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“Without question," the Watchman says, "it must be an exaggeration to say that the Lutheran Church in Sweden is the most despotic ecclesiastical body in existence, not excepting even the Papacy."
No doubt this is strong language, and it may possibly be exaggerated language; but the Watchman would have done Dr. Steane a service, and all the other readers of that journal, had he shown in what the exaggeration consists. The comparison with the Papacy is, no doubt, distasteful, but is it not warranted by facts? Popish Tuscany prosecuted, condemned, and banished the Madiai for becoming Protestants; Protestant Sweden prosecutes, condemns, and banishes six women for becoming Roman Catholics. Where is the difference? But this is not all. Sweden goes beyond Rome in the way of intolerance, for she prosecutes, ruins by heavy fines, and banishes for life, her fellow-Protestants. At this moment Olaus Nilsson is a wanderer in the wide world, under sentence of perpetual exile from Sweden, his native country, for having avowed himself a Baptist, and endeavoured to spread his views.*
All Christendom rings with these melancholy facts; they are the opprobrium and the grief of our common Protestantism. They make us blush and hang our heads in the presence of Popery, and paralyse our arm when we would rescue our persecuted brethren from her iron grasp. And since
these facts cannot be contradicted, why should our Swedish friends take umbrage at the language which, as the consequence, insists on the pre-eminent intolerance of their Church? Let them be assured we find no pleasure in speaking of it in such terms. On the contrary, we regard it as a most painful necessity, but a necessity which, if we are to speak of it at all, we cannot avoid. As we love our brethren of the Swedish State Church-and we saw too much that was excellent and worthy in many of them not to love them sincerely-we intreat them to take in good part the remonstrances of the Christians of England, America, and other countries, and to address themselves earnestly and with united vigour to the removal of this reproach.
The animadversion of the Watchman on the other point is expressed in the following terms: "We wonder not at this opinion from one who immediately afterwards, with perfect seriousness, says a maid servant even
cannot change her domestic service without the permission of the clergy. A parishioner may not change his residence into another parish without the clergyman's permit; and two parishioners from different parishes may not intermarry if either of the two clergymen refuses a certificate. It is surprising that the writer could believe such evidently unfounded accounts."
Whether the writer manifested an easy credulity, or whether the statements he has made are unfounded, let the reader determine when he has considered what shall now be laid before him.
A document of which the following is an exact copy was given to Dr. Steane by a gentleman of high position in Stockholm, with whom he and his companion transacted business in that part of their errand which related to Religious Liberty:
necessary to be obtained previous to moving from one parish to another by all ranks, and to be delivered to the clergyman of the parish in which the party (he or she) may intend to take up their residence.
"A, was born [the place and date of birth.
"Was christened [the date and place of christening].
"His or her parents [their names, rank, and occupation].
"Belonged at his or her birth to [name
"Came to this parish [the time when].
"Has attended the sacrament [yes, or
"Has attended the Church service [yes, or no].
"Has attended the annual catechising
"Is of good character [yes, or no].
"Is entered in the tax-list this year for
"Date of the certificate. "MEM.-The tax-list for next year is not completed.
This document, it is submitted, settles the
* See statement of facts from America in a preceding page.
EUROPEAN INTELLIGENCE. question in dispute. The power which it it, and that in the case of the dependent rests in the clergyman is to an English- classes, as they are generally called, it is. man's apprehension both inquisitorial and usually demanded when service is sought, intolerable. To what extent the power nor is it safe to be without that powerful may be used is not the point, but its existence. document. Its presence serves, in many It has, however, been employed to prevent cases, instead of a passport, and the want the marriage of persons living in different of it may lead to arrest for vagrancy.” parishes, who had become Baptists. In one It is submitted, then, to the candour of of the clauses it will be seen the clergyman the Watchman whether the evidence lies in certifies that there is nothing to prevent favour of Dr. Steane's statements or against [him or her] entering the matrimonial them. He is respectfully asked when he state.” Now in cases not a few, clergymen expresses his “surprise that Dr. Steane have refused, and still refuse, to certify this could believe such evidently unfounded where the contracting parties are Baptists, accounts," first, how it appears that those and the consequence is the solemnisation of accounts are evidently unfounded, and, marriage becomes to such persons a practical secondly, whether they are unfounded, and impossibility. Will the Watchman commit this priest's certificate is, after all, a myth? himself to the denial of this statement? If In conclusion, Dr. Steane desires to rethere be a legal remedy against the clergy- iterate that he is actuated in what he has man’s refusal, it is more than could be published already, and in what he has made certain by Dr. Steane's inquiries, written now, by no other desire than to though he asked the question often, and of elicit truth. He sincerely hopes that in well-informed persons. The replies he the preceding lines he has said nothing that obtained were conflicting and sometimes can be deemed disrespectful to his friends contradictory. But on the supposition that in Sweden; and he would be far from there is, it involves a suit both too operose doing them such a disservice as to suppose and too expensive for poor people to under- that they will regard the calm statement of take.
