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VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
Our political borizon is at present in a most uncertain state, and it is to be feared that the tranquillity of Europe is on the eve of being disturbed. Russia, if we are to believe the reports derived from the French papers, is determined on exchanging her character of mediator for that of belligerent, and contending against the Porte on her own account. Such a measure, considering how complicated her relations are with France aud England, in consequence of the treaty of London, would probably involve a war, and Austria could scarcely look on and see her powerful neighbour aggrandized at the expense of Turkey. It is said that France is preparing a large armament, and is looking with longing eyes again at Egypt, but even if England were to suffer her acquisitions on the side of the Levant, she would discover that country in a state very different from the disorganized situation in which that restless disturber of the peace of Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte, once found it. Altogether the affairs on the side of the East look very gloomy, at least to those who regard peace as a desirable possession, but how far we may be involved it is difficult to say, until the provisions of the treaty of London are made known. It is said that the war is again renewed between Russia and Persia, and that the Porte is arming with vigour against all assailants.
Nor are our prospects less uncertain on the side of Portugal ;--the fanaticism of the priests and people, headed by the queen and her agents, and acting on the weakness of the Regent, seem likely to counteract the efforts of the constitutional party, and stimulating the ambition of Don Manuel, by the lure of an absolute dominion, to induce him to forget his pledges and his promises, nay, even his interest; for it is impossible that treaties guaranteed by all the powerful states of Europe should be violated with impunity. We trust the suspicions, which seem to have induced our Ambassador to take some decided measures, may prove ultimately groundless, and that we may enjoy a little longer the blessings of tranquillity. "War," our philosophic poet tells us, "is a game that if their subjects were wise, kings would not play at;" but for our parts we regard the extension of the principles of the Gospel,
that system of peace, as the only genuine and permanent corrective to the desolating evils that man's cupidity and ambition spread around us, and until they are seated in the hearts of kings and statesmen, we have little hope of any general effect. How important, then, the extension of those Scriptures, which contain that blessed balm for all the ills of society, natural and acquired. Nor can we leave this subject without remarking on the degrading influence of simple unregenerated Popery, that could induce its votaries to bug their fetters, and while the world resounds with the cries of freedom, makes the wretched inhabitants of Spain and Portugal call out for an absolute king and a despotic government.
Our ministry at home seems settled, and to have assumed a more liberal tone, as it is termed, than the opposition at first apprehended. A considerable change is likely to take place in the practical part of the constitution, by the repeal of what had been considered "the bulwark of the Church," the Test and Corporation Acts, and the substitution of a declaration to be taken when required, equally by churchmen and dissenters, instead of the oaths and sacramental test. We are encouraged by the tranquillity enjoyed internally by Protestantism in Ireland, and the high and elevated station of the Church, (notwithstanding that we have been without such Acts for nearly half a cen◄ tury,) to hope that no evil consequences to the Church of England are to be apprehended from the repeal of these Acts, while yet we would say, that no legitimate argument for that repeal can be drawn, as has been attempted, from their not being found in other countries; and we conceive that in a constitution like ours, so free and so democraticalso simple in its plans, yet so complex in its details, there may be a necessity for more of those restraints on one part of the population or the other, than in a country under a more despotic government. Trusting that no danger can occur from these events to our valued system, we sincerely rejoice if a politi cal union of a no trifling nature is likely to follow a measure, which removes what, if not necessary, must ever be regarded as unjust.
ON THE PUNCTUATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
BIBLE CONTROVERSY IN IRELAND, &c. - CARLILE ON THE DEITY OF
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ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE --Presentations-Confirmations.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
WILLIAM CURRY, JUN. AND CO. DUBLIN
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NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We have received since our last Publication, the following articles :-"On the erratum of the Bibles in 2 Cor. xii. 2." 66 "On Luke x. 21." "E. B." 66 y, on the Deity of the Pope." "T. B." "T. K.” “R. B. T.” "W. N." "An inhabitant of S. Andrews." We shall insert some of these next month, and the rest as soon as we have space.
To our poetical friends we have to acknowledge " M. M.” W. P. S." "R. B. T." "W. F. O." "W. W."
“X. I. I.” “K.
The communication "To the Reviewer of the Homily Controversy," has been forwarded.
"Senex," and " A Friend to Ireland's best interests," will find their favours noticed in the Religious Intelligence of the present Number.
