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quite agreed. On the safety of the
"With goddess-like demeanour forth she
Not unattended, for on her as a queen
But after all, as we have hinted,
The best comment on this passage may be uniformly observed at the general meelings of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in the marked respect (evidently the "homage of the heart") paid to those venerable prelates who honour that meeting with their presence; and in the general attention and precedence always yielded, on that and every other occasion, to the members of the Esta
jection of some to our own has been that they were not sufficiently Comprehensive. Our very points of difference from them are useful, in shewing what they are not to believe a point sometimes as necessary for opinionists to ascertain, as what they are to believe.
But to come at once to the point, where are the Dissenters, the religionists of any class whatever, "from China to Peru," who have not their own book, or their own proper note to distinguish them from all others? The Socinians themselves, the most "generalising," of all Protestants, have they not their own Bible, their "new version *," their heretical prefaces, notes and comments? Will not the Quaker, "soaring indeed to a height in pure Protestantism" which defies the ken of all synods, creeds, formularies, and forms, still take care, if you are a neighbour of his, that you shall have a Barclay's Apology lying upou your table? What would the Presbyterian be without his Assembly's Catechism; or the Independent without his tracts, never-failing tracts, of no neutral or indifferent tenor, but calculated, in the most express way, to prepossess the reader in favour of his own particular views or feelings? The Bible alone, it is true, is, to many of the Dissenters, Bible and Liturgy too. But is it a matter of entire indifference to them, where you go to hear that Bible explained? Are they satisfied to send a huge box of Bibles into some obscure but populous village or country town, where the rector is seen but once a year, and the curate but once a fortnight? No! they have an effectual, a speaking, Liturgy for such a place as this; and minister after minister, catechist after catechist, shall go forth to enforce the lessons of that
Is it no concession made by the dissenters to the church, grant it necessarily made,-i. e. by the constitution of the Soclety, that no version of the Scriptures is used but the authorised version, set forth by public authority," as appointed to be read in churches?"
Bible, and after their own form to draw forth from "the mouths of babes and sucklings" the accents of prayer and praise. What do we conclude then, but that the society which furnishes neither tracts nor ministers, prefaces to the Bible nor catechisms from it, is no peculiar friend to the Dissentersas such; no peculiar friend, in principle, either to the church or to the meeting. Each bas still its whole work to do, in conformity with its own particular views; and, having received its tools from the society, must proceed to build upon its own foundation. This, then, we conceive to be the fair practical view of the question concerning the surrender of private peculiarities, made by each in the Bible Society. And where the surrender is nearly of the same kind, and still more nearly of equat magnitude in both cases, the consideration of dignity may fairly be considered as honourably adjusted.
5. But we hasten to the fifth head of inquiry, a very important one truly, did our limits permit us to give it due place: which we the less regret they do not, as, however important in itself, we do not think, after what has been already advanced, it will be thought to bear much on the present question. It is this "whether there be any secret or open analogy between the system of education proposed by Mr. Lancaster, and the institution of the Bible Society." This, we can easily see, is a very favourite subject with our learned Professor. And no wonder, for he has studied it; he has preached upon it at St. Paul's, and gained, as he tells us in the honest glow of victory," an honour to his sermon which he believes was without precedent; for at the first public meeting afterwards at Bartlett's Buildings (the Archbishop of Canterbury himself being in the chair*), it was resolved,
This great dignitary little expected the secret slur mentioned above, which our author was afterwards to cast upon his character in this pamphlet!
Review of Dr. Marsh on the Bible Society.
that the publication should not be deferred the usual time...but printed immediately...which gave rise to five octavo editions of it, or 5000 copies." p. 27. From this " sermon at St. Paul's," Dr. Marsh also gives us an important extract, tending to shew that his opinion has been invariable in regard to attaching the Liturgy to the Bible, as "a guide to the Established Church.” Little did we think, we confess honestly, when listening to many of the sentiments in that sermon with pleasure; when hanging upon the lips of this defender of our Liturgy; when carried away, as it were, by the manner of the preacher, his distinct articulation, glistening eye, vivid and extemporaneous air-little did we think that he was all this while secretly winding the toils of argument around our own feet, and entangling us subscribing members of the Bible Society in the inextricable mazes of Lancasterian condemnation. however, (p. 28 of this pamphlet) Such, was the case. "Between the system of Dr. Bell, and the practice of this (the Bartlett's Buildings') Society, which is a society for Bibles and Prayer-Books, there is the same analogy as between the system of Mr. Lancaster and the other (the Bible) Society, which is a society for Bibles only. The application of the principle to this other society was implied, however, in the sermon, and not formally expressed. But when the Address to the Senate.........exhibited an application of the principle to this society by name, it was then discovered that the general principle, for which I had contended, was equally directed to the Lancasterian system and the Bible Society." There is a great awkwardness in the Italic sentence, leaving it doubtful whether Dr. Marsh was aware or not of his own intentions at the time of preaching that " mon at St. Paul's." Oracles are oftentimes best explained after the event. But be this as it may, it surely was an admirable expedient for making an unpopular attack CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 123.
