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Lord Morpeth, Mr. R. Grant, Lord Mandeville, the Hon. E. Petre, Mr. Rotch, and Mr. A. Johnstone, all supporting the principle, and some of them the leading details, of this large and Christian measure; -when we hear that Lord Althorp and his colleagues, while they opposed Sir Andrew Agnew's Bill on the ground that it went too far, yet admitting that something must be done to satisfy the public;-and when, finally, after not only all the Infidels, Radicals, and Roman Catholics in the House had endeavoured to thwart the measure, but Lord Althorp as the organ of Government had headed the opposition, there was found only a miserable majority of six (79 to 73) against the second reading; and this notwithstanding the untoward manner in which it was forced forward by its opponents-when we consider these things, and add to them the extreme disappointment which has extended throughout the land at the failure, the determined energy with which both the friends of religion and the protectors of Sunday repose from business are arousing themselves to new efforts, are we too sanguine in saying, that, far from desponding, we never before viewed the question as in so advanced a stage of progress?
Sir A. Agnew, we rejoice to say, has already pledged himself to bring forward a Bill for the same purpose next session; and already has Mr. Petre given notice of a motion taking up the principle of Sunday trading. We should be glad of even a partial amelioration; but we feel convinced, that the more the question is looked at the more necessary will it appear to legislate upon wide and Scriptural views. We do not mean to advocate every detail of Sir A. Agnew's Bill; it is evident that some additional exceptions require to be introduced; and all that the mover pressed for was, the second reading; so that the detail might be duly discussed in the Committee, and the Bill made as near perfection as possible: but, without advocating every syllable of the Bill, we feel assured, as just remarked, that the more the subject is considered the larger must be the measures of relief; and that if we give a quiet Sunday to tradesmen, we ought not to deprive of it those other classes who have petitioned to enjoy it, including among them persons engaged in the various kinds of public travelling. It would seem that some such view is entertained, though not perhaps to this extent, by the Right Reverend bench: the Bishop of London having stated in the House of Lords, that one of the reasons why some of the bishops did not themselves introduce a bill was, that their ideas of what was befitting would probably extend farther than the opinions of the legislature, or the majority of the public; and they did not think it right to stand
committed as the authors of an imperfect measure, grounded on no adequate principle of religious obligation.
Need we urge on our readers the duty of continuing their strenuous efforts to promote this great object? They will find their neighbours pretty well agreed that Sunday trading ought to cease; and even this is a large advance; but let them use their influence to shew, what is less understood, the need of legislating in a judicious but efficient manner in regard to travelling by public conveyances, and other public violations of the day of sacred rest. The richer classes are very hostile to any restrictions being imposed upon Sunday travelling; forgetting, or not laying to heart, how many persons in the poorer classes of society they induce to break the Sabbath for their convenience. Are the readers of Sunday newspapers aware that news-venders have sent in petitions urging their hardship? as indeed have all classes of persons who are aggrieved by the present system. And ought not all these persons to be protected?
The outline of the Government plan for the ABOLITION OF SLAVERY has been laid before Parliament by Mr. Stanley, the new Secretary for the Colonies. Of some parts of that plan we scarcely know how to speak with decision till its details are more fully developed (which they will probably be before these lines reach our readers), more especially as some of them, it is understood, are to be considerably modified. As a whole, the measure is large; is distinguished from all the former measures, by the recognition that slavery is to be utterly abolished, and by devising means to effect that desired object; but some of the details appear to us open to great objection, and we must wholly dissent from that portion of the plan which requires the slave to work out his own freedom. We are far from niggardly in our feelings towards the planter; in abolishing a sinful system we would readily grant compensation to any extent that injury can be proved, and that it can be proved the nation at large is a sharer in the crime; but the slave was no party to the compact, and ought not to be made to pay any part of the cost of this act of national duty: he ought rather to be indemnified for the long course of injustice inflicted upon him and with regard to compensation, our firm belief is that slave emancipation will be an immense benefit, and not an injury, to the colonies; and that property which is now full of hazard and attended with overwhelming losses, will become far more stable and valuable when the slave becomes a free labourer. If any of our readers doubt this, we would refer them to an excellent pamphlet just published by Mr. Conder, entitled "Wages or the Whip," in which the writer proves in
controvertibly the value of free labour to the land-owner beyond that of slave labour. Mr. Cropper has also shewn that the proposed loan of fifteen millions of money to the West Indies will, if accompanied by other fiscal regulations, be attended with great benefit both to the colonies and the mother country. But the chief point to which we would at present confine our attention is the first great duty, that of abolishing slavery; the way in which this is to be effected requires much serious consideration; but we have no great fear upon this subject, if the government, the legislature, and the country are united in opinion as regards the principle.
