Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

objection to the Christian system that it is a Rome must be imagined in the vastness and system formed for human beings. Or the puz- uniformity of its social condition, the mingling zles of the Academy there is not one which does and confusion of races, languages, conditions, not apply as strongly to Deism as to Christianity, I in order to conceive the slow, imperceptible, yet and to Atheism as to Deism. There are diffi- | continuous progress of Christianity. Amid the culties in everything. Yet we are sure that affairs of the universal empire, ihe perpetual something must be true.

revolutions which were constantly calling up LORD MACAULAY: new dynasties, or new masters over the world, Sadler's Refutation Refuted, Jan. 1831. the pomp and state of the imperial palace, the

commerce, the business flowing in from all parts Sir, in supporting the motion of my honour. of the world, the bustle of the Basilicas or able friend, I am, I firmly believe, supporting courts of law, the ordinary religious ceremonies, the honour and the interests of the Christian or the more splendid rites on signal occasions, religion. I should think that I insulted that which still went on, if with diminishing conreligion if I said that it cannot stand unaided | course of worshippers, with their old sumptuby intolerant laws. Without such laws it was ousness, magnificence, and frequency, the public established, and without such laws it may be games, the theatres, the gladiatorial shows, the maintained. It triumphed over the superstitions Lucullan or Apician banquets, Christianity was of the most refined and of the most savage gradually withdrawing from the helerogeneous nations, over the graceful mythology of Greece mass some of all orders, even slaves, out of the and the bloody idolatry of the Northern forests. vices, the ignorance, the misery, of that corIt prevailed over the power and policy of the rupted social system. It was instilling humanRoman empire. It tamed the barbarians by ity, yet unknown, or coldly commended by an whom that empire was overthrown. But all impotent philosophy, among men and women these victories were gained not by the help of whose infant ears had been habituated to the intolerance, but in spite of the opposition of shrieks of dying gladiators; it was giving dig. intolerance. The whole history of Christianity | nity to minds prostrated by years, almost cenproves that she has indeed little to fear from turies, of degrading despotism; it was nurturing persecution as a soe, but much to fear from per- purity and modesty of manners in an unspeaksecution as an ally. May she long continue to | able state of deprivation; it was enshrining the bless our country with her benignant influence, marriage-bed in a sanctity long almost entirely strong in her sublime philosophy, strong in her lost, and rekindling to a steady warmth the spotless morality, strong in those internal and

domestic affections; it was substituting a simple, external evidences to which the most powersul calm, and rational faith and worship for the and comprehensive of human intellects have worn-out superstitions of heathenism; gently yielded assent, the last solace of those who have establishing in the soul of man the sense of outlived every earthly hope, the last restraint of immortality will it became a natural and inexthose who are raised above every earthly sear! | tinguishable part of his moral being. But let us not, mistaking her character and her

MILMAN: Latin Christianity, i. 26. interests, fight the battle of truth with the weapons of error, and endeavour to support by op

He that can apprehend and consider vice pression that religion which first taught the

with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and human race the great lesson of universal charity.

yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer LORD MACAULAY:

that which is truly better, he is the true waySpeech in House of Commons, April 17,

faring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and 1833, On Jewish Disabilities.

cloistered virtue unexercised, and unbreathed,

that never sallies out and sees her adversary, We led them the people of India] to believe | but slinks out of the race where that immortal that we attached no importance to the difference garland is to be run for, not without dust and between Christianity and heathenism. Yet how | heat.

MILTON. vast that difference is! I altogether abstain from Christianity bears all the marks of a divine alluding to topics which belong to divines. I original: it came down from heaven, and its speak merely as a politician anxious for the gracious purpose is to carry us up thither. Its morality and the temporal well-being of society. | author is God; it was foretold by the beginning And, so speaking, I say that to countenance the from prophecies, which grew clearer and brighter Brahminical idolatry, and to discountenance that as they approached the period of their accomreligion which has done so much to promote plishment. It was confirmed by miracles, which justice, and mercy, and freedom, and arts, and continued till the religion they illustrated was sciences, and good government, and domestic established. It was ratified by the blood of its happiness, which has struck off the chains of author; its doctrines are pure, sublime, consistthe slave, which has mitigated the horrors of ent; its precep's just and holy; its worship is war, which has raised women from servants and spiritual; its service reasonable, and rendered playı hings into companions and friends, is to practicable by the offers of divine aid to human commit high treason against humanity and civil. weakness. It is sanctioned by the promise of ization. LORD MACAULAY:

eternal happiness to the faithful, and the threat Speech in House of Commons, March 9, of everlasting misery to the disobedient. It had

1843, On the Gates of Somnauth. I no collusion with power, for power sought to

crush it; it could not be in any league with the If all were perfect Christians, individuals world, for it set out by declaring itself the enemy would do their duty; the people would be obeof the world; it reprobated its maxims, it showed dient to the laws; the magistrates incorrupt; the vanity of its glories, the danger of its riches, and there would be neither vanity nor luxury in the emptiness of its pleasures. This religion such a state.

