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ment but for the outcry about rights, as if there had been some act of parliament for turning each parish into a patent monopoly, not for the welfare of the flock but the fees of the pastor. On the subject of tithes also we have as little difficulty, even to the point of commutation, provided all parties are honest and in earnest on the subject, with a view to render the commutation not only fair at the moment, but such as will ensure a stipend perpetual, adapted to fluctuations of value, and incapable of being alienated to other purposes. Tithes, it can be shewn, fall on land and not on produce; so that there is nothing unfair or difficult in making the landlord responsible for them; and there is one point which it may be well for our bishops and clergy to weigh, which is that tithes have at present the protection afforded to land by the corn laws, whereas, before long, this and every other partial protection, or monopoly, will evidently cease, in which case a far worse commutation would be made for the church than while the protection endures. When Leeds and Manchester, and Birmingham and Sheffield, may traffic unimpeded, tithes and rents will not sustain their present elevation, and then a less favourable commutation would be effected than at present. However in the case of composition for a fixed term, which is all we believe that is contemplated at present, this consideration does not apply; but it may be well to keep it in mind in reference to the general question.
A few lines, in conclusion, of the secular concerns of the month.
The new ministry have divided the civil list into two portions, not interfering with that portion which relates to the personal comfort and dignity of the king, but placing the remainder at the disposal of parliament. The pension list is to be limited to 75,000l. per annum, instead of 140,000l., the present incumbents being retained, though with a distinct acknowledgment that many of them have no public claim to relief from the public. Some of the pensions are honourably merited, others are cases of mere charity, and some, we fear, of political profligacy; but it would not be worthy of the nation to rescind any, as they were all granted with a virtual understanding that they were for life. The great point is to guard against similar extravagance and delinquency in future.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has exhibited his financial arrangements. He
proposed lowering the duties on tobacco and glass; and reducing newspaper stamps from fourpence to twopence, and advertisements from three shillings and sixpence to one shilling, or eighteen-pence, according to their length; repealing the taxes on candles, sea-borne coals, printed cottons, and a number of small articles. These reductions, he thought, would benefit the poorer classes of society, and greatly promote trade and manufactures. The deficiency of revenue caused by these retrenchments he proposed to meet by the abolition of more than two hundred offices; a tax of a penny a pound on cotton wool, another on the transfer of land and stock, another on steam-boat passengers, the equalization of the duties on wines, making the whole five shillings and sixpence per gallon; and altering the duties on timber, increasing those on the growth of Canada, and lowering those on that of the Baltic. The details are under the revision of parliament, and scarcely an item seems likely to stand in its original form. The duty on cotton wool is lowered, that on the transfer of stock (carrying with it that on land), is abandoned, as contrary to the faith of parliament, and the others are being modified; and the intended repeals on glass and tobacco are, in consequence, set aside. There can be no question as to the general excellence of the principle adopted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, particularly that of equalising duties, increasing manufactures, and not favouring bad articles and bad markets; but several of his details were very unfortunate. The repeal of the tax on sea-borne coal is, however, a most important boon to the southern counties, and will do much towards benefiting the poor. We hope with this tax will fall the present system of trick and fraud which characterises the coal trade, and the best remedy for which will be a sale of coals by weight instead of measure. Another great benefit also in the intended plans is, the extinction of patronage, unproductive expense of collecting, the vexations of excise, and the unjust restrictions which prevented many things, by which persons might, without injury to others, benefit their own condition. The most honest feature, we must say, in the new ministry is their sitting loose to patronage; Lord Brougham is casting it overboard in masses in his own court; and if all their plans are conducted on this enlightened and self-denying system, they will earn the warmest suffrages of their country.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
J. B. B.; D. M. P.; E. S.; H. B. T.; Y. M.; E. L.; S. H. W.; H. C.; IOTA ; W. Y.; MISERICORS; A. C.; W. C.; T. B.; A CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY; G. M.; R.; H. W.; AMICUS; J. T. W.; and H. S. B. are under consideration.
We are desired to state, that the Bishop of London has renounced all connexion with a Society entitled, The Friends of the Hebrew Nation, and with their institution in Camden Town.
A Barrister wishes to correct a misapprehension of T. B., in our Number for Sept., p. 542, in attributing the remarks animadverted upon to a "well known minister in London." The Barrister says that he alone is responsible for them, and that he still continues at issue with T. B. on the general question.
