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that they have derived the high satisfaction of perceiving that the institution has justified the expectation of its most sanguine friends, and promises to return, in usefulness to the church, all, and more than all, that its most liberal patrons have contributed to it.
"It never was a question," say they, among reflecting men, whether it concerned the interests of the church to possess a body of clergymen, thoroughly educated in all that regards their sacred calling, and trained by academical instruction to those methods of investigating and explaining the sacred Scriptures, by which her doctrines and her admirable liturgy, have been as firmly established in the judgment of the acute and inquiring scholar, as they have been in the affections and faith of her humblest member. The utility of such a body at all times, and its indispensable necessity, in times of learned impiety and scepticism, has always been self-evident. It is the glory of the Church of England, that among her prelates and ministers have long been counted, and are now to be found, the greatest names in every branch of learning, by which the sacred volume can be explained, illustrated, or defended; and it has been by their intimate acquaintance with the language, antiquities, history, connexion, and exposition, of the Old and New Testament, and with the faith and practice of the primitive church, and also by their constant preparation for defence, that whenever the enemies of Christianity or the church have invaded either, they have been defeated and put to open shame. It was a debt of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, to these fathers of her liturgy, and defenders of the Christian faith, to endeavour to raise up worthy successors and assistants to them in this western world; and by the blessing of God upon the efforts heretofore made in this behalf, it is now, as the committee humbly hope, no longer doubtful, that the Theological Seminary will educate for the work of the ministry a succession of persons, to all future time, who shall be accomplished expositors and defenders of the sacred canon, champions of the church, and at the same time humble, pious, and faithful followers and servants of its Divine Master and Head. It is with feelings both of gratitude and joy, that the committee are able to state, that of about 440, the supposed number of the clergymen of this church, within the bounds of the United States, one-seventh part, sixty-two in number, have been students of the General Theological Seminary, who have been admitted to holy orders; and that there
are now in a course of instruction thirty more, at whose admission to orders, this convention will have the delightful recollection, and will deem it a cause of fresh gratitude to God, that it has encouraged and assisted the academical education of one-fifth of her ministers, within the space of about nine years. An institution thus intimately united with the church, enjoying, it is humbly hoped, the smiles of its Divine Protector, and promising to more than repay the donations of its friends, will, it is expected, grow daily in favour with churchmen; and will receive, without hesitation, what it will be the duty of the committee to recommend, a further aid to place her capital above the reach of invasion, and to enable her trustees to proceed confidently in a scheme which will give lustre to our country, and security to our church."
It is calculated that 20,000 dollars will secure this most desirable object; and we shall rejoice to learn that it has been fully effected. We trust that the blessing of God will attend the efforts of those who conduct or superintend this important institution, and that the young men who are trained in it will be faithful and useful ministers of Jesus Christ.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. At a recent meeting of this society, the Bishop of Gloucester delivered an interesting valedictory address to the new Bishop of Calcutta ; in reply to which, that prelate gave the following important pledge. May he be largely endued with strength from
above to fulfil it!
"Having put my hand to the plough,' I turn not back: I look forward, not indeed to higher duties (for none can be higher than those arising out of the relation of a parochial minister to his flock), but to a wider and more extensive field of usefulness, and hope to claim a larger share of confidence from my mother church than that with which I have been hitherto entrusted. I feel a firm affection, a deep and pious veneration for that church, for that visible and Apostolic church, and I look to its welfare with the utmost interest and attention. But while I regard with the warmest love that branch of our establishment which has been committed to my charge, I must not lose sight of that which our admirable Liturgy styles the Catholic, the universal church of Christ militant here on earth:' and while I uphold, as far as I can, that which my manifest duty in a more especial manner requires me to do; none that cometh in the name of Christ shall ever be considered as a stranger by me.'
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
FRANCE. The legislative chambers have closed, after a session of very little public interest. Since their close, an ordinance has been issued by the king establishing a censorship of the press, of a most rigorous character. The ministry and the ultra papal party seem alike to dread the effects of free discussion upon the public.
