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UKASE OF THE EMPEROR OF up in the late season of war and infidelity RUSSIA.
a monarch whose power and influence SELDOM have we bad occasion to pub- have been in so many instances employlish
any state paper which has given us ed in a manner eminently conducive to inore sincere pleasure than the follow the interests of Christianity and the ing Úkase of the Emperor of Russia, human race. His conduct, with referaddressed to the Legislative Synod at ence to the Bible Society and other Moscow, dated Moscow, October 27, plans of moral and religious utility, bas 1817,
been on many occasions mentioned, and “ During my late travels through the that justly, as an illustrious example for provinces I was obliged, to my no small the imitation of his brother potentates regret, to listen to speeches pronounced throughout Europe ; and if Great Briby certain of the clergy in different tain also will condescend to learn a parts, which contained unbecoming lesson from a foreigner, we think the praises of me--praises which can only present document may be of essential be ascribed unto God. And as I ani service, in teaching us to modify the convinced in the depth of my heart of language of our own occasional state the Christian truth, that every blessing papers, which are in several instances floweth unto us through our Lord and flagrantly marked by the fault which Saviour Jesus Christ alone; and that the Emperor of Russia so justly cenevery man, be he who he may, without We need not produce examples, Christ, is full only of evil; therefore to but will refer our readers generally to the ascribe unto me the glory of deeds in forms of prayer and thanksgiving which which the hand of God hath been so have been issued by public autbority evidently manifested before the whole for several years past, and of which it world, is to give unto men that glory is but stating the truth to remark, that which belongeth unto Almighty God courtesy to earthly powers has been alone.
often quite as conspicuous as piety and "I account it my duty, therefore, to humility towards Him who is the King forbid all such unbecoming expressions of kings and Lord of lords. On no ocof praise, and recommend to the holy casion ought the language of prayer to Synod to give instructions to all the be employed as the language of comdiocesan bishops that they themselves, pliment, whether direct or indirect; and and the clergy under them, may, on it is perhaps as much in this respect as similar occasions, in future, refrain in any other, that, generally speaking, from all such expressions of praise, so the forms in the Book of Common Prayer disagreeable to my ears, and that they are distinguishable from later compomay render unto the Lord of Hosts sitions ; though even in the Prayer-book alone thanksgivings for the blessings itself some of the occasional services bestowed upon us, and pray for the out. which are of a date subsequent to the pouring of his grace upon all of us ; con- rest, are, perhaps, justly liable to a deformiog themselves in this matter to the gree of animadversion. We shall not words of Sacred Writ, which requires pursue the subject; but shall simply us to render to the King eternal, immor- express our hope that the increasing tal, invisible, the only wise God, honour good sense and right feeling of the naand glory for ever and ever.
tion, in matters connected with religion, 6 ALEXANDER." will banish' from our future formularies In noticing this valuable document, every thing that may be construed into we shall so far obey its injunction as to human adulation, or a spirit of revenge refrain from doing more than traksiently and party; in short, every thing that expressing the strong and favourable ought not to be legitimately found in a opinion it has given us of the just re- really sincere and honest address to Jigious views and Christian humility of Him who " searcheth the hearts and the imperial author; and shall content trieth the reins,?? and who "giveth not ourselves with “ rendering unto the his glory to another.” Lord of hosts," wbo alone • turpeth the While we are on this subject, we may hearts of princes,” our most earnest and add, that Maria Louisa, Duchess of sincere thanksgivings, for having raised Parma, has issued an edict forbidding
her subjects to kneel to her; a homage cer of the ship, Captain Owen, and the which, she observes, is due only to God. other officers superintending and conShe calls on all the clergy, to make her ducting the whole. A profane or obsubjects sensible of this, which she com- scene word is not heard amongst them : plains she herself has been hitherto un- and I can in the utmost sincerity deable to do.
clare, having been present several even
ings in the chapel aboard the BelleroREFORMATION OF THE CON. phon, that I never in my life saw a
VICTS AT SHEERNESS. congregation met together amongst The following extract of a letter from wbom there appear
more real devo. a quarter on which we place depen- tion. dence, and referring to circumstances “ The good order and decorum of highly interesting in themselves, we these men is indeed wonderful; and they willingly lay before our readers.
