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who denied these doctrines, and (as might be expected) scorned this creed. How they could reconcile
Biography. their conduct with their consciences, it is not for me to say; but it is plain, that if the fence were taken
EDWARD BURTON, D.D. away and weakened, the danger to the fold would be
Regius Professor of Divinity in Oxford. much increased.”
" But there is one objection,” said I,“which people Few events have, of late years, occurred in the Unioffer against the Athanasian creed, which you have versity of Oxford more deeply lamented by persons not noticed, perhaps because you had never heard of
of all classes, views, and opinions, than the decease of it. The objection I mean is, that this creed leaves no allowance for unavoidable ignorance or bad educa
the truly excellent and talented subject of this metion; nor any chance even for persons of weak doubt
moir, who was cut off in the very prime of life, in the ing minds, no not for idiots or children, to escape from discharge of one of the most important offices, and at a its heavy censures. It is obviously an absurd objec season when the Church could ill spare such a teacher tion ; yet it is what people do urge, and people too of theology. The duties of a professor of divinity in who make pretension to reason and religion."
one of our Universities are by no means trifing. It " Sir," said he, “I can never suppose that any really conscientious person, whose mind was free from
is a point of the utmost importance that the individual prejudice, could offer such an objection.
occupying the theological chair should not only be " It must be quite plain to all candid minds, that sound in his views of the great fundamental doctrines as in the Scripture itself, so in the Church Prayer of the Gospel, but that he should be a person of deep Book, we are always instructed to believe that our
reading, and thus "apt to teach ;” and not only so, merciful God makes allowance for our weakness and blindness in matters of knowledge and faith, as well
but that he should carry into the minutest details of as in other things. As in the Scriptures, so in the
every-day life the character and conduct of a true Church Prayer-Book, we are always taught that occa Christian pastor ; and no man, who knows any thing sional doubt and perplexity are no proof of want of of the late lamented professor, can for a moment faith ; that he truly believes who acts (if I may so doubt that these various qualifications were possessed say) upon trust, who, like Abraham, the father of the
by him in no ordinary degree. faithful, obeys and goes on' obeying, not knowing whither he goes ;' knowing only, that if he follow
Edward Burton was born at Shrewsbury on the God's guidance, lie must be right. It is, too, always
13th of February, 1794, where his father, Major Edtaught, as in the Scriptures, so in the Prayer-Book, ward Burton, at that time resided. He was educated that upon true repentance, sincere faith in the blood at Westminster School, of which the present bishop and mediation of the one Redeemer, and entire sub
of St. Asaph, Dr. Carey, was then head-master; and mission to the guidance of the one Sanctifier, it is, I say, always taught, that the door of mercy is open even
he was removed to Christ Church in 1812. Not being to the most inveterate sinners, whatever the nature of
on the foundation at Westminster, he entered Christ their sins might have been ; unless indeed the sin Church as a commoner; but in the following year against the Holy Ghost be considered an exception; / was nominated to a studentship by one of the canons, to guard Christians against which, may be supposed at the express recommendation of the dean, and other one great and surely charitable purpose of this creed. “ How, then,” he proceeded, “ can the Church,
officers of the college. He was examined for his dewith any shew of reason, be called 'uncharitable,'
gree of B.A. at Easter 1815; and obtained the diswhich, with this evangelical doctrine implied in all her tinguished honour of being placed in the first class services, uses occasionally the strongest language of both of classics and mathematics. He took his degree warning (or even of threatening) against fatal sins of B.A. in October 1815; and, having been ordained and errors, if by any means she may preserve the souls
meanwhile, and served the duties of a country parish, committed to her charge stedfast in the faith, the faith which was once delivered unto the saints ?'"
that of M.A. in 1818. "Well, Richard," I said, “the considerations you
The greater part of this latter, and the following have suggested are certainly such as should lead all year, was spent by him on the continent, not idly Christians to pause before they encourage in them and frivolously, but, as may be supposed, in acquiring selves or others any dislike of this ancient, and as you i valuable information, in visiting libraries, collecting justly call it, this noble creed.” “Sir,” he replied, " in my poor judgment it is in
manuscripts, and in similar pursuits. His observadeed a noble, a magnificent confession.
