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Mr Smith had as little wish as we had that needless formalities and delays should intervene. Then, we not merely declared the sermons censurable, but we actually censured them; we pronounced censure on them, and he bore this censure without appeal. So the sentence was at once pronounced and executed, the matter became a res judicata ; and no one on earth has any right to bring Mr Smith to trial any more for that offence, unless a circumstance should intervene to which I shall adFert almost immediately. But was not this too light a sentence? Possibly it was ; and, if so, censure the judges, but not the person whom they judged. Yet, there were many things about Mr Smith's position which seemed to me to make this sentence sufficiently severe. And there was the important fact, ever taken into account in pronouncing sentence, either in a civil or an ecclesiastical court, that Mr Smith had brought the whole matter before us of his own free accord; had made his first statement spontaneously, had laid the sermons at once ou our table, inviting attention to them, had furnished information on every point with the utmost readiness, had withheld nothing, and shown no desire to do so, as is proved abundantly by all that has come from his pen in these printed papers, and as the cominittee have had additional means of knowing from papers in retentis. And there was yet another fact to account for no severer sentence being pronounced; that to which I alluded just now, as keeping the matter open in case a circumstance should supervene-I mean the further recommendation of the committee, which the Presbytery adopted, to put two questions to Mr Smith, upon the two topics handled in the sernions which had just been censured. We presented two questions to him, which might carry his thoughts into a somewhat different track, and lead him to answer us in such a way as to let us know his state of mind on that September 12th. I know that there has been fault found with us for putting Mr Smith through an inquisitorial process, by asking him to answer these questions, and so placing him under a new test which we had ourselves devised. Now, any one who reads that conclusion of our second report will see that this blame has been attached to us through misapprehension. We were inventing no new Confession of Faith. We were not subjecting Mr Smith to the operation of a new and more stringent test. We were desirous of knowing his mind on two topics, if

possible, in language away from that which he had been using and then attempting to explain to us ; and we suggested this new language in our questions. But this was intended as a help and not as a snare for him. And we never meant to urge him to give any answer at all, unless he considered it desirable to do so : the only pressure we exerted upon him was to keep him from answering too hastily at the moment when the questions were propounded. He did delay replying for a fortnight; but unfortunately there seems to have been something rankling in his mind of the sort of feeling which I have been describing, and which I have attributed to misapprehension. Accordingly, the tone of his answers seems to me extremely unfortunate, and I have no doubt it has given an unduly unfavourable impression of him to many ; as I also do not doubt that this impression has been deepened by many illustrations in these answers which seem to me rash, illogical, and of dangerous tendency. This may have been the cause of that decision of the Presbytery on October 3d, which pronounced them unsatisfactory. From that meeting I myself was most unwillingly detained by a sharp illness; and I am perfectly willing to say now, what I avoided saying before, that had I been present I should have supported Dr Fairbairn's motion, and that I don't see any reason to think that I would not have pressed it to a decision ; for which reason partly I was the first to dissent six weeks later. But there is a certain obscurity about that protracted meeting, from early in the day till midnight, through which I have never been able to see daylight. My own impression has sometimes been, that all the members became exhausted, and that the whole Presbytery fell into a certain confusion and irregularity.

Dr FORBES—These motions were both made in the forenoon.

Professor Douglas-A certain confusion and irregularity, against which I sometimes thought of guarding myself by going to the Synod with a petition to have it declared that Dr Fairbairn's motion never had been settled. For that motion was duly moved and seconded, and was met by Dr Forbes' amendment. After protracted discussion during the day and night, Dr Buchanan made a third motion, which Dr Fairbairn agreed to support instead of his own. Dr Buchanan, however, subsequently withdrew his, and Dr Forbes' was supposed to be left alone in the field. But Dr Fairbairn's had been duly seconded, and had been the substantive motion, the subject of the discussion throughout the long day ; and I question the equity of leaving it out of account when Dr Buchanan's had come to be withdrawn, as I certainly question the formal legality of holding the motion to be set aside without the consent of the seconder, if possible, being asked and obtained. Dr Forbes' motion was in this way, and in these peculiar circumstances, recorded as carried unanimously, that Mr Smith's answers were unsatisfactory, so that it was accepted at night by men who in the morning moved they were “in substantial harmony with the Standards." (Laughter.) Plainly these men could not mean that the answers were doctrinally unsatisfactory, whatever Dr Forbes or others may have meant. And since Dr Fair. bairn's substantive motion involves the termination of the case there and then, the very utmost that can be held to be necessarily involved in Dr Forbes' amendment to it is this, that the answers were unsatisfactory in this sense, and to this extent, that the case could not be finished at that meeting of Presbytery. Professor Douglas was proceeding to make some remarks on the report of the committee of which Dr Forbes was convener, and the unreasonableness of their insisting that Mr Smith should make certain retractations, and in reference to the complaint of conflict between the sermons and the Confession of Faith on several doctrines of vital moment, when

Mr M'GREGOR, Paisley, said he understood Mr Freer had a paper to read on this subject, which he would like to hear.

