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greater divergence than ever from the line that pointed towards union. In answer to what Mr Adam had affirmed, he would say that if the mutual-forbearance principle be a good one, let them go through with it. (Hear, hear.) There were decided differences of opinion on the whole question of the civil magistrate's province in religion among the Presbyteries and ministers of the United Presbyterian Church; and if they were to make one part of that question an open one, why not the whole ? The mutual-forbearance principle was a very elastic one, and admitted of indefinite application. It was an easy solution of difficulties ; it was so accommodating that they could carry it very easily and directly through the whole extent of the programme. They did not even need the aid of an ecclesiastical committee in this matter. They had only to request the presence of an acute lawyer from the Parliament House—they would need such a one—and put into his hands the materials before them, and instruct him to draw up out of these materials a basis on the ground of mutual forbearance, and to tell him to see to it in particular-for that was essential—that the property of the uniting Churches should be secured, and he would present them with as good and safe a basis as any learned and reverend doctor of them all. (Laughter.) So far then as the articles of agreement were concerned, there was no agreement expressed by the returns from the Presbyteries of the United Presbyterian Church, (Hear, hear.) Then let them look to the distinctive differences of the two Churches. These appeared as clearly as ever. To affirm that the difference was a small one was to trifle with the question. To say that the difference was narrowed down to the small point of national endowments of religion was both a defective and deceptive statement. (Hear, hear.) Why, the whole doctrine respecting national establishments of the true religion, and the proper relation of the Church to the State, was involved in the issue. Of this there was ample proof. In the new declaration issued, the union committee of the United Presbyterian Church said it was not competent for the civil magistrate to give legislative sanction to any creed in the way of setting up a civil establishment of religion. The denial of the magistrate's power to endow the Church out of the national revenue was but a corollary from that position. Now, mark the serious consequences included in that proposal. All the alliance of Church and State that distinguished the Reformation history of our Church was called in question—(hear, hear)—all the acts and deeds of the Church during the period when Church and State were allied, and when religion was revived under the influence of both, were declared null and void. This Voluntary dogma was not indeed an “Act Rescissory," affirming them to be seditious and treasonable, but it was a declaration rescissory, which stamped illegality on them all. It overthrew the testimonies, the deeds, and the very aims of our reformers and martyrs—nay, the very design of the Secession itself was reversed, which design contemplated the reformation as well as the union of Church and State, and their return in union to their first principles and early attainments. Not only so, but our very national Protestant creed, our Church and State creed, was weakened by this declaration at the very time that our national Protestantism was imperilled. The State, in alliance with the Church in times past, bad been a most powerful bulwark of the Reformation cause. He did not see how, on the Voluntary principle, they were to resist the encroachments of Popery. He had heard it said, and in this House, that national establishments were doomed. The men who said that might have the first sight, but it was quite possible they might not have the second sight. Events which were coming immediately cast their shadows before, but events more in the future did not always do so. Were they sure that on the ruins of Protestant establishments there might not be erected a Popish establishment? (Cries of “Oh, oh,” and laughter.) Is it impossible? It was the Voluntary principle, and nothing else, which had come up again to the surface, exactly as they were familiar with it in days of old. That principle is embodied and embedded in the distinctive declaration of the United Presbyterian union committee which disallows the civil establishment of a national religion. Certainly, as Dr Buchanan said, there was an extreme Voluntaryism thirty or forty years ago, and he found that extreme type of Voluntaryism respectably represented at this present time in the United Presbyterian Church. He was persuaded that that eloquent speech by which so many were carried away in 1863, would prove to be a beautiful dissolving view. The question at issue had come to be, Are we to become Voluntaries in a united Church ? The United Presbyterian Church declared—You must come up to our platform ; we cannot come down to yours. This was a strange one-sided reciprocity. They did not sacrifice a single principle, but they required this Church to sacrifice principles which they held to be vital. No doubt, they were told they could hold their own individual opinions in the united body. It was not their own testimony or principles that were concerned, but the testimony of the Church, the principles of the Free Church. The late Dr M‘Crie, when addressed by a similar argument, said-So far as my individual opinions or principles are concerned, I can hold them in solitude as well as in society. (Hear, hear.) It was also vain and irrelevant to say, as Mr Adam said, that there were individual diversities of opinion in this Church. He asked what had this difference of view to do with the question of upholding those principles of our Church, which were publicly sanctioned and guaranteed, and in which they were all supposed to agree. (Hear, bear.) As for the historical position of the Church, he would express his indebtedness to his good friend from Stirling who spoke at the close of the forenoon sederunt, and who read a paper which delightfully tickled all their fancies, and relieved them from the exercise of their judgments on the question at all. (Laughter and hisses.) The question of the magistrate's position covered the whole ground of the historical position of the Church. Abandon the lawfulness of Church and State, and the whole Reformation testimony of the Church of Scotland was sacrificed. Notwithstanding all this, it was gravely proposed that there should be a united declaration by the united body, not with respect to the attainments of that Church, but simply as to the historical fact that they were all separations from that Church, and protests against defections therefrom. And this was gravely proposed by ignoring the fact that the several Presbyterian unions which had taken place had fallen away from many of the reformed principles of the Church of Scotland, and that this one which was contemplated in our day threatened to be the greatest defection from these principles of all. And this, forsooth, was historical identity. Was the whole drama to be concluded with that farce? He had only one word on the question of doctrine. The extracts laid down before them from the Confession to prove agreement

