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course, "The diversity in unity of the revelation of redemption,' indicates the principle illustrated throughout the book. Revelation as given at sundry times, and in divers manners, gradually developed more and more clearly a scheme of salvation which was perfect from the first. In illustrating this principle, Dr Robinson discusses redemption as revealed to the patriarchs, in the laws and ordinances of the theocratic era, through the Spirit of Christ in the Prophets, as taught by Jesus the Incarnate Word, as preached by apostles under the dispensation of the Spirit. In mode of treatment of their great theme, the discourses are as far as may be from a dry essay. While strictly.expository, they are always fervid, and often eloquent in a high degree, and such as could only have come from a preacherprofoundly acquainted with the scheme of redemption. Dr Robinson is a Calvinist and Presbyterian, and in keeping with his principle of the oneness of the method of salvation in all ages, he traces Presbyterianism up to the days of the patriarchs. Appended to the discourses is a long note on the place of the Church in the revealed scheme of redemption, in which there is much fresh and valuable matter, along with one or two statements not in harmony with the great excellence of the rest of the volume, such as “the rule for the guidance of the civil power in its exercise is the light of nature and reason, the law which the Author of nature reveals through reason to man; but the rule for the guidance of ecclesiastical power in its exercise, is that light, which, as Prophet of the Church, Jesus Christ has revealed in His Word.” There is a sense in which the first part of this sentence is true, for magistrates must act reasonably; but in the full meaning of the words, it is directly in opposition to those many passages of Holy Writ, both in the Old and New Testaments, which, in detail, set forth the duty of rulers, and illustrate the language of the second Psalm, “Be instructed, ye judges of the earth.”
The large quantity of missionary matter on hand forbids extract from the Discourses this month, but in a future number we hope to transfer to our pages a specimen of the wealth of Biblical thought they contain. The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances,
Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church. By the late James Bannerman, D.D., Professor of Apologetics and Pastoral Theology, New College, Edinburgh. Edited by his Son. 2 vols.
8vo. Pp. 480 and 468. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark. 1868. WE regret that a pressure of missionary intelligence has hitherto prevented us from noticing this very valuable work of the late Dr Bannerman. His son has rendered an important service to the Christian commonwealth in preparing it for publication. We hope to notice it, at length, in an early number, and meanwhile, we shall only say that we have no modern treatise on the nature, prerogatives, and powers of the Church, in our language, that can be compared with it for comprehensiveness and thoroughness.
The Revelation of Law in Scripture; considered with respect to its own
Nature and its Relative Place in Successive Dispensations. By
T. & T. Clark. 1868. PRINCIPAL FAIRBAIRN has earned a chief place among modern theological writers by his previous contributions to theological science. This timeous discussion of the revelation of law in Scripture will not detract from his fame. It is a work of much interest, that will delight, as well as instruct, the Christian student. The errors of Pantheism, Positivism, Idealism, Antinomianism, he sweeps away in a masterly manner in the preliminary lecture. He then surveys the law as written on man's nature, man's failure to obey it, the law as revealed in the different stages of the divine economy of grace, its relation to the Church of Christ, and the sense in which it may be said to have been abolished. In every way it is an addition of more than ordinary value to the noble theological treatises that, in recent years, have come from the pen of Free Church Professors. The Presbyterian Calendar of Australasia. Second Year of Issue.
1869. Edited by Rev. D. Macdonald, M.A. Crown 8vo. Pp. 80.
Melbourne: Mason, Firth, & Co. MR MACDONALD, in the “ Presbyterian Calendar of Australasia,” has produced a work full of interest, and calculated to do much service to the cause of Scriptural Church government in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to the matter usually found in an almanac, there are full lists of the ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Australasia. Prefixed to these lists is a valuable introduction upon the leading principles of Presbyterian polity. A few pages of well selected miscellanea give the leading facts relating to Presbyterianism throughout the world. At the close is a Statistical Register, presenting information relating to the extraordinary and unparalleled social and material advancement of Victoria, which, from a population of 224 in 1836, bas increased to 643,912 on January 1, 1867. The calendar is beautifully printed, and in every way reflects the highest credit on its able editor, as well as Presbyterianism in Australia, which now numbers 321 ministers. Such a calendar, unsectarian in character, is still lacking in Presbyterian Scotland.
