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in the largest one, a most animated meeting was held to plead the cause of Protestant truth and union among brethren. Christians of all classes were there. The people had a mind to the work. The ministers led the way ; and the spirit of love rose and prevailed. Surely the " Author of peace and Giver of concord" was with us. His approving smile seemed to rest upon our meeting. A resolution was cordially adopted to form a Branch Alliance at Athlone. Communications have since reached us, telling us how refreshing and edifying the hour was felt to be; and when the next day we parted, it was with the impression, in which we believe Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Independents shared, that of the three principal graces which now remain " the greatest of these is love." The day following we returned to
Dublin. Soon after to England. And now desire, with a grateful heart, to record all the kindness of friends, and the goodness of God, to us in Ireland.
Land of darkness, sorrow, and tribulation; Popery thy curse; the priesthood thy bane; "the man of sin" thy oruel and relentless tyrant; when shall thy day of light, enlargement, and deliverance come? Already is it beaming. The streaks of the morning on thy mountain tops appear. There is hope in thine end. "The prey shall be taken from the mighty: the lawful captive shall be delivered:" and all thy borders become what they might be, what they ought to be, and what we hope they are destined ere long to be—the abode of Christian light, of Christian liberty, and Christian love!
Let all Christians pray for Ireland.
October, 1852. Fbater.
A WORD FOR WORK AT HOME
FOR THE EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE.
"Beginning at Jerusalem."—Luke xxiv. 47.
These words were spoken by the Saviour after he had risen from the dead. They form a part of the instructions which Christ saw it right to give to his disciples before he was finally taken away from them, and had passed into the skies. This was the great commission with which, in all subsequent times, they were to be intrusted, and for the carrying out of which a succession of men was to be raised up to the very end of time. "Repentance and remission of sins" was to be preached in his name among all nations, with this saving clause and limitation, "beginning at Jerusalem." Jerusalem was still to be the favoured city; and the Word of Life, which was to be sounded in every city and nation of men, was first to be rung in the ears of the Israelites; and from them, as from a centre, it was to go forth to the
East and West, and North and Soutb, until the circumference had been reached.
Basing my remarks on these words, I want to show you the need there is for the continued and increased labours of good men in our own country; and that while we would not utter one word in disparagement of the great Missionary Societies, which are the glory of our land, and one of the wonders of our times, it behoves us to look after our home population, and not sutler our own friends to perish while we are giving the bread of life to strangers. According to the examples of the apostles and first ministers of truth, and of Jesus Christ himself, it behoves us in all our labours to begin at Jerusalem.
I. This Accords With The Example
AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SAVIOUR.
For our guidance in this world, it is neeessary for us often to recur to the conduct of the Divine Bedeemer, since that couduct is not only the very best in the circumstances that man can adopt, but it is the invariable rule by which his life is to be guided. In seeking to do good, it is well for us to go back to the life-time of llim of whom it was said, "He went about doing good;" anil in that life-time we shall find our strongest stimulus as well as our sweetest encouragement. Ho may well afford to be a model for men, from whom all may copy, but whom none can excel. In connexion with Jerusalem, the example of the Saviour is singular: considering the treatment which he had received at their hands, and the way in which they had acted towards the prophets, his messengers, in former times, we should not have been surprised, but almost gratified, if he had shut them out from the reach of mercy, and consigned them to the hardness of heart which their sin merited. Instead of this being the case, however, he seems to have retained the very strongest interest in everything pertaining to the chosen city; and with perfect truth it may be said, that the worse they treated him the more he loved them; and even with his last breath, when they crucified him, he earnestly sought for them a blessing. "Father, forgive thorn; they know not what they do!"
