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the sea, and contain animal remains. The beds of the secondary and tertiary classes must, therefore, have been formed before the creation of man, and during that period which intervened between the creation of the earth and the beginning of the six days." pp. 148, 149.
"Immediately after the creation of the earth, time began. Matter was endowed with certain laws: these laws immediately began to act; and the same causes and effects were as active at that moment as they are now." p. 151.
"The earth being prepared as the habitation of organized creatures, God creates, on the fifth day, all that moveth in the waters and in the air. On the sixth day He completes his work by the creation of all living creatures that inhabit the earth, 'cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth.' Then' God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him.'
"We have thus hastily reviewed the work of the six successive days of creation, in order to show the perfect concord of this history with the view we have taken of the former verses. 'Moses,'says Dr. Buckland, who is an authority of the highest class, 'does not deny the existence of another system of things prior to the preparation of this globe for the reception of the human race, to which he confines the details of his history; and there is nothing in the proposition inconsistent with the Mosaical declaration of the creation.' But it is not sufficient to say that Moses does not contradict the supposition ; for if the view taken of his history be correct, he supports and establishes the opinion.
"But, whatever may be the fate of human opinions, one principle can never be disproved, that, God being the author of both the Bible and the world, the testimony of both, when accurately read, must correspond. How disdainfully soever, the Divine testimony may be treated by some who are ardently engaged in the investigation of nature, all theories that oppose its statements have error as their basis, and must fall to decay." pp. 165, 166.
We will only add, that if the undevout astronomer is mad, much more so is the infidel geologist.
VIEW OF PUI
The nation, we have reason to bless God, is in a state of comparative tranquillity, after the great excitement of the last few months. The chief topic of domestic interest continues to be the elections for the next Parliament, it being known that the present is not intended to meet again. It is stated on every side, that the returns are by no means likely to be of that exceptionable and revolutionary character which many persons apprehended; but rather that the successful candidates will, to a large extent, be persons of weight and character in their respective vicinities. We confess we have never seen any reason why it should be otherwise, unless the great mass of British householders have deplorably degenerated from their wonted principles. In some instances strong efforts, we rejoice to say, are being made to introduce men of high character and religious principles in the place of others, who have forfeited their title to public confidence—particularly in the instance of the important metropolitan county of Middlesex, where a candidate of sound and religious principles, and of unexceptionable character and qualifications, Lord Henley, is making head against Mr. Hume. We heartily wish his Lordship success, and we make little doubt of it, if right-minded and Christian electors will do their duty. Mr. Hume's ultra-Radical politics, his abetting the cause of blasphemy and West-India slavery, and other offences, have rendered
him justly obnoxious to all well-disposed persons of every name, lay and clerical, Church and Dissenting.
The Cholera has, through the mercy of God, for the present abated; and in many laces a day of solemn gratitude has been ept for its removal, on which occasion the shops have been generally closed, and the places of Divine worship well attended. Should the calamity be removed from our shores, we trust that the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the land will appoint a day of general thanksgiving for so great a mercy. After having prayed publicly for a blessing, and received it, we ought publicly to express our national gratitude. Should any unnecessary obstacle be interposed, as in the case of the Fast-day, to prevent this national act of Christian duty, the influence of the religious part of the public, we trust, will not be remiss in urging it, in such ways as may appear suitable, whether by personal representations to those in power, or by means of the press, or by petition to the throne. But we should hope, that if the occasion, in the mercy of God, arrives, no such obstacles will occur; but that those to whom it belongs to regulate the mutter will rejoice spontaneously to direct the national gratitude into such a channel.
The threatened rupture with Holland is a very melancholy anticipation; and should blood be shed, we can scarcely view it otherwise than as virtual murder.
