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We refer our readers to the close, succinct, and comprehensive statement of the admirable Grandpierre, for an account of the Central Society; and the longer, but no less able and deeply interesting address of M. Boucher, for a view of the present state and prospects of the National Protestant Church. As we understand that these speeches are to appear in the Record, we hope they will be carefully perused. We must, however, extract from the last address. It is
A SKETCH FROM LIFE.
"He was a Parisian by birth, and he had reached the age of twenty, without any outward form of religion, without any inward real concern for his soul. The providence of God brought him into contact with a true Christian minister, a pastor of the Reformed Church, who, on his first visit to him, engaged in prayer. Sir, prayer in the French language he had never uttered himself, and he had never heard from the lips of a living man! The very act of kneeling was a novelty to him! So moved was he by this striking, although but very partial exhibition of Divine life, that he attached himself, as it were, to the individual through whom his soul had, for the first time, caught a glimpse of the invisible world; and on the same day, after hasty preparations, he was travelling with his new friend to spend some time under his roof, to whom the silent language of his inmost soul would already be enabled to say-Thy God shall be my God, and thy people my people.' On the following Sunday he entered, for the first time, a Protestant place of worship; for the first time he listened to the beautiful prayer which, throughout all the Established Church, ascends up from every pulpit without exception, and from thousands and tens of thousands of hearts, united at the same hour in the same expression of their sentiments. Allow me, Sir, and you, fathers and brethren, allow me, for the joy and good of my own soul, to make the walls of this hall of the Scotch Church to echo with the very words which your French brethren repeat in their native land :—
Eternal and Almighty God, our Lord and Father, we recognize and confess before thy Holy Majesty, that we are poor sinners, conceived and born in sin, inclined to evil, incapable, of ourselves, of doing any good thing, and who daily transgress in a thousand ways thy holy commandments; having thus brought upon us, by thy just judgment, condem
nation and death. Nevertheless, O Lord, we deeply deplore having offended thee, and we condemn both ourselves and our faults with a serious repentance, trusting humbly to thy grace, and supplicating thee to remedy our misery. Have mercy upon us, most gracious Lord, Father of mercy, for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ; and, in pardoning our sins, grant to us, and increase in us, from day to day, the graces of thy Holy Spirit; so that seeing more and more our faults, and dying to sin, we may apply ourselves with our whole heart to bring forth fruits of righteousness and holiness, pleasing in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"And now, what were the consequences of the prayer, the preaching, the servicein short, of the breaking in of light upon the young Parisian's mind? The consequences?-Let some of them be mentioned here to the glory of God's grace, and in due justice to that part of the Saviour's inheritance,-the French Reformed Church. The first consequence was his conversion to God, and his joining the Protestant Church. Not only so, but he was enabled to carry into effect his earnest desire to make known to his countrymen the glad tidings of salvation: and his labours were accompanied by signal tokens of his Master's blessing. Led, soon afterwards, by the providence of God, to a neighbouring nation, (Belgium,) he was enabled to plant in the very centre of the country, in the metropolis, an evangelical church. Upwards of 180 Roman Catholics, converted under his ministry, were but the first fruits of a harvest which is now daily increasing in that benighted land, where Protestantism had been entirely uprooted for two centuries. In a few years he was permitted to see some of these, his spiritual children, engaged in the holy work of the ministry. Believing that the literary occupation which he had pursued previous to his conversion, might be turned to good purpose, under a now quite different impulse, he began to write against Popery and infidelity, and also on more general Christian topics. Many of his books and tracts have been honoured, by being adopted and published by the tract societies of the evangelical world. He then proceeded to learn English, for the purpose of pleading, before the great Protestant nations which speak that language, the cause which he thought too much neglected by them,--the evangelization of the Continent. For this purpose he travelled thousands of leagues, and ten thousands of miles in America and in Europe. And now, Sir, he has come over to plead the same ever-beloved
cause before the people of Scotland,-before the General Assembly of their Church! For I need hardly say, that the Parisian convert of whom I have been speaking, is the humble individual who is now addressing you; and however I might be ashamed to engross so much of your attention with the personal history of one so undeserving of such notice, yet
I will hazard exposing myself for the sake of the truth, to suspicions of vanity; and I am willing to appear even deficient in a sense of propriety, if in this way I may be able to shew that my noble Church is not deficient in the desire and power of doing good, nor my dear country in a share of God's spiritual mercies."
LETTERS TO THE YOUNG ABOUT ABSTINENCE FROM INTOXICATING LIQUOR, TOBACCO, AND OPIUM.
(Monthly Paper supplied by the Edinburgh Branch of the British League of Juvenile Abstainers, for which the Editor is not responsible.-ED. CH. MAG.)
companions, and to other children whom she brought to the Sabbath School, she became a favourite among all the scholars.
