« ForrigeFortsett »
and also for our other colonies; the import- period of which we are speaking and the ant discussions relative to the doctrines of societies formed to diffuse its benefits our Reformers and our Church ; the points throughout the world, and the important at issue with our Dissenting brethren, with results of their exertions : and, besides all the Church of Rome, and also those which this, societies for the conversion of the divide the members of our own commu- Jews, societies for promoting virtue and nion; the interpretation of the inspired pro- 'suppressing vice, societies literary and phecies (on which not a few of the chief philosophical, mendicity societies, savings writers who have turned their minds to banks and friendly societies, anti-slavery this subject during the last thirty years societies, Prayer-book and Homily sociehave, anonymously or by rame, stated their ties, prison discipline societies, churchviews through the medium of the Christian building societies, colonization societies for Observer); obituaries and memoirs of the outcasts of Africa, societies for assistpersons eminent for piety in our own and ing indigent clergymen, societies for imformer times, including many original no- proving the condition of the poor-to say tices, which have rendered this department nothing of numerous institutions of a more of the work one of its most interesting and limited kind, which have for their object valuable portions; the painful, but ulti. the relief of various calamities incident to mately useful, controversies which arose our fallen humanity. Nor is it the least out of those plans of Christian benevolence pleasing feature of the events which we which began about the period of the com- have witnessed and recorded, that our own mencement of our publication (particularly clergy are enlisting themselves in increasthe Bible Society, and the education of all ing numbers under those Scriptural banclasses of the poor);- these and similar to- ners which the Martyrs and Reformers of pics of discussion have employed many a our church delighted to bear; and that of page--not, it is hoped, without benefit - her laity, also, multitudes, influenced by of this miscellany. Bad as is the world, Christian motives, aspire to assist in the defective as are our best institutions, far as general extension of religious knowledge. our own clergy and laity are from perfec. It is comparatively little, that any partii tion, and dimly distant as still appears the cular publication may have been enabled prospect of a Millennium; much, very much, to contribute towards these glorious rehas been effected during the present cen- sults ; but each has its own circle of intury, in which the Christian and the phi- fluence; and the conductors of the Christlanthropist must greatly rejoice.—In the ian Observer would hope, that a work course of their labours, the conductors of conscientiously, however feebly, devoted the Christian Observer have had to record, to these objects, could not have been so among numerous other subjects of interest long continued and so widely circulated to all who are anxious for the glory of God without conducing, by the blessing of God, and the welfare of mankind, the struggles in some humble measure, to the end proand the triumph which signalized the abo- posed. Indeed, scarcely a month elapses lition of the African slave-trade ; the open- without their receiving communications, ing of the East to Christian instruction; many of them from persons now occupying the emancipation of Europe from a military eminent posts of usefulness in the public usurpation; the wide diffusion of just prin- eye, which prove that their labours have ciples of liberty; the increased attention not been in vain in the Lord.' This is devoted to moral and political economy, their consolation ; and this, it is trusted, with a view to better the condition of man- will animate them to renewed and persekind; the modern reviviscence and exten- vering exertion. sion of several societies which had pre
“ While this preface is passing through viously existed for the promotion of reli- the press, the editor has received many gious and benevolent objects throughout communications approving of the design of the world; and the origin and wonderful publishing a selection from the Family progress of those more recent Bible and Sermons, and expressing much interest Missionary Institutions which have now in the Christian Observer. He has great taken fast root in every quarter of the globe, pleasure in subjoining, with the kind perall simultaneously operating to hasten on mission of the writers, the two following, the time when the kingdoms of this world from two much esteemed and venerated shall become the kingdoms of our Lord friends,--Mr. Wilberforce and Mrs. Hanand of his Christ; the astonishing progress nah More. of education under the system of mutual “My dear sir,-1 have heard, with instruction-the vast powers of which were very great pleasure, of your intention to unknown to Europe till long within the collect into a volume a selection of the
sermons dispersed throughout that very
valuable periodical, the Christian Observer, Christian Observer, which, whether in the thus rescuing from the mass those sound examination of the productions on either and excellent portions of divinity, and side of the question, or in original com presenting them to the public in a communications, may justly, claim a very con- pendium, which will be a real acquisition siderable share of the praise which belongs to it. The volume will be most acceptable to its successful termination.'”
to many of your readers, not only for their
own use, but to present to families in which ready brought us many encouraging the Christian Observer is hitherto un- testimonies--some quite unexpected known. I have taken this work from the very beginning, and I continue to prize it
-of the religious benefit, which, by as highly as I have ever done, and count the blessing of God has attended its now long range of volumes not among the perusal, in private or in the the least valuable part of my library. family, of the discourses which for « • I am, dear sir, with much esteem, “Yours faithfully,
many years have appeared in our “ HANNAH MORE.'
