« EelmineJätka »
AN APOLOGY FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. By Piers EDMOND
BUTLER, B. A. late Curate of St. Margaret's, Ipswich.
MR. BUTLER, after having minis- ter to a strict communion Baptist tered for a few years in the Church Church, and afterwards see fit to of England, has seen fit to with- approve of open communion, be draw from her pale, and has pub. could scarcely hope to retain his lished the present pamphlet, we appointment, and so of any other presume, as an apology for his denomination ; but this is no vioown conduct. After a somewhat lation of religious freedom. Nor lengthy introduction, which seems do we see that the distinction of to assume that his secession from rank has any thing to do with the Church is of such importance religious freedom. A rector who as to excite considerable public receivęs great tithes, and a vicar interest, Mr. B. goes on to state,
who receives small titbes, possess that the imposition of terms of equal religious freedom with a communion not enjoined by divine bishop, dean, or prebendary. The authority, the distinction of rank permanence of immoral ministers among the ministers of religion, is a most serious evil, and is deeply and the interference of the civil to be lamented; but such permapower in matters relating to the nence by no means necessarily creed, or worship, or discipline of arises from the connection between the Church, are violations of reli- Church and State. On the congious liberty; and that the perma- trary, this evil exists among Disnence of immoral or incompetent senters, as well as in the Establishministers, against the will of their ment; and cases have arisen where charge, is an enormous evil, arising trustees (like those, for instance, out of the connection between of Lady Hewley's Charities) have Church and State, &c.
perverted their trust until comNow we do not exactly see pelled by the civil courts to return either the truth of all these posi- to a more correct administration. tions, or their precise connection In fact, a far greater degree of with Mr.B.'s secession. The Church religious freedom exists in the of England offers certain advan- Established Church than among tages to those who see fit to adopt any other denomination. The tythe rules of communion which she ravny of Dissent is deeply felt and has laid down; but it leaves all bemoaned by very many dissenting who disapprove of these rules to ministers, and by none more than decline her communion and engage by those who have been seduced in any other. Mr. Butler saw fit into secession from the Establishto enter into holy orders, and offi- ment. We appeal from Mr. Butciate in the Establishment; and ler's present opinion to his decision while so officiating, he received seven years, five years, perhaps certain emoluments, whether more two or three years hence. The or less : now he has thought proper
minister may, nay, is required to withdraw from the Establish- to exercise a certain discretion ment, he of course relinquishes with reference to those whom he those advantages. He surely can- admits to the Lord's table; but he not expect to retain the emolu- must exercise this discretion in a ments, while he renounces the re- due and considerate manner: he is gulations of any particular Church. not to libel an individual, or trumThe Baptists will require him to pet forth his own fidelity by a maintain either close or open com- public proclamation; he is authomunion. If Mr. B. become minis- rized to require a private commu
nication from every one who de- feelings of survivors without some sires to attend the Lord's table; urgent necessity : but where there and though such notice is not at is any adequate cause, few minispresent generally required yet it ters would shrink from the
responat any time be enforced ; sibility, or be alarmed at what is lithe may and in ordinary cases will, tle more than an imaginary danger. find it generally speaking, advis
were Mr. Butler's able, to waive this requirement, but objections correct, they would not,
cases indeed the rubric is we conceive, justify secession. It steadily kept in view, and the is not any ordinary violation of applicants encouraged to freedom which will authorize an come, advised to wait, or admo- individual at once to renounce the nished to withdraw, according solemn promises and vows into to circumstances. Cases of the which he has voluntarily entered. last description can very rarely
Mr. Butler ought unquestionably, occur where a scriptural and Pro- before his entrance into the Church, testant view of the Lord's Supper to have considered the duties and is entertained, and where the ad- the obligations by which he would vantages of Church membership then be bound ; and having delibeare purely of a spiritual character. rately entered into such engageBut if the Lord's Supper is con- ments, he can now have no right sidered as a passport to happiness, voluntarily to withdraw; especially or if being one of us is in any way since it is obvious that no fresh connected with pecuniary advan- yoke has been inflicted, no new tages, whether in the way of alms stipulation required. Nor is it or of exclusive trading, worldly quite correct to adopt the style of minded communicants will rapidly Lately Curate of St. Margaret's, spring up. But such is not the Ipswich,' in order to attract a case in the Church of England at degree of attention and notoriety present: most ministers find it to which he would not have been difficult to persuade proper com- entitled, had be not entered municants to attend, and have into engagements which, withrarely reason to prevent the attend- out any adequate cause, he has ance of those whom they fear to fit to violate. be unworthy, Whether improper not, however, disposed to candidates for admission to the large. It is evident that Mr. B. Lord's table are more frequent has very little idea of the actual among dissenters, we know not; position which the ministers of but the incessant bringing forward our Church occupy, and that he this, by Dissenting partizans, as a labours under the very common prominent objection to the Esta- mistake of confounding the docblished Church, would lead to the trines of certain leading divines suspicion that improper candidates and the assertions of a few ecclefor admission to the communion are siastical officers with the principles very prevalent amongst themselves. of our Church and the laws by
Similar remarks might be made which that Church is governed. with reference to Mr. B.'s other Had he possessed a little more objections. If any case
information, and consulted a few where a minister, standing by a experienced clergymen, he would grave, can say, there is no hope, unquestionably have acquired much let him omit the clause as our clearer views, and would probably hope is; for such omission he is, have found that the ministers and it is true, as he ought to be, members of the Church of England responsible to his ecclesiastical do really possess a greater degree superiors, and will therefore of religious freedom than those of scarcely venture to distress the any other denomination. SEPTEMBER 1838.
