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the baptism, assigning as his reason for refusing to bury that it was not valid.” -Mr. MATTHEWS.
Thirdly.--If he is so bound but refuses compliance, is there any and what summary process either in the Ecclesiastical Courts, and which of them, or at common law, by which the clergyman may be compelled to perform such burial service over the corpse, so long as it remains uninterred; or if the corpse has been vecessarily interred subsequent to such refusal, either in the parish burial-ground or elsewbere, without having the form prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer read over it, what steps can be taken by way of punishment and prevention in future against such clergyman, either in the Ecclesiastical Courts, and which of them, or at common law, and who is or are the proper party or parties to institute proceedings?
Answer.--"I incline to think that possibly a mandamus from the Court of Queen's Bench (see R. ». Coleridge, 2 B. and A. 806) might be obtained to compel the burial, and a minister from the Ecclesiastical Courts to compel the performance of the service, in the case of an uninterred corpse; but the best course, as it seems to me, would be, to institute a proceeding, (by letters of request in the Court of Arches,) similar to that to which resort was had in the case of Kemp v. Wickes. The father, in the case of an infant, the personal representative, in case of an adult, would seem to be the natural and proper promoter of such a suit. If a sentence in conformity with that given in Kemp v. Wickes were given, in such a suit, a fortiori, if it were affirmed on appeal, the law would be so established, that no clergyman would, it is to be hoped, resist for the future; and very possibly the temporal courts would, in aid of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, grant a mandamus to enforce a right thus clearly established.”-Dr. NICHOLL.
The opinions of the other Learned Counsel, under this head, discuss the different modes of proceeding in the common law courts.
We have not space to insert them at length, but the substance is as follows :-Mr. Starkie thinks, that if any proceeding at common law is commenced, it should be by indictment, but adds, this would be little more than an experiment," and that “ the most direct and obvious course would be to proceed in the Ecclesiastical Court, as in the case of Kemp v. Wickes.” Mr. Matthews says, “I am not clear, that an indictment would not lie, but I think the safest course would be to proceed in the Ecclesiastical Court."
My object in reciting the above particulars is two-fold. First, to caution my brethren against commencing a contest in which they must inevitably be foiled. If they cannot in conscience bury the body of a person under the foregoing circumstances, they must get the law altered, or vacate their office, or submit to the penalty, whatever it may be ; for the law will vindicate itself with a strong arm; nor is this a case to which the maxim applies that God must be obeyed before man, if the character of the administrator is not "an essential part” of the solemnity. And here, secondly, I would suggest, whether, besides the law of the land, the law of the church, as indicated in the above-cited rubric, does not allow of our considering (as the church of Rome does) all baptism valid which is administered with water and the Scriptural formula. Has the Bishop of Exeter ever examined the question in this light?
AN OLD DEVONIAN CLERGYMAN.
ON SIR R. GRANT'S AND HERRICK'S LITANY HYMNS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. In perusing the beautiful extracts from Sir Robert Grant's Sacred Poems, in your Number for last February, I was reminded of a striking coincidence between his lines entitled “Litany" (which I conclude you did not quote, admirable though they are, on account of their being well-known, and having also originally appeared in your own volumes) and a copy of verses by Herrick, headed "Litany to the Holy Spirit." Both Herrick and Grant were perhaps indebted, in part, to the Dies Ire for the turn of thought ; and the latter, I think, was further indebted to Herrick, both in this Litany Hymn and in “ When gathering floods."
Herrick was born in London in the year 1591; he studied at St. John's, Cambridge, and became incumbent of Dean Prior in Devonshire, when he was ejected by the Cromwellian Parliament in 1648. During the Commonweath he lived as a layman, supported by his royalist friends ; but was re-instated in his benefice at the Restoration. He is best known as the author of an Anacreontic song ; but his “ Noble Numbers ” contain some beautiful religious poetry. A writer in an early Number of the Quarterly Review (perhaps Mr. Southey) mentioned a visit made to Dean Prior with a view to discover some memorials of the poet; but the only association he could find was that an old woman could repeat, with great exactness, five of the “ Noble Numbers," which she called her prayers, and which she was accustomed to recite to herself at night when unable to sleep. Among these traditionally-cherished pieces was the poem above-mentioned, and which your readers, both poetical and devotional, will thank me for transcribing.
