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years ago, to purchase a Bible; that she' had commissioned a friend going to Holland to buy her one, but he was not able to procure it. It has not been the Bible, then, which has corrupted the morals of the people: but the people have learned to read; the tree of knowledge has become accessible to them, the evil of which has been continually before their eyes, whilst the good has been out of sight. The thirst for knowledge has been fed by pernicious publications from the Continent; by obscene songs and romances; by the writings of sceptical and infidel false philosophers, who would have trampled equally upon the laws of God and man, to substitute systems founded upon their own blind reason; pronouncing upon what God could or could not do.
"It was not the knowledge of the Bible which rendered the French Revolution so immoral and sanguinary, but the total ignorance of it, and of the laws of God contained in it, not only on the part of the people, but also on that of its leaders; and it would not be surprising, if the influence of a revolution so near our own doors, which seemed for a time to shake the foundation of all moral and social order in
SOCIETY FOR THE RELIEF THIS Society has distributed, during the last year, almost TWO THOUSAND POUNDS in alleviating the distresses of faithful and laborious Ministers. We regret, however, to learn that the Committee have been under the painful necessity for two years past of selling out part of their funded property, although, by the dividends arising from this, the grants made by them have been considerably supplied. They therefore hope, that as the claims on the Society's benevolence are yearly increasing, the friends of piety and religion will exert themselves to increase the list of Donations and annual Subscribers, on which the continuance of the Society's ability to meet the urgent calls made upon them, must mainly depend.
Extracts from twenty-nine different applications to the Society, from which the following are selected, will show in a striking light the extreme distress to which many excellent men, even in the present day, are reduced.
3. "I still remain in circumstances similar to those of the last year, when real poverty constrained me to appeal to the compassion of your Committee. I say similar, though not exactly in all points, for a gra
Europe, should have been felt here; and that ignorance, plain and simple manners, frugality, and contentedness, should have been followed by false knowledge, scepticism or unbelief, immoderate desire of gain, love of litigation, libertinism, and contempt of authority. But what would these objectors to the circulation of the Bible have recommended, to correct the evils of which they complain? Could there be a more safe, a more innocent experiment, than that of applying the balm which the almighty Physician has prepared for the cure of all mental and moral evil, the knowledge of his Holy Word? And that word, be it said, for the gratification of the supporters of this Institution, has already performed and is performing its peaceable and divine office. Fathers have been reclaimed from habitual drunkenness, and have forsaken the public-house to read to their children, or to hear them read, the law of their God. Idleness, in many cases, has given way to industry: slovenliness and dirt, to neatness and cleanliness; and comparative felicity has blessed the domestic board. These are not the visionary assertions of enthusiasm! The facts have been witnessed here as well as in other countries.
SOCIETY FOR THIS Society has just published, after an interval of three years, its ninth occasional Report, detailing its operations during that period. These have been carried on silently, steadily, and successfully.
OF POOR PIOUS CLERGYMEN.
cious God has sent me an increase of family. Though Mrs. has been the mother of thirteen, I cordially welcome the last; and as it is a boy, I give him to God in sincere prayer, to make him a most efficient Christian man, and, if so ordered, a laborious preacher of righteousness. Without some charitable aid, I cannot clear off the arrears of the last year. In my present rather expensive situation, how is it possible that one hundred and thirty pounds, the amount of my income, can supply so large a family as eleven persons with all the very common comforts of life. Your repeated bounty has enabled me to be useful, and respectable, and comfortable, in a situation certainly of some importance."
15. "I am still curate of have a wife and ten children, seven of whom are wholly dependent on me, and my curacy is no more than fifty pounds per annum for our support. Five of my children have been afflicted with the typhus fever, and doctors' bills must be very considerable for attending them these three months. I hope that the worthy gentlemen will look upon this my humble petition with tenderness and compassion: and may the God of mercy reward my kind benefactors."
SUPPRESSION OF VICE.
