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living to attest the fact. For he imagined, that as no Protestant clergyman could, and no Romish priest would, perform the ceremony, he might thus retain his vicarage, and yet live morally in the sight of God. This act reached, of course, the ears of his superiors, who, although they would have winked at a mistress, revolted at the very semblance of a wife ; and commanded Czerski to put away her whom he regarded and treated as his lawful wife. He refused, avowing his conviction of the Bible-lawfulness of marriage ; and thus matters drew on, until his open renunciation of Rome, followed by episcopal excommunication, freed him from all the trammels and claims of ecclesiastical judicatories. He then hastened to obtain the legal sanction of a public ceremony for the marriage he had contracted, with all the binding solemnities practicable in his peculiar position.'-pp. 141, 142.
Czerski has been accused of avarice. This is a strange accusation to be brought against a man who gave up a certain for a precarious income. With a wife and family to keep, he supports his widowed mother and younger brother, in his house, and has had to assist one of his brothers who has lost a lucrative situation in the Romish church for giving him a night's lodging. When visiting infant churches he has often to pay his own travelling expenses, and has had to assign a portion of his scanty salary to an assistant preacher who officiates in his absence. His salary is £22 10s. per annum. It may be well credited that the expenditure of a man, in such circumstances, must be limited to the barest necessaries.
But we must allow the following facts to speak for themselves.
In the midst of these trials from without and within, Czerski is content to labour and live for the gospel, neither courting nor fearing publicity, and willingly copying the apostolic model, in journeyings often, in perils by his own countrymen (aye, and countrywomen too, since young ladies were actually bound over to keep the peace, in consequence of having pelted him with stones in Posen, at the time of the formation of an apostolic Catholic church there). He is in weariness often, in cold and nakedness ; besides that which cometh on him daily, the care of all those churches which adopt a scriptural symbol, and towards whom, even out of his deep poverty, he mani. fests the riches of his liberality, so that we have heard of his sending the (for him) large sum of fifty dollars, the third of his income, to assist a poor congregation of apostolic Catholics at Grandentz. But a still nobler and more convincing evidence of Czerski's superiority to all mercenary motives, as well as of his deep sincerity in abjuring Rome, will be found in the following indisputable fact. A Polish lady of rank and fortune, having been led to believe that motives of temporal interest had induced Czerski's secession from the Roman communion, offered him by letter a certain provision for life, not only for himself, but for all his family, if he would re-enter the church, even though he could not its priesthood. Czerski's reply to this very generous, though mistaken offer, is interesting; and we would gladly transfer it to our pages, were they not preoccupied. We must therefore content ourselves with the following reference to the point now under notice :-.
"In your letter to me, you state your willingness, in the event of my returning to the Romish church, to secure to me, my wife, and my whole family, a sufficient income for life; but I repeat, that earthly possessions can have no value in the eyes of a true Christian. I attach little importance to them; were it, indeed, otherwise, I might have had ample opportunities of gathering wealth in the church of Rome. Neither did I enter the marriage state for mere sensual gratification ; but rather to show the world my conviction, that marriage is a divinely-appointed ordinance, and free to all who desire to enter its pale ; from which, therefore, no earthly power is competent to exclude any individual or class of mankind. Had, on the contrary, sensual gratification been my object, neither means nor opportunities (as probably you are well aware) would have been wanting to me, as a Roman Catholic priest; and hence the prevalent immorality of the Roman clergy. A desire to live morally induced me to take a wife, with whom I now live happily, and hope to do so to the end of life; and I appeal to apostolic authority as my warrant. 1 Tim. iii. 2.''-pp. 143-145.
Generous as the offer of this lady was, Czersky requites it with a desire equally generous—to bring her to the truth.
Czerski's differences with Rongé were first made apparent at the Leipsic conference. A fear of strangling this infant cause, however, prevented him from manifesting his opposition very conspicuously to the skeleton model set up at Leipsic.
There is a curious feature of calumny exhibited in the charge of rationalism brought in London against Czerski. Calumnies are frequently just the opposite of the truth. The desire of the calumniator is to hurt his victim, and therefore he says in each quarter the thing which will do it. The German rationalists, because he has opposed them, accuse him of superstitious ceremonials in worship, and credulous fanaticism in faith. These are the accusations likely to injure him among the followers of Rongé, the things which excite the contempt of the friends of light. Thus is Czerski hurt in Germany among the most numerous party who have revolted from Rome to philosophy. In London the accusation through which he could be hurt was not evangelism but rationalism. He was therefore accused of infidelity, and the man who had suffered for declaring the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, whose testimony in favour of evangelism had cost him more pain than his protest against Romanism, was kept aloof, suspected and denounced, for not doing the chief and particular thing which he had done. There is a foolish habit of laughing at the influence of the Jesuits in this country, as if it were a bugaboo, and it is known to be by those possessed of the widest and closest knowledge of affairs and of society, one of the most powerful influences of the time. Had the society of Jesuits pre-arranged the reception of Czerski, they could not have managed it better than was done for them by persons called Protestants.
