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is, in my apprehension, to be found in the sacred oracles, to support the claims which presbyterian ministers urge. Shall a Christian church then call a convocation of ministers of its own denomination, to appoint for it an overseer in the Lord? Have Congregationalists a power vested in them, which we look for in vain, in the presbyterian consistory, on the episcopal bench, and upon the papal throne? I have been an independent minister for several years, but I declare I was never conscious of possessing such a power, and the consciousness of many of my brethren resembles, as I am well assured, my own. Independent ministers are called to preach the word, and to minister the ordinances of the Christian religion, by congregations, such as have been shewn to be true churches of Christ. They look upon themselves, as having power to perform these offices, because they are called to them, " by men that have authority" so to do. These are the members of the churches, who judge themselves to be instructed and edified by the humble exertions of such untitled men. These churches elect for themselves ministers; they set apart a day for public ordination; they invite a number of the neighbouring ministers to assist them by their counsels and their prayers; and God is pleased to smile upon their conduct, by rendering the feeble efforts of such agents, sub* servient to the love of truth, and the practice of virtue. 'You, my Christian brethren, are pursuing the same course. You have an indefeasible right to choose for yourselves a minister; and you have exercised this right: you now bring forth the minister of your choice, and with the assistance of the pastors of neighbouring churches, you appoint my young friend, in the presence of God, to take the spiritual oversight of you: you ordain him to be your pastor, and solemnly declare that you will " obey" him, as one that hath " the rule over you;" that you will " submit yourselves to him," as one "that watches for your souls," and "must give account." Here then is a church of Christ, and my worthy young friend is a minister of Christ. To what a state should we indeed be reduced, if the power of appointing ministers were vested in any other hands, than those of the members of the church. The Church of Rome has apostatized: the Church of England imposes terms of communion to which we cannot submit: the Presbytery may become heretical and tyrannical, and abuse the power with which it has heen invested: associations of congregational ministers may depart from the truth and simplicity of the gospel. What then is a society of Christians to do? Are they to remain destitute of a pastor, or to make application to sources which they disapprove? Far from it. Let them assemble together; let them implore. 'wisdom and fidelity from above; let them look for a man in 'whom the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord 'resides, and let them place him over them in the Lord: and 'though there be no other church upon earth, this is one: 'here Christ is present: here God dwells; and here Mis Spirit 'will pour down abundant supplies of heavenly grace, and 'of life-giving power. I shall conclude with' a request, that 'none of my hearers will suspect me of ill will towards the 'members of the established church, either of the clergy or 'laity. Of the latter, many are distinguished by their piety, 'their zeal, and their benevolence: of the former, numbers are 'justly intitled to the praise of whatever can be conferred of 'ornament or usefulness, by talents most exalted, religion most 'evangelical, or learning most profound. 1 trust we shall meet 'in heaven: I wish them God speed in the prosecution of their * important labours; but while I live on earth, I must belong 'to that church, in which conscience and freedom ;vign su'preme, unshackled by the fetters of human device.'—Discourses delivered at the Ordination of the tier. John Yockney to the Pastoral Office, at Lower-street, Islington, Nov. 1815. 8vo. 2s. 6d. , onder.
Wemust nowtakeourleaveof Dr.Mant. The Sermon preached for the benefit of the National Schools, would supply us with fresh matter of remark, but, as it is not now printed for the first time, we shall decline entering upon the subject. Earnestly as we deprecate the ' strong delusions' which these Ser-moris uphold,—and we must pity the intellectual darkness as •Well as bigotry in which they originate;—hard as it is to believe that the man is sincere who declares that ' no Divine f promise has been given' which applies to the attendants upon what he deems an irregularly ordained ministry; still, we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of hoping that Dr. Mant has the cause of Christianity at heart. We say this frankly and deliberately, recollecting that even Pascal believed in transubstantiation, and Fenelon bowed to the supremacy of the Pope. The solemn injunctions which are pressed upon the candidates for the ministerial office in the conclusion of the seventh Sermon, are worthy of a mind more enlightened with respect to the genius of the religion of Jesus Christ, and lead us to put as candid a construction as possible even upon these statements which must in themselves be considered as highly atrocious
We claim the indulgence of our readers while we assume • for once, in concluding this article, the free language of counsel, to two classes of evangelical Dissenters.
To those Dissenting Ministers whose language on the subject of Episcopal claims and religious liberty, would favour too much the notion that they are actuated by political feelings, we earnestly recommend the consideration, that religious liberty is but a means, a negative though a most essential means of promoting the triumphs of the Gospel. Political liberty is indeed the greatest earthly blessing of which man can deprive his fellow; and all systems which trench upon this dearest right, tend to degrade and to demoralize mankind. The great Apostle, unwilling to countenance for a moment the assumption of arbitrary power, intimidated the unjust centurion, by telling him that he was a Roman, and the chief captain, that he wasfreeborn, and at the bar of Festus himself his language was: " 1 appeal "unto Cesar." We would not plead for a tone of conduct below the independent dignity of that greatest of Christians. But still, religion is not a political thing, and the ends we have in view as Dissenters, are not political. Everything, how important soever, that can be considered only as belonging to the order of meant, is but subordinate to that which is contemplated as the end. It is by that end that our feelings should be characterized, and the positive means of accomplishing it should evidently occupy our chief interest. And if there are men who, in the midst of error and mistake as to the means, are really employed in reference to the same end, and in spite of every disadvantage, successfully employed, it becomes us to fix our attention on those points of their character which are estimable rather than on those which provoke repugnance. Let then the essential unity of the Church of Christ be ever borne in mind, as a first principle, in all our discussions of subordinate principles.
