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young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."
Ps. lxvii. 5, 6.—" Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase ; and God, even our own God, shall bless us."
Ps. lxxxv. 12.—“ Yea, the Lord shall give that wbich is good: and our land shall yield her increase.”
Ps. cxxviii. 1, 2.--" Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands : happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee."
Ps. cxliv. 13.— " That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store," &c. &c.
Isa. xxxiii. 15, 16.—“ He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high : his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure."
4. Similar promises given in the New Testament.
Matt. vi. 31, 33.-" Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?...But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Mark x. 30.-"But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”
Phil. iv. 19.-"My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Heb. xiii. 5.—“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have ; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
1 Tim. iv. 8, 9.—“Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation."
That exceptions may be made in the above cases, on account of the “ fatherly correction" of the Lord, is readily granted : yet they will, doubtlessly, be only exceptions to a general rule. But in so far as nations are concerned, I think that God's dealings with them must relate to the blessings of this life; since they cannot be retributed in a national capacity in the world to come. And has not this been the case in our own times ? What followed the national avowal of infidelity in France ? Was it not such a scene of civil slaughter and dismay as has rarely been witnessed in the annals of time? So Spain, Por. tugal, and other papal nations, which shed the blood of the saints, have had “ blood to drink, for they are worthy.” (Rev. xvii. 5, &c.) What commercial distresses have recently followed the resolution of the American Congress, that they will not heed the cry of their“poor and needy" slaves, nor even receive a petition on their behalf!
And then with respect to England—it has many faults and many virtues : it contains much good and much evil. One part of the population is doing the “work of the Lord” in evangelizing the world ; and another in carrying on the work of the devil by propagating vice and baneful discord. And our retribution is a mired one according to our moral and religious condition. Our people possess privileges never equalled by any nation of the world ; and many of them are happier than any people that ever lived. Whilst, on the other hand, many are plunged in want and distress, and some are oppressed by the covetous hand of their fellows. Yet our chastisements are not grievous ; for desolation and blood have not for a long time visited our shores. Oh! we cannot attribute it only to man, that when, during the late wars, every nation of the Continent was convulsed or upturned; when rivers of blood flowed in Europe, Asia, and Africa ; when the messengers of Almighty vengeance seemed to be let loose upon the earth to spread destruction far and wide,-our own little island foated like Noah's ark upon the flood of desolation, and remained secure amidst the sorrows of a world! Why? because, with all its faults, it did contain the “ ark of the covenant," and was in an humble measure fulfilling the Almighty's will. Could the prowess of man destroy those fleets which were carrying the gospel of mercy to distant lands, and waving the flag of liberty over enslaved Africa ? Could a hostile army desolate those shores which were ever invoking the aid of Heaven ; in every part of which, at least a few faithworshippers of Jehovah were to be found ; from whose towns and villages the Saviour's praises ascended “as a sweet smelling savour;" and the church-going bell ever announced to the world that we yet loved God's Sabbaths, and wished to keep his laws? It was impos. sible ;—“the Lord of hosts was with us, the God of Jacob was our refuge.” And yet may we sing our trust in Jehovah, as in 46th Psalm.
“ God is the refuge of bis saints
When storms of sharp distress in vade:
Let mountains from their seats be hurl'd
Loud may the troubled ocean roar ;
Sion enjoys her Monarch's love,
THE TREE KNOWN BY ITS FRUITS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I CANNOT discern in Scripture, any criterion, visible to others, of religion in the heart, but its fruits. We are told by Mr. Dodsworth, and others of the Oxford Tract sect, that let a man be as profligate as he may, a scoffer, a scorner, an avowed infidel-yet, if he was baptized in his infancy, we are to address him as a child of God, a believer, one who has the mystical seed of life within him, one to whom God is reconciled, one who needs not to be born again, but only to be brought back to what, by some strange hypothesis, he once was, CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 29.
though, from the first dawnings of reason, he never gave evidence of being any thing but a child of Satan.
This hypothesis is so extravagant that it is wonderful any man of common sense, much more any man who reads his Bible, can believe it. But it is replied, Does not every child say, in the Catechism of our Church,“ Wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven?" He does; and this is grounded upon the principle involved in all our services—that the party is what he professes to be. The very circumstance of the catechumen's repeating the catechism is a visible expression of faith; he is supposed to be sincere; to mean what he says ; his godly confession is taken, in a judgment of charity, as a test of his heart; the tree is judged of by its fruits. But is it not incongruous, to assert without evidence ; yea, against evidence ; and to say that men are children of God, whether they will or not?
THE HON. AND REV. G. SPENCER'S SECESSION TO POPERY,
RE-CONSIDERED BY THE REV. DR. NOLAN. [So much has appeared in our pages in re Spencer, Churton, Hook, Vaughan,
and Sikes, that we hesitated to admit the following long communication from Dr. Nolan, especially as it enters a good deal into personal matters; but we have at length yielded to its insertion, partly as a debt of justice due to the writer, who is likely to get but a scant portion of that commodity from his opponents; and partly because the discussion involves some important points of argument, which ought not to be lost sight of. Mr. Spencer's letter to Dr. Nolan is highly monitory, as shewing the practical working of semi-Popish doctrine, (we cannot consent to call it " HighChurch ;" for the Altitudinarians are not true Church-of-England-men, high or low,) and as an answer in full to the averment that persons of the Oxford-Tract class have not fallen, and are not likely to fall, into Popery.
Mr. Spencer's letter authoritatively confirms what we said respecting Mr. Vaughan's influence in preparing him for Popery. And here let all men behold and admire Mr. Churton's candid and truth-loving conduct; as well to us as to Dr. Nolan, and to all who are not of his own sect. In our No. for March (page 150) we complained of his having affirmed, or as we tenderly said
dreamed," that the Christian Observer had “ asserted” that Mr. Spencer, in his account of his conversion in the ‘ Catholic Magazine,' had alluded to a clergyman by whose conversation he had been led to become a Romanist, and that this clergyman was Dr. Sikes, and that thus we had been guilty of falsehood. To this we replied that we had never "asserted” any thing whatever on the subject ; that we were not even conscious of ever having heard of the account in the 'Catholic Magazine,' and most certainly had never alluded to it; and that if we had happened to have seen and alluded to it, we should not have specified Mr. Sikes, (whose name we actually had never heard of in connexion with the matter till we saw Dr. Nolan's statement); but Mr. Vaughan, whom we had specifically pointed out long before in our volume for 1837, page 146, upon the authority of Bishop Ryder and other friends; and we invited Mr. Churton to say whether the clergyman whose name he admitted Mr. Spencer had mentioned to him, but which he “ would not make public," was not the said indentical Mr. Vaughan ; though we knew he had good cause for suppressing it, as Mr. Vaughan was an Oxford Tractarian by anticipation, and Mr. Churton had asserted that it was a clergyman of a very different school” to Mr. Sikes who had perverted Mr. Spencer. Mr. Vaughan had once professed what are popularly and truly called “ Evangelical doctrines ;” but his mind, as his frienils know, was not over sound, and when he became a renegade he outHeroded Herod. Mr. Churton acted prudently in suppressing his name; but the following letter from Mr. Spencer discloses it, so that our remarks were correct from first to last.
But where is Mr. Churton's ingenuousness? He held us up to obloquy as falsifiers, for having written and printed what our pages bore no trace of; as having commented on a document we had never heard of; and specified a name which we had never thought of; and all this we stated in our No. for March ; and it was repeated in our No. for May (page 286), by a correspondent who said that at a clerical meeting the question between Mr. Churton and us was tried, and that even “ the Oxford-Tract men,” who accused us on his authority, admitted that he must have “ dreamed,” for he could not have read, what he asserted. And yet he has offered no apology, no retractation, no explanation! But did we expect this? No; we knew our opponents better ; and we wrote, by anticipation, of the result (March, page 151):
“ For those who are acquainted with our pages, our naked assertion that we should have said Vaughan and not Sikes, is quite sufficient; but as the abettors of the Oxford Tract doctrines have on numerous occasions tried to convict us of falsehood, and have never had the candour to refer to the refutation ; and as in this instance, as in former ones, they will prohably go on quoting the misstatement as quietly as if nothing had happened ; we will corroborate our assertion by referring to our remarks upon Dr. Hook's University Sermons in our strictures upon Mr. Newman's Letter, in our volume for 1837, p. 146. It will be seen tbat we mentioned Mr. Vaughan, not Mr. Sikes."]
