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writing, To the most Reverend Father in God, William, by Divine Providence, Archbishop of Canterbury.' On the back is the following—These are to certify whom it may concern, that the within certificate was on the first day of April, in the year of our Lord 1841, brought into the registry of the Deanery of Arches of London, and there registered. John Moore, Registrar.' That is to say, it was enrolled in the very court to which Mr. Baines was summoned ! It is certainly a very absurd thing that the Court of Arches, or the court of any bishop or any archbishop what. soever, should have to be recognized' by a Dissenting church, as invested with authority to make a legal registration of its place of worship—as absurd as for a vestry of Dissenters to have to record, in order to its security, the erection, or intended erection, of an episcopal edifice. But so it is. And if Mr. Baines's principle is carried out, this must be resisted the law that requires it treated as a nullity, neglected and disobeyed. I mention these things merely to show, that before a broad, sweeping principle is assumed and announced, the whole extent of the ground it covers should be measured and known. Men must be prepared for all the consequences of the position they take. I abate none of my denunciations against a spiritual court having the power to put a man into goal. I should hesitate, however, as things are, foolish and absurd as I may deem them, to say, that Dissenters act inconsistently,' in, in any manner,' recognizing' such a court."
It is on these grounds Mr. Balance accounts for the absence of that general sympathy which the imprisonment of our brother might have been expected to call forth.
“ The Dissenters have amongst them much unsophisticated good sense. Men of worth, high feeling, candour and integrity abound in their societies. I firmly believe, that there is very generally throughout the country a secret feeling of all that I have expressed, as to the questionable character of these church-rate martyrdoms, and that this represses enthusiasm and effort. If, however, it is not so—if Mr. Baines did, and is thought to have done, nothing but what was right, it would still seem that the Dissenting public are not convinced that the proceeding was expedient. If, calculating on the good to flow from his self-sacrificing zeal, Mr. B. hoped to strike a blow at the spiritual courts, by exhibiting in himself the effects of their vindictiveness, and thus lighting up a fire throughout the land that would burn them as stubble-he has been mistaken. Neither ministers nor churches are thus inflamed. The feeling of the body is not generally roused and set in this direction,-not, at least, as the consequence of his imprisonment. How are we to account for this? Partly, I think, by the moral feeling I have already referred to; and partly by the fact, that the institutions themselves, with which the contest really lies, are not of yesterday--unheard of invasions on the liberty of the subject, and adapted, therefore, to excite universal and resolute resistance. Were the church courts new things, just created and sent forth, with their hybrid character and terrible powers, to curse and crush by excommunications and prisons, Mr. Baines would certainly not be their only victim. The goals would be full ;-every where would they be full,- for all men would resist the erection of such tribunals. Being, however, things that have drifted down to us on the tide of time-or rather, grotesque parts of our old, massy, strangelooking pile of national institutions, that, oddly enough, have got somehow conglomerated into a most wonderous whole-being things of this sort, however bad, the people generally are not susceptible of every passionate interest respecting themthey are not ready to resist them to the death, nor to feel deeply with those who do ;-although if anything half or quarter so monstrous were attempted to be created, there would be no lack of martyrs to suffer or of multitudes to sympathize."
We print these extracts more with a view to instruct others than to censure Mr. Baines, for while we cannot resist the force of the arguments our friend of the Middle Temple has put forth, yet we have a deep conviction that Mr. Baines generously placed himself in his present position in the hope that his domestic privations and personal sufferings would illustrate the hateful character of that system to which he is conscientiously opposed, and hasten the day when such outrages upon equal justice and the rights of conscience shall cease for ever. That such a consummation will be hastened by his long imprisonment, is anticipated by Mr. Balance himself in the following eloquent and spirit-stirring passages.
