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Nor such I blame, but hold not to their creed;
Where greater light appears and less pretence.—Pp. 145, 146. If this be not blank heresy, as well as blank verse, we do not know what is.
In Book IV. there is more prating of himself, the history of a vision which he beheld; plenty of sonorous cadences about the progress of evil, avarice, &c. &c.; "the train" being closed by Hope, Fear, and Superstition, when the vision changes, and “ Philosophy and Religion came to assuage the world's sorrows." Odd as all this is, we shall do ourselves injustice if we quote not the conclusion; it is beautiful, very beautiful :
Last of the train, a radiant shape was seen
Above her head a beaming halo played,
In sweet repentance joyful and sincere. Pp. 197—199. Book V. resumes the subject, and introduces a tale of death, descriptive of the fate of a hunter's young daughter, and two fishermen, who fell in love with her. Book VI. closes this strange eventful history, winding up, with a few reflections about life, and the author's future labours.
Would any one have supposed that such a collection of verses as this deserved such a title as “ Creation?” or that any author would have selected such a theme to write on, had he set out with the determination of refusing the aid which Scripture and religion can alone afford? Where is the proof that the author actually believes in the God of the Old, or the Saviour of the New Testament? Is there not as much about the menagerie of Grecian and Roman deities, as about the one great and indivisible Creator ? And is not the Bible narrative perverted and denied ? We lament this the more,
because the mechanism of the verses proves the writer to be a man of some power. His numbers are very pleasing, and generally very correct, the rythm perfect, the cadence bold. Such praise as this is only his due. But there is this drawback, the style is not one; there is palpable imitation of the styles of Milton, Shakspeare, and Thomson, and last, not least, of Lord Byron, who not alone in manner, but in idea, has been made the author's prototype. Witness this plagiarism from Childe Harold :
I stand upon a cliff: above me piled
A thousand keels furrow the murm'ring tide,
Sleeping in sunlight or by tempest tost. Pp. 36, 37. Should Mr. Ball publish any thing further, we beg him to tell us what he means by a scrannel style,” (p. 285), and “ foyson of sweet sap,” which the ocean is said to yield to the land, (p. 288); also to lop off two syllables from the second line in p. 162; and to believe we think well of his talents, though we ridicule his judgment.
Art. IV.-Historical Evidence for the Apostolic Institution of Episcopacy :
: a Sermon, preached at Stirling, on Sunday, the 7th of March, 1830, at the Consecration of the Right Rev. James Walker, D.D. to the Office of a Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church. By the Rev. M. Russell, LL.D. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.
A Letter on the Present Neglect of the Lord's Day, addressed to the
Inhabitants of London and Westminster. By C. J. BLOMFIELD, D.D. Bishop of London. London: Fellowes. Pp. 36. Price 1s.
We have taken these two pamphlets together, and that for a very obvious reason. The object of the first is to prove that the office and authority of a Bishop is not, as some have fallaciously asserted, the interpolation of a later age into the body of the Christian Church, but an office and authority derived immediately and directly from the Apostles, and, consequently, equally valid with that which they themselves possessed. Bishop Blomfield's Letter is, if Dr. Russell's premises be correct, an exercise of that authority, according to the power in him duly vested, to rebuke and to admonish; and although we are far from insinuating that in these our days the episcopal order has succeeded to the inspiration, and consequent infallibility, of their predecessors, the holy Apostles, yet we do not hesitate to assert, that even if it should appear that in some instances zeal may have, to a trifling extent, outrun discretion, still the reverence due to the sacred nature of the office, ought, at least, to protect him who fills it from ribaldry and abuse. The occasion on which Dr. Russell's discourse was delivered, afforded him a fair opportunity of bringing into a narrow compass, arguments which have been employed by more diffuse and systematic writers, and in this he has succeeded with a degree of perspicuity, which suffers not in the least from the compression. Assuming that the church is a regular society, instituted by our Saviour, for conveying salvation to mankind, he cites the writings of the earliest Christian authors, from Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp, downwards, to prove that even in the Apostolical age there existed three distinct orders of Clergymen, of which the Bishop was the head, enjoying peculiar privileges and authority. So terse and compact is the logical chain by which the reverend author connects his deductions, that to extract a part were but to injure the effect and forcible reasoning of the whole. The course of his argument is, we venture to affirm, not less clear than conclusive, and his final position is so strong as to be, in our opinion, impregnable. We seriously recommend this sermon to the perusal of all those, who, from conscientious, but evidently most mistaken views, have seceded from the Establishment, out of a vain apprehension that prelacy is an unauthorized innovation-the “ cunning device of men.” In the exercise of this his pastoral superintendence of the flock of Christ, then, the present Bishop of London has deemed it advisable to issue an admonition which has exposed him to much, and we do not hesitate to say, most unmerited obloquy. An address which could defy and set at nought all the petty carpings and microscopic scrutiny of an age,
in which boundless latitudinarianism, under the specious name of liberality, pervades every class of society, sharpened perhaps, in some instances, hy personal envy and malignity, could emanate only from the one all-perfect mind. Whether Bishop Blomfield's Letter may or may not appear, in some respects, to attach an undue importance to a comparatively venial transgression, we shall not stop to inquire: the
