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most violent hurricane. So great was it, that by one sea that struck them: in the bay of Biscay, twenty-four of the crew were swept off the deck ; of these, eight were fortunate enough to regain the vessel, but the others sank to rise no more until that day when the sea shall give up its dead. After enduring the severest trials, the Quail at length succeeded in reaching St. Hillier, in Jersey, but almost in a sinking state. When arrived there, the agent of the society went on board, with a view of supplying any loss they might have sustained, with respect to their Bibles, and wished to give them some in exchange for those which were damaged; but the crew requested to be allowed to keep those that remained as memorials of those comrades who had been taken from them, and who, it appeared, had made good use of them, up to the last day of their lives. It was a most gratifying sight, to see that portion of the crew who had been spared proceed to the nearest church on the succeeding Sunday, to thank God for their deliverance. In the last year there had been distributed among forty-one regiments, 2,933 Bibles,. exclusive of those which had been distributed for the use of hospitals and re.. gimental schools. The total number of Bibles and Testaments distributed during the last year was 11,211 ; making the distribution since the formation of the society, 308,249 Bibles and Testaments. The report expressed the regret of the committee, that the funds in the last year had not been commensurate with the demands of the society, and, with all their exertions, they had not been enabled to make their income equal to their expenditure; and that therefore they were in advance, £347. The receipts of the last year had amounted to £2,570 98. ld. ; and the payments to £2,561 8s. 70.".
11. The PROTESTANT REFORMATION SOCiety. " The ninth annual meeting of this society was held at Exeter-Hall on Friday, May 13th: Mr. Finch in the chair. The speakers were, J. E. Gordon, Esq.; the Rev. P. Roe; the Rev. Mr. Seymour ; Dr. Holloway; the dean of Ardagh; the Rev. E. Tottenham ; the Rev. J. Cumming; the Rev. John Harding; and Nadir Baxter, Esq.
The report and speeches contain little that is new or interesting. Most of the facts detailed are generally circulated through the periodical press, as well in this country as in Europe. It is affirmed that in Ireland Popery is on the decrease, and Protestantism on the increase—that a spirit of inquiry and investigation is abroad among the Catholic population, so much so, that they take much pains, travelling in some instances thirty and forty miles, to hear the relative merits of Popery and Protestantism discussed. There is also an evident desire for the Scriptures. In one instance six families subscribed a shilling each to purchase a Bible, which-is now itinerating from house to house among them.
On the other hand it was stated that there had been great increase within the last year in the numbers of Roman Catholic colleges, chapels and convents, and that many persons in England had been seduced from the Protestant faith to join the Roman Catholic Church. It was hoped, however, that the zeal which the clergy were expected to exert in favor of the objects of the society, when they should come to be enlisted in its favor, might augur better results. This will depend much upon the manner of their employing it.
• The society had last year issued above 400,000 sheet tracts; and there was going on an issue of nearly 2,000 tracts weekly from the society's repo
sitory. The receipts of the society during the past year were £2,876 9s. 6d. ; the expenditure, £2,633 68. Beyond this, the report added that the society was in debt to the amount of £1,388.".
12. The NEWFOUNDLAND AND BRITISH North AMERICAN School Society.
“The annual meeting of this society was held at Exeter-Hall on Wed. nesday, May 11th: Lord Mountsandford in the chair. The speakers were, the Rev. Dr. Dealtry; the Rev. E. Sidney ; the Rev. H. Budd; the Rev. J. Hall ; Captain the Hon. F. Maude, R. N.; Perceval White, Esq. ; Thomas Lewin, Esq.; and the Rev. P. Roe.
“The Rev. J. Haslegrave, B. A., read the report, which announced that the king had taken the society under his special patronage, and that it con. tinued to enjoy the countenance of the governor and other high official characters in Newfoundland. There were thirty-eight principal and branch schools in operation. The loan libraries in connection with them continued to be very useful. The teachers also employ themselves in distributing tracts; an important occupation, when it is considered that during the year 1834, there arrived at Newfoundland from sundry ports 848 ships, and that about 374 ships were employed in the seal fishery, which latter carried upward of 8,000 men; many of which were visited, and tracts left on board. There were many parts entirely destitute of instruction, which cannot be supplied for want of funds. The remittances last year from donations, subscriptions, and the various associations, excepting £120 received from Newfoundland for books, were only £1,251 18s. 5d. This year they amount to £1,769 19s. 9d., beside £100 specially for the debt of 1835 ; leaving a clear increase of £518 1s. 4d. But the receiptis in Newfoundland for the past year amount only to £324 13s. 10d., reduced to sterling money ; being £152 8s. 5d. less than the receipts of the preceding year."
13. THE HIBERNIAN SOCIETY.-Having noticed this society in a former number, to which we refer the reader for information respecting it, we insert it here barely to preserve the order in this paper..
