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land, and have gathered clusters of its excellent fruits. The grapes of Eschol
will not ripen on the walls of Highbury, Rotherham, and Spring Hill: Abana and Pharpar, and all the rivers of Damascus can only wash the body; but there is a Jordan which can obliterate the most ingrained leprosy of the soul; and they who by grace have been led into that stream, and they only, can, in the overflowings of a grateful heart, declare loudly, and joyfully, and constantly, how great, how perfect, how divine, is the salvation that is in Jesus.
Are we then to come to this conclusion, that some of the dissenting ministers are experimentally ignorant of the doctrines of grace, and know little, beyond their books, of justification by faith? Yes surely; it could not possibly be otherwise in such a system; and that it is so sometimes we are assured, by what we have seen and heard. If it were not so, there would not be in the ministry of some of them, such long and painful periods of silence respecting all those doctrines on which the children of God depend for the refreshments of their spiritual life :—"the hungry sheep look up and are not fed;" neither would the poor saints express so feelingly their sense of famine for the bread that cometh down from heaven; they would not lament, as they now do, under the darkness around the pulpit of some chapels, which will scarcely ever allow them to catch even a momentary glimpse of Him, in whom it has pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell.
But this, as we have said, is but one item in the system: the communion of the saints; the unfeigned love of the brethren; the union of the redeemed family; where is it in the Congregational plan? Where can it be when the laity is distinguished from the clergy, and where a learned teacher of the schools is expected to take the place of the great Instructor, whose especial business it is to teach the saints to love one another (Thess. iv. 9).
To waive, however, for the present, further consideration of subjects of this deep import, let us, in conclusion, see how the system works, as a machine of power, by the confession of the Congregationalists themselves. The Congregational Magazine for August, informs us that the Dissenters have promised subscriptions to the amount of 5,100l. to the Metropolis Chapel Fund Association; of which sum only 2,600/. has been actually re
ceived, whilst the Association has rendered itself responsible to the amount of 6,000l., thus placing itself in arrears to the amount of upwards of 3,000l. This is surely a very lamentable termination of a great scheme which was to rival the Association for building Churches. Whilst the Dissenting Association has purchased one chapel, and began to build one, for the completion of which the funds will perhaps never be forthcoming, the Established Church has built its stately temples by scores, and is building them, and will build them, with a liberality that defies all calculation. The effect of this architectural redundancy of the state-religion on the Dissenters may be seen in the following words of Mr. James, of Birmingham, printed in the Congregational Magazine:"Let us build more places of worship. It seems to be the present policy of the Church of England to build us down and to build us out. Its members suppose that our congregations continue with us only because there are no Episcopalian places to receive them; and, acting upon this mistake, they are multiplying chapels and churches, many of which are erected in the immediate vicinity of ours, for the purpose of drawing into them the people we have gathered. To prevent this, we must keep pace with them in this blessed spirit of building. Enlargements, re-erections, and new-erections, must go on amongst us according to our ability, and with an energy in some measure resembling the Church of England........We must catch the spirit of the age; we must build, build, build........We cannot multiply our persons unless we multiply our places. We must not wait for congregations to be gathered before we build; but we must build to gather them. For this, money, much money, far more money will be wanted : we must give it. The time is come when Nonconformists must prove their love for their principles, by the sacrifice of property; and it is the only sacrifice they are now called to make, for maintaining and extending them. There must be a liberality far above anything we have yet seen. We must bestir ourselves: this I repeat, and urge again and again; and to occupy them, we must send off, as a nucleus for the new congregations, colonies from such as are already large and overflowing. There must be no grudging of our members for this purpose. Congregationalism tends, if not watched, to Congregational selfishness. Ministers
must be willing to part from their people, and the people from their ministers, for this purpose." &c. &c.
Every sentence of this passage might afford a text for lengthened and grave remarks, but we would only draw attention at present to the amusing invocation of bricks and mortar, which are called up like "the spirits from the vasty deep," without inquiring "whether they will come when I do call ?" Mr. James has portrayed "Congregationalism" as a lapsed vestal, "built down and built out," walled up for her sins, by a decree of the state-priests.
