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the spirit of their minds; and by them it will indeed be felt to be a most valuable book of self-examination. It is unnecessary to say more. We thank its author for presenting so useful a manual to the children of God.

The Omnipotence and Wisdom of Jehovah. Two Orations. By J.

W. Lester. London: Wertheim, Aldine Chambers. 1842. One

vol. 8vo., 154 pages. We know not who Mr. Lester is, nor to what section of the Catholic Church of Christ he may belong; but, at least, his chief virtue is not humility. We need give no other proof of this than the following extract from his preface, which for sheer bombast we have seldom seen equalled.

“ I take this opportunity of thanking my subscribers and friends for the kindness I received at their hands while soliciting their patronage; but, above all, I adore my Lord and my God for giving me favour in the sight of men, and enabling me to present the following orations to the world."

These “orations,” or rhapsodies, are not, however, without their merits. They contain a great variety of facts illustrative of the omnipotence and the wisdom of God-facts which, when read and examined by the light of revelation, cannot fail of producing conviction on the minds of those who peruse them. Mr. Lester is not upacquainted with astronomy, and his knowledge of this science has been of considerable use to him in the course of his investigations and reflections. So his knowledge of natural history has been brought to bear upon the same wondrous subjects—the power and the wisdom of the Creator. There is a good deal of the Irvingite style, both of thought and expression, in this volume, and to that we are, both from principle and taste, much opposed. There is so much of inflation, and so little of calm and quiet thought and feeling in this school, that we really must be excused from praising its effusions.

The Papal and Hierarchical System compared with the Religion of

the New Testament. London : Charles Gilpin. 1843. This is a most disorderly book. It is the very embodying of the system of private judgment, and individual opinion. The author hides his name, and we are not surprised that he should do so; for we have never seen a work, written in religious language, so full of the wisdom of the world, and so opposed to the wisdom of the Church. “When I speak of the Papal and Hierarchical systems (says the author), I do not mean to confine either my own view, or that of my readers, to the Church of Rome. speak rather of the system which places man under the rule of man in matters of religion--the laity, more particularly, under the rule of the clergy ; so that human wisdom and authority are found, in various degrees, to usurp the place of pure, divine truth. So, also, by the religion of the New Testament, I mean the religion of Him of whom the book

testifies, even Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, who has bought us with his blood, who is the sole High Priest of our profession, who rules the Universal Church by his Spirit, and who will come gain in glory to render unto every man according to his works. The Greek Church has its hierarchy under the supreme government of a patriarch. The episcopacy of the Anglican Church is of a far less superstitious character, yet it presents to our view a fabric of the same kind, under the rule or headship of a temporal monarch."

As the rest of the book is written in the same spirit of individual confidence, and of a total absence of the feeling of submission or deference as evinced in the above paragraph, we shall decline pursuing the author further, but again protest against it as a most disorderly book.

Brief Thoughts on the Things of God and the Soul ; in words of one

Syllable. By Edward Dalton, Secretary to the Protestant Asso

ciation. London: J. Wright and Co. 1843. Mr. Dalton is distinguished for a correct and profound kowledge of the English language. His books, written in words of one syllable, read quite as well as if written, as usual, in words of all syllables. Indeed, he is so perfect a master of the English tongue, that, as you read what he has written, you do not perceive that there is any

difference in his style to that of the other good authors you are accustomed to peruse. This is no small praise. His treatises are, therefore, suited alike to juvenile as to more adult minds; and the man of information will be charmed by their piety, whilst the infant is able to understand the truths which they enforce. These “ Brief Thoughts” are very charming, and we have read them with much profit. Some of the subjects are—“A Word to the Poor," " God is Love,” “ The Lamb's Book of Life,” “ The Balm of God's Truth,” “ What is Man ? " “ He hath done all Things well,” “ The Lord is my Strength," &c. &c. There is much of true, heartfelt, spiritual religion in these pages, and we commend them highly. The Duties of the Married State. By James Foster, D.D. London:

Frederick Lover. 1843. Tuus is a selection from a portion of the works of Dr. Foster, whose writings have been acceptable to a large portion of the public. It is not written in a sectarian or party spirit, but is planned with breadth, and executed with taste and good sense. The way to hap, piness lies in the endearments of the domestic affections - the earnest cultivation of our religious duties; and, as all helps are useful in such a cause, even this little treatise may be the means of directing the steps of those who are desirous to walk therein. The introduction treats on the social nature and character of man.

The first part is devoted to the duties of husbands, in which marriage is considered as a divine institution, and the topics of love, fidelity, maintenance, respect, and instruction, are discussed. Part second treats of the duties of veires, and the chapters are divided into essays on scriptural submission, cautions against levity and pride, on love, fidelity, frugality, meekness, modesty, and the adornment of the person. The whole closes with suitable remarks on the duty of parents towards their children, and on education.

Ecclesiastical Report.

There never was a period when the public mind, froin a variety of circumstances, was so much and so constantly drawn to the consideration of subjects intimately connected with the Church, as at the present moment. The Ecclesiastical Courts Bill; the proposed union of the Sees of Bangor and St. Asaph; the Church Extension and Clergy Endowment Bill of Sir Robert Peel; the Factory Bill and its Educational clauses ; the Church of Scotland schism, and its operation on Establishments generally, are the principal topics which invite attention, and which deeply agitate the public mind. We will look at them all in their order, and will endeavour to point out their importance, and to indicate what appears to us to be the true and the Church way, of treating these measures. We are aware of the importance and difficulty of some of them, and must rely on the candour of our readers.

