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hicles:" but what becomes of "fourin-hand," and "stage-coaches," and other recent inventions, which are quite as unacademical as phaetons? I should trust the new college will carefully avoid this evil of overminute legislation.
I might add much more, but I forbear entering further into details. What I have written has not been in a captious spirit, or to blame individually or collectively the members of our venerable academical institutions; but only with the hope that some master spirit will before long arise, some moral Bacon or Newton, to take a large survey of the whole system of our scholastic institutions, and, without any unnecessary innovation, to reduce them to that simplicity which the intelligence of the age, the interests of learning, and the duties of religion require.
PROPOSED RESTORATION OF
There can be no doubt that the first of April was the appointed day of supplication for those who, though born in the church, were incapable of praying for themselves—namely, ideots and lunatics. If the first of April could be now brought back to its original appointment, it would evidently thereby be a reformed day. E. M. B.
VERGERS' FEES AT ST. PAUL'S.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I was lately much gratified in witnessing on a holiday a large number of persons, among whom I observed a considerable number of sailors, walking up and down in a manner most orderly and peaceable, studying the monuments in the cathedral church of St. Paul. But one thing gave me much pain-namely, that it was during the time of Divine service that this scene was passing around me; and once or twice I saw the attendants admonish the
THE FIRST OF APRIL TO ITS ORIGINAL people, telling them that it was the
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. READING the complaint, very justly stated, of your correspondent THE FIRST OF APRIL, I feel desirous to call your attention, and that of your readers, to the origin (a very religious one) of the first of April being denominated All-Fools' Day. The first of November was anciently dedicated to All Saints', doubtless with the view of contemplating them as examples of Divine grace and holiness of life. The following day is set apart in the Church of Rome for supplication in behalf of All Souls, who may be supposed capable of being thereby benefited *.
I incline to think that the original appointment was meant for souls in transitu allow me to cite a passage from Explicatory Annotations by L'Estrange, entitled The Alliance of Divine Offices. "Prayers for the dead first came in by the commendation of a soul departing; this being the practice of the ancient fathers, to favour it with ushering
dean's order (and a very proper order) that persons should not walk about during service time. What reply they made I could not hear; but from the manner of the parties it seemed to me something like a retort, "Then the dean should allow us some other time without making us pay; I suppose, Mr. Officer, you want your two-pence, and grudge that we should see the images for nothing."
When, in our proud city of London, will there be public spirit enough not to make our metropolitan cathedral a two-penny show place; at least, the area of the build
prayers.' (Greg. Nazien.) "Not long after, they thought fit to repeat the same at funerals, supposing the soul still a passenger; where, being once admitted, they got forward into the trental (30th day), and, lastly, the anniversary. Now in these three offices no mention was made of purgatory, as believing the soul in transitu; and this is confessed by Bellarmine himself. The church prayeth so for the dead, as if they were then dying."
ing; for it would be fair enough to charge for the trouble of attending spectators aloft. From what I witnessed of the orderly demeanour of this large number of persons, I felt convinced that it is a libel on my countrymen that they would injure the works of art which they came to admire. Would the sailors whom I saw have mutilated the monument of Nelson? No; our vergers must have invented this calumny, for a pretence to shut up our churches and gather fees for shewing them. The mutilations which do occur are often the effect of mere spite, the populace not feeling that the property belongs to themselves as part of the public. At all events, what great trouble or expense would there be in the cathedral of St. Paul being open all day long, under the care of one or two attendants? The feetaking is a paltry traffic which disgraces all parties concerned in it; and it ought not to last another month. Are we a civilized nation, to make a sailor pay two-pence to see the statue of the hero of Trafalgar? There should be no perambulating the sacred edifice in the time of Divine service: such a desecration ought to be as much prevented as in a parish church; which it might easily be, if the building were open gratuitously at other times; but the regulation cannot be enforced without much altercation and personal violence, so long as the public look to the hour of prayer as the only period of free admission.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. You were so good as to find a place, in your Number for March, for some lines which I sent you descriptive of The Christian in the City; I now transmit a delineation of the same character in the depth of devotional retirement, The Christian Recluse. I do not intend that the Christian, under ordinary circumstances, is literally to bury himself in solitudes : but it is his happiness often to do so in spirit; to enter his closet, and shut his door about him, or to hold converse with his God in his evening walk or nightly musing. "In solis Tu mihi turba locis."—Propert. When faction's waves are raging high, 'Tis sweet to some lone spot to fly; On the wild moor, or pleasant lea, To walk in joy, a slave set free; Or, dove-like, haste to some blest clime, From human folly, human crime! Ye woods, beneath your darkest shades, Your secret, melancholy glades, Sated of cities and of men, Hide me in your farthest glen; Some glimmering dell, fit place of rest, By foot of worldling never press'd : There, silent, oft to hold be mine, Like Enoch, colloquy divine, Till thee, my God, I learn to know, And with thine own illapses glow; Or wait serene, till thou dispense Thy mildly-soothing influence. Oh! come, this wayward heart controul, All heaven infuse into my soul; Teach me to read in nature's face, Each emblem of the world of grace, Till hill and valley, stream and wood, Seem, when rightly understood, To shadow forth to faith's pure eye, These may appear trifles, but they The things of deep eternity;
I have mentioned St. Paul's, because my attention was attracted to the circumstance when I lately attended there, not as a saunterer, but a worshipper; but the same remarks apply equally to Westminster Abbey, and many other ecclesiastical edifices. These were always open at proper times in the days of Popery, as the churches are still in Roman-Catholic countries; where, though they are richly adorned with valuables, sacrilegious theft is a crime
1. A Charge to the Clergy of the Deanery of Sarum. By HUGH PEARSON, D.D. Dean of Salisbury. 2. A Primary Charge to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Winchester, By C. J. HOARE, A.M. Archdeacon of Winchester. 3. A Charge to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Salop. By E. BATHER, M.A. Archdeacon of Salop.
