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nounce their most boasted works and virtues as conducing to their justification before God, and seek justification only through faith in the obedience unto death of Christ; and that, being justified and at peace with God, they mus? abound in holy fruits to his glory; and that these good fruits do necessarily spring out of a true and lively faith. What Mr. Knox's system was, is well known: it rejected the doctrine of justification by faith as received from Scripture by the Fathers of the Reformation; the atonement itself had no definite place in the scheme; it was best to exhibit considerable “ reserve" in alluding to it; and a habit of rational philosophising was to be substituted for the alleged meretricious excitements of Methodism. Added to all this, the Fathers were te be elevated to the seat of authority; the vis insita of apostolical succession was to be much dwelt upon; and every effort was to be made to bring back a great deal that the Reformation had accounted Popery ; but which Knox and Jebb considered to be primitive .piety without doctrinal exaggeration or practical asceticism,
And what was the result? It was what it is likely to be at the present moment. Men of serious spirit—the Puseys, Newmans, Kebles, and many more of kindred mould—while appealing to the Fathers as authorities, also copy their devout and mortified lives. But will the theoretical adoption of the specuJations of their school of theology lead to similar results ? Has it been so in the church of Rome? And even already in our own church, is it not notorious, that what are called “the dancing clergy" are almost to a man high sticklers in the pulpit for the Fathers, and the ultra views of apostolical succession, sacramental grace, and church power? They would not for the world be called Methodists or Evangelicals; but they affect to be “ altitudinarians;" and would think themselves much honoured (as would be the fact) in being denominated “ Puseyites.” Dr. Pusey, we are sure, does not aspire to be the founder of a sect; and if he did, he would not covet such disciples. We say it therefore in no offence, that the abstraction from worldly vanities, which a Pusey or a Jebb inculcate and personally follow after, is not a necessary, or even a customary, result of the adoption of their theological or ecclesiastical opinions. And it is requisite to say it, because many persons are looking for a very extensive and permanent elevation of the clerical character from the diffusion of altitudinarian opinions. Neither fact, Scripture, nor “rational " philosophy, confirms this conclusion. A man who truly enters into the spirit of the Fathers cannot love the pomps and vanities of the world; but many a young divine will think it theologically aristocratic, and a mark of religious good-breeding, to be on the socalled “high" side, who, while prating ignorantly of the opus operatum grace of baptism, knows nothing practically of its renunciations.
We will now copy Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Jebb's truly valuable letter. The manner in which he speaks of the aggravated sinfulness of a worldly life in one who professes to be the servant of Christ, is worthy of the most holy of the Fathers themselves,
MY DEAR Sir, “I cannot remove from this place without taking leave of you on paper, though prevented from doing so in person ; particularly as I have matters to talk about of no slight importance, and which have occasioned me no little thought.
“ It has given me deep concern that yon were at Mrs.- L's ball. I had indulged expectations, too sanguine, as the event proves, that you possessed sufficient steadiness and resolution, to act upon wbat I know must be your inward conviction respecting the common amusements of the world. The utter incompatibility of such tumultuous gaieties, with Christian seriousness, you should be at least as well aware of as I can possibly be. For such scenes you can have no relish; they must be to you as a strange and unnatural element. Why then
should you sanction them by your presence? Why should you thus do violence to your principles and your feelings? And why thus contradict by your practice, without even the shadow of rational inducement, the general tenor of your doctrine from the pulpit ?
“Perhaps, my dear Sir, you have never distinctly adverted to the fact, that what constituted the essential guilt of idolatry, in the earlier periods of the world, is fully implied in attachment to the amusements of the present day. The grossest idolatry did not more effectually defraud the one true God, of the worship that was due to Him, as a providential and moral governor, than attachment to such amusements precludes devotedness of heart to the same gracious being, as the source and centre of all true happiness. This will appear upon very brief cousideration. That natural thirst after some undefined good, that irksomeness of life, that craving void of soul, under which half the world is labouring, are all so many indications that something is wanting, which the world cannot give; are all kindly meant to impel us to the blessed fountain of goodness, of enjoyment, of full and complete bliss. On the other hand, can be doubted, that diversions are the chief engines of a diabolical counter scheme, -by which people are enabled, at least for a time, to get rid of themselves, and are thus kept from earnestly and devotedly betaking themselves to God, as their light, their life, and the very joy of their heart? Now if these things be so, it inevitably follows, that common ainusements contain the very essence of spiritual idolatry; and, for my own part, I have no doubt that the great enemy can hardly be more deeply gratified, or the interests of his dark kingdom more essentially promoted, than when souls capable of God, are seduced to prop up a frail and feverish being 'by those wretched shifts and expedients, which are miscalled the innocent pleasures of life.
