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that the preaching of such eminent Catholics as Manning and Newman is not so natural and so fresh as when they were clergymen of the Church of England, and that this opinion is confirmed by the witness of others. Then follow these words :—“The preachers who have left Protestantism speak as if under restraint and dictation,-as if committed to a thesis which they must defend at all risks, and to which facts must be accommodated or else denied.” A memorable testimony, surely! laying bare at a stroke the kernel of the system as an artificial restraint on the glorious freedom of the Gospel, while it blunts the finer perception of the soul to natural truth and beauty. Let us pray that this production may lead the writer to seek a purer fellowship; that it may counteract the baleful influence of great names; that it may disenchant the votaries of superstition from the spell of delusion; and that it may be a powerful instrument in spreading a true knowledge of Popery among the educated classes, and in opening the eyes of those within her pale to their real position.

This letter illustrates incidentally the influence which the intercommunion between countries, becoming stronger every year, is likely to have. It is an influence, partly for good, partly for evil. Good, in enlarging the sphere of our vision; in releasing us from insular prejudices; in enriching our experience of the variety and movement both of social and Christian forces; in increasing our opportunities of doing good, as well as in bringing before us some of the most magnificent forms of nature. Evil, in that it tends to accustom us to corrupt doctrines and practices presented in a guise of outward splendour; in gradually loosening the salutary restraints of obligation in things in which our nation has long enjoyed a pre-eminence

-attachment to principle, reverence for the Sabbath, the claims of Divine truth, personal purity, and family religion. It must be accepted, and noted as one of the characteristics of the age, destined to work great and blessed results, but meantime charged with many elements of danger. *

The severest blow which Popery has received since our last meeting was inflicted by the Revolution in Spain, which is now a matter of history, None of us can tell what the purposes of God are in regard to that country,—what may be the course of events, -and how far a change in its civil constitution may be accompanied by gracious operations of the Divine Spirit. Its religious state is so bad, that it can hardly be worse. Political freedom, even in its crude form, and amid all the uncertainties of provisional government, has given a blow to the priesthood, and secured the privilege of meeting for worship. Already the National Bible Society, and other Christian institutions, have adopted means to introduce the Word of God,-a few faithful heralds are making their voices heard in the wilderness,—and were the Holy Spirit, who is the only Source of Life, to breathe upon her, Spain, so long the grave of Divine life, as well as of national aspiration, would hear His reviving voice. " Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

* If any of our readers wish to see the Christian influence of travel, we recommend them to read the third chapter of Professor Smeaton's interesting Memoir of the late Mr Thomson of Banchory.

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There are two measures to which it will be the duty of the Court to give its consideration.

We have observed with regret, that a successful attempt has been made in the New Parliament to carry a Bill for Legalising Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister. The subject has its theological, its legal, and its social aspects. Holy Scripture is the true ground on which to rest all legislation affecting this relation. The passage in Lev. xviii. 18, it must be admitted in candour, has some interpreters both of learning and distinction, who affirm that such marriages are neither expressly nor implicitly prohibited, either in this or in any other portion of the Divine Word. But against these there must be placed a whole array of the most competent critics, who are strong and emphatic, and unanimous in regarding such alliances as a direct violation of the law of God, as well as being highly objectionable on other grounds. When this is the state of the question legislators ought to be careful in their acts; and as there is no necessity whatever for parties to contract such marriages, it is too much for an infinitesmal portion of the community to demand a liberty which the rest of the nation cannot grant without a violation of the dictates of their conscience. Arbitrary encroachments on the law of marriage ought to be repelled, for restriction is the mark of civilisation, and a proof of the triumph of Christianity. Were the House of Lords to pass the Bill, the discipline of most of the Churches would be brought into collision with the law of the land, and the result would be confusion and disorder. The extreme difficulty and delicacy of the question render it especially incumbent on our senators to beware of rash and ill-advised action; whilst the moral indignation which the passing of the measure would certainly excite, and that in the consciences of many of the best people in the nation, would be second in gravity only to the family heartburnings, and to the individual sufferings, which the operation of the law would entail.