MR JOHN DOUGLAS, DUMFRIES. Ar Brickfield, in the parish of Tinwald, near Dumfries, on the 28th day of February last, Mr John Douglas, in the 69th year of his age. He became connected with the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the year 1817; and was for many years an elder of the congregation of Dumfries. His early associations were with the church at Quarrelwood, and with Thomson and Jeffrey, its ministers, especially the latter.
When the seat of the congregation became Dumfries, he continued his attendance with the utmost regularity, although this involved a journey of fully six miles on foot; and his character secured for him the respect and affection of all his brethren. Deep piety, large acquaintance with the Word of God and our solid old theology, a remarkable gift of prayer, and a very tender heart, made him a most valuable elder. In the courts of the Church, while adhering almost sternly by the old ways, and jealous of change, the goodness of his nature took away from this course everything of bitterness; and in the more private domestic duties of his office, his union of faithfulness with tenderness and sympathy, will not soon be forgotten by the many to whom he ministered. Strongly attached to the principles of our Church, he was by no means sectarian in his spirit, but devoted much of his time to quiet usefulness among his neighbours, by whom his loss is felt keenly, and will be felt long. Very few men occupying so humble a position in this world, . have done more to commend and adorn religion by a consistent useful life. We are sure that those ministers of Dumfries who are now occupying other spheres in the Christian Church feel emotions of deep respect and tenderness awakened by his removal; and earnestly pray the All-wise and gracious Lord, who has so recently removed from that Session, James Halliday, James Paton, and John Douglas, to raise up in the congregation others on whom He has bestowed equal qualifications for usefulness.
Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth." “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright : for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalms xii. 1.; xxxvii. 25, 37.)
News of the Church.
Tais Presbytery met on the 13th ult. Mr William Clow and Mr James Ewing, students of Philosophy, were examined on their course of study, with a view to entering the Theological Hall in June. The examination was cordially sustained.
The reports of the triennial visitation of the congregations in the Presbytery were read.
Next meeting was appointed for the 3d inst., at six P.M.
PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY.
This Presbytery met at Paisley on the 6th ult.—Rev. J. H. Thomson, moderator.
A petition from the congregation of Port-Glasgow, and extracts from the minutes of congregational meetings that had been held to consider the circumstances of the congregation, were presented and read. tioners desired to have a junior pastor, who would undertake all the duties of the pastorate, and relieve the Rev. William M‘Lachlan, amid his advancing years and growing infirmities, from active service, except in so far as was optional on his part, and proposed to give their senior minister an allowance of £50 per annum, in expectation that further aid would be obtained from the Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund, and their junior pastor £100 per annum. Messrs W. C. B. Hamilton, A. Lowe, and J. Semple, were heard as commissioners from the congregation, in explanation and support of the petition. Rev. W. M‘Lachlan was also heard. After lengthened conversation the Presbytery agreed to record their satisfaction with the prayer of the petition, and to make the necessary application to Synod for a grant from the Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund.
The following memorial to the approaching Synod, on the Terms of Communion, was read by Rev. J. H. Thomson, Eaglesham
“ Whereas the Terms of Christian Communion at present in use in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland have become, in some of their expres.
sions, antiquated, are (from various causes) liable to be misunderstood, and do not with sufficient clearness express the distinctive principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, your memorialist humbly prays that steps be taken to substitute the following, or similar terms, in their place:
" I. The acknowledgment of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and the alone infallible rule of faith and practice.
“II. The acknowledgment of the doctrine contained in the Westminster Shorter Catechism to be founded upon, and agreeable to, the Word of God.
“III. The acknowledgment of Presbyterian Church Government to be founded upon, and agreeable to the Word of God.
“ IV. The acknowledgment of the Headship of Christ over the Church, and of His moral dominion over the nations: of the supreme authority of Holy Scripture as Christ's law to Church and State ; and of the duty of national allegiance to Christ.
"V. Practically adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour, by walking in all His commandments and ordinances blamelessly. “And that instead of the following Note to the Terms of Communion,
* Inquirers after the peculiar views and usages of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, will find information in “ Short Account of the Old Presbyterian Dissenters”—“Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion, adopted by the community of Dissenters”—“Act, Declaration, and Testimony for the whole of our Covenanted Reformation,” etc.—“Reformation Principles exhibited by the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.” Besides these authorised works, information will be found in “Summary of the History, Principles, and Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland.” Inquirers are directed for more particular information to “ Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution Church in Scotland,” and to “ History of the State and Sufferings of the Church in Scotland, from the Restoration to the Revolution,” by Cruikshanks, and to “ History of the Church and State of Scotland," by Stevenson '
- There be substituted,
" Information respecting the Reformed Presbyterian Church will be found in Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland ; Historical and Doctrinal.'—Glasgow, 1842.
