« ForrigeFortsett »
the public mind, disturb the public tranquility, impede the march of public improvement, and introduce the complicated evils of anarchy and civil war; but, let Great Britain be guided by the principles of Scriptural legislation, and strong in the protection of an overruling Provi. dence, and the loyal attachment of the overwhelming majority of her people--the dissolution of the Legislative Union can never be accom
But while we thus express our unshaken attachment to Great Britain, and our unfeigned satisfaction at the success which has attended your Excellency's measures for the suppression of a ruinous agitation-yet, as the lineal descendants of the men to whose sufferings, constancy, and faithfulness, Great Britain stands indebted for much of what is excel. lent in her free institutions, and as inheriting their unchanging attachment to the Scriptural principles of Civil and Religious Liberty, we cannot avoid expressing our deep regret that circumstances should have occurred to require that legislative enactment which your Excellency has so seasonably and successfully called into operation ; but which, in itself, must be regarded as inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution. This act, we doubt not, your Excellency was com. pelled reluctantly to enforce--and, as emergencies have at times rendered necessary the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, (that bulwark of personal freedom,) so we believe have the emergencies of these days demanded that the Legislature should meet a new and threatening disease with a correspondently powerful remedy. In: common, however, with the friends of constitutional principles, we shall rejoice to see the disease and the remedy pass away together, and for ever.
Yet, firmly as we feel attached to British connexion, highly as we admire the British Constitution, and confidently as we rely on British pow. er, to these we look but as secondary instruments in the hand of Divine Providence. We look to that God who.“ ruleth in the army of Heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth—who stilleth the tumults of the people, and maketh his servants to dwell safely.” . To his Grace and Providential care we recommend our Sovereign-your Excelleney, his Representative,-- with all our rulers and fellow-subjects; and we pray, that by the blessed influence of “the knowledge of our Lord and. Saviour Jesus Christ," every ground and cause of separation and animosity may be happily and speedily removed, and all ranks and classes in the land may be united into one people, with one heart, under him who is “head over all things to the Church-the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”
Signed in the name and on the behalf of the General Synod of Ulster, specially convened in Cookstown, this 9th day of March, 1831.
ROBERT WINNING, MODERATOR,
JAMES SEATON REED, CLERK.
HIS EXCELLENCY'S ANSWER: I receive, with feelings of deep interest and of sincere gratitude, the loyal, patriotic, and truly benevolent Address of the Ministers and Elders of the General Synod of Ulster, speaking on the behalf of more than balf a million of men, conspicuous for their cultivated minds—their exemplary piety--their peaceable habits their loyal and devoted attachment to their King, to their Country, and to Freedom.
Whilst I rejoice in the satisfaction that is evinced at the vigorous measures which I have been compelled to adopt for the preservation of public tranquility, I, at the same time, deeply lament the distressing
necessity that has existed for the exercise of powers which, although sanctioned by law, are not congenial to the Constitution--which are never granted unless to meet an unusual crisis of public danger-and which should never be enforced whilst the common law is sufficient for public security.
My opinion upon the subject of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland is too generally known to require that I should enlarge upon it. Suffice it to say, that I entirely concur in the sentiments you have so clearly and so forcibly expressed.
I trust that the distressing agitation which has seriously shaken the bonds of social order, and of neighbourly love, is fast: subsiding. I am truly grateful that I have been made the humble instrument of promoting this desirable end.
Under Providence, I hope for the happiest results; and, whilst I consciously feel that I am entirely under the control and guidance of that Providence, I feel it nevertheless to be my imperative duty (as it is that of every member of the State) to exert every faculty of the mind in the advancement of the good of our common country.
NOTICE OF BOOKS.
We have much pleasure in observing, that the Rev. R. J. Bryce, LL. D. intends, in a few weeks, to publish “A Philosophical Inquiry into the moral tendency of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith.”
ORDINATIONS.—Upon the 29th December last, the Rev. Thomas Leslie was ordained in the congregation of Kilraughts. The services were conducted by the Rev. Messrs. R. Stewart, Wilson, and Barnett.
Upon the 22d inst. the Rev. A Breaky was installed in the congregation of Killileagh. The services were conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Shields and w, Craig. .
ODITUARIES. DIED.-- On the 8th February, aged 83, Mr. Hugh Lockhart, Elder in the congregation of Tullylish. In him was united piety towards God, with uprightness toward man. He was regular in the observance of family prayer, constant in attendance at public worship, attentive to the visitation of the sick, and to the holding of prayer meetings, and was a zealous and active supporter of the interests of the congregation. May the Lord raise up many 'such Elders in our church.
On Wednesday, the 9th February, Mr. William Weir, of Lanaderg, near Banbridge. He was a man of piety; and in the office of a Presbyterian Elder, he endeavoured to promote the interest of the church at large..
On Friday, the 11th February, at his residence near Clogher, County Tyrone, the Rev. Andrew Millar, at the advanced age of 87 years, 58 of which he zealously devoted to the discharge of the important duties of Minister of the extensive parish of Carrantall.
ERRATUM. i In our: last Number, page 165, headed 6. Ubiquity of Christ," for "No man hath seen God the Father. at any time," read “No man hath seen God" (the Father) “at any time:" jn page 179, line 23, after the word “except,” iusert « religion and.”
“Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee?”-Deut. xxxiji. 29.
By the “people of God, we understand these who, through repentance toward God, and faith towards our Lord Je. sus Christ,” have been brought out of the broad way that leads to destruction, into the narrow way that leads to eternal life. That this people have the fairest prospects, with regard to a future world, is admitted even by the ungodly and profane; but that they have also the purest pleasures in this present state, they cannot imagine or allow. Nay, it is generally supposed by an inconsiderate world, that religion requires an absolute sacrifice of all enjoy. ment. Now this position we positively deny. We admit, that in the service of God, and in the practice of religion, there are many sacrifices of ease and earthly indulgence; but we do assert, that amidst them all, godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come, 1 Tim. iv. 8; and that the Israel of God have here a happiness unequalled by all the enjoyments of the votaries of earthly pleasure. To prove this point, we shall analyse some of the ingredients infused by their heavenly Father into their cup of enjoyment: and O. that all our readers might drink and be satisfied.
1. The removal of the divine displeasure from his child. ren, tends eminently to promote their happiness. God has declared that he is angry with the wicked every day.Ps. vii. 11. And all are to be classed with the wicked who are not the children of God. And can any man be happy while heaven frowns upon him, and a tempest of wrath is continually gathering and making ready to burst on his devoted head ? Certainly not. “There is no peace saith my God to the wicked;" “ they are like the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” The restless change of place, and of employment, and of pleasures, which the ungodly exhibit, is a standing proof of the truth of this declaration. Like Noah's dove, they find no solid resting-place for their souls. Like Cain, when the divine curse was pronounced upon him, they are fugitives and vagabonds on the face of the earth; and are sometimes so weary of it, as to make a fatal plunge into eternity to free them from its miseries.
On those who are now the people of God, the displea.. sure of God once lay as heavy as on others; for “cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them;" and they had sinned, and consequently become liable to this condemnation. They have peculiarly felt the bitterness of this condition, when con. vinced of sin; they have mourned as one mourns for an only son; and each has been ready to say, “O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me. Mine iniquities have gone over mine head, as a heavy burden they are too heavy for
But the Lord has heard the voice of their weeping. He has accepted their prayer. To him they confessed their transgressions, and he forgave, through Christ Jesus, the iniquity of their sin.-Ps. xxxii. 5. And now the lan. guage of their gladdened hearts is, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeem. eth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercy.” O Lord, I will praise thee, though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comforted me.--Isa. xii. 1. Surely to leave thus passed from condemnation to pardon, and from enmity to peace with God, lays the only solid foundation for true and abiding happiness.
2. The witness of the Holy Spirit, testifying to the acceptance of his children into favour with God, and enabling them to cry, “Abba, Father,” is another eminent source of consolation to the people of God.'
That the evil spirit can, by his malignant influence, make unholy and unbappy impressions on the minds of “the children of difobedience,” is manifest from Scripture, Eph. ii. 2; and why should it be thought incredible, that the Spirit of God should testify the divine approbation, and thus prove the comforter to the children of Zion? The instrument he usually employs, in imparting joy to the mourner, is some portion of the written word. And why should it be thought extravagant to suppose that he may thus make a divine promise the wilness to a soul that it has passed from death unto life? If the Almighty de. lights in the happiness of his children, why should we not expect that he would fully assure them of his love ? And what assurance so comfortable as that coming directly from himself ? Accordingly he says, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."-1 John v. 10. And again it is said, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"-Rom. viii. 16. · Happy privilege thus to know that we are of God, while the whole world lieth in wickedness.- 1 John v. 19. The possession of this confidence may calm every disquieting fear, and lead the children of God to “rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory.” It is the fulfilment of the gracious promise of our Lord, when he was about to return to the Fatber. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come; but if I go, I will send him unto you. And when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which pro. ceedeth from the Father, he shall testisy of me.—John xy. 26. A Comforter, indeed, the Holy Spirit may well be denomi. nated, when he thus bears witness of the divine acceptance and approbation. And well may he who enjoys this testimony say, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear what man can do unto me.”
3. Another source of comfort to the people of God, is the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit changing the turbulent and unhappy passions of the mind into the calm and comfortable dispositions of the new man, who “after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness."
Unquestionably one of the chief sources of man's misery, is the inward collision of bis contending passions. The understanding and the will are often opposed : what the one approves being hateful to the other. Pride, too, often soars to eminence by means of sacrifices which the love of money disinclines man to make, and derives mor. "tification from every slight or insult which may be casually