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are not only allowed but exhorted tion our Lord makes between them to “ strive together for the faith of and the widow, and the superior the Gospel :" and if they glory in honour he confers upon the latter, seeing that, through their united arises simply from the fact that the efforts, a great and effectual door widow gave most in proportion to has been opened for the preaching her means. God accepts the offerof that Gospel, can this be called ing "according to that a man hath" a rain glory? If any (contrary to (2 Cor. viii. 12), and the Apostle (as that charity which thinketh no evil) I have intimated above) directs suspect that these gifts were only every one to give “as God hath made as ministering to vanity, it prospered him" (1 Cor. xvi. 2). “Unto will be sufficient to reply, that the whomsoever (said the Saviour) much well-known characters of the indi. is given, of him shall much be reviduals who were the chief pro- quired." Had these precepts been moters of this measure, warrant the fully acted on by the Christian conclusion that they only adopted it church, instead of that feeble lustre as the most efficient for the end, she now casts on the world, she without any view to their own honour would long since have gone forth or human applause, They indeed “ bright as the sun, clear as the caused their works to “shine be- moon, and terrible as an army with fore men;" but it was most truly, in banners." I fear that many, when these instances, “ to the glory of collections are made for religious their heavenly Father." I may apply objects, drop their mites into the to them the language of Paul on a treasury with much fancied humi. similar occasion : “ For the admi- lity, and go away expecting the nistration of this service not only widow's blessing, but will be disapsupplieth the want of the saints, pointed because they have the rich (furnishing them with the means of man's purse. St. Paul, speaking of spreading more extensively the light the liberality of the Macedonian of the Gospel), but is abundant also church, says, " to their power I bear by many thanksgivings unto God; record, yea, and beyond their power while by the experiment of this mi. they were willing of themselves ;" nistration they glorify God for your and he goes on to encourage the professed subjection unto the Gospel Corinthians to follow their example: of Christ, and for your liberal distri. " Therefore (says he) as ye abound bution unto them, and unto all men." in every thing, in faith and utter(2 Cor. ix, 12, 13.)
ance, &c. see that ye abound in this Allow me, sir, to say a word grace also.” (2 Cor. viii.) more, on the reference which yourI hope at the next annual meetfirst correspondent has made to the ing of the Church Missionary So. circumstance of the poor widow's ciety, to see the plan pursued by casting her mites into the treasury: the other societies for the replenishwhich he appears to introduce as an ing of their funds acted on with example or illustration of Christian equal success. If any other mode simplicity. The incident, as nar more consistent but equally effica. rated by the Evangelist, makes cious can be devised, I shall cor. against the whole of his argument dially rejoice in its adoption, for I (see Mark xii. 41-44). There was am not contending so much for the no difference between this poor plan objected to as for the end it widow and the rich, as to the man- accomplished. In a circular rener in which they presented their cently issued by this society it is gifts ; the two mites were given as stated, that “the insufficiency of its publicly as the more costly offerings. income has rendered it necessary to Here is not a breath of censure contract the operations of several of against the rich for casting in much, the missions.” Is not this an imor for doing it openly; the distinc- perative call upon all its members,
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 337.
especially the wealthier part of them, subject, of course, to an appeal to to shew that they have the cause the bishop, so as to prevent any im. really at heart?“ The people that proper use of the power of exercisdo know their God (it is said) shall ing wholesome discipline. be strong, and do exploits.” (Dan.
CLER. Oxon. xi. 32). Let churchmen prove that they have the best knowledge of God by doing most for him. We are not answerable for the spiritual UNPROFITABLE EXPENSE AT conversion of the heathen; but let
FUNERALS. us resolve to discharge the responsi. bility that really attaches to us— Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. that of providing unsparingly the necessary means. I conclude with I have been often grieved, in my recommending one of the questions parochial duties, at witnessing the used for self-examination by the unprofitable expense at funerals. excellent Alleine: “ Have I done The articles supplied on such ocany thing more than ordinary for the casions to friends and clergymen, cause of God, in this time extraor- though often of the most worthless dinary?”
