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will destroy the independence of the Irish people;-the use of this word on the present occasion, appears like mockery, when applied to a people who are bound up to high and nominal rents, so as to make them the most abject dependents on their landlords.- I refer to Messrs. L. Foster's, Dickson's, and Strickland's evidence before the Emigration Committee, where they have distinctly stated, that the rent demanded in most districts can never be paid out of the land, but is generally paid in money made by migration to England. Then the people give their labour to the lords of the soil, for permission merely to "live, and breathe, and have their being." If this be Irish independence, then forsooth all the evils of feudalism exist here, without any one of its advantages. Here the manufactures have been ruined by the poor rates of England; here three successive confiscations have transferred the land from Irish to English proprietors, and the natives are left to starve; here the Union has legitimized absenteeism, "has plucked our mellow hangings, and left us bare to wither;" here we have the glorious independence of famine and fever, of gaols and hospitals, of police, soldiery and gibbets. Our people have had no other independent resources but plunder, insurrection, and clanship, which have "frighted the isle from its propriety." But the idea of a compulsory assessment shocks the delicate nerves of modern political economists, who have reduced a noble science to the state in which chemistry and natural philosophy existed previous to the time of Bacon, who, not content with confining themselves to observation and experience, have built up wild theories by generalizing particular facts, without reference to collateral circumstances. Is not the payment of assessments for constabulary, for soldiers, for the maintenance of the poor in hospitals and gaols, compulsory; then take your alternative, and rest assured that a preventive is better than a remedy, more especially in a case where the peace of society is involved. The poor of Ireland cost at present five millions annually, which will appear as follows:-1st, one ton of potatoes given to beggars from each farmhouse, at the low rate of 30s. would amount to £2,000,000; 2dly, £3,000,000, half in grand jury presentments, and half the government expenses, will make a total of five millions, to keep Ireland in its present miserable condition.
Now, let us see if laws providing for the poor are not justified from their adoption by the most civilized nations in all ages. The Jewish farmers (Lev. xix. 9, 10) left the angles of their farms unreaped, and also the gleanings of their land for the poor; and under that dispensation they had the benefit of the sabbatical year, and the spontaneous production of the third year was devoted to them; also a tithe (Deut. xiv. 28, 29.) The Ethiopians, according to Herodotus, (lib. iii.) had a public table, called the table of the sun, where the poor were fed. Aschines says, that at Athens there were sufficient funds to maintain the poor. The Hindoos, by an ordinance of - their religion, relieve even the lower animals. In the country of the Incas one-fourth of the property of the state was devoted to the poor-(Vide Sir W. Temple's Works, vol. i. p. 208.) In modern times, every civilized country, except Ireland, has a provision for the indigent, either springing from the nature of society, or from
its positive legal enactments. In Scotland, England, and Holland, three of the most industrious, commercial, and manufacturing countries in the world, work or maintenance is provided. In France, though an agrarian law was in operation, and the land gavelled, the octroi was devoted to the poor. In Switzerland there is a poor rate, though the agrarian law is in full force, and corn is purchased up by government to keep down the retail price. The same prevails in a great part of Germany; and in Hungary, though feudal slavery gives an interest to the lord of the soil in the life of the serf, yet the law insists upon the provision of food, raiment, and shelter.The same is the case in Russia and Poland. In other countries feudal dependence, or the revenues of the church, support the poor. In the State of New England there is a provision for the poor (Dr. Dwight's Travels, vol. iv. 326,)-also in Sweden and Dronthiem in Norway, (vide Clarke's Travels vol. x. 244, 488.)
