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sense, is equivalent to infallibility, thereby conceding all that the Catholic needs demand, to drive any churchman out of the field. He also boldly repudiated the Bible as the standard of truth to every Christian, scouted private judgment, and insisted that the man who should oppose “the public judgment” of the church, should be treated as if he argued against the plainest demonstration in Euclid.
Of late they have had several diocesan meetings in Ireland to forward the "schemes” of the church there. On these occasions, the bishops have come forward to court the support of the people, and solicit pecuniary assistance. At these meetings, a marked prominence was given to the main principles of Puseyism, which were let out as the people were thought able to bear them. The Ulster Presbyterians were mourned over as “schismatics,” by Dr. O'Sullivan and Professor Butler. The speeches of the latter were nothing but elaborate and eloquent, though somewhat mystical, expositions of the new high-church doctrines. The bishops were evidently delighted with his glowing eulogies on the sublime powers of which these most reverend personages are the supposed depositaries. From these doctrines there was not one word of dissent on the part of the evangelical clergy who were present, and who, some months ago, would have denounced them as rank Popery, had they come from any other quarter.
One of the most striking proofs of this sudden apostacy of the Irish clergy, is the fact that the old Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, notorious for its heterodoxy—that is, its Semi-Popery and Pelagianism-is now, without any change, taken into favour by them at the bidding of the bishops; and it will, no doubt, soon put down the Church Missionary Society, to which their lordships will give no countenance, nor to its supporters either. Even Mr. M`Neile, the head of the Evangelical party in England, attended its first meeting in Belfast, and gave it the weight of his great influence, though he somewhat jesuitically laboured to refute its principles by a side-wind, contending, in a long speech, that the liturgy of the church is Calvinistic. These church principles (which the Conservative press,
that denounced them while confined to England, now treats with prudent and respectful silence) have completely isolated the Irish church from the surrounding Protestantism. Rarely will a dissenting minister be spoken of, written to, or in any way recognized, as a clergyman. Rarely, in any religious proceeding whatever, where a verse of Scripture is to be expounded, a prayer said, or a tract lent, will any co-operation be suffered, nor will the churchman give a helping hand to any such object. Every landlord whom they can influence, (and, alas ! most of them are the blind instruments of high-church bigotry,) is teased by them till he is induced to set his face against dissenters of every name. On some estates, none but a churchman can get a single public building to preach in. Land agents are sent from house to house, or ordered to distribute circulars among their tenantry, to prevent their attendance on “ unauthorised preaching,” on pain of ejectment. We have heard of one case where a dissenting deacon was thus compelled to shut his door against the visits of his own pastor !
By means of the Tithe Bill, for which Mr. O'Connell voted, the clergy feel themselves perfectly independent of the tithe-payer, and quite in the hands of their own beloved aristocracy, who have guaranteed their incomes, and become their proctors ; and hence they have assumed a very haughty bearing, which, together with their priestly propensities, is rendering them far from amiable. The most intimate social connexions are rudely broken off in consequence of these exclusive pretensions. Some of the Evangelical and Tory clergymen receive the Romish priests into their houses with cordiality, while they have cut the acquaintance of Dissenting ministers whom they once treated as brothers.
Are not these portentous signs of the times? What will the British public say now of the Irish Establishment, as the “bulwark of Protestantism,” supported at such an enormous expense to the nation, to the imminent peril of the empire? For it is idle to conceal the fact, that Repeal agitation takes with the people of Ireland, chiefly because there is no other hope of getting rid of this source of their grievances.
We should be sorry to do any injustice to those individuals among the Irish clergy who may privately resist the progress of the masked popery of Oxford; but as they have not publicly protested against these errors, they must not blame us for the consequences.
ON THE DUTY OF DIRECTING WORSHIP TO CHRIST.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
DEAR SIR,—The words, weighty and wholesome, which Mr. Kidd has addressed to you in your November number, on the Importance of Preaching Christ Jesus our Lord, have provoked me to forward you a thought or two upon a kindred theme-namely, the duty of directing worship to Christ in prayer. The thoughts themselves have been long entertained, but their appearing at the present juncture is owing to the fillip our devout brother's remarks have given to my sluggishness, which had preferred a more deliberate procedure. It is trusted, however, that with the candid and intelligent of your readers, an observation of any value will lose nothing from being presented in an inornate form.
Following, then, the example of your correspondent from Macclesfield, allow me to ask a question, as he has done.
Does the direct worship of the Lord Christ occupy so prominent a place in our prayers, public and private, as, considering the character of the dispensation, and Scripture warrant, it ought and might: and if not, does not this subtract an element of holy inspiration from our social services, which might go to inform, animate, and warm our fellow-worshippers and ourselves ? I am far from falling in with the scheme of those religionists who systematically detract from the glory of the great Father in the work of redemption. I firmly believe, and ever prominently set forth, the fact recorded in St. John, iii. 16, as the basis of the mediation of Christ, viz., that “God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son,” for the world's salvation. At the same time, as the glory of Christ is the great object of our dispensation, we ought not so far to forget this, although it spring from our concern to be correct dogmatists, as, even in seeming, to war against the glory of the Mediator. It is feared that such a charge derives countenance from the almost universal practice of addressing the Father alone in prayer, although nothing could be further from the writer's thoughts than to insinuate that this springs in any measure from want of devotion to the Son.
