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spirit of division continues, and the bonds of union in most instances, are dereliction of principle and disregard to the truth. Notwithstanding all that we read and hear of the wonderful things wrought in Zion, who does not see that the cause of truth and vital piety is rapidly declining, that error abounds with all its bitter fruits? Arians, Arminians, Hopkinsians, Universalists, and other sects, maintaining destructive heresies, are every where increasing. Churches, once noted for their purity, are visibly declining, and those who still manifest a disposition to witness faithfully for Christ, have imbibed something of this spirit of defection. Such, scarcely maintain their ground, while the enemy is coming in as a flood. Where, we may ask, in these days so much extolled, are the churches advancing in reformation? where is error laid aside? where are testimonies for Christ becoming more pure, or full, or explicit? Where are the men who are very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, who are not ashamed nor afraid to appear on the side of Christ and his words, who love not friends, nor reputation, nor property, nor life, for his sake; who sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the land, and who will give the Lord no rest until he establish his Zion and make Jerusalem a praise throughout all the earth ?-Where, amidst all the revivals of which we hear, are the duties of family and secret devotion revived? Have we not reason to fear, that the Lord is about to depart in his anger, or arise to judgement in the fierceness of his wrath?
In particular we are called to lament the disposition so generally mani, fested to set aside the principle and the practice of solemn and public corenanting ; a duty by which our fathers stirred up one another in the work of reformation. To this duty there is, at present à peculiar call ; when the enemy is taking measures so artful and successful in opposing the cause of truth. The most bitter and dangerous enemies of the church, are found in her bosom; the most deadly wounds are given to religion in the house of its friends. False professors are more to be feared than open infidels ; and Satan is more to be dreaded as an angel of light, than as a roaring lion seeking to destroy. In the present day it is common to profess and support religion, it is common encourage hasty and unscriptural admissions to church fellowship. The consequences are, hypocrisy, division, strise, and every evil work. The tares grow with the wheat in such abundance and luxuriance, that though the waste be less violent and visible, it is not less than when the boar from the forest devours it. Under such circumstances there is a loud call to bind ourselves, to stir up and encourage each other in the Lord's cause by publicly avouching him to be our God. Yet this practice is falling into general disuse. Men do not generally come forward to say that it is no ordinance of God, that it is an invention of man, a snare of the devil, a sin of our fathers. But with a coldness more dishonouring to Christ and more to be deplored than open opposition, they treat it as a matter of indifference or doubtful disputation. It is pleasing to find that a few in this land and in the land of our fathers still show themselves ready to express in this way their attachment to a covenanted reformation, but painful to find so many who coldly decline or openly oppose the duty, and so many unstedfast and perfidious in covenant.
In our own land iniquity continues to abound, many immoralities dangerous to the souls of men and the interests of civil society not only prevail, but are tolerated and sanctioned, or only restrained by laws so ambiguous and feeble in their character, that their only use is to afford a triumph to vice. The penalties of the law are in many instances too lenient. And in some cases, as in the crime of murder, mercy is extended where the word of God forbids it. Those vices which seem more peculiar to our country and to threaten the most alarming consequences are avarice, gambling, drunkenness, profanity, and Sabbath-breaking. Multitudes in our land run unsent to preach Christ; unlearned themselves, they assume the office of teachers, and if the land hath reason to mourn when a child is their king, has not the church, when children in knowledge are their pastors.-By this means the seal is put upon the ignorance and delusions of men, many who were seeking and might, under proper direction, have entered the kingdom, are turned aside after vanities and lies, to the disgrace of religion and the ruin of their souls. For these crimes, and for our abuse of many unmerited favours, the Lord has in some instances, been pleading a controversy with us, threatening with sickness and famine. And have we not reason to fear that unless we repent, he will be more thoroughly avenged of such a nation as this.
Respecting that body of witnesses to which we belong, we have nothing to boast. Through the Lord's unmerited goodness, we have in general proceeded in our work with one heart and one mind. Yet have we much reason to be humbled on account of our indifference and unfaithfulness.We have reason to fear that we have not wholly escaped that spirit of defection which has desolated some of the fairest portions of God's heritage. And lest for our want of love to the truth, corrupt men may arise, among us, and ourselves be left to strong delusions. Many show much indifference in searching for the truth, and many are careless in maintaining it.Many embrace their profession without due examination, and are ready at any time to lay it down as they took it up, without conviction. Change of abode, connexions, convenience, the preference of a minister, slight grounds of displeasure and many things of this nature, are often judged sufficient reasons for dispensing with the most solemn vows. The duties of the family and.closet are in many families either neglected, or carelessly observed. Before the world we are not sufficiently careful to commend our principles by our practice, and to give neither cause nor occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. God has been visiting us with judgments, in calling away some of our teachers, and one of them who filled a most important station in the church. In two of our presbyteries all the congregations of which were settled, in a little more than the space of two years eight have been by various means deprived of their teachers, and are now as sheep having no shepherd. These our sins, and these testimonies of God's displeasure call us to humble ourselves before the Lord, and turn unto him with fasting, and mourning, and prayer; for it may be that he will return and have mercy upon us and make us glad according to the years in which we have seen evil.
