against heresies are absurdly deemed inapposite : and Christ's religion of concord is converted into a religion of acrimony. Instead of venerating institutions to which antiquity has borne illustrious testimony, men are required by them to accept opinions only recommended by boldness, novelty, and folly ; whilst the civil magistrate and the sovereign are wished, in matters of religion, to assume the character of a Gallio, and “ care for none of these things." But thus saith the Lord ; stand ye in the ways and

see, ask for the old paths, where is the GOOD WAY, AND WALK THEREIN, AND YE SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS,". Jer. vi. 16.

Yet—again to use Mr. Holmes's words,

“It may well appear a strange proposition to those, who have been accustomed to look with deference on the practice of ancient times, and to venerate the old ways, especially on matters of religion, that the system which alone was sanctioned by divine appointment, and adopted and continued in all the churches of Christ, approved by the ancient fathers, and retained by the holy reformers, should be pronounced by certain religious communities in modern times, as unscriptural and unlawful, – as an intolerable evil, whose' end is most devoutly to be wished for by every lover of God and man,

'* and whose destruction is to be attempted by agitation and clamour, and by a strange and unnatural combination of those who profess themselves the true followers of Christ and his apostles, with all those who, either avowedly or practically, are the enemies of religion itself."

We likewise fully concur in Mr. Holmes's observation, that the reason which deterred Christ and his apostles from specifying the obligations, duties, and responsibilities of Christian kings and governors, consisted in the existing circumstances of the rising church, in the wish not to give unnecessary offence to the Roman government, and in a desire not to arouse its enmity. But must we therefore infer from the New Testament, that governors are not positively bound, by the spirit of their religion, to make suitable provision for the celebration of divine worship, and an extensive diffusion of christian knowledge ?that therefore there should not be a national religious establishment-especially as all the national prepossessions of the laws were in favour of establishments ?-or must we conclude, that the propagation of scriptural truths should be left entirely to the casual and voluntary exertions of pious individuals ? An able writer has remarked, that the principle of allowing no establishment tends to subvert all national religion, and all recognition of whatever is peculiar to Christianity.†

But if a religious establishment had not been intended by

* Binney's Appendix to Address, &c.

+ Dr. M'Crie.

Christ,, if the preceding reason for his not settling it be allowed to have force, as his divine prescience must have foreseen, and did foresee, the events of his Church, -why was it not interdicted by himself and his apostles ? Why, if it would be an evil, and if the objections of the separatists be rightly founded, was it not positively denounced? Those who argue from the silence of the New Testament to their particular point, are bound to resolve these questions. God, who instituted the Levitical economy, never so totally abrogates his own institutions, as these nonconformists would persuade their hearers. God is the same, and changes not. He made the Mosaic law typical of good things to come: those good things came, but he destroyed not, for he fulfilled, the law by them ; intending that the system of an established religion should continue, but that it should be brightened by a more glorious revelation,—that all that was carnal should give place to that which was spiritual,that God should be worshipped in truth with spiritual offerings and spiritual sacrifices—that God, by the advent of Christ, should be manifested as he is, to the true worshippers—that the barriers which insulated Israel should be removed, and the Gentile be admitted to a participation of the Messiah's gospel. And those fanatics who affect, by the guidance of their new light, to discern a radical difference between God's dispensations, are as sadly deficient in scholarship, as they are proved to be in charity; they are much like those of old, who hewed out to themselves broken cisterns, which could hold no water,-much like the men whom Ezekiel represents daubing their wall with untempered mortar. If the voluntary system, which some of these clamorously advocate, were ratified by law, the want of a national religious establishment would very shortly be discovered; for many districts parsimony would leave unprovided with a teacher: at first, indeed, upstarts would be found ready to declaim, and vulgarize the christian faith with crude and illiterate opinions, perhaps outvying Southcott herself,--and hearers might be found to attend to them.

But, as we have always observed the sermons of nonconformists to have a peculiarly metallic tendency, and to be most energetic on the necessity of a collection for the saints, we suspect that the voluntary system would voluntarily cease to produce preachers, where the children of this world would not supply the mammon of unrighteousness.

It is, however, time that we check the excursions of our pen; thanking both Mr. Holden and Mr. Holmes for the unanswerable arguments by which they have defended our Church. They have proved, that the spirit of Christianity and human learning are in vigour among our clergy:—their works must be proudly classed among the most splendid monuments of christian truth,

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Art. XII. Parliamentary Debates. First Volume of the

Session 1837. Hansard, Paternoster-Row.

ON the last day of January 1837, the third session of the twelfth parliament of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was assembled by his most gracious Majesty. The high-minded peer, and the honourable commoner, gathered round his Majesty's throne, to listen to that rich production of councillors and statesmen-a king's speech. The élite of all parties were holding solemn conclave; the Ultra-conservative, the unbending, the impracticable Anti-reformer was there : he listened in vain for any bold expression of adherence to our protestant institutions. The busy, the reckless, the violent Destructive was also there; and he heard a few whispers about the stability of the Established Church, and smiled when he thought how soon that stability would be whispered away. His Majesty's ministers were there - a Melbourne, with his heart bursting through grief at the proceedings of the National Association (See his speech, Hansard's Debates, col. 16)—a Lansdowne, eager to break a lance with any antagonist who should venture to assault the O'Mulgrave of Ireland—these mighty ones were there, together with their long-sought chancellor, good easy man! who cannot boast even of the slovenliness of an Erskine, or the fidgetiness of a Brougham. Rambling with this document in our hand, we may visit every shore of this our globe, in a confused and spider-like course; we may halt awhile on the banks of the Tagus, and among the wilds of Lower Canada ; and we may repose at last within “ the establishment of a joint-stock bank,” or in that sleeping place of the wretched and the friendless—the “legal provision for the Irish poor.”

