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bring you, through the scriptures, to the knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Seek; and by the same Spirit and the same scriptures ye shall find the way that leadeth unto life eternal. Knock; and by the same appointed means the gate of mercy will be opened unto you, and the everlasting doors will lift up their heads, that as the redeemed followers of the King of glory ye may enter in.
The Lord Jesus Christ, he is that King of glory, and, whilst to him we look for light and salvation, to him, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us ascribe all honour, might, majesty, dominion, and praise.
mount interest and energetic action, had become almost extinct. In Romanist countries the ancient superstition divided its perverted power and influence with an infidel and atheistic philosophical scepticism, which, as the offspring of its depravity, soon became its most terrible scourge, and threatened for a while to become its complete destroyer. After the devastating wars of the revolution at the close of the last, and during the earlier years of the present century, there was unquestionably a considerable movement of life among the dry vision. As the tide of life in the reformation of bones which were scattered over the valley of the 16th century may be considered as having received its first and most powerful impulse on the continent, and as having urged its sympathetic waves towards the shores of Great Britain, so in the last, less palpable and less striking, but not less real reformation, chiefly as affecting the reformed churches themselves, the stream of spi
STATE OF RELIGION ON THE CONTINENT*. | ritual light was rolled forth from our own
Or the state of religion generally over the continent of Europe, whether we look to the more exclusive Roman-catholic or the professedly protestant countries, it is difficult to speak in terms too melancholy and humiliating. Like all other great interests affecting the character, the condition, and the prospects of humanity, religion is divinely permitted to experience its fluctuations and vicissitudes. Its history in this changeful world is marked by successive epochs of revival and decadence. After a long and tedious night of darkness and superstition, the dawn of the protestant reformation of the 16th century arose over an awakened and astonished world. To meet the exigencies, and to develop and guide the events of such an era, men of extraordinary power and wisdom-in many cases of faith and piety-were raised. Under their combined and well-directed influence, the religion of Christ was not only purified from a large proportion of the dross that for a series of centuries had encrusted over its fair and lovely form, but also received an impetus of action and influence, which for a considerable number of years gave it a mighty ascendancy over the character and conduct of mankind. Even Romanism itself, where it still maintained its dominant position, was constrained to abandon some of its grosser abuses, and, where it was surrounded by the light of truth, to present a somewhat more decent exterior. But the tide of life and light appeared, with the progress of time, to lose its force, and to become enfeebled in its advancing movement. By the middle of the last century, over all the countries of Europe-our own to a melancholy extent partaking of the universal spiritual paralysis-religion, as a positive theory of doctrines, and as a principle of para
* From "A Glance at the European Continent; two lectures delivered before the Gateshead Church of England Young Men's Society, Oct. 1851. To which is prefixed Second Impressions; a letter addressed to the worshipful and rev. chancellor Raikes. By the rev. J. Davies, D.D., rector of Gateshead, and master of king James's hospital, county of Durham." London: Seeleys. Dr. Davies is too well known as an able and distinguished author to need our praise. We are sure that his judgment of the state of religion on the continent, which we have extracted, will be read with interest.—
country. It was about the beginning of the present century, simultaneously with the returning breath of life into the several bodies of our religious denominations, and more especially that of our own church, that those noble institutions, our bible and missionary societies of various rank and order, sprang up among us; and with the inherent elasticity of zeal and truth, with the selfpropagating energy of the divine life, aided by the newly-opened facilities of continental communication, the impulse was gradually imparted with greater or less effect to every accessible country in Europe. The high position and influence of England among the nations gave a decided and manifest advantage to every effort of which it was the centre of action. Individuals full of energy and life went abroad, carrying with them their knowledge, their faith, and their love. Associate institutions were established in almost every considerable town and city of the continent. Bibles in the vernacular tongue were circulated by thousands, and, taking some range of years, by millions; and, with all the efforts of Romanism to bar its own territories against the ingress of the greatest, most powerful, and most irreconcilable of its enemies-the record of eternal truth-the pope has been more than once constrained to complain, in language of blended sorrow and indignation, that his widely-extended domains, as well as the more limited fields of protestantism, have been sown with these tares of a heretical religion.
