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law shall be pass by the inferior judicatory of Britain, commanding passenger trains to be run on the Sabbath-day, in opposition to that command of the supreme Lawgiver and Judge, thou shalt not do any work,' such a law would be destitute of all moral authority to bind the conscience of a single human being. It might be passed with all the forms of the house, but being passed in opposition to the declared mind and will of God, from what source could it derive authority to bind the conscience ? No authority can reach the conscience or has power to bind it except the authority of God, and God cannot give the sanction of his authority to any human law that is opposed to his own divine law. To pass such an act would, therefore, be to place the legislation of Britain, on this point, in direct opposition to that of God; and this, in so far as it should prove successful, would be a debauching of men's conscience, and a sapping and undermining of the principle from which all moral obedience to human laws proceed; would be removing a little more of the only solid foundation on which the social edifice reposes.

Not only so, were such a law passed it would be the duty of all whom it concerned, as they would act a faithful part to God, and to their country, to refuse obedience to it, be the consequences what they might. When the Persian edict was passed forbidding all men to do during thirty days what God had commanded them to do continually, Daniel when he knew that the writing was signed, went into his house; and, his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.' And were a law passed commanding those connected with railway companies to run trains on the Lord’s-day, in opposition to the command which God had given them, and on which some of them have hitherto acted, then in such a case every Sabbath-observing company should, like Daniel, just go and do as they did aforetime, and he that sent his angel to stop the mouths of the lions, thereby sanctioning and hallowing to all posterity that example of virtuous and heroic disobedience to the laws of man, that great Being would stand by them and see that they came, safely and honourably, out of the struggle.

In case of disobedience to the proposed law, should the proposed fine of £200 or any part of it be exacted, this would be direct persecution for conscience sake. To command persons under this penalty, or under any penalty, to do what God has forbidden to be done, is to legislate in the same spirit as the Babylonian tyrant did on the plains of Dura, when he commanded that every one who would not fall down and worship the image should be cast alive that same hour into the burning fiery furnace.' To pass a law by which every railway company, refusing to run trains, shall suffer a penalty of £200, would be to punish men for keeping the Sabbath too strictly—to punish them for obeying God; and if there be such a thing as persecution for conscience sake, we have it here. True, religious men, are not compelled either to enter or to remain in a railway company, and, therefore, it may be alleged they can evade this penalty. But on that account would the persecution be the less? If a law is passed by

which all persons, who insist upon acting up to the requirement of the fourth commandment, shall be excluded from railway companies, what is this but a test act against the friends of the Sabbath; a test act in favour of infidelity; a test act by which all are excluded who refuse to disobey the divine law. It is just, in fact, the same as saying, No man shall be permitted to become a shareholder in any railway company, who thinks that no work shall be done on the Lord's-day.

In short, the proposed bill, if passed into a law, would be a further encroachment of Erastianism and antichristianism. After having long ruled with a high hand, and stretched-out arm' over the Church of England, and having broken up the fair and flourishing Church of Scotland; with such triumphs they are not content; they are not content with setting up the image of Cæsar in the entrance of the temple, and with excluding every official who will not yield unto it the homage which is due to Christ alone. They now aim to set up the same image in the hall of worldly business, and to exclude all who refuse to render unto Cæsar the things that are God's.' Were the legislature of this country to pass such a law, it would be to oppress, and harass, and exclude from privileges of citizenship, to which they are entitled, the best and most virtuous part of their subjects—those persons who both fear God and honour the king,' who are the ornaments and pillars of the country in a time of peace, and its bulwarks in the time of danger. It would be to use the national power against the national conscience. It would be to place the supreme authority of the land in antagonism to that mighty principle of loyalty to God, which, when they opposed it, baffled, and overthrew, and drove into exile, the unhappy dynasty of the Stuarts, and which will, one way or another, prove as much too strong for Parliament, as it has proved itself too strong for kings; as much too strong for Mammon, as it has proved too strong for Moloch. To pass such a law would be to place, in another point, the government of Britain in direct collision with the government of God.

