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William Clay, who was brought in, at the memorable election of 1847, on Mr. Thompson's skirts, in the absence of a better man, and as somewhat less objectionable than General Fox. We can quite understand, without fully concurring in, the dissatisfaction with Mr. Thompson, but are quite at a loss to comprehend why his colleague should be preferred, since Sir William is neither a Radical nor an Anti state-church man, and is even more negligent of his parliamentary duties, as the division-lists testify, than the eloquent and laborious leader of the Reform Association. In the adjoining borough of Finsbury, dissatisfaction with the sitting members has led to the introduction of Mr. Wyld, the present M.P. for Bodmin, and of Mr. Alderman Challis, an Evangelical Dissenter, who is to be rivalled, we understand, by a decided and democratic Nonconformist.--- At Manchester, opposition is threatened to the sitting members, solely on the ground of their ecclesiastical votes ; but there is no fear of its success.—For the same reason, Mr. Gladstone is threatened with the fate of a former illustrious representative of Oxford University.—Mr. George Hadfield is the popular candidate at Sheffield, with Mr. Roebuck ; the supporters of the two candidates generally associating their names, though Mr. Roebuck refuses the coalition.-At York, Mr. Vincent is declared safe of success; but we fear, with the reservation, that the Whigs do not disgrace themselves by a Conservative alliance, as they have repeatedly done -as they did but the other day at Perth, to defeat Mr. C. Gilpin---and as, we believe, they will do wherever there is the temptation.- Lord John Russell stands again, as the head of the Liberal party, for the City of London; but his address is no whit better than that of his Conservative colleague, Mr. Masterman.— The Edinburgh Liberals are doing well; they have fixed, as a candidate, on their Lord Provost, Mr. Duncan McLaren, who combines all the qualifications of right principles, business habits, and local prestige.--Wherever Voluntaries are not doing likewise, we urge them to bestir themselves at once. The longer the election is delayed, the clearer is their duty, by the removal of impediments to its discharge. Free-trade is now safe, by the confession of Lord Derby himself. Civil and religious liberty, in the true, wide sense of the phrase, demands the undivided allegiance of its friends; and we warn them that it will not be served, but defeatedand worse, dishonoured-by their taking up with the Russellite professors thereof.

The May meetings call for no further remark, than that the societies seem generally to participate in our present commercial prosperity; and that the public become, year by year, more impatient of tedious reports and numerous speeches. The Congregational Union has held its spring session, approved of certain alterations in the conduct of the British Missions, and passed a satisfactory resolution on the Maynooth question.— The Anti-state-church Association exhibited, in the report presented to its council, the firm hold it has taken upon the religious and political public, the amount of labour it is possible for earnest men to perform with very small means, and the increasing necessity for exertions far beyond what it has hitherto been enabled to put forth.

Intelligence,

The legion of Societies, and their annual festivals and meetings, appear to have absorbed the whole of the attention of the religious public during the past month. Of them we have nothing else to record than that they appear to have gone off' with less éclat than usual; but the Treasurers' reports speak decidedly in favour of the general flourishing condition of their creditor accounts. The · sinews of war' have been bountifully supplied by the public; and, judging from the Reports of the Secretaries, have, on the whole, been well and judiciously expended. A great deal of work appears to have been done, let us hope with proportionate results. Of one or two Societies, only, we can take notice here. We are glad to notice that the whole of the Baptist Missionary Societies are doing well, their able management and efficient conduct securing for them hearty confidence and support. The receipts of the London Missionary Society have not fallen off. British Missions, apparently from a particular cause, connected with the secretariate and management, are declining in funds, the total income being £154 less than last year. The whole of the operations of these Societies are evidently cramped for want of adequate support. Perhaps the Educational Societies have absorbed some of the subscriptions usually given to the former. The Congregational Board of Education shows signs of increasing vigour and activity. Homerton College is now fairly opened, free of debt, as a training institution; but ‘so nobly,' says the Secretary, 'have the public responded to appeals on behalf of Homerton College, that there is danger of the annual subscriptions experiencing a collapse.' This danger, ever imminent, has been frequently brought as an argument against reliance on the voluntary principle. It is sufficient, it is said, for an emergency, but not for the steady support of a cause. It should be our business to prove by the results of our efforts that the charge is slanderous and false.

