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“EVERY PLANT WHICH MY HEAVENLY FATHER HATH NOT PLANTED,
SHALL BE ROOTED UP.”—Matt. xv. 13.)
In those who think a national Church right, dissent is a sin ; in those who think it wrong, silence is a shame.
THE HOUSE OF MERCHANDIZE.
“And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting : and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple; and the sheep and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables: and said unto them that sold doves, take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandize."-(John ii. 14–16.
No doubt our Lord was frequently set down as very harsh in his conduct, and pre-eminently bitter in the spirit exhibited in his denunciations. His words were such as cannot be equalled in severity of invective, when dealing with "Scribes and Pharisees, and hypocrites !" who for a pretence made long prayers and for a practice devoured widows' houses. He reserved his mildness and gentleness for publicans and sinners, men who made no pretensions, and confessed their sinfulness.
This point in our Lord's character has yet to be made prominent in its relation to our present public affairs; and to all reformation and abuses.
The grand argument of nearly all defenders of abuses, is to conDEMN THE bitterness with which they are exposed: the point is invariably assumed,—that the reformer is of a bad spirit, and hence he is warned to consider“ the meekness and gentleness of Christ." They are never told to imitate Christ's whip of small cords ; never to imitate his unsparing exsposures, and powerful rebukes of whited sepulchres; serpents, generations of vipers, children of the Devil !
This part of our Lord's spirit, is ignored; and hence the smooth speaking now required, so contrary to the plain speaking of the gospel. Every expression condemnatory of existing evils, is by their abetters set down for a violation of Christian meekness; so charitable are they in enforcing charity. Men who love abuses, become quite warm against the unchristian bitterness which
them. But supposing the advocates of reform, were as bold and denunciatory in their invectives, as they are ungenerously assumed to be; it would not
therefore follow that their style is contrary to the style and spirit of Christ.
As there are two aspects of the divine nature,—the wrath of God, and the righteousness of God; his justice and mercy; severity and goodness; as the gospel itself, is full of the tenderest mercy, and yet contains the most awful warnings,—a responsibility terrible in proportion to the privileges of love offered ;-80 the personal character of our blessed Redeemer, who is the express image of the Father, and an embodiment of the principles of the gospel, CONTAINS THESE TWO ELEMENTS, OF SEVERITY AND GOODNESS.
Therefore, to exhibit “the spirit of Christ,” is to combine his powerful condemnation of abuses and their supporters, with the gentlest commisseration for the unfortunate, the outcast, the penitent profligate and felon. " Then in the audience of all the people, he said unto his disciples, beware of the Scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”—(Luke xx. 45–47.) Here is ridicule of their dress, and manners; exposing their motives, and denunciation of their doom.
Their long robes and their long prayers; their high seats,--high titles, and their low practices; and finally a solemn declaration of their danger. This was the spirit of Christ, to such men.
On the contrary,
who wearied of this or any other sinful course, were looking for refuge and peace ;-he would say come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. He was meek and lowly in heart, and yet unsparing in condemning the characters even of the public and authorized teachers of the Jews_“blind leaders of the blind.”
It follows therefore that no measure of invective against what is wrong, is any violation of Christian meekness. We write not that it may be conceded to us ;—that we may act upon this licence given by our pattern,-indeed no one's language could ever equal in condemnatory power, the language of the Redeemer, in his public discoursesą“ in the audience to all the people.” But these conditions, including the twofold element in the spirit of Christ according to the persons he was dealing with; may serve to moderate the warmth of hose who first
presume upon the bitterness of reformers, and then condemn them for it; as a display of Christian mildness.
This is a subject into which we shall enter more fully on some other occasion,—to exhibit the true spirit of Christ, in his dealings with penitents and with hardened sinners, whether deceiving or being deceived.
