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42 Usefulness of a Tract in promoting the vbservance of the Sabbath,
Through destiny's inextricable wards,
And ne'er unlocks his resolution more."
An Encouroyement to Tract Distribution. (Extract of a Letter from a Minister near the seacoast, to the Secretary of the London Religious
Tract Society.) It will give you sensible pleasure in hearing, as it does us in communicating, that our Tract Society continues to prosper, and is accompanied with the blessing of God. Several pleasing instances of its utility have been detailed at our monthly meetings, and convince us that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. Swearers have learned to fear oaths--Sabbathbreakers to keep holy day—the careless appear thoughtful--and the prayerless, now call upon the name of our Lord Jesus—and not a few of those who spent their Sabbaths in dirt and idieness, have become stated and regular in their attendance in the house of God. In our Chapel, we have witnessed a large increase of attentive hearers, and a marked concern for the salvation of their souls. We attribute this visible improvement, principally under God, to the distribution of your excellent Tracts. I have before intimated, we lend them for a week to the inhabitants of this town and neighbourhood, and that, at the expiration of that period, our distributors replace them with a fresh one. Besides supplying almost every house in this town, we already lend them to seven neighbouring villages. Indeed, we are so deeply impressed with the advantages which have alreal y resulted from this method of distribution, that we are about to hold a public meeting at a seaport town, about five miles off, for the purpose of establishing a Society on the same plan.
Usefulness of a Tract in promoting the observance of the Sabbath. Every lawful endeavour to promote the sacred observance of that day which the Lord has called his own, must be considered by the Christian as useful; and the success of such an attempt must be regarded as highly beneficial both in an individual and in a relative point of light. Among the various ways in which the Sabbath is violated, the sale of different articles is one very extensively practised, and very deeply to be deplored. The existing law seems inefficient to prevent
Usefulness of a Tract in promoting the observance of the Sabbath. 43
or restrain this iniquitous practice, because the fine which it exacts is comparatively trifling, and the difficulties of exacting this trivial penal. ty are often formidable.
Scripture and experience unite to prove, that the most effectual way to prevent the practice as well as the spread of error is, that of circulating divine truth either by diffusing the word of God, or principles and reasonings dawn from that word. In this way a remedy is employed, the efficacy of which has been proved in numerous instances; and to the number which have already occurred, the following may be added :
At the last Anniversary of the Boston Auxiliary Religious Tract Society, a Minister said," an humble shopkeeper, resident in a hamlet a few miles distant from Boston, was regularly in the habit of selling his goods on a Sunday, till a Tract was put into his hands, called “Sabbath Occupations,' by a person whom I employ as an agent for this purpose. This Tract produced such a conviction on his mind of the sin and evil of such a practice, that he resolved to profane that sacred day in such a manner no more, and though he had many difficulties and trials to struggle with, he still persevered in his resolution, and his shop has ever since remained closed on that day of rest. A poor aged man in the village, who occasionally made purchases at this shop on the Sabbath, applied one Sunday evening for a bread loaf, as he had none in the house: he was refused admittance, and he was so forcibly struck with the idea that the people should refuse to profit by his custom, that sooner than be a temptation, or throw a stumbling block in their way by visiting another shop, he was determined that nature should make a sacrifice, and that he would go supperless to bed. These people are now regular attendants on the means of grace, which they once totally neglected, and it is to be hoped that they will thus be brought to the saving knowledge of the truth. A few days ago I was assured by this shopkeeper, than he felt no diminution of profit on account of closing his shop; and even if he had, he would rather have his pocket a little less filled, than have the curse of God upon such unhallowed gains. Here then is a proof of the beneficial effects of the gift of a single Tract, and also a proof that,
Godliness has the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come.???,
There are two classes of persons to whom this fact makes a powerful appeal :
Those who hallow the Sabbath have one means pointed out for promoting in others its religious observance—what can be more simple and easy than the distribution of religious Tracts? Does not God usually accomplish his great purposes by the employment of simple means? And does he not so in order that his own power may be displayed and honoured? Who hath despised the day of small things? By our Home Missionaries and Christian brethren these means will not be despised. They are easily used, and if employed in faith and pwayer, they will not be used in vain.
