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to assist, by prayers and alms, the catholic missionaries, who are charged to preach the gospel to foreign pations.
The prayers are, a Pater and Ave each day. It will suffice to say, for this purpose, once for all, the Pater and Ave of our daily morning or evening prayer, and to add the following invocation : “ Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.”
The alms is only one halfpenny per week. One member is charged to receive the subscription of ten; the amount of which he hands over to another member, who receives ten similar contributions, that is, a hundred subscriptions. Donations made by persons not members, or by members over and above the ordinary subscriptions, will be gratefully received.
Two committees established, one in Paris and the other at Lyons, distribute the alms to the different missions. A return of the sums received, and of their appropriation, is inserted annually in the “ Annals of the Propagation of the Faith.” The collection, which is destined to serve as a continuation of the " Lettres Edifiantes,” and to the reading of which each member, without paying more than the ordinary subscription, is entitled, appears six times a-year. A number is distributed to every ten members.
Inducements held out in support of the Institution. This “ Institution for the Propagation of the Faith” has, from its first foundation, been highly favoured and warmly recommended to the faithful by the Holy See. The Sovereign Pontiffs Pius VII., Leo XI., Pius VIII., and Gregory XVI., by their rescripts of March 15, 1823; May 11, 1824 ; September 18, 1829; September 25, 1831; November 15, 1835; and January 22, 1837; have granted to all the members of the Institution, in the dioceses where, with the consent of their respective bishops, it shall be established, both in France and in all other couutries in communication with France, the following indulgences, applicable to the souls in purgatory.
1st, A Plenary Indulgence on the festival of the Finding of the Holy Cross; the anniversary of the first establishment of the Institution at Lyons, in the year 1822; on the festival of Saint Francis Xavier, patron of the Institution; and once a month, on any day at the choice of each subscriber, provided he says every day within the month the appointed prayers. To gain the indul. gence, he must be truly sorry for his sins, go to confession, receive the holy communion, and visit devoutly the church or oratory of the institution, if it has one, and if not, his parish church or chapel, and there offer his prayers for the prosperity of the church, and for the intention of the sovereign pontiff. In case of sickness or infirmity, subscribers are dispensed from the visit to the parish church, provided they fulfil, to the best of their power, and with the advice of their confessor, the other necessary conditions. "Where the institution is not yet established, a visit to any church or chapel will suffice.
The indulgence attached to the two festivals of the Finding of the Holy Cross, and of Saint Francis Xavier, may, on the prescribed conditions, be gained, at the choice of each subscriber, either on the day of the festival, or on any day within their octaves, or on the day to which their celebration shall be attached by the bishop.
2d, Au indulgence of a hundred days, each time that the prescribed prayers, with at least a contrite heart, shall be repeated, or a donation made to the missions, or any other pious or charitable work performed.
Such is the system of motives and actions by which it is sought to destroy the Protestant missions throughout the world. It is well that this should be known by all the enlightened friends of Missions. The great Head of the Church permits this opposition for wise and holy ends. The ultimate triumph of the truth over all the subtlety, falsehood, and violence, which are or may be arrayed against it, will redound to his glory.
Several events connected with the present position of our church, of no small importance, have taken place since our last, and cases been decided, both in ecclesiastical and civil courts, of which we shall give a brief summary. We begin with the proceedings of the Commission of Assembly.
On Wednesday 2d March, the stated quarterly meeting of this court was held in the Assembly aisle, when Principal Lee was called to the chair; and the Commission proceeded to take up the
THE MUCK AIRN CASE.
Dr Macfarlan verbally reported from the committee on this case, that he had entered into a correspondence with Mr Mackenzie, the presentee to the parliamentary church of Muckairn, to ascertain whether be would give up his presentation, and desist from the proceedings wbich he had commenced in the civil court with regard to it. Mr Mackenzie bas declined to do this.
Mr Dunlop proposed to report the matter to the General Assembly, and that Mr Mackenzie be cited to appear before next Assembly.
The motion was agreed to, Dr Bryce dissenting.
Mr Dunlop said, the committee appointed to prepare a libel against Mr Clark, the presentee to Lethendy, bad prepared the draft of a libel, wbich might now be ordered to be served; but as no progress could be made in it before the Assembly met, and as he understood the Presbytery were about to libel him on other matters, be proposed that this case also should be reported, and that Mr Clark should be cited to appear before the next Assembly. This motion was also agreed to-Dr Bryce dissenting as before.
CULSALMOND CASE. The Commission then proceeded to take up this case, and called parties. Mr Moncrieff, advocate, appeared for the parishioners complainers ; and Mr Cushnie of Raynie, Mr Wilson of Premnay, Mr Bisset of Bourtie, Mr Burnett of Daviot, Mr Peter of Leslie, and Mr Forbes of Monymusk, appeared for the majority Medical certificates were produced that Mr Peter of Kemnay, and Mr Leslie of Inverury, were unable to be present from bad health. Mr Middleton of Culsalmond, whose induction gave rise to the proceedings, also appeared,
Mr Bissett handed in to the clerk printed answers to the petition and complaint given in to last Commission by the parishioners, on the part of the majority of the Presbytery and Mr Middleton.
The answers were read by the clerk. Mr Moncrieff, for the parishioners, said he was ready at once to enter upon these answers, remarkable as they were both in a civil and ecclesiastical point of view. But considering the nature of the case-considering the nature of the views contained in the answers—and considering that he was desirous that his replies to these an. swers should be set forth as solemnly as he could, he had to request the Commission that they would allow him to give in a reply to these answers before next Assembly.
Dr Bryce moved that the Commission proceed to take up the case.
Mr Longmore said be differed entirely from Dr Bryce he thought the request was both reasonable and expedient, and he moved it be granted.
Mr Cunningham said, that the course of proceeding was plainly this, that being dissatisfied with the defences given in, they cited the defenders to appear before next Assembly. Several members having spoken on the subject,
The clerk intimated that they had better dispose of the motion for referring the case before they went further; which was done, and the reference was agreed to unanimously, with the exception of Dr Bryce, who dissented.
It was then proposed to cite the parties apud acta to appear before next Assembly.
Mr Peterkin, agent for the Presbytery, intimated that they had left the bar, baving obtempered the former citation of the Commission, by appearing at the bar and giving in reasons. He had no objection, however, to intimate the citation to the Presbytery, but under protest that the Presbytery did not admit the jurisdiction of the Commission.
This was not accepted as sufficient; and the Commission granted warrant to church officers for their citation. Mr Peterkin protested for all remeid competent in law.
Mr Bruce then moved, that the special objections to which he had formerly referred, should be ordered to be brought up to next Assembly. He would not press bis motion to a division ; but he wished it to appear on the minutes that he had made it.
This motion, after being opposed by Dr Candiish and Mr Cunningbam, was negatied without a division.
The report of the minority of the Presbytery of Garioch, stating wbat steps they bad taken for the supply of ordinances in the parish of Culsalmond, was then read.
Dr Candlish moved that the report be approved of.
Dr Bryce dissented from this proposal. Had the motion been to refer the report to the General Assembly for their judgment, he would not have objected to it; but when he was called upon actually to approve of what the minority of the Garioch Presbytery had done, he could by no means assent to it; for, in his view of the matter, they had acted in a way which, sitting there as a judge, he felt himself called upon strongly to condemn. They had acted in direct contravention of the law of the land, and had violated greater obligations than they could possibly owe to any church established by that law. Besides, the conduct of that very Presbytery was at this moment before the civil court, in an action to which the Commission was a party, and he begged them to wait the issue of that action before saying whether they ap. proved of the report.
Mr Cunningham said, that in case there was any one present so ignorant as to be. lieve what Dr Bryce bad now stated, that the Commission was a party in the Culsalmond case at present before the Court of Session, he begged to state that this was not the fact.
Dr Bryce-Then perhaps Mr Cunningham will oblige me by saying who are the parties.
Mr Cunningham- That's no business of mine.
Reports from the Presbyteries of Ayr, Aberlour, Garioch, and Ellon, respecting the cases of the ministers who bad assisted the deposed ministers of Strathbogie in dispensing ordinances, were then laid on the table. On the motion of Dr Candlish, the reports were remitted to the ensuing General Assembly; and instructions ordered to be given to other Presbyteries who bave not reported, to send up their reports to said General Assembly.
Dr Macfarlan then rose and said I wish to call the attention of the members of Commission for a single moment to a matter which I have no doubt will appear to them, as it does to me, of great importance in the circumstances in which the church is now placed. We have no certain information with regard to the intentions of Government as to bringing forward a measure in parliament for adjusting the differences at present existing between the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. At the same time it is perfectly possible that a measure of that kind may be introduced before the meeting of the next General Assembly, in which case it may be of great consequence-whatever the nature of the measure may be that we should have an opportunity of distinctly and explicitly expressing our sentiments in regard to it. I have therefore to propose, that in the event of any such bill being laid before parliament the Rev. Dr Gordon be instructed to call a pro re nata meeting of the Commission on the earliest day that may be found convenient.
Mr Charles Cowan seconded the motion, which was unanimously agreed to.
MARRIAGES OF IRISH PRESBYTERIANS.
Mr Dunlop then rose, and, after some appropriate remarks, in reference to a recent decision of the Irish Judges in a question of the marriage of a Presbyterian and Episcopalian, proposed that the Commission resolve to petition both Houses of Parliament, to take immediate steps for bringing in a measure legalizing past marriages celebrated between a Presbyterian and an Episcopalian by a Presbyterian minister, and empowering Presbyterian ministers to celebrate such marriages in all time coming.
Dr Bryce had much pleasure in seconding the motion.
The motion was then agreed to-the petition to the Lords to be sent to the Duke of Argyle, and that of the Commons to the Hon. Fox Maule.
IRISH PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY.
