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might be deduced from the Bible by "Protestants of the Church of Scot land or of the Confession of Augsburg; by Arminian and Calvinistic Protestants; nay even by the Moravians, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Quakers, and even the Jumpers, the Dunkers, and Swedenborgians. Since Protestantism as sumes so many forms, men speak quite indefinitely, if they speak of it without explaining what kind they mean.......How can we know, if we give the Bible only, what sort of Protestantism will be deduced from it." (pp.14,15.) With much more to the same effect, (pp. 11, 19, 32,) &c. &c. Now we must confess we think this treatment of the Liturgy far more disrespectful, and far more calculated to excite disrespect, towards it, than any thing averred by his opponents, or attributed to the operations of the Bible Society. As churchmen, we feel anxious for the very widest distribution of the Bible, not only because we think we read in it the Church of England ourselves, but because we think every unbiassed reader of it, of whatever sect or persuasion he be, ought, in the main, to do so too. If, with a great champion of the church, we hold most fully that it is neither Calvinistic, Arminian, nor Lutheran, but strictly scriptural*; we see a strong connection between this proposition and its converse, that the Bible breathes neither Calvinism strictly, nor Arminianism, nor Lutheranism; by which we mean the violences and eccentricities of any one of these sects (and much less of the Jumpers and the Dunkers); but the pure, the mild, the wise, the truly liberal, and essentially charitable spirit and language, not of generalised Protestantism, but of the Church of England. We believe, not that the violences of sects derived from the Bible need the correction of a Prayer-book; but that the errors of sects derived from their own heated imaginations, find their best
"Si sic omnia dixisset!"
corrective in the Bible itself. We believe that the study of the Bible itself, particularly as conducted by the humble and unsophisticated mind of a poor man, essentially purifies him from the errors which disqualify, and imbues him with the feelings and principles which qualify him for a true and genuine son of the Church of England. We believe the Bible alone to be no fit instrument in the hands of enthusiasts, schismatics, or heresiarchs; and that it is found universally necessary to sustain their views of scriptural doctrine by a large addition of appropriate tracts and miscoloured statements of truth. -How, then, can we, maintaining this belief, coincide, at all, with Dr. Marsh's opinion, that the Bible alone, either given or studied, "naturally and necessarily tends" to produce a disrespect for the Liturgy. And is it not obvious, how large a disrespect for it must be, first of all, actually engendered in our own minds, before we can bring down our belief on this head to a level with the opinion, we should say, the fears, held by a Cambridge Professor of Divinity. We confess, our respect for the Liturgy of the Church of England is of another order than to excite a wish in our minds to see it necessarily ap pended, to every charity Bible, as an act of uniformity, or any other act of the Legislature, to an official Prayer-book. Such a political view of things savours too much of the invidious representations of a Toogood, to meet our taste: and we instinctively shrink from an attempt so derogatory, in our minds, nay, so destructive, to the honour of the Litur
It is curious to see how these great men can let the most important points slip out of their hands, which they are confident of being able to take up again and argue successfully of the Bible necessarily led to the approbaon their own grounds. "If the devout study tion of the Liturgy, why is it still rejected by Dissenters?" (p. 16). Surely a "respect for the Liturgy" would lead rather to the answer which is suggested above. Surely Dr. Marsh "forgets that he is a churchman."
gy, as that which, having stripped it of its native worth, and of an influence superior to and owned by kings and councils themselves, at length sends it forth into the world authorised and accredited as a mere act of parliament.