Since their last Report, no less than ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR offenders against the sanctity of the Sabbath have been prosecuted to conviction. By these means an opportunity has been afforded to
the conscientious dealer for maintaining a decent and religious observance of the day; the outrages on public feeling have been restrained; nuisances, before complained of, have very sensibly abated; many districts have changed their appearance; and some, from having been noted for an entire disregard of the Christian Sabbath, are now distinguished for the quiet and cleanliness which pervade their streets, and the peace and good order observed by their inhabitants on that hallowed day.
The Society have interfered with similar success in detecting and punishing the dealers in indecent books, prints, snuffboxes, and other devices. Some wholesale dealers at Liverpool, London, &c. have been convicted, and compelled to abandon their infamous traffic; and the last transaction of this nature in which the Society has been engaged, was the prosecution and conviction of an Italian hawker who had taken up his residence in the neighbourhood of one of the principal public seminaries in the kingdom, in order to carry on his detestable practices.
The Society's exertions in suppressing
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
THE Special Meeting of the General Convention of this Church, noticed in our number for January, was convened at St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia, where the members held their deliberations from the 30th of October to the 3d of November 1821, inclusive. From the journal of their proceedings, we learn that the discussions were carried on with a truly Christian spirit, all local attachments being merged in the great object of general good. To enable the General Convention to take the benefit of Mr. Sherred's bequest (see No. for January, p. 36), it has been resolved, that the Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, shall be permanently established in the State of New York; and that the trustees of such seminary shall have power, from time to time, to establish one or more branch schools in the State of New York, or elsewhere, under the superintendence or control of the trustees, who have full powers to regulate the seminary, professors, and students. The House of Bishops are, ex officio, trustees, and also both collectively and individually visitors of the seminary. The other trustees are to be chosen pursuant to the regulations of the special General Convention, which we have not room to extract.
A "Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestaut Episcopal Church in the United States of America has been organized; and in aid of its funds the Church Missionary Society of London last ear granted 2007. sterling.
infidel and blasphemous publications have been crowned with signal success. Under this head the Committee detail ten different indictments, not one of which has failed, either for want of a proper selection, or of competent evidence. But for their unwearied labours, Carlile, or some member of his family, would still most probably have gone on in open violation of the laws of God and of man. There is, however, great reason to hope that this daring spirit of infidelity and blasphemy is for the present suppressed, though not subdued.
It is obvious that such services cannot have been rendered to the community without considerable expense. The funds of the Society have never been large, and these have been greatly diminished by the unavoidable expenses of no less than twenty-one prosecutions. Subscriptions and donations are, therefore, earnestly requested, and will be thankfully received at the Society's house, No. 81, Essex Street, Strand; and at the banking-houses of Messrs. Down, Drummond, Hammersley, Hoare, Ransom, and Sikes.
The total number of clergy in February 1821 was 332, of which number there were nine Bishops, two hundred and seventy-seven Presbyters, and forty-six Deacons. In the course of twelve months some variations must have taken place; but we have not, at present, sufficient data to enable us to specify their actual numbers. Numerous Sunday Schools are established in the different dioceses.
A sermon was preached before the General Convention, on October 31st, by the Right Rev. James Kemp, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the diocese of Maryland: it has since been published at the request of the House of Bishops. Its subject is, "the manner in which the Gospel was established and the Christian Church organized." We transcribe one of the concluding paragraphs for the excellent spirit which it breathes, and the important hint which it conveys to all ministers of the church.
"With regard to us, my Right Rev. and Rev. brethren, in what a responsible situation are we placed! As men, we must feel terrified at the very thought of our being intrusted with such a dispensation! As ambassadors for Christ, our sufficiency is of God. Our high commission we must zealously and conscientiously exThe duties of our office we raust faithfully discharge. And while we are engaged in the work of our Divine Master, the man, with all bis little turbulent passions, must disappear, and the minister of Jesus Christ, animated by his spirit, mus stand conspicuous."
REGISTER OF EVENTS.
