« AnteriorContinuar »
tion. That illustration, therefore, from all quarters. Sometimes, nay should be drawn from all possible for the most part, the young men sources. For this purpose you must preparing for the ministry in the Disbe a man of various and diversified senters' colleges have not enjoyed the knowledge. You must be acquainted advantages of a scholastic or scienwith a variety of topics that are but tific education ; they know but little, remotely connected with theology. in some cases, very little, till they You will have hearers of all tastes to came to college, and then, according instruct and please. Nothing will to the plan of Dr. Leifchild, such a please a hearer more, or contribute prospect of “ologies” would burst more to his instruction, than to listen upon their aching eyes, besides the to an illustration of a subject drawn exceeding great task of systematic from the topics with which he is theology, and the acquisition of Greek peculiarly conversant.
and Latin, as might drive them into tions, therefore, of men ; the arcana despair, if they really believed all of the arts and sciences, and all the that their learned seniors unmerci. different departments of nature, must fully propound concerning the studies be laid by you under tribute.” The of a minister. Then, again, many of commentary on this passage is pain them have not the capacity requisite fully ludicrous.
“We have some- for this gigantic intellectual toil; times felt,” says the Congregational many have not the books, and still Magazine, “in common with our more have not the money requisite to brethren, an almost painful sensation purchase the books, so that this is in attending ordination services, and like the cruelty of Pharaoh demand. in listening to the charge to the ing the whole tale of bricks, but minister, when the standard of mini- withholding the straw by which the sterial attainments has been placed bricks were to be fabricated. But very high, and we have sat mourning though this view of the subject might, over our deficiencies, especially when and ought to convince the scholastics the gifted brother who may have of the absurdity of their theory (for addressed us, has failed to furnish if it were based on the truth, it would any hints or directions from his own not thus turn out inapplicable to much experience, to assist us in reaching the greater number of persons for the elevation we have been enjoined whose edification it is propounded), to seek, or in correcting the imper- yet in truth this is but one of its minor fections we deplore.'
evils; for such sentiments as those This is indeed one evil of the scho, here quoted, cannot be sustained in lastic theory which the Reviewer juxtaposition with the truths of the seems almost to have discovered, as Gospel ; they wholly militate with the if he had caught a glimpse of the doctrines of grace, and are of a light ; for begging Dr. Leifchild's nature to require “ a sharp rebuke.”, pardon, and the pardon of all those It is obvious that both the Reviewer learned Doctors who propagate simi- and Dr. Leifchild have in their minds lar sentiments in ordination services, the actual state of things existing their admonitions and exhortations amongst the Dissenters; and to these are, in nine cases out of ten, directed they refer, as if they were unques to an impossibility when they preach tionably resting on a right foundation. in this strain. It is not possible, for They suppose that a chapel and the various reasons, even if it were de- minister are to be sustained by what sirable, that the majority of ministers' is called “a respectable congregashould accomplish that which is en- tion;" that men of the world,' joined them as a duty in thus ran- worthy class of hearers," i. e. rich, sacking all the stores of science, and rising people, persons living at ease, heaping up knowledge by all means enjoying the luxuries of life, and dip
ping into all the fashions as far as their station will allow them, persons of all sorts of tastes, pursuits and habits, are to take seats in a chapel in order to hear a young man of talent; that for this mixed multi. tude, a continued treat of intellectual varieties must be served up every Sunday; and that “ laudable attract iveness” is to be sustained by“ new
calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things
new illustrations,” in short by all things that are : that no flesh should those contrivances which Dr. Leif. glory in his presence. Beware lest child has set forth with his usual any man spoil you through philosophy power of words. If the minister and vain deceit, after the tradition of therefore does not “ keep in advance" men, after the rudiments of the world, of the intelligence of the age, (a and not after Christ. For in him most difficult task indeed to perform, dwelleth all the fulness of the God. and such as we are confident neither head bodily. And ye are complete in Dr. Leifchild nor his reviewer have him, which is the head of all princi. yet achieved), he will begin to be pality and power.” These passages forgotten "as a dead man out of are directly to the point, and the full mind," and none but “the dull and force of them we request our readers idle will sleep in the stagnant pool of to ponder, comparing them with other such a ministry.”
