Page images

he was tempted to complain, the view of the newsmen equally alert, and for a very different object, changed his repinings into thanksgivings.-From the City he returned home, and about ten o'clock assembled his family to prayers: immediately after which he proceeded to the chapel, where he performed the whole service, with the administration of the sacrament on the alternate Sundays, when he did not go to Lothbury. His sermons, you know, were most ingeniously brought into an exact hour; just about the same time, as I have heard him say, being spent in composing them. I well remember accompanying him to the afternoon church in Bread Street (nearly as far as Lothbury), after his taking his dinner without sitting down. On this occasion I hired a hackney coach: but he desired me not to speak, as he took that time to prepare his sermon. I have calculated that he could not go much less than fourteen miles in the day, frequently the whole of it on foot, besides the three services, and at times a fourth sermon at Longacre chapel, or elsewhere, on his way home in the evening; and then he concluded the whole with family prayer, and that not a very short one. Considering bis bilious and asthmatic habit, this was immense labour! And all this I knew him do very soon after, if not the very next Sunday after, he had broken a rib by falling down the cabin stairs of a Margate packet and it seemed to me as if he passed few weeks without taking an emetic! But his heart was in his work; and I never saw a more devoted Christian. Indeed, he appeared to me to have hardly a word or a thought out of the precise line of his duty; which made him somewhat formidable to weaker and more sinful beings. His trials, I should think (as you would have me honest with you), were those of temper. Never, I often remarked, was there a petition in his family prayers, for any thing but the pardon of sin, and the suppressing of corruption.-His life, and labours, and devotedness, kept him from much knowledge of the world; but the strength of his judgment gave him a rapid insight into passing affairs: and upon the whole I should be inclined to say, he was one of the wisest men I ever knew.-You know more than I can do of the nature and habits of his daily life. I can only say that, when fatigued with writing, he would come up stairs, where the Bible was generally open, and his relaxation seemed to be, talking over some text with those whom he found there: and I can truly declare, that I never lived in a happier or more united family."

It is implied in the above account (says the Author), that my father's sermons were usually composed the same day they

were delivered. This was literally the case. For more than five-and-thirty years, he never put pen to paper in preparing for the pulpit, except in the case of three or four sermons, preached on particular occasions, and expressly intended for publication; yet no one who heard him would complain of crudeness or want of thought in his discourses. They were rather faulty in being overcharged with matter, aad too argumentative for the generality of hearers. Indeed, an eminent chancery lawyer used to say that he heard him for professional improvement, as well as for religious edification; for that he possessed the close argumentative eloquence peculiarly requisite at that bar, and which was found to be so rare an endowment.-Pp. 229–231.

In writing to a distant connexion by marriage, Mr. Scott says;

Those professors who seem not to feel such conflicts, and find no such difficulty in living up to their rule, evidently aim low, and do not measure their experiences and attainments by the scriptura! standard. The blessing is pronounced by our Lord on those that hunger and thirst after righteousness; but hunger and thirst imply the desire, the ardent desire, of what is not yet obtained; and in heaven, when such gracious desires shall be fully answered, we shall hunger no more, and thirst no more. In the mean time, it is well to set our mark high, that we may press forward, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to those that are before; and, as far as I can judge by your letter, this is the present frame of your spirit. When we feel our need of forgiveness in this and the other respect, and of grace to fill up our station properly to the honour of the Gospel, we know what to pray for, and shall pray with our hearts; but, when our convictions are more general, and we are not so particularly acquainted with our wants, enemies, and evil propensities, our prayers will be more languid; and words, good in general, but not feelingly the language of our hearts, will constitute our petitions. For my part, I am not able, after twenty years endeavouring after it, to rise a whit above a poor sinner, trusting in free mercy through the atoning blood; and a poor beggar, who might as easily live in health without food, as serve God one day without fresh supplies of wisdom, strength, and grace, sought, in earnest prayer, from the fulness of Christ. If this be neglected, I find all good declines, all evil revives; and am sensible that nothing which has passed would keep me from the vilest crimes, of which my wicked heart is capable, if this could be wholly suspended. Yet, I trust, the Lord does put, and will put his fear into my heart, that I may not

