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and even popish chapels, the irreligious and restless of the population, and raised a momentary demonstration, which, anon, subsided into quiescence. The uncalled-for severity of the commission was universally felt, and a re-action in favour of the suspended clergy took place in every direction. The violent and vulgar of the intrusionists became fearfully unpopular, and in a month their more violent visitations enjoyed the following finale. Two of them, young men, came into a parish in the close carriage of a baronet who espoused the Veto, but such was the universal disapprobation of their proceedings, that neither school-room nor tavern could be had in the whole parish. In extremes, they covered a saw-pit with planks, and mounted this novel rostrum for the honour of the Veto. A considerable crowd of the parishioners from the poorer classes collected about the scene of action. On the two Vetoists assailing the parish minister, on no other ground than the fact of his reading his sermons, one of the peasants, provoked beyond bearing, threw an egg in the last stage of decay, and fixed its centrifugal and radiant contents, with marvellous precision, between the eye-brows of one of the parties. The impression was, in and on all senses, so intense, that the eloquent men became dumb, and the baronet's carriage wafted them away to tell the story of their success. Alas! and is it come to this! are rotten eggs substituted for arguments, and are there men in Scotland who merit such ratiocination? It is mournful to hear of these failures; but the guilt lies on those who, instead of remaining at home, preaching the Gospel, traverse the country, not to save souls and to establish vital truth, but to squabble for the illegal Veto. One of these violent partizans is the minister of a parish containing fourteen or fifteen thousand souls, and he has publicly declared his inability to discharge, as he would wish, its vast and solemn responsibilities. How does he find time for perambulating the country, and playing the part of a clerical Quixote? Does he plead for more churches, in order that he may have more time to devote to the Veto? Is church extension, so deeply to be desired, a convenience in his estimation, for enabling the Vetoists to intrude into other men's parishes, and mind every body's affairs save their own? Such men, in such circumstances, furnish the enemies of church extension with a powerful weapon, and do irreparable mischief. On the suspended clergy of Strathbogie, we have read, with great care, a pamphlet, small in bulk, but masterly and unanswerable. We think we trace in it the pen of a Professor of King's College, Aberdeen, not from any peculiarity of style, but from the power and
terseness of its materials. It is well called "Some short and substantial reasons for suspending, not the ministers of the Church, but the agitation which the Church is systematically pursuing, in defiance of the laws, and in prejudice of the peace and morals of the people." The tenth reason is truly startling :
"Because, more particularly, the unscrupulous ardour and activity with which this agitation is conducted, in the parishes of the seven suspended clergy, by clerical emissaries located there, with others sent by authority to their aid, is already making some impression, and cannot but, by and by, make still more, upon the unanimous feeling of respect, sympathy, and devoted attachment to their ministers at first pervading these parishes; and not only will the foundation be thus laid of lasting feuds in families and neighbourhoods, but the more immediate consequences (in the opinion of sensible men resident in the Highland parishes involved in the suspension) will most probably be violence, bloodshed, and loss of life, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of the suspended clergy disinterestedly and anxiously exerted to preserve peace."
Indeed, every line is full of truth. To us it is a matter of unutterable amazement how such reasons as these, the pith of which we have given, and shall give, do not, in the Churchcourts, and from the press, set the question at rest. We know well that the reply to our views will be at once, "Episcopalians cannot understand us of the North." Let the respondents speak softly. We, perhaps, know as much of the Scottish Kirk as the Vetoists. The Author of "The Short and Substantial Reasons" knows a vast deal more.
These arguments, in our mind, dispose of the whole question. The contumacy with which the clergy of Strathbogie are charged, is, in fact, the crime of the dominant party; and if suspension is to be the punishment, let it be visited on Dr. Chalmers and his followers. We do not wonder at the results which every day arise from this state of things. Hundreds of the more respectable churchmen of the north are withdrawing from the Church of their fathers; they are resolved not to set before their children examples of insubordination to the law of the land, instead of examples of whatsoever things are just, and lovely, and of good report.
