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not a High, but an Evangelical, Churchman, as his deeply devout nature fitted him to be. But though thus misled, he would not go to Rome, because she had corrupted herself. Newman's going thither“ was the sorrow of his life.” Yet, with strange inconsistency, he would have the Establishment become as much like Rome as possible, minus her corruption and her pope. How singular was that blindness which prevented such good and great men as Keble and his associates from seeing that it was not until the ancient Church permitted her ministry to claim apostolical and sacerdotal authority that she lost her true life. That claim was the germ of Roman Catholicism.
Of the final outcome of the Oxford movement, who can say what it will be ? Concerning what it has accomplished, Mr. Mozley says: “Upon the whole, the movement must be credited with the increased interest in divine things, the more reverential regard for sacred persons and places, and the freedom from mere traditional interpretation, which mark the present century in comparison with the last. The Oxford movement, unforeseen by the chief movers, and, to some extent, in spite of them, has produced a generation of ecclesiologists, ritualists, and religious poets. Whatever may be said of its priestcrafts, it has filled the land with Churcherafts of all kinds. Has it not had some share in the restoration of biblical criticism, and in the Revision of the Authorized Version ?"
These are mixed results, partly good, partly bad. Mr. Froude sees less good and more evil in its fruits than Mr. Mozley. In his view, though Newman's secession was not an immediate success in carrying many immediately over to Rome, yet the movement sowed seed which is still growing, not in the middle and lower classes, but“ among people who have money enough to live upon and nothing to do.” It has made Romanism a proselyting power among the upper classes, and has contributed largely to its political influence. In the Church itself it has fostered sacerdotalism, sapped Protestantism, weakened her as a political power in the realm, robbed her clergy of influence over public opinion, and encouraged the growth of doubt in the supernatural among the great body of the people. In “a ritualist English Church” Froude sees a Church “as powerless over the lives of the people as the Roman augurs over the Rome of
Cicero and Cæsar.” Nevertheless, he is confident that “the great body of the English people, which is Protestant at heart, will never allow” the pretensions of those Romanizing Ritualists, though it may be a long time before they will find a way to suppress them.
This is, in truth, a gloomy enough outlook. But is there not a ray of light shining through the confusion caused by the clashing of Church parties, in the rising demand of large numbers of the people for disestablishment? As a spiritual body, able to provide for the religious needs of the English nation, the National Church is and always has been a failure ; albeit it has produced many mighty men and achieved not a little good. Nevertheless, it has never covered the national religious need; and it never will. Its Ritualists are working on false principles, which must in the end breed corruption. Its Broad-Churchmen, though highly cultivated and intellectually strong, are more likely to lead it into a proud, profitless skepticism than to make it a mighty spiritual force. Its Evangelicals are apparently too few and feeble to reforin it. Yet they, with the Dissenters, are the hope of England; and, in case of disestablishment, would probably join hands with thein, sympathetically if not organically, in efforts to hold the middle and lower aristocrátic classes, which contain the heart of England, true to the faith of the Gospel. Hence the growing idea of disestablishment appears as a rainbow giving promise to the reflective mind of brighter days to the Christianity of the British Isles.
After Newman's secession Keble devoted himself very closely to his parish duties, which he fondly loved; to the completion and publication of his “ Lyra Innocentium; or, Thoughts in Verse on the Sayings and Doings of Little Children," and to writing the “Life of Bishop Wilson, of Sodor and Man,” which was published in 1863. His further labors in behalf of the Tractarians were chiefly epistolary. He was constantly consulted by the more active workers among them, and much of his time was given to such correspondence. His “ Lyra Innocentium,” which was about, not for, children, gave such marked prominence to his High-Church opinions, that it failed to find general acceptance. In poetical merit it was far below “ The Christian Year;" albeit his biographer claims that, if not equal to that successful work “as a whole, it is at least inore
than equal in some parts, and, on the whole, worthy of its author.” Professor Shairp pronounces a few of its poems fine lyrics, equal perhaps to most in “ The Christian Year," but attributes its failure to 6 strike home to the universal heart” partly to its High-Church tone, and partly to the probable fact “that the fountain of inspiration did not flow so fully as in earlier years."
His “Life of Bishop Wilson,” though exhaustive of every thing touching that good man's life, and highly esteemed for its many excellences, was yet never popular. Like many other biographies it was too lengthy, and Mr. Coleridge regrets that Keble, in preparing it, did not make old Izaak Walton's spicy biographies of Herbert, Donne, etc., his models.
