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However, I regret still more deeply that you and your friend Mr. Barker, should have so far lost all sense of propriety and gentlemanly conduct, as to make use of the offensive language contained in your letter. Mr. Barker says (in the letter of which you send me a copy), “What liars the Christians are !" And this you call "ů reply” to the article about the Liver pool Free Protestant Association ! Certainly it is a sweeping assertion, but I confess I am totally at a loss to know his reasons for making it. It will not apply to true Christians most assuredly. But I find your letter to me, dated 29th July, 1854, throws some light on the matter. You say OF YOURSELF, " I am a Christian.” Now as you do not belong to those who are generally included in the term, possibly you are connected with “the body of Christians your friend Mr. Barker refers to. I do not know.
With regard to your very ungentlemanly language respecting the article in " the Defender,” about Liverpool, and the first number of the magazine itself, I beg to inform you that I have forwarded an exact copy of your letter to the Rev. Mr. Rutherford, and I have no doubt justice will be done you in an early number.
Let me, in concluding this correspondence, express my hope that you will again read over your Homily on Charity,” which you gave our Young Men's Christian Association, in the letter I have already referred to, and that YOU will become a little more charitable to those who differ from you, and not make use of such phrases as “ lying Article.”
Possibly it might also be beneficial to Mr. Joseph Barker if you were togive him an opportunity of reading the Homily referred to.
Meanwhile, I remain,
THE GOSPEL AND MORALITY.
From Chalmer's address to his parishoners at Kilmany. “And here I cannot but record the effect of an actual though undesigned experiment, which I prosecuted for upwards of twelve years among you. For the greater part of that time I could expatiate on the meanness of dishonesty, on the villany of falsehood, on the despicable arts of calumny; in a word, upon all those deformities of character which awaken the natural indignation of the human heart against the pests and the disturbers of human society. Now, could I, upon the strength of these warm expostulations, have got the thief to give up his stealing, and the evil speaker his censoriousness, and the liar his deviations from truth, I should have felt all the repose of one who had gotten his ultimate object. It never occurred to me that all this might have been done, and yet the soul of every hearer have remained in full alienation from God; and that even could I have established in the bosom of one who stole, such a principle of abhorrence at the meanness of dishonesty, that he was prevailed upon to steal no more, he might still have retained a heart as completely unturned to God, and as totally unpossessed by a principle of love to Him as before. In a word, though I might have made him a more upright and honourable man, I might have left him as destitute of the essence of religious principle as ever, But the interesting fact is, that during the whole of that period in which I made no attempt against the natural enmity of the mind to God, while I was inattentive to the way in which the enmity is dissolved-even by the free offer on the one hand, and the believing acceptance on the other, of the gospel salvation, while Christ, through whose blood the sinner, who by nature stands afar off, is brought near to the heavenly Lawgiver whom he has offended, was scarcely ever spoken of, or spoken of in such a way as stripped Him of all the importance of His character and His offices, even at this time I certainly did press the reformations of honour, and truth, and integrity among my people: but I never once heard of any such reformations having been effected amongst them. If there was anything at all brought about in this way, it was more than ever I got any account of. I am not sensible that all the vehemence with which I urged the virtues and the proprieties of social life, had the weight of a feather on the moral habits of my parishioners. And it was not till I got impressed by the utter alienation of the heart in all its desires and affections from God; it was not till reconciliation to Him became the distinct and the prominent object of my ministerial exertions; it was not till I took the scriptural way of laying the method of reconciliation before them; it was not till the free offer of forgiveness through the blood of Christ was urged upon their acceptance, and the Holy Spirit given through the channel of Christ's mediatorship to all who ask Him was set before them as the unceasing object of their dependence and their prayers; in one word, it was not till the contemplations of my people were turned to these great and essential elements in the business of a soul providing for its interest with God and the concerns of its eternity, that I ever heard of any of those subordinate reformations which I aforetime made the earnest and the zealous, but I am afraid at the same time, the ultimate object of my earlier ministrations. Ye servants, whose scrupulous fidelity has now attracted the notice, and drawn forth in my hearing a delightful testimony from your masters, what mischief you would have done, had your zeal for doctrines and sacraments been accompanied by the sloth and the reinissness, and what, in the prevailing tone of moral relaxation, is counted the allowable purloining of your earlier days ! But a sense of your Heavenly Master's eye has brought another influence to bear upon you; and while you are thus striving to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour in all things, you may, poor as you are, reclaim the great ones of the land to the acknowledgment of the faith. You have at least taught me, that to preach Christ is the only effective way of preaching morality in all its branches; and out of your humble cottages have I gathered a lesson, which I I pray to God I may be enabled to carry with all its simplicity into a wider theatre, and to bring with all the power of its subduing efficacy upon the vices of more crowded population.”
