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to quiet the consciences of the many who wilfully abstain from the Lord's table, and separate from their brethren who come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food; while the contrary practice, which I adopt and recommend, may by God's grace lead them to ask themselves, in the solitude of their chambers, on their reaching home, whether they may not, with reason, fear that they have indeed departed without a blessing. In another practice which I have adopted, of pausing for the congregation to leave their pews and approach the vicinity of the Lord's table, at the words "Draw near,” &c. until at last the rails at the front of the altar are full, I am happy to see that I am, in some measure borne out by the 6 declaration concerning some rites and ceremonies,' made in synod in London A.D. 1640, published in page 366 of the same number of your valuable miscellany. I am thus particular as to my own practice, not from any egotistical feeling, but from a wish to encourage many who, I am convinced, only dread the charge of singularity, or they would instantly return to primitive customs, which recommend themselves strongly to their reason and their conscience.
To P., who has my thanks for calling the attention of his brethren to a topic so deeply interesting, and surely I may add edifying for the decency and reverence with which holy things are administered must recommend them, I would suggest a caution as to the adoption of any mode by which the comfortable effect of the individuality of application, undoubtedly intended by the Church in the distribution of the consecrated elements, might be lost or lessened. The thought which has sometimes struck him, of the propriety of adopting a part of the prescribed words, “ The body of our Lord Jesus Christ," in each individual case, instead of the whole, will, I trust, with humility and deference I speak it, strike him no more. He does not informó us how frequently he administers the communion in his congregation, where the number of communicants is so great, that he and an assistant, in order to dismiss the communicants before the hour of the afternoon service, have been compelled, although with great reluctance, to sacrifice that strikingly solemn individuality of application, designed by the church in the separate distribution to each communicant, and to administer to two or more at a time. My own habit, which, in the smallest parishes, I would for many reasons recommend, is to administer the communion once a month, besides the great festivals. His communion may already be a monthly one ; if so, might not the return to the yet more primitive observance of a weekly celebration of the eucharist remove his present inconvenience? This would be my own course, were I in a more populous parish.
AN ARCHDEACON OF THE OLD SCHOOL.
LETTERS ON PUBLIC BAPTISM. No. II. Mr. EDITOR, I am desirous of submitting to you the following observations relative to Sponsors at Baptism, for the purpose of obtaining information and direction in my clerical duties.
The 29th canon of our Church forbids any parent to be a godfather or godmother for his or her own child; it also forbids any persons taking upon
them that office, who shall not have received the holy communion. The intention of the framers of this canon was doubtless to afford to the child other spiritual guardians beside the parents, and to prevent young and careless persons taking upon them the important office of sponsors. Excellent then as was their motive, yet I think they could hardly have anticipated the difficulty which would attend the carrying of this canon into execution. It is a prevailing notion among the lower orders of society, that none are so proper to answer for children as the parents, (and strong reasons are alleged to justify this opinion ;) and when we reflect on the numbers of persons who abstain from partaking of the holy communion, it must be obvious that this latter qualification must be dispensed with in very many who present themselves for sponsors. These circumstances render the situation of the officiating minister frequently very perplexing; as it obliges him either to violate the canon, or to withhold the rite of Baptism.
I am the curate of a large and populous parish in a market town, and have frequently been in the predicament above described. A custom has long prevailed here, of bringing the children to the clergyman's residence to be named, vulgo, half-baptized, and afterwards taking them to the church to be christened. This custom I believe to be far from correct, but as it is not in my power to alter it, and as I am led to expect some observations relative to private Baptism in your next number, I wish to be silent on that head. I hesitate not to declare that I have repeatedly, rather than not administer the sacrament of Baptism when required, allowed parents to stand for their own children, provided other sponsors could not be procured ; and have also admitted persons to be godfathers and godmothers without previously demanding whether they had received the holy communion. Such having been my practice, I hope I have not greatly erred ; and if judgment is passed against me, I have reason to think that many of my brethren would also be found liable to censure. In this diocese, and in others also, the strict letter of the 29th canon is not generally adhered to, and if it were, I fear there would be a falling off in the number of candidates for Baptism. Parents would neglect to bring their children to the laver of regeneration; would be slack to use the means appointed by God, to cleanse their seed from the leprosy of sin which all the sons of Adam bring with them into the world. One observation more, and I have done. Is it requisite to demand sponsors for adults, who have been named in infancy, but who in mature age are desirous of being christened ? Sept. 21 st. I am, Sir, yours, &c.
POEMS, BY JOHN CHARLES EARLE,
(St. Edmund Hall, Oxon.)
No. II. “Jesus Wepr.”
Apostate angels smitten fell,
Down to the darkest depths of hell, —
Thine eye, to which, as earthly flowers
To heaven their painted bosoms spread, Each amarant soul in Eden's bowers,
Adoring, lifts its radiant head, —
And sink, as dead, with sudden fears,
Could this be dim with human tears?
“ Yes! I have often wept for thee;
That eye, which fills the skies with light, Was dim,-yea, blind,—with agony,
And darker than the womb of night! “Yes! I have wept for thee, alone!
The silent moon, the voiceful deep, The burning sands, the mountain stone,
Have seen thy stricken Saviour weep!”
