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sign of thy coming ?” and THE SYNTEAEIA. TOY AINNOX, “ of The END OF THE WORLD?" If this will not satisfy an opponent, further argument would be thrown away. Now as Christ could not be with his Apostles personally unto the end of the world, the only remaining way of interpretation will be to suppose these words addressed to a body of men who would subsist until that time, and of whom the Apostles were the then representatives. To the privileges of that body the clergy alone can lay claim ; if their claim be repudiated, it can be advanced by no others, and the alternative will be to make Christ contradict facts and certainties. To the clergy, therefore, belongs the commission in John xx. 22, 23, against which Mr. Towgood so rashly excepts, and on which he founds so grave an accusation against a body of men whose learning and piety, it may reasonably be hoped, were never inferior to his own. The gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed by our Lord on the Apostles at that time could not be miraculous in any sense ; all miraculous gifts (even that of inward enlightenment on the objects of the religion they were about to publish) were reserved for the day of Pentecost ; and until that day we know that the Apostles entertained very insufficient notions of divine truth. It was not, therefore, the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit which our Lord conferred on this occasion, but simply the authority of a divine commission,-an authority without which their ministry could never have been lawful. Whatever may be meant by the power of remitting and retaining sins (and concerning the limitations of this power divines of our Church have differed), it is clearly a power not unlawful for man to exercise, if duly commissioned, since it was entrusted to the Apostles; and from the considerations above, it is evident, that it is conferred on the authorized ministers of the Gospel for ever. The form is nearly as much a portion of Ordination as the form in Matt. xxviii. 19 is of Baptism.* And if our Church had sacrificed it on the altar of those modern idols,“ discernment and free inquiry," it might have been expected that the baptismal formula (an essential part of the Sacrament) would be the next victim.
Under this head we may notice Mr. Towgood's exceptions to the absolution in the Visitation of the Sick. That this absolution has been couched in too arbitrary terms, has been frequently observed by members of the Church ; but the matter of it is, nevertheless, unobjectionable. Mr. Towgood inquires, “What Church is it to which Christ has left this high authority and power ?” and then decides that it is “ no other than the King and Parliament of these realms." To this ridiculous objection we have already fully replied. The “Church” mentioned in the absolution means, of course, the priesthood, and it can hardly be supposed that even Mr. Towgood could be ignorant of this, although he could not resist the temptation of another sneer at the Establishment. But he further argues,
That Christ has given, can give, no such authority to fallible, uninspired men, • We have to deal with cavillers; and therefore we will explain why we qualify our affirmation with the word nearly. The form of Baptism is positively prescribed by our Lord, and therefore leaves no choice ; the form of Ordination is not, and therefore some discretion is allowed. But when it is considered that our Lord used a form of ordination, and this form has been recorded, it seems obvious how this discretion ought to be determined.
I should think absolutely out of doubt. Because, if he hath given power to any authoritatively to absolve those who are truly penitent, he must also have given them power to know who are truly penitent; else it is a power to do nothing; for, till they know them to be truly penitent, (i. e. till they can search their liearts,) they cannot authoritatively absolve them: but if they cannot do it till then, they cannot do it at all.-P. 46.
We will say nothing about Mr. Towgood's very Christian limitations of what Christ can do, but his reasoning is certainly inconclusive. The power of remitting and retaining sins was granted to the Apostles, as we have seen, before the day of Pentecost, yet it does not appear that, even after that day, they had any faculty of searching hearts; and if they had not this faculty afterwards, they certainly never had it before. The incompatibility therefore for which Mr. Towgood contends is set aside by matter of fact. And what has been, may be.
It is certain that all Christ's dispensations must be consistent; and that where there is no real penitence, there will be no real absolution. The only objection worth considering, which can be brought against the Church absolution, is, that this truth is passed over, so that the pardon seems unconditional. But when it is recollected how much the whole Visitation Service excites to repentance, how solemnly the minister himself is bound to urge it, that he is not in any case to pronounce absolution where it is not humbly and heartily desired ; and THAT EVEN THEN HE IS NOT COMPELLED TO USE THE FORM IN THE COMMON PRAYER,* this objection loses much of its force. The minister has the power of absolution, but it is a power which can only be ratified in heaven consistently with the scripture terms of salvation. He who knows himself sincerely penitent, will, and must receive comfort in the assurance from Christ's accredited instrument, that his sins are forgiven.
