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Title: The Christian Recorder Vol. 1, Issue 1 (1819-March)

Date of first publication: 1819

Author: Various

Date first posted: January 22 2013

Date last updated: January 22 2013

Faded Page eBook #20130121

This eBook was produced by: L. Harrison, Marcia Brooks & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net














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Vol. I.           MARCH, 1819.           No. 1.



In a religious point of view, this Province exhibits to strangers a very melancholy picture.—If they come from a country where a regular establishment exists, where every Parish has its Church and Minister, and where those who neglect to attend the House of God, are held in abhorrence; they will be apt to blame the inhabitants of Upper-Canada for their coldness and indifference to the first of duties. But a reference to the cause which brought the first settlers into the colony, and their unhappy situation when they came upon the soil, as well as the many difficulties with which they had to struggle, will diminish their guilt, and present them as objects of compassion rather than of censure.

At the close of the American war, this Province was appointed the asylum of suffering loyalty.—Those brave men who had endeavoured to maintain the unity of the Empire, found themselves deprived of their former habitations, and obliged to seek a retreat in the pathless wilderness. The Parent State, grateful for their services, extended to them all the comforts of a temporal nature which their situation admitted, but those of a spiritual were not so easily supplied. Being soldiers during the war, they were separated from their families, and many acquired habits unfavourable to the calm pursuits of sober industry and regularity of conduct, by which their attachment to religion was greatly diminished.

Nor was this attachment likely to be revived, when scattered over a large space of country, without the means of [Pg 4] religious instruction—On the contrary, it appeared daily to increase, for when a transient opportunity of hearing the word of God was given them, there was great difficulty in assembling them together, and the distance furnished excuses to the indifferent to justify their absence.—Moreover, few as their numbers were, they belonged to different denominations of Christians, a circumstance which prevented that unity of exertion which might have been expected from people of the same persuasion.

Persons going into a wilderness, though far better prepared than the generality of Loyalists, are found greatly to relax in their religious observances and to fall into a sort of moral bondage—They are not restrained by public opinion, or kept under any regularity of deportment by the rules of decorum—The eye of those whom they fear is not present to put them on their guard, nor are they often beheld by those whom they love and whom they are unwilling to offend.

Experiencing no moral restraint from the example and opinions of others, they feel at length little from themselves; whatever vigour and resolution they bring with them gradually diminish, their passions and appetites assume the reins; so that when many of their most pressing difficulties are removed, they have little or no disposition to support religion or to attend to its institutions.

The Loyalists were joined from time to time by Emigrants from Europe, who soon fell into the same indifference, if indeed they brought any religious principles along with them, illustrating the depraved nature of man, and how soon it becomes corrupted. When these strangers penetrate the woods to form settlements, they are at first too few to support a place of public worship, and they are accustomed by degrees to the want of one. Habitual estrangement from the performance of religious duties produces carelessness, so that after they are able to bear the expence, they become indifferent and avaricious,—In this way, persons coming from England and Scotland, where they were blessed with religious establishments, and had been circumspect in their attendance upon public worship and the ordinances of the Church of Christ, quickly sink into the most dangerous apathy, when deprived of these precious advantages.

That portion of our inhabitants which came from the United States, accustomed to no regular establishment of religion, and composed of various denominations, tended [Pg 5] rather to increase the great indifference to Christianity which they found in the Province, than to promote its prosperity.

These observations apply more particularly to the situation of the Colony before 1800, and are to be taken generally, and not as applicable to all the Inhabitants. For there were many who preserved their religious principles pure, amidst the surrounding indifference—whose endeavours and whose prayers never ceased to promote the dissemination of the Gospel in the wilderness, which they were redeeming from the hand of nature.

The Province could only be supplied with Clergymen from England, but the character which it had obtained from exaggerated descriptions of the cold, the sterility of the soil, and general wretchedness of the inhabitants, deterred Missionaries from coming out. Besides the narrow circumstances of the Settlers, who required all their labour for subsistence, rendered it impossible for them to employ Teachers of the most common and necessary branches of education for their Children, or even to spare them the time requisite for instruction.—Hence, the rising generation instead of improving, were in many places more ignorant than their parents, and had still less regard for that religion, to the forms of which, they had never been accustomed.

For many years, there were only two Clergymen in Upper-Canada, Doctor Stuart, of the Established Church at Kingston, and Mr. John Bethune, in Charlottenburg, a Clergyman regularly ordained in the Kirk of Scotland.—They were both shining lights, and singularly qualified to support the clerical character in all its mildness and dignity. These two Servants of God, are in their labours so much identified with the history of the Church in Upper-Canada, that a short notice of each becomes necessary, and while it gratifies their numerous friends still living, cannot fail of being acceptable to every sound Professor of the Gospel.

The Rev'd. Doctor John Stuart, was born of very respectable parents in the State of Virginia, 1741.—Of his early life, little worthy of notice is known, except that he soon discovered a strong attachment to serious studies—A bias which appeared the more remarkable, as he was naturally of a lively disposition.—In acquiring the knowledge which was necessary to qualify him for the arduous and important office of a Minister of Christ, he met with many difficulties which a mind less vigorous and persevering would never have been able to surmount.—His Father was a rigid Presbyterian, [Pg 6] and though sufficiently indulgent to his children in every thing else, he looked for their implicit obedience in adopting his religious system.—The Doctor incurred his Father's displeasure by thinking differently in this matter. He was startled at a very early period of his life, at the dogmatical tone of the Shorter Catechism, which was correctly repeated by himself and his brothers every Sabbath evening. After much inquiry and reflection, he attached himself to the Church of England, being thoroughly convinced of the excellence of her doctrine and primitive purity of her worship and discipline.—But though he was fully prepared for the Ministry, and had attained the legal age, he deferred taking orders, that he might not wound the feelings of an aged and beloved parent.

This magnanimous forbearance he continued to exercise for several years, till his Father, struck with the greatness of the sacrifice, and the unequivocal proof which it afforded of the purity of his motives, besought him to follow his own inclination, giving him his blessing and praying sincerely for his future usefulness. After this amiable contention between filial love and parental affection, Doctor Stuart went to England, and was ordained by the Bishop of London.

Being now a Minister of Christ, he left the more attractive path to eminence, which his talents might have opened, and devoted himself to the Indians on the Mohawk River.—He laboured with unwearied assiduity to inspire them with living Christianity, and he was blessed with a degree of success proportioned to his active and rational zeal.

During the seven years that he spent among the five nations, his leisure hours were employed in translating a part of the New Testament into their language, of which the praise was given to another; but of the great influence which he gained over his congregation, by his kindness and attention to the temporal as well as spiritual amelioration of their condition, he could not be deprived.

When civil commotions arose, he did not hesitate a moment between interest and principle.—Neither wealth, convenience, nor family connexion had weight with him.—He sought not like some of his contemporaries, to bend the institutions of the Church to his temporal advantage.—He had sworn allegiance to the King—he had become a voluntary Member of the Protestant Church of England, and he stood up boldly in defence of both.

[Pg 7] He was forced at length to retire from his native land, and what was still more grievous, from his Parish; after beholding the labours of many years totally destroyed by the horrors of a civil war; and that Christian charity, forbearance, justice and benevolence, with which he had endeavoured to inspire the Indians, transformed by arms into the most vindictive rage and savage ferocity. His trust in God enabled him to support this severe trial, which, of all others, must to a feeling heart like his have been the most bitter.

The same vigour of mind and anxiety to promote religious knowledge, which had succeeded so well in softening Indian manners, were now applied with singular delicacy and address to the reformation of the Soldiery, on being appointed Chaplain to a Provincial Regiment. The vicious became ashamed of their conduct, by his happy manner of probing their failings. No forbidding looks or cutting reproaches discouraged the timid, or enraged the wicked. He gained imperceptibly a commanding influence over the most turbulent, and was regarded by officers and men with esteem and veneration.

When Peace was established, and the Loyalists retired to this Province, he settled in the midst of those to whom he had been attached in the days of tribulation, and who had rendered themselves conspicuous in defending those honourable principles which he professed and admired.

The last twenty six years of his valuable life were spent at Kingston, instructing a congregation that was continually increasing, and which loved him the more the better he was known, for his life was a living example of what he preached.

His Sermons were composed in a plain, easy, nervous and affecting style, and impressed upon his hearers with great effect their duty as men and Christians, and frequently roused the consciences of those who had been long dead to religion.

The pleasantness of his manners endeared him to his friends and acquaintance.—His conversation was remarkably cheerful and instructive, without ever derogating from the gravity of his character. He may be truly named the Father of the Episcopal Church in this Province, and a most worthy Father he was; ever ready to advise and instruct his younger brethren how to surmount the many difficulties which are apt to discourage them on their first entrance upon their Ministry.

[Pg 8] He resigned his Spirit into the hands of God who gave it, in August, 1811; but he still lives in the hearts of his friends, and shall be had in everlasting remembrance.

The Rev'd. John Bethune, a native of the Isle of Sky, was educated at King's College, Aberdeen, and regularly admitted to the Ministry, according to the forms of the Kirk of Scotland. Soon after obtaining orders, he was invited to South Carolina, to take charge of a Congregation of his countrymen, many of them friends and neighbours of his family, who had removed to America a little before the commencement of the civil war.—To this flock he was most acceptable, not only on account of his meekness of disposition and pious habits, but likewise on account of the fluency and elegance with which he spoke and wrote the Gaelic Language.

He had been only settled a short time among his people, when discord lighted the flames of war from one end of the Continent to the other. Like Doctor Stuart, he decided without a moments hesitation on this trying occasion. In the hour of danger, his native timidity fled—he disdained temporary compliance, and boldly declared for the King.—The public profession of his principles made him odious to the Insurgents, who treated him in the most cruel and oppressive manner.—He was detained for many months a prisoner of war—he was marched on foot from Charleston to New-York, among the common captives, and no attention paid to his rank or situation—obliged to sleep on the ground, and exposed to every privation and insult; he suffered with so much Christian fortitude and mildness, as to astonish his persecutors, and his kind attention to his fellow sufferers gained their hearts and afforded him the blessing of turning many in the Prisons where he was immured from the evil of their ways.

After his exchange, he was appointed Chaplain to a Scotch Regiment; the duties of which he discharged with great credit, and usefulness. On the return of Peace, he accompanied his people, many of whom from his influence and example had joined the Royal Standard, to Upper Canada; and being followed by great numbers of his countrymen, they formed an extensile Parish of which he became Pastor.

