Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Observer, Oct. 1, '71.

11. That until 1274 tithes were only free-will offerings. In this year the council of Lyons decreed it to be no longer lawful to pay tithe where they pleased, but only to Mother Church; and in 1560 Pius IV., at the Council of Trent, confirmed tithes as due by Divine right.

12. That in 1600, after forty years of censures and excommunications, the right of prescription was set up, and all now went to the clergy.

The same history applies to tithes in England. In 795 Offa, King of Mercia, caused tithes in his own dominions to be due by right, which before were only free-will offerings, in return to the Pope for his pardon of the murder of Ethelbert, King of the East Angles; and in 855 the clergy persuaded Ethelwolf to extend this to the whole of the kingdom, though the poor were still supported, and the option as to the place of payment remained.

Pope Innocent's decree sent to King John ordered every man to pay tithe to those who administered spiritual help in his own parish, and by setting up ecclesiastical courts, and thundering his interdicts, he frightened both king and people into acquiescence.

An act of Henry VIII. fully confirmed tithes as "due to God and holy Church;" but he seized the Church property, sold most of it, founded six bishoprics, and bestowed some of the tithes on his favourites-hence the present lay impropriations.

Tithes were given to Papists up to 1538, then to Protestants for fifteen years, until Queen Mary's reign, when the Papists had them again for five years; at Elizabeth's succession, 1558, and for eighty-eight years, they were given to Protesants.

At the Commonwealth they passed to the Presbyterians, and then to the Independents, many thinking they had better have been extinguished altogether.

Charles II. again restored them in 1660, and now for above 200 years they have been paid to Protestant Episcopalian ministers.

In 1836 tithes were commuted to a fixed rent-charge in money. Government or Parliament has thus exercised an absolute authority in dealing with tithes, applying them to different purposes, introducing new principles, altering the amounts, and abolishing them altogether, and can again exercise a similar authority in any way that may seem best.

Thus tithes may be regarded on the same basis as would be a national poor or other rate, fixed in amount.

Parliament has laid this rate for a certain purpose, and if the need has disappeared, or it be desirable to apply the amount to other objects, Parliament can either extinguish the claim or divert the fund.

LETTER FROM GERMANY.

[WE take the following from a letter which appears in the Journal and Messenger under the above heading :]

"An incident scarcely less significant than Victor Emmanuel's entry into Rome has recently occurred in Bavaria. Formerly, the King, all the Court, the Ministers, and other high State functionaries, followed the Corpus Christi procession; this year His Majesty informed the episcopal ordinary that he not only would not take part in the procession in person, but that he would not even be represented. The astonishment of the clergy at receiving this unexpected information can better be imagined than described.

Observer, Oct. 1, '71.

"This withdrawal of the King from such marked ceremonies, and the annulling, thereby, of a custom so prominent in the State's history, is considered by the general public as an event of great importance, and as one calculated to put an end to Catholic sway in the country. The young sovereign is a firm supporter of the anti-infallibilistic movement, and the probabilities are that he will marry a Protestant princess despite the repeated fulminations of his Holiness.

"Serious polemics are now in progress between the Catholic press and the official organs in this city.

"The German Government complained to the Pope of the ill-conduct of Catholic members in the Parliament. In due time the Imperial Chancellor was informed, and simultaneously announced that the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli personally disapproved of the anti-national course taken by the Catholic leaders. The chief of the party, the Bishop of Mayence, contested this announcement by publishing a letter addressed to him by the Cardinal, and in which the Secretary of State denies having ever disapproved of the religious tendencies of the Catholics in the Parliament.

"As you will at once see, this is but a Jesuitical distinction. Bismarck has branded the political attitude of the Catholic members; Cardinal Antonelli has not disapproved of the good will and efforts of the Catholics for the Papacy.

"Bismarck is not double-faced, and, if our information be correct, he will soon show these Judas-like gentlemen that it makes no difference whatever to Germany whether Cardinal Antonelli and his master encourage or blame representatives of the nation who forget their German citizenship to constitute themselves allies of the Holy See.

"As for the Prussian Government, it has taken a firm stand against the growing pretensions of the Catholic clergy and the introduction of religious doctrines elaborated at Rome. A professor who had charge of the theological department in the Catholic College of Bruansberg, having failed to conform his teachings to the dogma of infallibility, the Bishop of Ermeland, after having suspended the professor, requested the Government to make him retract his teachings, or at least, to remove him. The Minister of Public Instruction, Her Von Muhler, informed the prelate that he had gone beyond what was in his power to do when he suspended the said professor, and that the Government would sustain him (the professor) in the enjoyment of his office and the exercises of his functions, and that he would not even consent to transferring him to another destination.

