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calling for neat churches to fill up stances well calculated to mislead the measure of their beauty and the judgments of many good peoexcellency, and where the support ple, who are not so well qualified of the ministry is sure, so that our to distinguish between the errors Zion must needs lengthen her of individuals and the positive corcords, and strengthen her stakes. ruptions of a Church. There are Very different is it with us now, those, who, of course would make has it been for many years, and use of these circumstances to our will in all probability be, for many injury, the temptation being too years to come. It is only by strong for poor human nature enpatient perseverance in well-doing, tirely to resist. And in what spirit, that we can hope to make advances and with what weapons shall we in the establishment of our Church. meet and contend with this old Much self-denial, and enduring of enemy, now risen up with renohardship, and bounding in labours, vated strength against us? Surely and itinerant zeal, and contented. it becomes us to remember in what ness with a little of this world's manner, and with what success, goods, on the part of many of our old prejudices were put down, and ministers, are indispensable to the former opposition in a measure disgrowth of the Church in Virginia, armed. Let us adopt the same much beyond her present attain method now, when we would overment. Without these things, she come a less formidable foe; for it may continue stationary, or even cannot be, that prejudice now exists retrograde in some places, during to same extent as formerly. Makyears to come. The want of such ing all allowance for honest preministers, and the pressing de- judice, and little regarding any mands of our Missionary Societies, other, let us, in the spirit of Chrisand of vacant places in our dioceses, tian kindness and patience, set depriving us of a number of our forth the true doctrines of our young men, and of some of those Church, as established by the Remore advanced in life, have left us, formers, and their conformity with during the last year or two, with a Scripture, more emphatically than larger number of destitute places ever. than usual, which I fear will not Let us avoid as much as possible be supplied during the present year. all contention, not rendering railIn addition to these difficulties in ing for railing, but contrariwise the way of our rapid progress, re- blessing; and thus, as in former quiring great zeal and self-denial times, commend our Church to the in order to advancement, I should hearts and judgments of the pious suppress the truth, were I not to and peaceable. I well know the say, that recent circumstances in difficulty of this in some places, the history of our own and Mother and under some circumstances, but Church have contributed not a am not the less persuaded of the little to revive old prejudices and duty, because of its difficulty, and former opposition, which, for the the temptations to an opposite last thirty years, had been gradu- course. ally and happily subsiding, under To conclude. In urging you, the faithful preaching, and peace. my brethren, to an adherence to able, conciliatory deportment of those modes of exhibiting truth, our ministers. The cry of false and those means of advancing redoctrine and Romish tendencies ligion, which, in our Mother has been renewed under circums Church, and in the Church of Virginia, have been so blessed of unity, have embraced exploded erheaven ; in warning you against rors, and subjected the whole changes in this time of innovation; Church to the charge of retracing you will not understand me as in- its steps toward apostate Rome. timating that those who were first In this, and in the vigorous and too engaged in the work were incapa- successful efforts of Romanists to ble of error, and that no improve- regain some of their lost power, we ment could be made, neither that may perhaps see the approach of circumstances being changed in the that last fearful conflict between progress of events, there might not truth and error, which is, happily, be some modifications in the man- however, to be of short duration, ner of promoting the same object. and to end in a sure victory to the
I am well aware of the folly of former. However this may be, my supposing that any one age or brethren, and whether we shall see, generation can be an unerring or be in engaged in this battle or standard of truth and holiness. I not, one thing is certain, that we admit the justness of the wise son cannot be too earnest in our enof Sirach's warning, “say not that deavours, each one, after personal the former times were better than holiness. We need not fear, as an these, for thou speakest not wisely innovation or presumption, the atconcerning this thing.” I admit, tempt to be more holy than any with readiness and gratitude, a who have gone before us, provided general improvement in the con-. only, that we go by the rule of dition of mankind, as to morals God's word. Neither can we be too and religion, not only since my zealous and faithful in preaching own recollection and observation, according to the law and testimony. but for a much longer previous If, in anything, any of us find that period. I dissent entirely from we have erred, laying too much or those who can see nothing but too little comparative emphasis on deterioration in the history of man, doctrines, duties, ordinances, proeither in our own, or other lands. mises, threatenings, or anything I see the very reverse of it in all pertaining to the whole council of Protestant Christendom, and even God; of course it is our duty, by in some parts of the corrupt Church the unerring word, to correct the of Rome. Nevertheless, I cannot same, not without a careful regard close my eyes to the fact, that some to the warning and instructive voice in the Episcopal Church of Eng- of history, which shows how prone land and America, in their desires some have been to give to the mint, for its rapid extension, and its uni- the anise, and cummin of religion, versal prevalence, and in their haste that regard which is due only to to attain some ideal perfection of the weightier matters of the law.
