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To the Editor.
Sir, I do not quite like Mr. Elliott's exposition of the Three Frogs. He allows his own political opinions to influence his judgment. I think Cunningham's notion, that the first Frog is a symbol of the "Spirit of despotism aiding the Papacy," a very feasible one. See what it is now doing, in Austria, Italy, and Germany. Democracy is not of itself an evil spirit,Infidelity is; so Popery, so Despotism in alliance with Popery.
THE STONES OF SMITHFIeld. To the Editor.
Sir,-The authorship of a happy idea is sometimes as much to be coveted as the execution of a celebrated literary work, some beautiful production of the painter's pencil, or the lifelike creation of the sculptor's chisel. I have had this feeling in a strong degree, since hearing of a proposal to place on the site of the soon to be abolished Smithfield Market, a Martyr Memorial." Oxford has its beautiful tapering cross, in remembrance of the martyred Bishops, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, who there bore witness for the truth of the Gospel against its base counterfeit, the Romish apostacy. Why should London want as striking a memorial of the deeds of blood which Rome, in days gone by, enacted in her midst. În Smithfield, what numbers of the saints of God were burned with fires, kindled by the blood-loving priests of an unchangeably wicked and cruel Church; which is now, as it ever has been and ever will be, trying to root out the very existence of every other form of Christianity besides their own
corrupt and false one. Yet in London, the vast metropolis of our now Protestant country, we have reared no thankful memorial as a visible and express remembrance of the noble army of martyrs who, with their lives, purchased for us the religious light and freedom we now enjoy. Surely, sir, we must seize the opportunity which the removal of the market from the large area of Smithfield now presents, for the very stones of Smithfield tell such a true and startling tale in the pages of history, that we ought, now that Rome is unmasked even in the eyes of the most liberal, to grasp the idea and the opportunity which are now alike offered, to erect upon them a noble metropolitan if not a national memorial to the martyrs of London. Surely, in the plans for the occupation of the large space soon to be set at liberty, either for the healthful recreation of the thousands who are still compelled to pass their lives within the crowded precincts of the city, or, even if the spot is to be converted into fresh piles of building, a sufficient space in its very centre ought to be granted and set apart, for the erection of a lasting memorial to the martyrs of Smithfield.
CAUTIONS FOR THE TIMES. Addressed to the Parishioners of a Parish in England, by their former Rector. No. 9. 8vo. J. W. Parker. RUMOUR very confidently refers the authorship of the above series of Tracts to the pen of a very high dignitary of
Whether the tribute assume the shape of a simple memorial-cross, as at Oxford, or "The Martyrs' Church,'
which, to the densely populated neighbourhood of Smithfield would be most acceptable,-I could venture to prophesy that the required thousands would be forthcoming with thankful and speedy liberality.
Only let some well drawn up tract on this subject be at once written, and widely circulated, and I feel sure that the earnest response will at once favourably manifest itself. H. L.
Reviews, and Short Notices of Books.
the Irish Church. In our judgment, the rumour is pretty accurately confirmed by the style; but if so, we are somewhat at a loss to understand why the writer should have felt any difficulty in giving the very excellent and ably written subject, the additional weight of his name and station.
The tract before us is, in the first place, a kind of recapitulation of the foregoing Numbers, and a summary of the reasons which caused their publication, and the manner in which the question should be met. They will be found to possess sound sense, tinged with the well-known and peculiar political sentiments of the author. We will let him state the question in his own words:
"What led us to send you these 'Cautions,' was the great agitation raised in England by the Papal aggression.' The Pope had put in force the claim (which he had always made), of governing all baptized persons in England, just as if we had no bishops of our own; and the gentleman whom he appointed Archbishop of Westminster openly declared, in a very offensive manner, that he had the exclusive right of ruling, in spiritual matters, all persons throughout the district attached to his see.
