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that it was scarcely possible for an ministers, comprising the chief part, honest Presbyterian to make it: here it seems scarcely questionable, of the and there one, whose habits of thought
most faithful and zealous in the land, and temper had preserved him from were silenced in one day, were severed strong opinions, might: but for the in one day from their flocks, were cast great body no alternative remained, in one day out of our Church, for the except to belie their conscience, or to sake of maintaining Uniformity. On cut themselves off from the national that our English Bartholomew's day, Church : and one can hardly doubt the eye wandered over England, and that this must have been the
in every fifth parish saw the people of the framers of the Act.
scattered abroad as sheep that had no Verily, when I think of that shepherd From that day do we date calamitous and unprincipled Act—of the origin of that constituted dissent the men by whom it was enacted, and schism, which is the peculiar Charles the Second, and the Aristo- opprobrium and calamity of our cracy and Gentry of his reign-of the Cnurch, by which in almost every holy men against whom it was en- parish we find ourselves grievously acted—it seems almost like a prologue crippled in our efforts to build up to the profligacy and infidelity which our people into a holy temple acceptfollowed closely upon it. But what able to the Lord ; and which in this were its direct effects with regard to very year, by its frantic uprore, is the Unity of the Church? It bore rendering it impossible for our Legisthe name of Uniformity on its fore- lature to take any efficient step toward head : can there have been any who the moral and religious education of persuaded themselves that a Uni- the people, although the disclosure of formity so enforced could be a means the frightful condition of huge masses to Unity ? The only Unity that could of our population seemed for a mohave ensued from it would have been ment to have allayed the contentions that of a dead level : and full of woe of political parties. So terribly is the as have been the consequences of this sin of our forefathers, who framed the Act in its failure, they would have Act of Uniformity, visited upon Engbeen still more terrible had it suc- land at this day; nor can any human ceeded. Therefore even we, who love foresight discern either how or when and revere our national Church above these evils are likely to terminate. every earthly institution, may bless Moreover, after that we had thus cast God that it did not succeed. We out so much faith and zeal and holimay bless God, for that He has given ness, after that—to use an expression
which has been applied less approhuman hearts, that meek and humble priately to a later event of far minor men, when strengthened by His Spirit, importance
we had in this manner are not to be driven out of the path in almost cast out the doctrine of Christ which their conscience commands crucified from the pale of our Church, them to walk, by the leagued forces we had to travel through a century of of King and Parliament and Convo- coldness and dreariness and barrencation, by the severest penal enact- ness, of Arminianism and Pelagianism, ments, or even by the bitter pang of
of Arianism and latent Socinianismhaving to leave their loved 'flocks. all which we found compatible with Yes, my friend, we may join in giving outward uniformity-before the spirit, God thanks for the work He has which was then driven away, returned wrought in such men-for they are with anything like the same power. the true salt of the earth-even though And the unhappy descendants of those we may deem that there was much of who were then cast out, they too have errour in their judgements and opi- suffered wofully for the sins of their nions, almost as much as in our own. forefathers, who in the time of their Yet how grievous was the wound prosperity had been no less blindly to the Church at the time! how zealous in sacrificing faith and hope grievous is it still at this day in its and love to the same all-beguiling enduring effects! Some two thousand idol, Uniformity, They have suffered
in being severed from the unity of the shears have constant work to clip Church and of the nation: they have their excrescences; and none submit suffered in that narrowmindedness, quietly except the dead. those prejudices and jealousies, which
Hence the remonstrants were are the heirloom of all sectaries: above dismist unconvinced, and rather conall, they have suffered in losing the firmed than shaken in their opposimost precious part of that sacred de- tion. Whereas, if the right order had posit of faith, which our Lord gave to not been inverted—if the parties in be the riches and life of His Church the conference had set before their unto the end of the world.
minds that their aim should be to “Such are the lessons taught by the cherish unity, instead of enforcing history of our Church concerning the uniformity—if they had rightly unefficacy of Uniformity, when enforced derstood that the blessing of a Liturgy as a means to Unity. Nor, it seems is not, that it makes the whole conto me, would a thoughtful, much more gregation repeat the same words, and a philosophical mind look for any go through the same postures and other. For unity is spiritual, pertains gestures, but that it touches their to the spiritual part of man, his heart, hearts with the same live coal from his mind, his will. Even in lower the altar, and unites them in the conthings a unity formed by aggregation, sciousness of the same need, the same or agglomeration, or colligation, is weakness, the same frailty, in the merely factitious, like the unity of a same cry for mercy and help, in the sandheap, or of a fagot. If branches assurance of the same gracious deliare to form a unity, they must be verance, and in the same songs of organized into it by a central vital thankfulness and praise-surely it principle. *
Are all such would have been recognized that the men to be debarred at once from the primary ought not to be sacrificed to ministry of the Church, because they the secondary, the essential to the entertain conscientious scruples on indifferent; it would have been felt certain points acknowledged to be in- that whatever tended to disturb and different? The act of Uniformity says
mar this heavenly unity ought to be Yes: the spirit of true Catholic Chris- done away. The question would no tianity says, No. The Church that longer have been, can we find a suffidoes so exclude them, maims herself, cient authority in antiquity, or in the by forfeiting the services of numbers reason of things, to justify this pracwho would have served her faithfully: tice? but, is this practice of such many of these, feeling an inward call paramount importance, so intimately to the ministry, which they cannot bound up with the life of Christian follow within the pale of the Church, truth, that we must rather cast our join the ranks of schism : and while brethren out of the Church, than the Act of Uniformity thus casts out allow them to remain in the Church, many of the best fish from the net, all if they will not conform to it? * * * the bad, all the careless, all the un- In fact this very course, which otherscrupulous, all the unprincipled may wise would doubtless be branded as a abide in it unmolested.
device of modern liberalism, is pointed which enacted this rigid ecclesiatical out explicitly in the King's admirable uniformity, was addicted, as might be Declaration referred to. * imagined, to the practice of unifor- Even in the two records of the Lord's malizing all things. It tried to uni- Prayer, brief as it is, there are diverformalize men's heads by dressing sities : for the Spirit of God is more them out in fullbottomed wigs. It careful to guide the thoughts of the tried to uniformalize trees by cutting heart, than the words of the lips.” them into regular shapes. It could not bear the free growth and luxuri- The Archdeacon's reference to ance of nature. Yet even trees, if Laud is most seasonable. they have any life, disregard the Act of Uniformity, and branch forth ac
“ Such notions were very prevacording to their kinds, so that the lent, when God was pleased to hasten
the judgment on our Church by St. David's for four years and a half, placing Archbishop Laud at the head he only visited his Diocese twice durof it. This prelate is the favourite ing that period, for about two months hero and saint of the worshippers of each time, at a quadrennial Visitauniformity; and not without a good tion? that, though he was Bishop of claim to their admiration. It was
Bath and Wells for near two years, said of old, that love fulfilleth the law ; he never set foot in his Diocese? but his doctrine was, that, if you And what was he doing all the while ? make people keep the letter of the Doubtless, having tried to put the law, they will gain love. There is formalities right by his Articles at his something marvellous in the pertina- Visitation, he trusted that every thing city with which he ever clings to the would go right, and so thought he conviction, that, if the outside of the might employ himself in more implatter be cleansed, all will be right. portant business as a hanger-on at When he was chosen Chancellor of Whitehall and Buckingham House. your University, his great anxiety, Alas, my friend, that such a man evinced by reiterated earnest remon
