American and Foreign Christian Union.

The American and Foreign Christian Union online

. (page 28 of 41)
Online LibraryAmerican and Foreign Christian UnionThe American and Foreign Christian Union → online text (page 28 of 41)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


his way to go from one sul^ect to another,
just as he found himself weak or otherwise.

** It would be too much to atter^ giving
even an outline of the controversy. He
displayed considerable intelligence and not
a little reading, but a mind wholly prostrate
under the influence of Rome. In fact, he
appeared to think it cnminid in him to
■crutinize so closely her doctrine or her
teaching. However, before 1 left him I ob-
tained a promise that he would attend on
the following Friday evening.

*' Monday, ll/^-^I paid six viaita on
tliis day— two in the houses of Protestants,
the remaining visits among the Romanists.
The fourth case may serve to give some
idea of the great ignorance but natural
tfirewdness of a daaa who form the majority
in this district The conversation occurred
with an old man named )ohn Birmingham.
I meet John very often ; and aa I now and
then supply him with a little news, he ia
always willing to have a talk with me ; will-



ing also to talk on re%ion. On a previous
occasion he began describing to me of what
little importance the present life is com-
pared with the next, by saying :

"'O, sir, what is this life at all? 'Us
nothing : 'tis just like as if you came in that
gap,' (pointing to a breach in the wall,) ' and
out again. But the next .life — ^l' Here he
hesitated, evidently at a loss for words to
express his ideas concerning it; but after a
short pause said, ' The next life !— why, sir,
there's neither head nor tail on it!'

*' I have had several conversations witli
him on the 'sacrifice of the Mass' and
* Transubstantiation ;' but on these points
he is always most unreasonable, persisting
-^o matter what line of argument 1 would
adopt— that the ' body ' and ' blood ' of the
Savior is really present in the eucharist
1 thought I would manage him this time ;
and as I was meeting him, 1 held up my
stick in my hand, and said,

'*'John, do you see this man in my
handf

**< Faith, it would be hard for me,' said
John; * but I see a stidc in your hand.''

** * Are you certain that it is a stick, John,
or could you be mistaken in the matter V

"*0, there's no mistake at all, sir: old
as I am, I would see the differ between a
stick and a man.'

"' * But your eyes may deceive you, John.'

" • Why, then, sir, it's not often they do
it ; but if they do, I have mj/€elin\ thank
God; and if there was not an eye in my
head, that would tell me the difference be-
tween a stick and a man.'

**'So then, John, you ean trust yoor
senses when they tell you that this, which
I hold is not a man V

««*Faith, sir, if I couldn't I idon*t see
what use they would be to me.*

**' * That is just what I want you to see^
John.'

'^'Indeed, then, I s^e it plain Miougfa,
sir.'

** 'Why, then» do you believe that tkt
HMtisa nutnf

*' I never aaw John look more complete-
ly puzzled. He saw, too, that he had worit*
ed himself into it» and that heeonld not get
out of it There was nothing for it bat to



Digiti



ized by Google



1847.)



70RSIOK FIELD.



289



ran. So, pretending that some cattle bad
got into the corn, he went off, saying that
he would see about the stick another time.

" Tuesday^ 12ih, — I had four visits with
Romanists. Spoke to them chiefly on man's
natural state, his inability to procure sal-
vation through his own works, and the plan
of salvation through Christ.

"The nature of the visiting the other
remainder of the week was similar, nothing
of unusual interest occurring. On Friday
evening, the 13th, I held the prayer-meet-
ing at Cregclure. Before I arrived at the
house I met with the Steward, who came to
say, that in consequence of a prohibition
since the previous meeting, he could not
attend in future ; that, in fact, if ho did at^
tend, he would be looked upon as separat-
ing from the Romish church, but that he
would be glad to hold conversation with
me outside any time I pleased.

"It appears that there had been 'con-
fession,* a few days before, at the chapel, to
which all were called, from the age of nine
upward. I asked the steward if he thought
it right to confess his sins to one whom he
knows to bo a sinner and incapable of ab-
solving himself. * He thought,' he said, * the
priests had power from God to forgive sins ;
and that the practice of auricular confession
was necessary for the cause of morality, in-
asmuch as the shame of having to confess
often deterred people from committing
crime.'