The philosophical spirit is weakening Romanism in Germany and strengthening it in England. Rongé seems to be a priest who has become a transcendentalist. From every account of him we have heard, he seems to be a fine noble dashing fellow, with a bright intellect, a brave spirit, an eloquent tongue; and a handsome man to boot, with long black curling locks. He is the popular hero of a revolt from Rome. His creed or theory, so far as he has one, is a mixture of German philosophy and neology. Whether in its German or its English dress, this system is nothing else but the old doctrine of salvation by works; Czerski happily calls it Phariseeism. It prides itself on being a sort of Christianity without dogmas or mysteries. The followers of it think they have combined the clearness of philosophy with the elevation of Christian morality. This system, as an interpretation of Christianity, is most shallow and exceedingly unreasonable. Transcendentalism, Rationalism, Pharisaism, is a theory constructed by giving the go-by to kernel truths, with respect to man, Christ, and God. Sandblind, with reference to the most conspicuous facts about God, man, and salvation, must the theorists be who dream for a second that salvation can be by the heroism of man and not by the grace of God. To these philosophers Christianity is not a system of salvation from sin! They extinguish the soul, they pluck out the heart of Christianity, and then amuse themselves with the scientific anatomy of the corpse. If a galvanic motion appears, they call it vitality. As a reasonable philosophy this theory is weak and poor. In England it makes no pretension to be an induction from the Bible. In recording our disapprobation of the treatment of Czerski, in London, we are trying to strengthen the hands of a man whose position and function is one of the greatest importance to the interests of spiritual truth.
The philosophical spirit we have said strengthens Romanism in England and weakens it in Germany. “That, or nothing,' cried a lady, a recent convert from Protestantism, because she could see no choice left for her between the luxurious credulity of Romanism and the materialistic despair of infidelity. Mr. Ward could see no argument against Roman doctrine which did
not equally uproot Theism itself. Romanism has been persecuted in Ireland, and therefore philosophical statesmanship would endow it as a measure of justice to the persecuted.
But in Germany, Romanism is in the ascendant, sending bundreds of thousands to Treves to adore a holy coat; corrupting thousands of homes by means of the confessional and a celibate clergy; and pouring streams of misery into millions of hearts by vilest bigotries about marriage. Hence the Rongean revolt against it. In England, philosophic politicians, having no practical knowledge of Romanism, help it. In Germany, phiTosophic students know Romanism to their cost, and therefore detest and denounce it.
The Life of Wesley ; and Rise and Progress of Methodism. By Robert
Southey, Esq., L.L.D. Third Edition, with Notes by the late S. T. Coleridge, Esq. And Remarks on the Life and Character of John Wesley. By the late Alexander Knox, Esq. Edited by the Rev. Charles Cuthbert Southey, M.A. Two volumes 8vo. Longman and Co.
It is not necessary that we should reiterate our judgment on Dr. Southey's Life of Wesley; it is already on record, and we see no reason to discard or modify it. The book is a very readable book, -full of interest, sometimes painfully so, as illustrating the position from which the writer viewed the objects described. We have always held that the biographer was utterly incompetent to understand, much more to describe, the hero. He did not and could not know the man whom he undertook to delineate, while powerful prejudices affected his judgment, and induced exaggerated or false views of many parts of his procedure. Southey was a literary man of a certain order of religious sentiment, but he was utterly unequal to this subject. He was ignorant of the rules applicable to it, and deemed fanatical and ambitious what was wrought by the powerful operation of religious principle. But enough of this. We must content ourselves with pointing out the peculiarities of the present edition. In the first place, then, it contains a considerable number of notes by the late Mr. Coleridge, many of wbich are exceedingly interesting, and some, as a matter of course, are expressed in a metaphysical jargon formed apparently for the express purpose of concealing the writer's meaning. These notes are introduced by a sort of dedication to Southey, in which the reader will probably be surprised to learn, that The Life of Wesley' is associated with that of Richard Baxter, to one or other of which, Coleridge tells his friend, I was used to resort whenever sickness and langour made me feel the want of an old friend, of whose company I could never be tired. Candour suggests, and we would fain rest therein, that the element common to both, in which the annotatist found pleasure, was the deep, earnest, spiritual yearning, by wbich the Nonconformist and the Methodist were alike distinguished. Of the Notes' we can only give the following example. This sentence' (that the evils brought on the nation by puritanism were remembered against Wesley) will, I doubt not, be savoury enough to Messrs. --, &c.; but there are readers who love and admire Robert Southey more than the above-named gentry have head or heart to do, who would have been glad to have been informed by Southey what these evils were. Even the Tory Stewartite and miso-fanatic Hume has found himself compelled, by truth of history, to reply. Our present political liberty is the direct consequence of this puritanism and religious toleration, indirectly. The eight or nine years suspension of the hierarchy and of the privileged aristocracy by hereditary senatorship, with the, alas ! too brief substitution of a hero for an imbecile, would-be despot, was the effect of the crash of collision of two extremes, viz., the prelatic prerogative party and the puritan parliamentary. Why attribute these evils to the latter exclusively?'
Mr. Knox's · Remarks,' extending to upwards of one hundred and forty pages, are distinguished by a clear appreciation of Wesley's distinctive excellences, and a cordial tribute to his worth. They will be read with pleasure by every intelligent and candid man, whatever view may be entertained on ecclesiastical points, and must greatly modify the impression made by the biographer. Mr. Knox was a Church-of-England man, and as such disapproved of the irregularity of some of Wesley's proceedings ; Still, however, he deliberately says, and with this we must close our already too extended notice, 'I must declare, that the slightest suspicion of pride, ambition, selfishness, in any shape or form, or personal gratification of whatever kind, stimulating Mr. Wesley in any instance, or mixing in any measure with the movements of his life, never once entered into my mind. That such charges were made by his opponents, I could not be ignorant; but my deep impression was, and it certainly remains unimpaired, that since the days of the Apostles there has not been a human being more thoroughly exempt from all those frailties of human nature than John Wesley.
We will only add, that this edition is printed in very handsome style, and that, with the Notes' and 'Remarks' now supplied, Southey's 'Life of Wesley' may become as useful as it has always been an interesting piece of biography.
The Monthly Prize Essays, Vol. I. (Nos. 1-3). Madden, Leaden
hall-street. We marked with interest the first announcement of this novel undertaking, and have watched its progress with solicitude. It is founded VOL, XX.