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parity of numbers between Popery and ration in Ireland itself. Lord Elgin seems Protestantism, we should be unwise to rest to be somewhat of our opinion, for he did satisfied that this state of things will neces- not hesitate to state to a Protestant depusarily be permanent, and that the most tation who waited on him, in his official strenuous efforts are not demanded in capacity as Governor of Canada, that Ameorder to resist Rome's aggressions. She is rica bad not gained by the substitution of not satisfied with her present strength, and the Irish for the red men of the woods. some of her recent movements give evi- Our readers are all familiar with the fact, dence of her far reaching sagacity and that a plan was recently proposed, in consubtlety. What she cannot accomplish by nection with the Evangelical Alliance, to direct aggression, she will aim at by cir- send a hundred ministers to Ireland, during cumvention and strategy.
Her recent the month of August, who should preach efforts to grasp and appropriate to her own the Gospel, either in churches or in the purposes a portion of the public schools open air, as opportunity was afforded them. fund, in various States, and to make the The object of this religious movement was bishops the sole proprietors of the eccles- not to attack directly the errors of the iastical property within their several sees, Papal creed, but to proclaim the doctrines are of this nature."
of the Cross. It was supposed that the labours of these itinerant missionaries might
be productive of much spiritual benefit to CHURCE ACCOMMODATION IN AMERICA.
this poor and degraded country. The plan The latest statistical returns give the fol
was entered upon with much cordiality. lowing statement of church accommodation There were sixty ministers from England in the United States :
and forty from Scotland, -Mr HenderAggregate
son of Park, with his usual liberality, payDenominations.
Accommoda- ing the travelling expenses of the Scottish Churches.
tion. ministers. A plan of this kind could not, Baptist,
8,791 2,130,878 of course, be arranged without publicity; Christian,
812 296,050 and the priests, alarmed at this encroachCongregational, 1,674 795,177 ment upon their kingdom of darkness, deDutch Reformed,
324 131,986 nounced the evangelical missionaries from Episcopal,
1,422 625,231 the altar, and stirred up their blinded voFree,
361 108,605 taries to deeds of violence. The Popish Quakers,
714 282,823 press breathed a similar spirit; and if one German Reformed, 327 156,682 may judge from numerous specimens of Jewish,
16,570 newspapers now lying before us, vulgar Lutheran,
1,203 531,100 swagger, and ruffian insolence, and mockMormonite,
140 29,900 ing of divine truth, are their principal chaMethodist,
12,467 4,209,333 racteristics. And the consequence bas Moravian,
331 112,184 been, that in Limerick, and in other towns, Presbyterian,
4,584 2,040,034 the savage mob attacked the missionaries, Roman Catholic, 1,112 620,950 and their lives were preserved only
15 5,070 the intervention of the police. The misTunker,
52 35,075 sion, so far at least as out-door preaching Ohio,
619 213,551 is concerned, has been abandoned in these Unitarian,
243 136,367 districts, where the priests have most influUniversalists,
444 205,402 ence. Mr John White, a Methodist minisMinor Sects,
326 115,347 ter, resident in Cork, bas set himself to
answer the question, What may be the Total, 36,011 13,849,896 result of this visit, and universal rejection
by the Romanists, of this movement of the Total population of the States about Evangelical Alliance? The letter is juditwenty-three millions.
cious, and he assigns several reasons for the Taking one minister to a church-and
conclusion to which he arrives, that good under the voluntary system more than this
will come out of it, notwithstanding its prenumber will be found only in the great sent failure, and the hatred it has evoked towns—the average is one to 640.
to the preachers of the gospel. We append
some extracts: PERSECUTION OF EVANGELICAL MISSION
“ That they were mistaken, there is no doubt. It is quite plain they formed no just
estimate of the state of Ireland, else they The remarks we made in the last number would never have dreamed of being permiton the savage character of Irish Popery, as ted peacefully to preach the Gospel in the manifested in the Gavazzi riots in Canada, public streets of the towns and cities of the have since received a melancholy corrobo- South and West of this lant, without being
ARIES IN IRELAND.
