Page images
PDF
EPUB

single result of the abeyance of Convocation has been fatal to millions and generations of souls. The same might be said with regard to our Colonial Clergy. We should not have been so long without a Church in our Indian Empire,--and again, so long without an adequate government for that Church; nor would our Clergy in North America be starved by an Act of Parliament, taking away from them possessions guaranteed by solemn national compacts, and our Clergy in Ireland not allowed even to starve in peace, by a system of more than connivance at the brutalities of the disciples of Dens.

But in truth, men who were formerly designated “low Churchmen" never ventured to hold opinions so derogatory to the rights of Convocation as some that are current with the highest Churchmen of modern days. Archbishop Wake was no great stickler for the privileges of Convocation ; indeed he wrote a very bulky and learned folio for the purpose of shewing that Convocations were little more than creatures of the crown, and could have no right apart from the personal interests of the sovereign. But this testimony, to which Mr. Kempthorne has called the attention of Churchmen, is a remarkable contrast to the language of some of the highest Churchmen now: even to that of Wake's excellent present successor, in a charge published a few years since.* Wake says,

“l make no doubt but that it is the duty, as well as wisdom of a christian king, to consult of all these matters, (which concern the state of the Church,) with those who have the government of it committed to them by God; ... and neither obstinately to retuse the Clergy liberty to assemble, when they think it would be for the service of the Church, and the benefit of religion, to come together, nor yet unreasonably require their attendance when there is nothing at all, or nothing of any consequence, to be done by them.” ....“ Should it so fall out that the prince should neglect his duty in this particular, in that case I conceive it would be the duty of those, who are the fathers and governors of it, to apply to bim for his permission to come together, to remonstrate with bumility, but yet with christian freedom too, the necessities of the Church, the evils that are to be remedied, and the reason they have to hope that by their assembling they may provide some remedy for them, and to press him in the name of God, and in pursuance of that trust which the public has reposed in him, to give a favourable answer to their requests. Should we be denied all liberty of these assemiblies, though the governors and fathers of the Church should with all their care and interest endeavour to obtain it; should the prince so far abuse his prerogative, as to turn it not only to the detriment, but to the ruin of all true religion and morality among us, and thereby make it absolutely necessary for something extraordinary to be done to preserve both;-in such a case of extremity, the Bishops and Pastors of the Church must resolve to hazard all in the discharge of their duty; they must meet, consult, and resolve on such measures, as by God's assistance they think their unhappy circumstances to require, and be content to suffer any loss, or run to any danger, for their so doing."— Wake, chap. iii. p. 85.- Pp. 50, 51.

To do Mr. Kempthorne's volume justice, it would be necessary to transcribe it. In attempting to give our readers an idea of it, the difficulty lies in selection. But we hope there will be very few much

• We have been told, on very good anthority, that his Grace's opinion on this subject is now changed.

longer unacquainted with the whole of its valuable arguments and details. We do not think any of our readers will quarrel with us for spending their five shillings on this recommendation. We proceed, however, to substantiate our criticism with a few extracts.

The absurdity of a Church without a Convocation, and an earnest appeal to Churchmen :

To speak of a society without its consultations, of a christian society without its, Synod, is almost a contradiction in terms. A national Church, which has absolutely lost its ecclesiastical councils, will soon probably become, if it be not already,

“ingens litore truncus, Avulsumque humeris caput, et sine nomine corpus." It differs but little from a body decomposed, and without a distinct subsistence. Let us then humbly solicit our earthly sovereign to grant an active, but at the same time constitutionally regulated, CONVOCATION. Let us hope and pray, that the convened Bishops and Pastors, trusting wholly in Him who“ searcheth the reins and hearts," and whose name is “ KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” will, according to his promise, be with them to bless them; and by their means to bless this whole Church and nation.—Pp. 26, 27.

