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THE intended motion of Mr. Miall for the consideration of the whole subject of Ecclesiastical Endowments and Grants in Ireland, by whatever sect enjoyed, will be looked forward to with great interest-not as likely to lead to an immediate result, but as being the first move in a new direction. It is the revival of the old Irish Church question in a new shape, and by a new set of men, and it will oblige hesitating liberals to choose sides, and so give electors a better knowledge of the ecclesiastical whereabouts of the men who will, perhaps, soon be again asking for their suffrages.Although the bringing forward of the motion is not to be dependent on that of Mr. Spooner, it has an obvious connection with it, and should that gentleman have a majority this year, something else than the withdrawal of the Roman Catholic endowment will soon "loom in the distance." In all probability most of the petitions against the Maynooth Endowment will be of a sufficiently general character to permit Anti-StateChurchmen to append their signatures; but service will be done if there be also presented some distinct petitions, the prayer of which shall have a bearing on Mr. Miall's




The Court of Queen's Bench has resolved on compelling the Archbishop of Canterbury to prosecute Archdeacon Denison for his eucharistic tenets. According to the Times, the Primate is to be forced "to stake his peace of mind, health, and £10,000 on a trial that will lead to nothing." Nothing, that is, in so far as the doctrinal point at issue is concerned: for Dr. Sumner acknowledged, through his counsel, that he had wished to stay the proceedings, from a belief

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that they would prove "dangerous to the Church of England;" while Lord Campbell, as he grants the Mandamus, ominously says, "that it would have been well for that Church had his Grace exercised his discretion at an earlier period." Let Church Reformers ponder well the fact, pointed out by the Times, that all this confusion, this uncertainty, this diversity of action, this ruinous expense," is "not the result of any old Acts, but of Acts passed in the present reign!" and let the High Church Party observe the deduction of a Journal supposed to be somewhat friendly to their views:-" In honest truth, this attempt to give Bishops a judicial character has only ended in their discredit, misery, and loss; and it is now plain that the Church must condescend to try her suits before a tribunal constituted like our ordinary Courts of Law."



But it is ancient. The church has, for a long time, been permitted to obtain funds by a rate, if it could. Well; it is not the oldest method. Going back a little earlier, I find Blackstone expressly telling us that the repair of the Church was originally provided for by setting apart one-fourth, and afterwards one-third portion of the parson's tithe. What is more important is to add, that the parson has never been legally relieved from this liability. The thing is, of course, impracticable now-a-days; but in point of mere dry law, I really should like to know what answer he would have for the churchwardens in the Ecclesiastical Courts, if, instead of worrying people whom, if I understand Dr. Lushington, the law never intended to pay, they were, just for once, to revive against him the by no means obsolete suit for permissive dilapidation.



[The insertion of any article in these Brief Notices should not be understood as intimating our approval of the work unless that approval be expressed in an accompanying notice; nor should our disapproval be inferred from the absence of such notice. It may be gratifying to some friends to see that a book is published before we may have had time to examine its contents, so as to give our opinion.]

OUR NATIONAL SINEWS; or a Word on, to, and for the Working Classes, shewing their present condition, socially, intellectually, and morally, and the Desirableness and Practicability of its being improved. By STEPHEN SHIRLEY.-London, Horsell and Sheriffs.

This work professes to come from the pen of a working man, and is fraught with lessons of instruction which all classes may study, with great profit. It is quite unsectarian, and truly Evangelical in sentiment; and though making no pretensions to literary excellence, expresses in a readable style truths which lie at the bottom of all moral and social progress. We select the following under their respective headings.