DEATH BLOW TO CHURCIT RATES-BRAIN
furiously assaulted by a populace excited by hands of Rome are yells, curses, stones, and a priesthood, whose only hope of retaining bludgeons; and these she is using with all their power over the people is the exclusion her might. And there is reason to believe of Scriptural knowledge. Was it possible that this is the death-struggle of Popery. that the priests would
quietly allow one hun- In the absence of all argument, she may dred ministers of the Gospel, with that hated and will persecute the ministers of the Gosbook-the Bible-in their hands, to stand pel, and many of the excellent of the earth in the streets of Limerick, Clonmel, Water- may suffer, and even die in the contest; ford, and the surrounding towns and vil- but she herself must finally expire beneath lages, and proclaim in the ears of their the repeated strokes of Divine truth ; and Aocks the blessed truths of the Gospel ? the millions duped and prostrated under They, in their ignorance and simplicity, her dark and wicked influence shall soon thought so; but we who have to live and arise from their degradation ; the tongues labour in the midst of their opposition and now employed in cursing will then propersecution, had reason to think otherwise ; nounce blessings on those engaged in proand the result has sadly proved our fears to claiming the unsearchable riches of Christ; be well-founded. They have stood up and and the men whom they now regard as their offered the Gospel to sinners; but, instead enemies, they will then hail as their best of being listened to, they have been sur. friends." rounded by mobs more like fiends than men; they have been hooted, cursed, stoned, insulted; and, were it not for the shield of God's power which he threw over them, their lives would have been sacrificed. We congratulate our Nonconformist friends
“ It has also more fully developed the on the decided victory they have gained, in real spirit of Popery. To us, indeed, who the famous or infamous case of the Braintree live in the midst of its influence, this were church rate. In 1841, a majority of the not necessary; but to England and Scot- rate-payers in vestry refused to make a rate. land such development was necessary. How The churchwardens, with a minority, then frequently have our statements respecting took the liberty of imposing a rate themthat system been received with distrust, selves, on the ground that the refusal of conand we have been charged with a want of tumacious persons to perform their duty, Christian charity when we exhibited things, should not prevent other good men from as far as language could paint them, as doing what was right, and taxing the comthey are with us. The priests, forsooth, munity for the expenses of public worship were not so wicked and intolerant as we in the Established Church. Mr Lusbingrepresented them to be ; Popery, after all, ton, official principal of the consistorial was not such a deadly system as we de- court of London, declared the rate invalid, scribed it; and, as a proof of this, England because made by a minority. Sir Herbert grants thirty thousand pounds annually to Fust, first official principal of the Arches educate priests to propagate this system, - Court of Canterbury, reversed his decision. and to make it more destructive to the in- The question was carried upon appeal to terests of this country.
the Exchequer Chamber, where four judges “ This movement has also more clearly declared that the rate was valid, and three shown the terror the priests of Rome are in affirmed the opposite. It was then carried of the preaching of the Gospel, and the only by writ of error to the supreme court of weapons with which they can meet it. Ar- appeal, the House of Lords. The decision gument has utterly failed them. They of the inferior court was summarily rebave been asked again and again to come versed. The unconstitutional argument as forward, and show why they oppose the to the competency of the minority to tax a truth,—to prove from either reason or majority, which had received the sanction Scripture their peculiar tenets. They have of the four judges, was very successfully disventured to come out of their holes into the posed of by Lord Truro. “ As to the fact of light of day, and on a few occasions have the rates being made by a minority, there was attempted to vindicate their doctrines by do doubt. But then it was said that the quibbles and sophistry; but they have cut vestry had been assembled to make a rate; such a miserable figure on the stage of con- that a rate was necessary for the repairs troversy, and the light has, on those occa- of the church; and that, under such cir- sions, shown so much the deformity of that cumstances, it was the legally imposed duly monstrous system, that they have retired of the vestry to make the rate; that, thereback to their dens, and, from Cadinal Wise- fore, when the vestry refused to do so, it man in London down to the most obscure committed a breach of legal duty, and, priest in an Irish village, no man can be consequently, gave to such persons as were found to enter into a logical defence in willing to perform the duty, the right in Popery. All the arguments now left in the themselves to the performance of it ; the others by their refusal having abdicated afraid of ghosts, but “whistling aloud to their authority. In other words, it was keep