Page images
PDF
EPUB

considerable number of them were instrument of extinguishing them. restored to the friends and relatives We leave it to others, to whom it from whom they had been torn, or may be more congenial, to dilate on adopted into families of respec- the political crimes, which are said tability; others were given in mar to have marked the growth of our riage, with a small present from power in India ; though we may be Government. Two hundred were allowed to express our satisfaction placed, at the expense of the state that they are so much fewer than in mission schools, and three hun- have ever attended the acquisition dred settled as cultivators in dif- of so extensive a dominion at so ferent villages. “And thus," to vast à distance from the centre of borrow the language of an eloquent authority, in any age and country, writer in India, “in a country and that the more dispassionately where bits of flesh, cut from living they are scrutinized, the less agmen, were strewed on the ground gravated do they appear. To our as a miraculous manure; where feelings it is more agreeable to the land, so to speak, was guanoed dwell on the auspicious effects with human blood, this crime, which have resulted from the introworse than any known in Europe, duction of our power, more espehas, in eighteen years, ceased to cially in regard to the universal exist; and fifteen hundred human extinction of these diabolical pracvictims have been rescued from a tices. We think that as men, as horrible death. An entire people Englishmen, and as Christians, we have been induced to forego a have just cause for exultation that crime sanctioned alike by antiquity the triumph of our arms has been and superstition, and a district as invariably followed by the triumphs large as Wales has been raised a of humanity. Viewed in this light, whole grade in the career of civili- it may not be considered presumpzation. All this has been effected tuous to connect with the designs by a Government declared to be of that higher economy to which oppressive, and by a class whom all human movements are subor. India honours, and England stig. dinate, the position we have atmatizes as politicals."

tained in the east, and which On a review of these various rites enables us not only to exterminate which have continued to pollute human sacrifices, but to communiIndia with innocent blood for cate the blessings of civilization twenty-five centuries, it will ap- and the treasures of divine Revelapear to be a matter of no ordinary tion to a hundred and fifty millions gratification that the establishment of people, of British authority has been the

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND THE ECCLESIASTICAL

COURTS.

We should be far from understand of the Privy Council in the case of ing the significance of the recent the two Essayists, if we merely decision of the Judicial Committee suppose that they have fortunately escaped the penalty adjudged by or may not hold on the questions, Dr. Lushington, the Dean of Arches, that have been the matter of litigaand that“ only by the skin of their tion? In attempting an answer, teeth.” The judgments of the two we must combine the conclusions courts contain interpretations of of the Dean of Arches with those the Articles and Formularies of the of the Privy Council; those of the Church of England, which hence- former remaining in all their force, forth will possess the force of law. · except so far as they have been modi. Judicial constructions not only act fied by the latter on the particular as precedents, but, until reversed or points referred to them on appeal. set aside, by another or superior 1. In the first place it is distinctly judge, have all the binding effect of laid down by Dr. Lushington, and the enactment they are intended to remains unaltered by the Privy explain. It is one of the manifold Council, that the standard of truth inconveniences to which her connec- for the Church of England is not tion with the state subjects the Holy Scripture. To this she canChurch of England, that in addi- not appeal; her appeal lies to her tion to her well-known standards articles and formularies alone. Both she is bound by the decisions of courts re-assert the principle esthe Civil Courts, and those deci- tablished in the Gorham case; viz., sions and constructions of her for- “ The Court has no jurisdiction or mularies may, in ' practical effect, authority to settle matters of faith, add new doctrines to her creed, or or to determine what ought, in any so change the ordinary understand- particular, to be the doctrine of the ing of the words as to admit per- Church of England. Its duty. ex. sons to her pulpits who hitherto tends only to the consideration of have been held to be excluded that which is by laun estublished to therefrom. Thus the decision of be the doctrine of the Church of the Privy Council in the Gorham England, upon the true and legal case, made it perfectly legal for construction of her Articles and parties holding the most opposite Formularies.It is of no impordoctrines on the question of bap tance, on any theological question tismal regeneration to enjoy the that may come before the Courts, emoluments of the establishment, what Holy Scripture may say ; nor and to interpret at their pleasure what the most eminent divines of what seems to many persons the the Church of England may undervery precise language of the stand ; nor that the right of private Prayer Book.

