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keeping as near as possibly may be to the rule. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present supply of ministers." In support of this "extraordinary" position, they cite 2 Chron. xxix. 34, when, after the restoration of religion by Hezekiah, the priests were too few to accomplish the flaying of the victims, and the Levites were employed to assist them in that branch of the work, but certainly not to do any part of the sacrifice, which the priests alone offered. This, therefore, does not meet the extraordinary case here admitted, or, in other words, that the Presbyterian ministers are totally without any divine commission. Perhaps a more humiliating confession of a human institution could not be made than this, which, by the good providence of God, they themselves have put upon record, not as the opinion of this or that doctor, but the solemnly recognised authority of
their whole communion.
THE SKUA GULLS OF SHETLAND.
THE Skua Gull of Shetland chiefly inhabits the island of Foula, which is a small rocky island, about three miles in circumference, and about thirty miles to the westward of Lerwick. The island is intersected by a lofty mountain stretching from south-east to north-west. The ascent on the north-east side is extremely steep, and it is requisite to grasp the heath in climbing up; but the opposite side forms a gradual slope from the water's edge to the summit, which, on the southern side, presents the most stupendous and awful precipices. The natives are kind and hospitable, and always ready to assist the researches of those whose curiosity leads them to the island, and to act as guides through the cliffs, which, from long and early habit, they traverse with perfect ease.
The skua gull, which the natives call bunxie, is a very pugnacious bird, and will attack the eagle, and even man, if he approaches their nest, and he is an especial favourite with the Shetlanders. He is a rapacious bird, rather superior in size to the raven, weighs about three pounds, and is two feet in length: his head is of a dark-brown colour, each feather margined with dull white; the auriculars and cheeks are covered with fine, narrow, pointed, hackle-like feathers, the points of which are of a yellowish colour; as is also the back of his head, extending almost to his shoulders; the neck is a darkish brown, each feather sharply pointed with yellowish rust colour, until, gradually extending, they form waving bars of the same colour across the breast. The belly is of a rusty-colour, waved, and obscurely marked with ash; under tail-coverts the same. The back, greater and lesser coverts, and tertials, are dark brown, dashed and freckled with ash, and rust-colour; the tertials more so than the rest. The roots of the primaries are white, and extend along the inner webs; the extre
'Form of Church Government: section concerning the doctrinal part of ordination of ministers; ver. 11, 12, p. 587.
mities are nearly black; the bastard-wing dark, and each feather is sharply pencilled with dull white. The tail consists of twelve feathers, which are dark ashy-brown. The bill is an inch-and-three-quarters long, black, and much hooked at the end, and covered, for more than half its length, with a kind of black cere. The legs are black, rough, and scaly; and the talons are black, strong, and much hooked, the inner one more so than the rest, which seems to indicate an unusual habit in the gull tribe, which generally swallow their prey whole. It is therefore concluded, from the great strength and semicircular shape of the inner claw, that this bird frequently holds its prey under its feet, and tears it in pieces. The eyes are dark, and there is no distinction of plumage in the sexes.
The natives cherish bunxie with the greatest kindness, and even with a sort of superstitious veneration, as he is the chief protector of the lambs during the summer months, which wander over the island in unrestrained freedom. These gulls are the natural enemies of the eagle and raven, whom they attack whenever they see them. As soon as ever the eagle emerges from his eyry, the skua gull descends upon him from the tops of the mountains in bodies of three, or four, or more, and attack him from behind, but never in the front. When the eagle turns in defence the skua dexterously avoids their attack by a rapid and almost perpendicular ascent, even although they may have advanced within a foot of the king of birds. The Shetlanders always reward his services by giving him the refuse portion of the fish caught daily, and which he seizes with great avidity, being so familiar with his friends as almost to take the fish out of their hands. One of these engagements is described by an eye-witness as follows:
"I was particularly amused one evening, when standing at the foot of the loftiest hill (called, by the natives, Snuge) with the following circumstance-an eagle was returning to his eyry, situated in the face of the western crags, in appearance perfectly unconscious of approaching so near to his inveterate foe, as, in general, the eagle returns to the rocks from the sea, without ever crossing the smallest portion of the island. This time, however, he was making a short cut of it, by crossing an angle of the land. Not a bird was discernible: a solitary skua might, indeed, be occasionally seen wheeling his circling flight around the summit of the mountain, which was already assuming its misty mantle. As I was intently observing the majestic flight of the eagle, on a sudden he altered his direction, and descended hurriedly, as if in the act of pouncing; in a moment five or six of the skua passed over my head with an astonishing rapidity; their wings partly closed, and perfectly steady, without the slightest waver, or irregularity. They appeared, when cleaving the air, like small fragments of broken rock, torn and tossed by a hurricane from the summit of a towering cliff, until, losing the power that supported them, they fell prone to the sea beneath. The gulls soon came up with him, as their descent was very rapid, and a desperate engagement ensued. The short bark of the eagle was clearly discernible above the scarcelydistinguished cry of the skua, who never ventured to attack his enemy in front; but taking a short circle around him, until his head and tail were in a direct line, the gull made a desperate sweep or stoop, and striking the eagle on the back, he darted up again almost perpendicular; when falling into the rear, he resumed his cowardly attack. Three or four of these birds thus passing in quick succession invariably succeed in harrassing
the eagle most unmercifully. If, however, he turns his head previously to the birds striking, the gull quickly ascends without touching him. This engagement continued some time, the eagle wheeling and turning as quickly as his ponderous wings would allow; until I lost the combatants in the rocks."
