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FOR AUGUST, 1851.
PROTESTANT TRUTH THE GLORY OF A NATION.
The greatest honour which the Ruler a community, and the greatest treasure of the world can bestow upon a people, of a kingdom, has indeed been the suband the richest treasure He can intrust ject of inquiry and discussion for many to their care, is the Gospel of His grace ages, and the theme of many a saga-His written Word, unpolluted by cious and enlightened mind. But fow, human tradition-Protestant truth and with the light of the nineteenth cenChristianity: and the simplicity and tury around them, the experience of spirituality of His worship correspon. past times to instruct them, and the dent thereto.
actual state of nations at the present Were it needful to attempt any for period, will venture to dispute our mal establishment of such a position as assertion, or set up a rival claim. this, innumerable evidences might be Aristotle with all his knowledge, and adduced, from the value of the boon Plato with all his sagacity, could they itself, from the opinions of the most have lived in our day, and seen with eminent of mankind, from the ex our light, and been taught by the porience of past ages, from the state of history of the past as we are, would existing nations in the present day, and have subscribed to this. Indeed Bacon, from the reiterated testimony of God's and Newton, and Boyle, (kindred own Word. These all unite to confirm minds,) have avowed it: and the prinit. "For what nation," asked the an- ciples of their immortal writings go to cient Lawgiver of Israel, “is there so prove that pure, enlightened Christiangreat, who hath God so nigh unto them, ity, is the only safe basis of states, and as the Lord our God is in all things the security of their prosperity. that we call upon him for ? And what To what else can it be attributed nation is there so great, that hath that our own highly favoured land has statutes and judgments so righteous, as attained that elevation amidst the na. all this law which I set before you this tions of the earth which she at present day?" “He hath not dealt so," re- enjoys? But a few centuries ago, sponds the pious Psalmist, “with any emerging from the darkness and
supernation; and as for His judgments, stition of the middle ages, unnoticed they have not known them. Praise ye and almost unknown among the nations the Lord.”
of Europe, she was not only numbered What constitutes the true honour of with the least, but apparently not very
likely to rise, or at all to equal, much , and put forth its enterprise, in common less to surpass, her illustrious compeers. with other lands. Providence, which France was swaying the sceptre of rules over all, favoured its designs. universal fame, and was recognized as One step after another prospered. Ado “the grand nation,” in every civilized verse winds and rising waves were all land. Spain was great in the discovery made subservient to Britain's safety of America, in the wealth she derived, and welfare. And now this little speck and in the homage she exacted from in ocean, this island of the northern the new world. Portugal was laying, sea, gives laws to other lands, and as she thought, the foundation of governs, directly or indirectly, the another empire in India; and the largest portions of civilized mankind. States of Holland were spreading their Its colonies encircle the globe.
Its commerce, and their power, to the hope-commerce is extended to every shore. ful “Cape,” and towards the islands of Its laws are transfused into the codes the rising sun. Whilst Eugland, at of other nations. Its constitution is that time, within its own contracted the admired of the whole earth.
Its bounds, was torn by intestine divisions, language is becoming known in every scarcely able to maintain its own, and land: and its people are found residents seemed likely to become, what it almost and occupants in every zone. To its offered itself to be, the prey of any justice the tribes of India look for successful invader who should attempt redress. To its principles of freedom its shores. Providence, however, watch the slaves of every clime look with ed over this feeble land.
It was pre- hope. To its benevolence the wretched served for nobler deeds and better and destitute of all lands are accusthings. The light of the Reformation tomed to turn. We have peace within arose. It settled on Britain. No na- our borders; plenty in our streets; tion, as such, welcomed its rays more safety in our homes. We have religion cordially, or carried its principles so in our sanctuaries; the Bible in our far. Monarch, ministers, and people, houses; worship on our Sabbaths; and (from various causes,) were ripe for the privileges and immunities, both civil glorious change, liailed its arrival, and, and sacred, unknown to other people. as if predisposed by an invisible power, Whilst, above all, and as the crowning yielded to its future derelopments and honour of all, from us, as from a consequences. Wearied with the super- centre and source, the gospel of the stitions of Rome, impoverished by its grace of God is taking its course to insatiable covetousness, and disgusted distant lands: the river of the water by its enormous vices and cruelty, it of life is flowing through other climes; cast off, once and for erer, its despotic and the oracles of the one living and sway, never again, we trust, whilst the true Jehovah are being translated sun of creation shines on its beauteous and diffused in almost every human plains, to be subject to its power, or tongue. . entangled again with its "yoke of Now what we wish to be especially bondage."