tions while abroad were embodied by him in two " But still, noble and magnificent as it is, if it or volumes, of which two editions have been published, any part of it were against Scripture, or against Chris under the title of, " A Description of the Antiquities tian charity, I for one should not be easy till it were and other Curiosities of Rome," 8vo. put out of the Prayer-Book. “ How happy then am I to think that it breathes
Mr. Burton accepted the office of select preacher the very spirit of pure Christian charity ; of love more
in 1824; and his sermons were invariably listened to, than parental; of love like His, sir, who so often would
not only on this, but on every after occasion of his have gathered his children together, as a hen gathereth preaching, with profound attention. her chickens under her wings, but they would not!" In May 1825, he married Helen, daughter of Arch
“Yes, Richard," I said ; " and often as this tender yearning anxiety for men's souls is displayed in the
deacon Corbett, of Longnor Hall, Salop; and almost conduct and words of our adored Master, I have fre
immediately after his marriage came to reside in Oxquently thought it no where more strikingly appears,
ford, where he very soon excited the attention of the than in that pathetic chapter of warnings to which you | University, not only by his talents, but his urbanity, and refer, the 23d of St. Matthew, a chapter truly of* mo kindness of disposition. He was nominated a public nitory clauses.''*
examiner in 1826. • From a tract, entitled “ Richard Nelson.” Rivingtons: On the death of the Hon. Dr. Legge, in 1827, Dr. 1835
Charles Lloyd, professor of divinity, was appointed to the bishopric of Oxford, still, however, retaining the
theological chair; and he immediately chose Mr. | ligious instruction of their children, his kindness to Burton for his examining chaplain. The mode of his the sick ; while the church itself will be a lasting examination of the candidates for orders was such as monument of his taste, for it was thoroughly repaired to gain him their respect, while it had a tendency to and improved by his suggestions. raise the tone and character of the examination itself. The friends of Dr. Burton had for some time wit. Dr. Lloyd bad introduced a decided improvement in nessed, with much pain, that his bodily health was by the method of imparting theological instruction in no means what it could have been desired, and that it the l'university. Allusion has already been made to would be necessary for him to relax from his labours. this subject in the pages of this work, without in the Not that he complained of any particular malady ; slightest degree meaning to undervalue the labours of but it was too evident that he could not long sustain bis predecessors. But the fact is unquestionable, that the mental labour which he underwent. He was obprevious to his appointment to the professorship, it viously of a weak constitution. It was not, however, was deemed sufficient that the professor should, each until a very few days before his death, which occurred year, deliver a course of public lectures, sometimes on the 19th of January, 1836, that any serious apprenot exceeding six or eight, the certificate of attend hensions were entertained as to the dangerous nature ance on which was required by all bishops previous of bis illness. He had caught a violent cold, which to the admission of candidates for orders. Profes he had neglected. On the Sunday se'nnight previous sor Lloyd thought that this was by no means sufficient to his decease, when he ought to have been in bed, The tutors of the respective colleges, indeed, invari be persisted in officiating in the church at Ewelme, ably give instruction in divinity; for a certain por which he did not without considerable difficulty. On tion of theological knowledge is required of every the following day he visited Oxford to transact busimember of the University, whether destined for the ness, and returned home very unwell. He gradually Church or no, before he takes his degrees of B.A.; grew worse ; and although there was the most prompt and a deficiency in this is sufficient to exclude him attention to his case, which the best medical skill from that degree, however great may be his talents, could afford, he died, without any great apparent or extensive his acquirements in other particulars : pain, about two o'clock on the afternoon of Tuesday, but Dr. Lloyd felt the importance of young men the 19th. On the Sunday previous, he informed his who were to enter the sacred office being duly qua- wife that death was near: he gave some directions lified by theological study; and consequently, both respecting his funeral, which, according to his desire, before and after his advancement to the bishopric, he was strictly private. His last articulate words were, gave lectures at his own house. A new era now took that “he felt his faith firm.” place in the divinity studies at Oxford, and in those To the Biblical student the labours of Dr. Burton connected with Hebrew literature, which has already in theology will supply much useful instruction, and been of the highest importance to the interests of the bring before him, within a very limited space, the Church ; and the institution of various prizes, both opinions of some of the earliest Christian writers on sith reference to theology and Hebrew, has had the the great fundamental doctrines of Christianity. His most beneficial effect.
