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marked out to them by the great work which they had to do. Accordingly, to those points and questions which were the prevailing objects of attention at that time, their chief notice was directed, and their most assiduous exertions of necessity confined. Good men are the same in all times, but their minuter modes of thinking, of speaking, writing, and discoursing, will be borrowed from the special urgency of those inducements which press most on their regard. f an inclined to give to those distinguished persons, who braved the terrors and exposed the frauds of Rome, the full benefit of this remark, and I mean to claim it also for such as have succeeded them, who appear to me to have sometimes suffered undue censure for want of that allowance which should govern our opinions both of men and manners in their several ages. Without such considerations, we shall be apt to imitate improperly, or we shall be led to scatter harsh reflections with as Jittle reason or advantage.” P. 5. - - -- - -
... The whole of this part of the subject is treated with so much ability by the Archdeacon, that we cannot sufficiently recom
mend it to be read and studied by all. To those, who in these days are in the constant habit of reprobating “will worship” as
they term it, and are perpetually inculcating spiritual devotion, (not according to the true meaning but the party application of
the term) these observations are addressed with, considerable effect: . ... . . . . . -
“I shall only add one further illustration of that just measure
of discernment, which we should endeavor to apply with reference
to our own age. We have spoken hitherto of speculative topics; but when knowledge was much stinted in its channels, and when a
species of devotion, ill-turned and ill-directed, served but to sever
a few pious persons from the larger number of those who went forward in a mixed course of ceremonious pageantry, joined with feal laxity of life, the general exhortations which were employed by such as stood forth to redress those evils, were adapted more particularly to that state of mens minds and habits. Admitting then that no speech can be too ardent or too plain, where corrup
tions of the heart of any kind are to be taxed, and that no ex
hortations can be too piercing to induee those to return to spiritual courses, who, at any time are wedded to unprofitable usages, coupled with deceitful remedies for the hurts of conscience, still will any one pretend to say that it is as necessary now as heretofore, to dissuade men from devoted habits of attention to external forms of duty, or to recall them from a blind submission to the yoke of arbitrary laws? Will any sober and considerate person,
who knows the state and character of our own times deny that the ... mischiefs and obliquities of our days are lapsing fast to an opposite
extreme, in which even very salutary laws and wise provisions, imited to the Word of God, and measured by that rule, are con: w temned,
temned, and prove the frequent sacrifice to some wild claim of selfwilled and self-authorized commission 2° P. 10.
• The Archdeacon traces the features of the different periods
of the Church down to the present day with equal accuracy and judgment. He remainds the Clergy of the many able defences both of Christianity at large and of the Church, to which the city of Loudon has given birth. The Collection of Tracts against Popery by Bishop Gibson; the Collection of Cases and Discourses to recover Dissenters to the Church ; the Discourses delivered both at the lecture founded by the Hon. Robert Boyle and Lady Moyer, which in themselves furnish a body of strength against the virulence of the deist and the infidel. To those, who have attempted in recent publications to undervalue these masterly defences of our Christian faith, as presenting nothing but “Socrates, reason, and moderation" the Archdeacon thus warmly replies:
“Shall we forget the debt of gratitude which we owe to such men, who shaped their weapons to their warfare; who defended the great truths of religion by clear, sound reasonings, and by solid strength of argument, against those who challenged them to such proofs, and provoked them to such demonstrations Shall we be told now that the style and method to which the circumstances of their day and the vigour of their minds might lead, was fit only for the closet; adapted to the calm seats of philosophy; but too cold and correct, and too much fraught with cautious argument and close reflection, to excite the heat of any warm attachment in the hearts of men 2 Shall we offer this return for labours which have placed the towers of truth upon the ruins of an hideous Babel, and raised triumphant banners high over the prestrate wreck of long laboured sophistries, of false reasonings, wild, indecent declamations, calumnies, and slanders ? Do their writings furnish to the world no other proof that they knew how to
lay the first foundations of the faith in simple hearts, as well as to
refute deceitful adversaries, and withstand audacious disputants? Let us then be just at least to the past service of the wise and good, of whom so many stood where we stand at this day, and were the guides and pastors of this great metropolis; let us render that tribute of acknowledgment, even if we feel disposed to claim a preference for other modes of teaching and discoursing as adapted more to ordinary purposes, and better framed for general utility.”
In the latter part of the Charge the subject of National Education in the principles of the Church of England is treated with the earnestness due to so important a point. The lamentable deficiency of Churches not only in the metropolis, but in all, our great manufacturing towns is mentioned as an object wouhy
worthy of the interference of the legislature. We trust that the representation of the Archdeacon will not be without its weight, but that the wisdom of Parliament will provide a remedy for an evil which is daily increasing and has already grown to so alarming a magnitude. From the pleasure which we have received from the perusal of this excellent Charge, we trust that it will not be the last which will come before us, from the worthy Archdeacon, either in his present, or in a more exalted capacity.
Art. viii. A Sermon preached in the Church of Aylesbury,
at the Visitation of the Right Rev. George, Lord Bishop of
Lincoln. By the Rev. C. J. Blomfield, Rector of Dunton,
IT seldom falls to our lot to record in the same review the successful labours of the same author in two branches of literature ..so apparently distinct from each other. We record them, how: ever, with the greater pleasure, as they shew in the strongest point of view how close a connexion exists between theological and secular learning, how they mutually confirm and strengthen each other ; all human knowledge preparing and eularging the faculties for the reception of things divine, and they in their turn enlightening and adorning the bulwarks which form their support. On the union of the scholar and the divine, Christianity rests her surest hopes and her ablest defence. The subject which Mr. Blomfield has chosen for his discourse, is the dignity and the responsibleness of the Pastoral Office. That the ministry is a sacred trust, will be allowed by all, even by the wildest enthusiast and fanatic; now this very trust implies the motion of its being entrusted, hence Mr. B. very ingeniously and justly argues.
