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was no man living with whom he had had more deep, and spiritual, and awful interchanges of mind, and he could say, that a more high-minded, and holy man, he had never known. He was a man, of whom it might be strictly said, that for what he believed to be the truth, he would, without hesitation, march up to the stake, and become a martyr. The father of this gentleman he did not hesitate to consider one of the most sagacious, conscientious, and useful public men who ever appeared in the Christian church.' The Rev. R. S. Bayley, of Sheffield, had next to return thanks for praises bestowed on him by the chairman. 'In 1825,' said Mr. Bayley, 'I was suspended by the Hoxton College Committee, for want of talent.



great Thomas Wilson told me, that my tutors stated, I had not sufficient talent to proceed with my studies; that I might possibly be useful in some village; but that I was not likely to profit by the scholastic benefits of that magnificent institution-Hoxton College. In 1825, when I was suspended, and melancholy, John Harris came to me, and said- and that was the first time I knew John Harris, for he was my senior in the classeshe said, My dear fellow, never mind! we are sure the committee are wrong, and if you like, those of us who know something about you, will make a representation to the committee, that we think they are mistaken." This was an act of charity which shall never have an end; that act made John Harris my immortal friend. .... Turning then to the chairman, he said, 'You have reached the position which I knew you would, and which I have long wished you to attain; and now, Sir, may the spirit, so beautifully elucidated in every part of the sermon we heard this morning, from my fine hearted friend on your right, enable you to sustain, through life, that position which the fair heraldry of your name makes incumbent on you.

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THE "General Union for the Promotion of Religious Equality," which has lately been set on foot, is intended to oppose the aggression, and ultimately to effect the downfall of the Established Church. The life of the Establishment cannot be separated from its pre-eminence: take away its pre-eminence, by making all sects equal, and it will cease to exist. The Church of Christ exists by being least of all and servant of all, the Church of England, by being greatest of all and master of all; it is not, therefore, to be wondered at that the clergy should hail the birth of "The General Union" with anathemas and cries of horror, such as we find registered in the Record Newspaper, which is loudly exclaiming against "the modern Radical Dissenters, who, unlike their worthy predecessors of the last generation, are now openly seeking the destruction of our excellent and apostolical church."

We have no remarks to offer on this union in a political point of view; we leave all political movements, and all contentions about civil rights, to those persons who may think themselves called upon to handle them; our business here with the Union is as it comes in contact with Christians, and as it appeals to them for assistance and co-operation.

In the Prospectus of this Association, published in the Congregational Magazine (No. XXIV. Dec. 1838, pp. 823), we are almost in the very first sentence struck with the worldly

and political motives, which are placed foremost in the list, for forming the Union. "The growing wealth, intelligence, and general influence with Parliament and society which the Dissenting Gentlemen in the provinces have acquired, and the happy increase of liberal opinions amongst many distinguished members of the Church of England, render it alike just and expedient that they should participate in the labour and honour of achieving the complete emancipation of all nonconformists from the baneful influence of ecclesiastical caste, by the Establishment through the empire of perfect religious equality."

Here we have some grand catagories" growing wealth"-" growing intelligence" "influence with

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Parliament and society"-"dissenting gentlemen"-what may all this be? Is the Church which Christ has purchased with his own blood growing "richer," and "more intellectual? and is it "acquiring greater influence with Parliament and society?" By no means; this is not the description of the Lord's people, for they are strangers to all this portion; they are in the wilderness, leaning on the Beloved, not on riches and parliamentary influence; and they, through much tribulation, are entering into the kingdom of heaven. The Lord of life hath given them his word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as he was not of the world—and if they were of the world, the world would love its own; but because they are not of the world, but have been chosen out of it, therefore does the world hate them: most certainly, therefore, their influence is not with Parliament and general society, so that the leading motive for joining the Union cannot reach them.

The Prospectus says, "without religious equality, there can be no complete enjoyment of political liberty." But are these matters in which Christians ought to occupy their thoughts?

Is it in the line of their duty to be struggling for "the complete enjoyment of political liberty?" And when they are once seen to be banded together in such a cause, might not the ferocious torch-bearers of O'Connor's midnight assemblies, with great justice, require them to carry out their principle and demand universal suffrage in unison with the masses of the people, who are, as we know, purposely excluded from the active exercise of civic privileges? For why should Christians be entering into unions to secure "religious equality," and "the complete enjoyment of political liberty," when the mass of the people are denounced as incendiaries for demanding for themselves the complete enjoyment of their political privileges?

The Address of the Committee tells us, "that on every hand, in some shape or other, the Church and State question meets the politician: it is the Tithe-question in Ireland; the Church-extension question in Scotland; the Church-rate question, the Education question, the University question, in England, &c."

If these questions, then, belong to the politician, let the politician take possession of them; they belong to the world, and not to the Church of Christ.

The "fundamental resolutions" of the Union are these:

"1. That it is the paramount duty, and therefore the inalienable right, of every man, to worship his Creator and Redeemer according to his religious convictions of the divine will, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures, the only authoritative rule of faith.

"2. That, to compel any one to contribute to the support of religious rites of which he disapproves, or of ministers of a church from which he conscientiously dissents, is manifestly unjust, and at variance with the spirit and principles of Christianity.

"3. That State establishments, by which any particular church or sect is

selected as the object of political favour and patronage, and its clergy are invested with exclusive rights and secular pre-eminence, involve a violation of equity towards other denominations; create serious impediments to the propagation of the Gospel; render the religious union of Protestants impracticable, and are the occasion of inevitable social discord."

These propositions are certainly not inaccessible to criticism: but of the third we would observe, that State establishments, though they themselves are inequitable, and though they do not propagate the Gospel, yet their existence, even in the most oppressive form, has not been always found to create serious impediments to the propagation of the Gospel; but rather by their persecutions and their hatred of the truth, Establishments have, through the

grace of God, been made the means of spreading, divulging, and disseminating the words of everlasting life. The whole history of the Church of Christ will prove this: we need only remember how the Gospel was retained by the earliest reformers, in spite of an opposing clergy; how believers were increased by the fiercest persecutions of "State establishments," to see at once that the third "fundamental resolution" contains an unguarded statement. "Non a reluctantibus sed a morientibus Christianis" were achieved all the victories of the faith, according to the well-known words of Augustine. And in the days when the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, when believers endured a great fight of afflictions, and took joyfully the spoiling of their goods; and when State establishments were pressing hard upon them, beyond the strength or faith of some to bear, the Church increased exceedingly, and the multitude of converts was very great.

But our chief objection to these "fundamental resolutions" is the pugnacious, worldly, and political language in which the supposed rights of Christians is asserted. It is language

not to be mistaken: it is the expression of irritation felt in an inferior situation; the chafing of political indignation under the yoke of abasement. It is an appeal, in our opinion, to the carnal mind, marvellously well calculated to take with the multitude, and to muster an army from all quarters; but, for that very reason, an appeal to which the disciples of Jesus ought not for a moment to listen. The Roman Catholic and the Socinian will probably receive the invitation with alacrity; but those who desire that they may be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a "crooked and perverse nation," will not be persuaded, we trust, to band themselves in this political agitation; and to confound the inward, spiritual, and perfect law of liberty which is imparted to the people of God, with the stormy controversy respecting civil equality.

It will be readily conceded that this our warning does not originate in any latent Toryism, or secret affection for the Establishment. Our object is, to keep believers and the world wide apart, and to admonish those who are as strangers and pilgrims, passing through this polluted earth, so to use this world as not to abuse it; and to remind them that there is a solemn injunction, with a blessing appended, to "him that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and men see his shame." We protest against the introduction of political agitation within the Church of Christ: we believe it to be a desecration of the sanctuary; an admission of a grievous wolf into the fold of the good shepherd; a casting of a firebrand into the harvest of the Lord. The political spirit, in these days, has need to be repressed, not to be encouraged, amongst all those who name the name of Christ and it is a grief to us to see the "General Union for the Promotion of Religious Equality" countenanced by certain. Christian pastors, who, we trust, will reconsider the subject, and withdraw


their names from this unholy and unedifying conjuration.

Let the Establishment be opposed in another spirit, even in that spirit in which the Pharisees were denounced by our Lord; in that spirit wherewith the early reformers bore their testimony, and the martyrs went to the stake. Let the Dissenters repair to the armoury of the Lollards, and with their zeal, their holiness, and their devotedness, preach the word of the truth of the gospel; let them bring forth Wickliffe's decisions against priests; let them deny the existence of priests, in any form and in any disguise, under the gospel; let them assert the plurality of ministers in all churches, and be not afraid to say with Wickliffe, that " Clerkes may have temporal goods by title of almes only, inasmuch as they be needful or profitable for the performing their ghostly office;" let them consider how, before they begin the struggle, they can justify the monarchy of the ministerial office in their own churches -how they can rest satisfied with one ininister in all their churches, which is an arrangement as unscriptural as the existence of diocesan churches; and let them, in one word, contend for the Church of Christ, and not for a political equality.

And, finally, let it be remembered,

that all the evils of the Establishment are to be traced to this single fact, that it has retained one half of the

Popish institutions; so that if the Established Church be bad, Popery is far worse, even as the whole of an evil must be twice as bad as the half, and that therefore it is the height of inconsistency to make common cause with the Papists in order to oppose the Established Church. The early Puritans, though most severely repressed by Queen Elizabeth, knew their allegiance to their Lord too well to join hand in hand with the Papists against that dreaded sovereign who was their common oppressor: in spite

of their persecutions, they saw that the Imperial Lady and her prelatical church were an efficient barrier to the return of the old enemy; and though smarting under the rod of the high commission, they never would for a moment have listened to any plan which should have united them with the Papists against the Established Church. If, then, they who were flogged with scorpions never allowed themselves to be thus misled by political animosity, how shall the Dissenters of these days, who are flogged only with feathers, join themselves to a general union" (i. e. one to include all sects) for securing religious equality?

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The Provisional Committee inform us, "that we are menaced with an ecclesiastical restoration, the worst of all restoration, as a restoration is the worst of all revolutions." This may be so; we do not see any reason to doubt that the clergy wish to resume the position they held under Charles II., and to punish the Dissenters, even to the death, if the way were opened for them. The thirst for absolute undisputed dominion is characteristic of of an established priesthood; and there are clergymen now in England who would be quite delighted to attempt the extermination of Dissent by fire and sword. The publication of Mr. Wilberforce's life shows that Bishop Tomline had persuaded Mr. Pitt to concoct some coercive law against the Dissenters, which would speedily have filled the prisons with the Dissenting ministers, and that the plot of that evil prelate was with difficulty averted. This may occur again; many things less probable have happened; but we would advise the political Dissenters, in anticipation of such a day of trial, to examine themselves, and to ascertain whether they are not better prepared to face persecution with drum and trumpet than with the faith and patience of the saints.


"The congé d'elire is little better than an insult offered to the cathedral clergy. Those venerable bodies being invited with satirical courtesy to choose a bishop, assemble to the mortifying reality of registering a nomination. The selection of the bishop is in the hands of the first minister of the Crown, who may, or may not be a friend, or even a member of the church."-Letter from the Rev. Hugh M'Neill of Liverpool, to the Editor of the Record, Dec. 15, 1838. EPISCOPAL rule in the Establishment is now exercised in some quarters, in a manner well calculated to open the eyes of Christians to its true character. We hope this may be the case, and that many of those devoted children of God who are found within the precincts of the Established Church, may see the inconsistency of yielding subjection in spiritual things to authority received from the world,-that same world of which Satan is "the god," and "the prince."

H. E. Head, rector of Feniton, is a clergyman highly esteemed for piety and usefulness. It appears that, under feelings excited by a circular in reference to confirmation, which his bishop had issued, he published a letter, from which the following is an extract.

"A minister of the gospel should preach that which he learns from Scripture, under the teaching of the eternal spirit. He should preach none of the productions of other men; no, not of the most enlightened. And as for such sentiments as those which you require me on the present occasion to adopt and to preach, they are calculated to mislead inexperienced ministers, and give countenance and currency to those damnable heresies now springing up like mists among the marshes of Oxford, and darkening all the land far and wide."

The bishop thus attacked, took the opportunity of a confirmation at Honiton, on the 9th September, when a large number of the neighbouring gentry and clergy were present, to address Mr. Head, in a speech which we will not characterise, as it has already been sufficiently exposed in the public prints.

Whatever effect this reprimand might have in other places, it does not appear to have lowered the character of the worthy rector in the sight of the parishioners, who presented him on the 24th October, with an address full of expressions of Christian sympathy.

Mr. Head's second letter terminates the affair, as far as the public have been made acquainted with it, and shews in an instructive manner, the bondage under which Mr. Head, and many of his brethren groan in the establishment. We select the following extracts :

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"The word 'regenerate,' in the baptismal office, is one of those 'imperfections' to which I alluded. Now, 'regenerate,' according to the etymology of the word, means born again.' The individual who is born again is quickened (Eph. ii. 1); not with an extinguishable, but with an eternal life (John x. 28): is made partaker of the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter i. 4); (and which is coincident therewith, as St. Paul teaches) (Eph. ii. 12), becomes a subject of the covenant of grace; partakes of the divine inward and spiritual baptism mentioned in Col. ii. and Acts xi. 15-18; is delivered from the dominion of death and Satan ; and becomes one of the true Israel of God, all which is the result of the free purpose of God, according to the 17th Acts-to declare this of infants

indiscriminately, is manifestly unscrip


"It will be said, 'have I not bound myself by oath to adhere to all our rituals to the very letter?' If a clergyman asks me this, I ask him in return, if he uses the form, 'I absolve thee from thy sins,' in the visitation of the sick? If he does not, he is exactly in the predicament I am in. If he does, he is in a worse; for he ascribes to himself that which is the prerogative of the Almighty alone. But if the question be asked by a layman, I answer, I made no oath which I intended to break! I break none which (with my sentiments) is not worse THAN PERJURY TO KEEP!"

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