When the Saviour gave these instructions to hie disciples, we must remember that he was not just entering npon his mission, and that Jerusalem was an untried place; for, instead of that, his work was completed—he had endured all the insults they had inflicted—he had seen the wickedness of their conduct, and the iropenrtency of their spirit —he had experienced their unjust condemnation and their rude treatment upon the cross; and yet, notwithstanding all, he says to hia disciples, after he rose from the grove, " Preach my gospel in all the world, but first in Jerusalem. Let the wretched city again he
visited. Let the shaft of heaven, which is coming down upon it for its inipenitt'iicy, be hurled back if possible. I have wept for Jerusalem—I have prayed for itr-1 have laboured for it-—I have Buffered for it; and now, when I am no longer in the flesh, I send you, my chosen servants, to the rebellious city: perchance they may repent." Thus, if we would copy the example of the Saviour and his apostles, we must have our own country the object nearest out hearts, and the first in our efforts; w« must begin at Jerusalem. II. It Is The Dictate Of Hdmaniit,
AS WELL AS Or ItEI.liaON, TO SEEK. Fian TO BENEFIT THOSE AT HOUR. There 13
a current proverb, the reasonableness and propriety of which, no one will question: "Charity begins at home." No doubt this universal truth is ofteu made the apology for niggardliness and covetousucss. But when seen in its true light, aud felt in its true influence, instead of contracting the fibres of the heart, it expands them; and while it requires us to think of those near at hand, it prompts us to feel deep concern for tho remotest members of the great human family. We should deem him a sorry parent who professed great lore for other children, while he manifested little or none for his own. We should call that man a sad hypocrite who conH be all smiles and gentleness in the society of strangers, and whoso own fireside is unlit-up by one gracious look, and who is a very churl at home. We should deem that a spurious Christianity which was loud, aud animated, and xealou* about the sufferings and sins of toe people of distant lands, while the very same sufferings are endured, and the very same sins are committed, by our neighbours, and we are not lifting up » finger for their benefit. And that would be a far-fetched and misbegotten philanthropy which shoidd be clamorous about the improvement of the condition of persons living at our antipodes, while it has no protest to utter against the wrongs beneath which thousands at home groan, and no plan to propose for ameliorating the lot of its own kinsmen and countrymen. Let us have a largehearted charity: as large-hearted as you will, provided it only bs genuine; but let us never suppose that it can be genuine if it is teaching us to overlook our suffering artizans and toil-worn labourers, many of whom are in a condition little better than the poor African who is branded with the cursed name of slave. It is an easy thing to lash our. selves into a kind of furor about objects that are remote and indefinite, and to people the imagination with all sorts of phantoms and horrors; but to encounter and do battle with the monster that lies at our own door requires hard, stern, personal labour; and to that I fear we are not so readily persuaded. III. Our Home Population Needs
THE HELP OF ALL GOOD CHRISTIANS AND
Patriotic Men..—Some persons may be ignorant enough to suppose, perhaps, that there is no particular necessity for any very great effort at home—that Christianity has been so long in operation in these lands that it must have accomplished everything it is designed for—that the supply is quite equal to the demand—and that religion is rapidly leavening the masses of our people. We are by no means unmindful of what has been done on behalf of our own beloved country by the labours of humane and Christian men, nor are we unthankful for the measure of blessing with which Ood has owned those labours. But with ail the religiousness of which our laud boasts, and justly boasts, is there not much demoralization and vice? Are not our jails crowded with the committers of crime, and is it not found needful to enlarge them? Is it not at present considered the most perplexing question to statesmen and others, What are we to do with our criminal population, because they are increasing on our hauds? Is it not a fact that the population of London
alone is accumulating at the rate of one thousand a week, and other large towns in almost the same proportion, while the religious part of the community is making no increased efforts corresponding thereto? And, blind ourselves to it as we may, is it not a fact that one of our great national universities is sending forth teachers who have no sympathy except with a retrograde and semi-popish Christianity; and that the other is making men good scholars, and qualifying them to be expert philosophical sceptics, instead of teaching them the principles of the religion of Jesus, and qualifying them for the cure of immortal souls? Is it not a fact that a large majority of the clergy of the English Church are imbued with Tractariaii notions, while the great bulk of the rest are thoroughly incompetent for their sacred functions, and that only here and there one, like stars in a cloudy sky, are giving forth the true light from heaven, and guiding men to Jesus? We say these things in sorrow, rather than in anger. We have no wish to traduce the ministers of other churches, or to represent things worse than they are. But we believe the battle of Christianity has to be fought over again in our own country. On the one hand, it has to contend with a cold, dry, dead ritualism, and on the other, with a proud, impertinent philosophy, besides encountering the masses who are steeped in ignorance and vice. Nor must Christianity shrink from tho encounter. It is said that
"Freedom's battle, once began,
and much more truly may we say of
