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of our limited space, and refrain from further quotation, excepting in one instance, which must not be withheld. It is the summary of the very valuable observations on the second main division of the Epistle. It demands the most serious attention of those to whom the testimony of an able, learned, long-tried, consistent minister and servant of the living God is precious; and who can in any measure value a judicious, well-weighed, exegetical interpretation of a portion of revealed truth,
“Let us now then pause before we close this second main division of the whole epistle; and take a general and rapid view of the prodigious and almost incredible system of the Church of Rome, as expanded from the few false principles and acts which our apostles so vehemently condemned, in their first buddings, at Colosse.
“ It is Christianity paganized. This is the broad character of Romanism, and has been for twelve centuries and more. The foundation of this whole fabric is idolatry, the supercession of the worship of Christ as Mediator; and the putting the Virgin Mary and the saints in his stead. This is the abomination of desolation in that church.
“ This demonolatry brings in prayers for the dead, purgatory, indulgences, satisfactions, masses for the souls of the departed, veneration of relics, adoration of the host, the worship of images, religious visits to the tombs of martyrs.
"Then follow pilgrimages to celebrated churches of the Virgin, miracles wrought by her intercession, chapels dedicated to her honour, oblations made to her, and litanies, composed with endless names of the blasphemy, to her worship.
“ With this system of idolatry, like its pagan predecessor, are interwoven the power of a grasping priesthood, exactions for every spiritual service, benefactions and gifts for masses, donations of land to churches and monasteries, commutations of sins for money, absolutions purchased at a given price. Thus human vices are put under the protection of an infallible church.
“Of course, to effect all this, the Bible is withdrawn from the hands of the people; and, when read even with a license, its interpretation is governed by the fathers, tradition, and the pope. Thus the deeds of our heavenly inheritance being put aside, there is no obstacle to the demonolatrous forgeries of the priesthood. Prayers in an unknown tongue, the opus operatum of the sacraments, implicit faith, that is, a faith receiving blindfold all that the priest of an apostate church teaches, the perpetual miracle of transubstantiation, and the sacrifice of the mass for the quick and the dead, follow.
“ Justification before the tribunal of God, by the alone merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, was early disclaimed, and made way for man's deserts to be put in the place of the sacrifice of Christ. The merit of congruity and condignity was a corollary from this. The addition of five sacraments to the two instituted by the Lord, the denial of the cup to the laity, auricular confession to the priest, monastic vows, the merit of virginity, and the celibacy of the clergy, were effects of this system of human works and deservings.
" In the mean time, the authority of the priesthood, and of the bishops and priests, was by degrees subjected to the pope. The temporal dignity of the ten Roman kingdoms bowed to the ecclesiastical. They gave their power to the mystic wild beast,' as St. John had predicted. There he sat, and sits now, enthroned in the chair of blasphemy, styling himself the vicar of Christ, dispensing with the laws of God, imposing on the consciences of men whatever idolatries and superstitions he pleases; and proving himself to be the Antichrist by 'opposing and exalting himself above that is called God, or that is worshipped
“ To terrify men into obedience, at least an external obedience, the secular
arm was called in during all the dark ages (as it is now, where allowed), persecution cruelly inflicted, and the horrors of the inquisition with its prisons and chains and tortures let loose upon men. The blasphemous claim to infallibility; a temporal dominion in the papal states, extended in its pretences over Christendom, and the crafty defences of an earthly policy are thrown around the spiritual idolatry.
“ What more? Councils and synods, through a series of ignorant and superstitious ages, from the first council of Nice to those of the fifth Lateran and of Trent, that is, for more than twelve centuries, gradually sinking deeper and deeper in demonolatry, strengthened the papal usurpations; the second Nicene, in 787, establishing the worship of images, the fourth Lateran, in 1215, decreeing the extermination of heretics, and the synod of Trent, in 1545, embodying and confirming the whole accumulated mass of abominations.
“ To deck out this idolatry and superstition, every thing that attracts a . multitude ignorant of scripture, is multiplied; such as shows, pageants, music, incense, processions, gorgeous robes, endless variety of altars, chapels to saints, statues, images, meretricious splendour of churches. Gold and jewels dazzle the eyes, melodious sounds of music fall upon the ear, fragrant perfumes overpower the senses.