With the Scripture warrant and example for making the Lord Jesus the object of address in prayer, no less than our plea, I will not meddle. Instances, abundant and familiar, will readily suggest themselves to the mind. I rather address myself to the task of strengthening my position by a few miscellaneous remarks, and that of illustrating my meaning by an example or two.
Should it be inquired, for instance, Is the mode you recommend more suited than the prevailing one to move and impress the worshipper! I answer, Unquestionably—inasmuch as to have " the man Christ Jesus," patiký bidet "in bodily form," before the eye, is more likely to fix the attention, and to give point and definiteness to our conceptions and prayers, than to engage in the worship of what (as far as our feeble apprehension is concerned) is but a mighty and mysterious abstraction.
Who does not feel the whole moral man thrill within him in response to the appeal,
“ Art thou the man that died for me?" Should it be inquired again-Has any mischief ensued from the practice of exclusively, or almost exclusively, addressing the Father in prayer? Decidedly, in the writer's opinion, would be the reply. I cannot but conceive this a cause (remote or proximate) of that almost universal lapse into Arianism or Unitarianism of the old Presbyterian congregations in this country, which were in doctrine identical, and in discipline and order of worship all but identical, with the Independents. I venture to affirm this could not have happened had the practice generally prevailed, to which attention is now solicited. Had Christ been worshipped habitually as the hearer of prayer, any minister who deviated from the usual custom, would have been marked and detected at once as heterodox, and removed. But to the usual style of address in prayer in the chapels of our order, Socinian ministers would not object,
(adopting, to so great a degree as they are known to do, the phraseology of the orthodox) while, to address Christ, they could never bend, as this would virtually invest him with omniscience, and would be at utter variance with their creed. I would not lay more stress on this suggestion than it may be found to deserve, but simply throw it out for the consideration of the thoughtful.
But lastly-should it be inquired, Can you adduce any examples of an early or extensive observance of the practice you recommend, on the part of the Christian church? My answer is a simple reference to the existing liturgies of the oldest and most numerous Christian communities. These I conceive to be affecting and powerful evidence of the value which the primitive Christians set upon the mediation of Christ, and of the solicitude, partaking, to a most touching degree, of human sympathy and divine reverence, which they felt to put honour
What man, with a spark of human affection, or religious sentiment, can take part in that noblest hymn of the ancient church, the “ Te Deum,” without having the best feelings of his heart awakened, without having his mind brought to that pitch of commingled tenderness and fervour, which, for want of a better word, we designate, unctionespecially that apostrophe of the Son of God, beginning “ Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ !" —
“ Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the Everlasting Son of the Father.
of heaven to all believers.
cious blood. Make them to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting,” &c.
Further I will not quote ;—but of the whole hymn I would remark, that while the Lord Jesus may have an equal share in the doxology of the first thirteen stanzas, the last sixteen, the larger half of the entire ode, are a direct, and it may be, an exclusive, address to Christ. I confess this proportion seems to me more consistent with our Christian economy, and better adapted to kindle Christian devotion—meaning thereby devotion to Christ—than the proportion commonly observed.
Of the same style are those passages in the Litany of the Church of England, which are expressed thus :“By the mystery of thy holy incarnation ; by thy holy nativity and circumcision; by thy baptism, fasting, and temptation,
Good Lord deliver us.
"By thine agony and bloody sweat; by thy cross and passion; by thy precious death
and burial; by thy glorious resurrection and ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord deliver us."
Illustrative of the same point, as also of another, is that series of ejaculations and responses at the close of the litany. If ever any prayers deserved the name of “Suspiria Sacra," surely these do. They seem to express the beseeching earnestness of “the contrite heart” the agonizing desire of “them that be sorrowful.” The point these holy breathings illustrate, beyond that of the direct appeal to the Son of God, is, that of the beauty of the popular response in worship. 0, Sir, how much of power to interest and impress in our services, do we lose by dispensing with the audible response, on the part of the congregation, to our prayers. I believe that the people's response is an integral part of public prayer. It was so of old : I believe it to be so now (1 Cor. xiv. 16); and that he will be the greatest benefactor of the churches of our order, who shall suggest a way in which this essential feature of social worship may be restored, without, on the one hand, infringing upon the “ decency and order” that should mark our public services, or, on the other, verging toward that formality which freezes to death all vital religion.
Δεόμεθα σου, Κυριε, εισακουσον ημών.
Χριστε εισάκουσον ημών. .
Κύριε ελέησον. .
** We beseech thee to hear us, O Lord.
Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.
Grant us thy peace.
Have mercy upon us.