Imatges de pÓgina
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of the Gospel. They are multiplied quite fast enough by other denominations. Our system, in its essential strucure, calls for a ministry in whom fervent piety, and ample ntellectual, literary and theological furniture are united. But, besides the character of our system, the period in which we live demands such a ministry, more imperatively than any preceding period. The state of society calls more loudly every day for mature scholars, able divines, and powerful writers. Such men have it in their power to do far more good than any others. And when our ecclesiastical judicatories, or our individual churches forget or disregard this fact, they are undoubtedly trifling with the best interests of the Redeemer's kingdom. The following summary, then, of the suggestions contained in this letter, I could wish to see inscribed on the walls of every Theological Seminary and of every church;-on every place of meeting of all our ecclesiastical judicatories;-and on the heart of every professing Presbyterian.

1. Do not imagine that every pious young man is called to be a minister. Many to whom God has given his grace, can serve him better out of the ministry than in it.

2. Let those only among our converted youth be prompted and encouraged to seek the holy ministry, who, in addition to undoubted piety, have good talents, prudence, and those physical capabilities which qualify them in some good degree to be public instructors.

3. Let no young man be, on any account, taken up by any Presbytery, or Education Society in connexion with the Presbyterian Church, who has made up, and publicly expresses an opinion hostile to our public formularies.

4. Let every candidate for the ministry, to whom it is practicable, be persuaded to go through a complete course of academical and collegiate study, preparatory to the study of theology. Upon the character of this literary and scientific foundation, more of the solidity and success of his after course depends, than he can now possibly conceive. He who slights this part of his course cheats himself, and cheats the Church of God.

5. Let no youth who has devoted himself to the ministry, diminish aught from a full and regular course of three years' theological study. Let the infatuated habit of lopping off a portion, and sometimes a large portion of this time be frowned upon, prohibited, and as far as possible, banished from the church.

6. Let there be one combined and determined resolution, on the part of all our judicatories, and all our members, to put down the system of premature licensures and ordinations. They are working so much harm to the church, that they ought no longer to be sustained. If young men cannot be prevailed upon in this matter by considerations addressed to their understandings and their hearts, let the judicatories of the church save them from their own infa tuation by authority; and if this cannot be exercised, let the individual churches manifest to such young men their disapprobation, by withholding their countenance, and resolving that they will not have "babes to teach and rule over them."

SAMUEL MILLER.

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TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN.

SIR,

ONE of those scenes on which the eye of the Christian ever rests with pleasure, and which always fills his mind with the most delightful sensations, was witnessed by the writer on Sunday, the 25th ult., at the Tullylish Meeting-House, where the Rev. John Johnston preached his annual sermon to 1800 children, and more than half that number of adults, making in all about 3000 precious souls, who met on the occasion, to hear that faithful minister of the Lord Jesus Christ tell them words whereby they might be saved.

The meeting-house was found too small to accommodate them; they therefore repaired to an adjoining field, and there, in the "temple of all space," one of whose pews is this earth, they worshipped; and seated by fifties and by hundreds on the green grass, heard the Rev. Gentleman address them from the 13th verse of the 4th chapter of Ecclesiastes, from which he showed them what constitutes a wise child, the blessing of being such, and how each of his little audience might become one. That neither a cunning nor well-educated child, merely, could be termed wise; but only the one who feared God, embraced the Saviour, had divine grace, and walked in the path of obedience, in the doing of which he was blessed by God in time, was a comfort to his parents and society,

and had a joyful anticipation of a blissful eternity. That the wisdom which ensured all these blessings might be gained from the word of God, brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit. Anecdotes of good and bad children were occasionally introduced, and questions were put, to rivet yet more strongly the attention of one of the most decorous, grave, and peaceful assemblies I ever witnessed. Neither the novelty of their situation, the beauty of the surrounding scenery, nor the sight of such a vast number, seemed to distract their minds; but they sat, intent only on hearing and answering, as if awed in the presence of Him who filleth immensity.

