« PreviousContinue »
are, as the Apostle speaks, not cognizable tains, on the top of which is a nor apprehensible by mere human facul
remarkable gap, or indentation, ties; for the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they called in old writings, we believe, are foolishness unto him: neither can he Morsus Diaboli, of which the verknow them, because they are spiritually nacular name is a translation. We discerned.'' But there is no truth from have not the tradition very accuwhich the carnal mind is more shut out than the fact of its own ignorance. So rately in our recollection ; but it is far from admitting that religion is some
something to the effect, that Satan, thing which it cannot see; it confidently having a party of condemned souls denies that anything can be real or sub- in chains, was passing with them stantial which it does not see. “Religion, it is clear,' such a one will say, 'must
over that mountain, when he fell be something; and it must be something asleep with fatigue ; and during which I can see. Well, then, what do his slumber, they happened to disI see? I see ancient buildings, Gothic cover a cross, and did obeisance to arches, comely dresses, men of grave it; whereupon their chains fell off ; and dignified deportment, walking in
and Satan in his “bit” procession, performing solemn ceremonies, exhibiting certain signs, and dis- in the mountain, which he “ejacutributing certain symbols—this, then, is lated” to a vast distance, where religion. This is no airy fancy, no thin it now stands, and is known as the abstraction, no flighty imagination, but far-famed rock of Cashel. The something positive, solid, and substantial, which a man in his senses, and with old fabulous stories had often some his senses, can take firm hold of.' Mr. fragment of truth wrapped up in Locke informs us of a certain person a heap of superstitions ; but we born blind, who conceived that scarlet will venture so far to protestatize was like the sound of a trumpet. Need I point out to you the closeness of this
the tale, as to say that the cathedral analogy?”
of Cashel, when it echoed with
such scriptural truths as those we Amidst the dark clouds, politi- have above specified, stood emblecal and ecclesiastical, which hang matically upon a more solid rock over Ireland, it is a token for good than that which sustains its mato hear of Discourses and Episcopal terial fabric; and what must be Charges like these delivered amidst the displeasure of the ghostly the darkest recesses of Popery and enemy of souls, when he sees them the hottest regions of civil agita- rescued from his sway, not by tion. If the province of Munster raising the material ensign of the shines brightly in the registers of cross—which Ireland, and no part crime, Tipperary is its gem of a of it more than Tipperary, bears county; and of Tipperary, Cashel, awful witness has no power to the seat of the ancient kings of scare him from usurped dominionMunster, is not unknown in the but by the setting forth of that annals of superstition, rebellion, which in Scripture is emblemaand murder. On its celebrated tically called “ the cross of Christ,” rock stands, we believe, the vene- in distinction to all false religions, rable cathedral where Bishop Daly vain traditions, and the will-wor. delivered the above Charge, and ship of ceremonialism. “I, if I his Reverend friend, by his direc- be lifted up,” said the Saviour, tion, preached the discourse from alluding to his approaching cruciwhich we have given the above fixion, will draw all men unto valuable excerpts. Among the me. many traditions connected with We must defer our notice of the the rock of Cashel, there is one in- Bishop of Ossory's Charge to vented in ancient days to account for another Number; for it would not its isolated location. Many Irish be "justice to Ireland " to pass it miles off—and that is saying a great over slightly. deal—there is a range of moun
(To be Continued
THE RECTOR IN SEARCH OF A CURATE. The Rector in Search of a Curate. By A CHURCHMAN. 1843. HANNAH More's “ Cælebs in search of a reviewer” of this laSearch of a Wife ” has called forth conic class; and we assuredly canwe know not how many other not do so on the present occasion ; searchers. We have had a “Gen- for the author seems to have a tleman in search of a religion;" sort of malicious pleasure in tananother“ in search of a horse;" and talising those Cuverian readers who, now we have a Reverend incum- from a single tooth, or fragment of bent “in search of a curate.” a bone, profess to build up the The very cast of these tales is whole skeleton, and to clothe it cautionary, not to say satirical ; as with flesh, muscles, epidermis, and much as Diogenes with his lanthorn all other appendages. It however in the blaze of day “in search of a oozes out from numerous pores man.” We are led to expect a the volume that the writer rejoices long array of bad wives, bad reli- to take his share of obloquy with gions, bad horses, and bad curates; what are called “the evangeli—we would in charity hope in a cal class,” though he has some much larger proportion than they considerable exceptions to allege exist in real life. Ten blanks to a against them, both doctrinal and prize, is a hazardous lottery; and practical ; that he is a churchman, the narrator of so many failures but hostile to what are called highought to be quite sure that the church principles ; that he is a gem which is to turn up at the last zealous friend of the Bible Society shall be of the "purest ray” and and the Church Missionary Society; highest value. The exalted prize that he cannot support the Society which that eminent theologian, the for the Conversion of the Jews, Anacreontic poet Moore, awarded because its conductors, he considers, to his “Gentleman in search of a have made it a “ Society for proreligion,” was the tawdry tinsel of moting Judaism among ChrisPopery ; which we hope the eager tians ;" that he—but our best plan expectant soon discovered to be a will be to exhibit some fragments counterfeit boon.
