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of the Lord : '... These few instances of Dr. Short's off-hand way of treating serious matters we bring forward for the truth's sake, and without forgetting his great private worth, or his present official dignity.
We must now bring these observations towards a conclusion. There are, however, one or two more respecting Mr. Carwithen's history that should not be overlooked altogether. It must be borne in mind, that this work was composed and published twenty years ago, and consequently, that the stirring questions which have so greatly and so unhappily disturbed the Church of England during that period, are many of them left untouched; some introduced as having interest historically alone, all being treated without any of the excitement of a present controversy. This we believe to be a favourable position for the work to occupy now in some respects--in
others not so. One instance we shall take from what our author says of Psalmody. In Chap. x. is an account of the alterations effected at the Reformation in this portion of our services : expressions are to be found in the first edition respecting S. Athanasius, and his directions for intoning prayers, that we are glad to see omitted in the present: as also a mistake respecting the substitution of anthems for the introit ;—we join the author in lamenting the discontinuance of the latter, - but he ought to have said that the anthem, varying every day, is introduced after the second lesson. Again, a trustworthy account of the powers of convocation and of the taxation of the Clergy, may be gathered from the several passages to which the index will direct a student, and such of course as is wholly independent of the events of the present day. Again, we cannot think, that if Mr. Carwithen had lived to see what we see, he would have put forward in a note, (I. 105,) a passage from a Charge by Dr. Balguy, of somewhat Erastian tendency; nor that he would have paraded in large capitals the celebrated dictum of Chillingworth to this, however, the editor has attached an antidote, gathered out of the wordy labours of Chillingworth himself; much less can we admit that so sound a Churchman on the whole as our author is, is either consistent with himself, or justified, in perpetuating the charge of bigotry against Archbishop Laud, a murdered, if not a martyred hero of the Church. These are some of our exceptions to the praise to which we believe this history to be justly entitled; and every one who can look back to the period when it was written, and is able to form an estimate of the salutary and extensive change that, in spite of all reverses, has been effected in the minds of our countrymen since then, we do not say of those only who are attached conscientiously to our Church, but likewise indirectly and unobserved by themselves, of those who tolerate her doctrine and practice in order to preach to her congregations,must, we feel sure, be surprised that they are so few and of so little weight. The devoted labours, the extraordinary endowments, and the earnest prayers of a faithful band of brothers, have not been altogether in vain towards rousing a slumbering and self-satisfied Church; and though feelings of the acutest pain will mingle themselves, at a retrospect of these eventful years, we must still rejoice to find that such as we were taught from earliest youth the Church of this land to be, such as her faithful historians represented her,-the same in tenets, and in spiritual privileges has the fiercest controversy of the age proved that she remains to the present day.
ART. II.-1. The Apostles' School of Prophetic Interpretation.
By CHARLES MAITLAND. London: Longman, Brown & Co.
1849. 2. Prophetic Outlines of the Christian Church and the Antichris
tian Power, as traced in the Visions of Daniel and S. John ; in Twelve Lectures preached in the Chapel of Lincoln's Inn, on the Foundation of Bishop Warburton. By BENJAMIN HAR
RISON, M.A. London : Rivingtons. 1849. 3 Lectures on the Apocalypse. By CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH,
D.D. London : Rivingtons. 1849. It is no uncommon error in the choice of studies, to fix on those in which we imagine that we can become knowing at a small expenditure of time and attention. Indeed it is not long since that really abstruse and difficult branch of biblical interpretation which relates to unfulfilled or partially fulfilled prophecy was pursued by many with this vain hope. Innumerable schemes, exposed by failures as innumerable, have somewhat damped the ardour of the religious public for the lighter prophetical literature, and it has now come to be pretty generally acknowledged that the study is one of the severest labour and most untiring patience; one in which even the adept, if any can be so called, must submit to uncertainty, and in which the novice must either be silent, or speak with the utmost caution and modesty.
This is, however, no bad sign for the future, as we shall see if we well consider the ordinary laws of the progress of knowledge among mankind, which have their operation, though under limits, even in the case of sacred and revealed learning. The individual man is incomplete in himself, and cannot work out his own ideas without the assistance of the age. Plutarch could suggest that the moon was retained in its orbit by the force of gravity, but he did not live in an age of weighing and measuring. He was incapable of calculating the force he was able to imagine, and his true conjecture remained a solitary and barren thought for centuries. The same thought in the mind of Newton, who added to his singular genius the acquirements of a mathematically mechanical age, has opened to us the whole architecture of the universe. Only those who have studied the progress of science are aware how near mankind had approached to the Newtonian theory before it flashed upon their consciousness through the effort of a master mind. Many steps had been taken similar to those achieved by our great
And we may
countryman, though less gigantic, and much ground made sure before he could take his stand firmly on the data of Copernicus and the laws of Kepler.
