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been shown over and over again to be wholly fortuitous and
There is one point on which we will only touch in our examination of our coming time, seeing it has received and is receiving due attention elsewhere—we refer to County Government. The anomaly of having a Representative House to govern the country, and an irresponsible little House of Peers to manage each county, is sufficiently apparent. Whatever arguments apply with force to the necessity for the participation of the people in the management of national affairs, equally apply to their management of their own more immediate home affairs; and a participation in the conduct of the county business will be the first step towards forcing the just demands of the community upon the notice of the law-givers. We will go even further, and insist that while hitherto county business stops short at all matters that are outside the immediate improvement of the land from the proprietorial point of view, it will in the future take cognisance of many matters that are more directly for the benefit of the public. Amongst these we would place the erection of piers, of suitable quays, of boat harbours; and to a large extent it seems to us also they ought to act as delegates for the Woods and Forests, and the Admiralty, in respect to the development and utilisation of their own coasts and foreshores. To do so at present would be anything but an improvement.
We have looked dispassionately and without any strongly preconceived opinions at the Future of the Highlands, as it appears to us required by the progress of thought and the march of events; and however unwilling to destroy time-honoured institutions, it seems to us that no real progress commensurate with the rational expectations of the community can be expected, without the removal of the game incubus, and the loosening of the grip of the proprietors on the land. As it stands, these latter do not pay their reasonable share of the nation's taxation; and when to this is added the burden they throw on the sparsely peopled portion through retaining untaxed and unpeopled wastes for their petty amusements, unutilised and unfrequented coasts through their petty jealousy, unworked and almost unknown. resources through their selfish indifference, the Future of the
Highlands cannot well be thought of except as controlled by the energetic industrial population that is growing slowly, and will soon advance rapidly. True wisdom and wise conservatism will open the door quietly in time, and not stand with its back to it, until the accumulating pressure bursts it in and overthrows it.
ART. VII.-SOME RESULTS OF SCOTCH THEOLOGY. 1. The Progress of Theology in Scotland. The Scottish Review, November, 1882.
2. Theology in Scotland. The Scottish Review, February, 1883. THE title of this article ought in strict accuracy to take the
form of a query. The present writer would rather suggest as a question, than assert dogmatically, that certain aspects of religious life in Scotland are the legitimate result of the general tone of Scotch theology. The ordinary human mind is always prone, on detecting points of resemblance between any two phenomena, to jump to the conclusion that they necessarily stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect; whereas a further pursuing of the subject will often lead to the discovery that both are collateral descendants of some common ancestor. Still it seems to us worthy of note that, in many of its features, religion in Scotland is very much what a prior acquaintance with Scotch theology would lead us to expect; and we confess that the fact that we have seen, in individual cases, the whole tone and temper of religious feeling appear to change with the adoption of Scotch theological doctrines, inclines us strongly to the opinion that the theology is mainly responsible for the religion.
The two very able articles whose titles stand at the head of this paper, will have been read with deep interest by all thoughtful observers of the tendencies of modern religious speculation. Without committing ourselves to absolute partizanship, we must frankly admit that our sympathies are with the first article, which we think, perhaps we might say hope,
projects upon our path the shadows of an impending future. Some weak points in that article are, however, pointed out with much ability in its successor, although in passing we would venture to protest against a writer who can speak of emptiness as a substance (p. 240), defiantly flourishing the scalping knife of logical consistency. This second article represents, we think, the more adequately of the two, the tone and temper of the theology from or with which the religious life of Scotland has taken its rise. What is the general character of that theology?
The Scotch theology,' says the writer, 'is that expressed in the Westminster Confession, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.' He also quotes a sort of explanatory appendix to the Westminster Confession issued by the United Presbyterian Church, some clauses of which appear to our, perhaps unenlightened understanding, to be nearly equivalent to an enactment that henceforth two and two shall make five. The Westminster Confession, whether or not 'vicious throughout,’ we have not read, nor the Larger Catechism. The Shorter Catechism has always been more than we have found our spiritual digestion able to assimilate; but whatever its intrinsic qualities may be, we doubt if terror-stricken human nature has ever been driven to more barefaced lying than has been resorted to in order to escape the horrors of an examination therein.
