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tendency of which, in our judgment, for body versus soul; the interests of is heightened rather than counter- the latter, it would appear, not needacted by the partial, and apparently ing that strictness of deportment reluctant, dissent which the con- which certain puritanical persons ductors saw proper to record when are wont to inculcate, under the the statements of the writer (who exploded notion that Christians are they parsimoniously allow was not not to be conformed to the world. altogether judicious in the choice of Archdeacon Browne has very satishis terms ) had called from many factorily replied to some leading of their readers and correspondents statements of that work, particularly a just remonstrance and demand for on the subject of worldly conforexplanation.
mity, gaiety, frivolous amusements, But we have done; and have only, free will, human merit, conyerbefore we lay down the Charge be- sion, and justification, (in reference fore us, sincerely to thank its author, chiefly to the notion of a primary in the name of our fellow-churchmen and a final justification, the first of and of our common Christianity, grace in baptism, and the second of for the very decided yet moderate, works). In addition to the pious scriptural, and judicious statements author's own excellent remarks, the on a subject of prime importance reader will find a number of vawhich he has seen it his duty to luable citations from standard wriimpress upon the minds of the clergy ters of our church, which may provę of his archdeaconry; and to add highly useful, not only for private our fervent prayers that his zealous edification, but as argumenta ad exertions may be abundantly blessed verecundiam in repelling the attacks by the Great Father of Lights for of those worldly-minded persons the welfare of his church, and the who choose to plead for religious glory of that Saviour who came not formalism and secular conformity, to call the righteous but sinners to under the garb of sound, orthodox, repentance.
churchman-like principles, and con
duct. Since writing the above, we have perused a subsequent publication
by Letters on Prejudice, &c. the same author, entitled
66 Five Letters, addressed to the Rev. G.
On the Use and Abuse of Party Wilkins, Vicar of St. Mary's, Not
Feeling in Religion, &c. tingham, containing Strictures on (Continued from p. 104.) some parts of a Publication enti
In opening our review of these votled · Body and Soul.' Hatchard and Son. 1823.” The work attributed tion with the respectable author of
lumes, we have already, conjuncto Mr. Wilkins seems to be a plea
the “ Letters on Prejudice," ap.
prised our readers how far we can sin, viz. 'Adam's sin: and if, by a very venture to go in admitting that allowable mode of speech, substituting the cause for the effect, we say that we are
mere prejudice is the cause of diviborn in sin, that is, in a state the conse
sion amongst professed Christians; quence of sin and as a race of beings, namely, so far as they are really collectively considered, under God's com- united in heart, and Christians inparative displeasure, theologically and ju- deed, though with some unhappy dicially now called children of wrath, distinctions and differences in name. from which we are removed into a state of The separation between the real 'grace' or favour, by a quasi regeneration, followers of Jesus Christ, and those -every
fair construction is secured to the who at heart follow and obey the expressions used, and neither truth, or fact, or critical exposition becomes intruded world, we can never wish to be less on.” Christian Remembrancer, No. 28. wide than it is : we should rather say, vol. iii. p. 195.
we can never wish any coalition to take place between them, further The present “ Letters," written than may be for the demonstra- with an express view to heal and tion of the most perfect charity on to unite, by a person evidently of the one side, and for the improve- very large and liberal principles, ment of the other. May the light taking comprehensive and impartial of true Christianity thus ever shine views of the state of parties and of before men, that they, seeing the the state of religious feeling in these good works of its professors, may realms, admit this lamentable fact glorify their Father which is in as the very ground of the author's heaven!
