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to your spiritual and eternal welfare on tithes for the sake of quoting the that she has not provided to your concluding passage which relates to hands. Beware then that you abuse the general subject of the present not your high privileges; beware that paper. Dr. Chalmers had shewn, :bu neglect not so great salvation. what every reasonable political ecoThe ministrations of the church are nomist allows, that tithes ultimately an ordinance divinely appointed of fall, where they ought, on the estate, God for your best and eternal in- and not on the farmer or consumer, terests; and great will be your except so far as they keep out of guilt if you fail to avail yourself of cultivation some poor lands, and them with zeal and humility, with cause better lands to have a smaller faith and prayer, that you may grow dose of capital expended on them. in grace, and in the knowledge of He had also proved that it would be your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, highly beneficial to all parties, and and at length through his infinite especially to the landlord, to have merits obtain everlasting life.
them commuted for a charge upon We had concluded our review, and the estate ; by which means the sent it to press, when we received church, without being impaired in Dr. Chalmers's new and admirable its emoluments, would be relieved of work, entitled “ Political Economy much odium, and the agriculturalist in connexion with the Moral State lose a fruitful subject of discontent. and Moral Prospects of Society." But he also shews with equal clearWe wish that intelligent Christian ness, that as to the general well-being laymen, and still more clergymen, of society, neither tithe commutation, would occasionally look into such nay, nor tithe abolition or tax abobooks, that they might better under- lition, would be of itself any permastand the practical workings of so- nent benefit; since, if the same imciety, and thus be enabled to con- providence prevailed under the new struct their arguments and appeals as under the old system, the soil with more of truth and efficiency. would soon be as much over peopled There is too much of common place as before, and the same distress again and fallacious declamation on almost ensue. Still, for the moment, benefit every subject which relates to the would arise, since more persons temporal, moral, and spiritual welfare could be maintained in proportion of nations. Nine tenths of the po- as imposts are taken off, and the pular speeches, essays, and ser- trade in corn set free; but in a few mons, which happen to touch upon years the vacuum would be filled such subjects as the treatment of and over-filled, and the population the poor, poor laws, tithes, taxes, be as wretched as before ; unless church establishments, free trade, education, religion, and the extencorn laws, prove that the writers sion of public intelligence and habits have never taken the pains to under- of providence and forethought, prestand the matter; and above all, what vailed, so as to keep down the popuare called practical men are in ge- lation under the starving point. Why neral the most fallacious of reason is sterile Sweden flourishing, and ers, their practice and theory being fertile China in a state of modified confined to what passes within eye- starvation? The same may be asked scope of their own purblind retina, of Switzerland and Ireland; and the instead of taking in the large field of answer is to be found in the moral induction which comprehends all the and economical habits of the people. elements necessary to determine the But we must not digress, but conproblem. But this is not our theme, tent ourselves with our intended though we shall be glad to resume extract, which forms an excellent it if we find an opportunity of re- sequel to the present article. As viewing Dr.Chalmers's work; but we the much respected writer is not of intended only to notice the chapter our own communion, we the more
confidently refer to his concluding as not to trench, by the slightest iota, remarks on the absurd exaggerations upon the other. In these circumstances, which have gone abroad relative to which have gone abroad relative to
its overtbrow were a most grievous per
version-an act of national madness, the amount of the existing revenues having its rightful consummation, first, of the Church of England.
