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to, says: "So worthy a part of Divine service we should greatly wrong, if we did not esteem preaching as the blessed ordinance of God; sermons as keys to the kingdom of heaven; as wings to the soul; as spurs to the good affections of man; unto the sound and healthy as food, as physic unto diseased minds: wherefore how highly soever it may please them with words of truth to extol sermons, they shall not herein offend us." No truly; for, as Hooker adds: "In this therefore preaching and reading [the Scriptures] are equal; that both are approved as God's ordinances, both assisted with his grace." Hooker, in his vindication of the ordinance of preaching, echoed the opinions of those two eminent prelates, Grindal and Whitgift, under whose archiepiscopal jurisdiction he exercised his sacred office. Grindal remonstrated vigorously with Queen Elizabeth, for the promotion of diligent parochial preaching. Her Majesty maintained that three or four preachers were sufficient for a county, and that the "exercises" or "prophesyings" which the Archbishop had encouraged were injurious to the Church; and she commanded him to abridge the list of preachers; but he declared to her Majesty that his conscience would not permit him to do so; and he also denied her warrant to interfere with the spiritualities of his office. "Public and continual preaching of God's word," said he, in one of his letters to the queen (Dec. 20, 1576), "is the ordinary mean and instrument of the salvation of mankind;" and so far from thinking that the "prophesyings," as they were called, were carried to an excess, he wished to see "godly preachers" pervading the whole land. Whitgift maintained that "the true preaching of the word is an essential note of the Church;" which is conformable to the doctrine of our nineteenth Article, that "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered."
May the Church of England never lose this glorious characteristic! It is justly entitled to the appellation of "a preaching Church;" and especially of late years. But there is some danger in the present day of efforts being made to obscure its lustre in this respect. Some among us do not scruple to express a sort of contempt for sermons; and if the opinions of such persons should prevail, preaching will be huddled into a corner; or be well nigh thrust out by an almost exclusive, and therefore disproportionate, attention to other parts of the ordinances of the Lord's house, and these protracted by choral service. The Acts of the Apostles, and the Apostolical Epistles, which exhibit to us what the Church of Christ was in its pristine days, and under the direct guidance of apostolical authority, set forth preaching in the most prominent light among the institutions of our holy faith. "Christ sent me not," says St. Paul, "to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel." "It is not reason," said St. Peter, "that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables." Assuredly then, if it should ever come to pass that the Church of England begins to cast preaching into the shade, its honour and its utility will have departed; and it will soon minister its offices amidst silent walls, it may be of quaint devices and imposing aspect, while the living worshippers will be found in crowded conventicles. It was through preaching, as God's instrument, and by His grace, that the nations were converted to the faith; it is through preaching that no small part of the believer's instruction and edification are carried on; and by preaching that the ignorant are taught, and the hardened reclaimed and Satan will have an advantage over us, if, for any reason whatever, however specious or
apparently sacred, the "preaching of Christ crucified," not merely sacramentally, but by the oral inculcation of the doctrines and duties of the Gospel in the congregation, fails to be upheld according to its Scriptural importance.
ON CO-OPERATION AMONG CHRISTIANS OF DIFFERENT
For the Christian Observer.
WE are not displeased at some friendly animadversions with which we have been favoured, respecting our remarks upon the practical difficulty of Christians of various denominations co-operating for the furtherance of religious objects. Our queries to Mr. Grinfield were in no unfriendly spirit; but as he intimated that for clergymen to deny themselves "the occasional privilege of hearing Mr. Hall" was a mark of" ecclesiastical prejudice,"it was but fair and amicable to ask our reverend brother whether there is not something due to consistency and example; something to honest views of scriptural truth, and even of due church discipline. The just celebrity of Robert Hall induced many clergymen whose views of ecclesiastical regularity were not in general lax, to attend his ministry, when occasion offered of so doing; but we think that most even of these would have reconsidered the subject before they arrived at "fifty sermons." And with regard to co-operation in religious undertakings, we see no occasion to change our opinion;-first, that Christians may and should rejoice in each others' works of faith and labours of love, even where conscientious considerations limit each body to those operations in which it can labour with unconstrained faith, hope, and confidence; secondly, that where conscience presents no serious impediment to practical union, the broadest basis is to be preferred; but thirdly, that, in point of fact, there are few religious objects-scarcely any one, it appears to us, except the circulation of the inspired word-in which various bodies of Christians can unite with the full tide of their affections, and in the healthy exercise of their spiritual understanding, so as for all to act with vigour, consistency, and assurance, without any unscriptural sacrifice. We simply state our sorrowful conviction. Would that experience testified otherwise! But we are told that experience does testify otherwise; and we are pointed to the liberal example of the Rev. T. Mortimer, and the cogent arguments of the Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel; the former as exhibited in a recent speech at the anniversary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and the latter at that of the City Missionary Society. There is so much to honour in the piety, zeal, and affection of both our indefatigable and eloquent friends, that there will remain no ordinary mass of excellence, even though something be subtracted on the ground that sound conclusions are not always co-extensive with good intentions. We are quite willing to quote their statements, and will do so.