most material observations. Let The present subject, however, is us hear the writer's own statement, of a different kind, and relates rather, as we have before observed,
* We now come to a point, from which I
should be very well pleased to escape, só to differences amongst Christians themselves, than to the separation it without yielding to the influence of the
much do I feel the difficulty of discussing between them and the world : and prejudice which I deprecate : I mean, a though, in the present mixed state certain jealousy of feeling, by which our of the human character, the sub- church is just now unhappily distinguishject may apply to almost the whole ed, and many of its most pious and exemcircle of human society professedly plary members are made, as it were, stranChristian, yet in our treatment of gers to each other. it we shall not the less constantly
“ This jealousy is observable in the cold endeavour to remind our readers of and suspicious intercourse which we are
too apt to hold with those from whom we the true, though hidden, limits of
apprehend any question of our favourite the question. And here, though it doctrines, though they profess a submis. must be doubtless painful to rip up tosion as implicit as our own, to the authothe very bottom long standing, and rity which is our common standard ; and still existing,grievances in societies, it often creates a distinction, where no of whatever kind; we are too far doctrinal difference exists, from a general committed, both in duty and con- propensity to make our own views and sistency, not to proceed in the feelings the standard of judgment for
others. track we have already laid down in our last Number,with a view to shew, degree of compliance with the manners,
“ The controversy with respect to the 1st, The division at present lament- and customs, and amusements of the ably existing amongst orthodox world, that is consistent with the ChrisChristians ; 2d, Its source in reli- tian character, and consonant to the spirit gious prejudice; 3d, Its marked of the Gospel (though a question to be operation in one or two principal tried rather upon general Scripture prinpoints; and 4th, The best method ciples, than by the application of specific either of its cure or its due regula- precepts), has produced more of this jeation. The discussion under the first lousy, and mutual severity of judgment, three of these heads will enable us
than almost any other topic of religious
discussion. Some personal feelings on to introduce to our readers some
either side have entered into the inquiry ; leading statements from the “ Let- the decision upon it has been made a disters on Prejudice.” The fourth will tinction of party, and the charges of harshgive us a very satisfactory oppor- ness and of levity have been reciprocated, tunity of referring to the admirable while a mutual understanding would perBampton Lectures of Mr.Whateley. haps have shewn, that, in many cases at
1. That there is a lamentable di- least, both were groundless.” Letters, vision at this moment existing
vol. i. pp. 109–111.
“ It is obvious that the two great amongst a large body of, as we
branches into which our national church trust, sincere and orthodox Chris- is at present divided, (I speak here of both tians, in this kingdom, and invading sexes, and of all classes), differ as much in even the sanctuary of our own truly personal discipline, and habits of life, as catholic and apostolical church, it in their view of particular points of doc. would be vain to dissemble or deny, trine. Indeed, in some cases it appears
that this difference is the only line of well as the condition, of justificaseparation. It is (may I say it?) from a tion,—and lastly, though not so certain intolerance upon this point, and
strongly, except in the
of some a proneness to judge upon principles of of our late Seceders, to sanctificaauthority, questions which can only be de- tion. On the last but one of these cided by expediency, and by reference to individual character and circumstances, questions, that of the period of that we find some more strict and serious justification, it is evident our author persons shrinking from the friendship and has a very strong leaning towards society of those who truly admire and re- the doctrine of a first and a final spect them, though they cannot be per- justification. His statement, that suaded entirely to concur in points of this doctrine has “many advocates opinion which they consider as rather pru- among the most eminent members dential than religions, and on which they of the church, eminent for Christian see no precise scriptural direction. To reject all who plead for liberty of judg- humility and piety, as well as for ment upon such points,
and to place them, theological knowledge" (p. 130), upon that account alone, in the class of we shall have another opportunity light and worldly characters, does not for considering before the conclusurely appear to be quite consistent with sion of this article.
We must the exercise of that charity which • think- now only say, that the fact of such eth no evil.'
a division as our author speaks of, “ The converse of this prejudice seems is too strongly marked in its chato have created, in the minds of another racteristic features to render its exclass of persons, a strange and capricious istence either doubtful, or, as we fear, association of sobriety in Christian principles, and attachment to the national harmless. Harmless, indeed, how church, with a free and universal adop- is it possible for any division to be tion of the habits and manners of the that leads to chilling separation, or world. It appears in this case to be quite endless strife and collision, between forgotten, that many of the peculiar re- the professed members of the same strictions for which the more serious spiritual communion, of which the party would contend, whether their ne
very cement is doctrinal uniformity, cessity be established upon the evidence and the banner is love? “ A house of Scripture or not, are certainly enjoined, divided against a house falleth:” and as tending to edification, upon the authority of the church; and that therefore, Satan himself is sufficiently well-in. however some may hold themselves libe formed in that point, to warrant the rated by the change of times and manners, declaration of Milton, a charge of disaffection to the church is
« Devil with devil damned firm concord not applicable to those who continue to
holds." observe such restrictions." pp. 113-115.
