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Presbyterian majority. "Toleration," cried out one of their number, "will make the kingdom a chaos, a Babel, another Amsterdam, a Sodom, an Egypt, a Babylon; Toleration is the grand work of the devil, his masterpiece and chief engine to uphold his tottering kingdom: it is the most compendious, ready, sure way to destroy all religion, lay all waste, and bring in all evils." The whole body of them some time later joined in a protest against what they called the great Diana of the Independents,-Toleration. "We detest and abhor," said these intolerants, "this much endeavoured Toleration. Our bowels are stirred within us, and we could even drown ourselves in tears when we call to mind how long and sharp a travail this kingdom hath been in for many years together to bring forth that blessed fruit of a pure and perfect reformation; and now at last, and after all our pangs, and dolours, and expectations, this real and thorough reformation is in danger of being strangled in the birth by a lawless Toleration, that strives to be brought forth before it."-See Pictorial History of England, vol. iii. p. 312.

Some of the best men of that day, or of any day, were not Members of that Assembly. The principal among these absent ones are thus eloquently enumerated by Mr. Porter:

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"JEREMY TAYLOR was not in the Assembly, but was lying concealed in retirement, enjoying, by the influence of some who loved his virtues, an exemption, by connivance, from the persecution to which he was liable, on account of his continuing to use the Book of Common Prayer at a time when the reading of it was forbidden, even in family worship; and was meditating The Liberty of Prophesying,' which has so often put to flight the arguments of the exclusionist and the bigot. CHILLINGWORTH, the illustrious defender of the Reformation, the author of that great work, The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to Salvation,' was not among them; but was, with the other Royalists, besieged by the forces of the Parliament in the Castle of Arundel, and when it was yielded up, was kept a prisoner in the Town of Chichester till he died. And when he died, Cheynel, one of the members of this Assembly, pronounced over his remains a virulent invective, by way of funeral oration, and concluded his harangue by throwing into the grave that illustrious work, calling it a 'cursed book,' and commanding it to rot with its author in the place of corruption!* BAXTER was not among

"The Doctor would have reasoned him out of some of his principles, but could not prevail, and therefore at his interment, after a reflecting speech upon his character, threw his book, entitled "The Religion of Protestants a safe way to Salvation," into the grave, saying, "Get thee gone, thou cursed book, which has seduced so many precious souls!-earth to earth, dust to dust!-get thee into the place of rottenness, that thou mayest rot with thy author, and see corruption!"'-See Neale, vol. iii. page 83. Cheynel also published a pamphlet entitled 'Chillingworthi Novissima, or the Sickness, Heresy, Death, and Burial of William Chillingworth,' which Bishop

them, though he was a Presbyterian like themselves, yet opposed to their narrow views of theological doctrine, and an advocate for the most comprehensive principles of church union, consistent with a nominal adherence to human standards of authority.* JOHN MILTON

was not in that Assembly, but was engaged in the obscure toils of a laborious profession, only occasionally sending forth his tracts, then disregarded, now immortal,t-in opposition to the exclusive spirit of the times; and planning that illustrious Treatise on the Christian Doctrine,' which is, beyond a doubt, the most wonderful theological work of that age. JOHN BIDDLE, not less learned, far more bold and zealous than his great contemporary, was lingering in a prison into which he had been cast for his heterodox opinions, and was now and then brought to the bar of this very Assembly, to be railed at as the vilest of criminals, by men whom he was qualified to instruct, no less in the simple truths than in the mild spirit of the religion of Jesus Christ."

The Assembly sat for nearly six years. The fruits of its labours are the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and the Directory for the public worship of God.

The Directory proposes a scheme of public worship which in the main is that which is used by all Protestant Churches, except the Episcopal. The Confession of Faith, though not designed as a Creed to be subscribed, is still used for that purpose, by most of the Calvinistic Churches of Scotland, Ireland, and America. In England it never had authority as a Standard of Faith.

Mr. Porter brings together some of the most obnoxious parts of this Confession :

By the decree of God for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death! These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed: and their

Warburton calls a villanous book:' yet it appears this very man had engaged a physician to attend Chillingworth, and had exerted himself to promote his comfort while in sickness and confinement; whence we have reason to suppose that his natural feelings were humane, but soured and embittered by his religious creed."

* "He (Baxter) proposed to a Committee of the Westminster Divines, the offering to the Parliament the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, as the essentials or fundamentals of Christianity, containing all that is necessary to salvation. When they objected that this might be subscribed by a Papist or a Socinian, his answer was, that it was so much the better, and the fitter to be matter of concord.'-Calamy's Abridgment of the Life of Baxter, 8vo, 1713, p. 121."

