ness of error seems to settle on the Church itself. Yet are there all along Augustines and Gregorys, Alfreds, Anselms, and Bernards, Christian schools, and multiplying manuscripts of sacred truth. The Roger Bacons and Wickliffes arise, morning-stars foretokening the day. Then appear the types of Güttenberg, the enterprise of Columbus, the Luthers, the Galileos, and the Keplers. Now an unchained Bible opens the portals of truth, and the sun of righteousness, indeed, arises with healing in his wings. The father of inductive science receives his commission, the brightest crown that ever graced head of uninspired mortal is given to encircle the brow of Francis Bacon. And a “Novum Organum" unveils the longmissed method of true inquiry. Christian civilization enters conspicuously upon its world-exalting mission. And now, when after but one or two generations, its achievements are registered, its power tested, its capacity shown, its superiority over all other systems tried, or conceivable, proved—can skepticism itself fail to see that here is the benign energy, foreshadowed in the wonderful provisions of nature that look to universal improvement, and pledged in the more wonderful promises of revelation that insure increasing success and final supremacy to the kingdom of grace upon earth ?

Nor is it one of the smaller excellences of this admirable influence that its sympathizing heart is large enough to embrace, its far-reaching hand strong enough to help all the lost wanderers from the family blessings of regenerated humanity. There is no degradation of human creatures so low but to it this benign power can apply elevating agencies. No darkness so deep but to it this divinely furnished energy can impart something of heaven's own light. This, every where, with fair trial, it has uniformly proved. How many a Christianized African, under good influences in the United States, or well taught through missionary fidelity in the land of his forefathers, has been amazingly elevated in character! How many a South-Sea Islander, vile beyond all other known depravity, has been so changed, through the assiduous care of Christian love, that not only, in the language of Captain Wilkes, (United States Exploring Expedition, vol. i. p. 326,) to cite no other authority,“ has the savage become a reasona

ith the-ysical, menininences.

ble creature, but to visit one of these missionary stations after witnessing the hopelessness of heathen pollution elsewhere, is like passing out of darkness into light.”

Whether it be in the plan of Providence that these degraded races shall, in the progress of ameliorating inflnences, be raised at length to full equality in physical, mental, moral, and all human characteristics, with the leading families of men, we may, possibly, not be permitted to anticipate : nor is it at all necessary to determine. Suffice it that we know them to be men of the same original endowments, the same general capacities, the same responsible nature, and the same final destiny as ourselves. And that, as they are embraced in the great double promise of indefinite improvement, so are they susceptible of culture to which we can assign no limits.

The experience, too, of prodigious elevation effected, in Europe by centuries of Christian training, upon races once scarcely less degraded than the most barbarous now are, warrants a large hope for these, when the lever of Bible-civilization has been judiciously plied upon them for any thing like a similar term. What were Britons when visited by Cæsar, 55 B.C. ? Barbarians in the worst sense of that epithet. Clothed in skins, often entirely nude, “omnibus membies expediti,” (Cæs. Comment. lib. iv. chap. 24,) and horribly disfigured by paint, after the manner of our modern savages. “Omnes se Britanni vitro inficiunt, quod cæruleum efficit colorem; atque hoc horribiliore sunt in fingua aspectu.” (Lib. v. chap. 14.) Their moral condition, as described in the next few lines, is too shocking to permit repetition even under the partial disguise of a dead language. Nothing more revolting is at this day known among the vilest of human kind. In all this, intellectual debasement is, of course, implied. But we have it besides most distinctly intimated by Cicero, in his letter to Atticus, the next year, B.C. 54, when advising the latter against trying slaves from Britain, because of their extreme ignorance, their untutored rudeness, "nullos puto te litteris aut musices eruditos expectare.” (Lib. iv. Ep. 16.) Yet the descendants of those ignorant barbarians, those unclothed, painted savages, those sickening specimens of moral pollution, are this day among the noblest of the cultivated people of the world, an element of unsurpassed worth in the great dominant, Christianized and Christianizing, healthily-civilized, progressive, earth-encompassing Anglo Saxon race. Surely, with this spectacle before us, illustrating what the doubly assured agencies of religion according to the Bible, and of nature opened by science, can do; we need never despair of ultimate elevation for the lowest of our kind, gradual improvement for all human tribes, and experience at last, wherever man finds a dwelling-place, of sanctified civilization in all the fullness of its comforts, all the glory of its blessings.

Thus cheered, then, let the Church awake to new life, to holier consecration, and to nobler enterprise. Let every good man, in prayer, in considerate concern, in contribution as he can, in all wisely zealous action as he may, and especially in the power of a godly life, lend strength to the agencies whereby "the knowledge of the Lord” shall be made to "cover the earth.” And let every appliance of truth, every achievement of science, every shock of war, every accumulation of industry, every improvement of art, and every enterprise of commerce, be consecrated to the same great end ; then, indeed, shall the coming generations see gloriously fulfilled in world-wide blessing the grand double prophecy of Human Progress.



