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a bishop can execute; and the sus- them that are rich in this world, pension of these, for a period of that they be not high-minded, nor twelve or eighteen months, which must trust in uncertain riches, but in the happen as often as the see becomes living God, who giveth us richly all vacant, is an evil of enormous weight, things to enjoy ; that they do good, especially in a diocese of such vast that they berich in good works?” Will magnitude. Besides, it is perfectly no one point out the obligations they obvious that a government carried are under to spread the blessings of on by substitutes, or representatives, the Gospel as far as they are able, must always be comparatively defi- among the millions who have subcient in promptitude and efficacy. mitted to their power. Let a bishop No merely temporary or delegated with a moderate allowance be apauthority, whether ecclesiastical or pointed to each presidency, that the civil, can be exercised with the same word of God may have free course. vigour as if it were original, or com- and be glorified : order and discipline mand, in the same degree the re- will thus be established and maintainspect and confidence of the public.” ed among professed Christians; en
The Apostolic precept is, “Let all couragement and support will be things be done decently and in or- afforded those who labour in the der;" but disorder and confusion work of converting the heathen ; and must inevitably be the effect of such as the cause of Christ extends itself, a system as this. Our best and most a feeling of regard and affection for pious men may go forth one by one, their conquerors will be kindled and hazarding their lives for the name kept alive in the hearts of the people, of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet still not otherwise to be purchased at any the spiritual wants of vast numbers price. of professed Christians will be If then
you have the good of Zion unsupplied; still no concentrated at heart, if you wish well to the and effectual assaults will be made missionary cause, “cry aloud, and on the kingdom of Satan: they may, spare not,” put forth all your they must sink under the overwhelm- strength to hasten the time when ing pressure of cares and anxieties the voice of humanity as well as duty far too heavy for any individual to shall be heard, and the overburthensustain, yet, each as he falls, must ing toil and responsibility of this feel the melancholy and not alto- immense diocese be apportioned congether groundless conviction, “I formably to its separate political dihave laboured in vain, I have spent visions.
B. C. S.* my strength for nought and in vain," since little will or can be done in • We heartily concur in the suggestion comparison to what might be effected, of our correspondent; but he must have if the labour were duly apportioned. know how often and earnestly we have “ The love of money is the root of urged the same point. It is of great all evil;” and to this in some measure moment at the present time in referare to be attributed the deficiencies ence to the approaching question of the in our church establishment in India. renewal of the East-India Company's
Charter; and we trust that the friends The greatly needed division of the of religion in the Church of England diocese would entail an additional will strenuously exert themelves, wheburden on the finances of the Com- ther by petitions or otherwise, to secure
so important an object. Our correpany, who, sooner than part with a
dent would find his arguments derived small portion of their wealth, allow from Mr. Le Bas's Life of Bishop Middlethis waste of valuable lives, and suffer
ton greatly strengthened by Mr. James's multitudes to perish for lack of know- interesting : Memoir of his brother, the ledge. But will no one remind them late Bishop James of Calcutta. We need of the words of the Lord Jesus, how never have occasion to add, as another
not add the name of Heber: and may we he said, It is more blessed to give victim, the name of that much loved and than to receive ?" Will noone" charge respected prelate Dr. Turner.
422 Ancient Latin Hymn— Review of Best on Amusements of the Stage. (July
Da spem, fidem, charitatem;
Da discretam pietatem :
Da contemptum terrenorum,
Deus, ex te totum quæro.
Tu laus mea, meum bonum, following hymn, written in monkish
Mea cuncta, tuum donum. Latin rhymes, from a manuscript
Tu solamen in labore,
Merlicamen in languore, copy in the Cottonian library. It
Tu in luctu mea lyra,
Tu lenimen es in ira. appears to have been written by
Tu in arcto liberator, Hildebert, Bishop of Anomanum or
Tu in lapsu relevator : Mans, in the twelfth century. A good Metum præstas in provectu, metrical version of these “ rythmos
Spem conservas in defectu.
