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sufferings, because he felt assured that was observed to him, “what delight will the
One day he said he had been sire that they may become partakers of reading the First Epistle of St. John; the benefits which they enjoy. To proand in speaking of that passage, “ Who- mote this object (so far as pecuniary soever is born of God sinneth not;" “ It means can do so) they are found willing cannot mean," said he, “ that the believer to make personal sacrifices, and, like the is without sin, because, in another part of widow whom our Lord commended, to the same Epistle, it is said, “ If any man bestow a portion of that which he has sin, we have an Advocate with the Father :' given them. The truth of this remark but a Christian does not allow himself in was verified in the practice of Lawrence, sin, he renounces it."
who for many years contributed an annual He used to speak with grief of some sum of ten shillings and sixpence towards around him who were living in sin, and instructing the poor and ignorant. This seemed much to regret being forced to is by no means a solitary example. hear their vain conversation, as they Some days previous to his death, I passed by his dwelling.
called to see him, and found him labouring One of the last times he could hold a hard for breath, and in great bodily weaklong conversation, he talked much of the ness and pain. He had not then spoken fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle to for hours; and it was thougbt, by those the Corinthians, on the resurrection. around him, that his end was near. After But the way of salvation, through faith looking at him some time, I said, “ Still in in Christ, was his great theme. One day the body?” he replied, “ Yes, how long I he said, “ But I must ever come back to know not; I am waiting the Lord's time." that great salvation ; I must dwell on it.” I continued, “ You appear to suffer much, His expression frequently, when asked but you are looking to that world where concerning the state of his mind, was the inhabitants shall not say I am sick,
“Sweet to lie passive in his hand, and where the people who dwell therein And know no will but His."
are forgiven their iniquity.” He added, His exalted patience and liveliness “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither filled all who saw him with astonishment, hath it entered into the heart of man to when contrasted with his pale emaciated conceive, the things which God hath precountenance, and the interruptions fre- pared for them that love him.” It was quently caused by his cough.
said, “ You are looking for a city which When a person, whom he had known hath foundations, whose builder and from infancy, called to see him, and was maker is God;" he replied, " That is my about to take a last farewell of him, he expectation." looked up, amidst weakness and pain, and A few hours before he died, he looked said, “I wish you every new-covenant up, and, seeing a female attendant by his blessing.” He said of a relation," I love bed-side, he said, “ Will the Saviour him, not merely because he is a relation, be long?" she replied, “ Not long :” he but because he is a brother in Christ." repeated “Not long !" and soon after
When he was told of the ravages the closed his eyes for ever on a world of sin cholera morbus was making in Russia,
and sorrow and that numbers of bodies were thrown together in a pit, without Christian burial, * The writer of the above, Lawrence's he said, with much earnestness, “ But employer, Mr. Joseph Trumper, has wbat has become of their immortal souls? printed the above narrative, with some adIt is of little moment how the body is ditional particulars, in his own neighbourdisposed of, so that the soul is safe, in the hood ; and will probably be induced to mercy of God, through Christ Jesus.” It give it a wider circulation.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
This eventful session of Parliament has bayonets, and the suspension of the Habeas closed. The Speech from the Throne Corpus Act. The alleged dialogue of the is so general as scarcely to invite remark. Lord Lieutenant, above alluded to, is such It alludes modestly to the Reform Acts, a singular medley of topics, such a comhoping that good may result from them, pound of force and fair speeches and both but not using any word that could irri- to no purpose, of trimming the Protestant tate those who think otherwise. It no- scale at night and the Popish in the tices the differences in Portugal, and be- morning, that we can only compare it to tween Belgium and Holland; but holds the tale of Paddy's feasting his pig one out hopes that the peace of Europe will day and starving it the next, that there not be broken. It