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powerful and enlightened government, in so long holding its grand function of legislation in abeyance, in homage to barbarism like this; while the rights and wrongs of so vast a population have been left the sport of Indian irrationality and knavery, under the protection of contented English ignorance. An immense amount of compensation will have to be made by the code, which is expected with extreme interest, from the special commission, with Mr. Macaulay at its head.
One great benefit of all these changes will be, as Mr. Trevelyan observes, to make it imperative on all classes of the English officials, to acquire a perfect mastery of the popular language. Another will be to throw wide open the field for the laudable ambition of the natives, who are eagerly pressing on to attain a respectable rank in their country, by qualifying themselves for employments under the government. A general and incalculably beneficial result will be, to bring the natives and their foreign conquerors into a more intimate, more equitable, and more amicable relation ; which, while it tends to assimilate the most capable and active portion of the population, and promotes improvements of which they will feel the value, will have an influence to mitigate the mortified feeling which always lurks for a long while in the consciousness of being a conquered nation. Mr. T. assures us that this conciliation is in hopeful progress, aided by a great change in the spirit and conduct of the English, from that contempt in which, till recent times, they were accustomed to hold the natives. This change will become more decided every year, in consequence of the multiplying evidence of the capacity of the people for acquiring European knowledge and modes of thinking. The uniform statement is, that the Indian youth make both as quick and as solid improvement as their English coevals, in the study of language and the sciences adapted to practical use. There is testimony to the remarkable proficiency of the students in the medical department,
Our author represents that what is rising to be an influential (the most influential) portion of the people, regard our intellectual and political ascendency as their auspicious star.
And we wish he may not be too sanguine in anticipating that, in no very long time, our language and knowledge will spread so diffusively through the country as to affect the general condition of the people, propagating a spirit and a movement destined at length to break up, through its whole extent, the enormous black empire of superstition and moral debasement, under which the race has been prostrate during fifty generations. We have no doubt of the ultimate result; but in our confidence of it we must have a much more direct regard to the supreme Providence than is commonly found in calculations of philosophers and political philanthropists. As to the agency to work that grand revolution, it is in a sparing and reluctant manner that they recognize the introduction and progress of the true religion, as the most powerful and beneficent of the energies operating in the transformation.
We are not applying these observations to the present writer.
Like every other rational man, he looks forward to a time, a time far off, when India must become independent of a foreign power. But he represents that, meanwhile, the improvement of the people will form our strongest hold on them ; for that, just in proportion as they are becoming more enlightened, they are the more convinced of the grand benefit of our dominion. The cultivated portion know that they have in that their only security; and would look with horror at the return of the Mohammedan and Pagan despotism, of which they are perfectly aware that they would be the first victims.
Mr. Trevelyan has done most worthy service by this highly liberal, intelligent, and remarkably well written volume.
Art. III, Schism, as opposed to the Unity of the Church : especially in
the Present Times. (The Prize Essay.) Hamilton and Co. NEX
EXT to the admission of the inspiration and authority of the
Holy Scriptures, few propositions would ensure more general concurrence than, that the church of Christ ought to be united, and that schism (veri nominis) is a pestilent evil and a great sin. But in advancing beyond these vague generalities, we enter a region where all seems confusion and misapprehension. We look in vain for a clear and scriptural conception of what the terms church-unity, schism, &c, mean. The great mass of ecclesiastical writers create a personification which they denominate the Church of Christ, either out of the supreme Rulers, or out of the system of ecclesiastical government, as this is composed of the three elements of common, statute, and canon law. Others again identify the church of Christ with the nation, wherever the nation has established the church by law; and hence every one that separates from such a church, or mayohappen to be born of parents or ancestors that long since withdrew from it, and every one that demurs to the ecclesiastical system which is based on the purely human compound of canon, statute, and common law, as well as every one who repudiates the doctrine that the church of Christ on earth is or can be either ruled or represented by men whom the civil authority appoints over it—all these are branded by nearly the whole host of ecclesiastical writers as schismatics, and all the thunderbolts of eternal vengeance are invoked against the heads of the presumptuous sinners who dare to violate the unity of Christ's church, and by their schismatical opinions and practices, to provoke the ire of his vicegerents. It is obvious, however, that these fulminations are powerless in themselves, and equally so as to the consciences of the alleged delinquents, because they fail to show that link of association with the revealed will of the Head of the church, which alone can give them efficiency. Men may anathematize their fellow men for what they are pleased to denominate sins against Christ, but which turn out to be only sins against human institutions; and they may deem themselves fully justified in persecuting; or, if they tolerate, they may say they are condescendingly merciful; but happily the curse causeless shall not come, and their nod can neither shut the gate of heaven nor open that of hell. Assuredly their thoughts are not God's thoughts.
