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the first principles of genuine unity and concord.

And herein the spirit of infidelity is at work. Men in power discriminate not between truth and error. Legislation must avowedly stand aloof from all religious considerations. Popery must be treated and provided for as innocuous, and they are senseless bigots who stand up too warmly for peculiar modes of faith. The Premier seems to think it of small moment whether the consolations of religion are administered to the dying through the holy oil and the confession, &c., of the Popish priest, or in the simple Scriptural application of Gilead's balm and physician. And thus it would really seem as if we were hastening into the period of Infidel persecution, which good Mr. Cecil foresawwas at hand. We quote from a letter recently received from a friend. "He (Mr. Cecil,) said, The Church had endured a Pagan and Papal persecution. There yet remains for her an Infidel persecution-general, bitter, cementing, purifying. Do we not see the approach of this persecution in the union between Popery and the Infidel governments of Christian states. Our rulers expect things gradually to slide into a better state. They look for a refinement of what is essentially corrupt. They see not coming judgments on Antichrist. The world is alive to self-interest and temporal profit, but is dead to God, and asleep as respects the signs of the times and the coming of the Son of Man to judgment. May all our circumstances as a nation and Church unite all amongst us who love the Lord Jesus as one. May the threatening aspect of the political heaven draw us all together, and cement an union which shall be completed in glory."

Our duty in this peculiar feature of these perilous times is evident. We need, in prayer and holy watchfulness, to be discerners of spirits, and to bring into permanent use and authority the standard of Scripture. The spirit of union and conciliation we would fondly cultivate, but it must not be the latitudinarian, infidel spirit of the age. "What communion AUGUST-1845.

hath light with darkness? what concord hath Christ with Belial?" Brotherly love can have no firm basis, but in sound, Christian, Scriptural principle. The union with saints must originate in union with Christ.

While, therefore, we stand aloof from an indiscriminating and unprincipled spirit of conciliation, we thankfully hail every movement which seems to make for peace amongst the followers of Christ. We have already noticed the materials which are happily furnishing amongst our dissenting brethren, and we will not be deprived of our readily cherished hope, that as a body, they are sincerely desirous of a better state of things. We cannot but hope, that the Record recently spoke too strongly, with reference to the questionable spirit of the Dissenters on the Maynooth question. Mr. Blackburn publicly stated, at the meeting in Dublin, that the sentiments expressed by the speakers at the Crosby-hall meeting in London, were only those of a small section of the Dissenters; and we have every wish to accept this assurance.

And now let us turn to our own Church. It is cheering to discover in distinct and somewhat differing sections of our Church a sympathy on this vital question. There is not wanting a recognition of those fundamental principles and conclusive arguments, which go at once to the very root of the matter: and which, if duly admitted cannot fail to effect a better understanding amongst Christians.

We begin with a very remarkable production, from the pen of the Archdeacon of Lewes; the chief object of which is to show that uniformity is not essential to unity.

"The rock on which we are splitting now, as we have been again and again, ever since our Church asserted her national independence at the Reformation, is the notion that the only way of preserving the Unity of the Church is by enforcing a rigid Uniformity. This notion has been maintained with a singular consistency and pertinacity by the chief part of the persons who have been

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called to exercise authority in our Church during the last three centuries; and the recent agitation has shown how widely it is spread at this day. * *The wiser principle

of the universal Church, the principle which she has recognized speculatively, and which she has in great measure desired to realize practically, is that exprest in the celebrated threefold maxim. In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas: and this is in exact concordance with the spirit of the Apostolic Epistles, to which our rigid enforcement of uniformity is utterly repugnant. * *

*With my strong convictions on the subject [uniformity], it is not to be wondered at that the very first announcement of this effort filled me with dread, and that I exclaimed that, if it were persisted in, it would probably drive three-fourths of the Diocese into the arms of Dissent: and somewhat similar views, I found, were entertained by all the most judicious persons with whom I had the opportunity of conversing. Alas! our forebodings have been too rapidly and dismally justified. An angry, jealous spirit has been called up, which it will not be easy to lay; and among the miserable effects of this ill-fated measure, one is, that our rites and ceremonies are become a matter for ceaseless loquacious jangling with those who pour out their spleen and ignorance and impertinence into the sink of the daily press. They are the subject of idle disputatious talk at every breakfast-table, and in every pothouse; dissenters laugh in scornful triumph; and what can the dutiful son of the Church of England do, but mourn ?"

We cannot refrain from laying before our readers the following striking remarks:

"If our dissenting brethren are to be reclaimed, it must be the work of time, and can only be accomplisht by the preaching of the Gospel of truth and peace, and by proving that the Spirit does indeed dwell in the Church, manifesting Himself by works of holiness and love. But the

taking down of the fences which have hitherto kept them out, so far as this may be done without injury to truth and order, is a requisite preparative for this work.

