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ther or of wind were hailed by him as interesting incidents in his life. The trees, plants, and flowers growing within the circumscribed precincts of his retreat, had become the objects of his care; and he watched the changes brought upon them by the revolving seasons with anxious solicitude. The few animated beings whose movements broke upon the stillness of his solitude, he looked upon as so many acquaintance or visiters. A variety of birds had accustomed themselves to assemble round him at a certain hour, to receive the remnants of the food which he carried up from his father's house. He could enumerate every different sort of butterfly and insect which could be found near his retreat; and had seen the same fox pass at the same hour of each day during the two years of his seclusion. In these pursuits, if so they can be termed, and the perusal of some book, which he always brought away from the house to the mountain, his time had passed, he said, quickly and not painfully. He generally took a daily meal at home, but never spent the night there, considering his rocky hermitage as more secure. This, from its particular position, was inaccessible from the upper masses of the mountains, and presented no approach from below, except through a strip of inclosed vineyard at the back of the family dwelling.' pp. 406-7.
There is a little painting, perhaps, in this story, and if the apprehensions of the interesting homicide did not relate to what he might have reason to fear from the private revenge of friends or accomplices of the deceased, rather than from the arm of public justice, it would be difficult to reconcile the necessity of such extreme precaution for so long a period, with the alleged venality and defective organization of the police. According to the statement given, the young man was not even criminal, although appearances were against him. Such instances, however, we are assured, are by no means singular; and the ranks of the banditti are, no doubt, frequently strengthened by the accession of fugitives who continue by choice a mode of life adopted from a temporary necessity.
Had the recent revolution been successful in effecting a salutary change in the vitiated institutions of the country, it would have been irrational to expect that it would operate a speedy change in the national character. But the difficulty of effecting a beneficial change, forms, as Mr. Craven justly remarks, no argument against such views of melioration. That Naples, enfeebled by luxury, and debased by tyranny and superstition, should have put forth even a faint, effeminate exertion for political freedom, was scarcely to be anticipated; and it would be presumptuous,' adds our Author, to predict any <further struggle or more successful efforts.'
But, as Englishmen, we may be allowed to extend our sympathy towards those individuals who have sacrificed all in their vain endea vours to raise their country a degree higher in the scale of nations; who have indulged in the flattering illusion that its geographical po
sition, its deficiency of artificial résources, and the absence of all powers of aggression, might have secured it from the jealous interference of mightier states; who could scarcely have foreseen that the improved condition of a remote corner of Italy would be deemed incompatible with the safety and welfare of larger empires; or that, because an inconsiderable nation has been for centuries subjected to a moral and mental debasement, the general policy of Europe should impose the necessity of their never emerging from so humiliating a position.'
Art. II. A Comparative View of the Presbyterian, Congregational, and Independent Forms of Church Government; being an Attempt to trace out the primitive Mode from Scripture and Antiquity. Published by Request. By Joseph Turnbull, B.A. Classical Tutor of Wymondley Academy. 12mo. pp. 112. Price 3s. London. 1821.
HE subject of Church-government will doubtless be regarded by many persons as one which it is very unnecessary to revive in the present times. It is a subject to which some will oppose the feeling of indifference, under the idea that every attempt to fix it on the basis of sound and definite principles, bas been invariably unsuccessful; while others, whose professed liberality will not permit them to attach to it the least measure of importance, will satisfy themselves with the acknowledgement, which they imagine may be obtained from all parties, that it has no direct connexion with the essentials of religion. But, whatever concession may be allowed as to this point, whatever indulgence may be granted to the feelings of those persons who seem to turn away, as if with an instinctive aversion, from the question of church-government, there is one kind of importance which it may claim, and which ought to procure for every fair discussion of the subject, the attention of every Christian,-the importance which belongs to it as being inseparable from the consideration of the means by which the religion of Christ has been so greatly corrupted, and those by which its integrity may be restored, and its interests be, in their purity and beneficence, vigorously maintained. That it has such a relation, it is impossible to deny; and it is quite sufficient that this relation exists, to justify serious and temperate inquiry into the whole case of church-government.
The publication before us, we learn from the preface, was originally prepared to be read at the annual meeting of a numerous and respectable association of ministers, where it ob tained the approbation of the majority of those present, though some of the assembly were opposed to its sentiments. On careful perusal of the Essay, we are compelled to profess ourselves less able to account for the approbation of the many, than for the dissatisfaction of the few. The Essay offers to our að
tention, no considerations of a very novel kind; and in respect to the point which it is principally intended to illustrate, the authority of Christian Ministers, it must be pronounced altogether inefficient.
We agree with the Author, that the doctrine of expédiency' as applied by some writers to the subject of Christian institutes, is pregnant with the most injurious practical consequences.' That the Apostles regarded no one order in the establishment of the Christian Church, is,' he says, neither probable a priori, C nor true in fact.' But we cannot commend his discretion in selecting as proofs of his statement, such passages as the following:
Paul says to the Corinthians, "Timothy shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ Jesus, as I teach every where in every church :"*, And again, "So I ordain in all the churches :"+ "If any man seem to be contentious, we have no such customs," (referring to the practice of women appearing with their heads uncovered,) "neither the churches of God." " p. 8.
We really cannot conjecture by what kind of sequitur from these passages, it appears certain, that, in the beginning, some particular form of church-government was settled, which had the sanction of the jus divinum.' The passages cited prove that Christian assemblies were in existence; but, as to indicating any thing in respect to a particular form of Church polity, they are absolutely nugatory.
