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curring in their churches-stating that such events gave too much appearance of reason for the observation of an old bishop, who had said of the Dissenters, that “ division is their sin, and division is their punishment." '
“ This expression struck me with peculiar force. I looked around me, and saw that these churches were everywhere split into parties and factions. Subsequent observation has brought further confirmation on the point. Everywhere the ministers of that denomination lament the fact; nowhere is there a congregation of them for any considerable time in a state of peace. Turbulent spirits are everywhere struggling for the mastery, and throwing societies into a state of collision and confusion. The only exceptions are those in which the pastor, either by the weight of his property or the skilfulness of his policy, can exercise despotic power. Discipline cannot be maintained. Few of these churches persevere for any considerable period in the doctrines of their founders. Multitudes have departed from the most rigid Calvinism, and gone over into Socinianism. Their own histories afford the strongest proof of this assertion; whilst the attempt, recorded in the newspapers, of a meeting of congregational ministers in the month of May last, in London, to form what they called a Congregational Union, or, in other words, a sort of presbyterial government among themselves, affords an incontrovertible evidence of this truth to every reflecting mind.
Among this class of Dissenters I was ordained. In the course, however, of my ministry, I was brought into contact with some clergymen of the Established Church. I found them to be men not only of decided but of exalted piety. By intercourse with them, my antipathies were softened-my prejudices were gradually removed—my mind was rendered pervious to truth-and I became convinced that episcopacy was not the horrid creature I had fancied it to be; nay, that a moderate episcopacy carried with it all the marks of apostolicity.”
Having emigrated to America, and carefully examined the best writers on the side of Presbyterianism, which he found utterly unsatisfactory,” he yielded to the force of conviction, and received ordination from the Right Rev. Dr. B. T. Onderdonk, in whose diocese he is now usefully labouring.
The Rev. Calvin Colton was formerly a presbyterian in America, and during his visit in England occupied various pulpits in dissenting chapels. While he resided here, he published a letter to the Bishop of London, on the subject of Church and State, and a treatise on Revivals. From the sentiments contained in this last-mentioned publication, he now records his deliberate dissent; and while he retains his sentiments on the connexion of Church and State, he has ably delineated the deficiencies of the presbyterian and congregational systems. We have no pleasure
in delineating the evils incident to these two systems, and therefore pass over the facts which he has adduced.
We cannot, however, withhold the following observations on the “ encroachments of the laity on the pastoral prerogative:"
“ If,” says Mr. Colton, " a minister is worthy to be the pastor of a people, he is also worthy of some confidence, and ought to receive deference. In his own proper work he may be helped, he may be sustained, but he cannot be instructed by his people; he cannot, in general, be instructed by the wisest of them. Respectful and kind hints, from competent persons, he may receive, and should court-he may be profited by them. But if he is a man fit for his place, he should receive that honour that will leave him scope and inspire him with courage to act a manly part. A christian pastor can never fulfil his office and attain its highest ends, without being free to act among his people according to the light of his conscience and his best discretion. To have elders and deacons to rule over him, is to be a slaveis not to be a man. The responsibilities, cares, burdens, and labours of the pastoral office are enough, without being impeded and oppressed by such anxieties as these. In the early history of New-England, a nonconformist minister, from the old country, is represented to have said, after a little experience on this side of the water, ' I left England to get rid of my lords the bishops; but here I find in their place my lords the brethren and sisters; save me from the latter, and let me have the former.'
“ It has actually happened within a few years last past, in New-England, and, I believe, in other parts of the country, that there has been a system of lay visitation of the clergy for the purpose of counselling, admonishing, and urging them up to their duty; and that these self-commissioned apostles, two and two, have gone from town to town, and from district to district of the country, making inquisition at the mouth of common rumour, and by such other modes as might be convenient, into the conduct and fidelity of clergymen whom they never saw ; and having exhausted their means of information, have made their way into the closets of their adopted protegés, to advise, admonish, pray with and for them, according as they might need. Having fulfilled their office, they have renewed their march, * staff and scrip,' in a straightforward way, to the next parish in the assigned round of their visitations, to enact the same scene ; and so on, till their work was done.
