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RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

CAMBRIDGE AUxi Li Art Y Bin LE soci ETY.

Arsen Mr. Dealtry's unanswerable refutation of the objections that had been urged to the Bible Society as hostile to the Established Church, we certainly had hoped that no person, who valued his reputation for good sense and discernment, would have chosen to collect these refuted objections, and to bring them again before the public. In this hope we have been disappointed. A name no less celebrated than that of Dr. Marsh, the Margaret Professor of Divinity in the university of Cambridge, has appeared affixed to an Address to the Senate of that university, intended to operate as a dissuasive from the adoption of a project (to which the zeal of the under-graduates first gave birth) for forming an Auxiliary Bible Society. This address, we are happy to say, has sailed of its design. It admitted, indeed, of a very compendious answer-an answer which we understand to have been given to it by a Noble Earl, on whose mind the learned author laboured to impress his own views of the subject –“ After all you have said, I am wholly unable to see how the most extensive circulation of the Bible can possibly injure the Church of England.” But though these three lines contain a valid reply to all that Dr. Marsh has advanced in opposition to the British and Foreign Bible Society, we were not sorry to see the same truth amplified and enforced in a letter to Dr. Marsh, from a Member of Parliament, no less distinguished for his cordial attachment to the Church of England, than for the extent of his general information, and his habits of official accuracy : we mean, the Right Hon. Nicholas Vansittart. Under a strong impression of the advantage which the cause of religion (also, in fact, the cause of our country) is likely, under the Divine blessing, to derive, from seeing our senators and our statesmen engaged in fighting its battles, and especially in vindicating, not only to our own population, but to that of the universe at large, their interest in that * RAND chan rer which “makes even the slave a sreeman ;" we are anxious that this letter should not be lost. We do no more than an act of justice, however, in adding, that the rank of the writer is intrinsically its smallest recommendation. Our readers will Clinist. Observ. No. 120.

perceive, that in a narrow compass it gives a conclusive answer to every thing which has a pretence to be regarded as argument in the objections urged by Dr. Marsh to the British and Foreign Bible Society. Nor will that answer, we are persuaded, be less available to its purpose, on account of the elevated sentiments of piety which it breathes, and the Christian courtesy with which it is expressed. This letter would merit publication on another ground. It will shew our angry polemics (we desire ourselves to benefit by the lesson) how a Christian may contend for truth without irritation, and triumph over an opponent without asperity. It is as follows. * “Dear Sir, “I beg to return my best acknowledgments for the communication of your Address to the Senate of Cambridge; which I the more strongly feel as a mark of your kind attention, as I have not the honour of belonging to that University, and as it is a considerable time since I have been so fortunate as to have had an opportunity of meeting you. You were, perhaps, not aware that you were sending your Address to a member of the British and Foreign Bible Society; but I accept as a proof of kindness your candid and friendly admonition, which affords me an opportunity of justifying myself to you as a Church of England man, for contributing my assistance to that institution, “I never, indeed, before thought it necessary to offer any apology for so doing; for though I was aware, before 1 engaged in the Society, that it had been represented as dangerous to the Church, it appeared to me that this charge had been so completely refuted, that it is with no less surprise than regret that I now learn that you still think it well founded. “The sole and exclusive object of the Bible Society, so far as it respects the United KingNom, is the circulation of the authorized translation of the Scriptures, without note or comment. I should, as a member of the Church, be very sorry to think that the devout study of the Scriptures could lead to the disregard of our Liturgy; on the contrary, I should hope that it would produce a more general acknowledgment of its excellence, as it originally, at the period of the Resormation, led, through the blessing of Divine Providence, to its establishment.

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The Bible, says Chillingworth, and the Bible only, is the religion of the Protestant; it is the sole basis of the Church of England, and the only one on which you, I am sure, would wish to place it. But you observe, that you can have no guarantee, that as the power of the Bible Society increases, other objects, inimical to the Church, will not in time be associated with the m in object. To this I answer, that so long as the nembers of the Church take part in the Bible Society, its very constitution will afford such a guarantee as you desire. The president, and all the vice-presidents without exception, are churchmen, and are constant members of the nanaging committee, in which they always preside; and of the other members of this committee, the churchmen are equal in number to all the dissenters of different sects; so that in every question the Church must have a constant majority; and in the general meetings, in which alone all points affecting the constitution of the Society must be decided, the members of the Church must have a weight in proportion to their numbers and consequence. In proportion, therefore, as Churchmen of talents, rank, and influence join the Society, this preponderance must increase. Among the vice-presidents are already numbered one of the archbishops of Ireland, and five English and two Irish bishops. I doubt whether the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, which now, as you observe, enjoys the countenance of the whole episcopal bench, was, at so short A period from its formation, honoured with ibe support of so large a body of the prelates; and I should hope the time might not be far distait when the two societies may equally flourish under the general patronage of then all. This would appear to me the most effectual remedy for any supposed danger from the dissenting influence in the bible Society. But what is the remedy you propose?—That all Churchmen should withdraw themselves from the society, and leave it wholly in the hands of the dissenters, it any thing can make the Society dangerous, this must do it; because there would then be no check to any sectarian spirit which might introduce itself, and which must be unavoidably irritated by so harsh, and, I think, so unjust an indication of jealousy. But even if no sentiment of resentment should be excited, one of two consequences must inevitably follow: either the Society, being deprived of the hope of further suport, and crippled by the loss of its pecuFiary means, and of inany of its most valuable hembers, would wholly expire, or silik