J. J. ROUSSEAU. does not consist in external conformity to practices which, though right in themselves, may be

Christianity teaches nothing but what is per

fectly suitable to and coincident with the ruling adopted from human motives, and to answer secular purposes; it is not a religion of forms,

| principle of a virtuous and well-inclined man. and modes, and decencies; it is being trans

South. formed into the image of God; it is being like. Our religion is a religion that dares to be minded with Christ; it is considering Him as understood; that offers itself to the search of our sanctification, as well as our redemption; it the inquisitive, to the inspection of the severest is endeavouring to live to Him here, that we and the most awakened reason; for, being may live with Him hereafter.

secure of her substantial truth and purity, she

HANNAH MORE. knows that for her to be seen and looked into The propagation of Christianity, in the man is to be embraced and admired; as there needs ner and under the circumstances in which it was no greater argument for men to love the light propagated, is an unique in the history of the than to see it.

South. species.

PALEY. The Christian religion is the only means that Lactantius also argues in defence of the relig. God has sanctified to set fallen man upon his ion from the consistency, simplicity, disinterest | legs again, to clarify his reason, and to rectify edness and sufferings of the Christian historians. his will.

SOUTH.
PALEY.

Though it be not against strict justice for a We live in the midst of blessings till we are

man to do those things which he might otherutterly insensible of their greatness, and of the

wise lawfully do, albeit his neighbour doth take source from whence they flow. We speak of

occasion from thence to conceive in his mind a our civilization, our arts, our freedom, our laws,

false belief, yet Christian charity will, in many and forget entirely how large a share is due to

cases, restrain a man. Christianity. Blot Christianity out of the pages

SOUTH. of man's history, and what would his laws have They might justly wonder that men so taught, been ?- what his civilization? Christianity is so obliged to be kind to all, should behave mixed up with our very being and our daily life: themselves so contrary to such heavenly instructhere is not a familiar object around us which tions, such indissoluble obligations. does not wear a different aspect because the

SOUTH. light of Christian love is on it; not a law which

It is owing to the forbidding and unlovely does not owe its truth and genueness to Chris

constraint with which men of low conceptions tianity; not a custom which cannot be traced in

act when they think they conform themselves to all its holy, healthsul parts to the Gospel.

religion, as well as to the more odious conduct JUDGE SIR J. A. PARK.

of hypocrites, that the word Christian does not Christianity forbids no necessary occupations,

carry with it at first view all that is great, worthy, no reasonable indulgences, no innocent relax.

friendly, generous, and heroic. The man who ations. It allows us to use the world, provided

suspends his hopes of the reward of worthy we do not abuse it. It does not spread before

actions till after death, who can bestow unseen, us a delicious banquet, and then come with a

who can overlook hatred, do good to his slan“ touch not, taste not, handle not.” All it

derer, who can never be angry at his friend, requires is, that our liberty degenerale not into

never revengeful to his eneny, is certainly licentiousness, our amusements into dissipation,

formed for the benefit of society. Yet these are our industry into incessant toil, our carefulness

so far from heroic virtues, that they are but the into extreme anxiety and endless solicitude. So

ordinary duties of a Christian. far from forbidding us to engage in business, it

Sir R. STEELE: Spectator, No. 356. expressly commands us not to be slothful in it, and 10 labour with our hands for the things that If Christianity were once abolished, how be needsul; it enjoins every one to abide in the could the free thinkers, the strong reasoners, calling wherein he was called, and perform all and the men of profound learning, be able to the duties of it. It even stigmatizes those that find another subject so calculated, in all points, provide not for their own, with telling them that whereon to display their abilities? What won. they are worse than infidels. When it requires derful productions of wit should we be deprived us to “be temperate in all things,” it plainly of from those whose genius, by continual practells us that we may use all things temperately; tice, hath been wholly turned upon raillery and when it directs us to “make our moderation invectives against religion, and would therefore known unto all men,” this evidently implies never be able to shine or distinguish themselves that, within the bounds of moderation, we may upon any other subject! We are daily com- . enjoy all the reasonable conveniences and com- plaining of the great decline of wit among us, forts of the present lise.

