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"Not having taken upon themselves to prejudge this question, they feel that they are, on this account, the more entitled to the confidence of those interested, when they state that they have now ascertained satisfactorily and beyond doubt, that Mr. Drummond, in accepting their invitation, will in no respect compromise his obligations to the Church of which he is a Presbyter; and that they, in forming themselves into a congregation under his charge, will not infringe the discipline of the Church of England, but will be acting in entire conformity with its principles, as applicable to the peculiar circumstances of the case."-(p. 10.)
They thus reply to the charge of schism :—
"In charging, by anticipation, the Committee with the sin of schism,' their accusers take upon them to judge both of their motives, and of the reason for the step which they propose to take. If the motives for the step be good, or its reason sufficient, there can be neither schism nor sin, however great, or even unfortunate, the change which is made. The motives for the present proceedings, and their cause, have been already sufficiently explained. They are fully vindicated to the minds of the Committee them. selves, and they cannot expect that they should be satisfactory to those who entertain very opposite views upon the question in dispute. They cannot, however, but deprecate the use which is here made of the charge of schism. The reckless employment of this term, by those in possession of ecclesiastical authority, against every movement, however innocent, whether within the Church or outwards, has unhappily caused too many to forget that schism is really a sin, and one to which the natural mind is ever prone,-the sin of violating the spiritual unity of the Church of Christ,-which may exist within the pale, and even in the high places, of an orthodox and well-constituted Church. Schism is rightly termed a sin by the remonstrants; but, like every other sin, it has its seat in the heart of man, and is exhibited in his want of Christian charity and spiritual union, not in the erroneous form of his church polity, nor even in his errors of doctrine. If the views of this Committee were as extravagant and irregular as the remonstrants consider them to be, the charge would be no better founded upon that account. The notion that the sin of schism consists in the breach of outward uniformity and obedience to ecclesiastical authority, was the stronghold of the Roman Church in her contest with the Reformers; and it is painful to see it in any degree revived now, by a body of reformed clergymen.
"The Committee will now examine the statement in the resolutions, that the proceedings which they propose are at variance with the first principles of Episcopalian church polity.
"In support of this view, it is said, that, 'were such a congregation to be formed, it could only be as an Independent, and not an Episcopalian congregation. If by this it is meant that it would be formed upon the principle of independency, as it is professed by the Independent or Congregational churches, the statement is obviously without the shadow of foundation. In these churches, each congregation looks within itself for its laws, churchgovernment, forms, and discipline, refusing upon principle to be regulated in any degree by reference to a body external to itself. On the contrary, the proposed congregation must, by its first principles, look to the Church of England as its guide and rule in all these matters.”—(pp. 12—13.)
Mr. Drummond next published his Reasons for withdrawing from the Scottish Episcopal Church, and for Accepting an Invitation to continue his Ministrations in Edinburgh, as a Clergyman of the Church of England.
Some remarks at the beginning of this pamphlet are so striking that we must give them at large:
"Even those who have opposed me in this matter have not and cannot deny that the blessing of God has rested on this section of my ministerial duty. I and others can testify, from our happy experience, that, in the exercise of it, God has been with us of a truth; it has been the gate of heaven to souls: it has been a fountain of living waters to the faint; it has been a light shining in a dark place to many of the sons and daughters of affliction. And when these things are so; when God himself has so owned and testified to these ministrations, I dared not commit this great sin against him, by consenting at once to abandon them, because man willed it to be so. It was impossible that I could dare to restrain the fulness of the living stream, because man declared it to be irregular, seeing that not one word from Scripture can be brought to prove that such means are contrary to the will of God; not one word from Scripture to prove that, under such circumstances, I ought to obey man, when my conscience told me I ought to obey God.
"But I am told it is a slight matter, that it is too unimportant to have led to such results. And is it come to this? A means which has been recognised and honoured by God, to be designated a slight or unimportant matter? A means, whereby souls have been brought to God, trivial, and not worth contending for? one which ought instantly to be conceded, at the word of man's authority, and that because other means of grace are open to us-and other ways of doing good are not closed up? And so the physician, who is entrusted with a precious remedy for the sick and for the dying, when he has discovered an efficacious mode of application, is to be sent to his patient with his hands bound up from administering the blessing he has in trust, in the very way which he has already proved and found to be effectual!
God, it is said, can work as effectually by one means as by another. This is true, but not in the least applicable to a case like the present; for, by a parity of reasoning, I might argue, that, if required by man's authority, I might, with a safe conscience, give up preaching the word in the sanctuary altogether, as God might call as many souls, and build up his people as firmly in the faith, by the exercise of prayer and praise!
