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Vent; his goods perish in his warehouses, therefore they are based on a wrong founand his hands are thrown out of employ, dation, and lead to evil effects; but in pebecause with a view to keep up the land- riods of difficulty they cannot be carried owners' rent, he is not allowed to send into execution, and therefore mock the his wares to the best market, and to bring bopes which they had imprudently raised. back cheap bread in return, to provide for At this moment the agricultural disturthe dense masses of population who ask bances arise in no small measure from the him for employment. The farmer gains effect of these laws : You are bound, says nothing by this arrangement ; for his pro the labourer, to give us work, or to mainfit in the main is the same, whether corn tain us without it. The law had taught is dear or cheap : the monopoly benefits him to say so; for there is nothing in naonly the receiver of rent and tithe. We tural justice or Christianity that says so. feel the extreme difficulty and delicacy of Individual charity is bound to relieve mithis question : we would that the bearings sery, so far as practicable, wherever it of it were otherwise ; but it is useless to exists, but it is not just that any man shut our eyes and to sophisticate it, till should be authorised to marry improvi. ruin falls without the possibility of escape. dently, and then to make the public give Put it as we will, there is at present a him work or support his family. The degree of monopoly, under the gentler poor laws are also the chief cause of the name of protection, in favour of land ; and depression of the labourer's wages : he public opinion is running strongly against cannot understand how this operates, but all monopolies and partial protections, every person who looks at cause and effect and most of all those which restrict the can. Good wages cannot be kept up, necessaries of life. The receiver of rents while poor laws disturb the balance which is thus placed in an artificial situation: in the providence of God, unless interfered he gains more, and takes a higher place with by human intermeddling, adjusts supin society, than he would do if every man ply and demand, produce and population. might do wliat he pleased with his own; But we quit the topic, only adding, that especially if the manufacturer were placed the lamentable ignorance of the labouring on equal ground with hijnself. It should poor, which reflects much disgrace upon however be remembered, that land is sub- their superiors, is one great cause of their ject to peculiar charges, which are not poverty, and the crimes and miseries which sufficiently considered by those who are spring from it. Look again at our game raising a clamour against the agricultural laws, which lead to offences innumerable, interest : but, allowing for all peculiari- and fill our prisons, all to keep up a feudal ties, the general fact is clear, that the distinction, by which shooting a bird by pressure of public opinion is, to place an unprivileged person is made a serious land on a level with other investments, crime.-Other topics occur to us, but we which will forcibly affect the condition of are obliged to postpone them.- We only those who derive their income from it in add, that the times, though serious and the shape either of rent or tithes. We eventful, are not to our minds hopeless; think the fairest compromise would be far from it: only let Christians learn their for the land to give up its monopoly, other duties, and practise them, and with earnest interests agreeing to take their share of its prayer to Him who maketh men to be of peculiar burdens. Some such arrangement one mind in a house, who is the Author of we are persuaded will be necessary before peace, and lover of concord, commit their long; otherwise the cry for cheap food, beloved country and all its interests to and export markets in our towns and ma- his power and grace, to overrule all to his nufacturing districts, will abolish the pro- glory, and the welfare of his erring and tection, without conferring any boon in sinful creatures. return. It is a question which deserves We must pass over foreign affairs. Bel. to be seriously weighed, and by no class gium is irrevocably separated from Holof persons more than the clergy.
Tand, and has adopted a limited constituSo much for the case of towns, and more tional monarchical government. In France, or less of all the labouring community, as we regret to say, that there has been a respects procuring employment, markets change in the ministry, by the rejection for their produce, and cheap food in re- of Guizot, Moll, and the duke de Brogturn. The case of the population of the lie, on account of that very moderation agricultural districts, is more remotely which made us hail with delight their takaffected by commercial restrictions, but ing office. Hitherto, however, matters they are lamentably affected by the poor proceed with quietnes3 and temperance, laws, which, under the name of a benefit, and we trust they will so continue. We reduce them to misery and degradation by have just learned, that a portion of the as certain an operation of cause and effect, Catholic church in France, under the auas if twenty men were made to earn only spices of M. de Mennais, are determining the wages, and to eat the bread, of ten. to form a church independent of the public We cannot go into the details at present; assistance, like Episcopacy in Scotland nor need we, as we have often urged them and the United States, or Popery in Irebefore. The poor laws are a violation of land, and to trust to the zeal of the faiththe simple principle of justice : at all times ful for its support.
E. P.; E. D. J.; D. M. P.; Y. M.; and J. M. B. ; are under consideration.
postpone Literary Intelligence and many other articles. The publication of our
annual Appendix with our next Number will enable us to make up our arrears. It has been suggested to us, that in consequence of the vast number of sermons which
issue from the press, the plan of printing a Family Sermon in each of our Numbers, is much less necessary than it was when we commenced it. We are quite willing to listen to any suggestion that may tend to render our pages more useful, and shall therefore, in future, print a sermon only occasionally, unless we should find it to be the wish of our readers that we should resume our usual practice. We learn that the French Protestants propose to translate the Christian-Observer “ Forty Family Sermons " into French,“ pour favoriser la belle et evangelique institution du culte domestique.”
