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that despise me shall be lightly esteemed'” (Rev. trary; and it is a matter for much thankfulness E. Bickersteth).
to observe with what avidity they learn the scripIRELAND, AND THE IRISH SOCIETY.--Its tures." And a clergy man's lady, in the county object is " to promote, by every means consistent of Kerry, says: “The strongest efforts of the with the principles and discipline of the established priests, in and out of chapel, have been made to church, the scriptural instruction of the Irish- draw away the scholars; but they have been unspeaking natives. To carry out tbis object, the availing; so clearly do they now see how much society-1. Employs pative teachers to instruct they are benefited by the school, that threats are the people to read the scriptures. 2. It distri- unheeded.” From another authentic source, we butes among this great Irish-speaking population learn, too, that at
county of Cork, the word of God in their native tongue. 3. It 500 Poman catholics are desirous to leave popery: sends Irish scripture-readers among them, to read at B * * more than 300 are listening to ihe prothe bible, and converse with them; and, 4. It testant clergymen: in * county of R., a endeavours to provide for them resident Irish- crowd asking admittance, when they heard the speaking clergymen, to minister among them in minister was going to lecture on a chapter in the their own language.” There are now in connexion bible; and at V * and the neighbouring with the society five Irish-speaking clergymen, parishes, all are anxious to join our church.” 0 ten scripture-readers, 680 schoolmasters or readers, what a claim has not Ireland upon the Christian and 15,338 scholars, who have passed examina- devotion and love of Britain ! that Ireland, which, tion. “The effects of the famine,” says the last by ages of religious no less than civil misgovernmonthly report of this important institution, im- inent, Britain has been the means of chiefly reportant in a national, and much more so in a spi- ducing to her present state of famine, both spiritual point of view, “have been two-told. On ritual and physical ! the one hand, it has softened the hearts of the MOVEMENT AMONG THE EASTERN CHURCHES Irish people generally, humbled and broken them: PALESTINE. — “In general, there is a on the other, it has exposed the deceit with which widely-spread movement among the people of this the priests so long kept themselves in a false point country. There are many individuals from Raof view before their people, by placing the pro- mah, Jaffa, Gaza, asking to be received into our testants and the English in a false point of church. They say that for some time they have view, and by maintaining a separation be- been reading the bible with many of their friends, tween them, as by a high wall, so that the and that they are convinced that their church is in deceit should be perpetuated. The famine has error. They are chiefly of the Greek church. cast down the wall: it has altered the false point An Arab chief, in particular, complained : ' You of view in both cases: it has brought English call yourselves ministers of Christ: you have the protestants in contact with the hearts of Irish gospel in your lands, and refuse to give it us, Romanists, and exposed Romish priests before who are perishing for want of it.' In Samaria their emancipated flocks. Hence there is a great (now Nablous) we find that the fire has been reaction at this moment in the feelings of the kindled, and all the Christian inhabitants bave in Irish Romanists: that tide has turned in favour these days thrown off the yoke of their priesthood, of communication with the English and with pro- and separated from the Greek church. They now testants, and of receiving the instruction froin ask for a protestant clergyman and a schoolthem, which the poor creatures are beginning to master, neither of which can be procured at prefeel has been shamefully withheld from them by sent. They state that they are resolved to form their own supposed teachers. Large numbers of themselves into a protestant community, and, as people come forward simultaneously, in different they say, to follow the religion of the gospel.' A and distant places, carnestly seeking to be taught: letter of late date from Samaria says: “The peothey know nothing yet, except that they are igno- ple of Nallous seem to be firm : the field appears rant; a knowledge which opens the way for the to be as white for the harvest as it was on a forreception of every other. This, then, is the time mer occasion (Jobn iv.). If a native congregafor action in Ireland, with reference to spiritual tion of true protestants can be formed at Nablous, instruction; and the machinery of the Irish Society, their example will, no doubt, be followed in many which God has condescended to use in the pre- other places. The Armenian Christians are paration for this great crisis, adapts itself with also urgently supplicating for Christian instrucequal fitness to take advantage of its results.” In tion, which they feel they do not receive from the report of the “ Ladies' Hibernian Female their illiterate priesthood, some of whom actually School Society” will be found extracts from the cannot read.' . In