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the foregoing considerations are entitled to any weight, it must be the duty of Christians and patriots to struggle to maintain the Union of Church and State as long as they can do so without sacrificing the interests of Truth. The time may come, as Mr. Birks himself acknowledges, when ... “those who oppose and detest the policy that is now ready to triumph, may be among the foremost to protest against the claim of a State, which has learned to act on infidel principles, to lay unholy hands on the ark of God, or to claim any right of internal control whatever over the English branch of that Church of the living God which He has purchased with His own blood. A thonsand Parliaments are only dust in the balance compared with one jot or tittle of the rightful claims to supreme reverence of Him who is the Lord of lords and the King of kings."

We commend Mr. Birks' recent work as a noble protest against two cardinal errors in religious matters, which are, we fear, only too rife among professing Christians, and which, more perhaps than any others, contribute to hasten on the consummation hinted at in the passage we have just quoted. The one is a tendency to exalt subjective at the expense of objective truth. No doubt, the latter may be too much insisted on, without due regard to its relative side. Truth must, of necessity, from the varieties in our mental constitution, present itself differently to different minds, and will therefore emanate from those minds in diverse forms; but we must never forget that there is, at the same time, a Truth, one and indivisible as opposed to the multitude of errors; and that diversity of opinions, if it do not always involve error, always denotes imperfection. The second error is one, the condemnation of which involves no such reservation as that which we have imported in the former case. It is a tendency to ignore the first and great commandment, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and to look upon man's duty as confined to his relations to his fellow men—a view of which we hardly know whether the impiety or the folly is the greater : the impiety in supposing that our duty to man ought to be, or the folly in thinking that it can be, performed irrespectively of the former. We feel sure that all who acknowledge the glory of God as the one aim and object of man's existence, will admire the boldness and cogency of Mr. Birks' reasoning; and while they will recognise the truth of the basis on which he grounds his arguments, they will, we think, admit the correctness of the conclusions which he has deduced.

THE WRITINGS OF TERTULLIAN. Ante-Nicene Christian Library. The Writings of Quintus Sept.

Flor. Tertullianus. Vol. I. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark. 1869.

Few circumstances would have appeared more improbable, thirty years ago, than that the example set in Oxford by the promoters of "A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church,” in the year 1839, should be followed by one of the largest and most enterprising firms of booksellers in Scotland in the year 1869. The fact is, in an eminent degree, instructive and suggestive. The chief grounds on which it appeared desirable to Messrs. Pusey, Keble, Newman, and Marriott to engage in such an undertaking, are set forth under twelve heads, in one of which we find mention made “ of the importance, at the present crisis, of exhibiting the real practical value of Catholic Antiquity, wbich is disparaged by Romanists in order to make way for the later Councils, and by others in behalf of modern and private interpretations of Holy Scripture.” We give the promoters of the Oxford scheme entire credit for the sincerity of their belief that the via media views and principles which they then maintained would derive support from the writings of Christian antiquity. Events, however, seem to us to have shown that their expectations were, in two important respects, fallacious. On the one hand, in proportion as the genuine remains of the remotest Christian antiquity have been carefully examined, and our remark applies as well to the early inscriptions and sculptures, as to the early writings of the Christians,) in the same proportion they have been shown to afford but little support to the peculiarities of the system advocated by the Oxford theologians to whom we have referred; and on the other hand, as the result of the experience of the last thirty years, it has become increasingly apparent that the development of much of the theology of the fourth century, to which the chief attention of the Oxford School has been directed, is to be found, not in the doctrine or practice of the Reformed Church of England, as set forth in her Book of Common Prayer, her Articles, her Homilies, and her other authoritative writings, but in the authorized standards, and still more conspicuously in the popular creed and worship of that Church to which so many of the most distinguished members of the Tractarian party have, at an earlier or later stage of their history, given in their adherence.

Under these circumstances we hail with peculiar satisfaction the appearance of the eleventh volume of the Ante-Nicene Library, not only as affording evidence of the increasing inVol. 68.-No. 381.

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The writisgacf Tert are, care many acasac.ongst the most im. Brian: ac-i most interesat de remains of Caris. tian actiques. Orkaize cins persoal b:09, except so far as it is elac iated by bs WE E S. s derived chiedy from the acecost giren ohin or Jerse. :) bs Cata ose of Ecclesiastical Writers. From these esise scores we learn, that Tertall an was a ratire ise ; Tace of Africa and city of Cartage; that be was the son of a procursalar een. turion; that he ficarished dacicz the reizas of Severus and Antonias Caracalla; and, after Victor and Apc ocios, that he was the earliest of the Latic Christian writers. He appears, from some passages in his writings for tiere seems no suf. ficient reason for call ag the fact is question, to have been a convert from heathenism. His ordination probably took place shortly after his conversion, and his secession to the Vontsnista most have foilowed at no distant period after his ordi. nation. Whether he resided and officiated as a presbyter at Carthage or at Rome, is not quite certain; nor is there apparently any sofficient ground for the statement that his adoption of the opinions of Montanas was the result of the disappointment of his expectation of promotion to the see of one or other of those cities.