"The minister adds, that as religious instruction is obligatory, the Catholic students will not be excused from following the course thereof. The Bishop having tried to support his request by stating that the Braunsberg College was founded by Catholics, Her Von Muhler coolly replied that the foundation of the institution was prior to last year's decree of the Council.

"Two more similar cases have taken place in other parts of the country.

"To be brief, here is an incident which pretty accurately illustrates the present phase of the reformatory movement now progressing in all parts of Europe. A few days since Prof. Zeuger, of the University of Munich, lay at the point of death, and was refused the last sacraments by the orthodox clergy because he would not retract his adhesion to the anti-infallibilistic doctrines of Doellinger. But one of his colleagues, Dr. Frederich, a priest who, like Doellinger, and for the same reason, has

Observer, Oct. 1, '71.

been excommunicated, administered the last sacraments to the dying prelate and officiated at the funeral on the following day, as if Rome had never breathed a word of disapproval regarding his conduct, and his ecclesiastical rights and privileges had never been touched. An enormous multitude, headed by the burgomaster, and all the notabilities of the capital, attended the obsequies.

"This event, naturally, is making a great stir in the Catholic circles of Germany, and if the opposition to Ultramontanism, of which it is an unmistakeable proof, holds out and develops as it now seems to promise, the infallible resolutions of the infallible Ecumenical Council will infallibly force the infallible church into a schism whose consequences cannot but prove infallibily disastrous." Apostolic Times.

AUSTRIA AND GERMANY.

AUSTRIA has no intention of being left behind in the onward march to ward perfect liberty. Among the signs of better days in that once retrogressive empire not the least encouraging is a congress of 2,000 school-teachers recently held at Linz. The governor of the province of upper Austria presided, and announced that the Government continued to be animated by a progressive spirit in educational matters, and that it would never permit retrogression. This struck the key-note of the congress, and was a death-knell to the unreasonable hopes of the clerical party. Yet more emphatic was Herr Hein, of Vienna, who contented that the religious instruction given in day-schools should not touch upon dogmas or differences of creed. It was resolved-(1.) The teaching of religion according to creed is opposed to the fundamental principle of popular education. (2.) Religious education should develop as simply and spiritually as possible the knowledge of the orginal source of existence by means of science and history.. (3.) The teaching of morality should proceed by example as well as by precept. (4.) It being admitted that the teaching of religion and morality is irrespective of creed, the necessity for an ecclesiastical teacher of religion in national schools disappears. And thus Catholic Austria decisively declares against denominational day-school education. congress at Linz holds that the national, excludes the denominational. We wish Mr. Forster could have been present at this congress. The radical M.P. for Bradford and the son of a Quaker might have learnt what popular education really is from the Governor of Upper Austria. Evidently Mr. Forster would not be tolerated in Vienna. The wonder is that a party, three-fourths or five-sixths of which are Nonconformists, permit him to remain in office as a member of a Liberal Government. Bishop Fraser, too, who thinks that the Church Catechism ought to be taught in Stateaided schools, is not so liberal as Liberal Catholics in Austria. The editor of the Spectator, and even our good friend Dr. Green, of Rawdon College, is not so far advanced in educational matters as Herr Hein and the school teachers of Austria. If England fails to move forward, she will be compelled to follow in the wake of Austria, or to share with the Pope and his Cardinals the questionable distinction of preferring sectarian to national education.

The

The second Reformation in Germany is making head. Bavaria, long halting between two opinions, has at last declared against Baal and his priests. The King and his Government have intimated to the Archbishop of Munich their determination to protect Dr. Döllinger and his fellow protesters from the pains and penalties denounced against them. Not

Observer, Oct. 1, '71.

Should

withstanding this warning, and though the civil authorities disallow the claim of the Pope to Infallibility, the Archbishop and his subordinates have published the encyclical letter of the Pontiff. The situation is interesting. Whether the ecclesiastical dignitaries will dare to carry their threats against the Reformers into execution, remains to be seen. they do so, the civil ruler will step in, and they will presently be stript of their power. The disestablishment of the Roman Church in Bavaria is imminent. And the same holds good of all Germany. These are eventful times, fruitful in rapid and important changes. Such as live to the end of the present century will have strange stories to tell their grand-children. By that time Popery and State establishments of religion will perhaps have become memories only. "The wish is father to the thought." Freeman.

EDIFYING THE CHURCH.

To EVERY pious heart the church is always an object of deep interest, and to the preacher of the Gospel it is peculiarly so. I purpose a few short articles on it, and will begin by defining and unfolding some leading terms which are used in speaking of it.

