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feeble band to extend its triumphs in distant lands? India has its thousands of pricsts, both stationary and itinerant. Burmah has no lack of the ministers and apostles of idolatry and sin. “ The company of priests is very great, but I found few places where the exact number was known. From the data I was able to obtain, I think their proportion to the people is about as one to thirty. In some places it is greater, in others less. Ava, with a population of 200,000, has 20,000 priests. The province of Amherst, with 36,000 souls, has 1010. Tavoy, with a population of 9000, has 450."Malcolm, vol. i. p. 314.
China, both continental and insular, swarms with her priests and itinerating ministers of delusion and folly. What multitudes of officials are employed in the service of the “ false prophet,” and of the “ beast !” Let Christians be instructed by their enemies ! Puseyism and ecclesiastical bigotry are diffusing their baneful influence through the Continent of India. It is grievous to witness or to learn that an exclusive and sectarian spirit has come upon the present Bishop of Calcutta ; and that this spirit, in a more inalignant form, exhibits itself in many of the inferior clergy. It would be amusing, if the great interests of truth and charity were not so deeply involved in the proceeding, to witness the new-born zeal of some of the chaplains for upholding Church and State, and to listen to their harangues on tithes and church-rates, before their audiences, in the interior of this heathen land. There is one consolatory reflection connected, however, with the proceedings of these apostolic gentlemen, that their congregations are mostly of the lowest possible numerical order. The principal evil arises from their conduct towards missionaries, either of their own church or of other denominations, and the exhibition of their spirit of exclusionism in the presence of the natives among whom they reside. We sincerely compassionate the case of many of the church missionaries who are regarded as intruders by not a few of the regular clergy, as they affect to call themiselves; and, because they do not act exclusively under episcopal authority, are considered as almost beneath notice, if not contempt. The conduct of the bishop, in his episcopal character, has encouraged and increased the spirit of strife and division among the professors of a common Christianity in the presence of the idolatrous heathen. The weight of his influence is, indeed, thrown in the scale of evangelical piety, but it is seriously and fearfully counterbalanced by his high church and intolerant principles. There are a few of the clergy who are superior to the spirit of party, and many civil functionaries in different parts of India who befriend the cause of Christ by whomsoever that cause is advocated. Mr. Campbell makes honourable mention both of chaplains and gentlemen to whom the missionary cause has been, and still is, greatly in, debted; but, alas! “ a vast majority (of European residents) are altogether opposed to serious piety, and but too many of the clergy make little or no attempt to reclaim them. Nor are some of those who do, very likely to succeed in such a state of society. Of the pious men in India, however, only a portion are the fruits of the labours of the chaplains.” N.S. VOL. IV.
" In some instances, at present, the chaplains are worse than useless, as they stand between the people and a much more efficient ministry. I have seen a station where there were six European missionaries, any one of whom, without much addition to his labour, could have done all the English work gratis, which the chaplain did for a salary nearly equal to that of three missionaries: and in this instance, the chaplain was a poor weak creature whom scarcely any one went to hear. Yet as long as he occupied the place, the church missionaries could not preach ; and had the Dissenters attempted to form a congregation, they would have met with the most determined opposition as intruders, and in all probability, would have had very few to listen to them. The chaplain, also, from being so completely separated from the missionary, and assuming a worldly superiority, is a clog on the wheels of the missionary cause."- Buyers, Pp. 203, 204.
The picture drawn by Mr. Buyers of the working of the India Church Establishment both on the residents and on the natives is deeply and painfully affecting, and ought to arrest the attention of all well-wishers to the cause of piety and missions. The principal good effected there is either by the despised sectarians, or by the intruders of the Church Missionary Society ;-by the advocates of the voluntary principle whether in or out of the church. The cumbrous machinery of ecclesiastico-political establishment can never propagate or maintain the interests of pare and undefiled religion. The servants of the Lord must go forth in the name of their Lord and Master unchecked and uncontrolled by imperious mandates issued from an episcopal palace. Sustained awhile, it may be, by the contributions of the faithful in other lands, they labour in the hope that they shall gather around them “ such as shall be saved," and shall in due time organize them into christian churches, with a view not only to the muthal edification of the faithful, but to their ultimate usefulness on their surrounding population.
