Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SUFFOLK

WARWICKSHIRE. REMOVAL OF “ Pews." — A vestry

Mr. W. Stratford Dugdale, M.P., has meeting was recently held in St. Marga. given 500l. towards erecting a new Church ret's Church, Ipswich, for the purpose of

at Badderley, near Ensor. considering the propriety of removing the

WILTSHIRE. present inconvenient pews, and substi. The Lord Bishop of Salisbury consetuting open benches. "The Incumbent, crated a new Church at Broad Town, on the Rev. G. Murray, took the chair. Saturday, the 12th of April, in presence W. C. Fonnereau, Esq., of Christ Church, of a large number of clergymen and a very moved that the pews be done away with,

full congregation. offering a donation of 2001. to effect the THE SWINDON STATION.-His Royal change. An amendment was moved, but Highness the Duke of Cambridge, accomonly five hands were held up in its favour. panied by Lord Barrington, one of the The present occupiers of pews are to

directors of the Great Western Railway have seats allotted them in the nave, and Company, recently visited the beautiful the rest of the nave and the two aisles to new Church lately erected at the Swindon be declared for ever free, and the benches station, from the design of Messrs. Scott to have “Free” legibly written upon

and Moffat, calculated to hold about 1,000 them. In all cases where the present oc- persons. A church has been much needed cupiers of pews die, or leave the parish, at this spot, from the circumstance of its or from any cause discontinue attendance, being the place where all the works conthe seats thus vacated are also to be free. nected with the locomotive department The expense beyond Mr. Fonnereau's of the railway are carried on, a population donation is to be defrayed by subscription. of about 1,200 souls having suddenly

sprung up. The Great Western Company SURREY.

and some private individuals liberally conTHE NEW CAURCH AT CAMBERWELL. tributed to build a church ; and it is ex-The unsightly buildings which have pected that the consecration of it will take been so long unoccupied, but were for- place next month, although the funds are merly the grammar school at the east end yet deficient to meet the expenditure, and of the church, are about to be pulled a considerable sum be required before the down, and the materials sold, by order of beautiful edifice can be completed. His the Court of Chancery. At present they Royal Highness was greatly pleased with entirely destroy the view of the eastern

the handsome yet chaste style of architecpart of this beautiful edifice and its singu- ture, which was displayed, not only in the lar tower, which, when they are removed, church, but in the unpretending mansion will be fully seen almost from Peckham. for the resident minister, and the schools On Sunday morning, the 13th of April,

for the children of the workmen. His the Lord Bishop of Chichester preached a

Royal Highness having been graciously most eloquent sermon in the church of St. pleased to express his sense of the attenJohn, Waterloo-road, on the part of the tion which had been shown him by the necessary funds for completing another

officers of the railway, left by a special new church in the densely populated

train for the seat of Lord Barrington, who parish of Lambeth, at present building in gave the same evening a ball, to which York-street, Lambeth-marsh. His Lord- the leading gentry of the neighbourhood ship arrived shortly before eleven o'clock, had the honour of an invitation. when he was met at the middle entrance

WORCESTERSHIRE. by the Rev. Dr. Doyley, the Rev. Mr. MALVERN LINK.—The Queen Dowager Irvine, curate of St. John's, the Rev. Mr. has recently subscribed 201. towards the Johnstone, minister, and other parochial building-fund of the intended district authorities.

church at Malvern Link, Worcestershire.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.

The Editor is perfectly ready to allow Mr. Hearn to answer the charge brought against his work. But the letter he has received is written in such a manner as to be wholly inadmissible.

“ E. W." received.

[blocks in formation]

In the introduction to his translation of the Life of Bonaventure, Mr. Oakeley has touched on one point, which is so curious, and so curiously handled, that it will deserve a little more than a passing notice.

The reader of these papers will recollect that Mr. Oakeley professes his work to be " newly translated for the use of members of the Church of England,” the truth being, that it differs in several respects from the translation in use among the Roman catholics. Mr. Oakeley, however, acknowledges that what he has done amounts to something more than mere translation, and that the work, as he gives it, is intended to be in such a state as should give no reasonable offence to members of the Church of England. His words are as follow:

“ The Meditations now laid before the English reader have been adapted to the presumed wants of our church under that conflict of feelings which all who have been engaged in the same kind of task will fully appreciate ; ou the one hand, of a desire to omit nothing which might profit, on the other, to retain nothing which might offend and perplex. The same parties will also understand the extreme difficulty which besets the attempt to act upon the latter of these wishes ; offence in some quarters being the necessary condition, under actual circumstances, of edification in others. Again, it needs but little experience in such trials to know the absolute impossibility of anticipating the course, still more of obviating the tide, of objection; depending as it does upon the incalculable varieties of feeling under which books are read by an indefinite number of readers.”—p. xxviii.

