Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

there was a beneficial occupier;" but then all necessary expenses must be deducted. As cases partly pecuniary, Mr. W. referred to attempts to obtrude upon Dissenters expensive parocbial and corporation offices. The corporation of York had attempted to enforce upon Mr. Allen, a Dissenter, the oflice of sheriff, notwithstanding the well-known decision of the Judges and the House of Lords in the case of the city of London against Mr. Evans, in the last reign. They had however been silenced by the Court of King's Bench. Here also Mr. W. very properly adverted to the cruel bigotry of certain clerical magist Mates, who refused all charitable assistance to them who attended the Meetings, or suffered their children to attend the Sunday Schools of Dissenters.

The second class included cases of riots and disturbances of worship, of which, we regret to learn, that instances have occurred in the counties of Wilts, Herts, 'Essex, Middlesex, &c. some of which are still in a course of legal investigation.

Another class of aggressions resting with the clergy only, referred to refusals to marry, or to bury, persons of the Baptist denomina tion ; in remedy of which Mr. W. suggested the necessity of some alteration in the marriage laws, and burying within their ow premises. Under miscellaneous matters, Mr. Wilks adverted to the cruel case of Mr. Waller, condemned to three months' imprisonment in the county gaol, and that while suffering from ill health, for the enormous crime of preaching in the King's higbway! when, on the same day, a woman was committed for one month only, for selling the most obscene publications !

Mr. Wilks then took a review of the progress of toleration and of religious liberty in this country and throughout the world-stated what he considered as still wanting in the case of Protestant Dissediers, and concluded a speech which lasted three hours and twenty minutes, amidst the loud and continued plaudits of a meeting more numerous than in any former instance. A series of Resolution were then proposed and seconded with eloquent and impressive (though necessarily short) speeches, by the Rev. Dr. Bogue, Mr. Townsend, Mr. Wilks, sen. and Dr. Styles.

The resolutions being all passed unanimously, the Noble Chairma closed the meeting with expressing his warm attachment to the cause of religious and civil liberty, and his best wishes for the prosperity of the Society."

IRELAND.-Education Societies. Irish Society for Education in the Irish Language.- This Society was formed in Dublin, in 1816. From its Reports, and other publications in furtherance of its views, we shall lay some account of it before our readers.

The object of the Society is thus explained in one of its regulations:

“To instruct the native Irish, who still use their vernacular language, how to employ it as a means for obtaining an accurate knowledge of the English.”

Scotland.-Parish Associations.

213

By the last accounts, it appears that the Society has 47 stationary schools, containing 2,078 scholars, of whom 888 are adults. Besides these, six masters, on the Circulatory System, inspect and control ten schools each ; forming a total of 107 schools under the protection of the Society.

Sunday Schools have been established in the neighbourhood of each station where a fixed master is placed, to be under his care, and superintended by his daily scholars : by this means, it is expected that between 60 and 100 new schools may be formed in the course of the ensuing year, with the small addition of 21.12s. annual cbarge to each. Thus a powerful means presents itself, at a small expense, of carrying into effect the objects of the Society.

After stating, that, of the 6,800,000 and upward, ascertained by the late Parliamentary Census, to be the amount of the population of Ireland, the number who speak Irish alone is above 2,000,000, 1.. the comparative neglect which the Irish have experienced is thus urged :

“We will now for a moment advert to the heart-appalling contrast of the little which had been done for the people of Ireland, in the year 1815, in providing them the means of instruction in their own language, when compared with wbat had been provided for others, within the kingdom of Great Britain, under similar circumstances as to language with Ireland. For 20,000 speakers of Manks, 25,000 Bibles and religious books have been provided, besides the Bible stereotyped in their language--for 400,000 Gælic speakers, in the Highlands and the Hebrides, 50,000 Bibles and Testaments—for 600,000 Welsh, 100,000 Bibles and Testaments---for 2,000,000 of Irish, speaking exclusively that language, 3,000 Bibles and Testaments only! What a debt have we to redeem to God and man! And what an ample field for Christian activity !".

[ocr errors]

ONS.

SCOTLAND.-Parish AssociATIONS. The following paper, from the pen of Dr. Chalmers, has just come to hand, and we commend it to the serious attention of all Ministers and Church Oficers of our city.

PARISH ASSOCIATION FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. In the month of December last, the following circular was distributed to all the families in St. John's parish, Glasgow, and being followed up after by a visit from the elder, or other agents, in their several proportions, the result has been, that almost invariably the people have welcomed the proposal, and come forward with their contributions more liberally than was anticipated. In some single proportions, (which are upon an average about eighty families,) twenty-two shillings were collected the first month.