in the anarchy of the state, and then, in « We cannot afford to expatiate on the the growing vice and wretchedness of the superior efficacy of a church establish- people. ment-_a lesson which we have abundantly “ Whatever the coming changes in the urged and expounded elsewhere. But state of our society may be, there is none never, without the peculiar facilities and that would more fatally speed the disorresources of such an institution, will there ganization and downfal of this great kingbe a full supply of Christian instruction dom, than if a hand of violence were put in the land. A practical heathenism will forth on the rights and revenues of the spread itself over the rural provinces ; and Church of England. Even with the prewill deepen and accumulate more and sent distribution of her wealth, it will be more in our cities. When the people are found, that the income of her higher, as thus left to themselves, and, in groat ma- well as humbler clergy, has been vastly jority, have forgot and forsaken the de- overrated; and nothing, we believe, would cencies of a Christian land, all economic contribute more to soften the prejudices or external resources will be of no effect of the nation against this venerable hieron the comfort of families, given up, by archy, than a full exposure of all her temthis time, to profligacy and utter reckless. poralities, grounded on the strictest and ness. It is vain to look for a well-con most minute inquiry. And certain it is, ditioned peasantry, when brutalized into that, with the best possible distribution a state of moral and religious indifference: of this wealth, it will be found hardly they are wholly bent on animal indul- commensurate to the moral and spiritual gence, and, in reference to all the higher wants of the now greatly increased popusensibilities of our nature, are in a state lation. If all pluralities were abolished, of hopeless and immoveable apathy. The and the enormous overgrown towns and expense of a well-organized and purely
cities of the land were adequately proadministered church, otherwise lavished, vided with churches, it would be found, in unproductive consumption, on the lux. that the whole of the existing rev
enues uries of the affluent and the idle, would would hardly suffice for a requisite numbe repaid many times cver, if we, in con- ber even of merely working ecclesiastics. sequence, beheld among the people a
We cannot imagine a policy more ruinous, higher standard of character, which never than that which would impair the mainfails to be accompanied by a higher stania tenance of a church that has long been ard of comfort in society. But when
illustrious for its learning, and that proonce the moral interest is sacrificed, there mises now to be the dispenser of greater is no enlargement of the economic inter- blessings to the people, than at any forests or capabilities which can possibly
mer period of its history, by the unmake up for it. A church may be so doubted increase of its public virtue and conducted, as to secure and perpetuate its piety.” Pp. 329–331. the one ; and it may be so provided for,
THE NEW BIBLE SOCIETY. thanking God for the labours of the Bible We mentioned in our Number for last Society; and all who thought that the December, the formation of a new Bible great body of wise, learned, pious, and Society, the conductors of which were heavenly-minded men in the Church of pleased to entitle themselves, with the England, and every other orthodox Chrisexclusive definite article, The Trinita- tian communion throughout the world, rian Bible Society, to be conducted on were quite as good judges of the character scriptural principles, thus accusing, as of new versions of the Scriptures as the abettors of Socinianism, and every thing generality of naval and military officers that is unscriptural, all those faithful ser- and modern millenarian divines. The anvants of Christ throughout the world, nouncement of such a society must have who have hailed the circulation of the been a source of triumph to the Socinian ; word of God by means of Bible Societies; for it was to tell him that the circulation all who could not in conscience join the of the Bible could not be safely conducted little self-constituted party in Sackville, without certain humanly-devised precaustreet; all those venerable and beloved tions; that it was necessary not only to brethren and fathers who have departed have a Trinitarian book, but a Trinitarian this life in the faith and fear of Christ, test of distribution; or rather a mock test, for the test is not to be acted upon: institution, just for the sake of a clapno questions are to be asked, so that a trap, and of catching the unthinking mulSocinian, if he pleases, may join the so- titude by an imposing title, should have ciety and become a member of it, nay, a descended to an artifice like this. They leader in its committee. We repeat, and were willing, they said, to join a new it ought to be known, and we challenge Bible Society, which adopted a test, any member of the society to disprove since they thought that the old one ought our words, that there is not, among all to have attempted a definition of the word the rules, the slightest guarantee for the Christian, with a view to exclude Socinians ultimate purity of the new society, (though if Socinians are not in the only the slightest guarantee to keep Soci- sense there meant Christians, they are exnians out of it, or even out of its cluded already, and no further rule is necommittee, should they think it worth cessary), but they could not bring their their wbile to go in; unless, indeed, the minds to libel all the servants of God in self-constituted committee have adopted all lands, and to blacken the memory of some secret test not divulged to the world, those holy men who sleep in Christ, and have formed a private irresponsible resting from their labours in the service board of inquisitors, who are to sit in of their Divine Master, and for the saljudgment upon men's faith and character. vation of souls, by means of this truly If this be so, it is a matter known only to scriptural and blessed institution. No, the board ; but as to any guarantee to they said, it were unjust, pharisaical, and their subscribers, or the Christian world a grievous breach of the Ninth Commandat large, no such guarantee, we repeat, has ment, to call ourselves by an exclusive to this moment been given. The com- and invidious title ; thus saying to our mittee say, Trust us ; we are not like your fellow-Christians, Stand by, we are more Bible-Society people; all will be safe in orthodox, more Trinitarian, wiser, holier, our hands; and you may depend upon and more anxious for the glory of Christ every thing being conducted upon scrip than ye. They thought the adherents to tural principles.
