Page images

fourths of the traffic, should not be

THE EASTERN QUESTION. exclusively in the hands of the foreign shareholders of a foreign

“The eternal Eastern Question," company. An opportunity was as Lord Derby calls it, has its periafforded us of acquiring a right in

odical openings and temporary it, and the opportunity was used. closings. If any one thought that There was no deep-laid scheme in

the Crimean war had settled it, the the matter. We had hardly a week sanguine observer has been many a to consider it from the first mo.

time undeceived since then. Somement when we heard that the sale times it has been re-opened by was intended; and our first idea diplomacy, but recent circumwas not so much to buy the pro- stances, chiefly the insurrection in perty for ourselves as to prevent it the Herzegovina, have done this. from changing hands at all...... The defalcations of the Ottoman We seek no exclusion, no monopoly, Porte in the matter of the Turkish only a secure passage for ourselves ; bondholders has given, of course, and that same security we are painful significance to a question willing that all the world should which, if not a "burning" one, is enjoy."

certainly very inflammable. The This is plain and intelligible Sultan feels this, and, in order to enough. The British Government conciliate the great Powers, he has has no wish to engage in stock- issued a firman ordering certain jobbing speculations, or in com- important judicial and administramercial enterprises ; nor does it

tive reforms. He decrees the reseek any power over Egyptian organization of the High Court of politics than that which belongs to Justice and the Courts of Appeal. a friendly diplomacy. But it does In a summary of the Imperial wish to prevent, as best it can, any firman it is said that “all subjects interference by commercial cupidity, of the Porte without distinction are or by political intrigue or caprice, authorised to elect judges and the with the right of all the European members of the tribunals and nations to use the Suez Canal as administrative councils, who may the direct highway to India, China, be Mussulman or non-Mussulman. and Australia. The thread of water No person may be detained in cuswhich joins the Mediterranean to tody without trial, and no ill-treatthe Red Sea, although belonging to ment of accused persons will be a commercial company,must hence- admitted. Taxation will be applied forth be regarded as a part of the in just proportion, and those taxes ocean, and the route to the East which may burden the population vii Egypt must be open to the flags too heavily will be lightened. The of all nations, jast as much as the police will no longer be employed route to the East via the Cape of to collect the taxes. The MussulGood Hope. The step taken by man or non-Mussulman population the British Government is the best will itself elect the collectors. guarantee that such will be the Right of property will be assured case, subject, of course, to the terri- to all subjects of the Porte. The torial and political rights of the abolition of forced labour is conKhedive, and to the commercial firmed. The system of contriburights of the Suez Canal Company. tion for works of public utility will

be amended, in order that it may

cease to be of a vexatious character. this scheme of reform, and think The Minister of Commerce is to the publication of the firman a confer with competent men upon mere maneuvre to deceive Europe. the measures necessary for the It is very sad when the Governdevelopment of agriculture, manu- ment of a large and populous emfactures, and trade. All powers pire should be adjudged by public granted to the patriarchs and opinion to be unworthy of credence, other ecclesiastical authorities for and even in its solemn official action managing the affairs of Christian in relation to millions of its own communions, and for the free pro. subjects to be insincere ! “Turkey,” fession of religious belief, are con- it was said many years ago, “is firmed. Every facility will be dying for the want of Turks!” afforded for establishing churches Who can regret it, if the rule of the and schools. All official ranks and Turk be cruel oppression, and if the public functions will be accessible reform of gigantic abuses be no. to non-Mussulman subjects. The thing but a mockery and a snare? tax for exemption from military Surely matters are not so bad as service will only be paid by non- this? May it not be hoped, that Mussulman subjects between the in the interests of self-preservation, ages of twenty and forty years. if not from a better motive, the All non-Mussulman subjects may promised reforms are not made in acquire property in houses or land, utter insincerity? If they are, the and their testamentary disposi- Eastern question will become tions of their property will be burning question " indeed; "the respected."

three Emperors ” will hold conferThat these reforms were needed ences on the moribund Government shows in what a sad condition of of Turkey; and the coveted provassalage the Christian population perty of “the sick man" may be of the Ottoman Empire has been parcelled out according to the ideas placed, and makes the risings in of Nicholas of Russia before the Bosnia and other provinces a mat- Crimean war. O that the empire ter of no wonder. If this remark- which is dying, not “for want of able firman be issued in good Turks,” but for want of truth and faith, and be properly executed by righteousness, might receive, in lieu all the Turkish authorities, from of the imposture of Mohammed, the the Grand Vizier down to the lowest light of that pure Gospel which was official, then indeed it may be preached within its territories by regarded by the Christian subjects the Apostles of our Lord, and even of the Sultan as the Magna Charta by Christ Himself ! of their liberties. Alas! those best London, December 18th, 1875. capable of judging have no faith in

