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and in doing so, strongly to recom- is still poured forth with the imprimamend the perusal of the whole of this tur of an Oxford publisher. appeal to a Prime Minister who, .with The story begins with the curious all' his faults of a false liberality, we conversion of a little child, from frebelieve to have been the instrument quenting a square
low meetingof much good for the Church of Eng- house,” to attend the services of a land.
church with “slender spire,' gilded “ In this letter, I have insisted chiefly vane," pillars wreathed with flowupon a revision of those occasional, but ers,” “richly carved screen,” “stalls," important services, which have become "reredos,” windows of " many-tinted the cause of increasing embarrasment to glass,” and a “vaulted roof above the Evangelical Churchmen; and which give altar, painted of the deep blue of the greater prominence, and much more
sky, and glittering with innumerable practical significance to the mischievous
stars of gold." principle of sacerdotal exclusiveness, than any other part of the Prayer-book. But, why we transfer to our pages any ex
Our readers may rather wonder so inconsistent is this principle with
tracts from books of this sort, aboundscriptural Christianity,— with the essential doctrines of the Reformation, - with the ing as they do with such romantic feelings of a large proportion of the tales, and false colouring of the truths clergy themselves, -and with the stability of the Christian Church; but it is of all civil government; that it ought no well that clergymen and intelligent longer to contaminate any portion of our laymen should be kept alive to the admirable Liturgy. There should be no fact, that such insinuating matter is more doubt or ambiguity upon this point. still provided and accepted as the reThe Church ought unhesitatingly to avow, ligious reading for our Church schools that its clergy constitute a spiritual mi- and families. Let us, therefore, cull nistry, and in no sense of the word, a mediatorial priesthood. Such avowal,
a few pages from this “ Matin Bell.” however, necessarily implies alterations, “The cottage where Nelly lived, was for the preliminary discussion and ar- a lonely spot, far from the old parish rangement of which it is obvious that church, which indeed had long been fallneither a purely sacerdotal synod, nor a ing to decay, and the square low meetingpurely lay assembly constituted like the house, to which her parents took her British House of Commons, can be suita- every Sunday, had no bell to waken the bly adapted ; although, for their confirma. sleeping, or chide the tardy with its haltion, the imprimatur of the imperial legis- lowed sound. lature is undoubtedly both appropriate “ Little Ellen rose softly from her bed, and necessary.”
and having with noiseless but eager steps, crept down the narrow and winding stair,
for no one was yet stirring, she opened The MATIN BELL. 18mo.
the cottage door and stood in the glad
morning light. She listened for the muOxford. J. H. Parker.
sic that had first awakened her, and again In an early number of last year's Christians to rise and join the early Ser,
she heard the chiming bells, calling all volume we reviewed a silly little Trac- vice, and, as their echoes swelled and tarian book called “The Island Choir,” died away and rose again, filling the and we then said a few words as to hearts of the good and pious with happy the dangerous tendency of such Ro- thoughts, and whisperings that came from mish nursery books. We are now sorry to have to notice with strong " All this, however, was strange to little disapprobation, the little book which Nelly. She had indeed often listened bears the title of “ The Matin Bell.” with curiosity and delight to her mother's It is a story for children, written in a
tales of her own childhood, of the beautivery fascinating style, and so dexter- ful church in which she had once been ously contrived as to interweave all
used to worship, of the white-robed chothe peculiar superstitions and errors
risters and the mingling voices of priests of the ultra High Church or Tracta- melody to heaven ; but those tales had
and people that rose in strains of grateful rian school. We shall give a few seemed to her more like dreams of fairyspecimens, by way of showing what land, than aught having human reality,
for she herself bad never entered the herself in a pretty nook surrounded with gates of a consecrated building. So dis- noble elms, in the midst of which there tant, as is too frequently the case, was stood a newly erected church with open the cottage in which she dwelt from the doors, inviting the traveller and wanderer, parish church, that many of the neigh- the wayfarer and weary in heart to enter bours never even thought of attending it. those blessed doors, to rest and pray. Not long before Ellen's birth, a neat “But Ellen did not know all that those meeting-house had been erected in the open portals promised, and she stood for village, and her father, who till then had a moment under the heavy lych gate of never failed to be at church, once at the churchyard, looking wistfully at one least every Sunday, contrasted the bare or two loiterers who were now hurrying damp walls of that old dilapidated build- to enter the church.
