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HOUSE APPOINTED FOR ALL LIVING.
Solrmn and mute with sacred awe,
AH must their homage pay;
Thoughtful and stow I stray.
An awe inspiring* sadness round
These gloomy mansions hangs, profound
As tho' her last deep groan, Nature herself had heav'd; and from The world retiring to. the tomb,
Deep silence reigu'd alone.'
Pride and ambition are unknown;
Sepulchral marks the spot
Both left alike to rot.
Here side by side in quiet state,
Disturb the mould'ring bust;
The incorporated dust.
Newtonian sages, white with years,
Which genius self has shed,
Are numbered with the dead.
If genius weeps when crown'd with wreaths Of well earn'd laurels, or whose sheaves
Stand thickly all around, ,s
Her veteran sons at close of day,
To rest from thought profound.
How high must grief tumultuous rise,
Wheu giant youths are slain; /
When opening glories dazzling bright,
And then were lost again.
Spencer has fall'n! O woe fraught sound,
Continues still to flow;
The world no more can know.
Glasgow still weeps at Durant's name,
So well prepar'd to reap;
Genius must more than weep.
Insatiate Monster! slay thy hand,
In floods of briny woe.
Wisdom ordains it so.
Mystery conceals in rayless night,
From man of mortal days;
To justify his ways.
The universal doom is seal'd,
Or all that moves or lives.
Nor spares, nor discharge knows.
Honor nor wealth, nor pow'r can save.
Nor beauty's self can move.
The same event must prove.
Byron must fall! his sceptic mind
But ah! how sad to know;
Gather'd for endless woe.
The tuneful lyre ef Sheffield's bard
Montgomery must die!
Among the saints on high.
My musings too will soon be o'er,
With joy or woe shall beat;
Where friends no more can greet.
But from the toinb a voice I hear, lis mystic sounds revive and cheer,
*Tis Jesus speaks again; "He that believes shall never die. But thro' death's house to realms on high
Shall pass, and glory gain."
Enough! my fears begone, no more ,
Shall fright my soul away.
To heav'n's unclouded day,
BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
I come to thee! my gracious God,
Thou seest my feeble frame opprest,
Thou know'st how wayward is my mind,
A DISSENTER'S REASONS FOR SEPARATING FROM THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Previous to the union of the Church and State under Constantino, Christians had formed themselves into a society of one denomination, under the pompous and exclusive title of "The Catholic and Apostolic Church." This terrestrial paradise, the Church, was said to be walled round like the: garden of Eden, and guarded by the flaming swords of cherubim from the intrusion of heretics. All within it was light and sunshine; all around was " outer darkness." But such a society, though' essential to Judaism, was abhorrent from the genius of Christianity. Christ's universal religion excluded none but unbelievers from its privileges and benefits; it could easily subsist without a public form, whether national or oecumenical; and the foolish priests who transferred this monopoly of the true faith by a society of one denomination, that peculiarity of Judaism, into Christianity, knew not what spirit they were of. In the true spirit of that spurious Apostolic constitution, which introduces "the night, the day, the moon, the sun, the stars, the elements, the seasons, the months, the weeks, the days, and the hours, things that are without life, and observe good order," as models of implicit obedience to ecclesiastical authority, none ventured to remove those things which the Bishops, according to God's will, had determined for them.
While the Church's Rulers were thus busily engaged in maturing its favourite scheme against Christian liberty, a mass of doctrinal and ritual corruption—either diseases which the vulgar had caught
from their heathen neighbours, or superstitions adopted by their governors from the Jewish system, then imposed upon all by infallible and catholic authority— a mass of doctrinal and ritual corruptions, had now been raised to an equality with the doctrines and rites taught and prescribed in the Church's only law, the Gospel, when Constantine, a Roman Emperor, entered with the priesthood into a new conspiracy against the purity of religion and the liberty of conscience.
Welearn from the apostolic writings, that the Judaizirig mania was already busily at Work, when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and other primitive churches. The energy of this principle, and the long continuance of its operation would alone authorize a believer of the nineteenth century* cautiously to examine Whether the communion to which he happens to belong, retains any or many of those additions and impurities, which human ignorance, compliance and iniquity, ecclesiastical and political despotism, antichrist and the devil, have mixed up with the simple faith and spiritual worship of the Son of God.
