30 OCTOBER 1880, Page 3

The Free Church is much fiercer against heresy than the

Established Church, and like her Majesty's staghounds, who usually have a favourite stag,—one which gives them the best runs,—the Free Church are apt:to favour Professor Robertson Smith, who knows the weakness of his pursuers so well that he is apt to treat them almost with contempt. A special Com- mission of the Assembly of the Free Church appointed, in August last, a Committee to consider Professor Robertson Smith's new article in the " Encycloptedia Britannica," on "The Hebrew Language and Literature," and to report to the Commission, which met in Edinburgh on Wednesday. The report declared that this article contained statements which could, not but produce in the minds of readers the impression that Scripture does not present a reliable statement of truth, and that God is not the author of it. The Committee are much disturbed at Professor Robertson Smith's declaration that "the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are singularly destitute of literary merit.," that two of the chapters of Isaiah "seem originally to have been published as broadsides," and at his speaking of some of the symbolic imagery in the Bible as "fan- tastic," and regarding the Song of Solomon as "a lyric drama," and the Book of Jonah as a "parable." By a majority of 270 against 202, Dr. Wilson's motion approving the report of the Committee, and instructing Professor Smith to abstain from teaching his class during the ensuing session, and till the General Assembly had time to determine his status and posi- tion, was carried. We wonder whether Dr. Wilson and his friends would describe it as irreverent to speak of St. Paul's style as crabbed, and his drift as obscure. If so, what would they say of the statement in the Second Epistle of St. Peter to that effect ?