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been touched ; they have changed hands six or seven times; they have been commuted.” Why should they not be transmuted, or, transfered ? Why should not they flow back into some of their original channels ? On the whole, it may be safely affirmed that such reasons will be deemed neither sound nor sufficient for the longer continuance of State Churches. The reasons against such institutions are stronger than the reasons for them. But the “ silent forces of the time,” stronger far than all the reasons that could be urged, are utterly opposed to State establishments of religion.
What, then, is the duty of Christians in regard to such institutions ? A few words on this question will suffice. It does not appear that the duty of Christians towards State Churches can be deduced from the demonstrated unfitness of such institutions to present society. What is right can never be made wrong, and what is wrong can never be made right, by the varying tendencies of societies or ages.
Were that so, it would have been the duty of all Frenchmen to have become infidels during the French Revolution. This duty rests upon higher grounds. It is the duty of every Christian to ask himself not merely whether State establishments of religion be politically expedient, but whether they be scripturally right. The tendencies of society in relation to any institution in any given period, may make it more easy or more difficult for a man to do his duty in respect of this institution; but they don't impose any duty. Six hundred years ago, when the views of men were all in favour of State establishments of religion, it was as much the duty of a Christian to be opposed to them as it is now, when the current of public opinion is running strongly against them. What ought never to have been is unjustifiable and wrong in every moment of its existence. Now, it is the opinion of many Christians that State establishments of religion ought never to have been---of many, but not of all; for, notwithstanding the obvious disagreement of such institutions with the New Testament Church, with the Church of the first three hundred years of the Christian era, and with the modes of thought of the present age, they are believed, by many excellent persons, not only to be useful, but right. This is due to their training and associations. This portion of the community is an inert mass, which the tide of public opinion will have to carry along with it.
Another part of the Christian community see clearly that State Churches ought to be demolished. But they demur about taking part in their demolition. They have two reasons for their conduct. First, they wish “ to live peaceably with all men. Secondly, they do not wish to defile their hands with politics. But how any reason whatever can absolve a man from doing what is right must be left to the Jesuits to answer. And such reasons! Why had the first always prevailed, we should have been in the midst of the dark ages until now. Erasmus saw what ought to be done as clear as Luther did ; but Erasmus was a man of peace, or at least he disliked the idea of exposing his own person to the vicisitudes of personal conflict; and if, as a friend of ours lately said, he forged bolts for other people to shoot, he looked out upon the fray from the safe retirement of his own study. Had there been in the sixteenth century only an Erasmus, there would have been no Reformation. Luther loved peace as much ; but he loved truth and righteousness more than Erasmus. The plea of peace is often nothing better than a confession of want of nerve and moral courage to do what is right. And, then, why such fear of politics ? Are politics poison ? Has not too much been said against Christians having anything to do with politics? Are there no political duties that a Christian man owes to himself or his neighbour? Should the Government of a professedly Christian country be left in the hands of the unchristian part of the population ? The separation of Church and State will be effected, and it becomes the Christian part of the population of this country to see that it be done as justly, as well as speedily, as possible.
But there are different ways of discharging the same duty. The modes of action will depend upon the spirit or animus of the parties concerned. Now there are at least four different sections in the population of this country, each actuated by a different spirit towards State Churches, and therefore prepared to pursue each a different line of policy towards them. There are, first, the warm friends of such institutions, who can see little or nothing that is amiss in them, and who think that they should be let alone. Secondly, those who admit that there is much amiss, that what is amiss should be corrected, that abuses should be diminished, but that the institution itself should be spared. Thirdly, those who, like the late William Cobbett, are so one-sided and revolutionary, that rather than be at the pains to carefully and justly disentangle the relation between the Church and the State, would serve it ruthlessly, and cast thousands of persons, totally unprovided for, upon the world. Fourthly, those who see very much that is amiss, but who aim to deal with it in a Christian spirit, and to apply the necessary remedies in a considerate manner; peaceable, but decided ; constitutional, but thoroughgoing; who believe that the cause of truth and the interest of the Protestant Episcopal Church itself will be most effectually promoted by putting all the churches in the kingdom on an equal footing, and applying the ecclesiastical rent charge and other national property which the State Church at present possesses, to educational, charitable, or other strictly civil purposes. To this section we desire to belong, and would earnestly seek to persuade all Christian people to-patiently but persistently, kindly but firmly, earnestly but
intelligently-stand up for the entire separation of Church and State.
There is reason to believe that this consummation is not far distant. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” For ages the truth was enslaved, but is now regaining her freedom. For more than a thousand years the true glories of Christianity were concealed beneath a host of hierarchical pomp, worldly power, and State pay. But the voice of the ancient prophet is now ringing in her ears, “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”
Had truth not been perennial, ere this she must have perished. Under cover of her pure and noble name, what unblushing frauds were perpetrated! what horrible crimes committed ! what violent injustice practised ! Put back into the darkness and not allowed to open her mouth, the foulest lies were uttered in her name! But she is perennial, and also prevailing. Her best days are yet to come, her greates achievements are yet to be won. The lines that O'Connell addressed to Ireland may, with much more truth, be applied to the Kingdom of Christ upon earth :
“ The nations are fallen, but thou art still young,
ART. V.-FEAR: ITS PLACE AND POWER
ONVERSION means a turning round. In a theological sense
it implies a change in condition and character, than which none can be more interesting and important. It not only involves a revolution in our views and affections, but contains the beginnings of issues which are most momentous and profound. It is not our intention to discuss the nature of this spiritual transmutation, or to dwell upon those Divine and human evidencesthose internal and external criteria by which its reality may be ascertained. Our remarks will be confined to the state of mind anterior to conversion. We wish to point out some of those phenomena which precede this crisis of being, and to shew how fár fear contributes towards it. Our thesis will resolve itself into the following order. Fear: its production, its uses, and its limits in conversion.
