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upon the practical affairs of life; and to find the principles built by long experience upon the general truths of moral and political science, applied to correct the rasliness of innovation on the one hand, and to diminish on the other the natural impediments to sound and wholesome improvements; a heartless calculation upon abstract principles not chastened by sympathy with attachments generously formed, and a bigoted devotedness to any existing state of things (its errors and its excellencies alike) are equally at variance with that practical wisdom of which this short Charge offers so very striking an example.
But we confess, in the outset, that the masterly touches of the hand of the philosopher, which are seen throughout, did not constitute the chief cause of our satisfaction. We were chiefly delighted by that high spiritual tone and temper which pervades the whole. The subjects discussed are all of them inseparably interwoven with the temporalities of the Church, and yet the Bishop has invested them with a character eminently spiritual. Excepting after experience and actual comparison, it is difficult to estimate the difference between writers in this respect. Let them have the same mixed topics on Church affairs to discuss, let the practical conclusions on points of ecclesiastical discipline, or the management of Church property be identical ; yet, whilst one leaves on his readers the impression that in cases of doubt his mind habitually refers to a secular standard ; another's words will bear equal testimony to the spiritual character of his leading principles. The one indicates a desire to uphold religion on considerations of worldly policy, the other shows that in his view the Establishment is in all things subordinate to vital religion. The tendency of the one is to sink us lower towards the earth, and all that is transitory and valueless ; the other lifts the mind towards heavenly and imperishable treasures, We have already intimated our gratification on witnessing in the Bishop of Llandaff's Charge a decided character in this respect. In it there breathes throughout, that spirit which should animate the principles and the works of every christian pastor. We cannot refrain from quoting a few of the passages to which this remark is more particularly applicable :
Founded on a rock as the visible Church of Christ we know to be, and secure of Divine protection against all the malice and all the subtlety of the adversary, I do not for a moment doubt, that while the branch of it here established continues true to its profession, and presents a firm and united front in the warfare which the world will always wage against it, we shall ensure to ourselves a due share of that protection, and shall come out of the fiery trial purified and invigorated, and better qualified by the lessons of adversity to counteract those insidious causes of decay, which a season of long security almost always engenders within the bosom of the Church itself.—Pp.3, 4.
Again, when speaking of the jealousy with which power is watched in this country, the Bishop says :
In ecclesiastical affairs it operates perniciously against the sacred interests of the Church, making them subordinate to its temporal interests, and depriving its highest authorities of that paternal control, which its divine Founder, for the furtherance of the Gospel and the increase of His kingdom, lodged in their hands.-P. 8.
Referring to the contemplated transfer of the episcopal authority VOL. XXII, NO, V.
from the Bishop himself to a Court of Law, he thus reminds us of the heavenly origin of that authority.
The authority itself indeed, given by the Divine Founder, human laws cannot abrogate. It remains entire, whatever the rulers of this world may say, or whatever the licentiousness of professed Christians may incline them to do. By them it was not given, and by them it cannot be taken away.
“ The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.”—Pp. 8, 9. It is in questions concerning man and his Redeemer that I would wish to see the authority of Christ's visible Church to be maintained by the State—and the power of its governors recognised to restrain evil doers who minister in his name, to purify his sanctuary, to preserve his doctrines from corruption, and to provide, as far as human authority can provide, that his sheep be duly fed.—P. 16.
But the mere words of insulated passages do not convey an adequate idea of our impression : one and the same spiritual tone diffuses itself through the entire Charge, and imparts to it its peculiar excellence. We will only give one more extract, which embodies the cheering and encouraging address of the Chief Pastor to his own brethren in the ministry, who were themselves eyewitnesses of what he states :
That the state of the Church in this diocese has greatly improved of late years, and is continually improving, in all those respects which depend upon the conduct of the clergy, I assert with confidence, and with a grateful acknowledgment to Almighty God for his blessing and protection. In the condition of the churches, in the residence of the clergy, in the regular performance of divine service at stated hours, in the increase of parochial duty both within and without the church, in the establishment of daily and Sunday schools, in the building of glebe-houses, where there was either none or no fit house of residence, in all these points we have abundant cause for congratulation. If sectarian habits still prevail, there is every year less and less excuse for them, on the plea that the ministration of the Church is negligently, or coldly, or inadequately performed. Separation from the Church is not now to be laid to the charge of its ministers. If the people wilfully and without cause put away from them the word of life offered by us, on them be the blame. We are not partakers in the sin. Neither be you, my brethren, disheartened and cast down, if those whom you invite turn away from you. So did they often from One who is greater than you; and who submitted perhaps to this wrong in his own person, among other wise and benevolent reasons, in order that, having this example ever before your eyes, you should not faint and be weary in your minds, or apprehensive that his care is withdrawn from your ministry, or that you are deemed unworthy labourers in his vineyard.—Pp. 37, 38.
