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live, as laymen do, hunting, shooting, card playing, frequenting theatres, dancing at, and conducting, as masters of the ceremonies, balls and assemblies, eating, drinking, cursing, swearing, electioneering, and so forth, according to their means, ability, and inclination; being distinguished from other mere worldlings, only by their exterior apparel, and not always even by that.
“ One of these jolly, buckskin, rosy parsons, duly accoutered in jockey cap and hunting jacket, eagerly asked an elderly Obadiah, whom he met, if he had geen the fox, or knew which way he went; "The fox,' replied honest broadbrim,
is in a place where thou never goest :' where-where is that ? rejoined the clerical Nimrod, tell me instantly, that I may find him. To the which old drab-colour answered, in thy study, friend.'"-pp. 374, 375.
" The British government systematically abstains from making evangelical bishops ; and formal bishops invariably discountenance and persecute evangelical clerks. What proportion do the evangelical bear to the whole clergy in the Anglican establishment at this time. In all probability, not two to eleven thousand; not so many, positively, as were ejected by Sheldon on the Bartholomew day ; and, relatively, much fewer, because then the population of England and Wales did not reach four, whereas now it exceeds luelve millions."--p. 406.
“ The rerivals of religion, which have taken place in England, during the last eighty years, are not owing to the establishment. For the national church establishment, as such, has always endeavoured, and does now labour, to the full extent of its power, to crush all revivals of religion. The treatment which Whitfield and Wesley received from the state clergy, and their compulsory separation from the national church, is well known. And it is equally notorious, that the civil government of England most scrupulously abstains, to this hour, from promoting evangelical ministers to the high places of the national church, A certain recent appointment to the episcopate does not invalidate this statement; for that appointment was carried, altogether, by family influence, against the general sense of the cabinet; and in direct opposition to a formidable petition from the assembled hierarchy, that such a promotion might not be made.
" The bishops and high clergy generally, strive to extinguish evangelism in the state church, by discouraging the ordination of pious youth, by suspending curates, by refusing their countersignatures to presentees, and by discountenancing and harassing actual incumbents, if guilty of preaching the Gospel faithfully and zealously. Indeed now, the British government and its hierarchy unite in their efforts to destroy the evangelicals, more cordially, and more strenuously than has been done before, since the reign of the most execrable of the Stuarts.”—pp. 63, 64,
This is sufficiently discouraging. Let us hear, however, what encouragement we can gather from the pages of our author.
“ Doubtless, there are honourable exceptions to the general rule'; doubtless, besides
• These whipping clerks, that drive amain,
Through sermons, services, and dirty roads,' there are in that vast body of established ecclesiastics, many men of great capacity, intense industry, and extensive learning; and above all, some erangelical ministers, who faithfully discharge the high duties of their sacred office; and may the Great Head of the church, not the king of England, nor the archbishop of Canterbury, nor the whole hierarchy in the house of Lords assembled, nor the cabinet ministry, seeing that they all seem bent upon any thing, rather than the promotion of evangelsim, but the Lord Jesus Christ, in the benignity of his Al"mighty providence, augment the number of those faithful pastors, that his flock may be fed, and nourished, and enlarged.”—p. 375.
Also : “But so long as formalism infests the church, and substitutes hebdomadal essays of cold, diluted, semipagan, unsanctioned ethics, and a full reliance upon external order, forms, ceremonies, and rites, in the place of the essential doctrines of the cross, and earnest, faithful, pastoral visitation ; so long will she continue to languish, and decline, and fall fearfully below the level of other Christian denominations. The only possible method of restoring her vitality, strength and beauty, is to bring her back to the great standards of the Reformation ; to cause her cler. gy to tread in the footsteps of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Jewel, aud of their faithful followers and successors, Hall, Hopkins, Pearson, Usher, Beveridge, and a thousand other bright and burning lights, whose labours illumined the church, and gladdened the hearts of all sincere believers in the mysteries of godliness; who, being long since dead and mouldering in the silence of the sepulchre, yet speak with most miraculous organ; and whose works will continue, as a path way of light, to direct all those who in singleness of heart and in humility, seek the truth in Christ, until the tide of time shall be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity.”-p. 377.
Again, after quoting some remarks of the Rev. Thomas Scott : « Mr. Scott is emphatically correct in this statement, that surmalism is the deadly plague, which, if not stopped, must infallibly destroy the Anglican Church esta blishment. The resistless proof of this awful fact is inscribed in large and legible characters upon the face of her whole history. From that fatal hour when Laud first carried her over from the truly Scriptural doctrines of her liturgy, articles, and homilies, into nominal Arminianism, but real formalism, she declined rapidly; and other denominations gained ground upon her, in spite of her borrowing, with close and bloody imitation of papal Rome, the aid of the secular arm, in spite of her persuasive arguments, drawn from the star chamber and from parliament, in the forms of pillory, scourge, dungeon, and gibbet.
