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asserts that such an establishment is abrogated under the Christian dispensation, the onus probandi rests with himself. The Gospel, from its peculiar nature, as disclosing a religion designed for the whole world, could not be established like the circumcised religion of the Jews, without the intervention of a continued series of miracles, on the evangelizing of every distinct nation. And when the dissentient insists that the Gospel should be disseminated now, in the mode according to which it was propagated during the first ages of Christianity, we may yield, for the sake of courtesy, to the urgency of his demand; but we must, at the same time, with equal justice, insist, that if he wishes to substantiate his position, the cases must, in all respects, or at least in their prominent bearings and chief circumstances, be parallel,-and, on the demolition of Establishments, and the substitution of the Voluntary principle in the maintenance of religion, it must be attended with all the reiterated credibility that accompanied its primitive propagation. Miraculous powers, according to the general voice of antiquity, continued in the Church until the end of the third, or the beginning of the fourth, century, at which period Christianity was established; and when Voluntary churchmen shall afford any satisfactory proof of being possessed of the power of working miracles, we shall grant that their argument has something at least like plausibility; (although the simple exercise of such a power, unless attended with peculiar circumstances, could be no warrant to disannul existing Establishments, for miracles were wrought during the continuance, and for the confirmation of the Jewish institution ;) while, as it now stands, it is altogether inapplicable, and can be regarded in no other light than that of a mere ignorantia Elenchi, a misconception arising from ignorance of the real nature of the subject of debate. But, so far from the first establishment of Christianity under Constantine directly tend ing to the deterioration of the Gospel, as has been broadly asserted, the evidence of Scripture and ecclesiastical history proves directly the contrary. Paul tells us, in the 7th verse of the second chapter of his second Epistle to the Thessalonians, that even in his time "the mystery of iniquity did already work, and that he who then letted, would let, until he should be taken out of the way." A prediction which all Protestants allow was not fulfilled until the seventh century, when the Papal power was established on the ruins and subjugation of the imperial throne. The first public act of Constantine, after the triumph of his victorious arms, and the establishment of Christianity, was, with the co-operation of the bishops of the Church, to call a general council, which lifted up a standard against the enemy, and gave decided testimony to the supreme power and inherent Godhead of Jesus Christ. And Revelation, far from holding forth the establish
ment of religion, under his reign, as pregnant with degradation and injury to the Church, gives, according to the almost unanimous voice of the interpreters of prophecy, quite the contrary representation of the subject. On the opening of the sixth seal, (as it is recorded in the sixth and seventh chapters of the book of Revelation,) an earthquake is introduced, and the body politic of paganism,-the sun, the moon, the stars, and the heavens,—are shaken ; kings and captains hide themselves in the caves of the earth; the Lamb of God assumes the attitude and majesty of a conqueror; and the saints of the whole Catholic Church, represented by the twelve tribes of Israel, are sealed and sanctified. Such was the state of the Church under Constantine, when, after the ten fiery persecutions, the power of Pagan Rome was annihilated-when Maximinian, and Galerius, and Maximin, and Maxentius, discomfitted and overthrown, hid themselves in dens and caves; when the wrath of the Lamb was executed upon his adversaries; when the Redeemed enjoyed temporal peace and spiritual tranquillity; and "Nomine Christianorum deleto," inscribed on the coins and medals of the empire, gave place to the nobler emblazonry, “Εν τούτῳ Νικα.
But, we do not merely defend ourselves, in answering this objection: we do more, we act upon the aggressive. For, while we defend the legitimate establishment of religion in the fourth century, and advocate the benefits of that institution, we deprecate the rise of the Papacy, with its attendant Voluntaryism, which made its appearance in the seventh. The Papacy reared its head, and came to its maturity, not by receiving a remuneration from the State, but by raising itself above and independent of it. To receive civil protection in defence of the external rights of the Church, and, it may be, an emolument from the public funds, for the labours at the altar, is the essence of a Church Establishment: To subsist on personal property, annexed to the Church, as unamenable or superior to the power of the State, is, so far as concerns temporalities, the essence of Popery or the Voluntary principle. Boniface III, according to the popular opinion, bartered with the Emperor Phocas for the title of universal bishop; but, he did not hesitate to trample on the tyrant whom, with fraternal duplicity, he affected to obey. Whatever may have been the real or imaginary formality of robbing the patriarch of Constantinople, to decorate with his title the bishop of Rome, it is matter of historical certainty, that the power possessed by the Pope preceded the title conferred by the Emperor, and that the former had as little connexion with the latter, as the power of Napoleon with the investiture of the "iron crown" from the hands of his holiness. If Boniface was invested with the title of Ecumenical Bishop at all, it must have been as a mere gewgaw to play upon the people,
the contemptible affectation of a voluntary humility. The fact is, the predecessor of Boniface had already commenced what the sucessors of that prelate finally completed. By small grants, pious frauds, and superstitious endowments, the wealth of the Romish See, increased by the worldly policy of the Popes, and the mistaken zeal of petty princes, and penitent devotees, until commanding what are called the States of the Church, the papal tyrant usurped at once the power of the Apostles and the sceptre of the Cæsars, and made the mightiest monarchs of Europe tremble on their throne. Such is the legitimate result of the Voluntary principle. It exalteth itself above all that is called God, and is worshipped. Disowning allegiance to the powers that be, its native tendency is to cast dishonour on the Ruler of the universe.
