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out poetry. A rich vein of nonsense pervades this abortion, and attains the dead lock of absurdity in the following lines :
“The noble dead still move the noble heart;
Their atoms wander to the kindred soul." We see here how Milton was formed. From atoms wandering from the noblo dead to his kindred soul. Milton ate poetry atoms with his meals, and drank atoms of poetry when he quenched his thirst. Hence the great poet.
It is high time that poets were looking to their " themes," else by and by they will only have a mass of mangled remains to look upon. If so much can be done by one of these " dissenters" when curtailed by the spirit of “ brevity," what d.image may we not expect when they essay a wider flight? Poets ! see to it!
AN ATOM. Tas Rev. BREWIN GRANT AT STOCKPORT.-The public of Stockport have been fuvoured with the exercise of the talents of the above distinguished advocate of Christianity, and, we trust, have reaped great benefit from his visit. On Tuesday evening, March 27th, he gave his first lecture to a very large assembly in the 1.yceum. The subject was “ Joseph Barker weighed in the balances of truth and justice." The mask was törn from the face of the pretender, and the blick hypocrisy of his past life was fully displayel. At the close of an excellent lecture, several individuals (well-known secularists) arose, and in a somewhat savage manner attacked Mr. Grant. Most of their remarks were irrelevant to the subject, and the whole were very quickly disposed of by the lecturer. On Wednesday evening, Mr. Grant delivered a masterly lecture on the important question," Is man responsible for his belief ?"—the affirn ative of which he satisfactorily proved. On Thursday evening, the room was densely crowded whilst Mr. Grant demonstrated the following proposition—"Christianity the true Secularism." The objectors were much more tame than on the preceding evening, and it appears evident that secularism in Stockport has received a very severe wound. We have proof that several of Barker's followers have lost confidence in their leader; others have lost confidence in his dogmas, and we sincerely hope that the blessing of the Almighty may follow the efforts of this talented lecturer, and that many may be brought from the darkness of error into the marvellous light of gospel truth.
Errata in last No. “Egomet's reply to the Chairman” Page 205. For “the Chairman did not recommend them to purchase the Investigator. Read " the Chairmi did recommend them" &c.
Page 206 near the end; “In my report I adhere to truth, I still adhere to it" rever:e the position of the words "adhere" and "adhereil.''
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OF CHRISTIAN EXPOSITION AND ADVOCACY.
Who knows not that truth is strong, next to the Almighty; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious, those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power.-MILTON.
There are points at which systems possessing a considerable amount of plausibility utterly break down. There are seasons when men and their theories
pass through a fiery ordeal, which none but the true, and the truth which they hold can endure unscathed. The excitement of controversy will often lead men to boast of principles, whose unsoundness is obvious enough in the hour of calm reflection. We have, therefore, little hope of getting the opponents of Christianity to admit themselves either convinced or defeated on the platform of public debate;. but we are not without hope that in many instances in secret, they feel how untenable is their position. Recently we have had more than one illustra. tion of the mental struggle which sometimes goes on, when there is little in the outward appearance to mark it. Men may be slow to admit a spiritual awakening which is gradually stealing over them; but when it becomes wider and deeper it is difficult to conceal.
Death reveals much that life labours to hide. When the cholera was raging it made such breaches among infidels, that Mr. G. J. Holyoake wrote a tract to reassure his friends, attempting to show that the atheist should not fear to die; and asserting his own composure in the prospect of death as proof on the point. But we might remind the Secularists that it is one thing to look at death in the distance, and another thing to grapple 'with "the last enemy." Many reasons may combine to give man an air of calmness when his dissolution
No. 16, Vol. 1.
is merely prospective or doubtful; which would forsake him when it is an almost immediate certainty. .
We are not among those who believe that the sceptic's death-bed scene has always been one of horror. In some instances conscience slumbers to the very last, and the claims of man's higher nature so long neglected, may be unheeded, even when the flame of life is ready to be extinguished. Still in many cases, the voice of conscience is heard, and the necessities of the soul knock with an importunity which cannot be concealed. We have no desire to intrude unbidden into the privacy of the infidel's home; but when undoubted facts are put into our possession, and when the dying sceptic himself wishes the note of warning which they sound to go forth as widely as possible, no feeling of false delicacy should lead us to be silent, when the statement of facts may be of service to our brethren of mankind.
