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powers, require Christians in Italy to be subject to the Papal erlicts.; in Spain, to obey the inquisition; and in the Turkish dominions, to attend the service of the Mosque?
There can be, however, but little occasion to use argument against positions palpably absurd, or which are refuted by the Author who advances and maintains them. No precept,' he insists, is more positive or more anlimited in its application, • than that which commands us to be subject to the higher
powers-!" On looking a little further into his book, he informs tis, p. 205, note, 'The dignities and emoluments of the Church
are the merchandize of courtiers-noble alliances, parliamen
tary connexions, and court influence, monopolize her bonours, • and are the necessary qualifications of those who would aspire . to her government.'
· These things ought not so to be. The princely revenues of the church are often the
portion of those who, by their levity, profligacy, covetousness, pride, and worldly-mindedness, disgrace it.
These things are a great scandal and offence.' p. 205.
Our Ecc'esiastical Courts present' a sad remnant of popish power yet unreformed. Every friend to civil and religious liberty must deeply lament, that they are not altogether abolished, or, if possible, so modified and regulated, as to prevent a recurrence of ihose dark, mysterious, cruel, and tyrannical proceedings, so justly exposed and reprobated, a short time ago, in the House of Commons, p. 261, Note.
These things ought not so to be!--These things, however, are!! They are sanctioned and recognised by the civil government; and as Mr. O'D. assures us that the precept which commands us to be subject to the higher powers, is unlimited in its application, we must express our astonishment that he should designate the proceedings of the higher powers, as dark, cruel, and tyrannical. Did he ever hear from Dissen! ters language more condemnatory of the ecclesiastical system sanctioned by the civil government ? Would he think our conduct fair and honourable, were we to insinuate, on the ground of these expressions, that he is politically disaffected to the Government?' And dares he charge political pravity against hundreds and thousands of the inhabitants of this country, because they are not satisfied that the Episcopacy of the Established Church is obligatory upon them, and choose to adopt another mode of regulating the Christian societies with which they are in communion? In the protection which the civil government of this country affords to all Protestant Christians who claim the benefit of the Toleration laws, there is the recognizing and sanctioning of all such persons. They are countenanced by the civil government. Their rejection of Episcopacy is known and allowed by the Government, and it
cannot therefore be a circumstance which is contemplated by that Government as among the things to which the implicit obedience of the subject may be attached. The absurdity, not to use a harsher epithet, of Mr. O'D.'s position, will be glaringly exposed, if we consider it, as justice will strictly authorize us to do, as advanced by a writer of the northern part of the United Kingdom, a minister of the Established Church of Scotland, As Presbyterianism is the mode of
ecclesiastical goveroment sanctioned and recognised by the ' civil power of this country, to which we owe unreserved ' and implicit obedience in all things lawful, it is worthy con
sideration how far dissent is, or is not sinful. The advantages of dissent ought to be great and its motives imperative, before the sin of disturbing the church's peace and the order of society, and opposing the legitimate government be
incurred. It is surely a fearful risk at best.' What would the Episcopal Dissenters in Scotland say to an expositor of the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church, who should: impeach their civil obedience, because they dissented from the Kirk? · Mr. O'D. has introduced the words in all
things lawful' into his definition of obedience; but it is clear that he includes conformity to Episcopal church-government, in this qualifying clause. Does he constitute himself the sole judge of the lawful' exceptions?' On what ground does he presume to legislate for the consciences of other men? If other persons are, equally with himself, judges of the exceptions in a religious question, why should be presume to charge political disaffection upon them, for reasons which have no relation to political objects? But; in fact, this qualifying clause affords as excellent a specimen of his logical accuracy, as the whole paragraph affords of his charity. That we owe implicit obedience in all things lawful, is saying nothing more than that we owe obedience in all things in which we do owe obedience. The nature and extent of lawful obedience, are yet to be determined. A wretched sophism, in the form of an identical proposition, is employed for a most unworthy purpose; dissent, and opposition to legitimate govern-ment, are thus associated together, and rebellion against the State is charged upon the principles of every person who is not a worshipper at Episcopal altars !
• It never occurred to any of the primitive followers of Christ, to charge political evil on any persons that were believing and obeying their common Gospel. This ungenerous conduct has been too common among the partisans of the Established Church, yet we challenge them to the proof that society receives detriment from either the principles or the practice of Dissenters, whose - obedience to the legitimate government in all things lawful we confidently assert.
class of persons the conduct we have felt it our duty to reprove, would be highly reprehensible, but in the ministers of religion it is absolutely inexcusable. Why do they not leave . the potsherds to strive with the potsherds of the earth,' and scrupulously abstain from every thing that tends to the excitement of political animosities among mankind ? The meekness and gentleness of Christ teach far other practical lessons than to represent any class of conscientious Christians as the enemies of social peace. The ministers of religion ought to direct their attention to the proper objects of their ministry, and to refrain from intermeddling with the duties of the secular magistrate, to whose office it exclusively belongs to judge offences against the welfare of thie community. Let the disputes which refer to the authority of the Scriptures, and ecclesiastical polity, be debated and settled in the proper manner, by an examination of the appropriate evidence, a method of proceeding on which Dissenters will at all times promptly meet their opponents; but let there be no political clamours and calumnies! Honourable men should be ashamed of so disreputable a course: Christians should abhor it. The expressions, which we have produced from this · Exposition,' are as discreditable to their Author, as they are remote from any part of the duty of a Christian Teacher. Had he raised bis voice against the imposition of severities and restraints on the consciences of men, had he come before us to allay the political perturbations which he might have found among his countrymen, we should have recognised him as adopting conduct ornamental to his profession. But as he has dared blame the present practice and system of toleration, as · lax,' suggesting to his superiors the adoption of a less liberal practice, and the imposition of new restrictions, and has attributed to the religious principles of a large proportion of the inhabitants of this country opposition to the civil government, we cannot withhold our reprobation of his conduct as illiberal, injurious, and unchristian.
