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tute a regulation allowing of the open- interests of agriculture itself, is in ing of the ports as before at 80s. and retracing our legislative progress, from continuing them open till the price the present system of restriction and falls to 70s. and three months after it prohibition, to one of perfect freedom, begins to fall below it; but subject regulated only by a regard to the taxes throughout to a duty of 12s. per quar- which fall mainly or exclusively on ter, with an additional duty of 5s. for the growers of corn. Of all human the first three months after opening. evils which can befal our population, We will not enter into any discussion there is none which can be compared of the comparative merits of this mode to that arising from a difficulty of proof protection with that which previ- curing food; and of all taxes to which ously existed. It may perhaps, on the the poor man is subject, none can be whole, be a better plan than that which a hundredth part so oppressive as that it has superseded; or rather it may be which these prohibitory enactments attended with a smaller portion of are more or less calculated to produce, practical evil to the agriculturist as the doubling or trebling of the price well as to the community. But both of his quartern loaf. systems, we hesitate not to say, are The state of Ireland has been proradically vicious; and while either of minently brought before Parliament them is persisted in, we must be con- and the country. The distresses of demned 'to suffer all the afflicting al- the poor, that is, of ninety nine perternations arising from a great fluctua- sons out of a hundred, in the southern tion in the price of the inain articles provinces of that country, are most of human subsistence. At one time deeply afflicting. A scarcity of prothey will be depressed so low as not visions, or rather of money to purto remunerate the grower, and at ano- chase them, amounting in some parts ther raised so high as to subject a almost to absolute famine, has more 'great part of our population to want or less prevailed for a considerable and wretchedness, and to expose us time, and is now truly affecting. The to all the evils of disaffection and immediate cause has been chiefly the tumult. We are fixed in the clear defective character and quantity of persuasion, that the only remedy for the last potatoe crop. The effect, in these evils, and for many others, is to addition to the personal sufferings of be found in a free and unfeltered trade the half-famished peasantry, and the in corn; and that in such a free and recent disturbances which may be unfettered trade, not only would the traced in a considerable measure to

community at large, but the farmers this source, has been a return of typhus and the landholders find their true and fever, which is making great ravages. permanent advantage. The subject is . We shall not dwell upon particulars, far too wide for us to enter upon in as we trust they will have been althis place; but those who are dispused ready laid before most of our readers to examine it, or who wish to know in the shape of an appeal to their by what process of reasoning we have sympathy and Christian liberality: arrived at this conclusion, we would We are happy to state that this appeal refer to the report of the agricul- - has met with a most generous reply tural committee of the house of in the bountiful subscriptions which commons, which sat in the last ses- are flowing in from the British pubsion, where the true principles by lic, and from the richer classes in which this mighty question should be Ireland, for the temporary relief of regulated are ably and luminously the necessities of these our fellowexhibited, (principles by the way com- Christians and fellow-subjects. Large pletely at war with the practical recom- quantities of provisions, chiefly pomendations that report); we would tatoes, have been already shipped for refer them also to a recent pamphlet of Ireland, and measures taken to proMr. Ricardo, on this question, and to mote an equal and effective supply: a review of the agricultural report Government also has largely assisted which bas appeared in the 720 Num: the object; and we trust, not only ber of the Edinburgh Review, and that the temporary pressure will be in a late Number of the Quarterly. considerably alleviated, but that the We think it absolutely impossible for supplies will have allowed of sowing any dispassionate and disinterested and planting for the approaching individual to read these articles with- harvest. We earnestly recommend out a thorough persuasion that our the object to the liberal contributions only true wisdom, even if we were to vf our readers. Should the funds look exclusively to the permanent raised be more than necessary for the

