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regards it as his duty" to assert and maintain it by all constitutional means." His policy, therefore, threatens to disturb the peaceful relations of this country with his own; and, if we mistake not, will, before long, raise the question of the dismemberment of the federal union. Christians of both countries have need to pray that God in his mercy may avert from them the calamities and horrors of foreign and domestic war!
With this state of affairs in the North American republic, it is greatly to be deplored that the Episcopalians of CANADA are renewing their agitation about the Clergy Reserves, which will infuse once more into the public mind all the bitterness which the dread of church ascendency has aforetime generated. Happily the United Provinces possess an enlightened and plain-spoken governor; and Sir Charles Metcalfe is not likely to recede from his avowed opposition " to the political exaltation or distinction of any church over another," but will still pursue the object at which he declared his government aims-" Justice to all."
In SPAIN, a bill is before the Cortes to restore the unsold church property to the clergy, which is likely to be passed, and which, it is said, "The Holy Father" will accept as an expression of the good intentions of the government, and probably as a first instalment of the whole account. The relations with Rome, which have been suspended for more than eleven years, will now be renewed.
Ecclesiastical troubles increase in FRANCE. The Cardinal Archbishop of Lyons finds many adherents amongst his episcopal brethren, so that, if we may trust the statements of the Univers, nine archbishops and forty bishops approve of his mandate against M. Dupin's book. The happy restoration of the mental health of M. Villemain, and his absence from official duties, enable him to take up his pen, which rumour says he is diligently employing to unveil the intrigues and aggressions of the church!
The historian, M. Michelet, has issued a work, "Du Prêtre, de la Femme, de la Famille"-"The Priest, the Wife, the Family," which is an attack on the Jesuits, and which has had a rapid sale of more than ten thousand copies. The struggle between the government and the clergy, respecting the university, is not likely to close at present, and may lead to some modification of the national support of the priesthood. Protestantism undoubtedly is gaining ground in various parts of France; and so as of old "the earth helped the woman."
The troubles of SWITZERLAND, occasioned by the intrusion of the Jesuits, has led to a meeting of the Diet, which assembled at Zurich on the 27th of February. Petitions against the Jesuits were signed by 120,000 persons, and the delegates of some Catholic cantons boldly called for their expulsion. Lord Aberdeen and M. Guizot both sent notes to the Diet, of a cautionary character, the former cold enough, as coming from a country which has been called "the bulwark of Protestantism." As a decisive majority could not be obtained, a committee has been appointed to reconcile, if possible, the conflicting opinions of the delegates. The result is not yet known, but the social condition of the cantons is deplorable; and between the popish and the infidel parties, evangelical Christians are in painful, we might almost say perilous, circumstances. Have they not a strong claim on the grateful, prayerful sympathy of their brethren in Christ, throughout Britain and America?
GERMANY participates in the universal agitation which religious questions are now exciting throughout Europe. Happily the King of Saxony has resolved not to comply with the request of the Romish clergy to put down the adherents of John Ronge, who, in defiance of the Archbishop of Treves and the chapter of Breslau, are increasing in numbers, in knowledge, and in holy courage.
With the politics of our own country, we do not wish to meddle any further than as they affect the religion and morals of the community.
In PARLIAMENT, discussions have occurred on a revision of the Rubric-the civil disabilities of the Jews-the game-laws-the mean immoralities of the post-office,the Cooly question, &c., which under less exciting circumstances might obtain from us some passing remarks. But the ONE QUESTION that must Now fill the minds of all sincere Protestants, is the purpose of the government to give national support to Popery by Act of Parliament! We have, at some trouble, placed before our readers "the history and mystery" of Maynooth College, and have succeeded, we hope, in showing that there exists no evidence of a compact, to restrain our opposition to the increased endowment. But when we see advocated from the press setting up
at the public cost semin ries for young priests in every popish diocese of Ireland, -when it is gravely proposed to give back to the Roman Catholics church property, and to repair their chapels and colleges at the public charge,-when in fact both Whig and Conservative statesmen are ready to vote that the clergy of Rome shall be acknowledged and endowed by the state,-there is no time for further delay. The Protestant people of this empire, must read a lesson to their rulers, that shall be heard both in the court and the parliament, that shall go forth to the Protestant churches of France, Switzerland and Germany-that shall breathe courage and raise anew a rallying cry, for Protestants, Truth and liberty throughout the world! Long have we suspected that an “organised hypocrisy” was at work in the dark: but now that its plans are perfectly revealed, it is high time for Englishmen to say to the Queen's ministers-It is not just to hush the complaining voices of a suffering people, by bribing their priests-it is not just to pay out of the public coffers of a Protestant empire for the propagation of a religion which it loathes and abhorsit is not safe to give back to the Roman Catholics the wealth that they forfeited at the Reformation. You may therefore have no established religion if you please, BUT YOU SHALL NOT RE-ESTABLISH POPERY!