work. From the circumstances “ My dear sir,–1 have heard with great pointed out in the preface, we would pleasure that you are about to publish a
trust that this volume may be found volume of the sermons that for a long per useful for presenting to families in riod have constituted each one article in every Number of the Christian Observer; which discourses written on a diffor with such of the sermons as have been ferent plan might not gain access. read to me (the weakness of my eyes pre- Our object throughout has been to venting my reading them myself) I have been much pleased. Would you not also speak “ the truth" so far as we extract some other articles from the know it, “ in love,” endeavouring Christian Observer ? I know of no publi- not to excite needless prejudices cation of the kind which contains so many by those over-statements of docof superior merit. The cause I have just trine, or peculiarities of phrasespecified has, to my regret, rendered me less acquainted with ibe Christian Observer ology, which the world is ever than I formerly was ; but I think so highly ready to catch at, to disguise their of it, and of the many excellent contri- hostility to the cross of Christ. We butors to it (many of them, alas! friends, rejoice to witness the rapid diffusion joice in any circumstance which will be in our church, of plain, practical, likely to draw it into augmented notice. scriptural preaching; sermons for «« I am, my dear sir, “Yours, very sincerely,
spiritual instruction and edification; "W. WILBERFORCE.'
for though mere moral discourses “ The great augmentation of the num- may best suit the taste of some, ber of the religious charitable societies for- and high-flown speculations that of bidding the detail of their important trans- others, yet after all “ faith, hope, and body of the work, a plan was adopted in charity" are the cardinal graces of 1828 of appending some of the chief do- our holy profession, and the inculcacuments in full, as published by the so- tion of them is the constant effort of cieties themselves. This plan bas given the pastoral care. They spring from great satisfaction to all parties. At the
the cross of Christ, and to the cross mere cost of the paper and print, societies are thus enabled to communicate very of Christ they lead; nor will they widely with the public ; many of the ever be neglected in the ministry readers being their own subscribers, who of those who are really anxious for would never otherwise see their occasional the spiritual and eternal interests of or periodical papers ; and others, persons not connected with the society, who thus their fellow-creatures, become interested in its proceedings. The papers are also thus preserved, after being read, and at the end of the year may be bound up by themselves, a title-page being given for the purpose. The documents Discourses on the most important thus rescued will form an interesting se- Doctrines and Duties of the ries for future reference. New subscribers Christian Religion. By Alexwishing to begin with the volumes com
ANDER GRISWOLD, D.D. Bishop mencing with these documents (namely, 1828 and 1829), may, for the present, ob
of the Protestant Episcopal tain copies complete : but should it ever Church in the States of Massabe necessary to reprint the whole or part chusetts, Rhode Island, New of these volumes, the appended papers
Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. cannot, of course, be inserted." pp.v-xix,
I vol. 8vo. Philadelphia. 1830. Having extracted this preface, we forbear adding further than that the This pious and active prelate has publication of this volume has al. been long known to us by name CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 341.
and character; and having received bear so rude a storm, especially as from America, an early copy of a on every side there were those who volume of sermons which he has would have gladly seen it wither, just published, we feel much plea- or have rooted it up. But these sure in making our readers on this tempests, as we trust, have well side of the Atlantic acquainted with nigh past : let our valued brethren him, by transcribing one of them now rather beware of a deceitful for a family sermon. Bishops Gris- calm. The recent choice of Dr. wold and Hobart were consecrated Meade to be assistant bishop of in 1811; and are therefore, with the Virginia was conducted with a piety exception of the venerable Bishop and Christian cordiality, that would White, who is the link between almost reconcile us, if a similar spirit English and American Episcopacy, always prevailed, to popular elections the oldest in standing of the eleven to ecclesiastical offices. With the United-States prelates. In the Pro- exception of perhaps two dioceses testant Episcopal church in the Unit- in which (if we must unwillingly use ed States, as our readers are aware, exceptionable terms of distinction there prevail the same differences of among members of the same church) opinion as unhappily in our own. The what are called the orthodox and question of " high churchmanship,” the evangelical party * are nearly the baptismal-regeneration controversy, the Bible society, and some popular phrases, unwillingly, and only for
• We always admit these, or similar even of “ the five points” have been the sake of intelligible specification, withas warmly discussed in our sister, or out admitting that any "party,” if parties daughter, church, as on her parent they must be called, ought to use terms of shores. We are happy in believing especially as applied to matters of church
invidious assumption. Such appellations, that these controversies are rapidly doctrine and discipline, are becoming indying away; not however bythe stage creasingly equivocal. Bishop Hobart, for nation of religious indifference, but example, lately, published several official
addresses, entitled “ The igh Churchby an increased infusion of pure
man Vindicated.” The bishop's test of a doctrine and zealous piety, and also high, or, as he considers, a sound churchby the wide extension of a serious man, is, that the episcopal church is the spirit of inquiry, accompanied with sole divinely-appointed medium of spigreat moderation of spirit in many that it has no connexion with any civil
ritual blessing to mankind, and also quarters where there still exist many patronage or institution. Now it appears remaining prejudices against what to us that in England our “ orthodox" their brethren consider the plenitude and“ evangelical” friends would be very of church doctrine and evangelical Bishop Hobart would consider the Christruth. Such serious discords as we
tian Observer as low church, because we had lately to lament in reference to do not consign all our dissenting brethren two episcopal elections, we are per. practically we rise far higher in our views
to the uncovenanted mercies of God; but suaded are not likely to occur again: of episcopal obligation than those “ vicars they have been the early workings of Bray," who, however they may deof an untried engine; the steam was nounce Dissenters, mix up the church with not properly set on and adjusted, the state, and would cease to be churchbut burst out in irregular action; it fathers
, and queens its nursing mothers.
