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continuance if so the Father willed ; if not. she bowed in acquiesence to Infinite wisdom and love. Of amiable and kind affections she longed for human good, and rejoiced to aid all efforts for the moral and intellectual training of the young, their rational and innocent recreation, the melioration of distress, and the improvement of the physical and religious condition of her fellow beings. In her time of health she took an active part in their promotion; in her days of sickness her interest in them was undiminished. The countenance brightened on hearing “good tidings of good” for humanity, and whilst “patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer,” she was ever “rejoicing in hope,” the hope of present happiness, the Christian hope of life immortal.

HALTWHISTLE MECHANICS'INSTITUTION.—

1.-The town of Haltwhistle is situated in North Northumberland, and is one of the stations on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway. It had formerly a market of some importance, and may probably revive in this respect, as in many others, when the mineral treasures in its immediate vicinity become more unfolded, and the branch railway from Alston and the lead mines of Cumberland is opened to it. The neighbourhood is rich in historical associations, the Roman wall between the Tyne and the Solway intersecting the country, not far off; and moated tower, ruined fortress, and mouldering priory, recalling tales and doings of other times, whilst the present age is fully represented by iron road, commercial enterprise, heralded by engineering skill, inducing employment for numbers, and the knowledge of the once comparatively few made accessible to all, by Mechanics' Institute, with its books and lectures. The birth place of Bishop Ridley in proximity to that of Martin the painter, blends images of the intolerance and persecution of former days on account of adherence to conscientious conviction and Scripture teaching, with those witching and sublime traceries of the marvellous doings recorded in its history, which have realized to the eye of the modern the scenes and events of Providential interference, which characterized the world's infancy. Old world people there are to be found lingering among these outlying places, who deem the former times better than these, and think all effort for popular improvement vain and idle, if not absolutely irreligious. Happily there are others who have not so learned nature, history, man, and Christ, and God. Monopoly in knowledge is to them odious, its dissemination a duty; the uplifting of the popular mind a cherished hope. Such views and feelings gave birth to the Mechanics' Institution. On the 13th March, 1848, Mr. William Campbell, of Newcastle, called by handbill a meeting in Haltwhistle of those who wished its formation. Twelve persons assembled and formed it. It has prospered. At the close of the first six months there were 36 members; six then retired, the half leaving the neighbourhood ; at the end of the year there were 60 members. Seven additional ones were proposed the first Committee meeting subsequently to the Anniversary. Number of Volumes in the Library, 585, including those given and purchased ; number of issues of books during the year 806. Lectures have been delivered by the excellent and indefatigable Secretary Mr. R. R. Maddison, the Rev. W. Sargeant, and Mr. Burn. Income, arising from donations, annual subscriptions, and lectures, £49 Os. 104d. Expenditure £36 18s. 6d., leaving a balance in hand of £12 2s. Ad. The Bishop of Durham is among the donors.

The first anniversary was celebrated March 13. Tea was prepared in the Library room rented by the society. It proved much too small. Indeed no room in the town would have been large enough to contain at once, those who thronged from miles around to this meeting, It made quite a gala day in Haltwhistle. The very efficient band of music heightened the festive pleasure. About two hundred persons partook of the tea and refreshments which had been abundantly provided, successive parties retiring from the tables to make way for others. It had been arranged that Mr. Harris was to deliver a Lecture in the course of the proceedings at the largest room in the town. It was soon found insufficient in accommodation, and as Mr. Harris had promised to give a Lecture the following evening, March 14, in the Primitive Methodist Chapel on the Temperance Reformation, application was made for its use for the Mechanics' Institution lecture. It was promptly granted. The band soon made known the change of place by preceding the company to the extremity of the town at which the chapel is situated, and it was speedily crowded to the pulpit door.

On the motion of Mr. Maddison, Mr. William Campbell was called to the chair. Mr. Campbell made an address full of interest and admirably adapted to the occasion, pointing out the blessings of knowledge, and the value of Mechanics’ Institutions as agencies for its diffuusion, congratulating the people on what had already been done, and encouraging them to believe and prove that these were only the days of small things as contrasted with the future usefulness of the society. Mr. Harris's lecture was listened to with the deepest attention, and a very cordial vote of thanks testified afterwards the feelings of the audience in respect to it. Mr. Maddison read the Report of the Committee, the facts contained in which have already been detailed. The Chairman, in the name of the subscribers, presented a testimonial to Mr. Skelton for the efficient services he had rendered as Librarian, and after Mr. Skelton had made suitable acknowledgment, and thanks given to the Chairman, the very pleasant and instructive proceedings of the day were brought to a close.