immediate exigency, they will admit cine. Such circumstances are proof being employed with great advan. bably unprecedented in the history of tage to the general welfare of Ireland, Ireland or any other country; and by promoting useful and productive they call loudly, especially when labour. Parliament has wisely voted taken in connexion with the present a sum of 50,000l. to be expended in afflicted and distressed condition of opening roads in the wilder and less that island, on those who have a frequented parts of the kingdom, and voice in filling up these important in other works of public utility. All places, to select for the office men of this, however, will effect compara- distinguished zeal, simplicity, and tively little for Ireland. The evils piety, of well-known liberality and which afflict her lie deeper; and disinterestedness, of conciliating chamany of them have been strongly racter, and endued with wisdom to pressed upon the attention of Parlia- guide those within the pale of the ment during the last few weeks. The church, and to win those, who are tithe-system, in particular, has been without. Deeply afflicting would be amply discussed; and, from its pre- the thought, and truly awful the resent oppressive nature, as well as the sponsibility, if, in appointments like unpopularity which it attaches to the these, considerations of mere favour

Established Church and the cause of or interest should be allowed to ope- Protestantism in that country, it ought rate ! to be commuted. An obvious remedy The bill of Mr Canning, for the seems to be to throw the burden, as admission of Romau Catholic peers -in Scotland, not on the tenant, but on into parliament, has passed the house the proprietor of the soil. And we of commons, and is about to be derejoice to say, that many of the great bated in the house of lords. lay impropriators in that country, A measure has been proposed by have, much to their honour, expressed the chancellor of the exchequer for not merely their willingness but their relieving the country of two millions solicitude to concur in such a propo- of taxes, by converting the military sition. We shall, probably, have oc- and civil half-pay and pensions, casion to resume this subject next amounting to about five millions, month, in considering the nature of into annuities for 45 years. The the measures which Mr. Goulburn taxes he proposes to remove are 13s. proposes to bring forward for the ame. a-bushel of the 15s, paid on salt, half lioration of the general condition of of the present leather tax, the window Ireland; and which, we trust, will and hearth tax of Ireland, and the not be merely of a palliative or super- tonnage duty on shipping. These ficial kind, but deep and prospective, are certainly gratifying remissions, and grounded on plans of moral and though we could earnestly wish the religious, as well as merely financial salt tax were entirely abolished. As or agricultural, improvement. Events to the plan of converting five millioas have occurred, during the month, coo- of life annuities into annuities for nected with the Protestant Established 45 years, with which these remissions Church, of a truly solemn and admo- are connected, we do not conceive nitory nature. No less than three that there is any valid objection to it. Irish prelates have been called to give It certainly, however, would be a much an account of their stewardship before more sinple and economical plan, 10 the bar of God. Two of them, two take the money required for the purprimates, the Archbishops of Armagh pose at once froin the sioking fund, and Cashel, were taken off in one day; - than to be creating annually new the latter by illness, and the former stock, and yet keeping the sinking by an accidental administration of a fund at what is in that case its merely bottle of laudanum instead of medi. nominal amount of five millions.

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ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. “ Notice sur M. R.;" F. S.; SCRUTATOR; M. M.; J. B.; F. S.; A CONSTANT

READER; Onpeutus; CUMBRIENSIS; A. M. C. ; J. W. M.; A. C.G.; and two or three papers, withont signature, are under consideration. We are much obliged to several correspondents for accounts of the anniversary

meetings of various societies ; but our limits will not allow of our entering much into details of this nature. We shall, bowever, be happy, as far as our plan permits, to give the results of their proceedings, froin their Reports, when published.

EKRATA.-P. 266, col. %, line 18, for feelings, read failings.

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CHRISTIAN OBSERVER.

No. 246.]

JUNE, 1822.

[No. 6. Vol. XXII.

RELIGIOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

A QUELVET For the Christian

For the Christian Observer. ing shape; What are the causes of

the want of religious success of our ON THE CAUSES OF WANT OF SUCCESS IN THE MINISTRY.

clergy among iheir flocks in the present day?

