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observes: “If it be God's will so to blind the understandings of our rulers, that this revolutionary scheme shall be carried into full effect, we must prepare ourselves for a future of far greater perplexity and trouble than any on which we can look back in the past. Faith in public men has already fallen with us to the lowest ebb. They have long ceased to aim at directing, they now seem bent on abjectly following and giving the force of law to the will of the mob. For it is not the intelligent English people, nor the Scotch, nor even the Irish, who clamour for this great change. It is sought for by the designing few whose object is to sink Great Britain to the level of America. It is shouted for by the ignorant many who know only that they are not so well off as they desire to be, and are persuaded to believe that any change must benefit them. And into the arms of the designing few and the ignorant many Mr. Gladstone has thrown himself.” It seems to be God's will, and His will must be the best. Nothing can be done without His permission, and, if He sees fit to lay His chastening hand upon the Church, to lower (for a time) Protestantism and to exalt Popery, it must in the end be well. But we tremble in the meantime for the chief agents in the matter, and for our country under their influence.
The strong feeling which was excited in Ireland seems to increase rather than to diminish. In almost every parish, vestry meetings have been held, strongly condemning the measure, and affirming that they both considered it to be a cruel injustice, and that they were determined to oppose it to the utmost. Delegates were then chosen to state these views to a central conference held in Dublin, and at the assembling of the latter they were very clearly and boldly enunciated. The feeling of the country has also been plainly exhibited by the way in which the Lord Lieutenant has been treated, and the reception given to Prince Arthur. At the levees of the former hardly any of the gentry and nobility are to be found; and, on the arrival of the latter, instead of the enthusiastic and hearty welcome afforded to his brothers last year, he was met with the utmost coldness and indifference. Surely, as Lord Stanley observed, the English nation ought to pause before it alienates 700,000 of the most loyal men in Ireland, men who have ever been firm in the support of the connexion with England, and who some years ago would have rather cut off their right hands than use the language which they now use, and act in the manner in which they are now acting.
The Scottish Reformation Society has concluded its winter's work in its Protestant educational classes. A most important and excellent work this is. During the last three years the society has been enabled, by the kindness of friends, to establish twenty classes through the country, on the south side of the border, beginning at Carlisle and
going down as far as Plymouth. It has gathered together two thousand young men (more than are studying in any college in the kingdom) at one time, besides several young women in ladies' classes. It has imparted, as far as possible, a thorough knowledge of the distinctive doctrines of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism to the attendants upon these classes, and it has afforded considerable encouragement by giving handsome prizes to the most attentive and most proficient. Long may this good work go on and prosper; and may the divine blessing accompany it!
; We are glad to perceive that an authoritative statement has at last been issued respecting the riots got up by the Roman Catholics at Protestant lectures and meetings. Not only have disgraceful scenes been repeatedly enacted by them, but at last they began to proceed so far that they threatened to put an end to all public religious discussions or freedom of speech in this free country. Their manner of proceeding, as is well known, was this: whenever they became aware that a lecturer was coming whose arguments they particularly feared, they went to the magistrates, swore that they intended to raise a riot, and the magistrates consequently considered it to be their duty to silence the lecturer and forbid a public meeting. What a pass for a liberal and a Protestant country! In reply, however, to an application made by the Mayor of North Shields with reference to the lectures of Mr. Murphy, the Home Secretary writes: “The magistrates have not the power to stop lectures on a subject not illegal, delivered in a private hall hired for the purpose; or to prevent people meeting to hear such lectures. Were it not so, any meetings
, called for the discussion of questions of public interest might be stopped, if those who took an opposite side threatened to disturb the meeting.” We trust that our magistrates and Roman Catholics will remember this.
