Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

should be disappointed, though at the expense of our political sagacity; and it shall be found, by the test of experience, to be productive only of pure undefecated good. 4. The budget for the present year, has been opened by Mr. Vansittart. The total charge is nearly 62 millions and a half, of which nearly 55 millions and a half is for England. To meet this charge, a loan of 15,650,000l. in addition to nearly seven millions of Exchequer Bills sunded, has been requisite. There is also a vote of credit for three millions of Exchequer Bills; and a further loan of 2,500,000l. has been raised, under the sanction of Parliament, for the East-India Company. The terns on which the loan was negotiated, were, that for every 1001, sterling, the subscribers should receive 120l. S per cent. Reduced, and 561.3 per cent. Consols. The amount of taxes required to meet this new charge is 1,900,000). Those which have been proposed, are as follows: A saving of the bounty allowed on the exportation ofgrinted cotton, L.308,000 An additional tax of 1%d. per lb. ou leather. • . . . . .328,000 An additional duty on glass. . . . . . .323,000 A duty of 10 per cent more on tobacco . . . . . . . .” - - - - - - - - - - - - - 107,000 A regulation of auction duties - - - - 100,000 An additional duty of 1d. on letters going more than 20 miles...... 220,000 An increase in various items of the assessed taxes, amounting to. -- 517,000


No objection appears to have been made to any of the taxes, excepting to that on leather.

5. Mr. Bankes's bill for the abolition of sinecures has passed the House of Commous. ,

noxi estic i Nter. LIGEN cre

The health of his Majesty continues in the same hopeless state in which it has been for many mouths.

Major-general Bonham has been appointed Governor of Surinam; and Col. Ainslie of Dominica. ~~

The special commission appointed to try the rioters in Lancashire, has teruminated its labours. Eight persons were left for execution; thirteen were sentenced to seven years’ transportation, and one to six months' hard labour. May the example prove salutary

We greatly fear, that the spirit of insubordination in the northern counties is by no means subdued, though kept down by the presence of a military force. Nothing can more clearly prove that distress is not the cause of the outrages that have been committed, but that they originate in a spirit of anarchy and disorder, than this, that the persons who have been apprehended have been persons in full employment, and that some of the districts in which these outrages have prevailed have experienced but comparatively little of the pressure arising from the stagnation of trade.

N. A. V.A L Int ELLIG en cre.

We mentioned in our last, the mischief which had been done by a small squadron of two frigates and a sloop, sent out on a cruize from some port in France. They were returning into the port of L'Orient, laden with booty, when they were intercepted by one of our men of war, the Northumberland, and completely destroyed. The two frigates, of 44 guns each, were buriu, and the sloop sunk.


To A Constant Reaper, whe wishes for some popular tract on the nature of the Church of England, we would recominend a sunall tract by the late Rev. Mr. Drewett, entitled “Why are you a Churchman 2"—another by the Rev. Mr. Robinson of Leicester, entitled “A serious Call to a constant and devout Attendance on the stated Services of the Church of England ”—and the Sermons of the Rev. Mr. Simeon on the Liturgy, which have recently been published. On the subject of Christian faith and practice, we know nothing better than the Homilies of the Church of England, which inay be had in separate tracts, at a very low rate. But there is an oudless variety of excellent tracts of this description.

*** For remaining Answers, see 2d page of blue Cover.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Account of THE LIFE OF THE REW. HENRY scougal.

(Continued from p.376.) A S to the mode of conducting

public worship, Professor Scougal was an advocate for liturgical forms. The question concerning the lawfulness and expediency of set forms for public worship, was warmly contested in Scotland, during the seventeenth century. An established Liturgy was considered, by the zealous Presbyterians, as the high road to popish superstition and idolatry; and the Service Book, as it was called, was treated by them with almost as little ceremony as the Mass Book. On the abolition of Episcopacy, and the suppression of the Liturgy, during the commotions of the civil war, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland adopted the Directory for public Worship, which had been composed by the Westminster Assembly of Divines”, and is usually asfixed to the Confession of Faith. The design which the compilers of the Directory had in view, is thus expressed in the preface to that work: “Our meaning is, that the general heads, the sense and scope of the prayers and other parts of public worship, being known to all, there may be a consent of all the churches in those things that contain the substance of the service

*The Confession of Faith, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, drawn up by the Westminster Assembly, were also at the same time received as the standards of doctrine in the Church of Scotland; and this is the only instance of a national protestant church having changed its systematical confession of faith since the Reformation.

