صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the union temporarily effected between
the two bodies in America issued in the
same lamentable results. Taught by the
experience of our fathers let us have no
more such attempts at incorporated
unions. We are
not ripe for them.
There are points of difference between us,
too vital to be compromised, too essential
to be concealed or held in abeyance.
But there are at the same time more im-cise in Staffordshire yearly, two in Lanca-
portant points still on which we are
perfectly at one. Let us, therefore,
follow the scriptural maxim "Whereto
ye have attained let us walk by the same
rule, let us mind the same thing," and
then we may hope for the fulfilment of
the promise, and if in anything ye
otherwise-minded, God will reveal even
that unto you." And thus by God's
blessing that God who is not the author
of confusion or disunion, but of peace
and love in all the Churches of Christ-



we may entertain the hope that we shall all grow up into the fulness of the stature of perfect men in Christ until we shall all be perfectly united in one mind and in one judgment.

We hear occasionally in the present day of great facts, but we regard the Liverpool Meeting as one of the greatest facts of the age. It is a fact pregnant with great principles, and prolific we trust of great results. But we have more than exhausted our space for the present and must close, although we purpose to return to the subject.

We close as we commenced, by stating

our conviction that there must be no

attempt for the present at uniformity of rites and modes of discipline. Let us aim at first, only at agreement in doctrines -and even there let us not attempt to impose upon one another all the tenets that we hold ourselves. Let it suffice if others profess what we esteem ourselves the fundamental articles of our creed. Time, study, brotherly conference, and a larger effusion of the Spirit of all truth, will, we believe, gradually remove our doctrinal differences, and bring us all to one mind and one judgment upon the essentials of salvation. And then, although we hold that every distinct branch of the Church ought to practise the most literal uniformity even in rites and modes of discipline, still we would never suffer diversity, in these to break the bonds of charity, or violate the claims of peace between different branches of the united Catholic Church. It was thus with the apostolic and the early primitive Church, and if ever there is to be a catholic union, it must be based upon the same principles. Let us all observe the golden rule of Augustine. "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.

an account of Martindale's diligent and suc- | ing those minor points on which they differ, cessful labours as a pastor. "I preached and coalescing on those essential doctrines on twice every Lord's-day to a great congrega- which they agree. The experience of our tion, besides expounding, catechising, and all journalist is on this head most instructive other public worke, together with visitation and monitory, and quite pertinent to the preof the sicke, and other employment in private sent times. "How happie had it been, both not here to be named; preaching at many for themselves and me, had both parties beene funeralls and baptisings, besides no few oc- of such a sweet condescending frame thircasionall sermons at the chapells in the parish. teen years before when I first went to Gaton; I had my part, also, in maintaining one exer- but time, afflictions, and dangers helped to mollifie men's spirits. Now both parties shire, and four in Cheshire, besides the great seemed desirous of union, but it was too late; morning one of many speakers, in those opportunities for it were frequent before, but eastern parts, and the lecture in Chester. now no more to be had." A year, however, How I did this worke I am no competent had now elapsed since the death of the Projudge, or what good I did, as God alone per- tector. Neither in his own family, nor fectly knows; so, if I knewe myselfe, it among his generals, was one found who, poswould be Pharisaical in me to repeat it. All sessing equal decision, sagacity, and strength I will say is, that by his helpe I went cheer- of will, was fitted to assume the supreme fully through it, when I had mine health, power. There were frequent risings in conthough not without some discouragements." sequence in various parts of the country, and In 1653, something like a Presbytery was some idea of the general alarm and anxiety again formed at Wilmslow (Cheshire). "The may be formed from the confession in the auministers of the classis being now formed, tobiography. "But I had often shown my went on freely upon such worke as was dissatisfaction with that Protean vagrant brought before them, received ministers into Government by a succession of usurpers, and and ordained severall ministers for the con- my heart, that if I were sure that the usurpers their association, approved of ruling elders, went so farre on to say, from the bottom of gregations of Goosetree, Knutsford, Chelford, would continue my libertie (as they had hiand afterwards others. One congregation therto done), and that a King and a free was somewhat backward to make use of Parliament would throw me out (as I supthem, having too many of the Independent posed they would), yet if the business lay judgment; yet, at length, in July, 1655, six upon my single vote, I would vote for the ruling elders were chosen, whereof three only King and a free Parliament, as the only Gothe classis ... accepted the choice and were approved by vernment for the regular making and execu We agreed in our classis tion of lawes under which I would comfortby mutuall consent, upon such rules for the ably act and suffer." Martindale, however, administration of baptisms and the Lord's had many enemies, like every faithful, conSupper, as also of the solemnization of ma- sistent Presbyterian clerygyman of the trimonic, as my religious neighbours seemed period; and for his personal safety found it well pleased with." necessary to have a certificate drawn up by peaceable and loyal deportment. Sir George his people and neighbours, vouching for his Boothe had headed a movement in Lanca shire for the King, but Martindale did not identify himself with it. Nothing can be more graphic than his description of the Baronet's forces, or show more forcibly the chaos of opinion that then prevailed. “His armie (if I may call it one) was like Mahomet's angelical cockes, made up of fire and snow.