Si quis lædit, tu rependis; elegantissimos," as Usher calls them,
Si minatur, tu defendis ; from the pen of some of your poe
Quod est anceps, tu dissolvis;
Quod tegendum, tu involvis. tical correspondents, would, I doubt
Tu intrare me non sinas not, gratify many of your readers, Infernales officinas; as well as your obedient servant,
Ubi moror, ubi metus;
Ubi foetor, ubi fletus ;
Ubi probra deteguntur ;
Ubi rei confunduntur ;
Ubi tortor semper cædens,
Ubi vermis semper edens;
Ubi totum hoc perenne,
Quia perpes mors Gehennæ.
Me receptet Siou illa,
Sion David urbs tranquilla ;
Cujus faber auctor lucis,
Cujus portæ signum crucis;
Cujus claves lingua Petri,
Cujus cives semper læti,
Cujus muri lapis vivus,
Cujus custos Rex festivus.
In hac urbe lux solennis;
Ver æternum, pax perennis
In hac odor implens coelos,
In hac semper festum melos.
Non est ibi corruptela ;
Non defectus, non querela :
Non minuti, non deformes;
Omnes Christo sunt conformes.
Urbs coelestis, urbs beata.
Supra petram collocata :
Urbs in portu satis tuto,
De longinquo te saluto ;
Te saluto, te suspiro.
Te affecto, te requiro.
Quantum tui gratulentur,
Quam festive conviventur ;
Quis affectus eos stringat,
Aut quæ gemma muros pingat,
Quis chalcedon, quis jacinctus ;
Norunt illi, qui sunt intus.
In plateis hujus urbis,
Sociatus piis turbis,
Cum Moise et Elia,
Pium cantem alleluia.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons on the Amusements of the “ What harm can there be in harm.
Stage, preached at St. James's less amusement ? What more inChurch, Sheffield. By the Rev. nocent than innocent recreation ? T. BEST, A.M. 5s. 6d. Sheffield. What more sober than a sober tra1831.
gedy? And where can be the im
morality of a good moral play?” Christ; otherwise there would be Something very like this is often little room for any discussion, to heard, with a tautological iteration prove that our theatrical entertainwhich takes for granted the very ments are utterly opposed to the points to be proved, and gives no spirit of our holy religion. better reason to shew that the de- Still, however, as plausible exprecated practice is lawful than a cuses are currently offered in palliagratuitous assumption that it is so. tion of this popular immorality, we But after all such arguments, it is ought to feel very grateful to those, quite certain that the great body of who, like the author whose work lies religious and exemplary persons in before us, have exerted themselves every age have instinctively avoided with great zeal and diligence to and condemned many of the recrea- guard the puplic against this insitions current in ordinary society, es
Mr. Best has long pecially play-going, and with a range been honourably distinguished in of prohibition proportioned to their this cause, in the sphere and neighown advancing spirituality of cha- bourhood of his ministrations; and racter. This, to say the least, is no his labours, as we understand, have, hopeful presumption in favour of the by the blessing of God, been attendlitigated indulgences.
ed with signal success.
For about It must to a Christian mind be fourteen years, we believe, he has argument sufficient against thea- preached an annual sermon on the trical amusements—as such amuse- subject ; and his faithful arguments ments ever have been, and are ever and appeals have attracted great likely to be conducted—that “these attention in Sheffield, and powerthings are not of the Father, but of fully tended, it is said, to open the the world.” A higher, a more con- eyes of the public as to the serious vincing, a more affecting reason, evils of stage entertainments, and to cannot surely, an ds not be, pro- diminish the number of attendants duced. If any man will gravely argue, upon them. Several of his disthat these things are not of the courses have, we believe, been pubworld, and are of the Father, it will lished either as tracts or in the local then be requisite to shew by facts newspapers; but the present collecthat his hypothesis is untenable: tion is printed with the author's but till then we feel inclined to take permission by an individual, once the matter for granted; for sure we much attached to the drama, but are, that if it is to be decided by the who, having been convinced by Mr. sensibilities of a spiritually-minded Best's arguments, is auxious that man, there will be no difference of they should be brought under the opinion. It is only because “ all consideration of others who have not men have not faith,” and those who yet seriously reflected upon the subhave not, proffer arguments in ex- ject. The publication being thus cuse for their worldliness of spirit, extorted from the author, not by his that any question needs be held upon own estimate of its value, but impara matter so obvious as the unchris- tially, and for the public benefit, we tian and demoralizing character of should receive it with indulgence, if the stage. What it might be under it needed it : but it needs it not, as certain supposed circumstances of it is throughout an honest, scriptural, refinement, which never have prac- reasonable, and, we may add, not tically existed, or are likely to exist, exaggerated appeal; simple, earnest, it is unnecessary for us now to dis- convincing, and well worthy of a cuss. We deal with facts as we find faithful minister of Jesus Christ. them, and, to all who value supremely We proceed to cite a few of the their eternal salvation, those facts writer's arguments. are abundantly lucid. Men
The following passage in the first ashamed to be disciples of Jesus sermon relates to the point which
we have above touched upon need to watch and pray that he enter not namely, the contrariety of the into temptation." pp. 15–17. theatre to that spirituality of mind The author then specifies several which is an essential part of the Christian graces ; such as humility, Christian character.