his courage up." Every effort bas contended that as the persons composing been made to increase their funds, and their the majority had refused to perform their appeal has been well responded to in some duty, they must be treated as if they were cases; but the large donations of opulent absent ; and that then it was clear that persons, under a temporary stimulus, can those who were preseut constituted the never take the place of the regular and vestry, and might make the rate.” The smaller contributions of the great body of question of church rates in England has the people. And we apprehend that the thus received its death-blow. This homage deficiencies are much greater in the local of the national will to religion, as Lord funds than they appear in the general. John Russell phrases it, may now be looked During the last year there has been a loss upon as defunct. A minority can no longer of ten thousand members, not to mention impose a rate; and there are few parishes, the defections of former years. A large except in the more remote and rural dis. party are dissatisfied; and unless considertricts, where it will not be found a very able concessions be made to their reasoneasy matter to form a majority in a vestry able demands, a more formidable secession meeting. The friends of an established will unquestionably take place. There has church must henceforth defray the inci- been less of the coarse work of ministerial dental expenses of public worship out of expulsion this session than usual; but there their own pockets. They have, of late, has been something more ominous, -there been getting some good lessons on the has been the voluntary resignation of a voluntary principle. This is another; and number of ministers of high standing and we hope the time is not far distant when character. They feel, that liberty of speech they will understand that tithes and church and of action is denied them in their prerates occupy the same footing, and that sent connection; and conscious of this de. neither of them can be defended upon the gradation, they cannot but act out their ground of religious freedom and impartial convictions. Examples of this kind are taxation.
apt to become contagious. Methodism, we have ever acknowledged, has been of
eminent service in the spiritual improve THE WESLEYAN CONFERENCÉ.
ment of the humbler classes of England. The Wesleyan Conference has just con- But its close system is pot suited for an in. cluded its meeting at Bradford. The mem- telligent community. Whether it can be bers of this ecclesiastical conclave are put- adapted to the circumstances of the present ting the best face they can on the distrac- age without the sacrifice of some of those tions of their denomination, but it is quite peculiarities which constitute the secret of clear, they are far from feeling that their its strength, is a question on which we do position is secure. The sort of blustering not enter. But unless it can thus be motone, the apparent recklessness of conse- delled, the Wesleyan polity will ere long quences, remind one at times of the school. become a melancholy memorial of departed boy walking through a church.yard at night, greatness.
EDINBURGH ANNUITY-TAX BILL.
We go to press so early, that the " Magazine” was all in type last month before the intelligence reached us of the defeat of the Annuity-Tax Bill, in the House of Commons. The subject, however, is so important in the eyes of Scottish Dissenters, that though it appears somewhat out of date, we cannot allow it to pass unnoticed. The simplest statement of the nature and character of this impost is enough to awaken righteous indignation. A tax of six per cent is levied upon house property within the ancient royalty, and as this district of the metropolis has only a population of sixty thousand souls, it follows that a hundred thousand escape this burden altogether. From this ecclesiastical tax, the members of the College of Justice, including all the judges, solicitors and advocates, are completely exempted. These form the aristocracy of Edinburgh ; and were this opulent
class to pay in the same proportion as others, the amount would be nearly L.1700, and the impost
would be reduced from six to five per cent. The tax at present yields a revenue of L.10,000, and from a return made by Mr Lefevre, it appeared, that of this sum, L.8000 was paid by persons who had no connection with the Established Church. It is divided among eighteen ministers, who officiate in fifteen churches. The plan proposed in the Bill was the following: Uncollegiate the three parishes, when vacancies occur, and you thus have a permanent staff of fifteen ministers. Three stipends are thus saved. Let the present ministers have L.600 a-year, and their successors L.550. Abolish the exemption of the members of the College of Justice. Appropriate the revenue of the Chapel Royal Deaneries as the leases drop, which will give you about L.1500 per year. Impose a municipal tax of three per cent., and, from all these sources, a sum would be raised which meets the expenses of the reduced Establishment. Such was the scheme proposed by the Lord Advocate, and which met with the approval of almost all the members for Scotland. It did not, however, please the ministers of Edinburgh, though it would have saved them from all unhappy collisions with the rate-payers. The house was ready for a decision.