"Testimony of the Ante-Nicene Fathers to the DiOn the decease of Bishop Lloyd, in 1829, Mr. vinity of Christ," and also to the “Doctrine of the Burton, who, inmediately after, took his degree of Trinity and Divinity of the Holy Ghost," have become D.D., was appointed regius professor of divinity by standard volumes in our libraries. He preached the his Majesty's government, and, as a necessary conse Bampton Lectures in 1829, which were, of course, Pence, canon of Christ Church, and rector of Ewelme, published : the subject was, “ An Inquiry into the in the county of Oxford ; these valuable pieces of Heresies of the Apostolic Age."'. preferment being annexed to the theological chair. | With respect to Dr. Burton's views on some of He endeavoured as much as possible to walk in the those points, on which men of eminent talents and steps of his lamented predecessor. He continued to devoted piety are not wholly agreed, perhaps it may give instruction to various classes at his own house : be as well to give his own words, as they appear in the reading with one portions of Scripture with another preface to his Sermons, preacined on several occasions ecclesiastical history--with a third the fathers. In before the University. "I am aware,” says he, “that fact, his whole heart was in his work; and he never it is very difficult to avoid being classed with some appeared to spare himself any labour by which he particular party in the Church. Those who are thought he could benefit those who were to minister actuated by a spirit of party themselves are sure to at the altars of the Church. Meanwhile he was con attribute similar feelings to others: they cannot stantly engaged in preparing for the press either ori imagine that a man can be zealous, and in earnest, ginal works or new editions of the works of some without feeling an antipathy to those who differ from standard authors, to which his office of one of the him; and I observe with great regret, that many delegates of the Clarendon press peculiarly directed his persons, whose views are highly spiritual, who are attention.
strictly moral in their practice, and who have the Thus actively engaged in pursuits more strictly warmest faith in their Redeemer, are extremely deacademical, it might be supposed that his attention ficient in the feelings of evangelical charity. If there could not be directed to his parish. But this was not be any thing in these discourses which exposes me to the case. The parishioners of Ewelme, where be re. | a charge of this kind, I hope that it will bring upon sided when the duties of his professorship would allow me a just severity of criticism. If they should be him, will long remember his anxious and devoted displeasing to those who, attaching themselves to no zeal for their best interests, his attention to the re- party, are only anxious for the peace of the Church,
and the extension of Gospel truth, I shall indeed, otherwise ordered by God. He was removed, we have good cause to think I am in error ; but if any doubt not, just at the proper moment; and we have person should open this volume in the hope of ascer the sure warrant, that He who doeth all things well, taining whether the writer belongs to the high or low causes all events to work together for good; and when Church, I beg to say explicitly, that I am wholly in he removes his servants in the prime of manhood from different to such a person's criticism. I would advise their earthly sphere of usefulness, it is that they may him, first, to read the Gospel, and secondly, to read the sooner enter on that unceasing service, which shall his own heart : by the blessing of God, he may then constitute tlie occupation and the felicity of the ranbe made fit to read sermons : but let him know that somed in glory. the Church of Christ has no deadlier enemies than those who seek to divide it into parties, and who are always looking for points of difference rather than for
BROTHERLY LOVE: those of agreement. In saying this, I am not support
A Sermon, ing what are now so falsely called liberal principles ;
By The Rev. EDWARD GARRARD MARSH, M.A. an expression which might frequently be changed either for infidelity, or for religious indifference.