CONVERSION OF A SOCIALIST. Towards the end of the voyage, when suffering severely from the effects of fatigue and care, I received the following letter fronı a young man, ahout twentytwo years
who had received some education, and whose appearance and manners were rather prepossessing, but, who, though so young, had, by his great folly, and criminal waywardness, brought a heavy load of guilt upon his conscience, and subjected his relations to much shame and suffering. The letter is dated Dec. 23, 1842:
“My dear father died when I was about two years old. My dear mother, who still lives, and who fears the Lord, endeavoured to bring me up in His fear, I was sent to Mr. J's sabbath-school; and I shall not forget the instruction I there received in my youthful days, while I have the power of memory. My dear mother used to direct my mind to the Scriptures, and especially to the qook of Proverbs. She was acquainted with Mr. L-, and used to send me to their house when I had got off any thing by heart from the Bible, when Mr. S. L. used to hear me, and give me very good advice; which, if I had but taken how happy I might have been !
" At twelve years of age I was apprenticed. My master was far from been a religious mañ, and cared not how I spent my sabbaths,—whether I went to a place of worship or not. I forgot all the good advice of kind friends, and used to break the sabbath by going on the water, andpursuing many bad ways. At nineteen years of age, I left him, and was pushed into the wicked world, without any care for my soul. At this time I was working for a Mr. J. LMrs. L. senior noticed me, and wished me to go and see her, which I did. She gave nie some very good counsel, which though I sadly neglected, I can never
forget and have often reflected upon it since I came on board this ship, and am grieved at my heart I have acted so contrary to it. That kind and very pious lady recommended me to go to Mr. B's chapel ; which I did for some time. But my heart aches when I think how I forsook the house of God, where I had found profit,-closed my eyes to the light, and my ears to the instruction of the Holy Scriptures, and the Divine ordinances; and, although I was getting a very honourable living at my trade, working for a good master, and might have done as well as any young man in every respect, yet I, like a madman, threw away every privilege and advantage, and brought misery upon myself, and on my best friends I brought sorrow,--and most of all upon my mother!
"I joined some wicked companions; was soon led into all manner of wicked ways; became dishonest; got into prison; came out again no better ; and was soon taken up for another robbery; was tried, and sentenced to seven years transportation : and here I am, grieved, and now, I hope, humbled before God.
Up to the night of Nov. 2nd, when that dreadful storm was sent by the Almighty, I continued, notwithstanding all I suffered, quite hardened, and as thoughtless as ever. But on that night I was very frightened, and expected the thunder and lightning were sent to destroy all of us wicked creatures, and I expected to die; but I knew I was not fit to die, and I should go to hell with all my sins on my head unpardoned. The terror of mind I felt I cannot tell. All the day following my past sins stared me in the face; and I felt I needed some one to save me from the dreadful doom which I richly deserved,
" It was then I thought of Jesus Christ, of whom I had heard, but had al. most entirely forgotten : and to the Lord Jesus Christ I was directed to lift up my soul, by my messmate, who lay by my side, and exhorted me to search the Bible, that I might there read of His great love to the worst of sinners. I read the 1st, 3rd, and 15th chapters of John's Gospel ; and I thank and praise the Lord, I have found, to my soul's comfort and peace, Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus Christ, to whom I was enabled to come, just the vile wretch I felt myself to be; and He did not turn me away, but received me just as I was. And now I love Him, I hope, and I put my whole trust in Hinn for my salvation.
"I feel very weak and very ignorant; but I bless God I feel I get fresh strength as I am enabled daily to come to the Lord, with humility, I hope. I sincerely thank Him for the great good I recieved through your instrumentality. I delight to hear you explain the Scriptures to us, and find great profit and comfort ; and I trust through grace to persevere in this good way. And I believe that to all eternity I shall have cause to praise God that I was placed under
your care on board the Earl Grey. "Please let me ask you to pray for me, that I may be kept holy, and humble, and useful to my fellow-men. Oh, may I be a useful and a respectable man where I am going, and wherever I may spend my days !
May the Lord support you under all your sorrows, and give you peace, and make
you a great blessing to us all, is the prayer of your grateful, and humble, and obedient servant,
66 J. S." Of one thousand and sixty-five prisoners who have, in five different voyages, been conveyed under my superintendence to the Penal Colonies of Australia, fourteen only had been educated at a sabbath-school; of which J. S—, was one.
His history reminds us of the duty and responsibility of masters in reference to their apprentices and shopmen. How immense the amount of good which the truly pious, prudent, and zealous master may be the means, through believing prayer and the supply of the Holy Spirit, of effecting for those whom God has placed under his authority and moral influence! This is a subject which all masters are called to consider; to consider in the light of Scripture,—in the light of the judgment day-in the light of a guilty world on fire, and melting
with fervent heat, --in the light of hell,—in the light of heaven—the light of an endless eternity!