observed at the present time, and pon. From that period the
of dered with the deepest attention, is, Britain's prosperity began. Relieved that this unparalleled course of human from the mighty pressure which (as in prosperity is to be dated from, and every land where Popery reigns) weigh. identified with, the progress of Protested it down to the earth, and bound its ant truth and worship among us. It energies as with a nether millstone, it began with it. It advanced along å arose with an elastic spring to assert parallel line, and in similar degrees. its freedom, to employ its resources, As the one rose, so did the other: and
when the one was depressed, so also rulers and people, so in proportion has was the other. Invariably, from the Britain been free from those calamities beginning, just in proportion to the which have afflicted other people, and prosperity of the one, has been the renowned for that“ righteousness” and prosperity of the other. Just as the its attendant fruits, which “exalt a sovereign and the subject agreed to do nation." Verily there is a God that honour to Protestant truth and worship, judgeth in the earth.”
“ He putteth has been the prosperity of the British down one, and setteth up another." He Isles. This we think is a lesson, has a regard to His truth in the world. legibly inscribed upon, and distinctly “Them that honour me I will honour," taught by, all the records of the past. is as much the law of his government And now, as the genius of history towards nations as towards individuals. becomes cleared in its vision from the Nor was there a more important truth mists of prejudice and bigotry, does ever enunciated than that nations, as this truth shine out in unusual lustre. such, are punished or rewarded in the In comparison with her sister, and present world: individuals hereafter. even with her father, was Elizabeth a To what other cause, or combination Protestant princess, and in proportion of causes whatever, instrumentally and did her kingdom flourish. Cromwell, under God, can be attributed that though not a king, was undoubtedly happy state of things, which in these à ruler, and the most Protestant one lands we at present enjoy? A little England ever saw; and in his days it reflection will show, that whatever other is admitted England obtained a name causes can be named, as tributary to and a greatness in Europe, unknown this effect, they may all be fairly before. The third William, of glorious ascribed to the influence of the Promemory, whom the Prince Consort of testant Reformation, and the continued our illustrious Queen has, on a recent prevalence of its truth and sentiment occasion, justly designated “the great- ainong us. Talk we of the greatness est sovereign this country has to and renown of our statesmen, of the boast of,” beheld the prosperity of the justice and comprehension of our laws, realm as based upon these principles of the impartiality and excellence of which placed himself and Mary on the their administration? It was the inthrone. Whilst in later days, when fluence of Protestant principles, founded the three Georges reigned, and as the as they are on the eternal Word of God, principles of Protestant truth and that made them what they were, and liberty prevailed, have the British Isles that still gives to British legislation advanced in the ascending scale to the and its execution, all the superiority proud pre-eminence and just distinction and value they display. Refer we to which they have now attained. We the extent and enterprise of British are not speaking of the peculiar manner commerce and its commanding interin which those principles have always course with the nations of the earth ? been developed or advocated: nor are It is to the energy and sagacity inspired we called upon to justify all the modes by the principles of the Reformation, which their manifestation has assumed: grafted on the native enterprise of the but this we affirm, and without fear of Anglo-Saxon character that it is to be contradiction, that just in proportion as ascribed. Or do we boast, and think Protestant principles have been revered, with complacency, of our poets and in opposition to those of Popery, and orators, our philosophers and scholars, just in proportion as Protestant truth our historians and logicians ? Where and worship have been embraced and had they all been but for the light loved by both sovereign and subject, / which rose upon the world when Luther
lived, and Erasmus wrote, and Calvin ( we continue to prosper. Its“ saving and Melancthon poured forth on Europe health" will be diffused throughout our their fervid strains. “Honour to whom borders. “God, even our own God will honour is due.” Wickliffe and Latimer, bless us." And with humble gratitude Knox and Tindal, Hooper and Jewel, may we take up the language of ancient et alii hujusmodi, were the men that Judah and say, “ The Lord of hosts laid the foundation of England's fame, is with us: the God of Israel is our and made her in arts, science, and refuge.” legislation, as well as religion, what she Let the reflections which such facts now is. Their works praise them in as these, at which we have tbus but the gates. Their immortal principles hastily glanced, are adapted to awaken were the seed of all our prosperity: and in our minds, be cherished and pursued never, whilst the glory of England by us, and followed by all the practical remains, will these principles be ob- results to which they tend. They are scured. Should it decline, it will be instructive and salutary, and will prove because those principles are forgotten; eminently beneficial. We can never because we have been recreant from too highly value the principles of our them; because we have lost sight of glorious Reformation for all the subthe granite rock, on which was built ordinate benefits they have afforded. the superstructure of all our social and Independently of their connection with, national prosperity, and have attempted and relation to our spiritual and eternal to place, in legislation, economics, and interests, they have scattered blessings religion, wood, hay, and stubble, or on our path, and ministered to the wel" sand" in its stead.