[ocr errors]

VARIETIES. THE SWEDISH CHURCH UNDER THE powerful body on the Seven Hills, of SWAT OF ROME.-From this hour the which it had now become a humble Swedish Church lacked no advantage member, was a perfect mistress in the which organization could give it. The art of arranging. The ecclesiastical constitution framed for Sweden com- Thè country, moreover, was torn with prehended an archiepiscopal see, estab- incessant strifes. The great families lished at Upsala, and six episcopal battled with one another for dominion, dioceses, viz., Linköping, Skara, their vassals were dragged into the Strengnäs, Vesteräs, Vexiö, and Aabo. fray, and thus the kingdom was little The condition of the kingdom became better than a chaos, in which all ranks, that of all countries under the juris- from the monarch downwards, strugdiction of Rome. It exhibited a gled together, each helping to conflourishing priesthood with a decaying summate the misery of the other. piety. Its cathedral churches were Such was the condition in which the richly endowed, and fally equipped Reformation found the nation of with deans and canons; its monkish Sweden.-From The History of Proorders flourished in its cold northern testantism,by the Rev. Dr. Wylie. air with a luxuriance which was not outdone in the sunny lands of Italy

“ BLESSED IS THE MAN UNTO WHOM and Spain ; its cloisters were nume

THE LORD IMPUTETH NOT INIQUITY." rous, the most famous of them being (Psalm xxxii. 2.)-Christ has merited Vadstena, which owed its origin to

righteousness for as many as are found Birgitta, or Bridget, the lady whom

in Him. In Him God findeth us if we have already mentioned as having been three times canonised ; its clergy, incorporated into Him.

we be faithful ; for by faith we are

Then, als enjoying enormous revenues, rode out attended by armed escorts, and hold though in ourselves we be altogether

sinful and unrighteous, yet even the ing their heads higher than the no

man who in himself is impious, full bility, they aped the magnificence of princes, and even coped with royalty of iniquity, full of sin, him, being itself. But when we ask for a cor

found in Christ through faith, and responding result in the intelligence

having his sin in hatred through reand morality of the people, in the good pentance, him God beholdeth with a order and flourishing condition of the gracious eye, putting away his sin by agriculture and arts of the kingdom, the punishment due thereunto by par

not imputing it, taketh quite away we find, alas ! that there is nothing to show. The people were steeped in

doning it, and accepteth him in Jesus poverty, and ground down by the

as perfectly righteous as if he had

Left oppression of their masters.

fulfilled all that is commanded him

in the law.-Hookcr. without instruction by their spiritual guides, with no access to the Word of God-for the Scriptures had not as yet A GOOD WORD." How cheap a been rendered into the Swedish tongue kindness," says Tillotson, "to speak -with no worship save one of mere well, at least not to speak ill, of signs and ceremonies, which could others ! A good word is an easy convey no truth into the mind, the obligation ; but not to speak ill reChristian light that had shone upon quires only our silence. Some inthem in the previous centuries was stances of charity are charitable ; but fast fading, and a night thick as that were & man never 80 covetous, he which had enwrapped their forefathers, might afford another his good word, who worshipped as gods the blood- at least he might refrain from speakthirsty heroes of the Eddas and the ing ill of him, especially if it be con. Sagas, was closing them in. The sidered how dear many have paid superstitious beliefs and pagan prac- for a slanderous and reproachful tices of old times were returning. word.”

I. FROM DISTRICT MISSIONARIES. not live up to it.” She was formerly

1. BATI DISTRICT Mission.-From a member of our Society. I visited a the Rer. John Stephenson.-Septem- man who the day before, after drinkber 26th to October 1st, 1875.—I was ing, throw himself into a pool of water at Wincanton, in the Sherborne Cir- to destroy himself. I saw some arsenic cuit. There is no chapel here. Our that had been taken out of his pocket. services are held in the Temperance After conversation and prayer, he Hall—a long, low, badly ventilated assured me that he would abstain room, which, when full and lighted from that which had so nearly cost with gas, is most oppressive. With him his life. I was thankful to hear the exception of two or three families, that since my visit to Stalbridge three the congregation is composed of the have joined the Society. working-class and poor people. Our October 10th to 15th at Freshford. services were well attended. Many –The congregations were good, and were impressed and concerned about seemed seriously impressed with the their souls. In my visits I found much Truth. On Tuesday I preached at ignorance and indifference on religious Wertwood, a village two and a half matters. Cider being cheap, the people miles distant. Several persons were drink much, thus impoverishing body in spiritual distress. God's power was and soul. A venerable old man, look- present in our meetings at Freshford. ing like a superannuated deacon or The congregations remained to the minister, attended some of our ser- prayer-meetings. I met with several vices. I met him on the road, and, cases of interest during my visits to entering into conversation, discovered the people. On entering a cottage, an that he was without the "pearl of great old man called out, “ Have you got any price," but was anxious to obtain it. medicine in your pocket?” Taking He thanked me for my services, and out my pocket Testament, and holding requested me to call upon him at it before him, I replied, “ Yes, mediCastle-Carey, should I visit that cine for the soul; and it never fails town. During my stay at Wincanton, to cure when properly taken.” After travelling shows visited the place for some conversation and prayer the old two days, and did us no good. Still, man seemed melted down, and asked the mission to Wincanton, though not when I would come again. cheered with any clear case of con- October 17th to 22nd at Bradfordversion, has not been in vain.

