« PreviousContinue »
tension must be levelled with the dust. The church is not an imperium in imperio—an empire by itself. Religion is a ministration to the world—not a defiance of its scrutiny. The Church is to be the handmaid of general freedom, virtue, happiness; and not to lord it over that great heritage. It is this fatal separation from every thing else that has caused almost all churches and pulpits in the world, to fall behind the civilization of the age-behind its knowledge, science, liberty, and general liberality. The light that is in the world is not suffered to penetrate through their church barriers. Where in the general recognized classical literature of the world, do you find any bigotry, any religious fanaticism, any narrow technicality of faith ? All these are shut up in the dark fastnesses of exclusion. I hold that religion is, not only out of its place, but that it is not safe in those fastnesses ; any more than it is in monasteries, or in the dungeons of the inquisition. There is no safety for a right principle in girdling walls, though they be built as high as heaven; there is no safety ; but only the more danger. There is nothing but the severe, scrutinizing, searching watchfulness of all mankind, that can keep any thing safe : any institution, any government, religious or political. To this, all human interests are now irrecoverably committed. And to this, all religious interests, if they be human, must be committed.”—p. 19.
We can only afford further space for the solemn and beautiful conclusion; and we cannot close without breathing the hope that long may life, strength, and bodily energy remain to our friend and brother to speak true words to his fellow men, in behalf of virtue, truth, and God.
“ There is a greatness in this life beyond all that is called greatness. All earthly seeking—all business, care, weariness, and strife—is but the clothing of a deeper want—the heavensent need of virtue of the happiness whose essence virtue is. That want, whether it pierces the world with its cry, or struggles in smothered silence, is the grand index of all human fortunes. Reality lives beneath all that is visible, wrestles amidst the turbulent passions, and heaves in the bosom of this world's restless tumult. In those depths of life is conscience, empassioned yearning, conscious destiny; and from those dark fountains, flow out tears, sorrows, and sighings.
“ To communings with such a life, my brethren, is the pulpit consecrated. The thousand ties that bind that spiritual life, meet—it is an awful thought-meet, as it were, in the pulpit, and here it is that we are to touch those chords, that shall send thrilling into the depths of reality. Must not this ministration, then, be a living sympathy ? Such was it to the heart of Jesus. If God is represented to us as all--embracing love, so is Jesus, emphatically, as all-embracing sympathy. Though sinless, he sympathized with the sinful. In that feeling he lived and taught, he suffered and died. And in so far as we can imitate him, that great example should be the model of all who preach his religion.
.“ To such a ministration be this pulpit dedicated! All life will pass before it here; for no shadow of consecrated walls can drive out from any bosom the spirit that is in it. All life shall come here, and here it should be recognised—the gladness and beauty of youth, the swelling heart of manhood, the cares and anxieties of fathers and mothers :young men and maidens, old men and children, shall be here; and all that life is—whether it is passed amidst joy or sorrow, amidst thrilling strains of music or “the solemn brood of care,' amidst the gaieties of assemblies, or in the solitariness of reflection—amidst troops of happy friends, or by the desolate heart of the bereaved and stricken one ;-all must mingle itself with the meditations of this holy place.
“Yes, my brethren, I know whence ye shall come, and whither, in a few days more, ye shall go. From the noise of busy streets, or from the bustle of crowded marts, ye will come; or, perhaps, from the surgings and soundings on of the majestic, melancholy sea; from the din of manufactories, or from the tedious hum of school-rooms, or from the litigations of courts, or from the sighs of pain by the sick bed, or from the many-voiced utterances—questions, commands, children's cries, sound undefinable of domestic abodes; and will ye not ask for a calm hour, for a clear atmosphere, for the vision and comfort of things divine ? God grant that ye may ever find them here!
“And I know whither, ere long, ye shall go. The day will come, when other eyes than ours, will look upon these walls, and upon these crowded streets. It is but a little time--and the last sound of our footsteps will have died away from these pavements; the last shadow of our form shall have passed from this threshold ; and the places that know us, shall know us no more for ever.
“But thanks be to God! no dark despair, no overwhelming sorrow, mingles with these thoughts. When another generation shall fill and crowd the places where we now live—the walls within which we this day worship; our humble hope, and our trust, is, that we shall dwell in some loftier sphere, and wait the coming of those beloved ones to join us. • In an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,' may we say eternally—blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever!”
J. H. T.
Art. IX.-MENTAL SIGNS OF THE TIMES. We think it worth the trouble to reprint the greater part of two advertisements that appeared about the same time. 1. “ Proposals for publishing by subscription, A select Library of Fathers
of the Holy Catholic Church, anterior to the division of the East and West. Translated by members of the Anglican Church, with Notices of the respective Fathers, and brief Notes by the editors, where required, and summaries of chapters and indices. Edited by the Rev. Ē. B. Pusey, D.D., Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, late Fellow of Oriel College. The Rev. John Keble, M.A. ,Professor of Poetry, late Fellow of Oriel College. The Rev.
J. H. Newman, B.D., Fellow of Oriel College. “A publication, answering to the above title, appeared to the editors calculated to answer many and important ends, and to supply considerable wants, some peculiar to our own Church and times, others more general.
“Their chief grounds for thinking it very desirable were such as the following :
“]. The great intrinsic value of many of the works of the Fathers, which are, at present, inaccessible, except to such as have large libraries, and are familiar with the languages in which they are written ; and this, the more, since a mere general acquaintance with the language will not enable a person to read with ease many of the Fathers. E. g. Knowledge of Latin alone will not suffice to read Tertullian; and in cases less strong, ecclesiastical language and peculiarity of style will often present considerable difficulties at first.
