« PredošláPokračovať »
of mankind in instituting and submitting to civil government of any kind, is to ensure the protection of their persons and pro. perties, together with the tranquil inheritance of all their equal rights as men and citizens, and the whole history of the world convinces us, that wherever the people have the free enjoyment of all these advantages, their dutiful obedience and affectionate loyalty to their governors infallibly follow of course; for having already attained all the civil benefits they can reasonably expect or desire, to wish for any change in the government, would be to wish to run the hazard, by means of a revolution, of finding their situation worse, without a possibility of its being better. Bishop Watson in his late intended speech, has had the liberality to suggest the idea of making a legal provision for the main. tenance of the Roman Catholic Clergy of Ireland, with the laud. able view of removing one canse of the discontent of the Irish Papists. But the suggestion se ms to have been made under some degree of influence of the profissional Esprit du Corps, because to avoid any defalcation from the revenues of the present estab. lished Protestant Church, (which are said to be much larger in their several proportions than those of England, and must be raised chieily upon the estates and industry of the Papists, whilst in many parishes, for want of Protestant inhabitants the benefices of the ministers of the establishment must be nearly sinecures) the Bishop proposes that their stipends should be paid by govern. ment; that is, by means of fresh taxes imposed for that purpose upon the already heavily burthened people. It would surely be much easier and more equitable to ordain by law, that wherever the number of Roman Catholics in any parish of Ireland did not amount to one third of the parishion 'rs, the whole ecclesiastical revenue, as at present, should appertain to the Rector or other in. cumbent of the established church, and the Roman Catholic mino. rity like their brethren and dissenters of all kinds in England should provide for their particular priest; that where the num. ber amounted to, or exceeded one third, there, one third of the parochial revenue of the church should be allotted for the main. tenance of the minister of their religion, and that in all cases where the proportional number of Papists was still greater, the ecelesiastical revenue should be divided equally between the Pro. testant incumbent and the parochial minister of the Church of Rome; and as to the superior orders of the Roman Catholic Clergy, for the becoming maintenance of such a number only as wonld be requisite for a decent observance of the necessary discipline of their Church, proper salaries might casily be supplied by proportional deductions from the incomes of the several Bishops of the established Irish Church, without making any considerable diminution of their Lordship's very ample revenues. If some such plan be soon adopted, if their agriculturists be permitted to oce
cupy farms upon long leases as ours do in England ; if the present disqualifying and degrading laws be repealed, and all their civil rights be restored to the Catholic equally with the Protes. tant subjects, Ireland will soon flourish, become faithful and loyal to the government, and enjoy the same happy tranquillity with every other part of the British cmpire. But if, which God for. bid! Do alteration be made in these iinportant articles, and govern. ment, on the contrary, should be influenced by such crimina'ing counsellors as your Lordship and Sir P. M. the affairs of that country, notwithstanding the union, will undoubtedly continue to proceed as they have done during the whole reign of our present beloved sovereign from bad to worse.
&c. A SINCERE CHRISTIAN PHILANTHROPIST.
Our Lord's Agony in the Garden. Two Discourses.
ses. By the late Rev. 1. Turner, of Wakefield.
MATTHEW xxvi. CHAP. 39th VERSE. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "O my Father ! if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, nos as I will, but as thou wilt."
In a former discourse from these words, we endeavoured to explain the occasion and nature of our Lord's dreadful suffering in the garden, and also to illustrate the several particulars, which the three Evangelists, who record it, give us of that surprising transaction. Let us now proceed to inquire, for what purposes, it is reasonable to suppose, our blessed Lord was subjected to this trial.
We are assured in the irid chap. of the Lainentations, 33d verse; “ that God doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” We may be very sure then, that he did not subject his well-beloved Son to this very severe trial, but to answer some suitable and adequate purpose. The holy writers of the New Testament unanimously agree to ascribe the whole business of redemption or the deliverance of mankind from the sentence of eternal death to his last sufferings and death on the cross, and to that subsequent glorious event which ascertained to mankind a future life by thiş great exemplar and pattern of a resurrection. We cannot,
therefore, suppose, that his agony in the garden contri. buied any thing to that purpose, otherwise, than as ans of his former sufferings or services may be allowed to have done. Nor, indeed, can I recollect one passage, where the redemption or reconciliation of the world is treated of, that takes the least notice of the agony in the garden, as a medium or instrument for effecting it. However, very important purposes will appear to have been answered by this transaction, if we consider,
First :--That hereby his own character, and his exam. ple to us of a perfect and unreproved submission to the will of God, his Father, were greatly illustrated.
