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this question, with an earnest wish that you would make such use of the information as may forward the cause we have in hand."
With this important document, the facts contained in which the bishop expressly stated he wished to be made known, and his name given as authority (though not meaning his letter to be printed while he was living), we conclude our remarks; only adding, in reference to
the approaching solemnity, let not our day of professed humiliation become a curse instead of a blessing, as it will if our prayers go out of feigned lips and prove only a solemn mockery. We need, to crown all, the plentiful effusion of Divine grace, and the renovating influences of the Holy Spirit; which topic we add last, that it mny be most fresh in the remembrance of our readers, and most prominent in their prayers.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Alpha; I). M. P.; C. B. P.; A Subscriber; S. C. J.; J. E.; Laicub; Qiadrauenarrs; T.; D.; M. L. L.; Theognis; M.; C. H.; W.; are under consideration,
We have received several excellent addresses from clergymen, in various parts of the country, to their flocks, and wish we could notice them, as well as numerous sermons and other publications, in detail. They are valuable and powerful instruments of local and pastoral utility.
Incog, and Anticallicus should each spend fifteen-pence on " The Results of Machinery," if they have not access to larger treatises. We cannot sec with the latter in what way, if a Sheffield knife is sent to France in exchange for a pair of gloves, the country is injured. No trade that requires protecting (except for a time, as an infant exotic) is worth protecting. All such protection is national loss; public robbery for private advantage. The second table of the Divine law is the best treatise on political economy. AVould Antigallicus like that men shoidd prevent his taking his industry or his manufactures to the best market, and getting back what he pleased, not excepting corn itself, in return?
We are obliged again to postpone numerous articles of Literary Intelligence The reports, and other papers of religious and charitable societies, have of late years become so numerous, that it is impracticable for us to notice a twentieth part of them ; and we canthcrefore only as a general rule, offer to societies the facility of transacting their own business with our readers, by inserting their documents, if suitable, among our appended papers (which are admitted gratuitously), or availing themselves of the advertisements on the cover, when they wish to publish a list of names, donations, &c. Our duty to our readers requires that we should not occupy the body of the work with articles of this description; which would take up a large part of each Number; but we are not the less interested in them, because our limits forbid our inserting them. We should hope that most of our readers see that valuable and useful work, the Missionary Register, which is specifically devoted to these subjects, and which is the best record extant of what (iod is doing in the earth.
Clericus will perceive, on referring back to our pages, that we did not overlook the plurality bill of last session, but that we expressly passed it over because it had lapsed by the prorogation of parliament, and we trusted that a far better bill would be eventually introduced. That bill proceeded on the principle that the system of pluralities ought to be checked; and it enacted, among other things, that a person taking a new living of above a certain value, thereby vacated his present holding; but most strangely it was added, that if he could procure high testimonials to his talents and character, then the archbishop might give him a dispensation to be a pluralist. How so monstrous a provision found its way into the bill we cannot conjecture. Who could have proposed to suspend such an important issue upon an archbishop's dispensation; thus making it often a mere matter of intrigue or favouritism? and who could have suggested as a legislative principle, that in proportion as men arc learned :ind good, they shall be permitted to do bad things, as a reward for their virtues? .
We cannot think with A. B., that Mr. Daniel Wilson has mistaken the sentiments of the school to which he alludes, respecting baptism. We might quote scores of pages in proof. Take one sentence as an example, from the writings of Dr. Spry: "Men became sanctified creatures by virtue of baptism;" but if in after life they neglect the grace then received, " they will be unrenewed and unre/ormed, though aclud\y regenerate." What then is regeneration but a name? And surely A. B. will not deny that Dr. Spry is what is called (unfairly, because exclusively called) a high-churchman; a churchman so high, that, on a fast day during the late war, he
saw fit, in despite of ecclesiastical authority, to leave out a passage in the prayers because it inculcated charity towards those who agreeing with us in " the essentials of our most holy faith," differ upon some points of " doubtful disputation ;" Dr. Spry considering that the Church of England being always in the right, and his exposition of her doctrines being infallible, no doubtful points could possibly exist. A correspondent (who gives his name) states, that the altercations at the new Bible Society board are beyond measure " violent, personal, and disgraceful," that their conduct is " dishonourable in a moral point of view, independent of any theological question," and that they talk of having a new public meeting to propose another new test. We can only say that the whole business is very mournful; but we have written enough, ai.d perhaps too much, about it in a former page.