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. The extensive home tour in Wales, and the foreign tour from Mexico to Canada, shew abundantly the necessity and value of this blessed institution. There is an affecting allusion in the letter from Abo, to the first bishop and martyr of Finland, who was an Englishman.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. Palliations of the enormities of colonial slavery are so pertinaciously and confidently obtruded on the world by persons interested in its continuance, that we are much indebted to the conductors of the Anti-Slavery Reporter for such exhibitions of its laws and manners, as we find in No. 71; but still more valuable and important is No. 10, which shews how vain are the real or pretended fears of evils likely to arise from its abolition. The same Number announces the publication of Mr. Stephen's second volume of Slavery delineated. We cannot exhibit the great value of this volume in a passing note, but shall recur to it on a future occasion. Anti-slavery publications are multiplying around us; among which, we strongly recommend a powerful and energetic sermon, by the Rev. D. Wilson, whose zeal and ability in this sacred cause are well known to our readers. It would be premature for us to offer any remarks upon the present state of the Anti-slavery question, as affected by the recent change of ministry. Among the members of the new cabinet are several who are unquestionably anxious and ear. nest in the cause; but the opposition will be formidable, even to the most prudent incipient measures, and the continued zeal and energy of the country may still be required to prevent the question sliding back from its present just elevation, of speedy and total abolition. Let not our readers relax in their prayers to God, that he would dispose the hearts of men to this great act of justice and mercy.
REFORMATION SOCIETY. The Extracts exhibit a very interesting account of the discussions which have taken place in various parts of the country. The society wishes to extend its plans to France.
TO THE RIGHT HON. EARL GREY, FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY,
fc. fc. fc. MY LORD,
It is not necessary to inquire IT has pleased Divine Provi- what may be the private theological Idence to place your Lordship principles of your Lordship or your at the helm of this mighty em- right honourable colleagues ; for pire, at a period of extraordinary one thing is abundantly clear, that peril and difficulty. It is impos- whatever they may be, your official sible for a Christian observer to patronage is entrusted for objects survey the aspect of the times not private but public,--not secular without blended feelings of hope but religious. The prostitution of and apprehension, and many are ecclesiastical preferments to politithe topics upon which, had he the cal purposes is a crime which no audience of a responsible states- man will defend : wherever it is mån, he would feel it his duty to done, it must be with a knowledge express an earnest and honest opi- that it is an offence against God nion, regulating his principles and and man; and it would, therefore, moulding his sentiments by that be an insult to argue the solemnity infallible standard of truth, which is of this principle, often as it may not less a directory for the guidance have been violated in fact. of nations, than a code of morality But supposing, my Lord, that and a record of immortal hopes, the conscientious principles of a for private life.
minister should have determined him But, passing by these topics, honestly to pursue that course which there is one portion of the respon- the voice of public opinion, the stasibility committed to your Lordship bility of the Established Church, and as prime minister of this country, the civil and religious welfare of the and to your colleagues, more es- country, alike demand; namely, to pecially the Right Honourable the employ his official patronage for the Lord Chancellor, which is justly high ends for which it was given, to regarded by every right thinking, discard all party interests, to truckle not to say religious man, with a to no time-serving influence, but to seriousness which belongs to no select for posts of ecclesiastical digother portion of your official pa nity and responsibility those only tropage—the allotment of eccle- whom he has reason to believe best siastical preferment, whether to qualified to fill them: still the quesprivate benefices, or to the higher tion arises, Where is he to look for stations in the church.
suitable candidates? Who are to Christ. OBSERV. No. 348.
be his advisers in the choice of without a soul. Now, in a large them ? And how is he so to di proportion of these instances, esvest himself of prejudice and party pecially where the people have feelings, as to discover, amidst con- happened to have the selection of flicting claims, those who are most their own minister, the clergyman likely to promote the interests of who has thus succeeded in the great religion, the morality and happiness objects of his spiritual appointment of the people, and the security is denounced by one of those vaguely and honour of the Established and stultitially applied terms which Church?
