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BRYANT, whose songs are thoughts that bless

The heart, its teachers and its joy,
As mothers blend with their caress
Lessons of truth and gentleness

And virtue for the listening boy.
Spring's lovelier flowers for many a day
Have blossomed on his wandering way,
Beings of beauty and decay,

They slumber in their autumn tomb;
But those that graced his own Green River

And wreathed the lattice of his home,

Charmed by his song from mortal doom
Bloom on, and will bloom on for ever.
And HALLECK,—who has made thy roof
St. Tammany! oblivion proof-
Thy beer illustrious, and thee
A belted Knight of chivalry :
And changed thy dome of painted bricks,
And porter casks and politics

Into a green Arcadian vale,
With Stephen Allen for its lark,
Ben Bailey's voice its watch-dog's bark

And John Targee its nightingale. It is now almost fifty years since Mr. Halleck was first known among us. And it is matter of regret, that of his many idyls and other vaticinations, there are scarce any which possess either mass or weight enough to ballast them on a voyage of

any length to after times. Still more regretful is it that those of finest tissue and most delicate conceit, will be found least capable of preservation through the journey. The lines “to Wyoming,” to the “Wild Rose of Alloway,' and to “ Alnwick Castle,' possessing as they do all the raciness of the author's genius, and his peculiar characteristics of expression, will, we fear, have less chance of lasting fame, than some other productions of more bulk and less merit. It should be the prime duty of every man of genius, to choose some great subject upon which his powers might empty themselves without waste. And albeit we have dread that the age of Epics is past, and that poetry, like politics, must hereafter be made only for immediate consumption, still we are not altogether hopeless that there is yet waste ground in the realms of fancy, whence we may have fresh crops of celestial fruitage that will last for


But if the race of poets fail, we are now at least sure of this, that there will never again be any dearth of American critics. The Article in the American Monthly for February, to which we have referred, is satisfactory on this point, though we could have wished it to have been written with less irony and more discrimination. It is security that the poets of the country, like the Scottish archers of King Louis' guard, have the privilege of being hanged alone, by Sandie Wilson, the auld marshalsman of their ain body. In other words, that they can never again be visited with more severe censure on the other side of the water than they may expect to receive on this.

Bh. I. a


In the discussions which have arisen on this important topic, we notice two heads of objection which deserve a careful consideration. The first, is lack of Primitive precedent; the second, tendency to Papal consolidation. Could either of these objections be sustained, we might well look on the “Provincial System,” as it is called, with a good deal of suspicion. Could both be substantiated, it must be abandoned and condemned. We propose to examine these two heads with some minuteness of detail.

Before, however, we proceed to these details, let us follow the sound old rule, and define our terms. What is the “Provincial System ?" We confess to no small dislike of the name; but everything now-a-days is a System or an Institution. So the name, we suppose, must pass. The “Provincial System," then, is a union or combination of several Dioceses, for convenience and efficiency of ecclesiastical legislation and administration. So soon as any number of Dioceses are thus combined or united, -whether they have spread out from one centre, as in the earlier days, or aggregated themselves together, as in our own Church, matters not,—the principle of the “Provincial System” is adopted, and all that remains to be discussed is its details.

So it is with ourselves. By uniting in a General Convention, with a Presiding Bishop, we have adopted the Provincial principle ; and the real question before us to-day, is, simply, whether we will continue one enormous, overgrown Province, or will modify our present cumbrous development of the principle, and have more Provinces than one. Our Presiding Bishop is, to all intents and purposes, a Metropolitan ; unless, indeed, those who are afraid of the “Provincial System,” choose, rather, to call him a Patriarch. This ought to be distinctly understood. We are not called on, to-day, to consider whether we will or will not adopt the Provincial principle ;

we have adopted it, and have been acting on it since 1789. But we are to consider, whether we will stop with it where we are, or carry it out further. We are to inquire which is most in accordance with Primitive usage, which looks least like Popery, one overgrown Province, more extensive, territorially, than all Primitive Christendom, with a Bishop at its head, called a Presiding Bishop, and, therefore, innocently supposed to have no Metropolitical character ; or a number of Provinces, balancing each other, with a Presiding Bishop over each,-called what you please. We are much mistaken if, when the real question is grasped, the common sense of Clergy and Laity does not speedily answer it.

We proceed then, first, to inquire whether the Ante-Nicene testimony favors our present development of the Provincial principle, or that which is now termed the “Provincial System.” To scholars, this question is simply ridiculous; and risu solvuntur tabulæ will express their answer. Still, the testimony is well worth examining.

We begin with the testimony of the Nicene Council itself, and will ascend from it towards the Apostolic age.

The sixth Canon reads:

“Let the ancient customs [Tà ápxaia ton] be maintained, which are in Egypt and Libya and Pentapolis. according to which the Bishop of Alexandria has authority over all those places. For this is also customary to the Bishop of Rome. In like manner in Antioch, and in the other Provinces, the privileges are to be preserved to the churches. But this is clearly to be understood, that if any one be made a Bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod declares that he shall not be a Bishop. If, however, two or three Bishops shall, from private contention, oppose the common choice of all the others, it being a reasonable one, and made according to the Ecclesiastical Canons, let the choice of the majority hold good."*

The immediate occasion of the Canon is to be found, doubtless, in the Meletian schism. The details of that difficulty are of no moment to our present inquiry, except that they involved an interference with ancient rights of the Bishop of Alexandria which, in this Canon, are protected and confirmed. The same rights, too, are confirmed to Antioch and Rome, and men

* Hammond's Translation.

tion is made of other Provinces." The word translated provinces is inapxiais; and we are aware of no other ecclesiastical signification of knapxía than that which Suicer gives, provincia quæ subest metropolitano.

And now we ask attention to the clear and cogent argument of Bishop Beveridge.†

“In these words nothing new is decreed; but those ancient privileges which certain Churches had obtained before the memory of men, are simply confirmed by the authority of the Ecumenical Synod; whence it clearly appears that the Churches of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and some others, had their own rights and privileges granted to them, long anterior to this first General Council. We need no other proof of this, than that which is afforded by this very Canon of the Nicene Fathers, in that it attributed certain privileges,—which it also calls ancient,—to certain Churches over others. Nor does it matter that these privileges are spoken of as ion, so long as they are also termed upzuia. For, as Ulpian says, 'a long-continued custom is wont to be observed as right and law in matters which are not written.' (Pro jure et lege in his que non ex scripto descendunt.] · Wherefore, since the customs mentioned by the Nicene Fathers were ancient and of long continuance, they were rightly confirmed by them, and that under the very name of ancient customs; so that all might know that they were introducing no novelties into the Church, nor asserting for any Churches any other privileges than those wbich their ancestors had granted them.”

The special privilege or right of the Bishop of Alexandria, which had been violated in the Meletian schism, (and therefore the one confirmed to him and the other Bishops, named or alluded to in the Canon,) was the right of giving or withholding consent to the consecration of a Bishop within his Province, causing, if such consent were not given, the consecration to be uncanonical, schismatic, and null. So that, to quote again from Beveridge :

“Since among the ancient customs this is reckoned one, that the Bishop of Alexandria, and the other Metropolitans, shall have power, each in his own province, so that without their consent no Bishop can be canonically ordained, it cannot be doubted that many years before this Synod, in every nation or province, there was one Bishop who was called the first, and who, in some way, presided over the others.”

* Suicer's Thesaurus on the work. + Beveridge's Codex Can. Eccl. Prim. Illustrata, C. v. de Metropolitanis. Sec. i. | As above, De Metropolitanis. Sec. ii. & More of this word nation further on. VOL. XVII.


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