Page images

Hubert arose and, without replying, walked to the door, “Do not leave me in anger," said Clara.

“I am not angry, I am grieved, I own deeply grieved, yet at whom or what I scarcely know."

For some time after Hubert left his sister, he paced his room in a state of most painful agitation and indecision; at times he feltia thrill of pity and indignation at Pierre's sad tale; then, with a feeling more worthy of a Catholic, he remembered private friendship must be sacrificed to the interests of the Church. The conversations that had passed between him and Ernest - returned to his mind, mingled with feelings of self-accusation that he had suffered regard for him to have warped his own judgment on many points ; he even shed tears of selfreproach as his mother's parting, and by him-neglected, warning rose to his mind, determining to use all his influence to induce his sister to give up the Bible, the reading of which had led her to such erroneous conclusions; and, if during these intervals of painful thoughts, the questions often arose, Why should God's Word be so carefully concealed ? Is it possible the Church has no Divine command for the authority she thus exerts over the consciences of her members ? he rejected them as evil, and in lowly penitence sought pardon for the imagined crime.

The first question he put to his sister on the following morning was, had Father Joachim given her the promised texts from Scripture which commanded worship to be paid to the Virgin?: .

“ He has given me what he calls scriptural reasons, but I own they are most unsatisfactory to me."

“I cannot argue with you on any of these topics. I have not been so presumptuous as to read and judge for myself, in opposition to the plain command of the Church; well would it have been had you feared to venture.”

The tears started in Clara’s eye at the first harsh words she had heard from her brother's lips.

“Had I been born a Turk or Pagan, the fear of acting against my spiritual advisers might have kept me in error all my days. Since God has revealed His will in His Word, shall we not be judged by the revelation He has given us ?'

“If God has appointed the Church to be an infallible judge and expounder of Scripture, and commanded us to receive with meekness what she teaches, shall we not be punished for rejecting and acting .contrary to this authority ?”

“ Certainly, and this appears to me a point of utmost importance. Has God appointed this ? how do you—how do I know it to be so ? The Church asserts it, and has shed the blood of many who have dared to deny it; but can assertion and persecution prove truth or convince the doubting ?”

“ It pains me to hear you talk thus. Are you prepared to resign the Bible, or must the task be mine to say you have one in your possession ?”

Clara started. “You promised secrecy, Hubert.”
“Remeinber my promise was only a conditional one."

“Well, Hubert, I ask only this—wait three days, spend them in prayer and reflection, before you break your promise. Let me remind

you also of the words our blessed Saviour spoke to the Pharisees, • Woe be unto you, ye have taken away the key of knowledge ; ye enter not in yourselves, and those who would, them ye hindered.' This I think applies with awful truth to those who would deprive us of the Bible. Tell Father Joachim, if you must, after these three days, that I have this forbidden book; but God grant I may never part with that precious volume which tells me of a Saviour—and such à Saviour !-oh, Hubert, our Church never taught me to know, never taught me to love Him, as the Bible has done."

“Does not that Bible you profess to venerate contain these words, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments ?' and is not this a command, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves ?' Now, then, prove the sincerity of your love by obedience to those whom God has placed over you."

“ If I have erred, and I own it is possible, I will gladly confess my fault. I had forgotten the text you have mentioned, or at least not viewed it in the light in which you have now placed it.”

“ You have erred assuredly, my sister, but I hope not presumptuously or beyond repair. We will, however, talk no more on this most painful subject till the expiration of the three days you give me for reflection.”

Thus ended the conversation, and more sad than ever Clara retired to her own room, absorbed in wonder and perplexity, and only could she find relief to her aching heart in pouring out her soul before her God, and earnestly imploring his guidance and direction.

(To be continued.)


