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of the firth, is very fine; very much like the scenery in parts of the Highlands of Scotland. The firth is just like a Scotch loch. Dunedin is just such a place as a Scotchman would choose to live in. I could enjoy it very much. But however much I might like to stay here, I would rather be away to the place for the sake of which I have left my own native country, and all that are dear to me there. But I do not doubt but that all things are working
for the best, and my detention here will give me a greater interest in Otago than I could otherwise have had. Next when I write will likely be after our arrival in the New Hebrides, which we hope to reach in safety in the Lord's own time.—Yours, eto. PETER MILNE.
Notes on Public Affairs.
CONCURRENT ENDOWMENT. DURING the last few weeks we have become accustomed to the
apparently innocent expression, concurrent endowment; and were we not aware of its actual application, we might be enticed into sympathy with its advocates. In recommending their favourite scheme, the Peers have used some arguments that are exceedingly plausible, and that may be difficult to refute; but when we declare that concurrent endowment, in this instance, means that Papists and Protestants, believers in the true and proper Divinity of our Lord, and avowed Arians, are equally, and on the same principle, to be subsidised by the State, we have said enough to show how objectionable and mischievous the proposal is. It may seem a fair and generous thing to allow the Episcopalians to retain their glebehouses and lands, and then to obtain religious equality by providing houses and glebes for the priests of Rome, for the Presbyterian ministers, and for those of the two Synods of Antrim, and of the Remonstrants; but neither the scornful assertions of Earl Grey, nor the fantastic distinctions of the Bishop of Oxford, will convince straightforward and intelligent persons of the wisdom and justice of the measure. It is lamentable, indeed, to find that the House of Lords, so long regarded as the political bulwark of Protestantism, contains a majority in favour of extending promiscuous and indiscriminate endowment. Both parties, too, have united in the attempt, and were it not for a few consistent men in the ranks of the opposition, and the resolute attitude of the Government, the worst forms of error would be elevated to the platform of the truth, in so far as the legislative action of the Upper House is concerned. It is bad enough for lay Peers to support the proposal; but it was with painful surprise that we found so many bishops in its favour. Nor was it only the Bishop of Oxford, with his elastic distinction between establishment and endowment, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the great advocate of ecclesiastical comprehension, that gave their adhesion to the motion of the Duke of Cleveland and Lord Stanhope ; earnest evangelical preachers, such as the Archbishop of York, and Bishop Ellicott, are found in the same ranks; and the Bishop of Peterborough, whose speech was so highly applauded by all parties as a magnificent display of eloquence,
did not hesitate to give his vote in behalf of the indiscriminate endowment of truth and error. The presence of the bishops in the Upper House is an anomaly in itself, and utterly irreconcilable with the spirituality of their office, and with the discharge of its sacred duties. It has, however, been argued, that they are the proper representatives of the Church in the Legislature, that they give a higher tone to the debates, that they impart a spiritual sanction to what would otherwise be a mere political assembly, and that they are the defenders of the truth. These arguments may have some force, but they are irrelevant. A part, however, from the general question, are we not warranted in holding, that if they use their great influence to betray the truth, if they become the abettors of every abuse, and if they show themselves ready to subsidise error, provided their own position be secured, they forfeit their title to sit as legislators in the supreme councils of the nation ?
With respect to the actual accomplishment of the object on which 80 many Peers seem bent, there is strong reason for believing that it will fail. It has been confidently asserted that the nation is becoming favourable to the theory of endowing all religious parties, irrespective of their doctrinal belief; and did the literary and social circles of London constitute the nation, the assertion would be true. The Quarterly and the Edinburgh, the Times and the Standard, the Pall Mall Gazette and the Saturday Review, all, more or less decidedly, have been advocating it. A large number of scholarly and intelligent persons approve of it. Politicians cling to it as an instrument of government, and ecclesiastical dignitaries lend it their countenance from motives that are intelligible rather than honourable; but in spite of these powerful influences, we are sanguine that the truth will prevail. Speaking broadly, the nation is against it, and has recorded its verdict with unmistakable clearness. The Churches have already shown a watchful interest in the matter, and appear earnest and decided. The Government maintains an attitude of unflinching determination. For these and other reasons, we cherish the conviction that the present crisis will pass away; but the remembrance of our danger ought to arouse us to the necessity of an intelligent study of public questions, of watchfulness and decision, and of readiness for immediate and united action.
Reviews and Notices. John's Gospel : Apologetic Lectures. By J.J. Van Oosterzee, D.D.,
Professor of Theology in the University of Utrecht. Translated, with Additions, by F. Hurst, D.D. Crown 8vo. Pp. 256.
Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark. 1869. PROFESSOR VAN OOSTERZEE is favourably known in this country by his Theological and Homiletical Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, in Lange's
" Bibel Werk.” The present volume is made up of four lectures :-On the Authenticity of John's Gospel; on John's Gospel
compared with the other three; the Miracles recorded by John; and the Character of Christ as presented by the Evangelist. The lectures have already been translated into German and French. The present edition is translated by Dr Hurst, from Dr Oosterzee's German edition. The book is popular in its character, although rather adapted to a Continental than to an English audience. It is the work of a theologian profoundly acquainted with the Gospel history, and who reverently beholds in Jesus, the God-man, the Redeemer and Saviour, the light and life of the world, by whom the true life is not merely declared but revealed, acquired, and restored. Commentary on the New Testament. By James Morison, D.D., 8vo.
Parts III.-VI. Pp. 320. Glasgow : T. D. Morison. 1869. This large Commentary, which, as yet, reaches only to Matt. xx., maintains the high promise of Parts I. and II., noticed in our December number. It is a work of much learning, and the result of a large amount of reading. Indeed, few books of any value upon the Gospel of Matthew seem to have escaped Dr Morison's notice. In general the exposition is well done, sometimes very well done, as, for instance, on the much controverted words of our Lord to Peter, Matt. xvi. 18, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,” where he takes the older Protestant view, and rightly regards the rock as Christ Himself. Sensible and able, and Scriptural as Dr Morison's Commentary generally is, it becomes the very opposite when he meets a passage that treats of the Divine purposes in the election of sinners of the human family to the enjoyment of the blessings of salvation. Indeed, so different in character are the statements on election from the rest of his book, that one cannot but feel deep regret that a commentator, generally excellent, should be under such strong delusion as to believe that the Bible teaches that God chooses in time, to be His children, only such as possess a
“mind which is childlike in relation to things spiritual." Where was "this moral receptivity" in the blaspheming, persecuting Saul of Tarsus, when he, through the grace of our Lord, obtained mercy? It is surely a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came to save, not the childlike, or those possessing a moral receptivity, but sinners, even the chief.
Since the foregoing lines were in type, two more Parts of Dr Morison's Commentary have been received, bringing it down to Matthew xxiv. 16. They are of the same character as the preceding, learned, the fruit of much reading, but here and there opposed to the Scriptural views of Divine grace most surely believed among us. Sermons and Letters. By the late Rev. David Smith, D.D., Biggar.
With a Memoir of the Author. By Rev. David Cairns, Stitchel.
Crown 8vo. Pp. 318. Edinburgh: W. Oliphant & Co. 1869. Dr Smith
was upwards of forty years minister of the United Secession and United Presbyterian Congregation in Biggar. He was a man of much piety and great activity. He had a pleasant voice,
and no small measure of unction in preaching, so that he was a favourite with all who heard him. He died in the close of 1867. Mr Cairns' memoir is a model in its way. In 87 pages he lovingly, yet justly, describes Dr Smith's life and labours; and the whole is such as few Christian ministers will read without being stirred up to greater diligence in the work of the Lord. The letters are nineteen in number, and they are so good that it is to be regretted more of them could not have been found. The eleven sermons are evangelical, earnest discourses, although not so readable as the letters,
News of the Church.
CALL TO REV. ANDREW SYMINGTON, LAURIESTON. On the 23d of June, the Greenock Congregation gave a call to Rev. Andrew Symington of Laurieston. Rev. George Clazy, Paisley, preached and presided.
On the 20th ult., the Congregation of Dundee gave a call to Rev. John Wylie, preacher of the Gospel. Rev. W. Whyte, Carnoustie, preached and presided.
PRESBYTERY OF EDINBURGH.-ACCEPTANCE OF CALL.
This Presbytery met at Dundee on 20th ult., when a call to Rev. J. Wylie was sustained, presented, and accepted. Trials for ordination were given out.
This Presbytery met on the 6th ult. at Paisley-Rev. J. H. Thomson Eaglesham, moderator.
Rev. G. Člazy reported, that he moderated in a call at Greenock, and that Rev. Andrew Symington of Laurieston had been unanimously chosen. The call in favour of Mr Symington, signed by 130 members and 48 adherents, was laid on the table. The call was sustained, and it was agreed that it be transmitted to the clerk of the Glasgow Presbytery. Rev. G. Clazy, Rev. J. Hamilton, and Mr D. Begg, were appointed to prosecute the call.
