« PreviousContinue »
spot or wrinkle;' that they who should have truth and holiness, must come into her as she is, without haggling or pretending to make terms, or, Donatist-like, holding out till she may choose to alter or modify herself to their taste.” This is straight-forward, we repeat, and plain writing. Re-union with Rome is to be effected, if at all, without the slightest concession or shadow of such on her part. We know it must be so. These true Romanists accordingly laugh to scorn the pretensions of some of the Tractarians, who, according to the statement in “ The Dublin Review," seek to establish a false Via Media system, a merely syncretic coalition between opposites and contraries altogether ridiculous—"a sort of middle course," it says, “ which would fain have a Church moulded between present Catholicity and present Anglicanism. It considers the tone of the one too high, that of the other too low; and it would lower the one and screw up the other, till both accorded upon a middle note. To what extent each change should be carried, whether Rome should relax more than England strains, or whether the task should be equally divided, is by no means a settled point: for we suspect, that if those who wish for unity upon this theory, were asked first to settle among themselves the amount of curtailments, modifications, and changes of every sort which would satisfy them on our parts, no two would be found to agree upon the exact line which we must descend to, to meet the alterations in an ascending direction, which they would ask from their own establishment.” And thus, ye Tractarians, your Romanist friends fairly laugh ye out of court, to be the derision and contempt of the very mob. The remaining system “ The Dublin Review” describes as the “ Anglican establishment just as it is,” the class to which we profess to belong.
We cannot wish the distinctions to be better drawn, or by other agency. Yet, though thus derided and contemned, these same Tractarians condescend in the present Number of “ The Christian (?)Remembrancer," to review in terms of eulogy the Roman Catholic Dr. Wiseman's Lectures delivered in Rome, on “The Connexion between Science and Revealed Religion ;" nay, they go out of their way to do it—for the book was published as early as 1842. We know the book well, and know there are Protestant books on the same subject, quite as eloquent, accurate, and more fully illustrated. Why not prefer these? But no: your genuine Tractarian is of the true spaniel nature—the more he is spurned, the more he fawns.
Yes! it is “ The Christian (?) Remembrancer” that is lying before us. But how “ crest-fallen,” Where are now its quips and cranks, its personalities? Few and far between, indeed! The mass of dullness is scantily illumined by glow-worm sparks of animadversion, that mock the darkness in the midst of which they faintly glimmer. The fact is, its conductors are conscious that their trick is discovered, and confess it. Thus, in a review of Mr. Newman's sermons, they are compelled to exclaim—" It is not to be denied that there has been a check, and that it is not quite so easy to play at Catholicism, as it was four or five years ago." Play at Catholicism! Play! Their speech bewrayeth them! Yes, their Catholicism was only stage-play-but their Ro
manism was in earnest. This is what they mean, but vainly trust that we shall not penetrate their sophisms.
One sophism more we must unveil. Tract 90, “ was not proposed, it seems, as the exposition suited to the whole Church, but only as satisfactory to a section of it, (p. 107,) reclaimed against;" and since they have reclaimed against it, Mr. Newman and his reviewer (there is really something very amusing, in the party thus perpetually reviewing their own publications, warn them that they must take the responsibility of the consequences. He (good man !) washes his hands of them. Very awful all this—very! Nevertheless, we have fairly looked the consequences in the face, and are quite willing to incur the denounced responsibility. Once for all, then, let it be known, that we wish not to retain in the Anglican communion, those who are straggling Romeward, if their retention depends on their being permitted so to interpret our Articles as to make them speak, not our language, but the enemies'. If they cannot stay but on that condition, let them go! We want true and sincere men, and not men who, to cover their own mendacity, will make our Oracles speak falsely, as though they were the utterances of the Father of Lies, and not of the Holy Spirit of everlasting Truth. Let them go! We are enough without them. Let them go and the sooner the better.
We know not whether it is worth while to consider such a poor sophist's abuse, of what he calls the “ Prussian Episcopate Scheme,” denouncing it as Anti-apostolical, and rejoicing at the “ Withering away of the Jerusalem Scheme.” His opinions on any subject of true Anglican Church economy are those of a traitor, and should be passed, sub silentio, as of one who has no right to speak on practical topics that he has no real interest in. Poor Charlotte Elizabeth may console herself on this ground—though denounced by him as “a heretic of no ordinary type," and her publication characterised as a “ performance which is to be viewed with the deepest horror.” Horror, forsooth! Come, ye Dublin Reviewers! and have again your laugh out at this scape-goat of the Tractarian Schismatics.
