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themselves necessarily efficacious. But the inconsistency is greatly heightened, when, after the example of a large and authoritative portion of the christian church, we arrange the two sacraments under different categories; and make the one efficacious when rightly administered, the other, when rightly received; or in other words, when we assert baptismal regeneration, and deny eucharistical transubstantiation. We readily grant, that the Scriptures alone can ultimately decide the question ; but, nevertheless, there is so plain an inconvenience in the want of an analogous system of theology, that we may fairly argue a priori, from the improbability of a revelation from heaven being so circumstanced. How this consistency is to be maintained, without assuming the sameness in nature of the two sacraments, I must confess I cannot comprehend. Again, let this hallucination be permitted in our theological scheme, and there is an end of all argument upon the nature of either sacrament: since our logical deductions in favour of baptismal regeneration, will equally prove the real presence in the eucharist; while on the other hand, our deductive refutations of this opinion, will be, to the same extent, refutations of our own, regarding baptism.— Pp. 67—69.
It is not very easy to comprehend what Mr. Osburn means by his analogous system of theology; but admitting an analogy of design in the two sacraments, and a corresponding analogy of effect upon the recipient, we are still at a loss to discover any connexion between our author's premises, and his conclusion. In the first place, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is not correctly stated; but, without stopping to investigate the matter at length, what possible or conceivable analogy is there, we would ask, between baptismal regeneration and eucharistical transubstantiation? The one is a spiritual change effected in the recipient; the other a substantial change in the sacramental elements. Protestants, at this day, believe that grace is conveyed both by the water of baptism, and by the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper; but they believe not that the bread and wine are changed into Christ's body and blood, any more than that the water in the baptismal fount is changed, by consecration, into the water of the Red Sea. Mr. Osburn might argue with equal perspicuity, that an astronomer who believes in the Copernican system must of necessity extend his faith to the personal existence of the man in the moon.
Towards the conclusion of his work, Mr. Osburn apologizes for certain supposed deficiencies in his argument, on the plea of having '• studiously endeavoured to avoid the appearance of invading the sacred function;" and of an "unwillingness to violate that decorum," which should " leave to those who minister in holy things the discussion of the subjects proper to their office." This modest avowal we read again and again, and would fain have believed in the sincerity of the apologist, but for a passage, which had strongly impressed itself upon our minds, in an earlier part of the volume, which we must take leave to lay before our readers.
Is the entire figment of a church on earth, the only authorised expositor of the word of God, in virtue of the apostolical succession of her clergy, (a notion as utterly destitute of Scripture warrant us the supremacy of the Pope) any thing more than a dilution of the doctrine of Clement and Ignatius, from which the deduction of the Romish church, that therefore the Scripture is to be denied to the laity, has been somewhat illogically severed? And is it possible to escape the inference, that therefore the laity will do well to leave a very exact and curious attention to religion, to those whose holy orders confer upon them the advantages for such pursuits, whatever they may be, which accrue from the apostolic succession; and not to busy themselves with inquiries which they must necessarily pursue under unfavourable circumstances, and with which they have, in strictness, no right whatever to intermeddle I—Pp. 214, 2IS.
Except it be Mr. Osburn himself, we know of no Protestant authority, though he speaks of a host of them, which denies to a layman the right of " searching the Scriptures," with a view to the establishment and propagation of scriptural truth; but we could mention many laymen who have devoted their time and their talents to the proof of that "entire figment" which Mr. Osburn denounces; nor are we aware that "the whole tenor of the theology of the Church of England, in the present day, affords a blessed and unanswerable testimony that, before the bright beams of Christ's gospel, this error is fast fading away." To be sure there is Dr. Arnold, of Rugby, who seems to be of some such an opinion; but every sound Churchman thinks that the good Doctor would do well to read over the Ordination Services, and reflect upon the sacred obligations to which he bound himself before the altar of his God, when he was admitted into the priesthood of the Church of England. For ourselves, we are of the number of those " wrongheaded members" of that Church who maintain the apostolical succession of her Clergy; and we must take leave to adhere to the opinion, at least till we have some stronger evidence against it than the bare assertion of Mr. Osburn.
