« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Law, written in the reign of George the Third by Dr. Burn:"The truth is, that after the abolition of the papal power there was no branch of sovereignty with which the princes of this realm, for above a century after the Reformation, were more delighted than that of being the supreme head of the Church; imagining (as it seemeth) that all that power which the Pope claimed and exercised (so far as he was able) was, by the statutes abrogating the papal authority, annexed to the imperial crown of this realm; not attending to the necessary distinction, that it was not that exorbitant, lawless power which the Pope usurped that was thereby become vested in them; but only that the ancient legal authority and jurisdiction of the Kings of England in matters ecclesiastical, which the Pope had endeavoured to wrest out of their hands, was re-asserted and vindicated. The Pope arrogated to himself a jurisdiction superior not only to his own canon law, but to the municipal laws of kingdoms. And those Princes of this realm above-mentioned seemed to have considered themselves plainly as Popes in their dominions." But ever since the present race of Sovereigns has been established on the throne of these kingdoms, that is, since the year 1688, they have sworn at their coronation to preserve to the bishops and clergy, and to the churches committed to their charge, the rights and privileges which by law appertain to them.
Bishop Jewel, has left a very interesting story on record, with respect to our great Queen Elizabeth and this title of "Head of the Church." In a letter which this learned and pious Bishop wrote, in May 1559, to a friend living abroad; he says, "that the Queen would not be styled Head of the Church,' giving this grave reason thereof, that was a title due to Christ only and to no mortal creature beside.'"
"What then, is the Queen's supremacy, of which we hear and read so often? This we will endeavour to make clear in our next. R. P.
"CHURCH PRINCIPLES,—WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY IT ?”
No man can read a book, who has not first learnt his letters, No man can acquire a trade, unless he first masters certain rules, upon which all the rest of his skill in the business must be built. These are called "the rudiments" of the art; and they must be thoroughly known, as without an entire knowledge of them, success cannot be expected.
Now these rudiments are either learnt by a man's own experience, or from the practice of lessons taught by others.
The first way would be a very long and tedious process, and always an incomplete one; for nobody brings his own discovery to perfection. The second way, is the proper and usual process, and though it stands the second in point of order, yet it is the most natural way, because the best adapted to our nature, for we are beings, formed by our Almighty Creator, to depend one upon another, for the support of our bodies, and the instruction of our minds.
An apprentice who should refuse to be guided by the tried rules of business, would not only fail, but would be justly ridiculed for his failure.
A young man who wishes to become a carpenter, a glazier, a plumber, learns the catechism of the trade, which teaches him the beginnings of his future work, or " its principles."
When therefore, in sermons, or religious books, or in public writings of any sort, the expression " Church principles" is used, it means, those great truths which are the beginnings of all Christian instruction, which are the earliest plainest rules of our religious profession, which make the Society of Christians to be the Society called the Church, because it is bound and hela together by the due observance of them.
To read the Bible without first acquiring these principles, is like the learning of a trade, without the advantage of the instruction of those, who have made the trade the study of their lives.
It was intended that man should depend upon man, for the knowledge of spiritual things; as he is manifestly dependent on him, for his skill and ability in temporal things.
It is therefore a grave question, what these principles really are, for we can raise but a crooked house upon a crooked basement.
If the Author of our religion left behind Him a perpetual Church, that Church must be built on perpetual principles. It is no party word, the strength of our Christian calling must rest upon our right acquaintance with them.
There is a well known fable of a bear, who seeing by the shore an empty vessel, exclaimed against the impertinence of men, who thought their dull rules necessary to the management of it :
"So saying, with audacious pride,
His oar breaks short, the rudder's lost.
Alas! their folly is not unlike, who attempt without guide or knowledge to steer a course to heaven over these troubled waves of life; but how much more complete the discomfiture! how much more irretrievable the shipwreck! fools stand laughing by, or follow blindly on: no warning voice is heard above the mad confusion.
The vessel is driven farther and farther from the harbour of its refuge: Angels weep—
OUR EXHIBITION FOR 1851.
