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Rev. J. Cubitt, Overstrand R.Norfolk. Rev. Hen. Gordon, BilsthorpR.Notts. Rev. W. C. Hill, Trentishoe R. Devon. Rev. Albert Jones, Vicar Choral of Hereford Cathedral.
Rev. John Miller, Benefield R. Northamptonshire.
Rev. G. Tucker, Musbury R. Devon. Rev. S. L. Noble, Frowlesworth R. co. Leicester.
Rev. S. W. Perkins, Stockton R. co. Warwick.
Rev. Bowen Thickins, Temple Grafton Perp. Cur. Warwickshire.
Rev. F. De Veil Williams, Abdon R. Salop.
Rev. J. Neville White, Great Plumstead Perp. Cur. Norfolk.
Rev. J. Young, Heathfield V. Sussex. Rev. T. C. Brown, Chaplain to Duke of Manchester.
Rev. Christ. Jeaffreson (Rector of Iken) Chaplain to the Marquis of Hertford.
Rev. G. P. Boileau Pollen, Chaplain to Lord Northwick.
Rev. (Lord William Somerset, to a Prebendal Stall in Bristol Cathedral. Rev. Matthew Chester, St. Helen's P. C. Auckland, Durham.
Rev. John Cumins, Rackenford R. Devon.
Rev. John Glanville, St. Germain's P. C. and Jacobstow R. Cornwall.
Rev. John Nolan, Torpoint P. C. Cornwall.
Rev. Mr. Bullock, St. Paul V. Bristol. Rev, A. C. Player, Headcorn V. Kent.
Rev. G. Prideaux, Bayton, P. C. Cornwall.
Rev. S. Redhead, Calverley V. Yorkshire.
Rev. Sam. Savory, Houghton juxta Harpley V. Norfolk.
Rev. H. Tattam, St. Cuthbert R. Beds.
Rev. W. Thursby, All-saints V. Northampton; and Hardingstone V. in the same county.
Rev. R. Vavasour, Stowe St. Edwards R. co. Gloucester.
Rev. H. W. Whinfield, Tyringham cum Filgrave R. Bucks, with the R. of Battlesden cum Potsgrove, Beds.
Rev. John Watson, D.D. Ringstead V. cum Denford, Northamptonshire. Rev. Thomas Bittland, B. A. Chaplain to Right Hon. Lord St. Helen's.
Rev. W. Thursby, M. A. Domestic Chaplain to Duke of Cambridge.
Rev. Henry Tattam (Rector of St. Cuthbert's, Bedford), Chaplain to the English Church at the Hague.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
BENTFORDIENSIS; A BOOKSELLER; A SERIOUS INQUIRER; F. V.; C. C.; and some communications without signature, are under consideration.
B. B. will find that we replied to his note last month.
We refer AMICUS to the preface to our last volume.
We agree with CLERICUS, that the reading of the new Marriage Act, during Divine Service, however well-intended the provision, is unseasonable and painful; but our correspondent is mistaken in supposing, because the Act specifies no particular penalty for a breach of this injunction, that therefore no punishment can be inflicted on an offending party. The violation of a statute is an offence at common law; indictable as a misdemeanour, and punishable at the discretion of the judge, where the Act does not specify the penalty. So much for the legal point. With regard to the moral obligation, we shall say nothing at present, as our correspondent seems to be already aware of our opinion of Sir James Stonehouse's celebrated receipt for evading a similar requisition in the case of the Act against Profane Swearing. It would be very desirable that some of the members of our Houses of Parliament should exert vigilant attention to prevent the introduction of clauses of this nature into the bills brought before the Legislature. The new Marriage Act is nearly double the length of many a modern sermon; and even after it is read, what is an ordinary congregation likely to know of its provisions, from one or more hurried and perfunctory recitations? The reading exends to six times; three times in the present, and three in the next year. In many churches the sermon has been omitted, to make room for it.
NOVEMBER, 1822. [No. 11. Vol. XXII.
For the Christian Observer. MEMOIR OF THE RIGHT REV. THEODORE DEHON, D. D. LATE BISHOP OF THE PROTESTANT
EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SOUTH
HE following particulars of
Reverend Theodore Dehon, D. D. late Rector of St. Michael's Church, Charleston, and Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of South Carolina, are selected from the account presented of him by the Rev. Dr. Dalcho, M. D., in his history of that church, and which is prefixed to the Bishop's sermons, lately published, and from the more copious memoir given in his funeral sermon from the pen of the Rev. C. E. Gadsden, Rector of St. Philip's Church, Charleston.
Theodore Dehon was born in Boston, Dec. 8, 1776, and was, says Mr. Gadsden, "in early life remarked for his personal beauty, the index in his case of a celestial disposition." Like many other eminent men, he owed much to the care of a pious mother, by whom he was religiously educated. His childhood was remarkable for docility and the love of learning; and his prevailing wish, from his earliest youth, to become a minister of the Gospel, excited him to unremitted exertions in his studies. In the common amusements of youth he took little delight, but devoted all his leisure to reading.
