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property of those whom they may concern, either to approve or reject.
The separation from the Society of those who sympathized with Wilbur soon followed his disownment; and now, as in the case of the Presbyterians and Methodists, we have two Quaker schools or parties, each calling itself the Yearly Meeting, each claiming possession of the genuine, primitive Quakerism.
Much as we regret the necessity or supposed necessity that urged to such a course, we have no doubt that the motive which impelled the seceders to form a separate organization, was in the highest degree praiseworthy. They mourned over the prevalent coldness, formalism and want of spirituality. They traced these evils chiefly to the unsound doctrines that had obtained the favor and support of the Society. They supposed that by bringing Friends back to the purity and simplicity of the Gospel as held by the founders of their body, they were taking an essential step towards recovering them to the life and power of religion, which so distinguished the martyrs and confessors of Quakerism. Of these martyrs and confessors no true Quaker need be, or can be ashamed. We do not wonder, that the good and the gifted in the Society should wish to vindicate their names and memories from the rude attacks of men, who under the guise of Quakerism assailed the purity of their doctrines and the integrity of their conduct. The Christian Church contains no names that we more sincerely honor than those of many of the early Friends. We honor them for their earnest and unquestioning devotion to the claims of duty, for their self-sacrifice and selfdenial, their spirituality and lofty enthusiasm for truth and right. And we can sympathize with those who would rescue the Society from the peril that threatens it, if the views of Gurney and his associates should obtain a permanent ascendancy, namely, to become an inconsistent mixture of Quakerism and Episcopalianism.*
their boduplicity of the bringing Feeport
step founder purity and supposed
* Or, of Quakerism and Presbyterianism. Dr. Wardlaw of Scotland says, “ J. J. Gurney's views on the doctrine of justification are clear, simple and scriptural, but are they Quakerism ? " " It is really impossible to read the writings of the older Quakers without being sensible that there is a prodigious softening down, on the part of this writer, of their opinions and language.” “It cannot fail to strike the most superficial reader, what a perfect discordance there is between the
In one respect we cannot but regret the division in the Quaker Society. It has destroyed our idea of the unity, order and beauty of a Friends' Meeting. Our early and long-continued impression of the Friends was that of a community dwelling in “exceeding peace,” bound together by the spirit of love as well as by unity of doctrine, - a model of a harmonious, well-ordered commonwealth. Some personal intercourse with Friends and acquaintance with their earlier history induced us to form a delightful picture of their personal purity and social rectitude. Especially lovely to our view were their religious meetings, so calm, so thoughtful, so overshadowed by the Divine presence, – apart from the agitations of the world, disturbed by no controversies, and shielded by the discipline and spirit of the Society from difficulties among fellowworshippers. A nearer view dissipates the enchantment, and reveals Friends not only as of the same passions as other men, but as prone to indulge them. We confess that in reading the various and contradictory accounts of the rise and progress of the separation in that Society, we have been deeply pained by frequent manifestations of a most unchristian spirit. Like all sectaries, who assume that the peculiarity of revelation must consist in certain dogmatic opinions, and that the obedience of faith is an implicit assent to these opinions, partisans among the Quakers accuse each other of heresy, apostasy and pernicious doctrines, of impure motives and base ends, in the too common style of polemic theology. Acting in the spirit of these mutual accusations, they can also resort to expedients to accomplish the ruin of a brother's reputation and religious standing, which are unworthy of the most disreputable classes of politicians.
We regret that this example should have furnished a new illustration of the almost universal tendency of religious controversies to degenerate into angry quarrels, and to terminate in the imputation of dishonest motives and in open ruptures. We know that this is the usual, but we would
writings 'of Mr. Gurney and those of the early Friends. I am very far from wishing Mr. Gurney to take a single step out of Quakerism, in points where Quakerism is true. In other points, however, he has already taken several, and those, too, even Jarger strides than any that now remain for him to take."
St. Augustine and his Works.
fain hope not the inevitable course, in which discussions upon the highest and most sacred truths should proceed. We console ourselves with the reflection, that when the tempest rolls away, the purified atmosphere will minister more abundantly than ever to the spiritual health of those who have passed through its trying scenes; that truth, separated from error and formalism, will exercise a wider and more benignant control; and that mankind, taught by so many painful experiences, will recognize the fallacy of making Christianity to consist in precise theological speculations, and the folly of attempting to restrain the freedom of individual thought and action by the instrumentality of ecclesiastical discipline.