what he believes to be true, though that As to the case of domestic servants, it truth may be painful, as incompatible with may be enough to say that Dr. Steane and sincere. Christian friendship. There are his friend were told by a lady in Stockholm many things in his own country, and in that she herself had been at ihe communion his own Church, which are no doubt open with about two hundred maid servants, to just animadversion. Such animadversimply qualifying themselves by that act to sion, when made in a kind spirit, we ought effect a change of situation; or, in other none of us to deprecate, but rather to welwords, to obtain the clergyman's certificate. come. It is by such an interchange of Dr. Stcane's statement would be made lite- ideas and sentiments that we serve one rally correct by substituting the word certi- another in love, and serve at the same time ficate for permission.
the cause of righteousness and truth. May One testimony more on the case of the Sweden, nobly distinguished as she already certificate generally shall be added, in the is in the history of Protestant nations, beform of an extract from a letter written to come nobler still, and surpass, by God's Dr. Steane by one who is thoroughly com- help and blessing, her former greatness; petent to speak on the subject. He says, and may her Christian people, under that
Every Swede knows the power possessed gracious visitation with which they are by the clergy through the Prest betyg, or now privileged, be enriched with ail the clerical certificate. The fact is unques- i fruits and virtues of His Holy Spirit ! tionable that every adult Swede must have
ABROGATION OF THE CONVENTICLE LAW. By the Stockholm Watchman, of the 27th | the event of the authority attending disNovember, we learn that the Conventiele covering anything unlawful or disorderly, he Law of 1726 is no more, the King having may at once dissolve the meeting. The confirmed the proposal of the last Diet. meetings may not be held during church Members of the Lutheran Church may now hours, but by special permission; and any meet together for religious exercises, sub- one who is not an ordained clergyman adject to the presence of a clergy man, church- dressing such meetings in a way which can warden, or magistrate, should either of be considered as leading to separation from these authorities desire to attend ; and in the Church, may, by the Church Council,
ASIATIC INTELLIGENCE. be prohibited from again speaking in the the Separatists in their respective dioceses, parish. Those who arrange and conduct that he may learn how many they are who meetings in church hours, without special have left the communion of the Church, permission, or continue to teach after being what reasons are given for their separation, prohibited, shall pay a fine of not less than what doctrines differing from those of the fifty nor more than three hundred dollars, to Lutheran Church they have embraced, how be equally divided betwixt the accuser and far they have organised themselves as the poor of the parish, or, in default of Churches, and who the persons are who payment, to be imprisoned.
are looked upon as leaders in such comSuch is the amount of religious freedom munities. as yet granted to our brethren in Sweden. Reports on all these points are to be furIt is a beginning, however small; but, ac- nished by the parochial clergy. cording to my view, the new statute places These returns, if carefully and faithfully the Separatists from the Church in a worse made, will surprise many, and surely preposition than before.
