Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

ject

. Mr. Gisborne writes :—"To Daubeny refused to read a clause draw up forms of public prayer on which, as he judged, was disorderly*. particular occasions falls within the This omission was notorious; but province of the bishops. In framing nothing was done by his diocesan. them, care should be taken to shun Omissions indeed are, I believe, not adulation; and if the events to which unfrequent. I am certainly myself they relate are of a political nature, acquainted with many clergymen all expressions should be avoided, who mutilate according 10 their as far as may be found practicable, several notions of propriely. Some which may be likely to wound the of them shelter their irregularity consciences of clergymen who are under Mr. Daubeny's sanction. to use them. In the time of the How far all this is defensible I know American war, when the sentiments not; but in the mean time the credit of the nation were so divided re- of the church at large is shaken. specting the justice of the contest, it People argue that the clergy are is probable that many clergymen of wantonly disobedient to their supeanquestionable loyalty and attach- riors; or that they secretly blush ment to their sovereign entertained for them, and are willing to conceal such opinions, or at least such doubts, their vulnerable parts by reading on the subject, as to feel great only such a portion of the state scruples in delivering the strong prayers as presents no open front to language adopted in the prayers the menace of an enemy, or to the then prescribed.” Duties of Men, kind suspicions of a friend. This ch. xi.- Mr. Gisborne's important unnatural state of things reminds statement reminds us of the embar- me of what was said during the agirassment felt by many persons at the tation of the Bullion Question ; Restoration; who, however they ex. During this depreciation of the curecrated the murderers of Charles the rency, all the blame falls upon GoFirst, were very far from adopting vernment; all the loss upon the nathe views of the royal party in the tion; and the Bank gains every contest with the parliament. They thing. Without asserting or denyhesitated to denominate the opposi- ing the justice of this tripartite statetion to the king's measures The Greatment, it is safe to aver that every Rebellion. The men referred to were degradation of the ecclesiasticat not plebeians and puritans; but no- power disgraces the bishops, injures blemen, and gentlemen of high con. the religious public, and aids the sideration, and upholders of episco- schemes of separatists. The church pal discipline. so far indeed were loses what she can least spare; and the paritans from being the main gains just nothing. pillars of the Usurpation, that seve- Reputation, Sir, is the life of a ral of their most distinguished leaders government. In proportion as this were active in restoring the royal declines, the exchequer is virtually government. The conduct of San- drained of its treasure, and the phycroft (above mentioned) under such sical strength of the empire is circumstances was impolitic and enervated. Now the credit of the feeble to an unaccountable degree. established church must necessarily Had he possessed but an average sink, if her servants have so faultershare of foresight, he might have ing a reliance on the sagacity of the suspected that influence is a treasure hierarchy, as always to examine the never to be lavished away; and that mandates they are required 10 obey. it is extremely unwise to waste in Such a serutiny is the germ of a kealth the resources of sickness. civil convulsion. If the church per

There does not appear to be any sist in constructing formularies which authority vested in the bench, where are fairly open to the criticism of by a clergyman is compelled to use these forms. Some years since, Mr. See Christian Observer for 1804, p. 46.

undergraduates and bishops' secre- forfeited and lost, to regain it may taries, numbers of her most sagacious require a more costly sacrifice than friends will regard ber determina- you may be able or ready to offer. tion as contributing, with other In adverting to the importance of causes, to a disastrous issue. If she public opinion, I must be underfall under such circumstances, she stood to signify those of our counwill not fall with dignity. The jury trymen who chose to think for them. will hesitate between lunacy and selves; and who, from a certain felo de se. I hope we shall not live degree of leisure, from occasional to walk over our mother's

