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in the third place, you give occasion to question the divinity of that old Scripture in which the law is revealed.
Again, do you deny the permanent normal authority of that Scripture as divine? Then, in the first place, you reject the light of heaven on important matters which no other Scripture reveals, such as the morality of the Sabbath law, the degrees of affinity and kindred within which marriage is unlawful, and the obligation of nations to do what in then lies for the furtherance of the true religion. Second, you reject the blessed privilege of having God for your teacher in that Scripture with reference to all the great matters it reveals ; such as the creation, preservation, and government of the universe ; the history, destiny, and duty of nations under God; and the origin, early bistory, and permanent constitution of His Church. And third, you undermine the authority of the New Testament Scripture, and even of our Christian religion in its substance. For the two Scriptures, New Testament and Old Testament, are necessary to each other, like the two sides of a maguificent arch, sustaining the way of life eternal : they reciprocally support one another, they lean each on the other : so that if the independent foundation of either be withdrawn, both together will speedily fall in ruin to the ground. And the divine authority of the old Scripture is so frequently appealed to by Christ and His apostles, so systematically assumed by them as the basis of their instructions, that if that Scripture be found to have no real authority of its own as divine, then Christ and His apostles are found false witnesses concerning God and His word, and our preaching is vain, aud the faith of our people is vain.
Dr BEGG—I should have wished that the House could come to a unanimous judgment on a question so very important as that now before us; but I regret to say it is quite impossible for me to concur in the motion of Dr Rainy, although I admire the ability of his speech. I may state very briefly, for at this late hour it would be inexcusable to detain the Assembly, the grounds upon which I cannot concur in his motion, and upon which I shall take the liberty to propose another motion. The case has come to us in the form of a dissent and complaint, made first to the Synod, and by the Synod referred simpliciter to the General Assembly. That dissent and complaint arose at a late stage of the proceedings in this painful case. In the earlier stages, as the House is now well aware by frequent repetition, all the members of Presbytery concurredconcurred in condemning these two sermons as containing statements opposed to the Word of God, and to the standards of the Church. I am not sure, however, that a sufficient expression has been given in regard to the very grave nature of the heresy which, in my opinion, is contained in these sermons. I dislike the sermons for what they do not contain almost as much as for what they do contain. I think there is a great absence of anything fitted to touch the consciences of men, and to guide them to the way of salvation in these sermons. (Applause.) It, moreover, seems to me that, in modern ecclesiastical history, nothing more grave in the way of a heresy has been put forth than the heresy which I think is contained in these sermons. (Hear, hear.) That heresy strikes at the foundation of the authority of God's law, and of His word. It tends to the subversion of two-thirds of the whole revelation of God, and, in my opinion, itis not only thoroughly unfounded, but, in fact, it proceeds upon an assumption the very opposite of the truth; for the Old Testament Scriptures are the true basis of the revelation of God, and our blessed Lord continually referred to them in confirmation of His own doctrines, and the apostles did the same. It seems to me that, if the slightest doubt is cast upon their authority, it will become impossible to interpret the New Testament, to interpret the Epistle to the Romans and the Galatians, or the Hebrews, or in any way fully to understand the New Testament Scriptures, and therefore the doctrine of these sermons amounts to a statement which even the Church of Rome never dared to make, for she maintains, although she corrupts them by various processes, the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. Well, it seems to me that nothing more grave than that could possibly be put forth from any pulpit. When we think of such a comparison as that of the Old Testament to the rough draft of an old will which is now set aside, it seems to me that there is something appalling in the whole of the doctrine, and that the Church ought to look at it as one of the gravest things that has occurred, that such a doctrine should have been preached from a pulpit of the Free Church. (Hear.) The Presbytery of Glasgow were unanimous in condemning these doctrines—both the doctrine that the authority of the Old Testament had ceased, and the doctrine that the moral law, as contained in the Ten Commandments, had ceased to be binding. But when the next step came to be taken a difficulty arose. I for one cannot assent to the doctrine which I understood to have been stated from the bar, viz., that you put a man in a false position-a Christian man, a Christian minister-by asking him directly to disavow and withdraw, distinctly to withdraw, statements so utterly subversive of the whole principles of divine truth as this to which I have referred. If traly convinced he should be forward to do this of his own accord. I don't think it is enough that he should listen to your statement that bis opinions are erroneous and inconsistent with the Word of God, and with the standards of the Church ; nor do I reckon it sufficient that he should even make another declaration, which seems to be inconsistent with his former objectionable statement. It is absolutely necessary that he should face the statements against which you object, and that he should withdraw these statements, and express his regret that he had been so rash as to utter them. (Hear, and applause.) What do we do in our kirk-sessions in matters of discipline? Would we there be satisfied with the making of a statement in the hearing of the person who comes before us for discipline, and having his tacit acquiescence in the statement? Do we not insist that the person himself shall first confess his error or sin, and, secondly, confess his regret ? Is not that essential to all intelligible discipline? The only statement made in answer to this is, that Mr Smith bas done that in substance in his concluding statement, on which we had so many commentaries to-day. But I have two very strong reasons in my own mind for thinking that that statement is not a retractation of the kind upon which we as a Church ought to insist. Dr Rainy has admitted that the first of these statements is capable of two interpretations. He says, “I hold most firmly the immutability of all divine and moral law.” Of course, everybody holds that. He goes on, “ And that the Decalogue contains a divinely authenticated summary of the law." That is an ambiguous statement. The question is, Does it contain the divinely authenticated summary? Does it contain the divine law? That is the question ; and I hold Mr Smith's