“ Observe, that I presume not, in this matter, to judge the mass of society. Before a far different tribunal it must stand or fall. Great multitudes unquestionably err through ignorance; and as God mercifully winked at the gross ido. latry of the Gentiles, it is highly probable that He now winks at the subtler ido. latry of mere professing, or of imperfectly informed, Christians. It is however a most instructive fact, that, against the idolatry of His own people-of those who had been taught to know, and trained to adore him-His denunciations and inflictions were tremendously severe. A most instructive fact : for it follows, by inevitable consequence, that they who have been brought within the higher influences of Christianity, cannot, without deep criminality, and extreme hazard, break down the barriers between themselves and the world : or in any degree countenance a system, which goes to shut out God from the heart.
“ What estimate the sacred writers formed of such enjoyments as the world delights in, it is needless for me to state. Let me barely direct your attention to that passage of Isaiah: “The harp and the viol, and the tabor and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts : but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of His hands : " and that other of Amos, ‘They chaunt to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruinents of music,' &c.—The sequel is doubtless familiar to your mind; and it is awfully decisive.
* How different the picture given by the last of the prophets in that lovely passage, where he describes the intercourse of good men, in times of public calamity; in times not unlike the present! " Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord bearkened and heard it, and a book of re. membrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought of his name; and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.' It would be trifling with a serious subject, to ask, is this the manner of communication that prevails in scenes of tumultuous gaiety? But, it may be fairly inquired, would not such conversation be incompatible with the whole scope and character of these assemblies? Nay, would it not, amidst such concomitants, be justly accounted at once ridiculous and profane? Can a Christian then (I use the term in the highest and only adequate sense)-can a Christian consistently and conscientiously frequent meetings, which by their very nature exclude those topics which should be habitually present with us ; and of which we are not only to think, but also to speak, when we sit in the house, and when we walk by the way; when we lie down, and when we rise up?'
“ Thus far I have merely considered the case of any serious Christian. But how transcendant is the obligation, how solemn the responsibility of a Christian teacher! When our Lord, in his divine sermon, exhorts his followers to enter in at the strait gate,' he immediately subjoins this most significant warning, 'Beware of false prophets :' intimating what the experience of eighteen centuries has but too abundantly confirmed, that the most effectual obstacles in the way of strict religion, and the most dangerous seductives to a careless and secular mode of living, would be furnished by the erroneous doctrine and example of religious instructors. The • wide gate and the broad way,' may be fairly taken to signify, the way of the world. And since it is notorions, that tumultuous gaieties constitute the chief occupation of this frequented road, and are the great allurements which induce multitudes to choose it, what can be more empbatically the duty of a Christian Minister, than to bear testimony, at least by his own undeviating example, against such anti-spiritual pursuits? Or how can he more fatally betray the holy cause which he has been solemnly set apart to defend, than by a weak and dastardly compliance with the ruinous practices of the world? I use strong language: I can employ no other to do common justice to what I feel. And I am conscious that my words fall infinitely short of the mischief which they attempt to describe. If a clergyman were to commit some flagitious enormity; if he were to forge a bank note, or to rob on the high way, the act, though more atrocious, would be far less prejudicial to the cause of true religion; for he would not then be • Exemplar vitiis imitabile.' His conduct would be reprobated; his character would be stigmatized ; his life would be forfeited to the laws of his country, but Christianity would remain uninjured and unblenched. On the other hand, it should be deeply laid to heart, that the more innocent, the more edifying, the more exemplary a minister is, in all other respects, the more deadly will be his example, if he should unhappily give countenace to the pleasure-seeking propensities of the world. The thorough-paced votary of amusement would give little for the testimony of half a score buck parsons : but a sober, serious, correct clergyman is felt to be an invaluable acquisition. He will be triumphantly quoted, as a model of unstarched, uncanting, unfanatical religion. His very vir. tues will be pressed into the service of vice; bis piety itself will, by an ingenious but not unusual artifice, be employed to raise recruits for the next campaign of pleasure, and to swell the muster-roll of dissipation. I do by no means speak at random : these things I have seen and heard. I myself have been assailed with arguments drawn from the example of clergymen who were at once good and pleasant; whose zeal and charity were exemplary; and yet they did not scruple to promote the innocent gaieties of life i' and well do I know, that such specious examples have decided many a wavering heart to choose this world for its portion. This, indeed, is perfectly natural. Suppose an amiable and religiously disposed young person, for the first time in her life, introduced into a ball-room ; • half-pleased, and half-afraid;' hesitating between God and the world; now, resolving to withdraw from those vanities which at her baptism she promised to renounce; now tempted to mingle with the crowd, and to do like other people. Suppose that, at this critical moment of suspense, she should spy out in the giddy throng, a clergyman; a respectable clergyman ; a man beloved for his virtues, and revered for his piety,-would not this be decisive, would it not fatally turn the balance? I must soberly pronouuce, that, in such circumstances, the weight of such an example would be next to irresistible; and it is easier to imagine, than to state, how tremendous may be the consequences in this life, and in that which is to come.
