« AnteriorContinuar »
unfold themselves contemporaneously in the world's And does not the view now given harmonize best history. Mr Elliott is obliged to admit tiris, in re with the contents of the seven-sealed book as a whole! gard to both the sealing and palm-bearing vision, on That book evidently stretches over the entire field of his own scheme; and we point to a portion further the Apocalyptic visions; and, however strange it may on (chap. xviii. 1), which also begins with, “And after seem to us that such a division of its contents should these things I saw," while the epoch referred to is have obtained, yet, somehow, it must be regarded as manifestly the same with that previously depicted in divided into six, and one. And, if we look to the chap. xiv. 8, for in both alike the grand theme is, song sung by the redeemed at the Lamb's taking the “ Babylon is fallen.” We can, therefore, see no book, we find a corresponding division of matter not rational objection on this score; and, in other re- obscurely intimated : “ Thou art worthy to take the spects, everything seems most fitly to harmonize. book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast The action of the sixth seal, being the manifestation slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of the Lord for the vindication of his own cause and of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; the avenging of his elect (an action that, doubtless, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; has had many premonitory signs or partial develop and we shall reign on the earth.” Here the Church ments in the past stages of the world's history, but expresses her expectations regarding the mystery of never properly comes out in its terrific magnitude the seven-sealed book in a twofold direction: there till the close), necessarily comprises the most awful was first to be a redeemed people, the gathering from period of the world's tribulation-a tribulation such all nations of a royal priesthood; then, when this as cannot but deeply affect the true people of God, object was attained, which necessarily took long time and make even them tremble for their safety. There for its accomplishment, there was to be a redeemed fore, when the one vision has brought the history to earth, on which they were to reign with Christ. The a close, in so far as concerns the adversaries of God, first six seals have respect more especially to the forwhat more natural than that another, but closely re- mer of these great objects; and therefore the series lated and contemporaneous, vision should be presented runs out into the palm-bearing vision, as the natural to the apostle, unfolding the perfect security of the result and termination of the whole, in which the elect! This appears to be the simple and the sole numberless multitude of the redeemed appear finally object of the sealing vision at the beginning of chap. rescued from all evil, and settled in perennial blessvii., where, as Vitringa has correctly noted, “the edness and glory, while their adversaries vanish off ministering angels are introduced as the executors of the scene, under the rebuke of Heaven. (The rethat judgment which had been described at the close deemed, however, it is proper to note, are here, and of the preceding chapter, and who are here presented throughout the
whole book, viewed in connexion with to John as so subservient to God that they can act suffering for Christ, and its final issues: the saints only in conformity with his commands, and are come first into view as martyred souls, then as souls charged to beware, while executing God's decrees sealed against the danger of perdition in times of against the enemies of the Church, of inflicting any trouble, and, again, as having come out of great tribuinjury on his elect, whom he has determined to save lation. Even to the last, so much is this view kept from the universal calamity.” Just as in the case of up, that the martyred saints alone are represented Sodom and Gomorrah, those ministers of vengeance as rising in the first resurrection to live and reign can do nothing till the whole number of the elect are with Christ, which should occasion no more difficulty placed in a state of safety, marked off with the sure in this than in the earlier visions of the book-Dot seal of God, to be preserved by his covenant faithfulness and love. And then, in singular and striking ceedingly wondered how men of learning should not see that those contrast to the case of the wicked, these sealed ones,
144,000 fro the tribes of Israel were used symbolically of the con
fessors of gospel truth generally," holding such as took the literal with all who, in every age, have maintained against view to be “ in great error, and to go counter to the very first prinan evil world the cause of Heaven, are seen in num
ciples of this prophetical book," Mr Elliott is so far correct, that
he views the sealed to be representative of an elect Church; but, in bers without number clothed in their white robes,
the special application he makes of the vision, entirely erts, accord. with palms in their hands, rejoicing in the presence ing to our judgment, in supposing the sealed company to represent of God, amid the beatific glories of the Lamb, while,
"a certain fixed but small number," who were to be the only subjects
grace during the dark ages, and subsequently to the end of time. in the dark background, appear the frightened and In support of this he combines (as so often elsewhere) the literal doomed adversaries of the Church flying in dismay
with the symbolical, and tells us that 12,000 from each tribe would
be but a small portion of the whole in the times of David. On the under the consuming judgments of Heaven.*
contrary, the 12 was the symbol of completeness ; and 12 times
12,000 symbolized the whole number of the covenant people, in all * We cannot avoid referring, however briefly, to the views of the its roundness and completeness, at the given period. It was on ac. two authors before us in regard to the sealing vision, as they both count of this import attached to the number 12 that the tribes of seem to partake of the arbitrariness which characterize their inter- Israel were still kept at that number, even when, after the reception pretations generally-Dr Keith's so much so, indeed, that one of Manasseh and Ephraim to the rank of heads, they were actually scarcely knows what to say of it. He understands the holding of 13. So here also, for the same reason, Dan is omitted to preserve the wind by the angels as symbolical of the general peace that
has the 12 ; so that 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel is plainly the prevailed since the treaty of Paris (what short of a revelation from symbol of the entire number of the elect at the period in question. heaven could warrant him to begin there ?); and then, finding the Mr Elliott is evidently still further in error in supposing the 144,000 persons spoken of as belonging to the tribes of Israel, off he sets sealed to be simply identical with the numbers without number, at full speed, fired with the mention of the name of Israel, and in the palm-bearing vision, from all kindreds and nations; for, by hurling the lortiest strains of prophetic indignation against Mr their white robes, these are plainly connected with the souls under Elliott and all who cannot see in those sealed ones so many con. the altar, who had such robes given them, and were to wait for their verted Jews! as if the refusal to take this view of the matter could fellow-servants; the palm bearing company are the whole gathered only proceed from contempt for poor Israel, as he speaks, or as if, together. And, so far from referring, with Mr Elliott, to the 144,000 on their account, all consistent principles of interpretation were to who are seen in chap xiv, 1, standing with the Lamb on Mount be set at nought! Dr Keith himself cannot carry out the principle Zion, with their Father's seal on their forebeads, in proof that by on which he holds the sealed persons here to be Jews; for where, this number in the sealing vision are meant all the saved to the end we ask, are now the separate tribes from each of which 12,00) are to of time, which is quite arbitrary, we hold the fact mentioned in that be taken ? and, as no mention is made of Dan. O why, then, to 14th chapter, to be a synchronical note, indicating that the eventa adopt his own style, should poor Dan be omitted ?
there disclosed belonged to the sixth seal—that, as the redeemed tribe in Israel ? Not only so; but afterwards, when the Jewish company to be brought out of the last great era of tribulation was temple comes to be introduced, Dr Keith is obliged to find in it a now secured, the destroying angels might proceed with their work, symbol of the Christian Church; and, if the temple is a symbol, what which they presently do, by pouring out God's judgments upon else can be the tribes that frequent its courts ?. Vitringa justly says Babylon, and all who had the mark of the beast, and in treading of those who took the vision to refer to literal Jews, that "he ex- the wine-press of divine wrath.
Was he not a
that such alone were interested in the wonderful his- | belief, that there is "neither angel not spirit.” Both tory of the seven-sealed book; but such chiefly needed of these writers have followed a somewhat erratic the consolation it contains, and they also come course; but the one errs in consequence of having Dearest to Christ, in the suffering first, and the glory soared so high above the world as to lose sight of it, afterwards; therefore the direct and primary bear. and get within the currents of a higher atmosphere; ing of the whole is toward them.) But the other the other errs simply because he has got off the rails, great division of the work has still to be developed and is, consequently, jolting over the stones, and that which respects the redemption of the earth bolting over embankments, in a style rather surfrom the powers of evil that now over-master it and prising to the peaceably disposed passengers whom hold it in bondage. It is not enough that there be a be has introduced into his vehicle, and some of whom redeemed people to rejoice in the presence and bless- are naturally enough beginning to remonstrate with ing of their Lord: they must also reign with him him on the manner in which he has treated them. upon the earth; and the remaining seal, therefore, But “extremes meet;" and strange as it may discloses the manifold struggles on their part, and seem, it is not less true, that the worthy clergyman the forth-puttings of the power of God, to make good and the noble peer do meet in denying an important their claim, which they can never renounce, not even point, which may indeed be regarded as lying at the when they are fewest in number and most depressed root of all the misunderstanding. We refer to the in circumstances, to the dominion of the world-all identity of the Church, viewed as visible and invisible. ending, after innumerable windings and appalling When we Presbyterians of the old school speak of woes, in the final casting out of all that opposeth and the Church of Christ, we have before our eyes a unity exalteth itself agains the knowledge of Christ; and viewed in a twofold aspect. Thus, when we say, not only in that, but also in the deliverance of the “ Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it," world from the elements of natural evil, of which it we are thinking of the Church viewed as invisible now travails in pain :--So that when the saints in and spiritual, comprising God's dear children only; glory come properly to possess the kingdom, the when we say, Saul“persecuted the Church and wasted kingdom itself has become glorified for their re. it,” we are thinking of the Church viewed in its visible ception.
organized form, for neither Saul nor any persecutor We have already exceeded our limits, and must could“ waste” the invisible spiritual body of Christ. bring our remarks rather abruptly to a close. But we are not therefore thinking of two Churches
[It may be well to state, to prevent misunderstand the one invisible, the other visible—one loved by ing on the part of any, that the view presented by our Christ, and the other wasted by Saul. It is one Church, respected contributor in his closing paragraph, has only viewed in different aspects. In reasoning, therenothing to do with the question agitated between fore, from the invisible to the visible Church, we are Premillenarians and their opponents, as to whether not reasoning from one thing to another ; we are Christ shall come personally to reign with his people speaking of the same Church, and we consider ouron the earth, while sinful beings, in flesh and blood, selves warranted to apply to the Church visible, so still dwell upon it. The final occupation of the far as it can apply to what is visible, whatever Scripearth, in its state of ultimate perfection, as the ture asserts of the Church. Is“ the Church" said in habitation of the redeemed in glory, is an entirely Scripture to be spiritual,“ not of this world ?". This different question; and that view has been held by we apply to the Church as visible. Is it said to be many, according to the ostensible representation of free from the doctrines and commandments of the Apocalypse, who have yet been strenuously op- men ?" This also we apply to the Church as visible. posed to the more peculiar tenets of millenarianism. And so with respect to all the privileges and prero-Ed. F. C. M.]
gatives of the Church. They belong, we maintain, to the Church visible, and, consequently, may be
claimed by any portion of that Church constituted in THE ARGYLL CORRESPONDENCE.* agreeableness to the laws of Christ's kingdom. The It is a remarkable coincidence, that in the same
reason is obvious—the Church, whether viewed as Number of our periodical, we should be called to visible or invisible, is one and the same. Christ has notice two works 80 antipodal in character as that of not two bodies of which he is the Head, nor two Mr Baptist Noel on Church and State, and the Duke kingdoms of which he is the Lord. This seems very of Argyll's Essay, which is again brought under our plain to us; but there are some minds which cannot review by the Correspondence of Mr Andrew Gray. take it up, and such are those of Mr Noel and the A more perfect contrast, in spirit and in gist of ar.
Duke. Both of them deny the identity of the Church gument, can hardly be imagined—Mr Noel all spiri- visible and invisible. Mr Noel denies that there tual and unworldly, the Duke all secular and terrene; is such a thing to be found in Scripture as the Church the one aiming at an etherealized Church, so com
visible, and therefore will not allow himself to speak pletely stripped of all links and likeness to this of the Church of England or of Scotland, but insists world as to remind us of a scene in the Arabian on terming them “the Churches” in the English and Nights, in which genii and fairies occupy the places Scottish establishments. The Free Church of Scotof substantial beings of flesh and blood; the other land is with him a misnomer for the Free Churches presenting a Church so thoroughly imbued with the of Scotland. Consequently, all the privileges and elements of this world with office-bearers of this immunities formerly claimed by the Church of world - assemblies of this world -- laws as to the Scotland, and now by the Free Church, must be worldly government of an earthly Church," that we regarded as claimed by mere human establishments, begin to question if the Church has a spiritual ex.
which, as Churches of Christ, are mere nonentities. istence at all, and even to fall into the Sadducean
The Duke, again, regarding the Church of Scotland
merely as a development of the social principle for Correspondence between the Duke of Argyll and the Rev. Andrew Gray, Perth, in reference to His Grace's Essay, entitled " Presby.
a religious purpose, equally denies to that body the tery Examined."
Edinburgh. 'privileges granted in Scripture to the Church of
Christ. The same, of course, he will deny to any fathers' from that charge of irrelevant quotation of Scripother visible Church. He will allow no reasoning to
ture which I have brought against the Free Church, and to be drawn from the attributes assigned in the Word which they are equally exposed with that body; In particular, to the Church of Christ, to the prerogatives or duties
you say that either I'must be ignorant of, or have concealed,
the fact that certain applications of Scripture which I specially of any visible society claiming that name. He condemn when made by the Free Church, are similarly made allows Christ to be the only Head of the Church, by the Westminster Confession, which is the common standard but professes himself quite unable to see what this of Presbyterian belief. has to do with “the worldly government of an
“You could not possibly have made this complaint against earthly Church”-as if the Church visible were
my Essay if you had read the whole of it with any care. I have an essentially different Church from the Church in.
not exempted our Presbyterian forefathers' from the charge
of irrelevant quotation of Scripture. I beg to refer you to pp. visible! We despair of seeing any comfortable 97, 98, 99, as well as to a great part of the whole Essay, settlement of the question, till men really set them- passim. selves to understand what the Church of Christ is, “ Neither could you have supposed me ignorant of the genebefore they profess to write about it.
ral fact alleged as to the Westminster Confession if you had The first letter in this Correspondence was originally refer to that Confession as embodying, as systematic items
read note H, p. 317. You will there see that I particularly published by itself. Its main, almost sole object, of belief," those very notions which are contested throughout was to show that the Du was mistaken in accusing the Essay, and which I have shown to have been of mere local the Free Church, and Mr Gray's Catechism in par- origin, and of mere local meaning. ticular, of teachingcertain views regarding the * It is quite true that I consider your Catechism as expresspowers and prerogatives of the Christian Church, ing those ideas in a form which places in a clearer light than which his Grace maintained to be utterly unsupported any document with which I am acquainted, what I contend to
be their extravagance and want of logic. This arises in some by Scripture, and of quoting texts which were
measure from the fact that you have followed them more sykaltogether foreign to the subject, though they might tematically than has generally been done to their legitimate be the favourite texts of Rome.” The impression results
, and in a great measure, too, from your attempt to reproduced on our mind by his Grace's language cer- fer to a single point
and that one of a very narrow or abstract tainly was, that, in his opinion, Mr Gray had, more
nature-every opinion of your own party on the most widely than “any rational man,” done violence both to disconnected subjects. The result of this attempt has been, of Scripture and common sense. Mr Gray, however,
course, to show that the Free Church idea of the absolute na
ture of spiritual independence' can only be connected with has very satisfactorily shown that, if he must be set the Headship of Christ' by a process which would be equally down as a transgressor in these respects, he is in succcesful in connecting that • Headship’ with any dogma on very good company, being borne out by the language any subject, however trivial the one or irrelevant the other. of the standards of the Churches both of England
* I cannot presume to hope to convince you that the result and of Scotland, and, consequently, of all the clergy
of your Catechism is thus a reductio ad absurdum.' You in these Churches. He concludes, therefore, by
say that you are willing to allow that Catechism to speak for
itself. I can only assure you that I entertain the same confisaying, “ You are entitled to assail, as keenly as you dence in its powers in a different direction. I am in the habit please, our principles concerning the Headship of of placing it in the hands of every impartial inquirer as the best our Master, and what we believe that doctrine to comment upon, and answer to, itself. contain. But you are not entitled to raise unfounded
“Iu the Essay, I have supported the opinions I entertain prejudice in the minds of those, who, alas ! are too
on the distinguishing dogma of the Catechism both in a histofull of prejudice already; you have no right to pro-ing to read any answer to that argument which may be called
rical and logical poiut of view. I am sure I shall be most willpagate erroneous impressions on matters of fact. forth. I do not doubt that if any of the many very able men Grant me historical truth, and that common justice included in your particular communion draw up such an aufrom the obligations of which polemics do not re- swer, it will be deserving of much attention and respecto lease us, and I am content to leave the weakest of
Hitherto no such answer has appeared, although I expected to Catechisms,' to speak for itself in answer to all you charge you bring against me of having misrepresented facts is
find one in any letter on the subject published by you. The have urged.”
clearly founded on a misconception of your own. In reply to this, Mr Gray received from the Duke “I regret very much that you should think my language the following communication, which, though sent over confident and dogmatic. I have to thank you for having privately, has now, with his Grace's full permission, expressed this opinion in very moderate and courteous terms. been published along with the whole correspon
I am the more ready to offer you my acknowledgment for this
, dence ;
from the fact that my references to the Catechism may have
seemed more personal than I could desire, in consequence of “Inverary, Nov. 13, 1848. that document being both sanctioned by public authority and " Rev. SIR,—I have to thank you for having so early sent acknowledged by an individual author. For anything which me a copy of your · Letter. You are right in supposing that may have appeared in this light to you, I most readily apoloI expected some public notice either from yourself or others, gize. But you will allow me to add-though I do so with
no of those portions of my · Essay' which animadvert on the Free personal feeling whatever-that the charge of over-confidence Church Catechism. My ouly surprise has been, that you should and dogmatism in the statement of individual opinion does not have thought it worth while to publish an answer which does come well from those who have embodied in the ambitious not profess to be a reply.
form of a dogmatic Catechism, with all the air of an authori" At the same time, I have read your letter with the more
tative exposition of belief, perhaps a wider range of such opiattention from its unexpected nature. You accuse my Essay nion than has ever before been honoured with similar treatof misrepresentation, and of giving erroneous impressions of ment, fact;' and I have very carefully examined your statements to “Permit me to assure you, in conclusion, in answer to your see whether you had substantiated the charge. The result has note at p. 11 of your letter, that I had not forgot the fact that been a conviction that the erroneous impressions of fact' are Presbyterians have long acknowledged the right of their own on your side, and are of such a nature as can only be accounted ecclesiastical authority to set aside other days, besides Sun for on the supposition that you have not read the whole of my days, for peculiar devotions;'
but the recollection of this fact Essay, but have confined your attention (as indeed the title
does not tend to diminish
my regret, that a right which they page of your pamphlet indicates) to certain passages' alone. acknowledge when asserted by themselves, they should.com “The substance of your complaint appears to be that I have
demn when exercised by others as an interference with the concentrated on the Free Church individually blame which Headship of Christ.'--I am, &c., ought to have been equally distributed over a much wider surface. You say that I have exempted our Presbyterian fore- In his reply to this letter, Mr Gray shows
that he had really anticipated the charge of his was no harm in declaring and subscribing that they believed Grace, by saying in his first letter, “I hope your reality they did not believe it. The fact is, my Lord Duke,
the Confession, and the whole doctrine thereof, while in Grace will not mistake the nature of my complaint that your own Church dare not adopt the views you have It is not that irrelevancy in the quotation of Scrip- promulgated concerning its Confession of Faith.” (Pp. ture is imputed to us, and not to our Presbyterian 31-33.) fathers;" and that his real complaint was, that his
In the progress of this Letter, which occupies the Grace had “ particularized a number of quotations greater portion of the pamphlet, Mr Gray makes in the Catechism, proclaimed them, and rung the frequent reference to the Letter to the Peers, by a changes on them, as irreverent and monstrous for Peer's Son,” written by the Duke of Argyll, when he their inapplicability to the points they are brought
was Marquis of Lorn. He shows, too clearly, the disto prove, while, in fact, they have been for centuries crepancies of sentiment between the language of this the standing quotations of almost all divines, from Letter and the Essay, and that the “ Peer's Son Calvin and Beza downwards, of the Church of Eng
was a much better Presbyterian, as well as sounder land, Scotland,” &c. Hc next puts a number of logician, than the Peer himself. The following exstringent questions to the Duke, of which we may
tract from the former production is sufficient evi. quote the ninth :
dence. “Speaking of the seven Strathbogie ministers, “Does your Grace, then, think it fair, either to your Eng- and of their conduct in recognising the jurisdiction of lish readers,' or to us, when you hurl at the Free Church
the civil power in matters ecclesiastical, the following Catechism every term of contempt and reproach, for holding the sign of the cross in baptism, and the observance of stated eloquent language occurs ;”anniversary holidays, to be relics of Popery, and interferences
“ Strange and incredible as it must one day appear, when, with the Headship of Christ, as if this were some new deve- to the heat of angry controversy has succeeded the calmness of lopment of Scottish bigotry, and a sort of climax to all that historical reflection-strange and incredible as it now appears went before it—and never say, all the time, that John Knox, to those who think of the views involved in their proceedin the First Book of Discipline, denounces crossing and holi- ings-men, who, in entering into the sacred offices of the days as 'abominations'' that the Papists have invented,' and Church, have publicly declared, as one of the confessions of presumptuous alterations of Christ's perfect ordinance,' or their faith, that her government has been ordained, by dithat some of the most distinguished divines of our Church vine appointment, to reside in the hand of Church officers, were expelled from their livings, imprisoned, and banished, distinct from the civil magistrate-men, who have come untwo centuries ago, for not complying with these and similar der a solemn engagement to obey her tribunals in all matters usages?”
ecclesiastical, to do all in their power to preserve her unity, In reference to the Duke's sweeping condemna- and 'humbly and willingly to submit themselves unto the ad
notwithstanding what trouble or persecution may happen,' tion of the language of the Confession of Faith, chap. monitions of their brethren, and to the discipline of the xXx., Mr Gray has the following terse remarks, which Church-such men have deemed
it consistent with the intecertainly place his Grace in a very strange predica grity of these their vows, to transfer their allegiance in regard ment, while the office-bearers in the Establishment to the government of the Church, and the exercise of her most may well cry out, “Call you this backing of your
sacred functions, from those to whom they have confessed it
to be committed by divine appointment, to those (viz., the friends ?”
civil rulers) who, by the fundamental laws which it is their “There is here the important testimony of your Grace, that duty to defend, possess no authority whatever in such conthe Free Church is right in its construction of the Standard of
(Letter to the Peers, pp. 46, 47.) the Establishment, and that we have the sanction of that formulary to our views of the Headship of Christ and the juris
Our space prevents us from doing justice to the codiction of the Church. But your Grace sees clearly, and by gent and conclusive reasoning contained in the closing many pages of argument you conceive you have shown,' that part of Mr Gray's Letter, in which he enters into the the doctrine of the Confession is ‘utterly groundless and un- merits of the question. Referring our readers, for tenable, unsupported by the shadow of proof from any relevant satisfaction, to this able pamphlet itself, we would part of Scripture-unnatural, and at variance with the spirit close our notice of it with the eloquent peroration, in of the Christian scheme-and repugnant to the true instincts of all men. So then, the positions maintained by your Grace
which we cannot fail to admire the spirit of the - both of them with equal energy and strength of assertion
writer:are, in simple language, these two: first, that the Free Church “ Five years and a half ago we lost our endowments; many dogma' is a dogma of the Confession of Faith; and, second, of us were driven, with our families, from the homes that that the said dogma of the Confession is false. What, I ask, were dear to us, and that we had learned to look upon as our is the predicament in which the office-bearers of the Estab own; and strangers were put in our room. I think your lished Church of Scotland are thus put by your Grace? You Grace admits that we were wronged. We had a compensation, will recollect that all of them, ministers and elders as well, bowever, there was something which we took with us when have subscribed, and, while they continue in the Establish- cast out of the Establishment, and it made our sacrifice not ment, must profess to believe, what the Confession of Faith only bearable, but sweet; yes, something there is, which has contains. Suppose, then, that you have convinced them of the mitigated the hardship of all subsequent privations down to truth of your first point-that the Confession is for the Free this hour-which has made the comforts of the manse be Church-one and all of them are bound, as honest men, if remembered without regret in not a few humble and impothey wont give up the Confession, to join the Free Church of verished dwellings—and which has cheered and upheld our Scotland; for I think your Grace does not dispute that our spirits under labours and trials, whereby the days of some views of the Headship of Christ are incompatible with an ad- have been shortened, and the health of many has been broken. herence to the Scottish Establishment. But suppose your What, my Lord Duke, what is it? What is this goodly Grace succeeds in carrying them on to the second step, so pearl ? It is no other than the conviction, that our sacrifice that they not only believe in the Free Churchism of the Con- was made, not for personal objects—not for mere rights of fession, but are also persuaded that the Confession is wrong, self-government in the Church, or to get influence and power what are these gentlemen then to do? They may, I acknow- to ourselves, but for the cause of our Lord; and that we were, ledge, in that case, apply to your Grace to bring a bill into and are, like our fathers of old, though in a less degree, sufthe House of Lords for the relief of their consciences by abo- ferers for Christ's royal crown. We have never pretended to lishing the 30th chapter of the Confession; and, as a member despise what we lost at the Disruption; we could not do it of their Church, you would give them what help your senato- in truth; the temporal advantages, of which that event rial capacity might enable you. But, if that bill fuiled, where spoiled us were great; but, in the cherished feeling and would they be? The Free Church could not take them, and conviction of our minds, that the Saviour's Headship was they could not join it; yet clear enough it is that they must involved in our testimony, we had, like the poor man in leave the Establishment, unless it could be shown that there the parable, one little ewe lamb'— little and insignificant
in the estimation of the world, whatever it might be in ours and the land cultivated by spade husbandry on the -which consoled us exceedingly under our reverse, and has principle of a model farm; suppose as much produce made us, and our wives, and our children, contented and happy. Your Grace tries to rob us of our little ewe
lamb. | food, and as much sold as would go far to pay for
raised as would supply them with abundance of plain To our previous losses you would add this, the greatest loss of all, if you could. But your power is smaller than was
education and other expenses, the greatest good that of Nathan's rich man. You cannot succeed in your at- would manifestly result. Such a college might protempt. We shall keep qur 'ewe lamb.:- I have the honour bably soon be made self-sustaining; the minds and to be, My Lord Duke, your obedient humble servant,
bodies of the men would be trained at the same time; ANDREW GRAY."
and they would go forth not only with a knowledge
of theology, but able by their knowledge of agriculHOW SHALL WE SUPPLY THE HIGH- ture to diffuse throughout the Highlands the very LANDS WITH MINISTERS?
knowledge that is urgently required, to raise the peoOne of the most remarkable and gratifying circum- ple above want and barbarism. A few Oberlins would stances connected with the Disruption is the unani-be of signal use in the Highlands. It is quite certain mity with which the great mass of the Highland that there is abundance of fine land in Skye and elsepopulation have adhered to the Free Church. The where, at present lying waste, that would more thoslightest acquaintance with the past history of that roughly repay the industry of the people than efforts portion of Scotland must convince all that this is a to reclaim the bleak forests of Nova Scotia, to truly marvellous result. Still it has raised two very which many of them emigrate. What they want, important questions, viz., How shall we secure mi- if they could obtain leases, is skill and enterprise tó nisters in sufficient numbers for this section of our cultivate the land aright; and the whole Highland adherents? and, How shall we support them? That proprietors would greatly benefit by such a plan as there is, and, so far as present plans go, that there is has been suggested. likely to be a great want of Gaelic ministers for the Some, no doubt, will hesitate about the propriety Free Church people of the Highlands, is' notorious. of such a plan on the ground of its novelty. But it Hitherto they have been supplied chiefly by cate- is clear that our old methods will not do. Some. chists, or by the itinerant labours of ministers separated thing must be tried, or the Highlands will slip from from their congregations during the summer months. under the charge of the Free Church, and may subThese, however, are manifestly temporary expedients. side into a neglected wilderness, without regularly The question still remains, How shall the thousands trained ministers at all. This is the obvious tendency of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland be furnished of the present state of matters, whilst if such a plan with men out of whom to choose a standing ministry? as has been suggested were carried on under the Even if this question were solved, another would still charge of wise teachers, and coupled with a two remain, viz. How shall means be obtained for sup- years' finishing at Edinburgh, practical men have porting such men? Even the present congregations pronounced it thoroughly workable and promising. of poorer districts press heavily on the general Sus- If Popery had such a hold of the Highlands as we tentation Fund of the Church, and go far to bear have at present, she would not allow herself to be so down the average dividend. How can twice as many easily baffled. more be provided for? These are very serious ques- In regard to the permanent support of a sufficient tions, and deserving the immediate and earnest con- ministry for the Highlands, we reckon it a far more sideration of the Church.
difficult problem. As long as the people themselves In regard to the first point, a plan has been sug- are so depressed, it will always be found difficult to gested, which is, at least, worthy of being fully consi- support ministers amongst them by voluntary contridered, viz., the plan of an agricultural college in some butions. But why should not efforts be made to centrical place in the Western Highlands. The main elevate the physical condition of that interesting difficulty in the way of educating a sufficient number population! Apart from fishing and agriculture, of Highland ministers is the immense expense—which which, under better management would open up they cannot defray-required to maintain young men great sources of wealth and comfort, why should not in Edinburgh during six or eight years of study. some crafts be studied ! The Swiss, amidst their There are many young men there of good parts, mountains, make watches for all Europe; the Shetand under serious impressions, and who would wil- landers make stockings and other beautiful articles lingly devote themselves to the work; but money is of hosiery, and there seems no good reason why our so scarce that it is physically impossible for them Celtic population should not cultivate some branch to make their way to Edinburgh, and maintain them- of productive industry. Their ability to support selves there during the necessary period. Nor is it themselves and their own ministers would, of course, quite certain that so long a residence in the metro-be a most desirable result. We do not say that they polis is the best preparation for the future toils of a are not more able, even at present, than some are Highland minister; nor can the Church furnish bur-willing to admit. The oft-repeated references to the saries enough to meet the emergency, even if that immense sums spent on tobacco and whisky in the mode of meeting it were the most desirable. But Highlands, seem certainly to prove that there is suppose a plan adopted like that which prevails in greater wealth there, even at present, than some supcertain parts of America, to meet at least five or six pose. But still, we are convinced that a sufficient of the ordinary years of study. Suppose three or supply of ministers will not be maintained in the four hundred acres of such improveable land secured, Highlands until some change take place on the preas exists in many districts in the Highlands—as the sent system. Either their physical circumstances Marquis of Breadalbane, for example, could give must be improved, or we must have the general fund near Oban; suppose proper buildings erected, and relieved by special endowments for districts where young men gathered from various districts in little is produced, or some such rate of payment as the west ; suppose these young men receiving edu-exists in the Established Church, or chapels on the cation in return for so many hours of their time daily, I royal bounty, must, in the end, be adopted. It is