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concerned. We have had, shall we say, the misfortune to differ from some of the positions laid down by our friends, who have addicted themselves to the study of unfulfilled prophecy. We have ventured to call in question the soundness of their conclusions, and to doubt the accuracy of their canons of interpretation. We have entered our dissent from the principle that would identify millenariapism with the gospel, and to suggest some considerations that onght to moderate the devotedness to the exclusive study of that portion of the sacred Scriptures, wbile yet we hold as clearly revealed in the word of God that the Church will be blessed on earth with a period of surpassing holiness, and purity, and prosperity. We cannot, for our own parts, see the steps to this so clearly revealed, or the means so evidently pointed out, as to render us dogmatical in censuring others who differ from us, and while we conceived it our wisdom to sit still and to wait, we did not affix harsh names to our wiser or more quick-sighted brethren, who were able clearly to distin. guish the whole of the divine proceedings. We only protested. against the spirit that would exclude such timid spirits as ourselves from Christian fellowship and Christian union, content in our own obscurity Yet this did not satisfy our prophetical friends ; denunciations loud and deep against the authority of the Examiner were heard from one end of Ireland to the other, and wbile we protested against unnumbered imputations, and opened our pages to the controvertists on each side of the question, our adversaries became more numerous, and our subscribers fewer, some because they were uninterested in the propbetical struggle, some because they were interested in it alone.
We have another subject to mention which must, if persisted in, impede the progress of literature much in this conntry, and which has already tended much to the injury of the Examiner. As higher persons than ourselves are concerned, we shall lay before our readers a very short statement of the ground of indictment of Irish literature against our present governors. Our readers are perhaps as well acquainted as ourselves, or our wandering friend C. 0. with the state of Ireland, as to the conveniencies of roads and travelling, and with the character of our country towns, as to the necessary ingredients of civilization-Booksellers and their shops. Many of our valuable subscribers reside in parts of the country, to which access is difficult except by the post, and the price of conveyance for small parcels would far exceed the ordinary value of tbe commodity, while the want of book-venders in the immediate neighbourhood, renders it difficult, if not in many cases impossible, to send a large one. consequence of this peculiarity of our country, a peculiarity almost inconceivable to an honest Englishman, who is never five miles from a town possessed of its booksellers, its library, and its book society, and before whose every door from the landlord to the tenant, a mail.coach road runs with all its accompaniments of stages and vans, and carriers innumerable; in consequence of this peculiarity, a permission had been given by the Irish poslmasters, to the clerks of the roads, to send, for a certain annual stipend, periodical publications, by the ordinary conveyance of the mail, and thus the periodical literature of England, now so important, and that of Ireland, which calls loudly, for some such bounty, was transmitted with tolerable expedition, and at an expense, which, though considerable, was not overwhelming. When our present rulers in their wisdom began to reform all establishments, the post office necessarily came under their consideration, and with that precipitancy which mistakes change for improvement, this power of transmission was instantaneously countermanded, a power, be it remarked, for which a heavy annnal stipend was paid, and by the withdrawal of which, that sum was lost to the revenue, a privilege which from its very nature was incapable of perversion or abuse. The immediate effect of this strange exercise of power, was the stopping of our talented cotemporary, the National Magazine, and the necessary diminution of many of our subscribers ; English publications must of course be diminished in their circulation, and an additional reason will be afforded to the gentry of Ireland, for deserting their native soil, and seeking in another country that intellectual culture and enjoyment which is denied them in their own.
