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The author goes on, in the conclusion of the chapter, to apply the above remarks to the subject of confession of sin before God; but with this great distinction, that in this case we have no reparation to make, and no penalty to suffer. We have a Saviour to whom we flee for refuge; he is our surety; he has suffered on our behalf; and we must come to God, trusting altogether to the infinite merit of his sacrifice.
It would not interest our readers to add merely a table of contents of the remainder of the work; many parts of which are even more interesting than the opening chapter. Nor is it worth while criticising the readings of the two editions: nor have we been at the trouble to collate them; but if we take the first few as an example, we prefer the Tract Society's readings. A winter's "afternoon" was a more likely time to go out skating than a winter's "evening;" the story relates rather to "youths" than "boys; " a" wearisome burden" is better sense than a weary burden," the burden not being weary though the bearer may be so ; "practising" in the next reading is better English, than "practising upon," the latter of which means imposing upon, though neither is quite correct; the boy was not forbidden to go upon the ice generally, but upon "that part of" it which was dangerous; "providence" is not "God" but his supervision; and it makes nonsense of the passage, for how can we say, speaking of providence," he has so formed us, &c." Our English "outward" is as good as Latin “external." But enough of these trifles. The whole work, in either edition as may best suit the taste and the purse of the purchaser, is well worth possessing.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE first parliament under the Reform Acts has met. The King's Speech did not enter deeply into specific details. It lamented the war in Portugal, and the non-arrangement of the affairs of Holland and Belgium; it called the attention of parliament to the Bank and East-India Company's Charters; and to the state of the Church, on which it is remarked: "Your attention will also be directed to the state of the Church, more particularly as regards its temporalities and the maintenance of the clergy. The complaints which have arisen from the collection of tithes appear to require a change of system, which, without diminishing the means of maintaining the Established Clergy in respectability and usefulness, may prevent the collision of interests, and the consequent disagreement and dissatisfaction which have too frequently prevailed between the ministers of the Church and their parishioners. It may also be necessary for you to consider what remedies may be applied for the correction of acknowledged abuses, and whether the revenues of the Church may not admit of a more equitable and judicious distribution. In your deliberations on these important subjects, it cannot be necessary for me to impress upon you the duty of carefully attending to the security of the Church established by law in these realms, and to the true interests of religion."
The Speech then refers to Ireland, and urges in regard to the Established Church, a commutation of tithes, and "further reforms" not specified, but which are ominously stated to be connected with the peculiar circumstances of the country, so as to require a "separate consideration" from the case of the Church of England. Other measures are also recommended for Ireland; but particularly the passing of some strong coercive law for putting down the present alarming outrages, and preserving the legislative union between the two countries.
The questions arising out of the state of Ireland have hitherto constituted the chief subjects of discussion in both houses of parliament. The repeal faction in the House of Commons tried its strength in a protracted debate of four nights upon that part of the speech which relates to the proposed restrictions for Ireland; but was able, upon the division, to muster only forty names, all we believe Irish, except Mr. Cobbett and his colleague Mr. Fielden of Oldham; Mr. Faithful, and Mr. Kinloch of Dundee; with Mr. Hume and Mr. Attwood, the political unionists of Middlesex and Birmingham. A minority so small, and of such a character, chiefly Roman Catholics, and not including one third even of the Irish members, we would hope would prevent any further agitation of the question of the repeal of the Union; but unhappily other matters are
pending, which threaten serious disturbance, and we fear that the legislature will find it no easy matter to tranquillize the affairs of that long-agitated country.
Among the measures proposed by his Majesty's Ministers for the internal regulation of Ireland, there are two alluded to in the King's Speech, and which have been already brought before parliament; the first, a scheme of Church Reform; the second, the enactment of Special Temporary Laws for controlling and punishing the disturbers of the public peace.
