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the walls. It is inspiring to believe that the intellectual system, and other ænigmas after which we are now groping in the dark, are yet to be read by us in the effulgence of eternity. Nor are the possible steps of our future progress unfit to form the subject of reverent conjecture and chastened curiosity. May we not venture to speculate how, in that higher being, the secrets of the universe shall one after another surrender to our siege-how the affections or even the essences of things shall be laid bare-how Nature, lying bound in the iron embrace of an immortal Reason, shall yield at last to the inquisition, and tell out her oracles-how 'fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,' shall cease to be mysteries and how in fine the human Mind, freed from its trammels, and dismissing as mastered all inferior themes, shall thenceforth be occupied on its sublimest object, the character of the Supreme Intelligence! THAT may be the only depth it shall be impossible to fathom. THAT Being shall eternally be the Mystery of Mysteries. Of HIM all knowledge shall still be knowledge in part. The stars shall die away one by one from the firmament, but THAT Sun shall shine on in His strength for
TRINITY COLLEGE.-ECCLESIASTICAL DISCIPLINE.
WE are not among those who can see nothing but evil in religious excitement. Indeed, we infinitely prefer it to a state of lifeless apathy and indifference, when the silent and undisturbed working of innate corruption necessarily produces results ruinous to true religion and the serious practice of piety. At the same time we are not blind to the evils of excitement. Passions rage; many strive more for the mastery than the truth; and charity is often driven from her seat in the heart. This is especially true in the case of those professors of religion who are strangers to the power of godliness. They would seem to think that an early life, spent in scenes of vice and dissipation, is the best preparation for understanding the deeper mysteries of theology, and settling the rules of ecclesiastical discipline. Nor is it uncommon for such men to substitute one vice for another, when, by the advance of years, the first has lost its relish; and then the
gratification of self-will supersedes that of the grosser inclinations. In this transmutation, self-deceit performs a prominent part, by making the unhappy individual regard his later sin as a means of propitiation for his former, because done under the mask of zeal for the purity of religion. These remarks are suggested by conduct which we have of late frequently witnessed in individuals of the character described, and have but little to do with our present main object. For the great evil of religious excitement which we have now to bewail, is the readiness with which a disappointed party may turn the popular feelings to his own advantage. To gratify a private resentment he raises a cry, which, taken up by more designing individuals, produces results which he would probably be the first to deplore.
On referring to our former number, it will be observed, that we proposed in another brief article to make some remarks on the ecclesiastical discipline of Trinity College. This, Major Jelf Sharp was inclined, when he first placed his son under Mr Wordsworth's care, to consider in many respects very good, nay even an excellent system,' calculated to imbue his boy with a 'spirit of deep reverence and devotion.' Such are his own words; and we are desirous particularly to note, that no change whatever had been made on the system, which so entirely met with this gentleman's approbation, up to the period when, as recorded in our last number, he described it as a nursery of tractarianism,'—an antiquated and almost monastic system,'-a 'slippery path' leading down to the vortex of Romanism.' The whole system is eminently calculated to brace the mind against the subtle devices of Rome, by imparting a full knowledge of primitive truth and order. For when the ground is already fully occupied, all the avenues by which error can gain admission are closed up. It is the want of this thorough cultivation that has led so many dissenters and so called evangelicals to adopt the Romish errors. Of all those who have have of late gone from the Anglican Church to the Roman Schism in this country, there were none trained under such an antiRoman system as that pursued at Trinity College-but were, with hardly an exception, educated under puritan or ultra-protestant training.
In the case of Trinity College we have the testimony of parents, who themselves strongly object to tractarian principles,' that their sons are ignorant even of the meaning of the word; that the instructions which they there receive are strictly in keeping with the teaching
of the church; that their progress is as great as could reasonably be expected; that in their behaviour and moral feelings there is a great improvement, and that they (the parents) are thankful to God that they are able to place their children under such tuition.*
With regard to the practice of intoning the service, we would observe, that this mode of saying the prayers is by no means peculiar to Trinity College. It is adopted at most of the great English schools, and at many, if not all, of the College chapels at both universities. It is the ancient and universal practice of the church; and has continued to be authorised both by rubric and custom since the reformation. A more slovenly mode of gabbling over the prayers did indeed prevail from the middle of the last century down to a very recent period; but for some time back the proper church tone has generally been resumed by the more devout of the English clergy. In the rubrics the word say is invariably used as opposed to sing; and implies that, when not regularly sung, the prayers shall be said in a monotone, in other words, intoned. On examining the rubrics it will be observed, that the word 'read' is rarely or ever used, except where there would be a manifest impropriety in saying or singing.
