will bestow upon the best of natures, enmity against God. Nay, all the sparkles of virtue and moral goodness in civil men and ancient heathen are no better.” And in the meditation on Psalm cxxx, we have these words: “He who in the first original of the new-born world brought all things out of nothing, acts like himself in the regeneration and restoration of mankind to holiness. The Holy Spirit finds nothing but Tohu va Bohu, nothing but what is without form and void.” Such were some of the points of Leighton's theology—points it is obvious, which must characterize and distinguish his whole system. And here we can not help calling the attention of our readers to his wise moderation, and his unwillingness to push his system beyond the record of Scripture. Truth was cherished in his mind principally as the means of keeping up his Christian graces, and of exalting him into the region of divine contemplation. He seems not to have trusted much to logical deductions, and to have had absolutely none of that disputatious spirit which is apt to be a trait of men of the logical sort. He always chooses to feel rather than to reason, to believe on divine authority, than to prove. In regard to the order of the divine decrees, he says, in his tenth theological lecture, “to say the truth, I acknowledge that I am astonished and greatly at a loss, when I hear learned men and professors in theology talking presumptuously about the order of the divine decrees, and when I read such things in their works.Nor is there much more sobriety or moderation in the many notions that are entertained, and the disputes that are commonly raised about reconciling these divine decrees with the liberty and the free will of man.” On the necessity of an atonement, he says, in the meditations on Psalm cxxx, “they who anxiously debate

the point whether God could simply and absolutely pardon sin without any price, do but trifle ; for whatever may be supposed concerning that, who is there that will deny that this way of the salvation of men which God has chosen, is so full of stupendous mercy and so illustrious—-that nothing can be thought of more worthy of divine majesty, nothing sweeter, nothing more munificent with respect to unworthy man *" In the second place, Leighton can not have left the kirk because he had any scruple in regard to the lawfulness of his ordination by presbyters. This would be rendered highly probable by what we have already found to be his theological system. It is a remarkable fact, that a theology like Leighton's does not well accord with a superstitious view of the church, its ministers and sacraments. The two may coexist indeed in single cases—for what inconsistent notions can not education seemingly reconcile in some minds—but if they are founded on different views of the nature of man and of the chief instruments in his salvation, as they indeed are, their tendency must be to expel one another. Moreover, Leighton as a man of a decidedly contemplative turn, must have attached high importance to spiritual causes and little or none to forms. In such a mind once enlightened by Christianity, essential godliness takes at once its proper place in a sphere far above “ordinances of divine service and a worldly sanctuary,” unless a pernicious mysticism, united with the contemplative turn as we sometimes find it, fills the mind with its hazy atmosphere and gives false colors, shapes and sizes, to the half spiritualized objects of external religion. But strong as Leighton's natural bias was towards contemplation and even towards asceticism, we have been able to discover nothing of the mystical in his character. On the passage in Peter, chap. iii, 2, “the like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us,” he remarks that this ordinance “is in the hands of the spirit of God, as other sacraments are, and as the word itself is, to purify the conscience and to convey grace and salvation to the soul by the reference which it hath to and union with that which it represents. It saves by the answer of a good conscience towards God, and it affords that by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”— “ though they [the sacraments] do not save all who partake of them, yet they do really and effectually save believers for whose salvation they are the means, as the other erternal ordinances of God do.” There may have been some conceit in Leighton's mind of some other efficacy in the means of grace besides that of the truth in the hands of the Spirit, but surely he does not here remove the sacrament in kind from the class of the other means of grace. But in regard to the particular point, how Leighton viewed ordination as a minister of the kirk, we are not left to deductions and general expressions of opinion. We have his judgment in his own particular case detailed by one who knew him well, his friend, Bishop Burnet. Burnet says, that,

“When the time fixed for the consecration of the bishops of Scotland came on, the English bishops finding that Sharp and Leighton had not episcopal ordination as priests and deacons—the other two [Fairfoul and Hamilton] having been ordained before the wars, [that is, episcopally,) they stood upon it that they must be ordained first deacons and then priests. Sharp was very uneasy at this, and remembered them of what had happened when King James had set up episcopacy. Bishop Andrews moved at that time the ordaining them as was now oposed, but that was overruled by King ames, who thought it went too far towards the unchurching of all those who had no bishops among them. But the late war and the disputes during that time

had raised these controversies higher, and brought men to stricter notions and to maintain them with more fierceness. The English bishops did also say that by the late act of uniformity, that matter was more positively settled than it had been before; so that they could not legally consecrate any but those who were according to that constitution made first priests and deacons. They were positive in the point and would not dispense with it. Sharp stuck more at it than could have been expected from a man that had swallowed down greater matters. Leighton did not stand much upon it; he did not think orders given without bishops were null and void. He thought the forms of government were not settled by such positive laws as were unalterable, but only by apostolic practices, which as he thought authorized episcopacy as the best form ; yet he did not think it necessary to the being of a church. But he thought every church might make such rules of ordination as they pleased, and that they might reordain all that came to them from any other church, and that the reordaining a priest ordained in another church imported no more but that they received him into orders according to their rules, and did not infer the annulling the orders he had formerly received.”

