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priests the Bible is held to be a pro- in them, and that they have surrenhibited book.
dered every sense, God's own gifts, In our own country, under peculiar to believe the very contrary to the circumstances, the rule may be re- teaching of right reason and of laxed; but the exceptions are so rare,
God. and the effects of the liberty granted Drive a pervert to the plain and so carefully foreseen and guarded, that palpable teaching, even of the Douay they do but prove the overwhelming Bible and the Řhemish Testament'; authority of the rule. It would be prove to him from those sources, as somewhat curious to the mind of a unquestionably it can be done, that Romanist endowed with the ordinary his new creed is false and cannot share of intelligence, if he suffers even thereby be defended; he flies himself to reflect at all, that while from his own word of God, and bethe sun-light of God's revelation is takes himself to the figment of Church virtually withdrawn from his eyes, authority, and the perfect Babel of that his vision should be lavishly sup- contradictions it presents to that book plied with the glare of man's feeble from which it professes to derive its and uncertain lamps. The revelation claims. This one fact is fatal to the of God and the traditions of man are pretensions of Rome; but equally fatal apparently made by Rome to run side is the result, when that Church is tried by side, as of co-equal value and au- by history, for all the records of the thority; but it is rather singular, that early Church utterly ignore the monwhile man is not suffered to search
strous errors, corruptions, and asand examine into the revelation of sumptions of the Papacy, and do but God, he is supplied and encouraged prove that the Church of Rome is to swallow with a miraculous cre- not in any sense the true Church, but dulity the traditions and writings of that it is that “departure from the
faith,” that apostacy foretold in ScripIt has lately fallen to our lot to ture and fulfilled by the gradual rise speak with a pervert on the faith he of a system, which has from time to has embraced and the causes leading time embodied all the marks of "fallto the change, and we found that with ing away " that was there predicted. him this very principle of credulity in Pin either a pervert or a Romanist to man, had assumed the throne of his Scripture, and to the real history of now prostrated reason.
He left our the early Church, and you will find own Church, and Protestantism itself, that what Romish controversialists for want of a definite authority to unblushingly treat as irrefragable pronounce on matters of faith and truths are baseless assertions, for the practice; inspired writers in the Bi- proof of which he flies himself, and ble,-as well in the Protestant as in would drag you after him, to the the Catholic, or rather Romanist ver- heap of muddy and ever-shifting trasion,-—failed to satisfy him, and he ditions and doctrines of progressive has found that certainty of interpreta- development, canonized and made tion in the councils and traditions of infallible only by the system they fallible men, which he sought for in vainly attempt to support. vain from the perfect harmony of the Let not those who come in contact word of God.
with Romanists suffer themselves to “Having their eyes blinded,” is be diverted from the points of the one of the Scripture characteristics of first importance in the controversy, those who turn from the truth “to be- — the proofs of the Church of Rome lieve a lie;" and we never have been to be the true Church of Christ, and its so impressed with the perfect reality supremacy over every Church in virof this description, as upon convers- tue of the supremacy of Peter. Let ing with this pervert. The ready re- the Protestant make the Romanist ception of any or every doctrine and give him clear and convincing argufable presented by the Church of ments of the truth of these, if he can, Rome to its converts, proves that the as we have said, from Scripture or light of God has been quenched with- history, and there will be little need for wasting time in the discussion of Church itself which makes the erdetails more or less absurd and false, roneous declarations of this creed and which are but links in a chain authoritative, it will be time enough forged to fetter and enslave the souls, to take them, one by one, and try minds, and bodies of men. The them all by the same rule, and by creed of Pope Pius the Fourth is the the common sense and judgment of short but accredited and sufficient minds which have been enlightened definition of Romanism.
by the Spirit of God. have seen that Scripture rejects the
Correspondence. [The Editors are not responsible for every statement or opinion of their correspondents; at the same time, their object is to open the pages of their Magazine to those only, who seek the real good of that Protestant Church with which it is in connexion.]