On the fifth of February, Parliament assembled, and its proceedings were commenced by a Speech delivered from the Throne by His Majesty in person.
The Houses were assured of the friendly disposition of foreign powers, and encouraged to hope that the differences between Russia and the Ottoman Porte would be amicably adjusted. The King expressed great concern at the spirit of outrage which had manifested itself in Ireland, and referred the subject to the early consideration of the Houses. On the other hand, the revenue of the country had been steadily increasing-its commerce and manufactures were flourishing, and large reductions had been made in the military and naval establishments. The depressed state of agriculture, however, called for their earliest consideration; while the steady maintenance of public credit was equally neces
On the Address proposed in reply, an amendment was moved, pledging the House to an immediate reduction of taxation. This, however, was opposed as premature, and as entering into a subject not yet under the consideration of the House. It was negatived by a large majority, and the original Address agreed to.
The Marquis of Londonderry brought forward, on Friday the 15th, the plans of Government relative to the finances for the current year. By reducing the expense of the army one million, of the navy 800,000l., and of other departments in a similar proportion, and by shifting 150,000,000l. now vested in stock paying five per cent. into stock bearing a lower interest, it is calculated that a saving of 3,300,000l. will be effected. Part of this will be required for the increased military expenses occasioned by the Irish disturbances. But Government still calculate upon being able to reduce the malt tax one million and a half, and upon having five millions and a quarter sinking fund. It is also anticipated, that another half-million of taxes may be taken off next year, and a million the year following.
It is also proposed to lend to such parishes as are the most oppressed by excessive poor-rates, sums sufficient to meet the existing necessity, to be afterwards repaid out of future rates.
Two Motions have been brought before the House of Commons, the one by Mr. Brougham, the other by Lord Althorpe; the tendency of each of which was, to pledge Parliament to a greater reduction of taxes, by the sacrifice of the Sinking Fund. In both instances, however, the House refused to agree to such a proposition.
We are happy to observe that several members of the House of Commons of different sentiments and parties have expressed their opinion, that notwithstanding the existing difficulties of the landed interests, the country is generally in a state of great and increasing prosperity.
The prices of agricultural produce appear to have at least ceased to decline. We should trust that they would ultimately settle at an average rather above the present scale.
IRELAND, we are sorry to observe, exhibits few symptoms of amendment. The new Lord Lieutenant has called for the enactment of strong laws, and the Parliament has instantly passed them. For the effect of these, and of His Excellency's own measures, we must necessarily wait.
In FRANCE, the Administration are carrying through the Chambers laws of a rather arbitrary nature for the regulation of the public press. They have the sanction of large majorities; but are struggled against with zeal approaching to fury by their unsuccessful Of their propriety of adaptation to the existing circumstances of France, we cannot, of course, offer a decided opinion.
SPAIN appears rather more peaceful. The Legislative Assemblies are occupied in that country also with measures for the restriction of the press.
No occurrence worthy of remark has taken place over the rest of the CONTINENT of EUROPE. The most contradictory reports are still spread relative to the intentions of RUSSIA and TURKEY.
The approaching return and resignation of the Marquis of Hastings, the present Governor General of INDIA, is confidently announced.
Notices and Acknowledgments.
WE have been favoured with a Leicester Journal of February 15th, containing a Letter from the Rev. Robert Hall, in answer to our Review of his Apology for the Freedom of the Press, printed in the Christian Guardian of January. In this letter Mr. Hall complains of the bitterness and indecency with which his character has been assailed. This we apprehend is meant to convince the reader of the propriety of Mr. Hall's applying to our Review the terms of falsehood, malignity, Gothic barbarity, wretched bigotry, reptile mcanness, &c. with which his letter is adorned. On this point we are perfectly easy. We are certain that no person can compare our Review and Mr. Hall's Letter, without observing the remarkable difference which exists in their temper. Moderation and truth, we trust, are the characteristics of our Review. Coolness, candour, and a respectful tone, pervade every pas. Whether such is the character of Mr. Hall's letter we leave the Public to judge, and we confidently anticipate that they will pronounce, that the soreness which Mr. Hall manifests is to be attributed to the strength of our arguments, and not to the terms in which they were conveyed.
