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to choose our own religion is in accordance with the Divine command, and is the greatest human happiness.
discussion. Is the word of God for or against the enterprise ? is no impertinent question. Hence a controversy which has called forth many an essay, and at length a volume sufficiently attractive from its very novelty. But the volume is no vapid and evanescent production. It is full of learned comment and criticism, the like of which can be found no where else.
As a work for review there is something positively formidable in it, and a critic who should speak slightingly of it would be far more certain to expose himself to contempt than to slur the reputation of its writers. The success of the work in the way of sale and circulation is morally certain. With all intelligent friends of the ternperance movement this commentary will become a standard work; how much of it the unlearned readers will be able to master sufficiently to enable them the better to argue the question of abstinence, we dare not affirm. But we advise them to apply their minds to its study, and shall rejoice in their reaping all the fruits of that study which the authors have done so much to foster and facilitate.
IMAGES IN THE WINDOWS OF CHURCHES.
Protest against them. By G. R.
the Bishops of Oxford, London, &c. The perusal of this painphlet reminds us of the iconoclastic zeal of some men in the early ages of the Church who objected to images, pictures, and any sort of drapery or ornament in churches. Cyril, of Alexandria, was charged by the Nestorians with being the originator of this species of new idolatry, and the early churches rang with denunciations against it. Memorial windows, and various kinds of sculptured forms, are now quite coinmon in Episcopal churches, and even in a few Nonconformist sanctuaries they have found admirers. Mr. Clarke deserves thanks for his Christian boldness in bearding what he deems a gross offence against the simplicity of Christian worship. But how far he will succeed in his honest opposition to it, within the boundaries of his own religious community we can offer no opinion.
SINFUL AND RIGHTEOUS HERESY. A
Serinon by John Aldis. This short and sharp sermon was delivered under a species of provocation. It was provoked by the reading of a small book called forth by the comparatively recent Church Congresses, and entitled the “Comedy of Convocation."
The satire would seem to have been written by some Romish infidel, as its aim is to prove that all true principles of belief conduct to the one infallible church, and that anything short of this is latitudinarian or stupid. Mr. Aldis thinks the
Comedy of Convocation” to be one of the saddest productions he ever read -an intellectual abomination which he would not willingly wade through a second time. After a severe condemnation of this work he proceeds to discuss the subject of sinful and righteous heresy. He deals with the charge of heresy which is brought against all Protestants, and by consequence against Protestant Dissenters; he describes what is sinful heresy, and exalts what is righteous-shewing that
IRELAND AND HER AGITATORS. Lon
don: E. Stock. We are glad to find that the leading literary organ of the Wesleyan body takes the right side of the controversy respecting the dis establishment of the Irish Church. Here is a fourpenny reprint of an article on this subject by an Irish Wesleyan minister, which appeared in the June number of their Quarterly. While sufficient consideration is shown in this paper for those who think their means of support are about to be taken away from them, confidence is expressed that according to the announcement of Messrs. Bright and Gladstone, existing interests will be respected. The article is a review of a book dedicated to John Bright, Esq., M.P., by W. J. O'N. Daunt.
THE PATRISTIC TESTIMONY AGAINST PRELACY INSUBVERTIBLE, is the title of a twopenny tract of a decidedly controversial character, in reply to a letter by a chaplain of a ship, impugn
ing the accuracy of certain quotations be accepted in so far as, and no farther from the Christian fathers in disproof than, it harmonises with the word of of prelacy as the primitive forın of God; but the divine record is to be government in the Christian church. accepted as true throughout, whether Episcopalian writers have laboured the testimony of the fathers accord hard to find evidence in the fathers of with it or not.” It is, however, clearly three orders of clergy-bishops, priests, shown that the testimony of the earliest and deacons. Presbyterians, like our- fathers does accord with the statements selves, contend for two kinds only of of scripture. We cannot find room for church officers, maintaining the iden- these testimonies; but we subjoin the tity of bishops and elders. Prelacy version given of one by Lord King, has in Scotland ever been regarded as himself an Episcopalian—“The apostles unscriptural; and finding no warrant foreknew that contention would arise for it in the word of God they refuse about the name of Episcopacy, and to submit to that form of government. therefore, being endued with perfect The writer of this tract wisely remarks foreknowledge, appointed the aforesaid that “the testimony of the fathers is to officers, viz., bishops and deacons."