and would take away the greatest, perhaps the BISHOP PORTEUS. I only topic we have left. . . . For had an hun

.

dred such pens as these been employed on the The pure and benign light of revelation has side of religion, they would have immediately had a meliorating influence on mankind. sunk into silence and oblivion. Swift:

WASHINGTON. Argument against Abolishing Christianity. / It is the peculiar nature of the inestimable

He is a good man who grieves rather for him treasure of Christian truth and religious knowl. that injures him than for his own suffering; who edge, that the more it is withheld from people, prays for him who wrongs him, sorgiving all the less they wish for it; and the more is be. bis faults; who sooner shows mercy than anger; stowed upon them, the more they hunger and who offers violence to his appetite in all things; thirst after it. If people are kept upon a short endeavouring to subdue the flesh to the spirit. allowance of food, they are eager to obtain it; This is an excellent abbreviature of the whole if you keep a man thirsty, he will become the duty of a Christian.

more and more thirsty; if he is poor, he is ex. JEREMY TAYLOR : Guide to Devotion. ceedingly anxious to become rich; but if he is Christianity came into the world with the

left in a state of spiritual destitution, he will,

and still more his children. cease to feel it, and greatest simplicity of thought and language, as

cease to care about it. It is the last want men well as life and manners, holding forth nothing

can be trusted (in the first instance) to supply but piety, charity, and humility, with the belief

for themselves.

WHATELY : of the Messiah and of his kingdom.

SIR W. TEMPLE.

Annot. on Bacon's Essay, Of Plantations.

Christianity cannot be improved, but men's In the first ages of Christianity not only the

views and estimates and comprehension of learned and the wise, but the ignorant and illit

Christianity may be indefinitely improved. erate, embraced torments and death.

WHATELY. Tillotson.

1 To believe in Christianity, without knowing I have represented to you the excellency of

why we believe it, is not Christian faith, but the Christian religion in respect of its clear dis

| blind credulity.

WHATELY. coveries of the nature of God, and in respect of the perfection of its laws.

The main distinction between real Christianity TillotsON.

and the system of the bulk of nominal Christians

chiefly consists in the different place wbich is What laws can be advised more proper and assigned in the two schemes to the peculiar doceffectual to advance the nature of man to its trines of the Gospel. These, in the scheme of highest perfection than these precepts of Chris. nominal Christians, if admitted at all, appear tianity?

TILLOTSON.

but like the stars of the firmament to the ordi. Christianity hath hardly imposed any other

nary eye. Those splendid luminaries draw forth, laws upon us but what are enacted in our

perhaps, occasionally a transient expression of natures or are agreeable to the prime and fun

admiration when we behold their beauty, or damental laws of it.

TILLOTSON.

hear of their distances, magnitudes, or proper.

ties; now and then, too, we are led, perhaps, to By this law of loving even our enemies the muse upon their possible uses; but, however Christian religion discovers itself to be the most

curious as subjects of speculation, it must, after generous and best-natured institution that ever all, be confessed they iwinkle to the common was in the world.

TILLOTSON.
TILLOTS

observer with a vain and idle lustre; and except No religion that ever was so fully represents

in the dreams of the astrologer have no influence the goodness of God and his tender love to

on human happiness, or any concern with the mankind, which is the more powerful argument

course and order of the world. But to the real to the love of God.

TILLOTSON.

Christian, on the contrary, these peculiar doc

trines constitute the centre to which he gravitates ! The Christian religion gives us a more lovely the very sun of his system ! the origin of all that character of God than any religion ever did. is excellent and lovely! the source of light, and

TILLOTSON. | life, and motion, and genial warmth, and plastic Christianity secures both the private interests energy! Dim is the light of reason, and cold of men and the public peace, enforcing all

and comfortless our state while left to her un. justice and equity,

TILLOTSON.

assisted guidance. Even the Old Testament it.

self, though a revelation from Heaven, shines Do we not all profess to be of this excellent

but with feeble and scanty rays. But the blessed religion? but who will believe that we do so,

truths of the Gospel are now unveiled to our that shall look upon the actions and consider

eyes, and we are called upon to behold and to the lives of the greatest part of Christians ?

enjoy "the light of the knowledge of the glory TILLOTSON.

| of God, in the face of Jesus Christ," in the full Christianity is lost among them in the trap. radiance of its meridian splendour. The words pings and accoutrements of it, with which, in- of inspiration best express our highly-favoured stead of adorning religion, they have strangely state : “We all, with open face, beholding as in disguised it, and quite stifled it in the crowd of a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into external rites and ceremonies.

the same image, from glory to glory, even as by Tillotson. I the Spirit of the Lord.” WILBERFORCE.