Several "Members of the Society of Friends" will see that their defence had been anticipated by one of their body.
Our correspondents mean nearly the same thing respecting good humour, and it is therefore unnecessary to prolong the discussion. Our readers will also think it time to close the liturgical discussion, and some others.
Mr. M'Neile's letter was too late for this short month, but shall appear in our next Number.
We quite agree with "one who who desires to be an Evangelical Orthodox Christian and Churchman," that such party names as he specifies are highly objectionable. We never, on any occasion, use them in our pages, except as a quotation, or for intelligible specification with some such modifying phrase as "what are called." See, for instance, in this very Number, p. 103, col. 2, the quoted phrase "the religious world," which is there employed only in this modified manner, and made to include "that general body of persons in all parts of Christendom, who, with whatever minor divisions of sects and parties, are mainly anxious, &c." Surely there is nothing sectarian in this; there can be nothing sectarian in including good men of all parties. Indeed most of the old phrases are wearing out, amidst the restless multiplication of new opinions. The term High-churchmen at one time conveyed to the mind something specific; but does any High-churchman of the ancient mould approve of the new High-churchism of the prophetic and miracle school? Again, baptismal regeneration, which some would make a test of orthodoxy, is held in very different senses by different clergymen, and in its least tenable sense, by Mr. Irving, the Morning Watch, and the new school of prophetic interpreters, who reprobate the uncharitableness of viewing any baptized persons, however wicked, as belonging to "the world." So again some persons aver that "the fanatics are "the Evange lical clergy;" whereas if we look into the pages of Mr. Erskine, Mr. Irving, and the Morning-Watch men, who are as good at fanatical notions as most writers, "the Evangelicals are the chief objects of their vituperation. We more heartily than ever wish for a comprehension of all the true servants of God in the Church of England, with as little as may consist with this our frail mortal condition of party names or irritating controversies. With infidelity on one side, wildfire on another, cold orthodoxy on a third, dissent on a fourth, and worldliness, lukewarmness, and formality every where, it becomes all who are really faithful in the land, all sound Churchmen, all who wish to serve God, and are anxious for the souls of men, to rise above minor differences, and exert themselves in brotherly love for the good of all. The Clerical Correspondents who have addressed us on the form for the thirtieth of January, have mistaken the import of the Rubric, which, as they think, enjoins them to read it on Sunday. In the best editions of the Prayer-book the Rubric is thus punctuated: “If this day shall happen to be Sunday, this form of prayer shall be used and the fast kept the day following." There should be no comma after "used." The original Rubric was, " If this day should happen to be Sunday, this form of service shall be used the next day following." The words, "and the fast kept,' which were added long after, were evidently not intended to alter the other part of the Rubric; there is therefore no obligation to use the form on Sunday. We shall also advert to another liturgical point, on which some of our correspondents have addressed us, namely, the recently-issued prayers for the country. There cannot be the slightest reason for supposing otherwise than that they are to be continued till revoked by authority. With regard to the place of the prayer in the service, respecting which one of our correspondent's inquires, the direction to read it "immediately before the Litany," is in strict accordance with the directions which have been given with all such prayers, for a very long period of time. On looking back for above a half a century, the invariable rule seems to have been this: all intercessory prayers are directed "to be used immediately before the Litany," or "immediately before the Prayer for all Conditions of Men," when any event in our own country is the cause of offering up the prayer, such as in 1788, 1810, and 1812, during the king's indisposition. But, when, in time of war, any event in other countries has called forth a form of prayer, it is invariably directed to be used next after the prayer, "In time of war and tumults," as in 1799, on a threatened invasion, in 1781, on the revolt in America, and in 1803 and 1805, on a threatened invasion. Every thanksgiving has, without exception, been directed to be used after the General Thanksgiving. These remarks do not refer to the books of prayers used on days of fast or thanksgiving, but only to the single-leaf forms. The situation of the
present prayers is therefore, that assigned by long precedent, though we incline to think that it were better to open the Litany with the threefold invocation than with an occasional prayer, and to introduce the prayer elsewhere. One of our correspondents, however, prefers the usual place on the ground of the general practice of ministers to request the Prayers of the Congregation immediately before the Litany, or immediately before the Prayer for all conditions of men, whenever any of their parishioners are in affliction; for which, in the Cambridge printed Prayer-books, a special Rubric is given, but which Oxford, probably in her adherence to the sealed books, does not insert. We do not, however, see the force of this reason, as the clergyman does not pray before the general invocation, but only announces that persons are to be prayed for. While on these minutiae, we may add, that the second of the two prayers in the form now in use, our readers are aware, is taken from the accession service; that prayer being considered very appropriate to the occasion. It is the only instance which we recollect of a prayer in the single-leaf forms, taken from the Prayer-book. The case of two prayers in a single-leaf form is also rare.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE present Number contains the usual variety of interesting biblical intelligence, foreign and domestic.
