Изображения страниц

upon all them that believe, for there is no difference.” It is called the righteousness of God, because God devised it, or because the Lord Jesus who wrought it out, and brought it in, was “God over all blessed for ever.” This is the righteousness that is by faith. Still more express is the language of the Apostle in the 25th verse. Speaking of Jesus, he saith, “whom God hath set forth to be a pro. pitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." Mark the expression, " to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins"--faith is still represented as the instrumental cause. See also that astonishing declaration of the Apostle in the 3d of Phil.

Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him; not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,"

Let me then entreat you, reader, if you know and be. lieve this doctrine, that you give all diligence to be interested in it. It will be of little use to you to study it speculatively, or to have much to say in its defence, or to be surprised at those that oppose it, if you are not striving to make your calling and election sure, by seeking an interest in Christ's justifying righteousness. It will do little for you that believers are happy; if you rank not among the number their safety will not solace you;


fall under the curse of the slothful servant, in weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth! It is necessary, iherefore, that you claim this righteousness for your justification. It is offered to you freely, without money and without price, without natural goodness, or previous preparation. As a lost and perishing sinner, you are welcome to come to Christ for pardon and salvation, for he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Look, then, to the crucified Saviour, ard let it be your fixed and habitual belief, that Christ's obedience and sufferings shall stand to your account for your justification and acceptance before God.

J. M.

IRISH ISLAND ASSOCIATION, For Achill and other Islands off the Irish Coast--for affording Reli

gious Instruction to the Islanders, through the medium of their

Native Tongue. It is now a year and a half since the friends and managers of Irish instruction, perceived that some spiritual superstructure should be erected, on the excellent foundation of the Irish Education Society; and for the purpose of employing a higher agency than that engaged in extending the art of reading among the people, the Ladies' Irish Association was formed. The difficulty of obtaining men, spiritually-minded, and otherwise qualified for the important work to which they were now called, as catechists and helpers in the faith, necessarily retarded their progress; and within that period, but one gentleman, competent to the task of a spiritual superintendent, and six inferior agents, to act as Scripture-Readers, bave been procured—of these, only one has been appointed to the Islands, a peculiarly interesting and important part of their field of labour, because hitherto entirely uncultivated. In the mean time, those gentlemen of the Irish Society, who had planned and fostered the Irish Achill Mission, saw it prospering beyond their hopes, and believing that the interest of all the isles would be best promoted by a union with it, the Ladies' Association were requested to divide their field of labour ; one of their joint Secretaries taking charge of the islands, in connexion with the Achill Irish Mission; the other, of the mainland, as Auxiliary to the Irish Society; and the funds collected for these several quarters, have been allotted according to the wishes of the subscribers to each. Under these circumstances, the Ladies' Irish Island Association, have considered it desirable to present their friends with the following brief view of the number, population, and state of the islands off the Irish coast.

Around the Coast of Ireland, there are about 196 islands, their distance from the mainland varying from ten miles to less than one. About 140 of these islands are inhabited by a population of more than 50,000 souls-Irish being almost the universal language. The following are a few of the largest and most populous, commencing with Achill, off the Coast of Mayo, and making the circuit of the map till we reach that point again :-*

*No census having been taken for some years, we do not attempt to give the numbers with perfect accuracy; they are, however, generally underrated, as there can be no doubt, a great increase has taken place since the period of the last census.



Name of Island.

Nearest Coast. No. of Inhabitants.

near 5000, Clara


1500, Innishturk


500, Ipnisboffin


1200, Moynish


500. Littermore.


300. Garomna


i 1800. Littermullin.


500, The 2 Arran's


3000. Valentia..


above 2500. Bere Island. Cork

2000.; Whiddy.


600. Sherkin


1000. Clear...


900. Inchidoney.


2000. Hawlbowline


400. Great Island.


9000. Little Island.


1000. Rathlin... Antrim

1000. Innisboffin Donegal

250. Torey.....


500. Arranmore..

700. Enniskea.. Mayo.

200. Separated, by a few waves only, from the shores of the parent country, and most of them occupying their places on Beaufort's map of Ireland, these Islands appear to have been blotted effectually from the memory of the enlightened and the educated. Aware of this fact, and convinced that niany who possess a heartfelt desire to extend the blessings of eternal truth among

the native Irish, have hitherto been prevented from promoting Scriptural Education in these long neglected Islands, by ignorance of their condition, if not of their existence, the “ Ladies' Irish Island Association, earnestly call the attention of their friends to the state of this

