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higher tone of Christian policy would namely that in the great majority of bave concentered around him a power. towns the Romanists will have almost ful phalanx of moral strength, which he unbounded sway; and how that sway cannot command in his present ano- will be exerted may be judged of by malous course.
woful experience. Ought not Great
Britain to feel some alarm, and more Petitions are flowing in to Parlia- disgust, when at this very moment it is ment from all parts of the country for openly announced that the whole quescburch munition and extension. An tion of Irish education is referred to admirable one was voted by the Uni. the pontiff of Rome; and that upon versity of Oxford. Sir R. Inglis, who the decision of that " foreign prince, has had the honour of being in more power,or potentate," depends the moral, estimable minorities than most men, theological, and political training of the has pledged bimself to bring on the nominal subjects of Queen Victoria ? question after the Easter holidays; and Archbishop Whateley, Archbishop Murthough the plea of exhausted finances ray, and Lord Melbourne, may indeed and the rivalries of party may possibly comfort themselves with the rumour cause him to be outvoted, the very that the pope thinks that the scheme assertion of the principle, the senatorial at present in operation deserves his apinculcation of the national duty of proval—which we are sure it does; and affording religious instruction to all Dr. Murray and the Bishop of Rome classes of the people, and devoting a por- are wiser in their generation than Dr. tion of the public wealth to the service M'Hale of Tuam - but it is well that of Him who is the bountiful giver of the the people of England, once so jealous whole, are of great value and import of foreign interference, should rememance. We trust that Mr. M'Neile's ber who is the real legislator for Ireproposed Lectures upon the duties and land. exigencies of our national church, will prove useful precursors to the parlia- The nation is greatly indebted to the mentary discussion.
Bishop of Exeter, who has again brought
before the House of Lords the disgustThe House of Commons bas very ing, demoralizing, and blasphemous atroreasonably rejected Mr. Duncombe's cities of Socialism, and procured an adabsurd proposition for relieving Dis- dress to the throne for an inquiry into senters from the payment of church- the subject. He was ably supported rates ;-we say absurd, for rates apply by the Archbishop of Canterbury and to property, not persons, and no moral the Bishop of London, and opposed by or statesman-like reason can be given Lord Melbourne and Lord Normanby, to show why nine houses in a street as Secretary of State for the Home are to be rated, and the tenth passed Department; but the motion was car. over; and strange were it to profess to ried without a division, and the queen have an established church, and to give was advised to return a gracious reply. No. 10 a bonus to dissent from it; un- In the course of the discussion, the less (as we suppose Mr. Duncombe Bishop of London alluded to an exewished) the exemption should lead crable newspaper, the Dispatch, which some other of the numbers to qualify is a vehicle for the most awfully profane themselves for the boon. Is it not and licentious opinions; and every repainful to evangelical Dissenters, that ligious, virtuous, and decent man or the chosen champions of their party in woman must hope and confidently exparliament should be such men as Mr. pect, that after the exposition to which Duncombe and Mr. Gillon; and that his lordship’s statement has led, the they could find no more welcome editor city of London will reject with abhorfor their “ Patriot” newspaper than rence Alderman Harmer, the proprietor Mr. Hone, whose past notoriety should of that print, at the election to its civic render him a little more modest in his
chair next year. new career as an “ Evangelical Dis. senter ?"
No person who considers the spirit in
which “ tyrannical majorities” of popu, The Irish Municipal Corporation bill lar assemblies are often wont to tread is proceeding upon the principle settled down right by might, will be surprised at the coalition between the friends of to learn that the House of Representathe measure and Sir R. Peel's section tives of the United States of America, of its opponents, that if the qualifica- bas passed a resolution that it will retion were made sufficiently high, no ceive no petition respecting Slavery, further objection would be made to the The abolitionists are thus gagged and principle of throwing open the corpo- manacled; not a syllable of remark will rations. The result no man can doubt; be permitted; the most respectful and " Let any
honourably subscribed petitions will be to terrify and exterminate the advocates rejected without discussion; and a na- for abolition.