Since the above was written, the plurality bill alluded to has just been re-introduced. It is altogether of an unsatisfactory character. Instead of laying down in a statesman-like manner, precise regulations, under which a plurality of livings shall or shall not be lawful, it first prohibits them altogether, and then gives power to the archbishop to grant a dispensation " if he see fit." The whole bill hangs on " if he see fit;" subject only to an appeal to the privy council, which would be so troublesome, expensive, and uncertain, that few persons, however aggrieved, would venture upon it. If an archbishop chooses to deny a dispensation, there is no redress, provi ded his Grace can assign any reason just decent enough, the most trilling would do, to enable the privy council to uphold his decision ; for it is not likely that the government will offend an archbishop and lose his votes, to please an obscure clergyman, provided the case be not very flagrant . Again, if he chooses to grant one to another clergyman, under the very same circumstances, or even under circumstances far less plausible, from mere favouritism, or nepotism, or because the applicant is some great man's friend, there is nothing to restrain his so doing. We say, unaffectedly, that in the case of the present amiable and learned and much-respected primate, that we should have the fullest confidence in his integrity, disinterestedness, and impartiality; but have there never been, and may there not be again, archbishops of very different character; political partizans, theological polemics, good haters, money-hunters, aggrandizers of their relatives and friends, and persecutors of men more righteous than themselves? And ought such men, or ought any man, to have such power? And then how strange to provide, that in the case of the two livings being under 400/. per annum, the archbishop may, " if he see fit," grant the dispensation without any peculiar claim; but that if they exceed that sum, he then may do it, " if he see fit," provided the fortunate candidate can get a friendly bishop, or the archbishop's own kind self, "specially to recommend him on account of his attainments and exemplary conduct." Oh the value of Greek metres and moral virtues! No wicked or unlearned men are henceforth to be permitted to make a trade of religion; this privilege is reserved for " attainments and exemplary conduct;" or what some kind friend may indulgently call so, and an archbishop, " if he see fit," accept as such. We have always opposed, and ever shall oppose, this sort of stet-pro-ratione-voluntas legislation in church matters. Nobody ever thinks of it in other matters. Why not have well considered rules to take in the great majority of cases; tying up dispensation, if admitted at all, within the most narrow bounds; and leaving as bttle as possible to " if he will." Will any clergyman who happens to have influence fail to obtain the necessary testimonials for a dispensation?
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
Wk have only space to add without comment,
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
8 from bottom,-/br Brecon, read Becon.
ON VERBAL AND MANUAL CHRIS-
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
'I N your Number for August 1831, you allowed me to obtrude a paper on undervaluing the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and you afterwards, in due fairness, permitted others to discuss my communication. This was done on your part with my entire, though unknown, concurrence; and I hope that the three scrutineers ultimately placed the question in its right position. But I am not cured of querulousness; and the proceedings of the nominally Christian world would furnish matter of fresh complaint to persons far less disposed to scrutinize than myself.
I wish, sir, that people professing godliness would be a little more cautious in substituting the language and manipulations of religion for its spirit and influence. It is not meant that they do this designedly, and in the temper of those of whom it was said, "This people draweth nigh to me with their lips but their heart is far from me." I am supposing no such hypocrisy; but I am jealous of certain phrases and customs becoming the cheap and equivocal test of personal religion. There is a formality very likely to spring up among the most strenuous anti-formalists; and if the mischief does not materially affect themselves, yet it is sure to injure their hangers-on and imitators. It is recorded of the Honourable Robert Boyle, that he never
Christ. Observ. No. 363.
mentioned the Divine name without taking off his hat. This was very well in him, because this act of external or manual reverence was not belied, but supported, by his general habits. But many a copyist might uncover his head—and do nothing better. It is indeed told of Dr. John Campbell (the statistical writer) that he never passed by a church without removing also his hat, but he never went into one, and he was a regular devotee to wine.
