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sam situation. The Free church is actually nothing more than a secession from the Established church of Scotland.
If we desire union in the family of Christ, let all churches: treat each other as equals; for that church which assumes the preeminence, places itself in the unenviable position of " lording over God's heritage.” And so long as there is a single fraction of the entire church, that foolishly and proudly arrogates to itself to be the church, will jealousy and sectarianism triumph over christian love and hopes.
2. The author's pertinacious adherence to the Establishment principle, at least shows clearly the blinding influence of preconceived and long-cherished preferences. The reader in perusing his beautiful pages; and with wrapped attention, and glowing emotions, beholding the bright pictures he has drawn of the church's wrongs and outraged peace, perpetrated by the relentless and persecuting cruelty of the State, is ready to exclaim, surely this author is an enemy warm and decided to the union of church and State. And yei, to the last, even after he has gone forth with the mighty throng of "the church of Scotland's exodus," and he is safe beyond the Red Sea of Erastianism, his mind returns to the flesh pots of Egypt-he still retains the strong principles of Establishment. He and his brethren have become fully convinced that the civil magistrate has no divine right in sacred things; yet they would bave the magistrates power about sacred things fully exercised.
The author's views of this subject surely rest on a manifest fallacy. To separate between church and state is to rob the Redeemer of half his Crown. The church of Scotland has contended long --- she has suffered and bled, for this great Truth;. that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only head und king of the Church. This fact is most abundantly confirmed by the great body of this work; and from it the author draws the following conclusion: This great principle Romanism cannot hold, because it constitutes the pope its head; Prelacy cannot hold, because it yields practically its headship to an earthly king; Voluntary ism cannot hold, because by not only totally withdrawing from, but absolutely denying the lawfulness of all connexion with the State, it virtually denies Christ's right to reign, not only as king of the church, but as king of kings,' (page 469.) On this passage we remark that it contains the logical fallacy of having more in the conclusion than was supposed in the preinises. The Lord Jesus Christ is the King and Head of the Church; but Voluntaryism is conscientiously opposed to any kind of union between Church and State; there
fore Voluntaryism cannot hold” to the Supreme headship of Christ. This in other days would be called reductio ad ab. surdum."
Voluntaryism "holds” that Christ is king in the church and also king of kings; and that he exercises his church kingship in the church and his state kingship in the State; and that his power and authority is perfect in each of these separate and independent departments of the mediatorial dominion. The advocates of Voluntaryism in Scotland view the union of church and State substantially as do the American churches. They contend strenuously that no such union should be formed —that cbristian institutions of every kind should receive their worldly, or pecuniary support from the voluntary freewill offering of the people. And they also hold that the people owe such support, as a matter of obedience to Christ, as the king of the Church. So that every thing in and about the church is regulated by the direct and immediate authority of her King.
But they also “hold” that Christ does exercise kingly authority over the Rulers of this world, and that they are therefore under the most solemn obligation to manage their department of the Redeemer's dominion, in accordance with his revealed will, and in doing so to secure to his church and people safety and protection. And that civil Governments and mag istrates can thus perform their whole duty to the King of kings,without a union of Church and State, is triumphantly proven by American experience.
Civil Governments can and ought out of respect to their Divine Lord enact, and faithfully execute laws for the promotion of scriptural morality, and defend their subjects in the free and consciêncious exercise of religious duty; but in no way should they interfere with either the internal or external reg. ulations of the church, for this is His spiritual “kingdom which is not of this world,” and with which the rulers of this world have no authority to intermeddle. And the voluntaries whold all this in perfect consistency with their firm hostility to all Religious Establishments.
