Page images
PDF
EPUB

school; and that the portions read what I would propose with all due be the regular lessons of the day, as deference to the heads of our appointed by the Church. By this Church, is that the Rural Deans, course of reading, added to the gene. wherever restored, and I trust that ral notions of the Bible history, al- they will soon be restored in every ready obtained by them in the lower Diocese, should be called on to classes, and the information given, visit the schools in their respective and the connection kept up between deaneries, and report regularly to the the several parts of the history by Bishop or Archdeacon. It comes the questions of the visiting Clergy, already within their province; and the children would soon become as they are men already in autho. sufficiently acquainted with the rity, and not strangers, there would Bible ; and a foundation would be be less. uuwillingness felt by the laid for the habit of daily reading Clergy to subunit to their visitation. the lessons of the day through life; I merely throw out these hints, - which could not but be attended Sir, in the hope that they may with the most beneficial effect. meet the eye of persons able, if

Another measure, Sir, I have they think well of them, to carry much at heart-it is the introduction them into effect; and subscribe of plain Psalmody into every Na- myself, tional School, The first effect of a hearty well-wisher and active this would be the gradual removal promoter, as far as my means will out of every Church of much dis- allow, of the cordant music, together with what National System of Education. is but too often witnessed in the gallery, the irreverent behaviour of To the Editor of the Remembrancer. the singers : and the second, that, Sie as these children grow up, and de. In Walker's Sufferiogs of the Clergy scend into the congregation, and is the following interesting anecform a part of it, they would carry

wany dote of Bishop Morton, which may the kuowledge of singing with them, be worthy of being added in the and congregational psalmody which, when well and heartily performed, Number. Yours, &c.

Me' account of his life, given in a fornier is a distinction of Protestantism, and truly a “ singing to the praise and glory of God," would be again

“ Under these his troubles, he retired first

to his patron the Earl of Rutland; after that by little and little restored. If some

to one Captain Saunders in Herefordsbire; musical instrument be required to thetice to Mr. Rotheram's in Bedfordshire, conduct the children, I would re. and at last going to London, with about 601. commend the ivtroduction of hand

(which it seems was then bis all) he was over

taken on the road by Sir Christopher Yel. organs, which may be purchased at

verton, who being known to the Bishop, all sizes and prices, and are now though the Bishop was unknown to bim; carried to very great perfection and io discourse, asking the old gentleman, The last measure that I would what he was? The good Bisliop replied, I

I am that old man the Bishop of Durham, propose, is, I am convinced, inti

nvtwithstanding all your votes : for Sir malely connected with the welfare Christopher was not free from the stain of of the National Schools throughout the times. Whereupon Sir Christopber de. the kingdom. It would be deceiving manded whither he was going? to London, ourselvesto suppose that every Na

5 replied the old gentleman, in live a little

while, and then die. On this Sir Christopher tional School is perfectly conducted entered into further discourse with him, on the system : many must be, and took him home with him to Northamptonare from various causes in a very low shire ; where he became tutor to that son of

bis, which was afterwards the incomparably state ; though the lowest I am con.

con learned Sir Henry Yelverton, and prefaced vinced, is a great improvement on this inost excellent Bishop's little piece of the former system pursued. Now episcopacy. Alter some time Sir Christo.

pher died, and then Sir Henry (whom the before his brethren directly opposite, but' good old Bishop had made a true son of the equally just, views of his situation, accordChurch of England, and endeared to himself ing to the different lights in which it might with the affection of a most tender child) be regarded; whether with relation to his gratefully continued to support him, till God

temporal or to his eternal interests, with was pleased to call him to a greater reward." “ This Bishop was a person of such ex.

the eye of sense or with that of faith, of alted devotion, that he seldom answered, at

a man or of a Christian. He represents the end of any prayer, with a single Amen;

himself (and who can be unmoved with would never kneel on a cashion, nor in bis the representation ?) as sorrouful, from last sickness, ever prayed with his cap on the infirmity of the suffering flesh, yet alhis head. He professed at his very last, the way rejoicing, with a joy unspeakable, highest esteem for the doctrine, discipline, and that no mau could take from him; as government, and worship of the Church of poor, in this world's goods, yet making England ; and exhorted those about him to many rich, with the unsearchable and im, continue stedfast in it. He had a mighty

perishable riches of Christ; as having value for the Liturgy, gave express orders

nothing, according to external appear. to be buried by it, and touk great consolation

ances, and yet possessing all things, in in the Church's preparatives for death, viz. profession of faith, charity and repent.

the present abundance of God's revelations ance; absolution and receiving of the blessed

and grace, and in the sure liope of an inEucharist. The learned Spanhemius, Rivet,

measurable, everlasting inseritance. Wilius, and other great inen in the foreign But I must not detain you longer from Churches, were his 'acquaintance and cor that which more particularly concerns is. respondents."

