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Hudson in Shanghai, and call and Then, as per Minutes, we had three see their neighbours in Japan, and chapels and 459 members. In 1869 pay my respects to the good mis- we had four chapels-but Borough sionaries in Fiji, and see how the Road double the size of Great Suffolk New Zealanders and Australians are Street, Commercial Road enlarged, getting on in my way home. This New Church Street two hundred world of ours—for God has given it additional sittings—and 1147 memto us—is so full of interest and bers in all, or an increase of 150 beauty, that I should like to see as much of it as possible before I go And now allow me to remind our hence. Should these travels be readers that our Centenary Associaeffected, some more jottings may tion is approaching, and I trust its interest our readers.
celebration in every respect will be In the meanwhile, allow me to worthy of the occasion, and of the add a few words as to our denomi- momentous age in which our lot national status in London as com- has been cast. pared with what it was in 1835.
THE UNION OF CHURCH AND STATE VIEWED IN THE
LIGHT OF PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES. It is not unwise, under any circum- organs of a people's life" in the light of stances, to investigate the relations present circumstances,” is to obey the between institutions so important to a necessities of the hour, and to submit country as the Church and the State. current theories on ecclesiastical matEven in times of religious and political ters to a fair and valid test; and we quiet it might be very profitable to ask do so, not forgetting the teaching of whether the temporal government and Scripture, but with the assurance that the Christian Society hold such a posi- a separate appeal to the times in which tion toward each other as secures the we live cannot issue in a verdict opmost thorough efficiency in each, and posed to the precepts of the Word of the highest measure of good to the God. people at large : but in the present No age is without its witness to the conditions of British life, and the irre- exact value of the agents at work in pressible urgency of ecclesiastical ques- its midst. The voice of humanity, tions, no inquiry is more imperative, or drowned for a while, finally sounds if properly conducted, more likely to above the strife of tongues, commendbe fraught with good.
ing the good, and condemning the bad. For three centuries there has been a Every tree is known by its fruit; and union between the State and a section the most patient gardener must, when of the Church of Christ in these realms, the Great Husbandman bids, take the and we have before us the records and
axe and lay down the spade. Neither results of this alliance, not more in the churches, nor states, nor both together, annals of the past than in the living, are exempt from this law. There is compact, and homogeneous circum
more in every kingdom than is visible stances of our present national life. to the eye. Man is not alone. Each This immediate generation, in all its nation lives and moves in God, and phases of thought and action, is the therefore you cannot always violate its direct offspring of the whole past; and conscience with impunity. The day the condition of the Church and State of reckoning is marked in the divine question to-day is seen in the complete calendar, and when the morning dawns result of the manifold efforts and ex- resistance is useless. Unjust statutes periences of the nation in the direction and iniquitous institutions may spread of religion, since the time the Anglican like the green bay tree, but the Lord Church sprang out of a compromise will pluck them up by the roots, and between the Catholics and Protestants scatter every scrap of fibre to the of the reigns of Henry and Elizabeth. winds. Our eternal Father is not abTo look at the union of these two chief sent from any people or any time, and
Viewed in the Light of Present Circumstances.
107 if His children will take heed, they attempts to track the ocean heedless of may read the teachings of His provi- changing winds and of the currents of dence with scarcely less ease, accuracy, and profit, than they find in studying Moreover this examination is necesthe records of His grace.