Let us beseech him then, to return to his heritage, to revive his work, and make bare his arm as in the days of old. Let us pray for his blessing on a testimony for truth, that he would put a stop to the spirit of defection so prevalent, and heal the backslidings of his people ; that he would bless the Associate Synod in this land; those who are united in the same cause in the land of our fathers, and all who love our Lord Jesus in truth and sincerity: that he would visit the heathen with the light of the gospel, and accompany all scriptural means for the advancement of his kingdom, with the blessing of his Spirit; that he would return in mercy to his ancient Israel, and give to his Son the fulness of the Gentiles : that he would fill the earth with the knowledge of his truth and the fear of his terrible name. Arise O Lord, and plead thy cause, rebuke thine enemies and save thy heritage.
The Synod appoint the 2nd Thursday of November next, to be observed as a day of fasting and humiliation.
Address of certain Roman Catholics of Kerry to their Bishop, in favour of
Scripture Schools. "To the Right Rev. Cornelius Egan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Ker
ry, &c. &c.
May it please your Reverence-We, the undersigned, being Members of the Roman Catholic Church in your Bishopric, beg leave to approach you with all the respect and deference due to our spiritual father, and to implore your pastoral indulgence on a subject of much anxiety to us, and of great importance to the bodies and souls of our dear children.
In almost every parish of this county free schools have been established by our charitabie gentry, with the assistance of the generous English, in which all who choose to attend are taught how to earn their own bread with honesty, and to live in quietness and kindness with their neighbours; and every sort of books necessary for this purpose are supplied without the least cost. As many of our clergy for a long time supported and recommended these schools, as we know the masters are good scholars, and men who have obtained certificates of character from priests and as we see that the pupils of these schools get op rapidly in knowledge and good behaviour, we are desirous that our beloved children should have the benefits which are enjoyed by our neigh bours.
For some time past, however, the clergy have required us to take our little ones away from these schools, telling us that there is danger of losing our religion by sending them, or that though they can see no harm whatever in our doing so, yet they must obey the orders of their Bishop in forbidding us. Some of us, being unwilling to deprive our children of such great blessings, have been denied the rites of that holy church in which it is our wish to live and die; some have had their names called Sabbath after Sabbath from the sacred altar, and thus been exposed to the scorn and persecution of our neighbours; whilst our little ones have often been the objects of insult and abuse.
Most Reverend Sir~We do not presume to dictate to our Clergy, but we think it very strange that they should now call that bad which they once called good; we do not know how the sending our children to those schools, in which God's word is taught, can injure their religion, if our church is built upon that rock against which “ the gates of hell shall not prevail ;" especially whilst they have the use of the Roman Catholic version of Scripture, and their masters are willing to instruct them in the catechism when the school has closed. Nay, many of our children who attend the Scripture Schools. are most perfect in the catechism of our Holy Church.
We approach your paternal feet, Holy Father, humbly imploring that you will instruct the clergy to relax that hostility which many of them direct against the Scripture Schools, and to suspend those denunciations and penale ties which are dealt out to us.
Do not suffer us to be branded as heretics, or rotten Catholics, and to have our hearts wounded, and our livelihoods taken away, without deserving it.
Holy Father, and Most Rev. Sir, we beg you to forgive our presumption. and to grant us, in a general order to the clergy, the reasonable indulgence we thus seek, that we may remember you in our prayers and thanksgivings to Al. mighty God; and that the blessings of them that are ready to perish may come upon you.
We are, Most Rev. Father, though poor and ignorant, your faithful children.”
(Here follow Four HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT Signatures.)
Resolutions of the Catholic Irish Teachers, &c. in favour of reading the
Scriptures. WE, Roman Catholic Masters and Scholars under the Irish Society, whose names, with our respective Residences, Parishes, and Post Towns, are hereunto annexed, desire, by the following Resolutions, to express, on behalf of ourselves and upwards of 5000 of our adult fellow-brethren, who in this district alone are in connexion with the Irish Society, our humble but conscientious and heartfelt sentiments with respect to this invaluable Institution, and to our reading of the Scriptures in our venerable beloved tongue:
1. Resolved, That, believing the Sacred Scriptures to be the source of all spiritual knowledge, and the proper basis of all moral instruction, we conside:
that tire want of them in our Native Language has been to us, and to our forefathers for a long period, the greatest evil; and that the Irish Society, by their Schools, and providing for us the Scriptures in the language we best understand, have given to us an inestimable gift, and to Ireland the noblest boon she ever before received.
