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TIES! Most of these which are now esteemed such are nothing but OLD ERRORS, which were long ago justly refuted, varnished over with some new expressions. If I mistake not, the churches are entering into a fearful cloud of apostacy and trouble! But he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Be ye faithful unto death, and Christ shall give you a crown of life. But if any man draw back, God's soul shall have no pleasure in him !
His advices to his children, when dying, conclude thus :—'Adhere constantly, cordially, and honestly to the covenanted principles of the Church of Scotland, and to that testimony which hath been lifted up for them. I fear a generation is rising up which will endeavour, silently,' (O how prophetic !) “to let slip these matters, as if they were ashamed to hold them fast, or even to speak of them. May the Lord forbid that any of you should ever enter into this confederacy against Jesus Christ and his cause! This from a dying father, and minister, and a witness for Christ.—Signed, John Brown.'
In short, all the men most eminent for piety believed in the continued obligation of the Covenants, until the church was corrupted by moderatism; and if the case has been otherwise since, it is explained by the simple fact that evil communications corrupt good manners.'
It appears, from what has been said above, to be very difficult for Free Churchmen to assail the Covenants on any principle that does not in its recoil altogether sweep away the Free Church testimony. No such principle has been found as yet, and it may, therefore, be regarded as a fair deduction, that the Free Church either must adopt the Covenants, or those feelings which stand in the way of this will carry her down to the lower level of public principle now occupied by other anti-covenanting churches.
From the above premises, it must also be evident, to every man of intelligence, whether he admit it or not, that the Free Church, so long as she declines to profess her adherence to the Covenants, refuses to adopt the testimony raised by the Church of Scotland against all popish, prelatic, and erastian systems; and while this is the case, it is impossible that any one acquainted with history can admit her claim to be identified with the Church of Scotland.
It is undeniable, besides, that Mr Hislop, and other friends of the Covenants, within the Free Church, alone stand on constitutional ground, while you and all other anti-covenanters are opposing that constitution which the church framed for herself, in the exercise of her free and independent authority, and which the church has never altered. The Covenants have the same authority, by the laws of the Church of Scotland, as the Confession of Faith has. There are more laws recognising the Covenants than you, or any other man, can quote in favour of the Confession of Faith. Not one of these laws has ever been repealed by the church. How is it, then, that you, or any other person, can have the boldness to oppose such an overture as that of Mr Hislop, on the ground of its being an innovation on the constitution of the Church of Scotland? You, sir, and not he, assail the constitution of the church. Will you be kind enough to tell the public how you get quit of the laws of the church ratifying the Covenants ? They were repealed, no doubt, by the drunken parliament of Charles II. But they never were repealed by the Church of Scotland. Do you really think that the civil acts of a company of the greatest reprobates that ever ruled a nation, can set aside the acts of some of the godliest assemblies that ever sat in Scotland ? If you do, where is your zeal for the headship of Christ? where is your concern for the independence of the church? If, however, you believe that the Act Recissory did not set aside the laws of the church respecting the Covenants, then these laws must be still in force; and you, and all others, act unconstitutionally, while you pretend to belong to the Church of Scotland, and yet oppose the Covenants. Which horn of this dilemma do you prefer? Do you choose to say, that the acts of the church ratifying the Covenants are disabled, in consequence of the acts of the state ? If so, you are an Erastian. Or, do you choose to say, that the acts of the church are still in force, then you must be a Covenanter, or you disown the authority of the Church of Scotland. It will require something vastly more ingenious than bold assertions, or flat denials, to get you out of this dilemma.
