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Disruption itself, of the church, even though initiated under circumstances of less indecent haste, would have been, if there were not the most amply justifying causes, a schism of stupendous magnitude-always a sin of deep dye in the light of the divine word; but as it actually occurred, all its accompaniments and alliances stamp it with peculiar wickedness.

As to the causes which operated to produce the division of the church, they were the same substantially which led to the disrupture of the nation; and hence the secret of the eagerness of the leading men of the church to identify its fortunes with those of the state. Taking the testimony of the chief actors in both spheres, and all the causes are reducible to one. The highest authority among their statesmen makes slavery "the corner stone" of their new system of government, and boasts that it stands without a parallel in the history of mankind; while it was to secure this element of their social and political life from the apprehended harm to which a longer continuance in the Federal Union would expose it, that they determined to withdraw from the Union. This view, engendered proximately by the result of a presidential election, led to the fatal step. The leading men of the church, partaking of this apprehension, at once resolved on a course for the church, corresponding to what their politicians were about taking for the state. And the leaders of both classes have formally presented these apprehensions to the public, and appealed to mankind for justification in sundering both the political and ecclesiastical ties which bound us together as one, declaring it to be, in the language of one of the most eloquent divines among them, "the providential mission of the South to conserve, perpetuate, and extend" that institution which they make "the corner stone" of their system.

Or, give them the full benefit of their own putting of the case in another form, as we have seen it stated, the ground on which is based the justification of this twin disruption, was the long growing antagonism between the northern and southern portions of the church and of the country upon the subject of slavery; and yet, an antagonism for which those in rebellion are chiefly responsible, springing out of the notorious fact of a radical and total revolution in their opinions on the subject, the extreme southern portion of the church and

of the country having forsaken the doctrines of the fathers which were cherished by men of the church and the world alike both north and south, and having made, for years past, strenuous exertions to improve their newly-discovered wisdom through demands for slavery, which had never before been dreamed of by any men in any stage of our history. In a word, the underlying cause of this whole movement in church and state, the chief actors themselves being witnesses, was to gain immunities, safeguards, guaranties, expansion, and perpetuity, to an institution which the very measures taken for these ends are destined to destroy, and that speedily; and along with its destruction, to carry desolation to every material and social interest of the people inaugurating the plot. Such is the short-sightedness of human wisdom, such the madness of human folly, and such the circumventing providence and avenging hand of an All-seeing God!

But while we record all this, and record it with pain and mortification, and while this stupendous schism of ten synods and forty-four presbyteries, with honorable exceptions of individual members-whether we take it as affecting simply the integrity of Christ's church, in all its interests in this land for time present and to come, or take it in its indelible history as early instigating and closely allied with all the progress what the Narrative justly terms an "atrocious rebellion" within the state-stands forth a gigantic iniquity; still we cheerfully bow to this as a dispensation of providence, to be overruled, as we believe, to glorious ends for the purification both of the church and the nation, and leave the unwilling agents of this work, who "mean not so," in the hands of God to reap the fruit of their doings.

Some have thought that the General Assembly should have pronounced directly upon the schism, and condemned it. We think otherwise. The church has spoken out plainly and manfully, again and again, upon the rebellion, and upon the church as concerned in it through the agency of influential ministers and members. There let the matter rest. As for the schism, let it stand rebuked by a simple purgation of the roll. Let it, with all its concomitants, go down together to posterity in its true character, upon the naked issue made, and there can be but one judgment among those who shall

come after us-that the deeds of men with whom "we took sweet counsel and walked unto the house of God in company," by their eagerly uniting schism with treason and rebellion, go largely toward making up that fearful record of crime, written in tears and agony and blood-and not even yet fully written-which marks the darkest page in the annals of human history!

ART. III. STUDIES ON THE BIBLE, No. V. Israel in the Wilderness.*

WHEN the Hebrews left the land of Egypt and filed off into the wilderness of the Red Sea, it is right to imagine that the mind of Moses was occupied with the painful contrast between the spiritual position and the moral obliquity of the moving hosts before him. By position, as he well knew, they composed the church of the living God. Jehovah had said to him "Israel is my son, even my first-born;" "Say unto the children of Israel, I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you for a God." Ex. iv: 22, vi: 7. In the Book of Genesis, if it were at that time in writing, Moses had shown that they were the direct heirs of the covenant, whereby Abraham and his posterity were set apart as the chosen seed. Beyond all doubt the church of God was then in existence, and

*HELPS TO THE STUDY.-Arabia Petræa. Robinson's Researches, Vol. I. Stanley's Sinai and Palestine. Colenso's Pent., Part I: 118-137. Green's Reply, 86-102. Benisch's do., 29-59.