-THE VOLUNTARY SCHOOL AssoCIATION, though less pecuniarily successful than its denominational rival, bids fair to exert an important influence. Training institutions are now in operation, and funds are slowly progressing.--The Tract Society, the Ragged School Union, the London City Mission, the Town Missionary and Scripture Readers' Society, the Peace Society, the Anti-Slavery Society, we can only mention by name, and dismiss with a bow. The meetings of the Congregational Union and of the Anti-state-church Association, are referred to in our · Monthly Retrospect.'

NEW CHURCHES OPENED.

ABERDARE (Baptist church)-May 4.
CLAPTON (Congregational church)---April 29.

MINISTERIAL REMOVALS.
The following calls to church pastorates have been accepted :-

Cork (Congregational church) - Rev. A. M. Henderson, from the Wesleyan Methodist body.

GAINSBOROUGH (Congregational church) - The Rev. H. Lee, late of Airedale College. LATIMER (Congregational church) Mile-end - Rev. Samuel Eastman, late of Chelmsford.

LEDEURY (Baptist chapel) Herefordshire-Rev. C. E. Pratt, late of St. Austell.

TAE MONTHLY

CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.

JULY, 1852.

1852.

The Prospects of the Papacq.

NUMEROUS and hardy as are the legions of avowed opponents to Christianity, there are three great ecclesiastical systems in existence, incomparably more hostile to the evangelic system than any forms of paganism, or even than the various theories of modern scepticism. We refer to the Jewish system, to Mohamedism, and to the Papacy ; though the two former admit the authority of the Old Testament, and the latter professes to regard the whole of the Old and New Testament as inspired. Judaism is confined almost entirely to the Hebrew race, which, from having no localization, it is difficult to estimate, as large portions of that wondrous section of the ethnologic family are lost in the jungles of India and China, if not merged among the transatlantic aborigines, or obscured with the races of the Copt, the Moor, and the Syrian. This people, in whose national extinction miracles and prophecy first appeared as agents of Divine tuition, exhibit, in their fall, miracle and prophecy in their strongest and boldest forms; for what but a special control of Providence can explain the isolated existence, for nearly twenty centuries, of, perhaps, fifty millions of the children of Abraham, observing a common law, but having no visible head; calling Jerusalem their metropolis, and yet not owners even of its ruins; and proclaiming themselves a nation, but having neither seat of government, nor temple, altar, or priest; the only people in the world strenuously affirming that Christ was an impostor, that the portents of his life were illusions, and his apostles cheats; and that

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Shiloh is yet to appear, and to restore universal monarchy to the Jew. On all other races Christianity has made more or less impression ; on the Jew comparatively none !

The degree to which the human intellect is infatuable, is scarcely less illustrated in the Mohamedam system. More than 120 millions of responsible thinkers have bowed at the shrine of an Asiatic charlatan for 1200 years; have been masters of two quarters of the globe, and all but effected possession of Europe ; and though neither of the same physical type, nor occupants of the same climate, and though they are the subjects of rival political chieftains, this eighth portion of the whole human race is as truly enthralled to the name of Abdallah's son, through the Koran, as the Hebrew race is to Moses. Here is another psychologic mystery, which defies explanation, for hitherto Christianity has made little or no aggression on the Mosque.

Our business in this paper is, however, with the Papacy, another type of the spirit of dementation, as sturdy, as tenacious, and as uncompromising, as either of the foregoing; resiliant of all external assault; prolific of means of self-sustentation beyond all parallel ; and after having maintained a steady growth for a period somewhat longer than the whole existence of Mohamedism, it is now again exhibiting the elastic energy of rejuvenescence, and is buoyant with the confident hope of winning back to itself those long-lost realms which the Protestant spirit wrested from the Papacy three centuries ago.