HUMBLE CURRENTS. The humble current of little kind- world, pours, in the end, a more nesses, which though but a creeping copious tribute into the store of streamlet, yet incessant flows; al human comfort and felicity, than though it glides in silent secrecy any sudden transient flood of dewithin the domestic walls and along tached bounty, however ample, that the walks of private life, and makes may rush into it with a mighty neither appearance nor noise in the sound.
THOUGHTS IN THE FIELDS.
It was a lovely spring morning, fication, since he may be the only when, with the privileged idleness intruder into their haunts. Thereof an invalid, I was wandering in fore, though others may despise the fields; and my heart became you for your homeliness, Oye warmed with joyous and grateful gentle children of the field! I will thoughts, as the magnificent sce- not pass you heedlessly by, while nery around opened upon my view. I can gather from you a fresh Oh, how great is God's goodness proof of the tenderness of God. to fallen man! When we look on But my attention was attracted the beautiful earth which He has by the music of the lark. From allotted for his dwelling, and from amid the clods rose up the little which his many thousand years' songster, pouring forth melody, ininiquity has not been able quite to creasing in richness in proportion blot out the traces of Paradise, we to the elevation of its flight. My cannot but think that surely it straining eye followed it to the must be the abode of some obedient blue vault, which appeared to bend servants of the Supreme, some down approvingly to meet it: on ready doers of His will, whom He towards the sun it pressed, till at is desirous royally to reward. But length, gilded by the light, it hung no; the inhabitants of this favour- amid the sky, a brilliant creature, ed spot are those who have slighted all radiance and song. And can His authority, and disobeyed His this golden bird, then, be the same laws; and yet their heavenly Fa- dark-winged animal which a few ther continues mindful of them, moments ago I saw take its flight and gives them all things richly to from the dust? How, then, is it enjoy. And from Revelation we thus changed? It has soared up. learn the reason of this; for there wards to the sky, it has turned its we read that One has interposed on wings to the sun, and therefore its their behalf, and that for His sake course was attended with gladness, these mercies are still continued to and glory plays around it at the them.
end. Oh, thus, I thought, when As I advanced, I gazed with de- I have mused on the lives and light on the wild flowers which writings of men of God, have I strewed my path. To me these remained for a while almost doubtspontaneous offspring of the ground ful whether they could have been seem to have a grace even beyond of the same nature with myself; that which their more favoured whether it could have been from a sisters of the garden possess. The human heart that such sweet strains latter have about them the marks of gratitude ascended, or whether of human art and care; but the on a care-worn human brow such former are dropped, as it were, a glory could rest. immediately from the hand of hea But Christian experience unveils yen, for the refreshment of the first the mystery, and shows that they passer-by. On many of them, per- were by nature men of like passions haps, no human eye will ever dwell; with others, but they had been enand others, the more enterprising abled by Divine grace to ascend explorer of nature may think pro- from earth, to press onwards on duced for his own peculiar grati, faith's unflagging wing to Jesus,
DEAR Sir,—As we are continually the doctrines held by the church Careminded that “ facts are stubborn tholic, in their own day specifically. things,” is it not surprising that our The case to which I refer, is the spiritual watchmen, who so confi- “Lambeth Articles,” nine in number, dently appeal to ancient tradition for framed in the year 1595; only making doctrines, as we usually do to authen- a remark or two-1. That if the pretic history for facts and occurrences vailing opinions at any time be not the which have taken place, should not right opinions, we gain nothing by try their theory, by what we really their testimony. 2. If the general admit and are assured of respecting opinions of one age DIFFER, as we facts and doctrines nearer home, and know they do, from the general opiwhich therefore we can verify when nions of another age, we must have we please. This would be a far more some public UNCHANGEABLE DOCUsatisfactory mode of conviction than MENTS by which to test them ALL; the wild theories which do little more for truth cannot change with public than bewilder us. The early fathers, opinion. Respecting the authors of we are told, did not at all need to be these Lambeth Articles, the excellent men of learning in order to hand down historian Fuller, in his history of apostolic truth; they were men of those times, observes-“ Those learnpiety and integrity, and as such coulded divines will be taken as witnesses bear testimony, as honest witnesses, beyond exception, whose testimony is to what were the received traditions of an infallible evidence, what was the apostolic authority in their days. The general and received doctrine of Engterm “witness," as testifying to the land in that age, about those controtruth of doctrines as the truth of facts, versies.”