With regard to the second of these measures, we can only repeat what we said in our last Number, that even martial law is better than illegal outrage; and the extremity of the case amply justifies the necessarily harsh measures which his Majesty's Ministers have proposed, for putting down the system of violence and bloodshed which prevails so extensively in that country. The bills for that purpose, have proceeded with scarcely a shadow of opposition through the House of Lords, and will probably pass the House of Commons by a large majority; though the repeal faction of Ireland, and part of the radical faction of England, are preparing for a vigorous opposition to them and we lament to say, that some zealous ultra-conservatives of Dublin have most unaccountably joined their ranks, under an alarm that the restrictions are intended to bridle the Protestant and Conservative interest, with a view to prevent its opposing the measures of government. It is, however, the feeling of all men who wish for the public tranquillity, that strong coercion is necessary in the present disordered state of Ireland. Without it, neither property nor life is safe; and with regard to the church in particular, no measure for the commutation of tithes, or any thing short of the abolition of Protestantism, can be carried into effect. The intended restrictions have reference solely to illegal outrages which are too strong for the existing laws; and it would be a libel upon Protestantism and Conservative principles to suppose, that however obnoxious some of the plans of his Majesty's Ministers may be to any of the clergy and members of the Established Church of Ireland, they would, or could, be met by that species of opposition to which alone the intended penal laws are calculated to apply. But it is enough to say in regard to this absurd objection, that by no members of the legislature were the intended measures more warmly hailed, than by the Duke of Wellington and Lord Roden in the House of Lords, and by both the members for the University of Dublin, Dr. Lefroy and Mr. Shaw, in the House of Commons.
The plans proposed by Government, in regard to the Established Church of Ireland, have not been so fortunate. Lord Althorp has given an outline of a portion
of them; but as frequent occasions will arise of discussing them with a more correct knowledge of their bearings when the whole of the series of measures is announced, we shall say little of them at present. His lordship calculates the net revenue of the bishops at 130,000l.; of deans and chapters at 2,2004., and of the other benefices at 600,000.; the whole not amounting to 800,000l. instead of the many millions at which popular exaggeration had estimated it. He proposes abolishing the payment of first fruits, and, instead of them, taxing benefices with a graduated duty, varying from five per cent. to fifteen; livings under 2001. per annum being wholly exempted. This plan of taxing the richer livings, to improve the poorer, has been urged by almost every Church Reformer, from Lord Henley to Dr. Burton; but we have always felt some scruples, as to its justice; but whether just or not in the abstract, it certainly is not just where parties are already in possession, and have actually paid their first fruits, for which it is proposed as a subsitute. The bishoprics are to be taxed in the same proportion, of five to fifteen per cent. ; against which, if proposed only prospectively, there can be no argument of injustice; the same principles not applying to a bishopric as to a benefice, where the tithes are locally raised, and the people expect them to be locally spent; but there is the same injustice in imposing the tax on bishops already in possession. The next proposition is, to abolish Church Rates (cess) which amount at present to 70,000l. per annum. These payments are very obnoxious to the Roman-Catholic population, more especially as, though they contribute to them, they have no control over them, and derive no benefit from them; and we certainly see much religious advantage likely to arise, at least for a time, from doing away with this unpopular tax; but looking at a natioual church on a large scale, we see not how it can be kept up without parochial assessments in one form or another; and we fear that the abolition of church rates, thus virtually making churches proprietory chapels, as some persons are proposing for England as well as Ireland, would in the end starve a church to death, or at all events prevent its expanding with the increasing wants of the people. As regards Ireland, Government makes no provision for the extension of Protestantism. The calculated 69,000l. arising from the tax upon benefices, is to pay all church expenses, even should a thousand new churches be wanted and require to be kept up. This is virtually setting aside the very notion of a church establishment.
