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and even more tyrannical may arise to rule in the sister isle, which event may God in his mercy avert! The true character of the Irish regium donum should never be lost sight of. Endowed Presbyterianism is an outwork erected in defence of ecclesiastical establishments. The sooner it is stormed and taken, the better. Whether this shall take place ere the citadel of establishments itself shall have surrendered, the event only can determine; but assuredly, till both citadel and outwork have been captured, the Zion of the Lord shall not be free, nor will the cry peal over our globe,-" The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever."

Londonderry, Feb. 6th, 1844.

ALIQUIS.

UNHEALTHY STATE OF THE CHURCHES.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.

DEAR SIR,—“I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom." This consideration led me to read with interest the letter of "An Aged Minister" in the last number of your magazine, upon a subject of deep and vital importance. But great was my surprise when I found, that, with the exception of a few general remarks at the commencement, it consisted exclusively of an attack upon the rising ministry of the present day. Four very grave charges are brought against them-neglect of pastoral visitation, the assumption of undue authority, preference of pastoral ease to the interests of the Saviour's kingdom, and a want of clearness in enunciating the great truths of the Gospel,-charges, which if they can be substantiated and shown to apply to our young ministers as a body, may lead us to fear that the glory is fast departing, that Independency is shorn of its strength, and that the evils of the Established church are rife amongst us, without the advantages which belong to her communion.

But before yielding to the sadness which such a state of things should inspire, we may be allowed to ask,—is it a fact that these are the characteristics of the rising ministry in general, or of such a proportion of them that "the churches" are consequently in an unhealthy state? May we not rather in charity suppose that the memory of your aged correspondent, looking back to past years of personal energy and usefulness, invests them with glowing tints which lead him to disparage the labours, and to depreciate the zeal of his junior brethren?

He states as a fact, that "it has of late years become a subject of grave doubtfulness with some, whether pastoral visitation be the duty of a settled minister." If it be so, it is singular that the question has never been raised for discussion in any of our periodicals; but whatever

theoretical views may be held upon this subject, a very few months' experience, I should suppose, would decide the matter practically, and teach the young pastor, if he have the cause of God at heart, that personal and private supervision is absolutely essential to church prosperity. There will be evils which with meekness and fidelity he must reprove, sorrows which he must attempt to alleviate, and perplexities out of which he must endeavour to guide. That some from love of ease or of seclusion may neglect this as well as other duties, is not denied ; but that in general it is neglected, it would be difficult to prove. Probably this department of labour does not occupy so great a portion of a pastor's time as once it did, because now there are urgent claims upon him of comparatively recent date. Most of our ministers have to take an active part in the local missionary, Bible, and tract societies in many districts-the whole care of these devolves upon the pastor; while Bible classes, Sabbath and British schools, all engage his thoughts, and employ his time. Far different was it in the days of our forefathers; and doubtless if the subject could be fully investigated we should find, that except in cases of manifest moral unfitness for the ministerial work, this duty occupies as large a portion of time as can be rendered to it, consistently with other claims.

The next complaint brought against young ministers is, "the assumption of pastoral authority and government in the church of Christ." How or by whom a church is to be governed, if the principles of your correspondent were fully carried out, it would be difficult to say. True it is that we acknowledge the legislative authority of Jesus Christ alone, we take the New Testament as the statute-book of the church-but by whom are the statutes to be enforced, by whom is the authority of Jesus to be upheld, if not by those who are appointed by the Holy Spirit to be overseers? If there be no executive authority connected with the pastoral office, how are we to understand the apostle's language, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account?" Doubtless great evils have been caused in the church by the undue assumption of authority, by the manifestation of a proud and overbearing spirit, by the conduct of those who have wished to be "lords over God's heritage;" but can it with any fairness or truth be said that this is one of the prominent characteristics of the ministry of the present day? The faithful and impartial exercise of church discipline is always liable to offend those who are the subjects of it, and perhaps to drive them from the house of God; but that consequence, however painful, must be braved, rather than suffer the precepts laid down by the Lord for the regulation of his church to be violated with impunity.

The next charge, grave though it be, may almost excite a smile. It is said, "The fact is too obvious to be doubted that young ministers sometimes go forth, not so much as labourers in the vineyard of Christ, as

inquirers for an easy place, a good salary, and respectable society—seeking in truth to be country gentlemen."

