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version of Lightfoot, we must add, that the feet were on the couch as well as the body.*
But we have, perhaps, dwelt too long on the mere exhibition of Mr. Towgood's perverse and obstinate ignorance. We will only sum this part of our subject by observing, that Mr. T., after separating from the Church, because the sacrament is there received kneeling, first, admits that the whole is matter of indifference, and next, sets about proving that it is no such thing; in which last process he is fortunate enough to substantiate his former opinion. It is evident, indeed, that if posture be an essential circumstance, (the only sufficient ground of separation) then the sacrament is not duly administered in any society of Christians upon earth.
Let us come then to another false and ignorant objection, which we will state at length in Mr. Towgood's own words.
There is another office of your liturgy equally liable to the severe exceptions of all well-instructed Christians, and to the sneers of insulting deists, as any I have yet considered; and that is, your office for the ordination of Priests and Deacons. This, if you call me forth again, I may more particularly show. At present I only ask— Whether to your sober reason it really appears a fit question, to be put to every young gentleman that comes from the university for orders to the bishop, whether he trusts that he is inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon him this office? And for every such young gentleman to declare solemnly, as in God's presence, that he trusts he is so inwardly moved? You well know how many rich livings are in the gift of families, whose sons, or dependants, are educated for the Church with no other view but that of its being the most genteel provision, in their power, for their future support in life. You must also be sensible, that the high dignities and great emoluments which are to be found in the Church, often lead many young gentlemen to prefer this profession to any other, merely from interested and worldly considerations. You certainly must be better acquainted than I am with the general manners, the taste and the state, of the two universities : tell me then, before God, is their moral state such, that you can reasonably think every student that comes thence, when he gets a title to a living, and applies for orders to the bishop, doth really feel himself inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to make that application? Ought his feelings to be so hurt, and so pressing a question put to his conscience? One of the brightest ornaments of your own church, Bishop Burnet, (Pastoral Care, page 96—99,) has made the following observations on this point, which deserve the most serious attention of all those who ask, and of all those who answer the before-mentioned most important question. “Certainly," says he, “ this answer, I trust I am so moved, ought to be well considered; for if any say, I trust so, who yet know nothing of any such motion, and can give no account of it, he lies to the Holy Ghost, and makes his first approach to the altar, with a lie in his mouth, and that not to men but to God. The motives that ought to determine a man to dedicate himself to the Church, are a zeal for promoting the glory of God, and for raising the honour of the Christian religion. This man, and only this man, so moved and qualified, can, in truth and with a good conscience, answer, that he trusts he is inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost; and every one that ventures on the saying it without this, is a sacrilegious profaner of the name of God and
• The kind of furniture necessary for celebrating the Communion on Mr. Towgood's principles of retaining the exact original posture, may be well collected from the following note of the learned Lewis Desprez on Horace I. Sat. iv. 86, which is abridged from Lipsius, Antiqq. Lectt. Lib. iii.“ Primus decumbebat ad caput lecti, pedibus quidem ponè dorsum secundi porrectis : secundus obvertebat sinciput ad umbilicum primi, interjecto pulvino ; hujus autem pedes ad tergum jacebant tertii; sicque tertius pariter et quartus." his Holy Spirit: he breaks in upon the Church, not to feed, but to rob it." And, when the bishop lays his hand on the student's head, then kneeling before him, and makes this solemn address --Receive the Holy Ghost-Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained ; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen: -is this a language which can be clearly justified? Do their Lordships keep perfectly free of the offence which Bishop Burnet so justly condemns? Is there nothing like lying to the Holy Ghost in the part which they are called to act in this most serious affair? I shall make no farther reflections at present, but only say, that to me it appears really amazing, that, in an age of such discernment, and freedom of enquiry, this form is suffered to stand. And, in the language of your Collect, I very heartily pray, “ That Almighty God, who alone worketh great marvels, would send down upon our bishops and curates, the healthful spirit of his grace:" the spirit of wisdom and humility! being assured that this stone of stumbling, in the way of sagacious infidels, will then quickly be removed.
