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France, since the astonishing revolution of July. The obstacles to the spread of the Gospel, which the ancient government always suffered more or less to remain, have almost entirely disappeared. It is no longer necessary to obtain permission to spread the word of life and hold religious meetings. Already three new Protestant churches, which do not receive stipends from the state, have been organized at Paris. Others of the same kind have been and will be formed in the country. Like those which I serve, they admit to the table of the Lord only those who appear to have experienced the efficacy of his sacrifice, and to have felt the sactifying influence of his Spirit. This discipline is intimately connected with the purity of the church, and the extension of its limits. It is truly desirable that it should be introduced into all the Protestant churches of France; but, alas! it meets with great opposition in them, although it is conformable to the ecclesiastical discipline. Yet this opposition, and that which the Gospel meets, more or less, in all unregenerate hearts, do not prevent its advancing in the greater part of our churches. Almost every where the people begin to rise from that lifeless state into which they were sunk. Many souls are renewed in Christ. Indifference and credulity daily lose some of their partisans. The old doctrines of the Reformation resound in many pulpits. The work of God is spread abroad. Domestic worship is re-established.
are formed, and Sunday schools organized. Our religious societies prosper."
The writer proceeds to speak in a sanguine manner of the movements which were taking place in the Roman-Catholic church, but which, as already mentioned, appear to have been over-estimated, at least as to their immediate effect.
The following is the substance of another letter, written a few months since, by an English Protestant minister in Paris.
"It is difficult to give you in a small compass the information which it is desirable you should possess: so many details are necessary to be known, in order to comprehend the whole character and importance of what has been done, that in this communication I can only give you an imperfect idea of our efforts and of our necessities.
"Since the revolution we have opened several chapels, several schools, and have also commenced several meetings in rooms in different quarters of Paris. After having filled a place of worship near the Boulevard des Italiens, the most fashionable part of Paris, we have rented a large hall on the Boulevards. Every Sabbath morning we have here a most respectable, steady, and serious auditory. Many Protestants of the first rank of society, who very seldom attended on pubCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 359.
lic worship, are constant in their attendance here, and many Catholics are delighted with the means afforded them of informing and edifying themselves. Of each class, not a few have felt and evidenced the power of the truth of the Gospel applied to the conscience and the heart by the Holy Ghost. It is probable that next autumn many more persons will wish to attend than can be accommodated. A Sunday school is formed here, and the children are taught by ladies and gentlemen, who are zealous for the diffusion of the Gospel. This is the only congregation from which we can for the present expect contributions: the persons who compose the other assemblies are in a situation to receive rather than to impart. The friends who attend at this chapel, subscribe towards the general expenses of the chapels and schools, about 300l. per annum. This is the beginning of voluntary support of the Gospel ministry by the French, who are accustomed to look to the government for every thing.
"Our great anxiety at this moment is for the Fauxbourg du Temple; a quarter peopled by poor workmen and their families living in the grossest ignorance. Here we have had, long before the Revolution, intercourse with various families, to whom we have given some religious instruction, and among whom some have become Christians. After the Revolution we began worship in a small room the hearers soon overflowed; their children accompanied them, and were presented for instruction: their numbers and their interest increased rapidly and regularly. We were obliged to change and enlarge our plans and accommodations, to establish Sunday schools, day schools, evening schools; and at this hour more than six hundred scholars of both sexes and of all ages are inscribed on our registers, and receive instruction or are promised admission. God has provided us with Christian masters and mistresses: they open and close the exercise of each school with prayer, and teach the scholars both to read and to understand the Scriptures their teachings and conversation have been blessed to the awakening of several young persons; many of our scholars being from sixteen to twenty-five years of age, and some older. The public worship, both on the Lord's day and on Wednesday evening, has been frequented with eagerness; and the attention and docility of the hearers are most impressive and really remarkable. The voice of Providence and of duty was clear and peremptory. We have sought to meet the wants and the desires of this interesting population. We have found, and purchased on advantageous terms, a large stone edifice, and are preparing schools for two hundred and fifty male and two hundred and fifty female scholars, with an infant school, and a place of worship, refectories 4X
and play grounds: and lodgings of masters and mistresses. The habitation of every scholar has been, or is in the course of being, visited: instead of prejudices to overcome, or objections to combat, we have met with desires and gratitude that have inspired us with joy and satisfaction. In many cases, where only one family was to be visited in a house, all the others inhabiting the same dwelling, six, seven, eight, and more, have come forward to entreat that they or their children might have the same privilege. Many declare their intention to have their children educated as Protestants, and almost all desire that they should attend our Sunday-school instructions. This, as well as the preaching, is quite free from controversial discussions, and solely designed to present the simple truth; the doctrines, duties, and promises of the Gospel of Christ. The interest, intelligence, and progress of the scholars and hearers are very cheering. We have no doubt of the true conversion of several who were utterly ignorant when we went among them. Several are preparing to become schoolmasters in the country. There is every reason to hope that the effects produced not only on individuals but in the social and domestic habits of the quarter, will display most advantageously the real influence of the Gospel and of religious instruction in bettering in every respect the condition of the poor. The municipal authorities already appreciate our efforts, and offer us every facility and protection, from conviction of the usefulness of our religion.