"Whatever may be thought of the way in which Baines got himself into goal; the mere fact that he is there, there, by the act of spiritual functionaries—there, through a process which shows what the church has the power to do—which presents to the eye of reflecting men (or of unreflecting) the gentle, meek-eyed Bride of Christ, with the key of a prison instead of that of Paradise hanging at her side, with a sword in her hand and chains at her feet-a thing which does this, and which thus illustrates what is meant by the earth helping the woman'-such a thing cannot take place-certainly cannot be frequently repeated, without, in the long run, so affecting the public mind as may occasion one day surprise alike to prelates and priry-councillors. Imprisonment by a church, however it comes about, is surely a most grave and astounding thing. The act must have a meaning-to us Protestants a wondrous meaning-if it only had a tongue to give to it fit and forcible utterance. Doth Dissenters and Churchmen might be compelled to listen, if LEICESTER GAOL were but as vocal and eloquent as it might be, even on the admission of all I have advanced. The public at present are not interested. Many are too blind, many too busy, to notice or care for what does not immediately affect themselves. Be sure, however, of this, that if there be really a soul in man or a God in heaven, it cannot be, if church-courts are to continue to commit men to prison,' but that some one or other shall rise up, who, after admitting all that can be urged against a mistaken and erring man, shall yet speak such words of thunder on the mere fact of his ecclesiastical incarceration, and strike such flashes of fire from his chains, as shall startle the indifferent and cure the dumb.”
" It is a black and fearful thing that a man should be put into a gaol by a church! that the successors of the apostles-the representatives and ministers of the meek and loving One, should speak like lambs and devour like dragons,'-'anointing their Lips with the oil of charity, and defiling their hands with bonds and blood.' On this ground I should take my stand; for my admitting Baines not to have been right, is no reason for my denying that his antagonists are wrong. They may have done nothing but what the law warrants—that law whose slumbering thunders the captive man dared to provoke; but it is an unrighteous thing that any law should arm a church with such thunders, and still worse that any church should have the heart to use them. There is no inconsistency in views and feelings. Ecclesiastical imprisonment can be looked at by itself, irrespective of the steps by which it has been incurred. Legal or illegal as to its infliction—wise or foolish the conduct that occasions itthere it stands-essentially and unchangeably, from its very nature, a loathsome, leprous, unclean thing. The sooner it ceases to be possible the better. Any man who is subjected to it shall have my sympathy, be he right or wrong in what exposed him to the oppression. This feeling is on the increase. If the people be impregnated with it, especially the sober and religious part of them, they will speak on the subject in such a way, that parliament will do something as well as talk-act in addi, tion to resolving."
“Public opinion will one day or other effect his discharge. He may have coto. mitted an error, but that error cannot deserve everlasting imprisonment. All right. hearted and right-minded men will come to feel this, and they will learn to speak it too, so that even Lord John Russell shall deign to hear. His lordship is mistaken in his estimate of what the Dissenters are, and what they can do, when once roused by any great and vivid moral excitement. As a body, they are not political, but they are religious. They are pervaded and possessed by that which is the strongest stimulus in man. They love truth, and like truth-loving men they love freedom. The principles of the pure Protestant faith have firm hold of them, and the spirit of liberty is their natural inheritance. The revived and virulent popery of the church is opposed and abhorrent to their very instincts—it will lead them to resist its preten. sions and demands from a sentiment which will dare and suffer any thing. If such a church is to continue to hold their brethren .in bonds,' it will engender a feeling, and it is beginning to do it, which, if not met with cordial concessions, may perhaps express itself after such a fashion, as would somewhat surprise any ministry that should be mad enough to treat its possessors with contempt."
In conclusion we may observe, though we have no knowledge of the author of this pamphlet, yet we shrewdly suspect that he is A Balance more frequently found at the Weigh House, than at the Middle Temple.
The Rev. William Davis, of Hastings, has published a brief but interesting sketch of “ Michael Smith,” which he properly designates “A Memoir for Sunday School Teachers." Michael was himself a scholar in the Croft Chapel School, and, after serving in the navy a few years, became, though poor, eminent for purity, uprightness, zeal, benevolence, and true devotion, so as to be a comfort to his pastor, and a blessing to his native town. It is a narrative replete with interest, and adapted for extensive usefulness.-Ball & Co.
