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such thing in truth as a “ Christian world,"* and that Christians should not harbour the question of “ Christ or the world," but steadfastly act upon the holy principle of
Christ and not the world.
And now I gladly close my remarks upon this sad production. A painful task has it been to comment upon it; for the judgment of charity itself can hardly acquit the writer of wilful misrepresentation. And when we consider the mere rationalism which pervades it, the scornful tonet of his remarks, the levity with which he handles the things of God, his rough-shod trampling upon holy ground, his manner of speaking of the Spirit and of prayer (p. 588), of faith (p. 577), of the Scriptures, (p. 578–80), we may well enquire what his thoughts about the Spirit of God, and the word of God really are ? and (while praying the Lord to pardon him), warn him to take heed to bis steps, to seek for the Spirit of the “ weaned child," and for grace to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." And surely it is not needless to caution the depository of this production also, and to tell the “Eclectic" to beware, lest, low as it is in spirituality, it may sink lower
* There is nothing self-contradictory in the expression “religious world,” for man is naturally religious; but that of “ Christian world” is sadly anomalous, and, like other popular phrases, fearfully expressive of the existing state of things. Surely it was never intended that the terms " Christian” and “world,” should be named together, save in the way of contrast, or meet together, save in the way of conflict. And yet they are now found joined together in all seeming harmony. But “Let God be true," &c. See Gal. vi. 14; 1 Cor. ii. 15, 16.
+ While his style is altogether his own, the tone and sentiments of this writer present a striking resemblance to those of Gibbon, when writing of the early Christians. Compare the following passages, in which, though the principles of reasoning are the same, the polished infidel has the advantage of the Eclectic writer in mildness and delicacy of expression : GIBBON.
THE “ ECLECTIC" WRITER. “ The Christians felt and confessed that “But he [Mr. Hall] could not be satisfied such institutions (magistracy, &c.) might without condemning simultaneously, the be necessary for the present system of the policeman, the magistrate, the sovereign ; world, and they cheerfully submitted to the without calling on every true Christian to authority of their Pagan governors. But leave these important posts to be occupied while they inculcated the maxim of passive by all the rogues of the land, and confoundobedience, they refused to take any active ing one who 'rules in the fear of God' with part in the civil administration or the mili the mercenary soldier of fortune, or the tary defence of the empire. . . . It was captain of banditti.” (they held) impossible that Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of a soldier, a magistrate, or a prince.” “This indolent, or even criminal disregard “Let but one entire generation of Chris
tians imbibe this doctrine, and a slavish abcontempt and reproaches of the pagans, who jectness of mind will be the certain result." very frequently asked them what must be Page 590. the fate of the empire, attacked on every side by barbarians, if all mankind were to adopt such pusillanimous sentiments."-Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Chap. XV., vol. ii., p. 144–5.
It is evident that the blessings and precepts in the Lord's teaching on the mount are foolishness alike to botb these writers. What he calls poverty of spirit, meekness, &c., they style“ pusillanimity” and “slavish abjectness of mind.” And yet He, who “ when he suffered, threatened not,” has “left us an example that we should follow in his steps" (1 Pet. ii. 21, &c.). Experience, however, might have taught both these writers the groundlessness of their alarm lest these principles should become universal; for the annals of Christendom are the annals of carnage and blood. Is there not here a real “libel and affront upon magistracy?” Every magistrate in the land, from the highest to the lowest; who is not a true Christian, is, according to this writer, a rogue; while, perhaps the majority of them neither pretend to, nor acknowledge, such a thing as conversion to God. Sure I am, however, that many of them have too much mere moral uprightness to adopt the course this writer has done, of accrediting his charges against the “ Brethren,” by prefacing his attack with the titles of publications from which he has not given even a single extract.
still, and lose its orthodoxy too, the only thing it has left, the logs of which would not be gain; and lest its pages, already the receptacle of worldly wisdom, worldly literature, and earthly vanities, may (for the transition is easy) become tainted also with the unholy figments of modern neology and vain philosophy. And to both the “Eclectic" writer and the “Eclectic Review," I would commend the words of Gamaliel,—“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, und let them alone : for if this counsel, or this work be of men, it will come to nought : but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."
“ELASTIC MORALITY.” This term has been very happily employed by Mr. Faber to express his feeling with regard to those who subscribe to that which in heart they do not believe.