Since the revelation of Christianity all moral Antiquity, custom, and consent, in the church thought has been sanctified by religion. Religion of God, making with that which law doth estabhas given to it a purity, a solemnity, a sublimity lish, are themselves most sufficient reasons to which even amongst the noblest of the heathen uphold the same, unless some notable public inwe shall look for in vain. The knowledge that convenience enforce the contrary shone by fits and dimly on the eyes of Socrates

HOOKER. and Plato, “that rolled in vain to find the light," That which should make for them must prove has descended over many lands into the “huts

that men ought not to make laws for church regwhere poor men lie;" and thoughts are familiar

iment, but only keep those laws which in Scripthere, beneath the low and smoking roofs, higher

ture they find made.

HOOKER. far than ever fowed from Grecian sage medita

Christ could not suffer that the temple should ting among the magnificence of his pillared

serve for a place of mart, nor the apostle of temples. PROFESSOR JOHN WILSON:

Christ that the church should be made an inn. Recreations of Christopher North.

HOOKER. There are two considerations upon which my Manifest it is, that the very majesty and holifaith in Christ is built as upon a rock: the fall ness of the place where God is worshipped hath, of man, the redemption of man, and the resur: in regard to us, great virtue, force, and efficacy; rection of man, the three cardinal doctrines of for that it serveth as a sensible help to stir up our religion, are such as human ingenuity could devotion.

HOOKER. never have invented; therefore they must be

When neither the evidence of any law divine, divine. The other argument is this: If the

| nor the strength of any invincible argument prophecies have been fulfilled (of which there

otherwise found out by the law of reason, nor is abundant demonstration), the Scripture must

any notable public inconvenience, doth make be the Word of God; and if the Scripture is

against that which our own laws ecclesiastical the Word of God, Christianity must be true. have instituted for the ordering of these affairs,

DR. EDWARD YOUNG, THE POET : the very authority of the church itself sufficeth. Cowper lo Lady Hesketh, July 12, 1765.

HOOKER. It is no more disgrace to Scripture to have left things free to be ordered by the church, than for

Nature to have left it to the wit of man to de. CHURCH. vise his own attire.

HOOKER. A discreet use of becoming ceremonies ren- Everywhere throughout all generations and ders the service of the church solemn and affect- ages of the Christian world no church ever pering, inspirits the sluggish, and inflames even the ceived the Word of God to be against it. devout worshipper. ATTERBURY.

HOOKER. If we would drive out the demon of fanati. The church has many times been compared cism from the people, we must begin by exor by divines to the ark of which we read in the cising the spirit of Epicureanism from the higher book of Genesis; but never was the resemblance ranks, and restore to their teachers the true more perfect than during that evil time when she Christian enthusiasm, the vivifying influences of rode alone, amidst darkness and tempest, on the the altar, the censer, and the sacrifice.

deluge beneath which all the great works of COLERIDGE. ancient power and wisdom lay entombed, bear

ing within her that feeble germ from which a In every grand or main public duty which

second and more glorious civilization was to God requireth of his church, there is, besides

spring.

LORD MACAULAY : that matter and form wherein the essence thereof

History of England. consisteth, a certain outward fashion, whereby the same is in decent manner administered. We do not see that while we still affect, by all

HOOKER. means, a rigid external formality, we may as

soon fall again into a gross conforming stupidity, The service of God in the solemn assembly of

a stark and dead congealment of “wood, hay, The saints is a work, though easy, yet withal very and stubble," forced and frozen together; which weighty, and of great respect. HOOKER. | is more to the sudden degenerating of a church Then are the public duties of religion best

than many subdichotomies of petty schisms.

MILTON. ordered when the militant church doth resemble by sensible means that hidden dignity and glory What means the service of the church so imwherewith the church triumphant in heaven is perfectly and by halves read over? What makes beautified.

HOOKER. them mince and mangle that in their practice

which they could swallow whole in their subChurches have names; some as memorials of

scriptions ?

SOUTH. peace, some of wisdom, some in memory of the Trinity itself, some of Christ under sundry After this time came on the midnight of the titles; of the blessed Virgin not a rew; many church, wherein the very names of the councils of one apostle, saint, or martyr; many of all. were forgotten, and men did only dream of HOOKER. | what was past.

STILI.INGFLEET.