Minister of Hampstead Chapel. There are certain great truths in our faith, which the
Her. xiii. 1. Christian ought rather to die than to give up or con
“Let brotherly love continue." ceal. I have advocated these in the following Sermons, feebly perhaps, and imperfectly, but openly / This is one of those sententious precepts and fearlessly. In this faith I have lived, in this which abound in the latter part of Saint faith I hope to die. If any of my readers should Paul's epistles, where, after having warmed think that I am mistaken in my opinions, may God and elevated the hearts of his readers by grant to them and to me that we may see the truth. vivid descriptions of the hopes and promises May He also grant that they, for whose hearing these of the Gospel, of the glory of Christ, and the Sermons were composed, may meet with far more
wonderful privileges of his Church, he lays able instructors, who may preach to them the Gospel
before them the practical results which ought of peace, and bring thein glad tidings of good things."
to flow from these doctrines. Four out of It is impossible not to admire the candour and the
the five concluding chapters of the epistle to humility of the above passage, and the earnest desire
the Romans are almost filled with these short of being led by the Spirit of God to the real perception of divine truth. Serious injury has unquestionably
successive apophthegms, which tell, in plain been done to the advancement of religion by a spirit
and few words, what ought to be the spirit, of bigotry and prejudice in those, of whom it would
and temper, and conduct of a Christian, and be uncharitable to suppose for a moment that they
how he ought to demean himself in all the were not truly in earnest, both for the salvation of
varied circumstances of social life. Argutheir own souls, and of the souls of others. That
ment is there, by that most argumentative of such a spirit was not possessed by Dr. Burton, the
the sacred writers, almost dispensed with. whole tenour of his life most abundantly proves.
It had been abundantly used before ; and, if In the removal, in the very prime of life, of such it had done its work, it had left the mind of an individual, unquestionably occupying a most re the reader humble, thankful, full of admirasponsible situation, with credit to himself, and benefit tion at the goodness, the wisdom, the greatto the Church of which he was al minister, we are so ness of God, and the astonishing grace of the lemnly reminded of the exhortations: “Work while Saviour ; and ready, therefore, to receive any it is called to-day;": "Put not off until to-morrow.” impression which comes with authority from The carthly career of Dr. Burton was comparatively above. Therefore, without further preface short, but it was eminently useful. Time was in his or remark, as if the hearts of his readers were view an inestimable talent, to be accounted for, and already subdued by the power of the Gospel, to be improved ; and how he improved it, his writings
and reasoning were no longer necessary to will bear record to succeeding generations. May the
convince or persuade them, he simply bids Holy Spirit of God bring home more and more to the
them “be kindly affectioned with brotherly heart of the writer, and of the reader of this brief,
love, in honour preferring one another ; not imperfect memoir, that the night is fast coming, wlien it will be impossible for them to work; and may they
slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving
the Lord ; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribuhare grace given them, like the individual wiio has formed the subject of it, to do with all their might
lation, continuing instant in prayer, distributwhatsoever their hands find to do.
ing to the necessity of saints, given to hospiBy that removal we are reminded, moreover, of the
tality." These are directions which commend evanescent nature of human hopes, and the utter
themselves at once to the bosom of those vanity of human calculations. It was confidently ex
whose feelings have already been attuned to pected that Dr. Burton would speedily be removed to
the harmony of the Gospel-inessage, and are,
the harmony ir place on the cpiscopal bench; and had such an ap therefore, best received when propounded in pointment taken place, it would have been viewed the naked simplicity of truth. In that statc, with much satisfaction not only by a wide circle of | accordingly, the Apostle lays them down, and friends, but hy the Church at large. It was, however, I then leaves them, to exercise their due weight and influence upon the disciples of a cruci- l What, then, is the precise import of the fied, risen, and glorified Saviour.
