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Now when the body dies, the spirit returns to God who gave it. In the language of the Gospel it sleeps in Jesus ; and we have no authority for stating, that it will be conscious whilst separated from its instrument, the body. On the other hand, we have a right to deduce from the fact, that when the soul will again require to be conscious, the body will be restored unto it, - that the body is necessary to it as its instrument. See 1 Thess. iv. 14, “ Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." And 1 Cor. xy. 44, “ It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” “So when .... this mortal shall have put on immortality,” death will be swallowed up in victory. Now when St. Paul speaks, after the manner of Christ, and says, that the saints sleep in Jesus, that they are asleep, does he mean to speak figuratively, or literally? I think we cannot depart from the simplicity of his words without unnecessary and unwarrantable violence. Many pious people take a sentimental view of the subject, and think that a state of unconsciousness, for it may be many hundred years, is a state of cold and forbidding insensibility. But they suffer their earthly feelings to throw a false light upon the scene which they would contemplate. To an unconscious soul there can be no time. The feeling, therefore, which arises from the thought is a mere sentiment, and ought to be corrected. In heaven, as the angel sware, there will be no time; the glory of the Lord will enlighten it; there will be no need of the sun; there shall be no night there : (Rev. xxi. 23--25 :) and the probability is, that what we call time here, is but a consequence of our mortal state; and after the humane instrument by which it is perceived, is disrupted, that we shall have no more consciousness of it. As there will be no time in heaven, the spiritual body cannot take cognizance of it. To think rightly of the state of the disembodied spirit is to think in faith, that it will be such a state as the wisdom and loving-kindness of God deems most proper for us.
The writer, on whose papers I have commented, says, on the authority of Leibnitz, “ The soul is properly an immortal monad.". We have, then, a right to argue, that it was as conscious before it inhabited the body, as it will be after such an inhabitation. But if whilst the soul had the use of an instrument of consciousness, it had no recollection of its anterior state of existence, what right have we to argue, that, without that instrument, it will be conscious in a future state? But what will consciousness be without those faculties which alone can be exercised through the instrumentality of human organs? Will monads have size and shape ? and if they have, will they also have instinct to distinguish one another? Will they be able to see without eyes, to speak without tongues, or to walk without feet? Supposing the soul, in its separate state, to retain the memory (which we cannot conceive it to do without the brain), yet it would be no boon to be conscious for any length of time only of the past events of life, and to sit, if a monad can sit, and think of those toils, diffi. culties, and vexations, which in reality so often and so long afflicted and tormented us.
To any one who feels the burden of the flesh, who is heavy laden
and sickened with deferred hopes, the sleep in Jesus will be delightful : it would seem a necessary repose to the soul, that it might have strength to lay hold of the hope which God has set before it.
I am, &c.
COINCIDENCE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLYDAYS.
Mr. Editor,—The attention of the Clergy has of late been frequently called to the settlement of a question which the Rubrick has left undecided; namely, when a Holyday and a Sunday coincide, which service is to receive the preference ? One thing is perfectly clear, which is, that, whether the omission in the Rubrick be intentional or otherwise, a discretion must be exercised. But with whom does this discretion reside? I answer, with the Ordinary. The preface to the Book of Common Prayer, “concerning the service of the Church," was evidently intended to supply oversights and laxities in the Rubrick; to determine ambiguous constructions, and to prescribe the limits of salutary discretion. In that preface I read that “ forasmuch as nothing can be so plainly set forth, but doubts may arise in the use and practice of the same ; to appease all such diversity (if any arise) and for the resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute, the things contained in this book : the parties that so doubt, or diversely take any thing, shall Alway resort to the BishOP OF THE DIOCESE, who, by his discretion, shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same ; so that the same be not contrary to any thing contained in this book. And if the Bishop of the Diocese be in doubt, then may he send for the resolution thereof to the Archbishop." From this it appears that the true service in the cases now under consideration must be that, and that only, which is appointed by authority of the Diocesan. It would be exceedingly desirable that Bishops, aware of the difficulty, which has lately been very materially felt, and of the confusion and discordance created thereby, should, each for his own jurisdiction, exercise their discretion in this particular, and publicly communicate the result to their clergy. It might be said, perhaps, that it would be a preferable mode of determining this long litigated question, if all the Bishops were to promulgate their joint decision upon the subject. But this opinion is more specious than valuable. Such decision could not be binding upon succeeding Bishops. The discretion vested by the Church in the OFFICE, could never be annulled by any number of INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS. If, indeed the houses of convocation enjoyed their constitutional power—but why lose time in visionary suppositions ?
