« AnteriorContinuar »
redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.' He passed into the heavens; and being the brightness of the glory of God, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;' and ever liveth to make intercession for us.
"It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that the world will be judged in righteousness. He is the Mediator of the new covenant; 'the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily:' and to hin did the Evangelist bear testimony when he said, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. He was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.'
"Our blessed Lord himself spoke of His perpetual dominion and power in his church, when He said, 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life' and, when describing the spiritual food which he bestoweth on the true believers, He declared, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.' He spoke also of his saving grace, bestowed on those who come in faith unto Him, when he said, Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.'
"Our religious society, from its earliest establishment to the present day, has received these most important doctrines of Holy Scripture in their plain and obvious acceptation; and we do not acknowledge as in fellowship with us, as a Christian community, any body of religious professors which does not thus accept them, or which openly receives and accredits as ministers, those who attempt to invalidate any of these doctrines which we es
teem as essential parts of the Christian religion.
It is the earnest desire of this meeting, that all who profess our name, may so live, and so walk before God, as that they may know these sacred truths to be blessed to them individually. We desire that, as the mere profession of sound Christian doctrine will not avail to the salvation of the soul, all may attain to a living efficacious faith, which, through the power of the Holy Ghost, bringeth forth fruit unto holiness; the end whereof is everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 'Blessing, and honour, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.''
EDINBURGH BIBLE SOCIETY. We did not think the formation of this society necessary, nor admire all the proceedings of some of its friends; but we shall heartily rejoice if it prove the means of increasing the circulation of the word of God. Its issues for the year have been as follows:-Scotland, England, Ireland, South America, North America, West Indies, and Germany-Bibles, 13,618; New Testaments, 7,833 total, 21,451. The Society has printed Gaelic Bibles 10,000, Gaelic Testaments 3,000; French Bibles 3,000, French Testaments 2,000: in all, 18,000. In the press, German Bibles, 10,000; Gaelic ditto, 5,000: in all 15,000. In addition to these, a revision of the French Scriptures is going on in Switzerland; and the society had voted 100%. to the Naval and Military Bible Society.
SCHOOLS FOR THE WALDENSES.
We have received from the Rev. T. Sims, whose zealous exertions in behalf of the Waldenses are well known, the following statements, and shall be very glad if we can assist his benevolent object by laying them before our readers.
"On my way to Rome last winter, I established, with the consent of the pastor of each parish, a school for girls in each of the following parishes: Latour, Angrogné, and Prarustin. In these schools the girls are taught reading, writing, cyphering, needle-work, knitting, psalmody. They learn spinning at home. The Scriptures are read daily in these schools. Every morning and afternoon, prayers are read from a tract which I published at Paris, and which consists of extracts from our Common-Prayer book, adapted to the several mornings and evenings of the week. Each of these daily schools has a Sunday-school
annexed to it, under the care of the mistresses. The expense of each school for the year is 12. The master of the Latin school, with the consent of M. Best, pastor of Latour, and president of the Commission for the Hospital, agreed to conduct the family-worship at the hospital, and to read my tract of Church-of-England prayers every morning and evening, as well as other prayers on the Sundays. He also reads the Scriptures to the patients. For this service, and for giving instruction in the winter evenings to inferior schoolmasters, and those who wish to be such, I engaged to send him about 51.
"I am of course desirous that plans which succeeded so well, and at so moderate an expense, should not fall to the ground. If I should have opportunities given me by clergymen who have churches and chapels, to preach on behalf of the schools, and to collect, not such considerable sums as would injure large institutions, but moderate donations, I shall be most happy to avail myself of their kind permission. If I could obtain the means, I would wish to support ten schools instead of three; that every parish might have the advantage of a girls' school. The committee for the Waldenses have four schools under their care in four different parishes. A generous individual, Lieut.-Col. Beckwith, has also established one, as well as contributed in various ways to the amelioration of the condition of the Waldenses. The necessity for these plans I need not again state, as it has been frequently dwelt upon in your pages."
AMERICAN PROPOSED ALTERA
TIONS IN THE LITURGY. The nature and extent of the proposed alterations in the Liturgy by our American Episcopal brethren, to which we have more than once adverted, with the reasons on which they are founded, may be learned from the following statement from the pen of Bishop Hobart.
respect merely the Psalms, and the Lessons, and the proportions of them which are to be read. At present, the Psalms for the day, or one of the selections, must be used. It is proposed that the minister may be allowed, not compelled, to take, instead of the Psalms for the day, or one of the selections, any one of the Psalms, which shall be said or sung. At present, he is compelled to read for Sundays, for holy-days, and for all other days, the Lessons from Holy Scripture, as prescribed in the Calender. It is proposed, that, still confined on Sundays and holy-days to the prescribed Lessons, he may, at his discretion,read a part, not less than fifteen verses, instead of the whole; and on other days, when there is not daily service, he may, at his discretion, select other Lessons from Scripture than those prescribed. At present, according to the construction which some clergymen (in my judgment most erroneously) put upon a rubric at the end of the Communion Service, they conceive themselves at liberty to omit using the Ten Commandments, Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, which are usually denominated the Ante-Communion Service. It is proposed that the rubric be so altered as to preclude all cavil, and to render the use of the Ante-Communion Service imperative. These are all the alterations proposed in the usual Morning and Evening Service. And hence you
will perceive how erroneous are the notions which, to a certain extent, have prevailed, that the Lessons for Sundays and holy days are left entirely to the discretion of the minister, and that the Liturgy is to be mutilated as to its parts, or altered in its admirable Prayers and Collects. These remain as at present. On Sundays and holy-days the Lessons, as now prescribed, are to be used; the discretion applies only to the proportion of each Lesson.
"In the Confirmation Office, it is proposed not to substitute another preface and another prayer, instead of those now used, but to allow the bishop, at his discretion, to use another preface and another prayer, retaining all the substantial parts of the former.
"What are the alterations proposed? On this subject I would adopt the language of a Right Rev. Brother, and say, that, strictly speaking, there are no alterations of the Liturgy contemplated; that is, there are to be no omissions of any parts of the Liturgy, nor a different arrangement of them. As a whole, the Liturgy remains as it now is. There is no omission, or alteration, or different arrangement of the Prayers of the Morn--the admitting, in certain cases, of more ing and Evening Service; they are to remain as they now are. The alterations
"These are all the alterations proposed. The next inquiry is, What good object is contemplated by these proposed alterations? The answer is, The abbreviation of the Liturgy by law, so as to remove all reason for abbreviating it contrary to law
appropriate Lessons-the securing the use of the Ten Commandments, Collect,
and Islands of Scotland, states the following particulars.
Epistle, and Gospel-and the rendering the preface to the Confirmation Service more full and more adapted to the state of things in this country; and the preventing of misunderstanding as to certain expressions in one of the prayers in this office. ......... The present preface seems imperfect in not stating the authority on which the ordinance rests; and is felt to be inappropriate, when, as is the case generally in our country congregations, those confirmed are principally adult persons. The expressions in one of the prayers, applied to those who are to be confirmed, that God has "regenerated them," &c., are, when correctly understood, justified by Scripture and the authority of the primitive church; but they are misunderstood, and the cause of considerable cavil and difficulty. It is not proposed to omit the expressions, or to alter the prayer containing them, but merely to allow the use of another prayer in which these expressions are retained, but in connexion with explanatory words."
BASLE MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
One hundred and twenty-seven young men have been under a course of preparation since the establishment of this institution, twelve years since: twentyfour of them have returned to their former occupations, on account of ill health, or want of talents for the acquisition of the necessary languages. Sixty-four are gone abroad into the vineyard of their Lord, twelve of whom have already been removed from the field of their labour to their eternal rest; thirty-eight are preparing in the Missionary-House for their office. Of the fifty Missionaries at present on their different stations, eighteen are in the service of the Church Missionary Society; ten are ministers in the Christian congregations in Bessarabia, the Crimea, and Grusinia; several were sent out by the Dutch Missionary Society; and the rest, consisting of nineteen, are engaged by the German Evangelical Missionary Society of Bâsle.
The contributions and exertions of the friends of the institution are a proof of a reviving Christian spirit in Germany and Switzerland.
The Bâsle Society has commenced a mission on the Gold Coast of Africa, and another in the newly established American Colony of Liberia.
HIGHLAND CHURCHES. The Fourth Report of the Commissioners for Building Churches in the Highlands
The Commissioners, in their Report of June 1828, expressed an opinion that thirty churches with manses, and ten manses, might be built at an expense of 50,000. granted by the Highland Church Act. The number of new churches and manses which have been certified to his Majesty's Secretary of State, and to which ministers have been appointed, is 13; of new manses attached to repaired churches 2; the number of churches and manses completed and now ready for inspection is 13; and eleven more are in various stages of progress. The nomination of ministers to the churches which have been certified as complete has uniformly in practice been conceded to the heritor who applied for the church, and granted the site of the manse and its garden, undertaking to uphold the church to the extent required by the Act.
