صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Poems. By an Officer. 12mo. 5s. Plain Discourses on Experimental and Practical Christianity. By the Rev. Wil. liam Ford Vance. 5s.

The Discourse and Charges at the Ordination of the Rev. H. B. Maclean. 2s.

MISCELLANEOUS.

Memoirs of a West-India Planter, published from an original MS. With a Preface and original Details. By the Rev. John Riland, Curate of Yoxall, Staffordshire. 5s.

Heraldic Notices of Canterbury Cathedral. By T. Willement. Post 4to. 17. 5s. Royal 4to. 17. 18s.

Personal Sketches of His Own Times. By Sir J. Barrington. 2 vols. 8vo. 11. 8s. Memoirs and Correspondence of Mr. John Urquhart, with a portrait. By the Rev. William Orme. 2 vols. 12mo. 10s: The Life of King Arthur, from ancient authentic Documents. By S. Ritson.

History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times. By I. Taylor, jun. 1 vol. 8vo. 8s.

Bibliotheca Sussexiana; a descriptive Catalogue of the Library of his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex; with Historical and Biographical Notices. By T. J. Pettigrew, F.R.S., F.A.S.

The Subordinate Magistracy and Parish System considered in their Connexion with the Causes and Remedies of Modern Pauperism. By the Rev. C. D. Brereton.

Cura Oxoniensis; or, Observations on the Statutes which relate to the University Court, on the Illegality of Searching Houses, on the Procuratorial Office, and on the University Police Act. 2s. 6d.

Beldam on the Law of Dissenters. 12mo. 7s.

Catholicism in Austria; or, an Epitome of the Austrian Ecclesiastical Law. By Count Dal Pozzo, 8vo. 9s. 6d.

[ocr errors]

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL. WE laid before our readers, in our last Number, some extracts from a most judicious and pious "Invitation" lately issued, "addressed to all Christians, and most especially to members of the Church of England, in behalf of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts." Those extracts referred only to the claims of the former of these societies; and we feel much pleasure in now adding those of the latter. Our extracts will be long; but much of the information it contains will be novel, as well as interesting to many of our readers.

"The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, claims our atten.. tion next. The first connexion of this country with America, was at the beginning of the reign of James I. Certain sermons, preached about 1609, speak largely of the godly endeavours of some persons for the great and glorious work of ga thering in the Gentiles.' Lord Bacon, in 1619, brought the subject before Parliament, and renewed attention was given to it in 1622. The unhappy events which followed put a stop to all missionary designs. But in 1695, the eminently pious Dr. Bray, devoting himself to the cause, especially as connected with the West Indies, revived the Christian spirit which,

under the Divine blessing, led to the establishment of the two societies whose cause is now pleaded. The Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, received its charter from King William in 1701. Its views extended to all places, whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, with which the trade of this country gave us connexion. But as its annual income was not much more than 1000l., such a sphere of exertion was too large for its means, and the colonies of America merited and received the first attention.-At this time, thousands of our colonists in America were living without public worship, without the administration of the sacraments, without spiritual instruction of any kind, short, both speculatively, and practically, almost without God in the world; and others, though retaining the form of godliness,' were abandoned to all those manifold corruptions of Christianity, which are the natural consequence of the want of a regular and duly qualified ministry. To bring back these unhappy wanderers to the fold from which they had strayed, was the primary object which the So ciety proposed to itself; the conversion of the Negroes, who were intermixed with them, and of the Indians with whom they had intercourse, completed its be nevolent designs.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in

"An abstract from an appeal made to the Society from Salem, in New Jersey,

in 1722, may serve to illustrate the truth of this statement, and shew the value in which these endeavours were held. A poor unhappy people-make bold to apply ourselves to God, through this pious society-that as his goodness has vouchsafed us a moderate support for our bodies, his Holy Spirit may influence you to provide us with spiritual food for our souls.-Our indigence is excessive, and our destitution deplorable, having never been so blessed as to have a person settled among us, to dispense the blessings of religion.-How should they know, having learned so little of God, and how can they learn without a teacher?-Our case is truly lamentable, and deserving Christian compassion. The Lord in mercy look upon us, and excite you, according to your wonted piety, to have a compassionate regard to our case; and we pray the great God to prosper all your pious undertakings to promote his glory and the good of his church, especially in this destitute place of the pilgrimage, of your most dutiful servants, &c.'

"Such pathetic appeals were not unfrequent. But, alas! to many of them, the society, from want of funds, was compelled to refuse or postpone the desired aid. So far as its means extended, it provided missionaries, catechists, and schoolmas. ters, built churches, and established missions, directly for the heathen, among the five nations of the Iroquois, Mohawk, and other Indians: while, in regard to the colonies nominally Christian, its effects may be judged of by a single fact. At the commencement of its labours it found five churches, which in a few years, under its care and assistance, were multiplied to two hundred and fifty!-Nor would it be just to omit the tribute of praise which is due to an individual connected with this society. Clement Hall, a magistrate of North Carolina, emulating its zealous and pious spirit, about the year 1732, devoted his life to the missionary cause,-visited England to be ordained, and returned to his country to a course of unremitting exertions. In the first nine months he baptised 780 children and thirty-six adults, of whom ten were Negroes. In the course of eight years he travelled about 14,000 miles, constantly officiating, during which time he baptised nearly 6000 white, 243 black children-fifty-seven white, and twelve black adults, well instructed and prepared, besides visiting the sick, and administering the communion and other ordinances of religion to two or three

hundred persons in every journey which he made. He was called to his reward, on the scene of his labours, after fifteen years of unremitting exertion.'

"The separation of the United States of America unhappily put an end to their connexion with this society. But the flourishing condition and increase of their Episcopal Church, the books of piety which its press is continually sending forth, and the eminent examples of Christian life which it has given, may be fairly traced, and, under God, attributed, to the early and truly Christian efforts of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, This church is one in doctrine and discip line with ourselves, and acknowledges with gratitude and pious affection, the debt which she owes to her spiritual parent!

"Debarred from the scene of its earliest labours, the society's attention, for a time, was wholly given to the vast provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward's Island, and the Bermudas. The actual number of missionaries at present supported in these parts alone, is 103, in addition to which, 113 schoolmasters are assisted from its funds. With a view to the formation of a body of native clergy, large annual grants have been made to King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, and scholarships permanently endowed. Frequent grants are made in aid of churches, and the National System of education is introduced in the capitals of Nova Scotia, Canada, and New Brunswick, and is rapidly extending throughout every part of the North-American colonies. For proofs of the happy effects which are daily arising from these measures, an appeal is confidently made to the testimonies of the public authorities, and to all who have had opportunity of witnessing the course of its operations, and the results of its influence. And yet, amidst all its success, the society is constantly under the painful necessity of refusing or delaying to comply with the most urgent applications for additional ministers, by a deficiency of funds!

"At the same time, another source of expenditure has been opened to the society by the extended colonization of the southern parts of Africa, and the interior of New Holland, where the same course of labour and expense demands and awaits with anxious impatience, its Christian sympathy and interference. In recent years the average annual expenditure has exceeded the society's income 60002.

-an excess which, if not met by a liberal increase of contributions, must inevitably bring ruin on its funds.

"It was found to be advisable, and almost necessary, to appropriate the collections made under the Royal Letter, in 1819, to the exclusive uses of Bishop's College, Calcutta ;-for a new, a wider, and still more important field of exertion has opened before the society in the East. In India, a population of eighty millions is subject to the British Crown. In 1812, an estimate of the Christian subjects of the British government in Asia. amounted to above 675,000 (including Protestant half-casts, but not including Roman Catholics, or Syrian Christians). Little provision had been made for the instruction of these immense multitudes, and still less, or rather none, for the conversion of the heathen, until, in 1814, a bishop of the Church of England was placed in the capital of Hindostan. This auspicious event has changed the whole aspect of religious affairs in the Eastern peninsula. The clergy of that country are now members of a united body, and subject to legitimate superintendence. An increased energy is infused into the body of the Eastern Church, and all fears are obviated, lest individual zeal without knowledge,' should enforce Christianity under such a form, or by such methods, as might pervert its holy tendency, and make it the source of discord and evil. Bishop's College, at Calcutta, is one of the first happy fruits of this change in the religious government of India. It is designed to afford education to native or European youths, who may be willing to devote themselves to the Christian ministry, and supply a succession of pious men to do the work of evangelists.' The formation of a college library has been commenced at a considerable expense; and in March 1822, it was resolved to endow twenty scholarships for the purpose of forming a body of missionaries, catechists, and schoolmasters; in addition to which, a printing-press, with all its appurtenances, is established. The college is conducted by a principal and two professors, (the bishop being the visitor,) and at the present time, students are deriving This the benefit of their instructions. foundation may be regarded as an event in the annals of Christianity, the importance of which it is impossible to calculate. The plan, indeed, has no splendid or popular pretensions, but has every essential for utility and success. The eminent

