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such results as justice, religion, and the permanence of the Establishment demand. The storm will, however, we trust and believe, still blow over. The rejection of the Reform Bill by the Lords was succeeded by a resolution of the Commons, expressive of confidence in ministers; which has been followed by numerous addresses from all parts of the country, entreating them not to resign, and beseeching the king to create, if necessary, a sufficient number of new peers to carry the bill next session. It were a far better alternative that the opposing lords, having done all that was in their power to prevent the passing of the bill, should come to such an understanding with Government as would prevent this extreme measure. Ministers pledge themselves to stand or fall by their bill; and have stated their intention of bringing in another not less efficient next session; which is to commence as soon as the exhaustion of the members of both houses and the necessary preliminary arrangements will permit. The King, in proroguing parliament, has expressed his unaltered desire to promote such a constitutional reform in the Commons' House of Parliament as will secure to the people the full enjoyment of their rights of representation.
We have not space to dwell on the other topics of the speech. His Majesty expresses his sincere satisfaction in the measures for the amendment of the game laws, the reduction of taxes, and the improvement of the laws of bankruptcy. All these are salutary enactments, as well as the church bills, and, we may add, the new vestry act, though we are not satisfied with some of its provisions, which, had the act passed before discussion became so warm, might have been modified.
We lament to read another King's Speech as destitute of any allusion to God or Providence, as if we were a nation of atheists. The duke of Wellington's cabinet first began, either thoughtlessly or systematically, to omit all such allusions in these national documents, and the present ministers have continued the irreligious practice. Had the cabinet so soon forgotten the excellent admonitions of the Bishop of London, in his sermon at the coronation? We will copy the passage, with its context, as the whole of it is highly important, and has not probably met the eye of our readers.
"The duties of righteous government on one side, and of allegiance and fealty on the other, do not depend upon any outward ceremonies, nor any formal declarations, but are of intrinsic and necessary obligation. Yet since that obligation depends upon the will of God, as inferred from the constitution of human nature, and as declared in his word, it is expedient and profitable that a direct refer
ence should be made to his authority as the original of all law, the fountain of all honour, and the source of all strength; by whom nations flourish, and kings reign, and princes decree justice. And happy is it both for monarch and people, when that reference is extended beyond the solemnity of a single oath, and of one day's religious service, and made the whole tenor of their mutual relation, and the principle of government, and the bond of social life. If the word of God be true, and if the history of the past be not deceitful, evil will sooner or later befal that nation which loses sight of the sovereignty of Jehovah, and substitutes other foundations for the duties of public society, than those which have been everlastingly laid by himself. Evil will befal that nation where the maxims of a temporising and secular expediency are permitted to supersede the motives and rules which are drawn from the fountain of eternal truth, and where the ruling providence of God, and the supremacy of the Gospel, if they be not in terms denied, are not recognized as influencing the councils of princes, nor as affecting the welfare of states. It is, we would fain believe, rather to be attributed to the fastidious refinement of modern society than to a real decay of religious principle among us; that even in our own country, so remarkably favoured and protected by the Most High, his providence is less frequently referred to, and his glory less ostensibly sought in our public acts and measures than it was wont to be. We fear it can hardly be said of us as a nation, that we acknowledge God in all our ways, or give unto the Son the glory due to his name.
"Yet it is not enough for the ends of national piety that religion is merely tolerated, or permitted to enjoy the privileges which she inherits from antiquity, and left to diffuse, as best she may, her salutary influences through the mass of the community it is necessary that she should be recognized and honoured in public acts, by those who frame and those who administer the laws."
We earnestly recommend these solemn considerations to the reflections of every lover of his country, and every man who desires to promote the honour of God. Whether it be from fastidiousness, as his lordship would charitably believe, or from impiety, certain it is, that our public documents have not of late years borne strong witness that we are a nation professedly in covenant with God; and in truth this very fastidiousness, this notion of its being in bad taste to speak and act as becomes Christians, is itself melancholy proof of the declension.
The formidable disease known by the name of the Cholera Morbus, having advanced westward as far as Hamburgh, our Government are taking every precaution to prevent its reaching this country.
