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rains now, and there is prospect of an abundant harvest. The two dams I constructed have been of great service. And if God mercifully gives us two or three good seasons we shall prosper. Many have worked at the new chapel for two or three days together, and have had no more food all that time than a hearty English boy would eat for his dinner; and yet there has been with these men no difficulty and no murmuring. • It is God's house, and we must do something for Him who has done so much for us.' This is the way in which they speak.”
We cannot walk through all the South African Stations in this article. Would that we could. But remember that it is only one territory in the wide Mission field. And now, dear friend, are Missions a failure? Is it fair to talk in any half-apologetic tone about them? Are they not among the noblest and most successful enterprises of the present day? £100,000 for one iron-plated ship for destructive purposes, and half that for saving souls, the ordinary income of the London Missionary Society. Awake, oh, heart! to remember that, and then consider what relation do I stand in to a work which is so manifestly of God—a work which will out-live all the material grandeur of this England of the nineteenth century-whose interests fill the columns of our daily papers ? Let us stand aside and see the great sight, and remember “All flesh is grass; and all the glory of man as the flower of grass ; the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever, and this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.”
EVANGELICAL CONTINENTAL SOCIETY.
AUSTRIAN EMPIRE-BOHEMIA. RELIGIOUS Liberty in Austria ! The year 1866 will be memorable in the annals of the Austrian Empire. It will be related by the future historian how wisely Austria profited by the terrible reverses which befel her in her struggles for ascendency in Germany. The changes which have taken place since 1866 will show how Austria determined to decentralise her Government, and how bravely the work-revolutionary in the best sense of the word — was carried out. No one would have ventured, in 1866, to predict that the struggle in which Austria was engaged with Prussia would issue in such a change in the Empire. The Concordat with the Pope set aside as out of place in a Constitutional Government—the Marriage Law altered so as to annul the power of the priest—the law on Education changed in order to gratify the people in their desire to have the school under the guidance of the civil authorities. The changes that have been made are striking when looked at by the mere politician: but to the Protestant they are so wonderful that he is hardly able to realise the fact that religious liberty is secured by the New Constitution ! The year 1866 will be memorable also in the annals of Protestantism in the Austrian Empire.
Bohemia, “the cradle of the Reformation,” will have her full share in the great change that has been accomplished. A glance at the history of the Church of Bohemia will show how marvellous the revolution has proved by which religious liberty has been obtained. The struggle between scriptural Christianity and the corruptions of Rome has lasted for about 1,000 years. The Bohemian Church has denounced false doctrines from their first introduction, contending for the supreme authority of the Scriptures ; in dark and troublous times sighing for a reformation. At the close of the 14th century John Huss appeared, and the execution of Huss and Jerome only increased the disgust at Papal tyranny and roused the energy of the Bohemians. Five crusades were undertaken by the united power of Germany and Rome against the “ Hussites,” but the small Bohemian nation successfully resisted their assaults.
