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NOTICES OF BOOKS.
THE CHARACTER and CLAIMS of the SCOTTISH MARTYRS. By
the Rev. W. SYMINGTON, Stranraer. Second Edition. GARDNER, Paisley. P. p. 82. 1833.
We are happy to find that the Christian public have called for a second edition of this excellent and seasonable discourse. It was delivered in St. Michael's church-yard, Dumfries, on occasion of a collection for erecting a monument, commemorative of some who suffered in the cause of Reformation. The text is Prov. xii. 11, from which it is proposed to conisider the character and claims of the Scottishi martyrs and reformers. In the illustration of the first particular, the preacher takes occasion to consider what they were-what they did—what they suffered--with the spirit in which they acted and suffered, and the principles by which they were sustained, and for which they contended. Under the second he show's they are entitled to respect, commemoration, and imitation. The discourse is closed with some stirring and forcible exhortations. There are appended to it some just and valuable notes. We earnestly recommend it to our readers in the language of the Christian Instructor, properly prefixed to the present edition, “ It is a noble pleading for the fathers of Scotland's covenanted work; a most valuable condensed exhibition of the persecuting times; and a seasonable assertory vindication of sound reformation principles.”
THE TIME of CHRIST'S SECOND COMING identified with the DAY of JUDGMENT. By the Author of “MILLENARIANISM INDEFENSIBLE.” GARDNER, Paisley. P. p. 68. 1833.
WHOEVER has read the former work of the anonymous author of this short treatise, will expect much satisfaction in the perusal of the present. Nor will he be disappointed. The principle of argumentation which is adopted, is simply that recommended in the word of God, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” And by bringing together a few passages, with brief illustrations, the proposition stated in the title-page is abundantly established. The texts thus quoted are Jude xv. 16; 2 Thess. i. 6--10; 2 Tim. iv. 1; 2 Pet. iii. 3–14; Matt. xxv. 31-46; Dan. vii. 9–14; Matt. xxiv. 29–31 ; Matt. xxv. 1-13; xxv. 14-30. The controversy which has so long agitated the church on the subject of this treatise, is beginning happily to be laid at rest. This has arisen partly from the extravagance of the views entertained respecting the personal reign of Christ on the earth, and partly from the satisfactory publications which have issued from the press, explanatory of the true doctrine of Scripture on the subject. In this consummation we heartily rejoice. And the present author has our hearty thanks for the part which he has acted, in bringing about so desirable an end.
ORDINATION BY THE PRESBYTERY OF THE NORTH-WEST OF ENGLAND.-At Carlisle, upon Wednesday, the 10th July, the Rev. John Park, licentiate of the Presbytery of Glasgow, after undergoing the usual examinations and trials for ordination, was solemnly set apart to the office of the holy ministry, by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. The Rev. Gavin Lochore, of Bewcastle, preached the ordination sermon-the Rev. Robert Hiddlestowne, of Brampton, asked the usual questions, offered up the ordination prayer, and gave the charge to the newly-ordained minister, and the Rev. Walter Fairlie, of Whitehaven, delivered an address to the congregation. In token of the reviving inte. rest which ministers of the Church of Scotland take in the success of the Presbyterian Church in England, it affords us pleasure to record, that the Presbytery were, on this occasion, favoured with the presence and countenance of the following clergymen from the Presbyteries of Langholm and Annan :-the Rev. James Donaldson, the Rev. N. Sloan, the Rer. G. Gillespie, and the Rev. J. Roddick. Mr. Sloan preached at Carlisle in the evening of that day, when he introduced, at the conclusion of his discourse, some most befitting and appropriate instructions to young ministers of the Gospel. It may be easily conceived that the want of a Scotch Church at Carlisle, having been long felt and deplored by many, must have excited a lively interest in all the services connected with Mr. Park's ordination. Scarcely does it seem credible, that in a city situate upon the borders of Scotland, and a greai proportion of whose population are either natives of Scotland or descendants of Scotsmen, there should not have been a minister in connexion with that religious establishment: yet it is a fact, that for many years past, members of the Church of Scotland, who have become resident in Carlisle, have been under the necessity of receiving the ordinances of religion from the hands of other persuasions of Christians-consequently, of deserting the church to which they were conscientiously attached, or of neglecting the public worship of God altogether. The Presbytery becoming acquainted with these facts from personal inquiry, as well as from having them often urged upon their attention by others, opened a large room at Carlisle, in the month of December last, when a numerous congregation instantly began to attend the preaching of the Gospel. Since that time the numbers have continued regularly to increase under the faithful services of their newly. ordained pastor ; and arrangements are now in progress for the erection of a permanent place of worship, for the accommodation of the minister and his people. May the same gracious Providence which has hitherto smiled upon the Church of Scotland at home, continue to prosper this infant undertaking, and also prepare spiritual provision for Scotland's expatriated sons wheresoever they reside.
New MEETING-HOUSE IN BELFAST.-On Tuesday, the 22d inst., the foundation-stone of a new Presbyterian Church, in connexion with the Synod of Ulster, was laid by the Marquis of Donegall, in Townsend. street, Belfast. The services on the occasion were conducted by the Rev, Messrs. Drs. Hanpa and Cooke, Mr. Bellis and Morgan. A large and suitable piece of ground has been most kindly and liberally granted by the Rev. John Brown, and Allen Brown, Esq., for a mere nominal rent. The house to be erected will be capable of accommodating eleven hundred persons. It is intended that, besides a number of free sittings, the stipend on the other parts of the house shall be unusually low. The size of the house will, at the same time, be such as to raise a respectable support for the minister. This house, it is hoped, is only the precursor of others of a similar kind in the town of Belfast. Besides it, two others are at present much needed ;-one upon the new ground adjacent to York-Street, and another in the neighbourhood of the New Bridge at present erecting over the Lagan. The friends of the Synod and of Orthodox Presbyterianism should fix their attention on these objects, and not lose sight of them until, by the blessing of God, they are acoomplished. The revival of religion and Presbyterianism that has already taken place in Belfast, should encourage their friends to go forward in the strength of the Lord. The annual increase of population is now about 2000. Of these the one-half may be Presbyterians. And thus would a new erection be required every two or three years.