I proceed now to make a few observations on the influence of the Press. In doing this, it will not be disputed, I think, if I say that the Press is the most potent influence at work in society. To say that its influence is all directed one way, would be wrong; it is the channel for error, as well as for truth; for the sublime as well as the ridiculous; for purity as well as pollution; and in proportion to the moral tone of public opinion and feeling, will the Press be in its influence for good or evil. Nothing has, perhaps, had more opposition to contend with than the Press; nothing, perhaps, has received more attention. When first set up, so extraordinary were its powers considered, that the ignorant regarded its productions as the result of Satanic influence. When, however, it was recognised as the work of man, the authorities sought to crush its influence; its productions were burnt, its proprietors fined and imprisoned; but though impeded for a short time, it found patrons elsewhere, and again scattered its life-giving knowledge and truth, defying priestly and kingly authority, purifying the stream of human thought, and spreading intelligence from north

to south, from east to west. It is true that gross absurdities and palpable falsehoods have been, and are being, by its influence, palmed on the credulous; but the very same means which have been made use of for this end, have been made use of to root them up; and every succeeding year, finds the Press of this and other countries more extensively employed in the spread of truth, and in the destruction of error; and this must be more and more the case. For with increased intelligence will arise an increased demand for truth and purity, before which the ugly and diminished head of Error must be hid in ignominy. In connection with the Press, there is one thing which should greatly encourage the benevolent and patriotic mind in reference to truth and error, as the Press is likely to be influenced by it, which is this: that corrupt, selfish, and infidel men have not the motives and noble feelings towards their fellow-men which would induce them to employ their funds to any great extent in the gratuitous circulation of their dogmas and errors; while on the part of the Christian benevolent man, the woes of human nature are deplored, and a fountain of pure and holy philanthropy is opened in the soul, which impels him to seek the good of his fellow-men, even though that good involves a sacrifice of time, talent, or property. As a channel for this philanthropy, the Press is one of the most available and extensive. Thus in our Bible Society, the influence of this great reformer is felt, in the palace of Royalty, the study of the philosopher, in the cottage of the peasant, and home of the ignorant. Nor is it confined to the narrow limits of Albion, but has winged its way to the millions of China and India, to the degraded and ignorant negro, to the majestic red man of the American wilds, and the snow huis of Greenland's icy shores; so that where the sun sheds its light or warmth, there with its glorious principles of 'glory to God and good-will to men,' has the Bible gone. There, through the influence of the Press, has that glorious Gospel been sent, which is to

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make the wilderness and solitary places glad, and the desert to "rejoice and blossom as the rose." While the Bible

has been furnished to the heathen in their own tongue, it has also been placed in the hands of nearly every subject in our own land: and not only so, but in a subordinate way, the Press has been spreading its influence from other sources, one of which is the Tract Society. To estimate rightly the good results of the operation of this Society, is beyond the power of mortal man; it must be left to eternity to disclose the good accomplished by its means. Suffice it to say, that often and often, when ministers, teachers, friends, and parents have failed in producing emotion by admonition or reproof, the silent eloquence of a tract has wrought conviction, excited a tear, and led the trembling sinner to the foot of the cross, humbly to acknowledge his guilt, and seek an interest in the blood of Christ. By this agency, the tract, long before the establishment of the City Mission, was the only, yet often effectual, teacher of many who never would have been reached by any other agent. Where preachers would have been roughly handled, the tract has crept in, and influenced one mind, and through that mind, reached others, and done incalculable good. In addition to which considerations, it should be borne in mind that even now the City Missionary reckons them amongst his most useful auxiliaries. To enumerate the different publications that issue from the Press would be an impossibility; much, however, does issue therefrom monthly and weekly, producing such an influence on public opinion as really to guide, modify, and rule it. How necessary is it, then, that it should be under the management of enlightened and good men; instead of which, we often find trash of the vilest character to feed the vitiated mental appetite of a craving public. These publications, both by their obscene illustration and filthy details, pander to the lowest propensities of human nature, filling the mind with ideas of Satanic birth, and preparing men often for a life of criminality, strife, debauchery, sedition, and every thing that is bad. Even journals which lay claim to respectability, are charged with venality and corruption. To crush this influence should be the object of every philanthropist, not by penal enactment, but by a purified and enlightened public opinion, which would cast its withering glance upon the mon

