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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

The English Evangelical Clergy

The English Evangelical Clergy.

The Rev. Dr. Peal's, a well-known clergyman of the Evangelical school, in a visitation sermon preached last June, and lately published, expresses himself as follows: "Of all misfortunes which "may happen to the Church, none surely "is more disastrous than that the clergy "should be behind their age; that, "while the laity, led by a few eager and "active intellects, are pushing on into "new fields of inquiry, every day "widening the range of speculation, and "venturing on ground before thought "dangerous or untenable, the appointed "guides and teachers of the people "should be found toiling far in the rear, "treading the old worn path of definitions and dogmas, or aiming pointless "shafts at positions which have been "long since abandoned." Bearing this undoubted truth in view, it may be worth while to examine in an impartial spirit what the present position of the Evangelical clergy is; how far they have developed, how far mistaken, the principles upon which the great religious movement of the end of last century was based; what is the attitude which they collectively assume towards the rest of the Church; and what are the prospects of the party which is under their direction. It is in the existence of a healthy republic of intellect that much of the freedom of a nation lies; and that it contributes to this, by appealing to the judgment of the laity, is the benefit, and the only benefit, which the polemic warfare of the clergy can bestow.

For, in regard of its original principles, those which gave it power and success, the Evangelical party seems at first sight to have outlived its work. It started with certain ideas, proposed certain springs of action, of which it would not be entirely true to say that it is not still in possession, but of which it is undeniable that it has no longer a monopoly. The impulse has spread; the waves have widened till their centre has faded from view. If now an artificial attempt be made to retain the influence which was then so beneficial, and which, having served its legitimate use, has to some extent decayed, the attempt must fail, as will fail all other attempts page 114 to procure or keep power on false pretences; nor will the case be better, if any new principles are set up as substitutes for the old, and props for a falling party. The principles of which the Evangelical school was at first the expositor were chiefly two: it gave prominence to the intimate individual relation of each person to the unseen world; and it insisted strongly on the distinction between membership of the visible Church and the inner and mysterious communion within and independent of it. It was with these two subjects that all sermons were then filled, all social unions coloured, all missions inspired; and it was by them that men's hearts were excited to a new and wonderful life. There were then no tests of orthodoxy, no signing of articles, no appeal to the sentence of the multitude; even on the most serious topics, as whenever a great cause is being promoted, there was not unanimity of thought. They had then no journals of sectarian warfare, no shibboleths of personal adherence; it was the spirit, and not the letter, that made alive. The memoirs of Wesley, Grimshaw, and Wilberforce are full indeed of questions of doctrine; but it was on those greater realities that all the questions hung. Venn, of Huddersfield, says, in a letter dated August 12, 1778: "But never, on any account, "dispute. Debate is the work of the "flesh. No one is ever found disputing "about such external matters" (the question was one of baptism) "till "sorrow for sin, till love for Christ, and "communion with Him, . . . are departed from the heart entirely, or very "much enfeebled." Even Simeon, in 1829, writes, "I have neither taste nor "talent for controversy; nor do I on "the whole envy those by whom such "taste and talent are possessed." It is important to observe this feature of the new sect, which worked its way by the innate strength of its principles, not by the force of its associations, the nobility of its chairmen of meetings, or the circulation of its Thersitean prints. There are many now who remember its later years; who could tell how in the midst of neglect and hatred Cecil and Newton made men young again with visions of great aims and destinies, and Wilberforce spoke bravely and calmly of the strange experiences of the new life.

How has this spirit prevailed? How far has it altered? How far has it been supplanted by forms, and its motives of action petrified into prejudices? It is a sad and strange law which makes the second generation invariably seize on the accidents, instead of the substance, of the things which ennobled the first. It is true, indeed, that the one principle of individual religious life did assert itself so thoroughly that, while no party has lost it, all have gained much of its influence: beyond this, what has the present Evangelical party to show which will distinctively exhibit its character, and give it a right to perpetuate itself to the disunion of the Church? The party is remarkable at present chiefly for three things;—its social theories, its polemic organization, and its philanthropic activity. Besides this, it takes a very marked line on intellectual subjects, and pretends to a severity of conservatism on points of doctrine. In each of these topics it may be interesting to trace, where it is still traceable, the results of the original motive power, especially with regard to the attitude of the clergy, before offering a judgment on the position of the party collectively.