Although, however, every Clergyman will cheerfully obey, for conscience sake, the determination of his diocesan, still that determination must be guided by the rules of just reason and analogy. In calling, through your pages, the attention of our prelates to this point, I trust they will acquit an humble and anonymous individual of the intention to assume any tone inconsistent with the most perfect reliance on their wisdom and information. I am well assured, Mr. Editor, that, so far from exhibiting any paltry impatience of apparent dictation, they will, on the contrary, weigh every opinion on the subject, not with any view to the merits of its author, but solely in regard to its own. İmpressed with this opinion of the bench, which, as a clergyman, as a christian, and as a man, I cannot behold without reverence and honour, I “ speak as unto wise men,” and entreat them to “ judge what I say."
My own opinion as to the course to be pursued, has been some time taken. Yet I have not ventured wholly to rely on it. On consulting, however, some good authorities, I am happy to find my independent decision universally confirmed, either by affirmation or induction. Looking backward a few numbers in your valuable publication, I meet with a letter signed “ Query,” relating to this very subject; and with that letter, I confess, I am entirely agreed. I have read the charge of Bishop Mant alluded to by “Query;" and the extract from Wheatly, (which, by the way, I can no where find in the work itself) and I feel quite satisfied on the subject, for the following reasons.
It seems to be a very safe and clear principle, where the letter is not to be had, to follow the spirit : when we have not the means of discovering huw Caius has acted in any case, to deduce from his language and conduct how he would have acted. Let us apply this to the Book of Common Prayer. In the Rubrick prefixed to the service for the Fifth of November, we read : “ If this day shall happen to be Sunday, only the Collect proper for that Sunday shall be added to THIS OFFICE in its place." Whatever importance we attach as members of a nation, or of a national church, to a national dispensation, a providence referring to the CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CHRIST must surely imply more important consequences. A fortiori, therefore, the commemoration of such providence must be allowed every privilege granted to the celebration of an inferior event. Therefore, we may infer that the rule which our Church has pronounced to be proper in the case of a national commemoration could not have been disapproved by her in cases of even a more important description.
But, further, to shew that this is the spirit of the Church (although the above instance alone appears to me amply decisive) the Rubrick introductory to the service for the Martyrdom of King Charles I. states, “ If this day shall happen to be Sunday, this form of prayer shall be used ;" and that for the King's Accession reads, “ If this day shall happen to be Sunday, this WHOLE office shall be used, as it followeth, ENTIRELY."
The objection of Bishop Mant to the addition of the Collect for the Snnday appears to be of no force. The learned prelate is, apparently, decided, by the term “ THREE Collects ;" whereas it is evident, from the cases to which he himself alludes, that the framers of the Common Prayer did not regard the number three of inviolable sanctity. And we see that in the service for Gunpowder Treason it is implied that the general practice of the Church is to use the Collect for the Sunday in addition to that for the Holyday : “ only,” says the Rubrick, "the Collect proper for that Sunday shall be added :" that is, although
many other additions might seem to be warrantable, that only shall be warranted. The Command is express, and the implication strong. Further, when the Collect for the Sunday is not to be added, it is EXPRESSLY excepted, as in the service for the Martyrdom of King Charles I. where the Rubrick is, “instead of the First Collect at Morning (or Evening] Prayer, shall these two which next follow be used.” (Where we may remark, by the way, another violation of Bishop Mant's triad.) And a similar exception is made in the service for the King's Accession.