"The avowal of such bold pretensions, and the arrogant way in which they were put forward, excited general indignation; and many people in England seemed seized with a kind of panic, as if the Pope were just going to make us all his subjects by force, whether we would or not, and that, consequently, we should prepare ourselves for a forcible resistance: and, in men's common talk in conversation, and their speeches at the public meetings called upon that occasion, there was such a mixing up of civil and religious questions of the danger to our liberties from Roman-catholic ambition and
intolerance, and the danger to our faith
and morals from Roman-catholic false teaching and then, again, of the insult offered to our Church by acting as if it did not exist, and of the insult to the
Queen in assuming such titles as she only has a right to bestow,-there was such a mixing up of all these matters together as seemed to show that many of those who talked most, and seemed most likely to lead others, had themselves very confused notions of the whole matter. Men
declared their wish to tolerate the Roman
catholic Church, which is essentially episcopal and subject to the Pope, and, at the same time, not to allow of Romancatholic bishops, or direct intercourse with the court of Rome-they demanded measures to vindicate the Royal Supremacy, by preventing the assumption of certain titles in England, while they were willing-many of them-to put up with such assumption in Ireland; though the
Royal Supremacy is the same in both countries; they required measures to be taken in England for checking Romanism, which they said would be no persecution there, while they granted that such measures would be persecution if extended to Ireland. great alarm at the increase of the numThey professed bers of Roman-catholics in England, and called for legislation to prevent the dangers thence likely to arise to civil and religious liberty, while they thought that no such danger was threatened by the numbers of the Irish Roman-catholics, which are more than twice as large. Their inconsistent demands, in short, might remind one of the Prince in the Arabian Nights, who asked for a tent large enough to cover an army of 100,000 men, and yet small enough to fit in his pocket. That would be a very unreasonable thing to ask, except (as he did) of a fairy queen.
"In this state of things, we thought it expedient to address to you some timely Cautions-to point out to you the folly and wickedness of attempting to put down religious error, or to repel insults and aggressions upon our faith or Church by civil penalties or laws of any kind; and to show you that the great danger, in the present case, was one which could be met by no legislative cnactment, but by each individual for himself."
The author then glances at the contents of Nos. 2, 3, and 8, in which he has examined the tracts recently put forth by the Romanists in support of their pretensions; some of which we have ourselves seen quite enough of to agree with him "that, wherever the secret of their success may lie, it does not lie in the strength of their arguments." He, however, accurately ascribes this success to the tendency of corrupt human nature towards such a system as the Romish; and he then traces, with great truth and power, the development of the same principle of the famous "Tracts for the Times," the false teaching of which he ably refutes in the Number be
There is much of excellent matter in the whole of these "Cautions" for the thoughtful study of our clerical brethren; they may perhaps suggest weapons of defence in controversy, which it may not have occurred to them to use; while our lay brethren
will find the whole question so succinctly, and yet so fully stated, that they will do well to read very carefully what are, with but very few exceptional passages, admirable manuals for a people among whom Romanists are working with inconceivable activity. The examination, in No. 7, of the Romish tract, "Old Stones tell Tales," in a "dialogue between Thomas the carpenter, who is a Protestant and (of course) very ignorant, and John the mason, who is a Romancatholic and (of course) intelligent and well informed;"-is capitally handled. We should like to get,-what, from the fearful spiritual power of the Romish priesthood over the minds and wills of their people, is almost an impossibility,the intelligent Romanist to read this one tract most attentively.
SCRIPTURAL REVISION OF THE LITURGY:
A Remedy for Anglican Assumption and Papal Aggression: A Letter to Lord John Russell. By a Member of the Middle Temple. pp. 194. London. R. Groombridge.
thor sets out by appealing to Lord John as the adviser of the crown, in its character of supreme earthly head of the national Church :-
In this closely reasoned and temperately written pamphlet, we have an earnest application to the Premier to set on foot a revision of the Prayerbook. It is needless to say that in this the author meets with the prayer open response of thousands of the best of Churchmen; while the secret wishes and aspirations of thousands besides, must be also given to its success.
In the case of this pamphlet, as with that of many other works, we have to regret that the author does not give his name; we cannot too frequently express our conviction, that where writers have either a known character or status, they should, if they wish to have a chance of literary life, publish boldly in propria persona. There may be insuperable objections, but if none such exist, we would strongly advise
those who are in earnest on Church matters especially, to give their names as well as their opinions.
We have not space to enter largely into a notice of this pamphlet: the auAUGUST 1851.
