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B. GRIBBLE, M.A., Incumbent of St Paul's, Whitechapel, and
The first of the pamphlets noticed above contains a series of letters addressed to a manager of what was once the Church of St Jude's, but is now a schismatical meeting-house, by the Rev. Dr Champneys, an English Clergyman, resident in Glasgow. Being unconnected with any parochial charge, or care of souls, he was a disinterested, though not uninterested, spectator of the unhappy schism which took place there; and being imbued with a Christian and Catholic spirit, he volunteered his mediation; and endeavoured, with laudable zeal, to heal the breaches which had been made in the Church at Glasgow.
His letters are those of a sincere Churchman, mild, conciliatory, and temperate; yet lacking nothing of the firmness which becomes a Churchman in supporting the position of his Spiritual Mother. The replies of his correspondent, fortunately perhaps for himself, are not published; but the Doctor's benevolent interference failed; sectarian bitterness prevailed; and St Jude's is yet in schism.
The other pamphlet, the production of an individual, who, we regret to say, is a Priest of the Church of England, resulted from the preceding, but for which it would not have been noticed in these pages. The writer seems to have caught up with avidity a passage in Dr Champneys' pamphlet, mentioning his name, as an excuse for discharging his 'sweltered venom' upon the Church in Scotland.
After printing at length the Bishop of London's license to officiate at a chapel in Whitechapel (which is a mere form, but which he brings forward as if something complimentary to himself), the writer proceeds to emit a regular course of abuse, levelled against the Clergy in Scotland in every capacity, raking up and repeating the oft-refuted charges of transubstantiation and other heresies, and denying the vitality of the Church upon the authority of Mr D. T. K. Drummond's now notorious Report, &c., of a deputation of English Clergymen to the English Bishops'!!
* Dr Champneys alludes to the Bishop of London's resolution not to admit Mr Gribble into his diocese, for want of testimonials from the Bishop of Glasgow. But possibly his Lordship found that Act of Parliament' Church Law would not sustain the objection.
We must entreat the indulgence of our readers for using strong expressions, which we regret being forced to do; neither can we attempt to review calmly the misrepresentations and calumnies of this disgraceful pamphlet.
But as the writer professes a most unlimited devotion and obedience to the Church of England, we will just extract a sample of his orthodoxy :
'I repudiate the doctrine that the imposition of hands either of necessity makes a bishop, or of necessity preserves the church in her integrity. If a man be not called by the Spirit of God to the office of bishop, and if he be not made bishop by the power of God upon his heart and understanding, he is not a shepherd of the church of Christ, but a wolf in the clothing of the sheep; nor can the imposition of hands secure the church in her integrity, though it were possible, which it is not, to prove an unbroken chain from the apostles.'-Pp. 7, 8.
This is nothing more or less, than the common cant of dissenterism, that self-supposed righteousness constitutes the qualification of a minister of God, and thus supersedes the Divine commission.
Again :- And on the other hand, it is my belief that, where there is no imposition of hands, and even no episcopacy, yet a body of men exist among whom Christ be may and if His presence present; does not constitute them a church, it is difficult to prove that any external rite can make them so.
In other words, though episcopacy, regularly derived, be the general rule, yet there may be circumstances which make the exception legitimate.-P. 8.
This is, in fact, subverting the whole doctrine of the apostolical commission, and allowing that circumstances,-i.e., caprice, selfwill, or any other vagary, may justify bodies of men in appointing whom they please, as did Jeroboam, to the ministerial office.
We cannot but sympathise with the English Bishops in their subjection to a legal thraldom, which, it would seem, compels them to institute such men as this.
Questions for Self-Examination for the Use of the Clergy, in what concerns their Sacred Office. London: Joseph Masters, Aldersgate Street. 1848. Pp. 16.
This little manual is designed for the use of the Clergy in the
examination of the conscience, and is excellently suited for its purpose. Small as it is, it embraces all the obligations and duties of a priest of God, and were it to be regularly and devoutly used by the Clergy once a-week, say every Friday, we feel certain the Church would gain much in inward peace and tranquillity-there would be much less strife, and far more charity-much less irregularity, and far more reverence-much less self-seeking and worldliness, and far more self-denial and holiness among us, than we now possess. In a word, the Clergy would become more and more deeply impressed with the necessity of discharging their solemn sacramental obligations to do their Heavenly Master's work, not each one in his own way, or according to what may seem good in the eyes of the world, but in the Church's way-the only way in which they can expect the fulness of God's blessing on their labours. We, therefore, heartily recommend this manual to the use of the Clergy, and thank the compiler for its publication.
