« PoprzedniaDalej »
stantiation, Mr. Dale writes thus :-“No logic can master the craving of the soul for Christ. We must satisfy the craving, or the error will not be renounced. We must preach Christ, the living Christ-till men shall feel that He is so near to them that the intervention of the priest is an impertinence and an affront.” (p. 27.)
Thus far we find ourselves altogether in accord with this able and eloquent writer. We can no longer follow him when he proceeds to expose the fundamental errors and inconsistencies which he believes to be involved in the principle of Establishments; and when he predicts the universal triumph of the spirit and principles of Congregationalism.
We entirely acquit Mr. Dale of any intentional misrepresentation of the views of his opponents, when he represents the advocates of Established Churches as thinking it better to “remit all questions concerning the doctrine of the pastors of the Church” to men who, though untaught of God, “are familiar with human laws;" and as thinking it "safer to consult Pilate or to appeal to Cæsar," rather than to his brethren, for the determination of the question “whether Judas shall continue an Apostle.” Such representations can but provoke a smile from those whose strongholds are thought to be thus assailed, not unaccompanied by a feeling of surprise and regret, that a man of such acknowledged ability as Mr. Dale, should not have taken the time and trouble to make himself better acquainted with the opinions which are held by his opponents.
We are more anxious, however, to bring into prominence the points on which we are at one with Mr. Dale, than those on which we differ. It is on this ground, much more than from any desire to expose the inconsistency with his professed principles, which we think the writer vainly endeavours to remove, that we quote the following passage, in which Mr. Dale seeks to reconcile with the principles of Congregationalism the desire, in which we altogether concur, that the authority and power of the State should be so far invoked, that by means of it the thousands and tens of thousands of children who are now growing up in ignorance and vice, may receive that edua cation which the Will of Christ requires to be given to them.” “We deny" (Mr. Dale writes, p. 45) “that the will of the State should control the Church of Christ; but that the Will of Christ Himself should control the laws, the institutions, the policy of the State-this is our incessant and agonizing prayer. To deny that our national life and legislation are to be governed by the Will of Christ, is a heresy that would destroy the hopes of the human race. It is blank atheism. If the State is to be rescued from the darkest dangers which threaten it, we must preach CHRIST-Christ, not merely as the supreme revelation of God-Christ, not merely as the sacrifice for haman sin-Christ, not merely as the Head of the Church, but Christ as the Ruler of all men, the Regenerator of nations, the Saviour of Society."
In this conclusion, we are altogether of one mind with Mr. Dale. This is that national recognition, and (pace Mr. Dale) national establishment of Christianity, at which we aim; and we cannot but believe that if our dissenting brethren, instead of being reminded (as we regret to find, even in this able and admirable Address) of the duty which may again devolve upon them of “plunging into the strong excitement of fiercelycontested elections,” were led by the words and example of their teachers to strive and to pray for such a consummation as that which Mr. Dale has so well portrayed, there would be found but little time or disposition, either on their side or on ours, for the too eager discussion of points of minor importance, and an increasing desire on the part of both that "all who confess Christ's holy name may agree in the truth of His holy Word, and live in unity and godly love."
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Administration of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ. Eight Lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year 1868, on the Foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton, M.A. By George Moberly, D.C.L., Fellow of Winchester College; Rector of Brighstone, Isle of Wight. Oxford and London: James Parker and Co. 1868.-Our readers will not anticipate that we should endorse all the opinions expressed on this important subject by the very able and thoughtful author of “ The Sayings of the great Forty Days.” The following extracts, however, to which additional interest is attached in consequence of the writer's recent appointment to one of the highest posts in the Church of England, will convey a fair impression of Dr. Moberly's style, and cannot, we think, fail of suggesting many valuable hints on a practical subject of daily increasing importance, We refer to the influence which the Laity ought to exercise in the administration of Church affairs.
Our first extract shall be on the subject of the part of the lay. people in respect of Ordination :
“It is quite clear that in the primitive ages the voice of the lay. people in the choice, and their acclamation' and assent in the ordination of clergy, whether bishops or priests, were by no means disregarded. Their testimony and their approbation were distinctly asked
for, not silently assumed and taken for granted. Thus they had a real and substantial weight--a weight so real as to give them a real share in the responsibility of the choice. It would seem to be alike a corruption of the primitive practice to confine such choice absolutely to the clergy, whether bishop or pope, or to let it fall altogether into the hands of a lay-government. Both are of the nature of usurpations,—but the second has been a reaction from the first." (p. 212.)