ster, and pour continually such a stream of obloquy upon its productions as should not fail entirely to extinguish it. Without further commenting upon the Press and its influence, I would here propose a plan which, I think, would be attended with the most important results. The plan is simply this. To provide a good weekly periodical for the country, such a one as must of necessity sell, and that to a much greater extent than any ever yet established. It must embrace such subjects as travels, manners and customs of other nations; history and biography, natural history, illustrations of natural phenomena, philosophy, music, and the fine arts; columns for the young, bits on domestic economy, varieties, &c. Let the work be done on a good double-demy paper, printed in a quarto size, and have eight GOOD ENGRAVINGS every week, that would be one to each page. Such a work, without any other effort than that made by booksellers would soon find a most extensive circulation. But I would not leave it to find its own way; it must not be a party affair, but be devoted to the great work of raising man socially, mentally, and morally; and for that reason, all who engage in it must forget their minor differences, and devote themselves to the great work of doing good. I would, therefore, commit this work to four of our greatest societies, unsectarian in their character, viz., the Religious Tract Society, the Temperance Society, the Sunday School Union, and the Society for bettering the Condition of the Working-classes. Let a committee be formed out of the committees of these societics for managing this publication, and let the societies abovenamed become jointly responsible. If such a plan were adopted, the success must be immense. I do not say there would be a profit arising from such a publication. I do not intend or expect there would; but as to the moral influence I think it cannot be comprehended; the lowest circulation would be at least three hundred thousand. I think it would probably reach half a million per week! It would reach the peer, and find the peasant, it would become almost as necessary to a household as fire or bread; and with such a circulation it would well support itself. This publication would have the following advantages. It would be as large as any of the cheap publications; it would have more illustrations; it would be on a much better paper; it

would have the support of the four great societies with which it would be identified, and their influence in circulating it would be very great. The proposed object of the publication would secure for it a character that would recommend it to the fostering care of ministers, patriots, and others. These, by their influence, would give it an extensive and efficient aid; and the result would be such as no other single publication ever yet produced. It would carry weekly to the home of the operative and others a pure stream of mental and moral influence, which must of necessity greatly benefit the country. It would have the additional effect of beating the contaminating and polluting trash out of the market, by giving, in the first place, a better article, as regards the material of paper, cuts, and type, and, in the second place, by giving a better article, in the quality of its matter. I do most sincerely hope this plan will receive the attention its importance demands; for I regard it as a project of the most important character. It would reach the workingclasses of every grade, in every part; it would influence women, as well as men, and would also benefit the youths and children. Let me entreat, whoever reads this, to ponder the matter, and calculate the probable good it would



The Church must be regarded as having a twofold duty to perform towards the working-classes; the first in reference to their spiritual condition, the second to their temporal; and it is well worthy of notice that when God had important communications to make, or mighty exploits to perform, He frequently selected men from humble life as His instruments. Thus we see Moses the lawgiver, Joshua the conqueror, Gideon the judge, and David the king, raised from the people. The prophets could also lay claim, in many instances, to the same humble origin; and this was the scheme that God adopted from the earliest times, up to the time that Jesus Christ from the humble and working-classes raised up heroes, sages, and teachers; thus using means adapted to the ends he proposed. These men, by their unflinching boldness and adherence to the truth, struck terror into monarchs, while the common people heard them gladly, not being so far below them in intelligence and capacity as not to be

able to comprehend the force of their powerful words and arguments.

We find that the same class was considered under the New Testament Church; and as the many were those whom it was intended to bless, God used suitable instruments. Thus we find the Lord of life and glory in the rough exterior of a simple mechanic; nor did he make any particular effort to engage the wealthy and powerful in his favour. He commenced his work in a humble manner, aiming at the corruptions by which he was surrounded, and choosing men to assist him whose outward condition was like his own. In this way, with no external marks of dignity, did Christ, the founder and head of the Church, carry on his work while here below. Now what could have been the motive of Christ in assuming this humble exterior, instead of a brighter one? If he had come as a monarch, and been surrounded by all external marks of rank and dignity, his sacrifice would have been equally acceptable to God his Father; but he wished to shew the poor that he sympathised with them. He came to set them and all men an example of patience and resignation, but more particularly those who should name the name of Christ, that from love to him and sympathy to man they might renounce everything to save their fallen brethren. Whilst in the early Church these feelings were in a state of virgin purity, the Gospel spread, converts were rapidly made, and the Cross of Christ was the theme of Christian men, who counted all things but dung and dross for its excellence. In those days the Church was really useful: then did she fulfil her divine commission. The poor had the Gospel preached unto them, and the Church was like a city set upon a hill. Now the Church has lost her first love; and though there are many communities which come up nearly to the apostolic churches, yet, as a whole, the Church is too little distinguished from the world. In one community there is too much dependence on ceremonies and forms, while in others there is a show of pride and pomp, which little accords with the simplicity of the Gospel. I would not here be understood to deprecate every form and every ceremony, or to condemn that which is beautiful; for instance, there should be uniformity in worship. It is unseemly for worshippers during prayers to be some sitting, and some standing or kneeling, while