And we cannot deny that there are some causes in operation which may induce a temporary increase of the Papal power. This sect has only recently become an educator of the people; but since it has done so, and all the catechumenal influences are brought to bear on the Church, since the priesthood has become the active visitant of the Papal schools, 'the sisters,' their purveyors, and the pedagogues are only the zealot cadets of the Church, it is probable that, for a time, the Papal school system will appear to swell the numbers at the confessional, But this will only be a temporary result; for if the schools are not to die away, they must advance; and if they advance far, they will become truant to the bosom that has fed them. Not only has the Papacy reluctantly become educational, but it now purveys largely in cheap literature for the service of the Church. The love of art is greatly extending, and Popery availing itself of the accident that all the great artists of the sixteenth century were Roman Catholics, and that their chief productions are still in Papal hands, it may win over some who view everything only in an artistic aspect, and cajole others to believe that the Church that bred its many schools of illustrious masters of the canvass, never could be otherwise than the real friend of intelligence, liberty, and religion. All public bodies are characterised by alternate fits of zeal and inertness, and the Papacy is now in the former state. Every wealthy layman must now found a school, or endow a charity, or bestow an altar-piece; and every priest must publish his anatomical essays on Protestantism. The Papal whirlwind is up at present, but it will not endure; and it will help to clear our heavens of some of those dim clouds that have obscured the light: but it is not to surprise us if we see a few apparent accessions to Rome, as the fruit of the tem. porary furor ecclesiasticus, as a rigid investigation would prove that we lose one and gain three. Another cause that will for a period apparently augment the forces of Rome is, the civil equality that now obtains between the Romanist and the Protestant. This circumstance has been the means of initiating considerable numbers into Papal society ; of betraying some of the unwary and less reflective; while it has also mollified some of the feelings with which the Papist was regarded when he was less known. But the cause above all others that is appearing to multiply the converts to Rome, is the treachery that evidently prevails in a considerable portion of the State clergy, who are clearly aiming to overthrow that Protestantism that feeds them, and which they have sworn repeatedly to maintain ; coupled, as it has been, with the dastard hyprocrisy of our statesmen, who either approve the revolt, and if so, ought not to censure it; or who detest such obvious dishonesty, and ought at once, and at all risks, to expel the traitors.

But all these, and other causes of the temporary increase of Popery, are very precarious, and cannot long continue to befriend a sect that has pitched the battle against the evidence of the senses, the conclusions of reason, the verdicts of history and experience, and the express authority of Scripture. These casual stimulants of increase to the Papal party are very different things from what they would be, if Popery were evidently improving itself, or if it were becoming the cordial friend of free inquiry and toleration ; or if the deeper investigations of reason and historical research had made Popery appear more true to the laws of reason and morality, and more in harmony with the facts of history and the wants of human nature-but none of these is the case. For the historian still continues to affirm that the Papacy is a disgraceful fraud; the philosopher still maintains that its dogmata contradict the fundamental laws of reason; the statesman still bears his testimony to its being an obstinate, a conceited, and a pedantic troubler of civil society; and the political economist still proves that its tendency is to abuse property, to engender ignorance, penury, and disease. Though many temporary causes are thus intoxicating Popery with a seeming return of prosperity, it must be reminded that all the permanent and fundamental laws of mind, of morality, and of society, are as hostile as ever to a dynasty of a hundred thousand ecclesiastics, who with however many children and women in its clutches, and tenacious, as it is, of the cognominal affectation of father, will die unlamented. It is not with Popery as it is, or as it was, however, that we are about to chat with the reader, but with what it may, and what it must become by force of time, truth, and outbreeding circumstance.

There are several sources of information open to us respecting the prospects of the Papacy. The first is in the Papacy itself; the second is found in the intellectual and civil tendencies of all society external to the Papal Church; and the third, in the voice of sacred writ. Of the sources of light on this question furnished by the Papacy itself, for

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