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of this world.' But the Church of And these words, so explicitly England is altogether of this referring to the charge brought world; the King is its head, all its against Jesus, of aiming at a temlaws are made by Parliament, and poral sovereignty, are now held to lords and squires have the appoint- be perfectly decisive against the. ment of nearly all the livings." right or propriety of a provision
I am glad to have the oppor- being made by a Christian governtunity of meeting this argument in ment for the religious instruction a condensed forn, and stated with of the people under its care. Besimplicity. For this one solitary cause Jesus Christ did not come text, or rather half-text, has been upon earth to reign King of Judea, the theme of volumes, and has therefore a British Parliament been expanded and amplified into ought not to provide for the builda magnitude and importance al- ing of churches, or the endowment together ludicrous. The founda- of their ofliciating ministers. Adtion of every thesis, the beginning mirable reasoning! Will not the and end of every pamphlet on the days come when it shall be thought side of dissent, for many a long year, incredible, that the educated and has been furnished by these seven sensible Nonconformists of the words. And little wonder need arise, nineteenth century could use such when we remember, that this frag- arguments, and use them, seemment of a text is the only passage in ingly, without being conscious of the whole Bible that can be in any their utter absurdity? way brought in to the assistance of - But the Church of England is the Dissenter's argument. No altogether of this world; the King other passage,
is its head," &c. In other words, words disjointed from a sentence, it is a human institution, and adcan be found in all the Scriptures ministered by human and fallible to help out the failing logic of In- authorities. If any one will show dependency. The anxious parade us how to erect a National Estaof a certain domestic bird, when blishment, into which errors in followed by a single offspring, is practice shall never enter, and in proverbial; and very similar is the the management of which worldly solicitude with which the Dissent- men shall have neither the will nor ers are constantly displaying this the power to interfere, we will their solitary biblical axiom. thank him.' In the mean time, the
But let us look a little closer at question to be determined is, whethis passage, by which the Church ther it is better to have national of England is to be proved, in a institutions for religious instrucshort seven words, so plainly anti- tion, under human direction and christian. It is found in the 18th subject to human errors, or not to chapter of St. John's Gospel. have any? Pilate is examining our Lord on Here I shall go a step farther, the subject of his pretensions to and ask, before we argue the questhe sovereignty of the Jews, with tion of expediency, whether it is aspiring to which his accusers had not a duty incumbent on all procharged him. He is asked, “ Art fessedly Christian governors, to thou a king, then?” and as a part provide for all classes of their subof his reply, we have these words: jects, at least such a degree of “My kingdom is not of this world; religious instruction as will not ismy kingdom were of this world, leave them to perish without the then would my servants fight, that possibility of learning the way to I should not be delivered unto the heaven. What meaneth, will the Jews; but now is my kingdom not Dissenters tell me, that prophecy of from hence.”
the bright approaching days of the
Church, in which it is said, that Christian religion is preached to
Kings shall be thy nursing fa- the people. It may happen, that thers, and Queens thy nursing in course of years their own views mothers?” What are we to un of the truths of Christianity may
be derstand from the parable of the in some degree obscured, and talents ; in which a return, pro- that they may sanction the propaportioned to the means bestowed, gation of an alloyed divinity. But is plainly shown to be due ? How still they were not the less right in are we to interpret the praise so at first concerning themselves in frequently bestowed in Scripture such matters, or in afterwards conon David, on Solomon, Josiah, tinuing to support religious estaNehemiah, and others, who con
blishments. If errors have crept stantly taxed their subjects to raise in, those errors affect the detailthe temple of God, and issued the practice-not the first principle their own regulations respecting on which such institutions are the order of the worship of that founded. temple ?
If I have in any degree succeedBriefly, too, I would remind ed in establishing the point, of the you, that Dissenters themselves moral responsibility of governors are continually erecting chapels, for the religious instruction of their and then coming upon the public people, it cannot be necessary,
for for the expense.
I, though a me to return to the minor considerChurchman, am frequently sub- ation of the expediency of such a jected to these demands. You line of conduct. Nevertheless, as will say
that what is given to these this will afford me an opportunity cases is voluntary. And doubtless of considering the remaining part this is true; but the applicants and of this second reason, I shall reyour preachers, nay yourself also, sume the discussion of that part of will join in assuring me that it the question. is the duty of every man to con
“ Now the Church of England," tribute to such cases so far as his it is said, “ is altogether of this circumstances will allow. If then world; the King is its head, all its every private individual has a duty laws are made by Parliament, and of this kind to discharge, does not lords and squires have the appointhis responsibility increase with the ment of nearly all the livings.” In increase of his influence and other words, the Establishment power? Should he become a le- emanates from the Government, gislator, has he no responsibilities and is regulated, as every thing else as a legislator? Does it not con- must be, by the Legislature. It tinue his duty to forward that is perfectly obvious that this is cause with his increased influence, necessarily the case; that it is a which he held himself bound to necessary consequence of the relaassist when his power and means tion the Church bears to the State. were more limited ?
