tain a view of the Christian Church, not as she was corrupted and deformed by popery in the dark ages, but as she appeared in her primitive glory, before superstition and ignorance had spread their sable mantle over her fair face, and when she had no arm of flesh to depend upon, being unsupported by earthly governments, but her only prop was the abiding and invigorating assurance, that "the Lord of Hosts was with her, that the God of Jacob was her refuge."

ART. VII.-Projet d'Ordonnance portant Règlement d'Administration pour les Eglises Réformées. Paris. 1840.

2. Lettre d'un Laïque à un Pasteur sur le Projet d'Ordonnance portant règlement d'Administration pour les Eglises Réformées. Risler. 1840.

3. Lettre à un Pasteur sur le Projet d'Ordonnance, &c. Par ATHANASE COQUEREL, l'un des Pasteurs de l'Eglise Réformée de Paris. Cherbuliez. 1840.

4. Lettre à M. Athanase Coquerel sur le Projet d'Ordonnance, &c. Par le Cte. AGENOR DE GASPARIN, Maître des Requêtes au Conseil d'Etat. René et Cie.

5. Lettre à M. le Cte. A. de Gasparin sur le Méthodisme. Par JOSEPH MARTIN PASCHOUD, l'un des Pasteurs de l'Eglise Réformée de Paris. Cherbuliez.

6. Le Salut dans toutes les Eglises. Sermon par ATHANASE COQUEREL. Cherbuliez.

IT is with great anxiety that we look abroad throughout Europe at the present time, when Romanism is making such desperate efforts to spread and make sure her footing; when error, and infidelity, and pride, and selfishness, and luxury, and rebellion, and every evil impulse, are arising with unusual energy, and seem to be directed by the spirit of evil to destroy the simplicity and sincerity of faith-it may not be wholly unimportant, to see what auxiliaries can be found in other countries for upholding those principles of true religion, which it appears to be, especially, England's privilege to be called upon to maintain.

France, from the important station which she occupies in the midst of Europe, seems naturally to claim our attention next after this country. In pondering upon God's ways, we would be led to desire for her, that if Great Britain be called to be the depository and keeper, as it were, of God's truth, France might one day appear as the working power for putting that truth into action among the nations of Europe. Whoever, with an obser

vant eye, has traversed the continent must have remarked a gradual but general fusion of habits and manners-a universal progress in the great work of assimilation, which must go on increasing with the facilities for international intercourse. Taking, then, our point of departure from this our own highlyfavoured land-a land, stationed on the limits of Europe, with a mission during the past centuries, first to influence society politically, through her admirable constitution, and then commercially, by that spirit of trade which, though slumbering in the rest of Europe, was preserved here for her prosperity; and now we trust spiritually, by the purity of her Apostolic Church, taking, therefore, this point of departure, we look across the channel to see what religious elements we can find in the Protestantism of France.

The written controversy which has been carrying on for some time between the promoters of Separatism and the Established Eglise Réformée, has induced us to take up a series of pamphlets, whose titles are placed at the head of this article, as being well calculated to give some idea of the state of religion in France; a subject on which it is extremely difficult for persons in this country to obtain either accurate or sufficient information. Those who are acquainted only with the Protestantism of England-where our privileged Church, at the same time she protested against the errors and abuses which overspread Europe, remained, nevertheless, Catholic, shaking off only the yoke of Rome with her abominations-can have very little idea of what the present Protestantism of France really is. We purpose, therefore, first, to give a brief sketch of the mode of Ecclesiastical Government in the Eglise Réformée, and afterwards to shew the circumstances which led to its present distracted state.

Painful, indeed, is the view which these pamphlets present: we seek for a Church, and we find only unconnected heterogeneous fragments; we seek for some power of godliness capable of making head against the errors of the Romish communion, and we find, on one side, the exclusive doctrines of ultra-Calvinism, on the other the laxity of modern Neologism, even to the rejecting the doctrine of the atonement; we seek for, at least, an outward unity, but, alas! we meet with a political separatism, similar, in spirit and operation, to modern Dissent in England, using all its efforts to batter down what establishment does exist, in order to substitute, in its place, pure Independency, with the voluntary principle. In short, these pamphlets disclose to us the melancholy picture of a Protestant body, tending to the same spirit and position as when France was ravaged by a

religious civil war; when the Reformed faith being engaged in a struggle for its very existence in that country, all the aid which neighbouring powers friendly to its cause could give the Reformed, might, indeed, add to their importance, as a political body, but never could impart the preponderancy of a Church.

Before the revocation of the edict of Nantes, by which event the Huguenot Church may be considered as having ceased to exist, it was, in its constitution, purely Presbyterian; it had its national and provincial synods, and all the subordinate machinery of the Presbyterian system. Buonaparte found the body, after the revolution, shattered and dissolved. He restored, in part, the framework of Presbyterianism; and the present constitution of the Protestant body in France, known usually by the name of "Eglise Réformée," is denominated, in the “Lettre à un Pasteur," (p. 23) Presbyterian Independency: wherein the Churches, whether or not grouped together and subjected to synods, are all of them not only on an equality, but also independent."

