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JANUARY 1, 1839.
NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE PROTESTANT
ASSOCIATION. By a resolution of the committee, every annual subscriber of 10s. and upwards, and every donor of 51. and upwards, is entitled to a copy of the Magazine on application at the office. If country subscribers will acquaint the Committee of any mode of transmitting their numbers, their directions will be gladly complied with. All communications must be post-paid.
ADDRESS OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE PROTESTANT
ASSOCIATION. The “PROTESTANT MAGAZINE" has been published, and is now offered to the friends of the protestant cause, in the hope that by its means important intelligence, relating to the progress and political power of popery, may be periodically circulated throughout the country; and that the committee may be enabled more effectually to recommend the establishment of local Protestant Associations, to co-operate with such branch societies as have been already formed in various parts of the kingdom, and to justify their own principles and proceedings. A" Catholic Magazine has been for a considerable time in existence; and lately a new association, under powerful patronage, called “The Catholic Institute," has been established, which appears to use that magazine as its chief organ. The committee of the Protestant Association, therefore, feel themselves called upon to counteract these operations by similar unions and publications, and they trust that their efforts
be blessed to the advancement of the cause of truth, and the awakening of protestant zeal among many classes of the people.
It is proposed that the “Protestant Magazine” shall contain as much information as possible on those subjects which are chiefly interesting to the friends of Protestant Associations, and shall serve as a mode of mutual communication between such societies, and to them all from the Protestant Association of
VOL. I.-Jan. 1839.
London. The committee will therefore be very thankful for any details concerning the artifices, the success, or the designs of Romanism, and will gladly avail themselves of all the sources of intelligence they can secure.
The present number will be found to contain, besides general articles and interesting facts, a copy of the two petitions recommended for adoption by the Protestant Association, and now lying for signature at their office. These will be followed, when Parliament assembles, by another against the clause which was proposed in the Prisons' Bill last year by a Roman-catholic member (the Hon. Mr. Langdale) for the appointment, under certain circumstances, of popish chaplains to English jails. In this Number there will also be seen a proposition for the engagement of an agent of the Association capable of assisting its exertions, and spreading accurate information. All these several matters are earnestly recommended to the attention of the readers of the "Protestant Magazine.” There certainly never was a time when union among protestants was more needful, or when the zealous efforts of all true friends of Britain's constitution were more requisite for its protection; and, consequently, the committee confidently hope for that assistance in their present and other undertakings which can alone give spirit and effect to their labours.
PRAYER FOR OUR NATION. "" All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Matt. xxi. 22. At all periods of the history of the church it has been usual to pray, not only for personal relief and blessings, but also for national deliverances and mercies. In the excellent and venerable Liturgy, frequent allusions are made to the nation and its rulers; and both are commended to the gracious providence of Him“ by whom kings reign and princes decree justice.” For when the great favour Great Britain has experienced is remembered, can it be considered that these supplications have been unanswered ? So far, therefore, it is clear that we possess every encouragement to believe that God will hear us for his Son's sake as readily when we intercede for the land of our nativity, as when we approach his mercy-seat with petitions for ourselves.
But, at the present time, does not this merciful encouragement impose on every one who values his Christian privileges, who loves his country, and who hopes to "stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free," a solemn duty ? England, which once was famed for her steadiness in the truth, -which was blessed above all the other nations of the globe,-is now the patron of popery-an apostate, and therefore a distracted nation. We know that “righteousness exalteth a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people ;” and can we conceal from ourselves the afflicting conviction, that England, in morals and in principles, is far different from what she was? Romanism now dictates to our rulers their policy and their measures; Romanism in Ireland educates the people and mutilates the Bible; Romanism turns the scale in our legislature, and is a familiar inmate of the court. In the colonies she receives pecuniary aid for her priest from the public treasury; and at home she enjoys an endowed college for their education. What is all this but a participation in the guilt of idolatry? And if so, shall not God visit a nation like this? (See Jer. v. 29.)