Were such a law passed, a principle would be admitted which could be carried out to the extent of compelling all kinds of labour to be done on Sabbath ; nay, no new principle would require to be adopted in order to abolish the Sabbath entirely by an act of Parliament. At first, it might not be intended to apply the principle to anything else than railways; but it would be applicable to all cases, and with the railways as a precedent, its extension to other parties would be demanded by the principles of equal legislation. And after the passing of a law, not only commanding but compelling Sabbath desecration, our rulers could, with no consistency, prevent any individual, or company, so inclined, from carrying on their usual labours on the Lord's-day. And were the Sabbath thus esteemed, by the assembled representation of the national wisdom, it would lower the tone of thought and feeling in regard to it, throughout the whole empire, and a lowering of regard for the Sabbath, will lower the general sense of the fear of God in the land, and every shock given to this shakes the foundations of all government, by promoting materialism, and profanity, and sensuality, the great sources of public crime,


and of that pauperism which threatens, unless checked, to engulf the nation in irretrievable ruin. Britain has been long sacrificing to Mammon; her legislation has long been solely directed to facilitate the acquisition of wealth, while the character of her population has been, to a great extent, uncared for, has indeed been offered in sacrifice to the remorseless idol of commerce, that incarnation of covetousness, and the act, now proposed, is another overture for extending the domains of selfishness, and, for the attainment of that end, of further corrupting, and debasing, and wearing more thoroughly out, the moral character of our population. The fact that such a law could be proposed, shows a deterioration in the tone of our Irgislation in regard to the Lord's-day. There is, therefore, a loud cal to exertion among all who regard the glory and authority of God, who are convinced of the advantages of the Sabbath, who are friendly to civil and religious freedom, and who would wish to see immorality, and profanity, and national crime arrested, instead of being forced forward by the penalties of coercive legislation. Before this can be in the hands of our readers, it will be known what the mind of the legislature is respecting this subject; but although the measure should be unsuccessful at present, the spirit that prompted it will still exist, and the project will be brought forward whenever opportunity is again presented, and vigilance is, therefore, still required.

In common with all the friends of this cause, we feel deep and affectionate regret for the removal of Sir Andrew Agnew, the faithful and devoted champion of the Sabbath-day. The general has fallen in the midst of the conflict. But morally he still lives. He is still among us, and will ever be, by that example of spotless consistency, and inflexible decision, and entire devotedness, and unwearied constancy, with which he advocated this holy, and humane, and patriotic cause. We were delighted to learn that his first correct impressions respecting the Sabbath were received from the late Dr M‘Crie, but we cannot refrain from saying, that, in our opinion, it would indicate a higher kind of taste among the friends of the Sabbath, if, instead of erecting a monument of stone to his memory, they had left his fame inscribed only upon that moral monument which he himself erected by his labours.


The Rev. Archibald Brown, of Adam's Square, Edinburgh, has published two Sermons, with an Appendix, containing an Examination of a New View of the Original Secession Testimony. In the second paragraph of that Appendix we read as follows:

-A statement has been circulated in our body by means of the Magazil“, on the authority of the Clerk of the Edinburgh Presbytery, respecti.. the admission of the Rev. William Marshall of Leith. That statement acknowl ges my protest and appeal; but no one in reading it can possibly discover any ground for that step. If the Clerk wishes to make his side of the


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case all fair to the ministers and people of our connexion, why should I be prevented from showing mine? If he and others had kept the matter quiet till the period of ultimate decision had come, so would I; but if they will speak out, I am bound to do the same. Therefore, when the Clerk saw meet to repeat his statement in the Magazine, thither I followed him, by sending my statement to the Editor; but he declined to insert it, on the ground, to use his own words, “that he had laid it down as a rule, had hitherto acted on it, and meant to act on it in all cases and to all parties, not to admit any personal controversies into its pages, whether between one minister and another, or between individuals and the church judicatories.” Thus the access to the body, of which I am a minister, being denied, in the manner I wanted, when I was deliberating what course I should follow, a request was unexpectedly presented to me to publish the following discourses.'

There can be no doubt that in the above extract it is intended to insinuate to the public that we have been guilty of partiality and injustice, in allowing the Clerk to make a statement unfavourable to Mr Brown, while Mr Brown has been denied the liberty of making a statement of a similar kind.* But nothing could be farther from the true state of the case. The notice of Mr Marshall's admission which appeared in our pages was a narrative of what took place in the Presbytery, and not a defence of the Presbytery's proceedings nor an attack on Mr Brown. But the paper sent to us by Mr Brown was one of entirely a different nature. It was a paper entirely controversial, being substantially his reasons of protest and appeal, and was an attack on the Presbytery. A paper of this kind we found that we could not insert, consistently, with the duty reposed in us by the Synod as the responsible conductor of this periodical. That there might, however, remain no shadow of ground for alleging that he had been unfairly treated, the offer was given, that if he had any corrections to make, in point of fact, upon the statement which appeared in our pages, he was at liberty to do so, and they would be inserted. It is with reluctance and regret that we write a single sentence upon a subject, in regard to which, in the opinion of the best and wisest friends of the body, in all parts of the country, far too much has already been written, either for the credit of religion, or the good of our community : yet as we are unwilling to allow a single shade of suspicion to rest on our impartiality, and as Mr Brown has not given, by any means, an adequate representation of our reasons for refusing his paper, we would crave the indulgence of our readers for presenting them with what we wrote to him upon the point:

HADDINGTON, 19th February, 1849. MY DEAR SIR, -After mature reflection, I am under the necessity of stating that it appears to me I could not insert the accompanying paper in the Magazine without a violation of the trust reposed in me as editor. There are a number of reasons for not publishing such a paper on other grounds.

In a letter to the Editor, Mr Brown threatened the interests of this periodical with injury, if we should refuse to insert his paper.


the case.

1. It is substantially your reasons of protest ; and it is always considered unwarrantable in any private parties to publish these without the sanction of the court to whom they belong, until brought before the superior court.

2. Besides, it would be quite unfair to publish your reasons in any place without the answers to them ; to do so would be to give a one-sided view of

3. And, in addition to this, I demur altogether to the accuracy of some of your statements, and especially to your account of the manner in which Mr Marsball received our T'estimony. You have altogether concealed the true state of the case ; for you cannot have forgotten that Mr Marshall declared, 'that he received the 'Testimony as a term of ministerial and christian communion, and that he would preach, and rule, and act under it, both as a man and a minister. When I know that these were the ipsissima verba that I put to him, and to which he replied in the affirmative, you could not have been surprised although I had refused to be accessory to circulating your account simply on the ground of inaccuracy.

4. But I am anxiously desirous that you should understand that it is not on these grounds, but for that which I am now to state, that its insertion is declined. I have laid it down as a rule, and hitherto acted on it, and mean to act on it in all cases and to all parties, not to admit any personal controversies into its pages, whether between one minister and another, or between individuals and the church judicatories.* To do otherwise would be to convert the periodical into a vehicle of discord and contention. Should I therefore insert your reasons, I must, as a matter of course, insert the answers to them, and thus, without any good cause, place my brethren in the odious position of challenging one another's veracity before the public, without the slightest view of doing any good, or advancing any public interest whatever.

The statement admitted into last number of the Magazine was merely a narrative of what occurred; and it did not contain, as you allege, any of the grounds on which your brethren consider you are acting improperly. Had it consisted of reasons why you should have acted otherwise, you would clearly bave been entitled to a place for the paper you have sent, and which I now return; but being merely a statement of facts, it does you no injury, if it be a correct statement, and if in any point you believe it incorrect, I shall give insertion to any corrections, in point of fact, which you may see meet to make ; but I am constrained, by a sense of duty to the body, and of fairness to the party whom you oppose, to decline inserting your reasons of protest, and you can only charge me with partiality when you can point out where I have given their arguments against you.

To shelter myself from the charge of partiality, which you hang over my bead unless I comply with your request, I at first intended to have taken the mind of the committee, (this will explain the writing on the back, for which I ask your excuse,) but afterwards saw meet to act on my own responsibility, as I had a clear enough view of what was duty in the matter. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to hear that you approved of my deliberate judgment, unless it be the satisfaction of having done what is right to the best of my judgment, of which I cannot be deprived, even should you be so far forgetful of yourself, and of charity, as to accuse me of partiality, because my conscience and judgment do not coincide with your wishes. I am anxious for your welfare, I am anxious to follow peace with you, -I am anxious to do nothing to your dishonour, - I am anxious to protect you, even from yourself, in a course which I believe to be unadvised; and however lightly you may think of it, I commend my integrity to God's keeping, and you to

* Of course, the Editor reserves for himself the right of discussing any subject whatever that he may think for the interests of the body : this of course being always used on his own responsibility to the Synod.

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