These allusions, indeed, lead us back to other times, and necessarily remind us of what Dr. Marsh has remarked upon the Puritan history. We can but glance here at a subject which might fill a volume, It must only be observed, that the pamphlet, while it states, as we admit, most ably, though most invidiously, that disrespect for the Liturgy which marked the progress of those troublous times, seems yet to us to have completely failed in the most important point, viz. the proof that such disrespect of the Liturgy arose from the distribution, or even the study, of the Bible, apart from the Liturgy. We are not aware of any increased exertions whatever, made at that period, for the propagation of the single unsophisticated word of life "without note or comment," either at home or abroad. On the contrary, the land rung, from end to end, with notes or comments of the most mischievous tendency. And, if we sought for antithesis, we should rather say, in answer to Dr. Marsh, that the grievance of those times was the study of the Liturgy, and of its insiduous rivals, apart from the Bible. We believe, from the Bible being at that
It is true, Dr. Marsh has introduced a rather unseemly quotation from a most questionable divine, and often impure poet, Dryden, to prove, what nobody ever doubt ed, that the Bible was used without the Liturgy, by the Puritans, after they had seceded from the establishment (p. 41). We only mention this to admonish our LadyMargaret Professor of Divinity, that every writer is responsible for the language which he quotes with approbation: and that it is not very decent even to excite a prejudice against his opponents, by the delicate allusions of Dryden," to horny fists itching to expound a flyblown text," &c. &c., through a quotation of twenty-two verses.
time much less prevalent than now, though not we trust the Prayer-Book more so, that the preponderating influence of mere liturgical studies gave the exact turn to affairs which led to the temporary overthrow of the English Church. The hood, the surplice, the cross in baptism, the position of the altar, and the attitude before it, were things likely to captivate that attention which was not called to higher objects. And of mere ceremonies, however harmless in themselves, or however wise, yet as being subject to the full discussion of human reason, we can easily anticipate, when so discussed, the final result. Endless diversity of opinion, from being the probable, became the actual, consequence. Men of heated imaginations saw heresy, superstition, and popery, inscribed on every page of the ritual. Not having been versed sufficiently, beforehand, in the spirit of those Scriptures which prescribe love as the first and great commandment, with "decency and order" as the true essence of ceremonies, they now ransacked the Scriptures, not as their daily manual, but as an authorised text-book from which they might draw the pros and cons of their inveterate controversy. A controversy this was, be it never forgotten, which took ground, not upon the absence, but upon the presence; not upon the neglect, but the authoritative and compulsory enforcement of the Liturgy. It is a fact strongly to be insisted upon, and in which it is hoped Dr. Marsh will find ample "matter for serious reflection at the present period," that it was an unadvised enforcement of the Liturgy and of its ceremonies at that particular juncture, first in Scotland and afterwards in England, that made Charles the first a martyr, and Archbishop Laud his precursor at the block. We are not, it is true, apprehensive of any such consequences from the pamphlet of Dr. Marsh; because every thing he has said on the subject, if not very convincing, is,
nevertheless, contained within the just bounds of free discussion; and we hear of no measure of Government, nor even of Bartlett's Buildings, to be founded upon it. But, we confess, we look for our greatest security against such violences to the establishment of this very Bible Society and could we, with our present experience, have reverted to former times; did we at all apprehend the same evils from the same cause in our own, we should not now feel ourselves at any loss for the advice proper to be offered for averting those evils. We are not afraid to venture our humble opinion, that if a Bible Society had in those times been established with all the "pomp and circumstance" of the present one, and immediately under the eye and wing of the government, it would have been the wisest expedient ever devised under Providence for checking the growing discontents against the Liturgy, for diverting the attention of men into another channel, and for preserving to posterity that great blessing unsullied, which we have now received through seas of blood. Before we dismiss the Puritans, we cannot resist what we confess is a strong temptation, viz. an appeal to an authority which we have no doubt Dr. Marsh will fully admit, though directly against his own assertion, that "some time before the Liturgy was formally abolished, we may discover in the writings of the English divines, not only of the puritanical, but even of the royal party, such traces of indifference, in this respect, as will assist us in explaining the subsequent events*." (p. 30.) Now what
Dr. Marsh is not fond of answering challenges made to him in print, else we should ask him for instances in which divines of the royal party betrayed" the indifference" here mentioned in their writings; or even divines of the puritanical party, separate from doubts as to certain usages or expressions in the Liturgy, which of course Dr. M. will see is quite another thing from "indifference in this respect."