Professor Douglas said Mr Freer had prepared a very valuable paper on this part of the question, but according to the rules of the House he could not now be allowed to read it. But might not he (Professor Douglas) read it as part of his speech ?

Dr GIBSON said he had consulted Dr Forbes, and neither of them had any objections. (Applause.)

Mr FREER asked if in these circumstances he might not be allowed to read it himself, as it would facilitate the business.

Dr Gibson said he had no objection to this either. (Applause.)

Professor Douglas asked if he might finish his own speech before Mr Freer read his paper.

Dr Gibson thought it would be better that the paper should be introduced as part of the speech of Professor Douglas, and so comply with the rules of the House.

Dr Berg had no objection to the paper being read, but they must not have the Standing Orders nominally enforced but really violated. In this case they should have first Professor Douglas' speech, then Mr Freer's paper, and lastly Dr Buchanan's reply.

Professor DOUGLAS said he was not at all anxious about the matter; but he thought Mr Freer's reading his owu paper would enable them to finish much more speedily.

Mr Bruce, Cardross, thought that if the parties at the bar were agreeable, the House should make no question about this.

Dr Begg—I should like to know whether, on that theory, Professor Douglas might not invite A, B, C, and D to go to the bar and read separate statements, calling them all the time Professor Douglas' statements ?

Dr BUCHANAN wished it to be understood that the parties at the bar were not pressing this upon the House. If the Standing Orders were to be enforced, they were ready to comply with them.

Dr CANDLISI, Why could not Professor Douglas read it as part of his speech? If he cannot read it, it must be very badly written indeed. (Laughter.)

Professor Douglas accordingly read the principal portions of Mr Freer's paper as follows :-I held from the first, and hold still, that the terms used by Mr Smith are not such as to preclude the possibility of a different interpretation being put upon them. My reason for holding this opinion is this—there is evidence in the sermons themselves that, in speaking of the Scriptures and moral law, Mr Smith did not, throughout his discussion of these subjects, use the terms Scripture and moral law in one uniform sense, so that his statements in one part of the sermons appear to be in conflict with statements found in some other part. Language that is only strictly applicable to the Old Testament dispensation as a dispensation, is applied to the Old Testament Scriptures as Scriptures; and while we are informed of the immutability of moral law, we are also told of the abrogation of a law that " is certainly and essentially moral,” (p. 15, D.) Facts such as these prove that Mr Smith has been very unguarded in his language, but they at the same time make it perfectly credible, at least, that he did not intend to teach what the Presbytery asserted that his sermons actually taught. And although I do not wish to refer to any document that is not at present before this Court in an official form, I may be allowed to say in passing that the credibility of what I have just alleged is very much strengthened by the general tone of the teaching pervading the volume of sermons which Mr Smith has published, and of which the sermons under review form a part. (An objection was here made by some members to this reference to the volume. Professor Douglas stated in explanation that he believed Mr Freer had made vo other reference to it, and it might be best to hold it not to have been now made.) Still further, as bearing upon this question of credibility, it is right to bear in mind that every writer or speaker has his own peculiar phraseology and style of thought; and that while the language he employs may not be misinterpreted by those who are acquainted with it, it may be liable to grave objections on the part of those who are not similarly initiated. The fragmentary notes of a discourse would suggest very little to the mind of any one but the author. But to him they are instinct with meaning; and even where one's ideas are fully expressed, the terms in which these ideas are represented may have a narrower or wider application, according as the sign does or does not become an adequate expression of the thing signified. I do not offer this as an excuse for any one indulging in a loose and exaggerated style of speech, even though it were found that such a practice tended to arrest attention. All that I would found upon such a fact is, that extremeness of language does not necessarily indicate like extremeness of doctrine. So far, therefore, from its being incredible that the terms in which Mr Smith has spoken of the Old Testament Scriptures and of moral law meant nothing more than the abolition of so much as constituted the regulative code of a dispensation that has passed away, and the abolition of so much of the form of moral law as had reference to that dispensation, the incredibility rather lies on the side of believing that Mr Smith could ever have meant anything more than this. It is well nigh impossible to conceive of any man who knows what moral law is venturing to speak of its being abolished. But it is perfectly conceivable that one might speak of the abolition of the form in which that moral law was expressed as an abolition of moral law; and to show that this is not only conceivable, but perfectly credible, I shall take the liberty of reading one or two extracts from the works of Calvin. In Calvin's Commentary on 2d Corinthians, chap. iii., vers. 4-11, we read as follows :—-" The apostle says, the law was but for a time, and required to be abolished, but that the gospel, on the other hand, remains for ever. There are various reasons why the ministry of Moses is pronounced temporary, for it was necessary that the shadows should vanish at the coming of Christ, and that statement, 'the law and the prophets were until John,' (Matt. xi. 13,) applies to more than mere shadows; for it intimates that Christ has put an end to the ministry of Moses, which was peculiar to Him, and is distinguished from the gospel. Finally, the Lord declares by Jeremiah that the weakness of the Old Testament arose from this, that it was not engraven on men's hearts, (Jer. xxxi. 33.) For my part, I understand that abolition of the law, of which mention is here made, as referring to the whole of the Old Testament, in so far as it is opposed to the gospel, so that it corresponds with the statement, 'the law and the prophets were until John.' For Paul is not reasoning here as to mere ceremonies, but shows how much more powerfully the Spirit of God exercises His power in the gospel than of old under the law.” Thus far Calvin. Here it is to be observed, 1st, That in speaking of the abolition of the whole of the Old Testament, in so far as it is opposed to the gospel, Calvin does the very same thing that is done by Mr Smith, when he speaks of the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures being annulled by being fulfilled in the New. The language of Calvin is, indeed, far more guarded, and less fitted to mislead, than that employed by Mr Smith; but the statements are in both cases essentially the same. By both, language which in strictness is only applicable to the Old Testament dispensation, as a dispensation, is applied to the Old Testament Scriptures as Scriptures. But as Calvin meant nothing more, in using such terms, than that all in the Old Testament that related to an abrogated dispensation was annulled, it cannot be deemed an incredible thing that Mr Smith from the first meant nothing more than this. 2d, Calvin here recognises the possibility of