The field, however, is still too Observer for last September wide for discussion ; unless it were having asked, What are the chief practicable to enumerate every decauses of want of success in the mi- fect of ecclesiastical doctrine and nistry? and his inquiry not having discipline,-every error in the edus, yet received a reply, the follow- cation and lives of our clergy,-and ing suggestions are humbly sub- every possible impediment, natural milled for consideration.

or artificial, to the full efficiency It is necessary to inquire, in the of the ministerial function. Withfirst place, What is success in the out, however, entangling the arguChristian ministry? And here it ment with those general causes would be difficult to give a satis- which apply to every age and vafactory solution, as no relative riety of mankind, or inquiring into standard of success or failure can the very obvious reasons why those be laid down to decide the ques- individuals are not useful as minition. What is success in one age sters who take no pains to be so, or place, or as respects one indi- let us confine the argument to the vidual or congregation, may, under case of such of the clergy as are other circumstances, be compara- in the main scriptural in their doclive failure. Ministers also may trines, and whose personal piety very

different talents, and may and zealous wisbes for the salvabe successful in different ways; tion of their people, might seem to either, for example, in first exciting open a door for much wider sucattention to religion, or in awaken- cess than it is to be feared, gereing the conscience, or in instruct rally speaking, attends their laing, or in comforting, or in stimu- bours. Certain it is, that out of lating, according to the varied ne- the numerous individuals wbo form cessities of maukind. In order, a Christian parish or congregation, then, to varrow the ground to di- but a small number, comparatively, mensions convenient for the pur. are seen in most instances in earnest pose of practical discussion, let us respecting their salvation, or living confine it to our own age and coun- consistently with their high calling, try, and to the Established Church as professed disciples of Jesus of England. It will not probably be Christ,—and this even in places denied, that the beneficial effects blessed with pious and faithful inresulting from the labours of our structors. The fact itself is too clergy, are much less extensive than notorious to need proof: let us hope might reasonably be hoped for, that, in examining into some of its when their oumber and influence, causes, a few remarks of practical and other favourable circumstances, utility may be suggested with a view are fairly considered. The ques. to their removal. tion is thus reduced to the follow- The Parable of the Sower will CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 246.

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illustrate the question. The failure All these, and similar hindrances of a harvest may arise from the na- deeply as they must be lamented ture of the soil, or of the seed, or by ihe faithful minister of Christ, from the unfavourableness of the are beyond his power to remure; weather, or from some defect in the he cannot change the natural chasowing or culture. To similar causes racter of the human heart, and may we trace the want of success must be prepared to encounter its in the spiritual husbandry of the opposition, rather than to expect clergy: and first,

its willing concurrence. The soil.-The chief impedi- But still it is a consideration of ment to the reception of the Go- much importance, whether this spel, is the natural unpreparedness unpreparedness of the soil might of the human heart: it is a soil not have been anticipated, and in over-run with thorns and briars, some degree provided against by hardened by the deceitfulness of early culture. On taking possessin, and needing deep culture to fit sion of the spiritual functions of a it for producing any fruit of righte- parish, it but 100 frequently bapousness. Our Lord, in the parable pens that a minister finds the large just adverted to, mentions very par- majority of his charge, not only deticularly the different characteris. ficient in personal piety, and pertics of the soil;—the stony or rocky, haps swayed by those prejudices or superficial ground; the way side, against practical religion which where the seeil was exposed to be are inherent in our fallen nature, trodden down by every passing and are to be found in every clime footstep; the uncleared and untill- and under every circumstavce of ed, where it was choked with weeds, human life; but also uneducated, and impeded in its efforts towards uncatechised, untrained to pious vegetation; and the honest and good habits, unused to a regular attend heart, prepared for its reception by ance upon public worship, and igthe Holy Spirit, and where the seed norant of the principles, as well as sown sprung up and bore fruit judisposed to the cordial practice abundantly,-thirty, sixty, and a of the duties, of true religion. Unbundred fold.