The young man, whose dying moments we intend briefly to describe, was personally known to us, from having publicly replied to some of our strictures on secularism. We had occasion, in an early number of The Defender, to refute some of the statements he had made in Mr. Cooper's Journal six months ago. As Secretary to the Sunderland Secularists he had given an account, which we felt it due to ourselves and to the truth to contradict. · We do not forget, however, that viewing the occurrences from a different stand point, they might appear to him in a widely different light from that in which they appeared to us. To our account of the matter there has been no answer, and the charge of cred. ulity or connivance, founded on the facts, we have seen no reason to withdraw. Till a few weeks ago we did not know that Mr. Fullarton was the victim of a disease, which so often proves fatal in our variable climate, that he was gradually wasting away under pulmonary consumption. It is, however, pleasing to know that a great change came over his mind before his death, and that the seed of Christian truth sown there from time to time had inperceptibly to others taken root, and that, though late, it had borne fruit. He had occasionally attended the ministrations of the Rev. A. A. Rees, of Sunderland, for the purpose, as he had avowed it to some of his friends, of “getting all he could against Christians and the Bible." A sermon on “faith,” had produced a rather favourable impression upon him, both as to the truth of Christianity, and the way in which he had to enjoy its blessings. Much that had floated indistinctly upon his mind now sunk into it. Truths in books, tracts, periodicals, and sermons that he had heard, but once despised, now seemed to lay hold of him. Till the night before his death he had said nothing to the friends that had been with him, nor even to his own wife, of the struggle which had been going on in his mind. Feeling, then, that his end was not far off, and that it could no longer be concealed from those he loved, and whom he was unwilling to pain, he at length disclosed his dying sentiments.
"A struggle,” he said, “has been going on in my mind not only this week, or last week, but for many, many weeks, but thank God, I have at last won the victory through Jesus Christ.”
At another time when conversing about his spiritual state, he emphatically said, “I believe I am accepted in the beloved ; and my sins which are many are all forgiven for Christ's sake."
There was no appearance of the wandering of his mind. He spoke collected ly and calmly. He felt the importance of exerting all the influence he had against the pernicious errors, which he had once defended. He wished his dying message to be conveyed to those who cling to those errors; and we shall be glad to be the means of spreading it as widely as possible. It comes from a man, on the confines of eternity, in the full possession of all his mental faculties, altogether uninfluenced, by those whom the enemies of the Bible are so ready to brand as priests, and we beseech all, who have been entangled in
the snares of secularism, to give it their solemn and earnest attention. "Tell the secularists," he said in a tone and manner, that proved how deeply his sympathies were stirred, "tell them all from me that they are all wrong; they are all deluded, and their delusion will not sustain them in a dying hour!" O that they would give heed to this voice and think! If they will not hear the words of the minister, if they will not read Christian literature, if the Bible's monitions are unnoticed, surely they will listen to the prayer of one, who was so recently among them, and who in the reception of Christian truth experienced such a blessed deliverance. They cannot charge him with any selfish or sinister motive in thus warning them. It was the force of truth, and the true compassion which the truth excites, that led him to speak as he did. Tested by the deep, crying necessities of his own soul, in his dying moments, he felt that secularism was all a delusion. It could give him no rest. It had no pardon for conscious guilt. It had no balm for his wounded spirit. Attempting to lean upon it when flesh and heart were sailing, he found it a “broken reed.” Fragile as a "spider's web," it yielded him no stay in trouble. It gave no true, no present, no Almighty friend, when other friends could not console. It cheered the dark path he was treading with no sunshine. The after-life intuition of his soul refused longer to be mocked with a barren negation. His spiritual nature asserted its claims, and demanded a life, which secularism cannot give. He found it to be altogether wanting. It had offered him stones when he needed bread. It presented negations, when his "heart cried out for the living God." It "kept the word of promise to the ear, but broke it to the hope." Weighed in the balances of his soul's wants and aspirations, it was found altogether wanting. He turned from the delusion and the snare, to find every want provided for, and every aspiration met in the religion of Jesus. Then came rest to his weary heart. The fierce struggle waged on the battle field of his inner life, at once ceased. A serene and settled peace possessed his soul. He met a Saviour, a faithful, present, unchanging friend. He had “an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous," through whom he could come "boldly to the throne of grace.” He had found a priceless treasure, and everlasting portion. He could now look up to God as his Father, and his heart's deepest desire was to see those around him in the same position.