prelate, whose loss the Christian church
has recently been called on to deplore, has
borne the most warm and gratifying testi-
monies to the characters of the mission-
aries employed by the society, in Northern
India; and his dying breath was spent in
eulogizing the state of the native Chris-
• the
tians around Madras, declaring,
strength of the Christian cause in India is
there,'-and commending them to the
watchful care of this society, which has
recently received them under its protec-
tion. Five European missionaries and six
native teachers were added to this so-
ciety's establishment, by the transfer of
its missionary department in India, made
in 1825, by the Society for propagating
Christian Knowledge. And now there is
a most urgent demand for more labourers
in the same extensive field.-In a word,
if our endeavours in India beso to esta-
blish Christanity as may serve to demon-
strate the religious character of the British
nation, to provide for the exigencies of
our beloved brethren, when far severed
from their friends and connexions, and at
the same time to induce the natives, by
the silent, but persuasive pattern of re-
ligious fellowship, and the sober invita-
tions of a settled ministry, to lift up their
eyes to the truth,'-it cannot but be felt,
that the character, the history, and the
actual services of this great society, justify
us in thinking it admirably adapted to
the purpose. The society is prepared to
go forward, with zeal tempered by discre-
tion, and, in imitation of the patterns of
Holy Writ, relying humbly upon the grace
of God. It has propagated the Gospel
in all its integrity. It can point to large
communities, nurtured by its care in the
pure doctrines of Christianity, and evinç-
ing by their practice the sincerity of their
profession. With confidence does it ap-
peal to the good sense and liberality of the
British nation. It is occupied in a work
of prodigious extent, and of incalculable
importance, to which its own resources
are utterly inadequate. No sincere Chris-
tian, who feels the blessings of his religion,
and prays in spirit,' that the kingdom of
God may come, can be indifferent to its
success; while, on every member of the
church, it has a most solemn and peculiar
claim. Freely they have received,
freely let them give,' and testify their
thankfulness to God, for the spiritual
blessings with which he has blessed them
in Christ Jesus, by endeavouring to impart
to others, that form of sound words,'
and those means of saving grace, the pos-

session of which is their own glorious and inestimable privilege."

BATH COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

The Bath District Committee have transmitted to the Board in London an address, the substance of which we feel much pleasure in transcribing, with a zealous concurrence in its object, and an earnest desire that it may be carried into full effect. "We have long contemplated with pleasure the progressive extension of this society both at home and abroad; we have beheld, with unalloyed satisfaction, the adoption of measures which have connected its operations with the British colonies and dependencies in every part of the world; and in particular, we have been forcibly struck with that comprehensive wisdom which has recently dictated the translation of several of our books and tracts (including various extracts from the Holy Scriptures), into the French and Spanish languages for the use of our colonies. But, whilst we sincerely congratulate your Board on these liberal and judicious measures, as relative to foreigners, we most respectfully submit, that it is a duty still more incumbent on this society to provide for the religious wants of all the home-born subjects of the United Kingdom, and more especially, to afford every facility by which the Holy Scriptures and the Liturgy of the Established Church may be read by all classes of our fellow countrymen in their native and vernacular tongues.

"As friends of this society, we deem it quite unnecessary to dwell on the importance of a principle which has so long been sanctioned and recognized by our rules and regulations, and which has been practically adopted by admitting versions of the Scriptures and Book of Common Prayer in the Welsh, Gaelic, and French languages on the list of the society. But we feel it our duty on the present occasion to urge its application to the wants of Ireland; where a large number of the poor, as we are credibly informed, are still at tached to their native language, and are either unwilling or unable to read the Scriptures in any other form. We submit this measure to your consideration, simply on the grounds of remedying an important defect in the society's operations, and without the most distant allusion to any party or political feelings. If it be a fact, that there are many thousands of native Irish who would accept the Scriptures in

their own tongue in preference to that of any other translation, we feel it our duty, as members of this society, to declare, that we are bound to supply them with such a version of the Scriptures. We therefore earnestly entreat you to take immediate measures for placing Irish Bibles, Testaments, and Prayer-books, on the permanent list of this society; and we respectfully suggest that such versions be printed in the cheapest form, and be interpaged with our standard English text. Should this important and national measure be carried into effect, we confidently hope that it may eventually lead to a far more general connexion of our society with the sister kingdom. And it is our hearty and earnest prayer, that a society which has conferred the most inestimable benefits on the English Church, may yet be reserved to disseminate its blessings in the Church of Ireland; that it may prove the bond of a more efficient ecclesiastical union; and that the period may not be far distant, when associations for promoting Christian knowledge may be extended to every diocese and district of the United Kingdom."

