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pastoral character of their Clergy, have been especially anxious in directing attention to this important duty. With this view they have not failed to recommend the regular periodical perusal of the Ordination Services ; and the episcopal addresses not unfrequently contain most excellent rules for the profitable prosecution of the solemn task. Among other works of this nature, Bishop Burnet's “ Pastoral Care,” Archbishop Secker's “Instructions to Candidates for Orders," Bishop Wilson's “ Parochialia,” and Bishop Taylor's “ Rules and Advices to his Clergy,” are especially worthy of the attentive consideration of every one who is intrusted with the cure of souls. In many respects, however, these admirable treatises are now comparatively out of date; and the change which has taken place in the minds and disposition of men since the period of their publication, may well be deemed a sufficient excuse for a “ renewed exhibition of truths substantially the same,” in a form more congenial with the spirit of the present times, adapted to contemporaneous circumstances, and written in the style of modern composition.
Under an impression of the usefulness of a work of this nature, particularly to the younger members of the Clerical profession, Bishop Mant has collected into a small volume the substance of several charges, originally delivered at bis Episcopal visitations to the dioceses over which he has been called to preside. His labours, originally intended for the more immediate benefit of his exclusive charge, have thus been accommodated to the general use of the Clergy of the united Churches. In order to adapt them throughout to such a use, the excellent author has omitted all observations of a local or occasional nature, and substituted more lengthened discussions of important subjects only casually alluded to, together with observations on a variety of topics altogether unnoticed, in his Charges. A more useful and comprehensive digest of the public and private duties of a Clergyman could not easily have been supplied ; and we are truly grateful to the Bishop of Down and Connor for his invaluable publication. The celebration of Divine Worship, in its relation both to the minister and people; the administration of the Sacraments; the catechizing of children; the education and religious improvement of the poor ; the subject of authorized Psalmody; the Rubrical and Canonical injunctions, and the duty of submission to ecclesiastical superiors; the offices of Baptism and Churching of Women; together with directions respecting preaching, the Visitation of the Sick, and the personal conduct of the Clergy, in their private occupations, their amusements and social intercourse, come successively under consideration, and are treated with a soberness of judgment, a perspicuity of argument, and a persuasiveness of manner, which cannot fail to produce conviction, attention, and deference.
In proof of the value of the Treatise, the contents of which we have thus summarily noticed, we have only to subjoin a few extracts, which will be amply sufficient to induce a desire on the part of our readers to be intimately acquainted with a work of such deep and important interest. On the subject of Baptism, we have the follow, ing judicious observations :
A disposition sometimes prevails among the members of our congregations, to procure the baptism of their children at home, in accommodation to their own personal ease, or humour, or convenience. And if baptism were nothing more than a civil ceremony; of no other use, than, as some persons may vainly imagine, to be made subservient to the worldly interests of the baptized; it might be regarded and treated accordingly. But is it, indeed, no more than this? Is it not rather a most holy religious office? And if so, where can it be so properly administered, as in places peculiarly dedicated to the offices of religion? Is it not the end of the ordinance to admit the baptized person into the Church of Christ, and to initiate him into the privileges of it? And if so, where, with such propriety, as in the presence of a congregation, solemnly and conspicuously assembled for the public worship of God, and in evidence of their communion with the Church, of which they appear as a portion, and may be fitly considered the representative? Is it not the purport of the office; to receive from the baptized, in his own person, or in that of his sureties, a profession of Christian faith and obedience, and to confer upon him the promise of the Christian blessings? Where, then, with such propriety, as in the presence of a regular assembly of Christians, who, having been previously participators in the same ceremony, do now both witness the dedication of the newly-baptized to God, and his reception “ into the body of Christ's Church;" and are at the same time put in remembrance of their own profession made to God in their baptism, and of the duties which they then faithfully promised that they would perform, and of the covenanted blessings to which they were thereby entitled ? În one word, as a well-known and useful ritualist sums up the argument, “ the ordinance is certainly publica-public in the nature and end of it; and, therefore, such ought the celebration of it to be.”