consequence of this opening, letters of several indiviiluals in various parts of which the divine goodness appears to bave made the country, which justify fully the representa- | for the spread of his saving truth in the land of tion made by the Irish Society. For instance, promise, some pious Christians in our own land, we find, in the county of Longford, " there is at at the head of whom are the revz. H. B. Villiers, present amongst the Roman catholic peasantry Dr. Marsh, and E. Bickersteth, have associated of this country a more than ordinary desire themselves for the purpose of sending forth scripafter education, which the friends of scriptural ture-readers to Palestine, Asia Minor, Egypt, education ought to make a more than ordinary and the adjacent countries, and have appealed for effort' to meet.” Again, another writer, from the aid in their holy enterprise to their brethren of county of Wexford, reports: “ It is gratifying the church of England and its lay members." to know that there appears, as it were, a shaking' HEATHENISM AND THE SYRIAC CHURCA amongst the Roman catholic p pulation in this IN INDIA.—"The present church (at Changanore) locality. The children will 'c ime,' notwith is built on a hill; and the surrounding country is standing the mandate of their priest to the con- quite English. The elevated site renders
it a conspicuous object a long distance off; and was formerly held for that part of the coast. But the stream of regular worshippers every Sunday to now, thank God, the slave-market is gone, and be seen wending their way to the house of God the fetish-tree bas died away. The sound of the must be regarded as a rebuke to the lukewarm gospel has been heard there : many who have Syrian, many of whom do not attend their church listened to it have beea saved, and have joined the oltener than twice or thrice a year, and then only innumerable throng which will praise the Reto see an exhibition of the eucharist,' and hear deemer for ever and ever!-(Rev. J. Clark and prayers in a language wbich they do not under- J. Martin). stand. The heathen, too, may be led to see that To SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS AND CHILours is a religion which we love, and which, far DREN.—Jesus at Bethlehem in the manger; Jesus different from their own, is worthy of being loved. in kis meek obedience in his mother's house; Jesus On my way home I had to pass through a sacred with his disciples ; Jesus in the synagogue (the grove, composed of large trees and dense jungle, church of those times); Jesus in prayer on the affording a harbour for snakes and monkeys, with mountain; Jesus manifesting his Godhead by walkwhich it is infested. These creatures are accounted ing on the sea; Jesus at Gethsemane ; Jesus on the favourites of Kalee, the goddess who is here wor- cross at Calvary, (“ that is the central point of the shipped in a small temple; and they are surely fit gospel"); Jesus in the grave; Jesus rising again companions for this female demon, who is described from the dead ( here is the point of life and as a mixture of mischief and cruelty. How deep death”); Jesus ascending up to the Father ; Jesus the degradation, and how pitiable the state, of now sitting at the right hand of the throne of the those who rely upon and worship the loathsome ) Majesty in the heavens, and there ever living to being close to this grove! Not ten yards from its make intercession for us – let this be the range of lives a Syriac Christian. It might be expected your instructions, dear teachers: let these great that he would at least maintain a silent protest truths sink down into your hearts, dear children; against the heathenism with which he lives in such and then, in God's good time, we shall all, teachers immediate contact; but, instead of this, he fires and children, be found holy and happy together, the gun on festive days from morn till night, in with Jesus in his kingdom; which may God in honour of the sanguinary goddess Kalee,' and his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ our goes share and share alike with a brahmin, a nair, Lord ! and a chagee, in the offerings made at the temple.
H. S. Thus the fetters of heathenism are rivetted on the victims by a professing Christian. These things are well known to the priests of the Syriac church; but no one rebukes the offender. There is at pre
DARKNESS AND LIGHT. sent no one in that church who feels competent or called upon to rebuke and punish such daring mis. The world, which is the many,” is not moved conduct. I went into this man's house to tell by any thing so readily as by appeal to the senses : him of his sin ; but he was not to be found. This “the few," who have been enabled to cast off this case is but one of many of the same kind. Lately earthly bondage for the “ easy and light” yoke I saw a Syriac woman who had been making of Christ, are moved of the Spirit, and worship offerings to Satan for the recovery of a sick child !" God therefore both in spirit and in truth. Herein,
-(The rev. J. Hawksworth to the Church Mis- as it appears to me, consists the true distinction sionary Society).
between the Roman and protestant churches : the AFRICA.–Africa is in the greatest temporal one is of the world, and her teaching, rites, and inmisery.
