Imagens da página

ertion, and slander the good sense, of those who are devoted to God's glory, in the dissemination of his truth; and, at the same time, so to conciliate some polite and sage-like sceptics, as to secure their passive, if not their active, assistance in the diffusion of divine light, by showing them that it is not excessively ridiculous to think the globe shall be Christendom;-is chiefly the design of this “Serinon."

Candour must constrain the very enemies of Christian enterprise to acknowledge, that this " vindication of the religious spirit of the age,” is supported by principles and analogies which a sound and generous mind will not venture to reject; that it discovers a considerable acquaintance with the nature and history of man ; and plainly shows, that pungent wit is not the exclusive property of the Intidel.

The discourse has certainly a respectable claim to original matter, beauty of arrangement, unity of design; perspicuity, strength, and elegance of expression.

To say, however, that it is interwoven throughout with as much of the finery and finesse of a Novel, as might at any time be expected in a Sermon, is to state one quality it has with which some old fashioned Christians, not over captious either, would be dissatisfied. To say, moreover, that it brings forth “the grave polemic” from amid his "stupendous tomes," and points at him as “the kindler of sectarian feuds," the filler of "the whole city of ion with confusion--and then scourges the “ learned disputatious divine," as a “firebrand of the church ;”— is to mention another particular, which even some charitable Christians would not consider a recommendation. They might ask: " Has not the grave polemic, in days of yore,' been a champion of truth, and done something toward handing it down for present circulation in its purity? When man and Satan combine to corrupt the doctrine and worship of God, can the church derive no advantage from him who, knowing the nature and design of the gospel, and zealous for his Redeemer's honour, dares to front the advocate of error; and, like a Christian Demosthenes, is able to 'scize the connexion and opposition of ideas; mark with precision the main point of a disputed quesrion ; discover the mazes in which it has been involved; define his terms, apply the principle to the question, and the consequences to the principle, and then break the threads of sophistry, in which perfidy would entangle ignorance? Is it so, that such men as put themselves into the ministry, after a preparation of twelve or eighteen months, and the substance of whose preaching is not Jesus Christ and he crucified, but a narration of what is transacted in the religious world; and who, truly, are so 'inferior in the art of syllogizing' as scarcely to know what a syllogism is ;-is it so, indeed, that they do more for God and man in ane day,' than did such men as Calvin and Owen, 'in a long

and busy life?' And because some controvertists have 'darkened counsel by words without knowledge,' and even done worse, must therefore the Preacher's pen, like a besom of de. struction,' sweep away all polemical divines into one cominon perdition ?

It is freely admitted, that disputation in matters of religion, has done much to create and continue sectarianism ; and thus awfully to alienate the affections of those who have "one Lord, one faith, one baptism;" and to produce a fearful illiberality of heart and hand, in the distribution of Heaven's treasure. It is as readily granted also, that many at this hour blunder most egregiously on the subject of ministerial duty, in cherish. ing greater eagerness to cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, than to feed the sheep and lambs of Jesus Christ.

But it is likewise thought ihat He, who qualifics his servants with various gifts for the perfection of his church, has used some of his own members as polemics, and thus, as instruments of righteousness unto God;" and will cause them to “shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever."

It is neither safe nor modest, even for the head to say to the feet, “I have no need of you."

The Sermon contains another sentiment, which it might not be improper a little to amplify, and somewhat to guard : viz. that the spirit now working so powerfully among the children of Zion, plainly signifies that the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come;' and that their present exciteinent better reveals their duty, than do “ whole libraries of apocalyptic and chronological dissertations." Very true. It is one of the well known marks of the divine economy, that Jehovah gives blessings to those in whom the ardent desire for them is kindled and burning. He himself imparts this desire, as the pledge of coming consolation. Now it is just this characteristic of divine providence that seems to be utterly neglected by men, who seek to shelter themselves un. der prophecy, when they are pressed to give a reason for not taking part in the enlightened, benign, and successful crusades of mo dern Christendom. And this species of subterfuge is precisely the same with that, which these very men condemn in those who, when urged to make their “ calling and election sure," turn about the exhortation, and say, it should be "to make their election and calling sure."

At the same time, the glorious things spoken in prophecy concerning the city of God, require to be studied, and compared with the course of his providence; in order to see what scriptures have been fulfilled, are now accomplishing, or remain to be filled up. And the knowledge thus obtained will do much rightly to regulate and encourage etforts to evangelize the earth ; and will be a very good companion for zeal, on a missionary tour.

To conclude. This Sermon is recommended as an inge

bious and spirited defence of the religious enterprise of the day; and, notwithstanding the objections which might warrantably be made to some of its peculiarities, is far more worthy the attention of those, who have hitherto been unfriendly to the cause it vindicates, than all the “stones, plants, and cockle-shells" that could be scraped together-than all the lugubrious “ predictions" of doubt and fear.





An adjourned general meeting of the above society was recently held at their rooms in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and was numerously and respectably attended.

His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury took the chair, supported by Lord Kenyon, the Bishop of Landaff, Sir James Langham, the Hon. Ph. Pusey, Archdeacons Cambridge and Watson, and several other clergymen and gentlemen.