says Clarendon, speaking of the very period appealed to by Dr. Marsh, of 1640-1, just previous to the Commit→ tee of Religion? "They [i. e. the few chiefs, during the absence of the great body of parliament] entered upon debate of the Book of Common Prayer (which sure at that time was much reverenced throughout the kingdom*), and proposed, in regard, they said, many things in it gave offence, at least umbrage, to tender consciences, that there might be lis berty to disuse it; which proposition was so ungracious, that though it was made in a thin house, and pressed by those who were of the greatest power and authority [i.e. the Puritan leaders] it was so far from being consented to, that by the major part (the house consisting then of about six score) it was voted, 'that it should be duly observed."" Clar. B. iv. sub. init. We need not add how much the complexion attributed by Dr. Marsh to those times suits his argument; and how much the actual fact, on the authority of Clarendon, supports our own views as explained above.
Were we to descend from Calvinists of ancient to those of modern times; in both of whom, equally, Dr. Marsh would hint a "secret attachment as well to the discipline as to the doctrine of Calvin, though they continue to affect a regard for the Liturgy," &c.; we should offer hut one hint in return, in which we imagine our Cambridge Professor will find "additional matter for serious reflection." It is this, that it is dangerous to select authorities at random in support of questionable opinions; and that in doing so, he has unfortunately appealed to a bishop as author of a "sermon on the excellency and usefulness of the
We recollect John Bunyan to have said somewhere or other, in his quaint way, that such was his respect at one time for the Liturgy," that he verily believed be worshipped it, down to the very surplice of the parson, the candlestick, and the parish clerk !"
Common-Prayer," worthy to be recommended to every member of the Bible Society, whom, doubtless, he knows by this time to have been a notorious Calvinist. Such was the great and pious Bishop Beveridge: and we leave Dr. Marsh to fight out with the shade of that illustrious champion of the English Church the position, "that a man who adopts the doctrines of Calvin can not be zealously attached to our English Liturgy...... he may in many respects have a great regard for it...... but cannot have much pain in parting with it, as it abounds with passages so decisive of conditional salvation that no ingenuity can torture them into the language of absolute de crees +."
But allowing him still to impute to our more modern Calvinists, members of the Church of England and of the Bible Society, some disrespect for the Liturgy, even after the tuition of their above-mentioned bishop; how shall we acquit Dr. M. himself of some disrespect towards the church using that liturgy, when he brings into question the very principles and churchmanship of no less a person than the present Archbishop of Canterbury; and we might add also the present Bishop of London, and other bishops and dignitaries of the Church of England? We are afraid of overwhelming our Professor by the suddenness and violence of this accusation. But to make good the charge, we have only to appeal to the list of names prefixed to a certain institution, called the Naval and Military Bible Society, of which the great personage alluded to we understand to be pre
We throw in this doubt from a doubt. ful expression in a note, page 41, which speaks "not only of Bishop Beveridge, but even of the Calvinistic divines above quoted." Did the Professor then know that Bishop Be
veridge was himself a Calvinistic divine?
+ If Dr. Marsh doubts the fact of the Calvinism of Bishop Beveridge, let him, before he expresses that doubt in public, read the Private Thoughts and the sermons of that pious and excellent prelate.
