Imágenes de páginas


Dr. Morell on Church-Authority,

himself to be constituted head of the As to the first, it would be difficult church. If Christianity cannot flou- to produce the passages, or passage, rish without aierarchy it is no doubt in the New Testament, in which the necessary both to civil and religious authority of the rulers of the Church, liberty, that it be allowed to exercise whether bishops, or councils, or presno authority independently of the will byteries, is defined either expressly of the State; still the association is or by implication. Let the instruc. not without danger. To what cause tions and credentials be fairly made was it owing, that, before the refor- out aud established, and the authority mation all Christendom was trodden shall be acknowledged; till then it is under foot by ecclesiastics ? And right to question it. Suppose it, howhow did they contrive to raise them- ever, established; what means have selves above the civil jurisdiction, till the successors to the episcopal authothey were able to set prince and peo- rity of the apostles (for more than that ple at defiance? The priest was first is not pretended out of the Church of placed on the same bench with the Rome) to make their government eftemporal judge: thence he soon found ficient? Inspiration has ceased; mimeans to step over the head of his racles are no more; and though perlay-colleague, and the magistrate, who sonal qualities may be respected, yet, planted him at his side, had his own for enforcing obedience in large com. folly to blame for the consequence. munities, the homage which is paid. Thus the fable of the horse and his to them can never supply the place rider was naturally enough exempli- of that submission which is at once fied in his experience ; he meant to enforced by power and won by rank be the ruler, but his more dextrous and splendour. Divested of powers, coadjutor made him the slave. One authority is but a name; it must have step more will take us to the grand them either absolute or dependent. source of the usurpation, intolerance The Catholic Church had them, at and corruption, that darken the re- first in dependence on the magistrospect of the Christian church. The trate; but it soon found means to opinion to which I allude is well ex convert them into a freehold ; and pressed in the following extract from that, into an impious tyranny. To a Consecration Sermon, preached by restore the dependence was the laDr. Graves, in St. Patrick's Cathe- bour of the reformation ; and in Prodral, Dublin, July, 1806. “To sup- testant countries this was at length pose," says he, " that when the apos. happily effected. If church-authority tles were removed from their minis- must exist, the safety of the world retry, all authority to govern and direct quires that it be ingrafted upon a cithe church of Christ was to expire vil stock, which may mitigate its along with them, and that the regu- sourness, and impart to it the favour lation of that society so extended, so of humanity. The compound of the important, so sacred, was to be aban- churchman and the mau of the world doned to the caprice of individuals, is less dangerous, both to the civil the unruliness of multitudes, the mere and religious interests of mankind, casual exertions of transitory feelings, than the mere ecclesiastic ; for the and undirected efforts, is as contrary participation of secular distinctions, to the dictates of reason, the analogy and civil powers may introduce prinof nature, and the general economy ciples of liberality into church-governof Providence, as to the direct decla- ment, which are not indigenous in rations of scripture, and the clearest any hierarchy: hence, less spiritual records of ecclesiastical history;" If oppression is to be apprehended from the Church has governors, who de- an Episcopal or Presbyterian church, rive their authority either by succes. incorporated with the State, than sion or ordination from the apostles, from either of them, invested with two things are necessary ; first, that independent powers. The radical the authority shall ha been well mistake in all these matters appears defined by the apostles themselves, to be, the assumption of a churchfor the apostolic authority could not authority, which is divine, of a legisurvive the office and the men : 2dly, timate Christian hierarchy, which is That the governors of the church pos. founded upon the Christian code. sess together with the authority the Grant that such a right of rule exists, means to make it respectedand obeyed. and it cannot be denied, that there

Dr. Morell on Church-Authority.