sary as well as wise, because the Howbeit circumstances, externally methods and measures of the future regarded, are not so faultless a test of are mainly determined by our sense of truth that it is unnecessary to search the needs and teaching of the nation for the ideas and feelings that produce at the present hour. The good plans them; nor is the “logic of events,' of to-day are the result of an appeal even when driven in upon us with the fairly made to the whole facts of yesquenchless energy of a tornado, always terday; and the methods of to-morrow so conclusive as to release us from the will grow out of the circumstances of obligation of resisting it with the this moment as naturally as one generasterner and holier logic of individual tion follows another, or as the blossom conscience. Successes are not princi- gives place to the fruit. The temple ples. Defeats are not in every case of national well being is built up day proof of falsehood. Customs, though by day from the materials of the past. they crystallize in forms of beauty Judaism completes its work, and then and strength, do not make irrefragable grace and truth come by Jesus Christ. law. Circumstances are not kings, but Scholastic philosophy wanes, and then heralds trumpeting the monarch's pre- Lord Bacon appears. Famine, bank
They are not themselves ruptcy, and wide-spread calamity, exmoral rules, but reliable commentaries tort an unwilling acknowledgment of upon such rules, moral or immoral as the evils of protection, and then we may have been followed. Like mirrors have unfettered industry, a cheap loaf, they reveal the purposes of God and and the produce of the world at our the wants and weaknesses of men. In feet. If we are to provide for the them we have the outward and visible morrow's need as we ought, we must signs of inward and spiritual ideas. carefully look at yesterday and to-day. For the real history of mankind is not “At yesterday.” For we must not first written in the "pomp of circum- break with our past. It is the complestance,” but on the fleshly tablets of ment of the present, and must always the heart. Those conflicts that come be judged with it. We cannot collect to the front for their award have been a true verdict by merely testing the first fought out in the arena of the few facts that rush to the front and soul. The spirit of the age gives insist on being examined, any more shape and form, direction and move- than we can get a system of geology ment to society. Laws and institu- out of a single fossil oyster, or a true tions are the clothing of the intuitions, knowledge of farming from the analysis beliefs, and hopes of men; and experi- of the soil of a solitary field. Though ence assures us that when we once get truth is one, it is wondrously manifold, at the ideas ruling their minds, con- and requires to be known in its variety trolling their choice, and moulding their before it can be understood in its unity, acts, we are in the domain of truth, and appreciated in its broadest range, where, more likely than anywhere else, in order to be felt in its highest power. we shall gaze upon her form and re- “Throughout the ages one increasing ceive her benediction. Present circum- purpose runs, and the thoughts of men stances may, therefore, tell us, if we are widening with the circling of the know how to read them, what human
There is a visible development needs are deepest, what organizations of moral ideas along the path of hisare best adapted to certain states of tory. One generation passeth away, social life, and what purposes God is and another generation cometh, but working out, and so bring us abreast the truth abideth for ever. of the teachings of that common sense lives to itself, or learns for itself. Each or common consciousness of mankind is teacher to its successor, and teaches which seems the chief criterion of truth the better because it has before been a available to us. The man, then, who dependent and diligent pupil. As the ignores such signs of the times is as light of distant stars has been ages in unwise as the navigator who, carefully travelling to us, so this “light of preguarding his sextant and compass, sent circumstances” comes along all
No age * Mr. Gladstone's speech on the second readpreme judge of religious truth, and
the past, and we must allow its col- that a grave wrong is done to their lected force to shine upon us without manhood when government puts a preany restriction. One thing remains to mium upon the avowal of one religious be desired, that as we gather together opinion, and a penalty to the holding its scattered rays and concentrate them of another. The more we think, the on this subject of Church and State, more we differ at the first; but thinkwe may follow in the wake of Professor ing on and on, discord disappears, and Tyndal, but with a higher experiment, a basis of agreement is found. A real and consume with the holy flame of unity pervades the life of humanity. love of truth all particles of the "dust" Differences high as the Andes separate of prejudice, custom, and selfish in- us, but we meet in concord in the deep terest floating in the path of these rays, vales from which the mountains start. so that the light beaming with unob- In the crusading days of Peter the structed freedom and purity, the union Hermit the multitude asked, as town of Church and State may be distinctly after town came into view, “Is this and fully revealed.
Jerusalem ?" Justice is the Jerusalem What, then, is the result of our in- of the world, the rallying point of quiry conducted on these principles, national crusades, the meeting place of and we believe in this spirit ? Must all kindreds and tongues.