And if sacred studies admit less of conjecture and discovery, they are even therefore the more open to the operation of this general law. We stand in them upon what our fathers have done for us, and if we would advance beyond them we must not despise them. In the case of prophecy, indeed, though we do not look for fresh revelations, we may well expect that the course of events will be not a little instructive. even rather look for the chief advancing steps in knowledge from the development of the scheme of Providence, than from the felicity of human conjecture. It is true that in this way he that increaseth knowledge is likely to increase sorrow, for the events that bring great things to light are apt to be themselves terrible, and the cheering light of prophecy is cast upon the darkest stages of the Church's history. Cheering, we may say, it is, even when it foretells trouble ; for trouble foretold is trouble measured and limited, and those to whom it is foretold are the objects of a special Providence. But let every man think well before he wishes that his own lot may fall on the days of the fulfilment of prophecy, and count the cost, and learn to live above the world. For on those that eat and drink, buy and sell, marry and are given in marriage, those days will come full of astonishment and dread.
There is, however, a stage in the general apprehension of prophetic truth short of that full understanding which results from a striking and recent fulfilment, and which comes more within the range of the ordinary laws of human thought, although doubtless in great measure brought about by the silent suggestions of the Spirit and the illuminations of grace. There is a certain state of expectation and preparedness, that comes before the cardinal changes of the Divine dispensations, and contemplates them dimly as they approach, so as to receive them the more devoutly when they come, and to work with them in will and in moral attitude before they are distinctly imaged in the intellect. This state is most fully and clearly depicted in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles; and what we there read is most valuable to us in this way amongst others —that it shows us the true state and temper of the children of God when they have to wait His time for promised mercies, and to live upon hopes which they are not able to comprehend. And this imperfect yet not fallacious apprehension is most especially the inheritance of the Church, and is to be nourished by communion with her universal thought and feeling, as well as with thosc supernatural sources from which all that is truly and
generically hers must descend. We know not how long may be the period of these last days, but we are distinctly taught to cultivate that spirit of expectation which looks beyond the present,-not in vain hope of amelioration of outward circumstances, but in the sure prospect of final deliverance,-combined with preparation for severe trial, and thankfulness if we are spared any that is too much for our strength, or aided to endure that which is allotted us. In thus realizing our own responsibility, in connexion with a deep conviction that we are in the hands of our heavenly Father, and are at once fulfilling His purposes and provided for in them, we are raised above the temptations of vain curiosity, and cautioned against the presumption of making hasty affirmations. And it is in casting ourselves unreservedly upon a personal faith in Him who is the only Revealer of secrets, that we are most sure to attain those true, though perhaps indistinct, impressions of the nature and meaning of His predictions which will enable us to discern the signs of the times, and to prepare for the future, and meet each coming crisis as He has willed. Human theories of systematic perfection may be as tempting and as deceptive to us now as were notions of temporal monarchy and worldly prosperity to the carnal Jews. Nor are special antipathies less likely to prove fertile sources of error, if we are weak enough to allow ourselves too readily to apply the denunciations of prophecy to what we happen ourselves to disapprove; or to see in its emblems of warning those parties or systems to which we happen to be opposed.
Indeed, we might be inclined to wonder that the trumpet of Divine prediction should not give a more certain sound, and that we should so often be unable to discern the real bearing and direction of its utterances. But surely this is in great measure the consequence of our own sins and worldly dispositions, which set us wrongly and unreasonably against one another. And a partial remedy, at least, may be found in carrying on our investigations in a Catholic and humble spirit, and expecting such notices of coming events as may concern and edify the whole Church of God, while we leave the exact nature of what is to come in the same kind of obscurity in which it appears to have been involved in those ancient times, in which men waited for the consolation of Israel much as we have now to wait. Their doubts were solved by events, and remained doubts up to the very instant of their becoming aware of signal fulfilments of prophecy. It is true, they had no occasion to write books on the subject as we do; though indeed some of the Jewish commentaries before the Christian era are not to be despised in respect of their prophetic interpretation. In general, it was