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permitted, in order that what was the law of the Church might be also the law of the land.
Some acts which Mr. Towgood mentions as taken by Parliament out of the hands of the Church of Christ, are not properly ecclesiastical. “As to the punishment," says he,“ of vice and irreligion, the statutes against drunkenness, cursing, swearing, the breach of the Sabbath, &c. sufficiently shew that the Parliament and common-law courts have taken to themselves the cognizance of these." And what if they have? Do Dissenters pretend to any greater jurisdiction in these matters than the law of the land permits to them? If they do not, why do they dissent on this ground?
One more objection of Mr. Towgood's we shall state, and then we think we shall have fairly settled so much of the question as relates to the authority of the civil magistrate in the Church of England. The Houses of Convocation, in 1711, passed a censure on Mr. Whiston's books, on account of their Arian principles. Before this censure could be publicly promulgated as the act of the church, the assent of the Queen was necessary. This assent was never given. Mark now the argument which Mr. Towgood deduces from this piece of history:
By the constitution of the Church of Christ, it is expressly ordered and declared, that the woman shall not be suffered publicly to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man. But, by the constitution of the Church of England, the woman is permitted publicly to teach ; yea, to limit and controul in spiritual and religious matters, and authoritatively to instruct the bishops and clergy, and all the men in the land.-P. 16.
Where is the “ teaching" and " instruction" of this Act of Queen Anne ? Had she assented, her assent would have added no authority to the doctrine of the Church, though it would have been a civil sanction for the promulgation of that doctrine; neither did the refusal of that assent in any degree detract from the authority of the Church. Her opinions on the theological question were of no moment; she might have other reasons, she must, constitutionally, have acted on other reasons, and those reasons a sober posterity have approved, without any inclination to favour Arianism. The authoritative notice of the Church of England would only have rescued Whiston from the obscurity which now environs him.
But Mr. Towgood again most falsely objects,
Behold here, Sir, a woman exercising spiritual, ecclesiastical authority over the man! Yea, behold the representative of the clergy of the whole land, a most learned, grave, and venerable body, waiting upon a woman, to learn from her mouth what the Church is to believe, and what to reject, as to this great mystery of faith: upon a woman, whose sole determination (I repeat it with astonishment, and you hear it, no doubt, with perplexity and grief,) your church was uncontroulably and authoritatively directed in this deep and mysterious point.
This is a most gross misrepresentation of facts. The Convocation waited on the Queen for the seal of her sanction to a public censure, but certainly not to defer to her opinions in theology; certainly not “ to learn from her mouth what the Church is to believe, and what to reject, as to the great mystery” of the Trinity; much less was the Church“ uncontroulably and authoritatively directed in this deep and mysterious point" by “the sole authority of a woman,” or directed at all. If this had been the case, our First, Second, and Fifth Articles must have been repealed, which they notoriously are not. The doctrine of the Church was never affected by this legitimate exercise of civil power.
Again, Mr. Towgood, adds,
The affair was of great importance, viz.“ What the primitive apostolic doctrine was concerning the Trinity, Incarnation, Nature and Generation of the Logos? Whether there were three persons existing in one undivided substance; or whether the Logos was distinct in essence from the Father, not created, nor made, but in an ineffable manner begotten from eternity? And, finally, whether the apostolical constitutions were a genuine and inspired book, and a true part of the sacred canon?" Her Majesty was now aýplied to by her two houses of convocation, and requested, as sole judge, to pronounce authoritatively upon these points, i. e. to tell them whether Mr. Whiston's doctrine was to be received or rejected, to be considered as heresy or not in this church.-Pp. 255, 256.
Now the Queen, most certainly, was never applied to for her opinion on the doctrinal question. She was simply solicited to authorize the Convocation's public censure, and not by any means to pronounce an opinion on the doctrine. That opinion had been pronounced already. How then could Mr. Towgood, after so many mistatements and misunderstandings, have the effrontery to affirm (p. 257) “ this is a fair and true state of the case ?" It is neither fair nor true ; and the case is no sooner fairly stated, than the falsehood of this representation appears.
