« 이전계속 »
He must not expect to grasp all knowledge, and to dogmatize conceitedly upon the most sublime mysteries. He ought to rest satisfied, and be grateful to have the way to eternal happiness pointed out to him, and to endeavour to do nothing that may divert him from the right path.
Too much of the religion now-a-days is speculative theory ; men talk about religion, and call themselves religious; they too frequently forget to act. Had there been more active piety than zealous excitement, during the rapid increase of our population since the Peace, perchance our people would have been in a state less destitute of religious instruction. But now, when we see infidelity active, shall Christianity be passive ? No; let every sound Churchman inquire what he has done to instruct his ignorant fellow-countrymen in the principles and practice of the catholic faith ; if he has done little, let the little be increased ; if nothing, let the work be begun, for it is high time. That this will be a powerful means of counteracting Socialism is stated by the Christian Advocate in the conclusion of this Sermon, which we subjoin :
The second means which ought to be employed are,—the promotion of a sound religious education of the people at large. For whatever may be superadded to this,—and there is no reason why we may not introduce, when it is possible, such useful arts and accomplishments as may be serviceable hereafter, —religion ought to form the basis of all education. With regard to the great mass of the population, it is certain, that, during the time which they are able to devote to this purpose, they have opportunity for little else : and if they have,
-can we believe that they will be less disposed to honourable enterprise, and that the energies of their minds will either lose their vigour, or be impaired for the higher pursuits of scientific research, because they are under the ennobling influence of religion ?
As for any systems of education which are merely of a secular character, or of which the tendency is to foster an indifference to the great fundamental doctrines of the gospel,—they must always be destitute of any elevated and life-giving principles of thought and action. For, as one of the most learned and eloquent of our prelates, Bishop Horsley, has observed, -—" it was not by scraps of morality, with the aid of the single doctrine of a state of retribution, but by unfolding the whole mystery of godliness to the common people, that the first preaching of the gospel produced so wonderful a change in the manners of the world;" and we may add, it is by these means alone that religion can either gain or preserve its hold on the minds and the habits of mankind. With regard to the humbler Christian, an education which is defective in its first principles will leave him entirely without protection against the assaults of infidel teachers, such as have been described in this Discourse; and, in a higher rank of society, it will expose its possessor a prey to, perhaps, a more refined, but not less dangerous, scepticism.
By the employment of means like these, we may humbly trust, that, under the blessing of Heaven, some of the worst evils which beset the present condition of society, may be in a great measure alleviated. It has been wisely observed by an eminent writer of the present day, that “some price is paid for every improvement in society, and every stage in its progress brings with it its concomitant evils : if the good do but predominate, it is all that we can expect in this imperfect world, . . . for this is not our abiding place.” It was by the force of its own truth and excellence, supported by the power and spirit of its great Author, that the gospel, under far greater difficulties than those which at present beset it, achieved its conquests over the powers of darkness. It must be by the same power and in the same support, that we must labour to secure its victory over the enemies which are now arrayed against it. But it is by strengthening the hands of the National Church, that the most effectual resistance is to be opposed to our existing evils. Such assistance is absolutely necessary to enable her to fulfil her duty to the country. For with all the sacrifices which she is able to make, and with every energy which she is able to exert, her efforts, unless they are aided by the State, must be absolutely inefficient to meet the demands of an increasing population. The Church of England has never been backward to do justice to the pious efforts of other bodies of Christians in those districts where her own means have been utterly inadequate to the spiritual wants of the people; and these efforts, in conjunction with the labours of the National Church, have, under God's blessing, been the means of preventing great masses of the people from falling into absolute atheism. But it is to the National Church that the great mass of the people look up for instruction. Her doctrines, by the admission of the greater part of those who differ from her, are pure and scriptural. She has proved herself in practice, amidst the decline of other communions, best able to uphold these doctrines in their purity. It is the duty of the country, which is daily deriving an immense increase of wealth from this increase in commerce and population, to contribute some portion of that wealth to the service and maintenance of religion : and it is to be hoped, that none of the unworthy reasons which have hitherto existed,—no sordid motives of temporal policy,—will any longer prevail to prevent that assistance from being given to the National Church, which is indispensable—if we would prevent whole masses of our population,—and every individual of these masses, an immortal, accountable being, the precious purchase of the Redeemer's blood,—from being utterly abandoned to all the dreadful consequences of spiritual destitution, both in this world and in that which is to come. It is on increased efforts of this kind that our very existence as a people, at least as a religious people, must depend. For although human laws may check the increase of dangerous wickedness, and they are necessary to the protection of the peaceable and well-disposed, that “they may lead quiet lives in all godliness and honesty;" yet for the cure of the worst evils which afflict society, and for the motives to great and benevolent exertion, we must look to higher principles, –
-even to those which we derive from the religion of that merciful Redeemer, who came to save that which was lost.-Pp. 27—30.