4. The Spirit of the Ministerial Gift Illustrated: a Sermon preached at Coleshill, before the Archdeacon of Coventry and the Clergy of Arden. By the Rev. J. GARBETT, M.A. Rector of St. George's, Birmingham.
5. The New-Testament Ministry, and Source of Ability to fulfil it: a Sermon preached at Ilchester, at the Visitation of the Archdeacon of Wells. By the Rev. J. BENSON. 6. The Christian Ministry, its Nature and Responsibility : a Sermon preached at St. Peter's, Colchester, before the Archdeacon of Colchester. By the Rev. S. CARR, M.A. Vicar. 7. The Christian Messenger: a Sermon preached at Cheadle, at the Visitation of the Archdeacon of Stafford. By the Rev. I. TEMPLE, A.M. Beneficed Curate of Lane End.
8. Scriptural Qualifications for the Christian Ministry : a Sermon
In nothing is the wide increase of piety and sound doctrine among our clergy more evident than in the improved state of Visitation Charges and Sermons. Not many years ago, they were very generally dry and spiritless, barely orthodox, conversant chiefly with a few points of ecclesiastical law or professional decorum; or levelled either at Atheists. and Infidels, or Dissenters and Fanatics, with an occasional skirmish at Bible Societies and Catholic emancipation. Some of these things were doubtless occasionally necessary, and are still so; yet it is very possible so to discuss them as to forget that, after all, the great object of discourses to the clergy should be to stir them up "to fulfil the ministry which they have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God;" to give themselves wholly to this thing; and not to account even their
lives dear to themselves for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord.
Now of the pile of visitation charges and sermons before us we can truly say, that such appears to be the decided object. We have not selected them specially; but we take them just as they happen to have recently accumulated among our pamphlets, by the courtesy of the authors or their friends, and therefore without slight to other charges and visitation sermons which have not reached us, and equally without meaning to say that by inquiringwe might not have found others of a different character. But, taking them as a specimen, and remembering that they emanate from various parts of the kingdom, we think they may be justly considered as a proof of increased piety and soundness of doctrine among our clergy.
It would be incompatible with our plan and limits to review all these discourses; and indeed it is no disparagement to say, that local addresses of this nature may be truly scriptural and valuable, and deserve to be printed, as requested by the auditors, chiefly for local circulation, without possessing any such peculiar features of general interest as would be likely to attract public attention. It is sufficient praise to the performance, and happiness to the writers, if they fill their circle, and, by the blessing of God, answer their proposed end. Without, therefore, making invidious comparisons, or offering either censure or approbation which might be so construed, we shall simply extract from some of them a few passages which we think calculated to interest and benefit our readers.
The Dean of Salisbury's charge relates to the responsibility of the sacred office, in connexion with which the Very Reverend author considers the doctrines which the ministers of Christ should cherish; their application to the actual condition of mankind; and their effect on the labours of the pastoral office. We quote two or three passages, which
may serve to illustrate both the doctrine and the practical tendency of the charge. We may the more readily adhere to our promised abstinence from comment, as the muchrespected name and character of the pious and judicious author are the best guarantee for the object and spirit of his address. We observe affixed to the charge a notice of a volume of sermons preached by the author before his late majesty. We do not happen to have seen the work; but from what we have heard of those discourses, we congratulate the Very Reverend author that he was permitted and enabled, sincerely and earnestly, and as in the presence of the King of kings, to urge upon the conscience of his earthly sovereign the things which belonged to his eternal peace. May those who minister in the presence of our present most gracious monarch be found equally scriptural and faithful.
"It is, obviously, of essential importance, that we form a just estimate of the general character and condition of manstandard of practical Christianity. If we kind with respect to religion, and of the either entertain too favourable an opinion of the spiritual state of our flocks, or unduly depress the demands of the Gospel, we shall inevitably rest satisfied with the one, on insufficient grounds, and fail in urging the other, to the degree required in Scripture, for acceptance with God. The knowledge of the nature and extent of disease, is, in all cases, indispensible to the application of a suitable and effectual remedy. A mistake, or even an inadequate judgment here, cannot but be productive of the most injurious, if not of the most fatal consequences." Dean Pearson, pp. 13,14.
