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SUCCESSIVE BEREAVEMENTS-CHRISTIAN SUBMISSION.
“ IT IS THE LORD.”—1 sam. iii. 18. We know not all why little ones are lent,
And now the stroke is past No tame career! Not more we know why they are caught away ; In two short months to hear a threefold knell, We darkly guess why stroke on stroke is sent- And thrice with dear ones load the cruel bier ;
But know, for sure, it is our Father's way. Was it for aught but faith to say 'tis well ? *Tis thus He maketh oft his children weep,
“But wherefore thrice?" Ask me, vain querist? Nay, And wonder much; yet is He holy still;
Ask Him whose thoughts are my thoughts far Up then, my soul, tho' now his ways are deep,
above; And say, Amen! Thou Great Unsearchable !" A mystery, yet so clear, that faith can say
Ev'n in the depths--a mystery of love.
Then to my heart enough the solace be;
He doth not smite at random or in jest ;
Nor hath the cup one dreg of wrath for me, We saw the trembling scales of
life and death. And much did love imagine o'er the boy,
But all is meant in wisdom for the best.
And now tho' dark it is not wbolly so, And pray and wish the blow might not descend;
A dear one hath escaped to bless our eyes : And human hope beheld with eager joy,
Praise then his name! this proof of love we know, What her eye deem'd the subtle fever's end.
And shall we doubt for those which he denies? Deceit, alas! The foe had but retired,
What tho' we know not now why comes the rod ? Sparing his fury for a last attack,
We yet may know hereafter; and, if not, And soon again the little veins he fired,
We still dare joy that all is known to God, And much too well to need his coming back.
And unappali'd commit to Him our lot. Love doubtless still had dreams, for love will Yea, let me say, while every pore doth bleed dream,
Within my heart, and anguish blinds my eye, But fears she also had, and they were true: Do on thy will, my Father, and if need, Life's feeble taper gave a parting gleam,
Strike yet again; I'll trust thee, God most high! Then sunk away in darkness from the view.
December 8, 1847.
G. C. H.
A WORD TO THE WEARY.
FAINT YET PURSUING." FORWARD go, thou pilgrim weary:
Forward go, bereaved one lonely, What though life look dark and dreary,
Though of all thy kin thou only, God himself doth guide thy way;
On earth art left remaining; Gleams from heav'n thy path shall lighten,
Look up, beyond yon deep blue sky, At each step thy view shall brighten,
There lives å friend who ne'er shall die, Till opes the dawn of cloudless day.
On heav'n's high throne now reigning.
Forward go, believer dying,
Though hell's shafts be round thee flying, Though thus dark the present seems;
And Jordan's deeps be swelling; 'Tis when thickest glooms are low'ring,
Yet on, still on, a few steps more, 'Tis when fiercest storms are pouring,
And thou shalt reach heav'n's happy shore, That we look for milder beams.
Thine own eternal dwelling.
PRESENT POSITION OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH. even of a year's events, no circumstances,
no alliances, no symbols are unimportant, In the present equipoise of spiritual forces, which, in fact, stand forth as badges of filithe position of the Protestant Episcopal ation and paternity, and which may be apChurch of England is, we must not say pealed to as such in some moment of eccleneutral, but ambiguous. It is not as if the siastical conflict. A day may come-and church, strong in a calm unanimity of feel- such a day seems to be at hand-wherein ing, had taken up a position between the the Church of England will be dealt with, two parties, prepared to mediate and to not according to its intrinsic and its ancient rescue truth from the expected collision of merits, but according to its badges ; accordthe two. This is not the fact; for the church, ing to the colours it wears ; according to its intensely sundered in opinion, reels to and ostensible armorial distinctions. And it fro between the two, apparently inclining to- may thus be dealt with—first, by its declarward the side of anti-biblical despotism; and ed opponents, who will snatch an incalcu. yet, on the feeling which pervades very lable advantage in thus denouncing the many of its individual and private members, Episcopal Church as a body, degraded with connected by vital sympathies with the the scarlet fringes and the meretricious ribchurch, truly Catholic
and Protestant. At bons of polytheism ; secondly, it may thus such a moment, when human sagacity must be dealt with by the mass of the people, quite fail in the attempt
to forecast the issue whose rude impressions would be confirmed while they listen at once to the denuncia- an angel. Paul and Silas prayed and tions of its adversaries, and to the plausible sang praises—the doors of the prison were pretexts of Romish seducers. And next, opened, and every man's bands were loosed. it may thus be dealt with by statesmen who, Prayer has divided seas, rolled up flowing finding the church resolved not to relin- rivers, made flinty rocks gush into fountains, quish its symbols and bearings, will prompt- quenched flames of fire, muzzled lions, disly act on the assumption, that this perti- armed vipers and poisons, marshalled the nacity is not without an inward motive and stars against the wicked, stopped the course a reason, and that therefore the Church of of the moon, arrested the rapid sun in his England ought, in a legal sense, to be re- great race, burst open iron gates, recalled garded as mainly one with the Eastern and souls from eternity, conquered the strongest the Romish churches.-Ancient Christianity devils, commanded legions of angels down -Supplement
from heaven, and overcome Christ himself
-the mighty God. Prayer has bridled INFIDELITY OF SCIENTIFIC MEN.
