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ritual and secular offices that the attention to its ordinances, or to take present Essay of Dr. Chalmers is cognizance of the edncation of their mainly directed : and as the children. There are, indeed, a thou. gument is, in some points, new;
sand expedients by which he may at. and, as usual with this powerful tempt a religious inAgence among the writer, conducted in a very 'mas
people; and, in plying these expedients, terly manner ; we shall here allow bourer. "And, did he act singly in this
he acts purely as an ecclesiastical la. him to speak somewbat at length capacity, we might know what to make for himself.
of the welcome which he obtains from
the families. But they recognize him « Conceive, then, an individual to be to be also a dispenser of temporalities; associated with a district in the joint and they have an indefinite imagination capacity of elder and deacon, and of bis powers, and of his patronage, and that, at the same time, its panperism of his funds; and their sordid or merhas attained such a magnitude and cenary expectations are set at work by. an establishment, as to have address. the very sight of him; and thus some ed itself to the desires and the ex. paltry or interested desire of their own pectations of a large proportion of may lurk under the whole of that appathe families. The argument must sup. rent cordiality which marks the interpose him to be equally intent on the course of the two parties. It were a duties of each office, without which great satisfaction, to disentangle one there is a defect of right and bonest principle here from another; and this principle, on his part; and this of itself can only be done by separating the one is a mischievous thing, thongh no ex. office from the other. It were desirable ception whatever could be alleged to ascertain how much of liking there is against the combination of these two for the Christian, and how much for the offices. It will, therefore, serve better pecuniary ministration with which this to expose the evils of this combination, philanthropist is charged. The union to figure to ourselves a man of zeal and of these two throws an impenetrable conscientiousness, on whom the burden obscnrity over this question, and raises of both offices has been laid, and who à barrier against the discernment of is uprightly desirous of fulfilling the real character, amongst the people with duties of both. There are many who whom we deal. are but elders in name, while deacons “ But this combination does more alone and deacons altogether in prac- than disguise the principles of the peo. tice and performance; and this, of it. ple. It serves also to deteriorate them. self, by the extinction, as far as it goes, If there be any nascent affection among of the wliole use and influence of the them towards that which is sacred, it is eldership among the people, is, of its well to keep it single - 10 defend it self, a very sore calamity. But let og from the touch of every polluting inrather put the case of one who would gredient-to nourish and bring it forlike religious influence to descend from ward on the strength of its own proper him, in the former capacity, and, at the aliment-and most strenuously to besame time, would like to acquit himself ware of holding out encouragement to rightly among the people in the latter that most subtle of all hypocrisies, the, capacity: and we hope to make it ap- hypocrisy of the heart; which is most, pear that a more ruinous plurality could surely and most effectually done, when. not have been devised, by which to turn the lessons of preparation for another into poison each ingredient of which it world are mixed up with the bribery of is composed-and that it is indeed a certain advantages in this world, and work of extreme delicacy and difficulty made to descend upon a human subfor an individual, on whom duties of ject in one compound administration. a character so heterogeneous have been There is a wonderful discernment in devolved, to move through the district our nature evinced by the Saviour and assigned to him, without scattering bis Apostles, throughout their whole among its people the elements of moral' work of Christianising, in the stress that deterioration.
is laid by them on singleness of eye“ He goes forth among them as an and in the announcements they give of elder, when he goes forth to pray with the impossibility of serving two masa them, or to address them on the subject ters, and of the way in which a divided of Christianity, or to recommend their state of the affections shats and darkens
the heart against the pore influence of country.
