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is one affirming the general principle, that our too cumbrous and costly for practical pursociety should be esteemed a religious society | poses. The number of contributing churches and have a religious constitution. We pro- will not, however, so far exceed the present ceed to apply it in two ways, first, by render- meinbers of the society who are entitled to ing the qualification for membership, con- attend the general meeting as to render this nection with a contributing church; and an important objection, and the cost may be secondly by entrusting the representatives of greatly diminished if churches at a distance such churches with the management.
think fit to appoint as their representatives It may, perhaps, help towards a clear un- persons residing near the place of meeting on derstanding of our intentions to print the whose judgment they can rely. There will rules as we propose they shall stand respect- be nothing under the amended regulations to ing “members," and the “ general meeting." | prevent the meeting of representatires from By a reference to the report our friends will being held as may be thought desirable in the be able to compare the effect of our proposed country or London; or to preclude two or changes with the rules as they now stand. more churches from uniting as an auxiliary or The rule for members according to our plan district in the appointment of representatives, will read as follows:
It is admitted that in religious societies the
life which animates them is practically of “ Members."
more importance than the form they assume, " That the society shall consist of the
but the latter whilst it is the expression of the officers and members of those churches who
former exerts upon it a beneficial or pernicious make an annual contribution towards its
influence. The present plan is simple, interfunds."
feres to a small extent with existing machinery, The rule respecting the general meeting and is capable of varied application. We will stand thus, reprinting the law with our
recommend it on mature deliberation to the proposed alterations :
churches, as identifying the society which they " General meeting of representatives of the sustain with themselves, and enabling them churches."
by vigorous and systematic action to main“A general meeting of representatives of tain, extend, and direct its operations. the churches shall be held annually, at which We remain, dear Sir, the committee and officers shall be chosen
Your's truly, for the ensuing year, the auditors of accounts
E. Š. PRYCE. appointed, and any other business pertaining
J. P. MURSELL. to the society transacted. This meeting shall consist of representatives of all churches
BAPTIST BUILDING FUND. which shall have made a contribution towards the funds of the society during the past year.
To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine. Not more than the pastor and two other re- My Dear Sir,-I am certain that you presentatives to be allowed to each church.” | will with much pleasure grant the request of
We are not altogether ignorant of the the Committee of the Baptist Building Fund, objections which may be brought against by inserting the gratifying intelligence that these changes, but regard any inconvenience they have received from a lady the donation to which they may subject us as more than of £100, forwarded by the Rev. George counterbalanced by their advantages. Legal | Pope of Collingham. This benevolent gift objections may be taken, but we believe them arose, as he informs us, from her perusal of to be invalid. It may be said that the plan our last report, opening to her the gratificaencourages centralization; it is not, however, tion of a previous desire, " to do something more centralizing than the present constitu- permanent for the benefit of baptist chapels." tion, and whilst it provides for central action, We entreated her permission thus to mention it neutralizes and destroys central government. the circumstance publicly, as an example and It is admitted to be an inconvenience, that it inducement to others to make similar deposits. will disfranchise many who are now contribu- | Her money was immediately remitted by the tors to the society, but are not members of treasurer to the next church upon the rotation contributing churches; but if the society is a list, at Westbury-on-Trym, and is secured as Christian institution and for the spread of the conditions of the Loan Fund require, by certain principles, it is a natural inference the note of hand of four persons engaging to that it should be under the management of repay the whole by half-yearly instalments of those who give to these principles their pro £5 each. fessed adherence. Any loss to the constitu- Allow me to remark what should not escape ency resulting from this change will surely be observation, that by the simple process amply compensated by the introduction of a adopted for the dissemination of those loans large number of persons religiously qualified, and their gradual restoration to the common who are now disfranchised, but who then as stock of the whole amount so leat, this single members of contributing churches will become £100 will, during its progressive return form members of the Baptist Missionary Society. parts of loans to twenty other churches, and The representative system may be thought at the end of the ten years will, although divided, continue to be as at first an entirety of suggested by considering the two letters in benefit. Now it has not only immediately answer to the pastor's inquiry as stated at the paid off £100 of debt, but has, by the anni- ontset. To descend a little to minutia. The hilation of interest, added £5 to the future letter signed A Member of a Baptist Church annual amount of remuneration to the is short and to the point; after briefly touchminister. And proceeding onwards it will in ing upon the evils arising from mixed marevery future return and re-issue again repeat | riages, he goes at once boldly to the issue and a like proportionate benefit to others, yet quoting the highest authority says, “ Be not still remaining part of an undiminished source partaker of other men's sins." of blessing. Would, my dear sir, that many, Not so, however, Respondent. Suppose very many persons may, as this Christian | the course advised by this writer to be lady has done, under the influence of duty to adopted, and what will be the result, God and his cause, bestow a living legacy, 1st. Upon the mind of the Pastor himself. free from tax or mortmain, the advantages of 2nd. Upon the minds of the parties interwhich they may witness during life with a ested. 3rd. Upon the minds of uninterested holy satisfaction, and leave as their lasting parties residing in the town or village. Upon memorial when they shall worship in a the mind of the Pastor it must be painful temple not made with hands.
in the extreme, he tells us he has faithfully I am, my dear sir,
and affectionately remonstrated with the Very sincerely yours,
party concerned; and great grief, doubtless, Joseph FLETCHER, Treasurer. does arise in his heart to see one of the memUnion Dock, Limehouse,
bers of his flock thus wilfully breaking February 18, 1850.
Christ's commands; but notwithstanding every warning the day arrives upon which
the two unite themselves in indissoluble ON MINISTERIAL ATTENDANCE AT MIXED bonds, he receives and accepts an invitation ARRIAGES.
to solemnize the marriage and become one of
the guests, can he-dare he-ask the God of To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.
heaven to bless a union so contracted and SIR-In your number for January ap-celebrated in defiance of His prohibition and peared a letter from a country pastor con- his own earnest protestation ? I think not ; taining an inquiry to this effect, Shall I be if he can, the sooner he resigns his office as committing sin by being present at the minister of the truth the better. Upon the marriage of one of my members to an indi- parties themselves, secure under the patronage vidual who gives no evidence of a change of and countenance of their minister, they may, heart. This inquiry has evoked two letters perhaps, go on in life without one thought of in your periodical for the month of February, sorrow or compunction—the good man could one an affirmative, the other a negative, the not after all have meant what he said, or preponderance then of evidence as far as it thought it so bad as he described. Upon the may influence the conduct of the pastor, in uninterested in the locality, -the sentiments point of numbers, is neutral, and his mind of the pastor are sure to become known, and may be as little satisfied as ever. I propose when he is found acting contrary to his deto examine the claims of the two letters, with clared opinion a bad impression invariably a view to turn the scale either on one side or follows, his character for Christian consisthe other, and to investigate whether of the tency materially damaged, and the progress two will be the safest to take as a rule of ac- of the cause of Christ materially hindered. tion. It is possible this may be too late to These remarks might be extended to a much have any effect in the present case, but assum- greater length, and the contrast from an ing that it is not I call upon the country opposite course drawn, but that would occupy pastor to pause ere he commit an act, com- too much of your valuable space, and a mendatory of a proceeding acknowledged by word to the wise is enough. all parties to be fraught with mischief to the
I am, Sir, yours very truly, church of Christ.
