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Kerr; as well as the important advantages which have accrued to the Company from the same source; and we have to notice the Christian charity manifested by the publication of his religious tracts, which combined the advantages of disseminating the doctrines of Christianity and conducing to the utility of the Orphan Asylum.
"In promoting the cause of the religion which he professed, and the benefit of the institution which he superintended, he was animated with an ardour, activity, and perseverance, which nothing could abate but the attainment of the object.
"Hence, by some, with whose private interests, prejudices, or passions his public duties and sacred functions had to contend, he has been considered sometimes to have exceeded the serene and sober spirit of the evangelical character. An intimate knowledge of our departed friend enabled us more correctly to discern his motives and to appreciate his merits:-in truth, no trait of his conduct reflects on his character more lustre and honour, than this which some have ventured to arraign.
"His ardour was the flame of practical piety, his zeal was the emanation of active benevolence.
"He was a plain, but an impressive and an edifying preacher.
"With the accomplishments of the scholar, he combined the manners of the gentleman, and great knowledge of the world.
"He possessed a generous, a disinterested, and delicate turn of mind, rendering him a respectable and valuable member of society, an agreeable companion, and an affectionate friend.
"His soul was susceptible of all the charities; and he might be truly held out as an exemplary pattern of the filial, conjugal, paternal, and social virtues."
CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 123.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
My natural serenity of temper must prevent my addressing you with any keenness of raillery, or acrimony of censure, however I may feel the injury which I have long sustained, and which I now publicly lament. My origin is not vulgar; nor is my residence mean: I associate with the happy spirits above, who treat me with reverence, and who never feel more exquisite delight than when I am present.
At the same time I reside amongst men; and, considering the obligations they are under to regard me, as also the happiness which I impart when I am properly regarded, I confess I am hurt to be treated, as I generally am, with utter neglect, or with that trivial notice which makes much nearer approaches to the mockery of insult than the homage of respect.
My empire is small, and my faithful servants are few. A rival*, whose appearance is frightful, whose sentiments are impious, and whose voice is disagreeable, lives in these lower regions, and has been too successful in expelling me from many of the abodes of men.
But the injury, on account of which I now apply to you for redress, springs from a class of people whom I respect, and by whom I am respected. You know that I have a claim, founded in wisdom, and established by custom, to appear at table for a few moments at the time of meals, before the repast is begun, and when it is concluded. Meals, in these indulgent times, are of frequent recurrence. On some of these occasions I am called in; on others I am forgotten. This produces, as may easily be conjectured, much irregularity of conduct, and much perplexity of feeling, which at present I need not describe at large.
I entreat you to advocate my
cause. Assemble around you, Mr. Observer, your pious and learned friends. Examine ancient records, and ancient manners. Trace out the practice of the wise that has been marked with propriety, and that of the foolish that has been marked with absurdity. You may inform your readers how I have been abused by detention that was unreasonable, and vociferation that was ridiculous; and how I am now equally abused, such is the change of manners, by being compelled to move with dispatch, and to speak in a whisper.
From the inspired oracles, the custom of the wise, and the dictates of enlightened and solid piety, lay down, I entreat you, such rules that my appearance on these occasions may be regular and proper. me not be compelled to usurp the place of a venerable sister *; and yet do what you can to free me from the insults which I experience from such enemies as these; conformity, cowardice, formality, forgetfulness, and neglect. Especially would I entreat you to decide on the important point, whether I ought to be admitted to the evening tea-table, which certainly is an honour that I do not now enjoy, except in a few exempt instances. In short, you -will be explicit in stating when and how I am to appear.
Such, Mr. Observer, is my request; and I have no doubt but that your attention to it will promote the interests of
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
solemnity of the day; and after some little conversation, succeeded in persuading them to desist.
During my remonstrance with the ringers, one of them observed, that he thought there was no more harm in their ringing the bells, than in the farmers of the parish employing their horses and men, on that day, in. the usual labours of husbandry. Though there was no great difficulty in answering this argument, yet I was sorry that he had it to produce; and if such a person perceives the conduct of the farmer to pass unnoticed, he will be next led to question the propriety and utility of the fast itself.
