Imágenes de páginas

On the contrary, we maintain that neither he nor any other among men, can with more propriety be called the head, or universal bishop, than he can be called the bridegroom, the light, the salvation, or the life of the church; that these are the exclusive titles and prerogatives of Christ, and to him alone are strictly and Fully applicable. Never before the times of Phocas, of whose ele vation to the imperial 'dignity by the execrable murder of Mauricius his royal master, we are not left ignorant, a period six hundred and thirteen years from the birth of our Saviour, never was it heard that a bishop of Rome had suffered himself to be addressed by so ostentatious a title. We know that the council of Carthage guarded by express provision against the use of the style “Sovereign Pontiff," or Supreme Head of the Priesthood, to any bishop of the Church; and affirm, that since the bishop of Rome assumes this style, and exhibits claims in prejudice of other men's authority, he not only acts in undisguised opposition to the decrees of ancient councils, and to the decisions of the fathers, but, (if he will hear Gregory, one of his predecessors,) appropriates to himself a title which is at once arrogant, profane, sacrilegious, and antichristian

is the Prince of pride-the Lucifer, who exalts himself above his brethren- as cast off the faith-and is the forerunner of Antichrist.

With respect to our ministers, we hold that they must be duly called, as well as regularly and in order appointed to their situations in the Church; and as we by no means allow that any man at his pleasure or discretion may intrude into the sacred office, the greater is the injury we sustain from them who do not cease to represent us as totally devoid of order and decency, irregular and tumultuous in all our proceedings, and every man, indiscriminately and as it may happen, as being a minister, a teacher, or an expositor of the Scriptures.


From a Sermon of Dean Tucker. WE see, lastly, why the love of country has no place among the catalogue of Christian virtues. The love of country is, in fact, a local affection, and a partial attachment; but the Christian covenant is general, comprehending all mankind within its embraces: judge, therefore, with what propriety such a narrow, contracted passion, can have any place in the diffusive, benevolent scheme of Christianity. A passion, however glittering and glorious in appearance, which has been productive of more injustice, barbarity, and bloodshed in the world, than any other disgrace of human nature. A passion, in short, fit only for the enthusiastick rage of an old Roman robber, when cruelly exulting over the unhappy victims of his lust of power, and dominion; but altogether unworthy of the

breast of a Christian, who is commanded to regard all mankind, not only as his countrymen, but his brethren; doing to others as he would be done by, and helping and assisting even his enemies in distress. Indeed, as far as the love of country means no more than a principle of self-defence against invaders, so far it is justifiable, and so far has Christianity provided for the due exertion of it, by inculcating obedience to the respective powers set over us. But as to the ideas of honour, and glory, and conquest, and dominion, and the other fine things usually implied in the love of country, they are so foreign to the Christian plan, as to be without a name in the Gospel language. Be it therefore, not only confessed, but gloried in, that, in this sense, the love of country neither is, nor ought to be, a part of the Christian scheme of universal love and benevolence.

The following passage from the Quarterly Review, of some late travels in Iceland, speaks a language that must interest every feeling heart. After mentioning a most destructive eruption of Mount Hecla, the reviewer goes on to observe,

THIS is sufficiently awful-yet were we to contemplate the different effects of moral and physical evil, a comparison between this ravaged island and the earthly paradises of the South Sea, would still leave the balance of happiness on the side of the Ice. lander. In those delicious countries, where the earth brings forth her fruits spontaneously, the inhabitants have abandoned themselves to the most loathsome and pernicious vices, are becoming every year more savage and miserable, and, in a few generations, will, undoubtedly, be extinct, if left to themselves. This may be safely predicted from their perpetual wars, their cannibalism, their human sacrifices, their promiscuous intercourse, their child murder, and other unutterable abominations. How much happier, amidst all the terrours of nature, the poor and virtuous Icelander! Perhaps it is not possible to produce a more beautiful instance of the beneficial effects of a common bond of faith, and an established -Jeligion, than is to be found in the works before us. An Icelandick church is hardly of better construction than the rudest Eng. lish barn--but we will take Mr. Hooker's description of the church of Thingvalla.

It was of a simple construction; in form, an oblong quadran. gle, with thick walls, leaning a little inwards, composed of alternate layers of lava and turf. The roof was of turf, thickly covered with grass, and from the top of this to the ground the building was scarcely more than sixteen or eighteen feet high. The entrance end alone was of unpainted fir planks, placed vertically, with: 2 small door of the same materials. I was surprised to find the body of the church crowded with large old wooden chests, instead of seats; but I soon understood that these not only answered the purpose of benches, but also contained the clothes of many of the congregation, who, as there was no lock on the door, had free access to their property at all times. The bare walls had no covering whatever, nor the floor any pavement, except a few ill-shapen pieces of rock, which were either placed there intentionally, or, as seems most probable, had not been removed from their natural bed at the time of the building of the church. There was no regular ceiling, only a few loose planks, laid upon some beams, which crossed the church at about the height of a man, held some old bibles, some chests, and the coffin of the minister, which he had made himself, and which, to judge from his aged look, he probably soon expected to occupy. The whole length of the church was not above thirty feet, and about six or eight of this was parted off by a kind of skreen of open work, (against which the pulpit was placed,) for the purpose of containing the altar, a rude sort of table, on which were two brass candlesticks; and, over it, two extremely small glass windows, the only places that admitted light, except the door-way. Two large bells hung on the right hand side of the church, at an equal height with the beams.”

