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ever since upheld by the love of the people, for the purpose of supporting and propagating RELIGION ITSELF. Not certain sacraments nor certain dogmas; not even theology, but RELIGION, — the love of God, and the love of man. True, when the Church was founded, men believed that sacraments and dogmas were essentials of religion; that it was impossible men could love God or their neighbors, without having been baptized in a certain form, and without believing in a certain theory. It is no shame to those Fathers of the Reformation to have made such a mistake. Abundance of people are to be found who make it still; very naturally therefore, so thinking, they embedded those sacraments and dogmas in the very mortar wherewith they built their temple. They also thought theology was a science incapable of progress. God had said his last word at the end of the twenty-first verse of the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Revelation : and as to science throwing new light on what he had said before, no one imagined such a thing; for science was rather justly suspected of suscitating difficulties with Galileo, instead of furnishing aid to commentators. Of course, all the institutions founded by men who took these things for granted were framed accord. ingly. Every thing was to be “for ever," and no provision was made for any future modification. Equally, of course, such unbending, inelastic institutions have come to be very inconvenient to us who neither believe correct creeds to be the pre-requisites of all moral goodness, nor that God has spoken his last word in the Bible, nor yet that theology is less capable of progress than all other sciences. The founders of the English Church planted their young tree, not in the open ground, but in a flower-pot, - a goodly-sized and gracefully formed vase, it is true, but still a flower-pot. The tree has long outgrown it; and the question is, “ Shall we break open the pot, or suffer the tree to be dwarfed and stunted for want of free space wherein to spread its roots ?”
The view of all the Broad-church clergy is, that it is possible, and in the highest degree desirable, to establish the principle, that the ministers of the National Church may be free to teach such theology as may best accord with the science of the day, so far as the present constitution of the Church may, by any means, be proved to permit. When that limit is reached, the more advanced among them, such as Dr. Colenso, would desire that the nation which originally created the State Church should intervene to remove its ill-advised limitations, and lay it still further open. But such a legal intervention is Dot as yet even in question; inasmuch as, before it is called for, it has to be shown where the line of limitation as to doctrines permissible to the clergy is really to be drawn. Nothing has astonished the public more than the discovery, which all the recent ecclesiastical trials have contributed to establish, that, in spite of all her creeds, articles, and canons, the Church of England has not laid down clear marks of “ Hitherto shalt thou go, but no further," on numerous points of Lighest importance. In other words, the provisions for punishing heresy fail to reach the most important modern heresies, precisely because those heresies were unforeseen when the provisions were made. Who, then, is to decide (say the Essayists and the Bishop of Natal) that our doctrines may not be taught in the Church of England ? Till the constituted tritanals, whose office it is to do so, decide that we have exceeded our liberty, it is not for any one, on his own private opinion and because he dislikes our ideas, or never heard of tliem before, to decide that they are unlawful. We challenge our opponents to prove that they are so, in the only way possible, - by appeal to the Court of Arches and the Privy Council. When these decide against us, and not till then, is any one entitled to call us heretics; and it will then be time enough to ask whether we ought outwardly to renounce the Church, when it is shown that we have exceeded the liberty she gives is. Our avowed object is to use all such constitutional rights · az ve possess to bring into harmony the science of the day and the Church of our land; and it is as unfair to bid us, as clergymen, to quit the Church and become Dissenters, because we desire thus to reform it, as it would be to bid us as laymen to quit England and naturalize ourselves in France, because we desire to enlarge the political franchise.
movements in the Church. That the arguments used by the reformers to support their position, are altogether complete and satisfactory, it is not for the writer to decide. In the views of many, the great interests of the venerable body, of which they are the intellectual chiefs, will have paramount importance. In the views of others, the most direct and obvious method of delivering their own souls from the net of a most difficult and complicated position, would appear the first matter to be considered. One thing is certain, no one who has been honored with any degree of personal acquaintance with these men has ever retained the very smallest hesitation as to the supreme honesty and self-forgetful simplicity of their characters; and of the sincerity of their conviction, that the course they have chosen is not only the most wise, but the sole one absolutely right. It remains for us now, having a little prepared the way to understand his work, to recount the story of the boldest of these Reformers, the Bishop of Natal.
