« PreviousContinue »
REGISTER OF EVENTS.
The great question of peace or war, appears still involved in considerable uncertainty, though the most prevalent idea is—that peace will eventually be preserved. It is generally supposed that Russia will assert her right to occupy the provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia, in consequence of the alleged violations of the treaty of Akermann by the Turks ;-that Austria will take possession of Servia, as a counterbalance to the increasing power of Russia ;-and that Great Britain and France will divide between them the Morea and Islands of Greece. Low, however, as Turkey is sunk in the scale of nations, it is scarcely possible that she should submit to such spoliation without a desperate struggle; and should she have the address to enlist under her banner the followers of Mahomet in the East, no one can foresee what consequences may result. We are far from indulging any alarming apprehensions either as to this country or its foreign possessions, but it is impossible to say how great a flame a little fire may kindle.
Orders have been issued, it is understood, for the re-embarkation of our troops from Portugal. Don Miguel has assumed the reins of government in that country, and the probability is that he will abrogate the existing constitution, and reign with despotic authority.
Some very interesting questions have recently occupied the attention of Parliament, among the principal may be mentioned the report of the Committee on emigration; the views of his Majesty's government, with respect to the gradual manumission of slaves as developed by the order of council on that subject with reference to Berbice and Demerara; the importance of legal reforms; and above all, the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.
By these Acts every individual who holds any office in the State, from the highest officer of the crown, down through all gradations, to the corporal in the army, and the petty exciseman in civil life, is liable to very severe penalties if he do not partake of the Holy Communion agreeable to the forms of the Church of England ; and for the last eighty-five years, acts of indemnity have been regularly passed each successive year, pardoning Dissenters for not having complied with the requirements of the Act during the year preceding.
Instead of requiring every Dissenter on taking office to receive the Sacrament, it is now proposed that he should make the following declaration : .
“I, A. B. do solemnly declare, that I will not use any privilege, power or influence, which I do now, or may hereafter, possess by this office, to overthrow or disturb the present Church Establishment of the United Kingdom, or injure or weaken the Protestant Church, or deprive it of any of those powers or privileges it enjoys, as by law established.”
The two following clauses are also proposed :
“ And be it further enacted, that every such Protestant Dissenter, on being appointed to office under the Crown, shall make this declaration in the presence of two Justices of the Peace; and until he shall have made it, any official acts of his to be void.”
“And be it further enacted, that every Protestant, elected to fill any office in a Borough or Corporation, be required to make the said declaration before two Justices of such Corporation, and, if he omit to make it, his election to be void."
The proposed declaration appears to us to afford a very feeble security to our excellent establishment, if indeed any security is necessary, as respects Dissenters in general. Its safety however is in our judgment derived from its scriptural character, and its obvious utility; and if only the impolitic obstacles which still exist in the way of erecting and endowing churches, and appointing ministers, were removed, and some more considerate and conciliatory means adopted, for the restoration of those to her communion, who have unadvisedly joined the dissenting standard, we are fully convinced that the cause of the Church of England would most abundantly increase and flourish,
The public mind has been powerfully excited by two melancholy occurences which iook place on the same day, Feb. 28. The one at Manchester, at the launching of a vessel belonging to the New Quay Company. On going into the water the vessel, which had above two hundred persons on board, appeared to lie a little on one side, but not so much as to occasion any alarm. On striking, lowever, against the opposite bank, she was in a moment upset, and the persons on deck were immediately precipitated into the river. Every exertion was instantly made to rescue the sufferers from their imminent danger; but according to the statement of the Manchester Gazette, not less than FORTY-SEVEN persons were hurried into eternity.
The other calamity, though less , fatal, has yet, from various circumstances, excited a higher degree of interest-namely, the Fall of the Brunswick Theatre.
This Theatre, erected in the immediate vicinity of the London Docks, on the site of the Royalty Theatre, which was destroyed about two years since by fire, had been opened on the preceding Monday, and attended hy a numerous audience. The Proprietors and many of the Performers on the above named day had assembled, and were about to commence a rehearsal, while numerous workmen were employed in different parts of the building, when the Theatre almost instantaneously fell, and overwhelmed the inmates in its ruins. Eleven persons, including one of the Proprietors, were taken out dead, and several others suffered very serious injuries. One man and two horses which were passing by in a dray were killed by the front wall falling into the street; while several individuals experienced, wonderful providential interpositions by which they just escaped.
This melancholy occurence was obviously owing to the suspending of vast weights to the ties of an iron roof, contrary to the remonstrance of the Agent of the parties, by whom the roof was erected, and in disregard of the opinion of the Architect, who conducted the building. Whether that opinion was expressed with sufficient decision may admit of doubt, but whoever is to blame, the loss of life is equally calamitous. Meanwhile it should call forth humble gratitude to Almighty God, that this fatal occurrence did not take place on the Monday evening, when the theatre was crowded with spectators, and considerably niore than a thousand persons were assembled within its walls. How awful would the loss of life have been under such circumstances!