The Bishop proceeds to the office for the “Churching of Women:"
Most Clergymen are, in all probability, occasionally solicited to perform the office now alluded to, as well as the baptismal office, in private. It were difficult to see, how any Clergyman can comply with such solicitation, unless from indifference to his professional obligations, or from thoughtlessness at least, and inadvertence. Surely the considerate and conscientious Clergyman, when he opens his “ Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the United Church of England and Ireland,” will not be satisfied with administering its rites according to any other use than that of the Church itself. . When he turns to the rite in question, and remarks at the head of the office, “ The Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth, commonly called, The Churching of Women," he will understand at once the intention of the Church, and wilĩ hesitate in committing an act of disobedience involving in it the practical solecism of churching them at home. When he reads the preparatory Rubrick, which directs, that • the woman shall come into the church, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place, and then the priest shall say” what is thereupon provided, he will not feel justified in being drawn away from the appointed scene of ministry, and celebrating the office in the woman's chamber. When he reflects on the form, in which provision is made for her giving thanks, “ in the presence of the Lord's people, in the courts of the Lord's house,” he will not venture to profane and nullify the language, by pronouncing it in the sequestered apartment of a private dwelling. * What, then, is the Clergyman to do? The answer appears sufficiently
obvious in this, as in all other instances of a clear prescribed duty. He is to ponder well his obligations to obey the laws of the Church; he is to examine carefully the laws relating to the matter in question; he is to make himself thereby well acquainted with his duty as a minister of the Church, and to take every seasonable opportunity for instructing and admonishing his people in what belongs to them; he is then to do what his conscience tells him that he ought to do, and leave the result to God. The probability is, that the unreasonable desires of those, by whom he may be solicited to deviate from his duty, will give way before a steady and temperate perseverance on his part in adhering to it: if not, his own conscience will be void of offence, and his heart will condemn him not.
The remarks on the Rubricks and Canons are highly interesting and valuable ; but our limits do not admit of an extract. Proceeding onwards, therefore, we come to the author's opinion respecting extemporaneous preaching :
Extemporaneous preaching is not congenial to the staid character of the Anglican Church ; it has been not often practised by the more eminent of her ministers; and it may be judged more suitable to the eccentric and extravagant propensities of the conventicle. Whatever advantages it may be supposed to possess, in a more easy and animated delivery, when practised by a preacher whose natural and acquired qualifications enable him to practise it with success, those advantages are greatly more than counterbalanced by the danger, which the large majority of preachers undergo, of various improprieties; such as awkward hesitations and interruptions, a mean and incongruous phraseology, incomplete sentences, inconsequent reasonings, needless repetitions and redundancies, impertinent digressions from the proper scope of the discourse, and excursions into topics whereon the preacher can expatiate with a more ready familiarity; especially by the danger of being hurried away by a momentary excitement beyond the bounds of his own sober judgment, or of failing to employ those precise terms, and convey those exact ideas to his hearer, which he would approve on deliberate reflection. Not a sentiment should be conveyed from the pulpit to the mind of the hearer, not an expression should escape the preacher's lip or fall upon the hearer's ear, which could not be justified and maintained in the seclusion of the closet, and in the soberness of private conversation. It is a memorable circumstance in the ministry of one of our most learned and eloquent divines, as related by himself, “ Never durst I climb into the pulpit, to preach any sermon, whereof I had not before, in my poor and plain fashion, penned every word in the same order, wherein I hoped to deliver it."
Supposing, then, apparent freedom from constraint, and a greater degree of liveliness in the preacher, to be an advantage attendant upon extemporaneous preaching, when practised well and successfully, I should think it dearly purchased by the evils incidental to the practice in ordinary hands. Meanwhile that advantage itself, I suppose, may be acquired sufficiently by the practice now recommended, of composing sermons with a view to their being such as may be delivered fluently from the pulpit, and of becoming familiarly acquainted with them before delivery. Thus the Clergyman will probably arrive at the good, without running the risk of the evil of extempore preaching; "in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned.”
An incidental advantage which a Clergyman may regard as belonging to written sermons, is the utility of having such documents to refer to, for the satisfaction either of himself or of others. My meaning may be illustrated by an anecdote of one, who had the misfortune to incur the censure of some of his parishioners, of being not a preacher of the gospel. On one occasion, the charge was distinctly alleged against him in general terms by a person who had called upon him for some other business; when the Clergyman took advantage of the scene of the occurrence being his own study, and addressed his accuser to the following effect. “If you think that I do not preach the gospel, you can, probably, mention some particular day in which I have thus failed in my duty. That closet contains every sermon which I have preached in the parish. Name the objectionable discourse, and it shall be immediately laid before you, word by word, as it was delivered from the pulpit. Thus you will be able to point out what you suppose to be my error; and I shall have the opportunity of considering and correcting it, if I shall be convinced that it is one, or of explaining the case to you, possibly to your satisfaction. But if, with this offer before you, you decline substantiating your charge by stating particulars, I hope you will forbear in future from laying against your minister a general accusation, so injurious to his character, and so inconsistent with his obligations.” The parishioner refrained from particularising, and here the matter ended. But I have often reflected on the occurrence as an argument for written sermons, as means whereby the preacher might at any time satisfy his own mind, as well as convince gainsayers, concerning the soundness of his doctrine, as delivered in his discourses from the pulpit.-Pp. 233—237.
Our inclination would be gratified by presenting our readers with some of the Bishop's observations on the Clergyman's intercourse with his flock, and on his personal conduct and deportment: but the length to which we have ventured to extend the extracts already given, obliges us to refrain from proceeding further. We have therefore only to add, that the opinions advocated throughout the Treatise, and the directions laid down in it, cannot fail to receive the sanction of every well-thinking Clergyman ; and those who dissent from the observations in some particular points, will do well to reflect seriously on the grounds of their objections, and they will probably be induced, by the sober and convincing arguments employed, to consider their clerical obligations more profitably, both in relation to themselves and their parishioners.