congratulates the might be “one slice of fat and another of country, that, though taxes to a consider- lean,” in alternate layers, to suit the tastes able amount had been relinquished, by re- of all customers. Such a system will trenchment of expenditure the necessity never answer, even politically speaking ; for new burdens had been avoided. It and Mr. O'Connel is so plying his revourges the importance of preserving the lutionary repeal of the Union, that, if public peace, and repressing acts of riot care be not taken, there will be neither fat and outrage. The only topic which can nor lean left. We should not have written give rise to much difference of opinion is so lightly-for it is no light matter-bad that fruitful source of contention, Ireland; not the strange ideas of legislation intirespecting which the Speech laments the mated in Lord Anglesey's speech relaxed disturbances in that country, applauds the our wonted gravity. In the mean time, not measures adopted for the education of the tithes merely, but property of all kinds, people, and adds, that the recently en- and life itself, is endangered ; and the acted Tithe Laws “are well calculated to Tithe-composition Bill, useful as it is, is lay the foundation of a new system, to likely to be so much waste parchment, the completion of which the attention of unless Government and Parliament deParliament, when it again assembles, will termine at once to act firmly and justly, of course be directed.” of the Educa- and not to connive at illegal conspiracies, tion measure we can only repeat what we with a view to open the way for a plan of have often stated, our deliberate convic- robbing the Protestant church and estation that it is grounded upon unscriptural blishing Popery. and anti-Protestant principles. If the Electioneering is busily at work “new system” mean only the two post- throughout the country. We purpose poned bills of commutation and tithe resuming our remarks upon it: in the corporations it is well; but if it be meant mean time we refer our readers to our to pay the Roman Catholic clergy from last Number, and to a very excellent and the public purse, and virtually to make seasonable “ Address to Electors” stitchPopery the established religion of Ireland ed up with it, which we are happy to learn --and the Lord Lieutenant, in a most has been very widely circulated. Chrissingular dialogue at Cork, is conjectured tian electors ought to lay this matter very to have alluded to something of the seriously to heart. kind-it will be a measure calculated, as The Cholera has been alarmingly on we believe, to bring down the heavy the increase ; and, as if to confound the displeasure of God upon the land. We impotent boastings of modern science, know, indeed, in what manner those that a plague could never again ravage statesmen who reject the Bible as their civilized Europe in these days of medical rule speak of the matter; but among
skill and rational habits, it works its way those who believe that Inspired Record, in a manner wholly mysterious, and sets and the Protestant construction of it, at nought human skill and foresight. One there cannot be two opinions on the benefit bas attended it, that in many parts subject. We purpose discussing the of the kingdom it has excited a serious question more at large in a future Num- and penitent spirit : we hear no more of ber: in the mean time we cannot but ex- “ cholera humbug," and cholera theatrical press our deepest regret at the way in farces : the people in many of our towns which Ireland appears to be managed, or
have attended Divine worship spontamismanaged. The public assistance is neously on week-days, to implore the withdrawn from Protestant schools, while mercy of God; not a few of the clergy the Legislature has just renewed its grant have issued Scriptural and appropriate to Maynooth : men are half-encouraged addresses on the occasion ; the wants of to rebel, illegal combinations are connived the poor have been relieved ; and many, at, the rights of property are violated, and it is hoped, have been led so to number blood is shed; and then, when the insure their days as to apply their hearts to gents are too strong to be put down, Go- heavenly wisdom. May it please God, vernment begins to bristle, and to talk of tha twhile this scourge lasts the stroke
may be every where thus sanctified and defer. We allude to the recent discussions overruled for good; and that in His respecting Colonial Slavery, and particuinfinite mercy He would speedily remove larly the disclosures made by the missionit from us, if it be His will, notwith- aries who have arrived from the West standing we too well deserve His severest Indies, and poured into the ear of the inflictions for our sins.