the Bible Society wrong, but they did The unfair and party-spirited assump not wish to malign them: they considered tion in the designation given to the insti them mistaken, but they did not consider tution, has justly caused a feeling of pity them less entitled to the epithet Trinita--for Christian men cannot indulge in- rian than themselves ; and they would not dignation or contempt-in the minds of therefore connect themselves with an inall who love plain honest truth without stitution which began its course with this, party trickery. Many of those who wished and many other emblems of party spirit, for a change in the constitution of the as if determined to carry a point, whomold society, as regards the indiscriminate ever they might wound or injure by their admission to membership of all who call proceedings. themselves Christians, all who profess to But though we noticed the formation have had a Christian name given them in of the new society, we did not intend baptism, all who in parliament swear“ on again, at least very speedily, or without the faith of a Christian," and who thought extreme necessity, to advert to its doings; that a Bible Society ought not to use the and accordingly, in our last Number, we word Christian in this popular sense but made no allusion whatever to the subject. to define it by a test , were yet displeased But we are forced again to take it up ; and disgusted, that the leaders of the new for grieved we are to say that this new
committee and their friends, instead of
endeavouring to serve God in peace in . But what human test will define it ? their own society, are casting firebrands Are all who profess the creed of the new throughout the land ; and by means of society Christians ? The society says intlammatory circulars, speeches, and that they are, and embraces them as such. pamphlets (query, does the fund raised We say they are not, except in popular from well-meaning persons for circulating language, as used by the old society; for the word of God pay for these mischief is it only among Papists and Socinians making publications ?) are doing all they that there are to be found ungodly men, can to sow discord among brethren. In heretical men, and soul-destroying men ? many places where, till of late, the true But, says the new society, let them be servants of Christ of all names were what they will, they believe in (or may living in peace and godly love, and supbelieve, for no questions are to be asked) porting (never having had a Socinian or “ a tri-une God” (“a” as if there were Papist among them) the cause of the Bible, more than one triune God), and therefore and enjoying brotherly conference at their they are Christians. That is, there may solemn meetings, one or more friends of be drunken Christians ! Swedenborgian this new institution, in a spirit of party aniChristians! Duelling Christians! Anti. mosity and rivalry, and reckless of all connomian Christians! Sabellian Christians! sequences, are throwing in heaps of these Such is the new society's nomenclature defamatory publications (the agents in “ upon scriptural principles.” Or have their circulation often avowedly knowthey a new test not yet divulged for each ing only one side of the question, and of these classes ?