Those who profane the Sabbath, see in this fact what may be done by all, and what should without delay, be done by them :-" Remember
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy!" Talk you of difficulties attending the religious observance of the Sabbath ? Are any difficulties you contemplate to be compared with the pangs of an accusing conscience, and the frowns of an offended God? Do you fear losses ? What loss is so greatly to be feared as the loss of the soul? “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?" Eternity will disclose and impress the awful fact, that sin and punishment are inseparable, and will funish a fearful illustration of that scripture, “ The way of transgressors is hard.”
T. H. Boston, Eng. Dec. 1821.
From the London Evangelical Magazine, for April, 1822.
IRELAND.--One Cause of DISTRESS. į AMONG the causes of the present unhappy state of this country, Mr. Robert Steven, in his pamphlet, entitled, “Remarks on the present state of Ireland,” observes, that “ The vast number of parishes which are without any resident clergy, is an obvious hindrance to the march of education, and cannot fail to involve the church of Ireland in a solemn responsibility.” He then adds, what from some quarters we could not have believed :-" It will scarcely be credited that there is, at this very time, in one district, a space of one hundred square miles (and that not in a thinly inhabited or mountainous part, but in one of the finest counties in Ireland) in which there has neither been a church nor resident clergyman in the memory of man!”
Mr. Steven is aware of the excuse urged by the non-resident clergy in this case : “ We have no cure : there are few or no protestants in the parish.” To which he answers, “ Have your Catholic parishioners no souls ?” And again : “ I ask, in the name of reason, of religion, and of common honesty, if you have no cure, why then do you exact your tythes?”
Mr. Steven informs us, that the opposition made to protestant schools has, in some places, been most outrageous : “ The enemies of education have, in one place, burned a very excellent schoolhouse, and a inaster's dwelling-house, and afterwards proceeded cruelly to card the master,* in doing which they broke two ribs on one side, and one on the other, so that his life was despaired of. In a multitude of instances, the whole artillery of the church, as far as it is allowed in that country, has been opened on the unoftending parents who dared to exercise the unalienable right of disposing of their children as they pleased. Numbers havę, notwithstanding, exercised this right, fearless of the consequences, and, in the face of threatenings the most appalling, have continued their children at the schools of the (Hibernian) Society ; others, alarmed and terrified, with grief have confessed that they must withdraw them.”
! Germany. - Bible Societies.
*" This diabolical process is effected by driving a number of nails through a board, in imitation of a card. They strip the object of their fury, and drag this instrument of torture up and down the bare back, till the ribs and back bone are bared. Mortification and death frequently follow."
We gladly refer to the whole pamphlet, which makes out a very strong case indeed, in favour of the London Hibernian Society, and which will, we sincerely hope, procure such an addition of subscribers as shall enable the Society to extend its valuable and highly useful labours far more widely, so as to meet the “growing desinf the Catholic parents for the education of their children." si
*** The population of Ireland is stated, in the late ceasus, at 6,846,949.
GERMANY.—Bible Societies... · Circulation of the Scriptures, by Professor Van Ess. This laborious servant of the Bible cause continues his zealous efforts for the inhabitants of Germany with unabated ardour. The following view of his labours in circulating the Scriptures is given by Dr. Pinkerton, when writing from Mar. burg under date of Oct. 10, 1821, · We laid the maps of Europe before us, and conversed over his benevolent operations, for the good of the Catholic inhabitants of Germany. In order to give you a general idea of those different parts of this extensive field, which have been sown with this blessed seed, I sball gire you a few of the details, as I received them from the Professor, on our travelling over the map together.
In the Kingdom of Wirtemberg, there have been circulated upward of 38,000 copies of his Testament; in the State of Baden, 20,000; in Switzerland, 10,000; in the Austrian Dominions, 24,500; in Bavaria, about 3000; in Nassau, 10,000 ; in the States of Darmstadt, upward of 10,000; in and around Elberfeld, 3000; in the Country about Munster, 2000; in and near Osnabúrg, 6000; in the Principality of Hildesheim, 10,000 : in the Prussian States about Berlin, Stettin, &c. 10,000; in Silesia, upward of 30,000; in and around Frankfort-onthe-Main, 10,000 ; in the country round Fulda, 5000. In addition to these general items, there have been 239,663 copies circulated, in smaller numbers and through various channels, in every part of Germany, and other countries in Europe where German Catholics are found. Thus the whole issues of Van Ess's Testament, up to this date, bave been 431,163 copies.
At present, he has about 1000 copies in the depot at Halle ; 1000 in the depot at Frankfort ; 2000 here in Marburg; and 25,000 copies lying at Sulzbach. These 29,000 copies belong to your Committee, and are the remainder of the last 50,000 which you purchased from him. If we add to these, 22,000 copies in the hands of the publisher at Sulzbach, the whole stock on hand will be found to be about 50,000 copies.
In his treasury, he has 9000 forins; about 7501, sterling. The Committee of the Russian Bible Society have promised him a grant amounting to about 1401., and he expects to receive an equal sum from Amsterdam. These funds are to be employed in binding the abovementioned 29,000 copies, for such persons as are too poor even to pay for the binding; whose numbers, especially among the
Catholic peasantry, the Professor states to be very great. The issues of copies, from the beginning of this year up to the present date. have been 27,096.
ADIM WITHIN THE GANGES.-Bombay. American Board of Commissionets for Foreign Missions. The last joint letter received from the Rev. MessrHall, Nichols and Graves, is dated 1st July last, and contains a view of their proceedings, &c. during the preceding six months. Mr. Garrett, who went out to the Ceylon Mission as a printer, has removed to Bombay, where he arrived on the 9th of May, 1821, and took charge of the printing establishment.
The sickness and departure of Mr. Bardwell, who, our readers will remember, has arrived in this country, is mentioned in the letter as a source of deep aftliction :
But, О dear Sir, what shall we now say? Our dear brother Newell is no more! On the 30th of May, at one o'clock, A. M. he breathed out his soul, we trust, in the arms of his Saviour. His disease, was the epidemic, spasmodic cholera, which has raged awfully in this region for some time past. This dreadful disease has, within four years, swept over India, Burmah, and the Asiatic Islands, and hurried millions to the tomb. On Monday evening, Mr. Newell was somewhat indisposed, and his rest was disturbed that night. He was worse on Tuesday morning, but it was not till 9 or 10 o'clock, that there was any apprehension that it was the cholera. Dr. Taylor and other friends were called in. At that time the disease had made so much progress, that no medical treatment could avail. The victory of the disease was so rapid and so complete, that his last hours were quiet, and he sunk into the arms of death without a struggle or a groan. The Rev. Messrs. Hall and Kenney, (Church missionaries,) Horner and Fletcher, Wesleyan missionaries,) Mr. Garrett and Dr. Taylor, were with him in all the closing scene. We feel it to be our duty to mention this instance of faithful attention on the part of Dr. Taylor. With the utmost promptness and assiduity, he has given his attention on all occasions to us in sickness. Brother Newell's remains were deposited in the English burying ground, on the afternoon of Wednesday. In bis last siokness his head was early affected. He made but a single remark, by which it appears that he knew what his disease was. A stupor had so seized him, that it was with difficulty he was persuaded to take the prescribed remedy. When asked by his agonized wife, if he could not bid her farewell, he answered by shaking his head, and affectionately pressing her hand. Mr. Newell generally enjoyed good health. He was, perbaps, as little affected by the cli mate as any of our number. Just a week before his death, he visit. ed Mr. and Mrs. Nichols at Tannah, spent five days with them, and seemed unusually cheerful. While at Tannah, he visited, with Mr. Nichols, a great number of the sick and dying. It is possible that he took the infection there.