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experience proves, seldom wins re- by arguments more weighty on the spect or influence amongst his fellows. side of Nonconformity, recourse is
But is it not for lamentation that had, in the smaler towns and rural the gravest questions are left to districts more especially, to other and such incompetent men ? The reli- more effective weapons. Customers gious future of England at the dis- leave the shop of Dissenting tradesposal of such "statesmen” as Lord men, and the most studied slights Robert Montagu! Even a decent are put upon them for their Dissent. self-respect should make all English- As an illustration we may mention men feel that we want as legislators a case which came under our notice at the present time men of the most a short time since. A notice to make cultivated minds, and of the most a Church-rate was posted on the cautious habits of induction. We door of the parish Church, in a small need the ripest and richest scholar- market town, and a godly man who ship of the nation, the most practical was a bookseller and stationer in the and discriminating wisdom in the place, but withal a sturdy Nonconland, to ascertain and apply the true formist, resolved to attend the Vestry principles of government to this, as and oppose the levy of a rate. He to all other questions. But how are did so with good temper and consiwe to obtain them? If Noncon- derable ability. But he became a formists are indifferent about the marked man from that day forward; fitness of candidates to deal with the and soon afterwards he received a rights of Christians, and with the message from a noble lord, of immense relation of Churches to the State, wealth and influence in the neighwho are we to expect to bestir them- bourhood, who sometimes bought selves? The Bishops and clergy of small parcels at his shop, that if he the dominant sect? Or are the land- continued to act in a similar manner, owners, and the hangers-on of the his lordship would withdraw his cusaristocratic upholders of things as tom forth with. Our friend returned they are, to rouse themselves, that for answer : “tell Lord Christ's Church may be set free from crust of bread satisfies hunger, and a the trammels of the State? It is common pump gives me all I ever care our deliberate conviction that the to drink, and that I have confidence in settlement of this great question is God to secure me both.” It came to made in God's providence, to depend our knowledge that the nobleman in upon the faithfulness of the Non- question soon after said to a batch conformists to their principles, and of his chums—“I can do nothing their dutiful, but constitutional, as- with that fellow, for he's content sertion of the crown rights of Him with bread and water. There's no who hath said, “My Kingdom is not chance of doing anything with him.” of this world."
And so, after a while, le found his We are by no means insensible to way back again to the shop. But our the many influences which combine readers will feel that it is not every to repress all zeal in this direction. tradesman who is as independent in They are, beyond doubt, unworthy spirit as our friend, and they will and contemptible for the most part; admit that the power of wealth is but they are strong notwithstanding. great to hold principles in check. By all means let argument and per- Unhappily for the country, it must suasion be used to the utmost to be acknowledged that those who preshow Nonconformists their errors ; tend to be ministers of the Gospel but since these may chance to be met par excellence, have taught the public
by their own conduct that principles reproach to us throughout Christenare secondary to clerical promotion dom, and as a provocation to restless and social rank. When the Gorham and fretful spirits, otherwise inclined case was decided, how many of the to separate from us; but still more clergy resigned their benefices rather frightfully in ways we shall not know than connive at the denial of sacra- of, until we have to measure the mental grace in baptism? None but amount of the mischief by the souls the few who found a home for them- which it shall have helped to ruin :" selves in the Papal communion ? Drs. and he publishes a Litany to be used Pusey and Neale, Messrs. Keble and “in the present distress,” but gives Denison, and their numerous follow- no sign of sacrificing everything for ing, retain their benefices in the Church the sake of the truth! Nothing can to this day. And now that the Privy be more pernicious in its tendency Council have decided in the cele
than conniving at the corruption of brated case relating to the “Essays the truth; and in spite of the Oxford and Reviews,” that the Inspiration of Declaration signed by thousands of the Scriptures is an open question, the clergy (“ for the love of God” forso that any clergyman may deny the sooth!) it is notorious that the docInspiration of any part or parts of trines which the clergy may lawfully any book of Holy Scripture, provided teach to their flocks must be learnt he do not deny the canonical au- from the decision of the Committee thority of that book-now that the of Privy Council, and not from the clergy may affirm or deny Justifica- vague language of their newly-framed tion by faith in our Lord Jesus “fortieth Article.” These gentlemen Christ, and may assert or deny the who have signed the Declaration, eternity of final punishment, not a hold their livings and other preferman amongst them gives any sign of ments by virtue, among other things, quitting a sect which has no longer of submitting to the Ecclesiastical any settled form of doctrine to teach supremacy of the Crown; and the the people. Mr. Keble says that common sense of their countrymen this judgment, when viewed in rela- demands that that supremacy be tion to the case of future punish- honourably, and not in a non-natural ment, is "even more shocking and sense, acknowledged by them. And calamitous than what we [i.e., his as they are too wise in their generaHigh Church friends and himself] tion to call it in question in set terms, have before had cause to complain of the conclusion is inevitable, that they from the same most inadequate tri- admit the Queen to be Defender of bunal ;"—that it is worse than the the Faith, equally as it is set forth decision in the Gorham case, worse by their definitions, and by the statethan “that of Dr. Lushington in the ments of Dr. Williams and Mr. WilCourt of Arches, preliminary to this son. They are like showinen in a Appeal, whereby among other things fair who answer the natural enquiries it is made lawful for a clergyman to of their patrons as to which is which deny the prophetic character of the by saying—“ As you please, my Old Testament;"--and that "it sur