Perhaps that fatal law of the petrifaction of a principle into a canon is nowhere more evident than in the social theories of the Evangelical party. With them separation from "the world" was at first recommended, as it was to the early Christians, not as a valuable rule of life, but as almost a necessity of their being. It was not asceticism; it was not Puritanism; it was not a code of behaviour binding clergy chiefly, laity partially. Macaulay's keen remark on the objection of the Puritans to bull-baiting is well known: they objected, not because it gave pain to the bull, but because it gave pleasure to the spectator. But it was a different principle from this which animated Romaine, and Berridge, and Talbot They had no difficulties as page 115 to where to draw the line between carnal and lawful amusements,—between "worldly vanity" and necessary intercourse with men. They simply felt that they were a peculiar people, and their life was a sanctified one. Such a principle as this must, at the first attempt to reduce it to a code, result in utter failure. Wesley could well say, and without affectation, to his followers, "You have no more business to be gentlemen than to be dancing-masters." Cecil writes, "It is a snare to a minister "when in company to be drawn out to "converse largely on the state of the "funds and the news of the day and urges that such conversation "gives a "consequence to these pursuits which "does not belong to them." This is the very spirit of the apostles; in our own day it appears only in a setting of external ordinances, and such advice as that of Mr. Ryle,—"A minister ought "not to spend a whole evening in speaking merely of politics. ... I do not "mean to say we ought to be preaching "in every room we enter; but," &c. What now remains of that old spirit is simply a set of practical rules directed against some of the most popular amusements of the day, and enforced with an arbitrary severity of which the rest of the community is little aware. It is thought wrong, for example, for those who profess a religious life to cultivate the drama in any form, except that of reading Shakspeare; to attend horseraces—regattas are allowed—or evening parties where there is dancing, there being no objection to "at homes." Some out of door games are lawful: clergymen, however, must not play cricket or follow game. One of Lord Palmerston's bishops, it is stated in a weekly journal, not long ago refused to admit a candidate to orders until he gave a distinct pledge to give up shooting. In the evening, all may play chess, or minor games of chance; but the more intellectual rubber is strictly forbidden. The Rev. W. Mackenzie, in his sketch of Bickersteth's life, expresses this curiously enough: "It could not be said" that cither father or mother was a "person of spiritual religion; indeed "the father had no scruple about a "game at cards, and the mother," &c. All Evangelical people may drink wine; but clergymen, at all events, must not smoke. Works of fiction are to some extent countenanced, though under protest. With respect to music, opinion is not accurately formed. The oratorio is the debated ground; and a dignitary of the Church was loudly attacked a few years since for having attended Exeter Hall in the evening. The chief religious organ of the party is constantly engaged in publishing the names of clergymen,—and even the families of clergymen,—who have lately been present at balls, a practice in which it is not pleasant to be obliged to confess that some leading Evangelical ministers are little behind it. "Do you find there the godly?" says one, alluding to balls; "I think not." (Sermon on Gal. vi. 15.) Now it would clearly be of no use here to argue that to create an artificial separation between one part of the Church and the rest is a system totally opposed to the constitution of man and the idea of Christianity; that it is directly contrary to the custom of the early Church, and the precepts of the apostles; that it creates vast ill-feeling, and still vaster jealousy and censoriousness. It would be of still less use to prove that it is entirely repugnant to the principles of the Church service, and inconsistent with the very words of the Liturgy. But, in looking at the present position of the body which professes these views, it is impossible not to see that it is in this code of ordinances, more than in any other point, that they exhibit a falling off from their original moving force; that they conciliate least respect, and secure most enemies; that they do least good to others, and produce most disloyalty amongst those of their own number who obey in practice the laws against which in their hearts they rebel.