should have been selected by our mostrances, is about formalities, that is to dern uniformalists and ecclesiolaters, say, the academical dress: he com- as the pattern of a churchman and a plains that formalities 'which are in saint! a man who, when he had cara sort the outward and visible face ried his point of making Bishop Juxof the University, are in a manner on Lord High Treasurer, wrote down utterly decayed,' and says, 'If this go in his Journal, “And now, if the on, the University will lose ground Church will not hold up themselves every day both at home and abroad;' under God, I can do no more.' I he charges the Heads to take care hardly know what words could have that the members of the University betrayed a grosser, shallower ignoshould fit themselves with formalities rance of what the Church is, and fitting their degrees, that the Uni- wherein her power lies; as though versity may have credit by looking this were the true mode of promoting like itself; and then I doubt not but the increase of that kingdom, which it will be itself too. For it will not has been declared to be not of this endure but to be as it seems.' These world; as though one word of faith, last words, which sum up the creed one deed of love, one silent prayer of the uniformalists, are a curious were not far mightier to strengthen mark of the outwardliness and super- the Church, than all the Lord-Treaficiality of Laud's mind,-in his heart surerships of all the treasures that there was better stuff;—which same Mammon has ever piled up in any character is betrayed by the whole quarter of the globe. When such a tenor of his most meagre Diary, by man was bent to establish his views the dreary triviality and dearth of of uniformity, as the means of regenimagination in his dreams, and by erating the Church, it cannot surprise many sad testimonies in his conduct
a person, who knows anything of the as a ruler of the Church. For how strong and fervid spirits he had to else can we conceive that an honest contend with, that, instead of raising conscientious man, appointed to dis- the condition of the Church, he overcharge the office of a bishop in the threw it, falling himself first, with a Church of God, should never, as it fortitude and meekness worthy of a would seem, have been disturbed by high place in the army of martyrs. the thought, that it behoved him to The Church was overthrown; and dwell in his Diocese, stirring up the
her fall was hastened, to say the hearts of its clergy and other mem- least, by the stubborn policy of her bers by doctrine, by exhortation, by Primate; as it was mainly occasioned pastoral advice, strengthening the from the first by her narrow-minded feeble, encouraging the irresolute, love of uniformity. cheering the timid and desponding, “ Hence it seems to me that no and guiding those who needed coun- slight service would be rendered to sel? that, though he was bishop of the Church, if any one could help
toward setting men's minds right on us rather seek it} by those spiritual the relation between unity and uni- means which our Lord gave to His formity, and toward exploding the Church, by doing what in us lies to noxious errourthat uniformityis indis- draw our brethren more and more to pensable to unity. For though the the one Faith in the one Lord through above-mentioned illustrations of the the one Spirit, whereby alone can any mischiefs which this error has caused, be brought to the one God and Father are taken from bygone ages of our of all.” Church, the need of the warning which they hold out is not gone by. The Dedication concludes with the At this day far too many persons are
following beautiful passage to which harassing themselves and their neigh
every, right-minded Christian will bours through their anxiety to estab- heartily add his Amen. lish a strict uniformity : too many are magnifying rites and ceremonies, vest
“ If I may without presumption ments and postures, as if these were
apply words, which were spoken of the essentials of Christian worship,
wiser and holier men, may the sur
viver of us be enabled to say, as and as if the peace of the Church might be compromised for the sake of Archbishop Bramhall said of himself
and Ussher, who in like manner difattaining to uniformity in such things. At this day how few understand and
fered from him on sundry points of recognize the great truth enunciated
opinion and feeling; I praise God
that we were like the candles in the in the words quoted above, that differentiae rituum commendant unita
Levitical temple, looking one toward tem doctrinae ! Yes, my friend, let us
another, and both towards the stem.
We had no contention among us, but seek unity with all our heart and soul,
who should hate contention most, and but not by the way of uniformity,
the which will never lead to it, but will
of the Church with
swiftest paces.' waste our time by throwing up trippingstones at every other step. Let
(To be continued.)
The Youths' Remembrancer.
A TRACT GIVEN AT A BALL.
A few years ago, on a cold frosty evening in December, the inhabitants of a country town seemed in a state of unusual excitement. It was the evening of a ball. A young lady was mounting the stairs that led to the assembly room, when a gentleman with a number of tracts in his hand advanced and offered her one. She took the little book, and was putting it into her reticule, when the gentleman said to her, “Will you, ma’am, promise me one thing?—it is, that you will read this tract." With cheerful good humour the young lady promised to do so, and passing on, was soon engaged in the mirth of the evening.