It might have occurred to all who wish to entertain and promote truth upon these matters, that before they can convict any culprit of schism in the church of Christ, they must clearly identify the particular society with the idea of the church, as developed in the New Testament, for every thing called a church is not really such: and then the charge of schism must be substantiated, not by the proof of infraction upon human regulations superinduced upon the laws of the original Founder of the church, but by evidence drawn directly from the statute law of the kingdom of heaven. It is one of the most indisputable of propositions, that the church of Christ is a society of believing persons, united cemented exclusively upon the authority of Christ, and regulated in all its opinions and practices by his own or his apostles' directions. It is, hence, an essential part of loyalty to the divine King of Zion to reject all innovations upon this scriptural idea of a church, and equally so to repudiate the system of representation which sets up the rulers only in place of the church itself, and delegates whatever authority or power to act Christ has imparted to the whole body, to those governors whom the state, in the exercise of its unauthenticated power, has chosen for the church and imposed upon it. There can be no violation of the church's unity where the soi disant church is not composed according to Christ's law, or where it confounds the church and the world; and there can be no charge of schism sustained by inspired law where neither the body divided, nor the laws infringed, can plead divine prescription. Hence according to our ideas of fealty to Christ, the greater part of the denunciations against schism, both of ancient and modern times, prove no better than Priam's dart, which showed his rage but not his strength-the telum imbelle sine ictu.
Yet undoubtedly there is such a thing as schism, and the endeavour to ascertain it, as well as the wish to advance that unity to which it is adverse, is worthy of engaging the noblest
endowments both natural and spiritual. He shall assuredly deserve well of the whole church who shall make any improvement either in the prophylactic or the remedial treatment of those evils in the true and spiritual body of Christ, which all its members deplore, but which few indeed know how to treat.
If, as we assume, the true church of Christ consists exclusively of spiritual and regenerated men, the more closely the whole fraternity can be drawn together, the better for itself, for the glory of Christ, and the salvation of the world. But there can be nothing either commendable or desirable in its accession to that anomalous combination which, under the name of the church, has become identified with the state as its fountain of power, and with the nation as the circle of its membership. To fraternize with the great national corruption of Christianity were at once to throw up allegiance to Christ, and abandon all hope of ever realizing a sound and general union of his true followers. But let the scriptural postulatum of repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, with the accompanying evidence of a new birth to righteousness, be laid as the sine quâ non of Christian fellowship, and the salient questions of schism, union, forbearance, and terms of communion, would cease to be questions of difficult and embarrassed solution. The essential points would be drawn within a narrow compass. They would embrace the admission of the completeness, sufficiency, and paramount authority of inspired legislation and precedent, with the converse exclusion of human dictation, whether coming from the civil power or the ecclesiastical officer—the recognition of spiritual men, and only such, as brethren; the tolerance of differences, or mutual forbearance in all things not involving a dereliction of Christ's commands, and a free admission to Christian privileges and ordinances, upon the same and no other terms than those which appear to have been required by the first rulers of the Christian fraternity.
The hope of ever seeing the whole spiritual community of Christians accede to the particular views of any one of the existing denominations can prevail only where overweening pride, or an assumption of infallibility of interpretation and judgment, has silenced the dictates of sobriety, and obliterated the testimonies of human experience. But the hope of realizing such an ecclesiastical unity as shall embrace the majority, if not the entire community, of spiritual Christians, in some form that shall both wipe away the reproach of division, and restore the long lost honours of brotherly love, appears to some in the present day neither utopian nor distant. In the grand enterprizes of Christian benevolence it has to a certain extent been gained; whether the temper of the present times augur favourably for any further advance in the line of mutual approximation--or whether we may not dread a secession, even from the ranks of our benevolent confederations, of some who begin to be alarmed for the safety of their church, but who ought to look exclusively to the advancement of Christ's kingdom-and whether we are not yet doomed to hear of more divisions, schisms, and sects, are questions which will be variously determined according to the different degrees of information men possess, and the different spheres in which they move. For our own part, we wish to entertain no pet opinion one way or the other. As becomes us, we endeavour conscientiously and impartially to judge only by the evidence before us; without pretending either to the character of seers or sages endowed with acumen or penetration above our generation. We think no one can indulge the hope that either of the established churches is in an improved state of feeling towards the unestablished or voluntary. We think it, moreover, scarcely less evident, that there is, in both the established churches, a marked alienation of the spiritual and evangelical portions, lay as well as clerical, from their equally spiritual and evangelical brethren in the voluntary churches. 'There is an unequivocal indication of a disposition to symbolize with those of their own party who are religiously at the very antipodes of their opinions, rather than fraternize with those among the voluntary churches, with whom they professedly accord in all the essentials of the gospel system. There appears, moreover, a disposition in the largest and most powerful even of the sectaries to turn tail upon their fellow sectaries, and to follow in the wake of the establishment, whether with the hope of being fed at no distant day by the crumbs that fall from its table, or whether, in the light of that sagacious policy which recommends two strings to your bow, they would be on such terms with the compulsory system, that in default of the voluntary, they might fall back upon it, or whether there is such a natural sympathy between great ecclesiastical confederations as to draw them into an open countenance of each other, for the sake of repressing even in the church of Christ, that spirit of equality which is so inimical to arbitrary rule, and so apt to spring out of churches apostolically constituted—these are knotty points which we will not take upon us to decide-certainly appearances are not favourable, and we merely allude to them for the sake of showing what light these and other circumstances afford upon the general question of unity among real Christians. Whether such a desideratum is approaching, or whether recent events and the aspects of the times warrant the anticipation, we confess ourselves to be very sceptical. Yet we would throw no impediment in its way, and we would utter no auguries or prognostications against the dawn of such a happy era. Whatever we ourselves think of the feasibleness or probability of a general and substantial union of those Protestant churches which proceed upon the first prin