« PreviousContinue »
Kingdom, and also wherever the English language is spoken, that this PRESENT YEAR, 1835, IS A JUBILEE OF THE REFORMATION with us; and I indulge the humble hope that, when your readers have given a candid perusal to this communication, they will be animated with devout gratitude to celebrate our glorious and blessed Reformation from the doctrinal errors and tyranny of Popery.
1. As to the cause of the non-commemoration of the Reformation in Great Britain and Ireland. This may briefly be referred to the gradual manner in which the Reformation was accomplished. It was the work of many years ; so that, in fact, there has hitherto been no definite period or year which could be fixed upon for such commemoration. Our Protestant brethren on the 'continent are, in this respect, more favoured than we have been. Geneva celebrates her third centenary of the Reformation in the present year; France, I believe, next year. The Lutheran Churches in Germany (whose ministers statedly preach once a quarter against the soul-destroying dogmas of Popery) have not fewer than three commemorations in each century, viz. : 1. In the year 17, Luther's burning the papal bull for his excommunication, and the publication of his theses, which are regarded as the commencement of the Reformation; 2. In the year 30, the publication of the admirably written confession of Augsburgh ; and, in the year 34, the publication of the entire version of the Bible, in the German language, by the learned and venerable Doctor Martin Luther. On the 21st of November, 1834, all the Lutheran Churches in Germany celebrated the lastmentioned centenary commemoration with great solemnity; as also did the Moravian Church in this country. At Berlin, a medal was struck in honour of the event ; having the bust of Luther on one side, with appropriate inscriptions on the other. I now come, Sir, tom
2. The Commemoration of the Reformation in the United Kingdom, and in all other countries where the British language is spoken or read. This present year, 1835, completes the third centenary, since the publication of the first entire English Protestant Version of the Holy Scriptures, at Zurich, by Myles Coverdale (Bishop of Exeter during the reign of King Edward VI.) in the year 1535. The last page of that extremely rare volume has these words :-"Prynted in the yeare of our Lorde m.D.xxxv. and fynished the fourth day of October. The fourth day of October, 1835, falls on a Sunday. Such a conjuncture, Sir, cannot happen again for centuries. What is there to prevent all consistent British Protestants from celebrating a third centenary Jubilee of the Reformation ? particularly as such a commemoration would be only a fulfilment of the strict letter of the ecclesiastical regulations now in force both in Great Britain and in Ireland.
Besides various injunctions and intimations of the National Church of Scotland, which are to be found in the Sederunts of her General Assembly from 1560 to 1780 inclusive, on the duty of her clergy to watch and to report the progress of Popery, &c. in their respective parishes; by a special act of the General Assembly passed in 1749, the Scottish clergy are ENJOINED to preach " at least four times a year on the evils of Popery, and the good effects of our Blessed Reformalion.” · With regard to the Church of England, it is “ decreed and ordained" by the first of her "Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical" (which has not been set aside or invalidated by any act of parliament for the alleged relief of Romanists,) that “all ecclesiastical persons having cure of souls, and all other preachers and readers of divinity lectures, shall, to the uttermost of their wit, knowledge, and learning, purely and sincerely, without any colour or dissimulation, teach, manifest, open, and declare, four times every year at the least, in their sermons, and other collations and lectures, that all usurped and foreign power, forasmuch as the same hath no establishment nor ground by the law of God, is for just causes taken away and abolished ; and that therefore no manner of obedience or subjection, within His Majesty's realms and dominions, is due unto any such foreign power, but that the king's power, within his realms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and all other his dominions, and countries, is the highest power under God; to whom all men, as well inhabitants as born within the same, do, by God's laws, owe most loyalty and obedience, afore and above all other princes and potentates in earth." · The second of the “ Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical" of the Church of Ireland contains a similar enactment, which is equally in force in that portion of the United Kingdom.
Such, Sir, are the existing Ecclesiastical Laws of Great Britain and Ireland. What now, I repeat, should prevent the clergy of these countries, and, I may be permitted to add, all loyal and consistent Protestant Dissenting ministers, from celebrating, with devout gratitude, the Jubilee of the Reformation in the United Kingdom and its dependencies, ON SUNDAY, THE FOURTH DAY OF OCTOBER, 1835, on occasion of the completion of the third centenary since the publication of the first entire English Protestant Version of the Holy Scriptures ? Those learned gentlemen can be at no loss for suitable topics on such an anniversary; and for one part of the day, the Clergy of the UNITED CHURCH OF ENGLAND and IRELAND, as well as of the ProTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCHES IN SCOTLAND AND IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, have an admirably appropriate text furnished to them in one of the psalms for the morning service; viz. Psalm xix. verse 7:—" The law of the Lord is PERFECT, converting the soul : the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” The morning's discourse, I would respectfully suggest, might treat on the perfection of Scripture as the only rule of faith and practice, to the utter exclusion and subversion of all unauthorized human traditions; and on the inalienable right, duty, and privilege of every person to “ search the Scriptures” for himself, that he may “prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.” The afternoon or evening discourse or lecture might contain a general statement and vindication of the leading doctrines of the pure and unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, as professed by our own and by all other orthodox Protestant Churches. The late eminently learned and munificent Bishop Barrington justly remarked, that “ if the Reformation was worth establishing, it is worth maintaining." (Sermons and Charges, p. 437.) And at a time like the present, when the advocates of Popery are leaving no effort unattempted to pervert unwary Protestants from their pure and holy faith, it surely does become every Protestant shepherd to exert himself to the utmost to " banish and drive away" all error and heresy from, the fold entrusted to his care, for which he must “give account” at the last day to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls.
