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will serve to prove that Origen was not inclined to give any undue sanction to profane studies, but was well aware that any pursuit which takes the lead in the mind forms the character, and that religion will hold the first place, or none at all. The allusion to the spoils of Egypt must remind us of the same application in the Christian year, for the third Sunday in Lent, and the same book will exemplify throughout Origen's view of the subject. I am, Sir, yours truly,
CHURCH OF ROME. SIR,-Perceiving in the January Number of your Magazine a letter signed “Philalethes,” commenting on a work entitled “Poynder's Popery in Alliance with Heathenism,” I beg to submit a few remarks on some of the practices of the Church of Rome, which your correspondent conceives, as I think, erroneously, not to be prohibited in the New Testament,
And, first, of incense ; see Heb. x. 8, 9 :“ The Apostle argues, in these two verses, that these words are a plain declaration of the utter insufficiency of the Jewish sacrifices, when Christ puts his own suffering and sacrifice to supply their defects; and, by doing the one, he abrogates all further use of the other."-(Pyle, from Notes to Mant's Bible.)
2. With respect to votive offerings, and other ceremonies of the church of Rome; see Gal. v. 1.
3. Tutelary suints. The existence of such, one may not be disposed either to affirm or deny, nothing having been clearly revealed in the New Testament for our belief respecting them. Still, however, it may be asked, will not a belief in a protecting, a guardian saint, gradually lead the believer to “honour the god of forces”—Dan. xi. 38,-gods who are protectors, to regard them with such an esteem as shall deprive the supreme God, whom we are taught to love with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength, of the honour due unto his name? Col. ii. 18, contains an admonition against “ intruding into those things which we have not seen.”
4. Religious processions. Though not prohibited by the letter, is their tendency in unison with the spirit of Christianity? Does not a slight knowledge of ourselves inform us ?
5. With respect to the Sacrifice of the Altar, I will quote an explanation by Archbishop Sharpe, copied from notes in Mant's Bible :
“ We do not indeed deny but that every time we approach to the Lord's table for the receiving of the holy communion, we offer sacrifices to God, for we offer alms which we beg of God to accept as our oblations, and these, in the language of Scripture, are · Sacrifices with which God is well pleased.' We likewise offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God for the death of our Saviour, and all our prayers and supplications we put up in his name, and the virtue and for the merits of that sacrifice which he offered to God in our behalf, and in so doing we commemorate that sacrifice both to God and before men; and this is all that the ancient church meant by the great Christian sacrifice, or the sacrifice of the altar."
Having thus laid before you the few remarks which I designed, I shall only add, that, in these times, when so many are industriously endeavouring to make it appear that many of the points of difference between the church of Rome and the Christian catholic church of England are immaterial and indifferent, it becomes a duty which we owe to our spiritual parent on earth to shew that, whether on smaller or on greater grounds, we are each alike prepared to maintain the character as well as the name of, Sir, your obedient servant,
ON THE LORD'S SUPPER. SIR,—Will “ Philalethes” allow me to ask him on what authority he refers to Matthew, v. 23, 24, in his letter on Mr. Poynder, in your last number, in proof of the Christian sacrifice of the Lord's Supper; or what evidence he can offer that our “ blessed Redeemer” spake the words there recorded, as in allusion to a Christian “ Altar" ?
