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to send their children to the church schools; if any of the parents refuse him, this holy man will not so much as speak to them if he meets them on the road. What will the Methodists say to this "fact notorious to every one?" With all their church leanings, when

immediately steered to the southward, impressed with the awful example he had just witnessed of the danger of navigating the Polar seas in high northern latitudes. On returning to England he made various inquiries respecting vessels that had disappeared in an unknown way; and, by compar-will they open their eyes, and see that ing the results of those with the in- the church party want none of them formation which was afforded by the to join at the "loaves and fishes ?" written documents in his possession, he Oh, no! their great object is to ruin ascertained the name and history of the them, by enticing the youth, the hope imprisoned ship and of her unfortunate of their church, away. What is their master; and found that she had been motto? "Let us entice the youth away frozen thirteen years previous to the time from their schools," say they: "the old of his discovering her among the ice." folk will die off, and Dissenters will be Wellingborough, Jan. 14, 1847. ruined." The two schools first mentioned are well-nigh ruined. Few, very few scholars attend either of these places now. Afew months ago they were in a flourishing state, and well attended. The people in Walsden, especially the church-going party, are dark, ignorant, unenlightened, and very bigoted.

CLERICAL KIDNAPPING. SIR, I hand you the enclosed as a text for comment. You alone can do justice to the abominable system of kidnapping and enticing away children from Dissenting schools, resorted to by the church minister of Walsden and Cross Stone. Scores of children have been enticed away to the church schools from the Methodists at Lanebottom, and the Wesleyan Association at Thorny Grace; the same disgraceful method is now being adopted at Lamberts. Boys' caps, hats, bonnets, calico fents, a few yards of very poor printed calico, Catechisms, Prayer-books of about 4d. each value, presents in money from "a four-penny bit" to "thirty pence," are given to the children and parents, to induce them to go to the church school. Boys and girls, who have received all the learning they ever had at these schools, and who had just become teachers, have been enticed away to the church. Almost every house, rich and poor, in Walsden, has been visited by the clergyman to induce the parents

My object in writing to you is twofold: first, to entreat you would send us a score or two of the CHRISTIAN PENNY for gratuitous circulation; I suppose Mr. Sherman's Fund is for that purpose. Secondly, that you will draw the attention of the Dissenting community to these disgraceful doings of the church-party, by employing your powerful pen in awakening them to a deep sense of their present position. Never have the church-party put forth mightier efforts to ruin Dissenters than at present. They have even called at the same house three or four times in one week, using every possible argument to induce the parents to send their children to the church school. These are facts-indisputable facts. Let Dissenters ponder them well.Your well-wisher, X. Y. Z.

The Letter Box.




FELLOW CHRISTIANS,-In my last letter I reasoned with you on the assumption, that the phraseology employed in the baptismal service was employed by the compilers of the Prayer-book in a modified sense; and showed, that under this-the most favourable view that can be taken of the case the said phraseology is giving currency to a most fearful delusion.

But does not this theory of a modified sense ask more than can be reasonably demanded, or honestly granted? Do not its advocates assert what they are unable to prove? One of the fairest of all legitimate principles of interpretation is, that which requires us to judge of the meaning of a doubtful passage by the general scope of the writer, or by his sentiments on the same subject expressed more clearly elsewhere. To the fairness of this principle, I believe, you will not object. Let us, then, apply it to the case before us, and see if other parts of the book, when speaking of baptism, or to or of baptized persons, throw any light on the meaning of the baptismal service.

Let us, first of all, follow a baptized child into the school-room. There he is taught by his catechism, that in his baptism he "was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." That, in any other book in the world, would mean a true Christian; but here, perhaps, it must be interpreted on the

modified-sense principle; and if so, it must be put in the class of doubtful sentences, and we must go on in pursuit of a clearer light elsewhere.

