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Nay, but there is reason to apprehend, that | case. The revolt in this country was against |
the very excesses of its minute symbolism systems of theology; but Germany, as we
provoked a reaction. In an age wherein a have seen, had never reduced theology to a
verbally correct exposition of principles was system. Instead of the Reformed institutes
the aim of all Churches, there was a danger and systems, the Lutherans possessed only
lest the orthodoxy of a professed or written Loci Communes, which are, in fact, but com-
creed should usurp the place of a felt and mentaries upon particular texts of Scripture.
practised belief. The tendency, or at least the Our heretics began by an attempt to refute
result, was to make religion to consist more our established systems of theology; the
in the disciplined exercise of the faculties of Germans attempted to set aside the received
the head, than in the free play of the affec- interpretation of the Scriptures themselves.
tions of the heart. The danger was lest men In this country there was a general agreement
should come to conclude that the best Chris-
on both sides as to the verbal interpretation
tian was not he whose heart was filled with of the Scriptures, the principal dispute being
the love of God and his brother, but whose as to the construction or systematic form
head was stored with the definitions of the which these interpretations should assume.
schools. Religion, under the perverted in- But in Germany there was a dispute as to the
fluence of such scholastic symbolism, had very meaning of the Scriptures, and hence
become less a matter of personal piety than the great effort on both sides was to settle
of symbolical orthodoxy. He was the true that point. This controversy happening so
Church member who professed, in every jot exactly to suit the tendencies of the German
and tittle the symbol of his party, and prac- mind, so fond of minute criticism, so en-
tised with punctilious precision their adopted amoured of investigations into first principles,
rites. Religion, in short, had, before the has led to that disastrous aberration of in-
close of the century, become an intellectual tellect, that pestiferous prostitution of learning
habit, an ecclesiastical mechanism, which re- which has been denominated Rationalism,
quired no living faith, no fervent devotion, no Naturalism, or Neology.
personal piety, but merely an acute judgment,
and a scholastic turn of mind.

We do not here speak, let it be well borne in mind, of the best parts of the seventeenth century, but of its dregs and the period of its decay, when the living spirit had fled, and nothing was left but its scientific definitions, and its forms adjusted by square and rule. So long as the piety of the age retained all its vivacity and vigour, it felt no bondage from its ecclesiastical and symbolical forms; but, when the piety had flown, the human faculties, controlled by no internal restraint, began, incontinently to chafe against the barriers of a minutely reticulated creed and multitudinous forms. The age had gradually become less scholastic, less profound and fervent. It became more superficial, desultory, and sensuous. The first revolt in this country from the demands of established authority was manifested in regard to the more abstruse and profound definitions on the character and relations of the Trinity. The attempt presented a specious aspect, as its first objection was not to the doctrines themselves, but merely to the scholastic nomenclature in which the doctrines were defined; and the demand at first made was merely for a return to the simple nomenclature of the Scriptures. But though, perhaps, at the outset unknown to the parties themselves, this plausible objection was decidedly aimed, not against the symbolical definitions, but against the current doctrines themselves. This soon became apparent when the objectors sunk gradually from the highest Arianism into the lowest Socinianism, or rather Humanitarianism. This was the common phasis which the reaction at first assumed in this country, but it speedily extended to the whole circle of Christian truth, and ultimately terminated in avowed Infidelity.

In Germany, again, during the last half of the seventeenth century, religion had degenerated into Pietism and Mysticism. The national mind, enamoured of vague generalities, and misty theorisings, had sublimated religion into a mystic Transcendentalism, while the rigid forras of the symbolical formularies and the fragmentary conclusions of Luther, or rather his successors, were rigorously imposed as the only essence of orthodoxy. It is manifest that as the form of religion in Germany was different from what existed in this country, so it was natural to expect that the revolt also would assume a different phasis. And such was the

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anchoret, with the laboriousness of an apostle; the profound humility of the publican with the glowing devotion of a seraph; and the impassioned fervour of an orator with the playful simplicity of a child? What would they say had they seen as we do the standard of Puritan principles again unfurled to the sun, and ardent youths resolved to raise it still higher or sacrifice their lives in the cause, rallying around its time-honoured emblazonry? What many fathers and righteous men of old desired intensely to see, and were not permitted, is now disclosed to our view. They planted the seed, and watered the sapling with their blood. And though in the providence of God it for a wintry season stood leafless and decayed, yet we now sit under its reinvigorated branches; and while to God we ascribe all the glory, oh let our martyred fathers' memories be fragrant to our hearts!