seem to feel for their chaplain and " On my return from a late acciden- commanding officer an affection and tal visit to Sheerness, I have felt so im- sense of duty like that of children for pressed by the scene I witnessed on parents, which indeed these deserving board the Bellerophon, convict ship; persons have well earned by their huthat I am led to believe, if an account mane, though firm, superintending care of it could be given to the public, it of the prisoners, whose welfare and might be productive of much good, everlasting happiness, I believe, they and would hold out to all persons in constantly feel the most anxious desire authority, and to the clergy in particu- to promote. To so much earnestness lar, the encouraging prospect of much have the men themselves been brought fruit being produced under God's bless- for spiritual improvement, that some of ing, from the most untoward soil, by per- them every evening repeat froin memory severing and unwearied culture. The the Lessons of the day, on Sunday, the profligacy of convicts has been hitherto Epistle and Gospel; and occasionally justly proverbial: not so the case on the whole Thirty-nine Articles, and seveboard the Bellerophon, where at this ral homilies. During my visit, a lad time are about four hundred and fifty repeated a double homily in the chapel, persons of that description. Their without the least hesitation or a single rules oblige them to assemble for Divine mistake. worship, in the chapel of the ship, every “It is not to be supposed that this has Sunday: but besides this, every night in been effected without the most unweathe week, except Saturday, (when only ried zeal and diligence of the abovethe singers meet, the others being em- mentioned chaplain, aided and assisted nloyed in cleaning and fitting themselves in all his pious and moral plans by for Sunday,) upwards of three hundred Captain Owen, and the officers under regularly and voluntarily assemble in the him. The Almighty, who generally may chapel for school. Those who are ca- be observed to prosper a diligent use of pable of it, instruct the others; and the means of grace, has blessed their numbers, even of old men, have, with zealous endeavours with a success, much delight and comfort to themselves, which affords the brightest omen for all learned to read during their imprison- who are desirous to emulate their pious ment, and now declare that they feel a labourg. happiness from their Bible, which no “A pleasing instance of honesty lately other thing ever afforded them. Nay, occurred amongst the convicts :-one of further, they are often heard to assert, whom, whilst at his labour in the Dock that they should never be ashamed to Yard, found a purse containing four confess that they had been confined on three shilling pieces, which he could unboard a convict ship; since they have discovered have converted to his own fearot far more in that situation, than use ; but he carried it to his officer to they had done at any period of their life have the owner found, who proved to before. The sight is gratifying in the be one of the drivers of the carts emhighest degree, to see upwards of three ployed in the Yard. hundred of these once unfortunate men "The teachers of the different classes and boys, some instructing, and others in the evening, school, in several inattentively learning, and then all clos- stances, have subscribed amongst theming the evening together with prayers selves, have ver medals struck, as and praises; their chaplain, the Rev. rewards of merit to the lads for their E. Edwards, and the commanding offi- acquirements and good conduct; and,
indeed, to see the zeal evidenced by This extract needs no comment, but these persons, to promote in themselves that wbich every well-disposed reader and each other correct and industrious will have anticipated. If added to the habits, with a spirit of religion and cor- reform at Newgate, and similar. facts responding morals, is a pleasing proof, which have come to our knowledge, that no class of men ought to be aban- it furnishes a powerful argument “not doned as beyond the reach of mercy, to be weary in well doing, seeing that and finally given up to impenitence and in due time we shall reap, if we faint destruction."
IF The remainder of our Religious Intelligence will appear in the Appendix to the
present Volume, which will be published, as usual, with our January Number.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
drawing up our usual abstract of like a regular plan for effecting the public occurrences, we shall pass over objects of this nefarious conspiracy.with a simple notice, the endless de- Among these, the case of Colonel Desbates in the French chambers; the se- pard is fresh in the memory of our readvere hurricane in the West-Indies; the ers. The vigilance of government happidestrụctive fires in Newfoundland ; the ly prevented, from time to time, the orrestoration of peace with the Mahratta ganization of any thing like a formidapowers; and the wise determination of ble confederacy; so that little could be our government to preserve a strict done, by the partisans of revolutionary neutrality in the affairs of Spanish principles, excepi to turn every passing America, evidenced by a prohibition event into a source of grievance; and Jaid upon British officers from joining by means of books, and speeches, and the standard of either party; and shall resolutions, to point out, as far as could call the attention of our readers par- be done with impunity, the necessity of ticularly to a subject of great import- essentially interfering with the existing ance to the community; we mean the constitution of the country. result of the recent state prosecutions About the year 1812, the manufacfor the publication of profane and se- turing disputes at Nottingham gave ditious libels.
