« PreviousContinue »
Popery and infidelity at the present moment? Why this commotion ? Why this controversy, in which his lordship is taking part? Whence comes it? Does it come from within or from without the Church Establishment? And where is the Church's power to deal with erroDeous teaching and superstitious practices? Is it not notorious that she lacks this power? Have not late occurrences demonstrated this ? That which Lord Shaftesbury seems to regard as the Church's strengthher connection with the State—is her great weakness. Let the Church of England be freed from her trammels —from her subjection to State authority and control, and she would at once become a great power for good, and would be in reality a "bulwark" against Popery. What would Eng. land have been at this moment but for those Nonconfornist bodies referred to by Lord Shaftesbury? It is to them, and not to the Establishment, that we must, at present, chiefly look for the inaintenance of a pure faith, and an effectual resist. ance to Popery and other forms of error.
The Sunday Opening Question has been once more agitated in the shareholders' meeting of the Crystal Palace Company. The advocates and abettors of Sabbath desecration have, we regret to say, obtained another triumph. It is evident a majority of the shareholders have no objection to dividends made out of the profanation of the Lord's day. Whether such gains will, in the end, prove a blessing or a curse is another thing. It is clear we are not yet a pation of Christians. It will be for those shareholders who have a proper regard for the sanctity of the Sab. bath, to decide on what they will do. Can they consistently remain in the company? A destructive fire broke out on Sunday, December 30, and consumed the tropical section of the Palace, destroying property to the amount of £120,000. Better, by far, the whole building should be burned to ashes, than it should become a theatre for national Sabbath desecration !
The Rev. C. H. Spurgeon's church
is a marvel of success. The pastor is an extraordinary man, and his labours for the salvation of souls and the glory of God have been extraordinarily blessed. Not only is the membership of the church unprecedentedly large, but the agencies which have been brought into operation in connection therewith are truly wonderful and admirable, and are accomplishing a very large amount of good. In addition to agencies of a more ordinary character, all of which are very energetically and vigorously worked, there is a class of young men who meet every Sunday afternoon for prayer, exhortation, Bible study, &c. The class is presided over by one of the elders of the church, and is attended by over 200 young men, most of whom are engaged in open-air preaching, house-to-house visitation, and other evangelistic work. Who can calculate the extent of good which an agency like this will effect ? The College for the training of young men for the ministry is a marvel. At a public meeting held a few evenings ago at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Mr. Spurgeon stated that, since the establishment of the College, seven years ago, 106 brethren had settled in different pastorates. Five of these had fallen asleep in Jesus, but not without fruit. Ten settled pastors were still in College completing their term of study. Five evangelists had been sent out, and were labouring successfully in different parts of the country. From reports supplied to him last March, he found that during the previous twelve months the settled students of the College had baptised 1,235 persons, and that there had been a clear increase of 1,461 members in their churches. Some of the students had gone abroad. Mr. Cother had been labouring successfully in the island of St. Helena; Mr. Gillett had sailed for India ; and Mr. Stokes had been sent to Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Funds had flowed in amazingly. During the time the College had existed, there had invariably been money in hand when it was wanted. Mr. Spurgeon thanked all who had taken an interest in sustaining the College, and observed, that if they could only get young men of earnest, devoted piety, they could see po limit to their usefulness. At the same meeting, he made an announcement with reference to his intended Orphanage buildings. He said he had purchased two and a-half acres of land near Clapham Common, on which to erect the Orphanage. A lady had given them £20,000, out of which £8,000 would be spent, and the remaining £12,000 placed out at interest, which would yield £600 per annum. If possible, they would maintain fifty orphans, which would probably soon swell to 100, and then they would raise the number to 200, perhaps 300. He believed the members of the congregation would make the clothes for the boys to wear, and he boped they would find tailors and cloth-dealers who would supply the stuff. The working men, he said, might help by giving a portion of their time to the work of erecting the buildings. He also announced that the almshouses and day-schools, which were to be built close by the Tabernacle, would be sufficiently ad. vanced to enable their venerable friend, Mr. Thomas Olney, to lay the stone very shortly. This is, indeed, and of a truth, Christian work. Theologically we differ from Mr. Spurgeon; but we honour him for his talents, his earnestness, his great usefulness. A thousand Spur geons would soon turn the world upside down.
The New Year's Day deliverance of the Emperor Napoleon, to which great importance is always attached, was more than ordinarily concise, but decidedly pacific in its tone. This is both hopeful and gratifying, and especially as the proposed re. modification of the French army was regarded as pointing in a somewhat different direction.
The French troops have left Rome. The Emperor has fulfilled his promise, and honestly carried out the terms of the convention. It now renains to be seen what the result will be. The Pope delivered a parting address to the French officers, in which he reproached their master, the Emperor,
for having deserted him. The old man evidently feels his helpless position, and looks on his temporal power as being virtually gone. It is only a question of time. The heart of staly pulsates with joyous feeling. Victor Emanuel has made a capital speech to his Parliament.
