« AnteriorContinua »
Strictures on Mr. Wright's Tract on the Prodigal Son. 395 tion of the same Being who governs dable the opposition, when it is made the world by his providence, it may sufficiently palpable to the interests of be safely intrusted to him for security. the people, it must secure a rational Besides, man has been often called a triumph. With the warmest wishes religious animal, which implies either for so useful a consummation, I now the adaptation of religion to his nature take my leave of the subject. and condition, or a certain pre-dispo
W. W. sition in his mind to connect himself with its concerns; so that, as soon as
Bristol, he becomes convinced of its impor
July 7, 1823.
OU from the State to enforce its obser- credit for sincerity when I say, vances. A political religion is equally that no one who is acquainted with our inefficient as the guardian of public valuable Missionary, Mr. Wright, and morals. For the proof of this, a refe- with his inany excellent and useful rence may be made to the state of works, can hold either him or them in society, high and low, in large towns a higher degree of estimation than and cities, and also in country vil- myself: and such is my opinion of his lages. In numberless parishes, there candoúr, that I think he will be far is no resident minister to inspect the from disapproving my wish of telling conduct of the people, who see nothing him, through the inedium of your of their legal instructor but when he pages, that I have always been disvisits them to collect his tithes. It is posed to view tlie character of the notorious that the tolerated sects, Elder Brother, in the beautiful parawhich are no expense to the public, ble of the Prodigal Son, in a light are the most efficient instruments in directly opposite to that in which it is reforming the manners of the com- represented in No. 46, the last publimon people, and that this is effected cation of the Christian Tract Society. solely by the arts of persuasion. With Taking the parable as a plain relathe higher orders they have nothing tion of facts, simply as they are told, to do, but whatever excesses are com- are not the feelings and conduct of the mitted by them, these lie at the door Elder Brother such as might naturally of the Established Clergy.
have been expected from a correct and Viewing the present state of public virtuous character? Returning from feeling, it is scarcely to be expected the field, where, we may presume, he that the dissolution of National Church had been employed in overlooking and Establishments is very near at hand; directing the concerns of his father's but the progressive improvements that farm, he hears music and dancing, are taking place in society, by means of and calling one of the servants, ineducation and the circulation of know- quires what these things meant. He ledge, give us reason to expect that is informed that his brother, that bromuch may be done towards their ame- ther who, after having demanded his lioration. The Church of England, full share of the family possessions, supported as it is by legal sanctions, departed into a distant country, and in addition to the force of prescription, there wasted it in riotous living, was and defended by a numerous body of returned home, and that his father had well-paid advocates, will always be killed the fatted calf, because he bad opposed to the reformation of abuses received hiin safe and sound. either in Church or State. But the Observe here, that no mention was Church is dependent on the civil made of the deeply-humbled and penipower, and the latter must be guided tent state in which he came back, upon so important a subject by public therefore the rejoicing which he heard, opinion. It must be the wish, there- and the feast which he finds is prefore, of every enlightened friend to paring to celebrate the return of a religion and liberty, to see such a sys- profligate young man, might well tem of instruction brought forward as excite a degree of virtuous indignawould be less objectionable in its con- tion in his breast-might well cause struction, and more efficient in its him to be angry, and refuse to go in. result. In furtherance of this object, Then came the father out and entreated it is in the power of every one to con- him ; but before he could explain the tribute his inite; and however formi- grounds upon which alone his conduct
could be justified, with the impetuo- good and excellent; and the hearenly sity which in youth frequently attends Parent, the Searcher of hearts, could the worthiest characters, the son thus not have been deceived by outward gives vent to the strong feelings of appearances, nor is a shadow of suspihis heart :.“ Lo, these many years do cion respecting the sincerity of the elder I serve thee, neither at any time trans. brother even binted at. 'Indeed, the gressed I thy commandment, and yet father's address to him, upon which I thou never gavest me a kid, that I must still further dwell, precludes all might make merry with my friends; possibility of hypocrisy in his characbut as soon as this thy son was come, ter. “'The hope of the hypocrite which hath devoured thy living with shall perish,” but the Lord of heaharlots, thou hast killed for him the ven and earth says to the man who fatted calf.”
transgresseth not his coinmandments, What now is the reply of the good “ All that I have is thine.”