The author informs us that “the more intelligent opponents” of the Church (Established,) took the following ground: “That the very fact of entering into an alliance with the State involved such a sacrifice of the spiritual independence of the church, as to render it incapable of exercising that freedom of government and purity of discipline, which
are absolutely essential to any church of Christ which deserves the name." (page 395.) And though the author very modestly represents their arguments as quite puerile when compared to the defence on his side of the controversy; yet the whole history which he has here recorded will ever stand, as the most incontrovertable ev. idence of the truth and rationality of the voluntary sentiment. True, indeed, he assures us that to make this use of his narrative is the province of the subordinate controvertialist.” But, even at the hazard of being regarded as one of the small ones," we cannot forbear thinking that the slightest degree of union between church and State--the very smallest portion of civil magistratical interference in or about church matters always has, and ever will prove the entering wedge of the church's bondage. And the author's record proves this so conclusively that we cannot conceive how he could avoid seeing it himself. He ascribes the difficulties which have grown up in the church of Scotland to the Erastianism introduced by King William, and the consequent encroachments of the State. But Erastianism is a prominent ingredient of human nature; and therefore until human nature is changed—is sanctified, we may surely expect this very difficulty to present itself. Government will never consent to manage the affairs about the church without some consideration in return. But give the civil magistrate, even a very small degree of control in church affars, and the ambition of power will prompt him to grasp for
Besides while the church polity, internal and external, is Divinely ordained and established, the civil government, tho' in one sense a Divine ordinance, in its laws and regulations, is entirely a human contrivance. Hence there will always be differences of opinion on political subjects; and consequently political parties will exist in every government; and while parties exist there would always be cabaling on the one side, and encroachments on the other in reference to an Established church. The church would thus become the object of intrigue, or of hate to political parties, to the injury of its spiritual influence, and also the detriment of the State. And the history under review most fully confirms the truth of this remark, afførding no strong ground of assurance that we may anticipate such oceurrences in the future. This history, and all history, proves that an established church must become the mere creature of the State, or remain in continual trouble and conflict.
If all men thought and believed alike-if civil magistrates
institutions might-not do any mischief for a short time.
But we feel assured that the members of the last Secession from the church of Scotland—the Free church, if they do not adopt a system, which will continue to cherish their old aristocratic preferences, will after a few years experience occupy the same ground now held by the old Secession both in Scotland and America.
With the few exceptions adverted to in this communication, we would earnestly recommend this volume as a most interesting and valuable repository of sacred historical information.
TO JOHN HUGHES,
BISHOP OF NEW YORK,
Extract from Col. Stone's second letter to Bishop Hughes.
In regard to this strange system, which you and the Tribune seem now to maintain,-namely, of sectarian teaching by each denomination, by means of the public funds,—I will endeavor to bestow upon it a small amount of argument.
I say then, in the first place, that it has been tried, and failed. This was before the present system, or rather the one which was disturbed by the odious school law, went into operation.Funds were thus given to various denominations, but it was found that such funds were abused, and that in other respects the plan was fraught with evil.
This plan, I say, has been tried and condemned-by none more emphatically than by some of your liberal, high-minded, Protestant allies. I could wish, however, to dwell a little longer on the difficulties of this scheme. The first approach to it is found in that method which seems a special favorite with the Tribune, that is, that a majority of each district shall fix the desired standard. It is admitted, then, that there must be something predominant after all---in the district at least, if not in the nation. It is said, however, “thut complaint would be silenced by the fact that the rule worked in favor of complainants' church in other districts." (Vide Tribune of June 8th] Really an admirable salvo this. The Papist might safsly consent to have his child taught damnable error
out of “King James' Bible," even to the hearing of that abhorred text, John v. 7, S, about which the editor is so learned and consistent; provided by way of retaliation, and to keep the balance equal, some Protestant child should learn “to do penance," or to worship with Jacob "the top of his staff,” as taught in the Douay version. Or the atheistic parent might consent to have his precious rights of conscience most cruelly lacerated, having his child instructed in the ten commandments, provided, by way of restoring the equilibrium, and making full satisfaction for the outrage, the children of some other district were taught that there was no god but galvanism, with all the other dogmas of the sect who maintain this most philosophical and delightful creed. An admirable system this, and admirably consistent it is, to prefer this petty, tyrannical, intolerant, district predominance-diminutiveness—to that broad national predominance which I have been defending, and which is truly tolerant and liberal, in proportion as it is founded, not on negatives, but on enlarged fundamental principles, deeply seated in the physical, moral and religious character of the nation itself, I fully believe that there is many a candid Romanist, and many an intelligent infidel even, who would infinitely prefer that his children should read the Protestant Bible, or even hear a eulogy on Luther or the Pilgrims, rather than that they should be given up to all the narrow, withering influences of such a petty system of checks and balances, and the fierce sectarian strifes it would engender in every section of the State.
It might be said, however, that on the principle of elective affinity, the districts in time would become assorted and homogerieous. This could never take place in the country, and should it happen in the city, what have we then but that very sectarian plan which you now declare that you prefer, and which would allow each denomination to instruct its own children in its own peculiar views? And of this I say, that it is utterly impracticable, and altogether undesirable as a public scheme, for the following reasons:
It would, in the first place, require as many separate buildings, and as many distinct classes of qualified teachers, as there are denominations in religion, and morals, if not in philosophy -thus greatly increasing the expense beyond what the present or any probable funds would warrant.
Secondly, it would in equity require that the funds distributed should be in exact proportion to the taxes contributed. Now the difficulties in the way of ascertaining these proportions, and making the necessary assessments, would be almost