It is, indeed, "a dark part of the stitutions are consequently so many appeals to the earth, full of the habitations of cruelty.” We senses; the other is of God, and her doctrines and feel completely at a loss to give you any idea usages are therefore divine means for engrafting of the sufferings of our fellow-men, our fellow the spirit of holiness in the inner man.” In the creatures in that Jand. We dare not de- one, the darkness of the world enshrouds the truths scribe them. Those things which we have of Christ's gospel, or overlays them with distortions: seen, and which we know to be true, are too hor- in the other, the clear and bright beams of the Sun rifying and too distressinto be mentioned of Righteousness exhibit them in all the fulness of here.Infanticide prevails in many lands; and their saving grace and glory. The one seeks not only are the infant twins put to death by the to effect her carnal ends by outward appliances, mother who has borne them, in one of the districts by charms and delusions, snares and menaces; the of Africa; in auother the children are destroyed, other, to accomplish God's purpose by persuasive and the mother is driven from her house to the preaching to the inner man, by simplicity and yam-farm, to be the companion of the slaves of godly sincerity ; by such a conveyance of the diher former husband. At Bimba (and we did not vine verities, in her teaching and her practice, as find it out until the beginning of last year), when may enable her to win souls to Christ. To conthe mother dies, and the child is too young to beceive then, as do some at the present day, supported in that savage land without nourish- that there can be a point of reconciliation, or a ment from the breast, the grave is made, the common ground of communion, or a mean of corpse of the mother is put into it, the infant is unity between the two churches, is to conceive placed in her arms, and the living child is interred that truth can ever throw herself into the arms of with the dead parent. Badagry was a place of error, the world cease to be enmity against God, blood and robbery, and disgraced by abominations light ally itself with darkness, and Belial become of every description. It was there that Lander oue with Christ! saw the great fetish-tree, bearing its horrid fruit Yet, however dark the Roman church may be, of human skulls; and there the great slave-market her darkness is not altogether without an occa
sional glimpse of light. But she has taken the Father, .... and are built u pon the foundation of virgin coin of Christ's religion, and so gilt it over the aposties and prophets; Jesus Christ himself in her own mint as to render the beauty of the being the chief corner-stone” (Eph. ii. 13, 18, 20). original_impression undiscernible to the vulgar We may, indeed liken the church of Rome to
Take the following in proof: it is the a goodly city, shrouded in a dark, palpable mist, translation of a Latin hymn, ascribed to St. into which the wayfarer cannot enter without Xavier :
stumbling at every step and running imminent peril
of his life; while the church of the Reformation, "O God, my spirit loves but thee!
the church of Christ, stands as a city upon a hill, Not that in heaven its home may be,
basking in the clear sunshine, and lighted up by it Nor that the souls which love not thee Shall groan in flames eternally.
in every winding and at e very corner; so that the But thou, on the accursed tree,
pilgrim treads its ways without peril or hindrance, In mercy hast embraced me :
assured of reaching in safety the sweet restingFor me the cruel nails, the spear,
place he seeks.
NATIONAL PUNISHMENT FOR NATIONAL
By The Rev. T. W. RICHARDS, M.A.,
Curate of Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Kipp, the American tourist, from whose“Christmas holidays in Rome,” the above hymn is bor
JER v. 9. rowed, observes “ that he (the Roman ist) may
“ Shall I not visit for these things ?" before breakfast, every day of his life, obtain for himself at least more than four thousand three hundred years' indulgence, and the remission When Moses apportioned to the tribes of of two-thirds of his sins, with only a little bodily Reuben and Gad an inheritance on this side labour; and for the expense of sixty cents (less Jordan, he warned them against sinning than three shillings) he may liberate two souls against the Lord by refusing to assist the from purgatory”! Yet the head of a church, so other tribes in gaining possession of Canaan, apostate from the faith of Jesus as this, styles and enforced his warning with these remarkhimself “the vicar-general of Jesus Christ,” his
able words : “ Be sure your sin will find “representative upon earth.” Surely it were more in character with his vocation were he to you ont.” And we cannot think that, under style himself“ vicar-general of the prince of this the divine blessing, the inquiry will be altoworld.” Was the latter " the father of lies from gether unprofitable, which sets itself to ascerthe beginning”? the Roman pontiff dares to ap- tain whether it be a general truth, or a truth proach the very altar of the Crucified with a lie which applies only to the two tribes, that sin in his right hand;" for, as Mr. Kipp tells us,“ the is sure to find out the sinner; whether there altar of the church of St. Peter's, in Rome, is privi- be evidence in the history of nations, or the leged every day for ever with the liberation of one soul from purgatory for every mass which shall be lives of individuals, that the commission of celebrated at ihe same. .... And in almost all the sin necessarily brings down upon the transchurches are inscriptions like the following : gressor or the body of transgressors the “Ogni messa celebrata in quest' altare libera un' signal visitation of heaven. We of course anima dal purgatorio” (Every mass celebrated at know full well, because it has been expressly this altar liberates one soul from purgatory).
