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latter? Whether it be merely for the preservation of the peace of society, or whether it be for the training of immortal souls for heaven, surely it is as much the business of one as of the other, and all ought equally to bear the burden.
“Let me only mention one more fact', namely, that during the time that our population has increased by four millions, church accommodation for not more than seven hundred thousand persons has been obtained, and I think I need say no more to prove, that the efforts made within the last few years,—so honourable to those who have made them, and so cheering as indications of the strong feeling which pervades the country,-are yet so far from diminishing the amount of heathenism, that they have not even kept pace with its increase ; and therefore that the nation has a right to call on its government to effect an object for which all other means are insufficient.
“ I need not detain the house with further arguments. If there is any honourable member who believes the Christian religion to be a reve
I Stated by the Bishop of Winchester at the last meeting of the Church Building Society.
lation from heaven, given by God for the salvation of souls, and the regulation of the lives of men, and yet doubts the urgent necessity of making great and immediate exertion to spread the knowledge of the truth, let me request him to go personally into the lanes and alleys in this immediate neighbourhood : and, when he sees the squalid misery, arising from utterly depraved and ungodly habits,—when he hears the voice of blasphemy and impurity,—let him ask himself, whether it be possible that scenes like these can exist close to the walls of that famed senate, where the greatest Christian assembly is met together; and yet scarcely an effort made ' to reclaim the miserable population, by sending the ministers of religion to win them to the path of
1 The proportion of Church accommodation to the popula. tion in St. John's, Westminster, is at present as follows:
Population. Accommodation. St. John's .........
....... 30,000 Old Church ..............
2,400 New Church ..........
1,200 St Margaret's .............. 32,000 St. Margaret's Church........ .....
2,000 Broading Church ................
1,000 Two private Episcopal Chapels ....
600 So then, around the very walls in which the British legis. lature is assembled, scarcely more than one-tenth of the people have the opportunity of worshipping God!
duty. And, when he extends his researches, and learns that the scenes which he there sees are equalled, if not surpassed, in iniquity, in other districts of this vast metropolis; when he discovers that in this one city there are five hundred thousand human beings without religious instruction; when he becomes aware that this is but a sample of what exists in every other great city of the empire,—that crimes the most dreadful, deeds the most horrible and unheard. of,—the spawn of utter ungodliness,-abound; that hundreds of human beings drop off daily into eternity without having been invited to the house of God,—and that the assembled legislature has hitherto refused to grant the means of religion ;-must he not wonder wherefore God delays his bolt, and hurls not to ruin a nation such as this, which, professing itself Christian, is steeped in worse than heathen darkness--the darkness not of ignorance, but of deadly indifference. • “Let me entreat you, my Christian friends,
(for why should I not so address you,)-let me entreat you, as Christians, to discard from your minds all unworthy feelings of mere party expediency, and to look upon the great question as one of charity to your fellow men, and duty to your God. Surely a great nation, like ours,
ought to be indignant at the very idea of suffering any portion of the community to be without the means of obtaining Christian instruction, and every Christian legislator should feel it a disgrace to himself, until so grievous a blot be wiped away. How can we expect God's blessing to contiune upon us, if we take no steps to correct the iniquity which offends his sight? But let us, while yet we may, spread the knowledge of his name among the people, and restore to their former efficiency those institutions which have made us what we are, and we shall still prosper under the protection of God's good providence, and maintain the reputation which we have so long enjoyed, of being a great and understanding people.""
THE DEBATE AND DIVISION.
“ Servant of God, well done: well hast thou fought
The better fight, who singly hast maintained
...... The easier conquest now
Sir Arthur Ridley sat down amidst loud and continued cheering. Though the matter of his speech was simple and unadorned, the vivacity of his manner and the novelty of the ground which he took, created a lively interest; while the zealous earnestness of his delivery, unaccompanied with the least impatience,—the quick decision and imperturbable nerve which he displayed, at once stamped him as a first-rate parliamentary speaker.