The Dunedin Review.
Printed by John Mac Kay, Moray Place. DunedinMDCCCLXXXIII
Walker's Life of Chalmers.—II.
His walk, and "stout, thick-set figure," clearly indicated the man—an honest man, who had "a capacity to excel in many things." He was not unlike Luther in personal appearance. On the 25th May, 1809, Chalmers delivered his maiden speech in the General Assembly. Henceforth he became a marked man. He pled for the augmentation of the stipends of the clergy. Worth must be backed up with social importance in order to command esteem. He began to realise the full significance of life, after having been laid up with sickness, and, in 1809, he declared:—"strip human life of its connection with a higher sense of existence, and it is the illusion of an instant, an unceasing farce, a series of visions and projects and convulsive efforts which terminate in nothing." He began to study Pascal's "Thoughts on Religion." This is his estimate of him:—"A man of the richest endowments, and whose youth was signalised by his profound and original speculations in mathematical science, but who could stop short in the brilliant career of discovery, who could resign all the splendours of literary reputation, who could renounce without a sigh all the distinctions which are conferred upon genius, and resolve to devote every talent and every hour to the defence and illustration of the gospel. This is superior to all Greek and all Roman name." Affliction brought on reflection, and this again raised Religion from a secondary to a primary concern in his estimation. Wil-berforce's "Practical View of Christianity" opened his spiritual eye. He saw the futility of the covenant of works, and the all-importance of that of grace. He realised the evil of sin and of ungodliness, and felt that man cannot obtain salvation through his own righteousness, but that it must flow entirely from God's grace. "In the system of Do this and live no peace, and even no true and worthy obedience, can ever be attained. It is Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. When this belief enters the heart, joy and confidence come along with it. The righteousness which we try to work out for ourselves eludes our grasp, and never can a soul arrive at true or permanent rest in the pursuit of this object. The righteousness which, by faith, we put on, secures our acceptance with God, page 64 and secures our interest in his promises, and gives us a part in those sanctifying influences by which we are enabled to do with aid from on high what we never can do without it. We look to God in a new light: we see him as a reconciled Father: that love to him which terror scares away re-enters the heart, and, with a new principle and a new power, we become new creatures in Jesus Christ our Lord." At this time he began to write an introduction to an edition of Baxter's "Call to the Unconverted." He now found ample labours in his own parish, and preached out to sinners salvation as God's free gift, which they ought to accept most promptly and gratefully. In Kilmany manse he composed a series of sermons which subsequently electrified Glasgow, London, and Edinburgh. He also contributed largely to the Encyclopaedia, the Instructor, the Eclectic Review, &c. But he saw the utter incompatibility of the two offices of minister and professor, and denounced such a conjunction in the Church of Scotland. After twelve years spent in the pastoral seclusion of Kilmany, Chalmers removed to Glasgow, where he literally mesmerised the city with his eloquence. His eloquence "was not learning, it was not art; it was the untaught and the unencumbered incantation of genius, the mightiest engine of which the world can boast." His parish had a population of ten thousand souls, for whose welfare he laboured zealously in a variety of ways. He was again translated to a still larger parish. In St. John's parish he practically carried out his theory of Pauperism which "could never be effectually met by means of a poor law or a system of legal assessment. Pauperism hitherto had cost £1400 a year. Chalmers met its real requirements by a voluntary offering of £280. The work was done much more satisfactorily than under legal assessment." He started schools and missions and revolutionised his parish. After nine years of Herculean labours in Glasgow, he accepted the Moral Philosophy Chair in St. Andrew's. He got a public dinner before his departure. Three hundred and forty gentlemen attended the banquet. On the 9th November, 1823, when he was just 43 years of age, he delivered his grand valedictory sermon. Chalmers infused life into the veins of his old alms mater. "Moral philosophy is not theology, but it stands at the entrance of it, and so of all human sciences is the most capable of being turned into an instrument either for guiding right, or for most grievously perverting the minds of those who are to be the religious teachers of the age."
