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Variety of effort, a unity of design be preserved. Each Missionary Society is our natural ally; we should cordially co-operate with it as far as is consistent with our plan; we should rejoice in its success j and carefully watch, lest on any occasion, a carnal jealousy should tempt " Ephraim toenvy Judah, or Judah to vex Ephraim."
The Value of Life. A Sermon, delivered May the Kih. 1803, before the Correspondent Board in London, of the Society in Scotland, for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge in ike Hg hlunds and Is lands. By W. J a y, %vo, ss.dd.
After a very ingenious introduction from this singular text (Job ii. 4.) the preacher propose* two object.-.. —" In the first place, we shall establish the importance of human life. In the second, we shall explain the use to -.ihich the belief of it timid be applied." The importance of human life is argued from the authority of the Scriptures; from the divine Author of human nature; from the connection of this life with another; from the opportunity jt affords of getting good.and doing good. Among the useful inferences flowing from the belief of this fact, Mr. Jay specifies the following : —We should deplore the destruction ot it, xiot expose it to heedless injury and hazard; be thankful for the continuance of it, not be impatient for rieath; estimate the value of early piety, improve'lifc to the best purposes. This last idea brings the preacher to the particular object of «:he present discourse, which is pleaded with his usual eloquence upd ingenuity.
SERMONS ON THE TIMES.
T . Chambers of Safety in Times of Danger: preached at Bath, May 8, 1S03. By W. Cooper. Second Edition, Svo, is.
jl. The Duty of England exemplified in the conduct of Hezekialt: *reached at Slock-well, July 31, fy 'J. Jackson. £•»«, is.
III. To your Tents, O Britons! preached at Sutton Saint Mary, Jul/ 31. By C. Jerram, A. M. 111110.'
• 3d. or is. bd. per dozen.
IV. Christian Patriotism: or the Duty of Religious People loiuard their Country. Preached at Kettering. August 14. By A. Fuller. nmo, Cd. — bvo, is.
V. The Aspect of the Times considered, and the Duty of Chris, tians described : preached at Stepney. By G. Ford. Svo, is.
VI. Britain's Defence: preached at Ballersea, August 21. By John Hughes, A. M. Svo, is.
VII. National Happiness, or the Privilege and Duly of Britons: /reached at Walt hams low, August' 21. By G.Collison. 8w.
VIII Pray and Fight: an Address to the United Kingdoms, on the Alarm of Invasion. 1'y \V- Cooper.
The present eventful period ha* called forth so many discourse* from the pulpit and the press, that we find it necessary to thus them together, and, to avoid giving of. fence by an improper preference, have arranged them according to their dates, and numbered them for conveniency of reference.
No. I. was delivered at the chapel of the late Lady Hunting-, don, Bath, about the time of the declaration of hostilities; and the preacher, from Isa. xxvi. »o, directs his hearers, under the first alarm of danger, to seek refuge in the chambers of divine mercy, from the judgments which threaten our country, and the world at large. In the close of this discourse, Mr. Cooper earnestly enforces a loyal obedience to civil government, as well as a holy devotcdness 10God. In No. II, Mr. Jackson, from 2 Kings xix. 14—19, considers the analogy between our present circumstances and those of Judah, in the reign of Hezekiah ; — point* out the conduct of that pious prince, as an example to us and to our rulers; and the happy consequences which did and ever will result from national repentance and reformation; the necessity of which is strongly pointed out in the conclusion.
The Third Discourse was delivered to a parochial congregation in Lincolnshire; and appears particularly adapted to animate us in the defence of oiw country, and at the same time to confidence in God. Jt is founded on that noble and animated address of the Jewish patriot, Neh. rv. 14; and is printed in a cheap form, for wider circulation.