No government ever would, or inNo, my dear Sir, common sense deed ought, to erect and endow a will never deny, and you cannot national institution of this kind, find even half a text fairly to without preserving some control discountenance the principle, that over it, so as to be able to ensure kings and legislators, professing its answering, in some measure, Christianity, are bound by that the original intention of its foundaprofession to concern themselves tion. in making known those truths to In objecting, therefore, that the their subjects upon which the eter- Church of England is modelled nal happiness of all men depend. and governed by the ruling civil They are bound to see that the authorities, this writer in effect obOCT. 1824.
jects, and no doubt intended to ob- gyman? : Not in one case out ject, to all national establishments of ten would it be raised. At once, whatever. Now, to bring the ques- then, you would deprive nearly the tion to a short issue, I might ask, whole of our country villages of whether England would have had the means of religious instruction; Christianity at all, humanly speak- turn the inhabitants out, every seing, without establishment venth day, to waste their hours in founded and protected by the civil sloth, and revelling, and vice; and power?—whether England would obliterate, as far as possible, all have had the Reformation, but knowledge and remembrance of refor the encouragement and as- ligion, worship, heaven, and hell. sistance of Henry's, Edward's, At present, the benefit may in and Elizabeth's government?— many instances appear small; but and whether England would have it is not really so. There stands possessed the best translation of the church, daily and hourly rethe Scriptures extant, but for her minding the people that there is a ecclesiastical establishment, acting God and a future state. Every seunder the authority and direction of venth day they are discharged from the sovereign and legislature ? I labour, and the sacred doors are might multiply such questions as open to them, warning them of these ; but I will rather come down their duty and their accountableto the present position of things, and ness. Within the venerable edifice, put a question which every man of around which their fathers lie busense and candour can answer; ried, the voice of the Gospel sounds namely, What would be the effect from week to week, making known of immediately putting an end to to them their real condition, their the present system, destroying the duties, their sins, and the only reEstablishment, and leaving the fuge which remairs for sinners. people to supply themselves with The minister may not be, in every religious instruction in their own respect, exactly what he ought to way, and at their own individual be; but the Church has provided cost?
for his shortcomings, and omitted In large towns there would pro- in her services nothing necessary bably be little immediate difference. to salvation. The people would not be content to Now in all this there may often lose their ministers, but would be occasion of grief to the Chrisspeedily make arrangements for the tian, that so little fruit is visible, continuance of their services. But and that so little effectual and spiwe are not to look to the cities ritual good is done; and yet there alone. The observance of the may be, at the same time, ground Sabbath, you probably still wish of congratulation to the statesman, to be maintained by law. What that the public morals are so far then would be the state of promoted, and the minds of the things among our villages, and people so far influenced towards over the country, if you shut up good. The one may justly laour churches and dismissed our ment, where the other reasonably clergy? Their maintenance, let it rejoices; for they are taking two be remembered, is borne by the different views of the same matter. landowners; and a discontinuance The one grieves that England is of tithes would not benefit the te- not what it ought to be; the other nant, whose rent would be pro- is happy that it is not what without portionably increased. From whence a public support of religious instithen could a voluntary contribu- tutes it would be. tion be expected, in a country pa To the objection, therefore, that rish, sufficient to maintain a cler " the King is its head, and its laws
are made by Parliament;" our re this right of presentation should be ply is, that institutions established made matter of sale, may perhaps and supported by the government, be regretted; but still, as the must necessarily, in the details of choice did not belong to the people their management, be subject to originally, they are not deprived the control of the Government. The of it by the alteration, and are as next complaint is, that “ Lords and likely to gain as to lose by the Squires have the appointment of change of patron. nearly all the livings.