Mr F. Scott rose up, and spoke against time. The clock strikes four as the honourable gentleman is enunciating his miserable platitudes to an impatient auditory. The Speaker leaves the chair. The House adjourns; and as there is no other day on which the measure can be brought forward this session, it is accordingly lost. It is lost by a disreputable trick. The measure would undoubtedly have been carried, had a vote been taken.
For our own parts, we are not sorry that the measure has been defeated. At least, we are bearing the discomfiture with tolerable composure. We did not find fault with the proposed scheme as a compromise, for this was inevitable, our objection was rather that the compromise was too much upon one side. There are honourable men in the Town Council, who, for the sake of public peace, made concessions on this question, of the propriety of which their own minds were scarcely satisfied, and which have exposed them to the serious charge of being indifferent to the great principle of religious freedom which they hold. If they have gone too far in this direction, it is an error with which we can sympathise, and upon which we will pronounce no severe censure. But it is an error not to be repeated ; and, after the manner in which their exertions have been met, by those who had the deepest interest in an amicable settlement, there is little danger of a similar blunder being committed a second time. Concession has been carried to its extremest point by Dissenters; and probably the best plan for them is to keep their hands clean, for a considerable time, of all measures for the adjustment or modification of this obnoxious impost. The Established clergy have chosen their path-let them pursue it, and learn, by å personal experience, whither it may lead them. We have a strong suspicion, that even now they are disturbed by the unhappy consciousness that it would have been better for them to accept the generous terms that were offered them. Certain it is, that the loud shoutings of victory are not heard in their camp, and that their main anxiety is to protect themselves from public scorn, by declaring that they are not to blame for the rejection of the Bill. We do not envy them their position. It cannot be a pleasant reflection for a pious minister of the Established Church in Edinburgh, even when he has no scruples of conscience as to its justice, that the tax which supports himself and his family is paid with a grudge by the Dissenter, and with a curse by the Infidel. There is a significance in the words of
Macaulay, in the discussion in the House of Commons, which will probably be better understood in the future, than it has been in the past, — He need not remind the House of the disastrous events which had already taken place in consequence of the existence of this tax. Could anything be conceived more painful to the name, and to the reverence due to religion, than that ministers should be compelled to call in the aid of the soldiery in order to enforce the payment of their income ? Consider how widely the unpopularity of this tax differed in its essential nature from the unpopularity of other taxes. A police or an army might be unpopular, still the one preserved our property from the midnight attack of the dishonest, and the other from the aggressions of a foreign foe. A coastguard might be hated, still it did its duty, and protected us from illicit frauds. But a church which was hated was worse than useless ; and if it inspired feelings opposed to affection and respect, better that it should not exist at all.” The ministers of the Established Church may take to themselves the consolation, that there will never be proposed to their acceptance a measure so favourable to them as that which they have lately been so imprudent as to reject. They shall never get such a good bargain again. The tide is setting in against ecclesiastical monopolies, as well as against all others; and it is time for them to be setting their house in order. There is an old story about the Sybilline books, which it would do them no harm to remember. The Sybil came offering her books for sale ; but they were rejected. Each time she came back she had fewer books preserved, and a higher price was set upon them. The Roman legend has numerous modern applications. And, in fine, there is another topic of peculiar gratitude, which we commend to their meditations. They have secured to Edinburgh, for some time longer, the eminence of being the head-quarters of Scottish Voluntaryism. From the character of its inhabitants, and from the nature of their pursuits, one would expect Glasgow, not Edinburgh, to be the centre of Voluntary agitation. And Edinburgh would never have earned this proud distinction, had it not been for the pleasant irritation of the Annuity-Tax. The body-politic in Edinburgh has a slight tendency to repose ; but the annual visit of the ecclesiastical publican, knocking at our doors for his six per cent., is as stimulating as the rubbing of croton oil upon the chest of the patient, and imparts a healthy activity to his system. Thanks, then, to the Edinburgh clergy, that they have defeated the Annuity-Tax Bill. They have done more good than they expected.
Printed by THOMAS MURRAY, of 2, Arniston Place, and WILLIAM GIBB, of 41, York
Place, at the Printing Office of MURRAY and GIBB, North-East Thistle Street Lane, and Published by WILLIAM OLIPHANT, of 21, Buccleuch Place, at his Shop, 7, South Bridge, Edinburgh, on the 26th of August 1853.