Such are some of the circumstances that have impeded the progress of literary exertion in Ireland, whose influence have at all times counteracted every exertion of the friends of improvement, and which proved peculiarly prejudicial to the Christian Examiner. The very atmosphere that has been breathed here for centuries bas been composed of contending and jarring elements; and under various names, but partaking of a common nature, the same political animosities, the same religious feuds, the same disunion at home, the same empirical policy from abroad, have rendered Treland what it is, the most ignorant nation on earth, if we consider that it has basked for centuries in the full light of literature and information; the most distressed, when her means, her fertility, her localities are taken into account; and the most insubordinate, while the privileges and freedom of British laws and British jurisprudence are open to all. Such are some of the circumstances that bave impeded the usefulness of the Christian Examiner; and we would ask, at the beginning of our new series, is this a time for giving it up, or for diminishing its circulation ? Is this a time at which any instrument of usefulness, however insignificant it may be, connected with the Established Church, should be suffered to remain in abeyance, or for want of support to be discontinued ? When the Establishment more and more is laid open to the attacks of its enemies as to its property, its character, its existence—when its faithful servants are hunted from the country as the enemies of its population, bave their properties plundered at the beck of the ambitious disciples of Jesuitry, and the servant of the crown who attempts
* It must be nientioned, that some persons connected with the public press waited on the Secretary of Ireland, to acquaint him with the probable effect of the regulation. They were received with all the kindness that belongs to that gentleman's character, who seemed to be impressed with the importance of the statements, and promised to give them bis fullest consideration ; a promise which, we regret to say, bas either not yet found its accomplishment, or bas been productive of very different conclusions from those that seemed to be warranted by the premises.
to put the laws in execution savagely murdered, while the government looks quietly on-when the paltry bounty conferred on Protestant education in Ireland is withdrawn, and the peasantry are banded over to the control of a priesthood interested in their ignorance when error receives not merely toleration, but support and countenance, and the Protestant rector is insulted by being invited to form an unholy coalition with the popish priest, in excluding the Word of God from national education-when the Jesuit and the demagogue already bowl with demonaic exultation over the contemplated ruins of the Established Church, while its friends are disunited and timid? Is this a time to lay aside the only publication in Ireland attached to that Church, and to limit its defence to the desultory exertions of newspaper correspondents? We protest most solemnly, and in the honest sincerity of truth, that no motive but the good of the Establishment, and as connected with that of religion in general, prompted us to the commencement, and has supported us through the laborious and wearisome and thankless toil of monthly editorship, relieved but by the engrossing employment of professional pursuits ; and we protest, with the same sincerity, that no other motive now urges us to continue our labours. If the Examiner, in its plan, be deserving of public favour—if the principles of its editors, which we boldly assert are those of the reformers, of the liturgy, articles, and homilies of the Church, we will say, of the Scriptures of God--if these principles be deserving of Protestant support—if Protestantism or the Establishment require at the present season such a medium of communication with the public, then let it receive its due measure of public approbation, let the friends of the Church support it; but if it be defective in these points, if its labours be unnecessary, or other plans be more likely to succeed, let it fall, and none will be more willing to sign its death-warrant than its editors.
We confess that our feelings in contemplating the present state of Ireland, and the persecutions sustained by Protestantism, bave acquir. ed a gloomy character, and that the more because we see so little real union and concert, so little decision and activity, so little promptitude and prayer among Protestants. While the Protestant rectors are starving in one part of the kingdom, and their proctors are savagely murdered, and the rest of the empire continues quiet and tranquil,raising indeed the bands in astonishment, but as to exertion, forgetful that in a crisis like the present, each niust say to each tua res agilurshall we be excused for proposing a few simple questions; we do it in a spirit of earnestness and of'sincerity, but, except the Lord gives more of his influence, of energy, and of unanimity, than at present, in a spirit of despondency. When our government have identified themselves with popish hostility to the Scriptures, and insulted our clergy by yoking them with the subjects of the Roman system, while a talented stranger, ignorant of Ireland and its affairs, is made by his name and character to assist the designs of the papal party—why do pot the Protestant clergy who feel in this manner, and we trust all do so feel, join in a declaration which should appeal to the best feelings