It would be supertuous in me, I am sure, to caution any one who now hears me, against imagining that the glorious picture

of himselt here exhibited by St. Panl was We shall offer no apology to our designed merely to be gazed upon, as readers for the insertion of a second something marvellous and supernatural, sernion in the same number: we

with inactive and unprofitable admiration, leave it to be its own apologist, fully

I lave no need to hold it up to your view

as an object of study and invitation, not satisfied of the interest with which it

only by the primitive believers of Corinth, will be perused.

but by us also, to whom it is still preserved 2 Cor. vi. 8.

fresh and unfaded in the pages of the

everlasting gospel. It is true, indeed, vor By honour and dishonour, by evil report

ought the point to be overlooked, that the and good report.

-mighty master wlio drew and realized in Tue passage, of which these words form a himself, the original, was placed in a coupart, is a poble specimen of the great dition, and possessed of aids and advanapostle's eloquence. It is one among tages to which the present state of things many proofs, that if “ Paul of Tarsus” bad

affords no parallel. No inconsiderable not claimed our veneration as an apostle, mischief has accrued to the cause of reliwe might have been called upon to admire gion. from a strange want of attentiou to him as an orator. But yet it has about it the change of times and circumstances in a reality of grandeur, an intensity of pa. the church. To institute a strict compathos, to which its author could never have rison between apostles and uninspired given birth, had he been less than he was. meu, between the days of mighly signs For never had pagan orator circumstances and wonders, and those of ordinary gifts "so affecting to describe, as those which and graces; to consider what was origin

the ambassador of Christ here places be- ally said of the first ministers and converts, 'fore us. Never could the disputer of this • as applicable, without limit or qualifica. torld exhibit a spectacle so maguificent, tion, to modern teachers and hearers, is as that which we contemplate, while the surely to disregard manitest matter of fact, Christian hero establishes his authority and to pay little lieed to the admouitions among his fellow-soldiers, by declaring of reason that reason, which was doubt(wliat they well knew to be the truth) in less designed by the giver of it, to assist wbat severe and various trials, and by us in the use of his revelations, as well as the use of what admirable weapons, he in all other matters. Yet so it is; to the proved himself faithful to the Captain of his eyes of zeal there appears little or no dif. and their salvation. He puts forth para- ference between those truths of Jesus doxes indeed ; but they are not such as Christ, which are in their very nature the philosophers of his day delighted in, absolute and immutable, the same yesgreat swelling words of vanity. He scts terday, and to day, and for ever; and

those, which being of a relative kind, an interest, little affected by the lapse of vary with the objects of their relation. centuries or the altered condition of the And what is the consequence ? a train of church. These are points, with reference absurdities, and impracticabilities, tend- to which our couduct must always be a ing to bring contempt upon the name, to matter, not of contingent or remote, but contract the influence, and to diminish of certain and immediate importance. To the practice of religion,

all men this must be so; but to none more, While, however, we thus feel ourselves to none, I should have said so much as to compelled to take away somewhat from the duly appointed and authorized ministhe original import and extent of scrip- ters of religion. Let not any one imagine ture, we can never forget that much, very that theirs is a walk of life upon which the much, remains. We cannot but remem. sunshine of human favour continually falls. ber, that the apostolical epistles, to which Let no man seek admission into their orour subject now leads us more especially der, from the hope that all among whom to refer, were dictated by the Holy Spirit he shall labour, will esteem himn very highly for two ends; first, for the edification of in love for his work's sake. As long as those particular churches and individuals there are any who are inclined to say to to wbom they were primarily addressed; them, as was said to the prophets of old, and secondly, for that of Christians in ge- Prophesy not unto us right things, speak neral, in all ages, and under all circun- unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits : stances. And no careful reader of them get ye out of the way, turn aside out of the will ever overlook the vivid portraiture path, cause the Holy One of Israel to which they exbibit of their principal au- cease from before us *—as long as unscripthor, as mainly subservient to this latter tural and mischievous doctrines prevail, use. Be ye followers of me, even as I against which they feel themselves bound also am of Christ, was the rule of life to raise their voice-as long as enthusiasts which he repeatedly* pressed upon the be- exist, who measure ministerial qualificalievers of his day, and by such striking tions and exertions by a standard of visionrepresentations of himself as that to which, ary and unattainable perfection-as long in the beginning of this discourse, I called as there are some, who dissent from the your attention, he being dead yet speaketh doctrines, and separate themselves from with no other design. Yes, to every one the communion of the established church; of us, whatever place he may occupy in some, who are indifferent about religion the body of which Christ is the head, the in any form; and others egen, whose bitcharacter of St. Paul is proposed as a mo- ter hostility would blot out the name of del; and every one may find enough in it Christianity from the face of the earth : so that may be brought“ home to bis own bu- long must the clergy expect the rude breath siness and bosom." But, if this be true of of censure from time to time to blow upon Christians in general, how much more is them; so long will they meet with severe it of those who walk apart from the rest, judges of their actions, and mcandid inin that particular and more hallowed path terpreters of their motives. We therefore, of duty, which was once trodden by the above all men, my brethren of the minis. apostle! The description from which the try, must be prepared to keep an even words of the text are taken delineates him course through honour and dishonour, in his peculiar capacity of a minister of through evil report and good report. We the gospel ; and whatever lessons are de- must so familiarize ourselves with both, ducible from it, in the present state of the that neither the fascinations of the one, church, to such ministers, questionless, nor the terrors of the other, may prevent they primarily and especially belong. And us from regarding them with the eyes of to no particular of it does this observation sound judgment, always bearing in mind, more strongly apply, than to the instance that upon our conduct with regard to them, which I have selected for our present con- hang results, affecting not merely ourselves, sideration. Blessed be the merciful Pro- but the high and holy interests also comvidence, whence our "rest and quietness, mitted to our care and keeping. are derived; we are not now called upon, How then, it remains to be considered, like the apostle, to give painful proof of shall this conduct be regulated? With what our fidelity in stripes, in imprisonments, temper shall we meet these continually in tumulls; but honour and dishonour, operating instruments of our trial, the evil report and good report are things, in good or bad opinion, the praise or cenwhich we bave still, and must ever bave sure of those among whom our ministry is

exercised? For indifference about them we I Cor. iv, 16. xi, 1. Phil. iii, 17. 1 Thess. i. 6.

Isaiah xxx, 10.

have no authority, how much soever it may he tben, furnished as he was with such sometimes be affected as a distinction, extraordinary means of advancing luis and admired as a virtue. Nature does not cause, condescended to avail himself of iucline to it, reason does not counsel it, these ordinary instruments also, surely experience does not warrant it, religion the use of them is more than permitted to does not sanction it. Why sounds the us. · Nor was his counsel to others, in voice of praise so sweetly in our ears from this respect, at variance with his own our earliest childhood, if honour is to have practice. His injunction to the Thessako eharms for us? Why is that strong sense lonians is to abstain not only from the otsimame implanted in our breasts, if disa reality, but from all appearance of evil *. honogr is to excite in as no emotions? We And when he comprebends in one leverobserve too, that these feelings act with to-be-forgotten sentence the sum and the greatest force upon the best consti- substance of all his charges to those objects feted minds; we find them to be closely of his peculiar affection, the Philippian connected with the purest principles of our believers, he exhorts them to pursue not nature; we see that their manifest ten- only whatsoever things are true, honest, dency, except they be perverted from their just, pure, and lovely; but whatsoever proper use and end, is to incite to good, also are of good report ; if there be any and to restrain from evil. Admitting the praise, as well as any virtue, this he enapprobation of our fellow men to be an treats them to think upout. Had he object unworthy of being proposed as a becn an enthusiast, he would have held primary motive to action; yet there is no different langnage : but he was far redifficulty in pointing ont its powerful, moved from that character. He knew though not always direct, bearing upon that worldly principles might have a legi. the well-being and happiness of mankind. timate use, even for the attainment of The possession of it naturally binds us to spiritual ends; and that to secure the each other with the silver cords of peace favour of God, it was by no means absoand charity ; it eplarges the sphere of our lutely necessary to sacrifice the good will usefulness; it gives influence to our good of meu. counsels and examples. Would we then · But, as I have already reminded you, promote the ascendancy of trath? we this is not all the lesson which the words must dress it in such a garb as, while it of our text propose to us. Their author, detracts nothing from its uative siriplicity we learn from them, sludied to shew him. and dignity, nay win regard, and conci- self, as he charged otliers , approved liate favour. Would we arm virtne with unto God, a workman that needed not be its full power of spreading blessings around? ashamed, by dishonour, as well as honour, we must take especial care that it offend by evil report, as well as good report, not the world, without absolute necessity. ainong men. And we too, my reverend Would we gain over the hearts and affec- brethren, while we regard the approbation tions of men to the saving gospel of Christ? of the world as a legitimate object of a we must represent it to them in all the Christian minister's ambition, must beloveliness, which is its natural Ornament ware, lest we be over-solicitous for its and recommendation,

attainment. Aliowing to it a very high Such being the dictates of Nature, the place among the good things of the earth, lessons of experience, and the conclusi ons we yet, above all men, are bound to reof reason, how great inust be their weight member ourselves, and to put others in with us, when we find them all confirmed mind, that, after all, it is but earthly; and by the paramount authority of religion ; being such, partakes of the universal naspeaking to us in the language, and exem ture of eartlily things, in its very imperfect plified in the character of St. Paul! Can worth, and very limited duration, if we question the wisdom, or the duty of indeed we were interested in approving leaving no lawful nieans unemployed to ourselves only to such beings as now comobtain a good report in the world, when pose our society; or if their voices were we hear our great predecessor and guide always in unison with the judgment of declaring the assiduity with which lie la that incorruptible, unerring, eternal Arboured to give no offence in any thing, biter, by whose sentence we must finally that the ministry might not be blumed; stand or fall; then indeed we miglit be the solicitude which he felt to cut off well content to purchase a good report occasim of blame from them which desired from our brethren of the earth at almost occasion? Can we look at his demeanour before Festus and Agrippa, and not learn

* i Thess. v. 22. from it to temper our sincerity with con

7 Phil. iv. 8. ciliation, and our zeal with courtesy? If

2 Tim, ii. 15. .

any price. But assured as we are, that Finisher of our faith himself, the sinless the praise of men is one thing, and the Redeemer, to wliose all-cleansing blood praise of God another * ; and that, in very we look for the remedy of our guilt, even many instances, these two things cannot He, while he ininistered upon earth, was debe made to coincide, however much we spised and rejected of men. And what right may labour to bring them together; we have we to expect a total exemption from can never be tooʻmuch on our guard, lest, similar treatment? Have we yet to learn, while we pursue the former with ill-regue that the servant is not greater than his lord? lated and excessive eagerness, we make Were we disposed to entertain such an sad shipwreck of the latter. The word of expectation, the experience of the times truth has, in many places, warned us of in which we live, miglit, I am sure, be this dauger: but nowhere more pointedly, sufficient to uodeceive us. Never was than in that remarkable, and it may at God's altar more virulently attacked, than first sight appear hard saying, of onr Lord, it has been of late, through the reputation Woe into you, when all men shall speak of those who are appointed to stand before well of you t! lo confortnity with the it. Never has the world seen a more principle already laid down, I would by striking proof that po degree of nzinisterial no means forget that this declaration lad excellence can secaire from evil report, an extraordinary and especial applicability than it has been our lot to witness, in the to those to whom it was originally ad. deliberate and laboured attempt which has dressed, the first disciples of Christ; as been recently made, by confederate llosmen, who, by the very nature of their tility, to bring into hatred and contempt new calling, could not possibly accom a prelate t, whose meek bearing of his modate themselves to the then prevailing faculties might have won the good will notions and habits of the world, without even of those, who were incapable of betraying the cause for which they had being moved to veneration, by the extent forsaken all. Bat reason and experience of his learning, and the unatfectedness of afford plain and daily proof, that the his piety; by the irreproachable purity of saying is far from having lost its force, far his life, and the exemplary disposal of his from wanting its iuterest, at this day. The patronage. matter of fact upon which it was founded, Still it is certain, (a certainty for which namely, the great dissimilarity of men's we have abundant reason to be thankful) characters, still is, and must ever be, ex still, I say, it is most certain, that, if we istent; and with it the impossibility of be but faithful to the sacred trust reposed gaining the favourable suffrages of all, ex- in us; if we sedulously apply ourselves to cept by some upholy compromise of prin the discharge of our high duties, under a ciples, some faithless abandonment of deep sense of their exceeding importance, truth. There is indeed a middle course, and of our awful responsibility; we shall a negative kind of conduct, by which this have our reward even here, in the good universal approbation may sometimies, report of all from wbom it is worth seek. though by no means always, be obtained: ing: we shall receive honour from the but it is altogether unworthy of beings de thinking, the wise, the good; we shall signed and fitted for active exertion; it receive it even, as an involuntary tribute cau no ways be reconciled with the pre- to our sincerity and diligence, from some cepts, or spirit of Christ's religion; and who would gladly withiold it. This is one least of all does it become them wlio by of the most gracious dispensations of the their ministerial engagements have spe- God that loveth righteousness: it is one cially pledged themselves to the studious among many proofs, that a Governor preenforcemeut of those precepts, and the sides over the moral world, who will, in eminent exemplification of that spirit. his own good time, fully and finally vindiNo, my bretliren, we must not calculate cate his government, by awarding honour upon a portion altogether different from and dishononr according to the perfect meathat which fell to the lot of those ligly and sures of wisdom and justice : it is an earnest blessed ones, who are our guides and ex- of that glorious, that beatific Well done,' amples in the ministry. The prophets which shall be pronounced upon the good were hated and evil spoken of: the apos. and faithful servant, before assembled men tles were defamed and remiled; and made and angels : it is a mighty encouragement as the filth of the earth, and the off-scour to labour for the attainment of that praise, ing of all things t: the divine Author and which shall be heard through all eternity.

when the feeble voice of humay applause * Joho xii. 43. + Luke vi. 26.

* 1 Jobu i. 7. 1 Cor. iv, 12, 13..

• t Bishop of London.

« PreviousContinue »