pare the way in Sweden for a change of That something is to be done with regard the laws affecting those who leave the to Separatists appears from the fact that National Church.-Yours affectionately, the Ecclesiastical Minister has, according to
GEORGE Scott. the “ Norrlands Correspondent” required, Liverpool, Dec. 8, 1858. through the bishops, information regarding
London, Dec. 13, 1858. neglected to seek to enrich others with a My dear Dr. Steane, --Your readers will knowledge of the Gospel, and by his walk recollect reading in Evangelical Christen- and conversation to commend the doctrines dom for September last, of the baptism of he professes. I hear from him frequently. a learned jew, Mr. J. Abraham, “an in- In his last letter he informs me that the quirer of long standing, who had been in- Word of God is penetrating into the hearts strumental in leading others to inquire after of many. Among his inquirers are two truth," and of the baptism of his wife and Roman Catholics, two Armenians, and infant son in the number for October. I several Jews. He has established Divino am happy to inform you that this Jewish service on the Lord's-day in Turkish. Ho family have continued steadfast in the faith, says, “ They have agreed to come to my and that Mr. Abraham is giving every proof house every Sunday. Last Sunday I read of his sincerity, and of his earnest desire Isaiah xlii. and Matt. vii., expounding a to make known the riches of Divine grace, portion of the latter; and I delivered a and to lead souls to the foot of the Cross. sermon which I had previously prepared. The reaction consequent on the cessation of You can well conceive the gratitude and the late war, and the monetary crisis, which, joy I feel in seeing my spiritual Jewish like a hurricane, having laid waste many a children growing in grace, and becoming fortune in the United States of America, instrumental in the salvation of others, and swept across the Atlantic and the continent how much I long to be again amongst them. of Europe, blasting the hopes of many, and But perhaps even this separation will prove carrying penury to numberless families, a blessing to their souls, by teaching them reached as far as Asia Minor, and inflicted to think less of the feeble and humble ina severe blow on the growing prosperity strument, and more of Christ and the Spirit and rapidly-increasing commerce of Smyrna. of all grace. Let me entreat your readers Under such circumstances, Mr. A., who is to pray for the Jewish converts and ina silversmith, thought it best to remove quirers in Smyrna and its neighbourhood. into the interior for a time, and is now Let them behold in this instance what may settled at Aidin. There, while pursuing be expected from the conversion of the his avocation and labouring to provide Jews in the district of the Seven Churches ; honestly for his wife and child, he has not how, as of old, they may be God's instru
ASIATIC INTELLIGENCE. ments in the conversion of the Gentiles lies beyond the grave. Oh, may the energies around them.”
of his youthful mind be consecrated to that Shortly after our arrival in Smyrna, Mrs. Saviour who once took up Jewish children B. and myself were attracted by the amiable in His arms and blessed them, saying, 'Of and intelligent qualities of the eldest son of such is the kingdom of heaven !" our Jewish colporteur--Mr. M. Viliesiot, The cruel persecution of Ycoryi afforded native of Salonica. Mr. V. was brought to an opportunity for the manifestation of a a knowledge of the truth by the instru- pleasing trait in little Joseph's character. mentality of the missionaries of the London To stimulate him in his studies, Mrs. B. Society for the Jews; and himself, his son used to give him so many marks for every Joseph, and eldest daughter, were baptized well-learnt lesson, which in due time beat Constantinople by the Rev. H. A. Stern, came piastres; and that he might not spend on the 27th Nov., 1853. His wife was bap- the money in toys and trifles, promised him tized about a year after by the same worthy that, when he should have collected a missionary. He was subsequently em- pound, she would double it, and buy him a ployed as a colporteur in connexion with watch. One day he overheard Joshua tellthat mission, and approved himself a zealous ing me that, although Yeoryi was anxious and faithful labourer. In May, 1856, he to keep his circumstances from my knowengaged in the service of our mission, and has ledge, he felt it necessary to disclose to me ever since continued to labour in Smyrna and the painful fact that he was so far reduced its neighbourhood. Finding Joseph ear- in his means as to be obliged to apply for nestly desirous of instruction, we took him the pittance which the Turkish Government into our house ; and his progress under Mrs. gives to prisoners. I reminded him of the Benoliel's instruction has been very sur innumerable calls upon my
limited means; prising and satisfactory. He can now speak to which he replied, “It is not right that and read English fluently, speaks Judeo- you should bear it alone; we (the converts) Spanish, Italian, modern Greek, and a little must all assist in this case of distress.” Turkish. As a treat he used to receive Joseph went to Mrs. B., and, with tears rolllessons in French also. He writes a good ing down his bashful cheeks, told her what hand, is a ready arithmetician, and has made he had heard, and expressed a desire to conconsiderable progress in English and biblical tribute toward the relief of the persecuted history, geography, &c.
Greek. He had one-and-twenty piastres ; Mrs. B., writing to a friend in Jan., and, on being asked how much he wished 1857, says: "Jewish children do not hear to give, he very liberally offered his little of the Saviour's love unmoved. Their young treasure, 3s. 3d., and would not retain any minds, void of prejudice, are easily im- part of it. pressed by the force of simple truth. I Having failed to obtain the admission of have an interesting instance of this in the this dear boy into the Malta Protestant son of our native agent, an intelligent boy College, I brought him with me to this of eleven years of age, whose name is Joseph, country, and he is now in the house and and is under my care and instruction, and by school for the sons and orphans of mishis desire to learn, repays me for my time and sionaries, Blackheath, where he will be trouble. His knowledge of Scripture history is trained for a life of usefulness in the considerable, and he is making sufficient pro- Master's service. The charge is very modegress to encourage me in this feeble attempt. rate, only 15l. per annum for board and Å few days since, whilst reading the 15th education, and 5l. for clothing. We are chapter of Mark, he was deeply affected, anxious to raise sufficient to pay for two and entreated me not to let him read about years before we return to Smyrna. We Christ's crucifixion, for he always felt so have already received towards this charisorrowful afterward, when he thought of table object about 91. the cruelty of the Jews. He is fond of Permit me, then, to appeal to the readers committing hymns to memory, and in re of Evangelical Christendom for assistance, peating those verses, 'I'm but a stranger that we may be able to secure for this child here,' his countenance glows with delight of Abraham the benefits of that excellent when he comes to the concluding lines, institution for at least two years, at the ex'.
