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Observer, Mar. 1, '71.
quickening thought and facilitating expression, the doctrines of Christianity will be more successfully preached than they have ever been by any missionary in any age. As it will be with Asia, so will it be with Africa, so with every island of the sea. The tide of Christian civilization will roll Where it is accepted, it will remain and bless. Where it is resisted, it will roll on and destroy. This, however, is not all. Inside of this Western civilization itself, there are certain marked tendencies, the result of which cannot fail to be a gain to Christianity. From a variety of causes, all of which are in active operation, nations are becoming fewer but larger. The lesser are gradually being absorbed by the greater. Language is following a similar law, and evidence is not wanting to convince us that this tendency is destined to become more characteristic of the future than it is of the present. A common nationality and a common language for all mankind, is no longer an impossible dream. In proportion as this is realized, so will the conquering forces of Christianity be multiplied, and so will its success be secured. The race will be to the swift, and the battle will be to the strong; and in this great future the United States, the second home of the English tongue, will play a conspicuous part. Let us hope that while the Christian religion thus marches to universal empire, and while the most glowing predictions of the inspired penman are being fulfilled, it may grow also in purity and intrinsic worth. Certainly the Church, as we now see her, is not what she ought to be. The Bride, to use the language of the Book, is not yet adorned for her Husband. The preachers, so far as their work is concerned, have no cause to glory. Western Presbyterian.
AN ARCHBISHOP ON CHURCH REFORM.
WHEN an Archbishop of Canterbury takes up the subject of Church Reform, and urges that something should be done, it is quite clear that reform is urgent. There must be danger at hand from some quarter or other--immediate danger, and, above all, danger to temporalities. There must be a disestablishment and disendowment motion looming in the distance. Something, therefore, must be done to lighten the Church, so as to enable her to run her race with greater swiftness and strength, and to fight with cleaner hands. Abuses must be thrown over at once. The laity must be called in to help. The enemy is at hand and in force; work must be done, and done instantly, for who knows what may happen, or what may be threatened?
Urged, we may safely assume, by some such considerations as these, the Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn up a programme of Church Reform for the ensuing session of Parliament. He is in a despondent mood as respects the past. There were several measures submitted in the last session, but they were "unaccountably thwarted." The good hopes that were entertained all" came to nothing." Everything" failed to command such attention as was necessary to ensure their passage through Parliament." The Archbishop cannot understand this. It is inexplicable. We understand it perfectly well, and can also understand the cause of his own want of apprehension. The Archbishop, like most, if not all, of his class and his conviction, lives under the impression that every one is thinking, as much as himself, of the importance of the Established Church; that the nation watches all its doings with eager curiosity; is anxious about its every step, and ready to promote its interests in every direction. It
Observer, Mar. 1, 71.
happens, however, that this is not the case. For some reasons, we wish that it were so to a greater extent than it is. But the truth is, that the majority of the people are utterly indifferent about it. The merely nominal Churchmen, who form by far the larger section of the Established Communion, care very little whether it stands or whether it falls, and care nothing whatever about any proposed small reforms. It would be found, we believe, that extremely few laymen ever heard of one of the measures referred to by the Archbishop. The subject is not a matter of interest to them. This is the reason why they were "thwarted" and "failed to command attention." They were thwarted because other measures, in which greater interest was taken, stood in the way. They commanded little attention because people did not care to think about them. To any
one who knows the state of English society, these facts will not seem unaccountable."
The Archbishop is naturally anxious that the history of last session shall not be repeated. He, has, therefore, given the utmost publicity to the subject, in the hope that "the attention of our clergy and laity may be directed to what we deem desirable." We can briefly sum up what is considered to be desirable. First, there should be a revision of the "Table of Lessons," the order for the use of the Burial Service, and some amendment in the rubric relating to the Athanasian Creed. These proposals have to do with Church worship, and, of them all, it may be said that, if they should be adopted, scarcely any one will know that they have been adopted. Secondly, it is thought that some measure should be brought forward which shall give the laity of each parish their legitimate influence, and yet not interfere unnecessarily with the discretion of the parish clergy." This has to do with the government of the Church, and may be important or not, according to the character of the measure. Then follow five measures relating to Church administration, viz. 1. Ecclesiastical dilapidations; 2. The retirement of disabled clergymen from their cures; 3. The sale of next presentations; 4. The reform of the Ecclesiastical Courts; 5. The sequestration of Benefices. Having enumerated these, the Archbishop solemnly says, "I do not think that we shall have done our duty to the Church and nation till all these questions have been finally settled."