The latter part of Keble’s life was somewhat shadowed by the frequent sicknesses of his admirable wife and by his own ill health. Hence both his parish and literary work were often interrupted by brief tours in search of health. At last, on March 29, 1866, his earthly tasks were ended, and his spirit passed into the unseen world, after bequeathing to posterity an example, not indeed of a life free from serious mistakes, but of
singular piety, of inflexible integrity, and entire indifference to what is called fame or worldly advantages.”
Besides the writings already mentioned, Keble was the author of a “Metrical Version of the Psalms” and the editor of what many Churchmen esteem as the best edition of Richard Hooker's works. But his literary fame reposes not so much on any or all of his other writings, as on his “Christian Year.” Mr. Froude, while conceding that this work “ will always hold a high place in religious poetry," contends that it owes its extraordinary popularity to temporary and accidental circumstances, and that because it is utterly lacking in insight into the complicated problems of humanity, “and is not in sympathy with the passions which are the pulses of human life,” its rhymes will not "outlive the pyramids. The qualities which have given them their immediate influence will equally forbid their immortality."
Opposed to the somewhat self-contradictory judgment of this incisive critic stands that of the acute and broad-minded Professor Shairp. He discerns, as every unbiased Christian must, that “ The Christian Year” did not gain its first popularity
because Keble voiced Sacramentalism in its poems, as Froude, with only partial correctness, assumes; but because it expressed hopes and fears, joys and griefs, desires and aspirations, which are the pulses of the Christian life in universal humanity, and therefore, the professor says, “it may be expected to live on, if not in so wonderful esteem, yet widely read and deeply felt, for it makes its appeal to no temporary or accidental feelings, but mainly to that which is permanent in man. It can hardly be that it should lose its hold on the affections of English-speaking men as long as Christianity retains” its hold upon them. It is because “The Christian Year" has succeeded in conveying to the outer world some effluence of that character which his intimate friends loved and revered in Keble that, as Shairp believes," it will not cease to hold a quite peculiar place in the affections of posterity.”
ART. V.- THE WESLEYAN CONDITION OF CHURCH
MEMBERSHIP-ITS MODIFICATIONS. The occasion has arisen for a review of the Wesleyan condition of Church membership, and a survey of the present terms and conditions upon which persons attain to membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In the January (1882) number of the “Southern Methodist Quarterly Review," Rev. D. C. Kelley, D.D., in an article of general excellence on the question of “Fraternity," offers, as one reason why the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is not one with the Methodist Episcopal Church :
That the addition of two questions and answers to those proposed as candidates for Church membership, in the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, has so changed the Church from the basis on which Christ placed it, and Mr. Wesley left it, that we find a necessity for separate existence, that we may retain the marks of a New Testament Church. The condition of admission, as we understand the New Testament, is “ a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins.” The form of reception in the Methodist Episcopal Church demands of the penitent that he shall already have a consciousness of pardon; and further, that he shall declare that he believes in the doctrines
of Holy Scripture as set forth in the Articles of Religion of the Methodist Episcopal Church. We teach these as duties, but refuse to place them as conditions at the threshold of the Church-following thereby Christ and Wesley.
When we elect to defend our separate existence on the ground of vital doctrinal difference in the matter of reception into the Church, we stand on ground which is not only every way solid, but deal with a question which, in the future movements of Christianity, must become daily more a living and momentous issue.
There are other sentences in Dr. Kelley's article of a similar import, some of them containing stronger language, but these are sufficient to clearly indicate his position. It is remarkable that a writer so clear-headed and broad-minded as Dr. Kelley appears to be, after uttering sentiments of large liberality, and bravely protesting against the narrow spirit which, on the old issues,“ regards one party as always right, and the other always wrong,” should allow himself to take a precisely similar stand regarding the present doctrinal attitude of the two Churches. In his vigorous efforts to lead the liberal South into still greater liberality, we most heartily wish him Godspeed, and we believe that the standard which he and some of his brethren have so courageously set up will have a triumphant following in the “New South” not far hence; but at the same time we must demur to such a statement of the present ecclesiastical issue, as not only admits of a boast of Southern Methodist conservatism of right, but sharply charges the Methodist Episcopal Church with gross misapplication of a fundamental Scripture doctrine, and the utter perversion of a vital Wesleyan principle.
Dr. Kelley's understanding of the New Testament Church may be correct, and it may be decidedly incorrect. It is easy to make confident assertions respecting a particular rule of discipline among the apostles, but not easy to substantiate them by satisfactory evidence. There are points of order wherein nearly all denominations of Christendom differ, at the same time each one of them holding its own custom to be apostolical. That saving faith, as well as evangelical repentance, was a requisite of admission to membership in the New Testament Church, and that this condition was not ignored or discarded by Mr. Wesley, is our thorough conviction, though in support of it only a few considerations can here be presented. It is not