The Otago University is a fresh illustration of this. The Synod stands condemned for its support of a pernicious system of teaching. He dwelt more upon the moral than on the purely metaphysical portion of his subject. In fact morals are not taught in the Scottish universities. It is all metaphysical disquisition—which is supposed to be an answer to the scepticism page 65 of Hume and others. Chalmers clearly pointed to Natural Theology and to Revelation to solve problems which Moral Philosophy could not do. "It suggested doubts which it could not solve." Chalmers, accordingly, "made his chair a direct stepping-stone to the study of Theology." He treated his subject as "the philosophy of duty in its two-fold aspects,—man's ethical relations to man, and the morality which connects heaven and earth." As the light of Nature is insufficient, he directed the soul to Revelation, which points out "an invisible being to whom we owe obedience." Chalmers, also, "opened a supplementary class for Political Economy." In his hands, the subject received a more exhaustive treatment than it ever got before. His career in St. Andrew's was highly honourable, but not lofty; for, he was too noble a man to connive at the dry formalities, and avariciousness of his colleagues. His protest against a notorious misappropriator of certain college funds alienated his brethren from him; but it covered him with glory as a disinterested and honest man. Drones he hated, and he inspired the Divinity-students, in his capacity of president of a missionary society, with religious enthusiasm. St. Andrew's was moved in the same way as Oxford had been "in the days of Hervey and Wesley." Wherever Chalmers went he always "carried the fire with him. In St. Andrews he dealt with the men who were to be the future ministers of Scotland; and, through his students, upon a whole generation of his countrymen."
Chalmers in 1827 was elected Professor of Theology in the University of Edinburgh, and on the 6th of November, 1828, he delivered his inaugural lecture. He was now at the core of Caledonia, enthroned "as a king in the broad realms of theological science." In his hands, "Christianity was not a mere framework of dry bones, but a living force. His own soul was on fire; and whatever he felt himself he made his audiences feel." This was the dawn of religious awakening in pulpits and congregations all over Scotland He was offered a year or two later the West Church, Greenock, "the most lucrative living in the Church." It was worth £1000 a year, just double his professional salary; but he declined the offer, from "a firm conviction of the superior importance of a theological chair to any church whatever, along with the rooted preference for the professional over the ministerial life."
Chalmers, like all men of genius, exercised an enormous sway over the minds of men. He was a king of men, possessed of those "qualities which cause men to be reverenced and followed." He heartily supported the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and Catholic Emancipation. He put "no trust in artificial props, which do not rest on a foundation of indisputable justice." He held the conviction "that there was no page 66 guarantee for the permanence and prosperity of his own Church but such as was to be found in her honestly and efficiently discharging her proper functions." His speech on Catholic Emancipation elicited the sympathetic admiration of Lord Jeffrey. "Never had eloquence produced a greater effect upon a popular assembly; more had never been done by the oratory of Demosthenes, Cicero, Burke, or Sheridan." The orator said—" Give me the circulation of the Bible, and with this mighty engine I will overthrow the tyranny of Antichrist, and establish the fair and original form of Christianity on its ruins." Never theless, Chalmers opposed the Reform Bill. The mob broke his windows in 1831, because he did not illuminate. He published at this time his "Treatise on Political Economy." His conclusions were not in harmony with popular beliefs. He taught "that the real amelioration of any nation's condition depends not on the possession of political privileges but on the intelligence and moral excellence of its people."
