« FöregåendeFortsätt »
attainment of knowledge: by laying open those stores of useful information, which are the result of God's blessing bestowed on his faithful servants; who have exerted and improved the talents entrusted to them, in the study of his holy word; to the glory of his name, the satisfaction of their own consciences, and the general benefit of mankind.
“ Nor are we to be charged with any violation of Christian charity, when we refuse to join with those, who separate themselves from our communion, in prosecuting their imperfect plans. That virtue is surely, better exhibited in pointing out to others the right way, than in suffering them to be misled into the wrong. We must admit no compromise for the truth. And unless we are prepared to relinquish, not only the guidance and authority of our Church, but the repeated admonitions of our Lord and his apostles, expressly warning us against false doctrine, and to consider beresy and schism as idle words; we must not, under the specious pretext of liberality, bear a part with them, who, we have reason to fear, are under the guilt of these sins ; nor virtually assist in pro. pagating their opinions, by consenting to the exclusion of our own." P. 17.
Let these sentiments be weighed in the balance of Scripture and of a sound understanding, and they will be found.conformable to both.
ART. XIV. A Sermon, preached in the Lower Church at Has
tings, Susser, on Thursday, July 11, 1816, at the Annual Meeting of the Rape of Hastings District Committee of the Siniety för priimoting Christian Knowledge. By Edward Nares, D.D. Rector of Biddenden, Kent, and Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford. 8vo.
pp. 37. Cadell and Davies. 1816. WHATEVER comes from the pen of Dr. Nares will never be deficient either in solidity of kpowledge, or in elegance of taste. The Sermon before us is well calculated to preserve the reputation of its author. It is both a judicious and an impressive Discourse on a question of all others the most important at ihe present juncture of ecclesiastical affairs. The claims of the Church of England, and of her asent and representative, the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, are strongly and persuasively en forced. With the following passage we were much pleased..
o That the above-mentioned sad consequences have ensued from the divided state of the world, daily experience is sufficient to shew. Happy am I to be able to insist upon it, as the grand characteristic
of this association, that it has ever in view the peace of mankind, and the establishment of such rules of life and action, as in this mixed government must constantly be of the first importance to society, and which are strictly founded on the truest principles of Christian morality. Such are, a just submission to established authority; diligence in our respective callings; fidelity in all engagements and trusts; humility suited to the stations allotted us by Providence; resignation under all distresses : the restraint of unruly passions in all conditions ; and general benevolence to all our fellow-creatures. We seek not to disturb the peace of society, but to promote it; not to divide but to harmonize the minds of our fellow Christians ; not to sow the seeds of disunion between a minister and his flock, or between neighbour and neighbour, but to cement and strengthen the bond which holds them together. Our sphere of activity has been largely increased of late by the multiplication of national schools, and God grant that our means may always be such as to ineet the many demands that must be made upon our funds.
“ We have received from our ancestors a glorious charge. The visible circumstances of the world have not lessened certainly, but, in my humble opinion, greatly increased the importance of our exertions, in the cause of the Society, whether we regard its objects or its probable consequences. Its objects I have enumerated; its sa. lutary consequences may be conjectured from the peace and harmony that might ensue, if all men would be content, in these times of discord and confusion, to look to the established Church as, what it truly is, the parent Church of the realm, to which every naturalborn subject of the state, owes filial attachment and affection, and to which, in the multiplicity of discordant opinions prevailing amongst us, he would do well to adhere; for while her chance of being wrong (so to speak for the present) can be no greater than that of any other particular church, her chance of being right is peculiarly great; her doctrines and her discipline having both un. dergone many fiery trials, and as the just result of all those trials (and therefore we may conclude through an irresistable persuasion of their purity and perfection) been stamped with the highest sanctions the state could confer on them. A Church, in short, which however disguised and disfigured for a period, through its accidental connection with the Church of Rome, was truly apostolical in its origin, and with great care restored to its primitive purity, at the memorable æra of the Reformation ; at the expence of the blood, not of any wild, fanatical, or superstitious martyrs, but of such honest, plain, and good men us Cranmer and Latimer, Ridley and Hooper; which has numbered since amongst its sons and its warmest friends many of the brighest characters for learning, piety, in, tegrity, and virtue, that ever adorned our pative land; which is a main branch of our glorious constitution ; which has been the admi. ration of foreign churches unequivocally expressed ; which is the Church of all others that our immediate forefathers venerated ; in coinmunion with which they gloried to live, and were content to die.? P. 26.
ART. ART. XV. A Sermon, preached at Wakefield, May 30, 1816,
at the Visitation of the Rev. Archdeacon Markham, M.A. By the Rev. C. Bird, M.A. Reclor of High Hoyland.
pp. 21. 4to. Longman and Co. 1816. WE are happy to introduce this discourse to our readers as one of no ordinary merit. Mr. Bird takes as his text, I Cor. xii. 8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to. another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. The preacher considers first the different ministrations exercised by the Apustles, the last of which he thus excellently describes. ...“. There was still another ministration exercised by the Apostles, in their character of pastors and teachers of those congregations which they occasionally visited. This office, which is called teach. ing, or doctrine, consisted in catechising the young and ignorant, after their conversion and baptism, in the principles and duties of the Christian profession; and was usually practised by stationary pastors, appointed by the Apostles to the superintendance of pare ticular Churches. But it was, also, upon occasion exercised, as it has been already observed, by the Apostles themselves, in those Churches which they successively visited in their progress. Of this evangelical teaching, incomparably the finest models are to be found in the discourses and parables of our blessed Lord. In these he taught the multitudes their duties to God and their fellow-creatures generally ; and to their relations in particular ; to their superiors, their equals, their inferiors, and enemies, in the most apposite simiJitudes, and under images the most familiar and impressive. And, to awaken the attention of the multitudes still more to his teaching, he warned them, that • IVhosoever shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven ; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven *,' Yet, from a neglect of this warning, and a growing distaste for such teaching, Christianity is degenerating daily among us from a system of duties to a system of tenets. And the pastor, who perseyeres in making the preaching of his Saviour the model of his own, is rebrobated as a propagator of heathen morality-a disciple of Zoroaster or Plato, rather than of the divine Jesus," P. 8.