ERRATA IN THE LAST NUMBER.
We regret that, in a considerable part of our impression, some mistakes occurred in the Scottish Clergy List. The Church at St Andrews, and the incumbent, the Rev. C. J. Lyon, M.A., were unaccountably omitted. The consecration of the present Bishop of Brechin took place in 1847, not 1842. These were typographical errors; but owing to misinformation, some other erroneous insertions appeared. The initials of Mr Erskine of St James' Church, Stonehaven, are C. T., not C. J. Those of Mr Franklin of Alloa, H. H., not F. F. After the name of Mr Boyle of Portobello, the degree should be B.C.L., not B.A.; and M.A. should have been inserted after the name of the Rev. William Walker, Monymusk, diocese of Aberdeen.
We have since heard of a congregation being established in Dumbarton, in the diocese of Glasgow, under the Rev.- Allen; but at the publication of the last Number, we were not aware of its existence.
Printed by GRANT & TAYLOR, Albany Street, Edinburgh.
Six Discourses on the Prophecies relating to Antichrist in the Apocalypse of St John. Preached before the University of Dublin, at the Donnellan Lecture. By JAMES HENTHORN TODD, D.D. M.R.I.A. Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.
In the year 1840, Dr Todd's Discourses on the Prophecies relating to Antichrist, in the writings of Daniel and St Paul, preached before the University of Dublin, at the Donnellan Lecture, 1838,' were given to the public, and, at once, excited a very intense and general interest, as being the first attempt, in modern times, to interpret those solemn predictions on the principle which had universally obtained in the Church in primitive ages, but which had been wholly superseded, and become almost unknown in our own day. In 1841, Dr Todd was again appointed Donnellan Lecturer, and the result is the volume before.us, which, we may safely say, is equal in interest, and calculated to have as wide an influence as its precursor had.
Dr Todd enters upon his labours, first, by meeting the various objections which are commonly urged against any attempt to expound the unfulfilled prophecies, and especially the Apocalypse; and secondly, by taking a succinct view of the various systems of interpretation which have successively prevailed among the expositors of these mysterious books.
With regard to the deprecated attempts at the interpretation of the Apocalypse, as calculated to foster fanatical presumption, he pleads -we think with great reason-that the abuse should not be suffered VOL. I.
to interfere with the use of this portion of Holy Writ. If, as undoubtedly it has done, the study of the Apocalypse has led to grievous abuse and fanatical extravagance, this should rather be put forward as a warning against approaching the subject in an unchastened and self-sufficient spirit, or indeed in any temper but that of humble faith, and the reverence and awe which the solemnity of the prophecy would naturally excite. The Lecturer pleads that a prophecy, which has God for its Author, can, of itself, have no tendency to make men fanatics. The study of nature and of science might justly be prohibited on the same grounds, for the study of these has had a similar effect on weak and enthusiastic minds, unenlightened by a deep view of the wonders of Creation as the immediate work of God's Providence.
Another objection-which the Author meets-against any interpretation of unfulfilled prophecy, is the nature of the subject, as being, so to speak, inexplicable and incapable of proof. He allows the subject to be surrounded with serious difficulties, but still he pleads that if the real meaning of any Book in the Sacred Canon is undiscoverable, we must suppose it is either inexplicable for the present, and until its predictions are fulfilled; or else, that it is, in its own nature, unintelligible and incapable of any sober or rational interpretation.' 'The latter of these suppositions,' he argues, 'is manifestly inconsistent with the belief of the Church in the Divine inspiration and canonical authority of the prophecy, since it is impossible to conceive that a rhapsody, in itself unmeaning and incapable of any rational sense, should have proceeded from the pen of an inspired writer.-P. 6. The only supposition, therefore, that can be of any weight, is, that the prophecy is inexplicable while as yet unfulfilled. But here we are met with the express declaration of the Book itself, which tells us that the revelation of things to come, contained therein, was given to the Church for this especial purpose, to shew unto God's servants the things which must shortly come to pass. Rev. i. 1. It is evident, therefore, that we are not required to wait for the fulfilment of the prophecy, in order to derive from this sacred Book the instruction which it was meant to convey:' and, as its Divine Author has expressly assured us, that it was intended to make known to us future events, we cannot be fairly accused, as Dr Todd argues, of 'presumption or impiety, when we endeavour, in a spirit of faith and humility, to discover its real meaning, even though we be assured that its fulfilment is yet to come—P. 9.
There is yet another and a more stringent argument in favour of