Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

men and money, and Royal influence, to help our Church to carry on the great work of Christian missions efficiently, and shows how entirely he agrees even in our doctrine, by distinctly intimating his belief, that every National Church has a right to arrange its own rites and ceremonies.'

We see in the English ‘Statement of Proceedings,' a full concurrence in these truly Christian views, and a commencement of that manifested union which may, we trust, grow till it embrace all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. What a cleansing of the sanctuary would the restored spirit of Christian union in all true Churches of Christ really be! And thanks be to God that the Archbishop of Canterbury has laid foundations for it by these proceedings with Prussia, as well as by his recent Pastoral Letter regarding our own Churches; all tending to show that the power of real unity is attainable without that exact uniformity which it is equally contrary to Scripture, and all beneficial experience to aim at; it being neither practicable nor desirable.

The following quotation from the same Review gives the proceedings of our own Church :

Our most gracious Sovereign Queen Victoria, received and approved the plans with all that heartiness and interest which would certainly have animated her great predecessor, Elizabeth, of glorious memory. She issued her Royal license, and on Sunday, the 7th of November, 1841, four months after the date of the King's instructions, Michael Solomon Alexander was consecrated in the Palace Chapel at Lambeth. The terms of the agreement, and the various relations of the Bishop and Bishopric, are set forth in the statement of proceedings in the following words :

“ The immediate objects for which this Bishopric has been founded will appear from the following statement. Its ultimate results cannot be with certainty predicted : but we may reasonably hope, that under the Divine blessing, it may lead the way to an essential unity of discipline as well as of doctrine, between our own Church and the less perfectly constituted of the Protestant Churches of Europe, and that, too, not by the way of Rome; while it may be the means of establishing relations of amity between the United Church of England and Ireland and the ancient Churches of the East, strengthening them against the encroach

ments of the See of Rome, and preparing the way for their purification, in some cases from serious errors, in others from those imperfections which now materially impede their efficiency as witnesses and dispensers of gospel truth and grace. In the mean time, the spectacle of a Church, freed from those errors and imperfections, planted in the Holy City, and holding a pure faith in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, will naturally attract the notice of the Jewish nation throughout the world, and will centralise, as it were, the desultory efforts which are making for their conversion. It is surely impossible not to recognize the hand of Providence in the remarkable events which have lately happened in the East, opening to Christians, and especially to our own nation, (so signal an instrument in bringing those events to pass,) a door for the advancement of the Saviour's kingdom, and for the restoration of God's ancient people to their spiritual birthright.

" While the Church of Rome is continually, and at this very moment, labouring to pervert the members of the Eastern Churches, and to bring them under the dominion of the Pope, sparing no arts nor intrigues, hesitating at no misrepresentations, sowing dissension and disorder amongst an ill-informed people, and asserting that jurisdiction over them which the ancient Churches of the East have always strenuously resisted, the two great Protestant powers of Europe will have planted a Church in the midst of them, the Bishop of which is specially charged not to entrench upon the spiritual rights and liberties of those churches ; but to confine himself to the care of those over whom they cannot rightfully claim any jurisdiction ; and to maintain with them a friendly intercourse of good offices; assisting them, so far as they may desire such assistance, in the work of Christian education ; and pre

ting to their observation, but not forcing upon their acceptance, the pattern of a church essentially scriptural in doctrine, and apostolical in discipline.

“ The Bishop of the united Church of England and Ireland at Jerusalem is to be nominated alternately by the crowns of England and Prussia, the Archbishop having the absolute right of veto, with respect to those nominated by the Prussian crown.

“ His spiritual jurisdiction will extend over the English clergy and congregations, and over those who may join his church and

*

*

place themselves under his episcopal authority in Palestine, and, for the present, in the rest of Syria, in Chaldea, Egypt, and Abyssinia.

His chief missionary care will be directed to the conversion of the Jews, to their protection, and to their useful employment.

“ He will establish and maintain, as far as in him lies, relations of Christian charity with other churches represented at Jerusalem, and in particular with the orthodox Greek Church; taking special care to convince them, that the Church of England does not wish to disturb, or divide, or interfere with them; but that she is ready, in the spirit of Christian love, to render them such offices of friendship as they may be willing to receive.

