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men-men whose preaching was in full correspondence with the standards of the Church, and who rejoiced to spend and be spent for Christ; but the state of things brought about by the various adverse elements to which I have adverted, was favourable to coldness and indifference, and to the introduction and spread of dangerous error. Accordingly, such seems to have been the prevailing character of the Protestant Church during the seventeen years which preceded the Revolution. The infidelity of the philosophers, diffused with amazing activity and vast pecuniary sacrifices-it is said £600,000-through the medium of cheap publications, operating upon minds which had been deprived of suitable pastoral instruction, naturally exalted human reason to an undue place in religion. This, again, in its turn, opened the door to Arminianism, which had appeared before the dispersion, occasioned by the recall of the Edict of Nantes, but which now verged to Socinianism, and occasionally, perhaps, passed into it. The progress was the more easy, that, in many cases, the life of spiritual religion had departed, and left nothing but the forms of a dead orthodoxy behind; and then the Presbyterian Church government of the Reformed Church was in abeyance, indeed might practically be said to have no existence. Hence there was no befitting authority to check error, and arouse the negligent to their duty. Protestants might rejoice in the freedom which infidels promised them; but the instrument of their partial deliverance was a dangerous one, and soon passed into a most grinding tyranny. How different the position of the Protestant Church of this country! Her deliverance was brought about, not by the hazardous aid of infidelity in any degree, but by religious principle and religious agents, and hence her freedom has been stable. I do not say that the Protestants of France courted the infidels, or asked their allegiance; but the amount of infidelity then in the country, and the channels in which it was running, and the names which it assumed, were all most injurious to the Protestant cause, and fitted to deteriorate the high evangelical character for which it had been distinguished. It leavened the mind and taste, even of the well-disposed, without their being aware of it. Never should it be forgotten, that infidel principles are a poison, and act like the most insidious of poisons, as well as the most virulent.

Many are so impressed with the notion, that a persecuted Church must ever be a pure Church, they may be indisposed

to believe that the Protestants, while still suffering, had lost so much of their living Christianity as I have described; but the fact is certain, and strange to say, the deterioration was not confined to those who remained at home; the refugees who fled to Holland, and other lands, shared in the same degeneracy. It is a melancholy truth, that the sermons of the Walloon ministers, published in Holland towards the end of the last century, as well as at the beginning of the present, though not without merit, present a sad decline in tone, and spirit, and doctrine, from other days. These sermons are exceedingly numerous: many congregations apparently making it a regular practice to publish several volumes of the discourses of their deceased pastors; so that it is easier to draw a general inference as to the prevailing character of the preaching. While their advantages were superior in many respects to those of their brethren who remained in Francewhile they enjoyed the benefits of clerical education, and regular Church government, still they felt the benumbing influence of the same infidelity. The memory of former persecution, and the enjoyment of present blessings, were not a sufficient safeguard against its power. The grand error of their preaching lay in light views of Christ-of his sacrifice and salvation-a forgetfulness of the Holy Spirit-of the absolute necessity of his regenerating and sanctifying grace. Of course with this was conjoined a high idea of the reason and moral power of man; in short, infidelity applied to the doctrines of revelation, while the divine origin of revelation itself was admitted.

I do not know whether, even with these explanations, the reader will be prepared for the appalling fact, that such had been the decline of religion among the Protestants of France at the period of the Revolution, that several of the pastors publicly abjured Christianity as a lie. It is well known that not a few of the Roman Catholic clergy did so, and we do not greatly wonder at this. It is to be feared very many of them were and are infidels, and wear the sacerdotal habit merely for secular ends. Popery and infidelity—the believing too much, and the not believing at all-have always gone together. Indeed, in an age of any light, it cannot be otherwise; but it was a new thing for Protestant ministers to be found in the open ranks of infidelity. Yet so it was. Two representatives of the people at Rochefort wrote to the Convention in October, 1793, that eight Popish priests, and a Protestant minister, "had abjured their errors in the tem

