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the Dissenters.

139 he ministers of Christ are made hot involuntarily, but for love of it a branch of politics * the daily and weekly press is a hich sincere Christians of all d with tame and indolent disengine have been abandoned to anagement, when a mere investted, and to an adequate extent, one journal of commanding inin morality, without committing by sanctimonious professions, Ind Crown, or the Bible without ly religious paper will of course

irreligious, and therefore preof which we speak. But a daily ability and independence, speakverted to, with firmness, dignity, pting to dose with religion, the

-religious in its conduct, rather Int of all parties,—such a journal

as it would deserve to be, the nt, by acquiring the respect and

short of this seems to us likely apers are taken in for the sake debates, and early intelligence;

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1, of an approved · Plan for the wspaper, devoted to the support mon by British Nonconformists;' es of a most respectable body of nal committee for carrying the dee plan, aware as we are of the monot but have our best wishes ; alwider basis had been adopted, and ght desirable, it had been found e of the catholicity, not of any dione point, however, we venture re

our hopes. The character of a to render it expedient or becoming, authority, or sanction, or pledge, f the union of secular and spiritual vith reason deprecated, that of dirable. When, therefore, the paper ecting to any preliminary arrangeity of conducting it, will not attach enomination, but to lay proprietors

218.7

and an extended sale can alone secure the first, or support the vast expense of obtaining the others. To establish such a paper, demanis a fortune; and after an expenditure of £30,000, the project might prove as abortive as a recent attempt of the kind, bucked by all the talent of a political party. What is most ardeutly to be desired, is, that the proprietors and conductors of the political press should, to some greater extent, be brought turier che mutluevce of religious knowledge and religious principle, which would quality them to perform their proper functions in a manner betencial tu suciecy. On the other hand, it might be as well it religious newspaper, designed chiefly as a reporter of

invonary and other ecclesiastical intelligence, foreign and do Neties or of the public meetings of cur great Institutions, kept

wear is possible of polities *

We have great pleasure in trunseribing into our pages, the followIts

Religious Newspapers which appear in the CongreL a vidite tur site presa muath. The time has come when inte rii u r reveti Stance we have reluctantly mainsinn sinne Pa s Wich profess to advocate the inM arische the snu axr, which appeared, in 1827, inimesi me

n genales, did not originate with we had t o

w

przrste parties who embarked in o 4, mn *o metropolis. While it must be Wiesbrush vuxn2 du chat service to the dissenting com

..what she p u b lic of the Test and Corporation Acts : me bon *** enim. Nos et religion by its reports of public O h i on

med, has long been felt by all DisTo w atani wananit feelings, to be decidedly unfavourwhen the intend

protes to adrocate ; and not a few of dom than he ons and benernlent institutions of the . ..de lieu ww mwr to the general faithfulness of the con . .. uby'

m

e d on that ground recommended the www.lu Av N** * rd to find their names employed to

s e i pre femper, and general conduct, was Torinodes there to be

vous ch anomeder deroted to the interests w

Wethal Church, morirat, on its first vesh

from heral Disenters, who were

n i bermalif conducted on Catholic prin16 h mainwind denne tren outraged in that paper, we

dere been outrag mi. M ish that the sober-minded and

pa stand are as much ashamed of its .. . * ** the same class among Dissenters

inden No :bits by far the greater portion

dr ivre Biis due to the old RRY:

..! malignity;

. :lful and

We have been imperceptibly led into this digression. We were saying that, in some respects, the Congregational Dissenters have been losing ground and losing caste, as it were, in the nation. Yet, it is true, notwithstanding, that their national importance was never so great ; their resources never appeared to be so considerable; and they never occupied so advantageous and bonourable a position. As we have boldly and freely exposed their deficiencies, let us be suffered to indulge a little in the foolishness of boasting. First, then, the body of public instructors who sustain the office of the Christian ministry among the Congregational Dissenters, when considered simply in relation to their office, as able ministers of the New Testament,' claim to rank as the best qualified and the most exemplary of any order of Christian teachers in the world. In comparison even with the evangelical clergy, they will be found, on the average, better grounded in theological and biblical knowledge, as well as more ready in the exercises of devotion and public teaching, and consequently less subject to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. Modern fanaticism has found few among the Dissenting Clergy to countenance its perilous absurdities. This steadiness of religious sentiment in a community among whom creeds are discarded, shews that the perpetuation of sound doctrine depends far less upon accurate and orthodox formularies, than upon the system of clerical education ; a point upon which, according to the testimony of an impartial and competent judge *, the more

respectable of the Dissenters have far exceeded in wisdom the 6 rulers of the Church. In other respects, the evangelical clergy exhibit a zeal and devotedness to their office, worthy of exciting emulation. But, if we compare the Dissenting ministry with the whole body of the national clergy, great as is the reformation that has taken place in their professional character, it is unnecessary to say a word as to the immense superiority of the former in point of moral respectability and usefulness.