And again,

moral law being changed as to the form of its expression, while the law itself remains unchanged and unchangeable. On this point he says still more expressly in the “Institutes," book ii., chap. 11 :—“The constancy of God is conspicuous in this, that He delivered the same doctrine to all ages, and persists in requiring that worship of His name which He commanded at the beginning. His changing the external form does not show that He is liable to change. In so far He has only accommodated himself to the unstable and diversified capacities of man.” in his commentary on the Gospel of John, chap. iv. ver. 36, we find Calvin using these words :—“In order that this passage may be properly understood, we must comprehend the contrast between sowing and reaping. The sowing was the doctrine of the law and the prophets ; for at that time the seed sown into the soil remained as it were in the blade ; but the doctrine of the gospel which brings men to proper maturity is, on that account, justly compared to the harvest.

For the law was very far from that perfection which has at length been exhibited to us in Christ.” On the subject of the moral law, then, we find Calvin laying down principles which are again and again reiterated by Mr Smith in his sermons; and although Mr Smith may, in the application of these principles, have ventured upon ground where Calvin would not have ventured, still this does not affect the main question as to the possibility of harmonising such principles with the teaching of Scripture and the Confession of Faith. A wrong inference may be drawn from a right principle, but in judging of the soundness of a man's views, the judgment is based on the nature of the principles held, and not on any fanciful illustration or application of them. If, then, the language of Calvin covers the two main positions taken up by Mr Smith in his sermons,— viz., 1st, That the Old Testament Scriptures were annulled by being fulfilled in the New, that is, that all in the Old Testament opposed to the gospel has been abrogated. 2d, That while moral law is, as such, necessarily immutable, the form in which that moral law is expressed may vary according to the requirements of those who are the subjects of that law; this fact must afford a prima facie ground for believing the consistency of the doctrine set forth in the explanatory statements with the teaching contained in the sermons. Had the statements in the sermons been absolutely contradictory of the statements in the explanations given to the Presbytery, there could, in that case, have been no possibility of harmonising the one with the other; for, of two mutually contradictory statements both cannot be true. But it has never been alleged that the sermous and explanatory statements were mutually exclusive of each other. It may be difficult to bring them into perfect harmony, but this difficulty is no insuperable barrier to their being harmonised; and after hearing the way in which Calvin speaks of the questions at issue, it must, at least, be deemed a credible thing that Mr Smith's explanatory statements are no afterthought, but only a clearer and more accurate statement of the views which he held at the time the sermons were written. It will not be difficult for the respondents in this case to quote numerous passages from Calvin, declaring, in the strongest terms, the organic unity of the whole revelation contained in the written Word, and the immutability of moral law and the perfection of the Decalogue as a summary of that law. But any measure of such testimony, instead of weakening, would only strengthen the force of the testimony presented in the extracts that I have read. It is just because that testimony

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