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in the dissenting ministry strenuously exerted their best powers to maintain the title of the House of Hanover to the throne of these realms, against the successive rebellions of the Roman Catholic adherents of the exiled princes of the Stuart family, so the present crisis demands of this body the faithful employment of the best influence it possesses to avert the calamity now impending; and therefore it resolves to present petitions to both Houses of parliament, founded on the first and second of these resolutions, and to urge upon all the representatives of the metropolitan cities and boroughs, and of their adjacent counties, not to lend their support to the unprincipled measure about to be introduced to the House of Commons.
THE STATISTICS OF RELIGION IN THE CANTONS OF SWITZERLAND. THE lovely cantons of Switzerland have been visited with the horrors of a civil war. The public journals inform us that the whole Helvetic confederacy is convulsed, and that "every canton from the Rhine to the Rhone, and from the Jura mountains to the Italian lakes is under arms," and that war is almost inevitable. For this state of things, the governments of Europe have to thank the restored Jesuits who have poured into Switzerland, and have produced by their intrigues respecting education, &c., the unnatural and perilous excitement we describe.
At such a moment it will be interesting to our readers, to possess a list of the cantons, with the relative numbers of Protestants and Roman Catholics in each :
Making a total population, with 1,755 Jews, of 2,177,485.
With the rival parties so nearly balanced that the Protestant population only exceeds the Roman Catholics by 410,012, it is obvious that without foreign intervention, the civil strife may be long and cruel.
Let us pray that God may preserve the Protestant churches of Switzerland in the true faith, and that these troubles may be blessed to the recovery of those who have fallen into Socinian and Socialist errors.
BRIEF NOTES ON PASSING EVENTS.
THERE has been a remarkable dearth of Foreign news during the past month, and a few sentences will be sufficient to note the passing events of other lands. The resolution of the Senate of the UNITED STATES, respecting the annexation of Texas, and which filled the friends of humanity, on both sides of the Atlantic, with alarm, has not been received with favour by the Texian government, and it is said that the American terms are treated with contempt and scorn; so that it is highly probable that that measure, which seemed pregnant with mischief to the liberties of millions, may miscarry after all. On the Oregon question, our statesmen have plainly declared their purpose to maintain the rights of Great Britain, even by an appeal to arms; and it is to be hoped that the language used in Parliament by the leaders of both political parties, may induce President Polk to consider whether peaceful negociations are not to be preferred to the uncertain results and certain crimes of war.
In SWITZERLAND, blood has been shed in a frightful conflict between the free corps and the citizens of Lucerne, which took place before the walls of that town, when the former were defeated, some hundreds being killed and wounded, and more than 1,000 taken prisoners. It is hoped there will be no further violence, but the Cantons are still in a most excited state, and the thoughtful dread foreign intervention, for they have been plainly told by Prince Metternich "that a government which does not possess sufficient power to master its subjects, and to prevent them carrying, with arms in their hands, murder and pillage into the territory of an inoffensive neighbour, does not deserve the name."
The Chambers of FRANCE have before them a bill for the amelioration of the condition of the slaves in their colonies, and which we would fondly hope is the precursor of their complete emancipation.
Throughout GREAT BRITAIN one subject, and one subject only, has engrossed the public mind,—the unexpected developement of the secret purpose of the leading statesmen of both parties in Parliament, to quiet IRELAND by the endowment, first of the College of Maynooth, and then of the Romish Priests in that country,-a purpose which, at least, makes plain two things-the frightful lack of Protestant principle that exists amongst our senators, and their utter ignorance of the deeprooted abhorrence of the English people of all fellowship with Rome.
Although thousands of petitions have been presented to the House by the members, and their constituents have beset them with letters, memorials, and deputations, yet they not only refuse to obey their instructions, but in many cases have been pleased to ridicule and revile the feelings of those they profess to represent, in a manner that cannot be forgotten. Mr. Cobden, the advocate of free trade, has called the opposition "a pettifogging, paltry persecution." Mr. Macaulay, the Edinburgh essayist, has declaimed against "Exeter Hall, and its bray," against "the prejudices and passions of hot-headed Protestants," "the fierce bigotry of intolerance," "the devil of religious animosity." And Messrs. Sheil, Ward, Roebuck, Hume, and other quasi liberals, have joined in mocking the religious convictions of England. The bill was read a second time on Saturday morning, April 19th, after a debate which extended over six nights, by a majority of 323 to 176. Since then it has been in committee; and the motions of Mr. Ward, and Mr. Law, have been also disposed of by the same tyrannical majority.
What the results may be, the Omniscient ONE alone can tell; but of this we are quite sure, that the reckless course our senators are taking will rapidly call into action principles that have long lain dormant, and which may, ere long, bring on another national crisis which will make unprincipled expedientists, both in church and state, deplore the day that they trampled upon the hereditary and inwrought feelings of the British people against popery and tyranny in every form.
THE COLLEGE CONFERENCE PAPERS.
THE "Minutes of the Proceedings of a Conference of Delegates from the Committees of various Theological Colleges connected with the Independent Churches of England and Wales," which was held in the Congregational Library, London, on Tuesday the 7th, and Wednesday the 8th of January, 1845, are now published. They contain, besides the "Explanatory Memorial" by the Rev. A. Wells, twelve very able papers on various parts of our collegiate system, written by some of the most accomplished scholars and best divines of our body. These are inserted in their respective places in the report of the proceedings; but there, we fear, they are not likely to excite that attention which their high merits demand.