In fact, the principle of our Church seems to be, as is reasonable and proper, that the more important service should always have the precedence : to make the lesser holyday give way to the greater; as, an ordinary Sunday, for instance, to a Saint's Day; a Saint’s Day to one of our Lord's Festivals, and a lesser festival of our Lord to a greater."* And this principle is plainly reduced to practice in the Rubrick introductory to the Thanksgiving for the Restoration of the Royal Family. “ If this day shall happen to be Ascension Day, or Whit Sunday, the COLLECTs of this office are to be ADDED to the offices of those Festivals in their proper places: if it be Monday or Tuesday in Whitsun week, or Trinity Sunday, the Proper Psalms appointed for this day, instead of those of ordinary course, shall be also used, and the COLLECTS ADDED as before ; and in all these cases the rest of this office shall be omitted: but if it shall happen to be any other Sunday, this WHOLE office shall be used, as it followeth ENTIRELY. The natural inference from all this is, that, when a greater festival coincides with a less (e. g. Advent Sunday with St. Andrew's Day) the Collect of the greater festival is to be read before that of the less, and all the rest of the service is to be that of the greater. But when a festival coincides with an ordinary Sunday, the service of that festival should be wholly used.
An exception appears very properly to be made in the case where the lesson for the festival is taken from the Apocrypha. None of the lessons for our national commemorations are selected from the apocryphal writings : so that we must look elsewhere for the decision of this part of the question. It certainly appears to have been the marked policy of our Church, Never to appoint an apocryphal lesson for a Sunday. If we violate this policy, some good reason should be shewn for such violation. But what advantage can ever be gained by the substitution of an apocryphal for a canonical lesson ?
From the above considerations, Mr. Editor, I conclude, that, wherever there is a collision of services, that of the more important occasion always takes the lead ; the Collects alone for both are used, where there is no express exception ; and an apocryphal first lesson gives place to a canonical. I give my opinion, and humbly submit it to the consideration of those who, both by personal qualifications, and the law of the Church, are competent to decide it.
• Wheatly apud Mant. Charge, &c. p. 17, where see it fully substantiated that the service for the Saint's day, &c. is more important than that for an ordinary Sunday.
COLONIAL AND FOREIGN ORDINATION. Mr. Editor.-In reference to your article on Colonial and Foreign Ordination in your number for January, I entreat your permission to make some remarks, not for the sake of controversy, but of explanation. I am not aware that I misunderstood the subject on which I ventured to address you in the month of July last; and I am very certain, that I was not guilty of wilful misrepresentation. My chief object was to direct attention to Mr. Wood's pamphlet, because I thought his case a hard one. Perhaps, the difficulties which he met with, were occasioned by the novelty of the case. It is at least certain, that for much more than a year, he could not obtain permission to exercise his ministry as a Priest in his native country. I think Mr. Wood mistaken, when he considers the act 59 Geo. III. cap. 60, retrospective, and I so expressed myself; but I am not surprised that he should feel forcibly the restraints which that act imposed upon himself; and I am by no means sure, that the provisions of that act tend in any respect to the security of the Established Church.
When I assumed the signature of “ a Sincere Churchman,” I assumed a character to which I feel myself conscientiously entitled. I respect the Church of England most sincerely as she stands established by law-an essential part of the constitution of the realm. If it depended upon me, I would rather increase than diminish all her legal securities : but her real strength and her best security consist in that she is a pure part of the Catholic Church of Christ. I am perfectly convinced that this strength, and this security, are not increased by those supposed securities which separate her partially, or absolutely, from other branches of the Church equally pure as herself in constitution, doctrine, aud worship. The Scottish Bishops were originally consecrated in England, so were those of Independent America. Their authority, therefore, in every spiritual sense is the same ; and yet the law, so far as an Act of Parliament can do it, renders ordination by them a mere nullity, and precludes absolutely a person so ordained, whatever his qualifications may be, and whatever change of circumstances may occur, from becoming a Clergyman of the Church of England. But he may be re-ordained, said a lay peer, in reference to the penal statutes enacted against the Episcopalians in Scotland in 1748, there is no law against it. “Neither," instantly replied Sherlock, Bishop of London, “ was there any law in ancient Rome against parricide : it was thought a crime impossible.” Every Diocesan Bishop in England and Ireland, has it in his power to admit into orders any layman, or dissenting minister whom he finds properly qualified, and that whether he be a native of America, or of Scotland. But he is absolutely prohibited from admitting to exercise his ministry in England a person ordained in America, or in Scotland, whatever may be his qualifications and his claims, except such person impiously contrive to conceal his sacred character, and submit to re-ordination, which would not have raised him in the estimation of such men as Sherlock, Secker, and Maddox, who exerted themselves to the utmost, to prevent an exclusion so absolute from being extended to the Scottish Episcopalians in 1748. The security to the Church of England as by law established, would be quite sufficient; as great