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Knowing you will be ever ready to assist in any benevolent endeavour to remove the obstacles to the spread of true religion, and desiring to be very brief, I shall not offer any further reasons for my wishing you to bring the matter before the Association and the public, but let the document speak for itself. Hoping to see it in your next number, I remain, yours,
APPEAL TO THE BRITISH NATION,
The following is an extract from an Appeal to the British Nation, on the greatest reform yet to be accomplished,” from the pen of Mr. Buckingham, which was read and adopted at the World's Conference, held last week in London :“FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN,
;- The age to a habit which holds you in fetters in which we live is called the Age of more closely rivetted than those which Reform; and among the nations of the manacle the African; for while you earth England takes the foremost have broken his chains to pieces, you rank amongst Reformers. The wise still wear your own, apparently unconand the good in all countries look to scious of the bondage. it with hope; but there is one giant evil "As a people you are benevolent, yet to be reformed, in which its exam- moral, religious—your numerous inple is more pernicious than beneficial, stitutions and munificent subscriptions and in which its national influence has everywhere proclaim it; but you nevercreated so vast an amount of injury, theless seem to be unmoved by a sweepthat all its energies should be put ing torrent of destruction, rolling over forth at once, and without an hour's every part of your otherwise beautiful delay, to remove the blot from its and happy country, which mars your otherwise bright escutcheon.
benevolence, outrages all morality, and “As a people you are intelligent-- is the greatest stumbling-block to pure the world admits it—but much as you religion that has ever obstructed its have learnt, and great as is the supe- heavenly path. riority you manifest in arts, in science, “ These are severe rebukes, I admit; and in commerce, you are yet, as far but are they just ? are they true? If as the majority of your numbers is con- so, their severity is kindness and their cerned, steeped in the profoundest utterance will be mercy, should they ignorance as to the extent of injury awaken you to a sense of the incalcusustained by you all, in a greater or lable and indescribable evils under lesser degree, by what you deem the which thousands of your fellow-couninnocent and moderate use of intoxi- trymen and countrywomen-nay, even cating drink.
thousands of young children--still la“As a people you are wealthy-no bour ; evils which it is entirely within other people on the globe are your your power almost instantly to remove; equals in this but in no country and for the further continuance of on earth is so large a portion of that which you are therefore in a great wealth utterly wasted and destroyed, degree responsible. as it is by usages and customs preva- Let us reason together a little on lent among you in all ranks of society, this subject, till the light of truth shall from the cottage to the palace, by all gradually become visible to you. ages, all professions, both sexes, and “ It has been proved by parliamenall conditions of men.
tary evidence-sifted, examined, and “As a people you are courageous, scrutinized, but never yet confuted or your history bas proved it--but there denied-that the actual expenditure is one foe whom you have not courage of money in Great Britain alone, exto front, whom you shrink from attack- clusive of all her colonies, in the mere ing, and before whose sway you bend in purchase of intoxicating drinks, exdread and homage—the tyrant fashion.ceeds fifty millions sterling! a sum
"As a people you are free-none, greater than the whole revenue of the perhaps, really freer-but amidst all kingdom, from every available source. your boasted freedom, you are slaves "Does this vast expenditure make
any one stronger or healthier than if parent of nearly all the mutinies in the he abstained entirely from its use? navy and insubordinations in the The united intelligence of the most army; and almost all the tortures of enlightened and eminent medical men flogging and every other species of of the country answer No!—and out naval and military punishment are of a long list of those who have so an- clearly traceable to this single cause. swered by their signatures to a pub- Stimulating drink is the powerful lic document expressing this, it will be agent used to facilitate seduction, adulenough to mention the names of Sir teries, and the daily violations of chasJames Clark, Sir James Macgregor, tity in thought, word, and deed ; and Sir Benjamin Brodie, Sir Wm. Bur- the inmates of every female asylum, nett, Drs. Chambers, Paris, Bright, with one united voice, will answer, that Copeland, Forbes, Latham, Bostock, but for the use of reason-drowning Guy, Key, Elliotson, and a host of drink, their betrayers would never others, including the very heads of the have succeeded in depriving them of medical profession.