of his mind as durably fossilised Some readers are wont to exact in his book, leaving the reader to of reviewers a very summary style determine from these specimens the of decision. They do not wish to genus and species of the writer ; devote much pains to weigh argu- and also to decide whether he bements or peruse extracts; they longs to some extinct variety, or hate, they say, “pros and cons ; can be satisfactorily relegated to a
-“Why cannot you tell us in a defined existing class ; or whether half a dozen words, or in one word, he is not best described as what kind of a book it is,—all we gelical churchman, but marked by want to know is whether we are to individual peculiarities." There approve or disapprove it; is it Ortho- is, however, no question that he is dox, Evangelical, Tractarian, Calvi- a man of observation and ability ; nistic, Arminian, High-church, Low- that he has devoted much attention church, Millenarian, Anti-millena- to questions of theological and rian, up to the mark,' or below ecclesiastical discussion, and has it?—just mention, in one breath, its come to his own conclusions upon object, and the school of the writer.” them; that he has wit at comIt is not always in our power, as mand, and powers of sarcasm not perhaps it is not very much in our always so much“ at command "as inclination, to gratify readers “in might be wished ; and that he has
written a lively entertaining book ; ton, who is described as
apin which, however, most persons proved ;” but the whole that is will find some of their own opinions said of him is that opposed, and some of their friends
“ • He was not the highest, but by far and favourites transfixed, like the
the best man of his year,' said Mr. butcher-bird's poor victims, upon Merton. “ I had the satisfaction of thorns, to be pecked at and de- making his acquaintance soon after he voured. The writer is hard to
came up. I found him pious, modest, please; and good at fault-finding ;
intelligent, and studious. He had but
few associates, and those well chosen. and it were wonderful if, amidst
Jis degree was a moderately good one, the frailties, mistakes, inconsis- and we elected him to a bye-fellowship a tencies, and sometimes worse, even
year and a half ago. Since that time of good men, he had not a wide
he has been residing on the Continent ; field for his sickle ; but his object
I suppose with his pupils.' He is come
home to be married, and take orders, I is to correct what he deems wrong, find,' said the Rector.” and to supply what he considers defective ; and there is a good
This is absolutely the whole that humour about him which shews is said of Mr. Leighton ; our only that he wishes to “ shake hands
further acquaintance with him and not part enemies.” Our ad
being, that we are admitted to a vice to the castigated parties is, conversation upon the Plymouth instead of wasting strength in vitu- Brethren, in which he takes a part. perating the author, to turn his
We suspect that the author found remarks to good account, either it easier to register the defects of for strengthening what they hold, the unsuccessful applicants, than to
describe the excellencies of “the or relinquishing what is untenable. We fear, however, that such public approved." We are, of course, to cations are more read for scan
take for granted that he shunned dal than self-correction ;
their defects, yet retained their chiefly quoted by those who are of several virtues. His remarks upon contrary sentiments to those of the Plymouth Brethren, however, the author, and are glad to avail
give us some insight into his themselves of his animadversions opinions, though this particular upon his friends. The impression topic seems oddly chosen for the left upon the mind by a collection
exhibition. We will quote the of portraits of deformed persons, is substance of them. painful; it is like going into an “ • What are the principal elements of anatomical museum of morbid concord, which have served to unite so specimens; each portrait may re
many persons of various and fluctuating
sentiments ?' enquired Mr. Merton ? present nature, and each specimen " There are two, as it appears to me,' is nature itself; but the collection said Mr. Leighton, coming to Miss Veris worse than nature. Mr. Spencer,
ner's relief. In the first place, they the Rector of Ecclesbourne, is “in
are all “ students," or rather professors,
and interpreters“ of prophecy," and search of a curate;" he wishes to
hold the most extravagant millenarian find one who is simple, faithful, tenets. And, secondly, they have all, zealous, laborious, and affectionate ; or nearly all, been disgusted by the cora man of fair talents, good address,
ruptions existing among the various solid learning, and of course, as the
orders and denominations of professing
Christians - the effects of which they basis of all, holding scriptural doc- have witnessed in their own connexions trines, and under the constraining or vicinity. These are, I think, their influence of Christian principles. chief grounds of sympathy.' But so it is, that he everywhere
“I have no doubt you are right,'
said Mr. Merton. But they themselves finds just what he is not in search
would not, of course, allege them as the of, till he meets with a Mr. Leigh- reasons why they have broken off from
the communion of their fellow-Chris- tinct from the rest of the congregation. tians.'