A nation we declare for the continuance of the is stronger than a law, but there is alliance between the English Estab- something stronger than a nation, and Jishment and the Parliament? Is the that something is justice, and evidence compiled from within and that rare, noble, and imperial virtue, without the State Church, and illus- has this above all other qualities, that trated by the experiences of other she is no respecter of persons. peoples, so conclusively on the side of She presents a tranquil and majestic maintaining existing relations that we countenance towards every point of do wrong to ask whether we follow the the compass and every quarter of the will of God in this matter, and greater
And as men see more of her wrong to require a readjustment of chaste beauty, and imbibe more of her those relations? We cannot hesitate righteous spirit, every injustice, and about our answer. The light of pre- above all every inequality legalized in sent circumstances points out the the name of religion (which is nothing necessity for obtaining a speedy sepa- if it is not just), will vanish at her adration of Church and State, and an vancing sway like darkness before the independence for each of the other as morning dawn. perfect as that between the govern- It was said a short time ago in the ment and a literary club, a life assur- Pall Mall Gazette—“There are ance society, or an omnibus company. movements to which a wise man ought The teaching of God in His providence to pay greater attention or respect seems unambiguously on the side of than those which proceed from the the deliverance of His church from
tacit unexpressed conviction of the State patronage and control. The
great mass of mankind in the face of minds of men are gravitating with the denunciations of eloquent excepever increasing speed towards religious tions. Burke reviled the voluntary equality, and it is as impossible to pre- system with all his power, and yet the vent their arrival at that goal as to current of opinion has set steadily all keep back the sea.
over Europe in the opposite direction fret and fume against their destiny, but to Burke for two generations, and is it avails not; they must either go with getting stronger every day." England the strong forces of justice and truth is not alone in her struggles for religious that grapple them, or be left as bea- equality. She is but one in the comcons on the deserted rocks of iniquity. pany of nations eagerly bent on gainMau cannot always be unjust. The ing this prize. The wave of freedom living energies of God urge us along rises higher and higher, and is rapidly in a nobler path. The line between spreading over both hemispheres. We politics and religion becomes more and have just seen a church voluntarily more definite to the eye of the nation. disestablish itself, to defend the truth Men perceive that the State has neither with greater success in Neufchâtel. qualification nor right to be the su
ing of the Irish Land Bill.
Viewed in the Light of Present Circumstances.
109 Sir James Grant finds in this principle of surpassing ability and eminent piety; the only pacific settlement of the rela- and, above all, they have reared a race tions of Church and State in Jamaica. of men of firm conviction and quickened The voluntary system enjoys free play devotion, who “ reverence conscience in the Western Republic with such as the source, and liberty of conscience pure and salutary issues as never pro- as the only guarantee, of truth." ceeded from state protection and state These churches have shown themselves pay. The colonies of the Pacific have able to grow in an atmosphere of oputtered their potent voice in favour of pression and social injustice, and given liberty, and a welcome echo of it has fair promise of what may be expected just been heard from the vast province from them when they dwell in a clime of Hindostan. Italy, in the hearing of genially refreshed with the breezes of the Pope, has announced and adopted liberty and equality. The record of the maxim of a free Church in a free Dissent is with the nation, and we are State. Even Austria marches with a content to abide its verdict. Already fleet foot to the same ideal. The toler. the successes of Nonconformity are ance of all sects has been proclaimed contrasted with the proved and palin the home of the Inquisition. Sweden, pable failure of its rival as an organ Turkey, and France, are travelling in for unfolding and maturing the spiritual the same direction; and Britain cannot life of men, and it is not difficult to surely be left behind in this race for see with what result. The essential the goal of liberty, equality, and reli- evils of the alliance between the State gion. Never ! Already the Irish and the Church multiply and increase Church is rejoicing in its newly be- with the growing vitality and earneststowed privilege, and preparing for ness of the mernbers of the latter. the vigorous deeds of a dawning man- The more they strive to do the work hood. Wales is astir. Scotland has of the Church, the more patent becomes given signs of a fixed purpose and the iniquity of receiving the supsubstantial hostages to the cause in port, and the more irksome is submisher Free Church life, and the English sion to the control of the State. Even people are moved by those ideas and now it is said by those who would actuated by those principles which withhold it if they could, that error is must come forth shortly in the com- endowed to a greater extent than plete emancipation of the religion of truth, and every day brings to light the Son of God from the enslaving some fresh case enforcing the necessity patronage and unrighteous control of for separation. Men's consciences are the civil government. Haste, thrice seriously hurt, social life is poisoned happy hour! when the true King of with bitterness and jealousies that men and only Head of the church shall ought not to be so much as named be acknowledged from one end of the amongst us, political progress is world to the other as the sole Law- checked, ignorance is fostered, and giver and Ruler of His redeemed and religion herself is wounded and imholy people!
prisoned in the magnificent house of Nor can we see that State-Churchism, her friends. as such, has in a single instance proved It is separation that is needed, and itself so worthy of honour as to deserve not reform. To cut off a branch will any exceptionally favourable treat- not pluck the disease from the root. ment. We rejoice that in many lands Mending a window will not save the it has rendered distinguished service,
house built on sand : it needs not a but its achievements, as compared with pane of glass, but a new foundation. those of voluntaryism, have not by any Injustice is not wiped out with a word. means been so remarkable as to justify Projects of reform, even if honestly the slightest preference for govern,
conceived and strenuously urged, are ment supervision of religion. Indeed misplaced and mistimed.