To me, this appears a new and wholly unsupported application of the words, and a " selection of weapons as “unfair and injudicious" (by way of argument) as any I can suppose Mr. Poynder to have made, with whose work, however, I am unacquainted. I cannot conceive any ground on which such an interpretation of our Lord's words can be maintained. At the time they were spoken, in the first year of his ministry, and before any public mention of his own great sacrifice of himself had been made, (even supposing that any mention of it subsequently made could have borne such an interpretation as
« Philalethes” contends for, previous to the institution of the commemorative ordinance,) it seems to me quite impossible that the mention of
“altar," in the above passage, can have had any reference except to the Jewish right of offering. Our Lord spoke to “ the multitude” of Jews as a Jew, and could, I imagine, only refer to the altar and offerings (“ thy gift”) with which all his hearers were familiar. Till the great Christian sacrifice was complete, the law of sacrifices under the Mosaic law was unrepealed and in force; and our Lord, in the words in question, gave no intimation of a cessation of the Mosaic offerings, but cautioned his hearers against the error of supposing that their offerings could be of any value, even as an act of obedience to the law, if their spirit, and inward temper and disposition, were such as to
inconsistent with the law of brotherly love. This, if the word are taken in conjunction with the two preceding verses, appears to me too self-evident to need insisting upon. I take the liberty of drawing the attention of “ Philalethes’ to this point, because I think every writer on such subjects is especially bound to be most cautious how he brings forward scripture in support of his arguments for any doctrine of the Christian church. It is obvious that, if his interpretation will not bear him out, he is in danger of injuring the cause he is desirous to defend-of doing, in short, the very thing for which he remonstrates with Mr. Poynder, “ marring his usefulness by (I think) an unfair and injudicious selection of his weapons, (p.43). How far “ Philalethes” may extend his meaning of the word “sacrifice," I will not now inquire; though I suspect he carries it a little further than I should be able to go along with him, if I understand him correctly in his two-fold division of (1) “ strict and true," and—(2) “ commemora
tive." It seems to me inseparable from the notion of a “proper material sacrifice,” that part of the offering which is laid on the altar should be so devoted to God as not, in any material form, to return to the offerer. This appears to have been always the case in every material sacrifice, and, to my apprehension, is a sufficient objection to the use of the word “sacrifice," as implying the Christian sa. crifice in the Lord's Supper, in its strict and proper sense. typical commemorative sacrifice, the case is far otherwise, in which sense only can we repeat and represent the “ full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction," made upon the cross, for the sins of the whole world. So far as regards the nature of this sacrifice, it seems so clearly expressed in a little tract of old date, “ The Christian Sacrament and Sacrifice,” by Dr. Brevint, (an author whose unanswered and unanswerable writings against the corrupt doctrines of the church of Rome are now scarce, and deserve to be better known,) that I hope you will permit me to transcribe his words. They are from the sixth section :
“Nevertheless, this sacrifice, which by a real oblation" (the italics are the author's] was not to be offered more than once, is, by an eucharistical and devout commemoration, to be offered up every day. This is what the apostle calls, to set forth the death of the Lord—to set it forth, I say, as well before the eyes of God, his father, as before the eyes of all men. And what St. Austin did explain, when he said that the holy flesh of Jesus Christ was offered up in three manners—by prefiguring sacri. fices under this law before his coming into the world, in real deed upon the cross, and by a commemorative sacrament after he is ascended into heaven. All comes to this-first, that the sacrifice, as 'tis itself and in itself, it never can be reiterated; yet by way of devout celebration and remembrance, it may vevertheless be reiterated every day. Secondly, that whereas the holy eucharist is by itself a sacrament, wherein God offers unto all' men the blessings merited by the oblation of his Son; it likewise becomes, by our remembrance, a kind of sacrifice also, whereby to obtain, at his hands, the same blessings, we present and expose to his eyes the same holy and precious oblation once offered. . . . To men, it (the holy eucharist] is a sacred table, where God's minister is ordered to represent, from God his Master, the passion of his dear Son, as still fresh, and still powerful for their eternal salvation ; and to God, it is an altar, whereon men mystically present to bim the same sacrifice, as still bleeding and still sueing for expiation and mercy. And because it is the high priest him. self, the true anointed of the Lord, who hath set up most expressly both this table and this altar for these two ends,-namely, for the communication of bis body and blood to men, and for the representation and memorial of both to God,—it cannot be doubted, but that the one must be most advantageous to the penitent sinner, and the other most acceptable to that good and gracious Father who is always pleased in his Son, and who loves of himself the repenting and the sincere return of his children."
I trust, Sir, you will excuse the length to which I have extended this letter; and if it appear to you worthy of admission into your valuable publication, it may perhaps draw the attention of more able correspondents to a subject which is avowedly of high importance, and, as it seems to me, too frequently disregarded by zealous advocates of all sentiments : I mean the importance of never claiming the support of Scripture in cases where the words do not obviously bear the interpretation sought to be put upon them. I daily receive proofs of so much mischief arising from the disregard of this caution, that this warning of the humblest adviser can hardly be considered uncalled for, or presumptuous.
I remain, Sir, your most obedient servant, E.B. P.
SPONSORS AT BAPTISM.