The West-India interest still cling to their unjust and absurd claim of their indefeasible right to property in the bodies of their fellow-men, and of their unborn posterity to the latest generations; and are actually at this very moment urging this preposterous claim in their speeches, publications, and petitions. On the other hand, some abolitionists, in their just regard to what Scripture and policy alike require, do not fairly estimate the practical difficulties to be overcome in returning to a just and sound system, or sufficiently allow for the very natural prejudices and honest fears of the West-India proprietors and cultivators. The work ought to be effected in a spirit of liberality and conciliation; or, if it cannot be so, let not the want of such a right temper of mind be displayed upon the part of those who are on the side of justice and humanity.
The outline of the government plan, as at present developed, having been widely published in the newspapers, we need not copy it at large, especially as various modifications are expected, and some of the measures require further explanation. Its essence is, that the slave shall be at liberty to claim to be registered as an apprenticed labourer, and shall thenceforth immediately enjoy all the rights and privileges of a freeman ;-that the power of corporal punishment shall be taken from the master, and transferred to the magistrate;-that, in consideration of food and clothing, the labourer shall work for his master three-fourths of his time, equal to seven and a half hours daily, and have a right to claim employment of his master for the remaining one-fourth of his time according to a fixed scale of wages, or to work if he pleases elsewhere. The master shall fix a price upon the labourer at the time of his apprenticeship; and the wages to be paid by the master shall bear such a proportion to the price fixed, that for his spare time, if given to the master, the Negro shall receive one-twelfth of his price annually, so as to redeem himself in twelve years. Every apprenticed labourer shall be bound to pay a portion of his wages half-yearly to an officer to be
appointed by his Majesty; and in default of such payment the master shall be liable, who in return may exact an equivalent amount of labour without payment in the succeeding half-year. Every apprenticed Negro, on payment of the price affixed by his master, shall be absolutely free; and he may borrow the sum so required, and bind himself as an apprenticed labourer to the lender. A loan to the amount of 15,000,000l. to be granted to the proprietors of West-Indian estates and slaves, and to be distributed among the different colonies in a ratio compounded of the number of slaves and the amount of exports; and the half-yearly payments to be made by the Negroes to be taken in part liquidation of the debt thus contracted. Children under the age of six years to be free, and be maintained by their respective parents; or, on failure of the parents to maintain them, to be deemed apprentices to the master, without receiving wages, the males till the age of 24, the females to the age of 20, at which periods they and their children, if any, shall be free.
We cannot read such proposed enactments as the above, without rejoicing and thanking God that so much has been at length intended to be effected. We are not, however, satisfied with the measure, especially in regard, as before remarked, to making the slave earn his freedom, and spreading his instalments of liberty over the long space of twelve years. Lord Howick, the late Under Secretary for the Colonies, with a candour and humanity which do him much honour, expressed strongly his objections to the details of the plan, and his full conviction that emancipation ought to be prompt and complete. He stated that his views were once very different, but that his experience in the Colonial Office had forced him to outgrow them. The same effect, we feel assured, will follow, in the case of every man who honestly applies his mind to the question. We look forward with much anxious interest to the discussion on the 30th inst. (May); and entreat our readers, throughout the whole further progress of the question, to be earnest in prayer to the Father of Mercies, that He would direct it to His own glory, and the welfare, temporal and eternal, of our poor suffering fellow-creatures.
The Commission for inquiring into the FACTORY QUESTION-as if inquiry were necessary as to whether infants should be worked in a close,beated atmosphere, more than ten hours each day-are pursuing their investigations; but we are glad to find that Lord Ashley has determined not to await the result of their deliberations; but, in spite both of Government and of the Hume school of economists, to bring forward his Bill. We earnestly
wish him success in this work of humanity. We are not quite aware of all the provisions of the Bill, but we trust it will be found practicable to introduce some plan for the moral and religious education of factory children, and for their enjoying the blessings of the Christian Sabbath.
