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but as liberal Catholic-minded men on both sides do not see their way to such a combination, we must admit that at present it is impracticable, and encourage each to work to the utmost in its own line. Voluntaries need not despair; they may find help, when most wanted, whence least expected. The letters of D. C. L. (Mr. A. B. Hope, M.P.), in the Morning Chronicle,' evince the rapid growth among Puseyites of right views of the relation of the State to the minds of its citizens, and of a resolution to act upon them when the occasion demands. We have room only to mention that a meeting has been held at Birmingham, of ladies and gentlemen interested in the prevention and cure of juvenile criminality. The excellent Recorder of Birmingham pre-ided; the Rev. J. Clay, of Preston Gaol, and many noted prison disciplinarians, ' assisted.'
The Protestant Alliance has inaugurated its agitation by meetings in Freemasons' Hall, in Edinburgh, and other places. It has a twofold objectthe disendowment of Maynooth College, and espousal of the cause of religious liberty in Europe. With both we of course agree; but with respect to the first, we quite concur in the difficulties forcibly stated by our correspondent, Cato.'
Christmas is the last of the occurrences and topics of the month. We believe there was no visible abatement, this year, of the traditional observances. We are sure that in tens of thousands of homes, there were hearts touched with solemn gratitude at the memory of the event which Christendom thus agrees to commemorate, and faces bright with the reflection of mutual domestic love. May every returning Christmas behold more and more eyes turned to the Star in the East,' for hope and guidance--more and more households giving glory to God in the Highest,' enjoying . peace on earth,' and animated by 'good will to men.'
THE PROTESTANT ALLIANCE. The Protestant Alliance has now fairly taken the field against the Maynooth Endowment Act. At its first general meeting, held at the Freemasons' Hall, on the 28th ult., it was resolved to organize an extensive agitation on this subject, and a petition to Parliament against the renewal of the annual grant was at once adopted. The meeting in question-whether from the attraction of the speakers' names, or from a pure interest in the movement undertaken by the Alliance, we are unable to say-was very numerously attended, and the speeches were both temperate and powerful.
A NONCONFORMIST OLUB.
We see it stated in the columns of our Dissenting contemporaries that a project is on foot for the erection and formation of a Nonconformist Club. A meeting of Dissenters, of various cliques and of various shades of political opinion, was held on the 9th ult. at Radley's Hotel, for the purpose of taking friendly counsel together concerning the practicability and desirableness of the scheme. The meeting was very influentially attended, and resolutions were unanimously adopted in its favour. The sum proposed to be raised for the purpose is, we understand, about 60,0001., and in the preliminary prospectus the terms of membership are put at five and two guineas. Of the desirableness of such an institution there cannot be two opinions, but we have grave doubts of the practicability of the scheme.
EDUCATIONAL MATTERS. There are four educational schemes and institutions before the public at the present moment, and three of them have been actively advocating their respective claims during the past month. The most pretentious of these, the National PUBLIC SCHOOL ASSOCIATION, has held its annual meeting of the council and general body of members since our last. There were present at the meeting Mr. Henry, M.P., Mr. Cobden, M.P., Mr. Milner Gibson, Mr. George Combe, of Edinburgh, and others; and Dr. Davidson contributed to its importance by furnishing a paper on the respec. tive merits of the Manchester and National schemes. At the meeting of the Council the constitution of the society was slightly amended, but by no means improved. -The CONGREGATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION, in prosecution of its last scheme, has also held large meetings in several of the principal provincial towns. An im. portant conference was held at Bristol on the 6th ult., succeeded by a public meeting on the evening of the same day, at which papers were read by Mr. Conder and Mr. Baines, and very able’ addresses delivered by other gentlemen. It was resolved to form auxiliaries of the society for Bristol and Gloucestershire. A meeting, attended by Mr. Conder and Mr. Reynolds, has also been held at Rawdon, and Mr. Edward Baines has lectured at Birmingham, Stroud, and Sheffield; we understand to crowded and interested audiences. An appeal to Congregationalists, signed by Mr. Morley and Mr. Baines, for support of the Board, has just been issued, of which we'regard the following as the most important paragraph : The Board is not restricted to denominational schools. It regards with favour all schools where there is evangelical teaching, and where no Government money is received ; and to such its grants would be extended and its teachers sent."- -A Conference-very thinly attended, however-of the friends of the VOLUNTARY SCHOOL Association, was held at Crosby Hall on the morning and evening of the 9th ult., at which papers were read by Mr. Hinton and Mr. Miall, and several addresses delivered, and resolutions approving of the voluntary principle adopted. A liberal subscription towards the funds of this institution was also entered into; and, perhaps, we cannot just at present better serve the objects this society has in view than by stating that its secretaries, we know, will be glad to receive further subscriptions at the office of the society, 30, Surrey-place, Old Kent-road. Its constitution has our own most hearty approval, and we could only wish that the success of the society were better proportioned to its merit.
