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To the Editor of the Christian Observer. SIR,
unlike herself. She cried out with an ani.
mated tone" Bear witness all of you, that I I enclose an account of the death of bear my dying testimony to my Christian proan amiable young lady, which is extract- fession. I am divinely supported, and have ed from two letters written by a friend, almost a foretaste of heaven: oh! this is not who was a constant attendant at her pain but pleasure.” After this, she sunk into
so profound a calm, that we thought her inbedside during her last illness. The
sensible. We were mistaken, however ; for event is not very recent; but the in- she had still speech enough to finish every fastruction which has been drawn from it vourite text I began: and to show how clear ought not to be forgotten. D.
her intellects still were, when I misquoied,
she set me right, though with a voice now “ I cannot forbear remarking to you and scarcely intelligible. To perfect her faith, Mrs. -, what has lately so forcibly struck and to exercise ours, it pleased her heavenly myself, I mean the transforming power of the Father, to try her after inis, with one hour of Christian Religion. It seems literally to have suffering, as exquisite as ever human nature new-maile the very tempers and constitutions sustained : and I hope I shall never forget that of those who have lately fallen under my par. when, in order to save myself the pang of ticular attention. Mrs. , the most deject. sceing her unutterable agonies, I wrapped ed, humble, I bad almost said helpless woman my face in the curtain, I heard her broken I ever knew, animated with this divine princi- inarticulate voice repeatedly cry, “Let paple, seemed another creature; was active, tience have its perfect work-though he slay cheerful, useful, as long as her husband needs me, yet will 1 trust in bim-thy will be done.” ed her services. Though the tenderest of This, with a fervent ejaculation to be kept wives, slie revealed to bim his danger, and from temptation, and the powers of darkness, supported him in his religious preparations, she repeated till her strength failed Her with a fortitude quite foreign to her natural prayer was heard ; and her last hour was so character. She read hours on his coffin, and
peaceful, that we knew not when she sunk to made me read the burial service to her.
her everlasting rest. I “ Miss H, shy, reserved, cold, and so “Two little things are worth recording, hesitating in her natural manner, that few merely to shew how consistent she was: for ever discovered, what a great intimacy ena. I am anxious to rescue such a death-bed from bled me to discover, a most accomplished the imputation of enthusiastic fervours. She mind, hid behind that thick veil of humility: desired, if the physicians thought it might be acquired in the near views of death and eter: useful to any future sufferer, that she might nity, a sort of righteous courage, an animated be opened; which was accordingly done. manner, and a ready eloquence, which were The other instance was, that early in the all converted into means for awakening and night, when I saw the pangs of death apstriking others. This extraordinary change proaching, I had prevailed on her afflicted was manifested in various ways during the sister M- to quit a scene she was so little eighteen days in which she was given over, able to bear. H begged to see her, and but shone out with complete lustre the last said she should like M- to see her die. I night of her life.
represented to her how unfit her shattered " It may be more profitable to consider the nerves were to go through it; and that if she behaviour exhibited in her last hours, as the should fall into fits, what should I do with make of her mind particularly exempted her both? She was convinced in a moment, begfrom the charge of enthusiasm. There was ged she might not come, and only desired I little ardour in her temper, her affections would explain to the woman that her sister were rather languid, and there was not an atom was doing her duty by staying away; that she of fever in her complaint; so that her head did it because it was right, and not because was never more clear, nor her judgment more she liked it. I ought not to omit remarking, sound. When I expressed my concern that that the power of Christianity has been no less ber sufferings were prolonged, she said she conspicuous in Miss M-, whose humble saw clearly the wisdom of that dispensation; submission to the divine will is the more valufor that if she had been taken away in the be able in one of her extreme susceptibility, and ginning of her illness, she should have wanted strong feelings; and that the parting is almuch of that purification she now felt, and of most like that of soul and body; for Miss those clear and strong views which now sup- H- was the mouth, and tongue, and or. ported her. She once observed, that it was a gans, of which she was the informing spirit.” strange situation to be an inhabitant of no world; for that she bad done with this, and Part of another Letter from the same. was not yet permitted to enter upon a better.
