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The winter yields. A new year high
The manger's altar standeth by ;
It is the first year of the earth,
Born with the child in one glad birth.
The eye beholds the Saviour well ;
Yet in it doth the Saviour dwell.
With flowers his head is wreathed about
From each himself looks smiling out.
He is the star, he is the sun;
Life's spring that evermore doth run ;
From herb and stone, light, sea's expanse,
Glimmers his childish countenance.
His childish ways, by none represt,
His ardent love will never rest ;
He nestles, with unconscious art,
Divinely fast to every heart.

To us a God, to himself a child,
He loves us all, self-undefiled ;
He is our drink, he is our food ;
His dearest thanks, to love the good.

The misery grows yet more and more ;
A gloomy grief afiicts us sore ;
Keep him not, Father, longer thus,
And thou wilt find him soon with us.

XII.
When the heart is almost breaking

In the fearful, troubled hour ;
When deep anguish, sickness, aching

Soul and body both devour; When the thought of those who love us,

To our sorrow addeth theirs ; And the cloud around, above us,

Not a gleam of sunlight bears ;

Then, oh then, God cometh nigh us,

And his love infolds the heart, And his angel standing by us

Stills the longing to depart; With the cup of life he bendeth,

Wakening comfort in the breast; Nor in vain the prayer ascendeth,

That the loved may also rest.

418

I Word concerning the London Missionary Society.

In the remarkable speech of the Rev. Joseph Mullens, at the last anniversary meeting of the London Missionary Society, there occurred a statement which must have been heard with regretful surprise by the large number of friends and subscribers to the society who remained to listen to Mr. Mullens' address. “Twenty years ago,' said the speaker, the annual income of our society and our donations, subscriptions, and collections, amounted to 50,0001. We heard this morning that in the last year it was only 44,0001. Again, in 1839, the number of our missionaries was 151; it rose to 170, and it remained at that point for several years. You have heard to-day that in the last year it dropped down to 152.

We take advantage of the prominent manner in which this fact has now been brought before the public to say a word concerning the London Missionary Society which has long needed to be said, but which we should have been glad if some other member of the religious or ecclesiastical press had seen occasion to utter. The Christian Spectator' has so frequently had occasion to discharge the duties of censor and critic when it would willingly have had to fulfil only the more pleasant offices of a friend and teacher, that it would be glad to have been relieved of all such unwelcome tasks for the future. It is always an ungracious labour to find the least fault with a great and useful public institution; and, in the present instance, if the extent of the Christian missionary work were not involved in the matter, we should have declined the tisk.

Mr. Mullens asks, 'Is the state of things to which he made reference “ wise or sound?”' and, “Is it right ?'

We answer, on behalf of very many to whom the position of the London Missionary Society has been a source of no little pain for some years past, it was to be expected. It cannot be unknown, even to those who are most welcome at Blomfield-street, and who are the best patrons, or who are the best patronized by the officers of the society, that the London Mission has come to be regarded as not only giving expression to the missionary feelings of the Independent denomination, but as representing a mere section, or clique, of Congregational Dissent. It is the Carlton Club of the Dissenting world, a club that, like its West-end prototype, has its “Standard' amongst the press, and its own Foresters and W. B.'s.'

A liberal' Dissenter, of unquestionable genius, and undoubted piety, may vainly knock at the door of the Mission House for its introduction to a vacant church; a conservative dullard will be recommended to the best and most promising spheres. Stem its influence, and if you are a man of little power, and as little connexion, why, it were as well that you wrote yourself down 'a German' (whatever that

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may mean !) at once, for the millstone of a doubtful reputation will assuredly be hanged around your neck.

And why not? perhaps the reader may say. Why not conservative as well as liberal head quarters? Not a word have we to say against such an arrangement, but a thousand words, if necessary, against the prostitution of a missionary society to the purposes of a School for Scandal,' with a new dramatis persone of modern Sneerwells, Snakes, Candours, and Joseph Surfaces. We should be glad to see Tory Dissent occupying its own offices, eating at its own clubs, writing letters to its own newspaper, editing its own magazine, in its proper place, but its proper place is not the office, nor the board-room of a missionary institution. “Is it wise or sound? Is it right?' No; but if such things be, is it not to be expected that the income of such a society should actually decrease in twenty years ? Christian men may err in allowing personal or political prejudices to interfere with their benevolence; but as it is possible to be benevolent without contributing to a specific society, they will scarcely err in turning the stream of their charity into other channels than those which are habitually polluted by such courses as we have described.

Here, in honour and fairness, we must limit the application of our remarks. The foreign agency of the society is, as far as we know, conducted with perfect impartiality and without prejudice. Its

liberal' missionaries are as courteously treated as its more conservative; none of either party with whom we have become acquainted but has expressed his high sense of the generosity of the society. Where the funds are spent, they are spent without prejudice ; if there were as little where they are collected, the collections might very soon be doubled.

