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if "the religious world" do not agree with Mr. Boys and his friends, it is not from levity or flippancy on so serious a subject. He ought at least to allow good motives and upright intentions-not to impute Neologian propensities-and this alone would do much to make Christians understand each other better.
Mr. Boys complains, with somewhat of a personal tone, of "misrepresentation" in reference to the matters at issue. The alleged misrepresentation is the juxta-position of the abstract belief that miracles still continue in the church, with the asserted "miraculous occurrences" in Scotland, and with "certain opinions on the subject of prophecy." Now we think we can set ourselves, and those who have taken the anti-miraculous side of the question, right with Mr. Boys in a few words; namely, by saying, what is matter of public notoriety, that up to a very recent date, and posterior to the time of Miss Fancourt's cure, the whole matter did thus hang together. The Morning Watch, Mr. Nisbet's multitudinous press, Mr. Irving, Mr. Erskine, and several other writers, connected the whole so closely, that where we found miracles, there followed Port-Glasgow and various prophetical whimsies and "Gairloch heresies; "—it is true with various minor sub-divisions, but with one general specific character. The infection, whether in Scotland or England, took on the same characteristic symptoms. At length, however, came the alleged miracle at Hoxton: it was bruited abroad, and an account of it was sent to the Christian Observer; but so anxious were we, even then, to prevent "misrepresentation,' that we stated again and again (see our November Number), that the parties only modestly urged the facts of the case, but grounded on them, and connected with them, no doctrine or point of faith;-for our charity in doing which a severe
"cat" was inflicted upon us in one of the Nisbet-press pamphlets; and we were told that we knew that the parties did connect with Miss Fancourt's case certain doctrines, namely, the non-cessation of miracles in the church, and their actual manifestation at this moment.
But Mr. Boys still complains that the question of miracles is unfairly identified with the Scottish prodigies and with certain speculations on prophecy; for neither of which he makes himself accountable. But who laid to his charge this identification? His name was never so much as alluded to, directly or indirectly, in the discussion; we were not even aware that he had ever written a line on it till the late paper in the Jewish Expositor; and in alluding to that paper in a former part of our present Number, he will see that we expressly said that the Jewish Expositor, though it had followed the Morning Watch in its views on miracles, had not gone into its other peculiarities.
Mr. Boys, therefore, has no reason to complain, as if a personal charge had been urged against himself, when no writer in the controversy even alluded to his name, or knew, we presume, that he held the opinion animadverted upon. For ourselves, speaking unaffectedly, we thought him much too sensible a man to be carried away with such a notion, and were lost in astonishment when we found he had become one of its converts. In his case then, it appears, and doubtless in other cases of recent conversion to the doctrine of modern miracles, arising out of the circumstance at Hoxton, there is no connexion between this particular belief and certain other notions advocated in the Morning Watch and similar publications; and we give the fullest credit and publicity to this disclaimer. But Mr. Boys is aware, that till Miss Fancourt's case made this new
class of converts, THE ONLY PUBLICATIONS which advocated modern miracles, advocated also the validity of the miracles at PortGlasgow, and the errors which Mr. Boys renounces; but which henceforth are not to be considered parts of the doctrines of one school; the school of believers in modern miracles being now divided into two classes, those who are sound, and those who are unsound, in other points; those who believe only in Miss Fancourt's case, and those who believe in the Scotch cases and the doctrines connected with them. Yet, to say the plain truth, though Mr. Boys complains that those who hold the sentiments entertained by him, in common with [certain] other clergymen of the diocese of London, on the subject of miraculous gifts in the church of Christ," are "misrepresented," when this their opinion "is connected with a belief in certain miraculous occurrences said to have taken place in Scotland;" he does not venture to disavow that connexion, or to say that he gives no credence to the Port-Glasgow miracles: he only affirms that "the connexion may be just, or it may be unjust; but if it may be just, where is the "misrepresentation?" He must well know that the majority of those who believe in the one case, believe in the others also: and we see not how they can be fairly separated in general argument; for why is not Mary Campbell's cure as stringent as that of Miss Fancourt, or the new tongues at PortGlasgow as much to be credited as some other modern miracles which Mr. Boys earnestly maintains have occurred?
Mr. Boys replies to the forebodings of those who think that this allegation of modern miracles will afford a specious weapon to the infidel against the Gospel, that quite the contrary is the case; for that while " religious professors
have cavilled" against the miracle at Hoxton," avowed infidels have bowed in silence, and scoffers laid their hands upon their mouths." We only regret that these converts, if such they should become, have not a better foundation for their faith; for it is most probable that when they read the whole evidence, they will be of opinion that, even if miracles occurred every day, Miss Fancourt's case was not miraculous; and then comes the recoil, which from the first we feared and predicted. We feel increasingly convinced that the only true or safe line is so to separate the miracles recorded or alluded to in Scripture, from all alleged miracles in subsequent ages, as to maintain the unimpeachable truth of the former, but to vouch for none of the latter. The infidels whom Mr. Boys mentions have proved by their ready acquiescence in the miracle at Hoxton, while they deny the real miracles of Scripture, that infidels are accustomed to draw inferences from very slender premises, and can believe the word of man while they deny the word of God. But does Mr. Boys really believe that any "avowed infidel," who thinks at all, from a Taylor to a Carlile, has been affected in the way he describes ? Let him produce one such instance; and we in return will produce him many an instance of those who take advantage of what they consider the credulity of professed Christians to disparage the evidence for the Divine inspiration of Holy Writ itself. Let him take the case of Miss Fancourt to some of our medical men, and scientific men, and legal men, and political men, infected with infidelity, and see how many converts he will make to Christianity on the strength of this occurrence ? A bird-witted infidel who receives his infidelity on trust second-hand from the blasphemous trash of Fleet Street, may take on trust also an alleged miracle; just as a man may believe
a ghost story, who has no shadow of religion; but a faith grounded on such a basis is not to be urged in proof that the basis was solid.
