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pressed, as a mutual curse, on the people of the United States and this country. Be this our only contest; which country, in proportion to her means, shall bring most glory to the Saviour by invading the em pire of Satan, and by delivering, through Divine grace, its deluded subjects into the glorious, the eternal, liberty" of the sons of God." Such a contest will be worthy of the Christian name; and will prove, not only a bond of union in this lower world, but also a preparation for the eternal occupations of the upper.
"Striving, each in rapture lost,
Which shall laud the Saviour most!"
SACRED AND PROFANE EPITHETS.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
your notice of Mr. Milman's History of the Jews, and your remarks on the Neological system, you have justly animadverted upon the injurious practice of using in matters of biblical narrative, terms of ordinary secular appropriation, instead of those which custom has connected with the inspired text. Words are indeed innocent in themselves; and there is no more harm abstractedly in calling Abraham a sheik or an emir than a patriarch; but when they may become appropriated, they carry with them secondary ideas, and their transposition conveys wrong impressions. If long custom had naturalized among us, the term Mufti or Bramin for a priest, we might use it without injury; but at present, to speak of Aaron, as the Jewish Mufti, or the high-Bramin, would excite only ludicrous ideas, and could not be employed except for the purpose of profane levity. Equally irreverent, as you have justly remarked, are some of the applications of terms used by Mr. Milman and other recent writers * *;
from the circumstance that they are not the accredited words ordinarily employed on such occasions; but terms associated with far other sentiments and allusions. Even a term in itself proper and respectful, may become by association improper and disrespectful; as the word parson-the "person of the parish,"-an English clergyman's highest legal appellation, is now seldom used in ordinary conversation, except in playfulness or contempt.
But there is also a counterpart equally insidious and injurious; namely, that of desecrating terms currently appropriated to sacred subjects, by applying them to matters of profane narrative. In either case, an evil association is formed among things which ought to be kept apart. I might adduce numerous illustrations from modern books. I turn, for instance, to the
ally intruding into Dr. Lardner's highly pædia, where it should have been the more valuable, and in general guarded, Cyclocarefully avoided after the beacon of Mr. Milman's work in Murray's "Family Library." Thus the cyclopædist writes:
when the sacerdotal caste in Babylonia had -“ At a very remote period of antiquity, begun to spread idolatry even among the nomadic tribes of the land, a man named Abraham, distinguished by wealth, wisdom, and probity, in obedience to the commands of the Deity, quitted the land of his fathers, and journeyed with his family and his herds towards the land of Canaan. His faith in the only God, and his obedience to his will, were here rewarded by and grandson continued the same nomadic increasing wealth and numbers. His son life in Palestine which Abraham and his fathers had led. By a surprising turn of fortune, one of the sons of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, became vizier to the king of Egypt." This style is very painful to a devout mind. Joseph, Pharaoh's vizier! the sacerdotal caste! a turn of fortune! a man named Abraham, as if we nomadic life, instead of the words endeared to us by hallowed associations, "pilgrims and strangers upon earth." How wretchedly would a translation of the Bible sound constructed upon this principle of word, if as expressive as another, is as modernization! It may be replied, that one good; but words are practically speaking things, and association gives them their force and colour.
had never heard of him before; and a
Life of Mahomet, in the Library of Useful Knowledge; where I find such language as this: "Before the appearance of Mahomet, the Christian sects spread their religion over the greatest part of Arabia; the tolerant spirit of the Arabian religion allowed them unmolested to erect places of worship." The Arabian religion! or as it is further called, "the national worship!" to describe the most debasing Paganism! The author goes on to speak of the ideas of "the savage respecting "the Godhead," and "heaven," and "the scheme of Divine government;" as if any savage, or even classic heathen, ever thought at all of what is implied by these terms as used by Christians. Mahomet is "the prophet," without the epithet false; and he dictated "sacred writings" and "revelations of the Divine will;" and he had "pious adherents;" and his mind was "turn ed towards religious meditation;" and he professed to be commanded by "God Almighty ;" and he "threatened the deaf and unbelieving with the terrible vengeance of the Lord;" he is "the apostle," and "the pastor of his flock;" he promises in "the name of the Most High;" he regularly "performed the service of his church, and preached to his people," and taught them to aspire to "everlasting life;" and he was succeeded by a race of "interested clergy," and some of his own followers on one occasion "murmured and asserted that the will of the Lord had not been revealed to him;" on which "the prophet threw the blame upon the sins of the people, and the anger of the Lord, he said, had fallen upon them; the Lord had determined to try who were the true believers, and who the faithless." Now, disbelieving the pretensions of Mahomet, the writer could not gravely apply to him these expressions consecrated in our vernacular usage to the one true God, and the ideas connected with his inspired word, without either wilfully or
heedlessly disparaging what is holy, by profane and debasing application. I must say that in this instance I fear the offence is wilful; for I think it impossible to read the whole article without viewing it as a latent sneer, both upon Judaism and Christianity, and built upon the unavowed but easily detected hypothesis, that the Bible has as little claim to the character of a Divine revelation as the Koran. The offence is double, as the society intend their publications for popular circulation, to promote "useful knowledge," not irreligious scepticism. I know not who is the writer; and I will retract my censure, if either he himself, or some friend for him, will solemnly assert that he is a man who really believes the Old Testament to be a Divine revelation, or that "holy men of old spake as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost." Perhaps he will only reply with Sir Francis Burdett, when charged with disparaging some particular religious body, that, so far from it, he admired all kinds of religious persuasions. He was à fortiori a good Protestant and churchman, because he was good at all religions!