Without exhaustive study of these documents it is not difficult, however, to perceive the general tone of their theology. With coldly pitiless severity they build up a sternly logical system. What matter if weary travail-worn human hearts fail and faint beneath their load? A concatenated system' is set forth, in which the conception of God rules the whole order and relation of our thoughts.' The Divine Sovereignty-Redemption-Election-the total Depravity of Man-and all the other dogmas fit into their respective places with as much chiselled accuracy as the stones of the great pyramid; even Love itself becomes an orthodox theological dogma, and gleams from its appointed place in the system like Byron's star
'Distinct, but distant; clear, but oh, how cold!'
Not very long since we heard a minister of the Established Church of Scotland, declare from the pulpit that theology too often proved itself a scalpel, under whose keen cold edge religion sank and died. The recent subject of his studies did not seem to us to be very far to seek. Not that we doubt for a moment that clear, distinct, perhaps necessarily cold, severe, statements of theological doctrine must be as essential a part of the preparatory studies of men who intend to enter the ministry, as are minute anatomical investigations of those of medical students. But no medical man would dream of resorting to exhaustive anatomical lectures as a means of promoting the general physical health of the community; and when this cold severe theology is projected upon the spiritual life of the nation at large, it seems to us to substitute a dry hard system of doctrine for a warm living religion, with results which are not altogether favourable to Scotch religious life.
Something of this stern severity of its theology, we think, greatly mars the beauty and attractiveness of religion in Scotland. But before we proceed to point out instances of this injurious influence, we wish to guard against the chance of almost necessary contrasts with the English system being strained further than we intend. The writer on Theology in Scotland' in the February number of The Scottish Review, distinctly claims that the Scotch theology is the pretty general theology of all Churches, 'save those which draw their inspiration from England or Rome.' In seeking for results of a different tone of theology, we are therefore almost forced to seek them in England; but not for a moment would we therefore advocate the wholesale introduction into Scotland of English methods of procedure. Not much greater mischief, we suppose, has been done in the world than by the gigantic blunder of assuming that, because certain methods produce admirable results, under certain conditions, they will necessarily produce equally desirable ones under wholly different conditions. If it be granted that English religious life has, in many respects, the advantage over its Scotch sister, all that this admission includes is, that Scotland would do well to modify
her system in some such manner as would produce, probably by wholly different means, corresponding results.
To return to the subject of the aspect of religion in Scotland. There is, we believe, a very common impression in the minds of those not intimately acquainted with the country, that the beginning, middle, and end of Scotch religion is stern Sabbatarianism. The diatribes we still often hear on this subject are interesting instances of the tendency of ordinary human beings to go on saying a thing merely because they have said it before. The rigid Sabbatarianism which was a marked feature of Scotch religion fifty years ago, no longer exists as a national characteristic, although ardent individual advocates of it may yet be found. The Scotch are no restless seekers after amusement, and they spend their Sundays quietly, but far more as the result of natural temperament than of religious principle; and we think that no unprejudiced observer who had watched the Sunday habits of the Scotch, at least in country districts, would hesitate to admit that they get more real rest and refreshment out of the day, than do those who pass it in scenes of so called pleasure and recreation.
With that rigid Sabbatarianism have departed also sundry objectionable customs with respect to the services on Sunday. It is not often now that a member of the congregation is seen to walk leisurely up the aisle with his hat on, seat himself in his pew, and take a general survey all around, before it seems to occur to him to remove it. Dogs no longer form a fraction of the congregation, nor do snuff boxes travel about as we remember to have seen them doing long since. But though all is now orderly decorum in the church services, it is surely a very cold decorum. The attendants at Scotch churches always seem to us to wear more the character of an audience, than of a congregation. A quiet, attentive, thoughtful one, certainly, but still an audience; there to be preached to, and prayed at, but not to take any earnest personal share in the services; and more disposed, we think, in general, to go away well satisfied, if the sermon has contained a good strong dose of severely orthodox doctrine, than if it had been an earnest practical exhortation to live every hour of life up to the spirit