In their Academical institutions, the Dissenters possess a system of tried efficacy for supplying their churches with a more than sufficient number of pious and competently instructed pastors ; so that the state of things which formed the subject of complaint, and the occasion of destitution, previously to the establishment of such institutions, is not likely again to occur. We have admitted, on a former occasion, that this system is not producing or attracting to itself many learned or eminent men. Yet, the Congregational Dissenters are able to enumerate contemporary names not a few, and of no mean reputation, as those of their preachers and writers. The Baptist denomination are with reason proud

* Mr. Acaster. See Eclect. Rev. 3d Series, Vol. V. p. 468.

and an extended sale can alone secure the first, or support the vast expense of obtaining the others. To establish such a paper, demands a fortune; and after an expenditure of L30,000, the project might prove as abortive as a recent attempt of the kind, backed by all the talent of a political party. What is most ardently to be desired, is, that the proprietors and conductors of the political press should, to some greater extent, be brought under the influence of religious knowledge and religious principle, which would qualify them to perform their proper functions in a manner beneficial to society. On the other hand, it might be as well if a religious newspaper, designed chiefly as a reporter of missionary and other ecclesiastical intelligence, foreign and domestic, or of the public meetings of our great Institutions, kept as clear as possible of politics *.

* We have great pleasure in transcribing into our pages, the following remarks on · Religious Newspapers, which appear in the Congregational Magazine for the present month. The time has come when we feel it to be our duty to break the silence we have reluctantly maintained, respecting the weekly papers which profess to advocate the interests of religion. The World Newspaper, which appeared, in 1827, as the avowed advocate of dissenting principles, did not originate with any body of Dissenters; nor were the private parties who embarked in the speculation much known in the metropolis. While it must be confessed that this journal did efficient service to the dissenting community on the question of the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; and has served the general interests of religion by its reports of public meetings; yet, the tone it assumed, has long been felt by all Dissenters of moderate and gentlemanly feelings, to be decidedly unfavour. able to the interests which it professed to advocate ; and not a few of those who, as officers of the leading and benevolent institutions of the kingdom, had given their testimony to the general faithfulness of the reports of their public meetings, and on that ground recommended the journal, have been grievously annoyed to find their names employed to sanction a paper which, in its style, temper, and general conduct, was very unlike what they wished it to be.

The Record Newspaper, though avowedly devoted to the interests of evangelical religion in the National Church, received, on its first publication, respectable support from liberal Dissenters, who were willing to read an episcopalian journal, if conducted on Catholic principles. How those principles have been outraged in that paper, we will not now pause to detail : it is enough that the sober-minded and candid members of the Church of England are as much ashamed of its personalities and violence, as men of the same class among Dissenters have been of the World Newspaper.'

Of the two journals, the Record exhibits by far the greater portion of cleverness, information, and adroitne s. But it is due to the old World to say, that its party violence never ran into personal malignity; it was coarse, but not dishonest ; and it never employed wilful and systematic misrepresentation as a regular trick of trade.

We have been imperceptibly led into this digression. We were saying that, in some respects, the Congregational Dissenters have been losing ground and losing caste, as it were, in the nation. Yet, it is true, notwithstanding, that their national importance was never so great ; their resources never appeared to be so considerable ; and they never occupied so advantageous and honourable a position. As we have boldly and freely exposed their deficiencies, let us be suffered to indulge a little in the foolishness of boasting. First, then, the body of public instructors who sustain the office of the Christian ministry among the Congregational Dissenters, when considered simply in relation to their office, as "able ministers of the New Testament,' claim to rank as the best qualified and the most exemplary of any order of Christian teachers in the world. In comparison even with the evangelical clergy, they will be found, on the average, better grounded in theological and biblical knowledge, as well as more ready in the exercises of devotion and public teaching, and consequently less subject to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. Modern fanaticism has found few among the Dissenting Clergy to countenance its perilous absurdities. This steadiness of religious sentiment in a community among whom creeds are discarded, shews that the perpetuation of sound doctrine depends far less upon accurate and orthodox formularies, than upon the system of clerical education ; a point upon which, according to the testimony of an impartial and competent judge *, the more • respectable of the Dissenters have far exceeded in wisdom the • rulers of the Church. In other respects, the evangelical clergy exhibit a zeal and devotedness to their office, worthy of exciting emulation. But, if we compare the Dissenting ministry with the whole body of the national clergy, great as is the reformation that has taken place in their professional character, it is unnecessary to say a word as to the immense superiority of the former in point of moral respectability and usefulness.

In their Academical institutions, the Dissenters possess a system of tried efficacy for supplying their churches with a more than sufficient number of pious and competently instructed pastors ; so that the state of things which formed the subject of complaint, and the occasion of destitution, previously to the establishment of such institutions, is not likely again to occur. We have admitted, on a former occasion, that this system is not producing or attracting to itself many learned or eminent men. Yet, the Congregational Dissenters are able to enumerate contemporary names not a few, and of no mean reputation, as those of their preachers and writers. The Baptist denomination are with reason proud

* Mr. Acaster. See Eclect. Rev. 30 Series, Vol. V. p. 468.

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