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sonable purposes.

at the bar of liberalism, of dark, malignant motives and trea

That principles so lax and dangerous as those which we have now presented at large should gain credit in the world, and even pass under colour of Christianity, must be mainly attributed to the superficial spirit of our age; and this judgment is fully borne out when we regard the means that have been súccessfully employed by the patrons of liberalism. Words rather than principles govern the bulk of mankind, and these powerful auxiliaries have been actively engaged in their service.

The terms bigot, enthusiast, hypocrite, even when clumsily managed, have done more signal execution against the cause of truth than the proudest batteries of infidel philosophy. Even the sacred terms,” saint," "faithful,” “godly,” the most honourable known among men, have been turned into epithets of reproach, and wielded against the cause of God. This mode of warfare is extremely easy: it requires neither courage nor conduct. Formerly, indeed, the enemies of religion deemed it necessary to employ some small degree of learning and ingenuity in their cause, and even ventured to appear in the open field of manly discussion. But in this liberal age, learning, ingenuity and candour are felt to be entirely unnecessary, and therefore are seldom employed. The arts of calumny and abuse prove much more effectual. To brand'our opponent as a bigot, a hypocrite, or a saint, is quite sufficient. And what easier than this ? Every stupid scribbler, every profane witling, every unprincipled slave can do this. Yet such are the vulgar arts that have well nigh succeeded in shaming us out of all our old-fashioned principles.

Indeed the whole tactics of the liberal school may be classed under one head—the perversion of terms. Take a few examples. “The right of private judgment" is a plausible expression; but how is it understood and exercised in this liberal age? The right of private judgment, it appears, is the right to form any system of religion or none at all

, according to the supreme wisdom of our own minds. Further, it is the right to direct our neighbour's conscience, and impose with authority on him the same infallible principles that we have chosen for ourselves : and lastly, it is the right to arraign every man who presumes to dispute our authority, and visit him with the pains and penalties of our scorn and contempt. A notable right truly! But here we see how extremes meet, how the highest liberalism and the lowest superstition resolve them.

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selves at last into the very same principle-persecution. Do we then deny the right of private judgment ? By no means. But what is this right ? Simply the duty of learning the mind of God in his word, with humble prayer for the teaching of his Spirit. A right, indeed, it is, as it respects our fellowmen, for no man may lawfully deprive us of it; but we choose rather to call it a duty, from its more important relation to God. It is the bounden duty of every man to know, believe, and maintain the truth : it is the indefeasible right of every man to discharge this duty free from injury or reproach; but we utterly deny any right of private judgment presuming to reject the truth of God, or lord it over the conscience of men, But of all the terms that have served to gull this age of “fearless free inquiry,” none have proved more effectual than these plausible words, conciliation, moderation, and charity. Truth, which fears no open violence, is easily stifled by these pillows of down. Conciliation in the language of liberalism means the profligate barter of truth and principle for “ the friendship of the world, which is enmity with God." Moderation being interpreted, means sheer indifference to all religious truth. But charity, we are admonished, is an eminent Christian grace, and to offend against charity is a grievous offence. Most true: but the charity of the Gospel is not the charity of the world. The former, we are assured, “rejoiceth in the truth;” the latter, we know, palliates, or even defends the most pestilent errors. The former seeketh the praise of God, the latter loveth the praise of men. The former is a principle of universal benevolence, the latter is but the shibboleth of party. The charity of the Gospel moved with compassion for the spiritual wants and woes of men, is willing to spend and be spent in labours of love. The charity of the world says, “ Depari in

peace;

be

ye warmed and filled ;" but sends them empty a vay. The charity of the Gospel « beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." The charity of the world displays its forbearance, by maligning the character and accusing the motives of every man who bears faithful witness for truth, or (in the style peculiarly its own) by affecting to indulge him with pity or oontempt. Such is the principle that desecrates the name of charity in the world! When such palpable artifice, such gross perversion of language, succeeds in duping “the million, can it be denied that the growth of liberalism is mainly owing to the unreflecting character of the age ?

One most portentous circumstance of our times is the un

holy alliance formed against religion. Formerly the enemies of truth assailed her with numerous but disunited forces, and their assaults, though fierce, were ill supported, from waut of concert; but in modern liberalism they have found at length a bond of union-a common standard, under which all parties may marshal.

Under this standard we have seen the Deist, the Socinian, the Arian, aye, and the hollow professor of Orthodoxy, with freethinkers of every name, firmly banded, and urging forward their united asault on our holy religion. Nay, the very champions of Popery have learned to speak the language and swell the cry of liberalism, rightly judging that men's minds are well prepared for the bondage of error, by the dissolution of all sound principle. Union is power; and, alas! its baneful influence here is felt and confessed by every friend to truth. Christianity once woven into the entire framework of our social, civil, and political institutions, is fast disappearing from them all;* and the wisdom of our ancestors,” which regarded the glory of God and Gospel truth as interests inseparable from national prosperity, is treated with supreme contempt. This unprincipled liberalism has gone abroad over the length and breadth of the land, infecting all ranks of society, and poisoning all the channels of knowledge. It degrades the pulpit to its own “ base uses,” and borrows its solemn sanctions to dishonour and wound the cause of truth. In our colleges it gravely decides the most important questions respecting the moral character, condition, and prospects of man, without one solitary reference to that

• In confirmation of this remark, we need only appeal to the few fol. lowing facts :- 1. The advancement of Christ's kingdom on the earth is an interest not even recognised in our system of general policy, though this we hold should be the paramount object of every Christian government. 2. We have lived to see the doctrine of divine providence treated with contempt in a British senate; and though “ Jehovah in the pestilence” was afflieting the lands, how many presumed to deride that good old practice of our fathers—the observance of a day of humiliation and prayer. 3. Our national education has been virtually unchristianized, and our rulers have resolved to make “experiment of their own wisdom rather than of God's promise-"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of children.The literary in stitutions of our age are founded on this same liberal principle that excludes Christianity. The London University, for example, presents a plan of education, from which God is professedly and explicitly rejected. Whilst we cannot approve the narrow and sectarian maxims on which some of our ancient seats of learning are founded, we yet greatly prefer their venerable Christian constitution to this unprincipled, no-light system.

