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ment. In regard to what are univer- advance in the right direction, and sally, or almost universally, acknow- never doubted his general advocacy ledged to be the ordinary functions of of such measures, of a directly religious every government, the preservation character, as, without implying either of private right and public order, and persecution or endowments—the opthe regulation of fiscal, financial, and pression of one sect or the elevation of other secular affairs,—we hold, of another-might yet have an immedicourse, that all of them ought to be ate bearing on the religion of the land, discharged, in accordance with Chris- Now, however, as it would appear, all tian principle, and with an unequivocal he means to concede is the duty of the reference to the Christian standard. civil magistrate, as such, to avow himself Indeed, we can scarcely conceive of any to be a Christian, and to act as a ChrisChristian controversialist deliberately tian, in the ordinary civil functions of denying this. And it is on this ac- his office. Thus interpreted, we scarcely count, we may observe in passing, that thank our admirable friend for the conwe confess ourselves to be disappointed cession; for we really never believed in the professions of some of our Volun- that any serious Christian could think tary friends, who seemed lately desir. otherwise. If indeed, that honourable ous of avowing their belief that the baronet, and men like-minded with civil magistrate had something to do him, were prepared to go a step farther, about religion, (or circa sacra). The and to see the lawfulness and necessity candidate for the representation of of civil legislatures and governments Edinburgh, on a late occasion,—whose interfering for the direct and formal character stood so high before, and purpose of promoting Christianitywhose wbole conduct then was fitted a formidable obstacle to agreement to raise it higher still,—may be refer- would be overcome, and we would not red to, as an illustration of what we probably quarrel at present on the That honourable baronet has
mere question of endowments. For in distinguished himself as the friend and truth, as matters now stand, we deconciliator of men holding most op- precate grants of publie money as much posite views, on the subject of Church as penal restrictions. We believe, howgovernment generally, and on the ever, that Christian legislation and question of Establishments in parti- Christian administration can still do cular; and among other evidences of much for education and religion, withhis conciliatory spirit, he has more than out drawing either the public sword once disclaimed all sympathy with the or the public purse. The Sabbath
may more violent and extreme portion of be defended, the hours of labour rethe Voluntary party. We thought-it gulated, the erection of schools and must have been our misunderstanding churches facilitated, home missionary —that he was prepared to admit, to a efforts protected and encouraged, and considerable extent, the doctrine of other measures, perhaps, sanctioned which we are tenacious, respecting the and adopted, of even a more directly reduty of the civil magistrate to act, in ligious nature. And, at all events, his official capacity, as the upholder while we object to the civil maof the cause, and the vindicator of the gistrate attempting to cultivate the law, of God. We knew that he objected field we have endeavoured to define to a state-endowment of Christianity; and designate as sacred, unless the but we thought he held the propriety cultivation he brings to bear upon it of a State-recognition of it. And sup- be thoroughly Christian, we can never posing the recognition intended by him consent to his being relieved from the to be practical and substantial, and responsibility of considering what he not merely complimentary—a recog- ought to do in regard to it; even nition in deeds and not in words alone though, in the helplessness and em-We hailed his admission as a great barrassment of a distracted community,
* See Correspondence between Sir Culling E. Smith and tho Edinburgh Committee, as given in a subsequent article.
he may have ultimately to come to the are given to change." Things, indeed, conclusion, that beyond protection and are greatly altered since the Voluntary general encouragement, there is, for the controversy was handled in Scotland, present, scarcely anything else at all chiefly, or, with the exception of Dr that he can do.