Again, Mr. Turnbull states (p. 10), that both Presbytery and Independency sprang from Puritanism; i. e. from an effort, after a long night of darkness and corruption, to restore the Church of Christ to its original purity and lustre.' But if so, it is not easy to understand with what propriety the noble efforts of the first Independents to cast off all lordly usurpa❝tions over conscience,' can be described as a first effort to break the iron yoke.
The Brownists, or strict Independents, are represented (p. 11) as religionists who insisted on the primitive independence of the churches; and seem to have been opposed to the union of churches, and the authority of the ministers.' Yet, it is well known, that the Brownists maintained the mutual relation and intercourse of such churches as they accounted Christian and scriptural. When the number of communicants was larger than could meet in one place, the church divided, and chose new officers from among themselves as before, living together as sister churches, and giving each other the right hand of
* 1 Cor. iv. 17. +1 Cor. vii. 17. 1 Cor. xi. 16.
fellowship, or the privilege of communion. Their separaration from the National Church, Mr. Turnbull will not impute to them as an offence.-These instances of inaccuracy in the outset of his work, we confess, surprised us.
Chap. IV. treats of the officers of the Church;' it is divided into three sections, which are headed by the following titles: How many kinds?'; The authority of Elders; By whom chosen.' In the New Testament, the offices of bishop and deacon are explicitly described, and the appropriate qualifications for these offices are distinctly enumerated. From a comparison of the passages which relate to these offices, it would seem to be an obvious conclusion, that the duties of the former class were of a higher kind than those of the latter: the qualification of being "apt to teach" (daxrixos), is required in the one case, but not in the other. The bishops (IoT) are invariably distinguished from the deacons (diaxoro); and as nothing is said in those portions of the Christian Scriptures which specify the qualifications of the bishops and deacons, of any other office, it would appear that these two are the only classes to whom official designation belongs in societies formed on the principles of the apostolical churches. There is, too, direct proof, that bishops (IoT) and elders (Burgos) are correlative terms, applied to the same persons; but no distinct example can be produced in which deacons are spoken of as being elders. There is, however, one passage in which the term BUTERO, elders, is used, the precise import of which has been much disputed. In 1 Tim. v. 17. St. Paul says: "Let the "elders that rule well, be accounted worthy of double honour, "especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." Mr. Turnbull is disposed to consider the term elder as generic, apply. ing both to the pastors and the deacons; and he would, therefore, interpret the passage as referring, in its first member, to deacons as assistants to the pastors, and, in its second, to the bishops as occupying the superior station.
'If we find,' he says, that the term deacon was applied to the same persons as the term elder, there is nothing improbable in the supposition that deacon and elder were convertible terms; and, therefore, that a ruling elder might have been a deacon, and a deacon a ruling elder. I think we shall find this supposition confirmed by fact: and if we can shew that bishops are elders bearing rule, and that deacons are assistants to them, it will follow that deacons may not improperly be termed ruling elders. And, moreover, if there were but two kinds of officers in the church, viz. bishops and deacons; then, that the deacons must have been actually ruling elders, together with the bishops.' pp. 33-4.
* Neal. Vol. I. p. 331. Toulmin's Ed.
On this question, the only admissible testimony is the evidence of the New Testament; and to this we might suppose that Mr. T. had limited his inquiries, especially from the manner in which he has stated the following not very harmonious conclusions.
The third distinct office of ruling elder did not find its way into the Church of Christ, by the appointment of the Apostles, in modelling the church after the synagogue. There is no difficulty then in admitting that the Scripture speaks of ruling elders; but whether it be distinct office may well be doubted.' pp. 43, 51. From these passages it would seem that, in the inquiry which the Author has engaged to prosecute, the authority of the New Testament is, in his own view, the only proper means of determining the question at issue. Yet, strange to say, from the New Testament, Mr. T. bas produced no testimonies, but, with an exception which we shall immediately notice, has thought proper to satisfy himself and his readers with extracts from Vitringa and quotations from the Fathers. These, however, are testimonies which can by no means be allowed to settle the import of terms relating to the ministers and offices of the primitive Church. On this point, the opinions or customs of later times, or the analogies, real or imaginary, of the synagogue, cannot be allowed to rule our judgements. But not only has Mr. T. introduced inadmissible testimonies; he has shewn himself not a very skilful examiner of those witnesses whom he has cited into court; and he has committed himself in respect to the identity of one of them, whose evidence, were it uniform, has no reference to the question under examination, unless as it is directly opposed to the Author's purpose. The exception referred to is found in the following scriptural proof or illustration.
Arguing from the general meaning of the term, and from the language used by Paul and Timothy, we should infer, that the deacons had some ruling power. The apostle requires of deacons to rule their own houses well. Just before he had required the same of a bishop, and then he gives this reason for the qualification: "for if he know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of a church of God ? (πως εκκλησίας θεου επιμελησεται.) The same reason may naturally be supposed to operate in the case of deacons; they are not required to be" apt to teach," but they are required to be apt to rule.' p. 36.
Now, passing by the error with respect to Timothy, it is quite clear, we apprehend, that the Apostle does not require in deacons that they should possess the qualification of being apt to "rule." The language of the Apostle is correctly and fully interpreted when explained in its obvious meaning, as directing that persons ought not to be selected for the offices of the Church, who were remiss in the moral culture of their own households: it shews, as Macknight remarks, and it shews nothing more, how anxious the Apostle was, that all who bare sacred offices, Vol. XVI. N. S.