Chalmers had no sympathy with the vagaries of Campbell of Row, Edward Irving, and Principal Scott. Those heretics were expelled from the Church, and allowed to follow their own sweet and wayward ways. In 1832 Chalmers was chosen Moderator of the Scottish Assembly. He became the recognised leader of the evangelical parly, and laboured to modify or sweep away patronage. Dr. Cook, however, headed the Moderates and triumphed. In 1834, Lord Moncrieff carried the veto Law. It was merely a compromise to conservatism. Patronage is now, after years of strife and debate, abolished. Chalmers took the lead in Church extension; and, in 1834, after being repulsed by Government, he appealed to the people, and the result was a sum of £300,000. "Within seven years 220 new churches were added to the Establishment." In 1834 he was elected Fellow and Vice-president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a corresponding member of the Royal Institute of France. In 1835 Oxford conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. He was greeted with extraordinary enthusiasm in Oxford Theatre, He loved England and the English Church, and visited all its cathedrals; he venerated the universities, and was hospitably entertained by the English literati. In 1836 Chalmers bitterly opposed the elevation of Principal Lee to the Chair of the Assembly. That strife alienated the chiefest friends. Chalmers delivered a course of lectures in London on Church Establishment, and in support of the English Church, against the attacks of dissenters and the advocates of disestablishment. The audience was select, and the impression made was profound. Five hundred of those present were Peers and Members of Parliament. The inspired lecturer put his audience in a state of temporary madness. "Carried away by the impassioned utterance of the speaker, long ere the close of some of his finest page 67 passages was reached, the voice of the lecturer was drowned in the applause, the audience rising from their seats and breaking out into tumultuous approbation." He electrified "the most brilliant audiences that ever assembled in Britain," and they actually raised "a whirlwind of enthusiasm which was probably never exceeded in the history of eloquence." As a consequence London subscribed £5000 in aid of the Scottish Church extension movement. Curious he did not foresee the coming storm, especially as "a month or two before, the Court of Session had pronounced a judgment in the famous Auchterarder case." He was probably of opinion, "that a firm resistance on the part of the Church would prevent any serious attempt being made on its inherent independence." In 1838 he went to Paris and sojourned in Normandy. He visited Guisot, the Institute, the Due de Broglie at whose chateau he met Madame de Stael. Here he was shown Diodati's translation of his sermons. The duchess officiated at family prayers—which wore simple—a chapter of Scripture and the Lord's Prayer. In 1839 he threw his energies into the conflict between Church and State. He would have a Free Church, in a Free State. The Auchterarder case set the flames of discord in a blaze. The Rev. Mr. Young had only two signatures to his call, and yet the Supreme Courts of Edinburgh and London insisted upon his induction! The Veto Act was overridden. The case of Lethendy followed. The Presbytery were beaten, and an obnoxious pastor was ordained. Then came on the notorious case of Marnock, and the servile Presbytery of Strathbogie. The assembly deposed them, and the State hesitated to go to extremities. Chalmers and his party would not concede to the State a control in purely spiritual as well as temporal matters. Reform in the Church he fought for, but stood aloof from aid in the State. No compromise on the question of spiritual independence. In face of the Court of Session, Chalmers went to Strath bogie and preached in the interdicted parishes.
In 1842 Chalmers urged "the putting forth of a formal and final Claim of Rights," on the question of spiritual independence. Here he drew the line of demarcation of the civil and the ecclesiastical tribunals. Chalmers all along held that "the least violation of spiritual independence in return for a State endowment was enough to convert a Church Establishment into a moral nuisance." Two years before the Disruption, "he addressed himself to the consideration of what steps could be taken to carry on evangelical work without any help from the State. He despaired of a Free Established Church. He wished to spread abroad "that education of principle which would prove the only counteractive, not to irreligion only, but to vice and anarchy and socialism, and the whole tribe of those moral and political disorders which were in busy fermentation all over the land.page 68
In 1843, on the 18th of May, the conflict of ten years culminated in the Disruption. Dr Chalmers headed the exodus of ministers to the Canon Mills. Dr. Cumming of London advised the Government to be firm, and predicted "that less than one hundred will cover the whole secession." Now nearly five hundred ministers vacated their churches, manses, and glebes. In 1853, Sir James Graham openly "regretted his share in bringing about the Disruption. "He regarded it "as the saddest event in his life, that he should have had any hand in that most fatal act." Lord Jeffrey said "I am proud of my country. There is not another country upon earth where such a deed could have been done." The Assembly of a Free Church in a Free State was an imposing spectacle, "with consciences disburdened and casting themselves without care and with all the confidence of children on the providence of that God who never forsakes the families of the faithful." Dr Chalmers was unanimously elected Moderator.
"O send thy light forth and thy truth;
Let them be guides to me."
It is recorded that " a sudden burst of sunlight filled the building, and recalled to many present the text from which the Moderator had preached six months before: "Unto the up right light shall arise in the darkness." The genius of Chalmers was equal to the occasion. "There was a financial report ready to be submitted to the Assembly. 687 associations for the collection of funds for the support of the ministry had been already organised. 239 of these had actually sent £17,000 to the general treasury." Chalmers was not a Utopian. There are now—thanks to the sustentation fund of Dr. Chalmers—over one thousand congregations, with annual fund of £176,000. With enthusiasm, Chalmers possessed practical sagacity. In rooms in George Street, the New College was opened in November, under the presiding of Chalmers, assisted by Drs. Welsh, Cunningham, and Black. Divinity, Church history, Apologetics, and Biblical criticism were taught, ab initio. Other chairs soon followed.
