« AnteriorContinuar »
portals of it; and that sufficiently legible in the eyes of every sincere member of our Church, and well calculated to interest his affections? Is not its simple and definite object, to circulate those admirable writings, which are so well suited to humble the proud and selfconceited, to confirm the timid and wavering, to awaken the negligent and worldly-minded, to bring back to the love of undoubted verities, those who have ears itching after novelties; and thus to counteract those causes of spiritual decay, which are deeply seated in the nature of fallen man? Can we doubt about giving it our energetic support, by our exertions and contributions, and above all by our prayers? Can we hesitate in aiding such a design, if we love the doctrines contained in the Articles, if we admire the way in which these doctrines are inculcated in the Homilies; and above all, if we have so felt the truth of them in our hearts, as to plead them fervently, at the throne of our Redeemer, in the words of the Liturgy?"
BRISTOL AUXILIARY SOCIETY
On Thursday the 8th of June, a public meeting was held in the Guildhall, at Bristol, for the purpose of forming a Society in aid of the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews. The chair was filled by Sir W. J. Strutt, mayor of the city, in a manner which peculiarly entitled him to the grateful acknowledgments of the friends of the Institution. The meeting was attended by Lewis Way, Esq. one of the Vice-Presidents of the London Society, by its three Secretaries, and by the Rev, Messrs. Simeon, Marsh, and Grimshaw. There were also present, upwards of thirty of the established clergy of Bristol, and its vicinity. Mr. Woodd, Mr. Way, and Mr. Simeon opened the meeting by stating at length the general objects of the Society, the course of its operations, and the causes which had led to the recent change in its constitution, by which the manages ment of its affairs was transferred wholly into the hands of members of the Establishment. They gave an account also of the measures which had been adopted in effecting this change-of the providential combination of circumtances by which difficulties, threatening the subversion of the Society, had
been removed, and of the truly Christian spirit which the Dissenters in London had displayed, on resigning their share in its administration. We are happy in being able to state, that the information and explanations which were thus afforded, have proved in general completely satisfactory. Dr. Randolph, Mr. Biddulph, and several other clergymen, expressed at the meeting, in the most unequivocal manner, their approbation of the Society as now constituted; and though, from motives of delicacy, no public avowal of their sentiments was made on the part of the members of other denominations, they have in many instances declared their hearty determination to support the Society by their influence and contribu tions.
The establishment, therefore, of the Auxiliary Society at Bristol may be considered as one of the first fruits of the improvement, recently introduced into the plan of the Parent Institution, and will, it is hoped, be followed by that of many others throughout the tution can be more worthy the support United Kingdom. Certainly no instiof Christians of every denomination, than one which has for its specific object the bringing of the wandering tribes of Israel and Judah to the knowledge and belief of the true Messiah, whether that event be considered in itself, or in connection with the glorious consequences which we are taught by the word of God to expect will result from it to the whole Gentile world. If that be looked forward to as a period of singular felicity, in which the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ; surely the conversion of the Jews, through whose instrumentality that grand design of Providence is to be brought to pass, cannot be regarded with any other feelings than those of joyful anticipation; and all who have at heart the manifestation of the Divine glory, and the extension of human happiness, must feel themselves impelled to concur with their utmost energies, in promoting the success of endeavours which have both these ends so directly in view.
On the Tuesday following, a Ladies' Society was formed, in aid of the former, to be under the direction of a patroness, vice-patronesses,a treasurer, two secretaries, and a committee consisting of 24 ladies, of the Established Church.
In order to give greater facility and efficiency to their exertions, the city of Bristol, with Clifton, is distributed into eight districts; to each of which are assigned three members of the Committee, who are to attach to themselves each, three other ladies of zeal and activity, thus forming an association of twelve members in each district, having its own treasurer and secretary. The principal object of this Branch Society, is to promote smaller weekly and monthly contributions; and the money raised by its means will be appropriat ed, under the direction of the Committee in London, to the education and protection of Jewish children and females, and to the translation of the New Testament into Hebrew. The respective associations will hold monthly meetings, which will be attended by one or more of the ministers belonging to the districts in which they are held; and thus, it is hoped, a devotional spirit will be promoted in the minds of the members, and social prayer concur with united personal exertions in forwarding the important designs of the Institution.
OXFORD BIBLE SOCIETY..
