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to 104 Schools, 3418 Scholars, and 1014 Teachers. The sale and gratuitous distribution of the Scriptures have exceeded the issue of the preceding year, by 7214 copies.
The Committee cannot but hope that the Lord has purposes of mercy in store for our country, and that the iniquity which overspreads our land, and the dark ignorance that still prevails amongst our people, will be more fully subdued through the agency of faithful Ministers, the dissemination of God's word, and the increase of scriptural education. They are desirous of continuing to bear their humble part in the work of national improvement, but are at present much impeded in their efforts by the diminution of their funds, which were nearly £300 less in the last year, than in the preceding. The Society has in consequence been involved in debt, and the Committee have been prevented from extending the system of Local Agency, from which so much benefit has been al ready derived The Committee, anxious to devise a remedy for this depressing state of the affairs of the Society, have determined to make this appeal to their friends, and earnestly to request their prompt and vigorous assistance; and they would beg particularly to suggest to the Ministers of the Gospel, that considerable funds might be raised for the use of the Society, by preaching sermons, and making collections in its behalf, during the course of the summer and ensuing autumn. In offering this suggestion, which may not, however, be practicable in every case, the Committee would leave it entirely to the discretion of their friends to adopt it, or any other mode of assisting the funds of the Society, which may be better suited to local circumstances. Having the satisfaction to believe that you are interested in the prosperity of the Society, they would again urge the subject on your friendly and Christian consideration, in the humble hope that the Lord will guide them in all their proceedings, by His heavenly wisdom, and bless all their efforts to the promotion of His own glory. With much respect and esteem, we are your obedient, faithful Servants, HERCULES ROBINSON, JAMES IRVINE, Hon. Secretaries.
SYNOD OF ULSTER HOME MISSION.
The followiny paper has been circulated by a Congregational Auxiliary to the above Society.
THE object of the Synod's mission is to impart a knowledge of the Gospel to the three following classes of persons.
1. The Presbyterian population in Ulster. This is computed at 800,000 persons. To supply these with Christian ordinances, there are little more than 200 ministers. Allowing to each minister a charge of 2000 persons, there is thus a provision for only the one half of the population. To render the ministry adequate and effective, it would require to be doubled. And the Society proposes to further this object by aiding the Synod in the erection of new congregations; contributing to the support of those that are weak; employing the ministers of small congregations to itinerate through their neighbourhood; and sending out Scripture readers where a regular minister cannot yet be established.
2. Presbyterians scattered over the different parts of the kingdom. It is believed some are to be found in every county in Ireland. Separated from their native church, they are exposed to many temptations; particularly, to carelessness, the profanation of the Sabbath, neglect of their children, conformity to the prevailing vices of the neighbourhood, and eventually, both themselves and their descendants, to an entire apostacy
into gross error, infidelity, or irreligion. Late inquiries have shown that a ruinous deterioration has been long going forward with this class of our brethren. It is the duty of the church to look carefully after them. And this Society proposes to aid it in doing so, by forming them into congregations where the number is sufficient; and, where it is not, sending missionaries to visit them occasionally, who shall preach to them, administer the ordinances of religion, and catechise their children.
3. The ignorant, among our countrymen, of all classes and denominations. The special duty of the church is to look after its own children; but its commission is also to all men, to do them good as there is opportunity. In furtherance of this end, the Society will seek to assist the Synod in encouraging ministers to undertake journeys for the purpose of preaching the Gospel throughout the land; in employing persons qualified to preach, and otherwise communicate instruction, in the Irish language; sending out Scripture readers; and establishing schools.
To the members of the church it is said, "freely ye have received, freely give" to the support of these high and hallowed purposes.
At a meeting of members of the Congregation, held for the purpose of considering the best means of aiding the General Synod of Ulster's Home Mission, the following resolutions were passed: I. "That this meeting cordially approve of the nature and objects of the Synod of Ulster's Home Mission. II. That we consider it to be the duty of this church, forming a part of the Synod of Ulster, to make exertions for the furtherance of its missionary operations; and that we do now form ourselves into an Auxiliary Society for that purpose. III. That every contributor shall be a member of this Society. IV. That the business of the Society shall be conducted by a committee of ten persons, including a secretary and treasurer, to be chosen annually by the members of the Society. V. That the committee be instructed to seek for collectors, to wait on all the members of this church for their pecuniary atd. VI. That quarterly meetings shall be held for the purpose of uniting in prayer, receiving subscriptions, and transacting necessary business. VII. That an annual meeting of the Society shall be held, when the treasurer's account shall be submitted, and office-bearers appointed for the ensuing year."
