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worship of the idol, Juggernaut. These abominations bave been admitted and defended by men in high places, and the service of the state has been pleaded as an ex. cuse for trampling upon the honour of God, and the rights of conscience. .
III.-We shall call your attention, brethren, merely to one other example of national sin, in the multiplication of oaths of office and business, and the manner in which they are administered. Such oaths are prescribed on the most trifling' occasions, demanded with a frequency most vexatious and unnecessary, and often administered in a manner most hurried and irreverent; while their com. plexity renders many of them most dangerous snares to ihe consciences of men.
Nor let it be imagined, brethren, that because these evils belong more to the legislature than to the people, that therefore we are necessarily clear of all the crimi. nality: In so far as we have neglected to testify against them, in so far are we individually and collectively partakers of the guilt; and in so far are we called to humili. ation and repentance: and should judgments descend on the nation for its sin, so far may we expect to share in the deserved punishment.
When we turn our eyes from this brief review of the sins of the nation, and contemplate the churches, we see still fartber cause for humiliation before God.
IV.-Among some of the churches called Christian, we behold saints and angels still worshipped as mediators, images and pictures still receiving the service of the knee, pilgrimages and penances still substituted for the work of Christ, and we know that the Bible, the holy word of a holy God, has been burned in the fire, buried in the earth, and otherwise sacrilegiously destroyed in our land; and the work of the Spirit of order and holiness publicly denounced as the organ of anarchy and impurity. Again we discover the spirit of a mere human policy exercising an irresistible controul over the order and offices of the churches, and pursuing in these things its own carnal and selfish ends, with a total disregard of the supremacy and glory of Christ. And where the power of church order is, according to the Scriptures, lodged exclusively in the bands of church members, we lament to discover a spirit of factiousness and of schism often distracting their elections, and converting their religious privileges and liberties into sources of confusion and animosity. When we look farther around, we see men professing to be Ministers of the Gospel, attempting to degrade the “Word that was with God, and was God," into the rank of an angel, or of a peccable and erring mortal like ourselves : We hear the atoning nature of his sacrifice denied, re. generation by the Holy Spirit derided, and the fulness of scriptural inspiration openly rejected.
V.-And when we turn our eye to those who profess the truth, while we find many causes for thankfulness, in a growing attention to sacred things, --in the awakening of the minds of men to the work and fruits of the Spirit, in conversion and sanctification,-in an increasing regard to public ordinances and family religion,-in the revival of missionary zeal,-in the testimony that has been raised against error,--and in a strong sense of the importance and necessity of a more faithful exercise of church discipline; yet as the work of revival which, in our families and churches, the Lord has thus mercifully be gun, will form neither excuse nor substitute for the work of reformation that yet remains to be accomplished, it becomes us, amidst our sources of thankfulness, to examine and acknowledge our causes of humiliation. We accordingly discover cause of deep humiliation in the melancholy luke. warmness of many of the professed friends of the Gospel.“They are neither cold nor hot.” We discover it in the sinful accommodation of others to the latitudinarian principles and practices of the world. There is such a fear and backwardness to follow Christ, through “evil report,” that we know the love of many has waxed cold. We have cause of humiliation in the want of brotherly love among those who profess the common doctrines of salvation, and in that insulating selfishness, separating between church and church, whereby one is so determinately “of Paul,” and another " of Apollos," that there is much tendency to for. get that both should rather be “of Christ.”
VI.-- We acknowledge, as another cause of humiliation before God, that there is so little zeal in advancing the cause of Christ, so little "work of faith and labour of love," so little liberality of beart, and so little sacrifice of earthly things for His sake, from whom we have roceived both earthly and heavenly things. We think these days have done much for the Bible; yet millions have not a copy, and thousands cannot read. We think this a missionary age; but it is merely because much of the past time had no missionary spirit, that our candle shines in a darş place, The various Protestant churches of these lands do not support more than six hundred missionaries, among six hundred millions of heathens- miserable disproportion between the labourers and the labour; yet is the number so great, that the treasury of the church can scarcely sup. ply the expenditure; and not because the churches are poor, but because love and zeal are low and cold.
VII.-We farther call upon our churches to humble themselves before God, on account of neglected coinmunions, relaxed discipline, the continued inattention of many to the important departments of family religion, in reading the Scriptures, singing the praises of God, and united prayer,--departments of duty in which we acknowledge and deplore a melancholy defection in many of our families, from the piety and holy conversation of their fathers. Nor are we to search for our causes of humiliation solely in our own failings and defections, but we are to look abroad upon all the sins that disfigure the face of general society. As the people of God of old did “sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land,” so we call upon our churches to come before God with weeping, and lamentation, and confession, because of the iniquity which still abounds, in profane swearing, the neglect and violation of the sabbath, drunkenness, sensuality, fraud, and covetousness, which is idolatry; "for which things sake, the wrath of God cometh upon all the children of disobedience.”
We have now, brethren, directed your attention to the “perilous times" in which our lot is-cast, and to some of those public sins to which the peril may be traced.
If the nations and churches be disturbed, it is because the nations and churches have sinned, and God is just in judgment. Individuals who sin may leave this world without any visible mark of God's displeasure, because individuals will exist in another life, and receive according to their deeds; but when nations and churches sin, they must meet their punishment in this world, because in the world to come all temporal societies will be dissolved.
