« הקודםהמשך »
We neither have nor seek the power
Ill demons to controul;
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. Shalt chase them from the soul.
HAVING been a constant reader of No heavenly harpings soothe our ear, No mystic dreams we share ;
your miscellany for several years, I Yet hope to feel Thy comfort near,
have had ample opportunity of asAnd bless Thee in our prayer.
certaining your desire to encourage When tongues shall cease, and power decay, free, candid, but respectful discusAnd knowledge empty prove,
sion. I therefore take the liberty to Do Thou thy trembling servants stay With Faith, with Hope, with Love!
hand to you the following letter, ad
dressed to the Most Reverend the SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. Archbishops, and the Right ReForth from the dark and stormy sky, verend the Bishops of the United Lord, to thine altar's shade we fly: Church of England and Ireland, Forth from the world, its hope and fear,
on a subject of vital importance to Saviour, we seek Thy shelter here; Weary and weak, thy grace we pray:
our ecclesiastical establishment. Turn not, O Lord! thy guests away!
A CHURCHMAN. Long have we roam'd in want and pain, Long have we sought thy rest in vain; My Lords,—As a member of the Wildered in doubt, in darkness lost,
national communion, and one who Long have our souls been tempest-tost: Low at thy feet our sins we lay;
feels a deep and lively interest in Turn not, O Lord! thy guests away!
every question which involves in
its consideration the spiritual adNINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
vancement of her sons and the Oh blest were the accents of early creation, piety of her clergy, I may perhaps When the Word of Jehovah came down stand excused if I venture to seek
from above; In the clods of the earth to infuse ani. a solution of a difficulty which has mation,
lately occurred to me, while perusing And wake their cold atoms to life and a report of some observations, said to to love!
have fallen from a much respected And mighty the tones which the firmament and very learned Bishop, on a petiWhen on wheels of the thunder, and tion being presented by the Earl of wings of the wind,
Hardwicke to the House of Lords By lightning, and hail, and thick darkness from the inhabitants of a parish in attended,
Lincolnshire. The subject matter He utter'd on Sinai His laws to mankind. of complaint was, the most gross And sweet was the voice of the First-born misconduct on the part of their of Heaven,
lawful minister. I do not, of course, (Though poor his apparel, though earthly his form),
expect that any of your Lordships Who said to the mourner, “ Thy sins are will condescend to notice the anxforgiven!”
ieties contained in an anonymous “ Be whole !” to the sick-and “Be address; but from the still !” to the storm.
B.C.L., LL.D., and LL. B.s to Oh Judge of the world! when, array’d in be found among us, I am in hopes
thy glory, Thy summons again shall be heard from I may be favoured with some good on high,
and substantial reasons, which will at While Nature stands trembling and naked
once remove the doubts which have before Thee,
taken possession of my mind, and And waits on Thy sentence to live or to die;
that operate as a source of no incon
siderable disquietude and surprise. When the heav'n shall fly fast from the sound of thy thunder,
I will not disgust your Lordships And the sun, in thy lightnings, grow by a repetition of the alleged oflanguid and pale,
fences with which this clergyman And the sea yield her dead, and the tomb has been charged; for, to use she
cleave asunder; In the hour of Thý terrors, let mercy language of an afficted and truly prevail !