The creed of social intercourse of which we have been speaking is sustained partly by the inherent vitality which seems to attach most signally to all formal legislation when the spirit page 116 which produced it has decayed or altered; and partly by the lay-organization of the school by which it is professed. This organization is not the less powerful from being indirect, or less operative from being in great measure unacknowledged and unaccredited. Clergymen have remarked in our hearing, "There is no such name as Evangelical "formally adopted by the party; we "are not a party, and have no party "titles." We could produce evidence, if necessary, to show that the title is formally adopted by those who are recognized as leaders; and that not casually, but purposely, and as a distinctive appellation. It was to a collective body, not a mere mass of individuals, that the Earl of Shaftesbury, during the late war, addressed, as though from some Vatican, his instructions as to the side which his followers were to favour in their prayers: and it is to a united sect, and not a mass of units, that the Record alludes when it speaks of "Christian people." It may perhaps be worth while to examine a little more fully into the nature and extent of this organization. One of its most characteristic features is, that it includes a very largo lay element. All who pay any attention to the subject are familiar with the names of numbers of laymen,—noblemen, bankers, retired officers, and others,—without whom no combined action takes place, and without whose authority no new step is considered to be satisfactorily accredited. There are many names whose duty it is to serve simply as guarantees to the provinces of the peculiar character of any movement, polemic or otherwise; and that they can serve no other object is evident from the fact that they appear so often, that the gentlemen who lend them could by no possibility attend in practice to all the interests which they profess to direct. At the head of these stands one nobleman, whose name it would be an affectation to omit. That any one man should have the directing power which Lord Shaftesbury possesses, should appoint bishops, preside at every great assembly, control personally nearly every leading man, inspire the press, represent in Parliament the interests of the party, and that on the strength simply of a good life and great activity in philanthropic movements, without extreme personal popularity, without distinguished talent for business, without commanding eloquence, without extensive knowledge, without profoundness of thought, without much soundness of judgment,—is a fact as strange as it is unfortunate;—unfortunate because it shows the change in the party, thus crystallized no less in its personnel than in its principles. Of the methods, however, by which the party is controlled,—without enlarging upon the Evangelical press, the office and power of which is well known, and accurately appreciated,—the first that deserves mention is the influence of constant changes in the subject of agitation suggested. An army long engaged at any one work becomes demoralised; give variety to their labours, and discipline is at once secured, "Let them have plenty of marching," said Lamoricière of the Irish Brigade. Perhaps the time of great protests and declarations is now passed, when it was possible for any canvassing secretary to cast his eye over a printed list of his party, affirming as one man their prescribed adherence to this doctrine, or regulated abhorrence of that innovation. But whether it be a Gorham case or a Denison case, a Crystal Palace movement or a movement against Sunday bands, the cause of Indian education or the cause of a grant to Maynooth, the drill is unceasing. More than one "alliance" adopt it as their business to circulate among the clergy of theirschool information as to the progress of each battle, and instruction as to the petitions and funds which are to support the combatants engaged. The loyalty of each disciple is as well known by the petitions which he presents to Parliament from his parish, and the manner in which he receives the deputation from each "parent society," as the fig-tree is known by its fruit. It is this working together, this simultaneity of action, that gives its coherence to every result; that induces Mr. Ryle page 117 to speak of the rest of the clergy of the Church of England as "our adversaries;" that enables Canon Stowell to quote the text which speaks of the heavenly wisdom as "first pure, then peaceable," with the suggestive comment, "Purity first, peace afterwards."

Perhaps, however, organization depends more on the distribution of patronage than on any other element. The Evangelical school may be fairly said to have now in their hands the appointment of all the bishops, and about half the deans. The Evangelical bishops have on the whole been more successful than might have been expected; but, if the system is continued long, an entire preponderance of men wedded to a particular system must be very dangerous. Another arrangement, which secures a large number of the most important livings to the same party is that of trusteeship. A certain number of clergymen, who succeed by co-optation, are entrusted, by legacies and subscriptions, with the power of appointing to some of the largest, though often not the most lucrative cures of the Church. One of the most important of these is that which is known as Simeon's trust: which bestows the livings of Bath, Clifton, Derby, Cheltenham, Bradford, Beverley, and many others. It need hardly be said, that all the appointments are of one character.1

But the Evangelical "Carlton" is the Church Pastoral-aid Society. This is an association, now in the twenty-sixth year of its existence, forsupplying curates and Scripture-readers to populous places. The primary object is of course purely philanthropic; and no one will for a moment deny the vast amount of aid which it renders to the working clergy. But this is not all. The society requires, whenever a grant is given, that the assistant who is appointed to the parish shall be approved by the Committee, and subject to their veto if his principles are not such as are thought deserving of aid. Now, considering that the working members of the Committee are all of the strongest school of Evangelicals, it is not to be wondered at if the association is universally looked upon as the most active instrument of propagandism now existing. All the energies of the party are directed to its support. Three thousand clergymen give it active assistance. Its annual income, from subscriptions, exceeds 40,000l.; and it is a condition, expressed or implied, of every grant, that the recipient of the bounty shall undertake to urge the Society's claims on his congregation, at least on one stated occasion in the year. In some cases, leading men of the party do so on the distinct plea of its party character. Indeed, in the last report, the Committee draw particular attention to the evangelical nature of their principles, and ask their clerical friends to point it out more prominently' to their flocks. They publish distinct attacks, not only on Romanism—one of their select preachers is described by his biographer as looking on popery with hatred and terror, "as if he saw the whole system steaming direct from Hell,"—but also on Puseyism. The following is a passage from one Incumbent's grateful letter, which is printed with official approbation:—

"Another case has struck me much. "A young man, highly educated and in "a responsible position, had been greatly "attracted by Puseyism. He had long "attended a Puseyite place of worship; "but, seeing a controversial lecture advertised, he determined to come and "hear it. He did so, and was so deeply "impressed, that he has never since returned to his former Church. He is "now a most valuable help to me."—(P. 38.)