s much good sense and knowledge of where, before the conversion of the mankind in such remarks as the fol- Emperor Constantine. During that lowing: they occur in a Consecration period, indeed, the Church was freSermon, which was preached in the quently exposed to secular persecuChapel of Lambeth, 1807, by the tion, from which, blessed be God, Rer. Charles Barker, and pablished we, enjoying as we do, a free and by command of his Grace the Arch- perfect toleration from the state, are bishop of Canterbury. “They who mercifully exempted. But, as far as talk of apostolical simplicity and low. can be intended by the comparison liness, and contend that even now our case is the same with that of our the same simplicity would best be- forefathers in the Christian faith, in come the ministers of Christianisty, ages which we are accustomed to conforget, or conceal from view, the real sider with peculiar veneration. At state of the apostolical character. They that time the Church, unconnected conceal from view the high and un- with the State, subsisted by her own attainable superiority over other men internal and inherent powers. Irewith which at all times, and in all næus, Cyprian, Cornelius, and indeed places the apostle was personally all who held the office of a Bishop gifted ; his inspiration, his power of for the three first centuries, were posworking miracles, and the immediate sessed of no other authority, and proand irresistible operation of such en- bably encompassed with no more out. dowments whether for the formation ward dignity than he who now adof a Christian church, or for its rule dresses you ; and this authority was and governance when formed. In their preserved by the filial affection of day and for their purpose these were the clergy, over whom they respecno defects ; or if they were (while the tively presided. God forbid that I choice of such men for such an office should ever have the presumption to was designedly made to confound the compare my own talents, or my own pride of human wisdom) they were zeal, to the talents or the zeal of those amply compensated by the constant burning and shining lights, to which and demonstrable interposition of God every succeeding age of the Church himself. With whatever rank and in- has looked back with reverence, influence the incorporation of religion ferior only to that which is due to the with the State, and with the order of immediate apostles of our Lord. I society, has since invested the minis- mention them only because their histers of the gospel, the greatest and tory furnishes an incontrovertible wealthiest, nay the best and wisest proof that episcopacy can subsist, and of those ministers possesses no sub- bishops who are deserving of respect stitution for the decisive and com- be highly respected, though destitute manding aathority of the humble of the splendid but adventitious pafisherman who could heal the sick and noply of a legal establishment." raise the dead."

It appears from this passage, that I shall add one more extract, the Bishop derived great pleasure from which is in strong contrast with the contemplating the episcopal commuspirit and doctrine of the last ; but nion over which he presided, as unwhich, while it breathes more of the connected with the state; though he spirit of primitive simplicity, betrays might not, perhaps, think secular a want of that practical knowledge, connexion a sufficient ground of diswhich is not so well acquired within sent from an Episcopal Church. In. the inclosure of a sect: it is taken deed with the Protestant Dissenters from a charge delivered to the cler- of England the incorporation of the gy of the Episcopal Communion of Church with the State is neither the Edinburgh, 1807, by the Right Re- sole nor the ultimate ground of disvereod Daniel Sandford, D.D. their sent. I suppose the greater part of bishop; and consequeutly a Dissen- them consider church-authority unter on that side of the Tweed. der every form as a usurpation : many

" It bas often afforded me," says of them are persuaded that it is the he, “ great satisfaction to contem- only enemy from which Christianity plate the resemblance, that the Chris- ever had or ever will have any thing tian society of which we are members to fear; that it has acted like a poison, bears, in its external condition, to the and not a very slow poison, wasting church of Christ, as it existed every and corrupting, as it has circulated


wishes to remain free. If any portion The following instances of the ex.


Unitarians in Norway. through the body of Christians. If inspection, (placing at the same time it were necessary to submit to a spi- their vassals of the Jaity on the same ritual rule, many of them would political level with other men,) now choose the Episcopal as soon, and that antiquity has made those authosome sooner than any other; but they rities venerable, and the suspension maintain that all ecclesiastical autho- of power has not made the possession rity is unsupported by the New Tes- of it less an object of desire. If any tament, and rests only on human po- principle is incompatible with good licy,' ambition or mistake. Discon- government, and, when put into acnect the authority of the Church from tion, fatal to the civil rights of manthat of the State, and they would re- kind, it is the divine right of a hie. gard it with more apprehensive vigi- rarchy: and if it can ever be right to Jance, and dissent from it with yet guard a civil constitution, by disquastronger disapprobation. They are lification to legislate, annexed to opiobetter pleased that its powers, if such ions, that doctrine deserves to stand

can reach temporal condition, first upon the list. He whose faith should emanate from the chief magis. enslaves him to a hierarch, irrespontrate, and be subject to temporal con- sible on earth, is ill-fitted to assist in troul, than that they should be estab- the legislative assembly of a free state. lished on the assertion of divine right, Such a faith is essentially intolerant, and exercised independently of civil and he urges toleration to suicide, who regulation. It is probably on some requires her to arm intolerance against such ground as this that several of ber own life. them are of opinion that the veto up

JOHN MORELL. on the constitution of a Catholic episcopacy should not be conceded by the Sir,

