The New Zealand Evangelist
Mr. Locke, Member for Honiton, brought a Bill into Parliament to compel every Railway Company in Britain to run a certain number of trains on Sabbath. Its first reading was carried by a majority of twenty, but the friends of the Sabbath bestirred themselves with great activity, and it was thrown out at the second reading.
The imprisonment of the Rev. Mr. Shaw by the Bishop of Exeter, for preaching as a dissenting minister after he had left the Church of England, page 206 had led to the introduction of a Bill into Parliament by Mr Bouverie, to relieve such men as Mr. Shore, and Mr. Noel, from the penalties of an old Act that had been slumbering for a century or two. Mr. Noel had written to the Bishop of London, stating that he had taken the oaths as a dissenting minister, and had preached and communicated in Mr. Binney's Church, and pointing out the defects of Mr. Bouverie's Bill, as requiring Ministers seceding from the English Church to be parties to their own deposition from the ministry. “To avail myself of this act,” says Mr. Noel, “is to purchase exemption from legal penalties, by consenting to my deposition from the ministry. It is to avow, not that I have ceased to be a minister of the Establishment, but that I have ceased to be a minister of Christ.”
The Bishop of London had greatly fallen in the estimation of liberal minded christians, by his interdicting the preaching of sermons in Mr. Mortimer's Church, for the benefit of the London Missionary, and the Wesleyan Missionary Societies; and that, after the Rev. T. Brooke was advertised to preach the one, and the Rev. J. Jordan the other, both ministers of the Church of England; and also for interdicting the use of the inquest room of St. An. drew's, Holborn, to the Plumptre-Court Ragged School, under the superintendence of the London City Mission, for holding its annual meeting,even after the Lord Mayor had consented to preside. The following extract from a London paper is a specimen of public feeling on the subject:—
“Christians have consecrated the month of May to noble enterprises and holy exertions. The Bishop of London, rolling in wealth, comes forth to cast the elements of discord amongst the followers of Christ, and to do what none but a barbarian would do, in the presence of the most enlightened nation of the whole world. The Wesleyan Missionary Society has covered the earth with its missionaries; the remains of their devoted men rest on every pestilent shore; their voices have made the wilderness glad, page 207 and the desolate places rejoice. It has carried the lamp of life to benighted millions in the regions of darkest midnight; it has taught languages, commerce, science, civilization and religion to distant climes; but the barbarian Bishop spits in its face as an unholy thing.
And then, think of the London Missionary Society! Morrison has opened the temple of inspiration to the three hundred millions of China, and bade the living oracles speak to them, in their own tongue, the mighty works of God. Williams civilised the isles of the Southern Sea. Moffat has created a semi-paradise among the burning sands of Africa; and the missionaries of the society can exclaim, wherever they have set their feet, “Behold what God has wrought!” Notwithstanding all this, the barbarian Bishop has put forth all his episcopal power to prevent any one pleading the claims of an institution so honoured and blessed!
The poor ragged children! Their very existence as such is a scandal and a burning shame to Christendom. Yet the messengers of mercy must not endeavour to reform them, lest they should impede the exertions of the parochial clergy. It is a shame to the Church that a Ragged school is needed in London, where its dignitaries meet in the ranks of lords, and mingle with the princes of the earth; and a treble shame that such institutions should be discouraged.