some are lounging with eyes shut, and others looking about them. This is reprehensible in the extreme. The useless ceremonies referred to, are turning first one way, then another, dressing up in different gowns or robes, the minister being followed by a servant to shut the door, and other useless and foolish mummeries, incompatible with the stirring business of saving souls. Another thing to be mentioned as a tremendous instance of pride, from which perhaps there is scarcely a Church in the country free, but which is a most effectual barrier to the triumph of Christianity in the world; is the disposition to pay court to a man's exterior, and to regard him as valuable in proportion to the respectability of his appearance. To you, who compose the Churches of the country, whatever be your creed, let me freely appeal. Suppose two individuals come to your assembly, the one dressed in coarse clothing, the other in goodly apparel, and with a gold ring; would you not make way for the rich man, while the poor man might stand or look about for any seat he could find? Can the Church flourish while such deference is paid to worldly distinction, and such feelings of pride and pomp are cherished by Christian men? It never can bless the working-classes till they are regarded by the Church as they are regarded by God, who looks not on the outward appearance, but at the heart. Though I would condemn needless pomp and useless ceremony, I have no sympathy with the sentiment too much indulged in, which would make out that any place is good enough for God's worship, and any singing for His praise. Doubtless God will be heard from any place, a cave or a hovel, if we have no choice; but if a body of Christians prefer to serve him in a barn or rude edifice, because they have not sufficient elevation of sentiment to say we will make some sacrifice to have a building in some small degree worthy of the Being we worship, such a feeling is derogatory to the Christian character. God is worshipped in Heaven with every mark of glory. The music of the angelic choir, accompanied with their harps of gold, surpasses the imaginative powers of the human mind. The temple in which the Jews worshipped was magnificently grand: and, depend upon it, where people now say this or that is good enough for God, it is for want of thought. We ought to have places of worship suitable in arrange


ment, attractive in architecture, comfortable as regards their sittings, and well warmed, ventilated, and lighted. The seats should be mostly or all free, and the worship of God should be sup ported by the voluntary offerings of those who are influenced by motives of gratitude to God, and benevolence towards man. The minister should speak the truth in love, fearing no man, for the fear of man bringeth a snare. should faithfully rebuke the rich, warn the careless, encourage the weak, and arouse the slumbering and dormant powers of the flock. He should appeal to their common sense, their feelings of honour, benevolence, and gratitude; and by persuasion, entreaty, earnest and faithful remonstrance, awaken and quicken their consciences; and by sound doctrine build them up in the truth on the sure foundation, Jesus, the rock of ages.


The Church should also lay hold of the working-classes through her auxiliary institutions. These should be as extensive as possible, and worked by suitable agency. They should consist of properly organised societies, aiming at the instruction of the young, in Infant, British, and Sabbath Schools, Literary, Tract, Missionary, and Sick Visiting Societies. A Church that exists without such institutions it is to be feared is dead; as they appear to be the indications of life. It too often happens that individual Christians seek and hope to relieve themselves of duty by fixing it on these societies and institutions but this will not do. The Christian man has duties to perform of a personal character, from which no institutions or societies in connection with a Church can relieve him. I will here suggest one plan in reference to the poor members of our various Christian communities who receive relief from the Church. These are generally old and feeble persons, whose infirmities and wants place them in a position to require the bounty of the Church. is often given to the extent of five or six shillings per week, and yet with this sum the recipients remain wretchedly poor. Others again, if the Church is poor, receive even less, in some cases nothing, and are obliged to leave the Church where they have worshipped, and the people among whom they have lived long, and retire to the Workhouse; a place in its name and associations so repulsive that many individuals who have no alternative but the Union or the Gaol, prefer the latter.


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