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and, though not a member, we believe, of the Evangelical Alliance, was permitted to address its meetings, held in London from the 20th of Aug. to the 30th of Sept. After staying a short time in England, to give information respecting his beloved country, and to solicit the prayers and co-operation of British christians in behalf of religious liberty and the progress of the gospel there, he returns to Copenhagen, with the intention of removing, when he is able, to Norway. He has ascertained that there really exists there a degree of liberty, which promises the free exercise of missionary labour. The languages are not very different; and as the American Seaman's Friend Society, which has hitherto supported him, will, it is hoped, continue to do so when be shall have arrived in Norway, he hopes to preach in a kingdom, under the same sovereign, though with laws differing from those of Sweden, the unsearchable riches of Christ.
During the meetings of the Evangelical Alliance, a paper by Mr. Nilsson, on “ The Absence of Religious Liberty in Sweden," was read by Mr. Hinton. It stated that every one in Sweden (the Jews excepted) who dissents from the established Episcopal Lutheran Church, is subject to loss of property and banishment for life ; that parents are obliged by law to have their infants baptized; that the youth are obliged to be confirmed, and every one to receive the Lord's-supper at least once in twelve months, in default of which he is incapable of holding any office, great or small, of giving evidence as a witness, of marrying, or of carrying on any business; that the clergy are obliged by law to see these statutes enforced, and are empowered to act as a police for that purpose. He who conducts any dissenting religious meeting, and he who opens his house for it, are subject, for the first offence, to a fine of about £5; every one who meets there, to a fine of about £l; for the second offence to a double fine, and in default of payment, to be imprisoned 28 days on bread and water; and for the third offence, to banishment. The case of the two Baptists who wished to be married, and were refused the marriage service, had been brought before the bishop and consistory at Skara, and the answer which had recently been received was, that however good their morals might be, their dissent from the Established Church was a sufficient reason for refusing the marriage service. In consequence of these laws, a minister of the gospel had recently been banished for life, though he and his friends, both in and out of the country, had done all they could in a legal manner to prevent it.
A resolution was presented to the meeting by the Council, which Dr. Steane said would be submitted by two clergymen of the Establishment, which he regarded as a most pleasing and almost unparalleled circumstance. It was as follows:-" That While the Conference condemns the many torms of injustice to which multitudes in Rome, Tuscany, Spain, and other Papal
countries, are now exposed on the grounds of religion, they would express their equal condemnation, mingled with still deeper feelings of shame and sorrow, for all acts of persecution which have been committed by Protestants themselves. They especially offer their deep and affectionate sympathy to their brother, the Rev. F. 0. Nilsson, who is under sentence of banishment from Sweden, his native land, for his conscientious dissent from its National Church; and to all others in the north of Europe who may be suffering for conscience' sake. They would earnestly invoke all the children of God in those churches or states which may have been guilty of such wrong, by their love to Christ and obedience to his commands, as well as by their instincts of justice and humanity, to use their best efforts for the removal of such evils, so dishonourable to the Protestant cause, and so productive of scandal before the world, that they be not partakers of other men's sins. And they desire the Council to convey these expressions of their feelings to their foreign brethren in those churches or states, and, if they deem it wise, to the rulers also, in whatever way they shall judge best adapted to the furtherance of justice, truth, love, and unity among the true followers of the Lamb."
Mr. Nilsson expressed his gratitude for the sympathy which British christians had shewn, and his hope that it would continue. It was more than eleven years since he began to spread the knowledge of his beloved Saviour. He had traveled many hundred English miles through most parts of the south of Sweden, where traveling was not as it is in England, and you would often rather walk than ride over the rugged roads. But God had enabled him to lift up his feeble testimony in Sweden, and though delivered in the face of many obstacles, it had been blessed to the salvation of souls. He was now going to Norway, where a door was open for the preaching of the gospel; and he hoped that he should be followed by the prayers of the brethren.
