Page images
PDF
EPUB

spirit which becomes it always reigned in its sessions, its meetings would indeed be highly privileged; and such has occurred now. We have spent two delightful days in our work, and have just adjourned in the most fraternal good-will

, although different views and principles have been represented, and some exciting matters have been discussed. Would to God it were always so among brethren !

There were present, of the Bishops, the Bishop of Connecticut, who presided (Bishop Brownell), and the Bishops of New Jersey (Doane), Western New York (De Lancey), Maryland (Whittingham), Rhode Island (Henshaw), Massachusetts (Eastburn), New Hampshire (Chase), Pennsylvania (Potter), Indiana (Upfold), Maine (Burgess), and the Missionary Bishop to Turkey-Bishop Southgate. Of the clergy and laity, there were besides, about thirty present, members of the Board; and many others attending its sessions. The morning of Wednesday, the 19th inst., was devoted to Divine Service and the Holy Communion; the sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. Stevens, of Philadelphia, from the first chapter of the prophet Haggai, verses 2d, 7th, and 8th. In the evening, the reports of the Domestic and Foreign Committees were presented, exhibiting, on the whole, an encouraging view of the work.

Our Domestic Missions, you know, are managed by a Committee, who devote themselves entirely to the wants of our own new dioceses ; while the concerns of our foreign stations are entrusted to another Committee, in a similar way. These two committees make annual reports to the Board, which are examined and acted upon, as may be necessary and expedient. These reports, at the present meeting, furnished the chief business, and suggested such discussions and remarks as warmed the hearts of all present to renewed interest in the sacred behalf of evangelizing the world. It is with us indeed the day of small things ; and a deep sense of this insufficiency, and inefficiency, was one of the encouraging signs of the spirit of the meeting. When we look at the noble Missions of our beloved mother, the Church of England, we are made to blush, and to own that we fall far short of her example, even in a proportionable estimate; but still that example stimulates us more than it shames us ; and to have it constantly before us, in our counsels and debates, is one of our richest encouragements.

You will perhaps be glad to know what little we are doing. The Domestic Committee have sustained, in whole or in part, during the year, three Bishops, ninety Clergymen, and three lay-assistants. They are burthened with a debt of 10,000 dollars ; but their receipts, during the year, have been greater than their expenses. Among those labours which have been more wearisome than fruitful, according to present appearances, is a negotiation with the Government, growing out of an application of the Chickesaw tribe of Indians, for missionary aid from our Church. These Indians, of their own accord, have begged the Government to allow us to establish schools and churches among them, and to defray a portion of the expenses out of money which is annually paid to their nation by the Secretary of the Treasury. Accordingly, the Government made a proposal to the Board, which was accepted; but when the details came to be settled, it was

NO, XXXVIII.

G

found that such conditions were exacted by the Government as could not be suffered ; and, accordingly, the matter was dropped, but a message has been sent to the Chickesaw chiefs, proposing to establish a Mission among them on another plan. If published, the account of this business will be very interesting, and will reflect honour on the Church, which, in treating with “the powers that be,” has shown herself possessed of a spirit and character widely diverse from that which they have been wont to find in the sectarian bodies with which they more frequently have dealings.

Our Foreign Committee have received 34,000 dollars, and expended somewhat less, on their three missionary stations and the school in Greece, keeping their Missionaries paid in advance. The embassy of Bishop Southgate to the Oriental Churches, so dear to many of us, but so much opposed by others, is the least encouraging of its operations, owing to the embarrassment the Bishop has experienced in the receipt of funds for carrying on his work, and his consequent return to America to present himself, and his trying grievances, to the Church, in general convention. This unexpected event, justified in the Bishop's own mind, and indeed rendered imperative by his painful circumstances, has proved, on the whole, so far as we can now see, unfortunate for his work, as strong efforts were making in his behalf, and it was confidently believed they were such as to ensure permanent relief. But the Bishop has acted for the best, so far as he could judge, in circumstances peculiarly discouraging, and at a great distance from his friends and advisers ; and he hopes, in a few months, to be able to return to his field of labour, with full assurance of lasting support and ultimate success.