“ Men," Christians, churchmen, Subsequent observations, in the they "only disagree of creatures rafollowing letter, point towards a dis- tional.” It is, we suppose, because tinction in principle between these men of the world are conscious that two great branches; a distinction they have, in fact, the same principles on points of religious doctrine, more of prejudice and discord on other especially on the momentous doc- occasions, that the existence of such trine of justification by faith; though principles in a religious community we may be perfectly assured, as our excites little wonder. We author remarks, that “no well-in- are far from any wish to magnify formed Protestant will deliberately these dissensions, whether in or undervalue the doctrine of justifica- even out of the church,' beyond tion by faith, or degrade it from its their real size or importance. Our high and prominent place in the highest wish would be rather, if Christian system.” (p. 123.) The possible, to presume their non-ex.. other doctrinal distinctions to which istence; and to make it
that he alludes, relate chiefly to bap- where we are all of one heart, we tismal regeneration,—the period, as are, or shall soon become but for
the absence of a very little mutual putation attached to the other. The acexplanation, of one mind also.tivity of Christian zeal is checked, on the But we cannot close our eyes or one hand, lest it should pass the bounds our understandings against the of sober orthodoxy; the extravagances of existence of a very strong party on the other, lest, in eradicating this weed
enthusiasm are excused, if not defended, spirit. In certain circles are no from the human mind, the good seed of doubt most harmoniously painted, piety should be rooted out also." Letters, men of very different principles, vol. i. p. 116. habits, and connexions. Our ene
We were going to add some what mies within the church," are in- more of our own upon the lamendeed often defined with such a free table features of this fatal misuncomprehension of particulars, as to derstanding, cherished and loved, we embrace all who have any cordial fear, too much on all sides; upon the and disinterested attachment to the sad encouragement arising from it peculiarities of Christianity, or the to false zeal, and the repression of duties of the sacred calling. In true zeal; the food afforded by it to consequence, a counter prejudice vanity and the love of popularity; is sometimes engendered, under the famine brought upon all true which a lowly minded pastor may and legitimate efforts for the public labour without any just reason, and good ; the misrepresentations, carput himself into a humble attitude ried up even to the highest quarters, of self-defence, as if his archdeacon of persons deserving a very diffeor diocesan intended to look him rent notice ; and the consequent out of countenance for having pre- fostering of exertions which will end sumed to mingle zeal with his dis
as they began in a low and calcucretion; or to rise above the level lating selfishness, and will never of a mere hireling, slumbering all avail in the dark and trying day. the week himself, and teaching his But we are unwilling to dwell furparishioners to slumber on the Sun- ther on ill omened forebodings ; and day. We write under the sober would rather endeavour to heal the consciousness, and we may add the painful feelings excited by the shame, of feeling that things must fact of the existence of such a be very different from what they division by urging the application ought to be, when such mutual of the sage admonition contained in jealousies are found in a church the passage which follows the last which has within itself, if ever church
quotation. had, the elements of peace and concord; but in which, alas ! these disa- taking the common ground on which it is
"Surely it were better for both parties, greements go a great length towards their duty to meet, as church members nullifying its highest advantages and and as Christians, to endeavour to come to best capacities for conferring the a mutual understanding: to ascertain from greatest blessings on our own coun- the Scriptute,which is their common stantry and the world. The two sentences dard, the real temper and genius of Chrisfollowing convey a just and afflicting tianity, and by the test of personal appliview of the deadening effect of these cation, to judge of its influence upon prejudices and false impressions, and soberness, which are perfectly com
themselves. By this test only, wil zeal on the activities of the Christian patible, and are both necessary features in church.