All who have gifts, or think they have “«No; they would tell you that the them, may speak and pray. But, of visible church must be composed entirely course, an order of such persons is graof true believers, and that it must be dually forming.' united, otherwise it is no church at all ; ** • But you must allow,' said Miss Verand that they feel it their duty to profess ner, addressing herself to Mr. Leighton, fellowship only with such a church.' *that many of their Tracts are excellent.'
" . Even under the old covenant,' ". They are indeed,' replied Mr. added Mr. Leighton, 'a clear distinction Leighton; some of them are deeply was made between the members of the spiritual, yet simple, and well suited to visible and of the spiritual church : for the times.' our Lord says to the Jews in almost the “ You will find,' said Mr. Merton, same breath, “ I know that ye are Abra- 'in the accounts given by Mosheim of ham's seed,” and, "if ye were Abraham's the Mendicant Friars, and of the children."
Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit, ". Of course,' said the Rector, (Mr. many points of resemblance to these Spencer) they reject infant baptism.' Brethren. Let us turn to his History of
". They do,' replied Mr. Verner ; the Thirteenth Century.' . and they seem to me to be in a fair way “ . It is very evident, said the Rector, towards rejecting baptism altogether ; that these errors are devices of Satan for I do not find that they re-baptize for counteracting and spoiling the sucthose who join them.'
cess of the Gospel. They have all sprung “But now,' said Mr. Merton, ‘have up in ages when there was much earnestthey not already begun to find that it is ness about religion ; they have begun, impossible, by any schemes of man's in the first instance, among true servants devising, to insure unity and holiness in of God. They are all, originally, a visible church ? As for unity, I am schemes for the promotion of extraordisure they have among them the elements nary holiness. And so, when the great of discord,--for there are hardly any adversary succeeds in deceiving God's two of them perfectly agreed, nor is people by means of them into saying and there any one of them in the same mind doing foolish things, and others into long together.'
heresies and licentiousness, he brings ". And they will not join with any of true and pure religion into universal us, I believe,' said the Rector, “in our contempt and makes every eminently public worship, any more than in our zealous man suspected by the world as a attempts to carry the Gospel to the igno- fanatic, a fool, or a knave.' rant, at home or abroad.'
" • And I cannot think,' observed Mr. *** No,' replied Mr. Leighton ; 'they Leighton, that any schemes devised by object to unite for these purposes with the best of men will ever make the visiany who are living in system,” as their ble professing church coincident with phrase is. And I have found that their the spiritual. It is God's prerogative to notions completely separate them from set the seal upon the foreheads, as well Christian communion with all who are as upon the hearts, of his people. And not of their party. Several friends with he shows who are his, by the grace whom I used to hold frequent profitable which he gives them to depart from intercourse have become Plymouth iniquity,' and to live and work for Christ Brethren, and now, when I meet them, I in the world. And, as if to prove am made to feel, that, of all subjects, how perfectly independent his true such as are spiritual are most to be church is of the distinctions invented avoided, for they only serve to introduce by men, lle gives such grace to persons “vain jangling and contention.” I know belonging to the most conflicting parties. many pious Dissenters, and Methodists, He thus maintains the perfect spirituality and Presbyterians, and even Roman of that church. He himself bestows on Catholics, with whom one can converse each individual within it the qualificaon the great truths which we all profess tions necessary to membership. I feel to receive, without approaching the bor- convinced, therefore, that every attempt ders of controversy, but I cannot say the to force a formal union of all godly persame of any Plymouth brother or sister sons in one community,-a visible denothat I am acquainted with.'
minational separation of them from all " " They have no regular ministers or other professing Christians, will be a order of ministry, I understand,' said failure. It would tend to remove rather Mr. Merton.