His duty was exceedingly laborious, having to preach in rotation at four different places; yet, he persevered to the very last, although labouring for many years under a severe cough, which indicated great weakness of lungs. The veneration [Pg 9] and affection which he experienced from his people, knew no bounds.—In the pulpit he was plain, perspicuous and affecting; for what he said to others, he believed and felt.—His congregation continued greatly to increase, for their friends whom they invited to join them from Scotland, rejoiced to find that they would enjoy the same Gospel privileges which they possessed at home. And this advantage induced many others to settle within the range of his labours, who had come out with the purpose of going to a different part of the Province. On their arrival, they saw the country entirely destitute of religious instruction except in this favoured corner, where the Pastor and his flock appeared to be nourished with the dews of heaven. Valuing this beyond any benefit that could arise from greater mildness of climate or convenience of situation, they sat down under his spiritual direction.

Having preached thirty years through the greater part of the Eastern District, the infirmities of age crept gradually upon him—his cough became more troublesome, and having been exposed to more than his usual fatigue, in returning from Kingston, he was taken extremely ill on the road, and died a few days after reaching his own house, in the autumn of 1816, aged 67.

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.

On dividing the Province of Quebec into two distinct Governments, the King signified to Parliament his intention of making provision for a Protestant Clergy according to the Church of England, by Which the people might enjoy all the benefits of religious instruction, without putting them to any serious expence. To make this provision more secure, and to interest every person possessed of landed property in the Province, in supporting the rights of the Clergy, no deed is valid which contains not a specification of land devoted to the maintenance of that body, equal to one-seventh of the lands granted. This easy and certain method of supporting a Protestant Clergy, was so unexceptionable in its nature, and so well calculated to produce the desired effect, that it obtained on all sides the sincerest approbation.

Our venerable Sovereign rightly judged, that the establishment of an enlightened Clergy in the Colony, would contribute more than any other measure to its prosperity, and that he could not bestow to better purpose a portion of [Pg 10] his lands, than to make such a provision as might induce Clergymen of learning and respectability to settle among us.

To follow up this pious and benevolent measure, and to increase the establishment with more convenience and ease, by rendering it unnecessary for young men desirous of entering the Church, to proceed to England for Holy Orders, a Bishop of Quebec was appointed, retaining the former name of the Colony, that both Provinces might be included in his Diocese.

The Gentleman selected for this arduous charge, to great natural abilities and elegance of taste added the most profound learning, both in Theology and Science.—As a Preacher of the Gospel, he must be heard to form an adequate conception of the superior excellence and effect of his matter and manner.—The majesty of his appearance, the melody of his voice, and propriety of his action, added to the sublime truths delivered, make such an impression as will not be soon forgotten by those who have once beheld him in the Pulpit. For many years he has been so infirm as to render it dangerous for him to take even the most easy exercise, but notwithstanding this, in the midst of the late war, he traversed the greater part of his extensive Diocese, to visit and confirm the different Congregations. With a constitution broken and exhausted, he might have been excused from so fatiguing a journey; but he thought it useful at such a time to give an example of intrepidity in performing his duty under the most unpromising circumstances, and at the same time, evince that he did not despair of the ultimate safety of his Diocese. As a friend to the distressed of all denominations, the writer of this article is bold to say, that the Lord Bishop of Quebec has few equals—He has been known on many occasions to put himself to serious inconvenience in order to relieve those who were in want.

He is now in England endeavouring to place the Church Establishment upon the respectable footing contemplated and provided for by the 31st of the King, and it is sincerely to be wished that his endeavours may be crowned with success.

It might have been expected that on the arrival of the Lord Bishop, the Clergy would have rapidly increased, yet in ten years, only two were added to the established Church. The Reverend Robert Addison, of Niagara, where he still remains; and the Reverend Mr. Lanhorne, of Ernest Town, [Pg 11] in the Bay of Quinte', who retired to England in 1813, oppressed with the infirmities of age.—The Country was still so little known in England, and the character of the climate so bad, that it was considered worse than Siberia, and therefore, gentlemen of education could not be found to forsake their homes and the endearing associations of their early years, the friends whom they loved and their prospects of advancement, to come to so distant and inhospitable a colony. Nor was the encouragement offered them such as to Command comfort for themselves and families, or place them in a situation equal to that which the greater number must have left behind.

In 1800, there were only three Clergymen of the Established Church in the Province, they are now increased to ten, a number so small as might lead us to despair, were we not encouraged by many favourable circumstances which begin now to operate.

Hitherto the Clergy have been paid by the Venerable Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and the Government at home, except four hundred pounds given by the Province, the Reserves till lately affording no assistance for their support. While Government grants lands in fee simple, for nothing, few persons will take up Reserves, and as the front Townships were principally granted before the sevenths were set apart, they were thrown back, and only now begin to become desirable when placed in favourable situations, or convenient for the possessor of the adjacent lot. As the settlements extend, they will be more sought after and become more productive, so that in a few years they will maintain a very considerable number of Clergymen. The impediments in the way of procuring labourers for the Vineyard are daily diminishing. The country is better known in England, the livings have been lately increased through the munificence of the British Parliament aiding the Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, from £150 to £200 sterling, and making allowances for occasional loss on discount of bills, so that this sum may be paid clear of all deductions. Since the war, the climate is no longer deemed frightful, or the state of society nearly savage. Having become acquainted with these particulars several respectable gentlemen have lately come out, more are expected, and we begin to educate young men among ourselves for Holy Orders.

[Pg 12] Since the return of Peace, a great change is observable among our inhabitants, many are desirous of religious instruction who used to be cold and indifferent, and nothing is wanting but Clergymen, to plant congregations in every settled Township throughout the Province. The majority of the people are getting comfortable in their circumstances, and though not able to spare much from their little earnings, to support religious institutions, they would yet gladly receive the Gospel, if freely offered them. In many places they are coming forward with a generous zeal, highly gratifying, to build Churches, and are soliciting with anxiety the establishment of a settled Minister. The prospect of obtaining a respectable Clergyman, would certainly unite neighborhoods together; and though differing in their religious views, or remembering that their Parents were attached to different principles, they may be at first unwilling to give them up, yet, settle a Minister among them to answer their doubts and remove their scruples, to accustom them to the form of worship, and to explain the doctrines of the Gospel, and they would soon collect around him and consider themselves his flock.

A wide field is open in Upper Canada for all religious denominations; the majority of the people are still undecided, and of that majority, the greater part will join those Teachers who are most zealous and attentive to the discharge of their sacred duties.—That in this contest, which may be conducted in love, the Established Clergy possess many advantages peculiar to themselves, cannot be denied. They are enabled through the liberality of Government, to preach to the people without putting them to any expence, and all that is necessary on the part of the congregation, is to build a house of prayer.

Their doctrine, their ministry and worship, are exciting particular attention—the Prayer Book requires only to be read by the most prejudiced in order to be admired, and if with these things in their favour they lose ground, and are driven from the field by their more successful Brethren of other denominations, their failure will be attributed neither to their liturgy nor doctrine but to themselves.

[Pg 13]



The Rev'd. S. J. Mountain, Chaplain to the Lord
Educated in England, settled at Cornwall in the Eastern District; where there is an excellent Church & Parsonage house.
The Rev'd. J. G. Weagant, Educated in Germany: Ordained in this country; settled at Williamsburgh, in the Eastern District, serves two Churches, and has a small Parsonage House.
The Rev'd. John Leeds, Educated in England; Settled in Brockvill & Augusta, in the District of Johnston—A small Church in Augusta, and a Parsonage House at Brockville.
The Rev'd. George Okill Stuart, Bishop's Official. Educated in the United States: settled at Kingston, in the Midland District. A small commodious Church, but no Parsonage House. Mr. Stuart is Ecclesiastical Commissary.
The Rev'd. Wm. Macaulay, Educated in Upper Canada: settled at Hamilton, Newcastle District. Parish just forming: no Church or Parsonage House.
The Rev'd. John Strachan, Educated in Scotland; settled at York. An excellent Church, but no Parsonage House.
The Rev'd. Ralph Leeming, Educated in England; settled at Ancaster, in the District of Gore. A Parsonage House, but no Church yet built.
The Rev'd. Wm. Sampson, Educated in England; settled in Grimsby, Niagara District. Neither Church nor Parsonage House yet built.
The Rev'd Rob't. Addison, Educated in England: settled at Niagara. A stone Church, but out of repair since the war.
The Rev'd Rich'd Pollard, Settled at Sandwich, Western District. A church is now building.


To this list, the names of the Rev'd. R. G. Curtois, Chaplain to the Forces; and the Rev'd. J. Wilson, Chaplain of the Naval Establishment, both residing at Kingston, may with propriety be added. For these gentlemen do not satisfy themselves with the correct discharge of their more immediate duties to the Army and Navy, but supply, every second Sunday, the vacant parish of Ernest Town; and are incessantly employed in disseminating religious knowledge.

[Pg 14]


The Rev'd. Jos'h. Johnston, Educated principally at Glasgow: Ordained in Ireland, by the Synod of Ulster; settled at Cornwall, in the Eastern District.
The Rev'd. Wm. Smart, Educated in England: sent out to this Country as a Missionary, by a Society in London. Settled at Brockville.
The Rev'd. William Bell, Educated in Scotland: Ordained among the dissenters from the established Church: settled at Perth, & supported by govern't.
The Rev'd. Wm. Jenkins, Educated chiefly in Scotland: Ordained in the U. States, for the purpose of residing among the Indians; lately come into the Province, and is settled in Markham and Pickering, in the Home District.
The Rev'd. John Burns, Ordained in the United States has resided long in the Province. Settled at Niagara.
The Rev'd. Rob. M'Douall, Ordained in the United States: settled in the Bay of Quinte': he has resided in the Province many years.


These Reverend Gentlemen, form part of an association, called the Presbytery of the Canadas, composed of Clergymen belonging to both Provinces. They are diligent in teaching the truths of Christianity, according to their particular system; and from the respectable characters which they bear, and their zealous labours, they cannot fail of doing much good. They have no other connexion with the Scotch establishment at home, than that of adopting Presbyterian principles.

Since the death of the Rev'd. John Bethune, there is no Clergyman within the Province, in full communion with or ordained by the Kirk of Scotland; a circumstance much to be regretted, as there are many respectable people who have emigrated from that country, and who are desirous of maintaining, unimpaired, their connexion with that Establishment—This disposition is particularly cherished by the great majority of Mr. Bethune's Congregation; among whom much of that sober and religious deportment which distinguish the people of North Britain, has been preserved by his successful Ministry: but what causes have prevented, for so long a time, a successor to continue this desirable connexion, and to instruct them in both languages, do not appear.