While, however, we confidently anticipate the public approbation of our spirit and temper, we shall briefly endeavour to clear up those points on which Mr. Hall's five or six weeks labour may seem to have cast any obscurity; and to point out the important advantages which have been obtained by this discussion.
Mr. Hall attempts, in the first place, to justify his reprinting the Apology as unavoidable and necessary. He pleads that it was not in his power to prevent the republication. "The term of copy-right," he says, "is well known to extend to 14 years, after which
any one is at liberty to republish a work without its author's consent."Now, so far from this being well known, it never was known at all; it is neither law nor fact, and has never, for more than a century, been either. The Act of Queen Anne fixed the term of copy-right at 14 years certain, and a second term of 14 years if the author should be alive at the expiration of the first. But the last Act, passed seven years since, makes the first term 28 years, and then gives the copy-right back to the author for the remainder of his life. So that the suppression of the Apology was entirely in Mr. Hall's power.— Now, as we told Mr. Hall in the beginning of January, that the fact was not as he had asserted it to be, we think he ought at least to have made some inquiry before he repeated that incorrect assertion six weeks after.
But reports had been spread of Mr. Hall's having changed his principles, and, therefore, the republication was necessary to vindicate him from so foul a charge. Did not Mr. Hall state, with sufficient clearness, his political creed in another pamphlet published about a twelvemonth since? Surely there could be no necessity for any second and farther vindication.
Mr. H. next adverts to our leading principle, that Ministers of the Gospel should not meddle with party politics. He asks whether clergymen have not assisted at the consecration of military banners. Of course they have; but does this necessarily imply partyfeeling? Did not Mr. H. himself preach a sermon before the Bristol Volunteers? Is it a fair inference that he was then a political partisan and a supporter of Mr. Pitt, under whose administration those volunteers were raised? Nor does the exercise of that elective franchise with which incumbents are privileged, nor the sitting of Bishops in the House of Peers, imply for one moment that political partisanship which Mr. H. would insinuate, especially as he well knows that it is not the practice of the Episcopal Bench to take a part in the deliberations of the Ilouse of Peers, except when the discussion has, or is supposed to have, a bearing on the interests of religion. Nor is his mention of the meeting of the elergy of a district to petition against Catholic emancipation in the least more to his purpose, since that is considered by a large majority of the Church, and by many of the Dissenters, to be a religious and not a political question. It is, however, remarkable that Mr. Hall cannot say a word in defence of the principle of his interference in politics. He only produces instances of what he thinks similar conduct in churchmen;-so that, while he denominates the clergy of the Establishment " Spiritual Janizaries," he willingly regulates his own conduct by their most questionable examples.
Mr. Hall has thought proper to characterize our styling Dr. Priestley a Socinian, as "discharging our malice on an unoffending victim." We really have no malice towards Dr. Priestley; but have ever regarded him with unfeigned pity; nor have we censured Mr. H. for praising him. But we certainly view it as a striking illustration of the evil of a party spirit, that men of such sound religious principles and sterling piety as Mr. H. should be induced bitterly to reproach a champion of the faith like Horsley, and loudly to eulogize Arians, Socinians, and Infidels, like Price, and Priestley, and Wolstonecraft, and that merely because the former was a high Churchman and a Tory, and the latter, opposers of establishments and advocates for republicanism.
Mr. H. accuses us of imputing to him revolutionary sentiments, by styling him a radical reformer. We did no such thing.-We merely asserted, that by his own public profession of principle, he had identified himself with the party usually designated by that name, and in fact we know of no other party who contend for annual parliaments and universal suffrage; and as for his assertion, that we plead for septennial parliaments, &c. we can only answer, that whatever our private opinion may be, we have not in our Review said one word on the subject.