SIR,—The subject to which “A Country Clergyman" alludes is one of such importance, both theoretically and practically, as well to deserve serious consideration. If the twenty-ninth canon should ever come to be reviewed in a national, provincial, or even diocesan synod, (which last I conceive would be perfectly competent to the task, and may be convened for such purpose at any time by any diocesan desirous to afford relief to his clergy, without infringement of the tyrannical statute of Henry VIII., which makes our collective ecclesiastical discipline dependent (practically) upon Lord Melbourne, or Mr. O'Connell, should he come to be prime minister,) my own desire would be, that, while that part which relates to parents not standing should be put in the form of recommendation, the remainder, which forbids non-communicants being admitted, should be strictly enforced. It seems to me safer for priest and people, and more tending to edifying, to dispense with sponsors altogether, and to account the congregation sufficient witnesses of the covenant, and the priest sufficient surety for the right instruction of the child in the nature of that covenant, than to sanction and encourage men in the neglect of the holy eucharist by admitting them in that state, as though they who are either too ignorant, or too wilful, or too unbelieving, or too sinful, to worship the God of the Christians in His appointed essential act of worship, were competent to discharge the office of witnesses on such a solemn occasion, or as if the engagement of men who live in the wilful violation of their own covenant can be any surety to the church that those whom she admits on their responsibility shall be rightly instructed in theirs.
Through the defective state of our discipline, for which I trust the presbyters are not responsible, we are supposed to be under the necessity of administering some of our holy rites to persons in this condition, who, according to the discipline which was practised of old, and is contemplated by our canons to this very day, would be under ecclesiastical censure, and inadmissible to them; but, surely, where the plain directions of the church charge us to bear witness against their state, and none of the iron of civil enactment interferes to prevent our doing so, we ought to be glad to avail ourselves of an opportunity of pointing out, more plainly than words can, their position in the Christian church.
It surely is worthy of consideration, whether (independent of violating the rules of the church) we shall not do much more harm to the sponsors and the congregations, in sanctioning them in the neglect of the eucharist, by admitting non-communicants to be sponsors, than we shall do good to the children.
If our church be right in considering that the sacraments are not absolutely necessary, but generally,—i. e, where they may be had, then certainly the eucharist must be more necessary to an adult-who may receive it, but will not--than baptism can be to a child, with whom want of it is wholly unintentional. Besides, the provision which our church has made for private baptism, in case of sickness, VOL. IX.-March, 1836.
may relieve our minds from the fear that many would die unbaptized. Nor is it likely that parents, however ignorant and obstinate, will hold out long in refusing to comply with the rules of the church, which every intelligent person they consult will shew them to be most reasonable, when they have the prospect that if God should please to snatch their children suddenly away, they will have been the means of depriving them of Christian burial.
I can find no reason to believe that the difficulty in procuring proper sponsors, where people desire it, is practically so great as some of the correspondents of this Magazine seem to imagine,-least of all in small country parishes, where the proportion of communicants is apt to be larger than in any other, and I am persuaded that the insisting upon it is beneficial in many ways. “A Country Clergyman” may rest assured that none but the most ignorant and worthless will be “ irritated" with a clergyman for his firm and consistent obedience to his orders, even when he cannot (which is not the case here) assign sound and good reasons for it. As to the fear of their going to the meeting-house, let them clearly understand that they cannot get at the meeting-house the grace which they refuse to receive at church, and the number of those who go there will soon be diminished.
I will venture to repeat here what stated before, in reply to “ A London Rector," on the same subject, in the February number last year,-namely, the result of my own experience.
I have served the parish I am now in, a small country one, nearly twelve years;
and when first I came, owing to a variety of number of communicants was very small; yet, in all that time, with an average of from ten to twelve baptisms annually, I have never in one single instance disregarded the twenty-ninth canon.
I have only twice met with difficulty. Once, in early days, when the child was taken by stealth and baptized at another church,—a recurrence of which I took care to prevent; and the parents were so well satisfied with the reasonableness and propriety of the regulation, that on the next occasion they cheerfully complied with it. At the present moment I have another (the only other) instance of opposition,-the parents of a child, one of whom is not confirmed, the other not a communicant, insisting upon being allowed to stand. Even if it should please Almighty God, which yet I trust will not be the case, to remove the child through sudden illness before the office for private baptism could be administered, I should feel that I had acted as a more faithful steward of His mysteries, in being the unwilling and unintentional cause of the child's dying unbaptized, than I should be were I to encourage the parents in their improper conduct, and to scandalize my whole congregation by allowing careless, self-willed persons to trample upon the rules of the church and the custom by which for so many years our service has been ordered.
I have recommended those communicants who have consulted me upon the subject to stipulate beforehand, when applied to, that they shall be at liberty to discharge their office, and to remind the children for whom they stand of their duty, if need be.
ALPHA. P.S. When our superiors shall judge it expedient to recommend