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. A STATEMENT has been put forth, by which my reputation has been affected, and an unwarrantable injustice has been done to the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Spencer, you will, I doubt not, allow me space in your pages, to offer publicly the only reparation in my power, for the part which I have been led to take from having been abused by wilful misrepresentation. Having retained perfect remembrance of a letter addressed by him to Mr. Marriott, I could indulge no doubt that it imputed to the work of Mr. Sikes no small share of the influence by which he was led to exchange our communion for that of the Church of Rome. In the office which Mr. Churton had taken on himself, to exculpate Mr. Sikes from the charge, of which I profess I could never descry the enormity; although I could not discover the prudence, or see the necessity, I had at least given him credit for veracity, in sus. taining it. A letter, which I have lately received from Mr. Spencer, has convinced me that the confidence which I thus unsuspectingly reposed in Mr. Sikes's defender has been altogether misplaced. While Mr. Spencer writes in a spirit not less worthy of his noble birth than his Christian impressions, he states the progress of his convictions, in joining the Romish communion, in a manner so clear and candid, that it not only bears internally some evidence of its truth, but is perfectly reconcileable with the statement of the letter addressed by him to Mr. Marriott. That your readers may judge how far the subject
of it accords with this statement, or with that which Mr. Churton has made; and on which he has founded his express contradiction of my assertion; I shall beg leave to lay the following extract from it before them. Mr. Spencer writes to me :
“ When Mr. Churton, having, I believe, written to ask you, informed me that the letter to wbich you alluded, when you said that you had seen this statement in my writing, was one to Mr. Marriott, I answered him, that I well remembered writing to bim from Rome, about the motives of my conversion. I could not charge myself with the recollection of the particular turn of the letter. I could not imagine it possible that I should bave said, what you think you remember seeing, for the reason above named, [although I had a copy of Mr. Sikes's book, I never read it through, at most only dipped into it] : but nothing could be more likely, nay it would be almost sure, that I should have spoken of Mr. Sikes in it; since it was greatly owing to meeting Mr. Marriott at Mr. Sikes's house, that I became intimate with him myself: and I could hardly fail telling him that in becoming a Catholic I had come into the principles wbich Mr. Sikes and he himself held in common, and which Mr. Sikes had done so much to endeavour to lead me to without effect : because I used always to conceive the principles of Church authority, which when proposed to me by Catholics afterwards I embraced, quite inconsistent with the pretensions of the Church of Eng. land, and with the principles of the Reformation, to which both Mr. Sikes and I adhered. I have publicly stated that one step in my approximation to Catholicity, was owing to the conversation of a Protestant clergyman, with whom I happened to pass an evening, a year before my conversion. This clergyman was the late Mr. Vaughan, brother to Sir Henry Halford, in argument with whom, I was maintaining the principle that I held most strenuously of regarding nothing but the Scriptures as my guide. He made me observe for the first time, which it was strange enough I had never before observed, that the Scriptures were not the original rule of faith, delivered as such by the Apostles to the Church ; and he pressed me with arguments to show that the tradition of the Church must be attended to. This part of his argument I took little notice of, because I was quite clear that in our hands the principle was untenable, but I felt ever after that I wanted something more explicit than the simple Scriptures to give me un assurance of faith, and I was the more ready to embrace the Catholic doctrine on the Rule of Faith, when atlength it came to be consistently proposed to me. . . Of course you are at liberty to state what you think you clearly remember of my letter to Mr. Marriott. My memory is not infallible; but I have given you the train of my thoughts, as I did also to Mr. Churton, to show why it is that, for the time, I yet remain quite convinced I did not refer to Mr. Sikes exactly as your recollection leads you to state. It seems to me, that, if you think fit to refer to my case in your argument to prove that the High Church party hold opinions likely to militate against Protestantism, the argument will stand on a firmer footing ; if you allow my statements to stand good in what regards the history of my change, I am convinced the argument you hold against the High Churchmen of the Establishment is unanswerable."
In this view of Mr. Sikes's case, it not only assumes a very different hue, from that which it acquires through the varnish with which it was overlayed by Mr. Churton ; but such as removes every difficulty with which his suppression of some facts and misrepresentation of others, has involved the subject which he had undertaken to disembarrass. In the medium through which he had contrived we should behold it, he had ingeniously or unwittingly contrived to establish that direct contradiction between what Mr. Spencer had formerly communicated to Mr. Marriott, and had lately communicated to himself, which tended to convict me of gross misrepresentation. As I could discover no direct method of reconciling what I was formerly shown by Mr. Marriott, with what I was now told by Mr. Churton, I was reduced to the necessity of believing what I now acknowledge with regret was unfounded, that Mr. Spencer, in the last resource, had taken refuge in the mental reservation, the credit of which subterfuge is really due to