has been dying since last night. in the night on which she died, she called us I have held her clammy band, and watcher all about her, with an energy and spirit quite her still changing countenance all night. She
is, at this time, speechless; so to get over a August 26th, in the 27th year of his age, few heavy moments, I have a mind to write to the Rev. Charles Sturges, jun. M. A. Fellow you. Perhaps I may not send it. As soon as of King's College, Cambridge. the terrifying symptoms came on I dosed At Hales-place, near Canterbury, after a poor Mwith laudanum, and put her to few days illness, in the 78th year of his age, bed: thank God she is pretty quiet. The si- Sir Edward Hales, Bart. lence about me is solemn, but not terrible. I August 27th, in the 73d year of his age, feel rather elevated that, now every one of my George Tooge, Esq. senior Alderman and friends is, I hope, asleep in peace, I am minis. Father of the City of Oxford. tering to those two sisters, going backwards Aug 28th, at Southampton, Lady Jane Terand forwards from the dying to the mourning ry, sister to the Earl of Dysart. chamber. Instead of fearing that this last August 30th, in Bridge-street, Blackfriars, scene should be too affecting, I am only dread. aged 81, John Eddowes, Esq. ing (such is the levity of my nature) that it Same day, at Bath, in his 82d year, James will depart from my memory before it has Theobald, Esq. of Great James-street, Bed. done its errand on my heart. Till the last ford-row, London. hour I have been whispering into her dying August 31st, at Clapton, Middlesex, in the ear all the promises I can recollect. She is 720 year of his age, Baden Powell, Esq. of pleased at it: takes every sentence out of my Loughton, Essex. mouth, and finishes it with her inarticulate At Leicester, the Rev. William Arnald, D. voice.
D. Canon of Windsor. Four o'clock. She has had just a moment At Kampton, in Warwickshire, Mrs Reyof satisfaction more than human. Her pallid nolds, aged 104; and at Castlethorp, in Bucks, face was irradiated, and with a broken voice another woman, aged 102. They both reshe declared she was almost in heaven. She tained their faculties till the hours of their blessed me rather with the compassionate en. deaths; and each could set to read without ergy of an angel, than with the weakness of spectacles. an expiring creature, and said some things
At his house at Woodford-bridge, aged 73, from which your letter just before received J. Jackson, Esq. seemed to allow me to take comfort. I then August 22, in the 25th year of his age, the asked her if she had a blessing to send Mr. Rev. John Barker, Minister of St. Mary's,
and yourself; with the utmost fervour Hull she prayed for you both, and then added for Sept. 4, aged 74, the Rev. Francis Best, the too.
Rector of South Dalton, Yorshire. “ Five o'clock. We have had a terrible Same day, aged 72, Mrs. Willett, of Wim. hour. The mortal pangs are dreadful; my pole-Street. heart dies within me; I fear I cannot stand Sept. 5, at Buxton, in Derbyshire, in the it: happily her poor sister does not hear. 50th year of his age, the Right Hon Henry Groans of agony beyond what my fears ever Thomas Fox Strangways, Earl of Ilchester. painted, and I have seen many dying-beds. I At Edale, in his 25th year, the Rev. Hugh go into the next room to spare myself a mo. Heelis, M. A. son of T. Heelis, Esq. of Apment, and write to quiet myself. In the ex. pleby Castle, in Westmoreland, and late of tremity of anguish she cries, • Thy will be Peterhouse College. done."
