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Redeemer's cross. His life had been eminently a life of duty. War was not his element; but he engaged in it, convinced that religion, freedom, and the rights of nations and all that man holds dear, summoned him to the field. He went, and in the crisis of danger, this mild and tender spirit ever rose on the swelling career of war, to all the brilliant enthusiasm of the hero. In the steady fulfilment of
manifest duty, he seems gradually to have realized the truth of the text"If any man will do my will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." He has "entered into peace, walking in his uprightness." If war must yet necessarily stain this world with human blood, may its horrors be ever mitigated by the moral energies of such commanders!
THOUGHTS ON THE BIBLE SOCIETY.
I HAD not intended to pursue this
who will only allow of a form of prayer, and others who only admit of that which is extemporaneous. Here is the difficulty-where three parties view the matter so differently, who is to have the preference? The only way of meeting the difficulty has appeared to be to dispense with it altogether. Are we right in doing so? We cannot be right in failing to pray that every good work may be begun, continued, and ended in God.
But with respect to Bible meetings, while I have clearly seen the difficulty, I have felt it a duty to give all assembled credit for coming to the meeting in a spirit of prayer, as I trust I always endeavour to do myself; and if God had not been pleased to accept the spirit of prayer, and if the separate streams of individual supplication had not found their way into heaven, as successfully as an entire ocean of united prayer, I cannot think that such a return of blessing would have been vouchsafed, as we have seen so evidently in the prosperity of the Society, and the wisdom and success with which it has held its way, amidst varied and perplexing difficulties. It could not have prospered without God's blessing; and would that blessing have been 4 B
so signally vouchsafed, if God had been displeased with the individual and sectional character of the mode of seeking it.
Will any one say, that there is a single religious institution in existence which has been eminently useful, or more unequivocally blest? I cannot then think that the mode of conducting its public meetings, has been such as to offend the God of heaven. And while I give my fellow Christians credit for going to a meeting in the spirit of prayer, and in the individual exercise of prayer, I cannot but think that God has accepted the offering. He may have seen much that was defective and faulty, but still he has seen that His glory was aimed at and his blessing depended upon, and that blessing has not been withheld.
Still, I repeat, that I should rejoice to see our Bible, like other meetings, commenced with united prayer. And I do not despair of seeing it. I think that the very elements of brotherly union, which originated the Bible Society, are in the course of events, in these singular times, so developing and gathering strength and energy, that
tere long we shall have the devout and spiritual so filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, that in real love for its exercises, it will become a matter of perfect indifference through what instrumentality it is effected.
The formality which makes men sticklers for form or no form, will cease to be an insuperable barrier; and men united together in brotherly love will be ready to say,
Only let us pray together for blessings we all maintain to be essential, and we care not how or by whom our devotions are conduct
ed." No, I do not despair to see this genuine, healthful spirituality getting the better of that formality which is as demonstrable in the prejudice against forms of prayer, as in the exclusive adoption of them. And it would be a blessed sight, and a blessed practical proof of Christian Union, to see the Churchman and the Independent, the Baptist and the Wesleyan, taking it in turns to open our meetings with prayer, each of them an· nually in rotation: each one adopting his own wonted method, but all alike in heart and spirit, as it respects the object of their supplications. In the meanwhile, let us not forsake the Bible Society because all is not herein perfect as we could wish it to be. God does not deal thus with his children; he does not cast them off because they are very faulty and provoking. He is long-suffering and very pitiful, and it is of his mercies that we are not consumed. Nor does he forsake and frown upon and strike with barrenness all schemes for his glory which are not entirely in accordance with the Divine mind. He sees strange and unseemly mixtures of truth and error, and yet he blesses. Let us then learn our lesson. In proportion as we love this blessed Institution, and wish that it should be without fault, let us cling to it, let us cherish it, let us watch over it. It is thus and not by forsaking it that we may bring it eventually to the point we are longing for. If all the clergy of the Church of England-Bishops, Priests, and Deacons would only, one and all, take the Bible Society by the hand, (and the door is open for all to do so,) what would there be to fear, in the way either of hurtful or defective operation.--ED.