Holland and Belgium were united in political matrimony as one kingdom, at the general peace, by the allies, according to the policy of Lord Castlercagh and other statesmen of that day; neither party wishing for the union, and Belgium being strongly averse to it. The two nations differed in religion, in habits, in language, and in their commercial and political interests; but their union was thought necessary by their neighbours, for the public security of Europe, as a barrier against the aggressions of France. They jangled during the whole time of their forced connexion, till, encouraged by the late French revolution, Belgium threw off the yoke. The duty of England, we think, was most clear,—not to interfere in the dispute—that is, as parties, or beyond friendly suasion—but to leave the litigants to themselves; and, even if the neighbouring continental powers took a part in the contest, still to prevent this country being involved in it; more especially as it was essentially a war of opinion—a struggle between the old and new policy—and was likely, in the end, to involve all Europe in a flame.
The duke of Wellington, who was then in power, viewed the question differently. He considered, that after what had taken place in France, and with a succession of revolutions springing up on every side, it was necessary for England to throw the weight of her influence to adjust the scale; as otherwise France was ready to take a part in the matter, and would have speedily united Belgium to her own territory. To re-unite Belgium and Holland was impossible; France would not permit it, and the attempt to have done so would have aroused the revolutionary elements of Europe and kindled a general flame. The duke of Wellington therefore consented to a disunion, and to an acknowledgment of the independence of Belgium. Earl Grey's government found the matter thus agreed upon when it entered office; and the five great powers set themselves in conference to adjust the details of the arrangement. The English and French cabinets inclined to what is popularly called the liberal side; Russia, Prussia, and Austria, to what is popularly called the side of legitimacy; all, however, uniting in the principle of Belgian independence ; and, with the consent of all, Prince Leopold was appointed king. But the king of Holland refused to be a party to the articles of the proposed arrangement; and nothing but the force of united Europe will even now induce him to recognise the independence of Belgium, of which be considers himself forcibly and unjustly dispossessed. And why, we would ask, if the matter were to be decided over again from the first, should England force him, or unite with France for that purpose? But so it is, that, after two years conferencing and protocoling, the five me
diating powers hare become so inrolved in the adjustment that no party thinks it right to withdraw; and as Holland will not yield the contested points, France and England are ostensibly preparing by land and sea to force her into submission. If they carry their design into execution, and are speedily successful, the matter may blow over, and the peace of Enrope be preserved; though we must still think that every bomb that shall fall upon Antwerp from a British vessel is labelled with injustice and murder. But if the reverse—if Holland does not speedily yield, or the accidents of war turn out in her favour—then Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with the Bourbons, the Ferdinands, and the Miguels, may rally and fight the battle of legitimacy upon the plains of Belgium, while the popular side marshals the ranks of liberalism, and confederacies, constitutions, and revolutions are springing up on every side from Moscow to Madrid. The result would be the shedding of torrents of blood, and the enactment of scenes of strife, which, whether they ended in republicanism or despotism, cannot be thought of without horror. We do not, however, seriously anticipate this, because we cannot believe that either the English Government, or even the French, would venture to provoke such a contest. We cannot believe that they really mean to bombard Antwerp; but they hold out the threat, expecting that more will not be requisite in order to coerce Holland, and thus prevent that general outburst of European war and commotion which must probably result if once Holland and Belgium commence hostilities. This doubtless appears to them the path of policy and expediency ; but to reconcile this supposed expediency with justice and morality, is evidently a point which has caused the English Government some perplexity ; and Earl Grey, we should think, must repent that he ever embarked in— or rather, that his predecessor, the duke of Wellington, involved him in—this intricate negociation. We still think that England ought to stand aloof, rather than go to war with Holland.
If our government has made any stipulation, either with France or Belgium, by which it feels bound to proceed to hostilities in case Holland does not consent to the terms of the allies, such a stipulation would be iniquitous and gratuitously absurd, deserving the impeachment of its authors. But if there be no such treaty, why bombard Holland? Why not say at once, We have done all we can for peace; and we will have nothing more to do with the matter. If Holland attacks Belgium, and France flies to its rescue, and Russia, Prussia, or Austria intermix in the fray, and universal war arises, this we cannot help; nor ought we to strive to help it by an unjust step, that of attacking Holland, which has never injured England. The king of Holland may possibly be obstinate, or short-sighted, but that is no reason why we should blockade his coasts and destroy his ships. We trust he will yield the disputed points; it is for the general peace of the world that he should do so; but we have no right to force him with bomb or bayonet to submit to our award.