Although we have here directed the reader's attention to what we considered to be the peculiar excellence of the Charge, we must not omit all mention of the chief subjects of his consideration, or his own opinions on their merits.
On the provisions of the Residence and Plurality Law, though we feel with Bishop Copleston, that they deprive a Bishop of a discretion which might, in many cases, be exercised most beneficially for the people and the Church at large, as well as for the individual Clergyman; yet, we confess ourselves to incline (more perhaps than the Bishop of Llandaff himself) to the unbending rather than the relaxing extreme. The perfect middle state, though ever to be aimed at, can never be attained; and that system must be adopted, which best guards against the most probable and dangerous evils; and in candour we must admit those to be the evils of non-residence, pluralities, and dispensations : evils from the past prevalence of which the Church is now suffering, and will, in some points continue to suffer, long after their cause is forgotten. The Bishop's observations on this subject are, at the same time, most valuable. They are clear and candid; and are expressed at once with much inanliness and delicacy of feeling.
With regard to Ecclesiastical Discipline, we trust the Bishop's anticipations will be realized; and that the visitation of offences, the correction of unexemplary conduct; in a word, the powers essentially episcopal, may never be separated from the Bishop himself; and we feel assured that we are expressing the wishes of nine-tenths of the Clergy of England.
On the subject of the Commutation of Tithes, such is part of the sound and kind advice of the Bishop to all his Clergy, who are likely to be engaged in the final settlement of the Church property in their own parishes :
To you, my reverend brethren, it is hardly necessary for me to observe, that you are bound to act as trustees and guardians for your successors, not less than as men seeking the good will of those among whom you live. That you are disposed, and that you feel it your duty to let your moderation in this, as in all other transactions, be known unto all men, I am well assured. Yet you will allow me to remind you, that the good will of men is dearly purchased, if it lead an incumbent to sacrifice the future interests of the benefice he holds, of which interests he and not his ecclesiastical superior is the best judge. The bishop's sanction will be no acquittance of the incumbent's conscience, if he knowingly surrenders, either to the favour of a patron, or to the love of popularity, the fair and equitable claims of those who are to succeed him.—Pp. 23, 24.
On the momentous question of National Education, the Bishop speaks out firmly and decidedly, but without bigotry. We cannot too strongly express our hearty desires that his principles may prevail among us. The following passages will recommend themselves to the head and the heart of every Churchman :
Upon the duty of making religion the basis of general education, it is needless for me here to expatiate. It seems indeed to be admitted even by those, the tendency of whose plans we regard with most suspicion. But religion is a word of wide import. We of the Church of England mean not the same by which Papists and Heretics and Sectarians of various denominations mean. Let me intreat you to enter into no compromise on this subject. Open the doors of your schools to all who are willing to come; but do not bribe them to come by a sacrifice of what you know to be sacred truth. Every attempt of the kind is abortive. It satisfies neither party; while it furnishes a weapon to our adversaries, and a means of undermining the Church when they are afraid to assail it openly:
A circular under an official form, though accredited by no name, has recently come to my hands, the object of which is to vindicate the plan lately condemned by the House of Lords, from the charges brought against it. The time would not now permit me to enter into a particular examination of this performance. It appears to me to be as deficient in all sound views of political philosophy, and even of that narrow branch of political philosophy which too often usurps its province-political economy, as it is in the weightier matters of religion. The examples taken from foreign countries, as guides for ourselves in this proposed work of National Education, have no application to England. Almost all of them are the offspring of despotic governments, and involve compulsory measures, which in this country are impracticable, even if they were desirable. But in truth I suspect and I deprecate every experiment of this kind emanating from government, I do not mean the government of the day, but from any government. The State has recognised å public instructor
of the poor-the National Church. Let the governors and influential members of that Church be mindful of their duty; and if they offer instruction freely to the poor, they ought to be helped by government, when the peculiar circumstances of any neighbourhood require it. We are the almoners of the State for religious purposes. If other denominations of Christians apply for similar aid, let the State take care that it does not, by assisting them, indirectly assail the Church which it professes to maintain, and which, especially as regards the corruptions of Romanism, it is bound exclusively to maintain.-Pp. 30, 31.