14. THE CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION SOCIETY
* The eleventh annual meeting of this society was held at Finsbury chapel on Tuesday, May 3d: J. Labouchere, Esq., in the chair. The speakers were, the Řev. A. Tidman; the Rev. R. W, Hamilton ; the Rev. Dr. Cox;. C. Lushington, Esq., M. P.; the Rev. J. Young; the Rev. T. Smith ; aud the Rev. George Clayton.
“The report stated that, in connection with the society, there were eightytwo associations, with 1,862 gratuitous visiters, having under their care 46,938 families, and holding 115 prayer meetings; being an increase of seven associations, 232 visiters, 5,759 families, and twenty-four prayer. meetings, during the last twelve months. Within the same period 766 copies of the Holy Scriptures had been circulated ; 1,814 cases of temporal distress had been relieved ; and 3,572 children had been obtained for Sab. bath and day schools. The local prayer meetings, preaching stations, and schools, bad been increased from 91 to 115. The income of the society amounted to £1,061 17s. 9d.; the expenditure to £1,045 19s. 4d."
15. THE PROTESTANT SOCIETY. FOR THE PROTECTION OF CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.
“ The twenty-fifth anniversary of this society was held at the City of London Tavern- on Saturday, May 14th : Lord Ebrington in the chair. The speakers were, the Rev. R. W. Hamilton ; George Bennet, Esq.; J. Mellor, Esq.; Edward Baines, Esq., M. P.; the Rev. J. Sibrec; the Rev. T. Morell ;Dr. Brown: Josiah Conder, Esq.; C. Lushington, Esq:; the Rev. T. Russell ; Dr. Bennett ; Mr. Edwards, of Brighton; the Rev. Dr. Ross ; J. Green, Esq., of Birmingham ; the Rev. Dr. Morison ; the Rev. Mr. Castledine; Rowland Wilks, Esq. ; the Rev. Mr. Beard, from America; the Rev. Mr. Ainslie; the Rev. Dr. Cox; and J. Brown, Esq., of Wareham.”
The report contains nothing of general interest. The objects of the society are no doubt benevolent, and may be serviceable in many cases, if not abused. It appears to be a sort of association designed to interpose the weight of its influence in cases where it is conceived the rights of the weaker party are contravened by the more powerful and influential. - 16. THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN TEMPERANCE Society.
“ The general meeting of this society was held at Exeter-Hall on Tuesday, May 17th : the bishop of Chester in the chair. The speakers were, Lord Teignmouth; Basil Montague, Esq. ; the Rev. Hugh Stowell; Mr. John Hockin; Mr. G. Thomson ; Mr. Hall, of Maidstone ; J.S. Buckingham, Esq., M. P.; the Rev. D. Kelly ; and the Rev. William Blood.
“ The report stated that the temperance societies of England, Scotland, and Ireland had united; and many country societies, which had hitherto been · independent, had declared themselves auxiliaries of the parent institution.
Other societies had been formed on the total-abstinence plan, whom they could not but regard as friendly coadjutors. Many excellent and influential clergymen of different denominations, as well as many private Christians of eminence, had inscribed their names in the books of the society, and had become successful advocates of its claims. Nearly all the parochial clergy of the city of London had espoused the cause ; and many dissenting meeting houses had been opened to its advocates. In St. Dunstan's and St. Bride's large associations had been formed. The Society of Friends had passed resolutions in favor of temperance at their last yearly meeting. Some cases were mentioned of spirit-dealers having abandoned the trade, from a conviction of its pernicious results. Many families had begun to act systematically on its principles. The agents of other religious and benevolent societies had lent their aid, and had distributed, with much success, the tracts of the society. The committee, having determined to obtain the opi. nion of the medical profession respecting the results of the use of ardent spirits, had succeeded in obtaining the signatures of 700 medical gentlemen, in London, including the most eminent practitioners in the hospitals. The following was the declaration' to which those gentlemen had affixed their names :- We, the undersigned, declare our conviction, that distilled spirit is not only unnecessary, but injurious to persons in health; that it contains no nutritive quality ; that its daily use is a strong temptation to drunkenness, occasioning many severe diseases, and rendering others difficult to cure, leading to poverty, misery, and death; and that its entire disuse, except for purposes strictly medicinal, would powerfully contribute to the health, morality, and comfort of the community. One hundred and eight new sooieties had been formed in the past year; and 200,000 persons had evinced their attachment to temperance principles. Some juvenile associations had been formed under proper superintendence. One gentleman in Cornwall was stated to have distributed 60,000 tracts, and to have obtained 7,573 members ; he had employed 53 agents, and his labors had extended over 75 parishes. A lady in London also had succeeded in obtaining 155 members. The reports from Scotland and Ireland had been highly important and en. couraging. The principles of temperance had been successfully advocated in New South Wales, Southern Africa, and New Zealand, among the Mora. vian missionaries, in the East Indies, on the continent, France, Prussia, Sweden, and in the empire of the Czar. The number of tracts distributed during the year had been 680,050; making, from the commencement of the society, 3,865,750, including the circulation of monthly publications to the extent of 403,120. The receipts had amounted to £1,631 ; the expenditure to £1,471 ; but the engagements under which the society was placed would leave a balance of nearly £400 due to the treasurer.