the genuine Christian character, be distin“ Under such an impression, the guished from enthusiasm and apathy, which charges of apathy and enthusiasm, though are perhaps the opposite extremes of its they may have been originally applied to abuse. By this test, it will be seen, and, in the insulated and extreme cases, come gra- spirit of charitable discussion, it may be đually to be used as the distinction of mutually demonstrated, that as he does whole classes ; and ground is perhaps af. not deserve to be called an enthusiast forded for both, by the fear entertained by who believes every doctrine and obey's each of the partiesy of incurring the im- every precept of his Bible, and only dea yotes himself more entirely to religioni variety of opinions are taken up than is customary with the society around without sufficient ground, which have him, --so neither is he to be charged with the unhappy effect of sowing disindifference who holds himself bound to sension amongst brethren; some of check the aberrations of zeal without know
which are indeed taken up very inledge, or to expose what he honestly believes to be a deviation from the principles nocently, through certain incidental of Scripture and of the church. The impressions upon the understanding, best proof of Christian sincerity, in both from circumstances chiefly external parties, is a co-operation in works of and uncontroulable, whilst others Christian benevolence; or (if circum
ground stances make this imprudent or imprac- of reason than a more questionable ticable) a noble emulation in each to
or even guilty indulgence of some surpass the oiher.
which closes the ear "It is impossible that those who go about. doing good in their Master's name, how and hardens the heart against light
In the former ever different may be their departments of and conviction. service, should long continue to speak, or case, it must be fully allowed to be to think, evil of each other; and perhaps a hopeful, as well as a charitable there never was a more beautiful exem- task, to remove the prejudice which, plification of the power of Christian love like an external veil, cruelly preand Christian principle, than in the sacri- vents Christians of one heart and fices of local and personal prejudice, pro- soul, of one common feature and which it has been the privilege of this resemblance, from recognizing and highly-favoured country to originate." embracing each other. But, in the Letters, vol. i. pp. 116-118.
latter case, it is an undertaking of
a more questionable nature, either 2. But we proceed, in the second to prove that persons whose opiplace, to inquire how far it may be nions are severed from each other by merely prejudice which separates the intervention of guilty passions, these contending parties; and how can ever be made friends, or that far it may be a more serious diffe. their respective peculiarities of opirence at heart which, according to nion and practice are of a nature the limits laid down for this dis- to be otherwise dealt with than to cussion, no mutual explanations, nor be rescinded by genuine repentance even concessions, can reconcile, or and conversion of soul. ought to reconcile. An answer to Of the former kind, our letterthese inquiries will suggest itself, in writer assumes to be certain “Calinvestigating the causes of the divi. vinistic propensities of a very large, sion which we are lamenting. The and confessedly a very pious, porgreat object of the Letters before tion of the members of our Naus is to trace up this mournful divi- tional Church." The following exsion amongst Christians to religious tract seems necessary to illustrate PREJUDICE ; and to exhibit the his ideas on the incidental causes causes of this prejudice in such a' of this alleged prejudice. manner as may best lead to a cure.
“ I have already noticed our propensity Religious prejudice in general is to imbibe the general religious system of described by the author as of two those to whom
we are indebted for our first kinds; prejudice of OPINION, and serious impressions ; and to this propenprejudice of PASSION; the one sity, I think, we may often trace the sudproduced mainly by incidental den and unhesitating adoption of the causes, the other by moral causes. tenets peculiarly Calvinistic, which has We do not clearly see the force of been supposed to result exclusively from this intended antithesis ; for inci- a diligent and unbiassed perusal of the dental is properly opposed to acci- Scriptures, free from the influence of those
human schemes and systems that are so dental, not to moral; but, as we
apt to take possession of the mind under understand these definitions, the the more regular and gradual process of a substance of them is this : That a religious education. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 255.