CHRist. Obsery. No. 127.

and worship of God; that ministers may hereby be directed in their administrations, to keep like soundness in doctrine and prayer, and may, if need be, have some help and furniture; and yet so as they become not hereby slothful and negligent in stirring up the gifts of Christ in them, but that each one may be careful to furnish his heart and tongue with further *, or other materials, of prayer.” “The Directory,” says Dr. Hill, in his Theological Institutes, “has been recommended by the General Assembly,since the Revolution, and, as to the substance of it, is generally observed in the Church of Scotland; but the lapse of time and the change of circumstances have introduced various alterations; and it is the friendly intercourse which the ministers of that church have with one another, and the superintending controul of the church courts; it is the spirit of the constitution coming in aid of the good sense of the individual members, rather than any system of positive regulations, that preserves in our republic that degree of uniformity in worship which is essential to an established

* The following are the contents of the Directory: 1. of the assembly of the congregation; 2. Of public reading of the Holy Scriptures; 3. Of public prayer before the sermon ; 4. Of preaching the word ; 5. Of prayer after sermon; 6. Of the sacrament of baptism; 7. Of the sacrament of the Lord's supper; 8. The sanctification of the Lord's day; 9. The solemnization of marriage; 10. The visitation of the sick; 11. The burial of the dead; 12. Public solemn fasting; 13. The observation of days of public thanksgiving; 14. Singing of Psalms; An Appendix touching days and places of public worship.

[merged small][ocr errors]

church.” Professor Scougal availed himself of the influence and authority which he derived from his character and station, to recommend the use of a Liturgy, as being more consonant to the general practice of the primitive times, and more conducive to the edification of Christian worshippers when met together in the great congregation. When he was advanced to the chair of theology, he composed a formulary for the use of the cathedral church of Aberdeen, which entitles him to a high rank among devotional writers. It includes every essential branch of prayer: it breathes a fervent spirit of evangelical piety, expressed in a style of majestic simplicity level to every capacity; and upon the whole, may be pronounced not unworthy of those venerable confessors and martyrs of the Protestant cause, to whom we are indebted for our admirable Liturgy. In maintaining the expediency of liturgical forms, Scougal had the good fortune to coincide with the great oracle of the Presbyterians in doctrine and church government; no less a man than John Calvin himself,whose opinion upon that head appears from the following passage in a letter written by him to the Protector of England, in the reign of Edward the Sixth. “As a form of prayer and ecclesiastical rites, I highly approve that it should be certain; from which it may not be lawful for any minister to depart, as well in consideration of the weakness and ignorance of some, as that it may more plainly appear, how our churches agree amongst themselves, and lastly, that a stop may be put to the giddiness of those who affect novelties *.”

* A Liturgy was offered to the public some years ago, by a respectable Dissenting ministert, from whose prefatory address, the following passages are selected: “In our present mode of conducting religious worship, too much depends upon the minister: on this account it is to be feared, that some are too *pt to look upon prayer as the business of the

* The Rev. Mr. Carpenter,

The Professor might have appealed in support of his predilection for liturgical forms to the practice of a church, which is unquestionably the oldest of the whole protestant community, I mean the Unitas Fratrum, or the church of the United Brethren, known in England by the name of Moravians, whose Liturgy in the main points is in unison with our own. He might also have appealed to the authority of Luther and Melancthon, and of their eminent coadjutor John Bagenhagius; to which he might have added the name of an English nonconformist then living, Richard Baxter, whose praise will be in all churches of the saints, to the end of time *. A Liturgy had been used in Scotland, at a very early period of the Reformation, but was soon laid aside, as well as the episcopal form of church government; and the presbyterian discipline and mode of worship were fully established by law before the close of the sixteenth century. King James had no cordial love to this scheme of ecclesias

minister only, and not to consider it, at least not so much as they ought, as a duty in which they themselves are equally concerned. It appears to me, that our mode of worship is too refined for the young and ignorant, and I am persuaded, that something ought to be done to render our public services less tiresome, and more interesting to such persons. Forms of devotion would give a solemnity, and dignity to our public worship, and a stability to our religious societies; in which, I think, they are now deficient. Our public worship is too uncertain and fluctuating: it depends on the frame of the person's mind who officiates, which is variable, and it changes when ministers are changed; and it appears to me, that there is something more solemn and venerable in public Liturgies, where responses are used, and where all the people are evidently employed in the worship of their Maker.

* The writings of Bennet, in desence of precomposed forms of public devotion, may be recommended to students in divinity; as also a treatise entitled Apologia, by the late Rev. John Newton, in a series of letters to an independent minister, wherein the church of Englandmen may be furnished both with a sword and a shield,

tical polity, of which he gave the most unequivocal proofs, soon after his accession to the throne of England, when the hierarchy was restored: although the accustomed form of presbyterian worship was retained, he would gladly have introduced the English Liturgy, but he knew the temper of the nation too well to venture precipitately upon such a step. By way of feeling the pulse of his people, he recommended, on the restoration of prelacy, that several rites and ceremonies should be transplanted from England, and engrafted upon a stock which he soon found not to be very congenial to their nourishment and growth. So general and so violent was the opposition to this supposed approximation towards the idolatry of the Romish ritual, that no further innovations were attempted during the reign of James. His successor, Charles the First, imprudently made the attempt to overthrow the national worship, and to establish a Liturgy, which excited tumults and insurrections, that terminated in the destruction of the episcopal order, the abolition of the ceremonies which had been introduced by James, and the re-establishment of the presbyterian discipline and worship with new vigour and fervour. Thus unatters continued until the restoration of Charles the Second, when episcopacy was restored with an intermixture of presbyterian discipline. “But the prelates,” to borrow a passage from a late historian *, “intent on the acquisition of power, had introduced no material innovation in the worship or rites of the church. Its worship was still extemporary, or exchanged in some congregations for a portion of the Liturgy. The sacramental rites were administered without kneeling, or the sign of the cross; and as the surplice, the altar, and the offensive ceremonies of the preceding reign were not generally revived, an uniform mode of wor

