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submit to her authority in the Church ? ordinances of God, which they might He knew from the Scripture that a not enjoy without conforming or subwoman should not bear rule in the scribing to those ceremonies..., PreChurch; when Paul had said that he lates and their faction have laboured would not suffer a woman to speak, to raise the estimation of it to such could it be supposed that he would an height, as if there were no other suffer a woman to command, and to worship, or way of worship of God regulate all the matters of the Church?
among us, but only the Prayer Book ; He spoke advisedly when he said, Po- to the great hindrance of the preachpery was better theology, though it mighting of the Word, and in some places, be worse policy.” These and other especially of late, to the justling of it speeches of a similar tendency were out as unnecessary, or at best as inenthusiastically received by a party of ferior to the reading of Common 500 persons assembled to commemo- Prayer, which was made no better rate the centenary ; and whatever may
than an idol by many ignorant and be the merit of the opinions professed superstitious people, who, pleasing on that occasion, they would certainly themselves in their presence at their have appeared to more advantage if service, and their lip-labour in bearing not delivered in one of those unseemly a part in it, have thereby hardened gatherings, a religious compotation : themselves in their ignorance, and for few things are less to be admired carelessness of saving knowledge and than ecclesiastical conviviality, true piety. In the mean time, Papists
The prospect of a union between boasted that the Book was a comthe two establishments, though that pliance with them in a great part of union should only be for one object, their service, &c. &c. the preserving of Church property, seems therefore as distant as ever; and, indeed, we have only to read the Preface to the Scotch Directory,
BISHOP TOMLINE'S PLAN which age after age is printed and
PRESS THE DISSENTERS. circulated as containing the accredited and established opinion of the general In our last number, we adverted to Assembly, to see what a spirit of Bishop Tomline's design against the animosity exists between the two par
Dissenters. We now proceed to reties. These are a few sentences in
cord the fact from Mr. Wilberforce's the Preface: “Long and sad expe- lately published life. « 1800. There rience has made it manifest that the are ideas of materially abridging the Liturgy used in the Church of privileges under the Toleration Act. England (notwithstanding all the I am persuaded that restraints would pains and religious intentions of the quicken the zeal of the Methodists compilers of it) hath proved an of- and Dissenters to break though them, fence, not only to many of the godly that prosecutions would be incessant, at home, but also to the reformed and that the prevalence of the persechurches abroad. For, not to speak cuted opinions, and the popularity of of urging the reading of all the the persecuted teachers, would be the prayers, which very greatly increased sure result. I hope still I may be able the burthen of it, the many unprofit- to prevent any strong measure from able and burdensome ceremonies con- being brought forward. I fear the tained in it have occasioned much Bishop of Lincoln (this is whispered to mischief, as well by disquieting the your private ear, in the strictest conficonsciences of many godly ministers dence) will renew his attempt next and people, who could not yield unto year. I lost no time in conferring them, as by depriving them of the with Mr. Pitt on the subject; but he
had been strongly biassed in favour of immense ferment, and produced a vast the measures by Bishop Tomline, on number of petitions, by which it was whom I urged in vain the serious con- defeated in the House of Lords, sequences that must infallibly ensue. Lord Redesdale stated, that he well I well remember stating to him my remembered, during Mr. Pitt's admifirm persuasion, that within a few nistration, a stronger bill than that weeks after the passing of the intended then in progress had been in contemlaw, several of the dissenting ministers plation, and that he did not know throughout the kingdom, most distin- why it had been dropped.
I must guished for talents and popularity, say, considering everything, I have would be in prison ; and I urged on always been extremely thankful for him, that even supposing them not to any share I had in preventing the inbe actuated by a sense of duty, for troduction of this scheme !” which I myself gave them due credit, This is a valuable page in history, or to be cheered by the idea of suf- and ought not to be forgotten. It fering for righteousness' sake, they would argue a very faint knowledge of would be more than compensated for human nature, to suppose that there all the evils of imprisonment by their are not others on the bench, at this augmented popularity. The Bishop, present moment, who would be quite however, would not assent to my
view ready to resume Bishop Tomline's of the case ; and finding Mr. Pitt scheme. Mr. Pitt's confidence in this intended to bring the measure forward, prelate seems to have been unbounded, I begged I might have a full confi- it was the confidence of a pupil in a dential discussion of the subject. tutor ; but truly it was misplaced, as Accordingly we spent some hours the following facts will shew. On together at a tete-a-tete supper; and I the death of this great minister, a confess I never, till then, knew how meeting was convened at Mr. Pitt's deep a prejudice his mind had con- house, of all his personal friends, ceived against the class of clergy to who were his creditors, Mr. Wilberwhom he knew me to be attached. It force, who, as all the others then prewas in vain that I mentioned to him sent, held a bond of Mr. Pitt's, proMr. Robinson of Leicester, Mr. posed that they should agree to burn Richardson of York, Mr. Milner the evidences of the debts due to them, of Hull, Mr. Atkinson of Leeds, that the nation might not become and others of similar principles. His acquainted with the embarrassed state language was such as to imply, that of Mr. Pitt's affairs.