WE have just received most distressing accounts of the influence of this unscriptural leaven in Canada. The Bishop of Toronto has resolved to carry out his ultra-Church principles with a high hand, and to ordain none, however excellent and unexceptionable in other respects, who do not come up to his standard; all being regarded as dissenters, who cannot accord with his views of apostolical succession and baptismal regeneration, &c. The College at Cobourg was established for the purpose of preparing students for the work of the ministry in the diocese of Toronto, and it is under the special charge of the Bishop. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel supports it with a grant of £500 a-year.
Bishop has determined that no students not maintaining his "Church principles," or, of what are called evangelical sentiments, shall progress to ordination. In consequence, the only three in the college of this character, have been compelled to depart -two withdrawing before they were formally expelled, the latter indulging hope to the very last, and ultimately expelled by the Bishop. We are well acquainted with the history and character of this young man; and deeply as we regret the scandal and offence occasioned in the Church by such a flagrant instance of episcopal tyranny and persecution, we can scarcely pity the individual, for to him it is given, as a privllege and distinguished honour, not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for his sake. And while we know his joy and thankfulness on being counted worthy to do so, we feel assured that he is only hardening in the furnace of persecution and affliction for more important usefulness in his Master's service. Still the case is one which cannot but awaken the deepest sympathy. Mr. E. was sent from England to the College at Cobourg by a few friends who contributed to his support: and just as we
were anticipating the commencement of his ministerial duties, the door is closed against him; his prospects, in that diocese at least, are blasted; and he is thrown almost penniless on the wide world with a delicate wife and four little children! We shall probably in a future number give further details of the case; for the present, suffice it to say, that he wrote most respectfully and humbly to the Bishop, assuring him of his readiness to meet his views as far as he could conscientiously, but in vain. The Bishop was resolved on his expulsion, and, unmoved by his Christian, submissive letter, forbids him the chance of amendment, and the opportunity of becoming better instructed.
Was this the tender, forbearing, long-suffering spirit which práctical, Scriptural Christianity should have dictated! But we may depend upon it, the spirit which has latterly developed itself, and become characterized as Tractarianism, is a spirit that will be as persecuting and intolerant as Popery, as far as it has opportunity. Even supposing the young man to have been faulty, is it to be endured, that no effort is to be made to set him right; but that his very first direct communication with his Bishop is to be met, not with counsel and advice, but an abrupt and unfeeling dismissal! And the Bishop and Dr. Bethune, the Principal of the College, well knew the state of his poor family, and his pecuniary straits, and his distance from his home! Would that we could have supposed this impossible! But if priests and Levites pass him by, and treat him with their cruel neglect, there are not wanting those, especially amongst the pious officers in the English army, who have extended to him their heartfelt sympathy and pity; nor those in the Church, who knew how to appreciate his singular promise for ministerial usefulness, and are ready to hold out to him the right-hand of fellowship. In his last letter, dated
Oct. 10th., he was expecting to go with his little family into the diocese of Montreal, a distance of 500 miles, in an open waggon, and in the depth of winter. There are those amongst our readers who, we feel confident, will help him with their prayers, and also with their contributions towards
a sum we are raising for the expenses of his unexpected removal.
The Editor will very thankfully receive and forward anything that may be sent to him. He is also collecting for him books, for his own use and for distribution.
INVITATION TO UNITED PRAYER,
For the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, on Thursday, 1st of January, 1846,—
BEING THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR.
DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, -The privilege which I have enjoyed for the last NINE years, of inviting you to commence THE NEW YEAR, by
UNITING IN PRAYER FOR THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, is, by the kind providence of God, again vouchsafed to me. And it is with a heart desiring to express its thankfulness to the Giver of all good for countless mercies, that I would renew my annual Invitation for this general CONCERT FOR PRAYER, which, by Divine permission, will be held ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 1846.
The present is a period which very particularly calls for such a devotional union; for, surely the important events which have occurred during the present year, and which it is probable will be more unfolded in the coming one, are of a nature which, in a very special manner, make the abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in his enlivening, enlightening, purifying, comforting, and sanctifying grace, especially needful. Oh! that our Heavenly Father, for his dear Son's sake, may first grant to his people the Spirit of grace and supplication, and then in answer to their prayers fulfil that gracious promise, open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
To mention only a few of these remarkable events :
First-The grant of the Firman for building a Protestant Church in Jeru
salem by the Sultan, which has been at length obtained through the ful influence of her Majesty's ambassador at Constantinople.
