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have the monopoly of spiritual instruction, the easy introduction of irreligious youths into the ministry,—the awful desecration of baptism, especially in large civic parishes,—the more awful fact, that thirteen thousand Anglican pastors leave some millions of the poor out of a population of only sixteen millions utterly untaught, the hateful bigotry of the canons, which excommunicate all who recognise any other Churches of Christ in England except our own,--the complete fusion of the Church and the world at the Lord's table,—the obligation upon every parish minister publicly to thank God for taking to himself the soul of every wicked person in the parish who dies without being excommunicated,—the almost total neglect of scriptural Church discipline,—the tyranny of the license system,—the sporting, dancing, and card-playing of many clergymen,-the Government orders to the churches of Christ to preach on what topics, and to pray in what terms, the State prescribes,-the loud and frequent denunciation of our brethren of other denominations as schismatics,—the errors of the Articles and of the prayer-book, and the invasion of the regal prerogatives of Christ by the State supremacy,—the total absence of self-government, and therefore of all self-reformation, in the Establishment, &c. &c. &c.: all these enormous evils are tolerated and concealed. Dissenters are often and eagerly attacked because comparatively weak; but scarcely a tongue condemns the tyranny of the State towards the Anglican Churches, because the State is strong and holds the purse.”—Pp. 300-302. The following is his melancholy account of
THE ACTUAL STATE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT. " If the 16,000 pastors and ministers of the Anglican Churches were living according to these divine commands, England would soon turn to Christ.
• But what is the actual state of the Establishment? Myriads of its members have nothing of Christianity but the name, received in infancy by baptism, and retained without one spontaneous act of their own; and millions do nothing whatever to promote the cause of Christ. Its 13,000 churches are generally without evangelistic activity, without brotherly fellowship, without discipline, without spirituality, without faith. Like Laodicea, they are lukewarm ; like Sardis, they have a name to live and are dead. Of its 16,000 ministers, about 1568 do nothing; about 6681 limit their thoughts and labours to small parishes, which contain from 150 to 300 souls; while others in cities and towns profess to take charge of 8000 or 9000 souls. And of the 12,923 working pastors of churches, I fear, from various concurrent symptoms, that about 10,000 are unconverted men, who neither preach nor know the Gospel.”—Pp. 568, 569.
MR. NOEL'S CONCLUDING ADDRESS. - The Union of the Churches with the State is doomed. Condemned by reason and religion, by scripture and by experience, how can it be allowed to injure the nation much longer? All the main principles
upon which it rests are unsound. Its State-salaries, its supremacy, its patronage, its compulsion of payments for the support of religion, are condemned by both the precedents and the precepts of the word of God. We have seen that it sheds a blighting influence upon prelates, incumbents, curates, and other members of churches. It adds little to the number of pastors, it distributes them with a wasteful disregard to the wants of the population, and it pays least those whom it ought to pay most liberally. It excludes the Gospel from thousands of parishes; it perpetuates corruptions in doctrine ; it hinders all scriptural discipline; it desecrates the ordinances of Christ, confounds the Church and the world, foments schism among Christians, and tempts the ministers of Christ both in and out of the Establishment to be eager politicians. Further, it embarrasses successive Governments, maintains one chief element of revolution in the country, renders the reformation of the Anglican Churches hopeless, hinders the progress of the Gospel throughout the kingdom, and strengthens all the corrupt papal Establishments of Europe.
“Worst of all, it'grieves' and ' quenches' the Spirit of God, who cannot be expected largely to bless the Churches which will not put away their sins.
“ But when it shall be destroyed, we have reason to hope that the churches will revive in religion speedily. Sound doctrine will then be heard from most of the Anglican pulpits; evangelists will go forth into every part of the land ; scriptural discipline will be restored ; schisms will be mitigated; Christian ministers will cease to be political partisans; we may look for a larger effusion of the Spirit of God; and England may become the foremost of the nations in godliness and virtue.
“ Let all who fear and love God arise to accomplish this second Reformation. The work which our martyred forefathers began in the face of the dungeon and the stake, let us, in their spirit, complete!
“Since many will hold back from even an examination of truths which entail momentous consequences to themselves, each disciple of Christ, who ascertains the separation of the Churches from the State to be his Master's will, must count it an honour to serve him singly, if need be, in this conflict. Great events in history have waited on the actions of a few intrepid men. Hampden, by his resolute resistance to an act of tyranny, awoke in his countrymen the spirit which secured our liberties. The gallantry of Clive saved our Indian empire. Luther long thought and laboured almost alone. The extensive revival of the last century was owing, under God, to Wesley and Whitfield, with very few companions. Let each member of the Establishment, therefore, who comprehends this duty, determine that he will, without waiting for the decision of others, do his utmost in the name of Christ to secure the freedom of the Anglican Churches from the shackles of the State.
“With greater confidence I address my brethren of the free churches. There should be no longer disunion or sloth. Indepen
dents and Baptists, Wesleyans and members of the Free Church of Scotland, let us all, with united voices, from Caithness to Cornwall, claim, in the name of Christ, the Christian liberty of the British Churches ; and this generation may yet see accomplished a second Reformation more spiritual, and not less extensive, than the first.
“ Above all, let us take care to fulfil this duty in a Christian spirit. No religious cause requires irreligious means for its advancement. Let us disgrace ourselves by no railing, condemn all personal invective, and be guilty of no exaggeration, for these are the weapons of the weak and the unprincipled ; but, uniting with all those who love the Redeemer, let us recognise with gratitude every work of the Spirit within the Establishment as well as without it. And with much prayer, with constant dependence on the Holy Spirit, with a supreme desire to glorify God, and with an abundant exercise of faith, hope, and love, which are our appropriate armour in every conflict, let us persevere in our efforts till the blessing of God renders our triumph a decisive step towards the evangelisation of the world.”—Pp. 627-631.
