Obrazy na stronie

and religious changes will take place in human heart; but it is not so with us; the course of coming years, which the we have holier associations with the old influences will do little to control or language than mere forms of speech. It direct. But this is far more the case in is that in which our Bible is written, in Germany, than here, and I think one which our infancy has been instructed cause of it is this :—whilst religion has in the church, which it is impossible to never separated itself from the highest replace in the course of a few months by intellectual culture which we possess, in any instruction which can be gained in Germany that severance has taken place. a foreign country. This, then, in some While in England our universities, where degree accounts for the feeling one has that culture is sought, and to a great of the coldness of a foreign religion, of extent found, remain essentially ecclesi. the impossibility of awakening those astical corporations, producing thereby a fires of the soul which kindle at the multitude of social evils, at all events it slightest spark of suggestion in our own has this good effect,-it keeps the high- land; and I think it is necessary to est understanding and the deepest learn- make this allowance in any judgment ing of the country in close connection which we may form. And though I with religious influence. In Germany have had much instruction, and am this is far otherwise; and I think I do thankful for the great prospects which not speak with any extravagance in say- the opportunities of the past year have ing that there the almost entire mass of opened to me, I would say to any of my its most cultivated classes, of the intel- younger brethren who may in future lectual men who constitute the strength years desire a similar opportunity of of our universities, and give them their leisure, that, after all, sometimes rest is endowment, is practically alienated from dearly purchased, and if it be prolonged, the Christianity of Germany. I come the home sickness arises within one; home then, sir, I confess, with a most then there is a great drawback to the confirmed preference for our English advantages and benefits which we resocial life-(applause)-for our English ceive. But at the same time this premodes of thought and habits of action, pares one for a joyous and glad return to and especially I come home with a de- the scene of our accustomed labours. cided preference for that popular and These few words respecting the past. practical religion which exists in this As for the future, my friends, I do not country, rather than that purely intel- like rash promises. I think that whatlectual and critical theology which exists ever resolves are formed respecting the in Germany (applause). Of course I do future upon the growth and rise of future not mean to speak with the slightest de- opportunities are better hidden deep in gree of disparagement of the inquiries the heart, and breathed only to Him which have brought the condition of who can give them the strength and theological literature to such a degree of fervour of devotion. I say, then, little perfection in Germany. These aids are respecting our future. I believe that always necessary; but I think it a mat- some of my friends who are here have ter of the utmost importance that these wondered why I have been for some should not remain as a separate study, weeks in Liverpool, and have not shewn as a division of labour, but should remain myself again in the old place of my acin practical connection with the influ. customed labours, and I wish to say & ences of the Christian religion. How. word of explanation upon this point, beever, I acknowledge that there is some- cause there is nothing which I can so ill thing in one's associations of religion bear and brook as a charge of indifferthat prevents one doing justice to the ence like that. The truth is, to say noreligion of a foreign country. We speak thing of the public impropriety of preto one another, perhaps, in the tongue of senting one's self, after a public and other nations, but there is something in formal farewell of the scene of one's our own mother tongue which is conse. labours, I must say this, that when with crated especially to God; and I believe a great effort of nature one has made up few persons can have been abroad with his mind to bear the wrench and struggle out seeing that it is scarcely possible to of separation, -when we have said the pray and worship in any language but word farewell

, and gone through the strife the language of our infancy and child of heart which those words must occahood (applause). To God, indeed, to sion,-it is a painful thing to appear whom these prayers are directed, the again, to go through the same scene again. varied tongue of different nations as- It is just as if a man were going out to a cends, and as it ascends becomes as it foreign country, an exile for life, and have were the vernacular speech of the great ing gone the round of his house, kissed VOL. V.

