« 上一頁繼續 »
the supplicants have been upright, earnest, and believing, in their prayers; and knowing that the truth and honour of the great God are pledged to the fulfilment of his word, proceeds, after the child is baptized, to the work of grateful acknowledgment. · We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it has pleased thee to regenerate this infant by thy Holy Spirit, to receive bim for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church.' The conclusion which is here drawn, concerning the regeneration of the infant, is recognized, naturally and consistently, in several of our subsequent services.
But the following objections will doubtless be here urged, or rather repeated. Of the vast numbers which are baptized, few, comparatively, as they advance in youth to maturity, give any scriptural evidence that they have been truly regenerated. Old things are not passed away, and behold all things are not become new ; and therefore they are not the “ new creatures” described in the Bible, and “ born of the Spirit.” They “ commit sin," allowedly and habitually; aud therefore, according to the decision of eternal truth, they are not “ born of God.” (1 John iii. 9.) The justness of these representations and inferences cannot be denied, unless we are perversely inattentive to the moral evil which triumphs through the land, and are blind and deaf to the plainest declarations of the word of the Lord.
To what, then, are we to impute the absence of the all-important blessing of regeneration, in multitudes who were baptized in their infancy ? Shall we dare to suspect the fidelity of God to his engagements ? " Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Shall we censure the conclusions of the established Church as rash and unauthorized ? She has done nothing more nor worse than exercise a judgment of charity, and a principle of faith ;-a judgment of charity, in supposing those to be sincere and “ believing,” who have been joiving in her services ; and a principle of faith, in expecting the fulólment of the promises of God. Where these promises are not fulfilled, there has been a very criminal want, or defect of reliance on the divine mercy, and faithfulness in Christ Jesus. And in many an assembly collected for the professed purpose of imploring for a child the mercies of the everlasting covenant ; the Scripture bas a renewed and melancholy accomplishment ;—“And he did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief."
This view of the subject is solemn and affecting. It may remind many of their exceeding sinfulness. It will warrant the following appeal to the consciences You brought an infant to be baptized : so far you did well. The ordinance is of divine appointment, and to be had in reverence. But you did not bring him in the arms of faith. You did not rest upon the promises. You did not wrestle with God in prayer for a spiritual blessing. You were satisfied with the external rite. The day when you professed to dedicate an immortal creature to the service and honour of the most boly God, instead of being a day of solemnity and supplication, perbaps was a day of folly and of feasting, of levity and of guilt. You had therefore a sure though an awful interest in one Scripture at least"Let not that man think that be shall receive anything from the Lord.” Go, then, and learn by experience what that meaneth, “ Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and asbes.".
Here the M.S. abruptly terminates.
SUPERINTENDENCE OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
In the December Guardian, we inserted under the above title, a communication from Dartmouth, which we regret to find has been the occasion of considerable uneasiness to several respectable individuals who take part in the Schools in that parish, and also to the much esteemed writer of the following letter, in justice to whom, we do not hesitate to publish it. At the same time, we have to express our regret that the suppression of the names was inadvertently overlooked. We are deeply grieved to think that any person professing to take an interest in the tuition of children, could be guilty of misrepresentation or exaggeration.
SIR,—I have read with a feeling of painful surprise, a letter in your last number, dated · Dartmouth, Nov. 1,' and signed · Clericus Non.'
As I am the only clergyman in this place at all situated in the manner described, and as my niece, Miss Scott, is a teacher in St. Petron Sunday School, there can be no doubt to whom your correspondent's remarks are meant to apply, although misrepresentations as to my family, (for I have no • daughters,') and to other circumstances, connected with my residence here, are made, with what motive I am at a loss to divine.
I have carefully enquired as to the fact' asserted by · Clericus Non,' and find, that nearly eleven months ago, there was some difference of opinion between the superintendent and the teachers of the School, respecting the place my niece should occupy, quite unaccompanied however by the imperious and offensive conduct imputed to her. The conversation also, alleged to have passed between the Superintendent and the Teacher, is almost without the shadow of a foundation, a tissue of misrepresentation and falsehood ; the part which refers to the testimony borne to the superiority of Miss S's religious character, by her friends,' is pure invention.
The accusation against my niece is of little consequence, compared with the shameful insinuations respecting the superintendent of the school, and the pain they have occasioned to one of the most respectable families in Dartmouth. That lady has laboured long and anxiously in the discharge of the duties of her office, and is I believe esteemed by all competent judges, as one possessed of deep and consistent piety, totally free from affectation.' Her sister, who preceded her in the management of the school, is now the wife of an excellent and highly respected clergyman in Sydney.