Alas! how does it not sicken the soul to fol- declared, that not one iota of iniquity shall low Rome in her anti-Christian meanderings, and fail of its due penalty either in this world or track her, one by one, through the endless chain hereafter; that the evil thought and the adul. of nets and snares which she lays for entrapping terous look and the idle word shall then, if souls. Not less true is it now than it was more mot now, come under the scrutiny of the than five hundred years ago, when Dante wrote Juge, and entail upon the offender a senof “ the city of the seven hills :"
tence proportioned to its enormity. But the “Where gainful merchandize is made of Christ,
warning of Moses to the two tribes seems Throughout the live-long day.”
rather to aprly to their existence or their
well-being as a pation; and the threatened O how sweet, how tender and compassionate consequence of their disobedience is rather the love of Christ, who has enabled our dear church to say to her children, “But now in Christ a temporal visitation, than any punishment at Jesus, ye, who sometime were afar off, are made a future reckoning. If their sin was to be nigh by the blood of Christ. For through him," punished by a national visitation, it must and him alone, " ye have access by one Spirit to the take place in this world, whilst they existed as a nation, and not in another state, cent, and has carried into effect the principle : where their nationality would be at an end. “ Shall I not visit for these things ?” Never It is true that the nation consists of indivi- let nature stand as a barrier between ourduals, and that national disobedience may selves and our God: give not to secondary therefore be made up of individual sinful causes the honour due unto the First: forget ness; but still you could scarcely call that a not the Operator through undue regard to national visitation, which would not come the instrument. It is the Omnipotent, who into operation till the nation no longer ex- is busy amongst us. Whether it be the isted, although there might be the most just upspringing blade of grass that arrests our apportionment of penalty to every individual attention, or the stupendous working of the commission. Moses, then, was speaking of planetary system, or the national calamity, or a temporal effect of disobedience, in his the individual affliction, whether we are warnings to the two tribes; and our inquiry marking the progress of the material world, is directed, not to the actual punishment of or the events of the living world, it is God, sin either here or hercafter, but to the tem- working, it is true, according to laws previporal consequences implied in the certainty ously established, but working as certainly as that our sins will find us out; to the evil though miracle stamped the operation, and which we may expect to arise to us in this working, too, either for our present comfort, world, when God, looking down from heaven or for our everlasting good. And it is the among the children of men, sees the nation fact that the Almighty adheres strictly to the idolatrous, or the family godless, or the in- laws which were given at first, that causes dividual iniquitous, and asks amongst hea his operation 10 fall with so little effect upon ven’s glorified multitudes the solemn and fear- the great mass of humankind. You can give ful remonstrance : “ Shall I not visit for no other account of the inefficacy of God's these things?”
visitations upon the transgressor than this, Now, there is in all of us too great an in- that the employment of natural means as clination to overlook the hand of the Al. channels of the visitation induce him to bemighty; so that what is in reality the imme- lieve it rather the result of accident than the diate operation of his counsel, and designed purposed operation of heaven. How frefor the good of some one or other amongst quently is the hand of Providence busy us, comes before us as nothing more than the amongst us, and producing wonderful comordinary effect of natural principle. We binations of events, which would suffice to lose sight of the great First Cause, by our bring the infidel to acknowledge his God, overdue regard to secondary causes. We and the sinner to obey him, were there only ascribe so much to what we are pleased to miracle observable in the transaction! But,
nature,” that in the ordinary occur- just because the result is brought about by rences of the material world we scarcely re- the ordinary process of nature, therefore God cognize the finger of God. But what is is not recognized as the author; and not one nature but the continued operation of the soul more is reckoned among the righteous. Omnipotent? “ Hitherto my Father worketh, But in vain shall we look for miracle to conand I work,” says our Saviour to the Jews; vince us of sin, and of the necessity of turning and what is this work but the presiding over to the Lord our God. We have Moses and laws which himself has established, and the the prophets; and we must not look for one carrying into effect properties which him- returned from the dead. It may be observed self had imparted ? Is it simply the for- throughout all the dealings of God with man, tuitous concurrence of circumstances that that, where natural means are sufficient for brings down to insignificance the nation the end proposed, miracle is never employed; which had grown great by conquest, till all that the Almighty never departs from the law parts of the earth acknowledged its do- which he has established, and which we call minion ? Is it nothing more than the acci- | nature," unless absolutely necessary for the dental reverse of fortune that hurls from his accomplishment of his purposes. lofty position the man of affluence and power, However natural, therefore, be the visitaor that the house with bread enough and to tion which has fallen upon the nation, or the spare is reduced on a sudden to affliction, to family, or the individual ; however correctly beggary and distress? I would rather be- you may be able to trace the course of cirlieve that the eye of Almighty God, from cumstances which brought about the cawhom no secrets are hid, has been fixed upon lamity; however clearly you may demon
or that nation; that he, who is strate that the different action of one minute about our path and about our bed, has spring in the complicated system of occurmarked the guilt that was hid from the world, rences would have produced a directly conor the criminality that was reckoned as inno- trary result, and have made that a blessing
which is now
a curse, you have yet no What hath withholden from them honour and right to conclude that that very spring was esteem in all succeeding ages, and caused not guided by the finger of God himself, con- their oppression by many people, and their trolling the events of the world without need neglect" by all ?—what but a national senof the intervention of miracle, so as to bring tence pronounced upon a national sin? what down upon the object of his vengeance à but the people's denying the holy and just penalty which was due to sins flagrant and One in the presence of Pilate : “ His blood unnumbered, sins which had produced that be upon us, and upon our children” ? And fearful threatening of abused patience:“ Shall these things happened unto them for enI not visit for these things ?"