Gospel which bringeth life and immortality to light. "Proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words," it prefers its “philosophy and vain deceit” to the humbling discipline of the school of Christ. The press, too, that mighty engine for good or evil, is zealously engaged in the same cause. The formidable array of reviews, magazines, and newspapers, with the nameless host of pamphlets, essays, tracts, by which opinion so freely circulates through all the members of the social body, and which at once create and betoken its moral soundness or disease—these, with a few honourable exceptions, are the active organs of liberalism. But surely when we are thus threatened with the dissolution of all sound principles, when the foundations of religion are universally sapped, it behoves us to defend the breach, and recall our people to that high standard which, despite of the enemies' every effort, they yet reverence and regard. To the law and to the testimony we make our appeal.

(TO BE CONTINUED.)

THE REFORMERS.

(From the Presbyterian Review, No. VII.) “The projectors of every system of popular education are manifestly shut up to the necessity of beginning with the question, 'what is truth? And in national institutions of that kind, it is of all things most necessary that it should be determined aright; else how miserable the thought of a nation's morals being left to chance, in the very professed attempt of fixing them on a sound foundation. We know, indeed, that to many it is a dreadful question. The weak and the wavering—all who prefer the smiles of public opinion to the omnipotence of the God of truth, and who would rather keep the vessel of the commonwealth beating about among the rocks and shoals of popularity, than stretch forth into the safe and open sea of principle, would avoid it, if they possibly could. But men of truly great minds, well knowing that life was designed for nobler and more trying exercises than mere calculations of human expediency, will meet it with all the enthusiasm inspired by the thought, that it is their very calling to guide all things subject to them by that only star of Truth, amid the wildest buffetings of popular error, and the deepest and strongest currents of ancient and inveterate prejudice. It was thus that the Reformers met this question, and in this spirit they resolved and settled it in the face of all Christendom. They saw themselves placed between past generations drowned in ignorance, and generations yet unborn, who were to owe to their measures either a return to the 'palpable obscure' which had preceded them, or a steady enjoyment of the light with which themselves were blest. Hence it became their heart's first wish, and their mind's most earnest endeavour, to flood, as it were, every object around them with the pure radiance of gospel light, making it stream on every public institution, and penetrate every chink and cranny of private and domestic life. Hence they translated and printed the Bible in the vernacular tongues ; composed confessions and catechisms, containing the substance of its doctrines, in cheap and portable forms; and by every kind of preaching and teaching endeavoured to turn all minds and hearts to the acknowledgment of God, revealing himself in the Holy Scriptures as the fountain of all authority, the judge of every conscience, and the alone dispenser of forgiveness and of grace. Even in civil matters, all laws, all institutions, all branches of the public administration, the more solemn acts of kings and parliaments, and the common usages of domestic life, were imbued with the same spirit.. The God, not of man's rea

but of his own Bible, was owned in all of them. Hence, too, they were all fenced by religious securities, so despised and vilified during a nation's downward course, but so prized when it seeks to return from the horrors, or from the depression, of public superstition or atheism. Hence civil establishments of religion, now held so cheap; and hence, too, the universal inculcation of the infallibility of the Scriptures, and of a know. ledge of their doctrines, in public schools, now ready, as a great national principle, to be discarded.”

son,

THE PRESBYTERIAN.

No. II.
(From Hall's Scriptural View of the Gospel Church.)

THE CHARACTERS OF A CHURCH-MEMBER. “There is only one grand distribution of mankind, and that is into two classes, the world, and those that are chosen out of the world. The world is a very comprebensive general, and includes all that lie in wickedness, and remain stravgers to that new state of life, favour, and blessedness, which is in Jesus Christ. Out of this most deplorable state of alienation from the life of God, an innumerable company are chosen, redeemed, and called, to be witnesses for God, partakers of Christ, and heirs of glory. These constitute the general assembly and church of the first-born, whom a divinely sovereign and gracious God hath taken, with evident marks of distinguished honour, to be his church and peculiar people.

“This church is every where represented as standing in most endearing relations to her blessed Head; and the grandest ideas of her nature and excellency are conveyed by these ennobling, enriching, and unfading relations : hence called his bride, his body, his fulness, fc. These, in their highest idea, constitute the character of the church of the first-born : and we require no more to constitute visible church-members, and we can desire no less, than what, in judgment of charily, is consistent with this union, which is between Christ and the church. So much of the form, as may give satisfying evidence of the power of godliness. So much of the effect, as may give reason, in charity, to believe the existence and prevalence of the cause. Regeneration is stated to our view, in many places, as the leading step to communion with Christ, and the privileges of his mystical body, John iii, 3. 5. and i. 12, 13, 8c. Baptism is the outward sign and seal of this heavenly privilege, Tit. iii. 5. and is accordingly the first step toward actual membership in the visible church,

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