" I showed, in the first place, that they
had no such power, quoting Daniel, 9: 9;
Mark, 2 : 7 ; 1 John, 1:8,9; and also that such
a practice was more of an encouragement
tl> crime than a preventive : for who would
not prefer falling into the hands of the priest,
who often imposes no heavier a penance
than prayer, to that of falling into the hands
of the living God! Besides all this, abstain-
ing from such a motive is not acceptable to
God, who requires true repentance. He ap-
peared to see the force of this, for ho offer-
ed no further objection ; and^as it was my
hour for holding the meeting, I was obliged
to leave him.

"On Monday, the 18 th, my first visit was
with the constable of police. I ebanoed to
meet him on the road. Both of us were
19



occupied in reading when we met I pro-
posed that we should compare books, and
see which of us was occupied to the best
advantage. He handed me a * novel,' aad
I handed him the * New Testament' He
said that it was very good, but only adapted
to a certain class — the learned. I opened
the Testament at the first chapter of lat
Corinthians, and read the first two verses.
The words, * unto aU that in every plaee
call upon the name of the Lord Jesus,' were
too direct, and be could not well reply, bat
asked :

^ * Is it not stated that we might wreat
them to our own destruction V

" I said, Mt is ; and so might we abuse
nil God's gifts to us. But you would not
therefore conclude that we ought not use
them.'

" We had some further conversation oa
•private judgment,* carried oir in a very
good spirit

*' Tuesday, h\e 26/A.-~Had an interesting
converi^aUon with Mr. Gill, an apothecary
at Gort He spoke about the growing in*
dependence of the Irish people manifested
in the late elections. I hoped that such
spirit of independence would lead people to
think for themselves in those things which
concerned their souls. He thought that
people always thought /or themselves in the
matter of their souls. J showed him thst
by the teaching of their church, Ronuia
Catholics were bound to think as she dou^
without being allowed to prove her teacli-
ing by God's Word. He had the Bible, and
he did not consider that Roman Catholics
were prevented from reading it I showed
that not only is the reading of it restricted,
but that by the second article of Pope Pias^
creed, those who do read are preveateA
exercising their judgment upon it; thereby
virtually shutting them out from any bea^
fit to be derived from the reading of tke
Scriptures. He thought it was useless te
dwell so mvch on llie * article,' inasmuch as
all who look up the Scriptures did so ia
order to exercise their judgment upon them.
I dealt with it as involving an importaid
principle found to influence more ortees
every Roman Catholic; for when the pisia
text of Seriptare is foand opposed to iM



Digiti



ized by Google



290



FOREIGN PIKLD.



(Sept.



teaehing of the church, they generally rest
ttpoQ the mdhorUy of the latter, which de-
cides otherwise. Unable to reply to this,
he merely obsenred that the growing spirit
«f independence referred to, appeared lo
t»rve the interests of Protestantism more
flran those of Roman Catholicism. *For
fais own part, he saw that there was a great
struggle taking phtce, and he heartily wish-
«mI success to right.' "



PBAHCE.

PROSPECTS BRIGHTENING IN FRANCE.

In common with others, the evan-
gelical churches of America have a
^deep interest in the progress of the
Gospel in France, and we doubt not
the following statement of the Rev.
Mr. Fisch, formerly of Lyons, but now
of Paris, will be read with great satis-
fection.

This statement shows clearly that the
labors for evangelization which have
been bestowed in that empire have not
been in vain. Though simple and un-
ostentatious, they have, like ^* leaven in
the measures of meal," been extending
their influence effectively, apd so as
greatly to encourage every friend of
die Redeemer. And now seems emi-
nently the time for putting forth addi-
tional efforts there.

Every American has now a special
reason for doing something for that
<)ountry. An extra call in providence
is extended, and an extra door of use-
falness is opened, in the etibrt that is
behig made to establish in Parts an
American Chapel, into which the Amer-
icans who are in that city may be gath-
ered, and to whom the Gospel in its
purity may be preached. We cannot
but regard this work, so well com-
meDced, and so far advanced toward
oonpletion, as one of the sure ntgim of
fMogress, and going to strengthen the



impression which is made by the ex-
tract which we subjoin.

