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that God will take care of his real people, (those who are vitally united to Christ as their head); yet we have equal grounds for believing and asserting, that He has ordained the propagation of His religion, in order to gather from the mass of created beings an outward and visible Church, from which to select those who are made willing to enter into covenant with Him, not through baptism only, which is but the outward sign, but who, having received the inward spiritual grace, are “made willing in the day of his power," to set their seal to God as a Covenant-God in Christ, forsaking all other dependences, and receiving Christ as “the way, the truth, and the life.' Visible churches, established for this end, are as it were the ordering of Christ when he recommended his disciples and apostles to “ go into all the world, and teach all nations." They are to be propounders of the glad tidings of salvation ; and, when embodied, may be termed churches of Christ, though not in the evangelical sense, or in that sense which gives a title to the divine promises in their enlarged extent. These can only be properly appropriated, or even understood, by those who are the living branches of the true vine.

Of the expediency, therefore, and of the high advantages of a Church Establishment such as our own, I cannot entertain a doubt ; and those who are enemies to its principle, are, I think, enemies to themselves, and to the nation. But then “the weapons of our warfare should not be carnal, but spiritual." Nor is it any excuse that our opposers wield unholy weapons ; this is no justification of our using the same.

Failure of duty in one party does not release the other in cases like this. A husband's or parent's neglect of duty, does not release a wife or child from the obligations of duty; and so in every article of the Christian code. We ought also to allow for differences of opinion even on these subjects, where Scripture is not definitive on the point. But it is not so much the differences that lead to discord, as the spirit in which they are maintained ; and herein, alas! much of sin lies against all parties in this controversy. A difference of taste, of education, of rank in society, too often shuts up the channels of our love; and we can scarcely admit the Christian character to exist properly in any but those who think as we ourselves do on Church government. Civil distinctions must be maintained, for it is evident that God designed there should be such ; but all are equal in Christ, and the spirit of love should therefore be cultivated apart from associations of this sort. And if there “must be offences,” let them not be offences against love. “Let each csteem other better than themselves,” and be clothed with humility; and then we shall “ agree to differ” in all that is non-essential.

A TAKER-IN OF THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER

FROM ITS COMMENCEMENT.

ON ADMINISTERING RELIGIOUS CONSOLATION TO

PRISONERS

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Tue chief argument employed in the late parliamentary debates upon the clause in the Prison Act for appointing paid Romanist chaplains for criminal jails, (not merely admitting them when desired, for that

did : «

is already done,) was that prisoners ought to have chaplains of their own persuasion “to administer religious consolation to them.” If the argument were of any force, the members of every sect whatever would have a right to have a chaplain paid by the State for every jail in the kingdom, as much as the Roman Catholics; and ten, five, or one prisoner would have as great a right to a special chaplain, as fifty. It was not pretended that the clause was for the behoof of any sect except the Roinanists; the Protestant Dissenters affirming that fifty felons of any one of their persuasions are not likely to be found in one year in any one jail ; so that the provision was altogether partial and sectarian ; and the selection of the golden number was equally so; for if the proposed “consolation ” was necessary for fifty, why should it be denied to forty-nine ? and if Popery was to be favoured because it furnished its contingent of evil-doers by scores, why were Protestant sects to be excluded which were so unfortunate as to contribute only units? But I need not expose the absurdity of the clause, as, happily, it was rejected by the House of Lords.

But I wish to offer some remarks upon the argument employed by its defenders. The object of appointing a popish chaplain in criminal jails is stated to be to administer consolation to its inmates. What an incorrect, and truly Romanist, notion does this phraseology present of the duties of a Christian minister! No doubt there are some felons who, feeling godly sorrow for their misdeeds, and truly repenting of their sins, are prepared thankfully to receive the consolations of the Gospel, which, while they speak peace, promote holiness; as our Lord himself

Thy sins are forgiven thee ;” but “Go and sin no more.” In such instances the faithful minister of Christ will rejoice to pour in the balm of consolation ; and in every case he will feel, even as respects the most hardened offenders, that “knowing the terrors of the Lord,” he is to "persuade men ;" not expecting to soften their hearts by unrelieved terror, but shewing to them the Lamb of God which came to take away the sin of the world ; holding open the door of hope to all who repent and return to God; and beseeching them by his mercies to be reconciled to him. The walls of a prison are not to exclude the most free and faithful exhibition of the love of God in Christ; and dreadful indeed would it be to drive its unhappy inmates to despair, by the appalling doctrine, that there is no scriptural ground of hope for the forgiveness of a second sin after baptism; and that if forgiveness haply be granted, it can only be—and that very doubtfully, and distantly, not with any ground of hope or consolation-through a long course of austerities and macerations, but with no warrant to apply again to the blood shed upon Mount Calvary; to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. Alas! for those who are outside of Newgate, as well as those within its cells, if such were scriptural doctrine !