Drs Duncan and Fleming were appointed to teach Hebrew and National History. Messrs. Macdougal, Fraser and Miller taught Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, and Classics. The last four chairs, in due course, were abolished, and two of their occupants were transferred to the University of Edinburgh—Fraset is still alive, in Hamilton's chair. From all quarters of Christendom Chalmers received expressions of sympathy. In the Assembly of 1845, Merle D'Aubigne, Frederic Monod, and Kuntze of Berlin appeared as deputies from their respective churches. D'Aubigne says, that when Chalmers, who introduced the deputies, appeared, "the whole audience rose, shouted, page 69 clapped their hands, and waved hats and handkerchiefs." The result of all this was the formation of the Evangelical Alliance. Chalmers taught that "the surest road to right-thinking was right doing. Let us be one in well-doing; and this, wherever there is real sincerity and right good earnest, will prove the high road to being one in sentiment. How Chalmers himself transformed the West Port is a matter of history. This shows what a good and great man can accomplish in the reclamation of the fallen and degraded masses. In 1879, the West Port Church had a membership of 1100 souls.
On the 7th of May, 1847, he went up to London to give evidence before a Committee of Inquiry regarding the conduct of heritors who refused to grant sites for churches. He became acquainted with Sir Charles Lyell, and the Bishop of Gloucester on this occasion, and visited Carlyle, Carlyle approved of his territorial system, and, pronounced a "eulogy on direct thinking to the utter disparagement of those subjective philosophers who are constantly thinking upon thinking."
On the 30th of May, in his own manse at Morningside, he died. He was clearly an instrument of God "to roll back the tide of irreligion." Like Paul, he was converted to God. What might have been the consequence, had he turned his talents against Christainity? It is fearful to contemplate a Chalmers throwing all his energies, bodily and mental, against the Church of Christ. "We should have seen him taking the lead at congresses, discussing the origin of matter, or fighting, as if the welfare of the world depended on it, for some knotty point connected with the obliquity of the Ecliptic. The relation of a mind like his to Christianity could not be always that of indifference or neutrality. If he had not been moved to come over to its side, he might have been led to lift up his hand against it, and so to the hostile forces of the present day might have been added the element of a soul, which, whether for good or for evil, would be always influential."
So much for Walker's life of Thomas Chalmers.
Religion in the Palace.
Here is a nice little book of eight sermons, preached before the Queen. Two of these discourses were delivered at the parish church of Crathie, and six of them were given in Balmoral Castle. The author of these sermons is the Rev. A. A. Campbell, minister of Crathie. These sermons are, indeed, sweet and simple—sensible and suggestive—seasonable and significant.
The first sermon, on "The burdens of life, social and solitary," sets forth in clear light one of the many apparent con- page 70 tradictions which constitute the glories of the Bible. While I we are enjoined to bear "one another's burdens," it is equally encumbent upon "every man to bear his own burden."
Sympathy is really a beautiful thing, and Adam Smith makes it the foundation of morals; but .nevertheless every man has actually to bear (a) the burden of affliction, (b) the burden of responsibility, the burden of sin, &c.
The silly freethinker—the iufidel,—the fanatic take up isolated texts and dwell upon one side of a truth, and thus pervert the oracles of Reason as well as of Revelation. "A fanatic is just a man who sees only a small part of the truth, who gets a hold of that part, and carries it to an extreme—to such an extreme that it becomes to him at last the whole truth, and be degenerates into error."
Sermon—the second—on "The Father's House," evinces the exceeding tenderness of Christ. "There are those who think lightly of the religion of Christ—there are those who disbelieve and reject it; but it seems to me that so long as it can give such an answer as this to men in the deepest need, so long as it meets and satisfies as it does the most anxious questionings that can fill a human breast, so long will it keep its hold upon the heart of humanity. We cannot afford to give it up. Give us something better. Tell us whither else to turn in those hours when the heart must receive some answer or break."