We have dwelt so long on the matter with which this Charge is pregnant, that we have no room for remarking on the felicity of many of the Bishop's illustrations. They are all made beautifully subservient to the leading character of the Charge-its spiritual character; they are delightful fruits of a vigorous mind, strengthened and expanded by early culture, and chastened by a familiar intimacy with the best efforts of the human understanding. With one example, closing a most correct, and by no means a common-place observation, we must bring our notice of this interesting Charge to a close :
In dismissing this topic, then, for the present, I must repeat the hope before expressed, that long consideration and frequent discussion will in this, as in many other important legislative measures, have had the effect of ultimately improving them. It certainly has led to a deeper inquiry into the principles of church government, and a clearer insight into its original character, than before prevailed among the educated classes; and it is with no disrespectful feeling towards the lay practitioners in our courts if I observe, by way of caution, that men naturally become enamoured of their art—that they are prone to magnify technical skill, and to lose sight of the end in their eager study of the meansthat by long habit the legal merits supersede the moral character of a case in their contemplation—and that a long continued course even of successful practice requires to be corrected from time to time, like the mariner's reckoning upon the great ocean, by a reference to those heavenly guides which are appointed to rule the day and the night in this our pilgrimage upon earth.-P. 22.
Art. IV.-1. A Reply to the Rev. Dr. Turton's “ Roman Catholic
Doctrine of the Eucharist considered," fc. By Nicholas WISEMAN,
D.D. London: Dolman. 1839. Pp. 364. 2. Observations on the Rev. Dr. Wiseman's Reply to Dr. Turton's
“ Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Eucharist considered.” By THOMAS Turton, D.D. Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, and Dean of Peterborough. Cambridge : Deightons.
London : Parker. 1839. Pp. 164. It will be in the recollection of our readers that in 1836 Dr. Wiseman published a course of lectures “On the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist," in which he undertook the unpromising task of proving that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is contained in the New Testament. It will be remembered, also, that the learned Doctor rested his argument in favour of that doctrine mainly upon an interpretation of the sixth chapter of St. John; and which interpretation has the singular merit of being as much opposed to the recorded opinions of the divines of his own church, as it is to that of Protestants. There was, at the same time, something novel in the idea, that a divine of the Romish communion had at length appeared, who was not afraid to discuss the truth or falsehood of his peculiar tenets by the uncertain light afforded by the Greek Testament; not to mention that the controversialist himself was regarded as a scholar of no mean ability and polemical reputation. The effect produced, however, by the publication of the lectures in question did not, we suspect, quite correspond to the anticipations of Dr. Wiseman, any more than they satisfied the expectations of his friends: for whilst there is good reason for believing that many intelligent Romanists were very much startled by the sentiments developed by Dr. W. in the course of his argument, the lecturer himself was so terribly handled by the Dean of Peterborough, in an able examination of the “Roman Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist," that Dr. W. required two years' consideration before he could make up his mind whether or not he should again venture to shew his face in the controversial world. At the end of two years, however, a “ Reply” to Dr. Turton was announced ; communicating the unexpected intelligence that the volume had, “after all,” been written in “haste ;” and very naturally, therefore, bespeaking the “ reader's indulgence." (Reply, p. viii.) For of all the excuses that the ingenuity of man could have thought of as likely to be put forward in extenuation of his faults, one could hardly have ventured to guess that Dr. W. would, in this instance, have pleaded " haste.” Yet for our part we are, in very charity, disposed to admit the plea, notwithstanding the Doctor's long and ominous silence; because we should be sorry to have to believe that Dr. Wiseman's “ Reply" could have been the result of long deliberation : and we are also much mistaken in our calculations, if in the sequel our readers do not participate in this our charitable feeling.
We request them, however, for the present, only to bear in mind that Dr. Wiseman rested his scriptural proof of Transubstantiation chiefly on the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel. He seems, moreover, to have considered that a great advantage would be gained in the argument, if he could transfer to the 48th verse of the chapter in question, that change of subject in our Lord's discourse which most Romanists and Protestants regard as taking place in the 51st verse ; or rather, he laboured to prove that the change of subject does occur between the 47th and 48th verses.
The point at issue, he observes, between us and our adversaries is twofold. First, is there a change of subject at the 48th verse ?—Lectures. On the Real Presence, p. 40. And again,
It will appear from what I have said, that I am not satisfied with the transition being placed, as it usually is, at the 51st verse. Before closing this lecture, therefore, it is proper that I clear up this point; the more so, as the determination of such a transition must materially advance the strength of the arguments which I shall bring forward.— Ibid. p. 41. And further
This attempt to prove that there is a marked division of the discourse at verse the 48th, is not, as I before observed, of mean importance in our researches.— Ibid. p. 45.
To a similar purport Dr. W. writes again and again ; so that no one could read his Lectures without concluding that he attached great importance to that transition of subject in our Lord's discourse, for which he here contends. The reader will, therefore, doubtless be much surprised when he is told that in the “ Reply" under review, Dr. W.