We were on the point of saying that we read the sentence we have just quoted with unmitigated astonishment, but, on consideration, we are not astonished. It is just such a programme of Church Reform as might be expected to be introduced under the patronage of the Bishops. It is not merely small; it is miserable, tinkering, and patching. It leaves out every question, which has to do with the moral influence of the Church over the nation. It was hardly to be expected, perhaps, that the Bishops would themselves bring in a bill for their removal from the House of Lords. There has been only one" self-denying" ordinance in our history, and it was proposed and carried by men of a very different stamp from the spiritual peers of the realm. It is scarcely reasonable to expect another. But there are other questions about which something might have been said. Lay patronage, Bishops' patronage, Government patronage, Church discipline, the manner in which Bishops are elected, the mal-administration of ecclesiastical funds;-nearly all that causes scandal is to be left alone. Yet the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks that the duty of the Bishops "to the Church and nation" will have been discharged by accomplishing a reform which leaves untouched every one of these things. With all of them left as they are, the Establishment will be an ideal Church. There
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will be nothing more for either Archbishops or Bishops to do. If the demoralising effects of a Church Establishment were ever seen, they can be seen now. When its chief officers, having the opportunity, decline, not merely to touch abuses that cry out for removal, but intimate that they are not abuses at all, what sort of conscience must such men have acquired ? Liberator.
THE STATE CHURCH, AMERICA, AND MR. MIALL.
"MR. MIALL and other advocates of disestablishment in this country must be somewhat puzzled by the agitation in a contrary direction which is gathering strength in the United States. It appears that a numerous and influential party have begun to take objection to the fact that all reference to God and Christianity' is omitted in the Constitution; and the object of the movement is to secure such an amendment as shall indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages in our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the nation."
The above cutting is forwarded by a constant reader of the Observer, with something like an expression of approval and with intimation that the State is in duty bound to take care of the spiritual interests of the people. We know Mr. Miall very well. We have heard him as a preacher, read him as an author, and followed him as a politician. Of course we have no authority to speak for him; but we know enough to enable us to say that he is not at all "puzzled by the agitation in a contrary direction which is gaining strength in America." Mr. Miall and "other advocates of disestablishment" enunciate a simple scriptural principle, and if all the States in the world go against it there will be nothing puzzling in that fact, because the governments of the nations have almost always gone wrong in matters of religion. We have no objection to the Constitution of the United States being amended, and shall not be at all puzzled if they so amend as to recognize God and Christianity. This they can do without setting up a State Church. Nor is there any danger of the Americans establishing a Church; nor do we believe in the existence of a party so desiring, if the Roman Catholics be excepted. They, of course, desire a State Church where Romanism can be established and abominate it where their own Church is not the favoured one.
We say not, that it is not the duty of the State to care for the spiritual welfare of the people. But all proper care, in that direction, can be bestowed without establishing a Church. Indeed the spiritual welfare of the people cannot be properly provided for where there is an Established Church. This is said because spiritual welfare requires perfect freedom in faith and worship-which freedom includes the right to worship as the worshipper considers best pleasing to God and the right to abstain from paying for or supporting forms and modes of worship of which we do not approve and consider not acceptable. If the Americans were to establish a Church, that Church must be the Roman Church or the Church of one of the Protestant sects. The whole nation must contribute to sustain it; and thus Romanists must be made to pay for the religion of those whom they deem heretics, or Protestants must be compelled to support a system which they ascribe to Satan. In our country the Church of Rome has been the Established Church, and then Protestants were burned for non-conformity. Then came the Protestant Established Church and Romanists and Puritans were sent to the stake or the gallows. We have a State Church now. Its hands are stained with blood, and its treasury, to this very hour, is enriched by monies forced from men who do not belong to it but who hold it in abhorrence.
Observer, Mar. 1, '71.
The State can best care for religion by securing to every man perfect freedom in all matters of religious belief and worship; so far, at least, as such freedom is compatible with the proper liberty of every other man. God never authorized humanly organized governments to determine forms of worship for those who would serve and honour Him, and any attempt to do so is an insult to God and a usurpation of the common rights of ED.
BRADLAUGH AND WATTS AT THEIR WORK.
THE Sword and Shield of last month gives a sample of the doings of the above-named persons, comment is not requisite. We merely reproduce the facts.
"BRADLAUGH'S WANT OF CANDOUR."
"Sir,-Many of your readers will be aware of the following facts:
1.-That Dr. Tischendorf published a pamphlet, entitled, 'When were our Gospels
2.-That Mr. Bradlaugh published a reply to it with the same title.
3.-That I had a discussion on the subject with Mr. Bradlaugh in the National Reformer.
A second edition of Mr. B.'s pamphlet has since appeared, and I am sorry to find that he utterly ignores most of the corrections with which I supplied him. If that gentleman continues to circulate what he has been told is false, and what he can ascertain to be false if he likes to enquire, I want to know what claim he can have to confidence. In illustration of my meaning I shall give an example: Dr. Tischendorf quoted a statement from the Philosophoumena of Hippolytus, upon which, among other things, Mr. B. said, The very work which Dr. Tischendorf quotes is not even mentioned by Eusebius, in the list he gives of the writings of Hippolytus.' In my rejoinder, I stated that the work of Hippolytus has two titles, one of which is given by Eusebius, though Tischendorf cites it by the other. A copy of the book is now before me bearing the title given it by Eusebius (printed at Gottingen, in 1859). But Mr. Bradlaugh after being informed of his error and after being able to correct it, repeats it without note or comment in his second edition! This is only one of the instances in which he has refused to retract false statements, and I beg to call attention to it as indicative of want of candour which must sooner or later shake the faith of his disciples, and which compels us to subject all his statements to the severest scrutiny before we accept them.-I am, &c., B. H. COWPER."
