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Observer, Feb. 1, '71.
hopes of humanity are involved. Shall we be recreant to the important trusts committed to our hands? Shall we, in the very hour of victory, desert our standard, and leave the field to the enemy? We must not, we dare not falter. The issue at stake is too momentous, and the consequence of defeat would be irretrievable ruin to the cause of Christ. In such a crisis we need honest, brave, and earnest men; we want no cowards in the ranks. Hesitation now would be fatal to our success. We must go forward, right into the thickest of the fight, until every stronghold of sin has been captured by the conquering legions of the Cross.
The means for carrying on this warfare are abundant; hence we can have no excuse on this account for failing to do our duty. In every printing-office throughout the land you can hear the click of type forging the cannon that are to batter down the walls of Satan's empire. The PRESS is now the great instrumentality of power; and whoever uses this to the best advantage in the great strugggle which is now pending, will exert an influence which cannot fail to tell on the final result.
But there is another view of this subject which greatly increases our responsibility—I refer to the unparalleled opportunities which we, in this country, possess for carrying on the work of sending the Gospel to a perishing world. We are not circumscribed in our labours by the petty edicts of tyrants, nor are we compelled to dwarf our souls by repeating "Per me licet" every time we wish to engage in some great and noble enterprise. I thank God we are a free people, and, as such, we can exercise the liberty of thought, liberty of speech, and the right of individual interpretation. These privileges give us an immense advantage in the great religious contest of the age, for Error is never so easily conquered as when Truth is left free to combat it. But our responsibility is increased in the exact ratio of our privileges; consequently there is necessity laid upon us to do much for the cause of our glorious Redeemer. How are we meeting this responsibility? Are our labours, zeal, and prayerfulness commensurate with the importance of the work to be done? I hope they are; but I sometimes fear we do not fully realize the magnitude of the service to which, in the good providence of God, we have been called.
We have already seen what it is we have to overcome; we have seen also the instrumentality which must be used. It now depends upon us to faithfully apply this instrumentality, and the victory will be ours. Rationalism, Catholicism, and Sectarianism, the trinity of Antichrist, can only be successfully met and conquered by using God's own instrumentality, namely, the Word of his power. This Word, pure and simple, just as it came from the hands of its great Author, placed in the hands of all the people, is what this restless, active, and earnest age most of all needs.
DISESTABLISHMENT AND CHURCH REFORM.
DR. LITTLEDALE, who is one of the most eminent members of the Ritualistic party, recently delivered, at Bradford, a lecture on the crisis of Disestablishment, and has subsequently delivered, at North Kelsey, a lecture on Church Reform. His opinions, expressed generally with moderation, are such as are held by a large section of his party.
Dr. Littledale considers that the fall last year of the Established Church in Ireland, the measure directed to that in Wales, "and the tottering of Establishments in every European country where they still exist, are signs, unmistakeable by any shrewd observer, that the days of the church
Observer, Feb. 1, 71
of England as an Establishment are not only numbered, but that the number is very small." It would seem, now, that the appointed work of Establishments has been discharged, and that the Church is about to enter on a new phase of her wonderful career. Dr. Littledale, however, does not believe in the sincerity of the programme put forward by the Liberation Society. Upon this he says:
"Seeing that the majority, at least, of the members of this Society are Nonconformists, with whom the State scarcely interferes at all, and that its most prominent allies in the House of Commons are by no means in the habit of refraining from a vote on questions affecting the Church of England, 1 cannot but assume that when it speaks of freeing religion from secular control, it means stripping the Church of England of temporal privileges, and liberating the State from religious control. The attitude adopted by modern Dissent towards the principle of Establishments is entirely different from that taken up by Nonconformist leaders two centuries ago, when Dissent was a more powerful social and religious influence, and was officered by men of far wider learning and deeper earnestness than are very commonly found in its ranks to-day."
The old statement is again made that the early Nonconformists were State-Church in principle, and Dr. Littledale believes that the present Nonconformists began their crusade from no loftier feeling than jealousy. The ardent defenders, however, of the Establishment are now "reduced to two small sections,"-one of the old-fashioned Tories; and the second, the Broad Church party. Of this party Dr. Littledale expresses the following opinion:
They are formed out of the Extreme Left of the Broad-Church party; of men who do not believe a single tenet which marks off the English Church from the vaguest Theism; who have never done any work for or in that Church beyond the most perfunctory discharge of the most stinted routine, and who have a very reasonable and deep-seated opinion that a Free Church would send them packing, as not worth their salt.
Caring nothing for religion itself, it is perfectly unable to grasp the truth which all history teaches, that religious belief always has been, always will be, the most powerful agent in determining the conduct of mankind, and that men will bear the loss of fortune, friends, home, goods, character, life itself, for the sake of their faith, and that a nominal, undogmatic Church would no more satisfy this hunger of the soul then a snowball painted to look like fruit would stay the hunger of the stomach.
