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THE ENGLISH PRESBYTERIAN MESSENGER.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21.
The Synod met this morning at ten o'clock, and was opened in the usual manner with praise and prayer, and reading a portion of Scripture.
The Synod appointed the Committee on the Directory to have a sufficient number of copies printed for the use of the Church, omitting the questions to be propounded to candidates for license, ordination, or induction, and substituting the formula passed by the Berwick Synod of 1814.
Consideration of the Report of the Home Mission Committee, which appeared in our last number, was resumed, and thereafter it was resolved to receive and adopt the Report; and while according their thanks to the Convener, Treasurer, Secretary, and Committee, desire to express the deep sense which they entertain of the many important services rendered to the interests of the Church by the managers and administrators of this most useful and valuable scheme.
An overture from the Presbytery of Berwick respecting the necessity of a buildingfund was brought up and read; and in connexion with this subject the Synod called for the Report of the Building Fund Committee, which was given in by Mr. Chalmers, and which contained the following proposals:
"1. That a large discretionary power should be placed in the hands of the Managing Committee; said Committee to consist of an equal number of ministers and elders of the Church.
"2. That the amount and mode of pecuniary assistance should be regulated very much by the special claims of each case, and by the condition of the fund itself, its resources, liabilities, and prospects.
"3. That aid should be given by loans with and without interest, on security satisfactory to the Committee, or by grants, or by both these means combined.
"4. That a different principle of distribution may fairly obtain, in the large towns and in the country districts, loans without interest, or with small interest, being in most cases suflicient in the former, while gifts are, in most cases, essential to the object in view in the latter.
"5. That before new erections are undertaken, where aid from the Building Fund is looked for, the Building Fund Committee should be consulted as to the plans to be adopted, the accommodation to be provided, and the expenses to be incurred.
"6. That returns be asked for and obtained through the different Presbyteries, in regard to the condition of the buildings of the Church, their wants, and prospects."
After discussion the following Resolution Report of the Committee, approve their was unanimously adopted :-"Receive the diligence, adopt the regulations proposed in former years, as modified in the Report now presented, and appoint a Committee to preof the Presbyterian Church in England, in pare an appeal to be issued to the members behalf of the Building Fund, and instruct them to use all diligence to obtain by dona tions and annnal subscriptions such pecuniary resources as will enable them without delay, to carry out the objects of the Fund, Further, authorize the Committee to transand the recommendations of the Report. mit to the different Presbyteries inquiries as to the condition and prospects ofthe Churches and congregations within their bounds, and enjoin Presbyteries to give all facilities to the Committee in obtaining possession of the statistical information they may deem necessary to aid them in their work."
NEW EDUCATION BILL FOR SCOTLAND.
In accordance with a suggestion thrown out by one of the members of the deputation clerk read to-day the draft of a Petition to from the Free Church of Scotland, the the Legislature on this subject, which had been prepared by the Committee formerly appointed, and generally approved of. The Petition to the House of Lords was ordered to be transmitted to Lord Panmure for presentation, and to Mr. Digby Seymour, the House of Commons. M.P. for Sunderland, for presentation to
The Report of the Committee on Psalmody
THE STATE OF RELIGION.
An excellent Report on the state of reNumber, was read by Mr. P. L. Miller, of ligion, which we hope to give in a future Newcastle. It was resolved, "Receive and approve of the very interesting Report now read: re-appoint the Committee with former instructions, and urge on all ministers mittee to lay before next Synod a fuller and sessions the duty of assisting the ComReport of the state of religion within the bounds, assured, that in order to the promotion of the great ends of a Church of Christ
it is most valuable that from time to time the Supreme Court should be put in possession of particulars on this infinitely important subject."
DEPUTATIONS TO SISTER CHURCHES. The following Deputations were ap pointed:-to the Free Church of Scotland, the Moderator, the Rev. James Anderson, Professor Campbell, Lieut.-Colonel Anderson, and Mr. William Hay, Elders; to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Rev. J. R. Mackenzie, Rev. John Gillespie, and Messrs. James Stevenson, and George Dowling, Elders; to Belgium, Rev. Wm. Chalmers, Rev. G. J. C. Duncan, and Mr. J. R. Robertson, Elder.
DAY OF HUMILIATION.
