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the diluting waters of the Baptistery. selves are at once the judges and the Mr Haldane writes in a spirit of con- executioners. Their doom is stern. scious discipleship, and feels himself It proposes no trial, and makes no warranted to rebuke such as dare to compromise. It has but one tone, differ from him, in a style of arro- and that is-pay; but one limit, and gance that excites pity for his years, that is the uttermost farthing.” and regrets for his profession. Nay Because a citizen will not pay them more, in the same production, so re- what they never earned, will not own plete with mixed absurdities, he the equity of a tax exacted by men brought a charge against the United from whom he receives no service, Secession Church, the most awful that and to whom he owes no obligation, could be fabricated against any reli- these ministers of the gospel at once gious body,—that of lax and impure tear him from his business and family, communion. The charge was met and immure him like a felon. They and refuted in the calm and powerful keep him from the enjoyment of Sabdignity of innocence by Dr Brown, bath and sanctuary. While they are in a published answer, thus entituled: preaching a gospel which proclaims - The United Secession Church 6 liberty to the captive,” their victim vindicated from the Charge, made is stretched in his cell. While “ the by James A. Haldane, Esq., of sanc- opening of the prison to them that tioning Indiscriminate Admission to are bound” is a joyous portion of Communion.” And now, after so their message, they have reversed the many years, Mr Haldane (or his pub- spirit as well as the letter of the text, - lisher) re-issues these calumnies, and, and have “ delivered him to the torwithout one word of explanation or 'mentors, till he should pay all that apology, steps forward again as the was due unto them.” This instance " accuser of the brethren.”
of ecclesiastical despotism has made There is little doubt that some re- some noise, and created some agitacent circumstances have brought on a tion. The public mind is turned crisis which has been deemed pro- afresh to the subject to the anomaly pitious to the republication of Mr of a church exercising such a power Haldane's miscellany. « The sun has over the liberty and fortunes of freegone back ten degrees on the dial born men. While thousands are of Ahaz;" and, at the instance of the wondering at the anomalous spectacle, Edinburgh clergy of the establish- three centuries too late in its existence, ment, a civic dignitary has been in- Mr Haldane spontaneously takes upon carcerated. Christ's professed ser- him the office of their instructor, and vants have laid fetters on one of his lessons are those of servility and Cesar's officers, and put him into conservatism. His politics overCesar's stronghold. Not long ago master his religion, and he is in the they ordered out Cesar's soldiery to awkward and helpless attitude of protect their extortions, and this ex- admitting that church establishments periment not being satisfactory, and are among the worst of institutions, the sword being somewhat odious, but that they are nevertheless so sathey have turned in distress to a less cred that he will rather uphold than romantic refuge in the bolts and locks destroy them. They are sinful, but of the Calton Jail. The screw and he venerates them; they destroy the the wheel of their predecessors are purity of the Redeemer's kingdom, wisely not now entrusted to them. but he would not harm them. The Happily the “ Boot" is only an an- Master condemns them, Mr Haldane tiquarian relic. They are contented echoes the condemnation ; but he with possessing the " key,” and they would not seek their overthrow. will not permit it to rust, for them. Things that are, be they ever so unscriptural, he admires ; things that they served Jehovah, had neither the have been, be they ever so pernicious, courage nor consistency to remove he venerates. His language is as the "high places” where homage follows:- Let the believer make was done to Baal. By what subtle use of all the weapons of the Chris- dialectics he can persuade his mind, tian armoury, and, by manifestation by what specious casuistry he can of the truth, commend himself to every satisfy his conscience, that a dull and man's conscience in the sight of God, passive condemnation and endurance but let him not corrupt the religion of evil is the “ whole duty of man," of Jesus by blending it with politics. we know not. The arguments in this Let him demonstrate from the word portion of the pamphlet are vague of God that the union of Church and and pointless, and are clearly the reState must necessarily corrupt the sult of a political creed that hates doctrine of Christ—that the Apostles every change as an evil, or brands had no such custom, and that, as the it as a revolution, and nauseates all gospel came out from them, we ought reforms as useless and mischievous to be guided by their example, as intermeddling. But to remove evil recorded in the New Testament. is to do good. Now, says the apostle,
