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sailed and afflicted. If the Church of they comfort me." The Rev. speaker England should be assailed and baited concluded by an impressive appeal to by Popery, then let the Dissenters of the matrons in the assembly around England come manfully forward to him, urging upon them the importance her assistance. If the Dissenting body of training up their children in the reof England cared for the value of the ligion of Jesus and the Bible, by which truth of God, which in his heart he they would help to raise up a powerful believed they did, let them join the host, who would become "mighty as an Church in wielding the sword of truth army with banners," to the overthrow against the common enemy. Let them of Popery, Idolatry, and Superstition wage a holy war—a war which Al- throughout the world. The Rev. Chairmighty God would look upon and man then called upon Mr. E. Webbless. But it would, very likely, be ster, the Secretary, to read the Report said by some, " Oh, there is time for the past year. The Report stated enough yet; we need not yet unite that since their last Annual Meeting and come boldly forward; we may rest sixty-seven new members had joined upon our arms for the present; we the Society; donations to the amount will have our ammunition ready, our of 291. 10s. had been received, which arms in order against we want them!”. had enabled the Committee to add 150 This would not do. The enemy was volumes of books to the library. The at the very gates of the constitution. reading-room is open every Thursday The Jesuits were abroad, and for aught evening, from eight till ten, and the known to the contrary, there might be table supplied with a number of newsone in the very midst of the Assembly papers and periodicals of a standard to-night, who would send an account character. Lectures had been deliof their proceedings to the Pope of vered to the Society during the past Rome himself! The soldiers of the year, by the Rev. W. Currie, of LiyerVatican were spread over every realm pool; Rev. J. Moran, Burton-onof Europe, and were actively at work. Trent; Rev. G. Harvey, of Winster; Was this, then, a time for true Pro- Rev. T. P. Blakeney, of Nottingham; testants to be silent? Was this a time Rev. J. Bull, of Birmingham; Rev. for them to be inactive, when cold, R. Macklin; and the Venerable the lukewarm, and false Protestants were Archdeacon of Derby. The Report pretending to support the truth one stated that the lectures had been fot day, and the next endeavouring to pull lowed by the most beneficial results. it down; when Popery was obtaining The Meeting was afterwards addressed in the Houses of Parliament, and the by Dr. Bernays; Mr. Sowter, of CasLegislature suffered the Premier to tle Donington ; Mr. Hammond, of the carry such an abominable Bill as the Commercial School, Derby; the Rev. Maynooth Act? Was this false posi- W. Cobb; the Rev. J. Ĝ. Howard; tion of the Premier- this double deal. and the Rev.' J. Moran. The Rey. ing with the truth of Christ, to be tole- T.P. Blakeney, and several other clerrated ? Were Englishmen and Pro- gymen and friends who were expected testants to stand coldly, by, and see to be present, were absent, from illness their constitution frittered away piece and other causes. Votes of thanks by piece without making an effort to were given to Mr. Webster, the Secreretain it? True it was they were sur- tary of the Society, for his exertions in rounded by dangers; but they had the its behalf; and to the Rev. R. Macklin, Lord on their side, and therefore no- for his kindness in taking the chair. thing to fear. . They might use the About ten o'clock the National Anthem language of David, and say, “I will was sung, and the Meeting shortly fear no evil: Thy rod and thy staff afterwards separated.
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MAY MEETINGS.—DUTIES OF ELECTORS. TAE Anniversary Meetings of the religious Societies held at this period of the year, are both interesting and important. We know not of a more beautiful sight, than to behold those who are working all the year round, often in a barren and neglected spot-coming to this, their common centre- to give an account of their own operations, and to hear of the doings of their Brethren ; to report the result of past proceedings, and to gather strength for fresh labours.