In the hour of death and of sorrow hear the words of tenderest sympathy and of sweetest promise and helpful consolation—"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me." Christ goes on to give his sorrowing disciples a really sufficient "reason why the heart, troubled at the thought of separation, may rise above its troubles." There is nothing more lovely in man or woman than faith, trust, love, and confidence. "In my Father's house are many mansions." Why, then, if you really believe my words, are you so inconsolable? "Faith in the words, and faith in Him who spoke them, will leave no room for trouble—no room, at least, for that element of hopelessness which gives to the trouble of the stricken heart its sharpest sting." After this touch of tenderness, Christ adds, parenthetically, "If it were not so, I would have told you." Do you think, for one moment, that I could have deceived you? "If there were no Father's house, no room there, no hope beyond this life—nothing before you but death and the grave, and blackness or blankness for ever—it would have been told you. Dear as you are to me, the truth is dearer still, and you should have known it, no matter what the cost. Christ could not have been false, even to save a heart from breaking; and if He who dared not, who could not, lie, tells us in the most calm, most direct, most unmistakeable way that the Father's house is there, and that, to that house an entrance shall be ministered page 71 abundantly unto all God's children, we need surely have no difficulty in accepting His words."
Our Divine Redeemer gives even additional consolation to the disciples and also to all believers, whan he says,—"I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Did ever bridegroom salute the bride with words of deeper tenderness. Hard must be the heart that cannot respond to these singularly pathetical words' of consolation. To be with the object of our love, is not that happiness; but to be with Christ himself, is not that heaven itself for his disciples? "This was all the heaven they asked. To be with Christ was, to them, the fulness of joy. Apart from Him, heaven itself would not be heaven." The Religion of Christ pours the healing balm of hope into the downcast soul of man. In the hour of death it upholds the believer, and, at the gate of the cemetery the friends and relatives of the deceased are really consoled when they hear the good minister reciting these sweet and doubly re-assuring words of our blessed Saviour—"I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
Sermon—the third—on The uses of adversity, is a beautiful exposition of the great truth that "man is born into trouble." The existence of the trouble and affliction is the direct consequence of sin: and really the mystery of sin and of suffering, and the indissoluble connection between the two are not so great and dark and insoluble as Divines and Metaphysicians make them out to be. Doubtless they are, like many other things, surrounded with mystery; but Revelation assures us that all things work together for good to the children of God. "To all in trouble would I say, begin not with the thought of your troubles, but begin with the thought of your Heavenly Father's love. Looking up to Him, and clinging to Him, your heart will cut the knot which the intellect cannot uuravel." Leaving the mysterious side of suffering, "which we can only get over by a firm faith in God's love, it is also true that, taking things as we find them in the world, affliction has its clear use, and that it works for great ends, and these ends good." This is sufficiently inculcated in the preacher's text "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peacable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby."
Mr. Campbell adduces various uses of adversity in the course of his discourse. First, it "prevents too entire a resting on the world, and the things of the world." Again, affliction, trial, adversity, are calculated to draw us nearer to God."By such trials we are brought to feel nothing but God only "can page 72 satisfy the cravings of our spirits and fill the void of our hearts." Afflictions and sorrows, disappointments and bereavements teach us the salutary lesson that "there is no profit under the sun." Furthermore, adversity is "a true test of our faith." It is easy in the sunshine of prosperity to believe in God; but "to cling to God, and to follow Him where He leads, be the shadows ever so deep, or the path ever so full of thorns," is not such an easy matter. The believer comes out of his sufferings, like gold out of the furnace, purified from dross, and he will shine, like a polished diamond, in his native effulgence of grace and goodness. Adversity is a school of discipline to develop within us "what is highest and best;" without it we cannot be perfect.
Self-Renunciation is the theme of the fourth sermon. It is, in these stupid times of ours, much needed. The text is one of the profoundest utterances of Christ, "He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Mr Campbell opens his discourse upon these words in a singularly felicitous way—"There are some of Christ's sayings which strike us as being the very perfection of concentrated expression. The words may be few, but around them gathers a meaning which seems ever to grow the more we think upon them. Just as through the narrowest chink the most splendid prospect may be obtained, so often through one little saying of Christ's we obtain views of truth which are unlimited; or limited only as our view of the boundless ocean is limited—by our inability to take in more of the glorious prospect." The text sums up the life of Christ. It "contains the deepest principle of his kingdom—the law of every true life—the only law by which we can attain to his true self."