We have now, we think, satisfactorily got rid of one of Mr. Towgood's “unanswerable reasons ” for dissent; we have shown that the Church of England is not distinct from the Church of Christ in its government; that the government which belongs to it as an establishment in connexion with the State, is quite independent of its spirilual government under Christ its spiritual Head, and, though distinct from the latter, not inconsistent with it ; just as the government of a municipal town is distinct from the government of a kingdom, but still consistent with the public laws. As no Act of Parliament could make that binding upon the practice of a Christian which is in its own nature sinful, so neither could any act of royal authority make that obligatory upon the Church, which she lies bound by a higher authority to resist. It was on this noble ground that the seven bishops took their stand against James II. ; though men of devoted loyalty to the person of that monarch, they, it seems, not understanding the constitution of the English Church so well as Mr. Towgood, ventured, without believing they were compromising the interests of their church, or rather convinced that they were performing a necessary duty for its defence, to contradict the King's mandate. Had they enjoyed the benefit of Mr. Towgood's illumination on the subject, they would have saved themselves from the immediate certainty of suffering, and the not very remote peril of death, besides yielding à more acceptable obedience to that church of which they were ministers, and “ which is built upon the foundation of the Lords and Commons of the realm, THE KING, AS SUPREME HEAD, BEING THE
VOL. XI. NO. II.
CHIEF Corner-stone."* If the King be, as Mr. Towgood here affirms, the same in the Church of England, as Christ is in the universal Church, refusal to obey the King must be to the Churchman what refusal to obey Christ is to the Christian. But if every Churchman highly extols the conduct of those bishops, and admires that truly Christian firmness which fears not them that can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; then surely here must be a mistatement, and Christ is, after all, not the exclusive head of dissenters, but must be allowed some empire in the Church of England.
We shall resume this subject at another opportunity, intending to reply to all Mr. Towgood's statements, so well as we can arrange them. And we trust that, if this shall be done satisfactorily, his proselytes or disciples will see the expediency and duty of conforming to the Church for the very reason which Mr. Towgood employs on the other side – that it is established ; and that, therefore, if it contains nothing which a Christian conscientiously believes dangerous to salvation, it has claims on the public, both Christian and political, which no other communion can advance.
ILLUSTRATION OF MARK IX. 49. Mr. EDITOR. - I submit to your inspection the following remarks on the words of St. Mark, (ix. 49,) Tās yap nupi aliongerai, kai πάσα θυσία άλι αλισθήσεται.
Mr. Bloomfield, in his voluminous “ Recensio Synoptica," (Vol. II. p. 75,) has quoted many authorities without throwing much light on the acknowledged obscurity of the first member of this sentence.
There certainly appears to be some hidden allusion in the words aupi álco0noetai, to a notion prevalent at the time they were used, respecting a connexion between fire and salt, beyond that which immediately obtained, in consequence of their sacrificial employment. The application of the passage will not be injured, but, I hope, more clearly exhibited, by my attempt to illustrate it.
On Matt. v. 13, where there is another allusion to salt, Mr. Bloomfield says, Wetstein cites Pliny (xxxi. 14.) Now Pliny, who has two chapters, (one of them very long,) upon salt, its uses, nature, &c. certainly states some curious particulars. But though not referred to on the passage in St. Mark, he seems to help us in our inquiry into the meaning of our Lord's allusion. “Salis natura," says he," est ignea, et inimica ignibus, fugiens eos, et omnia erodens.” (Lib. xxxi. cap. ix. ed. 1582.) Added to this there is a common saying amongst the peasantry of Suffolk and Yorkshire, and perhaps of other counties, that a thing is “as salt as fire,” How this expression came into use, I do not pretend to know; but it is, probably, a very ancient saying, and of general application. Connected with the words of Pliny, it would appear that there is an idea of some connexion between fire and salt, independent of their use in sacrifices.
It may be stretching these observations too far, but I cannot help
• Towgood, p. 17.
remarking, that there is something singular in a natural connexion of salt and fire, and that it serves in some degree to illustrate the employment of the word rūp, acknowledged to imply in this passage the "fire of hell.” This word rūp so used is, elsewhere, (Rev. xxi. 8,) connected with brimstone, which was like salt, also employed in purification. (See Parkhurst in voc. Očov.)