than establish that clear distinction • They will not allow,' replied Mr. between real and outward Christianity, Leighton, that ministers are intended, which is understood even by the world, under the Gospel, to form an order dis- and which can only be maintained by Christ. Observ. No. 70.
the grace of God ruling the hearts and tinct conception of Him as Ile was upon lives of his children.'
earth ;--and this, in order that we may " • There may be, however, a good fully trust in Him, as our Saviour and many, I hope,' said Mrs. Aylmer, 'who Intercessor, and walk with him, and hold belong to the true church, although not communion with him as our Master, and recognised as its members, either by Friend, and Brother. Now the tracts of good men or bad.'
these Brethren show that they do appre“ Most certainly,' replied the Rector, hend Christ to be thus—“the way, the and this is another proof of the spiri- truth, and the life,”—very distinctly.! tuality of at church. But all who “And yet, not altogether adequately,' know and love their Saviour ought to observed the Rector, or they would not make a profession of his name distinct dwell so much upon a future personal enough for all men to understand by it manifestation of Him on earth. If we “whose they are, and whom they were perfect in the meaning and use of
his first coming and incarnation, by which “* There are two great truths,' said He has so very plainly revealed Himself Mr. Leighton, which the parties we and brought Himself so near to us,—we have been speaking of seem to me to dis- should not feel that anticipations, or cern, perhaps, more clearly than most of rather speculations, concerning his miltheir fellow-disciples; though I believe lennial reign, are needed, to complete the that the church everywhere is awaken- distinctness of our apprehension of Him, ing to the perception of them. The first and the reality of our faith in him.' I may term the Personality of our Lord “ • And we should be better able,' Jesus Christ ;-the other, the identity, added Mr. Merton, 'to contemplate with in everything positive and essential, of satisfaction “his second coming to judge the spiritual life of the converted soul the world,” or our departure hence to be while on earth, with “ eternal life”—its with Him during our own separation life in the world to come.'
from the body. He, “ the same Jesus,'' "You do not mean,' said Mr. Merton, who is made familiar to us by the Gosthat these truths are now for the first pels, is the reality amidst the shadows, time apprehended by Christian people.' the light amidst the darkness, the known
“Far from it,' replied Mr. Leigh- amidst the unknown, of the judgment, ton ; 'I think there is simply a return to and of eternity.' the plain New Testament doctrines con- "I quite agree with you,' said the cerning Christ and the Holy Ghost, Rector, "addressing himself to Mr. which have been clearly understood in Leighton, “that Christ himself should be all ages by many believers ; and in some preached, in order that faith in Christ and by whole bodies, openly maintained.' may be produced and maintained ; and
“« I should like to hear you further I have often felt that many of our soundexplain them,' said the Rector : you est and most evangelical divines have speak of the Personality of the Lord failed to perceive this. But you spoke Jesus.'
also of the doctrine of spiritual life---as “ • That bas, of course,' replied Mr. being better apprehended by the Brethren Leighton, 'never been doubted by the than by many other Christians.' faithful ; but I think its meaning and “I think,' replied Mr. Leighton, use have not been sufficiently felt. It 'that, in this case, as well as in the other, has not had its right place in Christian they have rightly interpreted important teaching and Christian experience. expressions of continual recurrence in Religion has been rather faith in the Scripture, literally, instead of resorting truth of certain doctrines than faith in to a periphrasis, or treating them as Jesus. “Preaching Christ” has been figures. Thus, just as they understand understood to mean the full exposition literally such phrases as “preaching of what is called the "scheme of redemp- Christ, learning Christ,” knowing tion,"—the way in which we are saved Christ," " receiving Christ,” “ believing by him, and the reason of it_instead of in Christ," they also take literally such the presentation of the person,—“the as these :—“God hath quickened us man Christ Jesus.”—“God manifest in together with Christ ;” “ your life is hid the flesh,” as revealed in the New Tes- with Christ in God ;" “ he that hath the tament,--to the minds and hearts of the Son hath life;" " believing, ye have life people. One great use of the Gospels in his name ;" "passed from death unto has, I think, been overlooked. They life;" and numerous similar expressions are given, doubtless, for the purpose of which will occur to your mind. I say, enabling us to obtain a minute, and accu- they take them literally, because they rate, and I almost venture to say, per- assert that we are taught by them, that sonal knowledge of our blessed Lord. to the believer has a real spiritual life compossess and to carry about with us a dis- municated to him by the Holy Spirit,