ePub 版

many centuries, to commemorate the central truth of the faith of the Crucified.

It is not a question of inserting " the thin end of the wedge,” but rather of commemorating the Incarnation in Scripture language in union, so far as we lawfully may, with the One Holy Catholic Church. If it is indeed “the Truth,” (and thisnone will deny,) then let us hold it fast in the way of the Church's appointing, for the Church of England has nowhere said we may not do so, and the Church Universal is, through the Divine Spirit, the teacher of all Truth. And truly, if ever, as we firmly believe, the Church will be reunited and made “One” in outward manifestation, as she is now in theory and invisible communion, we of England must not be too careful to retain our insular prejudices, bequeathed by our fathers

and fostered by natural pride of heart, but rather be ready in a spirit of holy apostolic love to go as far as ever "the Truth” will permit in holding out the right hand of fellowship to all who now differ from

Let us not only pray for unity, but act as those who would give up all which, being merely the result of past prejudice, is a bar to that happy consummation.

II. Regarding prayers to the saints, it should ever be borne in mind that different minds are differently constituted,

and that there is a very decided difference between the private practice of certain of the faithful, and the authorised public prayers of the Church designed for the whole number of her children. The one is not open to the objections to which the other may be considered liable, e.g., of upreality, supplanting other devotion, or becoming more popular, &c.

The furthest point to which, as it seems to me, it is lawful to go in this matter, even in private, and in addition to more usual and

accustomed devotion, is to pray
indirectly in some such words as,
“O most compassionate and loving
LORD JESU, since I through my
many deep and grievous sins am
utterly unworthy to ask any gift
or grace of Thee, I would beseech
Thee, by Thy bitter Passion and
precious Blood-shedding, to have
mercy upon me, and instruct Thy
saints and all who in their several
generations have pleased Thee, in
all my deep needs, [and those of
Thy, holy Church "militant on
earth,] that they_supplicating in
my (our) behalf, I [we) may ob-
tain through Thy merits those
graces which Thou knowest to be
needful for me (us,] but which,
conscious of my past abuse and
neglect of Thy grace, I dare not
again ask for myself.” If praying
for the Church, the latter portion
“but," &c., must be omitted. It
may be few so realize the distance
of their departure from God and
the miserable insufficiency of their
correspondence to grace, more or
less, given in time past before their
hearts had grown cold and care-
less ; but when it is realized, sure-
ly the feeling expressed in the
words “which we are not worthy to
ask," will almost cause us to think
we cannot, as it were, insult our
FATHER in Heaven by asking for
a grace of which we know, oh how
bitterly, our need, but yet, know-
ing too our own sad past, which
we feel almost sure we shall again
misuse, and therefore dare only
ask for, in submission to His will,
either by means of others, or with
fearful hearts, tearful eyes, and
stammering lips, as those who as
yet know not to what life-long
struggle the grace if given pledges
them. Others, with minds differ-
ently constituted, will go on pray-
ing only directly to God, in spite
of repeated fallings into sin against
light, grace, and knowledge, and
will not or cannot perceive or allow
to themselves that they are hypo-
crites, suppliants practically in-



sulting their Creator. Let not either judge the other. Love of our dear Incarnate God is, we may believe, at the bottom of the feeling which animates both, though it manifests itself in a different way in each.

II. The words “before the whole company of heaven” are not only sanctioned by long usage, but also by such Scripture as S. Matth. xviii. 10, S. Luke xv. 10, and the consideration that the confession of the prodigal was made in the presence of the “servants," which though it may mean primarily the ministers of his Father's absolution, yet also may include the angels, those “ servants of His who do His pleasure." Is it not a great truth that not only our dear LORD but our guardian Angel is saddened by our sinful words or deeds, and turns away his face; but rejoices on the other hand at any act of penitence, self-denial, obedience, or love?

In conclusion, let me say I do not wish to hint at my own practice in this letter; I would merely state what I believe to be the utmost lawful limit in relation to this practice. The “Treasury of Devotion” does not go so far, but confines itself simply to Scripture words. Let us judge each other charitably in this. To his own Master only each is accountable. These thoughts are too deep, too much a part of the inner life of some of us to be roughly discussed or criticised. I shall not therefore again trouble you, but only add that instead of being “surprised and disturbed” by anything in this beautiful work, it is only to me an occasion of continual thankfulness to our ever merciful FATHER that in it He has enabled us to express our faith more fully in “the Communion of Saints.” Hoping that either the editoror compiler willexplain more satisfactorily the difficulties which have presented themselves to your correspondent, Yours, &c., H.