But the desert has its oases, Egypt had its Goshen, and even the eighteenth century had some green sunshiney spots. It was then that missions to the Jews and the Heathen were originated. It was then that Whitfield and Wesley commenced their apostolic career. What thus happened in this country and God did not leave himself without a witness in Germany gave a turn to the whole of even in the eighteenth century. It was then Europe and America, which, during the that Jonathan Edwards, that "prince of theeighteenth century, derived all their theolo-ologians," flourished in America, that Wil gical literature from those two countries. berforce and Scott attempted to stem the tide of worldliness and heresy in England, that Storr and Flatt held up the torch of ancient truth amid the darkening gloom of Germany, and Boston, Willison, and the three Erskines, when the enemy was coming in like a flood, lifted up a testimony against him in Scotland. God reserved to himself even then the seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, and before the close of the century there were indications of a brighter

It must be evident, from what has been said, that the eighteenth century was a dark and disastrous period in the history of the Church. It has been termed the philosophic age, and we neither overlook nor undervalue its discoveries and advances in science and arts, but in theology it was the darkest of the dark ages. In truth we know not one single age in the annals of our faith on which we can gaze with less satisfaction than on this dreary period: and had we our will, there is not an equal number of years since the advent of our Lord we should so cheerfully obliterate from the page of history as that dead, formalistic, heretical, infidel century. It was the age of Socinianism and Rationalism; of English Deism, German Neology, Scotch Moderatism, Irish Arianism, and of French Encyclopædiaism and revolutionary atrocities. It shed a pestiferous malaria over every region of the earth, in which pined and wasted away the Covenanting energy of Scotland, and the Puritan orthodoxy of England, the massy theology of Holland, and the scriptural symbolism of Geneva. Even the Church of Rome, roused into such spasmodic action by the galvanic energy of the two preceding centuries, sunk back into torpor under the leaden influence of this letheferous age. Our own Church, the Puritan Presbyterianism of England, which entered upon that century with a name as noble, and a form as fair, and prospects as glorious, as any Church upon earth, became, before its close, a meagre, haggard, leprous spectre, with energy enough only to do mischief. Oh what cause of gratitude have we to Almighty God, along with reasons of profoundest humiliation; what ground for searchings of heart, combined with topics of loftiest praises, when we behold our Zion again rising from her ashes, and her sons anew returning to her lately desolated shrines. Oh what would our Puritan fathers say had they been in the midst of us this evening? What the courtly Calamy, or the silver-tongued Bates," or the massy Manton, or the seraphic Flavel, or Richard Baxter, who combined the hair-splitting acuteness of a schoolman with the gorgeous imagination of a poet; the meditative self-denial of an


era soon to come.

We have thus attempted to seize hold of the most prominent characteristics of the three last centuries: but what is the most distinguishing feature of the present age? This it is more difficult to determine. We stand yet too near to be able clearly to discern its peculiarities, or to take a comprehensive view of all its parts. We can judge of past ages not only in part but as a whole, and can dispassionately follow causes to their consequences, and trace results to their productive agencies. But the present is not yet fully developed, and our own passions and interests mingle with and magnify or distort, the train of passing events. Still there are certain tendencies which we think are sufficiently developed to indicate the characteristic features of the present century. Were any one to ask you what is the strongest ecclesiastical tendency of this age? would you not at once answer, constitutional regeneration and reconstruction? Each denomination is falling back upon its constitutional principles, and strengthening itself in its central strongholds. This age consequently coincides with the sixteenth century, in its investigation into first principles, but differs from that century inasmuch as the investigation now is not to general first principles, but to the first principles of each distinctive system. It coincides with the seventeenth century in its systematizing tendencies, but differs from it, inasmuch as it aims not at forming new systems, but at developing and perfecting the systems already embraced. While in one sense it may be said to be a progressive age, because it perseveringly advances after new principles, it must be also said to be retrogressive, because it is falling back upon the fundamental tenets which our respective denominations had previously professed.


whether it advances or retrogrades it moves | Articles, and desired that the Church should with undeviating pertinacity within the circle of a system previously formed. It is therefore not a creative or inventive century, for not a single new sect is now forming, and not a single new principle is now admitted among the older denominations. It is a regenerating, a reforming, indeed, but a constitutionally reforming age. The foundations are never touched. The constitution is never affected. The central principles are jealously guarded from all innovation. We are all falling back upon the positions occupied by our fathers, removing indeed whatever of extraneous or adventitious materials may have either escaped their attention, or the lapse of time may have there deposited, but the principles, the positions themselves are on all hands deemed most sacred and religiously protected from all innovations.

This is not then an age of novelties. There is not now a discovering of new principles, a forming of new systems, a constructing of new creeds. The age had been both horrified and disgusted at the novelties broached during the last century. Each denomination felt it had been carried away from its constitutional position, the region of truth and of safety, and having made the discovery, it instinctively shrunk back into its deserted strongholds. The last century has on all hands fallen into most merited reprobation. Who now reads a book published in the eighteenth century? Who quotes the authority of that age on any question of faith? It has disappeared from our libraries. Ask any bookseller the estimation in which its productions are held? They lie perishing in their cellars, and soon may they perish except as memorials of our immediate predecessors' follies, and beacon lights to warn us from the rocks on which they made shipwreck of faith. And what are the works that replace them? Why the works of a higher antiquity, with Protestants, truly so called the productions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and with Papists and papistico-theologues, the productions of still earlier ages. Our steam-presses can hardly supply the demand for antique reprints. Our study is devoted to the colossal works that formed and nourished the gigantic intellects of our fathers. The eighteenth century was the age of the Babylonish captivity. We are now returning and building up the waste places, removing the rubbish that then accumulated in our shrines, and strengthening the foundations and superstructures that were then suffered to fall into dilapidation and decay.