The following evening, March 14, at the request of the Haltwhistle Total Abstinence Society, Mr. Harris delivered a lecture in the Primitive Methodist Chapel. It was again crowded. Mr. Dodds the Minister of the Congregation usually assembling there, and the President of the Society, gave out a hymn, and offered up a fervent prayer, after which, having made a few introductory remarks, he invited Mr. Harris to give his lecture; at the close of Mr. Harris's address, thanks were voted by acclamation; a Collection made in behalf of the society, and the meeting concluded with singing and benediction. There was spirit and life manifested, at this meeting, which evinced the heart earnestness of the members. Not the least token of that earnestness was exhibited by the singers bursting forth at the close of this lengthened meeting, in the spirit stirring strain, “Now Preacher don't be weary.” There are upwards of a hundred members in the Total Abstinence Society of Haltwhistle.

GLASGOW ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL SOIREE.—This was held in the Union Street Chapel, on Wednesday, 21st March, and was one of the most numerous as well as most agreeable meetings of the Unitarians and their friends. Taken as one index of the pros. perity of the cause here, it may be regarded as a most favourable sign. Mr. Millar conducted the duties of Chairman in a manner that must have been very satisfactory to himself, as it was also to the company. Besides tea, &c., which of course is the sine qua non, and the quality of which was praiseworthy, there was the powerful assistance of the Organ in harmonizing our voices into sweet accords of melodious hymns, suited to the occasion and to the sentiments, which were spoken to and adopted. After the Chairman’s introductory remarks, and the reading and adoption of the congregational Report, which was much approved of, Mr.

Dunlop, of Paisley, addressed the meeting on Education ; the Rev. Richard Shaen, of Edinburgh, advocated and illustrated the Spirit of Love and Meekness befitting our Churches ; the Rev. James Forrest, of Greenock, and Mr. Callender, of Paisley, submitted a sentiment on the memory of the Christian Martyrs, in particular Biddle and Emlyn, and Thomas Fysche Palmer; and the Rev. Charles Clarke, the active and talented minister of the congregation, then addressed the company on the aims and efforts of the Congregation, in enlightening the public mind religiously, socially, and politically, it being as a light shining for the general welfare, as proved by its history from its commencement. Among other novelties on this occasion, though it would be no novelty south of the Tweed, was the presence of a band of Sunday School children, partakers of the feast along with their elders this company of small ones being organized of late years as an additional means of social benefit; and it is to be regarded as a proof of the increasing zeal of the minister and members of the Unitarian Christian Church in Glasgow.

G. K. F.

NEWCASTLE SUNDAY EVENING LECTURES.—Mr. Harris has recently concluded a course of twenty-two Sunday evening lectures, commencing October 15, 1848, on the following important subjects :Religious Error, when Innocent, when Criminal; Adherence to Religious Truth, the Duty and Happiness of Man ; Mystery, its nature and Character, Revelation no Mystery; Christianity an appeal to Reason, its Records to be interpreted by Reason; Tradition and Scripture, their Uses and Abuses; Antichrist, its nature and characteristics ; Church of Rome and Church of Christ; Human infallibility not possible, its assumption whether by Pope or Church irrational and false ; Church of Rome Worship and Christian Worship; The Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds ; Comparison of the Churches of Rome and of England ; Protestantism, what is it? ; Church of Englandism, its form and Constitution ; Church of England Worship and Christian Worship; Uniformity and Nonconformity, their respective character and principles, history, and effects; Christian Unitarianism, the Religion of the Scriptures and of Christian Antiquity ; the Religion for the Poor, the People; the Religion to live by; the Religion to die by ; Superior in Devotional power ; Superior in Benevolent Tendencies ; Destined to Universality. Throughout the course the attendance has been very numerous, the chapel generally well filled, sometimes crowded. Two of the lectures were by request repeated, the one on Christian Unitarianism the Religion of the Scriptures and of Christian Antiquity, on Wednesday evening, February 7, the closing one on Sunday, March 25. The applications from Strangers at the close of each service for books to read, have been constant and numerous.

