« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
“incomparable liturgy," we are aware many things might be improved. But once accustom the public inind to the idea of alteration, who can answer that it may not take a turn the very contrary to what we wish ?
For others are anxious for alterations. The puritan spirit com- . pelled at last to acknowledge the Prayer Book is against it, replies “so much the worse for the Prayer Book," and the whole party in their hatred of Catholic truth, run the great risk of being made the tools of the rationalizing Germanizing spirit which is abroad, in eliminating all dogmatic and sacramental teaching from its pages. Once reniove us, rationalism will make short work with puritanism. But ever short-sighted, and unable to see beyond their present supposed gain, the leaders of the puritan faction, are fast becoming familiarized with the idea of revision, and after a proper amount of coquetting with the notion, will, ere long, heartily embrace it. Then will come the struggle. If we meet it, united, determined, taking a resolute stand upon “the old paths" and refusing to surrender “the heritage of our fathers,” we shall be able to appeal to principles yet powerful with Englishmen, and by God's help win the day. But if we have each “his own psalm and his own prophecy;" this man with this scheme and the other with that, if the people see all the clergy anxious for some change, and have to choose between two schemes of revision; there can be little doubt. they will accept that which proclaims itself “Protestant," and we shall be hoist with our own petard.” And let no one imagine that the danger is imaginary. There are associations formed for the purpose of effecting, and newspapers which advocate, the revision of the Prayer Book on Protestant principles. There is reason for suspecting one of the highest personages in the realm sympathizes with the movement. The Primate cannot be depended upon. He is notoriously too weak to bear up against any popular clamour if strongly urged ; to say nothing of pressure from other quarters, which it were not perhaps decorous to mention by name. There is no barrier to parliament dealing with the matter; let an address to the Crown, from the lower House, be followed by a packed commission, and its decision ratified by an Act; the mischief is done. Of one thing we may be quite sure; if ever a government finds itself strong enough to attempt it, it will be quite strong enough to ignore convocation entirely. We must not place any reliance there. Our safety, humanly speaking, -is in the probable weakness of Government. But this is a poor consolation. Our best hope is in the memory of the past, and the .confident belief that God has not preserved our Church so long to destroy her now, when new prospects seem opening to her, and her position in Christendom more distinctly brought out. And for ourselves our clear duty is to be united in rallying round our Prayer Book as it is. There is in it a greater power of adaptation to present necessity than is generally supposed. An enlarged
liberal construction of its rubrics places much power in the hands of the clergy, more in those of the bishops, to meet new wants as they arise. Let us make up our minds to suffer loss, to be content with less than we desire, rather than have the Prayer Book altered. Ere long we shall (we are morally convinced) have to fight for its very being, and on the issue of that battle, every thing depends. If we lose that, we lose all. When the Malakhoff was taken, Sebastopol fell.
REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
Everley : a Tale.
London : Masters.
This volume is, in many respects, just the sort of work which we are glad to see published in the present day: it is eminently practical, and teaches the application of Church principles to the trials and duties of home life-to the government of the temper and the employment of the time. Now this is really what we require; for one of the great erils of our present condition is the vague and unreal manner in which people hold the truths which they profess; they make of them no living principle within their hearts—no essential part of their very being, but a mere doctrinal conviction, which too often melts away
before the power of expediency or the love of ease. Now this “Everley" certainly tries to counteract. So far as it goes, it is thoroughly real, and, withal, an attractive and interesting tale. We can easily gather, from the faults of style, &c., that the author is somewhat inexperienced in the art of composition; and we must therefore trust that she will (the sex is undoubted) take our criticisms in the friendly spirit in which they are offered. One highly ungrammatical expression meets us alınost in every page-"I do not wish to”—“She was very unwilling to :" also, it is surely in America that she learned to talk of “the fals” instead of the autumn; but these are trifles compared to one graver fault, which
1; we must notice. The first part of the work is unex eptionable ; in the second, the pattern priest falls in love with the pattern heroine, and marries her. This conclusion, setting aside the question of a married or celibate clergy, in our judgment, mars the usefulness of the whole.
We do not quite understand for whose benefit Dr. Kay has published his Essay on the Promises of Christianity. (J. H. Parker.) Viewed as detached thoughts for a Missionary Journal at Calcutta, (for which Dr. Kay originally wrote) they had sufficient suitableness, and would doubtless be acceptable to many readers. But collected into the form of an Essay, although showing great piety and a wide range of reading, these pages seem rather to lack point. They touch, however, very appositely upon some of the dangers of modern society, especially upon those arising from the theories of the “Secularists," whom Mr. Horace Mann somewhat strangely has converted into a religious sect.
Mr. Monro has published another little Tale, (Midsummer Eve : Masters) which for touchingness is not surpassed by any of his previous popular works.
Mr. POLEHAMPTON has published two useful and right-minded Sermons (Rivingtons) on a subject which is engaging a good deal of attention at the present moment, namely, the method of reforming Juvenile Delinquents. For ourselves we cannot anticipate much success from these well-meant efforts. The religious element, we are persuaded, must be more systematically developed than the originators of these schemes are willing to believe or allow. At present we have not the system nor the men to work them. It is well, however, that people should be feeling after better things.
In connection with these remarks, we may mention a Report of the Finchley Industrial Schools. It is published by Mr. Masters.
From the same Publisher we have also several small Books, having for their object the amelioration of the condition of our poor, namely, two, edited by Mr. NEWLAND, and entitled Cottage Economy and Village Clubs : and one on the Management of Children, by Miss GEORGINA COUPER, and edited by the Dean of Windsor. They are all praiseworthy productions.
