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tions, let us recollect, that the plan proposed is far from authorising any dereliction of evangelical truth, any the least declension from sound doctrine. The Gospel message is still to be delivered in all its purity, with all its unbending firmness; but it is to be couched in terms, which may render its acceptance more probable; it is to be proposed in a manner, which may, if possible, prevent its outward form from being any longer disgusting. It is true that the grace of God car, and without doubt in numerous instances does, render the Gospel effectual, when it is published without any such precautious as those abovenamed ; but I would ask, does not the economy of God in general require, for the accomplishment of any purpose, the best exertions of human reason, and does not the Divine Being promise to superadd his blessing to our endeavours ? Are we not endowed with faculties to discern the best methods of proceeding, and are we not excpeted to take those methods while we earnestly implore divine assistance It must be allowed that the Gospel will, after all the labour of Christ's faithful ministers, and all their endeavours to make it attractive and engaging, be by many rejected, and by all, in an unregenerate state, disliked and treated with indifference. On the blessing of God must all success dePend. All this, however, being allowed, a minister must use the means best calculated to make his exertions successful; and, being conscious that he does so, he may, with some degree of confidence, expect to see fruit from his labours. N-X.
-Totheleditor of the Christian Observer.
My attention has been drawn to a o: in a late number, p. 294, from * female correspondent, respecting "the Difficulties of a Country Clergyman's Wife,” in her mode of *iling the poor. Feeling myself
not uninterested in the matter, I have given it some consideration, and take leave to communicate the result of my reflections to your inspection. I take it for granted that she, with every real Christian, daily consults the word of God for “instruction in righteousness,” and that she prays with the royal Psalmist, “that it may be a lamp to her feet, aud a light to her paths.” She desires earnestly that the law of God may be her delight and the rule of her life. Having therefore this object in view, she contemplates with admiring love the character of her Saviour, and in him b holds, the grand exemplar of true Christian virtue. She sees that the law of love was all fulfilled in Him, who was himself perfection. Every opportunity which presented itself he improved in doing good; but in a more peculiar manuer did he direct the grand scope of his beneficence towards the poor. He announced to them, that one leading principle of his Gospel consisted, in its being preached to the poor, and emphatically styled them blessed: “Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” He who was lord of all, condescended to perform the most inenial offices, in order to teach his followers an example of humility; yet if we follow him through the whole course of his labour of love, I think we never read that his condescension subjected him to contempt, or betrayed those around him into an undue familiarity. On the contrary, the inspired writers give us many proofs of that respect and deference which were paid to him on all occasions. In all their prefatory addresses to Him, he was ever accosted by the titles of Lord, Rabbi, or Master, and these were only so many acknowledgments of his confessed superiority of distinction above themselves. There was doubtless exhibited in him, a majesty of manner, blended with such conciliating sweetness, that, whilst the one forbad the appearance of irreverence, the other constrained the sick, the weary, and heavy-laden to go to him for rest. Hence the Christian, being spiritually united to Christ by faith, partakes of the spirit of Christ, and this vital union becomes influential in producing, in the life and conversation, an humble conformity and resemblance to him. Perhaps we cannot have a better criterion of the sincerity of our love to Christ, than by forming a due estimation of what is our measure of love to the poor of the flock—for his sake. This holds good of all Christians, whether in the higher or middle rank of society. In perfect accordance with the example of our blessed Redeemer, an apostle enjoins, “that we condescend to men of low esfate,” and “ that we do good unto all.” It follows by consequence. that these injunctions being given, we are to obey them. It appears to me that the obligations of this Christian charity, as it respects the spiritual and temporal wants of men, are proportionably greater or less, according to that station in life we are called by Divine Providence to fill. Now, I apprehend that every real Christian entertains an exalted view of the sacred importance of the ministerial office, and of the magnitude of those various requirements, religiously, and relatively connected with it. Permit me then to ask, if the ambassador of Christ is not only to be a teacher in divine things, but an ensample to all in every thing that is lovely and of good report, should not the wife of a clergyman be exemplary beyond the ordinary walk of a more private character St. Paul, in his apostolic charge to Timothy, teaches, that the wives of ministers, are “ to be found faithful in all things.” This evidently implies, that “ they are peculiarly bound,” conscientiously to evidence their suitableness as helps meet for their husbands; that by practically commending religion, and by their humility, love, and zeal for God's glory in promoting the present comfort and final salva.