term as here recommended by the apostle to The particular precept contained in the the practice and observation of us all? It text is peculiarly a Christian precept. The is that feeling of mutual regard, subsisting very phrase, “brotherly love," has a meaning among the members of the whole family of and an application which owe their origin ex the faithful, which is felt to be due from one clusively to Christianity; and in one expres- / brother to another, and without which, in the sire word comprehends, directly, the chief of intercourse of domestic life, there could be its relative duties; and, by implication, those neither peace in families, nor comfort in soheavenly principles from which they spring. ciety. If brothers and sisters, living under " Let brotherly love continue."
the same roof, should hate one another, what First; What is brotherly love? This is a picture of human life can be conceived more question necessary to be determined with ac frightful than the condition of such a family? curacy, before we can deal with the text in If, though hatred should not exist among telligently. But then, if we know with ever them, there were yet no cordial affection, noso much exactness what the phrase imports, thing of mutual attachment, nothing like a it is evident that the quality expressed by it | desire to promote each other's welfare, and must be acquired before it can be continued. to make personal sacrifices for mutual conOur second question, therefore, is, How bro- venience, the members of that family would therly love is to be cultivated and attained ? necessarily deprive themselves of the most Our third, How it may most securely con- fruitful source of enjoyment still permitted to tinue? May God Almighty, in his infinite | fallen human nature. But brothers and sismercy, unite us all, my brethren, in the ters in Christ Jesus form but one family in the friendly links of brotherly love, that we may eyes of our common Parent; and he has comhelp each other forward in our Christian manded them to love as brethren. They do course, and experience in our spiritual pro- not, indeed, all know each other, like the ingress the truth of a maxim, often illustrated habitants of a small household; but there in the practice of persons not held together should be in all of them a likeness to Christ, by any permanent community of interest or their head, a spiritual resemblance to him, feeling, that union is strength!
and, consequently, to each other, in the graces First ; What is meant in the Scriptures, and of his heavenly character, which should promore particularly in the epistles of the New | duce common feelings, habits, pursuits, deTestament, by the expression, brotherly lore? | sires, and thus prepare them to enter at once All mankind are brethren, being descended into each other's views, whenever circumfrom a common parent. But Christians are stances bring them together; that so they may brethren in a still more endearing sense, being | meet, just as children of the same parent, who adopted into the family of Christ, and made were born one in India, and another at home, sons and heirs of God. Hence our Saviour, would meet, with hearts prepared to love each when he first called his little family, consist- other, though they had never met before. ing of his twelve humble followers, together, This is what our Saviour means by receiving enjoined it upon them, as a new command- | a disciple in the name of a disciple. It is to ment, resulting from the new mutual relation welcome him, because he bears that characin which they stood, that they should love ter, and shews some traces of that heavenly one another. Thus, too, the high dignity of and spiritual mind which is the true disbeing the sons of God, and the resulting con- criminating mark of his people. This will sanguinity of those who are partakers of that supersede the distinctions of rank, station, singular honour, the brotherly relation which | and other particulars, which regard only this is engendered by it, and the family union earth, and are, therefore, of a temporary duwhich ought to be the consequence of it, per ration ; which, indeed, will all be respected, vade all the instructions of the apostolical | as being sanctioned by the Divine appointwritings; where we find the name of a brother ment and constitution, while yet through them equivalent to that of a Christian, and the claim faith will discern a more enduring bond of of a brother freely acknowledged and allowed union, formed in heaven, and reaching to to every one who owns the Christian name. eternity, which will link together in one holy Hence the designation of brethren is uni fellowship rich and poor, young and old, the formly adopted whenever the apostles address brother of low degree with him who is exalted their fellow-Christians; and that designation in station, as being all one in Christ Jesus. has been continued in all our liturgical ser- | This, my brethren, is a true though imperfect Fices, and is still used in all addresses from description of the brotherly love recomthe pulpit to a congregation of Christian wor- | mended in the text. It will, as you readily shippers. Would that the sentiment itself were perceive, dispose us all, wherever it prevails, more universally diffused and exemplified ! to befriend each other in all things, in matters which relate to this life, as well as in those 1 If, therefore, you