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cited. Men have intelligence, affections, conscience, and capacities of action. These properties may grow torpid, but they are not extinguished; they require only to be called into action. Let us deal, then, with men as moral agents. Let us address to the understanding, arguments calculated to inform and convince-to the heart, what is likely to impress and engage-and to the conscience, what is best suited to rouse it from its state of torpor. Let us apply the exciting principle, and be unwearied in invoking the divine blessing, which can alone crown our efforts with success, and God “ will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; he will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”-Isa. xli. 18.

Let churches and states, legislators and prelates, ministers of the sanctuary, and individuals in their respective families, adopt this principle; and communities will prosper, churches will revive, and the domestic altar will never want a sacrifice, nor God withhold a blessing.

And yet it is this very principle of excitement, as applied to the religious institutions of the day, which has been most strongly censured. The system of public meetings, the addresses, sermons, biblical and missionary tours, have been the subject of severe reprehension with the opponents of these societies. But it is this very system which has elicited the moral energies of the country, and given one simultaneous and unparalleled impulse to all its public institutions. By its direct or indirect tendency, it has localized among us every form of charity that can afford an asylum to distress—to crime, the of reformation--to ignorance, the benefit of instruction--and to penitent guilt the hope of mercy and salvation. And while it has conferred such blessings at home, it has procured for our land the honourable appellation of “ The Zion of the whole earth.” It is to the publicity of these societies, next to their intrinsic value and importance, that we are to ascribe so large a portion of their popularity and success. If they were less public, they would be less known; if they were less known they would be less supported; and if they were less supported, their efficiency would be proportionably impaired. An institution, to be popular in this country, must be brought in contact with blic opinion. The men who conduct it must be seen, heard, known, loved, and respected ; the subject of it must be carried home to the heart, and descend through all the various gradations in society ; be as accessible to the poor as to the rich to the unlearned, as to the learned--to the humblest cottage, as well as to the lordly mansion. It will thus secure the patronage and liberality of the wealthy, the approbation of the wise, and the benediction of the poor. These advantages have pre-eminently distinguished the institutions of which we are speaking ; and so long as the principle of publicity characterizes almost every undertaking of a secular nature, why are religious objects alone to be debarred the benefit of this principle, where the application of strong stimulants is the more necessary, in proportion as the end proposed is more momentous, and men are less disposed to appreciate its importance ?

means

But Mr. Richmond, and others of the clergy, who have been most active in supporting these institutions, have been charged with absenting themselves from their parishes, and have been branded with the title of itinerants. Nothing is more easy than to use terms of reproach ; but reproach is not argument. The real and only question for consideration is, whether public societies can be effectively carried on without the agency

of public advocates ? The result of experience is conclusive, that societies depending only on local means for their support, are in the most declining state. Men, too, who are in the habit of contributing their money to a public cause, think, and with justice, that they are entitled, in return, to a detail of its operations from those who, by their connexion with the parent institution, and from the sources to which they have access, are best qualified to communicate information. Admitting, then, the justness of this remark--from what class are public advocates to be selected ? From among laymen or ministers? The professional habits, experience, and education of the latter, evidently constitute them the fittest organs of communication to all religious institutions. How to reconcile these public exertions with parochial duties, is, therefore, the only remaining consideration. Let it be observed, that every clergyman is legally entitled to an absence of three months in every year, on the presumption that he will provide a proper substitute. If, then, a minister, unconnected with public objects, should choose to avail himself of this privilege, for the purpose of allowable recreation, or from any other motive, would his conduct be considered as affording any reasonable ground for reproach? Why, then, should another minister, in the exercise of the same privilege, and using the same precautions, be the subject of animadversion, because, instead of appropriating the allotted period to a watering place, or to any other object, his principles and conscience lead him to devote his leisure to the more important claims of a religious institution?

Each itinerates ; each is occasionally absent from his parish - with this distinction, that one is occupied with engagements most interesting to himself; the other consecrates bis time, his talents, and his strength, to the service of the cause of God, and leaves for a while the limited, though important scene of his own parish, to aid in the dissemination of light and knowledge to the remotest regions of the earth.

Another charge, with equal injustice, urged against these societies, is, that they assume an authority with which they are not legally invested ; that they are self-constituted, and selfauthorised. As this accusation has been often and publicly repeated, and may seem to have acquired some validity from tie occasions on which it has been uttered, it must not pass unnoticed.

The Church Missionary Society, as well as others of recent origin in the Established Church, was a voluntary association, founded on the principle, and resting on the basis, of all other similar associations; and, therefore, to impeach one is to impeach all, and to strike at the root of every voluntary association throughout the kingdom.

