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the existence of an intelligent Creator, who has, without a previously formed bias, diligently studied the works of creation. At every step, voices arise to proclaim the folly of Atheism, and to declare the existence and presence of

We say, then, inquire—read, learn, and inwardly digest. He that has not minutely studied nature, may believe in God—but he who has, cannot disbelieve in him; whilst the ten thousand instances of order and design which he will observe, will fill him with holy wonder and pious veneration towards the great Author of all.

There are several works of great utility, which we would recommend to those who are desirous of entering on the study of creation, with a view to discover its author, and the attributes of his nature. Derham's Physico-Theology, and Astro-Theology, are useful. Sturm's Reflections cannot be too earnestly-recommended to the young inquirer. Paley's Natural Theology, especially with Paxton's illustrations, is beyond all price. An article entitled “ Animal Economy," and several others on “ Animal Physiology," published by the Society for the diffusion of useful knowledge," contain valuable information. “The Elements of Physics,” by Dr. Arnott, leads even the unscientific reader into all the great truths of modern philosophy, and thereby into the very temple of the Deity. And last, though not least, the work which we have now noticed, will amply repay the student of nature. In it he will find the sophisms of the most ingenious Atheists exposed, and the arguments in favour of Theism clearly stated; and illustrated with somewhat of the profusion and beauty with which we find them actually existing in the frame of creation. In all their thoughts and inquiries on this subject, let our readers keep one thing constantly in mindit will save them much, it may be, anxious trouble-it will aid them to detect, with ease, many false and bewildering shows of argument_viz. that the great, the only important question at issue, is, whether that which all must grant' existed from eternity, be mind or matter; whether the cause of all things be mind or matter-that is to say, be or be not possessed of intelligence. This is the simple point in debate; and, viewed in its naked and unbeclouded form, who that knows any thing of his own frame—the structure of the world—the harmony of the heavenly bodies--can hesitate to declare, that mind being now mind, must always have been; that design existing,

intelligence must have preceded; and that from the creation, the existence of the Creator is declared, in terms the most ample, unequivocal, and satisfactory. G. C. S.

The Detector.--No. 5.

“ If there's a hole in a' your coats,

I rede you tent it,
A chiel's amang you takin' notes,

And, mind, he'll prent it.”--Burns. “Oh, an' you talk of conscience, I must have mine eye upon you.”

Shakspeare. “ And when they be gathered together (for as much as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God), they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore, things ordained by them as necessary to salvation, have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared [proved] that they be taken out of Holy Scripture.”

This passage on General Councils, from the 21st Article of the Church of England, appears to me to be particularly applicable to the proceedings of the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, at their meeting in this city, on the 13th of April and subsequent days. It seems, Mr. M•Lean, the Minister of the Scots Chapel at London Wall, had been presented by Lady M. Montgomerie to the Church and Parish of Dreghorn, in Ayrshire. His moral character was upblemished; the necessary certificates were duly attested, and the Presbytery of London, by the hands of the Rev. E. Irving, bore its testimony to his conduct and qualifications. It appeared, however, that after the presentation was made, or, possibly, when a hint of its being likely, was surmised, certain of the pa. rishioners, stirred up by some holy man of God, prepared, or had prepared for them, a Petition to the Presbytery of Irvine, to which they attached their signatures, or their marks,-praying the settlement might not take place, on the ground of Mr. M'Lean's holding doctrines inconsistent with the Scriptures [Confession of Faith]; and, especially, that he maintained the peccability of the Saviour." The Presbytery of Irvine, having examined into the matter, decided there were sufficient reasons not to proceed in Mr. M'Lean's settlement! From their decision, he appealed to the Synod.

66 the

The Counsel, who appeared at the Synod in Mr. M.Lean's behalf, stated the circumstances very strongly, described the Irvine Presbytery as an Inquisition, who, not satisfied with Mr. M‘Lean's plain answer to the question “Do you believe that he [Jesus] was holy in flesh and soul?” “I do,”- -went on with other inquiries

66 well calculated to excite the laugh of the scorner, and to confirm the doubts of the sceptical.” The Rev. Wilson of Irvine, who defended the proceedings, said of the phrase“the peccability of the Redeemer " that word was the vox signata of opinions which were held by a certain class of persons!"-" The nomenclature of the party, who held the unscriptural opinions which he [Mr. M Lean] was charged with entertaining!". The Counsel, in reply, well said, respecting these sentences of Mr. Wilson's, that he much doubted whether those who had put their marks to the Petition, would know that “ peccability” was vox signataof any particular sect. We think he might have gone even farther than this, and have also questioned if those in whose mouths “peccability” and “vox signatawere as common as household words, really attached correct meanings to the expressions they were using. If Mr. Wilson meant the Unitarians, when he spoke of

