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incline. I am conscious of having the having nearly reached, heincontinently strongest natural prepossessions in its fa
turns his back upon, yet still looking My human compassion, my own consciousness of sin, and some of the longingly towards it over his shoulder. keenest promptings of my Christian sym. He believes that they who do not pathy, would combine to make me a Úni
repent will suffer an endless penalty,' versalist, if this world, being what it is, and apparently that some will never and men being what they are, other feelings, more solemnly authoritative, and the repent; he reminds us that · hope is deepest and most sacred reasons on the not certainty, is not even faith'; and other side, did not forbid me to rest in such avows that he came with no coma conclusion, however pleasant and attrac
pact system, no flawless theodicy. tive.'
Nor is such to be had.' Possibly in With Mr. Cox's paper we have al- this last sentence we have the index ready dealt. Professor Mayor is the to his creed. Professor Plumptre, most dangerous English exponent of indeed, writes : “The want of a forUniversalism from the quasi-philo- mulated system on which second-rate sophic side. Him we must leave till critics have dwelt as the characteristic we reach the concluding chapters of defect of Dr. Farrar's sermons is to Salvator Mundi. Dr. Allon finds the me their chief charm, the witness to a meeting-point in the hypothesis of calmness and sobriety of thought unConditional Immortality, which we derlying all his passionate and glowing have given our reasons for rejecting. eloquence.' The Professor, with unCanon Birks recapitulates the views usual lack of insight, misses the proclaimed in his Victory of Divine gravamen of the complaint. If Dr. Goodness—a speculative idiosyncrasy. Farrar conceives that the Bible de 'A Layman' appeals forcefully to clarations are indefinite, confused and sentiment; to his appeals the appro- contradictory, he should have said so priate answer is : we are not called plainly. He is an oficial expounder to adjudicate upon individual cases, of the Written Word.
Doctrina! and we have the fullest and firmest systems abound; every theologian, confidence that the Judge of all the much more a Doctor of Divinity
, is earth will do right.
supposed to have one.
He attacked Canon Farrar's 'Reply' makes it a formulated system of the last more difficult than ever to understand things'; if his conviction be that his exact position and the raison d'être systematic eschatology is impossible
, of his book. He seems to wish it to and if he speaks at all, especially if adbe regarded as a mere protest against dressing the general public, he should unwarrantable popular accretions that declare that impossibility, and that in have grown round the doctrine. And language to be understanded of the so it might be, but for its perilous people.' approach to Universalism ; which,
THE CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF 1878:
BY THE REV. J. W. BURN. PERHAPS no gathering of the people of that Body held in London in May called Independents' since their last. The Chairman was one of the consolidation into a Union has ever most popular Ministers of the debeen anticipated with more interest nomination. The great subject for and anxiety, or will ever be more debate, which either excluded or memorable, than the Annual Assembly absorbed nearly every other, was the
attitude of the Body with respect to whole spirit of the meeting betokened the fundamental truths of the Chris- the interest with which the subject tian faith. The discussion arose out for consideration was invested. Mr. of the proceedings of a Conference Baldwin Brown's inaugural address held in Leicester, simultaneously with exhibited most of the characteristics the Autumnal Meeting of the Union of that gentleman's thought and style. last year, convened by Congregation. In clearness, beauty and force of alist Ministers in conjunction with diction he excelled himself, and mascertain Unitarians, who maintained terly was his handling of some theothat religious communion was alto- logical, social and scientific tendencies gether independent of doctrinal agree- of the age. B::: it was with no small ment; and that men of different and surprise on ths part of many, and no even conflicting religious beliefs could small gratitude on the part of most, have spiritual fellowship in spite of that his discourse was mainly taken the widest doctrinal divergencies. It up with an emphatic and reiterated seems that since that time a vigorous statement and defence of the vital propagandism, both on the platform points of Christian truth which had and in the so-called Christian Press, been called in question. has been carried on, and that a Mr. Brown, however, laid himself greater desire has been evinced to open to grave criticism by his preabandon doctrine than to promote judgment of a matter that was not fellowship, and thus the true issues yet properly before the meeting, have been laid bare before the world. which was surely a very unusual This has occasioned a very wide- and impolitic course for a chairman spread upeasiness lest the Congrega- to take, and by the inconsistency of tional Churches, through that mor- that judgment with the principles bid fear, which has so long haunted on which it was professedly based. them, of any definite standard of Not only did he confess the danger of belief, should sympathize with this sceptical tendencies, and again and movement, and thus degenerate into again insist on the truth of, and the ivert and vague latitudinarianism. historical basis for, the doctrines of To allay this uneasiness the Com- the Incarnation, Atonement and Remittee of the Union, by an surrection of the Son of God, but the whelming majority, agreed to submit necessity of those doctrines to all resolutions at its next meeting de- valid and real Christian communion claratory of its belief in certain arti
to social and moral cles of the faith, deemed by the pro- safety and life. Yet his counsel was moters of the Leicester Conference to to let the matter alone, lest the Union be merely speculative and non-essen- should commit itself to a policy of tial to the communion of saints. The creed subscription. The thing, he Assembly was looked forward to with argued, would die simply because it intense solicitude, because of the well- could not live. The world knew all known leanings of its influential about their soundness in the faith, Chairman, and the pertinacity with and needed not to be told of it. But which the opinions against which the this missed altogether the point at resolutions were framed were being issue. When suspicion rests upon a disseminated.
