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of education, which I deemed unconnected with true life, with the existence of the soul in that kingdom which the Gospel had taught me to know and love as my everlasting habitation.'” (p. 48.)
The first act of spiritual life is a laying hold on the mercy of God in Christ; and this is a conscious act. It carries with it the intelligence of the man, and cannot take place without his knowing it. If a man is desiring Christ, and is seeking Christ, he must be aware that such a process is going forward. The sense of inward disquietude, the troubled state of the conscience, con pel the man to go in search of a remedy; and the calling on the name of the Lord for mercy, is the application of the divinely appointed remedy. It is the more necessary to insist on this, because at the present day there is so determinate an effort made to eliminate experience from religion, and to persuade men, that although they know nothing of these mental processes, yet that they are resting on a sure foundation, and, if only by ordinances they remain in fellowship with the Church, will not fail to be recognized at the last as among the good and faithful servants. The whole system is soporific in the extreme, reducing professors to a condition of self. satisfied formality, and robbing the Lord, whose name they bear, of the affections of the heart, and the service of the life. Such men will never witness for the truth; they are not qualified to do so. Of any accurate discrimination of Christian doctrine they are incapable, and do not in the least understand why they should be called upon to "try the things that differ," and “approve things that are excellent.” A very few truths suffice for them; and these they receive, not because they have found them in the revelation of God, but because such has been the teaching of the Church. Beyond this, they see no need of doctrinal teaching; and, in fact, are of opinion, that sermons might with advantage be dispensed with altogether. Such a generation is rapidly on the increase; and devoid as they are of distinctive principles, the individuals which compose it are not indisposed, if circumstances rendered it expedient so to do, to compromise with Romanism or Infidelity.
Malan was not this sort of man. He had built the foundation of his house upon the rock, and was stedfast, immovable. When the storm camemand soon it did so-he did not quail before it; with the disciples of old he felt, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” In March 1817, he opreared "once more in Geneva the soiled standard of her ancient faith, and proclaimed openly from Calvin's pulpit that gospel whose blessed echoes had so long ceased to be heard in her national churches." That discourse stirred. the stagnant waters, and aroused the latent hostility of the natural mind. Its false peace was interfered with, and it
bebe aldana gero
turned in anger on the intruder. “I shall never forget," says Haldane, “the signs of amazement and indignation which I beheld in the countenances of some of those who were present during that sermon.” Especially the clerical body was alarmed. He had preached the truth; in their ears it was as a dan. gerous heresy.
“Of this the young minister himself had speedy proof in a visit, the next day, from the Pastor Chenevière, who came to implore him, in the name of the clerical body, 'to change his doctrine on account of the mischief that might ensue from preaching that good works were not required as the procuring cause of salvation.'
Such is my firm belief,' he answered, and closed the controversy.' (p. 55.)
Then commenced the conflict. Malan might preach, if con. tented to do so as the other pastors did, ignoring the foundation truth of one God in three coequal persons, the divinity of Christ, the work of the atonement, the cardinal doctrine of justification by faith, &c. If not, he must be silenced. He was called upon to submit to regulations with which he could not conscientiously comply. Every pulpit in the city was forthwith closed against him; and if he wished to preach, Ferney Voltaire, three miles from Geneva, on the French frontier, was the nearest place where he could do so. Shut out from her pulpits, and yet anxious to do something for the benefit of Geneva, he established a Sunday school in his college class room; the ecclesiastical authorities deprived him of the use of the room, and the school was broken up. He re-opened it in his own house; the pastors were at once recommended by every means in their power to prevent the youth of their respective parishes from frequenting it. He introduced the Bible into his Collegiate School, so as to make the Holy Scriptures the basis of the education given; the Compagnie Acadé. mique resolved to deprive him of his post as tutor, which he had held for nine years, and notwithstanding the earnest appeal of Malan, the Executive Council of the republic con. firmed this decision. It was a crisis. It seemed as though his enemies were resolved to plunge him, “with his wife and numerous family, into the deepest penury, into absolute destitution;" and they would have done so, but that God raised up friends.
“At this critical moment, a few friends, chiefly English and Würtemburgers, stepped forward, and, partly by a loan, and partly by a respectful present, in which the givers felt themselves the most obliged, saved this oppressed and faithful servant of Christ from sinking into the extremity of distress. From that time, M. Malan has laboured to support himself and his large family by taking pupils.” (p. 83.)
such his own peoplet deadly
Shut out thus from all opportunity of exercising his ministry in connexion with the National Church, he was urged by all his well-wishers to withdraw from Geneva, and leave a place where he had been so repudiated. But he was moved by a “simple, earnest desire to proclaim to his fellow-citizens that message of salvation which had brought such blessedness to himself; to testify the faith of Christ in the midst of his own people, whom, the more thoroughly he believed them to be the victims of deadly error, the more ardently he loved; while he longed with his whole soul to carry out his ordination vow in seeking to evangelise them.” (p. 85.)
This was his resolution, and to this object he gave himself. Words of reproach were not wanting to assail the man who had thus the boldness to lift up the standard of the cross, and to do God's bidding in the face of so much opposition.
"He preached as often as he possibly could at Ferney, and was the first to earn the title Momier, applied to him in the month of October in that year, an epithet which has remained as a popular byword awarded to any one whose piety, or even moral strictness only, may have condemned, by painful contrast, surrounding laxity. In the month of September he commenced devotional meetings in his house, and there too he conducted his Sunday school. Soon afterwards he was compelled to adjourn for want of room to a small house which he had had constructed in his garden.” (p. 86.)
