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CIRCULATION OF THE BIBLE IN RUSSIA. Extract of a letter from the Rev. the wings of the wind, and the people Richard Knill, St. Petersburgh, 16th flocked to me from every quarter, and Dec.
instead of a few applications, as I an“On the 29th September I was ticipated, I sold eight hundred Finnish packing Bibles to send for gratuitous Bibles in six weeks! The edition of distribution among the inhabitants Bibles being nearly exhausted, I am of an island in the Baltic. A poor now selling Finnish Testaments. villager called at the time, and saw the “ You naturally ask, “How could books. I asked her, Can you read?' you accomplish ii ?' I reply, when I She replied, “ Yes, I can read Finnish found the demands pouring in upon me, • Would you like to buy a Bible?' 0 I scarcely knew liow to act." I had yes, I should like it indeed, but I have sent the invitation, and it was accepted. not money enough.' How much money I made a promise, and the people acted have you ?' Alas! only a ruble, faith upon it, and came for its fulfilment. "Well, my good woman, you shall have O it was a glorious sight! but my scanty it for a ruble; take it. At this, her purse soon failed, and I dared not forfeit eyes sparkled with joy.
my word. I shuddered at the idea of “ As she was going away I charged checking the desire thus excited : thereher to tell it to her neighbours, and to fore, amidst a great conflict of feeling, I assure them if they wished to possess a set to work, and drew up a statement Bible I would sell it to them at a re of the case, which I presented to my duced price. I thought, perhaps 5, or friends, and they promptly supplied me 10, or 20, may accept the boon, per- with nearly £40. haps not so many; but I soon found my “ This has opened a new scene of self mistaken. The woman went direct operation. In addition to the circulation from my house to the Hay-market, of the Finnish Scriptures, I have a where great numbers of Finns come prospect of being much occupied with from the various colonies which sure the German also, and for this purpose round this beautiful city. There she have commenced a correspondence with exhibited her Bible. There she pub- numerous Pastors. Here the field is lished my message. The news flew on immense.”
ESTABLISHED CHURCH MISSIONS IN IRELAND. SEVERAL members of the Established “In furtherance of this object it is Church in Ireland have formed a proposed, Society under the above title, the nature 1st. To avail ourselves of the occaand objects of which are explained in sional labours of employed and beneficed the following statement :
ministers who shall be disposed to devote Feeling that there is an especial a limited portion of time to the work responsibility upon us as members of the of the Lord in this department of the Established Church, to exert ourselves vineyard, their places being supplied by at the present moment in proclaining men of such piety and qualifications as the Gospel of Christ to all within the shall be approved by their respective country who are ignorant and out of the diocesans. way, We form ourselves into an Associ a dly. To avail ourselves of the laation of members of the United Church bours of pious and talented ministers of England and Ireland, for the purpose who shall be willing to devote their of carrying into effect the above men- whole time to the work. tioned object. “That, being in the midst "3rdly. That the labourers engaged in of a Roman Catholic population, we are this work, should not only preach in such ready to confess, that we have been verily pulpits of the Establishment as may be guilty concerning our brethren, in that opened to them, but be prepared to we have not plainly and faithfully address their Roman Catholic brethren preached to them the great truths of the in such other places as it shall be found Gospel of Christ, and that we desire possible to collect them. now to direct our attention and exer 4thly. That the following constitute the tions more particularly to our brethren Committee, with power to add to their of that persuasion.
number : -- Rev. Robert Daly, Itev.
Henry Moore, Rev. L. Foot, Rev. R. White, R. Wilson, Esq. Secretary and
· SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. A MR. SCULTHORPE, formerly an active Mr. Benson and the Right Rev. member of this Society, having called CHAIRMAN concurred that every means the attention of its Committee to some should be employed to obtain the best highly objectionable passages in their tracts; that there should be no partiality, publications, Mr. S. was informed that no feelings of jealousy or distrust, but his communication had been submitted that every thing should be done to proto the standing committee, and that they duce a series of publications sound in did not deem it expedient to recommend doctrine, and interesting in the manner the society to take any measure thereon.' of writing. Mr. S. has in consequence desired The Rev. DANIEL Wilson, said, that his name might be erased from the that considerable dissatisfaction had long list of subscribers to the society, and prevailed in many clerical and lay printed his letter, together with the ob- members to some of the Society's tracts : noxious extracts.