Christianity cannot be a religion of words and ceremonies. But Romanism can be; and I have often wondered that Protestants of serious and sagacious minds, should not be aware how nearlythey symbolize with their opponents in verbal devotion. Among the Papists every thing is rubbed over with the varnish of their religion. Among the slups captured, I think, at Trafalgar, were the SanTissima Trinidada, and the SalvaDor DEL MUNDO. 1f these nominalists discern a cluster of islets, they are called The Virgin Islands; if asingle island,itbecomcsTRiNiDAD. Incoasting along a new continent, they double a cape, and name it Spirito Santo. They build a town, and term it Valparaiso. The neighbouring bay is distinguished by the appellation of Conception. Some of the rivers are canonized under the patronage and names of favourite saints; and Vera CRUzis seen to designate somepromisingcolony. The Latin chivalry is consecrated after a like fashion. There are the orders of St. Bento D'avis,
St. Joachim, our own St. George,— I wish we were well rid of him, and of a thousand other demi-gods and deified heroes, successors of the dii minores of the heathen world;—and lastly, the Gallican order of St. Esprit, which is, indeed, the climax of this polluted and profane system. And as to the emblem of the cross, and the i. H. S. usually attached to it, they are crowded thickly over the whole machinery of mystic Babylon, They are embroidered on the Pope's slipper, to apologize for the kissing of his toe; and they blaze in vast proportions in his basilicas and monastic establishments. I doubt not that they are stamped upon every rack, thumbscrew, manacle, and stiletto in the inquisition; and shew themselves, in short, in every nook and comer where the evil genius of antichrist rears its dark and sanguinary shrines. The names of several of our own colleges are relics of the self-same system. In both Universities we have Trinity, Jesus, MagDalen, and Corpus Christi; at Oxford, All-souls and Christ-church; and at Cambridge, Christ's and EmManuel*. These appellations have been supposed by surface theorists, to indicate " the piety of our ancestors." It would be nearer the truth to call it their fraud and ungodliness. The feudal mottoes of several ancient families originated in the same periods, and from similar causes. Esperance
* Emmanuel College was, however, founded in 1384, by Sir Walter Mildmay; who, I believe, placed the chapel north and south, from disrelish of the customs of Papal founders. The buildings are erected upon the site of a Dominican convent. Queen Elizabeth said to Sir Walter, " I hear you have erected a Puritan foundation." "No, madam; far be it from me to countenance any thing contrary to your established laws: but 1 have set an acorn which, when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be the fruit thereof." (Fuller's History of Cambridge, 1655, p. 147.) The acorn vegetated luxuriantly, and produced from the young stem of its oak Bishops Hall and Bedell; Chaderton,one of king James's translators; Preston, Cudworth,Culver^vell, Marshall, and Wallace the geometrician; all these in its first seventy years.
Endieu is combined with the heraldic splendour of the Percies. Lord Waterford displays Nil Nisi Cruce; Lord Lucan, Spes Mea Christus; the Wellesleys, Porro, Unum Est NeCessarium; and Lord Glengall, the plain English of God Be My Guide. With these devotional mottoes, and of which there are numerous other examples, their present possessors have no concern further than as having found them on their familyescutcheons*. They appear on the superb equipages which crowd nightly to the doors of the Opera-house and of St. James's-street, as well as at some fashionable chapel on Sundays.
