« PreviousContinue »
a system which all their Christian ancestors have maintained, are labouring under strong delusion. The belief of an English Protestant is, undoubtedly, very much nearer to the ancient religion of his country, than that of an English Romanist.
ITINERANTS AT CAMBRIDGE.
MR. EDITOR, — I cannot but feel it very desirable that some measures should be adopted in our Universities to regulate or restrain the inveigling of young men into a connexion with numerous voluntary societies for professedly religious purposes. I have lately, Sir, been at Cambridge; and in the last fortnight, sermons have been preached, or meetings held for the Jews, the Newfoundland School Society, and the Bible Society, if for no other Institution; and not only so, but there have been a number of secret meetings at private houses, where every effort is made to persuade young men to subscribe themselves, and collect money from others, for these most important and inestimably valuable societies.
Now, Sir, I am not particularly careful about a guinea or two, and if my son were to give away two or three pounds more than he now does, I should not mind; but I am a little afraid of his going to mere old women's tea parties, or the conversaziones of certain persons who can talk humbug on the platform or the hustings, and will therefore, probably, not be very nice in the parlour. I sent my son to college, Sir, that he might study and become qualified for a learned profession, and I should be exceedingly disappointed were he to become a gossiping tea-drinker.
Indeed, this whole business of societies wants looking into. It appears to be a very pretty system. Here we have had two clergymen from near London spending eight or ten days in Cambridge, and carrying off above 1001. for what they call the Newfoundland and British North America School Society. Now, I find this Society has not one school in British North America, and I fear that name has only been added to deceive the public. All their schools are in Newfoundland, an island, be it remembered, which only contains about 90,000 inhabitants. In this island the Society says it has under instruction 2,652 scholars, of whom about half appear to be Sunday scholars, and therefore cannot cost much, and the Society contrived last year to spend about 2,5001., and is now a thousand pounds in debt. Now, Sir, I ask, is it not preposterous to go travelling all over England, preaching, and speaking, and begging, in order to instruct children in Newfoundland at a pound a head ? surely, if the merchants trading to that colony wished for schools, they could assist the colonists without such an effort: at all events, young men at college ought not to be asked to tea, and talked out of their guinea apiece.
I am not sure, however, whether there be not somewhat political in this business. It is rather ominous, that an Oxford clergyman, who acquired no small degree of notoriety by a famous letter to Sir Robert Peel, and by singly opposing all the Clergy of his Archdeaconry, and meekly and modestly exclaiming, Liberavi animam meam, should come down on this errand to Cambridge, and bring with him an obsequious curate, and that he should there take up his quarters at Corpus Lodge, with the most determinate and inveterate Whig in the University. When I recollect that this clergyman was formerly a high church-and-king man, and remember how he ratted on a certain occasion, I strongly suspect that he has been endeavouring to obtain that influence in Cambridge, which he deservedly lost at Oxford; and that he is thus humbly acting the part of an obsequious partisan of a falling ministry.
What makes this whole business look more suspicious is, that the Society for Propagating the Gospel has for many years sent out both clergymen and schoolmasters to Newfoundland, and there are besides, many Methodist and other teachers: yet now we are told two or three thousand pounds are necessary, because the Newfoundland people are perishing in ignorance,-the report, however, is, that some hundreds of this money are wanted, because a certain individual, not being able to fill his church, is glad to eke out his resources as a mendicant orator. Whether this be so or no, I think tricks of this kind ought not to be played off with impunity, nor the young men of our Universities be diverted from their studies, whenever a weak, though well-meaning man, fancies he has found out a wonderfully benevolent scheme. I am, Sir, your very obedient Servant,
Mr. Editor, -Although we possess numerous hymns in English, yet I believe very few are such as are fitted for the use of a congregation. The hymns of Heber, however beautiful as poetry, are certainly too refined in language and thought for the purposes of public worship. Were I to state the characteristics of what in my own estimation would constitute a book of hymns adapted for that purpose, I should say they were an extreme simplicity of thought and language, and a grave solemnity and soberness of feeling, as much allied as possible to the language and sentiments of Holy Writ. Of such hymns, alas! we have scarcely any in the language. The objections to most of those in common use are so apparent, that I shall not here enumerate them. The few hymns appended to the Prayer-Book by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge are exceptions; though they are far too few for the wants of public service. The best model for such hymns as are wanted are (I believe) those two grave, simple, and scriptural hymns for the morning and evening, which have made themselves a way into universal use, to which they are entitled by their intrinsic merits.