"But, supposing I were to admit that the means of grace for which I am contending was, under ordinary circumstances, a 'thing indifferent,'-is it not true, that a change of these circumstances may transform it into a paramount duty and binding obligation? And I scruple not to affirm, that whatever might be said at other periods, the peculiar spirit of the present age stamps it with the latter character.
"What is it that is rising high on the billow of worldly influence at the present time, what is it that is gaining it supporters from every class and every rank in the community,-what is it that is lifting up its banner with a steady hand, because it is prepared for the encounter, what is it that is daily marshalling its forces, training its bands, and acquiring a strength and consistency which may soon bear down and overwhelm every opposition,—is it not religious formalism?
"It is this which is eating, like a canker, into the very heart of religious truth. It is this which is turning off the supply of spiritual blessing. It is this which is treading down with iron heel the tender blade of evangelical promise, in the church of Christ. It is this which is paving the way for a body of ministers who will sit at ease in Zion, while the wolf is ravening in the fold. It is this which makes liturgical service the God of its idolatry; which makes it the beginning, middle, and end of all true worship; which would keep it in the sanctuary, in the social meeting, in the family circle, and even in the retirement of the closet-abusing it from its legitimate place, as the platform of common worship in the house of God-and degrading it to the office of the gaoler, to lock up and confine in a secure place, the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free,-and to place the fetter and the chain upon that spiritual service, which a spiritual priesthood is bound and privileged to offer.
"And is it at such a moment as this, when this religious formalism is gathering its dark and gloomy array on every side;-is it at such a moment as this, that I am called on to part, without a struggle, from a means of grace peculiarly and eminently fitted to resist its inroads, and, by God's blessing, to fore-arm the people committed to my charge against its oppressive power and gauntleted hand? Is it at such a crisis, that, in order to walk in the smooth road of submission to man's authority, I am called upon to cast away the weapon of defence which has been put into my hands, and, with base heartlessness, to flee from the presence' of that God, who has manifested the glory of his presence and his love at the very point of attack? No! rather let this right hand forget her cunning; rather let this tongue be for ever silent; rather let this heart for ever cease to beat. By the help and by the grace of God, at this hour of need and deep trial, I will not forsake Him who has never forsaken me.
"No! though there may be trials on every side; though the enemy come in like a flood; though there be found even among the Lord's Host one with a faltering courage; another carried away with the dissimulation of the enemy; another willing to be a disciple only by night,' for fear of the Jews; I cannot, and I dare not, yield in this matter which concerneth the law of my God.' Daniel might have prayed as heartily in secret without opening his window towards Jerusalem; but he did not, for he knew that it was not a time to be afraid of the King's commandment. May God make me as faithful in what are called little things, but which are great indeed, when weighed in the balance of the Sanctuary."-(pp. 4—7.)
He also stated, in this pamphlet, his objections to the Scottish Communion Service. He fully replied to the charge of schism, in which he quotes at large the authority of Bishops Stillingfleet, Tillotson, and Burnet, in support of his conduct.
Mr. Bagot's letter to the members of his vestry is in vindication. of the Scottish Communion service. Mr. Drummond's objections to this arose subsequent to his resignation. It is, however, another very important part of this controversy; it is difficult to put our readers in possession of his argument in a few words. Mr. Bagot
"I maintain distinctly, that there are no expressions whatever in this service, that teach either the doctrine of Transubstantiation or the Sacrifice of the Mass. The passages to which my attention has been drawn are the following:
"1. In the prayer called the Oblation, the following:-We, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here, before thy divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make.'
"2. The prayer immediately afterwards-' Vouchsafe to bless and sanctify with thy word and Holy Spirit these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of Christ.'
"3. The words used in delivering the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ to the people-The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life;' and 'The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.'
"4. The address after all have communicated, which commences thus'Having now received the precious body and blood of Christ, let us give thanks, &c.
"I shall first give a general answer to the objections founded on the
foregoing extracts, which ought in itself to be conclusive.
It is this:
The 21st Canon sanctions the Scottish Communion Service as of primary authority in the Church. This is granted. But look to the 9th Canon (p. 17,) and there you will see that no one shall be received into the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church until he has first subscribed willingly and ex animo to the Book of Articles of the Church of England, according to a form (No. 7 in the Appendix, p. 54,) in which form the Presbyter when subscribing says -I do acknowledge all and every the Articles therein contained, being in number thirty-nine, besides the Ratification, to be agreeable to the word of God."-(pp. 3, 4.)
