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the visits made by the Reader, in five successive days, the result is as foilows:- On the first day, he visited families containing one hundred and fifty individuals : and of these, one hundred had no home in the Christian Church, no preference for any mode of Christian worship. On the second day, the proportion of these persons was yet larger, seventy being their complement, to nineteen who owned a relation to one body of Christians or another. On the third day-by far the best-it is just half-and-half. On the fourth, for thirteen Church-people and fourteen Dissenters, we have sixty-taro with the black letter Nannexed; and the numbers on the fifth day are almost exactly the same. So in the metropolis of Christian England, out of five hundred and fifty persons visited and talked with in succession, three hundred and sixty, or two-thirds very nearly, had no such connexion with the Church as to be assignable to any one religious body.'”
And Mr. Kingscote presses his suit, with a warmth which will not hear of denial.
“ You must excuse me, My Lord, if I speak strongly; but I am indeed grieved to find that responsible persons, occupying the watch-towers of our city, and having great influence with rulers and with people, remain satisfied, while nothing is being attempted on any large scale to redress evils like these. It may be that they will baffle us when we rise up to meet them; for our sins the Almighty Ruler may have let this host of untaught citizens gros and grow, till we can cope with it no longer, and Christianity, possibly, must now surrender to the powers of evil the ground which they have held so long. But who would dare to come to such a conclusion till remedies were exhausted ? New methods should be tried, if old ones have failed. A searching investigating spirit should be at work. Devotion to precedents should not pass for the highest wisdom, nor enterprise in a high and holy cause be regarded as wickedness and folly. If need be, something should be ventured for God and souls. For the Church to stand still, while all the world is astir and busily adapting its institutions to its wants, is, I make bold to say, at least as dangerous as the experiments of the rashest ecclesiastical innovators, and much more full of hazard than any thing which I shall venture to suggest in the following pages.
" And let it be remembered that, in this matter of supplying spiritual instruction, through the Established Church, to the masses of our countrymen, we are left to our own resources. Your Grace doubtless remembers Sir Robert Peel's declaration, when at the height of ministerial power, in 1842. No hope was held out, while those who were considered the special friends of the Church were the dominant party in the State, that any grant for purposes of Church Extension would be voted by Parliament. We are cast upon the energies and zeal of individual Churchmen, or must trust to the wisdom of the Episcopal Bench to propound some general measures, and devise some new expedient for the expansion of our ecclesiastical system. From the latter quarter, since your Grace's views have been made known, even sanguine men are ceasing to hope for much. Consultations at Lambeth, we fear, do not embrace questions like these on which I am touching. No rumour reaches our ears of anything intended, or even canvassed, beyond the favourite expedient of late years, begging hard in all possible quarters for suihcient funds to build churches, with a given proportion of free sittings, which the bulk of the neglected population in our large towns never occupy. We would not have one Church less-we should like to have a thousand more. But with reference to the men for whom I plead, -those to whom Christianity has become a strange thing, -such an addition would be just as worthless as schools of philosophy to the grossest and most ignorant boor. The experia ment has been tried, and the failure is complete. Not one working-man in ten, anywhere, speaking of our large towns, and in many districts not one in fifty, goes near a Church once in a month. This is the fact which your Lordship and the heads of the Church have to deal with. Let me ask, most re
spectfully, but with the earnestness of one who feels the tremendous import of such a statement, what is done, or doing, or imagining, to meet and correct this particular evil, to reclaim from positively heathenish indifference to religion the untold multitudes who are the nerves and sinews of our countsy? Can we be satisfied to let another generation go to their graves-without some manly, energetic effort to do our duty towards them? If they, who should be leaders, will not take their rightful place,-if men, whom God has called to be rulers in the Church, produce nothing before the country from which it can be inferred that their eyes are open to see what thoughtful, earnest men are deploring as a national calamity,-at least, we might expect that they would thankfully accept what is offered them by others. Something better should be heard from them, in times like these, than civil acknowledgments of well-intentioned zeal, or damaging censures of every enterprise that has the look of novelty.”-(pp. 7, 8.)
We have said that the publication of this letter has been an event. We mean, that it is already producing fruit. Measures are really contemplated, in good earnest, by some of the highest persons in the Church, which will at least remove from themselves the stigma, of reposing in quietness while myriads of souls are perishing
PASTORAL ADDRESSES. By J. A. JAMES. 2 Vols. London :
Religious Tract Society.
