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unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject to one another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”—1 Peter v. 5, 6.-ED.
THE CONFERENCE OF ST. GALL. The general conference of the pastors of the Reformed Church of Switzerland took place at St. Gall, on the thirteenth and fourteenth of August. One hundred and sixty professors and pastors assembled in the Grand Council Chamber of the ancient palace of Prince-abbe. The first day was devoted to the important question of the Confessions of Faith, designated by the last conference; and Mr. Scherrer, a pastor of the canton of St. Gall, began by reading the paper which he had been charged to draw up. M. Merle D'Aubigne, the only representative of French Switzerland present at the conference, developed and explained his motive in bringing forward the following resolutions (in Genevan), and which he then laid on the table :
" The Swiss Pastoral Society, assembled at St. Gall, one of the principal seats of apostolical or missionary labours in the west,* acknowledges and resolves
“ First. That it is highly desirable for all evangelical Christians, Reformed and Lutheran, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, and generally all who believe in the fundamental truths of the gospel, to unite for the purpose of making an open confession of their common faith, in opposition to the unity, purely material, of the Romish Church, and thus proclaim their own true and spiritual unity.
Secondly. It resolves to put itself in communication with some of the pastoral conferences recently founded in Germany, particularly with that of Berlin, which has very lately occupied itself on the same question ; and this may eventually lead to a similar union with the pastoral conferences of other countries; namely, France, Great Britain, Holland, and America, and to the re-establishment of an @ecumenical confession of the Christian faith.
* St. Gall owes its name to Gallus, a native of Brittany, the apostla of Western Switzerland.
“Thirdly. It appoints a commission, authorized to fix the basis of an Evangelical Consession of the nineteenth century, and which shall contain the truths embodied in all existing Protestant Confessions, and arranged in a form adapted to the wants of the present age. This commission should likewise be authorized to take the necessary steps to attain the end pointed out in the preceding articles.”
The author of this proposal, whilst making it, reminded his hearers that at the period of the Reformation, Calvin, and bis friends in Geneva, opposed themselves energetically to the tendency the Swiss evinced of looking only to their local churches, and strove to direct their attention to the church at large. He further added, that one of the wants of the preseni times was the unity of a true catholicity, and that, however remote we were from this desirable end, it was now quite time to take the first steps towards it.
These resolutions having been seconded by Professor Kirchoffer of Schaffhouse, and approved by Mr. Schiess, senior, one of the pastors of the canton of St. Gall, and likewise by the licentiate in theology, Mr. Schenker, were carried by a considerable majority, and sent, recommended, to the committee of the conference. The Record.
COMMENT ON THE ABOVE DOCUMENT.
The Protestant clergymen of Switzerland have followed in the track of their brethren in Germany. One hundred and sixty of them, convened in an ancient palace, as a spiritual, responsible, deliberative body.
It is manifest, in the first place, that they feel the want of that centralization of truth and unity of spirit which should exist amongst Protestants before there can be any
fulness of reciprocal sympathy, or coherence of purpose, or harmony of labour. They are evidently opening their eyes slowly after a long and a guilty slumber; and feeling the weakness of those scattered forces that rove over an immense field without either the enthusiasm of victory or the glory of martyrdom. They crave the strength of a compact, consoHidated body, moving on amid the melodies of truth and love from one triumph to another. They desire strength ! They are aware that strength can only be secured by unity! And they are about to seek unity by--by what? O tell it not in Gath, lest the uncircumcised should triumph-by rummaging among all the Protestant Confessions, that they may embody all the grand truths, all the salient points in which evangelical Protestants are one with each other. This will certainly be seeking the living amongst the dead, and will do nothing either in nourishing stronger faith or inspiring brighter hope; it will produce no unity, either spiritual or material.
There is not a word said about comparing the confessions with the Word of God that liveth and abideth for ever; so that it might happen that all the sects of Protestantism would concur in a few cardinal articles, and yet all the articles in which their united conviction, might be alien to the Word of God, pernicious and soul-destroying speculations.
