« ZurückWeiter »
it probable that the brief sketch of the bistory of mankind from the creation to the departure from Egypt, was written as a kind of introduction to the law, long after the law was familiar to the Jews, and their minds accustomed to regard the ordinances of their Church, as based on no other authority than God's. From this view of tbe case we draw the fol. lowing conclusions.
1. It was no part of the purpose of Moses, in the early bistory of man, to teach or to establish the Divine authority of their Church, their ordinances, or their Ministry. This had been already done by the preaching of the Law, which not only came from God, but in every part specially and solemnly regarded His, as the only authority from wbich religious ordinances could come. This was a fundamental principle, which entered, as a matter of course, into their views of ordinances, and to which their minds was habitually accustomed.
2. Moses, knowing this habit of theirs, must have spoken of all things pertaining to religion in that meaning, in which it was evident that this habit would cause them to understand him. When he had de. livered to them the ordinances of the Law be bad never pretended that they were enjoined by his own authority, but by the authority of God declared by His chosen Servant, and attested by His miraculous power. The Jews could have no other idea of these ordinances. The principle assumed to be so essen. tial and self evident in one part of his book, was not to be supposed different in another part of his book, wbicb, though first in the order of narrative, was probably last written and delivered. This it is that causes the confusion of ideas. Men expect that the beginning of the book should state the authority of the religious ordinances; wbereas this beginning of the book was addressed to people long familiar witb, and having no sort of doubt upon, the authority of such ordinances,
We bave taken some pains to set forth these cautions and distinctions because we think them very necessary to a right understanding of the part of Scripture we are now discussing.
(To be continued.)
DISSENTERS TOLERATION AND LIBERALITY
TESTED BY FACTS.
When dissenters charge the church with being intolerant, and illiberal, they mean it to be inferred that they themselves are pre-eminently, if not exclıclusively tolerant and liberal. We shall have to unmask these pretenders, and strip off the lion's skin from the animals who bray so loudly in their own praise. This we shall do not by assertions, but by PLAIN FACTS, not by clamour, but by PROOFS. We shall shew that, when they have power, their narrow and sectarian habits dispose them to be persecuting, factious, grasping, and intolerant. There are how. ever two very different classes, upon whom our facts and inferences will bear in different degrees. The one (whom we could wish altogether to exclude from our remarks) do not directly participate in, and indeed loathe the outrages and calumnies of the other. But still they are within range of the discredit and censure due to such arts, unless they, by some formal and public act, expressly discountenance and repudiate those who practice them.
The other class are the mere factious dissenters, whose brazen impudence directly and systematically deals in “round abuse” against the Church, and raises the cry of the very crime, of which they themselves are continually and flagrantly guilty. They are like the thief, who finding himself chased and likely to be overtaken, bawled out, as he ran; Stop thief? Stop thief! He would have escaped entirely, had he not been noticed by an experienced constable, who saw through the trick and seized him. The people at first thought him wronged and cried out «Shame! shame”! But the constable coolly turned the rogue's pockets inside out, and produced the stolen goods, to the great merriment of the byestanders, and to the confusion of the crestfallen thief.
The sectarians have been playing off the same farce; and “ Common Sense" will perform the part of the Constable --will, from time time, produce FACTS ---STUBBORN FACTS, which will convict the real culprits.
In the next article we will begin with a fact within our own knowledge.
DISSENTING INTOLERANCE AND WOULD-BE
At Wardle, in the Parish of Rochdale, there is a considerable population at such a distance from the school and Church of the district, that the children could not attend either, without great inconvenience. The Rev. Mr. Cook, incumbent of Small-bridge (the district) Church, a clergyman deservedly respected and beloved, hired a room to teach these children On the first Sunday that the Scholars were marched from the room to the Church, they were obliged to pass near a Wesleyan Meeting house. And how did these clamourers for toleration and religious free. dom behave on the occasion. Tbey came out upon the steps of their Meeting house, and hissed and insulted the teachers, and children of the Church School! These are the men who cry out against the intolerance and persecution of the Church! Stop thief! bawls the rogue, whose own pockets are full of stolen goods!
But this is not all. The Church school was bailed with delight by the people of Wardle, who, after
having long pined upon the busks of dissent, were glad to come back to the solid blessings of the Father's house, the good old Church. The room was not sufficient. The worthy and indefatigable Pastor of Small-bridge raised funds to build a suitable school; and, all being ready, requested the Vicar of Rochdale, to lay the first stone on the 20th of May.
A procession from the Church, accompanied by a large concourse of people, moved towards the proposed site for the building. It had to pass the Wesleyan Meeting House. Then might be seen the agitation of this tolerant congregation of sectariąns. It was evident that some scheme of annoyance was in preparation, The angry and lowering looks of the men---their eager calling in the women, whose curiosity forced them out, every now and then, to look at the gay and happy procession, and bear the bands which passed towards the place for laying the stone, indicated that they regarded the affair with any feelings but those of Christian joy
They were eagerly watching the opportunity for their petty display of impotent spite, and would be persecution.
It had been arranged by the committee of the intended school, that the devotions and praises of those, who joined in this tribute to Him to whom little children should be brought by this school, should commence with singing the Old Hundredth Psalm. The moment this glorious burst of praise arose, a few women and children ready marshalled within this tolerant Meeting House,* and led by their class leader and other men connected with them, marcbed out; and, going round the skirts of those who were engaged as above stated, screamed out with all their might a psalm or hymn of their own, to create dis
• What a roar would have issued from all Dissenters and liberals, if such a thing had been done in one of our Churches !
cord and confusion. Yes, a hymn or Psalm, used as the instrument of sectarian spite, to disturb the devotions and praises of Christians, who came to celebrate and promote the bringing up of Children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What hypocrisy and profanation! The God of love and peace in their mouths, the Demon of hatred and persecution in their hearts and actions.
But we have not yet done with these champions of religious freedom and toleration; these practical specimens of that “Cbristian Spirit” which they prosess so greatly to admire in themselves, and to deplore the want of in the Church. This piece of sectarian would-be persecution was not a thing arising out of the irritation of the moment. It was dehberately planned, and organized. Children were actually engaged (hired we believe but do not posi. tively vouch for the fact) to make up numbers and noise for the exhibitian of sectarian bigotry and
A child was heard the day before to say to another---" Come with us to morron. We are to meet at Chapel, and sing as loud as we can against "the Church people." The perpetrators of this outrage afterwards gloried in it, and regretted they had not stopped to scream their chant of interruption and spite, instead of merely walking round the assemblage. Nor can this outrage be palliated, on the plea of its being the work of the young and thoughtless. It was arranged and headed by men; the class leader, and other functionaries, or partisans, of ihe conventicle. And to crown the vulgarity and venom of the proceedings, these leaders themselves were parties in the following piece of brutality. On their return from the ceremony, the Rev. Mr. Cook, accompanied by the Rev, Mr. Bates, met these pious, tolerant, and Christian Spirited singers. On the approach of the Clergy the singers ceased, and a cry: was heard... “Push them off! The Rev. Mr. Cook, bearing this, stepped off the path to avoid the threatened outrage ;