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ten, was unfounded. All the length that the Rev. Mr Lendrum, in bis letter to the Perthshire Advertiser, dated September 25th, could go, was to give us the very ambiguous denial, that the teachers of the college would be · Puseyites any farther than the sentiments of Pusey are in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England, while he said nothing as to what, in his opinion, any of these doctrines were; and there was, besides, the somewbat suspicious circumstance, that his manner of employing the word .church' was in conformity with the strictest Oxford rules.'' Pp. 21, 22.
" The next thing to be noticed in the history of the college is deserving of peculiar attention. I refer to the publication of an address concerning it by the prelates of the Scottish episcopal church. The address begins thus, · To all members of the Reformed Catholic Church, the Bishops in Scotland greeting;' and in the body of it, the expression occurs, · We, the Bishops of the REFORMED CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SCOTLAND.' Now the meaning of the first of these clauses is indeterminate. Whatever may bave been the intention of its authors, it may denote all protestants who truly hold the Head, and profess the gospel, when it speaks of the Reformed Catholic Church. But if the meaning of the first clause be indeterminate, not so is the meaning of the second. It tells us explicitly, that “the Reformed Catholic Church in Scotland is that religious body which is governed by the bishops subscribing the Address. Bishops Skinner, Torry, Low, Russell, Moir, and Terrot, announce themselves as the bishops of the Reformed Catholic Church in Scotland ;' and that is a plain declaration that “the Reformed Catholic Church in Scotland' consists of the Scottish episcopal church. The inference is, that the presbyterians of Scotland, and the protestant clergy, whether established or dissenting, are not embraced in the « Reformed Catholic Church,' that is to say, are not members of the visible body of Christ.” Pp. 23, 24.
"I bave now finished the narrative regarding the suspicions that have sprung up in reference to the episcopal college, and the charges which have been brought against it, on the one hand, and the answers and defences which have appeared, on the other. The question occurs, How shall we account for the evasions and obscure generalities to which the chief vindicators of the college bave resorted—for their evident anxiety to dispel the suspicions of presbyterians, and for their uniform omission at the same time, to give any specific and clear disavowal of the uncharitable tenets with which the college has begun to be identified ? I think that question can be solved. I believe the truth to be, that they do hold, with the theologians of Oxford, that prelatic episcopacy is necessary to the being of a church, that the imposition of prelatical' hands alone can give authority to preach and to administer sacrameots, and that presbyterian ordinances are in cousequence null, wbile, at the same time, they have not yet the courage, and it is plainly inexpedient, to stand forth and directly tell the great body of their countrymen that the ministers they love are invaders of the priesthood, and that they and their children are unbaptized, and separated from the fellowship of the body of Christ. In the Scottish episcopal communion, the reiguing doctrine on the subject of the church is, and, from the days of the tirst non-jurors, has been, the present doctrine of Oxford—the doctrine of Hook and Palmer, of Pusey, Newman, and Froude-of the British Critic—of the Tracts for the Times. To the duty of making good this statement by documentary proof, I shall now, with the presbytery's permission, proceed.” P. 31.
He then proceeds to the proof of his charge against the prelates and prelatists of Scotland, as being possessed of a spirit of bigotry, intolerance, and hatred of every sect but their own, worthy of Rome itself. The extracts which are given from their writings, are such as to stamp them with everlasting infamy. A zealous Scottish tractarian once paid us the very sinister compliment of telling us, that though he could not consider our church as a true church of Christ, he did not mean to say that many in it might not be true Christians. In answer to all such statements, we have just to reply, that while we do not say that the church of England is not a true church, yet this we will say, that those who hold the principles contained in the extracts quoted in this pamphlet, cannot be true Christians. They may be nominally members of a true church, but they are in reality members, if not of the synagogue of Satan, at least of the church of antichrist. But let Mr Gray proceed with his quotations in proof of his allegations.
“ I begin with a tract published a long time ago. It is entitled, ' A friendly Auswer of a Letter, &c., touching Presbytery, in which is plainly and fairly made appear, how justly the horrid sin of Schism, and sundry other gross errors, are chargeable upon the Presbyterians of Scotland. By a Suffering Member of the afflicted Church of Scotland. Edinburgh: 1726. And it bears the sanction of authority, as being “agreeable to the sentiments of the church, and worthy of approbation.' Speaking of schismatics, the author expresses himself in these terms :~ They who wilfully break this indispeusable union, .....and do separate themselves from the church of God, by crumbling into parties and factions, and by setting up opposite altars, in disobedience to our spiritual superiors the bishops, MATICKS, who, by being such, do miserably exclude themselves from all the covenanted and ordinary means and terms of pardon and mercy offered by Jesus Christ in the Gospel. Pp. 9, 10.