An expression in the “Récord” newspaper of July 22d, was supposed by Mr. F., to convey the idea that he had tried to refute the 17th Article of the Establishment, and that he had made an unsatisfactory attempt.
In consequence of this he addressed a letter to the editor, which was published in the paper of August 1st. In this he speaks thus of the heavy charge which appears to be brought against him :
“ If pure matter of opinion had been concerned, I should never have troubled you with the present communication ; but, in truth, your notice, as I suppose it would commonly be understood, reflects, not merely upon my investigatory powers, which is a matter of the least possible moment, but upon my practical morality, which is a matter of considerable moment to the individual concerned.
“ In your notice, I seem to be exhibited under the following not very satisfactory aspect.
* First, I freely subscribe, like every other English clergyman, the 17th Article. Next I attempt to refute the identical article, which I had previously subscribed. But lastly, my work on Election is, very happily, as far as possible from being “a satisfactory refutation' of the 17th Article.
“I can only express my regret, that, through a defect in phraseological precision, you should unintentionally have ascribed to me a MORALITY far more ELASTIC than befits a Christian.”
We are not going to enter into Mr. Faber's and the Editor's counter statements as to whether the 17th Article be Calvinistic or no. If any one think that it is not, he must be in a strange state of confusion as to words and ideas; and as to whether the New Testament be what is called Calvinistic, we will say thus much, that the unconditional election of the Church, God's everlasting love towards them, their redemption and absolutely certain salvation through the blood of Jesus, are truths of which the New Testament makes far more mention than of the fact that God created all things. If Eph. i., Rom. viii. and ix. and many other parts be explained," in an Arminian sense, it can only be by utterly confounding the meanings both of words and of the ideas of which they are the symbols.
But that on which we would remark a little, is the sensitiveness which Mr. Faber shews as to the idea of subscribing one thing, and believing another.
We would not allude to one clergyman more than another, but we would make this enquiry, “Do not all the clergy practise this elastic morality ?” Is there any single clergyman in England or Ireland, be he High Church or Evangelical, Puseyite or Christian, unconverted or converted, who actually believes all and every thing, to which he has subscribed ex animo ?* We do not imagine that there is one, who
* The form of subscription prescribed by the 36th Canon of 1603, is as follows:
“ I. That the king's majesty, under God, is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other his highness's dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiasthings or causes, as temporal; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or
if closely pressed would not admit that he thinks that some things are not exactly in accordance with the word of God; the objection of some might be trifling, but we believe that each one might have some things in the Articles, Liturgy, Catechism, Occasional Services or Homilies, brought before him from which at least in his heart he dissents.
Look at the reasons for, and the defences of, subscription; they amount to this: plausible reasons why men should contradict their real sentiments, and subscribe that which they do not altogether believe.
If these things had only involved worldly men, they might perhaps have passed unnoticed by us, but when even the children of God are acting upon principles of “ Elastic Morality,” it is surely time to speak.
We see some clergymen, who neither know nor believe the gospel of the grace of God, subscribe all that is required of them with very little difficulty: to them this process is merely a means to an end; and this end they attain. If such were pressed with the doctrines of the gospel in the Articles, they would " explain" them by the counter statements of the Popish Liturgy and Catechism, and thus go on, quietly setting every objection aside in their own way;—if this were all, we might be silent, “ what have we to do to judge those that are without ?" but this is not all : more to cause deeper grief of spirit yet remains.
We cannot deny that there are holy men of God among the ministers of the Establishment; and this makes us bitterly to lament that they should be so deeply infected with “ elastic morality.” We wish not to speak in a captious spirit, but can any godly man, by any possibility, believe all the contradictory propositions contained in the mass of documents, to all of which he declares his “unfeigned assent and consent,” * as containing nothing at all repugnant to the word of God. An antievangelical clergyman subscribes the articles which teach the doctrines of grace, because he says that they are contradicted by other things. This would require some elasticity of morality; but yet the lamentable truth is, that a clergyman who knows the Gospel, acts in the matter of subscription with far less conscience.