Scriptures of a similar import which But although these things are so they will easily remember: for what among the Dissenters; and though are they but commentaries on the there is this clamour for talent in divine words of the Son of God, “to the pulpit, and for amusement and the poor is the Gospel preached," and instruction by all sorts of illustrations, how can the views of the ministry, &c.; and though, in some few cases, the constitution of a Church of Christhe system is sustained, ought it to tians, and the worship of Christians be so? Is this a right view of the as set forth in the Scriptures, be redispensation of the gospel? Can it conciled with this theory of a priestbe defended by any one text of Scrip- hood separated from the laity, and ture? Can it not be opposed by many ? prepared by a most laborious, most It is piteous indeed to be compelled painful education, to come forth at to bring forward such proofs, and last “men of various and diversified thus to be driven as it were to lay knowledge, and fully prepared to down first principles, which surely instruct and please. hearers of all ought to be beyond dispute by this tastes ?” And how comes it, that the time; but to those proofs we must, dispensation of grace seems to be it appears, have recourse, and we must changed by the modern theory, and state how that the Apostle Paul said, that we ought, in accordance with it, “ The Jews require a sign, and the to reverse the doctrine of Paul, Greeks seek after wisdom : but we already quoted, to state that as the preach Christ crucified; unto the Jews Greeks of our days require wisdom, a stumbling-block, and unto the so we will give it them, and that God Greeks foolishness; but unto them has not chosen the weak things of the which are called, both Jews and world to confound the wise, but rather Greeks, Christ the power of God, the wisest for the purpose of decoyand the wisdom of God. Because ing the wise into the belief of the the foolishness of God is wiser than Gospel ? men; and the weakness of God is Our limits compel us here to bring stronger than men. For ye see your our remarks to a close ; we will only
add that the solemn admonitions require the attention of the assembled which Dr. Leifchild has expressed in brethren: but will they be brought his counsels on the article of forward and fairly discussed ? We fervent piety, will we fear lose all their know not what may be the important force after the sentiments which we subjects thus announced by the comhave noticed. The minds of the mittee; but we will venture to offer young ministers to whom these
some topics for inquiry and examina“counsels” are directed will, it is to tion, which may, with great propriety, be apprehended, think far more of be laid before the synod by the learned their difficult position with "the men and reverend Chairman. of the world,” “the hearers of all 1. Is the Congregational system tastes and pursuits,” whom they are answering our expectations ? 2. Are thus urged to “instruct and please,” there any deficiencies in it, either by continually increasing knowledge of a theoretical or practical nature ?
- they will far more be occupied with 3. Is the constitution of our churches anxious contemplations of the omne according to the warrant and auscibile, thus alarmingly placed before thority of the New Testament ? them in the distance, as that which 4. Are we right in upholding the monthey must acquire, whether they can archical form of the ministry univeror cannot; they will much more be sally established in all our Churches ? ruminating on so the arcana of all the 5. Were there not in the churches of arts and sciences,” than on these well- the Apostolical age more than one meant, but not very novel exhortations minister ? 6. Were there not more to holiness ; a holiness which joined than one Elder in the churches ? and to this enormous course of studies, if so what was the nature of their and united with the intellectual labours office? 7. Should the work of the of this scheme, may be almost ranked ministry consist in preaching sermons; amongst impossibilities.
and should that task be assigned to The Reviewer closes the subject one man only ? 8. Are low views of with the following remarks, “From the standing and privileges of believthese considerations we may clearly ers entertained and indeed encouraged see the importance of eminent holi- in our churches ? 9. Do our ministers ness in the ministers of the sanctuary, assume the priestly office, and exclude whose office it is to speak to the the Lord's people from their place in people in the name of God, and to the innermost sanctuary, consecrated address God in behalf of the people. for all the elect people of God by the The one half of their duty consists in blood of Christ ? 10. Should be. intercession, and the other in the pro- lievers be excluded from teaching, clamation of the truth as it is in exhorting, and edifying by doctrine, Jesus.” A description of a Priest to their brethren in the faith? 11. Can which the Council of Trent would the division of believers into “ clergy have made no objection.
and “laity,” now habitual amongst us, be justified ? 12. What is our warrant for assuming the title of
Reverend ?” 13. Is not the title “The congregational union of Eng- of Reverend a formal avowal of a land and Wales,” is to meet in London distinct sacerdotal order ? 14. Have on the 6th of May. The Reverend our ministers the exclusive right of Thomas Raffles, D. D. and L. L. D. “interceding for the people," and of will take the chair, and it is announced proclaiming the truth as it is in
many subjects of the greatest Jesus ? 15. Do any of our periimportance will require the attention odicals inculcate priestly maxims ? of the assembled Brethren” (Cong. 16. Whence is it that some of our Mag. April, p. 273). Many subjects ministers have adopted Episcopa. of the greatest importance do certainly lian views of Church-government ?