"The current expenses are very great; and it is the more urgent to raise immediately the principal for the payment of the purchase, and the preparation of the premises, namely 19007. On British Christians God has conferred the honour of being the instruments of his goodness, and the agents of his charity: it is hoped that many will be disposed to enjoy their share of the privilege."
Other efforts are in progress; and we might, in particular, advert to those of a few friends in England, who have assisted unobtrusively, but with much beneficial effect, in promoting various objects of piety in France: among others, the translation of valuable works of doctrinal and practical divinity; aiding pious young men in their academical studies; promoting the circulation of Bibles and tracts; the establishment of Scripture readers, and the opening of chapels for Protestant worship and the faithful preaching of the word of God. These efforts are independent of those of the Bible Society, the Continental Society, Tract and School Societies, and other public institutions.
We might say more; but the foregoing particulars will suffice to shew the need of exertion, the facilities for exertion, and the success with which it has pleased God
to crown the exertions already made. If it were necessary to add any thing to shew the peculiar importance, at this moment, of scriptural education and scriptual preaching in France, it would be the fact that a plan is in progress for affording the means of reading to the whole body of the working population in France, by placing a public library in every one of the 40,000 communes (or parishes) into which the kingdom is divided. The books are to consist of elementary works on the arts, sciences, and literature, history, biography, poetry, and other subjects selected by a committee in Paris. A nation of readers with a scientific library in every village, is a spectacle upon which many philoso phers would gaze with unmixed delight: and we would by no means detract from whatever may be the benefits of such resources to the labouring classes; for far are we from thinking that popular ignorance is a blessing to society, or that the best method of quieting political factions and revolutionary tumults, is to degrade the poor to the level of brutal ignorance; but melancholy will be the lot of France, or of any other country, in which, while secular science is promoted, the knowledge of God is neglected. poor may be happy without much science; but neither poor nor rich can be happy or safe without religion. "The fear of the Lord that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding."
