Images de page
[graphic][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Isaiah, xxi. 11, 12.

THE unexpected vigour and decision of tone in which her Majesty's speech, on closing the last session of parliament, denounced the treasonable proceedings of O'Connell and his confederates, has told with very happy effect. It was an act of duty in the sight of God, therefore we are justified in looking for a continuance of the divine blessing upon it. When rulers bear the sword in vain, when they are neither a terror to evildoers nor for the praise of them that do well, their reign can but be an abuse of God's ordinance, who has instituted government to that very end, hedging authority round with such sanctions that those who fear God must, as a necessary sequence, honour the king. The unruly and seditious, all who oppose themselves to the good order with which the Lord has so beautifully arranged the social structure among those people who recognise His divine supremacy, must be made to know that the chief magistrate of a kingdom is God's minister to them, to execute wrath upon the disobedient and upon all workers of iniquity. We have certainly felt that the honour of Him by whom kings reign and princes decree justice was in a measure compromised, while the sword of justice rusted in its scabbard, and the very voice of authority was hushed, till rebellion could make a daily mock of the government which God has established in these lands; till the sabbaths of the Lord were so habitually profaned by the turbulent meetings, seditious speeches, and convivial feastings of those whose trade is open rebellion, that it seemed clear to all who reverence God's word that the authority must be lightly esteemed which wore VOL. V.-Oct. 1843.


such an aspect of contempt for His glory who is exceedingly jealous of his sabbath days. We could certainly wish that a word or two on this especial point had been introduced into the royal address; it would have fallen gracefully from the lips of a young Christian Queen, and would have cheered the hearts, while it brightened the hopes, of many thousands among her most devoted subjects, to find there was in high places so godly a jealousy for the honour of the Most High. However, we all know that the speech does not emanate from the mind of the royal personage who utters it; and whatsoever of deficiency we may be inclined to regret, her Majesty is not the person on whom it is to be charged. There was much to be thankful formuch to discourage and intimidate the adverse party, and to strengthen the hands of the well-affected.

So far as events have progressed, we may note tokens of both these effects. The flame that recently blazed with such startling violence throughout three-fourths of Ireland has been flickering and failing, and requires an evident effort to produce a prolongation of the excitement; while the movement contemplated by a leading body of devoted Protestant loyalists, as a demonstration both of the numbers and the spirit of her Majesty's attached subjects in one extensive section of Ulster, was quietly abandoned, on the conviction that such public proof was needless, that the Queen both appreciated their fidelity to her throne, and was resolved to manifest an equal fidelity to the cause for which they stand. It is certain that, alike in planning and in abandoning the purposed meeting, Lord Roden, and his noble Protestant brethren, acted upon the dictates of their own good sense, long experience, and sound judgment; uninfluenced alike by the taunts of insolent foes and the self-sufficient conceits of professed friends, volunteering counsel where it was eminently superfluous, however well meant. The noblemen and gentlemen who came forward as the chosen representatives of Protestant feeling in the north possess the confidence of their brethren, to an extent that will be seen should circumstances unhappily render such a demonstration necessary. They are, under God, the mainstay of British rule in Ireland; and so long as that rule continues essentially Protestant, they will uphold it. We feel that a debt is due to the unwavering trustfulness of these our Irish brothers, in a time of no ordinary trial and perplexity; and we would fain tender our proportion of that debt, in grateful thanks for the past, and in the assurance no less of confidence in than of sympathy with them, let what may be the yet unrevealed purposes of God concerning them and their unhappy country.

The Queen's visit to France, whether it originated in state policy, or in the private friendliness of her Majesty's feelings towards the royal family of Orleans, was eminently calculated to

produce, at this juncture, the happiest results. National jealousies were springing up in new quarters, while those of more ancient standing acquired a fresh impetus from various causes. Among other matters, the ostentatious parade made by certain traitors in Ireland, of sympathy very naturally expressed by a small knot of congenial traitors in France, as though the whole nation were ripe for active alliance with them, rendered such an unequivocal display of mutual cordiality between the respective rulers of the two countries peculiarly apropos and valuable. The consequence of all this might be anticipated: the lip-loyalty to the sovereign's person that sought to mask rebellious practices against her government has given place to language more honest, and a tone of insulting bitterness replaces what the Irish call the blarney that had the Queen for its object. This, in itself, is a point gained: we like to hear the rattle when the snake is really gliding upon our path.