THE PRIZE ESSAY.
the clergy,—their character as a seTo the Editor of the Christian Guardian. parate body, their ministerial work,
and their relative position to the laity, Dear Sir, — Whatever may be the the mode of their appointment, and result of the advertisement on the their remuneration; position, duties, cover of your last number, one thing rights, and responsibilities of the is certain, that the proposers of the laity. Prize Essay are amply justified by 3. The laws, standards, and discithe state of the Church, in seeking pline of the Church; question of the for information and suggestions as to Canons,—their character,-how far its prospects and wants. Your list of
now binding upon the clergy, and in subjects is certainly sufficiently full what way affecting the laity; the and definite, but it may well be ques- Ritual,--the absolute necessity for its tioned how any essayist can, in a mo- revision, the safe mode of attempting derately sized volume, deal with ma- its amendment in order to ensure the terials which will grow into startling rights of conscience, harmony of acmagnitude before a mind well informed tion, and for securing a more perfect as to facts, and properly impressed comprehension in the Church of good with the sense of bringing them fully men, differing in shades of opinion, before the public.
but one in all the essentials of ChrisNow, sir, as I gather from the ad- tianity. vertisement that the proposal is at It may so happen, that one writer present rather a preliminary an- may be able to take up all the three nouncement, than something sent divisions, but the probabilities are the forth to be immediately acted on, it 'other way, and that there may be has occurred to me that the proposers found those who have thought more, might advantageously break up their and be able to write with more power subjects into three distinct portions, and effect, essays upon the subjects and that they might offer three prizes as here separated. for three separate essays.
Without I need not press upon the attention much alteration of their words, I would of the proposers, both the necessity suggest the division to be as follows: for offering properly remunerative
1. The source and management of sums for each essay; as, also, that the revenues of the Church; the ques- none but men of high character and tion of patronage ; cathedral and col- qualification be solicited to act as adlegiate churches.
judicators. 2. The christian ministry ; the I am not sanguine as to immediate episcopate,—its status, and numerical results. We may go on with isolated adaptation to the wants of the Church; attempts at piecemeal reformation; individuals and societies may, in their tention to facts and suggestions that limited measure, strive to supply may bring into existence some wise wants and remedy evils, which the and comprehensive measure of Church Church itself, as a whole, ought to reform. find out and redress; but those who, I trust that all your readers will as faithful servants of Christ, feel cordially support the proposition, strongly the importance of purifying, which it has been the humble object enlarging, and strengthening the of this letter to render more simple Church of England, will at least be and efficient. thankful for the proposal now put
Yours, faithfully, forth, if it in any way call public at
Reviews, and short Notices of Books.
LECTURES IN EXPOSITION OF THE Book His own will. The herdsman of OF THE PROPHET Amos. By Vin
Tekoa testifies to the same truths as
the fishermen of Galilee, and the cent William Ryan, M.A., Prin
prophet Hosea blends in inspired cipal of the Training College, High- harmony with the disciple of Gamabury. pp. 242. Seeleys.
liel. This statement of the entire
agreement which subsists between the There is reason to fear that the study holy fellowship of the prophets and of the minor prophets has been some- the glorious company of the apostles, what neglected until more recently. is admirably exhibited in the small Yet is it from some of these that Work, the title of which stands at truths, more especially suitable to the the head of this notice, viz., “Lectures present state of the Church and of in Exposition of the Book of the the world, may be best learned. The Prophet Amos,” by the Rev. V. W. light which they throw upon past Ryan, M. A., now Principal of the events, and the intimations which they Training College at Highbury, and contain of those now apparently on Sunday Evening Lecturer of the Disthe eve of fulfilment, are most striking. trict Church of St. Stephen, CanonThe view which they communicate of bury. the evil of sin, whether in nations or From this little, but full and closely individuals, and the certainty with printed, volume we will extract a few which retributive justice or corrective passages, as a proof of the harmony chastenings are sure to follow, is most of the Scriptures of the Jewish Church admonitory and also instructive. The with those of the Apostles'; and also predictions and warnings which the as specimens of Mr. Ryan's ability writings of these prophets convey, elu- in confirming Scripture by Scripture. cidate moreover with wonderful clear- We adduce first the following passage ness the doctrinal statements of the from these Lectures on Amos :New Testament; thus shewing that the entire Bible, with its different compo
• The heinousness of their offence is nent parts, written under such varied expressed in verse 25. They changed circumstances, and at such different
the truth of God into a lie'-the method periods, emanates from one and the
of their punishment in verse 26. “For same superintending mind; that mind
this cause God gave them up unto vile being none other than the mind of did not like to retain God in their know
affections. Again, in verse 28, “they the Great Eternal, who foreknew the ledge,' and in consequence thereof God end from the beginning; and who gave them over to a reprobate mind, to not only foreknew, but who ordered
do those things which are not convenient:' all things according to the counsel of then follows a long catalogue of sins
against their fellow men, which were the strained by the sanctity of the Lord's intermediate steps by which pain followed day, has disregarded other barriers whichi transgression.