The Incumbent of St. Petron, is ready, if called upon, to confirm the statements I have made in this letter, which I trust you will oblige me by inserting in your next number.
I remain, Sir, very faithfully your's,
SAMUEL KING. The Wilderness, Dartmouth,
Dec. I, 1841.
The following epitome of the opinions of some of the most eminent prelates of our Church on the dangerous tendency of the Oxford Tract doctrines is highly important at the present time..
I. The Archbishop of Canterbury, alluding to the introduction of novelties in the celebration of Divine Service,' has declared, that it is much to be deprecated;' and that even the revival of usages which, having grown obsolete, have the appearance of novelties to the ignorant, may occasion dissatisfaction, dissension, and controversy.'
II. The Archbishop of Armagh has been delivering in the course of the past summer, a charge condemnatory of No. 90, and vindicating the censure pronounced upon it by the Hebdomadal Board,
III. The Archbishop of Dublin speaks of the Tractarians as having been • led to adopt very heartily some most erroneous views, through the combined attractions of antiquity and novelty : ' and of their system, as tending to revive but a small portion of neglected truth, combined with a great mass of obsolete error.'
IV. The late learned Archbishop of Cashel has left behind him an elaborate exposure of Mr. Newman's mystic theory of justification.
V. The Bishop of London has forbidden Mr. Ward to officiate in his diocese : and has recently refused to license another member of the same party.
VI. The Bishop of Calcutta regards the system as one which will, in the end, 'make way for an apostacy in our church; unless, indeed, the forethought and fidelity of our divines of dignified station interpose by distinct cautions to prevent it.'
VII. The Bishop of Chester, long since, detected in the Tractarian views, “a revival of the worst errors of the Romish system. And he has asserted in his recent charge, that it does certainly require an elaborate system of argument, in order to prove that persons holding such opinions are consistent members of the Church of England.
VIII. The Bishop of Chichester has recorded his ' protest against a system of doctrine recently attempted to be revived, and which had ever appeared to him to be founded upon mistaken views of the general tenor and character of Scripture.
IX. The Bishop of Exeter has publicly • lamented’ the leniency with which the Tractarians are disposed to treat some of the worst corruptions of Rome.' He' more than laments the tendency of their views on 'reserve in communicating religious knowledge,' as inconsistent with the special and distinct requirement of our own church.'
X. The Bishop of Durham, after stating that the effect of Tractarian principles has been not merely to recommend a variety of antiquated forms and ceremonies, but to uphold them with such earnestness as to threaten a revival of the follies of by-gone superstition,' does not hesitate to assert, that an elaborate attempt has been made' by the same parties to explain away the real meaning of our articles, and infuse into them a more kindly spirit of accommodation to the opinions and practices of the Church of Rome.'
XI. The Bishop of Ripon regards the same attempts as likely to • endanger the integrity of subscription.'
XII. The Bishop of Gloucester declares, “the perusal of the Remarks upon the Thirty-nine Articles bas filled me with astonishment and concern. The real object at which the writer seems to be labouring, is to prove that the differences in doctrine which separate the Churches of England and Rome will, upon examination, vanish.'
XIII. The Bishop of Winchester, in a charge which is just published, has expressed his sentiments no less plainly than his Right Rev. brethren.
XIV. The Bishop of Lichfield, in his primary charge, declared his conviction of the dangerous tendency of Tractarian views, and described the system as one which saps the foundations of Protestantism, assails the character of the Reformers, and depreciates the Reformation itself.
XV. The Bishop of Lincoln, who seems to have foreseen the present controversy, has spoken strongly on the subject of Tradition, and the deference due to the authority of the Fathers.
XVI. The Bishop of Oxford has recommended that the • Tracts for the Times' should be discontinued, as dangerous, and likely to disturb the peace of the Church.'
THE PUSEYITE ARRANGEMENT OF THE CHANCEL.
FROM THE AMERICAN EPISCOPAL RECORDER.'
