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helpless than his own; that he in fact will be a virtual contributor to the good of humanity, and to the interest of the rising generation, simply by shifting for himself, and leaving your fund entire and untouched for higher charities; that he ought, on this ground, to make common cause with you; and that he renders a most important co-operation, when he ceases to be burdensome, and ministers with his own hands to his own necessities. Such an argument tells with prodigious effect in many parishes of Scotlandand it will tell in England too, as soon as it is relieved from that artificial system, by which the worth and capability of the popular mind are now overborne. There will at length be a kindred spirit, between the aristocracy of a parish and its common people. Public charity will fall into desuetude. Instead of a now apprehended deficiency in the voluntary fund, there will be a now unlooked for surplus. The point will not merely be carried, but Overcarried--and the best auxiliaries on
the side of this great reformation, will be found in that very class of families, out of which pauperism now draws its ravening myriads."—pp. 360-363.
With much valuable information and reasoning on economical subjects, these volumes mingle many passages of rich and animated composition; and, though we differ entirely from Dr. Chalmers in some of his ecclesiastical prin ciples, we have risen from the perusal of the work with increased veneration for his character and abilities as a political economist and as a Christian philanthropist.
We are not aware how far the views of Dr. Chalmers may have the approbation of influential men; but if we are to consider the Quarterly Review as expressing their prevailing sentiments, and to form our judgment from a singularly weak and blundering article in the last number, his ideas stand little chance of patronage from the constituted authorities.
Thoughts on the Anglican and Anglo-American Churches. By John Bristed.
(Concluded from page 256.) THE REV. T. C. Wilks, in the work before-mentioned, had enCONG. MAG. No. 69.
forced his arguments in favour of the necessity of national Church Establishments, by a reference to the state of religious profession in the American Union. In ten out of fifteen States, it seems, that there no provision for the maintenance of religious instructors.""Eight have no religious creed, the others use a formal test; i. e. three require a belief in God; one, faith in the Gospel; two, faith in the Old and New Testament; four, faith in the Protestant religion." A farther reference to the calculations of the Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher makes it appear, that five millions out of eight 66 are destitute of competent religious instruction." A very important part of this inquiry turns upon the precise force of the word" competent." We do not suppose that Mr. Wilks would restrict it to the sermons and liturgies of an Episcopalian hierarchy; but we apprehend, that he would use the phrase in a more limited sense than we should feel willing to admit. Even Dr. Beecher is not altogether free from prejudice in this point; though
a stout congregationalist," he seems to have a tolerably episcopal disinclination to countenance irregularity.
"A large deduction is to be made
from Dr. Beecher's calculations; so far, at least, as relates to their fatal augury for the future. He counts only regular clergy; all the rest go for nothing with him. By regular clergy, however, he does not intend, as do our high-church formalists, to designate merely the episcopal priesthood, for this profound and celebrated Connecticut divine, is himself a stout congregationalist; but such only as have been regularly trained to the ministry of reconciliation, at some academic institution, or college; whether at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, or elsewhere.
"Now, within the limits of this calculation are not included all, even of the Independent, Presbyterian, and Episcopal clergy, throughout the Union. And they do not comprehend any of the three thousand irregular Baptist preachers; the one thousand travelling, and the four thousand local preachers, among the
Total of American clergy in 1822 11,800
"Say eleven thousand eight hundred, which gives more than one clergyman to every thousand souls, even computing the population of the United States at ten millions."--pp. 283, 284.
We are happy to learn, not merely from the testimony of Mr. Bristed, but from other concurring sources of information, that, however unfavourable appearances may be in certain quarters, religion is, on the whole, decidedly advancing in the United States. The disciples of Jesus are numerous and active; religious institutions, if they do not exceed, equal in number, those of England; the revivals in different parts of the Union are greater than ever," and Mr. B. states, that he has "made special inquiry" respecting them, and the result has been an assurance, "that the far greater portion of those who commence a religious profession under these impressions, continue till death to adorn the doctrine of divine influence."
"Christian missions, too, begin to be more and more popular; and the duty of the church to identify them as an integral part of its institutions, begins to be more generally felt and acknowledged in this highly favoured country. What a cheering sight it was, on the 9th of March, 1821, to see coach and waggon
loads of Missionaries coming into Princeton, on their way to the Indians! The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them. And how still more astonishing that these Indians should be made willing to devote to the education of their children all the dollars paid to them, in annual instalments, for lands, by the government of the United States.
Blessed be God! the appearances in all Christian countries indicate, that we are rapidly passing into a new order of things. Indeed, all the great events of our own times seem but the harbinger of his appearance, who is the desire of all nations."--pp. 289, 290.
A general scheme for the establishment of a national church in America, seems a measure very little likely to be adopted, since there are many and formidable difficulties in its way at the very outset. In the first place, Congress has no power to decree such a measure, since the federal constitution leaves the business of ecclesiastical regimen entirely in the hands of the State legislatures ; and, secondly, if such a plan were in agitation, it would be no easy matter to determine which should "Cerbe the dominant sect. " it tainly," says Mr. Bristed, would not be the American-Anglo Church; and the political prece dency would not easily be settled among the Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Baptists." After having referred to certain statements of Dr. Chalmers, Mr. B. makes the following important remarks in connexion with the subject of patronage.
