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his proper gift of God.' Happy that man who, while he knows his peculiar talent, uses it for the best !—happy the faithful steward whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing ! And if, as to duty, it be well to learn from the history of fellow servants, a lesson of faithfulness, it is equally desirable for our own happiness to draw the lesson of contentment with our several gifts and spheres. With what drawbacks are the most rare and splendid endowments inseparably linked! How affectingly apparent, that capacities for the most exquisite pleasure are as inevitably the inlets to keener suffering ! The very powers which lead us on to an enviable perfection of attainment, enhance the painful perceptions of defect: and that intellectual ambition which conducts its possessor to a proud pre-eminence of knowledge, is accompanied with a sharper sensibility to all the mortifications of defeat. While we admire exalted endowments as the divine workmanship, we may profitably remember that they are not indispensable to that real usefulness which is above all things to be coveted by Christian ministers.
The life and closing scenes of this gifted individual re-impress on our minds the truth that the Christian is the highest style of man. Dr. M'All owed the moral dignity of his character to his religion; without which the intense activity of his faculties, notwithstanding all the impulses of a generous nature, was most likely to have formed a character repellent to mankind. Wanting it, he would have been a man admired, dissatisfied, and perhaps voluntarily insulated in a world in which he would have found so many sources of distress to his ardent and over-sensitive spirit, while yet, without society, he could not have been happy. His splendid powers, after having glittered, like the northern light, with a radiance cold because earthly, would have sunk to be extinguished for ever. But his religion, drawn from the Bible, fixed on a basis of settled faith, saved him from such a destiny, and made his character, notwithstanding some remaining shades, a bright and fascinating one. It made him a lover of his species; it made him holy and heavenly; it made him as happy as, with sensibilities like his, amidst the evils of this disordered world, it was ever possible for him to be. Weak as a man, his feet were placed upon the Rock of Ages, never to be removed. And the humblest Christian partakes with him in his best and brightest anticipations-brighter perhaps in his soaring imagination than in less gifted minds, but consummated in a reality which far transcends them all. This is not the place to preach;—yet would we say to each reader, Be wise for thyself! Admired and renowned we may never be; but happy all may be, and that for ever. The way is one—and it is so plainly marked out by heaven to man that he may run who reads it !
We cannot conclude without expressing a hope, that if other
discourses of Dr. M'All's remain, of similar, we do not say equal merit, to those contained in these volumes,—which we believe to be be the case,—they will be given ere long to the public.
Art. II. Episcopacy, Tradition, and the Sacraments, considered in
reference to the Oxford Tracts ; with a Postscript upon Fundamentals. By Rev. William FitzGERALD, B.A. Dublin : William
Curry. IT appears strange to many, that the political party which is
peculiarly loud in its outcry against Popery, should embrace a section of high Churchmen who teach doctrines closely akin to those of Rome; while the majority of Dissenters, who are most hostile to such views, are ostensibly associated with Roman Catholics against the Establishment. But there is no real inconsistency here. The former party has, doubtless, a violent antipathy to Papists, and to the domination of Rome; but why should they not love the essential principles of Popery, if established at Oxford or Canterbury? The latter party, while they spurn ecclesiastical tyranny, and Popery as embodying such tyranny, for this very reason advocate the civil rights and religious freedom of Roman Catholics. We hate Popery in the church, but fraternize with all men (and therefore with Papists) in the state; they hate Papists in the state, but can at least wink at Popery in the church.
Now it is worth observing, that Ireland is the rock upon which the high Church and Tory party split, both civilly and ecclesiastically. Their effort to seize political power is mainly thwarted by the Irish Roman Catholics, upon whom they so long trampled: their aspirations after a Popish power in the church of England throw them into collision with the Irish Protestant clergy. That clergy is in a very different position from their Anglican brethren. The latter stand really upon the preference felt for an episcopal establishment by the laity at large, and especially by the aristocracy; upon their exclusive occupation of the national universities, and upon the great control of the public mind, which is by these things afforded them. But they do not choose to confess where their strength really lies, and are amusing themselves with claims of apostolic succession, traditionary authority, and sacramental powers. The Irish clergy feel that this may be sport to the English divines, but is death to them. They have not a sympathizing nation to fall back on; they cannot afford to coquet with the characteristic errors of Romanism, or to forswear Protestant weapons in compliment to
Oxford nicety. If the evangelical body could be charmed over, and the old high Church held silence for expediency's sake; and if thus the palpable schism of the English clergy might be suppressed; this would only make the schism of the Irish and of the Anglican church more deeply marked. If report deceives us not, the clergy of Ireland have been much benefited, spiritually, by their unenviable position. Some of them are far too full of noisy declamation against Papists, and too intolerant themselves, to please our taste or our judgment; but we believe that, as a body, they understand and inculcate Protestant truth with infinitely more intelligence than their brethren on this side of the channel.
We have before us a small book, the substance of which first appeared in the Dublin Christian Examiner. It is a favorable and interesting specimen of the tone and ability with which the Irish clergy meet the new Oxford views. In judging how far the writer substantiates his argument, we ought perhaps to forget that we are ourselves Nonconformists; for it is not to be expected that a clergyman should write on these topics so as altogether to please us. Moreover, it would lead us into too wide a field, to criticize his Introductory Sketch (on the Origin of the high Church party), which begins from Calvin's Institutes, and proceeds to Knox, Whitgift, Cartwright, and Hooker; thence to Grotius, Laud, Sheldon, Bull, and the opponents of Hoadley. The style is spirited, and his remarks discriminating; though we naturally demur to some of his opinions. He brings down his narrative to modern times in the following words.