judgment, on which the ReforinaA similar effect follows from the tion was founded, may be denied judgments given in the cases of to clergymen; nor that the decision the two Essayists, Dr. Williams, may impose on the clergy the proand Mr. Wilson, and the construc- fession of a doctrine contrary to tions put upon the articles and modern discoveries in science or formularies by Dr. Lushington and history. The Articles and Formu. the Committee of the Privy Council, laries are the only legal tests of have an authority equal to that of doctrine. The Judicial Committee the standards themselves.

have decided, “It would be a depar. What, then, is the effect of these ture from our duty if we were to decisions on the standards of the admit any discussion as to the conChurch of England ? What are formity or nonconformity of the the opinions that a clergyman may Articles of Religion, or any of

sheasured." the doctrinesitan

them, with the Holy Scriptures." from quoting the just, though So also Dr. Lushington; "I will severe, reproof administered to not be tempted in the trial of any such teaching by Professor Goldwin accusation against a clergyman to Smith in his recently issued work resort to Scripture as the standard on the Abolition of Tests :by which the doctrine shall be "Such a system may serve the political measured.” And if this course interests of the Establishment, but is it pos. should lead to unscriptural errors

sible that it can serve the spiritual interests

of the Christian church? Can it stand long, or to other evils, or if redress is

before the awakened moral sense of man. desired, “recourse must be had to kind ? If we were not made callous by offi. the highest authorities." And who

cial custom and party casuistry, should we

fail to perceive that no imaginable sin against are they? Apostles, prophets, the God of Truth can be greater or more evangelists ? No. They are “the deadly than that of deliberately corrupting Legislature, which established the the spirit of truth in young hearts."--p. 9. Articles and Book of Common 3. On the inspiration of Holy Prayer.

Scripture, Dr. Lushington decided 2. On the nature of subscription, against the Essayists. He regards both judgments are clear that the the Bible as of Divine origin, meaning of the Articles and Formu. “emanating from the extraordinary laries is the plain grammatical and preternatural interposition of meaning. “I have no hesitation,”. the Almighty.” To say, therefore, says Dr. Lushington, " in declar.. that the Holy Scriptures proceed ing my opinion that the subscrip- from the same mental powers as tion is a most solemn act-and that have produced other works, im. the law will hold a clergyman to pairs their Divine authority. But have taken the obligation secundum Dr. Williams calls the Bible "an animum imponentis ; and that to expression of devout reason," "the my mind is the plain grammatical written voice of the congregation." sense of the Articles themselves." Mr. Wilson denies the Scriptures to But, when the judge comes to ap- be the Word of God. These expres. ply this dictum to the case of Mr. sions, in the judgment of the Dean Wilson, the following most extra- of Arches, are contrary to the docordinary conclusion is maintained: trine of the Articles. But, accord,

"It is in law a very different ing to the Privy Council, they are offence to violate a statute and to not so; the Articles nowhere affirm advise others to do so. Mr. Wil- every statement of every part of son has not violated the 36th the Old and New Testaments to be Canon; he has conformed to it [by “God's Word written.” It is, subscription] though he may have therefore, lawful for a clergyman to advised others to evade it." Mr. teach with Dr. Williams, the huWilson, then, may advise a clergy- man origin of the Scriptures ; or man to subscribe the Articles with Mr. Wilson reject the entire without any regard to their plain Bible as being the Word of God literal meaning, and at the same throughout. . time to repudiate the essential doc- On the other hand, Dr. Lushingtrines contained therein; but he ton, uncontradicted by the Privy himself may not disregard the Council, allows an almost boundobligation. He may teach another less liberty of criticism and interto do an immoral act, but is guilt- pretation. A clergyman may not less if he only refrain from the act reject any entire book of Scriphe inculcates. We cannot abstain ture; but he way doubt its authorship. He may reject the To pass by the question whether “ biblical narratives as inherently these decisions are not fatal to the incredible, or precepts as evi- character of the Church of England dently wrong.” He may interpret as a Church of Christ, we shall Scripture idealogically or alle- briefly call attention to two conclugorically to any extent. The sions which seem naturally to follow Messianic prophecies he may wholly from the premises. set aside, and hint with impunity 1. Subscription, for refusal of that prophecy was first history, which our forefathers lost their all, and uttered without any predictive has utterly failed to secure the obpurpose whatever. The early his- ject of its imposition—the avoid. tories of our race recorded in Ge- ing of diversities in religion. All nesis may be regarded as half-ideal, grades of opinion, from the barest half-traditional notices, compiled scepticism to the superstitions of from many documents, and scarcely popery, may now quietly nestle in to be reconciled with other sources the snug retreats of the Church of of knowledge. All this is a mere England. What with the decisions question of interpretation; no of the Courts, and the costs of these article of the Church is infringed failures to vindicate the Church's thereby. It is no part of the duty orthodoxy, no one will again venof the highest judicial authorities ture to "promote the office of of the Establishment to enter judge” against transgressors. into questions of diyinity, or “on 2. An era of the broadest, lati. the correct construction of any part tudinarianism has risen on the Esof the Bible.”

