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is bound to maintain, enforce, and apply the eternal truths of religion, utterly irrespective of any misrepresentation or obloquy, which prejudice or self-interest may heap upon him. His only business with politics, as with everything else, is to apply Christianity to them. And this business is very urgent, very solemn. For the Church to use political power to compass religious ends, or to use religious influence to subserve political purposes, either of these is a grievous error, involving more or less moral guilt; and it was the condemnation of the brave son of the Alps, that he suffered himself to be impelled by subsequent events upon both those erroneous courses. But, to imbue the state with the spirit of Christ, to make it indeed a portion of his church, to vindicate and apply the supreme authority of Jesus and of his glorious principles over the whole world, and the world's life!-to have even aimed at this was Zwingle's highest glory. Happy they who in that matter can surpass him."
The conduct of Zwingle to all classes of his parishioners, especially during the Plague, proclaims him to have been a true Hero. It is a pity he had not imbibed more of the spirit of the Prince of Peace, and been able to endure the provocations of man, as patiently and as well, as the inevitable trials sent by God.
Mr. Solly thus describes the power of the doctrine chiefly proclaimed at the Reformation in opposition to that abuse of the good works of saints and priests whose meritorious services we re sold to lessen the pains of purgatory:
"Men thought within themselves, as they groaned in penitence and remorse, 'Oh! what can I do to win salvation? How can so great a sinner as I be received?' And the reforming preachers cried to the sinful soul, 'Ah! thou canst do nothing. What will all thy penances do for thee? But, thou hast nothing to do, save to believe. The infinite love of God and Christ have done it all!' And then their love and trust were raised from dull images and a sinful Pope, from human saints and the Virgin Mary, to one infinitely nobler, higher than themselves, even unto Jesus, and a new life sprang up in their souls."
This admirably depicts, in a short compass, the efficiency of that doctrine when it was new, and was only regarded on its true side as a protest against the works of mere soulless, faithless obedience to law. But, the errors contained in the statement remain to this day, after most of its truth is no longer so much needed. Indeed, among the Morisonians, a new sect recently sprung up in Scotland, the statement is even extended. They say, "Thou hast nothing to do, not even to believe, for Christ does even that for you." The act of belief is itself the effect of Christ's mercy. When addressed to man's affections such words do work marvellously, and they do cause more work, and good work to be done than usually follows the mere utterance of cold precepts. But, surely the time has come when the Love of God, as Christ
taught it, should be substituted for such a thorough surrender of the soul to his Son. One step further must teach them that it is only while they do believe that Christ was sent by God, that they can surrender their whole hearts into the love of an All-wise and All-merciful Parent such as Christ has represented Him to man. That Faith in God which Christ preached and exemplified will bring forth the best and richest fruits of a pure life, an earnest conscience, and a profound habitual piety, without being exposed to all the lawless consequences of the intellectual paradoxes that are now indulged by too many Protestants.
