Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

In reviewing the comparative failure turgical revision, to avail themselves of the Savoy Conference, Bishop Short of the public press for free

and open makes the following remarks, which discussion of the subject.* They must may now perhaps act as a timely cau- then endeavour (laying aside private tion to others : “When men, enter- caprice and individual tastes) to come taining opinions at total variance with to some sort of general agreement each other, meet for the purpose of among themselves as to the nature discussing them, unless they are pos- and extent of the desired changes sessed of extraordinary forbearance, which should be as few as possible, the distance between them is likely (leaving matters of mere taste to the to be increased, rather than dimin- Commission), advocated in a temperate ished. The only method, under such and moderate tone, and supported by circumstances, from which any favour- sound arguments. Taking warning able result tould rationally be ex- from the lesson afforded by the Savoy pected, would be, if the more mode- Conference, they must neither demand rate persons belonging to the ruling nor expect too much, lest they fail of party were selected, who had by pri- gaining anything at all; and they vate communication gained an in- must be content if they succeed in sight into the points in which alteration gaining something. Having succeeded was chiefly demanded, and were di- in something like an agreement, the rected by their commission, and them- next step would be petitions to the selves disposed to concede everything Sovereign, or one united petition, which might be given up with safety presented by delegates chosen from to the constitution of the Church. among those most competent to supSuch concessions might then become port the cause. A Royal Commission, acts of grace, while angry irritation composed of representatives of both would be avoided : and if unanimity parties might then be granted, (as in could hardly be hoped for even from 1661), whose emendations might be this means, yet the proceeding would ratified—if not by both Convocation appear likely to unite the more mo- and Parliament, † yet—at least by derate members of both parties, (the Parliament. only persons whose good opinion is really worth cultivating,) and leave the whole blame of the failure on those,

• See the Dean of Bristol's letter of 23rd Aug. who, after all, were determined to

1851, to J. N. Bennett, Esq., of Plymouth. continue divisions,” (History, s. 701, Also a seasonable tract by Mr. Bennett, entitled p. 504).*

“Progressive Reformation a Church Principle,' To sum up, then; it would seem being an “occasional paper" of the "Plymouth necessary for those who wish for Li- Church Reform Association." (Hall, Virtue, &

CO., London, 1851), Even the Bishop of Exeter, * Rev. C. Simeon considers that it was “the in defending Rev. W. Maskell, maintained that unreasonable scrupulosity of some, and the un- as he “declares, that he accepts, and is bound bending pertinacity of others” which “defeated

by, the Church's present doctrine, I could not the object of that assembly” in 1661. (Hor. hold him open to censure for saying, that this Hom. ii. p. 211). The“ dilemna" in which the doctrine might be improved, whether by revertBishops placed Baxter and his friends as to ing to opinions or practices formerly held, or by asking for either too much, or too little, is introducing something altogether new," &c.(Letpointed out by Bp. Short, in his History, s. 659, ter of 10th Nov., 1848, to Rev.J. Hatchard. &c.) pp. 481-2. See also s. 668. p. 490. It may here As his Lordship is so warm a defender of apos. be just remarked that this candid and learned tolical succession, it is to be hoped that in deal. Prelate shows us in s. 595, p. 435, note, how our ing with such proposals from the party opposed Episcopacy could, even under existing laws, be to his own, he will remember an apostolic practically regulated according to Abp. Ussher's charge to à primitive Bishop, "doing nothing “ Reduction of Episcopacy” (which was re- by partiality,(1 Tim. iv. 21!) printed in the “Christian Guardian " for Dec. 1850, p. 557.) Bp. Short in s. 585, offers some + The whole question of the Proper Authofurther remarks upon it. Bp. Short's view of rity for Liturgical Revision is so fully and ably Episcopacy, in s. 460 and s, 804, is very clear discussed in “Scriptural Revision of the Li. and satisfactory.

turgy” in a “letter to Lord J. Russell" by “a NovembER-1851.

21

It only remains to add a word of vagaries of Puseyism.* In only two caution to some whose indiscreet zeal or three points can the Rubric be in (i.) attacking “the Rubric as if made, by means of forced and strained it were the principal cause of the pre- interpretations, to countenance Rosent “agitation," and (ii.) in advocat- manizing practices. And they who ing sweeping changes-such as the candidly examine the Rubrics will permission of extempore prayer, (see generally find some good reason for the Christian Guardian, Dec. 1850, their directions, which is unobp. 566,)* would, if not restrained, only served in a careless perusal; indeed cause divisions among the advocates it frequently happens that “ good of Reform, and thus weaken their and sufficient reasons may be given power, as well as irritate the adverse for particular directions, which may party. For (i.) with respect to "the perhaps appear in the eye of the suRubric,” the most rigid observance of perficial observer to have been arbiit in its true spirit, and with Protestant trary enactments,(Bp. Mant). And feelings, would not countenance the (ü.) with reference to extempore

prayer, the infinite superiority of LiMember of the Middle Temple," (Groombridge,

turgical forms in public worship has London, 1851),-especially at pp. 159-168, and been so clearly established by Dr. pp. 179—184,--and in a learned and able "Lec