Mr. H. charges us with coupling his name with those of Hone and Carlile for the purpose of exciting horror. We never dreamt of such a thing. We intimated the absurdity of speaking or writing of the liberty of the press as dead, abolished, and extinct, after witnessing Hohe's acquittals and Carlile's pertinacity. But surely this is not coupling Mr. Hall's name with theirs, or identifying him with them. He must really be very sensitive to view this juxta-position in so horrible a light.
To our venerable establishment Mr. Hall applies that passage, "Every plant which my 66 heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up." We really feel that he might with as much justice have applied it to the Leicester Infirmary, or the Bible Society, or the Baptist Mission at Serampore, or the Mission College at Calcutta. Doubtless the passage means, that every thing corrupt in principle or practice shall be destroyed; but to say that it, therefore, applies to our own or any other establishment, is completely to beg the question.
As to the cause of Agricultural Distress, we suspect the question is of more difficult solution than Mr. H. imagines: it were easy to support our opinions by the sentiments of agriculturists and political economists; but the cause is in better hands. we look and pray for the blessing of God on the deliberations of our senators, and are not to be moved from the ground we have taken by the charge of adopting "the language of slaves," or "thinking by proxy!
From this explanation of Mr. Hall's strange misrepresentations, we proceed to notice very briefly the advantages already gained in this discussion.
We observe with great satisfaction, that Mary Wolstonecraft, alias Mary Godwin, who was styled in the Apology "the eloquent and ingenious," is now given up. In quoting from our pages the sentence in which we described Mr. H. as the eulogist of Priestley, Price, and this woman, the sentence is cut in half, and her name and character omitted. We therefore presume Mr. H. has done with her.
We observe, also, that Mr. Hall is somewhat improved in his manner of speaking of Mr. Pitt. There is not in the whole Apology a single sentence relating to this great and distinguished statesman, which does not teem with the utmost scorn and the bitterest invective. Now, however, Mr. Hall allows that Mr. Pitt had some merit; "that "he devoted much time and a considerable portion of talent to the affairs of his country: and far be it from him (Mr. H.) to withhold an atom of his just praise."
We observe, also, that Mr. H. no longer advocates the sovereignty of the people, with which we certainly charged him. He says, in the Apology, "Government is the "creature of the people, and that which they have created they have surely a right to "examine."-" The people have always the same right to new-model their Government "and to set aside their rulers."-"The sovereignty of the people is the polar star "which will conduct us safe over the ocean of political debate.-The majesty of the "people must lift itself up." But Mr. H. now declares that he has not pleaded for any such doctrine as we inferred from these passages; that he only meant that a reform in Parliament was necessary. Were we mistaken in our inferences? Did Mr. Hall use unguarded language? Or have his sentiments experienced a slight alteration?
We observe, farther, that Mr. Hall now declares that "blasphemy is a crime which << no state should tolerate." He had previously said in the Apology, "Publications are of
a mixed nature, where truth is often mixed with falsehood, nor is there any way of separating the precious from the vile but by tolerating the whole." Again: "Few, I "apprehend, who are acquainted with history, would wish to see the writings of Deists
or Sceptics suppressed by law, being persuaded that it would be lodging a very danger"ous power in the hand of the magistrate." This we called, "pleading for the unfettered publication of every kind of blasphemy;" and we still think this to be the obvious meaning of these passages.
We rejoice, therefore, that Wolstonecraft is given up; that Mr. Pitt is spoken of in more moderate language; that "the sovereignty of the people" and the unrestrained freedom of the press are no longer sanctioned by Mr. Hall's great name. Whether he has retracted, or we were mistaken, we leave others to decide; at all events, the cause of religion and good government has gained by the discussion.
There remains but one point more, and we have done. Mr. Hall says, "I am at "a loss to reply in suitable terms to a writer who seems to glory in setting truth at "defiance. Let me ask the reader, whether he thinks there is a single person to be