that he himself strongly disapproved How far Mr. Sculthorpe's correspond- of several, as controversial, as exhibiting ence and consequent secession may have an unsatisfactory view of the great docinduced the society to reconsider the trines of religion, as not tending to subject, we know not; but at the last the real edification of the poor. On monthly board, Feb. 3, the Bishop of the orthodox tenets of our Church geneLondon being in the chair, supported rally, the Divinity and Atonement of by the Bishops of Lichfield, Ely, and our Lord—the tracts of the Society had Llandaff;
observed an uniform and important Mr. Benson, the Master of the consistency. But in the three centuTemple, brought forward a motion for ries since the Reformation, a multiappointing a committee for composing tude of important matters, connected and submitting to the board new tracts, with the fundamental doctrines of the better adapted to the present circum Scriptures, had been the occasion of stances of the times—more plain, simple, great diversity of sentiment. In a Proand interesting ; sound in doctrine ; fa testant Church, and a free country, it miliar and pleasing in manner; calcu- could not be otherwise. It was highly lated to draw the great mass of the expedient, therefore, that from time to population more closely into attachment time a revision of the tracts of the Soci. to the church; and to supply the clergy ety should be made. He trusted that with suitable tracts on all the chief doc- the present motion would tend to a trines and duties of Christianity. The material improvement in this departRev. Gentleman mentioned, that pieces ment of the Society's labours. The disagainst drunkenness, swearing, sabbath- approbation indeed, of certain tracts, breaking, &c. were much wanting, and was no sufficient reason for withholding that a practical tract on baptism would support from this noble Institution, still be desirable. Mr. Benson's address but every just canse of offence should was heard with deep attention, and his be removed. The disputable parts of Motion finally adopted.
the tracts should be dropped ; the more · The Rev. J. W. CUNNINGHAM pure and excellent ones should be observed, that it might probably be retained, or restored ; and fresh treatises expedient to add to the Committee, should be added, on the great fund(with whose names he was entirely amental truths of the Gospel, and on unacquainted) some clergymen residing the duties flowing from them. in the country, and acquainted intimately The motion was carried unanimously; with the wants of poor agricultural the Bishop observing, that it was neighbourhoods. He found himself with an understanding that every means altogether unable to circulate the tracts should be used for obtaining really sound of the Society. They wanted care, and efficient tracts, and for making them wanted interest, wanted adaptation to known to the Members of the Board, the feelings and capacities of the poor. previously to their final adoption.
REGISTER OF EVENTS.
We closed our last Number with reminding our readers that Parliament were about to meet, and that it became us all most fervently to pray that God would direct and overrule their consultations for his glory and the welfare of these realms.
This suggestion, however, has assumed an importance little contemplated at the time when it was written, in consequence of the line of conduct which his Majesty's Ministers have determined to adopt, and which is thus adverted to in the Speech from the Throne. . The state of Ireland has been the object of his Majesty's constant solicitude.
"His Majesty laments, that in that part of the United Kingdom an Association should still exist, which is dangerous to the public peace and inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution; which keeps alive discord and ill will amongst his Majesty's subjects, and which must, if permitted to continue, effectually obstruct every effort permanently to improve the condition of Ireland. His Majesty confidently relies on the wisdom and on the support of his Parliament: and his Majesty feels assured that you will commit to him such powers as may enable his Majesty to maintain his just authority
His Majesty recommends that when this essential object shall have been accomplished, you should take into your deliberate consideration the whole condition of Ireland; and that you should review the laws which impose civil disabilities on his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects. You will consider whether the removal of those disabilities can be effected consistently with the full and permanent security of our establishment in Church and State, with the maintenance of the reformed religion established by law, and of the rights and privileges of the bishops and of the clergy of this realm, and of the churches committed to their charge, These are institutions which must ever be held sacred in this Protestant kingdom, and which it is the duty and the determination of his Majesty to preserve in violate.
• His Majesty most earnestly recommends to you to enter upon the consideration of a subject of such paramount importance, deeply interesting to the best feelings of his people, and involving the tranquillity and concord of the United Kingdom, with the temper and the moderation which will best ensure the successful issue of your deliberations.'