Again, whilst deploring the exclusion of the laity, in the later ages of the Church, from “any actual participation in consultations of council or synod,” Dr. Moberly writes thus :
“And I cannot but think that the causes which have operated to er. clude the lay-people from the direct participation which, in their degree, they might seem to have the right of claiming in the consultations of the Church, have operated also in a most baneful way to diminish their sense of responsibility in respect of Church truth, and of Church work in these later ages, and of their own position in regard to both. While they have been ineffectual in excluding them from indirect power --a power working with great and often very injurious effect even in the most sacred things--they have put them into a position which is at once more or less antagonistic to the clergy, and which has seemed to set them free from the responsibility which is really and inalienably theirs. And this, if it be so, is not only a heavy loss, but a terrible evil. It is a loss of sympathy, of union, and of strength, greater than can be measured.” (p. 132.)
We have already intimated that we are by no means prepared to concur in all the statements which are found in Dr. Moberly's Bampton Lectures. It is impossible, however, to peruse this volume without admiring the learning and the originality of the author. Theologians of all schools may learn much from a writer of such eminent distinction.
(1) The Resurrection. A Sermon preached in St. Mary's Chapel, Brighton, on Sunday, August 8th, 1869, on the Death of the Rev. Julius M. Elliott, M.A., Incumbent of the Chapel. By James Garbett, M.A., Archdeacon of Chichester. Second Edition. Rivingtons, London, Oxford, and Cambridge. " (2) The Christian's Death: A Sermon preached in St. Mary's Chapel, Brighton, on Sunday Evening, August 8th, 1869, on the occasion of the death of the Rev. Julius M. Elliott. By the Rev. Dr. Griffith. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. · (3) Praise the assured Result of Prayer. A Sermon preached in the Church of St. John the Baptist, Hove, on Sunday, August 8th, 1869, in behalf of St. Mary's Hall, upon the occasion of the lamented death of the Rev. Julius M. Elliott, M.A. By the Rev. Frederick Reade, M.A., Incumbent, Chaplain to His Grace the Duke of Devonshire. London: Rivingtons.
These Sermons were preached on the same day, and on the same occasion, viz., the sudden and deeply lamented death, by a fall from almost the highest point of the Schreckhorn, of the Rev. Julius M. Elliott, the youngest son, and the successor at St. Mary's, Brighton, of its first and highly distinguished Incumbent, the Rev. Henry Venn Elliott.
Archdeacon Garbett's Sermon is preceded by a short and in
teresting account of Mr. Elliott's death, extracted partly from the “Daily News,” and partly from the fellow traveller who joined him in the ascent of the Schreckhorn.
The Archdeacon takes occasion to establish and to illustrate, with his characteristic elegance of diction, the doctrine of the Resurrection, from that portion of the Lesson appointed to be read in “The Order for the Burial of the Dead," which is contained in 1 Cor. xv. 36—“Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be.” The preacher briefly alludes to the theory, on which he pronounces no opinion of his own, that there remains, after death, some organized part of the human body out of which shall spring the body of the resurrection. He continues thus:
“ Three things, meanwhile, are quite clear. (1) That some portions of the body which has mouldered in the grave shall still remain in that which we shall be clothed withal, when our great and final change shall come; exactly as, in the tree or plant, some particles at least of the original seed are yet embodied and organized. (2) That though still entitled a body, the change will be prodigious. It will far more surpass the first in strength and glory and fitness, as an instrument to the immortal spirit, than the flower and golden ear surpass the simple leaflet or formless seed. (3) That, therefore, what remains of the ancient body in the new shall be marvellously changed, though still may be the very same. Just as the diamond, the most sparkling and precious of all gems, is, nevertheless, only common charcoal metamorphosed into a strange beauty and an almost incredible glory; just as the ruby, again, is only common clay similarly transformed and crystallized; the lovely blossoms of the lily and the rose are of the same material as the vile root, only sublimated by the light and heat of the sun. Just so may bodies of glory, shining like the sun in his strength, and able to stand in the presence of God without being consumed, be made out of these same frames of corruption to which, in our first and earthly life, our souls are tied.” (pp. 15, 16.)