In the mean time let none of the clergy any more reproach the separatists and the sectaries (as they affect to call us) with being enthusiasts and fanatics; for what sect among all who dissent from the Church of England (Papists only excepted) carry their pretensions to spiritual motions and communications to so extravagant a height as the Church itself does? Doth the Quaker or the Methodist, talk of being moved by the Spirit, and of praying and preaching under the influence of the Spirit ? Surely it does not become any clergyman to ridicule such language. He ought rather to give those who use it the right hand of fellowship; knowing that he also has been under the like impressions ; and that, when he was ordained a deacon, he solemnly declared, before one of the successors of the Apostles, that he trusted that he was inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon himself this office.—Pp. 263–266.
What a chaos of misconception and mistatement is here! Let us endeavour to analyse its elements.
The Quakers, some Calvinists, and some Methodists, pretend to supernatural impulses and illuminations, dictating their very words, so that it is no longer they that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Such privileges were enjoyed by the Apostles and primitive Christians, but their reality could only be evidenced to others by external miracles, with which they were always accompanied. In the case of the Calvinists, Methodists, and Quakers, this evidence (the only sufficient) is wanting; and we therefore justly charge their pretensions as visionary and presumptuous. But when Mr. Towgood confounds these arrogant assumptions with the doctrine of the Church, he is either grossly ignorant of the subject which he treats, or of his Bible. No doctrine of Scripture, it might be imagined, could be clearer than that of our sanctification by the Holy Spirit ; no educated teacher of sound Christianity, we might suppose, could possibly be ignorant that “it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do."* Mr. Towgood, doubtless, had many pious impulses and desires. Did he suppose they proceeded from his own virtuous nature? we will not affix to him so foul a stigma. Now, what does this question of the Church amount to? A solemn inquiry before God, whether the candidate for orders is influenced by spiritual or worldly motives : assuming (what it requires no great latitude to assume) that spiritual motives are motives of the Spirit ; and that the inclinations which lead the candidate to
(Continued from p. 237.) So far as we are antagonists of Mr. Towgood, we might now march off the field, by his own confession, victorious. We have established the affirmative of the great position on which, as he allows, the whole controversy turns,—the power of the Church to decree rites and ceremonies not contradictory to Scripture. From our definition of schism we inferred, that ceremonies, not endangering salvation, demanded our acquiescence, on the ground that, however objectionable in minor respects, such circumstances ought to have no influence against the great duty of spiritual unity, and the Apostle's solemn adjuration in its favour. From the very nature and constitution of a spiritual society, so long as it is a visible society, and from facts, we have shewn that some rites and ceremonies must necessarily exist in it, even where there subsists in the society itself the strongest predisposition to avoid or oppose them. From this necessity a right is indisputably concluded, and obedience becomes a duty.
But we are anxious to wait on Mr. Towgood through all his “ false and ignorant objections," "mistakes,” and “insufficient reasons." All that we entreat our readers to remember is only this, that the siege is now in effect raised, and however they may determine with respect to the prowess of the combatants on the field of controversy, the bulwarks of the Church have been proved impregnable. Could Mr. Towgood prove all the rest, his schism would be indefensible.
Mr. Towgood having denied the right of the Church to decree rites and ceremonies at all, proceeds to impugn in detail all that she has decreed. If Mr. Towgood really meant to rest the whole controversy on this single objection, it was wasting the time and patience of his readers to go further. For if this right of the Church be once denied, there is an end of the matter; the most significant and beautiful portions of her ritual must take their place beside the idlest and most superstitious mummeries of Popery. But the truth appears to be, that Mr. Towgood was really aware of the weakness of his cause, and had therefore provided a body of triarii, to be ready when his principal and cardinal argument should be levelled with the dust. But it will be found, on applying the test of truth and common sense, that this forlorn hope will exhibit the same sensibility which the Father of Schism discovered when brought in contact with the spear of Ithuriel.