in doctrine did not touch the question at issue. The allegation, as he understood it, was not that the parties did not profess to hold these doctrines and believe in these extracts, but they professed to believe in these and something more ; and that something more bearing on the nature and extent of the atonement seriously affected those doctrines of the Confession which were the very ground of agreement. It was a very serious and hazardous thing for a Church to give forth an uncertain sound in doctrine. They had only to look on the influence Baxter's writings had on the British Churches, when those Churches who held his doctrines went down at last into Arianism and Socinianism. They were charged with not seeking the peace of Jerusalem ; but were they to seek that peace by setting Jerusalem in an uproar. (Laughter and applause.) It had been said that a great responsibility rested on those who arrested this movement at the present stage. Let the responsibility rest where it ought-on those rowers who had rowed them into deep waters, and were uow threatening to cast them among the breakers. And if, after an existence of a quarter of a century, the Free Church should cease to be, let them mark well the parties and the policy that should have led onward to the issue. (Applause.)

The MODERATOR—Before proceeding further, I think it right to say that in the interest of free discussion in this question, as so many members are evidently anxious to speak, those who address the House should confine their remarks within the narrowest possible limits. (Hear, hear.)

Dr Grierson said he had all along taken the deepest interest in the question, though he had known nothing of the negotiations in the committee, otherwise than as the results appeared in print. A union between the non-Established Presbyterian bodies in Scotland is a subject of the deepest interest to all who love the Church from which we are descended. The idea of being at last reunited in the bosom, as it were, of the parent, is an idea very sweet to entertain. He had sometimes entertained the hope that their United Presbyterian brethren might see eye to eye with them, and unite in the entire recognition of those principles wbich their forefathers held when they seceded from the Church of Scotland. (Hear, hear.) He could not, however, entertain that hope any longer. It had been made abundantly manifest that the principle which they had now adopted and acted upon for many years was a principle that it was in vain to attempt to dislodge from their minds. (Hear, hear, and applause.) But it was pleasant to find in the articles of agreement that there was, on the part of the United Presbyterian brethren, a distinct recognition of the Supreme Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only over the Church, but over the nations. There was, however, this difference between the two Churches. While the Free Church held that it was the duty of the civil magistrate, under particular circumstances, to give support to the Church of Christ out of the national resources, their United Presbyterian friends declare, on the contrary, that as Christ has provided for the maintenance of His public services by the liberality of the members of the Church, that excludes all other modes and means of support. He did not himself see the logical connexion between that conclusion and the premises to which he had referred. He did not think that, because it was, in certain circumstances, the duty of Christians to provide for the maintenance of religious ordinances, therefore they were excluded from accepting assistance from any other quarter, when the acceptance of such assistance would not involve any compromise of spiritual independence. If he was not mistaken, there had been in the history of the United Presbyterian Church some instances in which they had not declined assistance from without their own body. But it was undeniable that there was a material distinction between them. They decidedly object to anything like the national recognition of the Church, though they expect the civil magistrate to do all in his power, and in his official capacity, consistently with the gospel to promote its progress and interests. Still, he observed in the proceedings that took place in the United Presbyterian Synod on the subject of instrumental music that one of the most prominent speakers insisted that it could not be sinful to use intrumental music in churches, because it had been in use in the Church under the Mosaic dispensation. Well, he would just turn round and say that he found, under the Mosaic dispensation, that there was a national recognition of religion. (Applanse.) Do we not know that for 2500 years God had no national establishment of religion, then communicating personally with the patriarchs-one of whom He chose and called to be the father of a great nation, to which he communicated the ordinances of his worship. We have here plain evidence that, under certain circumstances, a national system of religion is not necessary, while under other circumstances such a system may, with divine authority, be introduced and maintained. Then we find that when the gospel was first preached, instead of being established, it was everywhere spoken against, and its preachers persecuted. And when the powers of the world began to look favourably on the gospel, the establishment which they were disposed to promote was one on which the liberty of the Church was compromised. We do not plead for an establishment in circumstances in which the spiritual independence of the Church would be compromised. And it appears that establishment or non-establishment must depend upon the circumstances in which the Church is placed. (Hear, hear.) We may be in circumstances just now where there is no prospect of an establishment on satisfactory principles, but all we insist upon is, that meantime it shall be an open question whether or not the magistrate shall recognise religion by an establishment or not. But this is making an open question only of that which God's own example authorises to be thus regarded. By asking a union, on this ground, the Free Church does not compromise the personal convictions of her members. They carry their liberty into the union, and if circumstances should ever arise in which this state of things should be introduced, it will be as competent as ever for the members of the Free Church, or those who think with them in the United Church, to renew their application for this scriptural support to religion by the resources of the nation. If the union were to take place, even then they should have the principles of the Disruption carried with them just as truly as they carried them with them to Tanfield Hall. (Applause.) Nor would they finally decide this matter before taking the opinions of Presbyteries and congregations; but they were not going to ask the opinions of Presbyteries and congregations before expressing their own. (Hear, and cheers.) By their decision they were only expressing the prevailing convictions in that great General Assembly on this subject. They were not forestalling or superseding the decisions of Presbyteries and congrega

