Imágenes de páginas

waste the public money on what was altogether unnecessary. We expect the parson put his shoulder to the wheel, but red-tapism was for the nonce superseded. Poor John Bull ! So proud of his institutions so shrewd and wide awake-always putting his hand in his pocket, seldom for good, often for ill; but ever fated to see, extravagantly wasted, that which he so grudgingly pays!

[graphic][merged small]



['Union,' September 28, 1860.]

HE usual course pursued by Bishops, with regard to candidates for Holy Orders, is to require a personal interview about three months before the day fixed for the OrdiThis is useful in two ways. The Bishop gains some little insight into the mind and character of the candidate; and the candidate receives some good advice, together with an outline of the approaching examination. The Bishop of Rochester does not seem to have adopted this plan : he requests candidates to apply to his chaplain; and publishes-not for them only, but for all the world-the exact quantity and quality of the meagre knowledge he requires of those who seek ordination at his hands. This may be only to save trouble; but we may be pardoned for saying it looks very like ostentation, when we see "Instructions to candidates for Ordination in regard to their examination," not only in the Ecclesiastical Gazette,

but in all the daily and weekly papers. If these instructions formed a well-written and concise outline of theology, there might be something imposing in such a publication; but, as they are the very opposite of all this, it can only serve to bring the examination into contempt. For we have rarely met with so miserable a composition.

English grammar is not generally taught in our great public schools; but then a fair acquaintance with the Latin tongue affords a better knowledge of the principles of grammar than a mere study of Lindley Murray. The Bishop of Rochester's instructions do not, however, show much progress in the art of writing plainly and correctly: they might almost be taken for orthographical exercises-not for the candidates we hope we should protest against any such insinuation. They might be of more use in the parish school. The commencement is very well : "Candidates for Ordination are requested to bear in mind that the object of the examination will be to ascertain their acquaintance with the subjects specially needed for the duties of their holy calling, rather than with the contents of any particular books." Very good and very true; but it surely needed not a Bishop at five thousand a year, to tell the world this. We will therefore pass this, and

now ask the second

the next sentence

class to put into plain English "For this reason but few books

are recommended for their guidance; and those in the following statement are specified, as generally treating

of those subjects on which information is required, not as being themselves the subject-matter of examination." Or this, which has a genuine puritanical twang"The Old Testament, historically and doctrinally, and especially in its connection with the New Testament." Now, boy, what word should be left out? The word in, sir. Or this, which shows that the writer knows little about the construction of a sentence-"The evidences of Christianity; as treated by Paley (including the Hore Paulina), Archbishop Sumner, and as deducible from Bishop Butler's Analogy." Or this longwinded paragraph of one sentence-"In the study of the books here mentioned, or of others of a similar kind, candidates should seek to store their minds with the subjects treated, and the principles developed by the writers, as to show themselves able to teach others, by setting forth the substance and evidence of revealed truth, and applying it to the actual wants of human nature, and, in regard to our own Church, by thoroughly understanding its position and scriptural character in respect of doctrine and polity." We are out of breath, but must haste to the conclusion :—“N.B.— For all legal information, forms to be observed, documents to be produced, in order to Ordination or other diocesan business, the clergy and the candidates for Orders will be pleased to apply to Messrs.." They may be pleased to apply; whether they will be equally pleased when they pay the fees is another question. The other diocesan business seems superfluous in in

structions to candidates for Ordination; nor can we see what legal information, forms, or documents, the candidates can require. It certainly is not usual to get testimonials, si quis, &c., through the agency of the Bishop's secretary: to do so, would be going to a very unnecessary expense.

It will be seen that the Bishop at first states that the examination will be, not in books, but in subjects. We regret that, further on, he departs from this rule which he has laid down for himself, as he requires the candidates to study the evidences of Christianity according to Paley, Sumner, and Butler. The books themselves must, in this instance, form part of the subject-matter of examination, and no choice is left. Now to Paley, especially, we take exception: all that his works teach us is labour in vain; for we may sum the whole in his own words :-"The doctrine itself


is by no means necessary to the belief of Christianity, which must, in the first instance at least, depend upon the ordinary maxims of historical credibility." Paley's object was to prove facts, not doctrines. He assumes that "the truth of Christianity depends upon its leading facts, and upon them alone;" and he makes use of the Apostles as witnesses only of the facts. evil results of this line of argument is seen in those who make saving faith to consist in a mere acknowledgement of historical facts, so long as it is combined with the mere outward show of respectability of conduct.


« AnteriorContinuar »