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HOW TO RESIST TRACTARIANISM.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. SIR, --It has, of late, continually Might not such effort be attempted occurred to my mind, that while the by making use, as far as possible, of enemies of Christian truth are doing the existing agencies and societies their utmost, by every available means, friendly to the cause ; the main object to inundate our beloved country with being, to bring down to the great bulk the most dangerous error in the form of the people clear, concise, and corof Popish or Tractarian (semi-popish,) rect information on the vital points of principles, we who profess to be the Protestant Christianity ? and would not friends of vital and evangelical Chris- attention be well directed to these foltianity, are perhaps not sufficiently lowing, among other points, in order to alive to the danger, nor enough con- the end desired ? cerned, to use our utmost influence in 1. Inducing the more decided inopposing their errors with every moral fluence of ministers in giving such and spiritual weapon Scripture gives, or fundamental truths a due prominence warrants us to employ.
in their public and private teaching. Are we not too ready to underrate 2. The circulating, or inducing the the danger referred to, by counting too circulation, through families, of wellsecurely upon the wide diffusion, at approved works bearing directly upon the present day, of religious light and the points at issue. knowledge ?
3. The promotion of a systematic Is it not to be feared that, at this circulation of approved tracts, or conpresent time, those fundamental prin- cise treatises, (which give a plain and ciples of vital truth upon which the just delineation of the principles of glorious Reformation was based, are Protestant truth in contrast with those too little known and less appreciated ; of Popish and Tractarian error, ) and, on the other hand, that the true through the population of our land. genius and spirit of Popish error is also And here, may it not be considered, very imperfectly apprehended?
whether the Hoinilies of the Church of A painful conviction on these points England do not supply a means pecuhas repeatedly forced itself on my liarly adapted to this very purpose ? mind, and it is from the constraint a 4. The directing of the attention of sense of duty involves, which leads me teachers, whether in daily or Sabbath to appeal to you, as the organ of a schools, to these same points, that by large body of the evangelical Chris. their means, both the children and tian public.
their parents may be rightly informed May I, therefore, be allowed to sug thereon. gest, through your columns, to the Of course the foregoing means are friends of evangelical truth, whether a only intended in subordination to the vigorous, systematic, and united effort circulation of the Sacred Volume, and should not, and might not be made, to to which book they are but meant to counteract the pernicious influence direct. above referred to, and whether such Submitting these hints to the serian effort might not be well carried on ous consideration of the watchmen in by, or promoted under, the influence Israel, I am, of some such evangelical union as
Very respectfully, yours, was not long ago, proposed by the Rev. J. A. James, in this Magazine.
The wish of the author, by this humble effort, is to aid in exciting a deeper interest in the minds
of Christians, on behalf of the South Sea Mission, under its present critical circumstances.
I'd spend the morning of my youth, ETERNAL Spirit from above,
The noontide of my days: Come tune my broken lyre;
To tell them of Eternal Love ! Teach me to sing redeeming love,
And teach them Jesu's praise. And warm my soul with heavenly fire.
But shall I e'er commission'd be, Lead me to Bethlehem's starry plain,
A weak, a worthless worm, And to the manger's side ;
Be sent, my dearest Lord, by thee, There let me view that sinless Lamb,
To bid the wanderer turn? Who groan'd, and bled, and died.
Infinite wisdom, who can say, His dying blood, his living power,
What thine almighty power shall do; Shall ever be my theme;
It turns the darkness into day, And every day, and every hour,
And forms the creature all anew. I'll dedicate my all to him.
Give me thy Spirit to possess, Oh, could I but his truth convey
While travelling through this vale ; To some far-distant land;
Then take me to the realms of peace, The Saviour died, could I but say,
And let me with thee ever dwell. To some poor heathen band.
REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
ANGLO-CATHOLICISM NOT APOSTOLICAL:
being an Inguiry into the Scriptural Authority of the Leading Doctrines adoo. cated in the “ Tracts for the Times," and other Publications of the Anglo-Catholic School. By WILLIAM LINDSAY ALEX. ANDER, M.A. 8vo. pp. 462. A. and C. Black, Edinburgh; and Longman and
Co., London The design of this seasonable and elabo. rate treatise, as announced by the Author in his
e is to strip the Tractarian or Catholic theory of its proud boast, that it is that " quod ubique, quod semper, quod ad omnibus, credituin est;" to "shew that it has not always been received by all true Christians; but, that especially in the earliest days of the church, when under the infallible guidance of the apostles, it was as a system either wholly unknown, or, so far as known, repudiated and condemned."
