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tion in its religious or ecclesiastical bearing, but only as a matter of ordinary justice. If a Quaker rent or purchase a piece of land subject to tithe, and do not intend to pay tithe, ought he not, in conscience, to give the owner the full value of the purchase as if free of tithe, and not to make his religion a means of getting the possession at less than its value, unless the clergyman should enforce his right by law, which cannot but be painful to him? Have there not been instances in which the clergyman, not choosing to contest the matter, a Quaker has for years enjoyed property for a less consideration than others would have given for it; not having paid what he knew when he bought it to be a regular part of its outgoings?
Few men, I believe, are more honourably distinguished by probity than the Society of Friends; and I by no means impute to them any wish to play tricks with their consciences. But I confess it has always seemed to me a fair principle, that though they could not pay tithes as an ecclesiastical due, they might and ought to pay them as, what in fact they are, a reserved portion of rent, which they cannot withold without making merchandise of a religious scruple.
A FRIEND TO FRIENDS.
GOOD HUMOUR NOT A CHRISTIAN GRACE.
Tothe Editor ofthe Christian Observer.
I FULLY Concur with your ingenious correspondent T. B., in the spirit of his paper in your last Number; but I doubt whether he is justified in defining good humour as "not merely an ornament but a necessary Christian grace." That the servant of Christ should endeavour to cultivate habitual sweetness of temper, and the blessed virtues of patience, forbearance, and love, is quite clear; but mere "good humour" is very
much a matter of bodily temperament; or it is a prompt and unstudied habit of mind; but by no means bears any necessary ratio to the state of the moral or religious character. There is, I conceive, far more Christianity, more selfgovernment, more active religious virtue, in England than in France; but the French far outshine us in good humour. Some of the most lax and irreligious persons have been remarkable for good humour; while others, who earnestly strove to attain every "Christian grace," and evinced peculiar self-denial and control over their tempers, could by no means be called good humoured. I have sometimes even thought whether what is currently considered good humour, so far from being always a Christian grace, is not sometimes a proof of want of moral susceptibility; as most certainly it often is of a good digestion and equable nerves. The man who passes at a club as the most good-humoured member is he who receives all persons of whatever character alike; who never looks grave at hearing an oath, or refuses to join in a merry falsehood, or is at a loss for fair words, or reproves sin in his neighbour. This animal good humour is very much the result of a man's feeling physically comfortable; and is, therefore, neither a Christian grace nor even a "semi virtue." I have not found that persons remarkable for this habit are always the most just, or generous, or charitable; but often quite the contrary. Some of the greatest cheats, and moral vagabonds, have been persons who have been celebrated for their good humour; "kind-hearted fellows," and meaning harm to nobody. The word "humour" refers to what the old writers who first employed it called "the four kinds of moisture (humor) in man's body,-phlegm, blood, choler, and melancholy;" and with the epithet "good," was meant to indicate only a happy constitutional temperament, not a spiritual grace.
I would not, by the above remarks, disparage the value of good humour; I only mean to exclude it from that place in the catalogue of graces wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, which T. B. claims for it. He cannot, I think, discover any text that inculcates "good humour;" but there are many which inculcate what is far better; namely, those spiritual virtues which flow from Christian principle, and which, therefore, will last when mere animal spirits fail, and weakness, disappointment, and provocation have done their worst to sour the disposition. The Christian may not always have it in his power to be good humoured: he may be often cast down in mind or body, or both; but he may attain what is far better, a meek and contented spirit; a guard over his passions, and absence of selfishness; a constant wish to minister to the happiness of others; a forbearance, self-denial, and Christian love; I might even say a cheerfulness, which where the temper was not naturally sweet will tend to sweeten it; which will be most conspicuous in seasons of lassitude and trial; and which will bear a resemblance to Him who was our infallible Pattern, but to whom it would be highly improper and irreverent to apply the epithet "good humoured;" a sufficient proof that good-humour is not, as T. B. contends, "a necessary Christian grace." Dr. Johnson mentions Shakspeare's profligate Falstaff as the very prototype of good-humour; so that it seems good-humour is not always entitled even to the lower praise of a semi virtue. A good humoured person is sometimes defined to be "a person with whom every body always finds himself at ease;" but a man who is truly conscientious, who cannot smile at what is sinful, or use words which he does not mean, will not easily earn this character. The wish to be pleased will be often restrained by the feeling that he ought not to be so; and he may seem cool when he is only serious.
