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Fox's Education Bill, 224.
United Presbyterian Synod, 222.
Popery in France, 157.
Jansenists in Holland, 100.
Ladies of the Covenant, 112.
Achilli's Dealings with the Inquisition, 75,
Temperature of the Seasons, 146.
Papal Aggression, 31, 61, 96, 127, 19', 319.
Alpine Peasant, 219.
Walford's Autobiography, 135.
FREE CHURCH MAGAZINE.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF 1851.
We believe that we know the condition of the Free
Church tolerably well, and are somewhat familiar We never felt a more intense admiration for the Free with its people-north, south, east, and west-yet Church of Scotland, than when we sat for eleven we are acquainted with few among them who have days in May and June, witnessing its spirit and be made what could honestly be called sacrifices in the holding its order. It was, no doubt, a more exciting cause of Christ. They give of their substance, but spectacle when the Free General Assembly met in how few have given aught but what they could spare Canonmills Hall for the first time, and when each of without missing it? It limited no enjoyment-it led its assembled ministers calmly subscribed himself as to no privation, so that it never entered the domain one of those who had no portion but the gospel of of sacrifice at all. Let our readers sum up, if they the grace of God, and no resting-place but the right can, all that they have given directly to the cause of arm of the King of Zion—and we look back with Christ in connection with the Free Church of Scotastonishment akin to awe, to that grand and stir- land during the past eight years, and a large majority ring deed. Withal, however, when we look at the may well be astonished at the pittance-like character church's duties in detail, and remember why her of the whole. There are, no doubt, some noble exHead in glory appointed her on the earth, we are ceptions, but after all, in many cases, only the small not sure that we would not place our late Assembly dust in the balance has been given. Subtract, as we somewhere side by side with that of the Disruption. ought to do, what has been given to build churches There was less of glare and excitement, but there for ourselves, or schools for ourseltes, or sustain minwas much that tended to consolidate to “stablish, isters for ourseldes, and it will appear that our gifts strengthen, and settle” the church. There was less to the cause of Christ are not so large as many supof the spirit of the Exodus, when the Hebrew my- pose. Besides, to speak of gifts to Him who is the riads escaped like a bird from, the snare of the sovereign proprietor of all, and who says “occupy fowler—but there was inore of the spirit of those till I come,” is obviously to act on a fallacy which days in which the temple was built, when David had lies at the root of many of our opinions and practices. reason to exclaim,“ Who am I, and what is my peo- And as regards the real work of the church, the ple, that we should be able to offer so willingly after winning of souls to her Head, we have also much to this sort ? For all things come of thee, and of deplore. We are not of the number of those who thine own have we given thee?” The last clause wail over the past as if no good had been done—no of the quotation answers the question in the first; and blessings imparted—no grace of the Spirit shed down. we were reminded of that again and again amid the But conceding that not a few souls have been turned activities, the earnestness, and the practical business- unto.God, that others have been quickened, and like proceedings of the late Assembly. Let us glance others helped on their way to glory, we still have at some of its most outstanding acts.
great reason to sigh and to cry over the dreariness And first, we observe, it was a token for good that and desolation of our Zion. How many within our arrangements were made to consecrate a large por- borders have reason after all to exclaim, "The harvest tion of the time of the Assembly, directly to the im- is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved !" portant work of confession, petition, and thanksgiv- - My leanness
, my leanness!" might well be their cry: ing. It is so clear that it flashes on the mind with The Assembly, therefore, did right to humble itself out effort or thought, that where so much has been before the Most High, on a retrospect of all these done for the church, far more than has yet been things. It was well to fill men's minds with the conaccomplished by her should have been done for her viction that he that goeth forth bearing precious seed, Lord. To speak first of the grosser portion of her should return bringing his sheaves with him,-and doings, amid all the millions that have been given that with the design of glorifying God for the to advance the church's objects at home and abroad, sheaves which have been gathered, as well as to we apprehend that it would be a misnomer to call mourn over those which come to nought, or conany large amount of it a sacrifice. Our ministers, tain only chaff and straw fit only to be consumed. in many places, have made sacrifices. They have And it seemed as if a right note were struck, on the snapt asunder some of the dearest ties that can link day set apart for humiliation and for seeking God. men to the things which are seen and temporal. We need scarcely scruple to ascribe the general tone They have sacrificed substance, health, and in some and spirit of the Assembly to the doings of that day, cases, life itself, for the cause of God, and spiritual blessed and owned by Him with whom is the residue freedom; but we are inclined to think that that of the Spirit. spirit has neither been widely nor deeply spread. It was an appropriate close to the doings of Tuesday No. XCI.
