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magnanimity and fairness to put on record the fact that those lightly esteemed seceders continue to the present day to exist as the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland, faithfully upholding the banner which he and his brethren have dropped in their anxiety for union.
One other point we cannot but notice, as helping to let us into the secret of the wholesale defection of the Church to which the writer belonged. When referring to the differences in principle between the Free and R. P. Churches, he tells us that “both Churches held that the covenants were right in themselves.” And then he goes on to say—“In regard to their continued obligation, this had long been a term of communion in the R. P. Church, but it had recently, to a considerable extent, fallen into disuse. On the other hand, many members of the Free Church also held the stricter view in regard to covenant obligation. In the union therefore this question was properly left open.” We were much struck on reading these significant sentences, and we cannot but view them as fraught with warning. First, the term of communion regarding the continued obligation of our covenants was allowed gradually to fall into disuse ; and so the way was prepared for at length giving it up altogether. And why did it fall into disuse ? Clearly because they had ceased to believe in and feel its Scripturalness and importance. And yet they declare they have carried all their old principles with them ! only their once distinctive ones have been “properly left open questions !” By adopting this easy plan it would be a simple matter to effect a union among all Churches, however diverse their creeds. But what would be the worth of a Church so formed as a witness for the truth of God in an error-loving world?
The little book is neatly got up, and is adorned with a picture of the house in which Cameron was born, as a frontispiece.
The Confessions of an Unfermented Wine Communicant : A Plea for the Union of
Truth and Temperance. By Oxos. Edinburgh : James Gemmell. What is known as the “communion wine question” is discussed in this pamphlet by one who is a total abstainer and was himself once an advocate for the use of “unfermented wine " in the ordinance of the
supper, but who, on further enquiry, has been led to renounce the new-fangled theory. He has evidently been at pains to make himself acquainted with the subject, and has given a good deal of thought to it, and in these well-written pages he states clearly and forcibly the views he now holds. While not prepared to endorse some of the speculations in which the writer has indulged, such as those regarding our Lord's body, which seem to border on the irreverent, we are at one with him in his argument from Scripture, and in his position generally. It is to be deeply regretted that the question here dealt with has been raised in the Church. At the same time it is a matter for thankfulness that it has not yet produced much discord and division; and it is to be hoped that through such publications as this and other means of enlightenment, the matter will ere-long be completely set at rest. As is well known, one of the strongest objections to the use of ordinary wine at the Lord's Table, urged by those in favour of the socalled "unfermented wine,” is, that thereby temptation is put in the way of persons who were once addicted to drink but have been reformed. It is thus “ Oxos meets this objection, in the last paragraph of his pamphlet :-“ Persons tempted on going to the Lord's table have no business there they cannot possibly get benefit there, but the reverse. The same Christ who said, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” also said, “Enter not into temptation." To suppose that Christ requires the presence of tempted communicants at Elis table, is to suppose that He requires them to violate one commandment in order to obey another. Those who know anything rightly about Christianity, know that outward obstructions can never prevent spiritual communion with Christ and His people. The Churches are not bound to mutilate and modify their ordinances to accommodate idiosyncracies of individuals." Confident that he is now on the right side of the question, “Oxos ” writes strongly ; but we fear the strength of his convictions and his zeal for truth have led him, unconsciously perhaps, to express himself occasionally, respecting the views he opposes, in a way not quite calculated to make speedy converts of his quondam friends. Considering that he himself was at one time with those against whom he now writes, a little more charity and moderation, here and there, in the spirit and tone of his
Confessions” would not have been out of place.
Helen Gray: or Come and See. By J. W. M., author of "Alice Lowther,"
Mary M‘Neil,” &c. Edinburgh : Johnstone, Hunter, & Co. 1877. This is an interesting little tale bearing upon the recent religious movement in Edinburgh, in which Messrs Moody and Sankey took such a prominent part. It relates how, through the influence of a cousin, Helen Gray, while thinking of joining a companion in a Roman Catholic "Sisters' Training Home" in Germany, in hope of thus finding peace to her troubled mind, was led to attend the meetings held by the American “evangelists," and so was brought to the enjoyment of that true and lasting peace which the world can neither give nor take away. By Helen's influence, again, her sister and brother-in-law, with whom she was residing for a time, were led
the same direction with apparently equally happy results. The little book, we believe, is fitted to be useful. Parts of it are very touching and impressive.
Light in Darkness, or The Miner's Tale. A true History. Edited by James
Bridges, W.S. Third edition. Edinburgh : Johnstone, Hunter, & Co. We have here a thrilling little story--a true tale—telling how, thirty years ago, thirteen miners, male and female, were entombed alive in the bowels of the earth in the vicinity of Musselburghhow they were animated and comforted by the appropriate, pious, exhortations and prayers of one of their number, Peter Hay, who knew where to find " a stronghold in the day of trouble,"--and how, after thirty-six long hours had passed, and when all hope of escape seemed about to be cut off, they were, in the merciful providence of Him who is the prayer-bearing God, delivered and restored in safety to their distressed friends. The simple and touching narrative was written by Peter Hay himself, and though he was the chief actor, it would be difficult to gather as much from what be bas. written, 80 careful has he been modestly to conceal himself from view. It has been republished, as the preface informs us, with reference to the recent lamentable colliery disaster at Blantyre, “ in the hope that it may help to lead the sorrowing relatives of those who have perished to resort to the quarter whence alone consolations can be derived in such circumstances where the help of man is vain.” We would rejoice in the thought of the benevolent Christian hope thus expressed being realized. It may be added, that as furnishing a striking example of the power of religion to support the soul in the hour of dire extremity, and of the efficacy of believing fervent prayer, the little book is one that may be most profitably read by all classes ; and as its price is only fourpence, it may be said to be within the reach of all.