Fear is understood to be an affection of the human mind. By the employment of the adjective we must not be understood to deny the existence of fear in the brute; but as our path does not lie through the domain of animal psychology, we may not adventure thither on this occasion. Fear is compounded of two elements, the intellectual and the emotional. It includes, not only the perception of danger, but likewise the awakening of uneasy or horrifying feelings. The creation of fear depends on the nature of the object presented to the mind, and the condition of the subject. In order to produce fear in the mind of the sinner, the object brought before it must be true, must be important, must bear a correspondency with its capacity. These characteristics we claim for the evangel of our Lord; namely, truthfulness, importance, and adaptation. Whilst all the contents of the Gospel are verity and truth, and are all invested with deep significance, we opine that all the doctrines of Christianity are not alike calculated to awaken the sinner when sunk in ignorance, or wrapt in worldliness, or inflated with pride. Man's spiritual degradation is exceedingly low. He is far sunken in the “horrible pit," and in the “miry clay;” and this, even in despite of refined manners and scholastic acquirements. Nay, it is not difficult to sbew that the most intense depravity is often associated with high intellectual culture. Admitting this fact, it will be found that a certain class of truths is the most likely to fill the guilty soul with apprehension and alarm; such as the doctrine of human responsibility, the nature and heinousness of sin, the purity and justice of God, death, judgment, and the torments of hell. Is it possible, one might ask, for the untutored savage to appreciate those delicate harmonies of sound which are sometimes produced at musical oratorios ? The strong, the boisterous, the deafening chorus might please him, but the more plaintive and bewitching strains would fall with leaden dulness on his untutored ear. So we may take the instrument of truth and evoke some of its deepest and sweetest melodies. We may preach about some doctrine that will touch, and melt, and transport the heart of the believer ; but the sinner rarely feels the charm, be the charm never so cunning. The dulcet tones of the silver trumpet may please the ear, but the boarse blast of the ram's horn works destruction. The rule observable in Scripture is, that fear has been awakened in the minds of individuals and nations by declaring the judgments of God. Let us take Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost. The audience was addressed on the subject of Christ's Crucifixion. That deed had been recently perpetrated. It was fresh in their memory. It was an act to which they had personally contributed. Peter declared that in crucifying Jesus of Nazareth they had slain “a man approved of God.” The speaker then made it apparent that this man, whom they slew and hung
upon a tree was the Lord's anointed. The crushing charge was then delivered, that in their blindness and hatred they had actually murdered him, who was “both Lord and Christ.” Imagine the consternation of the assembly. Their guilt appeared as clear as the light. They realized the enormity of their crime, and “ pricked in their heart; " and fearing lest the Divine vengeance would overtake them, they said, “ Men and brethren, what shall
do ? On the other particular we observe that there must exist a capacity in the sinner by which he may perceive the object so presented and be rightly affected thereby. Danger unapprehended is to the mind no danger at all. If no peril can be discerned, no alarm can be felt. Without this receptivity, fear is impossible. In his normal state man is blinded by the god of this world, and his affections are alienated from the life of God. Thus, those subjective conditions on which fear can be produced are wanting. In order to save men, a supernatural external revelation was needed : the same necessity existed for the communication of a supernatural internal power. That power is now given : “ The free gift” having come “upon all men unto justification of life,” a Divine energy is brought to bear upon the sinner. The Spirit is sent not to supersede individual effort, but to help his infirmity; so that there is both a distinction and a blending of the human and the Divine. Co-working is a law of conversion. The willing and the doing are of us, but the production of that willinghood, and the creation of that power, are of God. The Holy Spirit is given to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” His office is to open men's eyes, to clear and invigorate the understanding, and to convey to the mind a true, a vivid, and an impressible view of its imminent peril. But even such a perception of spiritual danger may fail to excite fear. If the conscience be seared, if the heart be steeled and set against Divine impressions, this emotion will not be produced, or will be produced but faintly. Fear can only be properly awakened when the stony heart is removed, and the heart of flesh is implanted : and this the Spirit only can effect. By his gracious operations, a keenness, a softness, a delicacy of tone, is imparted to the moral susceptibilities. Under his direction and energy the arrow of conviction pierces the very marrow of the soul. The ploughshare of truth is driven through and across the heart making long furrows and deep. The terror of the Lord becomes photographed on the sinner's conscience. And what is the result ?—the awakening of fear. As the Holy Spirit brings the truth home to the man, he becomes more impressed with its awful reality, and as the impression sinks deeper and deeper, the fountain of the heart is broken up. Fear rises and overwhelms every other conviction ;