SCRIPTURAL CAUTION AGAINST POPERY. MY DEAR FRIEND,—Your questions have been put into my hands with a request that I would answer them. Although ignorant even of your name, I can hardly describe the deep interest I feel in you, and my earnest prayer is that God will graciously enable me to reply to your questions in such a manner as to satisfy your mind. In order to do so, I have endeavoured to get as clear an idea as possible of your present state of mind. It


you deeply feel

your own sinfulness and your inability to keep from sinning, in spite of repeated resolutions to the contrary; that you look upon God as justly wrath with you; and that you wish to know how you can stand in His sightin other words, how you can repent and obtain forgiveness or remission of sin, and how you can attain to holiness. You think something must be done by yourself, that you must repent, and that your repentance must be made acceptable to God. You wish to receive some assurance that your sins are pardoned ; you think that this is given by some human agency, and you cannot believe that faith alone is sufficient; you do not feel that it is enough. Pray inform me if I have stated your sentiments correctly.

The Church of Rome offers to you a way of salvation which you are ready to receive, because it seems suited to your wants. She teaches that repentance is an act which you can perform, and she claims the power of giving you absolution, that is, of conveying to you the forgiveness of God. Leaving the discussion of her claims for

the present, I will only remark, that all peace is not true peace, Much that gives peace to the conscience does not give peace with God! even when it is taught, as of old, by God's chosen priests :“ From the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” (Jer. xi, 14.) Beware that this be not your case.

Let me state to you in few words that method of salvation wherein I have found peace, and which I am firmly convinced is the only one revealed by Christ himself. Let me entreat you to consider it with earnest prayer.

We are altogether sinful. “Behold, thou art wroth, for we have sinned.” (Isa. lxiv. 6.) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing,” &c. (Rom. vii. 18.) “ The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. viii. 8, 9.) “Death passed upon all men,' for that all have sinned.” (Rom. v. 12.) « There is none righteous, no, not one." (Rom, iii. 10, 12, 23.) “What is man that he should be clean, and he which is born of woman that he should be righteous ?” (Job xv. 14; also see John iii. 6, and Gal. iii. 22.)-Corrupt in will. Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” (John v. 40.) “ They would not walk in his ways,” &c. (Isa. xlii. 24.) “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help.” (Hos. xiii. 13.) “Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness," &c. (Isa. xxvi. 10.) “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” (John iii. 19.) “ The carnal mind is enmity against God.” (Rom. viii. 7; also Rom, i. 21; 2 Thess. ii. 10; Eph. ii. 3.)-In the mind or understanding. “As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” (Rom. i. 28.) “— The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not.” (2 Cor. iv. 4.) • And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind,” &c. (Col. i. 21.) “ Even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Tit. i. 16; also 2 Pet. üi. 5: Ps. xciv. 11.)- In heart or affections." And God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of his (man's) heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. vi. 5.) “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin.” (Prov. xx. 9.). “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (Jer. xvii. 9, and Tit. iii. 3.) -Even in conscience. “Even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Tit. i. 15.) “Having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Tim. iv. 2.)—We are utterly unable to serve God aright, or to turn unto him. “ Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil." (Jer. xiii. 23.) “ We are all as an unclean thing .... our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. Ixiv., 6, and Rom. vii. 8, viii. 8.) “ The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. ii. 14.) “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, Vou. IX.-January, 1847.

New Series, No. 18.

* Even this civ: 110f the thought ho can say

and these are contrary one to another." (Gal. v. 17; John v. 44.)

This is the natural consequence of the corruption of the will whereby we are the servants of sin ; and it is not until the will is set free from this bondage and turned unto God by his Holy Spirit, that we can either love or serve him.

God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. We are guilty and subject to wrath, for “ The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. vi. 23.) “ Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” (James i. 15; see also Rom. iii. 19, 23.) We, therefore, require pardon or remission of the punishment of sin. But pardon is different from justification or innocence. We remit a punishment without considering or treating an offender as an innocent person. David did so when he permitted Absalom to return.

