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notions of his Providence; to trace the history of their religion, as it is to be collected from the Books of the sacred writers, through each successive stage of its development. We shall thus attempt to give a brief sketch of the theological doctrines and representations contained in the Old Testament.
The importance of such an examination is obvious. Christianity is the offspring of Judaism, and an accurate knowledge of the theology of the New Testament can be attained by those only who are acquainted with the theology of the Old Testament.
And the conclusions to which this investigation leads the author are thus summed up:
I. The historical books of the Old Testament contain the most crude and unworthy notions of God and of his Providence. The human representations of the Deity, given in Genesis, are quite in character with the mode of thinking which prevailed in the infancy of mankind. Jehovah is pourtrayed as the national God of the Hebrews, throughout the historical writings.
II. The notions concerning God, contained in the books of the Prophets, particularly in those which were written after the captivity, though strictly Judaical, are certainly less limited, and less remote from truth.
III. The purest and most elevated conceptions of God are to be found in those books which were composed by private individuals; who either disregarded the peculiar national ideas and prejudices of their countrymen, or had raised themselves above them. It was not so much by the teaching of their priests and prophets, as by the studies and contemplations of their other wise men, that the religious principle was cultivated and developed among the Jewish people.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL ASSOCIATION. On Wednesday, June 6th, was held the Fourth Annual General Meet. ing of the Sunday-School Association, the Rev. E. S. GANNETT, in the chair. The Chairman introduced the business of the meeting. In the course of his eloquent observations, he remarked that the late sad event in the neighbourhood of Canterbury afforded a sufficient indication of the mass of ignorance still existing, and of the necessity for increased and energetic exertions for its removal. He felt that the Sunday-School Association deserved general support, because it would assist in the promotion of this all-important object. He found, on perusing the reports which the Secretary had put into his hands, that the mode of operation pursued by the Association was very much like that of the American Sunday School Union. He begged to call upon the Secretary to read the Report.
The Report detailed the proceedings of the Committee during the past year, consisting of the publication of “ Old Testament Biography,” by Miss Emily Taylor ; the delivery of a course of lectures on subjects interesting to Sunday-School teachers; a meeting to discuss the question of prizes, &c., &c. Communications were read from several schools connected with the Association, in allusion to which it was observed in the Report, —" Although their general tone is encouraging, and many pleasing facts are mentioned, yet there is one complaint, many times repeated, which had frequently come under the notice of your Committee, and that is the want of teachers. Your Committee are fully persuaded, that while this want continues to exist to the extent which it does at present, Sunday-School instruction will continue to be found defective, and its results to fall short of that amount of good which might otherwise be realized.”
A series of resolutions were then moved and seconded by the following gentlemen, in appropriate and highly-interesting speeches :J. T. Rutt, Esq. ; the Rev. G. Kenrick; Rev. Mr. Foster ; Rev. M. Maurice; Rev. W. Vidler; H. E. Howse, Esq. ; Mr. Smallfield ; Rev. B. Mardon ; Rev. J. C. Means; Mr. Hart; and Rev. Dr. Hutton. After a vote of thanks to the Chairman, carried by acclamation, the assembly separated ; and the writer believes he speaks the feeling of all present, when he states, a more agreeable and gratifying meeting is seldom witnessed. London, June 1838.
GENERAL BAPTIST ASSEMBLY. This ancient yearly meeting was held as usual on Whit-Tuesday, 5th June 1838.
Several friends assembled to breakfast in the morning at the meetinghouse in Worship-street, near Finsbury Square.
The public service was introduced by Mr. T. Simpson of Chatham, who read the Scriptures and gave out the hymns; the general prayer was offered by the venerable Mr. Michael Maurice of Reading ; and the sermon, which gave general satisfaction, was preached by Mr. Pound of Dover,
After the service, the business of the Association was resumed, and continued till about half past three o'clock.
The dinner, which took place at the White Hart, was attended by nearly sixty members of the assembly and their friends of both sexes. After the removal of the cloth, several sentiments were given by Mr. Evans, who filled the chair with his usual ability; and several interesting addresses were delivered by Mr. Gannett, the highly eloquent colleague of Dr. Channing of Boston, U.S., Mr. Maurice, Mr. Mardon, Mr. Squier, Mr. Philp, Mr. Pound, Mr. Moore, and others.
Tea was provided in the evening at Worship-street, and conducted with great regard to the convenience and comfort of the friends present.
The next assembly was appointed to be held at Worship-street on Whit-Tuesday, 1839, and Mr. Foster of Portsmouth was nominated as preacher.
Donations in support of the Education Fund can be forwarded either to the Treasurer, to Mr. Mardon, the Tutor,* or to Joseph Carlow Means, Secretary to the Assembly, 4, Craibs Terrace, Trafalgar-street, Walworth.
LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE PRESBYTERIAN ASSOCIATION. The Annual Meeting of the English Presbyterian Ministers of the counties of Lancaster and Chester, was held at Bury, on Thursday, the 21st of June.
The religious services of the day were opened by the Rev. W. Gaskell, of Manchester : after which the Rev. Joseph Ashton of Preston, preached from 1 Cor. xiii. 8, “ Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” The sermon, which was on the principle of love as the essence and spirit of Christianity, was simple and evangelical in doctrine, and chaste in style.