Sunning away thy copious tears,
And sway the sceptre of the spheres :
Saints in concentric circles bend,
Doth tear unbidden still descend ? “ Ah, Judah! I have wept for thee,
When loud hosannas rent the air, And shall I now forget to see,
Through falling tears, thy sin, thy care ? “O Earth! the cradle where I lay
Mine infant Church to rock and sleep, While earthquakes heave and tempests play
Around thee, shall I cease to weep ? “ To weep, while any eye is wet,
While any spirit, like a mine,
Refuse to see my glory shine ?".
Like ocean's burnish'd mirror glow, Nor e'en a cloud along the sky
One shadow on the bright wave throw ? “ When exhalations cease to rise,
The heavens no genial showers shall pour ; When tear-drops leave my people's eyes,
Then, then alone, I weep no more."
DOXOLOGY. The following doxology, which will suit the tunes Moscow, Helmsley, and Brecon, is submitted to the Editor of the CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER :
Great Jehovah! we adore Thee,
God the Father, God the Son,
ON BAPTISMAL REGISTRATION. A REGISTRAR of Births and Deaths having some doubt whether he might add a name given in Baptism to the original entry, unless the parents had procured the minister's certificate within seven days next after such Baptism, under the 24th section of the Registration Act, addressed a letter to the Registrar-General, and received the following answer, viz, :
“ General Registrar Office, 15th August, 1838. “Sir,—By direction of the Registrar-General I have to inform you, in reply to your letter of the 14th instant, that a name given in baptism may be added to the original entry within six months after registration of birth, notwithstanding that the certificate may not have been procured and delivered (as in strictness it should be,) within seven days next after the baptism; and that a minister may furnish such certificate at any time after baptism. “To Mr. W. Y. Registrar.”
"I am, &c. “ Tuos. Mann, Chief Clerk.”
THE UNITARIAN QUESTION. We have received a variety of communications on the alleged extraordinary conduct of the Bishops of Durham and Norwich, in reference to a Unitarian publication ; and we perceive, by the public press, that in several dioceses, the clergy are signing requisitions to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting his Grace, in conjunction with the Archbishop of York, to institute an episcopal commission to inquire into the conduct of these prelates.
In connexion with this most important subject, we have been further requested to advert to the fact, that Dr. Lant Carpenter, a Unitarian preacher, has been graciously permitted to dedicate to our sovereign “ The Apostolical Harmony of the Gospels."
On this latter point we agree with “John Bull," when he says, “We confess we have no great apprehension of any danger accruing from the contents of any work (even were it doctrinal), as regards the unsettling of her Majesty's religious principles, to the formation and establishment of which so much care and attention have throughout her life been devoted. But we must say that however naturally Dr. Carpenter may VOL. XX. NO. XI.
congratulate himself and his disciples on finding the Queen's patronage and 'kind consideration' bestowed upon his work, we cannot but think the 'uneasiness of our readers' on the subject not altogether unnatural, taken in conjunction with the fact that the Bishops of Norwich and Durham have become subscribers to a volume of sermons published by Mr. Turner, who, like Dr. Carpenter, holds Unitarian principles ; nor can we blame them for having felt'uneasy' when they found that the Doctor's work, addressed to, and sanctioned by her Majesty, although not doctrinal, and not, as the Doctor says, even 'founded upon the distinctive opinions which he holds as an Unitarian Christian,' is founded upon the most ancient opinion respecting the duration of our Saviour's ministry,' &c.”
Holding these sentiments, however, with reference to her most graci. ous Majesty, we must confess ourselves astonished at the temerity of those persons who advised the Queen to sanction this production ; especially at a moment when we find two prelates, who have sworn, under circumstances the most solemn that human words can supply, to “banish away strange doctrine" from the flocks over which they are appointed overseers, giving a tacit approbation to the tenets of a preacher who denies the divinity of the Lord Jesus, and thereby rejects the “ Corner Stone” of the christian faith.
When the report of this appalling fact first reached us, we must candidly acknowledge, we doubted its accuracy; for although, in the pages of the CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER we have had occasion, more than once, to point out the Socinian bias of Dr. Maltby, we felt bound, in christian charity, to pause before we joined in the general outcry against a high priest, founded upon a rumour which we hoped might, after all, turn out groundless.
Alas for our hope! Alas for our reliance upon the Bishop's solemn oath of devotedness to the Church of Christ !! His Lordship has not only patronised the book, but written a most commendatory epistle to the author !! in which he states that he does not doubt that any questions in which Mr. Turner may differ from his “ christian brethren," will be treated as “ subjects of grave inquiry, and in a suitable spirit.” “Does it, "asks a correspondent of the Times, "seem quite consistent with the ordination vow of a clergyman of the apostolical Church of Christ to admit, that the truth of the divinity of the Son of God is, at this time of day, a subject of grave inquiry ?”
Is it a just application of terms to call a Unitarian a " christian brother?" Have we a right to apply that term to one who “denies the Lord who bought him ?”
These questions, under ordinary circumstances, would most assuredly have elicited a prompt and unequivocal reply; and we confess that we expected the Bishops of Durham and Norwich would have at least attempted an apology, or offered some explanation of the motives by which they were actuated. With respect to the former prelate, the Times comes to our aid, reminding us “that Dr. Maltby, very nearly thirty years ago, fearlessly ascended his war-chariot, and drove, without mercy, over nearly all the books of the Old and New Testaments, scarcely leaving in his desolating course one holy inspired book unstruck to the ground."