Imatges de pÓgina

Church of Christ for nearly a thousand years—aye, for the greater part of the time that has passed since his weary, ever-wandering feet trode the plains of Judea ?-If the Church of Rome was so vile, what Church was it that preserved the faith of Christ up to the days of your Reformationperpetuated his holy ordinances--sent forth the tidings of his love to distant lands-swayed the hearts of ignorant and worldly men-gave the sinner hope in his day of bitter penitential sorrow-smoothed the pillow of the dying—and whispered peace, benediction, and holy hope to the tearful mourners beside the sod-wrapped grave? What Church was it from which our savage forefathers gathered the blessed light of truth? Whose graves are those that make Iona sacred, and round which the sad voice of the seawares has succeeded the fervent hymns of the Culdees' pure worship ?”. And we can understand well, how, for all that has been dogmatically as serted on the subject, many thoughtful individuals, who are neither Roman Catholics nor Puseyites ; neither men of a vague, philosophico-poetical religion, nor petrified materialists, may often be tempted to ask, whether there can be more of genuine bigotry in the Church of Rome, as regards Protestants; than there is in the Protestant Church as regards Romanists?

In the Romisha ritual and discipline, there is, and has long been much to be disapproved of. But, if we take the testimony of ordinary platform speakers, against the Christians of that communion, we shall indirectly, if not directly, be led to believe the insinuation, that there are not now, and have never been since the year 606, any large companies of Christ's true disciples in the Church of Rome; and that, from said period, it has been wholely, solely, purely, and unmistakeably Anti-Christ,—the Beast--and Babylon.

If there be any budding interpreters waiting to run out into the streets with their new fancies on a subject so solemn as that, of the Book of this Prophecy,” we would earnestly refer them to the verses of the last chapter of the Revelation, which we have already quoted, and advise them to keep their fancy within the range of their study-walls, and the manuscripts written under its dominion, in the inner recesses of their writing desks, until time shall have matured, and judgment pruned them.

They should wait for more light. Darkness is the object of the present race of interpreters,—they do as at the Carnival in Rome ; where the whole interest and amusement as regards the lights, is to blow out your neighbour's candle and keep in your own.

ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE. Whitehall, April 30.—The Queen has been fected without obstruction. It was then pleased to present the Rev.John Robin to the agreed that Mr. M'Duff's admission into St. church and parish of Burntisland, in the Pres- Madoes should take place on the 21st June. bytery of Kirkaldy, in the County of Fife, Mr. Robertson of Forteviot, and Mr. Liston of Facant by the deprivation of Mr. James Mac- Redgordon, were then appointed to attend Intosh, late Minister thereof.

next meeting of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, Presbytery of Perth.—A meeting of this to prosecute the translation of Mr. Caird to reverend body was held on Wednesday, 9th the church and parish of Errol. There was May-Mr. Goodall, of Dron, Moderator. no other business of importance. Dr. Crombie stated, that the deputation ap- Kinloch Rannoch.—On Thursday the 10th pointed to go to the Presbytery of Meigle, May, the Rev. Duncan Macfarlane, Amulree, to prosecute the translation of Mr. M‘Duff was inducted into the charge of the Governfrom the parish of Kettins to that of St. ment parish of Rannoch, and Presbytery of Madoes, had fulfilled their mission, and read Weem. an extract from the minutes of that body, to Died - At the Manse of Kildrummie, on the effect that the whole of the proceedings the 3d May, the Rev. Alexander Reid, in the consequent on such a measure, having been 67th year of his age, and 37th of his minigone through in proper form, and no objec- stry. tions given in, the translation had been ef


Oh ! holy night, how beautiful art thou,
Yet awful in thy beauty !-- who can gaze
Upon the glory of thy jewell'd brow,
Or sit alone in still and hush'd amaze
Amidst thy voiceless eloquence, nor feel
His heart made better, and his soul more pure ?
As o'er the mind thy powers mysterious steal,
Thoughts that through endless ages shall endure,
Stir life's deep founts, and fitfully reveal,
Gleams of that higher world, now darkly guessd,
But once to be enjoy'd in cloudless light,
As hope's bright dreams by full fruition bless'd,
Love all triumphant-faith replac'd by sight,
To perfect knowledge the rapt mind will soar,
When earth, and time—and thou shalt be no more.