A popular objection wisely answered :

The inactivity of former Convocations is not to the purpose at present.--If we should, for argument's sake, concede, what in fact ought probably on every ground of truth and justice to be controverted, that the virtual suppression of Convocations for more than a century past, since the censure of Bishop Hoadly's publications in 1717, has been wisely ordered; yet in times like these, who would urge the precedent? In times like these, whilst the papal hierarchy hold their frequent Meetings, the Church of Scotland its General Assembly, the Wesleyans their Annual Conference, no man forbidding them ;-nay, whilst the Independents have recently instituted and now bold annual ineetings of their General Congregational Union, (county associations they bave established long ago,) in spite of the apparent incompatibleness of such meetings with the very essence of Independency,—will his gracious Majesty deny to the Church, which he bath sworn to maintain for the whole nation's sake, the bona fide use of her legitimate Convocations ?-Pp. 6, 7.

On the "vexata quæstio" of alteration in the Liturgy :

Still, under present circumstances, the questions have been, and will be, bandied about in various quarters,“ What is the present christian duty of the Church of England ? Ought certain passages in her Liturgy to be altered or modified, with which many weak and some tender consciences, however unreasonably, have been aggrieved ;-witness the successive complainants, from the members of the lower house of Convocation in 1562, (who lost their motion for alterations only by a majority of one,) down to Non-conformists at this day? Or would not such readjustments of her already sound formularies be made at the risk of shaking fundamental principles, or impairing essential truths ?" Again; “Ought not we that are strong, to bear,” in the present instance," the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves; but every one to please his neighbour for luis good to edification, even as Christ pleased not himselt?" (Rom. xv. 1-4.) Or is not this a case in which to please ourselves would be to violate conscience ;-a case in which, in order “that the truth of the gospel may continue with us, we must not give place, no not for an hour ?". (Gal ii. 5.)

Now where can these questions be set at rest? Where could the revision, if it were really requisite, be prepared for the royal and legislative approbation or allowance? And where, it inadmissible, can the reasons for its rejection be at all definitely and authoritatively set forth, except in an efficient Convo

cation? Without this settlement, will not every speculator be still meddling, and, to the continual injury of truth and peace, be still trying his own feeble hand at corrections, which mighty masters in piety and learning in former times trembled to attempt ?-Pp. 86–88.

The constitutional nullity of all ecclesiastical acts, without consent of Convocation; and the means of obtaining the rights of Convocation :

Our civil governors, indeed, themselves seem, at this time, to contemplate the speedy employment of such councils, in the usual form probably of ConVOCATIONS. Otherwise, it cannot be supposed that in the Ecclesiastical Commission, lately issued, (for the Church of England and the nation at large owe doubtless a tribute of gratitude to his Majesty,) a reference would have heen made to some new arrangement of episcopal duties, and some new modifications of cathedral institutions. For such measures, when preparatorily made by the Commission, seem to require, of course, at a subsequent period, the consent of the Church herself, as a body: if we may judge from former precedents, and especially from that of the Commission in 1689, which proposed subjects of similar extent, and was objected to by some of the Commissioners themselves and others, and was vindicated on this very ground, that all signified nothing, unless the Convocation approved it.—P. 56.

The conclusion :

Upon the whole, putting these various considerations together,--the Church's present peculiar necessities; the suitableness of Convocations, or other more entirely anequivocal Church Synods, for the nation's sake to relieve them; the various ways in which that relief may be imparted, namely, by checking abases of patronage, by remedying defects in discipline, by calming in reasonable and devout minds eagerness for a revision of the Liturgy, by protesting against erroneous doctrines, hy aiding in an explanation or amendment of the Protestant oath of supremacy, by considering 'remedies for statistical defects, and for defects in theological education, by promoting union among Churchmen themselves, and between the Established Church and other protestant communions; putting these considerations together, we may venture, I apprehend, to conclude, that revivED, EFFICIENT, AND DULY REGULATED CONVOCATIONS, (to be summoned, if possible, at a different time from the Parliament) or rather, since somewhat of a semi-political character may still seein to adhere to Convocations, that a RESTORATION OF PROVINCIAL AND DIOCESAN SYNODs — is imperatively called for by the present exigencies of this Church and nation ; and would be one of the best adapted means, sometimes the only mean, of defending, ameliorating, and invigorating the Church of England ; and thereby would, under God, greatly conduce to the diffusion of his beavenly and eternal blessings through the whole realm.—Pp. 153, 154. It