“But the Reformation burst out in the sixteenth century. To meet the shock of it, the Jesuits arose in 1534. They surrounded the papacy as a bodyguard. They devoted themselves to its defence by a special vow. They craftily adapted their measures to the necessity imposed by the revival of learning and the invention of printing. They seized the spiritual guidance of princes. They grasped at popular education. They worked their wily way by talent, learning, scholastic refinements, the Aristotelian philosophy, a yielding system of morals, art, chicane, policy, intrigue. And after a dissolution of their order for forty years, they contrived to obtain its re-establishment soon after the peace of 1814; and are now filling our colonies, our Indian empire, and our mission stations abroad, and every part of the British dominions at home, fed by the Propaganda societies in papal Europe.
“Every engine of Jesuitism was now set at work to turn aside the prophetic denunciations from papal Rome; and forged documents, and an organized literary policy corrupted all the sources of historical truth.
“Such is Popery, `as worked out from the few principles condemned by our apostle at Colosse ; and such is the system to which, with unutterable fatuity, our Tractarian divines have been so lamentably tending."-(pp. 327-330.)
It would not be easy to say, how highly we value this short and effective commentary upon an epistle, which was evidently intended to bear on those corruptions now rapidly spreading amongst us. We receive it with thankfulness, as a testamentary bequest of this venerable prelate on the eve of his departure to his distant diocese. May the blessing of the Divine Master, whom he heartily and faithfully serves, go with him, to strengthen the faltering step of age, to confirm to him the ripening wisdom of increasing years, and to make the setting testimony of his decline more bright, more energetic, more attractive, and yet more worthy of that cause for which he lives and dies. In the meantime, this written testimony cannot fall to the ground. While he lives, it is a light shining from the east even to the west. It is a well-considered, manly, and faithful call on others, who profess and call themselves
Christians, whether “ bishops or curates,” to weigh well the revealed truth of God, and the solemn importance of their position. It demands attention; and they who, in former days, yielded a reluctant but unavoidable attention to the testimony of Daniel Wilson in the Bartlett's Buildings and Lincoln's Inn-fields committee-room, have now on them the yet more incumbent duty of receiving rightly the witness of the same holy and faithful man, speaking from a metropolitan chair, as “Paul the aged.” Men may trifle, may disregard, may sophisticate; but after all, there the testimony stands; the responsibility remains; the light has shone; the servant of God has spoken; the honest appeal in consistency with the word of truth and the documental averments of the Church, has been made; let those who are not yet Romanist at heart, but who still entertain a prejudice against the doctrines of grace, look calmly at this valuable commentary, and trace there in its fair deductions, the probable result of shrinking from a full acceptance of the grace of Christ and the cordial and unequivocal approval of it which characterized our Reformers. They must choose between Bishop Wilson and Bishop Wiseman; between the commandments of God and the traditions of men ; between Romanism and Revelation.
It is true, that as an episcopal witness to the truth in our Church, this commentary does not stand alone. There are other productions from similar high quarters at home, which are identical with it in spirit and in truth. Few, however, that show the same full and masterly acquaintance with the “ depths of Satan” in the Romish controversy ; few that exbibit the same comprehensive grasp of the substance of revealed truth: For although, except in two or three instances of melancholy notoriety, the witness of bishops and archdeacons in their charges, has been against the Tractarian movement; and at all events has either visited them with explicit censure, or "condemned them with faint praise," or shrunk from them, as insincere allies always do in the crisis of the strife; yet after all, on what different ground the stand of opposition has generally been taken ; how little it has savoured of the cordial and unreserved approbation of Reformation-views : how little of a felt delight in the glory of Christ as a justifying Saviour, and in the happiness of his people as “complete in him.” Bishop Wilson himself accepts with great thankfulness the joint testimony of his mitred brethren. He says: “ Can it be wondered at, that the bishops and clergy of the Protestant Church of England, which was brought out from these superstitions and idolatries 300 years since by the martyred founders of our Reformation, should have taken alarm at the strong leaning towards 1846.
