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Its gates are ever open wide
For those who worship God, And in HIS HOLY CHURCH abide, Through faith in Jesus' blood. Then let us to this temple go,
For God will meet us there;
Each day, whene'er the matin bell
Here sit and learn a Saviour's love;
In union with the hosts above
Eternal Spirit Heavenly Dove!
Our Priests with holy zeal inspire,
May crowds approach intent to hear
Then shall our praises never cease,
For an eternal day.
Then shall we rise to realms above
To find the Lord our friend:
With joy that ne'er shall end.
BISHOP OF ST. ANDREWS' LETTER TO LORD FORBES.
PETERHEAD, August 1847.
MY LORD, THE Rev. ALEXANDER LENDRUM of Muthill has visited me for the purpose of laying before me your proposal to erect a Cathedral in Perth, to be designated
'The Cathedral Church of the Apostle St. John,'
and a collegiate residence for the Bishop of the Diocese, and a staff of four or five Clergy to conduct the daily and Sunday Services of the Cathedral, and to celebrate Divine Service in surrounding localities, where there are no resident Clergy, as the Bishop, for the time being, may direct and require, and to provide an endowment for the Bishopric, and the requisite Staff of Priests.
Of this, your Lordship's noble and generous scheme, I have the greatest pleasure, after the most mature deliberation, in expressing my full and unqualified approbation; and therefore feel bound to convey to your Lordship my heart-felt thanks for the interest you have thus manifested in behalf of this long-afflicted Church, and of my Diocese in particular.
Your Lordship's undertaking is a great National Work, in which the whole Church is interested; though my Diocese has, for good and sufficient reasons, (as it appears to me,) been selected as the immediate partaker of the benefit. Under this persuasion I earnestly trust that it will receive the hearty prayers and the warm support of the whole body of the Church.
The declining years of my Episcopate have been to me a period of much anxiety; but they have more recently been refreshed with some marked tokens of renovated zeal and strength. The faithful, I perceive, have not laboured and prayed in vain. The great Head of the Church has heard the prayers, and rewarded the labours of his people. I rejoice more especially to think that the present undertaking will conduce in a very high degree to the revival of the Church. I do verily believe that a Cathedral adequately endowed, with a provision for the residence of the Bishop, in so central a locality, and a full staff of working Clergy, would, under the Divine Blessing, do more than anything to consolidate the strength of the Church, to quicken the zeal of her members, to set forth the sublimity of her worship, and to exhibit her renewed life and vigour. It would, as from its centre, send forth its branches over the whole land.
The following historical summary may be useful in exciting an interest in your Lordship's scheme among Churchmen in general, but especially among English Churchmen, who cannot be so familiar with the cause of our poverty, difficulties, and peculiar position as the natives of our own country ought to be:
The Church of Scotland, as is generally known, was supplanted at the period of the Revolution, by the present Presbyterian Establishment. The Bishops and Clergy had sworn allegiance to James the Seventh and his heirs,
and therefore, on conscientious grounds, refused to transfer that allegiance to William of Orange.
Throughout the greater part of Scotland there was a strong attachment to the Church; and, north of the Tay, comprising more than one-half of the kingdom, there were then only three Presbyterian Meeting-houses. Not. withstanding that they had thus the affections of (probably) three-fourths of the entire kingdom with them, the whole of the Bishops, with seven hundred of their Clergy, retired before the clamorous few, and left their positions without the least show of resistance. They were thus left destitute of Churches or houses. They had no place wherein to celebrate Divine worship, but the secluson of a thicket, the kitchen, the barn,* or the hut, as it might be, of some of their adherents. They, nevertheless, felt that their commission, as Ministers of the Cross of Christ, was not affected by the fact of their having been dis-established, and that their Ordination vows still obliged them to minister the Word and Sacraments to their faithful people. The Church, of which they were still the rulers, was, as before, the only representative in Scotland of that branch of the one Holy Catholic Church which was planted there, if not by St Paul, at least by St Ninian, St Columba, and others of the apostolic fellowship.
By a succession of exterminating persecutions, the Church, at the end of the last century, was reduced to a handful of faithful men and women, whom no sufferings could drive from her fold. The Clergy could not say the common prayers in the presence of more than four persons besides their own families, under a penalty of six months imprisonment for the first offence, three years for the second, and banishment for life for the third, with the certainty of death, according to the letter of the law, if they returned to their native shores. The Laity, too, if known to attend the ministrations of any of the proscribed Clergy more than once in a year, were punished with the loss of their civil rights.
Indeed, the effects of the persecutions have hardly yet died away, though it is upwards of fifty years since the penal statutes were repealed,--for these long-continued sufferings broke the spirit of the Church, crushed her energies, and rendered her incapable of taking full advantage of her renovated position. To this day persons of the highest rank think it no disgrace to worship God in a damp and miserable hovel. In short, the Church is but now emerging from her obscurity, and putting forth her genuine claims to the affections of the Scottish people.