HIBERNIAN BIBLE SOCIETY. At a late meeting of this society, the Archbishop of Tuam expressed the following sentiments, truly worthy of a Protestant bishop, anxious for the spiritual welfare of his fellow-creatures.

"When we call to mind, that, in the year 1806, some half-dozen pious men met in a corner to consider the practicability of establishing a Bible Society in Ireland, "at a time when there were many parishes which did not possess that number of copies of the Scriptures, and that, since that time, no less than 163,628 Bibles and 275,556 Testaments have been circulated, and the society then formed has been joined by 416 Auxiliary Branches, must we not say, that this is the work of God, and that it has prospered by his blessing?

"To what are we to attribute the many conversions which have of late taken place? Other means, no doubt, may and have been blessed; but, after all, to the wide spread of the knowledge of the Gospel is to be attributed the work now going forward.

"But whatever has been the extent of our success, let us remember that to God alone belongs all the glory; and to Him ought we address our praises and thanksgivings, that we have been made His humble instruments in this work of mercy.

"We have been called a proselyting society; we have been branded with the opprobrious name of Proselyters. We

plead guilty to this charge; and I will add, if we were not proselyters we should have no claim to the appellation of Christians. "Our only object is to change the people-not from one system of religion to another system of religion; not from one place of worship to another place of worship. I solemnly protest, for one, and I may venture to say that I am speaking the sentiments of the large number of my reverend brethren by whom I am surrounded, that I should feel neither satis faction nor pleasure if the whole RomanCatholic population passed over from the chapel to the church, save as it afforded them an opportunity of hearing the reading and preaching of the glad tidings of that Gospel of mercy of which they hear little or nothing. No! we would prose lyte the Roman Catholics in the same manner in which we would proselyte the Protestants; for we know, full well, that many of them, too, have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof: many of them, too, have a name to live, and are dead: many of them, too, have a zeal of God, but not according to know ledge and we would desire, through the blessed means of Gospel light, to turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to raise them out of darkness into God's marvellous light, and to bring them from under the dominion of sin and Satan into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

:

"Am I, then, to be told, that, though I know that the people are taught false and dangerous doctrine-not only what is not supported by Holy Scripture, but what is manifestly opposed to it-I am not, for fear of offending, to open to them the truth as it is in Jesus, and lead them to those paths which conduct to everlasting life? Am I to be told not to read to them the Holy Scriptures, for fear of being called a Proselyter; and to seal from their eyes those Scriptures of God, of which the blessed Jesus himself says, Search the Scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me?' Must I neglect to put into their hands that sacred volume, in which they shall read those words of the living God himself— These words which I command thee this day shall be in thy heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children; and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up: and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall

[ocr errors]

be as frontlets between thine eyes: and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates!' Shall I withhold from any one that sacred volume, where we hear the holy prophet commanding all the people of the land, Search ye out of the Book of the Lord, and read-where they may hear the praises of the Bereans, because they searched the Scriptures daily, to see if the things taught them were so where St. Paul writes to Timothy, Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou has learned them, and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus where they may obviously see, in the Epistle to the Philippians, that St. Paul wrote to the people as well as to the pastors, distinguishing the one from the other: Paul and Timotheus the servant of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons ' where St. James writes to the twelve tribes, scattered abroad-where St. Peter addresses his First Epistle to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; and, still more generally, his Second Epistle to them that have attained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

[ocr errors]

"But the time would fail should I quote all the passages from that sacred book, of which the unhappy votaries of an unscriptural church are kept ignorant, which prove that it is the will of God that his word should be examined daily; and am I to be told, that, for fear of offending that church, I must join its priesthood in sealing up for ever the word of truth and life from our perishing fellow-creatures? No! I would call on all to exert increased zeal in this Christian cause; but I would more particularly urge on my reverend brethren, at the head of whom I feel it a privilege and an honour to be placed this day, the imperative duty which devolves upon them, of feeding with the bread of everlasting life the many thousands which are hungering for this spiritual food. Endeavour to persuade all to judge for themselves-not to yield blind obedience to yourselves, or to any other teacher; but to prove all things,' and hold fast that which is good '—to be guided by the book of God, and to search in that sacred record for the path to everlasting life."

6

« السابقةمتابعة »