"From the bottom of my heart however would I deprecate any attempt to put an end to our differences by establishing a stricter uniformity. To what end indeed should we do so? Do not our churches themselves teach us a very different lesson, if we cast our eyes around us in any part of the land? What rich varieties of form, and structure, and decoration, do we see in them! towers and spires, pinnacles and parapets, from the majestic, awe-inspiring minster and cathedral, down to the little homely mother of the village, which looks like a hen gathering her chickens under her wings. Yet amid this endless variety what a sublime unity prevails! And who would exchange this beautiful diversity, even if it were practicable, for twelve thousand Brummagem churches, that should all lift up their heads in regimental uniformity, fac-similes one of another? Thus our churches themselves admonish us, that uniformity is not necessary to unity. Nay, even in the diversity of styles which we so often perceive in the same church, we may trace a higher unity, by which successive generations have been led to join in the same holy work. In the present day many of these churches have been greatly disfigured by the corruptions and the negligence of recent ages; and these disfigurements it behoves us to remove, not according to any one general sweeping plan, but by enquiring in each case what is requisite to fulfil the original idea. In like manner may the abuses, which have crept in through neglect, or whatsoever cause, into the celebration of divine worship, be corrected in each particular parish, mildly and gradually and peacefully, under the direction and guidance of the Bishop, according as occasion may require. And if some ritual differences still continue, I know not why, provided they are admitted to be lawful, these should excite any squabbles or animosities, [any more than such ordinary

facts, as that one church has a round arch, another a pointed."

The Archdeacon places the subject of authority in a valuable light:

"The question of authority has indeed been brought forward into painful prominence, as often before on similar occasions: yet I know not what can well be more unwise. Authority ought to act, not talk; to be felt rather than heard. When it begins to prate of its rights, this is the crack which announces its fall. All the generative powers of nature work silently and invisibly; yet how wonderful and mighty are there effects! And what is the power of authority in the Church? Moral, not physical. It lies in the tacit, half unconscious recognition of the benefits which it produces, of the justice and wisdom with which it is exercised. But when it meddles with petty things, laying stress upon trifles, straining at gnats, and issuing mandates about the breadth of phylacteries, instinctive sense of propriety and right revolts against it: and if it quotes texts to challenge obedience, its opponents will call to mind that there are other texts, equally plain and impressive, enjoining him that would be chief among the ministers of the Gospel, to be the servant of all, even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister.

"This is the true foundation of the power of the Church: and when her power rests on this foundation, no man can rob her of it. O that the spirit from which such power springs, may be granted largely to the governors of our Church in this time of her need! O that they may be enricht with true wisdom, that clear discernment between the form which killeth and the spirit which giveth life, and that living insight into the all-embracing fulness and all-reconciling freedom of the Gospel, which were vouchsafed so abundantly to St. Paul!"

The Dedication to Archdeacon Manners, which is longer than the Sermon, is in our opinion the most valuable part of the pamphlet, and to

this we shall chiefly confine our ob


We are induced to give copious extracts, as we are satisfied our readers will duly appreciate their value. The Archdeacon very properly brings us at once to the Scriptures as the only safe guide:

"Nay, the purpose of the Apostolic Council at Jerusalem, which in this as in other respects differed so widely from other Councils, was to put an end to dissension by sanctioning diversity of practice: and though two positive regulations were enacted, as expedient under the circumstances of the Church at Jerusalem, it was soon felt that these regulations also were merely local and temporary; wherefore the Church, in a wise exercise of her liberty, thought right to remit them. St. Paul too had to struggle over and over against one form or other of this delusion; and hence it is in his writings that we best learn what are the true principles of unity, and how to discriminate them from those rules of uniformity, which men are ever setting up in their stead. The former, it has often been recognized, are proclaimed for all ages of the Church in those sublime verses of the Epistle to the Ephesians, which are the text of this Sermon; and those verses are followed by an enumeration of the different gifts and offices bestowed on the various members of Christ's body, which are to work effectually in union, so that the whole body shall be joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. Again, what a lesson full of heavenly wisdom does he give to the Church in the fourteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans! a lesson which the Church has grievously disregarded, and against which she has frequently sinned; nay, which has been shamefully evaded by persons bearing rule in the Church, under the plea that it related merely to those early ages, when Christians were living in the midst of a heathen world; as if the principles urged through that whole chapter were not of lasting obligation; as if its precepts were anything else than a setting

forth of that gentleness and forbearance and love, which ought to guide the disciples of Christ in all their dealings with each other, so that no one may destroy or hurt any of those for whom Christ died. Or shall we rather open the first Epistle to the Corinthians, in order to learn how there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, and differences of administrations, but the same Lord, and diversities of operations, but the same God working all in all? and how it is the will of God that the body should not be one member, but many, each performing its part in ministering to the body, and to every other member of it? and how a far higher wisdom is manifested in the union of all these diverse members into one body, than if the body were all one member? I know not what words could prove more convincingly than this whole passage, that uniformity is not the essential form of unity, but that unity, according to the riches and fulness which God has been pleased to show forth in His world, manifests itself best in diversity."