Mr. FREDERICK FABER has published what he is pleased to call An Essay on Catholic Home Missions. (Richardson.) În reality they
some very random thoughts, put together, we should imagine, originally to amuse some popular Society, and now published with a view of influencing some of that weak-minded class who are disposed to believe everything that a Roman Catholic chooses to say. Mr. Faber assumes that the charge brought against the Roman Church is her great pliability, and sometimes grotesque importunity in the contest against sin. The assumption, doubtless, is convenient. The real charge is precisely the opposite of this. What we actually allege is, that when let alone, her disposition is to do nothing. And we will suggest, that when Mr. Faber is disposed to write a real Essay, he should undertake to account for the fact that in Spain and Italy, and France, with all the means and appliances at hand, enjoying the full support of the State, the Church has permitted the mass of the people to lapse into infidelity. In Ireland there may be some excuse for her failure : in the other countries referred to there is none : and even in England, it is beyond dispute that the most degraded and brutalized part of the population is that which is in communion with Rome. If by mountebank preachers, or by any other means whatsoever, he will make this population virtuous and Christian, Mr. Faber will certainly receive no ridicule from us.
Poems by Arthur M. MORGAN, (Saunders and Otley,) contain some very pretty melodious poetry, and bear occasional tokens of a Catholic spirit in the writer. Mr. Morgan follows the lead of the Laureate, and rather needlessly stimulates the war sentiment.
Hymns following the Course of the Christian Seasons, with Prayers for use of Sunday Schools, (Mozleys,) have originated, the compiler tells us, in a felt want, and they seem to supply the want with very fair
The hymns are eminently “cheerful.”
THE OPERATION OF THE HOLY GHOST.
In the revival of theological studies, and—using the term reverently-of theological science, by which our times have been so strikingly characterized, it gives cause for some surprise that so little has been done towards drawing into a definite and scientific form that part of the Christian Faith which is especially connected with the work of the Third Person in the Blessed TRINITY. After casting over in our mind the many valuable accessions to his library which the student of theology has received during the last twenty-five years, we cannot remember any to which he may be referred as containing a clear and complete statement of the work which God the Holy Ghost is ever accomplishing in the salvation of men. In the course of several generations preceding our own, divines were led to a careful and elaborate study of the evidences,—not so much of Christianity as generally stated, but-of a supernatural being and probation; and although many of the works then written may seem, in our eyes, to be themselves want. ing in the vital principles of the Faith, it can hardly be doubted that they were the first steps in that regular cycle of sound Christian science, in which, by the Providence of God, our own age has made a much further advance. With the earliest progress of what is called "modern civilization," and which may be understood better if called the diffusion of commerce and luxury, there arose a tendency in the English mind to disbelieve the very first principles of religion ; and whatever may have been the origin of this tendency, whether the neglect of ceremonial religion, or the grievous breaches of unity arising out of political disturbance, it seems certain that a Paley, no less than a Butler, were God's instruments in stemming the tide of popular unbelief; and that they laid a sure basis of argument respecting the First Person in the Holy Trinity and His providential dealings with men, which was suited for the age in which they wrote, and is still of great use in our controversy with a heathenish philosophy. And if the study of the evidences formed the first portion of one of those cycles in which all thought and action move, so the second has been constructed in our own day by the elucidation of that essential Truth of Christianity, the doctrine of the Incarnation. We have seen,ếor rather we are now witnessing, for the result is far from being so universal at present, as to be put in the past tensethe Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist clearly set forth ; and drawn, as it were, from under that mass of depraved teaching which has so long obscured the glorious light of the English Church. And the course of theological research has been so full and rapid, that no student of the divine science can
VOL. XVII.-DECEMBER, 1855.
now be unacquainted with such a series of compendious treatises as will form a library of most useful guide books to the Patristic system. The natural result of all this is, that the tone of Church teaching has become more definite in every quarter, its doctrine more consistent, its ethics more spiritual ; and only the strong interests of party bias can now find any large number of readers for books which profess to treat of religion, and are yet written by men ignorant of the principles of Christianity.
But the cycle is not yet complete. For no author of any great learning has made a competent attempt hitherto, to fix the standard of orthodox Scripture teaching respecting the operations of the Holy Ghost, and thus to set at rest those many questions which under various phases have formed the grounds of the controversy between Puritanism and the Church ever since the Reformation. We might, perhaps, except the late Archdeacon Hare, as far as the attempt goes; but no one will think of looking on the “Mission of the Comforter," as filling any really conspicuous place in the technical theology of our day: for while that very discursive book contains a great amount of original thought, and a larger amount still of borrowed Germanism, the reader may toil through sermons and notes without attaining any clear, condensed notion of even the author's own opinions. It is not, however, our present object to offer
any criticism of a work which has long since reached its legitimate level in the scale of English theology, and we only allude to it for the sake of expressing our opinion that the only work treating of this subject which has attracted any considerable attention, has failed in any adequate degree to satisfy the requirements of the day.
Nor, failing our own times, can we fall back upon any sufficient treatise of the last century, or the one preceding. Bishop Warburton indeed,—at a time when if ever such a treatise was called for, it was then, when Wesley and Whitfield were reviving the follies and self-conceits of Puritanism,-wrote a small work entitled “The Doctrine of Grace, or the Office and Operations of the Holy SPIRIT, vindicated from the insults of Infidelity, and the Abuses of Fanaticism,” which was long looked upon as authoritative; but there is very little theology in this strange book; and what little there is, reduces the present work of the Holy SPIRIT to a mere influence exerted through the Scriptures; a singularly blank result for so great a controversialist to arrive at. Beside Warburton, we know not whether any great writer has taken up the subject in a separate treatise; and of the many volumes of sermons, which might be supposed in some degree to supply the want of a more condensed essay, we know none which come near the mark of our modern theological study.
What comes nearest to the work that we are desiderating, is a Manual for Confirmation in the “Churchman's Library,” entitled