on-Iron.-We had an encouraging October 3rd to 6th at Stalbridge.- series of services here. The weekThe services were well attended. The night congregation kept up well, numpower of God was present to convince bering about two hundred and fifty of sin. A woman told me on Monday one evening. I was struck with the that when her son came home from the spirit of hearing God gave the people, Sunday evening service, he said with and the serious attention paid to the tears, “O, mother, I be so happy! I've Word. At the Wednesday night sergiven my heart to God.” The young vice about fifty persons were convinced man, mourning on account of sin, had of sin, and concerned about their remained to an after prayer-meeting. souls. A most solemn influence rested Young and old were wrought upon. I upon the audience. Fifteen persons gave away many tracts, and paid seve- went into the vestry to seek mercy, ral visits. On saying to a publican's and many others “were pricked in wife, “ Do you know God has given you their hearts.” One night about twentya soul ?" she answered, “ More's the five remained to be prayed with after pity! I know too much, because I do the prayer-meetings were concluded. VOL. XXII. - FIFTH SERIES.


I spoke to not a few, both young

and the solitary stations, and to see what adult, who evidently felt God's hand openings for aggressive labour were upon them. It is not for me to say presented from such centres. In some how many will unite themselves with places Methodism has had a feeble and God's people, or how many will repel flickering existence, and for want of their religious convictions; but this stations as centres where ministers we felt, that the Divine Spirit was could be placed, the toil and self-denial striving powerfully with many, if not expended upon them has proved vain. most, of those who came to our meet- An enumeration of the places where ings night after night. On the Friday we have no existence, in Surrey, Hampevening several strange young men shire, and Sussex, would show the gathered at the door, and appeared need of some well-considered scheme to be intending to disturb us. I to occupy the vast districts which so addressed & few kind but serious much require simple evangelising words to them before they came into agencies. Midhurst, Petworth, and the room; and as as they Leatherhead may be regarded as types entered they seemed to come under of such places. I find that in these the religious influence that rested districts the power of Methodism has upon the audience. They conducted not yet leavened the counties so as to themselves with propriety, and re- modify the higher Calvinism which mained to the close of the prayer- prevaiis so largely, and which bids meeting after the service. I spoke men rest in quiescence, assuring them to them before they left the room,


and they must wait God's own time : if they appeared to be convinced that they are to be saved they will be they were sinners, and needed salva- saved,-a doctrine as hardening and tion. Our noon-day prayer-meetings deadening to the soul as the fatalism were well attended. On Thursday, of Mohammedanism. about thirty females, mostly factory In addition to two visits to Alderhands, came, through torrents of rain, shot, I have visited Godalming, Sandto the meeting. On Friday, we had hurst, Crowthorne, Bracknell, Petersover fifty present, most of whom were field, Horsham, Sutton, and Epsom, unsaved, but under gracious impres- and have occasionally held services sions. I have not, for a considerable at other places. I have been thankful time, attended services where the to see the chapels erected, and the power of the Most High was so gene- spirit of devoted consecration and rally felt. Many persons trembled and earnest labour in the ministers, who wept, and sought for mercy at our have often to toil amid opposition, week-night assemblies. I do not get difficulty, and discouragement such as up exciting meetings, nor do I force can scarcely be understood in strong anything ; but rather trust to the and well-organized Circuits. Spirit to do His own work in His own Whilst the weather permitted, I conway. The results of these services, ducted out-door services daily, and tried

far as visible fruit is concerned, to secure a band of singers, giving at may gratify or disappoint; but the intervals occasional addresses with meetings cannot be forgotten.

prayer. This plan succeeded in bring

ing many to our chapel who were 2. Second LONDON DISTRICT Mis- strangers to the house of God. I have SION.- From the Rer. Richard Hardy. found house-to-house visitation every-December 4th, 1875.--I entered upon where important; have always had a this Mission with a full consciousness welcome reception, and ve never of the difficulty of the work, and the made a visit without seeing the results great self-sacrifice it involved. I felt in the congregations at night. I have my best course would be to visit left small books or tracts at every

« PreviousContinue »