and chained the raging passions of men,
and rooted and destroyed vast armies of If any man shall think, by view and inquiry, proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer into these sensible and material things, to
has fetched one man from the bottom of attain to that light whereby he may reveal
the sea, and carried another in a chariot of unto himself the nature and will of God,
fire to heaven. What has not prayer done? then, indeed, is he spoiled by vain philoso
-Ryland. phy: for the contemplation of God's creatures and work produceth (having regard to the work and creatures themselves)
DANGER OF A GOOD REPUTATION, knowledge. And therefore it was most
I KNEW a venerable man who had attained aptly said by one of Plato's school, that the sense of man carrieth a resemblance with
to the age of seventy in blameless conduct. the sun, which, as we see, openeth and re
He was esteemed for his suavity by all who vealeth all the terrestrial globe; but then,
knew him, and then fell into odious immoragain, it concealeth and obscureth the stars
ality. On being asked if he could trace his and celestial globe : so doth the sense dis
fall to any ascertainable cause, he repliedcover natural things; but it darkeneth and
“ I was proud of my reputation, and Satan, shutteth up divine. And hence it is true,
taking advantage of this state of mind, that it hath proceeded that divers learned
tempted me, and I was taken in the snare of men have been heretical, while they have
my own pride.” In how many ways does sought to fly up to the secrets of the Deity
self steal away the heart from God! How by the waxen wings of the senses.- Bacon's
subtile are its workings; how concealed its Adv. of Learning,
movements; yet how extensive its influence! How it perverts our motives, lowers our aims, corrupts our affections, and taints our
best actions! How much incense is burned, ABRAHAM's servant prays-Rebekah ap- and how many sacrifices are offered, on the pears. Jacob wrestles and prays—the angel altar of this idol.-James' Addresses. is conquered, and Esau's mind is wonderfully turned from the revengeful purpose he had harboured for twenty years. Moses prays — Amalek is discomfited. Joshua prays—Achan is discovered. Hannah prays
If ever the poor man holds up his head, it -Samuel is born. David prays—Ahitho
is at church—if ever the rich man views him phel hangs himself. Asa prays—a victory
with respect, it is there: and both will be is gained. Jehoshaphat prays—God de
the better, and the public profited, the livers him from his enemies. Isaiah and
oftener they meet in a situation in which Hezekiah pray-one hundred and eighty
the consciousness of dignity in the one is five thousand Assyrians are dead in twelve tempered and mitigated, and the spirit of hours. Daniel prays
the dream is re
the other erected and confirmed.-Paley. vealed. He prays again, and the lions are muzzled. Mordecai and Esther fast
NEVER WITHOUT COMPANY. Haman is hanged on his own gallows in All things are steps and links for interthree days. Ezra prays at Ahava-God course with God. Hence Henry Martyn answers. Nehemiah ejaculates a prayer- used to say, when tired of human company the King's heart is softened in a minute. and its depravity, and destitute of all chrisElijah prays-a drought of three years suc- tian communion, that any thing whatever ceeds. He prays again-a plenteous rain of God's works was sweet to him. "A descends. Elisha prays-Jordan is divided. leaf,” said he,“ is good company,” for it Again he prays—a child's soul comes back. brought his Father near to him, and he The Church prays--Peter is delivered by could talk with God.- Cheever.
THE WONDERS OF PRAYER.
