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real parishioners, 35 communicants by their signatures, and 5 others by their expressed assent, made a communication to their Bishop praying that his lordship’s suggestion about prosecution might not be carried out; and saying "that they are not ashamed of the Cross, regarding it not as the sign of a party,”-nor we suppose as a 'miserable ornament,'-" but as the emblem of the death and passion of our adorable REDEEMER.” We cite this case simply to show how immediately a man who shows himself a Tractarian' is concluded to be in the wrong. There has been a multitude of such instances as this, in which the accused clergyman has been severely blamed, and even persecuted, when he has literally done nothing but exalt the honour of his REDEEMER; and when those who have led on the persecution have been open contemners either of all religion, or else of that which is founded on Christ's present work.

Our belief is, that Tractarians' forgive and forget these onslaughts too easily. If they were mere personal attacks, it would be right to pass over them as quickly as possible ; but they are really cases in which, not individual clergymen, but the Church as represented by them, is concerned and aimed at. The real point at issue has not been kept sufficiently in view; but very often under the impression that it was right to be forbearing, substance has been yielded up, while shadow, in the shape of a fictitious reconciliation, was being grasped at. And very often in this way Bishops have not been informed, and have not as they ought, taken the trouble to inquire), what was the character of the persons who came forward as opponents of Tractarian clergy. And what we feel bound to say and complain of is, that both Bishops and laymen who show themselves sensible and acute and just enough in other matters, are very often neither sensible, acute, por just, when a Tractarian clergyman is in the case. Persons going to meetinghouses, persons going nowhere, butlers, swell-mobsmen, persons agitating for mere selfish ends, and lastly, “White Witches,” are thought more worthy of consideration on each one's own ipse dixit, than a working clergyman: and while they get stroked down and encouraged to repeat their attacks, we so often get, to use a vulgar expression, more kicks than halfpence,' that we have almost given up the expectation of equity. We must beg pardon of our readers for writing in such very plain language,-our thoughts, we need scarcely say, are not chiefly in the diocese of Exeter—but really it does seem as if nothing short of it would

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the case home. The instance we have used in illustration of our point has been used, not because it is a particularly strong case,--for there are others within memory even stronger,—but because it happens to be a very recent one, involving the use of the cross,which is taken to

1 And we are also not sorry to be able to draw the illustration from our own side, as far as the highest person involved in the case is concerned, rather than from that of our opponents. We can afford to be fair and open.

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be especially symbolical of Tractarianism : and on this subject we have yet a few further remarks to make. We beg to say, for example, that we by no means take crosses and candles and evergreens at Christmas, and such like things and usages as essential parts of Christian practice. We, and our party, believe them to have a certain value in divine worship and private devotion ; but we are willing now to speak of them in the language of our opponents, and call them “signs of a party.” We confess that in a

" general way those who are anxious to display before the eyes of men the sign of their redemption and the banner of their salvation; those who seek to draw “the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of God's sanctuary," and to "make the place of His feet glorious ;” those women who being "wise hearted do spin with their hands, and bring that which they do spin, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen;" we confess,-let it be repeated,—that such persons as these generally are Tractarians. Be it so. But then what do those who look on Church matters ab extra


about Tractarians ? Do they not say that they are the real working party in the Church? And what do Dissenters say about them? Is it not that they are their worst practical enemies ? And what do the butlers, and the swell-mob, and the "white-witches,” declare by their acts and words? Is it not that they consider Tractarians foes to all that agitating butlers, and the swell mob, and witches, and all the host of them, delight in ? And therefore, without in the least assuming that crosses, and candles, and encaustic tiles, and painted windows, are essential parts of Christianity,--only assuming them to be the badges of a party,—it is clear from the testimony of opponents that where they are used, there is that party ;-and that where that party is, there is supposed to lie the strength of the army, whose duty it is to contend against all heresy, schism, and ungodliness.

Now, why will not men who profess to be practical men see this? Why will they not look beyond the mere externals which are identified with the system, to the system itself? Why will they not take for granted, till they can prove the contrary, that the “externals” may be misinterpreted when they are interpreted as the signs of mere formalism in those who use them; and that possibly the foes of the Church are not far wrong when by their words and actions they declare their firm conviction respecting those who use them that they are their foes, and the worst they have ? Why, in short, will not intelligent laymen look into the working of these things for themselves, instead of being led by the nose, like so many tame bears, broken-spirited under the influence of a tyrant really weaker than themselves ? For surely among those who are led by popular preaching there are stronger minds than those of the preachers; and among the tacit supporters of weak noblemen there are wiser heads than those for which noisy assertion of priority has obtained the lead.

Until the intelligent laity exhibit more of this English spirit of fairness and sound judgment, it will remain one of our difficulties that the working clergy will be unable to obtain a fair hearing; and things will be assumed respecting them without evidence, which on investigation would prove to be quite different in colour from the real truth.

We propose therefore to our lay brethren a fair subject of inquiry based on the usual broad lines of party, and visible results. Let them take half-a-dozen of each party, six from the "Anti-Tractarians," and six from the Tractarian clergy, and let them see what result each has to show for the work he has been doing in past years. Suppose, as a beginning in such an investigation, they were to select Canon Miller, of Birmingham; Canon Mc Neile, of Liverpool; Canon Stowell, of Manchester, in the north; Mr. Hatchard, of Plymouth, and Mr. Gorham, of Brampford-Speke, (names noted enough,) in the south; and the Right Reverend the Bishop of Ripon, late rector of S. Giles in the Fields, in London ; let these be on one side :-and per contra, say Dr. Hook of Leeds, the late Bishop Armstrong, (only four years ago vicar of Tidenham,) Dr. Pusey and Mr. Bennett, as two long obnoxious names, and Archdeacon Denison with Mr. Woodard, as the two latest subjects of disapproval and censure. And if the inquirers like to include in this really practical inquiry, the question of money spent in the practical work of the Church by each of these twelve individuals, perhaps they will gain some additional light by doing so.