of Protestant England and Scotland, and convey the truth even to our liberal governors and legislature? why cannot the various voluntary societies, indignantly repelling the government institution, and rejecting the pollution of their golden shower, join in one uniform system of scriptural education, each society taking that place for wbich it is best fitted by its local knowledge and habits, and each assisting the others to stem the unscriptural torrent ? When the best and most active of our parochial clergy, who have borne for Protestantism the burden and heat of the day-why, when such men are deprived by the successful machinations of an illegal
most aggravated distress, why do not the clergy of Ireland, headed by their prelates, and the laity led on by the respectable Protestant landbolders, come forward to contribute of their abundance to relieve the temporary distress of these excellent men, and to supply them with the means of supporting their claims by law ? why do not some of our wealthy and talented and efficient barristers and solicitors proffer their gratuitous assistance to obtain for them the tardy judgment of the law ? why, when the cause, not of the Established Church, but of Protestantism in Ireland is at stake, wby do pot the influential and pious Dissenters, with whom Cburcbmen have cordially co-operated in repelling the common foe, and who have lived in the amity with them that becomes Christian brethren, why do not they come forward to lend their aid to the Church, to protest against the proceedings equally of our governors and our enemies, and to assure the Church of their sympathy and support? We confess that we grieve when we think of the subjects these questions suggest, but we grieve still more when we think of the necessity for asking such questions. We meddle cot with politics ;we leave the question of reform, satisfied with declaring our opi. nions, to the wisdom of our legislators, but we feel the religion of our native country, the morality of our countrymen, the education of our youth, come home to our hearts, and to our heads, and to our feelings; and while the Christian Examiner has a pen to write, it will be employed in deprecating the present system of concession, . as not more ruinous than unscriptural, opposed to the plainest principles of legislation, and confounding precepts and practices the most anomalous. It is on such a basis we would rear the character of our Examiner, it is on such professions we ask the public support to our Miscellany, and beseeching of Protestants to cling to the principles of the Reformation, and to merge non-essential dif. ferences in the important concern of their religion and their Church, we would bequeath to them so long as it is deserving of their sup. port, the Christian Examiner.
*** We are requested by our publishers to announce, that the New Series of the Christian Examiner will display a marked superiority in its typographical execution and editorial arrangement. It is purposed to publish on the 15th of every December, an additional number, containing a general account of the progress and success of each of the Religious Societies labouring in Ireland, and including all the arrears of communications during the year. The Annual Subscription will now be £l.
Religious and Miscellaneous Communications.
ON THE SYMPATHY OF CHRIST.*
“ For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with
the feeling of our infirmity; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."—Heb. iv. 15.
lo these words, the first thing that strikes us is the assertion of a fact respecting our Lord Jesus Christ, in his character of our high priest—that he is “touched with the feeling of our infirmity." Next, this fact is traced to its origin-the natural cause of its existence is assigned-we are informed how it came to pass that he is so touched-he was in all points tempted like as we are." Being, though divine, yet possessed of a real and true humanity, it is easy for men, by consulting their familiar experience, to perceive clearly the connection betwixt this cause and this consequence in bis gracious soul. He is the grand exemplification--the noblest practical exhibition of that standing maxim, that by being ourselves intimate with grief, we learn to succour the wretched ;-as, if he had never tasted pain, we could hardly have been prevented from applying to bim more than to any other, the reverse of that maxim, which is of equal authority—that those can never epter fully into our sorrow, who have felt nothing like it themselves. This reference of the inspired writer to a well known law of our nature, gives additional clearness and force to that delightful truth which is besides so plainly expressed in the former clause of the text, viz. that the compassion of Christ for our afflictions is not the result of a merely rational conjecture or estimate of their severity, founded on observation of their natural symptoms or effects, as one who has never known ill health may judge of the violence of anotber man's fever :--but that it proceeds from that quick, tender, penetrating, thorough sense of our trials, which perfect manhood could not fail to acquire, by experiencing personally, as tests of his own obedience, the keenness of bodily pain, and the anguish of a wounded spirit. The extent also to which the sympathy of
• Our attention has been called to this subject by a correspondent in Newcastle, wbo, we regret to say, states that the unscriptural tenets of Mr. Irving are gaining ground in bis neighbourhood. We, therefore, present our readers with the above abridgment of a sermon from the Rev. Marcus Dod's “ Incarnation of the Eternal Word,” a book which is worthy of more attention than the hasty and superficial notice wbich we gave of it a few months ago, and which want of time bas prevented us from fulfilling our promise of reviewing. The sermon itself is by a friend of Mr. Dod's, wbose name is not given—but we certainly think that the author bas placed the argument in the light in which every rightly constituted Christian mind will view it; and are glad that an opportunity bas presented itself of atoning, in some measure, for our neglect of Mr. Dod's work.-Ep.
N. S. VOL. I.