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Christianity, while he utterly des- to have been written in the sacred pised those softenings and accom- page as with a sunbeam, that all modations by which some German might read, and none might misdivines attempted to render it less take ? Now, our view is, that it is distasteful to the Infidel Frederick so written; and it appears to us of Prussia. “Under the pretence,” inexplicable that it should ever have said he,“ of making us rational been doubted by any who profess Christians, they make us most irra. to credit the Sacred Record. We tional philosophers." He adds, in have adverted to the opinions of one of his letters, “ I agree with sagacious Infidels, and we might you that our old religious system is equally refer to the faith of Chrisfalse : but I cannot say, as you do, tians, the most illiterate as well as that it is a botch-work of half-phi- the most learned. The primâ facie losophy and smatterings of know- evidence, therefore, is in favour of ledge. I know nothing in the world the doctrine; no elaborate course that more drew out and exercised a of criticism is necessary to prove fine intellect. But, truly, a botch- it to those who read the New Teswork of smatterings and half-phi- tament with faith and simplicity losophy is that system of religion But, unhappily, ingenious men have which people now want to set up in tortured and perplexed plain things, the place of the old one; and with and their laborious miscriticisnis far more invasion upon reason and require just criticisms to overturn philosophy than the old one ever them. Give us the simple text of pretended to. If Christ is not the Scripture, or even some half-dozen true God, the Mohammedan religion texts from it, and we shall find is, indisputably, far better than the nothing more necessary to convince Christian, and Mohammed bimself those who have not been prewas incomparably a greater and more possessed by false glosses : but honourable man than Jesus Christ; where error has entrenched itself, for he was more truth-telling, more there is a previous process before circumspect in what he said, and truth can arrive at the throne of the more zealous for the honour of the heart : the intruding bulwarks of One and Only God, than Christ false opinions must first be levelled was, who, if he did not exactly give with the ground, and a way be opened himself out for God, yet, at least, for the entrance of the King of said a hundred two-meaning things Glory. The truths contended for to lead simple people to think so : are so palpably laid down in Scripwhile Mohammed could never be ture, that the large majority of procharged with a single instance of fessed Christians in every age, and double dealing in this way." Let especially those who have been in the Unitarian, so called, weigh this the habit of seriously studying holy testimony of an avowed Infidel, and writ for their souls' health, have henceforth become more consistent, never entertained a doubt upon the not by bending the testimony of subject. But if cunningly.devised Scripture to his pre-conceived opie objections are fabricated, adequate nions, but by bringing every thought replies are needed ; and greatly into captivity to the obedience of indebted, therefore, are we to those Christ.
who, like the pious and learned There is one concluding reflection author whose work has suggested which has often forced itself upon these reflections, have threaded the us while perusing the preceding mazes of sophistry, and established remarks, as it has also upon the the truth as it is in Jesus. Un. mind of our author, namely, Can a blemished health is, however, better doctrine be scriptural which re: than the most propitious cure : we quires for its vindication so elaborate would, therefore, recommend those a defence ? Ought it not, if true, who have found strength and com
fort in the true belief, as they find in which they ought to try all things, it in the word of God, not to expressly that they may hold fast perplex themselves unnecessarily that which is good ; they should and wantonly to learn all the cavils also be able to give a reason for the which have been urged against it. hope that is in them; and for both They have the pearl of great price, these purposes,—for the confutation let them not give heed to those who of error, and the establishment of would tell them it is a bauble: they truth on some of the most important have the true coin of the heavenly doctrines of our holy faith-doc. realm, let them not confound it trines without which Christianity is with the counterfeits of man's in- a worthless shadow,-Dr. Smith vention. There is, however, a sense offers them much valuable assistance.