It is proposed either to abolish those deans and chapters which have no duties to perform, or to attach cure of souls to them. We think this a very desirable and valuable
measure-existing rights being respected; but we should be glad to save something from the overthrow, as we have often urged, towards founding schools of theological and religious education for the clergy; without which all other reforms will be inefficient. Next, Lord Althorp proposes diminishing the number of bishops from twenty-two to twelve; which in the present state of Protestantism, may, we presume, be a sufficient number for the discharge of the duties of the office; there being only about 1,400 benefices in Ireland, and many of them containing few Protestants; but we lament to see that our public men, of all parties, seem to proceed upon the principle that Ireland is to be consigned to Popery, instead of recovered from it. The estimated 60,000l. per annum saved by the reduction of sees is to be placed at the disposal of parliament. Its projected appropriation is not stated. Lord Althorp proposes, lastly, to clear nearly three millions of money by allowing tenants of episcopal lands to demand a lease in perpetuity at a fixed corn-rent, calculating upon the difference between the real worth of the land, and what the bishops usually
let it for, including fines. This large sum his lordship claims for the state to dispose of it as it pleases; and a rumour is afloat that it will be applied to paying the Roman-Catholic bishops and priests. To seize it at all is direct spoliation; for it belongs as much to the church as the tithes or episcopal rents; but to expend it in supporting the corrupt church of Rome, would be an offence against God which may justly draw down upon us his severest national judgments. But we must restrain our pen till the proposed measures are more fully before the public. At present, we can only say, that while we cheerfully acknowledge that the government plan contains the seeds of many important reforms, it is identified with much that appears to us unjust and fraught with alarming evils. We, however, await its further development, and also those extensive modifications which it will doubtless receive in its passage through parliament.
We are obliged to postpone our notices of other matters, though some of them are of great and pressing importance.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A CURATE; C. D.; SEXAGENARIUS; T. M; J. P.; ZENAS; T. S.; E. M. B.; are under consideration.
We are much obliged to the Rev. Andrew Reed for his candid and Christian letter, in which he disclaims the exclusionism attributed to the expression, "the church at Hounslow," instead of "the Independent church at Hounslow," or "the church assembling at such a place in Hounslow." We gladly bear our testimony to Mr. Reed's catholic spirit;-his contribution of 50l. to the Irish Clergy fund is a specimen of it; and we could not speak more strongly than we did of the excellence of the sermon alluded to: and we now cordially recommend another recent discourse from the same pen, on the Connexion of Eminent Piety with Ministerial Usefulness but though Mr. Reed meant nothing invidious, still the expression was invidious, and ought to be avoided. If there had been another "church and congregation" of the same denomination at Hounslow, would the phrase have been used then? Would not "the church assembling" in one place have been distinguished from that in another; and why may not the Episcopal church be entitled to the same measure of distinction? We are, however, satisfied that Mr. Reed meant nothing uncourteous.
We recollect nothing of the communication alluded to by THERESA. Papers, when done with, are destroyed.
The statement to which B. alludes from the Record newspaper, respecting the BibleLesson Book published by the Literary Committee connected with the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, is grossly exaggerated and calumnious: and it is not the least evil of such statements, that they prevent the correction of what is really amiss in any institution against which they are levelled.
Our readers will rejoice to see, by a paper stitched up with our present Number, that the Irish Clergy Relief Subscription proceeds favourably. We need not add a word to recommend this work of Christian respect and affection towards our persecuted brethren in Ireland.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
THE Society's Extracts record the lamented death of Professor Kieffer, whom, this very month last year, we were defending against the calumnies of Mr. Haldane, and others, who, to ruin the Bible Society, did not spare the most disgraceful attacks upon private character. We thank God that the attempt did not succeed, either to the injury of the individual or the Society. More of Professor Kieffer in another Number.
MEMOIRS OF AMERICAN DIVINES: REV. DR. E. PAYSON.
For the Christian Observer.
N resuming our occasional notices of American Divines we hesitated as to including the name of the late Dr. Payson, on account of his Memoirs having been republished and widely circulated in this country; our object in these memorials being chiefly to introduce to our readers names little known in England, and chiefly, where suitable materials exist, from the records of the Episcopal Church. But upon reconsidering that the life of Dr. Payson is peculiarly instructive and interesting, and that no notice of it has happened to occur in the Review department of our work, we think we should not be justified in withholding from our readers so valuable an accession to the stores of American religious biography.