No. IV. expressly considers and developes the duties of Christians to civil government, as implied in the two expressions in the text,— to "seek the peace" (or welfare) of our country, and to pray for it; also the motive for such conduct. "In the peace thereof shall ye have peace." Mr. Fuller defends the lawfulness of war in certain Cases, particularly that of invasion: and we cannot forbear transcribing the following short, but interesting paragraph: "Let not the poorest man say, .1 have nothing to lose.— "Yes, if men of opulence lo.^e their property, you will lose your employment. You have also a cottage, and perhaps a wife and family, with whom, amidst all your hardships, you live in love; and would it be nothing you, to see your wife anddauj;liters abused,and you yourself unable to protect them; 01 even remonstrate but at the hazard of being run thro' by the bayonet 1—If no other considerations will induce us to protect and pray to the Lord for our country, ourown individual and domestic comforts might suffice."
Mr. Ford, in No. V. examines "the signs of the times" (Mat. xvi. 3.) not in a political, or even a prophetic view ; but he comcives that " it becomes us to pay an attentive and religious regard to the aspect of the times in which we live." He, therefore, properly enumerates the signs of the present times, and very ably enforces the duties which those circumstances suggest to Christians.
Mr Hughes's eloquent Discourse (No. VI ) is founded on Zech. viii. 31, 21. After opening this text in the original sense of the prophecy, Mr. Hughes, adapting it to present circumstances, proceeds " to-rcler, with pious and patriotic feeling, to
the state of our country ; —to admit the expediency and importance of earnest prayer ; — to embrace the advantages resulting from social prayer ; — and to examine the grounds -on which we may hope that earnest social prayer will be acceptable and availing."
No. VII. From Ps. cxliv. jc, Mr. Collison, 1st, reviews the dis, tinguishing blessings and privileges of Britons, natural, civil, and religious; and, 2(ilv, points out the duties evidently resulting from such advantages; particularly gratitude-, humiliation, exertions tor the public defence, and a recollection of past deliverances. All which topics are discussed with very considerable ability.
No. VIII. Though published) as a small tract only, for general circulation, contains the substance of an Address delivered from the pulpit at Spa-fields chapel, Aug.30, on occasion of a prayer-meeting for the nation. It is founded 00 the same text as No 111 ; and is like Mr Jerram's, animated and pointed.
Upon the whole, we are pleased to sec this important subject placed in so many useful points of view, and discussed by such a variety of talents; we are also happy to see all denominations anxious to emulate each other in loyalty and patriotism, in the present important juncture; and we sincerely hope it will please God to realize the prediction, in which they all concur, —of deliverance and safety to our country.
Sermons on Interesting Subjects; including the Service of Two Communion Sabbaths. By the Rev. Robert MacCulloch, of Dairsie. limo, boards, 3s. 6d.
The Duty of Seeking the Things which are Christ's: a Sermon preached before the Edinburgh Missionary Society, at their last Meeting. By the Rev. D. Black, one of the Ministers of Edinburgh. 8vo, is.
Baxter's Call to the Unconverted. A new and genuine Edition. Fine Paper, 121110, is.6d. boards; sheep, is. ijU. ; calf, as. 6d.
MISSIONARY SOCIETY. The following interesting paper was written previous to the late rupture between England and France. The serious reader will regret that, for the present, the prosecution of the war presents an insurmountable obstacle to the generous efforts of Britons, in behalf of the Protestant Religion in that country.
Memoir, committed to the care
of Mr. O: , an English
Gentleman, by M. Martin, Pastor of the Reformed Vhurch at Jiourdeaux, to be presented to the. London Missionary Society.
Mr. O— was requested to present to the London Missionary Society the following observations made upon reading the Report of the Deputation sent to enquire into the State of Religion in France; and to recommend them to the attention of those gentlemen, with all the arguments which his talents and zeal can furnish him with.
The plan which the London Missionary Society has formed, to establish and propagate the principles of pure Christianity throughout the whole extent of France, will ever do honour to the memory of those who devised it, and entitle them to the love and gratitude of every real Christian. To a-ssist the execution of so praiseworthy and beneficent a design, the four following measures are proposed; but which can here be only sketched out: —
I. To publish an Address to the French Protestants, to revive their zeal; and to engage them, everywhere, to re - establish divine worship.
II. To establish a correspondence as extensive as circumstances •will admit, between the Society in England and the Reformed Churches in France.
