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would be more than superfluous. The extent of his labours in connection with our present position would justly entitle Dr. Chalmers (the mention of Dr. Chalmers' name here was received with extraordinary enthusiasm, the whole of the vast audience rising, cheering for some minutes with the utmost enthusiasm, and the house present. ing a perfect forest of hats and handkerchiefs)would justly entitle that great man to hold the first place in this, our first meeting. But surely it is a good omen, or, I should say, a token for good from the great Disposer of all events and the alone Head of the Church, that I can propose to hold this office an individual who, by the efforts of his genius and his virtues, is destined to hold so conspicuous a place in the eyes of all posterity.' On taking the chair Dr. Chalmers proposed another service of praise and prayer, and as the great congregation of three thousand souls, all thrilling with suppressed enthusiasm, sang the words,

O send Thy light forth and Thy truth,

Let them be guides to me, &c., a sudden burst of sunlight filled the building, and recalled to many present this text, from which the Moderator had preached six months before, · Unto the upright light shall arise in the darkness.'

The departure of the large majority of members and hearers left an ugly gap in the Assembly in St. Andrew's Church. Amazement or despair sat upon the countenances of those who remained. Under the skilful pilotage of Dr. Cook, they set themselves to right the ship, to repair the damage, and prepare for the future. At the date of this writing we see that in most places the Auld Kirk ’has recovered her - lost ground, thanks chiefly to the endowment scheme of Dr. Robertson, while in real church work she is abreast of other churches. In the Western Highlands and islands, in Rossshire, in Sutherlandshire, in parts of Argyleshire, and in other places the Established Church has not recovered an inch of ground, and the likelihood of her doing so must be reckoned among the remotest of contingencies.

In all the places referred to the Free Church is everywhere and everything. Of its influence and methods of operation some curious and instructive facts could be related. In such a struggle ; as the one we have reviewed it was perhaps unavoidable that there should be much bitterness and uncharity in spirit and speech, and, from an examination of the literature of the time, we are in a position to affirm that unkindly and even unconscious temper and speech were not a monopoly on either side. This ill-feeling continued for years. We wish that truth permitted us to say it was extinct now.

After the Disruption aristocratic landowners and lairds refused sites of land for the erection of free churches, thinking themselves able, by petty oppression and persecution, to stamp out the hated uprising of the church for liberty. These lords and gentlemen thought that a little of what they called firmness would bring these ill-advised wanderers back to the church. Not that they cared for the church, only as a State machine, for the aristocracy and lairds of Scotland, as a body, belong to a dissenting, alien, hostile church-the Episcopalian. Out of this conflict and division God, in His overruling Providence, has brought immense and unmistakable good; for while the Established Church has been revived and rehabilitated, there has arisen one of the grandest evangelising agencies of this century. The Free Church of Scotland has permeated the country with Gospel truth, life, and morality. As no human institution is free from defect and drawback, so this noble church is set in a framework of the hardest and most rigid Calvinism, which is visibly breaking up. The aged men and Highlanders are in terror at what they see and hear; but no gifts of genius, no amount of casuistry, or what is called learning, nor even saintliness of character can prevent the decay of bad philosophy and untrue theology. No one can mingle much with Free Church ministers and elders without discovering a certain straightness and exclusiveness. They are churchy, and carry an air of 'we are the church.' That this does not hold of many does not affect the statement. The rigidness and narrowness is seen in the repeated refusal of the Assembly to allow individual churches to use musical instruments in the public service of praise. As we write we learn that one church has so far rebelled as to introduce a harmonium into the church. It is amusing to note the utter puerility of the arguments employed by Dr. Begg and others with him in condemnation of the organ, scornfully calling it a box of whistles, or, in better form, a kist of whistles. There is one aspect of the Disruption which demands notice—its political effect. The doctrines of Liberal politics and church freedom from State control have advanced with rapid strides since the Disruption, and the fact that only eight Tories sit in the House of Commons for Scottish constituencies is largely attributable to the Free Church vote. The united Presbyterians, as a body, are unmistakably Liberal ; the Established Church is as unmistakably Tory. Thus, on which ever side the Free Church vote goes it is the determining power. This sharply-drawn line is quite consistent with notorious exceptions, as such staunch Churchmen as Principal Tulloch and Drs. Story and Cunningham being good Liberals, and such staunch

Tories as Drs. Begg and H. Bonar being staunchest Free Churchmen. In certain localities this Tory Free Churchism is strong. It is a matter of public knowledge that two of the eight Tory Scottish seats were carried by Free Church Tories. The older men who came out of the church have retained their old Tory notions; but the younger men, who have been born in freedom, are free indeed, politically and ecclesiastically. We may conclude with the wise words of one of the best Journals of the day :