Intelligence, SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
FOREIGN TRANSLATION COMMITTEE, JULY 3, 1838.
The Committee for Foreign Trans- portions of the Scriptures have been lations of the Holy Scriptures, and supplied from the new version, of the Liturgy, laid before the Board which has been made for the Bible at the General Meeting in July, Society under his superintendance; copies of the new translation of the and the whole will shortly be sent to Liturgy into Dutch, with the English press. The completion of this Transin parallel columns. Applications lation of the Liturgy at Athens, have been long made from several simultaneously with the foundation of the Anglo-Dutch colonies for of an English church in that city, supplies of this work, which has afford reasonable ground of hope, excited considerable interest in that the advantages which our Holland, and will most probably Liturgy has derived from the monumeet with extensive circulation, and ments of the ancient Greek church, render the services of our church will be better seen and appreciated, available in quarters where they and that its publication will serve, have hitherto been imperfectly or in some degree, to bring back the not at all understood.
attention of the modern Greeks to The committee have also pub- the earlier and purer days of their lished the revised translation of the forefathers. Liturgy in Spanish. The greater The Arabic Version of the Liturgy part of this edition, and also of that is now quite finished; and the of the Spanish New Testament, printing of the work has only been have already been put into cir- delayed on account of the new type, culation, and new editions will which has been preparing for the shortly be required. Through the purpose at Malta. It is expected liberality of the Society, a Spanish that this work will be well received congregation at Gibraltar is now among the Churches of the East, enabled to use this Liturgy, and to and convey to them a better notion have the Sacraments administered than they at present possess, of the by a Spanish clergyman in their doctrines and principles of the own language, according to the Church of England; especially as the ritual of the Church of England. Society has prefixed an advertiseThe revision of the Old Testament ment expressly disclaiming any in Spanish is in progress. The Pen- intention of forcing the adoption of tateuch and the Psalms have been our Liturgy upon other Churches, prepared for the press, and are now or interfere in any way with their being printed.
affairs. A point upon which the The committee have continued Oriental Churches are known to be their labours in the revision of the
very sensitive. French version of the Holy Scrip- The Rev. C. F. Schlienz is now tures; the Paris Committee have on a journey to Egypt and Syria, again gone through the whole of the collecting materials for a New New Testament: the revision of the Arabic Translation of the Bible. Gospels is now completed, and they Exertions are making to provide are in type ; but some time will yet an edition of the New Testament in elapse before the Epistles can have the Chaldee character, and versions undergone complete revision. A of the Liturgy in the Russian and quarto edition of this work, with the Sclavonic languages.
The Commarginal readings and references of mittee have determined to prefix to the English Bible adapted to the all their Foreign Editions of the French is preparing in Paris. Holy Scriptures which are accom
By the exertions of the Rev. W. panied with the Apocrypha, an D. Leeves, of Athens, the New extract from our Sixth Article, conVersion of the Liturgy, in modern taining the names and numbers of Greek, is now quite ready for pub- the Canonical Books. lication. The Psalms and other
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
• Warsaw, Feb. 10, 1838. A Letter from the Rev. J. W. I AM happy to inform you, that, Gordon, dated Vizagapatam, in the under the blessing of God, the work East Indies, contains the following of carrying the scriptures from house passage : to house is now in operation. One • The desire to possess this pr person has taken
some into the cious treasure, on the part of the country, and I am to send a num- Natives, is by no means diminished ber for him to a minister of my -on the contrary, it increases every acquaintance; but hitherto the day. The past year has been markwork has been chiefly carried on in ed by many encouraging proofs of Warsaw. Monday and Tuesday, this fact. During this period, upthis week, one person went out, wards of 900 portions of the Sacred selling four Polish Bibles, one Ger- Scriptures have been distributed; a man, and two Polish New Testa- number which has far surpassed the ments. Wednesday, a second per- demands of any preceding year. You son joined him; and both sold, in cannot send us too many copies of two days, eighteen Polish Bibles, the Bible and Testament: the teemsix German ditto, and. ten Polish ing population of this country are New Testaments: but the whole crying out for them : the eyes of number of scriptures sold and dis- thousands are directed to the British posed of since I sent you my last and Foreign Bible Society at home, account, that is, since the 19th of and its Auxiliaries here; and long January until last night, is ninety- to be supplied with the bread of life three copies.
which is destined to save the soul Since receiving your last, I have alive.' written to several ministers, in the country, on the important subject of circulating the scriptures, and espe- Another Indian correspondent cially of furnishing their catechu- writes mens with them; for which purpose Besides the supply of Tamil one of them, as he has already in- Scriptures to two Tamil Schools in formed me, will shortly want several connexion with the Bellary Mission, Bibles. The colporteurs have, in in which more than half the chiltheir excursions, met with some dren, 50 in number, are Heathen, encouraging circumstances.