“Her declension through so long a period, was portentous of her approaching dissolution, when, in the reign of George the second, a reriral of religion took place in England ; and some evangelical clergymen appeared in the establishment, preaching the great doctrines of the Reformation, from which Laud, like Jeroboam, the son of Nebat who mede Israel to sin, had seduced her into the idol. atries of popery, and into the blasphemies of Pelagianism. The blessing of God has crowned the labours of these faithful men, who, notwithstanding the efforts of some modern worthy prelatical followers of Laud, to crush all evangelism in the church of England, are increasing ; and are, we pray, and hope, the instruments in the hand of Jehovah Jesus, destined to save that venerable church from sinking amidst the ruin and the pollution of formalism.
“These evangelical clergy always Gll their churches to the overflowing, and other denominations make no headway in their parishes; while the formalists enjoy the unenviable privilege of preaching to a beggarly account of empty pews ; and of railing, long and loud, against all dissenters, who, by these profound divines, are all stigmatized as Calrinists, this being the present fashionable, formal term of reproach against all serious persons, as that of methodists, was, a few years since ; however varying from each other in faith and doctrine through all the shades of difference, from supralapsarianism, down to the modern tbreadbare tissue of infidelity and impiety, cloaked in its multiplicity of names, wbether Socinianism, or unitarianism, or humanitarianism, or necessarianism, and I know not how many other isms.”---pp. 387, 388.
These remarks on the progress and efficiency of evangelism do not show that the church and state must be separated before the cburch can prosper, but rather justify the confidence already expressed, that the church will prosper and prevail even in its connexion with the state, in spite of all state patronage to formality and vice, and of all prelatical frowns upon evangelical piety. We believe that the church of England contains in her formularies the essential doctrines of grace
that as a church she does hold forth the true word of God. And we cannot, we will not believe that this word shall return void--but that it has been sent as a dispensation of mercy, not only to the individuals of England, but to the English state, and we expect that it will be found
to reform the state, instead of being buried and lost in its manifold corruptions.
The history of this Church, as given by our author, with no such Antent, justifies this cheering anticipation. The iron hand and bloody sword of persecution have been in vain employed to put down evangelical piety. Once indeed, though not destroyed, it seemed to have been utterly cast out of the pale of the establishment : but presenily, there were perceived even in the state church, the stirrings of the unconquerable and conquering word. Worldly men have indeed been too generally appointed to her sees and parishes. Even idler.ess, dissipation and vice, have been found no disqualifications for a claim to her emoluments, or the service of her sanctuaries : but still there has remained the Word which has often subdued the hireling himself to the obedience of faith, and wbich has been constantly augmenting the number of evangelical ministers even to this day : until, at length, two confederacies are formed, which are advancing the evangelism of the church with a rapidity exceeding even the faith of Newton, Romaine, Goode and others, whose early labours and prayers had no other concert than that which arose incidentally from the Providence of God, but which prepared the way for those two confederacies, which, with other designs, are rapidly advancing the evangelism of the church. We refer to the Bible Society : which, though open to all, has received a glorious support from members of the church of England—which, though it has been bitterly opposed by many bishops and dignitaries, has astonishingly ranked among its patrons at least eleven bishops, whose personal evangelism, and the evangelism of whose dioceses it has promoted. This has been the doing of eighteen years, in the face of opposition. Another eighteen years may show the majority of England's bishops, and, more probably, of England's clergy, among its zealous and laborious friends.
We refer also to the Church Missionary Society. This Society is now rich in resources, able in management, and grand in enterprise. It is doing much for the heathen. It is also doing much for the church of England. It forms a centre around which evangelism rallies ; its progress affords a proof of the progressive growth of evangelism ; it is itself, without any congé d'elire, a bishop in the English church, with a larger income, and with a wider supervision, than any bishop, and with a greater and holier influence, than all the bishops put together.
Add to these two confederacies, the evangelical press. Must not any one see a more powerful operation in favour of evangelism, through the Christian Observer, the Christian Guardian, the works of Thomas Scott-not to mention a hundred names of modern, and a host of widely read ancient evangelical writers of the Episcopal church, than in all the influence of her titled and salaried formalists. We trust the time is not distant when even formal bishops, and even an unsanctified throne, shall be compelled " without hand," to submit to public opinion ; purified, enlightened, and aniinated by the spirit of the Gospel. Nay, rather; when directed by public opinion, which is at once the energy and the security of the British constitution, the secular
head of the church, will permit to be elected no other than evangelical bishops; and when active piety shall be an indispensable qualification for admission to the sacred office in the church of England. In the progress of these anticipations the time will come, when the machinery of the church will be made to subserve those holy interests, which in other times it has aimed to injure and destroy. This, or another generation, may see that the word of God has power to employ in useful, successful service, the hierarchy of the church of England. We repeat, in this view, from our last number, “ There is no event which we should more sincerely deplore than the downfal of the church of England ; nor do we anticipate a higher honour to herself; or a more glorious triumph to Christianity; than her ultimate victory over the dignified enemies of her own household.” Hasten on, glorious day, when bishops, priests and deacons, shall sacredly employ the functions with wbich Divine Providence has invested them ; and when, under their cultivation, the church shall Aourish like a garden of the Lord; when the king of England shall become officially and really a nursing father to the church !
