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secuted dissenters. Listen to the mild terms in which the “ Congregational Magazine” remonstrates :
“Because their church has the patronage of power, is she privileged to revel in wickedness ; to be rampant when her very position should render her meek and forbearing, and to arrogate to herself the right of tearing and mangling the reputation of others, whose only crime is, that they assert their prerogative to be men and Christians ?”
So, then, because “ Fraser's Magazine” criticises a dissenter's book, the “Congregational Magazine” is to say, that the church “revels in wickedness,” is “rampant,” and “arrogates the right of tearing and mangling the reputation of others !” It seems, then, that the works of dissenters, even if written for party objects, and full of falsehoods, must not be criticised by churchmen ; for if they are, the church “revels in wickedness.” As to Dr. Reed's book, an American, who was spoken of to the writer of these lines as having most extensive information as to American religious statistics, told him that the difficulty was, not to say what was false in the book, but what was true. It will, ere long, be fully exposed by authentic documents from America. It is hardly worth while to say, that the reviewer of Dr. Reed thinks his eloquence first rate. This is very likely an honest opinion; and if one were to hint that the style is at once vulgar and bombastic, of course the church would “revel in wickedness.” But take one more specimen of this writer's charity :
“ Proud churchmen, of high and low degree, are personages with which the history of our country has made us but too well acquainted; and we doubt not the legitimacy of the present generation. So gigantic is their ambition, that nothing can satisfy it but the despotism of two worlds. Earth has no privilege but for their obsequious votaries; and heaven is interdicted from receiving the objects and the victims of their intolerance. Their palmy days, it is true, are gone. Fortunately their power is not equal to their malice, and therefore · Congregational worthies,' instead of suffocating in the foul atmosphere of a pestilential dungeon, or presenting the interesting spectacle of an auto-da-fé at the stake, have only patiently to endure the mendacious scurrility of hireling newspapers, the fabulous inventions of malignant renegadoes, or the cold-hearted and scandalous libels, drawn up in the spirit and almost in the form of an indictment, in such meek and pre-eminently Christian publications as · The Church of England,' and · Fraser's' Magazines."
This is the gentleman who complains of want of courtesy towards dissenting writers!
As a specimen of the reasoning by which the writer seeks to mislead his readers the following passage, which follows a calculation tending to shew that there are not above sixty attendants at each of 6308 churches in England, deserves notice :
“ Thus it appears that there are 6308 parishes in England alone, that have only an average population of 120 souls each. Now it must be remembered, that about three-tenths of that number are children under ten years of age, and other twotenths are made up of the sick and the aged; it is therefore obvious, that if we assume that all the villagers are disposed to go to church—but, alas ! how unlikely an assumption !—there will not be an average of more than sixty persons who can attend public worship in each of these parish churches. We should like to learn the average number of those who do attend them. Now we know that in the rural districts there are scores of places which do not appear in our lists, where the gospel is preached to more than sixty persons weekly; and we leave every impartial inquirer to judge, whether our little chapel congregations may not take their stand beside the little congregation of more than six thousand churches of the establishment ? We therefore are disposed to believe, that were all the sections of the nonconformist body in England to return all the places which are used by them exclusively as places of public worship, they would find that the gross number, both of places and attendants, would approximate very near to, if not actually exceed, that of the established church. If this assumption be correct, we come to the conclusion, that the voluntary principle in religion has enabled the nonconformists to provide by their ministers an equal amount of religious instruction with that afforded by a richly-endowed establishment, while they have, at the same time, been burdened with its legal, yet unrighteous imposts.”
That is, we assume what we like (scores of chapels, of which no account is given, for example); and if what we assume is true, then what we wish to prove is proved.
One more specimen of charity, to show that it runs through the whole:
“ The lay patrons are usually men of the world, and are doubtless influenced by the obsequious attentions of expectant clergymen. They have only to please the patron, and their business is done. Hence it is, tbat the hunters after preferment are found dancing attendance on the great, and exhibiting traits like those depicted by the bard of Olney. Loose in morals, and in manners vain, &c. &c.' It is not necessary to refer to modern novelists, the faithful delineators of living manners, to confirm this. The sober records of biography supply many instances of the same thing."
Let Christians consider what is to be thought of men who talk of zeal for the gospel, and are yet busy, the year through, in uttering these unchristian thoughts in these bitter words, and labouring for their own ends, to inspire others with the same bitterness.
ON ATTENTION TO THE RUBRIC IN THE COMMUNION SERVICE.
I FEAR that many of the members of the church have fallen in the error so commonly held amongst separatists, that the Lord's supper is little more than a sign, and is to be received only in remembrance of Christ's death, and as a token of church communion. I would most respectfully suggest to my clerical brethren, whether a stricter attention to the directions of the Rubric in the Communion Service might not, under God's blessing, tend to the correction of the error.
At all events, it must be admitted, that a laxity in this respect has crept in upon us which cannot be justified, if we duly consider the strictness and solemnity of our ordination vows.* I will notice one or two of the more common deviations from the Rubric which appear to me important in this point of view.