5 A

his children, and shed all his tears, were sionary action in the circle around. And to come back for a forgotten umbrella now, sir, after your warning against long (loud laughter). This is the reason why speeches, I feel that I have transgressed I shrunk, in thought, from a re-appear. too far (no, no). I will therefore simply ance there. If I had cared for the place be content to reserve whatever else may less, I should have felt less at presenting occur for occasions of more deliberate myself. I trust that will be deemed an suggestion. I can truly say that during apology for my non-appearance at a scene my absence on the continent, I have seen where I laboured so long and happily nothing, amidst many things to delight, (applause). Sir, without adverting fur. cheer and instruct, nothing that has been ther to the future prospect of our Chris- equal to the experience of this day. I tian church, I will gently intimate one have seen many great and glorious min. hope which I cannot conceal from you, sters, in which processions of priests and and that is, that we may be able to find clouds of incense added magnificence to some machinery of administration with the scene; but I have seen nothing which which we may more truly and faithfully equals to my heart the simple beauty of realize the idea of a Christian church. I that place of prayer which we have this mean the high tie of an associated fra- day had consecrated to the service of ternity (hear, hear) of men holding a God, -I mean, of course, not as a work common faith, taking a common view of of art, - but nothing that is so delightful the great work of life, and the great to the eyes of those who look forward to hopes of the future, and intent upon re- the experiences which are to be written alizing them through the means of the upon its walls, and of the hopes which it Christian church (hear, hear). I trust is to be the means of realizing. I have that we shall be able to realize this idea seen ten thousand beauties and glories of better than we have heretofore been able God upon the face of creation, but noto do (hear, hear). When I read our thing that so moves and delights me as public journals, and open my mind to the dull old scenes and neighbourhood of the sentiments current in English society, this town and port. I have seen a numnothing surprises me more than this- ber of collections of the remains of great we have run much after what I would works of art, but I have seen nothing like call the gospel of the economists, which that gallery of faces whose image now cries out "lei a man help himself;"> "help stands before me. It has risen day after yourself' is the modern gospel of Eng- day, week after week, after periods of land -" help one another" is the ancient long absence, but is now presented before gospel of the Christian church; and unless me in the form of living minds and living we can find some means of doing ample hearts, among whom it is my blessedness justice to the sentiments concealed in to labour (loud and continued applause). both of those expressions-unless we can The Chairman called upon Thomas do this, I see most plainly either that the Thornely, Esq., M. P., to give the next ancient characteristics of the Christian sentiment. In doing so he expressed his church expressed by the motto—“See warm admiration of that gentleman's how these Christians love one another,” public and private character, and alluded must disappear; and unless we do, it will to the eminent public services he had be useless to retain the name of Chris- rendered in the matter of the Orders in tianity when that essentially binding and Council, the Repeal of the Test and Coroperative spirit has entirely failed. With- poration Acts, Catholic Emancipation, out dilating on the end, I can only say Reform in Parliament, Reform of the that I came home to resume my duties Municipal Corporations, and more rewith an earnest desire to see it accom- cently and especially the Dissenters' plished, and I shall put my trust and Chapels Bill. faith in you to carry these views out; Thomas THORNELY, Esq., M.P., after and see-without the attempt to esta- acknowledging the compliments paid him blish any ecclesiastical institution which by the Chairman, for whom he, in commay endanger individual freedom, or mon with all who knew him, entertained trench upon the least independence in the respect and warm affection, said that to religious mind--if still we may find some the kindness and confidence of his townsmethod by which those individual con- men he owed his recommendation to victions may be brought to one common the people of Wolverhampton, an obligafocus, so as to be brought to act, and tion for which he felt the utmost gratikindle action in the world around. I do tude. He proceeded to say, that in that not think that a Christian church sustains large assemblage which met that mornits duties unless it sustains a Christian ing in the great Hope-Street church, life, and spreads it by a sort of mis- there was present no individual who more delighted in the service than him- of respect for them in English society. self, or that looked forward with more He concluded with expressing his pleasure to the long.continued services earnest wish that the utmost prospeof their respected pastor. When that rity might prevail in the church of distinguished minister's day should be Hope Street, and proposing the followno more, he trusted a long line of wor- ing sentiment—"Honour to the Nonthy successors would be found. The conformists of the seventeenth century; day was not simply an occasion of inte. to whose devout integrity, and resolute rest to the members of the Hope-Street zeal, we owe the formation of Dissenting congregation; he was quite sure the societies, and the progress of the Reforattractions of the public services of Mr. mation at home; the foundation of the Martineau would make that place the free states of New England; and a large resort of all the lovers of Christian truth proportion of the constitutional liberand the admirers of intellectual powers ties of our country.” in the town of Liverpool. He was one of JAMES Heywood, Esq., M. P., said, the few who could remember the erec- that as a descendant from one of the tion of the Paradise-Street chapel. In ejected ministers, Oliver Heywood, he 1791 that chapel was opened. He was had much pleasure in acknowledging then a schoolboy; but he well remem- the sentiment proposed by his honourbered hastening from the morning school able friend, Mr. Thornely. He, equally to attend the opening service; and last with him, was delighted to see ÚnitaSunday evening he had made an effort rian churches being erected in several to attend the closing service in that parts of the country. He regarded their chapel, and had the pleasure of listen- erection as an assertion, on the part of ing to an excellent sermon preached on those who worshiped in them, of their the occasion by the Rev. J. H. Hutton. equality in religious privileges with the They could not but be proud that the established sect. A hundred and fifty time had arrived when Dissenters from years ago their forefathers had, with the Established Church came forward great effort and zeal, constructed their boldly and with spirit, to erect places brick parallelograms. In that day Disof worship suitable to the age in which senters were compelled to avoid, rather they lived ; not in holes and corners, than court observation; they had no but where they could stand before the towering spires, and their assemblies world, and invite the community at were not gathered together by the large to come and behold how their church-going bell. In themselves these devotions were conducted, and to hear things were of very little importance. what were the instructions there given. But when the right to them was denied No one was more gratified than him- by others, it became a duty and a matself by the admirable manner in which ter of principle to have them. The prothe congregation had raised a noble ceedings of the day were very interesting temple for the worship of God. The to him ; amongst other reasons, because sentiment which he was about to pro- he was a native of Liverpool, and bepose for their acceptance, contained an longed to a branch of those honest Nonallusion to the time that was past, to conformists who in that town had done the unflinching integrity of that band much to promote its welfare. There of Puritans who founded the Noncon- was, he believed, no place in the world formist societies in England, and who in which there was more of the spirit founded the free states of New England. of commercial enterprize, and there was He had enjoyed opportunities of wit- also a strong feeling in behalf of relinessing, again and again, the state of gious liberty. They might, in an histhings in New England. He had heard torical review, very properly go still in Boston the eloquent Channing. It further back than the age of the Puriwas owing to the independent and noble tans and the Nonconformists, and trace character of those who, more than two the early struggles of religious liberty centuries ago, crossed the Atlantic in in this country before the 17th century, search of that religious liberty which in the lives and sufferings of the Lolhere was denied them, that at this day lards. The dominant party of that age there was perfect religious freedom in resisted the progress of Lollardism. În New England, and that the days of their hatred of it, they refused to allow persecution were mere matter of his- private schools to exist, which they tory. In England, too, there was much feared would prove nurseries of the new to cheer them; and much as the Uni- and obnoxious faith. But their oppotarians were spoken against, he believed sition was not successful. It should, there was a considerable under-current indeed, be remembered, in palliation of the persecutions that prevailed in that it. There was a subject which was now carly day, that by no man or party was calling forth a very large amount of the theory of perfect religious liberty public feeling: he meant, the condition received or understood. The compro- of the Universities of Oxford and Cammise of the matter which the Church bridge, and the necessity of effecting an of England at length accepted gave lit- extensive reform in them. He knew tle satisfaction to the Puritans, and their that men of all denominations were resistance and nonconformity, both here heartily united on this subject.