He called for his little boy, a lovely child, not then a month old, and gave express commands that he should be instructed in the great truths of the word of God. “Instruct him early," he said to his weeping wife, “in the Bible, teach him about his Saviour, train him in the way he should go, tell him of the love of God, and he will be saved from much suffering and many sins. He then took his child in his arms for the last time, kissed him, and returning hiin to his mother, he said, “You will live the remainder of your days a Christian in very deed, so that when you are both dead, we may all meet to part no more in heaven.” If entreaty could do anything to secure the fulfilment of his dying request, it was seen in his eyes and in the tones of his voice.
He himself gave the reason why, till the night before his death, he had never told any one about his spiritual condition. A month or two ago he had lost a child,-a loss which his wife had very deeply felt : and he did not want to let her know how very ill he was lest she should break down under the accumulation of her trials. She, on the other hand, was afraid to broach to him the subject of religion, because he had always repulsed it, and had even forbidden her to mention it in his presence. No one can say that his testimony was extorted from him by the priest.” It was the spontaneous utterance of convictions that, after much thought, had taken possession of his mind,
After commending his darling child to his mother's spiritual care, his strength was spent, and his constitution almost broken up. He said that he was near his end, though his friends could scarcely believe it, On the following morning just before he breathed his last, he said to his wife, “Do not fret for me: It is all well: I am at peace: I have a bright hope for the future: We shall meet again." Shortly after, he quietly fell asleep in Jesus, his whole appearance betokening the peace of his spirit. He died on the 28th March, 1855, aged 26, after a lingering illness of three months. We trust he rests in peace.
THE DISCUSSION AT HALIFAX BETWEEN THE REV. BREWIN GRANT AND MR. JOSEPH BARKER, ON THE
ORIGIN AND AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE.
This being the last night of the discussion great numbers were present to hear the closing remarks. The disputants confined themselves to reviewing the ground which had been gone over on the previous evenings, touching upon the questions of the world, the antiquity of the earth, as demonstrated by geological researches, the creation of man, the possibility of an universal deluge, the institution of marriage, and the fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the ancient cities of Niniveh and Babylon, as corroborated by the recent discoveries of Mr. Layard. The combatants also entered upon the alleged Bible sanction of slavery, and the influence of Christianity upon the world. A vote of thanks to the chairman moved by Mr. Barker, and seconded by Mr. Grant was carried with applause, Mr. Jennings responding.
The following letters, received by the united committee from the gentlemen who undertook to preside over the discussion, were then read by the chairman :
To the Committee for conducting the Discussion betwixt Mr. Joseph Barker and the Rev. Brewin Grant.
GENTLEMEN --After carefully considering the course which the discussion has taken since the first two meetings, which I attended personally, I have come to the conclusion that it would not become me to preside over any of the succeeding meetings. I have come to this conclusion from a persuasion that with all carefulness on the part of the disputants to avoid a breach of the law, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Barker iu pursuing the mode he has adopted for the illustration of his arguments, and particularly in applying it as I presume he will now do, more especially to the New Testament, to avoid an infringement of the rules laid down by the law in reference to the subject in question, and because being precluded by my position as chairman, from expressing my dissent from any of the positions maintained, I may be exposing myself to the imputation of silently sanctioning the language by which they may be supported. I am the more strengthened in this view of my duty by perusing, as I have now for the first time had the opportunity of doing, the judgment of one of the judges of the land, in, I believe, the last case of blasphemy that has been tried. I am quite satisfied that the jury which found the defendant guilty on that occasion, would, with no more difficulty, convict Mr. Barker of the like offence, in uttering some of the observations in which he indulged in the course of the last two evenings. I regret that I have been, as I conceive, obliged to take this step, because I have been unwilling to do anything which seem to dis