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the inmates of prisons, and in short all states and conditions. And we say in this case the Church, because we know that nothing comes of it when these things are left to the good will or prudence of the individual, where every one in his interpretation of the Bible turns a nose of wax only to suit himself. We wish therefore a Church, and a confession from this Church herself showing what she is in her own mind, and what difference she makes between herself and the Roman pa pacy, as well as all that may ape this under Protestant form. With this moreover we would not be narrow minded. With Melancthon we should have no objection to some sort of visible head for the Church, as a bond of unity; and we could allow also that difference of view on some points, as for example with regard to the baptism of infants or grown persons, need not lead necessarily to separation and division. But were once such an organization brought about for the Protestant Church, even in this land only, could it only so concentrale its activity and strength, would it not be clothed with immeasurably greater moral influence ? Must personal piety in such circumstances fall into neg. lect ? Would not the individual come far more fully under the power of the Church? And would not the opposition to Rome become thus of far more force and effect? The greater the body is which is pervaded by one and the same self-feeling, the greater will be its firmness inwardly and the force of its action without!
When those therefore who seek the promotion of genuine piety in our time, are willing to incur the reproach of a backward tendency, rather than receive as pure gold the outside show of a religion ihat resolves itself into mere feeling, they have the experience of a whole century in their favor. That is just the misery of our age, that when one fancies himself to have had some inward experience of religion, he is ready at once to take himself for a new man altogether, mounts the seat of counsel, has nothing more to learn, and will not allow even the preacher to know a whit more of the kingdom of God and the Church than himself. Nay, the preachers, by a flattery that proceeds from the lowest motives, confirm such persons in their spiritual pride and blindness; there is dishonesty behind on both sides. We acknowledge, however, no ecclesiastical aristocracy ; while we acknowledge just as little also an ecclesiastical democracy. We have in the whole world no conservative institution but the Church. So we regard it in the form also of Protestantism. The Church came not forth from that process of purification, in a period of storm and trial, to fluctuate from that time onward
on the waves of individual passing opinion. It was just the devices and additions of men she sought to cast aside. What has been found a source of blessing in all ages however, what can never cease to satisfy the necessities of the soul, that wherein was deposited the clear wisdom of the ancient fathers, and their knowledge of the way of salvation, all this she has never cast aside. It never entered into the mind of the Reformers, that either rationalistic or spiritualistic radicalism could ever become the reigning spirit of the age, as it has been for some time past. When they formed confessions accordingly, and liturgies, from the old treasures of the Church, they did it in obedience to what was felt to be the necessity of their circumstances and because they could not entertain the thought that without these means of consolidation and protection a Church could so stand, as not to be exposed to the greatest danger in regard both to doctrine and worship. Did the Reformers however for this reason undervalue personal religion, the true inward experience of faith? Who has more carefully or wisely regarded the old usages of the Church, who has more respected her discipline, who has done more for the organization of the church, for schools, for instruction, for every conservative interest in short, than Luther ? And yet who at the same time has gone beyond this same Luther in the life of faith, in the deep experience of the power of the law and of grace in his own soul?
Those who throw suspicion on the Church spirit, and with more or less clear consciousness lean towards the subjective extreme in religion, seeing in sectarianism, excitement and enthusiasm, more good always than evil, are ever ready to apprehend that a dead outward formality must soon come to prevail in the Church, if a certain commotion be not constantly in force to hold it at bay. Most certainly an empty forınality will come in, where the ministers look more how many members they have in their flocks for themselves, than how many they have for Christ; where they must have recourse to other means than the sword of the Spirit, to keep their place and situation; where they thrust their own dear self into the foreground, and make that the motive to interest and feeling; where altogether they are bad representatives of the gospel. But have these evils been removed by fanaticism and the sect spirit? If indifference and levity were great before, they have at least served to bring to equal greatness also spiritual pride, uncharitable judgement, hypocrisy and sham holiness. But is living piety then irreconcilable with adhesion to the old order and custom of the Church? Were then the composers of our most admirable church prayers and
church hymns spiritually dead men ? The most of them were às far as possible removed from indifference to the forms and institutions of the Church, by far the greater part of them lived in a time of the most rigid orthodoxy, held themselves closely to the observances of the Church, and yet-how did they pour forth the richest strains from their full hearts! And is their pumber then so small? Or was there at that time so little faith in the old world? No, but rather at the present time; and unless the Church come together as a body of believers, consolidate itself better, seek to organize itself collectively as one, and constitute thus a great moral power, where the individual must make less of his private judgment than before, the case is not likely soon to improve. And yet how unfair often are the warm opponents of the old church spirit and practice! We have ourselves once heard a ranter, who railed out with all his might upon the dead formality and letter worship of the Church, and had singing at the same time along with his service from three old German genuine church hymns, composed by men of true church spirit! That is to rob a man's house, and scold him soundly into the bargain !
