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of his day calling themselves by the names of himself , or A polios , or Cephas , how much more would he be astonished at finding * the professing * Christians of this day ranging * themselves under the names of men of so much inferior pretensions ! There is great reason , however , to apprehend , that in having * got so % r , they will still find
a difficulty in anai ! gii , o- themselves under a new order of things . Many of the points in dispute ha ^ e , through length of lime , grown in a great measure obsolete : the teachers of both parties are better informed than their predecessors : and ibey wonld willingly give up many of tht ) ir ancient tenets , if they could hut agree in what should be retained . Whatever mav be the
case , as it is only apolitical establishment , "which is the basis of the whole business , the true Christian is less interested in its success ; hoping" only that this adjustment of opinions will lead many of the two
parties to compare the new doctrines with the system established by our Saviour ; and , as they think less of their political leaders , they will approach nearer to him who oug-ht to be their only guide ; for , separated from him they can do nothing * .
Prussia is not the only place in which this change in men ' s minds has taken place . It is felt in Geneva , the great headquarters of Calvinism . Calvin , the artful leader of the sect which bears his name , was as much a pope , in his little circle , as
the pretended Holy Father at Rome . He loved the pre-eminence just as much , and formed his hierarchy on similar principles , though on a different plan . His code of laws was adopted , hnt time discovered in them numerous flaws : and in the course
of two hundred and fifty years , the pastors of Geneva graduaiiy departed from the austere tenets of this antocrator . This is now evident , and pains are taken to point out this deviation , and to erect again the standard of the , ancient faith . The thing cannot be done : but in the mean time a
stir has been created , which has occasioned the magistracy to interfere , and to prescribe a silence on certain contended points . The rig-ht of the magistracy to do this cannot he doubted ; for the moment a community of Christians permits the civil
authority to regulate its concerns , they must be content to be subject to it » 4 ictate « , whether in faith or-in discipline . This naturally excites a revulsion . The pastors are accused of apostaey from the faith , not as it is in Jesus , but as it is in Calvin . The result here we must leave to time to
determine : but the true Christian will be thankful that he can have no concern in these disputes . His religion is formed according to the fashion of the altar prescribed by God himself . If any implement is used to form aud fashion the stones , the altar is profaned . So in a Christian community ,
where the voice of human authority enters it will influence the men of this world but cannot afreet the servants of the holy Jesus In the Popish world something- * of tj , " same kind occurs . The concordat , between France and the Pope must come under the discussion of their approaching- par liament
and then it will be seen by the lang-nawe [ the speakers , what is the degree of reverence now paid in that kingdom to the pretended Holy See . The French have been the great supporters of this see and been distinguished by their bloody persecution of the Protestants : yet ifieir adherence to it has not been of so completely servile a manner as in many other nations
They have always claimed what are called the rights of the Gailican church , and of these they are extremely tenacious . As , to the question of religion , and the connexion between the concordat and the Scriptures to this they will pay as little regard as if they were Protestants : yet their debates will bear an appearance of this master being" of a very sacred nature , and tu be treated with a decree of awe a » d reverence
peculiar to it . In this they resemble their post boys , who still keep up the form of bowing * at every cross they pass , and some with more or less apparent devotion ; yet all passes in their minds as a matter of course , and no more touches the heart than the horrible language frequently
uttered by the lower classes in this country . It may be , however , that this concordat may lead to a more intimate acquaintance with tie subject-, for , notwithstanding-the great disregard to religion in France , yet there are several who think seriously and deeply : and if they should come foiwa : d ,
and lead the assembly to higher researches than what regards the appointment of bishops and archbishops , and the establishment of funds for their support , tliis concordat may produce very different
results than those expected from it . The grand intention is to endeavour to restore what they call religion -, in other words , a reverence for the priesthood and a reverence for forms ; and by this it is thought that the throne will be better established . But
the time is gone by : a trick discovered is not to be played oft' again upon the same people ; and their government is in an awkward situation . They mid the want of religion , and that without some degree of influence from it , a people cannot be easily governed . They do not want themselves more of relig-ious spirit than they
can keep under controtil . In this dilemma they are obliged to take up with the old superstition , convinced that whatever influence it may have , little though it »« > will be turned to their account . In this confusion , we shall hope that the Protestan t there are not idle , but of their real « ta le we know little .
638 State of Public Affairs .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1817, page 638, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2469/page/66/