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has baptisms, marriages, and funerals; he is overworked both on Sunday and during the week; he has a large family and a scanty income, and is obliged for a maintenance to take pupils. The population is perhaps scattered; the roads are bad; the church is cold and damp; the cattle must be attended to; and the parish affords no persons able and willing to prepare the children, by previous training, for the minister's more public instructions. We notice these difficulties, not with a view to admit that they are insuperable; far from it; but to suggest the importance of providing against them. The great difficulty respects the clergy themselves; many of whom are able but not willing, and many are willing who are not able, at least in any thing like a fair proportion to their anxious wishes. Our church wants, as a general system, a due medium between wealthy pluralists and needy curates; it wants a body of men universally qualified for the duties of their vocation, interested in them, and fairly paid for the conscientious discharge of them. Pluralities, and consequent non-residence, are our chief bane. Take an example: two country livings, of three or four hundred pounds a-year each, would maintain in comfort two respectable resident incumbents and their families, devoting themselves piously and zealously to the welfare of their parishioners, endeared to them, acquainted with their character and wants, and able and willing to promote their best interests. But give both these livings to one clergyman, and one at least of the parishes must have a stipendiary and migratory curate, totally unable in most cases, even if willing, to perform for the parish, out of his scanty income and his over-taxed exertions, a tithe of what a resident incumbent might have effected without inconvenience. Thus one at least out of the two parishes must suffer; and probably both; not only because the incum
bent's attention is divided, but be- . cause the pecuniary emoluments of this cumulative system make it worth the while of patrons to view the whole affair as a matter of commerce, and perhaps to appoint a clergyman whose highest wish is to receive the tithes, and to give himself and his parish as little trouble as is consistent with a regard to a general respectability of professional character. There are numerous and most honourable exceptions to this natural working of the system; and we doubly respect those who constitute them; but they, we feel assured, will be among the first to acknowledge the evil which we lament; nor less will those revered prelates who are exerting themselves to the utmost to fill their dioceses with faithful and efficient pastors, but who find their efforts constantly impeded by the anomalies of our plurality and non-resident system. We are aware, that to laud the present state of our ecclesiastical patronage, and its results, is in some quarters considered, as our parish priest expresses it, "the surest proof of orthodoxy, the truest token of loyalty, and the unerring test of religious zeal;" but be this as it may, we shall never cease to lament and denounce it. It does not work well; it does not fill our parishes, generally speaking, as they ought to be filled; it works ill, very ill; it keeps out much good, and brings in much evil; and the acknowledged respectability, and the large infusion of true piety, and active zeal, and pastoral affection which are to be found in our church, are not in consequence of it, but in spite of it. We are persuaded that if but half a dozen of our bishops and nobility, and as many members of the lower house of parliament, would determine with the same earnestness and perseverance which distinguished the career of the abolitionists of the slave trade, or the leaders of the Catholic question, to bring our church to that state in which every parish should have a resident and
adequately paid incumbent, their success would in the end be inevit able. They would indeed encounter much obstinate opposition from the cupidity of some, the well meaning scruples of others, and the indifference or party-spirit of more; but the result would amply reward all their efforts. It would be from the first a growing question; the large body of religious and well-judging persons would favour it; large opposing majorities could not overwhelm it; and before twenty years, it would be thought as great an anomaly for one clergyman to preside over two parishes, as for one officer to serve in two ships or two regiments. There want but a few bold, independent, yet prudent minds, to master the whole subject in detail, reduce it to its elements, to chalk out a plain and effectual plan; and then, without fear, favour, or compromise, to impress it upon the legislature, the government, and the country from year to year, in order ultimately to effect the object.
Sermons, chiefly Practical. By the Rev. E. BATHER, M.A. Archdeacon of Salop, and Vicar of Meole Brace, Salop. 2 vols 8vo. London. 1829.
IN introducing these discourses to our readers, we have followed the plan which we have often pursued in reviewing volumes of sermons, of enabling them to decide for them selves as to their merits, by laying before them a whole discourse as a family sermon. From this lengthen ed specimen in the present instance, they may judge that they will find Archdeacon Bather's sermons full of scriptural and valuable matter; plain and popular; familiar sometimes to negligence of style, and even to quaintness; but uniformly conversant with the most important topics of faith and practice; truly orthodox and evangelical; never written for
display, but always faithful and unshrinking in their appeals to the heart and conscience, for the use of edifying. To say less, would be unjust; to say more, after the ample extract we have given, would be needless.
We have hearty satisfaction in recommending the volumes to the attentive consideration of our readers; and may the especial blessing of God attend the perusal of them, as we doubt not it did the publication of them from the respected author's village pulpit, or archidiaconal chair. How shall we be sufficiently thankful to God, that such doctrines and such exhortations as these are now so widely echoed, whether in our parochial assemblies, or in the high places of our church?
A Sermon on the Judgment. By the Rev. H. REVELL, B.A. Cambridge. 1828.