· Late events, however, have convinced the world that, all this time, there was an extensive though noiseless underground vegetation of the good old non-juring principles ; and that the stock yet remaining in the earth, was soon likely to take as firm a root, and bear as luxuriant foliage, as in the glorious days of the great Sacheverel :
Duris ut ilex tonsa bipennibus,
Ducit opes animumque ferro.
As the Knight of la Mancha grew so extravagantly enamoured of the world he read of in romances, that, sooner than distrust those veracious chronicles, he would transform, despite his senses, the real world into accordance with their testimony; so our modern Quixotes are so deeply in love with the picture of primitive christianity, as drawn by certain grave historians (about as faithful in this respect as the biographers of Palmerin and Amadis), that they must needs, in spite of logic and common sense, count every father of the church a saint, every argument he uses a demonstration, every
puerile flourish of his pen an unrivalled stroke of eloquence, and every dogma which he begs, borrows, or invents, as certain (if not more so) than the Holy Scriptures.'-p. 12.
Mr. Fitzgerald concludes his Introduction with declaring his conviction, that the Oxford theology is fraught with the seeds
of those corruptions which appear full-blown in the Romish system :' he justly complains that, the Oxonians dissuade us
from using those defensive arms which the first reformers wielded with triumphant success. Thus (he proceeds) in a formal enumeration, in one of the Tracts for the Times, of the proper topics to be handled in the controversy with the Church of Rome, not only are ecclesiastical infallibility, and the right
of private judgment, and the sufficiency of Scripture excluded from the list, but the doctrine of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
This vital doctrine is judged forsooth of far too ultra Protestant a complexion to be so much as hinted at by these staunch defenders of the Church of England.'
These extracts will suffice to show that Mr. F. is nowise disposed to mince the matter, nor to shrink from direct collision with the new school: but we are glad to add, that the address which he employs towards them as individuals is courteous and forbearing, and we think that our readers will be gratified with the christian tone of the following passage.
We beg earnestly to disclaim all share in, or approbation of, the personal violence with which they and (even still more perhaps) their coadjutor, Dr. Pusey, have sometimes been assailed—a violence the more inexcusable, because (whatever may be said of their friends), it seems to have been in no way provoked on their own parts. Demand. ing for ourselves an unrestrained liberty of thinking freely, and as freely expressing what we think, we should be strangely inconsistent with our own principles, if we refused to others the same privilege. To reprobate the opinions we think erroneous, to expose the arguments we deem weak and insufficient, are things which appear to us to come fairly within our province; but personal animosity and angry vitupe. ration we leave to those qui nesciunt quanto labore veritas inveniatur et quam difficile caveantur errores, et quibus suspiriis et gemitibus, fiat ut ex quantulacunque parte intelligi possit Deus. Those who take either side in a great public question, are more responsible than they generally seem to think for the misconduct of their allies, and cer. tainly are not quite exempt from blame, if they encourage that by their silence, which their conscience will not suffer them to praise, and a polite regard for party forbids them to reprehend.'-p. 28.
The nucleus of our author's publication consists of three essays, on Apostolic Succession, on Tradition, and on the Sacraments. To characterize them generally, we should say, that the first is
directed to prove the new Oxford doctrine on that subject not to be Anglican ; while the other two address themselves to the question of truth. That there is much weight of argument in them we know not how to assert or to deny; for when an opponent advances notions unproved and arbitrary, and repugnant to first principles of reasoning, to oppose him by reasoning is difficult enough. A plain naked avowal that he is absurd and is overturning the foundations of all reasoning, is perhaps all the refutation which the case admits; and if any one cannot see this when stated concisely, a more ample and forcible exhibition of the same is probably useless. In such case, refutations are not absolutely strong or weak, but are strong to some minds, weak to others. The new Oxonians (or Nicenists, as we think they may with much propriety be called), tell us that there is some spiritual virtue in a bishop's hands; we cannot here stop to guess what: well
, this is to us as odd as to teach the magical powers of a particular family (the power, for instance, of royal persons to cure scrofula by a touch with the hand); and we naturally ask some proof of so wonderful a phenomenon. The only proof offered, amounts to this ; that such and such divines, many years ago, fancied it to be the case, and that it is more humble and pious to believe than to dispute. Now if any one cannot see that this is no proof at all, and that the very notion of offering such a proof, manifests the hopeless absurdity of the thing; what refutation that we can devise will ever seem powerful ?
The essay on Apostolical Succession, insists that at any rate the church of England has not pronounced the doctrine of the Nicenists to be true, and that an Anglican clergyman is not bound to hold it. Mr. Fitzgerald will not allow that the preface to the Ordination Service need be believed ; for a clergyman does but pledge himself to the use of the service, and the preface is not among the parts which he is called on to use. He argues that the definition given of a Church and of lawful ministry in the thirty-nine Articles proves nothing, and that this was intentional on the part of their framers. In confirmation of this point, he rejects, as wholly unfounded, the convenient opinion which teaches the Articles to be a mere protest against particular errors, and consequently not really to represent the substance of doctrine upheld by the Anglican Church.
* No unprejudiced person,' he says, can examine the Articles without being convinced that they are very little “polemical in their caste, and that it is rather by setting forth (positively) the whole truth, than by directly controverting, or anathematizing falsehood, that they protest against the errors of the times. They are entitled, Articles for the avoiding the diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion; and in his Majesty's declaration