We have great pleasure in recommending these valuable Addresses 1 to the attention of our clerical and other readers. They are truly catholic in spirit and evangelical in statement: nor can we forbear expressing the peculiar interest which we feel in every such testimony from our Dissenting brethren to the great essentials of our common faith, seconded by a sincere endeavour “ to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The pious aspiration which concludes Dr. Doddridge's dedication of his admirable sermon-" The Evil and Danger of Neglecting Souls,” is one which we have often admired, and which it may not be unseasonable, perhaps, to append to this brief notice. He is addressing “ the associated Protestant Dissenting Ministers in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk," and thus expresses himself :
The subjects of these Addresses are-On the increased Holiness of the ChurchSpirituality of Mind – Heavenly-mindedness—Assurance of Hope-Practical Religion -- How to spend a profitable Sabbath-Christian Obligations The Life of Faith-The Influence of older Christians-The Spirit of Prayer-Private Prayer- Self-Examination -Self Renunciation-On reading the Scriptures--The Duty of Meditation-Sin remembered--Proof of sanctified Affliction-Sorrow for the Death of Friends-Attendance on Week-Dav Services Justification Religious Joy-Prayer and Practice-Spiritual Idolatry-A New Year's Solemn Warning. The Addresses are published, we believe, as separate halfpenny tracts, and are well adapted for circulation, or, in their collective form, for religious libraries. They are full of valuable instruction and appeal, expressed in a clear, forcible style.
“May each of you, in the sphere which Providence has assigned him, be a burning and a shining light! And may the lustre of your fervent and active piety awaken, if any of them slumber, our brethren of the Established clergy, to guard against that growth in the Dissenting interest, which must otherwise be the probable consequence of such measures ! [Certain measures which he had just recommended.] May they all emulate the most faithful and zealous among us, in the purity of their doctrine, in the seriousness and spirituality of their address, in the vigilance of their pastoral inspection, in their tender care to train up the rising generation for God, and above all, in the distinguishing sanctity of their lives! This will unite our hearts in such mutual esteem and affection, that even while in different communions, we shall treat each other like brethren and friends, and felloslabourers in the vineyard of Christ; far more endeared by our common lore to our Divine Master, and the souls he has redeemed, than alienated by our different apprehensions, as to the particular mode by which that interest is to be promoted. The question between us will not then be, 'How much may we lawfully impose?' and ' how much may we lawfully dispute ?' But on the one side, it will be inquired, 'What may we wave?' and on the other, ' what may we acquiesce in, from a principle of mutual tenderness and respect; without displeasing our common Lord, and injuring that great cause of original Christianity, which he has appointed us to guard ?' Thus may the flames of undissembled love purge away our dross, and cement us into one mass; where the union will be closer in proportion to the degree in which the metal is the nobler and the more refined! And thus may it cause those fetters to fall off, under the weight and the straightness of which, horever they may have been gilded over, the worthiest persons that wear them must secretly groan! We are praying and waiting for that happy day, which whenever it appears, will be the glorious earnest of the revival of the Protestant and of the Christian cause. In the mean time, may each of us have a pleasing consciousness, that we are labouring to promote it; or at least that while we are waiting for the appearance of the great Physician among us, Te do not, by our own rashness, exasperate those distempers, which in His absence we cannot heal!”-(Works, vol. iii. p. 234.)
This was written in 1742. May we hope that the Evangelical Alliance of 1846 will prove no mean embodiment of this excellent spirit, and that whether connected with that Alliance, or not, all sincere Christians in these “perilous times” will carefully study thus to advance “ the revival of the Protestant and of the Christian cause.
