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Granted-though Dissenters and Whig-Radicals are apt to speak of him as by no means a seraphical doctor.
"There is not an angel over all the pastors in England.”
So the primate of all England is not an angel. Well, we are not in the habit of calling him so; though, if ever man merited the title, it is the truly venerable and amiable Dr. Howley. After this, the lecturer takes up the cudgels on behalf of the Kirk, and makes out, completely to his own satisfaction, that the General Assembly is a bishop broken into small pieces—“a collective episcopacy:" a bishopric put into commission and administered like the office of Lord High Admiral or Lord High Treasurer. This, however, is not the kind of argument by which our Anglican episcopacy is to be defended. When Dr. Wiseman attacked the institution, as existing among us, and drew forth Mr. Palmer in reply, we had a grave and solid advocacy of our Church-we had clearly proved to us that her orders are scriptural in their character, apostolical in their derivation, and independent in their jurisdiction: that she had not overstepped her right in refusing obedience to the Bishop of Rome, and in resisting his continual encroachments.
We are willing to allow that Mr. McNeile displays much ingenuity and great occasional eloquence; and, in order to show how ably he disposes of Dr. Wardlaw whenever he is not crippled by the insufficiency of his own postulates, we quote, with pleasure, one of the most luminous reductiones ad absurdum which we ever remember to have met with. In Dr. Wardlaw's Lectures, in answer to Chalmers, that advocate of the voluntary system says
"I grant that Jehovah instituted a National Church; but then he instituted such a Church, with himself as the supreme head of ecclesiastical and civil government in the nation, conducting his administration, in both departments, by a system of supernatural interposition, and immediate manifestation of his presence and authority, such as we mean by a theocracy; the nation itself, by this means, sustaining the two-fold character of the Church and the State: the Church, in its relation to Jehovah as its God-the State, in relation to Jehovah as its King. Our question then is-Can this be imitated? Comes it at all within the range of the imitable? Is the conclusion a legitimate one, that, because Jehovah instituted and, of course, approved a national Church with such a theocratic superintendence, he must, therefore, be considered as sanctioning the institution of one without it?”. "So far from the difference being immaterial, it amounts to the difference between human and divine.' "Instead of our being taught the propriety of uniting the Church and State under a human government, may not the legitimate lesson, read to us by the Jewish constitution, be, that under no other circumstances than under God's own immediate
superintendence, is such a union of the civil and the sacred admissible with benefit or with safety ?"*
This argument Mr. Mc Neile proves to be worthless, by applying it to the duty of Christian obedience :
"Our Lord Jesus Christ obeyed the law of God perfectly; but it was an obedience of a character so peculiar and unique as to place it beyond the reach of imitation. It was a spotless obedience-a meritorious obedience-an atoning obedience. Our question then is-Can it be imitated? Comes it at all within the range of the imitative? Is the conclusion a legitimate one, that, because a man, without original sin, obeyed the divine law, therefore he is to be held up as an example to be followed by a man with original sin? Is the difference between the two cases indeed trivial and circumstantial? So far from being immaterial, it amounts to the difference between human and divine. Instead of our being taught the propriety of imitating the obedience of Christ, may not the legitimate lesson, read to us by the obedience of a man in whom there was the union of the divine nature, be, that under no other circumstances than such an union can any man obey?"
This is, indeed, demolition: the favorite refutation of an important theory is shown to prove too much, and the voluntaries are triumphantly ejected from one of their most eligible strong-holds. Throughout the book we meet with many singularly happy exposures of voluntaryism; and were we to quote all that is well written, we should transcribe more than half of every lecture. But when we arrive at the close, we are made painfully sensible that something has been wanting. The effect wrought is not the effect intended, and we feel inclined to tax the lecturer with lukewarmness in the cause. Now we are
well assured that Mr. McNeile is no lukewarm advocate, but an earnest and faithful minister of our Church; we must, therefore, look elsewhere than to the heart of the lecturer for the causes of this chilling-this deadening effect. It is the adoption of the expediency principle-the falling in with the liberal suggestions of the day-the Erastian idea of making the Church a mere creature of, and dependency upon, the State. These are the causes which work so disheartening an effect. We speak not of the lecturer's dissatisfaction with some parts of the Liturgy-his wish that the daily service may be so managed, that every individual may leave out what he thinks objectionable —of his desire to abolish the "congé d'élire" of chapters in case of a vacancy in the see, and to making the right of election reside in the Crown. We allude not to his scruples about the absolution to the sick and to the creed of St. Athanasius. All these we shall touch upon in due order, but we speak here of that
* Wardlaw's Lectures, lect. iii. p. 102.
spirit of secularity, which would regard the Church in England as a creation of King, Lords, and Commons-which would put that institution of Christ, against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail, on the same footing with the army or the navy, the police establishment, or the royal academy; differing from the two former only in being more scantily supported, and from the latter only in being made the object of frequent "heavy blows and sore discouragement.'
What is the alliance between Church and State, of which we hear so much? The clergy may well take up the indignant challenge of the men of Judah, and exclaim to those who would fain despoil them of their scanty pittance-" Wherefore, then, be ye angry for this matter? Have we eaten at all of the king's cost, or hath he given us any gift?" The alliance between Church and State is neither more nor less than this: that in return for the protection afforded to ecclesiastical in common with other property-a protection too frequently withheld-the Church takes upon herself the task of instructing the people in spiritual things. If it be said-But it is the duty of the Church to do this, and her indefeasible right; we reply-It is so; and it is the duty of the State to protect her property. Now the State has, in many instances, most grossly violated this duty; but the Church has never been found wanting in hers: to the extent of her means, and beyond her means, she has promoted and carried on the work of spiritual instruction-she has enlisted in this holy cause both the bounty of the liberal and even the pride of the ostentatious, and but seldom has she received any aid from the State with which she is allied.