“ Whoever is accountable to God for the fulfilment of a , trust, must in the first instance have had it committed by Him to his hands; those, who have, as the Apostle says, to give account of the souls for which they watch, must first have been appointed to watch over them by Him to whom they are accountable. It is the same in civil affairs. No man is responsible for the discharge of an office, to which he has not been regularly constituted and ordained: he is, indeed, punishable for the illegal usurpation of authority, but not for the ill discharge of the duties of his franchise. In like man- - ner,
per, no self-eleeted minister of God's word can, in strictness of speech, be termed accountable for the souls of those whom he directs; for that responsibility is evidently nugatory, which any man may assume or lay down at pleasure. And where this person or that, as vanity or enthusiasm may prompt him, exchanges the workshop or the plough for the pulpit of the conventicle, which of them is to be considered as the shepherd who may be called upon to answer for the flock 2 or how is it possible for the flock, who thus “heap up to themselves teachers,” “to know, as the Apostle says, ‘them which labour among them and are over them in the Lord?’” P. 9.
Mr. B. proceeds to shew that the Divine institution of the priesthood, and its legal collation upon us, can alone make under it, spiritually speaking, an accountable office.
“From which truth arise two important considerations. We ought not, on the one hand, to be suspected of selfishness, in endeawouring to establish this point: because, if we succeed in doing so, weplace ourselves in a predicament of great labour, difficulty, and danger: of labour, from the multiplicity and magnitude of those duties, which an office of this nature must impose upon us; of diffi: culty, in qualifying ourselves to perform them in an edifying and effectual manner; and of danger, in proportion to the difficulty. On the other hand, it is not to be wondered at, if we lift up our voice against the intrusion of those, who call themselves ministers, being such neither according to divine institution, nor by legal collation; because,even were weto allow that the responsibleness of this office is not necessarily dependent upon regular ordination to it, yet the extreme danger, which must result from misinterpreting important texts of scripture of simple and unlearned people, places in a strong point of view the temerity of those men, who, without any previous qualification, undertake the exposition of those sacred mysteries, which even we, who have been brought up in the ‘schools of the prophets,’ yenture upon with diffidence and fear. For although ...there can be no doubt, but that the Scriptures are a book, intended for the comfort and instruction of all Christian people without distinction, and that to debar them from the perusal of it, is to prevent their access to the well-spring of life; although the main doctrines of the Gospel be laid down in so plain and perspicuous a manner, that to understand them requires no other qualifications than a sound head and a sincere heart; yet it is no less certain, that many parts of the sacred volume, which have a peculiar reference to the circumstances of time and place ander which they were written, are for that reasen necessarily obscure and ambiguous to the unlearned reader, and, of consequence, liable to be perverted to a mischievous sense. Of many passages in the Apostolical Epis. tles, in particular, no man can reasonably pretend to develop the exact drift and application, who has not previeusly qualified himself for the task, by obtaining an accurate knowledge of the language language in which the originals were written, of the particular objects which the writers had in view, of the circumstances and opinions of those whom they addressed. The methods of acquiring this knowledge it would be presumptuous and useless for me to specify , but an endeavour to acquire it is evidently a most essential part of his duty, who undertakes to be an expositor of scripture; and it is one, which demands no trifling expenditure of time and mind: for there is no compendious road in divinity: no extraordinary way nor short cut to knowledge is now to be trusted: we have no reason to suppose that men in these days grow wise by special inspiration, nor by any other method than that of treading,
with the assistance of God's grace, in the beaten paths of reading and meditation.” P. 12.
The following short character of enthusiasm is so justly drawn,
that we cannot but present it to the consideration of our readers.
“Enthusiasm, without learning and judgment, is a fire which burns but to delude. The word of God is indeed ‘quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword;' but it is a weapon, which, being wielded by unskilful hands, may be converted, from a part of the armour of righteousness, into an implement of destruction. For this we have the authority of St. Peter himself: and if, even in his time, many things in the writings of St. Paul were ‘hard to be understood *,” have we not good reason to wonder, that the darkest parts of those very writings should in these
days be the particular portions of scripture, which the self-elected
and unlearned divine expounds with so much ease and satisfaction to himself, and so much to the bewildering of his hearers ?” P. 15.
The whole of this admirable sermon is highly deserving the attention of every Christian minister. The language is earnest but simple, overloaded with no artificial rhetoric, obscured by no abstruse speculation. It is the language of a heart seriously and zealously devoted to the sacred cause in which it is engaged. In his notes, we view the union of the scholar and the divine; many of the points there discussed are exceedingly curious, and the citations of various kinds, highly worthy of our attention. Such is the following.
“P, 9. Vanity or enthusiasm.—The post of honour is due to va. nity, as having been more instrumental than enthusiasm in setting up false teachers. Haec sunt enim, says Cyprian, initia Haereticorum, et ortits Schismaticorum male cogitantium, ut sibi placeant, et praepositos suos (hyovszévov;) superbo tumore contemnant. Sic de Ecclesia receditur ; sic altare profanum foris collocatur; sic contra pd. gen Christi et ordinationem atque unitatem Dei rebellatur. How well is the tub of the field preacher described by the words, Altare pro
* 2 Peter iii. 16, fanum.