I know not whether of these two habits of writing is the more injurious; desecrating terms usually connected with sacred allusions, or affixing to sacred things terms which debase them by secular or ludicrous associations. Both imply irreverent or sceptical feelings; and both are to be carefully guarded against by all who are jealous for the honour of God, and the sanctity of his holy word.
ON THE CO-OPERATION OF BAD MEN IN GOOD CAUSES.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
I COULD earnestly wish to see discussed in your pages, to which I have often referred with satisfaction for information and instruction on
topics of practical application, what is the proper line of Christian duty as regards co-operating in good causes with persons whom we can not in many respects approve of. Am I to give up the positive good, on account of some contingent evil? or am I to unite with bad men in a good cause, rather than the good cause should be neglected? It is a question which I find of everyday application, and requiring serious consideration for the practical guidance of life.
For example, if in a late question the promoters of "Protestant ascendancy," in my particular neighbourhood, happened to be rather political partizans than such persons as I could have wished, and who chose for the champion of our petition a royal duke, whom I for one thought not the fittest person to entrust with the advocacy of a religious question; ought I to have shewn my sense of what I considered a desecration of our cause, by withdrawing from the committee, lest I should lessen my own influence in other quarters, by acting with persons who knew little of Protestantism but its pecuniary advantages, and that it was a thing to quarrel about and toast by? Again, if our clergyman opposes the Bible Society, and a Socinian neighbour of mine patronizes it, am I to withdraw, lest, in doing a good work, I should be thought, however unjustly, to countenance an abettor of heretical doctrine? Again, if our squire, and several other of the self-styled church-andking club in our parish, continue to uphold colonial slavery, ought I to refuse to take a part in an antislavery association, lest by coming in contact with a Quaker, a Methodist, and, above all, a gentleman of some wealth and influence among us, who is, I fear, inclined to Whiggism (though on the slavery question he speaks very justly, so. berly, and like a Christian), I should be thought-however absurdly to hold my ecclesiastical
and political attachments in disesteem?
I might mention various other practical cases; but these may be sufficient to present the question before your correspondents for solution. My own feeling, I should say, has been, that it is my duty to promote what is right, whether those who ought to help me will do so or not; and that any possible evil consequences which may arise are to be attributed not to me, but to those who ought to have upheld a good cause, but who kept aloof from it. It is said, that the Independent minister in our parish has gained influence by means of the Bible Society; for that before some of us churchmen, who had a few score acres in the place, met him in a committee, he was "accounted nobody." But if our rector and curate, and all the titled and wealthy persons in our vicinity, had done their duty, he would be accounted nobody still; not by means of a persecuting and illiberal spirit, but by being outshone and eclipsed by their overpowering influence and opportunities of doing good. The question does not apply to one society only; for when a plan was devised for an association among us, in aid of the Societies for promoting Christian Knowledge and propagating the Gospel, two or three Methodists very candidly sent us contributions; and if we could lawfully accept them in this instance, why not in the others? I shall be much obliged to any of your readers to advise me on the subject.
A RUSTIC GENTLEMAN.
UTILITY OF ANTI-PAPAL LEC
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
I AM anxious respectfully to call the attention of your numerous readers to a subject of great importance: I mean, the general esta.
blishment of periodical lectures on the peculiar dogmas of the Church of Rome; not going to Protestant authors for the indictment against that awful apostasy, but bringing charge by charge out of their own accredited councils, or books in general use, which, not being forbidden, are the same as if commanded when occurring in a church which exercises an unlimited authority over the consciences of its votaries, at the same time undertaking to prescribe what they shall read. Liverpool, Preston, Blackburn, and Norwich, have already commenced these lectures; and next month, I trust, Birmingham will follow. Added to these, there are two points of occupation which appear to me, at the present time, most interesting: I mean, Wolverhampton and Walsall; the former the seat of the pope's chief vicar in England, and the latter a town where the increase of Popery has gone on to so fearful an extent that there is now an elegant chapel, capable of holding nearly two thousand persons, whereas but a few years ago there were only two Roman Catholics in the town. The Rev. Wm. Dalton and the Rev. Mr. Marsh have engaged to preach sixteen lectures; eight at Wolverhampton, and eight at Walsall: they were to commence at the latter end of November, and to be continued till Christmas. May God grant that many a Roman Catholic, instead of adoring the wood of the cross on that day, may worship Him who hung thereon. I am aware that I shall be told it is only the Prototype they worship, and not the senseless wood; but it would appear something else to the poor uneducated Roman-Catholic, when he sees the priest with all devotedness, uncover the cross and say, "Behold the wood of the cross, on which hangs the salvation of the world; come let us adore." And if the Israelites worshipping the calves, and doubtless they looked to the Prototype, was counted a sin, so is the honouring with religious veneration
the pictures, images, crucifixes, and wafers of the apostate Church of Rome; that "mystery of iniquity," against which it is the duty of the true Christian to protest, and to say, "Come out of her, that ye be not partakers of her plagues."