" At a session of the General Assembly of
the Free Church of Scotland, Mr. Rsch
addressed the meeting in an earnest and
animated speech. In the course of hb re-
marks, he obiierved that there was a pecu*
liar season for sowing, and if it was allowed
to pass by without depositing the seed, it
would be vain to expect a harvest Now,
he believed the present to be evidently the
exact season for sowing evangelical truth
in France ; and he rejoiced, therefore, to be-
lieve that the friends in England were be-
coming more alive than they were to the
importance of the work, and disposed to
render them enlarged assistance. Steam
was uniting the two capitals, Paris and Lon-
don, closer every day, and ought not the
Christians of the two countries to draw
nearer, also, and work together for a com-
mon object with one heart and one mind?
It was a most hopeful and gratifying fact,
that a great change had taken place in the
political press of Paris. The two chief
daily papers had come stronglyjo advocate
Protestant principles. The Journal des
Dubois, the French THmes^ presided over by
a young and very clever man, openly de-
clared that there was no hope for France if
it did not become Protestant Very recently,
in a leading article, he contrasted France
and England, showing that the reason for
the superiority of the latter was her Protest-
antism. So with respect to writers of his-
tory. At one time it was the fashion among
historians to speak in very high terms of the
church of Rome, and with contempt of tl\e
principles of the retormation. But now all
this was reversed ; and all who write history
endeavor to show that France never pre>
sented so fine a type as when she was a
Protestant country. Those were unmistak-
able signs. (Hear, hear.) And with re-
spect to the actual result of the evangelistic
efforts of the various Societies of Paris, they
were more encouraging than they had ever
been. In the provinces persecution pre-
vailed, but, despite of this, the work went
forward. In Paris, on the contrary, they
could do almost as they pleased, and open
as many chapels and schools as they wished ;



Digiti



ized by Google



1857.)



HOME FIELD.



291



and, in Aict, the Erangelieal Society of Paris
had opened fiFe new schools, and the peo-
ple, Romanist as well as Protestant, freely
sent their children. Indeed, they preferred
paying for their children at the Protestant
schools to sending them to the free Romish
schools. Of this M. FWh gave a number
of delightful illustrations, and mentioned
that as many as 25,000 persons had been
educated in the schools of the Evangelical
Society who were now grown men and
women. The people, moreover, were more
disposed than ever to listen to the Gospel,
and most readily accepted religious books
and tracts. In fact, he never knew a person
refuse them. The new chapel, to which
reference was made in the report, was built
exactly opposite a theatre; and it was a cu-
rious circumstance, as indicating the will-
ingness of the people to listeA to Protest-
ant preaching, that many of the people
went to the chapel in the periods that elapsed
between' the acts. Some, indeed, went
back, but many remained: so that they
were fishing out of the theatre souls for the
Lord Jesus Christ ! Furthermore, the col-
porteurs of the Bible never sold so many
copies as last winter; and as many as fifty
applications had of kte been made for evan-
gelists to occupy new stations; and they
would be sent if the means could be pro-
cured. And there was no half-heartedness
about these converted Roman Catholics,
for they were ready to make any sacrifices
or suflfer any sort of persecution for Christ
He besought the English Christians to



make their efforts larger, and their ptayen
more fervent* for the churches of Franc*
and the continent in general; and so
would they cheer their brethren, and advance
the cause of their common Master.

^ The Emperor was, he was certain, very
well disposed in reference to religious liberty,
and so also, he believed, were his ministers;
but in this matter even the will of that
powerful sovereign was not always com-
plied with. There was a great power in
society which tended to prevent that, and
that power was the Bishop. Through
whom did the Bishop work ? Bishops were
generally the confessors of but one person
in a department, and that one person waa
the prefect's wife. The prefect's wife was,
of course, very happy to have the Bishop
for her confessor, and she did not under-
stand, perhaps,^ why such an honor wm
paid to her. For that honor, however^
Protestants of^n had to pay very dearly .'*



PB0TE8TAHTS OF HUVeABT.

The Emperor of Hungary has re-
cently been seriously occupied with his
ministers in considering the claims of
his Protestant subjects, who demand
that the laws of 1608, 1647, and nOl,
guaranteeing their religious liberties,
shall be restored. Such has been the
reception by the Emperor of their depu-
tation, as to awaken the hope that their
petition will be substantially granted.



HOME FIELD.



IMMIOBAITB-BB. CAHILL.

It is of primary importance to our
well-being that the people of this coun-
try should keep themselves advised of
the numbers coming among them from
foreign lands, and also learn the views
and feelings they cherish toward the
govemmaats they have left, and with
vrfaidi we haye inleroourse. Snoh in-



formation, if general, may be of grea^
service in various exigencies whieh w«
oan very easily imagine.