THE ANTI-STATE-CHURCH ASSOCIATION is vigorously prosecuting its winter scheme of operations. Meetings have been held in several of the most important towns in Scotland–Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Montrose, Aberdeen, Perth, Dunfermline, &c.; and Mr. Kingsley has been lecturing at Launceston, Modbury, Kingsbridge, Totnes, Dartmouth, Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, Ruxham, Newton Abbott, Tavistock, Liskeard, &c. &c. At Tavistock, the Rev. 1. Gibbons, a curate of the parish, challenged Mr. Kingsley to a discussion on the subject, which resulted, we are told, in the sad discomfiture of the clerical advocate of a State-establishment.- -A novel and interesting series of historico-biographical lectures, illustrative of the progress, principles, and working of the State-church system has also been in course of delivery at Islington. The subjects of the lectures have been, Constantine, Hildebrande, Henry VIII., Queen Elizabeth, and Archbishop Laud; the lecturers being, the Revs. W. Forster, R. S. Bayley, and J. Burnet; Mr. Niall, and the Rev. G. B. Thomas.
MINISTERIAL REMOVALS. The following calls to church pastorates have been accepted :BODMIN (Congregational church).- The Rev. W. Hill, late of Western College. GOODSHAW, LANCASHIRE (Baptist church).-The Rev. John Jefferson, late of Bishop Burton.
SALISBURY (Scots-lane Chapel).—The Rev. George Willets, late of North Petherton.
TEWKESBURY (Baptist church).—The Rer. John T. Wilkinson, late of Atherton.
Woodside, GLOUCESTER (Congregational church).—The Rev. James Mann, late of Dumfries.
NEW CHURCH OPENED. PEMBROKE Dock.-Congregational church, on the 3rd ult.
The Church's Mission to the Passes.
EVERY created thing has its mission; that is, it is sent forth for some special purpose to do some one or more things for which it is specially created and endowed. Its birth is not a mere accident—the unforeseen and undetermined product of the chance combination of particles of inatter. Its being, and the conditions of that being, must have been predestined. However long the chain of physical causes to which its existence is owing--however accurately you can determine the circumstances to which each feature of that existence is to be ascribed -you cannot avoid the conclusion, that the power by which it is so evolved comes from God, and that there can be no operations of power which He has not foreseen, and which His wisdom and love have not willed. In the vast majority of cases, a close and skilled observer may discover some splendid adaptations to the performance of a most need ful and salutary work even in the things that seem to be the lowest product of mere material changes. The forms that owe their very existence to the process of material decay and putrefaction-the beauteous lichen that adorns the crumbling surface of the rock and the diseased bark of trees ; the tortuous worm that follows in the track of death-do a wise and kind behest for man. The one adorning what were otherwise deformity and ugliness; the other converting into wondrous life what were otherwise a loathsome pest. To say that these and hosts of similar agencies are only provisions of Nature,' is to attri. bute to Nature the intelligence, the foreknowledge, the beneficence, and the skill of God. It is, surely, far more rational to say of all such things,
that they have their mission, and were sent of God to do that special thing.
Regarded thus, the universe is like the splendid palace of a glorious king, where all the forms that meet our eye are ministering servants, that gladly, blissfully perform their monarch's will. There are countless suns. He sends them to give light and heat and binding power to stars that roll around them. That is their mission: splendidly do they fulfil it. • He bringeth them forth by their hosts; he calleth them by their names.
For that he is strong in power, not one faileth.' The earth (in common, we believe, with all the worlds) has her maternal mission—to bring to birth, and nurse, and educate, the various types of life ; to unfold ceaselessly God's infinite ideas of beauty, love, and power. And each of the several divisions of the vital agencies has its mission, which it never fails duteously to perform. Each ray of the solar beam, so intimately blended as they appear to us in the pure white light, has nevertheless its special, separate function. And whilst the mountain-gorge absorbs its peculiar shades, the glistening glacier-peak is feeding on other portions of the same sevenfold beam.
