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LITURGY for MY sentiments; and that if YOUR sermons had been published, they would have been brought to that test. Does this look like indifference to the Liturgy on the part of those whom you call the Calvinistic clergy?" p. 32.
But a still stronger FACT remains in the history of the very sermons now before us, attached to this present "Answer." Of these sermons, which we despair of being able to enter upon at all adequately to their merits, our readers must be content with the following brief account. In the month of November last, Mr. Simeon, being called upon to preach a course of sermons before the University, chose for his subject THE EXCELLENCY OF THE LITURGY. These Mr. Simeon had then no present intention of publishing, as on other accounts, so principally, because he had written them as a preface to a work not yet appearing. And it is to be particularly observed, that, having been preached in November, these sermons could have had no connection even with Dr. Marsh's first address, published on the 25th of November: whilst, on the other hand, that address, intimating a neglect of the Liturgy in the members of the Bible Society, must have come forth during, or subsequent, to the delivery of these very sermons by Mr. Simeon. The point here at issue, it is to be observed, is nice. Either Mr. Simeon was a little too late to be able to say with fairness, that his sermons were not delivered in consequence of the above-mentioned charge, or Dr. Marsh was a little too late to vindicate his own fairness in such a charge, pending the delivery of such sermons by such a person, before the university. We appeal not to Mr. Simeon's own assertion, that on his part "no such accusation could possibly be foreseen.' But we simply appeal to a com
"It will consist of eight or ten volumes, similar to those already published, and treating of all the finest passages of Scripture through the whole Bible."
parison of dates: and from this it will most evidently appear, that Mr. Simeon was just in time, and the Margaret Professor just too late.
We dare not trust ourselves to enter upon the contents of these excellent sermons: nor, indeed, to state more than the very felicitous text on which they are erected, from Deut. v. 28, 29. " They have well said all that they have spoken: 0 that there were such an heart in them!" Any analysis, however short, we feel would carry us not only beyond the limits we must propose to ourselves in the present already extended article, but also into that very guilt of irrelevancy from which we have just stated a wish to preserve on topics, in the present consideration of the matter of fact.
Mr. Simeon, to relieve himself from any ill-grounded charge of presumption in offering himself as the representative of a party, proceeds to refer Dr. Marsh to other persons, invidiously distinguished as the Calvinistic clergy. "Who among the clergy," he well asks, "are they that are continually making their appeal to the Articles, the Homilies, and the Liturgy of the Church of England? Who are they that write and preach expositions of the Liturgy? Who are they that read the Homilies to their con"This zeal for gregations?" &c. what you so often call the TESTS of a CHURCHMAN, is, above all things, characteristic of those very clergy." p. 36.
He then instances the well-known names of Mr. Walker, of Truro; of Mr. Biddulph; of Mr. Rogers; of Mr. Basil Woodd, as expositors and advocates of the English Liturgy; of whom the three latter live to answer any charge of unsound churchmanship which Dr. Marsh may have to bring against them or their writings. And he appeals to the great body of the clergy called Calvinistic, and even to their enemies, if these writings do not speak the sentiments of the body. "I do not say you may not find an insulated in
stance to the contrary; for there is no body of men in the world, amongst whom you cannot select some few who have scarcely any resemblance to the rest;"" but if this," he adds, "be subversive of my position, then a Mr. Stone, among the clergy, proves the clergy at large to be Socinians." p. 39.
Mr. Simeon, in his second head, examines the Professor's assertion in respect to the Bible Society. "We know by experience it produces the effect of bringing the Liturgy into neglect." "On your proof of this assertion" (replies Mr. Simeon), "I am content to rest the whole question." Dr. Marsh would rejoin by referring to the scanty experience afforded him in the speeches at the Cambridge meeting. Mr. Simeon challenges him to a broader ground and fairer test: "Has the sale of Prayer-books then diminished since the establishment of this Society?" Mr. Simeon properly identifies the neglect of the Liturgy with the neglect of its distribution. And
then with a call, which Dr. Marsh before has learnt the prudence of not answering, he continues "I call upon you, Sir, to establish this fact. The public has a right to demand it at your hands. ... I dare you to the production of the proof: or rather, to save you the trouble, I will furnish you with absolute proof to the contrary." On an average of five years before, and five years after the establishment of the Bible Society, it appears, in the former period, 66,798 Prayer-books had been sold from Bartlett's Buildings; in the latter period, 90,169, exclusive of 11,000 additional Psalters. And in the two last years of the latter period, compared with the two first of the former, the increase of Prayer-books sold has been 15,542. "So accurate is your KNOWLEDGE, and so unquestionable your EXPERIENCE, of the alarming DECREASE in the sale of Prayer-books, occasioned by this new Society." rp. 40,
Upon the ground of these facts
Mr. Simeon proceeds, we must add, with no sparing hand, to administer that medicine to the Professor, which is sometimes, with great effect, applied at school to boys found repeatedly out of bounds: and, in answer to a possible suggestion in return, that this increased sale of Prayer-books may not have arisen from the increased exertions of the Bible-society-members of Bartlett's Buildings, he challenges the fullest inquiry, with a view to ascertain the point. To this challenge is subjoined the following note, which we gladly take up into the text, with a view to explain a circumstance we alluded to in our number of last month.