Do our readers think with us on this question? Then every one to his post. When the citizens of Jerusalem fortified their ruinated capital, "every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon." Let us now put both hands to the work. Let no man pray to be excused. "They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage." We speak thus earnestly, because, before we have this opportunity of speaking again, the question may be decided. God grant that Protestent Dissenters may on this occasion prove themselves worthy of their principles, and worthy of their fathers, and that they may not allow the sense of wrong which they have respecting the imposts of the Protestant Established Church, to withhold them from a generous co-operation with all their fellow-Protestants to resist this frightful scheme of national apostacy!
THE Editor has been compelled to omit his usual articles on The Periodical Press and New Publications, to make room for matter of present urgency. He regrets, also, the delay of several Reviews, which will, however, be inserted in the next.
THE NEW BATTLE OF THE REFORMATION.
Ir it be true, that "the battle of the Reformation has to be fought over again," soon, even in England,—and thoughtful Protestants begin to think so, then it is high time to consider, who can fight it, as God requires it to be fought, and what weapons He will crown with victory. The first battle of the Reformation was as well and wisely fought in Europe as could be expected, when Bibles were both scarce and costly, and whilst the Reformers had to consult kings, and to pay homage to fathers and councils; indeed, the wonder is, that they fought so well, under such circumstances; for it is very doubtful whether the Protestants who have now the ear of kings, and are familiar with the fathers, would contend for the supremacy of Christ and Scripture, and for the right of private judgment, so far, or so faithfully, as Luther, Calvin, Knox, or even Ridley and Cranmer did. What an actual battle for Protestantism might make of those who "stand before kings," and rule universities, and vote in cabinets, it would be unfair in us to pre-judge; but it seems quite certain that Puseyism would not revile the Reformers as it does, if it suspected that their spirit pervaded the rulers of the church widely or deeply.
Some of them, millions They will fight only with
But, however this may be, the battle of the Reformation cannot be fought again with all the old weapons now. of Protestants will neither use nor own. "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;" and only for "what the Spirit saith unto the churches" in the Scriptures; and thus their blows will fall as heavily, by rebound, upon human inventions in all Protestant, as in Popish churches. Whenever Babylon falls, all that is Babylonish must fall with it. When Antichrist is "consumed,” he will perish in all his forms and modifications, and only by "the spirit of the Lord's mouth;" not by the thunder of war, nor by the lightnings of wit, nor by the decrees of thrones; but by "the truth as it is in Jesus." God attaches too much importance to his own
word, to honour any other weapons, at the overthrow of Babylon. He may allow political cabinets to curb the popedom, and ecclesiastical confederacies to embarrass the Vatican, and popular clamour to check the Jesuits now and then; but he will give the real and final victory to "the Lamb" himself, direct; and to Him only by his own truth; for it is the "FAITHFUL" alone who shall be "called and chosen to be with the Lamb when he overcometh." Rev. xvii. 14. Now, whatever else God means by the "faithful," he certainly means believers, whose faith stands on his own word, "and not on the word of man," regal or sacerdotal; for He cares nothing about maintaining the credit of either fathers or councils, tradition or antiquity, kingcraft or priestcraft, in his church. As they now stand opposed to Babylon, he will never employ them, either to enthrone Christ, or to dethrone Antichrist. Such motley agencies made Babylon "the destroying mountain" it was, and keeps it the threatening and dark mountain it is; either by lending their power to it, or by letting it become powerful by its own volcanic elements; and, therefore, when God "rolls it down from its rocks to be desolate for ever," the push that precipitates it finally, will not be devolved upon their hands. For, "in one hour Babylon shall be made desolate ;" and, as the "holy apostles and prophets" will then be called on to "rejoice over her," because God will then avenge them, and no other religious authorities, on her, it is self-evident that Divine truth, and not civil or ecclesiastical power, will deal the death-blow to Antichrist. Rev. xviii. 20. This is apocalyptic language; but it is not stronger than apostolic. Paul says of that "wicked one," the Lord will "consume him by the breath of his mouth, and destroy him by the brightness of his coming." 2 Thess. ii. 8. Benson identified this with the symbol of "the sharp two-edged sword, in the mouth of Christ ;" and even Grotius applied it to the Gospel, although he does not interpret the prophecy against the Papacy.