abolitionist," tion so jealous of its vaunted rights and said a member of the Senate, liberties allows them to be thus grossly within the borders of South Carolina, invaded, in order to suppress the appeal and if we can catch him, we will try of justice, humanity, and religion, on be- him (by Lynch law], and notwithstand. half of many millions of fellow-beings ing all the interference of the goverr.within their own borders, writhing ments on earth, including tbe Federal, under the aggravated horrors of slavery. we will hang him." “ If chance," said This tyrannical resolution is a befitting another member, “ shall throw any of climax to the confiscations, floggings, them into our hands, he may expect a tarrings and featherings, imprisonments, felon's death." We bave much more maimings, and actual murders, by wbich to say on this subject. the friends of slavery bave endeavoured
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. Clericus; Irenæus ; Y. M. E.; Oxoniensis-H.; Philalethes; F. S.; 0. C. ;
G.; F. P.; B. A.; J. H. T.; Anti-Schismaticus; E. H.; L. M. N.; E. C.;
C. C.; and S. B. H.; are under consideration. We did not say, or mean, that Mr. Rogers “had puffed off his own book by
putting his own words in the newspapers as advertisements, and then quoting them as the opinions of the Editors.” What we said_was perfectly correct; that some of the eulogies, such as those quoted from the Evangelical and Baptist magazines, and the Eclectic Review, were doubtless genuine editorial opinions; but that some others, though referred to in precisely the same manner, were not such. The paragraph in the Times occurs at the bottom of the last column of the fifth page, and in the very smallest print; which is not the place or manner in which "editorial" articles are exhibited. Yet Mr. Rogers speaks again and again of the critique of the Times," (not in the Times) which he describes
more fair and more noble" than ours. We have not the sixteen other newspapers cited; but if he will procure a certificate only from the Editors of the Times, the Morning Herald, the Morning Advertiser, the Age, and Bell's Weekly Messenger, that they had actually read his work, and that the articles were genuine editorial critiques,—not supplied by friends, “ correspondents," or booksellers, for love or money,—we will take the others for granted. If they are all really editorial articles, the conductors, for their own sake, as well the author's, will readily grant such a certification when a doubt is cast upon the subject. We do not however believe that Mr. Rogers “puffed off his
own book ;" we intended no personal imputation. F. C. quotes the following passage from Mr. Hartwell Horne's " Introduction,"
to shew that a correspondent in our last Number has introduced no new argument. “It is to be observed, that there is a great difference between the concurrence of nations in the division of time into weeks, and their concurrence in the other periodical divisions into years, months, and days. These divisions arise from such natural causes as are every where obvious, viz. the annual and diurnal revolutions of the Sun, and the revolution of the Moon. The division into weeks, on the contrary, seems perfectly arbitrary: consequently its prevail. ing in distant countries, and among nations which had no communication with one another, affords a strong presumption that it must have been derived from some remote tradition (as that of the creation), which was never totally obli. terated from the memory of the Gentiles, and which tradition has been older than the dispersion of mankind into different regions.” A correspondent in our present Number bas however justly remarked, that the Moon's quarters are very conspicuous phenomena. We are not sufficiently acquainted with the circumstances to discuss the proceed
ings of the Church Missionary Society's Missionaries in New Zealand in purchasing land ; respecting which several correspondents have written to us; but we have confidence in the wisdom and right intentions of the committee, who have suspended their decision, till they receive further particulars in reply to
their interrogations. BIBLE SOCIETY EXTRACTS. We always read the Society's Extracts with
interest; but the plan proposed in the present Number for supplying schools with the Scriptures at a very cheap rate, is so important and seasonable, that strenuous efforts ought to be made to reimburse the Society, and to prevent any curtailment of its foreign operations,
ON WORDLY AMUSEMENTS.
(Continued from p. 135.)
For the Christian Observer. IN my last paper, I suggested a plain and practical test, by which
to try worldly amusements. I proposed to contrast the character and conduct of those who conform to them, and of those who separate themselves from them. And, with this criterion, I would readily stake the cause upon the honest decision of every unprejudiced mind.
But those who are thoroughly engulfed in this system of delusive pleasure will refuse to hear this reasonable appeal. Let me then turn to the compromising professor of religion, who would join, in unholy union, God and the world.
In the midst of enjoyments which you plead that you deem innocent, but which a stricter class of Christians pronounces to be incom, patible with a truly Christian walk, you look abroad upon those who are living in gross and open sin ; and you can form a true estimate of the nature of their pursuits; and of their insufficiency to promote the great and common object of man-happiness. You wonder, for instance, what infatuation can blind the man who wallows in gluttony, drunkenness, and sensuality, thus to shatter his constitution ; to impair his fortune; to debase his nature; and eternally to ruin his soul; for the momentary gratification of a low and grovelling passion, whose insatiable desires are but increased by indulgence. You can thus form a right judgment upon the folly of all those who are beneath you in the moral scale. And why? Because your judgment is not warped by any prejudice in favour of their besetting sin : while the wretched victim himself, fascinated and deluded, can discern geither the heinousness of his sin, nor its utter inability to promote even his temporal comfort and enjoyment : and this, because his judgment is prejudiced by the love of this sin ; because his heart has been depraved, his mind and conscience been defiled, and his understanding darkened, by those foul vapours which indulged sio never fails to raise in the soul. But while you can thus, to a certain extent, form a just estimate of every character beneath you in CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 28,
the scale of morality, you are yourself living contentedly, and at ease, in practices and pleasures whieh a stricter and more serious class of Christians unhesitatingly condemns, as wholly incompatible with the genuine spirit of Christianity. Now let me ask you, with all solemnity-and remember that it is a question, in the true decision of which the best interests of your soul are vitally involved,-is it not possible that your judgment also, as well as that of the gambler, the drunkard, or the sensualist, may be warped by prejudices in favour of your own practice; and that you cannot, as you affirm, perceive that those practices are opposed to Scripture, only because that “ sword of the Spirit ” has lost its keen edge, in frequent, but unsuccessful, collision with a hardened conscience ? May not that clearer light, in which the spiritual man, as Scripture tells us, “ discerneth all things, yet he himself is discerned of no man," be that light by which the stricter Christian discerns, and passes a sentence of condemnation upon, those vanities which you deem innocent? And may not that clearer light be the result of a closer walk with God ?-of an emancipation of the soul from the love of those vanities ?-of a surrender of the will to the Divine guidance: a submission of the understanding to the teaching of the Spirit of God ?-of a still silence of the passions : a recollection of the dissipated affections: a state, in which the soul adopts, as it were, the language of the prophet child,
Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!” and is answered by that Spirit which guideth into all truth : that unction from the Holy One by which he knoweth all things : by which he “knoweth of the doctrine," or of the precept, “whether it be of God?” May not you, like the drunkard, or the sensualist, awake, when it is too late, from this stupor of moral death; and feel the frightful conviction flash upon your newly opened eyes, and rankle for ever in your soul, that, in striving to compromise between religion and the world, you have been endeavouring to serve two masters whose interests are wholly incompatible; and whose commands are, at every point, in direct opposition ? May you not learn, by sad experience, the truth of our Lord's merciful but unheeded warning, “ Ye cannot serve God and Mammon?