never having perused the answers to the
objections) thus distressing many tender, partizans get up and utter all kinds of but not well-instructed consciences ; mis- gross exaggerations and invectives against leading some weaker brethren, causing the Bible Society, and if any agent or discords and every evil work, infusing friend of the society rises to offer a degrievous suspicions where there is not fence or explanation, the chairman puts a shadow of reason for them, and above him down : he is told that no opposition all, raising a stumbling-block before the is allowed; he is hissed, hooted, and asworldly and the wicked, who rejoice to sailed with “ off, off," and then goes forth find the spear and nails thus made to their a statement to the world, how a new auxhands to wound the Saviour in the house iliary was formed, and the resolutions of his friends. Oh, is this the spirit carried by acclamation by a large, intelliwhich becomes those who call themselves gent, and Christian assembly; and the his disciples ? To what purpose is it that statement is industriously circulated at they tell men that they come to shew an enormous expense, with funds that them a new and better way of circulating bad better been employed in circulating his blessed word, if they come only to the word of God, and persons at a discause warfare among his servants, and to tance from the scene are told that all was furnish weapons forged in their own ar- done fairly, honestly, and upon“ scriptural moury to the worldly and profane? If, principles." indeed, the Bible Society, and the holy This system of preventing discussion, men who have so long administered its forbidding reply, and forcing matters in concerns, were what these partizans de- a truly “ naval and military” manner, by scribe them, there would be ample occa- bayonet and broadside, has justly offended sion for the triumphs of the wicked: but many of those who at first, in a moment is it not grievous that such charges should of haste, connected themselves with the be thrown out upon mere misconception, new society. These persons were not mistake, or party exaggeration; and this aware, and the Sackville-street commitin quarters where, for want of informa- tee took special care to keep them in igtion, they cannot be contradicted ? norance, that the new society was to be
But it is not by those who objected to founded upon the principle of excluding the formation of a new society, or by those from the board not only Socinians and who, though they wished for a new so- Papists, but all whom the little knot of ciety, were conscientiously constrained to managers might not approve, all who keep aloof from that in Sackville-street, should pry too closely into their concerns, that the strongest remonstrances are now or who should oppose any of their proraised; for some of its own earliest and ceedings. In the British and Foreign warmest supporters have already become Bible Society, as well as in all its'auxiliaries its most earnest opponents. It is an in- and kindred societies in America and elsevidious task to notice such matters; but where, every thing is fair and open ; every that task has become necessary, in order subscriber or donor to a certain amount that those who have not already commit- has a right to attend and vote at the comted themselves to the new institution, mittees, and to see with his own eyes that though they might have wished for a his money is rightly appropriated; besides change in the old one, may at least pause which, every clergyman and dissenting for a few months before they take a pre- minister who is a subscriber, has the same cipitate step in the matter, more espe- privilege, so that nothing could ever go cially by attempting to form auxiliaries and materially and for a long time together associations in connexion with an institu- wrong; or, if it did, not only must the tion which they have not yet proved. The committee, but hundreds of other persons conductors of the new society are evidently have been to blame, who should have well aware that such a calm investigation seen and checked it. These regulations would be fatal to their cause; that a re- have been unfairly used against the Bible action will take place, as soon as their Society, in consequence of the litigious own procedure is better understood, and spirit of one or two individuals, who have the well-meaning persons who have been taken advantage of their privilege of atdeluded by false or exaggerated charges tending the committee, to sow discords, against the Bible Society have had time and to misrepresent in speeches and to inquire into the truth; and therefore pamphlets what had passed in converthey are trying to take the tide at the sation, catching up any hasty misundertlood, and to get up packed meetings to stood speech of any individual present, as commit themselves by forming auxiliary if it had been the act of the society, and societies: at which meetings they prac- ransacking with microscopic ingenuity the tise the same trickery which has charac- voluminous records of the institution, to terized all their doings; for they stifle see if there was any possibility of manudiscussion, will allow of no explanation, facturing some charge which should be and having hired a room as private pro- made to tell plausibly against its conperty for the occasion, they print on their ductors. We speak seriously, and could cards that no person will be allowed to adduce names and documents to shew speak who does not approve of their pro- that the fact has been as we have stated. ceedings; and then several out-and-out But notwithstanding some inconveniences