It is all vanity to talk of Protestants proving, in manifest strength, any true and spiritual unity in opposition to the material unity of the Romish Church. The existence, unity of God, with the immortality of the soul, might be two articles in which they would all concur, but here they would be obliged to embrace both Roine and Turkey, and a large part of India; for Catholics, Mahomedans, and several sects of heathens, combine in asserting these principles. Or if they asserted other two; namely, The supremacy of the written word, as the standard of appeal, and in connexion with it, the right of private judgment, here again they would comprehend a motley group, from those who believe that Jesus was the Son of God and the Creator of the universe downward to those who teach that he was only an ordinary prophet, whose blood had no connexion with the salvation of the guilty
To those awakening denominations who are likely to wander further into mist and darkness, by beginning at the wrong end of a necessary work, we would say, seek truth; and, truth found, the true catholicity and spiritual unity is sure to follow. By way of help in this Godlike undertaking we shall offer a few suggestions for investigation, and submit them seriously to the notice of all deliberative bodies.
First. If Rome be the mother of harlots where are we to look for the family who traffic in the abominations of the apostate queen ?
Second. If the word of God be perfect in its adaptation to man and the church in all ages, how dare any class of mortals impeach the wisdom of the divine Lawgiver by confessions, creeds, or other symbolical books ?
Third. By whose authority is the Word of God broken and divided into essential and non-essential, and will not the compilers of the second chapter be in danger of inheriting perdition as the reward of their labours ?
Fourth. Have we any authority to expect supernatural influence in a physical manner, or if we are to have any revival, must it not be promoted by a return to that truth in which the spirit for ever lives and flames, and to those ordinances which are the channels of grace and love ?
Fifth. Is there any authority in the Word for the există ence of a priestly or sacerdotal class, who shall be clergymen in opposition to the laymen; or is not this system, with its appendages, one of the deadliest corruptions of Antichrist?
The earnest examination of these great questions would go far towards the restoration of truth; and if truth can be restored, love, unity, holiness, all kindred glories and graces will follow in the train.
GERMAN UNIVERSITIES. WILLIAM Howitt, author of The History of Priestcraft, says:-Amongst the whole number of German students whom I have known, it would be difficult to select a dozen who were not confirmed deists. Let those who doubt the extent to which this philosophical pestilence is spread, go and judge for themselves : but let none send out solitary youths to study in German Universities, who do not wish to see them return very cleaver, very learned, and very completely unchristianized.”
FOREIGN EVANGELICAL SOCIETY.
This Society held a meeting at Park Street, Boston, United States, on the 31st of May, John Tappan, Esq., in the chair. Rev. Dr. Dana, of Newburyport, invoked the divine blessing:
Rev. Dr. Baird read portions of the annual report. It briefly stated that the world contained six hundred millions of Pagans; one hundred and fifty millions of Roman Catholics; fifty millions belonging to the Greek Church; and seventy-five millions to the Protestants. Openings are constantly making in all the Roman Catholic countries of Europe for the introduction of the gospel. This is especially the fact in France and Belgium. During the past year the Society has had to support twenty-five colporteurs in France, two in Sweden, twelve in Canada, and a considerable number of students at a seminary in Canada—in all about one hun
In France, most of the priests are opposed to the distribution of the Scriptures. There are, however, some honourable exceptions. This number is increasing, especially among the young. In Italy the Bible has been published in parts, and booksellers are engaged in its circulation.
Rev. E. Beecher, D. D., of Boston, made a few remarks. He said that he wished to suggest one thought. There was too little faith in the possibility of the conversion of Roman Catholics. We should remember that Luther and Calvin were educated Roman Catholics. The reformation was a revival of religion among Roman Catholics. Revivals are the only hope of the conversion of the Roman Catholics. For these we should labour and pray, and pray and labour. If the church had more faith in the power of God to convert Roman Catholics, we should soon witness again the scenes that took place in the days of Luther.
Rev. Mr. Kirk, of Boston, made a concluding address. Christian Europe, said Mr. Kirk, has never been Christianed. It has been only nominally Christian. The heart of Europe is still Pagan. It has never been converted. Roman Catholic worship is idolatry. They pay homage to the Virgin Mary. She is their God.
THESE words of Mr. Kirk, as quoted in the Religious