SIR, I should recommend to CAUTUS “A Catechism of Private Prayer for Children,” compiled by the Rev. A. H. Mackonochie, (Knott, Holborn, 1d.) In answer to the question "Is it (the “Hail, Mary,'') not a prayer to the blessed Virgin" it is said, “No, it is only saying over again, while we think of what God did for her, the words which were spoken to her when she first became the Mother of God.” Other questions and answers in the same catechism further explain it. The words addressed to the Blessed Virgin by the angel at such a moment are surely a better memorial of the Incarnation than meditation on a prophecy, &c., concerning it; besides that in using them we are at one with the rest of the Catholie Church, only substituting the direct prayer at the end that we may obtain her intercession, to our LORD Himself. If there is "joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth,” surely there is an interest in Heaven in that repentance, and we may well, while we make our confession to God, do so as in the presence of the whole company of heaven. The Bishop of Brechin has a valuable chapter referring generally to this subject and to others in his explanation of Article XXII.

Explanation of the Thirty-nine Articles," Vol. II.Yours, &c., C. H. M.

[ocr errors]


EZEK. I. 6. Face II. Eccentric. SIR,—Tears and laughter must strive for pre-eminence when considering this new phase of schism. Passing over many idle tales that run current in the dissenting world, we will confine ourselves exclusively eccentricities of worship and expression within the chapel walls. For instance, I know & dissenting teacher who finished his oration in the following words,

“My brethren, think on these truths in your own chambers with ụnclosed eyes through the lifelong night, that when you awake in the morning you may say, "Blessed be the LORD of Hosts, my Redeemer, my God.'”

We ail know how dissent would wish the House of God to be in outward adornment, a fitting contrast to their own homes. How the cobwebs hang swinging in the breeze from some chance broken window pane in festoons on the walls, waiting for Saturday's inevitable broom. How in “the Sabbath's" solitary services, the prayers are spoken much on the principle of one who said that he would give any one as far as Pontius Pilate in the Creed, and then beat him. How that the hymns, of wretched rhythm and doleful 'melody must folow where minims take the place of crotchets, and semibreves of minims, with the usual accompaniment of a bass viol and fiddle in the gallery. Then how the “sermon,” the great event of the day, commences, preached from a box, a marvel of village workmanship, on the wickedness of sinners, or the righteousness of the good, or some such unknown subject. Lately the follies of Ritualism have proved a prolific text for the wouldbe village pastor and his flock, It was but the other day that this admirable description of the LORD'S

“the Ordinance," was given. Said the speaker, “Among all the follies and extravagances of this wicked present day it is cheer ing to find some congregations at least retaining the beautiful simplicity that the LORD left on earth. I was present a few Sabbaths ago when the Ordinance was partaken of by the whole congregation to whom I preached. I had scarcely done speaking, when the congregation, (an old man and his wife,) brought a high form to my desk and set it down. Now," said the speaker, waxing warm," there was

no chasuble, or any such gaudy glittering toys used here. You could see the brown wood of the seat through the holes in the old cotton tablecloth, the poor woman's best. Of chalice there was none, no, but an ale cup served the purpose just as well; and the brown bread that lay on the old tattered cloth was in keeping with the simplicity of all. But, dear brethren, I never wish to attend at any Ordinance better than this. This is the true Gospel institution, and it will be triumphant at last, when cope and chasuble, paten and chalice, surplice and gown are for, gotten in the decay of ages.”

As a rule a dissenting minister has some unusual appearance in form, manner, or speech, that goes far to recommend him to the hearts (on Sunday) of the people. Any one who with rapid utter. ances, outstretched hands, loud voice and maniacal manner can deliver a sermon on everything in general and nothing in particular for an hour or longer, and who above all takes care that his language is full of the religious slang of the day, interluded with texts of Scripture and thundering denunciations of sinners, any one of this type will be considered a beautiful preacher, delightful to hear him, brimful of the Spirit, of unction, of Gospel power, an angel at large.

Nevertheless these things must come to an end, and their beautiful preacher is sent about his business to make room for another, because perchance, (I quote literally

from # The Broad Street Chapel, Reading, Chancery Suit," a large fourpaged paper compiled by the partizans of one of the contending parties,) "that his sermons contained trains of reasoning (!); that they were not sufficiently simple; they were too Arminian;

they set up too high a standard of Christian life (!); that there was a deficiency of unction, Gospel power, &c.;


O that will be joyful,
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
o that will be joyful,
THERE we meet to part no more."

Yours, &c., H. J. T.


ETC. SIR, – The surplice is the Ecclesiastical vestment, the gown simpl academical, consequently there is no authority for its introduction into the Church for preaching.

Bowing at the mention of the Holy Ghost alone in the Creed, though no doubt often done in a reverent spirit, is ritually quite in. correct, and a fanciful addition of private judgment. It is only at the adorable name of JESUS that we bow, when one Person only of the Blessed Trinity is mentioned. Otherwise it is incorrect, save when the Three Persons are mentioned together. It would be well if people would study the subject more

, or apply to a priest for advice, and thus secure more uniformity personal ritual, and quietness and unostentation therein than is sometimes seen.-Yours, &c., C. 8. M.