If we take all these things into view, if we consider the necessities of the time, the quack remedies of modern invention, the dangers that press from within and without, the state of our preachers, the existing confusion of Christ's flock, we may with certainty affirm that to go back to the old church order in doctrine, worship and practice is not to be guilty of any defection from christianity but to fulfil towards it a sacred duty; that it is in truth the way pointed out by the relation in which we stand to the period and work of the Reformation, for us to carry forward the work of Zion, not by novelties, but in the spirit and sense of the Reformation itself, and on its foundation as laid in the truth of the Holy Scriptures. And that the eyes of many in our day are beginning to open, and inquiry is heard after the genuine and the old, that the ancient treasures of the Church and its confessions are drawn forth from the midst of rubbish and dust, that the wisdom of the age is coming in much to be regarded by many as foolishness before God, all this is to us highly significant as we look forward full of hope towards a greater future of the Church. Philadelphia.
W. J. M.
MODERN ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH BALLADS.
I love the old English ballad especially because it is perhaps entirely of Teutonic origin; or, if of the Celtic spirit it may have inherited something, it has certainly nothing of the old Roman about it. It came not down from the classic times of antiquity. It was not the offspring of ancient Italy or Greece. It was not introduced into England from Normandy or France. “ Ingulphus the secretary of William the Conqueror," says Campbell in his admirable Essay on the Poetry of his country, , “speaks of the popular ballads of the English in praise of their heroes, which were sung about the streets; and William of Malmsbury, in the twelfth century, continues to make mention of them.” During the depression of its Saxon people this species of song, no doubt, languished for a while; but we cannot think that its notes became ever wholly mute. While by the chantings of the lordly Romance, introduced from Normandy, the halls of the barons were enlivened, at the same time, by the simpler strains of the old ballad, we may naturally suppose, were still cheered the firesides of the peasantry. While from its two component parts, the Norman and the Saxon, the English lan, guage was being formed, this latter species of composition, no doubt, received much refinement and polish, and perhaps rhyme itself, from abroad, but with all its improvements it lost not its original elements. In the higher departments of literature, Romantic poetry, translated from other countries, brought with it into England many of its foreign expressions and idioms, whereby the language was enriched; but the old ballad still clung as fondly as it could to the national Saxon.
The poet Gray, in his Remarks on the Poems of Lydgate, says :
About the middle of the fourteenth century our tongue, with all its rudeness, had acquired an energy and plenty by the adoption of a variety of words borrowed from the French, the Provençal and the Italian, which at this day our best writers seem to miss and regret; for many of them have gradually drop. ped into disuse, and are only now to be found in the remotest counties of England." In turning over the leaves of Chaucer, however, who was flourishing about the middle of the fourteenth century, or very soon afterwards, notwithstanding his having caught much of his inspiration from Provence and Italy, of those words of his, nevertheless, which have, since his day, grown obsolete, we will be apt to meet with full as many of Saxon descent as of Norman or French introduction; wherefore those best writers mentioned above, we are disposed to think, would have shown as much patriotism and better taste had they grieved not so much on account of the denial of naturalization to some unworthy aliens as on account of the disfranchisement of many native expressions removed to make room for the denizens. At any rate, for the loss of these foreign words, Gray
. himself, we feel certain, was not much distressed, as in English Literature he stands forward prominent in a new school of poetry in his day, distinguished for its chasteness and simplicity of style, which was very much advanced, (as already stated, page 158 of this vol.) by Dr. Percy through the publication of his Relics of Ancient Poetry. By another school, however, these phrases, now obsolete, from foreign sources, may have been missed and regretted, we admit, whose fault it was to employ as few as possible, in their writings, of those true Norman and Saxon words which had entered radically as component parts into the construction of English, and to seek after as many as possible of later modes of expression introduced, from time to time, from the Latin and Greek, after the language had been thoroughly formed and fixed; whose ornate style, in the time of Gray, had Dr. Johnson carried to perfection. That this, however, was an unnatural affectation of the times, and not in accordance with appropriate feeling, is apparent from the
custom of Dr. Johnson himself, who, being possessed of a true English heart, notwithstanding his peculiarities, could not always help, as manifested in his letters and conversation, expressing himself, under his first impulses, in proper Saxon. Well set forth is this by Macaulay in his Criticism on Boswell's Life of Johnson: “It is clear," he says, “that Johnson himself did not think in the dialect in which he wrote. The expressions which came first to his tongue were simple, energetic and picturesque. When he wrote for publication he did his sentences out of English into Johnsonese. His letters from the Hebrides to Mrs. Thrale are the original of that work of which the Journey to the Hebrides is the translation ; and it is amusing to compare the two versions. • When we were taken up stairs,' says he in one of his letters, (a dirty fellow bounced out of the bed on which one of us was to lie. This incident is recorded in the Journey as follows: "Out of one of the beds on which we were to repose, started up, at our entrance, a man black as a Cyclops from the forge.' Sometimes Johnson translated aloud. The Rehearsal,' he said very unjustly, “has not wit enough to keep it sweet;' then after a pause, it has not vitality enough to preserve it from putrefac