All present he thought ill of their moral character, agreed to this proposition, except one; and it clearly appeared that the pre- that one dissentient was wealthy Bishop judice arose out of the confidence he Tomline, who owed all his enormous reposed in the Bishop of Lincoln ... riches to Mr. Pitt's favor. This opual], however, was of no avail, and all lent prelate demurred: he said he could I could obtain from Mr. Pitt, was an not well afford to make the sacrifice, assurance that the measure should not but that if he might take Mr. Pitt's be actually introduced, without his library, he would burn the bond he held. giving me another opportunity of This was agreed to: and then and there talking the matter over with him. all the bonds were destroyed. Every Happily that opportunity never oc- gentleman present at this meeting felt curred; of course I was in no hurry shocked, that the only opposition should to press it, and the attempt was never have emanated from the Bishop. This resumed: but some years after, when we heard from Mr. Wilberforce. Lord Sidmouth's memorable bill was Bishop Tomline died worth, it is in progress, which excited such an said, much more than a million.
he could do it without subscription ; a deliberation which was terminated by the conviction that ordination by pres
byters is, though not the only valid, “ Reserve.”—This is at present yet the best, most scripturally regular, the guard-word of the Oxford Jesuits. and therefore the most eligible ordi-We are going too fast ;-we must nation. And although we are no not gallop yet ;—the people are not friends to episcopacy, we should have ready for our startling revelations ; been glad to see some congregational we must go gently, lest they drive us ministers episcopally ordained, since back. This, in other words, has been they would thereby have acquired the plainly inculcated in one of the lately consistency which is an essential elepublished “ Tracts for the Times.” ment of goodness." (Page 531.)
Would it not be prudent if certain The writer evidently felt a little dissenting ministers were to appro- embarassment in bringing out the sepriate the same motto? “ Reserve,” in cret wish of his heart; but, nevertheour opinion, ought to be adopted by less, after some tortuosity of sentithem; and our readers, we think, will ment, this at last is clearly stated, agree with us when they read the fol- 1. That some congregational ministers lowing most extraordinary extract from ought to be ordained by bishops. 2. the Congregational Magazine, No. That ordination by bishops has in it xxi., Sept. 1838.
an element of goodness! “Of late years nonconformists have This, we think, for the Congregasometimes betrayed a suspicion of the tional Magazine, is tolerably explicit ; efficacy of their own principles in the and is to be taken, inter alia, as a accomplishment of God's gracious pur- proof of the tendency to superstition, poses towards mankind; while, at which is certainly characteristic of the other times, they have held a language present era of our religious history. which has induced the inquiry, Why But how sad it is to find the condo you not conform ?' The object of gregational teachers, in the fourth centhis enquiry would reply, Because the tury of their existence, thus vacillating episcopacy of England is established. in their opinions; and, after all that But then all episcopacy is not esta- they have said and done against preblished. There is a poor and an un- lacy, now evidently exhibiting a tenestablished episcopacy in America; dency to close with the episcopal he. and there is a poor, a very poor, and resy and the three orders. What! if an unestablished episcopacy in Scot- certain dissenting ministers were oro land. There are, too, bishops of the dained by bishops, they would have Greek Church, whose orders would acquired the consistency which is an give admittance to the pulpits of Eng- essential element of goodness." We land, which the orders of the American ask, then, what does “consistency” Episcopal Church, magnificent as they mean in this passage ? Obviously not are in the estimation of their holders, an adherence to principle, for the connor yet, we believe, those of the Scot- text would require a sense exactly optish Episcopacy-would not do. Mr. posite to such an interpretation : no, Matthew Henry, though he had no in- it must be taken in a material, not in tention of ministering in the Esta- a moral sense ; and is to be interpreted blished Church, unless a change should as firm cohesion, compactness, solidity, take place in the terms of conformity, closeness of constituent parts ; and deliberated solemnly, when entering this, in the opinion of the writer, may into the ministry, whether he should peradventure be an essential element receive episcopal ordination, provided of goodness in the mystery of clerical
government : for what clergyman ever after which they return to England, thought otherwise than that a strong laden with relics of the saints, and with clerical polity is a very good thing ? proofs of " consistency."
The studied ambiguity of sentiment It would be well for the dissenters in the rest of this curious declaration, if we could thus smile
the frivorenders it difficult to offer an explana- lities of the priestly spirit; but, alas ! tion which the writer might not evade ; that spirit may not be so dealt with. but the following seems to us to be a When once it has formed a lodgment faithful interpretation :-“ The only
“ The only in the heart, it is a strong man armed, objection to ordination in the Church and will not be persuaded to quit its of England is, that the church is a hold : for, however it may be disguised State-establishment; but episcopacy with ecclesiastical phrases, it is easily being the desideratum for acquiring recognised as that absorbing passion, consistency, dissenting ministers ought the love of power, which ought never to acquire this essential element of to be admitted for a moment in the goodness, through the medium of the Christian fold. “ He that is greatest Caledonian or American prelates. among you, let him be as the younger ; Should, however, their services fail to and he that is chief, as he that doth secure admittance to the pulpits of the serve." Establishment, then recourse should be To us all this is a most instructive had to the Archbishops and Archiman- lesson. It teaches this ascertained drites of the Greek Church.”
