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the standards of the Church, nor did even Dr Rainy deny this. The question before the House was, not how the poison in the sermons originated, but how Mr Smith could be prevented from any longer disseminating bis dangerous doctrines, and the only effectual way for this was to remit the case to the Presbytery. He (Mr B.) supported Dr Begg's motion out and out.
Mr Nixon could not agree with either of the motions proposed. He would be extremely unwilling to send this case down again to the Presbytery of Glasgow; and he thought that if Dr Rainy's motion were ad. opted, even with the severe reflections it contains, it would not be a sufficient testimony on the part of the General Assembly against the deadly errors that are contained in these two sermons of Mr Smith. At all times, but especially at the present time, considering the lawlessness that prevailed, and the disposition that was so general to renounce all regard to laws human or divine, a more pernicious course could not be taken than that of unsettling men's minds as to the unchangeable obligation to do homage to the words spoken by God on Sinai. (Hear, hear.) The statements originally made by Mr Smith in his sermons, and the statement in his last explanation, are as antagonistic to each other as they are to the standards of the Church. He said this, while, as he was not a beresy-hunter, he would have been willing to accept the latter statement as not inconsistent with their standards. It is quite clear Mr Smith does not understand the plainest English if he does not see the opposition between his sermons and the last statement he has made. (Hear, bear.) And if he does not see the opposition in future, he will of course be teaching the doctrine of these two sermons again. A proof that this might be expected indeed was the publication of this volume of sermons, whereby he was practically flinging defiance at them. (Hear.) Yet Dr Rainy told them that though they might scold Mr Smith they were to assoilzie bim. Like all country ministers, he had a personal interest in this matter. Within a recent period, about half a dozen young men had gone from under bis teaching to Glasgow, and the larger half of them have gone to that church. (Hear, hear.) But, said Mr Nixon, I shall take care that if I can help it, no more shall go there in future unless some security-(cheers and prolonged hisses from the direction of the students' gallery.)
Mr THOMSON, St Stephen's—(pointing to the upper west gallery)— There is a gallery up there in which persons are making that noise. It does not come from the students' gallery. (Continued hissing and cheers.)
Mr Nixon said what he would suggest for consideration was the desirableness of the appointment of a committee to have a personal interview with Mr Smith. He was anxious to deal with him in the most kindly, the most brotherly way; but he thought they must endeavour to obtain some kind of moral security that—even should he not himself see the deadly nature of these heresies on the ground that such is the mind of the Church-he will avoid that kind of teaching.
Sir HERRY MONCREIFF said he felt the solemnity of the considerations which Mr Nixon bad been urging. He felt also the solemnity of other con. siderations wbich had been urged at the bar, but he felt likewise that the very solemn character of the matter with which they had to deal made it all the more indispensable that they should be extremely cautious as well as extremely earnest in the course they took. The question was, How did this matter stand at present ? Did it come up in a shape in which they could reasonably or hopefully deal with it in the way proposed by Dr Begg? He must say he felt himself constrained to state that, looking at the papers, it did not appear to him to come up in a shape in which they could reasonably and hopefully deal with it as Dr Begg would have them to do. (Hear, hear.) Were they prepared to say that it was in a shape in which they could lay the foundation of a libel? He knew how many men, who were in earnest about an important question connected with God's law and the interests of the Church, felt themselves drawn towards the course which would most speedily get quit of what appeared to them to be an evil, or, as it had been called, a poison ; but there was need for the sober consideration of how they were placed, so as to deal with the matter. If there were poison, it must be watched most carefully, and they must see that in due time steps were taken to put an end to it; but that was a very different question from saying that they could reasonably, at the present juncture, in regard to this case, put themselves in the position in which they should proceed to frame a libel. They must remember that the worst thing they could possibly do would be to put themselves in the position of being obliged to frame a libel when they could not do it reasonably or hopefully. (Hear, hear.) Mr Nixon had admitted that there was a great and decided contrariety between Mr Smith's sermons and the last statement he bad made. Mr Nixon admitted that the last statement could be accepted by him as sound, because he was not a heresy-hunter. He (Sir H. Moncreiff) was not a heresy-hunter, and he also regarded the statement as containing a de the General Assembly in a responsibility in which no General Assembly of this Church, except in the last extremity, ought to place itself. For if we should appoint a committee to deal with Mr Smith, and should get him to explain what he means- —where are we? If we succeed, it will seem to me a sort of miracle. Mr Smith, as we all know, is a man who rejoices in notoriety-a man who, as we all know, would take it as a high compliment to have a committee of the Assembly appointed to confer with him—(laughter)—and as a still higher ground of praise to set that committee at defiance. I believe that; and I go on to say, on the other hand, that by far the best hope of influencing Mr Smith's mindby far the best hope of reaching Mr Smith's heart is--that he should be told affectionately and yet faithfully what is the unanimous mind of this General Assembly—that the sentence of the Assembly, as proposed in Dr Rainy's motion, should be left to tell upon Mr Smith, not during the exciting days of the Assembly's sittings, and with the view of another field-day afterwards, on the report coming up; but it should be left to tell on Mr Smith's mind and heart calmly when he has time to weigh it, in his closet and on his knees. I am of opinion he should be left calmly, quietly, and at his leisure, to weigh the import of the sentence, and to weigh the import of the sentence passed under the circumstances in which we are now placed by the unanimous vote of this Church, for Dr Begg's motion is a confirmation of the censure which we propose. But should we appoint a committee to deal with Mr Smith, and they are not satisfied with his explanations, what are we to do? Either you must libel him yourselves, or appoint a committee to libel him, or you must enjoin the Presbytery of Glasgow to libel him. Now, Sir, I think these arguments are sufficient to weigh against the proposal of Mr Nixon. I do not think it needful to argue at length on Dr Begg's motion. It is doubtful whether this Court can require any man to retract before he has been libelled in the ordinary way, by citing chapter and verse, and giving him the ordinary facilities for explanation and evidence. I admit the right of any Court of this Church to deal with him and advise him to retract, but I doubt very much whether the resolution of the Presbytery of Glasgow does not go a little beyond that, and does not go a step beyond what the Presbytery was entitled to take.
