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a clergyman by his profession could not enter. They meet error and sin in their holes. How this is done brings before us scenes in our own land. Take, for instance, the following
short of 1,120,000 souls at the present time, It was increasing at the rate of 12,500 souls per year. There were, in round numbers, in the Diocese of Ripon, only 560 clergymen to meet the spiritual wants of the population. This gave no less than 2000 souls to every clergyman. But the population was also disproportionate; in some districts it would be 2000 to every parish, while in others it would be largely in excess of that number. These facts attested, beyond dispute, the necessity there existed for additional laborers, and the lay element could discharge a great work, and materially assist the parochial clergy. It was the consideration of these facts which led him to give the present proposal his warm approval, and he had great pleasure in submitting the new Society to the notice of the meeting.
“The first resolution, moved by the Rev. Dr. Hook, Vicar of Leeds, was as fol. lows: "That a Society be now formed, to be called the Yorkshire Church of England Scripture Readers' Society. The resolution, seconded by Mr. J. W. Childers, (High Sheriff,) was unanimously approved. Sir Peter Fairbairn (Mayor of Leeds) next proposed: "That the regulations, as read from the chair, be and are hereby constituted the rules of the new Society.' The Rev. Dr. Sale (Vicar of Sheffield) seconded the resolution in a highly practical speech, and it was then also affirmed by the meeting. Major Fawkes next proposed: That a Committee, to consist of equal numbers of the clergy and laity, be now formed, and that the following gentlemen be appointed to serve thereon: The Rev. Dr. Hook, the Rev. Dr. Sale, and the Revs. C. J. Camidge, J. Bell, J. Fawcett, and B. Crosthwaite, Mr. J. W. Childers, Mr. E. B. Denison,' etc. The motion was also unanimously passed, and the proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the Bishop."
The Rev. Mr. Champney, well known as one of the most efficient of the London clergy, thus testified before the Committee of the House of Lords:
"I can not speak too strongly of the great results which have been produced. We have gained a thorough knowledge of the state of the people, which, with the staff of clergy I could command, would have been impossible. We have ascertained the need of schools, and also have been enabled to open school after school, until we nearly have now an adequate supply of schools for the entire parish ; that is greatly owing to the work of the lay-agents. We have been able to visit. through them, every case of ascertained sickness and infirmity; and every house, or nearly so, has had some one to go to it, who has endeavored to draw them from carelessness to godliness. We have been able to exercise the supervision of our communicants, who are a very large number; so that, in fact, if one of the communicants has acted inconsistently, that has been immediately communicated to me, and I have had the person in my library, to speak to him seriously, and in many instances effectually to stop what was beginning, and might have been a serious evil, giving great occasion to worldly people to speak evil. Generally, I think the result has been to bring the clergy into closer contact with the people, and enabling us both to know them, and them to know us; that has given us an
animated sketch from a tract published by the Open-air Preaching Society. One of the “preachers” writes:
"Here is what I found in the streets, and that without seeking it, all on one Sunday afternoon. First, there was a Mormonite exhorting, and accompanied by others giving tracts; next a spurious teetotaler, exalting abstinence above grace; and lastly, a Romanist with vehemence upholding idolatry. These false preachers are not called forth by the preaching of the truth, but are fewer in proportion to the increase of Gospel missionaries."
And here is what we find in still greater variety and richer luxuriance in the Missouri Valley. I well remember standing on the great thoroughfare that passes through Council Bluffs, and viewing stretched to the distant horizon a motley procession of proselyte emigrants. As every thing is odd in these distant recruiting grounds of the vast future, at last nothing seems odd. The white-topped wagons of the Mormons arranged in a semi-circle round the camp in which they are about to hitch up, and the women, who form the advance guard of the train, are already, under the influence of the balmy morning, tramping ahead. A little way behind is a detachment of long-frocked and bonneted Norwegians, be
influence in the parish over the people generally, which, without them, I should have conceived would have been impossible in so large a number."
And Dr. Hook, whose loyalty to the extremest theory of priestly prerogative none can doubt, thus addressed the same committee :
"We want something in addition to this. There are among the workingclasses, many good Biblical scholars, men well informed in English, and especially in sacred literature, who are able, if I may use the expression, to talk the Gospel, where no minister would be admitted, and who might be very useful in visiting the sick. They can be employed without quitting their trades; but still, for the time taken from their trade, they may require some occasional compensation. I have employed such myself, paying them no salary, but having an understanding with them that in times of bad trade, or in cases of sickness, they were to make their case known to me, and I would give them what they needed. It would be well if money were supplied to the poorer clergy, to be accounted for, to meet cases of this sort. These persons would be qualified even for out-door preaching. I think that those who, like myself, believe in the Divine institution of the Christian ministry, and who think that the stewards of the mysteries of God should be regularly ordained, would prefer the employment of working-men to invite people of their class to repair to Church, and to participate in the ordinances of the Gospel, to the adoption of any system of out-door preaching by the clergy. It would undoubtedly be more effective; and out-door preaching can never amount to more than a stirring call to the thoughtless to arise and to inquire."
longing to a new sect, one of whose (peculiarities, as far as I could understand, was men wearing women's clothes, and women wearing those of men. Next we meet an Owenite or Socialist orator. There, a little way to the west of us, is a Dutch town, neat and prim as if it had just been transferred from some gigantic toy-shop, but with its old-fashioned little church sheltering any thing but old-fashioned doctrines. There, worse than all, is practical infidelity in the shape of mammonworship, burrowing into every crevice, passing into every ferryboat, raising its shrine in every new-built town. And these errors fit themselves to the popular standard ; stoop to enter under the lowliest doorway; expand, if necessary, their literary pretensions so as to captivate at least the semi-educated ; resolve themselves almost into their elements, so as to enter into every society or condition which they meet.