[Pg 15]


Rev'd Alex'r. M'Donell, Vicar General: settled at St. Raphael, in the County of Glengary, Eastern District.
Rev'd. John M'Donell, —Assistant to the Vicar General.
Rev'd. Mr. Delamothe, Settled at Perth, the Military depot.
Rev'd. Mr. Salmon, Settled at Kingston.
Rev'd. Mr. Marchand, Settled at Sandwich, Western District.
Rev'd. Mr. Crevier, Assistant to the Rev'd. Mr. Marchand.


There are very few Catholics in the Province, except the French people round Sandwich, who were the first settlers in Upper-Canada, and the Scotch Highlanders in Glengary and rear of Cornwall. The Catholics at Kingston, are chiefly from Lower-Canada; and those at the Military Settlement, consist principally of disbanded Soldiers.

The Catholics of Glengary have been singularly fortunate in their Clergymen.—The first Mr. M'Donell, of St. Raphael, was a Gentleman of uncommon powers of mind: having been a great traveller, he was well acquainted with the customs and manners of all the nations of Europe, and spoke fluently several of their languages. His manners were liberal and engaging, and he lived, on terms of friendly intercourse with his Brethren of other persuasions.

His Successor, the Vicar General, is well known throughout both Provinces for his candour and ability, and his incessant labours for the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of his people.


Till very lately, all the Teachers of this religious denomination were either inhabitants of the Province, or came from the United States.—As they have no settled Clergymen, it is not easy to ascertain the number employed, or the influence which their principles has obtained among the people. That they have been useful in preserving a religious feeling in many parts of the Province, where it was becoming dead, cannot be denied, and all must acknowledge their merit, in undergoing many fatigues and privations to reclaim the vicious, and to soften the hardened. Such benevolent exertions ought to be applauded, and so long as they can produce numerous examples of persons who have been turned by their preaching to more than the form of Godliness, they are entitled to the respectful consideration of their fellow Christians.

[Pg 16] Recently several young men have been sent out to the Canadas, by the Wesleyan division of Methodists in England, who are said to possess more ability and learning than those who come usually from the United States. This may be of great use to the people of the same denomination, as it will preclude the necessity of inviting Preachers from our Neighbours, to whom there are often serious political objections; and while the New Ministers supply, do justice to other denominations, who have been preaching the Gospel in the country long before their arrival, it is to be hoped that they will be able to conciliate all the congregations of their own persuasion, and constitute them a branch of the Society in England.

Such is the present state of religious instruction in this extensive Province; and while the different denominations sincerely believe that their own principles approach nearer to the primitive times, it is devoutly to be wished, that there may be no other rivalry among them than that holy emulation to disseminate the light of the Gospel, which ought to animate every disciple of our Blessed Redeemer.



There is a sad want of religious knowledge in this country, and a scarcity of devotional books that is almost incredible—A publication therefore, tending to supply this great deficiency, if conducted in a plain, easy and interesting manner, cannot fail of having a salutary effect. And in order to render it as attractive as possible, those of your readers who are able, should give you occasional assistance, that variety may appear in your pages. But as example is better than precept, I send you the following essay on Family Worship; a subject of the greatest importance to all Christians, but more especially in this Province, where so much indifference to religion prevails.

I can never read the noble determination of Joshua, expressed in the hearing of all Israel, "But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord," without feeling my heart warm within me—Methinks I behold the venerable Patriarch addressing the congregation before his death, on the singular benefits bestowed upon them by God, and calling upon them to renew the covenant which had been made by the Almighty with their Fathers.—But if they hesitated and [Pg 17] chose rather to serve the Gods of the Amorites, he declares against so pernicious a decision, and exclaims, in the full confidence of God's mercies, that whatever their choice might be, his resolution was already taken to serve the Lord. This determination, had an instantaneous effect upon his audience; for the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other Gods. The conduct of Joshua, clearly implies that Family Worship was firmly established in his Household, that his children were brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and veneration for his holy name. There is indeed no spectacle more affecting than that of a well regulated family, surrounding their parents at the returning hour of devotion.

But though such a spectacle be affecting and beautiful, and the advantages which result from Family Worship cannot fail of presenting themselves to every serious mind, how many thousands of Parents bearing the Christian name, have never bent their knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, never assembled their children around them to talk of his mercies and inspire them with the spirit of true devotion—Yet this, above every other religious exercise, affects youthful minds. They can easily perceive out weakness and dependance, and our need of assistance.—They can easily be made to know that God is both able and willing to save, if we seriously seek him, through the merits of Christ crucified.—They can perceive the propriety of trusting in our Saviour, pleading his own promises, and asking for the Holy Spirit to help our infirmity, to teach us to pray for those things which are profitable, and to work in us faith for it, is the prayer of faith that availeth.

I am sensible that the language I am using, will not be understood by those scoffers at religion, who are accustomed to contemn Family Worship, under the name of hypocrisy; nor those Christians, who, bewildered by the mazes of Philosophy, can perceive no benefit from stated prayer. This is not however at all surprising; such instances of the depravity of the human heart frequently appear. Yet, that men professing to hold Apostolic principles, and to receive the Scriptures as the only rule of Faith and practice, should express any doubt whether it be the duty of the Children of God, to declare their faith in and dependance upon their Heavenly Father, by worshipping him daily in their families, must surely appear surprising to all who have any just sense of their own wants, or any knowledge of the unspeakable [Pg 18] privilege of drawing nigh to God in prayer and supplication, through Jesus Christ, the Divine Mediator between God and man. But, to place this important duty in its proper light, we shall show its foundation in Scripture, and the great advantages which result from its practice.

That Family Worship is inculcated in the Scriptures, is fully implied in the fourth Commandment, which orders us to keep the Sabbath holy within our gates or families, [Exodus, 20 c. 8 v.] And in [Leviticus, 23 c. 3 v.] we are informed that a "it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all our dwellings."—But if we are to sanctify the Sabbath in our dwellings, we must maintain the worship of God in our families; and if this be a duty on the Sabbath, it must be equally so every day, unless it shall be said that we may live without God six days in the week. Were it impossible to bring forward any other argument than this, in favour of Family Worship, it would be decisive; for it argues the greatest absurdity to suppose that sanctifying the Sabbath in our dwellings, only implies a cessation from labour in our families.

Ceasing from labour, is not performing the duties of the Sabbath, but merely abstaining from its violation; for these duties are of an active nature, worshipping God in public as well as in private, and in works of necessity and mercy. Nor can it be said that the fourth Commandment is not binding under the Christian dispensation, for it is part of the moral law which neither is nor can be abrogated. It is likewise expressly enjoined upon parents to instruct their children in the doctrines of God. "And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy Children; and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes; And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house and on thy gates." How can parents comply with these injunctions, without collecting their children together, and joining with them in Prayer? Ye fathers, saith Saint Paul, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If then we are bound to instruct our household in the doctrines of religion, it is surely our duty to pray with and for them; and the steady performance of this duty, must always be [Pg 19] considered part of that example which we are called to set before our families, walking worthy of that vocation wherewith we are called. Prayer may be called the marrow of religion: in no other way, could the Father of a family bring so forcibly under the review of his children the beauties of Holiness—He has called them together, a Psalm is sung, the Scriptures are read, and falling on their knees, this holy exercise begins by contrasting our weakness, our instantability and errors, with the power, the unchangeableness and the goodness of God; feeling that we have no claim to his compassion and mercy, we are filled with the deepest humility and led almost to the brink of despair; we pour out our souls in confession, we abhor sin, we pray for the spirit of true repentance, for remission of our trespasses through the blood of the Lamb that was slain. As we have so often offended against the purity of the Divine Laws, we entreat for pardon and forgiveness, that God will remember our transgressions no more, or make them the cause of withholding his gracious aid; and we make this petition on the express condition of forgiving all those who have injured us, and of never again committing those sins for whose remission we pray. After these humble entreaties, we bless God for the many benefits that we have, already received and are daily receiving, and in an especial manner for sending our blessed Lord and Saviour into the world, to die that we might live. Our gratitude and love rejoice to clothe themselves in words. They are no longer to be concealed in the breast, but are heard in vehement and sincere acknowledgements. These grateful feelings of the heart towards our blessed. Lord and benefactor, are most delightful to the soul, and are so interwoven with our nature, that it is impossible to abstain from uttering them, and from earnestly requesting the continuance of the blessings we enjoy.

But as religion includes nations, as well as families and individuals, we pray for all our brethren of mankind, and humbly entreat for them the blessings that we have been begging for ourselves. Our hearts are warmed towards them we banish or forget all animosities, and are desirous of bestowing upon them the blessings as far as we are able which we are entreating for them of God.

Having finished this pious exercise, we conclude as we began, by ascribing all honour and glory to God, and requesting [Pg 20] to be heard through the merits of our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Is it possible to conceive any duty better calculated to purify the soul and make it sensible of the beauty of religion? Is there a single good disposition of the heart which it does not nourish or inspire? Can there be any barrier against sin more simple in its nature or more powerful in its elects?

Without prayer, it is impossible to teach religion: as every Christian must feel from experience, and find verified by Scripture example. "For I know him, saith the Lord of Abraham, that he will command his children and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord." It is evident that in order to do this, the Patriarch must have been in the habit of practising family worship. David is likewise an express example of the performance of this duty: we are informed that he returned to bless his household; an expression of the same import as praying with his household as appears from a parallel passage, where it says, Solomon blessed all the congregation; but the prayer that follows, is an address to God with and for the congregation; and consequently, David blessing his household, means praying with and for them.

The perfect pattern of all obedience, the Son of God himself, is likewise an example in favour of Family Worship. He prayed frequently with his disciples alone; and if it was proper for the Lord of Glory to pray to his Father and our Father, with and for his disciples, we ought surely to follow his example.

[To be continued.]

Dissertations on the Christian Doctrines.

No. I.

"God is Love," saith the blessed. Apostle St. John; a most precious truth, and the great foundation of the Christian Religion. There is something so encouraging and delightful in this character of God, so kind and endearing, as cannot fail of kindling in our hearts, the purest and most lively affection.

He is our Father, a good and a tender Father; who looketh down upon us with the bowels of his mercy, and [Pg 21] compassion; invites us before we come unto him; meets us by the way; embraces us in mercy; falls on our necks, and wipes away all tears from our eyes.

