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pays Romanists and Protestants. England has begun the work of endowing Popery. All this only confirms our conviction that the views of prophecy are correct which lead to the conclusion, that the nations of Europe are rapidly preparing for the final judgment. The time is probably not far distant, when, after a temporary prosperity on the part of Rome, the Church will be destroyed by the power of infidelity, amidst wars, insurrections, political earthquakes, revolutions, and troubles, such as the world never saw. England, highly-favoured but apostate England, will come in for her full share of the cup of divine wrath: and her guilty statesmen will perceive, when it is too late, what is clearly taught in the Bible, that God invariably punishes guilty and apostate nations. The spirit of latitudinarianism, which is so manifestly creeping into our government, is pointing fearfully at this crisis. Happy they, who have oil in their lamps when the Bridegroom cometh!
We met lately with a most striking passage in Bishop Horseley's Letter in the British Magazine for 1834, which bears with a singular interest on this important subject. It is impossible not to recognize the application of his predictions to the times which are now developing.
"2nd Thessalonians, ii. 3—11. Upon this, and parallel passages, Bishop Horsley, that painful student of prophecy, remarks, that "The "Son of Perdition is to rise out of an apostacy-a falling away," not a constructive apostacy: never understood to be such by those to whom the guilt has been imputed, but an open, undisguised apostacy. The Son of Perdition, who shall be neither a Protestant nor a Papist, neither Christian, Jew, nor Heathen; who shall worship neither God, angel, nor saint; who will neither supplicate the invisible Majesty of Heaven, nor fall down before an idol. He will magnify HIMSELF against every thing that is called God, and worshipped; and, with a bold flight of impiety, very far above his precursors and types in times of Paganism-the Sennacheribs,
the Nebuchadnezzars, the Antiochuses, and the Heathen emperors-will claim divine honours to himself exclusively, consecrated an image of himself. I doubt not,' adds Bishop Horseley, but this monster will be made an instrument of that pruning which the vine must undergo.' "The
Church of God,' remarks the same learned prelate, mighty in the Scriptures, The Church of God on earth will, according to prophecy, be greatly reduced in its apparent numbers in the time of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. The desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries. The pretended toleration will go far beyond a just toleration, even as it regards the different sects of Christians. For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection or preference to none. All establishments will be laid aside. From the toleration of the most pestilent heresies, they will proceed to the toleration of Mahomedanism, Atheism, and at last, to a positive persecution of the truths of Christianity. In these times the temple of God will be reduced almost to the Holy Place; that is, to the small number of real Christians, who worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and regulate their doctrine, and their worship, and their whole conduct, strictly by the Word of God. The merely nominal Christians will all desert the profession of the truth, when the powers of the world desert it. And this tragical event I take to be typified by the order to St. John to measure the temple and the altar, and leave the outer court (national churches) to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles. The property of the Church will be pillaged: the public worship insulted and vilified, by these deserters of the faith they once professed, who are not called apostates, because they never were in earnest in their profession. Their profession
was nothing more than a compliance with fashion and public authority; in principle they were always what they will now appear to be-Gentiles. When this general desertion of the faith takes place, then will commence the sackcloth ministry of the witnesses. There will be nothing of splendour in the external ministry of the Church, as it will then be; it will have no support from governments, no honours, no immunities, no authority, but that which no earthly power can take away, and which they derived from Him who commissioned them to be His witnesses.""
