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independent states; and we have witnessed the first fruits of its baleful success, in arresting the march of improvement. With respect to Spain, indeed, it was impossible not to admit that there were many and great defects in the constitution of government which it adopted. Still, it was obviously susceptible of amendment; and, at least, it removed the obstructions which previously existed to the general diffusion of that knowledge which must, before long, have produced the most extensive and beneficial mioral effects. The slave and the prisoner were beginning to feel its benign influence. Even Popery itself, though recognized as the exclusive religion of the state, must have soon had its worst deformities exposed by the light of increasing education, and by the hallowed principles of the word of God, which, under the influence of a free press, must, in despite both of Infidelity and of Popery, have found its way to the hands and hearts of the people. These opening prospects, for the present, have closed in darkness and degradation ; and this hapless country has again been consigned, for a time at least, to the gloom of the dark ages of intellectual ignorance, civil thraldom, and popish superstition.
And what is the state of our nearer neighbour, France? To our minds, this country presents a somewhat humiliating spectacle. Spain has been the victim, France the asserter and the agent of tyranny. And the same spirit which has led to the extinction of the rising liberties of Spain, is producing its effect at bome. Encroachments bare already been made, and more, it is said, are meditated, on its boasted charter; while that more sacred Charter, that blessed volame, which discloses to a weary and fainting world “the glorioas liberty of the sons of God,” is beginning to be made frowned upon and discountenanced. The schools of mutual instruction which at one time, under the cordial sanction of the Government, seemed to promise a rapid increase of knowledge, and an extensive promulgation of the pure principles of the word of God, are now discouraged; Bible Societies are made to feel the three same chilling influence; wbile the mummeries of Popery, and the abject servilities of civil and religious bondage, are inculcated, as the weighty matters of the Divine law, by the once proscribed Jesuits, pow restored not only to protection but to favour.
In short, throughout continental Europe, there has been at work a spirit which, unless defeated by its own incautious violence, or overhorne, as we doubt not it ultimately will and must be, by the wider diffusion of knowledge and sound principles, would oproot all that is most valuable to man, whether as concerns bis temporal or his eternal existence. In no respect do we view the ope
Le boto ads and resent,
m of the pish su
ce? To pectacle.
the open And if, amidst the general progress of the Church of Christ mili
ralion of this spirit with more regret than in the strenuous efforts Vith
made of late in various parts of the continent, to chain down that that
palladian of liberty and religion—the Press. Our own bappy Tern
country is, at the present moment, almost the oply.spot in the old ble of
world where man may with impunity'speak, and write, and print, - pre
as he pleases, provided he does not injure his neighbour, or outwhich
rage society. bene
Happily, however, for the human race, co-extensive, and more Enning
than co-extensive, witli the cloud which envelops so many of the recog
ancient nations of the European continent, is the bright dawn e soon
which is rising in the Western world. It would seem as if human
freedom and happiness, like the stream of post-diluvian popula. ( God,
tion, had gradually followed the daily circuit of the sun, and had at length penetrated even to the farthest shores of America itself. If we look at the Northern division of the Western World, we
there find the principles of British liberty and pure Christianity country preserved and perpetuated, not only in the continental possessions
of our own country, but by the descendants of our own forefathers in the extensive circuit of the United States. The Southern continent also is consolidating its liberties, and opening wide channels to the inlet of knowledge, and the diffusion of scriptural Christianity. And, even as respects the islands which intervene between these two continents, in the British portions of them especially
, we are persuaded that a voice has gone forth within the past year, wbich shall not be overpowered till European piety and humanity sball bave gradually and safely, but effectually, delivered their shores from the foul reproach of slavery, and reared in that bouse of bondage a temple to Him with whom is no respect of persons, and who shed his blood for all nations of the earth, without distinction of clime or colour.
With earnest gratitude to God we record, that the various bebevolent institutions wbich bave for their object this and every other work of Christian mercy, and wbich reflect so much honour un our age and country, have during another year made a steady progress, both in the affections of their friends and in the subversion of the kingdom of sin and darkness. The Bible, and the cause of the Bible, are continuing their triumphant course ; Christianity is penetrating the high places of pagan idolatry; the East and the West, the North and the South, are receiving the wel.
of salvation; and each new station, won from the power of the god of this world, is becoming an additional centre Uld op of action around which to extend the triumphs of the Cross into
the surrounding abodes of spiritual desolation.
uction of t home. said, are Charter,
18 world 5 to be
mutual O of the
word vi feel the and the ated, oscribed
I be, by
ant upon earth, we may be allowed to turn aside to that particular art of it with which we are immediately connected, we cannot but congratulate our readers upon the extension of the priniples and the formularies of our own scriptural church. Our lergy, missionaries, foreign chaplains, and the lay members of sur church, are widely diffusing her primitive doctrines and disipline; our Prayers and Articles and Homilies are from day to day ollowing the track marked out for their admission, by the circulaion of the Bible, and the labours of Missionaries among the neatlien ; in India, tbe beneficial exertions of our church are inreasingly felt; in Western Africa, that church bas reaped some of her most delightfal froits; the importance of strengthening her pale in our West India colonies, is now generally acknowledged; and not least among our own Transatlantic brethren in the United States, ber influence is spreading, and has sought out the religious necessities of mankind, to the very verge of civilized existence, amidst the waters of Ohio and the forests of the farthest West. These are bloodless triumphs; the harbingers, we trust, of yet more glorious achievements! May every succeeding year prepare the way for the universal extension and establishment of the Redeemer's kingdom !
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
BEING FOR THE YEAR 1823.
Miscel.—Journey throngh North
REV.of-Jowell's Christian Re Planting Cross at Montpellier
ib. Turkey-Greeks; Turkish Des.
Works; Cambridge; Prison
RELIG. COM.--Memoir of Bossuet
Pub. Apr - Foreign-Congress at
66 Wliarely on Party Feeling (con.'
Works; Cambridge; King's
Relig. INTEL.-Anti-Slavery So.
95 OBIT.-Bishop and Archdeacon of
Relig. Com.-Memoir of Bossuet Church Missionary Society
Scriptural Illustrations.-No.IV. 207 London Anti-Slavery Society
Sani's Visit to Witch of Endor 215 Ireland-Marriage Bill.is 331
218 ECCLESIASTICAL PREFERMENTS 332
Rev. Up-Letters Prejudice Scriptural Illustrations. No V. 359
230 Family Sermons. —No.CLXXIV.
LIT. INTEL.—Great Britain-New
Conduct towards Heathens SEL
253 Rev. 07-Milman's Jerusalem 361
And Martyr of Autioch
255 Works; Oxford; Uanıbridge 385
Surrey lostitution; Garrick's Li.
brary; Coronation Expenses.. 386
Basle Evangelical Missionary So-
New South Wales - Agricultural
Education in Germany, &c. ib. Relig. INTEL.–Casie among Hin.
Marriage Bill; Criminal Laws;
Verses on Shelley, by Barton
India-Hindoo Precision ; Asiatic
Observer; Subscription for dis.
tressed Irish ; Hindoo Worship ib.