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gate metropolis should have found its way among juvenile libertines; and that some of our ingenuous youth should behave as if they thought our great seminaries rather the nurseries of vice, than the tranquil retreats of learning and science? II. Upon the second part of the subject it is needless to occupy much of our time, as we may easily infer the improvements of which the religious part of our public plans of education are capable, from what has been already advanced. Persons of refined taste, and profound science, are sometimes unhappily accustomed to view the nurture and admonition of the Lord as inseparably connected with the decay of human learning. Some of them contemplate the propagation of the highly spiritual precepts of the Prince of Peace, as they would do the march of a Saracen or a Wandal. But it is far from my design to discourage classical studies. On the contrary, I am convinced that if they were but governed, animated, and consecrated, by the piety of the Gospel, they would more exclusively prevail, and be more rationally admired, than at present. It is true, indeed, that the most splendid schemes of pagan virtue and happiness, though admirable in themselves, are cold, selfish, and unholy, when compared to the Gospel, and will utterly vanish from the Christian's view; as the magic palace of ice, built amidst the northern snows, soon melted away, and left not a trace behind. It is true, still further, that the principles of the pagan orators, poets, and historians, have a secret tendency to #. in the scholar's mind an ostility to the great doctrines of Redemption ; as has been strikingly pointed out, in a late Essay on the Aversion of Men of Taste to Evangelical Religion, by Mr. Foster. But shall we, on account of this tendency, reject the muse of antiquity, by whose means, to say nothing of some other respects in which she is calculated to promote the inChrist. Observ. No. 127.
terests of religion, correct taste and powerful eloquence are engaged on its side 2 It is a matter of regret, that the above essay should not more strongly oppose such a step. Let us rather endeavour to make learning the handmaid of religion, to guard against her seductions to an unchristian spirit, and to bring her into captivity to the obedience of Christ. But how is this grand object to be secured 2 The following means are briefly suggested. In the first place, then, let us, as parents, begin early with our offspring. It is not too much to say, that an infant in the nurse's arms is capable of associating some ideas of pleasure and pain with the words good and naughty, and regulating its little desires by some regard to the authority of the parent. Let us learn to regard the infant mind in a truly sublime and interesting point of view, as the nascent germ of an eternal existence; which, if the inherent canker-worm of o contruption be mortified and subdued by Divine grace (promised to the faithful use of the means of grace), will put forth its hopeful bud here, and its full blossom hereafter, in the paradise of God's presence, diffusing an everlasting fragrance through the courts of heaven. I.et us make the solemn sacrament of Baptism, and the washing of regeneration, the actual groundwork of all our parental discipline ; above all things seeking of God for our child that invaluable blessing, an effectual change and renovation of heart. The chief means of attaining this end are, to pray for this blessing fervently; to teach him to distinguish between the form and spirit of prayer; to question him frequently as to the understanding of what he reads in the holy Scriptures; and to excite a curiosity upon subjects connected with our everlasting salvation from the daily objects and incidents of human life. Is it then our wish to mar the easy, Po simplicity of children Such 2
is the construction which may be put on our sentiments by a world which is at enmity with its God, and even connects some idea of melancholy with devotedness to his service: but malignant indeed must be the soul that could harbour such a thought. On the contrary, to suppose that a religion of glad tidings would spoil the youthful cheek of one single smile; to suppose that it will not augment and endear its playful simplicity; is to contradict experience, if fairly appealed to, and to cast a reproach upon that religion, and its blessed Author. Let the more advanced stages of Christian education be a continuation of the same plan. I am not arguing against human learning: I am not for converting the school-boy into a polemical divine; nor for hanging the walls, which are the witnesses of his labours, with the black pall of monastic superstition. I look up with veneration to the great models of taste and eloquence. But let not the lambs of the Christian fold be left destitute of their spiritual nourishment; let not our schools be under any other governing influence than that of the unsophisticated tenets of Jesus Christ. Let the Bible, as in the early controversies of Christians, be placed upon a throne high and lifted up, as the only rule of life and salvation ; and the most admired volumes of antiquity, if considered in this respect, lie at its feet. Let the possibility and method of a most strict and yet most cheerful and happy observance of the Lord's day, be repeatedly instilled into the minds of our youth; the spirituality of social devotion be strongly pointed out; habits of selfexamination, secret prayer, and private study of the inspired volume, be inculcated; systematical delineations of the sacred history, familiar expositions of the whole of the New Testament at least, and examinations of the classes by question and an*wer as to every branch of their religious instructions, be regularly adopted; heathen virtue, as repre
rather, like the Divinity itself, whose
sented in the classical lessons, be
contrasted, as far as the scholar's ca
pacity admits, with Christian holi
ness; the Gospel plan of salvation