Among many reasons that are abundantly fatal to the principle and policy of the Veto law, we wonder it has not more frequently occurred to all parties, that if a certain number of a congregation are to have an absolute veto in the introduction of a minister to a parish, and on the sole pretence that his ministrations are not profitable to their souls, it must necessarily
follow, that if on receiving a minister they find, ten years afterwards, that his preaching is not acceptable, they are at liberty to "veto" his continuance. The patron's act is not connected with any preference of the presentee's doctrine, or morals, or peculiarities of preaching. He presents a man declared by the competent tribunals to be one of the number qualified for such preferment, and thereby hands him over to the Presbytery to be examined, and, if found competent, to be inducted. The Presbytery receives the presentee, and inducts him on good grounds; and this same ecclesiastical court may deprive and degrade him on good grounds also. But, according to the Veto, the people admit or reject on no grounds or any grounds; they have power to receive the presentee, and power to reject. If they have this power transferred to them at the initiature, it is just and fair that they should retain it, just as did the Presbyters on the old system. And hence, if the Veto shall ever become law, the Scotch Establishment will sink into a mere puppet of the people, the 'o roλo, receiving and dismissing ministers, as is the universal practice of the United States. The clergy, feeling their dependence on their hearers, will, if unprincipled men, spice and tinge their doctrines to the meridian they are placed in; and if men of undeniable principle, taught of God and faithful to the death, they will resign their flocks, and labour with their hands," rather than accommodate their consciences and the "truth as it is in Jesus" to a restless mobocracy. The Kirk of Scotland may write "Ichabod" on her altars when she records the Veto. Her progress from that time will be downward. We hear of the popularity of this measure. Its popularity below a certain level every sensible man must anticipate-shopkeepers, who have risen from the stall to the counter, purse-proud vendmongers and petty lordelders or deacons, who harrass their own minister, and would ride rough-shod over the whole clergy. Such men, ignorant, conceited, and incapable of distinguishing piety, save it be embodied in sanctimoniousness; who make long prayers, and give alms to be seen of men; and, under the shelter of such specious benevolence, backbite and traduce their superiorsmust pant for the Veto as a new rod in their hands wherewith to chasten their teachers, a new and more permament platform on which to display their own magnifigance. They will have reached what they now long for as the acme of ecclesiastical grandeur, when venerable ministers shall have to fawn and flatter, or lose their bread; when a lord-elder's nod from his pew shall silence the preacher in the pulpit. It should not be disguised-the present struggle in Scotland is, whether the
clergy shall retain their present position of dignity, independence, and withal of arduous duty, or become the slaves and thralls of the purse-proud and most intolerant among the laity? It is true many of the clergy support the Veto. There may be suicides ecclesiastical as well as physical. We only hope these fifty champions of popular rights, so forgetful of popular duties, will be the first to champ the bit and feel the lash of lay despotism.
Our deliberate conviction is, that Presbytery is not able to stand against the tide and force of popular election. It is in its present constitution more mixed up with lay elements than it can well bear, and if more be added it must dissolve at once into Independency. The people are represented in the Churchcourts by lay-elders, and if more of the same popular element is allowed to visit them, as it will, with overwhelming force, the moment the Veto orifice is formed, the Presbyterian structure must crumble into ruins, and out of the chaos the Episcopal Church of Scotland will gather fresh vigour, and the independent sects receive larger accessions to their numbers. The only Church that has stamina able to bear the pressure of popular power is the Episcopal. It would not be destroyed by it. hierarchy forms a fixed and permanent basis, which nothing but a moral earthquake can upheave. Episcopacy might throw open her parishes to popular elections, and from her lofty and stable position controul and regulate the turbulent masses; but Presbytery has no such vantage ground-it has already more than its share of popular elements: a fresh accession will upset the equilibrium, and precipitate the whole body into the gulf of Independency.
It seems now to be very generally felt by the keenest partizans of the Veto, that they have at last taken a false step. They ought to have first secured a legislative enactment, sanctioning the Veto, or the principles it involves, and thereafter to have passed the ecclesiastical act, rendering its observance obligatory. Whatever objections there may be to the results obtained, there could then have been none to the mode adopted of securing them. But to enact an ecclesiastical canon which not only evacuates the law of the country, but renders liable to forfeiture of civil rights those who see neither its equity or its expediency, and thereupon to demand the obeisance of the state, and the subordination of its rescripts to this, is not the part of sterling principle or high-minded honesty: it looks liker the movement of a jesuit than a churchman. That turbulent order is at this moment spread over the whole surface of society, and it may therefore be worth while to enquire
whether the Veto may not be indebted for a portion of its popularity to jesuit influence. Jesuits have, before now, taken orders in Protestant Churches, and we presume the Veto is not mighty enough to exclude the fraternity from the Scottish communion.
We are not of those who wish the overthrow of the Presbyterian Establishment. We should be glad to see a greater approximation to the Apostolic forms of our own Church. We would try to secure this, not by fiery anathemas, nor by uncourteous treatment, not by excision and unchurching, but by argument and by kindness.
It must be remembered that the question is not whether the ruin of Presbytery will establish Episcopacy; were this the case, we might rejoice at the Veto, and look forward with hope to its probable effects. The Episcopal Church may, and probably will, receive many accessions from the operation of this suicidal principle; but the Scottish Establishment will continue to be supported by Government as a Presbyterian body, when in virtual condition it will be so no longer. Its revenues and distinctions will remain: it will still be the authorised instructor of the people, but it will be the establishment of Independency: it will be the annihilation of all discipline, and the precedent will be given in the British Islands of an ecclesiastical democracy sanctioned and supported by the State. These considerations shew us that we are ourselves concerned in the fate of the Kirk. "Proximus ardet!" And are we to stand still and say nothing? Are we to look on while a learned, pious, and gifted ministry (apostolical or not, matters not in this case) are thrust by a popular movement from their position to make way for a mean and cringing set, who are willing to sacrifice the dignity of their Kirk, and the spiritual welfare of their country, to their own popularity, and the will of every vulgar spiritual demagogue?
ART. X.-The Hope of the Navy; or the True Source of Discipline and Efficiency, as set forth in the Articles of War. By Rear-Admiral Sir JAHLEEL BRENTON, Bart., K.C.B., Lieut.-Governor of Greenwich Hospital. Nisbet. 2. Extracts from Holy Writ, and various Authors; intended as Helps to Meditation and Prayer, principally intended for Soldiers and Seamen. By Captain Sir NESBIT J. WILLOUGHBY, R.N., C.B., K.C.H. London. 1840. Printed for gratuitous circulation.