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The Original Methodists' Record :
A FREE GOSPEL MAGAZINE.
Vol. II.-No. 1.]
JANUARY 1st, 1853.
THOUGHTS OCCASIONED BY A REVIEW OF
THE PAST YEAR.
We saw the commencement of 1852,-watched its progress,--and have out-lived its exit. As it has steadily, silently, and unceasingly moved in its onward course, it has left the impress of its footsteps behind it in such a way as to connect the past with the future.
One of the most astonishing events of modern times has occurred in a great neighbouring nation. Its Republic Institutions, established apparently by a people determined to be free, have all been overthrown by a wild adventurer-an outcast from respectable society; and he has succeeded, by treachery and violence, in placing himself on a throne as absolute and despotic as that of the Autocrat of Russia. What influence this may have upon the future, none can clearly foresee: but, judging from the aids (priests and soldiers) which he has been very solicitous to engage in his favour, the probabilities are opposed to the general interests of the great human family; but we have no hesitation in risking an opinion that sooner or later he will be hurled from that throne as suddenly and as violently as he climbed to
Another great event of the Year was the displacing of a Free-Trade Government in our own country, to make way for a Protectionist Ministry. This was looked upon by many, at the moment, as a national misfortune ; but probably nothing else could have converted the men who now hold the reins of government into Free-Traders. They would, but for this circumstance, have continued opposers and obstructors, but now they are fairly enlisted in the ranks of progression. But, as a Governmert they have been suddenly overthrown; and we hope a stronger, and one more in accordance with the wishes of the people and the spirit of the age, will be formed. Thus that which we feared as a curse, may ultimately become
Religion occupies much the same position as it did twelve months since. Roman Catholicism grows daily more disgusting in the eyes of all enlightened and unprejudiced men; while at the same time she clings to her old evils as tenaciously as ever, and has in the last year given unmistakable evidence of her continued sanguinary disposition.
The National Church of England, so called, - continues, in her officials, in a distracted and divided state; not a few of her dignitaries assuming from time to time more and more of the appearance of Popery, even to the setting up that foundation of all evil in the Church of Rome-the blasphemous confessional; while we would fain hope that what are the Evangelical Clergy are making some progress in the right direction.
We fear that the Dissenters generally are fast sinking into a notional and formal religion; many of their ministers publicly advocating and patronizing fashionable games and foolish amusements, to the destruction of personal piety and experimental religion. We lament that one respectable denomination has, in its last connexional year, lost 18,000 members; and we fear many of them are entirely lost to the Church on earth-We wish they may be found in the Church in heaven.
We rejoice that Free Gospelism still progresses, both in our own and other similar bodies, which causes many money-bought ministers to be alarmed, conceiving their craft to be in danger, and they are venting their spleen in various places, and in different ways; but if our members, leaders, preachers, and Sabbath-school teachers are true to them. selves and the cause they have espoused, it will continue to prosper.
We cannot conclude these Thoughts upon the Year so recently closed, without paying a passing tribute to departed excellence.
In the course of the year, two pre-eminently great men have left our world, and entered upon an unseen and eternal state of existence. One is Hugh Brown, great as the principal founder of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, of whose life and character we shall probably give a few sketches in a future Number. The other is His Grace the Duke of Wellington, great as
a British Commander, both in India, Portugal, and Spain. We remember him as Sir Arthur Wellesley, as Lord, Marquis, Field Marshal, and the Duke of Wellington. We well remember the time when were looking for his Dispatches with considerable anxiety,
during that eventful and exciting period when he was fighting the battles of his country in the Peninsula, how hope and fear alternately possessed our bosom; and, when the news of victory after victory arrived, we rejoiced-not because Frenchmen were slaughtered by thousands but because every victory seemed to remove further from us the threatened invasion of Old England. Many a time and often was the rumour spread far and wide that Old Bony, as Napoleon Buonaparte was com monly called, was coming in his flat-bottomed boats, and our young heart, almost half-a-century ago, fired with the love of fatherland, prompted us at the age of sixteen to join the Volunteers, put on military habili. ments, shoulder a firelock, and learn to walk with measured step to martial music. Often in those days did we join the multitude on public occasions, in singing God save the King and Rule Britannia. Thank God, those times of fear, and noise, and blood, are gone by, we hope for ever; but should they, as some predict, return again,—though not
so young and active; yet in case of invasion by a foreign foe, (we do not approve of any war, excepting one of defence) then in defence of our own country, our liberties and religion, we would help our sons to buckle on the armour, and send them forth to the field of conflict, charging them not to disgrace the name of Englishmen by any cowardly or unworthy conduct, while we tended our daughters and grandchildren, endeavouring to soothe their sorrows account of absent husbands and fathers. We could lead them to a throne of grace and teach them by our example to bow the suppliant knee, beseeching the Lord of Host to fight our battles, save our country, and shield our friends. Our national sins are numerous, and call loudly for national punishment, but let all those who love the Lord Jesus, pray daily, and earnestly plead with heaven for our guilty land, and say–Send us peace in our day, good Lord.—EDT8.
SABBATH MORNINGS WITH SABBATH
HAVING been both pleased and instructed by my former visit to the little school, I was not long before I made it convenient in the course of my walks to pass that way again. This time, however, I took care to be earlier, as I was anxious to witness the whole course of instruction, from the opening of the school to its close. Accordingly I reached it just as the scholars were assembling. The superintendent had already arrived, who, as it was now time to begin by calling the names, proceeded so to do. I found him very pleasant and intelligent, and disposed to be communicative; but at this time evidently embarrassed, which embarrassment became more and more plain as the business proceeded. John Thomas, William Jones, Henry Phillips, Stephen Rogers, and a host of other names were called; but no one replied. He called the names of the girls, with the same success. And I found on hearing the names called throughout, that of the whole number on the books, not more than one in every five or six were present, although it was now half-anhour after the time for assembling. As I stood by him, I saw on the books a long list of teachers' names, on a page to themselves, which I noticed he did not call at this time. I guessed the reason: for on looking around at the little classes, forming by the slow arrival of the scholars, I pereeived that two or three teachers (the best of them) were all that had arrived out of a list of twenty names. A hymn was next given out, and the children sung to the best of their ability, as did also the teachers who were there; but the voices wanted the support of numbers, and the air needed to be filled up by the other parts to constitute it music. ' Prayer followed-sensible, intelligent, earnest prayer, for the children and teachers, whether present or absent — prayer that the children might be obedient and kind to their parents, and also attentive to their teachers—alas ! where were they ?)— prayer that the teachers might be patient and persevering in toiling for the young and rising race—that they might be examples of diligence and punctuality, and kindness, and holiness—in a word, patterns of piety. I was pleased and grieved
*See No. XI., Vol. I., Page 158,