If it be said, that it is its religious character, and its usurpation of rights that can only be legally exercised by chartered bodies, that forms the real ground of offence; this charge will be found to militate equally against the claims of another venerable society, which, though aiming at a religious end, nevertheless owes its origin to a voluntary association, and possesses no chartered right, nor specific legal character, to the present hour. The weapon, therefore, that is raised to assault a foe, may unconsciously inflict a wound upon a friend.

We might rest the question of authority simply on the ground of imperious necessity, which is a law in itself, superseding all other considerations. We might urge, that the power and the will to do good constitute the authority to do good; and that, so long as souls are immortal, the first duty of christian zeal is to employ means to save them. But we content ourselves by referring to an authority, against which there is no appeal-the authority of public opinion ; that public opinion which exercises its vigilant control over all human proceedings ; which legislates both for Governments and Churches ; and erects a tribunal, to the decisions of which the throne and the altar are compelled to be ultimately subject. To arraign, therefore, these public institutions, is in fact to arraign public opinion, which has decided that they were needed, and has thought proper to sanction them by its support; and so long as it honours them with such tokens of its confidence, and makes them the depositories of its bounty, it surely becomes a paramount obligation to fulfil the trust. To act otherwise, would be to shrink from a duty, with the means of performing it; to alienate a friend, without the hope of gaining an enemy.

It is to withdraw, when success encourages us to advance ; and to sound a retreat, with the emblems of spiritual conquest in our hands. It is to commit a double fraud; a fraud on those at home, who are willing to give ;-on those abroad. who are no less willing to receive. It is to abandon scenes of labour, which God has specially honoured with his blessing ; and to extinguish the light of the Gospel where it has begun to shed its dawn, with the glorious prospect of “shining more and more unto the perfect day.”

We lament any disposition to depreciate societies, which confer so much lustre on the present age, and which are so eminently calculated to uphold the moral dignity of our own Church, and to extend its usefulness. The period no longer exists, when the name alone of the Church of England was sufficient to inspire respect and homage. Prescriptive rights have vanished; the partition wall is thrown down; and henceforth we must appeal, not to the number and extent of our immunities, but to the utility of our services, and the excellency of our principles. In the present day, every thing is undergoing the solemn ordeal of public opinion. To oppose its decisions is unwise in policy, impracticable in its object, and highly injurious to the Church, the interests of which we profess to promote. We may plead zeal in her cause, but zeal without charity is intolerance; and prejudices, which are blameable in all, are criminal in the minister of Christ. Ve may think that we are doing God service, and at the same time be fighting against him. We would earnestly call, then, on the members of our own communion, and especially on the younger clergy, (while in the vigour of their strength, and their full capacity for usefulness,) to co-operate in these truly Christian efforts, and to recognize the finger of God in their design and progress. Nor can we refrain expressing the ardent wish, that prejudices may be removed, dissensions cease, and that all Christian people would offer up unceasing prayer to the Almighty, for his spirit to become the workman of this mighty machinery, unto his own glory, and the moral regeneration of mankind. “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”Isa. Ixii. 6, 7.

CHAPTER IX.

Ilis anniversary sermon for the Church Missionary Society-

Meeting at Bedford, in behalf of the Jews--Bedfordshire Bible Society--Tours for the Jewish and Church Missionary Societies-Extracts from his Journals-- Success of these tours

-Their influence on the general interests of religion—-On his own personal improvement ;- On that of his parish and family.

We have before alluded to the anniversary sermon, preached by Mr. Richmond for the Church Missionary Society, in May, 1809. It is much to be lamented that one so capable of contributing to the stock of valuable theological discourses, should have composed only three sermons for the press ; two of them published during his residence in the Isle of Wight, and the third, which we now propose to consider, after his removal to Turvey. This deficiency is one of the consequences of extempore preaching; and ministers of acknowledged talents and usefulness would do well to remember, that they owe to the church somne lasting memorials of their pastoral labours, and of their zeal for the general interests of religion.

Mr. Richmond has received many urgent representations from the writer, on this subject ; but his unceasing engagements, his extensive correspondence, and the more immediate claims of duty, were always pleaded in excuse.

An exami, ation of his missionary sermon will enable the reader to form some judgment of Mr. Richmond's powers of composition, as well as afford an illustration of his sentiments on the important subject of missions.

His text is taken from John xxi. 16- “ He saith unto him again, the second time, · Simon son of Jonas, Jovest thou me?' He saith unto him, “ Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.' He saith unto him, · Feed my sheep.'" Commenting on these words, he briefly describes the peculiar interest and solemnity of the occasion ;-the question proposed : " Lovest thou me ?" The answer given : “ Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love

The successive repetition of the question, and Peter's asseveration, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee ;” and the final command of the Saviour, obedience to which is the test of the sincerity of the profession ; * Feed my sheep.” The motive of love to Christ is deduced

thee.”

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