There are some valuable Notes attached to this Sermon, which develop the progress
of Socialism from actual fact, more fully than could be done in the pulpit. We must beg our readers, therefore, not only to purchase, but to give to it their serious consideration. We are not quite sure how far Mr. Pearson is safe in the passports he gives in his Notes ; but as we know nothing, we say nothing. We are glad, however, to transfer the following able and comprehensive development of the principles of Socialism to our pages : they are found in the Preface :
The leading principles of the social part of this system, consists in the assembling its members in sodalities or communities,- system evidently subversive of every natural and religious obligation, and in which no provision was ever made, either for the public maintenance of religion, or for the instruction of the younger members in the principles of the Christian Faith. It is not difficult to see, that such a scheme could lead to nothing but the most extensive mischief. Now, however, that it is convenient to throw aside the mask, the same principles are put forth, with the view of promoting a system of the most open and avowed licentiousness and infidelity.
In order that we may show that these charges are true, we will take a brief view of the leading principles of this system :
1. In the first place, then, it is a system of practical Atheism. It is stated, that " it is irrational to believe as a divine truth" that " there
is a Being who made and who governs the universe, and all within it; and that without him nothing was made; and that this Being is infinite in knowledge, in power, and goodness; that he knows all things, does all things, and can do any thing that he wishes or desires."
“ That to worship, by mere words or formal ceremonies, any object on the earth, or in the heavens, or any thing of human device, is most opposed to the feelings of every conscientious intelligent mind, and that all such worship is necessarily destructive of the rational faculties of those trained in it.”
That the only worship that ought to be offered to a supremely intelligent good principle, is correct practice, that is, to speak the truth always in simplicity, and to act at all times in perfect accordance to it.”
“ 'That all ceremonial worship of a Cause, whose qualities are yet unknown, proceeds from ignorance : that the practice is of no utility whatever, and that it is impossible for men to be formed into rational beings, till all such worship shall cease.”+
The Socialist ascribes to this Cause neither life, intelligence, benevolence, nor rectitude; denies his personality, and moral government;1 and affirms “ that it is of no importance whether he be called matter or spirit."
II. With regard to man, they maintain, “ That no one shall be responsible for his “physical, intellectual, or moral organization.".
“No one shall be responsible for the sensations made on his organization by external circumstances.
“ No one shall be responsible for the feelings and convictions within him, and which are to him the truth, while they continue."||
“ That man's happiness consists in pleasurable sensations, or in the wants of his nature being satisfied to temperance; and that the priesthood of the world produce more pain than pleasure, by always attempting to oppose the natural attractive propensities of man, by ignorantly calling them vices, and by ignorantly supporting his repulsive propensities by calling them virtues, and thus compelling him to becoine irrational or wicked."
III. With regard to the whole scheme and plan of human redemption, it is described as “ a wild combination of absurdities ;"** and it is stated that the Bible rests on no better authority than that of the Koran, and the pretensions of Jesus Christ on no better grounds than those of Mahomet. It
IV. With regard to death and the future state of existence, they maintain, “that at dissolution each particular organization returns to the same general elements, to give new life to new compounds, and to reanimate continually improving organizations, thus forming the future life eternal, to which probably there will be no termination; death itself being considered simply as a change of one organization for others."11 And the faith and character of the Socialist is thus drawn by one of the founders of the system :$$ “ He lives for this world, because he knows nothing of any other; he doubts all revelations from heaven, because they appear to him improbable and inconsistent; he desires to see the thoughts and efforts of mankind directed solely to the improvement of their own and their fellow-creatures' condition on this earth, and to see men's wishes bounded by what they can see and know; because he is convinced that they would thus become more contented, more practically benevolent, and more permanently happy, than any dreams of futurity can make them.”
V. Lastly, with regard to Marriage, which was instituted and blessed by God himself, it is stated by the author of this system, that it is “ a Satanic device of the priesthood to place and keep men within their slavish superstitions ;" that it is "the source of more demoralization, crime, and misery, than any
Lectures, by Robert Owen, p. 105. † Social Bible. 1 Book of the New Moral World. $ Religion of the New Moral World. ll Social Bible.
Catechism of New Moral World. Lectures, p. 106.
ff Tract on Study of Theol. by R. D. Owen. 11 Book of New Mural World. $$ Tract on Study of Theol. p. 12.
other single cause, with the exception of religion and private property; and that these three together form the great trinity of causes of crime and immorality among mankind.”