But, if it is of consequence to us at
Americans, desirous of living in peaoa
and amity with all people, it is no lem
ao to us as the friends <^ man aad ^
eTangelical religion* its poesearioqi
would naturally aot as a powerflil mo-



Digitized by V^OOQIC



21)2



HOME FUSLD.



(Sept



live to put forth our best efforts to
^iflFuse amotig them, at an early moment
after their arrival here, a pure Christ-
ianity, and to bring them and their
children fully under its power.

Few, we are confident, are aware of
the state of mind, on the part of very
many of the immigrants in the United
States, in regard to the governments
Ihey have left, or of l^e earnestness
and confidence with which unscrupu-
lous political demagogues, Papal priests
and prelates, would-be " agitators " and
" leaders," to whose words and counsels
they have in former times listened, en-
courage them to maintain their nation-
alitles, and also look to them to improve
opportunities here for creating discord,
augmenting diflferences, and throwing
their inflaenoe wherever it will be most
likely to alienate our Government from
theirs, or involve both in controversy.

Chimerical as such conceptions may
appear when viewed only in connection
with the attainments and position of the
MASSES which have come to us, the re-
ality of such feelings and hopes never-
theless remains, and the ground for
concern necessarily continues "un-
taken away," For the few lead the
many ; and when rival politicians among
us "bid high for votes," shrewd cal-
culators in the interest of the chafed
and angry spirits here and in the old
world, may make their power to be
disastrously felt. We are not without
some humiliating experiences on this
subject already, and if we would not
kave more of them, no time should be
k>st in engaging in earnest in the use
of wisely devised measures to diffuse
among these masses the principles of
the Gospel. These principles will go
to the Ixittom of the evil, and produce
a thorough cure. Nothing else than our
missionary work will do it. We have
a deep interest, then, in maintaining



and even increasing anK>ug them our
missionary work.

This train of thought is suggested by
the following extract from an article,
lately published and circulated among
the Irish Romanists in this country,
from the pen of Dr. Cahill, a resident
of Ireland, and a very prominent mem-
ber of the Romish hierarchy.

We submit the extract that our read-
ers may get a glimpse of the manner
in which the Irish people are addressed,
their prejudices excited, and their
passions inflamed, falsely and without
cause to a very great extent, against the
Protestant Government of England;
and also Uiat they may judge, from the
threat contained in the last paragraph,
of the state of feeling which is sought
to be fostered among the pilgrims from
the Emerald Isle, who in large numbers
now have their residence among us.
We forbear comment upon the article,
assured that its injustice and wicked de-
sign will be appreciated by all whose
eye may happen to fail upon it. We
trust it will be a long time before op-
portunity will be granted, through a
war between us and England, for Irish
Romish priests or people here to gratify
the spirit of hate which some of them
foster and seek to diffuse. But to the
extract : —

" During the month ending April of the
present year, the unprecedented number of
27,867 emigrants landed in Now-V'ork; and
the reiurns, too, from the Canadas and from
Australia present an nnnbated current of
population leaving Ireland lor the British
colonies. Some idea may be formed of the
extent to which this desire to quit the cooqo
try U carried, when one learns that during
the last two weeks of the last Lent, up-
wards of one thoosand persons, principally
of the small comfortable farming cUms, left
the railway station at Limeiick for Liver-
pool. The aeenes of heari-rendiog distress
whiek take place on those oeoasloiis at the



Digiti



ized by Google



1857.)



HOME FIELD.



293



parting of mothers and fathers from their
ehildren can never be forgotten by those
who have once witnessed this indescribable
separation. The heart of the greatest ene-
my of these classes of the Irish sometimes
melts with pity, perhaps sorrow, when the
wild cry of the aged parents is heard, as,
standing on the platform, the engine begins
to move, carrying away for ever the children
in whom their very lives are centered.
Each packet that leaves our shores, crowd-
ed with the Irish youth, is an additional
proof of the anomalous condition of Ireland,
and of the partial legislation of England.
Each year that witnesses this continued
exode, is a demonstration that the insecu-
rity of the tenure of land, the terrors of the
landlord, and the eternal lash of national
bigotry, overcome the Irishman's innate love
of home, and force him to burst asunder all
the ties of miture herself to escape from a
country. hl«* <»wn country, where the law of
the state, the Gospel of the established
church, ami the hatred of a large section of
the aristocracy, are leagued against his con-
science, against his social advancement, and,
in fact, against his very existence.

