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Christian Knowledge has no opposition society professing exactly the same principles: the Society for propagating the Gospel has.
This is tolerably strong. But further. Cereticus (such is the euphonious appellation of the Christian Observer's asserting correspondent) is, of course, a member of the Church of England. So we must conclude from the Obscrver's cover. We suppose, moreover, that he is a patron of the Church Missionary Society; he therefore approves the objects of that Society; ergo, he approves those of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; for they are IDENTICAL. Now, suppose the Church Missionary Society had never existed; would not Cereticus have supported the other? By what argument of consistency could he have done otherwise? And if he had been asked, what security have you for entrusting your money to this Society, would he not have said, "the high official names which support it?” And the same argument is applicable to every other member of the Church now supporting the Church Missionary Society. We may therefore conclude, as a matter palpably demonstrable, in despite of Cereticus's " astonishment,” that all the money which the Church Missionary Society has received, would, as a matter of course, have been paid into the treasury of the other;" and the Society would not be 60,0001, in debt.
If Cereticus chooses to evade this plain argument, he will be transfixed on the other horn of the dilemma, which will prove somewhat sharper. If he would not have patronized the Incorporated Society, and does patronize the New Society, THERE MUST BE SOME DIFFERENCE IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE TWO; which no friends of the latter openly avow, but rather the majority reprobate. The Society will no more thank Cereticus for this mode of defence, than they will thank Mr. Simeon for his memorable proposals about the Test Act and the Dissenters.
Mr. Simeon figures too at the Incorporated Society's meetings, and, with that peculiar felicity of illustration which is so perfectly his own, proceeds:
Only let the commanders of our fleet, our ecclesiastical governors, lead the way, and like Nelson send forth through the land a telegraphic signal—“ England expects that every man will do his duty,” and the whole clergy of the land will rise to the occasion, and the laity will catch the flame; and we shall not see any longer in our subscriptions a long list of ones and twos; they will swell instantly to tens and twenties: and with their secret prayers, no less than with their public contributions, will the people of this land unite their endeavours to spread the knowledge of Christ, and, to the utinost extent of their ability, to convert and save the world.
Amen, say we. And let Mr. Simeon, and his friends who wish to preserve a shadow of consistency, prove the sincerity of their aspirations by transferring their subscriptions forthwith from the Church Missionary Society to that for the Propagation of the Gospel.
While we are on this subject, we will set Cereticus right on another point in which he has greatly mistaken us. He says,
Throughout the paper there is obviously much secret disapprobation that the revered Bishop Heber, whom the writer apparently dares not directly censure, should have so warmly promoted the cause of the Church Missionary Society in
India;-a fact which the writer would get rid of by affirming that that distinguished prelate countenanced the Society from the mere necessity of his situation, and upon the very same principle as he is said to have countenanced "the sectarians.” But does not the writer know, that Bishop Heber had attached himself to the Church Missionary Society, and preached for it with cordiality and earnestness, long before he had an idea of being Bishop of Calcutta, and while he had every reason to calculate upon being speedily appointed to preside over one of the dioceses of his native land? If he was ignorant of this fact, how did he feel himself qualified to pronounce so confidently upon the motives which influenced the conduct of one whose sentiments he appears so imperfectly to have known? and supported by what authority has he ventured to injure the memory of that sainted individual, by endeavouring to identify his affectionate and zealous attachment to a society consisting of regular members of his own church, with that amiable toleration, that expansive charity, which he was willing to extend to all who were labouring, even with many differences of opinion, in the same great cause?-P.562.
Now we yield to none in our veneration for Bishop Heber; but we should never have any scruples about " daring " to censure any principle, merely because it happened to be advocated by an illustrious man. Principles in theology and ecclesiastical polity which would not be most welcome to the Christian Observer, have been supported by some of the greatest minds that ever existed. We think the policy (for we have always abstained from impeaching the sincerity) of the Church Missionary Society DEMONSTRABLY wrong; and we no more believe that its rectitude can be defended by the patronage of Bishop Heber (even supposing such patronage unconstrained by circumstances), than that Bishop Heber could have disproved a proposition in Euclid. We certainly were not aware of the fact that the Bishop “had attached himself to the Church Missionary Society, and preached for it with cordiality and earnestness long before he had an idea of being Bishop of Calcutta;” but of this we are confident, that no sensible man, in his situation, could have acted otherwise than he did, whatever might be his sentiments on the merits of the Church Missionary Society. So that our argument stands where it was, and again we say, the conduct of Bishop Heber can furnish no precedent to home Churchmen.