When all were ing, the few chill seats assigned to the gone, little Ellen moved timidly onwards, poor, and the high cushioned pews in wondering at the strange heads on the which the rich ensconced themselves, exterior of the building: the hideous with the clean dry meeting-house close animals and uncouth forms, fleeing as it at hand ; the tight-fitting sash windows were from the sacred edifice. Just as and bright little stove.fire, making the she entered the porch, a strain of solemn place, as the farmer averred, so warm, music swelled upon her ear, the voices that he needed little fire at home after of priest and people chanting the mornthe evening service. Farmer Ashton, I ing hymn; her unpractised mind and say, weighed in his mind all these advan- ear did not recognize the words, but the tages and disadvantages; the solicitations tone spoke intelligibly of humble adoraof the dissenting preacher thrown into tion, and grateful praise. Then the the scale, decided him, and after the minister's solemn voice was heard in the christening of little Ellen he never again low measured tones of reverence and entered the church.
devotion, which yet in the hushed silence “His wife however regretted the change, of the worshippers around, fell distinctly and often talked to her children of the on the attentive ear. Something whisholy place in which they had been chris- pered to her heart, (perhaps it was again tened and of the old church, which she the angel's voice,) that she was in the had attended in her own happy childhood ; presence of God, and she bent her knees of the Sunday school, and her favourite upon the cold stone pavement of the teacher ; of the examination and the porch and clasped her little hands togeChristmas entertainment, and Midsum- ther, as she had been taught to do in her mer merrymaking which succeeded, and morning and evening prayer. Then the were longed for even more than the prizes minister was silent, and again the worthen distributed to the deserving.
shippers joined in the service, and the "All this little Nelly loved to hear, clear sweet tones of children were heard, but to her it had seemed more like a silvery and joyful as the song of angels.” dream than reality, till on this one sweet “ Full of these thoughts she scarcely morning of spring, the bells rang out noticed that a lady and little girl who and the thought, prompted perhaps by passed her on their way to the school her angelic guardian, came into her mind house, were gazing with surprise at her that she would follow that distant sound agitated, yet fair and thoughtful counand find the place whence it proceeded. tenance. They soon questioned her as
“She wandered on through several mea- to her name and what had brought her dows, and across a clear running stream, thither, and the kind lady looked at her still guided by the sound of the bell, and with the gentlest pity when told that till had not walked far before she caught that mornirig little Nelly had never ensight of a slender spire, with its gilded tered nor even seen a church, and she vane shining gloriously in the morning sun, bade her little girl take her by the hand above a cluster of tall and stately trees. and lead her slowly and reverently round
“She uttered an exclamation of wonder the building. And so, with hushed breath and delight, for she reccllccted that her and timid step, the little creature passed mother had often talked to her of the through the oaken doors, with their long tapering spire, and shining weathercock scrolled and massive hinges ; on her leit, surmounting the venerable church which as she entered, was the font of richly had been the cherished resort of her sculptured stone, entwined on that day childhood; but while Nelly paused in (for it was the Tuesday after Easter, and wonder and delight the bells ceased, a the Easter decorations had not yet been clock was heard striking the quarters, removed) with a wreath of snowy lilies, and running hastily on, she soon found mingled with dark glossy leaves.
“The little girl gazed at it with a half- Little Nelly's instructor soon again suppressed exclamation of delight, but meets her entranced church-worshipwhen she entered the nave, and looked per, and then the following edifying towards the chancel, the glorious scene scene takes place :before her spoke so thrillingly to her senses, that after one moment of breath
“When prayers were over, and the conless astonishment, she would, but for the gregation had departed, Ellen still linreverent demeanour of the little child gered, gazing with wistful admiration at whose hand she held, have darted up the the beautiful things around her, but she nave to examine more closely the splen- remembered the lady's reproof, and vendour of the altar. The lady looked at
tured not to pass the screen, or ascend her with a gently reproving smile, for in the steps leading to the altar. Mrs. Hertruth that church and altar were of no
bert, the lady who had spoken to Ellen ordinary beauty. Every pillar was wreathed on the previous morning, was again at from the base to the summit with flowers
church, and had seen her, and remarked and shining leaves, and long clustering her quiet demeanour during the service; garlands hung also from the richly carved when she observed her still looking round screen, dividing the nave and chancel.