Snuge is the highest point, or mountain, of the island, being about 1500 feet above the level of the sea; it is resorted to by innumerable hosts of aquatic birds, and the highest peak of which is selected by the skua gull, as his retreat in the breeding season. The female is rather smaller than the male. She makes her nest in the long coarse herbage of the mountain, and generally lays four eggs of a dirty, greenish colour, very faintly and obscurely blotched with brownish spots, principally at the largest end. After the young are hatched the old birds become more savage, and will attack either man or beast that may attempt to molest their young, but always in the rear.
The manner in which the natives take the eggs and the young of the other sea-fowls, which nestle in the stupendous cliffs of this island is most daring and hazardous. One end of a rope is fastened by a stake to the top of the cliff, and the other is suspended over the face of the rock; by which a man gradually lowers himself down with the greatest care and circumspection, carefully fixing his foot in the narrow ridges before he loosens his grasp of the rope. Were he to slip his hold there is no possibility of his escaping death by falling into the roaring Atlantic, which dashes its ever restless and foaming waves against the base of this perpendicular rock.
ROMAN CATHOLICS IN ENGLAND AND WALES.
As the Roman Catholics still continue to assert, or to intimate indirectly that their numbers in Great Britain amount to about two millions, and as it is evident that this is an enormous exaggeration, made to serve a particular purpose, it seems desirable to ascertain, as near as may be, their real numerical strength.
By the returns made to Parliament last session, of the number of marriages solemnized in Roman Catholic chapels and Protestant Dissenting places of worship, from the 1st of January to the 31st of December, 1838, it appears that the number of Roman Catholic marriages in England and Wales was 1,629. Now we know that marriage is made a sacrament in the church of Rome, and is not considered valid by her members unless celebrated by a priest of their own communion. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that in all cases where both the parties are Romanists the marriages are so celebrated. And in case where one of the parties is a Protestant, it is the almost universal practice to celebrate the marriage according to both rites, in order to make it binding on the consciences of both parties. The number of marriages celebrated in Roman Catholic chapels may, therefore, be taken as being a fair criterion of the number of the Roman Catholic population.
Now it appears from the first annual report of the Registrar General,
that the whole number of marriages in England and Wales, from January 1st to December 31st, 1838, was 111,481; and that the whole amount of the population of England and Wales, in the middle of that year, amounted to about 15,324,720. This will give one marriage for 137 persons; and applying this rule to Roman Catholic marriages we have (1371,269) 223,987 for the whole amount of the Roman Catholic population of England and Wales. These results agree most remarkably with an estimate which we formerly made from the number of Roman Catholic chapels in Great Britain,' where, by estimating them at 500 to each chapel, we computed the number of Roman Catholics in England and Wales to be about 223,000. Instead, therefore of amounting to two millions, the Roman Catholics amount to little more than oneninth of that number; and their proportion to the whole population is little more than the seventieth part. It seems, however, that even this is a somewhat greater proportion than that of the latter part of last century. Bishop Porteus says (in his letter to the clergy of Chester) that the number of Papists as returned to the House of Lords in 1767 was 67,916, and in 1780 it was 69,376, making an increase of 1460. states that the population was in 1781 estimated at eight millions, so that the Papists did not make a hundredth part of the whole.-Eccles. Gazette.
