burning, &c.; children betraying their parents, and parents betraying their children; as in the days of the Apostles, Reformation, &c.

XXVII. I once saw, in a friend, what seemed to me a remarkable instance of humility. He was conversing with a person much his inferior, in age, talents, information, standing in the Church, &c. ; was earnestly asking his opinion, and listening to him with an appearance of great attention, I could but admire. Not long after, I caught myself doing the same thing. That is, being in the company of a young believer, I said to myself, " Now it is my turn to be humble;” started a subject; asked his opinion, which he gave with great fluency; and listened with deference. Thus my own humility appeared to very great advantage. But I forgot that I was making my young friend look like a coxcomb. Was it not a paltry trick ?

XXVIII, Thy vows are upon me, O God.

XXIX. That cannot be true humility, which makes a brother appear proud or vain, or in any way places him in dis, advantageous position. I must not be humble at my brother's expense.

XXX. I feel angry and mortified at the perpetual praises and compliments of my friend -, his commendations of my works, &c. Is this from real lowliness of mind? Or is it because he praises me only in private, or whispers his compliments in my ear as if he were speaking treason ; and because I know that he is afraid to say the same things before the world?


Evangelishche Kirchen-Zeitung. Herausgegeben von Dr. E. W.

HENGSTENBERG, a. o. Professor der Theologie an der Universität zu Berlin. The Evangelical Church-Gazette. Edited by the Rev. E. W, HENGSTENBERG, D.D. Professor of

Theology Extraordinary in the University of Berlin, MANY there are who contemplate, with mournful eyes, the alleged progress of irreligion on the continent. But, while others are looking at the world abroad, we are looking at the Church abroad; we, that is, are anxiously inquiring, What are the religious doing, who live upon the spot? What efforts are they making to stem this torrent of infidelity? In the midst of the general corruption, what is become of the "SALT?In this worse than Cimmerian gloom, this darkness that may be felt, where shines the LIGHT ?" This, after all, is the great question.


This is the point on which we have most reason to be anxious. In them, it is to be hoped, should it please the Lord to work at all, the arm of the Lord will be revealed. It is natural, therefore, from the part which they take, to infer the issue of the conflict.

But here, also, there are many who despond. “No such resistance to the evil has been made," they say, “as ought to have been made : and even where there have been attempts to persuade us, that a good fight has been, or continues to be fought, there is too great reason to fear that such is not the

Now this question is the more important, on account of the extended nature of those exertions which have lately been made amongst ourselves, for the propagation of religious truth in foreign parts. How far can we confide in those who offer themselves as foreign agents and co-operators, in places where, without their aid, our labours might be attended with but small success? That is the point. If they are Christians indeed, we can unite with them, heart and hand ; and neither reserve nor distrust can have any place in our feelings. But, if they are not Christians, no confidence can be safely reposed in them. They may appear worthy; they may appear amiable; but to trust in them will be to trust a broken reed.

We Englishmen are very fond of deciding upon character ; but few people are more easily deceived. In the present case, we may be deceived from various causes. The glow of co-operation, for instance, will naturally excite a feeling of confidence. There is often a blandness of manners, also, attending the profession of the Gospel in foreigners, which may make a great impression on us, and go a great way towards winning our rugged hearts; yet which at the same time may exist, and, we believe, often does exist, in all its attractiveness, where no inward change has taken place, and where the soul is yet in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. We understand, also, that there is another source, from which deception may spring. Many Protestant churches of the continent have very excellent catechisms, which are learned, like ours, by the young. They are not, however, short summaries, but extend to a considerable length : and, being employed in education, they supply the learner with an abundant store of religious phraseology; which, whether converted or unconverted, he probably, by occasional use, retains through life; and can bring to bear, as circumstances require. Take, for instance, the excellent Heidelbergh Catechism; which the kindness of a friend enabled us to give, in our first volume, p. 509 ; and which has since, we are happy to


learn, been reprinted as a separate tract. It is easy to imagine how an unconverted person, having his memory stored with such terms and ideas as are there supplied, and aided by a devout and pleasing exterior, might make a very favourable impression, both as to his piety and his orthodoxy.

But, supposing there are these facilities, why should any one wish to deceive us ? To this we reply, that motives are not wanting. Those who are men-pleasers, naturally wish to please all men: and if all men, then the religious among the rest. No doubt there is much of this going on, in our own country.

