صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-namely, honestly to acknowledge his mistake, if it were one, and to apologize for it. But instead of this he says, "An error, greater in appearance than in reality, has crept into cur last Number; the utmost we can consent to do is to place among the errata of a second edition, for the Christian Observer has ever been, &c." read The party of which the Christian Observer is the organ has ever been." Can any thing be more equivocating than such a shuffle? If we had asserted that Mr. Drummond and the Morning Watch were active associates of Bishop and Williams in their murderous practices, and we were summoned before a jury to answer for the libel, would it be sufficient, without even an apology, or a tittle of proof that there was any foundation for the charge, coolly to say, that the utmost we can consent to do is to substitute the intimate friends of Mr. Drummond and the Morning Watch. Mr. Drummond might reply, that he was not to be libelled for other men's actions; and that, if we had no better excuse, judgment must pass upon us. We remarked that the moral honesty of the Morning Watch might be fairly tried by the above charge. It has been tried, and let a jury of readers determine the verdict.

The writer aggravates his offence by adding: “The present Editor of the Christian Observer says, that he never defended the London University;" thus adroitly leaving the reader to infer that there has been some change of editorship since the London University was planned; and that, though "the present Editor" was exonerated, the pages of his work were still guilty. This is another disingenuous trick, to avoid recanting a slander; for there is not a syllable in our pages about what the present Editor or any other Editor says; but a direct, plain, unequivocal denial from first to last. We asserted, that never have our pages defended either the London University, or a system of education from which God was rejected. The

insinuation as if there had been an inconsistency in our work on the subject, just to avoid admitting that the charge was from first to last fabricated and false, is another paltry artifice of which any honest man would be ashamed. How much more manly and honourable to have said, "We libelled you-it was a sheer blunder-pray forgive us."

The Morning Watch would have done well to take Mr. Drummond's advice about not alluding to persons and opinions upon hearsay. What does the writer know, except by gossip, as to the editorship of the Christian Observer? and is gossip to be gravely introduced into print, as document? We know by town's talk, if not by better evidence, who is the Editor of the Morning Watch; but in all our allusions to that work, we have never proceeded beyond acknowledged names and facts. However, as our Morning-Watch friend is so inquisitive, we will set his mind at rest, by telling him that “the present Editor" has been Editor for fifteen years (more than two apprenticeships), and therefore long before the London University was projected or thought of; so that the shuffle to get out of a falsehood by an equivocation about "the present Editor," is as unfortunate as it is Jesuitical.

But the Morning Watchman has yet another plea. He says, and there we heartily agree with him, that "Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. Macaulay are two of perhaps the brightest ornaments of Evangelicalism;" and that both these gentlemen are, or were, connected with the London University. Then by the aid of undocumented gossip, for we do not find any publication of the fact by Mr. Macaulay, the latter is stated to have been many years Editor of the Christian Observer; and thus the writer proves-not what he said was in our pages, but what he conjectured might naturally have been in them. Now whatever may be the opinion of Mr. Macaulay or any other gentleman, it has nothing to do with the fact whether

the pages of the Christian Observer had or had not contained what was charged upon them. As, however, Mr. Macaulay's name is introduced, we take the opportunity of adding with much pleasure, that he was Editor of this work for many years; and that the readers of this work are greatly indebted to him for his labours; and that when death shall unseal the silence which delicacy demands, at least the delicacy of a mind like that of Mr. Macaulay, the world will have to read a catalogue of benefits conferred upon it by the instrumentality of that eminently good and highly-gifted man, in many ways, and far more than we dare offend him by specifying, should his eye chance to glance on our pages. No man, we believe, has done more to promote Scriptural education throughout the world than Mr. Zachary Macaulay; and we


quite sure that if he or Mr. Wilberforce had any connexion with the London University, it must have been for some purpose of good, especially the institution of a college in close connexion with it, for theological lectures, opening an Episcopal chapel, and supplying other desiderata. Of this at least we are sure, that not only the Scriptural principles, but the sound judgment and practical wisdom, of both these much-esteemed men stand so justly high, that it would be a very powerful argument with us to reconsider any subject on which we did not find ourselves fully coinciding with their opinion. But this has nothing to do with the point now before us: we are not discussing the merits or demerits of the London University; but only exposing the gratuitous falsehood of the writer of the Morning Watch; who does not mend the matter by special pleading about Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. Macaulay, instead of ingenuously acknowledging his delinquency.

The writer in the Morning Watch lastly complains on behalf of the Record newspaper, that we have coupled the latter with the former.

We only coupled them in the points in which they agreed; the Record is no believer in the new and strange doctrines advocated by his contemporary: he has endeavoured honestly to oppose them; but he has committed the specific offences with which alone we charged him, particularly by his habit of violent personal remark, and making his columns a vehicle for such slanders as sent poor Greenfield brokenhearted to his grave. We had no wish to aggravate his fault; and if he will restrain his pen to a courteous and Christian style, he may still be a blessing to the public.