PROSPECTUS OF THE CHRISTIAN PHILANTHROPIST'S COMPANION.We are happy to be able to inform our readers, that Mr. David Nasmith, of Glasgow, intends publishing a weekly Periodical, of eight pages octavo, to be called, The Christian Philanthropist's Companion. Price four shillings per annum, when paid in advance, or one penny each number, payable on receipt.
The design of this Periodical is expressed in its name. It will record the Lord's doings in Revivals of Religion. It is intended to stimulate to Christian effort, by presenting motives for action, drawn from Scripture and the present state of the world, and to assist the philanthropist in his designs, by bringing under review plans of usefulness that have been successfully acted upon, and submitting new measures for consideration.
The Work will not be controversial, but practical in its character. Neither will it take notice of politics, further than in an occasional remark upon the probable bearings of certain measures on the grand designs of the Christian Philanthropist.
The Companion, gleaning from many sources, may be expected to furnish much new and valuable information, relative to the progress of Home and Foreign Missions, Sabbath-Schools. Temperance Societies, Young Men's, Young Women's, Maternal and Paternal Societies, the Infant School System, General Education, Prison Discipline, and kindred subjects. Being in the regular receipt of about 50 Home and Foreign Periodicals, and otherwise acquainted with local proceedings ; and having, during the last five years, travelled rather extensively in Ireland, Canada, and the United States, and visited various parts of Scotland, England, and France, on a Mission of Christian Philanthropy, and in these places formed a numerous circle of Christian acquaintances, with some of whom he maintains a regular correspondence, Mr. Nasmith hopes to be enabled to present a Periodical not unworthy the notice of Christian Philanthropists of all classes.
The Companion will be the advocate of no particular sect of Christians, but notice whatever is worthy of imitation in all. It will be its one obo ject to proclaim and promote “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to men. And under this may certainly be included that sect, on all whose members shall be written, “Holiness to the Lord," and which alone will be recognized when the Judgment shall be set, and the books shall be opened.
For wisdom to conduct the Periodical aright, and that the Work may ensure the high end contemplated, the editor would desire ever to feel his entire dependence on Him who is the source of all wisdom, and without whom nothing is perfect; and he will hope for an interest in the prayers of Christians, that success may be afforded to the undertaking.
The first number of the Periodical will be put to press, as soon as the number of Subscribers is such as to justify a commencement, without risk of sustaining pecuniary loss.
THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND AND THE SYNOD OF ULSTER-EXTRACT FROM A PRIVATE LETTER.-"Our Synod met on Tuesday, the 8th August, and sat two days. We had laid before us the four following Overtures : Ist. An alteration of the act 1799, to the intent of admitting ministers of the Synod of Ulster into our pulpits, and of their being otherwise admitted into ministerial communion with us. This was moved by myself and seconded by Mr. Cunningham, of Greenock. It gave rise to a somewhat interesting discussion, and my friends urged me to allow it to yo to a vote, as we were quite sure of carrying it. But I found that the members in general were ignorant of the facts of the case, that many were afraid of any al. teration in our laws at the present crisis, and that our opponents complained of being taken by surprise, and urged very strongly my with. drawal of the Overture till spring, which would equally serve my end. And on these accounts I agreed to withdraw it, on the understanding, that I would again bring it forward in April, preparatory to our Assembly. Several friends have since reflected that I should have been induced to yield, even to these motives. Our second overture was the appointment of a day of thanksgiving for the abundant barvest, which was unanimously and without discussion adopted. A third was to petition in behalf of the Scottish Sabbath Bill, which was adopted with the same unanimity. And a fourth was in support of a bill now before Parliament, to set all new erections free from the claims of the patron of the old parish, which was also agreed to without discussion. From the character of these Overtures, and the manner of their reception, you will be able to judge of the feeling of our Synod, and of the spirit generally prevalent in this part of our church,"
[The great importance of the following Letter, and its peculiar suitable
ness to the present state of society in this country, constrain us to give it the first place in our present Number. We earnestly entreat our readers to give it a diligent perusal, and the most serious consideration.]
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OF CHILDREN. AMONG all the duties incumbent on the professed followers of Christ, I scarcely know of any one more neglected than this; and none, the neglect of which tends more directly and vitally to injure both the neglected individuals, and the church to which they belong. It is too plain to be made the subject of argument, that if the church, as such, is bound to maintain in their purity the truth and order of the Gospel ; if she is bound to defend the genuine doctrines and discipline of the house of God against all gainsayers, and to transmit them uncorrupted to posterity ;-she is, of course, bound carefully to impart a knowledge of these things to her children, that they may transmit them to theirs, and so on to the latest generation. “ These things,” said Jehovah of old, to his covenant people, “ These things which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.' We, as Presbyterians, profess to believe that the system of doctrine exhibited in our Confession of Faith is the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures ; and that the form of government and discipline set forth in our ecclesiastical constitution, is that which the Bible warrants. Now, if we really believe this; and if one grand purpose for which the church was instituted is that she may preserve and transmit pure and entire all such religious truth, worship, and ordinances as Christ hath revealed in kuis word, ought she not, conscientiously, to train up all the children and young people within her bosom, not only in general in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," but also in the knowledge of those peculiar views of truth and