6 Let him show that the union of to him that knoweth to do good and Church and State confounds that dis- doeth it not, to him it is sin.” tinction between believers and the Mr Haldane glories in his loyalty, men of the world, which the great and pays all tribute cheerfully. His Author of Christianity so expressly notions on paying church tribute are enjoined. He did not command his very confused. “The supreme power, followers to go out of the world; he in this country, is vested in the three taught them to live in society, to en- branches of the Legislature. It is by gage in all the lawful pursuits of this their joint authority that the coin life; but he required them to meet for bears the Queen's image, not as an the observance of his ordinances in a absolute sovereign, but as the represtate of separation from the world. sentative of that government of which Any system which precludes obedi- she is the head. No tribute can be ence to this commandment must be legally required without the concurantichristian ; and as the establish- rence of Queen, Lords, and Comment of a National Church must mons; and what is thus required, of necessity make it void, it is un- Christians are commanded to pay, scriptural and unlawful." Yet he whatever may be their opinion of the adds, with wondrous self-compla- wisdom or propriety of its application. cence:"The sentiment which many The duty is founded on their being years ago I expressed to a friend, is members of society, governed by a still unchanged, -that if I could sub- supreme power, administering the vert the National Church by holding joint interests of all, for the good of up my finger, I would not do it. I the body politic. In such a situation, know my duty, as an individual, to individuals must submit to restraints be separate from it; but the re- and sacrifices which would be unnesponsibility of producing the change cessary if they were living alone; which is implied in its overthrow, but these inconveniences are far outis too great. I am neither wise weighed by the security of life and enough to foresee, nor rash enough property which civil government to risk, the consequences.”
affords. There may be opression by How can Christian duty reconcile government; no worldly advantage such statements? Does not Mr Hal- is free from drawbacks, every thing dane resemble the undecided and is mixed; but the blessing of civil half-hearted Jewish kings, who, while government is incalculably great, and Christians are commanded to submit authority. Let the magistrate ordain to the powers under which they are it, Mr Haldane cheerfully pays it. Had placed as being the ordinance of God; Pilate assessed Jerusalem for the exthey are taught to consider their ruler pense of the cross, and had Mr Halas the minister of God to them for dane dwelt at that period in the “holy good. In regard to religion, they city,” he would have cheerfully paid have one Master, under whatever it, even with all his present Christian form of government or in whatever convictions. When Saul travelled far clime their lot is cast. Resistance in and near devastating the churches, Mr civil matters, such as the payment of Haldane would willingly have given tribute, is prohibited. It will not do his quota of contribution to defray the for Christians to disclaim active re- persecutor'sexpenses, had the powers sistance, and to profess to confine that be” demanded it as an assessthemselves to that which is passive. ment. Had the Senate or Emperor The word of God knows no such dis- ordered taxes for a new golden Jupitinction; it warns believers against re- ter, and had Mr Haldane lived as a sisting civil government, and descends Christian citizen in Rome, he would to no special pleading on the subject. have opened his purse to help the It gives no countenance to the prin- fabrication of a false god, and cheerciple which you, Sir, defend, that we fully assisted others in breaking the are at liberty to choose the alternative second command of the Decalogue. of enduring the penalty of disobedi- The state commanded it, and Mr ence.”—Pp. 31-32. Never was slavery Haldane's conscience would have gone more cordially inculcated. The An- to slumber, though, as a Christian nuity Tax in Edinburgh is a specific pastor, he had been assessed to pay tax levied under an act of Parliament for the very pitch in which poor