So much for counter criticism upon T. B.'s critique; which I doubt not he will receive with the same "good humour" with which it is offered. We differ only as to the use of the term; but fully agree that the Christian should aspire after the image of Christ, and not lay to the account of his nerves what results from the imperfection of his spiritual graces.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
I OBSERVE in the Report of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge for 1829 a plan laid down for the revision of the Society's publications, and the addition of such new tracts as may be considered expedient. I should be grieved to impede this desirable object by any unnecessary objection; but I beg leave to notice the very first volume which appears on the supplemental list,-namely, an Abridgment of De Foe on the Plague in London, with Evelyn on the Great Fire. I am not one of those severe censors who would altogether exclude fictitious narrative from the Society's Supplemental Catalogue; though, considering the Society's dignified and religious character, I could have dispensed with Robinson Crusoe and some others. principle, I think, ought to be clearly adhered to,-namely, not to confound fact and fiction, so that the reader does not know which of the two he is perusing. The volume just mentioned errs in this respect; for it contains De Foe's fictitious account of the Great Plague, with Evelyn's sober History of the Great Fire. Robinson Crusoe deceives no one; but De Foe expressly intended his account of the plague to deceive, and to be taken for truth, just as he I did his invention of Mrs. Veal's
ghost, which he drew up to puff off Drelincourt on Death, to benefit a bookseller who had published that work, but found no sale for it till De Foe's ghost story pushed it into notoriety. De Foe's ability in making fiction pass for truth was never perhaps equalled: one of his fabulous histories deceived even Lord Chatham; and his ironical "Short Way with the Dissenters," was actually thought, both by the Sachaverel party and the Dissenters, to be a genuine Church-and-Tory work, and as such cost him the pillory and imprisonment. But a religious society ought not to encourage literary frauds, or allow its readers to sup full of horrors on a tale, not one page of which--though founded on truth, as is Crusoe-is veracious history. I have not seen the Society's volume, and will therefore assume that the editor of the Society's abridgment has apprized the unsuspecting reader that he is to believe Evelyn and to disbelieve De Foe; the one writing from facts, the other from his imagination: but even were this so, the juxta position of the two, without a hint of the matter in the title-page, is an inadvertence which ought to be noticed and remedied.
AN OLD MEMBER.
ON THE PROPRIETY OF ANTI-PAPAL
tural faith, and prepare them to
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. ing, "Our speakers, or our minister,
I ZEALOUSLY concur with Lieut. Rhind, in your last Number, as to the duty of earnestly opposing the inroads of Popery; but I doubt the propriety of preaching courses of controversial lectures against it, except in places where there are many Papists, and the differences between the two churches is a subject of public discussion. In other cases, it seems to me far better that the clergy should, without controversy, build up their flocks in the scrip
argued well; but I was not aware that so much could be said on the other side." I will not say that the Reformation Society itself, while it has strengthened many Protestants, and been the means of shaking some Papists, may thus have indirectly tended to the increase of Popery; but I am quite sure that the publicity given to Popery, by the controversies on the Catholic question has done so; just as the notoriety given to infidelity by the prosecutions against Hone and Carlile
made many infidels. Silent refutation is in most cases the most effectual instrument for putting down error or heresy. In Ireland, where the great majority are Papists, public controversy may draw off their numbers; but in Great Britain, where the great majority are Protestants, the very same measure will only tend to bring them into notice, and thus increase their numbers. A society formed to put down Swedenborgianism-such is the perversity of the human mind-would inevitably promote its extension. In the town of — there may be thirty or forty Roman Catholics, little known or talked about; the result, I fear, of preaching a course of anti-papal lectures there, and holding a Reformation Society
meeting, would be to bring them into notice; to cause the erection of a Catholic chapel, and to draw off hundreds to their communion.
I am sure that your respected correspondent and the other friends of the Reformation Society, whose great object, the subversion of Popery, I most cordially approve, will receive my remarks in that Christian spirit in which it is my wish at least, and prayer, that they should be penned. I should rejoice to find that my apprehensions are groundless; for no terms that I could employ would be too strong to express my opinion of the irrational, unscriptural, and baneful character of the Papal system.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. The Evidences of Christianity stated in a Popular Manner, in a Course of Lectures delivered in the Parish Church of St. Mary, Islington. By the Rev. DANIEL WILSON, M.A., Vicar. In 2 vols. (Vol. II. the Internal Evidences.) London. 1830. 12s.
