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resemblance to the church of the other; while each is so affected by that variation, that whatever may be their agreement in other points, assuredly not less essential and weighty, they cannot be made to coalesce. Mr. Coleman, however, would seem to have the advantage over Mr. Gladstone in this: he does not deny to the church with a prelate, the character of a true church; and, though he would earnestly entreat her to consider whether she has not made an injurious addition to Christ's institution, and if so to remove it, would, in the mean time, extend to her the right hand of fellowship. Mr. G., however, refuses to invest with this high dignity the church without a prelate; and content with acknowledging the individual piety of some who belong to it, excides her utterly from the visible church of Christ. But Mr. Coleman is an American, he may not understand the matter; true, there is episcopacy in America, but he may not be familiar with that of the English church. Aware that this consideration will be sufficient to deter many a churchman from looking at his book, we are gratified at being able to put a weight in Mr. C.'s scale, which, as far as authority goes, will assuredly place him on a level with Mr. G. The Rev. Mr. Bickersteth, one of the most honoured ministers of the English church, in the month of September last year, 1844, publicly made this declaration ;-" The church of Christ is larger than any particular church-blessed be God!-whether established or non-established; whether episcopalian or non-episcopalian. I consider that church government is very far removed from being an essential of the church of CHRIST." Here we have the divine against the layman of his own prelatic society, and with the divine of the non-prelatical. Can Mr. Gladstone then be surprised, that with such testimonies supporting our own deep convictions, we should claim to be regarded as a church proper; and that, notwithstanding his very skilful parryings, we should still charge the exclusiveness of English episcopacy with great arrogance? Here is still the fact, however, that in the nineteenth century we have before us two volumes from able pens, thus disagreeing in the nature of a church! What shall we make of it? Which is right? Who shall arbitrate between them? We despair of bringing them to an agreement; yet are there a few matters in each, which, after giving our readers some idea of the books and the writers, we wish to note.
Of Mr. Coleman's works, his "Christian Antiquities" was first published. It professes to be chiefly compiled from the learned and elaborate work of Augusti; yet it may be truly said to be a new work, since the author appears not to have taken for granted any of his statements, but to have collated and compared all his facts with Rheinwald, Siegel, Bingham, or with the original authorities; as well as to have incorporated much matter from these writers with that taken from Augusti, at an immense cost of time and labour. It contains a vast amount of
information on almost every branch of the subject it discusses, in two hundred and twenty-four pages large octavo, double columns,-equal to about two ordinary volumes. It treats of the organisation, the worship, the officers, the prayers and psalmody, the rites, the discipline, &c. of the early Christian churches. We have no hesitation in saying it proceeds from the pen of one in search of truth; it is written with care and candour. It is a collection of facts and testimonies drawn from authentic historical sources, not of fancies and conjectures; and we do not think the author has wilfully misrepresented his authorities. It is a complete manual of the antiquities of the church for the general reader; and for the student a text-book such as was greatly needed, referring him for almost every statement to the original sources of information. And as it is the only book we have on the subject, which is at the same time concise, comprehensive, and cheap, we expect it will obtain a wide circulation.
The topic of Mr. Coleman's second work is introduced into the first, but in a very condensed form. It was worthy of closer and fuller consideration. That consideration our author, by a trifling incident, was happily led to give it; and, after three years' patient research, has produced "A Church without a Prelate." His own account is this:
"The object of the author in the following work, is to commend to the consideration of the reader the admirable simplicity of the government and worship of the primitive church, in opposition to the polity and ceremonials of the higher forms of prelacy.
"In the prosecution of that object, he has sought, under the direction of the best guides, to go to the original sources, and first and chiefly to draw from them. On the constitution and government of the church, none have written with greater ability, or with more extensive and searching erudition, than Mosheim, Planck, Neander, and Ruthe. These have been his principal reliance, and after these a great variety of authors."—Introduction, p. 5.
This book, accordingly, like the former, is a book of facts and references. It is a compendious statement of the result of the author's researches into the testimony of Scripture and of early writers; together with those deductions which to his own mind appear necessarily and logically to flow from them. There is no painting. He does not attempt to give an embodiment of the church, living, moving, and having her spiritual being. He answers the simple question, What did she do? How was she constituted? What the reason, what the principle, which guided her in each act? and gives little more than a direct and categorical reply with his authority for the statement; leaving it to the imagination of the reader to picture the holy, happy society that resulted from the working of this constitution, and realise the scenes of moral beauty and glory that, amid the wastes of idolatry and superstition, ever and anon appeared. But this is all he has attempted; and he did wisely in limiting his design and adhering to his plan, which he has executed with equal fidelity and skill.
We should now like the same or another hand to complete the work. We see the church, in Mr. Coleman's book, as we may suppose the first man appeared, at the moment he received the breath of life, but before it beamed in his eye, lighted up his countenance, developed its potent and vital energy in his divinely-formed and noble frame, and constituted him the best and most glorious of his Creator's works. We want to see it in the state of graceful movement, and happy and energetic action, which followed when he had become "a living soul," and
The image of his glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude, severe and pure."
We want to see it as it was presented to view in its best and purest days, before prelacy had changed its hue. When under the influence of those simple principles by which our author affirms its affairs were managed, it was full of love and strength-when "the dew" was on it from the Lord, and it "grew as the lily, and sent forth its roots as Lebanon, when its branches spread, and its beauty was as the olive tree, and its smell as Lebanon." The Tractarians have attempted to do for "The Early English Church," and for "The Church of the Fathers," something of this sort; and have presented to those who are not able to detect their assumptions, and separate their fictions from their facts, an enchanting picture. The effort of the Rev. R. Jamieson, minister of Currie, is successful, as far as it goes, and comes near to what we wish. His "Manners and Trials of the Primitive Christians" is a deeply interesting little volume, which every man should read. But it was not his object to trace the connexion between their government and discipline, and those manners he so touchingly describes; and it remains for some master-hand to clothe the skeleton and invest the figure which Mr. Coleman has so skilfully put together, with all its beauty, and animation, and life.