Mr. Bird then proceeds to consider the qualifications for a Christian teacher. In this part of his subject, he takes an opportunity to viudicate the cause of literature, scholarship, and science, in the Clergy of our National Church.
« We are at liberty also to call to mind, and to form a just estimate of, the important services which learning, combined with piety, has
* Matt. y. 19.
rendered to Christianity, in every period, since its establishment, and more particularly to the reformed, protestant' communion. What other instrument, since inspiration, and its miraculous signs are withdrawn, could have been powerful enough to beat down the consolidated strength of the Roman hierarchy, and the inveterate bigotry, and idolatry of the laity, but that union of erudition and piety which shone forth in the Wickliffes, Cranmers, Jewels, Läti. mers, Ridleys, and other distinguished champions, and martyrs of the truth, whom our Church gratefully enumerates among her first reformers and founders ?
“ And, at a subsequent period, when that religious liberty, for which they had so successfully contended, and so profusely bled, ran wild into licentiousness, and fanatical phrenzy, it was the enlightened faith, the rational zeal, the well grounded conviction and constancy of Juxon, Hall, Taylor, and a cloud of learned and pions divines, which maintained the contest, amidst persecution and penury, bonds and banishment; till at length the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God *,' unsheathed by learning, and guided by discretion, triumphed over the hydra of fanaticism, as it had formerly done, over the monster of papal tyranny, and superstition.
« Or to descend to times nearer our own, and to events, still fresh in the memory of many who hear me. When infidelity and sedition combined their united efforts, to subvert the foundations of religious faith and civil society, who can refuse to acknowledge the advantage derived to this country, from having in its bosom, an established and educated ministry, ready and able, on every emergency, to give a reasonable account of the faith that is in them?' It was therefore, that, although an infidel philosophy had to boast a Voltaire, a Condorcet, a Hume and a Gibbon, among its advocates -men, it must be confessed, adorned and fortified with all the advantages of science and literature, yet, accomplished and formid. able as they were, our venerable and learned establishment was able to single out from her own ranks, men not less distinguished by literary accomplishments, and scientific attainments; not less pró. found in research, ingenious in argument, and eloquent in language
Hurd, Watson, Paley, Burke; who were able, by their extensive erudition, to meet the adversary on every fresh ground he took : whether he chose to dive into the remotest depths of antiquity, in search of historical means of offence ; whether he sought to set the scripture in opposition to itself, or the works of God at variance with his word, our defenders were every where prepared to frustrate his attacks, and guard every approach to the sacred citadel.
“ The authority, therefore, of the heaven-taught Apostles; the example of those studious and pious men, who were, partly, the reformers and founders, partly, the advocates and defenders of the
* Eph. vi. 17.
protestant faith-the very spirit itself of our venerable Church, calis aloud on her 'sons to stand forward, as their predecessors have done, in the very foremost ranks of those, who have made literature and science subsidiary to the diffusion of religious knowledge, and to the maintenance of the faith which wils once delivered unto the saints *.' That by whatever instrument the truth is assailed; whether by the perverted philosophy of the literary infidel, or the mistaken zeal of the unlettered schismatic, or the injudicious inteference of seeining friends, defenders may never be wanting, ready and able, to protect her cause, and support her authority. So if it should please God to grant the enemies of our establishment a temporary triumph, by disguising from her members the true source of the danger, or blinding her eyes to her real interests, then being well satisfied, by patient and strict examination, of the certainty of those things that are believed among us, we may the more confidently hope, through divine help, to follow those noble examples of doing and suffering, with which the history of Christianity abounds; and prove ourselves not unworthy to be the successors of those saints, and martyrs, to whom we owe the profession of a pure and protestant faith. · “ But if, as we rather pray and hope, it shall please God to extend his accustomed protection and favour to this vineyard, which his saints have planted by their labour, and watered by their blood, and which, by his blessing, has yielded such an abundant increase of rational piety, and religious knowledge, then will the sense of the arduous duties they have to perform, the great responsbïility attached to their office, the various qualifications requisite for its due discharge, effectually guard its ministers from degenerating into indolence and supineness. Then will it prompt then, not only to be instant, at all seasons, in teaching and exhorting their own hearers, and in resisting with meekness those that oppose themselves, but to be diligent in examining the grounds of their own faith, and in deriving their doctrines from the original sources; that knowing for themselves the certainty of those things, they may, with greater confidence and sincerity, persuade others.” P. 18.
We recommend this discourse to our readers as a manly and a dignified apology for the education, the doctrine, and the prac. tice of the Clergy of the Established Church. We trust that they will long deserve the character which they still possess, and which Mr. Bird so powerfully defends.
* Jude iii.
MONTHLY LIST OF PUBLICATIONS.
DIVINITY. Sermons, by the late Charles Wesley, A.M. Student of Christ Church, Oxford, with a Memoir of the Author, by tbc Editur. 8vo. 7s.