In and in America, were entitled to our connection with this topic, he might admiration. Last year, he (Mr. Hey- mention that he had placed on the Nowood) visited some of the New-England tice-book of the House of Commons, a States. At New Haven, he observed notice of his intention to move an Adthat all the denominations had erected dress to the Queen, praying her Majesty their houses of prayer in the same part to issue a Royal Commission for inquiry of the city-a spacious path. Here into the Universities of Oxford, Camwere to be seen Episcopalian, Presby- bridge and Dublin. He should be glad terian, Unitarian and Methodist places to see the same harmony prevailing of worship. The citizens said they should amongst the several religious parties of not be pleased to see a place of worship England on the subject of the education in any other part of the town. This of the lower classes. He thought there was as near a realization of the idea of were signs of improvement, and he gave a national temple as could perhaps be the Government credit for perfect sineffected in the 19th century. Mr. Hey- cerity in this matter. They were soli. wood proceeded to say, that he sympa- citous to promote education, and they thized with the feelings of Mr. Marti- were anxious to secure the full religious neau. He too felt, on his return home, liberty of all.-Mr. Heywood concluded that there was no country like England. by expressing his hope that the congreNowhere, he believed, was there a great- gation would be distinguished, not only er amount of good feeling and religious by their very beautiful church, but by toleration. Nowhere was there more the large amount of good they were practical religious liberty than in Lan- both able and willing to effect. He then cashire. He had heard with interest proposed—“The extension of a genethat their excellent minister was not rous and an enlightened Education; the only a descendant from the Hugenot speedy reform of every institution in emigrants who found in England an which its principles are perverted, or asylum, but also from the early Non- its benefits unjustly restricted ; and conformists of this country. With ad. success to those in which its true value mirable integrity and resolution did is practically apprehended and vindithose men carry out into practice what cated.” they believed to be right in the sight of The Rev. John KENRICK.-The subGod. When called upon to subscribe ject indicated by the sentiment just their assent and consent to every thing read is so very comprehensive, that to contained in the Book of Common attempt to enter upon it at large would Prayer, conscientious and religious occupy more time than falls to myshare. men, disapproving of many things con- I conclude, from the sentiment's being tained therein, had no alternative but proposed by Mr. Heywood, that it has to bow their heads in sorrow, and re- a particular reference to the improvetire from the church and the flock they ment of collegiate and academical eduloved, and wait for better times. We cation. Whether, as Dissenters, we shall live in happier days. Great but quiet gain any thing by the opening of the changes were now going on. In the Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, bosom of the Church of England itself, may, I think, bear a doubt; but there a party is rising up bent on asserting is no question that the national honour the rights of free inquiry, and of effect- and justice loudly, demand such a ing large reforms in the Church. It change. It would be a very difficult was his own deliberate belief that the thing to say what constitutes in all its Church of England would be reformed. extent a generous education, but there The reform might not be in his life- is no difficulty in saying that the system time, but come it would. The party to of our Universities is an ungenerous syswhom he referred consisted chiefly of tem. Is it not ungenerous to take a young laymen of great intelligence and public man, before his mind and opinions are spirit, but he was glad to state that formed, and tell him, as is done at Osseveral clergymen of varied learning ford, that at that fountain of knowledge and considerable eminence belonged to he shall obtain nothing except he put