The mind was, as it were, led naturally to reflect on the circumstance of 3000 being converted in one day under the preaching of the Apostle Peter, and to breathe a prayer to the Most High, that the same number might now, young and old, be brought to love the Saviour, not in word only, but in deed and in truth. It is hoped, however, that many, very many, were deeply impressed with the necessity of attaining divine wisdom; and that when the record of that day's proceedings shall have long ceased to exist on earth, it may be found in the annals of heaven, that many were there first brought to ask the allimportant question, What must I do to be saved? or to learn the answer, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

The above number of Sunday-School children were collected from a space, the most distant point of which is but about four miles and a half from the spot where they assembled, so happily have Sunday-Schools multiplied in this neighbourhood.

A FRIEND TO SUNDAY-SCHOOLS.

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THE changes which have of late taken place in our political administrations, furnish to the friends of religion causes both of apprehension and hope. At no period, within the recollection of any now living, was there more need for union, vigilance, and activity on the part of all who have sincerely at heart the moral and religious welfare of their country. In showing this, it is scarcely necessary to re

mind our readers, that in proportion as any government becomes popular in its form, it is to the same extent placed under the influence of public opinion, and will be good or bad accordingly. This all will admit; but we doubt much whether the great bulk of our sober, industrious, and well-disposed countrymen are aware of the extent to which this is true of the present reformed Par. liament; or whether they have yet been led fully to see how much power is thus committed to their trust, and how responsible they are for the right discharge of it. They are apt to imagine, that whatever be their power during the time of an election, it is from that period on till a return of the same, committed wholly to their representatives; and that as they are thus left without power, so they persuade themselves they cannot be responsible for what is done. This reasoning, however, is at variance with facts, and if generally acted on, will go far to sacrifice the best interests of our country. This will, we think, appear from the following well-known circumstances. First, it is the constitutional right of all, to submit by petition their opinion on all questions going to affect their interests, or the interests of the country at large. Secondly, it is the privilege, and may be the duty of constituents, to communicate personally and conjointly with their representatives, on matters of common concern. Thirdly, these rights, privileges, and duties, are fully understood and taken advantage of by mere politicians, on all questions affecting their particular views. And the very frequency of their appeals, and the urgency with which they press their claims, while the greater bulk keep silence, gain for them their end; perhaps sometimes at the expense of truth and of virtuous measures. Fourthly, at no period, since the revolution, were there so many questions of moral and religious importance brought before the legislature, and likely still to be submitted. And it is not surely invidious to say, respecting parliamentary decisions upon these, that they involve in them consequences which mere politicians, uninfluenced by religious motives, can neither foresee nor duly appreciate. And even if it should be held, that the more retired and religious part of the community are less gifted with political sagacity, it will not be denied that they have, in respect of such questions, more at stake. And lastly, it is the experience of the late session of Parliament, that if the moral and religious part

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of the community will but avail themselves of their privileges, there is no measure fitted to promote the general well-being of society, which may not be proposed with every reasonable prospect of success. In making this remark, we are not speaking merely from what appeared in newspaper reports; we are repeating what we have been red of by several influential members of the House of Commons. They have stated it, as a matter of experience, that such was the amount of right moral feeling brought out in petitions and in correspondence between constituents and their representatives, that measures were ventured upon, and in some instances carried, which, but a few years ago, no member of that House, however welldisposed, would have ventured to introduce. The discovery of this has led to the formation, or at least to the promoting of a strong moral union among members befriending good measures; and it will be of the utmost importance to the welfare of our country, and of the empire at large, that their hands be strengthened on all questions of general concern to the interests of religion and morality.

Various questions of this kind were brought under consideration during the late session of Parliament, and also previous to the dissolution of the former Parliament. And among these the Sabbath question doubtless holds a pre-eminent place. In our June Number we were fa. voured, by an esteemed correspondent, with some account of the movements in Britain, which gave rise to parlia mentary discussion on this subject, and also of what took place in consequence, up to the month of May last, to which we refer our readers for preliminary information, as bearing on the subject of our present review. The bill brought before the House, during the last session, being exclusively applicable to England, leave had been also ob tained to bring in a bill for Scotland, framed on the preexisting laws and habits of that country. And although, from the press of business towards the end of that session, it was thought inadvisable to bring on any new discussion on the subject of Sabbath observance, the draught of a bill was submitted, passed the first reading, and ordered to be printed, that the country at large might be prepared to approve or disapprove, when the second reading should be brought on, which will be early next session. It is of this bill that we are now to submit some account to our

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