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here find a passage making a distinction between doctrines whose origin dates only from the sixteenth century, and doctrines which are primitive :
"Cessez donc de nous engager à changer notre foi-celle qui depuis 18 siècles a été la lumière, le sel, la vie, et le salut, du monde.-contre les erreurs que nos perès il y a 300 ans ont bien pu professer comme leurs pères à eux, en avaient professé d'autres, mais que nous ne devons pas plus recevoir en heritage, qu'ils n'ont voulu eux mêmes recevoir les erreurs des âges précédents."-(Lettre No. 5, p. 32.)
This assuredly is a very striking remark to be found in this discussion; it is most important, however, that no mistake should be made about those more ancient doctrines: they are not to be regarded as the result of present individual judgment solely, but are to be sought after as the belief of the universal Church. The unreserved admission of belief in the Trinity, in the godhead of the Son, as well as equality of the three Persons; the efficacy of the atonement, original sin, and the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit: doctrines which shall, indeed, abide when the phases of Luther's and Calvin's opinions shall have passed away; and which shall be a means of blessing to every Church which fearlessly upholds them as such-as Catholic doctrines in opposition to error and innovation of whatsoever kind.
The Sermon, No. 6, is an able and truly eloquent appeal against the contracted doctrines of reprobation. It doubtless would have more weight, if it did not display so much reserve. However, where this backwardness is found in opposition to such extreme doctrines, it must be hoped that belief, though latent, may yet be entire. It repudiates the narrow contracted sphere in which the Genevan Church would confine her charities, as being insufficient to correspond to the expansive sympathies of true Christianity. If such men see that the system devised at the time of the Reformation has indeed disfigured the great edifice of the Christian Church, and broken it up into huts and solitary tenements, still Christian antiquity remains to all, both as to doctrine and as to discipline. Happily we can therein take refuge against the innovations and proud assumptions of modern reason, no less than the blind errors of remoter ignorance. Happily that stronghold remains to shield us from arrogant aggression. A striking character in the framers of new systems is, that they speak and would act as if nothing had ever been written, or said, or done before themselves. And thus it is with those who take their point of departure from the "Institutions" of Calvin.
And is this return to the confession of la Rochelle all that
the Separatists have to propose for that "Belle France" which lies at the feet of all enlightened believers, entreating to be raised up, and guided, and instructed? Is this all they have to offer? The doctrine of reprobation and the voluntary systemExclusiveness and Independency? Must we think that they imagine this will suffice for that great nation? A great social body wants another kind of institution; it will have something that is susceptible of a truly national character; that is connected with the primitive introduction of Christianity into its bosom; in short, that is secured by the principles of hierarchy and apostolic succession. It is the same country, the same nation still-the continuation of the same Christian family. What though its faith may have become obscured, and its spiritual freedom ensnared by foreign artifice; yet it will not abdicate its character of nationality. Having once belonged to the universal Church, it will not be satisfied unless it be a part of it. This is what France has been determined to keep, even at the price of connexion with Rome. The day may come when that connexion shall be dispensed with in a scripturally orthodox yet national Catholicity! In the mean time, it does not appear likely that France will consent to be fractioned into as many Churches as there are towns, villages, hamlets, or even families and isolated châteaux. In one word, Independency has no possible prospect of success with the enlarged national and social feeling which subsists among the French.
It is not easy, however, to discover, whether the aversion which the national party manifest is most directed against the exclusive doctrine, or the uncharitable spirit of the Separatists. What we wish them to avoid is the old, restless, bitter, political party-spirit, which so long characterized the Huguenot body what we wish them to do is to infuse a proper and sufficient element of order into ecclesiastical affairs.
In the state to which matters have been now brought, it is easy to see that the Protestant body is in danger of falling into the gulf of democratic Independency on the one hand, or of Rationalism on the other. The Reformed portion of the community in France will, unless something be done to prevent it, very soon be less a source of strength than an element of discord in the country; so difficult is it for Independency to coincide with monarchy. Successive administrations have been very lenient towards the Separatists, letting them keep for years over the doors of their chapels, "Culte Protestant non salarié par l'Etat." When, however, the application of the law has been called for by any illegal acts of theirs, although no real rigour was ever manifested, a great outcry was raised that the charter
was violated-that the constitution of the country was in danger; and the question gravely mooted, under what circumstances it is lawful for Christian men to take up arms against civil authority-a policy which they doubtless considered necessary to secure the footing they had obtained, and to gain more room for their levelling principle. The Government is evidently disinclined from the exercise of severity (Lettre No. 3, p. 27). It remains to be seen, whether the measures of promptness and energy necessary to repel the aggression, and to ensure the supremacy of law and of order, will proceed from the judicature or the administrative, the courts of law or the Ministère des Cultes.