The employment of lay agency, it may be mentioned, is an instrument of much power in the hands of the Evangelicals, some of whom push it to a remarkable excess. One clergyman of a manufacturing town last year himself appointed thirty lay-missionaries to hold prayer-meetings in his parish. One society, a very good and useful one, is established for the purpose of supplying these lay agents to the metropolis, and

1 The present trustees are the Rev. Messrs. Auriol, Carus, Holland, Marsh, and Venn.

page 118 has more than a hundred in its pay. It is conducted on the same principles as the Pastoral-Aid. Indeed the arrangements of most of the religious societies is of an evangelical cast: and there are few in whose Exeter Hall meetings an attack on some other party of the Church is not received with the heartiness of cheering which only polemic zeal can raise. The Church Missionary Society, which has existed sixty years, which has revolutionized whole nations in the interest of civilisation and Christianity, whose converts are numbered by the hundred thousand, does service also as a party engine. Established in imitation of methodist and baptist associations for the same cause, and from the first under the guidance of Pratt, Thornton, Venn, and other Evangelicals of heroic mould, its committee-rooms are still headquarters of party agency, its officers the chief promoter's of the cause, and its publications contain elaborate attacks on Tractarianism.1 "In "its choice of men," says its select preacher in 1858, "the Church Missionary Society has erred rather in "excess than in defect of holy jealousy. "And thus, directly or indirectly, it has "become a rally-point and bulwark in "our Church. . . . Let the Church Missionary Society be cajoled or frightened, "and many an Eli would tremble."

There is again another means of united action which has been devised of late years for the same object,—clerical meetings. It has long been customary for the clergy of many districts to meet for conversation and mutual encouragement, though the custom has been chiefly adopted by those of the Evangelical school. But within the last few years a system of monster meetings has been brought into play. There assemble, at stated periods, around some well-known chief, a large number,—sometimes two or three hundred,—of those clergymen who are known to be of sound views, with a very few favoured laymen. Addresses are delivered, sermons preached, and statements made. Young clergymen make the acquaintance of the great leaders, some of whom are on such occasions never wanting: and from them they learn how war is waged, and battles won. In London, the time of the May Meetings in Exeter Hall is known as one of general rendezvous, and it is then that the inner circle of champions hold council on their policy and prospects. The largo meetings are held at various places; one, the origin, we believe, of the rest, at Weston-super-Mare; one at Peterborough, one at Bristol, a large one at Islington; and others. The addresses are prepared with great care, special subjects being generally allotted beforehand to each speaker; and they show study, and, except in the case of the chief leaders, a diffident sense of the greatness of the occasion. A small book is now before us, containing the addresses delivered at one of the largest of these meetings in the year 1858. It is called "The Church," is published by Wertheim and Macintosh, and edited by the Rev. Charles Bridges. Dr. McNeile, who is of course one of the speakers, seems to have urged the importance of the meeting, composed, as he says, of the Evangelical clergy of the Church: and reminds his hearers that they are the salt of the whole mass. Canon Stowell follows him in an address of which the following passages are select examples.

"After all, what is the real tendency "of 'broad church principles,' as they "are called? Why the very name is "sufficient to brand them; for we know "that 'broad is the way,' not of truth, "but of error; and that 'narrow is the "way' which leadeth to life eternal"—(P. 19.)

"There is as much hostility in the "carnal mind to the distinctive doctrines "of the gospel now as there was then; "yes, and among the clergy as among "the laymen, however much it may he "reserved or disguised."—(P. 22.)

"There can be (with regard to India) "no longer uncertainty as to what we "have to apprehend, from the way in "which Lord Stanley has spoken out. "I thank God for his candour, while I

1 See, for example, the "Church Missionary Intelligencer," January, 1855.

page 119 "bitterly deplore his godless sentiments."—(P. 38.)