worthy statesman, “they are too bad to be detailed;" but no one, I here be permitted to say, that, after am convinced, can read the slight a pretty extensive research among and delicate allusions made by the Canons and Constitutions which the Noble Earl, without suspecting ought to regulate our ecclesiastical there must be something very defi- concerns, calling in at the same cient, both in the discipline of our time a due consideration of the Church, and in that ecclesiastical common law of the land, to which code which should give strength I will add the assistance I have and efficiency to the mandates of derived from a correspondence enher ruling authorities. My fearful joyed with some of the most pious anticipations were in a great mea- and learned men of the present sure realized, by finding that the time, I conscientiously believe that Bishop of Lincoln stated unequivo- a Bishop does possess the means of cally, “that the parish of Long Sut- correcting what he deems to be ton, within his Lordship's diocese, evils; but I submit to the decisions had long been deprived of the be- of authority, though, unlearned as I nefits of religious worship, and was am, I may still advocate the reform in a state scarcely less deplorable of evils and abuses which are very than that of a heathen country.” – generally allowed to exist. I must here observe, among the I assure you, my Lords, I was confirmations I have received that but little prepared to hear that a many of the laws which should re- bishop was not armed with the negulate our ecclesiastical concerns cessary authority to release the inare obstructed by the rubbish and habitants of a parish within his dioabuses of modern times, and that cese, from the insults of a drunken, the discipline of our church is sensual, profane minister---that he much too feeble, and obviously de- was unable even to afford to a confective (so that, unless the former gregation within his jurisdiction the are purified, and the latter more due celebration of the holy sacrasummarily enforced, much of that ment of the Lord's Supper! For it consistency which we have hitherto would appear, that in the parish of claimed will very properly be Long Sutton this sacred rite had questioned and disputed), is one been administered but twice in sixwhich took its rise from some in- teen years. Yes, my Lords, I little quiries which I made, in conse- expected to find, that the bishop of quence of the Bishop of Exeter de- a diocese was not armed with suffiploring in the House of Lords the cient authority to prevent the inhaexistence of reverend corporators bitants of a parish“ being deprived within his diocese, and at the same of the benefits of religious worship, time expressing his inability to pre- and for a long time remaining in a vent such secular interruptions. I state scarcely less deplorable than have since been persuaded of some that of a heathen country." The legislative interference being neces- prelate above alluded to assured sary, from his Lordship's opinions the House that “ he spoke the senhaving been so little noticed by timents of a great authority, when these Reverend common-council. he said that the ecclesiastical law men ; indeed, I have heard but of was a perfect chaos, and that he one resignation in consequence of thought it was high time that this the Bishop's disapprobation; and I chaos should be reduced to order." am afraid there are not wanting Have we, then, no body of persons instances of reverend gentlemen to whom the members of the Estahaving encumbered themselves with blishment can look to extricate municipal and civic engagements, them from so lax and lamentable even since the public declaration of a state of their spiritual concerns ? their diocesan's views and senti- How widely different are our poliments. I trust, my Lords, I may tical matters and relations govern. ed! The Chancellor of the Exche. with it, should be objects of tranquer is found to be sufficiently ac- scendant importance ? My Lords, I tive in raising the necessary sup. must be permitted to speak without plies, and evinces abundant inge, disguise. It is to your Lordships nuity in exposing the details of the that the members of the Established budget; the Foreign and Colonial Church look for whatever parliaSecretaries are watchful, and ever mentary interference may be reon the alert, to support the dignity quired; it is to your Lordships and commercial prosperity of their they look for whatever may be necountry; the army and navy esti- cessary for the correction of ecclemates are calculated with surprising siastical abuses, for the renovation accuracy, by those whose duty it is of discipline, and for the reparation to detail the expenses of these de- of those decays which, to the most partments; and a late Home Secre- superficial among us, the time-worn tary, though no lawyer, and who front of our venerable mother but declares himself puzzled when read- too clearly presents. To you, my ing an Act of Parliament, has added Lords, we look to restore our beto his claims upon the country by loved Church to its pristine state ; lately introducing several highly and we will cheerfully lend our aid valuable bills for consolidating, and and contribute our assistance to in part amending, successive por- make the necessary additions, which tions of our criminal jurisprudence. the times, and particularly an inThese bills will remove one hundred creased and better-informed popuand thirty statutes, and condense lation, may require, whether they the law respecting theft into twenty. be for ornament or use; but ever nine pages: the language has been let us hold as inviolably sacred her rendered more intelligible by the firm and deep-laid foundations, and omission of useless aud tautologous take especial care that in our mophraseology. This, my Lords, is dern enactments we strictly prereally reducing a chaos into order. serve the chaste and pious harmony These bills also in some respects of the ancient fabric. It is to the diminish capital punishments—an episcopal bench we look for help; object, we trust, which will be ex- it is from the episcopal bench we tended further as soon as the in- expect assistance; and it is from a telligence of the country will allow, consideration of the learning, the The late Master of the Rolls, our character, and the opportunities of present Lord Chancellor, has also the episcopal bench, that we claim brought in a bill to regulate and as a right its interference, and improve proceedings in the court without further delay, to have this of chancery; and the Solicitor-Ge- ecclesiatical chaos reduced to order. neral has evinced his readiness to There can be but one apology for improve the law as respects arrests the present state of our church disupon mense process.