depart from him: and my view of final perseverance is this, that the Lord has engaged to keep me (if indeed I am a believer), empty, poor, hungering, praying, and living by faith on the fulness of Christ, till he bring me to glory: and then all the painful experience I have had of my own weakness and sinfulness, will tune my songs of praise to Him that washed me from my sins in his own blood, through the countless ages of eternity. Yet, God forbid that I should abuse the Gospel! I trust I only desire to live that I may serve the Lord, and recommend his Gospel: and perfect holiness and obedience are the heaven I hope and long for. But the more I do in the Lord's service, the greater debtor I am to his grace, for the will, power, pardon, and acceptance: and the more I aim to do, the deeper sense I have of my need of the blood and righteousness of Christ, as my only title to the heavenly inheritance.

The following extracts from a most striking and affectionate letter, dated Nov. 1801, afford a suitable conclusion to the present article.

As far as I can recollect, I never bad so violent an attack of the asthma before. For many hours of two successive nights, it was all but absolute suffocation; and the sense and dread of that were continually present to my mind. Yet, bless the Lord, I was not left either to murmur or despond. I had very serious apprehensions of immediate death; though I said nothing to those around me and all my cares, plans, hopes (as to this world), and every thing, except my wife and children, seemed quite out of sight. I had not any sensible comfort; yet I thought of dying without emotion: though the idea of dying by suffocation seemed formidable. I felt the grand concern to be safe; and was willing to leave all below, to have done with suffering, sin, and temptation. I did not feel much of what the Apostle mentions, of DESIRING to be with Christ; and I was convinced, for that very reason, that my Christianity was of a small growth: yet I trusted that it was genuine. I tried to commit all I loved, and all I had laboured to effect, into the Lord's hands and I thought of recovering, as a sailor, just about to enter harbour, would of being ordered out to sea again. Yet I was willing, if the Lord saw good. This was about the state of my mind. I could confusedly recollect very many things to be humbled for, and ashamed of; but nothing that impeached the sincerity of my professed faith in Christ, and love to him: and, though conscious of very many faults and imperfections in my ministry, I was also conscious, that I had honestly sought to glorify God, and save souls, in preference to all worldly interests. My hope

was that of a sinner, throughout saved by grace yet I was satisfied, that the aim of my heart, and the tenour of my conduct, since I professed the Gospel, evidenced that I had built on the sole foundation by a living faith. When I die, it is not to be expected, that I should be able to declare my views and experiences; and therefore I commit these things to paper, as what passed in my mind, when I had serious apprehensions of dying.—

Wherever, or how long, or in whatever way, I may be employed, I never felt so deeply convinced in my life, that being employed as a minister, is the only thing worth living for. The vanity of all worldly possessions, distinctions, connexions, and enjoyments, never so forcibly impressed my mind, as on this occasion. The folly of shrinking from that hardship or suffering, which the frown or scorn of men can infict on us, for faithfulness, appeared extreme; when I felt how easily God could inflict far sharper sufferings, if he saw

good. The reality and importance of eterHal things shone on the scenes around me; so that the crowds of noble and affluent sinners, following the steps of the rich man in the Gospel, appeared the most miserable of wretches. Transient pain taught me emphatically the value of deliverance from eternal misery; and endeared the love of the Deliverer, who vo luntarily endured such pain and agony for us vile sinners. The evil of sin, the hap piness of the poorest true Christian, and the little consequence of the smoothness or ruggedness of the path, provided we come to heaven at last: these things, and others connected with them, have not, for many years at least, so impressed my mind.