But, admitting the validity of Mr. Towgood's every objection on this subject, To what does it extend? To a “ FULL JUSTIFICATION” of departure from the Church of England ? Surely not. Mr. Towgood's opinions might conscientiously have excluded him from Holy Orders; but certainly not from lay communion. This allegation was made by Mr. White.
As to the form of absolution, what has he, for God's sake, to do with it? If he does not design to take orders in the Church, and to subscribe to the use of the liturgy, it is no concern of his whether that form be defensible or not. -P. 159.
To which Mr. Towgood replies:
But have not I, dear Sir, as much to do with your ministerial conformity as you have with my lay-dissent? Are you not as much obliged to vindicate before the world your subscription to, and use of these offices in your Church, as I am to justify my separation from it?—P. 159.
This is all very true. But what does Mr. Towgood gain ? Suppose he could prove that Mr. White subscribed with insincerity. Would this prove that Mr. Towgood was justified in separating from the Church on account of ceremonies in which he could never be
• The minister is only directed to absolve “after this sort.” So that he has it in his power to qualify the unconditional aspect of the Church absolution.
compelled, as a lay member of her communion, to bear a part ? Mr. Towgood, it might be thought, must have allowed those very impulses of the Holy Spirit against which he contended so vehemently; for what less than a call of this nature ought to have prevailed with him to undertake the office of a minister contrary to the regulations of the Church? If it be said Mr. Towgood had other reasons for dissent, let it be remembered that he mentions this as one. Mr. Towgood could not remain a lay member of our communion, because of the regulations imposed on the clergy; a singular reason enough; or, Mr. Towgood thought his ministry of such consequence to the Christian world at large that he could not remain a layman in any communion. His understanding or his modesty must stand impeached.
Mr. Towgood employs a great deal of declamation to show that our Church has been greatly to blame in rejecting Presbyterian Ordination. If we do not engage him on this point, it is only because we are reminded that our object in answering this work is to prove that it is no justification of dissent. Without touching the delicate subject of the abstract validity of this ordination, it is evident that Presbyterian orders can never be valid IN AN EPISCOPAL CHURCH. But let it be granted that the Church ought to admit the validity of Presbyterian Ordination in her precincts, and that she has erred in excluding it. What is gained by this concession? Is it a point affecting salvation? Assuredly not. And if Mr. Towgood left the Church of England because she was not infallible, we know not where he could have found a resting place for the sole of his foot, save only in the ark of Rome.
We have now, we believe, gone over Mr. Towgood's false and ignorant objections. But, as we have before stated, the irregularity of his work is such, that all we can pledge ourselves to is the endeavour to answer it methodically. We may, therefore, occasionally, find it necessary to revert. We intend, at the next opportunity, to examine his MISTAKES.
PAPISTICAL GRATITUDE. Sir.—During the French Revolution, at the request of a particular friend, a Jesuit and a Cardinal, I was in the habit of allowing a poor starving Priest to dine with me at least three days in the week; when I was regularly lectured on the necessity of my own conversion. To put a stop to which, for I got very tired, I told him that he must please to reply categorically to the question, whether, after all the attention he was in the habit of receiving from me, should he, in consequence of my being a heretic, be commanded to destroy me (no matter how), he must or must not obey? The question he evidently did not like, and tried to evade it; but, at last, confessed HE MUST AND SHOULD OBEY. That man is now, or was a little while since, in England, and provided for. But we are told, the Papistical spirit is entirely changed in these enlightened days!
C. H. VOL. XI, NO. V.
NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE EDUCA
TION OP THE POOR, &c.
ANNIVERSARIES. The following Anniversaries will take place according to the respective dates : The Meeting of the Sons of the Clergy, on Thursday, 14th May; service in St. Paul's at half-past ten o'clock, and the dinner at five.- The Anniversary dinner of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, on Tuesday, 19th May.—The Examination of the Children of the Clergy Orphan Society, in St. John's Wood Road, on Friday, 22d May.—The Meeting of the Charity Schools of the Metropolis, in St. Paul's Cathedral, on Thursday, 4th June. The General Meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
The Annual Meeting of the Society of Secretaries will take place at the Central School, on Wednesday, the 20th of May, at a quarter before ten o'clock ; and at half-past five o'clock the same day, the members of the Society will dine together at the Freemasons' Tavern. Dinner, including wine and tea, 15s. each person. The private Examination of the Children before the Secretaries is appointed for eleven o'clock, on the previous morning.
Resolved, 1816,-"That the Treasurers of all National Schools be members ex-officio of this Society."
