« הקודםהמשך »
on he adds that “Homeopathy probably owes its birth, and may rest its future prospects upon the greater present and coming refinement of the human body." He looks forward to the time when mankind will become possessed of glorified bodies, such as that in which our Lord appeared after His Resurrection by a process of gradual refinement, by means of railways, greater luxuries, the changed habits of civilized life, the results of man's mental growth. We spare our readers more of such lucubrations. Our object ir. noticing the book is to warn them against it, as a title so attractive might mislead many who would have no kind of sympathy with the author's statements, which, indeed, are very far from being in all cases intelligible.
The Irish Church Bill proceeds with a stern aspect and a crushing step, which destroy all hope of arresting its progress or of mitigating its destructive policy. A majority of 100 to 125 at every division paralyses all opposition. In the meantime, the minds of thoughtful men begin to realize the facts of disestablishment, and to foresee how easily a majority in Parliament might adapt a similar measure to the case of England and Wales. The process is in progress in the Colonies also: the colonial minister in Parliament was lately called upon to explain the delay of disestablishment in the Bahamas and in Jamaica. It is a time for much solemn enquiry, with prayer for the enlightening grace of the Holy Spirit, into the best means of strengthening the things which remain, so as to ward off what appears to us a great national calamity; or, if it be inevitable, the best means of mitigating the evil, and of engaging on our behalf that Divine arm which is able to make the things which may happen to turn out to the furtherance of the Gospel.
Lord Shaftesbury has added to the long series of splendid services which he has rendered to the cause of religion and humanity by laying on the table of the House of Lords a Bill for the better administration of Church Discipline; accompanied by a speech of great power, which will go far to secure the success of his measure. The Archbishop of Canterbury immediately afterwards presented a rival Bill which the bishops have prepared. Both Bills have been referred to a Select Committee of fifteen members of the House of Lords, five being bishops and the rest lay lords, including Lords Westbury and Cairns. This Committee will prepare a Bill which in their judgment may combine the best provisions of each of the Bills referred to them. It is a curious fact, that the Bill prepared by the bishops contained the substance of that which had been
crorie, of Grabut any aut'he Bishope will pact. Thesents. Led
presented by Lord Shaftesbury, each party having employed the same experienced counsel to put the matter into shape. There is therefore, at last, every prospect of a reasonable and practicable measure for the restraint of clergymen who violate the laws and discipline of the Church.
On the Continent there have occurred no events of a marked character, but uneasiness seems to characterize all the governments of Europe ; and the military establishments are kept in a state of efficiency which is in itself a cause of alarm, and which is thought by some of our high military authorities to oblige this country to strengthen our defences and enlarge our army.
Accounts have arrived from the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, that on the 25th of January last the Rev. W. K. Macrorie was consecrated as a Bishop, by the Bishops of Capetown, of Grahamstown, of St. Helena and of the Orange Free States, without any authority from the Crown or from the Church of England. The Bishop was nominated to Maritzburg in the Diocese of Natal. We will not impugn the motives of the Bishops who engaged in this act. They have put forth their own vindication in a profusion of documents. We willingly give them credit for having acted from a misguided zeal for the truth of the Gospel. But, as true members of the Church of this Realm as by law established, we cannot other. wise characterize the proceeding than as a deliberate act of schism. The assumed deposition of Bishop Colenso has been pronounced to be null and void by the highest tribunal of the Church of England. He is still de facto and de jure Bishop of the Diocese of Natal, and the obtrusion of another Bishop into the same Diocese is perfectly unjustifiable except upon the supposition that the Bishop of Capetown, and his colleagues in the act, have seceded from the Church of England, and have formed an independent and free Church. If there had been no other way of averting the calamity of having Dr. Colenso occupying the see of Natal, we should have felt differently. But the first step in the proceeding was a false step, prompted by the ecclesiastical ambition of the Bishop of Capetown. Instead of citing the Bishop of Natal before the Queen on a charge of his grievous heresy being a violation of the fundamental principles of the letters patent, as a reason for their being cancelled, which course was open according to the late judgment of Lord Romilly, the Bishop of Capetown took the false step of citing the Bishop of Natal before himself and other Bishops, though no such jurisdiction was given to him by the constitution of the Church of England. It is impossible at present to predict the effect of this transaction upon the interests of the Colonial Church, or the reflex effect upon the Church at home.
TASTING THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME. In a day in which many vain speculations are rife amongst us respecting the conditions of a future state, and when we are often compelled to contend for the scriptural doctrine of the world to come, it will be profitable and refreshing, to turn for a while to the more practical matter of “ tasting,” or feeling, "the powers of the world to come.”
As soon as we fix our thoughts upon the objects of the future world, what an overwhelming contrast strikes us between those objects and the things of this world, in their magnitude, their perfection, and their durability.