N. OR M. SIR,-In reply to Rachel, N. or M.'stands for Nicholas or Mary: S. Nicholas is the Patron Saint of boys, and S. Mary the Blessed Virgin keeps girls under her especial protection; and formerly it was more the custom than at the present time to name both boys and girls after these Saints.Yours, &c., J.T.



that the motives from which Christians were exhorted to act were of dry duty; that the work of the Spirit was not sufficiently dwelt upon ; lastly, in some of the sermons there was nothing said to unconverted sinners." And so he goes either into the Court of Cban. cery, as the “Co-pastor" of Reading has done, or into the wide world again to seek another “charge,"

while his wife and little ones are in want of daily bread. Oh, is it not sad that the religion that exalted itself so high above all other faith, should, being cast down by the mighty hand of an insulted God, glance with defiant gaze upon that one redeeming Church who gladly to all would say, COME?

I might multiply, did I wish to do so, many examples of dissenters' peculiar eccentricities. I will however give but one more which was related to me by a relation who was himself present at the time. Some may have read an account of it before, as I alluded to the facts in the Church News some months ago. It was the anniversary of a Sunday School, and, as is usual, special hymns were sung by thé children assembled.

“Now, dear children, " said the Superintendent, we will sing this hymn, hymn 29, and sing the chorus of hymn 40 at the end of each verse. So they heartily and lustily, as if they meant what they sang, adapted some common metre tune to this short metre hymn, and commenced,

“ There is beyond the sky

A heaven of joy and love :
And holy children when they die
Go to that world above. (!)
O that will be joyful,
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
o that will be joyful,
THERE we meet to part no more.
There is a dreadful hell,
And everlasting puins ;
Where sinners must with devils dwell
In darkness, fire, and chains.

SIR,-I am much obliged to your correspondents for their information about the Waldenses, but there is one question which I would further ask them, viz., Have the Waldenses Bishops, either with, or professing to bave, A postolical succession ?-Yours, &c., A.


FORE. SIR,- In the Communion Office the priest is directed to turn himself to the people and rehearse the Ten Commandments, and after that shall follow one of two Collects for the Queen, “the Priest standing as before." QuestionWhat is the proper position of the Priest? Is it that of standing turned towards the people ? Yours, &c., INQUIRER.


SIR, I shall be much obliged if any of your readers can tell me what is the origin of a superstition among the poorer classes in England to the effect that a dying person cannot pass away if his head be lying on a pillow stuffed with feathers. An instance of this belief has lately come under my notice in Gloucestershire. It is also referred to by Mrs. Gaskell in “Mary Barton," and still more curiously, is mentioned by Mme. Romanoff in her “ Sketches of the Greco-Russian Church,” as being universally believed in by poor Russian peasants. She says, the Russians think the pigeon holy, as being the emblem of the Blessed Spirit, but what can that have to do with the feathers preventing the death of a sufferer? I

very much wish for an explanation of this superstition.Yours, &c., JOHANNA.

tion or any hints as to management, expenses, &c., and should like to know the title and publisher of any reports of similar institutions that may have appeared. Perhaps some of your correspondents may be able to tell us whether a sort of Ragged Infant School might not be combined with a Cradle. Anybody giving us such help or information will, we hope, be contributing to a good work, for the case is very urgent, and there are many difficulties (money and others) in the way.-Yours, &c., A. C.

SAN LAUREANO. SIR,-Can you or any of your readers give me a history of San Laureano ? He was Bishop of Seville, and is said to have cut his own throat. I want to discover what could have induced him to do so, as at first sight it does not strike one as a meritorious action, rendering him worthy of being canonized. There is a chapel dedicated to him in Seville Cathedral, where he is represented in a retablo, with a knife: also a picture, which represents him walk. ing with his head in his hand.Yours, &c., JUANITA.


SIR,– Will you or any of your correspondents give us some information on the subject of Crêches ? We should be glad to know if they succeed in England as well as in France. Also whether they can be managed without the aid of Sisters? The people for whose benefit the establishment is proposed are quite uneducated, and have many prejudices. In short, we should be glad of any informa


THE LOVE OF JESUS. Hilda would be very grateful to any of the readers of the Churchman's Companion if they could give her any account of the Society of the Companions of the love of JESUS, who are continually engaged in intercession for the conversion of sinners ? By whom was it first instituted ? and how long a period by day or night must each member be engaged in prayer? and what is the occupation of those not immediately engaged in intercession ? HILDA would feel greatly obliged if the editor of the Churchman's Companion would kindly allow this to appear in the next number.

« 上一頁繼續 »