He subscribes, in distinct terms, that every infant who is baptised, is regenerated of water and the Holy Ghost; that every such child is made in baptism a child of God, a member of Christ, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven; that every such child should be taught to say that he believes in “God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the elect people of God;" that all who are buried are to have thanks returned for them, as though they were all entered into rest with Christ; that “ as many as are here present” are to be addressed as “dearly
authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within his majesty's said realms, dominions, or countries.
“II. That the book of Common Prayer, and of the ordering of bishops, priests, and deacons, containeth in it NOTHING contrary to the word of God, and that it may lawfully so be used ; and that he himself will use the form in the said book prescribed, in public prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and none other.
"III. That he alloweth the book of Articles of Religion agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the wbole clergy in the convocation holden in London in the year of our Lord God one thousand give hundred sixty and two; and that he acknowledgeth all and every the articles therein contained, being in number nine and thirty, besides the ratification, to be agreeable to the word of God.
" To these three articles whosoever will subscribe, he shall, for the avoiding of all ambiguities, subscribe in this order and form of words, setting down both his Christian name and surname, viz. I, N. N. do willingly and ex animo subscribe to these three articles above-mentioned, and to all things that are contained in them. And if any bishop shall ordain, admit, or license any, as is aforesaid, except he first have subscribed in manner and form as here we have appointed, he shall be suspended from giving of orders and licenses to preach for the space of twelve months.”
* The following is the declaration required by the “ Act of Uniformity,” to be made by every beneficed clergy man:-
"I, A. B. do hereby declare my UNFEIGNED ASSENT AND CONSENT to ALL and EVERY thing contained in and prescribed by the Book intituled, The Book of Common Prayer, and administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, ac. cording to the use of the Church of England : together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in churches; and the form or manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of bishops, priests, and deacops.” § 4. VOL, II.
beloved brethren," and to be told to call God “Father," when presently they are instructed to call for mercy as being “miserable sinners," and to pray for deliverance from eternal damnation. These are a few of the things which a Christian, if a clergyman, must have subscribed. We would leave it with the conscience of any how such things can be done before that God, who has shewn His love in giving His own Son to shed His blood for us, that we might live, not unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us, and rose again.
But it may possibly be thought, that subscription once over, a clergyman may get on as well as he can in the system, shaping things as best he may to suit his conscience, and thus the guilt, if any, is a bygone affair, which had better not be mentioned.
This would only shew, that this "elastic morality,” of which we have spoken, must be very directly opposed, not only to the truth of God, but also to common honesty, as among men. If any one were, by making certain engagements, to get into a situation of trust and profit, every time he acted in that situation he would be doing so in virtue of his engagements, and if he broke these, he would be bound, in honesty, to resign the situation; or if he discovered that he had sinned greatly by making the engagement, his conscience, if it were not very elastic, would not be satisfied until he had left it, be its emoluments, usefulness, or importance what they may.
Every clergyman, every time he officiates, does so in virtue of his subscriptions ; and every time he acts officially, he sanctions those actions by which he acquired the right 80 to officiate ; and also he tacitly emboldens any, who may be questioning as to whether they can subscribe, to commit the sin of doing so, by lying unto God with mental reservation.
. We would that godly men, in the ministry of the Establishment, would lay to heart the sin of which they are guilty as often as they act as clergymen. No usefulness can sanction sin. To any who say, “Let us do evil, that good may come,” the Holy Ghost answers, “ Whose damnation is just !”
Some may think these remarks too querulous, and that they savour of allotrioepiscopising; but we cannot be content, whilst we see the Lord Jesus dishonoured in those who are the purchase of His blood, and the Holy Ghost grieved by the practical unconscientiousness of those in whom He dwelleth. God forbid that we should! Would that every saint in the ministry of the Establishment would cease to do evil by sanctioning sin!
We do not forget, that both they and we are members of the body of Christ, and that even the weakest should have care over its fellow-members, and therefore we cannot be content, whilst we see such men as Mr. Bickersteth, Mr. Baptist Noel, the Bishop of Winchester, Mr. Bridges, Mr. Boys, and many others known to us, and far many more known to God, and loved by Him as His children, exhibiting that elasticity of conscience which we know to be evil in the sight of God, our Father and theirs.
In other things, the thought of so' acting would shock their souls. Is God then, and is His glory to be less cared for than any thing else by his children? Or are they to obey Him, and be honest and truthful at all hazards ?