The remarks which we here make, or may have previously made on this theme, are unwillingly extorted; for though they are directed towards the system, and touch no individual, either directly or indirectly, and are also to be understood with large exceptions in favour of the true saints, who, as individuals, are to be found in the Dissenting Churches, and who really desire to live not unto themselves, but unto Him that lived and died for them-and who also, we are persuaded, do frequently sigh for something far better than that in which it is their lot to participate ;-yet still we would gladly avoid the expression of deep disapprobation which the sentiments of the Dissenting publications often generate within us. But when we see them as part of a settled system, setting up the power of man as the power of the Church, and assuming a place of strength which "the flesh" can rest in with complacency, and declaring that it ought to be so, it then seems a clear duty to any one who perceives the error to point it out, and to assert, where an opportunity offers, those opposing truths of the gospel kingdom, which cannot bear admixture with the elements of the world,
The following remarks of an excellent author, Walter Cradock, may be taken as bearing closely on this subject:-"Take the best piece of old Adam, and offer it to God, and it is as that strange fire that Nadab and Abihu offered: it cannot please God. Let me give you one chief instance that makes my heart bleed when I think of it: that thing that you call divinity, or those that you call divines, they are good words of themselves; for John is called the divine.' But that which you call divinity, which is the great idol of the world, it is
nothing but old Adam: as we learn logic or other things at the universities; and such a one comes and scatters this among the people, and this you call divinity, and he is a divine: and yet this is abominable to God. And this is the reason why there are many divines that preach excellently, and yet God curseth it. Why? It is old Adam's wisdom, and invention, and brave parts: but God curseth the soul; he curseth that figtree, that it shall bring forth no more.... If any of you have a mind to learning, go on; I discourage you not from it; learning is a good thing in another element: take pains and diligence to be learned; it is good to do so. But if thou wilt be a gospel Christian, thou must thank the Spirit of God for all. Saith Paul, for all his learning, I am not sufficient to speak a good word;' and yet he was so learned a man that Festus said, Much learning had made him mad.' Many of the clergy and the learned men, they extol learning to the heavens, and many of them on purpose to do despite to the Spirit of grace: as long as they do so, they shall never know the will of God; neither shalt thou, as long as thou keepest the Holy Spirit an underling and makest it a cipher. We are not debtors to the flesh; but we must be debtors to the Spirit if we will have one true thought of Jesus Christ. When the Lord shall come, and his Spirit shall be advanced in the hearts of men, we shall have glorious times, and never before that: and those times will come. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.' Men shall not so much esteem learning from books; but learned and great men and scholars shall come to one class, and one rank, and one form, with simple people, all waiting on God by his word through the Spirit."
PRESBYTERIAN ORDINATION AT GENEVA.
"ON the 24th of February, a young Protestant minister was ordained at Montauban, and fourteen ministers of that town and neighbourhood assisted at the ceremony. Professor Adolphus Monod presided, and delivered a discourse on the ecclesiastical state, in which he dwelt on the great necessity of adhering to revelation, and made some judicious reflections as to the spirit with which a pastor ought to be animated. After the
nition of the principle of confession, not, indeed, on so extended a basis as that of the Anglican Church, but broad enough to put to silence every declaimer against a practice followed by the Jewish Church of old, and adopted by the Catholic Church from the beginning"
But, in truth, it must strike every one as passing strange, that the ministers of Geneva should be reminded of the duties of the confessional in the ceremony of their ordination; for it is scarcely to be supposed that they would be required to make public professions of this nature, if it were not the practice for them to receive confessions from the laity. The interrogatory takes it for granted that it is customary to make confessions to the Presbyterian ministers. Here, indeed, then, are priests after the order of Calvin; for the ministers of Geneva sit in his chair, and act on the platform which he raised. It must be known to all who are acquainted with the history of the great Reformer of Geneva, that he exceedingly exalted the authority of the Presbyterian body; but that we should find the practice of confession in his Church in these days, is a discovery at once distressing and astonishing.
In other respects, we see, in the Reformed Churches on the continent, far too many proofs of their tendency to rely on the strength of this world, and to support themselves by the authority of man. It is a matter of rejoicing that the continental Protestants should have, of late years, become fully aware of the mischief of the neological and Socinian school, and that the Evangelical spirit should have revived with comparative powerdoubtless, there are many pious Christians in the reformed Churches of the continent-but deep is the instruction they require on the absolute separation of the Church of God from the world, and many are the lessons that they have yet to learn on the nature of the kingdom of Christ. The following document, which expresses the sentiments of the ministers of Montauban in France, on the doctrinal aberrations of one of their brethren, will afford evidence of the erroneous position in which they now are, and in which they seem well con tented to abide :
"We have read with feelings of deep pain the inaugural discourse pronounced by Professor Nicholas, in the public sitting of the faculty of Montauban, on the 15th of last November; and we consider
ourselves called upon to protest against doctrines which are not the doctrines of our Church, and which have no other tendency than to destroy the authority of the word of God. This is our protest on the subject:
"The pastors and members of the consistory of the reformed Church of Saverdun (Ariege), declare publicly that they reject, with the whole force of their convictions, the principles broached in the discourse of M. Nicholas. They think that the word of God being always the same, his instructions are as invariable as his word; and that the pretence of explaining them differently, and with variations of formulæ, in order to put them in harmony with the exigencies of every epoch of man, is fraught with impiety and madness (une prétension impie et insensée), as it could have no other result than to submit the infinite mind to the caprice of the mind of man, which is always limited and imperfect. We think that Professor Nicholas, in reprobating the formularies of faith of the fifteenth century, and all those of past times, for not having cast Christianity into a mould, so as to harmonise with the wants of the actual epoch, and the progress of science and of modern civilisation, has taken upon himself a task of destruction, and that he has thus added one more proof to the many which we already possessed, of the incapacity of human reason to substitute anything satisfactory in the place of the wellknown and well-devised doctrines of the Bible. M. Nicholas admits, that the formularies of faith of the sixteenth century were good at that time; he ought, therefore, to admit that they were true, or, at any rate, to say that error and falsehood may be good for some purpose; and if they were true then, they ought to be so still; or else he should admit, that that which was true at one time, may be false at another. Deeply afflicted to see that one of the branches of instruction should be intrusted in our Faculty to a man who, by his convictions, does not really belong to our Church, the undersigned desire that the attention of the Ministers of Instruction may be invited to this deplorable fact; and in the persuasion which they have that his Excellency the Minister had been led into an error when he made this nomination, they hope to see him adopting proper measures so as that the pupils of the Faculty may not be trained in principles contrary to the word of
These worthy men, who themselves are the stipendiaries of the state, and regularly receive their salaries from a Roman Catholic Government, had no objection whatever to the appointment of M. Nicholas to the divinity-chair of the Protestant seminary, as long as they supposed him to be orthodox in his views; because, by that appointment the government undertook to pay the professor's salary; but when they find that the Roman Catholic, or infidel, Minister of Instruction has made a great mistake, and has ignorantly promoted a sceptical neologian to the chair of their schools, they then appeal to Cæsar to remove the nuisance!-they invite the force of the secular arm to remedy those disorders in the sanctuary which they themselves have created; for if there were no connection between the Reformed Churches and the government, how should these perplexities arise, and how should they find themselves in these dilemmas?