" A College is to be established at Jerusalem, under the Bishop, whose Chaplain will be its first principal. Its primary object will be, the education of Jewish converts : but the Bishop will be authorized to receive into it Druses and other Gentile converts : and, if the funds of the college should be sufficient, Oriental Christians may be admitted: but clerical members of the orthodox Greek Church will be received into the college, only with the express consent of their spiritual superiors, and for a subsidiary purpose. The religious instruction given in the College will be in strict conformity with the doctrines of the United Church of England and Ireland, and under the superintendence and direction of the Bishop

“ Congregations, consisting of Protestants of the German tongue, residing within the limits of the Bishop's jurisdiction, and willing to submit to it, will be under the care of German clergymen ordained by him for that purpose.

Germans, intended for the charge of such congregations, are to be ordained according to the ritual of the English Church, and to sign the Articles of that Church : and, in order that they may not be disqualified by the laws of Germany from officiating to German congregations, they are, before ordination, to exhibit to the Bishop a certificate of their having subscribed, before some competent authority, the Confession of Augsburg.

" The rite of confirmation will be administered by the Bishop to the catechumens of the German congregations, according to the form used in the English Church.”

*

*

*

To God be glory for this blessed commencement of brotherly union in Established Churches! May it spread to every true Church of Christ, and every true Christian !

I have been the more induced to give this account, from what I must call the offensive review of the Anglican Bishopric at Jerusalem in the Christian Remembrancer for January 1845. It is the faithful following of Shimei of old, and abounds in cursing. 2 Sam. xvi. It is the faithful following of the Antichrist of the New Testament, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God—and yet has all deceivableness of unrighteousness. At its commencement it quotes Mr. Newman's curse, "May that measure utterly fail and come to nought, and be as though it had never been !' and justifies it as • in accordance with piety and deep thought,' and yet expresses itself called upon to abound in expressions of loyalty and affectionate submission towards their rulers,' and as ruinous and sinful, 'to speak lightly in censure and dispraise of the acts of those who sit in the seat of government over us.' It closes the whole article with repeating Mr. Newman's curse. Surely here the unclean spirit out of the mouth of the false prophet is manifest enough. We will not return cursing for cursing, nor railing for railing. We will rather adopt David's words, Let him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day. The Christian will know how to read all the sneers and reproaches gathered from all quarters, to throw obloquy on this most truly Christian, holy, and blessed measure of the Protestant governments of Prussia and England, and on the simple, straightforward, and Christian character of Bishop Alexander; for the Christian bas much on his heart the last of the beatitudes of our Redeemer. Matt. v. 10–12. The combination of mock humility and spiritual pride; of mortification of the body, and indulgence of spiritual high-mindedness ; of making an idol of Catholicity, and sacrificing to it the best interests of Christ, both among Jews and Gentiles, must be peculiarly offensive to Almighty God.

The Scotch Episcopal Church has manifested the same spiritual

pride and persecuting spirit, in its proceedings against the faithful servants of Christ. See my friend Mr. Drummond's very useful and valuable ‘Historical Sketch of Episcopacy in Scotland.'

II.

EXTRACTS FROM LORD ASHLEY'S SPEECH ES ON THE TEN HOURS FACTORY BILL IN 1844, AND THE CALICO PRINT WORKS IN 1845.

It appears to me a very weighty duty on all faithful Christian ministers and Christians through our country to support the benevolent, the patriotic, and the truly Christian measures of Lord Ashley, for the amelioration of the Working Classes of society. This is emphatically a divinely ordained way for national safety and prosperity. No policy is more deep, wise, and comprehensive, for our national welfare, than the Christian policy of considering the poor. The emptiness and vanity of all other plans, if this be neglected, will soon be apparent. Such true Christian patriots should have then our cordial and full sympathy, our self-denying regard, and our constant prayers. The difficulty of standing alone for any truth was felt by one of old. 1 Kings xix. 10.

In his speech on the Ten Hours Factory Bill, March 15, 1844, Lord Ashley proved at length, that the tendency of improvements in machinery had been to supersede the employment of adult males, and substitute in its place the labour of children and females, and the enormous evils that followed, in the destruction of all female duties at home, and of all domestic happiness ; the dreadful deterioration of the female character, and the impossibility in such circumstances of carrying on Christian education and religious instruction; the same effects following the same causes, in France, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Prussia, and America.

Some of the closing sentences of this speech, I add here—for the House of Commons did refuse to give the relief, and the victory has yet to be achieved.

« ForrigeFortsett »