The IRISH CHURCH BILL is proceeding in its stages, and some partial amendments have been admitted in its provisions. One thing connected with the discussions is very remarkable, that, so rapid has been the progress of public opinion in relation to Church Reform, some of those who formerly most opposed measures of this nature are now willing to concede many important points. Sir Robert Peel, the ex-representative of Oxford, Mr. Goulburn from Cambridge, and Mr. Shaw from Dublin, have allowed that the abolition of church rates in Ireland, and some other important parts of the ministerial bill, are necessary; Sir Robert Inglis being now almost the only public man in the House of Commons who has the courage openly to object to the whole system of innovation, as fraught with danger, and to such an extent, that it is better to bear the ills we have " than to incur others "that we know not of."
And here we cannot but offer a word of friendly advice to all honest conservatives of things as they are. It is too late to endeavour to uphold any thing upon the mere plea of antiquity, custom, or prescription. If an abuse exists, the public will not be satisfied with being told that it has existed for ages, and has become venerable by length of years. The true conservative is he who can offer a moral reason for his conservations; and if he cannot, he ought not to carry the spirit of party so far as to plead for what is palpa. bly wrong, lest the breach made by its expulsion should let in an enemy to attack more vital points of the citadel. Of late, the Conservatives, in their alarms at reformation, have acted a most dangerous part instead of correcting what is amiss, they have upheld it, for fear of increasing the popular strength by its abolition. This is most unsound reasoning, most dangerous policy, and most unchristian morality. In the matter, for instance, of the disgraceful scenes of bribery, corruption, and
profligacy in the borough of Hertford, we have seen not only political conservatives, but several religious men-we feel pain in mentioning the names of Sir R. H. Inglis, Mr. Finch, Mr. Forster of Walsall, and Mr. Shaw of Dublin-voting in the minority against the very moderate measure of inquiry, because the Marquis of Salisbury, Lord Mahon, and Lord Inglestrie are Tories, and Mr. Duncombe is the contrary. So again, in the late elections in Mary-le-bone and Westminster Conservative candidates have taken up two or three questions of popular party politics, and practically coalesced with the destructives, just to distance their Whig competitors; and by this party proceeding have opened those places to Sir J. Whalley and Colonel Evans. In the same blind spirit of party, on the other side, a coroner's jury has pronounced the deliberate murder of Culley the policeman, who was assassinated with a poignard, while performing his duty in assisting to suppress an unlawful and seditious meeting-justifiable homicide. We expect these things in worldly minded men ; but we mourn over them in others, who profess to be actuated by higher principles than those of political party and crooked expediency. A Christian Member of Parliament, whether a Conservative or a Reformer, should meet every question upon its own merits, upon scriptural principles, and not do evil that good may come.
The House of Lords has rejected Lord Fitzwilliam's very moderate proposal for an inquiry into the effects of the CORN LAWS. We can only express our belief that they have acted very unwisely, even as regards their own private interests, in so doing. This question must be set at rest before long, in such a way as to give the people bread upon the cheapest possible terms; and how fatally blind is it in the land-owner not to consent at once to a just arrangement, instead of awaiting the too probable day of unflinching spoliation.
It is with much thankfulness to God that we have just heard that an order has gone out to out to India for the ABOLITION OF THE PILGRIM TAX, as levied at Juggernaut and other Heathen temples. More in our next.
ON Thursday the 28th of March died, at his country residence at Chobham in Surrey, Thomas Bainbridge, Esq. of Guildford Street, London. This eminent individual and excellent Christian was well known as a liberal supporter of almost every religious institution in the metropolis, and a ready contributor to numerous private charities. In addition to considerable sums which he has left to other societies, he has bequeathed 1000l. to the Church Missionary Society, 500l. to the British and Foreign Bible Society, 2001. to the Prayer-Book and Homily Society, 2001. to the London Missionary Society, and 2001. to the Tract Society. He was for many years the steady and highly esteemed friend of the late revered Mr. Cecil, and greatly assisted him in all the secular concerns of the Chapel of St. John's; and at the death of that eminent minister he was looked up to as their kindest friend by his surviving family.