person, it behoves that person to clear It was a large and splendid gather- himself. Suspicion did rest on the ing. Dr. Allon's magnificent church Congregational Churches, and Mr. was crowded in every part. All the Brown, as a member of the Union of leaders of the denomination, both those Churches, in his noble and eloclerical and lay, were there, and the quent address cleared himself, not as
a private member from his own course of speculation should lead me to pulpit, but in his official capacity as
swerve far away from the conditions of our
Evangelical faith, I trust there is one thing Chairman of the Union; and the ani
that will be left me in the wreck of so mated cheers with which his exposi- much that is precions : a sense of manlitions of Divine truth were received ness, or of pride if you will—not to arge by his audience ought to have shown
proffers of union with those to whom they
are conscientiously unwelcome. Should I him that he was clearing the cha
lose my hold of that which now I believe to racter of the Union by doing the very be the truth as it is in Jesus, there will not thing he was declaiming against. And, be much left me for guidance in the life indeed, as was pointed out, if he, as
that now is, and there will be none for safe
guidance to the life to come.' an individual member of the Union in his official capacity, could declare The resolution having received an his adherence to the faith once de
able seconding from the Rev. C. livered to the saints,' why should not Wilson, Dr. Parker proposed an the other members, in their corporate amendment, sympathizing with efforts capacity as a Union, do for them
to extend the basis of personal comselves what their Chairman had done
munion, but contending for the nefor them ?
cessity of a doctrinal basis for Church Upon the Chairman resuming his fellowship, and affirming the adhe. seat, Dr. Mellor, in an oration re
rence of the Union to the general markable for its close reasoning, scheme of Evangelical truth. This he fervid eloquence and moving pathos, supported in a characteristic speech, proposed the resolutions. He clearly in which he meted out equal condefined the position of affairs : They demnation to the Leicester Conference were not there to impose restrictions
and to the specific declarations of the upon thought, but to do away with resolutions. The Rev. Allanson Picton, misapprehensions ; to let Christendom
the chief promoter of the agitation, and the world see where they were ; was next heard with mingled impaand to show the courage of their con- tience and astonishment. In answer victions by avowing their fidelity to
to the question why he and his colthe truths for which their fathers leagues did not leave the Union, he bled. The Leicester Conference pro- replied that there was no Body with posed a basis wider than Christianity which they had so much sympathy itself. According to it, there was no and in which they felt so much at need to believe in the personality of home. 'I am amongst you to-day God, the Incarnation, Redemption and because of spiritual sympathy. Trust Resurrection of Christ. Religious to that
the selective action of spiricommunion is being pleaded for on tual affinities...... If you pass these the possible rejection of every one of resolutions you
will cast a shadow on these things.' Christian communion, Dr. Mellor proceeded to argue, was
many suffering and struggling souls
who cannot reconcile their scientific communion with a personal
, living knowledge with the external frameChrist and communion with those
work of your doctrines.' After a few who had communion with Christ; remarks from the Rev. Eustace Conder and with noble words, which moved in favour of the resolutions, the that great assembly to tears, did he meeting adjourned. show the dishonour that was put On its reassembling on & subseupon his Lord in the name of a
quent day, the church was even more spurious charity. The speaker's con- crowded, and the interest even more cluding remarks will not soon be for- intense than before. The proposals gotten by those who heard them :
of the Leicester Conference were 'If ever the time should come when the argued at length, but with the
them say so.
exception of the speech of the thinkers ; and by telling those who Rev. Mark Wilks, were treated with had almost or quite rejected the extreme feebleness by the advanced Gospel that it did not matter? The guard of modern thought.' Dr. Leicester Conference was a challenge Raleigh claimed for the Union the to the Union ; and they were there liberty of honest testimony. If they to meet that challenge. The meeting stood where their fathers stood, let was then enlivened by the humour,
Dr. Dale agreed with unction and Welsh fire of the Rev. Mr. Picton on the selective action of Herber Evans. If they in Engspiritual affinities ;' but asked why land would not pass the resolutions, they should leave those affinities in they would pass them in Wales, and the dark ? If any one were drawn to then put up a notice : 'No connection him, it was his duty to hide nothing with the firm over the way that After strongly insisting on a frank dilutes the milk,' If they had outstatement of what they believed, he grown Dr. Owen and Matthew Henry, would leave others to say whether so much the worse for them. Mr. their óselective affinities'still attracted Picton had said that he felt the Union them to him. Dr. Dale thought it was was his home ; but would they drive come to something' when, as was others away from it who were quite contended, the affirmation of belief in as important ? He was not one of the things most assuredly held by the those men of science who baked the Christian Church in all ages was Bread of Life with German barm and pronounced a burden too heavy to be changed diamonds into gas. The borne ; and he closed by contending Chairman had spoken of certain who that it was an act of audacity to ask had doubts and difficulties as the them to restrain their testimony in more thoughtful amongst us.' Mr. order that certain persons might Evans did not profess to belong to remain with them. Dr. Kennedy, that number; he could only say with with great force and fervour, said he one Paul, Jesus Christ, and Him dreaded nothing more than that men, crucified,' and he had always thought as Pastors of Churches, should use that Paul was one of the more such expressions as 'Word of God, thoughtful amongst us.'