It is impossible for us, sensible as we must be of our dependance upon God, our weakness and transgressions, to contemplate the divine attributes singly, without apprehension. His Omnipotence is awful—his Omnipresence overwhelming, and his Justice to Sinners terrible; but when we find them uniting harmoniously with his goodness and mercy, and not only constituting the glory and excellency and majesty of one and the same adorable Being, but finishing our conception, by representing him as clothed with infinite love; he becomes amiable and beautiful in our eyes, and our fear is transformed into praise and thanksgiving.

The proofs of God's love to man, present themselves on every side; what, but this, could have moved him to call into existence such a multitude of living creatures: all ordered with gifts and faculties suitable to the dignity and excellence of their several natures? He loved to extend his happiness.—This gave being to men as well as Angels, and to this Universe of Creatures. To man, the Divine Love flows in an everlasting stream.—His body so majestic and commanding in its appearance; his members so admirably formed for their various purposes; the different organs of sense so wonderfully constructed for supplying the wants of the mind. And his internal faculties, are still more astonishing. For his memory, reflexion and judgment, so marvellous in their several powers and relations, evince, in the strongest manner, the goodness of God.

Our faculties, capacities and means of enjoyment, all proceed from the same pure source, our ever blessed Creator; from him every thing proceeds, and to him shall they all return.

The divine love sends forth innumerable streams of happiness and enjoyment, not only to the lowest insect that creeps upon the Earth, or sports its short hour in the beams of the meridian Sun, but to the rapture of the Seraph, and the just man made perfect.

We feel that God the Father of all is good and lovely, and that he has for us the affections of a Parent, and our hearts accord with the exclamation of the Prophet, "O Lord thou art my Father, and we are all the work of thy hand."

[Pg 22] In our enjoyments, comforts, and even in the afflictions which he sends, we experience that he is dealing with us, as with children whom he loveth.

But our holy religion more especially represents our Heavenly Father, as the God of love; for its design is most undoubtedly to alleviate all the burdens of life,—to straighten the crooked path, and cheer us by the way,—to ripen, and to multiply our innocent pleasures,—to preserve us free from sin and guilt,—to lead us to wisdom and holiness,—to inspire us with confidence in the tender mercies of God,—to point out the benefits of adversity, in chastening our passions and appetites, in proving the vanity of earthly pursuits, in preparing us for death, and consoling us under the last separation from those we love.—This is the tendency of its doctrines, its precepts and promises.

Surely God is love, who reveals himself to us as our Father, Friend, and Preserver, who is continually watching over us, that no evil may befal us. The very hairs of our head are numbered,—he knows our necessities, our wants and desires; and he grants the good, and withholds the evil, when we pray for them in the sincerity of filial affection. He allows, and even commands us to approach him with the love and affection of children addressing their earthly parent, full of tenderness and loving kindness.

But this divine love is not the blindness of an over indulgent parent: it is a discriminating, wise, and upright love; impartial and universal. It is pure and sublime, and not allied to any human infirmity: "we are the Children, and God is our Father."

But the love of God to man, is still more unspeakably manifested, in sending Jesus Christ into the world, to be a propitiation for our sins. This proof of the Divine love towards sinful man, astonishes heaven and earth.—"For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.—In this, was manifested the love of God towards us; because, that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might believe through him.—Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our Sins." Through Christ, Salvation is proclaimed to Sinners,—deliverance, favour, life, and immortality to wretched mortals, who are considered one family united together in the firmest bonds of love and affection.

[Pg 23] There is a scruple on this part of the subject, proceeding from a narrow and partial view of the nature of Christianity, which gives great uneasiness to tender consciences. Some think, that God was made more merciful and placable by the sacrifice of Christ, than he was before. Now, this is not the case, for no doctrine is more clearly revealed and enforced in the New Testament, than that God is essentially benign and merciful; and the propitiation is so far from being the cause of the Divine mercy, that it is the effect of it. For it was the love of God that moved him to appoint the atonement, and to accept of it when offered. The atonement by the blood of Christ, is the method chosen by infinite wisdom, to extend his mercy to penitent Sinners, in a way, perfectly consistent with the purity, the righteousness and dignity of his Moral Government.

In fine, that God is love and dwells in love, is the Christian Doctrine; and our blessed Mediator was animated by the same generous and divine principle. His laws breathe nothing but love and tenderness: and the heaven he promises, is the land of Love and everlasting Friendship.


No. 1.

There is a continual contention between those who consider themselves able to give advice, and those whom they wish to counsel. The former are astonished that imprudence, obstinacy and sin should continue to prevail, notwithstanding their frequent and wise admonitions. The latter appear no less surprised at the pride and arrogance of their advisers, in presuming without authority, or the requisite qualifications, to advise people wiser than themselves.

These persons cannot be separated into distinct classes, because he who assumes the province of advising to-day, is himself admonished by another to-morrow, and instead of any good being effected, enmities are excited, highly destructive to the peace and harmony of society.

He that censures our past conduct, and directs us how to redeem the future, enjoys a Superiority which we are not always disposed to admit. Though conscious of the accuracy of his admonitions, they may be delivered with a bitterness or indelicacy that renders them exceedingly offensive. They may be given by one who is guilty of the vices [Pg 24] which he blames, and is deficient in the virtues that he is recommending. Those who are conspicuous for indolence or neglect of their own affairs, are not well qualified to recommend diligence and attention to business. A Drunkard can have little influence in exhorting to sobriety, or the Spendthrift in recommending frugality.

Even to the well disposed, advice is commonly offensive, unless administered in the most gentle manner, and at seasonable times, because it otherwise appears to proceed from vanity, or an officious desire to intermeddle with what does not immediately concern us.

But without attempting to prescribe rules necessary to be followed, in giving advice, I am inclined to think, that the person whom I recommend to be consulted is not exposed to any objection, that his advice will always be found seasonable and applicable to the situation of those who consult him.

The Confessor presents himself in two capacities, first confessing to himself, and secondly hearing the confessions of others.

In the first we are all confessors, we are conscious of our own demerits, frequently enumerate our faults in our minds, and describe them with many aggravations, which the keenest discernment of others cannot discover. We are humbled, ashamed, and frequently alarmed at our situation. Hence we are led to serious reflexion, and serious reflexion, if cherished, soon conducts us to religion. How many persons spend their lives in the business, bustle, or false pleasures of the world, without ever asking whence they came, or whither they are going. Were such to make a full confession to themselves, of the transactions of the past year only, and try them, by examining their influence on their future prospects, a change of life might be commonly anticipated. Such a confession gives vigour to conscience, discovers the true value of terrestrial pursuits, and directs our views to eternity. It makes reason ashamed of its indolence and weakness, furnishes it with strong arguments for resuming its dominion, and guarding the soul against the allurements of sin.

These advantages may be communicated to others, by transmitting such confessions to this department of the Recorder. Sinners will see themselves in reflexion, and be encouraged to commence that self examination which has proved so beneficial to their neighbours, placed in similar circumstances with themselves.

[Pg 25] Here we have no counsel officiously intruded, no superiority assumed, no bitterness excited. The reader may profit, and yet be concealed, he is not humbled in the presence of his adviser, and obliged to submit to the severity of reproof. Nor is the person who furnishes the confession, placed in a disagreeable situation, he is still unknown, pleased with the consciousness of self reformation, and the hope of doing good to others.

It is not only as the organ of such communications, but more especially in his capacity of attending to the direct confessions of his correspondents, that the Confessor hopes to be useful. Their scruples, doubts, and difficulties will meet with immediate attention. In solving cases of conscience, elucidating obscure passages of Scripture, explaining the doctrines of the Gospel, and deciding interesting questions, in Morals and Theology; he will employ all the powers of his mind; he may err, for he frequently errs, but he will answer to the best of his ability; nor will he spare trouble in acquiring information, when the questions involve matters which he has not yet well considered by previous study.


In an age, when historians affect to exclude Christianity from their writings, it may, perhaps, not be ungratifying to many of your readers, to peruse the character of Queen Margaret, the wife of Malcolm the Third, who died in the year of Christ, 1093; as described by Sir David Dalrymple, in his annals of Scotland. Vol. I. p. 33, &c.—He is a writer of standard merit, and certainly cannot be charged with enthusiasm: his evidence therefore is unexceptionable.

'In delineating the character of Margaret,' says he 'I follow the traces of Turgot, her confessor.' "Far be it from my hoary head" says Turgot "to feign or flatter; as God is my witness and my judge, I relate nothing of Margaret but what I know to be true: many things which I know to be true, I have omitted, because they would have appeared incredible."—Some allowances, however, must be made for the secret bias of a panegyrist, to magnify the virtues, and extenuate the imperfections of the person whom he celebrates.

[Pg 26] From her earliest youth, Margaret studied the Scriptures, as they were then studied, in the verbal sense of the Vulgate. Her apprehension was acute, her memory tenacious; and her diligence unwearied; hence she attained to an uncommon proficiency in what was then esteemed to be knowledge.

She did not abuse the influence, which the opinion of her worth had merited, in the councils of Malcolm. To her he seems to have entrusted the care of matters respecting religion, and the internal polity of the kingdom. In both, there was much to reform. At that period, the Clergy of Scotland had ceased to celebrate the communion of the Lord's Supper. "We are sinners" said they, "and therefore we dread to communicate unworthily." The Queen displayed to them the vanity, of this superstitious or indolent excuse. She restored the religious observance of Sunday, an institution no less admirable in a political, than in a religious light. It was not uncommon for a man to marry his step-mother, or the widow of his brother: I presume that this was owing not to vague lust, but to avarice; for it relieved the heir of a jointure. We may easily perceive how necessary, and how difficult, a reformation was in that kingdom, where the Clergy omitted the celebration of the communion, where the distinction between Sunday and work-days was disregarded, and where incestuous alliances prevailed.

In the administration of her household, she so blended severity of manners with complacency, that she was equally revered and loved by all who approached her. She entertained many ladies about her person, employed their leisure hours in the amusements of the needle, and gave a strict attention to the decency of their conduct. "In her presence" says Turgot, "nothing unseemly was ever done or uttered." A strange picture of that age! On the education of her children she bestowed the most conscientious care. She enjoined their preceptors to chastise them as often as they merited chastisement. On them she bestowed her tenderest thoughts in her dying moments. Turgot pathetically describes his last interview with this affectionate mother. After long discourse on her spiritual state, she thus addressed him: "Farewell; my life draws to a close, but you may survive me long. To you I commit the charge of my children, teach them, above all things, to love and fear God; and whenever you see any of them attain to the [Pg 27] height of earthly grandeur: Oh! then, in an especial manner, be to them as a father and a guide. Admonish, and, if need be, reprove them, lest they be swelled with the pride of momentary glory, through avarice offend God, or, by reason of the prosperity of this world, become careless of eternal life. This, in the presence of Him, who is now our only witness, I beseech you to promise and perform."

