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peculiarly distinguished in several in- and general censure that there was no stances by a recurrence to sound prin- attempt made to re-enact it. At the ciples :)f legislation, both of a moral sanie time, the duty of protecting miand political kind. We mentioned nors from improper matrimonial conwith much satisfaction in our last wesions was sirongly felt; and a clause Number the concession of some high- was, in consequence, admitted into the ly important principles on the subject bill introduced by the archbishop of of Slavery; the recognition of which Canterbury, to render the marriages we trust will lead to important results, of minors without consent voidable, and we have no doubt will eventually though not void, at any period withbe followed by the entire extinction in a year from their celebration. An of that opprobrious state of society earnest debate ensued on this clause, throughout the British dominions. - which was finally, and we think most The abolition of public Loiteries after wisely and properly, rejected. We the present year, which has been an- believe, indeed, that marriages, in nounced by the chancellor of the es. which there exists between the parlies cheyuer, is another iriumph of sound a very marked discrepancy of years or moral principle over fiscal policy, or education, or even of birth and fortune, rather'mistaken views of policy; for are seldoın favourable to happiness ; we cannot admit that what is wrong but we do not think that a legislature in principle is ever in the end really is warranted in unsettling a must sofor the interest of the public. We hail lemn and religious contract in order the deference thus paid to moral prin- to exclucle this evil. Preventive meaciple, in a case which had hitherto sures, if not over-rigid, are doubtless been viewed, by too many of our states. wise and expedient; but we are permen, only as a matter of financial re- suaded that Divine Providence ingulation, and we rejoice in it, not so tended to commit the detail of these much for its own sake-though we matters to the natural friends and would not overlook the flagrant evils guardians of youth, and not to naattending the lottery-as for the be- tional legislatures. Where parents neficial intluence of such a precedent, educate their children morally, pruin its application to various other sub- dently, and religiously, with a just jects in which the morals of the peo- restraint over their passions, and a ple are concerned, and above all as sense of propriety and duty, there will iending to place the measures of a be little need for legislative enactChristian government on the only ments; and where this vigilance is basis on which we inay scripturally wanting, a parent has no right to ask look for and implore the blessing of that the laws of God shall be superthe Almighty:-The debates on the seded, and a most sulemu religious Marriage Bill have also been strongly contract broken, to suit his wishes. marked by an admission of important The artificial distinctions of lite are principles, which for many years had generally strong enough of themselves been sacrificed to short sighted views to preverit very frequent infringements of expediency. We defer giving the of their conventional institutes ; and provisions of the bill now before whatever evil may happen to follow parliament; as many of its features their infraction, ought to be borne by have been modified, and may yet be the parties, and not obviated, or at further altered during its successive tempted to be obviated, by separating stages. We shall present an outline those whom, however inexpedienily of the act when it passes. The point united, the laws of God would declare in to which we chiefly allude at present be firmly joined together. The intended is the nullity or duidlability clause. To forfeiture of the property acquired by remedy the evils arising froin im• an exceptionable marriage stands on imprudent marriages the act of George far other grounds. It is a civil punish. 11. made all marriages of minors by ment for a civil delinquency; but the license, without consent of parents sacred and religious boud of marriage and guardians, absolutely void, and is not to be sported with for any such the children illegitimate. This prović secular considerations. sion was a flagrant violation of the We may next mention the proceedlaws of God respecting marriage, for ings which have taken place in parliathe sake of a very questionable advan- ment respecting the Criminal Laws, as tage; and, as might be expected, it another marked advance towards the produced many and aggravated evils. : admissiou of soqod principles in a This provision had incurred such just most important branch of legislation. We do not indeed think that the pledge trate much of the intended benefit of held out last session on this subject the bill as respects poaching; and we has been by any means redeemed by are persuaded that it would have been the introduction of Mr. Peel's bills; better for the landowner himself that but still his admissions, far more than game should at once have been made the intended enactments, are impor- the property of the person on whose tant. It is also consoling to reflect, grounds it is nurtured, -as he might that while the legislature is graslually, make his bargain with his tenant ac, however slowly, retracing its steps, by cordingly, and both would have
an repealing former exceptionable enacte interest in preserving the game,
The inents, we are not likely in future to bill has also some very arbitrary have constant additions, as in former clauses. It is however so far an apdays, to the number of our Draconic proach to a better system, that it statutes. Sir James Mackintosh pro. opens a lawful inarket for an article, posed taking away the punishment of which, while unlawful, caused innudeath for larcenies in shops, dwelling, merable lireaches of law on the part of houses, and on navigable rivers ; for the buyer as well as the seller. Poachhorse-stealing, sheep-stealing, forgery, ing may continue, or even increase, returning from transportation, break- under any change in the law, unless, ing down the banks of rivers, and with the new facilities for disposing some other offences. He wished also of game, an interest is given to occuto repeal the “ Black Act;" to abolish piers of land in preventing it; but the forfeiture of property in the case still, in an article which it is known of suicides; and to provide that judges the public will have per fus aut nefas, should not pass sentence of death in it is a sound principle to open a door any case in which it was not intended through which the market may be to be inflicted. The extent to which supplied without crime. There is, at government has felt it right to go at all events, less temptation left to represent is much more limited; Mr.
sort to smugglers, instead of the fair Peel's bills doing nothing more than trader. repealing those penalties which had, Some further commercialımeasures are in point of fact, become merely nonii- under the consideration of parliament, nal. We are glad to find, however, founded on a recurrence to just pripthat Mr. Peel has provided for the ciples; particularly one for suffering abolition of the unwise and painful the interest of money, like other com mockery of pronouncing sentence of modities, to find its own level ; and death where it is not intended to be another, lowering our import duties in carried into effect. We trust that favour of the produce of such counevery new session will witness other tries as shall be willilig to make a ameliorations of our criminal code, reciprocal concession to us. Should vill it become what policy and Chris. it be said that subjects like these are tianity alike demand that it should be. not within the province of a Christian
A bill is in progress through parlia- Observer,we reply, that we rejoice, as ment to make Game a saleable article. Christians, to witness whatever leads The dealers are to be licensed, and to good will and useful intercourse beare to purchase their game only of tween man and man, and, above all, persons qualified in virtue of landed whatever tends to diffuse those principroperty, excluding even leaseholders ples of friendly neighbourhood, and of of 150l. per annum, who are otherwise equitable reciprocity, which, as Chrisqualified This restriction will frus- tians, we are bound 10 cultivate,
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
1. I. ; Mina; S. W.; A Young INQUIRER; A. A.; and CLERICUS CORNUBIEXSIS;
ha been received, and are under consideration.
which Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
appear on all sides to have
been for a considerable period in"HERE are some persons whose creasingly opening upon the world. over, as too unimportant to deserve of the various societies in our metheir regard, the prefaces of the tropolis, in our country at large, and books which fall in their way. As throughout the world, without very I am not of this number, I venture sanguine hopes that these are some to say, that such readers are guilty, of the instruments and messengers in this practice, of a wrong, both to employed by our gracious Lord, to the authors and to themselves ;-to advance towards its long-desired the authors, who have often some- crisis the universal extension of that thing of moment in relation to their blessed dispensation, whose motto works to communicate in the outset, and whose spirit are, “Glory to God or who, at all events, would not in the highest, and on earth peace, write a preface, if they did not wish good will towards man.” I also acit to be read; and to themselves, companied you in the regrets natu. because not seldom there are some rally awakened in every Christian circumstances and considerations, bosom by the symptoms of our frail the only appropriate situation of mortality, which, in so many inwhich, in a book, is the preface, stances, have betrayed themselves, but which are still material to the not in the principles or the institutions object, the intelligibility, and even to which you allude-for in these the interest of the work. For my. there is, I trust, an imperishable self, I can say, that frequently I vitality--but in the indefatigable have been furnished with a gratifica- agents by whom those principles tion amply to recompense my obsery, have been evolved, and those soance of my rule; and you must al. cieties chiefly sustained Weari low me, Mr. Editor, to remark, that ness, not in well-doing, but in the among the prefaces which I never exhaustion caused by the toil ; sickpåss over without attention, and a ness, which wastes the best comsomewhat serious attention too, are pacted frame; and death, who will those which, from year to year, are not be deluded of his victims, how. contained in the Appendix to the ever busily or laudably they may be Christian Observer: and my object, engaged, have all assaulted, and in these prefatory remarks, is to in- must continue to assault, the latroduce an expression of pleasure bourers in every Christian work. in reference to the observations at Men who have devoted the spring the conclusion of the preface to your time of life to the furtherance of the volume for last year.
cause of God, and have been perI dwelt with delight kindred to mitted to outlive the summer, bearyour own on the rapid march of ing the burden and heat of the day, Christian benevolence, on the ex- have necessarily been overtaken by tension of the labours of religious the decays of autumn, although not zeal, and the auspicious prospects before their harvest has been ripe CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 259.
for the celestial garner. It is an in- haps only for the purpose of exhibitstance of great mercy in the heaven, ing the same model of formality in ly husbandman to spare us such return? The value of a holy and conmen so long: but in mercy to them- sistent example is not to be underselves, at last they are resumed, valued ; and no member of our be“ God having provided some better loved communion will think the less thing for them."
of it, but rather the more, if that exIn such visitations as these, it ample is found sanctioning in a spiis natural for those who have la- ritual manner, and with a peaceful boured with them, be it but one regularity, an attendance on all the hour or the whole twelve, and not ordinances which our Established less natural for those who have Church provides ; but if a man's rebeen the recipients of the religious ligion carry him little beyond the benefits which they were the ho- regularity which is dictated by noured instruments of diffusing, to custom, and the orthodoxy of even cast around an anxious inquiry, Who evangelical sentiments, it will leave shall advance to the vacated posts him far behind what our infinite in these “noble armies” of zealous Creator requires, when he says, Christians? Whom have they left be- “My son, give me thine heart." hind to whom their mantle may have Perhaps the habitual recollection of fallen, that they may with it smite this simple text of Scripture, and an the waves which
the progress investigation of our state with refeof the cause of God ?