sident, and the Bishop of London to have become a vice-president, after the warning he had received from the actual publication of Dr. Marsh's pamphlet. This is a society founded exactly upon the principles of the British and Foreign Bible Society; with no test; excluding the Liturgy; and distributing the Bible alone through every channel of the navy and army. Surely the disrespect for the Liturgy dreaded by Dr. Marsh, from a society extensively established upon such principles, cannot be altered in kind, when dreaded from one of a more limited nature: and the alarmist can have no reason for congratulating himself upon the fact, that archbishops and bishops are taking the means for propagating that disrespect amongst so important a body as our navy and army. The army, he will remember, under Cromwell, was that which mainly concerned itself in "agitating" questions of church government and liturgical usages. The navy are proverbial for their consideration on religious subjects. And when both these bodies shall see the Liturgy actually sacrificed by the Church in order to admit Dissenters into the Naval and Military Bible Society, what must Dr. Marsh anticipate of their sentiments upon that Liturgy? What can, in short, be the result, in his fears, of this " generalising" system, particularly when adopted by such high authority, but "THE RUIN OF THAT PARTY WHICH MAKES THE SACRIFICE!" p. 62.
4. Leaving, then, the ingenuity of Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity to explain away the apparent inconsistency into which those exalted personages seem to us to have been led, by that high degree of caution mixed with zeal, which, alter all, are both so necessary, though so difficult of union, in the first stations of the church; we find ourselves called down once more, from the pleasanter regions of raillery, to the stern" arena" of dis cussion, by an allusion which leads
us to the 4th head of inquiry, viz. "whether in general the concession to the Dissenters of the omission of the Church-of-England Liturgy, be not injurious to the interests or the dignity of that church." Its interests, indeed, we must consider as fully discussed under the preceding heads where we hope it is proved, that neither is the distribution of the Prayer-book diminished, nor a disrespect for it engendered, by the institution of a society for giving away the Bible alone. But we allow, that in every question of state, interest and dignity are almost synonymous terms; and that we cannot imagine any full security for the interest of any establishment which does not also cover its dignity. And therefore, though under this head we shall discuss the only remaining point of dignity, yet we shall consider ourselves in that discussion as virtually conducting also the question of its interest.
Now we must say, in the very short space which we can allow our selves for this bead, that the reasonings of the Professor here are by far the most fallacious, as well as the most, invidious, to be found in his whole pamphlet. The question seems to us to resolve itself entirely into the truth or falsehood of the following position, in p. 56.: " Is it not owing to the dissenting influence, that when the society distributes Bibles at home, those Bibles are not accompanied with Prayerbooks?" To which we are bold to answer, No; but to the constitution of the society; and it is a most invidious confusion of language to identify the fundamental laws of any establishment or association whatsoever, with the preponderating influence of one party in it over another after its formation *. Influ
Dr. Marsh's argument obviously applies with equal force to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Naval and Military Bible Society. Is owing then to the dissenting influence that when this society distributes Bibles to our army and navy, those Bibles are not ac companied with Prayer-Books?
ence, if we understand the word rightly, is a uniform pervading operative principle, which, seen and felt once in the operations of any body of men, will be always seen and felt in the same proportion. Now we do not hear that the Dissenters uniformly maintain that influence over the Bible Society, in its subsequent measures, which Dr. Marsh attributes to them in its first formation.
Influence, we conceive, implies some degree of contest, some difference of opinion in the first instance, which at length terminates in the submission of the weaker to the stronger party. We do not hear that it ever was a question at all, with the framers of this institution, whether the Prayer-book in England should be sewed up with the Bible, or given with it. Influence, we should conceive, implies at least some superiority of weight or numbers on the side where it is strongest at least it requires some assignable proportion of magnitude in the party conquering, when compared with that of the party yielding. Now in this case, it is curious that Dr. Marsh answers himself; and, on a very possible supposition that there might be a great preponderance on the part of the church," quits his own word "influence," and declares, that nothing "could alter the constitution of the Society." Very true; it could not: and suppose there were but a single Dissenter to be admitted into the society, it is evident that "influence" would be a most inappropriate word for the necessity that would still exist, on his single presence, for omitting the Liturgy.
The point, therefore, to be proved, in order to save the dignity of the Church of England in this union with the Dissenters, is, that with a benefit to be attained, equal to any concession in itself safe, there be an absolute necessity proved for making that concession to attain that benefit. On the benefit,the distribution of the Scriptures, we are