But how loudly do these events call upon us to be ready also. “We know not the day nor the hour when the Son of man will come.” O let us beware of going to those places or engaging in those undertakings in which we cannot ask God's blessing. A theatre is one of the last places where a Christian man would wish to die. Yet let us ever remember that die where we may, unless we are the servants of Christ, it would have been good for us had we never been born.
Notices and Acknowledgments. Received: THEOGNIS.. .-AN OBSERVER.–Anxa.-J. N. C.-JUVÉN IS. -W. E. B.-A PROTESTANT.JOHN; and a Second Letter of the Rev. Thomas Hill.
The Publication of J. A. has not been forwarded to us. We shall inquire after it.
BENEVOLUS states, that in many instances aged and deserving clergymen are removed from their curacies by the operation of the Clergy Residence Act, and supports his observations by referring to the case of a respectable curate, who, when near seventy years of age, was obliged to give up his cure, salary, parsonage, &c. by the arrival of a new incumbent; and who has ever since remained unemployed. We trust the number of such cases is but small, and think it very probable that some temporary relief may be obtained, for those who are thus exposed to severe pecuniary privations, from the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, 2, Bloomsbury Place, or from the Society for the Relief of poor pious Clergy, St. Swithin's Rectory, Turn-wheel Lane.
We hesitate, under existing circumstances, what line of conduct we shall finally adopt with reference to ORMSKIRK; but, at the same time, are much obliged by his communication.
Church of England Magazine.
'MEMOIRS OF ENGLISH DIVINES.
FOX. *Ip diligence in research, and accu- Author of the well known Protesracy in narration, be the chief tant Catechism, which, founded on excellencies of an historian, the sympathy of feeling and similarity great English Martyrologist must of interest, ripened into permanent be esteemed to hold a high rank in and edifying friendship. In 1538 that class of writers. Romanists he took the degree of bachelor in have been too sensible of his power arts, and that of master in 1543. as an antagonist, not to seek to Distinguished for his attainments, depreciate his authority, from he was chosen fellow of Magdalen Harpsfield and Parsons, down to College, but not without umbrage Doctor John Milner. It has how to certain inferior members of that ever been declared by a competent foundation, who considered their judge, that “all the many researches claims to its benefits as superseded and discoveries of later times, in by the election of a stranger, but regard to historical documents, whom he soon conciliated by a kind have only contributed to place the and patient conduct. He discovered general fidelity and truth of Fox's at this season a genius for poetical inelancholy narrative on a rock composition, and wrote some plays which cannot be shaken."*
in Latin, the subjects of which John Fox was born at Boston in were taken from the Scriptures, Lincolnshire, in 1517. “His på after the manner of the time. One rents were neither so rich as by of his dramas entitled “ De Christo their wealth to be exposed to envy, triumphante," printed both in Engnor so mean as by want to be liable land and Switzerland, was translatto contempt; more enriched they ed by Richard Day, and published were with the love of their neigh- under the title, “ Christ Jesus bours; and most of all in having triumphant," in which is described this so towardly and hopeful a the glorious conquest of the son.”f His father dying when he Redeemer over Sin, Death, and the was young, and his mother marry- Law. The original was re-pubing again, he was placed under the lished in 1672, and dedicated to care of a father-in-law, with whom all schoolmasters, in order that it he remained till the age of sixteen, might be admitted into their reswhen he was sent to Brazen-nose pective schools, for the peculiar college in Oxford. Here he formed elegance of its style, by a member an intimacy with Alexander Nowel, of Sidney College in Cambridge. * afterwards Dean of St. Paul's, and But quitting these exercises of
classic talent, he devoted himself to • Wordsworth’s Eccles. Biog. Preface. + Abel redivivus, p. 377."
* Wood's Athenæ. Oxonienses. Vol. I.