Pagan Greece and Rome, were strangers to sights like these, and Papal Rome can exhibit nothing like them. There is 'no country in the world which displays a similar spectacle ; so many brothers and sisters of Charity, though not ostentatiously arrayed under the names of some imposing order, and therein kept—though longing to be free ;-but voluntarily devoting themselves afresh each year and day, to promote throughout our empire and the world, the moral and social happiness, the temporal and spiritual benefit of their fellow-creatures.
The young, the beautiful, the learned, the aged, assemble from all parts of the empire at these annual gatherings, not for any selfish object, their motives are too pure for that; not for any party purposes, their aim is higher; not for any mere local objects, their view is more extensive. No, they seek the public good, the benefit of the world. In spite of all the outcry against. Exeter Hall, we cannot but rejoice in these Meetings. How great is the power, how sacred the trust lodged in the hands of those who are privileged to address the assembled thousands ! To bring forward that which may give momentary delight in the midst of excitement is perhaps no very difficult task, nor to report the proceedings of the gone-by year, but so to speak, as that the effect produced shall be as permanent and deep-rooted, as the reception of it was cordial and enthusiastic, is a far different thing,
There is one feature peculiar to the Meetings of this year, it is the more general testimony borne by different speakers to the spread of the baneful influence of Popery, and the duties of VOL. VIII.—June, 1846. R
New Series, No.6.1
*But we are on the athe long
being on our guard against it. Glad should we be to see every opportunity embraced of informing the public mind, and guiding it into a right direction. This might be most certainly done, if each of the great religious societies, through the instrumentality of their various agencies, would uniformly point out Popery as the great evil of the day. The Protestant Association, and the Reformation Societies have done much. The Christian Knowledge Society and the Religious Tract Society have now for some time been more or less taking up the question of Popery, and have produced several works of much interest and importance. But we are still far behind hand in the work; the enemy has been long on the alert, and seems possessed with a full determination to regain the long lost supremacy, which was once held over our ancestors. .
We ought not to be ignorant of the signs of the times, and regarding the predictions of prophecy—the events of the past, and the aspect of the present, there can be no doubt but that a great conflict, a mighty struggle, is at hand. May we be prepared to meet it!
The days of Rome are numbered. She has dire forebodings that the accomplishment of her period is near at hand. Her assumed infallibility cannot guard her against the terror which approaching judgment inspires; each mutter of rebellion makes her quake and tremble ; and the lowering storm may, ere long, burst upon her with resistless and destructive fury.
Space forbids us to discuss all the points of difference between the two Churches of Rome and England. We cannot in detail point out her nature and principles. All that was done at the Reformation. The two parties, the two Churches then, like two mighty combatants, met in close conflict. The one aided by all worldly power, authority, and splendour; the other unarmed, save with the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Out of weakness they were made strong ; they waxed valiant in the spiritual conflict; they turned to flight the armies of the aliens, and handed down to us a purified constitution, and a scriptural faith. If the Reformation were worth contending for, it is worth maintaining; and if that great work is to be fought over again, we are sure that the Protestants of Great Britain, faithful to the cause of the truth and the Bible, will achieve a victory over Romanism, not unworthy the descendants of their martyred ancestors; will accomplish, through Divine aid, a moral and spiritual triumph over Rome, not less glorious than was gained by British arms on the plains of Waterloo; or the waters of the Nile, or Trafalgar. Prostrate nations then looked up to England for civil liberty and peace. The nations of Europe, long enveloped in spiritual darkness, groaning beneath the withering blight of Romish superstitions, and bound by her magic chain, even now
look up to Protestant England, that she-by the might of her moral, her Bible principle, sending abroad the light of eternal truth-may dissipate that darkness, rend asunder those chains, and give to each one of their teeming population, the possession of that freedom wherewith the truth makes free.
The plain position of the case is, that we have been too long asleep-and now, like men aroused from their slumbers by a sudden consciousness of danger, unable in the first moment to distinguish friends from foes, have abandoned our own fortresses, opposed our friends, and rushed to our enemies for protection!