“And your memorialist firmly believes that good service will be done to the cause of truth."
After conversation, it was agreed to transmit the memorial. It was also agreed to record it as the unanimous opinion of the Presbytery, that a simplification of the Terms of Christian Communion was exceedingly desirable ; and further, that the Synod be humbly recommended to take the whole question into their serious consideration at their approaching meeting. Mr Allan M‘Dougall, A.M., student of the fifth year, gave a popular
Mr Allan Bayne, student of the third year, was examined on Symington on the Atonement.” Both the sermon and examination were cordially sustained.
PRESBYTERY OF DUMFRIES AND NEWTON-STEWART, -THE EDUCATION BILL.
This Presbytery met at Dumfries on the 31st March-Rev. M. Brown, Hightae, moderator. The following resolutions on the Education Bill were submitted by the Rev. Wm. Milroy :
“1. The court most cordially approves the idea of a uniform, comprehensive, national system of education.
“2. It approves also of a Scottish Central Board in Edinburgh, although the composition thereof is objectionable ; and its meetings ought to be public.
“3. It accepts at once a conscience clause; but maintains that, apart from those expressly availing themselves thereof, the ancient use and wont of religious teaching ought to be continued by provision made to that effect in the bill.
“4. The court desires to express in the strongest manner its dissatisfaction with the proposal to continue the parochial schools under their present
management. Either their conversion into new national schools should be made compulsory, or their management greatly liberalised and extended. This might easily be done by empowering the heads of families to elect persons in number according to the proportion which the school fees bear to the sum contributed by the heritors, which persons, together with the heritors, would form the committee to take the management of the school.
“5. If, as is generally believed, the money given by the heritors on behalf of the parochial school be not a private contribution but a public burden on the land, then any further sum required for educational purposes should be obtained by the heritors being rated equally with the general public, in addition to the sum they already contribute.
“6. It is also suggested that the school committee of a district should in no case consist of fewer than six persons-one-third to retire annually, subject, of course, to re-election."
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
Rev. Wm. Milroy submitted the following resolutions on the elective franchise :
"1. That, in the judgment of this Court, the change recently made on the Parliamentary Oa takes away the unds of objection against the use of the elective franchise, and members of the Church may now as warrantably exercise all civil rights and privileges as they certainly did during the Second Reformation.
“ 2. Those, however, who exercise the franchise, should do so in an intelligent and conscientious manner, having special regard to the good of the country, and the capacity, character, and principles of those soliciting their suffrages.
“3. That, for men to give their support and vote to this or that candidate through fear of pecuniary loss, mere considerations of personal friendship, or self-interest, is immoral and wrong, and certain to undermine the independence, soundness of judgment, and spirituality of character of all so acting
" 4. That where there are no moral grounds of objection, the use of the franchise is a duty as well as a privilege—a duty to be discharged without regard to the fear, favour, or frown of any, high or low,--and that when men are swayed by regard to the feelings of others, or favours conferred, rather than the merits of the case, then this is really unprincipled and corrupt, whether it do or do not come within the scope and penalty of the civil law." The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
APPLICATION OF REV. P. M. MARTIN FOR ADMISSION INTO TIIE ENGLISH
At a meeting of the London Presbytery of the English Presbyterian Church on 6th ult., Rev. J. Matheson stated, that he had a request to make on behalf of the Rev. P. M. Martin, lately minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church at Kilbirnie, to be received as a minister of their denomination. Mr Martin had had to leave Scotland on account of the state of his wife's health, her medical adviser recommending residence in the south of England ; and it was further stated, that he was at present labouring with great acceptance at Ipswich. It was agreed, on the motion of Rev. Mr Ballantyne, to take the usual steps in cases of this kind, by forwarding the application to the Synod. In connection with this matter Professor Chalmers said, he was desirous that their rules enabled them to place brethren of the Reformed Presbyterian and United Presbyterian Churches on the same footing as those of the Free Church of Scotland, when making application for admission to their body. (From London Weekly Review, a valuable record of ecclesiastical news, issued under the auspices of the English Presbyterian Church.)