« EelmineJätka »
the church whose head sits triple- fearful extent the faith, the loyalty, crowned on the seven hills of
hills of and the moral and religious life of Rome. In Dissenting Churches the people” (Bampton Lectures, pp. there is no legitimate administration 72, 73). Hence our efforts for the of the sacraments. Their ministry salvation of souls are regarded, not can convey no blessing, proclaim only as "unauthorized,” but “ anno pardon, remit no sin. Their tagonistic” to the Church of Engministers are intruders, who have land. The “Mother and Instrucno right to warn sinners to repen- tress of the entire English people” tance, or to preach the Christ cruci- is thereby robbed of her children, fied.
dissent making them disaffected It cannot but be a matter of deep
both to Church and State, they concern to faithful ministers of the become the victims of heresy and Gospel to watch the progress of blasphemy. Our “works of faith” these principles, and to take ac- the endeavours of sectaries to count of the hindrances they place make proselytes to the various rein the way of the advance of the ligious bodies competing for popuKingdom of God. Every day affords lar favour” (Huntington's Churchproof that they are in most active Work, p. 58).' Our Sunday schools operation. In some form or other, al- are taught by teachers who are both most every parish in the kingdom schismatic and disloyal. is infected with them. They are
commissioned by the successors of among the most dangerous of the the Apostles,"our ministers haveinadversaries with which Christian truded themselves into the work of ministers have to contend—the most the “Church,” which “alone claims dangerous, because they delude the to be the representative of Christ souls of men, and substitute for the for the English people” (pp. 83, grace of Christ “another gospel, 84). Our theology, our ecclesiastiwhich is not another.” (Gal. i. cal polity, our religious institu6, 7.)
tions, are "systems of human inBefore, however, we point out the vention.” The spirit which has led modes of activity adopted by the so many of us astray from the advocates of “Church principles,"
“ Ark of God's appointment,” has it is important to notice the views in it the “germ of that lawlessthey hold with regard to the nature ness, that mystery of iniquity, that and objects of dissent. Overlook- development of self-will, whose end ing or disparaging all that noncon- is the denial that Christ has come formity has done for the education into the flesh, that rejection of the and the religious instruction of the Lord Jesus against which St. Paul people, they place it in the forefront pronounces his anathema maranaof those obstructions which impede tha” (p. 141). Our refusal to rethe progress of the Church. Says cognise the spiritual powers of AnArchdeacon Sanderson, “It under- glican prelates comes, the Bishop mines the clergyman's influence, and of Oxford tells us, from that concounteracts his ministrations every tempt of authority which has broken day. It furnishes a rallying point out into the sins and schisms of for the disaffected and self-willed in puritanical independence” (Ordiall our parishes. It is a snare to nation Addresses, p. 261). Our plea both pastor and people. It has of conscience is declared to be wrought and is working vast and a modern artifice on the part of extensive evil, and imperilling to a
Dissenters, who wish to see them-
selves regarded as martyrs.” Dis- such as prayer or reading God's sent is “vicious, inherently vici- word, which, blessed as they are, ous."
yet are not sacraments, nor possess Examples of similar abuse might the special honour of sacraments indefinitely be multiplied from —namely, to be the appointed Church publications. High Church and ordinarily the indispensable and Low Church unite in the expres- channels, through which, when duly sion of like sentiments, and agree to administered and rightly received, shut their eyes to every generous the Almighty binds himself to conact, to every spiritual and Christian vey the necessary graces of regework, that a dissenting community neration and renewal.”—(p. 69.) may undertake.