In this want of good models for such compositions, it has long been matter of surprise to me, that recourse has not been had to those existing in Latin, which were in use before the Reformation. Many of them possess all the characteristics above mentioned, and are very beautiful: with the exception, however, of the "Veni Creator," in the Ordination Service, they are little known. The longer translation of that hymn, there occurring, is the work of Cranmer; the abbreviated form was not added till the Restoration. There is another or so of these hymns translated by the same venerable Reformer, though now scarcely known: these I shall be happy to send you on a future occasion, should you think proper to insert the following. The first three are taken from a book of hymns printed by the Rev. R. W. Almond, rector of St. Peter's, Nottingham; and are translated by that gentleman. The hymn “Pange, lingua, gloriosi," was written by Claudianus Mamercus, and, in the
original, is remarkable for its beauty. The last hymn is taken from a very long one in the mass for the dead; I do not know by whom this small part has been translated, or rather imitated. I remain, Sir, your obedient Servant,
CONSORS PATERNI LUMINIS.
PARTNER of the Father's light,
Source thyself of light and day,
Listen, Saviour, whilst we pray.
Banish evil spirits hence;
Sealing all the powers of sense.
Listen to our humble strain ;
Let us not implore in vain.
Hearken, Thou, his only Peer;
God, whom endless ages greet.
O LUX BEATA TRINITAS.
Blessed light of triune ray,
Though the sun's bright flame expire,
By an inward milder fire.
In the evening's latest prayer,
Thee, my hope and trust, déclare.
Far and wide, salvation's boast,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
PANGE, LINGUA, GLORIOSI.
Sing the noble triumph gained,
Trophy which his blood has stained; Raise the cross, on which impaled, Conqueror, He our foes assailed. Lured through guile, the first-formed man,
From a tree in Eden, stole
Through the channels of his soul :
In his artful project foiled,
From his weapon, which recoiled ; Meet, that from the poisoned source, Heavenly art a balm should force : Thus, in plenitude of years,
Sent from his great Father's throne, The Creator, Son, appears.
Clothed in nature not his own; Deigns in mortal flesh to come, Offspring of the Virgin's womb. See him, child of sorrows, weep,
Born to suffering here below, Cradled in a manger, sleep,
Birth-place suited to his woe;
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
And by beaven's seraphic host;
DIES IRÆ, DIES ILLE. That day of wrath! that dreadful day, When heaven and earth shall pass away, What power shall be the sinner's stay? Whom shall he trust that dreadful day? When shrivelling like a parched scroll, The flaming heavens together roll; When, louder yet, and yet more dread, Swells the high trump that wakes the dead; 0! on that day, that dreadful day, When man to judgment wakes from clay, Be Thou, O Christ, the sinner's stay, Though heaven and earth shall pass away.
PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH. A Prayer to be used by Individuals, on the present Condition of the Church: the same may be used by Families, by adapting the Number.
O LORD, who to thy Church art the Head over all things, I humbly entreat thy compassion for thy Church in this country thus fiercely attacked by her enemies and thine. Let not her negligences and sins prevail against her, that thou shouldest move her candlestick from its place, which so long has sustained the vital lustre of thy truth; but, above all, let not persecution or injustice compel her into any unchristian compromise. Restrain the efforts of her foes, and teach her thereby to be watchful; and strengthen the things that remain, that her enemies, like those of thy Israel, may perform her work, while they seek their own, and in their defeat and her exaltation, glorify thy name, who art one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end.
COMMON PRAYER. MR. EDITOR,-Several of your correspondents have taken occasion to notice the variations that exist between the Oxford and the Cambridge editions of our Book of Common Prayer ; together with the injurious tendency of such disagreements. Allow me to add, that the Oxford Prayer-books are not universally consistent with one another, though I have no doubt that their irregularities were originally accidental, as they have been amended in subsequent impressions. In an edition printed at Oxford, in 1779, folio, I find, in the tenth verse of the Te Deum, the word all omitted ;-thus, The Holy Church throughout the world. In a quarto edition, printed at the same place in 1772, in the fourth verse of the fifty-third Psalm, I find the word all interpolated ;-thus, They are all altogether become abominable. With the exception of one passage in the Burial Service, I am not aware that any discrepancy yet pointed out affects to the slightest degree the sense or meaning of any passage : still, as an intentional variation is dangerous precedent, so an unintentional error is always worth correcting. Yours, very faithfully,
P. H. A colonial correspondent, referring to p. 308, Vol. XIII, upon the introductory sentences to our Morning and Evening Service, suggests that, instead of changing the pronoun he to God, the former be printed with the H capital.
UNCANONICAL SCRIPTURES. A Catalogue of those Scriptures which are mentioned but not inserted
in the Bible. 1. “The book of the wars of the Lord.”
Wherefore, it is said in “ the book of the wars of the Lord,” What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon.-Numbers xxi. 14.
2. “ The book of Jasher."
Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in “ the book of Jasher.”—2 Samuel i. 18; Josh. x. 13.