peccability” being the “ vox signata" and the “ clature" of a “ certain class,” let him assure himself, that he knows not what he says, nor whereof he affirms. That the word "peccable," as applied to Jesus Christ, does occur in Unitarian writings, is not disputed, but certainly not in such instances as to constitute it our peculiar “nomenclature" or "vox signata." It has been supposed, however, that by " the party who held the unscriptural opinions," Mr. Irving and his followers were intended. But to which party soever the allusion was made, it is a marvel to me, how any man, exercising his understanding, and believing his Bible, to say nothing of the Confession of Faith, can doubt, for a moment, “ the peccability” of Jesus. What is “peccability?The Rev. Mr. Urquhart of Kilburnie, defined its meaning, in the Synod, and was not contradicted, to “a liability to sin.And was not Jesus liable to fall?_“ We have not an High Priest,” Heb. iv. 15, “ which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are.” That Jesus was, notwithstanding, “yet without sin," is his glory, and our rejoicing. It was his very "pec


cability,” his “ liability to sin," that constituted the splendour of his triumph, and proved his peerless virtue. “ There is no merit in the conquests of an invulnerable hero. God cannot be tempted, and if Christ was God, his resistance to temptations which appeal only to the weaknesses of humanity, could cost no effort, and deserve no honour. It is only on our views of his character, that his conflict was real, and his success glorious." .. For it became Him," Heb. ii. 10, “ for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." His actual suffering, and his “ liability to fall". for, had there been no liability, there could have been no suffering—is therefore grounded on the nature of man, and the declarations of Holy Writ. And yet, a clergyman of the Church of Scotland-one, too, who, had he profited by instruction, might have known better-ventures to pronounce such opinions « unscriptural!" Why, his own “ Confession of Faith,” bad he understood, as well as subscribed it, would have taught him better. Let Mr. Wilson look, and let the public look likewise, at the eighth chapter of that “ Confession," and they will find these words: “ The Son of God, the Second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof." Among “ the essential properties” of man, surely a “liability to fall,” call it “peccability" or what you please, is none of the least distinguishing. And of the common infirmities” of man, unholy thoughts and forbidden purposes, selfishness and pride, may be reckoned. The « Confession,” indeed, adds, as does the Epistle to the Hebrews, "yet without sin;" but had there been no liability to sin," such addition would have been most unnecessary.

Between the “ liability to sin,” and the being a sinner, great is the difference;

66 Evil into the mind of God or man,
May come and go so unapproved, and leave

No spot or stain behind. And yet, I suspect, it is the similarity in sound, that leads some people to be so vehement and intemperate in the matter to commit sin in vindicating the singleness of the Saviour-to prove their Christianity, by being intolerant and inquisitorial—to pull the mote out of a brother's eye, whilst regardless of the huge beam that distorts and darkens their own vision. Yes, this Presbytery of Irvine, backed also by the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, put aside the Bible, and set at nought the Confession they have sworn to uphold against all

gainsayers, and prevent an individual whose moral character is blameless, from settling within their unballowed jurisdiction—merely, as it should seem, because, though believing Jesus “ was holy in flesh and soul,” he bas used the word “peccability" instead of the phrase " common infirmities!" "At the conclusion of a very long debate, twenty-two members of the Synod voted for reversing the proceedings of the Presbytery, and going on with the settlement of Mr. M‘Lean; whilst thirty-seven approved of the conduct that bad been pursued! Mr. M Lean appeals to the General Assembly.

Here is another instance of the purity of Church government, and the fulness of Presbyterian liberty! The Counsel for Mr. M'Lean affirmed, he never had been in Ayrshire, and that if this business were a specimen of the inquisitorial behaviour of that county, he cared not to trust himself within its borders. The after-decision of the Synod will still farther circumscribe his wanderings. And if the General Assembly confirm the proceedings, he will not, according to the spirit of his declarations, have rest for the sole of bis foot in this land of Presbyteries, but must forthwith banish bimself from Scotland. There is, however, one road of escape for him, and that is, in leaving church courts and church combatants, and thus standing fast as a freedman of Christ. Those who have already done so, whilst they look with pity on individuals thus straining at a goat and swallowing a camel, cannot but feel how delightful is the unfettered conscience, to think as they please, and to speak as they think. It is a “freehold of rejoicing," which no earthly honour or worldly treasure could equal.

Nor let it be forgotten, that Calvin affirmed, " In his soul, he [Christ] suffered the torments of a damned and forsaken man. Martin Luther declared, that “ Jesus Christ was the greatest transgressor, murderer, thief, rebel, and blasphemer, that could be in all the world," on account of God laying the burden of damnation, from which man was delivered, upon his guileless and sinless soul. Had these men lived in modern times, no church would

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