J. M. M.
ART. III. - SAINT AUGUSTINE AND HIS WORKS.*
this greacquaint nothing of Auge
The beautiful edition of the works of Augustine, whose title is placed below, leaves nothing to be desired by the student who would acquaint himself with the genius and character of this great thinker of the Ancient Church. It would exhaust our pages even to mention the names of his various productions. We can speak only of a few, and of those which stand at the head of their respective classes.
As a man, Augustine reveals himself most fully in his Confessions. For an excellent English edition of them, with important notes and illustrations, we are indebted to the Oxford Library of the Fathers to which we have already referred.t All who are acquainted with this book will allow it to be as remarkable as any that was ever written. It unveils without the least reserve a life of singular experience. The substance of its narrative we. have already given.I Notwithstanding its details of early
* Opera S. Aurelii Augustini. Post Lovaniensium Theologorum Recensionem castigata, etc. Operâ et Studio MONACHORUM S. BENEDICTI. Paris. 1836 - 39.
Works of Saint Augustine. Revised and corrected from the edition of the Theologians of Louvain. By the BENEDICTINE FATHERS. Eleven Vols. in 22 Parts. † Number for January, 1846, p. 1.
# Ib. p. 9, et seq.
vices, it is worthy the perusal of every thoughtful mind. In deep and impassioned devotion, and in boldness and range of thought, it blends the piety of the Psalms of David with something of the daring meditation of the Platonic Dialogues. It cannot be appreciated at all without careful attention to the progress of the author's mind. Let one only get hold of the main thread of the narrative, and there is no fear of receiving any harm from its pages.
Yet we cannot but wonder, certainly at first thought, that a grave prelate at the sober age of forty-three should write such confessions. And yet on reflection, the fact is by no means unaccountable. Upon reaching any important period in life, men of thought are very apt to review the past, and form plans for the future ; to look back from the present eminence along the road they have travelled, and forward along the way they are to advance. The bishop of Hippo, when he found himself at the head of an important see, might very naturally retrace his singular path, consider his former trials and present failings, and rally his powers anew for the future. If we feel disposed to accuse him of want of delicacy in speaking so freely of his youthful licentiousness, we must remember that much that we call delicacy is but a fashion of the time, and has failed to bear that name with many of the wisest and holiest of our race; and besides, that his views of his conversion and of baptismal regeneration would lead him to regard all that took place previously, as having little, if any connection with his present spiritual state ; so that he wrote as if recording the passions and sins virtually of another person. We have been offended at much in these confessions, but the offence has passed away after reading them in connection with the progress of his views and life. It surely must have been no ordinary piety that could pass in review such a life, and make every past sin so glowing a lesson of faith and devotion. In fact, the high tone of fervor that pervades the whole book surprises us more than anything. It seems unnatural that so large a volume should be written in the strain of prayer or of direct communion with God. There is nothing like it that we remember in the sacred literature of our age. There are enough of records of signal religious experience, enough of pious volumes of meditation. But we look in vain for a work in which the
Confessions - Controversies.
whole life, with all its temptations and sins, all its studies in philosophy, all its struggles, failures and successes, has the attitude and breathes the language of devotion, and when it is not a prayer, is a conversation with God. Yet we see enough of the workings of religion in many writers to understand the kind of feeling that animated Augustine, and to lead us to ascribe its remarkable degree in his case to his singular experience and peculiar temperament.
We were never but once in society reminded of Augustine's fervent tone, and that was in conversation with a very humble person, who inherited the blood which the African sun warms into such fervor, and who, in the simplicity of Christian faith and gratitude, delighted to speak of a life extended to a century, in something of the same impassioned devotion that marks the Confessions of the renowned bishop of Hippo. It is undoubtedly the burning piety of this book, that has given Augustine so strong a hold upon Christian hearts in all ages, and made his name precious to many who have little sympathy with his peculiar doctrines. He must be a man of cold heart and narrow mind, who will not rejoice at the progress of the writer's faith, bless his passage from the Manichean's deifying of evil and veiling of the true God in darkness, into the faith that regards evil as the perversion of created good, and looks to a benignant Deity made manifest through a divine man, and calling the soul to relations of personal affection with himself. The eleventh book of Confessions, which describes the writer's remaining temptations, and the two closing books, which give his meditations on the creation, may serve to explain the aim of his work. The record of his mind is thus brought up to the time of writing, and closes with a revelation of the thoughts that were then struggling within him. These thoughts on creation, time, eternity, the soul, God, are not wholly clear, but are intelligible enough to show what process was going on in a mind so reverent and so daring. The dimness comes not from a passing cloud, but rather from the nebula of a forming world.
We must now speak of Augustine as a controversialist, - and as we cannot touch upon all bis controversies, we select
his principal one, his opposition to Pelagius. The man is always to be pitied, who is called to take part in a contro