tions; they were only letting them see how they would direct them. And he hoped the union would not take place until it takes place in such circumstances as that we shall not leave a single member of our beloved Free Church behind. (Cheers.)

At this point Mr Burnside, Falkland; Mr Waters, Burghead; Dr M-Gilvray, and one or two other members rose simultaneously, and a good deal of merriment ensued before it could be decided which of the two first-named gentlemen was in possession of the House. At last the floor was given up to

Mr BURNSIDE, who maintained that the articles of agreement had a most fatal flaw in them—what would make it impossible for them to lead to a satisfactory conclusion. There were two middle terms in the syllogism, and where such is the case, or where one middle term is used in a double sense, there can be no satisfactory conclusion.

With respect to the magistrate, he can never act as a magistrate unless he use force, for he is not to bear the sword in vain, but to be a terror to evil-doers. In the case of Sabbath-breaking, be must interfere by force to put it down ; in the case of the marriage affinity question, if a marriage takes place within the forbidden degrees-(laughter)-then the offspring of such marriage is illegitimate. (Much laughter.) So with respect to issuing of royal proclamations of Fast-days, and thanksgiving days, and with respect to assessments for the support of the poor, the magistrate must interfere, by force, to secure the carrying out of his decrees. Mr Burnside went on to insist that it is the duty of Government to care for the lapsed masses, as well as pay enormous sums for the salaries of police officers, for prisoners

, and that offenders should be brought up and hanged.' (Laughter.) When they thought of these things, it was no wonder that the union committee should not be agreed among themselves. Notoriously, certain members were dissatisfied-Dr Forbes, Dr Gibson, and Dr Wood, and, on a recent occasion, out of 14 who voted, 7 were not satisfied. Therefore, it was very important to do what Dr Begg proposed-send the whole matter back to the union committee, to allow them to come to some proper understanding on the subject. The differences were great, and he should decidedly object that the doctrine of Christ's Headship over the nations should be made the shadow of a shade, and to propose that it be made an open question was not a satisfactory state of things. Mr Burnside went on to speak of the friendly testimony given by the Irish Presbyterian Church to the Free Church at the period of the Disruption when they sought aid from the Free Church in the Canonmills Hall, and acknowledged it, and not the Establishment, to be the true Church of Scotland, and he deprecated the risk of the Free Church being constrained by this union movemeut to turn the cold shoulder to her Irish Presbyterian brethren, who were as faithful to their principles now as ever they were, and who had uot the least hankering after organs, and among whom there were no controversies as to the extent of the atonement. In conclusion, Mr Burnside suggested that it was high time for the Assembly to give instructions to those who were sent at the expense of this Church as a deputation to other Churches, that they should not attempt to cast ridicule on ministers belonging to the very Church whose deputies they were, by comparing them, as a rev. doctor recently has done, to players on the bassoon and bass drum. Possibly the rev. doctor in question had

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