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ings of that country is not the cause, but only a symptom of the state of public feeling. The mask is now torn off; but was there more religion while it was worn? or is there more religion in some other places where it is worn still? France is now seen as she is; and the knowledge thus protruded, mournful as it is, will, we trust, lead all who in that land of religious ignorance and infidelity love and value the law of God, to exert themselves more strenuously than ever for the spiritual welfare of their countrymen. The scriptural education of the rising generation is the first great duty, otherwise in a few years even what now remains of Chris tianity will be well-nigh banished. We have no words to express how great is our sense of the obligations which at this moment lie upon all who direct public opinion in France, and especially on those, for such there are, who sigh and cry for the abominations of the land. Nor, let us add, is it less the duty of British Christians to refrain from those harsh anathemas and vindictive predictions which some among us are pouring forth, as if the Almighty had made them his special messengers to utter his wrath upon those whom they are pleased to consider as a forsaken and devoted people. Whatever are the impieties of France, they will not be lessened by a course like this.
The successful issue of the French revolution immediately excited throughout Europe that ferment to which we adverted in our last Number. The expatriated Spanish constitutionalists have been concentrating their efforts for the revivification of a representative government and free institutions in their native country. In Portugal, Don Miguel is more than ever unpopular, and, amongst his other outrages, had authorised several British vessels to be detained for alleged violations of the blockade of Terceira, till restored on the vivid representation of the displeasure of this country.-Austria and Prussia have been disciplining their troops for prompt action, as if anticipating serious disorders within the limits of their authority. In Germany, there have been tumults in Hanover, and Cassel, and Hamburgh, and Leipsic, and Dresden, and other places. The king of Saxony has made his nephew Frederick joint regent with himself, and secured to him the reversion of the throne; a measure which the people have hailed as holding out the hope of a consideration of their grievances, and the appointment of free institutions. That misguided young man, the Duke of Brunswick-the Miguel of Germany-has been obliged to take shelter in this country, after seeing his palace burnt to the ground by his subjects. Almost the whole of the continent, in short, is in a state of disorder; the objects of which, in some instances, are not very clear, though in general it is directed to the repeal of some obnoxious measure,
or the wish to obtain a larger share of public freedom. The most rational and only effectual cure would be the general establishment, throughout Europe, of wisely-balanced representative political institutions, such as by the mercy of God we enjoy in this happy land: but these are not the growth of a day; and we fear that in the effort to grasp at them much bloodshed and tumult may yet ensue. May he who is the Author of peace and Lover of concord, direct and dispose the hearts of his weak and sinful creatures to seek the interests of truth and righteousness, the glory of God, and the solid happiness and eternal welfare of mankind.
But to the Netherlands has the public eye been chiefly turned. The Belgian portion of that ill-assorted kingdom has thrown off the yoke of Holland, and insists not merely upon separation, but upon choosing its own form of government. At an early period of the rebellion, the king summoned the states general to discuss the matters in agitation, particularly the project of a separation of the two great members of the kingdom, only retaining a common head. Some of the practical boons then demanded by the Belgians, such as a free press, trial by jury, the responsibility of ministers, and a fair distribution of public honours and offices, were but reasonable, and should have been afforded. The separation of the kingdom was a larger question, and was considered to involve other interests besides those of Holland or Belgium. Still it was better that it should be settled by the parties themselves, without the interference of foreign bayonets; and this resolution has hitherto been wisely acted upon by our own and other governments. The separation is at length decided upon, both by the victorious arms of the insurgents, and by the acknowledgment of the king; but the Belgians have now risen in their demands; and, having expelled the king's troops from almost every part of the country, they claim to be their own masters, and to choose their own form of government and political relations. A provisional government has been formed, and a general meeting of representatives is to be held. Should they agree to form a constitutional monarchy, and to choose the Prince of Orange for their king, the whole may even yet be amicably settled; but if otherwise, much bloodshed and innumerable evils may too probably ensue. The unsuccessful attack by the king's troops upon Brussels, and the sanguinary scenes which took place in that desolating strife, sealed the division of the countries beyond the power of reconciliation. The only link by which peace may probably be secured, and the intervention of foreign armies be prevented, is probably the Prince of Orange. The provisional government, of which the journalist De Potter is at the head, has begun its career
with proclaiming full liberty of opinion and the freedom of discussion. It is also somewhat remarkable, that as one of the first acts of the Paris populace was to put down gambling, which the old government had encouraged, so one of the first acts of the Brussels provisional govern ment has been to abolish lotteries, as an immoral institution. One lesson we may learn from this, that where those who ought to reform what is wrong will not do it, they may find themselves set aside, and the work done by others. There is also another topic, which, if our space allowed, we should wish to advert to; namely, the religious guilt of Protestant Holland as regards her Papal countrymen of Belgium. What has she done to promote a purer faith among them? Alas! she has acted too much as Great Britain has acted towards Ireland-and these are some of the fruits. Oh it is fearful to profess a pure faith, and to do little or nothing to prevent others perishing in ignorance!
Among the people of the continent who have not rushed into measures of turbulence or rebellion, but who would have had more ample excuse for so doing than perhaps any, we cannot refrain from mentioning those long oppressed and silent sufferers, the Protestant Vaudois of Piedmont. Their grievances are not generally known; and as they have not taken up arms to vindicate their own cause, we think it the more incumbent on British Christians to plead it for them, and to suggest to our own government to intercede, as we think it might and ought, on their behalf-or rather, should we say, to urge the spirit of treaties to which this country was a party, and in contravention of which his Sardinian majesty has grievously oppressed this much-suffering people. Part of Piedmont, our readers are aware, became incorporated by treaty with France, with the concurrence of the king of Sardinia, as early as 1796, and the remainder was afterwards subjugated by the French arms. The pope himself recognized and made arrangements for the Piedmontese diocese under this order of affairs and England virtually acknowledged the union of Piedmont with France and its utter severance from Sardinia. For fourteen years, under this recognized annexation, and till the treaty of Vienna in 1815, the Protestant Vaudois enjoyed every civil right possessed by their fellowcountrymen their condition was perhaps more free and happy than ever it had been, and well did their long tried good conduct deserve the warmest sympathy of their Protestant brethren. But unhappily by the treaty of Vienna they were made over like a flock of cattle to the king of Sardinia, who for no reason but that he was a bigotted Papist, and they Protestants, in spite of the general political amnesty agreed on by the allies, revoked their privilegss, broke up the insti
tutions which had grown up among them, destroyed the vested rights by which they had acquired possessions, made contracts, and obtained civil and military honours, and reduced them to a state of such degrading oppression, that they might not, and may not at this moment, purchase lands, or even reside, beyond certain limited boundaries; or build more than restricted number of schools or churches; or have walled burial grounds; nor may a Protestant minister even visit a sick person, unless accompanied by a Catholic layman, or remain above a specified time by his side; with many more vexatious and uncalled-for rectrictions, subversive of civil and religious liberty. Had lord Castlereagh interposed his good offices, as the treaties made at the peace and the powerful influence also of this country allowed, this scene of oppression had not taken place. But such was not the case their unoffending voice was unheard; and these, and other severe regulations, still exist, while nothing has been done by the mediation of Protestant England to alleviate them. It was not without difficulty that permission was even obtained to erect the hospital for which subscriptions were procured in this country. To say that the Vaudois are happy or contented under this oppression, would not be true; but they have suffered hitherto with exemplary patience: but that they will much longer continue to do so, after the examples set them in neighbouring states, and with the remembrance of their own valour in former ages, may possibly be doubtful, especially as they can expect no redress from their Sardinian oppressors, to whom they certainly owe no fealty but that prescribed by foreign power. If they should shake off the papal and despotic yoke of Sardinia, that state will have only its own oppressive and impolitic conduct to blame for the result; but we incline to think that a friendly representation from the British court would be sufficient to gain for them all the privileges they require, and prevent future disturbance and bloodshed. We have, among our readers, some who are probably better informed on the subject than ourselves, and whose influence, judiciously employed, might not be unavailing.