We are not aware that any obsolete rubrical forms have been revived at the College, unless the practice of humbly kneeling during the time of prayer may thus be classed. Few churchmen would, however, have the boldness to condemn this devout custom, even though at variance with their own irreverent habits. Yet the slovenly way in which we have seen the worshippers reclining in some churches during the most solemn parts of divine service, would seem to indicate, that the rubrics requiring them humbly to kneel, had verily be
* These testimonies are taken nearly at random from a variety of published letters. As bearing on the question before us, we subjoin a few sentences from the letter of P. Saunders, Esq. He says, 'As a member of the Church of England, I strongly object to what are commonly called "Tractarian principles." I have minutely examined my boy as to the facts complained of by Mr Sharp, and think that, had Mr Wordsworth adopted any course less dignified and strict, there must for ever have been an end to all discipline, and the character of the College impaired. I find also that my boy, and, I believe, every one of his-school-fellows, are ignorant of the meaning of the word Tractarian; and the accusation appears a libel on the Warden and establishment. I look on the other charges as equally unfounded.
'I cannot in justice to the College, and above all to the Warden, DeputyWarden and assistants, withhold my tribute of gratitude for the great and unexpected improvement in the education, feelings and demeanour of my own son,'
come obsolete. For reviving such forgotten customs the Warden surely deserves our thanks; for we may rest satisfied, that where the outward manifestations of humility are wanting, the internal spirit of devotion cannot be very strong. It is not in man to feel strongly without externally exhibiting some tokens of his inward emotion.
The great object which the Warden ever keeps in view is to train the boys in habits of reverence and devotion. To secure this, strict rules must be laid down; and, what is of no less importance, especially in the cases of the young, and in a small congregation like ours at present, contrary examples must be, as far as possible, excluded. This I have been forced to do, after speaking and expostulating in vain, in the case of our poorer neighbours; and how am I to answer for it to God or to my own conscience, if I adopt a different law for the rich, even though they may be parents who have committed their sons to my charge?' Such were the Warden's words to Major Sharp, after the latter had attended the College chapel with his son and some friends, all of whom had neglected to conform to the requirements of the church, though informed on the preceding day that this was the only condition on which strangers could be admitted. To know that the Warden possesses such firmness of character, is, next to soundness of principle, a ground of confidence to every parent who has the best interests of his child at heart.
The observance of the Festivals and Fasts of the Church, including among the latter every Friday, is numbered among the faulty practices of the College. To use the phraseology of one of the boys,'We have capital dinners all the week, with plenty of pudding, except on Friday, when we have as much nice salt beef as we like, with vegetables, but no pudding. Such is the strict observance of the Friday fast which offends! But after all, what are we to think of a professing Churchman who condemns the observance of the Festivals and Fasts? We find many practically disregard them, but we should fancy there can be but few who would openly say a word against them. The Church, in her Book of Common Prayer, expressly enjoins their observance, and has provided special services adapted to the days and seasons as they annually recur. The Canons are equally imperative; and if neither of these has a claim to our obedience, we know not what has. Those who, like Mary, sit humbly at the feet of Jesus to learn His will, cannot forget that He has said, 'Hear the Church,' and let him who refuses to do so, be unto thee as an hea
then man and a publican.' The Warden of Trinity College is deeply impressed with a sense of the obligation to obedience which we owe to the Church, as knowing that she speaks in conformity with the dictates of revelation. In his farewell address to the boys at Winchester College, wherein he had spoken of the graces of the body, of the graces of the mind, of the graces of the immortal soul,' and set before them the 'rule of their study and the rule of their religion,' he proceeds: And this I have done, not so much of my own choice, or from any apprehension of your special need, as under the guidance and at the bidding of the Church: the same Church to whose judgment I desire to submit in all things; whose voice, echoing the voice of God's holy word, has been my constant and only guide in all that I have said or done for your teaching and edification; and in whose bosom I trust we shall all live and die, in the sure and certain hope that, if we are but true sons of our dear Mother, we shall not die eternally.' It is this language, carried out, as we know it is, into practice, that gives every true member of the church so much confidence in the Warden's administration of ecclesiastical discipline at Trinity College. It is seen that no influence can move him from his duty. This is not a system of self-will and opinionativeness founded upon his own individual judgment of what is good-but one of humble submission to the judgment of that church, whose voice, he believes, 'echoes the voice of God's holy word.' To err with one who acts upon such a principle of humility and obedience, even were it so to happen, is surely better, than to run all the risks of having the character of a boy entirely ruined for want of any religious training, and through the evil example of equally undisciplined associates. But in truth, the training to be had at Trinity College will tend to form the most enlightened christian character, and to make all, who are privileged to enjoy it, devout christians and useful members of society.
The act of discipline which chiefly offended Major Sharp, and which he characterises as 'a display of intolerance, bigotry, and uncharitableness,' was the Warden's refusal to admit him to a participation of the blessed Eucharist. This had nothing to do with the discipline of the College, as such, but was founded on the bounden duty of every Clergyman who would be faithful to his solemn vows and obligations. The Warden had no choice; Major Sharp was a member of a schismatical congregation at Perth, not in the communion * "Christian Boyhood at a Public School,' vol. ii.—pp. 456—7.