"The Scriptures recognise but two great classes, the just and the unjust, the righteous and the wicked, the natural and the spiritual, the children of God and the children of the wicked one. The reason
of this important distinction arises from the leading principles of the two classes. The one, with many acknowledged sins voted to God; the other, with some amiand imperfections, are still sincerely deable dispositions, and much general propriety of conduct, have no real regard to him. The corruption of human nature, though visible in various forms of vice and immorality, is chiefly to be deplored in that alienation of the heart from God, which universally prevails wherever the
principle of true piety has not, by his grace, been implanted in the soul." p. 15. "But whatever may be the season at which the Divine principle (in the heart) is implanted or developed; and whatever may be the means by which that inestimable blessing is attained, its practical evidences and results are in every case substantially the same. Wherever it exists, God is known and revered, as a reconciled Father and Friend; our Lord Jesus Christ is acknowledged and trusted in, as the only and all-sufficient Saviour; the Holy Spirit is invoked, and received as the Source of wisdom, strength, and consolation; the word of God is esteemed the richest treasure; prayer and communion with the Father of spirits are prized as the most invaluable privilege, and his service' deemed perfect freedom;' the present world is regarded as a state of pilgrimage and preparation for another, and the hope of heaven cherished as the sweetest solace, and the highest joy. This is the predominant character of the enlightened and sincere Christian; and it is one which can only be produced by the peculiar principles of the Gospel-by that conviction of sin and unworthiness, which brings the penitent to God with deep humility and brokenness of heart, to implore pardon and acceptance, through the atoning sacrifice once offered upon the cross; by that faith in the Redeemer, which gives peace to the conscience, and supplies a powerful and affecting motive to grateful obedience to the precepts and example of Christ; by that participation in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which, at whatever period received, realizes the inward grace of baptism, a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness;' transforms the Christian by a spiritual renovation of all his powers and affections; produces in his prevailing dispositions and conduct, the fruits of holiness; preserves him from the corruptions of the world, and forms the earnest and the pledge of his future and everlasting inheritance." pp. 17-19. "We live in a period of great activity and excitement with respect to religion. Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is undoubtedly increasing.' But while some important subjects are thus receiving fresh examination and attention, there is considerable danger of new and unscriptural opinions, or, what is more common, of old and exploded errors, periodically revived, obtaining a degree of currency and consideration to which their real weight by no means entitles them. I allude particularly to certain bold and unauthorized interpretations of unfulfilled prophecy, and to some crude and dangerous, though refined and plausible, assertions as to the supposed want of obligation under the Christian dispensation, of the law of the Sabbath, or the religious observance of the Lord's-day.
This is not the place for the elaborate refutation of the various errors which are at present prevalent on these important subjects. I shall content myself with observing in general, that there is scarcely any point of view in which the value of sound theological learning, and particularly of a thorough acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures, such as I have before described and recommended, is more apparent and convincing than in the promptitude and the decision with which novelties and errors in religion of every kind are perceived and resisted by one who possesses that fundamental qualification of 'steward of the mysteries of God.' Christianity,' said the profoundly learned expositor of the Apostles' Creed, there can be no concerning truth which is not ancient; and whatsoever is truly new, is certainly false.'
"With respect to the obligation of the Sabbath co-eval as it plainly was in its original institution, notwithstanding every attempt to disprove it, with the creation of the world; incorporated as we find it with the other precepts of the Decalogue; recognised as it was by our Divine Lawgiver, while rescuing it from pharisaic strictness, as ordained for the benefit of man; and solemnly enjoined as it is upon her ministers and members in the communion service of the Church, it is deeply to be regretted that, at a period more especially like the present, any endeavours should be made to weaken the force and obligation of a law, on the devout observance of which the evangelical prophet, manifestly looking far beyond his own peculiar dispensation (Isaiah lvi. 2-7; lviii. 13, 14), pronounced an emphatic blessing, and which the testimony and experience of the faithful in all ages have proved to be at once an unequivocal test of personal piety, and the surest preservation of national religion. Persuaded as I am of your cordial acquiescence in these sentiments, you will, I am sure, not only steadily discourage any relaxation of the sacred obligation of the Christian Sabbath, but use your utmost endeavours to promote the scriptural and reasonable observation of that hallowed day.
"As to the latter point, to which I have adverted, let me not be understood as denying that any new light can be thrown on scriptural topics by modern writers, more particularly on the development of unfulfilled prophecy, which must from its very nature be gradual, and growing more and more unto the perfect day;' or as in the least wishing to discourage the study and investigation of that interesting subject. What I am anxious to suggest, is an earnest caution against a precipitate and dogmatical assertion of speculative views respecting any approaching or even ultimate dispen