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THE CHURCH'S

SELF-REGULATING PRIVILEGE,

A NATIONAL SAFEGUARD

IN RESPECT OF REAL CHURCH-REFORM;

OR,

REASONS

FOR REVIVING CONVOCATIONS,

OR RESTORING PROVINCIAL AND DIOCESAN SYNODS.

BY JOHN KEMPTHORNE, B.D.

RECTOR OF ST. MICHAEL'S GLOUCESTER.

LONDON:
J. HATCHARD AND SON, 187, PICCADILLY;

AND JEW, GLOUCESTER.

1835.

73.

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I BOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.

PRE FACE.

There is a certain disease of the human mind, which, for want of a more suitable term, may be called locomotiveness, or impatience of any particular locality. Under its influence the unhappy wanderer, though rich in goods, exempt from professional labour, and secure of possessing any where all that money can command, is ever shifting his abode from villa to villa, from county to county, and would be still shifting it, even if he should traverse the globe in search of a dwelling. When the patient's is an aggravated case, life itself becomes a burden; despair and a pistol comprises the rest. The course of things is nearly the same in another analogous mental distemper, which consists, according to Holy Writ, in fearlessness of " the LORD and the King,” in being

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given to change” with respect to all matters civil and religious, and ever impatient of things as they are, though they are substantially good, and though it is a moral certainty that change will not better them. This disease also leaves us no resting-place under the sun, and tends, and often leads on, to self-destruction.

Against reckless dissatisfaction with present good, not a whit more reasonable than a fixed adherence to what is altogether bad, the writer of these pages is desirous of recording his humble testimony. This is not incompatible, he hopes, with readiness,-after amending by the grace of God, in the first instance, whatever is amiss in his own spiritual concerns, to promote, if he be able, plans of real improvement in the Church. Only he cannot help suspecting something awry, and out of all proportion in the thought, that from a little nook, where, within narrow limits, he has a part of his own to act, in the midst of that world of religious means, principles, and polity, which we call the Church, he should be able to lend any aid in guiding and correcting the whole. And if perchance in any degree he should, he cannot side with those who hold that we ought to be always in advance of the impetus of public opinion, without stopping to search narrowly whither it tends ; that is, in other words, that we ought to administer stimulants instead of anodynes to patients who may

be in a fever.

Let not the reader be prepossessed against the subject matter of this work, simply because it is unpopular, and involves topics open to controversy, and sometimes of a difficult nature. Two special inconveniences, arising chiefly out of his subject, the author is desirous of noticing here once for all. He is often reluctantly compelled to advert to the harsh and sometimes acrimonious conduct even of many orthodox Dissenters, and to their own recent relaxation of some points of sound doctrine, with an impression also upon his mind,--the fruit, he hopes, of honest and sorsowful conviction, not of intolerance, that their system savours somewhat of the nature of schism. But he has not at the same time dwelt-perhaps without disturbing his train of argument he could not have dwelt, as he should wish to do-on particulars honourable to their character ; on their ability, their seriousness, their missionary exertions, their fellowship with us in one common Protestantism. He is also obliged, by the necessity

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