We see, also, how easily the Free Church could adopt the Covenants, and how exceedingly inconsistent and suicidal is her backwardness to do so. She has simply to declare that she reveres the authority of the laws recognising the Covenants, and adheres to the testimony raised by the Church of Scotland against popery, prelacy, and erastianism. Seeing she is opposed in spirit to these systems, why should she scruple to adopt the testimony raised against them? It is well that she opposes whatever is popish, and whatever is prelatic, in the passing measures of the day; but why should she refuse, openly and formally, to adopt the testimony which the Church of Scotland raised against these systems as a whole? There is something unaccountable in this. And, when we consider that Christ and Antichrist have been, all along, the two grand conflicting powers, do you think that á good and intelligent man is well employed in endeavouring to prove that the nation is not now bound by its covenanted renunciation of Antichrist? There is no need, surely, in these times, for good men attempting to lessen the obligations under which these nations lie, to renounce Antichrist and adhere to Christ? Allowing that you succeed in persuading men, in general, that the nation is not bound, by its solemn engagements in former times, to oppose antichristianism in all its forms, what end will you thereby gain worthy of a protestant, a presbyterian, a Free Churchman, or a christian? In endeavouring to unsettle the minds of men respecting the obligation under which these nations are lying, to aid Christ in his war against Antichrist, do you not, in so far, throw your weight into the scale of that man of sin and son of perdition ?" There is no need to spend time in showing that Christ's claims upon the allegiance of this nation are not so strong as Covenanters represent them to be. There is no need to lessen the guilt of this land, and to nake the consciences of antichristianising statesmen, and others, more at ease, by endeavouring to prove that in countenancing prelacy and popery since 1660, they have
been chargeable with no want of public faith as a nation, either to God or man? Can you hope to do any good, as a patriot, as a protestant, or as a christian, by bringing people to believe that national faith, while sacred and inviolable in all other matters, may, without sin, be broken when the claims of Christ are concerned? This is the whole matter in dispute between you and the friends of the Covenants. They assert that the nation is chargeable with the breach of its solemn engagement against Antichrist, and that all its actings in favour of popery, prelacy, and erastianism are aggravated in their sinfulness as being committed, notwithstanding of the clear light which the nation formerly enjoyed, and in opposition to the solemn engagements under which it came, just as the idolatry of Israel was aggravated by the clear light which they formerly possessed, and the solemn engagements under which they formerly came to be the Lord's. You, on the contrary, maintain that it is a contemptible thing to believe in the obligation of the Covenants, and that the sin of countenancing popery, prelacy, and erastianism in these lands, arises solely from their opposition to the word of God, and that is in no degree increased by the sacred oaths which the nation once swore, that through all ages and generations it would continue to adhere to Christ, and to oppose these antichristian systems. Would you not be better, and more consistently, employed, as a minister of Jesus Christ, in using those talents of which you are possessed, and that office which you honourably fill
, in endeavouring to convince your countrymen, that the Master whom you serve is one whose claims upon the nation are of higher, and of more inviolable sacredness, than those of any other party? That the nation never could be too strongly bound to him? That on no account ought its plighted faith to have been broken? And that after this faith was given him, the sin of Britain, in fostering popery, prelacy, and erastianism, is not merely error, but treason against the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom the nation has sworn allegiance?-I am, yours faithfully,
READ AND JUDGE.
The Morisonian holds doctrines that contradict themselves, rob God, and cheat men,
Inasmuch as he says, that the Son of God has expiated, atoned for, and taken away every sin of every man, woman, and child in the world, and yet that multitudes of these pardoned, purchased, ransomed sinners die in their sins, and perish eternally. In saying, moreover, that Christ died to save all, even every man, woman, and child, they must be held to say that his death is not sufficient to save any; and further, that, in point of fact, it does not save any, inasmuch as they declare that it is not more efficacious for one than another; and the fact of one being lost for whose salvation it was intended, invalidates it as a ground of hope or confidence for any. If God could not save every soul he meant to save, how may I be sure that he can save me? If he has no saving influence strong enough to subdue my.
EDITORIAL FAIRNESS—THE ABERDEEN BANNER.
neighbour's enmity, corruption, and unbelief, what has he to subdue mine?-unless, indeed, it be that I have less to subdue-unless, indeed, it be that my neighbour is dead, and I am only half dead. If I am dead, and my neighbour not more than dead, the same power that can quicken me can quicken him; but if no power exists that can quicken him, no power exists that can quicken me. If my neighbour is so obstinate, impenitent, and unbelieving that the Spirit of God cannot persuade him to be saved, and if I am so much less obstinate, impenitent, and unbelieving that the Spirit of God can persuade me to be saved, who has the honour of my salvation? And if this be the manner of a soul's salvation, then it follows that those only are saved who are less hardened sinners then others, and so are willing to accept the Saviour of God's providing, while others are not willing ; or, at least, so become willing while others remain unwilling. By what miracle of mercy the chief of sinners" came to be saved on this principle, it is hard to say. At all events, if the saved owe nothing more to God than the lost, it is clear they cannot owe their salvation to him, but to something inherent in themselves, which makes them to differ. But if, on the other hand, there is nothing in me—if, as my bible tells me, there is no difference-then it is clear that, if I am to be saved at all, God must have some provision for securing my salvation_for making sure that the sacrifice which was intended to save me shall accomplish its design. That there is such a provision, is the plain meaning of such words—“All that the Father hath given me shall come to me.”—“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." Without such a provision, none would ever come-none would ever be willing. And if there be such a provision, am I to be kept in the dark about it-spending my life in fruitless efforts to lay hold on the hope set before me in the gospel-ignorant of the secret spring, the secret strength in and through which I could do it at once? “And thus striving, thus groping, thus dreaming, am I to drop into my grave ? The great enemy of my soul would like this device well.