Of course they were variously received, though for the most part, I believe, they have been treated
civilly, and their title to this enterprise not openly disputed. There has been an unaccountable submission to things of this kind, proving, indeed, that the ministers thus visited were not quite manly enough; or that a public opinion authorizing these transactions, had obtained too extensive a sway in their own connexion, and among their people,
to be resisted. By many, doubtless, it was regarded as one of the hopeful symptoms of this age of religious experiment.
“ I have heard of one reception of these lay apostles, which may not be unworthy of record. One pair of them-for they went forth two and two,' and thus far were conformed to Scripture-both of them mechanics, and one a shoemaker, having abandoned their calling to engage in this enterprise, came upon a subject who was not well disposed to recognise their commission. They began to talk with him : We have come to stir you up.' 'How is the shoe business in your city?' said the clergyman to the shoemaker, who was the speaker; for it was a city from which they came. The shoemaker looked vacant, and stared at the question, as if he thought it not very pertinent to his errand; and after a little pause, proceeded in the discharge of his office : 'We have come to give your church a shaking.'
Is the market for shoes good?' said the clergyman. Abashed at this apparent obliquity, the shoemaker paused again; and again went on in a like manner. To which the clergyman :Your business is at a stand, Sir, I presume; I suppose you have nothing to do.' And so the dialogue went on: the shoemaker confining himself to his duty, and the clergyman talking only of shoes, in varied and constantly shifting colloquy, till the perverse and wicked pertinacity of the latter discouraged the former: and the shoemaker and his brother took up their hats, to shake off the dust of their feet,' and turn away to a more hopeful subject. The clergyman bowed them very civilly out of doors, expressing his wish, as they departed, that the shoe business might soon revive. Of course, these lay apostles, in this instance, were horror-struck; and it cannot be supposed they were much inclined to leave their blessing behind them.
“ I believe I do not mistake in expressing the conviction, that there are hundreds, not to say thousands, of the Presbyterian and Congregational clergy, who will sympathize with me thoroughly in these strictures on the encroachments of the laity upon pastoral prerogative; who groan under it; who feel that it ought to be rebuked and corrected, but despair of it; and who know that their usefulness is abridged by it, to an amount that cannot be estimated. It can hardly be denied, I think, that the prevalence of this spirit has greatly increased within a few years, and become a great and alarming evil. This increase is owing, no doubt, to the influence and new practices introduced into the religious world by a certain class of ministers, who have lately risen and taken upon themselves to rebuke and set down as unfaithful all other ministers, who do not conform to their new ways, or sustain them in their extravagant career.”
The importance of the facts stated in these paragraphs will be a sufficient apology for their length. We have only space to remark that, though in a somewhat different order from that pursued by Mr. Brittan, Mr. Colton has ably vindicated the episcopal form of ministry and ecclesiastical government, and has devoted forty closely-printed pages to the consideration and refutation of objections against the use of liturgies.
Art. VIII.- On the New School of Superficial Pantology. A
Speech intended to be delivered before a defunct Mechanics' Institute. By Swallow Swift, late M.P. for the Borough of Cockney-Čloud. Wits-bury. Reprinted: Balloon Island, Bubble Year, Month Ventose. Long live Charlatan!*
IN the long list of the men of the present day, whose names will become the household words of children yet unborn, stands preeminent the President of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge; for what less than a faine that is to eclipse all his peers, must be the portion of that Pantological genius, whom the Westminster Review has numbered amongst the Wranglers of Science, and Lord John Russell made a Fellow of the Metropolitan University ?