“ Well and wise father? What is the dis- done, good and faithful servant, enter pleasure that he expresses in return thou into the joy of thy Lord.” for this hasty remonstrance? “ Son, With respect to the Jews and Genthou art ever with me, and all that I tiles being figured by the two brothers, I have is thine!" Can language convey cannot perceive the most distant ground a more decided testimony of ire of affinity between them. The Jews approbation? “ All that I have is were throughout their whole course thine !" Does it not say, thou shalt “a rebellious and stiff-necked peothyself apportion the share that is be- ple”-a people whose hearts no blessstowed upon this deeply humbled pe- ings could melt and soften into gratenitent ? " All that I have is thine;" ful obedience; into whose unfeeling but “it is meet that we should make bosoms, a series of the most astonishmerry and be glad; for this thy bro- ing miracles wrought before their eyes, ther was dead, and is alive again, and and for their immediate benefit, could was lost, and is found.”
inspire no steady faith, no abiding conThe whole of this relation appears fidence, in the mighty arm so manito me beautifully to display the kind festly stretched out for their guidance and merciful disposition of the father, and protection. What point of rewithout throwing the slightest imputa- semblance can be found between this tion of blame upon the son, who had people and the elder son in the paranever departed from the path of recti- ble? Nor can I discover more betude, never transgressed his father's tween the Gentiles and his younger commandment; and to represent it brother. The prodigal is supposed to in any other light, seems to encourage have shared equally with his elder son the false, dangerous and demoralizing in all the advantages which a wise and opinion which is already too prevalent good father naturally bestows upon with many of our orthodox brethren, his children. But were the Gentiles that a returning sinner is more accept- favoured with a revelation inferior only able, more precious in the sight of the to the Christian ; and did they despise benevolent Father of all, than the man and throw it from them? And, afterwho, as far as our frail nature will wards, when in consequence of this permit, has from his youth up, been rejection they were reduced to the perfect and holy before him.
lowest state of misery, repent and If, as is most apparent, our great return to God? No shadow of likeTeacher intends to represent the Al- ness appears, and surely none can have mighty under the character of the been intended. father in the parable, can the son, who The plain and single object of the “ never at any time transgressed his parable seems to me to be a just and commandment,” be other than the beautiful display of the feelings of the most excellent of human beings ? Almighty Maker towards his creatures, “ Therefore,” says our Lord, “ there- and of his gracious dealings with them. fore doth my Father love me, because To those who seek him early," who I do always such things as please him.” keep innocency and take heed unto To obey the commands of God, we the thing that is right,” who like must be well aware, not only includes “ Noah, Daniel and Job,” have been an abstinence from every kind of evil, perfect and upright before him, he but the regular practice of all that is gives the glorious fiat of his full ap
Extract from a Letter respecting the Massacre at Cyprus. 397 probation--"Son, thou art ever with distinguished excellencies of the holy me,” hast never departed from the way father Cyprian, the archbishop of our of my commandments, and "all that island, the government of which deI have is thine.” But, “it was meet volved upon him in virtue of a privithat we should make merry and be glad, lege attached to our archiepiscopal for this thy brother was dead, and is His disinterested generosity, his alive again, and was lost, and is found.” genius, his ardent pursuit of every There is much and just cause for species of virtue, the austerity with gladness; this thy brother, who was which he exacted of himself the fuldead in sin, is become alive unto filment of his duties, and the conderighteousness. He who was lost in scending sweetness of his manners, the profligacy of vicious transgression, had rendered this extraordinary man in the regenerated state which humble an object not only of respect and veneand sincere repentance has brought ration to the Christians, but of esteem about, is found again, and joyfully and affection to the Mussulmans themreceived into favour.
selves; for to them he had rendered MARY HUGHES. important services, having even saved P.S. I should scarcely have courage to
the lives of many who had incurred the offer this paper for insertion, differing resentment of their rulers. He enwidely as it does from what I esteem joyed, as far as it was possible in our high authority, were I not well as- unhappy country, the reward of his sured, that should it call forth any
wise conduct; and the terrible events reply, it will be dictated in the true which had successively taken place in spirit of Christian meekness; and the capital of the empire, had failed were I not well convinced that the
to disturb the tranquillity of our author of the tract before adverted to, island, in consequence either of the is as truly desirous as I can be, that pacific temper of the people, or of the the parables of our heavenly Teacher vigilant superintendence of the archshould be examined in every possible bishop. Suddenly, however, the Mulight, that we may be enabled with hassil (Turkish governor) presented more certainty to ascertain their true
himself to the holy father, and on the meaning.