This saying of Christ is far a-head of the world's wisdom; it is pregnant with an undevoloped ocean of meaning. It is apparently contradictory and sounds paradoxical. Here is, indeed, a glorious paradox—and is not Genius itself a paradox?—"Gain through loss, a higher blessing through the sacrifice of a lower." The great law of Christ's kingdom is self-sacrifice, Even "the world instinctively acknowledges the grand principle that the truest gain is through loss, the truest greatness through sacrifice. To seek self, to save self, comes naturally to man. To act on this principle is of the spirit of the world; yet there a nothing which the world at heart more thoroughly despises than this self-seeking self-saving spirit." Bad as the world is, it nevertheless "instinctively recognises the greatness of the life of sacrifice." Christ's words are of universal and eternal application. In all things, and in all places and times, "selfishness is fatal to all that is high, noble, and good. It shrivels up the soul as nothing else does. Sin is but another name for sett seeking."page 73
The parable of the prodigal son is a practical commentary upon this law. He sought to secure the lower life, and lost the higher. "He thought he was finding his life when he came to his father with the request "Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me." How could he be other than enriched by coming into such possesion? But his poverty only began with the moment of his seeming enrichment, He found the life which he sought, but in the very finding of it he lost the life most worth seeking. Nothing is more unselfish than love, yet nothing more enlarges life. In loving we throw self away—we lose ourselves in the object of our love; yet it is not to find ourselves again enlarged, enriched, intensified? The greatest giver is God, who also is the greatest lover; yet who so great in being, so rich in life as He? If ever a life was given away it was the life of Christ. Of many things he was accused, but never of this, that he manifested a self-seeking, or self-saving spirit, that he made personal comfort, or advantage, or glory, the aim and object of His life. Men have ideals, and they crave for some realisation of them. Was ever ideal of obsolute self-renunciation entertained by man that does not find its most perfect fulfilment in Christ. His cross not only ends His life; it represents it—it sums it up. On it He finally gave the life which He had been giving all along." Without this spirit of self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-surrender, we cannot be really Christians. Christ "furnishes us with the truest motive—for My sake. How much is embraced in these words? for the sake of all that is good, noble, and true." Self-renunciation is clear and only path to happiness. But when will the world come to act practically upon this universal principle of Christ? Whatever men may feel in their hearts, in their outward deportment selfishness appears to be the pole-star of life. Mere wealth is insanely honoured, and magnanimous poverty is openly dispised." Notwithstanding, "He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it."
Sermon the fifth, on "The service of patience," is a masterly moral disquisition. Antiquity chiefly reverenced and rewarded the active instead "of the passive virtues." Even in modern times, "the meed of praise is apt to go to those whose virtues take the more active form." In all activity there is an element which attracts the notice of the world. There is a bustle and noise attending it which cannot fail to arrest attention. But Christ has a rule for His own followers, as David had for his; yea, the rule is precisely the same. To watchers and fighters, to waiters and workers, Christ says, if not in words, at least by His life, and by the whole spirit of His teaching,—Ye shall part alike. What is Genius but infinite patience? By patience Christ conquered the world. When we are reviled, despoiled of our goods, and daily insulted and injured, while the page 74 mean, the vile, and the stupid are rewarded, it may be out of our spoils, let us possess our souls in patience, by the consideration of Him who gave all and got nothing. Our business is to be "faithful in holding the post assigned to us by our Captain, whether it be one of doing or suffering, of going down to the battle, or tarrying by the stuff." When our faith is beginning to waver, when the clouds of life gather thick, and our light is almost turned into darkness, let us fortify our souls by the remembrance of such characters as Moses, Job, Socrates, and, above all, of Christ, and rest assured that we shall, in due course, receive the crown of glory.
"As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike." Patience as well as victory shall inherit the laurel wreath. They also serve who only stand and wait. In times of trials and persecutions, let us always remember the words of the 46th Psalm,—A strong fortress is our God
The sixth sermon, on "Love, the fulfilling of the law," is a really sweet piece of meditation on the Gospel of Christ. We feel as if we were bodily sitting in the Church of Crathie, and listening to the words—the gracious words—that proceeded from the mouth of the good preacher. Every word is well studied, as it ought to be, before it is audibly expressed in the ears of the most exalted personage on earth.
The seventh sermon, on "Uniformity not essential to unity," is really a philosophical dissertation, which is greatly needed in these flippant times of infidelity. All good men seek the same end, only by diverse means. The different sects are only different regiments of the Christian army. Unity in the midst of variety. The preacher's similes are drawn from the different members of the human body. "As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ."