Now, giving Mr. Oakeley as much credit for sincerity as he can desire, does not this passage betray a most extraordinary degree of infatuation and self-delusion? What are the facts already laid before the readers of these papers ? They are simply these : that this work, as it comes from Mr. Oakeley's hands, contains, not only additions

* Numbers I.-VII. have been reprinted as tracts for distribution. VOL. XXVII.-June, 1845.

2 s

to the text of Holy Scripture, but even direct and deliberate contradictions of the sacred text. Has Mr. Oakeley really deceived bimself into believing the Church of England to be in such a state, that any considerable number of her children think it lawful to treat the word of God in such a manner? Is he so ignorant of the feelings and principles of the most respectable and truly-pious persons in the community, as to speak seriously of his having been guided in the preparation of such a book, by a desire “ to retain nothing which might offend and perplex ?" As to many persons being perplexed by his writings, there seems no likelihood of any such result, little, if any, weight being attached to them beyond the immediate circle of bis admirers, and the party of which Mr. Newman is the head. But the idea of his talking of adapting this volume to the wants of our church, and desiring “to retain nothing which might offend," is so incomprehensible that one can scarcely imagine him to be serious. God forbid that this church should ever be reduced to such a state of spiritual blindness as that the majority of earnest and conscientious persons should not be shocked and disgusted with any such irreverent tampering with the text of Holy Scripture. Before all considerations of the particular errors and superstitions which Mr. Oakeley has set himself to propagate, the good sense and good feeling of Christians turn with disgust from the presumptuous band that dares to say what God has left unsaid; and, by the dreaming vagaries of an ill-governed and licentious imagination, to fill up details which the infinite wisdom of the Author of inspiration has deemed it safer to conceal from his creatures.

When Mr. Oakeley states that the angel spoke to the blessed Virgin twice before she answered his salutation, and when he attempts to pervert the plain and obvious meaning of her words by putting into her mouth a declaration that she had taken “ a vow of perpetual virginity,” people are offended-all, namely, wliose opinion is worthy of consideration and that, not so much by the disingenuous attempt to compel the Holy Scripture to teach the superstitions of Rome, as by the attempt to compel it to teach anything whatever; for, whatever be the pharisaical notion of humility advocated by this school, the humility of faith honesty and the love of truth, is a spirit that trembles at the word of God, and dares not to add or to substract a syllable when the Almighty has spoken what he has seen fit to reveal. And so likewise is it true, that a spirit of genuine, affectionate piety, unless the understanding be disordered, can have no desire to imagine what God has not revealed, simply because He has not revealed it; for if it be impossible for a devout mind to suppose, that any absence of detail in the sacred narrative can be unintentional, no less certain is it, that he who loves God confides in His love not less than in His wisdom, and is satisfied to remain ignorant and in the dark where revelation has left him without light and information-not merely because he relies on the wisdom of his Almighty instructor and phy. sician, but because he knows it is the voice of his father and his Redeemer that speaks, and that it is impossible His love could conceal

what it were more profitable for his child to know, or leave untold those details which, if disclosed, would have added to his happiness, or tended to promote his assimilation to the Divine image. One is almost ashamed to make observations which might almost pass for truisms; but yet, if Mr. Oakeley imagines, that persons of real piety and devotional habits are not likely to be offended by what he thinks proper to retain in this mischievous book, it is right to assure him that they are offended, and most deeply, by seeing such liberties taken with the word of God, and that with such a total absence of delicacy and propriety. The mysteries of the incarnation, the nativity and the