Rome for the last ten years or more in our tract divines ? or can we be thankful enough to God, for the condemnation, so far as it has gone, of this semi-popish party ?” So far as it has gone! yes, thankful as is the bishop, and thankful as we are, for the amount of that condemnation, it has not gone far enough! How often has an objection to the obliquity of Jesuitical argument and morals been neutralized by unqualified praise of scholarship and supposed piety; as if superior learning, even if it really existed, could compensate for, or insincerity consist with, true and vital religion. How often have the praise and the blame been balanced with anxious accuracy, so as not to turn the scale ! How often has it seemed, that the reproof was intended to pacify the people, while the bias was towards the thing reproved! "So far as it has gone,” it is a great mercy. But if it is to prevail, it must go much further. It is not enough, and the laity yet faithful to the Church will not feel it to be enough, while the witness against the Tractarians is barren and inert, but the tide of promotion runs in the channel of its chief adepts; and every “reach" of its stream passes by some old and faithful and wayworn disciple of Reformation-truth, and rolls its waters, rich with the golden sands of preferment, to some decorated chancel where Rome's impious and illegal altar rears its head! It is not enough, if the people shall see that the Established Church of the land is defended, not on the ground of its truth, but of its exclusiveness : and if dissidents from its communion are to be frightened into it by anathema, rather than won by the preaching of the truth; and if instead of looking to the cordial, and avowed, and longtried friends of evangelical doctrine the safety of the Church in all its prominent positions is to be confided to young and vehement men, who can descant with volubility on their love for the venerable establishment, on the hoary antiquity of certain usages, and on the horrors of dissent, and pour forth the cathedral intonation of our liturgy-stans pede in uno on the mathematical Tractarian line, between anglican orthodoxy, and Romish error !
We view with deep regret, many recent preferments as practically inconsistent with the apparent tendency of written testimony against Tractarianism; may we say, we tremble even for the metropolitan see of India ? We do not wish to dive into futurity; or to affect to know more than is avowed; but rumour whispers, that the valued life of the present prelate only stands in the way of an appointment which shall aim to nullify his evangelical labours of fifteen years by direct Tractarian tendencies, and to fill the newly-raised cathedral with all the superstitions and mummeries of the “Romanizing" sect. The most remote prospect of such a change is painful. However different have been the characters of those prelates that have successively filled the see of Calcutta, each having his excellence sui generis, they have all been sound and faithful members of the Reformed Church. Their testimony has been uniform and able against idolatry, and all its concomitant superstitions; and awful indeed will be the responsibility of those, if such there be, who could contemplate the introduction of a teaching that should in any measure compromise the bold and scriptural testimony of the Reformation. Such a step would not be only an adroit step towards the triumph of a party ; it would be to peril the cause of Christianity before the millions of India. It would be high treason to the King of kings! When the Romanist bishop exhibited his scenic ritual and decorated service to the scripturally-enlightened New Zealanders, who had but lately renounced their own idolatries, they met him and his performance with one answer, “ It is not in the book.” Let it be remembered, that scriptural light has been extending its influence for many years in India ; that the Scriptures have been largely circulated that the taste for superstitious vanities has been much shaken: and that it is very possible, if another order of teaching shall succeed that of our purely Protestant Bishops, Chaplains, and Missionaries, it may be met with that unanswerable objection : “ It is not in the book!”
And in fact, whether a move of such questionable policy shall be followed, either by success in the progress of a bastard and deteriorated religion, or by an infidel rejection of the whole, because of the accompanying adulteration,—the blame must lie in either case on those, whosoever they may be, who shall be so far unfaithful to their own subscriptions and protestations, as to recommend to the metropolitan chair of India, an advocate of those Tractarian errors which they have verbally condemned. Any appointment of such a character, made in the face of such verbal condemnation, is a crying evil, and carries the moral treason upon its front. But if there are those who can look with composure on such a successor to our present venerable champion for scriptural truth, and the wide ruin which the fostering of superstition there must entail, they must either be really blind to the tendency of their own purposes, or possessed of a far-sighted keenness of vision, combined with a hardness of resolution, not to be envied in any one.
We cannot take leave of our worthy friend and father in these pages,—we cannot contemplate his speedy departure from our shores, without thankfully casting a retrospective glance over his active, consistent, and valuable life, as a minister of Christ for four-and-forty years. As the successful aspirant for honours at