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that true scriptural unity requires outward manifestation. And there are several different ways in which unity may be manifested. The first of these is by a mutual public acknowledgment, on the part of Christians, of their brotherhood in Christ. If mutual recognition be, in all cases, principally founded on oneness of faith in the great and fundamental doctrines of the gospel, there surely is no reason why it should be confined to brethren of our own peculiar denomination. We may believe others to be, in some minor points, in error, and may think it right to protest against their error; but yet remembering the apostolic rule, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye;" and this solemn admonition, "Why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?" "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth." We ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and, notwithstanding supposed infirmities, to own them brethren beloved. Nor ought this mutual recognition to be confined to individual Christians: wherever believers meet for the observance of Divine ordinances, and for the increase of the kingdom of their Lord, there, whatever imperfections may exist in subordinate matters, there is the essence of a church of Christ. Surely, then, if individual Christians should recognize each other as brethren, churches, notwithstanding minor differences, should do so too. The passages of Scripture already quoted in reference to individual recognition may also be applied to church recognition; and it may well be asked whether, if such recognition be prevented by minor differences, churches would not be assuming over one another an authɔrity which belongs to Christ alone. Nay, we go further: faithful and devoted men, whom God has blessed to the conversion of sinners and the edification of his people, even though their introduction to the ministry be considered in some points irregular, or though the churches in which they hold office be regarded as imperfectly constituted, ought to be recognized as ministers of Christ. What though there be these deficiencies, is it to be regarded as nothing that they preach “Christ and him crucified?"—that the Lord has worked with them, and confirmed the word with signs following-that in thus giving them souls for their hire, he has set His seal on their ministry-and that whilst He has told his people that they shall distinguish true and false prophets by their fruits, these men are evidently, in their aim, zeal, labours, character, and conversation, holy men of God, men whose bodies are manifestly the temples of the Holy Ghost? Can true Christians consider all these things as nothing, and imitate John when he went to Jesus and said, "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us?" If they can, will they not disobey Christ, who replied to John, "Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us?"
Again; Christian unity is manifested not only by mutual recognition, but by united celebrations of Divine ordinances. It is when
Christians meet together for religious exercises that they appear before the world in their distinctive character; and hence, they cannot meet unitedly for such exercises without making their union apparent to the world. Now, though circumstances may not allow of different religious parties frequently assembling together, occasional special assemblies, in which different denominations shall avowedly unite in praise and prayer, (and why not also in the breaking of bread?) would publicly manifest their fellowship one with another; at such times Christians would show themselves one with the universal church, and the world would see them all holding the unity of the faith in the bond of peace.
There is one other mode in which Christian unity may be manifested, and that is by co-operation. Whilst it is right for Christians, for churches, for denominations, separately and independently to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, to protest against the errors which undermine the foundations of spiritual Christianity, and to seek for the extension of the kingdom of Christ, it is also right to do all this unitedly, and it is so that they may show to the world that they are contending for a common faith,—that the errors against which they bear testimony are esteemed by them as destructive of their common Christianity, and that in seeking to enlarge the boundaries of the church, they have a common object to accomplish.
Such is "true unity;" a unity which may exist without a pope, without diocesan bishops, without articles, without a liturgy; nay, without the incorporation of Christians into one sect, one party, one denomination. This is a unity which involves no compromise of principle; it merely implies obedience to the apostolic precept, "Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." For this unity let us labour; for this unity let us pray; and it will be when this unity is visible that the prayer of Christ will be answered: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.'
INFIDELITY AND CHRISTIANITY COMPARED IN THEIR SUCCESS.-No. III.
"If this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it," ACTS v. 38, 39.
MAN is depraved : revelation asserts it, conscience attests it, experience confirms it, the past and present condition of the world demonstrate it. Varied and numerous have been the schemes devised for his amelioration: the educator has recommended knowledge; the politician, equal rights and privileges; the philanthropist, universal brotherhood; the peace lecturer, abolition of war; the teetotaler,
entire abstinence from all intoxicating drinks as a beverage. These and other specifics that might be named have each their excellences; but Christianity unites them all, anticipates every improvement, and superinduces that without which everything else were an utter failure. A system so complete, embodying "whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report," one would imagine had been without an antagonist; but, as if more forcibly to demonstrate human depravity, an opposite system, in the form of infidelity, has been instituted, ostensibly (would you believe it?) to benefit man, but practically to injure and destroy him for ever! We have contrasted
the two systems in their principles and difficulties; let us now inquire what claims each has upon our credence in regard particularly to success. Experiment is the characteristic of the age: the theoretical yields to the practical; the empirical to the effectual; the transient to the enduring. Tried by these tests, what have infidelity and Christianity done for man personally, relatively, socially, nationally, universally?
1. Personally.-The Bible abounds with examples as interesting as they are admonitory; but take the cases of modern infidels themselves, who have left us their writings and autobiographies to judge: Voltaire and Paine, Newton and Cecil. Was Voltaire a better man for his infidelity? Viewed in whatever relation you find him, unspeakably worse. Paine was no better. Newton and Cecil were both infidels in their unregeneracy; but while infidelity left Voltaire and Paine corrupt, debased, injurious, wretched, pests to society, Christianity left Newton and Cecil pure, elevated, useful, happy-a blessing to the church and the world. Nor are these the only specimens: they are the genus of the masses on whom infidelity and Christianity have operated. Infidelity generally prostrates the intellect of man, continuing him the slave of his own evil passions; Christianity invariably enlightens and emancipates man, enabling him to " deny himself of all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world," and having lived in God's fear, at length to die in God's favour.