We will leave this little fellow in the school until he is able to repeat all that is contained in the catechism; he is then fit for confirmation. Proceed we with him to the parish-church to receive that rite. It must be administered by the bishop of the diocese. You are Episcopalians. According to your theory of the office of a bishop, it is of incomparable importance that he should be found "sound in the faith," holding fast the form of sound words;" and that, when exercising his talent as "apt to teach," he should "rightly divide the word of truth," and "speak" only "as the oracles of God." If it be needful that

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the priest's lips should keep knowledge," how much more so that the bishop's should? If an error Gttered by an ordinary clergyman is so much the more mischievous for having received his sanction, that same error gains an augmented power for evil when the lips of a bishop utters it, and it reaches the ears of the thoughtless under the sanction of his authority. Before one of these dignitaries of your church we place the boy, with his two necessary qualifications for confirmation-baptism, and a tolerably good memory. What does he learn from the bishop respecting his religious cha

racter and state? The very first prayer that is addressed to Heaven teaches him, that “Almighty and everlasting God has vouchsafed to regenerate him by water and the Holy Ghost, and has given unto him forgiveness of all his sins." The meaning of "regeneration by the Holy Ghost," may still be allowed to be doubtful; but what can be meant by "the forgiveness of all his sins ?" Again I say, that in any other book in the world the two expressions would be taken as descriptive of a true Christian.

But the most decisive proof of the sense in which these terms were originally employed, is furnished by the service used at the burial of the dead. We need not follow our young friend after his confirmation through the successive stages of his life. We need not stop to inquire, whether his character was moral or profane-whether he was a lover of pleasure or "a lover of God"-whether he was a sober man or a drunkard; a truth-speaking man or a liar; an honest man or a thieffor whether the one or the other, precisely the same words would be employed respecting him. No matter what may have been the enormities of his life-though he may have been guilty of all the crimes denounced by the book of God, and may have lived in his sins up to the hour of his death the very same words would be employed respecting him as respecting the most saint-like, Christ-like man that ever blessed the world by his virtues, or the church by his piety.

much as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground. . . . in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Addressing the God of truth and holiness, he says: "We give thee hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world." And again: "As thou hast taught us by the holy apostle, St. Paul, not to be sorry as men without hope for them that sleep in Christ; we meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, that when we shall depart this life we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth." Here, then, the deceased is acknowledged by a Christian minister as his "dear brother;" and the minister explicitly asserts, that God has in great mercy taken his soul unto himself.

The dwelling-place of God is heaven; your church without the least reserve declares, that the soul of the departed man is taken to heaven, and that God has taken it there "in his great mercy." There can be no evasion here; no interpretation consistent with common honesty can make these words mean anything else than that the man's soul is saved, and is gone to enjoy the bliss of heaven in the presence of God. The words mean this, or they mean nothing.

Now tell me, on what ground is it that your church asserts this man's salvation? Not on the ground of his moral or religious character, for that is not inquired into; and if known to be ever so defective, would not prevent

Let us follow him then to the grave, and there listen to the utterances of your church respecting his eternal state. Speaking to the by-standing, the officiating minister says: "Foras- the assertion from being made. It is

on the ground of his baptism, and on that alone. There are but three things that would prevent the assertion from being made-excommunication, which is not pronounced on one in a million; self-murder, and the want of baptism. If the man had not been baptized, your church would not assert his salvation, though he had been the most exemplary Christian on this side heaven; having received that rite, your church pronounces him saved, though he had been, up to the day of his death, the wickedest man on this side the bottomless pit. The conclusion is inevitable-it must be baptism, according to the teaching of your authorised services, that ensures the salvation of the soul. We thus have a key to the meaning of the phraseology employed in the baptismal service, and in the catechism; and find, that the sense which an honest grammatical construction would put upon it is the true one. It does mean what it appears to mean; for the person whom it asserts to be regenerated is, by virtue of this regeneration, said to be rescued from the pains of eternal death and taken to heaven when he dies.