To have been not born great, is doubtless deemed by the scientific baron, no bar on his escutcheon; for, as Ulysses says“Et genus et proavos et quæ non fecimus ipsi vix ea nostra voco. But to have “ achieved greatness,” in the language of Malvolio, is to do what the leader of the House of Commons would have despaired of doing, but for his ducal descent. To be hailed, however, as Cicero was, pater patriæ, because the exChancellor has converted poor houses into Bastiles, and the late Bedford nursery into a Psychological seminary, sheds around his Lordship’s head a halo that Horacet might have envied ;
" Who hoped to touch Olympus with his nose,
Should a kind critic vote his verse not prose.” But it will be asked, perhaps, Why dish up a crambe recocta, after our recent dissection of the psychological theologian? Our answer is, that Asteroides, like ourselves, are compelled by
* This title is evidently an imitation of those prefixed to the works of Mr. Peter Peer-a-deal, and a parody of some that appeared in France, at the early part of the Republican Revolution, when the whole Calendar was reformed by the club of an Anacharsis Cloots; while the borough of Cockney-Cloud seems to be an allusion to the Nepelokkvyla, ridiculed in the Birds of Aristophanes.
† The words of Horace—“Sublimi feriam sidera vertice," are the imitation of a fragment of Alcæus, preserved by Herodian Ilepe Μονήρους Λέξεως, b. 7. Ψαύην δε ου δοκεί μοι ώρανώ δυσπαχέα- where evidently lies hid-Ψαύην δ' εγώ δοκημ’ ορανώ έδους τάχ' αυχέν- and thus we obtain another instance of the Æolic ôparū—to those already produced by the editors of that bard.
the laws of attraction and repulsion, to revolve round a greater mass of matter. Besides, as the pundits of the Pantological School have set up Lord Brougham as the Brahma of learning, we should ill perform the duty we owe to our idol truth, did we shrink from supporting the sentiment of Pope,* —
“ A little learning is a dangerous thing:
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :" or were we unable to prove that as errors are the produce of shallow heads, they must from their lightness float like straws upon the surface, and be seized with greater facility than truth can, which lies at the bottom, and
“ Must be wooed, and not unsought be won.” It is now about thirty years since a party, of whom Lord Brougham was, we believe, the founder, commenced a series of attacks upon the system of education pursued in England.
Of these attacks, the professed object was philanthropic in the extreme. It was to raise the peasant to a level, at least in mind, with the peer; and by advancing the lower orders in the scale of intellectual beings, to compel the higher to keep pace with the march of mind, through the fear of being outstripped, should they relax their efforts,t and act the part of the slumbering hare in the race of Useful Knowledge. Thus all that the culottes of France vainly dreamed about the equality of property, would be realized in the domains of science. Shepherds, who had been hitherto as silly as their sheep, and plough-boys, whose highest enjoyment had been to swing upon a gate and eat fat bacon, were to become the Presidents of Cattle-breeding Societies, and Lecturers at Mechanics' Institutes in favour of the long-desiderated steam-plough ; while in the towns, the toilworn artisan, instead of listening to Cobbett's Twopenny Trash,
This sentiment of Pope seems to have been obtained second-hand from the Hermotimus of Lucian, xi. 60. ήν μή όλον εκπίης τον πίθονούποτ' άν εύρους το νεκτάρεoν πώμα.
† His Lordship, however, confesses, in the Edinburgh Review, Vol. xly. p. 191, that it will require but little effort on the part of the peer to keep the lead of the peasant, who, after all his mental exertions, finds his relative position in society just what it was originally ; but with this difference, so galling to his self-love, that whereas, previous to his running, he thought the plough-boy to be thorough-bred, and the peer only a cross from a cart-horse, he discovers eventually, that the peer, as Eclipse, can come in with a hand canter, while all his whipping and spurring only enables him to verify the fable of Æsop-'Huovoc, avrov εν ροαίς ιδών Λυδοις, Έθαύμασ' εικώ την κριθαίς παχυνθείσαν, Βρέμων δαναρτάλιζεν-"Ην έμοί μήτηρ "Ιππος ταχυδρομος, είμι, δούκ έγωγ' ήσσων -Ώρματο δ', ώσπερ πωλος από φάτνης, έκθεϊν, Αναχαιτίσας έπειτα δ' από τρόμου παυσθείς "Άσθμαινε βαρέως και μάλ' έσκυθρώπαζεν, "Όνου γαρ ευθυς πατρός ών άνεμνήσθη. .