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tution of the Evangelical Voluntary Church Association precisely that element which, in combination with others, apparent in prior institutions kindred in fundamental principle, will tend to promote good-will as well as good sentiment, and make the triumph in question substantially the victory of love. But before coming to the details of this society, we must be allowed a few more general observations.

The timid of all parties, but especially those whose interest it is to retain their present elevation, are alarmed at controversy and agitation, for the same reason that the rooks are afraid of tempestuous winds that may blow them out of their nests. But is there one reason in Scripture why we should conceal our views from any apprehension of immediate consequences; and can an overawed conscience be a peaceful one? Did any deference to existing authorities in the apostolic times prevent the teachers of christianity from going into the places of most public resort to urge their doctrines, though they were decried as aiming to turn

the world upside down ? Besides, the agitations of controversy, to which in the yet conflicting state of opinions we are necessarily forced, tend to purify the moral atmosphere.

The evils incident to discussion have induced many to sacrifice the interests of truth to the desire of peace. The desire of peace is, doubtless, natural to every well constituted mind, and is accordant with the scriptural injunction, to seek peace and ensue . it.' But neither reason nor scripture justify that morbid sensibility which is more alive to the feelings of individuals than the principles which should govern the world, and more concerned about personal repose than public good. If tranquillity can be obtained in connexion with the advancement of truth and religion, it is well; but if the alternative be, that peace or principle must be abandoned, the path of duty is clear, or apostles, martyrs, and reformers, have labored and died in vain.

An eminent writer has remarked, with regard to the duties of patriotism, Christianity, I allow, is a religion of peace; and

whenever it universally prevails, in the spirit and power of it, • wars will be unknown. But so will every other species of injustice: yet while the world is as it is, some kind of resistance to injustice is necessary, though it may at some future time become unnecessary. If our Saviour's command, that we resist not evil be taken literally and universally, it must have been "wrong for Paul to have remonstrated against the magistrates at • Philippi; and he himself would not have reproved the person “who smote him at the judgment seat.'

ment seat. The applicability of this sentiment is obvious when Christianity is prevalent in all orders of society and throughout the world,—that is, pure, enlightened, biblical Christianity-religious controversies, as well as sectarian animosities, will cease; but while the world, and it may be added

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ians have to maintain with their own spirits. The perfection of a moral achievement is to do a great and good thing, and to do it in the right spirit. Before we take the sword of the Spirit in our grasp, we should wash our hands in innocency ;' so that every thrust shall be a triumph before we gain the ultimate victory. The grand defect of the reformation was, that it did not aim at the subversion, nay, it even confirmed by the advocacy and practice of its leaders, the compulsory principle in religion. It sought the ruin of a popish, bụt upheld the scheme of a Protestant establishment. Its theory was unfounded; or rather, perhaps, it had no theory. The reformers, with all their sagacity, did not perceive that they were no more entitled to impose on the faith of others, than others had the right to impose on theirs: that Luther ought no more to judge and condemn Zuingle for his sacramentarian sentiments, or Calvin to burn Servetus for his heresy, than Leo X., or his successors, to give Luther to the magistrate or to perdition. Lutheranism ought no more to have been established than popery; for whether the authority in question was pope, monarch, or elector, it was a human authority, and religion, which sought to be untrammelled, was only allowed to serve a better master. But heaven has designed her for rule and not for servitude; and her appropriate and predestined dominion is over the mind and the heart. Her glorious crown is the affections of her subjects.

The vast and peculiar enterprise to which all enlightened christians are called in the present day, is to seek, by every proper and practicable means, to obtain the separation of the church from the state. Their business is to carry out and go beyond the reformation. It is not with a Carlodstadt's violence to pull down images or altars, but with the argument of a Paul to convince, and with the love of a John to constrain. It is to demand inquiry; to pursue evidence; to explain Scripture; to oppose false theories

, and resist vicious intrusions into the church of Christ; to ascertain and declare essential, long hidden, or much mutilated principles ; to restore primitive practice, and to lay an unsparing hand upon soul-destroying corruptions. But we again say, and fearlessly maintain, that the one chief labor to which an enlightened church is now called, for which its members ought to pray and strive to unite, is to effect a separation of the true church from all its worldly adhesions, and to do this with all personal kindness to individuals who adhere to systems hostile to a primitive christianity: to make this their distinct and paramount object, that religion may stand forth in her unrivalled grandeur, in the majesty

of her truth, and the power of her charity, and thus appear clear as • the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with ban(ners.'

And this we say the rather, because we perceive in the consti

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tution of the Evangelical Voluntary Church Association precisely that element which, in combination with others, apparent in prior institutions kindred in fundamental principle, will tend to promote good-will as well as good sentiment, and make the triumph in question substantially the victory of love. But before coming to the details of this society, we must be allowed a few more general observations.

The timid of all parties, but especially those whose interest it is to retain their present elevation, are alarmed at controversy and agitation, for the same reason that the rooks are afraid of tempestuous winds that may blow them out of their nests. But is there one reason in Scripture why we should conceal our views from any apprehension of immediate consequences; and can an overawed conscience be a peaceful one? Did any deference to existing authorities in the apostolic times prevent the teachers of christianity from going into the places of most public resort to urge their doctrines, though they were decried as aiming to turn

the world upside down? Besides, the agitations of controversy, to which in the yet conflicting state of opinions we are necessarily forced, tend to purify the moral atmosphere.

