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to the upholding of a diffused Christianity throughout the land. In spite of all the imputations and errors which its greatest enemies have laid to its door, we hold that on the alternative of its existence or nonexistence, there would hang a most fearful odds to the Christianity of England. We are ready to admit that the working of the apparatus might be made greatly more efficient; but we must, at the same time, contend that were it taken down, the result would be tantamount to a moral blight on the length and breadth of our land. We think it might be demonstrated, that were the ministrations of your Established Church to be done away, they would never be replaced by all the zeal, energy, and talent of private adventurers. Instead of the frequent parish church, that most beauteous of all spectacles to a truly Christian heart, because to him the richest in moral associations, with its tower peeping forth from amidst the verdure of the trees in which it is embosomed, there would be presented to the eye of the traveller only rare and thinly-scattered meeting-houses. The cities might indeed continue to be supplied with regular preaching, but innumerable villages and hamlets, left dependant on a precarious itineracy, would be speedily reduced to the condition of a moral waste. Our peasants would again become pagans, or, under the name and naked form of Christianity, would sink into the blindness, and brutishness, and sad alienation of paganism. But we are far from regarding with a jealous eye the zeal and exertions of other orthodox religious bodies. In connexion with an Establishment, we wish ever to see an able, vigorous, and flourishing dissenterism. The services of dissenters are needed to supplement [supply] the deficiencies, and to correct and compensate for the vices of an Establishment, as far as that Establishment has the misfortune to labour under the evil of a lax and negligent ministration, or a corrupt and impure patronage. Such wholesome dissent is a purifier, and because a purifier, a strengthener of the Church. I am willing to profess any where, and upon all occasions my sense of the usefulness of such dissenters, and of the worth of their services; but there is no place where an homage for that order of society should be more profoundly felt, and more willingly proclaimed, than in a city which is honoured by the residence or the immediate vicinity of distinguished men, belonging to their communion, whose admirable writings have shed a lustre over our common Christianity, and who are themselves equally eminent for the mildness of their private worth and the majesty of their genius. Let churchmen be assured that their most dignified attitude, in reference to dissenters, is the attitude of fearlessness, and their most becoming part is that of a kind and friendly co-operation with them, in all that relates to the moral and spiritual good of the population.' Alluding afterward to those who regard the Establishment as an incubus upon the land, and think that Christianity might revive and flourish, were the whole of the machinery taken down,' he observed, we honestly believe that the overthrow of the Protestant Establishment, whether in England, Scotland, or Ireland, would be attended with the most fearful consequences to the interests of Christian truth.'
For the credit of Dr. Chalmers, we could scarcely induce ourselves to believe that the above absurdities were ever uttered by a man of
such unquestionable talent; and we have refrained from an earlier notice, in order that the Doctor might avail himself of the opportunity to disclaim opinions so unscriptural and ridiculous. As this has not been done, we reluctantly admit the persuasion, that the above are the genuine sentiments of this popular preacher; and the rather, since we believe there can be no doubt that he, a minister of the Established Church of Scotland, officiated in a place not only wholly unconnected with his church, but of so very ambiguous and undescribable a character, that it is, with significant propriety, designated by the reporter as "Mr. Hare's chapel." It would afford us a very high degree of pleasure, to be authorized, on Dr. Chalmers's part, to disavow language so absurd and pernicious as that which we have just cited; but in the mean time, we shall deem it our duty to expose the astonishing ignorance and false reasoning which are circulated undenied, and almost unopposed, under the sanction of so eminent a name.
It would be unfair to expect from Dr. Chalmers that solicitous regard for the great duty of ecclesiastical unity which might consistently be demanded from a minister of our own Church. We are content to meet him on his own ground exclusively. He holds the Establishment to be "not only a great Christian good, but one indispensable to the upholding of a diffused Christianity throughout the land." He contends" that if it were taken down, the result would be tantamount to a moral blight on the length and breadth of our land.” "Innumerable villages and hamlets would be speedily reduced to the condition of a moral waste." "Our peasants would again become pagans, or, under the name and naked form of Christianity, would sink into the blindness, and brutishness, and alienation of paganism."