On my way home from my church in the evening of last Fast-day, I perceived that the ringers of the parish were preparing for a peal. Struck with the extreme impropriety of this, I returned, and endea-, voured to convince them how in-consistent such an act was with the
Can, then, nothing be done to induce the farmers (and indeed tradesmen in general) to pay a more decent attention to the duties of a Fast? In cities and large towns, the shops may be shut, and the streets may wear the appearance of a Sabbath-day: but go a few miles into the country, and, but for the chiming of the church bells, a person would hardly see any thing to remind him that it was a day set apart for public humiliation before God. Now this evil seems to call for some interposition of authority. The clergyman of a parish can do little with fifteen or twenty farmers, who are determined not to lose an hour's work, especially as they have the general practice of the country to support them. Desirous as I am, in these momentous times, to promote as much as possible the religious and universal observance of a fast, yet what can an individual do to remedy an evil of such magnitude as this? I do therefore hope, that some persons possessing influence and authority may be induced to consider and suggest the means by which a remedy may be applied.
A COUNTRY REctor.
P. S. Another of the ringers thought there was no more harm in ringing on the evening of a Fastday, than on the evening of a Sunday. This is true. I wish,
however, to ask; whether, as I can in some measure regulate the conduct of my own parish, though not of a whole county, I can put a stop to ringing on a Sunday evening? I mean, whether I have authority to do so? It is doubtless an employment but ill according with the sanctity of the
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
READING lately the Epistle Dedicatory of the judicious Hooker to his Ecclesiastical Polity, I could not help applying the following passage to the controversies of the present day, and thinking the case of those formerly stigmatised (whether just ly or unjustly was seldom considered), with the name of Priscillianists, very much resembles the treatment now experienced by the men so injudiciously attacked under the name of Calvinists and Evangelical Clergy.
"I deny not" (says this excellent writer)" but that our antagonists in these controversies may peradventure have met with some not unlike to Ithacius, who mightily bending himself by all means against the heresy of Priscillian (the hatred of which one evil was all the virtue he had), became so wise in the end, that every man careful of virtuous conversation, studious of Scripture, and given unto any abstinence in diet, was set down in his calendar of suspected Priscillianists, for whom it should be expedient to approve their soundness of faith by a more licentious and loose behaviour.
Such proctors and patrons the truth might spare."-Hooker's Works, Oxf. Ed. Epis. Ded. p. 123.
Whether Calvin be, like Priscillian, an heretic, I leave to those who are more wise than I am, to determine. I confess there is something in the Divine decrees, not beyond my faith, but beyond my very limited faculties to comprehend. The evil which I deeply lament is, that this hatred of Calvin should be carried to so unreasonable a length, that every man careful of virtuous conversation, studious of Scripture, and given to any abstinence from worldly pleasures, should be in danger of being set down in the calendar of suspected Calvinists; and that the surest expedient to prove his soundness from the taint of evangelical doctrine, is to indulge in a more licentious and loose behaviour. Such proctors (Barristers I had almost said) and patrons the truth might well spare.
Sermons, charges, pamphlets, volumes, are daily issuing from the press, against those who are denominatedEvangelical Clergymen, and Gospel Preachers. Could the ve nerable Cranmer or Latimer revisit that church which they planted, and watered with their blood, what would they say to find such names converted into terms of reproach; and that a zeal for the doctrines they taught, and the practice they recommended, should only serve to bring on the imputation of methodistical cant and hypocritical pu ritanism?
I am, &c.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The Life of Ulrick Zwingle the Swiss Reformer. By J. G. HESS. Translated from the French by Lucy AIKIN. London: Johnson & Co. 1812. 8vo. pp. 325.
THE Reformation is an event to which the attention of Protestants cannot too often be called. It was, like the descent of the ark upon Ararat, the moment of deliverance to the family of God. It was a period at which the proper standard of religion was once more adjusted; and, therefore, to which all subsequent periods in the history of the church may properly be referred, and by which our progress or decay may in some measure be estimated.
This motive might have been enough in itself to have induced us to avail ourselves of the opportunity afforded us of touching upon this great theme, by the publication of the volume before us. The Reformation, indeed, is far too large a topic for a review. The crowd of distinguished characters who performed in its principal scenes; the remarkable vicissitudes in its history; the extent of territory through which this vast moral movement was felt, are all unfriendly to any attempt at cursory investigation. But in the history of the reformation in Switzerland, we presented with a sort of corner, which is more within our grasp. Another motive for this examination is, that the life of Zuinglius is little known; having been lost in the blaze of another luminary, which, moving in a more conspicuous orbit, and shedding a mightier influence upon surrounding nations, has almost exclusively occupied the eye of every examiner. Now the present work brings together more particulars in the history of the Swiss reformer, than have been be
fore condensed into the same number of pages. In addition to all this, the work is well written; and though we have not seen the original, we venture to infer, from the good sense and good English of allated. most every sentence, is well transOf some defects, indeed, both in the author and translator, we shall have occasion to speak hereafter. For the present we shall devote ourselves to a far more gratifying task-that of collecting from readers, some of the most interesting this work, and placing before our parts of the life of Zuinglius and of the history of the Reformation in Switzerland.