would live together, my which belong to the next; to listen to each fellow-Christians, in brotherly love, let me other's wants; to relieve each other's difficul- say to you, first of all, Build yourselves up in ties; to make sacrifices of time, comfort, your most holy faith ; endeavour to make ease, and property, for each other's benefit; to yourselves well and familiarly acquainted with be forbearing and gentle in our treatment of all the rich promises of the Gospel, with its each other, tender to each other's frailties, and heavenly requirements, with its divine spirit, ready, on the other hand, to provoke each to meditate much and often on the blessedother to love and to good works : and it will ness of those who conform to it, on the nudiminish the apparent distance which sepa- | merous impediments which withhold us, while rates one Christian from another in this life, we are in the flesh, from giving ourselves up and take away the air of condescension from wholly to the obedience of Christ, and on the the visits of those who are superior in sta spiritual helps and encouragements which are tion : for, where the faith and love of the afforded to our faithful endeavours to surGospel abound, "the brother of low degree mount them. will rejoice in that he is exalted, but the rich This practical application of the holy truths in that he is made low;" and thus, forgetting of religion to our own consciences will earthly distinctions, they will meet on the pose us to welcome the society of those who common level of Christianity, and acknow are walking in the same paths, to seek from ledge the same ground of humility and hope, them aid and counsel, and to esteem them of compunction and joy, which is common to very highly in love, in proportion as we shall all penitent believers.
trace in them indications of advancement in I feel tempted to dwell on this picture, and the graces of that Gospel which we are seekpursue it into other particulars. But it is ing to acquire ourselves. Others, also, we time to enter upon our second inquiry, How shall love, even our enemies ; for the spirit this brotherly love, which is so amiable in its of Christianity is a spirit of love, and none tendency and effects, is to be cultivated and are excluded from the hallowed range of its attained ?
influence. But brotherly love belongs only It is evident that the brotherly love which to those who are ready to say, “ We will go has now been described, can only reside in with you; for we believe that God is with you the family of the faithful. The foundation of a truth :" and it will prevail and increase, of it, therefore, must be laid in the common precisely in proportion as each member of the possession of that faith which was once de Christian family is striving for himself to live livered to the saints ; and those between near to God, to watch against sin, and to grow whom it subsists must have obtained, to use in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord the language of Saint Peter, like "precious and Saviour Jesus Christ. These persons, in faith" with the apostles, through the righte proportion as they come to know one another, ousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. will love one another. That Spirit, who In short, as we are all called in one hope of dwells in the hearts of believers, in drawing our calling, so must we have received "one them nearer to Christ will draw them nearer Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and to each other, and thus improve them in broFather of all, who is above all, and through therly love. all, and in us all," if we would keep the unity! If, then, the way to acquire that brotherly of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There love which the Scriptures inculcate is, first, to may be differences of sentiment and practice obtain that saving faith on which alone it can in many particulars, which human infirmity be safely founded, we have lastly, to inquire, will always occasion, even among those who What must be done in order that a quality so drink of the same heavenly fountain, and are necessary to us may be preserved among us; endeavouring to find the way to the same or how we may give effect to that precept in heavenly city. But there must be a recep- | the text, “Let brotherly love continue ?" tion of the Lord Jesus, in all his offices of Of course the first object, with this view, Prophet, Priest, and King; there must be an should be to retain the feelings in which that abandonment of all hope in any other re- | pure affection for the Christian brotherhood sources, a reliance on the efficacy of his all- originated ; to recollect, from day to day, that sufficient atonement, and a desire to submit “one is our Master, even Christ, and that all to the guidance of his word, and to be led by we are brethren;" and still more especially to the gracious direction of his Spirit, as a foun- | look upon every trait of Christian character dation for that brotherly love in which we as a link of attachment, a feature in that are commanded to live. Common feelings family-likeness which belongs to all the faithimply common principles; and the peculiar ful, and gives them an instinctive interest in love of Christians must have the peculiar each other's well-being. But, after all, the faith of Christians for its basis and origin | chief preservative of this characteristic grace