THE CHURCH AND THE SUNDAY pendent of the teachers. Such a course SCHOOL.
of action would be a great mistake.
There are two serious objections to it. TO THE EDITOR
First. -Our Sabbath schools are conDear Sir,—There is a paper in our ducted by the voluntary and graMagazine for March on the above sub- tuitous services of teachers, and there ject, which I consider ought not to would be a decided objection to cenpass unnoticed. To the early part of tralizing the power of governing the the paper few persons will object; but school in the church; or if the teachers to the middle and latter portion of it were passive, it is more than probable most Sabbath school teachers will
that they would cease to feel an instrongly object, as being generally un- terest in the school over which they just, and not founded on facts.
had no control, and thus the efficiency An institution like the Sunday of the school would be destroyed. school we cannot suppose to be perfect, Secondly.--The churches do not at and as it is so widely spread over the present appear to be in a state to take country, it is very possible its imper- upon them such responsibility. Are fections may assume one form in one we not at present mourning over the county, and another form in counties inefficiency and mismanagement of far apart. I have pleasure in stating our churches ? It is often the case that in all my experience (and that is that there is more spiritual feeling in rather long, as a teacher, superin- the school than in the church; and tendent, and visitor of Sabbath schools what would become of our schools if in town and country in connection in the hands of churches under such with a Sunday school union) I have no circumstances? Would it not be better remembrance of a Sabbath school for our Sabbath schools to exist as ever usurping the place of the church. they do, and that the deacons and It may be the person who wrote the members of our churches take an active above paper has observed such irregu- part in their management, as superinlarities,
tendents and teachers ? Under such But suppose we should see in
of circumstances, the church need not our schools any indications of the kind, fear the school setting itself up as an I am of opinion that it would not be
autonomy. wise for the church, as a church, to be In the school with which the writer over officious in the affair, and take is connected we have 385 scholars and upon itself to manage the school inde- 46 teachers; 41 teachers connected with the church, amongst whom we (for so he must be understood) tends have four deacons, two of whom are to turn them to the world. the superintendents; and I never If this statement be correct, the heard of the pastors or members com- sooner we close our schools the better. plaining of the school assuming an im- Instead of their being an auxiliary, proper position, nor has the school ever they are a stumbling-block in the way had to complain of the church or pastor of the church's progress. Perhaps the exercising any undue authority over it. writer of the paper referred to would In the paper for March were some
not say that the worship and teaching
in the sanctuary tends to turn people strange charges against Sabbath
to the world; but why not say the schools which I believe are utterly at
same of the one as the other? In the variance with the observation and ex
Sabbath school we sing the same perience of Sabbath school teachers,
hymns, we worship the same God, we but with the opinion of Christians
teach the same doctrines, we enforce generally who specially notice our schools. What must we think of the
the same precepts, we aim at the same following passages? “Theoretically
object, and depend upon the same
promised blessing for success as the the Sabbath school is auxiliary to the church; practically it is a rival. It
worshippers in the sanctuary. Space
will not allow 118 to enlarge, but we robs the church in many places of her children, i.e., of their presence in the
briefly notice there are thousands of
scholars who bless God they were sanctuary, and of their hearts' best
brought to the Sabbath school, because affections. It even tends to turn them to the world.” What advantage can
there they have found the Saviour.