Again by what right do the Bishops sit in the House of Lords? is a question frequently put in triumph. Now, this is the only concession on the part of the State: viz., that the chief pastors of Christ's flock shall have a share in the deliberations of the State. But on this topic we enlarged in our last number, and will not here repeat our remarks. But we will observe that Mr. McNeile does not seem clearly to understand this matter, and we will, therefore, venture to set him right. He observes
"There is a name of election of their bishop continued to the dean and chapter of the diocese, while the impending penalty of a premunire for refusing to choose the nominee of the Crown renders it little more than a name."-p. 261.
This is represented as one of the causes of that occasional inefficiency observed, or supposed, in the practical working of our Church system :
"The Church should not be exposed to the sarcasm contained in the congé d'élire, as it now stands; but one of two things should be done,
either the nomination of bishops should belong directly, and at once, to the Crown (as in the case of the Irish Bishops it does), or the statute of Henry VIII., involving a recusant chapter in the extreme penalties of a premunire, should be repealed. In other words, the cathedral clergy should have either a real choice, or a real deliverance from the appearance of a choice."―p. 262.
He then, after expressing his suspicions of "High Churchism,” and inferring that the clergy, as a body, are not to be trustedthat if Church discipline were fully carried out-if "Laudism” were to be revived, "None could escape punishment but by submission--both swords would again be wielded by clerical hands.” -p. 265. He states
"It would be a great improvement to abolish the congé d'élire altogether, and to give the selection of bishops from amongst the presbyters of the Church entirely and absolutely to the Crown."-p. 265.
Now, in this statement, Mr. McNeile is decidedly wrong, and wrong only because he has not paid a sufficient degree of attention to the antiquities of the Church. That the election of a bishop should be in the hands of the chief clergy, is a regulation of very old standing, and it became early the custom to commit such election to the dean and chapter; but since, on the one hand, the Bishops sit in the House of Lords, and have, therefore, no small influence over the affairs of State; and, on the other hand, it would be the giving up of a right, on the part of the clergy, were the election of Bishops to be vested wholly in the Crown, so a compromise has taken place, and the Crown really elects, while the congé d'élire acknowledges the ancient right of the chapters-if the Bishops were deprived of their seats in the House of Peers, then the statute of Henry VIII. must be repealed, and what the State gained on the one hand, it would lose on the other. The mischief, however, to the country would be very great; we shall, therefore, proceed to show that the present arrangement is not only founded on principles of justice, but is, in itself, far better than giving to the chapters the right of election.
The political power given to the Church, in affairs of State, by the introduction of the bishops into the supreme court of judicature, is compensated by the influence given to the Crown in the affairs of the Church, by leaving in the hands of the sovereign the appointment of those very bishops. This is a very equitable arrangement, and one with which both parties are, or ought to be, content; but, inasmuch as the arrangement may not last for ever-and, alas, all the tendencies of our day are towards a debasing democracy-the elective right of the chapters is recognized by the congé d'élire, and, doubtless, were the
compact implied violated on the one side, the dormant but unrenounced claims would be put forward and acknowledged on the other. We say doubtless, because we really believe that such would be the case; but, even if not acknowledged, the principle would remain the same; and the Church, by making her claim, would put herself in the position of a just but refused applicant.
But we proceed to show that the present arrangement is expedient as well as right-that the elective power is better exercised by the Crown, than it would, in all probability, be by the chapters. We appeal, in the first place, to experience; we refer to the men raised to the episcopal rank by our present Ministers, and we contend that if they have chosen proper persons to be the rulers of the Church—à fortiori, would it necessarily be so with any other possible government in this country. We take the words of an able contemporary, and declare, "We are neither Whigs nor Radicals, nor, what is worse, Whig-Radicals. We dislike the men that compose our present Administration-we distrust their abilities-we doubt their integrity; morally speaking, we consider them very indifferent-mentally speaking, very mediocre-politically speaking, very ridiculous ;" but we are, nevertheless, very well satisfied with the general tenor of their episcopal appointments, and thus we consider that no degree of spiritual indifference-no ill-will towards the Church's interest on the part of a Whig-Radical Administration-no "heavy blows and sore discouragement to Protestantism," need cause us to fear the elevation to the mitre of persons greatly unfit for the office. Should, however, such an attempt be made, the congé d'élire would be issued in vain, and the recusant chapter would have with them, not the voice of the clergy only, but the voice of the nation at large.
Those who are familiar with the history of the Papacy know well that, insomuch as the conclave of cardinals elect the Pope, each cardinal bishop has a chance that the tiara may fall on his own brows. This causes two inconveniences: first, there is the most unseemly intriguing for the infallible chair, sometimes even proceeding to open violence; and the election, in many cases, has fallen, not on the man most fitted for the station, but on the man whose largesses were the most abundant, or whose promises were the most extensive. Sometimes family interest
sometimes wealth-sometimes engagements by which the interests of the pontificate and the rights of future pontiffs were compromised-prevailed in raising an undistinguished individual to the sovereign see.
But, in addition to this evil, there was a second, still greater