all that rendered life valuable, their “Does it make any one more indus- hitherto unspotted honour; and that trious or capable of enduring greater but for the same conscience-searing labour? The uniformi testimonies of poison they should have returned landed proprietors, merchants, manu- again, repentant, to the bosom of sofacturers, and employers of large ciety, their expulsion from which, as bodies of men in agriculture, trade, outcasts, was owing to the criminal mining, in fleets, in armies, in isolated conduct of others; but in the delirium labour or in co-operative force, answer produced by drink, they find their only -No! On the contrary, they prove solace by steeping their unutterable that it produces idleness to such a woes in temporary oblivion. And for degree as that, on an average of the children—in every country emblems whole working community, one-sixth of purity and innocence, in every repart of their time, or one day in every ligion personifying angels of bliss and week, is wasted and expended by glory-oh! let it be written in burning drinking usages and indulgences ; and tears of mingled grief and shame that another fifty millions
sterling are children are every day, in every town therefore lost to the whole nation by and village, in every hovel, and in every the suppression or stagnation of so mansion, trained by their blind and much productive power, while the sick- unthinking parents to acquire an apness and debility occasioned by intem- petite for this destroying poison every perance, both in parents and their time that it is given to them by the progeny, adds considerably to this loss maternal hand, which should never ofefficient labour and production, great dispense aught but blessings as a reas it already is.
ward for good behaviour-as some“Does it improve the intellect or thing to gratify them and do them increase the skill of any living being? good or when seating them at the All experience answers-No! It ren- table, and bidding them drink the ders some stupid, others self-willed healths of those around, to elevate and obstinate, some vain and con- them for the moment to the dignity of ceited, and others furious and demoni- little men and women; never dreamacal; but of patient learning, practised ing that in after life this taste, first skill, and calm and deliberate wisdom, sanctioned and fostered by parental it never imparted an atom. It makes example, and meant no doubt in kindpresent idiots and future lunatics, but ness, may, by a subsequent vicious init makes no man wiser or more com- dulgence, bring these originally pure petent to the discharge of the great and innocent children to the last stage duties of life.
of dishonour and degradation, a drun“Does it make men more rnoral, kard's grave-a fate that never could women more chaste, or children more befall them if: hey never tasted this truthful or honest? Alas ! in no one insidious poison. instance has it ever done this. Stimu- “Here, then, are fifty millions of lating drink is every hour the exciting money actually spent, and fifty milcause of nearly all the crimes that fill lions' worth of valuable time and proour prisons, that people our penal co- ductive labonr wasted without adding lonies, and that supply the executioner to the health, strength, capacity, skill, for the gallows. Strong drink is the intellect, wealth, virtue, morality, or religion of any single being. Is this and it hinders the successful accomthe conduct of a nation calling itself plishment of undertakings, which in wise? Will it be endured for a mo- sober and discreet hands would meet ment longer by a people calling them- a different fate; the united cost of selves free? Shall it be quailed before which, taken all together, amounts to as an unconquerable evil, by a peop e many millions more. calling themselves brave? If so, let “Here, then, are evils more extenthem abandon all these titles, and sub- sive in their destruction of life and promit to be considered the weakest and perty and more obstructive of human feeblest of mankind.
happiness and improvement, than all “But if I have proved to you what the wars that were ever waged—than these 100 millions of expenditure and all the plagues, pestilences, and fawaste do not accomplish, let me for a mines that ever swept the earth-than moment enumerate a few of the proved all the slavery that was ever perpeand admitted evils which it brings in trated—or all the monopolies that ever its deadly train.
existed. And shall we remain un"It fills not merely our work-houses, moved amidst this general wreck, when but the damp cellars and obscure so simple and practical a remedy is in courts and alleys of every town in the every man's hand ?-needing no comkingdom with ill-fed, ill-clad, ill. bination of wealth to effect, no oganihoused, sickly and miserable occu- zation of societies to carry, no acts of pants, whose sunken eyes, and pallid parliament to enforce - costing nocheeks, and shrivelled limbs, and bend- thing but the single resolution of a ing forms betoken premature age, suf- moment, which we should for ever hide fering, and decay; while the stunted our heads in shame if we have not the growth, the ragged garments, and the virtue or the courage to make. famished looks of their little children “Every humane and generous heart cry to Heaven for mercy and to us for that can feel for the woes of others, help and rescue.
every mind that is not steeped in the It fills onr prisons with criminals, lowest depths of sensuality and selfishour hulks with convicts, and our penal ness, eagerly inquires—"What is the colonies with the outcasts of society, remedy? To abolish so great an evil there to spread the British language —to promote so great a good-every and the British name, and there, in voice exclaims, “Tell it me, and I will many instances, to corrupt the abori- instantly adopt it.' gines of distant lands, and make them “Let not its simplicity startle yon : more degraded by the vices of civiliza- all great truths are simple. The subtion than they were before by the bar- limest acts of the Deity are simple. barian of savage life.
'Let there be light, and there was “It fills our streets with prostitutes, light,' is the eloquent record of the more numerous than in any other great act of creating the glorious orb country in the world, and turns the of day, and building up and binding young, the innocent, the beautiful, and all the starry firmament in the haroften the most confiding, generous, mony of motion through infinity of and interesting of their sex into the space.