PORTUGAL and SPAIN. - The late changes in the Portuguese ministry are considered as favourable to the constitutional system. The Government have published a proclamation, in which they state that the rumours of the organization of fresh bands of discontented persons upon the frontiers are without foundation. They have however thought it necessary, for the protection of the infant liberties of the country, to issue a provisional decree, forbidding the printing of any discussion on subjects, the interpretation of which belongs exclusively to the legislative power;" and also of any paper impugning the leading doctrines laid down in the constitutional charter. It is reported that a convention has been entered into between Great Britain and France, by which are guaranteed the stability of the Portuguese Constitution, and the evacuation of Spain and Portugal by the armies of the respective powers, with the exception of a few British troops to be retained in Lisbon, and a French garrison at Pampeluna and Figueras. No such convention has however been officially published. The king of Spain appears to be much displeased at the conduct of the pope in nominating bishops for the new states of South America; another proof that in every country the most rigid spirit of Popery will succumb to self-interest and a supposed political expediency.
GREECE.-The affairs of Greece appeared a few weeks since in the darkest aspect; but a cheering beam of light has at length opened upon that country. The intelligence of the capture of Athens, and the probable political extermination of the Greeks as a nation, has been followed by the publication of a treaty between Great Britain, France, and Russia, interposing their mediation with the Ottoman Porte for a reconciliation between the contending parties, on the basis of Greece becoming tributary to Turkey, but under the government of
authorities chosen by itself subject to
The session of parliament has concluded with the following speech delivered by commission.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"We are commanded by his Majesty to express to you the satisfaction which his Majesty feels in being enabled, by the state of the public business, to release you from further attendance in parliament,
"His Majesty directs us to inform you, that he continues to receive from all foreign powers assurances of their earnest desire to cultivate relations of friendship with his Majesty's government; and that his Majesty's best efforts, as well as his Majesty's communications with his allies, are unceasingly directed to the termination of existing hostilities, and to the maintenance of general peace.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"His Majesty commands us to thank you for the supplies which you have granted for the service of the present year, and to assure you that his Majesty has given directions for a careful revision of the financial state of the country, with a view to every diminution of expenditure which may be found consistent with the necessary demands of the public service, and with the permanent interests, good faith, and honour of the nation. "My Lords and Gentlemen,
"His Majesty is confident that you participate with his Majesty in the pleasure which his Majesty derives from the indications of a gradual revival of employment in the manufacturing districts.
"His Majesty trusts, that although your deliberations on the corn laws have not led, during the present session, to a permanent settlement of that important question, the consideration of it will be resumed by you early in the ensuing ses sion, and that such an arrangement of it may finally be adopted as shall satisfy the reasonable wishes, and reconcile the substantial interests of all classes of his Majesty's subjects."
The speech furnishes no new intelligence; but we are happy to find a pledge given in it for a retrenchment of the public expenditure, and an early re-consideration of the corn laws, with a view to their final settlement. The interest
of the landowner, no less than of the public at large, demands this; for the present unsettled state of the question is injurious to all parties.
Considerable strength has been added to the ministry by the accession of Lord Lansdowne to the office of Secretary of State for the Home Department. His lordship's powerful talents, his high per sonal character, and his known zeal in the promotion of every enlightened scheme of policy, have been warmly acknowledged even by his political opponents; and though his lordship differs widely in opinion from his predecessor Mr. Peel on the subject of Catholic emancipation, he is known to be among the most ardent friends to those measures of domestic improvement which that statesman had so auspiciously commenced, and which have earned him a well deserved popularity throughout the country.