In the quiet of her chamber, she was left to her own silent, and some
times sorrowful reflections. It was one day, when thus left alone, she took
the torn and crumpled tract given her long since. Katherine's attention was arrested, and she read it carefully. The tract told her that she was a sinner; that we are all by nature enemies to God; that she might be amiable, and just, and dutiful to her parents, and kind to the poor; and yet if she did not love God supremely, if she had not faith in Christ, she would be undone for
It proved, from the Scriptures, that man is in a fallen condition; that “our very righteousness (the good works in which Katherine would have trusted) are as filthy rags" in the sight of a pure and holy God; that our very devotions are mingled
with sin; that the thoughts of man's how much more shall God give his heart are only evil, and that continu- Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" ally, (Gen. vi. 5); and, except a man (Matt. vii. 11.) be born again, he cannot see the Every passage, as she read it, seemed kingdom of God. (John iii. 3.) to bring some new light to Katherine's Katherine must have heard these mind. God was her teacher. He things before, for she had always who had died for her soul was revealbeen accustomed to attend at church ing himself gradually to her. Her at least once on every Sunday, and illness was a long one; but she found, had often joined in the solemn re- in communion with God, and in the sponse, "Lord, have mercy upon us, study of his promises, a deep and miserable sinners!" but never till lasting happiness. On the bed of pain now had she felt anything of the sin- and sickness she was cheered by the fulness of her own heart, or the neces- hope of everlasting glory; and she sity of so great a change, as that longed to be absent from the body, which the Scripture describes, as that she might be present with the being “ born again." She called to Lord. mind how many days had passed Many months after she had thus without one thought of God; how read the little tract, Katherine's happy she had been amused by passing spirit had entered into the joy of her events, and never experienced one Lord. But the good done by the feeling of holy gratitude to the Lord tract did not end here. of glory, who had come down to this Katherine had found “the pearl of sinful earth, to die the death of the great price," and she did not conceal cross, that we might be saved. But it. She called on others to rejoice the tract did not tell the sinner that with her on finding it. She had one he was guilty before God, in order to friend, who was much with her during leave him there. It told also the her long illness, and who had been her blessed truth, that life and salvation
companion from her childhood. Kaare offered by the Gospel. It showed therine endeavoured to lead her to that it was for the sinner Christ's God; she entreated her to come as a sacrifice was offered. For scarcely sinner to the Saviour, and to seek the for a righteous man will one die, yet, Holy Spirit by prayer. Emma had peradventure for a good man some not before thought seriously of rewould even dare to die. But God ligion, but from this time she began commendeth his love towards us, in to study the Scriptures for herself. that, while we were yet sinners, Christ She was led to embrace the offers of died for us. (Rom. v. 7–8.) It the Gospel, and became a devout and showed that while God could not par- humble child of God. don the transgressor with justice, ex- The mode of Emma's death literally cept à mediator between God and exemplified the Scripture description. man had appeared, that God's only “She fell asleep in Jesus ;” and her beloved Son had become that media-. friend was reminded of the words of tor; and that “if any man sin, we the good John Bunyan, in describing have an advocate with the Father, the passage through the dark river, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John, which was taken by the pilgrim : ii. 1.) Christ's own words invited “ And the river was very calm at that the sinner to come to him. “Come time.” unto me all ye that labour and are Many friends visited Emma during heavy laden, and I will give you rest. her long sickness. There was the Take my yoke upon you, and learn of decided Christian, who, if ever he me.” (Matt. xi. 28, 29.) Katherine feared death for himself, might look found that God's Holy Spirit was on this death-bed, and see how God promised to sinners, to bring them to supports his people in the hour of God; that he was to guide them into need. There were some who had but all truth; and that our Saviour had lately began to inquire for the way of said, " If ye, being evil, know how to salvation; some thoughtless ones, give good gifts unto your children, whose whole souls were engrossed by