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place of inward life. Responsibility has been thrown on the shoulders of societies.' Christianity, too, can be done by proxy. Guineas will do as well as service. The Age of Veneer' is upon us. Seeming is as highly appreciated as substance. Why should we work?

One of the agencies that has lately sprung up to meet the growing wants of the vast section of society coming under the general denomination of the lower classes, and one that has been proved by the result to be well adapted to attract the sympathies, and elicit the latent affections, even of the dissolute and depraved among them, is CHURCHES FOR THE Poor. We know not how many of the mutual societies, so denominated, are now at work, but we have reason to believe that in most of our large manufacturing towns something analogous to the Aberdeen Albion-street Mission, the rise and progress' of which we are about to sketch, will be found.

The establishment of the Albion-street Mission is owing to the unassisted efforts of Mr. J. H. Wilson, of Aberdeen, late editor of the • North of Scotland Gazette,' and now pastor of the Albion-street Church in that city. “In the month of August, 1847,' says Mr. Wilson," ' a room was opened for religious worship on the low floor of a wretched house in Albion-street, Aberdeen. It measured twelve feet by eight, and the roof was only five feet six inches from the ground. It was seated with fir slabs, and lighted by a penny candle, which stood on the preacher's table. At the first meeting, about a dozen people were present, whose appearance bespoke extreme misery and destitution. They formed part of a population set down, by common consent, as the most depraved and vicious in the community, and who had long been looked upon, by every denomination of Christians, as irreclaimable.' We are told, that notwithstanding this, they • listened with attention to the gospel message, and “manifested a growing interest in the service.' Typhus fever breaking out among the families who inhabited the other parts of the miserable dwelling in which the weekly meeting was held, the mission had to be suspended for a short period, during which it occurred to the indefatigable originator of the scheme to erect a ‘mission chapel' in the district. This, with the aid of funds privately butó easily' collected from Christian friends, was immediately done ; and on the second Sunday in January, 1848, the chapel was opened, bills having been previously circulated in the neighbourhood, stating that public worship would be conducted there on Sabbath evenings, that the sittings would be free, and that there would be no collection. On the first Sunday evening, thirty persons were assembled, who, when told that the chapel had been built expressly for themselves, that there would be a Sunday-school for their children, and week-day meetings arranged, were evidently filled with surprise.' On the next Sunday the attendance was doubled, and, after a short time, the chapel was generally crowded. The building was then enlarged and improved, everything, however, connected with the

* «The Rise and Progress of Albion-street Mission, Aberdeen.' By J. H. Wilson, Editor of the North of Scotland Gazette.'

arrangements of the place being in harmony with the requirements of a ‘poor man's kirk.'

A firm foothold was now gained. The people had become deeply attached to the missionary, and a step in advance was taken. A selfsupporting Tract Society was, therefore, organized as the first means of testing the strength of the people, and teaching them the doctrine of self-reliance. On the second Sunday after the formation of the

-.' society sixty names were enrolled, and at its first monthly meeting 350 tracts were distributed. It was quite a scene,' says Mr. Wilson, 'to witness this distribution. The poor people received the little messengers of truth like men and women who felt that they had value for their money, and not with that indifference which often attends the reception of tracts bestowed as a gift.'

Cheap periodical literature was next introduced, and with similar success, for now the average monthly allotment consists of 350 tracts and 70 copies of various monthly magazines.' We quote now from Mr. Wilson's pamphlet :

Our next step was to form a department in this society for the purchase of Bibles, by subscriptions of a penny a week. The lowest possible price was charged for each Bible; and, in the course of two months, twenty-six were subscribed for. This department of the society's operations has been attended with the most remarkable success,—the interest manifested by the people having never once flagged. During the first year, the members subscribed 6 shillings in silver, 60 sixpences, 1,920 pennies, 4,568 halfpennies; total, 19!. 6s. 4d. With this money, there were purchased and apportioned according as each had subscribed : 1,000 anecdote tracts; 1,200 Christian, Penny, and other Magazines; 4,000 tracts, from four to twelve pages; 30 Psalm Books; 45 New Testaments; 160 Bibles. During the second year, the fund was equally prosperous ; and, since the commencement, it has purchased about 15,000 tracts, 3,000 magazines, 50 psalm books, 60 New Testaments, 350 Bibles. It was truly heart-gladdening to see how willingly these people subscribed their pence for the Word of God.'