To every Christian professor, then, we would urge an entire separation from worldly amusements, as he values his own soul : because the spirit of the world-its principles and affections; tastes and tempers; objects and pursuits ; ends and means; in short, its whole spirit, is not the spirit of the Gospel-of Christianity-of Christ : and because a drinking into that spirit intoxicates his soul; spoils its relish for simple, innocent, and spiritual enjoyments; renders irksome to him the offices of charity: and utterly unfits him for the right discharge of those relative duties, which, under the penalty of his vengeance, God has indissolubly bound upon his conscience.
But we would also urge this upon the Christian professor, as he values the souls of others. We would beseech him not to strengthen the hands of the great enemy: not to deceive the ignorant: to entrap the wary: to encourage the timid sinner: to determine the wavering : to sanction, by his presence, and by the weight of all that the world may deem amiable and religious in his character, practices and pleasures which he sees daily, and inevitably, leading thousands into sinful excesses to which he would not himself dare to pursue them. We would solemnly urge him to beware of those tremendous judgments which must burst upon the devoted heads of those who have brought a religious character, or a religious profession, to sanction irreligious practices; and thus become the main pillars which prop up an ungodly system: who have been playing the hypocrite with a jealous God; and coquetting with His rival, the world, beneath the heart-piercing eye of Omniscience: who have been seducing, by their example and authority, into paths of everlasting perdition, their weak brethren “ for whom Christ died :" who have been compromising between God and the world—and the stake at issue, immortal souls : who have used the watch-word of Christianity but to creep in, unawares, among the people of God, and to betray the cause : who, in the garb of religion, have been doing Satan's work ; and making “ Christ the minister of sin!”
There are some, whose general pursuits and dispositions are not hostile to religion, who yet mingle, to a limited extent, in the amusements of the world: but who, whether from constitutional temperament, or clearer views of moral truth, are averse from carrying matters to an extreme of dissipation ; and who think that to object to this “ golden mean " is unreasonable and scrupulous : is carrying religion into extremes: is being “righteous overmuch.”
Such persons appear to forget, that it is impossible once to open the flood-gates, and suffer the current of dissipation to flow, and then to arrest its progress at a given height. They forget that they are themselves, by their character and example, the main pillars of a system of iniquity into which they would shrink from entering deeply, yet which, but for the sanction, and the partially restraining influence, of their presence, would soon be crushed beneath the weight of its own enormity : and that, therefore, they are as responsible for every excess, and for every crime, into which the profligate extend and follow up their “innocent amusements," as they would themselves, in a court of justice, pronounce that criminal to be, who was a party, by his voluntary presence, to a murder, while yet he left to some more hardened or intrepid villain the perpetration of the act.
The principle upon which such persons act is plainly this. They view worldly amusements simply in the degree to which they themselves conform to them, instead of looking onward to their inevitable consequences, and thus, to the complicated iniquity of the system into which, by a partial compliance, they cast themselves, and which by their character and influence mainly contribute to support. And being defective in their views of the holiness of God, and of the extent and spirituality of the Divine law, they will ask, for instance, and often I am convinced with perfect sincerity, what can be the great harm of an “innocent, occasional game of cards," merely for amusement to myself, or perhaps accommodation to others, and at which I neither lose my money nor my temper? Now not to consider this at all as a Christian : not to dwell upon the consideration, that the spirit which could find pleasure in a single game of cards is not the spirit of Christianity: and that—with reverence be it expressed-our Great Model, whose tastes we must acquire in this life, if we would dwell with Him, and enjoy Him, in eternity, would have shrunk from a single game of cards, or a single ball, or a single fox-hunt, or a single horse-race, as from a single murder--not to dwell upon this class of motives, but to view the question in a merely moral light, I answer, you are probably participating in this amusement with persons to