“ In these views I am by no means singular. They are entertained by some of the most judicious among our common friends. They are the views, also, of our excellent Diocesan, [and so they continue to the end: Archbishop Brodrick saw, and approved, this letter,) and I had indulged in a very delightful hope, that they were becoming the views of many of our brother clergymen in this diocese. The truth is, I had almost ventured to anticipate the growth and the diffusion of a higher principle than commonly prevails even in the religious world; a union of striet spiritual religion with a rational and somewhat philosophic temperament of mind; a separation from the world more complete because more interior, more penetrative because less palpable, than has been hitherto attained by the most systematic plans of external seclusion. In these latter, there has ever been a dis. position, by a departure from the ordinary modes of life, literally to cut off the right hand, and pluck out the right eye; whilst we, I fondly hoped, were, at least, in progress towards a spiritual excision of whatever was inconsistent with genuine Christianity. By carrying common sense, rationality, and discreet cheer. fulness, along with us, I did expect, that we might in time, recommend serious religion to the judgment and taste, no less than to the hearts and consciences of those around us; whilst by a degree of firmness, in abstinence from all clearly secular compliances, at least equal to that of the most rigid sectaries, we might put to silence all religionists that are unfriendly to our establishment. These things, however, cannot be, if we yield one atom of our religious strictness. In matters decidedly indifferent, it is, indeed, right that we should conform to the
usages of civilized life. Good sense and Christian charity require this at our bands. Thus we may please our brethren for their good, to edification ; and of this judicious and amiable conformity we have an exquisite model in Him who was our great Example. But wberever conscience and religion are concerned, as they essentially are in this point of amusements, our line of duty is clear and unequivocal : 'Come out from among them—be ye separate,' is the language of Scripture; and I appeal to yourself, whether in this instance it is not also the language of conscience, of feeling, and of all that is spiritual within us. I shall only add, that the case of all who stifle this voice is singularly awful.
You, my dear Sir, have been settled in a neighbourhood where there is much that is amiable and respectable. In all the gentry there is a regard for religion ; in some possibly there is an incipient disposition to come witbin its higher influences. I know not many spheres in which a few wise and pious clergymen might be more usefully employed. Much might be done to raise the tone of society; much to infuse deeper principles; much to lead people from outward to inward religion. But it must be evident, that such services can never be performed by clergymen who go to balls. Such indeed may assist in maintaining external decorum ; they may promote schemes of beneficence; they may engage the gentry to disseminate the Scriptures, to circulate religious tracts, to establish schools, perhaps even to institute family prayer. But, I must repeat, that clergymen who go to balls cannot carry along with them, and cannot leave behind them, the deep religion of the heart. Those of our profession who know nothing of this high and holy department, will, of course, be little solicitous to maintain that strictness which it indispensably requires. And they, possibly, may take the liberties in question, without either making themselves worse, or marring any objects they can pursue. But they who are, in any degree, called to officiate in what we may term this Holy of Holies, should be cautious, even to jealousy, that they lose not their vantage ground ; that they swerve not an inch from their peculiar and appropriate calling; 'Ye are the light of the world,' said our blessed Lord, but if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkuess!'