If there were any probability that, before the man of sin is consumed by the breath of God's mouth, his seat should be transplanted from the capitol of the Roman world, there is no place that we could with more likelihood fix for his residence than those wealthy domains inhabited by the Dissenters in the north of England; or those rich and fertile fields, where the Socinian members of the Synod of Munster "repose their wearied virtue". The endowments, and mortgages, and pious bequests, left by good old ladies, (such as that of Lady Hewley's charity,) which are attached to those ecclesiastical bodies, carry with them all the elements of an incipient papacy. Should the fabric of our National Establishment be broken, and the reign of ignorance and superstition again brood over these lands, it would only be in accordance with the common principles of our fallen nature,—for these two bodies to grow up into all the massy strength and frightful. maturity of a spiritual despotism.
A third objection, which I shall just, in concluding, touch upon, is, that Church Establishments are injurious to the cause of truth, by giving countenance to the establishment of a false religion. The former objection was brought against the mode of establishing religion; the present against the nature of the religion which may be established. The objection bears the semblance of a great concern for truth; and so far it is to be respected; while, at the same time, it must be confessed that it is urged by many who, far from having any regard for truth, treat all religions with equal disregard aud indifference. But while we would uphold the necessity of Establishments, we would also maintain, that nothing should be established but the truth as it is in Jesus. But let it not, therefore, be supposed, that because the true religion is established in one country, any sanction is thereby given for the establishment of a false religion in others. If one man speaks the truth, is it therefore necessary that the whole world should be condemned to silence, because another speaks falsehood? Be
cause truth is established by law in one place, this is no reason why falsehood should be established by law in another. All magistrates (using the word in its largest sense,) are bound to establish the truth, and in whatsoever nation a false religion is established, that nation, or the rulers of it, are accountable for the false religion so established, just as private persons are responsible for the opinions which they entertain. The accountability of nations depends on the same principle as that of individuals. The difference is not of kind, but of quantity. Paul, in his ignorance, persecuted the Church; and in doing so, he sinned: but his sin here was caused by another sin antecedent to the persecution, and that was, rooted prejudice and unwillingness to be convinced. Trajan had ample opportunity of knowing the doctrines and precepts of the Christian religion, and yet, far from establishing Christianity as the religion of the empire, he persecuted the followers of Christ. But his sin as a monarch is not different in kind, although certainly in degree, from his sin as a man. In like manner, should a heathen nation, or head of a nation, in these days, establish the religion of Confucius, or Budah, or Mahomet, or the Grand Lama, or the Man of Sin, that nation or its representative, or in some degree both, are accountable for the establishment of such a system of error, just on the same principle that they are accountable for their individual moral pravity. It is the duty of all magistrates to establish religion; but it is their previous duty to discover the truth. There is no objection that can be urged against the accountability of kings or nations in establishing a false religion, which may not with the same force be urged against the accountability of individuals in forming for themselves erroneous opinions. If the objection proves any thing, t proves too much. We cannot argue against the use of an institution, from its abuse. If ecclesiastical establishments are to be discarded, because they have been, or may be, abused, we must discard Christianity itself.
DR. CHALMERS' WORKS.*
(The fifth volume of this valuable series of works has been published.We copy the Preface into our pages as one of the best recommendations we can give of the volume.)
THERE seems a special necessity, in the present times, for laying open to the light of day every possible connexion, which might be fancied or alleged between Theology and the other
* Sketches of Moral and Mental Philosophy; their Connexion with each other; and their bearings on Doctrinal and Practical Christianity. William Collins, Glasgow.
Sciences. All must be aware of a certain rampant infidelity