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struire, are both called into action : the one passive, from the lectures of tutors and the prescribed exercises; the other active, and consisting in reading, extracting, analysing, condensing, original composition, and strenuous meditation. Without the latter, the former will be of little avail; its immediate benefit will be inconsiderable ; and, when the remiss student has entered upon the cares and toils of the pastoral office, either his mental poverty will be disgracefully thrown open, or he must supply his deficiencies by painful exertions, to the precluding of higher enjoyments. In both these lines of duty, Mr. J. was exemplary. The Biographer has described the numerous manuscripts which this indefatigable young man left behind him, and of which a large proportion were composed during his academical residence. Several volumes, however, are incautiously placed in the list, which ought not to have appeared there, as they are either transcripts of College Lectures or notes taken during the delivery.
While we are gratified by the ample proofs of this exemplary young man's diligence in study, fervour in spirit, devout singleness of aim, and freedom from the affectation which would exchange the natural hilarity of youth for the constrained assumption of an old man's gravity, we find one feature of his character which the Biographer draws con amore, and is evidently solicitous, we think unduly so, to set forth in a strong light. Our readers will learn with astonishment, that this was a semblunce of predilection for the Church of Rome! We call it a semblance ; for, after a minute investigation to which we have been impelled by both feeling and duty, we are satisfied that it was nothing more.
Mr. Jefferson had drunk in with his mother's milk the love of rational liberty and regard for the right of private judgement in religious things. Before he entered on his academical studies, his ready and eloquent pen was required by a body of Protestant Dissenters in Cumberland, where he at that time resided with a relative, to draw up a petition to Parliament in favour of equal liberty to all the subjects of the realm, Popish as well as Protestant. At the first step of his Theological Course, he was enjoined not to take the sentiments of any party from the mere shewing of their adversaries, but to consult their own most approved writers. While the College Lectures in Polemical Divinity and Ecclesiastical History frequently urged the unscriptural and usurping character of the papal religion, they also contained earnest warnings against resorting to vulgar and ignorant abuse. In some of those Lectures, some Popish writers, especially the Jansenists, wete occasionally cited in terms of high respect; in the same way, the ancient hymns and prayers of the Latin services, (from which flowed that chastised and ardent piety so eloquently panegyrized in Mr. Hall's celebrated encomium on the English Common Prayer Book,) had been introduced to the notice of our young friend, who found their holy breathings so congenial with the wants and feelings of his own heart, that he became deeply attached to them, and, there is reason to believe, made much use of them in his secret devotions. The result of these united causes, acting on the ingenuousness of an unfettered judgement and a tender heart, probably, led him to consider too exclusively the nucleus of evangelical truth held by the Roman Catholic Church, and to overlook somewhat too generously that horrid mass of abuses and perversions which has encrusted the primitive purity of doctrine and pious experience. Mr. Jefferson thought and spoke, as some might have said, too leniently on the subject of Dissent from the Church of England. In his Ordination-professions, he declared that there were reasons which compelled him to continue a Nonconformist, which positively prevented him from conforming, and which might have been of sufficient weight to require an actual secession, had he been originally a member of the Establisheit Communion. (p. 76.) But on the same interesting occasion, he also said :
• My object in desiring to be a minister among Independent Dissenters is, not that I may make other men dissenters, nor that I may act as an enemy to the Ecclesiastical Establis
ents of my country ; but that I may be honoured to make men Christians.'
The reigning principle of his mind, of which these sentences were the utterance, he, at the same time, thus finely avowed :
6 « So far as concerns the Christian people over whom it has pleased the Lord of the Church to give me an appointment, my great object will be to instruct them in all Divine Truth: that they may not be ignorant of any part of God's Revelation, nor attach to any one part an importance unduly above another ; but that the whole sum of Truth in its harmony and consistency may be known and acknowledged. The object of such knowledge will be the production of the fruits of faith, holiness in the sight of God, and charity towards men. To the latter, in the present state of religious communities, I shall feel it a duty unceasingly to address myself. The suppression of the discords and alienations which have long afflicted the Church, and the excitement of complete charity and brotherly love among Christians, I take to be both my great duty and my exceeding honour. And with humility, I would pledge myself thus publicly before this congregation and before God, to make my constant effort for the har. monizing of all Christian sects, and the promotion of union among all disciples of the one great Lord. Not by the vailing or compromising of conscientious principles in which we may differ,
but by the prominent exhibition of those greater principles in which we are agreed, and especially by the cultivation of those tempers which go to com. pose the “meekness and gentleness of Christ.",
We now cite the extraordinary passage which has occasioned these remarks. It is an extract of a letter from a fellow-student and bosom-friend of Mr. J., written to the Biographer without any apprehension of its being destined to be exposed to the public eye.