cipline and ecclesiastical law,namely, Allow me then, my Lords, once that “ The labours of our bishops more to ask, if the members of the occasion a want of time for engageNational Church possess no means
ments foreign to diocesan avocaof protection for their spiritual in- tions." I wish, my Lords, I could terests; no channel, through which conscientiously admit even this an amendment and improvement of extenuation ; but how can we adtheir ecclesiastical legislation may mit it, when we so frequently ob
The clergy are very serve that a multiplicity of engageproperly excluded from sitting in ments are not objected to ? To parliament; but does there not exist episcopal employments how often a body of piety and learning in the do we hear that those of a deanery, upper house, with whom the claims a prebend, the mastership of a colof religion, and the laws connected lege, a professorship, and even pa
CHRIST. OBSERV. No, 308. 3P
rochial anxieties, are united ? Even collect that our ecclesiastical law is as respects literary research, let
a perfect chaos; that such is the the Fathers moulder a little longer difficulty of enforcing the discipline on the shelf; let “ Calvin's absurdi- of the national church, “ that its ties” and “Luther's warmth" for the character is injured;" and that, unpresent remain unnoticed; let the less some means be adopted whereUnitarian revel in his reasoning and by summary correction may be englory in his want of faith, and the Ca- forced, whole parishes may “ for a tholic deal out his indulgencies and long time be deprived of the beneanathemas in peace, until we have fits of religious worship, and remain set our own “house in order:" and for a protracted period in a state while limiting ecclesiastical legisla- scarcely less deplorable than that of tion to the protection of patrons and a heathen country!" incumbents, who had (of course un- With every assurance of my reintentionally) rendered themselves spect, I am your Lordships' humble liable to heavy penalties through servant, simoniacal engagements, let us re
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
History of the Progress and Sup- vailed, were compelled to retire bepression of the Reformation in fore the light now let in upon them, Italy in the Sixteenth Century: and the Romish clergy felt themincluding a Sketch of the His- selves constrained to observe many tory of the Reformation in the duties and decencies which they had Grisons. By Thomas M'Crie, before neglected. D. D. 8vo. pp. xii. and 434. Nor was this all ; for it appears London: Cadell.
that the doctrines and principles of
the Reformation itself gained a footIN turning our thoughts to that ing, much beyond what is commongreat revolution of the sixteenthly
apprehended, and for a considercentury, the Reformation, we are able time maintained it, in countries very apt to confine our view to Ger- from which they were finally-exmany, to England and Scotland, pelled, and their very memory obto Denmark and Sweden ; to the literated, by the unrelenting tyranny countries in which the Reformed of Rome, and the merciless hand of faith obtained an actual establish- the Inquisition. We had occasion ment, and became predominant; to advert to instances of this kind and to regard the effect produced at Cologne, in Austria, and in Italy as restricted to those countries. But itself, in reviewing Mr. Scott's Conthe changes then introduced ex- tinuation of Milner's Church History erted a powerful influence far be. (Number for January, pp. 35, 36, yond the places which were the im. 44); but in the learned and highly mediate and permanent scenes of interesting volume now before us, their operation; so much so, that Dr. M‘Crie, whose skill in this deamong the means which eventually partment of sacred literature is well stopped the progress of the Refor- known from his Lives of Knox and mation has been reckoned the im- Melville, has pursued the theme, provement which it forced upon the and collected from various quarters, Romish church herself, at least in many of them accessible to but few many of her dependencies. Evils readers, details respecting the prowhich had reigned without controul gress-and, alas! we must add, the amidst the darkness that had pre- final suppression-of the Reformation in Italy, which will in many that we dwell longer on this porparts gratify, and in all powerfully tion of the history. affect, every one who has the cause
“ The Italians could not, indeed, be of genuine Christianity at heart. It said to feel at this period a superstitious
devotion to the see of Rome. This did is, indeed, comparatively “ a blank not originally form a discriminating feature in the history of the Reformation," of their national character: it was superas that history has hitherto been induced ; and the formation of it can be recorded, which he has laboured to distinctly traced to causes which produced
their full effect subsequently to the era of fill up; and we have great pleasure the Reformation. The republics of Italy in announcing, that the public may in the middle ages gave many proofs of soon expect a similar volume from religious independence, and singly braved his pen relative to Spain.
