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Church have been held during the month, at which the interests of vital Christianity have been largely dwelt upon, and reverently discussed. The first was a special meeting, held at the Congregational Library, to take into consideration the spiritual condition of the metropolis as revealed by the Census Returns.' It appears to have been largely attended, but great differences of opinion existed amongst the speakers-differences, however, in many cases traceable to their position and standing. Mr. Binney, who preaches to a respectable and intellectual audience, condemned open-air preaching, and thought the great deficiency in our present services was their want of taste.' Mr. Newman Hall, with a practical knowledge of the condition, wants, and prejudices of the working classes, rightly considered that open-air preaching was one of the best means that could be adopted, and carnestly advocated the employment of lay talent. Mr. Tyler made an excellent suggestion, that some discourses might be illustrated by pictures and diagrams, and so be made more attractive to working men. The resolutions passed suggested to the churches their responsibility, and urged the adoption of the following means :- It would, therefore, urge upon the brethren generally the importance of local meetings for conference and prayer, in relation to the wants of their own neighbourhoods,—the revival and increase of Christian Instruction Societies,--the increase and invigoration of home missionary operations,—the employment of additional Congregational missionaries by churches capable of this outlay,—the establishment of prayer-meetings in outlying districts, — the greater encouragement of lay preaching,—the employment of the mechanics'-halls, lecture-rooms, and theatres, for the stated or occasional preaching of the gospel therein, as well as in the open air,--and the more vigorous and systematic use of all means likely, under the Divine blessing, to teach the ignorant and to save the lost.' These are just the means suggested some four years ago by the anthor of the British Churches '-a book which, for its very remedial suggestions, was unsparingly condemned by very many of those who held up their hands for the above resolution. We are afraid that Mr. Kennedy touched the secret spring of all the wants of proper success in Christian effort in moving the following resolution :— That the great evil now lamented calls not only for additional efforts, but for increasing prayer, on the part of the churches, that they strive to awaken among themselves a sense of their obligations, in the midst of such circumstances, to perform their duties in diffusing Divine truth among the multitude.'—The members of the Congregational Union meeting at Newcastle discussed the same subject, Mr. Baldwin Brown dwelling on the necessity of each existing church being instigated to do the work requiring to be done in its own locality; and Mr. Charles Reed calling attention to a fact which has been altogether forgotten or overlooked, that the Church, by means of Sabbathschools, has the great bulk of the children of the working classes, at one time or other, under its influence.' He added :- Let efficient means be employed to keep the elder scholars of our Sabbath-schools up to the ages of sixteen or seventeen, and depend upon it, that large numbers attending these schools, who, under the present system, go off again into the world, would become the pillars and ornaments of the churches.'
The scattered events of the month are the Frome Election, where Mr. Donald Nicoll, through want of that local influence possessed by his more fortunate opponent, lost the day by three score votes—the decrease in the weekly mortality from Cholera to 113, to which may be put as a set-off the unexpected increase in the price of provisions-corn having got to eighty shillings a quarter, and coals to thirty-three shillings a ton, with a prospect of famine prices in the midst of plenty-the pass of arms between the Netherby baronet and ·W. B.,' in which W. B. went through ancient Pistol's part, and eat the leek'-and Lord John Russell's speech at the Bedford Literary Institution, where his lordship, as a philosophical historian, took the part of England against the historical theorists of the decline of empires. The speech was a happy one, but the noble lord omitted from the statement of his reasons for believing that England was still in the prime of manhood's strength and prosperity, one which to us is more convincing than any he assigned—the growing SELF-RELIANCE of a people who, after a thousand years of national history, are still progressing in liberty, intelligence, moral virtue, and religion, who can look on no past period, and say that the former days were better than these.'
TO CORRESPONDENTS. The following explains itself:
"To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. • Sir,- I request your attention to the following passages:• Baptist Examiner, 1844, page 171, Christian Spectator, August, 1854.
“Here in the inverted mirror of “The diamond-lined perspective of memory we behold the brilliant per- youthful hope, the patience and crisis spective of youthful hope---the patience of virtue-the bursting buds of genius and crises of virtue-the bursting buds - the first flashes and skirmishes of of genins-the first flashing and skir passion .... the forcing-bed of mishes of passion-the forcing-bed of passions-now its scenes are pantomimic character-scenes now pantomimic of of states, then tragical with genuine states, now tragical with genuine sorrow, woes, and always dramatie.' and always dramatic."
• The plagiarism is trifling to be sure-only that of a feir phrases-yet Fould it not have been more graceful and more honest to have used the distinctioa of inverted commas? especially as the writer in the Spectator' has no need to borrow anybody's verbiage if the other parts of the composition are his own.