The writer of this brief memorial knows that few persons stood higher in the estimation of Mr. Cecil, both for his sound judgment, genuine piety, consistent conduct, and enlarged charity, than Mr. Bainbridge. On the death of Mr. Cecil, Mr. Bainbridge had the chief management in finally fixing Mr. Wilson, the present Bishop of Calcutta, as Mr. Cecil's successor at St. John's; and a higher opinion, the writer knows, can scarcely be formed of any person, than the Bishop had of Mr. Bainbridge. He was his constant hearer, able adviser in all matters relating to the chapel, and his chief dependence in conducting his public charities. It is not the intention of the writer of this obituary to dwell on the many excellent qualities of his deceased friend. He would only briefly allude to the painful affliction under which
he laboured during the last fifteen months of his life, and the Christian patience with which he endured it. It was near the commencement of the last year that he was seized with a paralytic affection, which in a great measure deprived him of the power of distinct articulation, though it left him eventually in the complete possession of his limbs and his mental faculties. A few months after this attack, a speck appeared on his tongue, which at the first created no alarm, but it soon assumed a more serious aspect, and finally issued in a cancer. Under this dreadful malady he suffered during many months excruciating pain, but with such Christian meekness and patience that he was never heard to utter a murmur or complaint; nor would his friends who visited him have had any idea of the agony which he at times endured, if they had not made inquiries concerning his health. Seldom have Christian principles administered more effectual support, Scriptural promises more abundant consolation. It pleased God so to sustain his hopes as not to leave an apparent doubt that they were well founded; and when the symptoms of his approaching dissolution appeared, his mind was evidently filled with joy and peace in believing. He was buried at Chobham on Easter Eve, in the presence of almost the assembled parish, many of whom felt that they had lost their best earthly friend, and all of them, an invaluable neighbour. At his funeral sermon, on the following evening, an unusual concourse of hearers testified their affection and deep respect for an individual who had for many years been the constant friend and benefactor of the parish. C. J.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
R. M.; B. C.; T. M.; A CHURCHMAN; J. P.; JOHN CLERICUS; REBECCA; A.G.; ONE WHO BELIEVES; A SUBSCRIBER; AN OBSERVER; and several CONSTANT READERS; are under consideration.
We know nothing of the circumstances alluded to by A Constant Reader whose seal initial is B.
Some of our correspondents seem to entertain a very large view of the editorial duties of a work like ours; as if, whenever any passage or word or sentiment occurs in a paper, or even in a quotation, which we disapprove of, we should instantly add a note expressive of our dissent. Surely it is not necessary that we should thus regard our readers as infants, instead of men. If a remark occurs in a quotation that seems to us calculated to do harm, or which might be mistaken for our own sentiment, we usually append a disclaimer; but if it is so clearly absurd or
untenable as to carry with it its own refutation, we leave it to find its own level; not being at all apprehensive that our readers will think we say it because the words happen to be printed in our pages. It is not to be concluded that we guarantee every syllable in the Memoir of Dr. Payson, or Solomon Bayley, or any similar paper, except when we expressly say so. The reader will readily discern what is a mere statement of facts, and what is an expression of opinion. We can only say to E., what we lately said to another correspondent, that every Christian must afford to keep a conscience. It is not necessary to any man that he should obtain golden preferments; but it is necessary that he should enjoy peace of mind, which he can never do if he be not honest and truth-loving in all his conduct.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
WHAT need we say in introducing the Speeches at the Anniversary Meeting of the Bible Society? We will only remark, that, interesting as these annual festivals of Christian benevolence always are, they have been, from peculiar circumstances, which need not be further alluded to, more interesting than ever the last two years. It is, however, with extreme pain that we learn that the pecuniary receipts of the Society have fallen off; and we most strongly and urgently second the powerful appeal prefixed to the speeches. The claim is unspeakably important; for if the Holy Scriptures are a gift of immeasurable value, and able to make men wise unto salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus, what words can express the importance of an institution whose object, so long, so faithfully, and so diligently pursued, is to bring those inestimable records within the reach of every human being?