Page images


The attention which has lately been paid to Church Discipline is one of the most encouraging signs of the times, as regards our religious prosperity. Its origin may be briefly traced as follows:- The Reformers of the Anglican communion proceeded, as has been well observed, on a refined and catholic principle of ecclecticism, not taking what seemed best to their own private judgment, and most expedient for the circumstances of the times, but what was most in accordance with the teaching and usages of the primitive Church. This principle they exhibited in all the authorized and corporate acts of that branch of the Church Catholic over which they were called to preside. But the great work of the Reformation required and found instruments of all kinds. The poor labourer was to be awakened from the delusive lethargy in which the combined doctrines of purgatory and Roman absolution had plunged him; the mendicant friar and the itinerant preacher were to be combated with popular weapons; the learned Papist was to be met with the volumes of the Fathers and the early records of the Church ; and the bold but untrue statements of Papal champions were to be refuted by an appeal to the facts of history. But the frailty of human nature will rarely allow the man successful in one department to abstain from meddling with others with which he is less acquainted: the qualifications which carried him triumphantly through one dispute, or one course of exhortation, will, he hopes, stand him in stead in another; and the motto 5 Non omnia possumus omnes” is practically forgotten. Hence we find that

those whose names we reverence for their faith and zeal, are many whose writings are little in unison with the accredited doctrines and discipline of our Church. Holding to the one true and great foundation, they not only built, in some instances, an incorrect superstructure thereon; but, venturing on subjects unconnected with doctrine, they promulgated grievous errors: the consequence is, that there is scarcely a sect (save those enthusiastic ones which find favour chiefly, if not wholly, with the vulgar, and save also the various grades


[ocr errors]

?a ܕܐܺܬ݁ܠܐܕ ܘܠܐܘܰܢ

TIRANE A SET OF 3129 1796 by:13. stats Aty Salsa SIZE 2353 34 : bauta irtintas. Urtivo, o

Na 2 m a. vid.. bago: 012 je quan. A Isastart. 31.

Divri esok. soos 93 asam. O. DIJET: adian BBL Buy Add "

OT TESS2I 2 TY1106 m. ADULLESE ose pas 2133m Ajast 1.202..DESCO TIE : TOLI ILL. AUS

ਕਰੋ ਵਰਤ ਹੈ, C. Donor oa tuotája. S01E11 DaDEL: 20',

an avionit TE EI S s tonos. *AE. SIE: 93.4f ladin AS : SAT 1.I sST-2DOL. , . *sesuón on Aaa, A. TOT 22. aD DIBI. em deia: augs" 5. Ik diza: DOOLI Dinsan. 0. Bao. so pr

2: TEL. 33. 3 a 0. DE ****... i dosd, JE I. anh- an' 33. D. *DOTTI a. He went esas aleja20al DALJE.. boor: u:

BaaSt. TJA. IL EST 1 asta de ITEL : c Tesadas SA di "sasaran : moon TaUTETTEL SI DOSS05E- TEU set

و به بیت الله هود E

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

We must,

Church had disfranchised and unchurched her, considered that the perpetuity of the Church could only be maintained by admitting and defending the apostolicity of the Piedmontese Churches. Hence arose the controversy.

We may be permitted to say, that, taking the principles developed into consideration, the truth appears to lie partly on each side ; for we are perfectly satisfied with the arguments adduced, by Mr. Faber and others, as to the apostolicity of the Albigenses and the Valdenses; and, on the other hand, we believe that the Churches, both of Rome and of the Greeks, are, though awfully corrupted, branches of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, and as such, therefore, offer to their communicants the means of salvation. We allude here to the controversy only to show that it was supposed, and we think rightly supposed, by these Christians, that they had preserved the episcopal succession : and they still do so in office, though not in name. then, look to the Lutheran Reformation for the establishment of a presbyterian discipline; and we shall find various sentiments obtaining among the continental Reformers, according as they thought it practicable or impracticable to introduce the episcopate. Calvin admitted, in the earlier part of his career, that he thought it most apostolical where it might be obtained; but, despairing of founding National Churches, he and his brethren seem to have been careless as to episcopacy: for it is undoubtedly true, that when he proposed to Elizabeth, among other persons, a synod to establish an uniformity of discipline and worship, he and others might have obtained consecration at the hands of the Reformed Anglican bishops, who would have been but too happy to confer on their continental fellow-labourers the advantages they enjoyed, and of the importance of which they were fully sensible. The reply of Elizabeth to this notable proposition was, that “ the Church of England would retain her episcopacy”-a reply, from which we learn, at least, the opinions of the Queen and her advisers, that Calvin intended to establish, or rather wished to establish, an universal presbyterianism among the Reformed Churches. There are those to whom the fable of the fox who had lost his tail would be suggested, by the appearance of this transaction; but it would be