MINIMUS. It may be laid down as a maxim that the way to the truth is short and easy; if truth To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine. be the object sought, the God of truth has DEAR SIR, -This subject appears to me declared with respect to it, that whosoever one of deep importance and deserving the should seek should find. To be acquainted most serious treatment of your correspondents. with the truth and to act up to its dictates, Without commenting upon the answers which are two very different things. It may be also appeared in your last number, I offer my asserted, that error decked in the garb of own contribution to the discussion. truth, supported by specious and fallacious I take it for granted that it is contrary to reasoning, often has been and still is palmed the spirit of Christianity for a believer to unite upon easily deceived human nature as that himself in marriage to an unbeliever, high and holy principle of which she is the I assume also, and this reduces the question deally opponent. Such are the thoughts to its practical form, that the believing in
dividual is not prepared to affirm that his soldier makes no condition not to be proposed partner is a decided Christian. wounded.” Misapprehension and harsh
Now if it be reckoned improper for me to judgments must be borne for a time, and proceed with the marriage of parties who cheerfully borne too, where interests 80 avow a fact which I believe to constitute, tremendous are at stake. I have reason to according to the law of England, “a lawful believe, from some enquiries on the subject, impediment" to such marriage, is it less that at least one half of all the marriages co 3plainly my duty to take no part in the cele tracted by members of our churches are “unbration of a marriage which a fact, confessed equal,” and that not one in a hundred of or not disavowed by one of the parties, those who were non-professors at that time renders unlawful in the sight of God! The ever afterwards take their place at the Lord's human law cannot be entitled to a more table with their believing partners; while, on exact obedience than the divine law.
the contrary, the instances of abandonment of The only answer which I have heard made religious profession are distressingly numerous. to this is, that the mere presenting of de | It is surely demanded of every pastor to votional services on the occasion of a ascertain whether he is innocent in this marriage does not necessarily imply the matter. sanction of it. This opinion partly arises
Your's most truly, from a misapprehension of the position of a Liverpool
C. M.'B. minister in relation to marriages. The registrar and the clergyman are officers of govern
EDITORIAL POSTSCRIPT. ment required to perform the ceremony In a village about fifty miles from London, whenever requested to do so in consistency | within a mile from a railway station, there is with the law. They have no discretion. a place of worship free from debt in which Their responsibility is limited by the terms of a small congregation assembles, which desires their office. No one, therefore, now thinksa pastor, but is unable to do much towards of attributing to them moral approval or dis- his support. Mr. Carey Tyso of Wallingford approval in those matters. But the pastors will feel pleasure in affording the requisite of our churches act freely. They are under information to any respectable baptist minisno obligation to perform such acts, and it is ter possessing independent resources, whose therefore naturally understood that when they desire to do good may incline him to make do so they express their good will to the inquiry respecting the sphere of usefulness parties, and their general approval of the which the locality affords. union. But if it be denied that there is any
The Rev. James Smith, acting under medipositive sanction, I ask whether there be not, at least, a somewhat dangerous appearance of Park Street. He has no other sphere of
cal advice, has resigned his pastorate at New it? Supposing the pastor of a baptist church
labour in view, but it is thought that the air is invited to be present on the occasion of an
of the metropolis does not suit his lungs. infant being submitted to a certain ceremony,
ceremony, Midsummer is the time that he has fixed for and that for the mere purpose of offering prayer and praise. Would it be advisable
the cessation of his public duties. for him to comply? He might not intend |
The friends of the Rev. Owen Clarke, and either his presence or his prayers to be ex. | of the church under his care at Vernon pressive of an approval of the service : but | Chapel, Pentonville, will be glad to hear of would not his conduct be equivocal and liable | the restoration of his sight. Having been to be construed in such a manner as to be deprived of it partially the last three or four highly injurious in its consequences? Yet in 1 years and totally for many months, he unthis case the ceremony might be one arising derwent the distressing operation for cataract out of solemn convictions of duty, while in
a few weeks ago, and is now so far recovered the one under our attention, there would be
as to be able to walk out alone and see the an admitted departure from implicit divine
faces of his old acquaintance. His constituinjunctions. In the one instance he would tion is rallying and his eyes are rapidly rebe present at the commission of an error, in gaining their power. the other at the perpetration of a sin. If it is To A Correspondent who asks “ Where is inexpedient to countenance the one, it is, in the scripture warranty for pews and pulpit ? my humble judgment, something more to What passage in the New Testament mencountenance the other.
