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sition to return to that reformed constitution, by using means to correct what is inconsistent with it, so far as is competent to her in the use of those powers which belong to her as an ecclesiastical society, under Christ, her Head.' Apply this to the Free Church, and it would run thus: We cannot warrantably accede to her communion until she show a disposition to return to that reformed constitution, by using all means competent to her for that purpose. But shebas now all the means in her power; she could return to it if she pleased; there is no legal obstacle with her, as with the Established Church ; but she has hitherto refused, as a church, to return to that reformed constitution ;' and therefore we have the authority of the Synod in 1834, and of our departed fathers, Dr M‘Crie, and Dr Stevenson, that until she return to that constitution, 'we cannot warrantably quit our position of Secession.'

Thus we see that, ten years previous to the Disruption, Original Seceders held precisely the same principles as they do at present, and as are to be found in the articles on which this writer comments.

Still earlier, in 1827, we find that they held the same views, as is apparent from the whole scope of their testimony enacted that year, and especially from their condemnation of the basis of union between the two parties in the Secession, because it was not laid on an adherence to the Covenanted Reformation and reformed principles as what they were bound to adhere to by the oath of God.'

Dr M‘Crie's Appendix to his Sermons on Unity shows that they held the same sentiments in 1821.

Fifteen years earlier than this period, viz., 1806, we find the Constitutional Presbytery separating from the Associate Synod, because of its ceasing to witness for the covenanted Reformation, as our readers may see in the Appendix to Dr M-Crie's Life, pages 439, 440, and downwards; and if they separated from the Associate Synod on this account, it is clear they could not have joined any other body which had no judicial testimony for the covenanted cause.

Let us now go back to the commencement of the Secession, and it will be found that to raise a judicial testimony for the covenanted Reformation was the formal ground taken up by that body. Their reasons,' says Mr Gibb, Display, vol. I., p. 51, 'for enacting and emitting this testimony, were to the following effect, to wit: that neither had the iniquities and backslidings of former times been ever particularly acknowledged or condemned, nor had the reformation and testimony formerly attained to been ever judicially approven and justified by the judicatories of this church since the Revolution; that no banner was judicially displayed for truth, and against the prevailing evils of the present time; that a judicial testimony seemed necessary for the glory of God, for the information and conviction of the present generation, and for the information of posterity. Such was the design of the Original Seceders from the Church of Scotland. It was their design to raise a judicial testimony "for the reformation and testimony formerly attained to, considering this necessary for the glory of God,' &c. We are therefore only following in their footsteps when

we maintain a judicial testimony for that purpose in a separate state, age and until some other body shall judicially approve of the coveDanted work, and with that body we can honourably unite.

Thus we have shown that the sentiments of the Secession from its commencement were identical with those contained in the papers on which this writer animadverts; and we shall now show him, when, in the opinion of Original Seceders, any body can be said to adhere to the Covenanted Reformation.

Speaking of the Westminster standards, Dr M'Crie (Appendix to Sermons on Unity, page 124) thus writes:- To adhere to these, since the Reformation took place, is to adopt them as a system of religion, which is still entitled, both by divine and by human right, to be professed and established in the three nations;-to testify against all proceedings prejudicial to it, and all laws introducing or maintaining another system, as what no friend of reformation can bind himself actively to support and countenance, and to hold that it is the duty of all classes to endeavour, in their station and by all lawful means, to have the reformed and presbyterian religion publicly and legally settled; and that from the consideration, not only of the divine authority on which it rests, and its intrinsic excellence, but also of the additional obligations arising from national oaths and leagues, and the former attainments and laws of Church and State, which are still virtually pleadable, and in a moral point of view retain their force. Thus formally was the Covenanted Reformation adopted and testified by Seceders. We thus see when a body, in the estimation of Dr M'Crie, can be said to adhere to the covenanted cause; and as this author, we presume, will hardly venture to assert that the Free Church has already espoused it, in this manner, when he asserts that she is testifying for it in a manner that would have satisfied Seceders ten years ago, lest it may be thought that he is more knowing than we are in such matters, we place this extract between him and us, and simply say, 'Art thou wiser than Daniel ?'

We shall now only mention a few smaller matters, in the briefest manner possible. What he says about testifying for a testimony' is a mere play upon words. All secessions and separations from the beginning of time to the end of time, that proceed upon scriptural ground, must take place for the purpose of raising a testimony, either for the want of a good testimony, or because of a bad one, in the church which the party left, and may thus all be said to be testifying for a testimony.