Resolved, 1818,--" That a copy of any Resolution to be proposed be sent to the Chairman two days at least before the Meeting; also, that, for convenience in the binding, District Reports be printed on paper of equal size with that of the Report of the Parent Society, and fifty copies of the same be forwarded annually to the Secretary in London.”
The Public Annual Examination of the Children before the President and Committee, will take place on Wednesday, 20th May, at twelve o'clock.The General Meeting of the National Society, will be held in the Central School-room, on Thursday, 21st.
CITY OF LONDON NATIONAL SCHOOLS.
The Annual Examination of the Children of the above Schools will take place, by permission of the Lord Mayor, in the Egyptian Hall, on May 6th, at three o'clock; after which the friends and supporters of the Institution will dine at the London Tavern.
KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON. A General Meeting of the friends and supporters of King's College, London, will be held at the Freemasons' Tavern, on the 16th of May, when his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury will take the Chair, and the Provisional Committee will make a Report of their proceedings.
St. Martin's Vestry-room, April 1, 1829.-Unions.- St. Asaph (boys);
boy); Speldhurst, Kent; and St. Mary-leStrand, London.
Grants.—St. Asaph, 150l. ; Kidlington, Oxford (additional), 401.; and Manaccan, Cornwall (additional), 121.
* Tickets must be obtained, and can only be had of the Treasurer and Stewards, or by those members of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, who personally attend the Meeting of that Society, on Tuesday, 20 June.
DOMESTIC.—The Catholic Relief Bill that a temporal chastisement may be has passed both Houses of Parliament made a spiritual blessing, they cannot and received the sanction of the royal but acknowledge that the nation, by authority, which could not be withheld wilfully incurring the guilt, has well from a measure recommended by so deserved the punishment. But the large a majority of both Houses. A measure has now passed into operation very able protest against it was entered as the law of the land, and it becomes in the records of the House of Lords us to remember the injunction, " to by Lord Eldon, and signed by about submit to the powers that be, for they thirty Peers. The excellent Consti- are ordained of God;" and the duty tution of 1688 is, therefore, at an end; incumbent on all persons, but especiand devoutly do the people wish that ally on the clergy, is by increased all those benefits promised them by its watchfulness over their own conduct innovators may arise from its destruc- and that of their flocks, with zeal in tion—but they dare not hope it. In- warning and instructing the simple and creased opportunities can never have ignorant, and above all with earnest the effect of quieting the insatiable prayer that God will bless the means and ambitious: intimidation has been he may enable them to use for the found effectual, and will be tried again; edification of the Church, to guard and gradually, step by step, we shall against the insidious attacks of an be called upon to surrender the whole idolatry, which, not at all scrupulous as of our national blessings-(an ominous to the measures employed, will compass beginning has been already made) — sea and land to make one proselyte, until, wearied out with perpetual en- One of the principal arguments croachments, some tremendous popular brought forward by the promoters is, struggle will restore the Constitution that, by removing the political distincat present laid aside, and fence it tion formerly existing between Papists with even stronger bulwarks than and Protestants, a way is laid open for those now thrown down. Some years the conversion of the former; that, no may probably elapse before this period longer bound by the false tie of honour, arrives: his Majesty's faithful sub- or kept aloof by being made the objects wish that the remainder of his ject of scorn and reproach, his mind reign may be peaceful if not prosper- may be less fortified against conviction, ous; but it cannot be disguised, that and he may be more willingly led to his successors must prepare to fill the see the errors of his creed; that he canthrone under very different circum not be taunted with having renounced stances. It is the peculiar prerogative it for the love of this world's honours of the Most High to produce good out and preferments. They little know of evil, and he may turn even this dis- the Romish faith, and still less the astrous event into some unexpected Romish clergy, who can believe this; advantage, but such has never hitherto in constant watchfulness, in zeal in been the course he has pursued with the diligent employment of every posthe nations. An union with idolatrysible means that can strengthen the formed by those kingdoms that were delusion of their people, and in careendowed with the light of Divine truth fully inculcating that the slightest has been invariably followed by the exertion of private judgment is a gross chastisements of Providence; their sin offence to the Deity, who has combeing commonly made the immediate manded them to believe only as the source from whence their punishment Church teaches; above all, in the exhas sprung. Such an infliction Great clusion of the Scriptures, and in the Britain has now reason to expect; and complete unison that reigns among whilst all Christians will pray that the them; they are too strong in themjudgment may be tempered with mercy, selves and in their influence over their