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-In the first let- | needs; and by her kindness to her class ter we sent you about abstinence from intoxicating liquor, tobacco, and opium, we told you a good many things; and for the sake of enabling you to remember them, we numbered them. There were ten different things; try now and not forget what these ten things were, and to encourage you to remember them, we will tell you a little story.
There was a little girl of the name of Margaret, who used to attend our Sabbath School. She was a very quiet and attentive little girl, somewhat pale and sickly looking; and her clothes, though very poor, were clean. She had no Bible when she came to the school, and so she had to look on with the little girls in her class; she was a good reader, and knew the Bible fully as well as most of the girls in her class. The want of a Bible was a great hindrance to her getting through the exercises of the class pleasantly, and we purchased a Bible for her, and gave it to her, expressing a hope that she would make it her companion.
For some time after she got the Bible, we observed a very great improvement in Margaret's preparation of her exercises in the class; and, pleased with her conduct altogether, we interested a lady so much in Margaret's behalf, as to procure for her some clothing, of a plain, but useful kind, to preserve her from the cold of winter. Margaret was very thankful, and very grateful for this attention to her
Margaret's father and mother were both living; she had one brother, a little boy, whom she used to bring with her to the school, though he could not read,-he used to be very quiet, and when a nice little simple story was told about Jesus and His wonderful love for little boys and girls, little Johnny would often cry, "Me love Jesu, Him love me,-tell me about Jesu more."
One Sabbath evening, both Margaret and her little brother Johnny were absent from the school; none of the scholars knew the reason. On calling at their house the same evening, we were surprised to hear that Margaret was dying,-her mother was wringing her hands, and tearing her hair, and throwing herself upon the floor of her dwelling, in the greatest agony and suffering, while the father, and two medical men, were by the side of Margaret, who seemed to be already dead,-the sight we shall never forget, and the impression which it made upon our mind, is now as fresh, as the moment when we heard the melancholy statement that she had been poisoned.
Poisoned! why, how was that? She had been sent to the apothecaries for laudanum that morning; her mother was in the habit of using it for a disease under which she
laboured, the little girl had often heard her mother say, it was the only thing she got which relieved the pain. Margaret had been complaining of a pain that day too, her father, and mother, and little brother had gone out, and left Margaret at home. When they came home, they found their little girl stretched on the floor, the laudanum bottle nearly empty, and, alas! in the course of the same evening, she was a lifeless co-pse!
Often we have thought of little Margaret and the laudanum bottle, and lamented, that this dear child should have been cut of by this deadly poison; and often we have thought, how careful parents
hould be not to leave poison in their children's way,-and how careful children should be not to touch things which are not for them and things which are poisonous. Perhaps Margaret did not think it was a poison,-though her mother may have told her it was,-perhaps she thought it would relieve her pain as it had done her mother's. Dear young friends, you must not do everything your parents do, nor partake of everything your parents partake of. You must remember Margaret, and the laudanum bottle, and we will tell you the reason why very soon.-I am, dear young friends, yours truly,
by the existing means of worship. The first of these branches is
THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRIZES OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. BESIDES prosecuting her own direct function as an instrument, under God, for imparting and confirming the knowledge of His blessed Gospel among those already within her pale, the Church of Scotland has engaged herself in various efforts to contribute to the performance of her Saviour's farewell command to His disciples, to "go and teach all nations." These efforts have four great objects,-viz., 1. Those at home, who are yet strangers to the knowledge and privileges of the Gospel; 2. Our expatriated countrymen in the British Colonies; 3. The Heathen; and, 4. The Jew.
I. THE EDUCATION SCHEME. It is well known, that every parish in Scotland possesses either a Grammar School, or a Parochial School. The inestimable benefits conferred by these institutions, are generally known and appreciated. The circumstances of the country, however, have changed greatly since these schools were established by an Act of the Scottish Parliament in 1696; and even since the enactment of 1803, which contained a provision, but slenderly efficient, for erecting additional schools in parishes where one was insufficient from the great population, or intersection by arms of the
The rapid increase of population, its concentration in towns and manufactories, and, apart from these considerations, the discovery made by the advanc ing light of education of its own deficiencies even in landward parishes of vast extent,
these, and other circumstances, demonstrated the utter inadequacy of the legalized means to furnish instruction to the whole people. By an inquiry made about thirty years since, more than 80,000 children of school-going age were found uneducated, and without the opportunity of education in the simplest elements of religion, or secular knowledge. There is
After a vacancy of several years in the Rectorship of the Glasgow Normal School, a suitable person has, at last, been found for that office; and this seminary will now have its arrangements completed.
no reason to suppose, considering the un-nomy, accompanied by pious and orderly interrupted advance of the population, habits; thus communicating both moral that the number in this lamentable con- elevation and attractive grace to the chadition has yet been materially diminished. racter and habits of the poor. The Education Scheme endeavours to remedy this evil, by encouraging the erection of new schools. A schoolhouse being erected, and certain accommodations to the teacher provided by the heritors or others interested in the locality, this Scheme, by furnishing a small annual endowment, secures the services of a schoolmaster, far more highly qualified than a needy district could obtain if left dependent on the means of its inhabitants.
