Images de page




As we advance in years, as in ascending a mountain, our horizon enlarges and expands. Observation and experience keep pace with air years, and much that was to us but theory in youth, is matter of fact in riper years.

Hence, as we increase in the stores of experi. ence, we more and more admire the wisdom of God, and appreciate, more clearly and satisfactorily, the weakness and the folly of man,

Bible learning, in contrast with human learning, annually rises more in our admiration and esteem; and so it comes to pass that the cause we plead every year rises in our admiration as we become more conversant with the present condition of the “Christian world** and the results of the Protestant reformation.”

Our tour to Europe has greatly enhanced in our convictions the alue and the importance of our begun reformation. It is there, that more clearly than in the New W ld, are seen the legitimate results of all theories of Christian doctrine and sectarian reformation.Their tendencies are to a meagre formality—a cold and worldly etiquette-a stiff and uncompromising Pharisaism-together with exaggerated views of the importance of partizan shibboleths, and the necessity of human measures to adapt Christianity to the wants of the present world.

And yet, judging from the past, one would think that the history of all the Protestant parties in Great Britain, as well as the history of Romanism in Western Europe, and of the Greek Church in Eastern Europe, might sufice to show, that, although they stand in a state of antagonism as respects each other, they are all more or

less in antagonism with the simple, beautiful, and divine institu- jonof the kingdom of God, as propounded and developed in the

Neu Testament; and that though they much differ in some respects from each niber, they all differ from the original gospel and its institutions.

In piety and morality, the real tests of the virtue of all theories, the differences are much less than those of their creeds. We will cheerfully acknowledýc-and would to God we had much more to the same effect to acknowledge!-that Protestant England is greatly in advance of Catholic France; that London is as mucr more Christian as it is larger than Paris, though the enormities of titta-, former in many respects are equal to those of the latter; and that Edinburgh is as much more Christian than either, as it is in the superior church-going character of its population. Still, with all these concessions, there is, in most points, such a conformity to “the lusts

« PrécédentContinuer »