M'Neile in his “ Lectures on the ture” delivered at Plymouth, on “Revision of

Church of England,” No. iii, pp. 128 the Liturgy," by J. N. Bennett, Esq., (Hall,

-139, (Hatchards) that it is to be Virtue, $ Co., London,' 1851), at pp. 36—44; hoped that none of the friends of that it is needless here to enter upon that ques

Revision will injure the cause by tion. Of the five Liturgies of the English demanding liberty for themselves to Church, compiled in 1549, 1552, 1559, 1604, and indulge in extempore petitions in the 1661-2, in two only (viz., those of 1549 and public service of the sanctuary, which, 1661-2) were the proposed changes referred to let them in all candour remember, Convocation for their approval. (See Wheatly on are to the congregation no less a the Common Prayer, Introduction, pp. 22—30, “ Form” of prayer than the petitions Bp. Mant's Prayer-Book, Introduction, pp. i.- in the Liturgy, and in beauty and vi.) Mr. Bennett, at p. 41, considers that Con

grandeur far inferior. vocation was not consulted in 1549. But he is mistaken. (See Wheatly, p. 24, and Lathbury's

* The Act of Uniformity enjoins “that no... History of Convocation, c. vi. pp. 142-3). In rites or ceremonies shall be openly used in any Collier's Ecclesiastical History is given a copy Church, Chapel, or other Publick Place, &c. ... of the Commission in 1661, from which it ap- other than what is prescribed, and appointed to pears that both parties were entrusted with the be used in and by the" Prayer “Book.” Surely work of Revision-Bishops and Puritans. then, it is possible to prevent the addition of * The writer thinks this remark will also

Romish ceremonies in the performance of Divine apply to the proposition of “N. N." in the

service? Rev. T. Lathbury, in his History of September number, p. 423, col. 2, so far as re

Convocation, argues that even turning to the lates to "the introduction of a few more (words)

East during the repetition of the Creed, is forof warninginto our Burial Service. Surely,

bidden by this clause of the Act, (c. xv. p. 395).

This custom was first introduced into the Re the precatory sentences contain enough? e. g. " Deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal

formed Church by Abp. Laud. (See Osburn's death"-an emphasis on the “us” would give

Hidden Works of Darkness, c. vi, p. 172). warning enough as to our opinion of the state of + The Rev. A. Boyd truly has remarked, a departed sinner. Let us be content if we can Often has the objection been urged against only succeed in obtaining “the omission" or the Church's members, that they are tied to alteration “of a few words of uncertain appli- forms: often has the boast been uttered, that cation"in this Office. It is a singular fact, that men of other denominations worship in the while in 1661, the “ High Church” party de- liberty of thoughts which rush unprompted fended the indiscriminate use of our Burial from the mind. In such a contrast as this, Service against the Puritans, in 1851, a petition there is a mistake, and that a gross one. It is has been presented to the Bishops, signed by true that members of the Church of England "nearly 4,000" clergymen, chiefly of the “High approach God through a form of prayer; but it Church" school, against its indiscriminate is not true that they who dissent from us dis

pense with a form of prayer. The simple truth

use !

With these remarks the writer will conclude. On a future occasion he may perhaps, propose some grounds

of common agreement to the friends of moderate Revision.*

Nailsworth, 4th Oct., 1851.

is this, that every congregation worships and is most likely to be best, that which took must worship, through a form. We use what months to compile, or that which takes a few

minutes ? the Prayer-book suggests : they use what their

Which is most likely to ensure minister suggests. That which they receive

edification, that whose novelty distracts, whose and adopt from his lips is as much a form to vehemence bewilders, whose repetitions, perthem as that which we receive from the Liturgy haps weary, whose meagreness perhaps disis to us. We pray not in our own words, nor gusts, or that with whose every clause we are do they. We follow not our own thoughts, but

familiar, which is too copivus to be unsatisfying, the thoughts of others; and so do they. We

too perspicuous to be obscure, too simple to be confess, and supplicate, and intercede, and misapprehended, and too majestic to be desthank, as the liturgic form leads; and they pised ?" (Boyd's Lecture on the Prayer-Book). confess, and supplicate, and intercede, and • In "a Letter to the Hon. & Rev. B. W. thank, as the ministerial form leads. If each Noel, &c., Introductory to an Appeal to the individual in a dissenting congregation uttered