Having alluded to Mr. Peel's name, we take the opportunity of stating the objects of his last bill for the better administration of justice. First, it does
away the useless, and often worse than useless, custom of making a prisoner plead guilty or not guilty, and puts him on his trial without question. It also abolishes the absurd practice of asking the prisoner how he will be tried, and making him reply, "By God and my country." It makes provision for the trial of persons mute, either through obstinacy or calamity. It purposes that challenges of jurymen beyond what the law allows in cases of treason, should not expose the party to be sentenced as guilty, but should only be void. And lastly, and principally, it abolishes the preposterous plea of benefit of clergy; a relic of ignorance and injustice, the actual effect of which it has been necessary to guard against by an express clause in every criminal statute. These alterations, though of minor importance, as compared with some other meliorations of the criminal law, proceed upon a truly sound principle, and are of great practical value.
Rev. H. J. Ridley, Kirby Underdale R. co. York.
Rev. W. H.Roberts, ClewerR.co.Berks. Rev. P. Saumarez, Great Easton R.Essex. Rev. T. Shepherd, Cruxeaston R. Hants. Rev. C. R. Smith, Withiel-Florey P. C. co. Somerset.
Rev. T. Stacy, Gelligaer R. Glamorgans. Rev. G. F. Tavel, Great Fakenham R. Suffolk.
Rev. T. Westropp, Bruree V. co. Limerick
Rev. W. B. Winning, Keyshoe V. Beds. Rev. Dr. Jenkinson, Dean of Durham. Rev. Dr. J. Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln. Rev. J. T. James, Bishop of Calcutta. Rev. T. Baker, Canon of Chichester Cath. Rev. W. Harrison, Minor Canon of Chester Cath.
Rev. Mr. Keene, Preb. in Wells Cath. Rev. J. Allgood, Felton V. co. Northumberland.
Rev. J. Carne, Charles V. Plymouth.
Rev.P.Glubb, Clannaborough R. Devon.
Rev. J. F. Hone, Tirby V. co.Gloucester.
Rev. W. Mayd, Wethersfield R. Suff.
Rev. W. A. Musgrave, Emmington R. co. Oxford.
Rev. J. Nance, Hope R. with Old Romney R. Kent.
Rev. G. D. St. Quinton, Broughton R. Hants.
Rev. W.P.Spencer, Starston R. Norfolk. Rev. G. S. Weidemann, St. Paul's P. C. Preston.
Rev. G. Wilkins, Wing R. co. Rutland. Rev. N. Barnes, Chaplain to the Countess Dowager of Chichester..
Rev. J. Morris, Ch. to Lord Lynedoch.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A FRIEND TO TRUTH; J. E.; CLERICUS OXONIENSIS; R. B. A.; and VERUS; have been received, and are under consideration.
In reply to some inquiries, not very courteously urged, respecting an advertisement, offering a douceur of from 500 to 1000 guineas to any person who will procure some church preferment for a clergyman, which appeared, wholly without our knowledge, on the cover of the Christian Observer, we think it our duty to state, that to our minds such transactions are utterly indefensible. That they will not bear the light, seems proved by the advertiser's own intimation, that "the utmost confidence may be depended upon."Our Correspondent's threat might have been spared. He cannot suppose it could have the very slightest influence on our conduct, if other considerations did not weigh with us.
AUGUST, 1827. [No. 8. Vol. XXVII.
For the Christian Observer.
ON THE ASPECT OF THE WORLD IN REFERENCE TO CHRISTIAN
AT a recent meeting of a subΑΤ urban Church Missionary Association, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, than whom no man has more closely observed the present circumstances of the world in reference to missionary labours, or more maturely weighed the practical conclusions which result from this aspect of society, delivered his sentiments on these subjects in a very interesting and impressive address, with a copy of which he has obligingly favoured the Committee. His statements, it is conceived, deserve a wider circulation than among the members of a local association, and, it is trusted, will prove acceptable to the readers of the Christian Observer. His inferences, in particular, merit the earnest attention of all who feel anxious for the glory of God, and the temporal and eternal welfare of mankind.
The world now presents to the Christian's eye a noble and animating prospect; yet it is one which furnishes abundant ground of warning and caution, and of deep humility before God our Saviour. It is obvious, to all who look around, that this is, in the first place, a day of great excitement.
