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no more fruitful source of error and whether they were Patriarchs, Jews, confusion than the Bible alone, if or Christians, or a medley of them every portion of it be regarded as all; and what particular set of opinequally binding upon the Christian, ions they were pleased to adopt by and equally important to Christianity. way of distinction, or for the sake of Who does not know that the chief theory. The Bible then ceased to be errors of Protestant sects consist in their only rule of faith and practice, thus confounding things that are when human dogmas and opinions different, and in corrupting the New were engrafted upon its teachings ; Testament by the Old? And, cer- and it became an empty boast that tainly, there can be no fact more " the Bible was their religion ;" when, humiliating to the pride of intellect in consequence of the paramount imthan this, that knowledge itself may portance given to these opinions, it be thus converted into ignorance, and contained only the smallest and least that truth may be made the means essential part of their religion. of perverting truth, just as the rays! It was not proposed, in this reforfrom two luminous points may, by mation, to take the Bible alone in the interference, destroy each other, and general and indefinite sense of Proresult in darkness.
testantism. It was not to be regarded To take the Bible alone, then, in as a great creed, requiring commentreligion, is well ; but it will not suffice, aries and expositions ; nor as a storeif at the same moment we take leave house of proof-texts to sustain any of common sense and common reason. I and every doctrine which might be To disregard the distinctions which broached by men. It was to be taken it makes, based upon the essential as an instructor, a guide-book, a differences of things; to lose sight of revealer of the secrets of heaven. It subjects while poring over words; to was to be approached with reverence form such crude notions of the sacred as containing the infallible oracles of volume as to suppose it a compilation God, and as being the only authoriof texts and proverbs; or to imagine tative expression of his will. It was that Christianity, like light from a to be viewed as divine light from the luminous centre, shines forth equally Father of lights; as wisdom from from every part of it, is to abandon above; as a book around which all all just principles of judgment, and men might assemble to hear and involve ourselves in inextricable con- learn the way of salvation. It was fusion. The Bible is an illuminated to become a common centre of attraccircumference, rather than a luminous tion, and consequently of union, as centre ; it is an effect, rather than a the fountain in the desert to thirsty cause; it is an expansion, rather than travellers from every quarter. It a condensation of divine truth. It is was to be a book to be studied, and a detailed, and not a general view not merely erected as a standard of that it presents; it does not confine party. And all men were to gather itself to one, but embraces several around it, and unite as learners, as religions; and contains such immense disciples, to aid and assist each other and varied stores of divine knowledge in acquiring a knowledge of divine as may for ever occupy the loftiest things. No one was to dogmatize, intellect. It was quite natural, then, to theorize, to speculate, to intrude that Protestants, in mistaking the into things unseen, to introduce quesBible for a creed, should find it tions untaught. Nothing, in short, necessary to add their own exposi- was to be regarded as a matter of tions of its meaning, and their con- faith or duty unless there could be fessions of faith, to let the public produced for it, from the scriptures know, and to ascertain for themselves, themselves, a “ Thus saith the Lord,”
either in express terms, or by ap- promises.* And it would be a still proved precedent.
| greater achievement, after having This, then, was not to adopt inde- thus extricated Christianity from finitely the Bible as “our religion,” amidst the confusion in which modern but to look for our religion in the theology had involved it, to lay hold Bible. It was to “search the scrip- of its own grand and comprehensive tures,” in order to be made “ wise to truth, upon which not only the instisalvation,” “perfect and thoroughly tution itself is based, but which can furnished to every good work.” It constitute the only legitimate creed was with this object and in this spirit of Christendom, and the only true that all were invited to abandon | foundation of Christian union. creeds and human theories of religion, There is nothing whatever that will as the causes of dissension, and unite admit of the most rigid scrutiny, and in a diligent search for divine truths, the most exact analysis, better than worthy of universal acceptation. And Christianity. Whether regarded as it was this method which led to that a unit or in its details; whether sublime and comprehensive view of considered in its principles or its Christianity, and to those simple and deductions; its simplicity or its comjust views of the gospel, which con- plexity ; its internal structure, or its stitute the glory of the Reformation, external adaptations; it is found to and its power in the subversion of be every where perfect, wonderful, sectarianism and in the conversion of and divine. As fitted to man in his the world.
varying circumstances and manifold As we have before remarked, when relations, it must be necessarily comever a community thus discards creeds, plex in its associations; yet, as the and thus receives the Bible alone to last of the Divine Institutions, and direct their way, it may be regarded designed for the whole race of man, as fairly engaged in the reformation Jew and Gentile, bond and free, for which we plead, of which this learned and ignorant, it must be abandonment to the divine guidance most simple in its elements, and is the primordial element. And most intelligible in the propositions under this guidance, it would not which it offers for such universal fail gradually to attain those compre- reception. This we find, upon exahensive, yet definite, views of Chris- mination, to be the case; and we tianity, which may be well proposed perceive that the divisions of Chrisas the only just and proper basis of tendom arise from overlooking this union for Christendom. It would characteristic of Christianity, and soon be discovered that the sacred from presenting, as bonds of union, volume, amidst its records of the in place of its grand, comprehensive, past, contains the history of various and all-important principles which institutions, which, as they fulfilled might be received by all, those minor the purposes of their creation, were details and humanized expositions of superseded by fuller developments of special doctrines, which, in the very the divine character and purposes, nature of things, can be adopted but and the attention would be at length by few. fixed upon Christianity as the per- The very abundance of the relifection and final end of all. It would gious information furnished by the be a great matter thus to distinguish Bible, the multiplicity of its details, clearly from each other the Primitive,
. It was quite a novelty in the religious community when brother Campbell first clearly drew
these distinctions in 1828, vol. 6 of Christian Baptist, Christian institutions, and to assign
and it will not soon be forgotten how great an uproar was occasioned amougst the divines" of that day by his Sermon on the Law, in which he denied their
facts, observances, and right to combine the Law with the Gospel.
the sublime developments of its divine standing of the illiterate, may well mysteries, seem to have led religious secure the admiration of the erudite ; teachers to encumber the gospel with and the same comprehensiveness of unnecessary aid, to complicate it with annunciation which involves every remote and refined deductions, and thing necessary to Christian faith, to conceal, at length, its beautiful fits it to be the basis of Christian simplicity beneath the appendages by union. That alone which saves men which they sought to protect or to can unite them. That faith which adorn it. Men seem to have lost the gospel requires of sinners is the sight of the obvious distinction which faith which should unite saints. That is to be made between the Bible and confession upon which the believing the Gospel. As the Bible contains penitent may be admitted to the the gospel, and its ancient records blessings which Christianity confers, are important in elucidating and should be the only authorized test of confirming it, they have become so orthodoxy, and the only rallying cry intimately associated in the mind of amongst the hosts of the redeemed. the religious public, that they have Now the gospel, as defined by Paul, lost sight of the just distinction be- consists of the following facts : “ That tween them. The Bible is distributed Christ died for our sins, according to every where at home, and in foreign the scriptures, and that he was buried, lands, as a means of spreading the and that he rose again the third day, gospel ; and we have reason to bless according to the scriptures." And it God for this distribution, and for its is by receiving and retaining in heart blissful results. Yet it might be a and life these simple facts, so univervery proper inquiry whether the sally accredited by the variant parties, conversion of the world might not that, as he affirms, men are “saved.” be more rapidly and effectually ac- And the great confession of faith complished by presenting, in the first required of the penitent believer is instance, the gospel itself, in its own that of the treasurer of Queen Cansimple and distinct narration, just as dace : “I believe that Jesus Christ prepared by its Divine Author, for is the Son of God.” This is the universal acceptance. It should never comprehensive saying which involves be forgotten that the Apostles and within it, as it were, the whole of first preachers of the gospel had no Christianity. This is the Rock on Bibles, and not even a New Testa- which our Lord declared he would ment, to distribute ; and that there | build his church. And why should was no such thing among the early not all agree as co-workers to build Christians as a formal union upon upon this Rock? This is the tried, the “ Bible alone.” Nay, rather it the sure corner-stone of congregational was a union upon the Gospel alone ; and Christian union, and all may rest for in those days the gospel possessed assured that no other foundation can identity, and enjoyed a distinct and be laid than that which is already determinate character. It was then laid-Christ Jesus the Lord. Let recognized as the substititute for all the “Bible alone,” then, be our exprevious institutions, as complete in haustless treasury of religious knowitself, and as being the very power ledge, and to its sacred pages let us of God to salvation” to every one continually resort, that we may be who believed it.
