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contrary opinion, it should seem, has not only been maintained by a few private individuals, but has even formed the subject of grave and deliberate discourses from the pulpit. To refute this extraordinary doctrine, the preacher wishes particularly to direct our attention to the various enemies with whom the clergy have now to contend. These enemies are classed under three heads, “professed unbelievers, the adherents to the Roman catholic faith, and protestent sectaries.” In remarking upon the first of these classes, he assures us, that while young men of fortune and condition search ior objections to Christianity in the pages of Bolingbroke, Hume, Gibbon and Godwin, the inferior ranks are poisoned with the dogmas of Paine: it is therefore highly necessary that the clergy should be able to reply to their sophistical eavils. With respect to the second class, the adherents to the Roman catholic faith, we ought to be prepared to shew that their errors have no foundation in the Scriptures, and that in matters of faith the Bible should be our only guide. The last class comprises the numerous body of protestant sectaries. These are subdivided into three parts, viz. Socinians, Presbyterians, Methodists. The Socinians, though trifling in number and consequence, are furnished with objections, which have a shew of learning. The clergy, therefore, ought to excel in classical acquirements. The next sub-division of Presbyterians, though uniformly, as Mr. Wainewright believes, characterized by Arian principles, is sinking fast into decay. No apprehension, therefore, is to be entertained from that quarter. The most formidable party is the last, which comprises the Methodists and Anabaptists. These persons avow their hostility to the Church: “the inevitable tendency of their doctrines” is, “to oppose the hap
piness of the species, by condemaing the exercise of reason in all religious subjects, and by clouding the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel of Christ by mystery the most absurd, and fanaticism the most unbounded.” (p. 16). They have, it appears, a wonderful facility in quoting and perverting Scripture ; their professions are specious, their
zeal is misapplied, and their follow
ers are grossly ignorant and absurd. The remedy for their misapplied zeal and specious professions is, an increased exertion of learning and talent on the part of the clergy. For their ignorance and absurdity, the only cure, which can be proposed, is the diffusion of rational principles and liberal knowledge. Happily the education of young persons is now considered as an object of primary importance; and Lancaster's inventions afford facilities for instruction, which cannot be too highly prized. We have, therefore, already the promise of better times, and we may “ hail that auspicious period, when by the combined influence of the learning of the clergy. and the diffusion of religious light among the people, the advantages of Christianity shall cease to be destroyed by unnecessary divisions.” (p. 19). Such is the outline of Mr. Wainewright's sermon. It is written in a perspicuous style, and displays toward the close a very pleasing spirit of liberality. But it is open to many objections, and must be considered as a very defective exposition of an important cause. In adverting to some of the errors into which we conceive the preacher to have fallen, we are forcibly arrested in the first instance, by several intimations in the 8th page, that certain of the clergy themselves give eountenance to the opinion, which it is the object of this sermon to refute: viz. “ that learning is a qualification by no means requisite in the regular clergy.” This charge we have heard before, but
we must beg leave to doubt its corTectness. If a zealous divine wishes to establish the important truth, that heavenly wisdom is the first requisite for a preacher of the Gospel, and that all earthly knowledge if compared with this, is as nothing in the estimate, he is immediately suspected of a wish to depreciate the value of learning; and this too, at the very time, when his own habits are those of an industrious student, and his character stands high for talents and attainments *. The fault is not in him, but in the misconception of his hearers: they pause not to make distinctions: if he will not admit learning to be every thing, they consider him as affirming it to be nothing; and he is immediately to be exhibited, though a man of learning, as the advocate of ignorance; and though possessed of strong reasoning powers, and of a highly cultivated mind, as the abettor of folly and enthusiasm. The next great error, to which we shall advert, is of a class with some that were noticed in a former review. Mr. Wainewright considers Methodists and Anabaptists as forming one body of dissidents. (p. 15.) They “o distinct from each other. he 16th page presents us with another and singular error. After taking the word Methodist in its original acceptation, as applied to the followers both of Wesley and Whitfield, Mr. Wainewright affirms, that “they avow themselves unfriendly to that admirable establishment to which we are so justly attached.” So far is this from the fact, that the Wesleyan Methodists have repeatedly avowed themselves, and still continue to avow themselves, to be churchmen. Whether they always act in a manner consistent with that avowal, is a different question;
* This is not an imaginary case. We allude to a particular instance which fell unwer our notice: and it is very possible that Mr. Wainewright himself might have been Present on the occasion.