, that НЕ

istence of Unitarian sentiments of Christian professors, say they, will came within my notice during a late be subject to an absolute ecclesiastic tour in Norway. cal rule, or if they believe that the A Captain S master of a merChristian religion binds them in this chant vessel, a man both of family subjection, they are entitled to their and education, he being connected opinions; no man can wrest them with people of the first consequence, from them, and the attempt would happened to be a fellow lodger with be injustice and violence. At the same myself in the same room, at an ion time, they who think with the En. at Christiania. We were much toglish Dissenters that all spiritual au- gether during a period of three weeks, thority is usurped, and they who and living in the same room, it nathink with the laity and many of the turally occurred (as he spoke English clergy of the Church of England, that l'emarkably well) that we often comChristianity does not sanction, and municated our ideas upon various sub. sound policy will not allow the exer. jects to one another. Amongst others cise of any authority, (and ecclesiasti- was also religion, and in the course of cal least of all) independent of civil a conversation on this head, I took jurisdiction, are also entitled to their occasion to inform him that I did not opinions, and should not be called myself belong to the Established upon to surrender them to the asser- Church of my country, for that I tors of a spiritual authority, subject could not believe many things which to no civil controul. The principle were asserted to be true by its advoof such a claim is bad, and the ex- cates. I instanced the doctrine of the perience of mankind has vot taught us Trinity in Unity, the Godhead of our that the practice can be safe. Spiri. Saviour, original sin, and I think tual authorities might not indeed shoot some other points which I do not up into active tyrannies, unless fos- now recollect. I also declared my tered in their infancy by political belief that Christ was simply a humen ; but powerful laymen have ge- man being, extraordinarily gifted for nerally been found, who thought it wise purposes. Captain who might be worth their while to foster had hitherto studiously avoided relithem; and it would be an experi. gious topics, and once before checked ment full of hazard to civil aud reli- me when I accidentally touched upon gious liberty to set them above civil them, was greatly surprised to find

[ocr errors]


Theripture word for wordt was not

Callender's Translation of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

1S my sentiments accord so entirely with head is singularly worded to avoid his own, but remarked, that he ge- the reproach of bigotry and in tolenerally endeavoured to avoid talking rance; it declares, “That all paupon these points in his country, as rents who profess the established those who were of a contrary opinion religion shall educate their chilwould never suffer themselves to be dren in the same, no other mode convinced against their will, and dis- of public worship being permitted." puting on religion was often worse It may not perhaps be amiss to add than useless..

bere that Jews are not allowed to A second instance of the existence reside or settle in Norway. This of Unitarianism occurred to me like harsh regulation opens a door for the wise during my stay at Christiania. commission of perjury; as it is well A Mr. C, a merchant of the first known that two opulent families at eminence and a man of consequence Christiania are merely professing in a political point of view, took a Christians, in order to avoid being good deal of notice of me, by con- troubled. stantly inviting me to his house and other civilities of the like nature. He had been several years in England, SIR, where his uncle was formerly estab- THE notion of translating the lished ; and it very naturally occurred, that as we saw one another often, peculiar to John Canne, whose Bible subjects of various kinds would be is described, x. 548. I have before started in conversation. I one day me a small pamphlet thus entitled : took occasion to remark, that the at “ Essay towards a literal English tendance at Church in Norway was Version of the New Testament in the mostly confined to high days, such Epistle of the Apostle Paul directed as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, St. to the Ephesians; by John Callender, John's, &c. on wbich occasions only Esquire, Glasgow. London; reis there much of a congregation to be printed for Alexander Grant," who seen. Savdays are for the most part thus begins his Preface : neglected, particularly by the higher “ Mr. John Callender was a gen. classes who but seldom visit a place tleman of undeniable character, and of worship except on the days above according to all accounts that ever I stated. Mr. C-owned the remark could learn of him he understood the was just; his opinion was, that this originals well. 'Tis much to be reneglect partly arose from the misera- gretted that he in his life-time, had ble jargon that was usually delivered not translated the whole of the New from the pulpit. I then told him that Testament from the original Greek, in England the practice of attending in the same manner as he has done upon divine worship was extremely the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the prevalent. We afterwards got upon Ephesians. With what literal ancient the subject of the great variety of simplicity does this little translation existing sects in my country, the appear, compared with the English leading tenets of some of which I ex. idiom. Mr. Callender's words are as plained to bim. Amongst others I follows: Those who love to search touched upon Unitarianism, without the scriptures, and to read them di. hinting that I was at all connected vested of every human gloss, will not, with this description of Christians, perhaps, be displeased to see a ver till after he had acknowledged to me, sion so entirely literal, as to abandon that their ideas were exactly those be the English idiom altogether; that bad formed for some years. He fur. the genius of the Greek language may ther added, that it was well known be every where preserved, and even that many of the clergy were of the the unlearned reader made to feel the same opinions as himself, but that the energy of the divine original. The restraint of the law prevented them above words are very expressive to a from openly professing their senti. common understanding." ments, as it is a fundamental part of That your readers may judge whe. the constitution just established, that ther with his editor they can regret no other but the Lutheran religion that Mr. Callender's labours in literal shall be openly professed and incul- translation were so limited, I will cated. The identical law upon this transcribe a few passages, beginning