(which he owns an attack on the Bible Society must be) to conduct appropriate one, and to couch it in it under cover of a most popular and understand, till at a proper time and terms which no one could possibly place. This notable puritan trick*, (must we not call it so?) can only find its parallel, where in general we read the best commentary on Dr. Marsh, viz. in his own pages. Speaking of the oath insidiously proposed by the Puritans, in pretence for the Church of England against Popery, but in effect against the former, he thus continues: "The episcopal party, not aware of the generalising system of the Puritans, and supposing that the words Protestant religion, expressed in the meant the Protestant religion exdoctrine of the Church of England,' pressed in the Liturgy, i. e.......as by law established, very_readily concurred in this oath of Protestathe secret object of the Protestation tion. But they soon discovered, that the Liturgy, &c." pp. 34, 35. was to abolish instead of supporting
How far Dr. Milner found himself in the situation of the " episcopal the Senate, we know not-we conparty," when Dr. Marsh addressed fess we were so ourselves; and then,
*This is not the only instance in which we catch our worthy opponents at a sort of rade imitation of the Puritan alarmists in none of their most creditable expedients. Nothing was more common, or more useful affectation of endless fears, alarms, and jealousies, (" for those were the new words" says Clarendon," which served to justify all indispositions, and to excuse all disorders"); which, though it was impossible to give the smallest rational account of them, yet were most admirable, arguments in the eyes of those who looked up to the parliamentary leaders, as men endued with a prophetic sagacity. How far the distant possibilities of contingent evils," not yet foreseen, though greatly apprehended, by Dr. Wordsworth, the great alarmist of the day, afford an arthose against the unfortunate Charles, we gument against the Bible Society similar to leave to the sagacity of Dr. Marsh, attached to analogies, to determine.
in the "method of their madness" than the
for the first time, discovered the close analogy which the Professor had intended to insinuate, between the Bible Society and the Lancasterian system of Education.
But whatever justice there may have been in Dr. Marsh's condemnation of the system of Mr. Lancaster, we would take leave humbly to suggest, that the analogy between that and the Bible Society may not be so close as it is represented in this pamphlet. It seems to us, indeed, to be an analogy more fanciful than real, more epigrammatic than logical. The case of the two things actually stands thus: the Bible Society only gives Bibles; the Lancasterian system teaches children only the Bible. Dr. Marsh brings them into comparison thus: "In the five first sections (of the sermon at St. Paul's') that principle was applied to the instruction of children; in the sixth, to the instruction of adults; and if the principle is generally true, it must no less apply to the latter than to the former." p. 25. Now is it not manifest, that the whole force of the analogy, according to Dr. Marsh himself, consists in the single dexterous application of the word instruction? So that if it be true that the Bible Society does not concern itself in the instruction of adults in the Bible only, as the other system does in the instruction of children, the whole analogy, as to any practical result or danger to be expected from it, falls to the ground. Now, what can be plainer, than that the Bible Society has nothing at all to do with the instruction either of children or adults? Is there any thing about it that in any degree entitles it to the name of a system? Do we hear that it has given birth to
This, however, has not always been the case, if it be the case now, which we a little doubt. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, and the reading Psalms of our Liturgy, together with Mrs. Trimmer's Questions on the Bible, were standing books, a few years back, in the schools of Mr. Lancaster: whether they continue to be so, we cannot assert.