We could fill many more of our pages with the examination of the tenets maintained in this work. In the Exposition of the XXXVIIth Article, . Of civil Magistrates,' the Author asserts, that the claims of the Papacy ought to be rejected, as they are not supported by any passage of Scripture, direct or even indirect: and in this statement we completely concur with him. But when he proceeds to é recognize that superiority which we
refuse to the Pope, as existing in the supreine civil magis-,
trate of this kingdom,' and quotes Rom. xiii. l; Titus iii. 1, and 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14, in support of this doctrine, we wonder at his inconsistency and boldness, and recognise a principle which is directly opposed to Scripture, and destructive of human rights. I such an authority be at all admitted, it can be
of little consequence in whose hands it is placed : it may as well be in the hands of Popes, as of Kings. When, in answer to the question, What is the limit of the magistrate's authority?' be remarks, that the supreme magistrate restrains and punishes,
without any distinction of rank or profession, all evil-doers ;' we would wish to know if it be his judgement that Dissenters, as such, are evil-doers; for they certainly maintain that the magistrate may punish all evil-doers, and that this is the proper limit of his authority. It might be expected that authors should write so that they may be understood.
Should any of our readers not be satisfied with the specimens which we have already laid before them of the unworthy manner which this author has not scrupled to adopt in the support of his cause, we shall furnish one more example which we are confident will be sufficient to demonstrate the kind of qualifications which he has thought necessary for the occasion.
In pp. 203-4, he has marshalled a host of texts, from which, · as we have not room for the whole, and that we may be from the charge of unfair treatment of the author, we shall take the first four, and the last two, and then we shall extract the passage which immediately follows these texts in bis book, and which contains in his opinion the sweeping conclusion which it exhibits. Rom. xiii. 5. . So we being many are one body
in Christ, and every one members one of another.' 1 Cor. x. 17. 'For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we
are all partakers of that one bread. xii. 13. ' For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews
or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all 'made to drink into one spirit. Gal. iii. 28. There is neither
Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is nei
ther male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.' Phil. ii. 2. 'Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded having
the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 1 Pet. iii. 8. Finally be ye all of one mind, having compassion one
of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. These are six of the cited texts; we pledge ourselves for the accuracy of our transcript which our readers can easily verify--and now for Mr. O'Donnoghue's statement of the doctrine contained in them.
Surely these are such positive precepts, and when practised, productive of so many blessings, that nothing but extreme necessity can in the slightest degree justify dissent and non-conformity to the legal and constituted order of divine worship.'
On this strange and unjustifiable perversion of Scripture, we shall not offer one remark. It speaks more powerfully to our readers, than any comment of ours could do; and we shall leaye them to form their owo estimate of it.
Vol. VII. N.S.
We must inform our readers, that in expounding the 28th and 29th Articles on the Lord's Supper,' the author has not made the least reference to that monstrous and scandalous perversion of this Christian ordinance which prevails in the practice of his church. Nothing can be more astonishing, nothing can more forcibly expose the pernicious effect of secular influ. ence on the ministers of the episcopal church, than the silence of the evangelical part of them under one of the grossest abuses which ever obtained admission into the church; and than which Popery itself has scarcely any thing more enormously corrupt and wicked, the administration of the Lord's Supper to profligate men as a qualification for office. Mr. O'D. has adverted to several topics far less worthy of his notice than this--and which as to real evil, are, in comparison with it, • trifles light as air.' He was prompt to remark on our lax
system of toleration, but his tongue and his pen are spellbound on the direct profanation of Christ's own ordinance !
Art. IV.-1. A new View of Society, or Essays on the Formation of the
Human Character, preparatory to the Developement of a plan for gradually ameliorating the Condition of Mankind. By Robert Owen, of New Lanark. Second Edition, 8vo. pp. 184. Price 6s.
London, 1816. 2. An Address delivered to the Inhabitants of New Lanark, on the 1st of
January, 1816, at the Opening of the Institution established for the Formation of Character. By Robert Owen. Second Edition, 8vo. pp. 48. Price 2s. 6d. London, 1816. 1F Fever there was a time when we were called upon to exercise
ourselves in the virtue of candour, if ever there was an occasion when we were put upon the trying task of acknowledging somewhat that is good, amid the amalgamation of far more that is evil, that time and that occasion, are now before us. Wearied as we have been with the successive speculations of vain and superficial theorists, irritated and disgusted with the schemes of heartless calculators, the well-being, the melioration of society, is a branch of human science too vitally connected with our most cherished feelings, to be taken up with the sensations of mere curiosity: we have still hearts to throb with anxiety at the promise of new and important discoveries in the philosophy of human nature. We trust we shall have credit for being none of those, who, contented that the present regimen of the world suffices for their own purposes of existence and enjoyment, refuse to listen to the voices of the countless multitudes who deafen heaven and earth with cries of Reformation.
Looking at the development of intellectual dominion, and the dissemination of enlightened principle, which is now making its way