A terrible conflagration has occurred in the Cape of Good Hope. A tract of country four hundred miles long, and varying in breadth from fifteen to one hundred and fifty miles, has been devastated by a fire unparalleled in the annals of the colony. The calamity took place just after the harvest-an unusually good one- —and has caused great distress. The cultivated lands, farm buildings, native forests and bush, farm stock, and wild animals were wrapt in flames, and in a few hours hundreds of pounds' worth of property was destroyed. The European colonists and natives alike suffered, and in the majority of cases the sufferers lost all they possessed. Several persons were also burnt to death, the casualties in the majority of cases occurring to the natives and to the wives and children of the colonists. Those saved had to take shelter in the rivers, water-dams, and wet ditches, where many of them were badly scorched. In Australia also a drought has continued on some stations for more than eighteen months. To such straits are the unfortunate squatters reduced, that every means is used of husbanding the little water that remains in the water-holes of the rivers. Next to their own lives that of the sheep is held most in esteem by the squatters, and, consequently, the horses and kangaroos are shot down whenever they appear at the water holes to slake their burning thirst.
We regret to record that the Bishop of Carlisle has been completely laid aside, by severe illness, from his active and valuable labours. He is now on the continent, seeking change and rest; and the accounts recently received state that he is somewhat better. We trust that it may be the Lord's will ere long to raise him up again. It seems as if we could ill spare so valuable a life at such a critical time as the present.
NEW WORK BY MR. JAMES GRANT.—The literary and religious journals announce the publication, by Mr. Macintosh, of Paternoster Row, of the second and concluding volume of Mr. Grant's new work, Religious Tendencies of the Times." We are able to state that the chief feature of this new volume from the pen of Mr. Grant is an Exposure of the Heresies of the Plymouth Brethren.' The principal contents of the work will, it is understood, be :-Correspondence in Relation to the First Volume; Our Religious Literature; Baron Bunsen's Extraordinary and Dangerous Views; Rev. T. R. Birks' Theory of Future Punishment; Prevalent Practical Errors; and the Heresies of the Plymouth Brethren. In the next number of the Gospel Magazine we shall review this new volume from Mr. Grant's pen.
" COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD." “ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE." JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER." " WHOM TO KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL."
OR, WORDS OF SPIRITUAL CAUTION, COUNSEL, AND COMFORT. "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any
trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”—2 Cor. i. 4.
REVIEW AND ANTICIPATION. “For mercies countless as the sands, “I cannot serve Him as I ought, Which daily I receive,
No works have I to boast; From Jesus, my Redeemer's, hands, Yet will I glory in the thought, My soul, what canst thou give ?
That I should owe Him most.” “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me : Thy mercy, O Lord,
endureth for ever : forsake not the work of Thine own hands.".
PSALM CXxxviii. 8. BELOVED, we enter this month upon the twenty-ninth year of our Editorship. Words utterly fail to express a tithe of what we feel in the review of all that has occurred since the (to us) eventful morning on which we took up our pen to commence our humble labours in connexion with this work. How little did we then see of what was before us! Even in our second number the subject was, “ Faint, yet pursuing.” If we fainted then, how often have we fainted since, during all the varied positions and circumstances of an eight-andtwenty years' editorial career! But, notwithstanding this, our so frequent failing of heart and flesh, we are bound to say, that “His grace has been sufficient,” that “ His strength has been made perfect in our weakness," and that He “has done all things well.” The language of Joshua is very sweet to our own heart: “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth : and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof” (Josh. xxü. 14). Equally precious is the inquiry of our dear Lord, when, addressing His beloved disciples, He said, "I sent you out without scrip and without purse; lacked ye anything ? And they said, Nothing Oh no, there has been no failure, no lack; but He has in very deed been "mindful of us in our low estate, for His meroy endureth for ever.” And oftentimes we mentally exclaim, “If the Lord is but pleased to be as merciful and as good and gracious in the
future as He has been in the past, then shall we have abundant reason to rejoice, and to magnify and adore His great and glorious name.' But why, beloved, should we doubt this, seeing that He “rests in His love," "hates to put away," and that He is “ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever?”
