« ZurückWeiter »
has been secured, and we do not hesitate to say that the promises by which it was obtained have been utterly disregarded. We shall not repeat our objections to the principle of the measure, but we must protest against the manifest injustice of some of its details, which appear to us altogether inconsistent with the pledges of last year. Without dwelling upon minor points, it is enough to state that, upon what has been shown to be entirely a false assumption, the date of 1660 has been arbitrarily fixed upon as the date beyond which no inquiry is to be made as to the source from which endowments have proceeded; for no other reason, that we can imagine, than to deprive the Church of large possessions, which were granted not many years before the prescribed date; and that a perfectly different measure is meted to the Protestant Church and to the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. Not only is a sum far beyond the value of the vested interests of the professors and students to be granted in perpetuity to the College, but they are to be at once excused the payment of a debt due from them to the State, while payment of every penny due from the incumbents for the building of their glebe-houses is to be rigidly enforced.*
The imperfections of the Bill afford some hope that the details may be attacked with effect in the Committee, and that the measure itself may be modified or impeded. Nevertheless the great body of religious men in the Church regard the prospect as most disastrous for the cause of Divine truth. These apprehensions call for humiliation and earnest prayer. The hope which a few pious men entertain of a more prosperous state of the Irish Church after its disestablishment, and the assurance which all feel that the great Head of the Church will overrule all to His glory, must not check our earnest prayers and endeavours to avert the calamity we apprehend. “It may be” that the Lord waits till He has tried the faith and patience of His servants, and brought them to seek deliverance from Himself; or “it may be” that He will alleviate and overrule the visitation to the purifying His Church, and so fitting it for future and more glorious extension.
We are glad to see that the important Bill relating to Endowed Schools is referred to a Select Committee, where we trust that its provisions will be carefully examined. That great abuses exist, and that a strong hand is required to apply the fitting remedy, we do not doubt; but we are not prepared, except where the necessity plainly appears, wholly to disregard the intentions of founders; and we confess that we shrink from giving to three unknown Commissioners such extensive powers as this Bill proposes to give.
# So carelessly has the Bill been drawn, that by Section 12 not only is all property, real and personal, be longing to any benefice, but also all
belonging to any person holding such benefice, vested in the Commissioners under the Act, so that no incumbent would retain even a silver spoon.
The prospect of Spain is still full of uncertainty. Occasional outbreaks of popular violence, which are not suppressed without bloodshed, become more numerous and formidable.
The last mail from New Zealand has brought accounts which throw considerable light upon the state of the native popu. lation, and afford a better hope of their pacification than was generally entertained. Between two and three months ago, outbreaks of a very savage and bloody character took place on the East and West coast by the Hau-haus. An English settlement in Poverty Bay was attacked in the night by the chief impostor, Te Kooti, and a fearful number of Europeans and natives were massacred. Upon this, a small force of Europeans, together with twice the number of friendly natives, took the field; and Te Kooti occupied a strong pah on a rocky mountain about 800 feet high from its base. This position was stormed and taken ; very few escaped, with Te Kooti, who was severely wounded. This ferocious band of fanatics having been crushed, the east coast is regarded as secure, the European soldiers are transferred to the west coast, and the native auxiliaries have returned to their farms. But little apprehension is now entertained of any formidable aggression on the west coast.
These events show that the insurgents are a very small body, and that the friendly natives ready to do battle with them far outnumber them, and that the fighting men on both sides form a very inconsiderable proportion of the whole native population. It is a fact, that during the whole course of the war, as it is called, the natives in arms against the Europeans never amounted, at any one time, to 800; more frequently they were only 500 against 10,000 British troops. The whole native population is between 70,000 and 80,000, and every male adult is a fighting man. Where have the 10,000 or 15,000 fighting men been during the war? We put this question to one of the Missionaries lately returned home of thirty years' experience. His reply was,-" The great majority of the natives have taken no part on either side, but have kept themselves quiet in the bush, cultivating their farms and keeping up their Christian ordinances; and when peace is restored between the two races, they will again frequent the settlements, and show themselves as a native Christian Church.”
The attempt to crush the insurgents by troops from England has been happily abandoned. The Colony, thrown upon its own resources, has wisely employed native auxiliaries. This will oblige the white population to cultivate the friendship of the natives; and a more hopeful future may, under God's blessing, be anticipated.