We have noticed above how these miserable men succumb to the necessity of reviewing their own books. James Burns is the publisher of their Magazine, and James Burns is also the publisher of their“ Library," falsely call “ The Englishman's ;” and James Burns's books are all highly praised in the literary notices of “ The Christian” (?) Remembrancer.” What wretched and despicable work! As to other people's books—some are condemned on ultra-pietistic pretences, and others with the most profane ribaldry.
We subjoin specimens of both sorts.
Ist. " Mr. Dickens's Christmas Carol in Prose,' (Chapman & Hall,) is a very acceptable present at this season. A very old and hackneyed subject is treated in a very original way, and the story displays all its author's eminent powers of combining humour with pathos. He has, however, thought fit to make an attempt at a religious allusion here and there, one at least of which could well have been spared that occasioned by some of his grown-up characters playing at blindman's-buff and forfeits, on which he
says, . It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, wheu its mighty Founder was a Child Himself. We do not believe that Mr. Dickens is aware of the extreme irreverence of this way of speaking; but we are mistaken if numbers of his readers will not be pained by it; and we feel bold to assure him, that his expunging, or altering, the sentence in his next edition, will give general satisfaction.
2d. " • Commemoration of the Fifth of November,' by Mr. Smith Bird, (Hatchard,) is a single, though heavy, sermon on this perilous state-service, which has contrived to identify two subjects as dissimilar as Tenterden steeple and the Goodwin Sands. The day itself was celebrated, we hear, by a feu-de-joie of sermonising, a sort of mixture of Vauxhall and a Protestant auto-da-fé; but the flower-pots and Roman candles have not many of them exploded in print: a dropping fire of squibs from three or four of the Islington Clergy, has ignited, though tardily, and with more splutter than brilliancy."
What absurdity in the suggested objection of the first extractwhat vulgarity in the virulent vituperation of the second. Has Mr. Dickens offended by a touching but familiar illustration of a sacred truth? What shall we say of the writer, who in Tract 85 (a Tract, by-the-by, more objectionable than Tract 90, inasmuch as it attacks the Bible in a viler strain than was ever attempted by the professing infidel) we ask, what shall we say of a writer, who tells tells us, that “ the phrase, Lamb of God, is ludicrous and grotesque;" that “there is something repugnant in our present habit of mind in calling again and again our Saviour by the name of a brute animal ;" that, unless we were used to it, he conceives it would hurt and offend us much, to read of glory and honour being ascribed to Him that sitteth upon the Throne and to the Lamb, as being a sort of idolatry, or at least an unadvised way of speaking;” that " it seems to do too much honour to an inferior creature, and to dishonour Christ;" adding, that we “will see this, by trying to substitute any other animal, however mild or gentle ;” and that “the ancients formed an acrostic upon our Lord's Greek title, as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and in consequence called him from the first letter, iydůs, or fish." And then, that the suggested ridicule may lose none of its point, what does the writer do? He quotes an English writer as saying, “ This contemptible and disgusting quibble originated in certain verses of one of the pseudo sybils. . . I know of no figure which so revoltingly degrades the Son of God.” And then remarks as from himself—" Such is the nature of the comment made in the further east on the sacred image of the Lamb. The two objectors may settle it with each other." In the opinion of the writer of No. 85, Fish is quite as good as Lamb; both are equally “ ludicrous and grotesque,” and “we are only reconciled by habit to the use of one." And yet the men who utter these blasphemies, affect to shrink with horror, when Christian parents are told, that the founder of their religion was once a little child; and thence they should recognise the state of childhood as a hallowed thing. And is it not? And says not Christ himself of children, “ That their angels do always behold the face of his Father in Heaven?” (Matthew xviii. 10.)
