Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

only two of its smallest words, and we mean that our is not entered into the holy place made with hands remarks shall be, even to her, as clear as noon-day, -nor yet to offer himself often; for then (that is, if which, by the way, is nearly the pronunciation of the he had done so), he must often have suffered from words themselves (vūv ds), and when we mention that the foundation of the world; but now (as the fact these words are uniformly translated“ but now,” we stands), once in the end of the world hath he aphave made her as learned on the subject as any of peared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." the new-fledged doctors whose names have been re- From not observing the antithesis, Schleusner was incently swarming in the columns of the newspapers, clined believe the particle redundant. The force and almost as profound as Professor Dunbar him- of it, however, is readily perceived by noticing the self,

hypothesis implied in the preceding clause. And yet let seither the fair reader nor her swart The force of the particle (Tu), for then, in this verse, and venerable guardian suppose that the article is to as implying tacitly the hypothesis contradicted, is be a frivolous one. Slight is the subject,” as Virgil also exhibited in two other passages to which we says when about to treat of the bees, “ but the luscious shall only allude. The one is 1 Cor. v. 10: “ I have honeycomb is rich and weighty too;” and we are not not written to you in my letter to avoid the comwithout the hope that in handling aright these little pany of sinners of the world generally; for then (that particles we may throw light on some passages of that is, if you were to act on this principle, or if I had Sacred Word which, to those who have their senses desired you to do so) you would have to go out of the rightly exercised, is sweeter than honey and the world; but, as it is, I have written to you not to ashoneycomb.

sociate with the notoriously wicked who is called a The connection, or rather the contrast, suggested by brother.” The other passage is 1 Cor vii. 14, which these words, is frequently and most obviously one of may be rendered, in the latter part, “ If this were time, as, “ Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are not the case, your children were unclean; but, as it ye light in the Lord.” This use of the term requires is, they are holy:" no illustration. The only danger is that, from its ex- From an inadvertency similar to that mentioned treme obviousness, it is apt to be adopted where it is above, curious mistakes have been committed in renot properly applicable.

gard to that part of our Lord's "good confession,” In many other cases, however, perhaps in the in which he said, “ But now is my kingdom not from greater number, the same particles are employed to hence"—or not of this world. 'Understanding the indicate a fact, in opposition to something supposed and word now as a particle of time, some have understood denied. One thing is mentioned which might have it as characterizing the new dispensation in distincbeen, or perhaps onght to have been, and another tion from the old with its worldly ordinances; others thing entirely different is asserted actually to exist. as referring to the present state of the Church, as Some instances of this contrast of the actual with the distinguished from its millennial condition. One says hypothetical are extremely plain, and the reader It is not now of this world, though it once was; anshould familiarize herself with them, in order more other, It is not nor, but it will be hereafter. Even to clearly to discern the same idiom in passages where a more upright and impartial judge than Pilate, it it is less obvious. We quote a few.

might have seemed to be an unsatisfactory defence,

had Jesus declared that his kingdom was not of the “If I had not done among them the works which none other world at the time then present, though it had been man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen

the day before, or was to be, no one could say how and hated both me and my Father." --JOHN xv, 24. “ If ye were blind, ye should have no sin : but now ye say,

soon afterwards. Comparing this passage, however, We therefore your sin remaineth."-John ix. 41.

with the others that have been quoted, the meaning If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of is very clear. We have first the supposition and its Abraham: but now ye seek to kill me," &c.—JOHN viii. 39. consequence, If my kingdom were of this world,

then would my servants fight,” &c.; then the conOther instances equally clear will be found in 1 trasted fact, But now (seeing there are no subjects Cor. xii. 18-20, and in Heb. xi. 16. In these cases, to fight for me) my kingdom is not from hence. In it will be observed, that the preceding part of the sen- this there was no covert allusion to worldly power tence begins with an if. It announces a supposition, once possessed, or hereafter to be exercised, but a and a conscquence flowing from it; and the latter simple, and therefore most convincing, reference to part, beginning with the words “ But now,” contra- his own humble and solitary condition, so different dicts either the supposition or the inference.