from the meetings of the classis was a vigoOne of the practical advantages resulting rous and united effort to promote personal religious instruction among the masses of the population. Very effectual means were taken for this important purpose. "Multitudes of little catechisms we caused to be printed, designing one for every family in our parishes, and to all, or most, they were accordingly sent." That this close and practical application of the truth should have been distasteful to those whose tenor of life and conversation was in opposition to it, is just what might have been expected. "But when we actually set upon the worke, even such as had but comparatively small parishes or chapelries to deale with, met with great discouragements through the unwillingnesse of people (especially the old ignoramusses) to have their extreme defects in knowledge searched out, the backwardnesse of the prophane to have the smart plaister of admonition applied (though lovingly) to their sores, and the businesse (reall or pretended) left as an excuse, why the time appointed for their instruction." persons concerned were gone abroad at


In many, both of the commanders and soldiers, were not only different but contrarient in their principles; so as they were no more likely to soder firmly together than the iron and clay feet of Nebuchad nezzar's image. Some were zealous for restoring the King in pursuance of their covenant which excluded the prelates, and some resolved that they would have both or neither. Mr. Henry Bridgeman (afterwards Dr. Deane, and Bishop Bridgeman") told another minister and me at Donham, that he forsook them at Manchester because he perceived that some of the guards were cordial for the King and not for the Church."

Shortly afterwards Martindale, for refusing The violent hostility which has already to read from the pulpit an informal notice, been adverted to as existing between the In- restraining all manner of persons from asdependent and Presbyterian parties, had now sembling on pretence of preaching or praying in a great measure subsided. On the 13th out of their own families, except in churches, July, 1659-60, terms of accommodation was subjected to much annoyance, and even to not incorporation," were agreed upon and sub-leased on giving his bond of security for a or, to use a modern phrase, "co-operation but imprisonment, from which he was only rescribed by the leading ministers of both de- thousand pounds. He owed his liberation to nominations in Manchester. The distance at the intervention of Richard Baxter, then on which Christians of different sects stand at terms of intimacy with Lord Chancellor the present day is the scandal of our common Hyde, "who was courting him," we need not THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ADAM faith, and emboldens the virulence of its ene- say in vain, " for a bishoprick."


(Concluded from our last number.) THE diary for the next Septennium contains

mies. Sharper trials it may be than have yet befallen may be in store in order that all who hold one faith and one baptism, may dwell together in unity and peace, disregard

brief narrative of this zealous church-and-KingThere is something sly and caustic in this man's ecclesiastical progress. Mr., Dr., Deane, and afterwards Bishop.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The reins of profanity and licentiousness were let loose at the Restoration. The restraints upon immorality and ungodliness, which the ascendancy of the Puritan-Presbyterian party had imposed, were removed. King James's famous Book of Sports was re-enacted, and a large part of the population, too ready at all times to embrace a similar indulgence, broke out on the hitherto well observed Sabbath into all the profanity and riot of holiday. The opportunity of offending a minister whose fidelity and strictness had imposed a decorum and purity of manners irksome to bear, was too good to be lost. Martindale narrates, accordingly, "the rabble of prophane youth, and some doting fooles that took their part, were encouraged to affront me by setting up a May-pole upon my way to church." After a little time had elapsed to allow their defiant humour to cool, and that he might not appear to be instigated by passion, he (Martindale) took occasion to preach from Prov. i. 22, "How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?" &c. The "application" proved so distasteful to some that they solicited Martindale's predecessor "to bestow his pains upon a Lord's-day with them." To this he willingly acceded; but Mr. Brooke's little finger proved thicker than Martindale's loins, for he did most smartly reprove their folly when he saw the May-pole on his way, calling them by the most opprobrious names." Woman's wit, however, seems to have been more effectual in removing the nuisance than the eloquence of both clergymen. For thus the diary proceeds:-"Not long, my wife, assisted by three young women, whipt the May-pole down in the night with a framing sawe, cutting it breast high, so as the bottom would serve well for a dial-post." Surely the spirit of Jenny Geddes was here.