At the close of the religious service, the Rev. Mr. Howorth, the Mi. nister of Bury, took the chair as the President of the meeting. Altrincham was announced as the place of meeting of the Provincial Association for the year 1839. The Rev. Mr. Brooks, of Hyde, was declared to be the preacher, and the Rev. Mr. Heaviside of Rochdale, the supporter.
Some conversation took place on the motion of the Rev. Mr. Johns of Manchester, respecting the desirableness of making some fixed and publicly known arrangements for the temporary supply of congregations vacant by the decease of their ministers. With the view of aiding the relicts of ministers, so long as no successor is chosen, it was deter
* The addresses of these Gentlemen are as follows :-- John Evans, Esq., 3, New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London; Rev. B. Mardon, Grove, Kentish Town, near London.
mined that the Rev. Mr. Whitehead, the Secretary of the Provincial Meeting, should be the person to be officially applied to in case of such vacancy; and that, through him, arrangements should be made with the various ministers of the Association for the supply of the pulpit for the benefit of the widow, and with the concurrence and co-operation of the vacant congregation.
When the Provincial Meeting had closed its proceedings, a Meeting of the Presbyterian Association was constituted ; Mr. Robert Heywood in the chair.
The following report of the Committee was read by the Rev. Mr. Beard, one of the Secretaries.
Report of the Committee of the Lancashire and Cheshire Presbyterian
Association. Presented at the Provincial Meeting at Bury, June 21st 1838. The Committee in surrendering their trust into your hands, beg to report that their duty has mainly consisted in superintending arrangements required for hearing the appeal to the House of Lords, in the case regarding Lady Hewley's Charities, namely, the Attorney-General versus Shore.
They had hoped to be able to report, if not the decision of the case, yet the time at which such decision might be expected; but they have only to remark that they hope the hearing will not be much longer delayed.
A variety of details necessary in the conduct of the appeal to the House of Lords, yet not of sufficient importance to occupy your time on the present occasion, have claimed and received attention from the Committee.
One object of consequence has been the preparing a full sketch of the HISTORICAL EVIDENCE bearing on the question of Presbyterian Endowments. This performance is now nearly ready, and your Committee feel that it will not only be a valuable document in the legal proceedings pending in the House of Lords, but prove also very instructive and useful when published for general circulation.
It having been intimated by the Registration Commissioners that many of the registers of the chapels in this neighbourhood had not been forwarded to them, the Committee sent out a circular urging the importance of transmitting the registers without delay, on the ground that by being consigned to the keeping of the Commissioners they would be made legal evidence, whereas, if retained, they would incur the risk of being lost, as the new Registration Act renders the continuing of them unnecessary.
At the last Annual Meeting a vote was passed, directing the Committee to take under their charge the residue of the sum raised to relieve Ministers suffering from the loss of Lady Hewley's fund, and the objects of that fund were earnestly recommended to their attention. They have received the balance, and made such disbursements as the amount of it permitted and circumstances seemed to justify. But in the state of commercial depression which has unhappily prevailed, and the necessity for exertion in order to keep the available pecuniary resources of the Association equal to the demands made upon them by legal proceedings, they have not thought it desirable to make application for pecuniary assistance on behalf of the Ministers' Relief Fund. They would, however, suggest to their successors the propriety of their taking the earliest opportunity of bringing the subject before the attention of the benevolent and wealthy, and hope that their now declaring the necessity which they feel there is for pecuniary assistance on behalf of Ministers deprived of Lady Hewley's benefactions, will lead friends to place at the disposal of the ensuing Committee resources for so important a purpose.
Our attention was also called by the General Meeting to the mode of electing the Committee of the Association. You are therefore reminded, that by the fundamental rules the Committee is to consist of the officers of the Association and fifteen other gentlemen, of whom five shall be appointed by and out of the body of ministers; and the Committee have determined that the lay members of the Committee shall be appointed out of a list of suitable persons to be proposed and approved at the Annual Meeting; and that each minister shall be furnished with a slip of paper on which he shall write the name of five ministers whom he wishes to constitute the clerical portion of the Committee. Lest any doubt should arise as to the right of membership among the ministers, your Committee transcribe the rule which relates to the subject :-" The members of the Association shall be all ministers, members for the time being of the body of Presbyterian ministers of Lancashire and Cheshire, and such other ministers of any other denomination holding the fundamental principle of the Association, and residing within the two counties of Lancashire and Cheshire, as either the Committee or the Association may hereafter recommend or approve for admission into the Association.” The fundamental principle referred to is, “holding the right of the free and unlimited exercise of private judgment in matters of religion, and of full Christian communion in the great principle of the divine mission of our Lord, without any other doctrinal test whatever."
The Committee have thus been engaged in pursuing the chief object of the Association, by affording, in a particular case, protection to the civil rights and endowments of the English Presbyterians. They would not, however, have it forgotten, that the Association is also designed “ to give expression to the feelings and opinions of its members on questions affecting religious liberty, and to promote the cause of religious truth by such means as may from time to time be judged expedient.” And they cannot but entertain a hope that the time may not be far distant when the final settlement of all questions involving litigation or a denial of your social rights, may leave you at liberty to take active measures for extending your moral and religious influence in this densely-peopled and most important district.
After the reading of this Report, several resolutions were passed, conveying the thanks of the Association to its Officers, and appointing the various Members of Committee for the ensuing year.