“ On the whole, my advice to you is, to accept, with cheerfulness, the civi. lities of the surrounding gentry; but always within certain limits. Never, on any account, to go where amusement is the avowed, ostensible purpose of the meeting; and if, at a place where you may be engaged to dine and sleep, cards or dancing should be introduced, to show that, in such things, you from principle take no part. In a family circle, or where a few friends may be engaged to dine (which I look upon to be a fair and proper mode of maintaining the charities of life) I conceive it is our duty to be as cheerful and as entertaining as we can ; always endeavouring to make our powers of pleasing subservient to the best pur. pose. By judicious management, we may thus render deep truth attractive and delightful; and engage people to become pious, through the medium of taste itself, and on the principle of voluptuaries.
“ But I feel that I have enlarged too much. I trust you will receive what I have taken the liberty of saying, as a proof of my sincere interest in your welfare. You are a stranger in a strange land, and as such I feel you to be a brother. I am myself but young, and not very experienced ; bnt as I am somewhat more advanced than you, I offer that advice, which in similar circumstances, I should thankfully receive. If it prove of any service, I shall be deeply gratified; for then my purpose will be effectually answered.”
REPLY TO "FIDES” AS TO THE EXTINCT GENERA OF
To the Editor of the Christian Oberver. Your correspondent Fides (September, p. 546) has greatly misunderstood the intentions of my communication, inserted in your June Number, respecting the supposed connection between the sin of man, and the mortality of the brute creation. Nothing could be further from my design than to bring any such charges as he refers to, against any one student, or advocate, of the useful science of geulogy. I wrote as a humble inquirer, not as a presumptuous accuser. More I need not say relative to all that my opponent has written upon the point of “ fairness." Yet I do conceive, that as he himself, for a time, had his difficulties, so I may innocently have mine, on the abstruse subject before us; too “ abstruse," I conceive, to admit of the parallel that he has drawn between it and a theorem in mathematics. Nor will I deny that, on mature thought, as well as on further investigation, (not that I have, strictly speaking, studied the facts of geology), I see great difficulties in the hypothesis that I myself advanced in your June Number; particularly the difficulty arising from the necessary destruction of animalcules by those animals that fed upon the grass, to which such animalcules adhere. So also as to carnivorous creatures. Yet I would not forget the prophecy, that the lion shall eat straw like the ox, (Isaiah xi. 7); from which it appears to follow, that birds and beasts of prey might possibly have lived in Paradise, without feeding upon other creatures. Here, however, I am suggesting, not dogmatizing; or rather submitting an idea, which I shall readily surrender, on its being fairly shewn to be unfounded either in reason or Revelation.
I cannot conclude without noticing the inference which Fides is disposed to draw from the words of St. Paul, (1 Corinthians xv. 29), namely, that brutes, as well as men, will share in the final resurrection. Now St. Paul, in the foregoing passage, makes use of the word “ Havres :" which, from its gender, is surely inapplicable to the brute creation. This your Correspondent will, I doubt not, readily admit
, though he seems, for a moment, to have overlooked it. On the whole, I must assure him, in parting, that my object in this (as in my last) communication, is not to assail others, but to inform myself. Trusting that I have done this in the spirit of that Christian “ charity" which doth not“ behave itself unseemingly;" I am,
The above paper being explanatory of what our much-respected Correspondent considers has been misapprehended in his previous leiter; and also stating, that upon maturer thought he sees great difficulties in his former hypothesis, it seems but justice to insert it, though we had closed the general discussion. We can cheerfully attest of a correspondent, of more than twenty years standing, that the spirit of bis concluding remark always characterises his papers. Perhaps, however, we ought to add, lest otherwise we should be pressed to admit a rejoinder from Fides, and to carry the controversy into another volume, that it did not appear to us that Fides gave as his own opinion from the words of St. Paul, “ As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," that brutes as well as men will share in the resurrection ; but that he alleged, by way of argumentum ad absurdum, that this inference pressed upon those who thought that the death of irrational animals could not have taken place without the fall of man; for that the texts which they adduce to shew that the brute creation were first subjected to death on account of man's transgression, would equally prove that they await “the redemption of the body" at the resurrection. The course of the argument between our correspondents was to the following effect. The geologists contended that they discovered fossil organic remains long auterior to any vestiges of the human race, and which must, from the circumstances under which they are found, be much older than six thousand years, or many times that period. Their opponents said that there could not have been