The momentous question of Church Reform engrosses public attention; and lists of interrogations have been sent to the bishops and chapters, and to the clergy generally, by the ecclesiastical commissioners, with a view to collect full information respecting the church revenues. We will not re-open this great and complicated question at present: especially as we have already touched upon some items in our review of the Bishop of Lichfield's Charge, in the present Number. In that review we have alluded to the importance of subjecting the exercise of church patronage to some degree of responsibility. What that responsibility should be, requires mature consideration: certainly not popular election, or even giving the parishioners a veto—though we would allow them an appeal from a patron's nomination, if they can shew solid cause for their unwillingness: in which case they ought to be relieved; for it is an abomination so to frame or interpret the law of patronage, as that a patron shall be allowed to force on a parish a clergyman of proveable bad character or unscriptural doctrine. The question, we admit, is full of difficulties; but far greater restraints ought to be interposed than at present exist. Even the bishop dares not now reject a patron's clerk, because, forsooth, patronage is property. We would at once place the curate and the applicant for an incumbency upon a level in this respect; not by extending to the latter the irresponsible power by which a bishop may refuse to license a curate without specifying an offence or assigning a reason (under which tyrannical and eaves'-dropping system many most excellent and exemplary clergymen in days past were arbitrarily sent into exile and starvation, for what some bigot chose to think Mcthodistical propensities; and which, had it applied to bishops as well as to curates, the late Dr. Sutton would have taken ample care should have deprived the church of the episcopal services of such of its ornaments as Dr. Ryder), but by placing both the curate and the nominee to a living under a fair system of judicial allegation, defence, and appeal; so that nothing may be done arbitrarily or secretly, but every thing after a solemn and accountable manner. This alone would tend to render the exercise of church patronage more responsible. We would allow the bishop to say, for instance, to the patron," I cannot institute your clerk to that living, because the parishioners allege, and have proved,
that he frequents horse-races, and follows the hounds; which, they say, renders them doubtful as to his competency to teach them the way of salvation, and to watch over their souls." If the patron objected to this reason, we would have the appeal regularly argued and settled upon well-regulated principles, till we had acquired such a practical code of church discipline as would cut off at least the grosser class of offences. We would also render patronage more responsible by making it less a marketable article. Why should it be saleable at all? Why should the right to watch over the souls of a parish be put up to auction, any more than the office of a judge or of a bishop? Good men, we know, have purchased advowsons, and put in good ministers; and we thank God that he has sometimes brought good out of evil; but the system itself is venal, simoniacal, and anti-christian. See what a handle the Dissenters make of it! see how they have paraded in their publications, this very month, the following disgraceful paragraph, which they profess to copy from an advertising circular:—
"Sale of Church Property at the Auction Mart.—Very valuable church patronage, including the perpetual advowson and the next presentation to the Vicarage and sinecure Rectory of Lyminge, a pleasant village, about five miles fromHythe, Folkstone, and Sandgate, Kent. The tithes are taken in kind." It is added, as an inducement to purchase, that " the duty which necessarily pertains to these chapels is, eight times a-year to Paddlesworth, and twelve times a-year to Standford. This is the yearly return, which has always been satisfactory to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The rector, it should seem, from the original writings, paid uniformly 301. a-year for the duty connected with these chapels. The present rector, who is also the incumbent of the vicarage, has done the duty himself, and greatly exceeded the number of times which could legally be required."
Yet, disgraceful as is such an advertisement, it is not, to our minds, half so disgraceful as if, instead of this "valuable preferment" being a "sinecure " (we doubt, after this public notice, whether it will be suffered long to continue so), it had contained twenty thousand souls: though even the few souls at Lyminge are too many to be put up to auction to the highest bidder. We speak not invidiously of this or any other particular instance, but of the system. Our public men are afraid to whisper the word patronage in the same breath with church reform, because it is Property. A man is infamous for life for selling a cadetship or an appointment to a clerkship, yet advowsons and presentations are matters of daily sale and purchase. While such a traffic is legally allowed, we blame not those individuals—for many such there are—who buy or sell conscientiously, looking at the spiritual welfare of the parish, and who would not present or sell to an irreligious man; but is such a system to be endured in a Christian country? Let it be well remembered, it is no part of the regulations of the Church of England: it is a mere matter of secular policy which has been forced upon it.