The Second Annual Meeting of this Society was held in the Town-hall, Ox ford, on the 30th May, 1815; G. F. Stratton, Esq. in the chair.
The Chairman congratulated the Meeting upon the flourishing state of the Society, which he felt assured would have been a much larger contributor to the funds of the Parent Institution, had not the difficulties with which the Agri cultural Interest had had to struggle, since he last had the honour of address ing them, pressed with peculiar force upon this county, which scarcely possessed a single manufacture.
The Report of the Committee was then read, and ordered to be printed.
The Rev. Daniel Wilson expressed, the pleasure he felt in the opportunity now afforded of co-operating without any compromise of principle, for the noblest object of charity, with the meme bers of other religious persuasions. Why not ascend above the spot where the stream divides, and drink. of the pure spring that flows for the healing of the nations? He proceeded to illus. trate, by a statement of facts, the won derful rapidity with which the British and Foreign Bible Society had attained its present eminent station, "In the
first year of its existence," he said, “its whole income was not 7001.; in its eleventh it has fallen little short of 100,000l. In the first year its patroniage was small, its labours inconsiderable; in the eleventh, it numbers among its supporters many of the Royal Family, above half the Nobility, and the majorìty of the Prelates of the United Kingdom, and had aided the printing or circulation of the Scriptures, in whole or in part, in fifty-five different languages. It had originated in this island among a few individuals; but now its ramifications in other parts of the world were no fewer than one hundred and thirty, beside giving birth to four händred and eighty-four auxiliary and branch Societies within the British dominions. And yet," he continued, "it was an awful fact, that although eightteen hundred years had passed since the Son of God had descended from heaven to redeem lost mankind, not one in five of the whole race of Adam had even now heard the gracious tidings of that redemption. An appeal like this must be regarded as irresisti ble, by all who from their own feelings are able to judge of the inestimable value of such knowledge." He then ani. madverted upon the conduct of those who, instead of contributing to projects of public utility, busy themselves in suggesting impediments or detecting imperfections; and concluded with this apposite quotation from Locke, in a letter to Mr. Molyneux: “I am always for the builders who bring some addition to our knowledge, or, at least, some new thing to our thoughts. The finders of faults, the confuters and pullers down, do not only erect à barren and useless triumph upon human ignorance, but advance us nothing in the acquisition of truth. Of all the mottos I ever met with, this writ over a water-work at Cleves, best pleased me:
'Natura omnes fecit judices, paucos artifices.'".
The Rev. Mr. Natt stated, that as parochial minister he felt himself called пpon-to bear his testimony in favour of the British and Foreign Bible Society, of which he had the honour of having been a member from its commencement. He considered the infinite value of the sacred Volume which it so widely dise tributed as forming its grand recom mendation; while the comprehensive→ mess of its scheme was so far from being
an objection, that it peculiarly entitled it to support; inasmuch as it coincided with the genuine spirit of the Gospel in uniting Christians of every denomination and country in promoting the common salvation.
The Rev. Mr. Davison; of Oriel College, remarked, that the British and Foreign Bible Society had been often charged with intentional exaggeration, though its enemies, when called upon to substantiate the accusation, had seldom ventured to descend to particuJars For his own part, he was willing to accept the numbers they gave him; to take, instead of millions, thousands, or hundreds; and even then he would maintain it had been an important instrument of good; persuaded as he was, that the reasonable prospect of con Verting one human being would amply repay the toil and perils of travelling to the ends of the earth. He then took a survey of the Society's foreign profeedings, and dwelt with particular satisfaction on the patronage given to it by the sovereigns of the several countries in which it had been planted; expressing his hope, that, by loyalty and submission to established authorities, it would every where continue to deserve the encouragement it had received. A too profuse distribution of eopies of the Scriptures had been urged as an objection to some local societies. Such waste he considered had always been allowed, and must exist to a certain degree in every extensive concern. It was our business to look closely to the principles of our association; to be sure we were pursuing a good end by legitimate means; and we need not then be uneasy or discomposed by errors and defects in detail. Such errors must occasionally occur while our affairs were conducted by imperfect and erring creatures; and in a world where such mistakes could always be guarded against, the labours of the Society would not be wanted. He concluded with observing, that till he could hear of some more effectual mode of doing good, than by joining this Society, it might reckon upon his best services; and he believed it would be very long before he should have to transfer them to any other.