The American-Anglo church may not have all the advantages for promoting evangelical piety which the English state church pow abuses, and may eventually employ; but she presents fewer obstructions. There is much hostility, it is said, on the part of some American bi. shops, while the people are too generally satisfied with the mere formalism of religion. But American bishops have comparatively little power; there is in the church no lay patronage ; and we do not see how the opposers of evangelical piety in this country, expect to make successful resistance to our aggressor, which assails fearlessly and successfully the more frightful array of English formalism. The efforts which are made at this resistance are not alarming. The opposition to the Bible Society, for instance, has proved to be the brandishing of a scabbard, and not a sword. How the newly imported instrument* sent forth perhaps from the grand American armoury, will cut and slash, we venture not to predict with certainty ; but we feel a satisfactory confidence, that the American Bible Society will stand, if the Episcopal church will not help it: that a host of Episcopalians will help it, without leave or license; and that just so much of the American Episcopal church as loves not the Bible, and fears its Review.-Rev. Mr. Norris versus the Bible.
* It will readily occur to our readers that we allude to Norris's pamphlet noticed in a succeeding page. Though the “ Christian Guardian” says it “has dropped pretty nearly stillborn from the press," it seems a nurse has been found on this side of the Atlantic, to resuscitate this miserable offspring of formalism and infidelity.-On the very first page of the reverend curate's production he says, “a distinguished American" “ bewails the accession of popularity that societies there sin America) hostile to the church !!” “have derived from inferences" “ drawn from this document (the Earl of Liverpool's speech) which is most studiously propagated by American newspapers throughout the United States."
Now, who this " distinguished American" is, we know not, but of this we are confident, that no American, “distinguished" for piety and good sense, would have republished Norris's attack on the Bible Society, bad he first read the one half of it. Even the printer, it appears, felt some fear lest his character (which we believe is every way worthy) should suffer from the use of his name in such an
ristian union, and has wisely left it off the pamphlet.
wider circulation, will come to naught, or be overspread with the true spirit of the Prayer Book. This devout and catholic wish we believe is verging to fulfilment. The Book of common Prayer, in spite of the formalism of those who exalt it to an equality with the Bible, is daily extending its own evangelical influence, and the number of evangelical bishops and presbyters is surely increasing. There are in the American Episcopal Church, bishops devoted to the spread of the Gospel, and who use their episcopal oversight, with advantages which no parish minister can command. In this diocess even, where the opposition to the Bible Society has been the most unblushing, there is an irrepressible elasticity, an unconquerable word, whose movements, appearing on every side, would baffle an Episcopal Briareus, with an hundred eyes and an hundred hands.
A Respectful Letter to the Earl of Liverpool, occasioned by the speech
imputed to his Lordship at the Isle of Thanet Bible Society meeting, October 17, 1821. By the Rev. H. H. Norris, M. A. (no imprint.) pp. 60.
This is the title of a pamphlet written by a Clergyman in London, of the name of Norris, who has for many years been a virulent opponent and calumniator of that noble institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society. A coarse edition of this pamphlet having been put into circulation in this city (and for what reason is best known to its friends) without the usual imprint to designate its publishers, to prevent any ill effects which its perusal may be designed to produce on the public mind in relation to the Bible cause in this country, it is deemed expedient to show the light in which this puny effort is viewed in England.
The following notice of Norris's work is from “ the Christian Guardian and Church of England Magazine,” for September, 1822 ; a work conducted under the superintendence of that pious and distinguished clergyman, the Rev. Leigh Richmond.
“ This Mr. Norris distinguished himself a few years ago by an attack on the Bible Society, and received in consequence so complete an answer from the powerful pen of Mr. Dealtry, as might well have cautioned him against needlessly resuming the subject. He has, however, thought proper to publish this volume, which he has the assurance tocall a respectful letter. Exclusive of the Author's immediate circle, there can be but one opinion upon the subject. This Letter is neither respectful nor decent. For instance, it insinuates, in the very title page, that the Speech on which he animadverts is imputed to his Lordship : whereas it is a matter of public notoriety, that it was actually spoken by his Lordship—that it expresses his Lordsbip's known and avowed sentiments-sentiments not hastily taken up at the impulse of the moment, but which he had long before publicly stated, and the previous anunciation of which could not be unkpown to one so deeply read in the Monthly Extracts of the Bible Society as Mr. Norris is. As, however, it may gratify some of our readers, we will