Ulric Zuinglius was born in a village of Switzerland, Jan. 1, 1484. Born in the house of a peasant, he is one of the many instances that real genius is of a nature not to be kept down by any weight of superincumbent circumstances. Reared amid the awful rocks and chasms of his country, and familiar for a time only with its rustic inhabitants, he carried into life something of the tious integrity, which such scenes stern majesty, and of the unambiand circles might be thought likely to inspire. His father, from the indications which he dinary talent, having determined of extraorgave to dedicate him to the church, he was sent to a school, first at Basil, then at Bern, and afterwards at Vienna; whence he returned to Basil, where, at the age of eighteen, he obtained the situation of a teacher. We have no leisure to follow him through the steps of his education; or to notice any particulars, except that from the first he preferred classical studies to the scholastic philosopby; that, contrary to the spirit of the age, he always betrayed a disinclination to bow to the authority of any single writer; that his change of masters was benefi
cial to him in this respect, as he was induced to compare and balance their respective theories; that, being consecrated to the altar, he, under Divine grace, kept his eye fixed upon his high destination, and, in his wanderings with the poets and orators of antiquity, clung to the Bible, as the great depository of what is most sublime in composition and most admirable in sentiment. Some account of the plan of biblical reading pursued by this eminent man, cannot but be interesting, and we shall give it in the words of the author. Let it be remembered, that this picture of a student is not that of a man in the nineteenth century, taught by the example of millions to search for truth in the channels of Scripture, but of one who was, as it were, scooping out a channel for himself; or rather quitting the "cisterns" at which all the world were drawing for knowledge, and returning to those "fountains of living water' which all had "forsaken."
cepts of the church.
Their interpretation had long been fixed, but Zwingle thought it inexcusable in a man appointed to instruct sion of others on points that he might himhis fellow-Christians to rest upon the deciself examine. He therefore followed the only method to discover the true sense of an
author, which consists in interpreting an obscure passage by a similar and clearer one; and an unusual word by one more familiar; regard being had to time, place, the intention of the writer, and a number of other circumstances which modify and often change the signification of words. After endeavouring to explain the text of the Gospel by itself, Zwingle also made himself acquainted with the interpretations given by other theologians, especially by the fathers of the church, who, having lived nearer the times of the apostles, must have understood their language better than the modern doctors. It was in the writings of the fathers that he also studied the manners and customs of the first Christians; followed them through the persecutions of which they were the victims; observed the rapid progress of the rising church; and admired that astonishing revolution which by degrees elevated the new religion to the throne of the Cæsars." pp. 14-16.
But Zuinglius did not limit himself to works which were approved by the church: he read also those of Wickliffe and of John Huss. The result of such an examination might be anticipated. The worship of images, of the relics of saints, of the Virgin Mary, and of the host; and the unbounded authority of the priesthood; together with many other errors of Popery, both in doctrine and practice, soon appeared to him to have no foundation in Scripture. But such was his moderation, that he divulged his suspicions, for a time, only to a few, well qualified either to resolve or to substantiate them. The account given of his ministry while under these impressions, is very striking and charac
"Zwingle had resided four years at Basil, when the burghers of Glaris, the chief town of the canton of that name, chose him for their pastor. He accepted this situation, which brought him nearer to his family, and repaired thither after receiving holy orders, which were conferred upon him by the bishop of Constance, in whose diocese the canton of Glaris was situated. In order worthily to acquit himself of the ministry in trusted to him, Zwingle thought that he stood in need of deeper and more extensive learning than he already possessed. He accordingly resolved to recommence his theological studies after a plan that he had himself traced out, and which was very different from that followed in the universities. An assiduous perusal of the New Testament preceded his fresh researches. In order to render himself more familiar with St. Paul's epistles, he copied the Greek text with his own hand, adding in the margin a multi-teristic of the man. tude of notes extracted from the fathers of the church, as well as his own observations, and this interesting manuscript still exists in the public library of Zurich. The attention of Zwingle was from this time directed to the passages of Scripture cited in the canon of the mass, and to those which serve as a basis to the dogmas and most essential pre
"Without directly attacking the abuses authorised by the Romish church, he coufined himself in his sermons to the doctrines which he found clearly laid down in the Scriptures, and to the moral precepts to be deduced from them. He took every oppor tunity of repeating to his audience, that in