The Report of the last year's proceedings was then read by the Rev. W. J. Rodber, the Secretary. After noticing the exertions and progress of the Society, it stated, that 241 applications had been received ; 120 were under consideration; not within consideration, 10; 111 grants had been made for enlarg. ing, building, repairing, and giving free seats; the grants amounted to 29,3471. and increased accommodations had been given for 36,557 persons, of which there were 26,336 free sitlings. The following is the present state of the funds :

Šlock in the public funds 48,9551. 15s. 2d. Three per cent. consols, 68,5481. 148. 3d. Ditto reduced, 3,5031. 183. 2d. Balance of Treasurer's account, 1,4031. 18s. 8d. Donations unpaid, 1,2161. 1s. Od. Grants ditto, 25,852. Os. Od. Amount of disposable assets, 25,7631. 145. 4d.

The Report concluded by noticing the great good the society had already done, and the increased measures in contemplation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury moved, that the Report should be referred to a Committee, to consider the means of giving it publicity.

BRITISH AND FOREION SCHOOL. On Monday, June 12th, the Marchioness of Landsdown, the Countess of Derby, Dowager Lady Sitwell, Lady Laura Fitzroy, Lady Isabella Blackford, Lady Charlotte Seymour, Lady Mary Stanley, Lady Johnstone, attended by Mrs. Fry and Mr. Clauswitz, Charge d'Affaires from the King of Denmark, the Duke of

Somerset, Lord Euston, Sir Alexander Johnstone, &c. visited the Central School of the British and Foreign School Society, and paid great attention to the different operations of the system for upwards of two hours. The whole party expressed great satisfaction with the good order and progress of the children, who were particularly examined on their acquaintance with the holy scriptures.

General Statement of Schools in England. Endowed Schools.-New schools, 302; children, 39,590. Or. dinary schools, 3865; children, 125,843. Total revenue, 300,5251.

Unendowed Schools.-New schools, 820; children, 105,582. Dames' ditto, 3,102 ; children, 53,624. Ordinary ditto, 10,360 ; children, 319,643.

Sunday Schools.-New schools, 404; children, 50,979. Ordinary ditto, 4,758 ; children, 401,358. Total, 931,686.

[This account we understand to be exclusive of the National and British and Foreign Schools.]

INDIA.--SERAMPORE COLLEGE. We have the high gratification of learning, that, on the 19th of Junc, a sum of £5000 was voted by the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in aid of the translation fund of the Calcutta Mission College, under the direction of the Lord Bishop of that diocess, and which will be applied to that noble object exclusively.

Serampore College, embracing, among other tery important objects,

a plan for increasing the Native Missionaries in India. The population of Hindoostan, it is supposed, amounts to not less than one hundred and fifty millions, of whom more than sixty millions are British subjects. With the exception of a few heathen, but recently converted to Christianity, all these are "lying in wickedness," and destitute of Christian teachers! The care of these sixty millions, in particular, naturally devolves upon British Christians; but what has hitherto been done for them? At present, there does not exist in India one Christian teacher for each million of souls ! notwithstanding the express injunctions of our blessed Lord—“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."-"Go teach all nations."

Ii is further evident, that, by their own individual exertions, British Christians never can teach all these tribes, speaking as they do more than fifty different languages, or dialects. If only half the sixty millions could be brought under instruction, and giving five hundred souls to each missionary, this would require not less than sixty thousand; but where shall sixty thousand missionaries be found ? and if they could be found, from what funds could they be supported? If, therefore, the great body of the

people in India are to be turned from idols to serve the living God, it is inanifest that this must be accomplished by the natives who are converted to the Christian faith, and that upon their shoulders, as far as humani agency is concerned, the great burden of this blessed undertaking must rest.

In these circumstances, Dr. Carey and his brethren have for some time past been very anxious to establish a seminary, wherein the case of native pastors and native missionaries shall be

properly met; and trusting in God that they should not be disappointed in their desires for completing the design into which they have been gradually led, the ground for the erection of the requisite buildings was purchased in 1818, after the plan, published all over India, had received the sanction and patronage of the Most Noble the Marquis of Hastings, the Governor General; His Excellency Jacob Krefting, the Governor of Serampore; and other public characters. To this undertaking, the Serampore missionaries, Carey, Marshman, and Ward, have devoted 20,000 rupees, or 2500l. sterling from the proceeds of their own labour,

The peculiar fitness of native preachers for the work in view, can hardly be appreciated without considering the difficulty of acquiring a foreign language, so as to be able to become a persuasive preacher in it; without referring to the heat of the climate, which in a great measure incapacitates an European for very active services in the open air, and without considering that the only way, for many years to come, in which the spiritual wants of this vast population can be met, must be by numerous and constant journeys among them. From what treasury could places of worship be built all over India ? and if they existed, who should, or who could persuade the heathen to enter them? But the native preacher under a tree, or even in the open air, can address the people for hours together, without feeling more fatigue than what attends similar labours in England. He can also find ready and unlimited access to his own countrymen; he can subsist on the simple produce of the country; he can find a lodging in almost any village he may visit, and he knows his way to the heart as well as to the head of a native without difficulty. On the other hand, the European cannot travel without carrying along with him his food, and that wherein he may sleep, as there are no public inns; so that a boat or a palanquin becomes necessary. Hence the expense of travelling to an European is very considerable ; while the Hindoo preacher, subsisting on from seven and sixpence to ten shillings a week, including travelling charges, will find that amply sufficient to carry him all over the country. For the improvement, therefore, and suitable qualification of such important and essential instruments as these native missionaries, the doors of this institution will ever be open, and it remains with the public to say how many shall thus enter.

« AnteriorContinuar »