The following sentences are extracted from this interesting State paper:-" It has been represented, both now and before, on the part of the British embassy, residing at my court, that British and Prussian Protestant subjects visiting Jerusalem, meet with difficulties and obstructions owing to their not possessing a place of worship for the observance of Protestant rites; and it has been requested that permission should be given to erect, for the first time, a special Protestant place of worship, within the British Consular residence at Jerusalem. My royal permission is therefore granted for the erection of the aforesaid special place of worship. And my Imperial order having been issued for that purpose, the present decree, containing permission, has been specially given from my Imperial Divan.
When, therefore, it becomes known unto you, Vallee of Said, governor of Jerusalem, you will be careful that no person do, in any manner whatever, oppose it.". Written on the first day of Ramazan, 1261.
This firman may strike the student of prophecy from its date, 1261, or that year of the Hegira; one year beyond the term for which it is said, "The Holy City shall be trodden under foot of the Gentiles." (Rev.xi. 2.) It is the more interesting, as it re
cords that the grant has been made, for the first time for a Protestant place of worship, and this, by the desire of the Queen of Great Britain, and the King of Prussia, reminding us of that well-known prediction, "Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their Queens thy nursing mothers;" and as it also affords a very pleasing example of the benefits to be derived from the spiritual union of Protestants in the cause of our blessed Saviour. Seeing then that full liberty is now obtained for erecting a Protestant church in Jerusalem, and this when our mission there has all the advantages of a representative of the Protestant Church, who is by birth a Hebrew, but by the grace of God a sincere believer in our Lord Jesus Christ; has at the same time a band of faithful watchmen set upon her walls*-who hold not their peace day nor night; seeing also that it is written, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts," who would not entreat the Lord to pour out the abundance of his Holy Spirit, "That out of Zion the law may again go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem?"
A second event which calls for this devotional union, is the very remarkable success which has attended the preaching of the Gospel in France, and the present movement of the Roman Catholics in Germany. In France whole communes have left the Church of Rome, and placed themselves under the teaching of Protestant Ministers. One French Pastor alone during the last years, was instrumental to opening six churches, and gathering in six Christian flocks, all of whose members were previously either Romanists or indifferent to all Scriptural religion.
As to the movement in Germany, however difficult it may be to speak of its exact nature, every one who takes an interest in the welfare of his fellow sinners must desire that it may lead to that saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which may give peace here, and eternal glory hereafter. And this can only be obtained by the *Isaiah lxii. 6, 7. Zech. iv. 6. Isaiah ii. 3.
gift of the Holy Spirit. Oh, may this gift be very largely bestowed for our blessed Saviour's sake; that those who are at present in bondage to the Church of Rome, may attend to the divine warning-" Come out of her, my people, that ye may not be partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Such a grant is the more necessary from a third event connected with the present year-the encouragement given by our Rulers to the Church of Rome.
No doubt they have done this with the best intentions, and from a desire to promote the welfare of her Majesty's subjects; but not taking the word of God as their sure guide, they have, alas! overlooked the unscriptural tenets of the Church of Rome, and the dangers to which those who are in her communion are exposed. But you, my beloved brethren, who unite with our Protestant forefathers in their belief regarding that corrupt Church, you regard those concessions with serious alarm, and poignant sorrow; the more so from the jeopardy into which our dear Protestant brethren in our Sister Island have been brought; and from the schism lately made in our Church by some of the Leaders of the Tractarian Novelties, who have left our communion, and united themselves to the Church of Rome; now more active than ever in spreading her pernicious errors.
Surely these are loud calls for prayer, that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, we may retain our privileges as the Protestant nation, that our divisions may be healed, and that our beloved brethren in Ireland may stand fast in the faith-cheered by that gracious word, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.' "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life.”
There is yet one more event of which I desire to remind you, which in a very special manner should lead to this concert for prayer. The desire which has lately arisen in the Church of Christ for the Scriptural union of all sincere Christians.
This invitation must of necessity be brief-but this subject is of such