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itself; and will with equal ease contrive to overlook others, the application of which to its own case it has too much reason to shrink from. It will be satisfied with a favourable conclusion drawn from the slightest examination, and will take it for granted, that, if a correspondence of any sort is discovered between the lowest standard and is own state, farther inquiry is unnecessary. Let this consideration be my apology for addressing you on the present occasion, and for attempting to bring before a certain class of your readers a test to which they may particularly refer, and of which they cannot well elude the force.
The test to which I have above referred, is family religion;—that religion which enforces the right performance of all relative and social duties; which enables masters and mistresses to carry on all their domestic concerns with meekness, patience, forbearance, and Christian order; and which instructs those in subordinate situations to act diligently and faithfully in their respective departments, and to order themselves "lowly and reverently to all their betters." It is obvious, that, wherever real religion, which requires truth in the inward parts, and which proposes not merely to affect the outward conduct and produce general decorum, but to reach the very source of error and to renovate the heart-it is obvious, that, wherever this religion truly exerts its influence; its effects will be seen not so much in a man's public life, as in his ruling dispositions, and the usual tenor of his actions in private. Now these are best observed in the bosom of his family, where he feels himself under less restraint, and acts with less disguise: in domestic life, therefore, are we authorised to seek the evidence of a heart renewed by divine grace.
Let me, then, earnestly call upon those of your readers who are heads of families, to examine, with the utmost serioushess, whether they are
anxious that their light should first shine before those immediately around them, and then be diffused more generally? Whether in the apparently trifling affairs of daily life, and of perpetual occurrence, they are careful to maintain that evenness of temper, and absence of irritation, which are requisite to mark the Christian character?-A scrutiny too strict cannot here be instituted; and yet satisfaction may be obtained without much laborious and abstruse research. The inquiry proposed is not into some occult science, or some latent truth; it ù into the obvious testimony of outward conduct, of which every man for himself, on slight recollection, must be sufficiently conscious. La mentable as is the confession, truth compels us to allow that many, who make a very fair profession of religion, are at the same time in private negligent of their duties, and the prey of bad tempers. Such persons in public appear zealous for the honour of religion; they even make sacrifices to support its interests: but go into their families, and you may find them little concerned to educate their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and probably still less anxious to impress the minds of their servants with the importance of reli gion. Family worship is sometimes altogether neglected, often carelessly performed, and it is suffered to meet with interruption from the most trivial causes: business and pleasure both furnish their quota of excuses.-Such persous, in public, may be extolled for their benevolence and beneficence, for amiable manners and endearing behaviour: but if you follow them into the domestic circle, you may find them peevish and discontented, unhappy themselves, and apparently endea vouring to make others so. In pub lic, they may be admired for patience, forbearance, and humility in private, they may discover haugh tiness and pride, which cannot bea the least contradiction; self-suffi
The Conduct in domestic Life a Test of true Religion.
ciency and arrogance, which can submit to no controul. Abroad, they may have the praise of liberality of sentiment, and of that charity which thinketh no evil: while at home they give way to mean suspicion and unmanly jealousy; every little error that happens to inter fere with their wishes, is aggravated and treated with severity; and every inadvertent opposition of sentiment or conduct, from those whose faults ought most readily to be excused, far from being treated mildly, and charitably viewed in the fairest light, serves to excite asperity and ill-nature. In short, all the excellencies of such professors of religion are displayed, where they have a chance of being observed and admired; but in vain may they be sought where their lustre would be concealed, and where flattering admiration would be withheld. This remark leads us to conclude, that the religion of these persons is of one of these two sorts: it either has the applause and commendation of men for its object-or it is satisfied with human approbation as its crite rion. In the former case, the hy pocrisy is so shocking that one would charitably hope few are open to the charge: the latter case is, I am afraid, frequent; and to it, therefore, we ought especially to direct our attention: its consequences are fatal, and its nature highly insidious; double caution is therefore necessary. People who have not much firmness or decision of character, and who therefore shrink from contests with their neighbours, with whom also their desire of general approbation prevents them from embroiling themselves, often acquire, from this habit of concession, a reputation for kindness and benevolence to which they are by no means entitled. For in private life, and in domestic concerns, where they do not dread to encounter opposition, and of course have not the same motive to be mild and yielding, they shew themselves in very dif
ferent colours; and, it is to be feared, not unfrequently manifest towards an unoffending wife or child, or a faithful servant, the unkind feelings which they dare not resent, may to which some public provocation, have given rise. They have, perhaps, viewed Christianity in its true light, as a scheme of kindness, charity, and peace; and, admiring its general excellence, have fallen in with it, as far as it suited their natural deception which is easily accounted temper: but, from a species of selffor, they satisfy themselves with possessing a reputation for these qualities among their fellow-crea tures, instead of possessing the qualities themselves which are thus falsely imputed to them. In proportion as the reputation which they gain in this way increases, their re ligious confidence is augmented; and many, even pious people, are so ready to extol such characters, and to ascribe their actions to motives which perhaps they never felt, that they are led by the general suffrage to conclude that their conduct fully entitles them to the name and privileges of true Christians. Their private and domestic conduct, in the mean time, is but little taken into the account; and if conscience occasionallywhispers the inconsistency of their public character and private life, its remonstrances are silenced by a triumphant recollection of the general estimation in which they are held; while their very suspicions are construed into a proof of their humility.