One distribution was made to those who, woman who bought a Bible, and had with more or less serious concern, to borrow a florin towards paying were inquiring after the truth ; in for it, immediately hid it in her bed, one case a Roman Catholic was by on account of her husband, who, she these Scriptures delivered from said, did not like such books. profound ignorance of the plan of Another was bought by a peasant Redemption through a crucified bringing his corn to market, who Redeemer, and brought to a full put it on one of the sacks to read in conviction of the errors of popery, it: he would also have bought a and a cordial acceptance of the faith New Testament, but the man had of Christ: and in another a Lascar, just sold his last copy. This colpor- who, from a perasal of the Sacred teur is, I am glad to say, a Christian Scriptures through mere curiosity, person, able to recommend the trea- was brought to the acknowledgment sure he offers : he told me that he of their truth, and to a firm belief in might have sold six Bibles yesterday their doctrines, which he has subseafternoon, if he had had Roman quently evidenced by baptism. Catholic ones. One person offered It is reported, also, that at the to him any price for one, provided Annual Festival at Humpee, almost it contained the apocrypha: but the whole of a congregation assemwithout the apocryphal books I bled in a tent on a plain; and prehave no
doubt many would be ferred remaining to listen to an bought also, though we should pro- exposition of the Sacred Scriptures, bably have to expect opposition on to going, at the appointed signal, to this account.
assist in drawing the idol-car.
FAMINE IN INDIA.
WE regret to learn that an awful famine prevails at present in the western provinces of British India. A meeting was held at Calcutta in March last, and a committee appointed to raise and distribute funds to purchase food for the aged and infirm ; the infant and the female ; for all, indeed, who have not strength to labour. At this meeting, Mr. Mangles detailed the exertions which have already been made by Government, to relieve this extraordinary pressure. In the first instance, revenue to the amount of sixty lacs of rupees, (six hundred thousand pounds) had been relinquished. Secondly, orders had been issued to the public officers to grant support, through the medium of public employment, to the ablebodied. This relief was at first limited in its extent, but, as the season advanced, and the horrors of famine became more apparent, the permission to employ the poor was enlarged to an unlimited extent. Thirdly, the most energetic measures have been taken to strengthen the police establishments, and in preventing those depradations upon the granaries, so natural to a starving population, but which only served, by enhancing the price of food, to augment the general calamity. These measures have served, in some measure, to mitigate the severity of this awful visitation, but still they leave an ample field for the operation of private charity, The scenes which are described as now too common in the Western provinces are calculated to open the coldest bosom to the call of benevolence. The heaven above is as brass, and the earth beneath as iron. The staff of life, by the mysterious dispensation of providence, has been for a time, taken away. The villages, exhausted of their
supplies of food, are deserted by their starving population, who eagerly crowd into the towns, in the hope of obtaining the means of prolonging existence; and, in hundreds of instances, perish before they can reach the means of relief. The principal cities present the most gloomy spectacles, in the emaciated forms of the dead and dying. This is, of all others, an occasion which calls for the prompt and energetic exertions of those whom God has blessed with plenty.
Heart-rending accounts of the famine were pouring into Calcutta in April last from the North-Western Provinces. At no period within the memory of man has the country been visited with an equally severe affliction. In the memorable Chahee famine of 1783, which lasted for two years, the desolation was less than at present; the same distress did not prevail, because agricultural labour was not entirely stopped, and the wages enabled the people to procure food enough to support existence. The number of poor employed by government in and about the city of Agra, is 77,500. The sum actually paid into the Union Bank, for the relief of the sufferers by famine, amounts to 91,495 rupees-nearly 10,000l.'
It surely is the duty of Britain to contribute as far as possible to the relief of these sufferers. The presidencies and different stations in India are vigorously aiding the susferers ; let the cry of misery from the East be heard and regarded in the West, Remittances are readily made to public characters and banks in Calcutta, and by steam or overland dispatch the communication is very rapid. May our country exbibit the influence of its divine religion, which declares, “ It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
CHURCH BUILDING SOCIETY.
THE Report made at the last General Court of this Society, states that the year just ended has exceeded all that have gone before it, both in the number, and in the amount of the grants which have been made ; the number of places
to which assistance has been afforded being 117; the amount of sums granted no less than £24,060-a sum exceeding two-thirds of the amount collected under the last king's letter. The number of sittings obtained has been proportioned to the amount