The Lord Chancellor said, that he only pede it. Sir Andrew Agnew's Bill was spoke the sense of those persons who had grounded upon the solid principle of the turned their attention to this subject, Lord's-day being of Divine institution, when he expressed his opinion that a and it recognised the duty of a Christian thorough revision of the present system legislature to enforce it's decent obserought to take place. Far from thinking vance, so far at least as to prevent the vio. that the question should be entrusted to lator of its provisions from committing other hands, he felt that it could not be any gross public outrage upon its sanctity; taken up by any individual more capable and to protect those who desire to obey of doing justice to it than the Right the laws of God and man for its obsery. Reverend Prelate himself.

ance, from being injured in their secular

interests by the conduct of others, who Among other public measures, we accept would wish to make it a day of traffic and with gratitude the Lord Chancellor's Bill merchandize. for establishing Courts of LOCAL JURIS. The old laws proceed upon these proDICTION,with a view to bring justice cheap- positions ; but they fail in the application ly to every man's door; and the pledges of their details to the varied circumstances of Government to accomplish several other of modern society; and, by the diminished objects of public benefit: among others, the value of money, their penalties have beabolition, except in special cases (and even come unavailing to enforce the observance these exceptions we think unnecessary) of of their enactments. The great object the barbarous system of MILITARY FOG- therefore was to revive and perpetuate GING; and the promise to bring in immedi. what was good ; to leave out what was ately a Bill to correct the evils of the BEER bad-as, for example, the enforcement of Act. That Act has done infinite mis. attending Divine worship, which is a matchief to the country. We advocated, ter of private conscience, and not of public and still advocate, the throwing open the legislation ;-and to supply what had betrade in malt liquors, as much as we come defective, either by reason of new would the trade in bread or grocery; but modes of Sabbath violation, or the ineffithe encouragement to idling or tippling ciency of the old sanctions to prevent it. on the premises is an evil of incalculable Sir Andrew Agnew's Bill did all this; and magnitude, and ought not to be permitted. if its enacting clauses restricted any thing

which ought not to be restricted, the His Majesty's Ministers have of late clauses of exception were open for the adbeen nearly dismounted on two or three mission of whatever could be shewn to occasions. The majority against them be properly included within their range. in the House of Commons, the month B ut Mr. Peter's Bill proceeds upon no before last, on the malt tax, would have consistent principle. It proposes protecbeen fatal to them, but for its immediate tion in regard to Sunday trading; but even reversal. The House of Lords has ex. in this it falls far short of the exigencies hibited a majority against them, upon an of the case, for it does not include many of alleged breach of neutrality in favour of those classes of traders who have expressly Don Pedro against Don Miguel. It was petitioned to be protected. Why should purely a division of party politics; and not a baker, a licensed victualler, a newsthe House of Commons and the country paper vender, a post-horse keeper, or a having taken the opposite side, the House stage-coach proprietor, with their respecof Lords has gained nothing by its con- tive families, servants, and dependents, structive predilection for Don Miguel. be as much protected as any other class We lament that any of our Prelates should of persons ? have signalized themselves in this party And why is not Mr. Peter's Bill concontest; and thus bave brought upon sistent? Plainly because it is not groundthemselves and their brethren the popular ed upon the word of God. Sir Andrew virulence, whicb threatens to expel them Agnew, instead of making an entirely from the House of Lords, and is likely new preamble, chose, as the basis of his enough soon to do so, if our Bishops are own, the excellent words of one of the to become political partizans.

old Acts. His Bill says : “ Forasmuch as

nothing is more acceptable to God than The general disappointment expressed the true and sincere worship and service at the rejection of Sir Andrew Agnew's of Him according to His holy will, and Bill, instead of a judicious revision of its that the holy keeping of the Lord's-day details, has led to the introduction of is a principal part of the true service of another bill upon the same subject by Mr. God, wbich in very many places of this Peter. We are unwilling to impede any realm has been and now is profaned and measure of real improvement upon this neglected: And whereas it is the bounden vital question, even should it fall short of duty of the Legislature to protect every our own views of what is adequate ; but, class of society against being compelled upon carefully considering the wbole bear to sacrifice their comfort, health, religious ing of the case, we cannot think the new privileges, and conscience, for the conBill will carry the general question for venience, enjoyment, or supposed advanward, but we fear that it will rather im- tage of any other class on the Lord's-day :

And wbereas the laws now in existence Statutes which the Bill most untruly proare found to be practically insufficient to fesses to consolidate. secure the object for which they profess “ Your Petitioners would point out to provide: Be it therefore enacted,” &c. amongst other defects in this Bill, First, But, instead of this, Mr. Peter only gives that it omits to prohibit all kinds of goods us: “ Whereas it is desirable to repeal from being received and delivered on the the several Acts now in force relating to Lord's-day; under colour of which all the observance of the Lord's-day (com- trade may and will be carried on: and monly called Sunday), in order that the omits to prohibit Wakes, Revels, and provisions thereof may be amended and Pastimes of public inconvenience, indeconsolidated into one Act: Be it there. corum, and nuisance, not specified in the fore enacted," &c.