grave,

intercourse with intellectual persons, to see her buried with ignominy, ex- from reading, and from discussion, posed to the insulting gaze of stran. are at least able to distinguish an gers, and serving thenceforward as assertion from an argument; and are a practical thesis for the declama. accustomed to refuse submission to tion of infidels and jesuits! It will commands not founded upon authoihen be too late for Mr. Simeon to rity which themselves recognise. publish sermons on the Excellence The class of persons here described of the Liturgy; and Dr. Marsh may is by no means to be despised either then gather the harvest of his exer- for numbers or information. Ed. tions. The fall of a great establish- mund Burke, somewhat less than ment will not be “the consequence twenty years ago, estimated their of neglecting to give the Prayeramount at eighty thousand; a forbook with the Bible;” particularly midable mass, and, in effect, the as no such neglect existed; but ra- masters of the empire. Supposing ther the consequence of neglecting the numbers by this period to have to clothe our occasional formularies swelled to one hundred thousand, with something which will not force let the friends of the established men of common information to talk church subtract from this aggregate loud and long about ecclesiastical papists, dissenters, and infidels; degeneracy.

ihree classes consistently pledged to I may be accused of attributing overthrow it. If the deduction be great events to feeble causes. I do only fifty thousand (I should make not, however, argue the ruin of the it more), there is still a farther defalchurch exlusively from the compo- cation in the very numerous classes sition of a prayer, but from the na- of neutral churchmen; or of persons tural and notorious practice of man. who, as supporters of the establish. kind to judge by a thing done of the ment, are perfectly inefficient, if doer of it. If this rule be correct, not virtual conspiraiors with its prothey will, in the present case, judge fessed enemies. Let the hierarchy by a prayer of the prayer-maker; then survey this immense host, and exactly as they measure a preacher in their future acts of government by his sermon; and exactly as they regard the principle of self-preser. take the dimensions of Lord Wel vaiion so far as not to commit the lington's military character by the reputation of the church to a feeble battle “ in the neighbourhood of agent. The lovers of our venerable Salamanca.” The mass of men, and establishment are miserably disparticularly men of the British heartened by seeing her practise the islands, are downright, practical phi- attitudes of a suicide. If her death losophers; reasoners a posteriori; be really desirable, she may obtain occasional blunderers to be sure, and it without sacrilegiously conspiring frequently palted out of a growl into with assassins. She bad better wait, a gambol ; but, in the main, they than anticipate. are unwilling long to support what I wish, in conclusion, to offer they cannot respect. To secure their some advice, noi perhaps unseasonfidelity, you must conimand their able, to many lay members of the veneration. If their esteem be once united church :--Do not too bastily

1

1

[ocr errors]

1812.] On eertain injudicious Modes of Speaking.

645 quarrel with the state forms of pray likely to be pernicious. The error, er, lest your devotion be lost in I fear, is not unfrequent; and criticism. An ill-constructed act of is in its consequences more misdevotion may be used with edifica-chievous than may be apprehended. tion; and a poor prayer is better To one instance of it I wish to call than none at all. You have no oc- your attention, and that of your casion, indeed, to call evil good; readers. nor to prefer an occasional form to When persons of the description the all but inspired Liturgy of your now termed evangelical (I use the church, or to the devouļ aspirations term for the sake of intelligibility) of Andrews, Patrick, and Taylor, inquire into the state of religion in of Baxter and Henry, Jenks and a distant parish, they are sometimes Bean. Your willingness to use im heard to ask, "wheiber the Gospel perfect forms may in the end produce has been preached there in the Estathe consequence of your þeing fa. blished Church.” I have known this Toured with such prayers as will, by question to be put by a clergyman their spirituality and unction, ele- respecting the parish of which he was vate and invigorate your minds, and abvụt to undertake the charge. It cause you to forget the ungrateful is a question 10 which, whatever be feelings formerly occasioned by sen- the parish concerning which it may timeats and expressions which, be proposed, and whoever may have while you could scarcely approve