Alas, for the Church of England ! the first-born of our Reformation, and the beginning of our strength! Time was when
men would have healed her, but she is not healed !” Time was when she might have kept her bulwarks by surrendering her palaces and retained all her real beauty and spiritual efficiency, at the sacrifice of her trappings. Time was, at the critical juncture of the Restoration, when by a moderate reform of her hierarchy, liturgy and canons, she might have retained her emoluments without losing her liberties, and might have seen a virtuous hardworking clergy, distributed through her much loved island,
“In bright succession raised, her ornament and guard." But in an evil hour, she yielded to the dictation of a perfidious and unprincipled tyrant, who robbed her of her strength und pretext of advancing her to worldly honours; and now, undermined within, and besieged without, she is fain to cling for support to the arm of her oppressor. Saving the pledged and interested supporters of things as they are, none can believe that this can continue long. If the Church is destined to stand, it will be by the energies of her own children, awakened to a sense of danger and duty by the signs of the times, and demanding a thorough reform, both in her relations to the State, and her internal administration. If she is doomed to fall, it will not be by the assaults of her enemies, but by her own weight-by the plethora of wealth and power flowing to the head, and forsaking the extremities; and by clinging, with infatuated fondness, to those ponderous abuses, which, unless parted with, will assuredly drag her downwards with them into the weltering waters of revolution,
Macaulay's History of England.
ART. V.-The History of England, from the Accession of
James II. By THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY. In 2 vols. London, 1849. 1300 pp.
We have never perused a work of literature or science, or even one of fiction, with such an intense interest as that with which we have devoured the two remarkable volumes now be
We have cheated our mind of its usual food, and our body of its usual rest, in order to grasp, by one mental effort, the great truths which they teach, and imbibe the noble lessons which they convey.
Were we among the personal friends of Mr. Macaulay, or did we adopt the latitudinarian views of religious truth which he has presented to us in all the fascination of language and of sentiment, we might have suspected that our judgment was partial, and our admiration extravagant; but, though our Presbyterian feelings have been often offended, and our most venerated martyrs but slightly honoured, and our national creed not unfrequently reviled, yet these penumbral spots disappear, while we study in his bright and eloquent pages the vindication of our country's liberties,—the character and the fate of the sages who asserted them,—and the righteous but terrible doom of the Princes from whom they were wrung.
There is no period of the History of England in which the events are so closely related to those of the present day as the few years of oppression and judicial murder which constitute the reign of James II. In watching at present the revival of Popery, and in resisting its insidious approach, we must study its spirit and its power previous to the Revolution ; and in contemplating our domestic disturbances, and the political convulsions which are now shaking the civilized world, we may discover their cause and their cure by a careful study of Mr. Macaulay's volumes. In the arbitrary rule of the House of Stuart—in the perfidy and immorality of its princes—in the bigotry and licentiousness of its priests—in the venality of its statesmen-and in the blood-thirstiness of its captains-we see the germ of that revolutionary tempest which swept into one irresistible tide the otherwise conflicting elements of society. The Giant of Reaction, in his most grim and savage form, summoned a patient and oppressed people to revolt, and with its scorpion lash hurried one sovereign to the scaffold, and another into exile.
But while we shudder over the recitals in which these crimes are emblazoned, and through which our liberties were secured, the mind searches for some powerful principle of action to which they can be referred. Why was the prince perfidious, the
judge sanguinary, and the priest corrupt? It was because an idolatrous superstition reigned in Christendom—irritated at the progress of Protestant truth—inculcating the heresy of passive obedience to kings-exercising an authority over the souls and bodies of men—usurping the sceptre, and assuming the ermine of the Church's Head-sealing the ark of divine truth—and closing or poisoning the fountains of education and knowledge. In the lap of this superstition even Protestant England slumbered. Truth, secular and divine, had indeed begun to throw its mingled radiance among the ignorant and immoral masses of English life. It had long before gilded and braced the Scottish mind, and raised the Scottish heart to a sense of its duties and its wrongs. The noble doctrines of the school of Calvin, which Scripture taught and philosophy confirmed, had been accepted as the creed of Presbytery, and formed the basis of its simple discipline and worship. Through the unity and power of her faith, and the indomitable courage of her people, the Church of our fathers would have maintained her ground against all the power of the Papacy, if wielded only by her domestic princes ; but the Union of the Crown of Scotland with that of England, which in happier times has been the source of her glory and her strength, threw her back a century in the race of civilisation and knowledge.
A despicable king, in carrying off its Crown, forgot his duty to the land which gave him birth, striving to overturn its bloodcemented Church, and launching against its priesthood and its people the formidable power of his double sovereignty. Her humble temple fell beneath the sword of the tyrant, but only to rise again with a nobler pediment and a loftier peristyle. The same godless princes who had desecrated our altars and slain our martyrs lifted their blood-stained hand against the Sister Church ; but they lifted it in vain, for their dynasty perished in the wreck of the superstition which they upheld. Under a Protestant race of kings, and a Protestant constitution, the Sceptres of England and Scotland have been welded into one. Their Churches have flourished and grown together-the one rich and powerful—the other humble and contented. Their literature and science—their trade and their commerce—their arts and their arms—have achieved throughout the civilized world a glorious and imperishable name. We have now nothing to fear from perfidious and criminal sovereigns, from unprincipled statesmen, from venal judges, or from sanguinary chiefs. We have nothing to fear from political turbulence. The progressive reform of our institutions, and their gradual accommodation to the ever-varying necessities of man, and the everchanging phases of social life, can always be secured by the