I remain, Sir, yours, &c. A PRESBYTER OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND.
We readily comply with the request of Presbyter, in inserting the above letter, the importance of which we doubt not will secure it an attentive perusal from our clerical readers. Already, we understand, the suggestion for a national commemoration of the blessings of the Reformation has been favourably received ; and we fervently hope that the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will act upon Presbyter's suggestion. Indeed we cannot doubt it, knowing, as we do, that the Delegates and Syndics, who control the typographical concerns of those Universities, have at this time in the press, two masterly works against the pernicious tenets of Popery. At Oxford there is in the press a new edition of Bishop Stillingfleet's Origines Britannicæ, enriched with valuable notes; and at Cambridge, there is nearly ready a new and beautiful edition of Archbishop Usher's masterly refutation of Fisher the Jesuit, and other valuable tracts against the errors of Rome, by the same distinguished prelate.
HEBREWS XI. 13.
" And confessed they were strangers and pilgrims upon earth."
The wheels of time are journeying still
Pentateuch ascribed to him ? State, and answer the objections made to its genuineness and authenticity.
2. Give the meaning and origin of the names Bethel, Dan, Zarephath, and Ashdod; their places on the map; the names they bore at other periods; the occasions on which they are mentioned. Describe the divisions and government of Palestine at the time of our Saviour.
3. State the occasion and scope of the Epistle to the Galatians, with a short analysis of its contents.
4. Why was the New Testament written in Greek ? What is meant by recensions of the manuscript ? Which are the principal recensions ? What are the apostolical Fathers ? Why are they not received into the canon ?
5. State briefly how the humanity and divinity of our Lord are both essentially concerned in his temptation, atonement, and intercession.
6. Explain the following passages : (a) “ Woe to the women that sew pillows to the arm-holes." (6) "The Lord our righteousness." (c) "Be not righteous overmuch.” “Let the dead bury their dead.” “ He found no place for repentance.” Reconcile Isaiah xlv. 7. “ I create evil," with Genesis i. and state the opinions of oriental philosophy on this subject.
7. What texts imply that Jesus was the Son of God before he came into the world? In what relation to him and the Holy Spirit, and to Adam, who is termed Son of God by St. Luke, are christian sons of God ?
SECOND MORNING. Translate literally:
1. Kai ó Baollelos, inclusive to â rolloū tipātai o Xplotos.--Chrysost. 7. 'Iepwç II.
2. Venerabar, ô cæcitas ! inclusive to, dies, cum venerit, ampliora ? Amob. adv. Gent. I. 39. State what you know of these books and their authors, and specify the particular forms which heathen idolatry assumed in different ages and countries. 3. Latin translation.
. PASTORAL CARE. 1. What is said in Scripture, or the Ordination Service, of the dignity of the pastoral office, and the end of the christian ministry ?
2. What do you understand by laying aside the study of the flesh, required of you at your ordination ?
3. State your views of the proper treatment of-first, The ignorant and careless ; second, The self righteous; third, Those under religious impressions.
4. Where do you read the Communion Service ? what is the order of the Rubric in this respect? why does it order the reader of the lessons to turn himself, so as to be heard of all present ? Describe shortly the dates of the changes by which our present Liturgy was finally altered.
SECOND AFTERNOON. 1. What are the two first classes of objectors to the doctrine of the Atonement ? State briefly the answers to each, and name the principal writers of authority upon this subject. Distinguish between the Unitarian and Socinian, and show how the schemes of the Socinian, Calvinist, and Papist, with regard to the future, are liable to the same objection.
2. Distinguish the states of justification and sanctification—first, As to duration ; second, As admitting, or not, of degree; third, As to the immediate consequence ; fourth, As negative and positive states. What is the difference of doctrine between man being rewarded secundum opera and propter opera ?
3. Define the terms Church, Catholic, Ecumenical. What are the prominent doctrines common to the Patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian churches ? What are marks of a true church ?
4. Enumerate the principal churches in Greece and Macedonia, at VOL, XVII. NO, VI.