Again he asserts, quoting Bishop Pearson, and applying the language to schismatics :— As none of the inhabitants of Jericho could escape the tire or sword but such as were within the house of Rahab, for whose protection a covenant was made : so none shall ever (unless through an unrevealed and extraordinary manner) escape the eternal wrath of God, which belong not to the church of God'-—P. 11.
“ Again he says :— In Holy Scripture schismaticks are styled Withered Branches,' * False Apostles,' • False Brethren.' They are, by' St Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, said to be proud, knowing nothing.' And in his Epistle to Titus, they are called ' unruly, vain talkers and deceivers,'—' whose mouths must be stopped.'-P. 11.
“ He says again And so exceedingly sinful and dangerous, Sir, is the joining in worship with schismaticks, that St Paul hath expressly discharged all fellowship and communion with them.'-P. 12.
“ On page 18, he has the expression, the damnable sins of schism and rebellion; and in corroboration of his views, he gives an extract from Cyprian:• Schismaticks, says he, (Cyprian), though they are slain for confessing Christ, yet is the stain of schism so deep, their very blood cannot wash it out. It is an inexpiable crime, from which a man cannot be purged, though he die for Christ. Let him give himself to fry in the flames, or be torn in pieces by wild beasts, that shall not crown his faith with victory, but pass only for the punishment of his treachery. He may be slaughtered, but he shall not be crowned. For that man cannot be one of Christ's martyrs, who is not one of the church's members.'-Pp. 13, 14.
" Who, then, are the parties, to whom these dreadful doctrines apply? Who are the · Schismatics ? The author leaves not his reader in perplexity about
that:- Now, Sir, you may pretend to justify and acquit yourself from guilt, in this weighty and terrible affair, as much as you please; but, that the PresBYTERIANS Is This Kingdom, and you, by being in communion with them, are actually engaged in this sad, this woeful and miserable state of schism, is most undeniable: no matter of fact is capable of clearer demonstration.'-Pp. 14, 15." Pp. 32, 33.
" But the bishop leaves us not to grope in uncertainty; he puts an end to our suspense by declaring, p. xix., - The episcopal church of Scotland is such a church, as all Christians in this country, not only may, but are in duty bound to communicate with, because if her communion is pure, and all Christians ought to be of one communion, then it follows that all who are separated from her must be in the wrong, and are, for their own safety, obliged instantly to unite with her. After this, if the people of Scotland shall stand aloof from the communion' which is thus identified with the true church,' and adhere to presbyterianism, let them know from Bishop Drummond, page X., that, the farthest that a rational charity can go in favour of those who divide from the church, when no sinful term of communion is required of them, is to hope that God, whose mercy is infinite, may do more than he has promised; and if any of them are, upon the whole, upright, religious, and devout, he may on that consideration bestow upon them his uncovenanted mercy, notwithstanding of their having brought dishonour on his blessed Sou's Dame, because they did it ignorantly and in unbelief. And the same, the editor trusts, will be bestowed upon well-meaning heathens and Mahometans” Was there ever a brighter example of philosophical calmness and impartiality than this Scottish prelate exemplifies, when ranking along with well-meaning heathens and Mahometans' those Christians who are unable to discover any warrant for prelacy in the Scriptures ?” Pp. 34, 35.
But we must restrain our remarks and quotations, though there are many other passages which we should like to have laid before our readers. We merely add one paragraph towards the conclusion, in which the author is summing up his argument.
“Sir, the materials of this argument are not exhausted. I might go on to adduce yet other publications by Scottish episcopalians, in which the same exclusive views are expressed, and the same haughty pretensions advanced. But it cannot be necessary. I am not afraid that in any quarter where the evidence which has now been submitted is attended to, one lingering doubt will remain, that the point I set out with has been established. Recollect, Moderator, that the Scottish episcopal clergy, from whom the swarm of sermons, letters, pamphlets, catechisms, and treatises, which have been under our review, has issued, consist of but from ninety to a hundred individuals,-conjoin with the fact this other, that, with the exception of a discourse by Mr Drummond of Edinburgh, no publication of any sort
, containing doctrines of an opposite character, has, so far as I have been able to learn, ever at any time, throughout the whole period of its history, emanated from the Scottish episcopal communion,-in connection with these things, mark the singular but significant law relating to baptism, which forms one of their canons, and which, I have reason to believe, is at this moment in full operation,--and keep in view, finally, the indication of their principles which we bave lately obtained from the prelates of the body, in synod assembled;-consider, I say, all this, and can there be hesitation in identifying Scottish episcopacy with the tenet, that there is no true church in Scotland but its own, and perchance, the church of the papacy, -that the sacraments of presbyterians are no sacraments at all, and that the ministers and elders of the establishment are without authority, and usurpers of the functions they pretend to exercise ?