As an illustration of what I mean, let me just refer to the proceedings in two or three of the more prominent branches of the Church in our own land. Look at the Church of England, and what is the direction in which it is tending? Is it stationary? No one will say that it is. Is it then taking up new positions other than its founders occupied? No, assuredly not. All its active members, whether Evangelicals, or Puseyites, or High Church, (and I use these terms only as convenient conventional appellations,) are all falling back upon what they consider the constitutional principles of their Church. One class appeal to the Articles, another to the Prayer-book, one party appeal to the divines of the sixteenth, another to those of the seventeenth century, but all protest against being supposed to aim at novelties, all contend that they are the real constitutionalists, all maintain that they are only carrying out the spirit or the letter, or both, of their constitutional formularies. In the eighteenth century the clergy of the Church of England aimed at innovations, protested against subscription to the

be remodelled to suit the genius and spirit of the age. Who now would present such a Petition? Even those that would wish for a | change desire that it should be, not in the direction of what is novel, but in a return to what is more antique even than the Reformation, or, as they express it themselves, the condition of the ancient Church before the division of the East and the West. This is indeed an age of constitutional regeneration and reconstruction. Every branch of the Church would indeed keep within the pale of its own constitutional formularies, but within that circle it would fall back upon what it considers its most fundamental principles; and the mental activities of this energetic and earnest-minded age (and never was there a more earnest or energetic century) are devoted to the discovery, the regeneration, and reconstruction of constitutional principles.

But I promised to give an illustration of the working of this tendency of the age derived from other Churches besides the Church of England. Take then the case of the Church of Scotland. During the eighteenth century the Church of Scotland had confessedly abandoned the position occupied by her founders, had practically repealed her formularies, rescinded her laws, and repudiated her constitutional principles. Will any man now maintain that Principal Robertson was a proper impersonation of Scottish Presbyterianism? or that Moderatism was a type of the Scottish Reformation or covenanting principles? Were Knox and Melville and Henderson and Rutherford to revisit the earth, would they recognise in the Principal of Edinburgh College the representative of their tenets, or in the Church which he governed the principles or system they laboured to establish? The question as here proposed is one of fact, and whatever be a man's individual opinion of the policy of Robertson or of the principles of the Reformers, he cannot as a matter of history but acknowledge that the Scottish Church in the eighteenth century had abandoned the principles established by her founders.

Such was the position of the Scottish Church at the commencement of the nineteenth century, a position alien to her constitution and negative of her fundamental principles. The human spirit could not exist, and far less live, in that cold vacuum, destructive of life, activity, and emotion, which constituted Moderatism. A reaction necessarily ensued. The native instincts of humanity rebelled against the tyranny of moderate formalism, and the living remnants of true Presbyterianism that had survived the fossiliferous formalism of a petrifying age, struggled to recall the vivifying element into these inanimate forms, and to render Presbyterianism in acts and doctrine a living energetic principle. Our new Reformers did not attempt to innovate. They laid claim to no new discovery, nor did they desire to introduce any new principle into the Church. They disclaimed all novelties. They avowed their intention to maintain the constitutional principles of the Church. Their object was, not to generate a new system, but to regenerate the old; not to construct a new constitution, but to reconstruct the constitution founded by their fathers. The controversy between them and their antagonists was altogether a historical question, and nothing could possibly be of easier solution. They appealed to the formularies of the Church, the works of her founders, the history of her early days, and her own independent acts of legislation. There were no questions of

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abstract principles involved in the dispute. It was altogether a question of recorded fact, "What is written in the law" in the confessions, books of discipline, canons, "how readest thou? That was the entire question proposed by the constitutional Reformers, or rather regenerators. They were met by an appeal to modern Acts of Parliament-recent surrenders of right by recreant ecclesiastics, as if the forced renunciation of liberty by the captive could invalidate his inherent right to freedom; as if the surrender of hereditary property by the lunatic could foreclose his claim of resumption when restored to reason; as if the fact that Israel had been carried into bondage was to keep them for ever in Babylon. The question, we repeat, was one of fact; it was, whether the Church should remain in a state of conscious captivity into which modern baseness and servility had sold her, or whether she should reclaim her constitutional freedom, reassert her original rights, and resume her fundamental principles? The disruption itself, as well as all the acts that led to it, proceeded from a very simple principle the regenerating reconstructive agencies of the present age.

Time will not allow me as I had intended to illustrate my position by the present proceedings of other denominations. But this I assert, without fear of contradiction from any man who knows the present working of the ecclesiastical mind of Christendom, that this is an age of regeneration and reconstruction. Every Church is at this moment rejecting all modern accretions, falling back upon its central positions, and bringing all its forms into accordance with its constitutional principles; the only exceptions will be found either in the case of denominations of recent origin, which have no antiquity, and history to appeal to, and even they are falling back upon the principles of their founders: or in the case of those whose constitutions are found unsuited to the exigencies of the times; and these are partly resuming their primary positions, and partly adopting forms from some of the more ancient denominations. Look where you will and you will find the same regenerating reconstructing agency at work which forms the peculiar characteristic of this age.


