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ing and ample pledge of kindness and good-will
. (Hear, hear.) Nor should it be forgotten that we may obtain much advantage from the oversight and friendly care of the Church of Scotland, Independently of the direct benefit of the administration of her counsel, ought it not to exert a favourable in-. fluence upon us, both as individuals and as a Church, to think that ber eye is upon all our movements, and that she takes an interest in them all? (Hear, hear.) Nothing has a more de-' cided tendency to inspire a soldier with valour than the presence of confederate allies. Especially in any post of difficulty or of danger, there is an animating power in the oversight of those who, though enlisted in the same enterprise, are called to other scenes of conflict. Now we, the Presbyterians of Ulster, are a part of that great army, whose allies are the members of the Church Militant in Scotland. We have taken up our ground before the strongholds of this dark and degradea land, and, seizing the old banner of the Covenant, have resolved to bear it forward, floating in the breeze, and never to strike or to surrender it, and never to desert from our spiritual warfare, till it has been waved in triumph on the highest towers and bulwarks of the foe. (Hear.) And shall we not be animated and sustained in our exertions by the thought, that those whom we have been accustomed to regard as fellowsoldiers in the same honourable warfare, acknowledging the same leader, unfurling the same standard, and drawing the same blade of etherial temper, are gazing anxiously upon us, hailing our successes, and anticipating the day of our complete and undisputed victory? (Hear, hear.) 'Notwithstanding what has been advanced, however, I can conceive some grounds of hesitation, if you will, of objection to receive the proposition now before this Synod. It may be said, in objection, that it offers no more than communion between the ministers of the two Churches, not union of the Churches themselves. In reply to this objection, I would observe, in the first place, that where there is communion between the office-bearers of the Churches, this, certainly, is a sufficient indication that the Churches recognise each other as having a common interest, and bound by common principles. In the next place, I would observe, that any one who refers to our proceedings and views on this subject, will find, that all that we have sought of the Assembly has been the repeal of the Act forbidding ministerial intercourse between us; we cannot, therefore, charge the ve rable Assembly with indifference, when all that we solicited has been conceded. (Hear, hear.) And, thirdly, that the Act restoring ministerial fellowship is regarded by those who have been chiefly instrumental in obtaining it, and who are a rapidly increasing interest in the Assembly, as à preliminary step to attain measures leading to a still closer recoguition and alliance. This is abundantly evinced by the fact, that in the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, the overture proposing that this Church should be represented in the Assembly, by Commissioners, was so favourably entertained, that when the vote was taken, the majority was no more than three, against transmitting the overture. (Hear, hear.) This being the case, and it being well known that every thing connected with our Irish Presbyterianism is regarded with an increasing iuterest in the Church of Scotland, it requires only a little patient waiting, upon our part, that we may obtain that recognition and representation, which, I do not hesitate to say, it were no degradation to the venerable Assembly to propose. (Hear.) Let it not then be said, as has elsewhere been said, that we are insulted by the proposal of ministerial communion, when it was the sole object, hitherto, of our correspondence with the Church of Scotland. (Hear.) And let the cordial spirit evinced in the negotiations by the Parent Church rebuke that other calumny upon her, that they have terminated only in a formal and heartless resolution. (Hear, bear, hear.) It may again be objected, that the proposition is encumbered with an unwarrantable requirement,-namely, the signing, upon our part, of the Westminster Confession. I certainly thought, at the outset, along with some others, that this restriction might have been spared. The more I think of it, however, the more I am persuaded, that, in justice to its own character, the Parent Church could not dispense with it. (Hear, hear.) For, Sir, if it be true, that there are in this body any, be they more or less, (and few, I believe, there are,) who are, in some important points, opposed to the Confession of that Church, how, I ask, could she recognize this Synod, without making an exception against those persons so dissenting from her standards ? (Hear, hear.) She requires all her own members to adopt this symbol ; and how, in consistency, could she acknowledge and admit to ministerial communion, any who rejected or denied it? (Hear, hear, hear.) Besides, we are no worse dealt with, in this matter, than other Churches with whom she has been negotiating, in like circumstances. (Hear, bear, hear.) I find, by reference to the proceedings, that, among the very first inquiries made of the Presbyterian Church in England, and that part of the Secession now in correspondence, with a view to a re-union with her, the inquiry occurs, whether the Confession has been signed by all the members, as the bond of union? Let us not blame the Church of Scotland, then, for dispensing equal and impartial justice. (Hear, hear.) Nay, even though it should recoil upon our own heads, let us praise her faithfulness. (Hear, hear.) Another objection still, that has been urged against our taking any steps whatever, with a view to re-union with the Church of Scotland, is, the connexion identifies us with the evil of patronage and presentation to benefices. To which objection I reply,
it is so.