afterwards crossed its path, and has often “See how this is illustrated in the led its victim to a violent death by the case of the cities mentioned in this book. sentence of human justice. What a The sin which had separated them from fearful impression of thë terrors of the God, was their turning the truth of God Divine government of the world is prointo a lie,' and worshipping and serving duced by the reflection, that instead of
the creature more than the Creator.' summoning them to His presence by an Given over to vile affections, they became absolute act of sovereignty, God permits notorious for some offence against the the consequences of sinners' violation laws of human society, which proved to
of His laws to hunt the offender and be the avenue whereby punishment, pain, to hurry him into His immediate preand disgrace, came upon them. Every one of these heathen cities is threatened “So again with states and nations. with the anger of God, because of some The plainest declarations of God's holy offence contained in the catalogue given word may be disregarded, and the truth by St. Paul. Rom. i. Damascus was which He has revealed perverted. Im"unmerciful.' Amos i. 3. Rom. i. 31. mediately, perhaps, no punishment fol(ανελεημονας.) Gaza was unmerciful, lows. But the tone of religious thought envious, malicious. Acts i. 6. Rom. i. and feeling is debased, the tone of morals, 29, 31. (ανελεημων. φθονος. κακια.) Tyre domestic-social-political is debased is charged with covenant breaking.' also. Neglect of the revealed will of God Amos i. 9. Rom. i. 31. (astovdous.) is followed by violation of the natural Edom was
coithout natural affection,' rights of man, and thus vengeance slum(αστοργους).implacable, (ασυνθετους) Amos bers not, and punishment is only for a i. 11. Rom. i. 31. Ammon was unmer- time delayed.” ciful and covetous. Amos i. 13. ανελε. As an exhibition of Mr. Ryan's ημων and πλεονεξια. . Rom. i. 29, 31. Moab was despiteful and proud.' Amos plication, we would refer to p. 28;
power of spiritual and practical apii. 1. Rom. i. 30. “ This method in the moral govern
where, remarking upon the present ment of the world, suggests serious
desolation of the once famous cities thoughts for communities and individuals. of the Philistines, he makes this imThe .exceeding sinfulness of sin,' con- provement of his subject,sists in the fact, that it is an offence “ The history of the Philistines sugagainst God's holiness and majesty. In gests distinctly a practical question of this particular feature of it, however, it is great importance.
• What kind of an often not directly punished here, but instrument am I in doing what God will consequences are made to result from it have done ?' When Joshua utterly dewhich are punished even here. Take stroys because of God's command-he the case of the Sabbath-breaker for an is commended and blessed : when Philisexample. The wickedness of his sin tines take away captive a whole captivity, consists in his despising God's revealed indulging bad passions of their own, they will respecting a day set apart for His are cursed and doomed. The purposes special service ; he overcomes scruples of God were fulfilled in cach case. which, at first perhaps, are strong; con- Mighty purposes of God are being science, often silenced, at last ceases to fulfilled in our day ; on all sides the inspeak. No direct chastisement has been vitation sounds in our ears—Come to inflicted. But what has been going on the help of the Lord. Let us take heed in the soul ? It has been given over
to the motives with which we come, re.. more and more to the dominion of evil. membering that the character of our mo-That evil has developed itself in acts and tives determines the nature of the seed words, and confirmed habits of thought, which we sow, and that, whatsoever a it may be, which have brought with them man soweth that shall he also reap.'” punishnient in different ways. Want of
As a third specimen of the compreregard for God's law has led to a course of thought and deed, which has produced hensiveness of his mind and of his infringement of human laws also the ability of drawing lessons for national laws of kindness of social obligation guidance, from the prophetic word of of domestic duties-of civil enactments
God, we would adduce the following: and even of a penal code. The spirit of -treating of the Divine message to self-indulgence, which would not be re- Tyre, he says, OCTOBER-1851.