their assertions are plain and positive, whatever be the ambiguity of their conduct. After these and similar mistakes, it can hardly be expected, that the preacher should correctly state the doctrines, either of the Presbyterians, or Methodists, or Anabaptists. In reference to the articles of their creed, little information is communicated, and even that little is incorrect. The person who would refute their opinions, should first ascertain.” what those opinions are; for it would be an unfortunate circumstance, if, in attacking the principles which he erroneously ascribes to them, he should find himself maintaining the very doctrines which they labour to propagate. - In examining the importance of learning to a preacher of the Gospel, we shall do well not to confine ourselves to vague and general expressions. Learning is surely valuable to every man; and he must have a singular constitution of mind, who, with the means of adding to his knowledge, shall deliberately be contented with present attainments. But the relative value of different branches of learning must vary with the occupation and object of the individual. The first duty of a clergyman is, to impress upon his hearers the doctrines of the Christian religion; and his first qualification is a heart well disciplined and prepared by the influence of the Spirit of God, and devoted to the sacred cause. In a country parish, where sophistry and philosophism have not yet invaded the repose of humble life, a minister, who understands clearly, and is able to
* A very worthy person of our acquaintance was once seized with the spirit of proselytism, and determined to embark on a mission. “I have a great mind,” said he, “to go and convert the Calmuck Tartars. By the bye, can you tell me what religion they are of " This worthy person was probably descended from the French king, of whom we read, that he besieged, during the dark ages, a town in the Netherlands which belonged to himself. ".
expound with feeling and effect, those simple, yet sublime truths, which are calculated to make men wise unto salvation, requires few other literary qualifications, and surely his unlettered audience need nothing more. Classical researches may gratify his taste and improve his understanding, Mathematics, and botany, and geology, and chemistry, and history, and every department of learning, which has been illustrated either by the living or the dead, will afford him many a pleasant reflection, will elevate his views and expand his intellect; may enable him to combat the sceptic, or to refute the Socinian; but they will probably not contribute to render him a more useful priest of such a parish ; they may possibly not add to the earnestmess and simplicity with which he preaches the Gospel to the poor, or ministers to the wants of a departing soul. His own hopes, and fears, and enjoyments, are all connected with the records of God; from these he draws for others, the arguinent of consolation, or the language of reproof; and there are the principles, which will preserve him and his flock unblameable though life, and secure to them peace at the last. But it may happen, accordin to the supposition of Mr. Wainewright, that a parish shall be disturbed, either by professed unbelievers, or Roman catholics, or protestant sectaries, and possibly by samples of each. It cannot admit a question, that the clergyman, who, to real piety unites a thorough knowledge of their several errors, and is prepared by various learning to combat their opinions, and to expose their fallacy, will be best qualified for the duties of his station. Yet, in most cases, the great appeal must be to the Scriptures themselves; and a due knowledge of the word of God will even, in this view, be infinitely more valuable than literary attainments, however great, and however varied. The multitude are little able to enter into abstruse dis
quisitions, or to comprehend the force of elaborate argument. A plain appeal to the understanding and the conscience will produce a greater impression on their minds, than all the efforts of literary warfare. If the doctrines of St. Paul be delivered with the zeal and energy of St. Paul, Homer and Virgil may sleep secure upon their shelves. Let it not be imagined that we are the enemies of learning. One of our objections to the sermon before us is, the defective standard of learning which it proposes. Till we arrive at the 13th page, we are at some loss to discover what is the precise department of literature which the preacher would recommend : and we are a little disappointed in finding that allusion is made only to classical acquirements, as combined with theological studies. We mean not to detract from the importance of this sort of know
ledge; its value is unquestionably
great. But we must be permitted to observe that a clergyman, who would be armed at all points—who would stand forward as the champion of our faith against every assailant—must take higher ground. “In all ages,” says #. Horsley, “if the objections of infidess are to be confuted ; if the scruples of believers themselves are ,to be satisfied; if Moses and the Prophets are to be brought to bear witmess to Jesus of Nazareth; if the calumnies of the blaspheming Jews are to be repelled, and their misinterpretations of their own books confuted; if we are to be ‘ready,’ that is, if we are to be qualified and prepared, “to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us;' a penetration in abstruse questions; a quickness in philosophical discussion ; a critical knowledge of the ancient languages; a familiar acquaintance with the Jewish history, and with all parts of the sacred writings; a sound judgment; a faithful memory, and a prompt elocution; are talents, without which the
work of an evangelist will be but ill performed. When they are not infused by inspiration, they must be acquired § diligence in study and servency in prayer *.” The Apostles, according to the same writer, “ were profound metaphysicians, the best of moralists, well-informed historians, accurate logicians, and excellent in that strain of eloquence which is calculated for the conveyance of instruction, the enforcement of duty, the dissuasion of vice, the conviction of error, and the defence of truth. And whoever pretends to teach without any of these qualifications, hath no countenance from the example of the Apostles, who possessed them all in an emiment degree, not from education, but from a higher source #.” If these observations are intended for the benefit of the clergy in the present day, it is certain that a mere regard to classical pursuits, even as combined with theological studies, will hardly reach the case. We have long been of opinion, that attention to mathematical learning, as encouraged in the university to which Mr. Wainewright belongs, is of considerable
importance to a clergyman. If it.
improve his reasoning faculty; if it enable him to separate truth from falsehood; to detect misconception, and to expose sophistry; to arrive at just conclusions by the shortest process; to exercise “penetration in abstruse questions, and quickness in philosophical discussion;” there
- Horsley's Sermons, vol. i. sermon 14.