First, that, in seeking an alliance with her, we do not identify ourselves with any of her remaining abuses. By no means. We identify ourselves with her constitution ; we discard her abuses,-we protest against them. If patronage be an essential part of the constitution of the Church, let it be shewn that
The fathers of the Secession were as much opposed to patronage as we can be, and yet all they craved of the Assembly was, leave to protest and strive against the evil. They would never have seceded, had this liberty not been denied. I reply,-Secondly, their successors, who are in treaty for admission, in imitation of their fathers, merely crave leave for freedom of discussion, in the Church Courts, on the subject. And, if the fathers of the Secession and their successors required no more, why should not we, who never have seceded, be fully satisfied with the same conditions ? And now, Sir, having reviewed the present condition of the Church of our fathers in Scotland,--having noted some of the advantages of union, and replied, as I consider, satisfactorily to objections, let me, in conclusion, be permitted to congratulate this Church on the high vantage-ground on which she now stands, and on the attainments which she has lately gained in the great cause of Reformation. Permit me to record my sympathy with those who have fought her battles in troublous times,--permit me to express a fervent hope and expectation, that she will, in all time to come, maintain a uniform, unfaltering testimony to the truth, and never more stain her escutcheon, or dishonour the memory of her fathers. After an existence of two centuries in the Northern province of this island, during which she has experienced manifold reverses, -after sustaining many a shock, and being exposed to many an aggression on her privileges, which she escaped unburt, from the fire and smoke of persecution,-after declensions, long and grievous, and contendings with her own degenerate and unworthy sons,—she now stands before the Churches remodelled and resuscitated, longing for a more abundant mani. festation of the spirit of the Lord. Humbled, yet animated, by the favourable recognition of her honoured kindred, in another land,-inspired by the recollections, and influenced by the noble spirit of other times,-supported and upheld in every conflict, by the presence and protection of her glorious Head, -may she continue ever faithful to his cause; fit representative of those from whom she traces her descent, who have long since ascended out of great tribulation, and joined the Church triumphant before the throne! May she long remain a blessing to her children, and to this distracted land! And, while there are many in this changing generation, who think to rear the fabric of national prosperity upon the ruins of ecclesiastical institutions, may it be ever hers to pursue a calm and steady course of persevering usefulness, and, by removing
what is unsound, repairing what is broken, and strengthening what is sacred in her constitution, to present a firm front of resistance to every encroachment of the enemies of our Lord and of bis Christ ;-that, should the storm which now rages 80 fiercely around the Church of her fathers, direct a portion of its fury against herself, she may be enabled to bid defiance to its power, saying, “We have a strong city : salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” (Hear, hear, bear.)
THE FORBIDDEN MARRIAGE.
(From White's Addresses. )
“ The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose. -Gen, vi, 2.
The clearly defined boundary-line that once, with broad and palpable marks of discrimination, separated the children of God from the children of the world, has been, in our days, broken down and blended into indistinctness, by the great intermixture that has taken place between decided Christians, and those half-convinced wavering professors, whom a late distinguished writer, by a peculiarly happy designation, denominated “ borderers," as living continually on the confines that separate the kingdoms of light and darkness.
Among the many evils that have resulted from this intermixture, there is one which has been productive of much mischief to the Church of Christ, against which I would desire to lift up the warning voice of faithful expostulation :-I mean the attachments and unions frequently formed between these two parties.
To a similar event, as recorded in the verse selected for the subject of meditation, seems to be traced that fearfully rapid spread of abounding wickedness in the antediluvian world, which at last provoked even a long-suffering God to sweep away the whole human race, (except one family,) in that wide-wasting deluge, which so appallingly proclaimed that, patient as God undeniably is, His patience can be exhausted, and despised mercy give place to aggravated vengeance.
One surely cannot, then, but look with alarm at any approximation, amongst the children of God, in our own day, towards that very sin, which appears to have consummated the guilt, and hastened the destruction, of the world, before the flood. I would, therefore, here endeavour to point out some of the melancholy consequences likely to result from an attachment and union between a decided child of God, and (the truth, as it is in Jesus, however harsh it may sound, must be spoken,)--an amiable, but still unconverted, child of Satan ; for if there be any one truth in Scripture more clear and certain than another, it is this,--that all who are not children of God, by a living faith in his dear Son, are, however amiable, however attractive in disposition or manners, children of Satan. Though, in the observations I shall make, I shall address myself directly to the members of that sex, which, from many causes, is in greater danger of being ensnared into the commission of what the Scriptures unequivocally condemn, my remarks will equally, in their spirit, apply to either sex.
Should these lines meet the eye of any child of God, while standing on the brink of such a dangerous precipice, may the Holy Spirit vouchsafe to bless them as the means of preventing that fearful step, in the path of error, which few Christians, indeed, have ever ventured to take, without reaping the bitter fruits of their disobedience to a plain and positive command of their God, in the deep-harrowing repentance of a broken heart, which, if it has not brought them to an early grave, they have carried with them, as their sad companion, blighting all their domestic happiness, even to the latest hour of their life.
Were I, then, addressing myself to a Christian daughter of the family of God, who was in danger of disobeying that solemn injunction of the Apostle, (2 Cor. vi. 14, 15, 16,) I would, in all Christian faithfulness and affection, say to her, -Only just pause and reflect, I conjure you, what will be your condition and feelings, if uvited to one who, however amiable in himself, or attached to you, is not a child of God.
You will be debarred, and mark, by your own choice, and act, self-excluded, from all sweet communion of heart and spirit with the object of your dearest earthly affections, on the very subject in which your soul's health and happiness are most deeply concerned, and in comparison of which, to a child of God, all other subjects are unimportant and uninteresting. In all your purest pleasures, in all your highest enjoyments, in all your brightest hopes, the object you love most on earth can have no sympathy with you. You can enjoy no sweet converse together, on those themes so dear to the children of God, in speaking of which they so often feel their hearts burn within them, with holy love and joy. No sweet union of