain branch, the Jewish Church, by conditions in the way of moral three separate orders ; by our Lord, qualifications may be considered

be considered as the great Shepherd and Bishop as affixed by the great Giver of of our souls, by his twelve Apostles, all good gifts, to the attainment and the seventy Disciples during of the truth. If men then, will his abode on earth; and on his not comply with these conditions ; removal from it by the Apostles, if they are resolved to bring down and the Bishops their successors, the word of God to the weak and the Priests and the Deacons, in one erring decisions of their individual uninterrupted succession down to reason, and believe nothing that the present day. We have this they cannot comprehend, tho' it Church set forth as a building fitly be in its very nature above their framed together, divided indeed for comprehension; if they will set up purposes of external communion, their own unsupported and isolated into several compartments or naopinions against the interpretation tional Churches, yet still but one and doctrines of ages, as if they building, one universal or Catholic alone of all the faithful servants of Church, having one hope, God, were blessed with the spirit of Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and fitted to declare the God, and Father of all," and built truth, can we wonder that they up on the Apostles and Prophets, should so often err, even when they Jesus Christ himself being at once may be most sincere ? Let me de- the Head and chief Corner-stone. scend however more to particulars. We are implored even by the name We have in the Holy Scriptures of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we

one

all speak the game thing: that there door to every possible excess in doc. be no division among us; no sepa.

trine, and end ultimately in the ration from the external commu. entire subversion of religion itself. nion of that branch of Christ's The only sincerity, that can avail Church, of which we happen to us, before whose eyes Jesus Christ be members; but that we be per has been evidently set forth, is sinfectly joined together in the same cerity in the truth; the truth, as it mind, and in the same judgment. is in Jesus. The only course to fit If thea, after all these strong tes- ourselves for the reception of this timonies, a man can bring himself truth is to cultivate the disposition to believe that there is no mention of seriousness, humility and teachwhatever of a visible Church in the ableness ; a readiness to do God's boly Scriptures; no institution of a will, and an earnest desire of, and an regular Priesthood for the due ad- entire reliance on the assistances of ministration of the holy Sacraments, his blessed Spirit. The only safe and the conveyance of God's graces guides to the knowledge of the to his penitent people; no warnings truth, exclusive of God's assisting against that wantonness of sepa- grace, are, ration, which is the unhappy feature 1st and above all others, the of the present times ; and no such Scriptures in their plain and legithing, in a word, as schism, or the tinate sense. sin of schism, is his sincerity any And 2dly, what I add without sufficient justification of bis errour? fear, and what every day's expeWe are taught, moreover, to avoid rience teaches me more and more foolish questions, to hold fast the the value of, faithful word, and contend earnestly The avowed declarations ofour own for the Faith once delivered to the pure and Apostolical Church, the opiSaints, and testified by the Church nions and interpretations of the of God through all ages. If men

most pious and learned of her dithen will heap to themselves teach- vines, and the acknowledged traers, and suffer themselves to be ditions of the first and early Chris-, carried about by every wind of tiaus, and lastly, on our own parts, strange doctrine, are they the less a conscience improved and enlighto blame because they are sincere tened by, and referring all its dein their folly? Far am I, in any cisions to the Word of God, and thing I have now said, from pre a judgment freed from the bias of suming to sit in judgment on any all evil affections, and consenting, individual of the numerous sects without any compromise of its own that are daily rending the Church freedom, to be taught and guided of Christ. In errour, or out of by the unerring Spirit of God. errour, to his own Master he stand

C. eth or falleth. But I must contend, May 11, 1821. and that most strongly, against the general principle, that it is a matter of indifference, what our religious opinions may be, provided that we

SCRIPTURE CRITICISM. are but sincere in maintaining them; because it is a principle that would

Mr. Editor go the length of asserting, that whatever we conceive to be right, As I know that you do not think cannot be wrong; because it would the worse of a piece of criticism set up sincerity as an equivalent because it is old, but possibly with to the Truth, and an equal recom me, are inclined to think the better mendation to the divine favour; of it on this very account, I send because it would open a privileged you the following, which occurs

in good Archbishop Cranmer's “De sent me not to baptise, but to fence of the true and Catholick preache the Gospel. doctrine of the Sacrament of the And again he saith, body and blood of our Saviour. “My speache and preachyng was Christ.” He is speaking of a pas- not in wordes of meu's persuasion, sage out of St. Chrysostom, which but in manyfest declaration of the the Papists had advanced as fa- spirite and power." vouring their doctrine of transub And he saith also, '' stantiation ;

“ Neither he that grafteth nor he “Which fashion of speache,” saith that watereth is any thynge, but he “ (a speache, which is no pure God that giveth the increase." negative, but a vegative by com And he saith moreover, parison,) is commonly used, not It is not I that lyve, but Christ only in the Scripture and among all lyveth within me.” good authors, but also in all manner And “ God forbyde that I should of languages. For when two thynges rejoyce in any 1hynge, but in the be compared togyther, in the ex crosse of our Lorde Jesu Christe." tolling of the more excellent, or And further, “We do not wragabasyng of the more vile, is many tell against fleshe and bloud, but tymes used a negative by compa- against the spirites of darkness." rison, whyche neverthelesse is no In all these sentences and many pure negative, but onely in the re. other lyke, although they bee nespecte of the more excellent, or the gatives, nevertheless S. Paule meant more base. As by example-When not clearely to denye, that he did, the people rejectyng the prophet that evyl whereof he spake; or utSamuell, desired to have a kynge, terly to saye, that he was not sente Almighty God sayd to Samuell; to baptise (who indeede dydde bap“ They have not rejected thee, but tize at certayne times and was sente me”-not meanynge by this negative to doo all thynges that pertayned to absolutely, that they had not re salvation) ; or that in his office of jected Samuell (in whose place they settyng forth Goddes worde, he desyred to have a kyng); but by used no wytty persuasions (whyche that one negative by comparison he indede he used moste discretely); understood two affirmatives, that is or that the grafter and waterer be to say, that they had rejected Sa. nothynge (whiche bee Goddes crea-muell, and not him alone, but also tures, made to his similitude, and that they had chiefly rejected God. withoute whose woorke there And when the prophet David said in shoulde be no increase); or to say, the person of Christ, “ I am a worme that he was not alive (who bothe and not a man” by this negative be lyved, and ranne through all coundenied not utterly that Christ was treys to set forth Goddes glory); or a man, but (the more vehemently to clerely to affirme, that he gloried and expresse the greate humiliation of rejoyced in no other thynge than Christ) he said, that he was not in Christe's crosse (who rejoyced abased only to the nature of man, with all men, that were in joye and but was brought so low, that he sorrowed with all that were ia sormyght rather be called a worme, rowe); or to deny utterly, that we than a man.

wrastle against Aeshe and bloud This manner of speache was fa- (which ceasse not dayly to wrastell miliar and usuall to St. Paule, 'as and warre against our enemies, the what he sayd;

world, the fleshe, and the dyvil): in “ It is not I that doo it, but it all these sentences, S. Paule (as I is the sin that dwelleth in me;" and sayde) ment not clerely to denye in another place he saith “ Christ these thynges, which undoubtedly

« הקודםהמשך »