Martindale's desire to be fully employed in his ministerial office, appears from the alacrity with which he abandoned teaching, and gave himself up to the ministry, whenever he could do so with safety. The greatest connivance at public and private preaching seems to have been shown in the parish of Bolton. He availed himself of the opening, and though he did not escape persecution, he did not suffer any serious harm. Others, however, did not escape so easily; Mr. James Wood, of Chowbent, was imprisoned. What follows from the Diary is very graphic. “When the former Act against Conventicles was expired, and no new one made, Adam Fearneside, a good friend of mine, desired me to joyn with a worthy neighbour of his, Mr. James Bradshaw, late of Macclesfield, to keep a day of preaching and prayer at his sonne-in-law's house, in a dark corner of Bury parish. His daughter (the wife of the house) being neither able to go on foote nor on horsebacke to any place for her soule's good, I consented, and began the exercise; but Dean Bridgman, being then at his son Greenhalgh's house of Brandeshawe, hearing of it, people were sent to take us up, and returne our names, &c. But the doore being shut, and they having no warrant to breake it, I went on seemingly unconcerned till I had done my worke, and then calmely concluded, all my brothers being unwilling to go on. All this while the doors were guarded, that we might not escape." He was tried at the sessions at Manchester for this offence, but acquitted by the jury, the costs being paid by the friend who invited him to hold the exercise.


Martindale took his sorrowful departure | laureated—that is, admitted Master of Arts.” from the vicarage about Michaelmas, 1662, The only name mentioned as connected with and removed his family to Campgreeve, about the Glasgow University, in the "Diary," is a quarter of a mile off, where he resided till Burnet, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury; then about 1666. His principal employment dur- in the Glasgow Divinity chair. ing this period was teaching. He seems to have made no attempt to continue in the exercise of his office of the ministry. "It was my custom," he says, as long as it would be borne, to heare my successor constantly, and to recite his sermons, and that evening to repeat his sermons at home to an handful of parishioners of the devoutest sort, adding a discourse of mine owne, and praying for a blessing upon all, and the people would say that they liked his sermons better in the repetition than in the preaching....I had at this time very great libertie and employment in private; but now the Act against Conventicles comes out, whereby my labour among my people was so multiplied, by dividing them into so many parcels, and preaching the same sermon over so oft, perhaps four or five times a-day, that I was under a necessity to throw up my schoole." His attachment to his people, and the self-denial he exhibited in ministering to them in such fashion as was allowed, were most praiseworthy. Whilst giving instruction to the wise and virtuous Mr. Charles, afterwards Sir Charles Hoghton, his pupil's family showed him every respect and kindness. But he adds, "I would not be tied to constant attendance, but still taught one weeke, and went home the other, to bestow my paines among mine own people, though this was to my worldly losse." His usefulness, however, and that of all his Nonconforming brethren, was sadly hampered by the tyrannical and persecuting "Five-mile Act," which provided that all Nonconformist ministers were to remove five miles from any The worst grievance to which Martindale place in which they had ever exercised their was subjected was, a prosecution for not read-office, and not come except when travelling ing the Book of Common Prayer. The process being at the time, however, illegal, Martindale resolved not to succumb to assumed authority, and boldly entered the court as defendant, making himselfe merrie by comparing the barbarousness of the Latin (in the Bill) with that of the designe of the prosecutors." The Judges sustained his defence, but the deliverance was only temporary, "for now came out that famous Acte of Uniformitie." Like the Free Church ministers, Martindale seems to have had no misgivings as to the path of duty, and makes no parade of his sacrifices, which gave him no disquiet. "As for the losse of the benefice, it was a temporal damage to me of 60%. per annum. I thank God it troubled me not, I was so well prepared by a large foresight, the peace of mine owne conscience, and hopes that God would provide for me and mine.. I was so exceedingly weak and sickly that I could not show myself so well satisfied with my sufferings as I really was." His successor gave the people very little satisfaction. "Sir Peter Leicester thought him not fit for the place, as he told me himselfe; and another gentleman, a Conformist to the bone, curst me one Lord's-day, in the evening, for not keeping the place from such a bungler.' Besides, his readinesse to read the Bishop's order against me made many to account him an intruding wolfe." "The better sort of the parishioners declined his company, he being young and sociable, always tabling (boarding?) in an alehouse, or very near one, was laid open to the temptation of wild company, and got such an habit of loving strong ale and brandy that it prejudiced his studies, and


at last killed him."


within five miles of any city or corporate
town. However much regret such oppres-
sive measures may have occasioned, they do
not seem to have stirred up a feeling of indig-
nation, or of organised and resolute resistance.
Martindale, accordingly, left his family, and
went to Manchester, where he was chiefly
employed in teaching mathematics, a study
to which he had applied himself with this
view at his expulsion. Through the patron-
age of Mr. Wickens, then master of the gram-
mar-school, once a member of the Presbyte-
rian classis, he had a good many pupils, and
was so successful a teacher, as to excite the
virulent hostility of the brethren of the craft
already established in the town. Thinking
him a novice, they thought to puzzle him by
propounding questions to him, which he
promptly answered. He soon put his assail-
ants hors de combat, by putting problems to
them for solution, in return. His scho-
lars were forward to revenge his quarrels.
"It was next to impossible," he writes, " to
keep my pragmaticall youths from running
down these old soakers with their record's

Martindale meantime was not neglecting
the education of his own family. His son,
after being at a private academy, and after-
wards at Cambridge, went to Glasgow Col-
lege in 1670, whither his father accompanied
him. It is to be regretted that the notices of
this journey are so very meagre. His son
seems to have been a forward scholar.
"After being examined by the Principall and
Regent for that year's laureation, he was ad-
mitted into the class of magistrands.... He
went with approbation through the smart
examination of the Black Stone, and was

It is due to the memory of a worthy man, whose conduct does somewhat to redeem that of his order at the period, to extract the next section entire. About this very time, Bishop Wilkins observing what a great company of drunken ministers there was in his diocese, and especially near Wigan, his then residence, was resolved to turne such out, or at the least to suspend them ab officio, and to fill the places with better men; and having a good opinion of some of us that he took to be moderate Nonconformists, he proposed terms to us, to which we returned a thankful answer, shewing our willingness to comply in anything that would not cross our principles, and instancing in particulars what we would do. But the Archbishop of York, by his Visitation, took all power out of his hands for a year; soon after which, if not before, this honest Bishop Wilkins died."


About this time, Martindale was invited by Lord Delamere to act as his chaplain for a time, at the Hall, Durham, where he ulti" all mately was settled for fourteen years; the while having the same libertie among his old people at Rotherstone parish, taking fit occasions for it as before; mine employment there (besides accompanying my lord oft abroad) was family duty twice a-day; which, before dinner, was a short prayer, a chapter, and a more solemn prayer; and before supper, a psalme, or part of one, after the chapter. When it was my lord's pleasure that the Lord's-day or any of the king's dayes should be kept at home, I officiated; and when on the Lord'-day we went to Bowdon, I catechised in the evening, and expounded the

Formerly Mr., then Dr., now Dean, after, wards Bishop.

(shorter) Catechisme in a doctrinall and prac- | lication announced is the "Minutes of the
ticall way. So as it was as much paines for Manchester, or First Presbyterian Classes of
me, and as profitable to the auditory, as if I Lancashire, from 1646 to 1640."
had preached a formall sermon."

In 1671-2 was passed the Act of Indulgence, allowing all Dissenters, save Papists only, to assemble for worship in licensed places. "So I had a license for the house of Humphrey Peacock, of Morice, where I preached twice every Lord's-day, and a lecture once a month; and (so oft as I could conveniently do it) I ended both my sermons so soone, that myselfe and others might hear my successor's afternoon sermon..... One morning, as I was going to preach at my licensed place, I called on my successor, which had carried moderately toward us, and found him dangerously ill. He prayed God to speed me on my labours, and desired I would pray for him in my congregation, which I promised to do, and accordingly performed, the people affectionately joyning with me." He afterwards wrote him in a very faithful spirit regarding his spiritual condition. "This, 'tis said, did much trouble him, and I am glad it did soe, if he sorrowed to repentance." What follows might have been found in John Bunyan: "I no more know how to do a sinner good without making him sorrie, than to cleare a foul stomach by a vomit without making the patient sicke."

The Act of Indulgence was recalled in 1675. The next septennium was not an eventful one to Martindale personally, but brought many distressing family trials, which he records evidently as one whose warmth of heart made him feel them deeply, while his faith and patience, by God's grace, nobly sustained him under them all. He was imprisoned nearly a month in Chester, under an Act issued against all Nonconformist ministers who ipso facto were presumed to be cognizant of Monmouth's rebellion, which occurred at this time. But this chequered life was now drawing to a close. Personal and relative affliction, with trials of various kinds, threw a dark shadow over its decline. The Diary comes down to 1685. The parishregister of Rotherstone contains the only record of his death, or rather of his burial, which took place on the 21st of September,

1686. The last section of this remarkable book may be given entire." Soone after my returne home, I met with the newes of Mr. Brissowe's death, who was one of my fellowprisoners, a solid able scholar, and a singular good preacher.... The losse of him was the sadder, because he followed so many worthy men of the Nonconformist persuasion, that within a year or little more had left their earthly habitations in Lancashire, for a better in heaven, viz., Mr. Bell, Mr. Bradshaw, of Dorey Lever; Mr. Tilsey, Mr. Wright, Mr. Mallinson, and Mr. Scholes, all learned men and profitable preachers, and the three first very eminent." How pertinent to the present times, and how pregnant with sad and solemn thoughts is the closing sentence, containing a reflection that will find an echo in the hearts of God's people in all lands," When God is housing his sheep (or rather shepherds) so fast, it is a dangerous prognosticke of a storme ere long to ensue."



and a license to each priest to become the husband of one wife. Aware from their own experience of the root of the evil, which they had sunk, and urged by a horrified at the gulf of depravity into voice within frenzied into madness by SOME two years ago (for we have not goadings which they could neither ward the work at present beside us) there ap- off nor endure without remorse, they peared in the "Quarterly Review" a very poured the groanings of their agony into remarkable paper on the present condition the ears of prelate and pontiff, whose of Popery on the Continent, expecially in own experience they fancied would France and Germany. The writer was prompt to immediate redress. But they evidently most intimately acquainted petitioned in vain. The evils were not with his subject, while his strong High denied, they were confessed and deChurch leanings, and his manifest sym- plored. Superficial remedies were appathy with very much that ordinary plied, but the disease, uncured, unProtestants would regard (and justly too) checked, was left to prey at the vitals. as Popish, gave his revelations of the Celibacy was useful to the class powers corruptions and abominations that ex- of the hierarchy, and the agony of their isted in the Romish Church peculiar instruments was as little heeded as the value. He averred that causes of se- writhings of the slave, the butchery of a cession, deep, vital, and wide-spread, pre-soldiery, to the demon of ambition, to vailed among the Romish priesthood, and the idolater of gold. foretold that to whatever Church they might attach themselves, or whether they might form a new denomination, multitudes of Romish ecclesiastics would abandon their old communion. A variety of reasons for this dissatisfaction were stated, nor were these reasons of recent discovery, nor confined to individual priests. They had been avowed for years, had been urged upon the consideration of the prelates who were implored to abate the intolerable evils complained of. Nay, matters had gone so far that the Pope had been memorialized with certification that unless redress ample and immediate was afforded, the parties whose consciences were aggrieved would find themselves necessitated to abandon the communion of Rome and repudiate the jurisdiction of the Pope and the local prelates.

The principal grievances complained of, if we rightly remember, were auricular confession and the forced celibacy of the clergy. The latter in particular was stated to have led to the most flagitious consequences. Whatever was reported by the Commissioners on Religious Houses to Henry VIII., whatever was alleged against the monkish and celibate institutions by the early Reformers, whatever fiction has invented or imagination can conceive of the most unrestrained licentiousness, that it was averred was all but universally perpetrated by the Romish priesthood throughout the Continent of Europe. The more decorous of the clergy, shocked and scandalised at the iniquities of their brethren, and tracing the evils as their real and prolific source NOTE. Such of our readers as have been up to celibacy and the opportunities afinterested by the foregoing abstract, will be forded by auricular confessions, as one glad to learn that the same Society-the man they implored that secret confessions Chatham-to which we are indebted for might be abolished and the priesthood Martindale's Autobiography, propose shortly permitted to marry. Nay, but what to publish the "Diary" of the Rev. Henry Newcome, ejected by the Act of Uniformity may surprise the superficial to learn even from the collegiate church of Manchester in the more guilty of the priesthood were 1662, and for whom the now Unitarian chapel the most loud and urgent in their imporin Cross-street was then built. Another pub-tunities for the suppression of celibacy,


The article in the "Quarterly forgotten; even those like ourselves, upon whose minds it had produced a deep and lasting impression but seldom thought of its revelations or prognostics. No secessions took place from Rome; she rather gained converts, especially from the Protestant (?) University of Oxford, and from that "bulwark of Protestantism," the Church of England, and this latter too, if not with the consent, certainly with the most wonderful equanimity, of the Anglican hierarchy.

No murmurs were
heard of threa-
tened dissension in the ranks of
the Popish priesthood. Sacerdotal matri-
mony was not conceded. Celibate
enormities were still perpetrated. Still
no secession. What could be the cause?
Was the " Quarterly" misinformed, or
did the Romish priesthood submit to
their fate? We were asking these ques-
tions, and could find no answer, when
a Continental paper brought us the letter
of John Ronge.

Wonderful are the ways of Providence. "My ways are not your ways, neither are your thoughts my thoughts, says the Lord." Wide-spread simultaneous results are never instantaneous or isolated in their causes. One vernal gale, one beam of April sunshine, does not cover the fields with flowers nor cause even one crocus to burst its cerements and expand its petals to the sun. The fields do not wave with their autumnal treasures till each separate seed has been deposited in its bed. The cause is as wide-spread as the consequences. A train of causes, each too minute to arrest attention, but each essential to complete the result, preceded the issue. The train was previously laid, or the spark would not occasion the explosion. The plastic mass was prepared, and it needed but a fortuitous contact, so to term it, to determine its future conformation.

