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introduced me into exercise of mind, but without any prospect as to the use I was to make of it.
The time drawing nigh when I must lay before my friends apprehensions of further service on the Continent of Europe, my situation would, at times, have been almost insupportable, had I not been strengthened, like David, to feel myself brought into that state, in which, with him, I could say, “ I cried with my whole heart, hear me, O Lord; I will keep thy statutes," (Psalm cxix. 145;) yet such were my fears, lest through any misstep I should be involved in perplexity, that sadness of heart was frequently my companion. Yet my help must come from God alone, if I am favoured to come forth from my present tribulation acceptably in his most holy sight.
It seemed to me that the time was come, when I should have to make use of the translation of the Act of the king and council of Hanover. I sat down and deliberately perused it, beseeching the Almighty to direct me in the disposal of it; and believing it was required of me to address the king (George IV.) on some of the subjects which the Act contained, I took up my pen, earnestly craving to be furnished with matter suited to the purpose. After spending a suitable portion of time in inward retirement, waiting on the Lord for his holy help, I proceeded to write, and having completed my address, I went on Third-day, 20th of Fourth-month, 1824, accompanied by my kind friend, Peter Bedford, to Windsor. On being informed the king was going from the castle to the lodge: we proceeded to the long-walk in the great park; and earnest was my solicitude to be enabled to discharge this act of apprehended duty, in a way that would, on a retrospect, afford relief to my own mind. We at length perceived the king coming in bis poney-chaise down the long-walk ; when he came nearly abreast of us, we advanced a little towards the middle of the road; I had the packet in my hand, containing the German copy of the act of the king and council, the same translated, and my address on some subjects which it contained. The king stopped his horses, and we approached the carriage. On my asking the king, in a respectful manner, if I might be permitted to present him with a packet, hereplied, “Yes, Friend, you may.” Several years having elapsed since I had had an interview with him at Brighton, and the king having lost much of that florid countenance he then had, also appearing aged, and being wrapped up in a loose drab great-coat, instead of uniform, which he wore on the former occasion, some hesitation arose in my mind lest I should be mistaken, and it should not be the king. I, therefore, looking up at him, inquired, “ But is it the king ?” to which he replied, "Yes, Friend; I am the king: give it to the Marquis of Conyngham ;” who received it with a smile ; on which the king said, “ Now you have handed it to
me.” After a short communication which I had to make to the king, he said, “ I thank you.” We then acknowledged his condescension, withdrew from the carriage, and returned to London with grateful hearts. I was favoured to reach my own home again, and enjoy it for a time. The address was as follows:
May it please the King, “ To permit a subject, who believes he can say he has thy present peace and cternal welfare at heart, even as his own, to lay before thee some matters in which thou art deeply concerned, in the sight of that Almighty Being, by whom thou acknowledgest thyself called to the throne. Having lately been engaged in a long journey on the Continent of Europe, under apprehensions of religious duty ; during my travels mourning and lamentation were mostly the clothing of my mind, in beholding the extreme immorality of the people; and that in some of the states they were licensed by government, and protected by the police, in following wicked practices. Above all, I found, with but little exception, the Sabbath, (as it is called,) or first day of the week, (set apart for Divine worship) abused in the most notorious manner, by civilized nations professing the Christian name. These scenes of iniquity, with the too evident fearless disposition of mind which prevailed amongst every class and rank of the people, coming so frequently under my notice, brought along with them the mournful language of the prophet Jeremiah, (xv. 17,) Were they ashamed, when they had committed abominations; nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush ;' which is too sorrowfully applicable to the general state of mind of the people amongst whom my lot was cast. I apprehended myself in duty called upon
to remonstrate in some of the states with those in authority, by a printed address on the subject of some laws which had a tendency to build up the people in iniquity, as well as with the people themselves on the subject of their evil conduct. I always entertained a hope, when recurring to thy dominions, that in all thy German states, laws and regulations were framed, which would preserve thy subjects there, as well as at home, in a due respect for the day called the Sabbath, and thus setting a good example of morality to the Continent of Europe; not that I mean to be understood, that there is not great room for improvement at home in these respects; but this, I believe, does not so much arise from defects in the laws, as from a want of more vigilance in some places on the part of those whose duty it is to enforce them. Of the effects which a well-regulated police is capable of producing, I had also satisfactory proof at the town of Basle, where the Sabbath' is passed in a becoming manner-quiet and order prevailing in the streets; all business being suspended, and dissipation and amusement entirely prohibited.
“ As I had a prospect of spending some time in Hanover before my return, amidst all my secret trouble because of the abomination of the people, a cheering hope would frequently revive, that there my deeply tried mind would experience some relief: but alas! how were my expectations disappointed! how did all my hopes vanish! how were my bonds increased! sorrow indeed filled my heart; I was bowed as into the very dust, to find from appearances there, the day called the Sabbath to be disregarded and abused as much as in any
place where my lot had been cast : and that which added to my affliction was, to find the people warranted herein (as they conceive) by rules and regulations having thy own signature : for, during a short interview with some of the seriously disposed there, on my remarking, with evident feelings of sorrow, the manner in which the Sabbath ’ is abused, the reply was, *Our new rules and regulations sent from England have much contributed to it, so that we have no power to help things.' I procured a copy in print of those regulations, and a translation thereof, which I enclose herewith, for the purpose of reference ; with remarks on those parts, which I apprehend (notwithstanding the general purport of the regulations and the royal introductory admonition,) tend to frustrate the intention of the whole, and are by too many of the king's subjects made use of for that purpose ; and I crave of the king, as he values his own soul and the souls of his German subjects, a serious perusal of the whole ; beseeching the Almighty, that he will give thee to see all their evil bearings, and the wide door which is thus, O king, set open by thy authority, for thy German subjects to be found in the breach of laws both moral and divine ; and that no time may be lost in applying such remedies, as to the king may seem meet, and which may be promotive of the temporal and eternal interest of his German subjects; for it is righteousness which exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.' Bear with me, O king, if I presume to say, that these rules, set forth by thee (in the preamble of which it is stated, that it is by Divine authority thou art placed on the throne of thy royal father,) must be in accordance with the law of God, and of Christ Jesus our Lord, if thou art favoured to witness the blessing of heaven to descend upon thee and upon thy dominions, and to experience Divine wisdom to guide thee and thy counsellors, in the management of the important affairs of the state.