go to discountenance all interest in To endeavour, my Lord, to point religion, all that advances one step out by specific features of designa- beyond the decent generalities of tion who are the proper persons to social morality, and cold obedience receive official countenance as ec- to a ritual. Scriptural piety, acclesiastics, would be beside the tivity, and pastoral usefulness, being object of this address. Your Lord. thus made a bye-word and a proship is not invited to discuss points of verb, the injurious identification doctrine, or to involve yourself in the operates to the serious evil of the entanglements of opposing schools; pastor, his flock, and the public at but it is intended to urge frankly, large. In vain is the individual and without reserve, that there is regular in his ecclesiastical conduct, one large and growing class of devout in his behaviour, and exemclergymen, whose claims have not plary in his social relations,- in a merely been neglected but systema. word, a true Christian, a sound tically opposed; opposed, not for churchman, and a faithful minister wise and just reasons, but by igno- of Christ ; for, notwithstanding all rance, prejudice, and party spirit, this—or, rather, as the consequence to the great injury of religion, and of it,- he acquires, by his zeal for the the unpopularity of the Established best interests of his parish, one of Church. The subject involves some those absurd names which ignorance delicacy, but it is important; and and prejudice have ever at comso important as to demand the fair mand: he is a methodist, or Calvi. investigation and adjudication of nist, or evangelical ; and this alone your Lordship, and those who share is sufficient to render him obnoxious with you the public ecclesiastical in quarters where, if Christianity patronage of the land.
and the principles of our church Abstracted, then, from all consi. were understood, he would be hailed derations of doctrinal systems, it is as a bright ornament to his proobvious to the most superficial ob- fession. Had he been ignorant or server, that the clergy of the Church careless, a sportsman or an idler, of England do not, as a body, oc- there had been nothing to prevent cupy that bigh station of universal his rising to the highest stations in popularity which is desirable for the his profession; but to be " righteous great purposes of religion and an overmuch" is an offence not to be established church. In too many forgiven : he is denounced as an instances there is an avowed hos- enthusiast; and the more fondly tility to them, and in others a cold. his affectionate flock cling around ness, little short of hostility as to him, the more he is sought in the its practical effects. Yet, amidst abodes of poverty and by the beds all, there are innumerable examples of the dying, the more the pews and of crowded churches, affectionate aisles of his church are crowded, pastoral union, and an earnest zeal the more his parish is saturated in those religious objects apart from with Bibles and Sunday schools, which a national church is but a the more the Dissenter is beaten off shadow without substance, a body the ground, and the youth of the place grow up devout and attached now matter of history, was nearly churchmen; the more has he been as unpopular a bishop, and as little marked as a man to be scornfully adorned the office or was qualified passed over by the distributors of for it, as any prelate of the last fifty official patronage.
years; but he had political influence, It has already been stated, that it and could give his vote for ministers, is not intended to invite your Lord- and deliver, if not compose, a vcheship to discuss theological contro. ment charge against evangelicals versies, and much less to make your and Bible Societies. If we might official patronage a premium for the judge of the public estimation of candidates of some particular school. a bishop by requisitions to preach But it is complained that hitherto charity sermons and to assist at the the public patronage has been too meetings of charitable and religious much thus unjustly and unwisely institutions, there has probably no employed; that even where political prelate been called so often into influence and private interest have this kind of honourable notice by not operated, another species of his countrymen, during the last partizanship has operated, and a fifteen years, as Dr. Ryder, of Lichpartizanship the more injurious be- field : but that highly esteemed and cause it was the offspring of eccle- excellent prelate was nominated by siastical prejudice and sectarian his brother, against the wishes, or bigotry. It cannot but be well rather prejudices, of Lord Eldon and known to your Lordship, that in Archbishop Sutton; both of whom the distribution of spiritual prefer. had notoriously proscribed, so far ments by the state, even where a as was in their power, from all corrupt use of patronage was not official patronage, a portion of the intended for civil purposes, there clergy amounting to several thouhas not been in general an endea. sands; numbers of whom were vour to promote those clergymen eminently qualified in every respect who were best known to the public, for the highest offices in the church, and most beloved by them; at least and against whom nothing worse where the piety and zeal of the in- could be alleged, than that they had dividual had earned for him one of spoken at a Bible Society meeting, the above-mentioned titles.
or were reputed Calvinistic, or meIt would be to trespass upon thodistic, or probably both; the delicacy to go far into this matter; objectors not knowing that the pe. but it is notorious that where popu- culiar tenets of Calvinism and melar appointments have taken place thodism are in utter hostility. Some they have been generally in conse- of the late king's appointments were quence of private interest, and not highly honourable and popular; but from the free choice of the cabinet. they were royal, not ministerial. Lord Sidmouth, from his friendship The Bishop of Winchester probably for Dr. Burgess, and his private attended more public meetings and knowledge of his learning and cha. preached more charity sermons racter, made him a bishop, notwith during last year's parliamentary standing his Bible-Society predilec. residence in London, than his ca. tions, which have often-such has binet appointed predecessor Bishop been this wretched system-proved North did in his whole life. Public fatal to excellent clergymen; but meetings and charity sermons are how little of public virtue there was not, indeeed, tests of character or even in this excellent appointment, episcopal qualification, and are not may be gathered from a reply of Lord meant to be urged as such ; but Sidmouth's, when congratulated they shew the public feeling, and upon it: “Do not compliment us evince-putting matters of doctrine upon Dr. Burgess, for we appointed out of the question-who are the Pelham too." Dr. Pelham, it is persons best capable of serving the