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“Friend to Friends," endeavours clergyman could not plead ignoto support his charge of injustice, rance on the point ; and should it appears to me to be quite beside so happen that, although unwilling the mark. His case, put into a voluntarily to abandon his claim, he more definite shape, would stand feels some misgivings of conscience thus :-A purchases of B a piece at enforcing it, he should, in that of land ; say, for 500l. C, the cler- case, endeavour to find some other gyman of the parish, has a claim purchaser. No clergyman, I apon this land ; say 5l. per annum, prehend, abstains from claiming, for tithe; and inasmuch as A, merely from unwillingness to "conbeing a Quaker, does not intend test" the point, because he knows to give any part of this 5l. per an- beforehand that no opposition num to C, he ought therefore, in would be offered him : the Quaker conscience, to give to B such an passively submits to the enforceadditional sum as would be equi- ments of those laws with which valent to the redemption of this he cannot actively comply. Would tax; say 100l. more than what he the clergyman be in any danger of contracted to pay him ; well know- giving personal offence by the teming, at the same time, that C has perate exercise of that power with only to apply to a magistrate, who which the law as it now stands inwill in a very short time put him vests him? It is not against men, into a situation to take, with per- but against principles and pracfect impunity, that which the tices which the Quaker conscienQuaker did not, in conscience, feel tiously believes to be irreconcilehimself at liberty to give: know- able with the spiritual nature and ing also by experience that, al- Christian liberty of the Gospel disthough exceptions have occurred, pensation, and opposed to the there is not, generally speaking, universal spreading of Christ's any room to doubt this power will kingdom in the hearts of mankind, be exercised. This being the real that he feels it his duty to bear his state of the argument advanced, it uniform, uncompromising, but unis much to be regretted that our offending testimony: he therefore “Friend” should have omitted to does not consider himself at liberty inform us by what process of rea- to negotiate about them in any soning he arrived at the conclusion, shape whatever. This testimony that, because tithes may be with- is, however, attended, in most cases, held from C, their estimated value with considerable loss and expense, ought to be paid to B. I confess as appears by the periodical returns myself quite unable to perceive of tithe and church rates, and therehow either the claims of C, or those fore cannot beconnected with selfish of " ordinary justice," would be at feelings. all satisfied by this transposition Undoubtedly an estate wholly of interests: and I am strongly in- and permanently relieved from clined to think that a similar state tithe, he would estimate as more of mental blindness must have at- valuable than if it remained subject tended thy readers in general. to that impost : but notwithstand
To suppose the Quaker bargain- ing the “Friend to Friends," by ing with a clergyman would be quite designating tithes as “a reserved to beg the question; but as I shall portion of rent," seems to intimate not be likely to occupy thy pages that they are of the same tenure as a second time, I will, with per- the land itself; nothing can be mission, briefly take that view of more clear than that the clergythe subject; and in reply would man does not hold his tithes as a say, The practice of Friends to de- freehold, but merely as a stipend cline the payment of tithes is now for certain services supposed to be so universally known, that the performed-namely, the "cure of
souls;” and therefore, although “ It is now more than thirty he may, if he choose, withhold his years since the first publication of claim as long as he lives, and suffer this adrnirable work. Evangelical the Quaker peaceably to enjoy the religion in the Church of England, produce of his own labour undi- was then at a low ebb. Individuals minished, he cannot relieve the there were, indeed, of that commuland from the charge ; inasmuch nion, remote from each other and as his successor may revive it at frowned upon by the world, who, pleasure: he therefore has no right like the seven thousand of Israel to set up the plea of injustice at- in the days of Ahab, were mourntempted in the article referred to. ing over the desolations of an anA MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY cient and decayed church. But her
prelates, we believe, without a single exception, and the great body of her ten thousand inferior clergy,
were sunk together in spiritual AMERICAN CRITIQUE ON WILBER
coldness, and decent conformity FORCE'S PRACTICAL VIEW.
to the world. Those among the To the Editor of the Christian Observer. higher and middle classes, who To the Editor of the Christian Observer. retained any show of respect for
Philadelphia, April 1830. the institutions of religion, imitated, I SEND you, by the hands of our to a great extent, the example of mutual friend, Dr. Milnor, the last their religious teachers, on a still Number of the Christian Spectator broader scale. The lower classes, fa quarterly review published at as a body, were plunged in ignoNewhaven), containing an inter- rance and brutal unconcern as to esting article on theRev.Daniel Wil- their spiritual interests ; except son's edition of Mr. Wilberforce's where the followers of Whitfield View of Christianity. It is said to and Wesley had produced some have been drawn up by Dr. Skin- partial reformation by their selfner, of the Presbyterian Church; denying labours. Against these and such an article written by a humble, and perhaps, in some inPresbyterian minister, inserted in stances, ill-directed exertions, the a Congregational Magazine, refer- animosity of the established clergy ring to an Episcopal work, the was wrought up to the highest author of the work an English pitch. Cold and heartless while statesman, the editor an English millions around them were perishclergyman, and the reviewer an ing in sin, their zeal broke forth into American, I cannot but think highly open violence against those who honourable to the Christian and ventured to discharge the duties brotherly feelings of all parties con- which they had themselves negcerned. A few pages from that part lected. Nor were they satisfied of it which relates to the state of with ridicule, contempt, and open religion in England, would pro- denunciation. The passions of the bly interest the readers of the vulgar and profane were sometimes Christian Observer *.
artfully inflamed into tumult and . We have copied the whole of the ar.. ticle, the latter half on the character of those who lived above the surrounding true religion beir.g highly valuable. There contagion than our transatlantic friends are some passages in the former part which seem to think; and in reference to the for obvious reasons we had thoughts of brighter, those who are mentioned with omitting ; but, upon re-consideration, we kindness will, we are sure, be the first to give the whole as we find it, only not divest themselves of any exclusionism with making ourselves responsible for all the which their Western brethren would enstatements. In reference to the darker circle them, and to rejoice in the extension shades of the picture, we are fain to hope of the work of God, however feebly they that there were many more names in our may think their own efforts have conBritish Sardis in the worst of times, of duced to its advancement.
outrage ; and sometimes the arm with the utmost plainness, and
still farther heightened by the fact, “ It was at such a period, that that it came from an early and inMr. Wilberforce came before the timate friend of the Prime Minispublic, as the advocate of Evan- ter; who was generally acknowgelical religion. A layman, and of ledged to be the ablest and most course not called upon by his pro- popular statesman which Great fession thus openly to vindicate Britain had produced, since the his principles,-a man in public days of his illustrious father the life, and therefore in imminent Earl of Chatham. With such redanger of sacrificing by this step commendations, the manly and all his hopes of political advance- conciliatory spirit, the guarded ment,--how few are there who reasonings, the warm benevolence would not have shrunk from the and fervent piety of Mr. Wilbertrials on which he entered, in force, had the happiest influence making himself the rallying point in obviating the general prejudice of a despised and scattered party, against Evangelical principles, in in the midst of ajealousand worldly- the English church. It was no minded church! But he 'counted longer possible to deny, that these all things but loss' for the sake of principles are perfectly consistent Christ. While he endeavoured, with the soundest exercise of the therefore, to strip Evangelical re- understauding, and with the most ligion of all degrading associations refined sensibility of taste and feelby the selectness of his thoughts, ing. At this period also, Mr. Wilthe elegance of his taste, and the berforce was leader in that noblest richness and eloquence of his lan- struggle of British humanity, the guage, he did not suffer himself to effort for the abolition of the slave extenuate its most humbling doc- trade; and the honours which trines, or self-denying duties. 'In- afterwards gathered round him in adequate conceptions of the cor- the hour of triumph, were reflected ruption of human nature' -' in- back on the religious sentiments adequate conceptions concerning which he had thus publicly esour Saviour and the Holy Spirit poused. The establishment of the - inadequate conceptions of prac- Christian Observer in 1801, by his tical Christianity,' are the three influence, in conjunction with that great topics which he discussed of Mr. Macaulay, Mrs. Hannah
More, and others of congenial sen- affectionate, and spiritual religion, timents, was another important so strongly inculcated in the writmeans of concentrating the scat- ings of Mr. Wilberforce, and so tered force of the Evangelical party, beautifully exemplified in his life! and giving respectability to its cha- “ But it is lamentable to obracter in the eyes of the public. serve how large a proportion of The temperate and manly tone of professed, and perhaps real, Chrisdiscussion which characterized that tians, content themselves with low work, its entire abstinence from aims and low attainments. They every thing bitter, sarcastic, or are satisfied with an observance of unkind in feeling, its enlarged the ordinances, a belief in the docviews of national policy, its ca- trines, and an outward conformity tholic spirit towards those of other to the duties of the Gospel, while denominations, the chastened fer- they fall short of its glorious privour of its piety, the warmth of its vileges. They know but little of benevolence, and the purity and those lively hopes and anticipaelegance of its language, had the tions, those holy joys and sorrows, happiest effect in recommending that sensible intercourse and fel. those scriptural principles which lowship with God and Christ, that Mr. Wilberforce had laboured to enrapturing communion with the enforce; and made it a model for Holy Spirit, that vivid and per. similar publications, which it is manent earnest and assurance of much easier to admire, than to imi- heaven, which the Gospel warrants tate. In the triumphant progress and encourages in every believer. of the Bible and Church Mission- “ The religion recommended in ary Societies, which has so greatly the ‘Practical View' of Mr. Wil. swelled the ranks of the Evan- berforce, is of a higher order. It gelical party in the Established is satisfied with nothing merely Church, the influence and exer- external, however blameless and tions of Mr. Wilberforce have been fair. The offering up of prayer and called into the most active exercise. praise, meditation on the ScripHe has seen the respectability and tures, attendance upon ordinances, strength of that party continually liberality towards the poor, the uton the increase down to the pre- most exactness and irreproachable. sent hour ; and he may now look ness of life—these do not meet its round, in his declining years, on demands, unless there is corres, nearly three thousand clergymen pondent sensibility and life in the in the English church, who are heart. There must be a feeling of the open and devoted advocates of the Divine presence--a relishing Evangelical truth.
