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energy of the Christian spirit. As the free grace of God duces in all his servants an ardour of obedience and diligence, which can spring from no mere system of rewards and punishments, so the bounty of the Christian benefactor brings forth in the Christian poor a hearty desire and purpose of exertion, which could spring from no systém of motives derived from a worldly spirit. The feeling seems to be this, and it is truly scriptural. Having experienced the bounty which flows from Christian charity, let me, also, learn to labour with my own hands, that I may have to give to them that need. Therefore the Christian

may do all that lies in his power, to better, even by actual liberality, the condition of his poorer brother, and need not be afraid of consequences.

There certainly does exist in the present day, as Dr. Chalmers opens his work by observing, a great inclination to do good.

“ There is a great deal of philanthropy afloat in this our day. At no period, perhaps, in the history of the human mind, did a desire of doing good so earnest, meet with a spirit of inquiry so eager, after the best and likeliest methods of carrying the desire into accomplishment. Amid all that looks dark and menacing, in the present exhibitions of society, this, at least, must be acknowledged, that never was there a greater quantity of thought embarked on those speculations which, whether with Christian or merely economical writers, have the one common object of promoting the worth and comfort of our species.”. (Preface, p. 1.)

Yet is it one of the evils of the present day, that there is a line of distinction, marked with peculiar strength, between the rich community and the poor community, taken as bodies. They form two distinct groups, as it were; two divided, alienated, incongruous masses; with feelings hostile to each other too frequently pervading both. The division extends, even, in some degree, to the religious public. There is a rich church, and there is a poor church. And these are not one, but two : we mean, that they are by no means united by any visible bond of union as they ought to be. How little union is there even in public worship! How small is the ratio of poor to rich in most congregations, compared with the ratio of poor to rich in the parishes or vicinities from which the congregations are drawn. How many chapels in London and elsewhere are occupied almost exclusively by the wealthier orders of worshippers; how many churches and meeting-houses almost exclusively by the middling orders: unless indeed we take into account the children who are brought there by schools, with perhaps a sprinkling of adults of the lower orders, in an inverse ratio to their comparative numbers out of doors. Not only, therefore, does the

amount of persons who attend religious worship throughout the country form an alarming disproportion to the whole number of inhabitants, but the calculation becomes even more alarming when we consider that even of those who do attend, the very reverse of a fair share are of the lower orders. We fear it

may not only be said that the rich and the poor are divided in their public worship, but, something much worse than this, that, in a great majority of places, with the exception of the rising generation brought together by means of schools, there are no masses of poor who assemble to worship anywhere. This is bad. It is bad for the poor. But it is also bad for the rich. It is bad for them, even if they are sensible of the evil. But if they are insensible to it, it is worse.

There will always exist a class of needy persons in the community. This seems to have been taught by Moses, when he said, “ the poor shall never cease out of the land.” And our Lord confirms the prediction, when he intimates that we are to have the poor always with us. We apprehend, there will always be a religious poor: we mean, religious persons not merely in humble circumstances, but suffering the ills of poverty : persons, too, whose condition admits of being mended, while it requires to be mended ; and therefore persons whose condition will always offer, as it always has offered, a stimulus to the devices and the exertions of christian benevolence. In former days, attempts were generally independent and isolated, and of course little good was effected, in comparison with the mass of evil which required to be remedied. It was reserved for the present age to adopt, upon an extensive scale, the system of societies; and great, but still inadequate results have followed. The breach between the rich and the poor made up. The two incongruous bodies are not yet amalgamated.— Yet we hail the era of societies. They show that there is at least a very general wish to do good. 'Add to this, moreover, that much good has actually been done by them, and that much more is in progress. The ice has been broken. The first advances to re-union have been made, though re-union is not yet effected. The two masses are approximating, and we hope, as they draw near, will be found to approximate with a continually accelerated velocity. But the object in view will not be accomplished while the main device of the day is to get at the poor only through the medium of societies. There must, first, be what Dr. Chalmers calls an aggressive movement (of which more hereafter), and that on the part of individuals. While we endeavour to act on the poor only through societies, though societies have their use, it is as if we were endeavouring to act upon something with an instrument, which we were afraid of touching with our hands : and therefore our influence on them is less direct and effectual than it ought to be. Power is lost, as when we attempt to move a body placed at the advantageous end of a lever.

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The object then, at present, is far from being attained. In most (even religious) neighbourhoods, much remains to be done; though, on coming to particular inquiry, much may be found to have been done already. To a rightly constituted mind, both what has been effected will be an encouragement, and what remains to be effected a stimulus, to farther exertion. We know at present of few places on which we could lay our hands, and

say that there the wants and the sufferings of the mass of the poor have been perceptibly relieved, or their condition perceptibly ameliorated, by the efforts of the rich. And yet with this there is the certainty that few are the vicinities where there are not persons in the present day, who, if they did but know how to go effectually to work, are willing, and ready, and desirous to begin, and to give their time, their attention, and their substance, to the great object of christianizing and conciliating a demoralized and alienated population.