The “ Thirty Years' War” led to disastrous results in Bohemia. The design of the Jesuits seems to have been, not merely to suppress Protestantism but to destroy the whole nation. “ As long as there are Bohemians there will be heretics.” Twenty-seven of the most distinguished of the Protestant nobility were publicly executed in one day in Prague-others were exiled, and it is said that 1,088 old noble families disappeared. There is good authority for believing that at the commencement of the “ Thirty Years' War” the population of Bohemia was estimated at four millions, and at the close there were only 780,000! The sad struggles of the Bohemians furnished an explanation of the joy with which the “Edict of Toleration" (in 1781) was received, and the modern Evangelical Church of Bohemia constituted after a blank of 150 years. From 1781 to 1848 the laws relating to Protestantism seem to have been animated by distrust, jealousy, and injustice. The Protestants were made to understand on every fitting occasion that they were only a tolerated “sect.” The ministers were placed under the superintendence of the priests; proselytism was forbidden under heavy penalty; the pastors were made responsible for the exclusion of Roman Catholics from their worship; those who wished to join the Protestant Church were obliged to undergo a six weeks' course of instruction from a priest, and this term was often extended to as many years: the Protestants were obliged to observe Roman Catholic holidays, and the pastors were bound to announce them from the pulpit : Protestants were required to pay tithes and taxes to the Romish clergy; to bow to Romanist processions; to build their chapels in the style of ordinary dwelling-houses. To found schools was made very difficult, to form new congregations almost impossible. In 1848 some restrictions were removed, and in 1861 a new order of things was introduced. Compared with the former regulations great progress was made in the direction of religious liberty. “Men,"
“as has been well said, “are only happy or miserable but by comparison.” And when the Protestants found that, “they had the right to regulate, to administer and to manage their ecclesiastical affairs”—that full freedom for the profession of the Evangelical faith and the right of performing public
worship were assured to them for all future time—it seemed, notwithstanding the Concordat and other impediments, that the day of deliverance had come.
The new order of things has secured for the Protestants religious liberty, and they are striving to avail themselves of the advantages which have been secured by the New Constitution. The Evangelical Continental Society has for a long time striven to direct attention to Bohemia as a mission field. The Secretary has recently visited the Churches in Bohemia, and has carried out his instructions by encouraging the Protestants to open five new stations, the Committee undertaking to support the Evangelists for two or
There is every reason to expect that these stations will very soon become self-supporting. One of the difficulties of the Bohemian Protestants arose from the law which compelled them to build their Churches in small villages, and leave the towns unoccupied.
Three of the new stations will be opened in towns of considerable size. Two other stations will be opened in densely-populated districts. Already the Roman Catholics have manifested a willingness to listen to the preachers of the Gospel. The Bohemian brethren deserve the warmest sympathy and generous help. They have maintained their worship under overwhelming difficulties, and they have during the last six years erected seventeen new school-rooms. With a helping hand stretched out promptly they will be encouraged to continue their noble efforts for the spread of the truth, and assuredly they will find that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
NOTES ON SPAIN. THE BIBLE SOCIETY,- We cannot but with great prudence, is, the Committee give our entire approval to the spirit are assured, best adapted to subserve in which the Committee of the British solid and permanent results. Apart and Foreign Bible Society contemplate from the quiet and unobtrusive cirthe great work before them in the culation of the Scriptures, arrangeSpanish Peninsula. “The object of the ments are being completed for the Committee (they say) has been to take opening of depôts in the chief towns of such action as circumstances allow, Spain, as soon as the law will concede avoiding at the same time a public and the necessary permission.” demonstrative policy, which might stir up prejudice, embarrass the Govern. OTHER SOCIETIES.-The Evangelical ment, and impede, rather than facilitate, Continental Society advertise that they the attainment of complete freedom have resolved to “take immediate meaof operation. The agents and corre- sures to avail themselves of so great an spondents of the Society in Spain are opportunity; and for this purpose they most urgent that the work may not be invite the friends of Spanish Evancompromised, or endangered by a rash gelisation to send contributions as early and injudicious course of procedure, as possible." which cannot fail, in the transition state The Evangelical Alliance invited a of the country, to provoke antagonism. gathering of noblemen and gentlemen Prompt and vigorous action, combined on the 13th of November, who, under existed to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. Happily the transformation has been complete. Religious liberty is henceforth a fact in Spain The Provisional Government has abro. gated the edict of the fifteenth century which banished the Jews from Spain. The Provisional Government has authorised the Protestants to erect a place of worship in Madrid. Henceforth the Synagogue and the Protestant Church will be erected by the side of the Roman Catholic Church, and all Spaniards and all foreigners who come here will be able to worship God according to their convictions."
the presidency of the Earl of Chi. chester, constituted themselves into a Committee to be called, “The United General Committee for promoting Christian work in Spain.”