It would be exceedingly gratifying could we ascertain the actaal number of converts from heathenism at the missionary stations scattered throughout the world. An accurate estimate of their num. bers, however, cannot be furnished. Mr. Malcolm has taken great pains to procure as correct information as possible; and be observes :
“From the best data we can obtain, we may safely estimate the present number of converts, after deducting such as may be supposed to have been received on an outward profession merely, at more than a hundred thousand. la many cases these are formed into churches with pastors and deacons. The native preachers and catechists amount to more than a thousand. In addition to these, thousands of converts, now shining as lights in dark places, we must not forget the thousands who have died in the faith. In the case of Serampore, out of two thousand baptized, only six hundred survive. We ought, therefore, probably, to add another hundred thousand for converts deceased.” “ These glorious fruits are now safe in the garner of God. Schwartz, Brainerd, David Schmid, Carey, and a great company of missionaries have their converts with them before the throne,” &c. "If after such thoughts we could come down again to mathematical calculation, we might consider that the total number of converts divided by the number of missionaries who fully acquired the vernacular tongues, would give them from three to four hundred converts each! Can the ministry at home reckon thus ? Truly the measure of missionary success needs only to be closely scanned to become a theme of wonder rather than of discouragement."-Malcolm, vol, ü. pp. 291, 294.
Many other interesting topics deserve special notice, but our limits compel us to conclude, which we do by cordially recommending the works at the head of this article to the attention of our readers. They impart information and afford entertainment; they excite pity and commiseration, and lead to serious reflection; they awaken gratitude and animate hope, and will kindle afresh the missionary Hame in any breast in which it may be ready to expire, or increase its intensity where it may burn with a pure and steady flame.
The spirit of missions is the life of the church and the hope of the world: it has created our great religious societies, and will prove their true conservator. Like the wisdom descending from above, it is “ first pure, then peaceable,” “full of mercy and of good fruits ;" with less than the conversion of the world it cannot be satisfied, and more it cannot desire.
A Course of Sermons on Faith and Practice, delivered by the Rev. G. Clayton, at
York-Street Chapel, Walworth, 1838–39. London: Ward und Co. 8vo. pp. 420. This volume needs no commendation from us. Its author, beloved by his people, highly esteemed by his brethren in the ministry, and respected by all who know him, is, happily, still in the enjoyment of health, vigor, and a successful ministry. As a preacher, he is very extensively known : and the sermons in the volume before us are, we believe, a very fair and impartial specimen of his ordirary pulpit addresses. We trust that the object contemplated in their publication will be answered. This is twofold: “ First, that the beneficial results likely to flow from their delivery might be more widely extended, by the dissemination, in a collected volume, of the truths they contain, than would probably have been the case under other circumstances. And, secondly, that they might remain as a lasting remembrance of the affectionate regard subsisting between the pastor and the flock over whom he presides."
The sermons were taken down in short hand as they fell from the lips of the preacher, and when transcribed and printed, were submitted to Mr. C, for the correction of inaccuracies.
The sermons are not miscellaneous. A summary of the topics will show how closely and intimately they are connected. They form, indeed, a continuous and unbroken chain. The first discourse is introductory—then follow sermons on the existence of the Deity ; on the divinity and incarnation of Christ; of the crucifixion, death, and burial of Christ; of the resurrection of Christ; the ascension, the exaltation of Christ; on the second Advent; on the Holy Catholic Church; on the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and on the life everlasting. The above fourteen sermons are on Faith. The twelve that follow are on Practice. The first on the law, and the last, a concluding discourse, while the intermediate ten are on the Decalogue.
We most heartily commend these truly scriptural and faithful sermons to all our readers.
A Brief Sketch of the Life of Joseph Lancaster ; including the Introduction of
his System of Education. By William Corsion. 12mo. London: Hartey,
Darton, and Co. pp. 96. The British nation owes a debt of gratitude to Joseph Lancaster which can never be discharged. The present generation knows comparatively little of the ignorance and destitution which overspread the population of England when that good, and in some respects great, man commenced his self-denying enterprise for the education of the people. Unhappily he was very deficient of that caution and patience which enable a projector to realise his own plans of usefulness. Thus a cloud was thrown over his reputation, he went into exile, and this country lost the services of one of her most useful benefactors. The venerable Mr. Corston, now in his 84th year, was one of his earliest and most confiding friends, and has contributed in this little volume many facts and letters respecting the struggle for popular education in which Lancaster engaged, that are highly interesting, and which ought to be transmitted to posterity. We cor dially recommend its modest pages to the notice of our readers.
Extracts from Holy Writ and various Authors, intended as Helps to Meditation
and Prayer, principally for Soldiers and Seumen. By Captain Sir Nedit J. Willoughby, R.N., C.B., K.C.H. 12mo. Printed for gratuitous cir
culation. Tue history and contents of this little volume are alike interesting. Its venerable compiler had long passed the meridian of life in the service of his country, before the thought had occurred to him ihat his first duty was to serve God. Some ten or twelve years ago, the ravages of mortality amongst his old companions impressed him with an anxious sense of his own frailty. He commenced the devout perusal of the Bible for himself, and, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he was led to feel his own need of the mercy of God through Christ Jesus. This he sought, and now happily enjoys. This volume is the fruit of his devou tional reading of the sacred Scriptures and other godly books, and contains about seven hundred useful quotations, that are well adapted to strike the minds of thoughtless persons who may happen to open on its pages. Sir Nesbit, we understand, has distributed many copies of this little manual amongst his brethren in arms of both services, and we sincerely wish that his last days may be gladdened, not only by a sense of the mercy of God to his own soul, but by the knowledge of his book having been made useful to the souls of others.