Our Mission in Africa still suffers from want of inore labourers, and, more than all, from the want of a Bishop to make it truly a Mission. But churches have been erected, and schools multiplied, and a second generation of Christians is now sitting at the feet of its fathers and mothers who were in Christ before them, and giving cheering evidence that something has been gained, on which, as on the substructure of a bridge, the future work will be less difficult, and at the same time, if it please God, more visible and more beautiful too. In China a church has been erected ; nine adults baptized ; nine confirmed and admitted to holy communion ; and there are ten catechumens preparing for baptism. Better yet--one native youth, Chae, has probably, ere this, been admitted to the diaconate; he was to have been ordained at Easter; and thus, we suppose, has one of these uttermost sons of Shem received from Japhet, abiding in their tents, that apostolic gift whose mysterious history proves so wonderfully what the Saviour intended when he said that the gates of hell should not prevail against his Church. To see the blessing which Seabury and White brought to us from Scotland and England, thus transplanted in China, will awaken inspiring reflections among our British brethren. Yet what is this among so many ?

Our five loaves and two fishes look

very small when a starving world is before us; but, thanks be to God, He knows what He will do, even now, as of old.

Yours truly,

A. C. C.

CHURCH BUILDING AND CHURCH MUSIC IN THE

COLONIES.

SIR, -As we have received at last the comfortable assurance that our fondly cherished, though of late years somewhat “calculating" mother, has no present intention of giving us over to the designs of the Annexation faction, perhaps a humble voice from Canada may still meet with some of the abundant consideration which has hitherto been bestowed upon the affairs of the Church in this and other Colonies.

The immediate cause with which I am personally connected has been already more than once, in the Colonial Church Chronicle, as well as from other sources, brought before the public ; but at present my object is of the “paulo majora” order: I would even venture, through your journal, if you approve of my ideas, to suggest two matters of some importance and of easy accomplishment, I think, whereby the Colonial Church would be much benefited.—They are, in a word, that effectual aid should be rendered us in promoting, first, Church Architecture; and, second, Church Music in the Colonies.

First --- In order to the attainment of the first of these objects, I would suggest the publication in a cheap form of a periodical, containing plans of churches as well as specifications and directions for the construction of them, with incidental hints of principles of sound architecture and the practical application of them. Plans of Churches might be thus furnished, beginning with very simple and inexpensive ones, not merely giving outlines or general schemes of buildings, but, descending into the minutest details, (it is easier for one who is not čju Telpos to catch at a decent general idea of a building, than to work it out correctly,) directions might be appended to the plans for carrying them into execution, in 1st, wood; 2d, brick; and 3d, stone. That the plans might be available in all localities, they should be carefully and accurately drawn out and described, so that (in such matters) youthful minds may be able easily to master the designs.

Secondly,--With regard to the other subject, Church Music, no one whose heart has ever beaten with the feelings which, after a long absence (as on a voyage), or a residence of years in the solitary wilderness, rush up with stilling emotion on hearing once more o the Lord's song in a strange land,” can fail to appreciate the importance of it. It will perhaps be said that there are already plenty of means at hand for meeting this want; and this answer might seem at first sight to dispose of the matter altogether : and yet, I conceive, much more might be done, and with much greater effect, by very simple means. We ought to have a provision made for the instruction of candidates for the Ministry in the Colonial Church in the good old tunes (psalms

1

1 Why not too at home? For my own part I would have been thankful had it formed part of my own education; but neither my friends nor myself attached the importance which from a short experience I now do, to the cultivation of this art, even by those " who are not musical.” There are few geniuses in music, as in other arts,