A few days since, at East Hendred, Berks, “ Six o'clock. She is alive, but the bitter. Martha Anns, Aged 100 years mess of death is past. All is peace; and my Lately, at Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, the terrors have subsider, so far as to enable me Rev. Edward Horton, Vicar of Snittersfield, to keep my post. I dreaded being driven in Warwickshire, and Prebendary of Litchfield. to a cowardly desertion. One is puzzled why Sept. 3, the Rev. John Newman, Vicar of such a conflict of body and spirit was necessá. Mountnessing, and Chaplain of the Hamlet of ry for her, but I can only repeat her own Brentwood, in Essex. words, “Thy will be done.” If she departs At Dublin, Viscountess Dowager Southpeacefully, I shall have cause enough for well, in the 31st year of her age. thankfulness.
Sept. 12, at Streatham Common, in the 78th “Seven o'clock. She is departed peaceful. year of his age, W. Newman. Esq. Alderman ly; not a sigh. Igo to prepare her sister.” of the Ward of Farringdon Within.
Sept. 12, at Hampstead, Mr. Jean, the artDEATHS.
ist, in the 74th year of his age. At the Curragh of Kildare, Mr. Marma. Sept. 17, at Twickenham, in the 86th year duke Bell, the Deputy Ranger, aged 108. He of his age, Richard Owen Cambridge, Esq. was a rider at the York Races in 1714.
Sept. 18, Mrs. Ann Clarke, aged 71, sister In the 90th year of bis age, Thomas Bigs. of J. C. Jervoise, Esq. M P. by, M. D. of Ipswich.
Sept. 20, aged 25, Mrs. Lockhart, wife of August 15th, at Warwick Castle, in the James Lockhart, jun. Esq. of Barnes Terrace, 20th year of his age, the Hon. Henry Greville, Surrey. third son of the Earl of Warwick.
Same day, Mrs. Beverley, wife of Wm. BeAugust 241h, aged 84, Mrs. Hubbart, of verley, Esq. of Beverley, Yorkshire, in her Blackheath.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A Pamphlet, entitled " A Letter to a Sound Member of the Church, with a Supplement, containing Two Letters sent to the Editors of the Christian Observer, with an Address to the Readers of that Miscellany, on a gross Misrepresentation of a Passage in the Appendix to the Guide to the Church.-By the Rev Charles Daubeny," has lately made its appearance. lament the necessity which is imposed upon us, as parties concerned, to pay a more particular attention to this Publication, than the importance its subject appears to demand. Were the cause of Mr. Daubeny's complaint or accusation much better founded, than, we trust, it will be found to be, we are, nevertheless, of opinion, that the sense which he seems to entertain of the offence given, has considerably exceeded its just bounds.
In our Review of the Anti Jacobin Review, (No. 3, p. 176, &c.) after producing a pag. sage from that Journal, in which spiritual religion is very indecently ridiculed, we immediately add—“ What language is this from the persons here using it! Unbelievers have condemned, as absurd or hypocritical, all regard for Christianity, except as a mere external thing, an engine to overawe the multitude; men of the world, absorbed in business, or drowned in sensuality, have practically denied all that is spiritual in religion ; Dissenters, with a view to depreciate the Establishment, have insinuated that our religion chiefly consists in form8 ; Mr. Daubeny has maintained, that the spirituality of Divine worship is not essential to the being of the Church of Christ;' but never, surely, till aow, was spiritual religion thus avowedly rejected, and openly ridiculed by professed Christians, and defenders of the Church of England.”
The charge of " gross misrepresentation,” formally brought before the public, against that portion of the foregoing quotation, in which Mr. Daubeny's name is mentioned, consists of iwo parts; in one of which the Author complains of misquotation, in the other of an unjust meaning derived to his words from the connection in which they are placed.
With respect to the offensive meaning which Mr. Daubeny supposes bis expression (as far as justly stated) acquires from the influence of the characters and sentiments with which it is placed in connection, we observed, in reply to a letter upon the subject, “that we were far from intending, by any thing we said, to class him," Mir. Daubeny, “with the various characters whose errors happen to be mentioned in the same paragraph.” (Answers to Correspondents, No. 4.) This explanation, however, by no means satisfied Mr. Daubeny. We are confident, nevertheless, that whoever will give himself the pains to peruse the above quotation with any attention, will be convinced that, whatever might be his first impressions, no rules of grammar or composition oblige him io ascribe any meaning to the words of Mr. Daubeny, which their literal and independent sense does not warrant. That they were produced as reprehensible we have no inclination to deny, and with what justice they were so produced will shortly appear.
