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after the flesh, but after the spirit.""For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."-"The Lord is merciful." "I am brought to a state that nothing can give me comfort but what St. Paul saith: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.'" To one of his attendants he said, "Pray for repentance; Pray for pardon; Pray for grace; Pray for the Spirit; and the more you pray, the more you will see the need of prayer."-" We are poor, weak, sinful creatures; ministers as well as people."-" O that sin had been more hateful to me."-" Cast them all, O Lord, into the depth of the sea, let not one rise up in judgment against me."-"I have no hope but in the blood of Jesus."-"I do not despair."-When apparently suffering intense pain in his head, he gently laid his hands upon it, and said, "Uncomfortable, but the soul is all." To another: "Do you long after these joys? Glory! Glory! Heaven!" Again: "Pray for the Spirit; avoid two things in prayer and religious duties-hypocrisy and formality.
Aim at one thing-sincerity." endeavoured to live as I professed." To one who said to him, "Sir, for you to live is Christ, and to die is gain," he answered in a strong voice, "To die is gain: there will be a great change, a great change." His joy was evident at the return of the Sabbath. Early in the morning he said, "The Sabbath is begun;" and at night, he made various inquiries respecting his flock and the services of the day. Even in delirium, his language was scriptural, though unconnected. When speaking of his pain, he said, "I can say with the Psalmist, All my bones are out of joint;" but never did a murmur escape his lips. The extremity of pain was only indicated by a sigh, or a suppressed moan. When his eldest daughter came into the room, he said, "Now, my dear, you see the necessity of having God for your father: he never changes." He often prayed aloud fervently for his wife and children; and almost the last words he uttered were, "the salvation of her soul and that of her children." He then gently sunk into the sleep of death." Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.” J. S.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE proceedings in parliament have been highly interesting and important. We shall notice a few of the subjects of discussion.
The state of the country, with reference to the distress which exists in so many quarters, has caused long and earnest debates in both houses; and great efforts have been made to procure committees, to take the whole subject into consideration. Government have opposed this proposition, and parliament have supported them by large majorities; in the house of commons, after four nights' debate, by 255 to 87. We are inclined to think that, however unpopular this decision of the government and legislature, it is, on the whole, judicious; unless, which was not to be expected, those fetters which really repress the productive industry of the country had been proposed to be taken off. If it had been intended by the proposers of the inquiry, seriously to examine whether the manufacturer might not have new marts opened for his goods; whether starving workmen might not procure cheaper bread; whether numerous unproductive hands might not be easily employed; whether the industrious mechanic or labourer might not get better wages, or, what is the same thing, cheaper produce; if his condition were not, unknown to himself, deteriorated, and his industry ground down by the operation of the poor laws; whether the enormous population CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 339.
of Lancashire might not be rescued from much misery, if its looms were employed, and its glutted warehouses lightened, to procure cheap sugar and other colonial articles in return for its cottons, instead of procuring the same articles at an exorbitant price for gold, to enable the WestIndia interest to revel in luxury and perpetuate slavery; whether even the farmer and the agricultural labourer might not also be benefited by the same measures that benefited the great majority of their countrymen; some advantage might have resulted from the inquiry. But little of this kind was meant by the proposed investigation: the real object, divesting it of its technicalities about currency, and manufactures, and innumerable other points, which could not have been adequately grasped by any committee, or in one or more sessions of parliament;— the real object, besides a censure on the measures of government as being too "liberal," the real, nay the avowed, object was to ascertain whether the farmer might not be made to pay higher rents, and the public to eat dearer bread, to wear dearer clothes, and be deprived of the innumerable benefits they enjoy under the safeguard of a solid currency, and a system of wise and enlarged international communication. To say nothing then of the impossibility of a committee coming to any practical result on the interminable ques
tions involved in the proposed inquiry, can we wonder that government and parliament have declined agitating the country with the hopes and fears which the appointment of such committees would have occasioned? The duke of Richmond, who proposed the inquiry in the house of lords, has avowed that he wishes to get higher rents and to sell his wool dearer: whereas all other classes of persons wish just the contrary; the tradesman wishes for a cheap coat; the poor woman for a cheap blanket; the manufacturer for unrestricted wool, without which he cannot make and sell his goods either at home or abroad; and the farmer for a low rent, even accompanied with a correspondingly diminished profit. Parliament and government have declined interfering between the parties, leaving each to adjust its own arrangements to the actual state of things. For ourselves we should not have regretted the appointment of a fairly balanced intelligent committee; for whatever might be the object of the proposers, discussion ultimately elicits truth: besides which it would be soothing to those who are suffering under the pressure of the times, to know that their distresses have excited commiseration and inquiry, though no prompt effectual remedy should be discovered to relieve them. With regard to the currency question, it cannot be denied that partial inconvenience has blended with the immense benefits which have arisen from the return from visionary paper to solid money; for though variable prices have adjusted themselves to the new standard, yet fixed payments have become heavier, and fixed receipts more valuable, one party losing what the other gains; and it certainly so happens that the landed interest, what with taxes, mortgages, and settlements, are very generally on the losing side. But to return to a debased standard would be fraught with far greater evils than it is meant to avert. The arrangements under the old bank-note system are wearing out, many have already worn out; the arrange ments under the new coin are numerous and prospective; and would the landlord who has let his estates, or the clergyman who has compounded for his tithes, within the last few years, be satisfied to be paid in a fraudulent coin, for the sake of virtually paying a trifle less in taxes to the public annuitant, who probably himself purchased his stock under the new currency, and is only on a par with his neighbour. We feel quite assured that nothing but pure selfishness, and not an enlightened view of the public welfare, can induce any intelligent man to wish again to tamper with the currency.