The Pillar of Cloud: Kurtz, ii: 844. Palfrey's Lectures, i: 149. Bush on Exodus, ii: 164-293. Fairbairn, ii: 77. Calvin, Rosenmüller, Von Gerlach, etc., on Exodus.

The Passage of the Red Sea: Robinson's Res., i: 57. Kitto's Cycl., Art. Exodus. Kurtz, ii: 352. Smith's Dict. Bib., Art. Exodus. N. Brit. Rev., Nov., 1857: 279. The Manna: Kurtz, iii: 25-44. Fairbairn, ii: 61. Stanley's Jewish Church, 162.

The Smitten Rock: Kurtz, iii: 47. Tacitus' Hist., B. 5 2 3. 4. Oldshansen, Hodge, etc., on 1 Cor. x: 4.

Amalek: Kurtz, iii: 48. Calvin's Com.

Typology: Fairbairn, Witsius' Cov'ts., Ernesti on Interpre.

was to be found, not among the Egyptians or the Amalekites or the Canaanites, but in the bosom of the Hebrew race. That race was, to use the language of Stephen the proto-martyr, "the church in the wilderness." Acts vii: 38. On the other hand, none had a keener sense than Moses of their delinquencies. There were holy men and women among them, such as Caleb, Joshua, and Miriam. But, with few exceptions, these "hosts of the Lord" were unworthy the name they bore. They had worshiped the gods of Egypt; they were in a great measure ignorant of the true God, and fatally corrupted by contact with the foul iniquities of Egypt. Long years of oppression had exhausted their manliness and courage, so that their own servility and unbelief had presented obstacles to their emancipation not less formidable than the obstinacy of Pharaoh. By what means shall their ignorance be enlightened, their passion for the worship of false gods be extirpated, and a complete reformation of public morals effected? God is able of the stones to raise up children unto Abraham; by what agencies will he work a transformation not less wonderful upon the degenerate seed of the patriarch?

The perils of the wilderness were also well known to Moses. The whole region was infested by barbarous and warlike tribes: Edom, Amalek, Moab, and Ammon. And, what was far more appalling, a vast and burning waste was before them, in which there was neither food nor water sufficient for so great a multitude. A few palm trees of the date bearing species were here and there to be found. Ex. xv: 27. The traveler might occasionally purchase from the native tribes small quantities of food and water. Deut. ii: 6, 28; Num. xx: 19. Possibly a few wells might be digged in the desert of Moab. Num. xxi: 14-18. The Hebrews took with them also their flocks and herds. Ex. xii: 32. If, as is commonly estimated, one hundred or a hundred and fifty thousand male lambs and kids of the first year were required for the celebration of the Passover at Sinai, the sheep and goats alone of the Hebrews must have numbered nearly two millions; furnishing, to a certain extent, milk and flesh for food, and leather, wool, and hair for clothing. But according to Moses himself, these flocks and herds, if slain, would hardly suffice the people for a single month. Num. xi: 22. Besides, how were these

flocks to be supported in the wilderness? Moses had found pastures for the sheep of his father-in-law among the valleys of Mount Horeb-Ex. iii: 1; but what were these few sheep compared with the vast herds of the Hebrews? And how were they to be sustained in the barren and waterless wastes of the desert of Paran?

The extent to which the wilderness furnished, in its natural productions, food for the Hebrews and forage for their cattle, can not perhaps be accurately determined. On the one hand, it is estimated that the population of the entire desert does not, at present, exceed five thousand souls; and the support which these obtain is exceedingly meager, although it is eked out by the perquisites and the plunder obtained from travelers. On the other hand, it is alleged that the region was anciently far more productive than at this time. Dr. Benisch, the eminent Jewish scholar, in his masterly reply to Colenso. adverts to the fact that Moses cast the dust, to which he had ground the golden calf, "into a brook that descended out of the mount." Deut. ix: 21. This occurred in the month of August, a season of the year when, as things now are, the beds of the mountain torrents are wholly dry. Dr. B. suggests that the same causes which produced one stream must have produced many others, and with them extensive pasture grounds, the whole indicating a thorough change in the meteorological conditions, and in the productiveness of the region. But these conclusions are liable to be invalidated by the presumption that the "brook which descended out of the mount" was, probably, the same that flowed, miraculously, from the stricken rock in Horeb.

There are, however, indications in Scripture of a certain degree of fertility at the time of the Exodus, in some parts of the desert. The Hebrews found pastures for their cattle near Mount Sinai, in midsummer, a period when, in modern times, the plains and wadys are almost wholly destitute of vegetation. Still further, numerous and powerful tribes dwelt in the wilderness. Moses speaks in general terms of "the nations" through the domains of which the Hebrews passed in their journey. Deut. xxix: 16. Amalek, Midian, and Edom are mentioned by name. The numerical strength of the Amalekites is expressed by several circumstances. Although

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