RICH AND POOR ON A LEVEL IN PUBLIC
Notices of New Publications. GERMANY, ENGLAND, AND SCOTLAND; 01, melo-drama. Nay, more, he forgets to de
Recollections of a Swiss Minister. By J. scribe things as they are. Sometimes he 5. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNÉ, D.D.
commits curious slips in matters of fact, in London : Simpkin & Marshall. Edinburgh: Oliver
his constant attempt to say something out
of the way, something to surprise by its and Boyd, 1848.
boldness, or fascinate by the richness of its It was a bright and balmy day in Spring, colouring. We have many painful ex1845. The train from London to New- amples of all these fatal tendencies in this castle passed along with fearful rapidity recent work. on its iron pathway. In one of its carriages The mode in which he depicts Scottish might have been seen a passenger, some- scenery is quite symbolic of the method in what tall in stature, and greatly interested which he has written Scottish Church Hisin the appearance of the country through tory. The former is often ludicrous, and which he was whirled. His accent marked the latter frequently romance. Let our him as a foreigner. He could not contain readers listen to the following clauses. his emotion as he flew through the “pic- ,'" But what,” says hc, speaking of Edinturesque landscapes of Derbyshire,” and he burgh, "even to a Swiss is more strik“ waved his hand in passing, to the majestic ing, and especially when walking in the towers of the ancient Minster of York,” cool groves of the valley which sepaThe following day beheld him in the stage, rates the old town from the new, is that galloping as fast as four steeds could carry mountain, which, in the very midst of him, to Edinburgh. He sighed over the "the city, shoots up its immense and abruined Abbey of Jedburgh as he glanced rupt walls of rocks, which an Irishman deat its desolation, and fell into a musing at- scribed as being more than perpendicular. titude as Abbotsford faded from his view. You wander here amidst Scotch firs-you On the evening of the same day, and as contemplate the base of the mountain, you „the coach drew near the city, some com- climb from rock to rock-you hide yourself motion was plainly observable at the cast under their shadow, dive into their recesses
end of Princes Street. The horses dashed you fancy yourself in one of the most picup to the office, the door of the coach was turesque and most distant solitude of our opened, and the traveller stepped out with Alps, in some secluded glen of the Valais, conscious dignity on the pavement. Scarcely of the Oberland, or of Glaris, beside the had he done, so, when he was saluted by a Glaciers; you look up and palaces surround man, stamped in his appearance as one of you. But what are those 'ancient walls
nature's noblemen. His aspect was vene- which I see perched upon the summits of rable, his, manner courteous and affable. these bold rocks? What is that fierce There was a massiveness in his brow, Lines blast of the trumpet which re-echoes from of thought farrowed his beaming features. the heights? What mean the bands of This son of sanctified genius bade the armed Highlanders, who, clothed in their stranger, welcome to Scotland. That wel- picturesque costume, ascend and descend come was given in the gleeful tones, and the mountain ?" with the cordial embrace of Dr Chalmers, Will, any body recognise in this rapid and that
exaggeration that mass of basaltic clinkhistorian of the Reformation, Dr Merle, stone which the citizens of Edinburgh who," with a 'spice of charaeteristic vanity, name—their Castle? This magnified vision Keeps added to his own name the illustrious of “ Scotch firs, and recesses," and other cognomen of D'Aubigné.