We have already admitted that there is much research in the volume under consideration; but the inferences are, in many more instances than those to which we have referred, most ingeniously perverted. In' fact, the apostolical and early Fathers are in error whenever their doctrines disagree with the religious system of their opponent. Granting, however, that they are always as wrong as he would represent them to be, we should think that their acknowledged piety should screen them from virulent abuse, and almost malignant vituperation. It cannot add much to an argument to talk of " the mad career of the turgid and bloated declaration of Ignatius;" there is nothing gained by calling Tertullian a " raving fanatic," and sneering at the " buffoonery " of Irenseus; nor is it a mark of very high attainments to dwell upon the "inconceivable absurdity," the "flattering idiotcy, or doting anility," and the " asinine rnetaphors," and "flippant foppery" of Clement of Alexandria. But we have done with this display of hard words and authoritative denunciations; and we trust that the honesty and piety of the venerable Fathers of the Christian Church will be sufficient, in future, to throw a veil over those errors, whether in doctrine or discipline, with which they arc really chargeable.
Art. IV.— The Young Pastor's Guide to the Practice of the Christian Ministry. Five Discourses, preached before the University of Cambridge in the Month of March, 1835. By the Rev. Thomas Dale, M.A. London: Richardson; Wix. Cambridge: Stevenson. 1835. Pp.xii. 123.
We have, on several late occasions, adverted to the two-fold duty imposed on the Clergy in the present day—the care of their flocks, and the defence of their Church. The latter, indeed, of these objects must, under all public circumstances, form a part of the Clergyman's task; but, in ordinary cases, it will be very subordinate; some of the Clergy, indeed, will rarely be called upon to deal with it. We, however, live in extraordinary times; the Church itself is menaced; the dragon yawns to ingulf the very fountain of the water of life; and every champion of the Church must arm in its protection. Every rustic parish priest, however locally removed from the din of the assault, must yet temper his weapons and stand on his watch, both to protect his flock from the grievous delusions prevalent, and to withstand the general operation of those delusions by every christian and constitutional instrument. This circumstance, as we have observed, has of late given a peculiar tone and character to visitation charges ;—the importance of attention to the signs of the times, and of improving the important crisis, having, by its temporary magnitude, eclipsed for the present those earnest exhortations to private pastoral diligence, which, in times less rude and turbulent, were wont, almost exclusively, to form the materials of such treatises. We do not condemn a course resulting from the temper and circumstances of the times, however we may, on every account, regret its necessity. The enemies of the Church are the only culpable party, and among those who have been principally instrumental in the change, are very many whose pretensions to piety are of the highest—the most unbounded—character. We do not, we say, condemn the course; but we would indicate one danger connected with it—that of merging the private and pastoral duty in the public and controversial. We are far from insinuating that the Clergy are not awake to the importance of both. We are satisfied that the soldiers of Zion are anxious to do their duty in the camp as well as the field ; —but the mode of these duties is so different, that it will always require the most active watchfulness to discharge both in due season and due proportion. Above all, there is in the excitement of a public cause, and the development of the antichristian operations from day to day, a stimulus which cannot be found in the quiet, but most important walk of parochial labour. There must always therefore be some danger lest the public and conspicuous duty insensibly take place of the private and retiring. The present period, therefore, while demanding unquestionably an unusual inculcation of the pastor's general duty to his Church, is far from justifying remissness in reminding him of what his private charge requires. It is on account of this private personal duty on the part of each individual Clergyman, that the Church itself is worth contending for. In proportion as this duty is performed with diligence and fidelity, will the Church be valuable and valued. Without this, public exertion will be of no avail;—it will be unblessed, for it will want the great conduit of blessing,—pure intention; since no man can have a pure zeal for the Church, whose conduct proves him indifferent to the welfare of the flock committed to him. In vain will he appear as the champion of the Church, who leaves his appointed post to the enemy, while he seeks his own glory in the more elevated places of the field. The battle of the Church must be won as the great conflict was won twenty years ago,* by every man doing his individual duty. Some are required to act a less conspicuous and arousing part; but without the faithful discharge of this the field cannot be maintained; nor shall they lose their share of the glory " when the Chief Shepherd shall appear."