Query with regard to a Sunday Toll. with the first sixteen verses of the him labour, working the right with epistle.

hands, that he may have to impart to “ Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, him that needeth." In verse 32, I find by the will of God to the saints, be- “ in Christ," instead of the systematic ing in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ rendering of the common version. Jesus : Grace to you, and peace, from Ch, vi. 1, &c. “ Children obey God the Father of us, and of the the voice of the parents of you in the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed the God Lord. For this is just. Honour the and Father of the Lord of us, Jesus father of thee, and the mother; which Christ, who is blessing us by every is command the first in a promise ; blessing spiritual, in the places above that well to thee may be and thou the heavens, in Christ ; Like as he be long-lived upon the earth.". out-chose us iu him, before the found. There is no date to Mr. Grant's ing of the world, for us to be holy pamphlet. By its appearance, it may and blameless before him in love: have been printed nearly one hundred Having selected us into sonship by years. Mr. Calleuder was probably Jesus Christ unto himself, according a contemporary of John Canne, who to the good pleasure of the will of seems to have been satisfied with a still himself, to the praise of the glory of shorter experiment on translation the grace of himself, by which he “ word for word." graced us in the beloved. In whom

BIBLICUS. we have redemption by the blood of him, the remission of sins, according Sir,

Oct. 24, 1815.

in Of wbich he was abundant to us in all wisdom, and prudence, having re- the Report of the Protestant Society vealed to us the mystery of the will for the Protection of Religious Liberof himself, according to the good plea- ty, I observe that two cases have sure of himself, which he before pur- been decided in favour of persons posed in himself. For the dispensa- claiming exemption from paying turytion of the fulness of the times, to pike tolls on the ground of their going bring under one head all things in to places of divine worship. the Christ, those both in the heavens, This induces me to state to you and those upon the earth in him. In the following case, and to beg some whom also we are made heirs, se one of your numerous correspondents lected according to the fore-purpose will point out how I am to procure of Him who to all things giveth ener- redress. Doubtless there are many gy, according to the council of the persons who are in nearly similar cirwill of himself ; that we might be to cumstances with myself; consequent. the praise of the glory of him, who ly I shall not only be obliged to you, first hoped in the Christ. In whom but the dissenting interest at large also ye having heard the word of the will feel a like obligation for a clue to truth, the gospel of the salvation of the removal of the grievance. I asyou : in which also having believed sure you, Mr. Editor, that it is not ye were sealed by the spirit of pro- any pecuniary advantages which I mise, the holy: who is the earnest of am seeking after, no :—my motive is the inheritance of us, in the redemp- purely to support my privilege as a tion of the possession bought, to the Dissenter in particular, and the pripraise of the glory of him. Where vileges of the Dissenters in genera). fore also I, hearing the faith, among In the Report above alluded to, no you, in the Lord Jesus, and the love mention is made of the names of the to all the saints, do not cease giving parties whose case was decided at the thanks for you, mention of you mak. Suffolk assizes, nor on what act of ing in the prayers of me."

parliament the Judge's exposition and Ch. iv. 25, &c. “ Wherefore lay- decision was founded ; and the second ing aside lies, speak truth, every one case is equally destitute of that kind with the neighbour of him; because of information which is necessary for we are of each other members. Be me to lay before a magistrate for the angry and do not sin: the sun let not purpose of procuring redress. set upon the wrath of you; neither The Case :- I live in a village about give place to the accuser. The steal- three miles from a post-town in the er no more let steal; but rather let West of England, and am 'a Unita

« AnteriorContinuar »