The charge of misquotation, (in the strict sense of the term) we admitted to be just; and acknowledged that "the passage certainly ought not to have been marked with inverted commas." The error was accordingly corrected in the Errata. A favourable acceptation of this acknowledgment was the rather to be expected from Mr. Daubeny, because he has himself taken advantage of the liberty of retractation ; (Appendix, &c. p. 377;) and because, in the present publication, he will have to plead guilty for a misquotation from Hooker, placed between inverted commas; a misquotation too, which materially affects the sense. (Letter, p. 32.)* In addition to this acknowledgment, we laid before our readers, without any comment, Mr. Daubeny's own explanation of his sentiments on the subject in dispute. We likewise professed great respect for the character of Mr. Daubeny, and discorered an evident disposition to conciliate matters; with bow little success, the sequel has sufficiently shewn. Reflecting, however, upon the levity of the offence which Mr. Daubeny has thought it worth his pains so deliberately to resent, and adding to this consideration, the abundant reason which, in our opinion, he had to be satisfied, we confess ourselves unable to refrain from suspecting that the Author was instigated, in his attack upon us, by some farther notive than personal vindication. That the general cause of the Christian Observer does not entirely meet his approbation, we think we can discern sufficient evidence; nor do we esteem it to have been the least considerable among the objects of Mr. Daubeny, in his present Address to the Readers of that Miscellany, to injure its reputation, and to prevent the diffusion of its principles. Mr. Daubeny, however, will pardon us, if under the weight of his disapprobation, we endeavour to console ourselves by the incompetency which he has discovered of deciding upon our merite.
* Mr. Daubeny quotes, as from Hooker, the following passage-" Ecclesiastical polity constitutes the very chiefest property.” in Hooker the passage is" And of such properties, common unto all societies Christian, il may not be denied, that one of the very chiefest is ecclesiastical polity." Ecc. Pol. ii. $1.
If, however, from the concessions which we freely made to Mr. Daubeny, because we considered them just, and because we hoped that a pacification might, in some degree, be effected by them, our assailant has inferred that our cause is indefensible; we beg leave to inform him, and we hope to prove to our readers, that the conclusion is precipitate.
It will be recollected, that the obnoxious passage, although admitted not to be properly a quotation, was affirmed to be a correct representation of the sentiments of the Author. To this opinion we still adhere, and we will endeavour to establish it.
The passage, as it stands in our work, is as follows. Mr. Daubeny has maintained, “that the spirituality of divine worship is not essential to the being of the Church of Christ " 'The passage in Mr. Daubeny's Appendix, intended to be here represented, stands thus: “ That the spirituality of divine worship is essential to the very being and constitution of a Church, is more than will be granted ; because the Church of Christ has, at different times, been permitted to exist without it.” (p. 482) In illustration of this passage another was produced at p. 404, of the same work. “I mean neither to disparage nor oifend you, when I take upon me to assert, that you are but a sciolist in theology, if you are yet to learn that, however bold the position may seem, that may be a true Church in which the pure word of God is not preached.”
To avoid any ambiguity or confusion upon this subject, it will be proper to observe, that the foregoing quotations refer exclusively to the visible Church. This, Mr. Daubeny repeatedly inculcates, is the leading subject of his work. (See Appendix, p. 137, 423,577.) By the term essential, we generally understand, as Dr. Johnson interprets it, that which is " sary to the constitution or existence of any thing ;” or that, without which it would lose its essence. That the word is used by Mr. Daubeny in this sense, is evident from both the passages produced above. They are deliberate, unequivocal, and unqualified assertions that the Church may exist without the spirituality of divine worship; that that may be a true Church in which the pure word of God is not preached.