Well does Hooker observe, as quoted at p. 9," that the Unity of the Church of Christ consisteth in that Uniformity which all several persons thereunto belonging have, by reason of that one Lord whose servants they all profess themselves, that one Faith which they all acknowledge, that one Baptism wherewith they are all initiated.”

"I have only been repeating again and again what St. Paul says about the unity of the body. If a body were to be made up of arms, or of legs, or of heads, or of any one member whatsoever, how inferior would it be in unity to the human form divine! and how greatly is the unity of that form raised above that of quadrupeds by the distinction between the arms and the legs! Yet simple as these truths are, and plainly as they are involved in that passage of St. Paul, they are entirely lost sight of by those who hunger and thirst after uniformity."

Most truly does the Archdeacon observe, that the clamorous advocates for uniformity are the least acquainted with the real nature of unity.

In the generality of cases I seem to have observed, that the most clamorous and pertinacious sticklers for uniformity are those into whose hearts the desire of unity has hardly gained an entrance, and whose religion vents itself for the most part in outward observances. Indeed how could it

well be otherwise? They who have seen the blessed vision of Unity, with the prayer of the Saviour breathing through it as the spirit of its life, and the smile of the Father beaming upon it, how can they turn from this, to dote upon anything so shadowy, so harsh, so empty as mere Uniformity? or how can they care much about Uniformity, except so far as it is indeed the expression of a living love for Unity, submitting its own heart and mind to do as others do for the sake of a more entire union and communion?"

The following reference to the Dr. Pusey and the Prussian Church is very valuable:

"It was indeed very sad a year ago to see your pious and learned friend Dr. Pusey urging differences of ritual practice as arguments against a measure designed to prepare the way, under God's blessing, for a closer communion between our Church and that of Prussia; for it has been constantly held by the highest authorities, that, in things ceremonial, great diversities may warrantably prevail between different Churches, and that these diversities should be no hindrance to communion between them. Within the pale of each national Church on the other hand it is expedient and desirable, for the sake of order and discipline, that there should be a considerable similarity of practice; and a national Liturgy is such an inestimable benefit in many ways, that, to secure it, we should readily sacrifice whatever might be gained by a more definite expression of per

sonal and occasional feelings. What I deprecate is the endeavour to establish uniformity for its own sake, as if uniformity in itself were a thing to be sought and admired."

We must quote largely from the excellent remarks on the Act of Uniformity:

"Alas, my friend! uniformity a means to unity! Is this the lesson we learn from the history of the English Church? Is this the effect which has been produced by our own Acts of Uniformity? those strange, anomalous Acts, which in their imperious character are almost peculiar to our Church, and which resulted from her singular position, when she found herself in a manner identified with the government of the State, and enabled to wield the authority of the State in girding herself round with penal enactments. Was it not the Act of Uniformity under Queen Elizabeth, that first gave birth to the Nonconformists, as a distinct, powerful, and formidable body within the pale of our Church, gathering all those varieties of feeling and opinion, which could not reconcile themselves to its requisitions, into one mass, and setting the Conformists and the Nonconformists in definite array against each other? Many pleas may indeed be urged in excuse of the statesmen and churchmen by whom that Act was framed. The very existence of the government seemed bound up with the unity and vigour of the Reformed Church. The fallacy of that delusion, which holds unity to be inseparable from uniformity, had not then been so thoroughly exposed, as it has since been, by the teaching of philosophy, and the still more cogent lessons of history. The sanctity of man's individual conscience had never been rightly appreciated by the secular wisdom of Rome; which then, as ever, sought mainly for outward submission, and which practically sanctioned, if it did not encourage, the notion, that men might justifiably profess many things by their words and their acts, to which they found nothing answerable, and much repug

nant, in their hearts and minds. For this is one of the miserable curses attacht to those who worship the idol Uniformity, that, as their aim is bent upon the form, rather than upon the power, of Unity, they grow to care little about the substance, provided they can get the shadow; and thus they become little scrupulous about truth, in others, and ultimately in themselves also."

"It is one of the saddest spectacles in the history of the world, a spectacle at which angels may have wept, to see the unity of our Church shaken, her peace broken up for a whole century, to see faithful, holy, zealous men, holding the same faith, acknowledging the same Lord, baptized by the same Spirit, earnestly desiring to serve and approach the same Eternal Father, divided for generations, and even stirred into fierce hostility against each other, by differences about a vestment or a posture. These were not indeed the sole grounds of disagreement; but these, and such as these, were the chief grounds of contention: and had these been removed, as they easily might have been, if a few more points had been left to the discretion of the minister, according to plans brought forward several times in the course of this and the following century, the breaches on matters of greater importance would have been healed, with God's blessing, by a spirit which manifested such a desire for unity, and which would have been strengthened by the might of our Lord's prayer that His disciples might partake in the perfect Unity of the Godhead."

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