There are many important conclusions to which this train of investigation might lead me, and to which, did time admit, I should feel it a privilege to advert. I might, for example, show you how, from the tendency of the age, there is a probability that all sects of modern origin must merge in the more ancient, for as modern sects in general arose from the deviation of their Church from her constitutional principles, it must necessarily happen that when that Church reverts to her primary position, they should desire to rejoin her. If I am right in this theory, then I should not be surprised if all the Presbyterian Dissenters in Scotland should merge in the Free Church, and all the English Presbyterians should form with us one body. Again, I might endeavour to show you that from the tendency of the age, it is very probable that the Congregationalists and ourselves will before the end of this century be much nearer to one another than now we stand. It is perfectly known to all students of ecclesiastical history, that the founders of English Congregationalism held principles much more congenial to Presbyterianism than did their descendants, and if foreign interference had not found admission into their councils, it is by no means improbable but the two bodies might at length have been united. The Presbyterians, we have said, are reverting to their constitutional

principles, and so are also the Congregation- and Salmasiuses, and Voetiuses, and Pierces, I say that I know not a Church upon the face alists and what if the nineteenth century should witness another Westminster Assembly under happier auspices than its predecessor, which may unite the parties that were then so unhappily dissociated? The dream is so very pleasing to my own feelings, that if a dream it be, I should deplore the rude shock that should awake me from so pleasing a


I might further show you that from the tendencies of the age, it is very probable that the distinctive peculiarities of the various denominations will be reduced to a few welldefined principles, and these necessarily of less importance, even in the estimation of those who most rigidly maintain them, than the many on which we are all agreed. The consequence of this, again, will be that if an actual incorporation be impossible (which I do not and cannot believe,) yet the various denominations will be much more closely drawn towards one another, and an Evangelical Alliance league together in an indissoluble bond the whole of Christendom. And in fact why should not this be the case even as we are? Would we not then, just as we are, constitute a glorious army? Suppose we compare the Church of England to a heavy brigade of cavalry, moving with all the pomp and parade of the household troops; and suppose, again with our compact order, we Presbyterians are the serried phalanx of Macedonian infantry; and suppose our Congregationalist brethren are the light armed skirmishers, in small distinct bands scattered over the field of action, and our Wesleyan friends are the indefatigable pioneers that march before us all into the dark domains of the enemy; pray would our array be less perfect than if we formed one homogeneous arm? All that we should then lack would be just unity of impulse and action; and that certainly cannot be valued at too high a price.

I might finally show you from the tendencies of the age, (to omit much more that might be said,) that in my own candid opinion, so far as ecclesiastical polity is concerned, there are just two principles which bid fair to absorb all intermediate distinctions, and these are Presbyterianism and Popery; that is, that the contest must stand between absolute monarchy and a representative republicanism, or rather an oligarchy; in other words, between the despotism of one ruler and the government of a limited number of officers elected by the people, cognizable only by their peers, and holding office for life. This tendency may not be so obvious as some of those already stated, and it would occupy too much of our time at present to expound it. I shall have other occasions on which to treat the subject at large.

But before I close this address, let me urge upon you for whom this lecture is particularly intended, one practical conclusion which necessarily springs from the subjects we have been considering. If this be an age of regeneration and reconstruction, then it necessarily is your first duty to acquaint yourselves with the constitutional principles of your own Church. You cannot regenerate what you do not understand. You cannot reconstruct when you are ignorant of the constitutional principles of the system. Devote, then, your study to the standard works of our ecclesiastical fathers. In theology devote your days and your nights to the study of the Puritan divines, the most glorious galaxy of worthies that ever shone in the firmament of the Church. In ecclesiastical polity study the works of the French, and Dutch, and English, and Scotch Presbyterians, the Blondels,

and Callamys, and Calderwoods, and Jamiesons, and Andersons and Rules. In the principles of ecclesiastical jurisprudence master the works of our Westminster Assembly divines, and those other tomes, but too little studied, of which the seventeenth century was so rich, the works of Voetius, and Gillespie, and Boehmer, and the Canonist Van Espen, and the Archæologist Thomasinus. Without a knowledge of these you are merely sciolists. You may read reviews, and epitomes, and modern compilations, and superficial disquisitions, and prate with confident fluency about the entire system of theology, but without a knowledge of our old divines, you are mere theologues. Why, there is more of research and genius, profound learning, patient erudition, the lore of ages combined with the freshness of originality in one goodly tome of those olden times, than in whole libraries of modern productions. Those men mastered what they studied, and understood what they taught. Look at the margins of one of their old tomes which it delights my eye to scan, and see them bristling with the apt quotation, the ample proof, the ready reference culled from all the fields of literature, contributed by all ages; attend to their divisions and their distinctions, in their very excess evincing the scholastic acuteness of their framers mark their digressions, even in their prodigality manifesting the prolific erudition and impetuous ardour of their authors, just as an impetuous river cannot advance in a narrow channel, or in a straight course, but by the very force and volume of its current both overflows its banks and meanders in its progress; notice the ponderous unhewn masses of thought, the rough unpolished garniture of gems which lie scattered around in the mines of their own genius, or are collected, though not classified, in their capacious cabinets, and then turn to the works of modern divines, clear only because shallow, with ideas well assorted, merely because few, and moving equably just because destitute of force; original only where erroneous, and when truthful, copied without acknowledgment of the obligation; and oh! who would not prefer to wander through the primeval forests untaught by modern fashions, even although overrun with thick underwood and briars, and on the banks of the mighty wilderness rivers, ignorant of scientific engineering, although overstocked with colossal reeds and thistles, to promenading through the trim box rows, and by the neat purling rivulets of a French artificial parterre? If you would be theologians, massy, erudite, profound, you must study original authorities, you must give your days and your nights to our ancient divines.