Among the questions on which the Court may deem it advisable to take practical action, there is the Bill on National Education, introduced into the House of Lords by the Duke of Argyll, which is founded upon the Report of the Royal Commissioners. Throughout Scotland 1 in 6.5 of the whole population is on the roll of some school, and 1 in 7.9 in attendance. There is, however, a fearful disparity when one district is compared with another, the ratio varying from 1 in 4 to 1 in 25. The situation of the school, and the character of the teaching, seem to weigh more with the parents in determining the school to which they send their children than religious differences, which is a strong proof of the essential unity of this part of the kingdom in educational matters. A national system implies a recognised body, with legal power to establish schools. It implies that the law shall enable the inhabitants of a district to raise by taxation the necessary funds; that every parent shall be entitled to claim admittance for his child; that if he objects, on religious grounds, to any part of the instruction, his objection shall be respected; and that the inspection of national schools shall be undenominational. The Bill provides that a Board of Education shall be established. It makes no express provision for religious teaching, leaving this to be determined by the parents and by the rate

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payers; and it contains clauses for the incorporation of existing schools into the national system. The general principles which ought to govern the Parliament in legislating for Scotland are these : That the framework of our present system be retained ; that it be so improved and enlarged, as to make it national, efficient, and universal; that the religious teaching be secured either by express enactment, or through the free determination of the parents ; for no plan will gain the public confidence unless it preserve the sacred character which has so long been an essential element of our education, and which is almost an invariable property of the instruction which is given in private schools, as well as in those under the immediate direction of the Churches. It is deeply to be regretted that those who favour a secular system alone, constantly confound religion and sectarianism, and thus raise a presumption against every scheme into which Christian truth enters. By religion, the Church of Rome means the whole Popish creed; and in some of the schools connected with another Church the sacramental system is taught, and even ordinary teaching is converted into a vehicle of sectarian propagandism; but in almost all other schools, whether parochial, denominational, or private, it is the leading facts of the Bible, the central truths, and the pure precepts of the Gospel, that form the substance of tutorial instruction; and nothing can be more Christian, more catholic, and more free from all unworthy bias, than the spirit in which religious knowledge is communicated. The Shorter Catechism, which expresses the belief of the great mass of the nation, is not taught to any child whose parents object, and the rights of conscience are thus duly considered. But the chief point to be defended is, the supreme authority of the Word of God, and the duty incumbent upon a Christian nation to place it at the foundation of all its educational structures. It appeals to the conscience; and it alone contains the principles, the motives, and the examples of holiness and virtue, and there must be some incurable stupidity, or an utter moral inaptitude, in the teacher who cannot win the conscience of a child, by giving to it a vivid conception of Christ, and exciting within it an interest real and child-like, without having recourse to abstract doctrine or to denominational peculiarities. Nor is this all; the discipline of the school, the good habits enforced, the example of the master, the moral tone he imparts to the children, and the reverence with which he prays, all form important elements in the sum total of the religious teaching. And we deny that the truths of Scripture, and the inculcation of morality drawn from those truths, and illustrated by example, is fairly chargeable with being sectarian; and we trust that, in the larger measures about to be introduced, the religious character of the schools will be maintained, and that with growing intellectual vigour, with improved methods of education, and with a wider knowledge, there will also spring up a deeper piety and a purer morality.

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LETTER FROM REV. PETER MILNE.

VOYAGE, AND ARRIVAL AT OTAGO.
Rev. Joan Kay, Sec. Reformed Presbyterian Synod's For. Mission.

DUNEVIN, May 11th, 1869. MY DEAR SIR, -I am happy to inform you that we are both alive and well, that no evil has befallen us, that the Lord was with us on the mighty deep, that we arrived at Port Chalmers on the 27th of April, after a tedious passage of 120 days, and that we received a hearty welcome from the members of the Mission Committee here, and from many others. We were not in time to meet the “Dayspring.' She left Auckland for the Islands a month before our arrival, but she is to return to Auckland in June for us. We have to stay in Otago until the beginning of June, when we go to Auckland to meet the “ Dayspring." I think that, on the whole, it is better that we are detained in Otago a short time by the way, as it will give me an opportunity of visiting a few of the congregations; and it is far more satisfactory to both parties to know each other.

As to our voyage. So far as the weather was concerned, we had, on the whole, a good passage, though long; and with the exception of a little mal de mer at the commencement, we both enjoyed excellent health all the time. My last letter was from the English Channel, over against the Isle of Wight, on the 9th of January, twelve days after we left the docks at London. We passed Madeira on the 25th of January, and the Canary Islands on the 28th; entered the Tropics on the 2d of February; passed Cape de Verde Islands on the 5th; and crossed the Equator on the afternoon of the 12th (longitude, 23° 15', west). On the 17th of February we had the sun vertical; on the 25th, we entered the South Temperate Zone; sighted Gough Island on the 10th of March,'and sailed close past it, on the west side, in the evening; on the 13th, we crossed the meridian of Greenwich; and on the evening of the 17th, we were in the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, which is considered about half-way between England and New Zealand.