" There is no use, in the case before us,
to appeal to the sympathy of the Legislature :
they have always replied to such an appeal
by laws written in the blood of the Irish ;
and they have ever silenced our national
murmurs by the drummer's lash, by convict
fetters, or by the rope. In the present in-
stance, the Government, before many years
elapse, will be made to feel that all parties
engaged in producing this exode of the
people will lose more than they gain by
this anti-national combination. Each young
man who leaves Ireland for the United
States is a loss (according to the value set
on an able-bodied man in this country) of
£40 to the army or the navy : he is a great
loss to a properly developed system of
national agriculture : and when one takes
into consideration the exciseable articles
which each person consumes, the commer*
eial articles which he bujrs, the English
cloth which he wears, I think it may be
fairly assumed that fifty thousand such in-
dividuals produce a loss of some several
million pounds sterling to the State. We



have given upwards of two millions of
money lately to Sardinia to help us in the
Crimea; and we have purchased the ser-
vices of a German Legion at an enormous
expense, which might be saved by keeping
at home the thousands and the tens of
thousands of faithful, invincible poor Irish
hearts whom our rulers have starved or
banished. But perhaps the greatest mis-
fortune in this anomalous legislation is, that
England not only subtracts from her own
power all these expelled and lost resources,
but, again, she adds them all to the Ame-
rican republic. She weakens herself in
order to give strength to America: she
sends youth, muscle, and a full-grown army
to America; and still more, she sends hun-
dreds of thousands of aggrieved hearts
breathing revenge and vengeance against
the laws, the name, the very existence of the
English constitution. And if England shall
choose, in her hatred of the Irish Catholics,
to continue this scheme of forced emigra-
tion, she toiU scon learn to her cost thai she
mil perhaps lose more miUions of money in
one war toilh America than would support
aU her expelled emigrants at home; and she
may be yet compelled to feel that honor,
justice, equity, and liberty of conscience,
would have cost her less labor and money,
than her past sectarian code of bigotry, in-
justice, and class-legislation. The fate of
Carthago, which Juno once dreaded from
the future power of Rome, may with truth
be feared by Britannia from the rising do-
minion of America; and an American Virgil
might, with an apt propriety and a slight
change of the names of nations, say : —

" * Progenfem wd enim Trojano a sanguine duel
Audierat, Tyrias olim qua rtrtaret aroea,
Hinc populum late regcm, belloqtso luperbum
Vcnturum ezcidio lybiaa: tic Volvcro Parcas.' '*



HIBSIOVART LABOR-IHBUSTBI-
AL SCHOOLS, Etc.

The RcT. Mr. Sinclair is still en-
gaged in his work in Pittsburgh and
Alleghany cities. In a recent report
he says : —

" I feel grateful to God that I am enabled
to say still, hitherto the Lord has smiled, to



Digitized by V^OOQIC



204



HOME FISLD.



(Sept.



a greator or loss degree, upon our mission-
ary work in this field. I rejoiee to say, in
referoDce to our schools in particular, that
we succeed beyond my fondest expectations.

'* The Pittsburgh Industrial School may
now be said to be firmly established, and
that its benefits are acknowledged not only
by parents, but also by many of our citizens,
who appear interested in it Our child-
ren are punctual in their attendance, and
are always in their places at the stated hour
of opening the school. The number of
those who punctually and constantly attend
averages from 60 to 60 girls. These, with
few exceptions, baye continued with us
since the opening of the school. The majorw
ity of them belong also to the * Sinclair
Mission Sunday-school,* and thus they may
be said to reap a double benefit from our
missionary operations.

^ We had an election of office-bearers on
the first Thursday of the month. Our new
Directress has been with us occasionally
fVom the commencement, and her assistants
have been among our best and most stead-
fast fViends for the past three years.

^ The system for managing our affidrs in,
this school is of a conservative nature. The
best order is kept while the school is in
session. During the time appointed for
reading some moral and religious extracts,
the children give the utmost attention,
and they are generally questioned at the
close upon what has been read. Yester-
day, before the school was dismissed, a
little girl came to me, and said, ' Will you
please to lend me the book which you read
tousl^ * Why do you want it, my child f *I



Online LibraryAmerican and Foreign Christian UnionThe American and Foreign Christian Union → online text (page 28 of 41)