But before closing this lecture I must crave the liberty of addressing an observation or two to those friends who have this night honoured us with their presence. Our College must owe much to you, to your countenance, liberality, and prayers. Ours is but an infant Institution and must struggle with many difficulties. But we believe it was founded in true policy, is reared with much prayer, and will be supported with cheerful liberality. We must very unskilfully read the signs of the times and be profoundly ignorant of our place and our prospects among the Churches of Europe, if we fail to perceive that our College is essential to our present prosperity as well as our prospective progress. It ill becomes us, doubtless, to glory, for in all our advances we have been forced forward by Providence, but yet I must

of the earth which seems entering upon a path of usefulness and renown at all comparable to our own. Heirs to the formularies and principles of our covenanting and Puritan fathers, the most glorious host that ever marshalled around the banners of the Captain of Salvation; placed by Providence upon a lofty eminence in the noblest empire on which the sun ever shone; intrusted with the purest deposit of faith and scriptural principles of polity, at a time when all men seem inquiring after the good old way of truth and order; possessed of a constitution which can expand its providence over an empire, or contract its inspection to a single parish, can wield the energies of a continent as easily as those of a congregation; with the glories of our fathers to stimulate us to exertions, the necessities of our country to summon forth all our powers, the promises of our God to allure us to triumphs and assure us against reversesoh! if true to ourselves and faithful to our God, what limit can be proposed to our extension, what period to our duration? But let us not be high-minded, neither let us be faint of heart. Our cause we believe is of God, and must prosper-prosper, not by trampling upon others, but by receiving them into our ranks. War we wage only with error. Peace we proclaim with the whole household of God. But yet our own Reformation principles, our scriptural creed, our apostolic polity, we will maintain, gainsay them who may. This College was founded to teach them. And as ye value the prin ciples ye profess, we ask you to evince your sincerity by lending us your countenance, your liberality, and your prayers.


HITHERTO our plan for providing the funds necessary to carry on our various institutions has been something of this sort. Our congregations were called upon to make a collection two, or at most, three times in the year, and when an individual had put into the plate his penny or his pound, as the case might happen, he not only felt his conscience very much at ease for the next three months, but others too thought he had done vastly well, and he accordingly obtained a plenary dispensation from taking any farther interest in all the undertakings in which the Church was engaged, until the minister startled the congregation by announcing the next general collection, and then having deposited his mite as before, each donor relapsed into his habitual apathy. And thus matters continued from year to year, until men, with that conservatism which even revolutionists love in pecuniary matters, began to fancy that the plan was really an admirable plan after all. It wrought wonders. It beggared a minister here. It starved a missionary there. It gave full scope for our more large hearted members to supply their neighbours' lack of services: and was not that a great deal? It was an admirable plan. It was all but universally adopted amidst all but universal plaudits. It could claim prescriptive and hereditary rights of possession. It saved money, though it starved ministers and stunted the Church. It was an admirable plan.

Now, if every man that gave a penny had given a pound, and every man that had given a pound had given forty, we do not know but we might have been satisfied with the plan ourselves. But there is a principle in human nature that opposes such a process of instantaneous multiplication, and he said the truth who averred, that should you drive out nature

even with a pitch fork it will resume its possession. The man that gave the penny would give a penny every week if you only asked it weekly; but if you apply to him only once a quarter, he will still give you only a penny. His heart will not suffer him to part with more at once: but his heart would not oppose his giving it as often as you please. Besides, his wages or his income will not permit him with due regard to all the demands upon him, to part with more than a sixpence in a week. Six or seven shillings at once he would feel a very serious income-tax upon his earnings, and if your collection is only once a quarter, depend upon it he will give you at the utmost not more than a shilling. But try another plan. Give him an opportunity of contributing weekly, and he may afford to give you a shilling, and this, according to our edition of Cocker, will amount to somewhere about six or seven shillings a quarter. Now, suppose a congregation of three hundred contributors at a shilling a week each, this will amount in the year to seven hundred and thirty pounds; a larger sum than any one of our congregations ever