We regret that the communication of our friend “ W. C. A.” was too late for our last Number; it has been made use of in the present Publication.
In reply to a Correspondent, who mistakes the meaning of a passage (quoted in our Review for January, page 49, lines 28–38, from Mr. Coleridge,) we think it fit to say, that the works spoken of are the works of one described in the preceding sentence as a believer, "in communion with the Holy Spirit ;" and the doctrine intended to be conveyed in that passage is, as we understand it, that of our Twelfth Article.
ONE among the many beneficial results arising from the excitement that exists in matters of religion, and not the least valuable, is the increased attention paid to the Volume of Prophecy. We remember when that portion of the Sacred Book was seldom unclosed, and a familiarity with its contents was limited, we might almost say, to those who were professionally bound to peruse it ;-the splendor of its imagery, and the boldness of its personifications might engage a poet to examine it for its garb, but the nominally Christian world passed it too generally by, as consisting of those high subjects, which, being the sacred things of God, "belonged not to them or their children." The evil arising from such omission is very obvious; we speak not of the gross impiety connected with a neglect of any part of what is regarded as the Book of God, of what he has given and preserved as fitted for the instruction of the world; but waving that high ground, it will be confessed that it must be difficult to obtain correct views of a volume, from the acquaintance with a third part of which we have voluntarily exiled ourselves-that the evidence of our religion, which arises from the unity of design and purpose through all the sacred writings, must be materially weakened; and that the full developement of the divine purposes in the New Testament are so connected with their gradual expansion in the Old, that whatever excludes the one from attention, necessarily darkens and obscures the other. The predictive portion of the Scriptures includes much more than those heaven-inspired anticipations of future events to which we generally give the name of prophecy. They include a large proportion of exhortation, direction, promise, and denunciation they unfold the spiritual nature of the law, display its divine essence and character, manifest the glories of its great
Author, and exhort to that obedience which is the fulfilling and the reward of the law. The power and majesty of the Supreme, his superintending providence, his mercy and justice, are set forth in the most sublime and awe-inspiring language. The unity, the holiness, the presiding government of Jehovah, are made the theme of the sacred writers; while, with an exhibition of the divine goodness the most affecting, and of the divine justice the most tremendous, and of the divine promises the most cheering, every where is apparent the inculcation of the moral law, of the great principles of piety and justice, on which holiness and virtue are based;-and while these are enforced with a plainness and simplicity, a fullness and extent that cast at an immeasurable distance all the lessons of human wisdom, all the laboured deductions of human systems, they are pressed with an earnestness that evinces the sincerity and seriousness of the prophet, and marks him as embued and penetrated with the responsibility of his high and holy office, with the importance of his divinely-commissioned message.
To this we may add the awful sanction under which that message has been delivered; it rests not on the authority of man; human power or human support gives it no efficacy; it borrows no lustre from human learning, no value from human wisdom: it is the message of God, it speaks directly from the Creator to his creatures, it conveys in the sublimest (because the simplest) language the behests of Jehovah, from his throne in heaven, to his intelligent creation, and bears upon its front the impress of its superhuman origin;-those who might pass by unnoticed the declarations of Isaiah or of Joel, stand appalled and overpowered by the awful intimation, "THUS SAITH THE LORD JEHOVAH." In fine, the predictive portions of the Sacred Volume, form the connecting link between the old and new dispensations; they exhibit the true nature and character of the moral law, with a distinctness that is perhaps not found in the writings of the Jewish Legislator himself; they place the superiority of the moral injunctions of that code above the ceremonial, in the clearest and most convincing point of view; and in the spirituality of their feelings, the evangelical holiness of their precepts, and the uncompromising strictness of their denunciation, the Prophets present a commentary and an illustration of the Levitical system, superior, as might have been expected, in simplicity and clearness, and only inferior (if inferior) to the lessons of divine love and mercy brought to light in the Gospel. While such is the character of this portion of the Sacred Volume, that the poet may go there for inspiration, the moralist for purity, and the theologian for wisdom, and that the private Christian there finds never-failing sources of consolation, warning, and elevated piety, and the Christian preacher the richest stores of motive, exhortation, and example, arrayed in language the most powerful, and accompanied by statements the most awakening, it is a subject of grateful acknowledgment to the great Head