Popery, too, has been sleeping as it were, and she now comes forward strengthened and refreshed from that repose. She found us slumbering, and whilst in our state of torpor, inactivity, and indifference, seized with rapacious and sacrilegious hand upon the Ark of our constitution both in Church and State, unopposed she pursued the work of demolition. Taking advantage of the delusion which she had herself created, she injected into the minds of the Protestants of England, doubts as to her own real character, and nature, and objects-ideas, that we were too strong for fear, and that the barriers erected by the dear-bought wisdom and experience of our ancestors are no more required, but form an unsightly object of bigotted intolerance in the nineteenth century.
Nay, so far has the delusion spread,—so did the infatuation proceed—that many professed to think we should be more secure by dismantling or removing our fortifications—more strong if we diminished, or disbanded our forces. And under that infatuated, though to some pleasing delusion—we permit her to cast down, and sweep away those embankments against the inroads of Papal power, and Papal encroachments-place the enemy in the garrison to preserve peace, and confide the sound citadel of our constitution to their hands, that we may be secure! We fear the smiles, more than the frowns of Rome. Her pledges of peace are but like the Grecian horse in the walls of Troy.
Her tactics are very deep. Her real object is rarely obvious at first sight, and those who would deal with her as with a system of ordinary composition, will find themselves ever baffled by her wiles, defeated by her stratagems, and victims of her duplicity.
It is only when we consider Popery as impartially displayed in the page of history, or as pourtrayed in Scripture, that we view her aright. There we learn how false she is in religionhow corrupt in her nature-how dishonouring to God-how ruinous to the souls of men—how destructive of the peace and prosperity of empires.
She has acquired that art and practice of which a Pagan historian spoke in the time of the Roman Republic—to have one
thing upon the tongue, another in the heart. She knows how to promise, and how to keep that promise to the ear of nations, whilst she breaks it to their hope. Which one of her promises to us for the last fifty years has she kept?
Like the tortuous course of the glittering serpent-you perceive not at first the real object upon which its aim is bent. Slowly it glides along; and, whilst the spectator, heedless of harm, gazes upon its beauty, and admires its varied and graceful convolutions, and the splendid gorgeousness of its colouring, till the eye becomes fascinated : then it darts suddenly upon its object, and seizes its unconscious and unsuspecting victim within its deadly coils.
Democracies, aristocracies, monarchies, are equally the objects of her attacks. There is but one government she wonld have supreme-it is her own. All the rest may stand or fall, flourish or be subverted as may best serve her purposes. .
In the Absolutism of Austria, the Republicanism of the United States, or under the mild sway of our own mixed government, she equally finds a footing, and should therefore be opposed by all who are the true friends of enlightened liberty—the right of private judgment, whether in matters of civil, or religious policy.
The feeling of this country is against Popery; and if the electors will but rightly perform, at the next election, their duty to themselves, their ancestors, their posterity, their country, and their God, we may yet be rescued from the grasp of the Church of Rome on the one hand, or the hurricane of democracy, Infidelity, and licentiousness on the other. .
To those of our readers who may think this too strongly political, we would commend the following Christian and enlightened view of the Rev. Hugh Stowell, as to the duties of electors, at this crisis :
“ My Christian friends, there is one particular point more at which I must glance. We are on the eve of another election ; it cannot be far off. Much as the clergy, who take part in the proceedings of the Protestant Association, are branded, as being political, I for one, am so entirely remote from being political, that I have never asked or influenced a vote, since I have been a clergyman of the Church of England ; nor is it my intention, so far as I see, ever to do so; but in the exercise of my own vote, I feel I am discharging a solemn responsibility, given me by that God who is the God of nations as well as of individuals; and therefore I have always given it, as far as I have been able, to the glory of my God, and the good of my country. A simple declaration has been drawn up in Manchester (which I should wish, carried throughout the country privately-for we do not make any to do about it to this effect :-We, whose names are here recorded, declare our determination, on the