The Rev. J. C. Ryle remarks that Exeter Hall is a fifth estate of the realm. He laments that young men are not as satisfactory as could be wished. "How often, after writing to friends, "and then advertising in the Record, "Evangelical clergymen are obliged to "put up with curates not established in "the faith, and not up to the mark, "simply because no others are to be "met with." He laments that no effort is made to "put out of the Church" men who differ from him in their views of inspiration and future punishment. One more quotation we must give, and then dismiss the discourse with satisfaction:—

"It is not uncommon now to hear of "High-churchmen saying to Evangelical "clergymen, as was said in the time of "Ezra and Nehemiah, by Sanballat and "Tobiah, 'Let us build with you.' But "let us not be taken in by such sophistry. Better build by ourselves, better "let the work go on slowly, than allow "Sanballat and Tobiah to come and "build by our side. I believe that all "communion of that sort, all interchange of pulpits with unsound men, "is to be deprecated, as doing nothing "but harm to the cause of God. I believe that by so doing we endorse the "sentiments of persons who have no "real love of Christ's truth. We enable the High-church party to manufacture ecclesiastical capital out of the "Evangelical clergy, and to make people "believe that we are all one in heart, "when, in reality, we differ in first "principles. From such unity and cooperation we pray to be delivered."

Such are the chief features of the organisation of a powerful and active school in the Church of England. If ever that Church is to be again the Church of the nation, if ever it is to lead a grand attack on vice, and folly, and worldliness, it cannot be by the continuance among this large portion of her clergy of the spirit which seems to animate their collective action. In estimating it, we use no unfair tests; we appeal to no private scandal; we repeat no anecdotes; we quote the dicta only of the leaders of the party. Of individual intolerance we do not complain; it is a fault common to all ages and all parties. We shall not quote the Record; even though some of the leaders acknowledge it as their organ, by publishing their views in its columns, we shall yet not urge against their followers the rancour of which very many of them disapprove. When a minister of a central manufacturing town, who is usually courteous, and a favourable specimen of his school, says that if he knew any clergyman to hold the extreme High Church view of the doctrine of Confession he would not allow him to enter his family—"he could not trust him,"—we have no wish to charge the saying upon all those whose champion he is. But, when in every step that is taken in common by clergymen of this party, in every union for purposes of philanthropy or spiritual communion there springs up at once a polemic spirit, often bitter and always uncompromising, it is a sign that the party in which such can be the case has done its work, is shorn of half its strength for other and holier purposes, and had better die.

But the Evangelical party is redeemed by the working of its parishes. It is to its credit that it is foremost in united schemes of charity: it is to its credit, to some extent, that foreign missions have so increased and spread. But that which saves it from wreck, which atones for its arbitrary social maxims, which partly conceals its obnoxious polemic organization, is the fact that the Evangelical clergy, as a body, are indefatigable in ministerial duties, and devoted, heart and soul, to the manifold labours of Christian love. The school, the savings-bank, the refuge, all the engines of parochial usefulness, find in them, for the most part, hearty supporters and friends. There is a positive literature of parish machinery. We have now before us a small work on the subject by the minister of a large parish in the south-west of London, which gives the details of the administration of such a system. The hardest workers are not generally the page 120 fiercest partisans; and it contains throughout not one word of religious sectarianism or hostile inuendo. Instead, there are practical suggestions and information on topics of which the following are some:—books for the sick, arrangement of pulpit, management of voice, district visitors, psalmody, almoners, Sunday and other schools, maternity fund, early communion, charity sermons, meetings, parish accounts, school books, rewards, confirmation classes, the cooking of rice, relief tickets, penny banks, soup in time of cholera, lending library, cottage lectures, open-air services, working men's seats in church, local collections, and books of memoranda. This parish, we are bound to say, is but a specimen of many; and we could quote, but that such work is not the nobler for the praise of men, similar tracts, supplying for parish circulation the annual narrative of progress in this kind of work. It is not necessary to dwell long on the subject; it is patent, and easily appreciated. But when the history of the Evangelical party is written, it will be told of them, that with narrow-mindedness and mistaken traditions, with little intellectual acquirements and ill-directed zeal against their brothers in the Church, they yet worked manfully in the pestilent and heathen by-ways of our cities, and preached the gospel to the poor.