The Committee of the British Reformation Society are very anxous to further the establishment of such lectures throughout the kingdom: and I am persuaded, that if they become general, Popery could not stand against them: indeed, she never has been able to come to the light; for her deeds of darkness have been transacted either by eclipsing God's word, or prohibiting its free circulation: or, where she is found in Protestant countries, she has so decked and painted herself that, to the unobserving eye, she has sometimes seemed an angel of light. But no: she is the same as she was centuries since; when her cruel armies, blessed by the pope, were glutted with the blood of the Albigenses: and, as she has blasphemously arrayed herself with the attribute of infallibility, which is proper only to God, it binds around her, without the possibility of improvement, all her abominations, however anxious she may be to divest herself of them, or to cover them over with the flimsy veil of an accommodated ritual.
W. G. RHIND.
GOOD HUMOUR A CHRISTIAN GRACE.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
As a Christian Observer, you perform a useful but thankless office, in occasionally animadverting on the errors of others: permit me, then, freely to express my opinion on a phrase coined by yourself. I will not characterise it as erroneous, but as unguarded. It may be thought to imply what I am sure you will be most anxious to disclaim.
In your notice of Miss Fry's Listener, you call good humour a "semi-virtue." Let us endeavour to affix an exact meaning to this term. You do not, I trust, recognise any moral quality as a virtue which the comprehensive Christian law of love does not require to be engrafted in our hearts, and habitually exemplified in our conduct. What then are we to understand by a "semi-virtue"? The phrase may be used analogically; it may mean what bears such a relation to our bodily well-being, as virtue bears to our soul's health. Thus, cleanliness may be denominated a semi-virtue; for bodily purity is analogous to purity of spirit. Perhaps we may go farther, and designate as semivirtues those qualities of the understanding which tend to promote our respectability and usefulness; such as order, accuracy, and the like. It is not promised that the converting energy of the Holy Spirit shall change a confused apprehensiveness into a clear and distinct intellect. The most puzzle-headed man may go to heaven. Still, since the understanding is as susceptible of education as the heart, it is our duty to improve it: yet, as our advancement in intellectual acquirements is not directly and necessarily a part of Christian holiness, I do not object to the classification of such matters under the title of semi-virtues. But, dismissing these topics as irrelevant, we arrive at the weighty question, Whether good humour is a necessary and essential part of Christian holiness. If it be, we must not class it among the semi-virtues.
On perusing Miss Fry's lively sketches, I observe that all these delinquents against good humour are described as overflowing with genuine Christian love. Allow this to be the fact-allow it to be a faithful portrait of their heartsand I am silenced. But though the Listener may draw from real life, still it must not be overlooked, that her determinations are but the judg
ments of charity. She hopes that all these ill-humoured persons love as their own souls the friends whom they are perpetually tormenting: she has seen them, in rare and important instances, exerting the principle of self-denial and selfdevotion; and, with an amiable facility, she jumps to her benevolent conclusion, shutting her eyes to the important axioms, that Christianity is the religion of daily, common life, not of grand, occasional efforts: and that Christian habits are formed, like all other, only by perpetuallyrecurring acts. The Listener's decision, indeed, is praise-worthy, so long as it is limited to the charitable hope that, in spite of appearances, they are still in a state of salvation; but if she proceed to determine that such heroic acts of self-denial or self-devotion will overbalance, in the scale of Almighty and Everduring Judgment, other offences against Christian duty, she oversteps the province of man, and, by giving publicity to her sentiments, may injure the cause which it is undoubtedly her great desire to promote.
I maintain broadly, that the characters she brings forward are essen. tially and systematically defective in the plain indispensable duties of a Christian. I maintain, that people who, from morning till night, are plaguing each other are not born again of the Spirit, in the most exalted, the saving sense of the words, notwithstanding their other specious pretences. For if they were in this regenerate state, they would assuredly produce the fruits of the Spirit and what trace is there, in her vivid pictures, of peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and temperance?" (Gal. v. 22, 23.) Faith, it is true, is there also enumerated among the fruits of the Spirit; but what is faith without the rest of them? — the shame and sorrow of the pious, the ridicule or the stumbling-block of the ungodly. What, in the balances of Heaven, will be the