"Does Dr. Chalmers exhibit these facts and observations, to show forth the beneficial tendencies and influences of the existing system of patronage, in the Anglican Church Establishment? was the patronage of the British Government, which manufactured those very formal Bishops, who scowl with the darkest frowns upon the apostolic labours of their evangelical brother of Gloucester; those very formal Bishops, who, if report speaks truth, laboured by unanimous petition, both archiepiscopal and prelatical, to prevent Dr. Ryder from ascending to his present elevation; their righteous petition only failing in its
"We believe the best system of church patronage to be, the election of the clergyman by the people, who pay him his stipend, and to whom he administers in spiritual things. In these United States, and among the evangelical Dissenters in Britain, where the people actually call and elect their own ministers, a much greater proportion of vital religion, and active practical piety, are found, than in the churches of the Anglican, the Hibernian, and the Scottish Establishments; in which, the civil government, the lay nobility and gentry, the Bishops, and the corporate bodies, both secular and clerical, dispose of all the ecclesiastical dignities and benefices.
"It is also worthy of remembrance, that the mere possession of large funds and revenues cannot render a church flourishing and prosperous. If it could, the Established Church of England, with an annual income greater than the whole permanent capital of all the American churches put together, would infallibly crush the efforts of all other sects; instead of continually clamouring about
her own danger of perishing from the rapid and increasing growth of so many various denominations of Dissenters.
"By far the wealthiest of all the religious bodies in these United States, is the Protestant Episcopal Communion, in the city of New York supposed to possess real estate to the amount of six millions of dollars in value; though not
yielding an income corresponding with so large a capital. Yet the AmericanAnglo Church walks very far behind many other denominations, in numbers, and activity, and influence.
"The real, the only secret of a church's prosperity, is to be found in her clergy preaching the Gospel, and performing the duties of their pastoral office conscientiously and well.
"Scarcely any of the greatest and most powerful Christian corporations in the Union, to wit, the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, the Baptists, and the Methodists, possess large permanent funds; yet they increase and multiply
on all sides; and their wants are supplied by the contributions of a willing people, attached to their faithful ministers, who preach evangelically. A pious clergy generally makes a pious laity; and men really religious, are always ready to give of their temporal substance to promote the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom; to give a part of that gold and silver, all of which belongs
to God, as sole proprietor of the universe; for the purpose of erecting temples to his worship and honour."pp. 307, 308.
It appears that the grand experiment was once actually tried in America, and that the measure had, to use Mr. Bristed's language, "the usual success of promoting discord, and diminishing religion.' In the year 693, Colonel Fletcher, Governor of the province of New York, undertook to saddle of a regular Episcopal Establishthe people with the incumbrance ment, though the Episcopalians of the Colony were few, and the members of the Dutch church had a decided superiority in " numbers, wealth, and respectability." The house of assembly was exceedingly averse to the scheme; but, at length, intrigue prevailed, and a small majority was obtained, Considerable dexterity was manifested in the construction of the act. It did not compel the election of Episcopal clergymen ; it even allowed, in explicit terms, of the choice of Dissenters, but by lodging the power of decision in vestrymen and churchwardens, the object was sufficiently secured. This state of things, as might be imagined, where, as in England, all were compelled to contribute to the maintenance of the clergy, produced much discontent, and operated grievously to the injury of real religion. This partial and oppressive system was broken up by the Revolution, and since that event, "there has been an increasing harmony among the various Christian denominations; and a considerably increased diffusion of vital piety, throughout the community at large."
A similar experiment, but on a much larger scale, was tried in Virginia, and its result was equally illustrative of "the efficacy of formalism in destroying, and of evangelism in building up religious bodies." Into that extensive province episcopacy was introduced apparently under the most favourable circumstances. "An ample provision was made for
the maintenance of the clergy, who were, generally, regularly bred clerks, sent over from the state church in England; and Virginia was deemed to be an integral part of the diocese of the Bishop of London. These established clergy, however, by persevering in a regular system of formalism, accompanied with a corresponding secular life, soon demolished episcopacy in that important section of the Union.
"Of late years, after a long night of entire prostration, the Protestant Episcopal Church has risen from its ashes, in that state, under the auspices of its evangelical bishop, and an evangelical clergy, treading in the footsteps of their venerable diocesan. And, at this moment, there is no other portion of the United States, where the AmericanAnglo-Church flourishes so much, and increases so rapidly.
"And to say truth, in all the other dioceses, wherever the clergy preach the evangelical doctrines of their own arti cles and homilies, their churches are filled, and numbers continually added to their communion. While the formalists, like their brethren in England, either empty the churches which they find full, or never fill those which they find empty; and then shake their sagacious heads in utter surprize, at the rapid growth of other denominations, whose ministers propound the doctrines of the Cross, faithfully, fervently, zealously.