One great design of his coming into the world was to reclaim mankind from a state of alienation from God, and rebellion against his providential and moral government to a sincere obedience to his commandments and submission to his disposals. It was necessary to this end, that he should exhibit in himself a perfect pattern of conformity to the one, and subjection to the other. Accordingly, we find him obeying in all things every commandinent he had received from his Father. His law was written in his heart, and he never departed from it. He fulfilled all righteousness, and it was to him as his meat and drink to do the will of Him that sent hiin, and to finish bis work. He also submitted cheerfully to every humiliation appointed for him. He endured poverty with perfect conientment, and labour, fatigue and hardships, without a murmur. He bore the contradictions, oppositions and persecutions of wicked and malicious men with meek composure and patience. He was unruffled under slander and reproach, and the attempts of violence moved him no otherwise, than to employ caution and prudence for self-preservation.
To complete bis character of a perfect resignation to the will of God in sufferings, and his example to men of bearing all sorts of afflictive dispensations with humble piety, there seemed only to remain, that he should endure some severe bodily affliction. It was by no means necessary, that he should be subjected to all the varieties of bodily affliction and disorder, to which our frail nature is liable; it would be quite sufficient to complete his own character and his example to us, if he was found to suffer, and to behave with a dutiful resignation to the will of God under some one severe trial of the kinds common amongst men.
We do not find in the preceding history of his life one instance of his suffering any bodily disorder, and of his be haviour under it. For aught we are told, his health was uninterrupted. But bere, I apprehend, we find him enduring one of the most severe and distressing bodily disorders, of all those to which our frail nature is subjected ; a disorder, which, in lower degrees, is very common amongst mankind; a disorder too, under which, I believe, men usually find it most difficult to preserve a pious submission to, and dependance on God, without murinuring or despairing: 1 mean a violent nervous affection.
Here we see him attacked by this disorder suddenly—and with symptoms the most terrible, and probably, the most excruciating that were ever known or heard of; which in a short space reduced him to such a state of debility, as to render it
proper for an angelic messenger to come to strengthen him.. Add to this, that it attacked him at a season, when he perfectly well knew, that the dreadful series of his last sufferings was about to commence, which alone would call for all his fortitude, resolution and powers, to bear them properly. It is, I think, not possible to conceive of a severer bodily suffering, or that any circumstance could have been added to this to render it a severer trial of our Lord's piety and resignation to the will of his father.
And how does he acquit himself under his trial? First, by offering up this humble submissive request to his Father for relief: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” And when he found this request not granted; secondly, by this declaration of his entire resignation to the divine will : “O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." "Surely, this was enough to complete his own character, and perfect his example to us of an unreproved subinission to the will of God under the afflictive dispensations of his providence. Accordingly, when this purpose was fully accomplished, we find the trial was immediately removed, as unnecessary to be continued longer.
It seems to me, that the apostle had a particular reference to our Lord's sufferings in the garden, and to his behaviour under thein, when he said (Heb. v. 8.), “ Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
Secondly. Another important purpose of these bitter sufferings of our Lord in the garden was to give him an affecting experience of the weight of bodily afflictions and pains, to which men are subjected in this mortal state.
He had had experience of many other of the sufferings which men endure in this life; and now he is taught by experience the bitterness of these kinds of afflictions: and on account of the office or character he was to sustain, a's our head, advocate and intercessor, it was meet that he should have this experience. The apostle takes particular notice of this propriety in the epistle to the Hebrews, where he saith (chap. ii. Toch v.) “ For it became him, for whom are all ihings, and by whom are all things, in bringing many song unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings:” and (v. 14.) “ For-as-much then, as the children are partakers of Aesh' and blood, he also himself likewise partook of the same: and consequently of the infirmities and amictions to which they are subjected;" and (v. 17, 18.) “Wherefore, it behoved bim to be made like unto his brethren in all things, that he might be a merciful and faithtul high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people; for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." To the same purpose he observes in chap. iv. v. 15. of the same Epistle: “ We have not a high-priest, that cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Undoubtedly the Redeemer's personal experience of the various kinds of our affliction, is a topic which affords great consolation and support to all his afflict. ed followers; and it seems to be a purpose well worthy of this measure of the divine wisdom and goodness, in appointing him to undergo those sufferings which gave him this experience.
(To be concluded in our next.)
STILL PLLAS'D TO PRAISE, FET NOT AFRAID TO BLAME."
ART. I.-Lectures delivered in the Parish Church of Wakefield, on the Liturgy of the Church of England. By Thomas Rogers, M. A. 4 vols. 1 2mo. Longman and Co. 1807.
Tue common prayer-book Her ministers declare, on their has always appeared to us to be introduction into her inclosure, of more importance in the Church their assent and consent to all und of England than the Bible itself. every thing contained in this large VOL, II,