interest ing portion of the Irish people. The brevity necessary in such a statement will not admit of accurate detail, though the subject affords much that is calculated to arouse the strongest feelings of sympathy. So little has been done in regard to improvement for any of the Islands, that all may be truly said to languish under the blighting influence of ignorance, superstition, and Popery. Romantic, and beautifully situated amid their bulwarks of rock, and washed by the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, they occasionally attract the admiring eye of the traveller ; but to the Christian, acquainted with the condition of their inhabitants, they are as moral deserts; and one, devoted to the best interests of the people, thus viewing the islands in the bay of Bantry, writes, “ I could weep when I gaze on their lofty cliffs, illumined by the beams of a resplendent sun, and reflect that within the compass of historic record, the Sun of Righteousness has not arisen upon the immortal, accountable inhabitants.” The causes of this moral eclipse are various and evident. United with immense parishes on the coast, for the cultivation of which the most devoted ministry would prove inadequate, and some of them distant from 20 to 30 miles from those parishes, they are cut off from all the improvement proceeding on the mainland, and unbappily for them, have retained no place in the remembrance of the Church of God in Ireland. Even the Irish Society, which has been so peculiarly blessed to the instruction of the peasantry, has not been able to extend its efforts to the islanders, the field of its labours in the interior, requiring all, and more than all the resources which it can command; they have thus been deprived of the advantages which this excellent institution (the parent as it may be called, of the present efforts for the islands) has laboured for sixteen years to secure to the Irish people; and are ignorant of the word of life, as if the Irish Bible were still immured within the walls of a college, or the cloisters of a monastery. Well educated persons can hardly believe the testimony of eye-witnesses, when informed, that off their own coast, there are islanders ill clad.half civilized, and altogether uneducated-bending the knee to idols, as frightful as those of the south sea, and grovelling in stupid adoration around sacred wells for the worship of the virgin--not simply as a saint in heaven, but under a still more degrading form of superstition, as a fish! It is, however, a melancholy truth, that in the absence of all divine knowledge, the dark minds of our poor people have been filled with such a catalogue of absurdities, as might make angels, and should make Christians, weep! That this condition is not the result of incapacity or unwillingness, on the part of the islanders, has been clearly proved. The following is the testimony of a respectable eye-witness, dated from an island off the coast of Cork :-“ The desire which appears in this people for learning to read the word of God in their own language, is admi. rable—in the space of one week, six, out of ten, who were under instruction, were able to read the easy passages of the New Testament. It will be the greatest blessing if the Scriptures be sent to them.” Of another island off the same coast, a visiting Teacher writes, “ The poor people stayed up the greater part of three nights, to hear the word read in their own loved tongue, and prayed that the storm might continue to rage, that I might not be able to leave them.”


These examples will suffice as regards the thirst for knowledge existing in the southern isles ; and the following interesting statement from the Isle of Rathlin, will prove that a similar desire is to be found in those on the northern coast" Four years have elapsed since forty families, in the hilly part of this island, expressed their wish for an Irish Teacher. 800 of our people speak Irish almost, if not altogether. They desired for their children the advantages enjoyed by those in the lower part of the island, who speak English, and they demanded for themselves, that they might hear in their own language the wonderful works of God. The ground was laid out for a schoolhouse, by the kindness of the proprietor of the Island ; the people, at their own cost, quarried and laid down stones, and the walls were erected; but no prospect appearing of a Teacher being procured, the house continued unroofed and unprofitable, till within the last few months, when this Association promised to provide a Teacher, which promise, they rejoice to say, arrangements are now being made to fulfil. But can it be contemplated without pain, how many souls, within those years of hope long deferred-souls willing to have heard of Jesus, the

way, the truth, and the life have passed into an awful eternity, of which they were so lamentably ignorant ? The anxiety of the people to afford some instruction to their children, has been curiously evidenced by their encouraging a poor man, who, though not an idiot, is yet what they term

an innocent,to become a teacher; going from hamlet to hamlet-he spends a week in each, but professes only to teach the alphabet and first rudiments of spelling, which probably comprises the extent of his own acquirements. Other interesting facts could be mentioned, did space allow, but the state of the western isles now demand their place in this brief sketch.

The famine which visited the west coast of Ireland in 1832, first led the attention of some pious individuals to that wild and uncultivated region, and the large islands near the shore. Fannine and disease were making dreadful ravages among the people, but the famine of the bread of life was found still more extensive and ruinous. The most populous of these islands is Achill, containing nearly 5000 inhabitants; the Irish language being almost exclusively spoken. It is distant 17 miles from any post-town--the soil, though capable of cultivation, is very poor; no agricultural improvement being attempted beyond the produce of potatoes and a little grain. Within the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »