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DEAR SIR, -Having observed, in the “Teacher's Visitor" for December last, a paper “On the Marriage of Christians with Unbelievers,” which I thought calculated to be very useful, I am anxious to strengthen the impression which, I trust, with the blessing of God, will be made on its readers, by directing their attention to two admirable addresses of the late excellent Hugh White's on this subject. They will be found in a volume of Meditations and Addresses,” published in Dublin.
Being convinced, by personal experience, of the great importance of a calm and prayerful consideration of the subject, before the affections are permitted to blind the judgment and stupify the conscience, I would advise the serious consideration of “The Forbidden Marriage,” and “ Jesus invited to the Marriage." The first is full of solemn, Scriptural warnings, accompanied with in stances in which the most fearful consequences must follow a wilful neglect of them. I shall add one or two quotations, hoping that it may induce all your readers to obtain the work for themselves.
Speaking of the fatal error which some make in supposing that they may benefit those to whom they are unscripturally attached, the writer adds: “Is the residue of the Spirit, then, with you? Is the power of changing the heart of a sinner in your hands ? Know you not that this is work for an Almighty arm; that you might as well attempt, in your own strength to open the eyes of the blind, or raise the dead to life? But you will pray to be guided, strengthened, and blest, in undertaking the work of bringing about his conversion. Alas ! how will your prayers be, as it were, blown back in your face by the terrifying recollection, that you have undertaken this awfully arduous work, not merely without encouragement from, but in direct disobedience to, the will and word of God ?”
“ Have your spiritual affections such a tendency to mount upward, such a soaring propensity, that you can safely attach to them the most dangerous clog, the strongest chain, that the God of this world could desire to fasten on them, for the purpose of dragging them down to earth, and earthly things ?”
The following meditation, entitled, “ Jesus invited to the Marriage,” exhibits such a happy contrast to the preceding one, that it is admirably calculated to further the author's design; namely, *That his readers would resolve, in all sincerity, and humble dependence on divine strength, to enable them to keep the resolution, never to give their hearts to an object whose heart was not, as far as they could judge on Scriptural grounds, given to God.”
If it be asked why such a subject is introduced in your monthly “ Visitor," my reply is, “Because so many well-disposed young persons are unavoidably brought into weekly contact with those who may be influenced by far different motives in their work, than the love of Jesus; and because every wise and Christian parent knows that any hint which tends to prevent an erroneous judgment, or erroneous step, is surely valuable.”
There is also one other subject closely connected with this, to which I would affectionately draw the attention of your young readers. There may be cases in which the younger members of a family may have clearer views of divine truth than those to whom, in other matters, they are bound to look up to for counsel and advice. Let them ever bear in mind, that a connection which is lawful in principle, may be very imprudent in circumstances. The judgment of friends, who are not enlightened by the Spirit of God, is not be despised, unless it be clearly opposed to the revealed will of God: on the contrary, it ought to be received with thankfulness, and carried in earnest prayer to Him who alone can give us a right understanding in all things, and enable us to surrender the dearest object of our affections, when the possession of it would injure his cause, and bring any disgrace upon our profession or our work.
With a sincere prayer that in this, as in every thing else, your readers may be a pattern to the little school over whom the Proridence of the Great Shepherd has placed them,
I remain, dear sir,
A. S. Bristol, January 15th, 1845.
ON CONDUCTING SUNDAY-SCHOOLS. REV. AND DEAR SIR,-Being engaged in that most important work -viz. that of Sunday-school Teaching—and feeling my own insufficiency to instruct the dear lambs of Christ, and of leading them to Him, I beg to ask your opinion respecting a plan of teaching, which has struck me might prove beneficial to the children. I have lately adopted it in my own class; and so far as I am able to judge, find it answers well. The plan is simply thus :—We commence with singing, and with prayer; after which a chapter is read from one of the Gospels, and questions asked upon any portion of it which may have occurred to the Teacher as being best suited for the occasion. The Bibles are then closed, and the first boy in the class commences by
asking the others some question from the chapter previously explained, or commented upon, by the teacher, and so on, each boy in his turn all round the class. From what I can see of it, I think I may safely say the boys take an interest in this mode of instruction; and if this be the case, will not the questions which they propose to each other sink deeper into their young minds? Again, another benefit arising from this mode of instruction is this :—The boys are induced to read and study their Bibles at home to enable them to put suitable questions to the rest of the class—the chapter being selected, of course, the Sunday before.
However, I shall, with your kind permission, leave it with you to give me your views upon the subject; or, should you insert my letter in your invaluable “Teacher's Visitor,” I trust those more experienced than myself will state their candid opinion relative to the plan proposed herein.
Before concluding, allow me to thank you from my heart for the good I have so abundantly received from reading your little work; and I pray that the Lord of hosts, who is the only King of kings, and Lord of lords, may spare your life, that we may enjoy for many years to come the productions of your valuable pen; and that when you are gathered home to your fathers, you may be welcomed into the mansions of bliss with, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” I remain, dear Sir, your obedient servant,
A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER, Feb. 12, 1845.
ON BAPTISM. REV. SIR,-In reply to the inquiry of a correspondent in the “Teacher's Visitor" for February, I think he will find that the following tracts meet many of the most popular objections brought by dissenters against Infant Baptism, and the expressions in our Liturgy concerning it. 1. “An Address to Baptists of all denominations, &c. &c. By
Aristogeiton.” Published at Loughborough, by Ed. Barker.
Price 2d. 2. “Extracts from Abp. Usher and Dr. Hammond on Baptism."
Hatchards, London ; Dearden, Nottingham. Price 2d. 3. “Office of Sponsors. By the Rev. John Venn.” Seeleys, Lon
don. Price 2d. 4. “Two Conversations on Infant Baptism. By the Rev. H.
Moule.” Smith, Fleet Street. Price ls.
5. “An Affectionate Address to Godfathers and Godmothers. By
the Rev. E. T. M. Phillipps." Seeleys, London. Price ld. 6. "Two Sermons, preached at Hull, by the. Rev. Mr. Deck, on
Infant Baptism,”-of which, as I have not a copy by me, I am
unable to give the publisher's name. Price Is.. No. 5 in the above list has nothing controversial in it, but is a most suitable tract for distribution at baptisms. I can also recommend, “Church of England Village Dialogues,” by Anthony Crowdy, M. A., Nisbet, London, price Is. 3d., as answering other objections against our Liturgy, and containing at the same time much that is highly edifying and instructive.
Praying that the blessing of God may rest upon your labours, I remain, Rev. Sir, your obedient servant,
- P.S. I forgot to state that Nos. 1 and 6 are the only two on the list which enter into the historical part of the controversy.
St. Bees, Feb. 12, 1845.
SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS. “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel
of the Lord that shall stand." The two Houses of Parliament have been opened, her Majesty's speech delivered, and a few preliminary harangues made, more as the pioneers of future operations, and the indicators of future policy, than containing any very valuable matter, since our last. The Queen's speech was concise, and, on all the points on which it touched, satisfactory. Some omissions, whether premeditated or not, we could not but regret.--The attention of Parliament is directed especially to means for the improvement of education in Ireland. We do trust that the government will deem it expedient, though we dare scarcely hope so much, to revise the national education system there as it is at present established. Its great offence is, that it dispenses with Scriptural instruction, and gives up the reading of the Scriptures as a fundamental rule of the system. It is a concession to the Romanist body in Ireland, but it casts to the winds one of the grand principles of our Reformed Protestant Church. A very able address on the subject has been lately published by those Protestant prelates in Ireland who are opposed to it, and another of sympathy and co-operation has been put forth by 21 noblemen and 24 members of parliament, who, from their property and connections are peculiarly interested in the Irish. Established
Church.-We have much pleasure in noticing the annual statement of the Home and Colonial Infant School-an institution well worthy the cordial assistance of the wealthy. It has trained 100 teachers, and given assistance to 30 more, during the past year, at a cost of £1300. Proofs of decided piety are required to be shewn, as far as man can judge, before they are recommended to situations.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.—There is not much of interest in Foreign news at present. The London Missionary Society has lately sent a deputation to M. Guizot, respecting the miserable state of Tahiti, praying the king, through him, to restore the Tahitans to their independence, and remove the French protectorate. The minister returned them a very polite answer-not, of course, acceding to their demands; and, in the present position of affairs, we do not well see how he could, but—hoping for their assistance in carrying out the views of the French Goverment on the Island.Our readers may remember the lamented death of the Rev. B. Illingworth, Church Missionary, off Sierra Leone, by the upsetting of a boat. His brother officers have lately erected a monument (he was previously chaplain on board the “Madagascar”) in Fowey church, Cornwall, to his memory. May his labour for God's cause be “recompensed at the resurrection of the just."-India and China mails have been received, and the state of both countries (in the former the Mahratta disturbances having been quelled) is tranquil. One officer--Colonel Hicks-was killed, we regret to say, at Kholapore, in reducing the natives.-The abolition of the slave trade has caused some stir of late in Washington, and meetings have been called to bring it before the notice of Congress. In Spain the same question has been opened for discussion, but has been violently opposed. As usual, self-interest, that grasping band in which so many an abuse is enveloped, keeps it from being settled.--The sympathy of British Christians is demanded at this time especially for the peculiar destitution of some of the Canada Clergy. They have been left for nearly two years and a half without any stipend, and are most distressed. A circular has been sent round by the Bishop of Toronto, Dr. Mountain, calling for collections to be made for their relief in the churches. May God prosper them.
The ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE of our country is rather scanty this month. A bishop has been lately appointed to Ceylonthe Rev. Mr. Chapman, rector of Dunstan, Essex.-Petitions and addresses from East Grinstead, Leamington, and Bath, have been presented to the Queen, praying her to take into consideration the present distracted state of the Church.—The diocese of Exeter is more calm than it has been of late---more probably, as we stated in