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to an article in the last number of the Eclectic Review, entitled, Past Proceedings, and Present Position of the Dissenters.' We are not induced to do this by any unusual merits distinguishing the production, or by any extraordinary ability displayed by the writer. But if our readers would learn a profitable lesson-if they have any desire to ascertain the causes, by the operation of which Dissenting zeal has been uniformly damped, and Dissenting strength maimed and emasculated, they will discover a solution of the problem in two words, London Committees. From first to last, the Dissenters have been ruined by London Committees. Half-hearted in their attachment to principles, truckling in their policy, arrogant towards their too confident country friends, meanly subservient to the ministry of the day, greedy of funds, and profuse in their distribution of them amongst their necessitous functionaries, supine when they ought to be active, forward and overbearing when they ought to be quiet, these London Committees have ever been the loose and sandy waste, over which the full tide of Dissenting energy and zeal has had to flow down from all quarters upon the legislature, and by which it has been absorbed before it could reach its destination. Hence our repeated failures! hence our apparent weakness! hence the contempt we have always received at the hands of government. .....A society for the promotion of Religious Equality has been projected under the happy auspices of Messrs. C. & B., as honorary secretaries, and an imposing provisional committee" [here follow some questions, which in mere mercy we omit]. Where is the Church-Rate Abolition Society? Where is that net, which being skilfully thrown over the whole Dissenting population, landed at one haul no less than £1270?.... Are the poor Dissenters of this kingdom to be harassed by a new patent everlasting net, under the title of a Society for
the promotion of Religious Equality' [more questions follow which we omit]. What have they to shew for the £1270 generously and confidingly put into their hands? Have they published their accounts? Have they proved that they have been frugal and wise in the expenditure of the sums? .... It is quite time to disengage the Dissenters' cause from such management. We warn our readers, wish we could warn the whole country, that this Association will do nothing. Mistrusted, they will talk loudly of Dissenting apathy: confided in, they will do as they have done before, betray the cause they profess to support?"
Let this suffice it is a truly disgusting subject, and most unwillingly have we, even in the tone of reproof, meddled with these affairs, which are utterly out of our line, and for which we have no affinity. Our object has been to state the whole case clearly, to put the merits of the Association on their proper footing, and to lift up a warning voice against the odiousthe sinful spirit of political animosity, which some persons would have us believe is a test of sound religious feeling. Let the extract from the Leicester Mercury afford a specimen of the strife, discord, and contentious wrath which the Association causes even among the Dissenters themselves; then picture the recriminations which are sure to follow on such an attack, and the reply to the recriminations, till all is one melée of contending parties, angry disputants, and inflamed opponents.
And finally, to any individual who may have unwittingly given in his adhesion to the Association, to any Christian we mean, we would request him to remember the tender nature of that divine life which grace has begun, and which grace is to consummate ; that it requires a most watchful consideration in any thing we are about to undertake, whether not only it is lawful, but expedient, whether without breaking the letter of Divine precept
the Spirit be also sufficiently regarded that the plain, broad, visible, unquestionable duty of a Christian is in all difficult points for peace, and lowliness, and humility, -for all things that make to patience, and longsuffering, and submission,-and that if the spirit of resistance is to be evoked, it is when conscience is concerned, and when some power or temptation would compel us to do evil, by threats or persuasion, or by actual injury: that the ample field of "agitation" in all deeds of mercy and benevolence for a lost and miserable world is open to every one that nameth the name of Christ; and that
association" of righteous men for all deeds of righteousness, for all good works, is found in the gospel kingdom in which the saints are " preordained to walk;" and that the war against the beast by proclaiming the truth, by asserting the excellency of of the name of Jesus, as King, Priest, and Prophet to his people, by contending for his supremacy as wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and by denouncing all works and doctrines of Antichrist, may occupy all the energies, and exercise all the abilities of the most vigorous Christian.
THE THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTA
MENT; or a Biblical Sketch of the Religious Opinions of the Ancient Hebrews, from the earliest times to the commencement of the Christian Era. Extracted and translated from the "Theologie des Alten Testaments" of George Larenz Bauer, Professor of Biblical Criticism in Heidelberg. 8vo. pp. 168. C. Fox. 1838.
As this book purports in the title to be only an extract" from Bauer's Theology of the Old Testament; and as the extracts have been made by a translator malignantly inimical to the Christian religion, it is perhaps unfair to judge of Bauer's work by the translator's summary, which may perhaps be more the deductions of the translator, than the liberal sentiments of the author. This, however, is the conclusion,' as published in the professed translation.