It has been justly observed by Bishop Kaçe, that the value of Tertullian's writings arises, in no inconsiderable measure, indirectly from the errors into which he fell; inasmuch as it is from his endeavours to correct what he deemed faulty in the practice and discipline of the Church, that we learn indirectly what that practice and that discipline were.

We will endeavour, very briefly, to indicate some of the gabjects on which the evidence furnished by the writings of Tertullian is of peculiar value.

1. Tertullian, in his Apology (chapters 18 to 21), vindicates the authority of the writings of the Old Testament Scriptures, by an appeal (1) to their high antiquity-a consideration, as he shows in very forcible language, of great weight when regarded as an argumentum ad hominem-i. e., as calculated to arrest the attention and to attract the respect of the heathen, with whom (as he says in chap. 19) “it is a kind of religion to demand belief on this very ground”; and (2) to their majesty, in proof of which he adduces the evidence arising from the progressive fulfilment of prophecy.

2. After a short but vigorous defence of Judaism as a religion proceeding from God, and stamped with the impress of its Divine original, Tertullian (in his Apology, chap. 21) insists briefly, but unequivocally, upon the belief of the new sect of the Christians in the Divinity of Christ. “Necesse est igitur pauca dicamus de Christo ut Deo.” The fact that, within a hundred years after the death of St. John, a belief in the Divinity of Christ was thus propounded as the undisputed creed of His followers, is entitled to a high degree of consideration.

3. Tertullian's testimony to the miracles of Christ as facts universally admitted, ascribed indeed by the Jews to magic, but unquestioned on all hands as to the reality of their occurrence, is another fact deserving serious attention, and suggesting many important reflections as to the difference between ancient and modern forms of scepticism. .

4. With regard to the much disputed question of the duration of miraculous powers in the Early Church, the testi. mony of Tertullian carries with it much weight. Now, it appears that in a passage in the Treatise De Pudicitiâ, to which Bishop Kaye refers in his valuable work on the writings of Tertullian, (pp. 100, 101, Note,) the whole of the argument turns on the supposition of the cessation of those miraculous powers which had been exercised by the Prophets and Apostles. And again, as has been observed by the same learned writer (Bishop Kaye), in the Treatise De Præscriptione Hæreticorum, where the argument of Tertullian would naturally lead him to refer to the exercise of miraculous powers, if still in existence, we find that he makes no such appeal. On the other hand, we find, in the Apology (chap. 23), the most explicit assertion of Tertullian's belief that Christians gene. rally (he makes no mention of Bishops or Priests) were able to dispossess evil spirits, and to compel them to admit their own deeds and character; and, in words which admit of no evasion, and which bear upon their very surface the most conclusive evidence of the undoubting faith of the writer in the success of the experiment, he boldly and confidently challenges his adversaries to the trial. “Bring,” he says, “ before your tribunals a man possessed with a demon: the evil spirit, if commanded by a Christian, will speak and confess himself a demon. In like mander, produce a person supposed to be in

spired bs one of your deities: be, too, w.) pot dare to give a fase reps to a Corscsa, tai . confess that his inspiration proceeis from a descon."

5. Tre as corist of Tertaa has been appealed to on the part of ice actocates cibe acrocral presence of Christ in the Esctars; and some sraentressions which occur in his, as in a ros: ad ciber w egs wich preceded controversy on tte satject, bsre been ge07eà in farcar of that dogma. It is very car, torever, if tbe cais sound canon of interpretatica be aidered to-riz., išai passages which are of doubtful sigrifras on stcu.d be interpreted by those wbich are clear and espect,-!at we stal arrive at a very different conclusion on this subject; the discuss being far greater of explaining away such expressions as “the figure of my body," and the “ bread by which He represents His own body," than it is to assiga a figurative sense to passages to which it would be easy to addoce para els from the ucoontroversial writings of those who, in modern times, hare been farthest removed from the Romish scbool of theology.

There are many other points-as, e.g., the testimony of Tertallian to the Canon of Scripture, his reference to the Tradition of the Church to the orders of the ministry, the marriage of Priests, and the independence of Churches—to which we should gladly refer, did our space permit.

It is no depreciation of the general fidelity and ability displayed in the translation of this “harshest and most obscure of writers," to say that we have observed some passages in which we think the exact sense of the writer has not been clearly expressed; and, with regard to the justly celebrated “Apology," some places in which use might advantageously have been made of the learned notes appended to Mr. Woodham's edition of that Treatise.

We are glad to see the names of Oxford and Cambridge scholars associated with those of the two learned Editors of the general series of the Ante-Nicene Library; and we heartily wish the publishers abundant saccess in the important and responsible undertaking in which, as the readers of the Christian Observer will be aware, they have already made considerable progress.

"TAKE HEED AND BE QUIET.” Among all the changes of this changing world, and the many causes for disquietude that constantly arise, it is sometimes & very difficult thing to be quiet. We cannot do so without con

• See Bishop Kaye's Tertullian, p. 455, Nete.

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