tion of sinners, they may adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. - Having attempted to shew what was the line of conduct pursued by our Saviour for our imitation; very, briefly sketched out the important situation of a Christian minister, in order to prove that the wife of a minister is under peculiar obligations to advance the good of her fellow-creatures; it only remains to effer one or two hints respecting the mode. First, that familiarity of which Louisa complains, I think, may ever be prevented by herself maintaining an even course betwixt an appearance of haughtiness, and any thing like the equalizing of her deportment to a level with those with whom her duty demands she should have frequent intercourse. It does not appear incumbent upon her to protract her visits to any immoderate length, or to share with a cottager's family in a meal. In this respect, she may have carried her condescension to an unnecessary length. Though it is a sacred duty to communicate, and to be ever ready to assist the poor, and those in humble life to the best of our ability, yet it is no where required that we leave the station “assigned us by Provi. dence,” by making them our companions. Here I admit that familiarity may breed contempt, but in no other case. My second hint respects dress. If Louisa sees her poor neighbours (I mean those of the younger part of her own sex) imitating her mode of dress, ought she not to admonish them of the obvious impropriety, and to warn them of the consequences, in which an inordinate love of dress may involve them, whether in a religious or moral view Louisa's silence may appear to them a tacil sanction of their proceedings; but if she manifests her disapprobation, doubtless her word would have an influence, perhaps greatly beyond her expectations. I will conclude my observations by reminding Louisa, that her path
In your number for January 1811, p. 3, you have inserted the following note, on which I beg permission to make a few remarks: " It is much to be lamented, that no means have yet been devised by our bishops for obviating the difficulties which stand in the way of employing missionaries of the church of England. They refuse to grant ordination, except under regulations which may be very proper as they apply to England; but surely a different rule would be expedient in the case of persons who engage in foreign missions.” In the southern parts of England, it is required, in general cases, that a candidate for holy orders shall be a graduate of one of our universities. But in the northen dioceses, the bishops do not insist upon this qualification. A schoolmaster, or any other person of competent learning, especially if he can make it appear that he was originally designed for the church, may, without difficulty, be ordained; and I never heard that our bishops have been too strict in their requirements in regard to human learning. It is certain, however, that men of piety and zeal, with a very small stock of learning, might be useful as missionaries abroad; but here lies the difficulty: Were the bishops to ordain illiterate men, many of them would, in all Probability, finally settle in EngChrist. Onseaw. No. 115,
land. After ordination, they would be capable of holding any preferment which they could procure. The reputed difficulties of a missionary life, the anxiety of friends, some slight indisposition, a fancied debility of constitution, prospects of usefulness in England, together with that love of ease and respectability which is natural to the human heart, would unite in forming a temptation more powerful than is generally conceived. It is, I presume, a view of this difficulty which has led both the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge and , that for Missions to Africa and the East to apply to the German Lutheran church for ordination. I am well aware that there are men in the nation, who look with hesitation and suspicion to that quarter. However this be, l conceive that a considerable remedy for the inconvenience above stated lies within our own island. The strictest disciplinarian will allow, that there is in Scotland a regular episcopacy, unconnected with any religious establishment. The act of Parliament which tolerates the Scotch episcopalians expressly provides, that clergymen ordained by the Scotch bishops shall not be capable of holding preferment in the church of England. This is an arrangement purely political. If missionaries then were ordained by the Scotch bishops, they would be accounted clergymen with full powers in every part of the world; but, for political reasons only, they would not be able to settle to any advantage in England. Another plan of proceeding has occurred to me as practicable, and I will now take the freedom to unfold the outlines of it; and I am of opinion, that as far as it could be carried into effect, it would obviate existing difficulties. Let pious young men be taken up and educated for the ministerial office, under the express stipulation, that when they are in full orders they shall go abroad. | would not require them 3
