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measures should be taken without delay, secution. But such men are not to be to remove the alarming destitution of depended upon for duly carrying out the religious instruction which has thus principles of a National Establishment, arisen." No case can be clearer. If we in the spirit of the prayer which we are to have a national church, the nation daily offer in the Liturgy, “ Endue thy ought to provide for its due extension; ministers with righteousness, and make and private voluntary agency ought to thy chosen people joyful.” This prayer, be in addition to, not a substitute early introduced into the Christian for, public endowment.
church from the Jewish service, conWe rejoice to find that the Queen's nects the true welfare and happiness of majesty, upon the strong representations the people with the blessing of God of the church authorities, has graciously upon the ministrations of a righteous commanded another collection through priesthood; and in that epithet “rightout England and Wales to aid this good
is expressed all that belongs to work. We trust and believe that the the evangelical covenant ; whether the contributions will be very large; we righteousness of justification, or the would hope much larger than they have righteousness of sanctification; the ever been upon any former royal letter. doctrines of grace, or the duties of life ; The demand is urgent, and the church Christ as our sacrifice, or Christ as our ought to shew that she does not implore example. Luther, in writing upon Psalm aid from the legislature, without having cxxxii., where this prayer occurs (verse duly appealed to private bounty, or 9, as also in Solomon's dedication of the without such a response to her appeai temple—that ever memorable instance as proves the zealous interest which the of church building by royal ordinance), people of the land_let Romanists, Radi. says: “ This psalm is a prayer in which cals, Chartists, or violent political Dis. Solomon and the people of Israel beg of senters, say what they will--take in the God to preserve the priesthood and the prosperity of the established church, kingdom, that is, that he would mainas an instrument of spiritual benefit to tain the true religion, the true worship themselves and their children after of God, and a prosperous and happy them. Still this is after all but casual state of the kingdom among that people. and temporary aid, and does not exone. In a word, it is a prayer to God, that rate the legislature from the duty of de- he would be pleased to preserve the mi. vising and carrying into effect large and nistry of the Word above all things; adequate measures for bringing church and then also the laws, the magistrates, ordinances within the reach of every and the public peace: for where these individual in the kingdom. We do not two things, the word and the laws, are hope for any thing in this matter from rightly constituted and preserved, there the present cabinet; and we wish we all things go well with a kingdom.” This could say that we should be sanguine, if is the consideration which induced Lumerely political conservatives were in ther and the other Protestant reformtheir place.
ers so zealously to promote national No, it is,'and must be, a religious ques- church establishments. They did not tion; not one of party strife but of argue, with our modern Dissenters, that conscientious duty. The whole work human laws have nothing to do with remust be begun and conducted in faith, ligion; that civil government ought if we would hope for the blessing of only to regard man's inferior, nature, God to attend it. The building of and may not concern itself with his spichurches is necessary as a means to ritual interests; that provided “ laws an end ; supplying clergymen to minis- are rightly constituted and preserved ter in them, is also a means to an end; for secular concerns, “all will go well nor can we have schools, or the public with a kingdom ” without any national ordinances of religion, or pastoral' visits provision for the administration of God's ing, without this external apparatus,
word and sacraments. They received which it behoves a nation to supply; and acted upon the divine promises but that which has stimulated church without such faithless reasonings. They building, and so many other works of did not think the providence of God Christian benevolence, is the wide ex- over nations, as nations, extended only tension of true religion throughout the to the ancient Jews. They trusted to land. The legislature was induced to the promise in the sixteenth verse of the afford facilities for erecting temples, Psalm just alluded to, “I will clothe because piety had created a demand for her priests with salvation, and her saints them; and the demand extended shall shout for joy ;” and on the beyond itself; so that many men may strength of that and similar promises have been led, as patriots and enlighten- they offered the prayer, and they put ed politicians, to promote the object, their hands to the work, and God abun. who felt no spiritual anxiety for its pro- dantly blessed their labours.