It is, indeed, matter of equal humiliation and regret, that the necessity of entering afresh on this controversy, which is, pro. perly speaking, the battle-field between Romanism and the Reformation, should have been occasioned by the professors of a Pro. testant University, and by the well-paid clergy of a Protestant church. Awfully defective must be the discipline of a community professedly reformed, that can have endured within its pale, for the space of ten years, a class of teachers, subverting by their avowed and unblushing Romanism, the doc. trines of the Reformation. The time, we
trust, will speedily arrive, when the sound and enlightened portion of the British nation will agitate, with a voice of thunder, the great constitutional question, “ Is Popery, in all its essential heresy, to be maintained by funds appropriated to the support of the Reformed faith?" If the heads of colleges and the prelates of the English church will not grapple with this question, and dispose of it upon honest and English principles, we venture to predict, from what we see passing around us, that it will speedily be taken up by the British public, and that appeals will be made to the legislature, which no admi. nistration will be able to resist. We happen to know that thousands of the lay mem. bers of the Establishment are pondering in their minds what it may be proper for them to do at the present alarming crisis ; and we must remind churchmen, that Nonconformists, of all denominations, have a deep interest in resisting the stealthy re-establishment of Popery, from which they could look for nothing but another period of anarchy, proscription, and bloodshed. If the Tractarians are to prolong their reigu in this country, we tell them that it must not be at the national expense ; if their own sense of integrity is not sufficient to restrain them from receiving public money under false pretences, the period is fast approaching, when the tardy authorities of the church will be compelled to deprive them of resources which were never intended to be employed in “unprotestantizing" the English nation.
Meanwhile, we are thankful to find that truth, practice, and institute." A passion their Popish plot has been thoroughly de- for novelty, a lingering attachment to the tected, and that champions, north and south doctrines of pagan philosophy, a desire to of the Tweed, have been raised up, quite a make Christianity respectable in the eyes match for them in sound scholarship, and of the world, a misguided attachment to far more than a match in theological acute. Jewish institutes, a distrust of the innate ness and research. Indeed our settled opi. vitality of the gospel, and the rapid growth nion is, that their attainments generally of a secular and worldly spirit, evincing have been absurdly overrated, as if a few itself in lukewarmness among the professors translations from the Greek and Latin Fa. of Christianity, and in avarice and ambition thers, and a mass of Jesuitical scribbling on the part of the clergy, are shown to be in tracts, essays, and semi-popish reviews, the principal sources of that corruption could entitle them to be regarded as the great which had overspread the Christian church, literary aristocrats of the day. We believe long before the days of Constantine. The that this injurious impression has been combined influence of causes like these is mainly created by the injudicious praise be shown to have “eaten out the vitals of stowed upon them by the bishops; even those Christianity, and changed it from a simple, bishops who have followed their commenda. unassuming, unostentatious scheme of relitions by a rejection of the leading doctrines gious benefit to man, into a great hier. they have taught.
archical corporation, the prevailing tendency We agree with Mr. Alexander, that “the of which was, to make religion a matter of great question at issue is simply this : * Does rites and ceremonies,--to elevate the ChrisChristianity depend upon the church as a tian pastor, whose duty it is to feed the visible body, or does the church depend flock of God with the pure food of truth, upon Christianity?' In other words, is it into the awful priest, whose place it is to the church, existing by the preserving care stand between God and man, and, by power of God, endowed with mysterious and super- derived from the former, to influence not by natural power over the destinies of men, and his doctrine, but by certain rites of mystewhose ever-vital nucleus is found in the cle. rious meaning, the eternal destiny of the rical order, by the members of which her latter,—and to make the church, which, acorder is preserved, her unity manifested, and cording to the doctrine of the apostles, is her power dispensed: is it the church, thus the invisible body of Christ, a great, comconstituted, wbich conveys salvation to men ? pact, visible engine of spiritual dominion. Or do men, by obtaining salvation, each one In the system thus described, we have the for himself, by the reception of God's offer substance of the system of Catholicism, to of mercy through Christ, constitute, by their which Romanism has added many corrupspiritual union with Christ, the church of tions of her own, and to which Anglicanism, God, which is holy, catholic, and invisible, whilst protesting against these additions of and by their outward fellowship with each later ages, would fain bring back the whole other, such churches as Christ has appointed of Christendom, as to the pattern of primi. to exist visibly on the earth? This is the tive order, loveliness, and strength,' p. 4. great question at issue, which must be justly This view of Catholicism is well sustained apprehended, and fairly dealt with, before in a very able historical sketch, which indi. this controversy can even approximate to a cates a profound acquaintance with the close."
original sources of ecclesiastical history. This is undoubtedly the grand question, Those who wish to become well acquainted well put, at issue between the Tractarians with the doctrines and usages of the Nicene and the sincere advocates of Biblical Chris age, which have been so much lauded in our tianity; and we rejoice to say that our au. times, will do well to read this chapter with thor has met it, and disposed of it in a care. Rome, indeed, added not a little to manner equally creditable to the scholar, the the errors then existing ; but it developed gentleman, and the divine. With a degree principles already recognised, rather than of patience and candour rarely displayed in originated anything absolutely new. " To polemical writings, he has threaded his way the church thus developed and established," through the whole labyrinth of Tractarian observes our author, “all true Catholics theology, and has shown it to be a maze of look back with reverence, as to their model traditional fables and human devices, sup directress. When we come a little further planting alike the doctrines and the institu. down, however, in the history of Christions of the New Testament.
tianity, we enconnter certain additions made Our author's first chapter is introductory, to the creed and to the rules of the Nicene in which he demonstrates the matchless council, which are regarded by many Catho. simplicity of Christianity, as set forth in the lics as corruptions and unauthorized deparinspired records, and the tendency which tures from the primitive faith and practice. evinced itself, even in the apostolic age, to Of these it will not be necessary to take any depart" from the original form of Christian particular notice in the inquiry to which the VOL. XXI.