rise to the association of persons called In reference to the latter, it may not Luddites, who were regularly formed be improper to trace back the evil, and into divisions, and boasted of daily acto view it but as one among a large cessions to their numbers. The outnumber of measures, all tending, in rages of these misguided men, and their degree, to the destruction of the their plan of operations, need not be English constitution both in church and recapitulated. It was not long before state. It appears, that ever since the politics were introduced among them ; early part of the French Revolution, when correspondences were opened and subsequently to the suppression of with Manchester, Sheffield, Wakefield, the corresponding societies, there ex. Birmingham, and other places; and isted in these kingdoms not a few dis- deputies were regularly appointed to affected men, who, though insignificant manage the affairs of the confederacy. in point of numbers when compared The distresses of the poor, arising from with the mass of the people, yet found various causes, were seized with avidity opportunity for propagating their mis- as a powerful instrument for promoting chievous doctrines by a variety of discontent. The minds of the lower means; among which, inflammatory orders thus became soured and perspeeches and pamphlets have had their verted; every thing appeared through full share. To the sentiments of these a false medium, and government was persons there became many converts ; considered as the cause of all the evils and the history of the country furnishes which were either felt or imagined. us with several real, though absurd and Hampden clubs now arose on every impotent attempts, to form something side; violent petitions were circulated
for signature ; inflammatory resolutions community for the legal suppression of and déclarations were widely diffused, the works in question was clearly extill at length it became no secret, pressed; and we have no hesitation in that nothing less than a complete re- declaring our opinion, whatever may volution, both in church and state, have been the result of the late trials, would satisfy not a 'few of the deluded that the law-officers of the crown would populace.
have been deemed guilty of neglecting We shall not retrace the march of their duty, had they failed
to bring before these unlawful machinations, or the an English court and jury, the infamous desultory efforts of individual malcon- productions which have given rise to tents, up to the time when the transac- the present remarks. The only just tions in Spa-fields, and afterwards at ground of censure is, that such pubManchester, suddenly opened the eyes lications were permitted so long and so of every lover of his country to their firmly to intrench themselves behind magnitude and portentous consequences, authority and precedent, that a jury, From this period, the most vigorous whatever might be the real guilt of any measures were pursued to suppress the particular individual concerned, could evil ; and the legislature itself, justly not but feel some difficulty in visiting alarmed by the increasing numbers and on a single offender, and on the first ocinfatuation of the disaffected, found it casion of trial, a crime which in so necessary to suspend the Habeas Cor- many other instances had been compus Act, and to exert every means in mitted with impunity. their power for preserving our internal This remark applies very closely to the peace.
late trials of Mr. Hone, agajust whom These strong measures, with the heal. the Attorney-General exhibited three ing hand of time, and still more those informations, for parodies on the Comblessings of Divine Providence, a fa- mon Prayer generally, and on the Livourable harvest, and returning pros- tany and Catechism of the Church, and perity in our trade and commerce, have the Athanasian Creed in particular. already effected much towards restor- The trials came on successively on the ing the tranquillity of the country : as a 18th, the 19th, and the 20th instant, beproof of which, ministers have ventured fore the Court of King's Bench; and on to release a number of the persons con- each of these days Hone acted as his fined under the discretionary powers own advocate, with an ability worthy of given them by parliament. Of the nu- a better cause. He avowed the fact of merous individuals found guilty of high publication, and rested his defence upon treason, at the late trials at Derby, three the ground that the parodies, however only, Jeremiah Brandreth, Wm. Turner, exceptionable in other respects, were and Isaac Ludlam have suffered the neither seditious nor profane. In purs capital penalty adjudged by the laws of suance of his argument, he contrived their country to their treasonable pro- to bring forward from numerous, and, ceedings. Eleven of the other convicts we are sorry to say, some of them are to be transported for life, and the in other respects reputable authors, a remainder for limited periods. The mass of indecency and impiety, which conspiracy appears now to have lost we trust has sufficed to nauseate the every thing like active and efficient or- public with such lawless and unbalganization.