How can we, if we speak that which is in part an unknown tongue-the tongue of technical, classical theology, of high literary culture, of a liturgy, sublime, it is true, but to the rude and unfamiliar taste too often oppressive, from its very grandeur and symmetrical length-how can we, speaking only through a professional class, follow those who address Elamites, Medes, Parthians, each in their own language; who talk to 'men wherever they find them, in words which the hearer best comprehends, and from the platform only of a common brother: hood? Now let us take a lesson in this respect from the policy of the world. When an ambassador is to be sent, the more delicate and difficult his errand, the more do those who select him seek for qualities which open to him avenues to the people whom he is to approach. Lord Aberdeen, an American, at least by strong family and business ties, comes to this country to negotiate the treaty of Washington. Cardinal Pole, of royal Anglican descent, goes to England to negotiate for the reëstablishment of Romanism, Cardinal Wiseman, a British subject, three hundred years afterwards, to negotiate for its increased ecclesiastical toleration. Or, take those great periods in Christian history, in which the Church, casting aside the shell which was crusting round her, sprang forth, with a leaping heart and a free breath, conquering and to conquer. Even
before the first Council at Antioch, who went forth ? Laymen, and these not Jews, nor even Syrians, but "men of Cyprus of Cyrene," who, “when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Greeks," or, as Dr. Robinson has it, to those other than Jews—probably to those speaking the language of these laymissionaries themselves. The very namelessness of these obscure men has its lesson. They were not ordained ministers, nor is it within the scope of Revelation that they should be specifically commemorated. It may be that what we are to learn from this silence is the great truth, that the advance-post of Gospel preachers is to be of the community, to remain with the community, and to subside in the community-its outgoing and its incoming to be unmarked, and its work to consist, not in instruction in theology, not in Church discipline or government, not in pastoral charge, not in administering the ordi. nances, but in telling the glad tidings, in the close beating of heart to heart, and the near looking of eye to eye. So it was in the Reformation. The “Gospellers” who preached in the market-places, who sold Tyndale's Bible at the fairs, who, staff in hand, worked their way from hamlet to hamlet, who suffered at the stake, were laymen. “Piers Plowman,” as he was sometimes called, in the gay court poetry of those days, had rarely a specific name that has come down to us, and was undoubtedly rude and illiterate; but he roused in the nation a deep and awful sense of the Truth which neither polished orators nor skillful statesmen could suppress. The English Reformation came, not from Cranmer, nor from Henry VIII., nor even from Ridley, but from these unknown and uncommemorated men, who, of the people, acted with the people, and soon spoke for the people.
So it was with the preliminaries of the great awakening of the mother Church towards the end of the last century. Alas! that we should say it, but this work was carried on by men who, by their own showing, as well as by our own actions were to us as laymen. John Wesley, " that saint of God” -I quote by memory from a late noble speech of Bishop Wilberforce, of Oxford—“who went forth from us not voluntarily, but driven forth,” took the attitude of a layman himself, and
during his life prescribed that attitude to his followers. He administered no sacraments. For a long time he permitted no technical professional training to his preachers. Now I do not stop to speak of the independent denominational results of this movement. I have to speak, however, of its effect on the Anglican Church. Look at it! Before the Wesleyan movement, as we are told by a late pamphlet by Dr. Maberly, Head Master at Winchester, “the tone of the young men at the University was universally unreligious." In 1800 skepticism became rare, and earnest piety frequent. In 1750 scarcely a minister was to be found who preached the Articles in their integrity, or prayed the Liturgy in its fervor. In 1810 there was scarcely a point within an accessible distance from which could not be found a minister of the Church of England who lived and preached in fidelity to her standard. In 1790 all the funds contributed to Foreign Missions by the entire Church did not exceed £4000. In 1858 they reached £250,000. In 1750, as I will presently notice, the clergy, as a body, had sunk to a level below what was technically that of gentlemen. I apprehend that from 1800 onward they have become the most important social instrumentality in the realm.
It may be said that the poverty incident to a class of Scripture-readers and lay-teachers, will work against their usefulness, by cutting down their opportunities for study and social culture. That poverty, in the common sense of the term, is theirs, I will admit. Of lay preachers, there are none more likely to be efficient than the village-teacher or physician. The average income of such is very scanty—much less than that which would sustain an educated ministry whose members must move on terms of equality with the most refined of their parishioners. Even less than the income of the teacher or physician is that of the mechanic who may yet preach the Gospel acceptably to many to whom one less rude might not find admittance. For poverty, while it gives keenness to the ear of the hearer, gives tenderness and many sweet and touching cadences to the voice of him that speaks. No one sympathizes so pathetically with all the sorrows and wants of the poor as does the poor Christian himself; no one awakes so quick and