2. Relatively-Man is really what he is relatively. Abroad he is often guarded, he acts apart; at home he is himself. Now look at an infidel and a Christian in the family circle: the children of the former are taught infidelity-the children of the latter are taught Christianity; the one keep the sabbath, going somewhere-the other profane the sabbath, going nowhere; the Christian prays with and for his family-the infidel does not pray at all. What are the moral results? In nine instances out of ten, if not in every instance, have you not found that while, in the household of the infidel, there have been insubordination, misrule, inconstancy, inattention, want of natural affection with their cognate vices-in the household of the Christian there have been order, regularity, kindness, affection with their kindred virtues? And say which are the happier?—the happier husband? the happier wife? the happier father? the happier mother?
the happier sons? the happier daughters? the happier sisters? the happier brothers? the happier family?
Even in Eden it was not
3. Socially-Man is made for society. good for him to be alone: it is the same now. He naturally seeks fellowship with his species, like birds of a feather, which flock together. On communities how have infidelity and Christianity succeeded? It is not a little remarkable, considering the plausibility of infidel pretensions, that no efforts have been made until lately to influence any class of the world's population. One would imagine that if infidels had attached real importance to their principles, they had not thus stood idle all the day. On Mr. Owen, the socialist, however, has fallen the honour of attempting something on the social scale. What did that inventor of new morals do but establish a settlement in a favourite spot in America, which he designated "New Harmony." But why did he not try his skill in England? He did, at Lanark, in Scotland; but Lanark proved a failure, as did also "New Harmony," in America: thus exemplifying the satire of the poet:
"Their clime, and not their mind, they change,
How has Christianity succeeded? Mark the contrast! In Kidderminster, where Baxter laboured, you might have heard a hundred families singing psalms and repeating sermons as you passed through the streets. This was the case even with the inns and public-houses of the town. Nor have these sunny spots been wanting in other parts of the world, as many a hamlet in Christendom shows. Think of the thousands of churches formed in this and other lands, all over the civilized world, meeting together in love to worship the same God, to break the same bread, to express their confidence in the same Saviour, and to joy in the same immortality; and then recal to mind the previous characters of the numerous constituents-so varied in intellect, temperament, education, condition in life, habit, taste, morality, and so forth-and you cannot but exclaim with admiration, "What hath God wrought!"
4. Nationally.-There is only one instance, and God forbid there should ever be another, in which infidelity has been incorporated with the government of a nation. We refer to revolutionary France, in the year 1793. The historian, after drawing a dreadful picture of the licentiousness, the cruelty, the blasphemy, the destruction, the anarchy which prevailed, thus sums up the mournful results:Within the short space of ten years, not less than 3,000,000 perished in France alone: of these 800,000 fell in civil war. At first the massacres were at the rate of five per day; but under the Convention they rose to 1000 per day; and this was continued for years. 1,040,000 were massacred; 20,000 died of famine; 3,400 women died in premature childbirth, brought on by terror. In the city of Paris, in two years, there were 6000 divorces; and so little has the country recovered its moral equilibrium, that in Paris, at the present
day, between a third and a half of the births are illegitimate, and over the country at large there are not less than 1,800 suicides a year. Nor imagine all this mischief was done by the rabble: it is estimated that 20,000 men of letters were enlisted in the cause of infidelity, and in a single year expended £900,000 upon the infidel press. Unhappy France! she bleeds under infidelity to this day! Nor can republicanism stop the bloody issue: it will flow on to the millennium. Contrast England with France. It is conceded there is much in our highly-favoured land to deplore; but the evils under which we groan are not attributable to Christianity, but to the selfishness and pride of men, which Christianity everywhere condemns. But compare England, even in her present low estate, with what she was before Christianity visited her shores, and what a change! Christianity has effected it. America, too, owes all her civilization, and freedom, and independence, and prosperity to Christianity. Christianity has done more for the public welfare of nations than all the civil institutions of men put together; and by this alone can the wilderness and solitary place be made glad, and the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. There wants nothing else to make the world peaceful, prosperous, and happy.
5. Universally. What has infidelity done for the perishing heathen-six hundred millions, at least? Literally nothing. But what has Christianity done? Much every way; and she is going on conquering and to conquer. Barbarism has been exchanged for refinement, licentiousness for modesty, lust for chastity, cruelty for kindness, anarchy for order, indolence for industry, slavery for freedom, mutual suspicion for mutual confidence, tumult, passion, and war, for calmness, charity, and peace. The cold and icy heart of the Greenlander has melted amid his eternal snows. The devotees of Juggernaut have become dispossessed of the demons of lewdness, ferocity, and blood. The degraded and brutalized Hottentot has become a civilized man, and a pure and heavenly-minded expectant of glory, honour, and immortality. The poor and enslaved spirit of the injured African has been set free. The defenceless negro has become clothed in the white robes of heavenly intelligence and moral purity. They have visited this country, they have entered our chapels, they have stood on our platforms; they have spoken to us through an interpreter, "clothed, and in their right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus." Can infidelity boast of such trophies? Let its adherents answer. Bingley.
THE TRUE BAPTISM.
CHRISTIAN baptism, as a Divine ordinance, requires its professors to understand clearly its scriptural nature and design. This is more especially im
portant at the present time, because of the extraordinary zeal which is being shown by a large body of the clergy in the Church of England, as well as by