John William Colenso was born in the year of the battle of Waterloo. He is not (as many have supposed from the peculiarity of his name) of foreign extraction, but is descended from one of those Cornish families whose patronymics differ from those of other English provinces, as the Breton names differ from French, and the Basque from Portuguese. Bishop Colenso's father held the office of agent for Government, manager of part of the royal domains in Cornwall, called the Duchy of Cornwall, forming portion of the appanage of the Princes of Wales. Unfortunate speculations in mines ruined Mr. Colenso while his son was still a youth; and from that time, for twenty years, the son supported the father. A very small aid from a grandparent permitted him to go up to Cambridge as a sizar, and there he worked his way till he became a Fellow of St. John's College, and tutor. At this period he was chiefly distinguished for his mathematical acquirements. His books on Arithmetic, then first published, have since become standard works, and are said to bring in to their publishers (to whom, unfortunately, the bishop sold the copyright) a large amount annually. The great public school at Harrow
being then without a mathematical tutor, the Head Master, Dr. Longley (now Archbishop of Canterbury), applied to Cambridge for one; and Dr. Colenso was induced to accept the office for a time. The task does not seem to have been congenial, and he returned ere long to St. John's, where he held his Fellowship. Not long afterwards he married Miss Frances Bunyon, a lady of much ability and of entirely sympathetic views and feelings, who has been in every way a fitting companion and helpmeet, both to the missionary and the reformer. A sister of Mrs. Colenso's is the wife of Dr. MacDougall, the Bishop of Labuan, one of the most distinguished of the English colonial bishops.
Upon his marriage, Dr. Colenso, of course, resigned his Fellowship, and accepted one of the College livings, Forncett St. Peters, situated about ten miles from Norwich. There he continued to reside, doing very heartily the work of a parish clergyman, and winning great regard from all his neighbors, till, on the creation of the new bishoprics in South Africa, he was requested to fill the see of Natal. As all the world knows, such bishoprics are honorable banishments, where men of distinguished abilities, who have a right to aspire to high offices at home, are little disposed to bury their light under a bushel. One of the best of them, the bishopric of Calcutta, has just been going begging for several months, before a man of sufficient capacity could be found to accept it. The task, in such a new colony as Natal, is of course entirely that of a missionary; and Dr. Colenso, with a large family growing around him, happy and respected in his comfortable English parsonage, and with plenty of objects of lawful ambition open to him in England, had certainly nothing to tempt him if of worldly sort to go out to the wilds of South Africa. Nevertheless, he yielded to the request that he should do so; and the curious circumstance is, that it was precisely tho representations and entreaties of Bishop Grey, the Bishop of Capetown, by whom he has been prosecuted, which determined him to accept the undertaking. The great need existing for a man of courage and devotion to accept the office, and the peculiar fitness of Dr. Colenso, were insisted on by Dr. Grey, till his
friend agreed to be consecrated Bishop of Natal when he was made metropolitan, and to undertake with him the supervision of the Church in South Africa. By a singular chance, the royal patent for Bishop Grey not being ready on the proper day, his appointment as metropolitan was necessarily deferred a few days later than the consecration of Bishop Colenso; a point which, in the subsequent disputes as to the metropolitan rights of Bishop Grey, has been of considerable importance. Dr. Colenso could of course only be held bound by the engagements he himself had made, and the degree of subordination to his metropolitan specified in the patent which he had accepted. The larger powers given to Bishop Grey in his subsequently delivered patent could not be made to avail against Dr. Colenso. The whole matter of these patents, however; their illegality as regarded the powers of the crown; and their separate contradictions and irregularities, – though of little interest to the readers of the “Christian Examiner," would require long explanation to any one desirous of understanding the trials which have taken place, both at Capetown and in England.
The first work of the new Bishop of Natal, on his arrival with his family in his diocese, was to make himself thoroughly master of the language of the native population, We believe we may fearlessly state, that no other bishop or clergyman in South Africa has any knowledge of the native tongues comparable with his acquirement of the Zulu dialect. His labors among these people, – the most intelligent, apparently, of African races, - and the books he has translated and caused to be printed for them under his own supervision, would occupy too large a space to be here described. Even his worst enemies have not denied, that as a missionary bishop his work has been unsurpassed. The cordial aid of his wife, and her kindness to the Zulu converts, were no doubt greatly in favor of his success. Her feeling towards them was well shown, as the writer remembers, on one occasion, when we asked her, in reference to American negro slavery, what her experience had led her to think of the capacity of the African races for freedom and civilization: “You must not ask me