« PreviousContinue »
a very valuable part of the British Magazine. The truths of revelation which lie out of common observation, are chiefly to be found in the epistles. No part of sacred scripture more deserves, or does more highly reward an attentive study; and the imperfections of our translation are almost confined to the epistolary portion of the New Testament. Moreover, the strength of the Christian religion consists in these epistles, both with regard to the historical evidence they afford in reference to the Acts, and to the sound and authoritative character of their moral and metaphysical philosophy; a more full development of which would serve as an antidote against that philosophy, falsely so called, under the intoxicating effects of which, the present generation is reeling; it would be the chief means under which might be expected μήποτε δω αυτοίς ο θεός μετάνοιαν εις επίγνωσιν αληθείας, και ανανήψωσιν εκ της του διαβόλου παγίδος έζωγρημένοι υπ' αυτού εις το εκείνου Seinua,-(2 Tim. ü. 25); and the practice, which has become more general, of the clergy studying the sense of scripture exclusively through the original language of the New Testament, seems to be leading to this happy result.
In the passage produced from the epistle to the Philippians, ii. 13, by your correspondent, the sentence immediately preceding the words, únip rñs evdokias, seems to me to be a parenthesis, and that the words under discussion, v. 7. €., be construed in immediate connexion with carepyaseole-. e., do these things, útèp, for the sake of, on account of της ευδοκίας, which is further explained in the fifteenth, ίνα γένησθε GEURTO-in order that you may be without reproach ; which is the sense of υπέρ της ευδοκίας.
The character of St. Paul's epistles is, that they consist of reiterations of the sense which he means to enforce. The context in which these words, v. T. E., occur, resembles that in the 4th chap. ver. 8 and 9 of this epistle, in which, especially, eupnua expresses the sense of uwep rns ev.oktas; whatsoever things are of good report, &c., are but a more enlarged expression of vnep TNS EvỒokiac. In the 16th verse of the 2nd chapter of this epistle there is a mistranslation--" holding forth the word of life,” as if to others lóyov (wñs éméxovreç signify having firm hold of, or adhering one's self to the word of life ; and which words are further explained in chap. iv. 8, raura doyiscolle-let your reasonings or discussions be employed on the subjects enumerated—öra lotin áłnon, * 7.1.—which are the subjects of moral philosophy, and to reason upon thein, the definition of that science, a branch of clerical education and of clerical study, latterly too much neglected.
MR. TIMPSON'S HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. SiR, -Amongst the many dishonourable weapons of offence which the dissenters of the present day are forging, there are none about which they are more busy than what are termed Histories of the Church. A very slight consideration will suffice to account for this tendency. It is much safer to lay the scene of their fables as far as possible from inspection. The patch-work of their painting is not quite so easily
VOL. V:-Jan. 1831.
discernible. When they fire from a distance, their cannon cannot be quite so readily spiked. All men have not the time, or acquirements, or patience, to subject such mis-statements to the scrutiny of the severity of truth. It is easier, because they have a wider choice of material. It requires, too, less of the inventive faculty to make in this way a good sounding discharge. For a modern fabrication, of very poor pretensions, has quite an imposing appearance when it rides in the shoulders of an ancient exposed, but now forgotten, falsehood. Mr. Howitt's book supplies unnumbered illustrations of the facility of this sort of mis-statement; so do the historical lucubrations of the Ecclesiastical knowledge Society. But there is at least this merit in these Histories--that they openly profess their aim. There is, therefore, less danger in them, for no one need eat of these ragouts who does not like the garlic with which they are seasoned. But there are some other societies engaged in the same manufacture, whose innocent appearance may mislead the unwary. It is a case of this sort which has suggested to me these reflections. There is a Society called “ The Book Society for Promoting Religious Knowledge amongst the Poor," consisting of members of the church of England and dissenters from her communion, one of their rules being the exclusion from their publications of the peculiarities of different denominations in church policy or modes of worship, with a view to promote an union between churchmen and dissenters. Now this society has just put forth a History of the Church, which is altogether modelled upon the principles of dissent. Indeed, in hatred to the church of England, Mr. Howitt can hardly exceed Mr. Timpson. There is no exploded