And now, in the middle of the nineteenth century, it may be justly, and it must with interest and anxiety, be asked, what has been the result of all these united and long-continued efforts? To such an inquiry it may with truth be replied that in many respects great and important has been the fruit of these labours. Continental Europe is no longer in that state of complete and absolute spiritual collapse, in which it almost universally lay at the close of the last century. The eyelids of the morning have been in some measure opened. The dews of a spiritual birth have been widely spread over its surface; and there is some ground to hope-unpromising in many respects as present appearances may be-that over its respective countries, when the auspicious and
divinely-appointed moment shall have arrived, a nation shall be born in a day.
modification of socialism, a cloudy idealism o liberty, equality, and fraternity. The blessed Saviour of the world, such persons do not objec to regard as one, and perhaps the chief, Hero o Rome, they are not indisposed to give him a nich their worship; and, like the ancient emperor o in the temple of their multitudinous adoration.
our own exiled reformers of the era of the Marian persecution.
At the present moment it must be conceded that, viewed as a whole, and with a regard to the dominant influences which are in action, the leading countries of the continent are in a state of deplorable spiritual darkness. France, the most Crossing the frontier of the French republic, we powerful and influential of them, is a chaos of the enter Switzerland-the land of the lakes and the most discordant principles, if the wild and exmountains, of physical beauty and magnificence treme opinions by which it is agitated be entitled and of comparative freedom and intelligence. Bu to the name of principles. It is a cauldron in the air of infidel France has for many years which every element of impiety and immorality, blended its deadening influence with the atmo opposed and excited by the antagonistic efforts of a false and corrupt religion, is sending forth its sphere of this favoured soil; and, while in the protestant cantons of Switzerland, as in the pestilential and deleterious fumes; and its conchurch of Sardis, there are a few, even many tents are ready, at any favourable moment, to boil names that have not defiled their garments with over into actual violence and devastation. It is a region covered over with a dark cloud, in which have, to a great extent, ceased to be what they this poisonous miasma, the churches in general the two great electric currents, the positive of a religion degenerated and corrupted into super-Zuinglius and Martyr and Bullinger-dars in were in the days of Farel and Viret and Calvin, of stition, and the negative of a still more debasing which they received, entertained, and cherished infidelity, seem to be on the point of rushing into collision, and of scattering havoc and desolation over the land. In France, viewed under a religious aspect, there is the comparatively small party of the protestant faith, with its various shades of principle and opinion, and embracing probably about one-twelfth of the whole population. There is the considerable party of tranquillity and order, as they are generally disposed to name themselves, in opposition to the turbulent, the restless, and disaffected, who abjure all definite religious profession. This class, comprising the great majority of the ancient noblesse, and of the adherents of the two branches of the deposed Bourbon dynasty, is deeply imbued with the spirit of the Romish church, and regards its revival and re-establishment in the country as the only means of reorganizing and consolidating society; its members almost uniformly identifying religion with Romanism; and they have been labouring for years, not without some success, for its restoration and extension-less, in many cases, from a conviction of its truth, than from a vague impression that it is essential to the maintenance of the principle of authority, which has for so many years lain prostrate in this agitated country. It is in this direction, and with this bearing, that all the recent governments of France have so strongly favoured the claims and pretensions of Rome. Nor have the priests and adherents of that church been backward or inexpert in availing themselves of this manifest tendency. The churches have unquestionably been better attended; and the sermons of Lacordaire and others, during the season of Lent of the present year, have attracted great crowds, and have been dexterously adapted to the prevailing views and feelings of the higher classes of society. But in France there is a vast, and, numerically considered, an overwhelming third party, composed of the disciples and successors of Voltaire and the encyclopædists- men who repudiate all revealed religion, and treat the whole of its doctrines and requirements with levity, mocke ry, and contempt; and, if there be any individuals belonging to this body who are willing to admit, un der a certain vague and indefinite aspect, the truth of Christianity, it is only as a system of broad and universal benevolence, a
In Piedmont, forming the richest and the best province of the kingdom of Sardinia-a soil consecrated with the blood of the early martyrs of the faith-true religion, now enjoying a larger measure of practical freedom, perhaps, than in any the decidedly Roman-catholic kingdoms of the continent, though it must be regarded in the light of a day of small things, is making decided progress. At La Tour, the chief town of the Vaudois population, there is a college, reared chiefly under the auspices and through the exertions of general Beckwith and Dr. Gilly, in which an edu cated ministry is to be prepared for the maintenance and extension of the pure and ancient faith of a church, which, like the burning bush, was enveloped in the flame of persecution without the being consumed. In the course of this year government of this country-liberal and enlight ened beyond any of its Italian neighbours-bas been engaged in a vigorous struggle with the church of Rome for the maintenance of its civi and legislative rights; and the Sardinian clergy, headed by archbishop Franzoni, and sustained by the power of Rome, affords an instructive example to our own and other nations of the modest and delicate limits which that church, wherever it is possessed of the power, is disposed to put upon the ecclesiastical, as contrasted with the secular authority.