Wisdom and Justice of our Ancestors, &c." by his own prayer—the creation of his own mind, "a Graduate of the University of Oxford," his own arrangement, his own words—by him (Hamilton & Co., 1849), at pp. 18—30, are the self alone, then might he boast of not being opinions of many of our Archbishops and Biindebted to forms. But would this be united shops since the Reformation, on the subject of public worship? But, if each individual in that Church Reform. It is sometimes said, that it congregation prays after his minister, perceive is impossible to please all and therefore it is ye not that they are all using the same form, useless to attempt any revision. But are all prepared, composed, by another? The only pleased now ? Would moderate and scriptural real difference is this, that a minister composes

revision increase or diminish dissatisfaction! his form on the spot; and the reformers, the Of course the Prayer-book would at best be best and holiest of their day, composed ours still a human, and therefore imperfect, composlowly, cautiously, deliberately. Which form sition,

COMMENT UPON THE NESTORIAN PATRIARCH AND THE POPE.

( Hora Sabbataria.) Among the sections of the Catholic or Gospel from the incredulous apostle, Universal Church of Christ, there can who afterwards in faith exclaimed, hardly be found one more interesting “My Lord, and my God !"and formed than that which is known under the themselves into a society of many name of the Nestorian ; and which churches, under one patriarch as their may trace back its origin to a period head. They have been liable to the earlier than its denomination. It is aggression of Romish Jesuits, but supposed to have existed before Nes hitherto have lived unchanged in a torius and his excommunication in tract of country dividing the Turkish the fifth century, which happened and Persian dominions, preserved and after the third General Council of taught in the antient faith of Christ, Ephesus in the year of our Redemption, and governed by bishops and priests, 431. He at least gave his name to or presbyters. the body of Christians, existing in "A few years ago, a Jesuit offered Koordistan and Oroomiah, in the west to the Nestorian Patriarch 10,000 dolern part of Persia ; and recently they lars, on condition that he would achave been found there by the enter knowledge allegiance to the Pope, to prising traveller, Layard, whose ex whom the Patriarch replied, in the cavations and discoveries in Armenia, emphatic language of Peter to Simon will be a lasting monument to his Magus, “THY MONEY name, whilst they enrich our museums,

And of late, emissaries from and illustrate history, sacred and pro- Rome have tendered to him the asfane. They probably received the surance, that if he will so far become

PERISH WITH

THEE.

measure

a Catholic as to recognize the supre- Secondly. We see how little scrumacy of their master, he shall not only pulous even infallibility is to patroncontinue to be Patriarch of the Nesto- ize a reputed heretic, in order to rians, but all the Christians of the accomplish purposes of ambition, and east shall be added to his jurisdiction. extend its dominion. The man whom To this the Patriarch replied Get ages before it had exiled, and caused thee hence, Satan.' The newest to flee into a far distant region, it now

that has been reported to enrols among the blessed number of us, is a recent order, fresh from the saints and confessors, whom it honours Pope, to the Catholics of these regions, and prays for. And to “decoy " the to "CANONIZE Nestorius, whose me- simple, it seeks to make friends with mory every Papist has been required the followers of him who denied the for so many centuries to curse, and to title of Theotokos to the Virgin Mary, anathematize the Lutherans, i. e. the at the expence of its own consistency, Protestant missionaries, with whom and a recission, in his favour, of an they propose also to class such of the ancient decree. The obedience of St. Nestorians as shall not go over to the Peter's successor to his Master's adranks of the Papists. The Nestorians munition, “ Be wise as serpents," is fully understand that this surprising remarkable, and throws some light on change is intended only to decoy another of His incomparable sayings, them; and they very naturally spurn which tells us how much “ wiser in the honour thus proffered.”

their generation are the children of Upon these facts, from the pen of this world than the children of light." an American Missionary, recorded in It was perceived that, by only such the “ American Biblical Repository” means, the ends of the Pontificate for January, 1851, it may be useful to could be gained, and hence “his make briefly two or three remarks. Holiness" not merely proposed to

