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ble, though very inadequate, expression of our mutual and affectionate attachment to you as our Pastor. We would, especially, declare our high approbation of your unceasing endeavour to enforce the duty of living (as far as lies in us) peaceably with all men, of every religious denomination ; and the obligation of extending, without reserve, to others, the privilege which we claim for ourselves, in ex. ercising the right of private judgment, and estimating the sufficiency of the Scriptures as the Rule of Faith. We gratefully remember your services of kindness and consolation to the sick and sorrowful, and your zealous efforts to animate domestic piety, to provide the most efficient means for our improvement, generally; and, in particular, to elevate the moral and religious character of the young, by the establishing of a Sabbath-School, and a select Congregational Library,
It is our hearty desire and prayer to God, that he will bless you and your people more abundantly with wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that we, thankfully receiving the protection of equal laws, and the religious liberty which we enjoy, may give testimony of our faith by peaceable and godly living ; and that you may find a present reward of your labors in winning many souls to Christ. And, in affection and sincerity, we commend you to the favor of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Signed on behalf of the Congregation,
JOHN GREENFIELD, Chairman, Holywood, Dec. 16, 1838.
REPLY. MY DEAR FRIENDS. I highly value the Address with which you have presented me: while it greatly overrates any exertions I have been enabled to make for your spiritual improvement, it convinces me that I possess your esteem.
I could have wished, that the circumstance to which you refer, as more immediately calling forth this expression of your respect. had not transpired beyond the friends to whom it was mentioned; but I do not value the less on this account, the kind feeling which has prompted you to notice it. I consider the regulation of our Church, which permits a Minister, when he has the opportunity, to improve his worldly circumstances, by removing to another congregation, most proper ; but I do not think that the prospect of a small increase of emolument should be a sufficient inducement to break up a connexion between a Pastor and his people, which has been strengthened
by frequent intercourse, and cemented by mutual confidence and regard.
You are pleased to notice, with approval, my endeavours to cultivate a spirit of charity and forbearance towards persons of other denominations. You thus recognize a duty which is incumbent on every follower of the blessed Saviour ; a duty which I trust we, my brethren, shall strive uniformly and religiously to observe. Christian Church, we glory in maintaining the two great principles of the Reformation, THE BIBLE IS A SUFFICIENT Rule or Farte; and, EVERY MAN MUST INTERPRET THE BIBLE FOR HIMSELF ;-and whenever we injure, insult, or even coldly salute a neighbour, because he differs from us in opinion, we trample on these sacred principles, and do violence to the cause of Christian Liberty.
We cannot too highly estimate the importance of domestic piety. Home is the place where the feelings and affections are most successfully cultivated ; if piety be carefully trained and cherished there, it may gain a hold on the heart, which the world with all its temptations will not be able to overcome: and therefore would I diligently labor, that, in every family of our little society, an altar may be reared for the daily worship of our Father in Heaven.
The Congregational Library, established last year, contains upwards of two hundred volumes ; and, in this age, when education is almost universal, I trust that it may prove a powerful instrument for the extension of religious knowledge and piety among us. In this, as in every thing else that is calculated to improve our society, I am happy to acknowledge your cheerful and efficient co-operation.
I am gratified by your notice of the Sabbath-School. I honestly confess, that, if there be one portion of the congregation for which I feel a more lively interest than another, it is the “ lambs" of my ORDINATION AT RAVARA. On Wednesday, the 12th ult., the Remonstrant Presbytery of Bangor met at Ravara to ordain the Rev. John M'Caw to the Pastoral charge of the new Remonstrant Congregation in that place. The Rev. W. H. Doherty preached from Matt. xvi. 24., “ If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” The Rev. David Whyte, in a lucid and eloquent address, defended Presbyterian ordination ; and the Rev. F Blakely delivered an appropriate and very instructive charge to the congregation and the newly elected minister.
and I cherish a reasonable hope, that the various means adopted for their religious improvement may, by the blessing of God, be attended with great success. I rejoice to add, that an interest in the cause of Sunday-School education is rapidly increasing in our Church.
Finally, brethren, I join, with all my heart, in your prayer, that God may bless us more abundantly with wisdom and spiritual understanding; and I fervently hope, that, by His grace, we may be "steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know, that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
CHARLES J. M'ALESTER. Holywood, Dec. 16, 1838.
The members of the congregation entertained the clergymen at a plain aud comfortable dinner in Mr. Stewart's Inn, Ballygowan.“ About eighty persons were present, Dr. Gordon of Saintfield in the chair, and Mr. Bingham, Kilmore, acting as croupier.
OBITUARY. Died, On Friday, the 21st ult., near Holywood, Thomas Byers, in the 70th year of his age. This good old man died full of years and full of hope. Throughout his life he was distinguished for integrity, benevolence, and piety. He possessed the confidence and esteem of the neighbourhood in which he lived. In religious opinion he was a Unitarian, and was a consistent advocate of religious liberty. For many years he was an Elder in the First Presbyterian Congregation of Holywood, and took a lively interest in the affairs of that religious Society.
Died - On the 10th ult., at the house of his father, Holywood, Captain Hugh Stewart, only surviving son of Mr. Hugh Stewart, in the 23rd year of his age. For some time he had been at sea, and had visited the East Indies, South America, and other countries.-During an illness of some weeks, he exhibited much patience in suffering, and derived peace and joy from those exercises of devotion in which he held communion with his father. His life, though short, was exemplary, and adorned with many good dispositions, which we had fondly hoped would have been matured on earth, but they are transplanted to a more congenial soil.
Died,mOn the 4th of December, at his house in George's-street, Belfast, Mr. James Harper, aged 50; of amiable feelings, upright character, and religious habits, and distinguished for his indefatigable attention to the interests of the poor.
Died,-- On the 4th December, John C. Cunningham, aged 25, leaving a regret that one, whose opening prospects were so encourage ing, should be so early removed.
A PARTING WORD FROM THE EDITORS. The present number of the Bible Christian completes the third year of our Editorial labors, and terminates our connexion with the work. While we are conscious of many defects in the volumes we have published, we trust that, making allowance for the gradual and happy decline of that excitement which first led to the publication of the Bible Christian, they will not be found inferior in interest to those which have preceded them. Whatever interest they may possa ess, however, we would not be understood as attributing to our own abilities, for of these we have perhaps as humble an opinion as our subscribers have ; nor to the co-operation of our clerical brethren, for with the exception of the Rev. R. E. B. Maclellan, and the Rev. W. H. Doherty, whose assistance we gratefully remember, their contributions have been like “angel's visits ;" but to the articles which we have introduced from other periodicals, or the extracts we have made from new works, especially from those of American Unitarians, who seem, in religious feeling, as well as in locality, to be farther removed from the Frigid Zone than we in Ireland.
During our management of the Bible Christian, the objects at which we have aimed, were the advocacy of Religious Liberty, the explanation and defence of Unitarian Christianity, and the cultiva. tion of piety and zeal among the members of our own denomination. If in these objects we have even partially succeeded, we are amply rewarded for a task which, however light it may appear to others, we have felt to be one of labor and difficulty. We rejoice that, in re. tiring from our office, we will be succeeded by one who brings to its duties, great talents and untiring zeal one who will not only use the periodical to defend the doctrines of "pure and undefiled religion," but also to enforce its dutiesamone who will mark the progress of public feeling, and will give due attention and support to Sunday-School Education, and the other plans for religious improvement with which our body are at present occupied. To him we gladly resign our little work, and confidently anticipate that under his Editorship its interest and usefulness will greatly increase.
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS. All Articles in the possession of the Editors will be handed over to their successor,