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dence, and the goodness of God, as revealed in the works of Creation, and also the probability of a future state, are grounded upon evidence of a kind perfectly distinct from that of historical testimony; and these being established, it is easy to infer that God might, if he saw fit, communicate his will to his creatures, and it is also evident that the circumstances disclosed in the Bible furnish what cannot be denied to be strong reasons why he may have done so; and thus we advance to the direct proofs of Christianity, and are prepared to weigh them, being convinced that there is no antecedent incredibi. lity in the doctrine of a divine revelation.
And if even to the stedfast Christian such facts may thus be occasionally useful, still more are they so in the case of thoughtless, sceptical, and unbelieving persons, of whom, alas! there are too many even in this our highly favoured land. There are tens of thousands of those who call themselves Christians to whom the preliminary question, “ Did you ever seriously consider whether there is a God or a future state,” might usher in a train of serious reflection to which they had been hitherto strangers.
But while on these grounds I would not consign such considera. tions to oblivion; or indulge in the sneer with which some pious individuals receive the most able treatises on what is called Natural Religion, as though the writers had taken pains to prove that two and two make four; I would strongly remark upon their futility to solve the infinitely momentous questions which concern mankind as a responsible and immortal being. There is much danger in persons supposing that they are prosecuting at least the elements of Christian studies while perusing Paley's Natural Philosophy, or the Bridge. water Treatises, or the Boyle Lectures on the natural proofs of the being and attributes of the Deity ; for they are reading nothing more than the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome must have admitted, had the arguments been presented to their attention, and did ad. mit as to the great outlines, though those outlines have been subsequently filled in, without acknowledgment, from the disclosures of revealed truth. Not only the tendency, but one of the express objects of some of the books which have been put forth in proof of what is called Natural Theology, is to disparage revelation as unne. cessary, and as not conveying with certainty any truth which is not established upon better evidence from philosophical considerations. We may extract good from them ; but we should be aware of their insidious tendency.
But I must go further, for even the evidences of Christianity, though a step in advance, are but a philosophical, not necessarily a religious, study. It is important to keep them prominently in view ; and new or striking illustrations of them are not to be undervalued ; but a mere conviction of the truth of Christianity is not religion, any more than a conviction of the being of a God and of a future state. There are many men who feel interested in such questions, and will even write upon them, who yet shrink from everything distinctive in Christianity. They are spoken of with gratitude as combatants on the right side, able defendants of our outworks, and so forth ; and harsh is thought the remark that such persons may be among the most dangerous enemies of the Gospel. Yet such is the fact; and it is easily to be accounted for; for there is nothing in the belief that the evidences of Christianity are irrefragable which of itself tends to af
fect the heart. The object of the Gospel, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, as declared in our Lord's commission to the Apostle Paul, is to open men's eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin and an inheritance among them that are sanctified through faith in Christ. The study of the external evidences is not to be discouraged; but these internal fruits are those which chiefly commend themselves to the convictions of the true believer ; and without these we have practically gained nothing by our researches into evidences.
ROBERT DOWE'S BEQUEST TO ST. SEPULCHRE'S FOR
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. In reply to the inquiry of a correspondent at page 522 of your last Number, I beg leave to state that Robert Dowe, Merchant Taylor, in 1605, by deed of gift gave to the parish of St. Sepulchre's fifty pounds, on condition that the said parish for ever (with the approbation of the Lord Mayor and Bishop of London), at every sessions holden for the prisoners in Newgate, not exceeding twelve sessions in the year, shall, about the hour of ten of the clock, in the quiet of the night next before every execution day, appoint one to go unto Newgate, there to stand as near the window as he can, where the condemned prisoners do lie in the dungeon, with a hand-bell, given to the parishioners by the said Mr. Dowe, and shall give there twelve solemn tolls, with double strokes ; and then, after a good pause, to deliver with a loud and audible voice, with his face toward the prison window, to the end the poor condemned persons may give good ear, and be the better stirred up to watchfulness and prayer, the admonition quoted by your correspondent.
BISHOP M'ILVAINE AND THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLE.
For the Christian Observer.