An overture was received from certain members of Court relative to the day set apart by Her Majesty the Queen for national humiliation on account of the war. The Court resolved in terms of the overture, and directed the ministers and sessions of the Church to see that the 26th day of the presenth month be duly observed in their several congregations.
CLOSING OF PUBLIC-HOUSES ON THE
A Committee was appointed to prepare Petitions to Parliament against the sale of intoxicating liquors on any part of the Lord's-day, to be signed by the Moderator, and thereafter transmitted for presentation; that to the House of Lords to Lord Panmure, and that to the House of Commons to Digby Seymour, Esq., M.P.
NEXT MEETING OF SYNOD.
It was resolved that the next Meeting of Synod be held (D.v.) at London, in Regentsquare Church, commencing on the third Tuesday of April, 1855, at two o'clock, p.m.
The CLERK then proposed the thanks of the Synod to the brethren connected with St. George's congregation, whose ministers and elders and other office-bearers had shewn them the greatest attention and kindness. They were also much indebted to the inhabitants of Sunderland for the very hearty and hospitable reception they Lad given them on this occasion, and he was sure the Synod would long entertain a deep sense of the many favours they had received since they came here. If he might mention the name of one gentleman, it would be that of Mr. Hay, who had devoted so much of his time in order to promote the comfort and enjoyment of members; and the recollection of whose exertions, as well as that of the families with whom they had resided, would be long cherished by the Synod. The Motion was cordially adopted.
The Synod was then concluded by sing. ing part of a Psalm and pronouncing the benediction.
From the Minute Book presented to the Synod at its last Meeting, by the Rev. Dr. Paterson, of Sunderland, it appears that on the 6th of September, 1826, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and within St. James's Chapel there, the then Presbyteries of Newcastle and north-west of England, agreed to form a Synod. Present, eleven The Rev. ministers and eight elders. Charles Thomson, of North Shields, was chosen Moderator; Walter Fairlie and John Pears, clerks.
This Synod again met at Newcastle on the 5th September, 1827. The Rev.
THE ENGLISH PRESBYTERIAN MESSENGER.
Walter Fairlie, Moderator; John T. Paterson, clerk. Again met at Brampton, 8th July, 1828, Rev. John T. Paterson, Moderator. Again at Brampton, pro re nata, 25th November, 1828, Rev. Walter Fairlie, Moderator, pro tem. Again at Maryport, 13th July, 1829, Rev. Wm. Rentoul, Moderator. Again at castle, 20th July, 1830, Rev. William Nixon, Moderator; and again at Brampton, 20th July, 1831. No Moderator mentioned. Next Meeting appointed to be held at Hexham, 3d July, 1833, but which would appear never to have convened.
one million New Testaments to China. During the last twelve months the Society has issued 1,367,000 copies of the Scriptures, making the total number since its commencement nearly 28,000,000. Some of the particu lars of the issues and receipts of last year are very interesting. 90,000 Bibles have been New-issued from the Paris depôt; 47,000 New Testaments have been set apart for distribution among the soldiers and sailors in active service. And when we read further of Bible Society Meetings held in Jerusalem and at Constantinople; of remittances of money from the South Sea Islands, from Canada, and New South Wales; of the Scriptures presented to students in Continental colleges and to illiterate Britons, to emigrants leaving our shores, and to Jews who have entered our coasts, we feel as if the vision of John, when he saw the angel fly through the midst of heaven with the everlasting Gospel in his hand, had become the reality of our day.
AT present, there are two strifes raging in the world-a great war and a little war. The little war is attracting much attention, for it is carried on with tumultuous violence, awakening the passions, destroying the homes and lives. Few persons have not their thoughts turned frequently towards the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Danube, whence the crashings of the European thunder cloud are expected. But, for the most part, men are insensible to the fact that from north to south, from east to west, a conflict is waged vaster in its extent, more important in its consequences than any quarrel of alarmed or ambitious politicians. The strife between God's truth and Satan's lie, extends well nigh over the whole earth. It is spreading wherever there is the form and the speech of man; it cannot be settled by any arrangements of boundary questions, but by the uprearing of one universal empire.