men if kings ceased to be its nursing has now a regular and silent but Among our lay acquaintance we have powerful action, with due safety almost uniformly found that those who valves, and well-oiled machinery, assumed the highest claim to high churchand we doubt not will work safely manship were persons who had no true and efficiently. We have lamented tution ; who had never studied the questhat our sister church should have tion of primitive episcopacy; who in fact been subjected to those mournful bad never got beyond the low and secular controversies which have riven our notion of an Established Church, a do
minant church, a church lifting its mitred own ; her vine, as we have before head in courts and parliaments; and who remarked, seemed too tender to would be the first to despise it, if they
balanced, we know not any portion structure, but a holy temple to the of the Protestant American Church, Lord; rising peacefully and majesin which even a contested election tically without the sound of the axe for a bishop would be likely to oc- or the hammer, without strife or casion unseemly heats. We bless contention; not with the wood, hay, God for this increase of Christian and stubble, either of unsound docsentiment and Christian love. Our trine or worthless members, but brethren have very much land before with the gold, silver, and precious them to be possessed : may they be stones of hallowed converts and effectually guarded against the wiles scriptural faith. What we wish of the common enemy, the enemy and pray for our brethren, may the not of their or our church only, Great Head of his church also in but of all the churches of Christ of his mercy afford to ourselves ; a every name. Let them beware that prayer, which in no quarter will, they fall not out by the way; and we are persuaded, be more cordially believing as they do that their re-echoed than by the Right Revechurch is built upon the foundation rend friend whose discourses we have of apostles and prophets, Jesus introduced to our readers. Christ himself being the chief cor- Introduced them we have, in the ner-stone, let them strive to build most advantageous manner, by exupon it, not a fabric of human
tracting a whole discourse; but found it a small, scattered, despised, and neither our limits, nor the impapersecuted remnant amidst a rich and tience with which, we grieve to haughty community. Our American epis- say, sermon-reading and sermon. copalian friends are high, or rather we reviewing are regarded by the episcopal discipline where episcopacy has majority of readers, will allow of no civil privileges, no secular patronage, our analyzing the whole volume. no numerical distinction, no cathedrals, We shall therefore merely turn to no tithes, no endowments, no splendour; here and there a nothing but pure, primitive, scriptural authority. We honour them for their deed, may serve to shew to what school and if a similar state of things should ever we are to refer the Right Reverend unhappily occur amongst ourselves (we author. say " unhappily" advisedly, and from deep
The first discourse is entitled consideration of the vast religious benefits of an established church, even with some
“the Corruption of Human Nature.” attendant evils), it will be seen who are We copy two or three detached pas. the true churchmen, the conscientious sages which explicate the bishop's adherents to episcopacy, as a scriptural general view of the subject. institution. And here, if we must again allude to the invidious designations above “ The object of this discourse is not so specified, we have greatly rejoiced at the much to prove this doctrine, which is evi, affectionate zeal with which what are dently taught throughout the Scriptures, called the evangelical clergy have, of late as to explain it; and if the Lord vouch years especially, rallied round the bulwarks safe his blessing, to direct your thoughts of our church, and evinced their attach- to the proper inference. This doctrine, ment to even its minuter ordinances, prov- which is so essential to Christianity, and ing by their regularity in lesser matters, so decidedly viewed and taught by our how powerfully they felt in greater. We church, is, when rightly understood, agreedelight to witness the same spirit in the able to our reason, and confirmed by United States. On a late occasion, when our daily experience. The more true the our high-church orthodox friend, Bishop doctrine is, the stronger and more general, Hobart, strongly urged some curtailment of course, will be the prejudice of manof the service, not because he himself kind against it. By very many it is not wished it, but because unauthorised cur- candidly examined, and therefore not well tailments had often been made, and he understood.” p. 13. thought it better to give discretionary per- 6 We know that to those who are not mission than to allow of irregularity, what well taught in this doctrine, it seems are called the evangelical party, both in strange, and to those who are unrenewed, the house of bishops and in the diocesan it is offensive to be taught, that their naand general conventions, almost to a man tural mind is enmity against God, and opposed the measure, and it seems not that, without the sanctifying influence of likely to be carried.