There is only one of our congregations | holy confined even to the thousands who for(Regent-square, London), as we announced in sake the assembling of themselves together in our last, which so far as we are aware have the place of prayer? Is there no cold-hearted yet commenced the plan of district visiting unbelief among those who frequent the sancwith anything like system, or vigour. And tuary? Is there no pharisaical self-righteouseven that congregation are only making a ness-no devotionless formality-no prayerless commencement. And yet, we will be bound indifference among the comparatively few who to say, that by the end of the year, as the do find their way to the house of God? If we Synod's reports will show, they will have con- could reckon up the number of those who tributed as much as any other three of our yield no worship at all, and add to them the congregations. Nor will the people feel it. number of those whose worship is but the lifeThe sums contributed at once are too small to less shadow of religion, it might be that the be felt. But "many littles mak' a mickle," result were a fearful approximation to the which, being interpreted for the sake of our awful amount of iniquity, which, in its proporEnglish readers, means, twenty shillings make tion to the existing godliness, was too great to a pound, and that the Regent-square report allow the escape of the cities of the plain, or will show. to warrant the further interposition of the Patriarch's prayers.

But is there any other congregation who has adopted the plan? We ask, is there? Let us know, and we shall announce it in our next. But if there is not, how can other congregations answer for it to the world, to the Church-not to say more?

These remarks, however, are not exclusively applicable to the metropolis. Throughout the country there is also a fearful amount of Sabbath profanation. The very improvements of the age-and the very ingenuity whereby the Almighty has enabled man to apply the elements of nature to purposes of commerce and

raised by collections. In short, it is an estab- EXTRACT FROM DISCOURSE PREACH- convenience, have been enlisted in this disas

lished rule-a principle in human nature as unalterable, and as universally operative as the law of gravitation, that men will not give at once the sum they will cheerfully give by instalments. They will give you a sixpence a week paid weekly, but they will not give you seven shillings at once at your quarterly collection.

Is there one of our readers who does not feel the truth of these observations? What then is the practical inference? Need we state it? Need we waste our ink in saying, that public periodical collections will never support a Church; will never maintain missions; will never call forth the contributions of the people; will never enable us to place all our institutions on a prosperous footing? For these ends we must have associationsassociations with all their machinery of deacons, collectors, and visitors,-in living activity with all the regularity of a steam-engine. Give every man that is disposed an opportunity of giving: teach every man that is not disposed, his duty, his privilege, and his ability to give. Every week let your visitor call at his house with his tract and his word of comfort; every week repeat the visit whether you have succeeded or not. As regularly as Saturday arrives make your voice heard in his dwelling, and if by sickness or other providence you should happen to be detained, he will return your visit with his sixpence in his hand, and words of anxious inquiry on his lips. A habit has been produced. Mutual affection has been engendered between you. You are now a collector, and he a contributor in virtue of a new principle as potent as that which at the first deterred you from asking, and him from giving.

We have headed this paper with the title Associations versus Collections, but there is no necessity of pitting the one against the other. They can most sociably co-operate together. Associations are the reapers, and collections the gleaners, and both ought to work in the field together. Ply well your Associations first. Go carefully over the whole field gathering as you proceed, and then, lest you should have missed some corner, do make your collection that all that can be got may be gathered in. But never make a collection till you have first plied your association. If you make a collection, men will put off your visitor by stating that they have already contributed. And so to be sure they may. But then they put only a pound into the plate where they would have given the visitor ten.







In adverting to some of the causes which at present exist for humiliation before God, consider, first of all, the awful contempt and neglect of divine ordinances. Take, for example, the fearful profanation of the holy Sabbath. Even although every where else the Sabbath were prayerfully and religiously observed, is not the open and unblushing desecration of it in London alone, enough to humble us, and to awaken the concern of all who love the truth, and reverence the authority of Jehovah? From calculations made with reference to this subject, it appears that not less than 700,000 individuals are every Sabbath totally and criminally profaning that day, and setting their feet within no place of worship. One almost shudders at the thought of such fearful impiety. We are accustomed to think of Sodom as a place of unequalled vileness, and to stand in awe of the terrible indignation of a justly incensed God, in visiting that abandoned city with utter and entire extinction. But if we consider the alarming amount of sin thus weekly committed in this metropolis, in the profanation of God's day, together with the many other abominations that are daily sendng up their insulting defiance against the Majesty of heaven, how shall we estimate the amazing forbearance and long suffering of God, in waiting thus long ere he come in his fury; and in giving space for repentance to those who seem daringly to defy his power, and provoke his wrath? It were not wise to shut our eyes to the manifest prevalency of sin in this respect, nor to shut out from our minds the conviction that there is abundant cause for fearing the tokens of Jehovah's anger. If He cannot look upon sin without abhorrence, what must be his abhorrence in looking down upon a London Sabbath? And think you that he will regard as one of his own beloved children, any one who can look with indifference upon the open and abounding contempt that is cast upon his high authority in this fearful place-even in this place of proud pre-eminence among the cities of civilized Europe-the luxurious metropolis of a country called Christian!!

