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as the whole country a few weeks afterwards found with admiration — that Mr. Gladstone had already discovered. He discovered it, not as we had hoped in Scotland, but in America! For I may here mention that the precedent for the free constitution of the Episcopal Church of Ireland is to be found in the very moderate Episcopacy of the American revolution, recorded (from a modern and High Church point of view) in the book of Murray Hoffman, published as long ago as 1850.1
I need scarcely apologize for this digression; for the Irish Church incident produced a great effect in Scotland as elsewhere, in the direction, not only of the American theory of church and state, but of that free and open expression of church conviction which the American political system sanctions because it relieves it from statutory fetters. Dean Stanley, to whom I have alluded, expressed to me his idea that in Ireland the state should have endowed both religions, instead of liberating one; and he regarded with great distrust the movement for the abolition of patronage, already begun in the Established Church of Scotland. Accordingly he came down to Edinburgh in the spring of 1873, and, in four lectures read there, passed with swift and graceful but occasionally inaccurate finger over the whole history of the Church of Scotland as a body changing with the nation in the past. The defense of that church as a body, through its career independent even of the friendly state, was taken up in the answering lectures of Principal Rainy; and both volumes, very different from each other in their respective and undoubted merits, remain as monuments of that memorable tournament. But Stanley's lectures raised also the question of the expediency of subscription by churchmen to a statutory creed which they do not believe; and in the discussion which ensued, Dr. Tulloch, who had won honor as the consistent promoter of liberalism of thought, went much too near to the defense of this unfortunate kind of freedom. The abolition of patronage was, however, a popular movement, and, the risk of its going the whole length of disestablishment being obviated by the return of a Conservative Parliament and ministry in 1874, it was at once resumed. Those who had brought it forward made an attempt to have the Presbyterians outside, who had always opposed patronage, or had left state support in connection with it, included in the movement, orburgh in July, 1877, it might have been supposed that the first result would be a sense of the mass, firmness, and solidity of the system. But the assembly was one merely consultative, not one exercising authority; and one of the first and most wholesome feelings aroused in it was the sense of diversity, variety, and multiplicity of administration to be found within the one Presbyterian name. In some things this came to us as a revelation. In nothing was it more important to bring out this combination of unity in the substance with variety in the detail, than in the matter of creed. Accordingly, at the very first public sitting of the council, the present writer proposed a committee which should gather together and tabulate all the creeds and confessions of the fifty churches from all parts of the world which were represented in the room, with the formulæ of subscription or other adherence demanded from church officials or members. The proposal was unanimously agreed to, but it took three years to carry it out. And the result (presented by Dr. Schaff to the Second or Philadelphia Council in 1880) was very interesting. It showed that this large Christian body, divided by the Atlantic into two not unequal parts, and now no longer connected with any particular state or nation, was still resting historically on the new Puritan creed of 1647. All the free churches had more or less revised their connection with that creed : some, in America, only tied themselves to the " system of doctrine" contained in it; others, in Scotland, held it “an exhibition " of their understanding of Scripture; others, like the Welsh Calvinists in 1827, had exchanged it for a creed wholly different in form, but alike in substance; and others, including almost all the smaller Protestant bodies scattered over Europe, had in this century adopted, instead of it, short utterances of central and saving truth. The platform, the whole extent of which was thus disclosed, became a most encouraging one for revision. It was plain that the body as a whole was already in a course of progress to be accomplished by separate action in its independent parts.
1 A Treatise on the Law of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, by Murray Hoffman, Esq. New York, 1850.
2 See Contemporary Review for March and November of 1872.
In Scotland the United Presbyterian Church, as had been expected, at once took the lead in legislation. The controversy in which, a generation earlier, the names of Dr. Balmer and Dr. John Brown had appeared, bad resulted in this church enlarging its doctrine of the atonement so as to acknowledge its original “general reference " to all sinners of mankind (being the body to which it is offered), as well as a “particular reference" to those who accept and embrace it when so offered to all. Two West