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of life and death, both teach us to so that when our days shall have know our end, and dispose our been numbered, and our footsteps hearts to wisdom. May he give us shall stumble on the dark mountains, grace in entering upon a new year, we may look backward with joy and to enter upon a new life, to reform forward with hope ; and have so what is amisg, to supply what is passed through things temporal, that wanting, to perfect what is good; we finally lose not the things eternal,
ON MATT. V. 19.
by him, quicunque recte explicaverit ;
must we not, therefore, understand To the Editor of the Remembrancer. the word break in the English verSir,
sion, as meaning to explain ? we can It has often excited my surprise, then give what I conceive a right that according to the usual interpre. interpretation of
of our Saviour's tation of the above-mentioned verse words, “ that he who expounds the of St. Matthew's Gospel ; the first law of God to the conversion of sinpart of it is either rendered a con- ners may have his reward; but that he tradiction, or we are led to infer that who shall do and teach, who holds an erring teacher may be greater up the perfect law for the guidance than the forerunner of Christ, (see of others, and with boly fear lest be Luke vii. 28.)
himself should be a castaway, turns A learned and valuable friend has the weapons of his warfare against referred me to my Greek Testament his own corruptions, shall be called and Lexicon, which I think you will great in the kingdom of heaven." allow solves the difficulty: now ac
Your's, &c. cording to Schleusner, has the sense
C. of explico, and as ian bon is translated
Sketches of the Ecclesiastical His. the writings of Collier and Fuller. tory of England.
He admits that the former wrote
with sufficient dignity, elegance, No. 1. INTRODUCTION. and spirit, and his non-juring at« THERB are only two writers of tacbments were, in reality, his only the general history of our Church,” crime. The latter he regards as says Bishop Warburton in his Di. having composed with better tem. rections for the Study of Theology, per and on better principles, and “ wbo deserve the name of histo- with sufficient care and attention ; rian, Collier the nonjuror, and Ful- but the sarcastic, the petulant, the Jer the jester." This contemptuous acrimonious Warburton, could not mention of persons whose merits pardon Fuller's harmless pleasan. were perceived and acknowledged, tries; and they are denounced as is too much in the common style of unsuitable to a grave and important its extraordinary author, and ought subject. not to prejudice his readers against Nevertheless, the substance of
the Bishop's remark is correct. art of adorning his narrative; bis He had reason to complain of the work is the fruit of much patient defective state of the Ecclesiastical research, and contains many sound History of Great Britain, and no and useful observations. But it is work has appeared since the date of not, nor ever can be popular. The his Directions, which is in any de- plan is fundamentally bad, and the gree calculated to remove his com- execution is not such as to make plaint. The theological student is amends for the original error. On still compelled to wade through the these joint grounds it may be safely curious but unimportant digressions said, that his History of England of Collier, and to surrender his will never convey general instrucgravity to the witticisms of Fuller, tion to his countrymen on the ecclebefore he can cultivate a closer ac- siastical affairs of their nation, quaintance with the affairs of the Still less is to be expected from Church, than that which is brought Rapin, who takes a decided part about by our civil historians. And against the Clergy, and in favour of the common reader, whose appe- the Non-conformist; or from Hume, tite is satiated and spoiled by the who with more impartiality sneers endless novelties of modern litera- at all parties alike. And if that ture, has never yet been furnished deplorable ignorance upon Church with such a view of Ecclesiastical affairs, which has given rise to so events as may instruct without dis. many rash speculations and misgusting, and interest without de- chievous actions, is ever to come ceiving them. Is it not absurd and to an end, the change must be efuseless to expect that the volumes fected by a considerable addition to which Warburton censured with the stock of ecclesiastical inforsuch unnecessary severity, will ever mation, and by a general habit of communicate a knowledge of the resorting to it. The errors of many progress of Christianity to the great fashionable opinions might be exmass of our countrymen? Their in- posed without serious difficulty, if formation upon other branches of a foundation could once he laid in the history of their country, is not a sound knowledge of the past. derived from the original and con. And the spirit and necessities of the temporary writers, but from the age induce a confident expectation abridgment which modern authors that many years will not elapse behave supplied. The Ecclesiastical fore the completion of some underHistory of Great Britain can hardly taking of the sort. be said to have been abridged; and In the hope of contributing to the consequence is that a large pro- what has been done, or is doing, portion, even of well educated men, upon these subjects, it is intended know nothing concerning the pro- to furnish the readers of the Regress of religion in their native membrancer with a series of Sketches country; or bave imbibed their little of the Ecclesiastical History of learning from the short and unsatis- Great Britain. A regular and confactory notices furnished by a Rapin, tinued narrative would require more a Hume, or a Henry: when weary room than can be spared for such a of the details of war, politics, and purpose ; and biography, with all commerce, they wish to diversify her charms, is apt to give a broken their narrative by moral reflections. and disjointed view of events, which Of these three writers, the last, Dr. ought to be contemplated in a reHenry, is the only one in whom a gular succession. The middle path, member of the Church of England therefore, is the most inviting ; has any reason to confide; and the and the principal purpose of the worthy Doctor did not possess the present introduction, is to state in what direction that path will be his volumes unfold, and the remarks marked out, and at what rate it will which his reflection suggests. They be traversed.
