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fraudulent,' &c., &c. For, as has been justly observed in a recent archidiaconal
charge, it is the established maxim of all societies, that the meaning of laws
is not fixed by the private will of the individuals who obey, but by the authority
of the community which enforces them... What would be said if a prisoner
professed to explain the law, and told the judges they mistook its meaning?'
(Adn. Wilberforce's Charge of 1849, p. 12.) Surely, then, it would be an
anomaly for an unauthorized and self-constituted tribunal of clergymen —
acting in direct opposition to the Ignatian precept, 'let nothing be done with-
out the Bishop,'-presided over by three presbyters, (viz., two archdeacons
and a regius professor) to presume to define the true meaning of the Anglican
formularies, while they themselves deny that right to the Privy Council (law-
fully constituted) of our only Supreme Governor' (under God) even when
acting under the advice and approbation of the two Archbishops?

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"3. Since each clergyman is permitted to officiate in this Church, only on condition of professed assent by subscription to a certain proposition,-affirmed and established by the Church in Convocation assembled,-viz., that the Queen's Majesty, under God, is the only Supreme Governor of this Realm.... as well in ALL spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal,' (Canon 36, Art. i.)—and if 'in all.... causes,' not only temporal,' but also 'spiritual or ecclesiastical,' then of course in the Gorham cause,' however 'purely spiritual' it may be considered in some quarters-it must necessarily follow that all who venture to declare that they do not, and in conscience cannot acknowledge in the Crown' this 'power,' and that they limit its power to "temporal points alone, only testify to all the world, that they hold, write, and teach what is plainly repugnant to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, and are now become 'Protesting Dissenters' from the Established Church, while they minister in her sanctuaries and receive the benefit of her endowments.

"For these reasons, gentlemen, I must not only decline acceding to your request of permission to affix my name to your Declaration,' but I must also beg to protest against such schismatical proceedings, gross insubordination, and cruel attempts to disturb the peace of the Church, as your documents disclose. For did I entertain such sentiments as those which are contained in your Declaration;' the only 'relief to' my conscience' would be the honest course of retirement from the ministry, and renunciation of the emoluments of the Established Church.

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"C. H. DAVIS.

'Trusting, gentlemen, that you will pardon the freedom of this declaration,' in consideration that you have called for it yourselves, "I remain, yours sincerely, "Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 22nd Aug., 1850." Another fact to which we mournfully call the attention of our readers is the secession of Lord Fielding, and of some other persons, whose names, unhappily, are too familiar to us, to the Church of Rome. Here are the fruits of those principles and movements which we have been from year to year condemned for denouncing as Popish to their very core; and over which, we regret to say, some of our Ecclesiastical leaders have not hesitated to spread the broad shield of Episcopal countenance and approbation. Lord Fielding's statement in vindication of his own apostacy, appears to us, though mild and amiable, to be the very quintessence of weakness. His main justification is, that wanting an infallible earthly interpreter of the Holy Scriptures, he has gone over to the only Church which "claims or exercises" Infallibility. But is the "claim" or " exercise" of a right or power, a sufficient reason for acknowledging it? Did the Athenians yield all the ships which entered the Piræus to the madman who claimed them as his own? What, if the only reason why other Ecclesiastical bodies have not claimed or exercised the function of Infallibility be-that they