As we glance at the venerable structures which adorn the villages of our land, the signs of the times would lead us to question the stability of these time-honoured structures; but, on referring to the document before us, we may take comfort to ourselves with pleasing reflections according to the measure of our faith or self-interest. These are the soothing words of the comprehensive address :

“ We are required to convey to you his Majesty's desire that you should consult upon such further measures as may give increased stability to the Established Church, and produce concord and goodwill."

Without commenting very severely upon this paragraph, we regret the loss of the concluding words, which may perhaps have been secretly blotted out by some unknown hand. Among whom is it expected by his Majesty, that "further” measures may produce concord and good-will ?” The production of concord implies the existence of discord; and “further" mea

sures may sacrifice the best interests of one party in attempting to conciliate the other.

We will not prejudge the question, but proceed to review a few of the statements made by members of the legislature, with the hope of detecting, for the benefit of the British public, some recent parliamentary fallacies concerning the Church.

The motion for the adoption of the address in the Commons House of parliament, elicited a fair and distinct specimen of the division of opinion respecting the Established Church. From this, and other demonstrations of public feeling, we ascertain a very important fact, viz. that there are three parties whose views and objects very materially differ on the question before us. They are

1. Those who desire its total destruction as a national establishment.

2. Those who publicly uphold it in their speeches, but practically weaken it by their measures.

3. Those who love it as their life's blood, and whọ battle for it as for their fathers' homes.

Now, although the first and third of these parties may either oppose or defend it by fallacious arguments, yet it is with the second party that the root of the evil lies. On the very first night of the session, one leader of the destructives told the world his opinion in no mincing phraseology. “ The church of Ireland must be put down entirely. It was a nuisance which must be pulled down and abated at once; and the golden temple must be pulled down by the democratic party in the state." (Roebuck. Hansard, col. 39.) Another speaker said, “the object of his amendment was for the equalization of the two religions which prevailed in that country." (Beaumont. Hansard, col. 40.) Here is a bold, an uncompromising, and an open hostility. “The member for all Ireland"—the man of so many tails and so many joints, writes in similar terms to this very Mr. BEAUMONT. Ponder, ye men of protestant hearts, over his letter of the 2d of January last. “ Ireland cannot possibly be tranquil until the religion of the majority is placed on an equal footing in every respect with that of the minority." “I am convinced that the peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of Ireland, require the establishment among us of the voluntary principle of maintaining religion.” This is enough for our point at present; for the principle is the same whether the united Church is attacked, or that branch only which exists in Ireland. There are but two churches established in this empire as national—the united church of England and Ireland, and the kirk of Scotland ;-—so that if we use language in its strictest sense, the phrase, “the Irish church,” is elliptical, and its use may prove fallacious. But we pass on to more important considerations. There is a strong, a united, and a well-disciplined band,

who are firmly resolved not to surrender the PROTESTANT establishment in Church or State. They feel that the glory, the honour, and the majesty of Britain, are intimately connected with the conservation of our protestant sway. They know that the Almighty hath entrusted to our keeping a great national safeguard. They know and feel that our noble-spirited ancestors bequeathed to us a heritage more precious than rubies—the reformation from the corruptions of Popery, sanctioned and established by the Revolution. Henceforth, the statesmen of Britain were called upon to abjure all connexion with Rome. The nation was instructed that Bible Christianity is the only solid foundation for the rock of her hopes; and that as the merchant needs the principles of religion to guide him in his dealings, so the legislator needs the same spirit of holiness to direct him in his politics. Our forefathers thought that by confining the power of legislation to members of our pure and apostolic Church, they were providing for the nation the best possible guarantee for its own permanent security. These feelings still animate the friends of the Church ; and although they may not be expressed so boldly and so often as they ought, we may yet reckon on their taking deeper root and branching more widely forth, as the hour of her peril shall wax nearer and nearer.

This third party, whose principles we have attempted to sketch, are usually called Conservative, but it will be better suited to our argument to term them The Protestant Party. By this term we would signify, not the professors of the various forms of the protestant faith, but those who manifest an earnest desire to uphold our NationAL PROTESTANT INSTITUTIONS against the aggressions of popery. Such a party would allow the freest and fullest toleration to Rome and all its mummeries; but it would raise the loud and the thrilling cry—“Rome shall not

We have long ago cast off the filthy mantle of the papacy, and Rome shall not wrap it again about our limbs, while our heart's blood is warm within us. Let Rome, if she can, make a spring at our altars, and plant there again the idolatrous crucifix; let her, if she can, then trample on these altars, and batter at our throne; but it shall not be till she has bathed her sword in the blood of our suppliant worshippers; it shall not be till the bulwark of our national protestantism have been ruthlessly torn away by hands which are stronger than ours, and till a British constituency have tamely submitted to see their representatives in parliament cajole them with a lie and mock them by an oath." We care not at the present moment, whether the members of this party call themselves Whig or Tory :-perish the names of faction and of rivalry! The upright old-fashioned Whig was always a bold and successful defender of Britain against popish domination. Such statesmen 'as these will always protect in its national character the episcopal church

govern us !

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