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forgetting do we see in them of the selves things that perish in the using, things which are behind; or what than to lay hold on eternal life? 'reaching forth unto those which are Are such men Christians ? Ought before? What mortifications of they not to tremble at the question? the flesh, what fastings and watch. While thus destitute of spirituality ings unto prayer, do they practise ? in religion, there is no man, who, for Wino then are they that pronounce a thousand worlds, would take their spiritual Christianity to be impracti- place at death or judgment, cable, but those who have never put
“ Such are a few of the considerait to the test of experiment?" It tions--faintly and imperfectly exmust be confessed that if professed pressed, in comparison with the Christians will not try and intend to energy of our feelings—by which we live spiritually, they cannot live so. would urge upon our readers a life Paul could not have lived so with. of eminent holiness and spirituality out deliberate purpose and constant of mind. While we think a sound effort.
and consistent theology of mo“ Still, some will think that, al. mentous importance to the interests though spiritual religion is the best of the church, we consider it as literand safest kind, yet as the more com- ally of no value, unless it leads to a mon sort may suffice they will con- correspondent depth of feeling, and tent themselves with that. But does devotion of the soul to God. A not this savour more of a low and union of enlarged views and spiritual calculating selfishness, than of that affections, of deep investigation and spirit of regeneracy which instinc. child-like docility of temper, of retively pants after entire freedom solute action and entire dependence from sin, and entire conformity on Divine aid, constitutes the true to the image of God? Have those excellence of the Christian. Such persons any true holiness, who de. were the Edwardses, the Tennents, sire no more than may answer to the Davies, the Bellamys, and the keep them out of hell? But is it cer. Brainerds of other times.” tain that the common sort of religion " Those suns are set. Oh rise some other will suffice? Who feels certain of it ?
Or all that we have left is idle talk Have the professors of that religion
Of old achievements, and despair of new." an assurance of their salvation ? Their hearts answer, No! Has the world any assurance of their salva. tion ? All men stand in doubt,--and it is indeed a doubtful matter. St. Paul thought he should be a cast. away, if he did not keep his body under and bring it into subjection. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Do these professors of religion prac. tise such discipline on themselves, I fear that E. S. L., in your last that their souls may not be lost ? Number, is right, that in some of our Who would stand in their souls' large towns, even where the clergy stead ? In the infinite concerns of are generally exemplary for piety and religion, no uncertainty, no suspense pastoral vigilance, Dissent is rapidly of mind, ought to be tolerated if it spreading. He asks, supposing this to can possibly be prevented; and pre. be the case, what are the causes, and vented it may be, by giving due di- what the remedies ? A full reply to ligence to that end. And what is these two inquiries I leave to your due diligence in this case? Not other correspondents; but one point it more than men generally employ to seems to me desirable promptly to secure worldly things. But shall men notice in explanation, lest it should --shall professors of religion use be said that the spread of Dissent is more diligence to secure to them- increased, or at least is not hindered;
ON THE INCREASE OF DISSENT IN
THE PARISHES OF PIOUS CLER
by the exertions of a pious and ac- sequence that the multitudes gather-
say, into one thousand Discause they are nothing else. At senters, one thousand really conlength, we will suppose, churches scientious Churchmen, and eighteen are built, schools are instituted, and thousand persons of no visible comseveral pious and active clergymen munion, and therefore in courtesy set themselves seriously to work for called Churchmen. With two churches the benefit of these neglected crowds and four pious and active clergymen of immortal beings. What is the the numbers, we will suppose, after a result? Hundreds and thousands, course of years, stand as follows : by the blessing of God, are brought two thousand Dissenters, ten thouto think of their spiritual and eter- sand Churchmen, and eight thousand nal welfare; the new schools and of the aforesaid non-descripts. Has churches are crowded; and the the Church really lost influence ? Church has gained a faithful band of has Dissent really increased ? and true friends, from among those who is it fair to say, in the words of cerwere till then living without God tain objectors, " See what comes and without hope in the world, and of liaving your Evangelical Clergywho were about as good Moham- men;" just because there happen medans as Churchmen. So far the to be two meetings where there was pumps have worked well.