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THIRD CENTENARY OF THE
AUGSBURG CONFESSION. It was on the 25th of June 1530 that the Continental Reformers presented to Charles V., at the Diet of the Empire held at Augsburg, that celebrated confession of faith which, subject to the word of God, still forms the doctrinal code of a large portion of the Protestant churches of Europe, and which justly claims the
veneration of every other Protestant church for its general excellence as a compend of Scriptural truth. The churches which adhere to this confession have this year celebrated with great solemnity the third centenary of this memorable era. The king of Prussia, in his proclamation announcing the intended celebration in his dominions, justly describes the Augs, burg Articles as having greatly conduced
to the purity and stability of the Protest. solemnities on this occasion in the differant church; and he solemnly prays, “ Mayent parts of the continent. We, however, the commemorative festival of the pre- deeply lament that they should any where sentation of this confession of the faith of have been rather a festival in honour of Christians, built upon the word of God human reason than of scriptural truth ; and the doctrines of salvation therein re, which they must have been among those vealed,-and which is as true now, and who have imbibed the spirit of this Neoever shall be as true, as it was three hun. gian circular. dred years ago, and in the spirit of which I also heartily join,-contribute to enliven FRENCH PROTESTANT CHURCH. and confirm the true faith throughout the Our Protestant brethren in France are evangelical church, and excite in its mem- greatly rejoicing at the late changes. “ We bers unity of spirit, and new resolutions have entered,” says the Archives,“ upon to follow true piety and a spirit of Chris a new era for the cause of liberty and truth, tian charity and tolerance."
perhaps even of Christianity. If the longWe are better pleased with this royal meditated and obstinately pursued proedict than with the address of the General jects of the counsellors of the discarded Consistory assembled at Strasburg on the dynasty had been accomplished, Christi. same occasion. In the circular, in which anity had mourned in weeds over the tomb they announce to the clergy and laity of of liberty, if even she had been permitted the Augsburg Confession the intention of to shew her grief and mourn her losses. celebrating this festival, and issue direc. What might we not have feared from a tions for so doing, they express them- power which had undertaken with a single selves in a manner which, we fear, was word to muzzle the press, in despite of intended to have a Neologian aspect. the habits and the wants of the public? They speak, indeed, with high praise of Having witnessed this bold attempt, we the Augsburg Confession, and the courage cannot wonder to find greater credence and constancy of their ancestors in de given to the report that there was to be a fending the rights of conscience, and re- proscription and massacre, of which the jecting human authority in matters of reli- chief friends of liberty were to have been gion; but when we might suppose the the victims, and which had utterly rooted circular was about to urge their successors out Protestantism in France.” to live and die faithful to the same code After giving thanks to God for his mercy of Scripture doctrine, it glances off with in this great deliverance, which, it is said, saying, that " the Augsburg confessors ho- “ will form a new epoch in the history of nestly expressed what by their indefatis French Protestantism," the Archives progable investigations they had hitherto dis- ceeds to state, that “ a great step is taken covered in the Divine Word, but by no towards the complete enjoyment of relimeans intended to shut the door against gious liberty," that the organization of further researches, either by themselves or their churches will no longer be shackled their successors." This is true : the refor- by restrictive laws and penal codes; they mers did not profess infallibility; and they will not, as formerly, have to supplicate in exhorted men, as the circular truly states, the anti-chambers of Popish or Jesuit preto search the Scriptures for themselves; fects or ministers for the regulation of but they never meant what M. Turkheim, their ecclesiastical affairs ; their theoloM. Haffner, and the other signers of this gical faculties will no longer depend upon address, we fear, would insinuate, that such the heads of Catholic universities; their points as the doctrine of the Trinity and schoolmasters will no longer be at the the Atonement,-in short, all mysteries mercy of political agents, vested with acaought to be given up with the marching demical authority, and the peasant will no intellect of an inquiring age; or as the longer be ill used by servile agents for circular neologically expresses it, “ those meeting his Christian friends for religious only can attain a religious conviction clear, worship.” The inference which the writers vivid, and independent of the yoke of au. derive from these considerations is, that thority and opinions, who know how to their duties increase with their privileges, ally to the revelation of the Holy Scrip. and that to whom much is given from tures, the natural light of human reason." them will much be required. May every They add, “ The spirit of Protestantism Protestant in France feel the force of this is the spirit of God himself, which is dis. conclusion, and with unostentatious meekplayed in the intellect of man.”
ness, yet with active zeal and ardent We may be able, in another Number, to charity, enter upon the new duties which collect a few particulars of the interesting are opening before him!