"As it is possible that a circumstance relating to myself may give you occasion to represent me as no friend to the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, I will here mention it, though it has no connection whatever with the subject. I once had the honour of being a member of that society myself: but afterwards, for reasons which appeared to me satisfactory at the time, I withdrew opinion some time after, above twenty years my name. Altering, however, my ago, I wished to renew my subscription; and the late Dean of Ely, Dr. Cooke, then Provost of King's College, had undertaken to propose me. But on mentioning it to the Rev. Secretary of that Society, he found a doubt suggested whether my name would be re-admitted. Of course, I did not choose to
be proposed, if there was the smallest chance of a repulse; and have been deterred from offering myself by that consideration ever since.
self, I, nearly two years ago, recommended But though I have not offered mymy brother to become a member; and if you, Sir, will do me the honour to propose me (for with your recommendation I can be in no danger of a repulse), I shall be happy in being again united to that Society, and in co-operating in all their benevolent designs." pp. 51, 52.
Alluding, then, to the zeal for the Liturgy, which Mr. Simeon strongly maintains to exist in the breast even of the most zealous Biblists, he thus proceeds.
"One argument may arise to you out of my own statements, incontrovertible, and which, in your promised Appendix, may be stated thus: The Society for promoting
Christian Knowledge furnishes Prayer-books to its members at a very low rate; and bas been enabled to do so for a hundred years without exhausting or diminishing its funds: but, since the institution of the British and and Foreign Bible Society, the demand for Prayer-books has increased to such an extent, that the funds of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge cannot supply
them: and, unless those members of the
British and Foreign Bible Society who be
We have quoted this simply, in order to mention to our readers, that, in addition to the hopes expressed by Mr. Simeon, that such an advertisement may stimulate us to exertion for the augmenting of the revenues of the old society; we have to state a proposal upon simiJar grounds, for the actual formation of a new Church-of-England Society, which shall have for its sole object the assistance of that in Bartlett's Buildings, in the department of distributing the Liturgy and Homilies of our Church. The prospectus is now before the public: and we conceive it to be warrant enough for the claims which such an institution advances, not only on the patronage of the public, but on that of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge itself, that it proposes to distribute those books at a cheaper rate than it is possible to expect, or even wish, from the already overcharged funds of that important Society. It appears to be the farthest possible from the wish of those, who meditate this new institution, to decoy away the members of the old Bible and Prayer-book Society, by holding out to them a plan, simpler in its operation, and disjoined from the confessedly important departments of tracts and missions. The experience of seven years now forbids the fear, that increased zeal and exertions, in one particular department, will draw off the sources of emolument and support, to which older and more general societies are to be consi
dered as entitled almost by the right of prescription. And should such an invidious construction be put upon the meditated exertions in this new channel, we think that nothing more need be added to the statement above, to confute it, save only this further consideration, that such an institution may be fairly said to have grown out of the voluntary attacks made by some members of Bartlett's Buildings, upon all the members of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The only practical answer they are able to afford to the imputations and aspersions cast without reserve upon their churchmanship, is to join hands and hearts with the institution now proposed. It will be an answer in kind; and what is better still, it will be an answer in kindness. And to the loudest and most angry exclamations of their opponents, it will enable them to reply, in the true spirit of the Church of England, "To your reproaches we answer nothing; but to your arguments we reply, by pointing to our efforts in the establishment of a new Liturgy and Homily Society." In short, we conceive the proposal to arise from a pure spirit of Christian conciliation. And we consider it as not among the least favourable symptoms of such a spirit, we had almost said universally, spreading amongst Christians of the present day. Had such a proposal as this come immediately from Dr. Marsh himself, or from those avowed and exclusive advocates of the ancient society, who, we conceive, would rejoice in every honest means of augmenting, even by saving, its exertions, we have already expressed our confident opinion that every church friend of the Bible Society would have wished it God speed, and been ready according to his ability to support it. Let us hope, that though the former names are not now found amongst its first promoters, they will not be long wanting in the fulfilment of their part of the prophecy. Let us hope they will avoid the only line of conduct
by which any one, or all of these, naturally congenial societies, can be converted into enemies, or even into rivals. The time is coming (God himself is pledged to it) when "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." Why may not the Church of England, at this critical juncture, give the signal for such a glorious consummation? Why may not even Dr. Marsh himself hasten its approach? Why may not the various colours of these new and still multiplying exertions in the cause of Christ, harmoniously blend in the production of the great result-why not form (let us be excused the thought) a "bow in the cloud," giving happy presage of the final conclusion of the storm? Glad shall we be to admit into this union, not confusion, of colours, even the remoter line which marks the place of our dissenting brethren. We hail, with sincere pleasure, the candour of Dr. Marsh, in all his allusions to that body. And we do not despair, that, as on the ground of the Liturgy with his fellow-churchmen, so on that of the Bible with his fellow-Christians, he may still be found willing to unite his exertions for the purpose of giving Glory to God in the highest," promoting (not toleration only, but) "peace on earth," and extending (not to the injury but to the honour of his own country) the substantial fruits of "good-will towards all mankind."
