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these reasons may sound well in the ears of politicians, who propose to manage all things by mere buman device, without reference to the grace of God; but sure I am, they will never satisfy a serious Christian. And equally sure I am, these devices never have succeeded, and never will succeed. Has God promised any blessing where prayer is habitually and systematically neglected ? Let the mana. gers of schools look well to the matter. What would we think of a school where teaching was neglected ? Should we think better of a school where prayer is neglected ?
Let me next direct the attention, particularly of the Presbyterian people, to another subject, wbich' calls for immediate reform-the neglect of the Catechism, which has been lately pervading our schools. No man can estimate the debt of gratitude which the Presbyterians of Ulster owe to the learned and godly men, by whom the Westminster Catechism was compiled. As a specimen of lucid order, accurate definition, and comprehensive abridgment, it stands amongst the Catechisms of the churches, pre-eminent and unrivalled. For some time past, however, the Catechism has begun to be much neglected. I shall enumerate some of the causes of this neglect, that I may the better suggest and enforce the remedies.
1. In the days of our fathers, the Shorter Catechism was the principal school book for learning to spell and read. The change, or perliaps we may call it the improvement of elementary books, has superseded the Catechism; and thus taken away one. occasion of early familiarity with its contents. 2. Another cause of neglect may be traced to the opinion, that the Shorter Catechism is a book too hard for children. That it is a book of some diff. culty, I admit; but this forms no reason for its rejection. It is not half so difficult as an English grammar, or a treatise of arithmetic, or a system of geography, or a book of music; and yet we hear nothing about the rejection of these works, as books of education. Away with the puling, silly objection! Nothing valuable can be obtained without a difliculty proportioned to its value. One of the praises of our Catechism is the fact, that it is not a book for simpletons; but a book calculated and intended to convey solemn instruction, and to exercise deep thought. But are children capable of deep thought? I answer, they
I am a father, and must confess I have been often puzzled by the religious questions of my children; and, I believe, almost every parent can record a similar experience. Let no parent then neglect the Catechism, under the idea of its difficulty. Difficulty it has none, but what is common to all subjects of importance. And as we begin with all important arts and sciences in the days of our youth, when the mind is disengaged, the memory susceptible, and the judgment, if not exercised, is yet unbiassed, so let us do equal justice to religion, the most important of all sciences, and “train up (literally catechise) a child in the way he should go.” 3. Another cause of the neglect of the Catechism las arisen from the law of the Education Society, Kildare Place, in which the use of Catechisms is forbidden, during school hours. I know this law of the Society has banished the Catechism from the schools, and estranged it from the children, of many districts. Still, if the Catechism is not taught, it is not the fault of the Society; but arises either from the ignorance or error of the managers of schools. The law of the Society, indeed, forbids the use of any books of religious instruction, except the Scriptures, during school hours. But the Society does not say what the school hours shall be. That is entirely in the hands of the local committees. Let committees then direct, that schools be closed on every Friday evening; let them appoint the Saturdays for the Catechisms; and let as many children as please attend. The law of the Society is thus kept inviolate, and the religious instruction of children secured. 4. I fear I mụst assign, as another cause of neglect, the unwillingness of niany schoolmasters to teach the Catechism. 5. And I fear I must complete my survey, by tracing a portion of the evil to the neglect of the Ministers. There are Ministers in the Presbyterian Church, who are patterns of unwearied diligence in this work; but, it is vain to hide or to palliate,—there are others who are utterly negligent, and who, for this neglect, plead the impracticability of the work. A Minister appoints a time and place for catechising. He keeps the appointment. The people do not attend. He gives the matter up in despair, and sits down satisfied that he has attempted his duty, but the people would not accompany him. Cases of this description we all know right well. With every Minister so circumstanced, I would expostulate in words of fire. “Up, brethren, and be doing." "Inquire for the good old ways." Re-éstablish the weekly diets of catechising, as enjoined by your fathers in the Church of Scotland; call upon your Elders to take part in the work, in the several quarters of your parishes; excite the energy and pious zeal of the young generation of Sunday School Teachers. Put yourselves valiantly at the head of these bands, and lead ihem for:h
to the combat against ignorance and every form of infi: delity; they will follow where you lead them, and they
will follow you to victory. But-and if you will not lead them, may the Lord find them other leaders.
I shall conclude with two brief hints to parents, for it is in our families that we must begin the work of reform. 1. Begin with requiring your children and servants to produce, on a given subject, an appropriate text of Scripture. In a proof catechism, Chalmers references, or a Bible with margin, they will have abundant assistance in their inquiries. The next morning, after your family prayer, call for the texts from each, in order. Then prescribe another subject for the ensuing day. At the end of the year, you will thus find your family acquainted with three hundred and sixty-five lessons in the word of God! 2. Establish in your families a system of mutual in. struction. That is, do not merely examine your children and servants, but, under your superintendence, lead them to examine one another. I have seen three little sisters, the eldest not ten years of age, thus employed, and was astonished at the developement of mind, and grace of spirit, manifested by such early and holy exercise. We are now a people in the midst of calls, threatenings, promises, and opportunities ; let us work while it is called to-day.