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THE POPE'S LETTER, AND MARY THE MOTHER OF

JESUS.

The world has just been struck with astonishment by a letter from the Pope, addressed to the Roman Catholic Prelates throughout the world, informing them that he is at length going to pronounce an authoritative decision on the question, whether Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was born with. out the taint of Original Sin; and desiring the aid, both of their counsels and their prayers, that he may arrive at a just conclusion,

"Thus, from the commencement of our Pontificate, we have directed, with an extreme interest, our most serious cares and thoughts towards an object of such high importance, and have not ceased to raise unto Almighty God humble and fervent prayers that He may deign to illuminate our soul with the light of His heavenly grace, and make us know the determination which we ought to make upon this subject. We also repose all confidence in this, that the Blessed Virgin, who has been raised by the greatness of her merits above all the choirs of angels up to the throne of God,' who has crushed, under the foot of her virtues, the head of the old serpent, and who, 'placed between CHRIST and the Church, full of graces and sweetness, has ever rescued the Christian people from the greatest calamities, from the snares and from the attacks of all their enemies, and has saved them from ruin, will in like manner deign, taking pity on us with that immense tenderness which is the habitual outpouring of her maternal heart, to drive away from us, by her instant and all-powerful protection before God, the sad and lamentable misfortunes, the cruel anguish, the pains and necessities which we suffer, to turn aside the scourges of Divine wrath which afflict us by reason of our sins, to appease and dissipate the frightful storms of evil with which the Church is assailed on all sides, to the unmeasured grief of our souls, and, in fine, to change our sorrow into joy. For you know perfectly, Venerable Brethren, that the foundation of our confidence is in the Most Holy Virgin; since it is in her that God has placed the plenitude of all good in such sort, that if there be in us any hope, if there be any spiritual health, we know that it is from her that we receive it

because such is the will of Him who hath willed that we should have all by the instrumentality of

MARY."

M

We scarcely knew whether to be amused, or sorrowful, or glad at this announcement. The first we could not avoid being, when we perused the missive; but no sooner had we put down the paper than we were filled with deep regret at the state of such a large portion of Christendom, which makes the composition of such a letter possible ; eventually, we almost rejoiced at the folly about to be perpetrated, when we considered its probable results, believing, as we do, that the more absurd and ridiculous the parent Orthodoxy of all becomes, the sooner must she and her offspring give place to pure and primitive Christianity. In the meanwhile, it may not be uninteresting to our readers, if we give them a brief account of the steps by which the Mother of Jesus (by all Roman Catholics and by many Protestants erroneously styled the VIRGIN MARY,) was elevated to her present position, as almost a fourth portion of the popular Godhead. At the same time, we shall see the origin of the controversy about to be decided by the oldest, if not the only, Church putting forth claim to Infallibility.

When, and by whom, Mary was first worshipped, it is difficult precisely to ascertain ; but as she was supposed to have been buried at Ephesus, it is highly probable that the half-heathen converts there, who had been accustomed to adore the Great Goddess Diana, immediately on their embracing Christianity placed Mary in her room. It is pretty certain that there were those at the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, who held the Mother of Jesus to be a portion of the Godhead* ; for Sale writes in the “Preliminary Discourse” to his translation of the Koran—"The notion of the divinity of the Virgin Mary was also believed by some at the Council of Nice, who said there were two Gods besides the Father, viz., Christ and the Virgin Mary, and were thence called Mariamites, (Elmacin. Eutych).” About half a century later, or towards the end of the 4th century, Arabia and the neighbouring lands were distracted by a virulent controversy connected with this subject. One party maintained that Mary had children by her husband Joseph, after the birth of

*“The Council of Nice,” says Mr. Saverain, a Catholic writer, “did not at all touch upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. Far from it. The Holy Ghost was so little considered at that time, that some Fathers of the Council would have made no difficulty to give the superiority or precedence to the Virgin Mary, in making her

the third person of the Trinity. This we learn from Elmacinus and Patricides. Hollinger, Hist. Orient. I 2, p. 227.” The Apology of Benjamin Ben Mordecai, p. 106.

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