As it respects the country paThis objection sounds rather rishes generally, then, the case strange when heard from the lips stands thus: the law levies of a Dissenter. For one of your the landed proprietors a certain favourite principles has always tax, which is deducted from the been, that those who pay the mi- rents which they would otherwise nister should choose him. And it receive, and is applied to the mainis very plain, that the arrangement tenance of an establishment for the here complained of is nothing more religious instruction of the people. than lodging the choice in the hand This tax, called tithe, is willingly of him who furnishes the stipend; paid by the landlords, as we know for, who is it that really pays by their cordial support of the the rector his tithe? Not* the Church on all occasions; and if tenant, but the landlord. This any they are content who bear the burone who happens to rent both tithe- den, what right have others, who able and tithe free land can tell do not in reality contribute at all, you; in as much as he is sure to to assail us with their complaints ? pay the landlord for the latter, as The means of worshipping God in much as he pays both landlord and a church, the doctrines of which rector for the former. If, then, they acknowledge to be scriptural, the landlord of a parish pays the are freely afforded them. They clergyman his whole income by are equally free to refuse attendtaking so much less in the shape of ance on her services; only rememrent from his tenants, as they have bering their own acknowledgment, paid the rector in the shape of that “ causeless separation is tithe; then who, upon your own schism, and that “ schism is sinprinciple, but the landlord should ful.” Whether the nomination of appoint the clergyman? And in the ministers by those who pay his hapds it was originally left, and them, can be held a reasonable in many instances still remains. “ cause,” I leave you to judge; How commonly do we hear of the and remain, dear Sir, sale of such a manor with the presen
Yours sincerely, tation to a rectory annexed! That
ALMIGHTY JUDGE! how shall poor mortals brook
Thy dreadful gaze on that appalling day,
Where all his deeds are set in dark array !
Their peace and pardon, and deliv'rance win:
That their own merits shall absolve their sin ?
To let thy holy Gospel speak for me :
REVIEW OF BOOKS. The History of the Propagation of it is likely, be more select. Less money
Christianity among the Heathen might be raised, but less also would be since the Reformation. By the spent by the employment of unsuitable
agents. Besides, were more correct picRev. William Brown, M. D.
tures drawn of the nature of the missionary Second Edition. 2 Vols. Pp. work; were its difficulties and discouragexx and 688; x and 730.
ments, its trials and disappointments, exhiWe have often felt the want of a bited with due prominence, instead of being succinct account of Protestant
thrown into the shade: were the unfitness
and the errors, and the faults of some misMissions from the Reformation to
sionaries faithfully pourtrayed, (so far as is the present day, and have been
consistent with prudence and tenderness to therefore highly gratified by this the individuals,) instead of being entirely publication; which, though ap concealed from the view, a deep feeling,
we trust, would be excited throughout the pearing under a general title, is confined solely to the exertions of human exertions, and of the necessity of a
Christian world, of the insufficiency of all Protestants, and designedly ex humble dependance on divine influence; cludes all reference to the mis the spirit of prayer would be awakened in sionary attempts of the Romish another manner than at present, in bebalf Church.
of missionaries ; that men might be raised While, however, we approve of up: endowed with all those gifts and graces
which so arduous an undertaking requires; the author's undertaking, and think that they might be preserved in the bour his general performance highly cre of temptation; that they might not only ditable and useful, we feel that he preach the Gospel with their tongue, but in has advanced some positions of a
their conduct exbibit a living picture of
Christian principle and Christian practice ; questionable nature, and which
that they might be zealous, and active, and ought not to have been stated ex faithful in their work, and that they might cept on very sufficient grounds. behold the fruit of their labours, in the We were a good deal startled, for conversion of multitudes to the Saviour. instance, at the following extract
Christians in general know but little of the from the Preface.
difficulties, the trials, and the temptations
to which missionaries are exposed; and He (the author) is afraid that the friends
bence it cannot be expected that they of Bible and Missionary Societies often
should bear them in any suitable manner draw far too flattering pictures of their tri
on their bearts before God in prayer. There umphant progress, of their past success,
is, in fact, an unballowed confidence in that and of their future prospects : that they magnificent apparatus of means wbich is at either forget, or are unacquainted with, the present in operation, as if it must produce many shades and spots which cloud and a mighty change in the state of the world; mar the beauty of the scene; and that by
a confidence which, there is reason to fear, this means they produce fallacious impres- may prove an occasion of the influences of sions on the public mind, and excite hopes
the Holy Spirit being withheld from our exwhich can terminate only in disappoint- ertions, until we are kumbled to the dust ment. The Author is sensible, that by before God, and brought to renounce every such a system important purposes are
thing like self-sufficiency and self-dependserved: but he is no less convinced, that
ance, and to trust with simplicity of heart by an impartial statement of facts, whe
to the divine blessing, as that without ther they are favourable or unfavourable,
which all human endeavours will be utterly inexpressibly greater advantages would be fruitless.- Pp. xi-xiv. gained. The common observation, that
Now we are not aware that any, honesty the best policy, is applicable to
either of the numerous Bible or truth in general. It may be attended with temporary inconveniences, but on the whole Missionary Societies, are fairly the advantages will far more than counter liable to these charges. That perbalance the disadvantages. Bible and sons newly entering upon the misMissionary Societies might by such a system
sionary work should in some inỐe rendered less popular; but probably
stances mistake blossoms for fruit they would be more useful. Fewer individuals might offer themselves as missiona is no way surprising; and that some ries, but those who came forward would, few individuals may in their public