CHANGE OF THE EDITORSHIP OF THE CHRISTIAN
OBSERVER. THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER was commenced in the beginning of this century, by a few lay and clerical friends of Evangelical Truth, with the special view of exhibiting and defending the practical application of their principles to the business of life, especially in social and political relations, and in efforts for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. The latter half of the eighteenth century had been the era of the extension of Evangelical principles, through the press and pulpit. The first half of the present century has witnessed the fruit of those principles, in the rapid development of pious and benevolent schemes for the glory of God and the amelioration of mankind at home and abroad. The Christian Observer bore no unimportant part in prompting and guiding this religious movement. Among the earliest list of the supporters of the Magazine are the well-known names of William Wilberforce, M.P., Henry Thornton, M.P., the Rev. John Venn, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, Zachary Macaulay, and William Hey (of Leeds). The same men were among the first promoters of the Church Missionary Society, and, a few years later, of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The early growth of these two Institutions was encouraged, counselled, and strengthened by the pages of their monthly contemporary. And, at the present day, each number of the Christian Observer is accompanied by the Monthly Reports of the same Societies ;-thus affording a standing proof of the success of the principles which it bas so earnestly and consis. tently advocated, in the vast increase of a missionary enterprise which collects and spends for the preaching of the Gospel Vol. 68.-No. 377.
counsely growthter of the Brithe Chura
£160,000 a-year, and supports a noble army of 1000 native teachers, including native clergymen and a native African bishop. No less striking is the testimony borne by the Report of the twin Society, which spreads a flood of Divine light over the world, by the issue of its million of Bibles annually, in all known languages.
Another great success of Evangelical principles, in which the same men bore a prominent part, was the abolition of the African Slave-trade, and the subsequent extinction of slavery in the British colonies. The fact that Zachary Macaulay • was for thirty years the Editor of the Christian Observer and the most efficient advocate of negro emancipation, sufficiently testifies to the connexion between the principles on which that great battle was fought and the success which crowned the struggle.
And if we take a wider view of the influence of Evangelical principles upon the Church at large, in these pages may be traced the early trials, temptations, and struggles to which those principles were subjected, and the increasing power and influence which they have attained, both in the Church at home and in its colonial dependencies spread over the whole world.
It has been asserted that the spirit of Evangelical religion has evaporated, and that the ancient mantle no longer rests upon the shoulders of the degenerate representatives of the early advocates of the cause. The Christian Observer may well refute such surmises. Its consistent maintenance of the same truth, and the same spirit, may be easily tested by a comparison of any one of the seventy-seven volumes with any other of the series. That such a serial should have survived in its primitive simplicity for so many years, notwithstanding the change of tastes and of circumstances, and when so many rivals and contemporaries have risen and fallen, is a commercial enigma, explicable only on the ground of the permanent vitality of those principles in the minds of the writers and readers of the Magazine.
The erroneous notion that Evangelical religion has died out may be easily accounted for by the great change which has occurred in the doctrine and practice of the clergy generally since the Christian Observer was instituted. The standard in these respects has been immensely elevated by the revival of Evangelical truth; hence the once strongly-marked line of distinction between the general tone of religious sentiments and that of the Evangelical clergy has been shaded off. Moreover the assertion, once in everybody's mouth, that the Evangeli. cals carry things too far, has given place to a new delusion, that the laudable Christian affections, and the commendable zeal for Christ's kingdom, which early Evangelicals manifested, are to be attained in higher degrees upon Ritualistic and Sacramental theories. The success of a few devotees of these opinions is exalted into a proof of the influence and tendency of such theories throughout the masses of Christian society. This reversal of tactics, like a flank movement in warfare, has bewildered for a time the minds of the more unstable.
This retrospect of the course of the Christian Observer has been occasioned by a recent change of the Editorship, which, since the first Number of this year, has been thrown into the hands of the Proprietors until a suitable Editor can be engaged. It is an interesting fact that no selection of names could have been made more nearly representing, at the present day, the early promoters of the Christian Observer, both as regards position in the Church and in society at large, and also in the combination of lay and clerical members connected with the great religious societies. And they are as firmly persuaded as their predecessors, that the principles of Evangelical religion are as able now as of old to renew and sanctify the souls of men, to expand them with love to God and each other, and to counteract all the evils of false doctrine and superstition.
In this confidence the conductors of the Christian Observer are prepared to carry on the work upon the same fundamental spiritual principles upon which it was originally undertaken. It will be their endeavour to show how these “good old” principles may be boldly and vigorously applied to the altered state of things in the Church, and to counteract the new trains of thought which, whether under the names of Criticism, of Rationalism, of Sacerdotalism, or of Sentimentalism, serve to captivate men's minds, to point out besides a better way and a higher standard of spiritual attainments than that which is aimed at by the multiplication of religious observances, by the Confessional, or by modern Asceticism. They are persuaded that Evangelical religion will as surely triumph over modern deviations from the Gospel of the grace of God, as over those of a former age. They believe, also, that in the great Missionary enterprise advantage may be taken of the altered state of feeling in the Church, to promote its progress, by the application of Missionary principles, accumulated during the last half century, under every different denomination of the Christian Church. These have to be eliminated and adapted to the organisation of Church Missions. In short, while threatening clouds seem to brood over the zenith of our established Church, on every side of the horizon prospects open out of brighter hopes than ever yet dawned upon it, if only the Lord's people be true to their profession, and strive with exclusive aim to honour Christ, and Him only, in every effort which they make.
The attempt to uphold the Christian Observer on these prin. ciples, and in its present form, is a serious responsibility; when