We cannot follow in detail the subsequent history of this interesting mission. As soon as practicable, a Sunday-school, a weekly prayermeeting, a music-class, a Temperance Society, and a Penny Bank, were successively crganized. The Temperance Society now numbers seven hundred members; and since its formation, it is stated, the members of the society have much improved in their domestic circumstances. The history of the Savings Bank shows how beneficial the influence of religion has been upon the social habits of the people of the Mission:

d. Deposited in half-year ending June 20, 1850, by 153 depositors 30 17

Dec. 20, 1850, by 240 depositors 61 10
June 20, 1851, by 320 depositors 85 2 2
Dec, 20, 1851

121 0 0 After the establishment of the Savings' Bank, it was found that the chapel was too small for the congregation, and a new one was accordingly built : her Majesty contributing 201. towards its erection, and subsequently 251. towards the erection of a penny evening-school. The chapel, which is now opened, will accommodate abo hree

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hundred persons, and is 'generally filled.' Since its erection, courses of popular lectures, on scientific and other subjects, have been delivered to crowded congregations. Both this and the Savings Bank are new, but in our view by no means objectionable features for a religious society. Among the lecturers, on these occasions, we find the names of Mr. Sheriff Watson, of Aberdeen, who has done much to promote the success of the scheme ; Professors Martin, Brown, Blackie, and Thomson ; Mr. Silk Buckingham; Mr. Geo. Thompson, M.P.; the Rev. Dr. Begg, and others. The happy effect of these lectures,' says Mr. Wilson, upon the people, can be estimated only by the few strangers who had the pleasure of being present when they were delivered. The audience evidently feel that they were sym. pathized with ; and, at the close of each lecture, warmly expressed their grateful sense of the kindness thus shown them.'

In the last paragraph will be found the secret of the success of this Mission. The people felt that they were sympathized with. An earnest spirit had pervaded everything that had been done for them, and a corresponding earnestness was shown in everything done by them. The success of this Mission-we mean its moral and religious success, the only real success of any moral movement-is amply testified to. Says Mr. Barclay, the superintendent of police :

*I am happy in being able to state, that, since the chapel was erected in that most depraved and destitute locality, the moral character of the district has been very much improved. Numerous instances are known at this office, in which persons who were habitually given to intemperance, debauchery, and crime, have been reclaimed. [Here Mr. Barclay gives the particulars of several remarkable cases.). Taking the whole matter into consideration, and especially the fearful scenes that occurred in the low theatre that occupied the site where the chapel now stands, I cannot but conclude that the institution has been of the greatest public benefit, and reflects the highest honour on its promoters; and, well would it be for the community, if twenty such chapels were established in Aberdeen,'

Some of these, habitually given to intemperance, debauchery, and crime,' who were four years ago the outcasts of society, have died * witnessing a good confession ; ' others have gone to be received into the fellowship of other churches ; some have been restored to the religious denominations from which they had fallen; while not a few cling to the stated services of the chapel as the home of their best affections. Such results have followed the carnest labours of one man, and similar results may everywhere be brought about, but only by similar means. Neither money nor talent alone will accomplish such a work. An earnest Christianity is needed; and if we wish to bring back the poor to the ways of morality and religion, an earnest Christianity alone will accomplish it. In the concluding words of the pamphlet from which we have condensed the above narrative

We build churches, and place in them able and accomplished ministers institute Sunday and day-schools, and in all this we do well; but we must do more. We must build kirks for the poor, go to "the highways and edges;” and, by the compulsory exercise of the law of love, compel the destitute and depraved to betake themselves to the practice of virtue and truth.'

The power of the Keys aud the Ministerial Office.


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In treating of the ministerial office, the words of Christ, from which the above expression is derived, are often appealed to as containing in them both the institution of that office and an explanation of its duties and powers.