been or may be the minister of that them, were yet made the instru- parish, there is but one answer to be ments of your own and your coun- returned :-" Unquestionably, the try's wellare. In the mean time, Gospel has been preached in the humbly endeavour to supply the Established Church there, and up to deficiencies you lament, by an in this very moment. Wherever the creased fervour in your private de- Liturgy of the Church of England yotion. Do not expect, in this is the medium of public worshipworld's vineyard, to gather fruit from a Liturgy holding prominently forth, every vige. The vintage at the best from the beginuing to the end, the is scanty. We have many, many, grand peculiarities of Christianity, privileges; and if we are too queru- and involving, as a part of the publous about matters of a secondary lic service, the regular reading of importance, we may forseit or neg- the Scriptures--there the Gospel is lect what we may never repossess, constantly and fully preached.” nor again value. Let us beware of On the example of unwarrantable wandering from a scrutiny of our language which I have stated, the selves in a pruriency to detect im- following remarks may not be irreperfection in others; lest (when the levant. discovery will be unavailing) we In the first place, such a question, find that we have never impartially or any other mode of speech analoexamined our individual character; gous to it (and it may fairly be asbut have purchased a familiarity sumed that a person who propounds with the moral failures of mankind such a question is likely io employ at the cost of our own salvation. at other times phraseology of the

MONITOR same cast), cannot but give extreme

offence to numbers of the members

of the Church of England who may Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. hear of it. Be it allowed that the

offence would be aggravated by preIt is a matter of concern to me judice; yet the ground for strong when I observe religious persons and decided disapprobation is just. adopting, whether deliberately or Suppose a clergyman, settling in a through inadvertence, modes of parish, to be known to have used speaking which in their effects are such language: how odious it must CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 130.

4 0

ple!

sound to the friends of bis prede- of the ordinance. But prayer and cessor! How unpleasant and how intercession and supplication and strange to a large portion, if not to thanksgiving constitute a scriptural the mass, of the parishioners! What ordinance also : and persons who sneers would it needlessly provoke have exercised their attention on the from the openly profane!' What subject in question can scarcely fail triumph would it needlessly excite to have perceived, that (through in the minds of enemies of the causes which I do not pause to state) Establishment! What secret aver- the latter ordinance is not merely sion, if not open hostility, would it undervalued in comparison with the rouse against this clergyman, among former; bat that by multitudes it is a portion at least of his surrounding accounted almost as nothing, unless clerical brethren! What drawbacks when, by being ministered extem and impediments would it cause, in poraneously, it acquires interest from a variety of ways, to the usefulness novelty, or from the idea that it is of his labours and of his exam. the result of immediate inspiration.

How injudicious to encourage an Io the next place, such language error in itself of great magnitude, is in the highest degree injurious to and obviously hostile to the pure the Liturgy and to the Establish- church to which we betong! ment. What is likely to be the Fourthly. Sach language is caleffect on the minds of the common culated to raise up and to cherish people, to say nothing of the higher pride, and pride of the darkest shade, orders, if they are impliedly given in the persons who indulge themto understand that they may have selves in it. If a clergynan be of been regularly attending for years the number, he is apt to enter on the public service of the Church of his ministry, not with the feelings England, praying her prayers, con- of one who is to be the helper of fessing in her confessions, adoring the faith of his fellow Christians, in her adorations, seeking for grace but with the impressions of a teacher according to her instructions, look- sent forth to evangelize a body of ing for justification in the manner heathen. He is in imminent danger and on the basis to which she directs of regarding the attaiirments and them, and that during all this time the exertions of the minister who they have heard nothing of the Go- preceded him (I assume them to have spel? Can our imagination easily been defective) as more defective represent to us a mode in whicha and less efficacious than was actually clergyman can nuore deeply wouod the case; to look upon the genethe church of which he is a mini- rality of his brethren in the vicinity ster, or a mode in which he can with a supercilious eye; and to beadd greater force to the arguments come the narrow-minded partisan of with which dissenters of different a' class in religion, instead of checlasses will labour, and on their own rishing a catholic spirit and manifestprinciples consistently, to alienate ing impartial justice towards those his flock from attachment to our from some of whose opinions he may public service, and to draw them differ. · And it may become a fearover to new pastors ?

ful question, whether, amidst his Thirdly. Such language manifest- superior knowledge and more active ly and powerfully tends to foster labours as a clergyman, his spiritual the extravagant preference, which pride may not be more offensive in perhaps most men, and certainly the the sight of Heaven, than even the İower orders, are disposed to give negligence and the guilty ignorance to preaching over prayer. Let me of his predecessor. not be suspected of undervaluing preaching. I fully acknowledge

A FRIEND TO FAIRNESS, and value the scriptural sacredness

Thy unwept heroes press the tomb; To the Editor of the Christian Obserder. And ruin endless seals thy vengeful doon!