authority of the Sultan's firman, required that he should cause all the
Christians to deliver up their arms. Extract from a Letter, written by an Inhabitant of the Isle of Cyprus, requisite orders for their delivery; and,
The archbishop immediately gave the echo had escuped the Massucre of to prevent alarm and confusion, he the Christians.
sent his own officers to accompany the (Translated from the French, for the Turkish officers who were appointed Monthly Repository.)
to search the houses of the inhabitants. ORE
UR beloved country is stained A change of conduct was visible as
with the innocent blood of our soon as the Muhassil was possessed of Christian brethren, shed hy the hands the Christians' arms: assuming an air of barbarians! It is the duty of such of authority, he deprived the Archof us as have been suffered, through bishop of his power. The Turks, the interposition of Divine Providence, excited by him, began to invent the to elude the tyrant's grasp, to conse- most atrocious calumnies against the crate the memory of those illustrious Christians ; accusing them, for inwarriors, and to expose to the world stance, of having mixed the flesh of the inhumanity which_has doomed swine with other provisions in dinners them to destruction. Every country of which they had invited them to parof Europe, every nation of the earth take five years before; of having had which still cherishes heartfelt religion, intercourse with the wives of the Turks; which has not utterly renounced the and of other crimes of a similar nature. venerable attribute of reason, must On the strength of these chimerical shudder whilst listening to a recital of charges, a considerable number of the horrible calamities that have be- Christians, many of them ecclesiastics, fallen the inhabitants of our island. were imprisoned. The Archbishop Not the tender and pitiful alone, but expostulated with the Muhassil, and the hardest heart must surely melt at demanded the enlargement of the priscenes of such overwhelming misery soners. The Muhassil replied, that
You are well acquainted with ihe - the greater part of them had been executed, and that those who remained most scrupulous obedience to them. had with difficulty obtained the pro- The Archbishop answered, that he mise of their lives on condition of should ever continue to inculcate on paying a large sum of money. Al his children the sentiments which he though the raising of this sum com- had invariably taught them. This depelled the relations of the imprisoned claration did not satisfy the Governor; to make an extraordinary effort, they he gave the Archbishop to understand presented it immediately; but they that he must offer some guarantee for found that the promise of the perfidi- his own political conduct: with strong ous governor had been given merely feeling the venerable man replied, that to extort their money, for as soon as the esteem in which he had always he bad received it, he gave orders for been held by the people, and even by the massacre of his unhappy prisoners. the Porte, who had entrusted to him
The Archbishop beheld with indig- the superintendence of the whole nation this union of fraud and cruelty, island, as well as the incontestable but far from obtaining satisfaction, he proofs which he had repeatedly given was fated to see his Archdeacon load- of attachment to the Sultan, suffied with irons, and a horrid persecu- ciently attested his loyalty and firmtion commenced against his nephew, ness; nevertheless, to prevent any Cyprian Theseus. The latter, how- pretext for suspicion, he disdained not ever, by making immense sacrifices, to offer in favour of his own conduct obtained means to flee from his perse- the testimony of all the Mussulman cutors, and thus escaped the destruc- authorities of the island; these, from tion with which he was menaced. The the Mufti down to the lowest class of fury of the execrable tyrant then public functionaries, eagerly came forburst on the head of Leondius, the ward to add weight to the protestasecretary of the late Grand Vicar, his tions of the Archbishop: The Muhasfather, who was put to the torture sil professed to be satisfied, and denine days successively, to compel him clared that, on his part, he would to discover the retreat of Cyprian The- never violate his promises; but to seus; and after nine days of martyrdom reward him for undertaking to render the venerable ecclesiastic died in the an account to the government of Conmost dreadful torment. The Arch- stantinople of the good conduct of bishop, agonized at the miseries to the Christians of Cyprus, he exacted which his beloved children were con- the moderate sum of 100,000 piastres; tinually exposed, remonstrated against and this demand could not be refused the conduct of the Muhassil, who con- at so critical a moment. He then sidered himself sufficiently excused by augmented with his own soldiers the protesting that, under the present number of the Archbishop's guards, circumstances, it had been impossible under the pretence of more firmly to avoid falling into some errors re- establishing the public tranquillity: specting the unfortunate sufferers ; thus this monster was preparing to and that Cyprian Theseus had been execute his villanous design. A few pursued only for the purpose of mak- days. after, he requested the Arehbiing him relinquish some arms of great shop to convoke all the clergy, who value, which he was said to