They strongly urge the formation of local associations throughout the kingdom, especially on the sea coast, to act as may be necessary, in case of danger. The great est apprehension seems to be from the intercourse of smugglers, who will be tempted to unwonted activity and artifice in their unlawful occupation, in consequence of the impediments to legitimate commerce with the infected places. Government strongly warn the inhabitants of maritime districts to do their utmost to prevent this illegal intercourse. No specific remedies for the disease have been discovered; and little direction can at present be given in case of its breaking out, except the suggestions contained in the Report of the Medical Board appointed by Government to examine into the subject. These are such as cleanliness, ventilation, wholesome diet, and abstinence from ardent spirits; promptly separating infected persons from others; and at the first attack of the disorder, giving the patient such probable remedies as experience may warrant. We need not copy the Report, which is long, as it has appeared in most
of the newspapers, and is every where procurable. Hitherto our country has escaped the slightest symptom of the disease; but who shall say that it may not be permitted by an Almighty Providence to visit our shores; and that its ravages among our dense population may not become so formidable, that every man shall seem from day to day to carry his life in his hand. Surely such a scourge, or the very threatening of its possibility, should call us as a nation, and as individuals to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and to beseech him, for his mercies' sake, to avert his sore judgments from us. Especially ought it to call on the true servants of Christ of every name to unite together in peace and love; forgetting minor differences, and only studying how in the moment of public alarm and danger, they may best turn the visitation to salutary account, and urge men amidst the uncertainty of human life-always uncertain, but doubly felt in such times to be soto build their hopes upon a rock which cannot be shaken by the storms of a tempestuous world.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
R. C.; D. M. P.; J. B.; A FRIEND; D. D.; J. R.; O. B.; T. G. I.; BETA; A. R. C.; A.; C. D.; J. G. M.; VIATOR ECCLESIASTICUS; LYSIAS; J. O. ; A VERY CONSTANT READER; several CONSTANT READERS; and ÁN AFFECTIONATELY ATTACHED READER; are under consideration.
We could not make out the theology of some of H. A.'s lines; as, for instance, the last two of the first stanza.
A THIRD SCRUTINEER reminds his predecessors that it was Bunyan (see his Life, by Southey, p. 74) who made the remark they allude to; and observes, that, considering the times and persons, there was nothing to call for censure in it; the honest preacher merely intending to express his feeling when he found that the opinions of his congregation corresponded with some emotions of self-satisfaction after the delivery of an impressive sermon.
We think it unnecessary to insert A. B.'s "more last words on Miss Fancourt's cure;" for though it was "only yesterday" that he met with the case, it has been before the readers of the Christian Observer to satiety, and his solution of it has been long ago suggested by Mr. Newnham and others. Some parts of his paper might also be considered as a medical advertisement.
If TRINITARIUS will get the Sackville-Street Committee, or the Naval and Military Bible Society Committee, to acknowledge his paper as speaking their sentiments, we will insert it. As it is, we sincerely think they would consider it as injuring, not furthering their object. For Trinitarius speaks plainly, and to the point: he trusts that this proposal of separating one class of persons from our Bible Societies will eventually "be the means of removing by degrees other unchristian characters also;" he considers-so we understand him-that his Sackville-Street friends cannot conscientiously unite in distributing Bibles with any person of known immoral character, or unscriptural sentiment; and he states, that the Edinburgh Bible Society has already begun with excluding Roman Catholics. Now this is precisely what every person who calmly considered the matter saw from the first must be the result; for if any test is demanded, another and another must continue to be applied, till we have a whole code of doctrine like the Athanasian Creed, or our Thirty-nine Articles, or rather as many codes as there are sects, and almost individuals. Thus, instead of a charitable society, for a specific object, fixed and unalterable, and in which all professed Christians can conscientiously concur, we shall have so many new churches with suitable tests of membership. We have, ourselves, long been members of such a society-the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; but this is a Tract Society, and was a School and Missionary Society, and may need tests, which a Bible Society does not; but even this has not always
kept out unworthy or heterodox members. Trinitarius is right: the plan once commenced must go much farther than is at present avowed; and where it is to stop no man can predict. The whole error comes of laying down any other test than that of a man's professing to believe the word of God, and being willing to contribute towards its distribution. Trinitarius carries the views of the Naval and Military Bible-Society Committee much farther than they do themselves; at least, we have never heard of its being their wish to put away all known irreligious and immoral persons from their Society. If they will express their intention to do this wherever it is practicable, we shall think their conduct consistent and having begun to lay down a test they ought on the principles of Trinitarius to do this, and to make the test so strict as to keep out some of their own officers and subscribers. We only ask for a plan, simple, scriptural, and consistent; but no such plan have we seen: nay, we find several of the most active members of the Sackville-street Committee, signers of