grace, in them there is no good
thing. We see in those who make no this evident fact, a clear proof, that the profession of religion, and do not pretend carnal mind is enmity against God?' to believe in Christ, many amiable qua- “ This natural enmity is, we know, lities. Among pagans of ancient times, more evident in some than in others. Some as also among modern unbelievers, we people are possessed of such liberal sensometimes meet with shining virtues, timents, and such amiable dispositions, as noble sentiments, and generous principles, gain our admiration, and merit praise. But such as ought to make some Christians, such, however much by men admired, and indeed most Christians ashamed. In cannot receive the things of God' withteaching the doctrines of Christ we have out his grace. The seeds of pride and no desire, and we have no occasion, to enmity lie buried in our fallen nature. In deny, or to misrepresent what is matter different people, the growth is different, of fact, or evidently true. But we desire depending on a thousand circumstances; that what we do teach may be fairly un- but the same radical nature is common to derstood.” p. 14.
all, and the most amiable infidel needs a “ But still, after all these concessions, change of heart, no less than the notoit may be true, as the Scriptures teach, rious sinner. When a man, who has that in our flesh there is no good thing. lived what we call a good moral life, is What we do from selfishness or pride ;- converted to the Christian faith, the to give ourselves pleasure, or to advance change, to worldly people may be scarcely our interest or fame, however generous, visible; yet to himself and to all expeor noble, or good, it may seem to men, rienced Christians, it is very obvious. He and though it is according to worldly wis- now perceives that he has been blind and dom in a religious view, or in God's sight, sinful, and that his best deeds need foris not good.' The best works so done, giveness. He is now sensible that the not being according to the will, or re- Resh lusteth against the Spirit, and the vealed word of God, have in them the Spirit against the flesh.' Motives and nature of sin. The doctrine of Christ is, deeds, in which he once gloried, he now • To be carnally minded is death : but to views with shame. He feels a change : be spiritually minded is life and peace.' his motives, his views, his hopes, are difAnd this last, to be spiritually minded, is ferent : • Old things are done away: be• that which by nature we cannot have.' hold all things are become new.' It is a new principle infused into the heart “ The sanctification of the heart is, by the operation of Divine grace. Nature however, a progressive, and too often a can give us but one heart or one spirit, very slow work. It sometimes dawns for and that evidently is worldly and selfish." a season, and then seems almost to expire : pp. 16, 17....." Without the grace of at others it is wavering and scarce disGod, we do not love him, nor live to cernible. Some Christians are too ignohis glory. We have not from nature any rant of the doctrines of Christ, and others desire to commune with God, nor to be too neglectful of their duty. The lives of conformed to his will. Pride and vanity, some worldly people will rise in judgment, self-love and self-will, are natural to all and condemn many' who were once enthe human race. Who can deny that in lightened, and have tasted of the heavenly our filesh dwelleth an aversion to spiritual gift, and were made partakers of the Holy things ? Or, as the Apostle elsewhere Ghost, and have tasted the good word expresses it, that the natural man re- of God, and the powers of the world to ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of come.' There may, however, be the root God?' Who does not know and daily of a right faith, when the fruits are shamesee that the hearts of men must be fully deficient. Many who do not wholly changed before they can relish, or with fall away from their stedfastness, by their satisfaction converse, on such momentous careless living, 'give occasion to the eneand most interesting subjects, as God, mies of the Lord to blaspheme.' pp. and Christ, and the doctrines of his cross ? 18-20 The grace of God, and the aid and operation of his Holy Spirit, and the salva- Our readers will infer from these tion of our own souls by faith in Christ, are passages, the general character of subjects which we naturally dislike. And what is the cause of this aversion to things
our respected prelate's preaching. which ought of all things most to interest The doctrine of conversion to God, our hearts? We have not the like anti. of the atonement of Christ, of the pathy to any other subjects ; not even to sanctifying influences of the Holy things the most fanciful and absurd; not Spirit
, of gratuitous pardon, of juseven to things the most horrid and vile. We are naturally pleased with impro- tification by faith, and the whole bable, inconsistent and romantic tales : scheme of practical religion, are we delight to read and to hear of battles intimately connected with scriptural and murder, and the most abominable views of the fallen and helpless arts of human wickedness. It is only to spiritual things revealed from God, that condition of human nature; and we we have this strange distaste. And is not feel indebted to our pious author