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CLEM. ALEX. Strom. L. 1.
FOR JULY, 1838.
Art. I. Lectures on the Establishment and Extension of National
Churches. Delivered in London, from April 25th to May 12, 18:38. By Thomas CHALMERS, D.D., and LL.D., Professor of Theology in the University of Edinburgh, &c. 8vo. Glasgow : Collins.
1838. THE gentlemen who call themselves · The Christian Influence
Society,' at whose request these Lectures were undertaken, and are now published, must, we think, feel not a little chagrin and disappointment at the abortive result of their exertions. Not only have they failed of their main object, which was to forward the Scottish Church-extension scheme by bringing up from the North its author and champion to enlighten the polite world upon the question, and thereby to influence the decision of Government; but they have exposed to closer observation the weakness of the cause which Dr. Chalmers has been put forward to advocate. The grounds upon which the Lecturer rests his vindication of Establishments, are so paradoxical as to bring the soundness of his judgment into question even with his own party; and his concessions to the Voluntaries and the Dissenters must have been far more displeasing to the high-church portion of his auditors, than his arguments were acceptable. We are much mistaken, if the reputation of Dr. Chalmers in the metropolis did not stand much higher before he delivered these Lectures, than it has since their publication.
The political purpose which the Lectures were obviously intended to promote, was not indeed avowed. The Times newspaper, in an elaborate announcement of the intended course, affirmed distinctly, that they would not involve in the slightest
degree a spirit of political partizanship, or any reflections on the * policy of Government in regard to Church Extension. Few