There are thousands of teachers who the school have in becoming the rival of the church? Have they not both
bless God they were brought to teach
in the Sabbath school, because in readone object ? Is not the school the
ing and studying God's word to prechild of the church? Then what
pare lessons they have been instructed must we understand by the school
and edified, and while they have been robbing the church of her children? &c. Do not the teachers in our Sabbath
teaching others the Lord has taught
them. And what shall we say of many schools endeavour and pray that their
of the members of our churches, of many scholars may give themselves to the
of our deacons, of many of our pastors Lord and then to His people? And
and missionaries, and leading men and does not every pious Sabbath school
women connected with our great teacher consider that he is only suc
Christian institutions throughout the cessful in his great work so far as he
land ? Have we not heard many of brings his scholars to Jesus and then
them bear testimony to the spiritual to His church ?
tendency of our Sabbath schools ? Is not the Sabbath school a nursery In the paper referred to the writer in which the saplings are nurtured and admits that three-fourths or more of trained that they may become pillars the additions to the communion are in the church of the living God? And from the present or former pupils of are there not thousands of pillars in the Sabbath school. Strange admisthe church who were once saplinge in sion, seeing that it tends to turn them the Sabbath school ? The writer of to the world. The writer says this the paper in March says the tendency credit is wrongfully claimed, and he of such schools is to turn the scholars goes on to say that these new commuto the world. The reason given is, nicants are almost entirely of the conthat it, i.e., the Sabbath school, sends secrated in infancy, and the trained in them to other places than the house of pious families. I have made inquiry God, while God's people are engaged of the secretary of our church as to there in worship. Now if the writer of this particular, and I find we have the above paper has seen such an im- baptized twelve scholars this year, and proper course taken by any school, he only three of them were the conseknows very well that Sabbath schools crated in infancy, the trained in pious generally do not do so; and it is not families; and the nine, or three-fourths, only improper but it is untrue for him were members of irreligious families, to say of our Sabbath organization it and had had no religious home training. I believe that if the members and ineffectual, but the preaching also— officers of our churches pay attention and who is to blame? It would not be to these particulars, they will find that reasonable to find fault with either the what has taken place amongst us is teachers or the preachers, since even common to other churches.
the most talented men do not always The writer goes on to say that"Quite succeed in gaining all who hear them. as many of the children of the church Were there not many thousands in would come to the Lord's table even Jerusalem who heard the teaching of if there were no Sabbath schools." the Lord Jesus Christ, who spake as Now it is said we have three millions never man spake, and they also saw of Sabbath scholars and three hundred His mighty works, and yet they not thousand teachers in the United King- only refused to come to Him that they dom. According to the above state- might have life, but they cried, “Crument these three hundred thousand cify Him, crucify Him.” teachers are of no spiritual advantage The last paragraph is full of what whatever to the children of pious the writer calls reasons why our Sabfamilies, because “Quite as many of bath schools are
not more useful. them would come to the table of the It is rather a pity that a person writing Lord if there were no Sabbath schools." on such an important subject, as it is Let the experienced members of our supposed with an “aim to improvechurches say whether there are not ment,” should make so many serious many young people who have had good charges in such an off-hand manner. religious training at home, when they There is some truth in what is said, come forward to join the church, state but with it there appears no sympathy. that while they have had religious im- We cannot admit that the last parapressions for some time they have been graph justly represents our Sabbath finally brought to give themselves to school teaching and addresses. The the Lord from the lessons in the Sab- statements are too sweeping and too bath school, or from addresses from the unqualified. There are many pious desk. We know that most parents of and devoted servants of God in our pious families hail the Sabbath school schools who for natural and acquired as one of the greatest blessings to abilities will compare favourably with themselves and their children, and many who occupy a more elevated thankfully acknowledge that the Sab- position, and there are many whose bath school is a great auxiliary in the education is deficient, but God has religious training of their families. owned with His blessing the imperfect Any impartial person must adınit that and feeble instrumentality employed, the employment in the Sabbath school, and to Him we will give all the glory. the lessons taught in the Sabbath
Yours, &c., school, and the habits formed by going
J. O. to the Sabbath school, go to strengthen parental authority; and it is very probable that if there were no Sabbath THE LINCOLNSHIRE AND CAMschools many of those consecrated in BRIDGESHIRE SUNDAY infancy would be different characters
SCHOOL UNION. from what they are. The writer of the paper in the
TO THE EDITORMarch Magazine complains of the want Dear Sir,—Permit me to announce to of efficiency in our Sabbath schools, the members of the Lincolnshire and because great numbers of young men Cambridgeshire Sunday School Union, in our large towns and cities, who are that we purpose to hold our Thirtyhabitual violators of the Sabbath, ninth Annual Conference at Boston, on where once pupils in those schools. Thursday, July 23. Arrangements are If this proves anything, it perhaps in progress for running special trains proves more than the writer wishes; from each town and village in the for if those habitual violators of the Union to Boston, by which, we hope, Sabbath were once pupils in our Sab- the attendance of all the teachers and bath schools, they were also trained to friends at the whole of the meetings, attend the sanctuary; and it would ap- except the seven o'clock prayer meetpear that not only was the teaching ing, will be ensured. To enable us to ascertain our real strength, num- school who will be likely to attend the bers, and position in this district, full meetings, as that wonld greatly facilistatistics of the several schools should tate the arrangements of the Provision be given in the reports, as they are all Committee here in their work of promade matters of record, and may serve viding for the creature comforts of to stimulate us in our work.