their protest, and the very individuals who have been loudest in their denunciation of unhallowed amalgamations, corresponding as officers of the Western Irish Relief Committee, with the DruryLane Theatre Ball Committee, and offering to take charge of the moneys thus sinfully collected, and to apply them to the sacred purposes of Christian charity; and this notwithstanding the Western Committee professed to be set up from religious motives, in opposition to the Cornhill Committee; it being alleged that the way in which secular committees managed such matters promoted the influence of the Roman-Catholic priests, by allowing them to assist in distributing their bounty. In all this there is no consistency. What can Socinians and Irish priests say to these things? Is all the contamination in one quarter? Is there none in a ball at a theatre? Why was there no protest against taking these wages of iniquity? The proposal of A. F. which he suggests would settle the Bible-Society question, (namely, to add after the word "Christians," in the society's ninth regulation, the following definition: "That is, all who believe in the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Trinity of persons in the Godhead,") would only unsettle it still more: for if once we begin defining, few men will be contented with their neighbour's definition. We should not ourselves be contented with A. F's. Why does he pass over the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, when he mentions that of our Lord Jesus Christ? or if he includes it in the second head, where is the need of the first? And does he mean to say, that all are Christians in a spiritual sense who subscribe to this brief creed? Or does he abandon the spiritual sense, and use the word only statistically; then we see not how he can exclude any who profess to be baptized into the name of Christ, as even the Socinians do. We should not, however, object to the insertion of the word "professed" before the word "Christians" in the society's rule, if that will relieve any person who thinks that the word without an epithet is objectionable: but we really see no reason for it. The Bible Society gives no opinion, as to who are, and who are not, true servants of Christ; in rejecting Captain Gordon's motion, it did that and no more; the declining to receive an objectionable or unnecessary amendment, not being meant for an exposition of faith. We respectfully submit to "A Lover of Peace" the following passage from one of the sermons of the late Dr. Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta. There are errors on both sides. "Let me caution you against the easy mistake, that you are standing fast in one spirit, if in truth you are sunk into indifference. Men are apt to believe that they agree in religion, and even take credit to themselves for the agreement, when the subject does not sufficiently interest them to afford any cause of discussion. Unity is indeed precious in the sight of God, and lovely in the eyes of men: but remember that religious unity supposes that we are really religious; in no other case does it deserve the name and in candour I must admit, that better are differences when all are in earnest, than the mere semblance of Christian agreement when the great and vital doctrines of the Gospel are little regarded." Some passages of wild fanaticism have been sent us, purporting to be extracts from discourses preached by an Irish clergyman of the name of Armstrong; and, also, some communications relative to certain alleged scenes at Mr. Irving's church. We know nothing of the matters to which our correspondents advert, except what has been detailed, truly or falsely, in the newspapers. We incline to let the matter alone, to cure itself, as eventually it must. If either Scripture or common sense had been listened to, such excesses would never have occurred; and we fear that it would be useless to attempt to oppose such extravagances by argument. We can only remind our correspondents of what we said last March, in reply to Mr. McNeile : "To appeal to the ignorant fanatics of Port-Glasgow were vain; but we do even yet hope that those persons of understanding and education who have, directly or indirectly, encouraged such delusions, will pause before it be too late, and return to the good old paths of scriptural sobriety and truth. Let them look at the declivity which is before them, and oppose these new extravagances with the same zeal with which they opposed the delusions of Brothers or Joanna Southcot. No opinion which Mr. McNeile has taken up seems to us to tend to so much practical evil
as this of modern miracles." "If once indulged, the evils are inevitable; in proof of which we need only remind Mr. McNeile of the whole page of history, with most earnest warnings and exhortations to him not to give countenance to a delusion the results of which he may be among the foremost to lament when it is too late to controul them."
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
We know not when we have seen a Number of the Monthly Extracts which contains more encouraging proofs than the present, from various parts of the world, of the blessing of God upon the labours of this invaluable institution. The testimonies in favour of the principles on which it is formed are accumulating on every side; and many of the resolutions and addresses of Auxiliary Societies are drawn up with so much piety and wisdom, and in so truly Christian a spirit, that we feel persuaded the issue will be for good, and tend greatly to enlarge the bounds of the Society, and to attach its members by new ties of affection and a more intelligent understanding of the excellence of its constitution. These results have invariably followed in the case of all the attacks which have been made upon this much calumniated, but we believe invulnerable, institution;-invulnerable, we mean, not in the vain confidence of human strength, but in the armour of God, its aim being simply to distribute his holy word without any addition of man's ignorance or wisdom. ANTI-SLAVERY REPORTER (No. 89).