felby the clergy themselves. It is not a low believers were tortured and burns tax levied along with others for muni- to death, or to defray the maintecipal purposes; for, had it been so, dis- nance of the lions which devoured in tinction being impossible, resistance the arena the members of his own would be in vain. Mr Haldane leaves sacred community. Sad doctrine for man no conscience, degrades him into a Christian citizen to maintain or advoa civic machine, and robs him of all cate! And are Daniel and the three responsibility. Mr Haldane's ethics children” to be branded as rebels, are very plainly, that every citizen is because forsooth, in Mr Haldane's bound to obey man rather than God; estimation, “ the word of God warns that he has no right to ask whether believers against resisting civil goany law he obeys be a Christian sta- vernment ?” We seriously advise him tute. If man ordains it, he cannot to take a lesson from an old incident refuse submission. This is not accord- and from a humble example. We ing to man’s nature or God's revela- commend to his special attention the tion. God claims the conscience as midwives Shiphrah and Puah, whose his own, and no man dare violate its Egyptian conscience was far more dictates without grievously offending enlightened than that of some modern Him. If any man unjustly support à Baptist oracles. Supreme and royal system which his conscience affirms authority bade them do certain deeds ; to be unscriptural, no matter at whose “but the midwives feared God, and did bidding or command he does it, he sins not as the king of Egypt commanded against himself and against the one them.” 6. Therefore God dealt well Lawgiver. But Mr Haldane scruples with the midwives.” Let not Mr not; he is a follower of the infidel Haldane despise the lesson, even Hobbes, who made the supreme power though it be in the Old Testament. of the state man's only rule, guide, and Mr Haldane, as already intimated, calumniates the Secession, and of profession, but they cannot be excourse the practice, too, of the present pected in any case to require more United Presbyterian Church. Nay, than a profession,—which is implied he repeats the falsehood. The Seces- in desiring fellowship.' sion Church, he affirms, has all the “To many of my readers it will be worst features of the establishment. Dr inconceivable, how a man, taking an Brown says,—“Mr Haldane states, interest in the state of religious sothat the principles of Seceders, open ciety, could have lived in Scotland, their communion as wide as that of the for the last forty years, and yet be so Established Church,'—that all that is ill informed as to be able to make the required to fellowship by them, is 'a above statement bona fide, as I doubt profession of the true religion,' not Mr Haldane has done."
that a profession is implied in desir- "It is plain," he subjoins, “Mr ing fellowship, and remarks, that Haldane's studies have not lain while men frequently come short of among our symbolical books. It their principles, seldom or never does would have been better for us, our practice rise higher than its and no worse for himself, if they source, leaving it to be inferred, that had. But surely it would not all who seek admission into the have been too much to expect, that United Secession Church are sure to he should have consulted all the pasfind it. If Mr Haldane had read sages in the document which he has carefully the document which he quoted, before he ventured to proquotes, he would have found that nounce so unhesitatingly, and, as it the profession of faith,' which the turns out, at once so rashly and so United Secession Church considers as harshly, on the principles of a religinecessary to admission to church fel
ous body. He would have found in lowship, is an intelligent and credible it the following passages :—' A proprofession of the faith of Christ,--and fession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, had he inquired into the practice of and a conversation becoming the gospel, her ministers, he would have found, rendering that profession credible, are that an investigation of the know- required of all, in order to communion, ledge, faith, temper, and conduct in the privileges of the Church.'*_A of the candidate for communion, scriptural profession having been precedes admission." Dr Brown adopted, it is not less incumbent on adds" To prevent all misapprehen- Christians to continue stedfastly in sion, I shall state in a few words the it, to hold it fast without wavering, charge Mr Haldane has made, and and so to conduct themselves, in all which I undertake to disprove. It is, the relations they bear, as at once to *that the United Secession Church, evince their own sincerity, and to in her avowed principles, sanctions in- secure, under the divine blessing, the discriminate admission to commu- objects for which they have assonion. His proof is this—the United ciated. They must be attentive to Seceders in their Testimony teach, all the duties of personal and family that the visible church consists of religion, regularly observe the public all that make a profession of true re- ordinances of the gospel, not forsakligion.? Mr Haldane says, ' A pro- ing the assembling of themselves to fession is implied in desiring fellow- gether, as the manner of some is ; ship;' and men frequently come submit in the spirit of humility and short of their principles, but seldom meekness to the government and or never does our practice rise higher discipline, which Christ has instithan its source.' The legitimate con
* Testimony of the United Associate clusion obviously is - The United
Synod of the Secession Church, Part i. Seceders may admit men without a Ch. iv. 8 4. p. 74.
