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and meek champions of an oppressed and suffering laity; the Court of Session was ready to throw its shield over thieves, swindlers, and drunkards. Before Chalmers and Thomson rose, all the Church was involved in lethargy and spiritual death; little was dispensed from pulpits but "cauld morals;" and the abjuring of connexion with the State was the natural consequence of rightful demands refused by the legislature, in consequence of which the spirit of religious freedom found its only appropriate vent in the erection of a rival fabric, whose members were presumed to be most spiritual, whose calling it was to supersede that effete and worn-out establishment, whence all the life and vigour had departed at the momentous hour when the "exodus" to Canonmills took place. Dr. Hanna's main positions have been well answered in a singularly temperate and able article contained in the September number of "Blackwood's Magazine," the authorship of which is currently ascribed to an able and much-respected clergyman, himself a proof that the remote districts of our country are capable of furnishing not a few skilful defenders of the principles, and exponents of the true condition, of our venerable Establishment.
Leaving Dr. Hanna in the hands of this antagonist, and trusting that our southern readers will avail themselves of the key thus furnished to unlock the sophistries contained in the alleged Sketch of the History of the Church of Scotland, in the quarter we have indicated, and which is in truth an episode in, and excrescence upon, the already too-diluted biography in question, I shall adhere to my present sole purpose, that of noticing several strange statements in the article referred to; and which, in many quarters, might, from the authoritative tone assumed, and the quarter whence it proceeds, lead to misconception.
The article is chiefly devoted to a rapid sketch of the biography of Dr. Chalmers, with occasional comments on the state of ecclesiastical affairs in Scotland at the period of his youth and manhood, made in a tone which seems meant to be dispassionate and patronising. The estimate formed of the early part of Chalmers' career is on the whole just; but the reviewer steps out of his way, when speaking of the early principles of the future divine, ex cathedra, to revive a most unfounded calumny. According to our well-informed essayist, while the university seats in England were untainted by the spirit of atheism and unbelief prevalent on the continent, in Scotland, "an ill-regulated taste for metaphysical inquiry led multitudes of all ranks to adopt views" quadrating with those propounded by Hume. "Moreover, the terms of intimacy in which that arch-infidel and other gentlemen of his colour lived with the Moderator of the General Assembly" (sic, as though the above functionary was a perpetual office-bearer), "and the leader of the Church" (we presume Robertson is meant), 66 were not without the worst effects upon the clergy,-among the younger portion of them especially. They saw that to attain eminence in their profession, very rigid opinions on points of faith were not necessary. The ambitious turned their attention to almost any subject, whether of literature or science, rather than theology; and of their pulpit oratory the tone became by degrees as decorous as the stiffest admirer of Blair and the
fathers of the moral school could desire. The clerical aspirants for professional chairs," &c. "sought their chairs like philosophers, and not seldom like philosophers made use of them." These individuals are farther represented as laboriously endeavouring in private to shake the faith of their more promising pupils. In the name of truth and justice, we ask for the evidence by which these monstrous charges are substantiated. We shall not, as the reviewer seems accustomed to do, rake up the ashes of the dead. But we remember the vigorous works in defence of the bulwarks of the Christian faith which issued from some of the men here maligned; while we believe that the writer is scared by a bugbear of his own imagination when he penned such remarks as the preceding, equally as when he ventures on the extraordinary observation that follows:-" It is our deliberate conviction, that with the exception of France, there was not a more infidel country on the face of the earth than Scotland sixty or seventy years ago!" The writer in the "Quarterly" has certainly made a discovery which has escaped the notice of previous inquirers; in our ignorance we had imagined the Scotland of that period, in her large towns especially, to have been in a greatly more wholesome and well-regulated condition than at present, with its masses boiling at intervals in political excitement, its vast amount of carelessness as to religious duty, not assuredly compensated for by the bitter rancour and self-righteous exultation to which the movement of 1843 has given birth.