lowed productions. Some of the perAmong the various means employed sonal allusions made by the defendant, to excite all this disaffection, we are however painful to the parties connow called upon to remind our readers cerned, will, we trust, tend to correct of one of the most popular and mis- in future that trifling with sacred things chievous; namely, seditious and pro- and sacred names which has occasionfane parodies upon the justly venerated ally occurred even in places where deformularies of the Established Church. cency, to say nothing of religion, reIt was' easily seen, that affection for quired a very different mode of conduct. these is usually connected with a spirit On each of the three trials, the court favourable to the existing order of was fully of opioion that the parodies things, and that in proportion as the vene- came fully under the legal description in ration for them was destroyed, facilities the information ; but the jury, assuming would arise for effecting the designs of their unquestioned right in the case of the discontented. The wish, therefore, libel to judge of the whole question of of every moral and loyal member of the law as well as fact, brought in a ver
dict of Not Guilty. On what grounds conviction, the case immediately betheir decision was formed, of course, fore them. We therefore by no means has not transpired. They might be of intend to impeach the correctness of opinion, that as Hone was not the first or, their decision, when we say that it has the only publisher of these or similar filled us with some alarms and appreparodies; and as it appeared in evi- hensions, from the apparent sanction dence that he had suppressed the work which it may seem to bestow upon pubshortly after its publication, as soon "lications of the most injurious and imindeed as it had been noticed ip parlia- pious nature. Christianity is publicly ment ; and as it was possible, under recognised as part of the law of the ail the circumstances of the case, that land; and the regulations and formubis incentive might have been poverty, laries of the Established Church are mixed up with strong political feeling, placed under the same guardianship.rather than any distinct purpose of Weshould be much distressed, therefore, bringing religion into contempt; and to end that the acquittal of Hone bad still more, as he had already suffered a given new courage to those who were alconfinement, which may have appeared ready but too active : and we trust that in some measure to pusish his offence, our law officers will only be the more vithat it was their duty to acquit him: and gilant, in consequence of what has hapwe can conceive that in such a case, a pened, to bring to trial every similar jury might lean to the side of acquittal, outrage, were it oply, if the existing
without by any means intending to lay it laws small prove too feeble to repress : down as their opinion that such parodies, them, that new laws may be framed for
abstráctedly considered, are not illegal that purpose. and grossly libellous. If, however, the With regard to Hone himself, he has latter infererce could be drawn from espressed his intention never more to this verdict, wbich we do not appretvad, -publish either these or any other works then indeed it would open wide the very of a similar description, and “to exhort flood-gates of sedition and blasphemy, all his fellow citizens to abstain from and we should be at a loss even to imagine · parodying the litany, or the servicė of where the evil might end. It is true a the Church of England;" and yet we jury has nothing to do with the conse- understand that he is preparing for pubquences
may follow from their ver- . lication an account of his trial, in which dict, and have only to adjudge, as the parodies will be reprinted at full doubtless they did to the best of their length.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
PHILO-CARISTOs has been received.
A VICAR; *S*. ; and A LAY MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, are under consideration. C. C.; A SERIOUS ENQUIRER; JUVERNA; and INGENTUS, will appear. We can assure A COUNTRY CURATE that there are no inquiries which we feel
more difficulty in answering than Cases of Conscience, the solution of which, must, in almost every instance, depend upon local and personal circumstances. We cannot, however, conceive why he may not with quite as safe a conscience suffer the children of his parish to practise sacred harmony, as part of their Sunday-school employment, as permit them to read and spell, which are certainly not more closely connected with public worship than the other. We cannot insert the remarks of EDINENSIS in the form which he proposes, but
shall endeavour to avail ourselves of them in another shape. We are much obliged to 0. T. for bis information, and are sorry we had not
known before the circumstances which he has communicated.