any system of education whatsoever; or that Lancaster's prior system of education has been rendered more popular; nay, has it not, on the contrary, been vehemently suspected and opposed, since the institution of the Bible Society? Do adults even read the Liturgy of the Church, or the Tracts of Dissenters, demonstrably less, since, as we hope, they have learnt to read their Bible more? And, finally, does the act of giving, or receiving, or reading a Bible (which, we all allow, cannot be too common), from a society which gives Bibles only, teach or instruct adults who do so, to disrespect that Prayer-Book which may, and which actually does, accompany the gift even with greater frequency than heretofore? The comparison, as we said, between the two things under discussion, runs thus: one only gives Bibles, the other teaches children only the Bible. Can any thing be more logically, more practically dissimilar? If one person gives a child only a Bible, is he like another, who precludes that child from every thing but a Bible? Because one channel of trade furnishes me but with one article, is it therefore analogous to
what shall we say-the trading monopoly, the tyrannical edict, which tells me, that no article but that shall be imported into my country? Just the same analogy, then, that exists between a fair shopkeeper and the emperor of the French nation, we imagine, will be found between the Bible Society and the Lancasterian system of education, as it is exhibited in the pages of Dr. Marsh.
That the Bible Society, indeed, furnishes weapons, let us rather say tools, with which each denomination of Christians, to use the fashionable language, may carry on its several operations, we do not deny. Neither do we deny, that the advocates of Mr. Lancaster might contend for his system, as affording, with limitations, or rather with large aug. mentations and additions, facility for educating children on Church-of
England as well as on other principles. But here the reply of Dr. Marsh to Mr. Lancaster's church friends would be, very fairly and properly, "Why not, then, adopt the plan of Dr. Bell by name as well as in substance, which, as I affirm, both was prior to the other in time, and is superior to it in some certain points?" But is there any analogy in the two cases? To the church friends of the Bible Society, who, except Dr. Marsh, will venture to reply, "If the Bible Society be used in aid of the Bartlett's Buildings, why not discard the former, and connect yourself wholly with the latter?" Such a reply would, as Dr. Marsh well knows, involve the virtual death of the Bible Society; since we hesitate not to call its association with the Church vital to its effectiveness. And then, will the Professor, however bold, undertake to promise the same effective ness or the same effect from Bartlett's Buildings alone *, which is to be reasonably expected from the operations of both societies. It is no mean responsibility which Dr.Marsh takes upon himself, when he would annihilate the important, the unheard of, exertions of the Foreign Bible Society, by a single hint from his powerful pen, that charity begins at home; or by an invidious, not to say ungenerous, allusion to the universal philanthropy of Anacharsis Cloots. And if it shall have been proved in the foregoing pages; if it shall be found by experience, that no positive mischief has accrued, or was reasonably to have been expected, from any operations of the British and Foreign Bible Society, then, surely, it will be matter of re.
It would be a point of curious and profitable inquiry, how soon the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge would be actually ruined in its finarices, were all demands for those Bibles only, in this country, made upon it, which would be ne cessary for supplying our manifest deficiencies; to say nothing of the loss of its efforts in all those departments peculiar to it, as a Church-of-England institution.
pentance in future, to any one who shall have now proposed to forego all the advantages of that society, upon a mere visionary analogy with the Lancasterian system, or a still more visionary supposition of the sufficiency of Bartlett's Buildings for all its purposes.
If our readers are as tired as we are of this discussion, they will thank us for drawing our remarks to a close. We are not sorry for the publication of this pamphlet by the Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, in behalf of the Liturgy, because we think it will be an admonition to the friends of the Bible Society (who, we have no doubt, will all still remain so), that they do not relax, as it evidently appears they have not yet relaxed, in the distribution of the Liturgy. speak, of course, to churchmen.Were we to propose any scheme, in a very scheming age, as a remedy against the alleged dangers of the Liturgy, we should recommend the institution of a distinct Prayer-Book and Homily Society* under the church, affording greater facilities for the purchase and distribution of the Liturgy, and also of the Homilies, than can be reasonably expected from the venerable Society in Bartlett's Buildings. This would be a true test to try the churchmanship of the Church-of-England mem
It is remarkable, that the Homilies of the
Church of England are not included among the tracts dispersed by the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. And yet, as an exposition of the Church of England's interpretation of Scripture, are they not still more important than even the L turgy? Dr. Marsh has said much on the evils arising from the extensive omission of the Liturgy by the Bible Society. He might as well have descanted on the extensive omission of shoes by some soup society. But as far as the argument goes, may it not be asked in reply, whether there is the smallest force in it as applied to the omission of the Liturgy, which does not equally affect the omission of the Homilies; and that even in a still greater degree, inasmuch as the Homilies are not now read in churches, as is the case with the Liturgy?