consider all such claims as nothing better than distinct evidences of crime or imposture? The question is not, "who makes the claim," but "who displays the power?"-not, "who pretends to infallibility," but "who is infallible?" Shew us the infallible authority-shew us the Church, the council, the man, who has not erred, who does not err, or who cannot err, and we will also bow down to the infallible interpreter. But, while we have Popes contradicting themselves and one another-Popes at Avignon thundering anathemas against Popes at Rome-Popes calling in tradition, either to eke out, or to contradict the Scriptures-Popes twisting the plain letter of God's word into the most extravagant meaningsPopes obliged to sanction a principle of "development," or of new revelations every year from God, designed either to supply the deficiencies or to correct the errors of the Papal decrees of an earlier period-we feel the subjection of the mind to such an authority to be an infatuation so profound as to be accounted for only in one way, that the mind is "given over to believe a lie." Deeply painful it is to us to give utterance to such a sentiment. We know all that it involves. We shudder to think how many and what persons it may include. But when we find fine understandings doing homage to the grossest absurdities-when we see the holy and spiritual members of our own Scriptural Church casting away all old associations -all the memory of other ages-all the monuments of the Protestant martyrs-all the ties of blood and affection-all the beauty, simplicity, spirituality of our own Apostolic Church, and bowing down to a woman-dividing their dependance upon the "One" Divine " Mediator" with that on His guilty creatures-when we find them declaring the whole body of Christ to dwell in every single crumb of bread in the Holy Eucharist-we are forced to believe that " an enemy hath done this," and that there is only one dark and mysterious energy to which it is to be ascribed. Our consolation is in knowing that there is a Stronger than he," Who can cast out this "strong man," and take away his "spoils," and rescue those feeble minds which he has, for the moment, got within his grasp.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

C. S.; J. W.; J. S.; J. T.; have been received.

H. H. requires of us an impossibility. A soldier might as reasonably be required to collect all the single bullets in a battle, as an Editor to review all the single sermons, however valuable, which issue from the press.

Messrs. B. and G. are requested to remember that patience is one of the cardinal virtues.

If an Old Subscriber will consult the paper to which he refers, he will see that it pronounced no opinion on the doctrine in dispute; but simply on the question whether Mr. Gorham's opinions were such as rightly to exclude him from an incumbency in the Church of England.

The Editor thanks W. B. A. for a paper, valuable in itself, but too much in the character of a sermon, on a point already largely discussed by other divines, to be fit for this Work. The Editor makes this remark for the use of other Correspondents as well as W. B. A.

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[The Editor desires to be considered as not responsible, except for the general tone and character of the Papers in the "Miscellaneous" department of this Work.]

IS HAPPINESS ON EARTH TO BE DESIRED?

YOU have allowed me to lay before your readers some reasons for questioning the wisdom, and even the propriety, of cherishing the very common and very natural wish for happiness in this present world.

I hope that I have not, in propounding this supposition, been assuming any extreme opinions, or any which shock or outrage the feelings generally entertained. I further trust that I am not aiming at any higher standard than that which the Scripture teaches, and which may be made to approve itself to our judgment on reflection.—I am willing to hope this, as I believe that all efforts to rise above the limits which the word of God assigns as the standard to which our nature may be raised,—and to rise, merely for the sake of rising, above that which is practised,—are apt to defeat their own purpose, and to exhaust rather than to elevate the mind which is operated on. And sad experience teaches us, that a wretched collapse, which paralyses all exertions whatsoever, too often follows this excitement, and sinks the spirit for ever which aimed at soaring too high.

If, then, I have erred in this respect, I desire to be corrected; but if the words employed are words of truth and soberness,-if the view taken is sustained by the analogy of Scripture, and does not require more, or impose more, than what our Christian character implies,-above all, if the theory does not lead to anything which is morbid, but tends only to those feelings which are sound and healthy, if the fruits produced, the end proposed, are all in harmony with that which we believe in our hearts to be true; then I must contend, that the view must not be considered as unreasonable because it differs from that which men have considered as expedient; nor must it be condemned as unnatural, because it contradicts tendencies of that nature which it is our desire to see renewed by the teaching of the Spirit.

CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 155.

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That the desire of happiness is natural to man,—that it was implanted originally in our system,—that it remains a memorial of the end for which we were first created, and a pledge and token of that end for which we may be yet prepared, that it is the universal motive to exertion, the incentive to all that is good and great and noble, in the way of practice,-that it only requires to be properly regulated and directed, in order to be the universal source of great and holy purposes, no one will venture to deny. But in proportion to the value and the power possessed by the principle, is the necessity of guiding it aright. The power which can do so much if well directed, may be in an equal degree destructive if misapplied; and the greatness of the treasure claims vigilance in order that it may be preserved.