2. Resolved, That it is not true that the native Irish are careless and indifferent towards Education ; on the contrary, they are most anxious and solicitous for both moral and religious instruction ; and in every neighbourhood, where obstacles are not opposed, most gladly embrace it for themselves and families; that for a considerable time past we have cbserved the good effects of Irish schools in removing prejudices, banishing vicious, and increasing virtuous habits; that in many places we have seen those who formerly spent part of the Lord's Day at foot-ball, dances, card-playing and whisky-houses, now resorting to the Irish Teacher's house, to learn lessons of wisdoin from the Book of God.
3. Resolved, That objections having been made to our reading the Irish Testament, from its not being a proper translation, we have individually and collectively, in a very minute and accurate manner, with our Irish Dictionaries in our hands, compared it with both the Protestant and Rheims translations, and find it throughout most agreeing with our own Rhemish version, and to be an accurate Irish translation, with the exception of a few orthographical or typical errors; however, if those condemning it convince us of its errors, and supply us with a better Irish translation, we (as is our duty) will thankfully receive the better one ; but, until this better one be provided for us, we cannot give up that which the Irish Society have been graciously pleased to provide us, especially as we are convinced of its being free from radical errors.
4. Resolved, That with respect to the objection of our Irish Version not having Notes or Comments, we are humbly of opinion that Notes or Comments are not essentially necessary for understanding the morality and plain truths of the Gospel; and that Scripture, without Note or Comment, is handed down by the inspiration of God, and handed down to us by the Apostles, and is sufficient and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. In these our humble sentiments, we are fully convinced, since we read the testimony of the Right Rev. Dr Doyle, before the House of Lords, on the 21st of March last, wherein he states that Notes and comments are often objectionable, and carry no weight, as the writers of them are frequently unknown. We conceive, that if we were to meet with such Notes as the Rev. Doctor alludes to, that they would tend to lead us into dangerous errors, and that the Irish Testament, presented to us without Note or Comment of any kind, is in the least objectionable form, and evidences that the Society which supplies it have no other object in view but to make us acquainted with the Divine word.
5. Resolved, That as, by our opponents, we are charged with insincerity and hypocrisy, in receiving the Irish Scriptures, and to be actuated solely by selfish motives; that even should the Society voluntarily, or by necessity, withdraw from us the salaries which we receive, but supply us with Scriptural and Elementary books, that we will read and teach the oracles of divine truth in the language of our country and our ancestors, to our numerous fellowcreatures, who are thirsting after such knowledge ; that in doing so, we consider ourselves engaged in a work useful to man and acceptable to God; that tile Roman Catholic church, of which we are members, hath never by her Coungence to such as hear and listen to the word of God, with an inwari attention of heart; to such as do recite the Gospel of St. John is granted by Pope Clement 5th, one year's indulgence; and by Pope John 22d, forty days, which make in all, one year and forty days Indulgence for each time; that when such practices were so highly recommended and rewarded at that period by the Spiritual Heads of the church, as acceptable to our Creator, they cannot now be displeasing to him; finally, that we consider the reading of the Holy Scriptures is our right as men, our duty as Christians, and our privilege as Roman Catholics. The above Resolutions were signed by upwards of 490 persons, and a copy sent to the Most Rev Dr. Curtis, Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland.
Summary of Religious Intelligence.
EUROPE. BRITAIN.--The English papers for June, are filled with the proceedings of the numerous benevolent institutions whose anniversaries have been held the preceding month. In the several speeches which were delivered, many interesting facts were brought forth, and the usual interest in the advancement of the objects of these associations, was maintained. We give from the Religious Intelligencer a summary of the expenditures for the year, collected from their reports.
£544 7 I Merchant Seaman's Bible Society,
547 1 Language Institution,
586 5 Wesleyan Missionary Society,
1,000 0 British and Foreign Seamen's Friend Society, (1st Anniv.)
70 0 Church Missionary Society,
46,425 8 British and Foreign Bible Society,
82,768 2 9 Prayer Book and Homily Society,
2,251 15 London Association, (Moravian)
3,902 12 8 Jew's Society,
12,418 19 10 Hibernian Society,
6,728 19 Port of London Seamen's Society,
4,551 19 10 Sabbath School Union,
4,686 19 0 Naval and Military Bible Society,
4,863 8 4 London Missionary Society,
37,164 1 1 Religious Tract Society,
12,637 15 0 British and Foreign School Society,
1,481 7 10 Newfonndland School Society,
1,672 7 1 Continental Society,
2,688 17 7 African Institution,
553 5 0 Gospel Propagation Society, (4 months receipts,)
2,239 00 Slave Conversion Society,
3,067 08 Spanish Translation Society,
865 14 8