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Sabbath vindicated the Fourth Commandment from the vain and superstitious traditions of the Jews by His own practice and example.”
After His resurrection also, by His presence amongst His disciples, when assembled for worship on the first day of the week, he sanctioned the transfer from the seventh day to the first, an alteration not in spirit and substance, but in the literal construction of the command in a point not essential. It is a remarkable fact, that some of those very persons who lower the institution from one of Divine to one of human appointment, propose nevertheless to make the practical mode of keeping it as stringent as my resolution; e.g. “Wherefore the duty of the day is violated, first, by all such employment as would hinder our attendance upon public worship; or take up so much of our time as not to leave a sufficient part of the day at leisure for religious reflection; as the going of journeys, &c. &c.” Paley's Mor. Phil. v. 2. p. 93.
After all, I do not think, that, supposing the moral character, and Divine authority, and perpetual obligation of the Fourth Commandment to be proved, the whole point at issue is obtained.
Our Saviour's practical mode of dealing with that law shows us, that it was not taken in an absolutely literal sense even by the Jews themselves; but the observance has always had its qualifications, and been, in fact, a matter of degree, as you say.
Although, therefore, I think Scripture requires us to maintain the perpetual Divine authority of the law and the day, and we gain a most important advantage and sanction there. by, yet we have still to contend for
the Scriptural observance of the day in the highest and most correct degree,-to the utmost welfare of others as well as ourselves; men-servants and maid-servants are to be considered universally; and all men's rights to be consulted.
Should we not then be very jealous of constantly sacrificing the religion and rest of hundreds to the occasional accommodation of individuals, and preferring the temptation to unhallowed pleasure through a whole line of country, to single, occasional, and uncertain losses of convenience?
Shall not the reverse be what we aim at? Doubtless, cases of emergency may arise, on which it would be quite justifiable to make a journey on the Lord's Day; but the real question is, whether a trading company is warranted in regularly employing two or three hundred of its servants on the Lord's Day, so as to allure thousands of the thoughtless and unwary into scenes of dissipation, and to deprive dependents of their day of rest for the purpose of providing against cases of accommodation, which very rarely occur, and which, when they do occur, may be left to the ordinary resources?
I ought to apologise for writing at so much length, and with so much freedom; but I am persuaded that neither of us are actuated by any other motive than the elucidation of truth. I shall always feel under the deepest obligation for the kindness with which you have entered into this discussion, and encouraged me to continue it, by requesting to hear from me again.
Believe me to remain, dear Sir, Your obliged and obedient servant,
W. L. NEWTON.
PROTESTANT MINSTRELSY,-No. II.
WICKLIFFE'S ASHES. They kindle fire upon the sod, | What hast thou brought, Oeager child, Fire on the parching grass!
And thou, O! ancient man? Children shall heed the blacken'd clod | The noisome weeds and herbage wild Years after, when they pass:
That o’er the fallows ranIt flares afar, it flares on high, | The broken bough, the tangled spray, Red flame against the evening sky! | That cumbering many a thicket lay?
This is no time for springing weeds! | Can ye forget the reck’ning hour,
Shorn with th' autumnal wheat, When dust like this is raised in Deep in the soil their slumbering
Can ye forget, that ye shall meet Await the summer heat:
This mortal, face to face, No shiver'd bough, no tangled thorn,
Before his Maker's judgment-seat Are these, from woodland thicket
Behold him in his place? borne.
Far scatter'd on the northern wind That broad, red flame is foully fed, Angels the Christian dust would For ye have stirred the mould,
find! And touched the ashes of the dead
And vengeance tarries not so longWith reckless hands, and bold:
Is even at the gate; And crumbling shroud, and whiten'd
I hear the clam’ring vultures throng bone, Strange fuel! on the flames are
To shrines made desolate!
I see the hands stretch'd out to smite, thrown!
Your idols trampled in the fight. Go, heap the pile-go, rouse the flame,
Go, gather from that smould'ring Yea, with a brother's clay!
heap, And dream ye blot an evil name
The ashes lightly given; From England's name to-day:
And where the winds the loudest The lifeless dust ye rudely spurn,
• sweep, Hath kindled lamps that aye shall
Go, sprinkle them to Heaven: burn.
What fiery woes shall they return! Words ye have not the power to stay, What brows shall with the plagueAre passing to and fro;
spot burn!* And o'er the seas, and far away,
The name that ye would blot with To mightier deeds shall grow. Go, rouse the flame, and heap the pile,
Shall live a household word; They live in many a heart the while.
And brazen trumps shall lift it higher Meet work ye find for Christian In battles of the Lord! hands!
A beacon-flame of liberty, A kindly Christian deed!
From these dry bones shall kindled To give these bones like ashen bands, be!
The broad red flame to feed!
PERSONAL DECLENSION AND REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN THE
SOUL. By the Rev. O. WINSLOW. pp. 310, 12mo. Shaw, Southampton
Row, London. The faithful Christian will find this a most valuable treatise. There are few works issuing from the press in the present day of equal excellence. It takes ground of the first importance, especially in days when our best and highest interests are so fearfully endangered, on the one hand, by
* Exodus ix. 8, 9. + Though they digged up his body, burnt his bones, and drowned his ashes; yet the Word of God and the truth of his could not burn. These to this day.-Fox.
the exclusive occupation of active and unceasing labour for others: and on the other hand, by the turmoil of controversy and religious dissension. Every Christian family should possess this work. We give the preface entire, as the best means of exhibiting its spirit and design. That the subject on which this humble volume treats is vastly solemn, and deeply searching, every true believer in Jesus must acknowledge. The exist. ing necessity for such a work has long impressed itself upon the Author's mind. While other and abler writers are employing their pens, either in defending the out-posts of Christianity, or in arousing a slumbering Church to an increased intensity of personal and combined action in the great work of Christian benevolence, he has felt that if he might but be instrumental, in ever so humble a way, of occasionally withdrawing the eye of the believer from the dazzling and almost-bewildering movements around him, and fixing it upon the state of HIS OWN PERSONAL RELIGION, he would be rendering the Christian Church a service, not the less needed and important in her present elevated and excited position.
It must be admitted, that the character and the tendencies of the age are not favourable to deep and mature reflection upon the hidden, spiritual life of the soul. Whirled along as the Church of God is, in her brilliant path of benevolent enterprise,-deeply engaged in concerting and in carrying out new and far-reaching plans of aggression upon the dominion of sin,--and compelled in one hand to hold the spiritual sword in defence of the faith, which, with the other, she is up-building, but few energies are left, and but little time is afforded, for close, faithful, and frequent dealing with the personal and spiritual state of grace in the soul; which, in consequence of thus being overlooked and uncultivated, may fall into a state of the deepest and most painful declension. “They made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.”
It is, then, the humble design of the writer in the present work, for a while to withdraw the mind from the consideration of the mere externals of Christianity, and to aid the believer in answering the solemn and searching inquiry, “ What is the present spiritual state of my soul before God?” In the following pages he is exhorted to forget the Christian profession he sustains, the party badge he wears, and the distinctive name by which he is known among men-to turn aside for a brief hour from all religious duties, engagements, and excitement, and to look this question fully and fairly in the face.
With human wisdom and eloquence the Author has not seen fit to load and adorn his work. The subject presented itself to his mind in too solemn and awful an aspect for this. The ground he traversed he felt to be so holy, that he had need to put off the shoes from his feet, and to lay aside everything that was not in strict harmony with the spiritual character of his theme. That the traces of human imperfection may be found on every page, no one can be more conscious than the Author,-no one more deeply humbled. Indeed, so affecting to his own mind has been the conviction of the feeble manner in which the subject is treated, that but for a deep sense of its vast importance, and the demand that exists for its discussion in almost any shape, he would more than once have withdrawn his book from the press. May the Spirit of God accompany its perusal with power and unction, and to Him, as unto the Father, and the Son, shall be ascribed the glory.
THE SABBATH QUESTION ILLUSTRATED. By A ROAD-SIDE
INQUIRER. pp. 206, 12mo. Seeleys, London. We regard this question as so vitally affecting the Divine honour among men, as well as the best interests of nations, families, and individuals, that we are always glad to welcome any thing from the press that is calculated to elucidate the privilege and duty of the Sabbath. Our readers will not be disappointed in this little book. It shews the bearings of the Sabbath question on the details of common life. It is cleverly and sensibly written, and in a style and upon a plan which cannot fail to keep up a lively interest, as well as forcibly to convey conviction to the mind; while it is grounded on sound Scriptural principles throughout.
GEMS OF SACRED MUSIC. Short Anthems by the most Eminent
Composers, suitable for Divine Service, Sunday Schools, Musical Societies, and Private Families. Harmonized for the Organ and Piano Forte, and may be sung in Four Voices. Ward, Paternoster Row, London. It is a gratifying circumstance, that all classes of the community have of late received an impulse in favour of devotional music. Singing has become almost a constant part of instruction in our day-schools, while the new systems introduced into most parts of England are giving facilities for all ages and grades to improve themselves on correct, scientific principles. Few persons are aware of the extent to which the powers of singing may be improved. Some go so far as to assert that every one may be taught to sing. However this may be, we certainly never witnessed a more wonderful or impressive sight, than that of some hundreds of the lowest and most neglected children gathered together in a singing class in one of the Corporation Schools near Scotland Road, in Liverpool. After hearing them go through their singing lessons in admirable style, the observation was made that, of course, this was a class drafted off from the rest of the school, as possessing the capability of singing. We were not a little surprised, when Mr. Crow declared, that it was the whole school of boys without any selection. They had literally been taken out of the streets in a state of the greatest ignorance and destitution, only a few months before; and nothing could exceed the harmony and propriety with which they went through their exercises.
Our churches must largely experience the benefit of this musical movement, and society at large participate extensively. Our young men in trade, &c., find in music a more rational and satisfactory recreation than the ale-house, &c., can afford.
And happily, with the increased demand, there is an increased supply of good and cheap musical publications. The one before us, as far as we can judge from the first six numbers published, promises to be a great acquisition. It consists of the best old music, and is wonderfully cheap. It is a happy circumstance, that music can now be printed at so much less expense than formerly.
THE YOUGHAL MONASTERY.CONVERSION OF ITS INMATES TO
PROTESTANTISM. To the Editor of the St. James's
Chronicle. SIR,—Deeming it necessary that the public should have accurate information respecting the dissolution of the Youghal Monastery, and the conversion of its inmates to the Protestant faith, I beg that you will have the goodness to afford me space in your next publication for the following brief statement:
Previous to attaching myself, in 1838, to the presentation order in Cork, I had been connected with the Christian brothers, and was entrusted at an early age, with various important offices. From Cork I was sent to the Youghal Monastery, of which I was appointed superior. It is needless to add, that I was held in high esteem by Roman Catholics in general, until I began to waver in religious opinions, mix freely with Protestants, hold religious conversations with the rector of the town, and became so satisfied of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, that I renounced those errors, and became a Protestant.
From the time I first appeared to hold communion with those opposed to the Romish belief, and hold religious conversations with the rector, I had to endure a system of the most venomous and harassing persecution. Insinuations were made against my character in a very guarded and jesuitical manner, and some of the Romish priests denounced me from the altar without mentioning my name, yet in so pointed a manner as not to be misunderstood. This act drove me to attempt a justification by addressing the congregation on the following Sunday; but when I commenced I was hustled from the place, and after having endeavoured in vain
to obtain an investigation from the priests, or even a specification of charges against me, I had, as my only resource, to call a public meeting, at which a large number of persons of respectability and of all persuasions, resolved unanimously that “no charges were proved.”
Since then various efforts have been made to bribe, intimidate, or induce me to retrace my steps, but the Lord has been graciously pleased to strengthen me against those attempts. I was seized and imprisoned for debts contracted on behalf of the institution, and on the faith of its income, which was withheld from me after the parties had proved how fruitless were their efforts to force me to an unworthy compromise. I was visited with oppression and ignominy, and every species of indignity. Had it not been for the Protestant inhabitants, the magistrates, and the police authorities of the town, my life would, in all probability, have been sacrificed to the fury of the priests and the populace.
These proceedings made a lasting impression on the other members of the community. Witnessing the change wrought in my religious belief, and knowing the sacrifices made, and the persecution endured on that account, they were brought to a stand, and led to make further inquiries into the faith and practice of the Church of Rome. Providentially they were brought into contact with pious clergymen, and after a short time the entire community conformed to the Protestant faith. This is a brief and faithful account of the entire transaction.-I am, Sir, your faithful servant,
J. B. MURPHY, Late Superior of Youghal Monastery. 12, Great Ryder-st., St. James's,