DESTRUCTION OF MISSIONARY SETTLEMENTS
IN THE WEST INDIES. We have perused with much concern the statements printed on the cover of our last and present Number, relative to the destruction of various missionary settlements in the West Indies, by the late desolating hurricane. The letters of the missionaries furnish specimens of the awful ravages of the desolation which has swept over some of the fairest portions of the West-Indian islands. The loss both of property and human life is most afflicting; and would that we could hope that all the sufferers were supported by the same heavenly consolations which sustained the spirits of these devoted missionaries. The missions of several societies have, as we have stated, suffered considerably; and the private distress is incalculable. We trust that the liberal assistance of the mother country will not be withheld in this hour of need. An earnest appeal appears on our cover, for assistance towards re-building the dilapidated churches in Barbadoes, which in an especial manner we would urge upon the intention of our readers.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE last month has been one of extreme 'public anxiety. The riots, devastations, burnings, and blood-shed in Bristol: the -gathering of lawless and tumultuous assemblies in various places; the formation of extensive and dangerously organized political clubs; the revival of the atrocious system of incendiarism; the menaces against our nobility, bishops, and clergy; the uncertainty of the time of the meeting of parliament, and the measures to be pursued at its assembling; and above all, the formidable appearance of what is stated on high authority to be the Asiatic Cholera in Sunderland; have all tended to alarm the country ;-would we could hope, to bow it in deep humility and penitence before Him whose judgments, though mercifully mitigated, are abroad in the land. We have not time or space at present for detailing all that we feel and think in relation to these and other serious topics: on some of which we await the further light which will be thrown upon them at the approaching meeting of parliament, which is fixed for the 6th of December. We rejoice to see that Government has issued a proclamation against illegal and unconstitutional political clubs, the direful effects of which have been sufficiently visible in Paris; and some of these clubs have in consequence had the good sense and forbearance to dissolve their union. The provisions of the forthcoming Reform Bill, and the measures which Government intend to devise for carrying it, are not yet known to the public; so that it were useless to speculate upon them.-Two forms of prayer have been issued by authority, imploring the mercy of God in relation to the pestilential disorder which has visited so many countries. They are not new prayers, but are taken, with some alterations and abridgments, from the prayers issued in the years 1720 and 1721, during Archbishop Wake's presidency, for beseeching God to preserve us from the plague with which several other countries are at this time visited." They are highly appropriate to the present emergency, and we trust will be heard and answered: though, as our ecclesiastical rulers went back so far, we wish they had gone back a century farther for without at all undervaluing Archbishop Wake's compositions, we prefer those which were used several times during the preceding century on similar occasions, and which we have traced as far back as to the year 1625, in the time of Archbishop Abbot. A series of very interesting passages might be collected from the forms issued in the days of our forefathers on occasion of pestilential disorders, and the thanksgivings after they had passed; and we purpose in our ensuing Number, or the Appendix published with it, to avail
ourselves of Dr. Niblock's courtesy in affording us the loan of his valuable collections, to offer to our readers a few extracts. On such occasions, a day of fasting and humiliation was usually appointed; and this solemnity, we cannot but think, would be highly appropriate at the present moment, in relation to the state of the country at large, and without any reference to party politics. Truly may we say in the words of the second of the prayers, as they originally stood, but which are omitted, we suppose for the sake of brevity, in the form just issued; " O Lord, whom have we in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that we desire in comparison of thee. Grant, O merciful God, that we may never be separated from thee; but that, while we live, we may have our conversation in heaven, walking by faith, not by sight; and that when we die we may be received into thy heavenly habitations; and with all thy saints and servants who have gone before us in thy faith and fear, may ever praise and glorify thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Our readers will do well to add these beautiful clauses to their copy of the second prayer: "O Almighty God, [to whom alone belong the issues of life and death,] who by the many [manifold] instances of mortality, &c." We should have preferred the retention of the words in brackets; and also the solemn expression, "that pardon to-day which otherwise we may never obtain to all eternity," rather than the substitution of "to-day," and " to-morrow ;" and so perhaps of some other of the alterations; but we have no wish to exercise minute criticism in such a matter, and on such an occasion, and where the substance is so excellent.