The evils incident to discussion have induced many to sacrifice the interests of truth to the desire of peace. The desire of peace is, doubtless, natural to every well constituted mind, and is accordant with the scriptural injunction, to seek peace and ensue • it.' But neither reason nor scripture justify that morbid sensibility which is more alive to the feelings of individuals than the principles which should govern the world, and more concerned about personal repose than public good. If tranquillity can be obtained in connexion with the advancement of truth and religion, it is well; but if the alternative be, that peace or principle must be abandoned, the path of duty is clear, or apostles, martyrs, and reformers, have labored and died in vain.

An eminent writer has remarked, with regard to the duties of patriotism, Christianity, I allow, is a religion of peace; and whenever it universally prevails, in the spirit and power of it, wars will be unknown. But so will every other species of injustice: yet while the world is as it is, some kind of resistance * to injustice is necessary, though it may at some future time • become unnecessary:

If our Saviour's command, that we resist * not evil be taken literally ard universally, it must have been 'wrong for Paul to have remonstrated against the magistrates at • Philippi; and he himself would not have reproved the person

who smote him at the judgment seat.' The applicability of this sentiment is obvious when Christianity is prevalent in all orders of society and throughout the world, that is, pure, enlightened, biblical Christianity-religious controversies, as well as sectarian animosities, will cease; but while the world, and it may be added

the church, is as it is, opposition to error is requisite, though at some future period—some formosissimus annus' of the universe -it will terminate with its lamented cause.

Controversy is not, then, the unmixed evil which it has been incautiously pronounced to be; on the contrary, in the existing state of things, it is likely to prove, as upon the whole it has hitherto been, notwithstanding attendant inconveniences, a real good. It has elicited truth-enlarged the boundaries of human thought-purified the motives of human action-generated the spirit of free inquiry-emancipated the mind from the bondage of educational prejudice, the subtlety of sophistical plausibilities, and the thraldom of traditional and hereditary opinionsand called forth those intellectual giants and heroes of our race, who have conquered in the field of argument, and strengthened the fortifications of our faith. But for the moral conflict which the opponents of sound principle and scriptural knowledge have tempted to their own discomfiture, we might still have had battles to fight which are already won, and victories to achieve which are now only to be celebrated. But all is not yet accomplished; many a struggle is yet to be maintained : many an entrenched error is to be dislodged ere the fervors of controversy can subside into the glow of a heartfelt union and a universal peace,

The question about establishments may be regarded as a truly national one; and this, in fact, constitutes one of the difficulties of the discussion. It is already so intimately associated with the prejudices and passions of the community, that it is next to impossible for any one to investigate it with a cool bead and an independent feeling. The spirit of sound inquiry which may easily be cherished in the pursuit of a metaphysical or mathematical thesis, is liable to deterioration in a thousand ways when the highest temporal or eternal interests are concerned, and when antecedent prepossessions have made men partizans rather than inquirers. There might be some chance of an unbiassed state of mind if there were no ecclesiastical establishment, and if without the parchments of parliament and an ecclesiastical soldiery, the question were simply, What is the divinely authorized constitution of a state with reference to its religious concerns ? The case having been prejudged by the legislature, and the secular having been entwined with the spiritual interests of the people, so as to place the field of controversy in the midst of the most deeply rooted and widely spreading prejudices of successive generations, it is impossible not to perceive, ab initio, the disadvantages of the assailant's position. He is made to wage a warfare rather than to ascertain a principle; he must fight a system, rather than discuss a question.

But inasmuch as there is a church and a hierarchy as by law established, the present debate necessarily assumes a character of

national importance. The decision as to the right or wrong of this establishment must affect the welfare of the entire British community; and that in their most valued relations, and with regard to their far distant posterity; for it enters into the present constitution and framework of society; while on the one side it is affirmed and on the other denied, that our ancestral wisdom is the model and ought to be the undisputed guide of their children's and their children's children's religion in all future ages. We feel that it touches the very core of prejudice, that it involves exposure to the severest reproach, that it hazards reputation and peace to inquire -not whether the Church Establishment of England is the best--but whether (for that is the question) there ought to be an establishment of religion, that is, an alliance between church and state. Questions of property, and what have been denominated vested ‘rights '-questions of rank, title, law, and of hereditary power or precedence, with a thousand others are more or less connected with this great debate ; sufficiently appalling, it is granted, to weak nervęs and doubtful claimants, but not to be on that account abandoned. The startling terms of innovation and revolution ought not to frighten us from the course of duty, or alarm us from the investigation of truth; for apostles were revolutionists, and reformers were innovators. These men that have turned the

world upside down, are come hither also. The political changes of modern times have induced mankind to attach arbitrary ideas to words ; incorporating a meaning not original to them, and investing them with horrors drawn from particular events and passing scenes. Hence innovation has been viewed as tantamount to rebellion, and revolution has been but another name for bloodshed and frenzy. These notions, too, have been transferred from politics to religion; and the opponents of corruption in the Church, pleading for the re-establishment of a pure, New Testament faith and practice, have been classed with the fiercest demagogues and wildest enthusiasts. With a strange inconsistency and sufficiently characteristic of weakness, the venerable Establishment has been lauded as impregnable in her foundations, and invulnerable to the attacks of her enemies; strong in all her bulwarks and consolidated by time; and yet as in extreme danger--and from what? A contemptible and ever jarring fanaticism ! If it be fanaticism, it will fail; if it be contemptible, it may be let alone. But, in fact, it cannot be deemed, and is not, in spite of pretences, either the one or the other; and is only so represented by sycophancy or terror. The growing intelligence of the present age has brought into prominent view a question of mighty interest, the great debating parties are preparing for the onset, and have had already many a vehement skirmish; and neither will gain, but may greatly loose, by pouring obloquy on

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