SINCE inserting the extract in our last Number from Bishop M'Ilvaine upon “ the alarming and growing deficiency in the support of the parochial clergy," we have seen the following passage in the Philadelphia Episcopal Recorder, a valuable American publication, which has done good service to our sister, or daughter, church, by its faithful advocacy of Scriptural doctrines—the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation and the Anglican communion,-and its exposure of the delusiveness and danger of Laudean corruptions. We were not aware that, besides the deficiency of support for the “
parochial clergy," the provision for the bishop was so lamentably inadequate. Had this information been in our possession, we might probably, from personal delicacy, have refrained from alluding to our right reverend friend's remonstrance ; but we do not regret that we have introduced the subject, for England ought to understand well and value highly her privilege in possessing a national endowed church ; and to be forearmed against the fallacious arguments drawn from the religious condition of the United States,
“MINISTERIAL SUPPORT.-The inadequate support of the ministry is one of the evils of the present times. We regret to say that it is confined to no community of professing Christians, but is felt, though not equally, yet to a great extent in all. In our own branch of the Church of Christ, it prevails not only in all our dioceses, but also among all orders of the clergy. We were painfully impressed last week when we read the statement, published in our columns, of the financial concerns of the episcopal fund of the diocese of Ohio. We feel no disposition to meddle with matters which do not concern us, and yet there are cases when delicacy of position, or diffi. dence of spirit, may induce an individual to suffer untold evils without a whisper, which, if known, would be promptly remedied. Many of our brethren in the ministry have only wherewithal to vegetate, having nothing devoted to the comfort of life or the respectability of their station. We mention the case of Ohio with regard to the inadequate support of its Episcopate, not because it is peculiar in this respect, but because it is the last which has come under our notice, and also because we know some circumstances connected with the course of its present incumbent. It is our privilege to have some acquaintance with the parish of St. Anne, Brooklyn, which for years was the scene of his efficient and happy labours. A more united or affectionate people scarcely any minister has ever had around him to guard his reputation - respect his office-listen to his instructions-sanction his plansand anticipate his wants—than had the Rector of St. Anne's. They esteemed him very highly in love for his work's sake. This field of delightful and happy toil was given up, not without many a struggle, but under a deep sense of duty, to the call of the Church. The endearments of kind friends-close intimacies-and numerous comforts-were resigned for the wider field and more weighty labours of a western Bishop. We happen to know something of this very field of labour, hav. ing travelled in company with the Bishop, amid the breaking up of a winter's storm, without a vehicle available for travel, a considerable part of the road. We were delighted with the spirit of endurance and perseverance in which he smilingly pressed along, through mud and mire, setting an example worthy of imita. tion. We could not but contrast the peaceful parish of St. Ann's with the wide and trying field of his present toil. But he was doing the work of his Master, and not a murmur escaped his lips. For several years he has been toiling in this important field; and we think that we may put upon his lips the words of the devoted Bishop Wilson, of Calcutta. when writing to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge : ‘To propagate the vital truths of the Gospel of Christ, in all their graces and all their holy fruits, and to throw around this substantial body of Christianity, the apostolic catholic discipline of our Protestant Episcopal Church-this is my object.'
“With such an object, clearly defined and constantly kept in view, we cannot doubt but reflecting Churchmen will feel it to be their duty and privilege to support the Episcopate, at least in competence. To dole out with a parsimonious hand a pittance that will barely supply his necessities, and leave him pennyless and dependent, is neither generous nor Scriptural. A Bishop is to be given to hospitality, and the Church should furnish him with the means ;-as a scholar he must make himself acquainted with the passing literature of the day,– he must lay in stores of theological and Biblical knowledge-he must keep up an extensive correspondence with the holiest and brightest luminaries of the Church, so that he may be able to lay before the clergy of his diocese the best methods for promoting the spiritual interests of the people committed to their charge. All this will require aid, and a diocese alive to its best interests will take care not to be deficient on this point. For the diocese of Ohio we feel not only an attachment, but jealous of her honour; hence it was that when we pub. lished the Treasurer's account of their Episcopal Fund, and saw that their current year was nearly expired, and only 150 dollars in hand to meet the neces. sities of a Bishop entirely dependant upon it, we had a rising wish to whisper in the ear of every clergyman, and every member of the church in Ohio, and urge the importance of sustaining adequately the order of the Church, in the maintenance of their Bishop. He that receiveth you, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me."
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
RECENTLY PUBLISHED SERMONS. 1. A Practical Exposition of the Epistles of James, Peter, John, and
Jude, in the form of Lectures. By J. B. SUMNER, D.D., Lord
Bishop of Chester. 1840. 2. Nine Discourses addressed to Congregations on the Continent. By J.
HARTLEY, M.A., British Chaplain at Nice. 1840. 3. Sermons preached in India. By Josiah BATEMAN, M.A., Vicar of
Marlborough, Wilts, and Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Calcutta. 4. Sermons preached in St. Paul's Chapel, Walsall. By C. F. Cuilde,
M.A., Principal of the Church Missionary Institution, Islington.
