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must, of course, have indisputable weight with regard to Chnrchmen. The Church is assailed. This admits not of a doubt. Perjured Papists, Infidels,
".—^— qui nullo nuimlum credunt rectore moveri,
"Protestant Dissenters," at whose meetings Mr. O'Connell harangues, all these are using every conceivable weapon of the kingdom of darkness against the Protestant Church. The very government of the nation is in their hands. To deny that the Church is in danger would be the blindest fatuity. But how is the danger to be met 1 The Church, as the Church, cannot meet it. She has no Convocation, no ordinary means of acting in a collective capacity. Yet she is not without the means of defence. Her members may yet act, energetically and unitedly, though not in an official union. Apathy on their part can alone alienate from her the protection of the Highest, who is in her by his covenant, and cannot be with her enemies, except, if need be, he may use them as his instruments to correct and purify her.
Mr. Norris, with great ingenuity and ability, presses home this argument by the example of Esther. Israel, the covenanted people of God, was, by the government of Persia, in the hands of a godless minister, devoted to extinction. The relevancy of that historical fact it is unnecessary to indicate or insist on. The people of God were scattered, and, in human prospect, utterly helpless. But did the decree take effect? No. It brought confusion and utter ruin on the wretch who planned it, and advanced and aggrandized the community it aimed to ^extirpate. And how was this effected? Through the prayers and labours, principally, of two individuals of the nation. Esther, the queen, though a Jewess, was not known as such; her cousin Mordecai, perhaps with a view to that crisis, had charged her to conceal her nation; but now that persecution had arisen against the Jews, he takes altogether a different course, and commands her to profess her religion, and seek indemnity for her people at the hands of the king. But it was death to approach the royal presence unbidden; and to approach with such a profession and such a request, might well seem death inevitable; and Esther shrank from the trial. But Mordecai replied, "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews; for if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to tlie kingdom for such a time as this 1" (Esth. iv. 13, 14.) On this text Mr. Norris preaches, and very eloquently and logically enforces the necessity of decision on the part of Churchmen in times of danger to the Church ; and indignantly denounces the cold and selfish policy which, while it dreads to apostatize, hesitates to act; which regards all activity as useless, or only calculated to injure the active party. He that is not with the people of God, openly and actively with them, is against them. God needs not their exertions; he can bring deliverance to his church, if so he pleases, "from another place;" it is themselves they benefit when they fight his battles; but if they fight them not, they must expect to be treated as renegades and deserters.
We especially recommend the perusal of this sermon to all waverers, although we believe no ingenuous or pious mind can fail to be benefited by its just and forcible application of the Scripture parallel. If we do really believe our Church to be sound, and Catholic, and Apostolical, we should have the same confidence in the Arm that protects her, that the Israelite, our spiritual ancestor, was authorized to entertain. Deliverance will arise for her; and the great point is that we may have our part in the fulfilment of that glorious purpose, and be the instruments of the divine glory. As Mr. Norris expresses it,
■ Let Esther's example, then, be adopted as your pattern, and stedfastly embracing her awakened conviction, in the enlarged view of it which I have been endeavouring to set forth, take each of you this true estimate of your Christian responsibility, that you are come to your respective places and influence in society, as the came to the kingdom, "for such a lime as this," for the particular exigencies, with especial reference to the Church, of your own probationary period; and casting yourselves, as she did, by humiliation and.prayer, upon the divine succour and support, brace up your minds to the heroic standard of her determination, so impressively summed up in her decisive words, "if I perish, I perish." If it please God that my life be sacrificed in this perilous service, His will be done. I cannot devote it to a better cause, nor can I hazard its forfeiture more profitably to myself, than when it will be gain to lose it. Let this then, finally, be your established purpose; and though, in the self-confident calculations of conspiring unbelievers, our Church's days are numbered, as were those of Israel at the crisis before us by her inveterate foe, and sport is made of it in their impious carousals, as already prostrate at their feet, alter the same eusample, yet emulate Esther's fortitude with unwavering resolution. For this is one of the Church's divinely-specified prerogatives, that that kingdom shall perish which deserts its cause, and the same issue that Esther's narrative has recorded shall ultimately defeat, in every instance, all the evil which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man works against it—their wicked devices shall "return upon their own beads," and its " sorrow shall be turned into joy ;" and "light and gladness and rest" for ever shall be its portion.—Pp. 28—30.