der such circumstances, a minister But it is not intended at present has perhaps to toil for years before to dilate upon those general marks his parish begins to exhibit any of unfitness in the soil which are signs of spiritual culture; he has applicable to the whole human race, to fence out bis vineyard from the and which, arising from the uni- waste, to break up new ground, versal extension of original and and in many cases to begin almost actual sin, “ the infection of which as if nothing had been done to his remainerh even in them that are re- hands. Now, passing over the generated,” are not to be reckoned great radical cause, the fallen conamong the local but the permanent dition of mankind, aud the conse: impediments to the practical recep- quent distaste of the human heart tion of religious truth. Nor shall for every thing boly and like God, we dwell upon various kindred bere is clearly one principal cause, causes, all springing from this ge- among those of a subordinate kind, neral depravity; such as inattention of the want of success in the Chris. in bearing the word of God; want tian ministry; a cause which is ca. of love in its reception; the ab- pable of being in a great measure sence of a humble and teachable removed by preliminary provisions. spirit; and negligence, so to speak, It is of incalculable importance in barrowing in the seed when sown therefore to ibe spiritual labour's by meditation, and imploring the of the clergy, that our population de tus of the Divine blessing upon should be every where inured by it by fervent and continual prayer. early education to those tastes and principles, and to that preparatory ing such permaneat improvements knowledge, which are requisite for in the soil itself, as may afford in giving due effect to pulpit instruc- future years the prospect of many tion. Wherever a clergyman finds an abundant harvest, A minister's his public ministrations unsuccess. own lease, if we may thus familiful,' let him impartially examine arly pursue the allusion, is but whether he has done all that was short, even though for life ; but he practicable towards preparing the should ever keep in mind, that nasoil for the reception of the Divine tions and parishes are of a more word; whether greater advances permanent character, and that may not be made in his parish in iherefore prospective measures, educating the young and uninstruct- though not always the most gratied; in public and private catechis- fying at the moment, are usually ing; and in training his flock for in the end the most useful. understanding and taking an inte- quires indeed far stronger faith and rest in the discourses which are greater self-denial to plant the seedprepared for their edification, In lings for a forest of future oaks, addition to all which, there are in which are to flourish in strength most vicinities some peculiar and and verdure long after the hand local impediments which a minister which first nurtured ibem bas moulought to study with a view to re- dered in the dust, than to sport move them. The soil may be equal. amidst an unserviceable shew of ly unprepared in a large or a small luxuriant foliage and flowers, which parish; a town or a country parish; die away after their ephemeral a rich or a poor parish; a commer- bloom, and leave no hope of succial, or an agricultural, or a ma- cession or perpetuity ; but it cannufacturing parish; but the bin- not be a question which system is, drances in these various cases will in the result, most bonourable and differ materially in their character, most beneficial to the world. and should be carefully considered The next consideration relates to as they arise in the actual circum- THE SEED. “ Now the seed,” restances of a neighbourhood. It marks our Saviour,“ is the word" should be an habitual question with of God. It is a point, therefore, every minister of Christ, not only, for serious, reflection whether that What am I myself doing for the seed is in any measure counterfeitsouls of my people ? but, Are there ed or adulterated; for if ibis be any causes of impediment to the the case, it is not surprising that exercise of my ministry in the cha- tbe harvest is either unproductive, racter of the soil to be cultivated, or is productive only of a poisome wbich it is in my power to lessen or crop. It has been already stated, remove? It is probable that many that it is not intended to include excellent men, absorbed in the di- the present remarks those grosser ligent personal exercise of their cases in which the spiritual bus vocation, do not devote sufficient bandman is clearly unfaithful to his attention to the powerfully efficient, charge. Jo such instances, no good though often silent and slowly pro- fruit can for a moment be expectgressive, object of preparing in- ed. If the doctrines of a minister struments of future usefulness; be unscriptural, he sows weeds and gradually sapping the foundation briars instead of corn; and the of local evils which could not be natural crop is either impiety, bedestroyed by direct effort; and, in terodoxy, pharisaism, antinomian. short, imitating the conduct of a ism, spiritual pride, or utier reckskilful and persevering agricultur- lessness of religion, as the case alist, who, in reclaiming a barren may bappen, in due accordance waste, thinks little of ibe imme- with the characteristic qualities of diate crop in comparison with mak- the seed and the soil.

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