falsehood which is not here revived; no detected and branded impostor which does not come again upon the stage with all the simpering artlessness of hardened roguery. Land,“ an inhuman monster, capable of any act of barbarity,” throws up his hat, thanking God for Bastwick’s sentence. The doctrine of the apostolical succession is first invented by Bancroft. The Puritans are spiritual Christians whom the “courtly worldlings of the church of England persecuted," &c., &c., &c. Usque ad nauseam. The liturgy is said to be “a form of prayer which, to win the people, was translated principally from the Popish Mass Books then in use," &c. We are told, with reference to episcopacy, which, in another place, is termed anti-Christian prelacy, “that the numerous clerical orders of the popish system were retained in the church of England.” (Q. Does Mr. Timpson know that there are seven orders in the church of Rome?) We are told that Edward the Sixth, Hooper, &c., wished in vain for the abolition of every “unscriptural ceremony.”—p. 373. “ The forms and constitution of the church of England” are declared to be “unscriptural and popish.” I need not multiply quotations to shew the utter falsehood of the pretence that such a work as this excludes the peculiarities of different denominations. It is throughout a false and garbled account, of which its bitterness against the church of England can be the only recommendation. The literary claims of Mr. Timpson are of the lowest order conceivable. His style is mean and poor: intlated, without force,-colloquial, without ease,-a curious mixture of garrulous diffuseness and grandiloquent obscurity. His power of seizing, in a
transient sketch, the main features of history, is well illustrated by the fact, that, in his whole account of the struggles of the “prelatical demon" with puritanism, the name of Hooker is not even mentioned. His taste may be estimated by his not thinking wat all criminal, language equally severe with Leighton's Plea against Prelacy, now often employed against the anti-Christian character of our prelates," though, if the laws permitted it, he hints that “intolerant priests would still persecute by a Star Chamber.” His acquaintance with his subject may be gathered from every page. Inter alia, he is quite eloquent (-durus vindemiator et invictus) on the abuses and absolute illegality of the prelatical courts of Star Chamber and high commission; and then he praises the “ sober, mild, and pious Abbot,” when that homicidal archbishop, in his private Memoranda of his Life, as given by Rushworth, records his high admiration of the constitution of those courts; and that, until his health rendered it impossible, “he never missed of a single day attending upon them.”
Mr. T., in short, is one of those half-learned writers who flutter with an awkward and disastrous motion over the surface of their subjects, and whose paltry offerings are only acceptable to the diseased and craving appetite of modern dissent, from the malignity with which they are tainted. But there is one most instructive page in Mr. Timpson's History. It is where, in his account of religion at the present day, amongst sneers at the church of England, whose orthodox clergy, he affirms, " are mostly latitudinarian in their principles, &c.," and, amongst praises of all the different kinds and degrees of separatists, he lets out incidentally the real tendeney of the voluntary and presbyterian principles. In giving an aceount of the Socinian congregations, he shews, from documents of genuine dissenting authenticity, that, out of 223 Socinian meeting-houses within this land, 52 only were built as such,—the remaining 171 having been built by persons decidedly orthodox;" and that the endowments, by which Socinianism is supported, amounting to 72001. annually, were all left by (orthodox dissenters” for “the propagation of doctrines the very contrary to those of Socinian belief.” This most instructive fact cannot be too often put forward. Let parents see to what they expose their children when they quit the shelter of the apostolic communion for the tempting paths of orthodox dissent. Let them see in time how fearful a harvest of curses they are heedlessly sowing:
I am your obedient servant, II. E. K.
Mr. EDITOR,—I have been glad to observe, in your last number, a paper of much greater moderation, in regard to the factory question. I did not think it worth while to say any thing upon the subject while the public fever was at its height; for, in the midst of so much violence and prejudice, the sober truth would not have been tolerated.
That most of those honourable persons, who have taken a lead in this measure, have been actuated by the purest intentions, there can be no reason to doubt; but they have, in many instances, been grossly misled; sometimes by partial statements, sometimes by total false hoods—the fabrications of designing men, to serve their own interest, political or pecuniary.