"Thus, the first result of setting up a Church of this sort would be that every one who cared about religion would go out of it, if already in it, or would refuse to come into it, if outside."
The advantage and privileges of an Establishment are next referred to; against which the property question comes up and the lecturer denounces the proposal that the property shall be taken from the Church. He then considers the disadvantages of Establishment, which he thus enumerates:"1. Hampering the natural and free action of the Church. "2. Annihilation of lay rights.
"3. Obtrusion of Bishops from without.
"4. Interference by avowed enemies with the internal affairs of the Church.
"5. Attempted alteration of the doctrines and usages of the Church by corrupt and ignorant Courts of Law."
The lecturer speaks plainly enough upon all these points. We quote what he says on the third:
Observer, Feb. 1, '71.
"I now come, as I promised, to the worst usurpation of all. I mean the mode of electing bishops. The mode in use at present, omitting minor technicalities, is this. On the occurrence of a vacancy in a see, the Crown sends down to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral a license to elect a new Bishop, which license is called a congé d'élire. Now, seeing that the Deans and Chapters are very small bodies, with a very evil reputation for jobbing, and they consist almost exclusively of Crown nominees, this is bad enough. But along with the license to elect comes a mandate from the Crown, ordering the Chapter to elect a particular person, and no one else. If they refuse, or delay their election beyond twenty days from the receipt of the letters missive, the Crown appoints without reference to them, while they incur the penalties of Præmunire, which involves confiscation of goods and imprisonment. If the Metropolitan should refuse to consecrate, he incurs just the same penalties. Anything more demoralizing to the conscience than the mock election by the Chapters, anything more grossly tyrannical then the interference of the Crown, is not conceivable.'
His opinion on the present race of bishops is given with great plainness. He then proceeds to protest against Parliament legislating for the Church, and expresses his opinion that "the immediate evils of Establishment enormously outweigh its immediate benefits." He does not, however, at once conclude that Establishment is a nuisance to be got rid of at once. Disestablisment is sure to be accompanied by a large measure of disendowment; but he thinks good terms upon this subject will be made. He also thinks that Dissent and the Low Church party will be against it, and concludes:
"We do not think it our duty to accept the responsibility of hastening on the fast-approaching crisis, because much disturbance and upheaving must come of it, and because, little as is the gratitude we owe the State, we do not wish to harm it, being sure, as we are, that it will suffer severely from Disestablishment, by losing its present religious sanction, and assuming the character of a mere police, resting on a basis of superior force, and no other. But we await the fast-coming change in hope, not in fear, and are contented to toil on, poor, maligned, and oppressed, till the dawn of liberty."
In his lecture on Church Reform, Dr. Littledale urgently advocates several important measures which we need not specify, and then says:— "Living as we do in a time of unexampled rapidity of change, we have already seen more startling alterations in our ecclesiastical condition than any I have named,-we have seen more difficult tasks achieved. Our altered relations to the Education question, owing to the changes in primary schools and in the Universities, and our fast-coming separation from the State, point clearly to the fact that now is the time to change our front and up a stronger position in face of our opponents. The three steps in achieving reform are: first, to be justly dissatisfied with the existing state of things; secondly, to know clearly what you want in its stead; thirdly to make up your minds to take it sooner or later. The Church of England is just now like a ball on the top of a pyramid, quivering before it rolls down. You cannot keep it were it is, but you can settle, by one push, which side it will take in its descent. Low Church and High Church, and the religious section of Broad Church too, might join in agitating for almost everything I have suggested, and in carrying out such parts of the programme as are now feasible. We should be much better employed so, than in prosecuting one another before our common enemies, and thus
Observer, Feb. 1, '71.
wasting time, temper, money, and character, with no except mutual exasperation. There will be plenty of room for us to quarrel with one another, or to work with one another, as we happen to prefer, when the house is once cleared, but at present it is so stuffed with mephitic abuses that we are likely to be stifled if we do not unite in sweeping, ventilating, disinfecting the premises."
Whether there is any likelihood of all being done before the "inevitable separation," Dr. Littledale does not say. Liberator.
SOULS FOR SALE.
