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he had, it seems, frequent meetings with several of the students, for the purpose chiefly of religious conversation. These at length excited the jealousy of the Socinian clergy, and they forbade the students from attending them. Some of the latter, however, impressed with the value of Mr. IIaldane's friendship, ventured to disobey this arbitrary injunction, and were in consequence disgraced. M. Empaytaz, the author of the very sensible pamphlet now before us, was, we understand, one of this number. Another, a young man of distinguished zeal, piety, and talent, who had been instrumental in establishing a Sunday School for two hundred children, as well as a Female Penitentiary, was forbidden to preach, and was threatened with being deprived of the superintendence of the schon's over which he presided; be has also been compelled to give up his Sunday School. Mr. Haldane, from whose design nothing seems to have been more remote than any project of a sectarian character, finding the opposition excited growing thus violent, resolved to retire froin Geneva; but the spirit of persecution was not to be so easily allayed. The young men who were its first victims, continued to be assailed with menaces, opprobrium, and ridicule, and they were glad, on the arrival of Mr. Drummond at Geneva, to avail themselves of his protection and hospitality. In the mean time, the Venerable Company of the Pastors, with a view effectually to suppress • the intolerant exclusive mysticism' which they perceived to be making progress among the students, in consequence of the mischievous zeal of the execrated Scotchman, came to the Resolution of the 3rd May, 1817, to exact from all candidates for Holy Orders, the solemn promise we have already given at length, and agreed to make a similar engagement the condition of any minister's being invited to ascend the pulpit. So flagrant a violation of that liberty of conscience, which is one of the funda. mental principles of the Reformation, and for which the advocates of liberality of sentiment and free inquiry, affect to be of all men the most zealous, affords an additional proof, that evangelical piety is that one thing which unregenerate men will not tolerate; that malefica superstitio to which, by either Pagan or Christian infidel, no quarter can be conceded. The exclu
sive character of the religion of Christ, bas always constituted, in the sight of worldly men, its most offensive peculiarity. This inflamed and served as a pretence for the exterminating fury of Heathen persecutors; and this is the aggravation of Calvinism, on which our modern liberalists seem to ground their bitterest hostility. All consistency, as well as justice, is set at defiance, in the attempt to crush the intolerance of the Sect. The modifications which this enmity assumes, are different, however, according to the degree in which fear is mixed with hatred, or as policy regulates the conduct of the persecutor.
“ Others,” says
the Apostle, in reference to the sufferings of the Jewish martyrs, “ had trial of cruel mockings." To some persons, this trial may seem scarcely entitled to be classed with those bodily tortures with which it is in this passage associated; yet has this mode of persecution, which acts more imniediately upon the spirit, been often found not less powerful than the fire and the sword, to shake the constancy of the Christian. It is easy to the hardened culprit to brave contumely; but to a mind keenly alive to reproach, and jealous of a good name, to be shunned by one's townsmen, to be followed by the grin of malignant slan«ler, to be treated as the off-scouring of all things, to be made the music of the fool, the butt of scorn and ridicule, and this when poverty is linked with disgrace, and the comfort of social existence is at stake, -whatever support and consolation the individual may derive from conscious fidelity to the cause of Truth, the trial must be such as only that Faith which overcometh the world, can enable him to sustain with unshaken fortitude. The world's
dread laugh' is no unmeaning phrase; but when the laugh of scorn proceeds from the men of power, its import cannot be mistaken, and its effects are soon made palpable. !. They have • replied to Drummond by epigrains and songs,' by profaneness and ribaldry, the arguments of the libertine and the infidel. These were the very weapons with which Voltaire and bis confederates made war against Christianity, and still the evil spirit of Ferney seems to conduct the contest. These “ ultra-orthos dox,' these exagerés,' these ' tétes exultées,' are treated just as he exulted that those gredins who persisted in the doctrines of Calvin, were treated in his time; they are bien bufoués, well abused.
Allowing, however, that there are circumstances which may considerably neutralize the effect of this species of persecution, and that, as respects the men against whom it is directed, it may prove, as the infidel of course represents it as being in all cases, harmless,- for we have no disposition to inscribe the names of its victims in the Protestant Martyrology'-still, this sarcasm avails nothiog in extenuation of the malignity of character displayed by the persecutor. The inan who attacks another with scorn and ridicule, on account of his religion, exlibits not less really the temper of intolerance, than the man who dooms the heretic to the stake. In raising the laugh against the puritan or the exageré, he is, in the only way perhaps which the enlightened spirit of the times allows, acting the part of the persecutor ; that is, inflicting suffering on another on account of his religious opinions. A regard to his own character, the absence of temptation, or the want of power, may operate to restrain hinn from more disreputable sorts or degrees of cruelty; but let those restraints be removed, and the character be suffered to act na
disguised, it is easy to conjecture in what tragic scenes the farce might terminate.
In spite of the ludicrous declaration which accompanied the regulation of the 3rd of May, the design of the Venerable Company was unquestionably this, to put down by authority the preaching of the Cross, and by tbis ineans to secure the uniformity of the Church of Geneva. In a spirited appeal which this Resolution drew forth, addressed by M. Mejanel, late one of the Pastors of Montauban,' to the Protestant ministers of Geneva,' the pious writer thus conducts his expostulation.
. It is written : “ Ye have but one master, who is Christ.” Who is it then that shall establish himself as judge in the church of Christ? Shall it be an individual minister or several ? Jesus Christ declares : * Whosoever will be first among you, let him be your servant: but all “ ye are brethren." It does not then appear, that he has appointed Peter to rule over Paul, nor Paul to rule over Peter, nor a privileged body to govern the rest of his disciples. Shall the rulers of the earth be invested with the prerogative to protect one opinion, and to exile or punish the preachers of another? Do we then perceive that Jesus Christ bestowed this right upon any of the Cæsars, upon Pilate, or upon Herod ? Far from this, he told his disciples: “Ye know that "the princes of the nations domineer over them, and that their nobles "exercise authority, but it shall not be so among you." Wemust then return to this principle, that the kingdom of the Saviour is not of this world, and, that one is our master, even Christ.
• Will certain persons of your body say to you, my brethren, We have the power in our hands : let those of the opposite opinion keep silence, or else we will banish or overwhelm them?
Will they, in the first place, dare hold this language? Does the mere superiority of power over other men give you the right of usurping the sceptre of Jesus Christ, and of seating yourselves in the temple of God, as God?
Is not the right of private jndgement and of preaching according to the dictates of conscience, the fundamental principle of the Reformation? Do not the reformed clergy whom I am addressing, justify by this very principle their separation from the church of Rome, and do they not oppose it to every species of oppression? Shall they who are unwilling to suffer persecution, themselves become persecutors? If this be the case, they do unto others as they would not that others should do to them. If this be the case, while they protest against popery, they declare themselves to be popes, and they would exercise the same power.”
Although this appeal produced no impression upon the Ve. nerable body, it should seem not to have been wholly without effect. A congregational church has been forined in ihe face of all opposition, having this general principle for its basis, that - the Church of Christ ought to have no other head than 1lim• self, no other laws than his word, nor have recourse to any other power to enforce those laws than the power of his Spirit,'. This church already consisted, in October last, of five and twenty members, and the number of hearers was increasing every Lord's day, but the comparative privacy which, for want of a suitable place for conducting the public worship, had hitherto charaeterized their assemblies, bad prevented them from being so numerous as it is confidently expected they will become, when a proper clifice shall be erected. With the particular constitution of this church, as to its order and discipline, we are unacquainted, but we would hope that no predilection for the Sandemanian hypothesis has displayed itself, because we are persuaded no circumstance would be more likely to prove fatal to its prosperity. It remains to be seen whether the Protestant Government will tolerate this bold experiment. It is looked upon by many of the pious pastors as an unadvisable separation, and sone of the young men who have been involved in the persecution raised against the ultra-orthodox, yet hesitate to leave the Genevese establishment; so strong is the prejudice every where against Dissenterism! For our own parts, although we consider it as a circumstance of no small importance, that the standard of religious liberty should have been thus raised in Geneva, inasmuch as the existence of evangelical religion in that city seems to depend upon the defeat of the Anti-Christian party; we must reserve the unqualified expression of our satisfaction with the particular measures adopted, till we see further into their issue.