dears; you pay the money, and take passes both in its direct and most
! disastrous tendency to corrupt and The mischief does not end here. ruin the souls for which Christ died :" The authority of the Bible has —but he is Vicar of Hursley still! already been lowered amongst the He declares that "the effect of it will students in our Universities, and remain, not only as a scandal and some of the upper classes in this country. There is no reason to be- giousness about him whose spiritual biolieve that this evil will be circum- graphy is not in his Saxon Bible.” scribed by its present boundaries. It is, therefore, an awful responsiAs the Tracts for the Times diffused bility which they incur, who, withtheir influence throughout the coun- out just cause shown, tamper with try, so may we expect scepticism to that authority which has made, and spread on every hand. It is the
can yet make, the man of God pernatural recoil from superstition : and fect, thoroughly furnished unto all as the clergy have the chief direction good works. And it becomes proof national education, we may reckon portionally important that all who upon witnessing the effects of their receive the Scriptures as given by teaching in this form. Have they inspiration of God should watch counted the cost of this disparage- against the insidious influence of ment of the Bible? And have they those who would treat them only as weighed well the results of their the voice of devout reason, and the success ? For with the depreciation voice of the congregation. Indifferof the Bible something more is con- ence at such a time, and upon such nected than the weakening of Pro- a topic as this, is little short of testantism ; the power of Christianity treason against God. itself is crippled, and its Divine au- To whom, then, should England thority is trampled in the dust. The look at the present crisis in her Very Rev. Dr. Faber (who has but religious history, but to the Nonrecently passed away from amongst conformists of this country, and us) thus wrote in a preface to the Life especially amongst them, to the of St. Francis, of Assisi :
Baptists? We at least do not recog“Who will say that the uncommon
nize Apostolic traditions (so-called), beauty and marvellous English of the for which we have not the sure Protestant Bible is not one of the great warranty of Apostolic writings; and strongholds of heresy in this country?
on this account we occupy a vanIt lives on the ear like a music that can never be forgotten-like the sound of tage-ground which gives us prechurch bells, which the convert hardly eminent opportunities to serve our knows how he can forego. Its felicities generation by the will of God. Our often seem to be almost things rather than position is thus sketched by a high mere words.
It is part of the national mind, and the anchor of national serious authority in the “Christian Remem
brancer ness. Nay, it is worshipped with a posi
for April, 1864, and we tive idolatry, in extenuation of whose
commend his description to our grotesque fanaticism, its intrinsic beauty readers : pleads availingly with the man of letters and the scholar. The memory of the dead “We know that of all Dissenting sects passes into it. The potent traditions of Anabaptists are those who alone give some childhood are stereotyped in its verses. trouble in replying to their arguments. The power of all the griefs and trials of We imagine that there are not many a man is hidden beneath its words. It is clergymen who, in arguing with a Baptist the representative of his best moments, parishioner, have not been told : Well, and all that there has bern about him of sir, granting that it was the custom in soft, and gentle, and pure, and penitent, what you call the Primitive Church to and good, speaks to him for ever out of his baptize infants (not that there is a word English Bible. It is bis sacred thing, about it in the Bible), I have been told by which doubt has never dimmed, and con- our minister that-so it was to give them troversy never soiled. It has been to him the Sacrament. Was that so or not acall along as the silent, but ( how intelli- cording to your belief?' . And who could gible, voice of his guardian angel; and in deny that it was?' 'Well, then, I have the length and breadth of the land there heard you say in your sermons that when is not a Protestant with one spark of reli. our Lord is speaking to Nicodemus about
being born again, He is speaking of bap-
argument as this: “Most undoubtedly, in the Primitive Church, children were communicated as well as baptized. But, in point of fact, for eight hundred years, children have not received Holy Communion in a full half of the church, while, through the whole church, they have been baptized. Can we imagine that the dear Lord who said, 'Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world,' would allow half of His church so far to go wrong on a vital truth, on a matter of salvation, as the non-communicating of infants would thus involve? That the cessation from the practice is a corruption, I willingly allow; but still, the two great Sacraments do not, in regard to babies, stand on quite the same footing, &c., &c."