Now, although we do not pretend to affirm, that purity of doctrine or spirituality of worship constitutes the only characteristic of the visible Church, we make no hesitation in conformity with our previous declarations, and in opposition to Mr. Daubeny, to assert, that it is essential to the very being and constitution of the visible Church in such a sense essential, that without it the visible Church could not exist as such. This is the very point at issue between Mr. Daubeny and the Christian Observer.
Presuming, therefore, that we shall not be accounted responsible for what appears to us the irreconcileable inconsistencies of the Author whose work we are considering, the first authority we shall produce in support of our opinion, is that of our Church, in the article in which she professedly defines the visible Church of Christ to be “a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, &c.;" and we are willing to abide by Mr. Daubeny's interpretation of that article. “ The XIXth Article points out the two characteristics, by which the visible Church is to be known on earth; namely, purity of doctrine, and a right administration of the Sacraments, according to Christ's ordinance." (Letter, p. 29. See likewise Appendix, p. 403.) Now it will be acknowledged that a definition, which includes any other than the essential properties of the thing defined, is superfluous and improper.
Our next voucher shall be Bishop Jewell, who, in the Defence of his Apology, referring to the passage of Scripture which represents the Church as the pillar of the truth, adds, " for that she stayeth herself only by the word of God: without which word the Church, were it never so beautiful, should be no church.” (p. 3. Ed. 1611.)
We proceed to Hooker. He has written at large upon the nature of the Church, under all its acceptations. Yet when he treats of it as the visible Church, he is always careful to in. clude pure doctrine as essential to its existence. “ The unity of which visible body and Church of Christ,” he says, “consisteth in that uniformity which all several persons thereunto belonging have, by reason of that one Lord, whose servants they all profess themselves ; that one faith, which they all acknowledge; that one baptism, wherewith they are all initiated." (Ecc. Pol. iii. 1. Oxford ed. vol. i. p. 348.). He never loses sight of this essential ingredient in the composition of the visible Church ; but while he admits as members of it, those who, in respect of some parts of their profession are worthily hateful in the sight of God, it is be. cause the main parts of their outward profession are sound. (p. 351.) So the idolatrous Israelites continued the sheep of God's visible flock, because they retained the law of God. (p. 352.)
As Mr. Daubeny has appealed with great confidence to the authority of Bishop Hall, he cannot justly take exception against the same authority when produced by us. logy against the Brownists, the pious Episcopalian writes :-"After all your shifts and idle tales of constitution, you have separated from this Church against the Lord; not with the Lord, from it. If there be Christ with us, if the Spirit of God in us, if assemblies, it calling by the word; whatsoever is, or is not, else in the constitution, there is whatsoever is re. quired to the essence of a Church. No corruption either in gathering or continuance can destroy the truth of being, but the grace of being well. If Christ have taken away his word and
In his Apo
spirit, you have justly subdued; else you have gone from bim in us.” (Sect. vii.). In the expressions "the truth of being,” and “the grace of being well,” we may observe the distinction of Mr Daubeny, between the “being” and “perfection” of a Church; to the latter of which he allows purity of doctrine to be necessary. Bishop Hall makes it necessary to the former.
We trust that Mr. Daubeny will give us credit for not insisting upon absolute or perfect purity of doctrine as essential to the being of a Church. For then it might be proved, that no Church ever has existed, or ever will exist upon earth. What we contend for is, that spirituality or purity of doctrine, in soine degree, is essential 10 the being of a Church.