The Rev. J. Hill, vice-principal of St. Edmund Hall, took a view of the measures adopted by the Committee for the supply of the county, and pressed upon the meeting the duty of
coming forward in their respective neighbourhoods, both to make known the object and nature of the Society, which were often misunderstood, and to ascertain the deficiency of the Bible among the poor, which was considerably greater than was imagined. In the course of his speech, from his own knowledge, he gave some affecting anecdotes, which evinced the anxiety of the poor to possess the holy Scriptures, and the improvement they had derived from their perusal.
The Rev. Hugh Pearson observed, that although it was no longer necessary either to discuss minutely the merits of the British and Foreign Bible Society, or to defend the grounds upon which its friends had joined it, there were various circumstances, which not only justified speeches on these annual meetings, but rendered them highly expedient. They were especially useful in diffusing amongst the community a knowledge of the nature and effects of the Institution, and in affording an opportunity for noticing whatever might be connected with its vindication or support. With respect to the first of these points, the progress of the Society, as detailed in the Report, would be contemplated with delight, while a due consideration of its unbounded object must stimulate its friends to persevere. In noticing the opposition the Society had had to encounter, Mr. Pearson particularly referred to a late voluminous attack, which professed to demonstrate its mischievous tendency. The extreme violence of the author, and the absurdity of many of the charges which he had brought forward, happily rendered a refutation less necessary. He had certainly demonstrated his own groundless, though doubtless honest, fears, but had utterly failed in establishing the positions which he had so confidently undertaken to prove. He had indeed (to adopt the allusion of an eloquent prelate, the Bishop of Landaff, when defending the Bible itself against a celebrated modern infidel) gone through the wood with the very best intention in the world of laying its spreading honours in the dust; but he had succeeded only in exposing a few unsightly shrubs, which the kindness of its friends would gladly have concealed from the public view, and: which a more generous enemy would have suffered to remain in obscurity; while the goodly cedar trees which form
In reply to some of the assertions of the author in question, he referred to a tract lately published by a learned Bishop, who had not many years ago adorned this University; and in defence of the sufficiency of the Scriptures alone for the purposes of moral and religious instruction, quoted a powerful and masterly passage, from the last volume of Bishop Horsley's posthumous Sermons. Mr. Pearson concluded with expressing his hope, that the result of that day's meeting would be a conviction in every mind, that we could not be more laudably or beneficially employed, than in co-operating with the British, and Foreign Bible Society, in promoting the universal distribution of that Volume, which has God for its Author, truth without any mixture of error for its matter, and for its end the temporal and eternal welfare of mankind.
The Rev. Mr. Marsh expatiated upon the aid and influence afforded to the Missionary by the British and Foreign Bible Society. He spoke of the feelings that must arise in the heart of a new convert on receiving the sacred volume as a present from a distant land, not locked up in an unknown tongue, but, translated into his own, by strangers who had laboured hard themselves in order to spare his toil; and doubted not but his faith must be animated and con
The Bishop of St. David's.
firmed, by reflecting on the benevolent genius of Christianity, which had raised up to him remote and disinterested benefactors unconnected with him by any human tie. In contemplating such scenes, he could not bring himself to dwell upon cold abstractions, or to weigh fears and scruples, when he felt it to be his duty to act.
The Rev. Mr. Hinton congratulated himself on being upon this occasion surrounded by members of an University to which we were originally indebted for the existence of an English. Bible. A Wickliffe and a Tindal were the first, he observed, in this country to lay open the Scriptures to the unlearned; and, in a later age, Kennicott and others had been indefatigable in their endeavours to restore the purity of the original text. Such labours were, from their very nature confined to the scholar and the critic; bat in the present effort to diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, all Christians might alike co-operate, and the Almighty had conferred upon all who were willing the high honour of being his instruments for the communi→ cation of his Holy Word. It was to him matter of unfeigned gratification, that an opportunity was offered by the Bible Society to him and others of his brethren, of uniting with their fellowChristians, without the slightest com promise of principle, in this grand and benevolent design: while he referred all who imagined there could be any danger in such an union to the security afforded by the patronage of numbers of the great and dignified in every rank and profession, as well as to the satisfactory experience of eleven years, for the removal of their doubts and apprehensions.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE results of the battle of Waterloo are altogether without parallel in history, whether we consider their intrinsic magnitude, their bearing on the peace and happiness of the world, or the rapidity with which they have been accomplished.-The Bourbons are restored to the throne of France; Paris is again in the hands of the allies; and Bonaparte is at this moment a prisoner in England.