LITANY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT.” In the hour of my distress,
And that number more than true, When temptations me oppress,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me. And when I my sins confess,
When the priest his last has pray'd, Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
And I nod to what is said, When I lie within my bed,
Because my speech is now decay'd, Sick at heart, and sick in head,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me. And with doubts discomforted,
When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me. Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
When the flames and hellish cries,
Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes, When the passing-bell doth toll,
And all terrors me surprise, And the Furies in a shoal
Sweet Spirit, comfort me. Come to fright a parting soul,
When the judgment is reveal'd,'
And that open'd which was seal'd,
When to Thee I have appeal’d, And the comforters are few,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
USE OF THE SYMBOL OF THE CROSS BY THE EARLY
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Having frequently felt it as a ground of increased attachment to our church, that her ceremonies are fraught with so much of the spirit of primitive Christianity, I have at the same time entertained a desire that the reality of her pretensions in this respect should stand upon an insubvertible basis; and it is therefore with a mixture of surprise and regret that I have latterly heard it often asserted, that she has still some portion of Popish superstition in her ceremonies. But the one which has, it seems, chiefly given cause for this charge, is the signing of the cross upon the child's forehead in the performance of Infant-Baptism. But is it not the fact, that the practice of signing with the mark of the cross was common long before the church was infected with the Romish errors ? St. Jerome, who flourished nearly fifteen centuries ago, says, in speaking of the letter Tau, the last of the Hebrew alphabet, “ Antiquis Hebræorum literis, quibus usque hodie utuntur Samaritini, extrema Thau litera crucis habet similitudinem, quæ in Christianorum frontibus pingitur, et frequenti manus inscriptione signatur.” (St. Hierom. in c. ix.) Tertullian mentions it as used in his time, “ At every step or motion we make, at every going out or coming in, when we clothe ourselves, or put on our shoes at the fonts, at our tables, &c., we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross.” (Tert. de Corona.) So in another place he says: “ The body is signed, that the soul may be strengthened." (Tert. de Res. Carn.) St. Cyprian writes that “ Signo Domini omnes signantur." (Cyp. ad Jud.) Lactantius says, “ Christ being sacrificed wrought salvation for all those who carry the sign of his blood (i. e. of the cross, on which he shed his blood) in their foreheads.” (Lact. Lib. 4.) St. Chrysostom makes it the glory of us Christians, that we παντες επι μετωπο σταυρον περιφερομεν, “ all carry on our foreheads the cross of Christ." (Chrys. in Psal. cx.)
Many such proofs might be added. It is clear that the primitive Christians manifested especial reverence towards the cross. According to 'Tertullian, they were described by the Pagans, “ Crucis religiosi.” In the Christian cemeteries, in the first ages of Christianity, scarcely one sepulchral monument has been discovered which does not bear the monogram of Christ, arranged in the form of a cross : and the Evangelist, in his enumeration of those terrible prognostics which are to herald the coming of the day of final judgment, mentions the appearance of the cross amid the heavens, &c., “ And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven." All agree that the sign of the Son of man signifies the cross; and St. Paul himself has set us the example, when he exclaims, “ God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ ;' using the sign for the thing signified. Surely then we have testimony more than enough to shew that the habit of marking with the sign of the cross was in general use, at a period when none of the abominations of Popery had crept in, and therefore we as Protestants are guilty of a want of respect to that holy symbol of our faith, in so studiously excluding the sight of it on all occasions, as if it were necessary, in order to shew our repugnance to Popery, to disregard this emblem of Christianity, and, contrary to the usages enjoined by the first Fathers of the church, to pay as little respect or reverence to the memorial of our Saviour's crucifixion, as if we were Heathens or Mahommedans.