But the most extraordinary part of Mr. Boys's address to the Bishop, and most extraordinary it is-is the identification between modern miracles and episcopacy. He maintains that they rest upon exactly the same evidence, are held by the same class of persons, and must stand or fall together. "We allege," he says, "the succession of miracles, as we allege the succession of holy orders;" ""there is a real and peculiar connexion between episcopacy and miracles; they stand remarkably linked together in the controversial historyofour church;" "the Dissenters, in opposing episcopacy, oppose the apostolic succession, and in opposing the apostolic succession they were led to discountenance the idea of miraculous succession, or the continuance of miracles in the church." The next step is, that "the Evangelical body in the church" lighted their torch at the dissenting altar, and though they firmly retained episcopacy, lost sight of its twinsister-miracles.
"Thus when we come to sift things to the bottom, one cause of the present rejection of miracles, and that by many sound, decided, ardent Episcopalians, proves at last to lie (little suspected by them indeed) in the rejection of episcopacy itself! What a remarkable circumstance! Who would ever have expected that we should come to such a discovery as this! Do we not at once perceive a reason, why, while, in some instances no objec. tion to the doctrine of miracles is expressed by churchmen belonging to the general body, some Evangelical churchmen are found opposing it with so much violence? The parallel, then, between the claims of episcopacy and the doctrine of miracles in the church, is drawn from no fanciful analogy, is urged to serve no temporary purpose; and there can be little doubt, if the question respecting the miraculous character of the Christian dispensation comes to be properly understood in all its bearings, and the points on which it really hitches to be felt, it will prove, in the end, to be neither more nor less, than a question between Churchmen and Dissenters."
We shall not weaken the claims of episcopacy thus singularly established by any surmises as to the soundness of the argument. It is truly a remarkable climax, and will probably convert as many Dissenters as Miss Fancourt's cure has converted infidels. The Bishop of London must have felt his mitre press more closely on his brows as he read it; and will doubtless take the first opportunity of retailing it to Lord King. What the Dissenters will say, we cannot conjecture till we see the next Number of the Eclectic, the Congregational, and the Evangelical Magazine. Possibly they will repeat what we have before rehearsed of their sayings in the present Number, that "the Established Church is in its dotage." And curiously enough does it dove-tail into Mr. Boys's argument, that we ourselves, we Christian Observers, with all our professed veneration for episcopacy, have just given several pages of quotation against modern miracles, from a work issued from a Dissenting press! If this be not evidence, what is? It is true, there are some little flaws in our friend's reasoning; for it so happens that the Puritans were much more disposed to believe in prodigies than the Episcopalians, and that at this very moment “ the general body" of Churchmen are as little inclined to believe in alleged recent miracles, as those
Evangelical Churchmen" whose incredulity in this matter degrades them into semi-Dissenters, and pullers-down of Episcopacy. But let this pass: it is enough to know the general fact, that the contest is "a question between Churchmen and Dissenters;" from which we infer, among other things, that Mr. Irving, Mr. Erskine, and all the Port-Glasgow abettors of miracles have become Episcopalians, and all our bishops and clergy, with the exception of Mr. M'Neile, Mr. Boys, and a few others, virtual Dis
senters. We can only echo, and re-echo Mr. Boys's own words, "What a remarkable circumstance ! Who would ever have expected that we should come to such a discovery as this!" We really shall begin to think that miracles have not ceased!
We were about to conclude with a few words, sincerely dictated by the respect we feel for Mr. Boys; but that we almost fear to do so, lest we should come under the implied censures upon those who, he says, in defending him and others who "set themselves to oppose the spreading evils of the day," defend them " only on the plea, AS IF THEY WERE WRONG, of good intentions." Now this was unhappily the precise line which we had chalked out for our defence of Mr. Boys, as respects modern miracles. We believe him to be "wrong" in this matter; but we also believe him to be a pious, a zealous, and a truth-loving man; a man of prayer, and a diligent student of the Scriptures; a man of most excellent " intentions," and, we doubt not, of excellent deeds also. He has penned what we are sure he thought it is duty to pen, and we honour him for his "intention." We must add, moreover, that in his letter
to the Bishop, he has not shunned to bear his full share of the reproach of that so-called "religious world on whose sins, real or supposed, he had strongly commented in the Jewish Expositor. Our parting word, therefore, with him is, that in pursuing the question of miracles, or any other question which he may connect with it, he should beware of causing strife among brethren, by urging charges, such as those of lukewarmness, neology, and we know not what else, in quarters where there is not the slightest reason to impute them. Let him also not disdain to "discuss;" to weigh" both sides of a question ;' and to argue with his brethren in somewhat of that tone in which he has couched his letter to the Bishop, and which would have spared us the pain of the remarks which we were constrained to offer on the paper in the Jewish Expositor. These are not days (if any days there had ever been) in which Christians can afford to "fall out by the way." The common enemies of God and of Christ, are on every side; and we need a united army under the Great Captain of our salvation to oppose their fearful inroads.
