Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

rection and regulation. Here how- noon, after the church had been ever, as in

many
other
cases,

those overwhelmingly filled in the mornwho have the power of remedying ing, the gates were closed, and the evil, have very feeble ideas those who came last assembled in of its existence. Where the Bi- crowds in the street, interrupting the shop himself is all is correct and usual thoroughfares, and being themorderly, while yet I have never selves exposed to the impertinent witnessed a Confirmation out of and in many cases indecent obserLondon without being much pained vations of a disorderly rabble. The by what I saw and heard. "Take ministers, churchwardens, &c. enfor instance what has just occurred. deavoured to remove their

young The Bishop announced that on a people as as possible, from certain day, he should hold a Con- these impertinencies, and some firmation at M. at a certain hour in were taken to neighbouring places the morning; and again, at the of worship, and there received a same place, at a given hour in the little refreshment. While others afternoon, requiring the attendance were accommodated in the yards of the clergy and their young and rooms of public houses, until people, through a considerable the termination of the first service, district, and specially enjoining when they were again taken to the that all should be in the church by church. In this way some of those the prescribed hour; since none who had walked from a distance, could be admitted after the com- were kept in attendance four or mencement of the service. Accor- five hours, had their minds disdingly, on the appointed day, the tracted and disturbed, and their young people travelling in different ears pained and polluted; and parties, five, eight, or

soon

even ten thus perhaps received more injury miles, some on foot, and others by while waiting for the ordinance, such conveyance as offered, arrived than benefit in partaking of it. at the appointed place, and were of And yet nothing can be easier than course introduced into the church ; to avoid all this evil by a few but as no directions had been given plain and simple regulations, which what parishes should attend in the require little time to devise, and morning, and what in the after- little trouble or difficulty to carry diately upon their baptism. (King's Pri- tion of them, a part of their own heavy mitive Church, p. 2. c. 5. Bing. Ant. burden discharged; reaped comfort by b. 12. c. 1. s. 1.) In process of time, beholding the first beginnings of true godwhen the church became grossly corrupt- liness in their tender years, glorified Him, ed in her practice as well as doctrine, it whose praise they found in the mouths of was administered to infants immediately infants; and neglected not so fit an opaster baptism, that they might receive the portunity of giving every one fatherly Lord's Supper. (Bing. Ecc. Ant. b. 12. encouragement and exhortation; wherec. 1. s. 2.) This historical fact, while it unto imposition of hands, and prayer being exhibits a most deplorable superstition, added, our warrant for the great good strikingly illustrates the design of confir- effect thereof, is the same which Patrimation, as already stated from Dr. Owen. archs, Prophets, Priests, Apostles, FaBy this rite, ‘it came to pass, saith the thers, and men of God have had, for such judicious Hooker, (in his Eccles. Polity, their particular invocations and benedicb. 5. s. 66. p. 236, of his works, fol. ed. tions, as no man, I suppose, professing Lond. 1723.) that children in expectation truth and religion, will easily think to thereof, were seasoned with the principles have been without fruit.' This rite of of true religion, before malice and corrupt confirmation, thus administered to bapexamples depraved their minds; a good tized children, when arrived at competent foundation was laid betimes for direction years, and previously instructed and preof the course of their whole lives: the pared for it, with the express view of their seed of the Church of God, was preserved admission to the Lord's Supper, shows sincere and sound: the prelates and fathers clearly that the primitive church in her of God's family, to whom the care of their purest days, exercised the authority of a souls belonged, saw by trial and examina- mother over her baptized children.

into effect. I know not,

Mr. altered and unmodified ; but it is Editor, whether many of our dio

obvious that our increasing popucesans see your publication, but I lation requires the adoption of very know it is read by some who have different arrangements than those access to persons in high places, which have hitherto existed. In and I write in hope that the obser the first place, confirmations ought vations of an obscure and retired to be held much more frequently. individual may, by the instrumen In most dioceses, the Bishops contality of others, be communicated firm only once in three years; in to those who are able and willing some, I am told, only once in six to remedy the evil.

or seven; meanwhile, they have The disorders I complain of of late years prescribed to their arise from the assembling of too clergy, that no young persons who many young persons at one place; are under the age of fourteen, shall and from the uncertainty of the

be admitted as candidates. I am time when admission can be ob not aware of any legal authority tained. Now this is easily reme

which a diocesan has to interfere died. The first thing is to ascer thus with the private judgment of tain how many young persons can a parochial minister, who will often be accommodated in the church find a child of twelve or thirteen where the Confirmation takes place. better informed on religious topics, The next is to calculate how many and more suitably impressed than young persons may reasonably be others who have reached the age expected to attend; and then to of sixteen or seventeen. But if have so many distinct parties, at the prescription is attended to, it tending at different but prescribed leads at once to the consequence, hours, which hours might be defini that either many young persons tively announced to the clergy some must attend at the Lord's Supper time before. By such simple means before they are confirmed, or else the confusion and disorder which in