the 27th of May, to see our assembled presbyters ad- to the Sustentation Committee, with instructions to dressing themselves with such earnestness to consider prepare some proposals on the subject, to be submitted the duties of the ministry—the church's obligations to to the Commission in November. Now, we confess our the young, to the heathen, and especially what is in- surprise to be, not that the Assembly should have so cumbent upon her, to secure, as far as human means far countenanced such a proposal, but that it should can do so, a converted ministry for the Free Church have been so tardy in doing so. The writer has of Scotland. Next to the Word of God, and the pre- always ranked among the very few who never thought sence of the Spirit of Life, such a ministry is essen- that the principle of an absolutely equal division of tial to the church's wellbeing. The very difficulties the central fund, in every case, would answer the which lie in the way of a right discharge of the duty great purposes either of its illustrious founder or of devolving on our presbyteries in this respect, may the church at large. It is well known that he wen: prevent it from being done, and a cold unspiritual to his grave with the conviction that the church comministry may thus grow up to crush rather than invi. mitted an error in seeming to stereotype the equal gorate the life of the church. On this vital subject, dividend to every minister in all circumstances and however, we trust that the attention of our presby- conditions; and we have always held that he, being teries will continue to be concentrated. Only two dead, yet speaks upon that topic. The practical saovertures, we think, came up regarding it to the late gacity of Dr Chalmers, which many of us are only Assembly; but the time has fully come when a living now beginning to defer to or understand, clearly dechurch should take the wisest measures that can be tected, and often exposed, the fallacy that luris in a devised for perpetuating the life that is in it; and system which has nothing but a fair show to recommaking sure that no man shall enter one of our pul- mend it. He constantly pled for the enlisting of all pits, to tell of a Saviour, whom he does not know, of possible principles, and all possible motives of a right a pardon which he has not received, of a Spirit whom kind, to draw forth the people's liberality to the cenhe is hourly quenching, and a heaven for which he tral fund ; and saw, with much regret, that the is not preparing. These are the blind leaders of the church was narrowing instead of extending these blind, and that blindness leads only to death. We motives. She was developing selfishness, as he becannot speak too strongly upon this subject, and may lieved, and shielding the sordid, instead of drawing return to it on a future occasion, impressed as we forth, not equal contributions indeed, but equal es are with its solemnity and importance.
ertions on the part of all; and we cannot but hail it We might dwell, moreover, on the catholic aspect as a token for good to the Free Church, that it has of our late Assembly, and tell how it held out the now addressed itself in earnest to the consideration right hand of fellowship to the Presbyterian Churches of this matter in a large and compreheusive spirit
. in England and Ireland—to the Free Church in Any crude theorizing we would deplore. Any fancFrance--and to the brethren from Belgium, repre. ful or speculative, or abrupt and sudden change, ang senting not a few just escaped from Popery and its crotchet or nostrum, we would deprecate or scout. But bondage. Such fellowship we regard as one indubit- let the whole matter be looked at in the light of the able mark of the church's vitality. No spirit is past eight years' experience. Let every proper fence more thoroughly opposed to the mind of Christ than be planted around our principles on the one hand, a sectarian and a bigoted one; and the church which and our ministers on the other, to save them from wraps itself up in its exclusiveness, is putting on the the influence of Voluntaryism. But, with all that, fatal shirt of Deianira-she will infallibly be con. let the flocks of the Free Church practically learn, sumed by her own deliberate act. The Church of that while the rich are to help the weak, the weak England, for example, by one of her bishops, has are to do their duty, and then the dividend will rise shut out Merle D'Aubigné from her pulpits, because, where it should rise-it will fall wherever men do in her eyes, he is only a layman. The Scottish Estab- not value a gifted as well as a gracious ministry. lishment has insulated itself from the whole Church That a congregation of a thousand people should of Christ by a similar suicidal deed; and such acts contribute no more than one of three or four hunshould serve as beacons to those who would adopt dred, where the circumstances of the contributors and be guided by the divine idea of one church for as to station, means, and privileges are alike, is a the world--the church of which Christ is the living state of matters which demands revision. We are Head, and all who love him in sincerity and truth the far from hinting that the gospel should be withdrawn members.