may be scarcely necessary to say, that, however we may approve of diocesan and provincial councils, as subsidiary to Convocation, we would never, with Mr. Kempthorne, endure them as substitutes; much less would we prefer them. And it may be proper here to add, that, with all our admiration of Mr. K.'s work, we would not be understood to approve, without qualification, every allegation it contains. We do not, for instance, concur in his representation of the oath of supremacy: in regard to the impossibility of dissenting ministers obtaining ordination without going to the universities, Mr. K. is mistaken in the matter of fact, as some very recent examples may shew: and, if we mistake not, (though we confess the proof is not palpable) he has in p. 91 a low sacramentarian doctrine, which is not that of the Church of England.

With these, and, it may be, some other minor exceptions, we again recommend this work to general circulation, and trust it will be the honoured instrument of the greatest act of real "Church Reform" which our rulers, in their JUSTICE, can execute.

LITERARY REPORT.

A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Church, or in exposing the ma

the Diocese of Gloucester, in August levolence and inconsistency of her and September, 1835, at the Trien- enemies. nial Visitation of the Right Reverend On the proceedings and particular James Henry, Lord Bishop of Glou- intentions of the Church Commission, cester, Published at the request of of which he is a member, the Bishop the Clergy. London: Rivingtons. necessarily observes secrecy. He conPp. 45.

siders, however, that "it is designed We can scarcely conceive nobler evi

to make the revenues of the Church dence on behalf of the Church than is

available for efficient duties and useful afforded by the Charges delivered by

purposes alone :" and while various the Bishops within the last five years.

preferments, not having the cure of The public spirit, the disinterestedness,

souls, but involving other inportant the calm lofty tone of conscious inte

duties, will be carefully preserved, all grity, the firmness amidst the most

sinecures, in the strict sense of the threatening dangers, and, more than word, will be made to contribute fully all, the piety and humility which per

to public usefulness.

His Lordship vades those Charges, have filled the

states some gratifying facts in evidence minds of Churchmen with admiration

of the improving state of the Church, and confidence, and might convince

and the increasing disposition of pastors the enemies of the Church, if, indeed,

to exercise their power properly. prejudice could possibly be convinced, During the five years that I have presided how different must be an Establish- over this Diocese, the number of resident inment directed by such men from all

cumbents has been considerably increased, which, in their ignorance and enmity, without any diminution in the total number they had concluded.

of curates employed : in each year several

new glebe houses have been erected, and Bishop Monk's Charge is what might

others have been so improved and enlarged have been expected from his character

as to becoine residences for clergymen : -a happy union of moderation with

while the amount of duty performed in firmness.

most parts of the Diocese has been mateFully impressed with the dangers of rially increased. That a corresponding the present crisis, the most important change has taken place in the feelings of in the history of the Church since the patrons is sufficiently proved by this factGreat Rebellion, he enters upon the before any alteration has been made in the subject with the spirit of a man who, law, the applications for Dispensations for strong in principle, is assured that his plurality, in the whole kingdom, are fewer cause will triumph through the full

by one half than their former average. and honest performance of every duty,

Pp. 16, 17. and who would not have it to triumph The whole Charge will afford much by any other means.

He suppresses

gratification to the friends of the nothing which ought to be told, whe- Church, and we heartily recommend ther in alluding to evils which oppress for the inozt attentive perusal.