To the Parishioners of St. John's, Glasgow.
BRETHREN.-We, the Pastor, Elders, Deacons, and Sabbath-School
Teachers, being connected with you in spiritual things, approach you
with the warmest wishes and prayers for your temporal and eternal wel.

fare. Having been much refreshed and edified in our own sou's, luy nie ridings which are brought from a distance, and circulated at home, o: the progress of Christ's kingdom upon the earth, we are not a little desirous that you should be partakers of our joy and thanksgiving-therefore, we have resolved, after prayer for the divine blessing, to procura for you a regular supply of religious intelligence from all quarters, and, by your help, to spread it abroad to every corner, and every family of the parish, that no one may be ignorant of the great work which the Lord is working among the nations. And in pursuance of this resolution, we now come forward to explain to you the method we have adopted for carrying this our plan into effect.

The parish is divided into 25 proportions, over each of which one Elder, one Deacon, and generally two Sabbath-School Teachers preside. These will, with your aid and approbation, choose from amongst you, such as are willing and able to take a charge in this matter, and into their hands the whole management within their bounds will be committed. The managers will be supplied each month with the last religious intelligence, which they will hand round amongst your houses. and to which, when thus brought to your door, we crave, in the name of Jesus, your earnest attention. It were truly a lieartsome task, and well worthy a Christian father, to gather his family around him once a mooth. and read in their hearing the good news of the Redeemer's kingdom; and, when they wonder at the ignorance and barbarity of heathen lands, to impress their minds with the blessings which Christians hold of the Gospel; and, when they see the knowledge and improvement which follow the footsteps of the messengers of peace, to unfold to them the order and beauty which will overspread their own lives if they will wall in the ways of God. Thus, brethren, might you minister a monthly feast to the souls of your household, wbile, at the same time, you made them acquainted with the moral and political conduct of every country under heaven. For we do not hesitate to say (knowing the truth of what we aver) that within tbe same compass, you shall not find so much accurate and impressive information about foreign parts, as in those journals which we shall submit to your perusal. Šo ihat, were we not watching for your souls, but merely ministering to your knowledge and entertainment, we know not a better method. Let us hope then, brethren, that, once a-month at least, the labours of the day being over, before you commit yourselves to the Lord for the night, you will yourselves. or your children for you, give to the ears of all your house, this Christian recreation, of which we shall take care to supply you with the materials.

From such a supply of food for Christian joy, thanksgiving and charity, we fondly anticipate in you the same fellowship of heart and hand, in the Bible and Missionary cause, which, by the same means, we have felt to grow within ourselves; and not only to grow, but likewise to bless and edisy us as it grew. We disclaim, and will not have it said, that our object is to press heavily upon the hard earnings of the laborious, or to pinch the poverty of the poor still more. To you, before whom, for two years, we have gone in and out, we appeal, whether it is your silver and gold, or your edification in the Gospel, and your worlds cornfort, which we covet. But, sliall our own backwardness in a cars which we believe the best---shall our fear of being misinterpreted, hin

Scotland.--Parish Associations.

215

der us from declaring, that we hope as well of you, brethren, as of the other members of the church of Christ! Why should we not hope as well when we know that this our city, haih been renowned for its faith and knowledge, over almost every city in the realm, and that its zeal has been spoken of for centuries, as widely as its industry and cornmerce? Therefore, we hope and are assured, that when you shall behold the zeal of these religious institutions, their wisdom and economiy, and, most of all, their blessed fruits, you will not be behind others in your attachment and support.

Think not, because you may have only a mite zo give, that a mite given with a cheerful heart, will not be both accepted and blessed. To the poor the gospel is preached, and it may be said, likewise, that by the means of the poor the Gospel is preached. For it is to the contributions of the poor in Great Britain, that these Societies chieily look, and, for years, have not looked in vain. Subscriptions of one pendy a week, are the chief stay of religious exertions, all the world over. God hath chosen the weak things of this world, to confound the things which are mighty. Such a contribution from every family in our parishi, would amount to nearly £100,($1,800.) Four hundred pounds would support twenty native preachers in India,or circulate some thousand Bible; so that, all tritiing as one penny may seem in the expenses of a week, one penay from each family may edify many a soul. Brethren, can it be expended so well ? To give to every one an opportunity, but to dun no one, the managers of each proportion, chosen from among yourselves, as above, will make a weekly round every Monday, and what pious contributions they may receive within their districts, they will enter into books, fur. nished for the purpose. The subscribers in the districts will be called together once a quarter, to vote away these contributions to the Society or Societies, they may judge most deserving; and the Secretary shall transmit the same according to your destination. At these quarterly meetings, the parochial office-bearers of the district will asseinble along with you, and each contributor will have an opportunity to deliver his sentiments upon the whole concern; thei), io crown and cement all, we shall meet with you, the people of our charge, once a year, in the churchi, to hold the anniversary of the St. John's Parish Religious Association.