Such is Dr. Chalmers's opinion of our Church. We thank him for a testimony which must be as independent as it is honourable. But, in connexion with all this, the Doctor wishes ever to see 66 an able, vigorous, and flourishing dissenterism;" (this word being, we presume, the northern form of what, in our vocabulary, would be called dissent.)
Now, what is this "dissenterism?" Why, its very essence and definition is separation from the church; and this is what Dr. Chalmers wishes to see in connexion with the Establishment! It denies even the character of a Christian Church to that Establishment which the Doctor holds indispensable to the diffusion of Christianity, the removal of which would be a moral blight and waste, and reduce us to the blindness, darkness, and alienation of paganism.* And this the Doctor would see "able, vigorous, and flourishing!" And why? The argument is worthy of the sentiment :-" such wholesome dissent is a purifier, and, because a purifier, a strengthener of the Church!"
Can Dr. Chalmers really be the author of this? If so, let us ask him to what extent he would see "dissenterism" able, flourishing, and vigorous? If its nature is to strengthen the Church, the more it flourishes and increases, the stronger the Church must be; and, by
*The great authority of the dissenters, Micaiah Towgood, says, "Compare the constitution of the Church of England, and the constitution of the Church of Christ, and see if they be not societies OF A QUITE DIFFERENT FRAME." And again," The Church of England and the Church of Christ seem to be Two societies ABSOLUTELY DISTINCT, AND OF A QUITE DIFFERENT CONSTITUTION."
necessary consequence, the universal prevalence of dissent would place her in a state of complete fortification; and the strongest conceivable situation of the Church would be when she could not number an individual of her communion, and when all would be "the blindness, brutishness, and alienation of paganism." We hope the dissenters will take the Doctor's hint; and, finding they are strengthening the Church by their secession, be content to return within her pale.
To connect by disjunction, to strengthen by annihilation, are startling theories, even in these days of paradox. But we have a graver charge than that of nonsense. Dr. Chalmers's scriptural knowledge, as well as his powers of argument, was surely under abeyance in "Mr. Hare's chapel." He seems to have considered England as a vast house of parliament, and the Church as a sort of treasury bench, which required keeping in order by a "wholesome opposition." The dissenters will scarcely thank the Doctor for this compliment; and, indeed, we understand that his panegyric on the church has gained him the universal ill-will of that interest at Bristol. But, is this the view of the subject which scripture exhibits? Dr. Chalmers, of course, allows the Church of England to be a true portion of the Church of Christ; after what we read above, any other conclusion would be pregnant with greater inconsistency than even that with which this sermon abounds. Where, then, in the Bible will Dr. Chalmers find that it is the duty of Christians to set themselves against a true portion of Christ's holy catholic Church? The dissenter, who affirms the Church of England to be a society of "a quite different frame from that of Christ," quits us at least with consistency. But he who, believing the one society to be only a portion of the other, recommends disunion by way of purification, might as reasonably recommend persecution. Has Dr. Chalmers ever read that the most pure and primitive Christians that ever existed, were "of ONE HEART and of ONE SOUL? "* How does he reconcile this state of matters with his new parliamentary opposition? And how does he interpret the injunction of the Apostle to ENDEAVOUR to keep the UNITY of the Spirit? How does this party-coloured Christianity agree with the scriptural account of 66 one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, ONE FAITH, one baptism, one God and Father of all? "+
But "the most becoming part of churchmen is that of a kind and friendly co-operation with dissenters in all that relates to the moral and spiritual good of the population." Did not the scripture question here suggest itself to Dr. C., "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" How can consistent and intelligent men, whether churchmen or dissenters, combine with their opponents for the promotion of the very objects on which they differ? A friendly feeling towards religious dissenters we have always cherished and advocated; but difference and agreement on the very same subject, is what we cannot understand. If a sense of Christian unity commends itself, as it must, to every really Christian mind, let that unity be sought in a scriptural and rational manner. Let the dissenters consider whether the points of separation are really worth the cost. Let them reflect on the certain
Acts iv. 32.
† Eph. iv. 3—6.