* Ibid. The Bishop in this passage does not affirm, that no person ought to teach without these qualifications, but only that the example of the apostles cannot be adduced in favour of inferior endowments. The apostles were sent forth to enlighten the world: and those who are called to proiniment situations in the church, or whose taknts and connexions are likely to bring them forth into public view, would do well to furwith themselves with all the treasures of *ming, which can be of service in their Profession. A country clergyman has a very limited sphere, and, with qualifications far "serior, may peaceably lead his little flock "the good and the right way.
can be little doubt of the advantage, which would result from such a preparation. Whether Paley, and Watson, and Horsley, would have been writers of eminence if they had neglected mathematics, we presume not to inquire; but the logical precison, the perspicuity of arrangement, and force of reasoning, by which their works are so pe. culiarly distinguished, are intimately connected with scientific attainments. It is, perhaps, scarcely too much to say, that every department of liberal science may be rendered subservient to the cause of religion; and he, who would effectually oppose all the fleeting errors of the day, must stand in the first rank of scholars and divines. How then, it may be asked, did it happen that men so ignorant as the Apostles should be selected for the great work of evangelizing the world We answer, 1. That learning is not the first. requisite, neither is it in all cases absolutely essential. 2. “It pleased God to commit the first preaching of the Gospel to men, whose former occupation and condition may be supposed to have excluded them from the pursuit and the attainment of learning, and from the advantages of education, ‘ that the excellency of the power might be of God—not of them *.” ” 3. “Originally, perhaps, they were men of little learning, fishermen, tent-makers, excisemen: but when they began to preach, they no longer were illiterate; they were rendered learned in an instant, without previous study of their own, by miracle t.” The sum of these observations is, that though information of every sort is valuable to a clergyman, yet that all human attainments should be made subservient to the grand
object of leading his parishioners in
the way to heaven. It must, however, be confessed, that the most * Horslev, Ibid. t Ibid. '
learned are not always the most useful divines. In whatever degree the
pursuits of literature detach its vo
tary from the study of the Scriptures, from self-examination, from unaffected devotion, and from earnest prayer; in whatever degree they elevate the style of his sermons and conversation above the intellect” of his meanest hearers, or withdraw him from the humble but important duties of visiting the sick, of comforting the afflicted, and of imparting consolation to the contrite heart; in that same degree must literary eminence itself be considered as permicious. We would by no means insinuate that Mr. Wainewright considers literary attainments as a substitute for religious principle—or as correspondent in nature—or as necessarily leading to a right perception of the truth. What we mean to say is, that if literature be engrafted on religion, the union is happy, and the
•of the difficulty which well-educated men
almost invariably experience in rendering themselves intelligible by the lower classes of society, every clergyman must be able to furnish examples. There was a time, when respect seems to have been paid to the preacher in proportion to the difficulty of his sermons; but even in those days, we find instances of men, most eminent for learning, who were careful to accommodate thenselves to the meanest capacity. “Of the learned Dr. Edward Pocock, the ornament and pride of his country, especially as an orientalist, we are told by his biographer, that as he avoided in his preaching ‘the shew and ostentation of learning, so he would not by any means indulge himself in the practice of those arts, which at that time were very common, and much aduired by ordinary people. . . . . His care not to amuse his hearers with things which they could not understand, gave some of then occasion to entertain very contemptible thoughts of his learning, and to speak of him accordingly. So that one of his Oxford friends, as he travelled through Childry, inquiring for his diversion of some people, who was their minister, and low they liked him, received from them this answer, Our parson is one Mr. Pocock, a plain, honest man; but, master, said they, he is no Latiner.'"—See Wordsworth's Eccles. Liography, vol. v. p. 345.
This discourse is on the emphatical declaration of St. Paul to the Corinthians, “ I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.”— We shall first give a brief analysis of the sermon, and then subjoin a few remarks on the composition itself, and on a general subject connected with it. Mr. Simeon begins by stating the importance of preaching as the chief instrument, employed by God, for the propagation of religion; and the consequent obligation of preachers to give so powerful an engine a right direction. The text he considers as stating in a striking and comprehensive sentence, the grand topic of the Christian ministry; and he proceeds first to erplain these words-–and, secondly, to vindicate them. In “explaining” the text, he contends, that the Apostle did not design to state that he dwelt continually upon the fact or history of the crucifixion; but that he considered the doctrine founded upon this fact as of paramount importance. There were two particular views in which he invariably spoke of the death of Christ—namely, as the ground of our hopes, and as the motive to our obedience. He then proceeds to shew, by some appropriate quotations, in what manner this doctrine kindled the hopes and constrained the o' edience of St. Paul. He concludes this head, - *