"I have presumed to address these remarks, in the form of a letter to your Lordship, as having been the first to direct public attention effectively to the true point of danger, namely, the progress of Romish error within the Church; and, likewise, as having occupied for so long a period the first place in the councils of a sovereign, whom that Church head. They involve, it is true, the disacknowledges to be her supreme earthly belong to the province of the theologian, cussion of topics, generally supposed to
rather than to that of the civil ruler. But it should be remembered that the supremacy claimed by the civil power of this country, over the national Establishment, is, in an important sense, a spiritual supremacy; for it has always asserted the right of veto, upon even the most purely dogmatic decisions of the ecclesiastical synod. And, even if it were not so, recent events have shewn most conclusively, that religious belief lies, especially in times of moral and intellectual advancement, at the very foundation of the entire framework of society, that its influence over the deepest springs of human action, and the current of human thought is, in spite of the theories of metaphysical speculation, irresistibly powerful,-and that it cannot therefore be neglected, even by the practical politician, with impunity.
"Of this great truth, and of its important bearing upon the present ecclesiastical crisis, the proceedings of the Papacy,
especially as exemplified in the late decision of the synod of Thurles,—afford a striking and most instructive illustration. Indissolubly united as are the several elements of the spiritual, the ecclesiastical, and the temporal, in the practical development of the Papal system; it is plain that its encroachments can never be effectually resisted by the machinery of a merely secular policy. Romanism, it is true, assails our secular interests, and aims at nothing less than secular ascendancy; but it can only accomplish these temporal objects, by first enslaving the soul of man, through an instrumen
tality exclusively sacerdotal, and by influences which are essentially and profoundly spiritual. It is upon the ground of the spiritual, therefore, that its pretensions must be met. Conscience must be emancipated from its grasp; and this can only be done by opposing truth to 2 A
error, the simple Gospel of the Divine Redeemer to the unscriptural dogmas, and unauthorized observances, of an idolatrous and puerile superstition.
"To render our national Church effectual to this great end, ought henceforth to be the chief aim and purpose of all her true members. A question, however, of no small perplexity immediately arises, By what instrumentality is such an object to be made attainable in the present day, and under existing circumstances? trust it will appear, in the course of the following remarks, that there still survives, in the supremacy of the crown, a constitutional power adequate to its successful accomplishment; and fully competent, both to suppress flagrant abuses, and likewise to authorize such modification of our devotional services, as may render the Church more scriptural as a Christian communion, and more comprehensive and efficient as a national Establishment."
The idea of the appeal to Convocation, in its antiquated and impracticable form, is altogether repudiated, in a very able statement of its past character and history. Our correspondent "H. L." will, however, find matter for encouragement in the following remarks:
"But, my Lord, these observations upon the inexpediency of attempting to revive convocational action in the Church at the present time, and in its pristine form, are by no means intended to apply to the case of ecclesiastical councils in general, if properly constituted. That is altogether a different question. Cranmer attempted, at the Reformation, to establish in this country the Provincial Council after the model of the ancient Church. And so it might be again; or perhaps some other council might be devised, so constituted as really to deserve to be called 'the true Church of England by representation.' This, however, is a subject for future consideration. The day is, perhaps, not far distant, when the ecclesiastical affairs of this country may be regulated by a synod, constituted according to the only scriptural model for such an assembly, namely, the first general council of Jerusalem; and animated by a happy spirit of catholic moderation, and of implicit deference to the teaching of the inspired word. In the meantime, however, a crisis has come upon us which admits not of delay. Immediate measures are required for the remedy of ex
isting evils, the magnitude of which can no longer be concealed."
The author has some valuable remarks upon the proper position and duties of the laity, in the settlement of Church matters; but we must in some degree dissent from the manner in which he appears to consider the voice of the laity as expressed in the At page 31 he says,
"It is true, indeed, the laity cannot as yet give effect to their desires for the good of the Church, through the regular channel of a representative assembly. There still, however, survives to them, another, and no less legitimate medium of operation, in the royal prerogative of supremacy. This, as the highest civil authority, has frequently been exercised to the great benefit of the Church: and more especially has it been employed, and that with effect, to check by timely interposition, those abuses in doctrine and practice which have been so frequently arising from the excesses of party zeal, or the undue assumption of priestly domination. We hold,' says the Rev. Mr. Goode, 'that the power belonging to the sovereign, as the representative of the laity, even in matters of faith, is of the highest value to the interests of truth; and that we are now, in this country, reaping the benefit of the exercise of that power at the period of the Reformation.' No other power, indeed, appears to exist at the present juncture, at once so authoritative and so readily available, both for the suppression of unwarranted doctrines and practices, and likewise for the origination of such measures as may tend to establish the Church upon the only stable foundation of sound scriptural Protestantism. Great, indeed, is the responsibility of those whose province it is to advise the sovereign, with regard to the exercise of that exalted prerogative which her Majesty now wields as supreme earthly head of the national Church; capable as it is, by timely interposition, of such extensive benefits to the cause of true religion. Without assuming to define the exact nature and extent of this prerogative of the crown, it is enough to say that it has, as an appendage of the sovereign power, a constitutional existence, and an undoubted right to interpose its authority. The precise extent of its powers is not at all material to the great question of responsibility. These powers are sufficient to meet the wants of the present occasion; and being supreme and paramount in
their nature, they must necessarily involve corresponding obligations."
