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rage them to offer their services. With regard to visiting the sick, I hope I am not inattentive to this duty; but my domestic engage ments oblige me generally to confine my short visits to my immediate neighbourhood. My daughters are at present too young to be of much use to the sick poor, except that I send them occasionally to inquire into their wants. In the mean while, they are daily reminded that they may, at some future period, be called upon to be more active and useful than they can be now, and to look forward to the duty as a privilege; and when I can safely leave them more to themselves, I hope to be more active abroad my self."-Mrs. paused when she had said this, and I believe she wished me at home; but though all she said condemned me, there was something in her manner so unassuming, so pious, and so pleasing, that I could not leave her without hearing something more from her: I therefore said, that I feared she thought all my labours but little worth: "and yet I hope," said I, "I have been of some use; and as to their stories about my fol lowing the curate, I care nothing about them." Mrs. resumed "I think you ought to care, Miss because we are commanded to avoid even the appearance of evil and I am constrained to say that your conduct may have been injurious to Mr. as well as to yourself. He is a single man, and a young man; and though I hope he is a truly pious man, yet, like all frail mortals, he may be open to flattery and whatever has a tendency to fill a minister with selfcomplacency, and to divert him from the sacred duties of his office, must be very hurtful both to himself and his parishioners."-I felt a good deal provoked at these remarks, and replied, "Surely, madam, you do not doubt the piety of this excellent young man? Where is there a better or a sounder preacher of the Gospel?" "I by no means in
tended to judge uncharitably of Mr. --, or to criticise his sermons or manner of delivering them. I simply meant to say, that every clergyman has important duties to attend to, and that young ladies should take care how they interfere with them. St. Paul felt the ministry of the Gospel to be so weighty an affair, that he exclaims, Who is sufficient for these things?' And if he, with all his extraordinary gifts and graces, was insufficient, what must a young man be who is but just ordained, and who a short time ago did not know any thing of the value of his own soul?" Mrs.
now got up to ring the bell, to give some order; and feeling that I had sadly intruded on her time, I thanked her for her advice, and took my leave.
You will perceive, Mr. Editor, that I could not be put into very good humour with myself by what passed during this visit. I returned home with a heavy heart, and rushed up to my own room in much agitation of mind: for, to tell you the truth, I began to have some misgivings as to the real state of my heart; I mean, with reference to God. Not willing, however, to condemn myself, it occurred to me, after long musing on the subject, to address myself to you. I have, therefore, stated my case with much truth and simplicity, and earnestly request the advice of yourself, or some of your excellent correspondents. It is a case of conscience, not, I hope, below their notice; especially as other young women may, like myself, feel puzzled as to their true path of duty, amidst the contending claims of apparently opposite obligations.
ON PLEADING NOT GUILTY.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
YOUR correspondent, X. Y., while very justly reprehending Sir Walter
Scott's untrue negation respecting the Waverley Novels, seems to imply that "the denial of a robbery on the part of a culprit, before a judge," is not a moral offence. An offence, however, it doubtless is; and it is therefore the more to be lamented, that our laws still continue most wantonly and unnecessarily to provoke its perpetration. We constantly find judges urging prisoners to utter falsehood: when they have truly pleaded guilty, they are urged to withdraw their plea, and to deny the charge. Is this justice? is it policy? is it humanity? is it religion? And is it not most extraordinary that our government and legislature will not abolish this absurd and useless practice of making prisoners plead guilty or not guilty, when, as X. Y. justly says, no person believes their asseveration, even if true; and an inducement is held out to the guilty to aver a solemn falsehood in the presence of Almighty God. The custom is the more reprehensible, because a prisoner is often not really aware whether or not he is guilty of the exact charge laid in the indictment. He may, for instance, have caused the death of a person, and in his remorse plead guilty to a charge of murder when technically it was only manslaughter, and so on of many other cases. It is earnestly to be hoped that the evil will not be allowed much longer to disgrace our courts of justice.
QUERY ON A PASSAGE IN HOOKER.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
In the Seventh Book of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, the objection to Episcopacy drawn from the testimony of St. Jerome, is considered and refuted. At the close of this discussion, we find the following remarkable passage: "This answer to St. Jerome seemeth dangerous:
I have qualified it as I may, by addition of some words of restraint; yet I satisfy not myself, in my judg ment it would be altered." I should be obliged to any of your correspondents who might be able to suggest an explanation of the author's meaning. Y. M.
QUERY ON THE TEN Tribes.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
IN reading the paper of Exarnus, in your last Number, with some friends, a conversation incidentally arose respecting the supposed lost Ten Tribes, and where they are now to be found. A previous question, however, being started as to the evidence that these tribes have really been lost; it was found that most of the party took the matter for granted, without being able to assign any very satisfactory reasons for their opinion. To resolve their difficulty, it was proposed that the inquiry should be submitted to the correspondents of the Christian Observer; through which channel a reply is respectfully solicited, by
ONE OF THE PARTY.
LETTER FROM A HIGH CHURCHMAN.