He then quotes the 28th and 31st Articles, thus agreed to by the Church, as contradictory of transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass.
Mr. Bagot does not object to the use of the word altar, and says that for the first 300 years after Christ the Lord's Table was invariably called by the name of Altar. Mr. Bagot must be aware how few remains there are of the writings of the first three centuries. But besides this, there must be some mistake in this supposed fact. Professor Scholefield, in his able sermon (we have added this to the other pamphlets as seasonable in this controversy) shews that the application of the word altar to the communion table is not so clear as some would suppose; a general term in the early centuries appears to have been "the holy table," "the godly and divine table." It is very possible that other testimonies of such application of the word altar might be brought forth. The fathers may generally be quoted on both sides in doubtful questions: let us rest only on the word of God.
Mr. Bagot refers the term "become the body and blood of Christ" to the body of Christ given and taken after a heavenly and spiritual manner. He seeks to justify the third thing objected to by their being similar words to those used in the English service; and would remove the fourth objection by explaining it of spiritually eating and spiritual food.
He would lastly justify it by the form prescribed in the Presbyterian Church to the Scotch ministers-"Take ye; eat ye; this is the body of Christ, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of him." He says:
"I would request you candidly to say which of these two forms looks more like Transubstantiation!-that in which the Presbyterian minister is directed to say, with special and immediate reference to the bread which is in his hand at the time, Take ye, eat ye; this is the body of Christ which is broken for you do this in remembrance of him?-or that in which the Episcopal minister says in reference to the real body of Christ which was given (notwhich is broken') on the cross for our redemption, and which is at the righthand of God in heaven, and of which the bread which he presents is only the symbol and type-The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life?"-(pp. 12, 13.)
Doubtless conscientious minds may quiet their scruples in this
way. It is not satisfactory to us; nor will it be so, we think, to his readers generally.
Mr. Drummond's last pamphlet is an able examination of the Scotch Communion-service, and is very full of useful information. He gives, in parallel columns, the variations made in the two Liturgies of Edward the VIth, Laud's Scottish Service Book, the English Liturgy, and the Scottish Communion Office.
We are compelled to say that this comparison leaves a most painful impression upon our minds, of the present character of the Scottish Communion Service. When the second Liturgy of Edward the VIth, and the present English Liturgy, had freed the service from Romish corruptions, the Scottish Episcopal Church, following the baneful example of Laud, TAKES UP AGAIN THOSE COR
RUPTIONS, AND REPLACES THEM IN HER SERVICE WITH ADDITIONS OF HER OWN.
Mr. Drummond makes the following striking remarks on the Scottish Communion Service.
'Let, then, the reader note that the Scottish Communion Office has not only restored those very portions of the service against which 'numerous and urgent objections were made' at the time of the Reformation,-which are not to be found in the Liturgy of the Church of England as it now is, nor in the Second Liturgy of Edward the Sixth, and which, according to Gardiner, the staunch supporter of Transubstantiation and the Eucharistic Material Sacrifice, made the first Liturgy of Edward 'not distant from the Catholic faith:-the Scottish Office, I repeat, has not only restored these portions of the Service which were made vital questions at the Reformation, it has done more; it has approximated nearer to Rome than Laud's Service-Book for Scotland; it has approximated nearer to Rome than Edward the First's Liturgy, so complimented by Gardiner:-it has given a breadth and depth, and distinctiveness, to those very doctrines, which are more ambiguously and more obscurely set forth in those objectionable portions of the Service which were expunged from the latter. And such is the Service which obtained from a late Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church such entire approbation, that he styled it that venerable badge of distinction, so well known in this part of the kingdom, under the title of the Scottish Communion Office."(p. 9.)
Mr. Drummond, by quotations from Mr. Bagot's excellent Protestant Catechism, distinctly shews, according to Mr. Bagot's own definitions, the Popish tendency of this service. Indeed Dean
Milner long ago had, in his reply to Bishop Marsh on the Bible Society controversy, fully established the Popish tendency of Archbishop Laud's service, which, let it also be remembered, does not go so far as the present Scottish Communion Service. Dean shews at some length the Papal character of that service, saying "every Papist would much prefer the Scotch Service Book to the corresponding one in our service. Not only new words are introduced, but the order of the Communion is inverted." His general remarks quite confirm Mr. Drummond's view.