Dr. Whately has been appointed to the See of Dublin. It is a high advancement to be raised at once, without gradation to an archbishoprick; and we can only pray and hope that his grace may be endued with wisdom, and strength, and all the episcopal qualifications specified by St. Paul for his peculiarly arduous office. Our earnest trust is, that, unawed either by the state of parties in Ireland, or by any supposed views of some in power in England, he may at once determine, in the strength of God, to take a bold and decided stand as the champion of the Protestant faith; and especially, that he may follow up vigorously the pious designs of his lamented predecessor, and among others the excellent plan of itinerant preaching in the Irish language by clerical missionaries. It would be inconsistent with Christian honesty, after our review of his Grace's Bampton Lectures and our recent notices of some of his later works, if we denied that we should regard with considerable apprehension the extension
in Ireland of some of the opinions which he has zealously advocated in his publications, particularly in reference to the Christian Sabbath. And will it be said, that our solicitude is superfluous, when we find in the Unitarian Monthly Repository of this very month, the following statement: "Dr. Whately's little tract, Thoughts on the Sabbath,' may well claim attentive perusal from all religionists, and from none more than from Unitarians. This little pamphlet does so much more clearly, than even himself notices, place the subject of sabbatical observances in its proper light, that I deeply regret to find Unitarians thus anticipated in so important a discussion." "No unprejudiced reader can rise from the perusal of the above tract without a conviction, not only that the hebdomadal observance, by disciples of Jesus, of a Sabbath has never yet been placed on its true foundation,' but that by that touchstone, to which all pretensions on religious subjects must be brought, it is proved to have NO FOUNDATION AT ALL.' If any thing could add to our distress, on reading such a paragraph from such a quarter, it is, that while learned theologians are thus speculatively setting aside the divine obligation of the Lord's day; a large majority of the nation are practically violating it: few comparatively are zealously endeavouring to counteract the evil; and even our legislature is beginning to sanction it by act of parliament. The following is a clause in the new Hackey-Coach Act, the very wording of which must be afflicting to every Christian mind, to say nothing of the precedent which it affords for further legal desecrations of the holy day. "It shall be lawful for the proprietor or driver of any hackney-coach licensed under this act, to stand and ply for hire, with such coach, and to drive the same on the Lord's-day, any former act or acts to the contrary notwithstanding; and such proprietor or driver who shall so stand and ply for hire as aforesaid, shall be liable and compellable to do the like work on the Lord'sday as om any other day of the week. There is not, we believe, such another clause as this in the whole Statute Book.
While we were writing, the newspapers announced the decease of a prelate, the loss of whom to the Church of England, and the church of Christ, especially at this moment, would be an affliction the extent of which we should not dare to estimate; and happily we need not, as the mournful intelligence proves to have been unfounded. Deeply as the rumour shocked and afflicted the hearts of many, it may not have been in vain, if only the sympathy, and we might justly say the consternation, so widely expressed, should impress those lessons which it were better that each prelate, clergyman, and layman, should read for himself, than we should obtrude upon him. What we had penned,
it is not for us to say; what we do pen is our heartfelt gratitude to the Father of all grace and consolation, who hath heard and answered prayer, for his mercies to his servant, and to the church and the world to whom he is spared.
We are obliged to defer our abstract of the Church-Building Act, and the Augmentation Act. The other ecclesiastical bills had not gone through their stages when parliament was prorogued. The Pluralities Act, we are glad, is postponed; and we trust it will not be introduced again in its present shape. We purpose recurring to it in another Number.
We shall not detain our readers on foreign matters. In France, the bill for the extinction of the hereditary peerage has been introduced into the upper chamber: the late royal family are for ever banished: schools are to be instituted throughout the kingdom; so that every child may acquire the ordinary elements of knowledge: we fear that religion is out of the question, except as inculcated by individuals. How is it that we have not yet a system of parochial education, (Scriptural education we mean,) in every parish in England? We trust that one of the first efforts of a reformed parliament, will be to secure this great national blessing? Belgium acquiesces in the propositions of the allies, and is acknowledged as an independent nation; but Holland has not yet consented to the measure. Poland, much injured Poland-is prostrate.-The pope has published a sort of manifesto, in which he admits that it is not within his province to decide who is the rightful sovereign of any country; and that in communicating with the ruler in actual possession, he by no means intends to adjudge the claim of right. This is politic in the present state of France, Portugal, and other national relations; but it is a remarkable descent from the papal pretensions of former ages. We have several communications from America relative to the arbitrary and unjust proceedings of Georgia towards the Indians, and the severe judicial sentence of four years' confinement and hard labour, pronounced upon the missionaries and others, merely for remaining at their posts, without taking an oath which they considered both wicked and unconstitutional, Dr. Chase has resigned the bishopric of Ohio, in consequence of some misunderstanding about the management of Kenyon college; and Mr. M'Ilvaine is appointed his successor. We shall notice these and other American memoranda more largely.