the menaces and excommunications of the
Vatican, at a time when all Europe tremIn the opening chapter of his bled at the sound of its thunder. That work, Dr. M‘Crie, after slightly quick-sighted and ingenious people had, glancing at the earlier history of the at an early period, penetrated the mystery church in Italy, from which it ap- by which the emptiness of the papal claims
was veiled, while the opportunity which pears" that the supremacy claimed they
they enjoyed of narrowly inspecting the by the Bishop of Rome was resisted' lives of the popes, and the real motives in that country after it had been by which they were actuated in the most submitted to by the most remote imposing of their undertakings, had dissichurches of the West,” and that of veneration and awe for the holy see
pated from their minds those sentiments “it was not till the eleventh century which continued to be felt by such as that the popes succeeded in esta
viewed it from a distance. The conse. blishing their authority at Milan," which Christianity every where presented
quence of this, under the corrupt form in comes to the period of the revival itself, was the production of a spirit of of learning in the fifteenth century. indifference about religion, which, on the The details in this and the follow- revival of learning, settled into scepticism, ing chapters are learned and curious; masked by an external respect to the esta
blished forms of the church. And in this but the general reader will perhaps state did matters remain until the middle feel a greater tendency to weariness of the sixteenth century, when, from in this than in any subsequent part causes which will be seen, superstition of the volume. From the earliest and ignorance took the place of irreligion dawn of letters in Italy, remarks that empire over the minds and con.
and infidelity, and the popes recovered our author, the corruptions of the sciences of their countrymen, which they Romish church had been discovered had almost entirely lost ..... On a super
ficial view of the matter, we might be apt by 'persons who entertained no
to think, that a people who felt in the thought of renouncing her com
manner which has been described, might munion; and besides Laurentius have been detached without much diffiValla (whom Bellarmine afterwards culty from their obedience to the Church called, not without reason, the
of Rome. But a little reflection will satisfy
precursor of the Lutherans, pp. 15, 48), viction, or less disposed to make sacrifices
us, that none are more impervious to conand Poggio Bracciolini, and Jerome to it, than those who have sunk into in. Savonarola, and Egidio of Viterbo, difference under the forms of religion ; and John Francis Pico of Mirandula, especially when we take into view the
alienation of the human mind from the . Dante, Bocaccio, Petrarch, and spiritual and humbling discoveries of the
Guicciardini, in their several ways, Gospel, as these were brought forward, lashed the vices of the clergy, or simply and without disguise, in the preachdenounced with singular freedom ing of the first Reformers. Experience
too and boldness the abuses which cold and dead to religion have turned out
has shewn, that men whose hearts were threatened the ruin of the church as keen and bitter persecutors as the most and the utter extinction of religion. superstitious and bigoted, when their
Some striking reflections are peace has been threatened by the progress, offered by Dr. M°Crie on the state of or their minds galled by the presentation,
of truths which they hated as well as disreligion in Italy: and it is chiefly believed.” pp. 22–25. for the sake of introducing them Dr. M'Crie next proceeds to trace