Having given, in substance, the arguments of Mr. Simeon's pamphlet, we need only fortify our humble wishes in regard to Dr. Marsh, by a similar invitation held out to him, in conclusion, by this able writer. "Having seen this union, &c. has not produced an indifference to the Liturgy, &c., we may now expect that you will yourself become a subscriber to the New Society.....This will be to act agreeable to the advice which you yourself have given.
"And I can venture to assure you, that the accession of such a champion to that society will be hailed like that of another David to the armies of Israel; they will fear
no Goliath, when they see you, with your sling and stone, ready to defend them: or rather, it will be like the accession of Paul to the church; who, after having verily thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus, did them' his error, became a preacher of the faith with all his might: but, on a conviction of which once he destroyed."" p. 59.
We must be excused, "at this late hour," from offering a lengthened (which it deserves), or, indeed, any commendation, of this powerful and "single-handed" reply to Dr. Marsh. We wish to spend our few remaining moments in promoting our readers' attention to this long article, by bringing into their sight, at the end of it, what may not undeservedly obtain the name of poetry. Placed in this situation, we hope it may serve to decoy them through the "waste and howling" pages of controversy, as the traveller is beguiled onward in the desert, by the distant prospect of some flowery mead or verdant bower, to recruit his jaded spirits. Nor are we afraid our traveller will be disappointed when he actually arrives at such couplets as the following description of " Trees, the planting of the Lord," which shall hereafter flourish in the most distant lands, by the instrumentality of the Bible Society.
"The plants inserted by my hands, In other soils, in distant lands
Shall root themselves, and soon, like
Trees, whose fair fruit by God is given,
Our readers will perceive the style to be that of Hudibrastics, which, we have to inform them, are levelled satyrically at the opposers of the Bible Society, and are, in some other parts of the piece, more characteristically maintained. We have given
hints of a sort of inkling we had, that our worthy Professor, as all extremes meet, gave symptoms of a puritan smack about him. It is not a little entertaining to ourselves, therefore, to catch the Professor, on a sudden, fairly buckled up for warfare, in the trimmings of another
Sir Hudibras, and not sent forth, indeed, but remaining stoutly at home, to conduct the backward and defensive combat, which has been assigned him in this civil war. We are only sorry, that, by some unworthy metamorphose, this redoubt ed champion should be converted, by our fable (which it is), into a dog in the manger. We should most gladly have opened the door to our readers upon a more attractive sight: and this more particularly, as we do not think the Professor himself, for the honour of the Society in Bartlett's Buildings, would allow us to say, that it is not himself which is intended in the parallel, but only that venerable Society. As it is, we have only to discharge our task, as reviewers, with the utmost delicacy possible; and to disclaim, both on our own part, and, we may venture to say, on the part of the author, all intention of imputing, either to that Society or to its most injudicious advocates, more of the canine disposition than shall be strictly in unison with the idea maintained in this noted fable.
The fable has a double application; first, to those who when they "See others work where they refuse, And save the souls their follies lose; They shew their teeth-display their fists, Dub the hard workers Methodists," &c., &c.
and then to the "Old Institution"
above-mentioned, who is made to "scold" the new Society, we are sorry to say, in terms but too appropriate to the language of some of her exclusive friends, for uniting with persons
"Who hold such notions 'bout the church,
They poison every book they touch.
Don't tell me that a Broadbrim's Bible
Isn't on the other quite a libel;
Light wintry months with summer skies;
The faint East drinks the cooling wind,
We should have been happy to conclude with wishing the Margaret fear that he will not fail to redeem Professor heartily farewell; but we his pledge of calling us to a renewal of an unpleasant task. Indeed, while we are closing our review, the publication of his much-expected, and long-delayed, Appendix, is announced. But we dare not venture, at present, to bestow even a glance upon it.