Aareivos; Lateinos; or, the only Proper below the enignuov Fav, or cypher s',

und Appellative Name of the Mun, with the probable origin and use of the said those Prophetical Number in Greek episemon. 8. Containing allusions to the Numerals, is xŚs', or 666; Rev.

ancient numerical use of the di-gamma, as xiii, 18; demonstrated to be the Ec

connected with the subject of the episè

mon s. clesiastical Mark or Name of the

9. On the proper distinction to

be observed between the use of the three Beast, who had two horns like a

episema, viz. επισημον Εαυ, Κοππα, and lamb, and he spake as a dragon;" Savri, and the twenty-four letters of the Rev. xiii. 11–18; being none other Greek alphabet, in the designation of names than the Pope of Rome : whose and numbers ; together with some remarks Church and Kingdom ure, even now, on the necessity of retaining the exact intrinsically and appellatively, Latin. notation of holy writ. 10. Two tables By the Red. REGINALD ŘABETT, illustrative of Mr. Faber's word Apostatès, A. M., of Queen's College, Cam- exhibiting its palpable inconsistency with bridge, and Vicar of Thornton, Lei

the true number xěs', or 666. 11. Excestershire. London: Seeley and

amples proving the want of identity in the Burnside. 1835. Pp. xli. 308.

word A postatès, as applicable to any one

particular lapsed elurch or person excluWhy will authors forget that amongst sively. 12. Containing a refutation of Dr. the characteristic qualities of « the Adam Clarke's hypothesis of 7 natin wisdom that is from above" there is Baoulela 'The Latin Kingdom.' 13. Resuch a thing as gentleness? Can Mr. marks on the spurious number Xıs', or 616, Rabett imagine that his volume is which is mentioned by Professor Lee. 14. made more convincing or agreeable by

Five reasons drawn from Irenæus, estathe discourteous manner in which he

blishing the moral certainty of his ortho

graphy in the name Aativos, with further is pleased, in his zeal for his own opi

remarks on the opinions of Archbishop nions, to write of such men as Faber,

Laud and Professor Lee. 15. Observaand Croly, and Woodhouse, and Lee,

tions on the diphthong, or the broad, or because they entertain views upon circumflexed iota in the name Aateiros, Prophetical topics different from his

Agrivos, that is el, or . 16. Or the own? “ The manner of his spirit” authenticity and propriety of the name would challenge rebuke under any

cir- Aateivos, as applied to the Man, whose cumstances; but when such fierceness number is x&s's “ 666." 17. The general is manifested upon a question encom

argument for the name Aareivos as depassed above all others with clouds,

finitively and exclusively descriptive of and darkness, and mystery, intolerant

“The Man of Sin," further confirmed. dogmatism and supercilious interpre

18. Romanism summarily confronted with

Holy Scripture. 19. The subject recatation are singularly misplaced. These

pitulated, with a brief notice of the various are the besetting offences of the Vicar

Latin titles assumed by the Papacy. 20. of Thornton. His learned work con

An historical account of the election, proclatains twenty chapters upon the follow- mation, and coronation of Pope Innocent ing points :-

XIII. (as recorded by Edward Wright, 1. The subject proposed. 2. Introduc

Esq.) illustrating the genius of Popery. tory Remarks on Mr. Faber's hypothesis

Mr. Rabett displays considerable of Apostatès, with objections. 3. Objections to Mr. Faber's hypothesis continued, with

acuteness, and demolishes Popery and Observations on the episèmon s' and the

Socinianism with mortal blows. The contraction s. 4. Further observations on

object of the Dissertation is to prove the numerical Cypher denominated Erlon

that the Pope is the Mystical BabyMov Fav, or V, or s', as used to denote lonish mon, or Ecclesiastical Abomithe Number 6, and to supply the vacuum nation, seen by St. John in vision as occasioned by the absence of the obso- the great Corrupter of Christ's Church, lete Æolic di-gamma. 5. On the result and seated upon the seven mountains, of that branch of Mr. Faber's hypothesis, which indicate the locality of Rome. which identifies the episèmon s' with the contraction s. 6. On the three episèma, with The "wisdom," then, (writes our author) a numerous selection of authorities for the to which we presume we have arrived, is, use of the mark ('] over the episèmon or that by the union of the Papal Mitre with cyphers'. 7. On the proper use of the the Triple Crown or Tiara, we have come mark or accent, when placed above or to the " understanding" chat" the Beast,*

« PreviousContinue »