Bill; also public Debates, Discussions, Here, then, is at once a retirement from Lectures, Addresses, and Speeches ; also the higher and Christian ground occupied the travelling of carriages carrying goods by his predecessor, and so far a virtual for hire, and all Drovers with cattle, abandonment of a principle which the during the Lord's-day, with the excepgreater part of the friends of religion tion of nine hours: also it permits, in throughout the land had recognised and the most alarming manner, the travelling laid down as the basis of their proceed- of all Stage-coaches, Omnibuses, Steam ings.

and other Carriages, throughout the whole But though the word “ desirable” is of the Lord's-day; and merely prohibits too cold, and acknowledges no principle, their commencing their journey between we should not have grieved so much about eleven and one, and between three and the preamble, if the enactments had been four; which seems to be a vain and friadequate ; but Mr. Peter's measure pro- volous prohibition, and amounts to a fesses to be only a consolidation of what mockery of the Law of God. Your Peis allowedly defective ; and in the process titioners also lament the wide and unneof consolidation some of the good parts cessary departure from the Scriptural escape, while some of the defective parts standard in the exemptions enumerated are retained. The following important at the end of this Bill, as regards other statements, in a petition which is in a than household servants, in the necescourse of signature, are expressed with sary arrangement of families; also as restrength as they ought to be upon such gards Fruit-sellers, and that much-opa subject--but we see not how they can pressed class the Working Bakers; also in substance be contravened. The peti- as regards the sale of Liquor and Provi. tioners say:

sions by Publicans and others; also as “ It appears to your Petitioners that regards the use of Hackney Carriages ; legislative measures for promoting the and lastly, as regards the running of the better observance of the Lord's-day, by Royal Mail, that national act of Sabbath prohibiting work thereon, should not only trading. So that, on a review of the deimplicitly but avowedly be founded upon, tails of this Bill, your Petitioners perand be in accordance with, the Revealed ceive that it will have the effect of perpeWill of God: your Petitioners therefore tuating the enormous evils which in former regret that a Bill, now depending in your days were occasioned by the meetings of Honourable House, to amend and conso- Debating Clubs on the Lord's-day, now lidate the Acts relating to the Observance prohibited by one of the Acts proposed of the Lord's-day, does not expressly re- to be repealed, and in our days so largely cognise the authority of God in this produced by the Sale of Spiritous Limatter ; nor is it implied or avowed in quors in shops opened for that express the preamble that its provisions will be purpose. Your Petitioners also perceive framed by any Scriptural rule.

that complete exemption from the bur“ Your Petitioners perceive that it is thens of Sabbath Labour is not granted proposed to your Honourable House to to any of those classes who have prayed repeal the ancient Statutes on this sub-' relief, while partial exemption is granted ject, which, though impaired in their effi- to few, and to many classes absolutely cacy by the altered value of money and none. In a word, your Petitioners perother minor circumstances, do neverthe- ceive that many provisions are omitted, less avow and involve most holy prin- or rendered inoperative, contrary to the ciples ; and your Petitioners feel deeply requirements of the Scriptural Standard ; alarmed at this proposal, not only because and many exceptions are introduced, there is no avowed intention of supplying which cannot be brought within the meantheir place by enactments upon the same ing of those works of piety, charity, or Scriptural principle, but also because in necessity, which alone are declared by the prohibitory clauses and exceptions of the precept and example of our Lord this Bill your Petitioners behold with Jesus Christ to be consistent with the dismay provisions entirely at variance with spiritual meaning of the Fourth Comthe Word of God, and entirely at vari mandment." ance, not only with the principles, but The Petitioners therefore humbly also with some of the most important pray for the amendment of the Bill, by and salutary provisions, of those very giving due honour to God, in the pre

amble, and by either expunging the re- Cambridge-college Statute requires a Maspealing clause or amending the other ter to be elected or sworn-in by a certain provisions of the Bill; so as to give the day, and that day chances to be Sunday, nation a complete security for the sub- the postponement of the matter till stitution of equivalent provisions in the Monday vitiates the election ; but, as an place and stead of those repealed, and, Oxford man, he added, he was happy to finally, to render it a fitting Law for a say that he had never heard of any such Christian People.”