The position of matters in America remains much the same. The reconstruction of the United States is among the most vexed of unsolved problems. We hope for the best.
Whilst, however, there is a large amouut of unpleasant political excitement in the States, the existence of which is to be deplored, the cause of the Redeemer, we are thankful to say, continues to prosper. ." The churches of this country,” says a New York correspondent of Evangelical Christendom, " are fully alive, as never before, to the great task which God in his providence has laid upon them. In faith and works they are outstripping all tbat they have done before. The war has not left our churches weak and distracted, but rather firm and vigorous. They are more compact, and, as a whole, better organized than before. And this is the case with each and all the denominations. The increase in membership, from the revivals of the last spring has been 102 925 sonls but the increase in zeal and working power has been much larger. The Methodist Centenary collections, which at first were put at a million of dollars, is expected to amount to one million pounds; and a very large proportion of this amount will be given to their institutions for academical, collegiate, and ministerial training; and this sum does not include the large amounts raised to pay off the encumbrances on church property. They will soon have a well-appointed theological school pear this city; one gentleman, Mr. Samuel Drew, has promised some 250,000 dollars for this purpose. The Baptists, within a few years, have received, from private benevolence, very nearly a million and a quarter of dollars for colleges and theological schools, and movements are in progress wbich will demand about half a million more, for like objects in this energetic de
nomination. In this heightened zeal sion of their sympathy with the for public, and especially for religious, Presbyterian Church in the colony, education, we find one of the best added much to the interest of the auguries for our future unity and session. The Assembly brought its well-being. Tbe able secretary of sittings to a close on October 23. the College Society, the Rev. T. The first General Assembly of the Baldwin, at the recent anniversary Congregational Union met in Sydney of that association, gave a full report on the 16th of October. There of what had been done for education were twelve ministers and thirty lay during the past five years. The delegates present. The Rev. John aggregate of contributions exceeded Graham delivered an able and eloseven millions of dollars; two mil- quent address on the principles lions of this having been given during maintained by the denomination. the past year. The same liberal A variety of important matters were spirit shows itself in other directions." brought under consideration, and These are noble movements, and every the proceedings are described as Christian man must wish them God- having been characterized by much speed.
unanimity, There are interesting items of in. The important question of educatelligence from Australia. We speak tion is being earnestly discussed in not now with reference to the labours the colony. The “Public Schools of our own respected agents in Bill ” is opposed and denounced by that colony-labours which God has the bishops and clergy both of the greatly blessed, but with respect to Church of England and of the other matters. On the 10th of Church of Rome, but has been apOctober, 1866, the General Assembly proved by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New of the Presbyterian Church, the South Wales commenced its annual Congregational Union, and the session. This was the first meeting Wesleyans, through their Committee of the General Assembly since the of Privileges. It is stated with time the union was consummated, considerable confidence that the in September, 1865; and as that Bill is likely to pass the Colonial event was the return to one united Legislature. church of parties who had been long O ur CHINESE Mission,-Blessed divided, and, in several instances, be God for the "good news" conhad maintained a protest ope against tained in the January Magazine, and the other, it was with considerable also in the Missionary Chronicle, in anxiety that the time for the review relation to the glorious work of grace of their first year's combined labours that has broken out, through the was anticipated. The result was instrumentality of our agents, in found to be most satisfactory. The China. The intelligence will have progress of church extension had sent a thrill of juy through the been far greater than anything that Connexion. With eager and longhad been accomplished by the Pres- ing interest will the fuller account, byterians in their former divided from the pen of the Rev. W. N. Hall, state. The discussions which took be anticipated. Surely our Mission place on various questions, proved in China has the seal of Heaven's that no differences of opinion could approval and smile upon it. More destroy that growing purity of heart agents will be imperatively required; and oneness of soul of which the and if more agents, then more money. union was the outgrowth, and which But the money will be well spent. its reacting influence had only in. May the great work go on! Who creased and strengthened. The can tell to what extent we, as a presence of the Rev. J. 0. Dykes Denomination, may have to bear a (late colleague of Dr. Candlish), from part in the evangelization of that the Free Church of Scotland, and deeply interesting country, with its of the Rev. George Mackie (of more than four hundred millions of Melbourne), from the Presbyterian blood-redeemed souls ? Church of Victoria, and the expres- Some interesting cases of conver
sion are reported, from North India, by the Church missionaries. One of these, in Calcutta, is that of Boroda, a young man who belongs to a family of cousiderable respectability. and the nephew of an earlier convert, whose influence is supposed to bave had much to do with Boroda's decision. He has had much persecution, especially from his father, but remains steadfast. Another case is that of Hasa Ali, a Mahometan, who, baving left Sultan pore, in Oude, for Azimgurh, in order to learn English, was brought under Christian in. fluences, and though his “bitterness against the Bible was for some time extreme," it gave place to conviction of its truth, and he sought and obtained baptism. In a third case, Chand Khan, a sepoy of Her Ma. jesty's army at Gorruckpore, and nominally a Mussulman by religious profession, has been brought to Christ, together with his wife. Menaces and bribes have alternately been employed to induce them to recant, but in vain. Father, mother, and son, an intelligent little boy, were baptized together, the names taken by the three respectively being, Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. In another instance, in Burdwan, an unbelieving wife, who for thirteen years had lived apart from her husband, on account of his having em. braced Christianity, bas returned to her home, received Christian instruction, and been admitted into the church by baptism. Other instances of a similar character might be given. The baptism of three interesting converts, in connection with the Free Church Mission, is reported from Bombay. Favourable prospects are also reported by the United Presbyterian missionaries, in the Todgurh district (Rajpootana), where the prejudices of the people are evidently giving way. There are likewise similar reports from Ceylon, South and Eastern Africa, Polynesia, &c. May the truth as it is in Jesus everywhere prevail !
