« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Buxton's Inquiry whether Crime and Misery are produced or prevented by our
present System of Prison Discipline
O'Sullivan's Agency of Divine Providence, &c.
Ryland's, Dr. Work of Faith, Labour of Love, &c. illustrated in the Life and
Watson's Aneedutes of the Life of Richard Watson, LL.B. Bishop of Landaff,
97, 222, 377
For JANUARY, 1818.
Art. I. 1. The Geneva Catechism ; entitled Catechism, or Instruction
of the Christian Religion. Prepared by the Pastors of Geneva, for the Use of the Swiss and French Protestant Churches. Translated
from the French: a New Edition, 1914. 12mo. London. 1915. 2. Considérations sur la Divinité de Jesus Christ, addressées à MM.
les Etudiens de l'Auditoire de Theologie de l'Eglise de Genéve.
Par Henry Louis Empaytaz, Genevois. 8vo. pp. 64. Geneva, 1816. IT may be regarded as a most unhappy consequence of the
divisions which exist among Protestants, arising, not so much from diversities of theological sentiment, as from opposite views of church polity, and the political jealousies which too often are blended with them, that there is so little, if indeed there inay be said to be any common feeling among the members of the different Reformed communions, as PROTESTANTS; that there is no cordial recognition of each other, on the part of the rival churches, as associated in a grand moral confederacy. Those notions of ecclesiastical etiquette, which, in this united kingdom,' close the pulpits of one Protestant establishment against the clergy of another, so as to give occasion for even his Majesty's Cabinet Ministers to stray into the Conventicle, if desirous of hearing, on this side of the Tweed, the sacred fervours of Scottish eloquence, and which close against Protestant Nonconformist ministers the doors both of Church and Kirk, operate in a manner still more prejudicial, in dividing froin each other the churches of different countries, so as not only to forbid all inter-coipmunion, all professed and acknowledged fraternity, but even, as in the case of the late persecution of the Protestants in France, to interfere with the intercourse of benevolence and Christian sympathy. There has actually been manifested, in many instances, more disposition to extend the expression of a fellow-feeling, to the legitimate priesthood of a Papal hierarchy, than to recognise the claims of Calvinistic Presbyters to the assistance and protection of their fellow ProVOL. IX. N.S.
testants, under circumstances which powerfully appealed to every friend of religious liberty, of all social rights the most valuable. And this deficiency of sympathy is not attributable to any suspected deterioration of religious character in the Continental churches, which, indeed, although it might present an obstacle to Christian fraternity, could not in the least justify an abandonment of their cause; but it seems to originate almost entirely in the absence of a sense of common interest, and the too strong feeling of a distinct interest: the latter relating to supposed ecclesiastical privileges, and a difference of political predicament, in which respect Protestants differ; the former relating to those grand moral circumstances in which they agree. But, indeed, general interests require to be brought home in the shape of personal interests, in order to gain any adequate degree of attention. And the fact is, that, in our own country, since the Pope and the Pretender have ceased to be objects of dismay and apprehension, since the question of a Protestant succession has been laid at rest, the interests of Protestantism have become a moral abstraction too impalpable, too remote from the concerns of the day, to occupy the public mind, or to demand a moment's consideration with our statesmen. The distinctions of Protestant and Roman Catholic, as characterizing our Continental neighbours or our allies, have become almost obsolete ; nay, the very recollection of them may possibly have been felt at times as an inconvenience. The common danger which once led Protestants to rally round one standard, being past, such distinctions, it seems to be imagined, bave answered their purpose, except as an appropriate feature of certain geographical boundaries.
One circumstance, however, certainly deserves to be taken into the account, and that is, that the facilities of intercourse with our Continental neighbours, have, during the last twenty years, been exceedingly lessened by the actual impediments and the anti-social jealousies of war. As a commercial nation, not only
. a are our sympathies in great measure governed by our commercial relations, but our opportunities of beneficence, and the power attaching to national influence, are chiefly confined to the same channels, so that it has been a nore practicable achievement, to send our Bibles wherever our fleets have touched, and to plant missionary stations in the South Seas, than to introduce any supplies of that kind within the sphere of the Continental system. It is to her commercial character that England is, under Providence, mainly indebted for that high distinction which it is her noblest prerogative to enjoy, as the Evangelist of nations. It is this which has placed at her disposal so ricli a provision of means, and given birth to that spirit of enterprise, wbich, receiving a new direction from Christian principles, has been carried into the projects of benevolence, and bas