Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“ The presentations since ministers had come into office, he said, had been in several instances most unsatisfactory; and as to the call, he expected nothing at the hands of the General Assembly, considering their division of 120 to 80 on that question last year; and even supposing that the Assembly did do something regarding the call, that ought never to satisfy the country so long as the rights of patronage were suffered to exist.

After some farther conversation, the meeting broke up: and the subject will come before Parliament again, only when the different anti-patronage petitions now in progress are presented to their house."

While statesmen are thus contemplating changes, which must prove, at once, beneficial and acceptable to the great mass of the people of Scotland; it is not a little cheering to find that the people themselves are not forgetful of their duty.

At a meeting of the Anti-patronage Society, held at Aberdeen, October 30th, 1832, it was formally announced, that several patrons had resolved to give as a welcome boon, what ere long must be extorted by the right arm of power. Mr. Bridges mentioned the cases of

Thurso, where Sir John Sinclair and Mr. George Sinclair gave the election to heads of families, and these last made a unanimous and excellent choice.

Kirkwall, the magistrates of which proceeded in a similar way.
Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton.
Paisley, the magistrates.

Dundee, where it has been resolved by the magistrates, that all future appointments shall be by the choice of the Church people. Aberdeen, the same.

Others were expected soon to follow the excellent example. Petitions without number were preparing: the voice of the people seemed about to be made known in a tone of decision that reminds us of better days. The call was made from the south : it has been heard : it shall be answered. The reformers and founders of the Church of Scotland were the boldest champions for the rights of their country, when the coronets of her Barons, and the might of her sturdiest yeomen quailed before the blast of tyranny : for the rights of their country and the holier cause of their God, they contended amid the fastnesses of their native hills, until their blood watered the plant of Scotia's liberty, and their dying testimony bequeathed to others their Zion, whose future triumphs cheered their hours of suffering.” And it seems to us, as if the mighty genius of this land of liberty, this sanctuary of freedom, which long slumbered, has again awakened out of sleep. If it has ; advance it shall, despite of stormy strife, and unrelenting persecution : advance it shall, till lordly domination quake, and the high places of corruption totter: advance it shall, till the liberties of the people, encircling the ark of the covenant, shall be enshrined in unsullied purity, and challenge an appeal to the thrilling voice that ever rises unto heaven from the graves of Scotia's martyred children.

The Observance of the Sabbath Medically considered.-Most of our readers are aware, that some time ago a Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to examine into the existing state of the laws or statutes relative to the Sabbath-as well as into the prevailing practice in regard to the observance or nonobservance of the sacred day of rest. The Committee drew up, as the result of their laborious examination, a report eminently characterized by solemnity of feeling, soundness of judgment, and comprehensiveness of view. Our limits alone preclude the insertion of it. But we cannot refrain from giving a place to the following interesting remarks, extracted from the evidence of J. R. Frere, M. D.

“ You have practised as a physician for many years ?-Yes.
“ State the number of years ? --Between thirty and forty years.

“ Have you had occasion to observe the effect of the observance and nonobservance of the seventh day of rest, during that time?- I have been in the habit, during a great many years, of considering the uses of the Sabbath, and of observing its abuses. The abuses are chiefly manifested in labour and dissipation. The use, medically speaking, is that of a day of rest. In a theological sense, it is a holy rest, providing for the future state. As a day of rest, I view it as a day of compensation for the inadequate restora. tive power of the body, under continued labour and excitement. A physician always has respect to the preservation of the restorative power, because if this once be lost, his healing office is at an end. If I show you from the physiological view of the question, that there are provisions in the laws of nature which correspond with the Divine commandment, you will see from the analogy, that “the Sabbath was made for man,” as a necessary appointment. A physician is anxious to preserve the balance of circulation, as necessary to the restorative power of the body. The ordinary exertions of man run down the circulation, every day of his life; and the first general law of nature by which God, (who is not only the giver, but also the preserver and sustainer of life,) prevents man from destroying himself, is the alternating of day with night, that repose may succeed action. But although the night apparently equalizes the circulation well, yet it does not suffici. ently restore its balance for the attainment of a long life. Hence one day in seven, by this bounty of Providence, is thrown in as a day of compensation, to perfect, by its repose, the animal system. You may easily determine this question as a matter of fact, by trying it on beasts of burden. Take that fine animal the horse, and work him to the full extent of his powers every day in the week, or give him rest one day in seven, and you will soon perceive, by the superior vigour with which he performs his functions on the other six days, that this rest is necessary to his well-being. Man possessing a superior nature, is borne along by the very vigour of his mind, so that the injury of continued diurnal exertion and excitement on his animal system is not so immediately felt as it is in the brute: but in the long run he breaks down more suddenly; it abridges the length of his life, and that vigour of his old age, which (as to mere animal power) ought to be the object of his preservation. I consider, therefore, that in the bountiful provision of Providence, for the preservation of human life, the sabbatical appointment is not, as it has been sometimes theologically viewed, simply a precept, partaking of the nature of a political institution, but that it is to be numbered amongst the natural duties, if the preservation of life be admitted The presentations since ministers had come into office, he said, had been in several instances most unsatisfactory; and as to the call, he expected nothing at the hands of the General Assembly, considering their division of 120 to 80 on that question last year; and even supposing that the Assembly did do something regarding the call, that ought never to satisfy the country so long as the rights of patronage were suffered to exist.