Inglis, we might almost say exclusively, : There is another explanation that by the Evangelical party in the Estawe would offer, before passing from blished Church. Then, sound princithe present topic. We have a strong ples seemed to be in the ascendancy, apprehension of the evils of an ex- or, at least, on the advance, in all the tended system of public grants and three Establishments. In Scotland, a endowments, whether for schools or reforming majority were redressing the churches, on that footing of mere ele- very grievances that caused the old emosynary and indiscriminate bounty, secessions, and carrying forward the on which alone they are likely to be work of Christ, with almost unexambestowed. We look upon this kind of pled energy; in England, Evangelical State interference as no homage to truth, preaching was fashionable and popuand no right discharge of duty, on the lar among high and low, and everypart of the community or its rulers, where, we were told, fox-hunting and but the very reverse; and, as to its formalism in the ministry were giving practical working, it seems to us fraught place to devoted piety and zeal; while with the most disastrous consequences,
in Ireland, we heard of a vast homeas being eminently fitted to paralyze mission set on foot, and the most digthe efforts, and dry up the sources, of nified clergy becoming imbued alreal Christian enterprise, while it gives most with the very spirit of the prodigious facilities for the more con- saintly and apostolic Usher. And it genial tactics of a priestly or clerical was the fact of such a period of appropaganda. We are persuaded, also, parent and real revival in all the Estathat if the present unprincipled plan blishments, being selected as, or happenof wholesale and miscellaneous bene- ing to be, the season of so desperate faction is to be persevered in, it must an onset on them, that appeared to be met by a demand for inquiry into many so unaccountable. It was this existing establishments, especially in that made the Voluntary warfare at that the colonies and in Ireland. But we have time so sad, as a symptom of much disorno wish for any mere anti-state church der in the social frame of the Christian agitation. It is impossible to forget commonwealth—and still more sad, as the evil influence exercised on the a source of more. Since that time, spirituality of not a few of the dis- how rapidly and how signally has the senting bodies among us, by the posi- aspect of things changed! Scotland has tion in which they placed themselves seen her Church, Free and Evangelisome years ago; when their indiscreet cal, severed from an Establish at, no zeal, as it seems to us, against establish- longer tolerable; the pestilence of Tracments overcame many holy and he- tarianism has made the English Church, reditary associations, broke up much to a large extent, a pioneer of Popery; Christian concert, and strangely brought while in Ireland, with the same disChristian men into somewhat unscrupu
ease eating away the life of the Prolous and unsafe contact with secular poli- testant establishment, a Popish one is tics and politicians. We trust that the already taking its place alongside. churches not established now, will be These differences must practically and preserved from such a snare; and that very materially affect the state of the neither the sense of injury inflicted on question respecting Establishments, themselves, nor the temptation of a should it again be forced on the Chrisfavourable opportunity, nor any hasty
tian world. And still more will the impulse. against new proposals of spirit of any new contest be modified, wrong, will lead them to a course of if it be, as it must be, evidently deaction that may be apt to confound fensive; rendered necessary. by the them with the enemies of all our na
attempt to prop up the old endowtional institutions, or with “ them that ments by new ones more and more
objectionable; and, if it can be so sent, to interfere in the work of edulimited to the point on hand, as not cating the people at all, since it is asto raise those questions which divide sumed, that it cannot interfere accordChristians among themselves, and ing to the Word of God. It is certainly cast them, in their divisions, into the not on any leaning towards Voluntary arms of unholy political alliances. It opinions that our conviction is founded; was the theory, for example, supposed but on the very sense we have of the to be held by some of our Voluntary vital importance of the Establishment friends, of civil government having principle. We are afraid of any comnothing to do with religion, that gave promise here. The principle must be the appearance of their being at one kept entire, or it is worse than useless. with infidel politicians, and procured It becomes, in fact, in the highest degree, for their cause the discredit of infidel perriicious and dangerous— the friendship and support. As, on the maxim is, the abuse of the best thing is other hand, the religious friends of the worst-it becomes a tremendous establishments were apt to suffer from instrument of corruption and tyranny. their association with an opposite class No doubt it may be said that the mere of statesmen, scarcely less ungodly, and teaching of children to read and write, from the consequent confounding of without reference to religion, is a very their really Christian advocacy of what harmless and safe thing for Governthey held to be a Christian institute, ment to do. But, in the first place, it is with the mere Church and State cry of impossible; for even of the inost elesecular conservatism. In the altered mentary education it is true, that, if it is circumstances of our times, we would not for Christianity, it must be against fain cherish the expectation that the it. And, secondly, it is the letting in strife of principles and opinions, if of the small edge of the wedge; it is it be indeed coming, will find the the admission of a principle, in the apranks better marshalled, and men's plication of which you cannot stop minds more subdued. The course and short. It is neither more nor less than current of events is all tending to se- the principle of indiscriminate endowparate the lovers of God's truth and ment, without reference to the truth or cause from the world, and its politics, falsehood of what is endowed. And and its politicians, and to bind them, the more we reflect on that principle, we hope, closer to one another. But which leaves to the governing powerfor this very reason, and with this very whether it be the one man, or the few, view, we are against all precipitation. or the many—the liberty of spending We dread and deprecate premature the public money in influencing the movements or desultory sallies. We minds of men, without laying upon it would rather that good men every the responsibility of seeing that that where stood still for a little to see how influence be in accordance with the the Lord will work. He is clearing truth of God—the more are we perwonderfully to Evangelical men, both suaded that it ought, in every form and in and out of our Establishments, the in every degree of it, to be resisted question of principle and the path of and condemned. It comes, indeed, reduty; and as the schemes of human commended by a plausible air of fair. wisdom are more and more developed, ness, equality, and impartiality; and, all branches of Christ's Church, we are under a popular government, it looks persuaded, and all faithfulmen, will find like the people simply doing what they their way hedged in to leave all for will with their own. But it is radiChrist, and to leave all to Christ, alone.cally vicious in theory; and, in prac
tice, we believe it will be chiefly workWe have hitherto been considering ed by those who have an end to serve, the duty of Government in reference to as an engine of priestcraft, or of Stateendowments generally, and with a view craft; and will be of the least benefit, to educational endowments in particu. proportionally, to those to whom really lar. We have expressed our convic- we must look for the “godly upbringtion, that the State ought not, at pre- ing of the young."