rence to the demand which it makes It is in this view particularly that upon us, is one of the safest tests to your appeal to the “sons and daugh- which we can bring our religious ters of sainted sires"—the members profession. of a new generation, whose parents In connexion with that interesting have ceased, or are soon to cease, class of individuals to whose notice from their earthly labours in the this paper (written it may be by one rest of heaven-is highly important. of their number) is especially adIt may not be unseasonable, and, . dressed, namely the children of rewith the Divine blessing, not unpro- ligious persons known to the world fitable, to dwell a little on the consi- in scenes of benevolence and piety, derations which flow from this affect- the importance of the statements ing subject; and, in order that my under consideration appears greatly observations may assume something increased. Trained from their earof arrangement, I shall offer a few liest infancy in the ways of God, reflections on the duty which, in accustomed from the first dawn an especial manner, devolves on of reason to the holy light of the the individuals to whom these re- Gospel, it might be hoped that those marks apply; first, to devote them- 'ways would always appear to them selves to God, and then to dedicate the most excellent," and that light their mosť zealous efforts to the the purest and the best. It is a promotion of his kingdom and glory subject of thankfulness, that this among mer.
does happen with quite a sufficient With regard to the first of these frequency to verify the assurance points, it is indubitably clear that that a child trained up in the way religion is a personal concern. If he should go, will not, when he adChristian piety be good for any vances in life, depart from it; but thing or any body, it must be good the subtlety of the human heart enfor a man's own self. . We hear, in- trenches itself in such numerous deed, at times of persons going to delusions, that a real knowledge of their church merely for the sake of our character is not attained with example : but where can be the uti- out much humility, and prayer, and lity of setting before others an exam- enlightened penetration. We are ple which, if copied, is copied per- too often willing to take our estimate of it by any measures but those quaintance with the human soul which may possibly expose us to for evidence of the fact ; · Lord, the humbling disclosure of our ag- thou knowest all things, thou gravated sinfulness. We flatter our- knowest that I love thee?"" This selves, perhaps, with our relationship is undoubtedly a close and serious to parents whose name and memory way of viewing the matter, and are dear to the church of Christ: may perhaps be thought better we trace with self-gratulation our adapted for the application of a descent from a religious ancestry: sermon than for the present paper : the members of our own family are but I trust my clerical readers will truly Christian : we may have our- not be offended if I have obtruded selves a reputation for religion; and for a moment on their office; and may even be the bosom friends of that my lay brethren will not think the the most spiritually minded follow- less seriously of these considerations ers of a crucified Saviour ; but not on account of their coming from any one, or even all, of these cir- one of their own order, and their cumstances, would be conclusive as not appearing in the too much to our personal piety. The first great slighted shape of an address from question returns, “ Has the demand the pulpit. The inquiry suggested, of God for our own heart been com- come in what shape it may, is inplied with ?"_There are many in- finitely important. Can I trace the timations in the sacred Scriptures indications of a true Christian in which shew the necessity of this my temper, my tastes, my dispocautious self-scrutinizing spirit; and sitions, my pursuits; in my conwhen we hear that “one of a city duct as respects my business, in my and two of a family shall be brought family, in my social and public interto Zion,” the evident implication course?” Every other test is inadethat some will be left, should in- quate. We may know every term in stantly prompt the self-suspecting the Christian vocabulary; for, with inquiry, “ Lord, is it I?” What a religious education, this informathough we may belong to a family tion is soon acquired; but mere where the love of God is shed abroad knowledge does not constitute us in the hearts of many of its mem- Christians. We may boast of an bers; what though our departed pa- intimacy with the most exemplary rents felt it, and, in the ardent flame servants of God; our early habits which it kindled, ascended as in the may even have induced a disinclinachariot of Elijah to heaven ; what tion for an opposite cast of connecthough some of those who have tion : but still all this is but an equigrown up with us from the tender- vocal testimony. We might have ness of infancy, in the bonds of fra- lived in earlier times, and have ternal and sisterly affection, may known the Saviour himself in the experience its sacred glow; all this flesh; but even that would have will to us be nothing, if we our- been of no avail for our salvation. selves are not like minded. The very In the Great Day a claim of admitthought that it is possible that all tance to the heavenly glory will be may not be such, should stimulate presented by this very class of each individual to ask, “ Have I characters, and will be disallowed. just reason to think that if my Lord “ We have eaten and drunk in thy and Saviour were to descend into presence, and thou hast taught in our little circle, and to go from our streets.” But He knew them heart to heart with the question not. Thus privileges of a very high which he once put to his most zeal- degree may have been enjoyed ; ous disciple, · Lovest thou me?' and even duties of an arduous kind I could without hesitation adopt the have been performed (and this points reply of that disciple, and appeal more closely to the subject of the to his perfect and undeceivable ac- present paper): “ In thy name have