tablishment. The last century was 4. Graver still are the errors of characterized by indifference; this the Essayists on the doctrines of will be marked by the admission regeneration, the propitiation of into the Church of religionists of Christ, justification by faith, and every hue. We have the prospect the everlasting punishment of the of an Establishment that, like the wicked. But the courts declare national churches of Germany, may that on these points the Essayists possess articles and formularies of have not transgressed the Articles the truest scriptural character, and A sceptic has only to tread care yet its ministry be filled by men fully in the footprints of these here- who evade the promises they have siarchs, and he may enjoy, un- given, and deny the truths they challenged and uncondemned, the have solemnly bound themselves to best living in the Establishment, teach, and even wear the mitre unharmed,

A PETITION AND A PLEA.

BY THE REV. DR. LEECHMAN.

"Preserve my soul ; for I am holy.” Ps. lxxxvi. 2. PRAYER is the breath of the new. supremacy, and our dependence. born soul. It is the homage we It is a duty, springing from our pay to God; acknowledging his nature and circumstances, and enjoined by God's command ;-an ser, and is perfumed with the honour, we, “dust and ashes," sweet odours of His merits and inbeing thus admitted to an audience tercession.” He who thus presents of the King of Kings, to speak to our prayers can best teach us how him face to face, and plead with to fashion our prayers; and this he him as a man doth with his friend ;- does by his blessed word and his a privilege, the worth of which who Holy Spirit. can estimate ? Judgments have Our Lord gave his disciples a been averted, armies have been pattern and model of prayer; the conquered, the sun in the heavens closer we keep to this, the more has been arrested in his course, by our prayers resemble His ;--will the power of prayer. Prayer they not be the more acceptable ? brings all our supplies from heaven, “ It is a wonder, then," as holy and prepares the heart rightly to Leighton says, “how any can receive, appreciate, and improve scruple the use of this prayer itself : them. Prayer quickens our graces, for if other prayers are to be and subdues our sins; conquers squared by it, what forbids to use Satan, and cultivates our friendship that which is the square, and, with God; weans the soul from therefore, most perfeet? If they earth, and prepares us for heaven. be good by conformity to it, itself What can be more necessary to the must be better. The mumbling child of God amid the toils and it over without understanding and trials of his perilous pilgrimage ? affection, is indeed no other but a Hence, when the Apostle suits the gross abuse of it, and taking the Christian warrior with his “whole name of God in vain, as all other armour,” he places this above all; lifeless prayer is. It is a foolish "praying always with all prayer superstitious conceit, to imagine and supplication in the spirit, and that the rattling over these words watching thereunto with all perse- is sufficient for prayer ; but it is, verance.” “This arms man and on the other side, a weak groundhis armour both with the strength less scruple, to doubt that the use and protection of God.” If prayer of it, with spiritual affection, is be thus so vitally important, well both lawful and commendable.” may we put up and plead the peti. In other portions of God's word, tion—"Lord teach us to pray.” we have much instruction respect

All acceptable prayer must be ing the matter and the spirit of grounded on God's word; be the prayer. The Book of Psalms is a breathing of God's spirit; be precious manual of devotion. In offered up in faith ; and be presented all ages this has been the cherished in the name, and trusting to the resort of God's people, for aid in merits, of our Great High Priest. their intercourse with heaven, amid He who died to redeem us ever all the vicissitudes of their life, lives to intercede for us. Our risen and variety of their experience. Lord stands at the “ golden altar". Luther strengthened his courage in the temple on high, having the and constancy, his faith and fervoir, “golden censer,” with his “much by feasting on his favourite Psalm, incense,” which he offers with the the 46th—“God is our refuge and prayers of “all saints;" and no strength, a very present help in prayer of ours ever “ascends to trouble.” “ The older I grow,God as pleasing incense but when wrote one of the many excellent it passeth through that golden cen- correspondents of Hannah More,

MULTI

« EelmineJätka »