Baptism : the Import of the word Bantilw. By the Rev. Edward Beecker, * President of Illinois College, U.S. London: John Gladding; and Ha
millon and Co. 8vo. pp. 44. At the present juncture, when the proceedings of our Baptist brethren hare called public attention to the oft-trodden arena of philological and polemical discussion, we are glad to notice the timely republication from the American Biblical Repository of this truly valuable paper on the import of the much disputed word. As it was, of course, written without any immediate reference to the events that have occurred in England, it may be listened to as the voice of an Elihu from a distant shore, and perhaps gain more attention than might be accorded to a pamphlet composed for the occasion. Though confining himself strictly to a process of philological proof from the laws of language, and the use of the word in question in the New Testament Scriptures, the Alexandrine Greek of the Apochryphal books, Josephus, and one or two of the Fathers, Mr. Beecher has thrown around his subject a considerable degree of originality and interest, while proving that the leading idea of “baptizing," as a personal operation or a religious rite, is that of purification, without any precise mode of accomplisti. ing it. On tracing the concentration of moral evidence which he has adduced on the subject, we cannot help feeling the conviction impressed upon our minds, that if a due attention were given to that glorious and important “ washing of regeneration" which is so strikingly symbolised by this interesting ordinance, the dispute respecting the unimportant question of its external administration would not again have power to move a single pen, tongue, or type.
Lectures to Professing Christians. By Charles G. Finney, Author of “ Lectures
on Revivals." London: Wightman. pp. 311. This little volume contains all the excellencies of the Lectures on Revivals, with a limited portion only of their defects. Far beyond the generality of writers, Mr. Finney taxes the discrimination of his readers. In every discourse which he produces, there is much to admire, to instruct, to benefit; while, in most of his discourses there is something which, to say the least, cannot be admired, something which the discerning reader will wish that it had been left out, or expressed differently, and which, he fears, may counteract the good, which the better parts of the volume are adapted to effect. “Mr. Finney," as the judicious editor of the present volume says, “ unsparingly denounces in a sententious and energetic style peculiar to himself, such opinions and practices as appear to him contrary to Scripture; but in his anxiety to make a powerful impression, he is sometimes betrayed into unguarded, not to say extravagant language. Accustomed as he is to speak out of the fulness of his heart, and to embody his thoughts in the plainest words, there is the more need to revise his discourses before committing them to the press; and it is to be regretted, that he has allowed them to go forth to the world without a very careful examination of the reporter's papers.” But then the question arises, why is this “unguarded, not to say extravagant language," obtruded afresh on readers, the greater part of whom will probably be incapable of separating “ the precious from the vile," It is a great unhappiness with regard to publications of so mixed a character, that they who are least in danger from the defects, will be most profited by the excellencies; while they who are least likely to be profited by the excellencies are most liable to be injured by the defects. Men of cultivated minds sometimes deceive themselves, by supposing, or at least by taking it for granted, that what is not injurious to them is not injurious to others : a greater misconception cannot exist,
We cordially recommend this little volume to the few,--to ministers and to in. telligent Christians. With all their excrescences and defects, these “ Lectures” are adapted “ to rouse the dormant energies of christian professors,”-to teach the salutary lesson of looking well to the springs of action, and to show the means of presenting religious and even doctrinal subjects in a form engaging to the popular mind. At the same time, we apprehend that the many will be their chief readers; a consideration which, in their present state, gives us no great pleasure. “A man,” says the editor, “ought not to be made an offender for a word spoken in the ardour of impassioned appeal; but when he instructs the public from the press, his thoughts should be revised and corrected.” We hope the editor will practice his own maxim, and send forth the next edition of these “Lectures," not as they are, but as they ought to be.
Funeral Sermon for the Rev. T. Hopkins ; dalivered at Linton, Oct, 27, 1839,
by the Rev. Luke Forster, Saffron Walden. 8vo. London: Wurd and Co. Tais instructive and consolatory discourse was preached on the death of the Rev. Thomas Hopkins, of Linton, Cambridgeshire. It is founded on the words of the dying Jacob, “Behold I die, but God shall be with you." Gen. xlviii. 21. It is an affectionate and respectful tribute of affection to a “man of God,” venerable for his years, and worthy of all esteem for the sterling excellence of his character, and for the diligence, fidelity, and perseverance with which he discharged his public duties. He laboured for half a century in the cause of Christ, and died while preparing to enter on his Sabbath