And now we turn homewards, and much have we to say-but we are verging too far towards the limits of our present Number to allow of our entering upon the subject at present. Nor, upon the whole, are we sorry to postpone it, as the meeting of parliament will throw much light upon some important questions. The Regency question will demand consideration; Ireland is becoming excited on Mr. O'Connell's most unwise and injurious proposition for the dissolution of the Union; and had there been a better pretence for working up an insurrection like that at Brussels, especially had not the
In postponing our own remarks, we recommend, in the mean time, to our readers the perusal of a pamphlet recently published, entitled "The Present Crisis in France, considered in reference to England," which relates to some of the points on which we intended to touch. The tumultuary movements which agitate the continent have too great a tendency to communicate themselves to our own shores, to allow us to regard them as matters of indifference, even if any thing could be a matter of indifference which affects large portions of the human race. The political tempest which sweeps over one kingdom or district, seldom confines itself within those exact lines of demarcation which form the boundaries of states. Like the electric shock, wherever an element of affinity presents itself, it is liable to be conducted with undiminished force throughout the whole circle of national communities. The practical question for this country is," Are her institutions such as can sustain the severe ordeal to which they are likely to be exposed? Are our civil and ecclesiastical establishments in a condition to bear up against the pressure which may sooner or later be directed against them." The author of the pamphlet just mentioned, in prosecuting this serious inquiry, institutes a comparison between our present intellectual, moral, and religious condition, and what it was at the commencement of the revolution of 1789. He views the subject as it relates to the sovereign, the clergy, and the people. In touching upon the first of these points, he urges the purity and moral dignity of the personal character of George the Third, as having operated with a powerful and salutary influence in checking the progress of that anti-Christian as well as anti-monarchical spirit, which had produced such disastrous results in a neighbouring country. He also with great delicacy, yet Christian fidelity, compares the public conduct of our present popular and patriotic sovereign, with the example of his royal parent. He remarks: "We are happily blessed at this moment with a sovereign who professes to take George III, as the model of his reign; and the nation has welcomed with a sort of instinctive rapture, the promise included in the assertion. At the same time, without wishing to detract from the value of the pledge thus given, it is necessary to bear
in mind the nature of the grounds on which it rests. The moral influence of George III. and the benefits derived from his character, were not the effects of any single assertion, or of any profession of principle, however pure or exalted. They were, on the contrary, the results of a long life, passed in the unobtrusive exercise of every personal and domestic virtue ; they were the fruits slowly won from an ungrateful soil by steady persevering labour; they were blessings which God gave, not which man obtained. To hope that any single declaration of principle, separate and distinct from this pledge, should be attended with equal effect, would be to expect a harvest without a seed time, an effect without a cause.' 66 Though a steady consistent course may soon cherish hope into confidence, it should not be forgotten that suspicions will exist; and that it will not be safe to neglect the causes which encourage them, till years have consolidated the opinions which it is desirable to form." The author proceeds to allude with pain to some instances of the violation of the sanctity of the Lord'sday, which have grieved every Christian and loyal heart; among others, opening Windsor terrace as a Sunday promenade, a custom which prevailed in the time of the old king, and was very popular, but had died away, and ought not to have been revived, though revived from a kind and condescending feeling on the part of his present majesty, to mix with his subjects, and to afford them gratification.