British public such tales of horror as have The Plurality Bill was silently dropped ratified more solemnly than ever the doom in the House of Commons. As we pre- of this cruel, impolitic, and anti-Christian dicted at the first, it pleased no one : system. The West-Indian party, both some opposed it for what it did, and in the islands and at home, tell us they others for what it did not. We regret to have yet one hope: the Church of England, lose even the partial improvement con- they say, the Bishops and Clergy, are templated by it; but we trust that a more favourable to them; and they are placarding adequate measure will be brought for- the walls of the metropolis with extracts ward next session. Our chief alarm is, from “ the Christian Remembrancer” to that there will be those who will en. prove this point. But it will not do; deavour to turn Church reform, like all nay, we ourselves can certify, that, though other reform, into ruin. The clergy do they have had hitherto too much cause for not, as a body, enjoy too much of this their boast, even this hope is failing them; world's wealth ; very far from it; and or should it not, it were easier for bishops many even of those who are accused of and clergymen to pull down the church holding several pieces of what is called by attempting to prop up slavery, than to “preferment,” do not clear as much as support slavery by the strength of the many a confidential clerk or second-class church. We solemnly consider the sin tradesman. The evil is in the adjust- of too many of our clergy and bishops in ment; and a due system of augmentation this matter to have been great in the sight and consolidation, so as to enable each of God, and it would be hypocrisy in us clergyman to live comfortably on one to deny it. Our hope is, that they will benefice, will never be adopted, till plu- repent, and forsake, and find mercy; and ralities are forbidden. The present sys- we think we see symptoms which lead us tem is cruel to the clergy generally; and to expect what we hope. But be this as not least to many pluralists, who work far it may, if justice and humanity, if the harder, and have less emolument, than if British constitution, and above all the they held a fair country living.
Gospel of Christ, be not a mockery, the There is another subject, which, in this nefarious system of Negro slavery must our last remaining paragraph, we have not soon totter to its downfall.
O Lord, room for without injury to its importance; how long !” and which, therefore, we must reluctantly
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. J. W.; M. G. H. ; H. B.; S. E. A.; D. M. F.; A TRACT DISTRIBUTOR; and
R. P. B. ; are under consideration.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. We have more than once alluded with much interest to the Bible Society's offer of lending Testaments and Psalters to any families which might require them, with particular reference to the visitation of the grievous disease that continues to afflict our land. The demand, and consequent drain upon the society's funds, have been very large ; but let any Christian, after perusing the first paper of this month's Extracts, say whether he thinks the cost ill bestowed. Some special donations were made by a few individuals, towards meeting this extra disbursement without entrenching upon funds intended for the service of the whole world; but the sums thus contributed are far from equal to the exigency, and we trust that they will be greatly increased, and that it will please God in his mercy to dispose the hearts of his servants to cast their mite into the Society's treasury for this purpose.
PRAYER-BOOK AND HOMILY SOCIETY. We can add nothing to what we have so often said in favour of this institution, except our inc sing conviction of its importance in proportion as Bible Societies and Missionary Societies open a way for its exertions, and our renewed attachment to it in these days of wide-spread hostility against that pure and Apostolical Church whose invaluable formularies it circulates. The pressure against the Church Establishment, in regard to its external arrangements, is becoming so strong, that nothing can resist it but that intelligent and Christian regard for the Anglican Church which is grafted upon a knowledge of its doctrines, and a belief of its spiritual utility. We heartily recommend the Prayer-Book and Homily Speeches to the perusal of our readers.
THE TEARS OF PARENTS—(continued from p. 588.)
For the Christian Observer.
MY Y dear Friend, -My last lachrymatory contained the bitter tears of a
monarch, the sweet singer of Israel, the man after God's own heart, over a profligate son, cut off in the flower of his age and the bloom of his unhappy attractions, in an act of rebellion against God and his venerable parent, and, so far as mortal eye can discern, without a ray of hope in his death. This is one of those cases in which " ignorance is bliss ; " though I cannot add that “ it is folly to be wise ;" for though David's pain must have been inexpressibly enhanced by his religious feelings and his awful terrors in regard to the soul of his impenitent child, yet it were infinitely better to know a danger, in order to try to shun it, than to run into it without consciousness. Had David been an gnorant heathen, his tears had lost the direst portion of their poignancy; but a Christian parent is not therefore to account it an unkind infliction that his knowledge sometimes leads to pain, since the merciful intention of that pain may be to conduce to happiness. In the writhings of mental agony over the bier of an irreligious child, the parent may wish that he could banish from his mind all thoughts of judgment, futurity, and the bitter pains of eternal death; but would it really be well that he could do so? May not these severest pangs be the means of stimulating him to work out more diligently his own salvation, and thus prevent himself coming short of the grace of God? May they not also lead to a more anxious care for the salvation of his surviving children, and thus perpetuate spiritual blessings in his family? And may not other parents, without perhaps uttering what passes in their own minds, be stirred up to increased vigilance for the souls of their offspring, kest they also should be visited with the same calamity? If the absence of all apprehension on the part of the parent would alter the condition of his departed child, who he fears has died in an unsafe state, then, indeed, there would be infinite reason for his being spared that sorrow: but as his apprehensions can in no manner affect the state of the departed; as they may be either well or ill-founded, but in neither case can disturb the decision of Him who judges in righteousness; the only question is, whether it is more desirable that he should suffer those apprehensions, or that it should be so ordered that he should be spared them-either that no thought should cross his mind of a distressing kind relative to the condition of the departed, or that he should be placed in the condition of the glorified spirits in heaven, who-in some manner we cannot explain-are not permitted to feel sorrow, though some whom they loved upon earth may not be inheritors Christ. OBSERV. No. 370.