Tue Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England, met ypon Tuesday, the 20th July last at Newcastle-on-Tyne. After a sermon from these words of the Apostle Peter,--“ Feed the flock of God which is among you ;” by the Rey. William Rintoul, Moderator, the Synod proceeded that evening with the usual routine business, and continued its sittings till late in the following day. Though the number of Orthodox Presby. terian Ministers in England, in connexion with the Church of Scotland, amounts in all to sixty, yet only fifteen of these have as yet united in a Synod. It affords us, however, much pleasure to learn, that the Presbytery of Northumberland, which consists of sixteen congregations, have it in contemplation to connect themselves with this Ecclesiastical Council, and sent a most respectable deputation to its last Meeting, to
learn the basis of an union with the Synod. The only case of difficulty, which came before the brethren, had respect to the mode of admitting members from different congregations. After giving it as their decided opinion, that Sessions may admit members from other congregations without certificates, especially when the character of applicants for communion is previously known to the Minister and Elders, the Synod occupied the remainder of their time in devotional exercises, and in friendly conversation on the interests of religion throughout the bounds of the Presbyterian Church. In this pleasing and refreshing portion of the Synod's proceedings, the members present expressed a strong anxiety to have a correspondence opened with the Synod of Ulster, and also with the flourishing Branch of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. This conversation terminated in the appointment of a Committee to carry the wishes of the Synod into effect.
On the 20th September last, the Directors of “The Glasgow Society for Promoting the Religious Interests of the Scottish Settlers in British North America," unanimously appointed the Rev. William Rintoul, A.M. Maryport, to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Church, in communion with the Church of Scotland, at York, the Capital of Upper Capada. In consequence of this appointment, Mr. Rintoul, at a meeting of the Presbytery of the North-West of England, held at Workington, on Thursday last, intimated to the brethren his intended resignation of the Church of Mary port, and of his final separation from that ecclesiastical council, at a very early period. The Presbytery heard the tidings with unfeigned regret, inasmuch as they would be thereby deprived of the advice and exertions of a valuable member. And considering that Mr. Rintoul is one of the original promoters and an active supporter of the Presbytery's interests as well as of the Synod lately formed in tlris kingdom-it will not be surprizing that his departure to a distant portion of the British dominions should be deeply felt by his friends. But they have the satisfaction of knowing that he goes, under the blessing of the Almighty, to extend and uphold Christianity among an interesting class of his Majesty's subjects, and that he carries with him the esteem, not only of his congregation, in which he has faithfully laboured for the nine preceding years, but of persons of all the different persuasions in the town of Maryport.
ORDINAȚIONS.-On the 30th of September, the Rev. J. Arnold was ordained, by the Presbytery of Monaghan, to the pastoral charge of the congregation of Clontibret. The Rev. J. Bones, Rev. J. Bleckley, Rev. A. Breaky, and Rev. R. Winning, conducted the religions services.
On the 8th of October, the Rev. John Henderson was ordained, by the Presbytery of Clogher, to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian congregation of Aughnacloy. The services of the day were conducted by the Rev. J. Hanna, Rev. A. Armstrong, and Rev. J. Phillips.
On the 30th November, the Rev. David Cochrane was ordained by the Presbytery of Ciogher, to the pastoral charge of the congregation of Ballygawly. The ordination services were conducted by the Rev. John Henderson, Rev. A. Armstrong, Rev. J. Phillips, and Rev. John Hanna.
OBITUARY. DIED.-On Tuesday, 16th November, at his residence near Coleraine, the Rev. James Dunlop, aged 42 years. He was Minister, for 21 years, of the Presbyterian congregation of Ballyrashane.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John iii. 36.
“ With the heart man believeth unto righteousness."--ROM. x. 10.
ON the value to be attached to faith, men have differed immensely. A celebrated poet has the following senti. ment:
« For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight,
His cant be wrong whose life is in the right.” He seems here evidently to think that if a man's life be fair and upright in the sight of men, it matters little what he believes. But compare this opinion with the first text quoted above, or compare it with Mark xvi. 16, “ He that believeth not shall be damned ;" and with Acts xvi. 31, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved;" and you must instantly perceive that darkness is not more opposed to light, than the view of the matter given by the poet is opposed to the unerring word of God. And we have known men whose life was in the right, in justice, and humanity, and even princely liberality; and who, in the meantime, have denied the doctrine of the atonement, the sinfulness of human nature, and almost every essential doctrine of the Gospel; nay, some such men have denied the truth and authenticity of the Word of God; and we wonder where is the Scriptural authority for saying the faith of those men cannot be wrong ?Wrong they must be, dangerously wrong, or the Bible cannot be right.
There is another very dangerous error with regard to faith. Men often imagine because they believe the whole