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
The successful opposition to the unconsti. the) new arrangements; and thus to hare tutional measures of the late government in prevented future changes, not by external France, seems to be the signal for stirring force, but by securing internal repose and up the latent embers of discontent in contentment. But a different view of the various other parts of Europe. A large question appears to have been entertained, portion of the continent has been for and, we dcubt not, with perfect honesty, some years one vast volcano, with a crater by the leading members of the allied in almost every principal town and city; powers. It was thought better to model which there required only a single shock out Europe in such a manner as might to urge into one general and overwhelm- preserve an even balance of power, and ing concussion. We are led to this re- especially prevent any future aggressions mark more particularly by the present on the part of France ; and, in case of disturbed condition of the kingdom of the partial discontents or risings, to concenNetherlands; to understand which, as trate, if necessary, upon the disturbed well as other recent continental events, it spot the whole force of Europe to restore is necessary to revert to the circumstances the equilibrium. which gave rise to the formation of that In the mean time, till the various parill-assorted state.
ties concerned had become accustomed to At the period of the first French their new lot, and grown satisfied with it, Revolution, the nations of Europe had it was considered desirable to establish a for the most part been for generations sort of international military police, and accustomed to certain well-defined poli- to bridle the malcontents with the force tical and geographical divisions; but soon of foreign arms. The agitations of fivethese land-mark's were removed, and, at and-twenty years had every where left a the period of Bonaparte's highest eleva. boiling surf, which it was thought necestion, almost the whole continent had be- sary to watch with suspicion till the ele. come re-modelled. Upon the expulsion ments should gradually settle into peace, of that common enemy of mankind, at lest all Europe should again be exposed the conclusion of the war in 1814, it to shipwreck. One great object was to became requisite to re-adjust the conti- cripple those powers which had the most nental balance: and the Congress of Vi. zealously abetted the common enemy, in enna, composed of all the great powers of order to prevent a recurrence of the evil. the most civilized quarter of the globe, Amongst these arrangements the King undertook that difficult and delicate task. of Saxony was constrained to give up part In so doing, the conduct of Great Britain of his dominions to Prussia : Genoa was was marked by great liberality and disin- awarded to the King of Sardinia; the terestedness, as respected territorial and north of Italy to Austria, and a large slice political aggrandizement; which she neither of Poland to Russia; Norway was cut off asked nor wished for, though she had, for from Denmark, and given to Sweden; nearly a quarter of a century, fought the and, to complete all, with a view to raise a battles of Europe, at a fearful expense powerful barrier against France, the Neboth of blood and treasure. Some of the therlands were severed from that country, other allies were more rapacious; but, and tacked on to the United Provinces, upon the whole, we sincerely believe that and made a kingdom under the Prince of it was the general wish to place the states Orange, by the title of King of the Neof Europe upon a solid and satisfactory therlands. footing
Many of these arrangements, as was But to please all parties was impossible. anticipated, were highly unpopular among To recur wholly to the territorial and the parties whose condition was thus al. political arrangements which had existed lotted without their consent, nay against before the war would have been neither their urgent remonstrances. Other disdesirable nor practical ; much less was it contents also soon began to arise in various possible to adhere to those new adjust places, from the non-fulfilment of promises ments which had grown up under the which had been made, as was the case in giant sway of imperial France, and which the German states, to afford constitunaturally fell to pieces with the conquest tional governments and liberal institutions of Paris, and the expulsion of the Napo- to the people. Hence, as we before releon dynasty
marked, all Europe has been for fifteen Upon looking back at the difficulties of years, one vast volcano, which has exthe case, it would seem to have been the ploded occasionally in various places, but safest and most satisfactory plan to have with only partial effect, and has been, for consulted, in a good measure, the reason, the time, apparently extinguished. In able wishes and rights of the various particular, in Spain, in Naples, and in nations whose interests were involved in Portugal, the people rose, and obtained
