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session there was a gratifying absence of the critical spirit. The skeptics were less considered than the positive side of the truth. The speakers were intent on a steady advance over new ground, and instead of seeking foes zimply took them on the way in their straight march toward untrodden fields. They seemed to think with the Concord minstrel:
.. Life is too short to waste
In critic peep or cynic bark,
'Twill soon be dark ;
God speed the mark ! ”
The subject of Christian defense against skeptical attacks was presented by Prof. Orelli, of Basle, and Dr. Godet, of Neuchatel. There was a decided contrast in these two men. The former, in his youth, represents the young evangelical sentiment of Germany and German Switzerland; the latter, the veteran heroes who have been fighting for a half century against the knights of doubt. Orelli's address was the most inspiring part of the whole week's programme. He carried all hearts with him, and left an influence akin to an overwhelming awakening sermon. The gospel, he said, which the apostles proclaimed to the world, is established in Christ's atoning death and the resurrection, the former testifying to the accomplishment, and the latter being the pledge of our final salvation. To the atonement and the resurrection the Christian doctrine is bound indissolubly for all time, so that every estrangement of the doctrine from them prevents their saving effect on the soul. The Gospel of Christ has, at all times and in all departments of the human family, proved its saving power. The fact of sin and the sense of guilt are stamped on our humanity. Nothing but divine grace imparted to the soul can save from God's wrath and final perdition. While this line of thought twas followed in a measure also by Godet, his treatment was rather from the stand-point of scientific theology than from that of experience. The permanence of the Gospel is dependent on the person of Christ. You cannot detract a particle from the personal divinity of the Saviour without violating the religious and moral force of the Gospel Christianity, thus weakened, could never have triumphed over its two old enemies, pagan.
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XXXII.-18
materialism and Jewish deism. The duty of every evangelical Christian is, therefore, to give firm testimony to the personal divinity of the great Head of the Church.
The general subject of education in relation to the Church, and the special one of the final training of the Christian ministry, were treated by Zillisen, De Pressensé, Court-Preacher · Baur, Bachofner, Wiese, Paroz, and Count Bismarck-Bohlen. The want of biblical instruction in the German schools was greatly lamented. To this source many of the evils of the present German Church were attributed. Bismarck-Bohlen, an earnest Christian man, cousin of Prince Bismarck, and a member of the personal staff of the Emperor William, said these strong words: “Not only in the common schools, but also in the higher schools and universities, an evangelical training should be firmly maintained. One of our greatest evils is that you can seldom find a gymnasium where a truly evangelical spirit prevails. Our youth are overcrowded with merely human knowledge, so that in the past year three young men have, in their despair, committed suicide. Had there been a vital Christianity in these schools, those poor young men could have borne their burdens safely. Pray, take this evil to your hearts ! We must have a Christian State and a Christian school, for by this means alone can we solve many
of our difficulties of faith!”
De Pressensé's address on the Christian and anti-Christian influence of the press was one of the most notable parts of the entire programme. He held that the Protestant Christianity of the nineteenth century must accept the fact of a necessary publicity of thought. Romanism adheres to secrecy and suppression, but Protestantism demands freedom and individuality of action in order to continue the great Reform of the sixteenth century. The Christian press must defend spiritual Christianity, and all the more so because of the gross materialism of the secular press. There must be no want of combative power in the press of the Church. It must oppose the despotism of monarchism and the papacy. See what Roman Catholics are doing to make the press subserve its unholy purposes ! In Rome alone there is a congregation of the press, at whose head stands a cardinal. This man presumably controls two hundred newspapers, with the “Civitta Cattolica” as their leader. “The Gospel and liberty”—this must be the watch-word of the Protestant printing-press.
