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establish and sustain “ mission Sunday-schools ” in different parts of your town. Keep your library full of books. Let the children through the town see that you are taking them up in your arms and blessing them. Take air and exercise regularly in the devotions and the activities of the Church. You are rusting ; you are perishing for the want of air and exercise. How few of you go to the prayer-meeting; and how few to the monthly concert! Up, brethren, take air and exercise.
6. Give more liberally. It is a beautiful way of taking the air. You breathe more freely after every such exercise of giving. Don't do it by spasms, but as a regular thing. Your prayers will be better. You can't send an arrow that will pierce the skies if your right hand is employed in grasping yonr purse. “Give without grudging." Alas, how little of such giving is there in the world!
7. Have faith in the Gospel, in the mission of the Church, in the power of Christians to reach and save men. You are the light of the world ; rekindle that light, by renewing the oil. To work then, and begin at the bottom. And then “they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
THE MESSAGE OF MERCY.
By the Reb. Wired Horris.
“ How to live this life ! how to strive this strife!
Help me onward - You, who love me dearly-
And interpret Heaven's message clearly ?”
“Far above your night, dwelling in the light,
Is the King invisible, immortal;
And the world is ruled from Heaven's portal.
Not a bird can soar- not a beast can roar
Not a fish can swim the depths of ocean-
And His searching eye marks every motion.
At His Heavenly will rules He good and ill,
And He knows our every joy and sorrow;
And provides for every one the morrow.
From His blissful throne heard He every moan,
Marked He every step of men's undoing,
Eager-hearted still their sin pursuing.
Then our God did call, not on one, but all,
To receive the Gospel's glad proclaiming;
And seek for better in a new life's aiming.
Warning sinners to be all repenting ;
Should be pardoned in Divine relenting.
All the claims of law that men had broken.
They shall have it, freely. God hath spoken.
At the sum of thirty silver pieces,
And in Him our fear and sorrow ceases.
Midst the heavy toil on this earthly soil
One can help us always-who supremer ?
It is Jesus Christ, our blest Redeemer.
Choose Him chiefest in a thousand choices,
You shall take your part with angel voices.”
WHAT THE IRISH CHURCH ACT DOES.** VERY few Bills, we imagine, ever underwent more manipulations and alterations than did the Irish Church Bill, in the various stages of its passage through the two Houses of Legislature, and very few Bills have
* Now that the “Bill” is an “Act," we think it well that our pages should contain a distinct record of its final state. And we avail ourselves of an article in the Nonconformist for this purpose. The only question that can now be raised is whether the provisions of the Act are not too generous, and whether there be not some danger in regarding them as an authoritative precedent. This article was in type last month, when it would have been more seasonable, but its publication was postponed through want of room.-ED. C. W.
VOL. V. -NEW SERIES.
come out of such a trial with so little substantial alteration. The avowed purpose of the measure has not been at all changed, nor the unity of its design either injured or impaired. It is consistent throughout. There are no clauses, so far as we have found, that contradict other clauses. It is therefore, not merely a great and comprehensive Act, but it will, we think, be found to be a workable Act. We propose to show exactly what the measure proposes to do, and what must be done in virtue of its various provisions.
The Preamble does not stand as it did. It recited that the surplus proceeds of Irish Church property should be “held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of
Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion," and it recited that it is further expedient that the said property, or the proceeds thereof, should be appropriated mainly to the relief of unavoidable calamity and suffering, yet so as not to cancel or impair the obligation now attached to property under the Acts for the relief of the poor." These words are left out, and the Preamble now states that the property shall be "applied in such manner as Parliament shall hereafter direct."
The arrangement of the clauses is very clear and logical, and therefore the Act will be easy of reference. The Act is to be called the Irish Church Act, 1869, and the second clause provides that after 1st January, 1871, the union between the Churches of England and Ireland shall be dissolved, and the Irish Church shall cease to be established by law. The process of disestablishment is completed in five lines. The next seven clauses deal with the constitution and powers of the Commissioners, of whom there are three, viz., Viscount Monck, Mr. Justice Lawton, and Mr. G. A. Hamilton. Nothing is to be done under this Act, but by all the three Commissioners acting jointly. They have power to appoint and remove officers, to enforce attendance of witnesses and production of books, &c., to issue commissions, to punish for contempt, and to make rules. Their term of office is to last for ten years. Next follow the clauses relating to Church property. After January 1st, 1871, all this property is to be vested in the Commissioners. The incumbents—Episcopal and other—will cease to hold their present possessions; all Ecclesiastical Corporations whatsoever will be dissolved, and the bishops will cease to sit in the House of Lords.