“After some farther conversation, the meeting broke up: and the subject will come before Parliament again, only when the different anti-patronage petitions now in progress are presented to their house."

While statesmen are thus contemplating changes, which must prove, at once, beneficial and acceptable to the great mass of the people of Scotland; it is not a little cheering to find that the people themselves are not forgetful of their duty.

At a meeting of the Anti-patronage Society, held at Aberdeen, October 30th, 1832, it was formally announced, that several patrons had resolved to give as a welcome boon, what ere long must be extorted by the right arm of power. Mr. Bridges mentioned the cases of

Thurso, where Sir John Sinclair and Mr. George Sinclair gave the election to heads of families, and these last made a unanimous and excellent choice.

Kirkwall, the magistrates of which proceeded in a similar way.
Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton.
Paisley, the magistrates.

Dundee, where it has been resolved by the magistrates, that all future appointments shall be by the choice of the Church people. Aberdeen, the same.

Others were expected soon to follow the excellent example. Petitions without number were preparing: the voice of the people seemed about to be made known in a tone of decision that reminds us of better days. The call was made from the south: it has been heard : it shall be answered. The reformers and founders of the Church of Scotland were “the boldest champions for the rights of their country, when the coronets of her Barons, and the might of her sturdiest yeomen quailed before the blast of tyranny : for the rights of their country and the holier cause of their God, they contended amid the fastnesses of their native hills, until their blood watered the plant of Scotia's liberty, and their dying testimony bequeathed to others their Zion, whose future triumphs cheered their hours of suffering.” And it seems to us, as if the mighty genius of this land of liberty, this sanctuary of freedom, which long slumbered, has again awakened out of sleep. If it has; advance it shall, despite of stormy strife, and unrelenting persecution : advance it shall, till lordly domination quake, and the high places of corruption totter: advance it shall, till the liberties of the people, encircling the ark of the covenant, shall be enshrined in unsullied purity, and challenge an appeal to the thrilling voice that ever rises unto heaven from the graves of Scotia's martyred children.

The Observance of the Sabbath Medically considered.-Most of our readers are aware, that some time ago a Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to examine into the existing state of the laws or statutes relative to the Sabbath—as well as into the prevailing practice in regard to the observance or nonobservance of the sacred day of rest. The Committee drew up, as the result of their laborious examination, a report eminently characterized by solemnity of feeling, soundness of judgment, and comprehensiveness of view. Our limits alone preclude the insertion of it. But we cannot refrain from giving a place to the following interesting remarks, extracted from the evidence of J. R. Frere, M. D.

“ You have practised as a physician for many years ? — Yes.
“ State the number of years ? --Between thirty and forty years.