We have much to say on the question of Negro slavery.but must defer our remarks. The colonies are hastening on its subversion by their futuitous conduct faster than the friends of the Negro by their remonstrances. The persecution and tarring and feathering of missionaries still con
tinue; and the Mauritius—that wholegale slaughter-house, that den of inhuman cruelties—has defied the British Government; driven back Mr. Jeremie, who was sent out as the protector of slaves; and set itself fairly in a state of rebellion.
The matter has thus come to a crisis
The cause has lost one of its earliest, warmest, and most powerful friends,—the venerable Mr. Stephen. We forbear uttering all we feel in regard to that much loved and lamented philanthropist, as we doubt not a more correct and ample account than we could furnish at the moment will be given to the public.
OBITUARY OF MRS. M. E. ROBERTS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
As it appears to be part of your plan to record the departures of eminent Christians, and to propose their examples to the imitation of their survivors, allow me, with a faultering pen, to bring under your notice the death of Mrs. MaryElizabethltoberts, of Clifton.who departed this life, at her house on Windsor Terrace, on the evening of Sunday the 30th day of September last, after an illness attended with much suffering of body, endured with patient hope and trust in the promises of God, and the purchase of the cross of her Redeemer. I am sure of the acquiescence of all who knew her when I say, that the death of t-is Christian lady is a public loss, although her humble and retiring spirit kept her too much from general intercourse. To the society of the rich and refined, with whom she mixed sparingly, she carried unstudied grace of manners, and a persuasive power of edification. To the abodes of the poor, with whom her commerce was wide and inquisitive, she carried solace and refreshment; to the old, the balm of cordial and respectful assiduity; to the young, the charm of a play ful benevolence, and a holy cheerfulness of manner; to the grave and to the worm, a countenance at once expressive of the tenderest concern for souls,and the noblest and purest thoughts; to the tribunal of Heaven, the summons to which she received with her lamp burning, the testimony of a good confession, and the righteousness which comes from a justifying faith in the Redeemer.
The writer of this humble tribute has seen and watched this flower through the spring-time of its budding and blossoming, and the period of its summer-strength and accomplished maturity; and, alas ! he has seen it fade and wither ; but never has he missed for a moment that sweet and characteristic odour which filled and delighted the privileged circle of her intercourse and influence.
Through the greater part of her life she had been one of the most cherished
friends of Mrs. Hannah More, and for some time past had been a principal prop of her great age; but to go before her as her herald was little expected to be her lot, by those who but a few months ago saw her in the full possession of her strong intellect, with all her energies vivaciously awake to the calls of charity, and to the duties of the Christian character in these arduous times. Though she never married, her love and tenderness of heart, 1 no less than her prudence and counsel, had so wound her collateral relations about her, that no mother of a family could leave at her departure a more wide and sorrowful vacancy, or a more genuine house of mourning. The delight of our eyes has been taken from us; but our sorrow is mingled with rejoicing, when we think of her walk of faith, and her works of love.
I should be afraid that part of this just and sincere tribute might be imputed to the partiality of a brother, who has lived all his life in the closest companionship and friendship with the subject of this eulogy, but that I know I am confirmed by the tears and tender regrets of all who knew her, and were capable of appreciating her worth.
When I retrace her course through the track of years during which it pleased Providence to permit her to till her part in this preparatory scene, I find comfort in the reflection that no strange opinions or presumptuous theories, by which the minds of so many pious persons have been more or less perverted,ever took hold of her imagination, or drew her from the sober path of a humble and simple confession. Her career was never disturbed by controversy, or her calm and settled trust dislodged or shaken by metaphysical doubts or speculations; and this tranquil character of her Christianity kept her in constant equability and contentedness.