* Malcolm Laing's History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 49.

ship was not difficult” to be restored.” The bishops, however, did not make the attempt to establish uniformity in worship; and it was impossible that an established church could exist in peace or vigour under so vague and undefined a scheme of discipline and worship as prevailed in Scotland, between the period of the Restoration and the Revolution; an unhappy period, the annals of which were marked by an unrelenting spirit of persecution on the one hand,-and on the other, by a sour, narrow, unaccommodating temper, which spurned the olive-branch. when held out by that truly apostolical man, Archbishop Leighton. In such a state of things, it must be allowed that Professor Scougal had a difficult and delicate part to perform; and with what success he performed it, the reader may be left to judge from the following passage in Dr. Gairden's funeral sermon“Yea, the several sects among us lament his loss, and seem to confessthat a few like him would soon heal our schisms.” It was unfortunate for the episcopal church of Scotland that there were but few men at that time like Scougal, among her dignified ecclesiastics. The primate, Archbishop Sharp, had rendered himself odious to the Presbyterians by his dissimulation and treachery at the period of the Restoration. On the subject of church government, he displayed all the high notions of Laud, without any of his private virtues; and the men whom he recommended to fill up the vacant sees had generally few t pretensions to the character of Christian

* Perhaps not, had the bishops been, generally speaking, such men as Leighton and Scougal, and the great body of the inferior episcopal clergy possessed of the spirit and temper of Burnet, Nairn, and Charteris.

t “I observed,” says Bishop Burmet, “the deportment of our bishops was in all points so different from what became their functiou that I had a more than ordinary zeal kiudled within me upon it. They were not only surious against all that stood out against then

3 G 2

bishops—although there were at that time, both of the episcopal order and among the inferior clergy, men who would have done honour to the purest ages of the church. The father of Professor Scougal, who was bishop of Aberdeen, aproached nearer to the fervent piety of Leighton than any of his contem

raries, and governed his diocese in a manner which shewed that he united, in an uncommon degree, the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove. Sharp was the last man that ought to have been pitched upon for the primacy. This unhappy man, as Bishop Burnet styles him (and no one knew him better) formed a perfect contrast to Archbishop Leighton, whose Pacific and healing counsels he contemptuously rejected. Leighton, with a view to unite the two great parties into which the nation was divided on the point of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, proposed to the Primate the adoption of Archbishop Usher's scheme of reduced episcopacy; but Sharp, although he him. self had been bred a presbyterian minister, would listen to nothing short of the re-establishment of episcopacy in its aneient vigour and

but were very remissin all the parts of their function. Some did not live within their dioceses; and those who did, seemed to take no care of them : they shewed no zeal against vice: the most eminently wicked were their particular confidants: they took no pains to keep theiwelergy strictly to rules and to their duty; on the contrary, there was a levity and a carnal way of living about them that very much scandalized me." Hist, of his Own Times, vol. ii. folio edit, page 217. The same author thus speaks of the inferior episcopal clergy in the west of Scotland: “They were generally very mean and despicable in all respects; they were the worst preachers I ever heard; they were ignorant to a reproach, and many of them were openly vicious; they were a disgrace to the sacred function; those of then, who arose above Conteiupt or scandal, were men of such violent tempers, that they were as much hated as the others were despised.” *.* the state in which Leighton'sound his diocese, - c

splendour, a notion the most visionary that could be conceived at that juncture, and which shews how eompletely the mind of Sharp was intoxicated by pride and ambition. Another design which Leighton had much at heart, was, the introduction of a more regular and uniform mode of public worship. He was aware that any attempt to establish the English Liturgy must prove abortive, although no man more cordially approved that Liturgy in every part than he did. He was very much disgusted with the manner in which the generality of the presbyterian clergy performed the devotional services of the church; and he proposed a middle way between the platform of the Directory, and the service of the Church of England, as the best calculated to promote general harmony. But the Primate would neither listen to this proposal, nor bring forward a plan of his own; and every man was left to model the service of the church according to his own fancy. Sharp and his creatures, being wholly bent on the aequisition of power, had no leisure, nor inclination to folk,w the path marked out for them by Leighton; and thus, as Bishop Burnet observes, that good man “quickly lost all heart and hope, and said often to me upon it, that in the whole progress of that affair, there appeared such cross characters of an angry Providence, that how fully soever he was satisfied in his own mind as to episcopacy itself, yet it seemed that God was against them, and that they were not like to be the men that should build up his church.” From the hints that are scattered in the miscellaneous remains of Leighton, respecting the mode of conducting the services of the sanctuary, there is no room to doubt that his views on this subject were congenial with those of Professor Scougal; and had the task of regulating the external order of public worship been committed to them, they would have agcomplished it

« AnteriorContinuar »