-Agnes SMITH



Poor wounded bird, thy feebly turning head
And languid sinking eye, bring late remorse!
I cannot give thee back thy inland course-
From wavy flight down-whirld ! the stunning lead,
Quick seeking out life's fount, a drop hath shed
Of bright warm blood, upon thy snowy dress :
Innocent bird !-would that my heart could press
Strength into thine !-Ah! shuddering life has fled !--
No more that folded wing shall skim the waves,
Where winds and sunbeams dance : thy hapless mate,
With wailing cry shall wake the echoing cave,

O'er which thy nest; wondering what keeps thee lato.
Henceforth, for all thy kind, 1 hear thy plea,

And wandering sea-bird ne'er shall pause for me.
Dee-Side, May, 1839.

[ocr errors]





JULY 1849.

OUR STATE AND PROSPECTS. The aid of statistics is not now required to convince every public man that a great and perilous crisis has arrived in the history of our country, whereby our sacred and civil interests are equally put in jeopardy; for the evils that cause the danger, bulk large enough to be observed by all, without much minute inspection, or an imposing array of figures. Every minister especially is now sensible of a subtle and wide-spread disaffection among the industrial classes, which offers to the effective performance of the duties of his office, a barrier so serious, that there is no question which he now ponders more anxiously than how to find out and apply an adequate counteractive agency. The disaffection which has seized the industrial mind, though nursed from several sources, is mainly political in its origin, and the passions which the demon of politics kindles in the popular breast, run directly counter to all evangelic appliances. No ministers or churches can humour these fiery passions without proportionally losing the spiritual element of which they ought to be the special depositaries and faithful conservators; and yet the temptation to humour them is no light one with those who come much in contact with the people, and whose temporal sustenance, as in the case of Dissenting Churches, depends upon popular favour. We are far from insinuating that it should be any part of the duty of the Church to set herself against the merely political opinions of any class, or that

effect of her teaching should be to indoctrinate the people with any political creed whatever ; for in truth it is our deliberate opinion, that the Church is a sacred sanctuary, within which, every man without distinction, should find refuge and holy repose, without the risk of interruption by any disturbing element from without. All who resort thither on the Sabbaths and seasons of solemnity, should have unshaken confidence in those who are ordained to lead their devotions, that they will admit no element into divine worship, but what in itself is equally fitted to benefit all political parties—that they will not profane the holy vessels of the temple by making any part of the service the vehicle of human passion, or the medium of conveying a covert bit to any of the conflicting sections of the state—that they will not swerve from the lofty integrity proper to their office by bending their influence into a subserviency to the peculiar prejudices or interests of any, wbether the great and high-born on the one hand, or the poor and lowly on the other,—but that they will jealously preserve the Church intact from the heart-burnings by which society without is agitated, and make her the nurse of all that is good, honourable and true in every party with which she is brought in contact. And it is not alone in the performance of strictly professional duty that ministers should observe this course of conduct, for as they are regarded as the representatives of the Church, and as the indiscretions of the representatives are generally debited to the account of the Institute which they represent, the more anxiously they reserve themselves from every political bias the more certainly will they secure for the Church the confidence of the general mass of the people. The leaders of the Free Church are well aware how damaging to even them it would be to be identified with any political party; and hence the sharp rebuke administered the other day to Fox Maule, for presuming to say in his place in Parliament, how the Free Church would act in any circumstances, or upon any question whatever. If it would damage “a merely tolerated sect, much more our venerable Establishment,” which ought as the National Church to embrace with kindly arms all classes of the population. This part of her duty, we are proud to affirm, the Church has not been tardy to perceive, or backward to fulfil. Rarely are any of her ministers allured from their quiet retreats to mingle in the strife of politics ; and when any political measure affecting the interests of religion, is brought for consideration before her courts, that man instantaneously loses caste, whose support or opposition is seen to be determined by the political party from which it emanates. The man, on the contrary, who proves that the interests of vital religion are dearer to him than the interests of party, is at once honoured with the confidence and love of the Church, from her highest places down to her remotest parishes. This is not only a healthful symptom of itself, but is further a hopeful augury