The Rev. G. Scott, formerly a missionary in Sweden, said that there was a growing spirit of religious liberty there, and read a petition about to be presented by Swedes to their sovereign, praying "that all laws and statutes which limit and prohibit the free exercise of religion, may be, in the manner the constitution prescribes, abrogated," and suggesting “that the Norwegian law of the 16th of July, 1845, regarding religious liberty, as being, without doubt, in all respects, applicable to Sweden, may form the ground work for arranging the relations and duties of Dissenters and separatists from the State-church, not only to the existing State-church, but to the State itself, and in regard to marriage and the education of the young."
“ SIDNEY SMITH AND THE BISHOPS."
The bishops having been favoured with I 1 an unusually large share of public attention
of late, the Anti-State-Church Association
el had these are se
000 humane, anang bishops' to..
has very seasonably issued a brochure bear. ing the above title, and which contains a sketch of the dignitaries and subordinates of the Church of England, extracted from the writings of the Reverend, but most witty, Sydney Smith, accompanied by illustrative notes. Stung by the successful assaults of the episcopate on cathedral sinecurism, the irate canon gave his betters no quarter; but avenged his order by making, in his letters to the imaginary Archdeacon Singleton, a humiliating exposure of some of the weak points of the Church. We extract two or three of the more important, though not the most racy, passages :
A Bishop's TEMPTATIONS.-A good and honest bishop (I thank God there are many who deserve that character !) ought to suspect himself, and carefully to watch his own heart. He is all of a sudden elevated from being a tutor, dining at an early hour with his pupil, to be a spiritual lord; he is dressed in a magnificent dress, decorated with a title, flattered by chaplains, and surrounded by little people looking up for the things which he has to give away; and this often happens to a man who has had no opportunities of seeing the world, whose parents were in very humble life, and who has given up all his thoughts to the Frogs of Aristophanes, and the Targum of Onkelos. How is it possible that such a man should not lose his head! that he should not swell! that he should not be guilty of a thousand follies, and worry and teaze to death (before he recovers his common sense) a hundred men as good, and as wise, and as able as himself!
EPISCOPAL NEPOTISM.-Can anything be more flagrantly unjust than that the patronage of cathedrals should be taken away and conferred on the bishops? I do not want to go into a long and tiresome history of episcopal nepotism; but it is notorious to all that the bishops confer their patronage upon their sons and sons-in-law, and all their relations; and it is really quite monstrous, in the face of the world, who see this every day and every hour, to turn round upon deans and chapters, and say to them, “ We are credibly informed, that there are instances in your chapters where preferment has not been given to the most learned men you can find, but to the sons and brothers of some of the prebendaries. These things must not be- we must take these benefices into our own keeping;" and this is the language of men swarming themselves with sons and daughters, and who, in enumerating the advautages of their stations, have always spoken of the opportunities of providing for their families as the greatest and most important. It is, I admit, the duty of every man, and of every body, to present the best man that can be found to any living of which he is the patron ; but if this duty has been neglected, it has been neglected by bishops quite as much as by chapters; and no man can open the Cleri. cal Guide, and read two pages of it, without seeing that the bench of bishops are the last persons from whom any remedy for this evil is to be expected.
THE BISHOPS AND THE INFERIOR CLERGY. -If a clergyman lives in a situation which is destroying his constitution, he cannot exchange with a brother clergyman without the consent of the bishop; in whose hands, in such circumstances, his life and death are actually placed. If he wishes to cultivate a little land for his amusement or better support, he cannot do it without the license of the bishop. If he wishes to spend the last three or four months, with a declining wife or child, at some spot where better medical assistance can be procured, he cannot do so without permission of the bishop. If he is struck with palsy, or racked with stone, the bishop can confine him in the most remote village in England. In short, the power which the bishops at present possess over the clergy is so enormous, that none but a fool or a madman would think of compromising his future happiness, by giving the most remote cause of offence to his diocesan. . . . .
There are many bishops too generous, too humane, and too christian, to oppress a poor clergyman; but I have seen, I am sorry to say, many grievous instances of partiality, rudeness, and oppression. I have seen clergymen treated by bishops with a violence and contempt which the lowest servant in the bishop's establishment would not have endured for a single moment; and if there is a helpless, friendless, wretched being in the community, it is a poor clergyman in the country with a large family. If there is an object of compassion, he is one. If there is any occasion in life where a great man should lay aside his office, and put on those kind looks, and use those kind words which raise the humble from the dust, these are the occasions when those best parts of the christian character ought to be displayed. I would instance the unlimited power which a bishop possesses over a curate, as a very unfair degree of power for any man to possess.
