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whose prelates, namely, one patriarch and four metropolitans, have written to our primate and metropolitan, requesting the aid of the Church of England ; that another is intended soon to be sent out to Malta, and others elsewhere in succession ; and that God has graciously inclined the members of our Church liberally to co-operate in this important service? And, as union is strength, we ask, Is it nothing that it has pleased Him who has the hearts of kings at his disposal, to cause a Lutheran monarch to contribute munificently to the good work of sending out a bishop of the Church of England and Ireland to the Eastern regions, and that our spiritual rulers have recommended to their new brother to admit suitable candidates of the Augsburgh Confession to holy orders? This peaceful triumph of faith, hope, and charity, will, we both trust and believe, be overruled to the furtherance of the Gospel. Nor are we insensible to the great blessing of increasing union in our religious episcopal institutions; we refer especially to the recent important addition of the highest Ecclesiastical sanction to the Church Missionary Society, and the Society for the Conversion of the Jews; a sanction as honourably earned as it was cheerfully bestowed, without the slightest necessity for sacrifice, and with no object but the increase of spiritual utility.
We might proceed in this manner for many a paragraph ; nor even in pointing to the distressing memorials which have occupied many of our pages during last year, in regard to the doctrines advocated in the so-called “ Tracts for the Times," are we without highly cheering 'facts and anticipations. During the present year the system has become better understood, and its anti-scriptural character more generally discerned. The publication of Tract No. 90, and the pamphlets of several of its defenders, with the decision of the Weekly Board of the University of Oxford ; the warnings of several prelates ; and last, not least, the mellowing of Tractarianism into Popery in the case of Mr. Sibthorp, have opened the eyes of many, and we believe materially checked the progress of the delusion. And if, from the professed members of our Church, we advert to its avowed enemies, it is impossible not to perceive that political dissent has overshot its mark, and also crippled itself by its ungoverned efforts. The late political struggle called forth all its powers ; but in vain, even upon the hustings, were blows levelled at the Established Church, for they only recoiled upon the assailant. If the Church has to dread dissent, it must be when dissenters have learned the wisdom to attack only what is evil, and the Church, instead of amending it, sees fit suicidally to cleave to it. We fully believe also that various measures carried into effect during the last ten years, with a view to correct abuses, and work out the Church system, though we do not see our way to the approval of them all, while most cordially rejoicing in most of them—especially the stringent restraints upon pluralities and episcopal translations; the enforcement of clerical residence, the increased demand, on the part both of our bishops and the people, for a high standard of piety, ability, and ministerial qualification, in candidates for holy orders—have already done much to check dissent; and if church building advances in the increased ratio of the last decade, and the clergy appointed to minister in the new districts are faithful, zealous, affectionate pastors, we see little reason to doubt that a great majority of the best portion of the children of Dissenters, will return to the bosom of the Church in the next generation; as great numbers of them are doing already.
Thus we might go on to note favourable indications; but let us not forget the disclosures of the census. Two millions of human beings added to the population in ten years! How are these to be adequately provided for either with the meat which perisheth, or that which endureth to everlasting life? It is an appalling fact, that all the efforts hitherto in progress for promoting the eternal salvation or the temporal benefits of the nation, not only do not cover the hitherto neglected spots, but do not prevent enormous yearly additions to them. Much, very much—incomparably more than many pious and charitable persons have even suspected-must, by God's blessing, be attempted and achieved, before the moral and spiritual wilds of our beloved country shall begin to blossom as the rose. It is with the special view of impressing this solemn truth upon our own minds, and those of our readers, that we have made the population returns the subject of these extended remarks.
For ourselves, should our labours continue, we see no reason to deviate from the principles which have been advocated in these pages during forty years, believing them to be Scriptural and Anglican; but we would pray and strive for more ability, zeal, affection, and spiritual light, in upholding them. In some former years we had occasion to appear very much in the character of REFORMERS, for there was much to do in the way of depuration. Latterly our course has been chiefly that of DEFENDERS; great abuses having been corrected, and improvements introduced ; so that to conserve what we enjoy against external foes or rash friends, has been as obvious a duty as to suggest amendments. In future, so far as the signs of the times afford scope for prognostication, EXTENSION must be our motto; for the Church of England has a great work before it! Think of the colonies! Think of the heathen! Above all, think of the increasing millions of our beloved Queen's home subjects ! Think of the census of 1841, and the resulting duties of 1842.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
ANSWERS.-Papers received ............ 256
ReL. AND M18. Com.-Reciprocal:! In-
fluence of Infidelity and Vice.. Aposto.
vi. 1-9..On the Virgin Mary...... 257--290
United States.. Colonial Bishopric..Ox-
ford Tract, No. 90: the Burial Question 320
PUB. AFP.-Parliament.. Queen's Speech
.. Levant Ques ion.. Spain and Portugal
REL. AND Mis. Com. – Reciprocal In-
fluence of Infidelity and Vice.. Cranmer
PUB. AFF.-Sir. R. Peel's motion upon
the Cabinet.. Sugar, Timber, and Corn
ner's Judgment on Lay-Baptismn ...... 3
Talk of Bengelius.. Justice of the Bible
stone.. Ashantee. By Beecham ...... 677
rians.. Episcopal Church at Jerusalem..
Trial of M'Leod.. China ............ 702
cal Dissenters ”.. Donation to the Irish
Sipners"..Office for the Accession, and
Disturbances; and the Wesley Family 449-482
REL. AND Mis. Com. - Doctrinal Views
and Moral Condition .. Bartimeus..
latry in Malta................... 705–738
(Chap. II. to XX.).. Publications on the
Tracts and Lay Dean
Spirit of ('lassical Studies.. Number of
REL. AND Mıs. Com.-Source and Sub-
jects of Divine Knowledge.. Bartimeus
TITLB AND CONTENTS..................
THE DANGERS, DUTIES, AND ENCOURAGEMENTS OF THE
CHURCH OF CHRIST AT THE PRESENT EVENTFUL ERA.
For the Christian Observer. W E have thought that we cannot better open the first Number of the
new year, than by a few observations upon the dangers, duties, and encouragements of the church of Christ at the present eventful era ; for such it assuredly is, and one which no servant of our divine Lord can contemplate without very serious and chequered emotions. Our remarks can be but cursory; for the field is the whole world; and to survey it fully were impracticable, nor would volumes suffice for a description of the innumerable details. But a rapid glance will suffice to discover many important features of the landscape ; and the intelligent reader will be able to fill up various parts of the outline with minuter facts, and statistical particulars.
It was predicted of the Messiah, the Lord of Life and Glory, before his advent, “He shall be great." Great he was in the inspired declarations of Old Testament prophecy; he was infinitely great in that divine existence which he enjoyed from eternity in the bosom of the Almighty Father; and great beyond all created beings when he appeared in our world as “the Son of man,” for he was not only " the Son of David," but • David's Lord," and “the Son of the Highest." Great also he was in his holy doctrines; his gracious words, such as man never spake; in his all-perfect character; his miracles; his sufferings, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension ; in the atonement which he made for sin ; in the righteousness which he wrought out; in the glories of the day of Pentecost; and in the victories of his cross: whereby he has planted a church in the world; militant indeed, but from the ranks of which have been gathered, from age to age, a goodly number of those who are already swelling the blissful company of the church triumphant above.
But this greatness, as regards his mediatorial kingdom, is not complete. The whole world, which is his right by conquest, is not yet in his actual possession ; the heathen given to him as his heritage, CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 37.