“How impressive is the solemn lesson the mercy which has exempted us from conveyed in these words, to those who falling before the assaults of an invading direct the affairs of great and powerful foe, and should quicken us to pray for nations. The violation of a treaty made the spirit of repentance and integrity bewith another state may seem to bring fore God, and that this people, as a nawith it advantage at some critical period, tion, may be sound in God's statutes ; and may appear perfectly safe because of should le us to be thankful that public the weakness to which that state has been acts of mercy have been performed; such brought. But the sure word of God, as the abolition of the traffic in men ; pointing to a prosperous maritime power that nations subject to our rule are more which had wantonly, trampled on a weak- happy and flourishing than they were ened inland neighbour, bids us see fire before they became tributary to us. coming from God out of heaven to de- “ And, above all, when we see how stroy it. And history tells us how Ne- error in religion' led to vice and abobuchadnezzar and his captains did the minations in social and political relations work-how Alexander the Great after- among men, we should guard against the wards inflicted degradation and suffering damnable heresies’ of a superstitious on the proud and wealthy sons of Tyre." and idolatrous system, which is seeking
once more to raise its head among us, And then appends this note at foot, and which would soon corrupt the foun
“The Spanish ulcer destroyed me,' tains of religion and morality, and so was the testimony of him who so proudly prepare the way, by that series of events disregarded the faith of treaties at Ba- which we have noticed, for heavy punishyonne.”
ment, and dreadful calamities upon our
selves. Another instance of the way in “The woe denounced against Ammon which the author would fain convey for covetousness and injustice, admonishes lessons of a political character, ap
us to seek to do justly. The fearful pears in his remarks on the prophecies consequences of Edom's cruelty tell us against Moab. He writes,
'to love mercy,' and Moab's pride and “ Whatever may be the duty of the
fall teach with power the lesson that man rulers of a people, with reference to na
is required to walk humbly with his tional defences, one thing is sure, that
God.'" no defence can stand, no precautions prove of any avail, when sin opens a way
Again, in reference to the use of for God's judgments. Look at Damas
wealth, national or individual :cus, with its inland fortresses, bars and “1. The real security of wealth is towers, broken by Divine anger, using justice in its acquisition and liberality in the agency of man, See Tyre, on the
Where there is much wealth, sea, with its ships, its strength, its appa- unjustly gotten or unmercifully stored up, rent security by reason of natural advan- there an object for Divine punishment tages, yet destroyed by the effects of the exists. Such wealth will be spoiled by same anger because of sin. Consider enemies from within or from without. Edom, with its lofty rocks, its almost And here, one acquainted only with the inaccessible approaches, yet brought down testimony which the voice of history to the dust by the arm of the Lord. And gives to the character of British merthen listen to the despairing cry of the chants, cannot but feel thankful that arıned soldiers of Moab, unable to ward honour and uprightness are so intimately off the attacks of a foe sent by the righ- blended with it. The legal reservation teous retribution of God. And in all of a provision for the poor in this land, these events you will have specimens of and the numerous institutions which the manner in which, at sundry times, exist for purposes of benevolence; for and in divers places, God has made mani- the relief of want, temporal and spiritual, fest to all the world how weak is human at home and abroad, also imply the wide strength, and how unavailing the protec- diffusion of a spirit, very different from tion which man devises, against anger that which would selfishly hoard up the from heaven bringing punishment for property which has been acquired. So sin.
plain are these facts, that they at once “ Such proofs of God's sovereignty suggest a contrast to the description exercised amongst other people in ancient given in verse 10 :-a contrast which and modern times, should lead us to be- should call forth our feelings of gratitude lieving and grateful acknowledgments of to God that it is so.