“ 2. The desirableness of bringing together select works of different Fathers; many who would wish to become acquainted with the Fathers, know not where to begin ; and scarcely any have the means to procure any great number of their works. Editions of the whole works of a Father, (such as we for the most part have,) are obviously calculated for divines, not for private individuals; they furnish more of the works of each Father than most require, and their expense precludes the acquisition of others.
“ 3. The increased demand for sacred reading. The Clergy of one period are obviously unequal to meet demands so rapid, and those of our day have additional hindrances, from the great increased amount of practical duties. Where so much is to be produced, there is of necessity great danger that much will not be so mature as, on these subjects, is especially to be desired. Our occupations do not leave time for mature thought.
“4. Every body of Christians has a peculiar character, which tends to make them look upon the system of faith, committed to us, on a particular side; and so, if they carry it on by themselves, they insensibly contract its limits and depth, and virtually lose a great deal of what they think that they hold. While the system of the Church, as expressed Vol. I. No. 6.—New Series.
by her Creeds and Liturgy, remains the same, that of her members will gradually become contracted and shallow, unless continually enlarged and refreshed. In ancient times this tendency was remedied by the constant living intercourse between the several branches of the Catholic Church, by the circulation of the writings of the Fathers of the several Churches, and, in part, by the present method-translation. We vir. tually acknowledge the necessity of such accessions by our importations from Germany and America ; but the circumstances of Germany render mere translation unadviseable, and most of the American Theology proceeds from bodies who have altered the doctrine of the Sacraments.
“ 5. The peculiar advantages of the Fathers in resisting heretical errors, in that they had to combat the errors in their original form, before men's minds were familiarized with them, and so risked partaking of them; and also in that they lived nearer to the Apostles.
“6. The great comfort of being able to produce, out of Christian antiquity, refutations of heresy, (such as the different shades of the Arian,) thereby avoiding the necessity of discussing, ourselves, profane errors, which, on so high mysteries, cannot be handled without pain, and rarely without injury to our own minds.
" 7. The advantage which some of the Fathers, (e. g. St.Chrysostom,) possessed as Commentators on the New Testament, from speaking its language.
“8. The value of having an ocular testimony of the existence of Catholic verity, and Catholic agreement; that truth is not merely what a man troweth ; that the Church once was one, and spake one language : and that the present unhappy divisions are not necessary, and unavoidable.
“9. The circumstance that the Anglican branch of the Church Catholic is founded upon Holy Scripture and the agreement of the Universal Church; and that therefore the knowledge of Christian antiquity is necessary in order to understand and maintain her doctrines, and especially her Creeds and her Liturgy.
“10. The importance, at the present crisis, of exhibiting the real practical value of Catholic Antiquity, which is disparaged by the Papists in order to make way for the later Councils, and by others in behalf of modern and private interpretations of Holy Scripture. The character of Catholic antiquity, and of the scheme of salvation, as set forth therein, cannot be appreciated through the broken sentences of the Fathers, which men pick up out of controversial divinity. . “ 11. The great danger in which Romanists are of lapsing into secret infidelity, not seeing how to escape from the palpable errors of their own Church, without falling into the opposite errors of Ultra-Protestants. It appeared an act of especial charity to point out to such of them as are dissatisfied with the state of their own Church, a body of ancient Catholic truth, free from the errors, alike of modern Rome and of UltraProtestantism.
« 12. Gratitude to ALMIGHTY GOD, who has raised up these great lights in the Church of Christ, and set them there for its benefit in all times.”
2. “Universal Picture Lessons, for Infant, National, and Normal Schools.
By Thomas Wirgman, Esq. Author of the Divarication of the New
Testament into Doctrine and History. “ The only sure way to instil into the minds of youth a perfect knowledge of the universal principles of the Newtonian Philosophy is to demonstrate to them the real functions of the Five Senses-these only inlets to knowledge. All the objects of nature are only knowable through the medium of the organs of Sense. How essential, then, that the impressions made upon these Five Feelers should be analyzed down to their minutest element—for this is the only way to obtain a thorough knowledge of the real constituents of Nature.
“ The Senses are divisible into two kinds—those which receive impressions all at once, and those which receive impressions one after another. The natural consequence of this is the generation of two notions which contain all Nature. These are the two all-important elements' of the Sensitive Faculty-Time and Space. For annihilate either of these notions, and all nature is destroyed.
“ But, when we abstract the pure forms from the objects of nature, we are quite sure that this is a mental process, and requires a distinct power from Sense—which is wholly passive, in receiving • impressions. This power is Understanding, which gives the form to every object in nature. Now, pure form is strictly mathematical, and is totally distinct from nature. • Who ever saw a mathematical line?' Consequently, the Understanding is the fountain of all mathematical figures, by virtue of its twelve active powers, called Categories. Here, then, will the child be taught from its earliest infancy to look for the laws of Nature; and this in so universal a manner, that then no two persons can ever differ about them any more than we dare dispute the axioms of Euclid. In this manner, a permanent national language will be obtained—nay, a universal language for the whole world! In this, every scientific word will be as accurately defined as each word that is employed in pure geometry is at present. So that to dispute about words will be as futile as to dispute the circularity of a circle.”
It is difficult to say which of the schemes proposed in the two Prospectuses, exceeds the other in absurdity. The attempt to restore the mental influence of the Fathers, is quite childish; the total Perversion of the Kantian System for the purpose of making it the means of popular Influence is as disgusting as it is provoking. Both Plans will, nevertheless find encouragement. The Clergy of the Establishment will try what the Fathers may do for the CHURCH IN DANGER: a certain portion of the London Reformers will be glad to appear mightily enlightened on the subject of German Metaphysics. The Oxford Patrons of the Fathers are able men, who, in different ways, have allowed themselves to be mentally degraded into monks of the 15th century. We will not enter into an analysis of their