Pray for me, that I may not lose these impressions; but, if spared, may live, and preach, and pray, and write in a manner somewhat less unsuitable to the vastly important services I am engaged in: for who can be sufficient for these things ?—I rejoiced, and blessed God, when I recollected that he had put you into this high office of the ministry. O may he preserve you from the snares, and smiles, and frowns of the world; from the fascinations and delusions, from the lukewarmness, and evangelical formality, and attachment to secular interests, which are sanctioned too much in the church! May you be a wiser, holier, more faithful, and more useful minister, than ever I have been!-O keep the concluding scene in view every step of the way, and judge of every thing by it. The evils I have protested against in health appeared to me far, far more pernicious, as I lay gasping for breath, than before: and I seem to rejoice in the hope of entering further protests against them.-But I must stop my pen, or I shall hurt myself. You



will excuse the overflowings of my heart at this time; it never was more full of love for you... My love and blessing to my daughter. God bless and prosper you, in the best sense!--Your truly affectionate THOMAS SCOTT It will gratify many of our readers to understand, that the whole first edition of this work was disposed of in three weeks, and that a second edition may be expected in a few days.

The Porteusian Bible and Por

teusian Bible Society.

WHAT is this Porteusian Bible? is a question which has been often asked, but which we have hitherto been unable to answer. At length, however, the Porteusian Bible and the Porteusian Address appear upon our table, and we proceed, as in duty bound, to report accordingly.

1. The Porteusian Bible is a common Bible of the authorized version, to some of the chapters of which the figures 1. 2. and 1* are prefixed by hand, according as they appear to the Porteusian Editor to be spiritual, historical, or doctrinal.

2. To this Bible is prefixed the Porteusian Index, together with a Scripture View of the Christian's Faith, Duty, and Privileges. By a Protestant Prelate. As this Scripture View occupies about seventy pages, we naturally turned to it as the most important part, and immediately recognised a work with which we have been long acquainted; not, indeed, the work of Bishop Porteus; not the work of any prelate who, having a respect for the Porteusian Bible and the Porteusian Bible Society, has thought proper to assist them with his pen while modestly concealing his name; but the work of Bishop Gastrell, entitled, "Christian Institutes," which was published about 1690, has been adopted by

'JULY 1822.

the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge for many years; and of which the twelfth edition, printed for Rivingtons in 1798, now lies upon our table!


Gastrell metamorphosed into Now why, we ask, is Bishop Protestant Prelate? Why was not the Scripture View ascribed to its right author? The Porteusiau Society cannot plead ignorance, for in their Address they have inserted an extract from the Preface of Bishop Gastrell. They may perhaps plead, that the Scripture View is a selection from Bishop Gastrell's work; then, why not avow it at once? Though it is rather an odd kind of selection, containing the Bishop's entire work, with the omission of only the second chapter, concerning God.


In addition to this Scripture View, there are a few pages referring to Scripture prayer and exhortation, doctrines, duties, privileges, &c. with a list of the discourses, parables, and miracles of our Lord, a table of promises, and a Scripture glossary, which may be useful for reference on various occasions. We have some doubts how far this is original; but having discovered in the Scripture View something, to our apprehensions, very like deceit and fraud, we have not felt much disposed to push our inquiries any farther.

It may be proper to add, that Gastrell's Institutes may be had at Bartlett's Buildings for 2s. 6d.; the 12mo. Bible for 4s.; and a little tract, if we mistake not, for about 3d. containing a list of texts, &c. very similar to that printed in the Porteusian Index: so that the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge will supply, for about seven shillings, what the Porteusian Society kindly issue from their Depository in Frith Street, Soho, at the reduced price of Eight Shillings and Sixpence !!!




THE important subject of the Bishop of Peterborough's Examination Questions was brought before the House of Lords, on Friday, June 7, and gave rise to a long and interesting discussion. The principal debate arose on a petition presented to the House by Lord Dacre from the Rev. T. S: Grimshawe, requesting their Lordships' interference in consequence of the Bishop's having refused to license the Rev. Edward Thurtell to the curacy of Burton Latimer, on the ground of not having satisfactorily answered his eighty-seven Questions.