of the Divine excellence—a heart, “The Practical View' of Mr. assured persuasion of the Divine Wilberforce, which led the way, favour and complacency. God must under the Divine blessing, to this be enjoyed; or there will be dis, propitious revolution, has passed quietude of soul, as in the patriarch through nearly thirty editions in -o that I knew where I might England and this country; and find him;' and in the Psalmist, ' As has been translated into the prin- the hart panteth after the watercipal languages of the continent. brooks, so panteth my soul after It is here presented to the public thee, O God. If the light of God's with an introduction by the Rev. countenance ceases at any time to Daniel Wilson, in which its influ shine upon the soul, the darkness ence on the promotion of Evan- which then covers it, no outward gelical piety is traced at large. prosperity can dispel ; its sorrows May that influence go on to be nothing can alleviate. No lovelifelt for ages—in the extension of ness, no excellence remains, when that deeply devotional, humble, the heart cannot taste the excel, CHRIST. Observ. No. 350,
lency of the knowledge of Christ. how confidently may we hope for No satisfaction is taken in the in- the speedy triumph of our religion tercourse of the dearest friends, throughout the world! when returns of grace from the “In pursuing this subject, we Holy Comforter are suspended. would remark, in the first place, The visible world is a waste wil- that spiritual religion is far more derness, when the world unseen is rational than any other. If the clouded or remote. There is no things of religion are not merely peace, no pleasure in life, when imaginary, they ought in fitness there is no sensible relish and de- and reason to command the whole light in God and divine things. heart, and rule the whole inner and
“The difference between this last outer man, If they are real, they kind of religion and the one alluded are comparatively the only realito above, is very apparent in ex- ties : all else is shadow and illuamples of each. Who does not see sion. If the God of the Scriptures a remarkable difference, in piety, and the objects revealed to us in between such men as Leighton, eternity do indeed exist, well may Baxter, Edwards, Brainerd, Wil the prophet pronounce the world berforce, and Martyn; and the and its affairs to be less than nomass of those who bear, and are thing in the comparison. Such obnot supposed to dishonour, the jects, then, so transcendently imChristian name? The distinguished portant in themselves, ought to and excellent author of the 'Book have a correspondent influence on of Nature' (Dr.John Mason Good), our character and conduct. And said on his death-bed, 'I have taken what is such an influence? If that what unfortunately the generality Being who is the infinite fountain of Christians too much take-I of all being, who made me, and have taken the middle walk of sustains me every moment; who Christianity. I have endeavoured in all the glory of His infinite perto live up to its duties and doc- fections, compasses my path and trines, but I have lived below its my lying down,' and is ever with privileges.' The men first men- me : the Being on whom my happitioned were not content to pursue nesswholly depends and from whom what is here called the middle my last sentence is to proceed—if walk of Christianity. Their reli- He has that influence on me which gion was strictly and eminently. His character and relations to me experimental and spiritual. ought to exert, shall I not always
“It is chiefly for the sake of be in His fear; shall I not always urging upon our readers, the ha- dwell in love to Him; and rejoice bitual cultivation of such a spirit, when He smiles upon me, and be that we have called their attention troubled when He suspends the to the beautiful exhibition of it communications of His favour? contained in the life and writings Toward such a Being, so related of Mr. Wilberforce. Such is the to me as God is, do I not express depravity of our nature, that even a reasonable affection when I exthe best of men need continual in- claim, 'Whom have I in heaven but citements to spirituality of mind. Thee? and there is none upon earth And whenever this shall become that I desire beside Thee.' If I the prevailing temper of the church have any love at all for such a universal—whenever the meek, af- personage, and one so related to fectionate, and devotional spirit of me, as Christ, ought I not to be primitive times shall be carried by constrained by that love, as St, professed Christians into their daily Paul was, to live and die to this intercourse with the world, to how infinite Benefactor-making it my great an extent will the reproach whole duty and happiness to serve of the Cross be taken away, and and enjoy Him? And what would