The Rubric, after the offertory, directs, that if there be a communion, the priest is then also to place upon the table so much bread and wine as he shall think sufficient. " Which Rubric being added to our own Liturgy, at the same time with the word oblations in the prayer following, (i. e. at the last review,) it is clearly evident, as Bishop Patrick has observed, that by that word are to be understood the elements of bread and wine, which the priest is to offer solemnly to God, as an acknowledgment of his sovereignty over his creatures, and that from thenceforth they might become properly and peculiarly His
Our blessed Saviour, when he instituted the new sacrifice of his own body and blood, first gave thanks and blessed the elements,-i. e. offered them up to God as Lord of the creatures, as the most ancient fathers expound that passage; who, for that reason, whenever they celebrated the holy eucharist, always offered the bread and wine for the communion to God upon the altar, by this, or some such short ejaculation, “ Lord, we offer Thee Thine own out of what Thou hast bountifully given us.'t After which they received them from him again, in order to convert them into the sacred banquet of the
* “ The Bishop. Will you give your faithful diligence always so to minister the doctrine and sacraments, and the discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm hath received the sume.
Answer. I will do so by the help of the Lord.”— Form of the ordering of Priests.
Every clergymen also engages, on being admitted to any living, or cure, that he will use the form of the said [Common-Prayer] Book in public prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and none other,">Canon xxxvi.
† See St. Chrysostom's, and other Liturgies.
body and blood of His dear Son. In the ancient church they had generally a side table near the altar, upon which the elements were laid till the first part of the communion service was over, at which the catechumens were allowed to be present; but when they were gone, the elements were removed and placed upon the holy altar itself, with a solemn prayer
Mr. Mede, having observed our own liturgy to be defective in this particular, was probably the occasion that, in the review of it after the Restoration, this primitive practice was restored, and the bread and wine ordered by the rubric to be set solemnly on the table by the priest himself. From whence it appears, that the placing the elements upon the Lord's table, before the beginning of the morning prayer, by the hands of a clerk or sexton (as is now the general practice) is a profane and shameful breach of the aforesaid rubric; and consequently, that it is the duty of every minister to prevent it for the future, and reverently to place the bread and wine himself upon the table immediately after he has placed on the alms.”*
Some, perhaps, will consider this a trivial matter. Even if it be so, why should we not comply with the direction for the sake of order, and, I may add, for conscience' sake? To me, however, it appears not unimportant, as contributing to the solemnity of the office, and conveying the impression of the sacred ordinance being more than a sign.
Another rubric which is very often neglected is that which enjoins, that “ if any remain of that which was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the church, but the priest, and such other of the communicants as he shall then call unto him, shall, immediately after the blessing, reverently eat and drink the same.” One object of this rubric unquestionably was to prevent the superstitious use of the reserved elements. Yet we cannot doubt that another reason of it was, that the bread and wine which had been consecrated and set apart for this holy use should not afterwards be turned to any common and ordinary use.
There is another practice, which is partly connected with this ubject, which almost universally obtains amongst us. I mean the alteration of the form of administration when the priest himself receives the holy mysteries. It is usual for him to say, “The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for me, preserve my body ..... I take," and so forth. This is a change altogether uyauthorized, and rather tends to remove the impression of Christ's real presence, who does himself, as it were, through his ministers, give to us his own body and blood. The proper method, as I conceive, is, either for the priest audibly to address himself in the same words which he uses to others, viz. “ the body . . . . which was given for thee,” &c. ; or else, which I suspect was the intention of the compilers of the office, to receive himself in silence, realizing the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true minister of the sanctuary. However this may be, any one who carefully reads the rubric will perceive that it furnishes no authority for the practice which commonly obtains amongst us.
I am, &c.t
APPEAL FOR A NEW CHURCH IN THE CAPITAL OF
NEWFOUNDLAND. Defections from the church have taken place to a very large extent in the island of Newfoundland, and particularly in St. John's, the capital of the island, from the want of accommodation in the existing protestant places of worship for the protestant portion of the population. Above three thousand protestants are without means of accommodation in any protestant place of worship in that town, and are exposed to the arts of the Romish priesthood,
• Wheatly on the Common- Prayer, chap. vi. sect. 10.
+ From a very pleasing and instructive voluine on the Communion, by the Rev. W. Dodsworth.