tions such things ?" we beg to say that we It must frequently be painful, doubtless, have too many questions under discussion to a pastor, to act out these views. His | just now to admit his letter and the answers refusal will often grieve his dearest friends at which it would draw forth, but that if he will a time when they are peculiarly sensitive to accept our own opinion it is this: That in public opinion. These consequences may be the New Testament there is no mention of mitigated by having his views of duty clearly either pew, pulpit, stove, ventilator, scraper, made known to his congregation before hand, door-mat, or glass window, and that a church but as Dr. Gutzlaff said the other day to our that is so minded is at perfect liberty to Mission Committee, “Ile who enlists as a 'dispense with any or all of then.
The news from the mission field by the last mail is on the whole most cheering. The gospel is not only making progress, but evidently leavening with its influence all the social relations of Hindooism. The proposed measure of government, releasing converts from the intolerant operation of the laws of the Shaster and Koran, by which on making a confession of Christ they lose every earthly possession and break every earthly tie, naturally arouses the wrath of the rigid devotees of Vishnu, Siva, and Mahomet. But the time is at last come when the authorities in India no longer regard the prejudices of the Hindoo as their standard of duty, and the legislation of Menu as the basis of their own. The following extracts from the Friend of India will give a just view of the importance of the act.
This is the great charter of religious liberty | They have no idea of liberty of conscience; now about to be established for the first time they have been trained up in the notion that throughout the British dominions in India. the profession of their ancestral creed was to The new law will establish the rights of con- be enforced by pains and penalties, and that science in India, and enable any man to heresy was to be repressed by the forfeiture profess the creed he prefers, without the fear of property. of being thereby deprived of all the property It is not for us, as Englishmen, to censure to which he would otherwise have been the votaries of the Hindoo Shasters for clingentitled. It was idle to talk of the existence ing with such tenacity to their penal and of any thing like liberty of conscience in persecuting enactments. We were once India while the provisions of the Hindoo law under the influence of the same spirit of which were designed to extinguish it, formed illiberality. If Menu has ordered that part and parcel of our code. The present melted lead should be poured down the act is, of course, a complete abrogation of throat of the man who spoke disrespectfully that portion of the Shaster which was in- of a brahmin, it must not be forgotten that tended to keep the land of India for ever our code has also been disfigured by equally bound to the support of Hindooism, by barbarous laws. We have had our act “ de ordaining that no one should enjoy the fruits heretico comburendo." of the soil who did not manifest his adherence We are fully aware that the feeling of to the Hindoo religion, by the type of offering abhorrence towards all who embrace Christhe funeral cake to the manes of his diseased tianity is almost incredibly intense in the parent. But the legislation of Menu be- Hindoo community, and that it burns with longed to the age of Hindoo conservatism, equal vehemence in the breast of the orthodox when the rights of conscience were as little and liberal; of the man who lives according understood as in the days of St. Dominick, to the ritual of the Hindoo shasters, and of and it would be preposterous to suppose that him who eats beefsteaks and drinks chamit should continue in force in the present age, pagne at Wilson's; of those who believe thewhen India has come into the possession of fable of the earth resting on a tortoise, and those who pride themselves on honouring of those who have gone through the whole those rights.
circle of European sciences; and we can easily We perceive that the Hindoos of Calcutta account for the feelings of indignation which have expressed their disapprobation of the the new law will, for a time, engender. But new law. This was fully to have been ex- it is a law of essential justice and equity, and pected, and we shall be the last to censure no effort which the Hindoos can make will them for the free expression of their opinion. I turn government from its purpose.
But even under the oppressive laws of Menu, the gospel has been making progress, as the following interesting communication from our brother WENGER will testify. His letter is dated December 8th. Referring to the state of the native mind in certain parts of Bengal, he says, Barisal and Jessore.
minds of the people in some parts of the I feel that the Society ought to strike the Barisal and Jessore districts are now in a iron whilst it is hot, and unquestionably the state which, if proper advantage be taken of