fare of our earthly lot a thousand fold. We have not referred more at length All that characterises the British isles to the enlightened and Christian theo- and British homes, that distinguishes logy of Britain, in whose language, and them from other lands, and endears in the productions of whose sons, are them to all who know them, has arisen treatises of divinity the most in ac- from the mercy of God, and the discordance with the Word of God of any pensations of his providence towards that were ever produced by the unin us, in the overthrow of the popish power, spired mind, or, probably, ever will temporal and spiritual, within these be; and which, indeed, constitutes her realms. All was darkness, bondage, richest treasure and glory, because this and deterioration before. Since then, would furnish matter for a separate all has been light, freedom, and proarticle, and fill a volume; and because, gress, 'to the present time. Nor will moreover, it is in itself, as arising out that onward course be stayed, unless of, and identified with the Reformation, unhappily the dark shadow of the "man the cause and source of all the other of sin" be cast over us again, and his distinctions and honours of our native sway be readmitted over our isle. All land. It was the planting of the “ Tree the evils which afflict the nations of the of Life” in our isle, whose “ leaves are Continent at the present time, or have for the healing of the nations,” and its afficted them in days that are past, growth among us, that has produced all may be fairly ascribed to the ascendancy the fruits of righteousness, peace, and of Rome and its superstitions among abundance, which, among the kingdoms them. Destroy these, and they would of the earth, we now enjoy. Whilst rise, and be in health, and prosper, and this continues to thrive and flourish, wasting and destruction would be known free from the rationalisms of Germany no more within their borders. Only in on the one hand, and from the super- preservation from them are we secure: stitions of Rome on the other, shall | and only as we lift up a barrier against
their progress and corruptions, will all | down of strong holds." With these in that is dear to us as Britons and as our hands, and the love of truth in our Christians be perpetuated. “No peace hearts, let us gird ourselves to the with Rome,” must be our watchword conflict afresh, and faint not, till the and our cry. Not on weapons of a conquest be won, and the liberties, imcarnal warfare must our chief reliance munities, and privileges of Britain be be placed, but on those are moral, secured to the latest generation. spiritual, and ethereal, and which are
M. C. "mighty through God to the pulling
THE BEAUTY OF CHRISTIAN LOVE. " How fair is holy love!
by the blood of the Lamb, and regeneLove which emanates from heaven, and re
rated by the grace of the Saviour, as flects Its sun-like brightness. An angel's face
“the elect of God, holy and beloved, Beams not with light so pure and radiant, are to put away all bitterness and wrath, As that which love emits."
and anger, and clamour, and evilSacred Musings.
speaking, with all malice.” They are to
'be kind one to another, tender-hearted, The spirit of love-pure and elevated forgiving one another, even as God, for love-is peculiarly regarded and incul. Christ's sake, has forgiven them." Eph. cated by Christianity. It is, indeed, its iv. 31, 32. What can be more palpably distinctive feature its characteristic the spirit of the Christian religion, than and prominent charm. It is unfolded that which the apostle here inculcates, in all its doctrines, and embodied in all with so much mplicity and tenderness; its precepts. It is breathed in all its and what obligation more plainly deinvitations-lives in all its encourage volves on the followers of Jesus Christ, ments, and attracts and fascinates in in all the sections of the Christian all “ its exceedingly great and precious church to discharge, than that which promises.” The true, unsophisticated Paul so sweetly recommends. — “Be temper of the gospel is, assuredly, no- kindly affectioned one towards another thing but one of love-love frank, dif- with brotherly love, in honour prefusive, fraternal, and constant in its ferring one another.” Rom. xii. 10. manifestations. Christianity requires And how truly beautiful is Christian that there be no distance between friend love when it is appropriately and uniand friend-no coldness--no jealousy- formly exemplified! There is a beauty much more no asperity-no estrange- associated with its development which ment of feeling between one disciple of is obvious to all. There is a charm, an Christ and another. If they are con- exquisite, an ineffable charm, invariably nected with different Christian bodies, connected with it, which fixes the gaze, not being able to see eye to eye--per- and awakens the admiration of every fectly to correspond in their religious enlightened and devout beholder. views—they must not “full out by the By Christian love, we specifically way” — not express opposition — but mean that love which the religion of quietly and intelligently “ agree to the New Testament—the religion of the differ"--and not only so, but, as“ heirs cross of Christ - when applied with of the grace of life," they must "bear Divine power to the heart, in every one another's burdens," and walk to instance, induces and maintains; that gether in love. Those who are redeemed love which renovates and ennobles the