The following is that part of Mr. Mortimer's address which bears upon the matters in question. We omit some other portions of his speech, with the same friendliness of intention which on a former occasion induced us to pass by his Cambridge apologetic sermon for Archbishop Laud. We then thought he oscillated too far one way, as we now think he has vibrated too far in the opposite direction; but believing him to be a sincere seeker after truth, we doubt not he will come right in the end. He said, in the address which has been sent to us :
"I did yesterday what I never did before,-what I have never done since I have been in holy orders, now more than a quarter of a century. But the high Tractarian men force us to come and declare our sentiments. We cannot help it. I went on Thursday to hear the President of the Conference at the Centenary-hall. I got between two windows, in order to be shaded from the light, thinking I should not be known; and when they began a good old Methodist hymn, it did my heart good, and I could not help singing it. When I got home, and told my children, they said, 'Papa, why did you not let us go with you?' I said, 'Well, we'll see.' Now, on Sunday I had two charity sermons at my own chapel, and I knew I should not be wanted in the morning, and I therefore went with my family to Queen-street Chapel, where the proceedings gave joy to my soul; and when I got home, my children said, 'Papa, our organ was nothing to their singing.' Now, don't take this for flattery. All that I hope for the Wesleyan Methodists is, that they will be true to those holy sainted men who have gone before them; all that I hope is that they will never become worldly-minded;-all I hope is, that they will remember those who, through faith and patience, now inherit the promises."
The above statement proves, what we have often remarked, that Tractarianism would cause a revulsion; that while it engendered in some men the bigotry of Rome, it would by its exaggerations repel others to an opposite extreme, and in the end cause confusion instead of scriptural order.
Mr. Noel's statement refers to matters which have been often considered in our pages, and upon which therefore we need not now repeat our opinion. We have the greatest possible repugnance to specifying difficulties in regard to anything that is good in itself, or good to a certain extent; but in laying down principles, the Christian is bound to follow that way in which he believes most good can be done, and with the least mixture of what is not good; and with no sacrifice of truth or conscience. Our reverend friend's phrase "denominational knowledge," may mean as much, or as little, as each man pleases. The Socinian would call the doctrine of the atonement "denominational (or sectarian) knowledge;" but we are not prepared to admit that in upholding episcopacy, or the dedication of children to Christ in Baptism, or in conscientiously adhering to the doctrines and discipline of the Anglican Church, we are acting as sectaries and schismatics. But we will not withhold Mr. Noel's argument.
"I wish explicitly to declare, that religion may exist, and religious instruction be carried to a very high extent, where denominational knowledge is excluded. We have a diversified and large experience, proving that it may be so. The Religious Tract Society has done as much as almost any institution in this country to diffuse sound religious knowledge throughout our population, and that Society has systematically and constitutionally excluded denominational instruction. It has been thought, while this might be done carefully in books, it could not be done by a living instructor, without the danger of constant collision. But it has been done. The London City Mission is at this time doing as great a work for the instruction of the most neglected and the least instructed portion of the population of this metropolis as any other institution whatever; and its agents have conducted its operations with constant fidelity to the principles it has avowed, giving all that knowledge which abounds in the Book of God, to which there is reiterated reference in that book, and which is calculated to make us wise unto salvation; while they have systematically excluded denominational knowledge. If, then, religion does not consist in that knowledge, but, on the other hand, may be communicated and diffused without it, then we may apply this doctrine to the formation and maintenance of schools; and in schools, all the religion that is needed, to make a creature wise for eternity, and happy for time, preparing him to fulfil his duty to his Creator, his neighbour, and his family, may be taught where denominational instruction is excluded."
There is another particular which has been pressed upon us; namely, that we have been corrupted by the contagion of Tractarianism, so as, perhaps unconsciously, to urge points of ecclesiastical discipline more
strongly than we were wont to do. This is altogether a mistake. Our pages are at present precisely what from the first they have been in reference to the questions under consideration; or, if there be any shade of difference, it is that our recoil from bigotry makes us more tender in touching upon non-essential subjects of controversy among the true followers of our common Lord. In our earlier Volumes, the questions between Churchmen and Dissenters of various classes were largely treated of; and one of the leading objects of our work was to shew the value and spiritual utility of the Church of England, both as a religious communion and a national establishment; and to counteract that laxity in regard to ecclesiastical discipline which at that time prevailed among some good men professedly of her communion. It is declared in the preface to our very first Volume, that "It will be found on examination, and we challenge the inquiry, that the Christian Observer has defended the doctrines and enforced the discipline of the Established Church ;" and it is added, "Dissenters have charged us with being bigotted persecuting Churchmen, and have not only treated us as adversaries of the Dissenting interest, but as the enemies of Christianity itself." It is clear, then, that the Oxford Tracts have nothing to do with our advocacy of Church principles and ecclesiastical regularity; for the tone of our work has been uniform in regard to these important matters; though we are not surprised that in consequence of the disgust caused by those obnoxious publications, much jealousy has sprung up, so that a firm and consistent adhesion to church principles, however blended with charity and candour, has come to be popularly stigmatised as Tractarianism. Is it necessary that a clergyman should attend the Baptist or Wesleyan chapel in his parish, in order, as our friend Mr. Mortimer says, declare his sentiments," and to shew that he does not consign his Dissenting or Methodist brethren to the uncovenanted mercies of God?