Meanwhile, the We wish our readers to ponder most strenuous efforts are made to the awfulness of the above statedestroy our influence, to impede ment, and especially of its closing our exertions, and to hinder the words. Let them observe how comprogress of the Gospel. Yes; to
Yes; to pletely it sets aside the teachings of hinder the progress of the Gospel; the New Testament. It is a fair for what
the “ distinctive specimen of the teaching which, as Church principles” which it is the was shown in our last number, places “Church's mission” to teach, but the Church before the Bible, and subversive of the Gospel itself ? makes its doctrines dependent on Take the following statements from the “inspired judgment” of the the Bishop of Oxford's Addresses to Church-that is, the hierarchy of candidates for ordination :
the Church of England. “The Church distinctly asserts How antagonistic “Church printhe regeneration of all infants by ciples” are to our usefulness, the the act of God in Holy Baptism, following extract from the Bishop even when that Sacrament is admi. of Oxford's last charge will further nistered by unholy hands, and show. Our ministry, on the view though no one, save that ungodly here given, is absolutely worthminister, and perhaps an equally less :ungodly witness, be present.” “We want more distinctive Church
teaching for our own people. We Again, on the doctrine of the sa- believe that we do possess, as we craments, and especially with refer- cannot see that others do, Christ's ence to "the inscrutable mystery direct commission for our ministry, of the true taking and receiving of and a certainty of fulness therethe Body of Christ by the faithful fore of His Presence and of His in the Holy Eucharist,” the bishop Sacramental working which, to say says:
the least, may be lacking elsewhere. Against the various sects and If we do not hold so much as this, Protestant communities we have to we must dissent from the plain maintain the reality of Christ's language of our
own Ordination gifts in the sacraments, thecertainty Service; and, if we do, we must of His presence in them according teach as well as live as those who to His covenanted promise, and to are possessed by this belief.”—(p. their high privilege of being the 30.) direct countersign and outward in- It is unnecessary for our purstrument of his spiritual working, pose to quote other illustrations of whereby they are distinguished from what is meant by “distinctive other, though most Holy offices, Church principles.' From the
sacramental and sacerdotal theories The agencies set on foot during here put forth, necessarily flows the the last few years to ensure the desire expressed by the bishop to “pre-eminence of the Church” see the “ Church in its complete- throughout the land, and to arrest ness” sent forth into every distant the progress of dissent, are very land, as well as predominant in our numerous. Many of them are to own. Hence it comes to pass that be found active in a single parish, instead of the spread of the gospel while there are very few parishes of Christ, the diffusion of the word into which one or more have not of God, and the growth of godli- been introduced. To attract peoness in all classes of the community, ple to church, “Church architecbeing the special aims of the ture” has been most sedulously imChurch of England, our ears are proved, the accommodation rendered deafened by phrases utterly un- more accessible to all classes, the known to the Bible, expressive of pews have been abolished, and the other purposes and directed to windows filled with glass of glowing other ends. Missions must be es- colours, in memory of the departed tablished to excite "attachment to dead. It is rare now to hear the the Church.” If the young are to
service read, as in former years, be taught, they must have a "Church with careless voice and prayerless education," "true Church teach- feeling. More often it is intoned, ing.” In his ministry the clergy- and the choir sounds forth anthems man must put forth “the multiform of glorious praise. Great regard, subjects of Christianity and the too, is paid to the manner and Church, in continual discourses," subject of the sermons. The cold Monro's Pastoral Life, p. 48.) essay of the last age is discarded “Men must be busy about the for a discourse, at least tinged with Church's work.” Politicians must patristic piety, if not more often acquaint themselves with the warmed with evangelical truth. claims and prerogatives of the But in order to meet the religious “Church"; they ought to be “Church wants of the people, as well as to statesmen boldly and unflinchingly secure them for the "Church's fold,” advocating her claims and defend- still other elements of attraction ing her rights. It is a part of the are employed. In many churches “ Church's mission ” to put down there is daily or weekly communion, schismatics and all who disregard performed with solemn chant, white the “ Church's directions." Their robed servitors, and awful solemrestoration is the “Church's reco- nity. Confession to the priest is very of her lost children." An also fostered, to perfect the priest's augmentation of clergy, or deacons, hold on the conscience, and to or sisterhoods, is an increase of ensure humble service for the “Church agencies," a growth of
“ Church.” “Church machinery,” an example For the rising generation, schools of “Church development.” Men are everywhere opened on terms are taught that to belong to the with which it is almost impossible “ Church” is at least as necessary
for the dissenting bodies to comas to belong to Christ, and to be pete. Here catechisms, hymns, “ “ churchmen” is more surely to and ballads, history and science, secure salvation than if they should all saturated—often nauseouslyfollow simply the teaching of the with “Church principles,” are most Divine Word.
sedulously taught. Landlord influence is brought to bear
Of larger and more important sants, while others are attracted by efforts to strengthen and extend weekly “alms' or monthly "doles, the power of the “Church,” are Threats are freely used where per- Church unions, congresses, decanal suasion avails nothing. Our vil- assemblies, diocesan synods, and lage pastors find themselves at parochial dedications. These schemes every turn blocked out by autho
are growing rapidly in number and rity; and measures of the most influence, while pastoral-aid sounchristian sort are employed to rob cieties, additional curate societies, them of their flock, and of the lambs spiritual help societies, and dioof their fold.