Now "fire and brimstone " are descriptive not only of Gehenna, but also of the agents employed in the destruction of the cities of the plain, (Gen. xix. 24, and Luke xvii. 29); and all travellers agree in the idea that this “ fire and brimstone " imply volcanic agency, the whole country exhibiting traces of it. Mr. H. Horne, (Introduction, &c. Vol. III. Part I. chap. ii.) has quoted largely on this point. Now it is well known, that “ brimstone,” (witness the Solfutara,) is a common product of volcanoes. So, also, are what chemists technically call salts, which are found in great beauty and abundance on the lips of a volcanic crater. I have upon my table, whilst I write this, a specimen of lava incrusted, not with any unusual salt, but with common salt, (muriate of soda,) the äls of St. Mark,- which was ejected in that state from the crater of Vesuvius in the celebrated eruption of the year 1822. I believe that such an occurrence is not rare with other volcanoes more distant from the sea than Vesuvius is. Is it then extravagant to suppose, that some such allusion is made to salt in connexion with fire in this passage of St. Mark, as there is to brimstone connected with fire, in St. Luke and the Apocalypse ? I do not say that this is the only allusion; for, whilst I think alioOngerai in the first member of the sentence alludes to fire, (the rūp with which brimstone was used in purification and in punishment,) I feel satisfied that, in the second member of the sentence, it is referred to salt, which also was used in purification, and is found in connexion with those fires, from which Scripture not only borrows allusions to a more awful fire, but which the Sovereign Judge of men has actually employed in the penal service of an earthly retribution. There is, therefore, if this view of the question be allowed, a singular and expressive force in the word alcoOngera. here employed, which has not been noticed.
Whilst on the subject of this verse, having named Mr. Bloomfield's “Critical Digest" above, I take the opportunity of adding a remark on bis Annotation upon the verse following the text, (v.50.) He blames Mr. Weston for citing “ Æchyl. Choeph. 294,” in illustration of that verse. I do not presume to venture on the office of censor to so wellappointed a critic as Mr. Bloomfield, whose great acquirements in exegetical literature and multifarious learning I cannot but admire and respect; yet I cannot agree with him in considering, that there is no application of the passage cited from Æschylus to the case in point : and my reason is, that Mr. B.'s own interpretation of the word Tapixeu evra, dried up, withered up into wrinkles, as referring to the appearance which a mummy would present if the operation of embalming were ill done, makes the application evident. Mr. B. seems to have overlooked the custom of embalming bodies with salt (the very thing which makes the one passage illustrate the other), of which Pliny says, defuncta etiam à putrescendo vendicans, ut durent ita per secula." And, to set this matter at rest, I will mention that a mummy was recently opened in Paris, (sometime in October, 1828,) which was so dried up and withered up into wrinkles, and so completely shrivelled up, that only skin and bone were left; and this was occasioned by the natron, (carbonate of soda) with which the body had been embalmed.
I might appositely cite Herodotus, (II. 86, 45) who has the very word in connexion with vitpov, where, speaking of the methods of embalming, he says, taūra dè toinDavtas, TapXevóvol virpa kpúbavTES ruépaç ¿ßoopńkovta. The quotation from Æschylus applies, I think, whether Mr. B.'s interpretation, or Mr. Weston's, be the better. Dec. 8, 1828.
AFFECTED HUMILITY. Mr. Editor.-I cannot but feel much surprised that a parenthesis used by some clergymen in their prayers after the sermon should ever have found countenance, much less encouragement, in the Church ; and still more am I surprised when I read, as I lately did, in a contemporary periodical, complaints of the omission, or rather the non-intrusion of it. It is considered, by the writer alluded to, a great want of humility not to alter the prayers of the Church! If this opinion gain ground, he, perhaps, will be thought the humblest who alters most, and the “ march" of humility will sweep off our Liturgy altogether. The prayer in question is the following; the humble parenthesis I have placed between brackets :
“ Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears (SO FAR AS THEY HAVE BEEN SPOKEN AGREEABLY TO THY WILL) may, through thy grace, be so grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It seldom happens that the alteration and murder of our church prayers can be separated : nor is the present case an exception; for when we come to seek the meaning of the entire improved prayer, we shall find it pure nonsense. If the preacher, indeed, were to pray unconditionally that his words might be grafted in the hearts of his hearers, there might be some shew of excuse for thrusting in a qualification ; but when he already does so under the restriction that they may bring forth the fruit of good living, the interpolation is worse than useless. For what does it amount to? A prayer that God would not so graft inwardly in our hearts things that are not agreeable to his will, as to-bring forth the fruit of good living! If the new limitation means any thing, it can mean this only. And we may be quite satisfied that any prayer against such an absurdity must be superfluous, to use the mildest term.
It is always a dangerous experiment to "correct” models of thought and composition. In the Church prayers the danger is the greater from the superior excellence of the matter, and the more important consequences of the alteration. It is no pleasant responsibility which