Of the Italian peninsula, embracing the Roman states, Tuscany, and Lombardy, it is difficult to speak with clearness and certainty. In those in teresting and long-oppressed countries political and religious aspirations are so blended, the one movement is so liable to be combined with and mistaken for the other, that it would not be safe to speak with confidence of the extent to which the flame of true religious zeal warms and illu mines those numerous altars, which are uni versally acknowledged to be burning in secret ever their whole length and breadth. It is cer tain, however, that in Florence there is a most remarkable religious movement, and that its manifestations, for the present, have been suppressed with a virulence of bigotry, a violence of arbitrary
power, rarely exhibited in the light of the 19th century.
Over Germany and Belgium and Holland, while they are not without remarkable individual examples of piety and zeal-while the grosser forms of rationalism have been in some degree vanquished and expelled from their strongholds in the churches and universities, and the encroachments of Romanism have been kept in check-it must, nevertheless, be acknowledged that true religion, as it rose with giant energy from the cradle of the Reformation, has grievously degenerated. For years it has ceased to walk abroad with the glowing eye and vigorous step which marked its character in the persons of Luther and Melancthon and their immediate successors.
THE death of Henry, prince of Wales, eldest son of king James the First, diffused universal grief throughout the nation. On the Sunday previous to his decease, it being the custom of his house to have the sermon early when the court was near, because he was accustomed after his own to hear the king's preacher, when he was informed that Mr. Robert Wilkinson, rector of St. Olave's, Southwark, one of his majesty's chaplains, was ready to preach before his highness, he, contrary to his late habit of being in bed, and though he then found himself drowsy and ill, arose, and began to dress himself; for he had a great esteem for Mr. Wilkinson as a preacher ever since he had heard, long before, a sermon of his upon the last judgment, which his highness afterwards. spoke of with high approbation. He did not make the preacher wait long for him in the chapel, where the sermon was upon a very seasonable topic, Job xiv. 1: "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble ;" and in it were represented with proper force and extent the miseries peculiarly attending the highest stations in life. The prince having commended this sermen, went to Whitehall, where he heard another with the king. After this he dined with his ma
From "Last Hours of Christian Men."
jesty, and ate with a seemingly good appetite; but the paleness of his countenance, and the hollow ghastliness of his eyes, were much remarked.
Nov. 4th.-Dr. Mayerne, the physician, had before this seriously exhorted the prince to commend himself into the hands of God, and found him in a most excellent and religious frame of mind; and the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Abbot, hearing of the desperate state of his highness, now thought it his duty to visit him. His first question to the prince was, whether there had been any prayers said in his chamber since his sickness? to which his highness answered in the negative, alleging the cause to have been the continual employment of the physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries about him, and that he had not been put in mind of it till then, but that he had not failed to pray quietly by himself. The answer being very satisfactory to the archbishop, he again asked whether his highness would now henceforward be pleased to have his prayers in the chamber? The prince readily consented to this, inquiring which of his chaplains was present; and, finding Dr. Milbourne, dean of Rochester, to be attending, he ordered him to be called, as one whom he had always esteemed for his learning, character, and abilities as a preacher.
The archbishop in the meantime, not willing too much to disquiet the prince, said prayers that evening at his bed-side in a low voice; upon which his highness desired him to raise it, and repeated the confession of his faith, word for word, after his grace. Next morning, the archbishop came in great haste to his highness; and, gently asking him how he did since he last saw him, and finding little or no hope remaining, he began to prepare the prince against the fear of death. He observed that "the preparation for death, and the thinking and meditating upon it, could not bring on the awful event the sooner, but, on the contrary, would fortify him so much the more against it." He reminded him of the excellence and immortality of the soul, the inexpressible happiness of good men in another state, the misery of the present, and the insignificancy of all the vain, inconstant, momentary, and frail pleasures of it in comparison of the joys of heaven, with many other topics of a like nature.
hear, went further, and acquainted him of the exThe archbishop, having thus prepared him to ceeding great danger which he was in, and that, though he might recover, as he hoped he would, yet he might also die. And, since it was an irre
vocable and inevitable necessity that all must once die, sooner or later, death being the reward of sin, his grace asked, if it should so fall out, whether or no he was well pleased to submit himself to the will of God? To which the prince answered, ceeded to questions concerning his faith, first of "with all his heart." The archbishop then prothe religion and church wherein he lived, which his highness acknowledged to be the only true church; then of his faith in Christ only, by whom, and in whom, without any merit of his, he could be assured of the remission of all his sins. This the prince professed to be his sincere belief. Lastly, and the happiness of heaven; all which the prince of the resurrection of the body, everlasting life, confessed, hoping to enjoy it with all the saints.