We have thrown out these remarks blessing, without which a Paul will in too desultory a form, but they may plant and an Apollos water in vain. serve as suggestions to others to follow The second urgent want we men. up the subject in their riper contempla- tioned is that of religious education for tions; so as to view, in a scriptural the whole infant population. We have light, the connexion between a priest. dilated so often upon this imporant subhood clothed with righteousness, and a ject, that we will not repeat our state. nation " rejoicing in goodness'
ments. We rejoice that a Board of expression runs in Solomon's consecra- Education has been formed for the dio. tion prayer. In specifying the evils cese of London, under the superintendarising from a priesthood inadequate in ance of its zealous prelate, which, from numbers, we do not overlook the evils of its metropolitan advantages, will proa priesthood unsound in doctrine, unholy bably furnish a model for the whole in life, or negligent of the duties of their kingdom. We rejoice still more at the sacred calling. We do not ask for check which the no-religion scheme of churches, as though altars were enough, her majesty's official advisers has rewithout the sacred Game of piety, and ceived from strongly-expressed public zeal, and love to burn brightly upon opinion, and from the address to the them. We connect the prayer with the queen by the House of Lords. Their duty, and both with the promise. There lordships justly protested against a mathas, through Divine mercy, been a great ter of such moment being decided upon revival of religion in the land; but we by a mere vote of the House of Comought to pray and labour for its mons (in truth, by only a section of its abundant increase. We are building members, with their notable majority churches; we are requiring many addi- of two) without an act of the united tional clergymen; but numbers alone legislature. The queen's majesty was prove little as to the amount of good advised to reply somewhat reprovingly done, or likely to be done; spiritual to the address; but its moral weight statistics are deceptive, unless quality throughout the country has been very be estimated as well as amount. Our
powerful; and we trust, and almost clergy must be carefully trained and hope, that the advisers of the scheme tried; we do not mean as regards intel- (or rather its official abetters, for her lectual acquirements, which are a re- majesty's ministers were but the tools quisite portion of a well appointed of the Central Society-the bishop of biblical apparatus; but in regard to London called them" fantocinni," pupspiritual qualifications and scriptural pets, having adopted to the very letter aptitude for the sacred office. Private what that society had recommended) will interest, family pretensions, and the not venture to persist in urging their temporal sweets of patronage, must be purpose. The speech of the archbishop less accounted of. The flock must de. of Canterbury, who did himself much mand a high standard; they must feel honour by proposing the address, was the purport of the prayer that their replete with important facts and sound ministers may be clothed with righteous and Christian reasonings; as were those ness; and also act up to the duty in. of the Bishop of London and others volved in it as respects themselves, to who advocated it. The House of Lords encourage a faithful ministry by an affec- has earned the public gratitude by its tionate and teachable spirit; and by conduct in this solemn matter; as well taking care that those who minister at as on many other recent occasions; and the altar shall be able to live by the not least in rejecting that anti-protestaltar in decency and comfort; a duty ant, anti-constitutional, and most sensenot always duly regarded in adjusting less, clause in the prison-bill, by which the secular arrangements of our new the nation was to pay teachers to inculchurches. Both " the saints” and cate whatever fifty men in a prison should “the priests" must awake to increased choose to say they believed to be true; energy; the former must supply the though with more especial reference to means of building and endowing temples Romanist priests for saying mass, abdedicated to the Lord wherever they are solving culprits, and, as Shakspeare wanted; and the latter must cultivate too truly says, though the point of the with zeal and fidelity the field of minis- allusion seems to have escaped his cri. terial labour which will be afforded by tics, applying the “ fattering unction them ; both relying upon that promised to their departing souls.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. T. M. ; W. M. H. ; S ; J. R. S. L.; BEDELL; V.; W. H.; D. B. G. N.; and
various “ Constant Readers” are under consideration,
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Such was the pious and paternal resolution with which Joshua concluded his last address to the people of Israel, assembled before the Lord at Shechem. Having, according to the Divine command, distributed among their tribes the promised inheritance, and thus finished the work which God had given him to do, this venerable patriarch was now, as he himself declares, “about to go the way of all the earth.” With a heart duly impressed by a grateful sense of God's peculiar favour, in bringing him and Phinehas alone, of all the men who had left Egypt, into the promised land, he assembles the people, that he may urge upon them, as with his dying voice, to “take good heed unto themselves to love the Lord their God.” He recounts to them the promises, the threatenings, the past favours and mercies of God: and thus appeals to their hopes, their fears, their gratitude. Throughout his address, we observe this zealous and faithful servant of God anxiously labouring to press into the service of his Divine Master every pure feeling which could animate their bosoms; and to touch every chord in their hearts which might be taught to vibrate to the praises of God, and tuned into harmony with religion. This venerable patriarch was now
his hu dred and tenth year, an age at least double that of any whom he addressed. He had long and often led to the battle the generation of their fathers, now sleeping in the dust of the wilderness : and he himself stood among the people as a time-bleached monument of the mercies of God-a memorial of the days of old, and the years that were past, with all their hallowed remembrances. He briefly, but most impressively, sketches to them the leading features in the history of their race, every circumstance of which was a miracle and a blessing. With the most consummate address, he dwells upon the mercies of God freely bestowed upon their fathers, when they were beyond the flood, and serving other gods : upon the consequent call of Abraham, by God's covenant with whom they were now put into possession of the promised land: upon the several miraculous deliverances of their fathers, and of themselves, from Egypt, and in the wilderndess : and finally, upon the casting out before them of the idolatrous Amorites, in whose land
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 21. 3 U
they then dwelt ; and the giving them "a land for which they did not labour, and cities which they builded not, and vineyards and oliveyards which they planted not.'