"o promise that they would become strictly missionaries: they might be chaplains, and yet, if men of a right spirit, they might be equally as useful as those under a more appropriate character. Their place of education should be within the northern dioceses. I would initiate them only so far into the learned languages, as to enable them to pass with credit an examination before the bishop. During the whole time of their education, I would employ them one day in the week, in superintending a petty school gratis, in some neighbouring village where such a convenience might be wanted. This, I conceive, would not retard their progress in learning, and it would inure them to acts of benevolence, and give them a practical acquaintance with an employment which they would find extremely useful in foreign parts. In general cases, the space of three years, well-spent, might qualify them to pass an examination. I would then procure them a title in some obscure country village. And if, by a gratuity, I could enable some poor, aged, and infirm incumbent to keep a curate for a little while, I should not think the money improperly expended. There my young man should officiate as curate for a time, still bearing upon his mind the most lively impression of his obligation to go abroad; and, when in priest's orders, I would call upon him for the fulfilment of his engagements. It is probable, that in some cases I might fail of success; but what human proposal is without its defects? My plan would have these advantages. It would require no “legislative provision;” it would involve the bishop in no difficulties; it would create no suspicion, and would require no explanation ou my part, because it would ask no favours. And yet it would admit of a very easy explanation, and a bishop who should oppose it must be an open and avowed enemy. In obstinate cases, I would apply to the Scotch bishops; but in gene
ral, I should have no need of that expedient. 1 cast no reflection on German ordination, but I still vastly prefer the institutions of our own church ; and I conceive that it has never yet been fairly tried, what the church of England can do, with her present provisions. Either of the plans I have proposed appears to me better than that suggested in your work, p. 204, that “men should be ordained for foreign service, without deriving from such ordination any legal title to exercise their ministerial functions in the United Kingdom.” A mission conducted on this plan would amount to a banishment for life, and I apprehend few would be found willing to undertake the difficult office under such circumstances. And if it be said, that a missionary may return to his native land, and have recourse to his former employment, and so become secularized again; such a provision would make a fundamental alteration in the constitution of the church of England, and on that account would be in the highest degree objection. able. Having suggested these hints, I withdraw. I blame no man; and least of all, am I willing to search for opportunities of casting censure
To the Editor of the Christian Obsert".
THE Christian Observer's Review of the Quarterly Review, “on Evangelical Sects,” has suggested, I have no doubt, to many of your readers, as well as to myself, a wish to 0 tain a satisfactory answer to the following inquiry: * - - Where is the most authento. count of the doctrines and go. of the Wesleyan Methodists * e found—the most correct statems. of the religious tenets which ". hold and inculcate, and of their plat; form of religious discipline. o: not add, that the statement ". for is one which the Monodius" selves acknowledge to be correct,
A PERUsal of the observations inserted in a former number of your valuable work, On the Moral Construction of a Will, has induced me to revise a few remarks which I put together, about two years ago, on a similar subject. If you do not think them unworthy a place in the Christian Observer, they are at your service, I am, &c. X. Y. Z.
HINTS RELATIVE TO THE DUTY AND MODE OF MAki NG A WILL,
Notwithstanding few of the duties that devolve on mankind are of greater importance, or require a closer and calmer consideration, than those which relate to the disposition of property after death, it is a melancholy fact that there are few, if any, in the discharge of which men more frequently fail to give satisfartion to those who are interested in them. The law has provided regulations for those cases in which men die without leaving directions on this subject; and in them consanguinity in its different degrees furnishes the basis of the rule by which the property is distributed. But though it be admitted that these provisions are sometimes as proper as can well be determined, they are often insufficient to embrace claims for remembrance, which in justice ought not to be overlooked; and the proportions in which survivors receive benefit, according to those rules, are, often also, widely different from those
which would meet the wishes, if they could be collected, of the person whose property is thus disposed of. It surely, therefore, cannot be inculcated too often, or too strongly, on mankind in general, be their age and situation whatever they may, seriously to consider, and correctly to point out, in what way they are of opinion the property they possess may be best distributed, when Providence shall deprive them
of the power to make use of it.
It is much to be lamented that men are apt, time after time, to put off this important duty. One of the most common reasons for this procrastination appears to be, the difficulty of making up the mind in what manner it may be best performed. But the difficulty will not be diminished by delay; and the same reason for procrastination, if permitted to continue its influence, will prevent a will from being ever made. Sudden deaths are not unfrequent. Health, as well as life, is continually in danger: and in the last sickness the powers of the mind are not unfrequently so much enfeebled by the weakened state of the body, that the difficulty of the work must of course be much increased by it.
It should be remembered also, that a will has not any operation until the death of the testator; and it is capable of revision as long as the testator lives, and as often as he may think it necessary. However desirable it may be, therefore, to make a will perfect at once, this perfection is not indispensible; and if a will be made seriously and de