agony of the Lord, are too sacred for angels to intrude into. The aim and object of these tamperings with Holy Scripture are here purposely kept out of view, because it would be totally contrary to the writer's design, and a great misrepresentation of his own judgment in the matter, were he to lead his reader to suppose, that he considered the moral of Mr. Oakeley's fables the point of primary, or even secondary, importance. Mr. Oakeley, of course, as well as Mr. Newman and the writers of the “ Lives of the Saints, mean to advocate Romanism, or, more truly speaking, Popery. This is their object; they make no secret of their intention ; and, however plainly irreconcilable with common honesty and their obligations as clergymen of the United Church, their conduct and principles appear, still one has no desire whatever to forget, even for a moment, that they have a Master to whom alone they must give account of their treatment of their conscience. The Romanizing tendency and object of the movement is now fully developed, and Mr. Oakeley's practical mode of handling the sacred narrative is only the result of a theological system, of which he openly avows himself the advocate. But this is scarcely a secondary point : that which it is really of primary importance to notice is, the want of regard for truth, which, whenever it comes to meddle with religion, is sure to take liberties with the text of Holy Scripture, whatever be the particular system or opinions it is employed to advocate. And by want of regard for truth is not meant an intention to deceive, or an habitual preference for falsehood, but simply a negative—a want, a want of perception of the preciousness and sacredness of truth itself, and the consequent confusion as to the nature and importance of truth and falsehood, which is the material of which Jesuitism is made. Much allowance, no doubt, should be made for the habits of interpretation and explanation both of the Bible and the formularies of the church, which the leaders of this movement brought, to the investigation and defence of what they called Church Principles, from the theological school in which they were educated. And indeed, without allowances of this sort, the simplicity with which Mr. Oakeley speaks of his desire “ to retain nothing which might offend," must be wholly incomprehensible.

Mr. Oakeley proceeds :“We live, too, it needs not to be said, in days, of which criticism and suspicion (whether with good, or with evil, design and effect) are even characteristic. We have lost, from circumstances, that temper which some feel so essential to goodness as well

as to happiness, the temper of confidence. Our own church, which we long to love with the most devout affection, and to confide in with the most unreserved submission, will not allow us, so far as she comes before us in her actual bearings, to trust her; and, without trust, love must ever languish. The necessary condition of confidence in the children is oneness in the mind, and harmony in the tones, of the Mother. The Church of England, our Mother, (as she comes before us, not as we might conceive of her,) is of many minds and many, nay, contradictory voices. Hence they who cannot live without trust, are driven upon reposing their trust elsewhere than in the existing. energizing system; whether in the idea of the ancient church, or in the living church as elsewhere manifested, or in the Saints of the church collectively, or in some particular Saint, or, again, some living teacher, or model of sanctity, who may seem to be especially commended to their confidence. Yet the process of unsettling which the course of recent circumstances has necessarily brought with it, although not without its compensations and its remedies, has undoubtedly given a shock to the mind of our church, the effects of which are obviously and es. perimentally apparent. Many of us, perhaps, are tempted to trust some one object, be it system, or theory, or individual, with too little care to adjust the relative claims of many, and thus, while confiding in spirit on the whole, are apt to be critical and suspicious, where we ought rather to confide. And if the confiding be in danger of the spirit of criticism, they (and such there are) who make a merit of confiding implicitly on nothing, will be even wholly swayed by it. Such, then, are the difficulties with which we have to contend, if we will not, as we cannot, sail with the stream, --Pp. xxviii. xxix.

Now, really, when one recollects the claims Mr. Oakeley has made in a letter to his diocesan which he has thought proper to print,—when one recollects the principles advocated by Mr. Newman in his acknowledged works-and, above all, in the Tract No. 90, when one finds Dr. Pusey undertaking to bring out, for the benefit of the English church, such books as Surin, and the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, to say nothing of the mystery in which Mr. Newman chooses to involve his degree of connexion with the Lives of the English Saints, --when one recollects these things, and innumerable others, of a similar sort, it is rather extraordinary to find Mr. Oakeley talking of suspicion as if it were part of the degeneracy of the age. Matters have gone rather beyond suspicion. That might have been very proper and natural a few years ago. Those who were then sus. pected are now known. And if this movement had produced nothing more than the non-natural system of subscription, it must have subjected every one connected with it to most grave suspicionand must have placed the sanity of any one who did not suspect them in a very questionable position. If men will trifle with truth and honesty they must pay the penalty in loss of character.

And really, it is too late then to deprecate suspicion. “We have lost," says Mr. Oakeley, “ from circumstances, that temper which some feel so essential to goodness as well as to happiness, the temper of confidence." But is it possible he can be so blind as not to know that it is the party of whom he is so active a member, who have done more to destroy that “ temper of confidence,” than any other set of men in existence-that it is the dishonest shifts and evasions and subterfuges of his party, which are the real circumstances that have done so much to bring the principles of the Church of England into disrepute, and to involve in suspicion every one who holds the doctrines of the church, as if he sympathized with a movement which he regards with the regret it

« AnteriorContinuar »