From the above you will see that the first half of our passage was long, the winds being generally light, sometimes contrary, and sometimes we were entirely becalmed. The second half we made in comparatively short time,—not much more than a fourth of the time that we required for the other. But here the winds were favourable the most of the way, and generally high. We did not encounter anything worthy of the name of a storm, but we had a good deal of squally weather, when the main-deck was almost constantly swept with water breaking over the bulwarks. Several times a sail was blown down, once a studding-sail boom was broken, and once the foremast topsail-yard was split; but no further damage was done until Thursday, the 15th of April. On that day a strong wind was blowing from the north-west. Several seas were shipped during the former part of the day, but nothing unusual occurred until about two o'clock, when a heavy sea broke over the side, drove in the companion door (i. e., the outer door of the saloon or cabin), upset one of the passengers in the passage, swept both him and it before it into the saloon, forced the door of à private cabin completely off its hinges, and laid it prostrate beside its fellow, etc. We were in our own cabin, waiting the ringing of the bell for dinner. We felt the shock; and Mrs Milne had just remarked, “ That's a heavy sea,” when, to our astonishment, we beheld the water coming spurting in at both the sides and top of the door, and in an instant the door itself burst open, and another of the passengers, together with the liquid element, came tumbling in; and ere we knew what we were doing, we found ourselves knee-deep in water, with boxes, clothes, books, etc., swimming around. When we looked into the saloon, and saw the doors, etc., afloat, our first impression was that our house was breaking completely up. We were in the lee-side of the ship, and consequently got the most of the water; but after an hour's hard work with buckets, pails, etc., we succeeded, through the aid of the other passengers, in getting the most of it out. Very providentially the whole of the watch were on the main-yard, reefing the mainsail, and the mate, who a little before was standing on the deck below them, had removed to the fore part of the ship; but for which circumstance some of them must, in all probability, have been washed overboard, as the water was up to the top of the bulwark, and the bulwark itself buried in the sea. We have thus seen a little of the power and providence of God in the great deep-enough to make us stand in awe, and feel how easily, but for His protecting hand, we might have been swallowed up. The waters roared and were troubled; but we remembered that they were all in the hollow of our Heavenly Father's hand, and we knew that we were as safe in His keeping in the midst of the sea as upon dry land.

I must now give you some account of what we tried to do for Christ among the passengers and crew. There were thirty-one persons on board in all; twenty-two of a crew, including the captain and officers, and nine passengers, including ourselves. The seamen are divided into two watches, viz., the mate’s watch, and the second mate's watch; one of which watches are off duty alternately every evening from six to eight o'clock. There are two houses, or rather two compartments of the same house, on the fore part of the deck,

,-a larger one for the ordinary seamen, and a smaller for the boatswain, carpenter, sailmaker, cook, etc. As soon as sickness permitted I had worship every morning and evening in the saloon with the other saloon passengers ; but it was not long ere they got tired of it, and would not attend, after which we were obliged to have it by ourselves alone in our own private cabin. On the Sabbaths, as long as it was practicable, we had two services on the deck, one at ten o'clock A.m., and the other at four o'clock P.M. About the middle of January I began to go every evening, at a quarter to seven, to have worship with the sailors, making a few remarks upon

of Scripture which I read. But I soon found that the mate's watch did not want me to come so often, so I arranged with them to go only once a-week. The second mate's watch were more favourable, and I continued to meet with them every alternate evening. I had a pretty good supply of tracts, which I distributed among them, and also some other little books, and Bibles; and for some time all went on as well as might be expected. The sailmaker was awakened at the commencement of the voyage, and soon after found peace in believing, and has become altogether a new creature in Christ Jesus. The second mate was awakened soon after, and also professes to have undergone a saving change.

Aboi three weeks before our arrival, one of the sailors, a German, professed to have found Christ, and he, and the sailmaker, and the second mate, frequently met to pray together on the evenings, in the carpenter's workshop. Also one of the passengers professed to have got a blessing. You will thus see that the Lord has magnified His own word for the salvation of some. Since the time of the sailmaker's conversion I had in him a friend and brother, one altogether like-minded with myself, and many a happy half-hour did I spend in his company. I never saw any one who had a more child-like spirit, who had a greater“ desire for the sincere milk of the word, that he might grow thereby,” or who was more diligent in searching after it. He also manifested much concern for the salvation of others. It was chiefly through his instrumentality that the German was converted ; and I am hopeful that he may be the means of bringing others to Christ on the voyage home.

Dunedin is a flourishing infant city, and beautifully situated at the top of the firth. The scenery round about, and all the way down to the mouth

the passage

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