recur at every distinguished epoch, The most important use of Eccle- and are answered with greater or siastical History, is to exhibit the less precision according to the fulactual consequences which Chris- ness and fidelity of the contemtianity has produced in its various porary narratives from which the stages, and under its various forms. reply is drawn. The first obvious And this cannot be accomplished division in the bistory of British without taking into consideration Christianity, consists of the period the circumstances and character of during which the island was subject the people to which it was preached, to Roman power. And in no part the purity or corruption with which of the whole, is it more difficult to its doctrines were delivered, and draw satisfactory conclusions. The the favourable or unfavourable po- second extends from the conversion litical occurrences by which its pro- of the Saxons to the establishment gress was accelerated or retarded. of priestly power in England, and of Thus the religion and morals of the Papal power over both the priestoriginal inhabitants of Britain, their hood and the laity; the third to the grievances and comforts, their prin- Norman Conquest; the fourth to ciples and their practices, must all the time of Wickliffe ; the fifth to be ascertained with considerable ac- the Reformation. In each of these curacy before a fair estimate can be divisions the actual condition of the made of the consequences of primi- general body of the people must be tive Christianity. It will also be considered, and as far as possible, requisite to take a view of what is ascertained. The lessons which signified by primitive Christianity, were communicated to them under otherwise it will neither be possible the style and title of Christianity, to apply a similar remedy to a simi- must be examined, and their comlar disease, should the consequence parative and positive merits fixed. appear to have been beneficial; nor The disturbing or accelerating forces on the other hand, to shun the which resulted from political interancient mode of treatment, and forence, must be measured; and substitute a new one in its place, the result of the whole summed up. if it produced a bad effect. And a Nor should the reader be induced, third subject of enquiry is thus ren- by these remarks, to anticipate a dered indispensable; we must learn mere series of essays and dissertathe precise quantum of improvement tions. The knowledge which has or deterioration which has followed just been described as the proper the preaching of the Gospel; and end of ecclesiastical history, may that portion of each which is attri- be communicated much better by a butable to other causes, must be simple narrative, than by a highly carefully separated from the rest. ornamented or closely reasoned The state of the inhabitants of this treatise. If the principal actors in island was materially changed in each successive period are brought the interval that elapsed between forward upon the stage, and sufferthe Roman and Saxon invasions. ed to speak for themselves, if their Was this, then, on the whole, a
and their failures are change for the better or the worse? succinctly described, and their inand what part of the good is solely Auence upon public transactions referable to civilization, or what part explained, every purpose of genuine of the evil to luxury and riches ? history may be secured, without
These are questions which the compelling the common reader to ecclesiastical historian is bound to labour through an argument which elucidate, by the events which he is unable or unwilling to master;
or requiring such a sacrifice of time and corrected by a careful reference and application, as none but the to original authorities. The suc. professed student is at liberty to cess of such an enterprize must make.
prove highly gratifying to our nuThis, therefore, is the plan which merous friends, and canyot be unit is now intended to pursue. The important to the public at large. readers will be presented in the Its failure may serve to stimulate next, and in each successive Num- abler men to undertake a task, ber, with a sketch of some distinct which should never be lost sight of, and important portion of British until it has been adequately comEcclesiastical History, digested and pleted. abridged from standard writers,
NEW CHURCH IN KINGSWOOD Under such circumstances, it can FOREST.