veil o restore te terre. jetre meg a tessica. Ta vare le može nei r:ma izcesi ani jer ministers; jut the grasi mtimemcz ris amori. 1 lat te na: nie temae's noe i hings-arer mat Cina u IsEm tu ict beste scisecratce. and tercre mur de ou siessen 1 160-essentä сg: citer le lane I e dini sem it soy mccru: ir je ni suala z 11 urner Icezires vere made in Genesa sa le crner jf nat et; acumt iergumer w u zes : celference in vich e her party 12 y reiserninesi dhe pesi sa u sue, and en er i are acca ne ai ariages of veir scmmunica. 11 atler 2. se Berim ut Generz is, a se prescrizren siedesco pas suficient einstituite estucai sie.

Forms sauterzan ve S - e . 22 i e Generan use me, ai reuse saat Cinch hare au exercer as 11 pva mi nience is making prostyterianism sciarsi amecge Ricerei Cauruses Ee, trosther za Beza acteers, ac rate Gener 1 s testant Rume; it visste de aceste i 2 scraraa Churches, the nodei bimca suca Cazares te me their discipline, and he wire bawica sey were s tuše their docuires. I canect de acord de rize ile of Casin, side by such res a Beza udze ciers 20 c00er with him it his project, were we are curg it into execution; and, mcrccrer, it is act sa se dezecea sa crer this Postestant Rome, Care, ty creasca ai accepting the ottice of cercetal presiter, tad ecstrzed zimzelt the Protestant Dire The more, therefore, is sekere ci Cecrea geriment extended, the greater wc is own power and personal iniserce becere; and we see this exercized by tie hoid which his doctrines and perscaal oçicios maiested in so remote a cantry as Scotland. On tie atzer Leed, by overthrowing the Pagal supremacy, the Ceuri cf Eogiai established the principle that ail tishups were ecza, sare as to priority; precedence might be feited, but superiority could not te claimer: and herce, by acceding to the episcopal üschine, Calvin, though he might take a higher order in the Church than that of presbyter, would have lost his real supremacy: those who, as it was, were subordinate to the president, could not have been, by the very constitutions of the Church, subordinate to their fellow bishop.' We are not, it is true, justified, from these facts, in asserting that Calvin was only prevented by a spiritual pride of place from acquiescing in and acceding to the episcopal discipline; but we cannot help very strongly suspecling that such was the case.—The character and attainments of such men as those to whom we have alluded could not fail to make a strong impression on their age; and we find the Genevan doctrines soon silently spreading within the pale of the Anglican Church, and bringing with them, in no slight degree, ideas favourable to the Genevan discipline also. Hence we are not to be surprised if we find many of the early Reformers predestinarians and low Churchmen. Some stronger minds separated the two errors; some were strong enough to see and reject the dangerous laxity, but not acute enough to detect the doctrinal metaphysical error. This latter was the case with Grindall and Whitgift ; the former with Hooper and Bradford. Moreover, the excitement of progressive change had not passed away in the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign, when the final stand was made; and it was said to the Reformers that enough had been done-to the Reformation.

“ Hitherto shalt thou go, but no farther.” The Church had now, by the blessing of God, been purified from every Roman error ; she had preserved every element of Catholicity; and had the movement been allowed to make further progress,

the results must have been unfavourable: but it was not to be expected that, after so many years of progressive changes, the love of change, for its own sake, would not have arisen in many minds. Such persons identified reformation, naturally enough, with alteration; many others really preferred the Genevan discipline, and entertained the hope that further changes would be introduced, till the framework of the Anglican Church would assume a Genevan character; others, struck with horror at the depths of Roman corruption which had been so lately, so boldly, and so constantly laid bare before them, and mistaking re

« PreviousContinue »