According to Mr. Pearson, in his Life of Leighton, this consenting to receive orders from the English bishops, is open to just exception. Had they, he thinks, concurred in Leighton's explanation, he would have stood on solid ground in submitting to a new ordination. But their avowed meaning was to make him a minister of the gospel; and as he outwardly acquiesced, “his private construction of the act could not change his public aspect and character. It seemed leveled at the foundations of presbytery, by impeaching the legitimacy of all Presbyterian ministers, who had received holy orders after episcopacy was lelly resettled in Scotland by King ames,” (before which time, from the necessity of the case, there being no bishops in Scotland, the imperfect presbyterian ordination might be allowed according to the view of the English bishops, but not afterwards, because now it lay open to all within the Scotch kingdom to make their orders valid.) “Of course,” he adds, as part of the exceptionable conduct of Leighton, “it exasperated the clergy who were in that predicament, and also the laity, who thought the honor and interest of their church were compromised by Leighton's concession. Leighton did not, in this instance, sufficiently consider the ill impression his compliance would produce on mankind, and how much it might weaken his influence, by bringing him nearer in public estimation than had been supposed possible to the level of mere worldly calculators.” There is an amusing simplicity about the latter part of this extract, which calls for a word or two of remark. Leighton, it seems, might break his connection with his former brethren of the Scotch church, and join in a plan to overturn what was dearest to their heart; but when it came to the submitting to an act which might be explained as a declaration that their orders were invalid and might be explained otherwise ;-here he was to stop short, and not let his good be evil spoken of. As if he could have avoided calling forth bitter feeling from the moment when he broke away from the kirk; or must not have looked like a worldly calculator, when he entered into a party nearly all of whom except himself were of that description. But we can not see that any blame is imputable to Leighton for what he did at this time. If he had thought that his first ordination conveyed to him the right from the Head of the church to preach and administer the sacraments in any and every church, with or against the rules there prevailing, he might have been reprehensible for allowing himself to be reordained. Or if he had imagined that a virtue had come into him by the original laying on of hands, his conduct, in restoring a virtue by the theory inexhaustible, would have been a solemn farce : though in truth

had he believed thus, he could never have been either a Presbyterian or a Leighton. But what he did amounted to nothing more than this. The conscience of others required something of him which his conscience did not object to. They looked on it as of immense importance: he looked on it as a regulation to preserve good order. If now imperative reasons, as he thought, bade him accept of the appointment to a bishopric, what was there wrong, or even unadvisable, in submitting to a necessary step against which he felt no scruple And besides, so far were he and the other prelates from following the English precedent, that when six more were soon after appointed, they were consecrated without reordination ; which was no longer a private avowal at a distance, but an open and voluntary one, in Scotland, of what opinions prevailed within the order itself. Again, we can discover no personal ambition, no desire for ecclesiastical dignity, in Leighton, which could have induced him to abandon his church, or which, as an auxiliary to other motives, could have turned the scale in his mind. If any man's writings can testify to a mortified temper raised by familiarity with eternal things about earthly objects, and penetrated with a sense of their worthlessness, that man is Leighton. And if any man, after taking a step which may be imputed to love of honor, can vindicate himself from such an imputation by the entire absence of the feeling ever afterwards, that defense can be set up for Leighton. Unless then we suppose him to have been seized by a passing fit of ambition, which, as happens in novels, fell upon him just at the time we need it for a theory, and had no connection with the rest of his life and character, we must acquit him of acting under the influence of this motive. Nor can the defense be set up for him, that he left a corrupt and irreligious communion, to join one where religion promised to flourish in all its purity. This, indeed, had it existed, would have been a very sufficient reason for deserting the ranks in which he had formerly stood. For what can be God's church, if it be not that where his Spirit dwells, and where multitudes give evidence that they are taught of him 2 And what can be the church of Antichrist, but that which, in the lives of a great portion of its members, denies the Father and the Son 2 We may have our theories about the original and the proper government of the church; but if we, for a long course of years, see Christian virtue shining brightly in a communion under some other form of discipline which we do not prefer, low must be our attachment to substantial Christianity, if we can not dwell where God dwells, if we do not behold the wisdom of God rebuking our theories, and bidding us regard forms of church government only as the means of good, not as good in themselves. The Scotch ministers were far from being without serious faults, as we shall presently see; but, on the whole, they were men of blameless lives and faithful in their work, -men whose supreme object it was to lead their flocks to God. Burnet lived among them, and had good opportunities to know them well; and though his superior breeding and refinement, and his different way of thinking concerning church government, must have aggravated their faults in his mind, yet his account of them is, on the whole, quite favorable. He is speaking particularly of the ministers in the west of Scotland, who, for the most part, refused to conform to the new order of things, and were ejected from their parishes. “Their spirits were eager,” he says, “and their tempers sour, but they had an appearance that created respect. They were related to the chief families of the