Mr. Binney and Clerical Conformity. A Discourse delivered at Chadwell Street Chapel, Pentonville, on occasion of its re-opening, for the use of RIDLEY H. HERSCHELL, a converted Jew, by THOMAS BINNEY. London, Jackson and Walford.
AMONG all the opponents with which the Church of England has to contend in this day of strife and trial, there is not one more constant, able, and inveterate, than Thomas Binney. Cool, sarcastic, and powerful, he has used abilities of unquestionably a very high order to one of the most atrocious ends to which any man could ever appropriate the gifts with which God has endowed him. No opportunity has been suffered to pass where the least attack could be made upon that establishment, which the best men among his own sect, have allowed to be the chief bulwark of true religion in the world, without an overflow of his exuberant venom. He it was who with a dispassionate malice purely satanic-for, from no other inspiration, could such a mixture of incautious hatred, and unbounded presumption, have been derived-asserted, that the Church of England destroyed more souls than she saved. As if the Church of England professed to be more than a means in the hands of God's mercy, when none can know better than he that, in all her formularies and expressions, all, all is referred to Him who is her head and chief. Did he restrain his unmitigable spite within any bounds of reason the error of his thoughts, and the folly and wicknessness of their expression, might be allowed to fall to the ground within the narrow circle of his readers, unknown and fruitless, as respects the great body of the community. But
'See Ecclesiastical Gazette, vol. i. p. 117.
with a rampant spirit of mischief, as rife as it is detestable, neither reason nor conscience seem to interpose bounds to its exercise, and he seems desirous of misleading by the grossness of his assertions. About the middle of April, in last year, he was selected as preacher at the opening of a small chapel in Chadwell-street, Middleton-square, which was about to be confided to the care of a converted Jew, and, as the subject of his discourse, selected that which we have placed at the head of the present article. The generality of men, we believe, would have adopted some topic indicative of joy at the apparent extension of the kingdom of the Redeemer, in the adding another fold for the enclosure and refreshment of his wandering sheep, and would have deemed an earnest exhortation to rejoice in the blessing thus granted, and to adhere with increased steadfastness to the truth in humility and love, as the fittest prelude to the regular services of the house of God. Such however was not Mr. Binney's view of the case. His congregation, on that occasion, we conceive, were as little cared for as the rules of clerical discipline, and were as little acquainted with them, as most congregations generally are; and, therefore, pected as they desired it, that their preacher would address to them a tirade upon such a subject; nine-tenths of them doubtless from avocation and attainment alike incapable of understanding the principles of ecclesiastical government, and appreciating the reasons for their existence. But he knew that so long as there was a spirit of hostility against the Church, the right animus would be kept up for sustaining the conventicle, and for retaining still within its scanty numbers the brawling and untoward members who, without religion and conscience themselves, assist him in the unholy warfare in which he was engaged. He well knew it was not the truth which was wanted to effect his object-broad unflinching assertion would far better serve his purpose, and if he could clothe it in the semblance of truth, why it would look better to the few, not yet hardened in malevolent dissent, not yet fully prepared to express a "keen hatred," in a little "round abuse" of the Church, and it would be more useful in the world. He has accordingly prefixed to his statement of reasons for conscientious clerical nonconformity what he calls a strong exhibition of the influences and inducements, which would lead the honest, pious, devoted man, to enter the Church, but which we would venture to call one of the most jesuitical misrepresentations ever laid before an ignorant and misled people.
Instead of assigning the true motives which impel, we will not say all, but nearly all, the ministers of the Episcopal Church in these realms, to seek the ministerial functions, he asumes that all the reasons by which a man is actuated are purely and simply of a worldly kind. Having laid down this supposition as a true state of the case, he goes on with apparent candour to develope the several claims which the Church has upon the regard, the respect of the novice, and the field of fair ambition which opens her pale to his view, and to contrast with it the similarity of defects, presented by the circumstances of the several sects of Dissenters, the disadvantageous position in which they stand with regard to the world, and their only equal advantages in the way of conscientious difficulty. In doing this, however, the cloven foot continually appears, and we are continually left in doubt whether Mr. Binney be a Jesuit or an Independent, or, whether, as has been evinced before our day, he be both. The last opinion we are inclined to deem a correct one, for we know that those concealed Romanists who obtain their directions from the Propaganda