Mr. Solly depicts vividly the doctrines of Calvinism in the following paragraph :—
"In that 'Confession' there are indeed some awful doctrines. With the doctrine of the Trinity, original sin, and justification by faith, we need not now concern ourselves, as they are common to other systems. But, think of election and reprobation, particular redemption, total depravity, utter moral inability, infant damnation! The mere enumeration of the doctrines makes one's blood curdle with horror. The idea of the Almighty, All-perfect Creator, whose name is Love, predestinating the great majority of His intelligent offspring to the most frightful torments 'in body and soul, without intermission, in hell fire, for ever;' bringing them into existence for no other purpose! dooming them to everlasting damnation moreover, not on account of their wickedness, for they were all born utterly depraved, without the faintest power of doing right, but making this distinction between the saved and the damned from 'no other motive than His own good pleasure and free-will' (I quote the very words); there is something in all this so awfully blasphemous in its appalling horrors, that we might be almost tempted to believe it to be a theology framed and published by an arch-fiend. I confess I feel no wonder at the dreadful consequences that have not seldom ensued from the preaching of stern, unmitigated Calvinism. I only wonder that suicide and child-murder have not more frequently followed. That these mournful deeds have resulted again and again from belief in the above tenets, there is, alas! no doubt. That persons having once fully received the doctrines should have never smiled again, I can too well understand. I know the mournful gloom that has settled down on pious souls who have given themselves up to this dark faith. I only wonder that real Calvinists should ever be able to join in mirth, nay, should ever dare to marry. If the Creator sees fit arbitarily to condemn millions of human beings to everlasting flames, should not the Calvinists shrink from the awful risk of having any share in consigning those souls to eternal torments, when no efforts of theirs could save their children, if they do not happen to be of the elect' when the chances are so tremendously against all their children being predestined to heaven; when those poor children may be snatched from their arms, and tossed into the gulf of eternal fire at the very moment when they have wound themselves most tenderly round their parents' hearts? And then to think of the eternal curses, in the midst of their everlasting pain, which those children, if dam
ned, would pour out upon their parents' heads for having brought them into existence. Certainly, no sincere Calvinist should ever dare to be a parent."
In his generous and Christian desire to find a soul of good, even in things evil, Mr. Solly has, we think, in other places attributed more moral power to Calvinism than it merits. Dr. Hopkins's theology was a modification of Calvinism, not Calvinism itself "The Covenanters" is a broad term, covering many shades and diversities of opinion. The spirit of the Pilgrim Fathers, if John Robinson of Leyden be its interpreter, breathed holier accord with that of Christ than the Institutes of Calvin. The "sacrifices" of the " Free Church movement in Scotland," if referring to worldly substance and standing were more in name than reality. Ecclesiastical domination, priest power, the glory sought after, rather than that of God, or the maintenance of Christian liberty. Calvinists have, doubtless, been often better than their "Confession," but their goodness sprang not from that "Confession," but from Christ constraining imitation and commandment.
Injustice Rebuked, Ignorance Exposed, and Truth Vindicated. By James Taplin, pp. 32. London, J. Mardon.
FEW men have laboured more assiduously and perseveringly in the upholding of Christian truth, and the demolition of religious error, than the deservedly esteemed and indefatigable Christian Unitarian Minister of St. Helier's, Jersey. Conducting, in addition to the usual religious services of the Lord's day, a lecture in the Chapel on one evening in the week; commencing and fostering a Sunday School; giving personal attention, likewise, to the musical department of public worship; distributing tracts; suffering no word of disparagement against the principles he holds sacred to pass without rebuke and exposure, he has proved himself a Christian watchman, ever at the post of duty, ready to do the work of an Evangelist, faithfully, thoroughly. Isolated in his island home from the aid and co-operation of Christian brethren, he has had to struggle, single handed, with the inertness and sluggish prejudices of a population, with whom "fear of change" is powerfully operative; and by whom the mental and moral effort religious change necessitates, are dreaded as evils perplexing and disastrous. Nevertheless he has not abated one jot of heart and hope, that eventually even these obstacles and difficulties will give way to continuous and welldirected agency and energy. As one means for the dissemination of religious knowledge, an annual social gathering has
been employed. The 29th November, 1848, witnessed a larger assemblage at one of these meetings than had ever previously come together. Numbers of other denominations joined this Unitarian Annual Tea Soiree." The first sentiment enunciated from the chair, was "Our Island Church, may it be an example to all Churches for a firm and faithful adherence to the teachings of Christ, for its moderation in defending its doctrines; for its spirit of benevolence and good will towards all mankind."