“ Basil Montague, Esq., said he had long been connected with the Mendicity Society, in which they had seen the effects of that most horrible vice of drinking ardent spirits. He had meditated on the important subject for many years. He had himself abstained from fermented liquors for more than thirty years; and, from the knowledge which he had gained, he had en. deavored to diffuse through the community the benefits which he had himself experienced. He had rarely seen the evil traced to its source. Few would accuse him of being, in the vulgar sense of the word, a radical reformer;' but, on the present subject, God forbid that he should not be an advocate for • radical reform.' There were two points to which he would chiefly direct attention :—Was the drinking of ardent spirits an evil? And if an evil, how was it to be remedied? It was most decidedly an evil. First, it was inju. rious to health. Here Mr. Montague quoted the opinions of Dr. Cheyne, Dr. Rush, Dr. Darwin, and others, in proof; referring also to his own experience. In the next place, it was injurious to strength. He had inquired of several eminent boxers, and among the rest, of Mr. Jackson; as also of several celebrated wa.kers; and he found that they abstained from ferment. ed liquors. He had obtained nearly the same testimony from soldiers and sailors. It was injurious also to intellectual excellence. Lord Bacon, Milton, Dr. Johnson, and others equally eminent, were remarkably temperate. It was, above all, injurious to moral excellence. It induced obduracy and hardness of heart, a distaste for labor, and a great waste of time; it was of an infatuating character, and there was a great difficulty in breaking it off; it led to a contempt of religion and of religious truth, to carelessness as to the distinctions between 'right and wrong, to irascibility of temper, to insensibility and inhumanity. Mr. Montague here introduced some quotations from the evidence given before the committee of the house of commons, by Mr. Poynder; from which it appeared that some of the most notorious mur. derers had fitted themselves for the perpetration of their horrid crimes by the use of ardent spirits. Such was the evil, an evil which in many bad become an established habit. And how was it to be remedied ? He answered, by abstinence. Let them abstain at once. Let them but persevere for a short time, and he could assure them that the pleasure would more than counter. balance any seeming evil.”
In reviewing the transactions of these benevolent associations, all holding their annual celebrations in one city, and, within less than a month of each other, it is natural to institute a comparison between the state of the Christian world now, as indicated by the spirit which has prompted to these benevolent enterprises, and that which existed before. It is a trite remark, that the present is a benevolent age. But do we always realize what is implied in it-how much that must evidently be referred to the extraordinary impulses of the Divine Spirit—that has its origin in God alone, in whose hands are the hearts of all his people, to direct them to such leading tendencies as shall best subserve his wise and benevolent purposes? When the courage of a martyr was necessary, with the spirit of a martyr he armed his faithful ones. Now the spirit of a burning zeal for the salvation of the world will better subserve bis
cause, and the spirit of such a zeal is imparted. It is evidently of God. .
On examining the reports of these several societies, it will be perceived that they raised, during the last year, more than a million of dollars. Did all Christendom, from the days of Constantine to the Reformation, raise such an amount for purely benevolent purposes? These institutions, let it be recollected, with one exception only, have all sprung up within a half century. The Naval and Military Bible Society was instituted fifty-seven years ago; all the rest are of more recent origin. In England, where taxes and tithes, and the necessary means to support the gospel at home, among dissenters, place the people under an oppressive pecuniary burden, a spirit of benevolence has been gradually enkindling in the hearts of Christians, until the combined liberality of a few of the asso- . ciations influenced by it exceeds a million of dollars in one year! The same spirit of zeal and benevolence prevails in other Protestant countries, as well as England, and in other societies in that country. Has God inspired it without an object ? Does it not indicate that he is about to put in operation an agency for the conversion of the world? What then is the duty-let every friend of the Saviour seriously ask himself-what is the duty of all who profess to be influenced by a Saviour's love, in regard to this great and growing work? We then, as workers together with him, saith the missionary apostle, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.
. A Sermon on John xx, 30, 31.-By Rev. J. Floy. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name."
By the word “signs," in the text, we understand miracles, both words being indifferently used in the Old and New Testament. “ Thou shalt take this rod in thine hand,” said the Almighty to Moses, " wherewith thou shalt do signs :" and Jesus said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” • But what is a miracle? The definitions of the word are numerous, some giving it too great a latitude of meaning; and others, perhaps, needlessly contracting it. A miracle is any action, event, or effect, contrary or superior to the established laws of nature. For admitting that there is a supreme Being-and our argument, at present, is not with those who deny one-a Being who has all