We may at the present time be comparatively satisfied with that exercise of the civil power which has for a while stemmed the tide of the Tractarian heresy, and frowned upon the tyrannical usurpation of authority by the Bishop of Exeter; but we must hold that the government of the day, -which one hour may be, like the present, hostile to Church bigotry, and another, like that of the possibly incoming party, just the reverse,— is not that body in which we should be satisfied permanently to vest the right to deliberate and decide in matters of a spiritual nature. It would be far wiser, were we to busy ourselves with framing a reformed constitution for such an assembly as we have seen that the author himself has hinted at. He has in the following passage very correctly stated the moderate views and language held by those who, with him, are sincerely bent on obtaining a revision of the Ritual. At page 64 he says,
"It is, however, rather a spirit of earnest and hopeful enquiry, than of feverish and perilous excitement, which is now discernible amongst the mass of ChurchAnd it certainly cannot be denied,
that moderation is a feature eminently
characteristic of the minds of all those, whose position would entitle them to take an influential part in the work of liturgical reform. Of such moderation, the Primate's 'reply' is itself a most striking exemplification; and proves beyond a doubt that, although the initiative must proceed from another, and a still higher quarter, the Archbishop is eminently qualified to take charge of such a work, and to guide it to a successful termination. It should, likewise, be remembered, that the sooner the present movement assumes a practical character, so much the sooner will vapid declaimers, and reckless schemers, lose their influence and their power of doing
"Even amongst the laity, the most prominent advocates of revision, no proposition has yet appeared,-no demonstration has yet been made,—of such a character as to afford just cause of alarm. Laymen, it is true, are beginning to intimate a strong desire for some modification of the Prayer-book: but the reason is,
because they perceive both the Protestant faith, and the Church herself, to be in actual danger; and that such modification has become indispensable for the preservation of both. They believe that it is utterly vain to repudiate the false theology of Anglicanism, if the language upon which it is supported be suffered to remain. They are convinced, moreover. that the time has come, not only for
cleansing the Establishment effectually from Romanizing errors, but likewise for widening its base, as a national Establishment, by an enlightened regard to the wants and sympathies of our national Protestantism; and for exhibiting somewhat more of the spirit of comprehensive christian charity towards our Nonconformist brethren. Peace and unity they desire, not less than the clergy; but they feel persuaded that these blessings can only be secured permanently, upon the basis of truth and equity; and that, to stave off the dangers of the present crisis by a hollow compromise, or by an obstinate resistance to the claims of justice, would be to ensure the eventual downfall of the Church.
"Let me not be misunderstood. To any rash or latitudinarian treatment of our invaluable Liturgy, every sound and considerate Churchman must entertain the utmost repugnance. Let us be content with such alterations only, as present necessity, and the marked intimations of an over-ruling Providence, seem to require. The stain of an unscriptural superstition is now upon our altars; and our business is to provide for its effectual removal. If we be but faithful to our ex
isting obligations, then, should further amendments be hereafter required, we may rest assured that, with the necessity, the opportunity of accomplishing them will likewise be afforded. Let our immediate attention, therefore, be confined to the phraseology in our services as may tend exposure and correction of all such to foster Romanizing tendencies, and to impede the progress of evangelical
We regret that our space will not admit of a more extended notice of this pamphlet, in the later pages of which the author enters very fully into an examination of the Baptismal Service, and the way in which its language ministers to the delusive and dangerous doctrines of the so-called Sacramental Scheme. We must hasten to give the author's own summary,