Probably there will be an attempt to save the credit of Scottish episcopacy. by representing that episcopalians do no more than is done by the adherents of other denominations, -than we presbyterians are ourselves accustomed to do. We shall, it is likely, be reminded that we ourselves believe and contend thatour system is the best, and claim for it the sanction of Scripture, and the warrant of apostolical example; and why, then, it may be asked, should we murmur because episcopalians exercise a similar liberty, and think as highly of their system as we think of ours ? I answer, that we do indeed prefer, on grounds both of reason and Scripture, our own ecclesiastical principles and constitution; but the apologists of Scottish episcopacy will do well to remember that that which has appeared in the extracts I have read to-day, and which it is incumbent upon them to justify, is something very different from a similar prefereoce for the prelatical economy: I acknowledge at once that every upright episcopalian must regard church government by diocesan bishops as agreeable to Scripture, and may reasonably be expected to hold that those who reject it are iu error, and that Christian communities, in which prelates are not received, have, in so far, departed from the order of primitive times. But Scottish episcopalians do more; they take vastly bigher ground. They say that the society which has no prelates, is not a church of Christ,—that the ministers who have not been prelatically ordained, are not ministers of Christ,-and that the individuals whom non-episcopalian ministers have baptised, are not members of Christ. They unchurch our denominations, they degrade our clergy, and unchristianise our people. It is vain for them to allege that their opinions are held by all episcopalians. Even although that were true, it would be no defence. But it is not the fact. If in Scotland there is too much reason for believing that they are all of one mind, we know that in England, in Ireland, and in America, there are numbers, who are as good episcopalians as they, and who are a thousand times more charitable and brotherly withal. The bishop of Chester does not agree with them, nor the bishop of Winchester, nor the archbishop of Dublin, nor the archbishop of Canterbury: The ex. cellent bishop of Calcutta has published his abhorrence of their views. Nevertheless, these prelates, while repudiating the dogma that the church of the Redeemer and the episcopal system are co-extensive, so that the former includes none by whom the latter is not embraced, are strenuous maintainers of the principles and forms that distinguish their communion.
“ The Scottish episcopal church stands alone in its bigotry and exclusive. ness. No, not quite alone. The church of Rome keeps it in countenance; although I know not that even she will go so far as to hold that the people of Scotland are not baptised. But it stands alone among the churches that call themselves reformed. The church of England, whatever she may do, has not joined it as yet. The episcopal church in America, there is cause to think, is still further from the approval of its principles or its spirit.” Pp. 78–80.
There is a valuable appendix to this pamphlet, which we would earnestly recommend to our readers. We cannot quote from it, but we leave them to peruse it for themselves.
Truly the church of Scotland is beset with enemies. There is not in the present day one church of Christ on earth which is so situated as she is, and has such desperate opposition to battle with. Yet so has it always been, not simply with the Scottish church, but with the Scottish kingdom. For centuries before the reformation, our fathers had to contend with the might of potent nations arrayed against them. The mountain fastnesses of poor, bleak, barren Scotland, have been a thousand times over coveted and contended for by her wealthier neighbour, yet have they always been more than a match for the ambitious chivalry of England, led on by her proudest monarchs and mightiest men of valour. This has trained us up as a nation of hardy, daring, indomitable men. And when, instead of mere natural liberty, religion becomes the stimulant to our doing and daring, what is there that in the end we may not accomplish? Is there any array of enemies, however formi. dable, that can make us yield one foot-breadth, or lessen our confident expectation, that whatever be the malignity of Scottish or English prelacy, whatever be the force they can bring into the field against us, in the end, as we have always, through the good hand of our God upon us, prevailed in ages past, so we shall sooner or later in the present struggle, prevail and triumph again.
History of the Church of Scotland during the Commonwealth.
By the Rev. James BEATTIE. Edinburgh: W. Whyte & Co. 1842.
When Mr Beattie undertook to write the History of the Church of Scotland during the Commonwealth,' he must have been well aware that he was undertaking a very arduous and unpromising task ;-arduous, inasmuch as the period of the Commonwealth is one of the darkest in the whole history of the Scottish church; and unpromising, since it was not signalized by any great event, or by the personal character of any distinguished and pre-eminent man, from which it might acquire attractive splendour, or living interest. It was, in truth, one of those dreary periods which occasionally occur in the annals of a nation or a church, pregnant, it may be, with embryo principles of vast importance, but appearing in itself to be merely a breathing space, a dull monotonous pause during the transition from one great series of transactions to another. To the ordinary historian, and also to the ordinary reader, such periods are peculiarly tiresome, affording nothing to arrest attention or excite the feelings; and they are generally passed over in a very cursory manner, as the traveller hurries over the bleak and tame uplands of a country, regardless of the mineral wealth which lies hid beneath the surface, and may ere long be called into such potent operation as shall materially change the aspect of society, and mould the national character. Yet these transition periods are the very points to which a truly philosophical historian would direct his most peculiar attention, knowing that in them he would find the best materials for guiding him in the formation of an accurate judgment respecting the true character of the next