It remains to say a few words on the intellectual attitude of the party. This is not the occasion to discuss points of doctrine, or examine questions of ecclesiastical polity. But it is impossible not to remark that the position which this body of clergymen, the appointed guides to thinking and reflecting fellow-men, have deliberately and almost unanimously adopted, is one of direct antagonism to intellectual progress and research. In this one point they have followed the tradition of the elders. Venn wrote, in 1780, "Our God never "prescribes a critical study of the "Hebrew text;" and since then it is hardly too much to say, that his followers have not led public opinion in any one point of mental advancement, or contributed one single work,—at all events more than one,—which has been generally accepted as a signal addition to the stores of theological speculation or criticism. Their most distinguished men are not men of conspicuous learning; their most highly prized writings seem even to slight the acquirements of science and scholarship. And this is the case not only in their practice, but in their theory. The spiritual element of our nature is so highly exalted, that the intellectual is looked upon with absolute suspicion. "The cultivation of the intellectual power's," says Or. Close (Sermons, 1842, p. 149), "can of itself "have no tendency towards moral or "spiritual good. . . . Time cannot alter "the deteriorating tendency of unassisted human intellect." Of all studies discordant with the Church of England, Mr. Clayton, a well-known evangelical preacher, writes (Sermons, p. 239): "Young persons should especially be "careful to turn away from all such "dangerous speculations." Mr. Ryle, even when speaking of the duty of reading and study, which he allows to be neglected, makes the singular exception, "I do not mean that we ought to read "things which do not throw light upon "the word of God" (Home Truths, vol. vi.), and in his preface to a commentary on St. Luke, shows his idea of the value of accurate criticism by the remark that "the 'various readings' of the New "Testament are of infinitesimally small "importance." The Rev. C. Bridges (Weston Address, p. 46), somewhat naively confesses, "with regard to the "snares for the intellect, if we seek to "meet the great reasoner on his own "ground, he is more than a match for "us;" and Canon Stowell, apparently with regard to a late edition of the New Testament, laments that "at this time "some of our learned and critical men "do us more injury than advantage."

Now it is well known that the last few years have been years of great advance in theological knowledge. Science, ethnology, the history of language, accurate scholarship, are doing much to assist the study of the Bible, and further the progress of religious thought. It is page 121 probable that much will be done by the pursuit of these studies to modify opinions and suggest new canons of criticism. "We have no wish that it should be otherwise. Religious thought was never intended to stagnate. Novelty is not, indeed, a mark of truth; but obstructiveness in matters of theory is a certain guide to error. And, therefore, towards new phases of sacred speculation the attitude of a lover of truth will be, not antagonistic virulence, but judicial impartiality. He will not be rash to adopt the guesses of a restless ambition; but he will not shut his eyes to reasonable and probable argument. He will not deem the intellect the sovereign principle in man; but he will determine, in God's strength, to bring anything to the bar of reason. He will not read the apostolic precept as though it were "Disprove all things;" but he will no more be driven from intellectual duty by fear of consequences, than from moral. He will give all reverence to those who teach the soul: but, loyal to the ends to which man's nature points, he will render unto mind the things that are mind's. And so he will strive, without partiality or without hypocrisy, to enter the kingdom of God as a little child; and so act, if he may,

That mind and soul, according well.
May make one music.

Is it possible that Evangelical energy may ever adopt this attitude? It was the essence of Protestantism to attack prejudice: and they are the most zealous Protestants of the Church. The chief doctrine of the Reformation was the right of private judgment; and though many of the maxims of the Reformation have been lost, this has not quite died yet. Is it yet possible that a fuller knowledge of the tendencies of the age, and some mighty resurrection from the narrowness of organised partizanship may change the current of their sympathies, and make them, even now, champions, not of change, but of inquiry, and research, and development? It cannot be, while they believe the sentiment of Dr. Close, in his Lectures on the Evidences, that Revelation was not meant to gratify a "proud investigation." Investigation of every possible subject is the bounden duty of every educated man, as far as his time and talents allow; and that investigation may well be proud which is the result of powers bestowed by the Almighty for the study of His mysteries. If they refuse to acknowledge this duty; if they cling to the crystallized system of what was once a working and living spirit, forgetting nothing, learning nothing; if they give all the energies of their collective action to attack some difference of ecclesiastical creed, and all the weight of their social influence to create artificial division in what God,. by forming human society, has pronounced united; then all their labours of parish charity, and schemes of worldwide philanthropy, will hardly save them from the sentence which awaits all that is transitory, because artificial; and those who know what once the party was will see, when they look upon it now, only a fresh instance of the way in which zeal is pernicious, when its purpose is an anachronism, and good men wasted, when the mind is narrowed to tradition, and the sympathies distorted to party.