A committee has been appointed to inquire into several particulars respecting Ireland, with reference chiefly to the condition of the poor. This inquiry is specific, and will, we trust, be productive of benefit. It will be so, if only it proves, as we doubt not it will, that the measure
so often proposed for the benefit of Ireland, a modified system of poor laws would be highly detrimental to the interests of all classes, and most of the poor themselves. Ministers have also yielded to the motion for an account of the dispensations in Ireland for clergymen to hold more than one living. No real evil, that we can see, and some good, may arise from the publicity given to the actual state of the ecclesiastical establishment both in England and Ireland; but we perceive a spirit at work hostile to its very existence, and ready to make every inquiry, however reasonable, a pretext for attacking not its abuses but its best services. The only effectual counteraction both to this underplotting, and to open hostility, is internal improvement. Mere acts of parliament will not avail much or avail long; but what shall counteract the unbought suffrages of an affectionate and grateful people, attached to the church as its best friend, the teacher of infancy, the guide of youth, the support of the wretched, the consoler of the dying, the friend of all? We do most firmly and conscientiously believe that our church in both islands is every year becoming practically, as well as in name, entitled to a larger measure of this praise; that a revival of pure and undefiled religion has taken place among its clergy, unequalled since the era of the Reformation; that their doctrines are increasingly more Scriptural and their lives more devoted to the duties of their high office and here is our sheet anchor, amidst all the hostility of an irreligious press, the apathy of a large portion of its professed members, and the secret or avowed opposition of too many of our most popular statesmen.
Mr. Greene has brought in a bill for the composition of tithes. Its object is to allow of commissioners being appointed by a bishop to value tithes, at the instance of the parties concerned, without the necessity of a private act of parliament for the purpose. As the commutation is proposed to be only for twenty-one years, and is not compulsory, but only where the parties concerned wish for it, we should hope the measure would be beneficial. It is not a slight blessing to a clergyman to be exempted from strife and care about tithes, to have his stipend paid regularly and in one sum at quarter day, and for his parish and himself to live in harmony so as to allow of the fullest effect from his pastoral labours.
Government have proposed a variety of improvements in the criminal code, and the administration of the courts of law. Among other points it is intended to restrict arrest for debt to the sum of 1007. and to abolish the penalty of death, in many cases of forgery. We think it might be safely, and ought to be, abolished in all.
Among the questions which have not been discussed, is that opprobrium of the country-slavery. We earnestly hope the
discussion will not be much longer postponed. The subject is most pressing: next to nothing has been done in seven long arduous years; in one respect, worse than nothing; for not only does the poor slave remain a slave still, but emancipation, the only adequate remedy, has been gradually frittered away into partial driblets of improvement. The friends of these unhappy outcasts are, however, fully alive to the enormity of the evil, as our readers will perceive by turning to the Anti-slavery Reporter appended to our present Number: they are using their best exertions; it is for the public to strengthen their efforts, by their zeal, their pecuniary assistance, and their prayers to Him who is the Friend of the friendless, and the avenger of the oppressed.