SCRUTATOE. The writer of the article has returned the following answer to this charge. • My dear Sir,-In 1844 I lived in Sheffield, but I believe on my visit to London I delivered the substance of the paper in question in a Baptist chapel, Commercialroad, to a few young men. I did not, but somebody else may have sent the pieæ in question to the “Baptist Examiner.” At all events, I'll swear to the language and ideas, such as they are, being my own.
R. S. B.' We trust 'Scrutator' will be satisfied with this explanation.'
“G. P. Ivey, Swansea,'-We are obliged for the letter, as well as for the writer's flattering testimony to the merits of the Christian Spectator,' but we cannot reprint the article.
* Box 765, Manchester.'—Many thanks.
ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Advertising Columns, our, and the
Hyksos and Israelites, 359, 490, 567.
Belief, is man responsible for, 663.
Jews and their Synagogues, 509.
Correspondents, to, 64, 195, 327, 402,
Cumming on the End of the World,
Anderson's Ladies of the Reforma-
Cowper, B. H., Scripture Gazetteers,
NICHOLAS GEBELLI ; OR, MY LIFE:
Chap. I., 1.
Aiton, Dr., Lands of the Messiah,
Thoughts, 248. Cornwall, Dr., Science of Arith
metic, 249. Milligan, J., Grammatical Structure,
&c., ib. Maurice, F. D., Doctrine of Sacrifice,
393. Bayne, P., Christian Life, 395. Pierce, W., Ecclesiastical Principles
of Wesleyans, 396. Bouchier, B., Manna in the Heart, ib. Library of Biblical Literature, 396,
840. Cumming, Dr., Plain Papers, 397. Higginson, E., Spirit of the Bible,
526. Knowles, J. S., Gospel by Matthew,
529. Cotton, G., Seven Sermons, 530. Douglas, J., Passing Thoughts, ib. Smith, G., Life Spiritual, ib. Mann, R. J., Life Physical, 531. National Review, ib., 840. Young, B, C., Short Arguments on
the Millennium, 838. Bubbleton Parish, Records of, ib. Reichel, C. P., Lord's Prayer, ib. Autobiography of a Beggar Boy, ib. Introduction to Theosophy, 839. Fordham, G., Age we live in, ib. How to choose a Wife, ib. Macfarlane, J., Altar Gold, ib. Lord, John, Modern Europe, ib. Hand Place-book, ib. American Bibliotheca Sacra, ib. Leisure Hour, 840. Eclectic Review, ib. British Quarterly Review, ib.
New Year's Hymn, 1855, 50.
251. My Harp, 323. Song of a Poor Man from Uhland,
A Proof Man, 650.
In Halcyon Weather, 651.
ment, 340. Powell, Mary, the authoress of, 779. PROPHETS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
I Moses, 156.
IV. Samuel, 760.
Missions, record of Christian, 56, 118,
185, 251, 457, 592, 652, 722, 840. Missionary, Journal of an Episcopal,
230. Morell's Elements of Psychology, 96. Mile End New Town, 434. Macdonald, J., Within and Without, 503. Man's Responsibility for his Belief, 663. Mary Barton, authoress of, 689. Man, the, and the Gentleman, 810. Maurice, Mr., and Dr. Candlish, 166. Moses, 156.
Reader, to the, 855.
398, 462, 531, 595, 659, 726, 847.
America, 36. Swedenborg, Emanuel, 270. Thackeray, W. M., 609, Toller's, H., Lecture on Philippians,
Letters to the źrattered,
BY THOMAS T, LYNCH.
LETTER II. FRIENDS, A profane inquirer cannot be a successful one. If we would form a private judgment of our own concerning Christianity, whether this shall contradict, or confirm and revise, the public judgment of the world, it should at least certify the devout earnestness of our own heart. He that would reason, let him pray. If a man be asking, Is there a God? though he cannot literally pray, that is, come to God, before he knows whether there is a God to come to, his spirit should be so full of dark yearnings, that at the touch of a least spark of faith it should burst into one upstriving flame of prayer. Unbelief ceases to be hateful only when it is wretched. It can never win our love unless it wins our tears. The very question, Is there a God ? if uttered unhatefully, has in it a tone of prayer, as if a man besought the Dreadful Infinite Nothing, that it would cease to be Nothing and be. come Sympathy. Surely, if a man be inquiring about Christianity, he should not meet its historic and spiritual argument with a pitiful sharpness, as if one might fight the terrible battle of life with a pin for the only weapon. We would rather see him throw out his arms in the wildness of despair. There is hope then that he may presently fold them to his breast in resolute composure; or, better still, fold within them an object of tender and trustful attachment. Christianity has become to some like the late ' espoused saint' of our Milton's dreams; lost, and but in dream-like moments restored, blindness and absence return with the pitiless day. If the wife of thy youth, O friend, has gone, she shall come back no more; thou must wait for such new bridal till thy resurrection morn. But Christianity is 'a wife