January 7, 1867. L. S.
THE CELESTIAL SCENERY
OF THE MONTHS.
II.—FEBRUARY. In the former article attention was directed to the constellation of Oriou and its immediate neighbourhood, as some of the most conspicuous objects of the celestial vault during winter. Perhaps the next most striking constellation is the Great Bear, or Ursa Major, also called Charles' Wain and the Plough. The position in the heavens occupied by this group of stars is important, as by it we are enabled at all times to find the place of the north pole. Any one who examines the heavens attentively will not fail to notice the gradual advance of the stars from east to west in the course of an hour or more. This phenomenon is entirely owing to the daily revolution of the earth on its axis, which causes an apparent motion of the celestial bodies. It is evident, if this be the case, that some point of the heavens will be stationary, from its being the pivot on which the whole firmament turns. This point is called the north pole, and is visible in the latitude of Great Britain. In southern lati. tudes there is the corresponding south pole, but invisible in our island. The place of the north pole can be readily found when once the constellation Ursa Major is recognized. Let the observer turn his back to Orion, and direct his gaze to the north-west, when he will notice the group of seven stars commonly called Ursa Major. The two upper stars (of which the first to the left ip our diagram is called Dubbe, and the other Merak) are called "the pointers," because they always point to the Pole Star, which is the star alpha in Ursa Minor. A reference to our diagram shows the Little Bear to be an inverted form of Ursa Major. These two, with several neighbouring constellations, are called “circuinpolar stars," from their ceaseless revolution round the northern pole, while they have the peculiarity of being visible throughout the year.
Immediately over our heads is the constellation Auriga, or the
GOD 18 LOVE.- Let heaven and earth unite in blessing and praising his glorious name.
Wagoner; and if an imaginary line be drawn from either Bellatrix or Betelguese in Orion to the Pole Star, it will pass near Capella, the brightest star in Auriga. Capella is situated at an equal distance from Orion and Ursa Minor. Looking at Ursa Minor, it will be noticed that the two stars which occupy a corresponding place to that of the “ pointers" in Ursa Major, together with the Pole Star, are the brightest of the seven visible to the naked eye. The number of
Perseus, also in the Milky Way. Near Perseus is a remarkable star, Algol, in the Head of Medusa, which changes its apparent brightness at regular intervals, shining at one time like a star of the first and second magnitudes, then decreasing to the fourth, and then returning to the first magnitude. In the annexed diagram, dotted lines are drawn to the two stars, Algol and Capella: the zigzag dotted lines enclose the Milky Way. There are several other stars of variable brilliancy in the northern hemisphere.
Ursa Major, Capella, Perseus. Algol. stars visible in Ursa Major is 87;
While speaking of the circumpolar in Ursa Minor, 24; and in Auriga,
stars, it will be interesting to the 66. Near the bright star Capella, a
reader to know the results of the portion of the Milky Way may be
efforts of certain modern astronomers traced by the naked eye: its breadth
to find the distance of some of these is narrower here than at other parts.
objects. In a future paper we hope Let the observer now take the
to represent by diagrams the methods apparent distance of the square of
by which this wonderful problem is the Great Bear from the Pole Star,
solved. The annual revolution of and on the opposite side to Ursa
the earth round the sun causes us to Major he will notice a group of six
be 190,000,000 miles nearer any of stars having this shape. This is the
the fixed stars, than when the opposite point of the earth's orbit is reached. Yet this amazing distance makes no difference in the size of the fixed stars, although a slight increase in the disk of the planets is perceptible. The reason will be evi. dent when the reader is told that the most recent researches make the
Pole Star to be at least 3,078,582 constellation Cassiopeia, so called times the distance of the earth from from its supposed resemblance to a the sun, wbich is 95,000,000 miles ! lady sitting in a chair: there are Capella is thought to be 4,484,021 about 55 stars in this group, which times more distant than the sun. At also is situated in the Milky Way. this incredible revelation the mind Let now an imaginary line be drawn almost staggers with the immensity of from Bellatrix in Orion to Cassiopeia; its own conceptions. If these spark. this line will pass near the clusterling gems are so distantly situated, called the Pleiades, between which what must be their size, to render and Cassiopeia is the constellation them visible to spectators on the