We are favoured with an awakening little book, from the pen of the Rev. John Jefferson, entitled, “ Agrippa; or, the Nominal Christian Invited to Consideration and Decision.” It is written with much penetration into the sophisms of nominal Christianity, and with a sweet compassion, that should constrain the almost Christian to decision of character.
Mr. Sheppard, of Frome, suggests in his “ Thoughts on Private Devotion," the expediency of every Christian keeping a calendar, to be inscribed with facts of a personal, domestic, or public character, for devout review, which, he justly remarks, "might be more profitable than many a treatise." A gifted minister has accordingly published a neat book, entitled, “Outlines of a Private Calendar, designed to aid the cultivation of practical piety and closet devotion, with an introduction explanatory of its use.” The journal itself simply consists of four ruled columns for each month of the year, under the heads of “ Circumstances of Individual Interest-of Domestic and Social Interest—Events of Universal Religious Interest—and of General Philanthropic Interest.” The advantages of such a record are set forth in the explanatory introduction, which we have read with interest and edification. Dr. Isaac Watts kept much such a calendar, which was printed in our pages, (Vol. XV. 1832, PP65-70,) and we trust that this effort of his devout namesake may induce many others to adopt a similar course.- Ward & Co.
The gift of social prayer is so important in our churches, that every effort to promote its cultivation should be encouraged by us. We are happy, therefore, to announce the third edition of a very useful little volume by the Rev. Thomas Mann,
of West Cowes, entitled, “ The Gift of Prayer." It contains forty-three brief sections, which comprise remarks upon every branch of the subject, with very appropriate Seriptural illustrations, adapted for general usefulness. The introduction contains a successful vindication of prayer meetings against the objections which have been urged even by evangelical church writers against them.- Ward & Co.
Dr. Joseph Buller and Henry Buller of Lincoln's Inn, sons, we believe, of the estimable John Buller of Southampton, have just published two octavo volumes, entitled, " A Winter in the Azores; and a Summer at the Baths of the Furnas." They are transcibed from journals kept during an eight months' residence in the Island of St. Michael's, at the Baths of the Furnas, and amongst the neighbouring, but almost unknown islands of Fayal, Pico, St. George's, Floras, and Corvo. It gives us pleasure to say that these are amusing and instructive volumes, written with a graphic power, which brings strange scenes in nature and society vividly before the mind of the reader. The authors visited these islands, as invalids in the search of a warm and agreeable climate, and the remarks at the end of the second volume, on the climate of St. Michael's, and the removal of young people with a consumptive tendency to a warm atmosphere, cannot fail to be interesting to those parents who are called to have resort to that painful, but only effective method of checking the progress of a most insidious disease. The authors have illustrated their pages with more than thirty sketches, executed with great truth and beauty, and though these books scarcely fall within the range of critical censorship, we are happy to say that they abound with facts that will entertain and inform their readers.--Van Voorst.
"The Journal of Civilization," is a cheap weekly periodical, intended to illustrate the necessity, progress, and blessings of civilization. Doubtless the providence of God has even co-operated with Christianity in ameliorating the wretched condition of our race, and it is high time that those secondary and subsiduary means, advocated in this journal, should occupy a large share of the attention of Christian philanthropists. -W. Smith.
Messrs. Fisher & Co. are publishing in monthly parts, price two shillings, five of which have appeared, an illustrated edition of " The Rev. Thomas Scott's Commentary on the Bible, containing the Old and New Testament according to the authorised version ; with explanatory notes, practical observations, copious marginal references, indexes, &c.” With a series of highly finished engravings, illustrative of the princi. pal places mentioned in Scripture, from original drawings. As this edition has been the subject of some proceedings in the Court of Chancery, which may excite the suspicions of those who have not had the opportunity of informing themselves about the question, we think it right to explain, that the present is a reprint of the fourth and last edition that Mr. Scott alone amended and carried throngh the press. The additions that he made to the fifth edition, which Mr. Dawes edited, are mainly in the critical department of the work. We cannot but rejoice that the enterprising publishers of this beautiful edition will now succeed in placing this valuable commentary within the reach of multitudes who could not afford to purchase at the price of eight guineas the sixth edition.