Here, then, is encouragement to pray, and a solemn call to do so. Why should we hold back from so necessary a service? Abraham prayed for Sodom, and God heard him; Abab prayed for himself and his people, and judgements were delayed; Daniel besought the Lord for the sinful Jews, and they were restored to their homes and their beloved Jerusalem; and Stephen, when dying, supplicated for his murderers, and Saul, the chief of his persecutors, was changed into the great apostle of the Gentiles. And it is not only the prayers of patriarchs, and kings, and prophets, and martyrs, that receive answers from Heaven. No, all of us, even the humblest, may offer his sincere petitions, and God will hearken to them: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Such is Christ's full and general promise; and again he said, “When two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And St. James declares, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Let us, therefore, remember these things, and act as becomes protestants who mourn for the sins of their country. Let us beseech God that the truth may henceforth have free course; that there may be in future no communion between light and darkness, no compromise with popery. For it is to the prayers of Christians that this country must, under God, trust for her deliverance. “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Especially let us pray for our rulers, for our youthful sovereign, and those who are put in authority over us. They need our prayers, surrounded as they are by vanities, ambition, and snares; and particularly they may claim them under the existing circumstances of our nation, when all the arts of a corrupt and unscrupulous system are applied to uproot the institutions which have been the glory and the strength of England from generation to generation. Many Christians pray for missionary success, for the conversion of God's ancient people, and for other blessings which are independent of their personal wants. Then, why should our nation, in which we enjoy such unrivalled blessings, which secures for us our Christian privileges, and to which our hearts should cherish the warmest affection-why, we ask, should England be forgotten? Is the Lord's hand shortened, that it cannot save? or, is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear ? And if not—if he have commanded and encouraged us to pray for our country—if her situation be one of peril,
from her worst foemhow can we refuse or delay to join to our other earnest supplications a prayer for the protection of our home? May the day never dawn upon this nation which shall see popery rampant
But if that day do come, as come it may, many a Christian will lament his blindness to the national peril, or his weakness of faith, which prevented him applying to the Lord for succour and protection when dangers first threatened his country.
PROMISES & PROFESSIONS BEFORE THE EMANCIPATION
ACT OF 1839.-No. I. Our readers have doubtless heard of the profession of attachment to the church establishments of the nation made by the Roman catholics when they were endeavouring to obtain seats in the legislature. To these we shall frequently have occasion to allude, and we hope to be able very often to present them to public attention. At present we quote only the following extracts from “ liberal” protestants, who supported the great act of apostacy:
“In considering this subject, (the Emancipation Act,) there should not only be the total absence of everything like angry recrimination, but the exercise of a liberal and enlarged benevolence, with the fullest intention of doing justice to Ireland, and providing most carefully for the protestant institutions of the country.”—Lord Glenelg, Feb. 6, 1829.
“He solemnly assured the house, that though this measure was as dear to him as it was to any man, if he thought it could risk, in any degree, the security of the church of Ireland, instead of being its advocate, he would be found among the foremost ranks of its warmest opponents. He supported the question because of its perfect reconcilableness with the stability of the protestant church; and he supported it further because he thought the passing of this bill would be a measure eminently calculated to support that church."-Lord Plunket, Feb. 25, 1825.
“He was sure he might say, in the name of the great body of the people of Cheshire, that they were ready to acquiesce in any measure which his majesty's ministers might bring forward to give tranquillity to Ireland, and strength to the empire, provided they could shew that the concessions which they proposed were made compatible with the security of the protestant establishment.”— Mr. Wilbraham, M.P. for Cheshire, Feb. 24, 1829.
“Church property is a species of property recognised and defended by law; and we could not take a single sheaf of corn, or divert to other purposes five shillings of tithe composition, without repealing the articles of the Act of Union.”—Sir R. Wilmot Horton, March 18, 1829.
“So far from being likely to enter upon so difficult a task as that of attempting to subvert the protestant religion, the catholic priests would rather confine themselves to preserve their own religion in its present state.”- Sir H. Parnell, March 18, 1829.
“While he denied the right assumed by one class to confiscate or appropriate church property, he equally denied the right of the other class to refuse inquiry into the way in which public trusts were discharged, or in which the stipulated conditions were fulfilled. Acting on this principle, whenever in Parliament a proposition was made for laying hold of the rights of the church, or for confiscating that property, to such proposition he had always said no."- Mr. Spring Rice, M.P., March 16, 1829.
A SOBER assertion, followed up by sound arguments, is an excellent convincer of the human mind,-an assertion, based on an acknowledged fact, and borne out by the invariable result of a series of experiments, is, of all convincing things, the most irresistible. Now we who are jointly engaged in launching a gunboat on this first of January, 1839, may be asked, wherefore such warlike demonstration in a season of profound peace? Why point we our guns,—why unfurl our banner,why breathe the note of defiance, when, far as the horizon sweeps, nothing can be descried bearing the aspect of hostility? The answer is, an assertion that, be external appearances what they may, an enemy rides the seas, hovering round our island sanctuary, and prepared, at the first favourable moment, to carry havoc into its inmost recesses. Our questioners remain incredulous; they have carefully fixed their glasses, and taken a leisurely survey-nothing is visible to them that might warrant such a proceeding on our part; and they charitably counsel us to avoid hazarding our little belligerent among the stately vessels that scud along, intent on commercial speculation or scientific research ; or, if to sea we need must go, they recommend the substitution of fishing-tackle for our very unprofitable freight of arms and munitions of war. There