Next come the Compensation Clauses. The Commissioners are to ascertain the yearly income of every ecclesiastical person, and are to pay to such person, with certain deductions, the amount of his income as long as he lives and discharges his duties. This extends to curates as well as to incumbents. The Commissioners have also power to give gratuities to other than permanent curates, but the gratuity is not in any case to exceed £600. Diocesan schoolmasters, clerks, and sextons are to receive an annuity on the same terms as other parties. Organists and vergers, however, are to receive only one year's salary. Lay patrons, Roman Catholics as well as others, are also to be compensated for the loss of their advowsons.
The powers of the new Church are next specified. All laws prohibiting the holding of synods or conventions are repealed; the bishops, clergy, and laity may meet as they think proper; they may make rules for the “ wellbeing and ordering of the Church, frame constitutions and regulations, and provide for the future representation in diocesan synods, general conventions, or otherwise." No alteration in the present laws of the Church is to be binding upon any who may dissent from them, and no ecclesiastical person is to possess any coercive jurisdiction. Until a new constitution be provided, the present constitution of the Church is to be binding on the members for the time being. Ecclesiastical Courts and all Ecclesiastical laws are abolished except in so far as they may relate to “matrimonial causes and matters.” The new Church may, with Her Majesty's consent, hold property for Church purposes, such property being vested in persons appointed by the Church Body.
The dealings between the Commissioners and the representative Church Body are then defined. It is provided that if in any diocese three-fourths of the whole number of ecclesiastical persons have commuted or agreed to commute their life interests, the Commissioners shall pay to the Church Body, in addition to the value of the life interests, estimated at fourteen years' purchase, a sum equal to twelve per cent. on the commutation money. The annuities are then to cease, and any estates in which there was a life interest are to be vested in the Commissioners. Ruinous and disused churches of a monumental character are to be vested in the Commissioners of Public Works. Churches in use are, upon application, to be vested in the Church body. If no application be received, the buildings may be vested in either a private person who may seem to be entitled to them, from having built them, or disposed of as the Commissioners may think fit. School-houses are to go with the churches. Burial-grounds are to follow the same rule, or are to be vested in the guardians of the poor. Ecclesiastical residences and lands attached are to be vested in the Church Body upon payment of ten years' annual value, with the building charge, if any, upon it. Power is also given to make every glebe equal to ten acres upon payment of a proper sum. The interests of the Church private endowments are to be commuted by the payment to the Church Body by the Commissioners of £500,000. Moveable chattels, such as plate, &c., are to be the property of the Church Body.
Next we have instructions to the Commissioners for the management of their property; and it is provided that tithe rent-charge may be commuted by the landlord at twenty-two and a half times the value of such rent-charge; that, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the Commissioners may sell the property that may come into their possession, but they are not to expend any money in building or in repairs. They may, however, borrow for necessary purposes.
The clauses relating to the Regium Donum and Maynooth were not touched by the Lords. With respect to the first the Commissioners are to ascertain the amount hitherto received, and are to pay the same as a life annuity, the provisions of the commutation being the same as in the Church. This extends to all congregations which on the 1st March, 1869, were fulfilling the conditions necessary for obtaining the Donum. Professors in the Belfast College are also to be compensated, and a sum, not exceeding £15,000, is to be paid to the trustees in respect of the building. In the case also of Maynooth, a sum equal fourteen times the amount of the present grant is to be paid in lieu of the grant, and the trustees are released of the present debt on the College.
What is to be done with respect to vacancies that may occur between now and the 1st January, 1871 ? This subject is carefully dealt with, it being provided, that when such vacancies occur, the property shall immediately vest in the Commissioners. In the case of a vacant archbishopric, the Queen may, upon the requisition of three bishops, fill up the vacancy, and so also in respect to a vacant bishopric. Vacant benefices
be filled up as at present, but the persons who supply the vacancy are not to be entitled to any compensation or annuity in respect of their office.
The last important subject dealt with is that of the surplus. In the old clause (68), the manner in which this was to be disposed of was fully detailed, but the Lords struck out this portion of the clause, and added that it should be applied in such manner as Parliament shall hereafter direct. The result of the compromise is that the Act now declares that it is expedient that the proceeds shall be appropriated mainly to the relief of inevitable calamity and suffering.
Such is the great Act as it has now received the Queen's assent. It is scarcely forty pages in length, but how comprehensive it is! What a grand purpose it accomplishes! How simple, too, it is! Any one can understand it. It is so admirable, indeed, that we should like to see one or two more of the same character and intent.
SUNDAY AND RAGGED SCHOOL RATE-EXEMPTION
WHEREAS for many years and until lately buildings used as Sunday and Ragged schools for gratuitous education enjoyed an exemption from poor and other rates, and it is expedient that they should be exempted from such liability :
Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and
* This Act, finally passed July 26th, 1869, for which the community is greatly indebted to the zeal and perseverance of Mr. Charles Reed, M.P., is so important and so brief that we have much pleasure in giving it a place in our pages unabridged.-ED. C. W.