This part of his Majesty's Speech has been explained by the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel, as referring to the suppression of the Catholic Association, and the settling of the Catholic Question, by a general removal of civil disabilities, subject to certain exceptions and regulations, which are deemed necessary for the security of the Church Establishment. These measures are to be supported by the whole force and influence of Administration. Mr. Peel has declared himself convinced of their necessity; and has consequently tendered his resignation to the University of Oxford, for which he is a Member: and the Duke of Wellington has, it is understood, refused to allow any Member of Administration to differ from him, or even to remain neutral on these important questions.
A deep impression has consequently been produced on the public mind; a feeling of alarm, of jealousy, suspicion, and high indignation. Petitions to both Houses of Parliament are already pouring in from all parts of the country, and their nunibers will most probably rapidly increase when the precise measures which Government contemplate are more fully developed.
The Act for the Suppression of Dangerous Associations or Assemblies in Ireland bas already passed the two Houses. It empowers the Lord Lieutenant to prohibit or suppress the meeting of any association, assembly, or body of persons, in Ireland, which he shall deem dangerous to the public peace or safety, or inconsistent with the due administration of law, &c. It directs any two justices, to whom such prohibition shall be given, to proceed to the actual suppression of such ineetings, by force, if necessary; and that persons refusing or neglecting to disperse at their order, shall be apprehended and punished in a summary way, with imprisonment, &c. It enacts the forfeiture of money contributed to prohibited associations; the infliction of fines, &c. on the contributors; the compelling of persons to answer upon oath as to the amount of monies contributed, &c. &c. The parts of the Act relating to the Catholic Association are perpetual. The other provisions are limited to one year,
I: is obvious that this Act may apply to almost any association in Ireland which may incur the disapprobation of the Lord Lieutenant. Ostensibly and avowedly it refers to the Catholic Association, but it is equally applicable to Brunswick Clubs, Reformation Societies, and numerous religious and charitable institutions. It is therefore an amazing restraint upon the liberty of the subject. Nothing, however, short of the most decided measures, could suppress the Catholic Association. Some, indeed of the Irish papers assert that if justice be not done, (that is, if unrestrained Catholic Emancipation, or Ascenduncy, be not granted) agitation and the rent can go on in spite of it. And Lord Ældon is reported to have said, on the second reading of the bill in the House of Lords, that they who thought the present bill adequate to its professed object were utterly mistaken. The Duke of Wellington however replied, that if Parliament passed the bill the Government would be responsible for carrying it into effect. These questions we have not time to discuss. The present is only a preliminary act; and we wait, with great anxiety and considerable apprehension, the appearance of the Bill, or Bills, which are to settle the question.
What the proposed measures may be it is impossible to ascertain. It is sufficient for us to know that concessions to the Roman Catholics are to be made-that Roman Catholics are to be admitted into the Legislature; and we cannot conceive it possible that any restrictions whatsoever can be adopted, so as effectually to counteract the dangers which must inevitably result to our Protestant Constitution. The conscientious Roman Catholic is bound to exert all his influence for the advancement of the Romish, and the overthrow of the Protestant Church. His principles may allow him to temporize, to postpone, to deceive; but only so far as he may, by such political manæuvres, promote the ascendancy of his Church. Every step therefore gained becomes the ground of a fresh attack, and calls upon Protestants for firm and decided opposition. The infidel Roman Catholic is like other infidels, the enemy of all true religion; and every advantage obtained by such will most unquestionably be eventually used as a means of assailing our Constitution, both in Church and State. On this point we gladly avail ourselves of the high authority of Lord Eldon.
His Lordship observed, in the discussion on the King's Speech, that he should betray his duty to his Sovereign, whom he revered,- that he should betray his duty to every member of the community, knowing as he did the danger and hazard of the measure about to be proposed,—were he not to raise his voice loudly and earnestly against it. He felt convinced that he should betray his duty to his fellow-subjects, and to the principle of Protestantism as established at the period of the revolution, if he did not protest against the concessions which it seemed to be the intention of his Majesty's ministers to make. On this subject (the most important that had ever occupied the attention of the legislature, or come before parliament, since the day when the bill of rights was first brought forward, he must be permitted to express his candid and unbiassed opinion. The institutions just alluded to were established as the foundation of our constitution, which also they had in no small degree contributed to preserve. The object held in view in their formation was the preservation of the laws, religion, and liberties of the country ; and he was happy to say that this object they had hitherto fully accomplished. The question was, were those barriers now to be broken down? He had occupied a variety of situations when at different times this subject was discussed, and on every occasion he had expressed his honest and undeviating opinion as to the danger and impolicy of admitting Roman Catholics to state offices. He was still able to offer their lordships his opinion, and in doing so he candidly declared, that if he saw any the slightest reason to modify or recall the opinion he had already so frequently expressed on the subject, he should do it without the slightest hesitation. He hoped the public would hear what he was now about to utter. He trusted the sentiments then expressed by him might find their way throughout the country, and that every individual in it would hear him say that which was his firm, fixed, and unalterable conviction,-namely, that if they once permitted Roman Catholics to take their seats in either house of parliament, or to legislate for the state, or if they granted them the privilege of possessing the great executive offices of the constitution, from that day and that moment the sun of Great Britain was set. His opinions might be received with laughter and contempt, opprobrium and public odium might be heaped upon their author; nevertheless he was prepared to contend that they were correct.