We are not surprised at finding such an advocate as Cereticus accusing us of endeavouring to injure Bishop Heber's memory, by insinuating that he was not heartily attached to the Church Missionary Society. If the disapprobation of that Society, as considered relatively to the other, be a stigma upon character or memory, it is one which belongs to many an individual who never knew another stain; and Cereticus, if it pleases him so far to “injure” us, may append it to our HIC JACET.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURAL FACTS AND CUSTOMS,
By analogous Reference to the Practice of other Nations.
Genesis xxvii. 12.—“And I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing."
AMONGST the oriental nations in particular, we find records of these solemn curses mentioned in Scripture. The curse of a
father was believed to be peculiarly awful, and the furies were appointed to enforce their effects upon the devoted offspring. Thus we find a curious instance in the Roman history, A.c. 54, when Ateius, the Tribune waited for Crassus; and, as the latter marched by, perfumes were thrown upon a chafing-dish prepared for the purpose, on which libations were poured, and the gods were invoked with frightful imprecations to devote him to destruction; and another of more modern date, uttered by Averroes, the Arabian philosopher, against his son, when he intruded himself upon his father, accompanied by some dissolute companions. The old man viewed him with great indignation, and addressed him to this effect:-" Thy own beauties could not content thee; thou hast stripped the wild goat of his beauties, and they who are as beautiful as thyself admire thee. Thou hast got his wanton heart, his lecherous eyes, and his senseless head; but to-morrow thou shalt find thy father will have his pushing horns. Cursed be all extravagancies! When I was young, I sometimes punished my father ; now I am old, I cannot punish my son; but I beg of God to deprive him rather of life than suffer him to be disobedient.” Having denounced him by this imprecation, he retired ; and it is related that the young man died in ten months. In Herodotus, Book III. chap. 75, we find a similar instance of maledictory eloquence, when from the summit of a tower Prexasper precipitated himself, after having solemnly imprecated many curses upon the Persians.
When Gnephactus, father of Bocchosis the wise, was leading an army into Arabia through many barren and desert places, his provision failed; so that for the space of one day he was forced to take up with such mean food as the common people, among whom he then happened to be, could supply him with, which he eat so heartily, and relished with so much delight, that for the future he forbade all excess and luxury, and cursed that king who first brought in that sumptuouis and luxurious way of living; and this change and alteration of meat, and drink, and bedding, was so delightful to him, that he ordered the curse above mentimed, to be entered in the sacred records in the Temple of Jupiter at Thebes; which was the chief reason why the fame and reputation of Menas became to be clouded in future generations. —Diod. Sic. p. 23. See p. 175. Book III.
A Spanish author, in describing the customs of the Floridan Indians after a victory, gives the following curious account of formal maledictions pronounced against enemies :
The Indians returned home elated with their victory. To celebrate it they drove some strong stakes into the ground, to which they fastened their spoils; around these they afterwards seated themselves with their women, and a conjuror then began to utter many extraordinary curses against their enemies. At one extremity of the ground sat three Indians on their one of whom, on every curse pronounced by the conjuror, struck a flat stone placed before him with a hammer, while the other two beat as a drum two ļollow calabashes filled with small stones, expressing their approbation at every stroke; after which they sung and danced, magnifying their victory, praising the courage and spirit of their combatants, and venting reproaches upon their enemies. This is the usual mode of celebrating a victory.- Ensayo Cronologico para la Hist. de Florida, Vol. I. p. 52.
On the occasion of Collections for Building and Repairing Churches.
