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occurrence; we did not find the close of the year 1828 as cheering in its general aspect, as it had been at its opening; and the only view in which we have ever contemplated Ireland—the spiritual view— seemed to us to be overclouded and gloomy. The Roman Catholic party, excited by the violence of their leaders, seemed to be more and more decidedly opposed to the entrance of religion than at any former period; and, influenced by partial success, and inflamed by visionary hopes, seemed to anticipate the forcible possession of unconditional privileges, which every Protestant who knows Ireland must fear. To add to the alienation of the contend. ing Churches, and on the detestable principle of doing that from which there is no retreating, and for which there is no atonement, the “ Non-intercourse Act” has been pressed forward by the Association, and the privacy of domestic life violated and rifled, and the secrets of family discipline set up at a premium! When Ireland recovers her senses, and is enabled to distinguish moral right from wrong, the author and executor of these two measures will stand branded on her records, as the direst enemy of social happiness that civil discord ever produced or nourished. And Protestantism, how was it affected ?— The agitation had extended to it, and the feeling of retaliation and defence, naturally engendered by the violence of the self-constituted Association, but as naturally imbibing a spirit of party, has spread widely through the land ; and in the reaction of political feeling, the spiritual anxiety for Roman Catholic reformation seems, for the moment, to be absorbed. We blame not, and we regret not the formation of Protestant Associations; we feel the importance of their extension through the-country, as a counterpoising weight to the lawless violence of the Roman Catholic Association, and we know that they may, and have produced good, by affording protection* to poor Protestants and poorer converts from Popery; and while we cannot but regret that the Clergy of the Established Church have assumed what we may have deemed too much of a secular character, in joining these Associations, we yet trust that the fever of agitation which now rages will be but temporary, and that with the recovered sobriety of health, the spiritual work will again go on. feel that the Church of Ireland has a mighty power in its grasp, which requires but the operation of time to produce its effect on our population-and we must regret that any circumstance impedes its action—we mean the Bible and the Preacher:- let the agitation of party be withheld, and these are glorified in their course let that agitation be prevented, and the reformation, under God's blessing, is secure;—the Minister, and the Missionary, and the Bible, are more than a match for the Priest, if the obstructing influence of politics be removed. We are encouraged by finding that, even in
• We have heard, that since the establishment of Brunswick Clubs, Protestant emigration has sensibly diminished.- We cannot answer for the fact, but we think it not unlikely.
the late and present agitation, the Roman Catholic population* have flocked to the discussion meetings held by the Reformation Society, and have manifested the utmost attention and decorum. In Waterford, Wexford, Mary borough, and Limerick, the same scenes were witnessed ; and our Religious Intelligence contains at least one most extraordinary proof that even the maddening course of politics has been checked by religious discussion. We have no fears for Ireland; it is impossible that the people who have been appealed to, as the judges of political and religious questions, can ever surrender their right of private jndgment; it is impossible that the Priest can ever again exercise the same influence which he once held over the once-prostrated Irish intellect; and when, in an hour of peace, which must speedily come, the power of truth, directed by the many active, intelligent, pious, and disinterested Ministers of the Gospel that the Church contains, is brought to
the errors of the self-called infallible Church, we rest satisfied that it will shake even here, and Ireland shall at length see her day of reformation. Oh, that those who seem to guide the violence of the political storm, would see the objects for which they are contending through the medium of Gospel light, and not give undue weight or importance to the things of time ;-then might we see the energy that is now manifested for the due maintenance of civil rights, chastened by the spirit, cheered by the cer, tainty, and directed by the light of evangelical religionand the bond of union would be stronger, for its cement would be Christian love-and the association would be permanent, for it would pass from time into eternity t
• We rejoice to state, from recent information, that the Religious Societies, labouring in Ireland, have not received any serious impediment in their progress.He who directs the storm, will watch over the progress of his own work.
+ It may not be unnecessary to state, that the Society, which is the object of the present article, deprecates the idea of intruding into any Diocese in which it has not the sanction of the Bishop. It is only when they are wanted and wished for, that they are willing to labour.
A MEDITATION ON A KEY.
Marvellous it is, how small a matter to the meditative mind doth serve as full and sufficient indication of verities which yet lie hidden to the more ordinary and every-day perceptions of those who trouble not themselves with any pain of thought. Herein, indeed, consisteth much of that which distinguisheth the contemplative man from him who lends not himself to any lengthened train' of consideration. The rudest clown when he seeth some large tree uprooted, some high tower flung down by the swift-smiting of the strong-breathing wind, cannot chuse but to acknowledge the wondrous agency of that unseen power. But the well-instructed, observing but the light wantonings of the thistle's down upon the lagging breath of a summer's eve, or the tremblings of an aspen leaf as it balanceth itself upon its footstalk, marks therein the workings of a power, which were it not restrained by the hand of Him without whose bidding the stormy wind riseth not, would sweep the face of this our world with the wings of a sudden destruction, and level man, with the high built pride of man, into the smoothness of one common desolation.
Even thus mine eye now glances upon that small key which lies beside me on my study table. A little piece of crooked iron wrought into certain shapes by the hand of the artificer; but what then-a large proof how crooked is the nature of man, that he needed ever to devise such an instrument. Had there been no thieves, there needed never to have been locks. This little hieroglyphic doth therefore set forth with no small force of silent teaching how corrupted is that heart which God once formed pure and upright. To the well-ordered mind no more prevention were necessary to the unallowed appropriating of another's property, than the single guard of the great commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” But this bar broken, man needs to fence himself against man, and they who may not be restrained from evil by the solemn monitions of the divine will, must be met by the strength of brass and the force of iron.