Had he not felt this question to be a question of the last and most vital importance to the state generally—to the Sovereign-to his fellow-subjects, and to religion too_which, God knew, in his opinion had been too much neglected in the last session of parliament, and precisely by those persons who ought to have taken most care of itif he had not felt this to be the case, he should not have taken the active part he had hitherto done, and was still prepared to do, with regard to this subject. As matters then stood, and influenced by his present feelings and conviction, he solemnly declared that no consideration on this side of the grave could induce him to give his consent to the introduction of a single Roman Catholic into either house of parliament, or to any political office whatsoever. The power of the Catholic Association appeared to be growing more every day, and that without the aid of any concession. He was sorry to say that he thought it likely to go on increasing. He confessed he thought that there was no single circumstance which it was more important for their lordships to recollect and dwell upon, than what passed in the years 1793-4-5, when there was, as at the present day, a convention in a certain part of the British empire, which meant to destroy the principles of the constitution : he had no hesitation in declaring his fixed opinion that the object of the Roman Catholic Association was precisely the same. They sought to undermine the grand principle upon which alone his present Majesty was entitled to his throne. How, he asked, how came the House of Brunswick to to be called the British throne? Why, but for the purpose of carrying into effect, and maintaining the constitution as established in church and state at the time of the revolution ? For the purpose of accomplishing this object, the descent of the House of Stuart was interrupted. This was done as their lordships were aware, in order that no Roman Catholic should be seated on the throne of these realms. Roman Catholics were excluded from the Commons House of Parliament, by the oath of supremacy; subsequently persons of that persuasion were excluded from seats in their lordships' house; and by all these the constitution was sealed. The union between the church and state was thus preserved - it was according to the constitution of this country, a union as intimate and indissoluble as that between man and wife. It followed from the nature of the British constitution thus established, that King, Lords, and Commons, should be Protestants. Was it now intended to abandon this principle? If so, we gave up the constitution itself. He was a humble individual, and his opinion might go for very little; but he must say, he considered the proposition to remove Roman Catholic disqualification one which, without being guilty of the grossest inconsistency, they could not agree to. His resistance was not grounded on hostility to the Roman Catholics, it arose from a desire to preserve the constitution whole and unimpaired. “Don't (continued the noble lord) don't deny these individuals the benefits of the constitution as far at they can enjoy them with safety to others, but for God's sake, don't destroy the constitution itself while admitting them. He stood before his country, and he solemnly declared that he was acting from a sense of duty, and of duty only, when he opposed the intended measure. The considerations that actuated him were not those arising out of a love of party--they sprang from his desire to protect the establishment in church and state. In the outset of his public life he had determined to act upon these principles, and he should not now depart from them. Upon him who would introduce a single Roman Catholic as a legislator in the House of Lords or Commons, he looked as one ready to undermine the constitution-unknowingly, perhaps, but still to undermine it.'
The determination however, of the administration is defended on the necessity of the case. The inquiry therefore, naturally is, Whence arises such necessity ? Has any such alteration of circumstances occurred as to require, or even to justify so decisive a change of sentiment and of policy? We think not. The explanations of Mr. Peel, and the statements of the Duke of Wellington appear to us alike unsatisfactory. That Ireland is in a disturbed and agilated state is obvious; but such has been the case for very many years. That the Cabinet has been divided, and that such division has been attended with inconvenience, is also an old story. That the two Houses of Parliament have also countenanced opposite opinions, is also well understood; but none, nor all of these circumstances appear to us to justify the measures which are contemplated. Ireland is in a less dangerous state now than at the commencement of the last year. Then the Catholic Association was dominant, and there was no countervailing force. The outrages of that