On the petition being read, Lord Dacre commenced by stating his own inadequacy, as a temporal Peer, to compete with one of the first controversialists of the age. He stated the subject of complaint generally to be, the illimitable nature of the Questions asked. The Bishop required them to be answered with a Yes or a No; but he contended that these Questions could not be so answered. He admitted that the Rev. Prelate had a right to examine candidates; but he contended that his power of examination was limited by the statute and canon law of the land. The examination prescribed by the 34th canon was limited to giving an account of the examinant's faith agreeably to the Articles of the Church; and it was evidently the great object of the framers of those Articles, to allow of considerable latitude of opinion. In proof of this, his Lordship referred to Fuller, to Bishops Burnet and Horsley, the late Bishop of Bangor, &c. What the Church had tolerated, her sons were bound to obey; and he trusted that differences and difficulties of opinion would experience some lenity from Noble Lords. He next adverted to the Royal Declaration prefixed to the Articles, and showed how inconsistent the Bishop of Peterborough's metaphysical questions were with its language; that this system was like recruiting for dissent, and it was impossible to say how far it might proceed. He then adverted to the objection formerly made by the Bishop to the authority of the House to interfere, and after showing its futility, moved, That the petition be laid upon the table; and intimated, that, were this resolution adopted, he should follow it up by moving an address to the Crown, requesting His Majesty to lay the matter before the Convocation.

The Bishop of Peterborough then rose, and after making some remarks on what had just fallen from Lord Dacre, proceeded to notice the allegations of the petition. He contended that the diocesan had a right to examine; that it was odious and unjust to consider his Questions as a test; that if the

House interfered in one diocese they must in all, and then every disappointed candidate would petition the House; and if this power was to be taken from the Bishops, they had better substitute another Westminster Assembly of Divines. He then adverted to Mr. Thurtell; mentioned that Mr. T. had returned such long answers to his Questions, that he could not understand his sentiments; that he had therefore sent him another copy of the Questions; and on Mr. T.'s refusal to send short answers, had declined licensing him. His Lordship insinuated, that this petition was an attempt somewhat similar to that made in 1641, when the House of Lords had ordered the formation of a Committee called the Committee of Religion, which ended in the overthrow both of Church and State. The petition asserted that no similar attempt had ever been made since the time of Laud. He (the Bishop of Peterborough) felt that the parallel did him honour; for the Royal Declaration prefixed to the Articles by the King was by the suggestion of Archbishop Laud. The originating of that Declaration had given as much offence to the enemies of Laud as these Questions had to those of the Bishop of Peterborough; and if the party which prevailed in the time of Charles I. were now to be restored, the Bishop of Peterborough might anticipate a similar fate. His Lordship then entered on the question of examination-made some remarks about Geneva- complained of being arraigned twice on the same charge, and maintained it was most unseemly that one who had devoted his life to the exercise of Christianity, should be placed in the situation of an accused person before their Lordships.

Lord Holland thought that the Bishop of Peterborough had completely failed in his defence. It was an established maxim, that no wrong could exist in this country without a remedy. But where was a remedy to be found in the present case, if not in that House? If the Rev. Prelate had abused his power, had exercised his discretion in a manner likely to prove injurious, it must be asserted, that if a remedy was not to be found in the common law of the country, it must be found in Parliament. The Bishop surely could not have read Fuller's Church History very lately, otherwise he must have discovered that the latitude he had allowed himself was improper. The Bishop had said, that persons who returned from Geneva, where they had taken refuge from the persecutions of Mary, had brought back with them doctrines not perfectly consistent with the