“the dear Lord has allowed to go wrong.”
The conclusion, then, to which we are led by this review of the state of things around us is, that it is of the highest consequence that the members of our churches should be well grounded in their principles as Nonconformists, and should prepare themselves by a careful study of the New Testament for that assertion of the spirituality of Christ's kingdom, which they can, with unquestionable consistency, make in the presence of their fellow-Christians and all men. And, above all, as it is our privilege no less than our duty to maintain the sufficiency and authority of Holy Scripture in all things pertaining to godliness, let it be our ambition, by constant study of those Scriptures under the promised guidance of the Holy Ghost, to become manifestly the episties of Christ before all the world. For the religious future of England, and of the world, is involved in the holiness and the unbending integrity of those who know and love the truth as it is in Jesus.
The writer says nothing, it will be observed, about the other half of the Church, which, according to him,
Is the human family influenced in to “his devices” by which he endeaany way by the existence of demons? vours to ensnare, and ruin the souls Do they possess any power over the of men ; to the power which he wields minds, or bodies of men, and if so, as “the God of this world ;” to his of what character, and to what ex- workings in “the children of disobetent? These are questions to which dience ; ” to his "going about as a the perusal of our previous paper roaring lion, seeking whom he may would naturally give rise, and which devour;” to these and kindred points we shall now endeavour to answer. we shall not refer; not because they To the temptations of Satan to which are unimportant, but because all are the Christian is constantly exposed; familiar with them, and they are
continually referred to, from the plucked asunder by him, and the pulpit. To what may be termed the fetters broken in pieces: neither material rather than the spiritual could any inan tame him. And operations of the hosts of hell, to always, night and day, he was in the the influence exerted by demons mountains, and in the tombs, crying, on the bodies rather than the souls and cutting himself with stones. of men, our present inquiry will be But when he saw Jesus afar off, he directed.
ran and worshipped him, and cried In this part of the subject, as in with a loud voice, and said, “What the preceding, speculation will as far have I to do with thee, Jesus thou as possible be abstained from, and Son of the Most High God? I information be sought simply from adjure thee by God, that thou the Word of God.
torment me not." For he said unto The first point claiming attention him, “Come out of the man thou unin considering the agency of demons, clean spirit.” And he asked him, is that of demoniacal possessions. “What is thy name?" And heanswered, Every reader of the New Testament saying, “ My name is Legion : for we must be impressed by the constant are many." And he besought him mention of parties into whom demons much that he would not send them had entered, or who were possessed away out of the country. Now there of a devil, or demon. These parties was there nigh unto the mountains a seem to have been for a time, body great herd of swine feeding. And all and mind, given up to the power of the devils besought him, saying, the demon, or demons who had en
“Send us into the swine, that we may tered their bodies, and who used all enter into them.” And forthwith their members as they pleased. Peter Jesus gave them leave. And the in his address to Cornelius, and his unclean spirits went out, and entered friends, said that Jesus, "went about into the swine : and the herd ran doing good, and healing all who were violently down a steep place into oppressed of the devil.” Acts x. 38. the sea (they were about two thou
The Canaanitish woman falling at sand); and were choked in the sea. the feet of Jesus cried unto him, say- And they that fed the swine fled, ing, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, and told it in the city, and in the thou Son of David, my daughter is country.” grievously vexed with a devil (or Some persons have endeavoured demon.)" Jesus told her that the to account for the demoniacal posdemon was gone out of her daughter, sessions of the New Testament by and it is stated that when she came natural causes, and to prove that to her house she found that the devil those who are said to be possessed was gone out. The most graphic by demons were simply under the and instructive account of possession influence of some disease, as for exis found in the fifth chapter of ample, epilepsy. It has been stated Mark's Gospel. “And when he was that persons in epileptic fits have come out of the ship, immediately manifested all the symptoms of the there met him out of the tombs a demoniacs of the New Testament, man with an unclean spirit, who have displayed similar physical had his dwelling among the tombs; power, and have delighted in torand no man could bind him, no, not turing their own bodies. If such be with chains : because that he had the case it would, we contend, be been often bound with fetters and much more reasonable to suppose chains, and the chains had been that such persons were possessed by