Many causes might be assigned of past failures. One is, a desponding apprehension that there is little to be done; another, a bold, generalizing spirit, which attempts to do too much. Another still, as far as the religious poor are concerned, is that the church of Christ is too much blended and confounded with the world: and still another is, that the church is not sufficiently cemented in itself. This last we apprehend to be the greatest obstacle of all. The “communion of saints” is as little thought of, as if there were no such thing in existence. There is little or no Christian unity. We do not mean as to attending the same place of worship, (though that undoubtedly is a desirable object), or being members of the same denomination. On these points there might be a difference of opinion and of practice, and yet a union of hearts. But we say, this union of hearts is wanting. There is a want of feeling, on the part of the members of the Christian church, of every denomination, that the whole number of Christians in the world, and the whole number in every particular place, are one body, and a distinct society. We are not bigoted advocates for conformity, which often exists without communion. We are not bigoted advocates for the claims of our church, (though amongst her faithful children). But we are at least unbending advocates for the claims of the universal church of Christ. We have observed that there exists, we must say it, amongst most classes of believers, a lamentable and very observable want of proper, scriptural ideas, upon the subject of communion,-an indifference to right feelings upon the subject,-and, sometimes, a reluctance to hear of them. The

poorer brethren are the sufferers. The great enemy of the church has spread the disease through our ranks, and the multitude fall victims.

« Νόσον ανα στρατόν ώρσε κακήν, ολέκοντο δε λαοί.” It is too much forgotten, meanwhile, that the suffering Christian poor are the honourable and the distinguished members of the community: that God“ hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom :” and that according as they have been “ visited,“ clothed," and ministered to, will be the division and the final destinies of the last day.

We have no doubt, that if this grand obstacle to the amelioration of the condition of the poor arising out of the almost total want of religious unity among the religious of the middling and higher classes could once be overcome, then that other obstacle, the grand division of the rich and the poor

into two parties, which would still continue to exist, would soon be overcome also. If the rich church and the poor church, instead of being each totally disunited and dismembered as they now are, formed each a mass, they would soon begin to act upon one another. The wants of the whole poor would act upon the Christian sensibility of the whole rich : the united zeal and resources of the rich would act on the exigences of the poor :and we should soon see another state of things. Meanwhile, any plan deserves attention, which offers the means of accelerating this most desirable consummation, and we gladly hail the work of Dr. Chalmers, of which we shall now proceed to offer some account.

The title to the publication is by no means inappropriate. It is to be published quarterly, and we have now three numbers before us, each containing a chapter. In the main, our views completely coincide with the author's. But, on one or two points, it will be seen that we are at issue. And on these we shall frankly express our sentiments.

Number, or Chapter, the first is inscribed, " The Advantage and Possibility of assimilating a Town to a Country Parish.” The subjects of which it treats are arranged under the following topics : first, the error of those political philanthropists who do not admit Christianity, as an element, into their speculations; secondly, the error of those Christian philanthropists who do not admit political science, as an element, into theirs ; and, thirdly, the invasions of professional function which ministers in Scotland have lately experienced, especially in towns, by secularities which have been laid upon the clerical office. Under the first head, Dr. Chalmers seems to intimate the possibility of these two classes of which he speaks, political economists and Christian philanthropists, affording mutual assistance in the great work of moral reform Now, as far as afford ing mutual information goes, we agree with him. But, as to their acting together, we conceive there is little prospect of its ever taking place. The Christian philanthropist meets indeed the mere political economist at the quarterly or yearly assembly. But then he may generally count upon having all ihe work of detail to himself

, and most probably will see and hear little more of his coadjutor, till the next general meeting. But be this as it may, if we may be permitted to speak from our own observation and experience, we should say that when it comes to acting and to detail

, the Christian, in labouring for Christian objects, can only act with Christians. If Jehoshaphat chooses to go down with Ahab, even for so good a purpose as that of fighting against the Syrians, he must take the consequences of being found in such bad company, and may have to fly for his life.

We have also another exception to make. We are not now going to enter into a particular discussion of what appear to be Dr. Chalmers's political principles, though we cannot but confess, they differ from what appear to us to be the set of opi-nions necessarily connected with those sound views of evangelical truth which, in so many of his works, the Doctor has so ably maintained. But we cannot help asking, and we ask it with the deference due to his high character, why should he express them here? Why should he bring them forward in a work in which political feelings should be the last to show themselves ? In one place, he adopts the language of the political economist, and censures, with some asperity, the “ obtrusive interferences” of government. (Page 5.) In another, and that in his character of a Christian minister, he employs the language of resentment, we had almost said of menace, in animadverting

profanation” inflicted by “ the rulers of our try,” on the sacredness of its officiating ministers. (P.35, 36.) It is our feeling, that there is an inconsistency in all this. A man, whose political feelings are such as are here expressed, and whose religious sentiments are such as we know Dr. Chalmers's to be, must, we apprehend, give up one or the other, for we cannot see how both can long be retained together. We have thought it necessary to bear our testimony upon these subjects ; and, having thus, as it were, lifted off a load from our minds, are happy in being able to proceed, with a feeling of unmixed approval, to the consideration of almost every part of the Doctor's views and sentiments with regard to the main objects of his work,

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