Her beneficence was unbounded. I speak not of her public almsgiving, however liberal and unremitting. Her private solicitude to do good exceeds every encomium. She was humble and self abased; she judged with more severity of herself than of others. And, now that we have seen the fruits of this excellent woman in meekness, active virtue, and mercy, we are authorised to presume that her piety was sincere.

By a tedious and painful indisposition, endured with exemplary patience, she was brought very low; till stretched on her couch, she calmly waited for the moment of her dissolution. Cold, and in the agonies of death, she ceased not to put up her supplications to heaven. These were some of her words "Have mercy upon me, O God; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my iniquities; make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me; restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite spirit, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good, in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem."—At that moment, her son Edgar, returning from the army, approached her couch. "How fares it with the King and my Edward?" The youth stood silent, "I know all," cried she, "I know all. By your filial affection, I adjure you, tell me the truth." He answered, "Your husband and your son are both slain." Lifting her eyes and hands towards heaven, she said, "Praise and blessing be to thee, Almighty God, who hast been pleased to make me endure so bitter anguish, in the hour of my departure. And thou, Lord Jesus Christ, who, through the will of the Father, hast enlivened the world by thy death, Oh! deliver me."—While pronouncing deliver me, she expired.

Such is the character which Sir David Dalrymple gives of this illustrious Queen, who lived in a dark age: and it deserves consideration, whether the female character in general, even in this age of refinement, can bear to stand a [Pg 28] comparison with it. We have more indeed of what are termed accomplishments: but is the gospel generally considered as essential to salvation? Is the education of children always founded on religion? Are mothers as anxious for the spiritual and eternal happiness of their offspring as she appears to have been? And is that dear hut, our home, in general regarded by them as their proper sphere, both of action and enjoyment? Happily the evil which is here hinted at exists chiefly, as yet, in the higher circles: but it is unfortunately gradually descending to the lower orders. Luxury is introducing dissoluteness, and dissoluteness of manners a neglect of religion. But it should ever be remembered by the female world, that in whatever nation Christianity is despised, the female character sinks in proportion.

G. F.


part 1st.

Those events which Providence has so lately been accomplishing under our own observation, are unquestionably calculated to raise the interest and curiosity of thinking minds: nor let such curiosity be merely tolerated in professors of a religion built on revelation; but, rather let it be encouraged, as perfectly agreeable to the intention of the Holy Spirit, in recording those signs of the times, which divine wisdom has thought proper to favour us with for our use to edification.

Among the many effects produced by late occurrences, one has been to direct the inquiry and the solicitude of pious persons towards events, which some expect, will take place in Judea, and especially in Jerusalem, the holy city its metropolis. Scripture, it is thought, justifies the expectation; and, when our Lord predicts that "Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles. Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," he is usually understood to admit that when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, the treading down shall cease.

The purpose of the present paper is to furnish information on the fact of the treading down of the Holy place, but the reader is not to expect here any calculation of the time of its duration or its fulfilment.

[Pg 29] A writer in the Fragments appended to Calmets' Dictionary of the Bible, has observed that our Lord in the simile of the just-budding fig tree (Matt. xxiv. 32.) has marked the period when Jerusalem should be surrounded by hostile armies, at about five and thirty years from the time that he spake, and if we may consider the allusion to the time predicted by the Prophet Jonah (forty years, taking a day for a year as common in prophecy) to the Ninevites as the "sign of the Prophet Jonah," (Mark. viii. 12.) given to Jerusalem, then this period may denote that of the entire destruction of the temple, and the fulfilment of the prophecy "that Zion should be plowed as a field" which the Jewish writers inform us was actually accomplished by Turnus Rufus, after the city had been taken by Titus.

As nothing could have been thought more unlikely than the event predicted by our Lord, at the time when he uttered the prediction respecting Jerusalem, it may be proper to enquire into the then state and condition of that city.

Jerusalem was situated on a mount, which overlooking a deep valley, was on that side of steep ascent, and the steepness had been increased by part of the mount being built up from the valley, in order to enlarge the space occupied by the temple. Other hills were also enclosed and gradually added to the ancient city, and in placing their walls, advantage was taken of all risings and of the brows of the hills along which they extended, so that as far as possible, the city was surrounded by vallies forming a continued interval between the mounts whereon the city stood, and those around it. The intention of this, was to prevent the access of hostile engines, which could not batter a wall, unless they were so close as almost to touch it. The extent of this city was rather more than two miles and a half.

That the Jewish nation had its political relations and dependencies on the Roman power, is acknowledged by Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Jews, in the most unequivocal manner, and we know from Josephus that some of the Princes of this nation were in great favor with the Roman Emperors, Herod had received his kingdom from the Romans, and after him, Archelaus governed part of his dominions, not as a King, but as an Ethnarch or Chief, His allotment contained Judea Propria, Idumea and Samaria.—He enjoyed his dignity some years in peace; but at last, his subjects wearied by his tyranny, petitioned Augustus against him. He was in consequence summoned to Rome, his effects confiscated, and himself banished to Vienne, in [Pg 30] Gaul. His country being now without a chief, was converted into a Roman province, and was ordered to be taxed accordingly. This taxation was executed by Cyrenius, a man of consular dignity, but the Jews feeling this as a disgrace were extremely mortified, tho' they submitted to it. By this tax, the seeds were sown of that dissention and animosity which terminated in the ruin of the Jewish polity, and the Romans came and took away both their place and nation. Indeed it must be acknowledged, that the Roman Governors sent to preside in this Province, were little calculated to win the affections of a mild and gentle people, still less then to regain the good will of a stubborn, rebellious, and vindictive populace.

In the time of Our Lord, Jerusalem was divided into several districts, which we might call wards, but they differed from the wards of our cities in that, each of them was walled round, independent, in a great degree, of those with which it was connected; and it might so happen, and actually did happen, that an enemy might make himself master of one of these wards, and yet be unable to enter the others adjacent.

The most ancient part of the city was probably that, where the temple stood:—Mount Moriah, (2) Salem on the western declivity of that mount, (3) Sion, whereon stood the palace of the Kings, south of Jerusalem proper, (4) Besetha, north of the temple, and consequently the most northern part of the whole city.

The Jewish war broke out A. D. 66; in which year, Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, approached Jerusalem and attacked it. He might also have taken it, had he pushed his assault with vigour, but omitting this, he was in the issue, partly by stratagem and partly by force, repulsed and vanquished. His approach was the signal given by our Lord.—When you see Jerusalem encompassed by armies. His retreat was the opening through which the Christians escaped to another town (Pella,) on the other side Jordan.—Let him who is in the city flee.

A. D. 68, Vespasian was ordered by Nero to march into Judea, which he did at the head of a powerful army, and his son Titus encreased his army by bringing two legions from Alexandria. Vespasian entered Galilee, burnt Gadara, Iatopa, Japha, Samaria, &c. &c. and at length reached Jerusalem, A. D. 73. The Jews in the city were at this time divided into parties, headed by John and Simon, in the greatest degree hostile to each other, and wherever they [Pg 31] met, they fought, notwithstanding the enemy were at their gates, and then only, when the Romans assaulted the walls, would they so far suspend their enmity as to defend themselves, jointly, after which, they returned to their enmity and warfare again. John defended the temple and the castle of Antonia, Simon defended the rest of the city.




That your Petitioner is of very ancient and honourable extraction, being created directly after the world and man were formed; and that your Petitioner, immediately after his formation, was blessed and sanctified by his Creator.

That your Petitioner was highly honoured many thousand years after his creation, insomuch, that a man who presumed to degrade your Petitioner by gathering a few sticks, was put to death without mercy. That a blessing was promised to all who gave due honour to your Petitioner. That your Petitioner continued to be honoured and esteemed, till within a few hundred years ago.

That since that period, your Petitioner has been gradually deprived of the honour due unto him, notwithstanding the promises and threatenings held out to those who should honour or dishonour your Petitioner.

That your Petitioner is held in so little estimation in this Province, that he is obliged by many of the inhabitants to serve them for merry-meetings, for fishing parties, and other amusements. That farmers make yokes for their cattle, husk corn, go a shooting in the woods or lounge at home, sleeping about without paying any attention to their families or calling them together to worship God. That so perfectly callous and indifferent are thousands, as not to know your Petitioner on his weekly return, but prepare for ploughing and harrowing as if it were any other day, till, perhaps, some neighbour warns them of my presence, and they desist not from any respect to me, but that they may consume their time in idleness and vice. That for these things great wrath and judgments may be expected; and that by dishonouring your Petitioner, many persons have come to an untimely end.—That your Petitioner is grieved to the heart to see such vast numbers of people obnoxious to the divine wrath and displeasure of an omnipotent God, by the dishonour they cast on your Petitioner.

[Pg 32] Therefore, your Petitioner humbly prays you will take his case into your most serious consideration, and that you will use your utmost endeavours to restore to your Petitioner that Honour he has been so unjustly deprived of, and thereby avert the divine displeasure which now hangs over this colony for these things.

And your Petitioner, &c. &c. &c.


Amongst the larger animals, every observer of nature has witnessed, with admiration, that love of their offspring which the beneficent Creator, with equal regard to the happiness of the parent and the progeny, has interwoven in the constitution of his creatures.

Who that has any sensibility, has not felt his heart dilate with gratitude to the giver of all good, in observing amongst the domestic animals which surround him, the effects of this divine affection, so fruitful of the most delightful sensations? Who that is not a stock or a stone, has read, unmoved, the anecdote recorded in books of Natural History, of the poor bitch, which in the agonies of a cruel dissection, licked with parental fondness her new-born offspring: or the affecting account of the she-bear, related in Phipp's voyage to the North Pole, which, herself severely wounded by the same shot that killed her cubs, spent her last moments in tearing and laying before them the food she had collected, and died licking their wounds?

But few suspect that similar examples can be found among insects, to which, at the first glance, there seems something absurd in attributing any thing like parental affection. An animal not so big, perhaps, as a grain of wheat, feel love for its offspring: how preposterous! we are ready to exclaim,—yet the exclamation would be very much misapplied. Nothing is more certain than, that Insects are capable of feeling quite as much attachment to their offspring as the largest quadrupeds.