HILL OF ZION; or, the First and Last Things, illustrative of
the present Dispensation. By the Rev. THOMAS WATSON, M.A. Minister of St. Philip's, Granville Square. London :
Nisbet. 1846. The spiritual reader will find much in this excellent well-written volume, both to interest and edify him. It touches indeed upon “the deep mysteries of free grace," but it is “only to show," as the author observes, “ that God is love—that all the doctrines of Scripture are doctrines according to godliness--that true divinity is always more practical than knowing—and that in every instance
vital Christianity has far more to do with the heart than the head." We give the concluding passage :
But here, it may be asked, is there really so much glory in prospect for us, and so much even now within us, and yet so little realization of either? Can this, says an anxious inquirer, be either possible, or even probable? As our Lord, in explaining spiritual things, often made use of earthly representations, and opened not unfrequently the profoundest mysteries of His kingdom, by allusions to the operations of nature, and the ordinary occurrences of human life, so would we here tread in his steps, to make more clear the subject before us. How strikingly does the universe around us illustrate the great truths, which we have been contemplating! Who would suspect that the towering oak, with its sturdy stem and outstretched branches, was once shut up in the diminutive acorn? Or who, in beholding the beauteous and ever-varying plumage of some birds, shaded by every tint of colour, lustrous and sparkling like so many gems in the sun-beam, would suppose that all this richness of nature, inimitable pencilling, lay concealed under the aspect of a cold and often colourless shell? Or who, in glancing the eye over a profusion of beautiful flowers, exceeding in splendour of array even Solomon in all his glory, could have believed that all this profusion of colour is all sketched out in the seed or bulbous root? Now if we discover these wonders in the silent and mysterious workings of nature around us, can we for a mo. ment doubt, or at least continue incredulous to the fact, that already are the seeds of never-ending glory sown within us, of which during the whole of life's weary pilgrimage, for reasons already mentioned, there is little or no outward appearance? To such, therefore, as may still feel doubts on this subject, we can only express ourselves in the language of our Saviour, • Wherefore dost thou doubt?' If a real Christian, are you not already glorified in your federal Head?. And is your glorification in Christ less perfect than any other part of his finished work? Is not a place in the mansions of glory bespoken for you, and think you that place will be vacated, and so Christ's glory be found incomplete, because a member of his mystical body, is seen to be wanting! Oh, no! 'of all that thou gavest me have I lost none, is the language of Him who cannot err, and sooner shall heaven and earth pass away, than one jot or tittle of his unerring Word fail, or fall to the ground!
“But while we would endeavour, by every possible means, under God, to
THE DIVINE PANOPLY: or, a Suit of Armour for the Soldier
of Christ. With an Introduction. By the Rev. Hugu STOWELL, M.A., Honorary Canon of Chester : and Incumbent of Christ's Church, Salford, Manchester. London: Religious Tract Society, 1846.
This elegant little volume, it seems, “is the fruit of the leisure hours of a Christian layman, who is wishful to use the leisure God has given him, for the benefit of the Church.” Mr. Stowell's character of it appears to us perfectly just, and will be quite sufficient to introduce it to our readers. He says
"There are not wanting several treatises on the Christian Armour. Some of them have obtained large acceptance, and been of signal service in the Church. Among them Gurnall's comprehensive and elaborate work stands pre-eminent. It is deeply experimental and rich in unction. At the same time, it is needlessly diffuse, and too cumbersome, not to say too costly, for common readers. There is still, therefore, room and need for a manual on the subject, combining brevity with fulness: condensing the excellences of former works into one, and bringing the whole within the reach of poorer disciples. Such, it is believed, the volume which these remarks introduce, will prove. .... Though a compilation, the materials out of which it has been formed were collected from such various fields, and the plan on which the work has been constructed, is so new, that it may be regarded as, in some sort, an original production. It will be found to contain the pith of Gurnall's voluminous work, together with copious extracts from the writings of Gurney, Scott, Simeon, and other standard divines. Besides which, each section is embellished with a graphic and well-executed illustration of the piece of Armour to which the section relates. Altogether, therefore, it is trusted, that the publication will be found to be as valuable as it is season, able. At any time seasonable, is it not specially so at the present juncture! For are there not thickening signs that 'the evil day' is pigh-that we are verging fast on scenes of conflict, and of trial? Yes-are they not begun? 'Who then is on the Lord's side?' Let him gird his armour round him. Let him stand fast in the faith. Let him' be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.' Let him not be afraid. "If God be for us, who can be against us?'
We ought perhaps just to add, that it is more than a book for “poorer disciples," and can hardly have been designed for their use. It is an elegant collection of prose, poetry, and pictorial illustration, got up with much taste and judgment. It seems to us well calculated to allure our educated youth to the study of an important subject, and to assist them not a little in interpreting and applying the figurative portions of Scripture. We wish the pious compiler had given the titles of the works quoted, as well as the names of their authors. It would have added much to the value of the volume as a vehicle of information.