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ing to one denomination rather than the other, was the fund in London from which each minister received an annual grant.
Mr. Hunter has repeatedly affirmed the complete and total dissolution of the union, but all his statements, in the way of proof, have been confined to the metropolis ; he has not condescended to notice the formation of similar unions, by the adoption of the same Heads of Agreement in all parts of the country, particularly in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Whatever might have been the fate of the union in London, he has not even attempted to show, that those which existed in the country met with partial interruption, much less an abrupt and final termination. May I not fairly, therefore, assume, that no evidence can be produced to support any such allegation? Whether, however, this can be proved or not, I may, at least, without presumption, say, it yet remains to be proved.
Mr. Hunter still thinks that, on “the four essential points” which he mentions, the Congregationalists yielded every thing to the Presbyterians. * It will avail little in this argument for me to say, I still think the contrary; but I have produced evidence to show, that in reference to the first two points, the Congregationalists generally had nothing to yield. I refer your readers to the testimony of Mr. Harmer, and others, in your Magazine of February last, pp. 96—103, to show that the concessions made in the Heads of Agreement, were on the part of the Presbyterians; and now subjoin, in conclusion, the testimony of a high episcopalian divine, who had no partialities or preferences on either side of this question, and who, whatever might be his prejudices against dissenters, had certainly taken pains to collect historical information concerning their ecclesiastical opinions. Dr. Zachary Grey, in the preface to his edition of “Hudibras,” (1744,) after giving some account of the Presbyterian and Independent schemes of church government, and of the union formed in 1691, thus continues—" It was said then, and I think it appears from the Heads of their Agreement, that as the Presbyterians yielded to the Independents, in almost every point, about which they had so long contended with them. So that these united brethren, as after this union they styled themselves, might all, properly enough, be called Independents. However, the names are now promiscuously used by others, and they are called indifferently by either of those names.” I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
* These four points, which he says “ Verus” did not think it expedient to cite, are 1, The education and trial of candidates for the ministry; 2, Ordination by the ministry; 3, The qualifications required of church members; 4, The power of censuring, suspending, or expelling them. I have not noticed the two last, as they relate to matters of internal regulation and arrangement in particular churches , about which, no doubt, some differences would continue to exist.
THE TEMPERANCE QUESTION AS IT AFFECTS
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
Dear Sir, It was with no little interest that I opened your Magazine this month, to read the letter of your esteemed correspondent, Mr. Burder, in reply to Mr. Payton's questions. May I be allowed, without presumption, to say that its perusal disappointed me, and has led to the conviction, that Mr. B. is scarcely aware of the extent to which the evil complained of prevails in some of our northern churches, or of the prospect which there is of its still wider extension.
In one church which I could name, a party of total abstainers, (forming but a small minority of the body,) after embroiling their pastor and fellow-members for about two years, in almost constant contention, have at last seceded, and now worship alone. Into another church, which, two years since, was prosperous and flourishing, discord has been introduced, and some have absented themselves from communion for a length of time.
Now, while the conscientious scruples of weaker brethren should, as far as possible, be met, it cannot in fairness be expected, that violence should be done to the feelings of the great part of the members of a church, in order to gratify a few, or, in some cases, only one individual. Does it not indicate a want of that humility of mind, of that deference to the judgment of others, which should characterise Christians, when one or two individuals—not remarkable, probably, for å high tone of spiritual feeling, for tenderness and intelligence of conscience, not the foremost in works of faith and labours of love-set themselves in opposition to their pastor, their deacons, and their brethren, and either abstain from communion altogether, or pass without tasting the cup which they sometimes scruple not to say contains the “ devil's drink !”
To allow such to remain as church membersif, after patient and affectionate expostulation, they still persist in their conduct—seems scarcely consistent with the usual discipline of our churches ; in fact, does it not open a door through which many corruptions will enter! It will, I think, be generally found, that those who thus act take very low and unworthy views of the Lord's supper, maintaining that they can feed by faith upon Jesus equally well without it, and thus dishonour a positive institution of our Saviour, intended to make visible the oneness of his people. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?” “We, being
many, are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.” This visible bond of union is broken, and that which in our churches distinguishes the professing people of God from others is, so far as these persons are concerned, done away.
