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LETTERS TO THE WIFE OF A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, -You which we can refer, either for our will not, I hope, be very impatient if own satisfaction or that of others. you receive one more letter on the Such books as “Hooker's Ecclesiassubject of your general reading; feel- tical Polity," and the publications of ing, as I do, the importance of a due the “ Parker Society," will be very improvement of your present vacant useful for the purpose. As, however, time for future usefulness. Much of there is such a natural fondness in it is necessarily consumed in formali our nature for disputation, we need ties, but endeavour to redeem all that much watchfulness and prayer, and it you can, for higher purposes; you would be well if we never commenced will then, as Kirke White so well an argument without offering up the expresses it, “ be drying fruits for petition of David, “ Set a watch, O future use.” Never forget the great Lord, before my mouth, keep the principle, which I would again urge door of my lips.” The calmness of upon you—namely, suitableness and conviction is also far more powerful, adaptation to your peculiar sphere of than the strongest assertions made duty, in all that you acquire and un- with an agitated manner. We candertake. Read such books as will not too often be reminded, that “posistrengthen and enlarge your mind for tiveness, dogmatism, and an ignorant God's work. Every Christian should contempt of difficulties, may accombe able to give a reason for the hope pany the firmest conviction, but that is in her, with meekness and not the conviction of the firmest fear; but the wife of a Clergyman of minds. The freedom with which the Church of England, should also a vessel swings at anchor ascerbe prepared to give the ground of her tains the soundness of its anchorpreference for that Church, if called age.” A well informed mind, as to upon to do it. You will I know what our Church really holds in docagree with me in saying, that “we trine, or adopts in practice, becomes love our Church chiefly, because we daily more and more important;believe her to be a faithful witness of there may be difficulties attached to the truth of God in Christ, on ac- the latter, but the former will be best count of her purity of doctrine, and ascertained by such a comparison as the simple, Scriptural, spiritual nature you will find carried out in “ Bailey's of her worship; in other words, on Liturgy compared with the Bible.” account of the Gospel of Christ which This shows the masterly knowledge she holds forth, and the assistance of Scripture which our venerable which she offers in approaching the Reformers possessed, and which some Father, faithfully and devoutly, single expression often betrays, to an through the great Mediator. We extent which astonishes us. When we love her also, because we believe her can enter into their minds, we feel conto be a community well ordered and vinced, that if they were not inspired rightly constituted, in accordance with they were specially guided in their the Gospel; and that her Episcopal choice, not of words only but of subgovernment is entirely defensible on jects also ; including, as they do, the Scriptural grounds." But when every want, every care, and every difplaced in trying circumstances, we ficulty of our Christian course. The often feel the difference between be- structure of our Prayer-Book may be lieving a thing to be right, and being human, but the materials are divine. able to state the ground of our belief. Have you ever read the preface to it? On this account it is desirable for us If not, do so; and I think you will to have a general knowledge of those be struck with the wisdom, humility, works which will assist us, and to and Christian charity, which it evinces,
There is only one more subject connected with your reading which I shall allude to; namely, education This, in all its branches, will require your attention. Endeavour, therefore, to gain increasing knowledge of its principles and practice. Read, again and again, Mrs. H. More's valuable practical remarks, which you will find dispersed through her Works. It is much to be regretted, that the result of so much observation and experience should be lost to many, because more modern works are superseding hers: we may daily expect to find scientific discoveries increasingly valuable, but so long as the heart of man remains the same, and the mind unchanged, we need not expect to meet with observations more valuable. Taylor's “ Home Education" contains much matter for your consideration in the regulation of your various schools, or the instruction of your children. I
may have some future opportunity of
Your attached Friend,
PROTESTANT MINSTRELSY.-No. IX.
(For the Christian Guardian.)
THE beechen boughs are brown and The raven sits upon the bough bare
And answers to thy call; Beside the icy brook,
And strangely on the corse below Amongst the copses, here and there, The flick'ring shadows fall. Ghastly the snow drifts look ;
Not where the tree was hewn it lies, The yester snows, that will not pass 'Twas from a prison foul, Beneath this winter moon;
For light and air, to upper skies, And, lo! one slumbers on the grass, Soared forth the troubled soul. As it were summer noon.
The cruel ones, who thought in scorn “What, ho! it is no summer night The helpless poor to slay, To sleep in forest brake,
As ye might cast a garment worn, The winter moon is cold and bright; Have flung the corse awayWhat, ho! dull sleeper, wake !"
Yea, for the truth the captive spake, The snow might fall, the wind might That they were slow to heed, sweep,
Have cast him forth, in this wild And the cold pattring rain,
brake, And never break his slumber deep The hungry fowls to feed.
He will not wake again! * During the Marian persecution, the bodies of those who died in prison under the charge of heresy, were cast out into the fields, burial being forbidden ; yet in the hours of darkness kindly hands often performed this sad office.
Yet, hark! is that the driving sleet, , And little for the flakes they heed That thro' the thicket goes ?
The wind is shaking down. Nay, 'tis the tread of stealthy feet Crushing the frozen boughs. A blessed deed, this midnight cold,
Their Christian hands have done; They come; and many a mournful That on the house-tops shall be told, face
Before the rising sun. Bends o'er the heedless dead; How long and earnestly they gaze ! The snow falls noiselessly and fast, What noiseless tears are shed !