THE MORALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN FATHERS AND PIOUS FRAUDS." 'Nothing pleases an Infidel so much as the discovery of what is called pious frauds. He gloats over any admission on the part of an ecclesiastical writer, who is found boldly exposing error among the early professors of Christianity; and no class of persons are more successful in their determination not to see the distinction between profession and principle. They reason, that if the early Christians were only proved to be immoral, therefore, Christianity is immoral; that if they forged books under the names of eminent men, therefore the New Testament is, or may be, a forgery. Such a mode of reasoning, if universally admitted, would destroy all literary morality. But it must be borne in mind that Infidels only apply this most unreasonable mode of all reasoning to men, books, and subjects they dislike, and wish to destroy.
What is most singular in the case is, that the modern Infidels practice themselves what they condemn in the early Fathers, and still more strange is it, they practice the same deceit for a precisely similar purpose, with this difference that, the early forgers were often clever enough to conceal themselves, so that only their forgeries were known, whereas the Infidels of our day expose themselves to such an extent as to render search superfluous.
The early heretics, or schismatics, could only hope for success by forging books, or corrupting passages in other books, and attributing the forgery to some well-known and accredited author. Mr. C. Watts can only hope to persuade ignorant people that the Church has done nothing to this hour to settle by authority, either the Hebrew or the, Greek text,' except by using a well-known and accredited name, but like the early heretics, he is compelled to make his author say what he does not say, and mean what he does not
Here is the real passage and the forgery in parallel columns :
"Dr. Irons is of opinion that the Church did nothing to the Canon for 400 years; nothing except by individual and much neglected and opposed doctors, for 500 more; nothing authoritative till the sixteenth century; nothing satisfactory to herself even then; nothing to settle by authority, either the Hebrew or Greek text till this hour."-Reply to Bishop of London, No. 2, pages 11 and 12.
Observer, Mar. 1, 71.
Here it is plain that Dr. Irons is speaking of one thing and Mr. C. Watts makes him say another-in other words, Mr. Watts forges for the Doctor an opinion which he does not hold, and which he has nowhere expressed,
But, admitting, as we must, forgeries and pious frauds in the early times of Christianity, to whom are they due? Can the Infidel charge John, Peter, Paul, Polycarp, Clement, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenæus, or Tertullian, with any of these crimes? No, he cannot! Can he carry home any forgery to any orthodox Father? No, he cannot. Who then were the guilty parties? Let the much-abused Mosheim answer, cen. 2, part 2, chap. 3, sec. 15; 'The Platonists and Pythagoreans deemed it not only lawful but commendable to deceive and to lie, for the sake of truth and piety. The Jews, living in Egypt, learned from them this sentiment before the Christian era, as appears from many proofs. Take the next, cen. 3, part 1, chap. 2, sec. 5; 'If, what I would not pertina ciously deny, pious frauds and impositions deserve a place among the causes of the ex tension of Christianity, they doubtless held the lowest place, and were employed only by a few.' Again sec 10: The Platonists contributed to the currency of the practice (i.e. victory rather than truth) by asserting that it was no sin for a person to employ falsehood and fallacies for the support of truth, when it was in danger of being bound down.' It was then, as it is now, in proportion to the amount of Infidelity, Platonism, or Heresy, did fraud and lying abound; and no Infidel can point to a time, place, or man, where the Bible was the sole rule of faith and practice, such faith being according to knowledge, and find at the same time, and with such person, practices other than just and true.H. D. JEFFRIES."
Mr. Cowper is perfectly correct.
Every statement made by these hireling infidels should be tested before reception as true.
REV. F. FERGUSON ON THE PROPOSAL TO RE-ARRAIGN HIM FOR HERESY.
In the January part of the Observer extracts were given from the speech of the Rev. Fergus Ferguson, of Dalkeith, delivered at a meeting of the Edinburgh U. P. Presbytery, when a charge of heresy was preferred against him, founded upon an interpretation of 1 Peter iii. 19. Notice of motion has been given by Mr. Brodie, one of the members of the reverend court, to resuscitate the charge. The annual soiree of Mr. Ferguson's congregation took place on Friday evening, the 4th February, and in referring to the charge of heresy made against him, and its proposed resuscitation, that gentleman said that Mr. Brodie's plea for reviving the case was that he did not hear the whole of the statement made by Mr. Ferguson. The latter, after remarking that he would offer no opposition to the further investigation of the subject, went on to say:
The fact that the Church has a constitution does not appear to give that protection to the character and position of its ministers which, in my inexperience, I had hoped it would; and I am therefore warned against being too sanguine as to the value of its protection for the future. * I am free to confess that I have no interest in the United Presbyterian Church except in so far as it is a branch of the one true catholic progressive Church. If it cannot allow liberty of thought, which is the real question at issue, it is a fortunate circumstance that the world is wide enough for all of us; and I hope there is no disloyalty in thinking that just men and true methods are not confined to any section of the Church."
That the Confession is not the only rule of faith, Mr. Ferguson next proceeded to affirm—