Sir, I live in the heart of a manufacturing population; and I declare, that the accusations of cruelty brought against the masters, and the horrible descriptions of punishment ordered by them, are altogether without foundation, at least in this neighbourhood. The children may be occasionally corrected by inferior superintendants, as other children are, but that is all. There is no peculiar instrument of punishment generally used; and, out of many thousands in daily work, I have seldom heard of any child being corrected with undue severity. By the owner of the works they are never chastised at all; nor do I know of any master in this place, who would suffer the children, if he knew it, to be cruelly or improperly treated.
With respect to the education of the children, there has also been much misrepresentation. There are no places in the kingdom in which schools, especially Sunday schools, are more liberally supported than in manufacturing towns; and no other children in the world can avail themselves more readily and effectually of the blessings of such institutions. I once lived in an agricultural district, and therefore am enabled to form some comparison; and I am free to avow, that the factory children attend school, on the Sunday, as regularly, as cheerfully, and as profitably, as any children I ever witnessed. And many of the factory adults render their gratuitous services in the work of education.
In point of health, it would be absurd to compare the situation of children in factories with that of children in the farming districts, where they are living in the fresh air; but the difference is not near 60 great as might be imagined ; and certainly the children who work in the factories here (i. e. in cotton factories) are by no means more unhealthy than the generality of other children in the town, who are employed at their own homes.
Now, Sir, I would not have you gather from this statement, that there are no moral defects in the manufacturing system which need to be repaired, no evils to be remedied,—there are several, especially those which proceed from night-work, a most wretched and demoralizing system ; but this is not peculiar to any trade, nor so frequent in factories as in some other places. What I am anxious to assure you is this, that there are few disadvantages in the factory system which do not equally attach to all trades where great multitudes of men, women, and children, are assembled together at their work; and further, that the masters have been, partly from wilful falsehood and partly from mistaken feelings of humanity, most grievously calumniated.
Yours truly, November 5th, 1833.
LABOURERS' FRIEND SOCIETY. SiR-As agent of the Labourers' Friend Society, I have been requested to insert in your highly-useful journal a short statement expressive of the obligations the society are under to the clergy in all those districts, especially the south-western counties, in which, for the last twò years, I have been labouring to introduce the practice of allotting small plots of land to labourers, for the profitable employment of their leisure hours, in order to afford them a savings bank, in which, with advantage to themselves and the community at large, they may invest their surplus labour, be withdrawn from the ale-house and bad company, acquire an interest in the soil, and a stake in the country, be identified with those who possess permanent property, and, through the medium of their own exertions, be enabled to rise in the scale of moral existence.
During my last journeys in the counties of Berks, Oxon, Gloucester, and Bucks, which occupied six months, and during which I held twelve public meetings, and formed ten local associations, of 170 subscribers, who enrolled themselves as members of the Parent Society,the offices of which are at 51, Threadneedle-street, and 32, Sackvillestreet,-forty-eight were clergymen.
The committee are desirous of testifying the sense which they entertain of such genuine patriotism, and entertain a confident hope that on reading this notice many more will be induced to “go and do likewise." I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,
G. W. PERRY. * 5, Threadneedle-street, 14th Dec. 1833.
December 20, 1833. MR. EDITOR,— The statement respecting the destruction of many of the city churches, I regret to say, does not rest upon the testimony of the newspapers. That such a project is in contemplation, and that steps are actively in operation for carrying it into effect, is now un. questionable. But the friends of the church are not idle. The sweeping demolition which is about to take place has awakened a feeling, which, unfortunately, when a single building was the object of attack, was allowed to lie dormant.
A larger number of churches are doomed to destruction than the sum you have given it and it will scarcely be credited that, if the measure is carried into effect, some of the finest buildings of Wren, and with them a profusion of carvings by Grinlin Gibbons, of the most beautiful description, will be lost to the world. To name but one instance, the church of St. Clement, East-cheap, is the first object of attack. The exterior of this building promises but little, but the solidity and elaborate carving of the wood work, and the whole arrangement of the interior, are very superior specimens of the old school of churches. To destroy this church would be a
• The Editor has great pleasure in giving place to this letter, and again calling the attention of all his readers to this society,