It is not intended by these hints, to deny or doubt that Babylon, as a political power, will be "thrown down with violence," by political hands. "The ten horns of the beast will hate the whore," for their own reasons, and both "eat her flesh, and burn her with fire," Rev. xvii. 16; but as a religious system, Popery will be destroyed only by the sword of the Spirit wielded by the hands of the FAITHFUL. And this is just what might be expected. Popery gained, and keeps its ascendency, by suppressing or concealing the word of God. The Bible had always been the last and the least thing in its creed; and, therefore, God will make the Bible the chief thing in its annihilation.
When God will thus avenge his "holy apostles and prophets on her," we do not venture to calculate or conjecture. In the mean time, however, it is self-evident that Babylon is neither falling nor shaking; but rather gaining than losing strength, both at home and abroad. Even the British cabinet is flirting with Popery, and the English press
applauding the policy. Its priests got a legal status in Ireland last year by the bill for Charitable Bequests.
We refer to these facts, not in order to give an opinion upon them now, but in order to show that, if the battle of the Reformation must be fought over again, and can only be fought successfully by the sword of the Spirit, then there is not a very large army in Europe yet, to fight it with that weapon. It is well to be aware of this, although both painful and humiliating to confess it, especially in the land of Bibles! but the melancholy fact itself is undeniable. Hardly a single appeal has been made to the Bible by the tens of thousands who have publicly denounced Puseyism, as but ill-masked Popery. The question, "What saith the Scriptures?" has been rarely applied to the rubric or to the Anglo-catholic innovations. Gideon's trumpets have been blown against the Midianites; but Gideon's war-cry, "The sword of the Lord!" has not been raised in town or country, except by those who are held, by the combatants on both sides, to have no business with the battle, and no stake in the field. It is thus only too evident, that, however the Protestantism of England might rise en masse to resist Popish practices in the Church, the Bible would not be the popular sword, even although it be anything but unpopular amongst churchmen. The fact is, so far as churchmen use it, they apply it only to devotional, doctrinal, or practical subjects; and test nothing ecclesiastical by it, but clerical morals. The law of the land having settled what shall be the creed and constitution of the Church, neither priests nor people venture to study the laws of Christ on the matter, nor to ask, "What the Spirit saith unto the churches?"
The state of Protestant opinion on the continent is not better than this, even where it is best; and nowhere has it around it, as here, the impulse or example of great and influential religious bodies upheld by their own funds, and upholding nothing as their rule but the word of God. This lessens sadly the amount of help that might, otherwise, be expected from the continent, in the event of a spiritual battle for the principles of the Reformation. So little is either Protestantism or religious liberty understood, even in Switzerland, that for two years now, it has not been safe, in the canton of Argovie, to read the Scriptures, or join in prayer, except by stealth, in the deep and dark recesses of the woods. Last autumn, seven to one of the 500 schoolmasters in the canton of Zurich, voted a petition, praying the government to forbid the use of the New Testament in the schools, "as a dangerous and immoral book." Even in the canton de Vaud, the most evangelical of all the cantons, infidelity, under the name of Socialism, is rampant enough to parade through the streets of Lausanne, banners inscribed, "No God-No Religion-Death to the Methodists." The two greatest scriptural champions of Christianity in LausanneScholl and Vinet-have been in danger of their lives there; the former was