Our readers may perhaps say, " We see the obligation, but we do not see our way clearly to the discharge of it." We answer, the history itself will sufficiently instruct us. The Jews, in their persecution, employed themselves in prayer and humiliation. Let Churchmen do even as they. Let every man's private and earnest prayers arise for his church; let him, in faith, and reliance on the promises, earnestly beseech God to confound the malice of her enemies; let him invoke a blessing on his own personal exertions; the spirit of enlightenment to discern, the spirit of courage to execute; above all, let him purify his heart, that his prayers be not hindered, and that he bring not a curse upon his people. Then "armed thrice," because his "quarrel" is "just," let him further imitate the Israelites, by appealing from a perfidious and enslaved administration, to a Protestant and faithful king. Let the Church lay her cause at the foot of His Majesty. Let the laity distinctly press for THE CONVOCATION; let them not say, "it will not be granted," " the request will be fruitless," but let them say, " duty bids, I come," and we shall see whether He in whose hand the king's heart is, to turn it whithersoever he will, will not lead him to extend the golden sceptre. And we would add, with that deep respect with which it becomes every British subject to approach the throne, "who knoweth whether His Majesty himself be come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" His firmness, in the counsels of Providence, may yet be the means of crushing the formidable conspiracy of our godless enemies.
We will conclude by presenting our readers with one more short extract from this powerful and convincing sermon, in which the preacher traces, with wonderful acuteness and reflection, the parallel between our times and some others.
So far then it appears we are personally interested in Mordecai's expostulation. To bring it completely home to us, our respective times and circumstances with reference to our own portion of the Catholic Church, must also correspond; and though, on first glancing upon the case, this obvious discrepancy presents itself, that no overt act of hatred so revolting to humanity has been perpetrated, as the pronnulging a decree of extermination against our whole communion, yet the spiritual wickedness, constituting the very gall of bitterness in this sanguinary proscription, may still be abroad amongst us, and in active operation, compassing the same ends, with a refined malignity, by circumvention and intrigue.
The times of Julian are precisely those characterized in this position; for that apostate from Christianity, in the course he adopted towards the church, studiously abstained from open and direct persecution. He affected, with reference to religion, that specious impartiality, which leaves to every man full power of judging for himself what faith and worship he shall adhere to; but, under this mask of moderation, he withdrew from the Christians, and their spiritual rulers, the privileges that had been granted to them—he shut up the schools in which they exclusively taught philosophy and the liberal arts, turning the whole empire into a college of infidelity—he encouraged the sectaries who brought dishonour upon the Gospel by their divisions—and, whilst reviling the Mosaic history, and ridiculing the Jewish law, he distinguished the Jews by special marks of his indulgence.
This was his insidious policy as ecclesiastical history sets it out. The statement is most remarkalile with reference to our own Church, in the times in which we live: for terms could not be chosen more accurately descriptive, even in their minutest details, of the spoliations and restraints now under legislative deliberation, for its future discountenance, and intended, if it be possible, to be passed into laws. And if, upon comparing this sapping system with Hainan's projected carnage, a question can be raised as to its essential identity with that tyrannous decree, either in the spirit which suggested it, or in the issue,, the subtle contriver's own testimony will set that question at rest; for Julian made it no secret, that the motive by which he was actuated was hatred to the Gospel: and that the policy he pursued was adopted upon a conviction both of the insufficiency of violence to effect its extirpation; and that the dexterous management of undermining expedients under the semblance of clemency, would accomplish that impious design. But the same Eye, whose watchfulness over Israel was its security against Hainan's conspirings, was still expanded with unslumberipg vigilance upon the Church: and as, in the former instance, the reckless persecutor was taken in his own snare, and perished suddenly by his own contrivings, so, in the latter, was the treacherous dealer, with almost equal unpreparedness for such an event, made a betrayer to himself; for he rashly embroiled himself in a war, which he as imprudently conducted, and the lance of a Persian soldier cut him short in his career, when he had lived just long enough to develop all the crafty wiliness that he imagined.