Behold each trembling outcast ily, If the following lines will suit your To seek, beneath an unknown sky, purpose, they are at your service. Some rocky cleft by torrents torn, I am, &c.

APIS.

Some den concealed with ragged thorn,

His throbbing brow to bide; JERUSALEM LOST AND REGAINED. With joy he hails the cave forlorn,

A refuge from the bitter scorn HE dies! the Conqu’ror dies! Celestial love

Of unrelenting pride. With god-like warmth his bosom fires;

Ah, Salem! view the curse thy offspring For man he quits the realms above,

bear, For man he bleeds, for man expires!

Memorial of the blood-invoking prayer; Guilt, trembling, grasps the spear Unknowa, uupitied, o'er the world they stray, That cleaves his sacred side;

Where fear impels, or av'rice points the way. The direful stroke atfrighted seraphs hear,

Behold their panys ! in every feature trace And slariek, and deep in night their faces

The stamp that insulates the guilty race; hide.

Dejected, spurned, they curse the hated Forth bursts the crimson flood ! Hark! hark! with shouts that reod the sky, And sink, unwept

, to realms of torture and

light, Th’infuriate murd'rers wildly cry,

of night! "On us, on us descend his vengeful blood !” Loud howls the blast!--the frighted rocks

But, hark! what sounds of thrilling pleasure Yawn to their adamantine base ;

Burst from seraphic harps above! E’en Death his rigid grasp unlocks,

Catch! catch the soft, enchanting measure, And quits his cold embrace.

The chords of synpathy and love. His captives mark his wild despair,

Wildly sweet the echoes languish

To console the breast of anguish;
And, gladly bursting from the tomb,
Regardless of their mortal doom,

Softly they float the gale along.

For mercy is the song -
Glide through the luríd air.
The blushing sụn conceals his rays,

“ The Conqu’ror died, the Conqu’ror rose,

Rose to demand his starty crown,
And darkness sleeps profound,
Save when the lightning's momentary blaze

And kurl the pointed lightning down

With sacred vengeance on his foes. Glearns through the night, and rives the trerobling ground.

But Pity, gentle guest,

The inmate of his breast,
Beyond the skies
The shouts incessant rise,

Urged him the guilty race to spare ;
And pierce the eternal bars of light

Smiling, he heard her soft request, That guard Heaven's throne :

Then clasped the outcasts to his breast, E'en amidst the realms of night;

And spent the vengeful shaft in air. Where tortured furies groan,

Behold, in yon celestial clime, The sound is heard; fell demons list'ning

A lovelier Salem springs sublime! bend,

Through Heaven's eternal age, With wond'ring ear, to catch the infernal cry;

Unmoved, the hallowed walls shall stand,
While Hell's terrific caves reply,

Nor fear the ruthless warrior's rage,
With echoes that shall never die,

Or Time's relentless hand. " On us, on us bis blood descend!"

Hither, O Salem's wand'rer, come,

And claim thy long.forgotten home! It comes! it comes! the destined vengeance No more shall torturing fiends await falls !

Tly passage to th'infernal gate;
Vespasian's rusbless hand,

No more Heaven's vengeful thunders roll, .
Impelled by Heaven's command, To agonize thy guilty soul;
Hurls lightning on thy desecrated walls. But blooming seraphs shall expand
See! from imperial Rome

The portals of the promised land; The blood-stained eagles come! Shall sweetly calm thy parting groan, Thy virgins ravished fall! Thy infants Then wast thee to th' eternal throne, bleed;

Where, robed in never-fading charnas, Incarnate furies urge the deed ;

Thy own Messiah smiles, and calls thue to Thy domes ten thousand flames surround;

bis arms," Thy standards sweep the bloody ground;

« ForrigeFortsett »