But all these things, glorious though they be, are only the menials in this vast palace of God. They wait upon the higher forms of life, and bring them the means wherewith, priestlike, they may minister intelligently and holily before their Father and their God. And each of these, again-archangel, seraph, principality, and power-has his own mission. Each has his own endowment, fitting him for special work. God must have a will for everything—a work for everything to do; and, with one or two mysterious exceptions, all things do his will, fulfil their mission.
That man, therefore, has a mission—that there is some special, priestly course which he was intended to fulfil in the great temple of the universe—seems an indisputable conclusion. When you turn from the lower creatures, upon whose nature a very small amount of wisdom, comparatively, has been expended, and regard those in whose construction God has seemed (to speak humanly) to have bestowed especial pains; whose constitution displays a wisdom unsearchable; it seems a most necessary conclusion, that that more exquisite contrivance points to some more excellent ministry to which their endowments adapt them. Not, as some miserable philosophies imply, that man is destined to sit in his chariot, the world, drawn by the foaming, curbless steeds of fate, careering madly through an orbit fixed by chance, with nought to live for, nought to love above himself. No! when the morning stars sang together as the noble tenant of another sphere upreared his goodly frame and turned his lofty brow to heaven, its native light, God, his maker, surely had some great destiny marked out for him—some holy ministry, some worthy mission. What this originally was, it is useless, as well as beside our purpose, to speculate. As far as time is concerned, that is in great measure lost. And the man who would now give himself to the fulfilment of his mission, consciously and religiously, must seek amongst his fellow-men the sphere where he can do God most service. Undoubtedly, the entrance of sin into the world has altered materially, in some respects, the character of that service which they must render him who would devote their life to him. This sad catastrophe has furnished to them a work, demanding for its proper performance the most thorough consecration and the most devoted zeal. They have to recover the world for God; to carry, not the terror of his arms, but the might of his loving sway, into regions where revolt prevails, and where foul and tyrannous usurpers occupy his throne. They have to rear again the shattered temple of the Lord, whose dome covers all lands, and to gather into it a godless world. They have to uplift the standard of truth, and to fight its battles. They have to infuse into the thinking of the world great religious ideas; and into the life of the world, great religious principles. This is now the Church's mission. Through the sinful and godless condition of the world, the servant of God now (whatever man's mission originally was) must be in a position of antagonism and aggression. He cannot afford silently to contemplate the glorious manifestations of Deity unfolded in the creation, and to drink in with ever-new delight, with ever-deepening wonder, with everenlarging capacity, the great thoughts of God with which the universe is filled. It is not for him now to stand simply as a priest in the universal temple of God, and yield him ever high, holy, intelligent, homage and worship; his life must now be a labour; his worship must consist of work. The priest must go out of the temple, and gather in the worshippers ; must use moral force and constraint; must plead and wrestle, and, with loving might, compel ; must sometimes even become the soldier, and, with manly valour, using divine weapons, guard the shrine. He must even be the labourer, and, with hard and patient toil, work at its increase and edification. The student of Divine wisdom must come down from the radiant contemplative heights where he glistens with the glory that gleams upon him, and so reflects and multiplies the divine honours which his tongue adoringly confesses ; and he must translate his truths into other strains than hymns of lofty praise, which lift heaven-high the soul that utters them; even into vulgar phrase of common earthly speech. He must suit them to the world's ear. He must construct them into arguments and pleas; must carry them where they will not be welcomed and admired, but, on the contrary, hated, and controverted, and denied; and he must abide by them, uttering them constantly, through evil report and good report, until they silence the opposition, and compel the homage of the world. The Christian now cannot simply take his stand among his fellow-men, one with them in the possession of all things desirable—virtue, piety, joy, and peace. He must see an appalling amount of woe and wretchedness around him, and must minister to it. His delightful hours of converse with God, and communion with saints, must be only the recruiting of his energies for the discharge of his loving duties. His very worship will become sin when it keeps him from his work ; when its delight absorbs him, and holds him in selfish enjoyment. He must worship by his work; and his more formal worship must always better fit him for his work. Now these appear to us to be truths which the Church has yet to