17. Whence is it that “nonconform chapels, and of the general languor ists” have sometimes betrayed a suspic of very many“ Dissenting Interests ?” cion of the efficacy of their own princi- 24. Have we generally speaking, enples, in the accomplishment of God's gaged too much in politics of late gracious purposes towards mankind ?
years ? 25. Does a worldly spirit 18. Can we defend the ceremony of prevail in our churches, and are our ordination by imposition of hands? ministers, owing to their peculiar situ19. Have we not theologically and ation with persons of influence in physically inherited the imposition of their churches, restrained from giving hands from the Church of Rome? faithful counsels this head ? 20. Can we defend by Scripture-au- 26.If some, or any of the evils to which thority, the titles of Doctor of Di. these questions are directed, do really vinity, and Doctor of Laws assum- exist, are we sincerely willing, and if ed by several of our ministers ? willing, are we able to remedy them? 21. Are the doctrines of grace suffici- If these questions were to be disently preached from our pulpits? cussed in the congregational union of 22. Does not the Collegiate education England and Wales; and if fair and of our ministers produce a cold, steril, candid answers were to be recorded and unprofitable mode of preaching? by the decision of the whole body, the 23. What is the cause of the small Dissenters could not fail to arrive at congregations in multitudes of our
some truths of the highest importance.
ABOLITION OF THE PILGRIM TAX IN
From the Friend of India, a Paper published
in India, December 13, 1838.
of a connection which never did it any credit."
This is not a very encouraging view of the subject; increase of popularity and of idolatry seem to be the recommendalions of this measure in the opinion of the writer. More justice, however, than this must be done in India, before our government can expect to reap the rich reward of the grateful affections of the people. The inconceivable pillage and rapine of the taxgatherers, and the exorbitant amount of the land-tax, the sole cause of the distressing famines in that unhappy country, must be speedily and effectually remedied, if we wish to retain our dominion in the East.
Tabular Inscription for a Place of Christian
"So immensely is this measure calculated to augment the popularity.of government, that, in these disaifected times, we think it cannot be too much bruited abroad, were it only to counteract the reports which in. cendiaries are spreading to our disadvantage. Let the reader picture to himself the vast assembly of pilgrims from all parts of India, east, west, north, and south, at the sacred junction next January, suddenly informed, that the resort to their own holy stream was at length free, and that the tax was for ever done away with; let him fancy the shouts which will burst from the vast multitude and the blessings which will be called down in every dialect of this vast continent, from the snows of the Himalaya to the Cape of Comorin, on the British government, and he will be able to realise the feelings with which the poet was warmed, when he described in such glowing terms the proclamation of liberty in Greece by Flaminius. Then let him follow the pilgrims to their respective villages, and listen to the narrative of this extraordinary event, more extraordinary in rural recollections, than the change of a dynasty; and then let him say, whether in thus yielding to the importunity of the fanatics, the British government has not acquired a boundless increase of popu. larity, while at the same time it has got rid
What saith the Scripture ?-Rom. iv. 3.
It does not seem to us possible to read the Acts and the Epistles without seeing that they contain information as to the state of the Church in the time toward the close of its earthly career. We do not say, that the giving us information upon this point is the or even a main and prominent object of the revelation, but only that such information is given. This, therefore, must be a subject of deep interest to every christian mind; for “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Again, we do not say that we are in the times referred to. If any are satisfied we are, they, of course, in saying so, recognise that God has spoken of these times : and if any say we are not in them yet, or have passed through them, still the testimony concerning them remains in the word: there it was written, and there it remains. Whether we are or are not living in the times it speaks of, and whether we believe that such times are passed or have to come, or disbelieve it altogether, the word of God remains unchanged. It is in this abstract view, that we shall endeavour to consider this question; that is, as one of the thoughts and revealed purposes of the Divine Mind, and not in the detail of its consequences upon us. Now so very plainly and so very frequently is it alluded to, directly as well as indirectly, that it seems to us impossible for a believer to read these books with but moderate attention and intelligence, and to continue ignorant upon the subject. To look at this more closely:
In Acts, chapter i. we have an account of our Lord's departure from the earth. While they were beholding him, as he instructed them about the grace which was about to come from the Father, “he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight” (ver. 9), and whilst they still continued gazing up into heaven, the Lord whom they had seen thus taken from them, sent them this word by his messengers, “ This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into 'heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem, and entered upon their work; and