We have perhaps devoted too much space, and seemed to attach too much importance, to these secondary matters; but if a tree is known by its fruits, it is not useless to examine into the spirit which grows out of the new opinions which are devastating the church of Christ. If they lead their abettors to libel the great body of the faithful in all lands, as neologues, blasphemers, infidels, and men who give to a rabble what belongs to God; if they cause them to tear our religious societies in pieces, to sow discord among brethren, to spare nothing to gain a favourite object, and to act upon the principle avowed by their ally Mr. Vaughan, that “the controversialist is a wrestler" "who must not only be dexterous to put in his blow forcibly, but must have a readiness to menace with scorn, and to tease with derision, if haply he may by these means unnerve or unarm his competitor;" this, to our minds, would be argument enough, even if there were no other, that these things are not of God. Would that we could believe with Mr. Boys, that the miracles so much bruited of are special manifestations of the Holy Ghost "to put down the bold front of infidelity;" but unhappily our fear is, that they are devices of Satan to increase it; and the further we dive into the matter, the more perilous it appears, particularly when viewed in connexion with the spirit by which it is too often cha

1831.] Queen of Scots' Prayer-Review of Scott's Church History.

racterized. Alas, how mournful is it, that while souls are perishing; while Bibles, ministers, and missionaries are every where wanted; while a world is lying in ignorance and wickedness; while heaven and hell are impending; the great work of glorifying God and promoting the salvation of immortal souls is to be impeded by every new theological fancy of the age.

We trust that the fever

is now at its height, and that, the hot stage safely passed, there are hopes of a cure. The church of Christ stands on an immutable rock, against which even the gates of hell shall not prevail. Clouds in former ages have passed away, and the Sun of Righteousness has once more brightly shone athwart the gloom. And so will it be again: many things that are painful will be purifying; the jarrings of angry contention will impel many a wearied spirit nearer to God, where alone is true


repose; spiritual mindedness and dead-
ness to the world will be increased;
and, after a sharp but salutary ordeal,
the church of Christ shall "look
forth as the morning, fair as the
moon, clear as the sun, and ter-
rible as an army with banners."


To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
My only trust, my constant stay,
Thou, blessed Lord, hast always been;
My longing hope, through life's dark way,
For oft and oft, from bended knee,
My orisons have risen to Thee,

By every eye but thine unseen.
From human wrongs, from mental sigh,
From pangs of mortal agony,

Oh! grant this earthly frame release;
And, hanging on my latest breath
Saviour's death,
A Saviour's love, a
Oh! let my spirit part in peace.



[blocks in formation]

WE rejoice in having another oppor-
tunity of marking our high estimate
of the value of Mr. Scott's labours.
In the midst of much confusion in
the church and the world, it is de-
lightful to open a volume so grave, so
calm, so authentic, so well reasoned,
so moderate on doubtful and inferior
points, so spiritual in the true sense
of the term, so calculated to heal the
passing disorders and follies of the
It may
day, as the one before us.
not satisfy every taste; other excel-
lencies may be imagined, other me-
thods of composition and selection,

perhaps, preferred; but it is laborious solid, useful, and trust-worthy: it is

distinguished by the main qualifications which become an ecclesiastical historian. The work has now been before the public seven or eight years: three volumes have appeared, each surpassing the other in value; for the present is decidedly the best of the three. The author is continuing his researches, and acquiring new habits and facilities for his work; and his topics, as he advances, are increasingly important and difficult, and increasingly need such aids as past history can furnish; and his former experience, therefore, increases our confidence in his future how labours. We need scarcely say earnestly we recommend the whole work to our readers, especially the younger class, from whom it well merits close and impartial attention. Eight thick volumes are indeed a 5 E

formidable mass; but those readers whose leisure cannot compass the whole may profitably begin at the Reformation in the middle of vol. iv. of Milner: this will afford a distinct division of the history, of incomparable value and moderate extent. The continuation, long as it is, could not well be much shorter without a sacrifice of valuable materials: it is far more succinct than the history which preceded it, so far as the Reformation is concerned. Milner comprehended only eight years Dean in his last volume, and Scott takes in twice that number in his first, about twenty in his second, and very nearly forty in the present. this is not the main point. A hisBut tory, in which the author resorts to original documents, makes his readers masters of the greatest question ever raised in Christendom, and which is at the present moment more interesting than ever, cannot be short. It is impossible to make history, especially history in which the character, principles, and sentiments of such men as Luther, Melancthon, Zuingle, EcoLampadius, Calvin, Cranmer, &c., are to be developed, at once brief and satisfactory. What is done, ought to be done well; and this involves details, or, in other words, length. Should this prevent the present author completing the work, the objection is of little moment. The Milners completed not their undertaking; nor perhaps will their successor live to do it: but what is accomplished is in the best sense complete, if it be adequately wrought out, and if the pauses are at æras distinct and important. These our author has duly regarded. The death of Luther in 1546 formed a natural conclusion of his first volume. The death of Calvin forms the termination of his third. The Peace of Religion closed the intermediate era in Germany. He has now completed the history of the Reformation, in the German branch of it, to the Peace of Religion in 1555. He has also begun and accomplished that of the Swiss branch to 1564; and we understand