"Hence, we conclude, that the recipe of a church establishment, prescribed by the English doctors, is not an infallible remedy for that low state of American religion, which they so confidently announce, and so pathetically deplore.
"The truth is, a national church establishment, invariably, adds to the natural formalism of man, the necessary secularity of a secular government and a secular patronage; whence, it is scarcely, if at all, possible, under such a system, to keep alive a general spirit of piety, throughout the great body of the national
communion. How far the alliance between church and state, the pluralities, the gross inequality in the revenues of the different bishoprics and benefices, the Translations from see to see, the sinecures, in the shape of deanries, canonries, prebends, and other noneffective appointments, in conjunction with the mode of ecclesiastical provision, is calculated to subserve the cause of real Christianity, may be seen from the actual state of religion in the English and Irish establishments, now, after all the advantages derived to them from the frequent revivals of evangelical piety, which have taken place in those two countries, during the last eighty years; which revivals, it cannot be too often repeated, the Angli
can and Hibernian state churches have unceasingly laboured, and do now endeavour, to depress, and to destroy."—pp. 315-317.
It requires no great exercise of sagacity to perceive that the most threatening sign of the present times is irreligion, and it might be supposed that there could be little difference of opinion respecting the true method of averting its ominous aspect. Of all moral engines, a wealthy establishment must, in the very nature of things, be the least efficacious, in that species of warfare which the active spirit of infidelity and impiety requires. There will be learning, and there may be piety, but neither of them will be of the kind required to encounter the suspicions and the hostilities of the multitude, when inoculated with the virus of unbelief, and not only prejudiced against religion itself, but confounding with its essential character and requisitions, the form under which it is presented to them by lordly and interested men. He is the most effectual evangelist who addresses mankind from their own level; and he will be found the most firmly rooted in the affections of his hearers, who has been the object of their trial and their choice. But though we are convinced of the entire inadequacy of establishments-to say nothing at present of their antiscriptural nature-to meet the spiritual exigencies of a nation, and, above all, the alarming symptoms of the immediate crisis, yet there is an actual evil that weighs still more heavily on the temporal and eternal destinies of England. We refer to the unrelenting enmity cherished against what are usually termed evangelical sentiments by our leading statesmen. Though there some, among them, who tertain more enlightened views in this matter, yet those who
exercise the government patronage in England, are evidently and avowedly hostile to opinions and feelings, which they confound with ignorance and fanaticism. It is one of the most emphatic indications that the principles of establishments are at variance with the principles of Gospel regimen and discipline, one of the most impressive illustrations of the great Scripture canon, My kingdom is not of this world, that, at a season when the most strenuous exertions of pious men in preaching, reasoning, praying, and consistent living, are urgently required, the patrons and administrators of a great national ecclesiastical establishment not only are deaf to the call, but treat it with scorn and derision. We firmly believe that the preservation of Ireland, as an integral portion of the British empire, depends upon the efforts of an evangelical ministry, deeply imbued with a missionary spirit, zealous and devoted to their great work. The tythe-system, with a secular and non-resident clergy, have brought almost irretrievable calamities on that unhappy land. As Dissenters, we are, of course, hostile to the very principle of establishments, but our prevailing
wish concerning the hierarchy of Great Britain is that we may see it filling the sees and parishes of Ireland with such men as Newton, Grimshaw, Cecil, and Seott.
In the mean time, if the men of Establishments will not do the work, Dissenters must; and, if a double task is thrown upon us, we must rouse ourselves to meet it; the best of causes is in our hands, and the Highest of beings is on our side. We have little influence in cabinets, none in cathedrals, but by our earnest pleadings we may persuade our fellowmen, and by our fervent prayers we may prevail with God.
In our former notice of this able and interesting work, we cited a passage as original, which had been extracted by Mr. Bristed from Messrs. Bogue and Bennett's History of Dissent. We were not aware of our oversight until reminded of the circumstance by a friend, and our first impulse was to accuse Mr. Bristed of plagiary. On reference, however, we find that though he has not distinguished the extent of his quotations by inverted commas, he has in a previous page spoken of them rather loosely as "gathered from a modern popular and able work.”
Literaria Rediviva; or, The Book Worm.
The Sermons of the Right Rev. Father in God, Master Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester. Many of which were preached before King Edward 6th, the Privy Council, Parliament, and Nobility, on the Religious and Civil Liberties of Englishmen, &c. In two Volumes.-London:
We have had a special regard for this old worthy, ever since we
saw, in early life, the print which represents him in his "old threadbare Bristol frize gown," with his Bible under his arm, and his staff in his hand, advancing boldly to the seat of unrighteous judgment. And we never read his sublime appeal to his fellow-sufferer at the stake—“We shall this day, my Lord, light such a candle in England, as shall never be extinguished,"-without feeling stirred as by the sound of a trumpet,