the more serious study of divinity, and afraid to harbour one guilty of and ecclesiastical history. He was a capital offence; while his fatherattached to the popish superstitions; in-law basely took advantage of his and rejecting the idea of justification situation to withhold from him a by faith in the imputed righteous- paternal estate, thinking probably ness of Christ, thought himself that he, who stood in danger of the sufficiently safe in the imaginary law himself, would with difficulty merit of his own self-denial, find relief from it. penances, almsdeeds, and obser- He was now reduced to great vance of the injunctions of the distress, wandering from place to Church. His sincerity of charac- place, and avoiding spies and inter and soundness of judgment formers. But Providence raised revolted after awhile, against some him an unexpected patron in Sir contradictions which offered them. Thomas Lucy of Warwickshire, selves for his credence in the who received him into his house, Romish profession, and a native and made him tutor to his children. acuteness of intellect would not Here he married a citizen's daughsuffer him to remain an unconcerned ter of Coventry, and continued in spectator of the combats between Sir Thomas's family, till his pupils the champions of the two religions. were grown up. He then went to He studied the Scriptures carefully the house of his wife's father, from in the originals, read many of the whence he wrote to his father-inprimitive fathers, and examined law, to inquire if he would receive into the disputes of the schools, him, but he answered, “ that if he acts of councils, and decrees of would alter his opinion (being conconsistories. So ardent was his demned for a capital offence) che search after truth, that he frequently should be welcome; otherwise it added the study of a considerable would be dangerous for him to enportion of the night to that of the tertain him long.” But his mother day; passed many hours of medi. wrote privately to him to invite tation in a solitary grove near the him, which encouraged him to pay college while other gownsmen were them a visit, when he experienced sleeping; and in great uneasiness better treatment than he had exof spirit entreated God, with sighspected. and tears, to remove his ignorance He removed to London a few of evangelic truth, pardon his self. years before the death of Henry righteous presumption, and give the Eighth, where for a considerahim a clear insight into the doctrine ble time he was without employof salvation. From his sparing ment or preferment; he was again attendance on the mass, his senti reduced to extreme want, but was ments on theological points, and relieved, according to his own his attachment to scriptural inves- account, in a very remarkable man. tigation, he soon raised suspicion ner. As he was sitting one day in of his alienation from the reigning St. Paul's church, his eyes hollow, superstitions, and inclination to the his countenance wan and pale, and reformed tenets. On an accusation his whole frame emaciated, a perof heresy, he was compelled to son whom he never remembered to resign his fellowship ; and though have seen before, came and sat he rejoiced to suffer loss for the down by him, and accosting him Gospel's sake, and was thankful familiarly, put a sum of money into that he had been enabled to con- his hand, saying, “Be of good fess his Saviour before man, he had cheer! Take care of yourself, and to sustain the severe trial of the use all means to preserve your life; implacable resentment of his rela- for, depend upon it, God will, in a tions, who were both disinclined few days, give you a better pros
pect, and more certain means of coronet, always retained for him subsistence." All endeavours to the affection of a son. He afforded discover this unknown friend were him seasonable shelter from the ineffectual; but his assurance was persecution commenced against the verified; for, within three days Protestants by Gardiner, bishop of from that memorable incident, he Winchester. This prelate could was taken into the Duchess of not endure that one of the chief Richmond's family, as tutor to the nobility should be trained up in children of her nephew, the cele- attachment to protestant principles, brated Earl of Surrey. This an under such a tutor and counsellor, ecdote is recorded by Clarke, and and in occasional visits to the resiwas regarded by Flavel as suffi- dence of the young peer at Ryegate ciently striking to be inserted in Surry, used to inquire for Mr. among other instances of divine Fox, desiring to see him; but the interposition in his treatise on Pro. cautious youth always evaded the vidence. Without seeking to throw request, one while alleging his around it an air of mystery, or absence, another his indisposition. raising the benefactor into a pro At length it happened, that Fox, phet, it serves to demonstrate the not knowing the bishop was entruth of God, who by the instru- gaged in conversation with the mentality of an individual having duke, entered the room, but inprivate reasons for concealment, stantly withdrew with a show of fulfilled a promise made to his respect. “Who is that ? ” said faithful servants, that their “bread Gardiner; “It is my physician,” shall be given them, and their answered the duke; “your lordship waters shall be sure." *
must excuse him ; he is rather The three children, Thomas, uncourtly, being newly come from Henry, and Jane, had been assigned the University.” “Ah ! ” replied to the care of the Duchess, on the the wily prelate, “I like his councommitment of their grandfather, tenance, and upon occasion will the Duke of Norfolk, with their make use of him." Neither the father, to the Tower, for their tutor nor pupil chose to await his known attachment to the Romish lordship’s application. It was too faith, and intrigues in favour of the plain that the former had been dissuccession of the princess Mary to covered, and that snares would be the crown. They were both con- laid for his apprehension. Fox demned to the block, but after the wished to cross the channel, but the Earl had suffered, the life of the duke at first endeavoured to dissuade Duke was preserved by the death him, affirming, “that it was alto. of the King on the very night pre- gether inconsistent with his honour ceding bis appointed execution. and grateful duty to suffer his The aged nobleman continued in beloved friend and revered tutor to prison during the reign of Edward be thus taken from him; that in the Sixth, but was liberated on the fleeing the kingdom he would incur accession of Mary, and died in all the evils of banishment, poverty, 1554. It appears that Fox was and disgrace; that though such restored to his fellowship under evils were less than death, he hoped Edward the Sixth, through the they were not reduced to such exinterest of the noble family with tremity; that he could protect him whom he had become connected ; against violence; that he had that his three pupils profited greatly wealth, and favour, and friends, and by his instructions, and that the the fortune of his house; and if the eldest, who succeeded to the ducal mischance prevailed further, that
himself would partake of the danger, * Isaiah xxxiii. 16.
and make the destruction common;