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Majesty to the legislature, to consider the the pope ; 'a velo on Catholic Episcopal
pal superstition, as such: no, let it be With regard to the measures themselves opposed and reprobated as it deserves ;~no light has yet been thrown upon the de with temper indeed, and Christian chatails : neither the provisions of the enact- rity, with enlightened wisdom and halment of grace, nor those of guarantee or lowed weapons ;-but still, with firmness, restriction, are as yet disclosed to the with scriptural zeal, and with an earnest public. Writing therefore in the dark upon desire to rescue from its snare, those who both these points, we are unable at present are oppressed by its spiritual thraldom. to lay before our readers our views of the We trust, therefore, that should any meacase with that explicitness which so im sure be brought forward for paying the portant a question demands; otherwise it Roman - Catholic priesthood from the would have been our wish, with all Chris. public purse, a measure which so many tian frankness, to state some considerations mere political Protestants have urged as a which appear to us of importance in com master-piece of policy, and which would ing to a right decision on a subject of such greatly abate their opposition to the remoment to the interests, both temporal moval of civil disabilities; it will be oppoand spiritual, of our beloved country, of sed by all religious Protestants, as a direct millions now living, and of hundreds of violation of Christian duty, an unhallowed millions yet unborn.
union with a communion with which we The intended measures we have stated ought to hold no intercourse but that of consist of concessions and of safeguards. kindly social offices as men, or of active With regard to the latter, we are not zeal for the spiritual reformation of its sanguine in believing that it will be possi- members. What are called the evangeble to propose any specific arrangements lical clergy in our church, as well as those of much practical efficiency; the only real dissenting ministers and laymen who symguarantee for the loyal and peaceable be bolize with them in their leading views of haviour of any large body of men is, their Christian doctrine and piety, ace, as is feeling that they have an interest in the well known, divided in opinion, respectcommon weal which cuts off the sources of ing the propriety of removing civil disabitemptation to discontent and opposition. lities; but we doubt not they would be, Among a variety of specific safeguards found united to a man to oppose that have been mentioned abridging the right miserable system of alleged political exof suffrage in Ireland ; a concordat with pediency which would seek to secure the CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 326.
civil adhesion of the Catholic body by who, alarmed at the fear of papal ascenoffering a bonus upon their corrupt faith. dency, and considering the wrath of God Their rights, real or supposed, as men as denounced upon the Church of Rome and citizens, is one thing ; but it is quite and her abettors, maintain that no conanother to afford pecuniary aid for the siderations of alleged public necessity, or maintenance of their religion. Many re deference to the opinions of the powers ligious persons feel disposed to think that that be,” ought to induce them to with we ought to cease legally to recognize Pa- draw their opposition to every species of pists, in order to persecute them, who concession. This is certainly the feeling would be still more averse to recognize most likely first to arise in the mind of them in order to embrace them. They a truly religious Protestant: (we lay great would employ neither rewards nor punish stress on these words:) yet we think that ments : what they wish is oblivion. We there are many counter considerations tolerate Hindoos and Mohammedans in which ought not to be overlooked; nay, India, but we do not pay their Brahmins which ought to have very considerable and Muftis. But we cannot persuade weight in the minds of such persons, ourselves that Government will consent towards reconciling them to the proposed to view Protestantism so much as the healing measures. For ourselves, though creature of state policy, and so little as we can by no means divest our minds of connected with religious sanctions, as to all anxiety, our preponderating feeling, propose any such measure; and in truth, we frankly admit, is one of hope. We as we have before said, there is little real have looked with much pain at the civil guarantee for the good conduct of any and religious distractions of Ireland ; we large body of men, except their interest have seen how little good effects, in a rein the public weal; and the feeling that if ligious view, has attended measures of they are unreasonable in their wishes, exclusion; we have doubted how far pethey are sure rather to lose than to gain, nal statutes are legitimate instruments for from the vast majority of their country- promoting the Gospel of Christ ; we have men who would be arrayed against them. been concerned to see individuals of noto
