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35, 114, 154, 193, 273, 312, 353, 393, 443
REGISTER OF EVENTS 40, 79, 119, 159, 198, 238, 278, 319, 359, 399, 449
NOTICES AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 40, 80, 120, 160, 160, 200, 280, 320, 360
W. WILBERFORCE, EsQ
Church of England Magazine.
The commencement of another and deepen that feeling of solemnity year is a solemn and impressive which the season is itself calculated season; it reminds us that we are to produce. The year that is past one year nearer to our latter end ;
has been no common year; -we that we are rapidly approaching to live at a striking era; and apthat solemn account which we pear on the eve of great events; must one day give; that our period we are therefore called to stand of preparation for that most im- upon our watch-tower, to observe portant event-our opportunities the signs of the times, and to of deriving spiritual benefit for seek for grace and wisdom, that ourselves, or of promoting the our paths may be directed aright eternal welfare of others, are pass- through those difficulties and daning away ; and that yet a little while gers with which we may shortly be and it shall be emphatically de- exercised. nounced to us that “ Time shall The sword, the famine, and the be no longer.”—God grant that we, pestilence are spoken of in scripand that every
be ture as God's sore evils, with which excited to work the works of Him he afflicts the guilty nations. He that hath sent us while it is day, has in mercy vouchsafed unto us an remembering that the right cometh abundant harvest, and has thus for when no man can work.
the present removed the
appreIntimations of this nature are hension of famine. He has visited regarded by many
us indeed with pestilence, but place.;-yet they are not on this O how mercifully has he dealt account the less important; death
with us! The cholera approached and judgment are common events — our land, as if to shew the folly they are the lot of every man-all of those who imagined that human who are born into the world must precautions, or favourable circumdie-must appear at that judgment stances could check its career ; but seat--WHEN and How who can when all hands began to hang say ?-But what inconceivable re- down, and all knees to wax feeble, sults shall follow !- eternal life and the destroying angel was enjoyment on the one hand ;– hope- manded to stay his hand ;-and less and endless misery on the another proof has thus been added other. The Lord grant that we
to the unnumbered instances on may find mercy
in that day! record, that in the midst of wrath There are, however, circumstances God remembereth mercy. We trust at this moment taking place before that in the same mercy the sword eyes which
may yet be kept far from us, that JANUARY 1833.
peace may be preserved in all our
censures, since bad as their policy borders, and tranquillity be main- may be, it is in many respects tained throughout our land.
not without precedent. The same The magnitude, however, of the preference of the dictates impending danger, may well excite expediency to the declarations apprehension. We have united of God's word produced Roman with France,-with Popish and Catholic emancipation in Ireland, Infidel France,—to compel a Pro- has perpetuated slavery in the testant monarch, one of our most West Indies, and sanctioned the ancient and faithful allies, to sur- most barbarous and detestable render a part of his empire to idolatry in our eastern possessions. the demands of a formed And what emotions do these government, in which it is not three short sentences excite in the easy to say whether Popery or mind. Ireland—the West Indies Jacobinism exercises the greater -our Eastern Possessions ! influence. Great Britain therefore, IRELAND. Alas ! what awful for centuries the first Protestant consequences have resulted from
now exerting herself our recent measures in that country. against the Protestant cause; is Three years ago a spirit of seripractically aiding in the support of ous religious inquiry pervaded a an apostacy which must shortly be large part of the island. Immense overthrown ;—and who that seri- numbers of children and adults ously meditates upon the warning were reading and committing to voice, “ Come out of her my peo- memory the Holy Scriptures. The ple, that
ye be not partakers Romish Priests were in various of her sins, and that ye receive not respects compelled to concede of her plagues,” but must fear that largely to the wishes of their in this unholy alliance we are pro- people and the Protestant clergy voking the divine displeasure, and were zealously, usefully, extenmay well tremble in the prospect sively, and peacefully employed in of deserved, of awful chastisements. their important labours. What is We shall be told indeed that our now the case ?—the spirit of rerelations with France, and our ligious inquiry received a fearful aggression upon Holland are purely blow from Romish emancipationpolitical, and have nothing what- the Papists
said, and they ever to do with religion ; but reasoned fairly, “If the British assertions of this kind are only government did not know that plausible excuses for leaving God the old religion was the true out of the government of his own one, they would not have granted world. If our policy has no con- this'-and the Romanists therenexion with religion, it is infidel fore, hailed with rapture O‘Conpolicy: in proportion as we adopt nel's annunciation, '. We
. We have expediency for our rule, we lose wrung from the British governsight of Christianity; we cease to
ment the six and eight pence, now act as a Christian nation, and are boys for the thirteen and four exposed to the woe denounced pence.' Scriptural education has against those who forget God. received a fearful blow from the
Our union with France in this abstraction of thirty thousand attack upon Holland is indeed pounds from the Kildare Place only one of many instances in Society, and the Capel Street Aswhich we have, as a nation, for- sociation, and the placing of this gotten God; and this considera- large sum under a board in which tion should teach those who are no Irish protestant can have any violently assailing the present ad- confidence. The Romish Priests ministration, to moderate their are triumphant agitators, and the
protestant clergy are plundered of lion; and at this moment, when their property, in peril of their we have every prospect of a foreign lives, and many of them compelled war, our most important possessions to flee their country. Such are are prepared to throw off their the bitter fruits of legislating on allegiance, and with the most prepolitical expediency, and losing posterous hostility to our governsight of Christian principle. ment, to surrender themselves to