EDITORIAL FAIRNESS—THE • ABERDEEN BANNER.' SOME time ago, the Editor of the Aberdeen Banner thought proper to indulge himself in an unnecessary fling at us, and at our brother, the Rev. William Marshall of Leith. We directed the attention of Mr M. to the circumstance, and, as was to be expected, he forthwith sent a reply, which was necessarily of a somewhat general nature, as the Editor's assault had been. To this letter the Editor appended a long article, containing a variety of charges against Mr M., and reiterating not a little of the abuse which was so freely lavished upon him by the leading members of the United Associate Synod, at the time of his separation from that body. To this new attack, Mr M. replied in a second letter, entering of course into each specific charge, and by a reference to living authorities and established facts, vindicating himself at length. This second letter, however, the Editor of the Banner, with a magnanimity peculiar to himself, has thought proper to keep back. By what motives this Editor has been led to
violate the rule acted on, so far as we know, by all other editors in such cases, we cannot say. Mr M., however, has undoubtedly, in all fairness, the right of reply. We have reason to know also that he desires nothing so much as an opportunity of discussing his whole case, not where it was first discussed, before a court of prejudiced and irritated opponents, but before the bar of the christian public. It seems, therefore, rather an odd thing that the Editor of the Banner, after throwing down the gauntlet with such an air of self-complacency, should so meanly shirk the discussion.
CRITICAL NOTICES. MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND WRIT- here what he was by nature, and INGS OF THOMAS CHALMERS,
what he became by grace, and are D.D., LL.D. By his Son-in-Law, delighted in watching the processes by the Rev. WM. HANNA, LL.D.
which divine grace and providence
was preparing him for the high We have read this volume with in- place he was afterwards to fill, and tense interest, from its opening to the great work which he was to its closing page. To write the life achieve for evangelical religion in of a great man, so as to exhibit the his native land, and throughout inward sources of his greatness, and the world. Kilmany was to Chalnot merely to narrate his worthy mers, what Leuchars was to Alexactions, is a noble work, and one ander Henderson, the convent to which has seldom been performed. Luther, the deserts to John the For its achievement are required not Baptist, his journey to Arabia to only a keen eye, a skilful hand, and Paul, the wilds of Midian to Moses, a ripened judgment; to its successful and the prisons of Egypt to Joseph. execution, qualities of a higher order It was the place where his soul was are also necessary. There must be the nourished in solitude by close interlove of excellence, for itself, without course with God, and from which he which moral life, and warmth, and came forth endowed with the Spirit delicacy will be awanting; wisdom, of power' for his Master's work. conjoined to self-denial, so as to In next number we shall endeavour know what ought to be put in, and to present our readers with an outwhat ought to be kept out; integrity line of the work, with such remarks in awarding praise and censure ; as it has suggested to our minds. simplicity of nature, the vital air in wbich all the graces of the soul New POLYGLOTT BIBLE : containare exercised in their fulness and ing the Old and New Testaments, efficiency; and, above all, humility, according to the authorised verso as to conceal the author, and fix sion. With marginal readings, the eyes and the hearts of his readers and upwards of fifty thousand verisolely upon the subject. In all fied references to parallel and these respects, we think Dr Hanna's illustrative passages, and the hiswork entitled to distinguished praise. torical connection of the Old and He has exhibited Dr Chalmers as he New Testaments. To which is • lived, and moved, and had his added, a series of useful tables.being' among the sons of men. Glasgow : W. R. M'PHUN, 84 Everything is selected with judg. Argyle Street. 1849. ment, skilfully arranged and com- This is at once the cheapest, most bined, while the whole tone of the beautiful, and most useful Bible, of book is elevated, and its style clas- the kind, that we have seen; and we sical. The life of Dr Chalmers is
can most confidently recommend it here traced from his birth till his to our readers as possessing all these settlement in Glasgow. We see qualities.