THE ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS BILL. This bill, introduced by Dr. Nicholl, at the suggestion and by the desire of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, is one of a very large and sweeping character, and to it are opposed an immense majority of the English clergy. Very numerous, indeed, have been the petitions presented against, and, with but a very few exceptions, none in favour of that measure. Contrary to general expectation, and especially in the English counties, this bill has been read a second time in the House of Commons, and by a larger majority than either the Government or its friends had the right to anticipate. We are well aware that many members on both sides of the house voted for the principle of a reform of the Ecclesiastical Courts of this country, who will oppose the whole of the clauses to which ourselves and our Church Conservative contemporaries have objected. Some even go further than this, and indulge a hope that the bill will be referred to a special committee “up stairs,” and that in the end it will be postponed until next session ; and then, that during the vacation, some wise and more prudent measure will be prepared by the Government.

Sir Robert Inglis, in opposing this measure, observed, that the petitions against it had been very numerous, and its supporters few indeed. “ If, indeed (he said), there was no other way of redressing the evils complained of, the opposition might have been less decided; but there was really no occasion for this sweeping remedy, by which so many ancient institutions were destroyed. Even Doctors' Commons was not unanimous in its favour.

The object

seemed to be centralization; but centralization had lost its popularity, and if it was important to make the one court, which was to supersede all the local jurisdictions, a really central one, why come to London, when the real centre of the kingdom was Northampton ? He deprecated the removal of the depositories of wills. It was not merely a hardship on the tribunals abolished, but, which was more important, it was a grievous inconvenience and expense to persons of small means. Where there was a disposition to dispute a will, angry feeling was often allayed by a visit to the neighbouring office, where the original will, the testator's own hand-writing, could be inspected by the discontented relative. The cost of carrying down original wills from London to distant assizes would, in many cases of small amount, be an actual denial of justice. It was a principle of the English constitution that justice should be brought to every man's door: : on that principle the Government had often acted, and were acting even now in their County Courts Bill; and if it was a good principle in civil causes, why not also in ecclesiastical ones ? Nor was it prudent to place the titles to property, now deposited at many different places throughout England, in one spot, where one fire might consume them all. The strongest places of deposit in London were not exempt from such a danger; witness, within these few years, the Tower, the Royal Exchange, the very building in which that house deliberated. He regretted to differ from such an authority as that of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he denied the right of any prelate to denude the Church, and his own see, of any benefit of which he found them in the enjoyment. By the present constitution of the Ecclesiastical Courts, the names of the archbishops and bishops, used in probates and other documents, accus. tomed the people to connect the idea of the Church with that of the succession to property; and it was no more desirable to discontinue those names, than it would be to cease from describing the army, and the navy, and the courts of law, as those of her Majesty. He earnestly recommended Dr. Nicholl, the author of this bill, to withdraw it, with a promise to introduce one less exceptionable in another session. Unless that course were taken, he must persist in the motion with which he now concluded, that the present bill should be read a second time on that day six months,”

Notwithstanding this and other protests and arguments against the bill it was read a second time by a majority of 82 ; there being 186 for, and 104 against it.

Mr. B. Escott, whose opposition to the bill at every stage does him great honour, observed, “ That even the few members who had supported this bill had contributed many important arguments against it; and resisting it, as he himself did, he had to thank, rather than reply to those members. He regretted, indeed, to oppose any measure of a Government which he considered as having conferred substantial benefits on the country; and if he believed that the rejection of the present bill would be a bar to all reform on this subject, he would vote for the second reading ; but he expected no such result. He complained of Sir James Graham for having inti

mated that, if this bill were rejected, it would be from interested influences operating upon the majority of members. He disclaimed such influence; but he certainly did not think the House of Commons sat merely to register the edicts of commissioners. The two Commissions themselves differed--the Ecclesiastical Commission, recommending a transfer to Doctors' Commons, and the Real Property Coinmission, to the Court of Chancery. He warued the house against making to either the one or the other a transfer which would have the effect of a spoliation upon a great body of respectable proctors and attorneys. What was this bill? First, an abolition of the contentious jurisdiction of the courts now having cognizance of wills; secondly, an abolition of the country registrations, except below a certain sum; thirdly, the ruin of a highly respectable body of practitioners; and, fourthly, a great increase of expense. These were considerations that would weigh with the country, which would also regard with no slight suspicion the clauses investing the Doctors' Commons judge with a vast amount of new patronage. He besought the house not to be led away by the vulgar notion, that wherever an abuse existed it was necessary for the redress of it to destroy a whole system."

Sir Robert Peel, indeed, defended the bill, and maintained that abuses existed—that those abuses ought to be removed—that the opposition to the measure proceeded from interested parties—and that all the highest authorities had concurred in recommending that the peculiar jurisdictions should be abolished, and the testamentary jurisdiction centred in one court.

For ourselves, we avow that we look upon this measure as one of the most dangerous which has come from the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. There has been a great deal of absurd and empty declamation resorted to by the supporters of the bill, against the "interested" motives of those who oppose it; but surely this is a little too bad when proceeding from those whose “private interests” have alone led them to defend it. That country solicitors, to whom for ages has been confided the duty of protecting the property of the poor, should look with suspicion on a measure which will remove from local and immediate defence such property, is not at all surprising; and that those who have little to defend should be the more anxious for its preservation, is natural and proper. So far, indeed, all men are selfish; and so far all men, who oppose all injustice proposed to be perpetrated against themselves or others, are actuated by private feelings. But this is not culpable. The feeling of self-preservation, both from moral and physical wrong, is neither in opposition to the laws of man or of God, and when not pushed to extremes is essential to the well-being and happiness of society at large. We therefore applaud those who have energetically opposed this bill, and they need not be ashamed to declare“ Yes, we oppose this bill because it is injurious to our own interests, those interests being identified, or, at least, bound up with, the yet more important interests of the poor of the whole community.” That the bill has some good points about it we do not deny, but it requires to be wholly remodelled, but that it cannot be this session

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