Art. II.-The Novelties of Romanism, or Popery refuted by Tradition ;
a Sermon, preached in St. Andrew's Church, Manchester, by Walter FARQUHAR Hook, D.D., Vicar of Leeds, Chaplain in ordinary to the Queen, and Prebendary of Lincoln. London: F. C. & J. Rivington, Waterloo-Place; and J. Burns, Portman-Street. Leeds : J. Cross ; T. Harrison ; Mason & Scott; and M. Robinson & Co. Manchester : Bancks & Co.; Simms ; and T. Sowler. Birmingham: H. C.
Langbridge. 1839. 8vo. Pp. 40. This will be considered by the Romanists a most fearful blow at their apostate church. We never recollect to have read so stringent an exposure of the manner in which the harlot on the seven hills bears about on her girdle the marks of Antichrist. Surely there never was such a blow aimed at the Tridentine heresy, as it has received in this Sermon, which we trust will, like another antidote against popery, by the same author, t be widely circulated, as we are glad to hear that a cheap edition is in the press. We are rejoiced to embrace this opportunity of giving publicity to a vindication of the high Church party from the stupid charge of popery made against them, by zealots who are doing Rome's work unawares-of showing, a society of Christians may
Lectures on Marriage, by R. Owen, pp. 7, 56. This is a part of the subject into which I feel it impossible for me to enter. Some disclosures of a most painful description, which have very recently taken place, are sufficient to demonstrate both the abandoned iniquity of this part of the system of the Socialists, and the inevitable misery and wretchedness to society, which must follow from its adoption. But it may be observed, that this habit of attacking the divine institution of Marriage has been the characteristic mark of infidels in every age; who have felt that their plans for the disorganization of the moral and social virtues and happiness of mankind must be incomplete, as long as it was allowed to exist. The reader is referred to some just and eloquent reflections on this subject, in the celebrated Sermon on Modern Infidelity, by the late Robert Hall, pp. 51, &c. 9th Edition. The following beautiful passage from this Sermon will show the reason, why infidels of every description should be so anxious to get rid of Marriage from their system : "Nor is it in this way only," observes the writer, " that Marriage Institutions are essential to the welfare of mankind. They are sources of tenderness, as well as guardians of peace. Without the permanent union of the sexes, there can be no permanent families: the dissolution of domestic ties involves the dissolution of domestic society. But domestic society is the seminary of social affection, the cradle of sensibility, where the first elements are acquired of that tenderness and humanity which cement mankind together; and which, were they entirely extinguished, the whole fabric of social institutions would be dissolved.”
+ Hear the Church, a Sermon preached by Dr. Hook before the Queen, now in 48th Edition.
be truly a church, and yet not a true church, -and by proving how, at the Council of Trent, Rome, in the emphatic language of the “ Tracts for the Times,” “ established a lie in the place of God's truth.” This glorious Sermon is a most noble refutation of the senseless attacks which seek to represent high churchmen as tender of the character of popery. Surely, it is one thing to rant against and abuse popery, and another to make a discreet stand against the inroads of this heresy; for heretical Rome is, since the Council of Trent, as we hereafter show.
For example,- it is quite possible that sober judging men may doubt the christian wisdom of dignifying an attack on the Roman faith (made with weapons drawn from the armoury of political warfare, and wielded by engines of human temper and passion), with the name of a religious meeting, and yet yield to none in the sincerity and the boldness with which they denounce the innovations and corruptions which the Church of Rome has ingrafted on the stock of christian truth,—to none in the earnestness with which they are prepared to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. There are many true-hearted sons of the English Church, who loath the peculiarities of the church of Rome, with the hatred due to the marks of Antichrist, who yet are not prepared to join with the war-cry of ultra-protestantism, and who, because they will not join with all sects in a crusade upon what is called the common enemy,” are treated to such names as these,-“ Papists in disguise,” “semi-papists," "pioneers of a return to the mother of harlots," and the like. But high churchmen are content to put up with these nicknames, as part of the cost of their avowal of true principles, which, having counted, they are content to pay. They are content to pay it now, because it has been paid in former times-by the great divines of the English Church, by the authors of the Book of Common Prayer, by the leaders of the English Reformation-by them in common with the Fathers of the Church Catholic. They know that it is part of their birthright, as Christians, to be everywhere spoken against, – that they are then to be afraid, when all men speak well of them ;-they know that a wicked world will never see the disciples of a heavenly Master with eyes of favour : for, not to multiply examples, “ John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil; the Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." These things we know ; but we know also, that " wisdom is justified of her children;" and therefore we are to be content to pursue the even tenour of our way, as the Bible has defined, and the Church has marked it out. Being enjoined to let our moderation be known unto all men, we believe we shall do it best by obedience to that branch of the Church Catholic, by God's grace planted in this land ; her government being apostolical—her ritual, edifyingher doctrines scriptural--her practices primitive-and her charity, that
VOL. XXII. NO, I.