With regard to the operations of Popery among us, we hear of occasional perversions from nominal Protestantism, but not through the public organs of the Papacy in England. The Tablet and the Magazine are silent, acting, it would appear, on a hint received from the British Critic to that end. An attempt has been made to deny the authenticity of the infamous inquisitorial decree against the Jews of Ancona and the surrounding cities, but we are too well assured of the correctness of our report. It may, however, be hoped that the universal burst of indignation which it elicited here, and the evident suspicions excited in minds heretofore closed against conviction as to the will of Popery to prosecute even unto death where the power is held, and the consequent interruption of its progress in this hopeful England, has operated to induce a quiet cancelling of the savage edict, and so will work at least a temporary deliverance for the cruelly oppressed people of Israel from the paw of the lion and of the bear. It furnishes an encouragement to us not to hold our peace, but to expose as much of the mystery of iniquity as its cautious workings enable us to lay hold on.

A very flagrant case has recently occurred in the island of Madeira, of which the following is a brief outline:-Dr Kalley, a pious and able physician from Scotland, and a member of the Scottish established church, some years since visited that place, not as a missionary, or with any purpose of remaining there, but merely as a temporary rest on a longer voyage. His stay being unexpectedly prolonged, he set himself to acquire the Portuguese language, and was thus enabled to converse freely with the patients who availed themselves of his professional skill, particularly those who became inmates of the private hospital which he, in the exercise of his Christian philanthropy, established there. He devoted to its maintenance the whole

profit of his practice among a wealthier class, and thus became a benefactor, not only to the bodies, but the souls, of the necessitous poor. He set forth Christ to them as the Great Physician; and so rich was the blessing vouchsafed, that he repaired to Scotland for the purpose of receiving ordination, that he might return to his post a qualified and authorized preacher of the everlasting gospel. In a place where Popery reigns triumphant, it was evidently his call to preach against idolatry; and this he most effectually did, at the same time receiving public tokens of the high estimation in which the civil authorities held him and his works. The demand for Bibles increased, education was eagerly sought after, and his preaching became more and more popular among the poor sheep who were scattered abroad, having no true shepherd. At length, a woman openly refused any longer to worship any image or crucifix.* For this she was cast into prison; and Dr. Kalley was not only prohibited from preaching, but exposed to a civil prosecution, only to be avoided by leaving the place. This he refused to do, or to be silenced by man where the Lord had opened so remarkable a door for his ministry. The Romish priests and medical practitioners made common cause against this foreign interloper, and nothing was left untried to intimidate him. Placards were affixed to his door, threatening him with death if he persisted in preaching; his windows were broken in the night; a riot was got up in front of his house; and not only he, but his wife, mother, and sister, received daily intimations of the determination to assassinate him. His only reply to all this was, that if they did so, it would but take him a little sooner to glory. His poor congregation were threatened and insulted, and many could only venture to him by taking vials in their hands for medicines, when they indeed sought but to taste of the river of the water of life, and the leaves of the trees that are for the healing of the nations. Great sympathy was manifested by the British residents, but none could stay the torrent of persecution; and at the season when these are generally absent from Madeira to escape the intense heat, he was seized and imprisoned on the distinct charges of "blasphemy, and the abetting of heresy and apostasy." His blasphemy consists in denying to Mary and other departed saints the idolatrous honours assigned to them by Popery, and the heresy and apostasy that he has promoted are just the turning from dumb idols to serve the living God. We cite this as a

of cross.

In our last Number, p. 276, the word crucifix was inadvertently used instead The difference, as is pretty well known, consists in the former bearing the likeness of a human body attached to it, the latter being merely the representation of the wood on which condemned persons were crucified. Both are objects of idolatrous worship. The Romish mass-books all contain hymns addressed to the wood of the cross.

« PrécédentContinuer »