attending this privilege, it was a check committee, and yielding their purses and which we should not wish to see done consciences to a secret board : which, howaway with, though it might be well to ever necessary in some othersocieties, could regulate it, by not allowing these out- not be necessary in a society in which the voters to come down in a packed party, only professed object is the circulation of and to carry a measure by mere numbers, the word of God without note or comment. as the malcontents in the Bible Society The friends of the society fairly complain have sometimes done, without having of these things : they were taken in, they gone through a full investigation of the say, in being called upon to vote at the question. We would allow all to attend, moment they knew not what; they admit as at present, that nothing might be done now, with us, that the provisional secret secretly; but those only should vote who committee ought to have announced their had been at the committee a certain plan and have allowed fair discussion if number of times during the preceding they really meant honestly and did not year, that there might be no packing of intend to entrap the meeting ; they say jurymen for an occasion. But be the that it was not Christian or respectful to rule good or bad, it has been adopted by carry the thing in an arbitrary military most of our modern religious and chari- style, not permitting even their best friends table societies, and in the case of the Bible to suggest any modification, or so far Society, its existence is a complete an. keeping up an appearance of respect to swer to those who think that any thing the meeting as to put the resolutions to has ever been transacted in secret; even the vote; for among the other extraordithe discussion upon the Apocrypha being nary secreta monita of the provisional comconducted with open doors. Now, as mittee, as twice read by Mr. Perceval in Mr. Haldane and his friends had so well the chair, when too late to oppose them, availed themselves of this privilege in the (see the Society's own paper, stitched up old society, the friends of the new society with our last Number top of page 3) no who were not in the secret of the Sackville- person was even allowed to “ vote "against street conclave, especially clergymen and the rules and regulations proposed by the dissenting ministers, thought, of course, infallible founders. Our poor persecuted that a “scriptural” societywould be equally friends complain further that they were liberal, and that they, in right of their sub- completely “gulled ” on the occasion; scription and membership, would be allows that they had not the slightest idea that ed to attend and vote at the meetings of the they had been holding up their hands to committee, as under the old-fashioned exclude clergymen, dissenting ministers, Bible Societies. But they have disco- or governors from being present at the vered too late their error: they find that committee, thus consigning the whole matheir Sackville-street friends have out nagement to a private junto of thoroughwitted them; and they now learn that at going partizans, and that the books, dea secret cabal, before the formation of the liberations, and resolutions of the comsociety, it was discussed whether there mittee and the correspondence of the should be life governors, with a right to society were to be kept as secret as the witness the proceedings of the committee, grave. They thought, poor deceived men, and whether clergymen and dissenting mi that they might have gone and opposed nisters should be allowed this privilege, and any thing they disapproved of, whether the that it was decided that no such indulgence salaries to the officers, the private cabals should be granted. Many who early joined about tests, the gossip and scandal the society, taking it for granted that allwas about the characters and opinions of right, and not dreaming of this secret reso individuals, or the unchristian and cruel lution, now complain that they were over expulsion of their own chairman, Mr. reached,and thattheyhadnoidea of any such Perceval, because he was prayed for conintention till they read, when it was too late, cerning his motion for a fast in some the published rules of the society, as pro church which certain of the secret comfessed to have been passed with intelligent mittee objected to. They thought, also, acclamation at the public meeting. But that they might have been allowed to keep the meeting knew nothing of this secret a check over the new society as they did regulation; for it required time to find it over the old one, more especially as Mr. out, being merely a negative; and all the Haldane and his friends had so often leaders of the society cautiously avoided stated, that had it not been for the publi-, alluding to it. We have already stated city which the constitution of the Bible that the intended rules and regulations of Society afforded, by an open committee, the new society were kept secret to the last the alleged delinquences of its elected moment: those who attended the public committee had never been brought to light. meeting had not the least conception what Thus, then, they say that they were dethey were to be; the name Trinitarian, ceived; that the Christian Observer was and the exclusion of Roman Catholics, right in its charges and prognostications ; were novelties which, whether good or bad, and that they have promised their money they had never considered; much less the. to be managed in secret, knowing no more propriety of excluding clergymen, dissent. than the conclave choose to tell them; so, ing ministers, and governors from the that there might be twenty Haffner's pre