truth, that where there is not a perfect The dissenting ministers who may equality in Christian Churches; or have acceded to such a proposal must when that equality is set aside by a forgive us, if we indulge in a smile at monarchy, as amongst the dissenters, the visible predicament in which they then the old strivings of the sacerdocy would place themselves. A virgin must sooner or later be made manifest. vessel, built for the occasion, and duly There the minister, a single ruler, will fumigated and consecrated for the voy- begin to be discontented with the still age, according to the rites of the Greek
incomplete portion of prerogative alChurch, is to convey a select num- lotted to him ; and in spite of the oral ber of the dissenting ministers of Lon- tradition of congregationalism, which, don to Constantinople, where the pa- in theory, places the power with the triarch of the Greek Church, with all whole body, will be casting about for his clergy in full pontificals, meets means to consolidate his power-will them on the beach with wax candles, be anxious to possess
the keys"holy water, and the pictures and ban- will have an itch for “ binding and ners of the saints. The venerable losing”—will be looking with tender visitors are conducted in solemn pomp affection to the canonical law, and will to the high altar; and after an ortho- be endeavouring “to acquire consistdox confession of faith, and an abjura- ency" through the help of the prelacy, tion of the Nestorian and Eutychian as an “essential element of goodness." heresies, they worship the pictures of We are fully aware that many disthe Panagia and the saints; and then senting ministers will be little disposed with chrism, holy water, ringing of to accept the Puseyism of some of their bells, burning of incense, exorcism, and brethren, and will little admire the exintonation of the litany of St. Basil, tract which we have here given from are elevated through the lower grades the Congregational Magazine; but still of acolyth, reader, subdeacon, and dea- the extraordinary passage has been con, to the point of their ambition, a published, and is part of an elaborate canonically-ordained presbytery, by paper evidently composed by a leading due imposition of episcopal hands; hand amongst the dissenting clergy :
and though it is the first time, as far our voice in opposition to sentiments, as we know, that any one of the con- (proceeding from whatever quarter gregationalists has, in an acknow- they may), which make light of the ledged publication of the sect, dared awful errors of Popery-errors deto recommend episcopal ordination ; nounced by God in his word, as yet other articles of a decidedly sacer- making the spiritual Babylon, from dotal import have occasionally ap- whose soul-destroying abominations peared in the Congregational Maga- all Christians are commanded to zine, sufficient to let us know which flee.” way the current is tending.
3.—“That venerating, as we do, the memories of our pious forefathers, who loved not their lives unto the
death, in contending against the Pope In Ireland, the clergy of the Estab- as the Antichrist of the New Testalished Church are too much alarmed ment, and the Papal system as the by the menacing attitude of Popery, apostasy of the latter days,' we can and too well understand the enemy, never consent to relax, in any degree, however disguised, not to know what the high standard of Protestantism, dreaded visage is concealed by the bequeathed to us by those holy martyrs, Oxford Mask. The Irish clergy, who or confound the everlasting distinction have visited Oxford and enquired into between the word of God and the Puseyism, who have heard the ser- traditions of man, which they have mons of the Puseyite Doctors, read handed down.” their tracts, and seen their worship, 4.-" That we have met as do not scruple to say at once, “this diocese, to record these our unanimous is Popery ;” neither can they be per- and deliberate opinions, in the hope suaded to hearken to the elaborate spe- that our brethren, generally, may see cial pleadings of the party, by which fit to adopt the same course ; an they endeavour, for the present, to draw endeavour, by sounding the alarm, a distinction between the theology of under divine blessing, to arrest the the Oxford tracts and that of Rome. progress of an evil which is threatThe feelings of the Irish clergy may ening fatal consequences to the purity be seen, in the following declaration of our reformed faith, and is woundof the clergy of the diocese of Ardagh; ing our church insidiously and danat a meeting convened by the vicar gerously, in the house of her professed general, pursuant to requisition, and friend. ' held in Longford, Dec. 10, 1838. Signed on behalf of the Clergy,
George Crawford, LL.D. Resolved, 1.-" That we cannot
Vicar General. but view with extreme sorrow,
the progress of certain opinions which This is the old spirit reviving ; but have emanated from a few divines in in England where the alarm is less, Oxford, and which it is to be feared and where Popery appears as a rising, has found some advocates in this not an overpowering evil, the clergy country also, tending to overthrow the are generally too much in love with fundamental grounds of the Protest sacerdotal power, which they know is raised in the sixteenth century, by the best supplied by Puseyism, to feel it blessed reformers against the apostasy requisite at present thus to defend the of the church of Rome.”
Protestant religion. The time how2.-" That we should feel ourselves ever is coming, when the evangelical unworthy of the name of Protestants, clergy will be obliged to find out the and more especially of ministers of the boundary of their pretensions, and on Church of England, if we did not lift that boundary to raise the standard