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to the unrenewed heart; the wily arts of its upholders ; and the aid lent to it by secular statesmen, and political Protestant seceders, whether orthodox or heterodox. Evangelical Dissent, we are persuaded, is waning, both in its character and influence; its identification with worldly strifes having deteriorated its spiritual pretences, and “ brought leanness into the souls ” of many of its upholders; and the augmented piety, energy, and pastoral efficiency, of the Established Church having diminished its influence where they have been duly brought to bear upon a neglected population.
In our own communion hope prevails over sear; for though we have much cause for shame and confusion of face, we may yet ask, in no confidence of boasting, but with humble gratitude to God, When were there so many godly and faithful ministers ? so many devoted laymen? so many valuable religious institutions ? so much scriptural education ? so much conscientious attachment upon conviction to her doctrines and discipline ? so much of fervent prayer, as well as laborious exertion; and of actual success through the effused grace of the Holy Spirit? This is the sunny side ; and we think that it is truly enlightened and warmed by the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but there is a deeply-shaded side, which it is painful to look upon. Alas, how much of formalism ;-a name to live while dead ;-of gifts without graces; knowledge without love; sound doctrine without practice; machinery without vitality; how many wounds superficially healed, while proud-flesh is rankling beneath, and requiring the caustic that they may be healed effectually ? and not least, how much of strife among brethren, tearing into shreds the seamless robe of Him who wrought out “the common salvation.” This last is a peculiar feature of the times ;we say peculiar, not as meaning that there have not always been contentions the Christian ch'irch, and more especially, through Satan's artifice, in days of revival, as at the Reformation, and during the last century in our own land ; but this we think to be peculiar, that among really faithful brethren never were discrepancies of opinion more numerous or more hurtful in their operation. The differences among the reformers were not inconsiderable ; but they were fewer, and less disuniting in their effects, than our modern alienations. Again, if we look at that great revival which took place in the times of Whitfield, Wesley, Romaine, Venn, Walker, Fletcher, and so on, to the days of Wilberforce or Simeon, we shall find that the chief matter of discussion was the Calvinistic controversy. In our own earlier volumes numerous papers were written, to persuade pious men who differed in their views upon this question, that they might lawfully live as Christian brethren. In several of our Prefaces this particular assumes great prominence; whereas now the controversy is less pursued, being absorbed by others. At that period there was little discrepancy of sentiment among those who held the doctrines of grace, as usually defined, respecting religious and charitable institutions; or the sacraments; or the general aspect and prospects of the kingdom of Christ. To know that a man was srciptural upon the doctrines of original sin, justification by faith, the need of conversion, and of the influences of the Holy Spirit, was to ascertain, for the most part, where he would be found upon most other important questions, doctrinal and practical. There was closer union and concentration of purpose among godly men than we now enjoy; the land-marks between the world and the faithful in Christ Jesus was more clearly marked out; there was more of brotherly love among those who "hold the Head ;" and hence the evangelical Protestant Dissenters, while they mourned that the doctrines of the Church of England were not generally taught in her pulpits, zealously hailed the labours of those whom they accounted faithful men; whereas now, when our Church has largely enjoyed the manifest blessing of God; when numerous abuses have been corrected; when pious and laborious pastors are multiplied ; and her ministrations have become more efficient, penetrating, and scriptural, Evangelical Dissenters combine with Papists and Infidels to raze her to the ground. We believe that they are purifying and strengthening her by this conduct; but still these hostilities are injurious to the general progress of the Gospel of peace throughout the world.