UP WITH THE WELFARE OF OCR HOME Population.—How beautiful that description of mutual relationship and dependence found in the Epistle to the Corinthians (b. 1, ch. xii.). The hand cannot say to the foot, nor the eye to the ear, I have no need of thee. There is an intercommunion and fellowship between one part and another of the human body, nor is it possible to do damage to one, without seriously affecting all the rest There is a strict analogy between the different parts of the human body and the different parts of the body politic. Of the great community it is the most important part that we have to reach. The masses of men are yet unleavened by the gracious influence of religion. Disguise the fact as we may, and think of it as we will, the masses of our home population are unreached by religion. It has often been the cry, We are in danger from an unbridled democracy. Nor do I see how the danger is to be averted, except by beginning at home, and labouring in earnest for the men at our own doors. We believe there is no safety for any state or people under heaven apart from the religion of the cross. It is the stability of our times, and of all times. France, and Austria, and Russia, and Italy, are governed by a debased and reckless soldiery; let go that power, and what is there to put in its place, except a power which is akin to the destructive lightning and the howling volcano? England is governed, happily, neither by arms, nor literature, nor politics, but by the religious tpirit, and therefore she sits, like a gallant ship, upon the crested wave, and defies the storm. But then we fear this religious spirit is passing away from the masses; at least it is of the utmost importance that it have a deeper and more abiding influence. Here, then, is an object calling for, and repaying, our highest efforts. If we would preserve our country from social disorder and national destruction—if we would preserve society from the fearful rents and out
breaks to which other lands have been subject—if we would diffuse peace and contentment, we must seek, more earnestly than we have yet done, to bring the multitudes beneath the sway of religion; and we must be content with no amelioration les3 real and thorough than that which reaches the heart, and brings the sinner into closest contact with Christ and God. It is high time men had learnt that religion is the best temporal boon, as well as the best heavenly treasure. V. In Seeking The Conversion or
OUR OWN POPULATION WE ARK RAISING UP THE VERT BEST HUMAN AGENCY FOB THE CONVERSION OF THE WORLD. No
doubt the Saviour knew that in seeking to effect the conversion of the Jews, he was not only accomplishing tho greatest good for the men themselves, but also for the world at large. How fax the grand successes which Christianity experienced in the first centuries of the Christian era were indebted to the thousands who were converted in Jerusalem, it is impossible for us to say. No doubt the human cause, as in all cases, was equal to the effect. Who can say what an influence would be exerted upon the world if this little island were converted to God? Look at the various facilities which science, and commerce, and Providence are putting within our reach for coming into eontact with the people of all lands. Consider what means of communication there are between country and country, and specially between our own and every other. There is not a continent of earth which our countrymen do not visit—not an island of the ocean we do not explore—not an inhospitable region with which we have not contracted an acquaintance. We do not say. Let our scientific men be less scientific, and visit other countries less for the acquirement of knowledge; but, let them carry with them more of a Christian spirit. We do not say, let our enterprizing commercial men be less eager
about the suocesses of their earthly speculations; but, let them freight their ships also with salvation, and inscribe upon their sails, "Holiness to the Lord." Suppose every Englishman who leaves our ports for pleasure, or riches, or science, or art, had impressed upon his mind, and engraven upon his heart, the religion of heaven and the love of Christ, what blessed results would soon be experienced! No longer could the heathen point to England when our Missionaries preach, and say, "Look at your own home. Evangelize your own country, aud spend not your zeal and your life upon us." Let our
own country become converted, and we might soon join with the blessed aboTe, in singing the anthem of salvation, "The kingdoms of this world have become tho kingdom of our God and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever." Who does not pant and pray for such a time? Who will not labour for the coming of such a day? Who will not help t<f give such an impetus to the gospel chariot here, that it shall roll on at lightning speed to other regions, and scatter its heaven-sent blessings upon every land?
J. B. L. Northallerton.
THE YOUNG WEALTHY RULER. Mark x. 17; Matt. xix. 16; Luke xviii. 18.
Tus young man referred to in this passage was no ordinary personage. He was rich, for he had great possessions; he had rank, for he was a ruler of theJews—either arulerof the nation, one of the Great Sanhedrim, or a ruler of the synagogue, a post of considerable dignity; he had education, talents, moral excellence; and to all these advantages we must add his youth, for Matthew (xix. 20,) speaks of him as a young man. What may we not hope from such a man, placed in such happy circumstances, endowed with such talents, and distinguished by such a love of moral excellence? May we not hope to see him become a decided and earnest disciple of Christ? A little attention to this passage will convince us of a mournful truth, that the most amiable and hopeful characters do not always becomo the most pious.
1. We are to consider the case of a hopeful inquirer.
His inquiry is vastly important.
This young man was no infidel. He was not one of those conceited and presumptuous young men, who mock at
sacred things; nor was he one of those sensual young men who say, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. He believed in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and of the life everlasting. He viewed with solemn, reverential awe the great futurity in which all must live, and livo for ever. His faith prompted the inquiry, What must I do? How important tho inquiry! The inheritance of heaven is lost, How shall I regain it?
The inquiry is deeply interesting.
"The Jews seem to have thought," says Dr. Doddridge, "that if they abstained from gross crimes, sacrifices might atone for smaller neglects." Hence they went about to establish their own righteousness, neither understanding the nature of the laws, nor the use of those sacrifices which were designed to exercise faith, and to point to a better sacrifice, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. How natural the inquiry—What must I do? I must do something, that is plain; reason requires it, nature prompts it—I must do something, or endure some