necessity or any such practice in his own We bave from the first maintained that University. any enactment upon this subject in Sir A. Agnew is likewise bringing in a order to be ut all effective, must be Bill for the better observance of the grounded specifically upon Scriptural prin- Lord's-day in Scotland. It is grounded ciples. If it be not, it will fall short of on Scriptural principles, and we earnestly its object, as every day's experience in- wish it success. creasingly proves. The present 'vantage As illustrations of the need both of new ground upon which Mr. Peter stands is laws and new manners in regard to Sabso much soil captured from the common bath observance, we copy the following enemy of vice, irreligion, and scepti- paragraphs from two of the newspapers. cism, by those who went before as pio- “ Seventeen hundred persons visited neers, clad, not in human but celestial the Zoological Gardens on Sunday the panoply, and wielding the sword of the 2d of June, und nearly a similar number Spirit, which is the Word of God. It is were there on Sunday last. The carriages Christian men that have inserted the were so numerous as to render the drive powerful wedge that was to split the in the outer circle of Regent's Park, and in gnarled oak ; and let us not, because it the neighbourhood of the Gardens quite imhas once slipped out, now substitute passable. The old-fashioned promenade in another of feeble power, which will not Kensington Gardens on Sundays has been only fail of its professed purpose, but deserted for the new‘focus of attraction.'" Ay back and smite the operators. We “ Castle of Exeter- [Before Major speak strongly, because we consider the Pitman, Chairman; W. Nation, Esq., present measure as only doing a little, J. Milford, Esq., and J. Pitman, jun. just to prevent more being done ; dis. Esq., Magistrates.)–Mr. Were, farmer, appointing the hopes of the religious of Sowton, complained of Peter May, part of the community, just to stop his apprentice, having left bis service their urgent appeals, and to baffle them without his consent on Sunday last: there with a semblance of unattained good. was also a summons against the master, Even public opinion is already effecting for unmercifully beating the boy. The much; and we would not check its pro- Magistrates desired the cases to be heard gress by inadequate enactments. We together; and the case as to the apprentrust, however, even yet, after the public tice leaving his master being made out, anxiety evinced upon the question, that, the boy was examined, and stated, that on if the Bill is to pass, it will at least Sunday he was ordered by his master to drive receive such large improvements as shall some butter in a wheelbarrow to the Royal make it in effect a new measure, and Oak public-house, which he refused to do, render it, if not all we wish and hope for, and his master beat him severely with a at least a considerable improvement upon stick; he refused to go, because it was the existing state of the law. But of the on a Sunday, and the people laughed at practicability of this we do not feel as- bim. Witnesses were examined, who desured; and we are inclined to think it posed as to the severity with which Mr. were wisest, much as we regret it, to Were beat the boy; and, on his back being postpone the whole matter till the next examined before the Bench, it appeared session.

that he had been much punished. Mr. We are glad to see that Sir A. Agnew Were, in his defence, said he had not used is bringing in a Bill to allow Corporations unnecessary violence, and produced a to elect Officers, &c. on the Monday, small ash stick, which he said was the where the day of the month required by one with which he beat the boy, who was their laws happens to fall on the Sunday. exceedingly obstinate. The boy admitted, There are nearly a hundred corporate on being questioned by the magistrates, bodies, we believe, thus circumstanced. that his master did not keep him from We well recollect hearing Lord Eldon, going to church, and that he had plenty in Dr. Godfrey's Queen's- College-Cam- of meat and drink.—The Bench dismissed bridge cause, remark with great severity the complaints on both sides, and informupon a portion of the case, which alleged ed the boy that he must obey his master's that some secular acts had not been per- orders, in doing what may be necessary formed on the Sunday, as required by the on Sundays, when not in time of Divine College Statutes. It did not happen, he Service ; and also intimated to the master said, to be necessary for the adjudication that he was not authorized to beat the boy of this cause that he should decide the with unnecessary severity.” general question, as to whether, when a



P.; T. G. H.; EUSEBIUS; W. L. N.; F. S.; . ; R. ; and SIMMUD; are under

consideration. W. M. and G. M. will perceive that the defence of Mr. Wesley and the Methodist

Conference had been anticipated by another writer.


BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. Our readers will see, by the first two or three articles in the Monthly Extracts, that some, at least, of the Society's friends have turned their minds towards the duty of endeavouring to supply last year's deficiency in the funds of the Institution.' A strong case was made out in the appeal of the Parent Committee ; and it should be met, as it appears to us, by some prompt, vigorous, and simultaneous effort on the part of the Auxiliary and Branch Societies and Bible Associations throughout the kingdom. Might not a special general meeting in many cases be held with advantage of these various bodies; or an address be circulated by them; or a re-canvass of their respective districts be made ? If some such course were to be taken, the deficiency of the last year (60001.) would, we have very little doubt, soon be made up; and we should not hear, next May, of the Society being impeded by want of funds from meeting the increasing demands for the Scriptures. It may not be generally known that the direct subscriptions received by the Parent Society amount this year to only 1789l. ; and they have never exceeded this, in the most prosperous year, by many hundred pounds. What a paltry sum! It ought to be, and might be, increased ten-fold. The free contributions from Auxiliaries amount only to 25,6041. : these also might be largely increased. At this moment the demand for Bibles throughout the world is insatiable : funds are also wanted for new translations, and perfecting old ones. The supplies to Ireland alone of Bibles and Testaments by grants through the Hibernian Society, the Hibernian Bible Society, the Baptist Irish Society, the Irish Society in Dublin, the Sunday-School Society for Ireland, the Ladies' Hibernian Female School Society, and sundry individuals-have amounted in the whole, from the commencement of the Institution, to 729,614 copies, besides portions of the Scripture, at an expense, after deducting sums returned by sales, of 78,3001. ; and yet the Extracts now before us make new and large demands. Will then the friends of this Society be indolent, with such claims upon them? The Church Missionary Society, which was deficient last year, has by diligent exertion increased its income by more than 70001. ; the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge has augmented its receipts and its disbursements to beyond all former years : and why should not a similar result attend that Society whose only object is to circulate the pure Word of God throughout the world ?

IRISH SOCIETY. Having often explained the objects of this excellent Institution, we need do no more at present than recommend the perusal of its last Report, which is peculiarly interesting from the present circumstances of Ireland. We rejoice to find, that, amidst every difficulty, its funds and schools have been prosperous. But renewed and increased exertions are required to enable the Society to pursue its important work of affording to the native Irish a Scriptural Education through the medium of their own language.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY. The speeches in the Quarterly Extracts contain much valuable and encouraging information respecting the progress of education throughout the world, and it is gratifying to observe how strongly the friends of the Society insist upon that important principle, that the education given to the poor, as well as the rich, should be Scriptural. Mr. Burnet had done well, in this and other speeches, not to inveigh against sectarism in a sectarian spirit, or to mix up political allusions with the business of charitable and religious institutions. Why tell us that the Society “ looked not on a steeple to frown on a chapel ; it did not help a Churchman to pass by a Dissenter ?” Another man might have transposed the words, and made an excellent good quarrel. If three or four political Dissenting ministers will always be flinging their gibes at the peaceful meetings of religious and charitable societies, they will do much evil to the cause both of religion and charity.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


For the Christian Observer, AT T the time when that fearful pestilence, the Cholera, was beginning

to appear upon our shores, and when the public anxiety was intensely arrested in fearful expectation of its ravages, we endeavoured, as Christian Observers, viewing the signs of the times, to turn the visitation to religious account, by setting before our readers some of those lessons of spiritual wisdom which appeared to us appropriate to the occasion. We also introduced a variety of interesting details connected with former visitations of pestilence, partly from the more popular sources of information, and partly from the forms of prayer and humiliation drawn up on those melancholy occasions. Our series of extracts from these formularies will be of permanent value, as the documents are now most of them very scarce, and some of them, perhaps, almost unique; and are not likely either to be reprinted, or another collection of them made with as much research and industry as were expended in bringing together, from ecclesiastical archives and worm-worn parish-chests, the mass of them to which, by the favour of the Reverend collector, we had access.

The visitation passed over us more lightly than we had any reason to expect, and infinitely more leniently than our national transgressions deserved. It pleased God to hear and to answer the prayers of his people : He saw the nation bowed before him in solemn humiliation, and he commanded that our British Nineveh should not be destroyed. As compared with the capital of a neighbouring kingdom, and many other towns and villages in various parts of the world, our metropolis suffered little, and in very few places did the scourge seem to be let loose with its accustomed violence. Should it be permitted to return in its strength--and who, that considers either physically the character of the distemper, and its still lingering insidious lurking among us, or morally and spiritually our offences against God, aggravated by the absence of national amendment after He heard our vows and ceased to smite uscan venture to say that such a second visitation is improbable ? we shall have ample need for all the fore. sight and experience to be derived from the former incursion: and well will it be if it meet us better prepared than before to welcome its approach_better prepared, we mean, in relation to that only source of true repose, confidence in God as his reconciled children in Christ Jesus ; to whom all things work together for good; to whom to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But though the visitation was upon the whole lenient, there were

CHRIST. Observ. No. 381. 3 U

« VorigeDoorgaan »