description, are charged to the parties at an extravagant price; and this at a time when the long con
tinued sickness of the departed, and QUERY ON REJECTING COMMUNI. other circumstances, frequently ren
der the expense extremely incon
venient. Could not some more useTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. ful and less costly mode be devised
of exhibiting due respect both to In the ministrations of a small coun- the memory of the deceased, and try parish, circumstances once oc- to the clergyman ? A hatband, cured, that made me peculiarly anxi. scarf, and gloves, which cost the ous to exclude from the holy com- parties two or three pounds, are of munion a person of grossly evil scarcely any value to the possessor life; but though I could privately after the funeral is over ; whereas warn him not to approach, I was some more permanent token of relegally advised not to proceed fur- gard, at half the expense, would ther, as I should be subjected to an be valued through life. Take the action at law, which would certain- parish of , in which some hunly go against me, with great ex- dreds of pounds are paid every year pense and damages, every non-ex. by families for the above articles, communicated person being eccle. for the rector and his assistant clersiastically intitled to receive the holy gymen. These clergymen, however, sacrament; and the refusal to ad. in general wear their own funeral minister it being also a civil injury, mourning, the undertaker or clerk as the party might wish to qualify often arranging to receive back the himself for office. I should be glad new articles at a low price. How to learn from some of your legal much more acceptable to a poor friends whether the late abolition of curate would be an extra honorary the sacramental test sets aside this fee of one half the amount of the last difficulty; and if it does, whe- cost of the usual articles; or where ther any other impediment exists to the clergyman is rich, or this method prevent a clergyman's forbidding a was thought not respectful to the notoriouslyviciousperson's approach- deceased, a present for the express ing the sacred table. There surely purpose of purchasing some book, ought to be some discretion allowed or set of books, or other suitable to a clergyman on this vital point, article, at his discretion, and which
would remain as a memorial long and fairly into all its bearings and after scarfs and hatbands were for probable consequences, and to apgotten. Would there be any im- ply, if possible, a suitable remedy. propriety in a clergyman's proposing . Such a principle appears to me such a plan to his parishioners; it to exist in the actual or implied enbeing mutually understood that he gagement of many of our Missionary would always appear with the cus- Societies, to provide permanently tomary emblems of mourning; in for their missionaries and families, lieu of the cost of which, those of when such missionaries become inhis parishioners who would have capable of further labour, and also supplied these funeral decorations, for the families of those who die in will request his acceptance of some their service. As far, however, as more permanent token of their re. I have been able to ascertain the gard, either pecuniary or otherwise, practice of these societies, I find it as circumstances may suggest? by no means uniform.
PASTOR. The Society for promoting Chris
tian Knowledge, so long as it con
tinued to employ missionaries, did ON PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILIES not consider itself under any obliga.
tion as to the future support of their
missionaries' families : and although Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. the sister Society for the Propaga
tion of the Gospel has not confined ALTHOUGH a mere hewer of wood, itself by the same rule, but has and drawer of water in the vineyard sometimes granted pensions both to of our Divine Master, I yet feel as infirm missionaries, and to the wianxious a desire to promote both its dows of deceased ones; yet such extension and its fruitfulness, as grants have only been made on those can do, who fill the more special occasions, without admitting honourable stations of pruners or any right in the missionary to claim vinedressers. If therefore I see, or them, and have never in any case think that I see, a principle in ope- been extended to children. The ration which can in any degree pre- London Missionary Society has been vent that extension, or injure that in the practice of relieving its infirm fruitfulness, I dare not withhold a missionaries, as well as widows and warning voice in time, or wait until children ; and although I believe it the evil has acquired a degree of refuses to allow of any right in its strength, which will make its core missionaries to demand such relief, rection a task of difficulty or of it appears to feel, that there is somedanger.
thing of a moral obligation to confer That the various Missionary So- it. The Baptist Society acts, I be. cieties of the present day are in lieve, on a somewhat similar prinstruments in the hands of God for ciple. The Wesleyan Missonary the extension of his kingdom on Society considers its missionaries earth, few persons of sound judg. simply in the light of ministers of ment or Christian feeling will deny ; the Gospel, and subject to the same and that pecuniary means are ne- rules as other ministers of their de. cessary in the present state of the nomination; one of which rules is, church, to enable such societies to the contribution of a certain porproceed in their work, is equally tion of their salary to a fund proclear. Should there be found there. vided for the above purpose, and of fore any principle of action now in the benefits of which the missionoperation, which is calculated at a aries partake in common with the future period materially to retard other ministers. The Church Mistheir progress, or injure their use- sionary Society, I am informed, has fulness, it is wise to examine fully made an actual compact (or has a
strongly implied understanding al. come is raised, are adequate to meet most equivalent to a contract) with such claims. A similar process must many of its earlier missionaries to take place with respect to the claims provide for their families in case of on Missionary Societies; and it must need ; but I believe, in all recent : necessarily follow, that in all cases appointments, it has declined mak- in which such societies expend the ing any specific engagement on the whole of their annual receipts in subject — The most ancient of all prosecuting their missionary work, the Missionary Societies now in those claims will, gradually but operation, that of the United Bre, certainly, increase upon them to thren, has always undertaken the such an extent as very much to positive support of its infirm mis- embarrass their proceedings, if they sionaries, and of the widows and do not seriously retard and injure children of those deceased; and it their special and proper objects. is the experience of this society Such indeed has been the actual which I wish to exhibit as a beacon experience of the Society of the to all other societies, to enable them Uniled Brethren; these claims now to avoid similar consequences; for exceeding, by more than one-third, although it has pleased God to raise the whole amount of the collections up funds in its distresses, sufficient. made by their own community; and ly powerful, for the present, to meet but for the help afforded by other its difficulties, and to enable it to denominations of Christians within carry on its work, it should be re- the last few years, all its missions, membered, that while it proceeded so far as they depend on contribu. in simple faith, it proceeded also tions from Europe, must have been in perfect ignorance of the conse- relinquished long since, or its other quences of its own proceedings. To claimants have been left to misery infer, however, from its experience and want. As no accounts of exin this respect, that societies of mo. penditure were published by this dern days, possessing the benefit society previous to 1818, I have no of that experience, and all the light means of tracing in its expense which increasing knowledge ou these the gradual operation of this prinsubjects now confers, would be justi- ciple; but from the statements made fied in following its example, would, since that period, the tendency of in my humble opinion, be presump- these claims regularly to increase is tion, and not faith.