He says, of the position occupied by the Synod, that it is weak, illiberal, and even untenable.' We shall consider whether it be weak or not, when this author explains what he means by its being weak. When he says it is illiberal, we tell him that liberality has nothing to do with opinions, but with men's spirits. And whereas he says it is even untenable,' it will be more apparent whether this is the case or not, when our opponents put off their harness. Meanwhile, we think it will stand at least one other assault, such as he has made on it, without being in any very imminent danger.

• The position advocated by Mr Murray,' he says, "wears some of the worst forms of sectarianism.' He can turn to Appendix to Sermons on Unity (pages 131, 132), where he will see this disposed of.

He professes himself at a loss to know what Mr Murray means by the additional and peculiar disadvantages' to which Seceders are subjected ; and yet if he had looked, he would have seen that Mr Murray has stated three sources whence these arise.

He represents us (page 18) as having spoken contemptuously of the Disruption as a 'minor affair;' whereas any one who pleases to look again to our article will see that this is what we think certain persons, seeking for an excuse to leave the Free Church, will be likely to say by another generation.

He finds fault with us for the allusion we made to the Relief body; and yet he has produced a passage from the Free Church Catechism, formerly quoted, in which the same sentiment is embodied, that the ecclesiastical positions of the two bodies are substantially the same.

After weighing these things '-that is, we suppose, after weighing the light which had radiated from all the pores of the Free Church, during the last six years—for that notable sentence stands immediately before after weighing these things,' the following statement made by us seemed, to him, as if it were ridiculous: The difference between us and the Free Church consists in this, that she declines to identify herself with the Reformed and Covenanted Church of Scotland, &c., which is done by us. Well, when he lets in upon us some rays of that light which has been incessantly radiating from her pores, we perhaps may be disposed to laugh at ourselves ; but, in the meantime, we are perfectly resigned to let our author laugh on.

He tells us that he is disposed to decline his share of the honour of being the Reformed and Covenanted Church of Scotland, as claimed for the Original Secession; and we think that, in his present attitude, he may probably not be wrong in doing so.

He is, very rightly, anxious about union with the Free Church; but he is altogether wrong in laying the blame of this not being accomplished upon the Original Secession Church, for she already has, on her part, pressed that matter as far as could be done with decency. Even on his own principles, his pamphlet ought to have been addressed to the Free Church. He thinks that she ought to take up more decided ground, and he ought, therefore, to have laboured to make her more decided, and not to make us less decided. He holds that the Free Church has a real testimony for the Covenanted Reformation ; and seeing this is doubted by multitudes, he ought to have laboured to impress upon her the necessity of placing the matter beyond all doubt.

He thinks that if we had entered the Free Church at the Disruption, that we would have been instrumental in securing a triumph to the entire principles of the Covenanted Reformation ;' but in this, we apprehend, our author is over sanguine, and, for once, he gives us more credit than we deserve.

In conclusion, he is for immediate union, and protests against a position which, if longer adhered to, promises to result in consequences injurious to the great cause of the Reformation, and possibly fatal to the Original Secession Church. To this we would only

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say, that consequences are not the rule of duty, and that when endeavouring to do what is right, we shall leave events in the hand of God. It was by coming down from his more decided ground, that James lost his army, and his life, on the unhappy day of Flodden; it was by the Covenanters coming down from their more decided ground, that Scotland was prostrated before Cromwell at Dunbar; and we think that our author will show more generalship, in defending the Reformation, if, instead of advising us to come down the hill, he would endeavour to persuade the Free Church to come up the hill and take more decided ground than she has even yet taken.'

ONE WORD TO THE SCOTTISH PRESS, AND TWO TO THE WITNESS. SINCE the above remarks were written, we have perused the notices of this pamphlet which appeared simultaneously in the Scottish Press, and in the Witness. Both of these are highly laudatory, but in neither do we find a single remark on the merits of the question. The Press finds the pamphlet liberal, and that is enough for him. The Witness finds it favourable to the Free Church, and that with bim decides the matter. The Press rejoices to find that the organs of voice among Original Seceders are becoming more flexible than they were wont to be; and he claps his hands on hearing the writer of the pamphlet, as he thinks, distinctly enunciate Shibboleth,' where his fathers, to a man, would have said Sibboleth.' It was quite natural that a periodical representing the sentiments of a party which has deserted and repudiated the principles of the first Seceders, and of the Covenanted Reformation, after all the office-bearers, and thousands of the people, had sworn perpetual adherence to them, and which deposed ministers, because they would not break their ordination vows, and robbed congregations of their property, under the pretence, sworn to before the civil court, that no change of principle had taken place, a pretence which all men now acknowledge to be false; it is quite natural that parties with the recollection of this still haunting them, should welcome, as a further opiate to their consciences, every seeming symptom of vacillation among Original Seceders. We venture not to determine, whether the Press be correct or not, in its supposition respecting the authorship of the pamphlet, but should it even be as he alleges, what follows? Presbytery continued to be not the less scriptural, and prelacy did not become one whit more so, when the son of him who wrote Zion's Plea aganst Prelacy,' became Archbishop of Dunblane.