enriched from its accumulated stores There can be no doubt that the of divine truth. Let the Bible be gospel should now be regarded in our spiritual library; but let the the same light, and be suffered to gospel be our standard of orthodoxy. occupy the same position. The same | Let the Bible be our test of Christian simplicity which fits it to the under- 'character and perfection ; but let the
Christian confession be our formula side. Coming into England from of Christian adoption and of Christian France, where the Romans first union. In a word, let the Bible be crossed, you will see at once, a good to us every thing designed by its reason why they called it in their Author ; but let “Christ crucified" language, Albion, or the while land; be not only our peace with God, but for, really, the coasts below Folkestone our peace with one another.
appear like snow in the distance. R. R. True, the French coast from Boulogne
to Calais has much the same appearLETTERS FROM EUROPE,
ance; still there is not so much of it, No. XI.
nor is it quite so brilliant as on the
English side. There is, as you adEDINBURGH, August 9, 1847. vance into France, occasionally on MY DEAR CLARINDA-Being much the side of a hill, and sometimes in fatigued with my labors in London, the plough lands, a pale whiteness of and having a desire to visit Paris, the soil, indicative of the prevalence and to see the French Metropolis at of chalk. This, however, diminishes home, I resolved on a flying trip as you recede from the coast. across the channel, via Boulogne, Neither the soil nor the cultivation Amiens, and Abbeville, to the great here are equal to that of England. continental metropolis. Leaving bro- France wants the blooming hedges, ther Henshall in London, who pre- the deep green fields, the luxuriant ferred to occupy himself in the field gardens, and the beautiful country of labor, being by no means as yet seats so common in England. Inexhausted, I set out alone on Monday deed, it wants hedges and fences of morning from London bridge, in the all sorts, so far as my horizon excars, for Folkestone, showing myself tended on both sides of the public another hundred miles of England. highways. I sometimes did not see From Folkestone to Boulogne, across a single enclosure, except occasionally the channel, is only twenty-one around a dwelling house, in the sweep miles. After reposing a few hours of ten thousand acres. After enterat this beautiful spot, I crossed in a ing the rail cars, you see a very slight steamer in two hours and a half, and fence along the railway to protect it found myself amongst the French. from the intrusion of animals ; but
To read French and speak French, with this exception of a single palisado especially with a Frenchman, are along the railroads, you see for miles two very different employments. and miles but one extended field, They speak so fast, and, in general, composed of an incalculable number so indistinctly, that it is not quite so of strips and patches of wheat, rye, easy as one might suppose, to under- oats, barley, peas, beans, turnips, stand them. I had, therefore, to ask potatoes, carrots, poppies, flax, hemp, the favor of a little more time in meadows, pastures, nurseries, &c. answering my questions.