Before, however, we advance to the demolition of this part of Mr. Towgood's arguments, which is principally referable to the second head, we will proceed with our examination of the first class. One of his reasons for dissent is, his objection to the requirements of the Test Act, that candidates for certain offices should have received the Holy Communion in the Church of England. As this Act, to which so much has been objected both by wise and ignorant men, is now repealed, and, consequently, this argument in favour of schism annulled, it might appear supererogatory to say a word on the subject. Yet, as it is illustrative of the character of Mr. Towgood's logic, we cannot forbear to notice it. The intentions of the Act were widely different from the supposed or real effects of it. Its object was to confine certain offices to the communion of the Established Church. The best mode of ascertaining a Churchman appeared undoubtedly to be the enquiry whether he had communicated with the Church in her most solemn and characteristic rite, and that too, as often as her regulations required. It does not appear to have suggested itself to the Churchmen who framed this bill, that the pious and conscientious dissenters would thereby be induced to compromise their consciences in the most awful act of Christian adoration for the sake of worldly emoluments. But grant it as objectionable as possible. What is the result? Numbers of intelligent Churchmen have objected to it as strongly as Mr. Towgood, and remained Churchmen still. They did not conceive that approbation of this act was an article of the Church; they did not suppose that to hold communion with the Church of England it was necessary to assent to the spirit of the Test Act. An Act of the Legislature for the maintenance or protection of the Church, whether wise or injudicious, cannot, in fact, have any connexion with the question of Church communion. It is WHOLLY an extraneous matter; it does not afford even the poor pretensions for schism which are consult the welfare of souls, are the work of that Spirit, from whom alone “all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed." The very objection which Mr. Towgood applies to this interrogation is, as is not unfrequently the case in his writings, the identical reason which proves its wisdom and necessity. It is a lamentable rather than a questionable fact, that individuals have entered the most awful of professions with secular views. Surely, if there be any one circumstance which is likely to deter from this practice, or induce reflection upon it, it is the solemn adjuration, as in God's presence, that the candidate trusts he is inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost! Mr. Towgood asks,“Ought his feelings to be hurt, and so pressing a question be put to his conscience ?" There were prophets in Israel who were very cautious about hurting the feelings or awakening the consciences of the people. Mr. Towgood, doubtless, would have approved the sentence, “Peace, peace," when there was no peace; but he would have been at issue with the Spirit of Truth.
We cannot resist adducing an illustration of Mr. Towgood's doctrine, if indeed it deserve one. There are, doubtless, many men who marry for property or worldly objects : “Ought their feelings to be hurt, and so pressing a question be put to their consciences," as, “wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and health, and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live ?" Let this question be satisfactorily answered on Mr. Towgood's principles.
But Mr. Towgood hence proceeds to charge the Bishops of the English Church with the awful sin of LYING TO THE HOLY Ghost. A charge so terrible ought to be PROVED by arguments clear as the meridian day. But what has Mr. Towgood PROVED? His Own IGNORANCE! He pays a canting compliment to the age about its discernment and free inquiry,-a compliment which has been repeated to disgust in our time,- and then wonders how the ordination form is suffered to stand. Mr. Towgood, however, had outmarched the age which he so humbly idolizes. Perhaps some more enlightened schismatic will find it “really amazing” that the same form is allowed to stand in our bibles. (John xx. 22, 23.) The whole question indeed turns upon the single point that the Christian ministry is the successor of the Apostolical Establishment; and that point is sufficiently proved by the expression of our Lord himself, (Matt. xxviii. 20.) “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." We know that this rendering has been disputed, and it has been argued that the words ÉWÇ 1ñs ouvrelciug toū aiôvoç mean only “ to the end of your lives." But this argument is readily answered. Let the patrons of it produce A SINGLE PASSAGE where the words in this connexion have the meaning for which they contend. Meanwhile, we will produce three, (one repeated, and all from the Evangelist who uses the expression here) in which it can be taken in no other sense than that of “the end of the world.” Matt. xiii, 39, ó de Deplopos SYNTEAEIA TOY AINOX ļoti; “ the harvest is THE END OF THE WORLD." Matt. xii. 40 and 49, OŰTwÇ čorai év tñ EYNTEAEIA, TOY AINNOX, “so shall it be in THE END OF THE WORLD;” and Matt. xxiv. 3, “What shall be the