The admirers of the writings of “that holy and greatest light of the reformed churches," John Calvin, will rejoice to learn that his “ Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians," have been translated from the Latin, by the Rev. W. Pringle, and published by Mr. Clarke, of Edinburgh, as the thirtieth volume of his Biblical Cabinet. Professor Tholuck has described Calvin's commentaries on the New Testament, as characterized by doctrinal impartiality, exegetical tact, various learning, and deep Christian piety, and to such a testimony we can add nothing, but express a hope that this volume may be succeeded by others, till the whole of these invaluable expositions are in the hands of English readers.-Clarke.
The Committee of the Congregational Union have rendered good service, by commencing “ a series " of tracts for the use of our churches. Pour of these are already published. The first is The Declaration of Faith, &c.; and the second is on the Home Duties of Churches—both of these should be in the hands of every member of our denomination; the third relates to the Constitution, &c., of county or district Associations of Pastors and Churches, and the fourth is an Address on the choice of Pastors. Much is needed to be done, to inform the public and our own people too, of their principles and privileges, and we hope these useful tracts will be widely circulated, and be succeeded by many others equally useful. Jackson & Walford.
The Religious Tract Society is doing good service to the cause of Protestantism, by its numerous and diversified publications on the Papal history, controversy, and absurdities. These publications are adapted to all ages and capacities, and are issued at prices suited to persons of all circumstances. “The Spirit of Popery: an exposure of its origin, character, and results, in Letters from a Father to his Children," is an elegant volume of letters, and contains a good digest of the doctrines and ceremonies of the Romish church; as also a well-sustained defence of the Protestant faith. It is written in a familiar and popular style. It speaks to the eye as well as to the mind. Its cuts are graphic and instructive, serving not only to illustrate, but also to fix indelibly on the memory many of the statements and facts embodied in the text. We cordially recommend it to the attention of Christian parents as a suitable present to their children, and as a means of guarding the youthful mind against the abominations of Rome.
THE EDITOR'S TABLE.
Four Lectures on Spiritual Christianity, delivered in the Hanover-Square Rooms, London, March, 1841. By Isaac Taylor. 8vo. London: Jackson & Walford.
A Winter in the Azores ; and a Summer at the Baths of the Fernas. By Joseph Buller, M.D., and Henry Buller, of Lincoln's Inn. 2 vols. 8vo. London: J. Van Voorst.
The Journal of Civilization. No. 1. Imperial 8vo. London: W. Smith. Memoirs of British Female Missionaries; with a Survey of the Condition of Women in Heathen Countries : and also a preliminary Essay on the Importance of Female Agency in Evangelizing Pagan Nations. By Jemima Thompson. 12mo. London: W. Smith.
Your Life. By the Author of " My Life, by an Ex-Dissenter.” 12mo. London ; J. Fraser.
The Nestorians; or, the Lost Tribes : containing Evidence of their Identity, an Account of their Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies; together with Sketches of Travel in ancient Assyria, Armenia, Media, and Mesopotamia; and Mlustrations of Scripture Prophecy. By Asahal Grant, M.D. 8vo. London : J. Murray.
The Life and Times of Thomas Cranmer. By the Authoress of “ The Life and Times of Luther.” Imperial 8vo. London: J. Green.
Family Secrets; or, Hints to those who would make Home Happy. By Mrs. Ellis, author of " The Women of England.” 8vo. Parts 3 & 4. London: Fisher & Co.
Nugæ Literariæ : Prose and Verse. By the Rev. Richard Winter Hamilton, of Leeds. 8vo. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.
The Last Days and Hours of Mrs. Hannah Matthews, late of Barnsbury Park, Islington. By her Husband. 18mo. London: Mason.
Three Lectures to Christian Mothers. By James Cameron. 12mo. Edinburgh: W. Innes.