Dear reader, the portion that has been presented to our mind, in this stage of our little eventful career, is that quoted at the head of this paper : “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the work of Thine own hands” (Psalm cxxxviii. 8). And, first, observe how the words stand connected, as in the Psalms they so commonly do, with the language of acknowledgment and appeal. David so often blends prayer with praise, and praise with prayer; and this so clearly shows that the Psalmist did not-neither do any of the Lord's Spirit-quickened ones--ever attain to a position of independence. The Lord knows how to keep His people in a simple, childlike dependence upon Himself! Never will He allow them in the leastwise to feel that they can do without Him! Let their position be what it may-although they may be freed from this or that trial, affliction, or sorrow, which for a longer or shorter season has been pressing upon them; yet the Lord is never at a loss to find other causes on account of which they shall equally feel their weakness, helplessness, and poverty, and the same absolute need of His guidance and His sustaining and upholding power:
Reader, see in the second verse of this psalm the acknowledgment of which we spoke. The latter part of the verse is thus rendered by the blessed Coverdale: “Thou hast magnified Thy word according to Thy great name.' Another version thus renders it: “ Thou hast magnified Thy name above all things by Thy word.” Now we consider the meaning to be, “ Thou hast, by Thy kind and gracious acts, far exceeded the words and promises upon which Thou hadst caused us to hope." So spake the Queen of Sheba, when she exclaimed, with respect to Solomon, “The half was not told me.” And sure we are, that, however large the expectations of the Lord's dear family, as based upon the kind and gracious promises of His blessed word, applied as they are from time to time by the Holy Ghost, the Lord always exceeds their largest, fullest, and most sanguine hopes and expectations. He keeps up, in the rich and gracious developments of His merciful and loving hand, that precious saying, “Thou shalt see greater things than these.” Yea, we fully believe that the Lord maintains this sweet word in the every-day experience of His dear children; that so as they go on day by day, * from strength to strength,” He “giving more grace, they find it an upward, onward movement. They see more, they feel more of His precious, precious grace—that grace, by comparison being yet more and more fully developed, according to their larger necessities, and in order to combat the more powerful and determined attacks of the enemy, as he, seeing his time is short, seeks the more
resolutely and powerfully to assail, assault, and (if possible) to secure his prey. But if, beloved, by this comparison the Lord's dear sin-burdened and Satan-assaulted ones do realize even here, in their at least occasional experiences, this “seeing greater things,” and that the half had not been told them concerning “ the greater than Solomon, oh, what will it be in the upper and better house, “not made with hands, eternal in the heavens?” What will be the first emotionswhat the rapturous exclamations of the disembodied spirits, as just freed from the tenement of clay, and that tabernacle in which they had so long “groaned, being burdened ?” Oh, what will one face
.? to-face view of the King in His glory be? What the joy–what the transport—what the unspeakable felicity of the soul, the moment it realizes the great and the glorious fact, that it has risen for ever and ever above, and beyond sinful, dark, helpless mortality; has passed safely and triumphantly through death and the grave, and now basks for ever and ever in the immediate and unclouded presence of God and the Lamb ?
"O glorious hour! O blessed abode!
And never, never sin;
Drink endless pleasures in. Look once more, beloved, at the blending of hope and fear, trust and travail, in the language of the 7th verse : “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me
(Psalm cxxxviii. 7). Observe, there is a walkingnot a halting, much less a receding—though in “the midst of trouble.” It is folly to suppose that trial hinders or retards a dear child of God in his progress Christward and heavenward. Although a common idea, it is at the same time a most fallacious one with the dear children of God, namely, that if they had less trouble they could live more usefully, more profitably, and more to the Lord's glory. Thousands have proved, in their“ better circumstances,” in their “ smooth paths,” and “plains of ease,” the very reverse of this. How cold
. have they become ! how carnal, how worldly! Their spiritual appetites, their keen relish, their thirst for the corn and wine of the kingdom, has subsided; and how many have sighed, if too sad and too broken to sing, the language,
“ Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord ?
Of Jesus and His word?
How sweet their memory still!
The world can never fill,”