As to the character of the church of the second and third centuries, my decided opinion is, that it was becoming gradually more and more corrupt; and in pronouncing this censure, I would have it understood, that as I believe all the Articles of the Christian faith, I am no Arian, no Socinian, no Antinomian, no rejecter of the institutions of Christ. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," and every word in the Holy Bible
will, I trust, be respected by me as long as I live. The fathers of that period, with whose writings I am most familiar, are Justin and Cyprian; both are placed at the extreme points of a secular interval from the middle of the second, to the same period of the third century. Now the first of these holy men positivelybelieved—1. That our Saviour, at the time of his Passion for our salvation, prayed that his soul might not fall under the power of the devils.—2. That we are obliged, upon our approach to death, to imitate his example.—3. That the prophets were, after death, exposed to the insolencies of evil spirits.—4.That the souls of the faithful, who daily depart this world, are subject to the same inconveniences; and, consequently, do all stand in extraordinary need of being relieved by the prayers of the living.— See Blondel, of the Sibyls, b. ii. c. 13.
Thus were prayers for the dead, at this very early period, sanctioned by a most learned and eloquent saint and martyr. The very model of the Roman Catholic petition, Libera eas de ore Leonis, §c. "Deliver them from the mouth of the Lion," which is found perfect in Augustine's prayer for his mother, may be traced, under a less complete form, in the works of Justin.
As to Cyprian, the doctrine of human satisfaction for sin, might borrow some extremely plausible arguments from several passages of his writings; and it is rather remarkable, that this first known advocate of Infant baptism, should mention Infant communion, as the common practice of the African church. What shall we say to these things?—Conclude with an eminent Prelate of the National Establishment, that these fallible and superstitious ancients are not our Fathers: "One, therefore, is our Father which is in heaven; one is our Master,even Christ. And their will, as announced to us in sacred Scripture, is the only law, to which Christians, as such, are held and obliged. On this Rock, where Christ built his church, every private man may safely repose his conscience. To this truly infallible guide, we may commit ourselves with perfect confidence."— Warburton's Sermons, vol. ii. p. 114.
The primitive Bishops, as they are called, who governed the unestablished Church, soon forgot "that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and that
their great ones exercise authority upon them ;' but that Jesus has solemnly decided that so it should not be among hiss true followers, Mark x. 42. So that these spiritual lords of the golden age not only sanctioned false docfrine—not only governed Christ's heritage on a new and human principle, but they likewise usurped God's prerogative, a jurisdiction over conscience: they declared that none were Christians, except such as implicitly submitted their private judgment to their own sovereign will.
A.D. 250. Speaking of the most inoffensive Dissenters in Christendom, good Cyprian exclaims: "What peace can these enemies of thebrethren flatter themselves with? What sacraments can these rivals of the priesthood administer } Do they who meet together out of Christ's church, imagine that Christ is present at their meetings? Should such men even die for the name of Christ, that stain, that inexpiable crime of schism, could neither be washed away by their blood, nor atoned for by their sufferings. No church, no martyr; he who has forsaken the Queen, can never obtain the kingdom."—" Whatever quits the Mother's womb is an untimely birth, which can neither live, nor breathe, nor partake of salvation.''—Vc Unit. Eccles.
These are, indeed, "great swelling words of vanity;" the result, one would think, of extraordinary pride, prejudice, and ignorance. The ministers of the meek and lowly Jesus, no longer appearing, like their divine Master, under the form of servants, were thus self-elected lords over God's heritage, and imaginary lords over God's consciences, when Constantine literally transformed the kingdom of heaven into one of the kingdoms of this world. Antichrist now exhibited proofs of the variety of his resources; first, in exalting the Magistrate over the Priest in things spiritual; secondly, in exalting the Priest over the Magistrate in things temporal; and the event, in both cases, was injury to the great ultimate object of Christian associations, I mean to the advancement of God's kingdom upon earth.
The Roman CAurcAaddingblasphemy to usurpation, very consistently maintained her assumed jurisdiction over the souls of individuals, and over the body political, by the claim of Infallibility.
The Reformed Church, with far less judgment, when they had separated