From the Church we turn to the State; chiefly regarding it in its spiritual relations; though those of a secular kind are far from encouraging. With an organised scheme of insurrection ramified throughout the land, at one extremity of the social circle ; and the moral and political strength of the nobility, gentry, and dignified clergy alienated from the court, at the other; with discontented colonies, and convulsions breaking out in foreign nations, there is much to alarm every thoughtful and patriotic observer. But, blessed be God, the inspired declaration, “Woe to thee, Oland, when thy king is a child," is not absolute; as was proved in the case of Jewish Josiah, English Edward, and other princes of tender age ; and the dutiful, the ardent affection with which the accession of our gracious queen was hailed, evinced how skilfully, through the overruling mercy of the Great Disposer, the British constitution has provided against those convulsions which in many lands have shaken the diadem on youthful brows. But youth, even with the best dispositions, implies inexperience; and hence the danger of evil counsellors ; and would that we could say that our anointed queen has escaped this danger, or surmounted it. But we will not pursue this painful topic. Her Majesty is greatly to be commiserated in the trying and perilous situation, in which, by the behests of an all-wise Providence, she has been placed. May grace and wisdom be afforded from on high to direct her steps ; may she long enjoy the warm affection and well-earned esteem-we will not use so paltry a word as popularity-of her loyal subjects; and may her intended marriage be blessed to the happiness and welfare of herself and her dominions. But if things pursue their present course, the frivolities of her court may lose her the hearts of her people; whom we feel persuaded it is her anxious desire in her whole conduct to gratify and benefit, though surrounded by too many who have given a wrong direction to her endeavours.
But we were to refer to religious considerations ; and here very distressing is the aspect of national affairs. We complain not merely that the Anglican communion has not of late received that official continuance which was its due as the Established Church of the land ; but that the general policy of the Queen's government has very much tended to check the growth of religion ; that the theatre finds more favour than the church ; popery than protestantism ; and dissent than the national communion. When till now were the bishops, the clergy, and the most influential members of the laity of this Christian and Protestant nation, at issue with its rulers upon almost every question involving religious obligation, especially the great question of the godly training of the people? When did reformed England till now truckle to Romanism, establishing it by stipend in her colonies; and allowing an Italian pontiff to settle with his Irish vassal bishops, what form of education he will graciously permit the Queen's subjects to receive? When till now did we see our clergy constrained to reject aid tendered from the public purse for the promotion of education in their parishes, and to resign the national grant to Romanists and Protestant Dissenters, because coupled with conditions which they feel assured will prove ruinous in their effects upon the Established Church, and dangerous to Christianity under every aspect ? while Mr. Owen, the socialist, is intro. duced by the prime minister to her Majesty's presence, to lay before her an atheistical and demoralising scheme of education for England! These are new and perilous features in our civil and religious history.
But with much reason to be anxious, we see none to despair; on the contrary, in the hour of peril, the sound-hearted and religious portion of the community have risen to greatly enlarged views of their duty ; and when we think of what has been done, is doing, and is projected, for the religious education of the people ; for the building of churches, and the diffusion of the means of grace at home and abroad ; and especially when we observe the increased public attachment to our beloved church; her enlarged prayers and labours ; and the divine blessing which is poured out upon her, we do most heartily " thank God, and take courage.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
REL, AND M1s. Com.-Saol's Conversion
POETRY.-Wanderers of Israel..“ Spirit
of my Dream”..“ Moses wist not "
Pub. Apr.-Duelling.. Education
Rel. AND Mis. CON.-Joshua's Resolve
..Trinitarian Bible Society .. Will of
Judge Park.. Butler versus Brougham
Romans vii. 1-4.. Neglect of one of
the Prayers.. Prussia.. Prayer-Book and
Bible Renderings .. The Atonement ..
Death of Animals.. State of Turkey 511-518
Rev. oF-Life of Sir R. Hill, by Rev. E.
PUB. AFF-Parliament. The Chartists..
Penny l'ostage. . London Police Sunday
clause .. Railroad Sunday Travelling..
Church Extension.. Education Board..
Slave trade.. Indian Idolat ous rites..
Opium in China
.. Expelled Oxford Students. Treasures
upon Farth..Influence of Doctrines upon
Missions. .Opium Smugglers in China..
Love without Compromise.. Consolation
to Prisoners.. On I Peter iv. 0..Thady
Brady on Religious Instruction.. King's
College and the London University..
Festival Services; Michaelmas Day ..677–
Rev. op-Charge, by Bp. Daniel Wilson 617