But is the sin of not keeping the Sabbath

trous crusade against the sanctity of the Sabbath-day. Need I mention the alarming amount of railway travelling, whereby thousands are found, as it were, seizing upon the most rapid methods they can find for hurrying themselves away from all the peaceful and holy observances of the first day of the week. The existence of this state of things, as matter of fact, can be denied by none. That there is no sin in it, its very existence seems to prove many to imagine; while some are even found bold enough to contend for its propriety, and to vindicate and plead for the liberty of every man to use the Sabbath according to his own fancy. Surely, brethren, it is very plain, that this just amounts to a denial that God has given any special command concerning the Sabbath at all; and when a man does this, he has taken a most important step in the direction of rank infidelity. He has put himself into direct antagonism to God. He has ventured to put a negative upon the Almighty's express law." Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," and we know not any principle which may hinder him from putting a negative upon every other precept of the Bible, and so blotting out the commandments of the Most High altogether, leaving every man to walk after the sight of his own eye, and the desire of his own heart.

Another prevailing sin in this land, and one to which the Synod, in appointing this day's services, has required us specially to advert, is that of Intemperance. It is true that the public reprobation which has been directed against this vice has been happily the means of bringing it into more salutary disrepute. This degrading vice has in a great measure become an outcast from cultivated and refined society. It is so far well that drunkenness is no longer a fashionable vice. There are vices that are still considered fashionable; but they who lay any claim to refinement and good manners, have come to see that there is neither refinement nor good manners in depriving themselves of reason, and wallowing in the mire of deepest degradation. But even granting that the vice of intemperance has now, in a great measure, settled down among the very lowest grades of society, is that any reason for regarding it with indifference? Is it nothing to see thousands perishing—and perishing by their own hands? Is it nothing to see the multitudes of wretched beings, in the very lowest depths of abandonment, pursuing daily the infatuated course of self-destruction? Is it nothing to see hundreds who

might be useful in the world, given over to habits which convert them into the very pests and plagues of human society? And besides, it ought to be remembered that many have been brought to this state of degradation by this very sin. It brings a man to misery, and it keeps him there. It strips a man of his dignity, and it never restores it. The sin of Sabbath breaking, already noticed, is closely connected with this vice; for with multitudes the Sabbath is specially devoted to it. The gaudy temple of the drunkard's God, is never more numerously attended than on the Sabbath evening. In the very outer courts of the temple you may see multitudes assembled to yield their homage, apparently enjoying the very atmosphere and neighbourhood of the palaces of pollution. If angels can weep over the miseries and madness of our fallen race, verily these are scenes that may draw tears from angels' eyes. If it be a soul-harrowing sight to behold doomed mortals madly seizing the poisoned cup, then may the bowels of Christian compassion yearn over the scenes that are enacting in and around the gin palaces of London.

Before we left the ship the captain had informed us that an English missionary had erected his hut about two miles from the place where we were to land. The captain had visited him about two years before in his solitary home, and it was then very uncertain whether he would be able to continue in his post of danger. We immediately resolved to endeavour to find the missionary, and to seek such protection as he could afford us for the night.

was coming on, and savage warriors, their | treacherous men. While they had been some-
hands already dripping with blood, were every- what subdued in spirit, by the kindness, the
where around. We were all silent. No one meekness, and the utter helplessness of the
was willing to speak of his fears, and yet no missionary's family, they considered us sailors
one could conceal them.
fair game for plunder and abuse. By the
most earnest solicitations on the part of the
missionary they were induced to spare us.
The missionary accompanied us to our boat,
and we had, for our retinue, a troop of rioting
and carousing savages, brandishing their
bloody war clubs over our heads, to convince
us that we were in their power. A walk of
two miles conducted us to the beach. It was
a fearful walk, and the watchful anxiety of
our friend proved that he considered our dan-
ger to be great. When we arrived at the
beach, some of the natives manifested great
reluctance to let us go. Some took hold of
our boat to draw it further upon the land,
while they seemed to be earnestly arguing
with the rest upon the folly of permitting our
escape. At length, however, they yielded to
the remonstrances of the missionary, and aided
us in launching our boat through the now
subsiding surf.

Increasing masses of clouds rolled up and spread over the sky; and as we groped our way through the deep and tangled forest, darkness, like that of Egypt, enveloped us. After wandering about, we hardly knew where, for some time, we heard the loud shouts of savages, either in conflict or in revelry. Cautiously we approached the sounds, till we beheld a large party gathered around their fires, with the hideous trophies of their recent battle, and exulting over their victory. We thought it wise to keep as far THE MISSIONARY.-A SAILOR STORY. from them as possible, and again turned from


THE following story a seaman recently related to the writer. Many years ago, when New Zealand was a land of uninterrupted heathenism, the ship in which I was a common sailor dropped anchor at a cautious distance from the shore, in one of the harbours of that island. We had been months upon the ocean, without seeing any land. And when the sublime mountains and luxuriant valleys of that magnificent isle rose from the wide waste of waters before us, it was difficult to realize that we were not approaching some region of fairy enchantment. We soon, however, found that we were still in this world of sin and woe, for it so happened that there was a terrible fight between two war parties of the natives raging at the very hour in which we entered the lovely bay. From the deck of our ship we witnessed with awe the whole revolting scene, the fierce assault, the bloody carnage, the infuriated shrieks, the demoniac attitudes of those maddened savages, as they fell upon each other with a degree of fury which seemed worse than human. Often we saw the heavy club of the New Zealand savage fall upon the head of his antagonist, and as he fell lifeless to the ground his head was beaten by reiterated blows, till exhaustion satiated fury. This awful scene of savage life, as beheld from the deck of our ship, impressed even us unthinking sailors with emotions of deepest melancholy.