contentment, and a forgiving spirit;
and shews how directly the stage “ No man can have a good hope that tends to weaken and destroy them, he is going to heaven, unless he has a grow- and to foster the contrary disposiing taste and tendency of mind for those things which are to constitute his future tions. The very virtues of the drama, employment and happiness. Now, I he shews, are antichristian ; so that would not condemn the theatre because
even the avowedly good man of the it does not promote these feelings, but play, the moral man, the man who because it is incompatible with them ;
is held up for imitation, is opposed the two things cannot subsist together ;and if any individual, possessing spiritual to the Christian character as exhifeelings and heavenly desires, were to bited in the word of God, and to attend the theatre, its direct and sure
the image of that Saviour who hath effect would be to deaden and destroy them. In shewing that the stage is op
left us an example that we should posed to spirituality of mind, I would not tread in his steps. The spirit, the refer particularly to the injurious effect maxims, the objects, the motives of which would be produced upon the reli
the applauded dramatic character are gious feelings by the company—the conversation—the gaiety of the general scene,
irreconcileable to the mind that was because the theatre shares this evil with in Christ Jesus, and to the course of almost every other species of worldly dis- his holy life. What then shall we sipation; but I would refer to the pecu
say of the less reputable characters ? liar gratification of the stage—its own
In the second sermon, from the proper pleasure.— The mind is powerfully affected by some creation of a vain text “ Fools make a mock at sin," fancy-the feelings are roused—the pas- we find many proofs of this proposions stimulated—the imagination heated; sition in its application to the stage. and during this paroxysm of mental excitement, life is transformed into a dream, Will any friend of theatrical amuseand is embellished with various imprae- ments undertake to confute the folticable and unattainable pleasures, and the lowing statement? If he will, our scenes which are spread before the ardent
pages shall be open to his reply. and youthful mind are as flattering as they are false; and when this intellectual fever “ I fear not to affirm, that it is one subsides, it leaves the mind relaxed- main part of the business of the stage weakened-wearied_unfitted for ordi- 'to make a mock at sin.' Sin is there nary employments, and sick of sober treated lightly and in jest.— The sacred realities, and, like an appetite vitiated by names of God—the profane oath-the highly seasoned food, requiring a constant dreadful wordshell' and 'damnation' succession of stimulants; and hence that impure allusions—all these are uttered ardent and insatiable desire after the works as flippantly and as unscrupulously, as of novel-writers, dramatists, and every though it were no crime to take God's and any kind of composition which is name in vain—to trifle and sport with calculated to pamper and please the ima- eternal punishment, and to defile the imagination, which an attendance on the gination. And are they not heard with theatre often excites and always strength- gay and careless indifference, if not with ens in young persons; and this desire will applause and admiration? What can be in proportion to the quickness of per- these things mean, but either that sin is ception and susceptibility of excitement, not that abominable thing which the which the mind possesses ; so that young Bible describes it to be,—or that God persons of the greatest intellectual promise will not require it, or that he hath forgotare generally the first to feel this perni- ten, and hideth his face and will never cious effect of theatrical amusements. see it? What must be the effect of such
“ Here then is another reason why all scenes, but to familiarize the mind to the who truly desire to act consistently with thought and practice of sin ?—to weaken their professed principles, will carefully the sense of its deformity and dangerabstain from such amusements ; because to break down the remaining scruples— their influence is directly opposed to that to sear the conscience—and to embolden sobriety and spirituality of mind which the hesitating youth to commit it with the Sacred Scriptures so earnestly, en- daring presumption, and with a high band? force, and for the preservation of which It is the sure tendency of the theatre to the most serious Christian has constant cause sin to be considered rather as a
thing to be laughed at, than as a great not deny this ; or that in the motley and dreadful evil to be constantly hated assemblage at the theatre there are and feared and fled from.” pp. 34, 35. Nor is this the whole, or the
to be found persons of character and
good estimation in society. But he worst; for sin is not only made a
justly adds : mock of, but is gloried in, and
especially the sin of licentious profligacy: liating, only increase the evil, and render
“ These circumstances, instead of palWe shall not sully our pages with it much more to be dreaded. Were the proofs; but no man can deny the sentiments taught on the stage uniformly fact.
