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the settlement of parishes by election in its fullest and freest form, the church, meaning thereby the clergy and the eldership, ruled that the elders should nominate—the people choose ; and that if these refused their assent, the presbytery should judge of their objections, and induct notwithstanding, if they found them to be causeless. The church has withheld from the people the privilege of free election when the state was willing to confer it. Indeed, a reluctance to lodge such power in popular hands would be more correctly styled “the fundamental law of this church,' than the non-intrusive principle which the vetoists parade in the front of their famous manifesto. To confine the nomination to elders and heritors ; and to judge of the grounds on which parishes rejected presentees, were powers which the ecclesiastics of the northern establishment were ever forward to assert and to exercise. And now under the operation of the boasted veto law, if the people should not within six months obtain a nominee to their liking, the right passes from them at once of saying yea or nay in the matter. The whole business then falls into the hands of the Presbytery, who arrogate its absolute disposal,--supplant the patron, choose for the people, and settle the whole matter themselves. Veto there is none. It is a good thing for a curb on the right of advowson; but that the church courts should place the yoke on themselves-who but a lover of simplicity could imagine such a thing. As to the rights of the people, we hear no more of them. Where, indeed, should they be, but in the keeping of their best friends the clergy? The
presenting having now passed into infallible hands, it is provided that they shall exercise it without responsibility or control. This claim,- barefaced and unblushing we must call it, advanced as it is in the same breath with the rejection of the patron's privilege,-is certainly one of the most singular specimens we have witnessed of clerical usurpation and cool audacity.
To every one who observes the signs of the times, it must appear a remarkable coincidence, that, at a period when the soundness of the principle on which all state churches are based is brought into keen and searching discussion, there should have arisen within the bosom of one of the national churches a case so very peculiar, and in its bearings so various, that, in the investigation of it, it is impossible to waive the very question which the dissenters with so much unanimity, and for some years past, have been pressing on the public mind. Shun it as they may, churchmen cannot, by all their management, evade the subject. Not only does it meet them in every point at which they come into contact with the interests of dissent, but it lifts its spectre form to startle and to challenge them in this Scotch case of Auchterarder. How any section of the church can accept of state maintenance, and preserve its spiritual liberties; how far the body spiritual can be compensated for the surrender of any of its
rights, by any endowment or distinction which the state can offer in return, are questions which must force themselves on every man within the pale of the northern establishment who is capable of thinking, and who is not stone deaf, or wilfully stupid, on every thing that touches the character, position, and efficiency of the Parliamentary Presbyterian Church. That any immediate good is to result from the discussion in the way of opening the eyes of the church's supporters, we have already hinted that we but faintly expect; but it will indeed not surprise us, if a movement thus begun shall work its way with less or more observation, till it prove itself to be the incipient impulse, and the distant indication of coming changes and events.
From this instructive but most humbling display of ecclesiastical bondage and prostration, how refreshing to turn to the condition of those churches who-seeking no state lucre and surrendering no spiritual privilege-stand fast in the liberty of the gospel. What the dignity, the independence, the elevation of their position, compared with the restraints and secularities of a church by law established. The poorest conventicle within the broad borders of England possesses a freedom of spirit and of action, an immunity from secular dictation, to which pampered hierarchies and all state churches, whether rich and lazy or poor and proud, have not the most distant pretension. No intricacies arise to perplex them from confounding the things of Christ and of Cæsar--from the interlacing of things temporal and spiritual, just because they seek no compact with the powers of the world, and the powers
of the world have concern with them but to let them alone. They are free in their own sphere, because they keep to their own sphere. Without asking leave of prince or parliament, they follow the mind of Christ, because they are in no man's pay, and, therefore, call no man master. To teach the truth of God by permission of an earthly magistrate—to seek its establishment' or ratification' by any authority other than his own, and to be bound to teach what is thus established and ratified as the paid servants of the legislature-to act in the affairs of Christ's kingdom as the rulers of the world may direct, and to submit to be checked at every turn, and called to account by temporal superiors, and all this for nothing but the sake of being salaried out of the public funds instead of living by the altar, exhibits a secularity and a subjection which the scriptural churches of Dissent may well be excused for regarding with wonder, and blame, and pity. Passing strange, that good men in the churches of the state, when they feel the ignominy of their position, should be so slow to discover that to shift their ground entirely is the sure method of redress.
Until such be the conclusion to which the church, as a body, is brought, she will never cease to be unhappy, and to feel dishonored. The clergy have shown a sense of the degradation of lying under the dictation of the state. In proclaiming these views, they have only responded to public opinion in the northern part of the island. Nothing after this remains for them, but to continue to show their dependence by fretful, abortive efforts, to ease their yoke; or to sit down in sulky silence, a laughing-stock to all who have witnessed their lofty pretensions; or to take the high and honest ground of breaking their fetters, by giving up the bribe for which they have hitherto consented to wear them. Till then, the church's talked-of prerogative can only be matter of derision ;-her pedestal will be her pillory, and her boast of independence the proclamation of her shame.
The Works of the Rev. Sydney Smith. In three volumes. 8vo. Lon
don: Longman and Co.