After a striking testimony to the sound and clear sense, the exquisite sympathy, and the blamelessness of the whole life of Julius Elliott, the Archdeacon records the following interesting incident which happened the very day preceding that of his death; an incident which we transcribe with the greater satisfaction, inasmuch as it admits us in some measure into the secret of the source whence the great springs of Julius Elliott's life were derived, and shows us how, alike in the mountains of Switzerland as in the discharge of his appointed duties in Brighton, he was the man of one Book.
“His life was a life both for and in Christ. It was thus he wrote to one of his sisters from Switzerland, on her birthday, only the day before his death :-'I do not know whether you feel as strongly as I do the longing to start perpetually afresh, unweighted by past failures, and with all the strength of new resolutions and bright hopes. The verse which most readily formed itself into a prayer for you on my lips this morning was this one in the morning's psalm, “Show the light of Thy countenance unto Thy servant, and teach me Thy statutes." The light to reveal the path of duty, and the rule of duty, and the light to comfort and reassure, seemed to me to contain a blessing not unworthy of a birthday, and one of which one would not weary throughout life.' ” (pp. 21, 22.)
We will add only one more short extract from a Sermon which we heartily commend to the perusal of our readers :
“ Wherever he went, there was an atmosphere of goodness and manifest holiness about him. All men loved him. The very guests at the table d'hôte at Grindelwald were heard to say, that if any were ready for a sudden call to death without warning, it was Julius Elliott.” (p. 23.)
The following passages, extracted from the second of the Sermons mentioned at the head of this notice will convey a fair idea to our readers of the nature of the testimony borne, by one who knew and loyed him well, to the character of Julius Elliott :
“He died a Christian. Yet what a life was his,-an inward life. I will not now speak at large upon his outward life, though what a life it was to the very end! He has not described fully to any one his feelings as he ascended that mountain that day. But I have read, months ago, his feelings as he ascended that terrible mountain, in comparison of which this was but a small matter. As he then made his way up by a route untrodden before, to the top of the Matterhorn, I know where his thoughts were, I know what his life was. ... I know that Julius Elliott was preparing his spirit for deeper, holier, more real communion with his Saviour, when he should come down to his place and common work in Brighton. ... After having slept in the cave at the bottom of the Schreckhorn, he went with his companion up its heights in higher spirits than he had been seen before by his friend, .... and then, with his prayer-book over his heart, and prayer in his heart, with a prayer. book marked according to his own thoughts, and his own prayers for special persons, and his heart, the very temple for the Holy Ghost to dwell in,-as he went up, with his loved guide and his trusted companion, his heart, I doubt not, was such as I know it was on the other occasionmeet for any change which might befall it. I have met him here in the streets of Brighton-he has been ready then. God met him in the heights of the Alps, and we doubt not, we have no reason to doubt, his heart was ready then.”
Mr. Elliott had reached the summit, and one step only remained from the snow to the solid rock. In taking that step his foot slipped. The Sermon proceeds thus :
“ One slip, a rapid descent, faster and faster, silently, just leaving a trace in the white snow,--and in less time than I take to finish my sentence, while his body glides down to the earth, his spirit rises and stands in the presence of his God; purified by the blood of Christ, living in the power of the Spirit, seeing his Maker, and probably once more in the presence of that father whom he loved on earth, and that mother to whom he owed his existence, and the general assembly of the first-born in heaven.”
One more extract from Dr. Griffith's Sermon must suffice :
“His body, no longer tenanted by his spirit, distinctly marked as having had no lingering suffering, with no bone broken, lay resting on the icy glacier, until the kindly care of two bands of faithful mountaineers raised it from its snowy bed of death just in time for its peaceful interment, and their own safety. In this we see that God in his providence deals very tenderly with those who love him, for but a few minutes after the body was removed the very spot was covered by an avalanche of stones that either must have hid his body from the view of those who searched for it, or else have so mutilated it as to awaken the most painful feelings in our minds. *Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints.'”