If locks and keys then have been devised to subserve a lawful purpose so are they but too often applied to the maintaining of an unrighteous cause. Many a door is fastened against the law. ful owner of that he is shut out from; and many a coffer lid is fast clasped down upon ill-gotten gains, to which the present possessor hath no more right than what force and fraud combined may serve to give him. Alas! I have not far to seek for proof of this; how long hath the door of my heart been closed against the Lord of all things, and while Satan revelled within, the Saviour stood without. Heavenly Jesus! whose strength nought can resist, thou whom even death could not bind, and who rising from the grave didst break those gates of brass," against which no human arm could have prevailed; 0, look upon me with an eye of love, and if I would lock thee from my breast, suffer me not; but with a blessed violence enter in and take me in possession. “ Thou art he that bath the key of David, who openeth and no man shutteth, who shutteth and no man openeth;” yea, thou bast the “ keys of hell and of death.” While in this life, shut up my soul unto thyself; cause me to be thine in thought, and word, and deed ; and when I sball be allowed to escape from this fleshly tabernacle, O may I find an entrance into that place where thou dwellest with the Father and the Spirit in never endless bliss ; yea, into that thrice blessed place were God shall wipe all tears from mine eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things shall have passed away.
ON THE MILLENNIAL STATE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-In looking over your number for September, I was much interested by the
remarks of your correspondent W. T. on the Millennial State-a subject which seems to me well worthy the close investigation and deep attention of every one who professes a value for the divine Revelation we are blessed with. Believers have heretofore thought, and still do many of them think, that at the conclusion of the present dispensation, they shall enter upon a totally different state and order of things from that which now obtains-ihat this world sball be annihilated, and that the people of God shall go to a place called heaven, a place, “one knows not where,” and there taste of joys, and dwell in scenes altogether and entirely opposed to our present material constitution. But upon a more minute examination, we are, some of us, led to think otherwise; we are led to suppose that this world will be purified and glorified, that the Lord Jesus will return, having received a kingdom, and that those who have suffered with him, shall there reign with him— Then, and not till then, shall the three first petitions in the Lord's prayer be fully answered ; not till then shall every knee bow at the name of Jesus; not surely till then shall his kingdom come, and not till then, as Mr. W. T. observes, can his will be done in earth as it is in heaven.-I am not prepared at present, to go into this subject with all that perspicuity and accuracy it deserves, but I would just make one or two observations—I do not see how otherwise, than by a renovated earth and a personal reign, the creation (ń KTLOS) can be delivered from the bondage of corruption; that the earth is in this state of bondage is, one would think a self-evident proposition; it bears indeed the stamp of a blessing; we see some faint traces of faded beauty ; but it bears indeed the stamp of a curse; the lights that the Creator has placed in the firmament serve but to show forth this curse ; and the darkness diffused by the
divine command, affords too true an emblem of, and gives too favourable an opportunity for the exhibition of this curse—the air we breathe is convulsed by thunder storms and pregnant with electric fluid--the waters have been made the instrument of destruction to a world of sinners—the very beasts have partaken of this curse-the whole system of pursuit and prey is the consequence of this curse; if we had microscopic eyes to see, or if we had 'unstopped’ears to hear, we should see the destruction of thousands of insects every moment; we should hear the shrieks of the wounded and the groans of the dying which ever way we turnedthis is the effect of sin, this is the peculiar stamp of sin; but when we look to the top of the climax and behold the incarnate God dying on the tree, we here read in legible characters the misery of the creation—can we suppose then, that the earth as cursed, shall pass out of existence ? No-surely the glory revealed in it shall more than counterbalance this 'bondage of corruption.'—It shall, as appears to me, exist, a monument not less of creating power, than of redeeming love; again-when we look into some of the arcana of nature and behold the discoveries of natural philosophy and chemistry: when we see every atom peopled with worlds, and worlds of wonder too ; when we think of those things, I say, and remember that all we know is but sufficient to show us our ignorance, I confess, I am inclined to conclude that these wonders shall yet be disclosed to our view by the hand of Omnipotence. I am aware, Sir, that these views are considered by many eminent and devoted servants of God, more visi. onary than real. I merely throw out these few observations for your consideration, and from my heart recommend to your readers the sincere examination of Scripture on this head—there is one truth, however, in which all Christians are agreed, that the servants of the Lord, shall be with the Lord; and “in his presence there is fulness of joy, and at his right hand there are pleasures evermore.” I feel persuaded that, though we know as little of the nature and place of our future happiness, as the butterfly knows in its crysalis state of all the joy and all the mirth, with which it shall flutter through the meadows, in all that varied beauty in which the Lord dresses it; yet the Saviour of sinners doth, hath done, and will do all things well; we may indeed “ commit our souls unto him, as unto a faithful Creator, But I feel persuaded, on the other hand, that these views of Millennial glory shall enliven our hope, give confidence to things hoped for, and increased evidence to things not seen. I am, Sir, very truly your's,
BIBLICAL CRITICISM, Gal. vi. 1. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir—The passage on which I would make a few observations, is in the 6th chap. of Gal. and ist. verse, where St. Paul says,
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