From safeguards we pass on to conces-, riously evil lives, fondly hailed, yea, even sions; where, as we have before said, by truly Christian men, as the champions public feeling, even among pious and of Protestantism, to the great injury of well-judging men, is greatly divided. Protestantism in the public eye as a reliThe avowed argument in parliament, that gious system, and to its identification with which has swayed the duke of Welling- mere party and political ascendency; we ton, and even Mr. Peel himself, is, that have mourned over the frustration of the the adjustment of the question has be- hopes of so many zealous friends to the come absolutely necessary for the public spiritual welfare of Ireland, in consewelfare; that Ireland is in a most lament quence of that opposition to every scheme able state of faction, and that the govern of improvement which has been generated ment at home is constantly embarrased by political feuds; we have lamented to by a difference of opinion on this vital see some political Protestants breathing subject; that a divided cabinet ought no out the threatenings and slaughters of the longer to be allowed, and that one united Church of Rome, and even some religious in opposition to the removal of Catholic Protestants carried away by the same fierce disabilities cannot be formed; or, if it and exterminating spirit; we have lamentcould, would be unable to govern either ed to think how little prospect there was Ireland or England. It is said also, of civilizing, educating, and scripturally though not on authority, that some of the instructing the populace of Ireland, while members of the government have serious- civil feuds rendered suspected every agent ly doubted whether they could legally of Protestant benevolence; we have sedisprove Mr. OʻConnell's right to sit in riously feared that the disabling statutes parliament; and that thus, in fact, one far from thinning the ranks of Romanism, chief point in dispute was conceded, whe- have, by a natural re-action, replenished ther by accident or otherwise, at the them, and have greatly tended to prevent Union. These representations, grounded Catholics of rank and influence from openupon alleged expediency amoanting to ing their eyes to the errors of their chureh, nccessity, have induced great numbers of lest they should thereby seem to desert persons, both in public and private life, their party while in disgrace; we have lato withdraw their opposition to the pro- mented also to witness the injurious anoposed concessions ; and even some of the mały by which Popery has found allies in most zealous friends of religion, who still the ranks of liberalism,—thus banding doubt the propriety of the projected mea scepticism and superstition in strange sure, have thought it, upon the whole, alliance; enlisting tolerance in defence of their duty to confide in the information an intolerant church, causing many of our and integrity of the constituted authorities public men to soften down its baneful feaof the country.
tures, who would have been the first to Such, however, has not been the more pourtray them in their hideousness, if the general feeling among the great body subject had come before them in its proof the friends of piety and Protestantism; per aspect, apart from the question of
of God f Ronde no Cobssity
, or powers
to with ecies of ? feeling mind of ay great nk that erations
penal disabilities; we have been dejected but in the name of the Lord of Host s
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
D.; J. B.M.; N1515; R. B. S.; and A. R.C.; will appear.
Epopos; IRENÆUS; N.; and E. M. B.; are under consideration,
your last Number, to other articles in the British Critic and Theological Review,' is
names of the treasurers, secretaries, or bankers of various religious and charitable
readers to encumber our pages with such details for private information. Several of
these Societies insert occasional advertisements on our cover, to which the inquirers T. J., after stating the same facts as DEFENSOR and N. L., p. 91, adds, that the
anecdote of Mr. Robinson, mentioned by Spon in our last Number, related to the hymn “ Come, thou Fount of every blessing,” which was his, and not to “ Jesus,
lover (refuge] of my soul,” which was not. A CONSTANT READER mistakes in saying that it has been our uniform practice to in.
sert a preface to each volume. Had we, however, been aware that our prefaces were in such good estimation, we should not perhaps have omitted one to our last volume; though what topics we had to urge we intended to introduce as occasjon served in other places.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. Among the interesting facts in this month's extracts, we notice with much pleasure the purchase of 300 Bibles, Testaments, and Biblical selections by the Portuguese emigrants at Plymouth; the circulation and intelligent perusal of English Bibles in the native schools of Madagascar ; and the distribution by sale within the year of 4661 copies in the precincts of the Turkish empire itself.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. With much pain, yet with an imperative feeling of duty, we lay before our readers this month's Reporter, which relates chiefly to the slave estates of the Society for the Propagation of theGospel. We have ourselves urged the subject in vain for several years; it has now received a more full and public discussion, and must command the atten. tion of the Society, of parliament, and of the country at large. We scruple not again to repeat our full conviction, that whether we consider the feelings of the British public, or the duties of the Society as a Christian and charitable institution, nothing short of making their labourers free villagers, working, not under the lash, or from fear of the stocks and imprisonment, but for just wages, will satisfy the exigencies of the case.