Separate functions, different gifts, but one spirit pervading all. "Unity of which variety is one of the most marked characteristics." This central law pervades nature. What variety of characters in the disciples of Christ! Again, look at Luther and Melancthon! Actuated by the same spirit, and labouring for the same great end, "yet no two men ever differed more in their natural characteristics, or sought to gain the end by more diverse ways. In Luther, action, force, intrepidity, whole-souled earnestness, found their very embodiment; while his fellow-reformer was all that was mild, gentle, conciliatory. The one felt the truth as if by instinct, and, rushing to it, took his stand upon it; the other came to it more quietly and gradually through exercise of thought and reason. The living Head was one; but how different in themselves and in their functions were the members!" Trace the same unity and variety in the Presby- page 75 terian and Anglican Church—the lengthened shadows of Knox and Cranmer. The text "teaches us that however men may wish to make everything conform to one standard—that standard of course their own—God refuses to have his Church compressed within such miserably narrow limits." Let us all seek to be animated by the spirit of Christ, and then it matters little to what outward section of the Christian army we may belong. Outward uniformity is only of secondary importance; but unity of spirit—a union with the living Christ—that is the sine qua non of religion.
Sermon the eighth, on "Self Control," is a really splendid ethical dissertation "Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." The one is a warrior; the other a philosopher. The one is often captured by one supreme effort, and always attended with glory. Homer's "Iliad" is the record of the "taking of a city." But Achilles could not subdue his ungovernable passions. Fortune often decides the victory. But "the victory over self—this is the true victory; and greater than the Alexanders or Cæsars of the world is he who achieves it." This is a victory that is to be gained over spiritual enemies, and "the very loneliness of spiritual struggle adds to the hardness of the strife and the glory of the victory." The eyes of the world are upon the warrior—his companions in arms encourage him and share his dangers; but this combat is to be waged in the closet—in the recesses of the heart. "In the depths of his spirit the struggle goes on, and what does the world know or care about it? It can neither stimulate him by its applauses nor goad him on by fear of its censure." The man is literally cast "entirely upon his own resources, so far at least as earthly help is concerned." The battle is either "lost or won" in the inmost recesses of our being—deep down in the silence of the lonely soul does the struggle go on."
After referring to Christ's temptation in the wilderness and to his agony in the garden, as the two mightiest of spiritual struggles, the preacher goes on to observe: "It is as through temptation, sharp and bitter, we see the battle won, that we recognise what a noble battle it is. It is as through agony and sweat we see self mastered, passion subdued, evil repelled, that we realise, in their deepest meaning, the truth of the words, Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." To achieve this victory constancy and steadfastness are indispensably necessary. We are "engaged in a warfare which can only end with our existence here." The hero may take his city by storm, or at most in a few years; but "he who would gain and keep the rule over self has no such speedily accomplished task before him. Only when he lays down his life can he lay down his arms. This is that which makes the spiritual strife so hard for flesh and blood to maintain."page 76
Our warfare is daily, hourly, and every moment of our existence to be waged against passions, appetites and propensities. Mr. Campbell says well,—"If by one supreme effort we could for ever master self, and put a curb on all the passions, and subdue the stubborn will, so that the battle once won, would be won for ever, how we should strain every nerve to make the victory secure! But what tries us so much is that the battle is never done; that it must be renewed from day to day; that as surely as the evil thought will again rise within our heart, or the angry word fall from our lips, or the impure or dishonest action east its dark stain upon the soul, so surely must the evil be grappled with afresh, and the strife still maintained with unfailing energy and zeal." Our enemies are not carnal, but spiritual. As the blessed apostle says:—"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Without God's grace we cannot make successful head against passion's host that never brooked control. These sermons are replete with wisdom and religion. The Church of Scotland has no need to fear disestablishment and disendowment, when she has men of the character and culture of a Campbell within her walls and adorning her pulpits. These are by far the sweetest sermons I have read for many a day. There is no fanaticism, no bigotry, no vulgarity in any of them. Every sentence—like a well-polished stone in a building—contributes to the beauty and perfection of the sermon taken as a finished whole. These admirable sermons are "published by command of Her Majesty." Such a mandate reflects much credit upon Queen Victoria's perception of the true, the good, and the beautiful in morals and religion.