First. We are grieved to see the confirm the Patriarchate to Nestorius, Bishop of Rome, under the title of but canonized him, who before was Pope, asserting his claim to be re- rather execrated than blessed; that garded Universal and Sovereign Pon- the antient Church bearing his name tiff; and in imitation of Satan* pre- might be won over to an admiration tending to give territorial jurisdiction, of the Romish dispenser of grace, and of his own right. Leading us to ask, fountain of everlasting honour. Whence such power ? and how was it But, thirdly, it is worthy of remark acquired ? Every instance may serve how "stedfast and immoveable" were to expose such arrogance, and im- the disciples and imitators of Luther, press the nations of the world with a anathematized as Protestants, who, due notion of the height to which on the other hand, like the Supreme ambition may rise, whilst the garb of “ Head over all things to the Church,” humility is assumed, and the name spurn the proffered honour. “All this of Servant of servants, in a spirit of power will I give thee," said the pride. “ Such are false apostles, de- arch-tempter," for that is delivered ceitful workers, transforming them- unto me; and to whomsoever I will I selves into the apostles of Christ. And give it. If thou therefore wilt worship no marvel, for Satan himself is trans- me, (or fall down before me) all shall formed into an angel of light. There- be thine."* But the true and faithful fore it is no great thing if his ministers steward of the trust committed unto also be transformed as the ministers him, disdained to acknowledge the of righteousness, whose end shall be

usurped authority of Anti-Christ, and according to their works.”+ It only having his eyes opened, to see through becomes us to be the more aware of the design of "the man of sin, and the power, in proportion to its capa- son of perdition ; who opposeth and bilities of transformation and deceit, exalteth himself above all that is remembering that the day shall ddeclare called God, or that is worshipped,"'+ it, which will divulge the secrets of held fast the profession of his faith all hearts, and of every conclave. without wavering. + 2 Cor. xi. 13, 15,

• Luke iv. 6, 7. + 2 1 hess. ii, 4.

# Matt. iv. 8, 10.

In this instance of tergiversation spiritual worship, in

even advanand fidelity, we perceive certain cha- tageous opposition to the idolatrous racters of the Papacy and the Protes- claims of Rome. Thus the Nestorians tant, and how they manifest them- demand our sympathies, and prayers selves, in the efforts made to extend for their restoration, and complete dominion, and preserve incorruptibi- establishment in all necessary doclity of worship and doctrine. The trines; whilst, like Thomas, who protransaction illustrates the spirit of bably first preached the Gospel in Popery and aggression, and bids us those eastern regions, in obedience to on no consideration to forfeit the the risen Saviour's command, to “teach birthrights of conscience, and freedom all nations,” they love Him whom of Protestantism. It struck the writer they have never seen, and neither on forcibly in reading, and led him. as it Mount Gerizim, nor at Jerusalein, may do others who reflect, to mark worship the God of their fathers as the comparative defection of Churches; "a Spirit, in spirit and in truth." the contrast, under all phases, of Po.

H. W. G. R. pery and Protestantism; and the shades of error, in connexion with

Derby, Nov. 1st, 1851,

BEING WITH JESUS.

BY AN AMERICAN CLERGYMAN.

Ir is a household proverb, that a man nation, before the high priest and is known by the company he keeps. rulers, instead of making any apology, When we observe that his companion- they fearlessly addressed the court ship is with men of loose principles and the multitude, in language which and bad habits, we infer that he is excited their rage and astonishment. one of them, as well as with them. Such a sermon as Peter gave them, So, on the other hand, if we see him they probably had never heard before, associating with the wise and good, and never expected to hear. He told we take him to be a man of good them, among other things, that there principles and good character, without was no other name given under heaany particular acquaintance or in- ven among men, but the name of quiry. And we are not mistaken. In Jesus Christ whom they had just crulike manner, when we are struck, as cified, whereby they must be saved. we often are, with something in a “ And now, when they saw the boldman's conversation, general deport- ness of Peter and John, and perceived ment, and modes of thinking, like what that they were unlearned and ignorant we have noticed in a person of supe- men, they marvelled, and took knowrior intellectual and moral worth, we ledge of them that they had been with reason in the same way. We regard Jesus.” There was no other way of the former as the disciple, and the accounting for the readiness, prolatter as the master. We feel quite priety of diction, force of reasoning, sure, that so striking a resemblance and fearless energy with which they cannot be accidental ; that the disciple spoke. It needed no testimony to has been much with the master, and convince their enemies that they had that his mind and heart have been been the disciples of Jesus, and were moulded by sitting so long at the feet indebted to Him for what was maniof him whom he loves and admires. festly so much above their condition

We have a striking example of this and educational advantages. The inferential reasoning, in the fourth conviction did not, indeed, have its chapter of Acts. The priests and proper effect upon their minds. It Sadducees had seized two of the disci- did not abate their inveterate hostility ples and shut them up in prison, for to the new religion and its preachers. preaching to the people. Being It did not remove one of their prebrought out the next day for exami- judices. But it showed them how

« VorigeDoorgaan »