So long as they are slave holders, their most benevolent intentions must continue to be frustrated, as they have been for nearly a century and a quarter. The scene is too distant for their supervision ; nor can they make West-Indian agents think, feel, and
act, as the Society do at home. We are prepared to return again and again to this afflicting subject.--But we are asked again and again, what can the Society do? The end to be attained is obvious enough. Look, for example, at our volume for 1823, p. 685. Many benevolent individuals have been honest in doing their duty, by breaking the yoke from off the necks of their slaves; and the result has corresponded to the intention, even at a time when the state of civilization among the slaves must have been much more backward than now in Barbadoes. In the small island of Antigua alone, 956 manumissions have taken place in six years. Has any inconvenience resulted to Antigua from the 956 manumissions ? Or if the proportionate number of 2550 had been manumitted in Barbadoes, and the Society's slaves had been of that number, where would have been the possible evil ?" There are now in Barbadoes itself, about 5,000 free Blacks, or Persons of Colour ; and in Trinidad, a neighbouring island, 18,000 such persons.--If the Society's 381 slaves formed a part of either of these bodies, where, we again ask, would be the evil or the inconvenience ? It has been a greater sacrifice in many individuals to free half a dozen slaves, than it would be for this Society to manumit its 381. It is vain to talk of giving examples of progressive amelioration and emancipation. Such a society never can find agents for such a work. They have but one plain path to take, and one Christian example to give. All short of this is a coinpromise with conscience. And yet, even with this compromise, there are many things to be done, which they have not done or even attempted. Every child may in future be born free. The women may be delivered from the labour of tilling the ground like cattle. All the slaves may be encouraged to effect their own redemption, by having wages, instead of the whip to stimulate them, and time to labour for themselves ---but there is no end to such suggestions. If the Society are in earnest, they will find no difficulty in filling up the details.
REFORMATION SOCIETY. We looked with some caution at the early proceedings of this Society ; but it has honestly gained upon our confidence, and the present most interesting Number of the Quarterly Extracts proves its full claim to the zealous and confident suffrages of every friend of Religion and Protestantism. The Society has most wisely avoided political allusions; and we will follow their example in noticing its proceedings: yet we may be allowed to hope that the fears of some of its most excellent members are unfounded, and that new and unexpected facilities will be opened for its exertions and
It has calmly urged its way amidst political heats : may it, in the mercy of God, find in future a soil better prepared for its holy labours !
ESSAY ON SUPERSTITION,
perfectly performed, according to
varying circumstances of original ( Continued from page 71.)
character, and physiological maniI STATED in my last paper my festation, as well as according to the
belief that the various pheno- phenomena of health or disposition. mena of superstition, and especially Now, as such, the brain will require alleged supernatural appearances, a due and regular supply of fine depend upon a morbid condition of and healthy blood, exactly in proporthe brain, in consequence of which tion to the extent and importance of it has escaped the due controul of its agency in the animal economy the presiding mind. In order to and its functions will be feebly and apply this proposition to the several irritably carried on if that supply be forms of superstitious manifestation, defective in quantity, or less highly it is necessary to describe the func- animalized than in its most perfect tions of the brain in a state of health state. On the contrary, it will be and of disease.
oppressed, if the supply should exI. The brain is a material organ, ceed the demand for ordinary exand is liable to be acted upon by penditure: and it will be variously many physical causes.
irritated and disturbed, if that blood This is almost a self-evident pro- shall not have undergone its proper position, since we see that it is purifying change ; and, more espe. possessed of extension, figure, so- cially, if it shall have been charged lidity, and of a certain degree of with any noxious qualities ; accord. invariable structural arrangement. ing to the extent of its deterioration, It is true that we are unacquainted the intensity of the consequent morwith the ultimate cerebral fibre, or bid impression, and the disordered with the reason why these fibres are changes with which it is associated. assembled according to their present But, since the brain also forms form; and it is also true, that we are the centre of nervous sympathy, it unacquainted with the mode of their is intimately connected with many function: but we conclude, from other viscera, whose functions canvery close analogy, that the brain is not be carried on without the assistmost perfectly adapted to its pecu ance derived from this organ, and liarity of function, because we know whose infinitely varied disturbances that this is the case with other are all propagated by a reflex action organs and functions of the body; to this common centre. and because we find, from observa. order of stomach will interfere with tion, that this office is more or less the integrity of brainular action ; Christ. OBSERV. No. 327.