Dr. Edward Payson was born at Rindge, New Hampshire, July 25, 1783. He was the eldest son of the Rev. Seth Payson, D.D., pastor of the church in Rindge, who is spoken of in the highest terms as a Christian and a minister. To the instructions, example, and prayers of his parents-especially those of his mother, who was peculiarly assiduous, affectionate, and judicious in her maternal care-Dr. E. Payson attributed, under God, his religious hopes, as well as his usefulness through life. From the first development of his mental powers his mind was more or less affected by his condition as a sinner before God; and he was often known to weep under the preaching of the Gospel when only three years old. About this period, too, he would frequently call his mother to his bed-side, to converse on religion, and to answer numerous questions respecting his relations to God and the future world. But notwithstanding these hopeful early impressions, the evidences of his piety, as he grew up, were not regarded by himself as conclusive; neither were they so regarded by his father, who on this account hesitated to send him to college for months, if not years, after his academical preparation was completed.
His parents having died before him, and their surviving children being all younger than himself, no companion of his childhood still lives to recal the incidents of this period of his history. A few recollections are however extant, such as-that when he was about six years of age he rode one horse and led another for a distance of twenty miles; no trifling adventure for a child, and no doubtful indication that his well-known energy and perseverance had already dawned;-that he was a minute observer of nature, and delighted during a tempest to climb some eminence, to watch the lightning and listen to the thunder ;-that he manifested an early predilection for arithmetic;-that he could read well at the age of four years ;that he early perused all the books in his father's collection, and in the CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 376.
"parish library," which were of a character suited to his age and attainments; and that he had surprising tenacity of memory, in retaining whatever he read, so as ever after to be able to avail himself of his stores for illustrating truth or enlivening discourse.
His early years were divided between labour and study; for his father, like most ministers of country parishes in the United States, derived the means of supporting his family, in part, from a farm, which his sons assisted in cultivating. But, though young Payson appears to have engaged in this employment with cheerfulness, his thirst for knowledge was insatiable; but his mind, though strung to the highest pitch of exertion while at study, suffered no injury, as it was soon diverted by a call to the field; and every repetition of the process extended its capability and power. His filial affection, as well as his conduct to his brothers and sisters, was most exemplary; his moral character was without a blemish; and he soon gained the reputation of a magnanimous, honourable, and generous youth. We would trust, also, that he began to give more decided indications of settled piety, as his father, after a period of probation, allowed him to enter Harvard College in the year 1800; about which time he completed his seventeenth year. His first appearance was not at that time very striking; but during the latter part of his collegiate course, as he became more known, he rose rapidly in the estimation both of the governors and his classmates, as a young man of correct morals, amiable disposition, and respectable talents; and he manifested an energy and perseverance of character which were sure indications of success, into whatever course he might eventually direct his professional pursuits. He was so great a reader that his frequent resort to the college library was a theme of raillery with his fellow-students, who represented him as having a machine to turn over the leaves. The ridicule was, however, misapplied; for every thing he read he made his own.
Mr. Payson graduated in 1803. Soon after leaving college he took charge of an academy recently established in Portland. It is stated, that during the early part of his residence in Portland he indulged in such amusements as were fashionable, or were considered reputable; but his taste for such pursuits did not long continue; and eventually, when his seriousness of mind became habitual, he was averse to going into company, even, it is said, to a fault. He dreaded an invitation to a social party, though he had no reason to expect any thing directly offensive to his religious feelings; but with select literary friends he passed many pleasant and profitable hours, and cemented a friendship which continued till death.
But no distance, employment, or friendships could weaken his attachment to his paternal home; and his letters exhibit the son and the brother in the most amiable light. We shall quote a few passages of his epistolary effusions at this period, as indicative of his state of mind and his habits. "October 29, 1805.
"I must, my dear mother, give you some account of my comforts. In the first place, I have a very handsome chamber, which commands a delightful view of the harbour and the town, with the adjacent country. This chamber is sacred; for even the master of the house does not enter it without express invitation. At sunrise a servant comes and lights a fire, which soon induces me to rise, and I have nothing to do but sit down to study. When I come from school at night, I find a fire laid, jack and slippers ready, a lamp as soon as it is dark, and fuel sufficient for the evening. An agreement with a neighbouring bookseller furnishes me with books in plenty and variety. The objection to our meals is, that they are too good, and consist of too great a variety. And what gives a zest to all, without which it would be insipid, is, that I can look round me, and view all these comforts as the effects of infinite, unmerited goodness; of goodness, the opera