WE cannot withhold from our readers the following brief communication, both as illustrating the force of early prepossession over an apparently candid and ingenuous mind, and as an honourable instance of a successful effort to discard longcherished prejudices at the approach of the light of truth. Our correspondent is, perhaps, not the only instance of a person professing himself through "a long life," a HighChurchman, from the mere influence of hereditary and educational bias ; denouncing perhaps what are called
the Evangelical clergy, without being in the least acquainted with their doctrines, publications, or habits of life; associating exclusively with "dignified clergymen," and "high-church people," and having no idea that "real and vital religion," or any thing but what is "morose and repulsive," could ever be found among "sectarians of whatever description." As our correspondent has, though late in life, become acquainted with the Christian Observer, we will make it our endeavour to convince both him and others similarly circumstanced, that churchmen may be sound and consistent in their principles, without cherishing an acrimonious temper towards Dissenters; that to be truly orthodox they must be Evangelical; and that both their doctrinal sentiments and their views of church discipline, ought to be grounded on a careful examination of Scripture, and not on mere prejudice, even though the prejudice happen to be on the side of truth.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
If you deem the following remarks worthy insertion in your work, I may, in all probability, trouble you with more; for never until last month did I know of such a pub lication; this being also the first time I have ever ventured to make any observations in print. During the course of a long, and in many respects unhappy life, (for I have drunk deeply of the cup of affliction,) I for the first time, about three
weeks since, received an invitation to dine with some friends at the house of a Dissenter; for my family being all high-church people, and several of them dignified clergymen of the Establishment, we were taught never to associate or have any intimacy with sectarians of whatever description or denomination. Some of my ancestors fell, and others were ruined, by their loyalty in the Stuart cause: and I can recollect, when quite a child, my father, who was an officer in the army, being exasperated beyond all bounds if Oliver Cromwell, the Commonwealth, or even the Revolution, was named in his presence--although he was no Catholic. However, all this is nothing to my purpose, which is only to relate the tendency of my visit. The novelty of the scene, and the pleasure which the retrospection affords me, exceed what I can find words to express. I had formed no idea that there still existed amongst us a class of Christians, who might be considered to possess real and vital religion. Their minister, his wife, and daughter were present; the evening was concluded with sacred music, and with such a prayer-it was extempore-as I think I shall never forget. Thus ended a pleasant and cheerful day; for I perceived nothing repulsive or morose in their manner, and whether such a method of spending time may not be as acceptable to our great Creator as the usual way of so doing, I leave it to the serious, rational, and thinking part of mankind to determine. Y. Z.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
IRVING ON THE LAST DAYS.
(Concluded from p. 512.) THE circumstances with which we closed the former part of our Re
view give occasion to this remark, That throughout his book our zealous author seems to assume credit for being possessed of a spirit of discovery, and for having detected
a thousand errors and morbid symptoms known exclusively to himself. It is also passing strange, that he finds such dreadful matter of complaint in the deviations of modern life from the manners of our ancestors, strongly reminding us of certain stanzas, preserved among Percy's Reliques, called Time's Alteration, and which are almost literally some of Mr. Irving's charges put into metre.
Was cherished then of many;
None under degree of a knight,
We quote these rude lines only in order to illustrate the peril of descending into such minuteness of censure, as may vulgarize the dignity of Christian instruction, and turn a sermon into a ballad. Mr. Irving says, for example,
"If now I descend a step lower, and consider the pleasures of eating and drinking, I must enter my solemn protest against the comparison to our advantage which in this respect is wont to be made with our fathers; and I hold, that, if our fathers indulged in greater excess, they fell far short of us in nicety, delicacy, and sensual indulgence; and their excess, also, was not the fruit of epicurean pleasure, but of robust health, hospitality, and good cheer. Their tables groaned with plenty, because they were generous and noble; but the like plenty descended upon the lowest menial of the house, and diffused itself to the cottages around them. Tell not me that it was the same love of pleasure which now must entertain a foreign cook, prime minister to the diseased constitution of our body tell not me that the slaying of the fatted calf, and the broaching of the home-brewed liquor, and the making of a feast, as Abraham did when Isaac was weaned, as Isaac did to entertain Abimelech and Phichol, is ever to be likened to that effeminate daintiness, both in eating and in drinking, which now ruleth the corporations of our cities, and formeth a chief burden of their charge. Why
should these things not be discoursed of? They are a disgrace unto the city in which we live. I declare, that with half the waste of their luxurious entertainments, I would keep the families of almost all the clergy necessary for the churches of our cities. They talk about sensualists: I wot well they would have our fathers, as if they were all a set of been ashamed of us their children. They ate their meal like hungry men, and went about their work refreshed again; but whether from our love of labour or of indulgence, have thrown our meal into the luxurious evening, that we may not have any after-interruption, but slide gently and softly from the banqueting-house unto our downy chamber. Brethren, blame me not for entering into these things: they are the characteristics of the times which I have taken to me to unfold." pp. 370-372.
There is another old copy of verses in Percy, about a gentleman of the Elizabethean age,
"That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate,
And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate;
With an old buttery-hatch worn quite off the hooks,
And an old kitchen that maintained half a dozen old cooks;"
all which is contrasted with the manners of his degenerate descendant, as thus:
"With a new-fashioned hall, built where the old one stood,
Hung round with new pictures that do the poor no good;
With a new buttery-hatch that opens once in four or five days,
And a new French cook, to devise fine kick-shaws and toys," &c.
Not that we admire either of these minstrels, or either of these establishments; and these idle verses are here cited only to shew that such declamations are the mere common places of every age; fit enough for satyrists and songwriters, but not gravely to be urged by divines, as characteristics of their own particular era. Our author's poetical countryman, Burns, in his Epistle to a young Friend, felt the possibility of his verse becoming a homily:
But how the subject-theme may gang, Let time and chance determine; Perhaps it may turn out a sang, Ferhaps turn out a sermon:
author should beware of the
opposite tendency, lest he degrade his homily to a verse.
Among Mr. Irving's serious and obtrusive offences, we must now particularise the following extraordinary declamation :-
"I believe, in like manner, that the relation between master and servant doth in like manner shadow forth the lordship of Christ over the creatures. For, taking this relationship in its general aspect, and not as it is in those countries where Christianity hath redeemed it; take the master and proprietor of a large household, who have been bought with his money-for example, Abraham-and what have you but a multitude of souls brought into subjection unto one soul, notwithstanding their natural liberty and equality? He hath power over them to life and death; they eat of his bread; their labour is his, their gains are his all that are born in the house are his. At such a picture infidelity writhes in rage; but not so a wise reflecting man, who hath reverence for the ordinance of God; not so an enlightened Christian, who can study and understand the typical character of all things. Our Evangelical Christians do take as great offence at this as the infidels themselves, but it is their ignorance, which I am now seeking to enlighten. I say, then, that such a family and household-in which are vessels to honour and vessels to dishonour, some standing in the favour of their master and some obnoxious to his punishment, elect ones and reprobate ones, some adopted into sonship, some freed men, and some bondsmen, under the lash-is the type, the standing type, over all the world, of Christ, the Lord both of the election and the reprobation, having bought them all with the price of his own precious blood, and nourishing them all with his own bountiful providence; yet not hindered by this generosity from making distinctions, and adopting some into the liberty of sons, leaving others under the bondage of slaves. And this, which is true interpretation of the mystery of Divine Providence in so order ing things, is likewise at once the guide and the comfort of those souls which in such inequality are stationed; teaching one who is a master that there is no iniquity in having many servants, or even slaves, under him, and that it would be altogether an error for him at once to set about emancipating them; that such a feeling is not true benevolence, but insur rectionary wilfulness, the same which makes our Universalists dissatisfied that Christ should have under him both elect and reprobate persons. This was what the infidels of France were guilty of at the Revolution; and like every great practical falsehood, it led to ruin and dismay. On the other hand, one who is
called to be a slave will be exceedingly comforted by the reflection that he is not thereby dishonoured of God or Christ, but brought into the closer fellowship of Christ's condition, who took upon himself the form of a slave: that he is not precluded thereby from rising into the highest honour with God; but, on the other seeing Christ, for taking upon himself the hand, is in the way to that preferment; form of a servant, and enduring the cross therein, has received a Name above every name. So the soul that is called into the condition of a slave, and put to the torture there, ought to look upon itself as brought the highest exaltation, even as the Apomost near to Christ, and in the way of stle Peter teacheth us in his First Epistle. Ah! how, for want of light in these matters, doth society groan, and its wickedness abound! If thus servitude were interpreted, how comforted, how joyful, would servitude be! If thus lordship were interpreted, how careful, how observant, how discriminative, how patriarchal would lordship be! But as things now stand in the church, with ministers-and I speak particularly of Dissenting ministers in this remark-with ministers who, instead of thus interpreting servitude as a great ordinance of God for preaching unto the church subjection unto Christ, do speak of it as a condition precluding or preventing men altogether from being Christians; who, in handling the slave question, do handle it rather as French republicans than as Christian ministerswhom I have heard myself frequently say, how can they be Christians so long as they be slaves?-I say, while this state of profound ignorance and rebellious feeling exists among us, what can we expect, but that such a ministry will work more and more to the dissolution of all the bands of social life, which the Christian religion hath established upon better promises, and not dissolved; that they will hasten the bringing in of that liberal or dissolute spirit, which is now wrestling hard for the sanctuary and the throne?" pp. 530–533.
We have read, and expect to read, many elaborate defences of slavery; and when they proceed from writers deeply interested in either from possessing colonial prothe validity of their statements, perty, or from connexion with families holding such estates; or from persons bountifully remunerated for every sheet they can contrive to sully, in its way to the mercenary press; or from individuals who are enjoined to support a bad system, because it may be interwoven with the credit and collateral schemes of a religious constitution; or, lastly,