For the present we may obviate one natural objection to this argument; viz :-"that Christ knew men's hearts, and so could infallibly denounce their conduct : but we have not this knowledge.” Be it so; then do not denounce reformers as wicked and bitter ; till
you have such knowledge. Do not impugn their motives without
own prejudice; nor condemn their style of actions, without knowing anything of either.
But further, our Lord did teach us, how to distinguish such characters :-not hy our prejudices, not by reports, but “ by their fruits shall
YE know them.” So that it is a safe rule to point out men's actions, and from these infer their principles; and praise or denounce them accordingly. It is probable that our Lord was condemned as a reproachful vituperative person ; speaking evil of dignities, from “that Fox” on the throne to those “ hypocrites” in the synagogue; he could let nobody alone; nothing was good enough for him ; he seemed to come into the world only to find fault; it was no wonder they crucified him; lie did not take thie shortest method of drawing followers. True indeed! He repelled men, till they were far enough off to take a fair view of him; when he was near they did not know him; but having crucified him, they knew liis value; as they stood afar off, and smote their breasts, returning home in silence from that scene of popular delusion and priestly craft; then they considered his true character: and he when he was lifted up, drew men unto him.
So it has been with his own true martyrs since; they win their crown by suffering and obloquy, and gain their followers after crucifixion.
To speak now of God's house, being a “house of merchandize,” or to use the still stronger words of Christ, A DEN OF THIEVES ;" would be to expose the writer or speaker to this reproach of violating Christ's spirit, in following his example. And yet there is greater sin in what we have to
expose, than in what Christ condemned. Those who sold doves in the Jewish Temple, could make a better apology, than those who pollute the Church of Christ, by the merchandize of spiritual offices.
Those men sold doves for sacrifices; they did not sell the priests' promotions : “the tables of the money-changers,” were not so vile as the “CHURCH REGISTRIES” set up in our country and supported by patrons of livings, and Christian clergymen.
What would the Redleemer have said, if he had found the following on the tables ?
SALES OF CHURCH PROPERTY, &c.
FOR ERLEY, 'In a Midland County, with the prospeet of an early
The income is 1701. at present, and will annually increase, in a way that will be explained,) till it attains to about 1901.; and there is a good Parsonage House, with Garden, Pleasure Grounds, and convenient Out-offices.
For price and further particulars, apply to Mr. Garbitt, Land Agent, Lawley, near Wellington, Salop.-( Midland Counties Herald, June, 1819.)
The traders in the Temple of Jerusalem did not go so far as this: or they would have received a more severe condemnation.
We shall invite our readers to a walk, about the tables of the moneychangers, in our modern English Temple; that they may see how much need there is for Christ to come again, in the power of his truth, which is a scourge of small cords.”
The Record, (Jan. 3, 1849,) the organ of the evangelical party in the
Church of England, contained the four following advertisements in the following order; the first of them is peculiarly worthy of notice, as indicating THE SYSTEM to which the property in livings is subject.
THE CHURCH REGISTRY. THE HE business of this Office (late of 10, Norfolk-street, Strand,) for the
sale and exchange of Advowsons and Next Presentations, the obtaining of Curacies with or without Titles to Orders, &c., is now conducted at 14, Carey-street, Lincoln's-inn, London, where all communications may be addressed to H. Robinson, Registrar.- January 1, 1849. N Lancashire TOT BE SOLOD. EXT PRESENTATION of a RECTORY in a favourite part of
Annual value 8431., with a rectorial house and second residence for a curate. The present Incumbent is in his eighty-third year.
For particulars apply to Messrs. Bell, Steward, and Lloyd, solicitors, of 59, Lincoln's-inn-fields, London. THE THE NEXT PRESENTATION to a desirable LIVING, is TO BE
DISPOSED OF on moderate terms, and with very early possession. It is situated in a most desirable part and neighbourhood in a midland county, the population nearly 1,000, and the present value 1501. a-year, but it is capable of improvement. It may be strongly recommended, either to a clergyman who is entirely devoted to his duties, or who combines tuition with them. He must be of sound Church and Evangelical sentiments, and give satisfactory references. Letters may be directed (pre-paid) to A. B., at the Office of the Record.