In consequence of the war, or some other cause, no canoe from the shore approached our ship. As we were entirely destitute of wood, the captain sent a boat's crew, with many cautions as to safety, to the opposite side of the harbour to collect some fuel. I was sent with this party. We landed upon a beautiful beach upon which a heavy surf was rolling. The savage scene we had just witnessed so filled us with terror that we were every moment apprehensive that a party of cannibals would fall upon us and destroy us. After gathering wood for some time we returned to the boat, and found to our dismay that the surf rolling in upon the beach had so increased, that it was impossible to launch the boat. The sun was just setting behind angry clouds which betokened a rising storm. The crested waves were rolling more and more heavily in from the ocean. A dark night

the light of their fire into the dark forest, where we could hardly see an arm's length before us. We at length came upon a little path, and slowly following it along, stumbling, in the darkness, over rocks and roots of trees, we came in view of the twinkling light of a lamp. I, with another one of the party, was sent forward to reconnoitre. We soon found that the light proceeded from a hut, bnt whether from the night-fire of a savage New Zealander, or from the lamp of the Christian missionary, we knew not; and few can imagine the anxiety with which we cautiously moved along to ascertain how the fact might be. Our hopes were greatly revived by the sight of a glazed window. And when, through that window, we saw a man in the garb of civilized life, with his wife and one child, kneeling in their evening prayers, our joy knew no bounds. Waiting a few moments till the prayer was closed, we entered the door, and though the surprise of the inmates was very great in seeing two white sailors enter their dwelling, we were most hospitably received. The missionary immediately lighted his lantern, and proceeding with us, led the rest of our party to his humble abode. We all slept upon his floor for the night. Weary, however, as I was, I found but little rest. I thought of my quiet New-England home, from which I had been absent but a few months. I thought of my mother, and her anxiety about her sailor-boy in this his first voyage. The scene was indeed a novel one to me. The swelling winds of the tempestuous night, the wild scenes of man and nature all around us, the vivid image of the bloody conflict, with the remembrance of its hideous and fiend-like outcries, all united so to impress my spirit, that I found but little repose. My companions, however, perhaps more accustomed to danger, and perhaps less addicted to thought, were soon soundly asleep.

Early in the morning a party of warriors came to the missionary's hut in search of us, having somehow ascertained that a boat's crew were on the shore. The missionary and his wife, both in countenance and manner, manifested the deepest anxiety for our safety. The savages were imperious and rude, and it seemed to me then, that nothing but the restraining power of God preserved this family uninjured, in the midst of such cruel and

As we rowed from the shore, and I looked back upon that devoted man, standing upon the beach in the midst of these rude savages, and thought of his return to his solitary home, and of the days, weeks, and months he must there pass in thankless labours, I thought that his lot was, in a worldly point of view, one of the hardest I had ever known; and I wondered that any man could be so hardhearted as to speak in terms of reproach, and point the finger of scorn towards the Christian missionary. In my last voyage, about two years ago, I again entered this same harbour. It is now called the Bay of Islands, and is one of the most beautiful places in natural scenery on the surface of the globe. I could hardly credit my eyes as I looked out upon a handsome and thrifty town with many dwellings indicative of wealth and elegance. There were churches of tasteful architecture, and school-children with their slates and books. And there were to be seen New Zealand families dwelling in cheerful parlours, sanctified by morning prayers and evening hymns. The untiring labours of the missionary had, through God's blessing, created a new world, and the emotions of deep compassion with which I had regarded him, when we left him on the beach alone with the savages, were transformed into sentiments of admiration, and almost envy, in view of his achievements. All other labours seemed trivial compared with his. And then I felt, and still feel, that if any man can lie down with joy upon a dying bed, it is he who can look back upon a life successfully devoted to raising a savage people to the comforts, refinements, and virtues of a Christian life.-New York Evangelist.

[WE have seldom read a piece that produced a deeper impression on our feelings than the foregoing paper. We knew not well whence it was, and we were too deeply impressed to philosophize, but our whole soul was absorbed in its details. We compared the missionary with the most renowned officials in the world's society, and, even their own standards being the test, we found him their superior. In courage,--in that courage which, unsupported and alone, without prospect of fame or promotion, can dare every peril and endure every toil,-what staremblazoned hero can match him? In selfdenial and sufferings, all endured for the good of man, how superior is he to the celled monk, the desert hermit, the pillared ascetic, useless to his race and revelling amid the

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