In the first place, we truth. Simplicity of desire, or the want bave no church-officer, who is called of it, makes the whole difference be- to the aid of an incumbent in the tween being full of light and full of
discharge of bis spiritual fuuctions, darkness. It is this that Christ refuses to be a judge and a divider; and that except the curate he may bimself the Apostles totally resign the office of employ; the churchwarden being ministering to the temporal wants of
mere watchman over The temthe poor; and that Paul, in particular, poralities of the church; — and, is at so much pains both to teach and in the second place, there is a to exemplify, among his disciples, the lay officer, the overseer, to wbom, habit of judependence on charity to with the vestry and churchwarden, the very nttermost – denouncing the the office of distributing the parish hypocrisy of those who make a gain of rates is assigned, and who has no godlivess, and even going so far as to
connexion whatever with the dis, attirm, that the man who had joined their society, with a view to his own
charge of ecclesiastical offices. personal relief, out of its funds, from The constitution of our church, the expense of naintaining his own therefore, as to these points, differ's household, was worse tban an intidel. widely from that of Scotland. And On the maxim that ' my kingdom is we should noi, ourselves, feel diszot of this world, it will ever be a vain posed 10 press the measure of sepaattempt to amalgamate Christianity with ration as 10 temporal and spiritual the desires of any earthly ambition; objects to such an extent as to take and this is just as applicable to the
from our clergy the distribution of humble ambition of a poor man for a
the few parocbial cbarities wbicb place in the lists of pauperism, as to that higher ambition which toils, and
now sometimes falls to them, or to aspires, and multiplies its desires, and drive ibem from the seat of preits doings, on the walks of a more dig. sidency in parish vestries which nified patronage. We are not pleading, has been lately assigned to them at present, for the amnihilation of pau by Act of Parliament. We so far perism, but for the transference of its concur, however, in the views staled duties to a separate class of office-bear in these extracts, that we are iners. We are for removing a faint and clined to regard these offices as a temptation from the eldership, and demanding in their administration for securing, in this way, the greatest the most cautious vigilance at the possible efficacy to their Christian la. bours. We are for delivering the people hands of the clergy, because they from the play and the perplexity of two will be found more likely than any affections, which cannot work together, other to compromise their clerical contemporaneously at least, in the same functious by investing them with a bosom. On the principle that there is secular character, aud 10 expose a time for every thing, we should like them to the risk of incurring the a visit from an elder to be the tiine odium of their parishioners, and when Christianity shall have a separate of impairing, in a proportionale and unrivalled place in the attention of degree, their spiritual influence. those with whom, for the moment, he is holding intercourse; and that wlien
The following passages will put the impression of things sacred might
our readers in still more ample be growing and gathering strength from possession of Dr. Chalmers's opihis conversation, there shall not be so nions on this subject. ready and palpable an inlet as there is “ There are two different ways in at présent, for the impression of things which an elder may acquit himself of secular to stifle and overbear them.” his superinduced deaconship : either in pp. 232—257.
the way of easy compliance with the Now it is evident, as we have al- demands of the population, or in the ready intimated, that the objection way of strict and conscientions inquiry, here alleged in the case of the Church' has been committed to him. Take the
so as to act rightly by the fund which of Scotland does not lie against the first way of it, and suppose him, at the Established Church of our same time, to have the Christianity of
CHRIST. OBSERV, No. 241.
bis district at heart, and what a bounty “ He will find it utterly impossible to
“Never was public functionary more, than for the mean and beggarly elements cruelly hampered than by this associawith which they are conjoined--and all tion of duties, which are altogether so its ordinances no further valned than discordant. There is no place for the as stepping-stones perhaps to a pair of still small voice of Christian friendship, shoes. It is this mingling together of, in such an atmosphere of recrimination, incompatible desires-it is this bring- and heart-burning and mutual jealousy, ing of a pure moral element into cou. as now encompasses the ministration of tiguity with other elements which vi- charity, in our great towns. To import tiate and extinguish it-it is this com. the English principle of pauperism pounding of what is fitted in itself to among the kirk-sessions of Scotland is raise the character, with what is fitted, like potting new wine into old bottles. in itself, and still more by its hypocri. It so mangles and lacerates an eldertical association with better things, to ship, as to dissipate all the moral ascen, adulterate and debase it-it is this dency they once had over our popula. which sheds a kind of withering blight tion. It is ever to be regretted that over all the minstrations of the plural- such a ministration as this should have ist, and most convince every enlighten- been inserted between the two parties. ed observer, that, till he gets rid of the No subtle or satanic adversary of relimany elements of temptation which are gion could bave devised a more skilful in bis hands, he will never expatiate, barrier against all the usefulness and either with Christian comfort, or with effect of these lay associates of the Christian effect, among the popula. clergy: and, as the fruit of this melan, tion'.” pp. 257, 258.
choly transformation, a class of men,
who have contributed so much to build * There is something almost ludicrous of the word element in iis mathematical in the frequent recurrence in this and sense, which diminishes, we fear, the other passages of the work before us, force of Dr. Chalmers's argument.
up and sustain our national character, Dr. Chalmers for a separation of will be as good as swept away from the temporal and spiritual offices, they land. “And the clergy themselves have re. made. “ It is well,” he says,
adduce one of the extracts already ceived a vitiating taint from this per “ most strenuously to beware of picious innovation. They too have been implicated among the stout legalities of holding out encouragement to that a' business, now turned from an affair most subtle of all hypocrisies, the of the heart to an affair of points and hypocrisy of the heart, which is precedents, where every question must most surely and effectually done be determined with rigour, and every when the lessons of preparation for determivation be persisted in, with one another world are mixed up with complying hardihood. The minister the bribery of certain advantages feels himself trauslated into a new and in this world, and made to descend strange relationship with his people, and is ia inextricable difficulties about upon a human subject in one comthe character he should assume; for pound administration.” But it is whether he moves in the style of an af. perfectly evident that Dr. Chalmers fectionate pastor, or puts on the stern is here speaking exclusively of the contenance amongst them of a litigant impolicy of combining the adminiwith their claims, corruption will be stration of legal or compulsory resure to attend upon his footsteps ; and lief, (official duties, in short, corhe will either call forth the fawning responding with those of our overhypocrisy of expectants, on the one hand, or be met, in soreness and sul formance of spiritual offices; and
seers of the poor,) with the perlepness of spirit, by the disappointed thus far we conceive his reasoning is candidates for parochial aliment, on the other.” pp. 263, 264.