be studiously delineated, and frequently recalled to his mind; emulation be placed upon its only lawful footing of entire subserviency to the love of God:—in a word, let not the religion of a crucified Saviour be any longer viewed as an awkward appendage, an incoherent part of our public seminaries, which seems a clog upon the whole machine; let it rather be the main spring of every movement; let it rule and influence every thing, like the etherial fluid, the supposed cause of attraction; or
searching energy pervades all space, and originates as well as directs the gravitations, motions, and actions of all the bodies in the universe. I would observe, in conclusion, that the questions discussed, whatever may be thought of the conclusions at which we have arrived, are not to be disposed of by the commonplace observations, that reformation is hopeless; that the world will still follow its own way ; that allowances must be made for the levities of youth, and the like. Painful, too, would it be to think, that the impression excited by subjects of this nature should be considered by any individual as a sort of stage effect, contributing to the amusement of the passing hour, but leaving nothing awfully practical behind. Yet such is the too frequent custom of the world. The mere man of business will easily overlook the momentous interests of Christian nurture and admonition; the philosopher will sneer with grave indifference; and the libertine will treat them with rude derision. Butlet everyone beware how he thus shuffles off serious and solemn convictions. Let us rather imagine ourselves placed as parents at the foot of that throne of glory, upon which a triumphant Redeemer will one day, sit to judge an assembled world; let us imagine ourselves (for such will then most assuredly be out | situation) called upon to render up an account of our stewardship in reference to our families. How shall we bear to meet, in that dread solemnity, the accusing eye of our trembling offspring,involved,through our neglect of their religious education, in the sentence of everlasting perdition On the contrary, how joyful will our meeting then in so august a presence prove, if, through our instrumentality, they have been brought into subjection to the omnipotence of Gospel motives, and made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light !” PARENS.
*Can it be that the anniversaries, commonly called school-uneetings, begun and consecrated by solemn acts of devotion in the house of God, are designed for no higher end than retracing in imagination the employments of school, enjoying the society of the companions of our boyish days, and conversing upon ordinary topics? Can we suppose that it permits now, what is never consistent at any time with the happy cheerfulness of the Christian character, boisterous merriment and thoughtless jollity, or, what is confessedly scandalous to the Christian usine, the dignified gratifications of gluttony and intemperance? It is to be deeply regretted that our school-meetings are too often, perhaps generally, thus abused by some few individuals. But they were never instituted in order that the glution and the wine-bibber might enjoy greator facilities for indulging their sensual passions, nor that the professed disciples of Jesus might transform themselves into the herd of Epicurus. The only ground upon which they can claim the attendance of truly Christian scholars is, that they are designed to promote the glory of God, by encouraging human learning, when controuled and guided by the resigion of the Gospel, and by supporting the particular seminaries to which they are attached, as far as those seminaries make the religion of the Gospel the directing principle of their whole system. If such be the views of those who meet on such occasions, there is a beauty and consistency in commencing the business of the day with the devout service of the church, and exhortations from the word of God : otherwise, those hallowed acts of adoration and attendance upon the preaching of the word of God, can wear no other aspect, in the eyes of a heart-searching God, than that of solemn mockery and presumption.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I find, in the Christian Observer for April, a correspondent, styled Philalethes, makes several objections to a paper I sent you for insertion some
time ago, which I believe to be a
Pope's bull. He doubts its authen
ticity, and therefore deems it “a
clumsy forgery;” and as I am as much a lover of truth as he can be,
I should be sorry to have it thought I wished to pass any thing of that description for an authentic document. As to following him through
his train of objections, it would be
unprofitable and tiresome : let him
balance them against statements, I
know to be true; such as, that the
said Henry Goldney certainly lived in this parish at the time described, being well remembered by some of the present inhabitants; that he was originally a Papist; that he re
nounced the errors of the Church of Rome, and for this was excommunicated; and I find his name in the
register of burials a few years after. All these collateral coincidences, connected with the existence of the document in question, surely leave no just grounds for doubting its authenticity. As to the objection that the language is English, I believe they are always translated, so as to be comprehended by the offenders. They may be originally issued by the Pope in Latin, but are translated previous to publication by the Roman Catholic bishops resident in England, who, no doubt, make thern known to the unfortunate victims in
all the horrors that intelligible language can convey. I contess myself ignorant of Roman Catholic discipline, and know little of the general modes of proceeding in the church of Rome; but for the sake of the name of Christian, which the Papist claims, I must say, that little often
makes me wish I knew still less.
As a friend to religion, I am little inclined to believe it possible such an infamous instrument could ever be drawn up to serve the ends of any sect; but facts are stubborn things; and we all know that this is not the worst specimen of papal tyranny when left uncontrouled. In what I have said, Philalethes may still complain of want of proof; but I know incredulity is hard to conquer. I will excuse his doubts, and sincerely pray that they may never be removed by the production of a
counterpart of such a document.