One objection made to such a system of relief is, that it is not adapted to the Irish character. This appears rather like taking advantage of our wrong. The Irish are idle, say those who have two millions of acres of waste land; the reply is simple, they have nothing to do. All we want for the Irish people is employment.Never let a man have money or food until he earns it. We have a brave, hardy, and athletic population, who possess all the elements for productive industry, who migrate for labour from a country possessing amazing resources. Many insist upon education as a panacea for the disorders of Ireland. I deem it a dangerous experiment to leave the cure of its disorders to education alone; for, by so doing, you are only making the line of demarkation between the rich and the poor still broader, and rendering the latter still poorer. By adding the wants of education to those superinduced by poverty, you fling a deadly drug into the bitter cup of indigence; you give a sharpened weapon to the enemies of social order. The Irish peasant will then eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge; when he hears that by law the English peasant is supported in old age, and sickness, and when out of employment, he will compare these advantages with the want of them in Ireland; and he will rather be disposed to consider the latter as oppression, than the former as folly. He will read the speech of some eloquent senator, who will deplore the lot of the West Indian slave, for whom food, raiment, and shelter are provided, though a hurricane should not leave a tithe of the harvest. He will read of missions sent to the east and to the west to improve the condition of strangers, who have never tilled the soil or fought the battles of their benefactors. He will compare all this benevolence with his half-roofed cabin, his fireless hearth, his naked and starving children, his forgotten services and wretched pittance. And his discontent, lashed into bitterness by his knowledge, may rise into a fearful insurgency, which may not so easily be quelled, as it is the result of a new and unascertained power.
Anxious to open our pages to every article calculated to benefit the country, we have given the foregoing a prominent place, without pledging ourselves to every observation it may contain.-EDIT.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-It must be allowed, that notwithstanding the present extended inquiry after Divine truth, the sacred Scriptures are too little read; but even in many instances where they are read, we have to lament over very low and inadequate views of Divine truth—much apathy about their dissemination, and consequently about the salvation of immortal souls-and, too often, palpable inconsistency of conduct. It appears to me, that the cause of these evils is to be found in the neglect of prayer for the divine teaching and illumination. The holy men of God who wrote and spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, were all men of prayer. The Apostles gave themselves to prayer as well as to the ministry of the word. The Primitive Christians not only continued in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, but also in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts ii. 42.-The Reformers, whose praise is in the Churches, were men of prayer, and were taught by the Holy Spirit whose influence they implored, to look for success in their great work, to the sure promises of a faithful God. In all ages of the Church, whenever a rise of religion has appeared in any place, the Spirit poured down from on high, has caused supplication and prayer to ascend as holy incense to the throne of God; and if we desire that the good work of Reformation should proceed steadily and successfully in our land, prayer must be offered up with fervency, and faith, and constancy. "God is a God of order, not of confusion," and his instituted means must be resorted to, and employed, when the attainment of any object proposed in his holy word is anxiously desired. The mighty stream of Reformation, which it is hoped will yet flow over the whole length and breadth of Ireland must, if I might so say, be composed of the little rivulets that will issue forth from the hearts in which the Fountain of living waters abide. Precepts enjoining prayer, and encouragements for engaging in the delightful exercise, abound in the Scriptures, and need not here be particularized but there is one promise which I would leave upon the minds of your readers, "whatsoever ye shall ask believing, that shall ye receive." What a cheering sound do these words convey to the ear of him who has been taught to love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity? How calculated are they to urge on the mind in the pursuit of spiritual blessings-and in the prosecution of the work and labour of love? How suited to dispel darkness, and doubt, and fear, from the trembling believer—and to send him upon his way rejoicing? In fact, if the Scriptures are to be read with profit-if their great truths are to be embodied in the life and conversation-if designs for the setting forth of God's glory are to be planned and executed-if there is to be a growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ-if submission
to the Divine will, if victory over the world, if the consecration of all the powers of mind and body to the service of the great Jehovah, be the marks of a genuine Christian character-how can that character be attained but by prayer for the transforming influence of the Holy Spirit, by means of the written Word? In the hope of drawing the attention of your readers to this very important subject, as well as to supply a want under which many labour, I send you a prayer written by the late Rev. Mr. Romaine, who was eminently distinguished for his personal, experimental, and practical acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures.
"O thou Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, be with me whenever I read thy holy Word; testify to me, in it and by it, of CHRIST JESUS, who he is and what he is to me, and glorify the FATHER'S love in him. Open thou mine eyes to see the wondrous things revealed in it upon these subjects, that I may understand them in tby light, and that my judgment of them may be the same with thine; I beseech thee also to enable me to mix faith with what I do understand; and what through thy teaching I am enabled to believe aright, that help me to receive in the love of the truth. O God, fulfil thy promise--put thy blessed Word into my inward parts, write it upon my heart; and what I am taught to love, grant me power to practice, that thy new covenant promise may in me have its full effect, and I may be in beart and life cast into the mould and form of thy Word, thus becoming a real living edition of the Bible, Make it my daily study; render it my constant delight; let my meditation of it be always sweet. O thou holy and eternal Spirit, witness thus to thine own Record, and let me experience it to be the power of God, as well as the truth of God. In this dependence upon thee in the use of it, let me be daily growing, until, by the will of God, I shall have served mine own generation, and then let it be the last act of my life, to seal the truth of thy testimony concerning JESUS. Let me find thy witness true in the hour of death, and beyond death all the promises made good to me, through JESUS CHRIST, in life everlasting.Amen and Amen.”
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-ACTS xx. 15.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-To admit that our excellent English version of the Scriptures is not perfect, is only to acknowledge that it is the performance of uninspired men; and to this concession no one that I know of will object. That some passages are incorrectly rendered, and that others might be improved, no reasonable person, competent to form a judgment, will deny. It ought not, however, to be forgotten, when we presume to suggest alterations, what puny critics we are, compared to our translators.
"Verum opere in longo, fas est obrepere somaum."
I propose, if I may be allowed, now and then to occupy a place in your useful publication with some suggestions, having for their object such alterations, in the rendering of particular texts, as have curred to me in reading the Greek Testament; in doing which I
shall, without any reference to order, mention the cases, as they occur to my recollection.
In Acts xix. 15, the following words occur:-"Tov Inosv yıνωσκω, και τον Παυλον επισταμαι, which our translators have rendered "Jesus I know, and Paul I know." Now, the writer must have intended a distinction, (as appears from the use of different words,) between the two cases, and one not of an unimportant nature. This distinction will, I think, be marked by the following alterations, "Jesus I acknowledge, Paul I know," or "with Paul I am acquainted," or "I know who Paul is." That γινωσκω has this sense, as well as eriyivwokw, appears from the lexicons ; and perhaps there are other passages in which it might be so rendered with advantage. As in John i. 10, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him," " ‘καὶ ὁ κόσμος αυτον ουκ εγνω, "and the world did not acknowledge him;" and in 1st John, "The world did not acknowledge us, as it did not acknowledge him." Perhaps also in Mat. vii. 23. "Then will I profess unto them, I never acknowledged you," instead of " I never knew you." The word "know" is not familiar to us in the sense here intended, and we rather collect its meaning from the context, than from its ordinary application in our language.
I do not pretend to say that these suggestions are of any great. importance; but any thing that may tend to give to the English reader a more exact representation of the original, is not entirely unworthy of notice. I propose them with great diffidence, feeling how humble my pretensions as a critic are; and leaving it entirely to your judgment, whether my letter has any title to a place in your pages, or not. I am, Mr. Editor, truly your's,
CERTAINE GODLY PRAYERS FOR SUNDRY DAYES:
(From an old Edition of the Book of Common Prayer.)
Almighty God, the Father of mercy and God of all comfort, which onely forgivest sinne, forgive unto us our sinnes; good Lord, forgive unto us our sinnes, that by the multitude of thy mercies they may be covered and not imputed unto us, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost wee may have power and strength hereafter to resist sinne, by our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Lord God, which despiseth not a contrite heart, and forgettest the sinnes and wickednesse of a sinner in what howre soever he doeth mourne and lament his old maner of living, grant us, O Lord, true contrition of heart, that we may vehemently despise our sinfull life past, and wholly be converted unto thee, by our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O merciful Father, by whose power and strength we may overcome our enemies, both bodily and ghostly, grant unto us, O Lord, that according to our promise