It is impossible, as members of an establishment, not to feel an interest in even a semblance of establishments. We have heard, of late, of fifty missionaries to be sent into France; doubtless Colporteurs, workmen taken out of the Ateliers of Geneva, and entering France with republican views and levelling principles. But if, indeed, fifty men, duly qualified by piety and attainments, and with regular ordination, and having a stake and a position in the country, were to stand forth, supporting the interests of God's truth, as a branch of the true Reformed Church Catholic, the result might be other and far more rejoicing. It would seem that persons in England do not always know what they are assisting when they send their help over to France. Some think it is an Episcopal Church like our own-some that it is the established Protestantism of the country but the Lettre No. 3 informs us, that people are beginning to learn it is Dissent they are encouraging, in supporting the Sociétés Evangéliques:
"Le Séparatisme, jusqué ici hardiment mis en pratique, commence à déplaire de l'autre côté du détroit, au point que l' Angleterre menace de refuser ou de diminuer ses subsides. Dans un grand nombre de feuilles Anglaises, les Methodistes de Paris et de Genève ont été hautement accusés de favoriser le séparatisme, le système de plein divorce de l'Eglise et de l'Etat, et les consécrations illégales de pasteurs ou ministres. Il a fallu se défendre et rebrousser chemin. J'ai sous les yeux deux numeros d'un journal Anglais qui contiennent sur ce sujet les révélations les plus étranges, et qui montrent combien peu les Anglais savent ce qu'on fait de leur argent quand il a passé la mer, l'esprit de séparatisme qui règne dans les Archives du Christianisme est signalé dans ces feuilles de la manière la plus vive, et rien n'est plus curieux qu'une lettre de l'agent du Comité central de Londres des Société Evangéliques de France et de Génève (Central Committee in London of the Sociétés Evangéliques of France and Geneva), si ce n'est peutêtre les notes dont le rédacteur accompagne le plaidoyer, qui tend a prouver que le séparatisme n'est pas séparatiste." (p. 32).
There is, indeed, the germ of a French Protestant Episcopal Church which we have heard of, and which we trust may find a fostering power to direct and sustain it. If God has purposes of mercy in reserve for France, as many things in the state of men's minds in that country would seem to indicate, another and a safer haven will be found for them than Rationalism or Hyper-Calvinism, Independency or Romanism. He has means at his command which we know not of; and to Him, by prayer, would we commend a powerful nation, to be rescued out of the withering grasp of superstition or the self-destroying power of unbelief.
ART. VIII.-The Christian Psalmist. By JAMES MONtgomery. Glasgow. 1826.
2. Odes Sacrées, ou les Pseaumes de David, en Vers François. Amsterdam. 1764.
DRYDEN commenced his epistle to his friend, Peter Motteux, with an expression of regret that an art, inspired and taught by heaven, employed by Moses and David, and consecrated to the service of the altar by the lips of prophecy, should be suffered to decline into neglect
"The muse's foes Would sink their Maker's praises into prose."
But in resuming our remarks on Psalmody, begun in a former number, we hope to show that the Muse can vindicate herself from her most inveterate enemies, and point with triumph to her struggles in the hallowed cause of Religion. There will not be found, we think, more than two or three poets-worthy of the name-who have not, at some period of their lives, mingled their voices in the universal chorus of praise and worship to their supreme Father; and who have not felt their lips burn, even though for a brief season, with the fire of sacred love? We shall presently find Dryden confirming our remark by his own example. The finger that most delighted to wake the festive lute, has often drawn notes of beauty from the harp of Sion; and we may remember with gladness that the lyre of the son of Jesse has lost none of its power, but is still mighty to dispossess the evil spirit, and to scatter the cloud and tempest from the soul of man. We may refer, for a partial illustration of these observations, to the history of one of the most popular poets of France-Clement Marôt.
Marôt's translation of the Psalms, was the observation of the poet Mason, owed its popularity at court not to its sanctity of character, but to its rhymes. Calvin said that it caught the gale of fashion; and he immediately perceived the opportunity it afforded to those who were inspired by purer motives and aimed at a nobler result. The version was recommended to general acceptance by the quality which increased the attractions of our own Sternhold and Hopkins. "The verses (writes Mason) were easy and prosaic enough to be intelligible to the meanest capacity. The melodies, moreover, which accompanied them, equalled the simplicity of the words; and they who could read the one found very little difficulty in singing the other."* But in reality the execution of the English and French versions admits of no comparison. Marôt possessed a musical ear and a copious strain of harmonious diction; le style de Marôt became a proverbial expression for an easy and pleasant manner. At the present time he is the most ancient French poet whom we read with any pleasure. Boileau regarded him as a model for light and festive compositions; J. B. Rousseau imitated him; and from his pages the genius of La Fontaine transplanted many happy and vivacious "turns" of sentiment. Marôt certainly did not carry his talents with him to his more sacred attempt in serious song. He seems to breathe with difficulty in these lofty regions of thought, and to sigh for the lighter and more voluptuous atmosphere of pleasure which he had forsaken. From French critics his version of the Psalms has never received a hearty welcome. "Le peuple Protestant," is the remark of a writer generally temperate and judicious, "a pu chanter quelque temps ces cantiques bizarrement travestis: mais le bon sens a toujours rejeté des productions, où le naïf s'efforce en vain d'atteindre au sublime, qui n'a rien de commun avec lui." This censure appears to be too severe; and as the Psalms of Marôt are not likely to be in the hands of many of our readers, we shall offer a short specimen of his manner, in the translation of the thirteenth Psalm, accompanying it with a version of the same Psalm by Racine, who is known to have always selected those portions of the Psalter which furnished the best opportunities for the employment of his tender and graceful powers. Among the more successful versifiers of the Psalms in France may be mentioned J. B. Rousseau, who succeeds most in passages of dignity and sublimity; Le Franc; Des Fontaines; Malherbe, the first writer, according to Boileau, wh made his readers perceive the just cadence of a verse, and
* See " Mason's Essays on Church Music.”