1st. Ecclesiastic. This word, so often used in church history, is from the Greek ekklesia; and ekklesia is from ekkalco. The verb ekkaleo literally means to call out or call forth. Ekklesia is the term used in the New Testament to denote the church whether the term be used in its large sense to signify the whole family of God, or in its narrow sense, to signify some particular local church. It strictly denotes the people that compose the congregation, and tells us whence they are. They are a called-out people; that is, a people called out of the world. This is the meaning of ekklesia a congregation or an assembly of people called out of the world. Of course the term does not, in its New Testament sense, denote any kind of congregation summoned together, but strictly a congregation of Christians.

Every man who hears the gospel is called, and this, in this day, is the only call any man ever has. No one is ever the subject of any other. When a man hears the call and obeys it, in other words, obeys the gospel, this takes him out of the world into the church. When a number thus obey, and band themselves together, they constitute an ekklesia, or church. To denote this body of Christians thus banded together, we use the two words, church and congregation, both of which for the sake of those who may need it, I propose to define.

2nd. Congregation. This is a compound word derived from the Latin. It is composed of the particle con and the word grex, which means a flock or herd, as a flock of sheep. Hence, congregation means a flocking together, or rather those who have flocked together. It denotes the body when assembled together who compose the church.

3rd. Church. The derivation of this term does not strike me as being so easy as the two just defined. It is most probably from the Saxon circ, and this from the Greek kuriakon. Kuriakon in Greek denotes the house of a lord (kurios.) In Christian usage it would denote a house of the Lord Jesus; that is, a house devoted to Him or consecrated to His worship. Such is most likely both the origin and meaning of church. It denotes a house in which the worship of Christ is conducted.

The three terms now defined give us a pretty clear conception of a church. Congregation denotes the body met together, or in its collective

Observer, Oct. 1, 71

capacity. Ekklesia shows whence it is; it is called out of the world. Church signifies the house it meets in to worship.

4th. Edify. This, term is also from the Latin, and is composed from the two words, adis and facio. The former means a house, and the latter to make. Hence edify means to make or build a house. This is the literal meaning of the term. In the New Testament, where it is used figuratively, it means to build up, instruct, and enlighten the church or congregation. In this sense it expresses the increase of the church in knowledge and in favour rather than its increase in numbers. Taking the four terms together, they give us the following: The house in which the congregation meets; the congregation met together; a congregation collected out of the world; and, finally, a congregation growing or increasing in knowledge and in spiritual life. Certainly these are great outcroping and important features of a church. In considering the subject further, I shall notice, first, the material we build into the church; and, second, the management of the material after it is in it.

Paul describes the material of which the church in Corinth was built, oy six terms, all used metaphorically, namely: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. The three first, doubtless, denote the true Christians who endure to the end, and are saved; the three last, those who endure but for awhile, and in time of temptation fall away. I presume nothing is to be inferred from the fact that three terms are used to denote the one class and three the other, especially nothing as to the relative proportion of the one to the other. It would certainly be unwise to infer from this circumstance that the number who will be lost is exactly equal to the number who will be saved.

These six terms describe to a certain extent the kind of material composing that ancient church, or the characters or persons who composed it. With reference to these characters the apostle says; "Let every man take heed how he build." But this I understand him to mean-let every man, every preacher, take heed what kind of material he builds into the house of God; let him be careful to build gold, silver, precious stones, and let him be equally careful not to build wood, hay, stubble.

Now the point to which, for the present, I wish to call the attention of all our preachers is, how shall we obey the apostle's warning? When he says, "Let every man take heed," he drops a caveat which we cannot afford to overlook. What attention are we giving to it, or how is it influencing our daily conduct? Clearly we should not build wood, hay, stubble; and just as clear is it that we should build gold, silver, precious stones, and nothing else. But how shall we so build that we build these only, and not those? This is the question which perplexes. I confess it perplexes me, and that not a little. Wherein lies the secret of that preaching which builds gold, silver, and precious stones; and never builds wood, hay, and stubble? Surely there is a kind of preaching which builds the one, and a different kind which builds the other. Otherwise there would be no use in the warning. In other words, if the same kind of preaching builds both, then the warning cannot be obeyed. Or is this the view that the same kind of preaching presents both kinds of material, but that we must accept the one and reject the other? How is this? If we are to reject, by what criterion are we to be guided? Here is a point over which, possibly, we have not thought as much as we should. It will certainly be well to give it our special attention. How shall we "take heed," as directed by the apostle? I leave the question to the thought of our preachers for the present.

L.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »