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the redemption is no grace, then to confer that same moral free agency through nature is no benevolence. But we shall have no hesitation in assuming that every Christian thinker will maintain that the natural bestowment of moral free agency is a benevolence in the Creator. And those same thinkers must maintain that the restoration of that moral free agency throngh the redemption is a grace.
Through the whole Christian system the graciousness of God's gifts is to be estimated, not by the result procured through the abuse of them on the part of the agent, but by the benevolence of the divine purpose in conferring the gift. “If I had not come,” said the Saviour, “they had not had sin.” (John xv, 22.) Surely it must be an infidel reasoner who infers that the coming of Jesus was therefore the greatest of curses. The Gospel is pronounced to be “a savor of death unto death.” All the gifts and graces that God bestows are liable, by man's free perversion, to be transformed into curses. The reasoner who estimates the character of those graces and gifts, not by God's intention, but by man's perversion, will destroy all grace in redemption and all benevolence in creation. It follows, therefore, that the restoration of a moral free agency, being estimated by the gracious designs of God, is a most gracious bestowment resulting from the atonement.
Third Objection. If God's benevolence in allowing the sufferings of creation cannot be defended without adducing the remedy through redemption, then redemption must be a debt and not a grace, since God is obligated to furnish the redemption as a compensation for the miseries of creation.
Thus this writer says:
“ The state of all mankind," says Mr. Wesley, “did so far depend on Adam, that by his fall they all fall into sorrow, and pain, and death spiritual and temporal. And all this is no ways inconsistent with either the justice or goodness of God.” This is sound Calvinism; but he immediately adds a proviso : All this is perfectly consistent “ with the justice and goodness of God :" “PROVIDED, all may recover through the second Adam whatever they lost through the first." But if this be so, then it is the coming of the second Adam, “and the grace of the Gospel,” which alone vindicates “the justice and goodness of God” in the fall of Adam's posterity “into sorrow, and pain, and death.” But as God is Bupremely just and good, there could, of course, have been no such fall if there had been no “second Adam ”—and no “grace of the Gospel.” Thus the offspring of Adam are indebted to pure grace for this dreadful “fall into sorrow, pain, and death.”-P. 46.
To all this we reply : Of an entire system a single part may be, as viewed in different aspects, both a justice and a grace. It may be a justice because, if the other parts of the gracious system are brought into existence, that part too must exist in order to the completeness of the system. Unless that part be supplied the system is defective, perhaps graceless, and even cruel. But supply the part, and not only is the whole system gracious, but the part itself is pre-eminently gracious. The entire process of restoring Lazarus to life and to the enjoyment of his friends was a miracle of mercy. Christ was not bound to perform it. But to have granted him conscious life without the power of locomotion, fastening him forever, consciously alive, in the. tomb, would have been the height of cruelty. Was the additional grant of locomotion, therefore, a debt? As a completion of the miracle of mercy, we answer, It was. The Saviour could not benevolently perform a part without performing the whole. But, performing the whole, not only was the whole process, but every part of the whole process, benevolence and grace.
So in the system of God, were he to bring the race into existence under the law of natural descent from a depraved parent, and under the impending curse of the divine law, he would be obligated by his own righteousness to furnish the redemptive part. The system, as a righteous system, would be incomplete, graceless, and cruel, without the complement of the atonement. Furnish that part, and not only is the whole gracious, but that particular part is pre-eminently gracious ! God was not obligated to create; and his act of creation was a manifestation of his benevolence as well as of his power. Having created, it is due to his own character that his works should unfold that benevolence. Wherever he revealed himself as terrible and just, that revelation has some counterpart of manifested goodness. This may be done either by rich displays in other parts of nature, explaining his dealings of severity, or in some new remedial system overlaying nature with an extraordinary dianiay of grace. God has done it by the redemptive rement. But the man who argues that, inasmuch
as that remedy is the key to God's whole work, without which it would not be a merciful system, therefore it is no grace or goodness at all, will find himself involved in consequences which will exclude him from Christian theology and place him in the ranks of atheism.
If, argues this writer, Wesley is obliged to adduce the redemption to justify God in the miseries of the world, he confesses that redemption is a debt and no grace; and it follows that, but for that redemption, these miseries would not exist, and so to redemption we are indebted for all our woe. If, argues the atheist, the theist justifies the miseries in the world by the natural surplus of happiness in the world, then that happiness is a debt and no benevolence, and to it we are indebted for all these miseries. Thus the same reasoning that abolishes grace from redemption abolishes benevolence from nature. The reply is the same in both cases. . God was not obliged to bring the system into existence; but having brought it forth, it justifies the ways of his severity and the dark points of his providence, to show that there is a benevolence in nature, a grace in redemption. God could not appear just without these last elements, but the elements that show him
just are truly benevolence and grace. Should God create this system without redemption, it would be a dark and gloomy system ; give us the redemption, and not only is the whole system gracious, but the redemptive part is eminently gracious.
Art. VIII.-FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
|tions; she less prides herself as "the
Church of England;" leaves her isolaTHE PROTESTANT CHURCHES. — The tion from the rest of the Christian world, recovery by the English convocations of and with cheering hope and sanguine full legislative power is an event of expectation looks forward to the moment much greater importance than the relig. when she will be connected by strong ious press in general attributes to it. ties of confederacy with a number of The Church of England is in a state of similarly constituted Churches all over rapid transition. From year to year, the earth. The rapid increase of bishopand from session to session, she more rics in the colonies, which, among themceases to be the enslaved subject of the selves, forms hierarchical organizations Crown of England, and her life and ac- almost independent of the Crown and of tivity begin to revolve round the center the Church of England; the sending out of her own doctrines, usages, and tradi- 1 of missionary bishops into countries out
side of the British territory, and the im- | work on the History of the Eastern portant movements of the Greek Church. | Church, does not conceal his sympathy which cannot possibly escape much | with the principles of the Essays. longer a dissolution into a number of | Two important decisions have been independent Episcopalian bodies, are made during the past three months in well calculated to foster the hopes of questions concerning the relation bethe English Churchman. During the tween Church and State. In Parliament past three months the Convocation of a very keen contest took place on the Canterbury, for the first time, completed subject of Church rates. The Conserva. the synodical action on the change of tive party put forth its full strength to one of the canons, while that of York defeat the third reading of the Church raiscd its voice for the increase of bish- Rate Abolition bill, and had the gratifioprics in England, and for the abolition cation-unexpected to themselves—to of the pew system. It is felt on all sides see the vote equally divided and the that the Convocations are, almost imper- motion lost by the casting vote of the ceptibly, reassuming in the minds of the Speaker. The friends of religious liberty people the authority of the highest eccie- have been disagreeably surprised by this siastical tribunal, and it was in con- result, but by no means discouraged; formity with this transformation of the agitation has been commenced anew, national opinion that Lord Ebury de and will not cease until the principle of clined this year to bring in a motion for voluntaryism will have triumphed. In the revision of the Book of Common Scotland the celebrated Cardross case Prayer. He said he would wait for the has been decided in the Court of Session action of Convocation on the subject, against the claims of the Free Church. but in case Convocation should not take It will be remembered that the latter in hand the subject he would renew his refused to submit the forms of its promotion for “revision," which had the cedure, by which the plaintiff maintained sympathy of one English bishop and the to be impaired in his civil rights, to the two Irish archbishops.
supervision of the civil courts. The The Lower House of the Convocation judgment of the court was unanimous. of Canterbury took an important and The case will be appealed to the House decided step with regard to the “Essays of Lords. As the question involves the and Reviews." Archdeacon Denison, as possession of a disciplinary power in all chairman of the committee appointed the unestablished bodies, the final decision previous session, moved a series of reso is awaited with deep and general inlutions condemnatory of the volume, and terest. as constituting sufficient grounds for A very remarkable letter has been proceeding to a synodical judgment upon written by a well-known deist of Enit. These resolutions were carried by a gland, F. W. Newman, to a Bengali very large majority, and, together with periodical of Calcutta, which is the organ the report of the committee, communi- of an association of Indian deists. The cated to the Upper House. Contrary to latter appear to be desirous to establish general expectation, the bishops did not a closer union with the deists of Chrisresolve to proceed at once to synodical | tian countries, and have sent to Mr. judgment, but, in consideration that a Newman their periodical, together with suit had already been commenced by several deistical tracts published by one of the bishops against one of the them. Mr. Newman's letter gives an essayists, by a unanimous vote declared account of the present condition and the it expedient to adjourn the further con- prospects of the deists in England, which sideration of the subject, pending the expresses but little hopes for the rise of course of the suit. In the meanwhile a Theistic Church. the “ Essays " controversy continues to The Baptists of England are at presoverflood the book-market with contro- | ent divided into three distinct bodies : versial books, large and small, learned the Particular Baptists, who are Calvinand popular, profound and trashy. Ev. | ists; the General Baptists, who are ery number of the Publishers' Circular | Unitarians; and the New Connection of still teems with new announcements. General Baptists, who are Evangelical The vast
ity of them strongly con Arminians. The latter, at their late demn the book, whis
annual meeting, adopted a resolution in some influential defensa dead for exam- i favor of a closer union with the Partic
in his new | ular Baptists.