And soon is left no trace
Where the worn flesh hath found, at Take wing, take wing, thou evil bird,
Yet in that brake, the violets blue
Wake early in the spring, And fervent prayers for better days— i And bright-eyed thrushes, not a few, Sad cries, that God may save
On summer eves will sing. The pale and trembling mourners raise,
And fairer is the nameless mound, Above the woodland grave.
Where a true martyr lies,
Than marble tombs, whence foreheads Then homeward thro' the woods they crowned,
Bowed with their sin, shall rise. Beneath the branches brown,
THE ELEVENTH HOUR'S ALARM,
(For the Christian Guardian.)
AWAKE, Great Britain! nor consume thy day
What mov'd thy councils to impede the truth,
What genius now tenfold delusion sheds
Review of Books.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. A Sermon preacht at Brighton, Dec.
10th, 1840. By Julius CHARLES HARE, Archdeacon of Lewes. Parker: London. IS UNAUTHORIZED TEACHING ALWAYS SCHISMATICAL? A
Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, May 12th, 1844. By the REV. J. GARBETT, Professor of Poetry, and Prebendary of Chichester. Hatchards : London. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. By W. B, Noel, M. A. Nisbet,
London. THE UNION OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS, POSSIBLE, DESIRA
BLE, AND NECESSARY. By A CLERGYMAN, Norwich: London, Seeleys.
(Continued from page 412.)
OUR readers, we think, will be of opinion, that if the sentiments contained in the works we have already noticed are but duly acknowledged, much will be done in our Church towards the promotion of Christian Union. It is a great point gained to realize the true position of those who differ from us. In the heat of controversy and party spirit it is sadly overlooked.
And now, in winding up this subject, which the length to which we have carried it compels us to do for the present, without specially noticing other pamphlets before us, we wish to suggest to our readers what, after
much deliberate reflection, we believe to be almost the ultimatum of attainment under existing circumstances, in the discharge of this essential duty. We might be willing to make great concessions to the prejudices of others
we might wish to offer a more open door for the return of those who are alienated from our communion: we might be glad to show practically and substantially the honesty of our longings after Christian Union in various ways that have been proposed, but in all this we have presented to us what is desirable rather than practicable, and we only see the interposing and impracticable barriers of circumstan
* See the little Work lately published by Messrs. Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley, Fleet Street, London : which comprises this impious oath, that may well be styled, in the words of the apostle-" The doctrine of devils ;” and is well calculated to make every orthodox and thinking man tremble at the present signs of the times.
ces over which we have no control. No; we must consider what can be done, rather than what we wish to do. We may be spending our time in useless speculations which can come to nothing. We should never indeed lose sight of what we believe to be desirable, nor miss our opportunities for promoting it; knowing that the most important works have often the most slender and insignificant beginnings, and knowing, too, that there is a mighty efficacy in prayer, and that we have to do with him who is always ready to grant whatsoever we ask in accordance to his will. But still our chiefest energy should be directed towards that which we can compass: and we must confess that we have a growing and strong conviction that there is that within our reach which, if brought duty to bear, would transform the Christian Church, and give a healthfulness and effect to the exercises of brotherly love, to which, as heretofore, we have been comparatively strangers. We refer to the recognition of the apostolic precept, “forbearing one another in love."
While some would effect Christian union only by reducing all who bear the Christian name to one common symmetry and rule, we never can forget that all God's dealings with his creatures in this world are calculated to teach us that our present state of being is intended to be characterized throughout as a condition of discipline and trial; so that in the very constitution of Christian Churches, the separate and distinct ecclesiastical enclosures that have ever existed, there is that which is providentially permitted and designed to form the trial and effect the discipline by which Christian grace is to be exemplified, and the will of God done on earth as it is done in heaven.
Now, in furtherance of what God sees best, in his infinite wisdom, for a fallen world, it is his will that there should be in perpetual existence the varied gradations of human life; the greatest seeming inequalities; the rich and the poor meeting together. And to prove that this is God's will, we have only to refer to his word, in which we find the provision of special
directions and duties attaching only to the varied grades of life. The rich have their duties, and the poor have theirs; and in the discharge of these is seen the reality and the healthfulness of Christian character. So in like manner, it is God's will that there should be separate and differing Christian communions. He permitted schism to start up even in the Apostles' days. He permitted our established Church to fall under an unhallowed and illegitimate influence, and to be accessory to measures which laid the foundation for fearful schism. Yet the Apostle rejoiced that Christ was preached even through contention; and no one will deny that the Gospel has been faithfully preached by separatists from our Communion, and that thousands and tens of thousands have experienced its saving power through this irregular agency, and become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Then is it not evident that the apostolical spirit should pervade our apostolical Church, and that her members should rejoice if Christ is only preached, by whatever means, and that souls are brought to the saving knowledge of his name? And in pursuance of Gospel principle and apostolical example, mutual forbearance must be the order of the day. There may be differences of opinion as to the expediency of an ascendant Church; but let us take things as we find them. A government professing Christianity deem it their duty to provide for the religious culture of the state. It necessarily, for this · purpose, selects that system of religion which it thinks the best. Thus one Church necessarily becomes dominant-other Churches take a lower place. And let both maintain mutual forbearance. The ascendant Church be not high-minded, but fear. The ascendant Church manifesting all that tenderness and gentleness which a sense of its former delinquencies and injustice may well dictate. The ascendant Church, not compromising principle, but holding out the right hand of fellowship to all who love the Saviour, and are doing his will, under whatever name: in fact, discharging those duties, and manifesting that