It must be a source of regret to the amiable author of these notices, that they should be made an occasion of discord among the ministers or members of the Church to which they relate. An extract from the April number of the New Haven Quarterly will show the propriety not only of this remark, but of subjecting a portion of that article to critical examination. What was intended to be the sting of that article, and what is really its venom, is in its tail—the concluding paragraph and note. As preliminary to its examination, we place it before

our readers. It follows certain tables drawn up for the purpose of showing the localities of the different clergy mentioned by Dr. Sprague in his volume.

"It is a somewhat singular fact, that Virginia has furnished but five clergymen to these memoirs. We can not but think that she has had many more deserving of mention. From the long list furnished by New-England, and especially the large number of converts, we draw the inference, that where distinct and uncompromising views of the Church are presented, we may reasonably look for the most fruit. What would have been the condition of the Church at the North, and throughout New-England, but for the great Church movement, beginning in 1723 ? At that time, the Church in Virginia, when there was scarcely a Churchman in Connecticut, had nearly as many clergymen as Connecticut has now, and was of nearly as long standing. Doubtless, other causes have exerted an influence; but no one, we think, can fairly resist the conclusion, that views of Church Doctrine, Ministry, Organization, Sacraments, and Discipline, have been intimately connected with the almost unexampled prosperity, the growing power and commanding influence of the Church in one field, and with her mortifying depression, her overshadowed inferiority, and feebleness in the other field.” .... "In the one case it has been Christ and the Church; in the other an attempt to preach Christ without the Church; or, the Church undistinguished as a Divine Institution from the sects which have almost swallowed her up. These are simply facts in the Church's his. tory. The reader will draw his own conclusions."

To which is appended the following note; which note, taken in connection with a preceding sentence, will, indeed, enable the reader to draw his conclusions as to the design and purpose of that article.

"A preacher,” says the note, "of one of the most radical of all the sects, who has spent much time in Virginia, was lately declaring with a boastful air how often he had been admitted to the pulpits of the Episcopal Churches of Virginia ; and, said he, with a significant look, "That is the kind of Episcopacy I like.' We do not doubt it."

“In our view," is the language of the preceding sentence of the article already alluded to, “in our view, it is almost as easy to trace back the whole revival of the Church in Virginia to Whitefield, as it is to trace back the whole building up of the Church in Connecticut to Cutler and Johnson."

Reserving this last sentence, which contains the gist of the writer's theory, let us examine the other portions of the quotation.

“ It is a somewhat singular fact, that Virginia has furnished but five clergymen to these memoirs." Why is it not singular to the writer, that North-Carolina has furnished only three,

and New-Jersey only one? These Dioceses—he will perhaps urge—are younger than Virginia. But such, as we shall show, is not the fact so far as regards his particular argument. That argument is intended to reflect discredit upon the existing practice and doctrine of Virginia. These practices and doctrines, as peculiar to that Diocese, are no older than those of these two others. It is, therefore, perfectly fair to make the comparison we suggest. At the same time, there can not but be great unfairness in identifying, as he does, present Virginia Churchmanship with that which prevailed prior to the Revolution, and immediately subsequent to that event.

“We can not but think,” proceeds the next sentence," that she has had many more deserving of mention.” Why, then, construct an argument, as is done in the next sentence, upon the assumption that " what we can not but think” is not the fact? If the reader will turn back and note the two sentences, he will see that what is hesitatingly given with one hand—as if, perhaps, not deserved—is promptly snatched away by the other. “We can not but think.” Did you not know, and might it not have been hinted to your reader, that there were undoubtedly many more deserving of mention; that two octavo volumes, filled with records of such men, in Virginia, and placing the fact beyond doubt forever, had within the last two years been given to the world, and noticed in the Church Review with commendation? The names of such men as Brooks and Bridges and Forbes and Robertson, in the first century of the colonial establishment; of the Yates and Stuarts and Burgess in the second; of Bradford, not very long before the revival; of Norris and Lemman and Adie and McGuire, would compare favorably with any to be found in the volumes of which the reviewer was speaking.

“From the long list furnished by New-England,” he proceeds, “and especially the large number of converts, we draw the inference, that where distinct and uncompromising views of the Church are presented, we may reasonably look for the most fruit.” Why, then, did the non-jurors almost die out in a stench? Why have not their descendants flourished and abundantly increased in Scotland? Why was it that, in Virginia, when these uncompromising views were presented, by

« ElőzőTovább »