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+ Among the chief of these may be placed Areopagitica, or Speech for the Liberty of unlicensed Printing,' published in 1644. See also Milton's Treatise on Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, showing that it is not lawful for any power on Earth to compel in Matters of Religion;' and his Treatise on True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration,' &c. The last essay was not printed till 1673, the year before the author's death; and the Treatise on the Christian Doctrine' was not published till one hundred and fifty years afterwards."

number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.'-Confession of Faith, Chap. iii. Sec. 3, 4.

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**Elect Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the spirit,' &c. So also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.' Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved.'-Confession of Faith, Chap. x. Sec. 3, 4.

*

Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use, both to themselves and others; yet, because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the word or to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.'— Confession of Faith, Chap. xvi. Sec. 7."

ART. VI.-THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. A Sermon delivered in the Independent Chapel, Gosport. By J. D. Morell, M.A. Jackson and Walford: London. 1843.

THIS is a sermon worthy to be preached in an Independent Chapel, in a Chapel where independence of human authority is a sacred principle, and individual conviction reverenced and obeyed as a religious Duty. Itself one of the most remarkable, it opens by calling attention to "two remarkable signs of the times:the one is the great division existing amongst the whole mass of those who call themselves Christians; the other is the yearning which, nevertheless, the almost universal Christian heart now betrays after a wider and more embracing Catholicity. Amongst all the din of party strife occasioned by the former of these facts, there is a voice called forth by the latter which is calmly seeking for itself an audience, and earnestly pleading for unity and peace."

The first part of this Sermon is occupied with the inquiry, What is it that constitutes us members of the Catholic Church of Christ?

In reply it is said that, "the grand, the master error which has been wandering like a pestilence throughout the Christian world for centuries past is, that of disregarding those characteristics of mind and heart which alone raise one man above another in the sight of Him who is omniscient; and of making conformity to certain visible rites, or the profession of certain creeds, to be the criterion of true Christianity.

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Purity of heart and life-sincerity of purpose-contrition and humiliation before the all pure and Holy One-confiding faith in God, in his providence, in his promises, and in the Gospel of his Son-these are the leading features of the man that is born again to a higher and spiritual life."

It is clear that our Author has seen Channing's Discourse on "The Church," but the truth and force with which its truly Christian sentiments are embraced and re-issued are fresh and original.

"Just in proportion as I am drawn farther from all that is sinful and grovelling-just in proportion as I have a sympathy with all that is true, and fair, and good, in that proportion is my union with the whole spiritual Church of Christ more perfect; and that is to me therefore the best form of Christian fellowship which best enables me to conquer myself, to rise above the world, and to win Christ. One perhaps can

pray best when his devotion is assisted by a form on which the eye can rest; another feels that he is brought nearer the eternal throne when the heart is pouring out its feelings and desires in such language as appears at the moment to be their most appropriate embodying; and a third, perhaps, sits in the stillness of deep and unutterable devotion— devotion which he has little experienced who would ridicule a silence which may speak to the true heart as eloquently as the most fervid utterance of the lips. Piety though, it is true, a tender plant, has yet been enabled more or less to rear its head with unostentatious loveliness in almost every section of the visible church.

*

"In the name, then, of the God of truth, what is religion? Is it to have a soul imbued with divine love, or is it to pace the circle of an outward ritual, and cast beyond the pale of salvation all those who may not perpetually go round with us in the same track? Let the man who takes his religion pure from the word of God judge which is the most acceptable in the sight of heaven."

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The next inquiry entered upon is, Whence arises the benefit of the Christian Church as an outward institution? and the conclusion arrived at is, that wherever there is truth and love, there is power; but without them there is no power for good, except such as could be equally exerted by a steam engine, or a brute. It will not do to say, that an unholy man has a valid ministry because he signs a certain confession, has undergone a certain rite, and wears a certain dress. If he proclaims untruth, however canonically, he is valid only for evil. I have no faith in the ecclesiastical alchemy that can transform error into Gospel, and poison into food; neither is it by the machinery, I am bold to say, of any formulary upon earth that we can be lifted up into heaven. Validity, however, he does and ever will possess, who, fraught with truth, and burning with love, proclaims the way of salvation to the sinner, whether in the consecrated sanctuary, or in the market-place, or by the way side."

The sermon closes with this exhortation:

"Cultivate a love for everything that bears the stamp of the true Christian character, the perfect type of which you have in Christ himself. Let no human barriers separate you from a sympathy with all who love Christ in sincerity, and are pursuing in his footsteps the path he has trodden before us. Break asunder the chains that bind your sympathies to one part of the fold of Christ. Throw down the walls which would imprison your better feelings, and prevent them wandering in unfettered liberty throughout the whole Christian world.- -Rejoice to think that you can hold fellowship with the wise and the good of every age, of every nation, of every church. Let nothing sever you from the whole family of the faithful who are pursuing their way by different roads to the same heavenly rest.—Pity and forgive their present errors and failings, where it is necessary, thinking how much you daily have to forgive yourselves. Imitate their Christian virtues, lest you fall behind them

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