each individual member. I should also be obliged if the super- On behalf of the Union, intendent of each school would inform
I am, dear sir, me, as near as he can, by the Monday
Yours faithfully, morning previous to the day of meet
EDWARD Wilson, Hon. Sec. ing, the probable numbers of each Skirbeck Road, Boston, June 9, 1868.
THE ANNUAL COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND HOME MISSION was held at Dover Street chapel, Leicester, June 9th, 1868. Rev. I. Stubbins in the chair. Reports were received from the churches at Longton, Swadlincote, and Ilkeston. Rely. ing on the growing interest in Home Mis. sion work, which the Secretary reported he had witnessed in many places, the Committee made grants for the next year to the above places to the amount of £105. 'l be Report of the Committee to the Association was prepared and adopted.
C. CLARKE, Secretary.
The MIDLAND CONFERENCE met at Pack. ington on Whit Tuesday, June 2, 1868.
At the morning service the Rev. J. H. Lummis, of Swadlincote, read the scriptures and prayed. The Rev. W. Bishop, of Longton, preached from 2 Cor. v. 14, and 15, “ For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto them. selves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again."
At the afternoon meeting the Rev. C. Clarke, B.A., pastor of the church, presided. The Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A., offered prayer. Written and oral reports were then given from the churches.
N.B.- There are fifty-nine churches in the Conference; twenty-seven of these sent no report.
Since the last Conference on Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 25th, ten persons had been restored to fellowship, eighty-six were can. didates, and eighty-nine had been baptized.
The doxology was sung, and the minutes of the last Conference were read and confirmed.
I. The committee appointed to visit the Belper friends presented a written report. The thanks of the Conference were presented to the committee, Messrs. T. Hill, W. Bennett, G. Needham, and W. B. Bembridge, for the interest they had taken in this matter. Their report was also unanimously received, and the Conference passed the following resolution—" Having heard the report of the Committee, we recommend to the Connexion generally the appeal of our Belper friends, who need pecuniary help to enable them to obtain new trust deeds, and to pay the Copyhold Court Fine." The amount needed is £55.
2. The Committee of our Leicester ministers appointed to visit the Market Harborough friends presented an oral report. The thanks of the Conference were presented to our brethren T. Stevenson, J. C. Pike, and J. J. Goadby, for their attention to this case. The report presented was received. The Conference then passed the following resolution—"That having heard the report of our Leicester ministers we are pleased to record that the relationship of the church at Market Harborough to this Conference is perfectly satisfactory, and we wish our friends there great prosperity."
(The Conference having adjourned for tea, re-assembled at six o'clock, and prayer having been offered by the Rev. J. H. Wood, of Wolvey,)
3. The Committee of the Midland Home Mission were then appointed. The three brethren who retired according to rule were Messrs. C. Stevenson, J. Earp, and W. Bennett. They were re-elected. Mr. Prince, of Derby, was elected vice Mr. Jelley, who has left the district. The Treasurer and Secretary were also re