And now, to bring the several motives which their history furnished to bear upon the great object for which he had assembled them—an object dear to his own pious heart—he skilfully sums up all in his inimitably affecting and judicious concluding appeal. In it, by epitoinizing their own history, he indirectly reminds them of the impo. tence of idols to protect and deliver their votaries; and of the omnipotence of God to punish his enemies and to reward his people ; --thus appealing, at once, to their prudence and their gratitude. “ Now therefore," he says, “fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity, and in truth : and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the food, and in Egypt, and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve ; whether the gods which your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Such was the appeal which Joshua addressed to these professed servants of the Lord : such the resolution which he formed, for himself and for his house. Is such the present practice—is such even the sincere resolution for the future, of those whom I now address?
This call of Joshua was enforced by the recital of temporal blessings, temporal promises, temporal threatenings; all of which were but the " figures of heavenly things, types and shadows of good things to come.” And yet this call was successful. “ Israel," we are told,
served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that He had done for Israel." Since then, Jesus Christ has brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; and converted those dim shadows into solid substances, those types into realities. The minister of the Gospel, while he calls you to the same duties; and while he tells you of that love with which “God so loved the world, that He sent his Son to be the propitiation for your sins :" while he sets before you what the Saviour did, and endured, for your redemption ; His holy life, His patient sufferings, His cruel death : while he proposes to your faith “Christ crucified," as freely unfolding to you the gates of the kingdom of heaven, with all its unfading crowns of glory, and all its mansions of everlasting rest : while, on the other hand, with warning voice, he speaks to you of the agonies of a lost soul; the lashes of awakened conscience ; the writhings of impotent malice ; the gnawing worm of repining and remorse; the feverish and insatiable thirst of covetousness; the unquenchable fire of lust; the blackness of despair, and all the other innumerable horrors of an undone eternity: in all these, he enforces his call by sanctions, to which those so successfully urged in the context bear as infinitely small a propor. tion, as does the perishable body to the immortal soul-as time to eternity
In calling attention to Joshua's resolve, and deducing from it a few common-place and every day duties, I may perhaps appear to travel over a beaten and well-known path. So far as this charge may be thought to apply, I would answer it by repeating that “whether men will hear or whether they will forbear” neglected duties, however simple and well-known, must be inculcated by “line upon line, and precept upon precept.' Men need much less to be instructed in new truths and duties, than to be stimulated to embrace and perform old and forgotten ones ;-much less to have their understandings enlightened, than their consciences effectually aroused, and their hearts savingly impressed. God may say now to His ambassadors, as of old to His people, “ Lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” It is “not with enticing words of man's wisdom” that souls are converted unto God; but by demonstration of the Spirit's power, in effectually appealing to the stupefied conscience, and addressing to the slumbering spirit “ Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” The beauty of holiness, faithfully copied from the great original, God manifest in the flesh, may indeed now and then captivate a soul: wisdom's ways of pleasantness and paths of peace, graphically delineated, may invite some solitary wanderer to quit, for them, the crowded walks of life. The Father's love, feelingly and impressively enforced, may find in some bosom a responsive feeling: the Saviour's sufferings, pathetically set forth, may sometimes melt a soul into conformity with His image : but it is sadly to be feared, that with the great mass of society the battle of the Lord must be fought, in the first instance, upon the field of natural conscience-a field where great will be the havoc of souls, and few the conquerors. Trusting to the omnipotence of truth, and to "the weapons of our warfare which are not carnal, but mighty through God,” we summon your consciences to the controversy of the Lord : and then press home our charges, and endeavour to render them effectual, by an appeal to the best feelings of your heart.
Deeply as man has degenerated from his original nature, and sunk as he is, from a state of purity and love, into the abysses of sensuality and selfishness, still we see gleaming from amid this universal wreck, latent, or partially developed, sparks of natural affection, fragments of a mighty ruin. Every trace, indeed, of the foundations of man's nature, every impress of the first and great commandment of the moral law, are wholly obliterated from his soul. The total absence of every feeling of dutiful and affectionate attachment to his prime Benefactor and his chief Good, brands man as alike an apostate from his nature and his God. Still, the natural affections—paternal and filial, conjugal and fraternal-divide the empire of cold-hearted, sensual selfishness; and redeem the moral waste, which man's fallen nature exhibits, from the character of hopeless and irrecoverable desolation. Who has not felt an ice-bound spring of happiness unlocked within his breast, as he looked upon some lovely specimen of innocent reciprocal affection : as he witnessed the delighted meeting of two objects of mutual love long parted ? or caught, with a glance, the delicate tact of heart, in the more refined expression of a deep-seated and tender affection ; whether its subjects were a husband and wife, a brother and sister ; or, which is perhaps the purest, calmest, and tenderest of all, a father and daughter; as he drops those silent yet speaking tears of joy
“ Tears, such as pious fathers shed
Upon a dutcous daughter's head.'' These natural affections, like the prostrate column of the decayed