The British Messenger; The Gospel Trumpet ; Good News; Stirling : Drummond's
Tract Depot. THESE yearly parts of the three well-known and much-prized Stirling monthly periodicals are as usual full of interesting and profitable reading on religious subjects, adapted to the capacities of all-old and young and middle-aged. It is surely matter for deep thankfulness that such excellent cheap publications, full of simple gospel truth, earnestly and impressively set forth and illustrated, continue to be so widely diffused amongst the masses of the people. We bave no hesitation in giving them our heartiest recommendation, and in asking our readers to do what they can to promote their circulation. Parents and masters would do well to place such periodicals, in their monthly or yearly parts, in the hands of their children and their servants. The whole three cost less than two
pence a month.
The Christian Treasury: a Family Miscellany. September-December. Edited
by Rev. H. Bonar, D.D. Edinburgh : Jobnstone, Hunter, & Co. These four monthly parts of the Christian Treasury, for the year now closing, are in every respect equal to the preceding ones noticed in our September number. We have great pleasure in again warmly recommending this well-conducted, sound, religious magazine, which the respected publishers hope to make still more attractive and worthy of public support during the coming year.
St. Christopher, with Psalm anıl Song. By Maurice Baxter. Pp. 150.
Hodder & Stoughton, London. This attractive little volume consists of poetical monologues,
dialogues, and then of a number of small pieces, entitled “Psalm and
“All my past belongs to Thee,
The Inspiration of the Scriptures. By Rev. Professor Given, Magee's College.
8vo., pp. 23. Londonderry. This pampblet, which is the address delivered by Professor Given at the opening of the present session of Magee's College, is published by request. We rejoice sincerely in its appearance, not only on account of the great importance of the subject of inspiration, but also because of the scholarly and faithful manner in which this theme is discussed. After noticing briefly the distinction between revelation and inspiration, and defining their respective provinces, Dr. Given shows in lucid terms the divine and human element in the Bible, and then argues at some length in behalf of the doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration, adducing cogent Scripture proofs in support of it, and stating and refuting the most plausible objections that are brought forward against it. Many of the illustrations which he gives are peculiarly appropriate, and not a few of the criticisms on Scripture expressions display a minute acquaintance with the sacred originals, and are highly satisfactory. The objections of scientists against the Mosaic record are clearly stated and ably set aside. The author manifests throughout the most profound reverence for the Divine Word, and speaks at times in glowing and eloquent terms of the blessings which it has already conferred on mankind, and of its future universal triumph.
In the conclusion, Dr. Given thus speaks of the perpetuity and power of sacred Scripture :
“Human institutions may live their day, and die ; having served their purposes they may grow old and outlive their usefulness, becoming obsolete and antiquated; but this Word of God is animated by a living imperishable principle that makes it proof against all feebleness or decrepitude of age. In all the ages that have been, it has proved the rod and staff, the stay and support of the faithful; in all the years that shall be, it will retain its strength unshorn, and its vigour shall neither know nor feel decay. The myriad angels that came down on Horeb at the giving of the law, and the angelic hosts that carolled the nativity on the plains of Bethlehem returned to the light and splendour of their native heavens ; but the voices left behind, and caught up in Scripture, will reverberate round the world, awakening echo after echo in ceaseless succession that shall never die away. And though no voice from heaven may sound down to us through the blue empyrean, and no vision be vouchsafed to us as to ancient patriarch or seer, yet are we privileged to hold uninterrupted converse with prophets, apostles, and evangelists ; and not only with these, but through them with Almighty God Himself, as He speaks to us by His servants, and addresses us in His Word. This Word of God may be attacked in the future as at the present and in the past-the ribaldry of Paine, the wit of Voltaire, the subtilty of Hume, the theories of scientists, and the plausibilities of criticism-all in succession or combination may be arrayed against it, but it shall never be shaken, and can never be overthrown. This Word of God, in its stateliness and stability, may be compared to that great pyramid which stands in the Nile valley—the evidence of man's mechanical power and a wonder of the world. It has borne the brunt of earth's storms, the thunders of heaven have rolled over it, the lightnings have flashed against it, all the fierceness and fury of various elements have spent themselves upon it, the desert sands have been dashed around it, still it stands, a monument of imperishable greatness, unshaken and immovable on its solid foundation. The elements themselves shall melt with fervent heat, this earth and all the works thereof shall one day be burnt up. Scripture affirms it, science confirms it, but even then, the truths of this Bible will only be entering on a higher and grander fulfilment."
We accord to this able and admirable address our warmest commendation, expressing our fervent desire that it may have a wide circulation, and be blessed for establishing many in the faith once delivered to the saints.
flotes on Public Events.
THE PAST YEAR. — The year 1877 is likely to be a somewhat memorable one. During its course, events have transpired well calculated to cause it to be remembered not only in this country, but throughout the world. A rapid glance at some of the more striking and important of these events, will not be out of place as the year closes over us; and as we mark the hand of Him who is "wonderful