It would not be in character, not will it be expected, that we should say much respecting the contents of these volumes. The first two of them consist of articles reprinted from the Edinburgh Review, and are consequently without the scope of our literary province. We may venture, however, to observe, that while fully sensible of the cleverness and talent and humour displayed in many of these papers, we regret the anti-scriptural and irreligious cast of others. It is well known that the early volumes of the Edinburgh Review were marked by a decided hostility to evangelical religion, and those who were in the secret of such matters, have been accustomed to assign the authorship of certain papers deeply imbued with this spirit, to the Rev. Sydney Smith, a clergyman of the Church of England. We regret to find that this reference is fully borne out by the present publication. We should have rejoiced had it been otherwise, or in the absence of evidence to this effect, to have discovered some indications of an approach to more scriptural views of the religion which the author has undertaken to expound and enforce. So far, however, is this from being the case, that it now appears from the admission of the reverend author himself, that the papers which gave most offence at the time of their appearance, and which served most strongly to attach a suspicion of unfriendliness to the Christian faith to the Journal in question, were the productions of a writer solemnly pledged to the advancement of religious truth. It might have been hoped that time would have produced some change in the sentiments of the author on these points, but nothing of the kind is indicated. “I see very little in my Reviews,' he remarks, to alter or repent of,' and the most bitter and anti-scriptural of them are consequently reprinted with every sign of continued approval. We regret this the more, as the
papers in question will only serve to deter some readers from the peru. sal of other parts of these volumes, of which it is impossibie to speak too highly.
The following extract from the preface supplies an interesting scrap of literary intelligence.
When first I went into the Church, I had a curacy in the middle of Salisbury Plain. The squire of the parish took a fancy to me, and requested me to go with his son to reside at the University of Weimar; before we could get there, Germany became the seat of war, and in stress of politics we put into Edinburgh, where I remained five years. The principles of the French Revolution were then fully afloat, and it is impossible to conceive a more violent and agitated state of society. Among the first persons with whom I became acquainted, were Lord Jeffrey, Lord Murray, (late Lord Advocate for Scotland,) and Lord Brougham; all of them maintaining opinions upon political subjects a little too liberal for the dynasty of Dundas, then exercising supreme power over the northern division of the island.
‘One day we happened to meet in the eighth or ninth story or flat, in Buccleugh-place, the celebrated residence of the then Mr. Jeffrey. I proposed that we should set up a Review; this was acceded to with acclamation. I was appointed editor, and remained long enough in Edinburgh to edit the first number of the Edinburgh Review. The motto I proposed for the Review was,
• Tenui musam meditamur avena.'
We cultivate literature upon a little oatmeal.' But this was too near the truth to be admitted, and so we took our present grave motto from Publius Syrus, of whom none of us had, I am sure, ever read a single line; and so began what has since turned out to be a very important and able journal. When I left Edinburgh, it fell into the stronger hands of Lord Jeffrey and Lord Brougham, and reached the highest point of popularity and success.'
The third volume contains the author's pamphlet on the Ballot, his three letters to Archdeacon Singleton, a letter on the character of Sir James Mackintosh, one to Lord John Russell, and some other ephemeral productions. The whole is closed by Peter Plymley's letters, respecting which the following frank but not very honourable avowal is made. "The government of that day took great pains to find out the author ; all that they could find was, that they were brought to Mr. Budd, the publisher, by the Earl of Lauderdale. Somehow or another, it came to be conjectured that I was that author. I have always denied it ; but finding that I deny it in vain, I have thought it might be as well to include the Letters in this collection; they had an immense circulation at the time, and I think above 20,000 copies were sold.'
The Pictorial History of Palestine. By the Editor of “The Pictorial
Bible.' Parts I. and II. London : Charles Knight and Co.
The main object of this work is to relate every event of interest and importance in the political, social, military, and religious history of Palestine, from the most remote times down to the present day. Its
scope is not limited to the fortunes of the Hebrew nation, though these will receive distinct and detailed notice, but embraces a wide range of topics, including a physical history of the holy land, its zoology and botany, the customs of its inhabitants, and the various changes to which the several sections of the country have been subjected. The wood engravings with which the work is to be liberally illustrated will consist of 'representations of actual scenery, costume, manners, monuments, and objects of natural history,-in some instances combined into a picture or group, but never exhibiting any thing merely fanciful.' It will be published monthly; and will be completed in about sixteen Parts, price 23. 6d. each ; forming two volumes similar to those of the Pictorial Bible, to which work it will prove a valuable supplement.
The execution of the Parts already published, taken in connexion with the Editor's previous labors, is decisive of the success of the undertaking, and leaves no doubt on our minds of the work constituting one of the most valuable contributions of modern times, to the cause of sound biblical knowledge. The editor is fully aware of the onerous nature of his engagement, and displays a range of information and a discrimi. nation of judgment worthy of all commendation. Acquainted with the labors of his predecessors, and candid in his estimate of their merits, he yet retains an intelligent perception of their short-comings, and a fixed determination to rectify to the utmost possible extent, their er
Of his ability to do so, no reader of the Pictorial Bible can doubt, and we rejoice that he has been led to undertake it. We shall watch the progress of the work with interest, and report our judgment from time to time.
The Works of the Rev. John Newton. With a Life of the Author, by
the Rev. Richard Cecil ; and an Introduction by the Rev. Francis Cunningham. Imp. 8vo. London: Ball, Arnold, and Co.
A handsome and cheap edition of one of our most popular and useful religious writers. To praise the writings of John Newton would be a work of supererogation. They are well known and highly prized by a large" class of readers from one end of the empire to the other, as comprehending the discussion of a vast number of subjects of practical divinity and morals, conveyed in a clear, lively, and popular style and manner.' We shall, therefore, content ourselves with saying, that the present volume is got up in a manner worthy of the Bungay press, so celebrated for the accuracy and elegance of its reprints ; that it is enriched by the interesting Memoir of the Author by Richard Cecil, his friend and fellow labourer, and cannot fail to become the standard edition. We heartily join in the hope expressed by Mr. Cunningham in his brief Introduction, that this undertaking will meet with that encouragement, which will lead to the reprint of similar works, and to enlarge that range of religious reading, which cannot but be valuable at all times, and peculiarly so at present.'