« PreviousContinue »
LETTERS TO THE WIFE OF A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, You which we can refer, either for our will not, I hope, be very impatient if own satisfaction or that of others. you receive one more letter on the Such books as “Hooker's Ecclesiassubject of your general reading ; feel- tical Polity," and the publications of ing, as I do, the importance of a due the “ Parker Society," will be very improvement of your present vacant useful for the purpose. As, however, time for future usefulness. Much of there is such a natural fondness in it is necessarily consumed in formali- our nature for disputation, we need ties, but endeavour to redeem all that much watchfulness and prayer, and it you can, for higher purposes; you would be well if we never commenced will then, as Kirke White so well an argument without offering up the expresses it, " be drying fruits for petition of David, “ Set a watch, O future use. Never forget the great Lord, before my mouth, keep the principle, which I would again urge door of my lips.” The calmness of upon you-namely, suitableness and conviction is also far more powerful, adaptation to your peculiar sphere of than the strongest assertions made duty, in all that you acquire and un- with an agitated manner. dertake. Read such books as will not too often be reminded, that "posistrengthen and enlarge your mind for tiveness, dogmatism, and an ignorant God's work. Every Christian should contempt of difficulties, may accombe able to give a reason for the hope pany the firmest conviction, but that is in her, with meekness and not the conviction of the firmest fear; but the wife of a Clergyman of minds. The freedom with which the Church of England, should also a vessel swings at anchor ascerbe prepared to give the ground of her tains the soundness of its anchorpreference for that Church, if called age.” A well informed mind, as to upon to do it.
You will I know what our Church really holds in docagree with me in saying, that “ trine, or adopts in practice, becomes love our Church chiefly, because we daily more and more important; believe her to be a faithful witness of there may be difficulties attached to the truth of God in Christ, on ac- the latter, but the former will be best count of her purity of doctrine, and ascertained by such a comparison as the simple, Scriptural, spiritual nature you will find carried out in “ Bailey's of her worship; in other words, on Liturgy compared with the Bible.” account of the Gospel of Christ which This shows the masterly knowledge she holds forth, and the assistance of Scripture which our venerable which she offers in approaching the Reformers possessed, and which some Father, faithfully and devoutly, single expression often betrays, to an through the great Mediator.
extent which astonishes us. When we love her also, because we believe her can enter into their minds, we feel conto be a community well ordered and vinced, that if they were not inspired rightly constituted, in accordance with they were specially guided in their the Gospel; and that her Episcopal choice, not of words only but of subgovernment is entirely defensible on jects also ; including, as they do, the Scriptural grounds." But when every want, every care, and every difplaced in trying circumstances, we ficulty of our Christian course. The often feel the difference between be- structure of our Prayer-Book may
be lieving a thing to be right, and being human, but the materials are divine. able to state the ground of our belief. Have you ever read the preface to it? On this account it is desirable for us If not, do so; and I think you will to have a general knowledge of those be struck with the wisdom, humility, works which will assist us, and to and Christian charity, which it evinces,
There is only one more subject con, may have some future opportunity of nected with your reading which I giving you a list of School Books ; shall allude to ; namely, education. and, therefore, I shall only refer you This, in all its branches, will require to the apostle's most comprehensive your attention. Endeavour, therefore, assurance, which you will find Phil. to gain increasing knowledge of its iv. 19. If every private Christian be principles and practice. Read, again be entitled to plead for it, surely one and again, Mrs. H. More's valuable who from love to Jesus is united in practical remarks, which you will find the glorious charge given by Him to dispersed through her Works. It is his apostle John xxi. 15, 16, need not much to be regretted, that the result of fear to do so. And does it not include so much observation and experience all that the most extensive sphere will should be lost to many, because more need? I can only add an earnest modern works are superseding hers: prayer,
you may have a daily inwe may daily expect to find scientific creasing sense of the worth of souls, discoveries increasingly valuable, but of your own extreme helplessness, so long as the heart of man remains and of the inexhaustible fulness and the same, and the mind unchanged, faithfulness of Him who has en
not expect to meet with ob- trusted you with such a charge. servations more valuable. Taylor's " Home Education" contains much
Your attached Friend, matter for your consideration in the regulation of your various schools, or Bristol, August 15th, 1845. the instruction of your children. I
PROTESTANT MINSTRELSY.-No. IX.
(For the Christian Guardian.)
THE MIDNIGHT BURIAL.*
The beechen boughs are brown and The raven sits upon the bough bare
And answers to thy call; Beside the icy brook,
And strangely on the corse below Amongst the copses, here and there, The flick’ring shadows fall. Ghastly the snow drifts look;
Not where the tree was hewn it lies, The yester snows, that will not pass 'Twas from a prison foul, Beneath this winter moon;
For light and air, to upper skies, And, lo! one slumbers on the grass, Soared forth the troubled soul. As it were summer noon.
The cruel ones,
who thought in scorn 6 What, ho! it is no summer night The helpless poor to slay, To sleep in forest brake,
As ye might cast a garment worn, The winter moon is cold and bright; Have flung the corse awayWhat, ho! dull sleeper, wake !"
Yea, for the truth the captive spake, The snow might fall, the wind might That they were slow to heed, sweep,
Have cast him forth, in this wild And the cold patt'ring rain,
brake, And never break his slumber deep The hungry fowls to feed.
He will not wake again! * During the Marian persecution, the bodies of those who died in prison under the charge of heresy, were cast out into the fields, burial being forbidden ; yet in the hours of darkness kindly hands often performed this sad office.
Yet, hark! is that the driving sleet,
That thro’ the thicket goes ?