into insignificance; or else the dissentinginterest, making up for these losses by more extensive sacrifices, and an increase of real and activity, and availing itsel; of the assistance of the forcign societies already formed, would carry on the Institution in nearly the same manner as before. “In the first case you would have crushed an establishment which has done more for the diffusion of Christianity than has been effected in the same space of time in any age since the apostolic; which has in seven years been the means of preaching the Gospel in fifty-four languages. This would indeed be putting out one of the eyes of Bitain. “The other alternative would be to transfer to the body of dissenters all the houout and influence of whatever has been done, and whatever may be done, by an Institution, of which the dawn has been so glorious, but which is visibly rising into brighter day. Shall it be said that the dissenters alone have carried the word of God to every listion under heaven? Or shell the Church of England continue to claim the leading part in this important work? And can the Church of England stand so secure upon a narro" and exclusive policy, as by Heserving the blessings and uniting the prayers of all People, natious, and languages? “The evils of either alternative seem to me equally fatal and inevitable. I am far from undervaluing the efforts of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge: I am on old member of that Society, and an heartly disposed to lend any assistance in my power to its useful plans. But how little either that or any other society now existing work be competent to supply the place of the Bible Society, the experience of above * century has shown. Even supposing (* I thinkiupossible) that it might be made in some considerable degree, to answer thesaue purposes, I see superior advantages in to present constitution of the Bible Society. The co-operation of Churchmen and disco ters in religious matters, so far as they can conscientiously co-operate, seems to me." of the most efficacious means of lessenius both the political and religious evils of dissent. It dispels prejudices, promotes codour and good will, and must Prepare o mind for the reception of that truth which every one perceives to be no less the object of those who differ from him than his "". From such a communication, the chair, a England has nothing to fear and every thing to hope ; as holding (in out judgment at least) that middle line of truth, in which al opposite opinions have a natural tendency to coincide. And is that truth more likely to be acknowledged and embraced by minds embittered by mutual jealousy and aversion. or by such as have been previously softened by conciliation? “The existence of dissent will perhaps be inseparable from religious friedon, so long as the mind of man is liable to error; but it is not unreasonable to hope that hostility may cease where perfect agreement cannot he established. If we cannot reconcile all opinions, let us endeavour to unite all hearts. "I ought, perhaps, to apologize for troubling you with arguinents, which must probaby have been already brought before you, * I know your opinions are not taken up hastily and lightly. But I have thought it necessary to state such as have chiefly induced me to consider my taking a part in the concerns of the Bible Society not only consistent with, but a proof of the sincerity and warmth of my attachment to the Church of England; and which still, on reflection, seem to me to have so much weight, that, far from repenting of what I have done, I feel convinced I shall least of all repent of it as I approach that state in which the distinction of Churchmen and dissenters shall be no more. “I am, &c. (Signed) “N. v AN's 11t ART.” "Great George Street, 4th Dec. 1811.” The proposed meeting for considering the propriety of forming an Auxiliary Bible Society at Cambridge took place on the 12th instant. It was most numerously and respectably attended; and the issue was such as might have been expected. A Society was formed, of which the Duke of Gloucester was appointed patron; the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Isardwickc (who most ably and honourably filled the chair on this occasion) vice-patrons; the Bishop of Bristol president; and the Bishop of Landaff, the Earl of Bristol, Lord Headley, Dr. Milner the Dean of Carlisle, and Dr. Davy, Master of Caius College, vicepresidents. Upwards of one thousand pounds have been subscribed. It will be impossible

for us, in the present number, to give a par

ricular account of the proceedings which took place on this most interesting occasion. Those, however,who have any curiosity to gratify on the subject, will find them fully detailed in the Appendix, which will be published as usual at the close of the ensuing month.