“ Extracts from the regulations respecting the day called the Sabbath: • It is prohibited throughout the whole of the day, to hold masked balls, &c. &c. &c. "Unmasked balls, sledgeparties, playing at nine-pins in public gardens, or in private gardens (if in the neighbourhood of the church,) and public music, shall not be allowed till three o'clock in the afternoon.
Here permit me to remark, what a wide door is set open for those who are disposed to indulge in these several gratifications, to absent themselves from their place of worship, and spend their time the whole of the day, so that it be not in the neighbourhood of the church,' in this loose, irreligious
“ Extracts : To open the theatre, to keep marriage-feasts, or other large parties in public-houses is forbid on the first days of the three great annual fasts, and on penance and prayer days, and on the other Sundays and fast-days; these shall not be allowed, until after the conclusion of the afternoon service, viz. meetings of journeymen, club-meetings, or for releasing of apprentices, and for admitting journeymen, and masters, or any such meetings as are obnoxious to the main object of Christian holidays. With regard to the time allowed for the continuance of dancing-parties, more especially in public-houses, this is left to the police, and their regulations respecting this subject.'
“ Extracts :— During the morning and afternoon service on Sundays or fast-days, all shops or booths shall be shut, and no trade or profession shall be carried on in public or in private workshops, except in cases of necessity, when the police has granted leave : all buying and selling, with the exception of medicine at the apothecaries' shops, the erecting of booths or stands in the public market-places, brewing, malting, butchering, the carrying of water for brewing, carrying flour, or beer, and in general every thing which occasions a particular disturbance, shall be prohibited. All public-houses and inns, tea and coffee-houses, ale-houses, journeymen's club-houses, as well as all weighing and packing-houses, shall be kept closed during these times; and no person shall be admitted to the former, except travellers ; nor shall any refreshment be handed to any, except travellers and sick persons.'
“I was myself a mournful witness of the operation of these regulations. Looking out of the window of my hotel at Hanover, on the morning of the Sabbath, I beheld household goods removing, and various articles conveying about the streets, shops of all description opened, as on another day, and the people as active in their worldly concerns, as if it had been one of the six days appointed by the Most High for labour ; until the time when the service at the places of worship began ; and all business again commenced the moment they were closed. I noticed several persons, apparently of the middle class, who came thither long after the time the people generally had assembled, and the same description of persons leaving the place together, apparently before the service was over.
I found reason to suppose, and did afterwards learn, that these were shopkeepers, who, having kept their shops open till the last minute allowed by law, were anxious to have them open again, as they call it, timely, or before their neighbours had dispersed after the public worship. Wishing on this day to call upon a merchant, I was shown, as a matter of course, into his counting-house, where I found him transacting business with different persons, as they came in to him ; which I understood was pretty generally the case with the merchants before, between, and after, the afternoon services. Shooting-parties were turning out at noon, to sport away the remainder of the day. After three o'clock all business was going forward, handicrafts publicly at work, nine-pins rattling, with shouting occasioned thereby in different directions, gaming-houses opened, and diversions of different kinds going forward; in all which the people think themselves supported by the new regulations. How mournful has this consideration been to me, when recurring to the laws on this subject, applicable to my native land; where we may, if we are inclined, enjoy the privilege of quietly passing the Sabbath,' a privilege of which thy religiously disposed German subjects are deprived, unless they live in very secluded situations. On reading the regulations, and beholding these effects, trembling took hold of me at the thought, that thy German subjects should be upheld in setting such an evil example to the Continent of Europe. I crave the Almighty, that he may be pleased to assist thee and thy counsellors in remedying these evils, for so I believe they appear in his sight; and permit me to add my belief, that so long as they are suffered to remain, thou stands a party, O king, before God, to the consequences resulting from them ; and I fear that I shall not stand acquitted in the Divine sight, if I do not, in that feeling of Christian love and obedience, which I owe to thee as a subject, express my belief, that if these regulations are not repealed (the regulations permitting them,) they will be found heavy in the scale of condemnation against thee in the great and awful day of account.
“ To produce the greatest possible uniformity of good conduct amongst thy subjects, with respect to morality and due respect for the Sabbath,' there must be a consistency in thy laws on this subject, in all thy dominions; for the laws of Almighty God are not subject to alterations, they do not change to meet the corrupt inclinations and views of depraved man, but remain the same, to every nation on the face of the earth, to the end of time : and this consistency in thy acts with the Divine will, I crave may become thy chief care and concern, even to be found governing thy subjects as one who is to give an account of this great and important stewardship; that thou mayst be favoured, (as I often crave for thee,) in the winding up of time, to exchange thy earthly for an heavenly crown. And oh, that the king may not be deterred from this his duty, by the apprehension of giving dissatisfaction to any party! Remember, thou professest to rule for God; there