Our investigation has led us to the following conclusions:
"1. The historical books of the Old Testament contain the most crude and unworthy notions of God and of
his providence. The human representations of the Deity given in Genesis are quite in character with the mode of thinking which prevailed in the infancy of mankind, Jehovah is pourtrayed as the national God of the Hebrews throughout the historical writings.
"2. The notions concerning God contained in the books of the Prophets, particularly in those which were written after the captivity, though strictly Judaical, are certainly less limited and less remote from truth.
"3. The purest and most elevated conceptions of God are to be found in those books which were composed by private individuals, who either disregarded the peculiar national ideas and prejudices of their countrymen, or had raised themselves above it. It was not so much by the teaching of their priests and prophets, as by the studies and contemplations of their other wise men, that the religious principle was cultivated and developed among the Jewish people.
If this be indeed Bauer's " conclusion," it should be noted as a specimen of the theology of the German Rationalists, of which we shall
"I HAVE been by the circumstances of my life, and by conviction, led to support toleration to the utmost extent of which it is justly capable, but toleration must not be suffered to go into licentiousness; it has its bounds, which it is my duty and which I am resolved to maintain. I am, from the deepest conviction, attached to the pure Protestant faith, of which this Church, of which I am the temporal head, is the human means of diffusing and preserving in this land. I cannot forget what was the course of events that placed my family on the throne which I now fill. These events were consummated in a revolution which was rendered necessary, and was effected, not as has sometimes been most erroneously stated, merely for the sake of the temporal liberties of the people, but for the preservation of their religion. It was for the defence of the religion of the country that was made the settlement of the crown, which has placed me in the situation I now fill; and that religion and the Church of England and of Ireland, the prelates of which are now before me, it is my fixed purpose, resolution, and determination, to maintain. The present bishops, I am quite satisfied (and am rejoiced to hear, from them and from all, the same of the clergy in general under their government), have never been excelled at any period of our church by any of their predecessors, in learning, piety, or zeal, in the discharge of their high duties. If there are any of the inferior arrangements in the discipline of the church, which, however, I greatly
doubt (the expression of doubt was repeated by his majesty with marked emphasis) that require amendment, I have no distrust of the readiness and ability of the prelates now before me to correct such things; and to you I trust they will be left to correct, with your authority unimpaired and unshackled. I trust it will not be supposed that I am speaking to you a speech which I have got by heart. No; I am declaring to you my real and genuine sentiments. I have almost completed my sixty-ninth year, and, though blessed by God with a very rare measure of health, not having known what sickness is for some years, yet I do not blind myself to the plain and evident truth that increase of years must tell largely upon me when sickness shall come. I cannot expect that I shall be very long in this world. It is under that impression that I tell you, that while I know that the law considers it impossible that I should do wrong that while I know there is no earthly power which can call me to account-this only makes me the more deeply sensible of the responsibility under which I stand to the Almighty Being before all one day appear. shall come, you will am sincere in the declaration which I now make, of firm attachment to the church and resolution to maintain it. I have spoken more strongly than usual, because of unhappy circumstances that have fixed themselves on the observation of all. The threats of those who are enemies of the church, make it the more necessary for those who feel their duty to that church to speak out. These words which you hear from me, are, indeed, spoken by mouth, but they flow from my heart."
whom we must When that day know whether I
His Majesty, who was deeply affected during the delivery of these sentiments, concluded by inviting the prelates to partake of the Holy Communion with him at the Chapel Royal on Tuesday 2nd June.
THE LANGUAGE OF POLITICAL
IN the Patriot Newspaper, Feb. 4, is the following sentence in the leading article. The writer is discoursing of the first meeting of the deputies appointed to form the Central Committee of the Religious Equality Association.
"The objects are tangible, practical, legitimate, essential; and the necessity for union in securing those objects is urgent. We are called upon not to agitate, but to act; and let those who cannot, or will not help, not hinder. Whosoever is fearful or afraid, let him return and depart....by the three hundred,' it was promised, 'I will save you.' And what, in this warfare, are our only weapons, but the lamp and the trumpet—the lamp of truth, and the trump of freedom."
The reverend agitator, Stephens, the preacher of the Chartists, would talk in this way. Surely this Scriptural allusion might have been omitted. To apply the words of the Almighty to the gathering of these delegates in London is somewhat bold, to say the least of it. Is " the lamp of truth" for a flare-up, is it for a torch-light meeting? But where are the pitchers of the delegates, and where their swords? We hope we shall hear no more of Midianitish metaphors.
nanters, aided by the timid nonresistance of the Episcopal clergy, succeeded in forcing Presbytery on the nation much against the inclinations of the people. As a nation, it has shewn itself unworthy of the sacred deposit of the apostolical succession, by the sacrilegious murders of three archbishops of St. Andrew's, and the proscription of the whole Episcopal order, with which Christ promised to be till time shall merge in eternity. This murderous proscription they have, however, bound on their souls by a solemn oath. Our Saviour's affectionate lamentation over Jerusalem applies with full force to that kingdom, which has indeed killed the prophets, and stoned those who were sent (Matt. xxiii. 37-39). Repeatedly has the attempt been made to gather them into the apostolic fellowship, but they would not; and therefore they have cut themselves off from the communion of the Church Catholic, and have been given up to a state of anarchy and derision."
If the "" Medical Librarians" of King's College are thus surcharged with sectarian bigotry, what must be the mental state of the clerical tutors and masters of that unhappy institution? If the physical department is thus Puseyite, what must be the theological?
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ARCHBISHOP SHARP.
A BOOK, entitled "The Life and Times of Archbishop Sharp, of St. Andrew's, by Thomas Stephens, Medical Librarían to King's College, Rickerby, London," has recently been published. Some idea of the principles it is intended to support may be obtained by the following extract from the preface. "The violence of the cove
TRIUMPHS OF THE POWERS OF DARKNESS.-NOMINATION OF DR. STRAUSS TO A PROFESSORSHIP AT ZURICH, AND M. CHASTEL AT GENEVA.
THE melancholy state of the Swiss churches, which are under the patronage of the different local governments, is well known to the friends of evangelical religion. The tercentenary of the Reformation assembled at Geneva a body of clergy, amongst whom the truth as it is in Jesus could scarcely find one solitary champion, and fêtes and fire-works, and the vanities of
this evil world were deemed suitable to follow the cold and heartless formalities of the morning service on the Lord's day. But we believe no Christian mind was prepared to anticipate the rapid advance of that overwhelming tide which is now apparently sweeping them into the deepest gulf of infidelity. Strauss, who publicly denies all Christianity-Strauss, who denies even the existence of Jesus Christ—who denies the personality of God (that is to say, his existence), and the knowledge that the soul will preserve its individuality after death (i. e. he denies its immortality)— Strauss, who considers the New Testament a book of mythic narratives, and all the history of the Redeemer as a tissue of fables-Strauss has in very deed been nominated and confirmed in the situation of professor of Dogmatic theology and Ecclesiastical history in a college which calls itself Christian. We do not know that official unbelief ever manifested itself in so shameless a manner...All this is very sad; and we are of the same opinion as a member of the reading society at Zurich, who wrote on the margin of an article in the New Gazette of Zurich, intended to justify the nomination of Strauss, Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh-this is a deceiver and an antichrist.' We extract this information from the Archives du Christianisme of 23rd February, 1839; but possibly some of our readers may suppose the censure too severe, not being aware that this same Strauss is the author of a work entitled "Das Leben Jesu," the Life of Christ, which is a collection of all sorts of infidel
arguments advanced ever since the days of Celsus, and written in a popular style, which has already produced the most baneful effects on the middle and lower classes in Germany.
But this is not the only plague-spot which has just appeared on the surface of the recognised church in Switzerland. 66 The nomination of the new Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Geneva has been lately made. Two candidates appeared: M. E. Diodati, an old pastor, a man of science and of talent, eminently wise and moderate, and rich in the results of long study and experience, long since destined to this situation, which he was in all respects capable of filling, and a believer in the fundamental truths of the gospel: on the other hand, M. E. Chastel, who is personally unknown to us, whose qualifications as to science and character we do not doubt, but who has figured in the anti-orthodox party, and is opposed to its truths. M. Chastel has been nominated."
It is cheering, on the other hand, to know, that while that nominal Christianity, which enjoys the smiles and the patronage of the world, is thus rapidly going to corruption, while the Swiss church seems following Asia and Greece, and becoming as a branch in the vine of the earth, cast out and withered, there are yet in that country many true Christians, persecuted indeed, and disallowed by the world, but known to the Lord as his children, who are drawing together in little companies on the principle of open communion and liberty of ministry, and growing in grace, and in the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.