The fact, that there are members of churches who for years have been prevented from communion by illness, is widely different : they are unavoidably prevented from attending to their Lord's command, and they can rejoice in the assurance that he “ will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” But what analogy is there between such cases, and those in which absence from the Lord's table is voluntary, and when it is known to grieve their pastor, to act as a stumbling-block to their brethren, and thus to injure their Saviour's cause ?
There are some persons, who, from a strange misapprehension of Matthew v. 23, 24, &c., absent themselves from the Lord's table if
any one of their brethren has offended them—conduct which, I suppose, every faithful pastor would loudly condemn, and which, if it were persisted in, he would regard as a proper case for the discipline of the church.
But if others be permitted to pass the cup, or habitually to absent themselves, on the wine question, with impunity, it will not be easy to proceed impartially in the other case.
On these grounds, without at all wishing to enter into controversy, or to say one word which might appear harsh or unkind, impartiality of discipline seems to me to require that in such cases we should not depart from the scriptural and established usage of our churches, by which we exclude from membership those who, after expostulation and entreaty, still refuse to commemorate with their brethren the Lord's death, by taking the appointed emblems of his body and blood.
I am, Dear Sir, yours very sincerely,
R. C. PRITCHETT.
THE SEA-BOY'S TOKEN.
“MOTHER, the dark and seething wave
Soon will bear me from thy side:
Though your tears from me you hide.
Look for my return with joy,-
Will from danger shield thy boy!”
“Come, then-cheer thee, mother mine!
Though I leave thee, do not pine.
There's but one token I'd bave thee bring
From o'er distant lands to me-
From sin's dread thraldom free!
Oh, that fair token with thee bring;
Or the hues of the wild bird's wing.
“ THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST CLEANSETH FROM ALL SIN."
Go, count the sands of the surgy seas,
That “ Jesus' BLOOD CAN CLEANSE FROM ALL."
Sacred Hermeneutics, Developed and Applied ; including a History of
Biblical Interpretation, from the earliest of the Fathers to the Reformation. By Samuel Davidson, LL.D., Author of “Lectures on Biblical Criticism.” 8vo. pp. 747. Edinburgh : Thomas
Clark. 1843. We owe an apology, both to our readers and to the author of this important work, for any delay which has occurred in presenting a brief account of its contents; but we have the satisfaction to find that a prolonged opportunity for consideration, has only confirmed our first impressions as to its high character for learning, wisdom, and piety. Dr. Davidson is already well known as the author of the judicious “Lectures on Biblical Criticism,” formerly noticed in our pages; and the present work is intended to develope the laws of interpretation to
be applied to the text supposed to be fixed by the means and rules laid · down in the previous volume. We cannot but regard the present publication, as one which should greatly confirm the author's "praise
all the churches." It is no common gift laid on the altar of God, and its value is much enhanced by the opportune period of its appearance.
“Had I possessed,” says Dr. Davidson, "greater advantages and leisure, the work might have had a higher claim to the approbation of learned and intelligent judges.” This may, perhaps, be the case; and candour will admit, that in a few places, marks of rapid composition appear; but these would be almost unavoidable in traversing a course 80 extensive as that marked out for himself by the author, and will doubtless be removed in a second edition. Yet after all such minor subtractions from the merit of the “ Sacred Hermeneutics,” we are inclined to believe that it is a long time since a biblical work of more lasting value to the student has issued from the English press. The pervading tone of vital piety which enriches this volume, exalts it far above the ordinary manuals of interpretation; while the enthusiasm, and complete mastery over his subject, possessed by the writer, continually present themselves, either in the form of earnest and luminous discourse ; as judgment and exquisite tact in the developement and application of principles ; or in the outpourings of a scriptural lore, which is as sound and unpretending as it is honourable to the author.
We rejoice to think that the appearance of this work will give a fresh and healthy stimulus to the study of the Bible, not only in our colleges,