be readily conceived with what joy The wickedness and gross immora- the neighbourhood of Kingswood lity of the inbabitants of Kingswood heard the glad tidings of the proForest, have been for years prover: the institution of a Society to assist
jected liberality of Parliament, and bially notorious, It has been a matter of much surprise, that within in particular cases, the building of so short a distance of the two po: cherish the hope that at no distant
churches; this enabled them to pulous towns of Bath and Bristol, a people should exist very little re- period, the cheerful sound of the moved from a state of barbarism. Sunday chime would for the first Though various causes may have time be heard in Kingswood Forest. contributed to this lamentable fact, Guided by the kind directions anu perhaps it can be traced to none bo
unwearied exertions of the Bishop well as a disregard and profanation of Gloucester, no sooner was the of the Sabbath; the want of a resi- Bill passed in Parliament, and the dent Minister, and the means of Society formed, than a subscription public worship. The long neglect- was set on foot in Bitton, to meet ed state of this large population, has what might be granted either by the for years been lamented by every
building Commissioners or the Sofriend to religion and the Establisb. eiety, but with little prospect of ment. Great things were done for success in such a poor neighbourthis people by Wesley and Whitfield,
hood, At length, however, 3001. whose labours in this extensive field
were raised *, and with this small are well known; though the good ef- offering the public bodies were so. fects of their institutions, are under licited. The Rev. Mr. Macdonald, stood perhaps, by none better than the patron and incumbent of the pathe immediate neighbourhood. But rish, had previously in the most listill hundreds, indeed thousands, beral manner, offered to appropriate were a sabbatb-day's journey from a certain part of the tithes towards their parish church at Bitton; and the crowded congregations of the dissenters prevented admission to num
The amount of the private contribu
tions has since been increased to 9001.; bers besides; and very many, sel. but still there is a deficiency. The land dom if ever, put their feet over the was very dearly bought; and other unerthreshold of any place of worship. pected demands have been made.
an endowment. The application to fixed upon for cousummating this the building Commissioners, and very important undertaking. On that the Society, was attended with day the Bishop of Gloucester pergreater success than was expected, formed the office of consecration", and their assistance will long be re- dedicating it to the Holy Trinity, membered with gratitude ; for the which name the Church now bears. one immediately voted 2,143l. and It was a day that will not be easily the other 7001. Furnished with forgotten by the old and young of these means, preparations were Kingswood Forest. It was well said immediately made to begin the in a provincial paper, that “the work; and on the 9th June, 1819, service had every thing connected the first stone was laid by the Bi- with it, to render it as solemn and shop of Gloucester, who happened interesting as any we have ever to be in the neighbourhood. On witnessed.” A very great concourse this occasion his Lordship address- of people was assembled on the oced Mr. Macdonald, as Vicar and casion; and though the Church is patron, congratulating him and his calculated to contain one thousand parish on the commencement of a persons, (whereof nine hundred have building, which he hoped would be free sittings,) it is supposed that the means of reforming hundreds twice that number was present; beand thousands in that notoriously sides a great many who could not wicked neighbourhood ; he prayed gaiu admittance. The day was unthat it might be ever hallowed and usually fine; and considering the frequented; that the pure word of very unsettled weather at that time, God might ever there be preached, heaven seemed to bless the poor and God's blessing attend the mi- people of Kingswood on the ocpisters, who both in life and con. casion, and to approve the work of versation might be bright examples that memorable day. No persons of their sacred profession. On the were admitted into the Church besame day, his Lordship perambu. fore the Bishop, except the Clergy, lated and pointed out a line of de.' (who were in waiting to receive his marcation for that part of the pa. Lordship,) and the children of the rish, to be attached as an ecclesi. Cock-road t, and other schools in astical district to the new church, the neighbourhood, who had been according to the provisions of the previously trained to be the leading Act.
singers of the day. The Bishop, After the auspicious commence- soon after eleven, was received at ment on this day, when all expected the gates of the yard, by the Church- . that the superstructure would shortly wardens, who conducted his Lordfollow, a gloom for some months ship to the west door of the Church, hung over the undertaking, arising where the Clergy, and other prinfrom difficnlties with regard to the cipal inhabitants were in waiting. titie of the site ; nor was it till the following May, in 1820, that the work proceeded. A neat, plain
* It appears by Burn that the form of
Consecration never received the Royal Gothic church and tower, were at assent. Would not this be a very proper length raised of that beautiful mate. time for it to be authorized, and printed rial so abundant in the neighbour. by the King's printer. hood of Bath. The building was
+ Cockroad is that particular part of completed at the appointed time, and Kingswood, noted for being the rendezTuesday the 11th Sept. last, was
vous of the most notorious characters of the country. About eight years ago, a day
school was established there, supported By the late census, this district con principally by Dissenters ; it is numerously tained 3,692 souls, the total of the whole attended, and lias been productive of much parish being 7,171.
good. REMEMBRANCER, No. 37.