To what purpose have I said all this? To remind those whom it concerns of the ease with which mankind can, and do, apply the externals of Christianity to the things of this world. Among Romanists the cross is every where, except in their hearts. They too can not only take off their hats at the name of the Son of God, but they can fall on their knees amidst the dirt of Lisbon and Madrid, at the approach of the pyx and its dirty attendants. Now, our danger is, to put words and phrases allowed to be perfectly good in themselves and capable of being used to edification, and, in fact, actually employed for that purpose by genuine Christians,—to put these words and phrases to the uses of formality and barren opinion. It is notorious that many Protestants, who do not inscribe their ships with the names of the Godhead, solemnly speak of The Most Holy And Undi
* It is observable that the Duke of Wellington's motto is changed into Virtutis Jbrtuna comes. The text, Hut one thing is needful, is retained by Marquess Wcllesley, Lords Cowley, and Manrborough; and, I believe, by Mr. P. T. L. Pole. Their family name, in my remembrance, was H'eslei/. Charles Wesley, brother of the founder of Methodism, declining to become the heir of a namesake in Ireland—Mr. Garrett Wesley— the property once intended for him, was inherited by the first Earl of Mornington, grandfather of the Duke of Wellington. The original name, coupled with the original motto, may create a smile, and call forth some unavailing wishes.
Vided Trinity, and yet pour instant derision upon the doctrine of a believer reconciled to the Father,through the death of the Son, by the influence of the Spirit. The same melancholy fact is discernible in all and every example, when the faith of the Gospel is inculcated as an opinion, and not as a principle. On the other hand, many well-meaning persons abound in such phrases as " if the Lord will,"" through mercy," "thank the Lord for it," " by the Lord's assistance; " and as far as this is done in sincerity and truth, it is indeed well with them. But then come the imitators, the men who in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, would have embroidered crosses and initials on their sleeves and pantaloons, to look brilliant at bull-fights and theatres; and who glue fragments of the true cross to guitars and castanets. How little do some of our own religionists think —but they do not think, and that h one source of the evil—that the gross formalities of Popery are very easily developed in the more innocent shapes which delude them. In both cases, it is verbal and manual Christianity.
Let not, however, the reformed party mistake me. I again repeat, that I quarrel with no form of sound words, but with the disjunction of such form from soundness of mind; and also with lip-doctrine and lipsanctity not illustrated in the life. Ever}' one knows that the men of this world are under the perpetual reproof, and most deservedly, of religious persons, because of their profane exclamations; and simply, because the voice and the heart are in opposition to each other. It is the Domine Miserere, and the Ave Maria, and the Pater Noster of the Papal church, under Protestant forms of language. But the Divine name is really taken in vain by any religionist who uses it, I do not say inconsiderately, but without distinct self - recollection. He may not be aware of his bordering upon the very profaneness which he condemns in the world
lings around him; but he ought, at least, to be conscious of his danger. Then, on the other hand, there are numbers of consistent Christians who say, for example, " I intend to buy this estate,—I have made up my mind to dispose of my shares in this canal,—I go to town early in next month,—My son will be ordained in December;" without prefacing such familiar assertions by any allusions to Divine Providence. But what is the permanent, ingrained, state of their minds, but a spirit of dependence upon God; of resignation to the events of his will; of consciousness that the purest human scheme may be deranged by the merest trifle; and a desire that God would order all their affairs to his glory and to their own spiritual benefit. A superficial, however sincere, Christian may perhaps rebuke others for omissions in the cases supposed, when, in point of reality, the omission is only verbal, while the inward principle is active. In the case of the reprover, the words may be uttered, and the internal feeling be cold, and languid, and rigorous. Religious characters must always be estimated by the years, and not by the moments, of a believer's life; by the tenor and uniform movements of his pilgrimage. Verbal and occasional devotion is mutable; steady consistency is far otherwise. Many hear and talk with joy for a season, but in time of temptation fall away; and so terminates all merely verbal Christianity!
The danger of the Evangelical formality now developed is all the greater, when religious phrases become pass-words and countersigns in public institutions, and on platforms. In this instance they tend to identify the institutions themselves with what either is, or appears to be, an ostentatious and self-righteous spirit. And then returns the question, When and where are we to stop? The usual embarrassment arising from questions of degrees hangs heavily upon the progress of our investigation. I beg leave to elu