We can touch upon but one subject more, the exposition of the public finances for the year. The taxes upon beer, cider, and leather are to be remitted, the first amounting to three millions, the second to 350,000.; and the third, 25,000.Slight taxes are to be imposed upon ardent spirits, amounting to 330,000!., and stamps 110,000. The taxes remitted pressed heavily on the poorer classes and the agriculturalist. The trade in beer is to be thrown open; which many excellent persons think a perilous measure, and likely to increase the number of public houses, and the frequency of resort to them: but we rather trust that the effect will be the contrary; the wife will buy her husband's beer at the village shop, as she does any other commodity; and the improved quality and greater cheapness of the article, with the additional tax on spirits, will cause a more wholsome beverage to be substituted for liquid poison. The abandonment of the above duties being total, will save the expense of collecting, and set aside the burdensome restrictions con
nected with excise imposts. The four per cent.s are to be reduced to three and a half, certain for ten years; or if the party prefers it, he may have 70%. of five per cent. stock for his 100 of four, certain for forty-three years. The interest for ten years is in both cases the same; the chance of reduction after that period being made equivalent to the above sacrifice of capital.
Mr. R. Grant is bringing forward a bill for relieving the Jews from civil disabilities; and lord Bexley has advocated it in the house of lords. The measure, we think, would be right on its own grounds; but it is only an act of justice after the relief given to other classes of persons, especially as the abolition of the test and corporation acts, and with them the annual indemnity, has placed the Jews in a position worse than formerly.
FRANCE. The chambers opened this month. The king informs them of the extinction of the war in the East, the choice of a suitable prince for Greece, his efforts in concert with his allies to reconcile Don Pedro and his brother; and the suspension of the alleged intended attack upon Algiers. The chamber of deputies voted in reply so refractory an address, in consequence of their hostility to the present ministers, that the king has prorogued them till September. He declares his intention to support his ministers to be unchangeable. Whatever may be the projects of the present ministry they have as yet done nothing that could fairly lay them open to the censure of the legislature; and it would, therefore, perhaps have been a wiser and more temperate course for the chamber to have waited till it was seen what were their plans, before so decided a measure was taken as that of voting a hostile reply to the speech.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
SPES; J. H.; A FRIEND TO MISSIONS; A CONSTANT READER; O. M.; C.; 2.; S. N.; D. M. P.; EDINENSIS G.; J. S.; H. S. C. H.; J. H. R. B.; THEOGNIS; A DISCIPLE OF THE OLD SCHOOL; and AMERICANUS; are under consideration. Our correspondents propose a variety of names for the intended building for the charitable societies; some of which are not appropriate, and others have an air of affectation. Why not adopt a short English name, such as Society Hall; or rather we should recommend the specific designation of Wilberforce Hall, as a memorial of one of the earliest and warmest friends of all our religious and charitable societies, and whose name will be also a memorial to posterity of the truly Catholic and Christian objects to which the intended edifice is to be devoted. We fear that were we to animadvert ever so convincingly upon the disorderly scenes which THEOGNIS mentions, whether in Wales or America, we should not effect his object, as Ranters and Jumpers are not likely to read our pages. We, however, quite agree with him that dancing, screaming, and tearing caps and shawls, are no signs of "a revival of religion;" but it should be remembered that no respectable minister of any authenticated denomination encourages these excesses. Mr. Latrobe's statement respecting the Moravian Misssions, in reply to Z. in our January Number, shall appear.
The paper on Baptism in our last Number, on which H. G. animadverts, was inserted in justice to a writer who complained that his communion had been misrepresented in our pages. Our insertion of a paper is never intended as a pledge that we concur in the opinions of the writer. We are willing to open our pages for tem
perate and useful discussion on important topics, which would be utterly precluded if we never admitted any paper that did not favour our own views. The discrepancy which W. G. points out, is not our's, but Paley's. That author at one time strongly maintained that such expressions as being converted, born of the Spirit, and being made new creatures, have no application to persons under the present circumstances of Christianity; "they mean nothing,-nothing that is to us.' It was this statement which we animadverted upon in our Review of the Bishop of Chester's Charge. Paley, however, altered his sentiments much for the better before his death; for we find him, in one of his posthumous sermons, saying; "The persons in our congregations to whom we must preach conversion plainly and directly are those who with the name of Christians have passed their lives without any internal religion....These persons are really in as unconverted a state as any Jew or Gentile could be in our Saviour's time. No person in the situation above described can be saved without undergoing conversion." This was the statement we wished to enforce; the statement, also, we conceive, of the Right Reverend Prelate whose Charge we were reviewing; and if any of our clergy still adhere to Paley's earlier dictum, we beg leave to refer them to Paley better informed.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
LET infidels rail at the Bible Society, let some among ourselves, South of the Tweed, look at it with coldness, and some others on the North assail it in a spirit which has lost none of its vehemence by the lack of new matter to work upon, still it has been incomparably the most important and successful instrument ever devised for diffusing throughout the world the knowledge of God's holy word. Whether we look at home, and from one of the lofty altitudes of our island, as we survey the unnumbered village spires around us, reflect that in the cottages and schools, and pauper pews of the remotest of those little hamlets, are to be found Bibles with its impress; or whether we stand on our sea-girt shores and remember that the returning wave that beats upon them is richly freighted with this treasure of life for the welfare of foreign and distant lands, so that wherever the British name is known, the Bibles of this institution are known and valued also; we admire, we love, we cherish this agent of mercy to mankind. Its operations, both British and Foreign, were beyond measure needed, and with gratitude and affection have they been received. Our readers will see proofs of both these facts in the appended paper. We especially refer them to two brief communications from Greece, as peculiarly interesting at this moment.