she took her hand, and with a smile of The windows in the nave, and tall pillars winning kindness, asked if she would supporting the roof, were sculptured and like to go with her round the church and delicately ornamented, but within the
see every part of it. Little Ellen was screen all was more glorious far. There delighted, and they walked down the was much rich colouring about the stalls nave to the western or principal entrance, and reredos, and the fitful light admitted for the lady, who loved to see all things through panes of many-tinted glass, fell done in order, wished first to shew her like a carpet of gems upon the chancel little friend the font, placed just within floor. The slender arches supporting the portal to signify the new birth and the groined roof, rose far, far upwards, the entrance opened for us by Baptism as if they aspired to reach the heaven, or into the Church of Christ on earth. at least, would thither lead the minds “ As they stood beside the font, with of all who gazed and marvelled at their its fair lily-wreath, and marked that the wondrous height. The vaulted roof above leaves and flowers had begun to droop the altar was painted of the deep blue of and fade, for Easter had nearly passed, the sky, and glittering with innumerable Mrs. Herbert talked to Ellen about the stars of gold.
continual presence of God within those “All that the imagination could picture consecrated walls; and of the triune Jeto itself of gorgeous and divine; all hovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. beauty that the loving heart could lavish Some things the little girl had already on the shrine of its fondest worship, had learned, and she knew the history of our here been given; and if some deficiencies, blessed Saviour's love in suffering and occasioned by the lack of means to carry dying on the Cross for men. So remindout all that the will desired, might at ing her of this, Mrs. Herbert bade her other times have been detected, now all remark the form of the church, the nave seemed ineffably radiant; for a long and the two side aisles divided by lofty wreath of flowers was that day suspended pillars, which, as she told her, were inabove the altar ; the rarest, the brightest tended to remind all good Christians of and most fragrant of the season; and the adorable Trinity; and the grand there too was the cross, the glorious figure of the cross formed by nave, symbol of our faith, formed of lilies like chancel, and transepts, and representing those that decked the font, but mingled that on which our Saviour died. Of with the rose's crimson light, and a few the different names distinguishing these of the sad holy blossoms of the passion several parts, our little girl of course flower.
knew nothing, but she could see their “ Ellen would have gone nearer to see form, and would never again behold a and to examine all, but Mrs. Herbert building similarly constructed, without checked her with a look of grave rebuke, remembering that it was intended to and when they had left the church, en- remind all loving hearts of the death and quired if she knew not the peculiar holi- passion of our blessed Saviour. She told ness of that place, and that none but the her also that the richly carved screen ministers at the Communion, or Holy dividing the chancel from the nave, was Sacrament, or the assembled communi
to separate the holiest portion of the cants, might ordinarily enter there or church; that in which the priests minisascend those steps."
tered, and where the Sacrament of the to perceive the danger that actually quick with pleasure, mingled with curi
Eucharist was celebrated, from the outer sin, accepted pure and regenerate into part where the congregation knelt and Christ's mystical body.” prayed, and listened meekly to the Word “ As Ellen looked and listened, the of God, as proclaimed by His appointed thought of her little sister flashed upon minister. She bade her remark how her mind ; and she remembered that her beautiful was the adornment of that christening had not yet been thought of, screen, and told her that each figure that no holy water had ever washed from "Of saints who had fought and achieved,'
her the stain of guilt, that no priestly had a history attached to it, and a mean
hand had ever traced the seal of forgiveing which, when little Ellen grew older
ness on her forehead : and yet she was and wiser, she too might be able to
much older than the infant that day bap
Ellen remembered having often “ The three steps, ascending to the
heard her mother say that, baby was altar, again reminded her of the Trinity ;
not nearly so strong as Nelly had been Mrs. Herbert told Ellen she might walk
at the same age,' and an undefined terror softly and silently up the steps to look
seized her, lest she should be ill, or perat the rich sculpture and painting of the haps die unchristened.” reredos, or that portion above and behind Poor Nelly's sister soon sickened; the altar forming the altar-piece, and but we will just see how Baptism is in when they returned into the nave, ex- itself rested upon, as the ark of refuge, plained to her, that the stone seats with canopies of such exquisite tracery, were
and cleansing operation for a sinful
child of Adam :called sedilia, and set apart for the clergy, and that the oaken desks, placed lower
“ But the prayers of the Church were down and richly adorned with open-work
not in this case to be granted. God was and carving, were for the choristers, the recalling to Himself the spirit, whom He little boys whose white surplices and
had sanctifieủ and purified in the waters clear sweet voices had attracted Ellen's of Baptism, ere yet the taint of sin or attention on her first entering the church
defilement had passed upon the pure rethat morning."