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country, either by blood or marriage, and had lived in so decent a manner, that the

Wol. III. 15

gentry had great respect to them. . They used to visit their parishes much, and were so full of the Scriptures, and so ready at extempore prayer, that from that they grew to practice extempore sermons; for the custom in Scotland was, after dinner or supper, to read a chapter in the Scripture; and when they happened to come, if it was acceptable, they on the sudden expounded the chapter—The ministers generally brought them [the people] about them on the Sunday nights, where the sermons were talked over; and every one, women as well as men, were desired to speak their sense and their experience; and by these means they had a comprehension of matters of religion greater than I have seen among |..." of that sort any where.—As they ived in great familiarity with their people, and used to pray and talk oft with them in private, so it can hardly be imagined to what a degree they were loved and reverenced by them. They kept scandalous persons under a severe discipline: for breach of Sabbath, for an oath, or the least disorder in drunkenness, persons were cited before the church-session, which consisted often or twelve of the chief of the parish, who with the minister had this care upon them, and were solemnly reproved for it.—These things had a grave appearance. Their faults and defects were not so conspicuous. They had a very scanty measure of learning, and a narrow compass in it. They were little men of a very indifferent size of capacity, and apt to fly out into great excess of passion and indiscretion. They were servile, and too apt to fawn upon and flatter their admirers. [!] They were affected in their deportment, and very apt to censure all who differed from them, and to believe and report whatever they heard to their prejudice, and they were superstitious and haughty. . In their sermons they were apt to enlarge on the state of the present time, and to preach against the sins of princes and courts; a topic that naturally makes men popular.”

Such, according to Burnet, were the men who occupied the extreme left of presbyterianism, and by whom the brunt of the Cameronian persecution was borne. If we consider the great reverence felt for them in their parishes, and that among them there were such men as the excellent Rutherford, noted for his piety, and William Guthrie, author of the “Christian's Great Interest,” we shall come to the conclusion that it was their political principles and a certain unyielding temper, which made them objects of dislike, rather than any thing more deeply entering into the essentials of character. Having thus seen that none of the reasons which imperatively demand of men to desert the form of religion under which they live, existed in the case of Leighton; we proceed to inquire what were those reasons of another sort, which carried the point, in his mind,-reasons which one good and conscientious man might have judged sufficient, and another good and conscientious man might have regarded as weak. These reasons must be found in the political relations of the kirk at the restoration of the monarchy, and in the bias which certain traits of Leighton's own character and his nearest acquaintances gave to his judgments of things. As it regards the first point, we may go back a little in the history of the time, and say, that the covenant—the great engine against Charles I, the glory and boast of Scotland, according even to a writer of the present day,+was the engine also that battered down the kirk and destroyed many of its most faithful members. It was indeed a twoedged sword, to bind their king with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron ; but it was also a two-edged sword in another sense: it had an edge, which those who wielded it felt to their cost. It bound all who took it to attempt the securing of two inconsistent things, the destruction of popery and prelacy and the re-establishment of presbytery on the one hand, and allegiance to the sovereign on the other. To effect the first object, it led them into measures which resulted greatly against their will, in the execution of the king. To effect the second, it led them into measures which prostrated their country at the feet of Cromwell, and afterwards brought back, with no adequate securities even for their religious liberties, that miserable promise-break

er, whose claim to be a Stuart, if he had had no other, was sufficiently supported by his lying like one, and who carried in his mouth the saying that presbytery was not the religion of a gentleman. And as these two inconsistent objects came into conflict, and men knew not how to act, scruples of conscience arose, and charges of being false to the covenant were hurled about: religion was mixed up with the strife of parties, in the pulpit, in the meeting of the presbytery, and in the intercourse of social life; and so the covenant, the means of giving a new ascendency to the kirk, and, as many hoped, of increasing the power of true religion, proved the means of overturning the kirk, and of calling forth animosities of temper the most opposite to the spirit of the gospel. Near the close of 1647, when king Charles was a prisoner in the Isle of Wight, a secret treaty was made between him on the one hand and some of his Scotch adherents, and a part of the covenanters on the other, by which they stipulated to raise an army on his behalf, and he to keep up presbytery for three years, until such a model of church government could be framed, as would be most accordant with the Scriptures. This treaty, called the engagement, was known in Scotland early in 1648, and was acceded to by the parliament, by the great body of the nobility and by many others; but it met with violent opposition on the part of the more zealous covenanters, who alledged that it involved a breach of the solemn document from which they took their name. The assembly, which met in summer, passed acts disapproving of the engagement, and of the proceedings of the Parliament in its favor. An army, however, was raised and descended into England; but being deprived of the services of the old covenanting generals, who considered the

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