The Jacobin adherents of Napoleon
seem to have vainly hoped that his abdication would have arrested the progress of the allied arms, and led to a negociation with them as the actual organs of the French Government; or at least to a suspension of hostilities. The intelligence, however, of that event, did not produce a moment's hesitation in the advance of the allies. The Duke of Wellington and Prince Blucher marched forward, in regular communication with each other, and without interruptions
except as the necessity of storming a fort, or escalading a town, might produce a few hours' detention. A body of the enemy's troops, under Marshal Grouchy, in the attempt to gain Paris, were twice encountered by the Prussians, and suffered severely. They, however, effected their object. From 40,000 to 50,000 men, besides the National Guards and Federès, were thus collected for the defence of Paris, under the general command of Davoust. The north side of Paris, including Montmartre, St. Denis, and Belleville, had been very strongly fortified; but the south side was, to a considerable degree, unprotected. The allies took advantage of this circumstance; and crossing the Seine at St. Germain, the Prussians possessed themselves of St. Clond and Versailles; while a corps of the British army moved across the Marne, towards the south-east side of Paris. An attempt was made to defend St. Cloud; but the gallantry of the Prussian troops surmounted every obstacle, and thus laid the vulnerable points of Paris open to the combined assault of the victorious armies. A farther defence would now not only have been unavailing, but would have exposed Paris to all the horrors of a sack. The conAlict before the barriers might indeed have cost the allies many valuable lives, but the issue could not be questioned; and the conflagration and pillage of the capital would have been the inevitable consequence of forcing its defences at the point of the bayonet. The provisional Government. judged more wisely than to push matters to this dreadful extremity. A capitulation was proposed and acceded to, by which the French army was permitted to retire, with its equipments, behind the Loire, and the allies were put in military possession of Paris; that city to be completely evacuated in three days, and the movement behind the Loire to be effected in eight days. The allied generals engaged to respect public and private property, and to call no persons remaining at Paris to account for their political opinions or conduct. The convention, it is true, was called a military convention, and was understood to refer all political arrangements to the sovereign authorities. Yet a clause, which distinctly specified that "the inhabitants of Paris, and in general all persons residing there, shall continue to enjoy their rights and liberChrist. Obsery.
ties, without being called to account, by reason either of the offices they hold, or may have held, or of their political conduct or opinions," and which had been approved and ratified by Blucher and Wellington, seems at first sight to be little less than a complete amnesty in favour of all, whether ringleaders in the conspiracy against Louis or not, who were at that time at Paris. To common ears, it sounds like a pledge on the part of the allied commanders, that no inquisition into the political delinquencies of those individuals shall hereafter be instituted. And this is, perhaps, the real explanation of the forbearance which has been exercised towards so many of the most active adherents of Bonaparte, and of the impunity and security they continue to enjoy. If this be so, we doubt not there were circumstances in the relative situation of the conflicting forces, or some other powerful motives of policy, to justify a course which, if we be not mistaken (as we trust we shall be found to be) in the meaning we give to the stipulation, seems likely to disappoint the just expectations of Europe, respecting the guilty authors of the present war, and of the carnage it has occasioned.
On the 30th June, Bonaparte appears to have quitted Paris to repair to Rochefort. The two houses, in the mean time, continued their sittings until Paris was actually in possession of the allies; and these sittings would have been continued, even after the king had reached St. Denis, had not the houses been occupied by the allied troops. And even then some members had the
audacity to clamour loudly and violently against this act of exclusion, which they represented as treason against France. Their closing labours consisted of a new constitution for France, and an address to the French People. This address contains a protest against any government which may be imposed on France by force. It also contains a recognition of the injustice of the slave trade, and a recommendation of its abolition.
The king entered Paris on the 8th. He had previously issued a proclamation, in which it was intimated that, with the exception of the chief insti gators and actors in the treason that. had been perpetrated, and who should be pointed out by the two chambers as fit objects of trial, he should pardom to 8 R