'incontrovertible. He seems to us
to prove in the most convincing We are anxious here to remark manner, that no minister of the thal, in the course of his reasoning, Gospel should invest himself with Dr. Chalmers always carefully dis. the distribution of those funds to tinguishes between the mischief of a which the poor have a claim, or clergyman's becoming the distribu- which, as in the case of the poors' tor of compulsory charities, and his rate, they have come to consider being the dispenser “ of those pri- rather as their own property than vale means wbich be, in common the property of those who distriwith all other men, should lay out bute them; but that he should leave on charitable uses as God hath the discharge of such duties to given him the ability." (p. 287.) It others. It is obvious that in this is the more necessary strongly to case, as in that of filling the office mark this distinction, because some of magistrate, he becomes rather persons have so far misconceived the functionary of justice than the ihe drift of our author's reasoning promulgator of mercy.. as to soppose that it goes to inter. Surely, however, it is a most indict the clergyman or elder from correct use to make of such an becoming the distributor of any argument, to infer from it, that, if species of pecuniary assistance to a minister means to secure a pure the poor. We have even heard and spiritual ascendency over his of one or two excellent individuals people, he must go forth to his who, alarmed by the above state- cottages with a resolution to dismenis, have determined no longer tribute among them no pecuniary in any way to combine temporal relief or assistance of any kind, lest with spiritual assistance, or even the cupidity of the human heart to distribule their charities in the should be awakened, and the cotsame place where they exercise tager should have bis mind fixed ibeir religious fuoctions. Io sup- on the auticipated sbilling, when port of this, as we conceive pere the ear is professedly lent to the seried, view of the argument of pastoral address.
Those who would maintain that fuir that our author should speak the reasoning of Dr. Chalmers for hiaiself. The passage we proleads fairly to this conclusion, duce is taken from the chapter unmust bave forgotten the whole der review; and I hough the matter traiu of his previous remarks on in hand is touched upon 'only inci. the blighting effect of compulsory dentally, yet what is said upon it relief on all the kindly feelings both sufficiently vindicates the views of of the giver and receiver, and on the author from the objection to ihe influence, in calling forth the which we have adverted. affection and gratitude of the re- “ An elder · who is implicated cipient, of aid given in the spirit, with pauperism, or the agent of a and prompted by the motive, of charitable society who is known to Christian love. He had already be such, will most certainly light up dwelt at such length on the vital
a thousand mercenary expectations, distinction between these two
and be met by a thousand mercenary modes of charity, that he might demands, in the course of his frereasonably have considered him. But let him stand out to the general
quent visitations among the people. şelf excused from reiterating his eye as dissociated with all the concerns observations. He has, however, of an artificial charity; and let it be even in the present chapter, been his sole osteusible aim to excite the reat pains to guard his argument ligious spirit of the district, or to pro. from misapprehension on this point. mote its education-and he may, every Io various parts of it, he pleads for day of his life, walk over the whole a return to the “old system of length and breadth of his territory,
without meeting with any demand that Scottish pauperism," when“ its
is at all unmanageable, or that needs to expenses were defrayed by volun- alarm bim. The truth is, that there is tary collections,” administered by a far greater sufficiency among the ecclesiastical agents; and though lower classes of society than is generhe distinctly states that it would ally imagined ; and our first impressions be interfering with the immediate of their want and wretchedness are object he has in hand, to slew at generally by much too aggravated; por length why this change would pro
do we know a more effectual method of duce 66
a bappier state, of things reducing these impressions than to caland a more diffused comfort and tivate a closer acquaintance with their sufficiency among our people;" yet whole domestic economy,
resources, and their habits, and their
It is cer. he adds, “ In the mean time, let tainly in the power of artificial expedithe thing be tried instead of ents to create artificial desires, and to argued ; and though
" there call out a bost of applications, that would still be a remainder of the would never have otherwise been made. inischief that we have altempted to And we know of nothing that leads expose,” it would be " far more more directly avd more surely to this innocent in point of effect,” &c.
state of things, than a great regular (p. 266.) But even to tbis modifi: provision for indigence, obtruded, with
all the characters of legality, and cer. calion of the present system, Dr.
tainty, and abundance, upon the notice Chalmers would infinitely prefer of the people. But wherever the sethe entire substitution of private curities which pature hath established charity. Aud can it for a moment for the relief and mitigation of extreme be supposed, that, when the very distress are not so tampered with, where main spring of bis civic economy is the economy of individuals, and the a spirit of Christian liberality exs sympathy of neighbours, and a sepse of çiled in the people by the evange.
the relative dnties among kinsfolk, are lical labours of iheir mivister, he left, without disturbance, to their own should have it in contemplation found that there is nothing so formida
silent and simple operation; it will be that the minister bimselt should be ble in the work of traversing a whole the last person lo exemplify his own mass of congregated human beings, lessons ? But on this point, it is and of encountering all the clamours,