With regard to Mr. Drummond, the English gentleman whose name has been made so free with, our information does not extend beyond the two following circumstances; that he has reprinted, at his own expense, Calvin's Institutes, and that he has been abused as one of the strongest supporters of the - BIBLE Society.' He has, we believe, since left Geneva for Italy.
Our readers are now in possession of all the leading facts connected with the present publication, and the recent measures by which it has been followed up by the pastors of Geneva. Although the inquiry is one of peculiar delicacy, we cannot forbear adverting, in conclusion, to the question which the retrospect of the progressive deterioration of the Protestant churches naturally suggests: “What are the probable causes in which that deterioration has originated ?'
With regard to the Church of Geneva, we have seen, that so far back as the middle of the last century, the Company of Pastors were explicitly charged by D'Alembert, in the French Encyclopedia, with baving abjured a belief in all the mysterious doctrines of Cbristianity, and embraced Socinianism. The • accusation was grave and forınal,' says M. Unpaytez; 'the.
means of rebutting it, if false, were simple and easy.' .When persons have well made up their minds as to what they be
lieve,' remarked a contemporary Journalist, ' a confession of ' faith ought to require no time to be decided upon. Instead of this, on the 10th of February, 1758, came forth a vague and ambiguous declaration, which convinced nobody that D'Alembert had overstepped the truth. In 1778, Monsieur Vernet openly avowed Arianism, or something worse. Yet, like some among ourselves, Vernet wrote in defence of the truth of Christianity; convinced, as it should seem, by the force of external evidence, of its Divine origin, yet with a heart unreconciled to its requirements. Thus it is, that men whom the strength of their reason preserves from embracing the conclusions of the Deist, are by the pride of reason prevented from becoming Christians.
Long previously to this period, however, there had existed in the Church of Geneva, a sort of combination, which had for its ohject, to accommodate the language of the pulpit to the polished wisdom of the philosopher, and the prejudices of men of learning and taste. John Alphonsus Turrettini, the learned son of the still more celebrated Francis Turrettini, may bó regarded as having been the principal instrument, in connexion with Osterwald, and another Swiss divine of superior talents, Werenfels, in bringing about that change in the style of preaching, and in the phraseology of Christian doctrine, which paved the way for the eventual dereliction of all the peculiarities of the religion of Christ. The rock upon which these men split, was evidently this. They had a deep conviction, imbibed from education, and strengthened by research, of the truth of Christianity. They had also, as ministers of a Protestant establishment, a professional interest in its being acknowledged as true, and they were anxious, ou all accounts, to defend it from the assaults of the infidel. lo arguing from its external evidence, they spoke of what they knew, they kept within the common ground of reason, and bere felt themselves triumphant; but when they in their turå were assailed on points of faith beyond the province of reason, unable with the same weapons to combat the objections of the infidel, they had recourse to the desperate attempt to get rid of them, and thus deliver Christianity from the supposed predicament, by reducing Revelation itself to the standard of human wisdom. With the essence of Christianity itself, as system of Divine recovery adapted to the condition of sinners, and with the peculiar character of its doctrines, as the power of God unto salvation to those who believe, their experimental acquaintance was, it may be feared, at the best, very defective, or they would never have entertained so wild a project as that of converting the hearts of men to the obedience of faith, by shewing that Revelation is rational. The mistake originated in their own feelings. They carried into the study of religion, the curiosity and the pretensions of a baughty intellect, instead of Vol. IX. N.S.