The present Number of the Reporter contains a large portion of the two-fold species of proof of the atrocious character of slavery; namely, individual cases of constantly occurring cruelty, and that large induction of statistical fact which, if no single instance of misery ever met the public eye, would be demonstrative of the aggregate horrors of the system. There is one hopeful symptom amidst the gloom; namely, that the colonists begin to think that the British Government are in earnest on the question. To the sample of their extraordinary language given in the Reporter, we might add the resolutions passed at other meetings, and ordered to be advertised in the London newspapers, in which the whole blame of this alleged "revolutionary" notion of abolishing slavery is laid to the great body of moral and religious persons in this country: Government, it seems, truckling to that mad and irresponsible party called saints," "a fanatical party," "an interested faction," who make "false, scandalous, and defamatory assertions;" which assertions, however, the advocates of slavery have not been able to disprove. It is easy for the Christian Remembrancer and British Critic to join Blackwood and John Bull, in crying out that the Anti-Slavery Reporter is a mass of falsehoods; but why not detect a few of them, by way of sample? why not confute some of its many facts, its statistics, its reprints of parliamentary documents and official correspondence? No; these are prudently withheld, and a general notice is given in their place, that they are mere fabrications. The conduct of the Christian Remembrancer, in particular, in this matter is disgraceful to a publication professing moral probity, to say nothing of humanity and religion. We can only in charity conclude that the conductors, knowing nothing of the matter, unwittingly allow some person interested in it to abuse their pages to his own purpose.
HIBERNIAN SOCIETY. The peculiar circumstances of Ireland at this moment, and the intention of government to withdraw its aid from the Kildare Place Schools, render the annexed appeal of the Hibernian Society peculiarly seasonable and important; and we shall greatly rejoice if we can further the Society's object. If the whole population of Ireland are to be educated, as proposed by Government, in conformity with the Reports of the Commissioners, upon a neutral plan during so many days in the week, leaving the parents, or the priest, and Protestant minister, to add such religious instructions on the other days as the parties may respectively approve, it will be doubly incumbent upon the friends of scriptural education to increase their exertions.
We append the Monthly Extracts of this Society for last July. The Society has a difficult and delicate task to discharge; and we earnestly pray that its friends may be enabled to conduct their exertions in such a temper of Christian meekness and wisdom as may, by the blessing of God, render them most effectual for opening the eyes and softening the hearts of those for whose conversion and salvation they conscientiously labour. Great responsibility will be involved in their choice of suitable agents, who ought to be men of tried spirit, of sober mind and sound doctrine, of great gentleness and patience, and who can well distinguish between the curious fancies of individuals, and those grand fundamental scriptural doctrines which are the basis of Protestantism, and the preaching of which ushered in the Reformation.
RELIGIOUS & MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.
For the Christian Observer.
QUESTIONS DISCUSSED BY A CLERICAL
E have often respectfully urged the importance of clerical meetings for conference and mutual edification; and have received at various times numerous inquiries relative to the most profitable manner of conducting them, the best subjects for discussion, and similar topics. It is of great importance that they be constituted upon a plan simple, useful, and incapable of misconstruction. They should be friendly social meetings the number of members should not be inconveniently large (from ten to twenty may be a good average): the members should be persons who in the main agree in their views of the great principles and precepts of Christian truth; differing, it may be, in education, talent, attainment, age, and standing in the church, but united in one common desire to glorify God, to edify his church, to discharge their solemn office with wisdom, faithfulness, and affection, as servants of Christ and ambassadors for God; prepared to counsel each other in matters of doubt or difficulty, and to bear with each other in regard to those differences of opinion which may honestly exist among the true disciples of the same common Master. But while of necessity they must be persons agreeing in their general views of religious truth, they must shun party-spirit, and give no cause for offence or jealousy on the CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 359.
part of any of their brethren who think differently: their intercourse must be simply for spiritual and pastoral edification; they must avoid every thing of an invidious or sectarian character, and all matters of civil or ecclesiastical policy, and strictly conform to that salutary canon which forbids private meetings of the clergy for impeaching the doctrines, government, or discipline of the church. Their object is mutual advice, instruction, and encouragement; personal edification, the drawing more closely the ties of brotherly regard, and the spiritual benefit of their respective flocks.
Much of the advantages to be derived from such meetings will depend upon the nature of the questions discussed at them; for we take it for granted that a regular question for consideration will be announced at the previous meeting, any member being at liberty to propose a question, subject to the approbation of his brethren. It will be desirable, for the purpose of order, that there should be a chairman, the members taking that office in rotation; and, to prevent desultory conversation, that each should deliver his sentiments in his turn, the whole meeting taking minutes of the substance of the conversation. The chairman will of course enter upon the book the names of the members present, the subject of discussion, and any incidental memorandum. Beyond this simple machinery, little or nothing will be requisite to secure the intended object. It will, of course, be 40