There is another question, which, or to exaggerate the efficacy of the viewing the subject still from the stand- means in operation to remedy it. We ing-point of the Establishment princi- do not charge Mr Baines with yielding ple, we may be expected to consider : to that temptation in any serious dewe refer to the question regarding the gree. On the contrary, we think he lawfulness of accepting endowments has done two good services by his wellgranted on the indiscriminate and mis- defined statistics, putting vague genecellaneous policy or plan. For some ralities aside. He has brought out may be decidedly of opinion that, the amount of educational deficiency while they would condemn, as citizens, as not too enormous to be measured ; such a method of applying the public and he has demonstrated that the remoney, and pronounce it sinful in those sources of voluntary Christian zeal may who are responsible for it,—they them- do more than many think to meet it. selves may still, as churches, or societies, In short, he has done much to allay the or individuals, engaged in a good and ferment of blind alarm, which Dr Hook holy work, avail themselves of the share had almost succeeded in raising among that, in the general scramble or distri- Churchmen and Dissenters alike, and bution, may fall to their lot; saving which would have hurried the nation their consciencies by a protest against rashly into the adoption of hasty specithe system. Others, again, and pro- fics, that might have made the cure bably a larger number, may decline to worse than the disease. He has made enter into the inquiry we have raised, it plain, we are satisfied, that matters pleading that they have nothing to do are by no means so desperate, but that with the State's motives or manner of men may take time to deliberate on the giving, and may insist on limiting their principles on which the settlement of view to their own position as receivers, that question should depend, instead and asking simply if anything should of rushing headlong into the first hinder them from accepting for good plausible proposal that may happen to uses, what others, if they refuse, will be be mooted. At the same time, we, ready enough to grasp for evil. Our perhaps, might have a higher standard space will not admit of our discussing than Mr Baines of what a National the subject in this second point of view. Education ought to be, as to the quality We must reserve it for a fuller con- and amount, to make it commensurate sideration.
with the wants of the population. We It will be seen, also, that we have have our ideal of what a Christian state, still to touch upon the other standing- acting brightly on the right establishpoint for viewing this question, viz.: ment principle, might do for furnishing that of the Voluntary Principle, and the means of Education to all the peoto consider the aspect which it presents, ple. Measured by that ideal, the exwhen thus viewed. And here, we shall isting destitution may appear to us have occasion to enter somewhat into greater, probably, than it does to Mr the discussions raised by the able Let- Baines; and our appeal to the volters of Mr Baines of Leeds. These untary lithuality of Christian churches discussions are very wide, as to extent, will be on that account all the more and very minute, as to details: and it emphatic. For we say to them,-you would be unwise in the closing para have now to do the work which a rightly graph of an article, to anticipate what constituted Establishment would do : must afterwards require to be more you have to supply the place of a pubelaborated. One remark, however, we licly-endowed system of Education: may be permitted to make. It seems and until you find Christian schools to us that we have a signal advantage planted as thickly and Christian teachin standing upon the Establishment ers supported as liberally, as it would principle, and placing our objecting to be the duty of a Christian state, were State-support on the ground which it it practical, to do,--you are not at affords ; inasmuch as we are exempted liberty to cease from your labour of from the temptation, either to extenuate love, or to regard the fruit of it with the quantity of the evil to be remedied, complacency or content.
THE WITNESS STONES OF RUTHERFORD. *
It is a summer Sabbath time,
And o'er Cairnharrow's lofty brow
Floateth in purple radiance now;
Oh, hearts that God hath touched can tell
How o’er this earth, in ruins laid,
'Mid sin and sorrow undecayed !
The preacher's voice but now is still,
His hearers take their various way ;
Some turn them to the woods to pray!
And many a germ of faith and prayer,
And many a truth, instinct with power,
To feed on in its lonely hour.
Oh, early bathed in light and love!
Oh, early turned to praise and prayer !
To bask it in the God-light there!
• Samuel Rutherford was chosen minister of Anwcth, in Galloway, in 1627. He found the greatest disorders prevailing, and especially his righteous soul was vexed, by the idle games in which his younger parishioners indulged themselves, after Divine service on the Sabbath day, till his appearance among them on one occasion when engaged at football, and the solemn warning he then delivered, as narrated in this ballad, put a final stop to the practice. Every child
in Anwoth can still guide the stranger to Rutherford's * Witnesses," and the more recent tradition of the awful death of a labourer who, with many blasphemous expressions, removed one of these stones to build a neighbouring dyke is too well authenticated to admit of reasonable doubt. The story is, that having sworn he would dis. place it before he broke his fast, he was choked by the first mouthful he attempted to swallow after having accomplished his unhallowed task.