stay away longer than the law so many cases now take place requires. The canons require might be entirely obviated. The church-wardens to present all perparishes of A, B, C, D, &c, might sons of the age of sixteen, who do attend at ten-the parishes of F, not receive the sacrament, but G, H, &c. at twelve or one-the those who are now not quite fourparishes of P, Q, R, &c. at three teen, will be seventeen by the next or four : the several parties might confirmation. walk into the churches by two and I by no means think it desirable two, without disorder, confusion, that

young persons under the age or interruption, and might be so of fourteen, should, generally placed as to proceed up to the speaking, be confirmed. I only altar orderly, regularly, and silent wish to call attention to the anoly. When however every seat, maly which must result from this aisle, nook, and corner is crowded species of individual legislation, in with children, a distressing degree order to impress more forcibly the of confusion arises, which no acti- duty and importance of diminishing vity of the attendants can remedy; the period which now usually which dissipates the mind exceed exists between confirmations. 1 ingly, and changes a delightful and see no good reason why a bishop devotional service, into a formal, should not confirm annually, at disturbed, and almost indecent least biennially ; but if either law ceremony.

or custom limits confirmation to I have hitherto gone on the sup the third year, it is time the position, that the times and places law was amended, or the custom of confirmation are to remain un altered.

SO

Nor is there any reason that I and thus to keep their children can discover, why confirmations away. I should scarcely feel myshould always be held at the same self justified in adopting this line places. It can be of small conse of conduct, but yet I have witquence to a bishop when he is in nessed such painful scenes, as renhis carriage, whether he stop a der me very backward to condemn hundred yards from his own lodg- those who have thought it a safer ings, or drive five or six, or seven way to disregard the ordinance miles to a country church; but altogether. what an amazing difference does it Confirmations and visitations make to some fifty or a hundred ought in my judgment to be enpoor boys and girls, who can obtain tirely distinct; it is desirable that no better conveyance than perhaps at confirmations, the clergy should a farmer's waggon, and who are be with their flocks, should attend perhaps tempted, in going or re them to church, continue with them turning, to indulge in conversation there, preside at any refreshment very inconsistent with the solemn which may be given them, and vow and promise which confirma superintend at least the arrangetion implies. I know a clergy- ments for their return home, man's lady, who always goes and that a religious ordinance may not returns in the waggon with the be succeeded by a sensual enteryoung females, and though she tainment, or a disorderly dance. receives many a disagreeable shake, If however, the minister is to atand sometimes bruise, in travelling tend his diocesan at the visitation, twelve or fourteen miles of coun he must leave his flock in other try road, she deems herself well hands. Indeed, our visitations as repaid by preventing evil and pro at present conducted, are in many moting good.

cases little better than a mere form. Every diocesan either is, or

They are I trust, somewhat imought to be, resident in his diocese proved from the day when a visita part of every year. If, instead ation

was characterized

as the of confirming at six or eight places going to hear a bad sermon, and once in three years, he would con eat a good dinner; and the charges firm at five or six places every reviewed in your pages from time year, of which the principal town to time, shew that the diocesans might be one, and the other four

are alive to the wants and duties or five places be visited once in of the present day; but visitations three years, the number of young ought to be much more frequentpersons who would attend, might much inquisitorial-much be brought into such limits, as more decided-in fact, we want would of itself preclude the exist

more bishops, for the labour of the ing disorder and confusion. The larger dioceses exceeds the physiapproach of the Bishop would be cal

power

of most diocesans. hailed with delight by the several But I must not proceed. I parishes; instead of the bustle and

would only add, that both in conconfusion which now exists, order, firmations and visitations, considerdecency, and devotion would pre able improvement has recently vail ; and instead of confirmations

taken place in many dioceses, and being as they often are, a stum I hope and trust the examples bling-block, their value would be

of London, Lincoln, Winchester, recognized by many who are now Chester, &c. will be very generally among the first to object. I have followed. known cases where the disorder attending confirmation has induced

Believe me your's truly, clergymen to decline giving notice,

MENTOR.

more

THE SABBATH DAY.

can

assist your

are

REMEMBER the Sabbath day to thing, and requiring but little time keep it holy, is the command of

to parry the attacks which the Jehovah. Christians, you enemy of souls so constantly recalmly view the too common dese news ? Is your progress in the cration of that day which God has Christian course so rapid, as to sanctified to himself? Think you warrant the abridgment of that that no wrath shall fall on Eng- time which may

further land for this great pollution; and progress ? Far otherwise, will be that the curses at which Israel

your reply; our faith and praise are trembled, are mere matters of his already dull, our love even now tory, void of effect to us, and cold, and all our Christian graces from which we can gather no so ready to decline, that, warning. Consider the importance they would speedily expire if our of the Sabbath to man.