CHURCH AND STATE. thanks to God separately, each after his own

form of worship. Now, is this practical atheThe consecration of the state by a state re- | ism? Would any man in his senses say, that, ligious establishment is necessary also to operate because the allied army had unity of action and with a wholesome awe upon free citizens; be a common interest, and because a heavy recause, in order to secure their freedom, they sponsibility lay on its chief, it was therefore immust enjoy some determinate portion of power. | peratively necessary that the army should, as an To them, therefore, a religion connected with army, have one established religion, that Eugene the state, and with their duty towards it, becomes should be deprived of his command for being a even more necessary than in such societies Catholic, that all the Dutch and Austrian colo. where the people, by the terms of their subjection, nels should be broken for not subscribing the are confined to private sentiments, and the man- | Thirty-nine Articles ? Certainly not. The more agement of their own family concerns. All per ignorant grenadier on the field of battle wouli sons possessing any portion of power ought to be have seen the absurdity of such a proposition. strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that “I know," he would have said, “that the Prince they act in trust, and that they are to account for of Savoy goes to mass, and that our Corporal their conduct in that trust to the one great Mas. John cannot abide it; but what has the mass to ter, Author, and Founder of society.

do with the taking of the village of Blenheim ? BURKE:

The prince wants to beat the French, and so Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790. does Corporal John. If we stand by each other Turn a Christian society into an established

we shall inost likely beat them. If we send all church, and it is no longer a voluntary assembly

the Papists and Dutch away, Tallard will have for the worship of God; it is a powerful corpo

every man of us." Mr. Gladstone himself, we ration, full of such sentiments and passions as

imagine, would admit that our honest grenadier usually distinguish those bodies : a dread of in

would have the best of the argument; and if so,

what follows ? Even this : that all Mr. Gladnovation, an attachment to abuses, a propensity

stone's general principles about power, and reto tyranny and oppression.

ROBERT HALL:

sponsibility, and personality, and conjoint action, Apology for the Freedom of the Press, Sect. V.

must be given up; and that, if his theory is to

stand at all, it must stand on some other founIf Mr. Gladstone has made out, as he con

dation.

LORD MACAULAY: ceives, an imperative necessity for a State Re.

Gladstone on Church and State, April, 1839. ligion, much more has he made it out to be imperatively necessary that every army should, When Mr. Gladstone wishes to prove that the in its collective capacity, profess a religion. Is government ought to establish and endow a rehe prepared to adopt this consequence ?

ligion, and to sence it with a Test Act, governOn the morning of the 13th of August, in the ment is td müv in the moral world. Those who year 1704, two great captains, equal in authority, would confine it to secular ends take a low view united by close private and public ties, but of of its nature. A religion must be attached to different creeds, prepared for a battle, on the its agency; and this religion must be that of the event of which were staked the liberties of conscience of the governor, or none. It is for Europe. Marlborough had passed a part of the the governor to decide between Papists and night in prayer, and before daybreak received Protestants, Jansenists and Molinists, Arminians the sacrament according to the rites of the and Calvinists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, Church of England. He then hastened to join Sabellians and Tritheists, Homoousians and HoEugene, who had probably just confessed him-moiousians, Nestorians and Eutychians, Monoself to a Popish priest. The generals consulted thelites and Monophysites, Pædobaptists and together, formed their plan in concert, and re. Anabaptists. It is for him to rejudge the acts paired each to his own post. Marlborough gave of Nice and Rimini, of Ephesus and Chalcedon, orders for public prayers. The English chap- of Constantinople and St. John Lateran, of lains read the service at the head of the English | Trent and Dort. It is for him to arbitrate beregiments. The Calvinistic chaplains of the tween the Greek and the Latin procession, and Dutch army, with heads on which hand of to determine whether that mysterious filioque Bishop had never been laid, poured forth their shall or shall not have a place in the national supplications in front of their countrymen. In creed. When he has made up his mind, he is the mean time the Danes might listen to their to tax the whole community in order to pay Lutheran ministers; and Capuchins might en: people to teach his opinion, whatever it may be. courage the Austrian squadrons, and pray to the He is to rely on his own judgment, though it Virgin for a blessing on the arms of the Holy may be opposed to that of nine-tenths of the soRoman Empire. The battle commences, and ciety. He is to act on his own judgment, at the these men of various religions all act like mem- risk of exciting the most formidable discontents. bers of one body. The Catholic and the Protest. He is to inflict perhaps on a great majority of ant general exert themselves to assist and to the population, what, whether Mr. Gladstone surpass each other. Before sunset the Empire may choose to call it persecution or not, will is saved. France has lost in a day the fruits of always be felt as persecution by those who suffer eighty years of intrigue and of victory. And it. He is, on account of differences often too the allies, after conquering together, return slight for vulgar comprehension, to deprive the

« ElőzőTovább »