established religion. But he would ask, by whom were our Liturgy and our Articles established? Were they not established by the very men who came home from Geneva? Did the learned and reverend Prelate mean to say, that from the time of that good man Hooker to that bad man Laud, the principles of Arminianism were not utterly unknown to the Church of England? Would any noble Lord say, that if the Questions of the Bishop of Peterborough were put to any of the great men who lived during that period, they would have returned a satisfactory answer, for the answer which the Bishop expected was obvious to all who read the Questions. His Lordship read one of the Questions to show how far they were from being plain and simple, and expressed his surprise that the Bishop should complain of the length of the answer, since it is well known a person's real sentiments might better be determined from long than short answers. His Lordship then compared the Bishop's conduct to that of Sheldon. When the Act of Uniformity was under consideration, a Noble Lord, the Earl of Manchester, feeling its cruelty, said to Charles II. who was listening carelessly to the account, "I am afraid they will not conform." "Afraid!" said Sheldon, "I am afraid they will; but we shall have the satisfaction of either getting rid of them or making them knaves." The object of the Bishop's Questions was to narrow the ground on which the Church stood, which Lord Holland considered the same object as Bishop Sheldon's. His Lordship pointed out, that when a doubt existed as to law, light was often obtained by considering the uniform practice. The practice had certainly been to consider the Thirty-nine Articles rather as articles of peace than articles of persecution; in fact, to exercise what Fuller calls, in his Church History, a discreet laxity. Such had been the sentiment and practice of our most distinguished prelates. Thus Archbishop Wake, in his Correspondence with foreign churches, expressly stated that it was not the custom of the Church of England to inquire farther into the sentiments of her clergy on these difficult subjects than merely if they were willing to subscribe to the Articles of the Church; "that for his own part he never had stated, and never would state, his opinions upon them :" so that this great Archbishop could not, in the present day, have been admitted, even as a curate, in the diocese of Peterborough.

His Lordship then insisted on the endless confusion which must result if every Bishop was thus to introduce a long series of Questions; upon the diversity of doctrines which would ensue; and the numerous evils which would follow. He had

heard of persons being examined and refused in the diocese of Peterborough, who had gone to other dioceses and been received. The Bishop of Peterborough had indeed spoken of these Questions as having only occasioned the rejection of three persons but he would tell his Lordship, that even if the practice were according to law, it was a tremendous grievance, and one which ought to be abolished. It was a grievance to shut out of the Church any person who might be willing to enter; but a still greater grievance to exclude from continuing in it those who were already admitted. A man comes and says, I am ready to enter into the Church-to conform to its principles; he is admitted into deacon's orders, and then a few months after he is at once stopped in his career; he wishes to move into another diocese, and brings the usual certificates, but the Bishop of Peterborough institutes a fresh examination, propounds his Questions, and says, If you do not answer them to my satisfaction your promotion shall be stopped, nay, as far as depends upon me, your very subsistence. And let their Lordships consider the case of such a person: he cannot now be a Member of Parliament; he cannot be called to the bar; he is thrown out of his own profession, he cannot enter into another--this must be considered as a case of great cruelty. His Lordship then touched upon the inconsistency of the Bishop in proposing these Questions to curates, and not to persons entitled to benefices, especially as the canon required that respect should be had to the greatness of the cure; and intimated, that he should not have touched on this point but for the very improper insinuations made by the Bishop with respect to an accidental omission in the petition. He said, that it was the interest of religion to make the basis upon which the Church stood as broad as possible, and he therefore supported the petition, though he did not think it expedient that the Convocation should be called together.

Lord Calthorpe complained that the power assumed by the Bishop was a direct violation of the Royal Declaration-expressed his surprise that the Bishop should consider what had passed on a former occasion as a triumph, and felt it therefore important that the House should that night prove that they never meant to countenance a system which was more calculated to injure the interests of the Church than any measure or any course adopted or pursued by any Prelate since the Reformation.

Lord Harrowby said, that having objected to a former petition lying on the table, he thought it right to state why he was of a different opinion with respect to this, which was of the same nature.---He

« PreviousContinue »