If, therefore, error exists as to the object of pursuit, or as to the way in which it is to be sought,-if we fall into any mistaken view of the character of happiness, or of the means of obtaining it, there is no saying what may not be the consequences which may follow. Men may be found seeking what they ought to avoid, and shunning that which it would be their interest to

secure.

If, indeed, happiness were a simple term; if all men knew what the word meant, and what they were to understand by it; if they knew what it consisted of, and where it was to be found, there would be no need of caution, nor any necessity for discussion. We might then say, "Follow the dictates of your own reason; judge for yourself, according to your taste; and be guided by that thirst for happiness which shall lead you like an instinct to the source of its future gratification. The traveller in the desert needs no other guide to the spot where water is to be found, than the impetuosity with which the camel rushes to the well; and man might trust himself to the innate longing of his heart, if that heart was less deceitful than it is, and better able to discriminate between the varieties offered to its acceptance. Painful experience, however, has dispossessed us of this notion. We know that our nature, like a diseased and sickly body, is the victim of morbid and unhealthy longings. It neither knows what it ought to seek as good, nor where it ought to look for it. It alternately loathes what it desired, and desires what it loathed. Untaught by experience, it is ever ready to be deceived; and the disappointment of one expectation only prepares it for the indulgence of another, equally unreasonable, equally delusive.

In such a state of things, where the pursuit is carried on by those who are ignorant and blind, it would be idle to look for any satisfactory result; and we must feel that the best and most wholesome advice that could be given, would be to sit still and wait, instead of committing ourselves as to the course we were to follow by any precipitate decision. We might say, therefore, to those who are impatient to begin the pursuit of happiness : "Wait till you have ascertained the nature of what you seek, more correctly than you have done. Instead of trying to be happy,

wait till you are made so. Instead of endeavouring to find for yourselves that of which you know nothing, wait till it finds you out, and offers itself to your acceptance; and be content to receive, as a gift from God, that which you are justified in expecting from His goodness, though you have no reason to believe you shall ever obtain it for yourself." It would be well if some friendly voice could insinuate this caution into the ears of those who are indulging dreams which cannot be verified, and are going forth, in the spirit of idealism, into a world made up of stern and hard realities. Those bright imaginations which they delight to form, -those lovely visions in which they delight to lose themselves, and which leave out of sight every thing that can offend the taste or disturb the temper,-those brilliant scenes which they anticipate, and which almost identify earth with heaven,-serve no other purpose than to make men discontented with the happiness they may have, by comparing it with the happiness they cannot have.

If discontent be the prevalent feeling; if all seem to be wishing for that which they have not, and to be dissatisfied with what they have; it probably, in a great degree at least, arises, first from the indulging these vague and ideal notions of happiness, and then from the inability to realize them. There is the more ground for this conviction, inasmuch as we find the discontent of the heart bears an exact proportion to the intensity of these desires. The ardour of youth gave wings to the imagination. Having received no check, they feared none. "The world," as in the poet's representation of our first parents, seemed "all before them," and all appeared to be within their reach. But they soon learned that they grasped at a cloud, and that "to-morrow never fulfilled the promises of to-day."

It has thus happened, that the imaginative have generally been the melancholy men ;-that the imagination-a power which, if properly used and wisely exercised, might have decked the earth with flowers, and sweetened the toils of the workshop or the office has been found united with a withering spirit of discontent; and, instead of contributing to happiness, has mocked the efforts of men who tried to be happy, by making the pleasure that was possessed tasteless, in comparison with that which had been imagined.

But if this has been the case with those who seemed best prepared for the pursuit of happiness, and who claimed it, by a kind of title of inheritance, as their own; if we see that their eagerness of pursuit has defeated their purpose; and that they have met with nothing but disappointment, because they began by expecting too much; the same conclusion may be drawn from the experience of those who are differently circumstanced. There are but few, comparatively speaking, who enjoy the dangerous privilege of setting out in pursuit of happiness as a separate and distinct object. The far greater part of mankind are rescued from this risk by the necessity of

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