Luther, by the deep agonizing workings of his own heart was prepared in

his cell at Erfurt for becoming some- | neighbourhood of Wittemberg, so was its good sense, and apparently as little thing else than a common-place Augustinian monk. But what was that something else to be? Was it the founder of a new confraternity like his cognate spirit Loyola, a miracle of agonized but unimpassioned quietism, like Simon Stylites, or a bustling energetic actor like Dominic or Peter the Hermit? All these were kindred spirits; in every lineament and feature the very counterparts of the Augustinian monk. At Erfurt transfer them into his cell, incarnate their spirits into his personality, and they would have fasted and prayed and groaned and seen visions precisely like Luther. Remove them to Wittemberg, expose them to the same influences, and, humanly speaking, they would have been transformed into his living acting image. Tetzel was essential to Luther. Had there been no Tetzel there would have been no Luther, and had not God prepared by imperceptible workings the heart of Europe to respond, and of Luther to act in a special direction, the sixteenth century would have been as the twelfth, and Luther would have lived only in a black letter tome of the "Lives of the Saints."

Ronge when he heard of the pilgrimages calculated to rouse the world, as the to Treves. Among the wonderful relics "Theses" of Luther. The time, howalleged to exist in the treasury of the ever, had arrived" the set time." Cathedral of Treves, is the identical coat Men's hearts were prepared, and a tiny which our Saviour wore when he was led spark was sufficient to kindle a conflagraforth to crucifixion. Twenty-two other tion. No man, we are persuaded, will be coats, all aspiring to the same honour, more astonished at the effects of this are said at this moment to be exhibited letter, or more disposed to ascribe its on the Continent; all sworn to as the results to a higher power than Ronge only authentic garment by the priestly himself. Unknown to him, as before to exhibitors, and all believed in by their Luther, the age was prepared for the respective votaries. War with the Turks, issue. He only put into articulate and the erection of St. Peter's, was the phrases what every one confusedly pretence, but the love of pleasure the thought. He gave a form and a subcause, that induced Leo X. to send forth stance to their vague, impalpable imaginTetzel to amass money with his indul-ings. His heart, symptomatic of the age gences. What induced Arnoldi of Treves and sympathetic of its latent emotions, to exhibit the "Holy Coat?" Whether gave forth a sound; and every heart, unknavery or fanaticism we have not heard. known to its possessor, strung in unison, We yet stand too near the actors to see vibrated in accordance. John Ronge was them distinctly, or at full length. The but the type of Germany; and when he keen eye of history, however, will dis- appeared all his countrymen recognised in cover, and her faithful pen will record, him their own image. what we must be satisfied with merely conjecturing. But, whatever was the motive, the coat was exhibited. Miracles and wonders, plenary remission of sins and substantial gifts of Providence, were When the life of John Ronge is promised to all who, with full faith and written, it will be found that he too was heavy purses, should repair to the Catheprepared for the scene of his labours, and dral of Treves, perform the prescribed when the heart of Europe is laid bare ritual, kiss the Holy Coat, and pay the and its history disclosed, it will be seen priest, for it is now as ever with Rome, that it also has had its preparatory train-" No penny no pater-noster." Crowds ing. As Luther had his Tetzel, so Ronge and multitudes flocked to the shrine, has had his Albert of Treves. Indul- half a million in a month. Since the gences roused the indignation of the one, Cossacks rushed down from the Ukraine a fabled relic the opposition of the other. till Victoria of England steamed up the Both, though honest of purpose and obe- Rhine, such an attractive object had not dient to the voice within, were uninformed been presented to the phlegmatic sons of and in manifold error when they commen- Deutschland as the Holy Coat of Treves. ced their career; although, thanks to the And, then, the poll-tax for a sight of the light that Protestantism forces even into coat! Railway mania had not absorbed the thick darkness of Popery, Ronge the money of the Teutons, and a better knew more of the truth at the outset of investment for sundry spare thalers could his public life than his immortal fore- not be desired than a plenary indulgence Most striking are the coinci- at so much per head for sins past, present, dences which can be traced in the history and to come. Arnoldi's coat promised fair of these two men, although it will not for to cover a larger space of fertile acres one moment be supposed that we mean than the ox-hide of Dido. The tide of to set up the priest of Breslau as a rival pilgrims was at a full spring flow, and the to "the solitary monk that shook the shower of thalers an even down pour, world." when a solitary voice was heard from the parsonage of Laurahutte, and the charm was dispelled; pilgrims ceased to kiss, and money ceased to flow. John Ronge's spirit was vexed within him at the knavery of the priests and the delusion of the populace. Families starving at home to pamper an epicurean priesthood; pilgrims perishing by the way to bolster up a fragile figment; the blood of Christ despised to exaggerate the claims of an imposture; sins recklessly perpetrated to be remitted by kissing a rag and paying a dollar. Oh, for the lightning of an Elijah, for the thunders of a Luther, to blast the lie, to crush-no, not to crush the imposters.


