Page images



“ And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation,"-

Psalm cvii. 7. See also Exodus, xiii. 17.

When Israel came from Egypt forth,

And Canaan now in prospect lay,
Not by the borders of the north,

(Though slight the toil and brief the way,)
Did God direct them; but, far round,

To the Red Sea his people led ;
Then to the desert's utmost bound;

A toilsome march, and full of dread.

To cross that gulf no means were nigh,

Should they by Pharaoh be pursued ;
No fruits that desert could supply,

To feed so vast a multitude.
Seem'd it unwise so wide to roam,

And thus that wav'ring race to train;
Nor lead them to their promis'd home,

With least of circuit, toil, or pain ?
Theirs if the power to choose had been,

Nor God their guardian still in sight,
The shortest, easiest path, I ween,

Had to their blindness seem'd the right;
Man's passion still, if left to choose,

Seeketh but smoothness, haste, and ease;
E'en as the self-will'd child pursues

The toys that for the present please.

The Lord, who saw both way and end,

Their weakness and their powerful foes,
Still near to guide them and defend,

Their path in mercy for them chose.
He knew that they would backward turn,

(Should war arise,) and Canaan lose;
Faith's lesson they had yet to learn,

Her sword and shield untaught to use.
And well their wants He understood !

Shrank not those coward hearts dismay'd,
When the spies told, “ The land is good,

But cities fenc'd, and hosts array'd”?
Not all the signs their eyes had seen,

God's mighty hand and stretch'd-out arm,
Their walk, those watery walls between,

All could not quell their base alarm.

Two years had fail'd their hearts to train ;

Full forty must those wastes be trod
Ere they on Canaan stand again,

By trials nerv'd to follow God.

And if that way be right alone

Which brings us to the wish'd-for end, Then let us God's high wisdom own,

Our safest guide, our wisest friend. Seems it to us a weary road

By which he leads to joys above? Seems his light yoke a heavy load,

Without which we could freely move? Seems it that heav'n we could attain,

Granted this wish, that trial spar'd ? Know we, O foolish hearts and vain,

How soon we then might be ensnar'd?

Know we our hearts as God doth know?

See we our path as God doth see?
He knows where lurks the ambush'd foe,

Before what perils we should flee.
That chastisement, at which we fret,

Screens us from strife too great to bear; That joy, on which our heart is set,

If ours, might prove a fatal snare. In mercy he withholds that joy,

In mercy doth that pain prolong, Still doth his gentle force employ,

Nor lets us, at our will, go wrong. By toils proportioned to our strength

(Knowing and furthering our weal), He trains and nerves us, till at length

Our arm may break a bow of steel.

When Israel reached their home at last,

And 'neath their vines and fig-trees lay, How sweetly, all their perils past,

Must they have mus'd upon God's way! What at the time seemed hard to bear,

Then could they clearly understand; And how a Father's love and care

Each portion of their wanderings plann'd. Thus, if we reach that heavenly place,

No snares to fear, no wars to wage; Thus shall we see how heav'nly grace

Led us throughout our pilgrimage. How needful was each care and cross;

How wisely our own way denied ; How mercy shielded us from loss ;

How right the way; how true the Guide!

How sweet to understand his ways;

What now we know not, then to know; And yield the tribute of our praise

For what mysterious seem'd below. Lord, lead us to that place of rest,

And from our own fond will defend; Thou knowest what for us is best,

Who knowest both the way and end.


“She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not.