2

and chants) which abound in our Church-simple parochial music, by the way, not cathedral music or difficult anthems. They ought to be able when they are ordained to lead their own choir--if necessary, they ought to be able to train their own choir, (and well would it be for the devout seriousness of many

at home

if this were the case.) The knowledge of music required for this--I mean, for training a country congregation, or the children of a village school, to sing together decently the praises of God-is not great, and a little cultivation of this amongst other branches of education would secure its attainment. Some attempt we have made in this institution towards this object, and though little has been done, something has ; and the ears of our future clergy are at least alive to the superiority of our regular Church Music over the modernisms which prevail largely on this continent. Had we a book of orthodox psalms and chants set for men's voices only, (as Mr. Hullah has set some of his class books, for instance, we should reap no small advantage from it, as manifestly the ordinary arrangement of tunes will not suit a congregation composed exclusively of male adults. With such a help I do not think there would be any insurmountable difficulty in getting this branch of education at once adopted in all our new collegiate institutions. If you judge these remarks to be practically useful, as I hope they are calculated to be, you will do good by giving them publicity, as well as oblige

Your obedient Servant,

JASPER H. NICOLLS.
Bishop's College, Lennoxville,
Diocese of Quebec,

1850.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Reviews and Notices.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Eruvin ; or, Miscellaneous Essays. By the Rev. S. R. MAITLAND.

London: Rivingtons, 1850. DR. MAITLAND explains in the preface, (and we dare say our readers will be as glad to have the explanation as we ourselves were,) that Eruvin is a Rabbinical word, which, “stripped of its lion's skin, signifies properly 'mixtures' or 'miscellanies.' Under this title we have a series of ten essays on some of the most important points of theology, we might almost say a comprehensive view of that part of the system of theology which treats of the origin, actual state, and destiny of man.

Dr. Maitland finds his chief employment, more suo, in controverting popular prejudices on the important subjects which he handles. We commend the little volume heartily to our readers, as full of instruction and suggestion even where it does not convince.

1

Life of Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. Translated from the German. By the Rev. W. TURNER, M.A. London: Rivingtons, 1850.

The history of this great man, interesting to English Churchmen at any time, has peculiar claims upon our attention in the present day. The theological student and the practical Christian still find in his remaining works something much more valuable than mere historical information,—the reverent searchings of the subtlest reason, and deep lessons of self-discipline. It is not surprising that writings of his have been frequently attributed to St. Augustine.

But still more deserving of study at the present moment are he events of those sixteen years in which Anselm presided over the English Church. Struggles with worldly temptations in youth, and unwearied application in manhood to books and to religious exercises in the best-regulated monastery of the time, constituted the providential training of the man who, at the age of sixty years, was called to exercise the highest spiritual rule in a land where he was a foreigner. The throne of Canterbury was not merely a post of honour in that age when the master spirit of Hildebrand was at work in Rome, whilst the Normans were supreme in England. Wonder changes to thankfulness as we trace the providential steps by which the aged monk was made successful in vindicating the Church's spiritual liberty from the violence and the craft of the two sons of the Conqueror; how again, when the Archbishop would have withdrawn the Church even from her temporal allegiance to the king, the fears of the Pope were a providential check, inducing Anselm to yield a point which (to the Church's hurt) he might have gained; how, also, in the strength of simple-hearted integrity, he resisted and baffled successive Papal legates, who (without discouragement from Rome) sought to lord it over a heritage which Anselm knew that the Chief Shepherd had committed to him.

For those increasing numbers who are beginning, whether as friends or as opponents, (let us thank God for both,) to feel an interest in ascertaining the nature of the relation between Church and State, we scarcely know a more valuable lesson than might be gathered from this book. It is written throughout in that calm and moderate spirit by which truth is ever most likely to be advanced. Not having the original German to compare it with, we do not know how much of its merits is due to Mr. Turner, and how much to M. Hasse, the Professor of Evangelical Theology at Bonn, whom he translates. It exhibits the fruit of much serious thought and learning without ostentation.

« PreviousContinue »