No doubt there are amongst us, also, men who can assume the guise and accent of religion, in the company of the religious, merely out of good breeding or complaisance. We are strongly persuaded that it is sometimes done, to an extent that would hardly be imagined. Yet such persons, perhaps, while absent, are among the most bitter against the truth; as, while present, they are the most maliciously observant of its professors. And abroad, also, the same may be the case. The roughshod, straightforward Englishman comes, with his pious proposals and his box of Bibles : and who would not wish to treat him kindly, and give him the sort of reception which his heart desires ? But there is another circumstance. In many parts of the continent, an office in connection with one of our English societies for religious purposes, even though without emolument, is actually an object of ambition; and that amongst unconverted persons. To us, perhaps, this fact may appear almost incredible. In this country, services so bestowed, even if gratuitous, frequently expose a man to obloquy. And, if he devote to them the whole of his time, or so large a portion that they are repaid by a salary, he finds himself subjected, at once, to a perpetual series of nameless indignities : the work that he does, and the money that he is paid for it, are both watched with an evil eye: he becomes a subject of calculation : little trouble is taken to prevent his discovering this, and some, occasionally, to let him know it: till, at length, the question of his continuing at the post of duty reduces itself to this ; How long a Christian, when placed upon the cross, ought to remain there, and not come down. And in fact the feeling upon this subject is so bad, and is so rapidly getting worse, that, if those who hold such situations, feeling the awkwardness of their position, should one after another withdraw, we apprehend that it would be exceedingly difficult, to find an adequate number of respectable and competent persons among the clergy, who could be persuaded to supply their place. The subject is one, on which we now touch but cursorily; while it will be matter of sincere rejoicing, if we

are not compelled, hereafter, to enter on it more at large. But on the continent, the case is different. There, offices in religious societies are an object of ambition. Indeed, office and title, of all kinds, are more thought of abroad : and from these circumstances, there is no want of inducements to deceive; while our own persuasion is, that some amongst ourselves have actually been deceived, when they have returned to this country with such highly favourable views, respecting the state of religious professors on the continent. Some, we are persuaded, many, we hope there are, truly pious and devoted characters. But still it is always possible, that a hasty visitor may be deceived ; and, even where this has not been the case, with respect to the individuals seen by him, we yet have good reason for thinking that, in some cases, the refreshing interview which he has enjoyed, in passing through the city or through the town, has witnessed, assembled in the apartment where it was held, all the known piety of the place. And, in cases such as these, it must be a great mistake, to take the sample as a criterion of the lot, -We hope no second Bretschneider, taking fire at our remarks, which we offer, ever subject to correction where erroneous, will flame upon us with a new " Apology.” We believe that much, which is really good, exists in the Protestant churches in Europe; and that this good is, just now, most happily on the stir, and on the increase. What we might be disposed to praise, indeed, may not be, exactly, what he would be disposed to vindicate, This however we will say, that if a true son of any Protestant church abroad, will, repressing the feelings of a false patriotism, and ceasing to defend what, after all, admits not of defence, state what he sees bad amongst us (and that we have much that is bad we readily allow), we hope we shall not be found backward to acknowledge our deficiencies, and to receive correction. We wish to cultivate the love of our country, the love of our Church. Those amongst our fellow-subjects who have not the former, those amongst our fellow-churchmen who have not the latter, we would by no means imitate. Still we are of opinion that zeal, whether for our church or for our country, will be best displayed, not by denying evils which after all exist, but by promoting their reform.

If, in the preceding remarks, there be any thing of a less complimentary tone, not one word of it is meant to apply to the interesting work, whose title stands at the head of our article, or to its worthy conductors. We call the work interesting, and indeed it well deserves the title. It is a religious periodical, published in that city, which was once the metropolis of Frederick the Great. Such a work, appearing in such a quarter, may well excite our deepest interest. It commenced in 1827; and is published twice a week, on two leaves quarto, or half a sheet each number. Its principal contents are, treatises on various topics, religious intelligence, and reviews. Among the subjects of the first, we observe the following. “What is heresy ?” March 29, 1828;—“The Posterity of Abraham,” April 2; « Of what does the Church of the Lord, in our days, stand in need ?" April 9, &c.;_"The honour of Christ the watchword of the Evangelical Church,” June 25. “The honour of Christ!" exclaims the ardent writer. “That has been, and is the word, on our side. The honour of the church and of men ! that has been, and is the word, of our opponents; although the church can find her true honour only in Christ.” (col. 404.)

The Evangelical Church-Gazette has not been sufficiently long in our hands, to admit of our giving it all the attention which it deserves ; and we will not give an unqualified opinion, on a book which we have not read through. Thus much, however, we may safely say, that the general tone of the work is such as to afford us great satisfaction. We were sorry to observe a long extract, relating to the trial of an English infidel. But, if there be nothing in the general character and conduct of the work, which disagrees with the extracts that we hope presently to set before our readers, we think they will unite with us in thinking, that the appearance of such a work affords great cause of thankfulness.

One point of difference between this periodical, and most of those published amongst ourselves, will probably strike our readers; namely, that it bears upon its front the Editor's name. Here, we think, our continental friend has much the advantage

The giving of a man's name with what he publishes, may prevent the publication of much that is foolish or pernicious. It is of no use to say that a man is conscientious, and means well. The putting of the name makes a difference. While a man's name is concealed, indeed, he will perhaps feel very courageous. But whether the courage thus imparted is of such a valuable kind, or really calculated to promote the cause of truth and godliness, we very much doubt. When a man knows that his name will appear with what he writes, he will weigh his words, he will think before he puts pen to paper. His positions will not be so broad, but they will be more tenable. He will not, 'so readily, condemn a book, or an individual, with a stroke of his pen. Indeed we are fully persuaded, that if English editors in general were compelled, with their daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly publications, to give their name, much flagrant iniquity, much scandalous injustice, would be obviated.

of us.

« VorigeDoorgaan »