RYEFORD, HEREFORDSHIRE. The Rev. Samuel Walker has resigned his pastorate in connection with Bethesda chapel, Trowbridge, Wilts, and has accepted a unanimous invitation from the Baptist church, at Ryeford, near Ross, Herefordshire, and commenced his labours there the first Lord's-day in August.
TROWBRIDGE, WILTS. In consequence of the Rev. Saml. Walker, of Bethesda chapel, leaving Trowbridge for Ryeford, Herefordshire, a farewell tea. meeting was held in the school-room, on
Tuesday, July 15th. The tables were liberally supplied by the members of the church and congregation, and a large party of friends sat down. After tea, the Rev. Thomas Griffin took the chair; and addresses were delivered by the Rev. Messrs. Newall of Bradford, Preece of Westbury, Mann and Barnes of Trowbridge. Each of the speakers bore testimony to the high esteem in which Mr. Walker is held by all classes in Trowbridge and its neighbourhood. Mr. Walker concluded in a short address.
"Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ
himself being the chief corner-stone."-Epb.ii.20.
A WORD FOR MINISTERS.
BY THE REV. JAMES SMIT..
“I do try,"_exclaimed a discouraged minister of Jesus Christ, as he was walking abroad one Monday morning to cool his burning brow and calm his throbbing temples, after an anxious and earnest Sabbath,"I do try to bring sinners to Jesus, and to make the Lord's people a zealous, active, and holy people. God knows, who reads my heart, that the strongest and warmest desire of my soul, is to be made useful in the conversion of immortal souls. I try to warn them most solemnly, to exhort them most earnestly, and to invite them most affectionately; but, alas, I seem to labour almost in vain. Who hath believed my report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? Others have large congregations, but mine is small. Others reap much fruit; I have only now and then a convert. How is it? What can be the cause ? Lord, search me, try me, and shew me what it is that makes me unfruitful. Is it in the tongue, the temper, the conduct, or the state of the heart? Whatever it is, Lord, correct it, and make me a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use.” What does this painful and gloomy experience of God's minister teach us?
The true condition of human nature. Man is alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in him. He is without God in the world. He is dead in trespasses and sins. He is altogether indifferent to his eternal concerns, and blind to his best interests. He goes on in darkness. He is like the deaf adder who stoppeth his ears, refusing to hear the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He has eyes, but he sees not; ears, but he hears not; an immortal soul exposed to neverending woe, but he heeds not. He silences the voice of conscience, hardens his heart against fear, and casts God's word behind him. He is all life to the things of time, but is as dead as a corpse to the things that are eternal. Ministers may teach, warn, threaten, exhort, and invite; but he is still careless and indifferent, and goes on choosing death rather than life; so that every sinner that is saved is a miracle of mercy. It teaches us also,
The weakness and inefficiency of human agency. We may choose the fittest instruments, qualify them to the best of our power, use them in the wisest and most prudent manner, and yet sinners remain as they were. We may convince the judgment, but the heart needs to be changed. We may alarm the conscience, but the will must be renewed. We may impart light, but the dead need divine life. We try, and try, and try again;
but the dry bones still lie in the open valley; the sinner still hugs his dar. ling lusts; Satan still leads captive the multitude at his will. We may please them, but we cannot convert them. We may be unto them as the voice of a very lovely song, as one that can play well upon an instru. ment; but they still love the world, and their hearts go after their covetousness. We are like the prophet's servant who ran with his master's staff, laid it on the child's face, and expected it to revive; but had to return and say, “Master, the child is not awaked.” We learn, too,
The absolute necessity of divine power. Except God work, all is vain. They will hear no voice but his. They will acknowledge no authority but his. It is not the gospel. It is not the minister. It is not the manner. We may preach the truth; we may be solemn, earnest, and affectionate; but without the direct putting forth of the power of God, all will be in vain. It is not by the power of argument, or eloquence, or earnestness, but only by the power of God, that sinners are turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Except the Holy Spirit be present, and, being present, work through the truth, no soul will be converted, no sinner will believe on Christ. We are absolutely and always dependent on the Holy Spirit for success, and without his influence and operations we shall labour in vain. But it is to be feared that we do not sufficiently realize this. Indeed, if our prayers, and the prayers of our people, are to judge us, it is as clear as daylight that we do not. It says to us, also,
