The New Zealand Evangelist
God appears still to be pouring out the vials of his wrath. By the latest accounts, hostilities have commenced in both the south and north of Europe. The Pope continues still at Gaeta, a strong seaport on the coast of Naples. The prospect of his return to Rome is as uncertain as ever. The spirit of nationality and independence burns strong in the bosom of the Italians, and their hatred to the Aus-trians, in whose interest the Pope is supposed to be, is correspondingly intense. The popish Governments of Europe are by no means hearty in offering him their aid, they are especially lukewarm in supporting his temporal claims. Austria has succeeded in quelling the insurrection in Hungary, which is represented as being in its object like the repeal of the union rebellion in Ireland, but carried to vastly greater length than the ill-advised attempt of O'Brien. France had narrowly escaped another revolution, but the foresight and firmness of the Government prevented it. The secession of Mr. M. Gasparin and Monad from the Reformed Church is being followed by other ministers in the South of France; so that the Free Presbyterian or Evangelical page 94 Church is likely to increase rapidly in strength and efficiency. The Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel's “Essay on the Union of Church and State” is furnishing a subject of critical comment for almost every Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily periodical in the Empire. The first public appearance that Mr. Noel had made, since he demitted his charge, was in Exeter Hall, delivering a lecture to the Young Men's Christian Association, his lecture being one of a series on important subjects, delivered to them by eminent ministers of London and other places. The Church of England is being moved. Mr. Noel's congregation are about to petition the Queen in Council for a revision of the Canons and Liturgy, and other reforms. In the diocese of Exeter Puseyism is becoming intolerable. It is fast destroying all the distinctive protestantism in the Establishment, it is emptying the churches and filling the chapels. In Plymouth the laity are using every constitutional means of redress. They have petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Queen, for an application to Parliament for a revision of the Canons and Liturgy, and protection against the Romanizing practices of Bishop Philpotts and the tractarian clergy. Their encouragement from the Archbishop has not been great. The time may arrive when such a change might be effected without causing more evil than good; but such a time has not yet come, says Dr. Sumner. A similar spirit has suddenly appeared among the laity of the Scottish Episcopalian Church. The Bishops and Clergy of the Scottish Church have long been regarded as more than Puseyistic, and some parts of the Liturgy, especially the Communion Office, as more Romish than Rome itself. A few years ago, the Rev. Mr. Drummond,of Edinburgh, the Rev. Sir William Dunbar, of Aberdeen, and some other Evangelical Ministers were forced out of her communion. A large body of the laity are at present earnestly pressing a revision of the Liturgy, especi-ally of the Communion Office, and the substitution of page 95 more scriptural services. Evangelical truth will certainly be advanced by the movement. The working Men's Essays on the Sabbath are still exciting lively interest. The “Pearl of Days,” by a labourer's daughter, has reached its twenty-fifth thousand, and has been reprinted also in America. The question of “Sunday Trains” has crossed the Tweed. The English shareholders are beginning in earnest to discuss the subject of closing the railways on Sabbath. The Postmaster-General has declared his readiness to close the Post-Office on Sabbath in any town where a majority of the inhabitants wish it, and the minority are disposed to acquiesce. The physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual advantages of the Sabbath are being more and more appreciated, and to secure it unimpaired is fast becoming one of the struggles of the times. Parliament had resumed its labours; retrenchment was to be the order of the day. The West Riding election, and the voice of the country seem to have shelved, for a season at least, the bill for the endowment of Popery in Ireland. Trade was reviving. The cholera was abating, if not ceased, but in Glasgow it had cut off 3777. The prospects of the country were improving, but the state of Ireland was still painfully distressing. Of some 90 or 100,000 emigrants to Canada from Ireland, more than one-third had perished on the way to the places of their destination. Famine, cholera, fever, small pox, had made fearful havoc, and the banks of the St. Lawrence were covered with graves.
The revolutions in Europe have given liberty and privileges in many places to the Jews. The Sultan has lately granted them liberty to build a synagogue, or, as they wish to call it, a Temple upon Mount Zion; and a deputation of the descendants of Abraham from Palestine have been visiting America to raise funds for this purpose. An eloquent speech of Judge Noah's, of New York, has been going the round of the papers.
“There are some “he says “who may consider the permission page 96 extended to the Jews in Jerusalem to build a Temple, or a magnificent synagogue, a concession of little importance; but taken with other extraordinary signs of the times, it has a most important bearing. We may be unmindful and indifferent in relation to these signs, but there is a Divine hand which directs, a Divine agency which controls these movements; there are Divine promises yet to be fulfilled, Divine attributes which are yet to be made known to the unbeliever. * * * The accomodations to the pious which a new and extensive place of worship will afford, will attract a greater number of our people to Jerusalem from the surrounding countries. Admonished by the signs of the times, and by the expectation of important events, we find the aged Jews with some little means, coming down the Danube, from the Red Sea, and over the mountains of Circassia, journeying towards Jerusalem, there in holy meditation and prayer, to spend the remnant of their days, and to sit under the wall of the temple, and pray for the peace of Israel.”
The Jews, in their scattered yet separate existence, are a standing monument of the truth of the Bible. They are still “beloved for the Fathers’ sake,” “children of the covenant,” heirs of many promises; their restoration will be “as life from the dead “to the church of Christ. Every movement among them is to us an object of interest, and every token of Divine favour towards them ought to add increased energy to our prayers, that the Deliverer may come out of Zion,—that all Israel may be saved,—that the fulness of the Gentiles may come in,—and that the earth may be filled with the glory of the Lord.