The time then in which it has pleased God to cast our lot, is precisely such a time as that which the text refers to. It is one of those seasons " of trouble, rebuke, and blasphemy," which many a time, in ages past, the church has experienced, and to which, from a moral necessity, it is still continually liable, in its passage through a world equally at enmity with it, and the God of its salvation. The very Israel of God, under the Gospel dispensation, it is now publicly proscribed, in the very terms I use, as "a vile inculnu" upon Christianity; and the Unmans amongst us, who revile it in these atrocious terms, and who are conspiring together, and taking their counsel, to blot out its very remembrance from the earth, have been long too successfully preparing the way for this consummation of their hatred, by spurious admixtures and disfigurements of their own perverse conceits, and by confounding it with tbe corruptest counterfeits.—Pp. 19—22.
Art. II.—The Life of Bishop Jewel. By Charles Webb Le Bas, M.A. London: Rivingtona. Pp. iv. 345.
This is the fourth biographical volume contributed by Mr. Le Bas to the " Theological Library," one of the most excellent and orthodox periodicals of the day; but after a diligent perusal of this Life of Bishop Jewel, we were a little disappointed at the few additions made to previous lives. We could also have wished that a more perfect enumeration of the Bishop's works had been given.
If we contemplate the period in which Bp. Jewel flourished, and take a review of the very active part which he took in the establishment and extension of the Reformed Religion, it must be obvious that a popular account of his life and times at the present momentous crisis, would be highly useful and edifying. In our day, the re-establishment of Popery in Ireland is more than threatened. We have seen the Papists on all questions leagued with a base faction to overthrow the government of Sir Robert Peel, solely because he identifies himself with Protestantism. We have seen the assumption of episcopal dignity by the idolatrous professors of Popery. We have witnessed a descendant of the great Lord Russell, who laid his head on the block for the cause of the Established Church, combining with Jews, Infidels, and Heretics, in the unholy work of plundering the house of God. And with these evils staring us in the face, we think nothing could be more profitable than a more enlarged and popular history of the champions and martyrs of Protestantism, than that we have now before us.
Mr. Le Bas, it is true, modestly declares that he assumes " no other merit than that of care and industry," in the compilation. But Mr. Le Bas has already acquired a great name in the republic of letters, and every brochure stamped with his imprimatur carries with it a prima facie evidence of sterling merit, which we would never wish to see impaired.
In the list of Jewel's works, we find omitted—
An Answer to Mr. Hardyng's Book, entitled, " a Detection of Certain Errors," &c. London, 1565. London, 1568.
And the Letter to Scipio is dated erroneously 1559, whereas the bull of Pius IV. summoning the Council of Trent, is only dated Jan. 1, 1560.
Perhaps in a future edition our author will correct these little blemishes, and also think it worth his while to consult the Cotton MSS. Colig. B. 5, fol. 312. 6, where there is a Tract entitled, "On the Bp. of Salisbury, his Words at his Death, and Epitaphs." And we would further recommend an application to the library at Zuric, where, we believe, a mass of original correspondence exists, as well as in some of our own public libraries; calculated, not only to throw considerable light upon the life and opinions of this distinguished prelate, but to place his erudition and profound knowledge of Scripture in a still more exalted point of view than it already so deservedly occupies.
We could have wished, moreover, that the history of that most splendid monument of Jewel's genius, the " Apology for the Church of England," had been more fully discussed, and that a detailed account of the various editions it has gone through, and the languages into which it has been translated, had been recorded. This would have been no very difficult task, as Mr. Isaacson, in his Translation, had acted the part of a laborious pioneer, and collected, in a most classical style, the " testimonies of authors" on Jewel's unrivalled merits. And in the preface and life prefixed to the American edition, some further information might have been obtained.
It has been the fashion amongst our opponents, to magnify the celebrated recantation of Jewel into an absolute abjuration of the principles of the Reformed Religion ; and some have been found who have gone so far as to say that he never was cordially reconciled to the professors of the Established Church. This point has been most satisfactorily disposed of by his biographer in the following passage :—
At Frankfort Jewel found himself in the midst of a great company of Protestant fugitives, from whom he met with a most cordial and fraternal welcome; more especially, because he appeared among them as one recovered from the