THERE is an Anglican cesspool of so exceedingly offensive and fœtid a character that we are hardly surprised to see so few people venturing sufficiently near it to see whether it cannot be cleaned out and filled up; and yet, at the same time, considering its very public character, and the appalling amount of injury it must be doing to the moral health of the public, we are surprised that everybody seems content to let it fester on. We speak of the condition into which the patronage of parochial benefices has been allowed to fall. A larger view of the patronage question would disclose heaps upon heaps of utter rottenness: let us keep to the parochial aspect of the corrupt mass. Simony, the thing, the real genuine thing, if not the name, is rampant in the Anglican Church in a form so coarse and revolting that we doubt if it would be for an instant tolerated by any wellordered dissenting sect, far less by any other branch of the Church Catholic. Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics may and do acquire for money the right of presentation, the only excepted persons being those whose disqualification is that on certain points of the Christian religion they agree with their ancestors, who founded, built and endowed the great number of the very prizes they may not help to distribute. And so the sale goes merrily on, and eight-and-twenty Fathers in God look on with open eyes, and never cry so much as "Shame!" or "Hold!"
Some will say the average parson we get under the present system is as good a man as we should be likely to get under any other: better let well alone. Even granting that he is as good, which might be disputed, let it not be forgotten that this is no matter of mere detail. A violent breach of the plainest evangelical and ecclesiastical morality is committed by this bare-faced and open sale of souls, such as ought not for one moment to be permitted whatever the consequences might be. To uphold it, or to be careless about its reform, is to uphold and to be careless about an abominable and outrageous evil, that good (?) may come.
If Churchmen will not take the matter up, we can tell them that a Reformed Parliament will sooner or later do so. Men of the world may not care about the utter spiritual debasement of these transactions, but they are sharp enough to see the staring anomaly of the whole affair, and they will come to the conclusion that a body which professes to exist for spiritual and moral ends, but which allows its most honoured trusts to become openly and very extensively subjects for transactions as simply and as coarsely mercantile as those of the Exchange or the market, is an imposture and a sham, and that its money could be spent with much better advantage to the nation in other ways. Church Review.
Observer, Feb. 1, '71.
Dear Bro. McGarvey:-About a fortnight ago we were cheered by a visit from our beloved Bro. Warren, of South Australia, and his excellent daughter. Bro. W. is a man of a keen perception, a warm heart, and a rich experience in the deleterious influence of too much preaching over the physical man, and, with a kindness and promptness that I shall ever gratefully remember, he took my pale-faced husband warmly by the hand and led him for awhile from his arduous labours. During months that
will almost make a year, I have watched with a heavy heart the gradual falling away of Mr Carr's strength, and it is with no little pleasure to me that a way has been opened to a few days respite. The work of training, added to his other duties, has proved too much for him.
Sidney, the capital city of New South Wales, is situated about six hundred miles North-east of Melbourne, on the beautiful, island dotted, Botany Bay. Its climate is warmer than that of Melbourne, and a protracted stay there would prove rather detrimental than otherwise to a shattered nervous system. But that which persuaded Mr. Carr to go was the benefit that he anticipated receiving from the voyage. Sea sickness is terrible, but it is a wonderful renovator, and I wish that in his case it may do its work effectually; but I fear that no less than a protracted stay in the bracing climate of New Zealand or Tasmania will restore his former vigour. Pray for him, dear brethren of our native land, that God may give him many years strength to labour in the Master's vineyard.
I am rejoiced to say that Bro. Surber's health was thoroughly re-established during his stay in New Zealand, and since his return to us he has been enabled to labour with renewed energy. He is a member of our household, and joins us in Christian love to all the dear brethren at "home, sweet home." He is a little restless just now, but the old joy will come back when his co-labourer returns with the new strength. You who have so many strong workers among you, can hardly appreciate our deep solicitude for the physical welfare of the labourers in this land where the harvest is so rich and ripe. We want to get the golden grain gathered in before the storms of prejudice destroy it. We want to fill the granaries in our Master's kingdom, that no kingdom may be like unto his; that all the nations of the earth and the angels of God may wonder at the vastness of its riches, even many redeemed immortal spirits. The Lord is expecting us to do the work well, and he is expecting our more favoured brethren across the waters to send harvesters over to help us.
So far as I know, it is the united opinion of the evangelists here that Australia is one of the finest fields for evangelizing. Certainly it is a fine field, when under all the adverse circumstances attending the first preaching of the pure gospel, such rejoicing successes have been accomplished. All the brethren who have left their native land to come here, rejoice that the Lord ever put it into their hearts to come to this beautiful sunny Southland to preach the blessed gospel of Jesus to its sons and daughters.
There is a deep interest felt throughout the entire brotherhood in this land for the success of Bro. Earl's mission in America, and their anxiety is not more than commensurate with the grand issue of that success. This nation is young and its heart is comparatively pliable, and what we do we must do now, else the evil days may come when vile priest-craft shall have taken such a hold upon it that it will take no delight in the purity and simplicity of the subduing gospel of the humble Nazarene.
Since Bro. Earl left us, Bro. Gore has been labouring in Adelaide