The Minister of Instruction would, with the best intentions, be not a little embarrassed with this appeal; for these
are questions touching their superstitions," and "Gallio careth for none of these things."
LIBERTY OF MINISTRY-THE BISHOP OF CHESTER.
"My brethren, if we shut out from spiritual usefulness all who are not ordained to spiritual things-if we do not rather excite and urge them to such duties we contradict the plain commands of our religion. The Scriptures enjoin all Christians to exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day;' to edify one another;' to speak to one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; to warn the unruly; to 'comfort the feeble-minded;' to 'assemble themselves together, that they may provoke unto love and to good works;' to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.' So speaks the word of God. And is man wiser than God? Is man
to see danger where God prescribes duty? To forbid when God commands? Thus Satan would have it, for thus is his kingdom maintained; thus is darkness perpetuated, and religion, instead of an active principle, becomes a superstitious notion. But we protest against such error as the worst remaining relic of papal usurpation; bred and nourished, not in the times of primitive Christianity, but in the dark days of its corruption, when they chose to keep the key of knowledge to themselves, who are afraid to trust the people with it; and allowed the priest's lips alone to speak, that he alone might enjoy the power which belongs to knowledge. Never, never, brethren, shall we be a Christian community till this error is dispelled; till it is with us as it was with those who were first called Christians: when every one who has the knowledge of Christ in his own heart believes it his duty to bring to the same knowledge the individuals with whom he is connected his child, his servant, his dependent, his labourer, his neighbour. Then, and not before, may the kingdoms of this world 'become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.'"
The present Bishop of Chester is the author of these sentiments, which unintentionally come near to the all-important truth of liberty of ministry. The good Bishop begins, indeed, with one mistake, to which he is in a manner tied down by the opinions of his church. "If we shut out from spiritual usefulness," says he, "all who are not ordained to spiritual things," by which he means to say, "those who have not been ordained clergymen." But how strange it is that one who thus searches the Scripture, to find the mind of the Lord in the directions given to the saints, should not perceive that all believers are the persons of whom he speaks, ordained to spiritual things.' "To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit............but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." Are not such persons spiritually ordained? Are not these the true and the only clergymen of the Church of God? It is written in the Acts of the Apostles, "They that were scattered abroad, went every where preaching the word," (Acts viii. 4). These persons
"THE primitive churches were not mere assemblies of men, who agreed to meet together once or twice a-week, and to subscribe for the support of an accom plished man, who should on these occasions deliver lectures on religion. They were men gathered out of the world by the preaching of the cross, and formed into a society for the promotion of Christ's kingdom in their own souls, and in the world around them. It was not the concern of the ministers or elders only; the body of the people were interested in all that was done; and, according to their several abilities and stations, took part in it. Neither were they assemblies of heady, high-minded, contentious people, meeting together to argue on points of doctrine or discipline, and converting the worship of God into scenes of strife. They spake the truth, Eph. iv. 14. but it was in love. They observed discipline; but like an army of chosen men, it was that they might attack the kingdom of Satan to greater advantage. Happy were it for our churches if we could come to a closer imitation of the model."--Works iv. 605.
THE IMMOBILITY OF THE EVIL THAT IS DONE UNDER THE SUN-SLAVERYTHE OPIUM TRADE, &c.
THE following extract of a dispatch from the British Commissioners at Havannah, to Viscount Palmerston, relating to the enormous profits of the slave trade, expresses the opinion of the Commissioners that it cannot be suppressed, while such profits are made:
"With regard to the Ship Venus, otherwise the Duquesa de Braganza,