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The New Zealand Evangelist

Religious Intelligence

Religious Intelligence.


Wesleyan Mission.—It will be remembered that the Rev. Charles Cook and W. Ogier were both compelled to withdraw from the Canton De Vaud, in consequence of their being unable to obtain from the civil authorities a renewal of their certificates of residence, at the expiration of the terms for which they were originally granted. Considerable fears have been entertained that the Rev. Matthew Gallenne, who succeeded Mr. Cook, as the page 258 Senior Wesleyan Missionary in the Canton, would be placed in similar circumstances; and he also would have to retire from the Mission. But these fears, we are thankful to report, have not been realized. An official communication has been received at the Wesleyan Mission-House, Bishopsgate-street Within, in which Mr, Gallienne conveys the gratifying information that his “permis de sejour” has been favourably received, and that he has obtained an extension of the term of his residence in the Canton, to the end of the year 1852. It is further gratifying to learn that, although the spirit of persecution continues to manifest itself against the Free Church, and other dissenters from the Establishment, some of whom have lately been condemned to exile and heavy fines, Mr. Gallienne and his colleague, Mr. Jaulmes, are permitted to prosecute their ministerial labours at Aigle, without any interruption, and that even in Lausanne they are able, though less openly, to hold religious services with their faithful people.

Other openings for usefulness are presenting themselves in Switzerland and the neighbouring countries. At the date of his letter, June 27, Mr. Gallienne had just returned from a visit to the Waldenses of Piedmont, among whom his time was fully employed, for two or three weeks, in visiting, preaching, and administering the Lord's supper. Considering the disadvantages under which these interesting people are placed, having no stated minister, Mr. Gallienne was agreably surprised at finding so much evangelical and spiritual religion among them. They earnestly requested him to visit them regularly, every quarter, for the purpose of administering the Sacraments, and they manifested their thankfulness for the visit of the Missionary by offering him, out of their scanty means, a small donation to the Society's funds. Great is the honour which Divine Providence thus is putting upon the Wesleyan Missionary Society in the face of Europe. It is privileged to make a decided and, to a great extent, successful stand against the spirit of religious persecution in the Canton de Vaud; and the descendants of those noble witnesses who in the midst of sufferings maintained the Truth in the darkest ages of Popery, — the Waldenses of Dauphiny, and the Waldeneses of Piedmont on the Italian side of the Alps, — are now both placed under its fostering care. Surely at such a juncture, necessary funds will be provided for the prosecution of the high and hallowed enterprises to which the Society is thus so manifestly invited.

Endowment of Popery.

The crisis has come at last. There is reason to fear that Popery will soon be endowed in Ireland. Such, at least, is the avowed intention of Lord John Russell; nor is he afraid, at the same time, to assure us, that all the remonstrances of this country against the Proposed scheme, will be “no bar” to his carrying it out into page 259 effect. The only serious difficulty he anticipates, is the reluctance of the Romish priests to receive State pay, and, should this impediment be once removed, he is prepared to set at defiance the resolute opposition of England and Scotland. We are now fully warned. No one can henceforth say that he was taken by surprise, should a motion of this nature be laid before Parliament at its next session. No one has a right to complain that he and others were denied all opportunity of organizing an extensive and determined opposition to the measure. It is our own fault if we are found unprepared for the contest. There are many reasons why this scheme should be resisted with all our might.

Popery (and we shall never cease to assert it) is the enemy of the Bible, of the Sabbath, of a free press and of free institutions, of individual habits, of social order, and of good government. It lays man, soul and body, under the polluted foot of a priest, and thus prepares a nation, silently but surely, for the chains of a civil despotism. It has long been the honour of this country, that she has refused to acknowledge the supremacy of “the Man of Sin,” by whom almost all continental Europe has been kept in thraldom, and that, in consequence of this, her free, enlightened Protestant spirit, Britain has become the centre of liberty, of knowledge, of commerce, of civilisation, and of sound religion to the farthest extremities of the earth. Is the crown of civil and religions liberty now to be torn from our heads? Are we to be thrown down from that eminence of grandeur which we formerly possessed? Are we already sunk so low, that it is no longer in our power to found colleges for general education, without their rules and regulations being first submitted to a foreign priest for his approval, or to govern Ireland without caressing the Pope for his patronage, and purchasing at the cost of millions a venal and and precarious loyalty from the Irish Catholic priesthood?