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olementary works are improved, by one fresh student and another, until they are completed in such a way as to please and satisfy all. Many of these literary and important undertakings have been accomplished gradually by succeeding Missionaries, or by some joiutly, with such accuraoy and elegance, as to be regarded as among the most valuable works, of a literary kind, of the age, and as being most necessary to the acquisition of many dialects and languages spoken most extensively at the present period. We often recur, with the deepest interest, to the fact, which cannot be brought too prominently forward (for it checks, if it does not silence, many gainsayers), that enlightened and Christian Missionaries have given to the heathen nearly all the useful literature which thoy possess, with few exceptions only; they have introduced the art of printing into all the Pagan countries, where its advantages are now realized. It has been stated, that even in Hindostan there
had never been a book printed in any of her numerous languages, except a Bengalee grammar, and one or two other works by the late Dr. Wilkins, until the Missionaries of the Baptist body imparted the invaluable gift. Illustration on illustration might be furnished with regard to other Pagan lands. Every person familiar with literature, every scientific traveller, every individual conversant with the Reports of great Missionary Societies, can corroborate this, and recur to various islands, or groups of islands, large districts, important empires, where the most useful, the most valuable, the most necessary knowledge, independently of Christianity, was communicated by intelligent and able Missionaries, or as the result of their exertions. Now this fruit of Missions, associated with the directly Evanokucal Rbbults, to which, in our next paper, we shall refer, may be considered as invaluable.
THE CROSS OF CHRIST THE ONLY CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLE OF OUR LITERATURE.
[the following beautiful paper is an extract from a Lecture delivored by W. R. Williams, D.D., of New York, before the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution. The object of the Lecture, or Address, was twofold; viz., 1st, To lay open the chief causes which tend to corrupt the Literature of the ago;—and 2nd, To show that the cross of Christ is the only conservative principle of our Literature. In tho month of August, we shall show how the eloquent author makes out his case, by a reference to tho actual evils which menace our Literature on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who wish to rend the whole article, which is of surpassing excellence, will find it in "Tlie Foreign Evangelical Review" page 1.]
Nothing else can save our literature. This can. Though alone, it is sufficient. The cross of Christ, wo say it again, is tho only conservative principle of our literature. Nor let any bo startled. Bacon spoko of Theology as the haven of all science. It was said by a highlygifted woman, Madame de Stacl, who cannot be charged as a professional or prejudiced witness in tho matter, that the wholo history of tho world resolved itself naturally into two great eras, that before Christ's coming, and that which has followed his advent. And we find John von Miiller, a distinguished scholar and historian of Germany, holding this language as to his favourite science, in which he had made such eminent proficioncy. Auimadvorting on a defect of Herder in his " Philosophy of History," "I find," said Miiller, "everything there but Christ, and what is the history of tho world without Christ?"
And, in fact, the whole history of our world has looked forward or backward to tho fatal tree reared on grim Golgotha. Tho oblation there made had the promise and immutable purpose of God with it to insure its efficacy over the wholo rango of man's history antecedent and subsequent, and along the wholo course of the mystery of Divine Providence, as seen in the government of tho world.
Let us, wo entreat you, bo understood. By the cross of Christ we do not mean the imaged cross, as borne on the banners of the Inquisition, with the emblems of Judgment and Mercy floating over the scenes of tho auto-da-ft, whero the judgment was without justice, and tho mercy was a mere lie. Nor tho cross, as borne on the shoulder of the cmsader, whilst, pleading the name of Christ, ho moved through scenes of rapino and massacro to lay his bloody band on the Holy Sepulchre. Nor do we mean the cross, as, carved and gilded, it is 6een glittering on the spires of a cathedral, or hung in jewels and gold around the maiden's neck, or embroidered on the slipper of a pontiff. The cross, as we understand it, has no sympathy with a religion of shows and spectacles, of mummeries and pageants, of incense and music, and long-drawn aisles, and painted windows, and gorgeous pictures, and precious statuary.
But by this title, wo mean tho cross, naked, rugged, and desolate, not pictured, save on tho eye of faith, nud upon the pages of Scripture — not graven, but by the finger of the Spirit on the regenerate heart; the cross, as» Paul preached it, and the first Christians received it. This doctrine we suppose to have two aspects. The first, Christ crucified, as becoming our free and full justification by a blood that purges from all sin, and avails for the
world. It was the re-assertion of this doctrine which wrought the glorious Reformation. The second, Christ crucified, as the principle of our tanctification, under the influences of the renewing Spirit, that conforms the believer to his Lord, and crucifies his evil nature within him. Thus it was that Christ was not only crucified himself, but required also every disciple to come after him, taking up also his own cross; and Paul speaks of himself as crucified unto the world. This last aspect of the doctrine of the cross, we have thought, has been rather overlooked by some of the Reformers, in their zeal against selfrighteousness, and against a false and ascetic piety. Such waB Cecil's opinion, whom none can suspect of any want of reverent feeling for the Reformers. But if we look to tho New Testament, it is very evident that both were blended in tho doctrine as the early Christians received it. Tho cross was not only their confidence, but the model of their conformity. It is, we have supposed, a dofect here—a neglect of aiming at this high standard of devotedness, on the part of many of us Protestants, that has given to tho Oxford Tractarian movemont, and to the present efforts of Romanism, most of their hold upon the public mind. Apparent estrangement from the world, and a self-denial that rises superior to tho ordinary idols of society, will commend to the respect of mankind even much error in those thus estranged and self-denying. It throws a glistering veil of sanctity even over the gross corruptions of Romanism; and her impostures and enormities are often overlooked by those who sec standing in her shrines hor martyrs of charity, her Vincent de Pauls, and her Francis Xaviers. A pining recluse, scourging himself in sober sadness, as the expression of his deep sense of sin, may be a pitiable spectacle of delusion; but he is not, in the eyes of tho world generally, as odious a sight as that presented by a self-satisfied, eelf-mdulgent professor of a purer creed, living in all ease and pleasure, conformed to the world in all its follies, and vaunting of a doctrinal orthodoxy that produces no eminence in holiness. Christians must livo more upon the cross, seeing in it not only the principle of their faith, but also the pattern of their obedience —the cross not only as cancelling their sin, but also as crucifyiug their lusts. Such is the twofold aspect of the great truth, the basis of all Scriptural doctrine and practice, the centre of all its mysteries, and all its morality — the cross of Christ.
Let us now, for a moment, turn to the history of that cross, in order that we may porceive more clearly its strange elements of power. Place yourselves, then, in imagination, amid the multitude, that, swayed by curiosity, or inflamed by hate, are rushing from the hall of judgment, and sweeping along their hurried and tumultuous way to the hill of crucifixion. Reeling uuder insults, a meek Sufferer, whose head is bound with a crown of thorns, and his face swollen with blows and wet with the spittiDgs of the mob, is threading, slowly and painfully, his way through that exasperated crowd, who are all athirst and ravening for his blood. Ho has reached the spot selected for his death. There he stands faint, but mute and uncomplaining, whilst tho cruel preparations are made that shall consummate the sacrifice Amid shouts, and taunts, and fiercest blasphemy, he is nailed and lifted up. As the cross becomes erect, and he hangs at last before that excited multitude, methinks I see exultation, like a rising breeze, ruffle that sea of upturned faces. And there he is raised on high, how utterly friendless and abject to the eye of man; for even the thieves upbraid him, that hang and writhe beside him.
But were your eyes unsealed, as the prophet opened those of his servant at Dothan, you would discern, beside and above that howling rabble, a more
august gathering. Legions, whose feeblest warrior would have turned to paleness the cheek of Caesar at the head of all his hosts, aro gazing there; yet withheld by some dread sentence, they do not interpose. Angels that excel in might and in glory watch that desolate Sufferer with adoring interest. That much-outraged Victim, seemingly rejected of man and abandoned of God, is my Maker. In that lowly form is veiled the incarnate Godhead. The angels that smote Sennacherib's host, and slew the first-born of Egypt, dispeopling a camp and decimating a nation in a night, have bowed often their heads to this Being as their Lord and their Creator. Excited as aro his enemies, they could frame no consistent accusation against him to justify their enmity. There, under reproach, anguish, and cursing, dies the only one of Adam's race that knew no sin. For no guilt of his own is he suffering, but to cancel that of his murderer, man. Thus viewed, what elements of grandeur and tenderness, of the loftiest splendour and the lowliest condescension, blend in that dread sacrifice! Do men look with interest on greatness in misery? It is horo: the King of Glory dying as a malefactor! Are they touched with sympathy for distress? How deep was the anguish even of his patient spirit, when he cried out, invoking a Father who had hidden his faco! Should wisdom attract, here was tho great Teacher whom all Judea had admired, speaking as never man spako— the heavenly Teacher for whom Socrates had taught himself and his scholars to hope. He is here giving his lessons on the cross. The good man dying ignominiously, of whom Plato had glimpses, is here, the exemplar of porfect innocence, enduring the treatment due to consummate wickedness. That sacrifice stirs all worlds. Hell misses its expected prey, and the spell of despair over the accursed earth is broken, while heaven stoops to behold its King incam ate and dying, that he may reconquer to his allegiance a revolted province of his empire; in the same act indulging his mercy, and satisfying his justice, whilst his expiring hreath together magnifies his law and enunciates his gospel. That sacrifice may well have power with man, for it has power with God. To the human mind it presents, in the closest union and in their highest energy, all the elements of sympathy, awe, and tenderness. It blends a Divine majesty that might well overawe the haughtiest, with a winning gentleness that would reassure the most desponding. It may well be, at the same time, a theme for the mind of an angel to study, without grasping all its vastness; and a motive for the mind of the Sabbath-school child to feel, without being repelled by its loftiness. It has power—practical power— popular power—permanent power. It is God's remedy for sin; and with the accompanying influences of his Spirit, it can avail as the remedy for all forms of man's sin, as that sin is infused into, and as it is found envenoming either tho literature of the world, or any other product of the human mind. Let us but transcribe that truth into the heart, and illustrate it in the life; or rather, let tho renewing grace of God's Spirit so transfer it into the soul of man,—let me be enabled to believe in this Divine Sufferer as my Saviour—to feel that with him I am dying to tho world, and that with him, too, I shall rise again from tho grave, see him on the judgment throne, and follow him into the gates of Paradise ; and with these truths firmly grasped by the mind, what has
the world left wherewith to allure, wherewith to appal me? I have thrown myself loose from the trammels of earth. Its cords have perished at the touch of an ethereal fire. Disengaged from its entanglements, its bonds sundered, and its snares parted, I soar aloft, to sit, in the language of Paul, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I rise yet higher, and in the awful language of Peter, I, the heir of corruption, and once the bondsman of death, am made " a partaker of the Divine nature." Here is power.
Let that power of the cross but go forth in its appropriate channels, in a holy devoted ministry—in the moro elevated piety of the church, and in a Christian education of the young given by the church, if the state may not give it;—let that power, we say, but go forth in these channels, and, with God's blessing upon it, the world is saved. Carry that truth into all the scenes of human activity or suffering; into the marketplace, and the halls of legislation; into tho schools of philosophy, and the student's cell, and the editor's desk, the cabins of poverty and the dungeons of crime; let it fence the cradle and watch the deathbed; and it will be found equal to every task, competent to every emergency, and mighty to exorcise every evil spirit. The earthly miracles of our Lord were in some sense hut anticipations and earnests of tho moral miracles which that doctrine of the cross has wrought, and is now working, and will continue to work. Yet— yet, does this Saviour open the blinded eyes of passion, and breathe strength wherewith to obey him into the palsied will of the sinner.
TIIE NATURE AND PREROGATIVES OF THE CHURCH; OR, THE BIBLE AND CATHOLICISM CONTRASTED.
It is obvious that the question concerning tho nature and prerogatives of
the externals of religion. It concerns tho very nature of Christianity and the convinced of sin and desirous of reconciliation with God, is allowed to hear the Saviour's voice, aud permitted to go to him by faith for jiardon and the Spirit, then the way of life is unobstructed. But if a human priest must intervene, and bar our access to Christ, assuming the exclusive power to dispense the blessings Christ has purchased, and to grant or withhold thein at discretion, then the whole plan of salvation is effectually changed. No sprinkling priest, no sacrificial or sacramental rite, can be substituted for the immediate access of tbe soul to Christ, without imminent peril of salvation.
the Church, is not ono which relates to conditions of salvation. If tho soul
It is not, however, merely the first approach to God, or the commencement of a religious life, that is perverted by the ritual system; all the inward permanent exercises of religion must be modified and injurod by it. It produces a different kind of religion from that which we find portrayed in the Bible, and exemplified in the lives of the apostles aud early Christians. There everything is spiritual. God and Christ are the immediate objects of reverence and love; communion with the Father of Spirits, through Jesus Christ his Son, and by the Holy Ghost, is the life which is there exhibited. In the ritual system, rites, ceremonies, altars, buildings, priests, saints, the blessed virgin, intervene and divide or absorb the reverence and homage due to God alone. If external rites and creature-agents are made necessary to our access to God, then those rite3 and agents will more or less take the place of God, and men will como to worship the creaturo rather than tho Creator. This tendency constantly gathors strength, uutil actual idolatry is tho consequence, or uutil all religion is made to consist iu tho performance of external services. Hence this system is not only destructive of true religion, but leads to security in the indulgence of sin and commission of crimes. Though it includes among its advocates
many devout and exemplary men, its legitimate fruits are recklessness and profligacy, combined with superstition and bigotry. It is impossible, also, under this system, to avoid transferring the subjection of the understanding and conscience due to God and his word, to the church and the priesthood. The judgments of the church, considered as an external visible society, are pronounced, even by the Protestant advocates of this theory, to be unerring and irrefragable, to which every believer must bow on pain of perdition. (See Palmer, vol. ii. p. 46.) The bishops are declared to stand in Christ's place; to be clothed with all the authority which he as a man possessed; to be invested with the power to communicate the Holy Ghost, to forgive sins, to make the body and blood of Christ, and to offer sacrifices available for the living and tho dead. Such a system must exalt the priesthood in the placo of God.
A theory, however, which has so long prevailed, need not be judged by its apparent tendencies. Let it be judged by its fruits. It has always and everywhere, just in proportion to its prevalence, produced the effects above referred to. It has changed tho plan of salvation. It has rendered obsolete the answer given by Paul to the question, What must I do to be saved? It has perverted religion. It has introduced idolatry. It has rendered men secure in the habitual commission of crime. It has subjected the faith, the conscience, and the conduct of tho people to the dictation of the priesthood. It has exalted the hierarchy, saints, angels, and the Virgin M ary, into tho place of God, so as to give a polytheistic character to the religion of a largo part of Christendom. Such are the actual fruits of that system which has of late renewed its strength, aud which everywhere asserts it claims to be received as genuine Christianity.—The Foreign Evangelical Beview, pp. 108, 1G9.