The qualifications of the teacher, his moral and religious character, his attainments in knowledge, and his ability to communicate his knowledge to others,these are evidently vital points; and the Committee, therefore, directs its special care and active exertions to the Training of Teachers. This is accomplished in the Normal Schools of Edinburgh and Glasgow, under teachers of high accomplishment and long experience. By examination of candidates, those worthy of training are selected; board, if necessary, is provided for them, and they are required to spend such a period in the seminary-which contains a model-school of children for the practical exercise of the art of teaching-as to ensure knowledge and skill in the use of the best methods.
The high importance of the Normal Seminaries, is too obvious to require illustration. Trained here, the new teacher enters his school with the confidence of one who has learned his craft. Above all, the Church has here the means of inclining the minds of her teachers to the love and exposition of Scriptural truth; so that from this fountain-head the waters of life may be carried to cheer the remotest corners of the land, enrich its most inhospitable wastes, and gladden the lowliest abodes in the poorest lanes of its teeming cities.
The Normal Schools train female teachers as well as schoolmasters, and impart to them not only divine and secular knowledge, but skill, also, in the pursuits of domestic usefulness and household eco
The Edinburgh Normal School has, during the last year, afforded professional training, for greater or less periods, to 132 teachers.
The number of schools supported by
the greater number being
And through the medium of
Returns received from 172 of these schools this year, shew 15,080 pupils in attendance. Assuming the same ratio for all, the number of children educated in connection with this Scheme, is 18,148.
The amount of the Committee's ordinary expenditure last year in maintaining the Normal Schools, and providing endowments to 183 teachers, was L.6568, 16s. 8d. The Ladies' Gaelic School Society expended L.578, 17s. 9d.
Although there is truly no more important work of a Home Mission than the Christian education of the young, the name is specially appropriated in the Church of Scotland to that Scheme of which the object is to provide a preached Gospel to those who have it not. This noble undertaking was advanced to a high point of success, by the zeal and energy of the lamented Dr. Chalmers. Since he left the Church, it has been prosecuted under four subordinate heads :--
1. Church Extension. This branch of the procedure is to en
courage and facilitate the erection of Churches in destitute localities. The ardour and ability with which it was conducted by the eminent man already named, are well known. Since 1843, it has been felt by the Committee, that, consi- | dering the number of Churches already erected, it was less incumbent upon them to add to that number, than to provide for the maintenance of a living ministry in the places of worship which already exist. Allowances for building, therefore, are granted only in cases of great exigencyand these in supplement of local exertion. Upon these principles, grants were awarded, during last year, in aid of two erections, -one in the parish of Drainie, Morayshire, and the other at the fishing village of Inverallochy, Aberdeenshire.
The main exertions of the Committee are put forth in the two next branches of the Scheme, viz:—
2. Aiding Unendowed Churches;
in the mining and manufacturing interests, the demand for assistance has become more urgent.
During last year, grants varying from L.20 to L.50, have been voted in aid of 52 Unendowed Churches, and 59 Missionary Stations. The privileges of the Gospel are thus extended to more than 40,000 worshippers, who, failing the aid of this Scheme, would be left without religious ordinances.
The progress of the congregations under the Committee's fostering hand, is most encouraging; the last report particularizes 24 cases in which there is a marked increase of worshippers and members during the year. Every follower of Christ, of whatever denomination, must rejoice, that more souls are thus drawn within the sound of the message of salvation.
These facts, as well as the claims of fifteen places of worship in Glasgow, just restored to the Established Church, present an impressive claim upon the liberality and prayers of her members.
The last branch of this Scheme consists in
4. Encouraging Young Men to the Ministry.
Hopeful students, whom chill penury might otherwise repress, are, upon proper examination and certificates, provided with such pecuniary aid as enables them to prosecute their labours preparatory to the work of the ministry. Eight young men have received such assistance last year.
The expenditure of the Home Mission during the past year, for the purposes now explained, was
3. Employing Probationers as Missionaries.
1. Towards completion of two
L.232 10 0
2. In aid of 42 unendowed churches 1723 0 0
Towards support of Mission-
1495 0 0 77 00 L.3527 10 0
The Church has recently added to her be classified with the Home Mission, Schemes an undertaking which falls to being
III. FOR THE ENDOWMENT OF CHAPELS