It must not be forgotten, however, that what the Church lost in numbers and external accomodation, she, during the gloomy period of her history, gained in purity and inward strength. While she was Established, she possessed but few claims to Catholicity beyond her apostolical succession. For it is well known that the violence of the Cameronian Sectaries defeated
* He who makes this announcement to the public has worshipped God in a BARN, with (apparently) a hundred people; and, when ordained soon after, and sent to a charge, then vacant, had a small congregation as an appendage to his own pe uliar charge, to which appendage he discharged the pastoral duties, every alternate Sunday, in the alternoon, for five or six years, in the Kitchen of a shopkeeper, in the village where that little flock was congregated.
the pious intentions of her Bishops to provide her with a Liturgy, although they were supported by the Monarch of the day-Charles the First;--and hence all her worship was performed in the same extemporaneous manner which now characterizes the various denominations of Dissenters from the Apostolic Church of Christ. The Sacraments were irregularly administered by such rites as each Clergyman chose to adopt; and from all her Services there was wanting every degree of ceremonial which could indicate any relationship between the earthly and the heavenly Jerusalem. The violence of the Sectarian prejudices prevented the adoption of anything that could typify the celestial ministrations. All was a cold and lifeless Puritanical Service.
But so soon as the Church became unfettered, her Bishops restored the use of a Liturgy, and introduced such a degree of ceremonial in Divine worship as their then circumstances admitted. Her chief glory, however, was to return to the ancient and catholic Use, in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, by adopting as her national Communion Office one formed after the purest models of antiquity. Her return to a right practice, in all things, is by no means complete. Daily public prayer, and the weekly Communion, are little more than novelties; and the daily Cathedral Service is hardly known to her. On this account her rulers cannot help feeling humbled, because the last fifty years of peace have not been improved by her as they ought. Earnest-minded and prayerful men have not found in her that amount of spiritual food which they would have wished. In the purity of her teaching she excelled, perhaps, every other branch of the Christian Church; but her peculiar position prevented carrying her principles fully into practice.
Now, however, by the good providence of God, her position is improved, and she is fast recovering from the nervous inactivity which was the almost necessary result of her sufferings, protracted as they were for more than a century. She is now manifesting and putting forth her inherent strength. She needs but to be supplied with the means of carrying on her work, and, under God, her difficulties will rapidly disappear.
Unaided, save by her Lord, she has hitherto had to struggle against native wealth and its natural influence,—against political principles of a worldly and unchristian character, and the power with which they have been advocated. But now some of the great and wealthy among her sons, who have been led to study her principles, are warmly espousing her cause; and she has the sympathy of the most pious of the children of her English sister. Yet they know not, many of them, her wants, nor the fearful struggle she has to carry on with the crushing spirit of the world. Were she supported as she deserves and needs to be,-were her children, who are now striving to raise her from her state of sad depression, encouraged as they ought to be, before many years she would be seen in her clothing of wrought gold,' and 'girded with strength;' she would become known throughout Scotland as the messenger of the glad tidings of salvation to the great mass of the people. Oppression, poverty, and persecution, drove them from her pale; but now, wherever she is enabled to extend to them her blessings, they are
once more flocking to her standard as doves to their windows,' and claiming her sacred privileges.
I cannot expect to see your Lordship's great undertaking completed, having already nearly attained the advanced age of 84; but I will even yet hope, if it be God's will, to see it fairly begun, and in part executed. In the fullest and most entire faith that it is an undertaking of which God approves, and, with the mingled feelings of hope and gratitude, I commit the carrying out of the same to the guidance of HIM who can alone dispose of the wills and affections of his people towards any pious or good object.
One thing is certain, this great work cannot be accomplished without many considerable sacrifices on the part of individuals, and perhaps some acts of self-denial. But, as I am fully convinced it will exercise hereafter a powerful influence on the destinies of this whole Church, I most earnestly commend it to the liberal support of every devout Churchman whom this may reach. Their offerings, whether given of their abundance, or as the fruit of self-denial, will do an amount of good, the consequence or extent of which it is impossible to calculate. Whoever, in the present position of the Scottish Church, undertakes and carries on any great work, which will materially contribute to the consolidation of her strength, is doing more for the promotion of the Redeemer's kingdom than it is, perhaps, possible to do in any other circumstances, or in any other branch of His vineyard.
Let me then conclude this, my earnest recommendation, in the words of inspiration :—' He that soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully: every one as he purposeth in his heart so let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.'
I have the honour to be, with deep respect, your Lordship's faithful and obliged Servant,
Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane.
To the Right Hon. Lord Forbes.
Words and Principles. By the Author of 'Glen Tilloch.' Pp. 118. London:
John Ollivier, 59, Pall Mall; and sold by R. Lendrum & Co., Edinburgh.
ON first hearing mention of this little work, we were unable to guess its design and object; but a slight acquaintance with the contents of its pages, convinced us how correct and appropriate a title had been selected.
It has often been asked, 'What is in a name?' and as often answered, 'Much every way.' No one can look into this unpretending, yet most valuable little volume, without perceiving how much real importance attaches to a name, and how much of sacred truth has been lost sight of, or