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Right Rev. ALEXANDER Penrose Forbes, M.A., Bishop; ordained, 1842; consecrated. 1842: residence, Dundee.

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Right Rev. ALEXANDER EWING, Bishop; ordained 1838; consecrated 1847 residence, Lochgilphead.

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Right Rev. CHARLES HUGHES TERROT, D.D., Bishop; ordained, 1814; consecrated, 1841: residence, Edinburgh.

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2. St John, Evangelist Very Rev. E. B. Ramsay, M.A.1818

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Military Chapel, Greenlaw


Stirling Penicuick.

Robert Henderson, M.A. 1822
Robert Bruce, M,A.

Synod Clerk, Rev. J. W. FERGUSON, M.A., Edinburgh.

Note. To explain the circumstance of places being included in Dioceses, from which they are locally remote, and apparently within the limits of other Sees, it must be observed, that in the present impoverished state of the Church her Bishops cannot subsist without having the benefit of a parochial cure; and the rule of the Church is, therefore, that wherever a Bishop's individual charge may be, that church and congregation are declared to be under his own superintendence; and exempt from the jurisdiction of that Bishop, within the bounds of whose district they are. This was established as far back as 1743.

Many who have had their education among Sectaries and Non-Conformists have apostated to Rome, but few or no right Episcopal Divines. Hot water freezeth the soonest.-Archbishop Bramhall.

Unthinking people are carried away with mere noise and pretences, and hope those will secure them most against the fears of Popery, who talk with most passion, and with least understanding, against it; whereas no persons do really give them greater advantages than these do.-Bishop Stillingfleet.

Can you, when you consider that Bishops are appointed to succeed the Apostles, and, like them, to stand in Christ's place, and exercise their kingly, priestly, and prophetical office over their flocks; can you, when you consider this, think it novel, or improper, or uncouth, to call them spiritual princes, and their dioceses principalities ?—when they have every thing in their office which can denominate a prince? For what is a prince but the chief ruler of a society, that hath authority over the rest to make laws for it, to challenge the obedience of all the members, and all ranks of men in it, and power to coerce them, if they will not obey?—Bishop Hicks.

Printed by GRANT & TAYLOR, Albany Street, Edinburgh.





MARCH 1848.


THE term in the Greek language of which mystery is the adoption, denotes, simply and properly, a secret. This might be either a doctrine or a fact; a thing only cognizable by the intellect, or also appreciable by the senses. The word, more especially, is constantly applied, both by classic and Christian authors, to those religious rites from which, on account of their peculiar sanctity, the uninitiated were studiously debarred. Some traces of this usage, indeed, are to be found in our own language. The ancient observances in honour of Ceres are still known to us as the Eleusinian Mysteries;' and 'Holy Mysteries' among us, as in the early Church, is a frequent designation of the Eucharist. In this, which may be called the Ecclesiastical usage, there is certainly no departure from the primary meaning of the term. A form of worship may be the subject of secrecy no less strictly than a set of opinions. There is in both cases an identity of the radical idea, with a variety in the ap


A sense, however, certainly distinct from the original has been engrafted on the term in the English usage. The old signification pointed to arbitrary, the new refers us to necessary, concealment. With the Greeks a mystery was a secret with which some were, with which all might be acquainted; in our idiom it denotes, not what is kept back on design, but what our faculties cannot take in: with them, in short, it was a thing unknown, with us it is a thing unknowable. When we say unknowable, we are, of course (as has just

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been hinted) to be understood as using language relative to our own capacities; for all things are naked and open,' as we are taught by the very rudiments of natural religion, to the eye of the Infinite Mind. This remark contains the principle on which we must proceed in fixing the boundaries which separate the mysterious from the contradictory. By the latter Reason is shocked; by the former she is only silenced in the one case we have an actual perception of disagreement between two ideas; in the other we have no light to compare them by.

Here also it seems proper to advert to a distinction, invariably overlooked in the popular phraseology, between mystery as adhering to a subject considered singly, and mystery as the result of its conceived relation to another subject, or class of subjects. When the cognate adjective is used to characterize respectively the notion of space and the origin of evil, there is manifestly a wide disparity in the precision of the application. In the former case, what is meant is said we wish to convey our sense of the faintness and inadequacy to its object of a particular conception, and that sense is accurately conveyed. In the latter, what is meant is not said: for while we intend to signify our perplexity at the joint contemplation of permitted evil and Almighty benevolence, our expressions admit of being construed into a confession of inability, not to harmonise the facts when exhibited together, but to form a clear idea of them exhibited apart. If we wish, then, to discriminate with superior exactness the sources and species of mystery, we must avoid confounding the obscurity attaching to the very essence of subjects individually considered, with that which is elicited by their juxtaposition and contact -the obscurity of relations, and the obscurity of things.

The complex idea of Christianity, as, indeed, of Revelation in general, admits of being resolved into two great parts a system of doctrines on the one hand, and an external apparatus, in which these are imbedded and made palpable, on the other. If this distribution be exhaustive, as it evidently is, mysteriousness can only be predicated of Christianity as affecting, in the first place, the things revealed; or, in the second, the circumstances of the revelation-as adhering to its subject-matter, or as adhering to its form. Under one or other of these denominations, the various instances of difficulty on which infidels have fastened, will accordingly be found naturally to fall. In observing, as I shall do in the sequel, in attempting to rebut their cavils, the order thus developed, I shall, as the two are

to a certain extent parallel, be also abiding by that evolved in the distinction of the preceding paragraph.

Of the objection which it is my business in these pages to discuss, I am not prepared to trace the history. To the best of my knowledge, it is almost peculiar to the Deistical and Semi-deistical, by which I intend Socinian, schools of the last century. The outcry began with such writers as Tindal and Bolingbroke, and its echo was caught and propagated by such writers as Foster and Priestley. The sound has now almost died away. The mysteriousness of orthodox Christianity, if ever a topic of reproach, has only the rank of a floating objection. It may still be infesting private circles through the offices of effete and superannuated free-thinkers, who batten on the stale relics of infidel literature, and delight to vend them at second-hand; or it may still be a source of occasional embarrassment to the imperfectly-informed section of the truly pious; but one thing is certain, that it has slunk abashed from the light, and that no man will drag it forth on the arena of public controversy. To its original patrons we are partially indebted for the immortal argument of the 'Analogy.' Their feeble attacks on the citadel of our faith but served to arouse in its defence the majestic intellect of Bishop Butler —a man whose position among the pigmy sceptics of his time realizes the fiction of Gulliver in Lilliput.

That a revelation is incredible because mysterious is very far from a self-evident proposition, and manifestly depends on the proximate assumption that there are reasons for anticipating the exclusion of this attribute from any body of communications having God for their author. Now these reasons can only be drawn from two sources— first, the idea and professed object of Revelation itself; or, secondly, the appearances of nature and the principles of Natural Religion. In a revelation there must be internal consistency, else it falsifies its own pretensions; and external congruity with truths antecedently ascertained, else it cannot compete for a place beside them. To the assumption that these characters are wanting in Christianity, as to its ultimate resort, its final hiding-place, the argument I am about to combat may be hunted up. It has been roundly maintained that the very ideas of religion and mystery are mutually repugnant and incompatible; and assumed, rather than asserted, that the analogies of nature render it likely that any genuine interposal of the Deity for the better instruction of His intelligent offspring would be free from the admixture of such obscurity as is allowed to rest on the

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