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government, and cannot be assumed by tion is both inferior in quality, and less it without deteriorating and debasing the in amount than if the matter had been people, and probably, in the end, enslav- left in the hands of the people; while, ing them. It is impossible to relieve at the same time, popery is directly and men from any portion of responsibility assiduously fostered, and is flourishing which Providence wisely and beneficently accordingly. So the Patriot, which proimposes, without, in a variety of ways fesses to have peculiar means of infordoing them an injury. It would be of mation respecting the affairs of Ireland, ruinous consequence, physically, socially strenuously affirms. *— With respect to and morally, were government to take Scotland, we believe nearly all the eninto its hands the clothing of the people, lightened and liberal portion of the com-and the feeding of them from huge soup-munity would esteem it ofvast importance kitchens erected throughout the land ; that the religious tests in her universities yet that might possibly be done consis- / were abolished — that the parochial tently with the preservation of some de- schools were dissevered from the kirk, gree of national independence and free- and that the masters were appointed, not dom; but the education of their children for life, but for a limited period of time, by the state would be utterly destruc- and by some reasonably constituted body tive of every thing of the sort. It is of men, instead of the heritors of the maintained, besides, that England does parish possessing the hundred-pound not need an eleemosynary state-educa- qualification. As to what else may be tion—that on the voluntary principle she desirable, there will probably be a diverhas already made provision almost sity of opinion. adequate for the whole population; and that Ireland has been positively injured
* It is but justice, however, to say that Archby her national system ; that her educa- bishop Whately maintains the opposite.
AN ARTICLE TO BE READ EARLY. A GROWING desire to get rid of congre- meet their obligations; and, therefore, gational debt has been awakened of late the efforts which have been put forth, years among the people of the Secession and produced results so creditable and Church. This general desire has been cheering, have been desultory, unimpresgreatly promoted, if, indeed, it has not sive, unrecorded, and unacknowledged. been originated, by the Synod's Board Now, indeed, this state of things seems for Assisting Weak Congregations, who drawing to a close. The Synod, at its in prosecuting the work to which they meeting in October last, listened with deep were called, namely, stimulating, and interest to the first proposal to attack, encouraging, and assisting congrega- systematically and earnestly, the entire tions whose debts were burdensome, to debt resting on the churches of the Seaim at their liquidation in whole or in cession,-and while the Synod has not part,-furnished arguments which it assumed, and does not attempt to exerwas felt reached farther than to that de- cise the same authority, in this matter scription of congregations to which they of paying debt, with congregations who were first addressed, and whose success have not applied for aid to the common furnished illustrations of power and fund, as in investigating into the circumprinciple, which, while it rebuked, en- stances of those who have so applied, couraged the wealthier class of congre- the court has, in virtue of the powers gations to follow and to imitate. From with which it is invested for the gewhatever cause, or variety of causes, the neral weal, not recommended merely, movement has sprung, its stride is now but earnestly enjoined all the congregafirm and unwaveringly progressive; ten tions, who have any debt, to meet in thousand pounds a year being the December of the present year, to consider average at which the unassisted portion the subject of its reduction or extincof our church has been proceeding for tion. some time in sweeping away debt. Hi Scarcely then will you have had time therto, however, the Synod has scarce to peruse this article, and the report * interfered with the debts of those con- which the Board presented to the Synod, gregations who were able, or acted as if when you will be summoned to attend they were able, without assistance to The Report referred to above is annexed, NO. XII. VOL. III.
your congregational meetings. Let all shipload of arguments less pithily supparties ponder the statements of that re- ported. Many of the congregations, port, and laying aside all objections and however, as we have said, are likely to difficulties, which, disguise it as you will, come to the consideration of the quesare only the selfish principle speaking tion submitted to them, without the through its many mouths, let each man, advantage of much statistical informaand each woman too, reflect seriously tion, well digested argument, or stirring what course is most for the glory of God appeal, beyond what may be obtained and the well-being and enlargement of from their own members—as the subject the church. It is not doubted that is one on which few ministers care about elders and managers, the natural lead taking a very prominent part. It may ers of the people, will lead here. The not be without benefit that, in these ciroffice-bearers, especially the managers, cumstances, we sketch shortly a plan of know and feel in many cases the evil proceeding, and illustrate the capabilities and annoyance of congregational debt; of congregations by a few details. but the congregations must meet—and The first step, then, in every case, will even when elders and managers hesitate be for the elders and managers to meet about starting a scheme, or from most together. This they are enjoined to do mistaken fears propose to raise a sum by synodical authority. When met, they far under what the emergency demands, ought to have the congregational books no one will blame, all will, in an affair balanced-so as to ascertain, not only of this sort, applaud the private member the debt contracted, but the liabilities to of the congregation, male or female, who which they are exposed. The next first commences the list of subscriptions, matter for consideration is, how great a or who demands with generous confi- portion of the debt ought they to recomdence that the sum to be raised be of an mend to the congregation to attempt to amount worthy of the congregation and pay, and within what time. Now in the cause, and such as its members may, settling the first of these two proposiwithout shame, hear named with the ef- tions, they will be greatly guided by forts of neighbouring congregations, all turning up the printed reports of the engaged in the same healthful exercise board during the years of its existence, of striking off their fetters.
-and then, after ascertaining the sums As so much is to be done-done si- raised by the congregations visited, reducmultaneously—done by all--and done ing the question to one of proportionin so short a time, it will be impossible which some of their young people will for the Edinburgh and Glasgow Boards work out for them, if themselves are to give the same efficient aid by depu-pressed for time. The question may be tations which they were enabled to ex- thus put—" If a congregation, whose tend to those congregations who, during members were few, and whose means the last few years, applied for help. small, raised the sum indicated in the Many of the congregations will, in their report, how much ought we, who are efforts, be thrown on their own resources, neither few nor poor, to raise ?"_or, not or those of ministers and others within to shame the arithmetical powers of the the same presbytery; and much might young people aforesaid, let us make our be done in this way. The office-bearers problem still simpler, and it might run -both clerical and lay—in our church thus: “If a weak congregation of 150 are somewhat familiar with the proceed members subscribed L.200, what ought & ings at such meetings. They are apt, congregation, not weak, of 300 members however, if not hitherto engaged in the to raise?” The answer of course I work, to be too easily deterred, or to mention it while the young people are rest content with an effort short of the casting it up on their slates,- is, “ If you mark, but they can, notwithstanding, do allow nothing for diversity of circum. much to assist; and a minister and elders stances, but look only to numbers, the belonging to a congregation whose debt congregation, not weak, will raise L.400; has already been greatly reduced or ex- and if you do allow for this diversitytinguished by some such method as is add as much more as may meet the case." now proposed, are invaluable auxiliaries This result, or something like it, may for stirring up others. The single fact assist the office-bearers in determining which such advocates state—“ We were the question of amount, and then as to in debt, and by our own exertions are the other query with which they set out, now free ;" and the single argument “ Within what time should the subscripbased upon it—" What we did, that also tions be called up?" we again warn them may ye do,"—is worth a bushel or a of another error into which persons in their circumstances are apt to fall, and closed for the evening, the congregation that is, in supposing that the work will be should instantly appoint collectors to visit easier accomplished by spreading it over the absent members, and probably to a large space of time. The fact is, people call in passing on those who have already get tired of an effort of this kind, which subscribed, and who may, on after repossesses few of the attractions connected flection, or consulting with the folks at with missionary labour, the stimulus, in home, be disposed to enlarge their conthis latter case, being kept up by the fresh tributions. The business is now in a intelligence, which nerves to a continu- fair way; it has got a good beginning, ance in such well-doing; and it will be and we know how far that goes to ensure generally found that the effort to throw a successful result. From that time foroff debt may be best finished at once, or ward let each man make the matter his spread over a period of half a year, and own; let all keep talking over it; let it should rarely extend to a twelvemonth, be spoken of as a thing which must sucand hardly ever beyond. There is just ceed ; let the people shake hands over one other point on which the office- the affair every time the collectors report bearers should be prepared. They have progress, and that success will crown ascertained their debt ; they have re- their labours, who can doubt ? solved how much of it they will recom- On examination of the report of the mend to the congregation to pay off, and Board already alluded to as presented within what time; and they must now to the Synod in October, it will be notalk over the sums with which they indi- ticed that the great mass of the congrevidually are to start the subscription. gations of the Secession have debts not Much depends on this. If, after the de- exceeding L.400. Now it may guide tails are laid before the people, and the the efforts at which we have pointed, to recommendation to pay off so much debt consider what demand is really made is adopted by a show of hands, the sub- upon a people, if we suppose a single scription papers be not produced quickly, case which can be easily adopted by the and the thing get a hearty and liberal necessary alterations to suit any actual start from those men who should lead case. Suppose a congregation of 300 here as elsewhere, let it not be wondered members have a debt of L.300, and they at if an entire or partial failure be the propose to pay the whole in six months; result. If the people take to yawning, well, if they will never work with spirit. Begin 50 Members will give 2s. a week each, the subscription at 5s., and you will this will produce
L.125 scarce have a higher sum on your list: 100 do give ls.
125 begin it with L.20, and you will have half 100 do. give 6d.