his name to thirty-nine propositions, opposed to the cause of truth, and that which even their imposers avow that truth can never be at variance with they cannot explain? Is it not an un- Christianity, the purest form of religenerous system which at Cambridge gion and the noblest code of morals. permits him, indeed, to go through all Having responded to the sentiment the preliminary toils, to arrive within which is expressed on this paper, may sight of the goal, to see the honours of I be allowed, before I sit down, to offer an academical career within his grasp, my word of congratulation to my Liverand then, unless he comply with the pool friends, and particularly to the memsame condition, tell him that he shall bers of Hope-Street chapel, on the event not carry away the distinction he is of this day. Perhaps, as having resided entitled to receive? Against such ex- so long in a city which boasts the posclusion I hope Mr. Heywood will not session of the very noblest specimen of cease to contend, and that he will find Gothic architecture, I may be allowed many and able coadjutors in the strug- to express the delight with which I gle. The conclusion of the sentiment have seen your new structure, and at expresses a wish for the success of those the good taste which has presided over institutions in which the true value of its execution. It was fitting that reliå generous and enlightened education gion should have such a temple,-espeis practically apprehended and vindi. cially when we see a temple like this, cated. Although no particular insti- raised for themselves by the lovers of tution is mentioned in this connection, pleasure and luxury and taste; when yet I cannot but suppose, from the sen- see the splendid shrines which timent being allotted to me, that there Mercury and Pluto and Mammon have is some reference to an institution with erected-far more splendid than any in which I have been connected for forty which they have worshiped in antiyears; and in which, whatever may be quity--surely it was fitting that in Liits merits or defects, certainly the great verpool should at length arise a strucprinciples of religious liberty and free ture in which the beauty of holiness inquiry have always been most sacredly should find its appropriate symbol. Mr. regarded. If I, indeed, boast impro- Thornely has expressed the hope that perly on behalf of the institution, there the sight of such a building might stiare present those who can confute what mulate those who are not of us to attenI have said. I have the pleasure of tion and inquiry; and I think that such seeing here pupils of the first year in a result is highly probable. The stranger which I was connected with it, and and the passer-by will inquire to what others also of the present year; and if worship is this splendid edifice dediany one of them assert that he has been cated; and will be told, not to ignoin any way checked or discouraged in rance and superstition and mystery, his pursuit of truth, I can only say, but to one God and Father of all, in that I have not been cognizant of or our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there concerned in it. The office which I is a table of communion from which now fill is one which at all times in.. no honest, sincere-minded follower of volves much responsibility and anxiety; Christ is excluded-a pulpit from which but there are times in which that anxi- is never heard the anathema of an asety is unusnally great, and the present sumed infallibility and orthodoxy. I is one of them. There are times when cannot but think that the knowledge men are content to stand quietly upon that such a religion is professed within the old ways; and others, when they these walls, will draw many auditors. scorn the old ways because they are the And now, one word of personal feeling old ways, and strike right and left into with respect to your excellent pastor. a variety of paths. It becomes a defect As a pupil

, friend and colleague, I have rather than a merit, in a truth, that our known him for a quarter of a century. fathers believed it before us. And if, As a pupil, I have not forgotten that under these circumstances, we who are he was distinguished for his excellent engaged in education at Manchester moral conduct, his ardour in the pursuit New College, had undertaken to teach of knowledge, and that he carried away our pupils our own or any man's creed, with him from college the affection and we should undoubtedly be exceedingly esteem of all. As a colleague, I have anxious. But in such circumstances had means of observing his profound there is nothing to be done, but to think acquaintance with the science which less of creeds and more of principles; he professes, and his eloquence in exand those which have always guided pounding it. As a minister, I feel that, us are, that free inquiry can never be among those who know him so much

« PoprzedniaDalej »