We have been forced upon these remarks, by some friendly but rather keen remonstrances which have reached us, to the effect that "these are not times in which evangelical men should stand upon ecclesiastical differences; or seek to engross national religious instruction either in churches or schools, for one favoured sect." We have now delivered our souls; and have no wish to return to the subject.
While writing these remarks, the Life of the late Lord Teignmouth, by his Son, has reached us; and in cutting open the volumes our eye glanced at a passage which we will quote, as shewing that in the opinions which we have expressed we are sanctioned by this venerable man, whose bland and catholic spirit did not prevent his carefully abstaining from acts of ecclesiastical irregularity. Lord Teignmouth was a correspondent in our early Volumes; and in later years we had occasionally the benefit of his judicious counsel. His son, the worthy inheritor of his title, after stating that "In the years 1803 and 1804 Lord Teignmouth's pen was much employed in supplying articles to the Christian Observer," and giving extracts from those papers adds :
"It is gratifying to perceive in Lord Teignmouth's writings at this time his confirmed attachment to the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England, the result no less of his observation of the practical effects of the Establishment than of study. For so little had he enjoyed the opportunity of seeing the theory of an Establishment practically exemplified in India, that when he arrived in England, (in 1799) he scarcely knew, as he acknowledged, the difference between Church and Dissent. When in Exmouth, the year after his return, he was in the habit of attending the Service of the Church in the morning, and that of a Presbyterian place of worship in the afternoon. His views had since altered: and he would never be induced, by curiosity or by any other motive, to enter the threshold of any
place of worship not belonging to the Establishment. An instance of his steadfast adherence to his principle occurred on the occasion of the celebrated Robert Hall preaching at Clapham. Neither his own curiosity nor the seductive example of his friends could induce him to be present. And he assigned, as one reason of resisting the temptation, that his resorting to a place of worship not belonging to the Establishment, where sound doctrine might be delivered, might induce his servants, or others whom his influence might affect, to follow preachers in whom that essential quality was wanting."
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
GARBETT'S BAMPTON LECTURES.
Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King; being a Vindication of the Church of England from Theological Novelties: in Eight Lectures, preached before the University of Oxford, at Canon Bampton's Lecture, 1832. By JAMES GARBETT, M. A., Rector of Clayton, Sussex, and Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford. 2 vols. 8vo.
THE publicity connected with Mr. Garbett's name last year, in consequence of the discussions respecting the Poetry Professorship at Oxford, excited much attention to his Bampton Lectures; for though the chair which he occupies is not that of theology, yet theological considerations had much to do with his election to it; and not without reason; for the friends, as well as the opponents, of his competitor, Mr. Williams, affirmed, and with great justice, that poetry, in its large sense, may be made a powerful auxiliary to divinity; and we well know how skilfully the Church of Rome has enlisted in her service the poetry of painting, the poetry of music, the poetry of architecture; whatever is etherial and imaginative, whatever partakes of the character of poetry; not confining the term to heart-stirring breathings of spirit expressed in words or modulated in rhythm. Mr. Williams desired to follow Mr. Keble, in employing poesy to charm England into those dreamy mystic views which some are wont to call "the Catholic system." It is no disparagement to him to say that "The Cathedral" is not as tender, as beautiful, as lovely, as
æolian in its tones, or as thrilling in its imaginings, as "The Christian Year;" for he might fall far short of the poetical excellence of Mr. Keble, and yet be a wellgifted bard; and still more, an enthusiastic admirer of poetry, and a good critic and lecturer. It would be unjust to say that he was not in these respects fairly qualified for the office to which he aspired. But if he followed Mr. Keble in the mystical character of his poetry, he improved upon his model; for when the "Christian Year" was published, the minds of professed members of the Church of England had not been prepared for those fuller developments of the mystic system, which the author of the tracts on "Reserve" found himself at liberty to communicate. Those tracts were a comment upon "The Cathedral;" and hence the contest for the Poetry professorship assumed, as we said, a theological bearing. The opinions entertained by the Tractarians, all parties knew, were not of a dormant or neutral character; they could not fail to affect the whole stream of a Poetry professor's prelections; for a thorougly-convinced honest enthusiast -may we say, without offence,