The word of God affords us many undisputed instances of kings and nations having been threatened by divine providence," and of the mercy of the Lord opon their humiliation and repentance. The example of Nineveh, “that great city" and seat of empire, threatened, penitent, and pardoned, --and the repeated warnings, judgments, and mercies of God to the Jewish nation, --- will present themselves to the memory of every reader of the Bible.
The book of Revelation affords us many awful examples of warning to Ministers and Churches, which the page of ancient history, and the faithful witness of modern Christian research, exhibit in fulfilment to the very letter. These things were written for our examples: let us take warning, be zealous, and repent. The mighty hand of God is lifted up, let us humble ourselves, ere it fall in judgment; and the hand that is now lifted to afflict and punish, will then be extended to defend and save.
Let us call upon the name of God, who sees the peni. tent, and who answers prayer, and bring before him the case of our nation and churches, praying that he would pardon and accept of us through the blood of the eternal covenant, revive and promote the growth of pure and undefiled religion, overrule in meroy all public deliberations and measures to the promotion of his own glory, to the advancement of scriptural truth, the extension and consolidation of genuine civil and religious liberty, the alle. viation of the burthens of the people, the establishment of public satisfaction and contentment, and the cementing of good will and charity between all ranks and conditions of men.
And now may the God of all peace.grant you, brethren, to be like-minded one towards another; give you grace to bumble yourselves before the mighty power of God; and di. rect you to "Jesus, the only refuge of believing penitents, until these "perilous times” come to an end, and “these calamities be overpast."
The Synod having maturely considered the foregoing reasons, unanimously resolved, that they be published and circulated with all coovevient despatch; that Ministers be requested to read them from their pulpits upon Sunday, the 10th April; and recommend to their several churches to observe Wednesday, the 13th, or (where that day, may be inconvenient) Thursday, the 14th April ensuing, as a day of PUBLIC HUMILIATION before Almighty God.
The Synod farther recommend, that, upon the day of humiliation, Ministers do preach appropriate discourses, and direct the public prayers to God for removing the evils that press or threaten the nations; and that, searching the Scriptures, (as in Ezra viii. 21; Jer. xxxvi. 6–9; Dan. ix. 3; Joel i. 14; ii. 15; Jonah iii, 5; Matt. ix. 14, 15; Luke v. 33, 34, 35; Acts x. 30,)--for the call, warrant, and measure of their duty, the people do, according to said authority, and the laudable example of their fathers, abstain from the labours of the field and the business of their houses, giving themselves wholly to the spiritual work of the day, in reading and hearing the word, prayer, meditation, and godly converse. COOKSTOWN, 10th
ROBERT WINNING, MODERATOR, 5. March, 1831.
JAMES SEATON. REID, CLERE.
We have been requested to insert the following Address from the General Synod of Ulster to the Lord Lieutenant, together with his Excellency's Answer, in order to convey to our readers, especially those in Scotland and England, the opinion of the Synod upon an important national question ; and for the purpose of affording to that opinion a permanence that it could not derive from the ordinary means of publication.- Enir. To his Excellency Henry Wm., Marquis of Anglesey, Lord Lieutenant
General and General Governor of Ireland, MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,
We, the Ministers and Elders of the General Synod of Ulster, specially convened, return our humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God for that wisdom, promptitude, armness, and success, with which, in these troublous times, he has been pleased to bless your Excellency's Adminis. tration is and we do, in our own name, and in that of more than half a million of a peacea ble, educated, and loyal people, present to your Excellency that dutiful respect which the Scriptures inculcate-first to the "King, as supreme, and then to Governors, as those who are sent by him."
The present is the only occasion upon which, during a period of upwards of two hundred years, the representatives of our Church have been as. semkled for the special purpose of addressing the head of our local Gov. ernment. But when the Legislative Union of the kingdoms is threatened and endangered-a Union upon which, in our opinion, depend the prosperity and peace of the empire, and the rank which it occupies in the scale of nations though generally averse, and seldom accustomed, to interfere in political matters, we feel it our imperative duty, publicly to express our sentiments on this important question,
Your exeellency is, no doubt, aware, that our Presbyterian Church in Ulster is an original branch of the Church of Scotland, inheriting her principles in doctrine, discipline, and worship. Planted in Ireland in the reign of James the First, our fathers, at many trying 'and momentous periods, staod, the impregnable fortress of civil and religious liberty, and formed the inseparable bood of British connexion. Accustomed by education and hereditary attachments, to look to Scotland as the cradle of our religious liberties, we there discover, not merely an exam. ple of the inconveniences of a Federative, but the blessings of a Legislative Union. Nor is there, in our opinion, any reason why a measure so. happily successful in the case of Scotland and England, should not be equally successful between Great Britain and Ireland. That it has, in part, been successful, we believe, and we feel ; and that it has not effected greater good, we must chiefly attribute to that stless spirit of agitation, which interrupts the efforts of native industry, and preventsthe influx of British capital.
Firmly believing that our prosperity and safety are, under Providence, dependent upon the unimpaired continuance of the Legislative Union of the kingdoms, we come forward to express the unanimous determination of ourselves and our people to support your Excellency in sup. pressing the factious agitation of the question of Repeal, and preserving the Union inviolate. The agitation of the question may, indeed, unsettle