And such a comparison we suggest in no spirit of boasting, nor with any want of Christian charity. Neither do we feel it necessary to excuse ourselves for freely using names of men who are so prominently put forward by their own party. We do it in the thorough conviction that laymen in general bave not made themselves acquainted with what practical work is being done in the Church, and who are really doing it. We do not believe that of those among the laity, who have no personal gain to make by Anti-Tractarian agitation, and yet support it,—those who make no capital of it in money or popularity,—that they are at all aware what a vast amount of great practical works in Church building and school establishment; in the furtherance of theological learning; in the promotion of piety and Christian knowledge by wholesome literature; and in many other ways, has been effected by even those only whom we have named as members of the Tractarian party. And who that knows anything of the matter, does not know that we might extend the list a hundredfold within the time past of our own generation ?

The most valuable. lay members of the Church are getting to

many know these things, but they are not known so generally as they ought to be; and we are convinced that self-assertion —however unpleasing it may be-has become a positive duty to the Church on the part of High Church clergymen.

The fact is, that the working clergy and the working laity are not enough known to each other. If you take the higher classes of the latter, and analyze their week's engagements, you will find that it is almost impossible for them to be seen by their parish priest except from the pulpit on Sunday, or on other days in the public intercourse of evening society. Among metropolitan men of business, for example, where is the hour at which the banker or merchant, whose city house of business is miles away from bis home, can be said to be accessible to his clergyman at the latter ? And in the country, where is the lawyer or the surgeon sufficiently disengaged to be open to a visit partaking at all of a pastoral nature, put it in what form you will

, from his rector ? And this is an evil which runs through society; for if you take the trading classes it is just the same. The clergyman calls; is ushered through the shop by the shop's master to the shop's mistress; and then at the very first convenient moment the husband goes

back to his business (having already shown evident signs of subdued impatience at being so long kept away) and the clergyman sees him no more. Now, with Dissenters, and, in some degree, with the Romanist clergy, this answers very well. They gain their influence among the middle classes chiefly through the female members of the household; and with the former the influence sought is so much connected with personal considerations, that it suits him at the least as well to gain a footing in the drawing room as with the masculine portion of the household. But where the matter is quite dissociated from personal considerations,--where the object is to carry the Church into a household, and to make that household a living branch of the Church through its own domestic head, where this is the case, as it is with the working clergy, it is by no means satisfactory to work through the wife and daughters instead of through the husband and father. And, in point of fact, nothing is more unsatisfactory to the High Church clergyman than to be looked upon by his male parishioners as a highly respectable individual, whose duty it is to attend to the spiritual wants of the ladies and the poor.

Whose fault is this ? Men of business will answer that it is not theirs, because business must be attended to. And to a certain extent they are right. But it may be worth their consideration whether that can be a wholesome state of things, in which they are so engrossed by secular affairs, that spiritual are found intrusive on any other day than Sunday. And, allowing to the full that business must be attended to, it is yet conceivable that there are ways in which working laymen could come into contact with

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working clergymen if they had as good a will to do so as the latter have. The calls of business are not the only calls which a Christian layman should listen to. Something is due to religion, and the Church of which they, as laymen, ought to be working and not idle members. There is, in this day,--and there probably must be, in our present condition,-a large amount of work to be done in the Church quite independent of the natural functions of the clergy. It is not uncommon to find rectors of town parishes wholly engaged for several mornings in the week attending to matters which could be quite as well managed by some of their lay parishioners. We lately met, also, with a town curate who was acting manager of eight local associations, for none of which could an acting layman be found. Now is it on principle, or is it through over-much carefulness about business that laymen leave all this work to the clergy? We must suppose that each of these eight associations and all these morning labours, represent some need in the Church, and some practical good done; is it not, then, a serious matter that laymen cannot be found to share in such good works beyond the mere payment of their guineas; that this extraordinary, and in a manner secular work of the Church must be done by the clergy, (and the laity call for it to be done,) to the manifest neglect of their more proper duties, or not done at all ?

We cannot but believe that if, by doing their own duty in the work of the Church they became more practically acquainted with what Church work is, the laity would not only gain inestimable moral benefits for themselves, but that they would put an end to many of our difficulties by setting the clergy at liberty for their own labours. They would learn to value those labours, and do all they could to secure their proper fulfilment ; and feeling a wholesome and pious interest in many things to which at present they are strangers, zeal would be the rule, and indifference the exception, among them.

And when the laity has arrived at a practical knowledge of the Church's working and her wants, we may be well satisfied that they will come to the very same conclusions in many matters which they who are called Tractarians among the clergy have long been persuaded of. Passing over all minor matters, we are convinced they would fall in with that call for united action—especially in large towns-after which there has been so much painful, and in too many cases ineffectual, striving of late years among the clergy. We are convinced that no earnest layman who had become thus practically a fellow workman with the clergy, would ever be content to see a solitary parson struggling on in the midst of a fock numbering two, four, or six thousand; striving, and how vainly,—to make some substantial impression upon the vice and wickedness which so large a number must inevitably comprehend; and equally in vain to minister to the unfallen the Church's store of grace

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