and unequivocally contrary to the morality The third sermon shews that the of the Bible ;-did the frequenters of the theatre is inconsistent with the duty the profligate ;-then, this engine of Satan
theatre consist only of the abandoned and of loving God with all our hearts, would not be half so successful as it is and our neighbour as ourselves; of found to be. In such a case there would the former part of which it were
be comparatively little need for me to
warn the young persons of this congregaproof enough that the character of tion against frequenting such a place ; you God is holiness, and of the latter, would shun it as you shun the
grosser that the theatre is a destructive en- scenes of shameless wickedness, of which gine of vice and immorality.
you hear and read with unfeigned abhorIn the fourth sermon, on the di
rence:—but the mixture of a little good
with much evil; the interspersing of a vinely taught prayer, Lead us not few correct sentiments with that mass of into temptation, we find the follow- moral poison whose only effect can be to ing passage. Let the frequenter of call into active exercise the depravity
of the heart; the countenance and supthe play, after reading it, say whe
port of a few estimable, and, as far as ther he can continue his accustomed worldly virtue goes, excellent persons ; gratification, and yet honestly pray all this serves as a lure to draw many not to be led into temptation.
to the theatre, who could not otherwise
have been persuaded to enter it, and also “ There are few dangers so much to be
as an apology to their consciences when dreaded as those which arise from the they are there; it furnishes a plausible opening of a theatre. Were impiety and
argument to the advocates of the stage, impurity to appear in all their naked, and is employed to sanction and sanctify undisguised, and exceeding sinfulness,
all the abominable things with which it is they would be less perilous. But the
connected.” pp. 139, 140. theatre conceals its mischief and its wickedness under a specious and imposing In answer to the charge of promask. It seems to offer nothing but faneness and sporting with sacred harmless entertainment;—it comes with things on the stage, it is often fair professions ; – it is one of those wiies replied, that the reprobation or ridiof the devil, in which he has discovered in cule is not directed against religion a peculiar manner, what the Bible calls his or virtue, but only against hypocrisy
subtlety.' In these amusements there is and mean and odious vices under a much to entice and entrap ;-much to excite the tenderest feelings ;-much to in
sanctified garb. But does not every terest the cultivated mind ;-- there is man of common understanding perevery thing of outward decoration, and ceive what is the real, and we scru: beauty of language, to catch and to gratify ple not to say meditated, effect of the eye
and the ear ;—and together with this alleged wholesome reprobation all this, moral lessons and virtuous sentiments are interspersed here and there, and ridicule. Mr. Best truly dewhich serve to lull and to pacify the con
scribes it : science. All these circumstances con
“I do not mean that God and the Bible, spire to spread over the theatre a most
and the aweful realities of eternity, are dangerous fascination. Under all this show of harmless mirth and innocent openly
and avowedly set at nought, and
scorned and insulted. Blessed be God, gratification, however, are concealed the
such is the influence and ascendency which most destructive evils." pp. 63, 64.
religion has gained in this country, that, We are frequently told of the perhaps, a large promiscuous assembly excellent sentiments inculcated in could no where be collected, in which plays; the scraps of high-toned mo
this could be done without calling forth a
general expression of disgust and reprorality, and magnanimous virtue and bation. But, at the theatre, the effect is exalted sentiment. Mr. Best does produced, more indirectly indeed, but not CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 355.