THE APPROACHING ELECTIONS. -It is never for the Christian to sit down in despair, and say it is of no use to arrest impending mischief, or promote a desired good. Not even the highest sense of God's sovereign decrees, nor the strongest conviction of prophetical prediction to be unavoidably fulfilled, must influence our path of duty. It is Mahomedanism, and not Christianity, that teaches a dull and spiritless fatality. The servants of Christ must have his honour at heart, and to the very last improve their opportunities for the advancement of truth and the resistance of error. For if God in his mysterious wisdom ordains that his enemies should momentarily triumph, still the faithful will gain immensely by their loyal attachment to their master's interests, and by their efforts in his cause put themselves in the best position for his day of vengeance. What, then, is to be done at the next elections? We must all be up and doing without delay in preparation for them. We must have our eye on representatives who will fearlessly protect and advance the Protestant interests of our nation. We have gloried in the name of Conservatives, and we have clung with warm attachment to the ministers and the members who have
upheld the conservatism of our country: but now, alas! the Conservative, in the wonted application of the term, is defunct. Whigs and Tories, Conservatives and Radicals, are no more; and all the various parties which we have heretofore recognized are merged in Protestants and Non-protestants. As we value, then, our social and civil as well as religious privileges, (for they are inseparably connected together,) we must lose sight of every consideration but that of Protestantism. The electors of Great Britain have a serious and responsible trust confided to them. Is the question anxiously asked, "What is to become of us, if we endanger the overthrow of the present ministry?" The answer is easy. We must, at all events, do our duty, and leave the event in the hands of God. But can we place that confidence in the present ministry which we have been wont to do? In what important sense are they a Conservative ministry? Are they not most extensively doing the work of the Whigs, and are not the Whigs themselves (Lord Melbourne and others) confessing that they are doing that work far more effectually than the Whigs could themselves? Where, then, is the difference? or rather, may we ask, is it not better, far better, to have a ministry whose designs and intentions are candid and evident, than one which under, the colours of Conservatism, is insidiously and treacherously destructive of our dearest interests.
There is no time to lose in preparations for the ensuing election. The real sentiments of existing members must be ascertained. Safe and trustworthy candidates must be had in readiness. There never was a period when Christians were more urgently called upon to enter in every possible way, in the spirit of meekness and humility, upon the duty enjoined by the Apostle, "earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints."
It is requested that Advertisements intended for inscrtion in the wrapper of the Christian Guardian, be sent to Messrs. Seeleys' not later than the 20th of the month preceding.
THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND MAGAZINE.
BARON AUGUSTUS DE STAEL.
BARON Augustus de Stael-Holstein was born in Paris in 1790, amidst the storms of the Revolution. He was the grandson of Necker, the celebrated minister of finances of Louis XVI. He was son of the illustrious Madame de Stael, who figures in the first rank in the French literature of our times. The whole family were Protestant; but true piety did not prevail among them. Necker was more occupied with politics than religion. Madame de Stael lived in the circle of infidel philosophers, and adopted almost all their opinions. Young de Stael was sent to the colleges of Paris preparatory to entering the Polytechnic School. In all this there was nothing calculated to produce religious impressions; but the dispensations of Providence soon gave a seriousness to his character and made him more accessible to the instructions of the Divine Word.
Madame de Stael drew upon herself, by her independence of spirit, the resentment of Napoleon, and received, in 1805, orders to quit France. She sought refuge OCTOBER-1845.
in Switzerland, in her mansion at Coppet. Henceforth, young de Stael could not hope for any employment under the government of the Emperor, and followed some time after his mother into her exile. He was fifteen years old. temporal disgrace became a blessing to him; for his religious education was entrusted to the care of the venerable pastor Cellerier. M. Cellerier brought to this task all the intelligence and love of an eminent servant of Christ. He did not see immediately the fruit of his labour; the young man gave no proof of real conversion; but probably the seeds of faith were then deposited in his heart. The good seed remains sometimes buried for years in the heart; it seems to our feeble view to be lost; but afterwards under the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, it springs up and bears much fruit. M. de Stael preserved till death a lively gratitude for the instructions of M. Cellerier; he said that the time he had passed with him was the most quiet and happy of his life. But new misfortunes afflicted his
family. Napoleon persecuted Madame de Stael with a severity unbecoming his genius; he did not allow any one to go and see her in her residence at Coppet, and if any courageous friend dared to break this order, he was immediately disgraced. Madame de Stael sent her son to Paris to solicit some alleviation of her sad condition. The interview took place at Fontainebleau. Napoleon granted an audience to the young man, and was struck with his presence of mind, his noble firmness, and the devotedness with which M. de Stael vindicated his family. But this conversation produced no result. The Emperor refused to make the least concession; and M. de Stael to escape an insupportable tyranny, took refuge with his mother in Sweden, and then in England. He had formed the design of going to the United States, when the great events of 1814 opened again to him the doors of France.
All seemed then to go well with this family. The persecutions of Napoleon became a title to honour and prosperity for Madame de Stael, under the new dynasty. Her noble son had before him the most brilliant prospect. But in the
month of July, 1817, while worldly honours and pleasures surrounded this domestic circle, Madame de Stael died. She was still far from being old; she could, to human appearance, have reaped still in the field of glory and of fortune, but in a moment all was severed by the cold hand of death. This loss was a severe but salutary warning for M. de Stael. He recognized the vanity of earthly goods, that the fondest human ties may be sundered, and felt the need of seeking consolations above the sphere of perishable objects.