It was organized thus in 1802, when Buonaparte restored the "Cultes," by the law called, "La Loi du 18 Germinal an X.” No national synod was then established, but local ones were appointed, which however have never met, so that each Eglise Consistoriale is, in the true sense of the word, "Independent," being bound by no connexion, except with the central administration in Paris, committed to the Ministre des Cultes. The authority rests with the Consistory, or body of Lay Elders, and finally with the crown, in the person of the Ministre des Cultes, who has of late always been one of the cabinet ministers, usually the Garde des Sceaux.

The Consistory is formed of the members of the Protestant body in each locality who pay the highest amount of taxes; which plan was probably considered the best means of securing respectability and order, at the time when the materials of Protestantism were first raised out of the ruin of the French Revolution.

The original establishment of the Consistories was evidently made with a view to the exercise of hierarchical functions. The law appointed a Consistory for every six thousand souls; but there are now Consistories for a much less number. Each Consistorial Church was not to extend beyond its own Department; yet every where they have now gone beyond that limit. But it is evident that the fulness of the episcopal jurisdiction was meant to be represented by the local synods, composed of five Consistorial Churches, which the law enacted shall meet

under the sanction of the government. Those synods have, however, never assembled, and the local ecclesiastical authority has fallen into the hands of the Consistories.

The question must immediately present itself to the mind, how the Consistory, so composed, can be qualified to superintend the pastoral functions, or pay due regard to the sacred matters committed to the sacerdotal charge. The consequence, less to be wondered at than deplored, has indeed been a complete disjoining of the whole fabric. No superintendence being exercised, no discipline maintained, all the Consistorial Churches, universally and without exception, have broken up into sections; each separate congregation has created a Consistory of its own, presided over by the pasteur of the place; the members have taken the name of Deacons or Elders, which assumption being unrecognised and illegal, the letters which they write to the Prefect or to the Ministre remain unanswered, and they themselves falling into rivalry with the chief Consistory, no authority exists to adjust their differences. (Lettre No. 3, p. 12.)

As there has been no new legislation since the law of 18 Germinal, this confusion has gone on increasing; some of the Consistories arbitrarily exceeding the limits of their authority, others negligently falling short of their duties. It has happened that Consistories have remained three years without assembling. The pasteur (the senior one if there are several) who presides over these meetings has indeed the sounding name of " President du Consistoire;" but often without possessing any corresponding influence-too frequently without due freedom of action or of speech. The power of obtaining the dismissal of a pasteur resides with the Consistory; but the law upon this point appears to be in a very unsettled state, as it likewise is with regard to the responsibility of the pasteur in summoning the Consistory, that of the secretary for the records, and of the treasurer for the accounts.

To apply some remedy to this anarchy was the object of the projet d'ordonnance (No. 1.) It proposes the circumscription of Consistorial Churches; regulates the licensing and erection of new places of divine worship; settles the condition of the pasteurs, and other matters remaining hitherto in uncertainty.

These intentions are met by a violent opposition from a party whose organ is the author of Lettre, No. 2; and which openly manifests an unwillingness that the present state of things should be interfered with; says not a word of the existing anarchy; denies the government such a right to regulate for them; and indeed accuses it of invading their liberty, and

wishing to annul it entirely-"L'intention de la restreindre de l'annuler, de la demolir pièce à pièce." This, although nothing of the kind is hinted at in the pamphlet, emanates from the Société Evangélique.

But the author of Lettre No. 2, removes the veil, and taxes the Société Evangélique with fostering this misrule, and encouraging all this weakness and irregularity; the author speaks out, and declares that the "cri d'alarme" has proceeded from the "Méthodistes," "Separatistes;" by which terms we are to understand those persons who have dissented even from the established Presbyterian Independency, and who hold peculiar and exclusive doctrines. He accuses them openly of wishing to disorganize the Eglise Réformée, and thereby to get it into their power.

We read in the preface to the Sermon (No. 6), a somewhat curious exposé of what occurred at the Conférences Pastorales in May last, when le Méthodisme (i. e. the Dissenters), it seems, threw off the mask, "a dit son dernier mot." This is the resumé of the declarations then made by the leaders of that party:"1. Nos doctrines sont essentiellement exclusives parceque seules elles conduisent au salut ;

"2. Il y a blásphème à contredire ces doctrines;

"3. Le but des efforts des pasteurs Méthodistes, et particulièrement de ceux qui se rattachent à la Société Evangélique, est d'expulser des Eglises Reformées les pasteurs qui n'ont pas leurs opinions:

"4. Nous agirons avec les Consistoires, sans les Consistoires, ou malgré les Consistoires."

The banner is therefore unfurled against the constituted Church: it is set at defiance. The Separatists claim the right of meeting wherever they like, in places licensed or unlicensed. They maintain the right of irregular ministrations, and of adopting whatsoever measures they please, without regard to the constituted frame-work of the Eglise Réformée.

The Société which at the present time takes up this ground and language against the Eglise Réformée Nationale first took its rise in about the year 1832. Its originators, Independents of England and America, united with Swiss Separatists and a French pasteur, who, through dislike to establishments, left the Eglise Réformée to concur in erecting the standard of the voluntary principle, and over the door of their place of meeting they inscribed, "Culte Protestant non salarié par l'Etat." At their first setting out they wished to absorb and comprehend all other evangelical labours in France; and such as were able or willing to merge their individuality, remained connected with it. It was worked with these materials; and in 1835-6, by uniting itself with the

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