who leave no efforts untried to induce them to join the faith of the more numerous sect. The present church accommodates eight hundred; by a different arrangement it might possibly be made to contain one thousand. Five hundred is the very largest number which could be accommodated, either in the presbyterian or the methodist chapel, in the town; and the protestant population was considered, nearly ten years since, to amount in St. John's to more than five thousand. This evil was very severely felt, and publicly lamented, before the location of the present archdeacon at St. John's. Sir Thomas J. Cochrane, the late governor of the island, endeavoured to induce the British government to assist in the erection of a second church there; but in vain. The committee of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, as long since as 1828 and 1831, lamented, in its reports for the years preceding these dates, the great want of accommodation for protestants, in any existing places of worship in the town of St. John's. The evil has increased as the population of St. John's has increased, until the archdeacon of the island, no longer able to endure the sad reflection of the numerous secessions from the protestant faith, which are hence occasioned, has thought it his imperative duty to set about the erection immediately of a second protestant episcopal church in that town. Its cost is estimated at 2000l. : it is to be fit for divine worship at Easter 1836, and is to be capable of containing seven hundred persons. The church being principally for the poor, it is intended, if the expected aid should be obtained from home,—which will make it unnecessary to sell the pews,—that the greater part of the sittings in the new church shall be free. It is earnestly pressed upon the members of the church in England that they will assist him in this undertaking. The Bishop of Nova Scotia, it is expected, will visit this portion of his diocese in the summer of next year. It is anxiously hoped that there may be no incumbrances upon the church which may prevent its being consecrated at that time, and that a large number of candidates for confirmation may be prepared, who may be a kind of first-fruits from this new congregation, who are now ready to be collected. This can only be effected, however, through British liberality. The poor cannot build this church for themselves; nor can adequate funds be raised for such purpose within the island. Shall the scheme languish for want of support?—or shall the missionary whose sense of duty has compelled him to undertake it on his own responsibility be suffered to make the sacrifices which will be necessary if he be left unsupported? The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has, from its too slender means, liberally granted 1001. for the object; and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has also given 1001. Subscriptions for the same will be received by Messrs. Barclay, Lombard Street; Messrs. Drummond, Charing Cross; Messrs. Rivington, Waterloo Place.
LORD BROUGHAM AND THE NATIONAL SOCIETY.
To the Editor of the “ British Magazine.” Rev. Sır,--In the report of the Education Committee of the House of Commons we find the following charge of exaggeration brought by Lord Brougham against the National Society :
Question 2828.“ I understand that the National Society state the number of schools as now in connexion with themselves at 3500, educating about 500,000 children; and the number formed on the same principles, though not in connexion, at as many more; making a total of 7000 schools, and a million of scholars. Whereas, in 1820, there were only 1600 schools in connexion with
the society, educating 200,000 children. I am quite clear that there is some exaggeration in these estimates ; for if there be now a million of children taught on the principles of the Church Society, there must be an equal number in all the other schools, endowed and unendowed, taken together; and so we shall have a total of 14,000 schools, or two millions of children; or, in other words, there will appear to be a complete provision for educating all children from seven to fourteen years of age, which no one pretends to believe is the case.
I. Now, in the first place, this comes with a very ill grace from Lord Brougham, a vice-president of the British and Foreign School Society, which, -with all its activity and exactness—with all its inspectors, agents, and correspondents—with all its grants and aids—cannot tell nor conjecture how many schools are in its connexion. Nor can Lord Brougham, after all his nquiries and labours in education, assist his own society on this point; at least, he does not choose to do so. The National Society, on the other hand, furnishes the means of ascertaining every school which is in union with it, and publishes either an annual summary or individual list. But Lord Brougham says that he is “quite clear that there is some exaggeration in these estimates.” What grounds, or counter-estinates, does he produce ? On what authority does he venture to impugn a verified document ? None! but on his own conjecture. If the estimates of the National Society, he argues, be so large, the schools of all other kinds must be equally large; and, in that case, there will be a complete provision for all children from seven to fourteen years of age, which no one pretends to believe is the fact ; and therefore it is " quite clear that there is some exaggeration in these estamates.” We are, however, enabled at once to vindicate the National Society from this charge. Its report for this year, lately published, contains an exact list of every place and school in its connexion, and details the amount of children, and what aid each has received. No reasoning or ingenuity can gainsay such a specification. If the society had entertained any wish to exaggerate-which they never did—they could not have augmented the precise and definite numbers communicated to them by others. What, then, is the result of that table? It exactly coincides with the statement Lord Brougham questions. There are, in 3642 places, 5559 schools, containing 516,181 scholars, at this moment united with the National Society! The “ estimates” of the society are beyond all shadow of a doubt established to the very letter. If anything, they are rather understated than exaggerated : the charge against the society is therefore entirely groundless. The answer of the society is matter of fact, and depends on no reasoning; the list of places and schools precludes the possibility of exaggerating the “ estimates ;” their inclinations can make them neither more nor less. When Lord Brougham volunteered to contradict the evidence which had previously been given by the friends of the National Society, he ought to have had better grounds for his allegations than he has in this instance presented. It was not very becoming in the Lord Chancellor of England, whose talents and powers are so great, and whose authority in matters of education is so respected, thus to endeavour to throw discredit on the success and efficiency of the National Society, and on the evidence of its honourable friends. It encourages the suspicion that he was stimulated by that feeling of partizanship which distinguishes the whole host of dissenters against every good work connected with the church. There was no provocation for him to call in question these "estimates.” It would have been more to the purpose if he could have made a similar statement of the efficiency of his own society. But at any rate, the report of the National Society, to which I refer his lordship, sets the matter at rest, and demonstrates the perfect accuracy of the “ estimates,” which Lord Brougham impugned. I have said quite sufficient on this the main point; but a fow words on Lord Brougham's argument may not be misplaced.
lí. It appears that the National Society have stated their belief that there