We have not much to say of “ The British Magazine :" it professes altitudinarianism, and perhaps something more, if we may judge from a passage at p. 97. Speaking of the “Nonjurors,” they exclaim, “ Honoured and blessed for ever be their memory! They were shamefully exasperated by real injuries, and if they resented it by making a show of approximation to foreign modes of worship, and wrote and thought as unlike the men who ill-used them, and as much like Papists as their consciences allowed, is it to be wondered at? They were men-our own ancestors—not angels.” Verily, were they not! Far from it! We deny the whole showing. Honoured and blessed be their memory! Why? We will not say Amen to it! What we declared in our first Number, we will repeat in this : The Church of England, as by law established, will have nothing to do with the non-juring heresy, neither will we!
II. ART AND ANTIQUITY.
MANY readers of this Magazine must have both leisure and inclination to peruse Topographical books ; and some may venture on writing and publishing them. The volume above specified will prove of infinite service to persons who may be partial to and wish to prosecute this species of Literature. In it the author has given a sort of Grammar of Topography, and thus furnished the student with a guide and directory in a devious path, which many have dared to tread, but which few have explored with benefit to themselves and to others. Many rainly fancy that a little local reading, with local partialities, will qualify them to write histories of particular places ; but, though they may write and print on such vain-glorious presumption, they will be likely to produce error and disgrace in the result, unless they duly qualify themselves for their task. To write a sound, good, interesting and authentic topographical work, is an arduous undertaking, which many have essayed, but very few have accomplished.
Should there be a reader of “ The Christian's Monthly Magazine," who fancies the book above referred to is not adapted to the pages of
* An Essay on Topographical Literature: its Province, Attributes, and varied Utility; with Accounts of the Sources, Objects, and Uses of National and Local Records ; and Glossaries of Words used in Ancient Writings. By John Britton, F.A.S., &c. London: Printed for the Wiltshire Topographical Society, by Nichols & Son. 1843. (Fifty copies printed.)
this periodical, he can have but very imperfect acquaintance with the principles and compass of Topographical Literature. The history of every parish in Great Britain must necessarily and essentially embrace facts and elucidations of ecclesiastical and religious matters: the foundation, and endowment, and varied alterations in churches : their architectural and sculptural characteristics : their monumental memorials : the lives and deeds of clergymen who worshipped Omnipotence within their sacred walls, and who reaped honours and reverence for themselves by fulfilling their benign mission, by proclaiming sound doctrines, and by practising the amenities and charities of the good Christian pastor. The Church, with all its associations and dependancies, constitutes a leading, a most important feature in parochial history ; in many cases, indeed, almost the only object to give interest to its annals,
Mr. Britton, the author of the Essay here referred to, has been nearly half a century before the public, from the first appearance of his « Beauties of Wiltshire," and Beauties of England and Wales," in the year 1800, to the publication of this work in 1843. The titles and number of volumes he has produced in that period, demonstrate that he must have visited most parts of our island, and investigated the topography and antiquities of nearly all its counties, cities, and remarkable objects. It is equally apparent that he must have studied all the printed works accessible, as well as the most valuable MSS. and records whose evidence was essential to the history of certain places and antiquities. Thus disciplined and instructed, he has laid before the public the result in the “ Essay" above cited, and has thereby imparted to students in Topography a mass of useful information. This, however, is compressed into a small compass, in the volume before us, which, in the space of 66 closely printed quarto pages, embraces & review of the essential characteristics and utility of the science of Topography, with the opinions of several eminent authors on the subject. He also gives references to, and accounts of, the sources and authorities whence the most authentic information is to be obtained on local history and archæology; with an account of the origin and proceedings of the Record Commission and of its publications ; also glossaries of words used in the Domesday-Book and in other old writings.
The following text furnishes the theme of the Essay, and this is discussed and elucidated with much force and eloquence, not only in the author's own language, but in passages from the writings of the Reverend Thomas Warton (History of Kiddington), Gilbert White (History of Selborne), Dr. Whitaker (History of South Yorkshire), Joseph Hunter (History of Hallamshire), H. J. Todd (History of Ashdridge), Dr. Milner (History of Winchester), and from other eminent authors.
“If the study of Antiquities and Topography be judiciously pursued and tastefully directed, it tends to develope the fluctuations of science, art, and literature ; it carries the mind back to remote ages, and