PRESENTATION AT CASTLE-DOUGLAS TO MR JOHN CROCKET.
Mr John Crocket, late of Duchrae, having been recently appointed as one of the agents of the Liverpool Town Mission, a meeting of elders and managers of the congregation of Castle-Douglas was held in the sessionhouse-Rev. J. Kay in the chair—on the 13th ult., for the
presenting him, in the name of the congregation, with a testimonial of their respect and esteem. Rev. J. Kay stated, that Mr Crocket had for twenty years been a member of Session, and for ten years discharged the duties of session-clerk, and in the name of many friends and well-wishers, he had to present him with a walnut writing-desk and a purse of sovereigns.
EASTERN REFORMED SYNOD. THE IRISH CHURCH BILL.
This Synod met in the Waterside Reformed Presbyterian Church, Derry, on Tuesday, 7th ult., at twelve o'clock. The retiring moderator (Rev. Samuel Patton) preached from Acts xxvii. 22,—“And now, I exhort you to be of good cheer, for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.” After the constitution of the Synod, the Rev. J. A. Moody was unanimously elected moderator for the ensuing year. In the evening the Synod again met, when the several donations made by liberal gentlemen to the Synod were considered. On Wednesday morning the Court met for devotional exercises, conducted by the Revs. Messrs Close and Stewart, and Mr James Harper, elder, Belfast." On Wednesday, the Synod received Rev. Mr M'Kenna, of Dumfries, as a deputation from the Church in Scotland. Mr M-Kenna referred to the deep interest felt by the brethren in Scotland in regard to the success of the Irish Church Bill, viewing the establishment of the Episcopal Church in Ireland as a great injustice and oppression. Afterwards the financial schemes of the Church were taken up. It was agreed to send missionary contributions to the mission of the sister Church in Scotland in the New Hebrides. The Synod next made arrangement for the immediate publication of a Synopsis of Church History. The Synod then took into consideration the Irish Church Bill, and unanimously came to the following resolutions :-" 1st. That this Synod re-affirms its resolutions of last year in favour of the total abolition of religious endowments in Ireland. 2nd. That this Synod, in consistency with its past history, approves the great principle on which the disestablishment and disendowment Bill of the Government is based. 3rd. That this Synod trusts the Government, in the interests of strict justice, and in order to the securing a lasting settlement of a question in which social order and true religion are so deeply concerned, will firmly resist every change in the Bill inconsistent with its great principle. 4th. That this Synod emphatically protests against the unprincipled and impolitic scheme of concurrent endowment. 5th. That a copy of these resolutions, signed by the moderator, together with the resolutions of last year, be forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone." The ex-moderator, the Rev. Samuel Patton, was requested to publish his opening sermon. The Synod was appointed to meet next year in Belfast.
VOTE OF THANKS TO REV. J. KAY FROM THE SYNOD OF OTAGO AND SOUTHLAND.
Among the proceedings of the late meeting of the Synod of Otago and Southland, we notice the following well-merited vote of thanks :-" It was resolved, that the Synod record its thanks to Rev. John Kay, Convener of Reformed Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, for his hearty and energetic co-operation with the Synod's Committee in procuring the appointment of the Rev. P. Milne as missionary to New Hebrides in connection with this Church ; and that the clerk be instructed to send an extract of this minute to Mr Kay."
CLOSE OF THE THEOLOGICAL HALL.
The closing meeting of the Session of the Theological Hall was held in the Hall below Martyrs' Church, Edinburgh, on the 23rd ult. Among those present were Professors Goold and Binnie, Revs. W. Symington, J. Morrison, J. Kay, J. H. Thomson, T. H. Lang, M. G. Easton, Messrs Towert, M'Kelvie, etc. Rev. J. Kay, Castle-Douglas, opened the proceedings with prayer. The examiners on the subjects of Intersessional Study gave in their reports, which were of a favourable character. Rev. Professor Goold reported, that his lectures had been upon the Canon of the Old and New Testament, and that he had read and expounded Malachi, and Romans is. xi., with the students. All the weekly exercises prescribed had been given in. Dr Binnie reported, in similar terms to Dr Goold, of the diligence and attention of the students. In all, there had been 78 meetings, and all the students had been present at every one of them, making it an annus mirabilis in the history of the Hall. Rev. Wm. Symington, Moderator of Synod, gave the Valedictory Address. The address, which was of much excellence, has been kindly promised us for a future number. Printed by CHARLES Gibson, at his Printing Office, 18 Thistle Street, and Published by
JOHNSTONE, HUNTER, & Co., at their Warehouse, 2 Melbourne Place, Edinburgh.