MEMORANDA OF AN AMERICAN
An American Missionary, the Rev. Mr. Flint, relates the following characteristic particulars respecting the scene of his labours.
“The settlements, extending to the Maramec and the Missouri, for nearly thirty miles' distance, were among the first regions, which I explored as a missionary. In these pursuits I was associated with another gentleman; a missionary from Connecticut. We found the country, as it respected our profession, destitute of a single church or preacher. There had never been, as far as I could learn, the celebration of a Protestant communion in St. Louis. I administered this ordinance there.-Many affecting circumstances accompanied this communion, the narration of which would, I suppose, more properly belong to a work exclusively devoted to religious intelligence. One circumstance took from its pleasantness and comfort, and rendered the duty perplexing. The members that communed were from different states and countries. Each professor seemed pertinaciously to exact, that the peculiar usages of his church should be adopted on this occasion, and seemed not a little shocked, that in order to meet the feelings of others, equally attached to their peculiar modes, something of medium and compromise must be observed. The narrowness of that spirit which stands as strongly for the
mint and cummin,' as the weightier matters,' and the compound of temper,
pride, and self-will, that is so apt to mix unperceived with our best actions, seldom have had a fairer scope, and seldom shewed themselves more strongly than on this occasion. This blind attachment to form was nobly contrasted with the simple and striking devotion of a Black servant of a Catholic Frenchman, who offered himself for communion, was carefully examined, and accepted. He would not be dissuaded from making his small offering of money with the rest. God,' said he, has put it into my heart to do something for his cause, and I hope you will not refuse my offering. The difficulties in the end were happily adjusted, and we sat down in
"Here would be, perhaps, the place to examine the manner, spirit, and success of my ministry for years in Missouri; but besides that we have already extensively communicated upon these subjects with each other, you know that my present plan is not to go into this kind of detail. A missionary in such a region,—with a family, feeble in health, and constituted in body and mind as I am,-might expect, with the best and most earnest intentions, to encounter numberless difficulties. The region was just beginning to be peopled. All the elements of religious combination were in a state of chaos. People are apt every where to regard the form, more than the substance of religion. In new countries, composed of emigrants from different regions, forms are almost the only thing remembered and retained. A man of earnestness of mind, and of strong feelings, is liable to be depressed and enfeebled in the contemplation of such a field, in which he sees the dark side of things, in the actual exemplification of what passes for religion. It is the more discouraging from its having at first a very different aspect. Your first reception is apparently cordial in the highest degree. Mutual congratulations that you are come, are interchanged, and all promises attention and harmony. As you inspect things more intimately, and as the innate principles of disunion begin to come in play, this fair prospect becomes gradually overcast. The worshippers split on trifling differences. The more trifling, the more pertinaciously they cling to them, and where but a few Sabbaths before all seemed union, you soon find that all is discord. Who shall be the preacher? what modes of worship shall be adopted? and especially where shall the house, or place of worship, be located? -these are themes, too often, of bitter and disorganizing dispute.
"In these new regions, too, of the most absolute independence, you see all the wanderings of human thought, every shade of faith, every degree of the most persevering attachment to preconceived opi
nions. You see, too, all degrees of pretension in religion, followed by unhappy manifestations of the hollowness of such pretension. You meet, it is true, with more cheering circumstances, and we are sometimes able to see that which we strongly wish to see. But the missionary must prepare himself to encounter many difficulties of the sort which I have enumerated.
"The people think in general, that attendance upon preaching sufficiently compensates the minister. No minister of any Protestant denomination, to my knowledge, has ever received a sufficient living two years in succession. Take these circumstances together, and you will then have some idea of a minister's prospect of worldly success and comfort in these regions. But have they not been useful? Have they not had success? I would hope both. The precursors in new regions have generally encountered such trials as are recited above; but, I would hope, not in vain. They have drawn sighs, that have only reached the ear of Heaven. Not one good word or work has been without its impression. The seed, which seems to have been scattered in a sterile desert, may spring up; but, perhaps, not till a future and more favoured period. Many faithful, laborious, and patient men, who have been associated with me in these labours, have fallen in these wildernesses, after having encountered all these difficulties. What is worse, they have fallen almost unnoticed, and their labours and sufferings unrecorded for they toiled and died, it may be eight hundred leagues away, in an American desert; and with such a decease there are connected no feelings of romance.