• His sentiments were so strong and warm, as to find a field for their exertion in relation to communions widely diverse from his own. Thus while, in common with many Catholics themselves, he detested the tyranny of the Court of Rome, he could not see in the Latin Church those abominations which so many Protestants discover. He lamented, what he thought, the unfairness of most arguments commonly heard among us on this subject. He revered the fabric of that Church, as having so long preserved the essential tenets of the Gospel, and as so many ages the chief depository of the Holy Scriptures. His poetical and romantic turn of mind led him to admire the charac. ter of many of her Institutions, and the sublime mysticism which pervades her theology. He admired her as the nurse of a large and honoured number of saints and martyrs; and as the sole channel of modern ministerial power : and he ardently hoped for the time, when, purified from all the effects of secularizing influence, she might again receive into “one fold ” those various branches, as he was wont to call them, of the Church Catholic, from which a sad necessity had estranged her. As a natural effect of these sentiments, he detested the low notions, as he thought them, regarding ecclesiastical matters, which are so dear to many Non-conformists of this country. He considered the Apostolic model as presenting to our view one Church, to be preserved by a succession of ordained ministers, and intended, amid many different rites and even of opinions, to continue one communing Church, till the second coming of its Founder. He lamented that the practical communion was for a time gone: the theuretical he regarded as remaining. To this body, so continued by successive ordination, he applied the promises of Christ's presence to bless his own institu. tions and preserve from fundamental error. All this was, in his mind, perfectly consistent with the two great principles of Congregationalism --the right of a Christian people to elect their own Bishop or Pastorand the entire independence, as to discipline, of each church with its ordained Elder. The death of so valued a friend was a loss, on very many accounts, deeply deplored by me: but neither is it altogether a private grief, for I am sure he would ever have employed his coin. manding talents in benefiting the Church of Cod-in checking, as far as the sphere of his usefulness might have extended, the ignorant and vulgar slang so prevalent in what is called the religious world-in promoting the cultivation of every thing that adorns and ennobles man-and above all, in honouring, by an honourable discharge of all ministerial duties, that Divine Saviour, in whose service all his high faculties found their fit centre, 'and who was the constant object of his deepest reverence and most faithful devotedness. pp. 115–17.
On the reading of these paragraphs, astonishment, alarm, and something allied to indignation arose in our minds. What! we were ready to exclaim, are our Protestant principles,-is the glorious Reformation, the grand era of renascent light, liberty, and truth, -are the labours, sorrows, and martyrdoms of so 'many contessors of Christ,- to be so lightly esteemed as this passage implies ? Are the abominations of the “ man of sin" to be thus slurred over? Is no vituperative reference to be had to the “ mystery of iniquity, the deceivableness of unrighteousness, the working of Satan, the lying wonders,—of that wicked one ?” On allowing, however, our feelings to cool, we determined closely to investigate all the circumstances of the case, and we desisted not till we had attained satisfactory explanation. It appears that the writer of the letter, the only one of Mr. Jefferson's fellow-students who had imbibed his opinions, had yielded a characteristic impressibleness and ardour to the causes at which we have glanced, and had imbibed copiously enough the chivalrous piety, if we may so speak, of his departed friend. From the study of Christian antiquity, from the contemplation of the best characters who shine as rare luminaries in the middle ages, from the excessive use of the mystic and meditative theology, and the peculiar strains of devotion to be found in their writings, and from the activity of an imagination enamoured with its own unconscious fictions,our young friend had conceived the beau idéal of a Universal Visible Church, the uncontaminated spouse of Christ, adorned with none but Scriptural beauties, dispensing to the nations holiness, charity, and liberty. Rejecting, with his whole heart, the domination, the exclusiveness, the sanguinary tyranny, the false doctrines, of the Romish Church, he had conceived of those evils as excrescences and abuses, easily separable from the substratum of immortal truth and purity; and that basis, when thus cleared of its incumbrances, he had inured himself to contemplate as the True Catholic Church. We have found something to smile at, and something in phraseology and minor notions to disapprove, but much more to be deserving of our acquiescence. We have found the grand and pre. cious truths of the gospel held with veneration and love, in the spirit of Leighton and Joseph Milner : and although, on some points of ecclesiastical order, we have seen, as it were, a reflection of the very weaknesses of those two holy men, yet we bave received the most unequivocal assurances of a conscientious adherence to congregational order and to the essential principles of sound Protestantism. The sentiments and feelings of our young friend may be fairly expressed in the words of his beloved companion.
« We rejoice that in our day, so much candour and enlightened benevolence are manifested in the feelings and conduct of the Christian world. We join with all men to sing the funeral dirge of superstitious bigotry and anti-christian malice. Buried let them be in one grave, the slavery of oppression and the thraldom of ignorance, and the persecutions of counterfeit religion. And bright shall the morning be, and blessed and glorious shall be the day, when ignorance shall no longer uphold superstition, and mental darkness shall no longer favour persecution, and national baseness no longer sustain oppression. The time will come, when these sights shall be perfected ; and less than human must he be, who would for a moment retard their fulfilment.” Sermon on the Evil of Religious Ignorance. p. 9.
We may add our apprehension, warranted by passages in the work before us, that these warm-hearted young men had allowed themselves to be too much fascinated by the splendid fallacies of Eustace, Butler, and Lingard.
We have allowed ourselves to expatiate so largely on this extraordinary topic, because we conceive the development to be due to the cause of truth ; and because the body of Evangelical Dissenters have so great an interest in the affairs of their oldest academical institution, that it ought to outweigh our private feelings.
Returning to the personal history of Mr. Jefferson, we can afford only a slight mention to the many evidences which this volume supplies, of his devotedness to his holy work, the choice and delight of his soul. In public preaching and the private instruction of his congregation, he formed judicious plans, and he followed them with his characteristic activity and benevolence. But his conceptions were too vast, and his labours too great. He considered too little the powers of his physical constitution. He yielded with too much facility to the multiplied solicitations for extraordinary services. Exposure to severe cold, after an evening sermon in a crowded place, struck the mortal blow. He languished for about four months. The pure consolations of the gospel maintained his soul in sweet serenity through this painful period. His last intelligible words were a declaration of affection and confidence in his Divine Redeemer: and thus he died in faith and hope, on May 27, 1826.
• Thus carly,' adds his relative and biographer, were finished the life and labours of a most promising minister of Holy Scripture; having but just passed the twenty-third year of his existence, and only eleven months having transpired between the day of his ordination and that of his burial.' p. 105.
This volume contains some interesting accounts of the me