We strongly recommend our readers, among the various interesting articles in the two Numbers of the Anti-Slavery Reporter (75 and 76), to consider with care that on the important question of compensation, which is likely to be urged as one of the chief practical difficulties in the way of emancipation. Mr. Trew's testimony on slavery is of great weight from his intimate local knowledge; as is also that of the conductors of the Christian Record, the new Jamaica periodical publication which we introduced to our readers last month. We look with intense anxiety to the approaching discussion of the question in parliament.
SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL. We have much pleasure in appending the special Report of this venerable society relative to the Codrington trust, from which our readers will see the important measures in progress for the benefit of the slave population under the society's care. heads of amelioration are specified in pages 9-11; and it is added that the society are "fully pledged to carry the whole of them into effect," and also "to adopt, from time to time, such further measures as may be likely to accelerate the complete emancipation of the slaves." The proposed regulations are of great practical value; and what is still more important, they are characterised by a spirit which we feel warranted in believing will both render them efficient, and also enlarge them in proportion as the leading friends of the institution can see their way clear to act with prudence in this great work of Christian justice and mercy. The groundwork of the whole Report is stated to be "the duty incumbent upon a Christian people to put an end not only to the odious traffic in slaves, but also to the great evil of slavery itself; " and the sacredness of this duty, it is remarked, "is felt as deeply by the society as by any part of the community." The society has considered it best to begin with only gradual measures as respects direct emancipation; but the accompanying regulations, added to the prohibition of field punishments, the introduction of task work, a higher scale of education, ordering periodical returns of the proceedings on the estate, and forbidding the removal of the slaves by sale, are preparatory steps of great moment; and the whole Report may be considered as a virtual death-blow to slavery. Earnestly do we pray that the anxiety which the society express for the welfare, temporal and spiritual, of their dependents, and which, as we understand, was echoed in the strongest manner in the discussions at the meeting at which these resolutions were passed, may be abundantly rewarded by seeing this great work of religious duty prosper in their hand.
Our own view, as to what the society not only may safely do, but what eventually, and before long, we are persuaded, it will do, remains unchanged; but we do not think it necessary, at this particular moment, when the whole subject of slavery is coming before parliament, and with the pledge, in the Report before us, as respects the Codrington property, of "such further measures as may be likely to accelerate the complete emancipation of the slaves," to enter upon matters of detail. We would rather rejoice at the hope which this Report presents to us, that our Right Reverend Prelates, in the ensuing discussions in parliament, will be among the foremost to assist, with the whole weight of their influence, that great work of humanity, that " duty incumbent upon a Christian people," but hitherto opposed by prejudice and selfish interest, of "putting an end to the great evil of slavery.
NO. III. VOL VOL. XXXL
RELIGIOUS & MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.
sketches of ORIGINAL SERMONS who so ably introduces his discourses
BY THE REV. ROBERT HALL.
E congratulate ourselves and our readers on being able to present to them some highly interesting and valuable sketches of sermons by the late Rev. Robert Hall. They were taken down in shorthand, four or five years ago, from his lips, by a clergyman, under the circumstances stated in the following prefatory observations; but not a syllable of them has been allowed to appear in print during the lifetime of the lamented author. The practice, of late carried to a wide extent, of printing the sermons of living ministers, without their authority, nay, even against their wishes, is much to be censured; but, now that this eminent man has been summoned to his heavenly rest, the veil of privacy is drawn aside; and we feel much satisfaction in being able to rescue from oblivion, and in giving wide publicity to, the following specimens of his pulpit ministra tions, by which, "being dead, he yet speaketh." There were circumstances connected with the name of Robert Hall which raised him far above being the property of any particular communion, and our readers may justly expect from us some posthumous record of a man so remarkable in his generation for piety, talent, and public estimation. For the present, however, we yield to himself, and to the Reverend friend CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 351.
in the following pages; only premising, that notices of his published works will be found in our former volumes, and that we may possibly have occasion hereafter to introduce some interesting memoranda of his life. We now confine ourselves to the sketches of the following six discourses, and our correspondent's remarks upon them, as they were penned four or five years since, and with no view to publicity.