From this moment dates the commencement of his religious life.
He turned his attention to the religion of the Gospel and to eternity.
But he had great obstacles to overcome. His friends, the learned, the rich, the noble, who constituted his relatives, lacked, in general, religious faith, and even affected to despise Christian doctrines. The "mental philosophy" which M. de Stael had studied and adopted, misled his mind by its specious maxims on the perfections of God, the immortality of the soul, and the moral law. Lastly, political affairs occupied his attention, and left him little leisure for the quiet meditations of the closet. Still, a voice within told M. de Stael that there was something more important than earthly friendships, better than philosophy, more lasting than political interests. He took the Bible, and studied its contents with humble, serious, persevering attention, and was thus led into the way of truth.
The formation of the Bible Society of Paris, in 1818, became also a source of spiritual blessings to M. de Stael. He admired this simple and grand work, so benevolent in its principle, so powerful in its effects; and gave it his full approbation. Having been appointed Secretary of the Society, he was several times designated to draw up the annual report; and this duty led him to reflect still more deeply upon the Divine Revelations. He felt, by his own experience, that man is a poor, fallen, selfish, miserable creature, and that he must seek all his strength and his peace in God. "I feel too much that is selfish in me," he wrote to a friend, while composing one of his reports; my ideas are slow; my mind seems like a stone which I cannot lift. May God give me grace to be faithful to his Word in these inward trials, which, without affecting the body, without touch
ing at all what appertains to the world, are at times very difficult!" During these struggles, to which God only and his own conscience were witnesses, M. de Stael employed a part of his time in aiding philanthropic works, such as the Savings' Bank, the Society for the Encouragement of Schools, the Society of Christian Morals, &c. He brought to all these institutions a correct understanding, an upright conscience, a persevering charity. He rendered great service for the abolition of the Slave Trave. France had not wholly renounced, in 1815, this infamous traffic. Several slave-ships went from the port of Nantz every year. M. de Stael made a journey to this city, and collected the iron chains, collars, hand-cuffs, &c., with which the slaves are loaded in the passage from Africa to the colonies. He brought to Paris all these horrible instruments of torture. In a public meeting of the Society of Christian Morals, after depicting forcibly the atrocities which accompany the Slave Trade, he exhibited before his audience all these infernal instruments, and pointed out their cruel use. A shudder of indignation ran through the assembly. M. de Stael went into the parlours of the great, to the halls of legislation, and even to the palaces of the king, to explain the horrid instruments of the Slave Trade. Public opinion was strongly roused, and it is no exaggeration to say, that the new laws against this traffic are owing principally to the generous efforts of M. de Stael.
M. de Stael was called to render another service to the friends of Evangelical truth. At the period when a religious revival appeared in the Canton of Vaud, the government of this country made a law imposing severe penalties upon those who were styled Momiers or
Methodists. Methodists. Several faithful pástors were imprisoned, or banished from the Canton, and social religious meetings were not allowed to be held. It was a shame to Protestantism, and a violation of the simplest precepts of the Bible. M. de Stael took his pen to defend the oppressed, and to force the oppressors to blush for their intoler
His writings on this subject were read with avidity. They increased the courage of the persecuted, and the Vaudese magistrates recognized the necessity of mitigating the law in its applications. The pious writer explained the meaning of "Methodist," given so gratuitously to the friends of the Gospel. "A methodist," he said, with much shrewdness, "is a man who has more religion than he who calls him so. There is no one, in this sense, who may not be a methodist in the view of another more unbelieving than himself."
M. de Stael visited England with the Duc de Broglie, his brother-inlaw.
He had already spent some years in this country, but he viewed it now in a new light, and sought the company of pious persons. He was received with lively interest in the most respectable families of Great Britain. He became acquainted with the celebrated Wilberforce, and found in him an excellent model of Christian love. M. de Stael remarks that he specially learnt in Scotland what are the advantages of a religious education and of family worship. His Christian feelings were strengthened and his views enlarged in this journey. When he returned to France, he was more decided than ever to confess openly Jesus Christ before men. He no longer dreaded the disdain of pleasure. In the midst of persons of the first rank in the state, he avowed his faith, gave reasons for his hope in the