that he is now preparing to enter England. The English Reformation has turally delineated. Burnet has colnever yet been impartially and scriplected materials, but done little to a fair and complete record of the mighty transactions. We want a real purity; we want an impartial mind in love with the Gospel in its summary of the case; we want the balancing and weighing of events; we want the adequate and unbiassed the research of original documents, comparison of testimonies; we want not only as to acts and memorials, and rescripts and public deeds, but as to character, principles, inward the heart. We rejoice, therefore, piety, confidential communications of that Mr. Scott is now at liberty, with his previous experience and habits of abstraction and comparison, to give us this most instructive portion of our ecclesiastical annals. We would encourage him to go on; and we urge him to bring to it the same diligence, the same independgelical and scriptural judgment of docence of mind, the same purely evantrine, the same moderation on doubtand superiority to, parties in the church ful questions, the same disregard of, and state, the same single eye to the glory of his Saviour, and the which appear increasingly in each bation of the truly competent reader, approof his three published volumes. We

misrepresentation, concealment, and urge this the more, because the suppression of the truth as to the real sentiments of our Reformers, on the question of regeneration for example, even of justification, have been workor that of predestination to life, and ing, and are working, much mischief. What a perversion of the above points, and various others, have we had in some of the publications of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. What dangerous errors did Bishop Mant promulgate (we refer more especially to his lordship's tract as it first stood) on the subject of baptismal regeneration. What crude and false divinity did the Eighty-seven Questions of Bishop Marsh attempt to


Milners' History of the Church of Christ.

obtrude upon us; and, to quote no more instances, how can the semi-Socinian creed of Bishop Maltby stand the test of our Reformed doctrines ?

Some of our readers may be able to assist Mr. Scott in his difficult work, by the loan of scarce works, or by indications of catalogues or collections where books may be searched for. Our universities and public libraries are rich in these works. The collections of Archbishop Parker, for instance, in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, are of great value. But the rapid sale of a book is also a great encouragement to an author, and a great relief to his finances; and we therefore recommend our readers promptly to add to their library this valuable acquisition, which would not cost more than, and would infinitely surpass in worth, the annuals, as they are termed the voyages and travels-the livesand many of the theological publications for which so much is expended. The present volume may be divided into two parts. The first comprehends the ecclesiastical history of Switzerland, in connexion with the lives of Zuingle, Ecolampadius, and Farel, from the year 1528 to the year 1531. The second brings us to Geneva, and presents us with a review of the life, writings, and character of Calvin, from 1526 to the death of that great Reformer in


Though the second division is the most new and important, yet the first must not be passed over, and can only be considered as of secondary moment, from the surpassing interest attached to the name of the Reformer of Geneva. Our remarks and extracts from the first division, to which we have referred, will natuturally relate to the three distinguished leaders above cited, of whom Zuingle is the greatest, Ecolampadius the most amiable, and Farel the most romantic and affecting.

Zuingle is a great name. In the brief period of eleven or twelve years he was the principal means of effecting the Reformation throughout a


great part of Switzerland, composed
massy volumes of incomparable divi-
nity, delivered discourses as a most
powerful preacher, sustained a labo-
rious correspondence with the lead-
ers of the same cause in other parts of
his native land and of Germany; and
exhibited in his spirit and conduct
the undoubted marks of a deep, en-
lightened, and consistent piety.

Two circumstances interest us
He is
peculiarly in the present volume, so
far as Zuingle is concerned.
vindicated, by our author, from a
little misrepresentation which Dean
Milner, in his warmth of admiration
for Luther, cast upon him; and the
circumstances of his death are cleared
from the popular charge of his ex-
Milner incau-
piring as a military chieftain, and
in a military spirit.
tiously states that Zuingle was never
supposed to be completely orthodox
on the subject of original sin. Mr.
Scott proves, that, though this Re-
former had used some incautious
expressions, and attempted some re-
finements which are to be deplored,
yet he afterwards abandoned all
these, and spoke unequivocally and
unexceptionably on the important
articles. The Dean again says, that
"certain peculiar sentiments after-
wards maintained by Calvin con-
cerning the absolute decrees of God,
made no part of the theology of the
Swiss Reformer." Mosheim asserted
the same. Mr. Scott demonstrates
that Zuingle spoke yet more strongly
on these points than Calvin himself.
Dean Milner lastly insinuates, that,
"though Zuingle seems always to
have admitted distinctly in theory
the doctrine of justification, yet he
by no means made that practical use
of it which Luther did." The con-
trary is manifestly shewn by our
laborious and impartial author.

On the circumstances of his death, it is impossible to peruse with care Mr. Scott's lucid narrative, without seeing that Zuingle aimed at peace, pleaded for peace, protested against the violent spirit of many of the friends of the Reformation in Zurich, and only attended the army when

« السابقةمتابعة »