We should not think it requisite to notice this discourse, were it not that the author states, that " he has published it as a specimen of his writing," in order that the reader may judge for himself" whether he would wish to read more;" which, if he do," he can easily be accommodated with an octavo volume, which the author has just published," intending further, "if sufficient encouragement is given, to put to press some lectures on the Holy Spirit." That our readers may judge for themselves how far they should wish for this "accommodation," we shall exhibit, without note or comment, from the author's own culled "specimen," a brief illustration;-first, of sentiment; and secondly, of style.
"That man is a religious animal, has long ago been remarked. In what respect some of the emotions of mind experienced by Mohammedans differ from those of real It is perhaps a change of object rather Christians, is difficult to determine....... than passion, which renders devotion acceptable to God."
"One action inclines the soul with a disposition to a perpetration of similar actions;" and "the train of thoughts is aggravated by perpetration." Our Saviour, to exercise "ubiquity," ," "must require the sagacity and watchfulness of Argus!!" The sinner at the judgment will "find himself a microcosm of misery, and epitome of hell!" whereas "the diadem of immortality" of the righteous, will be "more incorruptible than the chaplets of Olympia!" There will be "a patefaction of Deity in the person of Christ ;" and we are exhorted to make our calling and election sure, because "we are playing a deep game; the dice are in our hands; we may make what throw we please; we win or lose; 'tis heaven or hell the stake."
We make no comment, except to recommend A. B. to postpone his intended lectures, at least till he is D.D.
1. The Works of the English and Scottish Reformers; edited by the Rev. THOMAS RUSSELL, A. M. Vol. II. (the First published). 10s. 6d. London. 1828. 2. The Works of the British Reformers, from Wickliffe to Jewell, in separate volumes. 4s. 8d. per volume in cloth. London. 1828.
THE works of our great Reformers are often disparaged by being spoken of as if they were mainly valuable for their arguments against Popery. It is true, valuable they are, incomparably valuable, in this respect; and most happy are we, for this among many other reasons, to find, that they are beginning to re-assert their too much forgotten claims upon the public attention. But they are valuable for much more than their arguments against Popery they are valuable for their plain unsophisticated exhibition of Christian doctrine, and Christian holiness. Their highest claims are forgotten, when they are incorrectly
viewed as mere controversial treatises: a portion only of them are directly controversial, and admirable are these portions; but the great mass is for spiritual instruction and edification. The reader finds in them not only what Popery is, but what Protestantism ought to be: he is conducted directly to the Scriptures as the fountains of living water, and sees the truths which they contain explicated and applied with a native simplicity and correctness, far more interesting and affecting than the measured line-andrule treatises of many later doctrinal and controversial divines. Whether therefore, in reference to the claims of venerated antiquity, or to the imperishable excellence of simple scriptural instruction and exhortation, or to the controversy with the Papists, which the circumstances of the present times have rendered a subject of momentous public interest, the works of our early Reformers are of inestimable value, and deserve a conspicuous place in every Christian library.
These works, even as separate treatises, were often very scarce and expensive, and no complete edition of them has ever been published. Mr. Legh Richmond's excellent selections from them have been long out of print, and complete sets cannot be procured. But the deficiency seems likely to be more than compensated for by the two series announced in this article. Mr. Russell proposes, in about sixteen handsome and closely-printed octavo volumes, issued quarterly, at a very moderate price, to comprise the whole of the works of many of the Reformers, with sufficient selections from the writings of the remainder. We cordially wish him success in this undertaking; which ought not to be superseded, and we trust will not be, by the other series which we are about to notice.
This series is published by the Religious Tract Society, and is intended to be comprised in about seven or eight closely printed duo
decimo detached volumes; four of which are now before us, containing, 1. Writings of Bradford; 2. Select Sermons and Letters of Latimer; 3. Treatises and Letters of Ridley, and Examinations and Letters of Philpot; and 4. Writings of Ridley. To each volume is prefixed a biographical sketch of the martyred or sainted author. These treatises being published by a charitable institution, are cheapened down even to the cottage of the peasant; and we shall rejoice to find that they are circulated as widely as the value of their contents and the demands of the age require. No family need now be destitute of one or more volumes of the works of our venerable British Reformers.
We should, however, much regret to find that this publication, issued under the auspices of a popular institution, and guaranteed by its large resources and influence, should close the market against Mr. Russell's intended series. Commercial rivalry is out of the question; and every member of the society would, we are sure, regret that Mr. Russell's publication should not be prosecuted. There is, however, we should hope, ample room for both; nor should we be even surprised if the one should, as in the parallel case of seemingly rival charitable societies, attract a greater share of public attention to the other. We would recommend our readers to provide a set of the society's treatises for loan or gift among their poorer neighbours; and to furnish their own book-shelves with Mr. Russell's more full and handsome library series, which is rendered the more valuable by an appendix of notes, chiefly explanatory, and which, judging from the first published volume, will be compiled with much research and learning. We well remember the disappointments, loss, and mortifying neglect, which attended our beloved friend Mr. Richmond's undertaking; but we trust that Mr. Russell has fallen upon brighter days, when the prin
ciples of our venerable Reformers are better understood, and their writings more highly valued; and we cannot but account it among the hopeful features of the times that in numerous quarters the works of our earlier and standard divines are being revivified by republication, for the spiritual welfare of millions who will be again nurtured in the long neglected principles of the blessed Reformation.