During the course of last month we were furnished with an unusual amount of interesting information concerning the efforts making to spread the kingdom of the Redeemer. At the time when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was bringing forward his Budget for the little war, the leading Christian Societies of the land were meeting in London, to declare their budgets for the great war. On comparing the more prominent features of these different sets of financial statements, it appears that it is much more expensive to shoot men than to evangelize them; that gunpowder costs more than Bibles, and that the charge of a single campaign would cover the globe with Missionaries of the Cross. We give below a short notice of some of the more important facts regarding the work of Mis
The income of the British and Foreign Bible Society during the past year has been 222,000l., of which upwards of 30,000l. was subscribed for the purpose of sending
The London Missionary Society maintains its wide-spread operations, with an increased income of upwards of 5,000l. Its missionaries in India, China, Africa, the West Indies, and Polynesia, number 167, besides a staff of more than 600 catechists, readers, and schoolmasters. Ten new missionaries have offered themselves for China, and this Society has provided means for their immediate transmission.
The Church Missionary Society maintains 118 stations, with 176 clergymen, and 1,704 teachers or catechists of all classes. Its mission congregations number 107,000 with a communicants' roll of 17,000. For last year its gross income was nearly 124,000.
Equally gratifying with the foregoing is the account given of the continued prosperity of Wesleyan Missions. This Society has not only liquidated former debts, but increased present operations. With a revenue of 114,000l., it has maintained 367 central stations, 3,116 preaching stations, 507 ministers, 703 paid catechists, interpreters, and teachers, with eight printing establishments; while it has 8,000 unpaid agents, 78,000 day and Sabbath scholars, with 110,000 members in full communion.
When we think, as we are often compelled to do with sorrow, of the extent to which the press is used for evil-no less than 20,000,000 of injurious publications being annually issued in this country-it is refreshing to hear of the gigantic efforts of the Religious Tract Society. Its issues for the past year have amounted to 27,000,000. Besides large grants to soldiers and sailors, to emigrants, to prisoners, and to Mission Societies, its publications have been sent over island and continent-from Sweden to the Sandwich Islands, and from New Zealand to Nova Scotia.
No one who read the recent census | 34,000, and 13,000 Sabbath scholars. returns of attendance on public worship How sad to think that we still require can doubt our need of the Home Mission- these useful operations to be multiplied ary Society. Its stations are at present an hundred-fold. 122, having an average attendance of
Notices of Books.
Sir Roland Ashton; or, a Tale of the Times. By Lady LONG. London: Routledge and Co. World Worship. By ELEANOR GRIFFITHS. London: Nisbet and Co. Florence Egerton; or, Sunshine and Shadow. By the Author of "Aunt Edith," &c. Edinburgh: Kennedy. WE have classed these three works together, exhibiting, as they do, as many types of national mind and character. The first is the production of an English authoress, and pourtrays the practical character for which the inhabitants of the southern part of our "sea-girt isle" are proverbially famous. In the second, the energetic nature and wild freedom of the ancient Briton find expression, blended occasionally with what, under the reign of dark ignorance, assumed the form of the most fantastic superstitions. While in the last, the sound common sense and fervent piety of Scotland, which have made her so renowned among the commonwealth of nations, meet the reader on every page.
"Sir Roland Ashton" was first given to the world during the hottest period of the Tractarian controversy, and, we imagine, with the intention of neutralizing the effects of those fascinating, but insidious productions, professedly published under the editorship of the Rev. W. Sewell. Nothing, we consider, could be more effective against the spirit of mere "doing," which the above-mentioned class of publications, in a few cases with some success, inculcated than the "Tale of the Times." And, although the circumstances have changed since its first appearance, it is a book which possesses sufficient inherent interest and practical utility to merit a re-publication.