“ Have you had occasion to observe the effect of the observance and nonobservance of the seventh day of rest, during that time? --I have been in the habit, during a great many years, of considering the uses of the Sabbath, and of observing its abuses. The abuses are chiefly manifested in labour and dissipation. The use, medically speaking, is that of a day of rest. In a theological sense, it is a holy rest, providing for the future state.--As a day of rest, I view it as a day of compensation for the inadequate restorative power of the body, under continued labour and excitement. A physician always has respect to the preservation of the restorative power, because if this once be lost, his healing office is at an end. If I show you from the physiological view of the question, that there are provisions in the laws of nature which correspond with the Divine commandment, you will see from the analogy, that “the Sabbath was made for man,” as a necessary appointment. A physician is anxious to preserve the balance of circulation, as necessary to the restorative power of the body. The ordinary exertions of man run down the circulation, every day of his life; and the first general law of nature by which God, (who is not only the giver, but also the preserver and sustainer of life,) prevents man from destroying himself, is the alternating of day with night, that repose may succeed action. But although the night apparently equalizes the circulation well, yet it does not suffici. ently restore its balance for the attainment of a long life. Hence one day in seven, by this bounty of Providence, is thrown in as a day of compensation, to perfect, by its repose, the animal system. You may easily determine this question as a matter of fact, by trying it on beasts of burden. Take that fine animal the horse, and work him to the full extent of his powers every day in the week, or give him rest one day in seven, and you will soon perceive, by the superior vigour with which he performs his functions on the other six days, that this rest is necessary to his well-being. Man possessing a superior nature, is borne along by the very vigour of his mind, so that the injury of continued diurnal exertion and excitement on his animal system is not so immediately felt as it is in the brute: but in the long run he breaks down more suddenly; it abridges the length of his life, and that vigour of his old age, which (as to mere animal power) ought to be the object of his preservation. I consider, therefore, that in the bountiful provision of Providence, for the preservation of human life, the sabbatical appointment is not, as it has been sometimes theologically viewed, simply a precept, partaking of the nature of a political institution, but that it is to be numbered amongst the natural duties, if the preservation of life be admitted to be a duty, and the premature destruction of it, a suicidal act. This is said simply as a physician, and without reference at all to the theological question; but if you consider further the proper effects of real Christianity, namely, peace of mind, confiding trust in God, and good will to man, you will perceive in this source of renewed vigour to the mind, and through the mind to the body, an additional spring of life imparted from this higher use of the Sabbath, as a holy rest. Were I to pursue this part of the question, I should be touching on the duties committed to the clergy: but this I will say, that researches in physiology, by the analogy of the working of Providence in nature, will establish the truth of Revelation, and consequently shew that the Divine commandment is not to be considered as an arbitrary enactment, but as an appointment necessary to man. This is the position in which I would place it as contradistinguished from precept and legislation; I would point out the sabbatical rest as necessary to man, and that the great enemies of the Sabbath, and consequently the enemies of man, are all laborious exercises of the body or mind, and dissipation, which force the circulation on that day in which it should repose; whilst relaxation from the ordinary cares of life, the enjoyment of this repose in the bosum of one's family, with the religious studies and duties which the day enjoins, not one of which, if rightly exercised, tends to abridge life, constitute the beneficial and appropriate service of the day. The student of nature, in becoming the student of Christ, will find, in the principles of his doctrine and law, and in the practice of them, the only and perfect science which prolongs the present and perfects the future life.

Power of Habit.- In the life of Sir David Baird, who had the misfortune of being taken prisoner, and confined in chains for several years by the tyrants Hyder Ali and Tippoo, a physical fact, curious, but natural, is recorded. Although the irons of the prisoners were knocked off, it was a long time before they recovered the use of their limbs, though liberated, so as to walk with perfect freedom. “ Never,” says the writer of this journal, “ was the inveterate power of habit more forcibly displayed than on this occasion ; we could never get the idea of being in fetters out of our heads. No effort of our minds, no act of volition could, for several days, overcome the habit of making the short and constrained steps to which we had been so long accustomed. Our crippled manner of walking was a subject of laughter to ourselves as well as to others."

Ought not the singular power of long-established habit to account for certain apparent anomalies and inconsistencies in the character and conduct of those who have long been chained with the shackles of superstition, or enthralled under the yoke of ungodliness ; and who have suddenly been delivered from the degrading bondage, and set at large for the enjoyment of light and liberty ?- Need we wonder much that some of the most fondly cherished habits of thought, speech, and action should still more or less cleave unto them—and not only so, but cleave unto them for a time, in spite of every effort to shake them off? And should not this suggest unto us the propriety of making ample allowances for new converts from heathenism?

« ZurückWeiter »