non-existent features, so like the Swiss Alps, So might we write were we to imitate is indeed quite harmless in itself, but, alas! the spirit and maynerism of the work it may be almost taken as an index to the before us. It is all composed in what paint spirit and character of the book. The ers have named -“the grand style"—in book is a formal glorification of the Free which there is ever apparent a painful and Church, That community, who indeed spasmodic yearning for effect, in which too deserve no little commendation in many we look in vain for natural grouping or things, are all in all to Dr D'Aubigné. Scottruthful delineation. Dr D’Aubigné's mode land is the Free Church, and the Free
of composition is sometimes powerful and Church is Scotland. In our author's imastriking, but, in his uniform desire to be gination the two are identified. “No other picturesque, 'he often sacrifices the dignity sect in the land is noticed, save as a mere of history, and his narrative lowers itself matter of course. He sings the beauty of to the tricks and starts, the sudden attitudes the veto and the blessings of church exand eccentric gesticulations of a modern tension. He is profoundly ignorant of the
avowed spirit and purpose of the latter SCOTLAND, so that there should be a great movement—to crush dissent. He glories cry throughout the land-SCOTLAND was to in the declaration, “ that for a hundred prepare to meet her God.” On another years before the veto, only sixty-three page we read, “ SCOTLAND, in 1833 and churches were erected in Scotland by vo- 1843, did not combat like the Scotland of luntary contribution, whereas two hundred 1663 and 1688." All this magniloquence were erected in nine years after it.” We is tasteless, and quite unworthy of a man had thought that in Scotland, and in the of candour and impartiality. But it sounds hundred years before the veto, the Secession well to speak of Scotland in that easy way-and Relief had built more than four hun- it adorns a historic paragraph. Dr Merle dred churches " by voluntary contribution.” is, in other things as well as this, very But the eye that saw the Scotch firs in guilty of mistaking some for all, even when Princes Street gardens, could not see even his own senses might have prevented the one of these four hundred dissenting edifices blunder. “ One Sunday," says he, “ while -and yet it is stated somewhere in the I was in Edinburgh, there was a service in book (but, on searching again, the clause Gaelic, under a tent. These Highlanders, is so brief and insignificant, we could not with their short kilts, bare legs, plaids find it), that the United Presbyterian Church thrown over their shoulders, and raised has at least six hundred congregations. heads, covered with their characteristic
In the course of the work we have a bonnet, presented a most picturesque speccento of Scottish Church History, in some tacle.” Now, the likelihood is, that there sections pretty well told, but all constructed were among that audience a few soldiers so as to bear on the vindication of the Free from some Highland regiment; but our Church, in its struggle, not for its present vivacious annalist describes the whole auliberty, but for independence of the state dience as arrayed in the garb of old Gaul. which had created and endowed it. In And just as he amplifies the philabegs of a the fact that the body now forming the few recruits, and clothes with them an entire Free Church dissented so strenuously from assemblage, so he ascribes the feelings and all half measures, as at length openly to operations of the non-intrusion party to the secede from the National Church, we do whole population of Scotland, greatly rejoice, and we wonder not that which, in ordinary circumstances, we should they have gained the hearty applause of attribute to unscrupulous partisanship, ungood men in every land. But we distinctly pardonable carelessness, or superficial and avow our conviction, that what they aimed inaccurate information. Perhaps he threw at, ere they seceded, was a supremacy in- himself into a circle of society, in which compatible with state connexion. We have Free Churchism was the prevalent ideano hesitation, too, in affirming that their
emotion--and he confounded legislation was ultra vires, was the assump- the class whom he met with the world tion of a power that belonged only to the beyond him. That he was sometimes civil government. But Dr Merle approves misled by others, not wilfully on their of all their conduct-and has learned to part, or on his, is very evident. His eyes talk of the “illegal act of Queen Anne.” practised strange hallucinations upon him,
We demur to his identification of Scot- and his ears seem to have formed a similar land with the measures of the new sect, conspiracy. Do we not find him recording great as are its numbers, mighty as is its the following statement in speaking of Sabpower, large as is the good which it has bath travelling on the Edinburgh and Glasachieved, and will yet perform. Thus, gow Railway? He says, that the railway however, writes Merle D'Aubigné. Speak- was open on Sabbath, but “the Christians ing of one meeting of Assembly, he says, did not abandon their cause, and at last
Scotland, beheld the fulfilment of the they gained the victory. When I was in promise." Again, describing a meeting of Scotland it had not yet been won; and, in Commission, he writes, “Nothing like it had the mean time, christians abstained from been seen since the memorable day when travelling on that line.” Some few did so the Covenant was signed in Greyfriars' for a brief period, and preferred a stage ; Churchyard.” Then he affirms that the but our author, as is wont, makes a false third "reformation in Scotland" commenced and sweeping assertion, relying on mistaken with the Assembly of 1842. He calls the authority, or dazzled by the glory of such agitation a "national movement”-and an affirmation before a Genevan audience, characterises the decision of the House that no christian among us used at any time of Lords, which led to the disruption, a railway which violated the Lord's day.