We see what great benefit one messmate,-one fellow-apprentice, or fellowservant--one shipmate, or comrade,--one schoolfellow, ----one acquaintance, or friend, -one fellow-prisoner, may, under the blessing of God, confer upon another. And we are solemnly reminded that God requires all men, in their respective stations in life, to be habitually on the watch for opportunities of winning souls to Christ.
This young man, from the day his heart was opened to receive the Gospel, up to the day he landed in the colony, was enabled to maintain a most consistent and irreproachable character.
REJOINDER TO EUGENE ON INFIDEL CHALLENGES, Mr. Eugene,
Some months ago it was announced by hand-bill in Newcastle, that a reply would be forthcoming to my pamphlet, entitled, "Infidel Challenges." In due time it appeared. It purports to have been written by you, sir, about whom some inquiries have been made, but whom nobody knows. All the more difficult it is to find you, that your brochure sporns to bear either a printer's or a publisher's name.
No need was there for an apology for a reply, though there might be for such a reply as you have made.
I might surely be permitted to dedicate "Infidel Challenges" to the Secular society, even though as a whole it had been among the things that were, inas. much, as its leader does not "abandon the past,” and has told us with his own pen—"I am an Infidel, an Atheist, and also a Socialist," now he would add also a Secularist,” I must call you by your old name, till any new one you adopt is known, in order to mark your identity. Had I called you, Free Protestant Association," who would have known that I meant an antiChristian society? The police reports describe the old clothes a robber wears, until they know what new dress he has “donned."
You ask if I doubt that you desire the sifting criticism of your opinions. Undoubtedly I do, and if you are very anxious to know, I can tell you the reason why. In this charge I do not include all Secularists. Some I believe have taken that position from the very sentiment of fair-play.
“ The press, pulpit, and platform dare not ignore us." Do you come to this conclusion because they speak out against you, and declare you to be wanting in all that is needed to man's elevation ? “Eminent ministers, such as the Rev. Mr. Binney, devote ably written books to a consideration of our views ;" and, you
should have added to a condemnation of them. “ The Newspaper honours us with leading articles ;" then you consider notoriety honour. “Independency assigns us a missionary," whom you resolve not to hear, because you like "both sides !"
” Even you lecture and write against us, and discuss with us; " and will continue to do so as long as I think it of service to the truth and to the
people. We have become one of the questions of the day;" rather a queer question. “Prize essays against us, rain :" but you, who do not use figures, wear secular waterproofs to keep it off. You must have been among the clouds when you penned this last, for I am not aware that you have got more than a small part of a shower of one “prize essay," and may, therefore, think yourselves tolerably well off. “ The result of all which is that our numbers increase, and we grow in strength ;" do you mean on paper, or is this intended to secure for yourselves a little respite?
“Will you tell us when the 'Reasoner's' open page was closed, when about to be used in right earnest against Secularism, and what statements were garbled ?” Some of Mr. Grant's letters were not inserted, and others were garbled. If you want them, I can give you more modern instances. To prove by facts that the best statements on the Christian side have not been inserted, would require me to reprint the seventeen volumes of the Reasoner ; but
you haps be satisfied with Mr. Holyoake's statement that he had not read any Christian book for some years, except Mr. Newman's “Sorrows of the Soul," and therefore could not insert the best arguments on the Christian side
If, however, you will point me to a single page in all these volumes, where the Christian argument is fairly and fully put, I shall gladly withdraw the charge. “But why all this hubbub about our past course ? You believe in progress ?'' Assuredly I do, but not in secular progress ; though I should be happy to perceive
any signs of amendment. “You deny the correctness of the report given by Mr. Holyoake, of your first meeting with him.” Yes, I do; because he cited it as an illustration, that discussion is utterly distrusted. Now I am conscious that I have neither dreaded nor evaded debate; nor do I now. If Mr. Holyoake wishes the truth to prevail, he will only be thankful that I have done something to rectify the false impression which his statements were fitted to make, as his second volume does not seem likely soon to come to a second edition. “But what matters it whether a challenge was given or accepted? Why was the discussion not held ?" Not you tell us on account of the money question, for Mr. Holyoake would hold his hat in the market-place for a few pence, rather than that the denial of half the proceeds should prevent him from meeting me. This was very magnanimous ; but it did not last long, for in six months from that date, he writes to me, "Once for all, I say that I will debate with no one who refuses me the means of living while I do it.
I am willing to go to any town in England to debate two or three nights in the week, provided the committee of management guarantee me two guineas each night.” Had he come at first, I am sure there would have been no necessity for his holding his hat in the market-place; for all I sought was, that both of us should not be subjected to the imputation of venality, which did not preclude his receiving his necessary expense s, if his friends