THE LATE MEETING of the SYNOD OF ULSTER.-The Synod on Tuesday, the last day but one of its sittings, appointed a special meeting of Synod, to be held at Dungannon, on Tuesday, the 19th of August, exclusively for missionary purposes; they also recommend to the ministers and congregations of the church to hold a day of public thanksgiving on the previous Wednesday, the 13th of August; or, where circumstances might render that day inconvenient, on Thursday the 14th; and ministers were directed on that day to pray for the gracious presence and blessing of the great King and Head of the Church at the ensuing meeting of Synod, at Dungannon, and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our congregations; and also to express their gratitude to Almighty God for the manifestation of that spirit in the revival of religion among us, in the peace and harmony which happily pervade our meetings, and in the gradual improvement of discipline which appears in our churches.'
The subject of Dr. Reid's history of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland being brought before the Synod, it was moved and unanimously agreed to, "That this Synod entertain the highest admiration for the talents, perseverance, and research, with which Dr. Reid has proceeded so far in
compiling and publishing the History of our Church in this country—a work which had long been a great desideratum: we trust he will proceed with all speed towards its completion, and pledge ourselves to afford him the most favourable countenance and assistance of this body."
The subject of the recent Discussion on the Unitarian Controversy, in Belfast, being introduced to the notice of the Synod, after several members had expressed their approbation of the conduct of the Rev. D. Bagot on that occasion, it was
"Moved and agreed to, That the thanks of the Synod be transmitted to the Rev. D. Bagot, of Newry, for the ability and zeal with which he defended the grand and essential doctrine of the proper Deity of the Son of God, in a late polemical discussion; and at the same time that we record our gratitude for the success which has attended Mr. Bagot's exertions."
PRESBYTERIAN SECESSION SYNOD.-This Synod opened its proceedings at its annual meeting on Tuesday, the Ist inst., Moneymore. The Rev. Joseph Lowry, Moderator for the last year, preached from 1st Cor. 4th chapter and 2d verse,‚—" Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." The Rev. Mr. Morrison was elected as
Moderator for the present year. It was appointed, that the time from six to seven o'clock, every morning, during the sittings, should be spent in religious exercises.
The Synod was engaged, during the second day, in receiving reports of Presbyteries, and on Thursday the Report of the Home Missionary Society was read. It contained a detail of the proceedings for the year; and made several suggestions, with a view to rendering the efforts of the Mission more efficient. Several members then addressed the house, for the purpose of pointing out the great importance of missionary labours, and the encouragements to exertion which are now held out. A conversation took place respecting the want of ministers to act on the different missionary stations, and the want of a sufficient number of young men to assist in promoting such objects. A motion was adopted, to the effect, that the first three students on the list of those who had completed their third year in the Theological Class, should be forthwith licensed, for the purpose of assisting in missionary labours; but with a provision, that this should not give them any advantage, in reference to becoming candidates for appointments to congregations, over those of the same standing with themselves. It was determined that the next annual meeting of Synod should be held in Belfast, on the first Tuesday in July, 1835.
As a good deal of business remained to be disposed of, it was agreed that the Synod, at its rising, should stand adjourned till the first Tuesday in August, then to meet in the same place. The house adjourned accordingly at ten o'clock on Friday night.
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN SYNOD IN IRELAND. The annual meeting of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod in Ireland was held at Money more, commencing on Tuesday, the 8th of July, at twelve o'clock noon. The Rev. James P. Sweeny, of Faughan, the Moderator, preached an appropriate discourse from Matthew xxviii. 2016 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." The Synod being afterwards constituted, the Rev. James Smyth, of Drumbolg, was appointed Moderator for the ensuing year.
After several other matters had been arranged, an interesting discussion took place on the following motion, which was brought forward by Mr. Thos. Houston:-"That considering the system of Moral Philosophy ordinarily taught in the seminaries to which candidates for the Ministry
in this country resort, to be, in many cases, opposed to the fundamental doctrines of the Sacred Scriptures, respecting man's depravity and accountability, and in several particulars at variance with the scheme of salvation by grace, the Synod deem it expedient, for the present, to prohibit the students under their care from studying Moral Philosophy at these seminaries; and they enjoin it upon Presbyteries to prescribe for them a course of reading and examination, until, in Divine Providence, some method be opened up, whereby students for the ministry may obtain instruction in a more correct system of morals in colleges or universities."