The church-yard is often enclosed by a rude wall of stone or turf, and the area thinly sprinkled with banks of green sod, which alone serve to mark the burial-places of the natives. And here we must gratify our readers with the most beautiful passage in Sir G. Mackenzie's book.

"The moral and religious habits of the people at large, may be spoken of in terms of tho most exalted commendation. In his domestick capacity, the Icelander performs all the duties which his situation requires, or renders possible; and while, by the severe labour of his hands, he obtains a provision of food for his children, it is not less his care to convey to their minds the inheritance of knowledge and virtue. In his intercourse with those around him, was character displays the stamp of honour and integrity. His rewytous duties are performed with cheerfulness and punctuality; and this even amidst the numerous obstacles which are afforded

be nature of the country, and the climate under which he lives. The Sabbath scene at an Icelandick church, is indeed one of the Jest singular and interesting kind. The little edifice, construct

wood and turf, is situated perhaps amid the rugged ruins of team of lava, or beneath mountains which are covered with nere

melting snows; in a spot where the mind almost sinks ander ence and desolation of surrounding nature. Here the Ice1$ assemble to perform the duties of their religion. A group

and female peasants may be seen gathered about the Waiting the arrival of their pastor; all habited in their best ter the manner of the country; their children with them;,

borses, which brought them from their respective homes, wiry quietly around the little assembly. The arrival of a new

2 st

of male and female pe

and the horses, which bro

comer is welcomed by every one with the kiss of salutation; and the. pleasures of social intercourse, so rarely enjoyed by the Icelanders, are happily connected with the occasion which summons them to the discharge of their religious duties. The priest makes his appearance among them as a friend; he salutes individually each member of his flock, and stoops down to give his almost parental kiss to the little ones, who are to grow up under his pastoral charge. These offices of kindness performed, they all go together into the house of prayer.”

A picture worthy of the poet of the Sabbath, and which would have delighted his affectionate and gentle heart! The clergy appear to perform their duties in an exemplary manner. Sir George has copied a page of a parish register, in which the worthy pastor, Mr. Healtalin, for his own satisfaction, makes an annual record of the moral and religious state of every family in his parish; his labour indeed is not very great, for the population varies from 200 to 210; this, however, is not remarked with any intention of detracting from the merit of this excellent pastor. "This example, Sir George says, of the attention and pious care with which the duties of a country priest are performed, in so remote a corner of the Christian world, may excite a blush in many of his brethren in more fortunate countries, and amid more opulent establishments.'




ON RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS. IF actions only were required, without dispositions, the work of religion would be comparatively easy. Men may pronounce pray. ers, wear sackcloth, keep fasts, give alms, &c. These external acts are in their power, and however irksome in themselves, many would be found to observe them as the price of their salvation. But the affections of the heart are out of our own powerwe cannot at pleasure change the objects of our love and aversion, We may perform religious actions as a task, but we cannot make ourselves delight in them as a privilege. And yet nothing short of this is true religion. Religion demands the affections_ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." My son, give me thy heart." Here then appears the necessity of divine grace, and the efficacy of its operation. It actually produces this change in the affections, and thus the work proyes itself to be of God.

ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FRIENDSHIP. The principle of friendship is an indication of the dignity for which we were designed. We sigh for union with other intelligent beings-seek a commerce of hearts-cannot realize our ideas and wishes here below--human friendships and unions deceive our expectations to find what we want, we must ascend to God himself.

ON THE LOVE OF VIRTUE. Infidels talk much of the love of virtue. And why then do they not love the Bible? Let any man read the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians the preceptive parts of all the Apostolick epistles-our Lord's sermon on the Mount, &c. Was ever so amiable and perfect a scheme of virtue presented to the world? Surely, a virtuous man would wish such a religion to be true, though he could not think it so! He would see it to be of so much importance to the peace and good order of society, anıl to the welfare of all mankind individually, that he would rejoice if other men believed it, though he cannot. He would do nothing to impede its reception, but rather would promote its influence to the utmost of his power. Nay more, he would practise it himself, in spite of his unbelief. If a good rule be given us, tha: will promote our own happiness and that of others, we ought to embrace

la follow it, whoever be the author, and whatever its authority. vur own interest is obligation enough. Is it not plain, that every

, who acts contrary to these maxims, deceives himself, when c supposes that he loves Virtue, while, in truth, he only talks of

bits, which prevails am

ON VITAL RELIGION. Hat vital religion is a blessal reality, needs no better proof all the exact coincidence of judgment, taste, principles, and ha

nich prevails amongst its professors. Papists and Protestnen in the wilds of America, and in the cultivated countries

lope, persons who lived umder the Jewish economy, and omaetudes who live under the Christian institution now, have all

h, in spite of their several peculiarities, one common language heart about God and Christ, sin and holiness, time and eterheir religious hopes and fears, their joys and their sorrows,

A the same. They have, in a word, perfectly understood her's sentiments, and entered into one another's feelings, A mysterious and unintelligible to all the world beside,) on

Ject essentially related to salvation. For eighteen cenistians, for example, have thought, and sung, and prayed Id, a Jewish king, who reigned about three thousand

Scarcely have they had a sentiment, a wish, or a feel

nity. Their religious h have been the same.'

(though mysterio every subject essential turies, Christians, for with David, a Jewis years ago. Scarcely have

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »