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ELLIOTT'S CONFTRMATION LECTURES.
Nine Confirmation Lectures, including two Post-Confirmation Sacramental Lectures; with an Appendix. By the Rev. E. B. Elliott, M.A., Incumbent of St. Mark's, Brighton, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Third Edition, Revised and Improved. Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday. 1869.
The third edition of these Lectures, dedicated, by permission, to the present Archbishop of Canterbury, is not only, in compliance with the request of many clerical friends, published in a form adapted to its wider circulation, but has also been carefully revised and corrected by the learned writer. The original Preface sets forth very clearly the general design of the book, and the class of persons for whose benefit the Lectures were primarily designed. The peculiar sphere ot Mr. Elliott's ministry, and more especially the unusual number of young persons of the middle and upper classes of society whom he is in the habit of presenting to the Bishop for Confirmation, naturally impressed him with the importance of taking advantage of so great an opportunity of imparting to them instruction of a fuller and more elaborate character than is commonly practicable in the case of catechumens of a lower class of society, whose mental powers are less cultivated, and whose opportunities of receiving moral and religious instruction are more limited.
Whilst, then, the ordinary parochial clergyman will find much in these Lectures of which, by previous consideration, he may make profitable use in the instruction of many of his Confirmation Candidates, he will find it necessary, if he should desire to avail himself of the aid of this valuable manual, not only to combine with his formal lectures those more private catechetical instructions which it is Mr. Elliott's habit to give in smaller classes, and in more familiar language, but he will also, (until a similar service has been rendered to the Church in regard to these Lectures, which a popular divine has effected with regard to Mr. Elliott's great work on the Apocalypse), find himself under the necessity of omitting much which would be incomprehensible to his audience, and of expanding and simplifying the portion which may remain.
Not the least valuable or least important service which Mr. Elliott has rendered to the Church of England at large, and more especially to the younger portion of her clergy, is his able and well-timed exposition of the view of Confirmation which is taken by the Reformed English Church, as contrasted with that which was held previously to the Reformation, and which has unhappily been revived, in some of its most distinctive features, in our own times. Mr. Elliott very justly calls attention to a fact, which is too commonly overlooked, that Confirmation is a word at least as applicable to the recipients, as to the minister of the rite. We are inclined, indeed, to advance a step further, and to assert our conviction, that, according to the view of the Reformed English Church, whilst the words "confirm" and "confirmation," in accordance with long established usage, are still retained as applicable to the Bishop's part in the service, the essence of the rite consists in the public confirmation or ratification of the baptismal vow, which is then made by the catechumens themselves, and in the solemn prayer of the assembled congregation, accompanied (in accordance with apostolic example, but by no means as essential to the validity of the rite) by the imposition of the Bishop's hands, that they may be so strengthened (i. e. confirmed) by the Holy Ghost, that they may be enabled to carry their holy resolutions into effect.
In the course of Mr. Elliott's learned and elaborate inquiry into the early history of the Rite of Confirmation, he takes occasion to show the pernicious results of the early introduction of a designation still not uncommonly given by some members of the English Church to the chief pastors of Christ's flock, "Successors of the Apostles." It is perfectly true, indeed, that there is a very important sense in which not only the Bishops, but all the ministers and stewards of Christ's mysteries, if faithful to their high and responsible trust, may be aptly designated "Successors of the Apostles." It is further true, that there is a special sense in which the designation rightly belongs to those who are not only put in trust with the good deposit themselves, but who are appointed in the Church to commit the same "to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." But, in the sense in which the words are understood by some members of the English Church, and, in a yet more exaggerated, though perhaps not less scriptural sense, by the members of the so-called "Catholic and Apostolic Church," we maintain that the claim set up to the possession and exercise of the powers originally delegated to the twelve Apostles, is alike delusive and pernicious.
Whilst, then, on the one hand, we are so deeply impressed with the importance of the Rite of Confirmation, as administered in our own Church, not only as a reasonable service, but as identical, in its essence, though not in its form, with that confession of the mouth which is coupled by the Apostle with the belief of the heart, as essential to salvation,— whilst, we say, we are so deeply impressed with the practical benefits of the Rite of Confirmation, that we would gladly see the opportunities for its reception greatly multiplied, and in order thereto, a multiplication, corresponding with our vast increase of population, of those who are appointed to administer it, we think it one of the most valuable services which have been rendered to our Church by one of its most able and learned theologians, to provide not only our clergy, but also our educated and intelligent laity, with a book which, in the compass of a few pages, scatters to the winds a vast mass of wood, hay, and stubble, and vindicates, in so satisfactory a manner, that essentially Scriptural and Protestant view of the Kite of Confirmation which is maintained in the Book of Common Prayer.
We should gladly have followed Mr. Elliott through the chief subjects of the following Lectures, more especially those of the fourth and fifth, in which he treats briefly, but forcibly, of the Prophetic, the Historic, the Moral, and the Experimental Evidences of Christianity. Those who are familiar with the great work to which we have already alluded, will at once anticipate that, in traversing much of this ground, Mr. Elliott's only difficulty lies in the selection of the facts and considerations best adapted to his purpose from that vast accumulation of material which extensive reading and acute observation have placed at his disposal.
One extract must suffice us. We select it from that portion of Lecture V. which treats of the evidence derived from the fulfilment of New Testament prophecy respecting Jerusalem and the Jews :—
"Who knows not of the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus; the destruction of the temple, when he would fain have spared it; the ploughing up of its very foundations, the scattering of the Jewish remnant through all nations, like branches, as said St. Paul, broken off from their own olive-tree :— and, as to Jerusalem itself, how, instead of being left a perpetual desolation, like Babylon, it has been occupied and trodden successively by Gentile Romans, Greeks, Christian Crusaders, Saracens, Turks, as its masters ;—never by Jews. Meanwhile the fulness of the Gentiles seems now at length, through the universal preaching of the Gospel-word, rapidly accomplishing, together with other signs of the near closing of the present dispensation. And when this shall have been accomplished, the Christian, confirmed in his hopes by the fulfilment thus far of every particular in these predictions, looks for better times for Israel, as told of alike in the Old Testament and New Testament prophecy—times when the Jews, having recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, shall be united again to their own divinely chosen olive-tree; and when "Jerusalem thereupon shall become a rejoicing, and her people a joy." (pp 59, 60.)
We should fail to convey to our readers, in any adequate degree, our impression of the value of this book, were we to omit all notice of the two important Sacramental Lectures which are included in it; in the former of which, under the title of the History of the word Sacrament, Mr. Elliott presents his readers with a summary of sacramental doctrine as maintained in the four following successive periods, viz., (1) that which commenced with the death of St. John to A D. 400; (2) the Augustinian sera; (3) the Papal period; and (4), the period of the Reformation; and in the latter of which our author guards against the sacerdotal and sacrificial theories of some of the members of our own Reformed Church, and expounds and enforces the doctrine of the spiritual presence of Christ in the soul of the faithful communicant.
Mr. Elliott's small volume contains also some valuable Appendices. In the first of these he gives an interesting extract from Hall's Chronicle, containing a notice of the infant confirmations of the Princess, afterwards Queen Elizabeth, and of the Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward VI. In the second Appendix, Mr. Elliott gives the judgment of the early Lutheran and Reformed Continental Churches on the Rite of Confirmation. The third Appendix contains a Tabular Sketch of the History of our Lord, and a Pauline Chronological Chart, together with some historic coincidences between the Acts and the Apostolic Epistles.* The fourth Appendix contains a critical notice of certain points on which Mr. Elliott's views on the subject of Confirmation differ from those contained in the manual of the present Bishop of Lincoln, and in that of the present Dean of Norwich. The fifth and last Appendix contains some remarks on a Review of the first edition of Mr. Elliott's Lectures, in the "Churchman."
We trust that this short, and necessarily very imperfect, sketch of the contents of these valuable Lectures may have the effect of contributing, in some small degree, to their wider circulation, and their more extensive usefulness.
• Mr. Elliott argues, from the direc- date assigned to the Epistle by Bishop
tion contained in the Epistle to the Pearson, the city of Laodicea was suf
Colossians, that it should be read in ficiently restored for the purpose speci
the Church of Laodicea, that that fied by St. Paul in his Epistlo to the
Epistle could not hare been written Colossians ; and consequently we see no
later than the summer or autumn of sufficient reason, so far as this argument
60 A.d., because Laodicea was destroyed goes, for rejecting the chronology of
by an earthquake in the sixth year of Bishop Pearson, who assigns the month
the reign of Nero, i.e., between Oct. of February, 61 A.d., as the date of St.
59 A.d. and Oct. 60 A.d. If, however, Paul's arrival in Rome. Canon Cook,
the city of Laodicea began to be restored in the carefully prepared Chronological
immediately after its destruction, as Table, prefixed to the last edition of his
may fairly be inferred from the passage Commentary on the Acts, adopts March,
to which Mr. Elliott refers in the An- 61 A.d., as the date of the Apostle's
nals of Tacitus (xiv. 27), we see no arrival in Rome, reason for doubting that in 62 A.d., the
Vol. 68.—No. 383. 5 Q
T H SLAVE TRADE IN EAST AFRICA.
We pass on from the consideration of such revolting scenes, to watch the future destiny of the unhappy slaves when brought down to the coast.
The port of Quiloa, or Kilwa, which we have mentioned, lies about 150 miles south of the island of Zanzibar, and is the great mainland mart or emporium where thousands are exposed for sale, and whence they are shipped for Zanzibar. The cost of the slaves purchased at Kilwa is about five dollars. Some attempt is there made to register the number exported for Zanzibar, by means of port clearances furnished by the authorities to the slavers; and it is from these registers that we are enabled to calculate the yearly consumption of slaves. To this part of our subject we shall presently return.
On arrival at Zanzibar, the majority of the slaves pass into the slave market. Many are at once consigned to their Arab purchasers, who have come down from Arabia with the northerly monsoon, and have hired houses for the reception of their purchases. For every slave thus brought to Zanzibar, the Sultan receives a royalty of two dollars, and it is therefore manifest that for any assistance he may offer in the suppression of the trade, he expects, as the lawyers say, "a valuable consideration."
We again turn to the testimony of Dr. Livingstone, and at this time, when there is so much uncertainty as to the safety of our great traveller, the mind naturally recurs to the state of suspense almost hopeless, save for the firm opinion expressed by Sir R. Murchison, which followed on the report of his death given by the Johanna men at Zanzibar. Great was the rejoicing at the tidings of his safety, and hearty were the congratulations offered to their president by the members of the Geographical Society at the meeting at which Dr. Livingstone's letter announcing his safety was read. While all who spoke claimed him as the great geographer, the African explorer, the undaunted traveller, there was one present who, having himself, with Livingstone, witnessed some of the horrors of the East African Slave-trade, endeavoured to impress upon the fashionable and learned assembly, that Livingstone had other objects in view beside the mere solution of geographical problems—that he was a true philanthropist, and that one of the causes nearest to his heart was the suffering oppressed slave. The appeal