A Sermon, preached at the re-opening of Abergavenny Church, on Sunday, September 20, 1829. By EDWARD, LORD Bishop of LLANDAFF. London: Rivingtons. 8vo. Pp. 24.
The re-opening of a Church, with additional accommodations for an increased and increasing population, naturally suggests itself as a happy opportunity for inculcating the principles of religious union, and for calling back to the worship of their forefathers those whom necessity had compelled to seek for that instruction in the conventicle, which had hitherto been unprovided in the Church. Such an
spiritual unity, in 1 Cor. i. 10., the Bishop grounds a just distinction between two descriptions of Dissenters, to whom, by local circumstances, his attention was more immediately called. While he speaks with mildness, and even with esteem, of the Wesleyans, as affording spiritual consolation and instruction to hundreds unable to find it elsewhere, he does not hesitate to pass the most unequivocal censure upon those who seek to create and perpetuate separation from the National Church, by excluding from their society any that communicate with us in the blessed sacrament of the Lord's
on occasion presented itself at Abergavenny, to the Bishop of the Diocese Upon the apostolical exhortation to
of such teachers it is often observable that they do not come in to supply the
ing upon the consciences of its members. P. 21.
After the extracts we have given, it would be superfluous to add a word in commendation of this excellent discourse. We sincerely trust that it had its due effect upon those who heard it; and that the Church at Abergavenny is filled with a devout congregation, worshipping God in the beauty of holiness.
defect of the regular ministry, cultivating only a waste and neglected vineyard, and bringing the tidings of the Gospel to a benighted or forgotten people. Too often is it the very reverse of all this; too often is a conscientious and zealous minister molested in his sacred duty, thwarted in the most holy exercise of his functions, and defrauded of those disciples whom he was willing and anxious to train in the right way. Where the harvest is indeed plenteous, and the labourers are few, we cannot blame the services even of those whom our Lord hath not hired. But to enter upon another man's labours-to draw away the sheep of his fold - to weaken their reverence and attachment to their appointed guide, when he is still at his post, and faithful to his charge, is conduct which stands plainly condemned in almost every page of the apostolic writings, and is one of those acts of disobedience which, although I never wish to see them punished by human laws, will doubtless incur the displeasure of Him that judgeth righteously at the last day.-P. 11.
His Lordship then proceeds to point out the admirable helps to devotion, afforded by the Liturgy and Ordinances of the Church of England, and instances, more especially, the incitement to social worship, which the introduction of Psalmody, and more especially the responses, are calculated to produce. The concluding remarks we cannot withhold from our readers :
Happy indeed is that parish in which all are able and willing to unite in public prayer, in hearing God's word read and explained, and in participation of the Holy Communion, according to the pattern left us by the earliest times, and at the hands of their Lord's appointed ministers. But where this blessing cannot be liad to the degree we would earnestly desire, still let nothing be wanting on our part that may conduce towards such an union. Charitable and kind behaviour is due to all our neighbours, and it will tend, among other things, to disarm prejudice, and to dispose men to a candid consideration, whether they are not really pursuing a wrong course, and acting in disobedience to their Lord's will. But let not charity and liberality ever degenerate into indifference about the duties of religion. Never let it lead you to compromise your faith, or to confirm men in heresy or schism by representing that to be of little moment, which all the first teachers of Christianity inculcated in every church they founded, as most bind
Two Dissertations on Sacrifices : the
first on all the Sacrifices of the Jews, with remarks on some of those of the Heathens : the second on the Sacrifice of Christ : in both which the general doctrine of the Christian Church on these subjects is defended against the Socinians. By WILLIAM Outram, D.D. formerly Prebendary of Westminster. Translated from the original Latin, with additional Notes and Indexes by John Allen, Author of Modern Judaism, fc. fc. Second Edition. London: Holdsworth and Ball. 1828. 8vo. Pp. 400. Price 9s.
MR. ALLEN has performed a very acceptable service with much judgment and careful fidelity. Amidst the fearful signs of the times, when between no-belief and mis-belief, the ark of Christ's Church seems to be assailed with no ordinary perils, it is matter of congratulation, we think, to those pious few, who would earnestly contend for the faith, to see a second edition of such works as the one on our table called for by the public. The partisans of Socinians being so mischievously industrious in the propagation of their pestilent heresy, it is more than time to loose the giants of orthodoxy from the fetters with which a dead language has so long and so injuriously bound them: and therefore we cordially thank the learned Translator of Dr. Outram's unanswerable Treatise, of which it is well said, that
Few books of doctrinal theology have obtained such concurrent testimonies of high approbation from the most competent judges among Christians of various communions ; and though the same principles have been ably defended in numerous treatises, this work cannot justly be considered as at all