In estimating the state of the clergy as compared with what it was at the former revolutionary era, the author justly remarks, that owing to the higher order of mental attainment now prevalent among the mass of the community, and the closer scrutiny with which the pretensions of public men are investigated, the standard of clerical qualifications and ministerial habits ought to rise much above what was deemed requisite at that period, in order to meet the real exigency of the case. "The clergy," he observes," which shall be fitted to maintain its position, and to secure respect amidst a population such as this, must be a clergy of no ordinary attainments or character. It must not be a clergy resting on established privileges or ancient usage. It must not be a clergy contented with a decent mediocrity of character, anxious only to avoid offence, willing to swim with the stream, and endeavouring rather to repress than to satisfy inquiry. It must, on the contrary, be a clergy which shall daily vindicate its claims by the benefits it confers on every portion of society. It must be a clergy capable of inspiring respect by the sanctity of its character, and capable of compelling respect by the soundness of its wisdom. It must be not merely a clergy dignified by the learning of schools, but fraught with the learning which commends itself
to every man's understanding by its practical usefulness. It must not be merely a clergy respectable in point of morals, but a clergy venerable from peculiar holiness and purity. It must be not merely a clergy fitted to move among the laity with decency, but a clergy habitually raised above the laity by the spirituality of its feelings, and the sanctity of its habits -a clergy which lives above the people committed to its charge, and forms, as it were, the medium between them and heaven."
In the third division of the subject the writer with piety and ability exhibits many circumstances in the present aspect of the nation; some of which call for rejoicing, others for mourning, but both that our rejoicing should be with trembling. The increase of wealth and knowledge, the rapid communication of intelligence, and the newly discovered power of co-operation and association, are not without their dangers unless under moral and religious influence. But our author gives a melancholy picture of the state of religion among the high and the low classes of society, which is only relieved by the somewhat better, but not by any means satisfactory, state of the middle orders. The professed church of Christ itself also is not in a condition to bear up as it ought against danger; its divisions, its rash speculations, its alternate coldness and ill-judged zeal, all tend to weakness and disorganization. These are solemn subjects for reflection, while the nations around us are shaken, and the destroyer is perhaps at our own doors. But while it is necessary to warn, there is no occasion for despair; our in. stitutions, civil and religious, are justly the glory of the world; only let the nation act up to the light it enjoys, and the privileges it possesses.
"The religion," justly remarks the writer of this pamphlet, "that will stand in a day of political tempest, must be a
religion built upon a rock; a religion that shall rest on nothing but what is firm, and strong, and, like the word of God, unbending. It must not be a religion upheld by its union with the state; resting its claims for support on the patronage of the great, and the rich, or even of the learned. It must not be a religion claiming to be obeyed on account of its tendency to promote public peace and order; for in such a day as that, all distant claims like these, would be insufficient to command attention for a moment. It must be a religion which commends itself to every man's conscience; a religion which shall shew that the forms by which it is invested, and the means by which it is maintained, are merely accessories; its ornaments, not its essence; means which may be desirable, but which are not indispensable; and means which it is justified in using, by their obvious necessity. It must be a religion too, which shall speak as from God; which shall require nothing more than he requires, but which shall require that, absolutely and positively, as his due. It must be a religion likewise, which shall have adapted itself carefully to every condition of men. Which shall have entwined itself round the heart of the child with the association of his early home; which shall have caught the wandering affections of the youth, and drawn them to the worthiest and the surest object of pursuit; which shall have accompanied man through all the trials of his course; and in prosperity and adversity, in sorrow and in joy, shall have proved, that it held within itself the real substance of his happiness.
"Such must that religion be, which shall stand the shock of a revolution; and such must our religion be, if it is to knit all the members of the state together, during the storm that seems impending."
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
T. B.; пsis; AMICUS; G. B.; J. K.; B. C.; B. F. T.; Y. M.; CLER. LANCASTRIENSIS; F.; S. G.; I. W. N.; J. D.; C. A. H.; W. R.; and SIMPLEX; are under consideration.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
WE did not notice last month's extracts, which were particularly important, whether we refer to such facts as the need for, and the formation of, no fewer than forty-two new societies in a single county in England within eighteen months; or the gigantic operations of the American Bible Society; or single incidents, such as those related in
the affecting communications from Canada and St. Petersburgh. Very interesting also are those in the present Number, relative to India and America. A defence of the Negro-English Testament has been published by Mr. Greenfield, which appears to us, if not absolutely conclusive as to its propriety and necessity, yet a sufficient primá facie justification, both of the Moravian missionaries and of the Bible Society in the course they have taken. The reader will find many curious details on the subject in Mr. Greenfield's pamphlet, which has claims to attention independently of its immediate object, on account of its philological arguments, which apply to a variety of other
PRAYER-BOOK AND HOMILY SOCIETY.