We know too little of the history of Ronge to be able to trace the successive stages of his personal development, or the training through which he was fitted for the work that God has assigned him. Whether he was one of those that protested against auricular confession and celibacy, and threatened a secession if these evils were not abated, we do not know. All we are assured of is that, although Rome with her usual policy has stuck at nothing to blacken his character, he was a rigid moralist, and an exemplary priest; assiduous in the discharge of his official functions, when a casual incident changed the whole course of his life.

As Luther was engaged in the duties of his office when Tetzel appeared in the

Ronge wrote a letter-a sensible, pertinent production-remarkable only for

Ronge, like Luther, had no intention to secede from Rome. He saw, lamented, and protested against the evils that existed in the Church, but he ascribed them, not to the system, but to individual agents. He had no doubt but when these evils were exposed and made known to those in authority, they would be abated. In the honest sincerity of his heart, he judged of others by himself, and fondly imagined that the Archbishop of Treves would act as would in similar circumstances the priest of Leurahutte. What, then, was his amazement to find himself charged with heresy, and commanded to acknowledge his fault, recant his errors, and do penance for his sins! In vain he remonstrated. In vain he protested his innocence, and employed the protective privileges of his Church and order. He found that Rome never owns a fault, never forgives an imputation, never tolerates individual independence of thought, and never retracts an assumption. She has arrogated in her madness God's exclusive prerogativesinfallibility, unchangeableness, and impeccability; and he has made her sin to be her punishment. Ronge desired to reform his Church, and he found himself excommunicated. He attempted to wipe off the stains that her unworthy sons had daubed upon his mother, and she cast him as a leper from her bosom. He endeavoured to restore her to the affections of men, and she resolved to exclude him from the favour of his God. Ronge was excommunicated; and with all the dread solemnities of Rome delivered over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. The thunderbolt, however, was powerless. He had previously seen enough to convince him that Rome was not the ideal he had fondly imaged in his filial devotions. He was emancipated from his mental thraldom; and, rejoicing in the liberty with which Christ had made him free, he would not again be entangled

in a yoke of bondage. His only thought now was, to communicate to others the truths in which his own heart rejoiced; nor was he found deficient in the policy, promptitude, and energy, requisite for the emergency which had now arisen. He has proved himself fully equal to the demands made upon him; and will, with God's grace, we fondly trust, consumBut we have arrived at the close of the first period in his history, and must delay till another month the narrative of his subsequent labours.

mate a new Reformation.


ONE of the most remarkable features of our age is the extensive diffusion of knowledge. In order to furnish "Literature for the Many," we see the press teeming with publications, of marvellous and unprecedented cheapness. "Libraries for the Many" have been formed in many of our cities and towns, by means of which the humbler classes may, at small expense, and in their leisure hours, acquire not a little of both useful and entertaining information. The Church may employ, and, we think, ought to employ, a similar means of diffusing religious instruction among the people committed to her charge. This would be effected by well furnished and well managed Congregational Libraries. We proceed to specify some of the advantages arising from such insti


I. A Congregational Library directs into a right channel the desire of information, where it already exists. If it be the duty of a minister to become acquainted with the godly among his people, that with them he may take sweet counsel, it is also his duty to seek the acquaintance of the more intelligent among them, that he may, under God, seek to use their intelligence in the Lord's service. The mental powers of such persons may, and probably will, be wasted on unprofitable subjects, if we do not seek to bring profitable ones under their notice. They will acquire a taste for the literature of the world, if we do not supply them with the literature of the Church. Such persons require solid mental food, and we must take care to have our library as well stored, as circumstances permit, with really valuable works of past and present times.

II. A Congregational Library gives opportunity for creating a desire for instruction where it does not exist. Among our rural population, especially, there are many who have little taste for reading, and whose stores of information are consequently very scanty. But we must not consider their case a hopeless one. They will require books of a character quite different from that of the works adapted to the former class. Narratives of a popular description are best adapted to their state of mind. Among the publications of the Religious Tract Society, not to mention any other source, will be found not a few written for such persons, and really suited to their wants.

III. A Congregational Library is an efficient help to the pastor in his labours for the good of his people. A minister in earnest will avail himself of all scriptural aids. He sees his people altogether on the Lord's-day," and occasionally in private, when visiting from house to house. But he wants addi

tional methods of bringing the truths of God's

Thomas Nelson and Sons, of 8, Paternoster

word to bear on their minds and hearts. A cheap publication scheme of the Free Church,
godly eldership may do much; humble be- and the reprint of the doctrinal and practical
lievers in the private walks of life may do works of the English Puritan divines, by
much; yet the additional help afforded by a
good collection of books circulated among row, London, the best and the cheapest pub-
the people, will not be despised by any right- lications of the day. They can be ordered
hearted minister. Such books are silent wit- from any bookseller, and for four shillings
nesses for God's truth and grace on the annually four volumes of standard theology,
Sabbath evening, or in the intervals of week- unequalled for depth and power, may be
day labour. They have often been, in the added to the family or congregational library.
hand of the Holy Spirit, the means of induc--ED.]
ing sinners to think, to feel, to mourn, to
pray, to believe in Christ, and thus turn to
God. Apart from a faithful ministry this has
occurred, and more especially is it to be ex-
pected in conjunction with the preaching of
"the truth as it is in Jesus."