before only one, while the real gain But, in the mean time, Dissent to the Church has been manifold, has not been idle : schools have been and the evils were such as the clergy, at work, meeting-houses have been however active, could not reach ? built, and, let me add, good has been Would it be policy, were there no done, though with the inevitable con- higher motive, to place that parish
on its original footing of vice and any pretence whatever, either of poswretchedness? If the choice is to be session or obsession, by fasting or made between wicked Churchman- prayer, to cast out any devil or ship, most unjustly so called, and devils, under the pain of the impu. pious Dissent, would any real friend tation of imposture or cosenage, and to the Church prefer the former ? deposition from the ministry." Are not vice and ignorance more anti- At the time when this canon was church than even meeting-houses ? issued, the popular superstition, perand are not the many thousands petuated from the days of Papal ignoactually gained, not merely to the rance, was so strong, that the Reformwalls of the temple, but to its prin- ers did not, perhaps, dare boldy to ciples, an ample counterpoise for the declare that there was no warrant, hundreds who preferred seeking sal- eitherin reasonorScripture, forabelief vation as Dissenters to neglecting it in modern possession or exorcism; but as Churchmen?
they virtually effected their purpose I have not replied generally to by forbidding any private clergyman, your correspondent's inquiries, but either from ignorance or craft, prehave only adverted to one portion tending to exorcise on his own auof the subject. The reasons why thority, and obliging him to refer the Dissent often spreads in the parishes matter to the bishop, who, from his of pious clergymen, supposing this education and station, was not likely to be the fact, deserve to be fully to be infected with the popular suconsidered; and the consideration perstition. might be of great service in suggest- The necessity for this caution, ing suitable remedies: my only ob- strange as it may seem, has from ject, in the foregoing remarks, is to time to time been apparent. It is shew that Dissent does not gain so within the memory
that a much where the clergy are pious and deceased clergymanof Bristol, profeszealous, as it would have done if sed, with some Methodist preachers, they had been of another character; his own brethren properly standing and that what it does gain is not aloof, to exorcise a man of the name from the real ranks of the Church, of Lukins,who afterwards confessed, but from the world, the flesh, and on his death-bed, that his possession the devil,-a species of recruiting was an imposture to excite attenwhich no good Churchman would tion and gain money. I grieve, howwish to prohibit.
ever, to learn that some among us are A FRIEND TO FAIRNESS. reviving the notion of modern pos
session; and are gravely arguing whether many persons in confinement as
maniacs, might not be more properly ON CLERICAL EXORCISING. dealt with by exorcism in the name
of Jesus; and whether, among the To the Editor of the Christian Observer. other miraculous gifts continued in
While Your correspondent, Pastor, quotes the church, this is not one. in your last Number an inhibition of the notion floated only in casual the seventy-second Canon, respect. conversation, it was not perhaps ing the appointment of fast days by worth while to dwell upon it: but unauthorized bodies of clergymen; the press, which keeps no secrets, but neither Pastor, nor any other has not kept this; and Mr. Boys, it person, probably ever thought it seems, has come forward as the chamwould be necessary, in the nine. pion of the doctrine. Should any teenth century, to quote the latter clergyman proceed to reduce the part of that Canon, which prohibits theory to practice, I would only reany minister, without an express li- mind him, that he cannot engage in cence from the bishop under his such a business without first procuring hand and seal, “attempting, upon his bishop's written licence; and as
among the abettors of the notion are require for its proof that the dissome zealous advocates for Episco- tinction between the permanent
and pacy, I hope this hint will not be the temporary should be marked lost upon them. It is scarcely pos- by the Apostles themselves; othersible to speak gravely of some of the wise it is purely arbitrary and grastrange phantasies which are afloat tuitous. If one man allege that among us; and yet, alas ! far from one chapter or one doctrine had being ludicrous, they are enough to only a temporary application ; anomake an angel weep.
ther man may, with quite as much
point of fact, this has been done. LETTER FROM THE REV. H. M'NEILE. There are some persons who en
deavour to get rid of the ApostoTo the Editor of the Christian Observer. Tical statements upon the subject of
election (e. g.), by saying that they SIR, -After the use which you have applied only to the Jewish nation, deemed it proper and Christian to and to the first calling of the Genmake of my name, and of an un- tiles, but cannot possibly have any authorized report of one of my ser- reference to us. mons, I cannot doubt that you will As yet I have seen or heard nogive a place in your pages to the thing to convince me that the thirfollowing observations.
teenth chapter of the First Epistle 1. The case of Miss Fancourt has to the Corinthians has a permanent, no connexion with the subject of and the twelfth chapter only a temthis letter. Things which are dis- porary, application to the Christian tinct, should be kept so, by all lovers church. The Apostle makes no of truth.