The Principles of Peace exemplified in the Conduct of the Society of Friends in Ireland, during the Rebellion of the Year 1798; with Observations. By THOMAS HANCOCK, M.D. Second Edition. 4s. London.
THIS little work has but recently fallen into our hands; but a notice of it, though it has been some time published, will, we doubt not, interest our readers; to whom Dr. Hancock is already known, both by his address to the Peace Society and by the publication of Nicole's Three Essays, translated by Locke (see our volume for 1828, p. 434 and p. 536). His very interesting treatise on Instinct escaped our notice at the time of its publication.
The little work before us may be considered a sort of Peace-Society argument, or a practical manifesto of the respectable society of Friends. Its object is thus unfolded:
"It is generally known that an objection to take part in war, in any shape, forms one of the tenets of the society of objection is purely religious, and is foundFriends, commonly called Quakers. This ed upon what they conceive to be the spirit of the Gospel dispensation, as it is illustrated in the precepts of Christ and his Apostles, and exemplified in their practice. They consider that it must follow as a necessary consequence, that a religion breathing peace and goodwill to men, cannot, in any case, be supported by the spirit of war. They believe that, on the contrary, the practice of this evil, among the professors of Christianity, has tended, more than any other circumstance,
to prevent its propagation in the world, to tarnish its excellency in the eyes of Jews and Pagans, and to confirm their speculative and practical errors. As it was not by the secular arm, but in direct opposition to the sword, that it insinuated itself into the minds of men, and was first promulgated, so they believe, that its final establishment in the nations of the earth will be effected through the medium of the softening influence of its pacific spirit, and by the glorious example of peace and concord among it followers.
In the year 1798, the state of Ireland afforded a striking occasion to the members of this society, who are scattered abroad in different parts of that kingdom, to put the efficacy of their peaceful principles to the test. It is, however, to be presumed, that, even if outward preservation had not been experienced, they who conscientiously take the maxims of peace
for the rule of their conduct, would hold it not less their duty to conform to these principles because the reward of such as endeavour to act in obedience to their Divine Master's will, is not always to be looked for in the present life. While, therefore, the fact of their outward preservation would be no sufficient argument to themselves that they had acted as they ought to act in such a crisis, it affords a striking lesson to all who will take no principle for a rule of human conduct, even if it should have the sanction of Divine authority, that has not been verified by experience."
"Whatever secret and slowly-operating causes might have conspired to produce the rebellion of 1798, it is certain, that different objects were proposed by two great classes of the insurgents. By some, civil liberty-a specious pretence in all ages to the warm and enterprising, -by others, uniformity in religious faith --an imposing object to the dark and bigotted, were held up as justifiable reasons for erecting the standard of sedition, and plunging their native country into the horrors of a civil war. The members of a society which neither united with the political nor the religious views of these factious bands, might naturally be looked upon with suspicion by both; at least, they were not likely to be considered as friends: and, as a part of the community, which did not exert itself actively in aiding the power it was bound, in all cases of purely civil obligation, to obey, in order to suppress a rebellion, the motives and
objects of which it could not possibly approve, the society, in its relation to the government, seemed to manifest but a spurious loyalty. It was in fact openly charged, not only with a dereliction of its civil duties, but with a tacit reliance upon its neighbours to step forward in the defence of rights and privileges, in which it was as much interested as others. Hence, whatever forbearance the govern
ment itself was disposed to exercise towards the society, the professed loyalists, as they were termed, regarded its members in no more favourable light than as drones, unwilling to work, and ready to feed upon the honey supplied by the industrious bees."
"These were a few of the critical circumstances in which the society of Friends was placed at this period." pp. 45-49.
One of the first resolutions taken by the members of the society, at the approaching storm, was to destroy any arms which happened to be in their possession; in order, said they, “to prevent their being made use of to the destruction of any of our fellowcreatures, and more fully and clearly tian testimony in these perilous to support our peaceable and Christimes." Committees were appointed by the several monthly meetings throughout the society, to go round to the different members for this purpose.
"It is related by an individual who resided at Ferns, in the county of Wexford, that being appointed on one of these committees, he saw the necessity of first cleansing his own hands; and he took a fowling-piece which he had, and broke it in pieces in the street, opposite his own house; an example of fidelity to his principles, and a spectacle of wonder to his neighbours. Some of the magistrates, with the clergyman of the parish, came to his house, and the Friend being absent, they expostulated with his wife on the supposed impropriety of his having destroyed his gun, instead of giving it up to the government, for the alleged purpose of defending the loyalists against the fomenters and plotters of rebellion, and for the preservation of himself and his family. On this occasion the clergyman, who seems to have been an amiable man, made this spontaneous remark, That he believed the Friend had put his confidence in a Higher Power.'' pp. 50–53.
From the subsequent pages of the work, we find the pacific spirit of this individual respected by both the contending parties; and he was not merely protected himself, but by his influence secured the safety of others.
To shew the obvious interposition of Providence, for the safety of those who put their trust in God for help, the author remarks:
"A Friend at Enniscorthy informed an acquaintance, that on the day when the town was taken from the rebels by the