Having received the rudiments of his education at the Latin school at Boston, conducted on the old English system, he entered Harwood university at the age of fourteen, and graduated in 1795, beCHRIST, OBSERV. No. 251.
fore he was 19 years old. Here, as at school, he was looked up to by his youthful companions with extraordinary veneration, and was greatly regarded for his virtues and acquirements. His industry was unwearied; his conduct irreproachable; his amiableness of deport
ment almost proverbial;
all, he was rapidly growing in piety, and in an abhorrence of every sinful thought and practice.
While pursuing his studies, among which divinity held a conspicuous place, young Dehon engaged in the business of keeping a school, and on Sundays officiated as a layreader at Cambridge, and at Newport, in Rhode Island. He was confirmed by Bishop Seabury, the first consecrated bishop of the American Protestant Episcopal Church after the Revolution; and was admitted by Bishop Bass to the office of deacon in 1798, and of priest in 1800.
His first ministerial charge was Trinity Church in Newport, where, though only twenty-one years of age, he was enabled by his great prudence and suavity to settle some unhappy differences which had long existed in that church, and to produce among its members a harmony which has never since been interrupted. He gained the unbounded affections of his people; who seemed, says one of his biographers, to watch his every motion, and to consider him almost more than mortal." They anticipated all his wishes, and made every little incident an occasion for some token of kindness; thus evincing that affection, the reciprocal exercise of which between a minister and his flock is the best 4 U
security for their mutual comfort and edification. This attachment on the part of his charge naturally resulted from the character and conduct of their pastor.
One of his congregation has recorded of him, that he was an example to age as well as to youth; that he was a model of self-control; that against the irreproachable integrity of his life, enmity never whispered a suspicion; and that it was a common observation that he could not be censured even for an act of imprudence. The same gentleman adds,-"The benevolence and heavenly charity which made his future bright career so useful, and which will make his death so widely afflicting, were permanent traits of his character. Entertaining the most grand and lovely apprehensions of the Deity, his devotion yielded him his highest pleasure, and fitted him to kindle the sacred flame in others. It was as rational as warm; consisting not in occasional sallies and inconstant flashes, but was a steady divine flame, fed by the clearest and strongest persuasion and most worthy apprehensions of the Divine perfections and providence; and it animated his whole deportment. His taste for the nobler pleasures of litera. ture, devotion, and benevolence, made it easy for him to observe the strictest temperance. He was naturally of a cheerful temper, considering cheerfulness as a kind of habitual gratitude to the Author of his being and while he constantly paid this homage himself, he enabled, by his example, all about him to pay it.
"His habitual hearers used to observe, that his sermons were remarkably equal, and always interesting. Such was their satisfaction in hearing his discourses, that they were never pleased to see his place in the pulpit occupied by another. "He was my minister, the only one of my youth. I cannot express the feelings which crowd upon my heart when I think that he is no
more. I cannot tell my sense of his worth, or of our loss. We seem to lament the removal of one of the higher order of beings, who had taken his abode on earth for a time, and is now returned to his native place. How interesting and how glorious is the path by which the righteous ascend to God! His was indeed the path of the just, which like the shining light shines more and more unto the perfect day."
It is to be lamented in this otherwise interesting statement, that there is no specific mention of those fundamental principles of the Gospel, on which alone a life truly pleasing to God can be grounded. This great deficiency prevails too much throughout the whole narrative; and, indeed, in the Bishop's own sermons there is not always that clear exposition which is desirable of the peculiarities of the Christian system. Much more, however, is often adverted to, or incidentally introduced, than is on every occasion clearly developed; and though too frequently there seems to lurk in the Bishop's sentiments what, under a less powerfully pervading influence of Christian humility and devotion, would have been likely to lead to a selfrighteous spirit, and to have made salvation appear as partly at least of works, yet there runs throughout them such a genuine contrition, such a humble and implicit faith, such an ardent love to God and man, and such scriptural simplicity and obedience of life, that it would be unjust to suspect that the virtues of his character were not grounded on the only true principles of action, or that he attributed the smallest portion of merit to his own, or to any human, observances. In proof of this remark, it may be stated, though it anticipates a future part of the narrative, that on the very last day of his life, the following brief dialogue occurred between him and a friend :-" On what promise of God do you now
rest?" On this,-Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Thee! [with emphasis]: there you have it allthe promise and the condition.""With what subject are your thoughts now employed?" "That I would be a more perfect being." "But do you depend on your merits for salvation?" "Oh no!" exclaimed he with animation: "I rest on the Saviour."-Such was this holy man's living and dying testimony; but still it seemed requisite to notice the deficiency of statement above mentioned, especially as there are passages in the Bishop's own writings, which it might be difficult wholly to reconcile with that perfect knowledge of the New Testament economy which he doubtless possessed. It not unfrequently happens, that persons of serene and amiable tempers, who have grown up from their very infancy in habits of devotion, and whose faith and exemplary deeds are grounded substautially on the true and only foundation, are not sufficiently explicit in their statements respecting several Christian doctrines, especially those of the radical corruption of human nature, the universal necessity of conversion to God, and justification exclusively by faith in Christ Jesus. In their own case, they are truly, however early or gradually, "converted;" their heart, naturally averse to heavenly things, has been changed by Divine grace; and they sincerely disclaim all dependence upon their own imperfect obedience, trusting wholly to the merits of their Saviour for pardon and acceptance with God. Yet having imbibed, before they were aware, of it, the phraseology, and some perhaps of the prejudices, of a defective system; having also grown up themselves so gradually in the ways of religion, that they scarcely know when the germ was first implanted in their hearts, they are not always aware of the necessity of Vinculcating in the most