Had we found this sentence in "the Church and State Gazette," or in the columns of "The Times," it would probably have been brought forward to prove the ignorance of those who calumniate Independency. We should have taken it for granted that it had been penned by one who knew little or nothing about our system; but what are we to think now that it is written by one of ourselves? How any young man can have spent four or five years at one of our colleges-can have supplied the vacant pulpits of our churches-can have read the weekly and monthly publications of our body-or can have witnessed the unwearied and self-denying labours of those who stand high in public esteem, and then go forth with the idea that his course is to be one of literary or social leisure, is beyond my comprehension. If such there be, how bitter will be his disappointment, and how fallacious his hopes! What idea your correspondent attaches to the phrase "country gentleman," it is impossible to say-but you, Sir, I am confident will admit, that whether in town or country we should be gentlemen in the best sense of the word, and should prove that Independency is not necessarily connected with rudeness, or the firm maintenance of principle with want of courtesy.

The last count in the indictment is the most weighty, and conveyed in language which may hurt many, but improve none. The whole paragraph is too long for quotation, but it is stated that in the pulpit there is a "manifest deterioration of pointed and prominent doctrine;" and with reference to young pastors it is said, "their superficial views of the Gospel appear very unlike those of able and devout ministers of Jesus Christ; and who can help being disgusted with the flimsy essay carried into the pulpit ?" &c. Some persons seem invariably to associate the ideas of youth and flimsiness, and regard a discourse which does not contain a whole system of theology as superficial, however luminous or practical it may be-such will doubtless agree with your correspondent; but let any candid and unprejudiced mind go through our churches from one end of the island to the other, and then say whether there is any lack of clear and forcible statement of evangelical truth.-Mr. Ford will, I hope, give us his opinion upon this point in the series of papers he has promised. If I remember aright, at the autumnal meeting of the Union in Leeds, when this subject was discussed, Professors Vaughan, Stowell, Smith and Scott, stated on behalf of the colleges at Manchester, Rotherham, and Airedale, that all the pupils with whom they were connected were sound in the faith and clear in their views of the truth. So far as my own observation extends, there is no ground in the north of England for the serious charge which is thus advanced. Nothing grieved me more than the harsh and unsympathising manner, in which the remarks of the "aged minister" were penned.

The kind counsel-the affectionate warning-the tender reproof,—will always be valued highly by any young minister of right feeling. Often have I been thankful for the advice of my fathers in Israel; but on the other hand, when no allowance is made for inexperience, when no trouble is taken to set the youth right, when from the tone of the critic we might almost imagine that he had never been young at all, but, like Pallas, had sprung forth at once, armed at all points, and bearing not only the ægis but the spear-the evil instead of being counteracted is increased; and where kindness would have softened, harshness aggravates the disease.

In making these remarks, nothing is farther from my thoughts than the wish to represent myself or brethren as immaculate. Much have we to bewail, much that should humble us in the dust before God, seeking pardon for the past, and desiring more of the mind that was in Jesus; but with all modesty I would submit the question, whether the sweeping charges of your correspondent are borne out by facts. Apologising for the length of this communication, I will subscribe myself,-Yours, A YOUNG MINISTER.

February 7th, 1844.

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REVIEWS.

1. The Holy Eucharist a comfort to the Penitent. By the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, and late Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. 8vo. pp. 93. Parker. 2. A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Pusey, on the true mode of the Real Presence, or Transubstantiation. By the Rev. T. J. O'Connell, of Waterford, late Professor of Divinity at Oscott College. 8vo. pp. 95. London: Dolman.

3. An Answer to Dr. Pusey's Sermon. The Doctrine of the Church of England and of Holy Scripture on the Eucharist, shown to be entirely opposed to Dr. Pusey. In a Series of Letters to the Right Rev. Charles Thomas, Lord Bishop of Ripon. By a Clergyman of his Lordship's diocese. 8vo. pp. 43. London: Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley.

4. An Examination of the Principles and Tendencies of Dr. Pusey's Sermon on the Eucharist, in a Series of Letters to a Friend. By the Rev. B. Godwin, D. D., Minister of New-road Chapel, Oxford. 8vo. pp. 82. London: Jackson and Walford.

WE could hardly help being amused as we glanced over the titlepages of the above list, when we first saw them lying before us on our table. We almost wished ourselves skilled in the use of the comic pencil, that we might put into one picture, and duly and appropriately represent, the odd and heterogeneous group. We should have seen the Regius Professor sitting most reverently at the feet of Archbishops Bramhall and Andrews, and drinking in with true filial piety, whatever might flow from their right reverend lips; beside him would have been placed the Waterford priest, his half-brother, nourished at purer fountains and fed on daintier and more ancient food; soothing him with soft flatteries, filling his ear with complimentary rebukes, and with honied words aiming to lure him away from Winchester to Rome. The third figure would have been a resident in the same house with the first, called by the same name, apparently a child of the same parents and presbyter of the same church, yet without any real relationship, and having nothing whatever in common, either in sentiment or sympathy, save attachment to the old edifice; asserting that the Regius Professor is a bastard, not a brother, that he deserves expulsion from the enclosure which he has stealthily entered, and ought in common honesty to accompany the priest of Waterford to his real family and

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