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(So it bath pleased Heav'n who gave the same,)
Γνoίεν δ', ώς δη δηρόν εγώ πολέμοιο πέπαυμαι.
Yet sighs my soul in secret for their pride,
I plead for them, and may not be denied.
And dim the statesman's eye, and disunite
My words, to Faith, are Peace, and Hope, and Might.
Glooms of his own; and gathering storms afar-
Alas ! heaven's lightning would ye chain and bar ?
2. “ I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms.”
“ The Lord hath set me o'er the kings of earth,
To fasten and uproot, to build and mar ;
Not by mine own fond will : else never war
Ne'er had the light of Judah's royal star
Fail'd in mid heaven, nor trampling steed and car
*Tis not in me to give or take away,
He tunes my voice, the tones of His deep sway
Therefore I bid earth's glories set or shine,
3. “ This man is worthy to die : for he hath prophesied against this city."
“ No joy of mine to invite the thunder down,
No pride, th' uprising whirlwind to survey,
It veers in silence round th' horizon grey,
Dreaming fair weather would outlast their day.
On the dread arm that wields the bolt; but He
A wither'd leaf inscrib'd with heaven's decree,
4. “ I said, I will not make mention of him . . . But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire.”
“Sad privilege is mine, to shew
Oft have I said, ' enough—no more
But the dread word its way would win,
And I was forc'd to tell aloud
Awful warning! yet in love
Breath'd on each believing ear,
The landmarks of a thousand year,
That hour, full timely was the leaf unrolled,
And till his people's chain should be outworn,
0 ye remnant of Judah, go ye not into Egypt.”
Of mother prest on weeping infant's brow,
The glory from the ark is gone-
Low lies the Temple, wondrous store
The pride that in our evil day
Would fain have struggled in Chaldea's chain :
And now, though every shrine is still,
Speaks out by me th' unchanging will :-
But, till the woe be past, round Canaan roam,
The Editor begs to remind his readers that he is not responsible for the opinions
of his Correspondents.
THE OCTOBER FESTIVAL. Sir,—As those of the clergy have been in some places severely censured who refused to observe the 4th of October as a festival, I wish to offer a few observations on the subject, with a desire of having it fairly and calmly discussed, in order that, on any similar occasion, we may be prepared to act with unanimity.
Those are the best churchmen, and the best friends of the church, who, instead of relying on their private opinion and judgment, act upon her principles and obey her laws. Now, of the fundamental principles of the church of Christ, this is one—that nothing is to be done without the decision of the bishop. We are not inquiring now into the wisdom or the foundation of this principle; we simply assert that, whether right or wrong, it is a principle, not merely of the church of England, or any one portion of the church, but of the church univerşal, a principle as old as the apostolic age, heing insisted upon by St. Ignatius, the pupil of St. John, in a manner the most earnest and impressive. There is, indeed, one passage in his epistle to the Magneseaces so striking that I cannot refrain from transcribing it. “ It is fitting,” says he, “ that we should not only be called Christians, but he so. As some indeed, call their governor Bishop, but yet do all things without him : but I can never think that such as these have a good conscience, seeing they are not gathered together thoroughly, according to God's commandment.” What right, then, what authority has a simple presbyter to appoint a festival without having received a command from his bishop? I say a command, because such injunctions must always be made in due form, and according to canon. It is not sufficient excuse to say, Dr. A. or Dr. B., who is bishop of this place or that, thinks that we had better so act. In thus stating his opinion, he acts, not as a bishop, but as a mere individual, and may speak off-hand and incautiously; we must receive his command, or at least his sanction, under his episcopal seal, because it is there only that he addresses us’in his official character, and this he will not do until he has fully examined the subject, and consulted with his metropolitan. Without this mandate, I ask again, what authority have we to
appoint a festival ? If we had thought it necessary to hold the 4th of October as a festival, our proper course, as I stated to the satisfaction of my own parishioners, would have been to have assembled and petitioned the archbishop and bishops of this province to appoint it as such.*
Whether they would have acceded to the request, may be more than doubtful. For what was it that it was proposed to celebrate ? The publication of Bishop Coverdale's Bible as the first translation of the Scriptures into the vulgar tongue. But this is not a fact, and to assert it, as such, is to utter a base calumny on our church, -as if the divines of the church of England had made no provision for the instruction of the people in the Scriptures at any time before the æra of the Reformation. Now it so happens that, within little more than a century after the first establishment of the church of England, in the year 706, a portion of the Scriptures was translated into the Saxon language, that is, the vulgar tongne, by Adhelm, the first Bishop of Sherburn. The Gospels were translated by Bishop Egbert before the year 721 ; while, a few years afterwards, a version of the whole Bible was completed by the venerable Bede, one of the brightest ornaments of the church of