earnest manner those initial principles which constitute the very essence of the Christian system, and lie at the root of all practical religion. They are too apt to "take for granted" that the great body of the decent and respectable classes of persons around them are true believers, though needing, they allow, most urgently to be reminded of their duties, and to have pressed upon them, in the most zealous terms, the obligations of their baptismal vow. Thus they build up where they should be laying the foundation: they speak of the fruits before there is any reason to believe that the branch, naturally barren, is engrafted, otherwise than externally and sacramentally by baptism, into that heavenly Vine from which alone it can derive vigour or fertility to bring forth fruit to the glory of God. This want of discrimination of character in ministers, is deeply injurious to their people, especially to those who are inclined to substitute the form for the power of religion, or to suppose that a certain superficial devotion and a life of general good conduct will conduct them, as if almost of right, to the kingdom of heaven; at least when added to what Christ has done for them, by placing them, as they imagine, under a sort of modified law, which is satisfied with good intentions and a well-meaning life, instead of that perfect obedience which was due by the strict requisitions of the original code of moral duty. The system of which these are features, does not indeed always proceed so far as explicitly to deny the doctrine of the corruption of the human heart, or the need of conversion, or the necessity of the Holy Spirit's influences to renew the soul, and to inspire every holy motive, and every Christian act; but it so far keeps out of sight these fundamental points, or reduces the occasions for recurring to them, that its advocates are usually very deficient in all their views of sacred
truth, and too often render Divine revelation little more than a convenient improvement upon mere natural religion. It is not meant to charge these systematic defects upon the excellent Bishop Dehon; very far from it; yet it seemed desirable that the reader should have a clue to those occasional deficiencies which are to be found in the sermons even of this eminently devout and affecting writer; and which are not probably so much chargeable to any positive defect in his doctrinal views, as to the absence of that strictness of thought and phraseology which the distinctions of religious controversy have often given to writers who are very far behind him in all the essentials of scriptural repentance, faith, and holiness. It is very certain that Bishop Dehon entertained the most humble views of himself as a transgressor before God; that he laid no claim to merit; that he habitually repaired to that "fountain which is opened for sin and for uncleanness;" that he had no other confidence than in the sacrifice of his Saviour; that he lived a life of faith and holiness; and that he constantly felt his need of, and implored, the influences of the Holy Spirit both to give him a good will to what was right, and to work with him when that will was given. It was in the year 1803 that Mr, Dehon first visited the State of South Carolina, of the diocese of which he was afterwards the revered and beloved bishop. His health being feeble, his affectionate flock had urged him to repair in the summer to the Springs, and in the winter to a southern climate. His weakness permitted him to officiate only a few times during this visit to South Carolina: but the impression left by even so short and slight an acquaintance with him, was so favourable, that he was solicited to accept the office of Assistant Minister of St.Philip's Church in Charleston; and one of the clergy of the place is recollected to have remarked, that
" he should be happy to have that young man bishop of the diocese." He had many inducements to accept this appointment to St. Philip's. The climate was more congenial to his constitution than that of Newport; the society was more diversified; the opportunities for his own improvement were greater; and, what to a young man of his talents and rising merit would, but for his deep humility, have been an almost irresistible argument, the congregation was larger, and the sphere of his popularity, and it might have been urged, of his probable usefulness also, was much more extensive. He however steadily resisted these temptations; and remained with his attached people at New, port. His chief relaxation from his pastoral cares and studies was the culture of a small garden; an occupation in which he took great delight, but which, with the tenderness of conscience which always distinguished him, he afterwards relinquished on account of his increased duties in the church. It might perhaps have been well for his flock and diocese, had he continued to indulge himself in this innocent and healthy recreation: the bow must be sometimes unbent; and many a parish, like the be reaved congregation of St. Michael's, Charleston, has had to bewail the early loss of a faithful minister, in consequence chiefly of an overstrained application, which allowed no change of scene, no intervals of repose, to recruit the exhausted powers of mind and body, and to brace the nerves to encounter those zealous "labours of love" in which "the spirit was willing, but the flesh weak." Mr. Dehon had, however, another recreation, eminently pure and delightful, in forming the mind and character of a beloved sister who had been left from her childhood to his fraternal superintendance, and for whom he performed the part of a parent. But neither his private studies and devotions, nor the attractive duties