Heaven is my fatherland.' He always piration of which I hope, if life is spared, manifests the deepest iuterest in hearing to obtain his admission into some missionary and talking about heaven, and would fain, college. Every one that sees him is pleased like many of us, wish to know more than with him he is such an amiable, teachis revealed of that state of existence which able, and well-behaved boy. May God's
AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE. blessing rest upon him and his fellow- cerely pray that this child may, under the scholars !
blessing of the God of Abraham, become an I am, my dear Sir, yours very sincerely, instrument of great Christian usefulness
A. BENOLIEL. among his brethren. Post-office orders *** We shall be happy to take charge of should be made payable to Rev. Edward contributions for this object; and we sin- | Steane, Camberwell (S.)
BRAZIL. ITS EXTENT AND POPULATION-RELIGION AND CHURCH GOVERNMENT—THE CLERGY-RELIGIOUS
CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE-NO BIBLE, NO PULPIT INSTRUCTION, NO SABBATH-CONDITION OF THE CHURCH IN RIO JANEIRO-THE RIO CLERGY.
We are indebted to our American brethren for the following information respecting one of the largest empires in the world, with the religious condition of which, though nominally Christian, the Christians of this country are, we imagine, but very imperfectly acquainted. A series of articles in relation to it has been published in the journal of the American and Foreign Christian Union, which is kindly forwarded to us, and we propose to reproduce them in our pages. The manuscript, the editor says, from which they are taken was prepared by a gentleman now resident in Brazil, and whose education, position, opportunities for research, and personal observations, qualify him to write intelligently, and entitle his statement to great respect and confidence. A vast field for Evangelical labour is opened before the true Church of God in the South American continent, and we are only fulfilling our duty in calling their attention to it, and supplying them with the information that is necessary to a just estimate of its claims. EXTENT AND POPULATION.
believed, twelve hundred per year. In The empire of Brazil is the second country fact, Werneck, in his “Mappa Estatistica in the world, if unity of area be considered, das Colonias,” gives but 17,891 between as will be seen by comparison :
1825 and 1854, stating the number of each
Square Miles. colony. Indeed, Brazilians have no taste Area of Russia
6,006,010 for nor do they appreciate the logic of British Empire . 4,131,333 statistics, for most of their statements are Brazil . . 3,956,800
merely hypothetical. And it may be here U.S. and Territory 3,384,865 stated that nothing is so difficult as obtainThe total population of Brazil in 1850 ing correct information in regard to the was 6,150,000, and we doubt whether it special affairs of Brazilians. has increased much in the last seven years, With these general remarks on the extent when we take into account the ravages of and population of Brazil, we will speak now yellow fever and cholera, and the non-im- of her portation of slaves within that period. The RELIGION AND CHURCH GOVERNMENT. black race does not increase as fast in Brazil The Romish Church in Brazil is supas in the United States, nor are there as ported by the laws and treasury of the State. many marriages among the whites, in pro- Art. 5 of the Constitution reads as folportion to the population, as in the United lows: “ The Catholic religion, apostolic and States.
Roman, shall continue to be the religion It is doubtful, indeed, whether in 1850 of the empire. All other religions will be Brazil contained the number of inhabitants permitted, with their domestic or special stated, as no accurate census has ever been worship (com seu culto domestico ou particutaken. It was recently stated in the lar), in houses set apart for this purpose, Journal of Commerce of Rio, that in 1856 without the exterior form of a temple. the population of Brazil was certainly This clause does not protect those who 7,800,000-an increase of 1,650,000 in five attempt to proselyte—at least, this is the years, which is out of the question, since general opinion. the whole emigration to the United States By Art. 102, “ The Emperor is chief of in that time was only 1,350,000, while the the executive power, and he exercises it by emigration to Brazil does not exceed, it is his Ministers of State. Their powers are