I am, Mr. Editor, the real
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
I AM just arrived at that age, Mr. Editor, when, having left school, I am beginning to mix with the gay world. I have been one of the four pupils of an excellent clergyman, who has attended both to my mental improvement and to my morals, with a care almost paternal. This I am sure of, that he had my best interests at heart; but whether he well understood them, I am not sure. I am equally uncertain whether his notions of moral good, and desirable knowledge, were just. His code of moral obligations is certainly an oldfashioned, and I am beginning to think that it must be also a mistaken, one. I left him, Mr. Editor, with a perfect veneration for a good man; for his sort of good man; one, that is, who regulates all his actions by the precepts of the Christian religion, and labours continually to bring his passions into complete subjection to his sense of duty. This is what my revered instructor taught me to understand by a good man, and this is the scale by which I have been accustomed to estimate the merits of my neighbours. I am sure that my master firmly believed what he told me; but I have to lament that his great seclusion from the world left him ignorant of what, in the opinion of the many, does, in this more enlightened and improved age, really constitute a good man, or a man with a good heart, or a good fellow, which I look upon to be nearly sy. nonymous terms. But if these terms
are not synonymous, why, then, I have to regret that Mr. B–—should have neglected to inform me what is the precise meaning of the two latter; for in the society with which I now mix, these are used a hundred times where the other is used once. It is the commonest thing in the world for me to hear it said of such an one, who games, and drinks, and gives into all sorts of sensual indulgences, that he has an excellent heart. Another never pays his debts; but he is a good fellow. And this is not the only difficulty into which I am thrown; for there are some men, certainly not more sensual than those I have spoken of, and generally not so much so, whom I hear reprobated as good for nothing, contemptible, and entirely without worth. Now, Sir, the only difference which I can find out between these two descriptions of men is, that the former give better dinners and wine, and keep a more splendid equipage than the latter. Before I altogether adopt the opinions of my companions, I should like to have your sanction, and also your definition of a good man, a good fellow, and a good heart. Be so kind as to tell me too, whether hunting, and shooting, and driving, are really subjects of more moment, and better worth discussing, than questions of literature and morality. Here my prejudices and inexperience would decide in the negative; but I hear nothing else talked of, and surely it would be the height of vanity to set up my single opinion against that of the world. I am, &c. H. B.
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
Allow me to enclose for insertion in your valuable work, the following anecdote of the late Rev. Mr. Cecil. It does not appear in his Life, but it is well authenticated, and stands as an additional testimony of that active benevolence for which he was distinguished. E. C.
Some years ago, a young girl entered the shop of Mr. B., a bookseller, desiring him to exchange a
Prayer-book, which she brought.
with her, for a Bible; stating, as a reason, that she had lately attended a dissenting meeting where the Bible was used, but not the Prayer-book. The bookseller, feeling anxious to meet her wishes, and desirous, at the same time, that she should not forsake the national church, of which he was himself a member, gave her a Bible, and bade her keep the Prayer-book also. Some time after, this girl was taken into the service of the Rev. Mr. Cecil. On her first - coming into the family, Mr. Cecil inquired if she had a Bible; to which she answered in the affirmative, and told him from whom she had received it. Mr. Cecil was pleased with the circumstance; and finding out Mr. B., recommended him to his friends. During Mr. Cecil's absence from town, however, Mr. B. became involved in serious pecuniary difficulties, and was compelled to give up his business and return to a mechanical employment, which he had learned in his youth. The violent exer
tion attendant on this occupation occasioned a painful illness: he remained some time in an hospital, but at length left it, and retired to an obscure lodging, without any adequate means of support for himself and family. To this place Mr. Cecil, on his arrival in town, with difficulty traced him. An early interview took place, and Mr. B. having stated his misfortunes, “Well, B.,” said Mr. Cecil, “what can be done for you? Would a hundred guineas be of any service to you ?” “I should be truly thankful for such a sum,” said B.: “it would be of great use to me, but I cannot expect it.” “Well,” returned Mr. Cecil, “I am not a rich man, and I have not got a hundred guineas to give you, B.; but,” continued he, putting his hand in his pocket, “I have got one: here it is, at your service, and I, will undertake to make it a hundred in a few days.” Mr. Cecil represented the case to his friends, fulfilled his promise, and the Bible, which B. had formerly given to a child, procured the means of once more opening his shop, and affording him a subsistence.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. -*-
Scott's Remarks on the Bishop of
Lincoln's “ Refutation of Calvin
(Continued from p.376.)
The fate of Reviewers is scarcely less to be deplored than that of those “ pioneers of literature,” whom our great lexicographer describes as “doomed only to remove rubbish, and clear obstructions, from the paths through which learning and genius press forward to conquest and glory.” They even still more closely resemble those unhappy rhetoricians to whom, as Juvenal assures us, the “crambe” decies “repetita” so frequently proved fatal. But it is vain to attempt to excite com
miseration. Ours, it will be said, is a voluntary labour; and some will think us amply repaid by the opportunity which anonymous judgments afford of gratifying the pride of censorial dignity. For ourselves, however, we can most sincerely declare, that there are some subjects on which we would willingly be exempted from its exercise; and, after all which we have already written, we need scarcely add, that those on which we are once more compelled to enter are amongst the foremost of that ungrateful number. Yet, since it must be so, it is some consolation, that in again venturing amidst the thorny wilds of Calvinism, we shall