To this the Rev. James Taplin responded, giving a succinct and Scriptural statement of the religious opinions entertained by "Our Island Church," and naming amongst others of the great and good who had rejoiced in the truthfulness of those opinions, John Milton. On a report of this meeting, and the remarks made at it, appearing in one of the newspapers, the Rev. Edward Dewhirst addressed some criticisms on the proceedings to the Journal, asserting that the meeting was one of beguilement and entrappage," and that "It was beyond all conscience when John Milton was boldly declared to be a Unitarian Christian." Mr. Taplin replied. Its insertion was refused unless shortened. It was abbreviated, and docked still more by the Editors, appeared. The accuser's rejoinder was given, but the Unitarians were refused further opportunity of remark. Other parties were allowed to join in the bolstering up of Trinitarianism in the Journal which disliked religious controversy. Mr. Taplin properly availed himself of a free press, and published a separate pamphlet detailing these particulars, proving Milton's Unitarianism by Milton's own words in his "Treatise on Christian Doctrine," and assigning Scriptural interpretations of the passages of Scripture adduced by the coadjutors of Mr. Dewhirst. It is a triumphant refutation of the folly that had disported itself, and an excellent elucidation of the meaning of the Scripture passages which had been marshalled in array against the "faith in Christ" maintained by "Our Island Church." The pamphlet would have been still more useful had a brief outline of the principles of Christian Unitarianism been given, and had there been less employment of epithets to characterize the sayings and doings of Mr. Dewhirst. We trust the result of the attack on Christian Unitarians will be to excite greater attention to their principles. Let the deep mental stagnation of the Island be moved, and a more healthful atmosphere of feeling and thought will stimulate and strengthen to Scriptural inquiry, and honest conscientious profession of the truth in Christ Jesus.
RELIGIOUS AND PHILANTHROPIC.
MAY 1, 1849.
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND MECHANICAL INSTITUTION. On the 16th March, 1824, this Institution was founded. Its first monthly meeting was held May 11. The Rev. William Turner delivered an introductory Address explanatory of the objects and advantages of such associations. It has pursued a steady and useful course, gradually accumulating a Library of several thousand volumes; holding monthly meetings for the reading and discussion of papers submitted to it; giving medals and prizes for compositions on appointed subjects; obtaining philosophical apparatus; securing the delivery of lectures to its members and the general public; opening evening classes for instruction in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, English grammar, bookkeeping, French, German; and still more recently attaching a News Room to its other instrumentalities for the diffusion of knowledge. Among its earliest supporters are to be numbered the true hearted, honest, upright, far-seeing friend of popular rights and improvement, John George Lambton, afterwards Earl of Durham; the late venerable Bishop of the diocese ; one of the respected Representatives of the Town, William Ord, Esq.; and from its commencement to the present day its respected and honoured President C. W. Bigge, Esq. Upwards of £6,000 have been expended in furtherance of the objects of the Institution; its present numbers are about 800.
On Tuesday and Friday, March 20 and 23, lectures on the Characteristics and Tendencies of the present Age were delivered to the members and public generally by George Dawson, B.A., of Birmingham. Mr. Harris was called to the chair on both evenings. The audience was not so large as could have been wished the first night, but it fully doubled the second. The lectures were of great interest, and enunciated many wholesome truths. The Mammon worship of the times met deserved rebuke; the miserable, though sometimes potent persecution of individual thought, and expression of conscientious conviction, which actuated numbers in all ranks and most communities; the withdrawment of the "countenance" of this respectable, and that rich one, when plans or principles were broached, novel or antagonistic to the whim, prejudice, or caprice of the would-be great and self-supposed influential, were held up to moral reprobation and satirical reproof. Wit and argument mingled with historical fact, and appropriate anecdote, to rivet attention and induce conviction, whilst moral and spiritual, free and generous individuality of thought, purpose and action were pointed as the true and noble ends of existence. Doubtless in the graphic groupings and contrasts exhibited, fallacies might be detected; occasional statements were given, which, though brilliant in antithesis, needed explanation and guidance to render them really useful and instructive, and more methodical arrangement of the subjects touched on would have produced a more vivid and lasting impression on the auditors. The lectures were too phantasmagoric, the dissolving views flitted too rapidly past to be graven on the mind and memory. Still no one could listen to the statements made, without instruction. We regretted the comparative paucity of attendance. On the nights of lectures the rooms of the Institution should be closed. At all times the books