J. K. W.
ANXIETY OF THE PIOUS LAITY FOR PASTORAL VISITING.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I have just read with much interest the letter headed, “ Anxiety of the Pious Laity for Pastoral Visiting," in your last Number; and I beg to refer you to one I addressed to you “On the Defect of
Pastoral Visits," which appeared at page 536 of your Volume for 1833. Nearly seven years have passed since then, and so far as my knowledge extends the evil has increased instead of lessened, as regards the middle ranks of society; nor is it to be wondered if they swell the ranks of dissent; and I am persuaded that many more secessions would have taken place, had not the so-called Irish system of education been espoused by our dissenting brethren. Attached as I am to the Church of England, and sitting under the ministry of one who is a “ John" for loveliness of preaching, I lament and feel most keenly the want of pastoral visits. Having lately had severe and continued mental affliction, which was made known by letter to him whose public ministrations consoled me, it has seemed almost as though I must be driven to seek in another fold, what was denied me in my own, sweet sympathizing Christian counsel. Were mine a single case it would furnish little ground of complaint; but I am constantly met with the same remark; and I fear the young people especially suffer from this neglect : how often a few words in private to them from a beloved pastor might be blessed, and how might they thus be kept from the haunts of Socialism, and brought to labour in the many good works now set on foot, which need in their management something of a more social character. Our Provident District, as well as other Societies, languishes on this account; and if I might suggest one way of bringing minister and people to work together, it would be for the former to hold a monthly or quarterly meeting of his visitors, when conversation as to the difficulties and encouragements in that work might be freely stated; and though this would not reach those who do not, or cannot, engage in such works, yet something would be gained ; and there would not be that strange alienation which is the disgrace of the Church of England, and by which I fear Popery gains many converts, especially in the way of marriage.
I observe, in your remarks to your correspondent, that you make many excuses for clergymen, as you did in reference to my previous communication ; but, modify or not, the danger is imminent. The enemies without would be as nothing if each congregation presented a phalanx which might be as invincible as the Roman legions, instead of each individual moving in his own sphere, and frequently abandoning that. Oh for the spirit which actuated a Crowther and a Cecil of past days, to be poured out on all the clergymen of the Establishment! Then would she rise and shine as is most earnestly desired by
ONE OF YOUR CONSTANT READERS. * We made no excuses” for wilful neglect of duty; but justice and Christian sympathy demand that the toils and difficulties of faithful pastors in large parishes should not be overlooked. We are however glad to insert another letter, shewing how much such visits are prized; in the hope of animating the faithful dejected pastor who fears that his labour is in vain, and leading the careless to consider his sin and guilt in neglecting so important a duty.
We highly reverence the memory of holy and exemplary servants of Christ of the last and preceding generations; but we do not believe that they wrought more diligently in their Lord's vineyard than many who have followed them ;-we are quite sure, for example, that the eminent minister of St.
John's Chapel, Bedford Row, whom our correspondent mentions was not enabled to devote so much actual labour to his pastoral duties as his present indefatigable successor; nor was it possible for Mr. Cecil to visit more than a very small portion of those who enjoyed his Sabbath ministrations. The clergy in large spheres of duty find themselves too much forced to communicate with their flocks chiefly in masses; by means of schools, catechetical lectures, Bible classes, district societies, and the like. This is a serious evil; for family and personal visitations are highly valuable, and are a blessed portion of pastoral intercourse ; but till our extensive parishes are divided and subdivided, there is no adequate remedy for it.
ON THE OBSERVANCE OF GOOD-FRIDAY.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. On the Good Friday in 1838, soon after I had undertaken the pastoral charge of a parish in Norfolk, I was grieved to observe on my way to church all the ploughs at work, whereby the labourers were prevented from attending Divine Service. I could not refrain from expressing the pain I then felt; and in the following year there was a better attendance ; but this year one of the farmers kept every one of his labourers from church, both morning and afternoon, by employing all hands at a threshing machine during the whole day; and I fear that on many other farms there has been no better observance of this solemn commemoration.
As your publication circulates among so many of the clergy in different parts of the kingdom, I feel anxious to learn, from some of your correspondents, how Good Friday is generally observed in country parishes; and if the same apathy be found to prevail in other dioceses, to propose the subject for the consideration of my brethren meeting in their clerical societies, and at their Archdeacon's visitations.
ON THE NATURE OF THE PUNISHMENT OF THE UNGODLY.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. A CORRESPONDENT in your last number (page 322) has pointed out with much discrimination the common error of regarding future rewards and punishments, the joys of heaven and the condemnation of hell, chiefly as referring to bodily pleasure or pain ; – the former however less than the latter; for the most ignorant persons consider heaven as, in some sort, spiritual; whereas the condemnation of hell they regard as almost exclusively material. It is very important that this subject should be scripturally treated. Man is not, like angels or devils, altogether spirit ; nor, like the beasts that perish, altogether body ; but he has a material frame and an immaterial soul; and as they have been companions upon earth, they shall be companions in the unseen world after the day of the resurrection. What is meant by a “glorified body" we know not; but it is still “ a body :" it is therefore not immaterial; though in what the material portion