Truly does Mr. Faber say, that elastic morality does not befit a Christian. How is it, that in this statement he contradicts the practice of all his clerical brethren?
THE GOLDEN AGE OF PUSEYISM.-SU
PERSTITIONS OF THE CLERGY. PETER HEYLIN, the celebrated chaplain and biographer of Archbishop Laud, and asserter of the Laudean, or Puseyite
superstitions has, in his “ History of the Reformation of the Church of England," thus described the golden age of this sect, in that felicitous era of the Establishment, when, under the Elizabethan
patronage, it resembled Popery as nearly stantly observed in all cathedrals, and as possible. He is speaking of the Es- the most part of the parish churches, tablished Church in the year 1560 :- considering how well they were presi
" And now we may behold the face of dented by the court itselt, in which the the Established Church as it was first Liturgy was officiated every day both settled and established under Queen morning and evening, not only in the Elizabeth. The government of the public chapel, but in the private closet : Church by archbishops and bishops, celebrated in the chapel with organs and according to the practice of the best and other musical instruments, and the most happiest times of christianity; these excellent voices, both of men and chilbishops nominated and elected accord- dren, that could be got in all the king. ing to the statute in the 26th of Henry dom. The gentlemen and children in VIII., and consecrated by the ordinal their surplices, and the priests in copes, confirmed by Parliament in the fifth and as often as they attended the divine sixth years of King Edward VI. ; never service at the holy altar. The altar appearing publicly but in their rochets, furnished with rich plate, two fair gilt nor officiating otherwise than in copes at candlesticks with tapers in them, and a the holy altar. The priests not stirring massy crucifix of silver in the midst out of doors but in their square caps,
thereof. The ancient ceremonies accusgowns, and canonical coats, nor execut- tomably observed, by the Knights of the ing any divine office but in their sur- Garter, in their adoration toward the plice, a vestment set apart for religious altar, abolished by Edward VI., and services in the primitive times, as revived by Queen Mary, were by this may be gathered from St. Chrysostom Queen retained
as formerly in her for the eastern churches, and from St. father's time, which made that order, so Jerome for the western. The doctrine esteemed amongst foreign princes that of the Church reduced into its ancient the emperors Maximilian and Rodolphus purity, according to the articles agreed the French king Charles IX., and Henry upon in Convocation A.D. 1552. The III. [sanguinary and ferocious Papists), liturgy conform to the primitive patterns with "Francis Duke of Montmorency, and all the rites and ceremonies therein though of a contrary religion to her, did prescribed, accommodated to the honour thankfully accept of their elections in of God and increase of piety. The fes- that society. The solemn sermons upon tivals preserved in their former dignity, each Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday in observed with distinct offices peculiar to the time of Lent, preached by the them, and celebrated with a religious choicest of the clergy, she devoutly concourse of all sorts of people; the heard, attired in black, according to the weekly fasts, the holy time of Lent, the commendable custom of her predecesEmbring weeks, together with the fast sors, in which if any thing escaped them of Rogation, severely kept by a forbear- (the preachers) contrary to the doctrine ance from all kinds of flesh, not by virtue and approved rites and ceremonies of the of the statute, as in the time of King Church of England, they were sure to Edward, but as appointed by the church hear of it; particularly when one of in the public calendar, before the book her chaplains (Mr. Alexander Nowel, of Common prayer. The sacrament of Dean of St. Paul's) had spoken less the Lord's Supper, celebrated in most reverently in a sermon preached before reverend manner, the holy table seated her, of the sign of the cross, she called in the place of the altar, the people aloud to him from her closet window, making their due reverence at their commanding him to retire from that first entering into the church, kneeling ungodly digression, and return to his at the communion, the confession, and text. And on the other side, when one the public prayers, and standing up at of her divines had preached a sermon in the creed, the Gospels, and the Gloria, defence of the real presence, on the day and using the accustomed reverence at commonly called Good Friday, A.D. 1565, the name of Jesus. Musick retained in
she openly gave him thanks for his pains all such churches in which provision had and piety. The bishops and the clergy been made for the maintenance of it, had been but ill proficients in the school or where the people could be trained up of conformity under so excellent a misto the least plain-song. Nor is it much tress, if they had not kept the Church to be admired, that such a general con- in the highest splendour, to which they formity to those ancient usages was con- were invited by that great example."