But while I maintain that not only the terrors of the law, but the mercies of the Gospel, are to be set forth in prisons as well as elsewhere by every faithful minister of Christ ; most strongly do I protest against the popish notion that a chaplain of a criminal jail--or indeed of an “unfortunate debtors ” jail, or of a ship, or hospital,or a minister of a parish, has chiefly to “administer consolation." He is rather called upon, in a majority of cases, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. The most dangerous medicament to a hardened spirit is the anodyne of popish absolution,

for among

The mass of felons in a prison--though they are objects of pity and sympathy, and many of them may have been led to their evil courses by circumstances which call for tears rather than anger-are not prepared for the scriptural reception of consolation. The stony ground has not been broken up; the heart has not been softened to holy impressions. To speak peace where God has not spoken peace, is not true kindness; to deceive men with fair words to their eternal ruin, is the most horrible barbarity. And this is the master piece of Satan's devices in popery. I lately witnessed the influx into a Romanist chapel of an assemblage of persons, of which a considerable number (I do not blend them with the respectable portion of the congregation) consisted of men and youths from one of the most wretched and profligate neighbourhoods. They were chiefly Irish labourers; and from their appearance were no strangers to quarrelling, fighting, and intoxication. I never saw persons of the same description entering the walls of a church, or Protestant-dissenting or Methodist chapel. Had I met them casually, I should have concluded they were going to a cudgel-match or dog-fight. My first impression was that of pleasure, that such persons should be found in any place of devotion ; us Protestants our “rabble” are never seen in our temples ;-would that they were ! The poor of our congregrations usually consist of the most decent persons of their station in life in the parish. We never calculate upon our aisles being crowded with the refuse of ginshops and other haunts of profligacy. I was inclined therefore to congratulate and compliment popery for its power of taming otherwise incorrigible spirits : but a second thought dispelled the illusion. I discerned, not a spirit of piety, but of superstition, which might actuate men who were dead to religious or moral feeling ; just as the banditti of Spain and Italy are said to be assiduous in their confessions to their priests, and their invocations of saints, while they are committing rohbery and murder; as are also the Rockites, Whiteboys, and other profligate marauders of Ireland. I saw further connected with superstition the Letheal institute of the Romanist confessional; and recollected that men, who, loving darkness rather than light, would not go where their deeds would be scripturally reproved, might gladly resort to a tribunal ,where, at the cheap expence of a few customary wordsor at worst of a bodily penance, an opus operatum without that true repentance which is “a change of mind”-they might obtain the abso. lution of their sins ; although even in penance planning them anew. This doctrine of “administering consolation" where there is no scriptural warrant for it, is the key-stone of the arch of popery. The Romanist felon of a jail may be profligate and hardened; he may not in his heart have abandoned any one of his wicked ways; but still conscience tells him that he has incurred the anger of God: he fore. bodes a dreadful purgatory, from the terrors of which it is in the power of the priest to relieve him; will he not gladly hail such “consolation " so easily purchased and will he not shrink from the faithful minister who tells him of the necessity of conversion of heart, to listen to the charm of confessional absolution? But is such consolation scriptural? Or is it correctly described in the oft-used phrase of "religious consolation?” Rather let it be called superstitious consolation; or “untempered-mortar" consolation ; but let not Protestants be expected to pay chaplains, to uphold in our jails a system, the genius of which all experience proves is to fill them.

PROTESTANS.

CRITICAL SUGGESTION ON I PET. iv. 6.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. My attention was lately drawn to the word verpaus, 1 Pet. iv. 6, and upon referring to Pool's Synopsis I found that the whole of the 6th verse had given much trouble to the commentators, whose remarks are cited by Pool. After attentively examining the context, it appeared to me that much of the difficulty attending the interpretation of the passage in question would disappear, if the 6th verse were taken in connexion with the 2nd, and if the 3rd, 4th, and 5th verses were considered as parenthetical. I shall be glad to have the opinion of any of your readers more skilled in Biblical criticism than myself.

To make my meaning as plain as possible, I subjoin the verses in the order in which I would read them. “1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 6. For this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit."