Observe the motions of that common white Butterfly, which you see flying from herb to herb: you perceive that it is not food she is in pursuit of; for flowers have no attraction for her. Her object is the discovery of a plant that will supply the sustenance appropriated by Providence to her young, upon which to deposit her eggs: her own food has been honey drawn from the nectary of a flower. This therefore, or its neighbourhood, we might expect would be the [Pg 33] situation she would select for them. But no; as if aware that this food would be to them poison, she is in search of some plant of the cabbage tribe. But how is she to distinguish it from the surrounding vegetables? She is taught of God!—Led by an instinct, far more unerring than the practised eye of the Botanist, she recognizes the desired plant, the moment she approaches it, and upon this she places her precious burthen; yet not without the further precaution of ascertaining that it is not pre-occupied by the eggs of some other Butterfly. Having fulfilled this duty, from which no obstacle short of absolute impossibility, no danger however threatening, can divest her, the affectionate mother dies.

The Dragon fly is an inhabitant of the air and could not exist in water; yet in this element which is alone adapted for her young, she ever carefully drops her eggs.

The larvæ of the Gad-fly are destined to live in the stomach of the horse. How shall the Parent, a two-winged fly convey them hither? By a mode truly extraordinary: flying round the animal, she curiously poises her body for an instant, while she glues a single egg to one of the hairs of his skin, and repeats this process until she has fixed in a similar way many hundred eggs. These after a few days on the application of the slightest moisture attended by warmth, hatch into little grubs. Whenever, therefore, the horse chances to lick any part of his body to which they are attached, the moisture of the tongue disengages one or more grubs, which adhering to it by means of the saliva are conveyed into the mouth, and thence find their way into the stomach. But here, a question occurs to you. It is but a small portion of the horse's body which he can reach with his tongue; what, you ask, becomes of the eggs deposited on other parts? The Gad-fly avoids this dilemma, by placing her eggs only on those parts of the skin which the horse is able to reach with his tongue; nay, she confines them almost exclusively to the knee or the shoulder, which he is sure to lick. What could the most refined reason, the most precise adaptation of means to an end, do more?

[Natural History of Insects, by Kerby & Spence, Vol I. p. 338.]


A Remarkable Preservation of the Lives of two Moravian Missionaries
on the Coast of Labrador.

Brother Samuel Liebish being entrusted with the general care of the Brethren's missions on the coast of Labrador, [Pg 34] the duties of his office required a visit to Okkak, the most northern of our settlements, and about 150 English miles distant from Nain, the place where he resided. Brother William Turner being appointed to accompany him, they left Nain on March the 11th 1732, early in the morning, with very clear weather, the stars shining with uncommon lustre. The sledge was driven by the baptized Esquimaux Mark, and another sledge with Esquimaux joined company.

The two sledges contained five men, one woman, and a child. All were in good spirits, and appearances being much in their favour, they hoped to reach Okkak in safety in two or three days. The track over the frozen sea was in the best possible order, and they went with ease at the rate of six or seven miles an hour. After they had passed the islands in the bay of Nain, they kept at a considerable distance from the coast, both to gain the smoothest part of the ice, and to weather the high rocky promontory of Kiglapeit. About eight o'clock they met a sledge with Esquimaux returning in from the sea. After the usual salutations, the Esquimaux alighted, held some conversation, as is their general practice; the result of which was, that some hints were thrown out by the strange Esquimaux, that it might be as well to return. However as the missionaries saw no reason whatever for it, and only suspected, that the Esquimaux wished to enjoy the company of their friends a little longer, they proceeded. After some time their own Esquimaux hinted, that there was a groundswell under the ice. It was then hardly perceptible, except when lying down and applying the ear close to the ice, when a hollow disagreeable grating and roaring noise was heard, as if ascending from the abyss. The weather remained clear except towards the east, where a bank of light clouds appeared, interspersed with some dark streaks But the wind being strong from the north-west, nothing less than a sudden change of weather was expected. The sun had now reached its highest, and there was as yet little or no alteration in the appearance of the sky. But the motion of the sea under the ice had grown more perceptible, so as rather to alarm the travellers, and they began to think it prudent to keep close to the shore. The ice had cracks and large fissures in many places, some of which formed chasms of one or two feet wide; but as they are not uncommon even in its best state, and the dogs easily leap over them, the sledge followed without danger, they are only terrible to new-comers.

[Pg 35] As soon as the sun declined towards the west, the wind increased and rose to a storm, the bank of clouds from the east began to ascend, and the dark streaks to put themselves in motion against the wind. The snow was violently driven about by partial whirlwinds both on the ice and from off the peaks of the high mountains, and filled the air. At the same time the ground swell had increased so much, that its effects upon the ice became very extraordinary and alarming. The sledges, instead of gliding along smoothly upon an even surface, sometimes ran with violence after the dogs, and shortly after, seemed with difficulty to ascend the rising hill; for the elasticity of so vast a body of ice, of many leagues square, supported by a troubled sea, though in some places three or four yards in thickness, would, in some degree, occasion an undulatory motion, not unlike that of a sheet of paper, accommodating itself to the surface of a rippling stream. Noises were now likewise distinctly heard in many directions, like the report of cannon, owing to the bursting of the ice at some distance.

The Esquimaux therefore drove with all haste towards the shore, intending to take up their night-quarters on the south side of the Uivak. But as it plainly appeared that the ice would break and disperse in the open sea, Mark advised to push forward to the north of Uivak, from whence he hoped the track to Okkak might still remain entire. To this proposal the company agreed, but when the sledges approached the coast, the prospect before them was truly terrific. The ice having broken loose from the rocks, was forced up and down, grinding and breaking into a thousand pieces against the precipices with a tremendous noise, which added to the raging of the wind, and the snow driving about in the air, deprived the travellers almost of the power of hearing and seeing any thing distinctly. To make the land, at any risk, was now the only hope left, but it was with the utmost difficulty the frightened dogs could be forced forward, the whole body of ice sinking frequently below the surface of the rocks, then rising above it. As the only moment was that when it gained the level of the coast, the attempt was extremely nice and hazardous. However, by God's mercy it succeeded, both sledges gained the shore, and were drawn up the beach with much difficulty. The travellers had hardly time to reflect with gratitude to God on their safety, when that part of the ice, from which they had just now made good their landing, burst asunder, and the water forcing itself from below, covered and precipitated itself into the sea. In an instant, as if by a signal given, the whole mass of ice extending for several miles from the coast, and as far as the eye could reach, began to burst, and to be overwhelmed by the immense waves. The sight was tremendous and awfully grand; the large fields of ice raising themselves out of the water, striking against each other and plunging into the deep, with a violence not to be described, and a noise like the discharge of innumerable batteries of heavy guns. The darkness of the night, the roaring of the wind and sea, and the dashing of the waves and ice against the rocks, filled the travellers with sensations of awe and horror, so as almost to deprive them of the power of utterance. They stood overwhelmed with astonishment at their miraculous escape, and even the heathen Esquimaux expressed gratitude to God for their deliverance.

The Esquimaux now began to build a snow-house about thirty paces from the beach; but before they had finished their work, the waves reached the place where the sledges were secured, and they were with difficulty saved from being washed into the sea.

About nine o'clock all of them crept into the snow house, thanking God for this place of refuge; for the wind was piercingly cold, and so violent, that it required great strength to be able to stand against it.

Before they entered this habitation, they could not help once more turning to the sea, which was now free from ice, and beheld with horror, mingled with gratitude for their safety, the enormous waves driving furiously before the wind like huge castles, and approaching the shore, where, with dreadful noise, they dashed against the rocks, foaming and filling the air with the spray. The whole company now got their supper, and having sung an evening hymn in the Esquimaux language, lay down to rest about ten o'clock. They laid so close that if any one stirred, his neighbours were roused by it. The Esquimaux were soon fast asleep, but brother Liebisch could not get any rest, partly on account of the dreadful roaring of the wind and sea, and partly owing to a sore throat, which gave him great pain. Both missionaries were also much engaged in their minds in contemplating the dangerous situation into which they had been brought, and amidst all thankfulness for their great deliverance from immediate death, could not but cry unto the Lord for his help in this time of need.

[To be continued.]


No. 1.

"It shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel."—Genesis iii. 15.

The following traditions of the promised Messiah are remarkable for their coincidence with the first promise, and must have had an higher origin than unassisted human invention. In the Gothick mythology, Thor is represented as the first born of the supreme God, and is stiled in the Edda, the eldest of sons; he was esteemed "a middle divinity, a mediator between God and man." [Pg 36] With regard to his actions, he is said to have wrestled with death, and in the struggle, to have been brought upon one knee; to have bruised the head of the great Serpent with his mace; and in his final engagement with that monster, to have beat him to the earth, and slain him. This victory, however, is not obtained but at the expense of his own life: "Recoiling back nine steps, he falls dead upon the spot, suffocated with the floods of venom which the Serpent vomits forth upon him." Much the same notion, we are informed, is prevalent in the mythology of the Hindoos.—Two sculptured figures are yet extant in one of their oldest pagodas, the former of which represents Chresshna, an incarnation of their mediatorial God Vishnu, trampling on the crushed head of the Serpent, while in the latter it is seen encircling the deity in its folds and biting his head. It is said that Zeradusht or Zoroaster, predicted in the Zendavesta that in the latter days would appear a man called Oshenderbegha, who was destined to bless the Earth by the introduction of justice and religion; that in his time would likewise appear a malignant demon, who would oppose his plans, and trouble his empire for the space of twenty years. That afterwards, Oshanderbegha would revive the practice of Justice, put an end to injuries, and re-establish such customs as are immutable in their nature; that kings should be obedient to him, and advance his affairs; that the cause of true religion should flourish, that peace and tranquility should prevail, and discord and trouble cease.

According to Abulpharagius, the Persian Legislator wrote of the advent of the Messiah, in terms even more express than those contained in the foregoing prediction.—"Zeradusht" says he "the preceptor of the Magi, taught the Persians concerning the manifestation of Christ, and ordered them to bring gifts to him, in token of their reverence and submission. He declared that in the latter days, a pure Virgin would conceive; and that as soon as the child was born, a star would appear, blazing even at noon day with undiminished lustre. You my Sons, exclaims the venerable Seer, will perceive its rising before any other nation—As soon therefore as ye shall behold the Star, follow it whithersoever it shall lead you, and adore that mysterious child, offering your gifts to him with the profoundest humility. He is the Almighty word which created the heavens."

[Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. 1.]


Bible Society of Niagara.

On the 3d of November, 1816, a Society was formed to be called "The Auxiliary Bible Society of Niagara," for the purpose of co-operating with the British and Foreign Bible Society, in promoting the Distribution of the Holy Scriptures, both at home and abroad.—This association circulated the following elegant Address, immediately on its establishment, from the pen of the Rev. Robert Addison:


The Bible Society of Niagara, when they beg the patronage and support of all serious and enlightened Christians, think proper to state, that their sole object is to promote the circulation of the Holy Scriptures as extensively as possible; for this purpose they have thought it best to connect themselves with the British Foreign Bible Society.

This noble establishment was begun in London about 12 years ago, and its efforts and success have astonished the world: its grand design is to fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, as waters cover the sea. In prosecution of this glorious intention, they annually expend a princely income, they have translated the Scriptures into almost all languages under Heaven, and dispersed them where Christians can be found to read and appreciate the inestimable gift.

It is a matter of honest triumph to every subject of the United Kingdom, to behold the proud pre-eminence of his parent nation. The Lord of Hosts was with them, they have been greatly instrumental in preserving the blessings of civil government to the nations of Europe; but it is a cause of much higher exultation to view the light of Revelation beaming from the same great people to enlighten a benighted world; to observe the Tree of Life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations, planted by them in the remotest deserts of the North, making them rejoice and bloom like the rose, to see the fountain of salvation unsealed, and its salutary streams directed to flow through barren and desolate places; while the thirsty millions that were ready to perish are invited to drink without money, and without price.

At the same time, this wonderful society was employed in diffusing the knowledge of Revelation thro' the whole inhabited Earth, every possible care was taken to supply the spiritual wants of the poor, in [Pg 37] every part of the British Empire. Their bounty was liberally offered to this distant Province, but surely we can have no wish to lessen those funds, which are employed with such wisdom and benevolence, in advancing the happiness of all mankind. We have no poor, except those few unhappy wretches, to be found in every place, whom old age has overtaken, in the vile habits of Drunkenness, Idleness and Profligacy.—The humblest labourer, who has moral worth, can easily purchase his Bible, (so well is industry paid in this happy Province) and he will prize it the more, from the pleasing consciousness of serving his God at his own proper cost.

Bible associations which will be promoted in every division of the District, where a parish school is to be established, will place the sacred volume of Truth within the reach of every one, and at less than the London price.

Stand forward then, ye, who distinguished yourselves as the brave defenders of your country's rights.

God greatly preserved you, and your gratitude will best be shewn by learning his will, and becoming acquainted with his word, which is able to make you wise unto salvation.

The simple manners of your youth have been injured by the war.—Prevent the contagion from spreading, by purchasing the sacred volume for every child, and encourage them to venerate the precious gift.

Drunkenness is a prevailing vice among the lower orders in most communities, and where the means of this filthy indulgence are easily procured, it may be feared that many will transgress.

Would such unthinking men become members of the Bible Associations, and purchase the Holy Book with an humble wish to be benefited by it: their wandering and unsettled thoughts would receive a happier direction, they would loath their former excesses, and turn their feet into the way of Peace.

The mists of ignorance and vice will disappear, when the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings, as the shades of night are dispersed before the orient beams of day.

If you wish to imitate the wise and good in your great parent country, you will form associations for the excellent purpose of circulating as extensively as possible, the word of God.

In the United Kingdom, Christians of all denominations unite, and all classes, from the Prince to the Peasant, co-operate, with the most animated zeal in promoting the great work of instructing and reforming the true world.

Nearly all the kingdoms of Christendom, and their monarchs, have followed their glorious example. It is the highest effort of benevolence that ever engaged the attention of man, and it is universally espoused with a zeal, inspired by a general conviction of its infinite importance.—"Hide your diminished heads," ye remnant of infidel Philosophers, and behold how the Christian's God can bring good out of vice.—The baneful effect of your detestable blasphemy was clearly manifested in the convulsions that lately distracted the civilized nations, and that kingdom in particular from whence proceeded the daring lies which subverted both the Altar and the Throne, has been swept with the besom of destruction. It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in the sight of all the inhabitants of the Christian world, who shew their abhorrence of infidelity, by uniting in the sublime effort to combine the various kingdoms of the world, into one great kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.

It is the work of God, and it will prosper in his hands. The smoking flax shall not be quenched, but the small fire shall burst into a flame.

The grain of mustard seed shall become a tree, and the birds of the air shall lodge among the branches.

York Bible and Prayer Book Societies.

At a meeting of the principal Gentry and Inhabitants of the Town of York, held the 3rd Dec. 1816, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of establishing a Society for the distribution of the Bible and Common Prayer Book throughout the Province:

It was resolved, that a Society be formed under the special patronage and protection of His Excellency the Lieut. Governor, to be called The Bible and Common Prayer Book Society of Upper-Canada.

(This Society has since been divided into two distinct Societies; one for the Bible and the other for the Prayer Book.) A number of other resolutions were adopted at the meeting, which were ordered to be printed with the following Address to the public, furnished at the Society's request by the Reverend Dr. Strachan.


The Bible and Common Prayer Book Society of Upper-Canada, in soliciting the assistance and countenance of the friends of Christianity, begs leave to remind them of the unhappy situation of the inhabitants of their Province, in regard to religious instruction—The whole regular establishment of a Christian Protestant Clergy, amounts only to nine. In many places, the great ignorance of the people and their total disregard of all religions observances, are rapidly increasing, and even those who come to this country influenced with a reverence for religion, feel their devout impressions gradually wearing away: Christian duties are neglected where no Christian ordinances are observed, nor can we look for any favourable change, much less the revival of vital Christianity, unless vigorous [Pg 38] exertions are made by the friends of the Gospel, to diffuse its lights, and point out its benefits.

The steady performance of the duties which our religion prescribes, unites in Christian countries, families and neighbourhoods together, for there can be no chain of connection, or bond of union, deserving of confidence, except they rest upon our reverence of doctrines and our practice of precepts, which tend so powerfully to produce rectitude of conduct and purity of heart; and which by raising the soul above temporal things, prepare it for the enjoyment of those that are eternal.

Of the two Pillars of Christianity, a regular Ministry, and a knowledge of the sacred Scriptures; the first may be said to be almost wanting in this country, and the second entirely so. To increase the Ministry of the word requires time, and is not immediately in our power; but the dissemination of the Scriptures is within the compass of our exertions, and will be productive of the greatest advantages. The means of acquiring a knowledge of the essentials of our holy religion, are common to most men.—A sound intellect, a sincere affection for the truth, a humble and teachable disposition, a mind unfettered by prejudice, a spirit free from irregular and furious passions, and a serious endeavour to follow the truth when known—These qualities are more general than is commonly supposed, and render us far more competent for studying the doctrines of Salvation, than the greatest learning without them. By furnishing Bibles to persons endued with such qualities, who do not possess them, and have not the benefit of religious instruction, we shall enable them to imitate the noble Bereans in searching the Scriptures, and worshipping God in spirit and in truth. The gift of a Bible may be of infinitely more importance than the greatest temporal benefit: it may awaken in the soul a true sense of religion, and gradually remove that indifference, which at present so generally prevails. Thousands know nothing of the Bible, for the little education they receive has seldom any reference to religion,—many are not Baptized: and live as heathens in a Christian land; consequently their minds are exposed at all times without resistence to the worst impressions.

The greater portion of our inhabitants being in this deplorable situation, and totally incapable after receiving the Scriptures, of introducing into their families a form of devotion, by which they may be edified and improved; it may conduce still more to the furtherance of true religion, to join the Prayer Book with the Bible; as this will supply the serious and devout with a form of worship founded upon the sacred volume, and resting upon principles of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. Not that we would press our excellent liturgy upon those who have attached themselves to a different persuasion; but situated as this country is, we may consider the greater number to be of no particular denomination of Christians, it cannot therefore be wrong to give the superstructure with the rock on which it is founded.

How many persons furnished with a Bible and Prayer Book, would collect their children around them on the Sabbath, and read the service devoutly over, who might have spent that day in idleness and sloth. There is no sacrifice that we can offer to God more acceptable than that of disseminating the religion of his blessed Son—The establishment of a Society calculated to produce such inestimable benefits, both temporal and eternal, seems peculiarly seasonable at the present time, just recovering from a war in which we have been singularly favoured by Divine Providence, an offering of gratitude and thanksgiving is required at our hands, and what more precious than that of extending to our benighted brethren, the consolations of that blessed religion which we have the happiness to enjoy? The history of Christianity proves that the times of calamity are the harvests of religion. The blessed Reformation was preceded by cruel wars and attended with such convulsions as appeared, for a time, to threaten the total extinction of Christianity itself; but the clouds dispersed, the sun of righteousness appeared, the infallible Oracles of divine revelation were disseminated, the saving Doctrines of the Gospel taught, and a much purer and rational worship introduced, than had been in use since the Apostolic age.

In England, soon after the glorious revolution of 1688, which rescued the nation from temporal and spiritual bondage, several Societies were established for the support and propagation of our Holy Protestant reformed religion; of these, the Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts and the Society for promoting Christian knowledge have been eminently distinguished. The discreet zeal which has directed the exertions of those two Societies, and has led them hand in hand to promote the glorious object of their institution, has rendered the benefits which they conferred more extensively useful. By their endeavours, the Christian religion hath beamed on countries which had hitherto been darkened by superstition and ignorance.—Through their labours of love, the consolations which it affords have soothed and raised many a soul oppressed with trouble and fainting with despair.—With a dignified silence as to their own merits, they have known no bounds to their exertions, but those of necessity.—They have promoted the cause of the Gospel in Asia, Africa and America; and the seeds of eternal life have been successfully sown in all those different parts of the earth.—These excellent institutions still proceed with increased vigour, many new friends have joined, and by the [Pg 39] augmentation of their funds, they have been enabled still farther to extend their benefits; by their joint endeavours, they not only provide for the circulation of the Scriptures, but they provide likewise a preaching Ministry, who go into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature; thus strictly complying with the solemn injunctions of our blessed Saviour, the Author and Finisher of the Faith—They furnish Bibles to any amount; They print the Scriptures in all Languages; they carry the Gospel into all the nations of the Earth, and they send out labourers into the vineyard, to inquire of those who have received the Scriptures, 'understandest thou what thou readest?'