The majority in the Church of Scotland before the Disruption, who maintained the ancient freedom of their church, obeyed what was to them a Divine command. They did not consider consequences, and their Christian virtue has been amply justified by the issue. To their fidelity and courage it is due that every congregation in Scotland now enjoys the freedom to elect its own pastor, and that even the Established Church is left practically, though only by sufferance and during docile behaviour, in the enjoyment of freedom. The result of the Disruption in Scotland at this hour is, that three branches of the old pational church flourish side by side, and that their formal re-union, though not, perhaps, essential to their efficiency, comfort, or funds, may be looked forward to as one of the possibilities, if not probabilities, of the future.

H. E. G.

II.-COMBINATION FOR IMPROVEMENT IN

KNOWLEDGE.*

To an interesting work on Civilisation which has lately proceeded from the pen of Dr. Arthur Mitchell there is prefixed a drawing by Sir Noel Paton, which furnishes a very striking and beautiful illustration of an important feature of human life, especially in the civilised state. The artist has represented two persons, each of them from physical defect in a state of comparative helplessness, the one deprived of the use of his lower limbs, and the other blind; but the cripple being carried on the strong back of his blind friend, and directing his steps, each supplies the lack of the other, and locomotion, otherwise impossible to the one and difficult and dangerous to the other, becomes easy and pleasant to both by a combination of their powers.

Most things that men accomplish are done by combination. All over the world, for good purposes and for bad, men combine. And this tendency to combination is peculiarly human, for the simple reason that the need of combination, and especially the power of efficient combination, are peculiarly human. Man stands more in need of help from his fellows than any

other creature. The wants of the lower animals are few and simple; nature has provided them with all the clothing they need; their food requires no preparation, in most cases is very readily procured, and when they have to catch their prey, they have bodily implements and powers fully equal to the work. Very different is the case with man.

His wants are more numerous and less readily supplied ; his feeble physical powers can only supply them by the aid of the contrivances of art; and if each one of us had to prepare with his own hands every article of food and clothing, and himself manufacture all the implements that he used, our appliances would be but few and sufficiently primitive in their character, and our conveniences and comforts could not be procured. It is by our combination in society, each helping to supply, in some particular way, the wants of others, and himself receiving in return what he requires, that we are enabled so easily to procure the numerous comforts we enjoy. By this organisation for the division of labour, the supplying of each requirement being attended

Substance of an Address to the Edinburgh Primitive Methodist Mutual Improvement Class, by J. T. RICHARDS, President. Delivered November 7, 1880.

to by a number of persons devoting their skill and labour especially to it, it is evident that each want is supplied infinitely better and more easily than it could otherwise be.

To form such arrangements—to enter into such combination, eridently indicates and requires intelligence-intelligence only possessed by man. And in proporticn to the advancement and enlightenment of the people, with which, of course, increases their ability to organise efficient combinations, do these become more numerous, more complex, and more powerful, until, in the highest state of civilisation, as in our own country, the function of government itself, which in more primitive States is naturally exercised by one individual, is carried on by the combined wisdom of many. In fact, we may, with Dr. Mitchell, regard civilisation as essentially consisting in successful combination.

On a smaller scale, the necessity of associations is felt in every department of life. Hence our commercial companies, large and small, in which capital is furnished by one, experience in business by another; and so trade is carried on with advantage to all. Hence, also, our religious societies, in which the friends of religion combine to build up each other in their holy faith ; by uniting in fellowship they strengthen each other's hands to resist evil influences and promote the benevolent objects they have in view, without which necessary step even holy resolutions frequently fail before the influence of what an inspired writer calls (Heb. xii. 1) EUTEPLOTAtor åpapriav--the wellcircumstanced sin ;' in fact, religious fellowship seems to be essential to the preservation and perfection of the Christian character.'

The principle of combination for mutual advantage thus exemplified in the conduct of commercial enterprises and in religious institutions (particularly well, perhaps, in the Methodist class meeting) is largely applied for the diffusion of knowledge. It is so in such important institutions as our Royal Societies, in which are combined those who are engaged in the pursuit of various branches of knowledge, the members communicating to the societies, and through them to the world, the results of their enquiries, which thus become common property, and knowledge is increased and widely diffused. Various local institutions, founded on the same principle, and also of great value, exist, not for the spread among the learned of fresh additions made to the sum of human knowledge, but for the purpose of spreading general knowledge, old as well as new, among all classes of the people. · These two kinds of institutions—the great literary and scientific societies, and mutual improvement societies throughout the country,

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