of good things to come.

The barrier which political disaffection presents to the success of every effort which the Church may make to obtain an influential posi

among the uneducated and neglected masses, must yield to an energetic constancy if united with transparent simplicity of purpose. No person who has had experience of the state of feeling among our manufacturing and mechanic operatives will say that the barrier is a slight one ; but that which renders it formidable, is the stubborn disbelief which prevails as to the Church's concern for their state,-a disbelief carefully strengthened by those petty agitators who thirst for political change, and see in the Church an obstacle to the accomplishnient of their aims—and a disbelief, moreover, not at all discouraged by rival denominations, who flatter themselves that the weakness of the


Establishment is their strength. But this disbelief cannot possibly be persisted in, if the Church in right earnest enter upon a course of welldirected and sustained exertion to repair past neglect, and to win back by acts of love, the poor and neglected, to the holy and blessed hopefulness of our Christian faith. Convince them by palpable facts that the Church is not the church of the rich only, but also, and in a pre-emi. nent degree, the church of the poor ; and no political predilections will then move them to reject her instructions, or to desire her overthrow. In certain manufacturing localities, where the parish ministers have sought by frank and faithful attentions to carry this conviction to the minds of the operative classes, the cheering result has been, that political prejudice in its most stubborn and definite character, has gradually given way; and at this moment, there are in communion with the Church, many Chartists, who, while ready to do battle at all times for their “points,” are equally ready to contend zealously for the Establishment as the poor man's Church. Had the ministers, however, in seeking to reach them with the lessons of the Gospel, deemed it an incumbent duty to contest their political creed, there can be no doubt what the result would have universally been ; their political creed would have been clung to with a heartier devotion than before, and all that ministers would have made by assailing it, would have been their own total disqualification to become their instructors. The divine truth which the Church has in trust, is higher than all politics and all economic arrangements; and in using her heaven-appointed agency, only for the furtherance of the everlasting dominion of Bible truth, the Church does no more than discover a becoming sense of the sacredness of her mission. In this consecrated walk of exertion, she can have ample room and verge enough for bringing all her resources into full and continuous play, although she leave entirely to others the care of all temporary organizations'; while, by so acting, she will in the end disarm political prejudice, and conciliate the favour of the parties whose moral and religious elevation she proposes to achieve.

The truth is, that the permanence of the Establishment is now much more dependent upon the good-will of the people, than upon any theoretic defence; and the more sagacious Voluntaries are perfectly aware, that so long as large and attached congregations are to be found within her walls, no assault from without is likely to be successful. Instead of waging an active popular crusade against the Church, which, indeed, they find it impossible now to get up, they are waiting the issue of events, hoping, that the march of opinion will soon detach the people from her ministrations, and leave her in reality an effete and superannuated thing. At a meeting of the York Branch of the British AntiState Church Association, held in York, at the close of last year, certain sentiments of Sir Culling E. Eardley, bearing upon this point, were discussed, and the following resolution adopted >

That the members of the British Anti-State Church Association, resident in York, having watched, with considerable interest, the recent contest in the West Riding of this county, have read, with much surprise, the following sentiments in the last address of Sir Culling E. Eardley to the electors :- I have repeatedly stated my belief, that public opinion is not


« AnteriorContinua »