The number of his hearers increased, and as he had never abandoned his position as a minister of the National Church, and longed for nothing so much as freedom to labour within her borders, he made one more effort, and applied to the Council of State for permission to use one of the town churches. In the memorial drawn up by him on this occasion, he adverted to the fact, that during the last ten years, many had seceded from the National Church, but that, as for himself and his brethren who acted with him, “they had felt it a duty to remain, and protest, from within the bosom of the Church, against the errors from which she is suffering.” He reminds the Council, that the doctrines which they held and taught were not novelties, but the very same which their fathers had professed, and which were held by all the Reformed Churches. He besought them that the liberty, of which they had been unjustly deprived, should be restored, “liberty to exercise without restraint the Christian faith, the faith of old time.”
The petition was read; the Council refused even to deli. berate upon it. The door was closed against him as inexorably as ever. They had refused him the use of a church; he built a chapel, to which all might come who wished to be instructed. And they came, so many and so assiduously, that he “allowed himself to be regarded as their pastor, though declining to
administer the sacraments in his exceptional position.” But in that position the Assembly were resolved he should not continue; and in April, 1823, decreed his suspension from his ecclesiastical functions, the Consistory proposing to the Council of State a resolution to that effect.
Malan's position, however, was not what it had been. Previously he had been an isolated minister; now many had attached themselves to him. The Civil body therefore invited the Consistory to bring about, if possible, a peaceable arrangement of the whole controversy, and the result was that Malan received a sudden summons to appear on his own behalf before the Consistory. His defence was simple, earnest, and touching. He declared that he had never been a schismatic; that if his course had been exceptional, it was one which they had themselves forced upon him. But he pleaded in vain. Conditions were required of him to which he could not accede. As touching the requirements of ecclesiastical discipline, he was to bind himself to unconditional submission; and this he could not do, for these requirements might involve an abandonment of the great duty to which by his ordination he was specially pledged—to preach the gospel of Christ as God has given it. He declined so to bind himself; and the result was, that first by the Consistory, and then by the Council of State, he was deprived of his ecclesiastical status in the Canton of Geneva,
“Once more he had to present himself to hear the judgment given, together with a confirmatory decree from the Council of State. This was to the effect, that in consequence of his numerous acts of insubordination, he was deprived of his ecclesiastical status in the canton of Geneva. As soon as the Moderator had concluded his address, my father rose, bowed to the assembly, and withdrew without uttering a single word. He was not to leave that hall, however, for the last time, without a signal proof of the loving, kindness of his God. In a letter written on the following day to a friend, he says :
"My joy, since yesterday, has been very great. That day was the happiest in my life. I had wished to be enabled to bear witness for the truth, and my prayer was abundantly answered.' Having detailed the events of that memorable episode in his life, he goes on to say, 'As I was leaving the hall, and just as I reached the entrance, a pastor left his place and came up to me in the presence of the entire assembly. It was the worthy Gaussen. He seized me warmly by the hand, and detained me for a moment before them all. May God remember him, and deal graciously by him, in the hour of his need!
“Every one knows how that prayer was answered, when, eight years afterwards, Gaussen himself was subjected to the same ordeal.” (pp. 96, 97.)
dated and dweye eficacy of the
The final blow was struck, and nothing remained but that he should withdraw. He had endured much of unmerited persecution; he had suffered in position and circumstances ; but he could not swerve from those distinctive doctrines in which lay the saving efficacy of the Gospel, nor abandon his own right and duty to teach and preach them. In a letter dated August, 1823, and addressed to the Council of State, he declared himself compelled to follow a new course, a course foreign to his wishes, namely, “to retire both in his ministerial and private capacity from the Protestant Church of our Canton as at present constituted.” He prayed, therefore, that to himself and such of his fellow-citizens as might elect to worship with him, “the same legal protection might be extended, which the Anglicans, the Moravians, the Independents at the Bourg de Four, and the Jewish community, receive at your hands ;' a petition which was granted by the authorities, “ so long as their doing so in no way interfered with public order."
What justifies secession ?—that is an important point. The presence in the Church of doctrinal corruption, and a laxity of discipline which permits the leaven of evil to remain and work -does this suffice ? Not so long as the true leaven is also permitted to remain, and work freely in counteraction of the evil. There may be in a Church, whether national or sectional, much of unsound teaching, the result not of mere careless ignorance, but of a settled dislike and systematized opposition to the truth. But is there a locus standi for that truth? May it be professed and taught and preached ? If the Church does not silence error, yet is the truth also permitted to be free-spoken? Then the presence of error, even although it be wide-spread, does not justify secession; and that because, if the disease be present, there is also the opportunity afforded of administering the specific remedy which has so often proved to be efficacious. To secede under such circumstances would be to secede, not from the error, but from the opportunity of combating the error; it would be to adopt a course the most favourable, not to the interests of truth, but to the interests of error; it would be to withdraw from the field of conflict the one counteractive element, by which the diffusion of error might be checked, and facilitate its progress to conquest and ascendancy. Secession, under such circumstances, is in the interests of error, not of truth; it is for the promotion not of good, but of evil.
There is doctrinal corruption existent in the Church of England at the present moment; but there is no hindrance to the enunciation of those distinctive and saving truths to which the Articles of the Church continue to bear testimony. There are,