If the writer's general views are peculiar, and his censures sweeping, his statements regarding matters of fact,-blunders respecting which are discreditable in one who writes with so great an air of authority-are calculated not a little to astonish some of his northern readers. With his general estimate of Chalmers' early career, and his account, condensed from Hanna, of his extra-professional struggles at St. Andrews,we are disposed generally to agree. But why the dark insinuation (p. 408) as to the moral correctness of Chalmers' life while in Edinburgh, or the assertion that he was "a disciple of Mirabaud as well as Godwin?" His operations in Glasgow, and the enlisting of lay-agents as active co-operators in the supervision of his parish in that mercantile metropolis, are also well described; while the reviewer is led by that topic to notice the aid that might thus be derived by clergymen of the Established Church of England. He alleges the revival of Convocation to be hopeless, and if not hopeless, unsafe, if lay members, influential by character and position, be not associated with the Bishops in the Upper, and with the representatives in the Lower House. It is long since we met in so orthodox a periodical with an admission in favour of our presbyterial system so direct, even going the length of recommending in each separate parish, what by a peculiarity of expression of the reviewer's own, he calls a "court of session," meaning, we presume, some respectable and influential parishioners, but whether nominated by the diocesan, selected by the rector, or on what principle chosen, he condescends not to suggest. Before he next handles such a topic, we advise him to come north, that he may lay up a stock of information for his own use, and be able to promulgate his views, when the bishops and other digni
taries shall assemble to consult regarding this daring innovation in the practice of Episcopacy.
To enter upon and discuss at length all the questionable or indistinct assertions made by the reviewer in his sketch of the Church's troubles and intestine confusion, is equally beyond our limits and patience. The whole Veto controversy was one pronounced by not a few of our English legislators to be unintelligible; and in his attempt to simplify it, the writer of this article is by no means happy. The following is a specimen of the confusion of his statements :-"The views of the party which was now carrying Chalmers along with it went far beyond the mere negation to the clergy of a priestly character." We never heard before that this was claimed. "At the best, the minister of a Scottish parish is but the moral and religious teacher of his people. His Church can see no mystery in her Sacraments, and recognises no divine authority in any particular class of men to dispense them. . . The business of her office-bearers is to preach, and one of the main purposes for which Presbyteries, Synods, and the General Assembly exist, is to take care that both the preaching and the lives of these gentlemen shall edify the congregations committed to their charge." The ignorance of the Church of Scotland's doctrine on this momentous point is amazing; and it is surprising that a writer, professing so much acquaintance alike with our Church's merits and defects, should have hazarded the startling statement above quoted, in the face not only of the statements of her theologians, but of the Confession of Faith, the manual of authority, to which all her ministers declare assent, which declares, in words the most unequivocal (Chapter XXVII, § IV.) There be only two Sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord; neither of which may be dispensed by any but a minister of the Word, lawfully ordained.” We are not quarreling with the reviewer merely for unfamiliarity with the Standards of our Church; but his assumed office should have been preceded by some small measure of enquiry and examination into facts, before he held forth the ministers of so large a portion of the population of this country, as looking on indifferently when the most solemn ordinances were administered by the self-called and unqualified. There is surely some medium between the view which holds that the mere administration of the Sacraments is unfailingly accompanied by grace; and that which would set at nought all Scriptural principle and propriety in regard to the persons who are at liberty to dispense them. We are not merely "moral and religious teachers;" we believe in the Apostolic succession, not indeed of Bishops or Priests, but of offices and doctrine; and in the above noted expression, coupled with an implied approval in the article of the claim-so-called on the Seceders' part-of "Spiritual independence," made by them tantamount to the raising of an unqualified title to domination in the land-we almost suspect that the writer belongs to the Anglo-Catholic party, so many of whom have put forth similiarly questionable views; nor can we forget that the "British Critic," when under Dr. Newman's editorship, volunteered a defence in this matter,
of what a bard of the party pathetically called, in his tuneful lyricsa" self-famed Priesthood" and “ Samaria !”
The reviewer asserts that by neither" the Whigs, nor the Conservatives, who by and by ejected them, were Chalmers and his brother delegates very handsomely used," when, with the dread of serious consequences, they implored the bringing in of a legislative measure to appease that storm which they had done so much to raise. We may safely leave this assertion to the candid judgment of our readers, who know that some of the best and ablest statesmen in both Houses laboured anxiously to avert the issue that occurred-one of whom, the Earl of Aberdeen, had much cause to feel himself aggrieved.