BED FORDshirte Auxili ARY BIBLE 50cirty. On the 28th of November, a meeting was

held at Bedford, for the purpose of forming an Auxiliary Bible Society for that county and its vicinity. His Grace the Duke of Bedford opened the business of the day in a manner equally dignified and impressive, and began by stating, that, ou receiving an application to accept the office of President to the Society, he had thought it his duty, before he engaged in a step of so much importance, maturely to investigate the nature, plan, and general principles of the institution which he was called upon to support; and that, after the fullest deliberation which he was able to give to the subject, his mind was strongly impressed with the importance of the object, and the obligation on his part to give it his most cordial and unqualified approbation and support. His Grace stated his opinion, that it was to the dissemination of the Scriptures we were to look in order to reclaim the vicious, instruct the ignorant, and administer cousolation to the allicted; and declared his firm conviction, that sound policy and the support of religion were invariably the same;—that what his Majesty had once expressed on this subject was deeply engraven on his mind, viz. “That he hoped to see the day when every poor man's child in his dominions should be able to read his Bible;"—that most willingly did he concur in this seutiment; and with this view he had thought it incumbent on him to countenance the measures taken for extending the blessing of religious education among the lower classes of society. His Grace was followed by the Rev. Mr. Beachcroft, the rector of Blunham, and by the three secretaries of the parent society. who, with their accustomed ability and feel. ing, severally explained the nature, and enforced the claims, of the institution which it was proposed to establish. The resolutions for the formation of an auxiliary society were unanimously adopted; and his Grace the Duke of Bedford was appointed president of it; the Marquis of Tavistock, Lord St. John, Sir George Osborne, Samuel Whitbread, Esq. M. P. Lee Antonie, Esq. M. P. and Francis Pym, Esq. M. P. vice-presidents. In the course of the proceedings of the day, many speakers distinguished themselves by the force of their arguments and the servour of their eloquence; and among them, the Rev. Leigh Richmond, rector of Turvey; the Rev. Mr. Anthony of Bedford; Jolin Foster, Esq. of Biggleswade; the Rev. Mr. Hillyard of Bedford; Mr. Professor Martyn, rector of Purtenall; the Rev. Mr. Grimshaw, vicar of Beddenham; the Rev. Richard Whittingham, vicar of Patten; the Rev. Mr. Freeman of Bedford; Samuel Whitbread, Esq.; and John Foster, Esq. of Brickhill. It would be utterly impossible for us to give our readers even a faint sketch of these different speeches, which were certainly in the highest degree honourable both to the heads and hearts of the speakers. All we shall be able to effect is to preserve from oblivion, as far as our ephemeral pages can effect that object, the noble testimony which, with all his characteristic manliness and force, Mr. Whitbread bore in favour of the purposes of the meeting.

“I cannot express,” he observed, “the great delight and satisfaction I feel that I have this day, for the first time in the course of my life, seen publicly realized the great maxims of thc Gospel. I have for the first time heard acknowleged that great incontrovertible truth, without the recognition of which human wisdom is vain, that the Gospel of Christ is able to stand alone—that it requires not the assistance of man to make it penetrate into the heart of than ; and that from the propagation of Divine knowledge by Jesus Christ, down to the present day, it is the Gospel, and the Gospel alone, which is designed to speak to the heart, and thereby raise the soul to everlasting glory. Gentlemen, it would ill become ine to say much after so much has been said, and so well said, by those who have preceded me, and whose peculiar province it is to propagate the great light which emerges from heaven, and to dif. fuse it among men; but I may say that I have peculiar satisfaction in witnessing the arrival of this day among you. It has been one great object of my life to direct men to that great precept of Holy Writ, “search the scriptures"—to discuss then for themselves: they were designed to be searched by every mall for himself, that each might exercise his own judgment on the momentous truths therein contained. Gentlemen, I am speaking from the sincerity of my heart, from conviction, from experience of a life not short, not inactive, that in the Gospel is contained the compendium of all wisdom, as well as the everlasting source of immortal happiness; and that if a man be truly in heart a Christian, if he have courage to acknowledge himself such by word and by deed, if he will proceed to transact all his public and private concerns with the maxims of the Gospel in his hand, and engraved on his heart, the wisdom of the wisest who do not act on that system, will be confounded before him." He next adverted to the happy

situation of this highly favoured country— favoured indeed in the enjoyment of many blessings to which other countries had long been strangers; “but let us not,” he said, exult in our happiness as if it were the resh of our own merit or wisdom ; let us bless God as a nation, as we do bless God as individuals; let us not approach the throne of grace in self approbation, but renuember that we owe our superiority to the blessing of God through the propagation of the Gospel: let is recollect that the best of men, and the Hocs pious of nations, if it could be so said of cars, after all fall far short of what they ought to be, and have more ground for humiliation than applause. The language most been=ing to us will be, ‘God be tuerciful to me, a sinner.’”