with them of the joys of heaven. Now, if the spiritual benefits of the apprehension, to the individual himself and to others, are unspeakably great, as they often are, it seems to me that it would not be really merciful that he should be spared them. If David's anxiety for the soul of Absalom led him to think more earnestly of his own, of those of his surviving children, and of the value of the soul generally, so as to cause him to awaken to increased diligence in promoting in every way in his power the great object of human salvation; and if others—you, for instance, my dear friend, and myself—seeing his agonizing apprehensions, are warned to renewed care to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; the sorrow was not unavailing: and we cannot say that it was unjustly inflicted, if we view it only as a fatherly chastisement, to make the parent feel his own sin and folly, and to see how fearful a thing it is to offend a righteous God, by neglecting the solemn duties of the paternal office.
Or put the matter thus : If a religious parent were never suffered to have his mind afflicted at the idea of his child being a cast-away, is there not in our fallen nature that innate propensity to indolence and self-indulgence, to taking things easily, to impatience of painful or serious thought, that we should perhaps be led to neglect the souls of our children; to put off till to-morrow what we might have performed to-day; and to trust matters to the providence of God, without adequately using the means of grace? But the thought that their souls will be required of us, though painful, is salutary: nor is it otherwise than salutary, that, if one perishes, or appears to us to have perished, we should be permitted to feel serious alarms, both, as before said, for that fatherly correction which we needed for our former misconduct, and for our future warning and incitement. To all which I may add, that though I have spoken of these distressing apprehensions as often constituting the bitterest part of the cup of bereavement, yet—as human nature can bear but a certain portion of sorrow; and even heathens, without any such feelings of apprehension, and Christians, where from the character of the departed there was no ground for them, have often been brought to the gates of death itself by the loss of a beloved child—it might be too much to say that the whole complex sorrow is sensibly heightened by any one ingredient. I cannot indeed, nor would I, divest myself of the belief that David's keenest pang was in regard to the soul of Absalom ; and yet thousands of histories are upon record, even in the case of heathens, in which parental agony was apparently quite as overwhelming as that of David, and which, being without the same religious supports, led to insanity, suicide, or a lingering life of pining under what is called a broken heart. I will not horrify you or myself with illustrations, but will lay down my pen for the present, and pass on to some other topic when I resume it.
* * * Taking up my letter, after an interval devoted to other pursuits, I could not, if I would, tie together the broken threads of thought, and I willingly let the skein lie unravelled. On looking back, however, at the last paragraph, I doubt whether I may not have seemed to make a concession as if spiritual sorrow over a departed child were not far greater than merely natural sorrow. Let us try the matter by an example. I have promised you not to select any of the terrific stories of heathen sorrow over the filial bier, but I will take as an illustration only one of those tender and affecting scenes with which your classical readings will readily furnish you ; that of Quintillian. You well know how often authors have interwoven in their writings some sad tale of domestic grief; but I scarcely recollect any thing more affecting in the annals of literature, than the proëmium to the sixth book of Quintillian's Institutes of Oratory. After perusing some hundred