It was upon this ground, and not on that of the non essentiality of pure doctrine to the being of a Church, that the Church of Rome was by many, if not most of the Reformers, admitted to be a true Church. With all its errors and corruptions, it retained a portion of pure doc. trine, which preserved it in existence. The acknowledgments of Mornæus and Zanchius, quot. ed by Hooker, are full and decisive to this purpose. (See Discourse on justif. $ 27.) Hooker himself affirms of Rome, with her “we dare not communicate concerning sundry gross and grievous abominations; yet touching those main parts of Christian truth wherein they constantly still persist, we gladly acknowledge them to be of the family of Jesus Christ.” (Ecc. Pol. voj i. p. 355) The observation of Bishop Hall is not less pertinent. Of the Papacy the Church of England, he says, “acknowledges her sisterhood, though she refrains her conversation she hath many slavish and factious abettors of her known and gross errors (to whom we deny this title) affirming them the body whereof Antichrist is the head, the great whore and mother of abominations; so again, how many thousands hath sbe, wbich retaining the foundation according to their knowledge, (as our learned Whitakers bad wont to say of Bernard) follow Absalom with a simple beart: all which to reject from God's Church were no better than presumptuous cruelty.” (Ap. against the Brownists, Š xxiii.)
And indeed Mr. Daubeny himself, by affirming, in the letter addressed to us, that purity of doctrine does not constitute the only characteristic of the visible Church ; (p. 34 ) and ihat spiritual worship is not every thing necessary to the constitution of the Church; (p. 37.) moro especially by adinitting, in his Appendix, (p. 127.) that the characteristics of a church are, “government and doctrine,” bas admitted all that we contend for, and all that is necessary to our complete justification, in the censure which we ventured to pass upon the passage under discussion.*
We have always been willing, and even forward to acknowledge the merits of Mr. Daubeny. He has written much that is valuable; and much that deserves, not only the serious attention, but the gratitude, of those who claim the title of members of the Church of England. To his ·late Discourses, on one of the most important doctrines of Christianity, with a few exceptions, we paid the tribule of just commendation. And to come to the subject in controversy, we fully admit the legality of affixing whatever meaning an author pleases to the terms which he uses. We should, therefore, have had no cause of dissatisfaction with Mr. Daubeny, had he included or excluded any simple ideas, in his complex notion of the visible Church : provided he acquainted his readers with the peculiar sense in which he used the term. What we ob. ject to, and what we think we have reason to object to, is the value and efficacy ascribed to the visible Church, even when expressly bereaved of spirituality and purity of doctrine, With no exception even for this case, Mr. Daubeny represents it repeatedly as “the only covenanted plan of salvation.”. (See App. p. 384, and the whole Letier vii. particularly p. 370, 371, 375) Agreeably to the same contracted, exclusive, and, we are persuaded, unscriptural system, we find all those churches which are not episcopal; those, for instance, of Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and Scotland, by an emphatic preterition, of which, on another subject, Mr. Daubeny well understands the force, excluded from the privilege of holding forth to its members a covenanted plan of Salvation. (App p 129) Far removed from this “magis. terial stiffness," as Bishop Burnet terms it, is the moderation of the XXllld Article of our Church.
We are as averse as Mr. Daubeny can be to the separating or setting at variance the spiri. tuality and the government of the Church, both of which, by their Great Author, were intend. ed to be kept in constant union. Since, however, they are actually separable, for they have been and are separatedo we think it far less dangerous unreservedly to declare our preference of spiritual religion, than by a reluctance to acknowledge that superiority, to tempt men to place an ineffectual and fatal reliance upon external observances. And for this opinion we fear no imputation upon our principles, as members of the established Church, from any, whose information and freedom from prejudice, qualify them to pronounce a rigliteous decision upon the subject.
The contempt which Mr. Daubeny expresses for the party attacked, both in his titlepage, and in various parts of his Letter, he will excuse us if we condescend neither to reply to nor retort. But when he represents us as considering “the essence of the Gospel to be in a great measure contained in the unscriptural peculiarities of Calvinism.” (p. 44 ) we cannot refrain
The non-existence of spirituality in the Church of Rome, supposed to be consistent with its being as a Church, is, in p.51 of the Letter, dwindled down to its being,"in a great degree," superseded. Christ. Obsery. No. 9.