tuted, for their edification, esteeming men, but leave the task to that emthem who watch for their souls highly pirical vanity, whose superior clearin love for their works' sake, and giv- ness of spiritual vision is usually the ing them all due subjection, subsis- result or accompaniment of spiritual tence, and encouragement in the Lord; pride. Mr Haldane's slanders will and, above all, “put on charity, which not injure us; for not only are they is the bond of perfectness.*_ We baseless in their nature and feeble in condemn the profanation of the Lord's their malignity, but few, very few, Supper, by admitting the ignorant and are induced to read them. The scandalous to a participation of it.'t pamphlet on which we have been
“But if it was too operose a business remarking, has slumbered unsold for for Mr Haldane to peruse a pamphlet a long series of years. It has lain of less than 200 pages, in order to get among the publisher's lumber as long a just view of the principles of a body as Horace commends an author to he was about publicly to characterise, keep his manuscript by him ere he and which he has in fact stigmatized, give it to the world, nonum prematur surely he might have read to the close
Mr Haldane would injure of the short paragraph under the title us, but he cannot. Exert himself as * Of the Church,' in the Summary of he will, it is beyond his power. He Principles (which, by the way, is cannot induce the public to buy his separately printed, and in the hands tedious and incoherent tirades. His of a large proportion of our people), false charges against us will not -and, if he had, he would have met sell; his cheap denunciations are not with these words, which we trust are a bargain.* The pride so proverbial new to him: “ Those who are admitted among authors may be wounded, by into the communion of a particular this miserable failure; but we hope church, should have a competent mea- that the graces of the Christian sure of knowledge ; should make a cre- pastor will yet be moved to an indible profession of their faith, and are genuous confession of his error, and a bound to a conversation becoming the candid and spontaneous retractation Gospel, and to submit to the discip- of his charges against us. 66 One is line of the Church.'" $
Some minds imagine We do not know whether Mr Hal- that they are paragons of fidelity, dane be near-sighted; but the words while they are indulging only in he quotes as proof of our laxity, are censorious invective. The harshness distant only by three lines from a full of their vituperation is to them the explanation of our principles. Dr measure and reward of their success. Brown hopes that our accuser did Charity is a weakness which never not see them. If he did, he should overcomes them, while “ all that is have quoted them; he must have seen within ” them is gratified by “ a them now, and yet he repeats the railing accusation.' Their genius charge. Charity cannot keep us now lies in fault-finding. Their diction is from regarding him as a slanderer. rich in epithets of scornful deprecia
Our principles are those of Scripture, tion. They are brilliant in fulminaand our usage that of apostolical prac- tion, and eloquent in anathema. They tice. We are not afraid to vindicate confound their temper with their our procedure. We make, indeed, no conscience, and are deluded into sin pretension of seeing into the hearts of by the fatal mistake. The unhappy
man, who is the victim of this self* Testimony of the United Associate
created fascination, too often betrays Synod of the Secession Church, Part. i. Ch. xiv. Sect. iv. pp. 77, 78.
* This re-issue is not a new edition. It † Ibid. Part ii. Ch. ii. Sect. viii. $ 4. p. 151. is only an effort at pushing off unsold copies # Ibid. p. 105.
of the first and only edition.