III. To distribute gratis, or at a low rate, the following books: — i.The Bible; 2. The Psalters used
. fey the French churches; 3. Me
thodical and Instructive Catechisms; 4. A Collectionof Prayers, such as that called " The Food of the Soul," by M. Ostervald; 5. Writings adapted to advance the knowledge and love of the Christian Religion; 6. A Periodical Work, intended to defend the doctrines and precepts of Christianity, and in which, while matters ot controversy are avoided, respect for the government and submission to the laws of the state ate recommended.
If religious books are scarce in France, it is to be attributed, isf, To the revocation of the edict of Nantz; and to the persecutions which followed, during a period of eighty years: — id, To the principles ot the Infidels, who, during the reign of Terror, endeavoured to abolish Christianity; and W10 thought to obtain their end, by committing to tiie flames a great part of the writings of the ecclesiastics.
IV. To grant pecuniary aid to pastors j especially those who have large families.
It is proper to observe, that the French ministers are in general very poor : — that their churches do not afford thorn the necessaries of life: — and that, to provide for themselves, they are obliged to follow other occupations, which are not congenial with the ministry; while the state of poverty to which they are reduced, degrades and discourages them, and deprives them of the capacity to fulfil the important duties of their stations.
It is true, that the law relative to religious worship provides for them, as well as for the Catholic ministers, a suitable maintenance; but although it is a .year since it was enacted, it has never yet been put in force; and there is reason to tear that it will not, tor a longtime to come.
If, therefore, the London So. cicty would bend pecuniary assistance to the French pastors, the greatest good would result to religion; for,
ist, The pastors would take fresh courage, and proceed with more ardour in the promotion of religion and piety.
id, They would not be obliged to engage in occupations foreign to their ministry; and they would devote their whole time to the service of the churches.
3d, Tliey would be enabled to give a better education .to their children, who might succeed them in their charges.
4th, The ministers who have quitted their profession to fo!lowothers which afiVrded more certain means of subsistence, would not besitate to resume their offices.
jth, In short, the Christian ministry offering the means of procuring the necessaries of life, many young persons would embrace the profession; the number ol churches would increase, and the Protestant doctrine would rapidly spread.
Present circumstances are very favourable for the execution of the plan formed by the London Missionary Society.
1 st, Because the dangerous tendency of the principles of infidelity, and necessity of religion, are acknowledged.
2d, Because the most enlightened Catholics prefer the Protectant to the Romish religion.
3d, Because the Romish clergy, no longer possessing riches whereby to foster the credulity of the people, are fast losing their inilticnce; and the time is come when Truth must triumph over the sophistry of Error.—In support of this opinion, we may appeal to the example of several cities,.and particularly to Bourdeaux. w here multitudes of Catholics attend the Protestant worship; and where many families have renounced Popery to embrace the doctrines of the Reformation.
Abstract of tht Report of the Committee oj the Missioiiary Society to Africa and the East, delivered at the Annual Meeting, ,'ii Mai/, I80.3.
Th E Committee observe that they liave judged it necessary to proceed with peculiar caution, and that therefore the progress of the Institution has hitherto been slow; yer^ they trust, their design has been advancing, and will ultimately attain the desired end. It appears, that though several offers of Missionaries from among our own countrymen have been made, various impediments have as yet prevented their engaging with them; they have therefore been induced to turn their attention towards the obtaining of foreign Missionaries. Two young men from the Seminary at Berlin, Vr. Melchior Renner, and Mr. Peter Hartwig, have been procured and accepted as Cathechists. These persons are intended to labour in the Soosoo country in Africa; a station chosen partly on account of its vicinity to the Colony at Sierra Lecne, and partly because the Society have already printed several tracts in the Soosoo language. These Missionaries, being now in England, have an opportunity of obtaining some knowledge of that tongue, by their friendly intercourse with the African youths now receiving a useful education in the neighbourhood of London.
The Committee are in correspondence with the Directors of the Berlin Seminary for the selection of four more of the students, who are to be placed under a course of instruction suited to the peculiar objects of the Society. The Committee express their hope that the forwardness of strangers to engage in this arduous work, will provoke to holy jealoVsy many of their own countrymen, and kindle the same spirit of fervent zeal in many members of their own church, to diffuse the knowledge of Christ in the Heathen world.