event “responding mournfully The voluntaryism of Dr Merle is a very to such a movement." The disruption convenient thing. It rises into prominence, is described as “ the coming of the Lord in or quietly slips into abeyance, at his pleahis mighty power.” “ His angel was to sure. Occasionally, in his other writings, visit EVERY MANSE, AND EVERY HOUSE IN it takes upon it a promising boldness; but
in this work it evaporates, and flies off in and we leave it as a feeble and miserable fumes of fallacions and meaningless ver- failure. biage. We are not at present speaking of It may be mentioned in passing, that Dr the consistency of this procedure. We are Merle divides the honour of originating the merely stating the fact. The Anti-State Evangelical Alliance between himself and Church Society of London, the head quar- the Free Church. Let them settle the ters of extreme voluntaryism, have circu- question between them. The Alliance does lated, as one of their tracts, a publication of not say so itself. Nay, more--many minisDr Merle D'Aubigné's, on the separation of ters of the Free Church branded the call the church from the state. Nay, our author to union in memorials and overtures before has named this enterprise “ the reforma- their courts; so that not a few of the clerition of the nineteenth century.” But, in cal friends of the Alliance among them hung this new publication, he speaks with peculiar back for a season, and gave it no help. dubiety, with bated breath, in timid and con- Many such blunders are to be excused in a tradictory language. He tries to shape his foreigner; but they are not so pardonable in voluntaryism into something not very unlike a professed historian. And we cannot pass the convenient theory of the Free Church. them so lightly as we may overlook other He makes a continuous effort to pare it down, slips of Dr Merle, such as his calling the till at last it becomes an impalpable non- principal of Edinburgh College “the Hedescript. Let any one read the fifth, sixth, braist Dr Lee’-confounding him with his and seventh chapters of these “ Travelling illustrious namesake of Cambridge. Recollections, and he will at once perceive Much more might we write on the secthe truth of our strictures. The author tions of this book which refer to Scotland; brands voluntaryism under a form in which but it is an ungrateful task. We are truly it was never held in this country, and con- sorry to see a man like Dr Merle stooping cludes by doing homage to the Church of to such practices--tarnishing his own fame, Scotland. “May the Free Church,” writes and doing injury to his other and better pubhè, “maintain that ancient and grand prin- lications. Has the desire to make a book ciple, by virtue of which the kindly influ- that might sell had too much influence over ence of christianity is to penetrate, not him? The wish " to make hay when the only into individuals, but into families; and sun shines,” to trade upon his popularity, most especially into the great body of the has been suspected of leading liim into a nation. And what religious denomination fatal error. does not hold the same principle ? Does Still there are other points which we are Voluntaryism not avow it? But Dr Merle compelled to notice. Dr Merle, still conends by saying—" May the Church of founding Scotland with only one religious Scotland never cease to repeat, before the sect or party, tells us that, in our country, whole world, that she wlll not have a state the Lord's Supper “ is only kept twice awithout God_let her glory in her perfect year.” The great majority of Dissenters freedom.” What does Dr Merle mean by observe the sacred institution far oftener, “ her perfect freedom?” If the Church of and so deserve Dr Merle's unconscious eu. Scotland has perfect freedom, why did the logium of being " select and truly chrisFree Church secede ?-or how can he jus- tian flocks." tify them in their secession ?---or how can We do not know what Dr Merle's nohe reconcile this statement with two-thirds tions of church discipline are; but they of his work, in which he labours to show certainly appear to be rather grotesque. that the Church of Scotland was in such He affirms that the Church of Scotland has spiritual bondage as warranted the disrup- discipline, and gives the following specimen: tion? Dr Merle is at a loss what theory -“ Often when a father comes to ask bapto advocate. His perplexity has brought tism for his child, he is answered, 'You him to his wit's end; and so he argues in are an unclean person, or a drunkard ; what contradictory parallelisms, such as the assurance have we that you will bring up following, which are a fair sample:—There your child in the fear of the Lord?!” This cannot be a union of church and state, yet is the discipline of the Church of Scotthere may be a union. Union is good-dis- land! Are those persons so rebuffed by the cord is evil. Disunion is often necessary, minister, members of the church? Then union does injury sometimes. Shall such a they should be dealt with before they apply junction be in theory, or shall it be reduced for baptism, and quite apart from the disto a system? Shall there be a union merely pensation of that ordinance altogether. of pious feelings and tendencies ; or will it And if these parents are not members, what include temporal emoluments ?' Between claim have they for the administration of all these points Dr Merle vibrates rapidly, any church privilege to their offspring? and finds no rest. These amusing oscilla- What discipline can exist in a church tions do appear like a compromise. We which places itself in such a dilemma ? If ask not its motive, we like not its spirit, we are, to judge from her practice, the