MARLBOROUGH COLLEGE. A ,
PRESENTATION, value 501., available for February next, TO BE the half year ending Midsummer, 1849, must be paid to the Secretary on or before the 15th January, to the account of School number 209.
Application for the presentation to be made to the Rev. S. I. G. Sandgate, Folkestone.
The unlearned reader will be pleased to bear in mind, that “the eightythird year” of “the present incumbent," is a saleable property, being equivalent to the prospect of an early possession." This doctrine has been severely commented on by those not understanding its spiritual nature; as the following instance will sufficiently indicate.
“A CURE OF SOULS FOR SALE.—Notice has been given that the perpetual advowson and next presentation to the vicarage of Braintree is for sale, and as an inducement to purchasers, it is stated that the present incumbent is in his 79th year. Braintree is a town in Essex, the large majority of the inhabitants being dissenters, who have for many years past resisted church rates, and who originated a case which has frequently come under the consideration of our courts of judicature. The present patron of the living is the Rev. J. Lewis, M.A. rector of Ingateston and Rivinhall, the value of whose united benefices (Braintree not included) is 1,151l. per annum."-(Daily News, April 29, 1850.)
It should however be known by our readers, that there is nothing irre
gular or indelicate in this method of intimating the age of the incumbent; especially as this is one item in the bargain.
The following little property was advertised in September, 1850, and contains the same specification as to age. IMPORTANT SALE OF HIGHLY VALUABLE CHURCH
PREFERMENT. be SOLD by AUCTION, at the Warren Bulkeley Arms Hotel, in which due notice will be given the NEXT PRESENTATION to the valuable Rectories of St. Mary and St. Thomas, in the parish of Stockport, of the estimated value of nearly 2,5001. a year, the present Incumbent being in his sixty-fourth year.
If this important article of trade were laid aside, the occupations connected with it would be destroyed or injured; such as the following: TO MEMBERS OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, TRUSTEES,
EXECUTORS, AND THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL. MP-established in 1943, of "Absolute and contingent Reversions to
. (late Fuller and ) , Money in the Funds, Freehold, Copyhold, and Leasehold Estates, and all descriptions of Reversionary Interests, Advorsons, next Presentations, Rent Charges in lieu of 'ithes, and Ecclesiastical Property, Life Interests, Policies of Assurance, Ground and improved Rents, Shares in Railways, Canals, Fire and Life Insurance Companies, Mines and all Public Undertakings, Debentures, Post Obit Bonds, &c., &c., take place at the Auction Mart, (opposite the Bank of England, London, on the First Thursday in each Month.
Mr. M's Fee for offering each lot (excepting in special cases, Shares, &c.,) is 24 Guineas, which includes all expenses of advertising, printing, &c., and a scale of commission according to the amount when a sale is effected.
2, Charlotte Ron, Mansion House, London. Nov. 1850. Should any of our friends be disposed to speculate, the following rare bargain is still in the market; so that a favourable opportunity occurs for buying a share in the Church; which is a steady business, whilst Railways are fluctuating: MES TESSRS. FAREBROTHER, CLARK, and LYE are instructed to
OFFER for SALE, at the Royal Hotel, Leeds, on Thursday, the 10th day of October next, and following day, at Twelve o'clock each day, in numerous lots, (under an order of the High Court of Chancery, made in the Cause “Brandling v. Plummer," and with the approbation of the Hon. Sir George Rose, one of the Masters of the said Court)—the valuable Freehold Manor of Middleton, with Three Residences, known as “Middleton Hall,” “Middleton Lodge,” and “ Middleton Grange Park," Lands, and well arranged Farms, with suitable Buildings, the whole about 1,600 Acres, in Meadow, Pasture, and Wood Lands, with the Tithes of other Lands in the parish, commuted at 731. 88. 6d. per annum; the well-known Middleton Collieries, within three miles of the important