Ruler of the harvest! we,
Whom thy bounteous hand hath fed,
Truth's celestial living bread:
Scatters 'mid the holy seed,
Grace to meet our mighty need:
That the tiller's crop may spring,
Let thy word its harvest bring :
Cometh of thine hand alone;
All we offer is thine own:
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. We have received a letter, comment- analysis is all that it will be necessary ing somewhat upon the annual Report to supply. The receipts and expenof this and the sister society, with which diture of the Society are precisely we cannot entirely agree; at the same counterbalanced; with the exception time that some of our correspondent's of 815l. 2s.6d. in the hands of the remarks are not altogether unworthy Treasurers, wholly in bills not due at the of consideration. In order, therefore, audit. For several years also the proto forward the wishes therein expressed, gress of the institution has been such we have placed it in the hands of those as to lead some perhaps to suppose who will give it the attention which it that little more is now necessary than merits : and we have no doubt that, so to keep it up to its present level. far, as it is practicable, the defects pointed out in the present instance will on
Yet are there two circumstances confuture occasions be carefully remedied.
nected with this cheering statement which
deserve the most serious attention of the For our parts, we consider the Report,
friends of the Society. It ought to be upon the whole, a highly satisfactory
observed, that notwithstanding its large one; and, except in one or two points receipts, the revenues of the institution are of minor importance, as complete as barely adequate to meet the actual decould be expected or desired. It is of
mands upon them—and that those decourse in the hands of most, if not all, mands, however large, are much less than of our readers; and therefore a brief might be expected, were the services of
the Society adequately understood through- edition of the Family Bible; - the out the country. The former circumstance
printing of a large impression of the is to be attributed principally to the very octavo Bible and Common Prayer in reduced rate at which the Society furnishes
Welsh, in order to meet the increasing its Members with books; and by which
demand for them ;--the admission of the loss sustained during the last year amounts to upwards of 20,0001. The
some new books upon their catalogue; amount of subscriptions and benefactions
the formation of some new committees; within the same period falls considerably
and the grant of 10001. to be at the short of the above-mentioned sum; and disposal of the Primate of Ireland, for the deficiency has been supplied either from advancing the religious instruction of casual legacies, or from the funded pro- the Irish. perty of the Institution. In the mean The number of books and tracts distime, the two latter have been the only tributed during the year is the largest sources from which the Colonial, and other
ever made, amounting to 1,656,066. foreign expenditure has been supplied ;
The operations of the Society abroad from which the moderate and unavoidable
have been instrumental in forwarding expenses of the Society's establishment
the erection of an English church at bave been defrayed; and out of which the
Cape-town. The accounts from Calgrants voted for India must hereafter be paid. The result appears to be that, if the
cutta respecting the native schools are demand for books should continue, and
highly satisfactory, and a plan is in still more if it should increase, without a agitation for the enlargement of the corresponding increase in the subscriptions Mission College. Education is also and benefactions, it will become necessary proceeding rapidly at Madras, Bomeither to raise the price of books, or to bay, and Ceylon; and the sum of limit the quantity supplied to each Mem- 20001. which had been granted to ber. The Society would be unwilling to Bishop Heber, for the repairing and do either the one or the other : and presses
enlargement of churches in the Tanjore the subject upon the attention of the public,
district, has been partly expended for in the confident hope that they will meet
The distribution of the exigencies of the case in the most satis
books in New South Wales has been factory manner; either by inducing an additional number of persons to become
extensive; a lending library has been subscribers to the funds of the Parent In
established at the Mauritius; and a stitution, or by increasing the sums re- grant of Bibles, Prayer Books, and mitted from them in the shape of bene- tracts has been forwarded to the factions.
Island of Ascension. In the Canadas
also, and in Nova Scotia, the exertions Among the domestic proceedings of of the Society have been attended the Society, are the supply of an assort- with the most beneficial results ; and ment of books and tracts, adapted to throughout the West Indies, amidst the use of sailors, to each ship of war much political excitement and great now in commission, by order of the colonial distress, a very decided procommissioners :—a contract with the gress is making in Christian knowledge University of Cambridge for a new and religious education.
SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL, This Society has also just issued its the operations of the Society have been Report. To the state of its funds we peculiarly effective. have had occasion to allude in a pre
New Missions have been opened in ceding page; and we think that nothing can be wanting but an attentive con
several parts of it; King's College, Wind
sor, has furnished several candidates for sideration of its proceedings, to call
holy orders, who promise to adorn their forth all the energies of the country
profession by their learning and their in its support. In the extensive Dio
piety, and be great blessings to the people cese of Nova Scotia, under the inde- committed to their charge; other clergyfatigable superintendance of the Bishop, men, of exemplary character, have entered