ously examine themselves; and if Let all who read this paper seriany of the foregoing observations apply to them, let them consider that they are now solemnly warned that human approbation is no safe he, whatever be his character among criterion of the favour of God; that men, must be pronounced destitute of real religion, who does not manifest its power in all the concerns of life, private as well as public, trivial as well as important; and that the
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domestic scene is the proper field for the display of all the Christian graces.
I beg leave to conclude with two general remarks.
In the first place, I would observe, of how great importance it is to direct professing Christians to a constant and serious perusal of the holy Scriptores. These will effectually teach us the nature of true religion, and set right all our mistakes on this important subject. But to this end they must be read with fixed attention, as involving our eternal interests; with sacred awe, as sanctioned by divine authority; and with earnest prayer, as requiring to be attended by the quickening influences of the Holy Spirit. I am persuaded, that of those whom it is the object of this paper to address, by far the greater number are such as think themselves excused by their occu
pations and circumstances from regular and serious use of the sac volume.
2dly, Christians should be cautious lest they flatter and deceive those that seem well disposed. Is it not to be feared that great injury is done by the thoughtlessness of pious peo ple in this respect? They feet a laudable joy when they perceive any symptoms of good in those around them; but are they not often too ready to call every hopeful tendency a sure proof of religious progress, and to attribute every well-seeming action to a Christian motive? A little consideration and discernment would teach them a more prudent course, and might preserve those with whom they converse, and on whose characters they too hastily pronounce a flattering verdict, from falling into a most dangerous error. N-Σ
established libraries of England, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, and other countries, have been ne cessarily furnished with a share; and the private collections of the learned have increased their demand; yet, from the present scarcity of books of this description, it seems a very probable conclusion, that a vast number of copies must have been withdrawn from Europe by Jews, and by them dispersed in countries beyond its confines. The Rev. Dr. Buchanan found printed copies of the Hebrew Scriptures among the Indian Jews on the Malabar coast, together with numerous printed books in the Rabbinical dialect, chiefly Amsterdam editions. I have examined into the contents of some of their books which were brought to England by Dr. Buchanan, (not with a design to increase our stock
in this country, but merely) as specimens of Jewish literature in India; and found them to comprise Divinity, History, Astronomy, and Mathematics. It is a reflection certainly important with all lovers of sacred truth, that the Jews of remote nations share in some respects with their brethren in Europe in the benefit and advantage of the art of printing, in respect of books in general, but especially of the BIBLE;-a circumstance which must contribute greatly to the illumination of that people, as the knowledge of the inspired writings of the Old Testament will prepare them for the reception of the New Tes
A good supply of Hebrew Bibles for the Jews in Turkey, Barbary, Egypt, and other Eastern countries, seems an object worthy the attention of the BRITISH and FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY; and, by means of the British agents and consuls established at Cairo, Smyrna, Aleppo, and other places in which Jews are settled in numbers, Hebrew Bibles would doubtless find quick sale among the Jewish merchants, and their dispersion would not fail to operate in favour of the common cause of religion.