This excitement is of wide extent. It is not a religious excitement only -it is political, and it is intellectual. The flame burst forth either in this country, or in connexion with this country. A political exciteCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 308.
ment, if it did not begin in the struggle of the United States of America for their independence, yet certainly acquired sensible strength in that struggle; in which struggle, as I well remember, with all the ardour of an English school-boy, concerned for the honour and supposed interests of my country, I most fervently wished that they might not succeed. The French, who assisted the States, had soon occasion bitterly to repent their unjust interference: they carried back to their own country principles, which soon inflamed the combustible materials that had been long collecting there. The effects and consequences of the Revolution which followed, are now felt in every part of the civilized world.
But this is also a day of religious excitement. This excitement began powerfully to display itself soon after the commencement of the political struggle. Its more immediate development may be traced to the suggestion and establishment of Sunday schools: the teachers in these schools, and the youth taught in them, soon awakened new zeal in various quarters of the kingdom. I can speak of this from experience: when a youth, I became a teacher in the Sunday schools of my birth-place, and both felt in myself and witnessed in others the powerful influence of this system in the increase of religious feelings and zeal. A revival of religion, both in and out of the Established Church, had then been for years in progress, and now received a sudden and rapid extension. The spiritual wants of our own country, 3 M
and of the whole world, began to be felt as they were never felt before. The Established Church and the United Brethren had long laboured in a few parts of the heathen world, and the Wesleyan Society had been the instrument, in co-operation with the United Brethren, of great good to our West-India slaves. But now we began to witness an enlarged regard to the glory of God and the salvation of mankind. One community of Christians excited another. Then sprung up that noble institution the London Missionary Society, and the Baptist Missionary Society, and the Church Missionary Society; and these were followed by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and by other institutions adapted to the relief of the most urgent wants of man. The flame crossed the Atlantic, and was soon felt among Protestants all over the world,
An intellectual excitement accompanies these great political and religious movements of men's minds. Knowledge begins to be felt and desired as power. Men find that it has pleased God to distribute intellectual capacities pretty equally among all classes; and, urged by doubtful and evil motives, as well as by good, there is a general grasping after that knowledge which gives every strong mind the power of rule and controul over others.
But what are the duties of such a day?
In this political excitement there is a tendency to lead men who are under its influence to idolize the world; and in this intellectual excitement there is a tendency to idolize intellect. The world is, however, of no sort of value but as it is made subservient to Christ; and it is utterly false that knowledge will, of itself, render men virtuous: it will arm the unrenewed man with more power to be mischievous; but it is the grace of God alone which can sanctify knowledge, and direct it to those ends which are worthy of an immortal and accountable being.
Christians must be on their guard against these evils. They must consider this state of excitement with a religious mind. It is a state of things ordained of God. It is in the natural order of the fulfilment of his purposes of mercy to the world.
It is the duty of every Christian to rise with the leadings and calls of Providence, and to awake to his share in the right feelings of the church of Christ. To sleep among sleepers is evil: but it is aggravated criminality to sleep when multitudes are awake and active. It is not, however, enough to participate in the excitement of the day in which we live. It is our duty to see that the excitement of our mind is the genuine zeal of a Christian. Religious excitement in a servant of God must be regulated by his word: and we must never forget, that whenever good is in progress, the enemy watches to pervert it to evil. In a day of excitement like our's, evil principles will be busy and active. Vanity, ostentation, selfcomplacency, party-spirit, self-righteousness, all low and selfish motives and mere natural passions-these are temptations and snares to the real Christian; but they are a worm at the root of a mere profession.
The genuine exciting cause of every Christian movement of our minds in the work of God, is, zeal for his glory in the salvation of a lost world. All must spring from his Spirit; all must be directed to his praise !
And ever must we watch and pray against the secret working of self, in mingling its own feelings and ends with humble and holy zeal for Christ and the salvation of souls.
But the day in which we live is not only a day of great excitement it is a day of enlarged exertions.
The excitement of mind which we have witnessed has put itself forth in varied and vigorous action.
With the political movements of the world, we, as a religious society,