He proceeded to allude to what had sales from another gentleman, as to that solemn feast of Pentecost, when we are told, that, hy a particular inspiration of Divine Grace, the power of language was given to the Apostles, and every one beard them speak in his cus tongue. He was himself in pressed with this before it had fallen from the lips of another, and had said to himself, “How happensit that in this joyful assembly, without prejudice, without contention, every sect should find itself addressed in its own language, whetter as members of the Church of England, of classed among the various descriptions of Protestant Dissenters—how find we this whole assembly of one accord, and one mind?—Why, because this day we felt and understood the true principles of the Christian faith.” He believed that the blessing of God was upon them; that from that day forth arose the strong hope that all animos. ties on the subject of religious opinion would be done away, though he believed that a dis. serence of opinion, on points where the great foundation of faith was the same, may have been permitted by God, for preserving aire a zealous spirit to investigate the doctrines contained in the holy Scriptures.

A sun of 550l. was collected, in donation, and annual subscriptions, on this interesting occasion.

We are obliged to defer the account of the Ipswich Auxiliary Bible Society, and various other articles of Religious Intelligence. They will be sound, along with the details of the Cambridge meeting, in the Appendix. SPAIN AND PORTUGAL, The progress of the war in the Peninsula has been attended, as usual, with various fortune; the course of events, however, has been on the whole favourable, and the prospect has certainly brightened. The official account of General Hill's gallant affair with Girard, has been received; and the loss sustained by the enemy appears, from it, to have been more considerable than was at first supposed. The surprise, as well as the rout, was most complete. The whole of the enemy's force amounted to 2,500 infantry, and 600 cavalry. Of these, about 1,400 had been taken prisoners when the dispatches were written: among whom were a General and a Colonel of cavalry, four Lieutenant Colonels, and about thirty inferior officers; and besides those killed and wounded in the plain where the attack was first made, 600 appear to have fallen in the pursuit. The whole of the enemy's artillery, baggage, and commissariat, sell also into our hands, together with some magazines of corn which were collected at Caceres and Merida, and the contribution of money which Girard had levied in the former town. Our loss was trifling: seven killed, and sixtyfive wounded, including seven officers. Marshal Soult's report of this affair does 'not differ materially, except in the extent which he assigns to the French loss, from that of General Hill. He speaks of it as so disgraceful, that he knows not how to qualify it. He has ordered, he says, “an inquiry and a severe example." The con‘duct of Gen. Regnaud, late governor of Ciudad Rodrigo, is mentioned also by the Marshal in terms of strong reprehension. He communicates at the same time the suicide of Gen. Godinot, who commanded the force that had been employed against Ballasteros in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar; and ascribes the event to a morbid melancholy, to which he had long been subject. It is more than probable, however, that his failure in the object for which he had been detached to the southward, and the harassing pursuit of the Spaniards, during his retreat to Seville, may have had some share in producing the paroxysm which has terminated so fatally. It is admitted, that he returned extremely fatigued.

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS,

Since the defeat of Blake's army, and the fall of Saguntum, Suchet has laid siege to Valencia. On the 18th of November, no serious impression had yet been made on the main body of the works of that city. Suchet's heavy artillery, however, had arrived, and he would probably lose no time in pressing the siege.

The accounts from Catalonia are, on the whole, very favourable. The large force which has been drawn towards Valencia has afforded to the Catalans an opportunity of re-arming themselves, and of organizing not only many guerilla parties, but some larger bodies, which intercept the enemy's detachments and convoys, and greatly affect the freedom of his communications. Upwards of four thousand French soldiers are stated to have fallen victims in a short space of time to this desultory mode of warfare, independently of the great inconvenience sustained from the interruption and capture of supplies. Baron d'Eroles, after capturing a large convoy of provisions, the escort of which he dispersed, attacked the town of Cervera, which sell into his hands, with its garrison of 400 men, and a large magazine of provisions which had been collected there for the use of Barcelona. The capture of this place cuts off the communication between Harcelona and Lerida, and indeed restricts the French garrison at the former place to its own narrow limits. From Cervera, the Baron marched by Urgel to Puygcerda, dispersing a militia force of 1,500 men, which attempted to oppose his advance, and pe. netrated thence into Languedoc, as far as Mont Louis (farther than has been known since the wars of the Succession) where he levied a contribution of 50,000 dollars, with which he returned safely into Spain. All accounts, not only those of the Spaniards, but of our own naval and military officers, concur in representing this principality as having suddenly assumed a noble and imposing attitude; and the French as being thus placed in circumstances of great and increasing difficulty; Barcelona itself being again greatly straitened for provisions,

In the province of Arragon, the movements of the Spaniards have been no less successful than those of Baron d'Eroles in Catalonia. A French force of 1,200 men

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