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dishonorable artifices of Charles the First to extort money from his subjects, without resort to parliament; it was not shocked at the immoralities following the restoration of the Stuarts; with the anomalous exception of the conduct of the bishops before alluded to, it was servile and obsequious during the abominable reign of James the Second; it was prompt to renounce the notion of “passive submission " to the will of the sovereign, when the issue of the English revolution of 1688 gave definite powers to the representatives of the people, and put a constitutional check to the exercise of arbitrary sway on the part of kings. .
What we have seen of the English Church in our own country, sufficiently illustrates the fact, that it is the genius of the establishment” to keep on good terms with those in power. Whatever may be thought of the duty and expediency of the ministers of other sects in the inatter of taking a position, as religious teachers, on the agitating subject of American slavery, it would seem that there can be but one opinion as to the proper course of the clergy of the Episcopal church. Those who object to the practice referred to, do so on the ground-whether a just ground or not we shall not now discuss that it virtually involves the principle of the union of Church and State. But it is to be remembered that the union of Church and State is an essential, a central principle in the creed of the Episcopal church. The Churchman therefore seems to be bound by the distinguishing characteristic of his prosession of faith, to take a position on whatever question affects the condition and welfare of the State. We believe, however, ihat there is but a solitary instance in which a minister of the Episcopal communion has said a word against the institution of American slavery, and he, for so great an imprudence, was promptly ejected from his parish charge. The course of what is deemed duty on ihis subject is attended with danger; and it has not characterized the usual practice of the members of the Angli. can church, to put their communion at any hazard for so paltry and fanatical a reason as a sense of duty.
The unbending facts of history will not testify loudly in behalf of the positive moral influence of the Anglican ehurch in moulding and tempering the social virtues. It
would indeed be unjust to expect of the early days of the establishment, as high-toned a public morality, as may be demanded under the greater light, profounder experience, and improved opportunities of the present century. But we have a right to expect that every religious body will at least be in advance of the general public—that the devotees of every creed will lead the masses of men in the exhibition of piety, and the inculcation and practice of virtue. It would be most unjust not to recognize the fact, that men of eminent piety, unsullied virtue, and manly purpose, have adorned the profession of the Anglican creed. We are not to forget that conspicuous among the Church of England divines are noble examples of the Christian character. But taking into account the whole history of profession and practice in the English church, we do it no injustice when we say, that although it may have kept pace with it has never led the progress of public and private, of social and individual morality.
It is but just in this connection to make mention of the fact, that nearly all departments of literature, art and science, have been enriched by the researches and labors of the Church of England divines. And it argues not a little for comprehensiveness of intellect and catholicity of spirit, that while, in the department of theology the ser. vants of the church have not been backward in the recog. nition and defence of their peculiar tenets, their written productions have nevertheless invigorated the reason, informed the understandings, and warmed the hearts of readers from every sect and every profession. At this very day, when the Puseyite movement towards the superstitions of an ancient and hardly civilized age, gives such unfavorable omen to the future of the Church of England, it still remains true that in the productions of such writers as Whateley, and Jowett, this very church is giving the world the most earnest, nutritious, liberalizing, ennobling religious literature of the age. And in the matter of toleration, it must be confessed, that no other order is so free, so generous,-perhaps however we should add, so indifferent. In the Sermons of Robertson, lately published in England and in this country, a Church of England clergyman has given the world a statement of principles and Christian intuitions, which will be far more gratefully acknowledged by Universalists and Unitarians, than by the sects which make exclusive claim to the cognomen of evangelical. Whether, however, the promulgation of such enlarged sentiments is not at the expense of a marked inconsistency in view of the ThirtyNine Articles, may at least be considered an open question. But it is the Low-church party that must bear all the responsibility for whatever of toleration and liberality emanates from the Establishment. Such divines as Ar. nold and even Whateley have outgrown the theological garments which they still affect to wear; and their awkward attempts to fit the garment to the enlarged proportions, reminds us of the folly authoritatively censured more than eighteen centuries ago: “No man putteth a piece of new cloth into an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse." At the same time it is to be said, that religious and theological growth is always at the expense of consistency; as we see illustrated by the controversy now raging in this country between the two branches of the Calvinistic church. We cannot fail to
bly in advance of their more consistent brethren, and are for this reason at logical variance with the creed which both parties profess to serve,
With reference to the future of the Anglican church, it becomes us to say but little. It has survived too many shocks, has triumphed over too many obstacles to warrant the expectation, ihat it is destined to expire under the influences that now assail it. We may confidently say, that in this country it is not destined to achieve very important results. Its spirit, creed and history are monarchical; its inevitable tendencies are unfriendly to republican institutions, and to that individuality of feeling, thought and action, which is characteristic of the American people, and which must temper and direct at least the immediate future of our national experience. 'G. H. E.
This article is not intended to be a thorough discussion of the subject named. The writer feels his incompetency to engage in such a work. But he is not without hope that the suggestions which follow may lead some person of greater ability to pursue the consideration of the important topic thus humbly introduced.
One of the biographers of our Saviour, deeply impressed with the miraculous works which he had witnessed, and in view of the end to which such works were wroughts was led to say, after having given a long record, “ And many other signs (or miracles) truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and ihat believing ye might have lise through his name." | The things here mentioned were the signs, wonders or miracles which the Son of God wrought, during his brief sojourn on earth, in the presence of his disciples and before the assembled multitudes of his countrymen. All of these wonderful works have not been placed upon record by the faithful men who beheld his glory, and “were eye-witnesses of his majesty." But many of these things have been written, that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
The fact and the purpose of our Lord's miracles are here plainly stated. And in view of this statement, is it not manifest that the man who denies the miracles written in the New Testament, at the same time denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ? If we are not greatly mistaken, one of the main pillars in the fair Temple of Christianity consists of miracles. And we are well persuaded that if every thing of a miraculous nature were discarded from the gospel system, the whole superstructure of Christianity would speedily fall into ruins. We have ever felt a kind of dread of the labors and influence
1 Joha xx. 30, 31.
the goshing of an And
of men who seem reverently to profess faith in the Son of God, but who at the same time strive to divest his religion of all its wonderful characteristics, and to bring it down to an ignoble level with the various devices of sages, philosophers and moralists in different ages of the world. It is more honest and manly to reject an entire system of religion, than to feign a regard for its sanctity while ignoring its essential facts, and covertly working to under. mine its very foundations. A bold and consistent opposer is worthy of some respect; but an enemy professing friendship is contemptible in the eyes of all just men. And if we do not misjudge the signs of the times, there is near at hand a sisting process, that will shake out from the nominal church of Christ certain unfaithful men, who have set up the abomination that maketh desolate, and who stand in the holy place where they ought not. Free. dom of thought and liberty of speech on all subjects may be well enough. We live in a free country, and no man is to be restrained in the utterance of his convictions. But honest men will not always be satisfied with smooth professions of Christianity on the part of those who avow their disbelief of the fundamental truths of the gospel of Christ. If Jesus Christ was not the Son of the living God, begotten of the Holy Ghost; and if he possessed no superhuman power over the elements of nature and the minds of men, his pretensions were all false, and his religion is a cheat! There can be, it seems to us, no middle ground upon which we can possibly stand. If Christ's religion is true, he wrought miracles; if he wrought no miracles, his religion is not true.
The institution of the Mosaic law was attended with marvellous displays of divine power and glory; and the chosen leader of Israel was enabled to perform many wonderful works among the people in attestation of his authority and doctrine. And when a new and more excellent dispensation of religion was about to be estab. lished in the world, its great Founder fully attested the divinity of his mission by the "s miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of the people." He gave sight to the blind; unstopped the
Acts, ii. 29.