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that at least the spirit of the apostle's maxim should be consulted,—- All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.""
I should probably not have directed your attention, my dear friend, to this topic, had not some of the observations in the preceding pages attributed to those termed Evangelical a somewhat rigid mode of judgment“ respecting certain amusements and employments, which," the writer of the Sermon says, “ are avowedly criminal only in their abuse.” What these amusements and employments are we are not distinctly told, and God forbid that, in a spirit of uncharitableness, we should judge our brother: “to his own Master he standeth or falleth.” By proclaiming the separation of the Evangelical party, however, from amusements, upon which others of the Clergy may be in the habit of entering, a demand is indirectly made for their reasons for this course. In obedience then, to this indirect demand, it may be readily replied, that, as they are pledged by their ordination vows-and ordination vows are solemn things—“ to give themselves to the office whereunto it hath pleased God to call them,—to apply themselves wholly to this one thing, and to draw all their cares and studies this way,—to fashion their own selves and their families according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make both themselves and them,
as far as in them lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock :” while they honestly endeavour, amidst much conscious infirmity, to act upon what they consider to be the spirit of their ordination vows, they find little leisure, and less inclination, to expend their money, and to employ their time, in the amusements of the world. And as they are commanded to “ follow the Apostles as they followed Christ,” in their temper, and spirit, and zeal, and self-denial, and diligent occupation in their Master's service, forgive me if I add, that it would be difficult to imagine an APOSTLE employed at the card-table, or acting as the steward of a fancy-ball, or mingling with the crowd on the race-course, or taking his station in the box of the opera. Those termed Evangelical, therefore, do not see how their own appearance at these places could in any way either promote their ministerial usefulness, or add respectability and dignity to the Church, which so solemnly and imperatively claims their time and labours. It is, I have been informed, regarded as a point of etiquette, for the prelates of our Church not to appear at certain public amusements; and how a practice which is considered inexpedient for the superior Clergy, can be deemed expedient for the subordinate Clergy, it is not easy to understand; and the difficulty of comprehending this distinction is, I have
reason to know, strongly felt by many of the prelates of the present day, whom Mr. Molesworth would not designate as EvangeLICAL. In much of what I have advanced upon this point, I imagine I should have the concurrence, as I have, I understand, the example, of the worthy rector of St. Martin's.
IV. In page 23, Mr. Molesworth remarks: “I will touch upon only one more point, which is the operations of those societies for religious purposes, and principally, though not wholly, under the conduct and influence of this party. I have not questioned their motives in upholding them, nor the object they have in view; though, as I have stated on another occasion, I consider other means better adapted to the attainment of that object, and could have desired to see their whole zeal and energy employed, where I could have joined them hand and heart, in the promotion and extension of those ancient societies, which enjoy the undivided sanction of the Church.” These remarks, I conceive, are intended to apply TO THE BIBLE AND CHURCH MissioNARY SoCIETIES, which are now receiving an increased measure of support in Canterbury and the neighbourhood. So wide a field, however, would open itself before me, in connexion with this topic, that I cannot enter upon it so much at large as it deserves, at the pre
sent moment; but, should circumstances arise to render such a measure necessary or expedient, I may probably have the pleasure of writing to you more fully upon the subject hereafter. Allow me, however, now to add, that while many of the party termed Evangelical, sincerely esteem, and are anxious to promote the interests of the elder Church Societies, they believe it to be UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE for these institutions to do all that is required to alleviate the spiritual wants of the world; and they also believe that this can only be effected, under the Divine blessing, by the union and combination, of the contributions and energies, of all classes of Christians, as in the case of the British and Foreign Bible Society, which very principle of union and combination, the constitution and laws of the Elder Societies exclude.
Mr. Molesworth, in entering upon the point, to which I directed your attention in the commencement of my letter, remarks, “ We come into contact with a delicate and painful subject, but I shall freely approach it, feeling strong in a spirit of charity and integrity of purpose.” I revere him for his honesty, though I have ventured to question his judgment. The present times require courage and intrepidity in the declaration of what we conscientiously believe to be right; and I will endeavour to catch comething of his intre
pid spirit, wbile I say with the Apostle, “whereinsoever any is bold, I speak foolishly, I am bold also,” guarding myself from being misunderstood, in the truly Christian language of the Rector of St. Martin's: “ In these plain and frank statements, let me not, I entreat, be for one moment supposed to speak unkindly or irreverently of those from whom I may have the misfortune to differ.” The party, then, who are termed Eyangelical, believe, to cite the remark of a deceased and elevated prelate of our Church, who was not himself a supporter of the Institution, that“IT WAS A CAPITAL MISTAKE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND that she did not, as a body, lend her weight, and her authority, and her influence, to the British and Foreign Bible Society at its commencement ;” since, in common with many prelates, and with many other sound-headed and righthearted men, they contemplate this Institution, wbich already raises its voice in one hundred and forty-six different languages and dialects, as the most gigantic, and efficient engine, employed by the Almighty for the accomplishment of his Divine purpose in the conversion of the world. They consequently believe it to be their solemn duty to support this, and the Church Missionary Society, which has the co-operation of nine of the Bishops and a large body of the dignitaries of the Church,—which employs a considerable