J. E.

THADY BRADY ON GENERAL AND SPECIAL RELIGIOUS

INSTRUCTION.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. As there has been a great deal of talk about introducing "general and special" religious education for the people of England; and as a Board of Privy Councillors has been appointed to smooth the way thereto, and Mr. Wyse, the chairman of the Central Society for Education, the pink of advocates of the general and special plan, has been promoted to a government office, in which he will have great power and influence in advancing the said scheme; more especially as Lord Normanby, the general and special champion of all such measures in Ireland, is now to try his practised hand in the Home department of England; I send, for the information of your readers, the memorial of my good friend and countryman, Thady Brady, to the Dublin Board of Commissioners, touching the working of the aforesaid device in Ireland. It is well that all parties concerned, from her Majesty's Privy Council to the village school-master, should be apprized of the difficulties which must ensue in preparing and using general and special religious books, and answering general and special questions, and all othermatters thereto appertaining general and special. My friend Thady tells his story more broudly than you Saxons may approve; and to say the truth, he cannot tell it truly without mixing what is somewhat ludicrous with what is very serious ; but the more blame to the Education Commissioners who have made the medley, than to honest Thady who describes it. As the object of the scheme was to promote at once“ religious knowledge” and “religious peace," Thady's perplexities, and his boys' scuffles, are necessary to be known, CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 22.

4 I

as illustrating the practical results of the measure ; and ought to be laid before the general parliament, as we have not yet a special parliament in Dublin.

Seriously speaking, I hope neither Thady nor myself will get into the trouble which befel the setter-forth of the far-famed “ Letter from the Pope;" for though we do not positively affirm that the memorial reached the Commissioners, or that their “decision” is not apocry. phal; sure we are, that Thady only describes the difficulties which every school-master, Romanist or Protestant, has experienced under the hybrid scheme ; and that the references to the Commissioners' lessons and notes are correct; and that their assumed “decision ” is as good and characteristic a decision as ever emanated from their joint wisdom and joint pens. The lessons are extant; the directions are authoritative ; what is the poor school-master to do? and how is he to prevent his scholars, introduced under the same roof, to amalgamate them, proving by their tongues and fists that their acid and alkali do not kindly unite into the expected neutral caput mortuum. I am, with good wishes, yours to serve,

THADY'S AMANUENSIS.

The Memorial af Thady Brady to the Commissioners of National

Education, Marlborough Street, Dublin, HUMBLY SHEWETI,

That I am, as you know, Thady Brady, who was appointed Master of the National School of Killmegranny, co. Clare, having been recommended by the Rev. Eustathius Finnerty, P.P. And as the Protestant minister, Mr. Pleaseall, joined in the application for building the School, and induced a few of the Protestant children, whose parents live among us, to come to it_I take equal pains to instruct them. It is on the subject of the Seripture Lessons that I now make bold to address your Honourabl Board: for being, as you truly say,* not well qualified as a 'teacher of religion,' I am fairly at a nonplus with these Lessons, and would be intinitely beholding to you, if, by return of post, you will let me know who is Bootbroyd, for I asked the minister, and he told me that he was a country gentleman, a sort of a Quaker, that died in England lately; and as I thought that it was very queer to have him set up to teach the meaning of the Bible, that never was baptized, I asked the priest, and he told me he was an Egyptian monk : so I refer it to your Honours for information. And would also be thankful for a clear notion of who Bishop Horsleyf was, and Kennicott, $ and Griesbach,|| as we never heard of them before in these remote parts: and some say they were Protestants, and others say they were old saints, only not called so, like Origen, of whom we are not sure whether he was a real saint or a heretic, though you mention his opinion about the Pater Noster. I And please to tell me also how many manuscripts there are, and who wrote them, and all about them. As you set me to teach these things, sure you are bound to instruct me, for, as you say, I am not qualified. But if the truth was known, no more is the priest or the minister; for I asked them both, how many manuscripts there were in all, and they looked cross, and one said, “What's that to you?' and the other said, * Mind your own business ;' so‘ Boys,' says I, “a large proportion** of manuscripts reads so and so.'

Your Memorialist also prays that your Honours will tell him a safe meaning to give of justification, which you bid me explain,'tt but which is getting me into scrapes and scoldings on all sides. I do not ask for the true meaning, for I know that, but a meaning that wont give any ' peculiar religious instruction,' for that's what they blamed me for doing in the school-hours, when I gave my own

* Preface to Old Testament, No. 1.
† New Test. No. 1, p. 136.
# Ib. No. 2, p. 52.
Ib. No. 1,

p.

60.

|| New Test. No. 1, p. 60.

Ib. No. I, p. 60.

Ib. No. 1, p. 150. ff Ib. No. 1, p.

139,

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