To the Witness, in all good faith, we return our most sincere thanks for the very valuable service done to the cause of truth, and the most effective assistance rendered to us in our controversy with the writer of the pamphlet, by the seasonable appearance of his article. Our opponent put forth all his strength to prove that the Free Church has already raised a testimony for the Covenanted Reformation, and he has kindly scolded us in a great variety of harsh phrases, graciously

turned, and beautifully qualified for calling this in question. In his eyes the Free Church appeared to have been radiating light upon the subject from every pore of her body,' ever since the Disruption. But, alas ! it appears from this reviewer, that distance has given enchantment to his view.' In the plainest and most explicit manner, does the Witness declare that the Free Church has uttered no voice upon the subject, and he holds it to be one regarding which she can utter no voice. We hold farther,' says the Witness, that the special points maintained by Original Seceders, regarding which the Free Church has uttered no voice, and regarding which, as a church, she can utter no voice-points such as those which a belief in the descending obligation of the national covenant involves-might be held most consistently and most harmoniously within the pale of the Free Church. Nothing can be plainer than this. On all the points which a_belief in the descending obligation of the national covenants involves,' the Free Church has uttered and can utter no voice. So says the Witness. The author of the pamphlet may doubt our testimony, but here is the testimony of the most influential Free Church organ declaring the same thing, in far stronger terms than ever we did. We maintained that the Free Church has no testimony regarding any of those points which a belief in the descending obligation of the covenant involves ;' but the

Witness declares that she neither has, nor can bave, such a testimony. Thus, while lauding the pamphlet, he, in a single sentence, demolishes all that the author of it had striven to establish. The Witness assures the writer that his pamphlet is a most excellent pamphlet; but, at the same time, he tells the public not to believe one word said therein about the Free Church having a testimony for any of the points which a belief in the national covenants involves.' 'This periodical is sometimes charged with partiality,—but here we have an eminent proof of the opposite : for, while the praise he bestows on the pamphlet is most generous to the author, the broad manner in wbich he contradicts the central position of that production, is, at once, most candid to the public, and most serviceable to us; and we hope the author of the pamphlet will be content to get all the praise to himself, while we get all the benefit in the argument.

Let us now notice the plea on which the Witness would have Original Seceders to join the Free Church. He tells us that covenanting views are already held by a multitude, both of ministers and people, within the Free Church, and that these are permitted to promulgate their views in presby teries, synods, and assemblies, and to make as many proselytes in their behalf as they can. They would not be allowed to impose them, by a vote, on their still unconvinced neighbours; nor are we quite sure that they might not be left in a somewhat inconsiderable minority in the attempt, were they imprudent enough to make it -- but all that argument, authority, scripture, enables them to do in their behalf, the Free Church permits to be done. Would our friends of the Original Secession ask for more? Better for them, we must hold, a position within a large and influential church thus liberally constituted, than the natural atrophy incident to a state of perpetuated schism outside her pale, in an age of differences and sub-divisions. According to the principles contained in this passage, there ought to have been no disruption; and both the Free Church and the Original Secession are chargeable with perpetuating a schism, by remaining outside the pale of the Establishment: for if the Original Secession ought to be content

with being permitted to advocate their principles as individuals 'in presbyteries, synods, and assemblies, by all that argument, authority, scripture, enables them to do in their behalf,' then the non-intrusion party ought never to have left the Establishment, for within it they were permitted to advocate their principles in pres; byteries, synods, and assemblies, by argument, authority, and scripture, and would have been permitted to do so to the end of time. Even at present, Original Seceders would be permitted to advocate every one of their principles within the Establishment, in presbyteries

, synods, and assemblies, by all that argument, authority, scripture, enabled them to do in their behalf; and as this author wishes to save us from atrophy, perhaps it would be better to send us at once to feed on the other side of Jordan, toward the sunrising, upon the rich pasture-lands within the royal enclosures of Basban and Gilead. If the principle laid down in the above extract will justify our taking the thirty pieces of silver, it would also justify us in taking the wedge of fine gold. The same principle, moreover, if it makes us schisinatics for not joining the Free Church, will make all Free Churchmen schismatics for not

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