1 In passing over one hundred and I took the stage to Abbeville, and fifty miles of France, I saw but very the day being fine, I had very pleasant little stock, and that not of very imride at some eight miles an hour. proved character. The flocks of The country through which we passed sheep were but few and far between, exhibits a good deal of the chalky and always attended by shepherds apppearance, which on both sides of and their dogs. In some instances I the channel, attracts the attention of saw a few hundred sheep on very all strangers.
slim pastures, narrow strips of meagre In a clear day one can see the chalk grass, with their shepherds lying banks across the channel on either I asleep under a shrub, while the more
faithful dogs were vigilantly walking and Paris the admiration of the world. round the green carrot, and turnip, The bronze column, in height 144 and oat patches on either side, ready English feet, erected in 1810, made to seize by the nose the first sheep up in part of twelve hundred cannon that presumed to approach, with a taken by Napoleon in his wars, yet wishful eye, the green crops so tempt- stands a proud monument of his miliing on every side.
tary greatness and of his love of human The cattle, horses, swine, and even worship. the donkeys themselves, are inferior The obelisk of Luxor, sometimes to the English. Gardens, orchards, called Cleopatra's Needle, covered dwelling houses seem to participate with hieroglyphics, of the age of in the same general inferiority. The Sesostris, now three thousand years farming utensils, indeed all imple- old, brought by Napoleon from Thebes, ments of husbandry-whether it be measuring ninety-five feet in one piece, owing to the want of Anglo-Saxon was placed upon a pedestal twenty-five blood, the brittle nature of the soil, feet high in the year 1836, not far the climate, the French language, from the palace of the Tuileries. It or the Roman Catholic religion, I was raised in the presence of all know not, and will not hastily decide the foreign ambassadors and Louis are all visibly,sensibly, and demonstra- Philippe, and placed, in great pomp, bly inferior to the English. The stage- on the identical spot where stood the drivers, stage-horses, as well as the guillotine on which Louis XVI. and stages themselves, participate in the his queen were beheaded in the Reign marked inferiority. Even the rail- of Terror. The revolutionary guilloroads and rail-cars are not wholly tine occupied this place for eighteen exempt from it. As you approach months, during which period there Paris, however, matters somewhat were guillotined by the sentences proimprove.
nounced by the revolutionary tribuOn entering the city, surrounded nals, not less than 18,603 persons. I as it is with some fifty miles of a could not express the varied emotions defensive wall, the city itself being and reflections that crowded upon me eighteen miles in circumference, as while I stood for a few minutes gazing we approach the centre the streets upon this awfully memorable spot very much improve. Its new streets, where so many victims were immolatindeed its old ones, with its moderned to the Molech of heartless Atheism.* public improvements, are in most
• Since my return from Paris, I have found an respects equal, in some respects su- | approved report of the total number sacrificed by the perior to those in London. Some of
guillotine, with the specifications of castes annexed.
According to Priedhomme, a staunch republican, its palaces, towers, triumphal arches, they are as follows
Of the Nobility ot France,
2028 persons. gardens, parks, promenades, and churches are decidedly superior to
350 things of the same sort in London. Common persons,
13,623 The genius of Napoleon is every
The hypocrisy as well as the malignity of Atheism
is equally developed in these bloody deeds. They where manifest in Paris. His new professed to effect a revolution for the good of the
middle class, and the poor; yet they donmed to this streets, his entrances to the Tuileries, single block, of the plebeians not less than 15,440, his splendid arches and columns, to
“But besides these sacrifices, there are enumerated gether with the Place de la Concorde, of women who died through panic by premature
child birth, 3.748. Women also killed in Vendee, the Place du Carrousel, the Place
15,000; children, 22,000; men, 900,000. Victims Vendome, the Louvre, with its rich slain at Nantes, 32,000; at Leon, 31.000; in all,
1,003,748, to which add the above, 18,603, and we displays of statuary, paintings, curio have the fearful amount of 1,022,351." sities, &c. &c. all attest the boldness
Should any one be curious to comprehend the
causes of this havoc ot human life, he must read the of his genius and the colossal dimen history of Popery during the reign of Louis XIV:
the massacre of Freuch Protestants on St. Bartholosions of his ambition to make himself' mew's
mew's day, and the growing immoralities of the
Of the wives of laborers and artizans 1467
and of the Nobles and Priests only 3,163!!