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and conspiracies of the Catholic
arty. - - p **, when the Spanish Armada was preparing to invade these kingdoms |. the express purpose of destroying the Protestant religion, she issued orders for the confinement of all Popish recusants at Wisbeach Castle. Some were for more violent measures, but her good sense and F. determined her only to teep a strict watch over them. ow, if under these circumstances, she had entrusted the defence of the kingdom to Papists, it might have been urged indeed as a strong proof of her love and confidence in them. Accordingly it has been told us in very positive language, that Lord Howard of Effingham, was a Papist, but the fact is quite otherwise, he was a most determined Protestant. So again it has been said, the defence of Dover Castle was given to a Catholic, but the assertion is totally false, it was given to Lord Cobham, who was one of the High Commissioners for trying both Paists and Puritans. These are stubborn facts, and we dare our antaonists to set them aside. We are informed by Neale, that during her reign 62 Popish priests were executed, and '55 banished. I trust that such gross blunders and misstatements will not again be heard within the walls of Parliament. - Yours, &c. A PLAIN ENGLISH MAN.
* Bath, May 3, 1821.
or voluntary separation, but legal and definitive divorce; divorce which left the parties free to marry again, and only restricted them from being reunited with each other. -I cannot however admit, that any advantage would arise from superseding in the authorized version, the words put away, which Alethes judges to be “of doubtful and equivocal meaning,” and substituting the word divorce, which lie pronounces to be the “ undoubted import” of the text. Matt. v. 31, 32. Popular use in the present day has appropriated the word divorce, to a separation of the parties on proof and in punishment of adultery. This was certainly not the sense of the Jews, who neither punished adultery by divorce, nor admitted it annong the causes of divorce : and it would therefore confound the antient with the modern usage, and introduce rather than remove ambiguity, to insert the word divorce in the text. I am willing that Alethes should assume, that the parallel passages in St. Mark and St. Luke, are “the same in import, though less explicit in terms,” than the text of St. Matthew, and that he should pass over the consideration of these texts, and not enter the lists “with those who teach from these former Evangelists, the Roman Catholic doctrine, that marriage ought not to be dissolved on any account, even for adultery itself.” I am willing also that he should assume, that fornication in the clause of exception means adultery, and that adultery is a just cause of divorce. These points are assumed by Alethes, as if they were incontrovertible ; although there is not one which is not beset with difficulties, which it is far more easy to evade than to overcome. I am not however surprised, nor, do I complain, that Alethes has not undertaken the investigation of these difficulties... The disquisition, would mecessarily be, of an elaborate and unpopular character; and in assum". ing the truth of his opinions, Alethes, has at least diminished the controversy, and left me little to examine of the Christian doctrine of divorce, except bis leading position, that Christ restricted the permission of divorce “ to the one case of adultery.” “. Conscious of the baneful influence, that a facility of divorces exerts over public morals, Christ made the adultery of the wife the sole and indispensable condition of divorce. But be it ever observed, that when our Lord was occupied in ameliorating the marriage law, the power of divorce that he grants, on the supposition of the wife's adultery, is not clogged by any demand of chastity on the part of the husband as the condition of its exercise: nor is the adulteress allowed by the Gospel any right of complaint or recrimination. Moses granted no such right in divorces for inferior offences, and (however the civil institutions of different nations may have added to these enactments) Christ and his Apostles granted no such right in divorces for adultery. “ I further conceive, that the early scheme of Christianity then only required of the husband to prove his wife's guilt by a judicial process, when he designed to abandon her to the penalty of such proof, which was death. Of this crime, an example occurs in the eighth chapter of St. John, in the case of the woman taken in adultery.” - In a former letter, I exhibited the substance of a commentary on the case of the woman taken in adultery, from the Horae Hebraicae, in which it was shewn, that something more than judicial proof of the wife's guilt, was required of the husband by the existing lay, and that that law had the sanction of our Lord himself. In divorces for inferior offences, it was free for the husband to demand a divorce, which the court of which it was demanded had no power to refuse, but these divorces have not the remotest con
nexion with the law of adultery, of which the terms can only be ascertained by the operation of the waters of jealousy, and by the inefficacy of those waters, when the integrity of the husband was wanting. The Apostles have said nothing of divorces for adultery, and consequently they have neither granted nor refused any right to the woman suspected. The only
question therefore relates to the judg:
ment and decision of our Lord: did he, to use the offensive and unbecoming language of Alethes, did he clog the power of divorce by any demand of chastity on the part of the husband as the condition of its exercise? Or rather did he remove the moral impediment which had been imposed by the law of Moses, and sanctioned for a long series of ages by a divine and miraculous interpo. sition? There is not the shadow of a proof, there is not even an asser. tion from which it can be inferred that our Lord rescinded the woman's right of recrimination, that right which Alethes first studies to deny in the Law of Moses, and of which he then insinuates, that it was not imposed by our Lord. That right our Lord found already operating among the Jews, and according to the comment of Lightfoot, he confirmed and approved it; and I am mistaken if there is not another text, from which, if its sense be fully drawn out, the same doctrine may be inferred. It is one of the cases which is put by our Lord himself: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, es: cept it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.” Let this rule be adapted to the excepted case of an adulterous wife, and let the consequences, which under other circumstances would attach to the divorce be removed: the law will then be to this effect: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, being an adulteress, and marrieth another, doth not commi; adultery.” Under the received and ordinary interpretation of the cla" of exception, I am not aware that this accommodation of the Christian law of divorce is liable to any objection, or offers any violence to the Scriptures. I proceed with diffidence, and with the humblest deference to the high authority which I am endeavouring to explain, to propose another case, that of an adulterous husband divorcing an adulterous wife, and I ask the question: If an adulterous husband puts away his wife, being an adulteress, and marries another, does he not commit adultery Alethes will probably contend, that he does not commit adultery in respect of his second marriage: and I am ready to concede, that, on the hypothesis of the lawfulness of divorce, a second marriage neither constitutes ner aggravates the guilt of adultery. But the proposition for which I am contending is general, and not restricted by the involved conditions of divorce and bigamy, or a second marriage consequent upon divorce, unless it shall be conceived, that an adulterer, not divorcing his adul. terous wife, nor marrying another, does commit adultery in the plain sense of the words; but that an adulterer divorcing his wife, and marrying another does not commit adultery in the Scriptural sense of the words. It is of importance to observe the method of our Lord in restricting the facilities of divorce, which obtained under the Jewish institution, and in permitting in one excepted case the right of divorce under the Christian scheme. He did not directly authorize or prescribe the right, but he invalidated and abolished the consequences, which under other circumstances would attach to divorce: and these consequences are of such a nature, as, cannot be separated from the condition of the adulterer, who is therefore excluded from the right of divorce, and necessarily liable to consequences from which, if he were innocent, he would be exempt, * f : ... of
- ** ,
- **, * The law of Christian divorce de
pends altogether upon the abolition
of those consequences in a certain . excepted case, and not on any directo permission or prescription ; and if Alethes had attended to this distinction he would not have affirmed, that “ the text cannot mean that for his wife's adultery, he may divorce her, and at the same time that because he has committed adultery himself he may not divorce her. No sophistry of charity can extract from the same words ideas so distant and incongruous.” The alleged incongruity pervades the whole Scriptural system of divorce. I have thus endeavoured to invalidate the principal position of Alethes, and to shew, that in its ordinary interpretation the Christian law of divorce does require proof of the fidelity and integrity of the accusing husband, and does secure to the woman the right of recrimination, of such recrimination as consists not in the palliation of her guilt, which is beyond all apology, but in the allegation of proof, that the guilt of the husband is such as to deprive him of rights to which he would otherwise be entitled. . This is, I am persuaded, the law of the Scriptures, and I am happy to add from Professor Christian's notes upon Blackstone's Commentaries, that it is the law of England. “ A husband cannot obtain a divorce in the ecclesiastical courts for the adultery of his wife, if she recriminates and can prove that he also has been unfaithful to the marriage vow: this seems to be founded on the following rational precept of the civil law: * judex ante oculos habere dabet et inquirere an maritus pudice vivens, mulieri quoque bonos mores colendi autor fuerit. Puriniquam enim videtur esse, ut pudicitiam vir ab uxore exigat, quam ipse non exhibeat.” Blackstone's Commentaries, B. I. c. xv. note 13. - . . . . . . . . A., M.
... . . . . . . . . . . . . .
sdy too. - -- Lectures on the History of the Week ... of the Passion of our Blessed ... Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By Daniel Sandford, D.D. one of the Bishops of the Scotch Episcopal Church, and formerly Student of Christ's Church. Oxford. 12mo, Longman and Co.