ion that was in accordance with the Word of God and the standards of the Church. (Hear, hear.) With regard to what had been said as to the expression, "both having the same kind of authority," he thought that was really a piece of unfair criticism on the part of Dr Begg, because the thing Mr Smith was accused of was just that he said they did not possess the same kind of authority, and so it was natural that he should, in making this declaration, say that he did hold that they had the same kind of authority. He was very far from saying that he was satisfied with all Mr Smith's statements. He did not agree with Mr Adam that Dr Rainy's motion proceeded upon the idea that they were satisfied with the statements. But look at the grave alternative Dr Rainy put. If it turned out that Mr Smith really did mean by that last statement to hold by what was sound in future, the matter was disposed of, and after the statements in the Assembly were brought to his notice, he might discontinue all such modes of expression as would give rise to such ideas again ; but if not, then the matter would be in a better shape in the end for any serious proceedings being taken, which would land in the conclusion to which some of their friends are now pointing. In present circumstances, he thought it would be a very dangerous thing to agree to Dr Begg's proposal. With reference to Mr Nixon's suggestion, he did not think that it was even the most likely way to get at the object Mr Nixon proposed. It was quite clear that if what Mr Nixon dreaded should turn out to be true that they would soon hear something more of the case, it was plain that, if the fear was well founded, they would have it in another shape, and probably in a shape in which it would be easier to deal with, and in the way in which it ought to be dealt with.
Dr Begg-Dr Candlish is under the impression that my motion affirms the sentence of the Presbytery; but it does not do so. My motion simply dismisses the dissent and complaint, and remits the matter to the Presbytery, to proceed according to the laws of the Church. It says nothing whatever of insisting upon the retractation.
Dr CANDLISH —But if you do not sustain the dissent and complaint, it is plain you remit to the Presbytery to proceed to such further action as may seem to them necessary or expedient, in terms of the sentence they have passed. (“ Hear, hear,” and “ No, no.")
Dr Berg—Quite so; but under the new circumstances.
Dr CandlISH—You no doubt remit the case to the Presbytery to proceed according to the laws of the Church, but upon the sentence already passed.
Dr Begg-Not necessarily; the Presbytery take the new circumstances into consideration. (Hear, hear, and cries of " The Book.”)
Dr CANDLISH–The sentence stands, if you dismiss the dissent and complaint; but I really do not mean to stand on that point. I was
merely making a remark or two on the sentence of the Presbytery, to show that to my mind it goes a little farther than the Presbytery were entitled to go without proceeding by libel. Suppose a sermon or a proposition of mine were sent forth upon a theological subject. not entitled to come and ask me to retract a sentence which you may think heretical, but which I may think quite consistent with the other parts of that sermon. You are not entitled to ask me to retract : you are bound to libel me, to show by chapter and verse from the Scriptures what is wrong about the passage you condemn, and then, after that, you may require me to retract, on pain of the highest censure of the Church, but not till then. But I am very strongly of opinion that the object at which Mr Nison so properly aimed, and which he so emphatically and earnestly and ably impressed upon us, is most thoroughly gained this night in this General Assembly and in the Church-applause) - far more thoroughly than it could have been gained by any merely formal procedure in this case of Mr Smith. It was said from the bar that if we sustained the dissent and complaint, and reversed the judgment of the Presbytery, we would send Mr Smith abroad to teach the same things that he bad been teaching before. That may be true, but we send him abroad on his ministry warned—well warned-warned by the whole Presbytery of which he is a member— warned by this General Assembly —that our eyes will be on him, that our ears will be open.
We charge him on his allegiance not to repeat this offence. We charge him, as a dutiful son of the Church, to beware of preaching such things henceforth. We send bim abroad under a prohibition-under an express prohibition -to teach these no more anywhere in this Church; and if it should be found that, in spite of that warning, and in spite of the prohibition, he or any other minister of this Church shall be propagating similar views, we have a stronger hold on them than we have at the present moment against Mr Smith; and we give it forth emphatically before this country, before Christendom and the whole world—we give forth the unanimous, united, cordial, warmest adherence of this Church, as represented in this General Assembly, to the old, sound Calvinistic, orthodox doctrine as to the moral law and the Old Testament Scriptures. (Loud applause.)
Dr Wood, Dumfries, said it occurred to him that what Dr Rainy proposed to the Assembly was an extraordinary and unprecedented thing. When had it ever happened that the General Assembly finally adjudicated upon a case without having the parties before them, and hearing what they bad to say for themselves ? 'The Assembly was about to adjudicate finally on this case of Mr Smith, and they were about to pass a serious sentence upon him, and they had not heard one word from himself in reference to the charges against him. They had heard from all sides various statements regarding his sentiments, and his explanations of them, but would it not have been just to Mr Smith, and in accordance with their usual practice, to hear what he had to say for himself? If they adopted Dr Rainy's motion they would be adjudicating without having heard Mr Smith; if they adopted Dr Begg's motion they would give him an opportunity of speaking before the Court that was to take up bis case and adjudicate upon it. The case was a serious one. If it had been the case of an individual it would not bave been so serious a matter ; but the doctrines were the doctrines of a school, and did not originate with the individual. He did not say it was a school that had any members