The society's income is certainly not increased by the correspondence and intelligence which it publishes in its monthly paper, the • Missionary Chronicle.' The writer of this is in the habit of reading every missionary journal that is issued from the press. With one or two remarkable exceptions, none of these can boast of much literary power; it is not needful that they should. But the 'Chronicle' is lower than the very lowest; nothing weaker, worse arranged, or more generally uninteresting issues from the religious press. Reference has been made to this circumstance more than once in the Record of Christian Missions' in this journal, and we greatly regret to have to bring it up again, but the interests of the society and of the Christian missions which it conducts, require that some change should be made in its conduct. We do not know who edits it, or if it have an editor, but with Dr. Tidman's literary power and cultivation it would be easy to make it the first missionary journal in this country. The writer of the Annual Reports' of the society could very considerably deepen the interest of every reader of the ‘Chronicle,' in all the operations of the London Missionary Society.

We are sorry to add a harder word concerning the contents of the • Missionary Chronicle. It is matter of public notoriety that the letters

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of the missionaries are not published in their integrity. In saying this, we say what we know to be true, and we think the time has come when the society should be publicly informed that the practice of omitting certain-as a custom the more gloomy-portions of the missionaries' correspondence, is not adding to the character of the society. The Christian Church in England can bear, and is entitled to be told, the whole truth concerning the success or failure of missionary labour. If it suspects that the whole truth is not told, that a part is purposely, if not systematically, omitted, is it to be wondered at that it withholds its contributions from the society whose officers, whether with or without sanction, do not scruple at such conduct ?

From what has been already advanced, it will be seen that the remarks we have had occasion to make bear more or less upon the action of the executive of the society. Personally, we do not know any officer of the society in London, nor have we ever had the honour of any correspondence with a single official at Blomfield-street; we are, therefore, not an aggrieved man, much less are we an aggrieved minister, but it is a fact patent in nearly every Dissenting circle, that much of the action of a portion of the executive of this society is highly injurious to its interests. With some knowledge of the character of the injury that has already been done, as well as of the extent of feeling against those who have been instrumental in effecting it, we have no hesitation in saying that it would pay the society handsomely to pension off one or more of its officers with an annuity of at least 1,0001. In saying this, we are little likely to injure individual interests, or private prospects. It happens that by some accident or misfortune the square men have got into the round holes, with the usual result of not fitting. Their proper spheres we have no doubt they would not only fit, but adorn; in a sphere which nature has not created them to occupy, they do sad, irreparable, and often offensive mischief.

We will say no more at present. What we have written, we have written for the advancement of Christian missions. If we have offended, we have offended. If we have contributed to remove a stumblingblock from the further success of the society, none will more rejoice than we. If our present labour prove to have been in vain, we may try our hand again. Of this we are certain, that a change will have to be made, and that the cause of the decrease in the society's income is to be found not in the waning affections of the Christian people of this country, as Mr. Mullens seemed to suppose, but in the society itself.

Do the fine Zrts Morally instruct Mankind ?

Although there is so little proof either in the present state of the fine arts, or in that in which they formerly existed, that they have ever instructed the human race in moral truth, their advocates continue to maintain that they do so, that fact being, as we suppose, the most influential argument in their favour that they can urge on the religious world. Now we will not object to the landscape-painters that very few of them content themselves with a mere copy of the actual aspect of the natural world, for, while one takes the liberty of the artist to introduce a group of trees where none exist; another places a group of cattle in a part of the picture to set off the hues of the forest; and a third inserts only such a portion of the forest trees as enables the eye to see the light through the whole. We by no means represent this as a fault, but mention it as a fact; for if the moral teaching from the works of our landscape-painters is to be derived from the picture, it must be remembered that it is in these cases drawn from an unhistoric source. Take then, for example, any of the landscapes from the charming pencil of Ruisdael, which are commonly confined to a water-mill, a few knots of trees, and a little piece of road, or a distant hill down which a cavalier is riding with his dog, and meeting with a cripple or a beggarman, bestows his alms, and rides forward; or another subject by the same master, representing, instead of the mill, a few cottages, with some of their inhabitants occupied in different actions at the door; while in the other part of the painting we either have a piece of water covered with some magnificent water-fowl, or a cascade falling pictorially over a ruck; or if the reader becomes weary of the productions of this master, let him gaze at one or two of the more exquisite works of Hobbima, where he will find, among finer scenery, perhaps a man driving a team of horses in a cart, or a number of woodmen felling timber in the spring; or it may be that he will discover among the trees two young lovers, world to themselves; or it may be the weary oxherd rollicking in the sunset with his children at the cottage door, or musingly smoking his pipe. Neither in Hobbima nor in Ruisdael is there any other diversity of landscape than such as is presented by their generally flat country. Nor do we much need the qualities of the moral teacher if we assume one or two of the best landscapes of Rubens himself. Not to remind the reader how many of this artist's landscapes are purely imaginative, and introduced merely to set off some mythological story, such as Atalanta and Meleager, attacking the boar, which is now at St. Petersburg, or the deluge of Baucis and Philemon, which is in Vienna, or that exhibiting Ulysses thrown on the Phænician coast, that may be seen at Florence, we can scarcely recollect a fine landscape by this artist which would rivet the soul of the beholder on the moral purport of the works of nature. Surely the connoisseur would not demand from us that we should learn any moral lessons from the

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