A righteousness, therefore, is necessary to us before God can receive us as his children, and give us an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. Justification is simply the act of declaring that we possess this righteousness, that is, that we are declared just.

The union between Christ and his people is so perfect that they are considered as one. “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Eph. v. 30.) “We being many are one body in Christ.” (Rom. xii. 5; also Rom. viii. 39; John xv. 5, 6, and xvii. 10, 11.)–Our sins are reckoned his. “He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. v. 21.)-He bore the punishment of them, and thus blotted them out as if they had never been; they are utterly taken away. “ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray ; we have turned every man to his own way, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.... When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin .... he shall bear their iniquities . . . . he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many.” (Isa. liii. 4, 5, 6, 10—12.) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness.” (Zech. xiii. 1.) “ The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. xx. 28.) “ This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. xxvi. 28.) “ Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." (Acts xiii. 39; Rom. v. 6, 8, 10, iv. 25, viii. 3, 32; Gal. iii. 13; Eph. i. 7, ii. 13, 16; 1 Tim. ii. 6; Heb. i. 3, ii. 9, ix. 11, 15, 22, 28; 1 Pet. ii. 24, i. 18, 19, iii. 18; 1 John i. 7; Revel. v.; 1 Cor. v. 7, xv. 3; 1 John iii. 6; Col. ii. 14; Isa. i. 18.)

His righteousness is reckoned ours. His perfect obedience and merits are placed to our account, and cause us to be reckoned by God as his dear children, as fellow-heirs with Christ, “ that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. iv. 4—7.) “For ye are all the children of God by faïth in Christ Jesus; and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. iii. 27, 29.) “ The righteous

ness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that beļieveth in Jesus.” (Rom. iii. 21-26, v. 18, x. 3, 4; Acts xiii. 38, 39; Jer. xxiii. 6; 1 Cor. i. 30; 2 Cor. v. 19; Eph. i. 6; Phil. iii. 9: Heb. ix. 12.)

(To be continued.)

PLEDGES OF ELECTORS AND CANDIDATES. With reference to the next election, on which we have treated above, in our leader, a very important question arises as to the subject of pledges. -1. Pledges of electors amongst themselves.-2. Pledges required by electors from those who seek the suffrages of constituents.

There are those who would reduce electors to ciphers, denying their right to scrutinize too closely the views and principles of a candidate, and still more to require a pledge or promise as to the policy to be pursued by him with reference to any given measure.

To imagine that electors have nothing more to do than to give their votes to the first comer, on the old maxim, “first come first have”-to suppose they are the property of the candidate, and have nothing to do with him afterwards, is to deprive the representative system of its representative character. On the other hand, to have every member of the House of Commons fettered in the freedom of his vote and voice, seems to some dangerous to the character of a deliberative assembly. We are not advocates of needless pledges, but can see no reason why electors, having a strong conviction and certain knowledge, for instance, that Popery is opposed to the Word of God, the peace and happiness of nations, and seeing that several, from motives of a false expediency, have frequently favoured Popery, should say we resolve amongst ourselves to have as our representative, a man whose views and our own agree, especially on this point. Why, indeed, should it be objected to ? Heretofore, if a Conservative candidate has come forward to claim the support of voters in the Conservative interest, he has as a matter of course been interrogated, and expected to give unequivocal reply to questions put relative to his future policy. So too when any Liberal candidate has sought to represent a Liberal constituency.

Now, at the present moment, there are Liberals and Conservatives in almost every constituency who are resolved to merge the minor distinctions of party in the one great question of Protestantism. They resolve also to seek to secure this end by taking a pledge -- a pledge amongst themselves, to support a Protestant candidate alone, and a pledge from the candidate that he will support in Parliament a Protestant policy. Who shall blame them for this? Is it not natural ? Are they not compelled to do it ?

Have they not seen those whom they returned to Parliament grievously misrepresenting them ? Has not the Protectionist seen those

C 2

« PreviousContinue »