_B. 9, p. 232, No. 28. was, I conceive, that invention of Po- The Articles of the Church of pery by which she deceived mankind England were agreed upon in 1562, out of their personal right to "search and again 1571, just 24 years before the Scriptures” for themselves for so the Lambeth Articles were constructmany centuries. We have a re- ed; which periods, being within a markable piece of history in our own quarter of a century of each other, Church, even since the Reformation, leaves no doubt that there was a per which I conceive will show how vague fect recollection of the Established and useless is the boast that the Articles in the minds of those who fathers, as “ witnesses,” could testify framed the latter ones at Lambeth. to the truth of the doctrines always respecting this grave fact, I would held in the Church Catholic; but observeabove all—the unquestionable certainty That the Lambeth Articles are subwhich their united testimony bears to stantially in accordance with the OCTOBER 1845,
Established Articles, which (on account of certain disputes occurring at that time) they were intended to explain, or they are not:
1. If they are not, we derive from this fact alone, certain evidence destructive to the so much esteemed testimony of antiquity respecting the ancient fathers, both perfectly under standing and perfectly recording the doctrines transmitted from apostolic authority. For if in one quarter of a century, the leading doctrines of OUR REFORMATION, the most important circumstance that had occurred in the Christian world for more than a thousand years, had been forgotten or substantially laid aside, an appeal to the unanimous opinions of antiquity is a perfect nullity; for half a century or even a quarter, may, on the above supposition, have so changed the phases of the Christian Church, that one could not be recognized from the other. For be it remembered that, as Fuller wisely remarks, the “ doctrines” of those Lambeth Articles were the "generally” received doctrines of THAT AGE, and that the testimony of those learned witnesses is “ infallible evidence” of the truth of this statement, however far we may assume those doctrines to have been from the doctrines of the Estahlisbed Church.
2. If, however, in order to sustain the character of tradition, it be said that, though the Lambeth Articles, being of a somewhat more stringent and definite texture, were wisely not established and grafted upon the National Creed, yet may still be looked upon, with little modification, as a faithful exposition of the 39 Articles of our Church; may we not, without offence, ask-“Why, then, are they not believed ?" For it is perfectly clear, from numerous volumes published on those points, and other in dubitable evidence, that not only do our leading authorities not believe the doctrines defined in the Lambeth Articles, but very earnestly contend
against them, as fraught with error of the very worst description.'
Let the striking case of the Lambeth Articles be taken which way it will, it affords the strongest possible testimony against appeals to antiquity as veritable authority; and reduces to next to nothing the value of all authority not established.
1. For if the colouring given by those celebrated Articles be erroneous, forasmuch as they were the sentiments of the very highest authorities in our Church, and which were then, as Fuller says, generally embraced, only 24 years after our own Articles were finally established, and while many of their revisers were still living, or only recently dead, of what use are articles of faith which can be so soon and so generally misinterpreted? Or, of what VALUE is testimony to the sense of articles which (if that testimony be erroneous,) is so fallacious ?
2. If, on the other hand, it be maintained that the sense given in those Lambeth Articles is the genuine, or essentially near the genuine, meaning of our Established Articles, what can we say in defence of that GENERAL DEPARTURE from that meaning in the present day? For if at the distance of 270 years the period we live in,) we at the present time, understand the true sense of our Articles better than those whose distance was only 24, to what purpose do we appeal to the ancient Fathers, as living so much nearer than (even) our Reformers did to the original source of truth, if the Lambeth divines were less informed than we are, who live at more than TEN times their distance from the source of knowledge.
In my mind, dear Mr. EDITOR, tradition must die, or lose its influence, if such cases, so palpable and so demonstrative, are duly brought before the public. I remain, Rev. Sir, Very faithfully yours,