An amendment was proposed by Mr. Paul, and seconded by Mr. Henry, that for the ensuing collegiate session, the students under the care of Synod shall be directed to study Natural Philosophy instead of Moral Philosophy, in the hope that ere long, a Professor may be found who will teach morals on a better system. The amendment, which was ultimately adopted, was proposed on the ground among others, that thus a more direct inducement would be held out to a person to teach morals on Scriptural principles. The Synod seemed unanimous in the judgment that there are manifold evils in the methods of teaching Moral Philosophy that have long prevailed. It was distinctly understood that the prohibition shall be continued, if at the end of the year no course of Ethics is adopted at the public seminaries, more in accordance with the Scriptures; and also that those pupils who from conscientious scruples have hitherto refrained from attending a Moral Philosophy class, and have attended Natural Philosophy, may study Ethics, by a course of reading and examination prescribed by their Presbyteries, Several of the speakers expressed the hope that the example set by the Synod in thus testifying to the necessity of having the fountains of learning pure, may be followed by other influential bodies throughout the nation, and that thus an extensive reformation may be the result.
An interesting discussion afterwards took place on a question which had been referred to Synod by one of the Presbyteries-whether it is lawful in the present state of society for the Members of the Church to sell spirituous liquors ? The unlawfulness of the traffic was ably shewn in the speeches of Messrs. Smyth, Toland, and Sweeny, while it was admitted by all that it is attended with manifold dangers, to the professors of religion, It was finally agreed-That the Synod consider it highly inexpedient that ang of the people under their care should engage in the traffic of ardent spirits.
The Synod also agreed to the following resolution concerning the New System of National Education :-"Lest our silence on the subject of National Education should be interpreted into an approbation of the present system, we feel it a duty which we owe to ourselves and to the public to express judicially our disapprobation of it."
Curious Missionary Donation.-On Sabbath, the 13th inst., a collection was taken up in Donaghadee, for missionary purposes, when a paper was found in the box, containing one of the dollars recovered from the wreck of the Enterprize, which was sunk off Donaghadee so long ago as the year 1802. The paper stated, that the dollars with which the ship was laden had been the price of slaves, and that the one presented was now appropriated to the furtherance of the Gospel. It is a curious circumstance, that a portion of the "wages of iniquity," actually the price of human blood, should have been recovered from the bottom of the sea, and applied to a purpose so happily contrasted with that of its original destination.
THE difficulties attending the study of moral science can, perhaps, be estimated only by those who have made it the subject of much reading and reflection. In scarcely any department of knowledge has there been less harmony of sentiment; and it would be difficult on any subject to find a greater number of ingenious, but jarring and defective theories. We pretend not to be able to assign the causes of this with any accuracy; but we think the mode of inquiry has been in several essential points defective. One class-and that, perhaps, the most numerous-of ethical writers, have conducted their inquiries throughout on the principles of establishing a complete system of morals by the unaided powers of reason. We think it is not going too far, to express our deliberate conviction, that such attempts must ever prove as abortive as they are glaringly presumptuous. We would not, even by insinuation, restrict the legitimate exercise of reason; but surely a subject that has confessedly baffled the intellectual strength of every inquirer, ought to teach those who follow neither to dogmatize nor to despise any proper and available source of evidence. We hold it the duty of ethical inquirers to leave no field of evidence that bears on their subject unexamined, and no important phenomenon of the human mind unnoticed. We refer to the principle so much contested, that the Scriptures are not to be quoted as authorities in ethical inquiries— in other words, that their testimony is not to be received as evidence; nor are we unaware of the objection stated against their admission-that we cannot rationally receive the Scriptures as evidence until we have proved the existence and attributes of God, and examined the external and internal evidences of the revelation alleged to be given by Him; and that these results cannot be ascertained until by a tedious pro
Christian Ethics; or Moral Philosophy on the Principles of Divine Revelation. By RALPH WARDLAW, D. D. 8vo. P. p. 416. London, 1833.