TheRE are two principal objections, which are commonly alleged against the celebration of holy days, and the appropriation of particular seasons to religious duties; the first, that they unworthily contract, the spirit of Christian devotion, and the second, that the precise date of the events, which it is intended to celebrate, is uuknown. It is obvious, that if the first objection is carried to its full extent, it will supersede not only all seasons, but all outward acts of religion, and confine its exercise to the abstractions of private meditation. It will evacuate the use of the seventh day: it will abolish all social worship in the church and in the family; it will restrict all piety to the secret communion of the soul with its Maker. Whether they who insist upon this objection are themselves conscious of possessing this pure and abstracted spirit of supplication, or are disposed to approve the practice of ascetics and devotees, it is not necessary to inquire. That the spirit of prayer should be constantly cherished in the heart, and that a frame and temper of mind should be formed, in the energy of which men may pray always, are doctrines which cammot be disputed: but if there be no public and visible sign and expression of this temper, there is reason to fear, that the inward grace o neglected by the individual, and it is certain that the benefit of the example will be lost. The great body of mankind are not susceptible of these refined meditations, and
there is in the world such general
indifference and unconcern to the
truth, that religious knowledge and practical piety would rapidly fall into decay, if they were not sustained and supported by the public offices and ministrations of the Church; and with especial refer. ence to the celebration of the Lord's Day, it may be laid down as a maxim which cannot be disputed, that communities and individuals are possessed or destitute of religious knowledge, in proportion as that day is sanctified or neglected. But if public worship and public instruction are expedient, it is necessary to set apart times and seasons and places, that men may be assembled and brought together to partake of these benefits, and this necessity is especially recognized in the congregations of the Quakers, who, although their public worship often consists exclusively in private and silent meditation, and although their assemblies are sometimes dissolved without the utterance of any word, either of prayer or of exhortation, do nevertheless periodically meet together at a stated time and
a stated place.
This refined objection to public. worship in general proceeds from a school, in which the Commandments, and the promises, while regulate the practice of Christians is little heeded or respected, and while in principle and profession it subtly pretends to elevate the piety of Christians above the little superstitions of ignorance and prejudice and bigotry, it does in fact, withdraw men from duties which have been sanctioned, and from means of grace which have been instituted by the Redeemer himself. The second objection is principally patronized by the sectaries, who, while they admit the obligations of the Lord's day, and the lawfulness of appropriating, * is discretion, other opportunities of
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public worship and instruction, do nevertheless reject the appointed festivals of the Church, as of human invention, and doubtful authority, and unfitted to the events which they are designed to celebrate. It is a singular exception to this general argument and practice of the Sectories, that the Quakers celebrate the feast of Pentecost at Whitsuntide. But if Whitsuntide be the proper season of commemorating the gift of tongues and the effusion of the Holy Spirit, Easter, on which that feast is dependent, must also be suited to the commemoration of our Lord's resurrection, and Good Friday to that of his crucifixion. For whether Easter be calculated from Whitsuntide, or Whitsuntide from Easter, the festivals must be equally distant from each other, and if the proper season of one can be ascertained, there can remain no doubt of the proper season of the other. *The ceremonies, which are known in various parts of the world, to distinguish the first day of April and the first day of May, have been urged in proof of the common origin of mankind, and may not only be viewed as an idle spectacle, but contemplated as an important memorial of the history of man, and as a motive of benevolence to the whole family of which we are members. The love of Christians may be more powerfully excited when in celebration of the great festivals they reflect, that in the east and in the west, in the north and in the south, wherever the name of Christ is known, the hearts of their brethren are at the same season inspired with holy joy and gratitude for the blessings which the coming of Christ hath diffused in the earth, or humbled in the contemplation of his cross and passion, or exalted by the assurance of his resurrection, or drawn to heaven by the glories of his ascension, or engaged in earnest supplication through the remembrance of his promise, that his Spi
Bishop Sandford’s Lectures on the Passion Week.
rit may be given to them that ask him. Is it a fable by which the whole world hath been deceived, and which fathers for eighteen hundred years, have from time to time transmitted to their children : These catholic and continued celebrations, which may be traced at least from the second century to the present day, and through all the countries of the world, are an imperishable record of the truth, which confirms the faith and enlarges the love of the believer, and which all the subtlety of the sceptic can neither resist nor overcome.
“By the ordinance of Almighty God," says Bishop Sandford, “the passover of the Jewish Church was celebrated at a certain season strikingly defined. At the self-same season we commemorate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As long as those celestial bodies shall retain their course, which the Creator planted in the firmament of heaven, ‘to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years, so long shall mankind be sure that they consecrate to the memory of these wonderful events, their proper ecclesiastical anniversaries. This is the very day on which the Passion Week began. The sixth day of this holy week is that which turned its conscious light from the agonies of an expiring Saviour, and on the same day that we praise God for the resurrection of our Lord and Master, did He burst the bonds of death, and rise triumpliant over the tomb. Eighteen centuries have rolled away since that resurrection confirmed hope, and that precious death purchased salvation: still each revolving year beholds them brought more sensibly before the worshipper, and solemnized with warmer devotion as the time of their completion returns. Nor is it a trivial additon to the deep and solemn interest that mingles with such settled periods of religious service to reflect, that by their institution, the whole Christian world, or nearly the whole Christian world, is at one and the same hour engaged in
the delightful office of returning thanks too
God for the unutterable benefits of man's redemption. Distant from each other in
space, the members of the visible Church. are thus united in spirit and in feeling.
Children of one mighty family they attest
and verify their high descent, by celebra-ting to the latest generations, the sacred
epochs of their history. A beautiful pic