He seeks not hers, for he has proved them vain."
Did wanton life bid him her goblet drain?
'Mid courtly halls and banquets was his lot
Appointed, that he weighed the world so well,
And found it wanting ? No—the man whose days
Were crowned with bliss, and with the poet's praise,
Was such an one as he with whom I dwell.
From earliest life him Wisdom for her own,
With calm tranquillity, designed, Beneath
A holy parent's roof, by court or town
Inviolate, and in deep seclusion laid,
He twined of amaranthine flowers a wreath,
And here he wears it in life's stillest shade.
Spirits of Stephenson and Watt away!
Your mighty triumphs of the grassy mound,
Along whose even surface, iron-bound,
The thundering car, with all its vast array,
Rolls on resistless, through a cloudy spray
Of mingled vapours, rapid as the steed
In swiftest course; or more like monster breed
Of ocean depths, where huge behemoth play-
Your triumphs please him not. The peaceful nook,
The quiet vale's seclusion, are but ill
Exchanged for restless scenes of busy life.
Unhappy they whose minds are never still,
Save in perpetual din and worldly strife!
On these shall Wisdom ever deign to look?



“How shall they hear without a preacher ?”

“Let there be light !"--'twas the Word's first command;

Forth from the source eternal Aash'd the beam In floods, pervading air, and sea, and land

The heav'n-born figure of a brighter stream. Go teach all nations !"-('twas the parting word

Of Him-the Source, the Preacher, and the Way); Go tell the heathen, ye have found the Lord ;

And teach the famished wanderers to pray.

Tell them of sin,-of judgment,-and of Him

Who knew no sin. Loud in their ears proclaim The God that sits between the cherubim,

Upon the seat of Mercy, robed in flame.
The tidings that have gladdened you repeat,

In charity to those who walk in night!
Oh, send the message! Give ye them to eat !

Oh, love your brethren! and there shall be light!

W. 633


The Editor begs to remind his readers that he is not responsible for the opinions

of his Correspondents.


ORDINATION. DEAR SIR.-In replying to the observations which Mr. Faber has made on my letter, I shall examine first his theory, and secondly his authorities.

I. Mr. Faber holds, 1, that bishops have jurisdiction over presbyters by apostolical institution. This he considers-

“ So clear, both from scripture and from ecclesiastical history, that no sane person would ever think of disputing it.'**

2. Mr. Faber also believes, that this superiority of bishops is confined to jurisdiction; in other words, that bishops, priests, and deacons, constitute but two orders, bishops and priests being not two orders, but two degrees or classes of the same order. In his letter Mr. Faber has put this, in the first instance, in the form of a question :

“But, while all must admit the apostolical institution of governing bishops, a question forthwith arises touching the aspect under which the apostles thought it good to institute governing bishops in the church.

“(1.) Did they institute bishops, as a new and distinct order in the ministry, with certain privileges, such as that of ordination, EXCLUSIVELY INHERENT in them quoad ordinem ?

“Or did they, under the official name of bishops, institute certain presbyters to preside over other presbyters, only as the first among equals, with certain privileges, such as that of ordination, wiSELY INTRUSTED to them quoad disciplinam ?"

He further says (p. 534)“So far as I can understand the drift of Mr. Crosthwaite's letter, his real business was this—to establish, upon adequate historical testimony, the alleged FACT, (for this, I suppose, is the fact which he would allege,) that governing bishops were appointed by the apostles, as a new and distinct order, in the strict technical sense of the word order, with the power of ordaining others, EXCLUSIVELY INHERENT in them quoad ordinem, and not SIMPLY INTRUSTED to them quoad disciplinam.

“The impossibility of establishing this alleged pact I was very far from asserting: I merely intimated, that I would not rashly venture to deny the validity of presbyteral ordination, as it occurs in the established church of Scotland, until the alleged Fact was established. I hope there is neither harm nor disgrace, as I claim not to be a pantologist, in confessing my own inability to establish it; but I have not the vanity to say, that it is therefore incapable of establishment.

But in other places Mr. Faber speaks without hesitation. In his letter (pp. 533, 534) he says

“Clement tells us that, in his time, there were in the church three ranks or gradations of clergy analogous to the high-priest and the priests and the Levites of the Mosaical dispensation, but then, by the very necessity of his application of a prophecy of Isaiah, he also tells us, that these three ranks of clergy constituted no more than two orders; for, through the medium of the prophecy, he declares, that there were only two orders in the church, that of bishops and that of deacons, thus sub-including (as I suppose it must be allowed) the class of presbyters in the class of bishops.