by force, a charter or bill of rights ; more We shudder at the thought that five sixthis democratical certainly than we Britons of Europe should hurry out on a crusade think desirable, though less so than our of revolutionising, and forming governchildren in America have adopted; butments on the impulse of the moment. whether good or bad, at least susceptible which may prove in the end little calcuof improvement, and incomparably better lated to promote either social happiness than the blind and cruel despotism of a or rational freedom. We see much to Ferdinand or a Miguel, or the yoke of the apprehend in this respect, so long as house of Austria. But in all these cases powerful incentives to popular discontent the armed police of Europe interfered, are any where in action, while those who and, at the point of the bayonet, restored might allay the evil by wise and timely the old despotisms, and scattered the measures are content with checking its constitutional charters to the winds. The ebullition by terror and physical strength. insurgent nations were conquered, and Contrast the condition of some of the others were intimidated by their fate; but states we allude to with our own free and in the mean time the elements of dissatis- happy country. In this country we have faction have only been spreading more safety-valves in abundance ; we have a widely and deeply; and, at this very mo- free press, a national representation, a ment, trains are laid all over Europe, right of petition to the three branches of which seem to require only such a signal as the legislature, the general diffusion of the late successful revolution in France, education, juries, public meetings, responto cause the whole magazine of combus- sible ministers, and numerous other institible elements to explode. And who shall tutions incompatible with a state of civil say, after such an explosion, when the thraldom or oppression; and those popuelements may again return to peace ? lar privileges are as much the safeguards
The late lord Londonderry had been of the throne and the coronet as the bul. too much mixed up with the organization warks of public freedom. In vain, thereof this artificial balance of power to be fore, may a few Hunts and Cobbetts rave; willing, for some years, to see the dangers the nation is in the main tranquil and satisthat were likely to arise out of it; though fied : where any thing is seriously wrong even he at length became convinced that there are channels for redress; and, even if some relaxation of the system had become it cannot be at once attained, the door of necessary. Mr. Canning, who succeeded hope is open, and no reasonable man or to his post, had no such scruples: he plainly true patriot dreams for a moment of a reexpressed his fears. The next war in Eu- volution : the very notion is absurd, for rope, he said, would be a war of opinions, what is there to revolutionize ourselves and when it commenced no man could for ; what should we get by it? clearly tell when or where or how it might end. nothing, while we risked every thing to He wished, therefore, to allow the safety perpetrate it. valve to be opened gradually, and thus, bis But reverse this picture. If instead of little and little, to let off the dangerous these safety valves, the national machine pressure. The policy of lord London were working under a high-pressure desderry, as we have observed, had been to potism; if, for example, only the single assist France, Austria, and Russia, to measure of a censorship of the press, as it screw it down more tightly; by which, exists at this moment in various parts of indeed, they for a time repressed a few the continent, were imposed upon us ; partial bursts of discontent; but the fierce what would be the result? The whole heat was raging beneath, the elastic power nation would be in alarm ; we should fear was accumulating its energies, the peril an enemy on every side ; the public ignowas every hour auginenting, and it seems rance of the real state of affairs would lead now not unlikely that one vast simul- to every strange dreadful surmise ; real taneous explosion may ensue, unless pre evils would be magnified, and unreal ones vented, even yet, by wise measures and invented; no man would feel safe ; and a timely concessions.
verbal covenant of revolution would be The plan of coercing nations by mere ratified in every cottage in the land, before severity and military power is becoming perhaps any danger was suspected. And every day less practicable. Ferdinand and can we wonder that our neighbours feel Miguel are trying perhaps the last experi. in some measure like ourselves ? Can we ment to effect it in Spain and Portugal; be surprised that the payers of taxes wish but no thinking man expects they will to have a voice in the election of those long succeed, and we certainly believe no who are to impose them ? that those who honest man wishes it. It is only foreign are to obey the laws desire that they power or influence that has rendered them should be liberal and impartial in their so far victorious, and the main-spring of tendency; and that the rights and welthis extraneous pressure is now snapt by fare of the public should not be made to the late events in France. Our fear in yield to individual tyranny or caprice, as such instances is, that the results may must often be the case where the governbe very far from what well-disposed and ment is despotic, or not moderated by the well-judging persons wish ; as well as that salutary controul of a representative sysblood may be spilt in obtaining them. tem? These feelings are natural to all