samples. Most highly, therefore, does it conNow, the truth that righteousness exalteth cern us to inquire whether we have profited a nation implies also the truth that national | by these awakening manifestations of God's depravity will with no less certainty bring wrath, or have wandered as deeply into the about the depression, if not the ruin, of a paths of iniquity and infidelity as the nations nation. And, when we witness the wrath of whom the Lord has already destroyed from God following upon the transgression of an the face of the earth. Alas, alas ! truth individual, we must believe that the divine compels us to confess that iniquity is marchvengeance is yet in a higher degree excited, ing through the land with triumphant step; when the mass of a people, who have fou- that sabbath-breakers, profane swearers, rished under the favour and protection of murderers, drunkards, and such
such like, heaven, renounce allegiance to their great far exceed in number the few who have Benefactor, and yield themselves servants to chosen the better part, never to be taken Satan and to sin. There is no room for away. And with the ensamples before us wonder, if under the provocation of the mul- of national ruin incurred hy national sin, titude the Lord should whet his sword and and with records in our own history of the bend his bow, that his soul be avenged on hand of God lying heavy upon us, I know such a nation as this. If, with all the light not why we should regard our country as of a divine revelation, and all the advantages specially guarded from calamity, when there of peace and prosperity, the vast majority of is abroad among our people an amount of the nation continue deaf to the calls of depravity that swept from this earth nations grace, unreclaimed by the offers of mercy, and kingdoms once as prosperous and powerunmoved by the threatenings of vengeance, ful as ourselves. How long the great Gowho shall express surprise if the destroying vernor of the universe may suspend the dread angel receive commission to go forth on the sentence against a guilty land, it is not for work of destruction, and a national plague us to determine. We have in scripture hisas just as severe assert the authority of laws tory more instances than one, in which the despised and statutes disregarded ?' This is abandoned nation had its sentence respited no idle speculation. The old world brought through many ages. But we shall look in upon themselves destruction by a deluge, an vain to sacred or profane history for the acuniversal ruin by an universal sin; for « God count of a nation remarkably immoral or saw that the wickedness of man was great wicked, which was not sooner or later as raupon the earth, and that every imagination markalıly punished, and, it still unrepentant, of the thoughts of his heart was only evil as remarkably cut off. Our Sodom, it is continually.” The sentence of utter destruc- true, may be spared for the ten righteous tion was pronounced against Nineveh, that that are therein; but still it can scarcely be great city, because its wickedness had come safe to presume upon the mercy of our God, up before the Lord. The men of Nineveh, when he can in a thousand ways destroy the however, repented at the preaching of Jonah; wicked without destroying the righteous. and the national penitence averted the na- Far better would it be, if each individual tional downfal. The idolatry and impiety would begin by reformation of himself, and add of the nations of Canaan incurred the venge- to the “righteousness that exalteih a nation" ance of heaven; and they were exterminated by withdrawing, by the power of the Spirit, by the Israelites under Joshua as their from the crowd of the careless and indifferent, leader, and under God as their director. What and joining the ranks of the good soldiers of a standing monument, too, of national visi-Christ Jesus. Far better would it be, if, after tation are that once highly-favoured people, effecting by the blessing of God the reformathe Jews, living in the most crowded habita- tion of his own character, each one would tions of Christians, and yet most emphatically labour to bring about the same reformation a distinct people! What was it that laid in in others. Far better would it be, if the man ashes their city, the glory of the eastern world, of property, after numbering himself with and their temple, the glory of their city ? the righteous of the land, and whom want