« VorigeDoorgaan »
fearful consideration that my friend, Mr. Lyons, sought to impress upon you at the close of his last address. He told you, that the hearing of the truth made you either better or worse, and so it is. The Gospel never left any man as it found him; it either proved, as the Apostle says, “ the savour of life unto life, or of death unto death,” to his soul. The declaration of truth increases a man's privilege, and therefore places him under a far weightier responsibility than if such privilege was not his. Bear in mind, then, your present situation. You have had opportunity, during this week and the past, of coming to this place to hear those gentlemen on the one side, and
my friend and myself on the other. We have put forth arguments on each side: we have endeavoured to substantiate our respective beliefs. Recollect, therefore, that of this, as of every other opportunity of discovering " the truth as it is in Jesus, you will have to give an account when you come to stand before the tribunal of the Most High. Some of you may imagine, perhaps, that it is pleasant to observe the conflict of argument, while
you may not think of your own deep interest in the questions discussed; but I remind you that, not only should your intellects be exercised in the investigation of truth, but
your hearts affected by its immense importance. Do not think we are disputing for victory—it is for truth we contend. Do not think we have been speaking about non-essential things, about matters of minor consequence --it has been said on the other side, and I repeat it now, that we have been talking about things that concern the salvation of the soul. Oh! then, exhibit that wisdom which becomes intelligent and immortal beings-show yourselves anxious about your best, your truest, your eternal interests—and seek the Lord, encouraged by the promise that those who seek “shall find him, when they search for him with all their hearts." Let there be no delay-no hesitation-no Felix-like postponement to “ a more convenient season,” that may never come. Remember the melancholy case that has occurred among yourselves, and take
warning from this to flee before it be too late, to the refuge set before you in the Gospelto look by faith to that ALMIGHTY SAVIOUR, who “ TAKETA AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD," and who is “ THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH.”
The concluding words of the eloquent advocate, whom you have just heard, dissolves this meeting, and with the dissolution of the meeting my office is at an end.
As the individual who has occupied this Chair, a duty yet remains to be performed which I would not omit; but I will endeavour to trespass no longer on your attention than is absolutely necessary for its discharge.
In the first place, I would offer a humble tribute of admiration to the Gentlemen on either side of me, to whom we have listened with such unabated interest. I doubt not but that to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, as to myself, it has been a matter of astonishment, that, in such a sharp and lengthened collision of rugged thoughts and hard arguments, the combatants should have elicited the truth without wounding each other. If, in this arduous conflict, wounds have been received, I trust that, as professing Ministers of a meek and lowly Saviour, a balm will be sought for and applied whereby they can be healed.
Having thus ventured to offer a few words of commendation to the Rev. advocates generally, I would now beg to pay an acknowledgment to the Rev. Gentlemen on my left, in particular. I feel much pleasure in expressing to them, both for my friends and for myself, our sense of the courtesy, I may say kindness, with which they have treated us since the moment that we crossed the threshold of this College. They will allow me to say, that, although the religious differences which separate us be great, and they may never pass away, yet that there is one thing which will remain, and the memory of which we shall cherish - and that is the recollection of their courtesy
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me address a parting word to yourselves, a word, too, of merited commendation. The talents and the moderation of the Rev. and learned champions must have been exercised in vain -it would have been utterly in vain for them to have elicited the truth, if you had not extended to them a most patient and most attentive hearing. Not only, then, as Chairman of this meeting, have I to thank you in behalf of the cause itself, for which we have been assembled, for the manner in which you have performed your part in the task, and (considering how powerfully the feelings have been excited, and how painful it must have been so entirely to restrain them) the task was no easy one, I have to thank you for myself. I came to this Chair with no small degree of apprehension, lest I should compromise its dignity by some failure in the performance of its duties. But the harmony, the propriety of demeanour, and the peace, which have not been once interrupted during the whole period, have rendered my office a mere sinecure. Your conduct has covered all my
deficiencies. In truth, I have been a mere regulator of time and, as it were, a pendulum vibrating between the conflicting parties on the right and left,--and the only duty devolving on me seemed to be the care of regulating the vibrations with strict impartiality. Possibly it may be expected, that I should now advert to the Discussion itself, and attempt to lay before you a summary of the arguments. But this, assuredly, is no part of my office. . I depose the balance before you-examine the scales yourselves—it is for you and for the Public, and not for me, to determine which scale preponderates. Were my private opinions of a ton or a talent weight, or lighter even than a feather, I should deem myself unworthy of the place I have occupied, were I to cast that feather into the scale. With these few words I take my leave. Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your indulgence, and I humbly bid you farewell.
The Rev. E. TOTTENHAM :- Before any other step be taken, I beg to say, I rise with the greatest possible pleasure, on the part of the Reformation Society, to thank the Rev. Gentlemen on the other side, and the members of the College generally, for the use of this Chapel, and also for the extreme kindness and accommodation which have been afforded us during the whole Discussion.