Spirit of God,' and Cross of Christ,' Mr. Edward White could not in a loose, flexible and non-natural reconcile Mr. Picton's speech with his way. He also asked if it were not writings, in which he denied Inspirachildish to admit that the Chairman tion, and ignored the authority of and any member of the Union might Christ. This led the speaker into say credo, and then to deny that they some very just, though very severe all might shout credimus.
remarks on the semi-infidelity difThe Rev. J. Guinness Rogers, in a fused through the columns of a masterly speech, showed that the so-called Christian newspaper.
In promoters of the Leicester Conference this he was supported by the warm had made out a case for the resolu- applause of the audience. Dr. tions.
They had acknowledged a Mellor finally rose to reply. Refervery extensive spirit of doubt, espe- ring to the glorification of doubt he cially among the young.
said : 'I have not come to my conthat spirit to be met? By leaving clusions by rule of thumb; I have those whom it was agitating in the not leaped into them; and, although I dark as to whether their teachers held have not whined about the world conthe Christian verities to be true or cerning my doubts and my fears and pot? By patting men, who professed my hesitation, there have been years to doubt, on the back as great when I have been in suspense, and
I have had to read much, and pray away its faith. This result was exmuch, but I have not communi- pected. cated them to my nearest friends; Thus closed a meeting and a deand I do not think a man doubts bate the result of which has been the less profoundly because he can and will be received with profound keep the secret of his own doubts.' gratitude among all sections of EvanA young gentleman who had ven- gelical Christendom. An article, howtured to cast some reflections on him ever, in the Daily Telegraph, the was answered in a manner that must inspiration of which it is easy to have sent that gentleman away a wiser trace, sneers at the debate, and with but a sadder man. After a brief notice its usual obliquity relegates Indeof arguments and misconceptions, pendency to the category of creedDr. Mellor resumed his seat. The bound Churches. The Jewish World Chairman then put Dr. Parker's is contemptuous, and the Christian amendment, which was supported by World infuriate; while the Unitaless than fifty votes.
Then the reso- rian Inquirer admits the consistency lutions were carried with overwhelm- of the course taken by the Union, ing enthusiasm by the whole assembly, and asks Messrs. Wilks and Picton with the insignificant exception of whether they are now going to boldly about twenty hands. It was a grand avow their convictions by taking a sight to see that assembly of great new point of departure, after the very Preachers, scholars and thinkers significant hint which has been thrown stand up and bear testimony before out. The Evangelical journals, howGod, the Churches and the world, ever, welcome the result with unthat it had no intention of throwing mixed thankfulness and joy.
THE CONGREGATIONAL UNION LECTURE FOR 1877 :
BY THE REV. DR. RIGG.
(Concluded from page 421.) The third lecture, on The Nature of thought; at all events inconceivable by us the Evidence, offers comparatively few
in any other way. passages suitable for extracts. We
Only one theory of these facts is in
tellectually possible. We may chain our must, however, give our readers the
intellect to the facts themselves, arbitrarily benefit of the passages which follow, forbidding it to step or look beyond them. though, in so doing, we detach them But if we draw from them any conclusion from their context.
at all, but one conclusion is possible. There
must be A MIND to which all the facts of Where does this all-pervading harmony nature have been known from the begin. exist, to which every atom of matter, every ning, which holds the keys of its mysteries
, moment of life bears witness ? Not in controls the relations of its elements and our minds, for we have but slowly and forces and possesses the ideal pattern of partially deciphered its alphabet. Letter that harmony which those elements and by letter we are continually spelling out its forces are every instant busy in realizing. lessons ; but we are as yet unable to grasp ' At this point we are encountered by * its entire scope, its fundamental principles formidable objection, -in fact, as I bare or its central idea ; and we know that it before said, the only really formidable obmust have existed incalculable ages before jection we have to deal with ; drawn from the intellect of man had birth. It is more the supposed limits of human knowledge, real than all reality, for by virtue of it the and directed not against any detail, but universe is what it is an intelligible against the whole range and method of our whole, and not a chaos of aimless forces. argument....... Yet it is ideal, capable of existing only in The objection in question is, that we are