heavenly Father's best legacy, First, it was made for him, Mark the Sabbath, should be denied ii. 27. for the rest of his body. Na Take not away

the

us.

ensue

type ture itself testifies the necessity of of that promised rest and eteroccasional cessation from toil; our pal sanctification which form our physical constitution would ill bear sweetest hope and dearest joy ; the ceaseless uninterrupted return of rob not our remembrance of that labour; its destruction would soon which supports us under the fierce on such overstrained and

trials and wearisome continuance continued application, and would of temptation inseparable from the clearly demonstrate how essentially race we run; lest wrecked of all, requisite the rest of the Sabbath, we, led by deep despair, fall into is

to our animal frame. the hands of our ever-watchful God indeed, of his great compas- destroyer. Let there not be found sion, has remitted one day out of in the ranks of Christianity a dearth seven from the care and toil attend of energy toward the attainment ant on the procuring of our sub- of the Sabbath's due observance, sistence. And yet, multiplied in and of the unlimited extension of stances there are of men who, abu that invaluable rest which it besing the authority vested in them stows. Let each individual Chrisby Providence, have not scrupled tian be careful to use his utmost to lay an additional burden on their efforts in this cause. The world already sinking brethren, by deny- keeps strict watch over you, and ing them the rest of this holy day. maliciously blazons forth each in

Secondly. For the exercise of consistency. Then let the princibis mind and for the improvement ples publicly advocated, be enof his spiritual state. Man could not forced in domestic life; strive for long survive without that rest which the Spirit's guidance, spare not his mortal frame requires; and it is your exertions, and under God's as impossible that his spiritual life blessing, they will be crowned with should exist without those oppor

victory. Then shall the Sabbath tunities for the culture of the heart, be a sign between God and us, which the Sabbath so seasonably that we may know him to be the affords. Here, Christians, I appeal Lord our sanctifier. Have you

H. F.

even

to you.

found it an easy

Review of Books.

REPORT of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge for 1832.

Rivingtons. STRICTURES on the work entitled Death-Bed Scenes, and Pastoral

Conversations, in refutation of its Doctrinal Errors and its Calumnies. By a Clerical Member of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

12mo. Pp. iv. and 112. Seeleys. OBSERVATIONS on Death-Bed Scenes, and Pastoral Conversations, and

on the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Dedicated to his Grace

the Archbishop of Canterbury. 8vo. Pp. 24. Longman. The Society for Promoting Christ which secession becomes a duty, ian Knowledge has recently at but generally speaking the argutracted especial notice, and given ments brought forward to justify rise to some animated discussion. secession, rather call for increased While on the one hand its support exertion on the part of those by ers have claimed for it a pre-emi whom they are advanced-innent share of the beneficence of creased exertion to correct evils, churchmen, as being an old, vener and remedy defects, and render able, and authorized institution ; that which is in the main good, there have not been wanting some entirely and in all respects what it who regard its proceedings as so should be. With such views and injurious to the cause of Christianity in such a spirit, we purpose in general, and to the interests of noticing in the present article some the Church in particular, as to call of those points which are now loudly upon all who are really under discussion, and have taken attached to that Church to with the titles of the works prefixed draw their contributions from this more as a motto, than with

any Society, and to unite in forming an intention of enlarging on their Institution which should retain its intrinsic merits. excellences, and be free from its The Society for Promoting defects.

Christian Knowledge was origiOf these discussions we have nally founded in the latter end hitherto been silent spectators, and of the reign of Queen Anne, if we merely consulted our own about 1708,-it is a voluntary inclinations, should still avoid association, and has never been interfering in the strife; and the established by charter, and theremore so, because we are not prepar

fore

possesses no other claim to ed to unite with either party, and support than what arises from its must therefore expect the usual fate character for usefulness, antiquity, of those who attempt to occupy &c. From the period of its forsomewhat of neutral ground. mation till very recently, it contriare not indeed strictly and entirely buted largely to the support of neutral ; hitherto we have been Lutheran Missionaries in the East subscribers to, and supporters of Indies, but of late years it has transthe Society, though we have not ferred its Missions to the care of gone all lengths with those by whom

the older and kindred Institution, its affairs are conducted; nor the Incorporated Society for the are we at all prepared to with- Propagation of the Gospel in draw the feeble measure of support Foreign Parts—its principal efforts we have hitherto given. In fact therefore for the promotion of we are decided enemies of seces Christian knowledge are now made SION_cases may possibly arise in by supplying Bibles, Prayer. AUGUST 1833.

2 R

We

« AnteriorContinuar »