Nor do the present times, besides giving liberal support to these meritorious Societies, fail to exhibit marks of the increasing influence of Christianity. Among others, the British and Foreign Bible Society stands pre-eminent. It is difficult to conceive any plan more simple in its form, or more powerful in its effects, for diffusing a knowledge of the Gospel. In the dissemination of the Scriptures all classes of Christians are equally concerned. It is founded on the principles of our holy religion, Faith, Hope and Charity. It is hastening the accomplishment of the Prophecy, "for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea." Calculated to harmonize all hearts, it must give pleasure to every friend of the Gospel to view an institution succeeding beyond the most sanguine expectations, the direct tendency of which is, to extinguish all party spirit and narrow views, and infuse into all ranks such a charitable zeal for the general interests of Christianity, as cannot fail to produce the happiest effects.

By distributing the Scriptures, a new impulse is given to the cause of Christianity, an attention to them is awakened, even where they have been always accessible, but regarded with indifference. It is making our Saviour himself preach to the people, and he can never preach in vain.

While from the continual exertions of these, and many other institutions, such anxiety pervades the whole Christian world for the progress of the Gospel, we ought not to continue any longer indifferent spectators, but as far as place and circumstances will permit, it is our duty to pursue the same glorious path, using that discretion which may render our exertions the more successful. Accordingly the constitution which we have adopted, without implicitly following those of the Societies whose exertions deserve our praise, seems to combine all their advantages, and to be more suitable for this Province. Those Members who belong to the Church, attached to the older Societies by the warmest gratitude and filial affection, since to their labours this country owes the first knowledge of the Gospel, will rejoice in distributing the Prayer Book with the Bible, because they consider it an invaluable summary of Divine truth, an appropriate and perspicuous selection of all the portions of Scripture, which set forth the scheme of Salvation; and as the most proper companion for the sacred volume in the divine labour of evangelising the world, since it truly sets forth Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

But as it is the desire of the Society to give liberty both in the distribution and in the choice, our constitution invites those to join, who being more disposed to unite in the simple and meritorious object of the Bible Society, than to contribute for the dissemination of the Prayer Book, wish to confine their Subscriptions to the purchase of Bibles only; and provides that this shall appear on the face of the Treasurer's accounts: for it is not the intention of any part of the Society to press the Liturgy where there appears a reluctance to receive it. Thus the door is open to all denominations of Christians, to all who are anxious to extend the limits of vital religion. Those who think that the distribution of the Bible alone is sufficient to dispel the darkness of ignorance, to warn and rouse from that indifference which infidelity has produced, to lead the throbbing soul to the foot of the cross, and point out the way to salvation, may be fully gratified by supporting this institution; and those again who consider the Prayer Book not only a guide to worship, but a manual of instruction: furnishing the penitent with the most affecting invocations, with which to implore his Redeemer to have mercy on his perishing soul, will here find an opportunity of indulging their pious desires. All room for difference being thus removed, let us pray that the Members of the Society may work as one man; and with full purpose of heart, spread abroad that heavenly knowledge, which records the atonement, the sufferings, the death, resurrection and ascension of our blessed Saviour.

Guided by principles so truly Catholic, we confidently look for the assistance and co-operation of all our Christian brethren, throughout the Province; and cordially invite them to join this institution, and to form associations in its aid in their several Districts.

Are we anxious to protect the poor and the destitute, from the horrors of famine, the inclemencies of the weather, and shall we not endeavour to protect from perishing their immortal souls? Think when you contribute to this institution, that your wealth is exchanged for that Book which may pour consolation into the bleeding heart, and soften the scared conscience, that a soul sinking into despair may be raised by its instruction to the kingdom of heaven, and that the prayers of thousands may rise up in your favour, a sweet memorial before God, who but for your charitable labours of love, might have still remained in mental darkness, and in the shadow of death.

[Pg 40]

To His Excellency Sir PEREGRINE
MAITLAND, K. C. B. Lieutenant
Governor of the Province of Upper
Canada, &c. &c. &c.

The humble Address of the British Wesleyan Missionaries, in connection with the conference of the people called Methodists, first established by the Revd. Jno. Wesley, deceased:


May it please Your Excellency,

We His Majesty's dutiful and loyal Subjects the British Wesleyan Missionaries, labouring in Lower and Upper Canada, in District Meeting assembled at Kingston, beg leave at this our first annual meeting, after your arrival, humbly to address your Excellency, and to offer to you our sincere congratulations on your appointment as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, and also on your safe passage to the seat of Government. The appointment of a person possessing your Excellency's exalted reputation, is a circumstance highly gratifying to us, and to all who feel interested for the general good of the Province, the Government of which you are in the order of Divine Providence called to administer. We gladly avail ourselves of this opportunity to assure your Excellency that both we and the Societies whom we represent in these Provinces, are firmly and unalterably attached to the excellent constitution of our Country, and that in sentiments of most loyal and affectionate respect for the Person, family and Government of our venerable Sovereign, we are not behind any other class of His Majesty's Subjects, either in this country or at home. His long affliction we sincerely lament, and for his present and eternal welfare, we most fervently pray. The death of our late revered Queen has produced suitable emotions of sorrow in our hearts: but these sorrows have been alleviated by the pleasing hope of her having entered the blissful regions of unfading glory.

For your Excellency, we offer up to God our continual supplications, that his richest blessings may rest upon yourself and family, and also on your Administration of the Government of the Province committed to your charge. With our prayers we shall not fail to continue as we have ever done, our strenuous exhortations, to the people of our care, that they may be taught both by our precepts and example, while they fear God to honor the King, and all who are placed in authority under him, and to adorn our Holy Religion, by an uniformly peaceable demeanour to lawful authority. In these principles of Christian Loyalty, we have been instructed by our highly respected Fathers and Brethren in the Gospel Ministry at home, and which are embodied in our standing Rules of Discipline: and we are confirmed in our adherence to them, by a thankful recollection of the privileges we enjoy.

Signed by order and in behalf of the
District Meeting.                        
R. WILLIAMS, Chairman.    
R. L. LUSHER, Secretary.    
Kingston, March 1st, 1819.        


His Excellency was pleased to make the following reply:


Your loyal address is very agreeable to me. I am well convinced that both you and the Society you represent, are not behind any class of His Majesty's subjects, in cherishing sentiments of affectionate respect for His Person, Family and Government; nor in holding fast those of sincere attachment to the constitution of your country.

I duly appreciate your condolence with me, on the long affliction of our revered Sovereign, and on the death of our lamented and exemplary Queen.

I feel grateful to you for remembering me and my family in your prayers before the Throne of Grace, and not less so, for your seeking a blessing of him from whom all good Counsels proceed on my Administration of the Government of this Province.



I send you a fragment of a Sermon, that may perhaps awaken in the hearts of some of your readers, those sentiments and feelings, which all serious persons during this holy season are anxious to entertain.

St. Mark, 15, 39.—"And when the Centurion who stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the Ghost, he said, truly this man was the Son of God."

The Centurion here mentioned, was the Captain of the Roman Guard, sent by Pontius Pilate to see the unjust sentence [Pg 41] which he had pronounced on Jesus, put in execution. This Officer had frequently witnessed the death of malefactors, and often put the law in force, but never was he affected as on this occasion.

The scene before him, was indeed awful; it was a scene in which he was infinitely more interested, than his feelings, strong as they were, intimated him to be. It was the most momentous spectacle that ever was exhibited on earth,—a spectacle in which the whole of the human race, from the creation to the destruction of the world, are most nearly concerned. For at that moment, the deadly malignity of sin was collected into one stream, and poured on the devoted head of our blessed Redeemer.

These things were neither known nor foreseen by his savage executioners; and many of them were so far deluded, as to suppose that they were delivering their nation from an enemy, and putting a wicked man to death. Why then was the Centurion so greatly agitated? Matters not immediately connected with ourselves or friends are seldom interesting. The Centurion was a man of blood, and not easily melted by scenes of calamity and woe. The condemned Prisoner whom he saw before him, belonged to a nation which he despised, and was persecuted by the most eminent men among the Jews. He was execrated by the people, who reproached him with savage joy, and delighted in his sufferings.

It was natural for a stranger to infer, that a man apparently so hateful to the whole community, must be worthy of death, and must have been guilty of the greatest enormities, before he could have made himself so generally odious, and instead of deserving his compassion and respect, was entitled to his hatred and scorn.

But the Centurion was convinced of the innocence of our Saviour, by his astonishing conduct on this terrible occasion. The Roman beheld his steady resignation, his patience and meekness under the most excruciating torments. Standing near, and led by the strength of his feelings, to remark with peculiar attention all that Jesus said and did, the Centurion became more and more interested. He beheld him promising, amidst his sufferings, a place in paradise to a repentant malefactor, with all the calm dignity of conscious power. He heard him praying most fervently for his murderers,—recommending his aged Mother to his beloved friend, with the noble simplicity and warmth of filial affection; and at length surrendering his Spirit into the hands of [Pg 42] God that gave it, with a confidence that nothing but conscious virtue and piety could inspire.

This conduct, so magnanimous, so full of virtue and religion, so different from that of other malefactors, did not fail to make a proper impression on the Centurion's heart. But when he farther beheld the consequences of our Saviour's death,—that the Earth did quake,—that the rocks were rent,—that the graves opened and delivered up their dead,—that a supernatural darkness came on,—and that all nature was in agitation, he was overcome with astonishment; and could not not refrain, in the fervour of his conviction, from crying out, 'surely this man was the Son of God!'

Such was the impression which this dreadful spectacle made upon the Centurion. He beheld only a corner of the picture, a most interesting corner it must be confessed, but little in comparison of what we see. We behold the whole; not merely Jesus in the midst of his enemies, an object of insult and scorn; but we are acquainted with him from his birth till he ascended up into heaven. What then, makes us so cool and indifferent? Why do not our feelings break forth into warm exclamations like those of the Centurion's? Why not into stronger, as our means of knowledge is greater than his?

Had this worthy soldier more evidence than we possess? far otherwise; but he gave up his whole attention to the scene before him, he allowed nothing else to enter his mind, and he gave free passage to his honest feelings. And if we give the same undivided attention to the Gospel: examine it with diligence, and allow nothing to dissipate our thoughts a stronger conviction will be ours and we shall be able with the holy warmth of saving Faith, to exclaim "truly this is the Son of God!"—

[The above Article was omitted in its proper place among the original Communications.]

Transcriber's Note

[The end of The Christian Recorder Vol. 1, Issue 1 (1819-March) by Various]