BISHOP GRISWOLD, in bis address to the Convention of the Eastern Diocese that was recently held in Boston, speaking of St. Stephen's Church, Providence, observes :
"I was pained in noticing the uncouth and inconvenient arrangement of the chancel. I trust that none in this convention need being reminded of the absurdity of going back to the dark ages of Christianity for the models of our churches, or for the manner of worshipping in them, or of adopting any of the fooleries of ignorance and superstition. God requires us to act as rational beings, and not as idolatrous heathen. All the services should be performed in a place and manner the most commodious to the minister and the people. Whether he preaches, or prays, or administers the ordinances of Christ, he should be in the view of each and all of the congregation present. And in prayer, it is quite as fitting that he should face them, as that they should face him. To turn from them to the communion-table, implies the supposition that God is particularly present there, and sanctions the abominable doctrine of transubstantiation. God has promised to dwell in the hearts of bis worshipping people, and Christ has expressly declared that where a few of them are gathered together in his name, there he is in the midst of them. We are sure, then, that Christ is, by bis Spirit, among the people ; but we have no assurance that he is on the table, more than in any other part of the church. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. But God has no visible representation on the earth, and forbids our making any ,- his likeness is to be formed in our hearts.'
· Let us not look back to Egypt, lest we perish in the wilderness.'
APPALLING ACCOUNT OF THE FESTIVAL OF JUGGERNAUT
IN THE YEAR 1841.
The Car Festival of this year was preceded by an unusually large Bathing Festival. A number of astrono mical conjunctions occurring on the day of the bathing, endowed it with the appellation of the Maha-joge.' These conjunctions, it is reported can happen but once in four hundred years. "To the Maha-joge, therefore, the people flocked in very unusual numbers, especially from Bengal and the South; and there could not have been fewer than one hundred and twenty-five thousand pilgrims to witness the ceremony of bathing the World's Lord.' The people contended with great vigour and patience for a little of the old paint from the idol's body, and for strips of the old cloth which formed his skin during the past year. Very many of the pilgrims remained till the Ruth.* “At the Natra Uchob, or Festival of the Eyes, which occurs the day before thé Ruth, the rush into the temple was great; and, notwithstanding the precautionary measure of a temporary railing, several people were crushed, and one or two, I understand, were carried to the hospital in a hopeless state.
On the afternoon of the 21st of June, the idol Juggernaut, with his brother and sister, were rocked out of their temple into their cars. Nearly two hundred thousand pilgrims formed a dense mass around the spangled wains. The roofs of the temples and houses, and especially the raised verandahs of the houses, were hung with garlands of evergreens, chowries, and fans, and literally jammed with groups of joyful and smiling faces, all eagerly directing their eyes to the field of interest. This vast crowd was variegated by the presence of most of the Pooree and several of the Cuttack European residents, mounted on gaily-caparisoned elephants, all anxious to catch the first glimpse of the World's
Lord,' as he was majestically marched into his superb car, or seated on his throne.
Such was the eagerness of the Christian attendants about the cars, and such the intensity of their gaze towards Juggernaut, that they were believed, by the natives, fully to estimate the advantage of an early sight. By this eager attendance, 200,000 Natives would depart to their homes, confirmed in the conviction that their European rulers fully and really believed in Juggernaut with all their hearts. This produces a most extensive and injurious effect; and is used as a convincing argument by the pilgrim-hunters, in promoting Juggernaut's glory. Amidst this vast multitude, and the object of its eager attention, Juggernaut was raised upon his car; and a loud and wide and protracted shout of 'Hurree ! Hurree !' proclaimed his accession. No sooner was the event thus announced, than a stream of pilgrims set out from the midst of the mass, and thousands of Bengalees left the town,
But amidst all this hilarity and joy, there was that throughout the town, which could not but grieve and shock the feelings of humanity, though rendered obtuse by witnessing similar exhibitions of misery. I passed down to Pooree a few days before the festival commenced, in the very midst of the pilgrims. In crossing the Catjury River, I counted upward of forty corpses and skeletons, in different stages of consumption by beasts and birds of prey. It is true, that these were not all pilgrims, but many of them were; and the remainder had been carried off by that scourge, the cholera, which the influx of pilgrims brings into the province every year. On the road, especially near the resting-places, and in the vicinity of Pooree, many dead and sick pilgrims were lying about. The mortality soon became evident at the town of Juggernaut. The two hospitals presented scenes which it required no ordinary nerves to survey. "They were filled with
* A Ruth is a carriage on low wheels, gene. rally drawn by bullocks, in this case, by the pilgrims themselves. The term is here ap. plied, not only to the vehicle, but to the Car Festival generally.