Mr Mozely's memoir respecting a Chinese translation of the Script>f the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.
tnr/".. is upt unrlpr flip rnnsiHpratiiir*
The Arabic edition of the Scriptures is proceeding, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Carlyle, who is feceutly returned from Turkey and Palestine, to which part of the world he went as Chaplain to the British Embassy at Constantinople. The indifferent state of his health since liis return, has, however, retarded the progress of this important undertaking.
The Appendix contains Papers of considerable importance, from which the following Extracts arc made.
No. i, presents us with the copy of a letter from a Clergyman in Ceylon to a Gentleman in this country, dated Columbo, Dec. 1S01, from which we shall select a few extracts.
"There can scarcely be any doubt that, Sf the exertions which are practicable were made, the whole inhabitants in the British territories here, would willingly embrace the glad tidings of salvation."
"From the time that the English took possession of litis island, until the arrival of Mr. North, the Christian Schools, and education of the inhabitants, were entirely neglected. Many of th? Churches had fallen down in ruins, and thousands of those, who once called themselves Christians, had returned to their ancient Paganism and Idolatry. During the Dutch government, no native could be admitted into any office w.thout prifessirr, that he was a member of the Reformed Cnurch. There was likewise a prohibition against erecting any new Pagan temple', which falling to the ground on the arrival of the English, the number of these has been doubled. However, the more lenient measures which government now adopts, promise to improve the knowledge of those who still call themselves Disciples of Christ, and may, perhaps, be the means of Recovering the lost sheep.
"The British possessions on the island are divided into four districts. These are divided into counties, which are subdivided into parishes. In every parish is established one Protestantisehool, where the youth arc instructed in reading and writing their own language, and in the principles • f Christianity. The Protestants likewise attend divine service tiisrrc on Sundays and other holidays. Over every ten school-, is appointed one. cathechist, whose busi. ness it is to perform a visitation once a month, to enquire into ihe conduct of the teachers, to examine the progress made by the scholars, and to exhort them M
"In each of the lesser districts is established a native officiating preacher, who has been examined by the present Governor and Ordinary, and who is instructed to-petform divine service m one ot the churches or schools every Sunday ; to administer ihe sacrameut of baptism, and to solemnize marriages; to exhort the sick or dying, and to bury the dead according to the form of the church of England. He is also instructed to visit all the schools within his province, at least three times in the year, during which, he is to endeavour to edify his Hock by his conversation and his sermons, to examine particularly the conduct and ability of the catechists and schoolmasters,and to inform the Principal of the schools minutely of all that occurs. ,
"In each of the principal districts are one, two, or three clergymen, who have been ordained in Europe ; to each of whom is committed a superintending charge o£ a certain number of the schools, of which, he performs a visitation once a year, and administers the holy communion.
"Some of the native preachers and ca techists are really men of principles and afcilitie«,and extremely useful.
"P.y the last general returns, in tha ecclesiastical department, th*re were nearly 170 schools, and upwards of 342,090 Protestant Christians. The number of Christians professing the religion of the church of Rome, is likewise very great. There are about fifteen of these priests on the island, who are indefatigable in their labours, and are daily making proselytes. Rcligiom knowledge is so confined, that the people gladly make use of any prayers, 'or forms, which are given to t'nem; and. have scarcely any books to study, unless the Bible. The doctiines of those who have been educated by the Dutch are purely Calvinisric, and their sermons evangelical.
"The Honourable Frederic North, governor of the i'-land, has interested himself deeply in the dilTusion of our holy religion; and 1 hope that the beneficial effects of his care and attenti jn will be long felt by the inhabitants of this island.
"IScsides the establishments already mentioned, we have at Colum'io a verjf flourishing academy divided into three schools, Cingalese, Malabar, and European.' They are taught KnglUi as well as the native language'., in the must perfect manner. The Cingalese are sous of tho head men; and »ev«ral of them already converse very well in English, and make tolerable translations. These young men will be well grounded in the principles of Christianity ; ad I have great hopes that, when spread abroad amsngst their countrymen, their influence and example wi^.