2. A Brief Survey of the Evidence and Nature of the Christian Religion, in Seventeen Sermons, preached in Hampstead Chapel. By the Rev. E. G. MARSH, M.A. One vol. 8vo. 9s. London. 1829. 3. The Divine Origin of Christianity deduced from Evidences not founded on the Authenticity of Scripture. By JOHN SHEPPARD. Two vols. 12mo. 14s. London.
4. A Vindication of the Christian Faith; addressed to those who, believing in God, yet hesitate to believe in Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. By the Rev. J. INGLIS, D. D., of Greyfriars' Church, Edinburgh. One vol. 8vo. 10s. 6d. Edinburgh, 1830.
A Brief Outline of the Evidences of the Christian Religion. By the Rev. A. ALEXANDER, D.D. Professor of Theology in the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. One vol. 2s. 6d. Reprinted, Edinburgh. 1830.
THE evidences of Christianity, though of the highest moment, are so familiar to theological students, that we do not think it necessary to bring before our readers all the publications which are issued most prolifically upon the subject, especially as most of them profess to be only a popular digest of old matter, furbished anew to meet local exigencies. We have, however, two reasons for recurring to the topic in the following pages: first, because the works just announced contain many interesting, and some original, notices; and secondly, because the public attention is at this moment particularly directed to the subject, of the zealous efforts in consequence
which are being made to diffuse the baneful principles of infidelity in every quarter of the land, and more especially among the poor and uninstructed classes of society. While we are writing, a public meeting has been held of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, at which facts were stated by several members, especially by the Bishop of London, which thrilled the meeting with horror. Never in the annals of this nation, or perhaps of any other professing Christianity, has infidelity -not in its more insidious but in its most profligate, impious, and demoralizing forms-made such open and laborious efforts to seduce the populace. Infidel lectures are instituted in London, infidel debating societies are established, infidel rent is collected; and by mixing up infidelity, as well it deserves, with radicalism, licentiousness, and every other evil work, it is attempted to render it palateable to the tastes of ignorant and uneducated persons, who are little conversant with proofs and arguments, but can be easily taught to rail at kings, magistrates, and priests, and to connect "the rights of man" with spoliation, rebellion, and the rupture of the most sacred ties. We fear that the rich, that our government and legislature, and influential persons of all classes, have to blame themselves for no slight portion of the evil, from having so lamentably neglected the means of prevention; for the want of churches, and schools, and pastoral superintendence adequate to the necessities of our much-increased population. But, not to look back in vain regrets upon the past, it behoves us at length to arise and meet the evil. We are glad to see the venerable Society just mentioned endeavouring to do its part, by a large pecuniary donation for the circulation of antiinfidel tracts and books, but still more by exhorting its members, lay and clerical, throughout the country, to take up the subject in earnest, and at least to provide that if any of their neighbours, especially among
the poor, become tainted with the poison of infidelity, it shall not be for want of suitable antidotes, or of affectionate and powerful remonstrance. May the blessing of God abundantly crown the exertions of the Society, particularly of the right reverend prelates, who have shewn themselves much interested in the subject; among whom we must especially mention his Grace of Canterbury, who took the chair on the occasion, and the Bishop of London, to whose vigilance and unremitting anxiety for the benefit of his diocese we are principally indebted for the zeal which has been exhibited on the occasion. The language of Christians of every name, in times like these, should be, without party or prejudice, "Who will come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty?"-mighty in the carnal weapons of this world's warfare, but in solid reason as impotent as their efforts are profane and demoralizing.
We now proceed to the publications before us. It was our purpose merely to have completed at some length our review of Mr. Wilson's work; the former volume of which we reviewed last year (p. 613); but as the subject is at this moment of peculiar interest, we shall embrace the occasion to add three or four other recent works, regretting that our notice of them will be too brief for their merits, but thinking even a brief notice better than delaying our recommendation, or returning to the topic.
Mr. Wilson's former volume comprised the external proofs; the present relates to the evidence for the truth of Christianity from the Divine character stamped on the pages of the sacred books themselves. Mr. Wilson doubtless found the subject congenial to his taste: it falls within the line of the professional duties of the Christian minister: it constitutes much of the matter of his private meditations and daily devotions, and is identified with his present enjoyments and future hopes; and in the