Lays of the Deer Forest.
This is an exceedingly rare work, in two volumes, [unclear: octavo]. The authors are mysterious branches [of the ill-fated House of Stuart. John Sobieski and Charles Edward Stuart dedicate this work to Louisa Sobieski Stuart. Let us take a few bricks out of this edifice by way of sample.
"And never in Moray was maiden fair,
But, on her face if turned his eyes,
Bright to her cheek the blood should rise."
"When as he saw the maiden bright,
Forth from the boughs he bounded light,
And to his footstep, as he came,
The flowers might seem to bend with shame.
He was as bright as sunshine fair,
And his light step as free as air;
page 77 And in the sun his golden hair
Seemed to shake off a radiance bright,
As if it waved with amber light.
His brow was like the lily flower,
His eye the sun-drop in the shower,
And all his form so fragile fair,
Like a bright angel of the air."
"Day on the white Himala rose,
And tinged with red and dazzling snows,
Touching her forehead with a flush,
Like a pale virgin's fleeting blush."
"But if my father's fate be mine,
And like the last lone mountain pine,
Blasted, and bent, and leafless still,
I wither on my lonely hill,
Toward the gleam thy bank that warms,
Shall spread my wan and wasted arms."
"But o'er thy fair and cloudless brow,
The light of spring is beaming now,
And thy bright eyes and locks upon,
Shines lovely summer's coming sun."
"The lovely cheek, the peerless mould,
Shall shrink and fade, and wither cold
"Land of my fathers! Through Culloden's gloom
There shines a light of glory on thy tomb,
A star which to posterity shall tell
How the base conquered, and the noble fell."
"For desolation reigns in Holyrood,
And in the sacred dust the regal strewed,
The bones of princes whiten in the air."
"Land of the brave, our hearts have wept for all
Thou hast endured for us, and in our fall
We mourn the desolation, scorn, and woe,
Which to a humbled province brought thee low—
A hundred years of exile now have run,
Since red Culloden's bloody field was won,
And all have long been summoned to that bar—
The dread tribunal, where no passions jar."
"—Justice gives the seal, and truth shall fix
The curse of crime upon The forty-six."
"Sweet Divie! how thy murmuring floods,
Thy dewy banks and weeping woods,
Recall the bright and thoughtless dream,
When I was like thy dancing stream,
When all my glad and sunny hours,
Like thy sweet banks, were strewed with flowers,
And boyhood's care, and joy, and fray
Swept on the tide of youth away,
As down the stream, in giddy whirl,
The sparkling foam and bubbles curl."
"Maiden, before my clouded sight
Thou rose, a star upon the night
Of my dark spirit—pure as light—
But like the parting sunset given—
Too late for earth—a hope for heaven,
A hope yet there to meet again
Beyond this world of grief and pain."
"Forgive! forgive! O I was lost—
My soul in maddening visions dreaming—
Forgive me, maiden—now 'tis past,
The radiance of thy soft eyes beaming
Broke the wild trance—then think no more
Of that dark dream—'tis gone, 'tis o'er."
"Scotland awake—why sleep'st thou now
Beneath the yoke that galls thy brow?
Land of the brave, the fair, the free,
Hark to the voice of liberty.
Land of the Bruce, awake, reply,
Assert your rights, avenge, or die!
Break now your chain, be free, ye brave,
Nor live degraded,—England's slave."
"Land of the warrior clans—my father's land,
Land of the plume, the helmet, and the brand,
Land of the deer and eagle—the last shell,
The parting shell I drink to thee,—farewell!"
"Behold, like Greece degraded and betrayed,
The abject realm a Saxon province made,
The holy cloister and the regal hall
Cast to the dust—abandoned to its fall.
The crown, a bauble for the vulgar stare,
Like penny monster in a village fair.
The princely city, Albion's northern queen.
Forsaken like a mourning village green
The grass-grown streets and palace all bereft,
A scorn and scandal to the stranger left."
The royal brothers hit hard at some unknown enemy in these verses.
"Malignant reptile!—When your malice free
Blotted the best and fairest, what might we
In name, and faith obnoxious, hope from ye?
The asps, and adders, and the scorpion sting
Of thine own conscience, thy dark soul shall wring."
"Edina, Scotia's darling Seat,—
Where once beneath a monarch's feet
Sat Legislation's sovereign power."