Supplement to R. A. Smith's Sacred Harmony, adapted to the Psalms and Hymns used in the Churches and Chapels of Scotland. Edited, and chiefly Arranged, by JAMES S. GEIGIE. Part I. Edinburgh: Alexander Robertson.
THE Sacred Harmony of R. A. Smith has enjoyed a degree of popularity, and is so extensively known and appreciated as to render any recommendation of it superfluous. The success and very general approbation of that work, has induced the publishers to undertake the present Supplement, with the view of rendering it still more useful and acceptable. In the 1st Part, containing Short, Common, and Long Measures only, will be found some fine melodies from the old psalters, and a few German chorales, which, for simplicity and grandeur, have been justly regarded as true types of what congregational music ought to be.
"The 2d Part," says the editor, "will consist exclusively of Peculiar Measures; and care will be taken to provide, as far as possible, appropriate tunes for all the varieties of metre in use throughout the churches and chapels of Scotland."
We cordially wish it every success.
A Hand-Book of Popery; or Text Book of Missions for the Conversion of Romanists; being Papal Rome, tested by Scripture, History, and its recent Workings. By James Begg, D.D. With an Appendix of Documents. Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter, 1852.
ONE good result, which has flowed from the Papal Aggression, is the outburst of Protestant feeling which it has produced. Many valuable works have been published on the Romish controversy; and among the best of these is Dr. Begg's Hand-Book of Popery. It traverses the three great fields of discussion, and draws from each a host of overwhelming arguments against the "Man of Sin." Scripture, History, and the recent workings of the Popish system have been each brought to bear on the adversary with deadly effect. It is just the work on the subject that was wanted. The arrangement is methodical, the style is free and familiar, and the facts are well-selected and incontrovertible. Every man with such a manual in his hand, is fit to be a Missionary against Rome and Romish error. The
whole points of the controversy are dealt with in turn; and the veriest school-boy, armed with this text-book of missions, may triumphantly encounter Cardinal Wiseman himself. We notice it is the seventh volume of the "Christian's Fireside Library," and a more timely or appropriate one could not have been published. We wish it from the heart “God speed!"
Excursions to Arran, Ailsa Craig, and the two Cumbraes, with reference to the Natural History of these Islands. Second Series. By David Landsborough, D.D., A.L.S., M.D.S. &c. Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter. London: Robert Theobald. 1852.
Dr. Landsborough has been long and very favourably known as a naturalist. Living in a district of country which is singularly suited for such investigations, the reverend author of these "Excursions" has let no opportunity slip of earnestly prosecuting his researches. The little work before us is the narrative of a visit paid to Arran, Ailsa Craig, and the two Cumbraes; and we have much pleasure in recommending it to the students of Natural History;-they will find it most pleasant and profitable reading. We remark that the Doctor, whilst a good man, and a naturalist, is, withal, a wit.
An Address to the Working Classes on the Means of improving their Condition. By the Rev. David Esdaile, Minister of Rescobie.
WE can recommend this tract, which is the substance of two lectures delivered by the author, as containing much excellent advice, calculated to be of use to the parties addressed. Mr. Esdaile's remarks are the more valuable that he does not advocate the extreme views on total abstinence and some kindred topics, advanced by some others who have treated the same subjects. The whole is written in a popular style, and the pamphlet is a highly creditable proof of the good sense and good feelings of the writer.
The Lands of the Messiah, Mahomet, and the Pope. By JOHN AITON, D.D., Minister of Dolphinton.
As a general rule, we do not feel called upon to notice the many volumes of travels which issue in such abundance from the press, many of which are exceedingly superficial, and add little or nothing to our knowledge of the countries traversed. We feel inclined, however, in this instance to make a slight exception to our usual practice; occasioned by the appearance of a volume from the pen of the minister of Dolphinton, who, quitting for a time the scene of his pastoral duties, unfolds in a goodly volume the incidents of his peregrinations, and has issued in a printed form, for the instruction of his brethren, and of the general public, an account of the "moving incidents by flood and field," in which but lately he was a partaker.
Dr. Aiton tells us in his preface that it had been a fond dream of his youth to journey into the Bible Lands of the east, the once-stirring localities of Western Asia, and henceward through Greece, Sicily, and Italy. Nor was his pilgrimage a mere dilletanti tour, that he might astonish his co-pres