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the suggestion of a private Individual; and the Institution, for which we are indebted
and to the State (principles whịch till lately the Methodists, professed to abhor), they are daily strengthening the numbers and the power of these enthusiasts, as instruments for the destruction of both. This is not a place to discuss this important subject. Yet I beg to submit the following questions to those finçere wellwishers to the cause of Religion and Government, who have fortunately listened to the objections which have been artfully raised against this truly Christian Institution.
Which countries have moft easily fallen victims to the reigning delusion? Those in which religious knowļedge abounds, or those in which ignorance and superftition prevail ? Do not all the common village-schools, as well as all those established by Sectarists and PhiloSophists, teach Reading? And what more is taught at Sunday Schools besides the principles of the Gospel, which was expressly addressed to the poor, as well as to the rich, and which strikes at the root of all immorality, and makes “obedience to all who are in authority,” a sacred duty? Which are the most likely to make peaceable, honest, and industrious subjects, or to withstand the artifices of our enemies, those whose minds are early impressed with a belief in the overruling Providence of God, and in a future state, and are accustomed to repeat the excellent Catechism, and to join in ihe established worship of the Church, or those who have neither principles, prejudices, nor habits to direct and to defend them ? Are not the pea. fantry of Scotland remarkably well informed, and the
to Female genius and piety o; because I am well assured, they will be allowed to hold a distinguished place, by those who have had the means of judging of their extensive influence ; because they strongly mark the National Character ; and because it must be granted to be a fingular circumstance, that we should have been thus strengthening ourselves for the Conflict, while all other nations have relaxed in vigilance. The rapid progress of a systematic disregard to the Sabbath, arising partly from misrepresentations of its origin, and design, and partly from the growing indifference to the ordinances of Religion, received a powerful check at a most important period. The attention was recalled to its original institution as “ a day of rest, to be kept holy to the Lord;” and to the authority of those 'Commandments which our Lord declared to be in force for ever, The practice of the primitive ages of the world, as far as we can learn any thing upon the subject from the testimony of profane, as well as facred writers, and of the early Christians, was appealed to, and fhown to have been equally removed from the strictness of the Jewish Law, the feverity of Puritanical manners, and the thoughtless gaiety authorised and promoted by the Church of Rome. It is to be feared, that too many of our Protestant brethren have been led to consider festive mirth, and social amusements, as at leaft a harmless employment of that part of the
peasantry of Ireland as remarkably ignorant? Which of these make the best soldiers, failors, labourers, mee chanics, servants ? Which of these have been led into a favage rebellion, and which have been recalled to a sense of religion and loyalty when far advanced in the paths of Infidelity and Democracy? How can we more effectually contradict the artful and malevolent assertions of our enemies respecting the inattention of our Clergy to the souls of the people committed to their care, than by this mode of religious instruction, which, besides the positive advantages it affords the schølars, almoft obliges the ministers to become personally acquainted with the characters and wants of their parishioners? Is it not the duty of the shepherd to feed his flock within the fold appointed for their preservation, when wolves are prowling round the country for prey? Will not the Master of the flock require his sheep at the hands of those shepherds who lose them through negligence ?
© Mrs. H. More. Millions of copies of Tracts, written with the most interesting fimplicity, and with the force of truth, in the various forms of Tales, Bal. lads, Lectures, &c. and uniting, in a most fingular manner, amusement and instruction suited to the times, have been distributed among the lower ranks of people fince the opening of the Cheap Repository.
day, not spent in public worship; and it must be confessed, that too many of all ranks in this nation often pass the whole in secret riot and intemperance, or in open violation of the laws of God, and of their Country. Yet, however deeply we lament that one day in feven is not more generally dedicated to the business of Eternity, and the pleasures of Devotion, it must also be acknowledged, that a great proportion of the inhabitants of Great Britain devote this facred day to the duties of Religion, according to the doctrine of our Churches, and the Spirit of our Laws. And when it is considered, that we are principally indebted to the observance of the Sabbath, for the sense of Religion retained by the lower claffes of society (the reflection will indeed be applicable to all), and that ignorance ; has been ever found an easy prey to artifice ; may we not venture to ascribe these novel institutions, at the critical time they were introduced into this kingdom, to the gracious interposition of Him“ who giveth wisdom,” in order to check, by the increafed diffusion of religious knowledge, that inundation of impious, rebellious, and licentious publications, which must have overwhelmed a less enlightened people?
It is surely to the intrinsic excellence of our Religion, as well as to the conviction of its inseparable connexion with the preservation of our civil liberties (a conviction which indeed demonstrates its excellence), that we must ascribe the zeal and diligence of the clergy and laity, which, especially of late, have been fo remarkably exerted in its defence. And the popularity of the works of those who have distinguilhed themselves in this cause, so incalculably important to mankind, incontestably proves, that Christianity is dear to Britons.
If the subject were not almost too delicate to touch, we might appeal to Ireland for farther confirmation of this principle. It cannot however be mentioned as an exception; for it is an obvious truth, that the ignorance and bigotry of the Irish Roman Catholics fitted them, in a peculiar manner, for the purposes of Jacobinism. But that fo vast a majority of the people should have continued, for so long a term of years, the slaves of Popery and Barbarism under a Protestant government, and with Protestant ministers appointed to be the instructors of every parish in the king