statement upon it is ambiguous, and therefore not satisfactory to that extent. But I hold that the second statement is also ambiguous—“That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and the only rule of faith and manners; and further, that their organic relation is of such a nature that the Old Testament does not derive its authority from the New, but both have the same kind of authority," &c. The real question here is, Have they both the same degree of authority? They both come from God, and certainly both have thus the same kind of authority. But has the Old Testament been in the slightest degree superseded, or is its authority now independent of the New, and of precisely the same amount, is it of the same degree as well as kind, as the authority of the New Testament? That is another ambiguity, but what throws ambiguity over the whole statement is the concluding passage, viz. —" I therefore of course now, as always, unhesitatingly disclaim any opinion at variance with these truths." He thus sets forth that he is now making only the statement which he has always made. He thus virtually leaves it open to reiterate the state ments which he was supposed to have retracted, and he has in point of fact reiterated them in a printed volume which has been before us today. The force of this bad been endeavoured to be turned away, as if Mr Smith was such a simpleton as not to know what were the bearings of the publication of such a volume upon the case—as if he were so thoroughly innocent and guileless, and so little a man of the world, that he did not understand that the book amounted to a repetition of the offence, and in fact to a repetition of the offence in very aggravated circumstances, for there is of the nature of contumacy in it as well as a repetition of the offence. The question for the Assembly is, Since Mr Smith has done this, what confidence can you have in this alleged previous retractation, for here is the very thing published over again ? And are we in this Assembly to send the matter away in these circumstances as if the case were concluded ? Are we, the Assembly, by a series of propositions, which so far condemn him and his doctrines, but upon the whole constitute a whitewashing of him and at all events a sending of him away from our bar absolved, to leave him thus free to go and preach exactly as he likes on this whole matter in the future? Are we, on such a ground as this, to close up the case? I for one am not prepared for anything of the sort, and I am quite certain that if this Assembly attempts to close the case in such a way, they will expose themselves justly to the condemnation of multitudes of Christian people throughout the country who are looking on with intense interest on this case. It is not Mr Smith at the present moment that is on his trial. It is in reality the Assembly of this Church that is upon its trial. (Hear, and applause.) The question which the people of this country are asking in connexion with this case is, What kind of doctrines are to be preached hereafter from the pulpits of the Free Church? Is a minister to be permitted to preach these doctrines, and after a dubious ex. planation to go on repeating the offence by publication and repetition of these doctrines in a book; and are you simply to satisfy yourselves with a series of resolutions, and so dismiss the case? Will you not moreover thus censure your own Presbytery—whose fidelity in this case deserves the utmost honour of all Christian men-by sustaining a dissent and appeal against an attempt to get Mr Smith to retract those offensive statements which have struck alarm, I have no hesitation in saying, into the hearts
little of his literary talents; and to that cause, if he were not mistaken, might be ascribed the influence which had led Mr Smith into the error into which he had fallen. It was a common impression among the literary men of the South—an impression that had prevailed more or less since the days of the Puritans, and which Mr Buckle had produced in its most offensive form—that the people of Scotland especially were taught to ascribe more importance to the Old Testament than to the New. No doubt there were many things in the religious character of our people, and some things in the traditions of our Churches, which might serve to account so far for this impression ; but the cause which beyond all others had strengthened and confirmed it lay in the Fourth Commandment, and in the views our people hold as to the binding obligation of that sacred statute. The people of the South professed to receive that Commandment as we did ourselves. The Decalogue was part of their national creed, as it was of our own, but the difference between them and us iu regard to that matter was, that whilst we believed it, and endeavoured to obey the commandment, so far as we could, they, on the other hand, sought to honour the Commandment by proclaiming it with great pomp in the ears of the people every Sabbath-day, and setting it up before their eyes on the walls of their churches, while they did not professs to believe it, and did not attempt to practise it. Now, he held the course pursued by us here in the North, however Judaical it might appear to the literary theologians of the South, including such high religious authors as Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope—(laughter)—that course was more consistent with honesty, and with the principles of Christianity too, than the rule followed by our friends on the south of the Tweed--a rule according to which the Fourth Commandment was more honoured in the breach than in the observance. He was very far from saying that Mr Smith had any direct sympathy with this class of writers, but he thought Mr Smith had allowed himself to be led aside far too much by their ignorant outcries about the Judaical spirit of our Scottish theology. (Hear, hear.) He quite agreed with Dr Begg in thinking that there was a great deal of ambiguity in Mr Smith's final explanation, which would enable him to come out and occupy the broadest ground he had taken up in any part of those two discourses if he thought fit. Dr M'Gilvray concluded by seconding Dr Begg's motion.
Mr ADAM, Aberdeen, said they were all at one as to the teaching of these sermons. (Hear.) They were dealing with explanations of the teaching in them. If they were to hold the explanations as satisfactory, they ought to put their finding in such a form as not unduly to humiliate Mr Smith-hear) or to hurt his usefulness. Now, he thought there was something that pointed just a little in this direction in Dr Rainy's motion. He had also another difficulty-viz., that the motion was rather too long and complicated; and he thought it might readily be simplified and modified in the way he had indicated, if they were not prepared to adopt the motion of Dr Begg finding the explanations unsatisfactory.
Mr BURNSIDE dealt upon the danger of having poison distributed instead of bread from any of the pulpits of the Church, and urged that the greater Mr Smith's abilities were, and the more influential his congregation, so much the greater was the danger of allowing the poison to be distributed. The Presbytery of Glasgow were unanimous in finding that Mr Smith's sermons were in direct antagonism to the Scriptures, and to