No. 1. An interior view of an English Church. What a feeling of soothing calmness, more than earthly, and often also of religious awe, comes over us directly we enter one of our old churches! It seems to put us at once into a holy frame of mind, and to prepare us almost irresistibly, with a suitable feeling of devotion, "to worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker." Now, how can we account for this? It is owing, doubtless, in a great measure, to what are called "the associations of the place;" which means, the thoughts of the sacred uses to which alone the church is put, and the memory of all the precious blessings we ourselves have from time to time received there, in prayers, psalms, hymns, lessons from Holy Scripture, sermons, and the life-giving or strengthening-and-refreshing grace of the two great sacraments of the Gospel. There, perhaps, we were baptized in infancy, catechized in childhood, confirmed in youth, received our first communion, were first convinced of sin, and brought to repentance, and comforted; there too we were united, once for all, to our dearest friend in the bands of holy wedlock, offered up thanksgiving for deliverance
under sorest trial, brought one by one our newly-born offspring to the sacred font, wept over nearest relatives and friends departed, whose dear bodies are now laid asleep " in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life," within the consecrated green adjoining. Even if it be not in fact the very same church in which these most touching and hallowing events of our past life have been vouchsafed to us; yet one church is so like another church,- "the same and not the same," as it has been beautifully said, " go where we will, ten thousand shrines, all one,”. there is such a family likeness between them,-the same nave, chancel, aisles, tower, altar, font, pulpit, and the like, that the same good and happy recollections are almost sure to come unbidden into our minds, whatever may be the church we enter; and these, together with the deep thoughts of Whose house it is, into Whose Presence we are brought there, how blessed, and yet how very awful a place it is, "none other than the gate of Heaven;"-all this is what we mean by its " holy associations." But is alone surely does not account for all the devout feelings which in such a place generally affect us. No; perhaps it will surprise some of you, to be told, that, no doubt, they are owing also, in a great measure indeed, to what, in one word, is called Church Architecture; that is, to the way in which the different parts of the building are constructed,—the shape of the arches, roof, and windows, the arrangement of the pillars, the height, size, and proportion of the church, and so on. Tender-hearted persons have been known to burst into tears, and have felt ready to cast themselves prostrate upon the ground, overcome with intense emotions of joy, and love, and wonder, simply on entering one of our old, grand, and beautiful cathedrals or minsters, such as Westminster, Canterbury, or York; and, in truth, these, and all our old churches, were built on certain principles, for the very purpose of exciting, in some degree, such feelings-feelings of a Christian kind-feelings, leading up the soul to heaven, and to God. These principles of church architecture were gradually found out, and brought to perfection by thoughtful men of old; and this at once explains why all our old churches are so much alike, and why they, and all our new ones which are built upon the same principles, have such a soothing and sanctifying effect upon the mind. Of course, no one will pretend, for a minute, that the same sort of effect is produced upon entering the four bare whitewashed walls, with their staring
sash-windows, of the meeting-houses, one so commonly sees. Therefore, it is not merely owing to the associations of the place. Indeed, dissenters are beginning to find this out, and to build their places of worship upon principles of ancient Christian architecture; in other words, more like our old churches.
Now, it is very desirable that everybody should know something, more or less, about Church Architecture. A great many persons of late years have studied out the subject for themselves, and have found great delight and edification in the task; just as those who understand drawing or music, can enter into the merits and enjoy the beauty of a good picture or melody, all the more on that account; so these persons have a nicer sense and a keener relish than others for the beauty of our old churches, and have so grown more and more to love them, and the worship within their walls; and one immense good practical effect of all this has been, the removal of late of many disfigurements and inconveniences from the interior of our churches, and a restoration of their ancient comeliness and suitableness to prayer and praise.
In another number, therefore, we propose to say something more, in a very plain way, about these principles of Christian Architecture.
THE PAINTERS' GALLERY.
CHAP. I.-SORROW AND SICKNESS.
"I am very thankful to see you, Sir;" said Mrs. Hooper to the clergyman of the parish, Mr. Pearson, as he, somewhat unexpectedly, appeared at the bedside of her son, a young man of three or four and twenty years of age, where she was watching in silent anxiety; "Thomas would not let me send for you at first, and now you see he is too far gone to take any notice of you, or any one else." And again, as the young man in restless unconsciousness threw himself about the bed, she gently drew him into his place, and arranged the sheet over
him, and wetted the cloths with which his head was bound.
Mr. Pearson was very much distressed. "I had no idea of this," he said: "I only just heard that Thomas was ill, and had no thought of finding him in such a state." "It is only since last night," said Mrs. Hooper, "that he has been so much worse. He first complained on Friday evening, when he home from work. I could not find out that there was much the matter with him, and the next morning he was better, and went to work again. But he could not stand it: he came home in the middle of the day, and said he had a bad head-ache, and pains in his limbs, and felt so very weak. He has been getting worse