Amos iii. 3.
effect of their example in countenancing and exciting still further schism in the church universal. Let them, for that peace of which every true Christian is solicitous, cast their trifling objections before the throne of Unity. Let them remember, too, that if concession is to be made at all, it must be by themselves, until the Convocation, the only constitutional authority which can alter our forms and internal economy, is restored to its legimate powers.
We have here done with Dr. Chalmers. His name, not his argumentation, attracted our notice and perhaps we ought to apologize to our readers for allowing even this to introduce into our pages the pitiable self-exposure of this celebrated person; and still more for volunteering a syllable of comment on what is its own most entire and eloquent refutation.
Καὶ τῷ Σὴθ ἐγένετο υἱῶς, ἐπωνόμασε δὲ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, Ἐνώς· οὗτος ἤλπισεν ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸ ὄνομα Κυρίου τοῦ Θεοῦ.
"And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call* upon the name of the Lord." MR. EDITOR,-The following interpretation of this passage occurred to me several years ago; and having looked in vain among the commentators for any suggestion, which would either confirm or refute it, I have reason to believe that it is new. Perhaps you will think it worthy of a place in your columns.
I. May not
I remain, Sir, yours, &c.
be the preterite Hophal from the root and signify, hope or encouragement was given?
II. May not σε be translated, he was a CAUSE of hope?
If these interpretations be admitted, the Hebrew text and the Septuagint translation express the same sentiment, the former in a passive, the latter in an active form; namely, that the birth of Enos was a source of religious hope to the family of our first parents. The whole passage, beginning at the 25th verse, is this:
"And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos:
then (by his birth) encouragement was given } } to call upon the
name of the Lord." The upper line of the last clause being a literal translation of the Hebrew, and the lower of the Septuagint.
* Or, to call themselves by the name of the Lord.
+ Seth, that is, appointed, or, put.
Each of the postulates, which I have assumed as the basis of my interpretation, may afford matter of objection. Thus, with regard to the word, it may be said that the root is not used in the Hophal form; that is, it is not so given in the Lexicons: but what does this prove? not surely that the Hophal form of this root does not, nor ever did exist, but merely that the compilers of the Lexicons have all been ignorant of its existence. The formation of the word from the proposed root is perfectly regular; as may be seen by comparing it with any other verb of the same class, as which, in the preterite Hophal, make respectively But, as the passage before us is probably the only one in the Hebrew Bible, in which the Hophal form of occurs, therefore a misinterpretation of this one text, by the derivation of the word from a different root, would have the effect of banishing that form from the text of Scripture, and consequently from all the Lexicons which explain only scriptural words. When or by whom this misinterpretation was first introduced, it is now probably impossible to ascertain. If I may be allowed to hazard a conjecture, I should attribute it (for reasons which will appear evident before the close of these observations) to the influence of Jewish prejudices, at or immediately after the time of our Saviour's appearance. But, be that as it may, the authors of the Chaldee, the Syriac, the Vulgate, and all the subsequent interpretations which I have been able to consult, agree in deriving the word ban, from the root
; though they are by no means unanimous in the meaning which they attach to the concluding clause of the sentence. The majority of interpreters adopt one or other of the meanings given in the English Version, and understand the passage as describing the avowed public worship of JEHOVAH by the family of Seth, in contradistinction to the idolatrous rites, which they suppose to have been about that time introduced by the descendants of Cain. Others arrive at nearly the same.conclusion, though by a different route; for finding that signifies "to desecrate, or, profane that which is holy," they regard this text as recording in direct terms the first induction of idolatry. Plausible however as all this may be, and however learned may be the arguments by which these several interpretations have been defended, I cannot but think, (notwithstanding the charge of presumption, which I may incur in opposing my individual opinion to such an overwhelming host of authorities,) that these conjectures are all nothing to the purpose, and that the Septuagint alone points to the true derivation of the word and the real meaning of the passage.
But the translation which I propose of the Septuagint itself is also new, and may possibly give rise to an objection. By what authority do I translate λiw, to cause hope? This objection, I feel persuaded, will be started by those persons only, who are not familiar with the peculiarities of the Septuagint version: for nothing is more common with its authors than to render the Kal and Hiphil forms of a Hebrew verb by the same Greek word, thus giving an active or