For the Christian Observer.
THE following sketches of Sermons by the Rev. Robert Hall, preached in the years 1826 and 1827, were taken down from the preacher's lips by a clergyman of the Church of England. He had no idea, when he first took down the notes on loose pieces of paper, in the most hurried manner, with very imperfect and insufficient light, that he should ever copy them out, even into short-hand. Being called to spend a winter at Clifton, on account of the sickness of his family, he went first to hear Mr. Hall on a Friday evening, his discourse being a sermon preparatory to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. For thirty years he had nourished the desire to hear this celebrated preacher, whose printed sermons have commanded a more wide and permanent admiration, from Christians of every confession in this S
country, than those of any of his contemporaries.
When the writer of these notes heard the text delivered, he thought no harm could arise from minuting down a few leading sentiments. He was induced to go on when he had once begun: he afterwards read his notes to his family; and in so doing the real merits of the sermon, its arrangement, the truth of the doctrines, the beauty of the language, rose upon his view. Accordingly, when he attended Mr. Hall's minis try afterwards he pursued his plan, still improving at each returning opportunity in an acquaintance with the preacher's manner, and of course in the faculty of catching with somewhat of increased accuracy his thoughts and expressions. He so improved by habit, that the last discourse (which being delivered in the morning, a clear day-light much aided the work of writing the notes) is, he believes, very nearly word for word as it was delivered. The other sermons vary: the first was taken with the least exactness, and with more omissions of thoughts and sentences than the rest. The difficulty of following Mr. Hall, to the present transcriber (who had never been accustomed to write from the lips of a public speaker), was extreme. Mr. Hall's manner is rapid, and his voice weak and inharmonious; whilst his matter is so well prepared, and so familiar in all its parts to his memory, that his discourse passes through the mind of a stranger with very little impression. It appears like the hurried recitation of a school-boy. The consequence is, that the hearer is not struck at the time, or very faintly, with the real superiority of his matter and beautiful arrangement of his argument.
Accustomed as I had been for thirty years to hear preachers of all classes of mind and manner, I had no idea, at the time of hearing these sermons, of the high place they really occupy as compositions and specimens of pulpit eloquence; and it was only after an interval of four or
five months, when I had read over my notes five or six times, and had totally disconnected them with the recollection of the voice and tone and delivery of the preacher, that I appreciated them as they deserve. Probably my first impression was weaker from my being engaged in taking these notes, which lessened, of course, the sympathy at the time; and from my missing the devotional prayers and services of my own church, with which my thoughts and feelings were intimately associated. But I have received from Mr. Hall's own friends, who were his constant hearers, somewhat similar confessions of the effects of his rapid and unimpressive delivery. At the same time, those persons have told me, what I partially found out in my own case, that when you once become accustomed to his manner there is no want of unction in his discourses; that he fixes your attention; that he warms with his subject; and that he rises to a sublimity of devotional feeling which carries away his hearers.
The want of impressiveness in his preaching, which springs from a bad voice and hurried enunciation, is increased by an awkward gesture in the pulpit-a leaning (probably from indisposition) over the cushion with the whole weight of his body; then a raising up of himself suddenly several times, in the course of his sermon; which he closes without much preparation, and sometimes so abruptly that it is first known by his shutting with precipitation and noise his large Bible.
Mr. Hall appears to preach without notes; and yet the regularity of his thoughts and the clearness of his argumentation bespeak that much, if not all, is meditated, and possibly written out, in the closet; and delivered a good deal memoriter. If this be really the case, it accounts both for his rapidity, and the want of impression in his preaching: for what we deliver from memory we hurry through, lest recollection should fail ; while from the same cause the mind