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to the ground fixed upon for the building. When the procession reached the place, the ceremony com menced with the reading of the 9th chapter of John's Gospel, by the Rev. Dr. Cooke; after which, the blind pupils sung the following original hymn:
"And He took the blind man by the hand."-MARK viii. 23.
THEY tell us that the stars are bright,
But vain they shed their heav'nly light
They tell us of the tints of morn-
The ocean's sparkling breast.
The moon so fair and clear-
But He who made the sun and moon,
Then let us willingly record
His praise, who maketh known
Sir Robert then proceeded to lay the first stone of this benevolent Institution.
Subsequent to this, the Rev. Mr. Macartney addressed the Ladies and Gentlemen assembled, in a speech highly appropriate to the occasion.
The address being concluded, a suitable prayer was offered, by the Rev. Mr. Carlile-the blind pupils then sung the following Hymn, composed for the occasion:
THE DEAF AND DUMB, AND THE BLIND.
"Who hath made the dumb or deaf, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?"-ExOD. iv. 11.
ALL praise and glory be to Him
Who shed on earth Compassion's tear-
Counsellor Gibson, in the name of the Committee, returned Sir Robert Bateson thanks for the interest he had taken in the day's proceedings, the readiness with which he consented to lay the foundation-stone of the building, and for the interest he had evinced in an Institution for the amelioration of the miseries of the deaf, the dumb, and the blind.
Sir Robert, in the most handsome manner, replied, assuring Mr. Gibson and the Committee that he always felt very high satisfaction among the inhabitants of Belfast, but at no time did he feel more delight than when called to take part with them in their charitable Institutions-that he had the strongest desire for the success of the Institution whose foundation-stone was now laid, and he would never cease to desire its utmost prosperity.
SYNOD OF ULSTER.
At the adjourned meeting of the Synod of Ulster, lately held in Cookstown, the following important overture was agreed to:
"WESTMINSTER CONFESSION SUBSCRIPTION.-Whereas doubts appear to exist respecting the meaning and extent of the resolution of last Synod, not to sustain any exceptions opposing the doctrines of the Confession of Faith: and whereas, it is most desirable in itself, and indispensable to the renewal and maintainance of ecclesiastical communion with other Presbyterian churches, to adhere to an unqualified subscription of the Westminster Confession of Faith-this Synod do now declare, in
accordance with the resolution adopted at the last annual meeting of this body, that they will not, from this time forth, receive any exceptions or explanations from candidates for the ministry; and require that all who in future wish to become licentiates or ministers of this church, shall subscribe its standards in terms of the formula agreed upon at Monaghan, in the year 1831, which is as follows: "I believe the Westminster Confession of Faith to be founded upon, and agreeable to, the Word of God, and as such I subscribe it as the confession of my faith.""
THE FOLLOWING REPORT WAS RECEIVED, RESPECTING THE CENSUS OF THE PRESBYTERIAN POPULATION.-"The Committee appointed by Synod to draw up a statement respecting the late census of the Presbyterian population of Ireland, report—That, having received statements from some ministers, and having partially examined the first report of the Commissioners of public instruction for Ireland, they have found that in many places the amount of the Presbyterian population has been considerably under-rated. They wish especially to call the attention of the Synod to the fact, that in very many of those congregations where the pastoral charge of the minister extends over more parishes than one, the minister did not receive notice of the visit of the Commissioner to each of those parishes, although he had duly returned their names to the Secretary of the Commission in Dublin-an omission which, of course, deprived him of any opportunity of inspecting the returns of the population in any of his parishes, save the one in which his place of worship happened to be situated. They also beg leave to notice, that in several parishes where casual vacancies have occurred from the death or removal of ministers, the Presbyterian population has, in one at least, been altogether, and in others partially, overlooked; while in several parishes the Presbyterian places of worship have been entirely omitted to be entered. The Committee would therefore recommend to Synod the necessity of immediately petitioning the Legislature on the subject, that by timely representation the interests of the Presbyterian Church may not suffer, and the true amount of the Presbyterian population be ascertained."
CLAIRSEACH NAOMHTHA na b EIRIUN, Dublin, 1835.