generate soul. And truly, all who looked
on that childish face, seemed to recognize Very soon, Nelly is privileged to the presence of a power higher than behold a baptism, and is so
aught of earthly origin. It was as if the whelmed by the scene, that she rushes very angel, whose office it was to guard home, and cannot be satisfied until
and guide her early years, had quitted her own baby sister is baptized. The
his bright place in heaven, where, as scene is thus described,
Christ Himself hath taught us,'he beheld
continually the face of the Father,' and “On entering the church one morning come to dwell in and to animate that Ellen reinarked something unusual in frail earthly tenement, that so all men the arrangement of the font; the canopied might recognize the blessed influence of covering was raised, and on a seat placed the holy baptismal stream, purifying, at a little distance, were two or three chastening, and subduing the wayward women, the youngest, and most interest- tempers and childish petulance of infant ing in appearance, holding a baby in her years." One of the little school children
Well may our correspondent C. H., whispered loud enough for Ellen to hear, and others, whose minds are opened 'a christening !' and her heart beat
results from the positive language of osity and awe, at the idea that she should now see the font made use of, and, more
the Service, write with faithful boldsolemn still, be present while a little ness for a timely revision. We too child was made a member of the Church, truly have within us the fibrous roots and having been cleansed in the purifying which spring up and, too naturally, stream of Baptism from every taint of bear such fruit as the above extracts.
Intelligence. THE EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE. “By the census, when last taken, the We are enabled to give but a slight and the expectation was that it would
population of Ireland was eight millions, sketch of the interesting proceedings be now nine of ten millions, instead which have taken place at the Fifth
of that it is reduced to six-and-a-half, Annual Conference of the above As- owing to cholera, to famine, and to emisociation.
gration. The reduction, alas ! has been The proceedings commenced on in the Popish population; and I desire Wednesday, August 20th, by the de- never to speak of this point without that livery of the annual Address, from word "alas !' although
we have been the Rev. Dr. Buchanan, on “the much misrepresented on this head. Of Causes of Schism in the Church;"'. the six-and-a-half millions there is very a subject which the Rev. Dr. handled good reason to believe that two-and-awith great ability, faithfulness, and quarter are Protestants, consequently love. He was followed by the Rev.
about one-third of the population of Ire
land are Protestants." E. H. Bickersteth, the excellent son of the lamented Rector of Watton, who, A meeting was held the same evenafter moving the practical resolutions ing for the reception of the foreign of the London Conference, spoke in members of the conference, the Rev. support of them in a manner every Dr. Leifchild in the chair. The way worthy of his sainted father foreign Churches were represented The opening services being finished, by Ň. Fische, of Lyons, who menthe business of the Alliance com- tioned that since their last visit to menced, under the presidency of Sir England, he and others had acquired C. E. Eardley, Bart. He introduced our language, in order that they might to the meeting the Rev. Canon Town- commune with their English friends; send, of Durham, who explained the the Rev. Professor_Baup, of Laumotive of his fruitless journey to sanne ; the Rev. E. Panchand, of Rome. He declared that “Rome was Belgium; M. Kuntze, of Berlin ; the pharisee of modern times, who is M. Aneker; two Israelitish brethren driving the nails into the hands, as it from Holland, Abraham and Isaac; were, of the crucified Christ.” He the Rev. Drs. Robinson, Bacon, Alexexpressed his deep regret that “such ander, and Jacobus ; the Rev. Mr. men as Manning and Newman, who Bliss from America; and M. Neilson were honoured for their great scholar- from Sweden, who appears to have ship and literature, should have be- been banished from the country on trayed the cause of our christian bro- account of his religious exertions. therhood, and have gone over to the Dr. Steane read a letter from the Church of Rome.” Dr. Townsend Archbishop of Sweden, expressing ended by saying,
his sympathy with the objects of the “I now invite any five gentlemen to Alliance, and his regret that in concome to Durham, to my house, to see sequence of age and infirmity he was whether it is not possible that our Chris- not able to be present. We believe tian love may be based on a common that the Archbishop is anxious to have creed. I have in my pocket a letter from the laws of his country altered, so as to your friend, Mr. Bickersteth, written to me some few days before he died, in
remove all persecution for conscience which he says : The way to peace is to
sake. discover where we differ, and on that to
On the second day, Aug. 21st, the found the basis of Christian love.'
Rev. J. A. James presided over the quote another, Dr. Chalmers. It is : devotional exercises, and the Hon. That God's truth may be clothed in God's and Rev. B. W. Noel delivered a beauwords.'
tiful address, in which he enlarged On the resolution being moved upon the real union subsisting between that the next Conference be held, if true Christians, in the oneness of their possible, in Dublin, the chairman relationship to Christ. The Rev. Dr. mentioned the result of the late cen- King read a paper
“On the Progress He said that,
of the Evangelical Alliance," and