Farewell, Fellow-Christians! and, as you often welcome our persons and offices when we come amongst you, for which we render you the thanks of our hearts, and the fellowship of our prayers : so now, accept this, the device and offering of our common love, with a willing mind, and promote it with all your might; and niay the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Signed in the name of the Elders, Deacons, and Sabbath-School Teachers.

Thomas CHALMERS.*

* Regulalions of the St. John's Parish Assoriation for Religious Purposes. Ist, That we, the agents of this parish, defray, by equal contribution, all the expenses that may be incurred in procuring the monthly intelligence or otherwise, so that the parochial gist may go to its destination uncurtailed.

2dly, That our Pastor be our President, and to relieve him of the load of management, vice-presidents be chosen under im to art for the year, or longer.

UNITED STATES.-INDIAN Missions. The Rev. WILLIAM Goodell, agent of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, arrived in this city on the 27th of last month, accompanied by William Kirkpatrick, a Cherokee youth on his way to the Foreign Mission School, at Cornwall, Conn. Mr. Goodell has visited the missionary stations under the care of the A. B, C. F. M. and gave a pleasing account of the success which has attended the efforts to evangelize and civilize the Indians. He is destined to the Palestine Mission, and will be set apart, we upderstand, to that important field of labour on the 4th of September next, at New Haven, Conn.

On Monday the 5th inst. at the request of the Managers of the United Foreign Missionary Society, he attended a meeting of the Board, and gave some account of the missions he had visited, the substance of which we copy from the Missionary Register.

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions have three schools among the Choctaws, and three also among the Cherokees, and are now making preparation for a fourth school in each of those tribes. The children counected with those schools, not only receive the ordinary instructions of a school, but they are taught all the arts of civilized life. Tadeed, to instruct them in all the arts of civilized life is deemed a very important part of their education. In both these tribes, much more good has been already accomplished by the Missionaries, and much greater advances have been made by the natives towards civilization, than we should naturally suppose from reading the public journals. The Missionaries have been exceedingly careful not to state things too favourably. Many of the Cherokees and some of the Choctaws cultivate their lands with much regularity and industry; and, in regard to their dress, their manner of cooking food, their style of building, the furniture of their houses, &c. &c. they have adopted our customs throughout. Twenty Cherokees have united with the churches under the direction of the American Board, and about twenty have united with the Moravian and Baptist churches; making forty in the whole, besides some white men, who have Cherokee families, and besides, also, some people of colour, who live in the nation. I was told that, among these forty Cherokee Converts, there had not been a single instance of intemperance, immorality, or any thing which required discipline or reproof. A large proportion of them are adults. Some of them are supposed to be more than seventy years of age. Two of them are Cherokee chiefs, one of whoin signalized himself at the battle of the Horse Shoe, and for his bravery received from Congress a rifle with a very handsome inscription on it, and the other is a inan of great authority in his tribe. I spent a night with him. In the evening he called his family together, brought forward his family Bible, read a chapter bimself in English, sung a hymn, in which we all joined, and offered the prayer himself; and in the morning called upon one of the brethren present to lead in the devotions of the family. Those of the professors of religion who can read, and many who are not professors, take some religious publication, and appear to know more about the religious state of our world-about our Sabbath Schools, our revivals of religion, our Bible, Missionary, Education and Tract Socie

if re-elected. Our committee to consist of three elders, three deacons, three Sabbath-school teachers, with one representative from each proportion chosen by the contributors, and a treasurer and secretary chosen by the committee.

3dly, That the agents of cach proportion bave an eye to the well being of their proper ward, and hold a general meeting of it, the first Friday of every quarter, beginning from January next; the Committee shall assemble on the Friday fol. lowing, to hear the general progress of the proportions. And the second week of the year, there shall be a general assembly of all concerned in St. John's church

« IndietroContinua »