It is too the opposite is the case. The Free late. The ship must go. The drug churches of England, with all their of advowsons may be cast out, but the defects, have done a good work for the vessel still sinks. Bel and the dragon nation. They have produced out of may be thrown overboard, but their
materials, and in the face of place is filled by the inrushing water. great obstacles, writers of some genius Bishops may cease to oppose good and of accurate scholarship, preachers legislation and work away at the
pumps, and chivalrous deans may urge traceable in the past, and never more others to come on board to save them, emphatically declared than now, (and but it is too late. The ship is eaten an essential part of the philosophy of through and through by error, and progress,) that a clear and broad line though all the living shall be saved, must be drawn between the duties of yet the worm-eaten timbers of State- men towards God, and their duties to Churchism cannot be kept from their the Government; and that on no predeserved doom,
tence whatever should the State inYet is it not a humiliating circum- vade the realm of religion with its stance that the British nation, at this sanctions, or the Church interfere with advanced period of its civilization, the civil government in the discharge should be terminating the long confu- of its appropriate duties. sion of the provinces of civil obliga- But are there no circumstances that tion and religious duty ?—a service conflict with this broad deduction ? the Romans performed for their repub- Many, undoubtedly. There is a keen lic before they had travelled far in the desire to maintain the existing allifourth century of their history. But ance, and even a strong determination such is the fact. It required more on the part of a diminishing number than six hundred years to effect a not to give it up at any price. Some separation between politics and the good men think that the Church will administration of justice in this be drowned beyond all recovery if country, and it has taken more than turned out of the ark of the State. eight hundred years to bring us on the Defenders of the union abound, and line of that higher division between they are not remarkably particular as politics and religion; whereas if men to the theory on which they conduct would have been content with any their defence. Some take to other teaching than painful experience, Hooker, others leave us with Mr. they might have found not only in the Gladstone in his youth; these are Scriptures but in the history of the given up for Warburton by a few, and world and the church
all three are surrendered by a growing enough to have induced them to insist party for the comprehending of all on such a separation ages ago. From creeds in heaven and under heaven, on one fact learn all. Maine, in his the earth and under the earth. Ancient Law, suggests the high proba- Are we told that the Church must bility that the Romans would have had have the help of the State to keep her a civilization as feeble and sickly as out of the dangerous ways of error ? the Hindoos, if they had not made this Must these chains of civil government vital distinction when they did. He also be placed upon her limbs lest she says: “ We can see that Brahminical should wander into forbidden paths ? India has not passed beyond a stage Why, godless men laugh at the hollow which occurs in the history of all the apology, and point to the motley families of mankind, the stage at which host denouncing and condemping one a rule of law is not yet discriminated another in the churches of the Estabfrom a rule of religion. The members lishment; and godly men mourn with of such a society consider that the a bitter grief as they see the national transgression of a religious ordinance property used in the name of Protesshould be punished by civil penalties, tantism for the support of those who and that the violation of a civil duty are teaching undisguised Roman exposes the delinquent to divine cor- Catholic doctrine. Surely no proof is rection." The union of Church and needed that the union is useless for the State is logically the perpetuation of maintenance of truth as against error. the political blunder which Rome cor- During a longer period than a generarected soon after the promulgation of tion the Anglican Church has been the Twelve Tables, and thence ad- passing more and more into the hands vanced to, and for four centuries kept of teachers who have ceased to be in the van of, all progressive societies; Protestants, who openly declare the but which the Hindoos, born of the doctrine of transubstantiation, defend same stock, continued, and so first and use the confessional, and dissemiarrested their advancement, and then nate nearly all the dogmas of the sunk to a perverted and cruel de- priest-corrupted Church of Rome. generacy. It is a law of progress, And is this decreasing at the present