from what might be expected in any one who should There are instances, however, in which, from the attempt to shake the throne of Cæsar. former clause being at a considerable distance, or We believe that our Saviour's affecting lamentation being less explicitly expressed, the meaning has been over rebellious Jerusalem (Luke xix. 42) is very comunnoticed or misunderstood. Thus, in Heb. viii. monly understood as contrasting the opportunities 4, 6, the apostle argues, If Christ were on earth, he and privileges which her people had formerly enjoyed should not be a priest; but now (that is, not being on with the blindness and consequent miseries to which earth, or earthly) he hath obtained a more excellent they were now consigned. “If thou hadst known the ministry. In this case the supposition is made to be things which belong to thy peace, but now they are contradicted, of Christ's being, or claiming to be, a hid from thine eyes." We do not think that this is minister of the earthly sanctuary, with the conse- the contrast really intended. The expression in this quence that he could not be a priest, since, by the thy day," would seem rather to refer to a present covenant of Sinai, none but the tribe of Levi could opportunity. It is acknowledged on all hands that hold the office there. And, in contrast with this, he the expression is elliptical, and it is generally filled is exhibited as the mediator of a better covenant, up in some such way as this :-"Happy had it been and the possessor of a more exalted, even a heavenly for thee if thou hadst known the things which belong priesthood. The same idea is brought out in a similar to thy peace.” In whatever way the ellipsis may be way in the 9th chapter, verse 26. Christ, it is said, supplied, we have, as before, the supposition with its

see;

consequences opposed to the actual fact. And we

D'AUBIGNE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT. would submit that the whole might be truly, though somewhat paraphrastically, expressed as follows :- It is well known with what eager desire the Esta" What fearful calamities might be averted if thou blishment endeavoured to get the historian of the knewest,* even thou, rebellious and blood-stained as Reformation in Germany on her side, when he visited thou art, if at least in this thy day of visitation thou this country in 1845; how she courted him, took him knewest the things which belong to thy peace! But to see the Commissioner in a carriage with Dr. Hill, as it is, they are hid from thy eyes, and the calamities and to the Commissioner's dinner, and by one of those are hastening to overtake thee; for the days shall petty tricks with which little minds are familiar, gut come upon thee, &c. We here see the Redeemer him not only into the Assembly itself, but had the regarding the unhappy people, not with unavailing unconscious Genevese stuck up beside the Commisregrets, but with that lively compassion which, when sioner, and then announced the fact with a kind of the doom of the guilty city could not be averted, yet triumph in her newspapers. Behold how the best ' rescued from the general woe thousands even of the Inid schemes of such men recoil upon themselves ! wretches over whom he wept the Elect for whose The Doctor, thus forced to see the nakedness of the sake the days of suffering were shortened.

land, and the “beggarly account of empty boxes," The same idiom occurs once more in 1. Cor. xv. 20. publishes the facts of the case in the most graphic But in this case there may be some doubt as to the manner, and presents them as a striking contrast to the hypothetical clause with which the statement is con- state of the Free Church and her Assembly-pubtrasted. We are inclined to hold that it is not that lishes them, too, in such a way that they are sure to in the verse immediately preceding, but that the find access to thousands who might not otherwise reference is to the 16th. The question which the have heard of them so minutely. This must have apostle is discussing is the resurrection of the dead, been deeply galling.to the Erastians, and no wonder and the strange opinion of those who denied it. The that the grapes which could not be reached have turnmonstrous nature of their doctrinc, considered as a ed instantly sour. Policy might have led them to contenet of professing Christians, is shown from the con- ceal their feelings, but their rage at D’Aubigné is sequences which it involved—that Christ's resurrec- now unbounded. For a time, indeed, they endeation was unreal, that their sins were unexpiated, that voured to conceal the gall and wormwood of their deceased Christians had perished, and living believers souls; but it has at length found vent in a torrent were the victims of a most miserable delusion. All of the most malignant abuse in the columns of MʻPhail. this is the unavoidable conclusion, if the dead;be not The article in question, like several recent articles in raised. But now the glorious truth opposed to these the same repository, is chiefly marked by a virulent dismal fictions is, that Christ is risen from the dead hatred of vital Christianity very thinly veiled. But -he is the first-fruits of his sleeping followers, at this is quite in keeping with the known character once the means and the vital cause of their resurrec- of the parties. We know that the Moderates of tion.

ancient times companied with the infidel Hume, and Closely connected with the supposition of some- stirred up poor Burns to write his reckless tirades thing which is not the fact, is the statement of what against the godly men of that day—that where there ought to be, but is not done. Thus, in James iv. 15: is no real religion, there is always a heart-hatred of “ Ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, it, no matter whether it break out in the oaths of an and do this or that is equivalent to the expression: Irish priest, or in the reckless abuse of a Scotch Mode"It were more becoming if you were to say,'' &c. rate. But we had expected more policy at least, In opposition to which the apostle brings this charge if not more principle, in the present case. against the disciples whom he is addressing : “ But many of the members of the Establishment are, they now ye rejoice in your boastings. All such rejoicing are scarcely prepared to throw decency aside. is evil.” The fact was that they boasted of what they But to the article. It commences with a towering would accomplish, and what they would gain in days eulogium on a Mr. Emerson, from America, who calls and years to come, and rejoiced in their boasted suc- himself, we believe, an Unitarian, but who is undercess. The more rational and more Christian disposi- stood to be a sort of philosophical Atheist.* This is tion, which might have been, and ought to have been, sufficiently bold, and reminds us that Moderatism. manifested, in contrast to this, is the spirit of those and Unitarianism were always very friendly, and that who looked humbly to the Lord, as the length of their it is one thing to have a tolerably good creed on paper, days and the disposer of their lot, and formed all their and for the sake of stipend, and another thing to have plans in submission to his providence.

it in the conscience and heart. Hear their EccleSuch criticisms may appear to some (as Samuel siastical Journal upon Emerson :Clarke said of his own remarks on Homer) to be

“ Last month, we brought before our readers one of the slight and unimportant. But they are not without foremost men of the age, who was on the eve of visiting Scottheir value, if they make us familiar with modes of land; and we have since seen Emerson most cordially received expression, and so with modes of thinking, character. by an Edinburgh audience. A year or two ago, another wellistic of the sacred writers. They may enable our known foreigner came to our country, and was treated hospiminds to fill up more completely " the mould of doc- • The following short passages, extracted from his works, will trine into which we have been cast,” and so to acquire give our readers a more definite idea of his religious character :a greater likeness to that which it is the Christian's

Bad as

“ The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me. I

am part or partick of God." desire to resemble.

"Every man is a divinity in disguise-a god playing the fool.

The world proceeds from the same spirit as the body of man.

It is a remoter and inferior incarnation of God." • We do not enter into any learned argument to justify a slight " Existence of God is not a relation or a part, but the whole. alteration in the authorized version. But we recommend the stu- Being is the vast affirmative, excluding negation, self-balanced, dent to consult Raphelius and Kuinoel in loc, and to mark the dif. and swallowing up all relations, parts, and times within itself" ferent phrases in Matt xii. 7; John xiv, 7; Matt. xxiv, 43: John iv. 10.

" Alone he (Jesus) estimated the greatness of man. He should also study the language in 1 Cor. ii. 8. At the same time

was true to what was in you and me.

himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of the alteration has no connection with our argument.

his world."

One man He saw that God incarnateg

[ocr errors]

tably (as both dogs and angels should be) being blessed with objected, that it would scarcely do to have such a four meals a-day, and innumerable dishes of luscious flattery. contributor to a religious journal. “0,” said one of We need not mention the name of Merle D'Aubigné, nor say, what little interest his appearance could have to the literary

the divines, “it will do well enough, the journal is and intellectual portion of the community, compared with

not to be a religious, but only an ecclesiastical one." Emerson's visit. With calm and unquickened pulse, we

We do not know how far the report is true, or the could meet the Genevese Doctor; and if the weather were to result; but when we find them crying up the worst rain, we could stay at home, without feeling that we were conduct of the site-refusers dancing like New making any large sacrifice in declining to see him (for really Zealand savages upon the grave of Mr. Innes of in Edinburgh, quacks and charlatans may be seen in abundance), but in the prospect of beholding the American Essayist,

Canobie-scoffing at conversion, and eulogizing panwe should venture through any commotion of the elements theists, we have no difficulty in tracing their lineage Emerson is a man of genius; D'Aubigné a mere sketcher, in to those whose picture was of old so faithfully drawn words, of gaudy pictures. The fame of the first is permanent, by Witherspoon. and will increase; the reputation of the last is ephemeral, and bestowed on him by the rabble." What follows, however, is even more shocking.

STATE OF THE FREE CHURCHES IN They ridicule the idea of a spiritual conflict in language which we darescarcely print, and which is surely

EDINBURGH. more worthy of the first infidel Revolutionists of An important subject has just been started, which France than of the professed ministers of the Lord we have no doubt will command some decided share Jesus Christ. They quote the following passage of the attention of the Church, until the object aimed from Dr. D'Aubigné :

at is secured—viz., the state of church accommodaI then entered upon a fearful spiritual struggle, defending tion in our large cities, and especially in Edinburgh. with my whole strength my still feeble faith, yet sometimes The matter was first broached in an article in the falling under the blows of the enemy. There was not a

Witness, the substance of which we think it right to moment in which I was not ready to lay down my life for the faith I professed; and never did I ascend the pulpit with

lay before our readers:out being able to proclaim, with fulness of faith, salvation by “ It is well known that vast numbers in all our cities left Jesus. But scarcely had I left it, when the enemy assailed the Establishment at the Disruption, and still adhere to the me anew, and inspired my mind with agonizing doubts. I Free Church. The Free Church is strong, especially in passed whole nights without sleep, crying to God from the Edinburgh. But its adherents are, in many instances, very bottom of my heart, or endeavouring by arguments and syl- poorly provided as yet with churches. By a very kind and logisms without end, to repel the attacks of the adversary. benevolent arrangement it was resolved that all the country Such were my combats during these weary watchings, that I districts, as being less able to provide themselves with places almost wonder how I did not sink under them.”

of worship, should be first supplied. And, accordiugly, many Our readers will scarcely credit us when we print of the congregations in towns took to worshipping in balls and the following commentary on the above:

hired places, and others built very cheap and uncomfortable

churches, in order that the unbroken energies of the Building “ We begin to fear that the whole nights without sleep' Fund, amounting to £125,000, might be devoted to the noble had been passed on a bed which was infested with insects, and

object of rebuilding the broken walls of our Zion throughout that the enemy' to whom Milton gave the form of a

the length and breadth of the country districts of Scotland. toad' at the ear of Eve, had assumed the likeness of a

The application of this money has undoubtedly been excellent, much smaller creature at the back of the restless D'Aubigné; but the danger to which we are now exposed in some of the 'arguments and syllogisms' were not likely to drive away cities is, that what was not done at first, it may be found very

difficult to do at all. Some of our more wealthy congregaWe shall only make one additional extract, which

tions may succeed at any time in overcoming the difficulties will illustrate the extraordinary spirit of the present by which such an enterprise is attended; but now that the

first impulse is past, it will be found very difficult, and, withEstablishment, and her blind rage at the historian of out the aid of the Church at large, impossible, for our poorer the Reformation :

congregations, to muster up the necessary means to erect “ We have been amused in noticing the wily manner in suitable churches, at least free from debt. Many of them are which Merle strives to ingratiate himself into the good at present most miserably accommodated. This is pressing opinion of men. He refers, in terms of cordial admiration, with most disheartening effect both on the ministers and to their fathers. He did this with Dr. Hill of Glasgow. We congregations; and unless a strong and united effort is made believe that had he met the wicked Jews of old, he would have to remedy the evil, the most disastrous results may speedily tenderly eulogized their father the devil."

be anticipated. Of course, all this will be aggravated if the

quoad sacra churches are taken, and their congregations also It is very common for Moderates to profess the left to build for themselves. utmost meekness and gentleness. They also are wont “Let us look at the details of this. In a city congregation, to profess great respect for the established courtesies except in the poorest districts, if a man has once a good of society, and even for religion itself when they have church, especially if accompanied by a manse and school, all a purpose to serve. But it is well for D'Aubigné position it, by the blessing of God, he cannot both clear the and others to see the real state of the case—the depths expenses of his own immediate congregation, and considerably of such smooth waters stirred up, and casting forth aid all the funds of the Church. The case, however, is contheir “mire and dirt.” In reality, they have not, siderably altered if a man is expected to build his own church and never had, as a body, any regard for religion and

as well as fill it-if he is expected to collect a congregation, religious men; and when they have an end to accom

without having a place to put them in, or one which repels by plish, they have always been most unscrupulous as

its appearance, and is not proof against wind and weather

to train up the young without a school to pay a large houseto means.

rent, and other expenses, with very contracted means—to We have heard that lately, when certain metropo- support largely all the schemes of the Church, whilst his own litan divines, worthy successors of the Carlyles and people are disheartened by not having a decent place of Robertsons of other days, talked of setting up a

worship for their own shelter. journal to advocate the claims of the Establishment,

“In Glasgow, for example, there is scarcely one Free or rather to blacken and vilify all its opponents; and

church which we are sure of retaining (we do not know if

there is any but St. James') east of the line of the High when a certain smart scribe of very free-and-easy Street and Saltmarket, representing a population of at principles was proposed as one of the writers, it was least 100,000 souls. There are a few excellent churches in

this enemy."

ther districts of the town, but very few amidst the ing congregations are likely to get such men; and such men, joorer and denser masses of the population; and some instead of being safe because numerous, will be all the more of those actually built are considerably in debt. There dangerous because they are few. The mass of city ministers vill be great difficulty in getting suitable sites in Glasgow, will probably, in the long run, if the present evils are unrexcept at a large expense; and the cost of erecting becoming dressed, be the poorest in the Church-we mean mentally the hurches in such a city will be very considerable---so much so poores:--for we should not wonder if, by-and-by, some very hat, unless the matter is taken up vigorously by the Church inferior men should go to cities, and be chosen by the people it large, there does not seem any great hope of success. The simply because they could there support themselves by their ase of Glasgow is aggravated, not only by the possibility of private means. This would be a sad result; and it is most osing the quoad sacra churches, but by the annual addition important that the blunder should be avoided while there is of at least 10,000 to its population. In Edinburgh the state

yet time. of matters is probably worse. There is scarcely a church in How is this to be done? It is clear that the Church should Keeping with the city free from debt, but St. George's. The encourage, in the meantime, to the uttermost, every effort ongregation there have, in many respects, taught important made by our city congregations, especially in the poorer dislessons to the Church, and in this respect amongst others. tricts, in the way of securing suitable churches, schools, and They left the original brick church in whieh they met, and manses, free from debt. It is pitiful and short-sighted to rebuilt one suited to the meridian of Edinburgh, before the first gard such efforts as of local interest. They have a most maferyour of the Disruption had cooled; and no congregation has terial bearing on the best interests of the entire Church, and since done more to help the Church at large. But several of on all coming generations, and deserve every encouragement car congregations have no churches at all; and some of the and support on the part of all our friends. But, besides, why churches, from Stockbridge on the one side, to Buccleuch and should not the Building, Fund, as soon as its present obligaNewington on the other side of the city, are very unlike what tions are discharged, and our metropolitan presbyteries, tako Edinburgh churches should be. What is the undoubted up the matter? Why should not a special annual collection, result of this state of matters? The result of having no for example, be made within those presbyteries for this object? churebes, or very uncomfortable ones, is evidently to retard By this means, perhaps, £1,000 or £2,000 a-year might be the progress of the congregations. There is a certain just secured in each. This sum, well applied in the way of fosterfeeling of propriety that is offended by this state of things: ing local efforts to build churches and pay off debt, might there are certain habits formed by persons accustomed to live enable those presbyteries to dispose of perhaps two or more in comfortable houses, with which it is both vain and unneces- cases a-year, and in a very short time we should see an array sary permanently to contend. What may be very tolerable of decent and becoming edifices rise up which the people could in the country may be quite unsuitable for a city, and espe- call their own, in which large congregations could be formed eially such a city as Edinburgh; what might do for a little in and consolidated, to which first-rate ministers might be apcircumstances of peculiar excitement, may be very unsuitable pointed from age to age, and from which the whole country, now; what might do for retaining old adherents may repel the especially the poorer districts, would receive, in the way of advances of new ones. We are not entitled, besides, to place contributions, perpetual advantage. We do not say that this unnecessary obstacles of this kind in the way of the progress alone would secure all the results at which we aim; other of the cause of God, if we can, by the divine blessing on alterations may be necessary; but the great first point, withenergy and perseverance, remove them. The worst results out which it is folly to hope for any permanently good result, will by-and-by flow from this plan of having no churches, or would be secured, if we saw all our existing city congregations, very uncomfortable ones-churches in which, for example, and such others as it is deemed proper to establish, secured in the people are occasionally treated to a shower-bath on Sab- good churches, manses, and schools, free from debt. We bath, or with a dose of cold and influenza. No quality of trust this vital matter will speedily engage the attention of preaching will permanently make head against such disadvan- the whole Church; and, meantime, we are convinced that tages.

every effort in this direction-for example, the late effort of * This is the bearing of the question on congregations. Let St. Stephen's and St. Cuthbert's in this city, and the present us look at the result in regard to ministers. Ministers placed efforts of Newington congregation- - are deserving of every in such circumstances must at present be greatly discouraged. encouragement and support.' Apart from the smallness of their incomes—some of them having little more than the mere dividend, and being at the The practical importance of this can scarcely be same time exposed to a large expenditure—these men must feel their efforts cramped by the great disadvantage in the into the arch of our Free Church apparatus. Edin.

over-estimated. It is like putting a strong key-stone way of churches to which we have referred. Their circumstances are, therefore, in many respects, far more undesirable

burgh is not only the capital of the kingdom, but the than those of the average of our country ministers, with their great centre of life and influence in the Free Church; comfortable churches and manses; and unless several of them and to allow it to become weak and dismantled, is had some private resources of their own, we have reason to the sure way to damage and break down our whole believe they could not maintain their present positions at all.

enterprise. It appears from the printed returns of They may struggle on for a time amidst difficulties which

the funds of the Church, that about £40,000 a-year, they cannot overcome; but the danger is that they will have no successors, or none fitted to occupy their places.

or not much less than one-seventh of the whole funds “There is an immense advantage to the Church, as a whole, of the Free Church, are at present collected in the in having a considerable number of picked men in Glasgow, Presbytery of Edinburgh; and yet every one converand especially in Edinburgh. Apart from the importance of sant with the state of matters in the city, must be having men of wisdom to represent our Church in the face of

aware that the Free Church has never got justice the world-of having in the focus of our populatiou our most vigorous men to meet and resist the growing evils by which

there in the way of accommodation, and that her society is beset -- apart from the fact that Established and progress may be said at present to be arrested by other Churches will always aim at having their leading, men physical causes, which could, by the blessing of God there -- apart from the necessity of having our committees on a vigorous effort, be effectually removed, so as to managed in the metropolis, and that it is essential to have a make her start anew with fresh energy and vigour. certain number of men there to act as conveners, and to sit Take, for example, the back-bone of the city, includin those committees—it is plain that, if confidence in the men at the centre does not to a great extent exist in the Church, ing the whole range of High Street and Canongate. there is the utmost danger of anarchy. But if the men be

The Establishment has still about eight or nine come inferior, this confidence will soon cease. This was the ministers and seven churches amidst this population. vast advantage of the old system of the eighteen ministers of The Free Church has now scarcely more than one Edinburgh, with such stipends as to enable them to live in

decent church, and that not free from debt.. And the metropolis. It gathered to the centre the abler men, and in the whole southern districts, embracing the great publican system. Men of note and energy could be brought bulk of the artisans and middle classes of the

city, to Edinburgh from all parts of Scotland; whereas, after a

we have scarcely a proper church which we are sure little, under our present Free Church system, only a few lead- 1 of retaining. And yet the Free Church is peculiarly the Church of the middle and working classes. Such and if we may except the formation of the Congreclasses, however, will never get over, unaided, the gational Union,” which, if not a concession to Presbydifficulty of erecting suitable city churches, free from terial strength, is something like a confession of Indedebt. After such churches are fairly built, a shower pendent weakness, it may be said that not a single of pence or shillings from them will not only serve post has been surrendered, or the least progress made, to carry on the local operations of their own district, on either side of the question. The old arguments but greatly swell the missionary and other funds of have been met with the old answers; nor is there anythe Church. But to ask them to raise at an effort thing, even in the mode of conducting the controversy, £2,000 or £3,000, to build churches and schools in “whereof it may be said, See, this is new." the first instance, is just about as feasible as to ask The productions before us furnish no exception to them to lift Arthur's Seat. If the more wealthy and this dull uniformity. As for Dr. Wardlaw, we beg larger-minded men of the Church do not set their to say it with all respect for his controversial talents, shoulder to the wheel, to help them to overcome the he has not succeeded in discovering a single new initial difficulty, this important work will not be done. reason for Independency; he has not even fallen on

It is vain to look to other Churches as any rule in a fresh illustration, or an original quibble. Let us this matter. The Establishment has its churches not be misunderstood; we do not accuse the good built and upheld at the public expense. The Seces- Doctor of having borrowed from his predecessors. sion Church can stagger on, under loads of debt in We hold him innocent, indeed, of having dipped deep the cities, because the cities do not charge themselves into reading on either side of the question. It is with upholding the country districts. But our cities obvious, not only from the meagre character of his are the fountain-beads of money and influence for our references, but from the tone of mysterious imporwhole Church, and therefore it is the height of mad tance and genuine self-satisfaction with which he ness not to have them in a thoroughly right state. gives forth his sentiments, that he was in a state of

The object aimed at, besides, can be most effectu- happy ignorance of the fact that, to employ a houseally secured if the matter is gone about with wisdom hold phrase, they have been used up” a long time and energy. Let the present effort for the missions ago. It must be amusing to those who have studied be fairly over; let a sum, if possible, be secured to the controversy, to remark this attempt to frighten us start with; let only a limited number of cases be with the ghosts of departed arguments, reminding taken in hand every year; let the annual collection us, as they do, of unfortunate Independent controin Edinburgh, referred to in the above article, bevertists, who have been disposed of according to law, made as large as possible; let aid be given only as dissected, and buried within the precincts of the a stimulus to local efforts; and let every church be prison, about this time two centuries ago. One that made thoroughly free from debt, and we shall soon had read even the most common of the treatises to see twenty or more creditable and commodious which we refer, would have been ashamed to broach churches, with manses and schools, placed at due the same ideas, and sport the same fallacies in the intervals over the city—our whole system will, by same form again, lest he should expose himself to the the divine blessing, become instinct with renewed laugh which the child encounters when he proposes, energy, and strangers will no longer look in vain, with a look of grave and puzzling import, a conun. saying, “Where is the Free Church in Edinburgh ?" drum which all the company have heard proposed, or gaze, with contempt and mockery, on our present and resolved over and over again. The only excuse mean and unsightly edifices. “ Shall we dwell in we can find for this piece of solemn absurdity is, that houses of cedar, and the ark of God abide in cur- the volume is confessedly a youthful production, tains?"

brought forth in the rawness of juvenility, and now, after being lost sight of many years, brought out to

be fondly dandled on the knee of old age. Reviews.

Dr Davidson's treatise has more of the aspect of

originality. He has read more extensively on the CONGREGATIONAL INDEPENDENCY, IN CONTRADISTINC the old seedy, thread-bare and loop-holed argument,

subject, and finds it necessary, therefore, to dress up TION TO EPISCOPACY AND PRESBYTERIANISM : The Church Polity of the New Testament. By RALEH We expected, indeed, from his Preface, to find that

something like a gentleman of the modern school. WARDLAW, D.D., Glasgow. Maclehose. 1848.

he had cut out a spick-and-span new system of his The ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

own; he speaks in such high tones of independence UNFOLDED, AND ITS Points or COINCIDENCE OR Dis- and defiance of censure from all parties. "If he AGREEMENT WITH PREVAILING SYSTEMS INDICATED. knows himself aright, he can honestly affirm, that he

By SAMUEL Davidson, LL.D. London. 1848. has sincerely endeavoured to ascertain the truth, and It is passing strange that, after all that has been said to advance it, irrespectively of its agreement, or disand written on the subject of Church government, cordance either with the denomination to which he we should be, at the present stage of the controversy, belongs, or with any other. By the production now precisely where we were in the seventeenth century. submitted to the public, he has no selfish interest to This is singularly the case with the dispute between promote-no self-exalting purpose to serve.

On the Presbyterians and Independents, which, we venture contrary, he expects to be blamed for i: by almost to say, has not advanced a single step since the days every section of the universal Church, because, in of John Goodwin and Philip Nye. Since that time some minute particulars, he happens to dissent from many a Presbyterian, no doubt, has gone over to the prevalent potions." But on perusing the volume, we ranks of Independency, and many an Independent has were rather disappointed in the expectation which this taken refuge in the bosom of Presbytery; but the dis- excited. It is in very minute particulars ” indeed pute between the two systems has been maintained that Dr. Davidson differs from his predecessors or with the most unedifying monotony; nothing has fellow-workers in the Congregational field. And in occurred to give the slightest variety to the contest; so far as he has been driven to deviate from the

« AnteriorContinuar »