Crushing the frozen boughs.
What noiseless tears are shed !
Take wing, take wing, thou evil bird,
Thou shalt not have thy prey,
To hide that precious clay.
Sad cries, that God may save-
raise, Above the woodland grave.
And little for the flakes they heed
The wind is shaking down.
Their Christian hands have done;
Before the rising sun.
And soon is left no trace
Wake early in the spring,
On summer eves will sing.
Where a true martyr lies,
Then homeward thro’ the woods they
speed, Beneath the branches brown,
THE ELEVENTH HOUR’S ALARM.
(For the Christian Guardian.)
AWAKE, Great Britain! nor consume thy day
What mov'd thy councils to impede the truth,
What genius now tenfold delusion sheds
T. B. S.
Review of Books.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. A Sermon preacht at Brighton, Dec.
10th, 1840. By Julius CHARLES HARE, Archdeacon of Lewes. Parker:
London. IS UNAUTHORIZED TEACHING ALWAYS SCHISMATICAL? A
Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, May 12th, 1844. By the Rev. J. GARRETT, Professor of Poetry, and Prebendary of Chichester.
Hatchards : London. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. By W. B. Noel, M. A. Nisbet,
London. THE UNION OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS, POSSIBLE, DESIRA
BLE, AND NECESSARY. By A CLERGYMAN. Norwich: London, Seeleys.
(Continued from page 412.)
Our readers, we think, will be of much deliberate reflection, we believe opinion, that if the sentiments con- to be almost the ultimatum of attaintained in the works we have already ment under existing circumstances, noticed are but duly acknowledged, in the discharge of this essential duty. much will be done in our Church to- We might be willing to make great wards the promotion of Christian concessions to the prejudices of others Union. It is a great point gained to -we might wish to offer a more open realize the true position of those who door for the return of those who are differ from us.
In the heat of con- alienated from our communion: we troversy and party spirit it is sadly might be glad to show practically and overlooked.
substantially the honesty of our longAnd now, in winding up this sub- ings after Christian Union in various ject, which the length to which we ways that have been proposed, but in have carried it compels us to do for all this we have presented to us what the present, without specially noticing is desirable rather than practicable, other pamphlets before us, we wish and we only see the interposing and to suggest to our readers what, after impracticable barriers of circumstan
* See the little Work lately published by. Messrs. Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley, Fleet Street, London : which comprises this impious oath, that may well be styled, in the words of the apostle—“The doctrine of devils ;' and is well calculated to make every orthodox and thinking man tremble at the present signs of the times.
ces over which we have no control. directions and duties attaching only No; we must consider what can be to the varied grades of life. The rich done, rather than what we wish to do. have their duties, and the poor have We may be spending our time in theirs; and in the discharge of these useless speculations which can come is seen the reality and the healthfulto nothing. We should never indeed ness of Christian character. So in lose sight of what we believe to be like manner, it is God's will that there desirable, nor miss our opportunities should be separate and differing for promoting it; knowing that the Christian communions. He permitmost important works have often the ted schism to start up even in the most slender and insignificant begin- Apostles' days. He permitted our nings, and knowing, too, that there is established Church to fall under an a mighty efficacy in prayer, and that unhallowed and illegitimate influence, we have to do with him who is always and to be accessory to measures which ready to grant whatsoever we ask in laid the foundation for fearful schism. accordance to his will. But still our Yet the Apostle rejoiced that Christ chiefest energy should be directed was preached even through contentowards that which we can compass: and no one will deny that the and we must confess that we have a Gospel has been faithfully preached growing and strong conviction that by separatists from our Communion, there is that within our reach which, and that thousands and tens of thouif brought duty to bear, would trans- sands have experienced its saving form the Christian Church, and give power through this irregular agency, a healthfulness and effect to the exer- and become new creatures in Christ cises of brotherly love, to which, as Jesus. Then is it not evident that the heretofore, we have been compara- apostolical spirit should pervade our tively strangers. We refer to the apostolical Church, and that her recognition of the apostolic precept, members should rejoice if Christ is forbearing one another in love.” only preached, by whatever means,
While some would effect Christian and that souls are brought to the union only by reducing all who bear saving knowledge of his name? And the Christian name to one common in pursuance of Gospel principle and symmetry and rule, we never can for- apostolical example, mutual forbearget that all God's dealings with his ance must be the order of the day. creatures in this world are calculated There may be differences of opinion to teach us that our present state of as to the expediency of an ascendant being is intended to be characterized Church; but let us take things as we throughout as a condition of disci- find them. A government professing pline and trial; so that in the very Christianity deem it their duty to constitution of Christian Churches, provide for the religious culture of the separate and distinct ecclesiastical the state. It necessarily, for this enclosures that have ever existed,
system of relithere is that which is providentially gion which it thinks the best. Thus permitted and designed to form the one Church necessarily becomes dotrial and effect the discipline by which minant-other Churches take a lower Christian grace is to be exemplified, place. And let both maintain mutual and the will of God done on earth as forbearance. The ascendant Church it is done in heaven.
be not high-minded, but fear. The Now, in furtherance of what God ascendant Church manifesting all that sees best, in his infinite wisdom, for tenderness and gentleness which a a fallen world, it is his will that there sense of its former delinquencies and should be in perpetual existence the injustice may well dictate. The asvaried gradations of human life; the cendant Church, not compromising greatest seeming inequalities; the rich principle, but holding out the right and the poor meeting together. And hand of fellowship to all who love the to prove that this is God's will, we Saviour, and are doing his will, under have only to refer to his word, in whatever name: in fact, discharging which we find the provision of special those duties, and manifesting that