We have just noticed the incorrect report of the death of the Bishop of Winchester. We lament to say, that since this sheet was in type, a statement appears in the newspapers of the death of another prelate, a near relation of his lordship— Dr. Turner, Bishop of Calcutta,
expressed our fears some time since, that this pious, exemplary, active, and muchloved man would fall another victim to the overwhelming duties of a see which ought long ago to have been divided and
subdivided. His loss to India will be mournful indeed! It is too late to dilate on it in our present Number; but we feel inexpressibly afflicted at the intelligence,
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
Ir appears from the Monthly Extracts, that 219 Auxiliaries and Associations have already expressed their continued attachment to the constitution of this invaluable Society, while only seventeen have dissented; and these, we believe, are confined to places where the local influence of a few individuals has caused a momentary misapprehension of the real bearings of the question. We strongly recommend both to the dissidents from the Society and its friends, an attentive perusal of the second edition just published, with additions, of Mr. Hughes's powerful and convincing pamphlet. A public meeting is advertised by the Sackville-street Committee for the formation of a new Bible Society. What there can be conscientiously to prevent the cooperation of all who call themselves Christians, in a matter so simple, neutral, and not to be perverted, as the circulation of the pure word of God, in which even the heretic may receive benefit while he confers it, we cannot for ourselves imagine; but those who think differently have a good right to follow their own plans, provided nothing be done unnecessarily, or in a spirit of strife or vain-glory. By this test must the promoters of the intended meeting be tried. If they state their sentiments peaceably and calmly, much as we differ from their conclusions, and fully as we believe them to be led astray by mistaken, and not just or Scriptural views, we shall honour their motives: but if they exhibit a spirit of unkindness or uncharitableness; if they denounce or dogmatize; if they repeat the false and absurd charges that their Christian brethren, men of love and piety, and of zeal for the honour of God, and the spiritual interests of mankind, are trimmers, time-servers, "expediency-mongers," undervaluers of prayer, men who shut their ears against Scripture, who think more of worldly influence and money than of the blessing of God, and who take to their bosom "those who would tear the diadem from the brow of Christ;" with much more to the same purpose; then very different will be the estimate of all pious and impartial persons; then will be seen how much of spiritual pride and self-sufficiency, of intolerance, sectarianism, and over-bearing, of Stand by, I am holier or wiser than thou, may lurk-such is human frailty, such is man at his best estate-under the garb of the most holy professions. We say this only by way of warning. May the result be very different; but when we look back to some of our late public meetings, we do not think the caution misplaced.
Then as to the objects proposed; if the intended Society must have a test, let it be one calmly and wisely considered, large enough, and yet not vexatious or captious. It ought not to be one which would keep out such a man, for instance, as the excellent individual whose work we have reviewed in our present Number; and it ought not to be one which would admit Swedenborgians, Antinomians, the deniers of the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith, and vicious livers of every kind. The tests proposed by Captain Gordon and his friends have the singular infelicity of doing both: first, negatively; for Mr. Gurney, anti-Socinian as he is, or any other pious and intelligent member of the Society of Friends, would not subscribe to a human test, even though they believed it conformable to the word of God; they prefer making the Bible itself their standard, and not any comment on it, be it right or wrong. Then positively; for while such men as Mr. Gurney are excluded, there is nothing to shut out all the characters above mentioned. If, then, the intended project is really conscientious, and not vexatious; if, moreover, it is not the result of a scrupulous, but of a scripturally-enlightened conscience; then let its promoters calmly consider the matter on both sides; not only what they reject, but what they virtually sanction; not only the heresy they denounce, but the many other heresies which, by denouncing one only, they encourage. We address ourselves to them in a spirit of peace and love; and ask, If you think a test necessary, why not as Christians and Protestants, make the whole Bible your test? Lay it down that no person shall be a member of your society who does not profess to believe the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and the whole of the truths contained in them. This test will comprise the entire faith and duty of a Christian; it will go far enough; which your partial test does not. If after such a test improper persons intrude, the blame is theirs, not yours. A society whose only object is to distribute the Word of God, and is not a church, cannot go further. "Let a man examine himself;" "" to his own Master he stands or falls.' Improper persons may intrude under the Sackville-strect plan, as much as under any