If the inculcating of their pastoral duties on the Clergy of our persecuted Church be emphatically seasonable now, there is another class who are not less concerned in the emphasis—the probationers for holy orders. We have always advocated an express theological and pastoral training between the B.A. degree and the Bishop's examination. The absence of such a discipline renders it especially incumbent on our University authorities to bear in mind, on all public occasions, the peculiar profession for which so many of their pupils are training. The University sermon is one of the best and most legitimate of these opportunities. It is right, nay, it is indispensably necessary, both for the Church and her intended servants, that they should know unreservedly the difficulties of the warfare to which .they are called. The rustic recruit who yields to the enticement of the military garb and the apparent ease of the military life, repents from his heart when he comes to behold the actual presence of war. The profession of the Church, as connected, with literature, refinement, and general acceptance in society—as engaged about higher things, the study of the most exalted and most important subjects,—as having for its exclusive object to do good, and that in no equivocal or questionable way,—may on these accounts naturally recommend itself to a youthful mind, where ardour abounds above reflection, and all is generalisation; or, if any attempt is made to particularize, it takes the warmth of the sanguine temperament from whence it proceeds. The young candidate for the ministry must learn that, though all his anticipations of its satisfactions and comforts should be realized, (and they may) yet that this is only an imperfect view of his chosen calling; that he is about to enter on a warfare, of which indeed the weapons are not carnal, but which is not the less real for
• Written June 18th.
being spiritual; that he must be ready to acquit himself as "a good soldier of Jesus Christ;" and that there is this difference between the carnal and the christian warfare, that the former is sometimes suspended, whereas the latter is always in progress—and that there is every reason to expect that its military requirements will every day increase; that it is very far from improbable that the Clergy will be called to occupy the posts of Hammond, of Taylor, of Hall, if not those of Ridley, of Latimer, and of Hooper; and that he that would engage in the ranks of the Church must be provided with the heart, if he share not the fate, of a martyr.
Mr. Dale has taken up the ground which circumstances so clearly pointed out as advantageous to the academical preacher, and has defended it with his usual ability. We might almost say, with more; for in nothing that he has written has he been more decidedly successful. These sermons are every way calculated for their auditory. If the graces of eloquence and composition may be justly expected from St. Mary's pulpit, there is a richness, a fervour, an energy in Mr. Dale's style, which could not of itself fail to win a ready ear with men of liberal education; it never degenerates into that vicious and tawdry rhetoric which is too much the character of modern pulpit oratory; it is constantly chastened by sobriety and judgment; but the great force and effect of the style itself proceeds from the matter of the discourses: so that, after all, the convinced and impressed listener must own that his faith does not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The whole of the sermons are illustrative of the text 2 Tim. iii. 16,17The authority and application of it are first considered. Indited indeed by the Holy Ghost, it still acquires an additional interest from the channel through which it is conveyed: "Paul the aged," speaking almost from the confines of the invisible world. To the young probationer for the ministry it has also a peculiar interest: being addressed to a young minister who might, in a manner, be considered a representative of the class whom the sermons address. Having laid out these circumstances to his readers, Mr. Dale next enlarges on the several important propositions contained in the text,—the general character of the Scriptures as an inspired whole; hence the necessity of declaring and preaching them in all their fulness, and of aid from the Holy Spirit both to preach and to hear, succeed; then the various objects of Scripture are severally discussed; doctrine, conviction,correction, instruction, in righteousness. Then follows the perfection of the ministerial office—"that the man of God may be perfect." It will not come within the compass of our means to produce extracts from every sermon—but a few we will present to our readers, which are by no means mere "purpurei panni," but specimens, and not partial ones, of the rich texture itself.
The following is the conclusion of the first sermon :—