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account of the state of affairs. It is very bad, and the prospect more gloomy. That the Church with her
crippled means will ever be able to evangelize this country, seems improbable; and perhaps we should not expect it. The Holy Gospel may be within the hearing of every creature, and yet GOD's chosen be the faithful few. We must not therefore despond: it was so in the old world, and so will it be to the end.— Your affectionate friend in CHRIST,
* * *
P. S. As an instance of our retrograde movement, I may mention that, owing to the insecurity of life and property, it has been found necessary to revive punishments which hitherto have only been read of in books of ancient history. Formerly capital punishment was done in public, and with the greatest humanity; but when criminals were executed privately, the way was opened for greater severity. May, 19-.
WHICH OR WHO?
[Church Review,' July 11, 1868.]
NE winter's day, while the winds were howling round the weather-beaten church of a miserable fishing village, the pastor within
was holding forth to a congregation consisting of wreckers and smugglers. In the middle of the discourse, a man rushed in and announced a wreck ashore. All rose from their seats and were making for the door, but the preacher earnestly entreated them to hear one word more, and he succeeded in arresting their attention and their progress until he had doffed his black gown. "Now then," he said, “we all start fair."
A similar scene is now being acted, the dramatis persona only being different. The wreck ashore is the Irish Church-a wreck indeed!-patched up with protestant conceits, which are totally unable to keep out the tide of heresy and unbelief, and navigated by a listless crew who keep no look-out, seldom consult their charts, and are entirely wanting in the matter of
discipline. From his stony height there is one who gladly hails the bright discovery of the helpless, hapless, waterlogged vessel, and goes down to the house for help, not to aid or to rescue, but to plunder. The minister, who should have denounced the crime, only asks for time and a fair start. Here, then, on the one side are the Liberal Democrats, on the other the Conservative Protestants. Is there anything to choose between them? Has the churchman or the honest man anything in common with either of these two political parties? Does he not come to the conclusion that the terms Liberal and Conservative are worn out, and become a reproach and by-word, and that he will have nothing to do with either-that in future, as to politics, he will be either Whig or Tory, but that he will wholly repudiate Liberalism or Conservatism? For the any-creed Liberal is an impropriator of church property, and the mongrel Conservative is but an appropriator of Liberal opinions; so we have Conservatives carrying liberal measures with unmeasured illiberality.
The choice to be set before us, with regard to the Irish Church, seems to be liberal impropriation on the one hand, or conservative appropriation on the other. But in either case we need not expect freedom from State control. The State may divest itself of its religious duties, but of its power never. This we may look upon as certain, all else is uncertain. At present, we only see statesmen struggling for place and power, and for these, quite ready to take any leap in the dark
which the expediency of the moment may suggest. What then has a churchman to do with either side— with false Liberals or pretended Conservatives? As churchmen, we are superior to the State; no Act of Parliament can put us down; even Shaftesbury and Spurgeon together, can do nothing when the gates of hell are not to prevail.
The suspension of five or six hundred priests every three months by a Shaftesbury Act of Parliament is a merry conceit of the puritan Shylock, which would end in his discomfiture. As churchmen, we repeat, we have nothing to fear: it is only when we condescend to become politicians that we begin to tremble, and as Englishmen we have much to dread. State in many ways threatens to abjure all religious faith, to become infidel-to become, in fact, nothing more than a large police establishment. We know well the end of such a course: we can read it as plainly in the history of the past as if England's future was before our eyes. The history of the world teaches the inevitable conclusion, that national religion and national prosperity go together: therefore, whenever England abjures a national religion, her glory will have departed.
Who, then, are the men, and by what name will they be called, who will stand in the gap and save their country from false friends and open foes?
IN THE MIRE.
['Church Review,' January 16, 1869.]
HE greatest triumphs are not unmixed pleaures, and the one which the Evangelical party has gained has proved to be nothing but bitter perplexity. Dr. Miller was shrewd enough at once to perceive the position. "Is there," he asks, "a bishop priest or deacon, by whom -is there a cathedral or parish church in whichthis Judgment will not be felt ?" "The Evangelical clergy," he goes on to say, "must be prepared, not only for the sake of order and peace, but as a matter of conscience and duty, to adhere closely to the rubrics." Mr. Ryle, on the other hand, does not byany means approve of the line Dr. Miller is taking, and says, in reference to Dr Miller's letter to the Record (from which we have quoted): "There is a vagueness in this language which I much regret. It leads people to suppose that Evangelical clergymen are a lawless class, who habitually alter the language of our formularies, omit large portions of our Services, and