We are accustomed to speak of objects in this life as being great, magnificent, grand; and some of them indeed, when compared with others, may appear to be so; but considered in itself, the word “great” is an abuse of terms when applied to anything in this life. Here we see nothing truly great or sublime. Our most magnificent works, our grandest designs, our greatest exploits, are but mere trifles when they are either considered in themselves, or compared with the objects ofanother world. Would we know what is truly great, we should quit this world and these confined scenes. Behold the eternal world above opening to our view; not a mere point of space like this earth, or of time like our mortal existence, but space unbounded even by the imagination, and time enduring longer than the power of numbers can calculate. Contemplate the objects as they arise upon view : an Infinite Being, supreme in power, wisdom, and goodness; everywhere present, beholding all things, knowing all things, accomplishing all things by the exertion of His will. See the blessed inhabitants of that world; survey the myriads of their number, the grandeur of
Vol. 68.-No. 378.
nstant; the. the Judge swiftness of
their designs, the excellence of their employments. Listen to the trumpet sounding ; see the dead of this world arising in a moment from their graves. All the inhabitants of the earth, from its first creation to its destruction, appearing at the same instant; the world burned up; the elements melting with fervent heat; the Judge coming in the clouds with great glory; the angels with the swiftness of lightning, in a moment, separating this great assembly, placing with unerring certainty the redeemed on the right hand of the Judge, and the wicked on the left; these departing into everlasting flames, those admitted into heaven and becoming at once pure and glorious, and immortal like the angels.
Survey in imagination the inhabitants of the realms of glory; you perceive not only grandeur, but also their perfection. In this world, if we cast our eyes on any side, we perceive marks of imperfection. The greatest characters are defective; the most glorious actions are sullied with some stain ; the highest enjoyments are tempered by some mixture of pain. But in that world everything is pure and perfect; the joys which are tasted there are unmixed with the slightest infusion of apprehension or sorrow. There, when the soul turns from the present object of delight, new scenes of happiness open on every side to the view. No sad vicissitude is there experienced; no dreary night after the brightness of the day; no want of accordance between the mind and the objects presented to it. In this world external objects too often wear a cheerful appearance while the mind is gloomy; or when the mind is disposed for enjoyment, the aspect of circumstances is dark and frowning. There the frame of the soul is never disordered ; sin does not spoil the works of God. The passions never oppose the judgment; the soul is never indisposed to holy obedience. Infinite wisdom has excluded everything which can impair real happiness, and has appointed whatever tends to produce it. How emphatically is this represented in the book of Revelations! “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new.”
Once more, in the world to come there is no termination of bliss. Here the brightest prospects are terminated by a near horizon. If we possess all things that our hearts can wish, yet the
book'oduce it. happiness, com has ex
when ten the society which day. How difee will allow us
which you theall have performjoy, you wilworld to
possession of them is but momentary. Every day brings some change with it. It takes away the power of enjoyment, or the objects in which we delight; and we see death behind us at no great distance desolating and destroying every earthly possession and hope. We know that we cannot elude his power, and are even uncertain whether he will allow us even the continuance of another day. How different is the world to come! The society which you there enjoy, you will enjoy when ten thousand ages shall have performed their revolution. The vigour which you there feel, the happiness of which you there partake, the purity and holiness which you there possess, admit of no decay. Happiness and knowledge will indeed vary, for they will continually increase and improve ; but they will not cease or abate. For as the glorious God is Himself perfect and eternal, and as He has made His residence in heaven the seat of perfect felicity, and admitted redeemed sinners and angels to dwell with Him and to partake of that felicity, so that scene of enjoyment, and the persons who possess it, partake of the perfection which He in a supreme degree possesses.
Let us now endeavour to show the practical effect of these contemplations, indicated in the words "tasting,” or feeling, “the powers of the world to come.”
Suppose that one of the blessed spirits of the just made perfect, who had been long enough in the realms of glory to understand the nature and the excellency of the bliss enjoyed in them, were, in answer, perhaps, to the fervent fond prayer of some dear relation, brought back to this world, and again enchained to this frail and vile body; how would he feel? Would he not enter with regret again into this prison house ? Would he be capable of enjoying the pleasures of this life while he retained the distinct remembrance of those which are so much purer and greater? Would he eagerly attach himself to the pursuits and enjoyments of the world, and like the careless persons around him, forget his God, and be unmindful of His presence ? Or rather, would he not evidently show that even a moment's residence in that wonderful scene had wholly made him a new creature, and rendered him indifferent to every thing here below ? His heart and his affections would still be above.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen; that is, on those things which are indeed unseen by us, but of which we are certified by the word of God, it throws such a light and glory, as if they were actually present to our view. And therefore, the man who feels the powers of the world to come, will feel and act in some faint measure as he would who had actually been taken up to Heaven and brought back again from that