On the motion of the Rev. F. EDGEWORTH, seconded by the Rev. T.J. Brown, E.T. CAULPEILD, Esq. vacated the Chair, which was then occupied by DANIEL FRENCH, Esq.
Mr. EDGEWORTH said, I have great pleasure in expressing my own individual gratitude to the gentleman who has just left the Chair. I am sure the feeling, which from the first moment of the discussion to the present instant, I have cherished, has been fully participated in by every Lady and Gentleman, in reference to his conduct,
and uninterrupted attention to the important matters which have necessarily occupied a great portion of our time. His conduct has been unquestionably impartial ; and the final act which you have just witnessed, stamps what I would wish to say, rather than what I am able to say, upon the conduct he has shewn in performing the office of Chairman during the Discussion. I beg to move, that the thanks of this meeting be presented to Edwin T. CAULFEILD, Esq. for his kindness and attention, and his undoubted impartiality throughout this Discussion.
SAMUEL DAY, Esq. seconded the motion, which was unanimously adopted by the meeting.
EDWIN T. AULPEILD, Esq.- I had almost, or, rather, had altogether desired that you had dispensed with, rather than conformed to, the complimentary usage which I am called to acknowledge. I do not feel assured of deserving this compliment, of thanks, although it be but a customary one-nor am I disposed to take to myself the credit which, perhaps, your courtesy might seem to warrant. And yet, in saying this, I should be grieved if you thought that I was unable to appreciate your kindness. - It is really because I am in danger of overrating, instead of not appreciating, your courtesy, in this matter, that I shrink from regarding it as my desert.
Suffer me to offer you a child-like, but not, I hope, a childish illustration of my meaning. Those present who are parents, may have observed, that when a child has received something it values very highly, or that possesses a great and obviously intrinsic worth, the child will run to the parent to entreat that the treasure may be kept till the owner is capable of making a fitting use of it. I do acknowledge myself to be but as a child in Christianity, as regarding praise. Praise when deserved is one of the most precious gifts man can receive.
This is a solemn occasion and a solemn place, and I do not conceive it an unbecoming illustration of this high estimate of praise, when I refer, in confirmation of my opinion, to the solemnities of the last great day.-Praise is the language which the people of the Lord shall hear when entering the kingdom He hath prepared for them.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.' To return, then, to your commendation, suffer me to say that I am afraid of it; I dare not receive it.- I beseech you, therefore, take and keep it for me, 'till I am more worthy of it,-and then, perhaps, it may not be abused.If I have done any thing to merit praise, I must acknowledge that I ascribe it entirely to Him alone to whom all praise is due ; --were I to take that merit to myself, my conscience tells me that I should defraud the living God.
Thus terminated the proceedings. They were conducted throughout with the greatest harınony, and during the six days not a solitary instance occurred of any interruption, arising from the expression of either approbation or disapprobation, or from any other cause.
It had been arranged (see page 441) by the Reverend Disputants to refer the translation of the disputed passage in Theodoret's Dialogues to some Greek scholars mutually selected. In the absence of others, however, it was submitted, after the discussion, to Daniel French, Esq. a Roman Catholic Barrister, who gave it as his opinion that the passage admitted of different translations. agreed, therefore, to subjoin the entire passage in the original :
Ορθοδ. 'Ειπε τοίνυν, τα μυστικά σύμβολα παρά των ιερωμένων τω θεώ προσφερόμενα, τίνων εστί σύμβολα;
Ερανιστ. Του δεσποτικού σώματος τε και αίματος.
Ορθοδ. "Αριστα χρή γάρ είναι το της εικόνος αρχέτυπον" και γάρ οι ζωγράφοι την φύσιν μιμούνται, και των δρωμένων γράφουσι τας εικόνας.
Ορθοδ. Εί τοίνυν του όντως σώματος αντίτυπα εστί τα θεία μυστηρια, σώμα άρα έστι και νυν του Δεσπότου το σώμα, ούκ είς θεότητος φύσιν μεταβληθεν, αλλά θείας δόξης αναπλησθέν.
Ερανιστ. Είς καιρόν τον περί των θείων μυστηρίων εκίνησας λόγον εντεύθεν σοι γάρ δείξω του δεσποτικού σώματος την είς ετέραν φύσιν μεταβολήν» απόκριναι τοίνον προς τας εμάς ερωτήσεις.
Ερανιστ. Τι καλείς το προσφερόμενον δώρον προ της ιερατικής επικλήσεως;
Ορθοδ. Ου χρή σαφώς ειπείν, είκός γάρ τινας άμυήτους παρείναι.
Ερανιστ. Αίνιγματωδώς η απόκρισις έστω.