Page images

prophetically; and God has a declared purpose concerning the lands to fulfil, probably in our day. Among these, Persia is peculiarly interesting; the indestructibility of that kingdom, now of above four thousand years' duration, is only to be accounted for by reading the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, where Persia appears the chosen instrument in God's hand of restoring Israel from Babylon, and rebuilding the Temple. The Lord had said to his people," the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish." The converse of this declaration, which is clearly implied in it, renders Persia imperishable. God grant that England be found acting the same part towards the Jews in a far greater, more perfect, more glorious restoration !

THE PERMANENCE AND PROGRESS OF DIVINE TRUTH, or the truths of the Reformation brought forth by the Church of Eugland, according to the direction of the Lord. A Sermon preached before Prayer Book and Homily Society, on Thursday Evening, May 5, 1842, (being Ascension-day) at St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street, by the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, Rector of Watton, Herts.-Seeleys, &c.

AMONG living men there is not, we believe, one who has done more towards turning the attention of the church to these things which peculiarly belong unto her peace in those eventful times, than Mr. Bickersteth. We might go further; and looking at the number and tendency of his publications, confidently

say that in this way no man has done nearly so much. This, though but a pamphlet, is an important addition to his previous works, exposing as it does the crooked deformity of Puseyism, by shewing the straight and comely proportions of that system of which Puseyism would fain usurp the name, and enjoy the privilege. In one instance only do we differ from our revered friend: we are constrained to believe that Popery will be Popery to the last gasp; never changing or merging in any other form of infidelity than that which has always characterized it. This is a matter to be decided only by the event; and it is happily near that decision which will for ever uproot all the enemies of Christ, and plant the throne of his kingdom supreme over all the earth. The notes to this Sermon are not the least valuable of its contents.


AGAIN has the murderous hand of treason been lifted up against a life inexpressibly valuable, and as every day's experience proves, inestimably dear to the people of England. Again has the shield of the Most High been spread over the sacred person of His chosen servant Victoria, our Queen; and the heartfelt thanksgivings of an empire still ascend before Him. For half a century England was free from the foul stain that such an act must affix to any people; for though treason has existed, and convicted traitors have suffered the penalty of the law, still no actual attempt against the monarch's personal safety has been made. That any Englishman could be found to perpetrate so foul a crime is matter of national humiliation. She is so confiding,' said my uncle; * she tells her people daily, and more eloquently than mere words could tell it, that she is conscious of possessing their love, and delights in trusting to their loyalty. Putting out of sight for a moment the atroeious wickedness of the deed-since we may be well assured that God is not known by such as would attempt it—they must be infidels-there is something so dastardly, so utterly beneath the nature even of savage man in assailing a female, a young wife and mother, while, scorning the array of a military guard, as though she had any thing to fear from the generous Britons around her, she throws herself on the sure


protection of her peoples' love-that I blush for my country, for my sex, when I contemplate the outrage.' And then, uncle, what could be the motive? Assuredly no part of the national distress can by any possibility be traced to the Queen. Far from it: she has declared her will to bear a full share of those burdens which are laid on her people; she has patronized to the utmost the manufactures of the country, and given a severe check to the pernicious fashion of foreign textures. I cannot conceive a possible inducement to this detestable attempt, save the suggestion of Satan, conveyed to a mind destitute of all defence against his wiles, and acted upon.'

'Of course, and to a certainty, the deed was from the instigation of the Devil; but I am far from believing that it was immediately suggested to the wretched boy. Others were implicated, I fear.'

'I can readily believe,' said I, 'that there is more than one party who might hope to gain something in the awful confusion that must ensue on the success (which God in his infinite mercy ever avert!) of any treasonable device against our royal mistress; but surely they must remember that, during the minority of our young heir, the nation has in Prince Albert''One whose life is equally exposed and equally menaced with that of his royal partner,' interrupted my uncle. A bullet aimed at her majesty is every whit as likely to strike the person who sits beside her. May the Lord of hosts shield them both, and frustrate the designs of the party, be they who or what they may, who seek the injury of that youthful pair!'

[ocr errors]

'Is there much of revolutionary feeling abroad now, uncle?'

'Yes: the Sunday newspapers, and similar publications, circulated among the lower classes, generally breathe a spirit subversive of all government, and especially hostile to the throne. Distress prevails to a deplorable degree in many parts of the country; and great efforts are made to trace that distress to the luxuries of courtly life. Royalty is artfully described as an unjust, unlawful tax on the people; and no doubt an impression prevails that by violently removing the monarch, the ultimate overthrow of the monarchy may be affected. These are the principles that, since the outbreak of the French revolution, have been most industriously circulated by the movers of sedition among us.'

'And the repeal meetings too, of which we often hear, ostensibly gathered to promote the separation of the two countries-are they not of treasonable character?'

Ay, but not of republican tendency. The object of that party is to change the succession, and to restore the exiled line of Stuart. I am warranted to say this, because O'Connell himself has so far thrown off the mask as openly to proclaim at the recent annual meeting of the Popish Institute in London, his hope and belief that he should very soon hear mass celebrated in Westminster Abbey.'

'Can that be possible?'

'Do you mean to question whether the thing itself is possible, or that O'Connell said it?'

'I meant the latter.'

It is reported at full length in their organ, the Tablet, where we are also told that, at the close of the meeting, a gentleman proposed, on the ground of

« PreviousContinue »