Various are the ways in which God tries the spirits of His servants; and perhaps part of her trial consisted in the favour in which she stood with her fellow-creatures. The world seemed to invite her to come
over to them, and to bring ber graces and endowments into the common stock ; but her practical answer was, that she was engaged, on the contrary, in the employment of bringing whom she could from that very world to God; and very many, who are now on their way to the heavenly Zion, are ready to testify that her instrumentality was made available to their happy change. From the highest to the lowest she spread the broad mantle of her sympathy and fervent philanthropy, and the Negro slave may ere this have recognised his friend and benefactor in the sojourn of celestial freedom. To all the great topics of national interest she carried a public mind; and the greatest interruption of her peace arose from the godless character of our national councils, and the menacing growth of the Roman religion among us. To her generosity and
kindness towards her numerous relatives, 1 feel that my pen in vain strives to do
justice. May the gratitude which she has left behind her grow in each of our bosoms into a zealous imitation of her virtues. The impression of her
loveliness of character had been greatly strengthened by the short interval of an imperfect recovery, which was permitted to take place between the stages of her last illness, as if to shew her Christian graces with a mellower and softer effect to her family and friends before her final departure. At length the summons came, and called her to her proper home, amidst tears which can only be thoroughly wiped away in that world where sorrow shall be no more.
Such a person ought not to be suffered to go hence without some memorial; and I know not where more suitably to inscribe that memorial than in the pages of the Christian Observer.
I am, &c.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A. B. ; A Constant Reader And Sincere Well-wisher; A Lav Sister; PiiiLanthuopos: J. M. \V. ; F.: Superannuated Seaman ; M. J. M. ; M. G. H.j M.; Eboracensis: G.; X. Z.; are under consideration.
We have been somewhat amused with the good-natured anxiety of Amicus. A correspondent sent a paper to our Number for September, complaining of the apathy of many congregations in making the responses, which he attributes in part to the negligence of the Clerk, illustrating his remark by the case of a chapel in which a clerk, chosen for his good voice, does not speak audibly. We have not the slightest notion what chapel or what part of the country was in the writer's mind ; and the description would probably apply to at least five hundred or a thousand churches and chapels. But Amicus fits on the cap, and complains that it has been awarded to a young man whom he recommended to a clerk's situation, and who was observed the Sunday after that number came out to elevate his voice more than . usual, so that his fiiends asked the cause, and " were of course referred to the article in the Christian Observer ;" which Amicus goes on to denounce as "an unmerited and most inapplicable aspersion" upon his worthy friend. But does not Amicus see how misplaced is his displeasure? for if the description is " most inapplicable " to the case in question, why should he apply it? or suppose that out of all the towns, villages, and parishes into which the Christian Observer penetrates, its reprehensions were pointedly levelled at an unfortunate young man in some particular chapel which he happens to be acquainted with, the name of which we do do not even guess or suspect. If it was "inapplicable," then the taxing, " like a wild goose, flies unclaimed of any man." We shall be glad to learn that some fifty other clerks, to whom it is applicable, have discovered themselves in it, and have raised their voices next Sunday accordingly. The Christian Observer, it seems, has the unhappy fate of the Clergyman who was accused of libelling sundry good people in a certain parish, where he happened, without knowing the character of any individual, to preach a sermon which he had preached twenty years before word for word in other parishes a hundred miles off, and which proved after all to be a sermon of Tillotson's. The Spectator was similarly accused. "This fellow cannot for his life keep out of politics: do you see how he abuses four great men?— asterisks do you call them? they are stars, and he might as well have put garters to
them. And pray do but mind the next two or three lines: Ch—rch and p dd ng
in the same sentence." The Spectator goes on to tell the story of the person who converted the Whole Duty of Man into a libel against " the squire, churchwardens, overseers of the poor, and all other the most considerable persons in the parish," by putting their names in the margin opposite certain sins: so that "there arose a current report that somebody had written a book against the squire and the whole parish; and the minister of the place having at that time a controversy with some of his congregation upon the account of his tithes was under some suspicion of being the author, until the good man set the people right by shewing them that the satirical passages might be applied to several other neighbouring villages; and that the book was written against all the sinners in England." We likewise assure our anonymous and unknown Amicus, that we had no intention of libelling his