England. A part of the Bible was translated by King Alfred, and there was another translation by Elfred, who was Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 995. And long before Wickliffe's translation, we find an English version in existence, of which the date, according to Anthony Johnson, is 1290, the Saxon versions having, by that time, grown obsolete. Even so late as 1373, we find John Thurby, Archbishop of York, censuring the clergy because they were beginning to withhold the Scriptures from the people; and in 1394, Archbishop Arundel in his funeral oration on Queen Ann (wife of Richard II.), commended her especially for this, that, although a foreigner, she constantly studied the four Gospels in the English tongue. It is not true, then, that Coverdale’s was the first translation of the Bible; and it is most untrue (as it is wished to insinuate, — strange wish on the part of churchmen,) that the church of England had all along before his time neglected to provide the people with the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. It may, indeed, be true that, owing to the circumstances of papists holding preferment in the church of England, until they were prevented from doing so by what was effected at the Reformation, (just as ultra-protestants hold preferment among us now,) the circulation of the translated Scriptures was impeded in the time of Bishop Coverdale,--but this continued to be the case after the publication of his translation, so that the 4th of October could not be considered as the anniversary of the emancipation of the Scriptures. At the same time, let it be remembered, that, although the circulation of the translated Scriptures was impeded in the time of
• This is surely the only safe and correct view, With every respect for the excellent persons who were forward in promoting this, as they would every work which they considered good, one must still ask, Is it to be in the power of any individuals to appoint a fast or festival in the church ? Men without any sense of religion, or with mere fanaticism to prompt them, may take the same step hereafter, unless the next attempt is decidedly and openly opposed. -Ed.
Bishop Coverdale, this had only been the case for a little more than a century. The only prohibition, I believe, in existence, as far as the church of England is concerned, is to be found in Archbishop Arundel's constitutions, and it is very cautiously worded: “We enact and ordain that no one henceforth do, by his own authority, translate any part of Holy Scripture into the vulgar tongue, or any other, by way of book or treatise. Nor let any such book now or lately composed by John Wickcliffe aforesaid, or since or hereafter to be composed, be read in whole or in part, in publick or in private, under pain of the greater ex-communication, till that translation be approved by the diocesan of the place, or, if occasion shall require, by a provincial council.” An admirable translation, thus sanctioned and approved, the church of England now possesses, but that translation is not Bishop Coverdale's.
It is not to be denied, that the use of the Bible was prohibited in the popish council of Toulouse, A.D. 1229; but there is no proof that this canon was ever sanctioned by the church of England. It
have been acted upon by some our ecclesiastical rulers, but this does not prove that it was received by the church in convocation. The distinction between an act of the church, and of those who happen to be its members, is a fair one. The majority of the clergy in England might, for instance, preach Calvinism, since there is no canon by which they could be punished for that offence, yet this would not prove the church of England to be Calvinistic: or the majority of the clergy might act on latitudinarian principles-doing what is right in their own eyes, without deferring to their bishops—but this would not prove that the church itself sanctioned such uncatholic practices; it would only shew that some fresh canons or articles are required. I do not say that such is the case, but merely that such may be the case. So, before the Reformation, the majority of the clergy may have preached popery, but it does not follow that the constitution of the church of England was popish. I do not, however, wish to pursue this subject at present, my object being merely to assert that the church of England is clear from the blame which some of her ultra-protestant friends would heap upon her, of having prohibited the use of the Scriptures to the people all along, until the time of Bishop Coverdale. Considering that the great body of the people were unable to read, as much was done as could easily be expected; and the solitary enactment to which reference can be made to substantiate the charge, did not affirm that no translation ought to be admitted, but that it ought not to be used until properly revised -in other words, that that ought not to be given to the people as Scripture which was not Scripture.
Whether I am correct in the remarks now made or not, this may be fairly admitted in our favour,—that we have acted wisely in not appointing a festival to commemorate a fact of the existence of which we are not convinced; and that we ought not to be blamed for consulting history as to the nature of our facts, instead of taking for granted the statements of a pamphlet, even though that pamphlet be written by one of whom it is impossible to speak without respect. As to the effect of this commemoration on the Popish dissenters, I know not how we can give them a greater triumph than by asserting what we