from any district merely because it is poor—to act on Of all that relates to the wellbeing of the Free that idea for a day were to wither or palsy the church. Church in its external arrangements, nothing that But let some measure be devised which will necessiwas done by the late Assembly appeared to us to tate every district to do its duty, if it would enjoy the be sounder or more judicious than the measures ministrations of the church which it loves; and then which it adopted regarding the Sustentation Fund. two things, which are perfectly incompatible or anIt appears that some fifty or sixty of the most in tagonistic in the present system-we mean church telligent and large-hearted of the contributors to extension, and the raising of our ministers' stipends that fund throughout the kingdom had memorialized –will be harmoniously adjusted, and all conflicting the Assembly, to the effect that the principle of interests easily reconciled. distribution which is at present acted upon is not Along with this, we might advert to the measures sound; and that, tried by all the rules which should adopted by the Assembly regarding our Home Misregulate such matters, they could not form any opi- sion, the Highlands, our Colleges, and general Edunion but that it was hopeless to expect to realize a cation. All these subjects are kindred, and they minimum stipend of £150 to each of our ministers might individually suggest important considerations. while the present mode of distribution is continued. But at present we can only advert to what was done They suggested various alterations; and the Assembly, by the Assembly to devise measures for ameliorating without actually adopting any of these, but approving the condition of the masses in our large towns. generally of the suggestions, remitted the memorial | Glasgow alone contains perh ne hundred thou
sand immortal beings who are living without God, and Christian patriotism combine to press on the and without hope in the world. Most of these are hearts and minds of all, as imperatively demanded outlaws from Christian decency—they are the vam- for the saving of our country, as well as for the rescupires of society-and constitute at once its stain and ing of souls from death. its plague. Now, how is this evil to be cured? How Considering who was moderator of the late As. is that plague-spot or that moral ulcer to be healed ? sembly—the most honoured, perhaps, of living misThat is, beyond all controversy, the question of sionaries—it was not wonderful that a missionary questions for Britain at this hour; and he will be, in spirit was somewhat prominent in its proceedings; one sense, the deliverer of his country who solves it. and we are not sure that the church could do much Tyrtæus the schoolmaster saved his country, at a more than it did in this matter that is, recomcritical period of its history, by his orations and his mend the formation of associations in all the conwar-songs; and what if a schoolmaster, though em- gregations of the church, for supporting Foreign ploying other means, should become his country's Missions, instead of depending, as heretofore, on the deliverer again? Whether or not that shall be precarious supply of one annual collection. We have the case, sure we are that there is only one way heard it said, that if the day appointed for that obof accomplishing the mighty object to which the ject happens to be inclement, it costs the scheme Free Church has now addressed itself. There is no about £1000. In other words, more than a sixth secret, no novelty, no hidden charm or spell, by part of the whole-or nearly the annual allowance to which the end can be gained. It is only by searching three of our Indian missionaries—is left contingent on for the old paths, and standing in them, or only by the state of the weather on a given day. Manifestly the gospel of the grace of God, that the evil is to be these things ought not so to be; and we cannot doubt remedied; and until that be brought to bear on the that, if the measures which Dr Duff so energetically multitudinous aggregate of corrupt humanity in Glas- and successfully carried out in the Synod of Perth, gow and elsewhere, all will prove only like sounding be carried out in the same spirit through the other brass and a tinkling cymbal. God's panacea will synods of the church, the goodly spectacle will soon succeed_he has poured and is pouring mockery on be seen of a church for the first time in the world's all besides.
history-with the solitary but noble exception of There is no danger that the Free Church of Scot- the Moravians-doing its duty to heathendom. It land will attempt the overmastering work by any is in this way that the church of Christ will be best other means. We own, however, that we see two watered and refreshed. “They shall prosper that sources of anxiety in connection with this gigantic love Jerusalem”-that encourages us to labour and undertaking : First, There is a tendency to plant to pray for the Jews. “Go unto all the world and territorial churches-to start them with some noise, preach the gospel to every creature”--that is our and self-complacent encomiums—and then leave the rule regarding the Gentiles; and in keeping that cominfant cause to struggle on its way to maturity if it mandment—the Saviour's last-on which his promise can, burdened with a heavy debt, and, consequently, to be with his church always is made to depend, inefficient, or actually pining and weak. This must there will be found a great reward. be remedied in our new projections, if we are to make We know ministers who feel some difficulties in rehead against those dense accumulations which threat-gard to the associations which are now to be formed. en anon to explode and spread moral devastation Agents may not be in readiness—they may act among our homes. Or, secondly, those charged with so as to conflict with other schemes; and that is the care of these things may aim at too much all at once, possible. There may be congregations where none and so accomplish less than they otherwise might can be found to give themselves to this work. But achieve. We mean, that they may decline commenc- should that state of things continue? Or the assoing their operations until they have secured some mu- ciation may be so injudiciously planned as to internificent sum which shall lend lustre and grandeur to fere with other funds. But is that a necessary rethe cause. Now, we say at once, the more of that the salt? Look to Perthshire. There was no lack of better; for where, if not here, is munificence requir- agents there. There has been no collision in regard ed? But, in the mean time, we venture to suggest that to other schemes. Ministers and laymen in that section after section should be selected, and church synod are alike satisfied that the plan is at once after church should be reared as God gives ability, practicable and judicious. In short, all who have tried without waiting for the grand and the factitious. it are in farour of il—those who question and are in The mighty aggregate is to be overtaken in detail. If doubt are they who have never yet put forth their hand; fifty new churches be needed for Glasgow alone, give but would they follow the noble example set by the us one to begin with. Let it be fairly equipped, and churches in Perthshire, we cannot doubt that the then let us proceed to another and another. Those Assembly of 1852 would see our Foreign Missions for which have been properly started will become helps the first time bulking as they should do before the and encouragements in the rearing of others; and, mind of Scotland. In seeking to enrich others, the by this process, sustained and blessed by God, we church would be enriched herself ; for, if her meaare persuaded the work will be far more speedily ac- sures were adopted in faith, the reflex influence of complished than by adopting a brilliant programme, the missionary spirit would speed on again, as it has and declining the immediate or the utilitarian because sped before, the revival of pure and undefiled religion we cannot compass the dazzling. Why should the at home. Free Church of Scotland not resolve to build five It was when we listened to the report of the Cochurches annually for ten years ? or, if that be ro lonial Committee that our ideas of the church's mantic, three annually for twenty years, and so ad- power, her privilege and responsibility,rose to the highdress herself to the work with the regularity of a est point. In every land, from Canada North to the system? We devoutly hope that the spirit of a sound stations in the Pacific—from Sydney to Malta—from mind may be imparted to those who are entrusted Northern India to Leghorn and Florence-the world with the management of a scheme which common is studded with the church's centres of influence for good among our expatriated countrymen, as well as a mere outline, nor is more required, though we the inhabitants of other lands; and, when we think might have adverted to various other topics. The of the good that is thus achieved, or the souls which attention given to the hallowing of the Sabbath, are thus rescued from ruin, the value of this depart. and to Sabbath Schools, was a token for good, ment of the church's labours cannot be easily esti. though much must still be done. The proposal mated. We know that this scheme of the church to collect the Memorials of the Convocation of has been regarded as less attractive than some of 1842; the issuing of a volume containing the subthe rest, or not invested with the halo or the glare ordinate Standards of the Church, with a Preface dewhich surrounds some of the others. But viewed, claring "all the way by which the Lord has led us" we repeat, in its moral grandeur, and its practical since we became a church, and forming, in one point bearings at once on time and eternity, the Colonial of view, a testimony, at least an historical identificaScheme should stand among the foremost of the tion, of our principles for centuries past, were much church's works of faith and labours of love. Though needed measures. But, passing from all these, we limited in its operations in comparison with the vast hasten to conclude, by remarking that all the energies, demands which are made on its resources, and the or the growing activities of the church will be fruitopenings which are presented to its energies, it is lessthey will soon wither away, unless the tone of perunquestionably one of the noblest projections of our sonal godliness be raised high and kept high at home. day.
“ Set thine own house in order," “ Begin at JerusaBut, whatever may be the magnitude of those mul- lem”- these are the divine mandates ; let them be tifarious operations which the church carries on, obeyed, and the church will prosper. We see no token there is one department which now claims, and must yet
of her collapse or coming feebleness—nay, she is obtain, a larger share of her attention than ever. We still spreading out on the right hand and the left. She refer to the towering evil of Popery—the system is sending forth her boughs to the sea, and her branches which is hateful and hating now, just as it was during to the ends of the earth. But the mildew will comethe darkest ages of Christendom, and which will paralysis will steal over this noble institution, unless throw the nations back into darkness again, into godliness prevail within our borders. Bickersteth the worship of Mary, the veneration of dead men's has said that he found it easier to command money bones, the negation of God's truth, the enthroning than prayers for promoting God's cause; and without of man's delusions—in short, all that can degrade the latter, the former will be only reprobate silver. and stupify the soul, wherever it has the power. But when it can be said of the church, “ Behold she It formed another cause of thankfulness regard prayeth”—when she carries all her schemes to the ing the Assembly that so much of its attention throne to have them consecrated by the Eternal's was given to this subject—and, most of all, that blessing, as they should be dedicated to the Eternal's practical measures are proposed for meeting the glory, she will then be blessed and made a blessingenemy of men's souls and of God's truth. Popery blessed in the enjoyment of that favour which is life, has a propaganda at Rome-Protestantism should and made a blessing in the imparting of that life to have one in Edinburgh. The Assembly has recom- others. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," then, mended that such an institute should be begun-that they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within the efforts which are at present mainly local, should thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For now become national; and we trust that this pro. | my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, posal will be responded to with a promptitude pro- Peace be within you. Because of the house of the portioned to the magnitude of the interests which are Lord our God I will seek thy good." at stake. It is manifest that new commotions are coming upon the nations. The typhon of 1848 was
“STONES” AND “SHEEPFOLDS:* only the precursor of more radical and sweeping ravages; and the church should be ready to profit Let not our readers be disappointed. We inform by what must in providence come. The iron heel of them at once that, despite of our rather imposing title, despotism will not always crush the nations. The we have not any new scheme of social or economidark shadows of Romish superstition will not always cal reform to propound or explain. Our friend Dr hover over them. The rule of Jesuits and priests Begg need not tremble for his laurels. Our“ stones” will not be perennial;—and the only method by which are not materials for the construction of model-cotthe church will be able to medicate the woes, or miti- tages, nor are our “sheepfolds" exactly of the kind gate the calamities which are coming upon the blinded that are rising on Highland moors on the blackened nations, will be by imparting the truth where open. sites of deserted hamlets. A glance at the foot of the ings occur. For these purposes, as well as to re- page will show the direction in which our observapel the aggressions of Romanism at home, the church tions are likely to lead. In short, after a brief ramble, needs men equipped and trained for the struggle in company with a most gifted guide, among fretted with the monster evil of our day—the papal system; stones and gothic arches, our readers will find us and it is one of the most encouraging symptoms of engaged with our old accustomed themes touching the reviving power of God's pure truth to witness the the construction of sheepfolds” in the higher sense attention given, and the energies concentrated, to -church government, church discipline, church recounteract the prevalence of a creed whose extension form. is founded on the extinction of the Word of God Most of our readers are, of course, acquainted at and the ruin of the souls of men. We are more and least with the name of Mr Ruskin. Almost from more convinced, that nothing but Presbyterianism, as the very first appearance of his earliest work-the an ecclesiastical system, can ever successfully cope “Modern Painters, by an Oxford graduate”-he may with this colossal evil; and the church. will be blessed
* The Stones of Venice-volume the first. The Foundations. Be if she buckle on her armour for this work.
John Ruskin, author of "The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Such is a mere glance at some of the salient points
"Modern Painters,'&c., &c.
Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds, by john Ruskin, &c... in the late Assembly's proceedings. We have given &.c.