We hail this little work with great delight, not only on account of its own excellence, but chiefly for the sake of its peculiarity. It consists of several hymns, translated into Irish verse. We are assured, upon good authority, that they are such as are every way worthy to be put into the hands of the native frish, and fitted to exercise the happiest influence over their hearts. We are glad to notice a favourable review of this little work in the Belfast News-Letter; but we cannot suppress our surprise at the attempt of the Editor to under-rate the arduous work undertaken by Dr. M'Leod, to render all the Psalms of David into Irish verse; as well as to prejudice the labours of the Synod of Ulster in the same department, in the eyes of his readers. We content ourselves with merely noticing this ungracious and uncalled-for judgment And we recommend the Editor to call upon others to engage in this work, rather than to blame those who have already engaged in it, and at whom he has been able to aim this blow only by wandering out of his path. We have space only to add, that the present production is the work of Miss Alexander, the daughter of the Bishop of Meath.
PRESBYTERIANISM IN ENGLAND.-No. V.
The remedy for reviving the Presbyterian interest in England."
THE separate articles upon this subject, which have lately appeared in the Orthodox Presbyterian, briefly discuss the subsequent topics :-"A statement of the Presbyterian principles, as they were acted upon in England, when Presbyterianismi prevailed in that kingdom,-The extent of prosperity to which the Presbyterian Church reached in England,-The state of Presbyterianism in England at the present time, The causes of its decline." In accordance with the plan originally suggested, it only remains that a remedy for the church's adverse fortunes be proposed. Most frequently, however, it is much easier to detect the existence of an evil, than to prescribe means for its effectual removal. At the same time, if success have attended our inquiries into the causes of Presbytery's decline, the difficulty of suggesting a proper remedy will rapidly disappear.
But let it be remembered, that when we mention a revival of the Presbyterian interest in England, it must be distinctly understood to comprehend a system of means for restoring Presbytery to its ancient efficiency, in connexion with the advancement of vital Christianity. Anxious as we are for -the adoption of this plan of church government, it is quite distant from our thoughts to contend for a church's form, apart from the essential principles of divine truth, our delight in this scheme of governing a church, and our desire for its success, arise purely from the consideration, that it derives its au-thority from the inspired oracles, and has been found to be peculiarly well adapted for the dissemination of religious knowledge among all classes of the community. By taking, then, into view, that the restoration of Presbytery may tend to revive and extend genuine truth and godliness in the land, it may disarm the violence of opponents, as well as awaken the ardent zeal of friends to the cause.
To effectuate a revival of the Presbyterian interest in England, equal in extent to the houses of worship known by that appellation, it seems indispensably requisite that, in the first place, the gospel of Jesus Christ be faithfully preached in all of them. For a congregation to assume the designation of "Presbyterian," where the essential truths of divine revelation are not regularly inculcated from the pulpit, appears a perfect outrage upon the origin and general application of the name. If, to make men Christians, Christ Jesus, the Lord, must be preached in purity, simplicity, and affection; then it does not admit of a doubt, that to entitle a society to the designation of a Christian church, her standards of faith must continue to recognise, her ministers to proclaim, and her members to maintain the doctrines which hold a prominent position in the system of Christianity. But it unfortunately happened, that soon after the period when the Presbyterian churches practically abandoned their form of ecclesiastical government, especially from the date of the disputes at Salter's Hall, in reference to the subscription or non-subscription of the doctrine of the Trinity, that the fundamental truths of the gospel were gradually removed into the back ground; and when the preacher accidentally introduced into his discourses the soul-awakening theme of a crucified Redeemer, an ambiguity accompanied the phraseology employed, which left his audience in the utmost uncertainty as to the sentiments intended to be conveyed. The substitution of terms and phrases of doubtful signification, in the place of plain intelligible language, unquestionably originated in indifference to all religious matters; probably at first to things of minor importance, and afterwards to essential truth. This indifference naturally led to contempt of all restraint upon man's boasted freedom, whether of thought or of action, and then to negligence in respect of ministerial qualifications, flimsy attainments in the clergy instantly engendered self-conceit, a fondness for controversy, a repugnance to the humbling truths of God's word, and, consequently, a love for the errors most congenial to the unsanctified heart. «g*
That this estrangement from sound learning and evangelisoal truth hastened the overthrow of the vast majority of Presbyterian churches in England, several writers of that day, whose judgment and veracity stand deservedly high, pointedly affirm. Gladly would we warn churches of the present time against unqualified ministers, by furnishing a few lengthened extracts from these authors, in regard to the injury done to serious religion at the early part of the former century, but our