The last anniversary of this society was one of the most interesting we ever attended; and we have peculiar satisfaction in laying before our readers an account of the addresses, with an abstract of the annual Report of the society. We earnestly entreat our clerical friends in particular to consider whether they could not do more than they have yet attempted, towards promoting the objects of a society which has such peculiar claims upon the members of our venerated church.
The articles in the two appended Numbers of the Reporter (68 and 69) are too numerous for a brief analysis; but they are particularly important at the present moment, when the meeting of parliament, and the accumulation of petitions and antislavery meetings, are exciting attention throughout the country. A writer, who has discussed the case of Mr. Bridges and Kitty Hilton, in a former page of our present Number, intimates the propriety of the Bishop of Jamaica's instituting an inquiry into it. We are glad to find from the Anti-Slavery Reporter, No. 69, that his lordship appears to be so doing. And what is the consequence? Though his lordship has no connexion with the opponents of slavery, and has ever shewn a degree of deference to colonial opinion, which we sincerely think had better been exchanged for an open and honest deprecation, at whatever risk, of this baneful system which deforms and desecrates his diocese, he has been assailed with a virulence which we must say does him great honour, while it also accounts for the reluctance so often exhibited by public functionaries, lay and ecclesiastical, who are to continue to reside in the colonies, in boldly testifying against the cruelty, licentiousness, and irreligion, which pervade them. For merely obtaining, as was his duty, from the official authorities, the depositions relative to an alleged transaction of great cruelty and indecency on the part of one of his clergy, over whom both God and man have made him a responsible overseer, he is assailed with the very same species of abuse which the John-Bull Sunday newspaper flings at Mr. Wilberforce, or Mr. Macaulay, or any other man who dares to exhibit the enormities of colonial slavery, or fails to panegyrize the cart-whip and the flogging of women. The Jamaica Courant tells his lordship to his face, that he does it to "wreak his vengeance," and "satisfy his episcopal spleen," and that he and his dignified clergy are far more cruel than Mr. Bridges; the bishop ordering a servant, says the Courant, to be punished with thirty-nine lashes, instead of five of the cart-whip; and the venerable Archdeacon, and the Very Reverend Dean chastising their servants with their own hands," in the fancy line." Now what must be the state of society engendered by slavery where such charges can be hurled about, and where, however untrue, no verdict, we presume, could be obtained for a libel, as it is not an illegal act to commit a violent assault on a poor oppressed slave; and, if it were, no jury would find the libeller guilty, as he was only exercising his vocation in defence of the sacred rights of slavery. The libeller might maintain, as he does in this very paragraph, that so far from meaning to bring his lordship into contempt, or to impute any thing wrong or disgraceful, he only accused the Right Reverend Prelate of doing "what every owner of a slave is daily obliged to do," if not with the cart-whip, at least with "switches;" that which Mr. Bridges did in this alleged necessary infliction of daily discipline when he stood by to see his cook flogged by his order, on her bared body with bamboo rods, till her back was covered with gore. It is disgusting and disgraceful that the British public, or any Christian ear, should be constantly tortured with such tales of cruelty and profligacy; and all to support an institution, unjust and wicked in all its parts. Will not God visit for these things; and visit most those British Christians who continue to uphold them? And above all, ought not the bishops and clergy of the land to set themselves foremost, as becomes their responsible and powerful stations, to abolish a system so fraught with iniquity; a system which the public journals of the colonies boldly tell them, should they have the misfortune to obtain preferment in the West Indies, would require them in self-defence to commit " daily," such cruel and indecent acts as have wounded their order and their church, through that boasted champion of slavery, the Rev. W. Bridges?