cesan colleges, multiply clergy to In many parishes sisterhoods work them, and increase the effihave been introduced, as much by ciency of the “ Church's mission" in their influence in the sick chamber, all its departments. . the hospital, or the school, to Were these activities directed counteract dissent, as to afford to the diffusion of the gospel of opportunity, by seclusion, for the Christ and to secure the salvaattainment of a higher Christian tion of men, they would deserve life. Church temperance socie- our commendation. But they are ties, with the vicar at their openly, almost ostentatiously, set head, to the exclusion of the dis- on foot to promote pernicious senting minister, are frequently heresies and to destroy dissent. formed to secure other classes, As we have seen, the sacramental while guilds of a mixed character, theory is the very bone and muscle of having in view both temporal "Church principles,” a theory subbenefits and the advancement of verting the foundations of our faith “ Church influence," are coming as well as the liberty of Christian largely into favour in our great
Whatever dissent may or towns and cities.
may not have done, it has at least The amusements of the people kept true to the Word of God. It are not overlooked. The maypole has always testified, sometimes in and its joyous dances, running in sackcloth and great tribulation, to sacks, and the like old English the grace and love of the Redeemer, sports, are in great favour with the free gift of God received direct clergy of mediæval tastes. In a from Him, without the intervention little book
written of priest or sacrament. To make to show how parishes may be this kown is the mission of Nongoverned on the “Church plan,” conformity. The revival of“ Church we have a grave description of an principles” both assures its conamusement for Christmas, called tinued life, and establishes its "bullet pie,” in which the fun lies necessity; the acceptance of these in the players, their hands tied heresies by the clergy, and their behind them, searching for a bullet spread among the people, demand in a mass of flour with their lips. the most diligent efforts on the Concerts in the school-room, illus- part of our pastors and spiritual trated lectures, and pic-nics, for leaders to counteract their soul
favourite destroying effects. The Bible, not schemes of other clergymen, who the Church, is the teacher of the perhaps think the nineteenth cen- ignorant; Christ, not the Sacratury will scarcely relish being dress- ments, is the Saviour of the lost. ed like a mummer of the fifteenth.
“ WE WHO ARE NOT CHRISTIANS.”
of this paper,
If every minister of Christ were instructive. In one of my pastoral to keep a faithful record of the visitations, I was forcibly struck by conversions resulting from his la- the utterance, by a lady of my conbours--of the circumstances attend- gregation, of the words at the head ing each conversion-of the means
.“ We who are not that were employed in each case in Christians." The subject of conawakening the sinner to reflection versation was the most interesting -and of the process of mind by mode of conducting the services of which the soul was brought to rest the sanctuary. She remarked, “WE in Jesus, a mass of valuable infor
NOT CHRISTIANS, want mation might be furnished, and a something in which we can take volume might be published of more part." The former words of the practical worth than half the books sentence arrested my attention, the world contains. The essentials fastened themselves on my memory, to a successful ministry of the Gos- and so completely laid hold upon pel, or to successful effort for the me, that I could not drive them conversion of souls on the part of from my mind. It was not so much any Christian, are not simply a the fact that she was not a Chrisknowledge of the way of salvation,
of salvation, tian that moved me, but that a reand the faculty of communicating gular attendant on the means of that knowledge; but also an ac- grace, the child of pious parents, quaintance with human nature, a and one who uniformly manifested clear perception of the deceits of a deep interest in everything conthe human heart, and of the so- nected with the House of God, phisms by which it cheats itself into could thus deliberately, and apa neglect of God, and a knowledge parently without regret or concern, of the influences and idiosyncrasies say,
“ We who are not Christians !" by which the heart is closed to the especially when I remembered that Gospel, of the keys by which it may my first introduction to this lady be opened, of the appliances by was on her coming to the chapel, which it may be successfully as- after a confinement which had alsailed, and especially of the means most cost her her life, and when she through which God is more gene- appeared so frail and delicate as to rally wont to work in calling men preclude much hope of restoration to into the kingdom of His dear Son. strength. “We who are not ChrisOn all these points, one fact is tians!” Iimmediately rejoined. “Do better than ten thousand theories, you intelligently, and yet
thus calmly, and one illustration is more instruc- speak of yourself as not a Christive than many treatises—even as
Yes,” she replied, “I one siege will teach more of the art do; such is the case. I know that of war than a whole life of study in I am not a Christian.” “But," a military college.
I added, “is it possible that, knowOne special case in my own ex- ing all that is involved in not perience is suggestive, if not illus- being a Christian-being a constant trative, of these remarks; and per- attendant on a Gospel ministry, haps there is scarcely a minister of and acquainted with all the invitaChrist whose journal would not tions and threatenings of God's afford cases equally interesting and word-you can with such resigna