In the WEST INDIES, year after the guidance of any power which year passes over, and nothing can afford adequate protection. effectual is done. Hopeless, help- These are however political danless, interminable slavery is still gers, and some may perhaps conthe Negro's portion. We talk ceive, that we dwell too much on in this country of preparing the them; we will not therefore touch Negroes for emancipation; we spe- on the popular excitement, or the culate on ameliorating their condi- probable consequences of the late tion; on gradually civilizing and alterations in our national represenchristianizing these unhappy men. tation, or the increasing and appalBut the colonists laugh us to scorn, ling miseries of pauperism ; but they beard our government, they proceed at once to those perils with outrage Christian Ministers and which our church is threatened. Missionaries, and determine that We have not indeed been accusthe captive shall never go free! tomed to regard these dangers as
And what is the case in the so urgent as they appear to many EAST INDIES ; at length we have of our cotemporaries; on the conabolished the burning of the Hin- trary, the vast increase of serious, doo widows; but still we receive devoted, and diligent clergymen; into our treasury the profits of the improvement in scriptural idolatry, the price of licentiousness knowledge, moral worth, and offiand of blood; still we have hun- cial correctness of many, whose dreds and thousands of our own sentiments on some important points countrymen exposed to every temp- by no means coincide with our tation, without religious instruc- own; the public testimonies so tion; and hundreds of thousands, decidedly given to the supreme yea, millions of native subjects, importance of true religion, &c. the undisturbed slaves of evil afford us ground of hope that God affections, and detestable oppres- will be gracious both to
We have till very recently church and nation. Yet still our as a government, discouraged the church is unquestionably exposed conversion of the natives; and at this moment, to fearful assaults the little good effected in that from without; and we are compelmighty empire, has been produced led to entertain very painful doubts by the labours, and at the expence
with reference to the competence, of pious individuals, who have had and the fidelity of many who are to encounter every difficulty, and within. to struggle against privations, con- The facility with which the Irish tempt, and positive opposition, to church has been stripped of a large a degree of which comparatively part of her possessions, affords a few in this country have any most encouraging precedent to men conception.
of no principle, or of corrupt prinAnd what is the consequence ? ciple, to plunder our own estabOur legislating on political, instead lishment; yet on this point we see of Christian principles, has brought no material ground of alarm. The Ireland, the West Indies, the Mau- returns of the actual value of livritius, to say nothing of the East ings, and the real amount of eccleIndies, to the very verge of rebel- siastical possessions, will demon
Straté, that if any ecclesiastical to our church is from within. Preestablishment is to be maintained serve me from my friends, may at all, it can scarcely be supported
arcely be supported well be here applied. No advoat a cheaper rate than our own is cate of political reform ever adat present. We do not believe the vanced its cause so much as the legislature are yet prepared to ex- Duke of Wellington, when he tinguish religion, and they will declared his opposition to all retherefore most probably attempt to form. And no enemy of the Church regulate, rather than confiscate, the of England is so dangerous, as the possessions of the church. The friend who maintains her perfecincrease indeed of popish and dis- tion; who contends there is nothing senting members in the new par
to alter; who resists every conliament, will render legislation on cession ; who determinately advoecclesiastical affairs difficult ; but cates things in all respects as they the lay impropriations possessed are. The great danger of the Church by our aristocracy, will indispose of England at this moment, is the majority of both houses from not from the radicals, nor from listening to any of those sweeping the papists, nor from the dissenters, plans of spoliation which radicals but from those who, contending may desire. Thus the iniquitous that the existing system works plunder of Henry the Eighth, and well, overlook all its defects; and the rapacity of the courtiers of his who, while zealously demolishing day, by which so many of our the vain pretensions of some admost populous livings have been vocate for a paltry denomination, impoverished, will be found to con- forget that there is an immense and tribute very essentially to the secu- rapidly increasing multitude who rity of the existing establishment. are themselves of no denomination,
Nor have we any material ap- but who regard all religion as little prehension from the efforts of dis- better than priesteraft, and who senters. They, as a religious body, living themselves without God in have, within these few years, lost the world, are ready to join with ground exceedingly. We are well any, and with every party in opaware that many members of the posing and plundering those who several denominations are eminently differ from them. • It is not the pious, learned, devoted, and re- dissenters that I fear,' said one long spectable. We know that some since removed to his rest, it is the of these lament the bigotry and absenters, the consenters, the men intolerance with which the church who have no religion, or who assent has recently been assailed from to all religions alike, not regarding the platform and the press; but any distinction, or considering any the wound which has been in- denomination as deserving of preflicted is incurable; the confidence ference.' That class of no-notion once reposed is destroyed, is men has increased, and is increasdestroyed for ever; the conducting with fearful rapidity; and yet of the leading dissenters has gone their existence seems scarcely convery
far to justify the accusations templated ; and consequently no efof their bitterest enemies, and has forts are made for their diminution. produced the most painful emo- We have plans of Church reform tions in the minds of many, who, without number, and some of them differing from them in doctrine or as radical as can well be conceived. discipline, were yet prepared to The equalization of livings-the hail them in Bible, Missionary, and multiplication of bishoprics—the School Societies as fellow labour- expulsion of bishops from the ers and brethren in Christ Jesus. House of Lords—the abolition of
But the most formidable danger pluralities--the extinction of non