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by which it is judged. And as to numbers, shall a town with upwards of four thousand, and a parish with nearly seven thousand inhabitants be called too small for such a purpose? if so, is it not probable that some of our neighbours in Dunstable would willingly join us? But I could point out some towns much smaller than this where Institutions are well supported.
The man who would venture to say that Luton is too ignorant for such a purpose, must have less respect for the intellectual acquirements of his neighbours than I possess.I feel satisfied that there are many of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood who are well qualified to become meinbers of an institution, both by their property, their education, and their love of science, and I have certain knowledge that a desire for the thing does exist.
Why then it may be asked “is Luton without an Institution devoted to Science ?" I much fear the cause is to be found in party feeling. Society in Luton is unfortunately much divided. Perhaps there may exist among us in some degree, that miserable delusion which says, stand afar off, I am holier than thou! Or perhaps the phrase is a little otherwise, stand behind me, I am richer than thou! Or perhaps it is, I cannot associate with this man: his political principles are adverse to mine! Shame on us if such thoughts ever exist in our minds for a moment! We should respect each other not because we bow at the same altar only-nor yet should wealth purchase our regard-nor difference of political principles forfeit our esteem.
“ The mind's the standard of the man.” I think there is not the slightest doubt that if some two or three persons would take the lead in this affair, and appoint a meeting to be held to discuss the matter, it would be carried into effect; we should then be able to prove that we are neither too poor, too few, or too ignorant; and that we can banish party feeling for the love of literature and science. In the mean time I sincerely hope you will not allow the subject to fall, now that it has been once started by your correspondent R. until Luton ranks as high in scientific renown, as it does in commercial importance.
I have the honor to be
Hitchin and Baldock Bible Society.-- The Annual Meeting of the above auxiliary society was held on Thursday, Oct. 6th, at the assembly room, Hitchin. The chair was taken by William Hale, Esq. one of the vice-presidents. The report was read by the Rev. W. W. Pym, and resolutions were moved and seconded by the Rev. Messrs. S. V. Edwards, T. Griffin, T. Morel, of Coward College, London, J. Taylor, W. B. Hayne, H. Burgess, J, B. Watson, and T. T. Leete, and by W. Wilshere, Esq. We should have given an outline of the speeches which were delivered, had not a full report already appeared in the Herts. Reformer. The attendance was very respectable.
Our solicitude for the welfare of the Bible Society demands our comment on some sentiments uttered by the first Speaker, which, although they were allowed to pass without notice at the Meeting, were decidedly out of order. The general tone of that speech was christian and gentlemanly, but the speaker, enumerating the names of martyrs and confessors, concluded the catalogue with those of O'Sullivan and M'Gee !! Mr. E. evidently forgot the situation in which he stood, surrounded by Dissenters and Dissenting Ministers, but ought he to have failed to remember it? Had some spirited Dissenter called the speaker to order, who could have blamed him ? And yet by such a course the harmony of the meeting would have been disturbed. What would Mr. E. have said, had a brother of another communion eulogized Sibree and Binney? This plain question will evince the impropriety of the remarks complained of.
Church Rates. From a Letter in the Chronicle.] On Wednesday, the 19th of October, 1836, the subject of Church-rates was again brought under notice, in the form of a public meeting, held in the City of London Tavern- a meeting which will long live in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to be present, not so much on account of its numerous attendance, but for the heartstirring speeches, without one exception, of the gentlemen who addressed the meeting. Probably on no occasion did I ever hear arguments of a more substantial nature adduced in the support of any cause than on the expediency of an entire extinction of church-rates, and their total incompatibility with justice.
Church-rates have heen a grievance which ought long ago to have been redressed; for it is a manifest species of injustice to make any body of men support and pay for a religion which they disapprove, and from which they are conscientious seceders. And is there any occasion for these impositions ? None whatever. The Church of England is strong enough, both in riches and in popular feeling, to support itself, and, if she did so, she would inevitably raise herself in the estimation of all other Churches, and also of those who are out of the pale of either of them.
The clergy have nothing to fear on this score—they will always have a respectable maintenance; and I firmly believe, were the Church to depend altogether on her own resources, they would, as a body, be better provided for than at present. Let the true ministers of the Established Church unite in this grand, this holy work; but in the present crisis, should supineness and indifference predominate, then how awful will be the consequence: no one can tell the degradation awaiting her. But I hope better things; in fact, I see the sun of rectitude dawning on our religion in all its splendour and glory. Such alterations must be effected as will agree with the spirit of the times; and the enormous abuses which have crept in must be swept away with the besom of destruction. I trust the day is not far distant when the unhappy and miserable feelings of exclusiveness, persecution, and bigotry, will be banished from the religionist, and that he will consider all Christians of whatever Church members of the same family-members of the one universal Church established by God himself, that Church which shall last when the constitution of every other shall be broken up; for it is plainly revealed in Scripture that all existing, and consequently imperfect, Churches shall be rooted up, to give more immediate organization to the universal Church, which will, perhaps, be shortly acknowledged by all men.
Herts. and South Beds. Baptist Union.--The halfyearly Meeting of this association of Baptist Churches was held on wednesday, Oct 19th, at Leighton-Buzzard. The Rev. W. Upton of St. Albans, preached in the morning, and public meetings were held in the afternoon and evening. This Union aspires to the character of liberality in its general feelings towards all christians, and proposes, by an ingenuous examination of divine truth, to correct all known errors, and reject mere prejudices in doctrine and practice. The following extracts from the First Annual Address of the Union will throw some light on its character.
"We wish it to be clearly understood, that we are advocates for the greatest catholicism in our feelings of respect and affection towards all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. We can yield to none in affectionate esteem for all good men, however much their views of scripture doctrines and church government may differ from our own. A Fenelon in the Church of Rome, or a Richmond in the Church of England, we hail as fellow-workers for the truth, and hope to be permitted to join their society in heaven,
No erroneous sentiment entertained by others, can ever blind us to the image of our Maker which may be developed in their spirit and conduct.”
The usual appearance of the Churches is thus described.
“ If we cast our eye orer the Churches which come immediately under our notice, what, in the shape of union and co-operation presents itself? For purposes of utility far too little. Their ministers may be on friendly terms with each other, and their members may meet together on some occasions of a public kind, but this has generally been the extent of their intercourse. Their ministers are removed, and others succeed them ; internal convulsions agitate them; the spirit of the Lord is poured out upon them, and they prosper; but none officially sympathize in their sorrows, or rejoice in their success. Individual feelings, of course, are excited by these neighbouring events and changes, but there is no collective token of regard or interest. Like cities in the desert, our Churches have appeared to be cut off from intercourse; their life and movements have been confined within an impassable barrier, and they have sat solitary from generation to generation.
"The injurious effects of this state of things are often visible. When destitute of Pastors, the Churches might often obtain valuable assistance from the counsel of the Ministers and Elders of other communities. Many are the cases in which disputes respecting candidates for the ministry might have been amicably adjusted, had the Churches been accustomed to seek the friendly advice of their neighbours. In internal troubles generally, the solicited interference of a third party would be attended with beneficial results. None are so likely to be misled as those who are excited by being the spectators of contention, and the suggestions of a disinterested observer would often have a calming and peaceful effect.
“When great prosperity has been enjoyed by a community, had union been cultivated among us, zeal and piety would