fully apparent, and they also prove It is not my present intention to that although the society having discuss the question, which of the existed more than a hundred two, modes of proceeding referred years,) they might have been exto above is the wisest ; but, assum- pected now to have attained their ing the one most generally adopted maximum, they have not yet done to be so, to urge the necessity of so. In 1828, the society had 191 taking immediate and judicious mea missionaries (including the wives) sures for meeting the consequences employed; and the proportion of of such a system before the day of unemployed adult claimants, to misactual trial comes, when it may be sionaries in active service, was 77; too late.
that is, more than two-fifths, indeThe experience of all societies pendently of a like number of chilfor the insurance of lives and an- dren. The amount of its expendinuities fully proves that the claims ture is nearly in a similar proporon such societies go on in an increas. tion, the average amount for the ing ratio for a number of years, and various stations for eleven years that from seventy to one hundred being about 6,3001. per annum, and must elapse before it can be ascer- the sum expended on the unemploytained by such experience whether ed being in 1828. about 2,9001., the payments from which the in- almost one-half. In this amount there has been an annual increase, adding more at present, my purin 1819 il being only 2,0501. Apply pose and anxiety now being to exthis experience to some of our mo- cite the attention of the Christian dern societies, and what a fearful public to the subject.
2. impediment does it exhibit to their future exertions.
Such, therefore, being the case, both in theory and in practice, I For the Christian Observer. would ask, Is it wise; is it just, for the managers of these societies “ Peace I leave with you.”—John xiv. 27. to go on in this way, entailing on their successors, thirty or forty years *
Pears. Such was thy legacy at parting, Lord !
All power, all willingness to give were hence, such an onerous responsibi
thine: lity, without making some consistent Thou mightst have bidden earth's poand rational provision to meet cir
tentates resign cumstances, which, in all human The wealth with which their palaces were
stored, probability, must one day arise? I The noble's dignity, the miser's hoard. say, consistent and rational, because. The field, the flock, the olive and the it appears to me, that merely put
Pearls from the ocean, treasures from ting aside any given sum of money,
the mine ; without connecting with it a wise All these thy bounty could thy friends and judicious plan of appropriation, afford; is doing but very little ; for the con Yet pledges none of these were of thy sequence will be, that the earlier
But thou didst promise, on that solemn claimants will swallow up such a
day, fund, and leave nothing for those of What the world gives not, nor can take later years but want and disappointe, away; ment.
Peace, sought in vain where not a gift
from theeThat such a plan may be easily How does that legacy our hearts rediscovered and applied, I cannot prove, doubt ; but this communication is Still wedded to earth's joys, though vain
and false they be? already too long to justify me in
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Biographical Notices of the Apostles, are not adapted for the purpose in
Evangelists, and other Saints, with question. Nelson's Fasts and FesReflections and Collects; adapted tivals is therefore generally referred to the minor Festivals of the Church to; but this book, though extenof England. By RICHARD MANT, sively circulated, both for its own D.D., Bishop of Down and Con- real merits and for want of a bet. nor. I vol. 8vo. Oxford. 1828. ter, is not inviting in its style ;
its catechetical form, however inCLERGYMEN often require in com. Structive, is not pleasing ; nor is the posing their sermons, and parents author sufficiently scrupulous in se. in instructing their children, a suit parating facts from fables : besides able book of reference for the saints' all which, devout and humble as days, both to collect the biogra- are his remarks, his general cast phical facts and to suggest appro. of divinity, like that of the Whole priate reflections. The volumes of Duty of Man and similar works, Cave and Lardner are not generally is defective in the simple exhibition accessible ; and if they were, they of Christian doctrine and privilege;