In the intervals of the main discussions in the German and French languages in the St. Martin's Church, the sessions of the Anglo-American Department were held in the French church in the English language. This is a modest little building in the new part of Basle, and to the Americans and English it became a Bethel. Here they met in friendly Christian intercourse, exchanged salutations without much formality, and consulted as to the great common interests of Anglo-Saxon Christendom. Each of the papers was afterward discussed by voluntary speakers, and some of the formal addresses in the St. Martin's Church were here epitomized in English, and their strong points emphasized. Vischer Sarasin, in behalf of the general committee, made a touching address of welcome to his English and American brethren, in which he thanked the descendants of the first Christians of the British Islands for sending to Switzerland the men who evangelized her vales and mountains, and brought them within the Christian fold. Prebendary Anderson, of Bath, spoke on Christian brotherhood. Dr. Pope, of Didsbury College, was prevented by illness from presenting his paper on the same subject, but Dr. William Arthur took his place, and made an exceedingly touching address on the same subject. He was followed by Dr. Rigg, of London, on the "Present Condition of Religious Liberty throughout the Continent.” We have seldom heard a clearer or more powerful address from any rostrum than this one. The subject was vital to the interests and aims of the Evangelical Alliance. He gave a calm view of the continental countries in order, and finally came to the most delicate subject of the entire session, namely, the persecution of Protestants now going on in Bohemia. His charge against the despotism of Austria was simply terrific. He had something more than theories. He presented facts and figures. The Rev. Mr. Barrett, superintendent of the Wesleyan missions in Germany, sat at his left, and Dr. Rigg turned to him, and quoted him as his authority. Well he might, for Mr. Barrett, through the Wesleyan missionaries on the spot, had gathered up a great number of cases of persecution, and furnished them in writing to Dr. Rigg. This was unexpected testimony, and singularly corroborative of the documentary testimony of other ministers in Bohemia, and the persecuted Protestants themselves, which had already been circulated in pamphlet form among the members of the Alliance, and were rapidly producing a sympathetic sentiment.
The culmination of this feeling took place on Saturday, the last day of the session. The Anglo-American Committee resolved to bring up the case before the general session, and test the sense of the Alliance as to protesting against the iniquity. Each of the speakers on Christian union to whom the programme gave the whole time of the last formal session-Plitt, of Germany; Fallot, of Paris; and Hurst-received on Friday evening a courteous note from President Sarasin, requesting them to abridge their addresses as much as possible the following day, as the grave question of Austrian persecution was to be presented. The sessions, contrary to expectation, had increased in interest from the beginning, but on the last day there was not even standing room for the vast multitude. The president read some letters relating to the persecution, and was followed by Drs. Schaff and Riggenbach, who urged the Alliance to take action in favor of the persecuted Protestants. When the tharges against the Austrian government were presented there was a silent pause of some length. Permission was given, before a vote was taken, to hear any who might be disposed to defend the persecutors, and to give reason why the protest should not be made. No one said a word. It was a scene of intense interest. Then a vote was taken, when all on the great platform arose, and those in the immense congregation also who were sitting arose as one man, and stood for some time in perfect silence. Many wept audibly. Great numbers were descendants of the Huguenots and Dutch fugitives from Spanish intolerance, and they were now stretching forth a helping hand toward their brothers in sorrow in this late nineteenth century. When a negative was called for, not one person voted. The decision was thus unanimous, and a committee was appointed to wait in person on the Austrian Emperor, Francis Joseph, and protest against the continuance of the persecution. That committee has done its work. It had to go as far as Hungary to get an audience with the emperor. He promised to give the subject his careful attention. It remains to be seen whether he will do it, or permit Romanism still to hound to death, in the Bohemian fastnesses, the descendants in faith of the brave John Huss. We believe this voice and outstretched hand of the Evangelical Alliance to persecuted Protestants cannot be without effect, and that the chains will be broken. The word that has delivered the many persecuted believers in Spain and Italy, the Protestants of the Baltic Provinces, and the Bulgarians in Turkey, is not likely to fall on deaf ears. No action of the Alliance, at any of its sessions, has been more important or farsighted than this. It means the unity of Protestants, and their readiness to defend their companions in doctrine and experience the world over.
All the sessions of the Anglo-American department were marked by well-considered addresses, and will be remembered longest by all attendants at Basle whose native language is the English. Dr. T. D. Anderson, of New York, and Sir Charles Reed, of London, spoke on Sunday-schools. Dr. E. A. Washburn, of New York, discussed the delicate subject of Socialism, and gave, as a solution of the dangers which threaten society at the present time, these three grounds of hope : free discussion of the present dangers by Christian men, sound home training and education in the schools, and a wise co-operation of all possible methods for relieving the working classes of the evils which oppose them. Drs. O. H. Tiffany and John Hall, of New York, presided at two of the Anglo-American sessions, and by their wise words and impartial supervision added largely to the success of the proceedings.
The subject of missions was treated in the general sessions by Drs. Theodore Christlieb, William Arthur, Pastor Barde, and Murray Mitchell. The first speaker presented the most voluminous paper of the whole week of the Alliance. It constitutes one hundred and sixty-four octavo pages in the published proceedings of the session. He compared the former condition of the heathen world with the present success of missions; and then described the missionary genius of the Christian Churches, first among barbarous peoples, and then in civilized nations, and closed with a statement of the great missionary task before the Church at this hour. Dr. Arthur had but a limited time to speak, but, brief as it was, he made the strong point that the success of missions in far-off lands depends upon