The work of Mr. Gladstone differs greatly, in its object and style of writing, from those we have noticed. The spirit in which it is penned is vastly superior to that of any other writer of his school that has come under our notice. He is wholly free from that pietism and sanctimoniousness, which in their works have so often repelled us; nor does he betray any of that supercilious contempt, that deep and rancorous hatred towards those who differ from him, which many of them scarcely attempt to conceal. He has a large and generous heart. His piety, to our minds, is as undoubted as it is earnest and sincere. And constrained as we are at every step to demur to his data, or to his reasonings, or to his deductions; and convinced that the principles he advocates, would, in other hands, soon degenerate into Romanism in its most offensive forms; we must still confess that we admire the man, account him a brother, and feel ourselves the better for having perused his work.
But it is this spirit and character of the writer, which, to our eyes, give to his book such serious importance. He may outwardly symbolise with the men of Oxford; yet we cannot help thinking that he is separated from them by a wide gulf. The manifest Jesuitism of No. XC.; the sighing of Mr. Newman for the sword, in his Popular Protestantism; the out-and-out Hildebrandism of Mr. Ward; are comparatively harmless. If we knew that the intelligent and truly serious portion of the laity of the Church of England thought and felt with Mr. Gladstone, it would be to us cause of far greater alarm and more anxious consideration. True, the object of our fear would be somewhat more remote, but it would not be groundless. In early times some of the most pernicious principles were introduced by some of the holiest men; nor was it till long after they were gathered to their fathers, and a new race, without their piety, arose to carry them out, that their true character appeared, and the mighty mischief began to work; and if we were prepared to trust Mr. Gladstone and his party, we should not be prepared to trust their successors. We should apprehend the direst results. Now we fear there is a considerable number of serious Church of England men among the laity, who fully sympathise with him, and it gives us much concern. Still we are not without hope; we think they will be checked by the excesses of the clergy, in whose moderation we have no confidence; they are not all so cautious as Dr. Hook; their intemperate and fiery zeal, by way of warning, may do good service. But something also may be done by dissenters; despised as they are, they are not powerless. They possess both character and talents; and if in the tone and manner with which they bring them to bear, they act wisely, they must tell. If they suppose, however, that such errors, in such men, are to be corrected by empty declamation and ugly names; or that a religious spirit so earnest and consuming,-sustained, moreover, by so much that, to them, is sacred and venerable in their supposed apostolic Church,—is to be exorcised or subdued by any mere external hostility and opposition, they greatly mistake. This course has been tried long enough to showwhat indeed an ordinary sagacity would have foreseen-that its tendency is only to confirm prejudice, and lead them to hug still closer their cherished institutions; and to prove, that rather than yield to brute force, or, what is little better, the demands of a mob oratory, they are prepared for martyr resistance. If dissenters would make a right impression while they speak firmly, they must reason well and wisely; they must add deeds to words, and show in fact, that they have a system which is worthy to take the place of the one they would supplant. They must understand their own principles better, act upon them more consistently, and impart to actual Congregationalism somewhat more than it yet has of the beauty and power which it exhibited in apostolic times. Till then their declamations
will pass for nothing, and the more frequent and violent their assaults, the more powerful and determined will be the spirit of opposition they I will evoke in the men to whom we now refer.
In the space that remains to us we propose to place in contrast the church principles of Mr. Coleman and Mr. Gladstone; to show that the objections which he urges against his opponents, do not apply to the polity advocated by Mr. Coleman; in fact, that as we believe there is no considerable body of Christians in existence that adopts the principles controverted by him, his reasonings are beside the mark, and certainly do not touch the system of Congregational dissenters; and to endeavour to make it evident that all the advantages which he supposes the church to gain by the principles he defends, are more than enjoyed by the churches conformed to Mr. Coleman's model. We are aware that a volume would be required to do justice to these topics, and we have but a few pages. In them we will say what we can. We have no intention of stating all the church principles of our body; but only such as stand correlated to those of which Mr. G. has appeared as the advocate.
CHURCH PRINCIPLES OF THE CHURCH
1. That the church on earth is visible and one; that there is no plurality of churches except such as is local only; that its unity is outward as well as inward; and that its attributes are universality, authority, visibility, permanency, and sympathy. That throughout the world there is but one holy, catholic, and apostolic church, which is the body of Christ; and that that institution is of Divine establishment.-Church Principles, pp. 94, 95, 116, et seq.
2. That in the church, two sacraments have been instituted by Jesus Christ,
CHURCH PRINCIPLES OF CONGREGA-
1. That the believers in any place, who agree to meet together to worship God, through Jesus Christ his Son, according to the Scriptures, constitute a church; which church, however, may be spoken of definitely as the church at Jerusalem, at Tahiti, &c., or as the church to which A. or B. may belong; meaning thereby that part of the church dwelling in such local spot, and with which such person has fellowship.
That the church, when the term is used absolutely, comprehends all the saints from the birth of time, whether on earth or in heaven; as Christ loved the church,' &c. But there is no such phrase in the New Testament, as the church of the Roman empire, or of Greece, corresponding with the church of England, or of Prussia. There does not seem, however, any objection to employ the term in a qualified, and therefore improper sense, and to speak of the church on earth, meaning thereby the collective saints living at any given period of time.
2. That under the Gospel economy there are two sacraments, or sacred insti