quo animo of the work is the first thing we have to do with: and if this address shall appear to have originated, beyond all doubt, in the most sincere anxiety for the spiritual welfare of this great metropolis, and an equally sincere conviction of the necessity of some check being put upon excesses which originate as often in thoughtlessness and the
a warning voice," as from deliberate intention, -his must be a cold and a callous heart which would shroud the sun of christian benevolence, because he may fancy he spies a spot or two upon its disc. But let us see what it is that the Bishop objects to, and thinks it his duty to reprove. Marketing on the Sabbath,—the greater proportion of drunkenness among the lower orders, which distinguishes this from all other days in the week ;-the fighting, pigeon-shooting, gambling, &c. which disgrace it in the environs ;—the Sunday-travelling, dinner-parties, gaming, &c. so notorious among the higher orders. Now what is there in all this that the most liberal of all these soi-disant liberals can gainsay, if he be a Christian? What is there in it that can be fairly stigmatized with the name of Puritanism ? Does the Bishop say that every thing in the form of relaxation is to be rigidly excluded ? He distinctly says the contrary, and only enjoins caution in the use of “innocent recreations.” Does he object to those “meditative walks,” in which man “looks through nature up to nature's God," which one of his calumniators would infer that he condemns ?” No such thing: it is riot, excess, idleness, and profligacy, whether in the rich or the
poor, that he renounces; stating distinctly that he is “no advocate for a Pharisaical observance of the Christian Sabbath, nor would he interfere with those quiet recreations which different individuals may think fit to allow themselves, provided that no offence be committed against public decorum, nor any shock given to that public opinion of the sanctity of the Lord's-day, which is a chief security for the continuance of religion amongst us.” (See p. 31.) After such an open and candid avowal, is it not most base and ungenerous to twist and distort a meaning so plainly expressed ; and in order to give vent to a pitiful ebullition of spleen, first to misrepresent and then to vituperate his honest endeavours in the cause of morality and religion? Let but one half of those who have blamed the Address on trust, but read it through with attention, and we will defy them to form any other opinion than that it is not the sour effusion of a narrow-minded bigotry, which its calumniators would represent it, but a composition replete with sound and judicious advice, every way worthy a kind and benevolent, but vigilant and uncompromising Christian Bishop
An Appeal on behalf of the Society for
Propagating the Gospel in Foreign
We have always condemned the policy of the Church Missionary Society, as working great injury to the interests of the better institution, which the pamphlet of Mr. Molesworth so eloquently and so powerfully recommends. And if any thing could strengthen our convictions upon the subject, it would be the perusal of his “ Appeal,” wherein are demonstrated not only the tendency of the Church Missionary Society to diminish the funds of the Society, whose interests are here advocated, but its actual effects. Our zealous author and consistent Churchman, contends, (and, in our judgment triumphantly,) that
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is, in point of antiquity and general ecclesiastical sanction, and the unanimous countenance of the Episcopal Bench, DECIDEDLY SUPERIOR; that in usefulness and aptitude, either for the maintenance or for the diffusion of the Gospel ;--in the monuments of its success, according to the extent of its resources; and in the judicious and economical application of its funds, it will not shrink from a comparison with any similar society whatsoever; that it has, consequently, at least equal claims upon the zeal and piety of the members of onr Church; and that its friends should emulously exert themselves to prevent its occupying a lower place in the public estimation, or a less extensive field of religious usefulness than other institutions, to which it is in no respect inferior.-P. 6, 7.
sionary Society," as if the Church Societies in existence before it, were not missionary, or as if it possessed any claims upon Churchmen, either from its constitution, its discipline, its objects, or its effects, superior to the claims of other associations; when, in point of fact, the very reverse is the truth! And, once more, we avail ourselves of this opportunity of saying, that we have no delight in that cooperation of Dissenters, which the ominous indifference of men miscalls liberality; that the consCIENTIOUS DISSENTER CANNOT coalesce with conscientious Churchmen; and that a false union with other separatists, for whatever object that is connected with our religious faith, is ever to be deprecated, as tending to lower the guilt of that sin, which God has condemned under the name of schism. But, we forbear to enter more largely upon this subject, having already recorded our sentiments without reserve. See Christian Remembrancer, No. 114, June, 1828, and No. 121, January, 1829.
Remarks on the Work of the Rev.
Robert Taylor, styled The Diegesis. London: Cadell. 1830. Pp. viii. 52.
In our number for October last, (see Vol. XI. pp. 604—606) we introduced to the notice of our readers Dr. Pye Smith’s Refutation of the pretended Manifesto of the soi-disant Christian Evidence Society. Subsequently to the appearance of that masterly tract, Mr. Taylor published a bulky volume, entitled “ Diegesis,” containing, in part at least, a repetition of the objections and mistatements which had been exposed by Dr. Smith, but with some additions. To this portion of Mr. T.'s volume, these “ Remarks” are designed as a reply. They are necessarily desultory, because that volume is destitute of arrangement. They are, however, not the less valuable, and are highly creditable to the author, who (we understand) is a layman; and as they
We sorely detest in all cases, and we utterly abhor in religious associations, trick and cant, and delusive names; and, therefore, we ask upon what principle it is that the Society, to which we have alluded, presume to call themselves “ The Church Mis
VOL. XII. NO. VI.