After this conference, with much more to the same purpose, the archbishop, fearing too much to disquiet the prince, took his leave of him with many pious exhortations.
On Friday morning, after some medicine, he had a little rest; but this was of short continuance, for he soon relapsed: his sight and senses failed, his hearing became difficult, and all the signs of approaching death appeared. In this exigence the archbishop of Canterbury, being present, saw that it was now the critical moment of administering some consolation to the prince, if he yet had any remains of consciousness; and, coming to him, put him in mind of all those things which he had said to him the day before, calling on him aloud, in his ear, to remember Jesus Christ; to believe, hope, and trust in him, with assured hope of mercy; to lift up his heart, and prepare himself to meet the Lord Jesus, with many other such exhortations. He then spoke more loud than ever in his ear: "Sir, hear you me? hear you me? hear you me? If you hear me, in certain sign of your faith, and hope in the blessed resurrection, give us for our comfort a sign, by lifting up of your hands." This the prince did, lifting up both his hands together. The archbishop then desired him to give still another sign, by lifting up his eyes, which the prince having done, they let him alone. The archbishop like wise, with a flood of tears, poured out by his highness' bed-side a most pathetic prayer. During the whole time, from three in the morning till night, there was continual prayer in the house, and in every place where the prince's danger was known. His highness at last, a few minutes before eight at night, on Friday, the 6th of November, 1612, at the age of eighteen years, eight months, and seventeen days, expired, having supported his long illness with a calmness and composure seldom seen*.
REFLECTION.-Some die in infancy, some in youth, these in manhood and those in the ripeness of old age; but blessed is he whom, when his Master cometh, he shall find watching.
THE COMFORT OF THE TRUE BELIEVER IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE.-The dangers of this life be no more than God can and will put from us, or preserve us in them, when they come unto us without danger; also the troubles of this world be not perpetual nor damnable for ever, but be for a time only sent from God, to exercise and prove our faith and patience. At the last we learn that, the troubles being ended, we begin and shall continue for ever in endless pleasure and consolation, as David showeth. So doth Christ make an end with his disciples when he hath committed them, for the time of this life, to the tuition of the heavenly Father, whiles he is bodily absent: he saith, at length they shall be where he is himself, in heaven for ever. For in this life, albeit the faithfuls of God have consolation in God's promises, yet is their joy very dark and obscure by reason of troubles both without and within-outwardly by persecution, inwardly by temptation.
* Life of Henry, prince of Wales, eldest son of king James the First. By Thos. Birch, D.D.
Therefore Christ desireth his Father to lead and conduct his church in truth and verity, whiles it is here in fight and persecution with the devil, until it come to a perfect and absolute consolation, whereas no trouperfection soever we come), shall we be satisfied; as ble may molest it. For then, and not before (to what David saith, "The plentifulness of pleasure and joy is in the sight and contemplation of thee, O Lord!" For then shall the mind of man fully be satisfied, when he, being present, may presently behold the glorious majesty of God; for God hath then all joys present to him that is present with him, and then man knoweth God, as he is known of God. These joys in the end of troubles should give the troubled man the more courage to bear troubles patiently, and be persuaded (as life be not worthy of the joys to come, which shall be St. Paul teacheth) that the troubles of this present revealed to us, when Christ cometh to judge the quick and the dead.-Bishop Hooper, on Psalm xxiii.
INVITATION TO SEEK GOD IN TROUBLE.-Now as the word of God, and the examples contained in the of trouble and adversity; so doth it declare that men same, declare that God can and will help in the time be bound to call and seek for help in the time of adversity. As we read in Isaiah the prophet, where God crieth out in this sort: "Ye that be athirst, come to the waters," &c. In St. Matthew Christ comandeth all men that be troubled to come unto him. Also in the psalms he biddeth all men call upon him in the days of their heaviness, and he will hear them, and deliver them. Again, he willeth us to ask, and it shall be given unto us.-Bishop Hooper.
(For the Church of England Magazine.)
BY MRS. PENDEREL LLEWELYN. "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."
THE golden-beakéd blackbird's voice of gladness
Although their simple beauties round us shed
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