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“He Doeth all Things Well," 187 John Knox's Road to Visibility, 315
Lay Preaching, 317, 356, 382, 383
Prayer-week, Another, 21
Presbyterianism in England, 358, 359, 381
Presbyterian Educational Institutes, A Plea
Letter from Dr. Lorimer on, 53
Letter from Professor Levi on, 87
Popery of Scottish Presbyterianism,” The,
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Baptism; or, a Contribution to Christian
Blackwell Prize Essay, The, 322
British and Foreign Evangelical Review,
Cassell's Illustrated Family Bible, vol. i.,
122; vol. ii., 289
Christian Woman, The: Her Place and
Children's Church at Home, The, 55
Death to Life, From, 54
Earning a Living, 123
Grapes of Eshcol, 123
Lives Made Sublime by Faith and Works,
Martyrdom of Kelavane, 121
Old Jonathan's Alınanack, 387
Pastor of Kilsyth, The, 122
Penitent's Prayer, The, 54
Personal Piety, 386
Plain Paths for Youthful Runners, 55
Pleading Saviour, The, 290
Prayer Answered in the History of Crosby
Presbyterianism in England, 292
Preparing for Home, 386
Sandeman, Rev. David, Memoir of, 24
The Gospel according to Matthew Ex-
Letter from "A plained, 386
True Manhood, 123
Twin Brothers, The, 288
Tweed and Don, 55
Village Missionaries, 289
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN ENGLAND. Michaelchurch, Herefordshire, 268
Morpeth, Annual Meeting at, 61
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 60, 124, 159, 198, 229,
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, New Presbyterian
Church at, 364
Presbytery of London, Meeting of Ministers
and Olice-bearers of, 95
Regent's-square Church, London, Congre
gational Meeting at, 62
terian Church, 199
Trinity Church, Newcastle, Anniversary
United Presbyterian Church, Deputation
from English Presbyterian Synod to,
Woolwich, Congregational Meeting, 95
Young Men's Congregational Association,
Ancoats, Meeting of, 29
Young Men's Congregational Association,
Grosvenor-square, Manchester, 93
Young Men's Congregational Association,
Young Men's Societies' Union, 93
Canadian Presbyterian Church, The, 330,
Christian Patriot, Death of a, 96
Matthew's Gospel, 392
Munificent Endowment to the Free Church,
Popery in Englund, 331
Presbyterian Church and Schools, Crewe,
of the, 64
United Presbyterian Church in London,
Union of Churches in Canada and Nora
University Degrees, 389
Lachiison, the late Ir. Jurnes, 63
THE SCOTTISH REFORMATION.
WONDERFUL and ever-memorable is that movement which, commencing in the fifteenth century, culminated about the middle of the sixteenth ; that composite and mutually subservient movement, which we call the Revival of Letters and the Reformation of Religion ; which, felt in every land, arrested in some, partially successful in several, and triumphant in yet others, has created modern Christendom.
In few countries was this Reformation more needful than in Scotland. Not that its people possessed no good qualities, for all along they had been brave, hardy, and patriotic, ever ready to fight for their country and for freedom. But the darkness was something wonderful, and throughout large districts the people were little better than savages. Many a nobleman could hardly sign his name, and even ecclesiastics boasted that they could neither read nor write ; and from the highest to the lowest the people were all alike priest-ridden. If a poor man had died, his widow would part with the blanket that was needed to keep her children warm, or with the cow that should have nourished them, in order to buy his soul out of purgatory; and if a rich man were dying, he sent in all haste for the neighbouring prior, and however horrible his life may have been, he was sure to be shriven, if, "whilst grass grows and water flows," he made over a few fat acres to the sisters of St. Mary or the monks of St. Martin. A used-up profligate or broken-down ruffian had only to take with him a remnant of his ill-gotten gains, in order to be welcomed by any religious fraternity, and as soon as his head was shaved he was sure of a crown of glory, and was furnished with a safe-conduct to heaven ; and even if he was not so fortunate as to repent in time-if the robber was cut down driving his stolen cattle before him, or the debauchee fell dead amidst liis drunken orgies--a payment to the Church could secure burial beneath the high altar, and all the advantages of the closest proximity to worthies well-known and warranted, who there slept in odour of sanctity. So that, betwixt its hold of the conscience, its access to the bedsides of the dying, and its awful prerogative of opening and shutting the gates of purgatory, the church had contrived to get into its possession about a third of the soil of the kingdom.
If the clergy were rich, and lazy, and scandalous, the laity were coarse and unscrupulous, and betwixt the weakness of law and the fury of passion, Scotland was a wretched land to live in. Border forays, and the feuds of clans, were the more exciting pursuits, and the intervals were filled up with litigation, personal quarrels, and the plots of far-seen rapacity. The gloomy No. 157.-New Series,
system of Rome was not likely to soften men's hearts, and under the influence of this dark and Druidical superstition wars were conducted and vengeance was glutted with a fiendish ferocity. A clan would take refuge in a deep and far-retiring cavern ; their hiding-place would be discovered, and with a pile of burning wood heaped against the mouth of the cave, the hapless fugitives would be smoked to death, with as little remorse as if they had been a nest of hornets. Another clan would be asleep and unsuspecting, when their enemies would set on fire the pine forest in the heart of which lay their bamlet, and when the roar of the flames roused the sleepers, their exulting enemies would drive them in again ; and even women and children attempting to escape, would be tossed back into the flaming furnace. The child is not likely to be milder or gentler than its nursing mother, and Rome was a mother who made horrors familiar. With anathemas habitually sounding from her altars, with a sulphurous odour in every sermon, and with no better helps to feeble faith than the thumb-screw and the fagot, is it any wonder that her duteous child should have grown up barbarous and bloodthirsty, and that her annals should be darkened with atrocities like the “Douglas Larder," the murder of the Duke of Rothesay, and those deeds of vengeance which often converted the public street into a field of battle, and the banquet-hall into a shambles ?
It was into this scene, so dark and wild, that gleam by gleam the light came straggling. The darkness comprehended it not, and for thirty years the contest proceeded,— Rome burning the martyrs, and the martyrdoms spreading the light. But by the time that Hamilton and Gourlay, Forret and Wishart, and a few men of mark, had been immolated, the power of the sword had passed from the Papacy. In August, 1560, the Parliament passed an Act against the Mass, an Act for Abolishing the Jurisdiction of the Pope, and an “Act repealing all the penal statutes against heresy, under which the nation has so long suffered;" and meeting under the authority of this same Parliament, on the 20th of December following, the first General Assembly laid the foundation of that ecclesiastical and theological system which, with various fortunes, has lasted these 300 years.
There is a difference betwixt self-respect and self-conceit; and so there is a difference betwixt those vain-glorious vauntings which may be called national or ecclesiastical egotism, and that esprit de corps, that love for one's country or church, which may be called civil or religious patriotism. A large proportion of our readers look to Scotland as the land of their nativity, and to the Church of Scotland as the church of their fathers; and therefore those who have not this felicity will hardly blame us if we should
“ Be to its faults a little blind,
And to its virtues very kind." We confess to a warm affection. We sometimes catch ourselves saying, “Oh, Jerusalem, if I forget thee.” We acknowledge many weaknesses — a fondness for covenanting melodies, a hankering after broom and heather, a readiness to be disarmed and thrown off our guard when accosted in Lowland Doric—but we are not bigots. We do prefer the “ Paradise Lost” to Wilkie's "Epigoniad.” After all, we hardly think that Gaelic was spoken in Paradise ; and if the ancestors of Newton, Bacon, and Shakspeare, really came from the North, it must have been at a very early period. And if in the sequel, anything should be uttered which savours of self-exaltation or foolish boasting, " ye will suffer fools gladly, seeing that ye yourselves are wise."
Nor is it mere unmingled boasting. There is a glory which has departed, and there is a glory which has never yet come. We cannot forget the
spiritual blight and desolation spread by the eighty years' ascendancy of a ministry, either rough and regardless, or respectable without religion, or religious without ardour or affection. And we cannot forget the corresponding, or rather, the consequent, decline in public morals ; the strong drink, the increase of crime, and the mischiefs manifold which flow from the bothy system. Nor has the full ideal ever been realised. There is a glory not come as yet ; for there is still a good deal of denominational zeal which needs to be sanctified and subordinated to zeal for the Saviour, and a good deal of theological knowledge which needs to be warmed up into active and practical piety.
The Scottish Reformation was marked by four features. It was Scriptural, Calvinistic, Presbyterian, and Educational.
1. It was Scriptural. In Germany some scraps of the old system were retained, not because they were found in Scripture, but because they had found a corner in the heart of Luther; hence we find in a Lutheran church the second commandment on the wall and a crucifix on the Communion table ; and, like the ark in the house of Dagon, we find justification by faith alone in the same creed with consubstantiation and sacramental efficacy~ with this natural upshot, that those who love their Dagon, and don't like to see him always tumbling down, are tempted to turn out the ark,—“ the article (as Luther called it) of a standing or falling church.” And in England many things were kept, not because the Reformers liked them, but because King Henry would not let them go ; and the same Smithfield saw people burned for having too much popery, and others for having too little. But in Scotland there were no such prepossessions, and no such complications. “ To the law and to the testimony;" and however venerable the usage, however comfortable or convenient the doctrine, if it could not establish its warrant in the Word of God, it was instantly and remorselessly discarded.
2. Still the resulting creed was Calvinistic. There is an immense distinction betwixt true pearls and their imitations in paste; and the first look-out must be to see that your stock is genuine, true nacre from the Meleagrina margaritifera, and not bees’-wax inside of a clear glass globule. But after people have got the pearls, it is natural to do something to preserve them or display them to advantage. They are beaded together in a row, or they are arranged in some pattern on a surface of silver and gold. The saving and sanctifying truths are scattered pearl-fashion in the ocean of Scripture, diamond-fashion in the field of the Word ; but, after you have found them, you can hardly help putting them together. In virtue of the generalising faculty which the Creator has implanted in the mind, you are almost compelled to group them together, and try to find a common principle which pervades and harmonises the whole. In other words, for the comfort of your own mind—from a necessity of nature--you form a system; and that system is the silver wire on which you string your pearls, it is the ornamental pattern in which you try to arrange them, so as to be a chain on your neck or a circlet round the seal on your finger. Even the ignorer of creeds and churches, who puts his pearls into a pill-box, or who carries them loose in his waistcoat pocket-even the opponent of all system is himself a systematist; his horror of first principles is itself a principle, and his little crotchet about dispensing with all creeds is itself another creed. In spite of himself he must have a system; for even if he abjure the jeweller's setting, he must have some means of keeping his acquisitions together, and without the pill-box or pocket he would soon lose the pearls.
Of those who have bent their minds to harmonise into one majestic whole the scattered truths of Scripture, we deem Calvin the mightiest and most