On the other hand, how shall we address ourselves to those Dissenting Ministers, who, not in consequence of greater spirituality of mind, not in consequence of a superior portion of Christian zeal, wotin consequence of a heart overflowing with goodwill towards all men, but under the influence of a worldly spirit, of a servile deference to polite opinion, or of that intellectual indolence which shrinks from the stir of controversy, would, in times like the present, compromise and compliment away the principles for which we are contending? What shall we say to those who, captivated by the intimacy of some one or two truly estimable men within the pale of the Establishment, or disgusted, it may be, at the conduct of some two or three within their own communion, fold their arms in peaceful neutrality, and dream that the Millenium has begun? And should the neighbouring town or village be the station of some more zealous labourer, who finding himself withstood in every plan of usefulness by some beneficed son of Belial, inveighs in the bitterness of indignant grief against that system which necessarily, by the very nature of its patronage, throws, in a thousand instances, such moral power into the hands of so much wickedness,—that man shall in courtesy to the Church that denounces him as a schismatic, be termed a bigot by his fellowdissentients, although a heart glowing with philanthropy and kindness, and a mind intent upon spiritual realities, constitute his genuine character. The man is not a bigot; but he cannot view with speculative indifference an Establishment which even now, in the light of the present day, is planting its moral Upas trees in the heart of the kingdom, and says of the melancholy waste, ' The soil is mine.' He cannot suffer private friendships to interfere with his estimate of a system, the operation of which, after every deduction on the ground of beneficial exceptions, leaves so preponderating an aggregate of evil as its genuine result. He is not a bigot; but can he endure without some indignant emotions, that his purest wishes for the welfare of his country, should be stigmatized as seditious, and that his calumniators should be ministers of the Gospel; that principles the very reverse of those to which England owes all her freedom and social happiness, principles recognised by
Erovisions and fostered by the spirit of the Constitution, should be denounced as anti-social and un-Christian? He is not a bigot, but can he feel perfect complacency towards men, who, whatever be their garb and profession, are found among the abettors of war, the apologists for intolerance, the betrayers of the best interests of society? No: but he is perhaps in danger of retreating too much into his own feelings under the discouragements induced by this view of the features of the times, and of suffering melancholy to mingle unduly with the hopes which the Divine promises lead him to entertain respecting the future. He will not be " weary of well-doing," but his thoughts will be more and more occupied with the fond anticipation of that world where man will no longer usurp the prerogative of his Maker, and sin, the root of all physical and all moral evil, shall not be known.
Art. II. Memoirs of the Marchionest De Larochejaquelein. With a Map of the Theatre of War in La Vendee. Translated from the French. 8vo. pp.535. Price 12s. Longman and Co. 1816.
npHIS volume will excite, we should think, in most of its readers, a wish that every memorable war could have had a sensible and accomplished woman involved in its transactions, and acquainted with its chiefs in the council and the field, and then prompted, by motives little mingled with vanity, to relate its course of events, and describe its leaders, in a written and permanent memorial. Such a production, coming after the generals had written their memoirs, and the historians had elaborated their narrations, would have been an invaluable ad• lition. Often it would have afforded a much more genuine moral estimate of the warfare, and a much more vivid picture of some of its scenes, than those generals and historians had the perceptions or the sincerity requisite for displaying. How much there is in war of what is odious and melancholy, that finds no faculty capable of recognising it in the hardened veteran soldier by profession, or in the less war-worn and mechanical, but ardent adventurer for glory! Nothing less than the virtues of Sidney could preserve an undepraved sensibility through a career of martial achievement.
Besides, it is to be recollected, that women constitute half the human race; and not only having their general share of the evil inflicted on mankind by war, but being exposed also to peculiar and severe aggravations of that evil, they seem to require an historian representative of their sex, that the full malignity of war may be manifested, by shewing, with the vividness of the writer's direct sympathy with the sex, its additional malignity as affecting them. In this female historian's account of the war in La Vendee there are a multitude of striking and affecting circumstances, many of which could not have occurred in the experience of a man; and which, if they came within his knowledge, he would not have regarded and related with any thing like the true and adequate emphasis of feeling: they were, however, the natural occurrences of war as affecting the female sex. But then, could the history of the war, as written solely by men, have been complete—complete in the sense of displaying its full atrocity—while thus the miseries it inflicted on the more susceptible and unprotected portion of the species, would have had no due prominence in the representation?
Any reader of military history, and of the Memoirs, by military men, of the transactions they witnessed, may easily recollect how comparatively small and unconspicuous a portion of the tragical exhibitions consists (in most of those works) of the female sufferings; how generally a collective phrase or two suffice to throw into the account, in the gross, ' the women and 'children,' with their massacres, expulsion from shelter under all painful circumstances incident to the sex, and exposure to famine, inclemencies of season, and all forms of military licence and cruelty. Now and then, indeed; when the historian or military memoir-writer takes a fancy to be sentimental, and thinks he has a fine opportunity for what is called effect, he will somewhat enlarge on such a scene, with great rhetorical show, and plenty of tragical epithets; but for a simple display, as mere matter of truth and humanity, of this ample portion of the horrors of war,—a display forming systematically, as it ought to do, a grand component of military history,—we should