Did I say, my fellow Christians, that the consequences of the service used

at the font were appalling? The consequences of that used at the grave are, if possible, still more dreadful. Oh! how many sinners, standing at the grave in a consecrated churchyard, have been hardened in their crimes, or encouraged in their neglect of the great salvation! How many sceptics have there been confirmed in their infidelity, when they have seen the lines by which the Bible distinguishes the future condition of the righteous from that of the wicked blotted out by the very men who profess it to be their business to maintain the Bible's authority and enforce its sacred sanctions! How can intelligent men believe in the Divine origin of a religion that is thus made to contradict itself? How can honest men believe in the sincerity of the clergy, who, if they believe what they assert in the pulpit, must disbelieve what they assert at the grave?

I hope to return to the subject in my next; and for the present will only remind you, that by staying in connection with the church which fosters and propagates such fearful delusions, you are taking part in the responsibility, and are sharing in the guilt of the blood of souls. A FRIEND. June 9, 1848.


and died in March, 1847, within two months of completing his 103rd year, and was consequently about a year old when his father was in Scotland in 1745.

A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THOMAS TOTMAN, WHO DIED LATELY IN HIS 103RD YEAR. THOMAS TOTMAN, who lived in Francesstreet, near Lambeth Workhouse, was the son of Howard Totman, who served The subject of this short notice was as a soldier under the Duke of Cum-a sawyer by trade, and worked in his usual employment till he was eightyfour years of age. After that time he

berland, and was in the battle of Culloden. Thomas was born in May, 1744,

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was laid aside from labour, and re- he derived from the great High Priest ceived parish relief from St. George's of his profession. His extreme sufferin the Borough, Southwark. He had ing and debility from long confinement been in the habit of reading his Bible, and the infirmities of age, induced and hearing various preachers, but great depression of spirits occasionally, without any salutary effect, till he came which the great enemy is ever ready to be confined to his house from bodily to aggravate, and turn to his own mainfirmities about eight years only before lignant purpose. Those words of Scriphis death. He often expressed, in terms ture seemed exactly to describe his of the most unfeigned humility and case, and to which he most cordially penitence, his wonder and astonish- assented, as applicable to himselfment that God should have spared him "faint, yet pursuing." His two faso long, and that he was not, like others, vourite books were the Bible and cut off in his sins. He entered fully Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress;" from into everything that was said to him, which two sources, and from his own and joined cordially in the prayers that observation, he had acquired a deep were offered. "I am a miracle-a experience in religion. He had a very monument of grace," he said: “I find powerful apprehension of the evil of inGod to be all that he has promised to dwelling sin; and he often groaned, be. He is true, faithful, gracious, and being burdened. He said: “Jesus is rich in mercy: I find him the best of our head, and I look to him for everyall teachers." thing I need, both in time and eternity. He is my hope, my anchor, my friend." He manifested strong affection to all the people of God; and longed to be with Christ, that he might serve him for ever, without weariness and with

Soon after he was confined to his bed, when he had attained to his ninety-fifth year, he was visited by some friends belonging to the congregation at Surrey Chapel, to whom, with other friends connected with the Wes-out interruption. This venerable, though leyan body, and the Home Missionary of the district, he felt under peculiar obligations for their kind attentions to him.

It was when he had entered on his 101st year that the writer of the present account was introduced to him by a Christian friend. During the course of two years and upwards he had frequent opportunities of satisfying his mind as to the genuineness of the change that had passed on this aged person. He often spoke of the temptations of Satan and his own evil nature, and of the hard conflict he had to maintain; but always dwelt with devout gratitude on the seasonable aid

young disciple, learned much in the
short time of his Christian warfare.
Here we recognise the great fact, that
all things are of God, who reconciles
sinners to himself through Jesus Christ,
not imputing unto men their trespasses.
Where sin abounded, there hath grace
G. L.

Camberwell, April 8, 1847.



MRS. KATES was born at Genoa of Roman Catholic parents, and educated in accordance with the superstitions

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