"World Worship" is an interesting and instructive volume, something really worth reading in this age of book-making. The authoress has breathed into it a considerable portion of the poetry and soul-elevating character of her "Welsh mountain home." The lesson she endeavours to impress upon her readers is one of the gravest import, and urgently called for by the exigencies of the times, We know
from our own experience that the social evil she exposes is one of almost universal practice. The words of the dying Nelly, mentioned in our last Number, "Ah, mamma, you taught me to live, but never, never, to die," are applicable, we fear, to a majority of the daughters of even professed Christian mothers. We wish every mother would read and ponder well the result, as exhibited in the volume before us, of the merely how-to-live education, unhappily becoming too prevalent; and we think she would shrink from incurring so fearful a responsibility, as an efficient agent in the destruction of those committed to her care. Some may have done so partly in ignorance, and those who might have taught them more efficiently the duty they were required to perform towards those tender infants which they gave to God, and received back in trust from him at baptism, may stand charged with culpable neglect; still the evil exists to an alarming extent, and the sooner rectified the better. As a means towards effecting such a desirable result, we heartily commend the present work. It should be in the hands of every mother. Were we inclined to criticise the volume in a literary point of view, some slight blemishes might be pointed out. It is evidently the production of an unpractised pen. But a little attention to style, with the talents which the work before us displays, and, above all, the earnest and vigorous religion that pervades the whole, give promise of a successful and useful writer. We may add, that her subject is by no means exhausted. And it were much more desirable if our "religious story writers" would concentrate their efforts each on some specific object, rather than waste their endeavours and render them comparatively fruitless by expatiating on all and everything.
"Sunshine and Shadow," we confess, somewhat disappointed us. The celebrity of "Aunt Edith" will not compensate, we fear, for the comparative inferiority of "Florence Egerton." The volume before us, however, is not without its use, and we imagine it was the use intended by the author, of pointing out the necessity of
attending to little duties, which too many are apt to overlook, but from which none are exempt. We like the spirit which animates the whole. There are some really good pictures, and drawn by the hand of one who has evidently penetrated bencath the surface of life.
The Sensibility of Separate Souls Considered. By CALEB WEBB. London: Houlston and Stoneman.
The subject considered by our Author is confessedly a difficult one, and one, moreover, on which considerable diversity of opinion exists. We cannot say that he has placed the matter beyond the region of dispute. Probably this were impossible. The utmost to which it is possible perhaps to attain is the preponderating probability as to the fact that the soul when separated from the body will continue in a state of conscious existence, while the quomodo may remain a disputed question. The greater part of the work before us is employed with the consideration of those texts of Scripture that have a bearing on the subject, and we are glad to observe that the writer has no sympathy with modern philosophers "falsely so called."
Selection of Private Prayers.-Morning. T. Nelson and Sons. 1853. MANY are able to dispense altogether with forms of devotion. But for those who require such aids, we scarcely know a more suitable work than that before us. prayers comprise a course for the different mornings of a fortnight, besides supplications for a communion occasion, a birth-day season, and the time of affliction. The sentiments are thoroughly Evangelical, the language is simple, scriptural, and varied. Like Mr. Nelson's publications in general, the volume is got up with great neatness, and, indeed, beauty of execution, while the price puts it within the reach of the very humblest, who desire to possess such a manual.
The Cherubim of Glory; or, Oneness of Man with God. London: Nisbet and Co. THE publisher has done his part well. The binding and typography of the work before us are unexceptionable. But we think our author has failed in his attempt to make a book. For anything the world
will be bettered by its publication, "the subject" might as well have been allowed to remain for ever "clear to his view," and "talked of among private friends," as he tells us it has been "for about ten years."
The following pamphlets will not require more from us than a brief notice :-An Historic Plea for Ecclesiastical Unity (Nisbet and Co.), will repay an attentive perusal; but although the "Westminster Standards" have done much for more lands than Scotland, yet we fear they are not likely soon to form the basis of an ecclesiastical union of all evangelical Churches. Mr. Freeman, of Fleet-street, has commenced the publication of a Library of Biblical Literature, in twopenny numbers. "The Story of Ancient Nineveh,". "Israel and the Pyramids,"--and "The Dead Sea and its Explorers," form the first three numbers. They are suitably illustrated, neatly got up, and deserve an extensive sale. The able and eloquent address-Faith and Criticism-by Dr. Merle D'Aubigné, at the opening of the Presbyterian College in Belfast, has been published in a neat pamphlet by Mr. Shepherd. It is truly worthy of the author and the occasion. The following tributes to departed worth will require no commendations from us; by many they will be perused with a hallowed and grateful interest:
Presbyterian Church in England.
HOME MISSION FUND. Collection.-London Wall, London, per Mr. Geo. Grant
Shields, per Mr. Jas. Buglass.... 2 3 0