God is love' is the simple most degraded and unhappy of human definition of the ever-adorable Deity. beings.
Love your neighbour as yourself' is “It inflicts upon the nation a cost the blessed Saviour's simple but comto maintain its system of poor-laws, prehensive catalogue of all our human with all its complex machinery—to duties ; for on this,' and the love of build and support its prisons and peni- God,' said his divine lips,'hang all tentiaries, asylams, hospitals, hulks, the law and the prophets.' and penal colonies, its police at home “ Our remedy for this giant evil and establishments abroad—of many has the same characteristic simplicity. millions annually.
May it have the same high sanction " It destroys property as well as life, and emphatic force! Abandon all in shipwrecks and fires at sea, in spoil- intoxicating drinks. Nothing more ings and waste, in intentional and ac- than this is needed; and this is in cidental fires and destructions by land, every one's power. Millions of peoa large proportion of which is tracea- ple in India and China, in Asia and ble to the drunken carelessness of some Africa, have lived for ages as Hinor the wilful incendiarism of others; doos, Buddhists, and Mahommedans
-in burning plains, on snowy moun- houses, root it out from wherever your tains, in lives of sedentary study, in influence extends, and the whole nalabours of active toil-with no stronger tion will, on the following day, begin drink than water—the oldest, purest, to be regenerated. Your banquets brightest, sweetest, healthiest, and for need not be the less hospitable : but all these reasons given by God as the let purer tastes and more wholesome most abundant fluid, to quench the appetites be gratified; and if all will thirst, and assist in the nutriment of cease to use intoxicating drinks, no all his creatures. Millions of people man will need for his guests any more in America, Ireland, Scotland, Eng- than for himself. land, and in all our colonies, have now “Let the women of Eugland begin --some, like myself, for twenty years, this great work, and the men must and others for periods of fifteen, ten, follow. Let the flushed cheek and and five years consecutively-proved glaring eye, the unsteady hand, the its superiority to every other fluid as parched lip, and foul breath, which a beverage, in strengthening the body, wine, spirits, beer, and other intoxiinvigorating the mind, calming the cating drinks engender in the man, be passions, giving firmness to the cha- shamed by the frown or withered by racter, increasing, in short, the health, the scorn of the chaste and beautiful wealth, and enjoyment in every way, maidens and matrons of Albion. Let of those who have made the change, their own purity and loveliness never who have given up entirely the use of more be tainted by the unhallowed wine, beer, spirits, and alcoholic drinks touch of the wine-bibber and inhaler in every form, without once repenting of the fumes of uncleanliness and corthe change.
ruption. And oh ! let the holy and “We ask you, then, to try the same angelic innocence of their children experiment. We know by experience never come within the atmosphere of what will be the result. Banish it this pollution.” from your tables, expel it from your
OUTLINES OF THE HISTORY OF PRESBYTERIANISM, IN
BY THE REV. H. MONTGOMERY, LL.D.
( Continued from No. X I. page 349.) The Westminster Confession treats of “ The fall of man, of sin, and of the punishment thereof,” in the following wonderful and appalling language :
“Our first parents being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.
"By this sin they fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation.
“From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
“ This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated : and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin,
Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon
the singer, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal."
The same ideas are condensed, and if possible rendered more shocking, in the Catechism which every Minister of the Irish General As-. sembly is solemnly bound to put into the hands of his people, and in which, at their baptism, every parent in that Church pledges himself to instruct his children :
“The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually; which is commonly called Original Sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.”
“Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin.”
“The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to
The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror of conscience, and vile affections; or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.”
“The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire for ever.”
It would be inconsistent with my design in drawing up these “Outlines,” to make any extended remarks upon the extraordinary statements contained in the preceding extracts. Indeed, they scarcely require commentary-standing out, as they do, in such prominent opposition to the justice and benevolence of God, to the plainest teachings of the Bible, and to the common sense of mankind. Were they promulgated for the first time, I feel convinced that they would be received with one universal shout of disapprobation; but, as that which is familiar seldom creates surprise, millions of worthy men, who have been accustomed from childhood to hear and read the doctrines of Calvinism, receive them without the slightest consideration, and lend the weight of their characters and influence to the support of a system which, I sincerely believe, they would unhesitatingly reject, did they seriously reflect upon its principles and tendencies. No dogma of that system is more unworthy, whether we consider its relation to the dealings of God or the condition of man, than that which is called the doctrine of Original Sin, or, in other words, the transfer of the guilt of Adam and Eve to all their descendants. The presentation of that doctrine, therefore, in some of its more striking aspects, may not be unprofitable, owing to its late revival and authoritative enforcement amongst the larger body of the Presbyterians of Ireland.