such distinction in the context, and 2. On the 17th of October, 1830, I dare not devise such a distinction I exchanged duties with my friend in an exposition of that context. Mr. Hawtrey, and one of the ser- If the history of the church be mons which I preached in his chapel referred to for proof that the twelfth was an exposition of the xii th, xiiith, chapter could have been of but and xiv th chapters of St. Paul's First temporary application, because that Epistle to the Corinthians. In your since the Apostles no man has had Appendix for 1830 (page 831) you the power of healing the sick or observe, " In this sermon Mr. speaking in unknown tongues; I M`Neile boldly maintains that the reply, that, granting the statement miraculous gifts of healing, and (for I do not now discuss that point), speaking in unknown tongues, are yet I might as well argue for the a regular part of the Christian dis- temporary application of the thirpensation, and that nothing but our teenth chapter, because that since want of faith prevents our using the Apostles no man has “ thought them." This is substantially cor- no evil.” I argue for the permanent rect. The language of the Apostles application of both, and a derelicto Christian churches in their days, tion of duty on the part of the has ever been beld as applicable to church in reference to both. The the whole church of Christ until gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit his coming again. The contrary are and have been in the church of opinion would render the Epistles Christ in some measure, but neither useless to us. To assert that some the one nor the other are or have parts of the Apostolical language been in the church according to the have a permanent application to the full dimensions of the Apostolical church, and that other parts of the description. If you were called same language had only a temporary upon to shew cause why no man application, does, in my judgment, in the church “ thinketh no evil,"
although exhorted thereto by the nexion with your subject, you reApostle, in his description of love; mark, that " Mr. M`Neile had long would you blame God, and say he ago given himself out for a prophet never intended that men should be sent of God with a special denuncia. so perfect; or would you blame tion against the people of England.” men, and exhort them to pray for Either this charge should not have grace that they might think no evil; been advanced, or the ground upon encouraging them in so praying by which it rests should have been pointing out to them that the Apostle distinctly stated. If you will point enumerates “ thinketh no evil” out to me any passage, in any of my among the graces of the Spirit authenticated writings, to justify this that Spirit which the Lord sent to charge, you will confer a real favour his church, which has never been upon me, as you will afford me an withdrawn, which cannot be with opportunity of apologizing to the drawn--for without the Spirit there church for the preposterous arrocan be no church; the church is the gancy of such an assumption. If living, visible temple of the Holy you can find no such passage, I Ghost? And if you were called on trust you will see and feel that you to shew cause why no man in the have been betrayed into bearing false church heals the sick by fervent witness against a brother; that you prayer (see James v. 14–16), would will repent of the same before God, you blame God, and say he never and pray to be preserved from a reintended that men should have such petition of such transgression. power ; or would you blame men, 4. Had your notice of me and and exhort them to pray for power my sermon been confined to this that they may heal the sick; encou- passage in your Appendix for last raging them in so praying by point- year, I would have continued silent. ing out to them that the Apostle I had made up my mind so to do. enumerates healing among the gifts But I perceive that in your Number of the Spirit-that Spirit which the for January 1831 you repeat the Lord sent to his church, which has attack. On page 64 you write : never been withdrawn, which can- “ Our readers are aware that Mr. not be withdrawn, for without the M'Neile had said, at the Jews' Spirit there can be no church—even Chapel, in his sermon (as reported in that one and the self-same Spirit • The Preacher ') the Sunday before which worketh all the gifts enume. the cure, that what are called the exrated by the Apostle, dividing to traordinary influences of the Holy every man severally as he will ?
Spirit have never ceased, any more In my opinion, the right course than the ordinary; that it is the duty is to begin with what the Scripture of Christians to seek the one as says, and from thence to shew what much as the other; and that it is only the church ought to be: and I con- our want of faith that prevents our ceive it to be most unsound, and enjoying them.” Then, after a quoconsequently unsafe, to begin with tation from my sermon to that effect, what the church is, or has been, you proceed : “ To all this we reand from thence to argue for what ply, in the concluding words of the the Scripture ought to say. To deny pamphlet, 'what Christian the importance of Church History close the above discussion without in proving the inspiration of the feeling of how little practical value, Scriptures, would be fanaticism; after all, would be mere gifts, even but to allow that history, whether miraculous gifts, compared with what ancient or modern, to give the tone is infinitely higher in its character, to our interpretation of Scripture, is and incomparably more important ? one of the worst features of Popery. Were it not, then, wise to
3. On the same page of your Ap- turn from such questionable gifts pendix, but without any real con- to the solid, practical realities of