62 a dozen of contributors at L.10. | 50 unable to contribute at all
The elders and managers having now arranged the preliminaries, and having 300 Sum realized in six months L.312 for the previous eight days been active Here is the entire debt raised, and a in pressing upon the attention of the few pounds over for the missionary somembers, the necessity of turning out in ciety, and nobody will say that he has great numbers to the meeting, are glad been oppressed or impoverished by the to find, on proceeding to the church, that sacrifice he has made. It is proper, the attendance is good. The proposal however, to state that these calculations previously agreed upon, is stated to and are given with a view to convince all urged upon the congregation, with all and sundry that a congregation is equal the earnestness of men desirous to suc- to a far greater effort than many persons ceed in enlisting their brethren in the who will not take time to reflect supcontemplated onslaught on the debt. pose ; but we would mislead rather than Objectors, if such there be, are treated guide congregations did we thereby pro. with all forbearance, and a few explana- duce the impression, that because were tions, frankly given, will probably disarm the burden equally borne, it would fall their opposition, and convert them into lightly on all, therefore the highest subactive supporters. Then follows the scription any one need give should be show of hands, pledging the people to settled on a scale like the foregoing, engage cordially in the measure, while There are members of churches who will the subscriptions begun, not afterwards, not be moved to part with money freely but at the time and on the spot, will at whatever the object; and there are faonce stimulate and guarantee an effort milies whose heads, and some of whose which shall prove no sham one. Imme-members, may be connected with a diately after the work of subscribing has church, who are apt to club their contributions. For these and other short-adherents, and for members so poor as comings allowance must be made, so to be unable to contribute at all; there that, laying aside mere calculations of still remain 100,000. Would it be thought the kind indicated, and proceeding to a prodigious effort-a thing to make a this great work with a generous feel- boast about—a thing to make the world ing that it is connected with the cause wonder—if we were to expect that of this of Him · who became poor, that we grand total of contributors one-half, or through his poverty might become rich, 50,000, would give a halfpenny a day; let each give as the Lord hath pro- this would produce L.38,020 a year. spered him.
And if the other 50,000 There is a consideration, too, which would give a farthing ought not to be lost sight of, and which a day, it would produce 19,010 , should have great weight with indi. viduals in inducing them to give with Total per annum, L.57,030 a full hand, and it is this—that unlike What think you of the treasurer's estimissionary or other benevolent contri- mate now? Do you think our resources butions, it is not to be repeated. Once are exhausted ? Oh, is it not matter of done, it is never to be done over again. It bitter rebuke to us, and a consideration is debt extinguished-extingnished for which ought to bring the blush upon our ever. It is the breaking of the chains cheek, that our contributions to missions by which your energies have been bound, have hitherto been on so low a scale and whose fragments you mean not that the L.10,000 demanded of us, and to weld again, but to cast from you, re- whose amount may startle some, is at joicing in your emancipation self- the rate of about a quarter of a farthing achieved.
a day from the members of our church, It were out of place and superfluous after deducting the poor and other nonto repeat here the arguments and motives contributors ! which ought to induce congregations to Up, then, brethren, and at the debt. get rid of their debt, these having been It stands in the way of every thing. It already discussed in the report so often pesters you with its ceaseless annoyances; referred to. Some persons fancy, doubt- it brings a reproach on you and your less, that the energies of our church are cause; it hinders you giving as liberally being taxed sufficiently already, and that as you wish to the great and growing more is beginning to be demanded of her work of missions; it is a thing of which for missions and other kindred objects no good and much evil may be spoken. than she is equal to. There could Away with it, then. Our missionary scarcely, however, be a greater mistake; church, like a gallant vessel, is preparing and we shall prove our position by a few her guns and manning her decks for calculations, which, we venture to assert, action; and what is it makes her swim will satisfy the greatest alarmist that so heavily? what encumbers her crew as ever made a guess in the dark. The they tread her boards? Why, nothing synodical treasurer, in making an esti- but these great chests full of mortgages mate for the ensuing year of our mission- and bonds and obligations of every name. ary undertakings, large and expensive as Overboard with them is the cry, then; these are necessarily becoming, and in- and overboard they are disappearing cluding in the estimate the fund for in- fast; and as the waves close over the creasing small stipends, &c., showed that last fragment that remains to encumber a sum of about L.10,000 was required. and annoy, men shall trip lightly and Now we know that a great deal is done joyously to their work; the lightened and much money expended on missions, craft will swim gallantly in the waters, which don't fall under the cognizance of equipped and eager for her voyage, and the Synod at all; but making allowance carrying, not the meteor-flag of England, for this, let us see whether, in reaching but the broader banner of universal this L.10,000 demand, we have done brotherhood, on whose ample folds are “ what we could” to meet the emergen-I inscribed these glowing words, -" Glory cies of the times. The number of mem- to God in the highest, on earth peace, bers and adherents of the Secession and good-will to men.”. church is 140,000. Deduct from this
JAMES GREIG. total 40,000 for persons who are only EDINBURGH.
Stirling, 83 ; Edinburgh, 132 ; tray, 140_Whitby, 91
Congregational Union of Eng-
of Scotland, .
10 CRITICAL NOTICES :-
Barnes' Notes, 464-Bogue's
Essay, 74-Biley's Supple-
ment to Paley, 128-Biblical
Review, 316 - Brown's
Comfortable Words, 568
Cheever's Lectures, 178, 568–
Christian Philosophy, 218
D'Aubigné's Discourses, 123
Dobbie's Funeral Services,
67-Dyer's Memoir, 501
Women of England, 176
-Foster's Life, 554-Free
Church Magazine, 333, 423,
-Fisher's Gallery, 319
462 — Henderson's Minor
Prophets, 70 - Heroine,
(The), 24-Hodge's Atone-
ment, 319—Heugh’s Por-
Family Prayers, 464-Jef-
frey's Discourses, 563_Je-
suits, The, 506