4. Such is the testimony of Clement; and in words, at least, that of Jerome exactly agrees with it."

[ocr errors]

* British Magazine, p. 532. VOL. XIV.-Dec. 1838.

4 N

In the note* which occasioned my letter, he expressly states this to be the meaning of St. Clement :

“ The statement of Jerome seems to be confirmed by the very early testimony of Clement of Rome. This father, who flourished in the first century, incidentally gives us a very distinct account of the ecclesiastical polity which had then been established. In each church there was a presiding bishop, with his subordinate presbyters and deacons, after the model of the high-priest and the priests and the Levites of the Hebrew church. This arrangement was of apostolical institution. But still, while in the church catholic there were thus three divinely appointed classes of spiritual officers ; Clement, in a mode which cannot be misunderstood, intimates that there were only two orders.”

He then quotes the translation of the passage of St. Clement, to which we shall return hereafter, and proceeds :

“ Here, we may observe, no more than two orders are specified, the word bishops being plainly used as equipollent to the word presbyters; and all possibility of misapprehension is avoided by the circumstance of Clement's affirmation, that the appointment of these two urders was foretold in a prophecy which announced the appointment of exactly two descriptions of spiritual officers. I will appoint their OVERSEEKS ('ERLOKÓHOUS) in righteousness, and their MINISTERS (Atakóvovs) in faith. In point of evidence it matters nothing, whether Clement applied the prophecy itself correctly or incorrectly. Under the simple aspect of testimony to a fuet, had the church in Clement's tiine universally understood and believed that three distinct orders of clergy had been appointed, that father could never have asserted such a form of ecclesiastical polity to be foretold in a prophecy which announced the appointment of no more than two sorts of officers described as being overseers and ministers. Hence Clement seems to confirm the statement of Jerome--that the creation of superintending bishops did not introduce a third and additional order into the church." +

Now to this I reply, that this theory of three ranks or classes of clergy constituting no more than two orders is neither more nor less than one of the peculiar doctrines of modern popery. The catechisın of the council of Trent requires the clergy to teach, that there are seven orders, and that this has always been the tradition of the catholic church. The names of the seven orders are these, “ Ostiary, Reader, Exorcist, Acolyte, Subdeacon, Deacon, Priest." It thus makes the priesthood to be the highest order in the church. In a subsequent chapter, the seven orders are divided into greater and lesser, or, as they are technically called, major and minor. The major being those of priest, deacon, and subdeacon; and the minor, the remaining four. It is needless to inform you, that the object of the court of Rome in all this is not merely to magnify the dignity of the priesthood, whose office it is to consecrate the eucharist, (the power of transubstantiation being put forward rather as the ground of making the priesthood the highest order,) but that the great object of this, and of many more of the contrivances of the court of Rome, is to depreciate the episcopacy. But, as the episcopal order is not to be got rid of altogether, they have invented the distinction of ecclesiastical power, which Mr. Faber has adopted, into order and jurisdiction.||

* Inquiry into the History and Theology of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, p. 558. † Ibid. pp. 558, 559.

• Docendum igitur erit, hosce omnes ordines septenario numero contineri, semperque ita a Catholica ecclesia traditum esse, quorum nomina hæc sunt, Ostiarius, Lector, Exorcista, Acolytus, Subdiaconus, Diaconus, Sacerdos.”—Cat. Conc. Trid. Pars II. De Ordinis Sacramento, cap. xxiii. p. 222. Colon. 1689.

$ Ibid. cap. xxv.

1.“ Ea (potestas, sc.) autem duplex est, ordinis et jurisdictionis. Ordinis potestas ad verum Christi Domini corpus in Sacrosancta Eucharistia refertur. Jurisdictionis vero potestas tota in Christi corpore mystico versatur ; ad eam enim spectat Christianum populum gubernare, et moderari, et ad æternam colesteinque beatitudinem dirigere.”-Ibid. cap. x. p. 220.

« PreviousContinue »