ple of truth, formerly the parish church, and had promised to teach nothing but morality, and the hatred of all religious tyranny. They confirmed their oath, by burning their letters of ordination amid the mixed acclamations of both Catholics and Protestants." On the 7th of November, Gobet, the Archbishop of Paris, appeared at the bar of the Convention, attended by his vicar, eight rectors, and a Protestant minister of the name of Julien-fit name for such an apostate. They all not only abjured their sacred offices, but the religion of Jesus Christ. On the 14th of the same month, Morron, the Protestant pastor of St. Thomas de Louvre, in Paris, deposited on the table of the Commons, four silver cups, which had been used in administering the Lord's Supper, adding these words: "They served our worship; but prejudice, and sometimes reason, reproached us with the extreme folly of using them." It were easy to multiply these horrifying details, especially as regarded the Popish clergy; but the specimen is more than sufficient. It clearly proves how sad was the degeneracy which had overshadowed the Protestant Church, when any of her ministers, or professed people, could be guilty of such moral atrocities. The great body of the pastors may have held these outbursts of infidelity in abhorrence. Indeed, the Protestants who would not go the length of the Revolutionists, were subjected to the cruelest treatment. In the department of Gard alone, the slaughter was wide-spread. During the reign of terror, the Protestants were as much oppressed and persecuted as the Roman Catholics. This is apparent from the religious profession of those who were guillotined. Of one party of sufferers, Lauze de Peret gives the following summary:— ninety-one Roman Catholics, forty-six Protestants, and one Jew-showing a higher proportion of Protestants than others. Nothing, then, can be more unreasonable than to denounce them as Jacobins and Revolutionists. It is to be remembered, too, that the eminent Protestant minister, Paul Rabaut, was, by order of the Convention, arrested, and sent to prison on an ass, being too aged and infirm to walk; and that it was only the fall of Robespierre which saved him from the guillotine, at nearly eighty years of age-a doom which overtook his son, also a minister and a scholar, a few months before the venerable father died in his own house at Nismes. The wretched facts, however, which we have been reviewing, proclaim the progress and the power of infidelity even in the Protestant Church; and ere this result could

have been reached, we may be sure both irreligion and error must have attained an unhappy sway. It is a fallen Christianity which is the grand pioneer of infidelity.


In the last chapter on the history of the Church of Scotland, the melancholy change which came over her character and operations was shortly described. It is matter of deep regret, that the present chapter must deal in a similar description. There was no favourable change. Our remarks will necessarily be brief. The Church, as a Christian Church, was so cold and dead, that she has left little or nothing to record. A desert is much more easily and quickly described than a richly cultivated country. The Secession of 1733 had grown rapidly, and there had been a formidable Popish rebellion in 1745. Still there was no relaxation in the enforcement of the disastrous Patronage Act of 1711. There may have been occasional compromises of difficult cases, but where the patron and presentee assert their claims, the Church enforces them at the point of the bayonet: the evil continues and deepens, and the cold irreligion of the Church grows apace. There is a fresh secession from the Establishment in 1761, solely on the score of the rigorous and intolerable exercise of lay patronage, hence taking the name of the Relief. This party have now risen to nearly one hundred congregations, a more numerous body than the Roman Catholics or the Episcopalians, who could once call the Established Church their own: so great is the evil which created them. Divisions among the seceding Presbyterians gave no strength to the Church-they weakened her the more as each party required to collect adherents from her pale to support its separate interests. Matters became so formidable about 1766, from the spread of dissent, that efforts were made in the General Assembly after milder measures. near balance of parties in the Supreme Court, (99 to 85,) shows that a large body of sound men still remained in the Establishment, that they were still nearly one-half; and for some years there was a mitigation of the severity of the past procedure, but there was no real change of principle. Dissent continued to swell, and all the more, that the dominant


advocates of rigorous patronage now, with all propriety, became the protectors of scandalous ministers, whom they ought to have deposed from the holy ministry. This added to the disgust of the people. The good work in which the General Assembly was engaged in earlier years, in planting schools and churches, seems in a great measure to have been arrested. In 1758, there were not less than one hundred and seventy-five Highland parishes, in which not so much as one parochial school had been established; and if in a department in which all are agreed, even those who are little influenced by religious principle, there were so much carelessness and failure in duty, we may be sure that in departments more strictly Christian, the culpable remissness would be still more flagrant. The religious destitution of the Highlands, as appears from several reports to the Assembly on the subject in 1766, was very clamant, but no steps seem to have been taken to meet it. Indeed there can be little question, that the native Popery, instead of diminishing, grew under the adverse influences which have been referred to. It is only a living and fervent Gospel, such as that which was wielded by the Reformers at the period of the Reformation, which can successfully meet it. Besides, a Roman Catholic scarcely thinks it worth while to change from the Arminianism of Popery to the Arminianism of Protestantism: the systems are substantially the same. Hence the Churches of the Reformation, after they became infected with cold Arminianism, made no head against Popery; nay, the Church of Rome gained fresh adherents. She has attractions to boast of which the Arminian school in the Church of Scotland could not present. The well authenticated report of the "Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge," in 1783, certifies, that from 1750, there had been an increase of two hundred Roman Catholics in the parish of Inveraven, and of seventy-seven in that of Kirkmichael, which adjoins; that in five years, one hundred and fifty had been perverted by Popish priests in the parish of Lochalsh, and that not a year passed in which the Society were not well informed of the progress of Popery in different parts of the Highlands. Shortly before the report was drawn up, a Popish academy was established at North Morar, for the education of priests, and almost as soon as opened, there were sixteen students, most of them "sons of gentlemen in that country. Popish schools and chapels were also multiplied." The Society state, that their information,

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