The friends of Methodist Missions are likewise turning their attention to Spain. A Spanish teacher is to journey over the country and report. A Wesleyan Mission existed in Spain some years ago under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Rule. This veteran missionary has been strongly urged by his Spanish friends again to go over and help them; but it is scarcely likely that at his ad. vanced age he will deem it advisable to
The Christians of America are resolved not to lag behind. On Sunday evening, October 25, a large and interesting meeting was held at the Collegiate (Dutch) Reformed Church, New York, under the auspices of several Societies. A Methodist Bishop, an Episcopalian Bishop, and representatives of the Congregational, Presbyterian, and other bodies, took part in the meeting.
INCIPIENT FRUITS FREEDOM. “We entered Spain via Bayonne, on the 7th November," writes a Spanish student from Geneva, “and on passing our luggage at the frontier Spanish Custom House, I saw the first signs of the change that the late happy revolution Las caused: I had a bag full of tracts and religious books in Spanish, and a parcel of Catechisms in the same language. "What have you here?' the searcher asked. “Books,' I replied. He did not even ask me to open them. There were enough to have sent me out of Spain a dozen times over in days gone by."
A Spanish paper, the Esperance, contained the following on November 27 :“Two months ago the Spanish people constituted a very sad exception. It was the only people in Europe and in the whole world, where religious unity
THE BATTLE OF FREEDOM NOT YET Won.--Many other illustrations of the great change which has taken place in Spain might be ailduced. But the battle of freedom is only begun. The decree of the Provisional Government must be confirmed by the Constituent Cortes. And even then the people have to be trained to understand and appreciate the new order, so contrary to all their notions of what is religiously right. The Madrid correspondent of the Post says that the question of liberty of worship is discussed among Spanish women with an animosity that may be compared with that of the Whig and Tory ladies of the time of Queen Anne: “If the Marchioness of Veluma on presenting a petition signed by 1,000 fair Ultramontanes boasts that Serrano has promised that 'the Catholic faith shall not incur any danger,' the beautiful and wealthy Juanna de Birrysta, who presented a petition signed by 600 women in favour of the religious rights of Hebrews and Protestants—who are generally lumped together in eternal damnation by. Spanish Catholics-can vaunt that Prim told her that henceforth persecution for conscience sake in Spain is a thing of the past.'"
MAY GOD SPEED THE RIGHT.
CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE, ,
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP,-FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES. CONTROVERSIALISTS might often husband their strength and save their temper if they would honestly try to understand each other, and separate things that are essential to the principles for which they contend from things that are common to both sides, and perhaps indifferent to either. We are desirous, if possible, to save the discussion of the question of Church membership from getting into confusion through want of a clear apprehension of the real points at issue. Brethren, we are persuaded, often argue on opposite sides who are really agreed. Take the following colloquy—not an imaginary one—for illustration : “ If a man came to me and said, 'I am a Christian,' I would admit him to fellowship.” So said a most worthy brother. Take his words without explanation, and the Church door could not be thrown wider open. * But,” said a friend, “would you not ask him a question to ascertain if he understood what it was to be a Christian ?"
“Oh! certainly.” " And if you found, for example, that he denied the Godhead of our Saviour, would you admit him?" 66
Certainly not.” “ Or if you knew him to be living a wicked life, would
you admit him?” “Certainly not.” And thus the Church door which seemed thrown wide open, with “whosoever will” written over it, is found after all guarded by a porter, who demands evidence as to a man's right and fitness to enter in. Between those who were parties to the above conversation, who seemed to themselves at first to differ toto cælo, there is and can be no difference of principle. They both believe that personal Christianity entitles a man to membership in a Christian Church, and they believe likewise that the avowal of such Christianity must be supported by some evidence of its intelligence and of its genuineness. The only points on which they can differ are not essential, but superficial—such as the amount of evidence which may be required, and the manner or means of taking such evidence and presenting it to the Church.
VOL. V.-NEW SERIES.