dred years ago," Oh Christian, whoever thou art who deniest miracles, come, and with thine own eyes behold; come into England, approach the presence of the king, and bring with thee the Christian afflicted with this malady, and though it be very unsightly, deep, and inveterate, in the name of Jesus Christ, by prayer, benediction, the sight of the cross, and the imposition of hands, he shall cure him." It is distressing to reflect that the blessed “name of Jesus" should have been profaned to sanction this royal jugglery. Bradwardine was a man of piety, and believed what he said, and there was some excuse that he lived in "the dark ages;' but what shall we say of the same ceremony in the hands of Charles the Second? A small closely printed shilling volume, entitled "The Results of Machinery," contains a most valuable accumulation of facts, which ought to be everywhere known, in order to put down by the best argument, solid proof, the vandalic horror which has gone abroad against mechanical improvements. We particularly recommend its perusal to those who think that power-looms or threshing machines diminish the demand for human labour. The work is currently, we know not how truly, ascribed to the Lord Chancellor, and is well worthy of the vast grasp, yet microscopic minuteness of that widely-ranging mind. We cannot, however, as Christian Observers, but notice with much pain the occasional desecration of a scriptural phrase to a secular purpose. Who that reverences the word of God can read without grief the flippant parody of mechanical improvements, "bringing healing on their wings," and so in some other instances? A very few erasures would however remove in future impressions these few blots. There was a Mr. Brougham who was often accused of this profane habit of mocking Scripture; but a Lord Chancellor, we must presume, would be better advised; and if Lord Brougham aspires to imitate his illustrious predecessor Bacon, as a lover of science, let him not disdain to emulate Lord Bacon's devout reverence for Scripture. We can understand why in the strife of debate or pleading, Lord Brougham, when Mr. Brougham, should have been induced to raise a laugh against an adversary, by a mock allusion to Scripture; for though his own large mind, and better taste must surely have scorned this cheap wit, he knew that there were those whose groveling intellect would value it at more than it was worth; but in a serious popular treatise honestly intended for public benefit, we can see no motive which the writer could have had for playing with Scripture, and therefore impute it to a thoughtless habit rather than direct intention. But he must know that there are not a few persons whom one such casual allusion as that we have mentioned would cause to cast aside the whole volume with disgust.
If the writer, whoever he may be, (for there is not the slightest evidence that it is the production of the learned person to whom popular report ascribes it,) have a tender parent alive, who made the word of God the companion of her children, with what pain must she witness her anxious maternal instructions perverted to point a sentence, or possibly to sharpen the weapon of irony, not at the forges of the Philistines, but on the threshold of the sanctuary. Sir Walter Scott had the grace to see his revered mother cold in the grave, before he avowed himself the author of those desecrations of Scripture allusions which disgrace some of his publications, and which could not but have deeply wounded the pious and sensitive mind of a Christian mother. We see not why, in a case where the scandal is so public as in that of the Waverley Novels, even the much respected name of Sir Walter Scott should shield the author from public reprehension.
The temperance cause in America is advancing so rapidly that spirit-venders in various places have actually emptied their remaining casks into the streets, and betaken themselves to new occupations. Vessels continue to set sail without any spirit on board except in the surgeon's chest and medical professors are delivering lectures to shew that even the saving clause in temperance resolutions, "except as a medicine," ought to be exploded. We are surprised that our tract, and education, and popular instruction societies, do not take up this question, so as to disabuse the public mind of its errors and prejudices, and at least to prevent the next race following the evil career of their fathers. Our American friends boast that if ever they had a doubt whether the United States were to become the first nation in the world, it is banished by their being the foremost to expel ardent spirits from the land. It has long been a regulation of the Society of Friends that no spiritdrinker or spirit-vender shall be a member of their body; and they certainly have not been less healthy or fit for business in consequence. The temperance societies adopt the same rule; but their total prohibition of distillation is carrying the matter too far, as alcohol is of indispensable value in the arts; they might better imitate the plan once used in a hospital, of putting emetic tartar, or some nauseous ingredient into the spirit of wine to prevent the nurses drinking it. But, after all, such artifices are only fit for children: right knowledge and moral restraint are the great objects; and where there are these there needs no prohibition. Why does not the Useful Knowledge Society publish a treatise on spirituous liquors? There is ample matter medical, chemical, economical, statistical, and historical, as well as moral, to render it abundantly entertaining as well as instructive; always keeping in mind the