Every man who values the honour of his country, or the welfare of his fellow-creatures, will mourn over the afflicting picture of blighted hopes presented in this Report, to which we have already alluded in our View of Public Affairs. It is not, however, a subject for despair, but for renewed, increased, and persevering exertion. Government, nay, parliament itself, are bound round with the withs of bondage to the powerful West-India interest: it is for their countrymen, who are under no such shackles, to burst them as a thread of tow, which they may do the moment they heartily and unanimously set about it.
We regret to learn that this excellent institution is now in debt to its Treasurer no less than eight hundred and seventy pounds. The appended statement will shew how well it deserves the zealous efforts of the friends of scriptural education in Ireland to relieve it from its embarrassments, and to enable it to extend its important operations. REFORMATION SOCIETY.
The Reformation Society's interesting Quarterly Extracts annexed to our last Number were not in time to be noticed in the body of the work: we have therefore given the heading in our present Number, that they may not be overlooked either by the reader or in binding up the appended papers. Ever since the revival of the obnoxious order of the Jesuits, and connected in no small measure with that revival, and with the political arrangements on the continent at the peace, the Church of Rome has been increasing its efforts to make converts from Protestantism; and not the least of its artifices has been to file down some of its asperities, so as to make it look more smooth to a Protestant eye. Accounts have been sent us of sermons preached in different parts of the kingdom, most unscriptural in doctrine, yet so guardedly arranged to the taste of nominal Protestantism, that many nominal Protestants could not discern the difference. Let spiritually-minded Protestants be aware of this; and not consent to meet Popery half-way, assured that if they do, all the concession will be really on their own side.
ERRATA.-Page 131, col. 1, line 18, for Jer. read Lev.; and line 7 from bottom, for ages read eyes. Page 138, col. 2, line 22 from bottom, after terminated read at.
For the Christian Observer.
RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE LATE EMPEROR ALEXANDER.
THE HE thermometer of public opinion in this country has ranged so variously respecting the religious character and objects of the late Emperor Alexander of Russia, that our readers will not be uninterested in some remarkable details which have been lately communicated to the world on this subject, by M. Empeytaz of Geneva, and which afford authentic materials to the biographer and historian in discussing the conduct and policy of one who acted so distinguished a part in the recent remarkable events of Europe. Other materials also are in existence, which we trust will be rescued from that oblivion in which every subject connected with religion is too apt to fall, if left to the apathy of secular memorialists. We might mention, in particular, the confidential interviews of the Emperor with some of our own countrymen engaged in religious and benevolent objects; among others, the Rev. Lewis Way, who a few years since greatly gladdened the hearts of all who were anxious for the promotion of the Gospel of Christ, by the allusions which he made to the subject at some of the public meetings. The minutes of those interviews ought, now that
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the illustrious subject of them is beyond the reach of human applause or censure, to be given to the world; and we shall be most happy to receive a copy of them for publication.
Without embarrassing ourselves, for the present, with a discussion. of the causes of the Emperor's subsequent conduct in the matter of the Bible Society, which, with the perversion of the objects of the holy alliance, and some other circumstances, threw a shade around his later days-a shade which a full knowledge of all the particulars, we think, would tend greatly to disperse-we cannot for a moment doubt of his sincerity and devout feeling, in those measures which had previously gained for him the approbation of every religious mind. To recapitulate all the details, would carry us beyond our present object; we will only refresh the memory of our readers with a few particulars.
We may refer, in the first place, to his imperial ukase issued from the head quarters of the army at Carlsrhue Dec. 6, 1813, enjoining a solemn public thanksgiving to God, "on bended knees, and with tears of the warmest gratitude," "who hath drawn us out of the great deep, and placed us on the pinnacle of glory." This remarkable document, which is said to have been penned by the Emperor himself, disclaims all participation in this "glory;"