Luther treats of the power of the keys as attached to the office of preaching and administering sacraments, and points out two different ways in which this power is exercised. Preaching,' he says, in a circular drawn up in conjunction with Melancthon and others, 'preaching and jurisdictiont differ; jurisdiction takes cognizance of public offences; but there are many private sins, which can only be bound and punished through the medium of the office of preacher.' Thus, too, the Heidelberg Catechism, to the question, . What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?' gives as reply, * The preaching of the gospel, and church discipline.' According to this explanation, this power is put forth on the one hand in the preaching of the gospel, and, perhaps we may add, the administration of the sacraments; or, rather, is to be regarded as the personal application by each of the gospel which is preached to all. For since the preaching of the gospel, and observance of the sacraments, are ever offering mercy and forgiveness to all who will accept it in penitence and faith, they open to such hearers, without delay, the gates of the kingdom of heaven; and of necessity to those who despise it, the effect produced must be exactly the reverse. And, on the other hand, it consists of those acts, by which a Christian church must, from its very idea and nature, resist the sins and its vices of individual members; that is, the exercise of church discipline in various modes, whether in the form of excommunication, or of the restoration of penitent offenders.

Of these two branches, the first is undoubtedly attached to the ministerial office; not, however, exclusively, as though it could not be exercised by members of the church who are not in office, but in this sense—that the ministerial office, according to its true meaning, cannot be imagined to exist without this power of the keys.

The only question requiring investigation is, whether the power is something specially belonging to the office, existing side by side with the preaching and attendance to the sacraments, $ or whether it simply consists of these.

Before, however, we proceed to this inquiry, we shall notice the second branch, which the Reformers called ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

+ 1. e., church discipline. | How far it is for the advantage of the Church that the preacher should, ex officio, administer baptism and preside at the Lord's Supper, certainly admits of dispute. Preaching is no church office, but the consecration of personal talent, the exercise of one particular mode of "the manifestation of the Spirit,' which is given to every man to do good with (npòs to oupe pépov).' And the constant

* Deutsche Zeitschrift. Februar, 1852,

Thus the Augsburgh Confession says : According to the gospel, bishops, as bishops, possess no jurisdiction, except to remit sins, to take cognizance of doctrine, and reject any doctrine which differs from the gospel, and to exclude from the communion of the Church unbelievers whose impiety is known, not by human power, but by the Word.' Thus the German Reformers regarded even this branch of the power of the keys as belonging to the ministerial office; though it is important to observe in what sense they did so. Luther, in 1521, at an earlier period than this Confession, decided that the church, or the pastor as its representative, has the power to bind the sinner.' But in a writing of his, which appeared in 1530, no mention is made of the church; but the keys are said to be an office, a power, or command, given by God, through Christ, to Christianity. The Reformers evidently base the gift of the keys to the Church upon the words of Christ (Matt. xviii. 18), which stand in connexion with the directions as to church discipline, and regard what they call jurisdiction as a prominent part of the power then conferred. In certain official declarations of the Reformers the right of the Church to exercise this jurisdiction is distinctly recognised; but even in the sixteenth century the right of excommunication was transferred to certain consistories, and that by the advice of Reformers themselves. And whatever might be urged against this, it was but a natural result of the teaching of those Reformers, who, instead of holding firmly the idea of discipline, regarded this excommunication as equal to the Jewish ban, a punishment and a curse inflicted upon the sinner at the command of God.

Schleiermacher has, to a certain extent, sanctioned the view of those earlier theologians, who included church government in the office of the keys, inasmuch as he resolves it into the power of the Church to make and carry out its laws ; but, for that reason, he does not admit that the exercise of the power of the keys belongs to the ministerial office. By binding and loosing he understands, with many ancient and modern expositors, authority to determine what shall be commanded or forbidden, and what left to the discretion of each individual. He seeks, also, to bring this idea into essential connexion with the forgiveness of sins, by maintaining that the forgiveness of sins, which issues from Christ, can only be received by the individual after the religious life of the community has been combined into a systematic whole (a church), and the common spirit which pervades it becomes the medium through which each receives that forgiveness.

We proceed now to examine more closely the words of Christ with regard to the keys, in order to ascertain their relation to the ministerial office. The keys of the kingdom of heaven are only mentioned once in the gospels (Matt. xvi. 19), followed by the words

conjunction with this of what is called the administration of the sacraments has undoubtedly a tendency to make of ministers a sacred order, and of the preacher a priest. In most of the churches of Germany both theory and practice treat them as necessarily connected, and the practice of most of those in England leads to the same result.-TRANSLATOR. *Glaubenslehre Bd. 2, s 144, 145, comp.

127. VOL. II.


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