The Rev. Robert Hall used to say, that if you wanted to hide a thing, the surest way was to insert it in a report! Now, as we earnestly wish that these papers may not be hid, but that all our ministers and intelligent laymen may become familiar with their important contents, we intend to reprint them in the present volume, and to add occasional notes, illustrative or confirmatory of the subjects discussed.
On the Importance of securing for the Students of some of our Theological Colleges, the full literary benefit and advancement to be gained by their affiliation with the University of London. By the Rev. J. P. Smith, D.D., F.R.S.
It will be permitted me to say, that the holding of this meeting, unexampled in the history of the academical institutions allied to our churches, is a judicious measure, and will, we trust, be an instrument of the Divine goodness in advancing the prosperity of those institutions. The propriety, and, by inference, the duty, of founding and support
ing such seminaries, may be argued from the existence of the schools of the prophets under the Old Testament dispensation, the conduct of the Lord Jesus himself in training by his personal instructions those whom he had chosen to "bear his name" to the world, from the spirit and even the letter of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and from the experience of the general body of Christians in all following time. There are various evidences of the fact in the early ages; and not the least is derived from the prohibition of the apostate emperor against Christians instructing their youth in heathen literature, the means which he took for enforcing his commands, and the surprising literary exertions of the Christian teachers to counteract the pernicious influence of Julian's measures. That unhappy man showed sagacity in the whole proceeding. His arguings are remarkably similar to those of some in our own days, who would proscribe the literature of ancient Greece and Rome. He maintained that it was absurd and inconsistent for those who did not honour the gods to read the writings of Homer and Hesiod, Herodotus and Thucydides, Demosthenes and Isocrates; and he adds, "Let them go to the churches of the Galileaus, and interpret Matthew and Luke." He interdicted the teachers, who would have pursued their course, already begun and confirmed, of confuting Gentilism by weapons drawn out of its own armoury; but he affected generous tolerance and philosophical liberality, in his permitting and exciting the Christian youth to study in the schools taught by the heathen masters, avowing his hope that such teaching, in the hands of such tutors, would bring the unwary pupils to imitate his own example, to renounce the Galilean, and erect again the temple and altars of the gods. It is interesting to observe that one who was very nearly the contemporary of Julian-Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian-confutes the sinistrous adversary, and vindicates the study and use of universal learning, by some of the very arguments which we, in the present day, are called to bring forwards.
The convictions of the immortal leaders of the Reformation are declared by their pains and labours in the improvement of existing schools and universities, and in the founding of new ones. Luther and Calvin, Zwinglius and Melanchthon, with scarcely an exception among their coadjutors, were zealous and conspicuous in this work, which they regarded as second only to the prime duty of the Gospel ministry-the preaching of the word; or rather as a necessary part of that ministry. Powerful testimonies to this effect might be collected, to an almost boundless extent, out of their writings. The next to universal sentiment of the Puritans and the Nonconformist confessors of our own country, was thus expressed by one of them, Thomas Hall, ejected from King Norton "That the knowledge of arts, sciences, languages, history, and all sorts of human learning, in subordination to divinity and preparation for the ministry, is excellent, very useful, and needful, for a
minister of the Gospel."-(Vindicia Literarum, 1654.) "Learning," he says, "sanctified and rightly improved, is an excellent means to bring down Antichrist's kingdom. Errors were never higher, and truth never lower, than when ignorance prevailed and learning was suppressed and contemned; when it was suspicious for a man to have Greek, and heresy itself to have Hebrew. Popery never fell till learning rose; [for] it is a dark religion; it grows and spreads itself by ignorance and barbarism."-p. 15.*
Considerations such as these, and their manifold alliances, have furnished the reasons to many of the evangelical Dissenting academies, or colleges of England, for thankfully availing themselves of the opportunity afforded by our late Sovereign, and her present most gracious Majesty, in the grant of a charter to a body of distinguished noblemen and gentlemen, constituting them the chancellor, vice-chancellor, aud senate of the University of London, for the promoting of learning and science among all classes of the subjects of the crown. Following this example of enlightened liberality, her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased, in the first year of her reign, to revoke the former charter, and to issue another with modifications and improvements; declaring its objects to be "the advancement of religion and morality, and the promotion of useful knowledge, and, for that purpose, to hold forth to all classes and denominations, without any distinction whatsoever, an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal course of education;" appointing also "the senate, for the purpose of ascertaining, by means of examination, the persons who have acquired proficiency in literature, science, and art, by the pursuit of such course of education; and of rewarding them by academical degrees, as evidence of their respective attainments, and marks of honour proportioned thereunto."
The motives for seeking this union with the University of London have been, not merely duteous loyalty and gratitude, but a conviction that the act was required by a just regard to the interests of Christianity and vital religion.
Other academical institutions, professing sentiments in religion which our most solemn convictions regard as contrary to "the faith once delivered to the saints," were zealous and prompt in applying to Her Majesty in council for admission to the proffered privileges. Had our more scriptural and evangelical institutions declined those privileges, the inference would most assuredly have been drawn, that either our doctrines themselves, or our methods of inculcating them, are such as
*It may be added, that a learned, able, and pious ejected minister, Edward Reyner, M.A., of Lincoln, whose "judgment was for the Congregational way,” published in 1663,-"A Treatise of the necessity of humane learning for a Gospel preacher," &c.: in which he pleads for a whole encyclopædia of learning, critical, scientific, historical, and philosophic.--EDITOR.