Dr Candlish said, it was well known that a pro re nata meeting of the Irish Pres. byterian Assembly was to be held next Wednesday in Belfast, for the purpose of considering, first, the law concerning marriages, and next, the present position of the Scottish Church-be begged to propose, therefore, that the Commission should appoint a deputation to attend that meeting, for the double purpose of expressing sym. pathy with that church in their application to the Legislature for a marriage act, and giving what information they might wish to have regarding the present position of the Scottish Church,—the deputation to consist of Dr Buchanan of Glasgow and Mr Cunningham of Edinburgh, with any elder they may select to accompany them. - Agreed to.
SUNDAY RAILWAY TRAINS.
Dr Candlish, as convener of the committee on Sabbath observance, reported ver. bally on the subject of the Sunday trains on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. It is not for me, he said, to say what the Commission will dlo; but whatever they do, it would be well, I think, obat they should reappoint the committee, and authorise them to report to next General Assembly. The Commission, I think, might also instruct them to prepare and issue a pastoral address to the people of Scotland, warning them against the facilities afforded by the railway for Sabbathi desecration, as well as exhorting them to the use of efforts, and of prayer and supe plication, that this national calamity may be resisted at the commencement.
I trust, also, that the Commission, while they resist this threatened desecration, will bear their testimony of approbation to the shareholders of those other railways who have so nobly refused to run trains on the Sunday. These are the Dundee and Arbroath Railway, the Glasgow and Ayr Railway, and the Glasgow and Greenock Railway. I trust that not even the example of the greatest railway in Scotland will induce these parties to deviate from the straight-forward and right-minded course they bave begun to follow; but that, in spite of the example of this master railway, they will maille tain the distinction they have so nobly earned, of keeping their railway closed against all traffic on the Lord's day.
Mr Charles Cowan seconded the motion.
Dr Candlish tben argued against the opinion, that combining together to give a preference to those modes of conveyance which do not desecrate the Lord's day, is to use a weapon of a carnal kind. The carnality of a thing, properly speaking, lies in the end and nature we have in view. If we use a weapon contrary to the law of God, it is carnal; if we use it in accordance with the law of God, it is not carnal, I must say that I deeply regret that we are compelled to have recourse to such weapons at all; but I feel it to be a matter of conscience, that so long as the rail company wantonly set at defiance the law of God, and open up a door for a flood of Sabbath desecration, disorder, and crime throughout the country, I say I feel it to be matter of conscience to give the preference to those other modes of conveyanco which are not attended with this crying evil.
VOL. XV. NO. I.
A memorial on the subject of Sabbath observance, from the Edinburgh committee of bankers, merchants, &c., was then read.
The Rev. Mr Gibson of Glasgow, cordially concurred in all that had been so well and ably stated by Dr Candlish on this subject. I think, he said, it would be very desirable that, in addressing the people of Scotland on this subject, it should be pointed out to them, specially and openly, that they will subject themselves to church discipline if they are guilty of taking employment as servants of the Edin. burgh and Glasgow Railway, or in any other way desecrating the Lord's day in connexion with it.
Mr James Bridges, W.S., said he had a suggestion to offer, wbich, be thought, would help very much to put a stop to the Sunday trains, without those measures which had just been adverted to by Mr Gibson,—though he boped the church would come to that if necessary. He thought that if individual members were to use their influence with the shareholders, in order to bring them to right views on this important question, great good might be effected. It was so far satisfactory to them, as Scotchmen, that the resolution of the shareholders had not been carried by Scottish influence,--that the majority had not been obtained even by the majority of persons present at the meeting, but by the dumb eloquence of the proxies of the English and Irish shareholders, who were beyond the bearing of the meeting. If these gentle. men had been present to hear the appeal made to their conscience by the Rev. Mr Dempster of Denny, he was sure there would have been a different issue that day. What he would propose, then, was this, that members would endeavour to get access to the shareholders, and endeavour to press right views upon their minds on this important subjeet.
Mr W. Collins, Glasgow, begged to correet a mistake into which Mr Bridges had fallen from want of proper information. It was not true that the resolution of the shareholders was carried solely by English votes. He had been informed by Mr Leadbitter, the chairman of the directors, that even, independent of the English shareholders, there was a majority for running the trains. He thought it right that the truth should be known.
Dr Candlish said he supposed Mr Gibson would be content if the committee, in preparing the address, would keep his suggestion in view.
Mr Gibson expressed bis acquiescence in this.
Dr Candlish's motion was then agreed to, and the Commission broke up about four o'clock.
In close connection with the proceedings of the Commission we have to notice the proceedings of a meeting of
THE IRISH GENERAL ASSEMBLY. This meeting took place on Wednesday the 9th March, and the business occupied two days. There were about 300 ministers present and a large number of elders. Dr Buchanan of Glasgow and Mr Cunningham of Edinburgh were invited, and sat and voted in the Assembly. The subjects of discussion were chiefly two,first, The present position and prospects of the Church of Scotland; and, second, The effect of recent decisions by Irish judges on the legality of marriages in Ireland, celebrated by Presbyterian clergymen betwixt members of their communion and Episcopalians. The first of these subjects was introduced by Dr Cooke, who moved a series of resolutions, embodying expressions of deepest sympathy with our church in her present struggles, a pledge of warm support from the Irish Assembly in every means for remedying the existing evils, and a hearty concurrence in the efforts for the