It is worthy of remark, that, in all parts of the world where Jews are found, there are also found the Hebrew Bible, their liturgy, and their synagogue service. These preserve the knowledge of the Hebrew language among the Jews: and hence it is, that, although the HEBREW has ceased to be vernacular with them, it is nevertheless their UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE in all matters connected with religion. The publication, therefore, of the NEW TESTAMENT in the language of the Hebrew Bible, is of all things the most expedient to be done, as preparatory to the conversion of the Jews; as such a translation, being framed in the language of the OLD TESTAMENT, would be open to the Jews of all nations. The same Hebrew text of the NEW TESTAMENT which would be under
stood by the London or Amsterdam Jew, would be equally familiar to the Asiatic and African Jew, for this plain and obvious reason, that the Hebrew text of the OLD TESTAMENT is in common use with them all. Such a version, therefore, of the New Testament would be adapted to every region of the earth where the Hebrew Bible is known. The institution of the LONDON SOCIETY for promoting Christianity among the Jews, has already deliberated on the expediency of such a translation of the New Testament, and for this end has formed a Committee, who are concerting measures for the speedy and successful execution of so important a work. The whole of Dr. Buchanan's Travancore Hebrew version has been transcribed at his own expense, with a view to facilitate the laudable object of this Society; thus shewing a zeal in their cause worthy of himself. The Society has referred the manuscript to a Committee for examination.
Cambridge, July 31, 1811.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Your correspondent, in the Observer for June 1811, page 362, says, "The Rubric requires Baptism to be performed by a lawful minister; that is, most undoubtedly, as I think, one that has been regularly ordained, according to the constitution of the church. If, therefore, the burial service is performed over a child which has been baptised by a minister not thus ordained, or by a Methodist lay preacher, it must be considered as a boon granted, which I have never been inclined to refuse."
If all the clergy had that good disposition which your correspondent manifests, the dissenters would have been perfectly satisfied; but almost every year, for the last ten or twelve years, in various places in the country, the burial of children bas been refused; and when the Bishop of
the diocese was applied to by the Committee for the protection of their civil rights, they were generally answered, that the clergyman had been written to, and that he would continue to bury dissenters for the present. It was in order to have the law on the subject declared, that the action against Mr. Wicks was brought. In the judgment delivered (printed for Butterworth, Fleet Street), Sir John Nicholls says,
"It is with some degree of surprise, that the Court has heard the suggestion of there being no law to compel the clergy to bury dissenters. It is the duty of the parish minister to bury all persons dying within his parish,-all Christians. The canon has the single exception, expressly, of excommunicated persons." p. 13.
Baptism by a woman or layman is valid, and a person who has been so baptised, is not to be baptis ed again." p. 16.
"If administered by a laic, or by a heretic, or schismatic, it is valid baptism." p. 18.
"All private baptism was by a layman, antecedent to the time of king James. The same rubric expressly directs the pastors to instruct their parishioners in the form of doing it." p. 22.
King James's children were baptised by presbyterian ministers: he could not mean to exclude them from burial." p. 33.
Bishops Fleetwood, Hooker, Watson, Burnet, Warburton, are decidedly of opinion that lay baptism is legal according to the law of the church." p. 39.
Does the Toleration Act, which allows protestant dissenters to have separate places of worship, require them to have separate places of burial? No such thing; surely this would be departing entirely from the principles of the Established Church. Its principle is to bring over by conciliation, not to force away by severity; to conciliate by indulgence, not to repel by persecution."p. 42.
"Dissenters are obliged, by the Toleration Act itself, to pay their tithes, to pay church-rates, and to contribute to the support of the church and its ministers: why are they to be excluded from its rites, as far as their conscience will allow them to partake in them? If the person is baptised, the canon enjoins the service." p. 43.
After the above extracts, your correspondent will, I hope, be convinced that the burial of dissenters is agreeable, at least, to the canons of the church, and the law of the land; and that, therefore, to bury them is not to be viewed merely as a boon granted, but as a matter of right and justice on the part of ministers of the Church of England. B. A.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
In your Number for April last, a subject was considered, which will probably apply to the case of many of your readers, the union of the offices of tutor and parochial minister in the same person. Many very just and valuable considerations were suggested in that paper; and, perhaps, the writer fully established the point that such a union, where it can be avoided, is far from being desirable. In this conclusion, a large proportion of the clergy, who are engaged in school teaching, do with all their hearts concur. It is a truth which they both understand and experience, The more serious part of them are apt to fall into the fault of impatience, and to feel too unqualified a desire of being freed from a service which involves them in so much secular business, and encroaches on that time which they would wish to bestow on the studies and labours of their clerical pro fession. To these men the reflec tions of your correspondent, though perfectly just, convey a degree of discouragement; and my object is to supply a few considerations,