1839. 5. Parochial Lectures on the Book of Jonah, delivered in the parish church
of Cheshunt, as a course of Lent Lectures. By M. M. Preston, M.A.,
Vicar; late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 1840. 6. Death, Judgment, and Eternity : a course of three Sermons preached
during Advent. By J. HAMBLETON, M.A., of St. Edmund Hall,
Oxford, Minister of the Chapel of Ease, Islington. 1839. 7. Friendship with God, illustrated in the Life of Abraham : a Series of
Discourses preached in St. George's Church, Everton. By the Rev. R. P. BUDDICOM, M.A., Minister, and late Fellow of Queen's Col.
lege, Cambridge. 1839. 8. Sermons preached in the parish church of Old Swinford, Worcester
shire. By C. H. CRAUFURD, M.A., Rector. 1840. 9. Sermons. By the late Rev. T. WEBSTER, B.D., Rector of St.
Botolph's, Cambridge, and Vicar of Oakington. 1840. 10. Expository Lectures. By the late Rev. H. WITHY,A.M ., Per
petual Curate of Trinity Church, Huddersfield ; late assistant Curate of St. Mary's, Cheltenham. With a Memoir of the Author.
1839. 11. Notes and Recollections of Sermons. Preached by the late Rev. J.G.
BREAY, B.A., Minister of Christ Church, Birmingham, and Pre
bendary of Lichfield. 1840. 12. The Shunamite : a Series of Lectures on 2 Kings ii. 17. By the
Rev. H. WOODWARD, A.M., formerly of Corpus Christi College,
Oxford, and Rector of Fethard, in the Diocese of Cashel. 13. A Sequel to the Shunamite. By the same. 1840. 14. Character and Events in Scripture History practicallg considered :
a Series of Lectures. By the Rev. J. M. HIFFERNAN, A.M., Curate of Fethard. 1840.
It is always a great pleasure and the matter, amidst much vato us to take up volumes of re- riety of talent, style, and habits cently published Sermons, the of thought, for the most part indoctrines of which are Scriptural; teresting and edifying. From the Christ. OBSERV. No. 34.
prominence assumed by questions that it is being extensively planted, of controversy, and the unques. and abundantly watered by the tionably fearful ravages of un- dews of the divine blessing, and sound doctrine, there results in that its clusters, matured by the the public view a false estimate of Sun of Righteousness, will be for the extent to which pure Scrip- the healing of our own and distural preaching prevails in the tant nations. English pulpit. There is, alas ! The first work on our list is a much cause for sorrow; and many new volume of the Bishop of Chesvolumes of Sermons are issued, ter's Exposition of the New Teswhich shew that not a few of our tament; but we have included it clergy have yet to learn what are in our present notice, because the the true principles of the Church Right Reverend author has preof which they are members and sented his remarks “in the form ministers. But, blessed be God, of lectures,” each section being a we can, on the other hand, easily short sermon adapted for private collect, in rapid succession, goodly or family perusal ; and he doubtpiles, such as that now before us, less wishes this feature of his of published volumes of Sermons, work to be kept in mind, as it which prove that at home and distinguishes it from a dry critical abroad, in our town and our dissertation, or detached notes, rural parishes, among our bishops, and renders it at once expository, presbyters, and deacons, our dig. hortatory, and consecutively readnified and our parochial clergy, able. Each lecture comprises a the great doctrines which charac. distinct subject; so that we have terize the Protestant Reformation the advantage of studying the inare widely diffused and warmly spired word with its context, and cherished; and that great as are in its bearings, and in larger masses our national and ecclesiastical than as a mere heading to a sersins, negligences, and ignorances, mon; while the grouping of a the work of the Lord is prosper. chapter into its leading subjects ing among us.
or trains of thought gives to each The volumes in our hands are lecture unity of design, and remerely casual gatherings, and con- lieves it of the tediousness of destitute but a fraction of the dis- sultory exhortation. Respecting courses of the same class which are the value of the work we need constantly emanating from the add nothing to what we stated in press; and published volumes, nu- noticing some of the earlier vomerous as they are, bear but a small lumes, the firstof which has passed proportion to discourses delivered through six impressions; or to from the pulpit. When then from the public suffrages which have England and Ireland, from the doubtless encouraged his lordship continent of Europe and from to proceed with this delightful but India, from living brethren, and laborious task, amidst the onerous from those who have lately en- labours of his episcopal office ;tered into their eternal rest, testi, labours increased manifold by his fying in their dying hours to the voluntary efforts in every cause truth of those doctrines which of piety and Christian benevothey had zealously and faithfully lence, beyond the mere convenpreached, to the glory of God, the tional limits of professional exerconversion of sinners, and the tion. The simple scriptural purity edification of the faithful, we wit- of the doctrine, and the faithfulness from time to time such fruits ness and excellence of the Chrisof the tree of life, we cannot doubt tian practice, inculcated in this