have re- were the principal persons of the tained when the others were delivered country, saying, that he had orders up. He now set at liberty the Arch- from the Sultan to communicate to deacon, after having extorted from them, and affairs of the highest politihim a present of 15,000 piastres. cal importance to consult thein upon. Moreover, he gave the Archbishop a All who were convened well knew the solemn promise that the Christians perfidy of the barbarian, and suspected of the island should thenceforth enjoy the horrid act of treachery which he perfect tranquillity, adding, that he meditated; but how was it possible would personally guarantee the per- for them to escape, since lie had placed formance of all that had been pro- in every port considerable bodies of inised. He, however, required of the troops, brought into Syria from St. Archbishop an assurance to the go- Jean d'Acre? Still they might hope, vernment, that the Christians should by means of further sacrifices, to allay make no insurrectionary movements the storm which was gathering over against the Turks ; and that they were them; especially as they were conready to pledge themselves to the vinced that the Turks must be satis
Mr. W. Turner's Reply to " Remarks on a Particular Providence,” 399 fied with the blameless conduct of the After the murder of his innocent superiors of the place : on the follow- children, the holy father himself was ing day, therefore, all the clergy as- led away to be sacrificed, whilst resembled, according to the orders of signing his soul into the hands of his the Muhassil, who, having placed a Creator. This horrid crime caused large number of foot-guards on all the most profound grief in every Christhe stairs of the palace in which they tian breast. In the mean time, the had met, gave the command for a Turks abandoned themselves to all general massacre, even in the presence sorts of debauchery, and committed of the holy father. That venerable the most detestable crimes. The Chrisman, full of the courage resulting tians who had escaped the carnage from hopeless misfortune and from and taken refuge in their churches, the hatred of tyranny, addressed the found not their altars that inviolable impious governor in these terms :- asylum which religion, even amongst “Of what crime can you accuse the the least civilized of the human race, hapless victims whose blood you seek has always made them : those altars, to shed? If after obtaining from us so often sanctified by the most august unlimited sacrifices ; if after reducing mysteries, were defiled by every act of us to the most distressing indigence; the most brutal obscenity. Small is if after stripping our temples of their the number of those who escaped the most precious ornaments ; if after fury of the barbarians; even the Eucompelling me to contribute to all the ropean Consuls were obliged to take necessities of the government, by hea- refuge on board their ships. vy exactions from my poor children, Such were the scenes which passed your fury is still insatiable, on me let in our isle on that fatal day; and such your wrath be turned, on my head the scenes daily passing in some part alone let your vengeance fall, and of our country. The memory of our spare, oh! spare the blood of these calamities will descend to the latest innocent men! Forget not,” conti- times, inspiring just and implacable nued he, “that there exists a God hatred of the cursed race of Mussulwho beholds the actions of man, and mans; and all the Christian world who judges with rigid equity !"- will pay the tribute of commiseration The barbarian, interrupting him, re- to those illustrious victims who fell in plied, “ Never has my heart been the cause of their religion and their more engaged in a work appointed country. for me; and I lament, profane wretch, These fearful events took place on that I cannot in this place, and at this the 9th of July, 1821. moment, before your eyes, subject every Christian to the same fate. I trust, at least, that not one of these
SIR, York, July 4, 1823. dogs that are present
escape me.” The massacre then began, and the OUR Mr. Lucsainted hierarch stood, with paternal tenderness, commending his beloved occasion, from a remarkable incident sons to the mercy of the Eternal. in Mrs. Cappe's Memoirs, to present
Various questions were afterwards your readers with some observations addressed to the Archbishop, which
on what has been called a particular he disdained to answer; but he de- Providence ;-a subject on which he clared that he had been guilty of no
thinks the amiable and excellent aufault except a too invariable' fidelity thor had formed very erroneous opito the Sultan, whom too late he ap- nions. The same passage has sugpreciated, and who had never merited gested a similar train of thought to a the homage he had paid him. Then writer in another valuable periodical with deep anxiety for the salvation of work, the "Inquirer," whose remarks those over whom he had watched, he upon it closely resemble those of your humbly implored for them the mercy correspondent. As it appears to me, of God; and he prayed earnestly that notwithstanding the objections which the history of these calamitous events have been urged with such minuteness might rightly impress the heart of and variety of detail by these writers, every monarch who worshiped the true that Mrs. Cappe's argument is correct God.
and philosophical, and her application