Aim to please the Lord, and seek his glory, as the first and last end of 1 the ministry. This is, in reality, our one business. If the Lord is pleased with our persons as united to his beloved Son, and if he accepts of our poor services for the dear Redeemer's sake, this ought to satisfy us. God can glorify himself in us when few souls are brought to Christ by us; therefore while we ought earnestly to seek, and constantly to strive for, the conversion of souls, we ought not to be too much discouraged because we see not the results we desire. If we keep God's glory in view, and aim to please him in our ministry, we shall no doubt be in a good degree successful; and he will commend our diligence, and reward our faithfulness, when we are not. The greatest thing we can do is to please God; and this we may easily do if our eye is single, our heart honest, and our life consecrated to his service and praise. He is pleased with us whenever we try to please him. Let us therefore fix the eye on his glory, be willing to do just that work which he makes out for us, and leave all the results with him. He is not unfaithful to forget our work and labour of love. Loving labours he always approves of, and loving labourers are his especial favourites. Oh, for more love! Love to God as our just and holy Sovereign, to Jesus as our divine Lord and Master, to all the saints as the sons of God and friends of Jesus, and to all poor sinners that we may try by all means to win them back to God and glory.'
Still ministers are often discouraged, and they will be so long as they look so much at their people, at the result of their labours, and at their immediate success; instead of looking simply to the Lord, and seeking his approbation. We must endeavour to commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, and in everything strive to please Him who hath chosen us to be his soldiers. There will always be enough to try us, to exercise our grace, to keep us humble; but there is always enough to stimulate us, to cheer us, and embolden us in the good cause No man knows the extent of his own usefulness now; God is often work. ing. by us when we conclude that nothing is doing, and very likely we shall see by and bye, that what we thought were among the most barren periods of our ministry, have been in reality among the most productive.
Of old it was said, for the encouragement of depressed but diligent labourers, “ They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” And long since then it was added, for the benefit of similar characters, “Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Success is not put in our own power, the Lord keeps that in his own hands; we may be faithful, we ought to be hopeful, we must be industrious; and the rest we may very well leave with the Lord. Only let us so act that it may be said of us, as of the good woman of old, “She hath done what she could;" and then all will be well, and well for ever. “ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Then shall it be said unto you by the Master when he cometh, to your everlasting joy, and the everlasting confusion of all your foes, "Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
“ This is the heaven I long to know,
And, with the elders, cast them down."
TO DEAF CHRISTIANS.
BY THE REV. CORNELIUS ELVEN.
In most of our churches we meet with some of the children of God, who are either partially or wholly deprived of the sense of hearing. One avenue to the mind is thus closed both against good and evil. Many such, doubtless, read the pages of " The Church ;” and, deprived as they are of spiritual instruction by the living voice, it may afford them some solace to find that they are not forgotten by their christian friends, and that, sympathizing with them under their privations, we are desirous of using this periodical as a speaking-trumpet, through which to convey some words of comfort and direction, which, accompanied with the Divine blessing, may induce their patient acquiescence in the will of their heavenly Father, and inspire their cheerful confidence in the faithfulness of Him who “doeth all things well.”
We say, therefore, to our deaf friends, watch and pray, especially " against a repining spirit. There are times when probably you are the
subjects of great mental depression; you feel your solitude, and cannot relrain from mourning that you are so excluded from the pleasure and profit of oral instruction, and the free interchange of thoughts and experence in the ordinary channel of christian fellowship.
Nervous sensibility may be partly both the cause and effect of your deafness, and this may predispose you to look on the dark side of the picture, to gather the weeds rather than the flowers of the garden, and to observe the clouds more intensely than the sunshine, which is always behind, and often beaming through, them. We are desirous, therefore, of suggesting some considerations which may help you to say with David, “I know that in faithfulness thou hast afflicted me.”
in looking around you, then, among other reasons why you should sing of goodness and mercy, be thankful that you were not born deaf; in which