ple, Professor stanley who,
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.—The masses into the former Protestant proreligious statistics published in the Irish | vince of Ulster has increased the numcensus disappoint the expectations of ber of predominantly Roman Catholic those who had hoped to find the Protest counties, and will be a political advanant population almost as large as the tage to the Roman Catholics, in proporRoman Catholic. This hope had been, tion as the general suffrage is extended. of late, generally indulged in by the Protestant Press of Great Britain, al
GERMANY. though it was irreconcilable with the THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES.—The official marriage and educational statis. movement of the German State Churches tics of the country, which fully agree toward ecclesiastical self-government is with the ecclesiastical statistics, as now progressing with increasing rapidity. ascertained. This coincidence leaves no The meeting of delegates of the several doubt as to the correctness of the official German Church governments, which account, at least as far as the number of this year met again at Eisenach, has by Roman Catholics is concerned. The fol- a unanimous vote passed an important lowing are the most important points of resolution in favor of it. Though not the census: Roman Catholics, 4,490,583; yet declaring for an entire separation be members of the Established Church, tween Church and State, they strongly 678,661; Presbyterians, 598,992; Meth condemned the system of territorialism, odists, 44,532; all other persuasions, which claims for the secular government 8,414; Jews, 322. The total number of an absolute right to govern the Church, Irish Protestants is 1,273,960, giving the and insisted on baving the administraRoman Catholics a majority of 3,216,623, tion of ecclesiastical affairs confided to or about 31 Roman Catholics to one an ecclesiastical board, which should be Protestant. Each of the four provinces entirely independent of the State Gov. shows a Roman Catholic majority, and of ernment, and in direct communication the thirty-two counties in Ireland only with the people. In most German four, Antrim, Down, Armagh, and Lon States this principle has already been donderry, (all in the province of Ulster,) established, and the influence of this show a Protestant preponderance. The conference of the German Churches is county of Down contains the largest num- probably sufficient to cause its adoption ber of Presbyterians, 136,013; county And by all the other States. The Church of trim ranks next with 133,440; county Baden has already gone farther, and Londonderry, 66,014; Armagh has 40,000, adopted a new constitution which greatTyrone 46,000, and Donegal 26,000, while ly diminishes the ecclesiastical right of in Fermanagh it appears there are only the Grand Duke in appointing Church 1,857 Presbyterians. The county of officers, and concentrates almost the enDown also contains the largest number tire government of the Church in the of Episcopalians, 60,516; next in order | hands of an elective General Synod, one follow Armagh, Antrim, Tyrone, and half of whose members are ministers Fermanagh, while the smallest number and one half laymen. In one of the in any county is 3,371 in Clare. Cork Prussian provinces, which were hitherto is the premier Roman Catholic county in without a regular system of Church Ireland, there being 424,589 Roman synods, diocesan synods have been ev. Catholics, the smallest number of that erywhere organized. In the Prussian body in any county being in Carlow, ! Parliament a majority of the Protestant 50,613. Since 1834 the population of deputies was in favor of asking the min. Ireland is diminished by 2, 190,217; the 'istry to carry through the independence Roman Catholic population by 1,945,477, of the Church, as promised in the constithe Church of England population (in- tution; and among those who voted cluding the Methodists) by 129,967, the against the motion, some, as the distinPresbyterians by 114,666. By com-' guished leader of the Liberal Party in paring the statistics of 1834 with those Parliament, Baron Von Vincke, did it of 1861, it will be seen that as to the only on the ground that the Parliatotal population a change has taken ment is incompetent to pass resolutions place in favor of Protestantism, for while on ecclesiastical questions. formerly there were about six Roman In connection with the question of Catholics to one Protestant, there are' Church constitution, the piogress of the now only three and a half. On the other Rationalistic controversy keeps up in hand, the pouring of Roman Catholic the German Churches a great excite