IV. A Congregational Library tends to give stability and harmony to the connexion WE purpose to give from time to time some historical notices of the English Presbyterian between pastor and people. Unquestionably it is on the character of the minister's preachChurch. In pursuance of this resolution, we ing and visiting labours that such a desirable now subjoin a document of some interest and result will chiefly depend. No exertions in value. It is a memorial extracted from the other matters will avail if the minister be not minutes of the Northern Northumberland Class, instant in season and out of season. But Classis, or Presbytery, presented to the Genesuch institutions as those we are advocating ral Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in the will be found no despicable aids in uniting year 1786. From this memorial it will appear pastor and flock together. In the collection among other matters, that our Church was at of the requisite funds to maintain them, in that period independent of the Scottish the procuring of the most suitable books for Establishment. As we purpose soon to give a them; in the maintenance of them in good historical narrative of the position of our working order, the minister has abundant Northern Presbyteries, we make no remarks opportunity of showing that he takes a real at present on the subjoined document farther and disinterested superintendence of his than to state that it is taken from the original people's intellectual and spiritual improve-minutes furnished to us by Mr. Murdoch, of ment. The books form a useful subject of Berwick. The following is the memorial conversation in visiting, and often afford an occasion of introducing, without abruptness or offence, the vital truths of religion.

We have been proceeding on the supposition that the books selected were either directly on religious subjects, or treated general topics in a religious way. Whether Congregational Libraries should include the popular literature of the day, from which the Gospel is excluded, is a question to be determined by each minister, or Committee, for themselves. In such works as the volumes published by Chambers or Knight, we find scarcely any reference to religion. Religion may be to their authors one of many things, it certainly is not "the one thing needful." Man is not viewed by them as the Bible views him-an utterly fallen being, to whom a free salvation is offered in Christ. From such volumes no aid will be derived by the pastor in his work of bringing his hearers to the knowledge and reception of the truth. There will probably be found no difficulty in appropriating all the funds which may be raised to the purchase of volumes in which God is honoured, and Christ set forth.

We may give, as an exemplification of our views, the following list of books procured during the last year for a Congregational Library. The people belong partly to the town, but mainly to the country:

[ocr errors]

"D'Aubigné's History of the Reformation," "Williams's Missionary Enterprises," "Hetherington's History of the Church of Scotland," "Jubilee Services of the London Missionary Society," "Lectures to Young Men (Dundee)," "Essays on Christian Union," "Lewis's Journal and Visit to United States," " M'Cheyne's Life and Remains," " Bonar and M'Cheyne's Journal of Deputation to the Jews," "Ford's Decapolis, Chorazin, Laodicea," "James's Pastoral Addresses," "Simpson's Times of Claverhouse," Hamilton's Life in Earnest," "The Revival at Charlinch."

[Along with the works mentioned above, we take the liberty of recommending the

alluded to, viz:

Mr. Kellock, Mr. Aitchison, Mr. Murray, Mr.
May 3d. The Class met at Lowick, present,
Landels, Mr. Poole, Mr. Wood, Mr. Nichol,
Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Wallace. The Committee
presented to the Class the following memorial,
which was read and approved of:-
"To The Venerable The General Assembly,
of the Church of Scotland.
"The memorial and petition of the
Northumberland Class of Protestant Dissenting
Ministers, in behalf of themselves and their
respective Congregations,


"That Protestant Dissenters in the North of England have always been accustomed to choose their ministers by the voice of the majority of their respective Congregations. But of late we have seen with concern, parties formed in several Congregations, who have refused to submit to the choice of the major part of the Society, which has been the cause of much disorder and confusion.

"It is matter of great regret to us to be obliged to represent to this Venerable Assembly that this spirit of discord and those party views have had too much encouragement from some Presbyteries of the Church of Scotland, who have ordained ministers to such disorderly congregations, sometimes to the minority, without taking proper measures to acquaint themselves with the circumstances of the Society, or with the conduct of the party who applied to them for ordination.

"To mention every example of this kind that has occurred within our memory would be unnecessary, it may suffice to take notice of the following, which happened lately.


The old Protestant Dissenting congregation at Wooler being vacant, could not agree in the choice of a minister, and divided into two parties. One party applied to us, in September, 1784, to ordain the candidate whom they had chosen. The other party, having been informed of the intended application, came before us at the same time, and entreated us not to proceed to ordination,

« السابقةمتابعة »