If my plan admitted such a narrative, I would attempt to rescue from oblivion, the names of three young men whom I knew intimately, and who died in the discharge of missionary duties in these regions. I heard of the death of others, that I knew not. But, freed from earth and its toils, their bones moulder in these remote prairies, as peacefully as though their fall had been recorded, their names and deeds eulogized. They were exemplary and devoted men, and their names are no doubt recorded on more durable tablets than the frail memorials of men.
"Let not the inference be drawn, that I would describe the men of these countries as peculiarly bad, or indisposed to religion. Truth and gratitude equally forbid, that any thing should fall from my pen, intending to convey the conclusion that this is in any respect a degenerate race of men. The evils do not belong to them in particular, but to human nature placed in such circumstances."
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THERE have been no domestic occurrences during the month which require particular record. Mr. O'Connell has been elected for Clare without opposition; but however successful he may be as a popular orator, we have no fear for any great mischief he will be able to effect within the walls of parliament. -Ireland, we lament to say, is far from being in a tranquil state; but we still venture to hope that the late excitements are but a temporary ebullition; and that, if wise and truly Christian measures are followed up for the benefit, temporal and spiritual, of that long unsettled portion of our beloved country, a brighter day will dawn upon it than has ever yet been witnessed in its annals of confusion and blood. The legislature and government, as well as British Christians in general, have much to do, and much to undo, for Ireland; and we trust another session of parliament will not pass over without an anxious attention to this important subject. The condition of the working classes in our own island also requires serious consideration; for though we fear that no legislative measures can wholly prevent those occasional fluctuations and depressions under which so many of the manufacturing, and other classes of our dense population, are at present suffering; yet much may be done, both morally and politically, by wise and timely measures, to make such transitions more equable; and above all, to render the great bulk of the population better prepared to meet and bear up against temporary vicissitudes.
In France a most sudden and complete change has taken place in the administration, which is placed under the premiership of prince Polignac, and consists of what are currently termed the ultra party. The public feeling is strongly against this new ministry; and the more so in contrast with the late cabinet which, by its opposition to Jesuitism, its encouragement to education, and its general course of liberal policy, had largely obtained the suffrages of the country. It is thought that a principal cause of the change is, the state of affairs in the East of Europe, and that the new government may be found
greatly to dilute, if not to reverse, the proceedings of their predecessors in favour of the rising liberties of Greece, and to espouse the cause of Turkey against Russia.
The state of affairs to which we have just alluded, has become increasingly perplexed and anomalous. In the first place, Russia is pressing on with her victorious armies towards Constantinople, having already passed the Balkan,and seeming likely to meet with no effectual check to her triumphant progress. Turkey, in the mean time, has continued resolute in yielding neither to the claims of Greece, nor the pretensions of Russia. England, with its present administration, is affording a feeble and almost discouraging assistance to Greece, in carrying into effect the resolutions of a former cabinet; while France, by its late change of ministers, is conjectured to have veered round to the supposed views of our own premier, which with those of a very large class of our countrymen are considered in favour of Turkey, as opposed to Russia; and not very unfavourable as opposed to Greece. The Greeks, in the mean time, refuse to accede to the propositions of their allied friends by dissolving their brotherhood, suspending hostilities, giving up posts in their possession beyond the line of diplomatic demarcation, and separating the Peloponnesus, and the neighbouring islands from continental Grecce. With respect to the questions between Russia and Turkey, we cannot see that they affect this country in any such manner as would justify our plunging, as many among us are urging, into a sanguinary warfare to preserve an alleged balance of power, and to succour Turkey, which has become highly popular in many quarters as "one of our oldest, best, and most valuable allies." But with respect to Greece, we have a very strong opinion both of the duty and the expediency of maintaining with honest zcal her cause; not by arms, for that is not necessary, but in such a way as fully to carry into effect the spirit of the resolutions agreed upon in her favour. No long time can elapse before we become acquainted with the result of the pending negociations on the subject.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
G. B.; Y. M.; ABIGAIL; H. S. C. H.; PHILANTHROPOS; V. J.; Y. Z.; E. M. ; X. X.; Y. M.; HARRIET; AN OBSERVER; A FRIEND TO THE WRETCHED; and C. L.; have been received, and are under consideration.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. We have only space in the present Number to remark, in reference to the appended papers, that the monthly Extracts of the
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY
contain much interesting miscellaneous intelligence; and that the Reporter of the ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY
contains a most valuable official paper on the Cultivation of Sugar by Free-labour, with many important facts relative to the state of Slavery in the Mauritius.
We postpone the Quarterly Extracts of the Reformation Society to our next Number, not having space at present to notice their contents.