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MR. RKKD'S LETTER—FORD AND BIRD'S TUNES.
A Letter to the Editor of the British Review, occasioned by the notice of " No Fiction," and " Martha," in the last number of that Work. By Andrew Reed. London, Francis Westley 8vo. pp. 80, pr. Is. 6d.'
The British Review, it may be proper to inform some of our readers, is a guar' terly publication,"which from its commencement to a recent date, had issued from the warehouse of Messrs. Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, in Paternoster-row; and has always been distinguished for its moderation in both politics and religion. Towards the close of the last year, it some how or other changed hands, and got under the management of certain high church gentlemen of the orthodox class, who began their career with dealing about their blows upon the dissenters en masse; and,amongstothers, Mr. Reed came in for a most formidable Jobation. The fury and grossness of the attack has roused him from his slumbers; and the notice which he had refused to take of Mr. Barnetfs Memoirs, and of other pieces written against him, the Editor of the British Review may claim the honour of having extorted from him. We have read the pamphlet, and with no little surprise. If it really, and bona fide, be the production of Andrew Reed, we must confess that we have hitherto done him great injustice in the estimate we have formed of the powers of his mind, for it must possess a much greater caliber "than we had imagined. But we are free to acknowedge that in going through the pamphlet, the question which the king of Israel put to one of old was constantly suggesting itself to us—" Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this?" TMe, indeed, have no means»of ascertain"ig the fact; nor is the fact itself of much importance to the public. It is sufficient for us to say, that this Letter places the author of" No Fiction," upon much more elevated ground than we supposed him capable of ever again assuming; at the same time that it furnishes materials which call loudly upon Mr. Barnett and the Editor of the British Review for their replications and rejoinders. We have no room for extracts; but we strongly recommend a perusal of 'he Letter to such of our readers as have taken an interest in the controversy, and to such of them, more especially, as have had their minds tinged with pre
judice towards Mr. Reed. "When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war." But, certainly, justice requires that we should read both sides of a question ere we decide upon it. The last twenty pages of the pamphlet are devoted to an enquirv, "How far that class of writing to which No Fiction belongs is expedient or beneficial?" And we must say that we do not remember to have ever seen the subject treated with equal ability. While we tender the writer our sincere thanks for the discussion, we hope he will excuse us in saying, that we could very well-have dispensed with the absence of his eulogium on " the wonder of Christendom!" This is all fudge. We much prefer the account which the late Bishop Warburton gives of the matter in his Letters to Hurd; see.Letter Xdvi.
Art. I. The first set of Original Psalm and Hymn Tunes, adapted for Public Worship, and harmonized for four voices, with chords and figured bases for the Organ or Pianoforte. By the Rev. David Everard Ford, Lymington; a new and correct Edition, nr. 2s. 6d. r
Art. II. The second set cf Original Psalm and Hymn Tunes, containing also a Do.vology, and an Anthem; the whole adapted for Public Worship, and harmonized for four voices, with rotation tune for MorelyeVs Metronome, and chords and figured bases for the Organ or Piano-forte. By the Rev. David Everard Ford, pr. 3s. 6d. [The profits to be devoted to the aid of Christian Missions.] London, Knight and Lacey, Paternoster-row. Art. III. A second set of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, composed in a familiar style for Public. Worship, with an Ode for four voices. The whole figured for the Piano-forte, Organ, Sfc. By WilLiam Bird, Watford, 2nd Edition, price 3s. 6d. London, Westley, Stationers'-court.
These pieces or rather publications of church music, have lain upon our table for several months, inviting our notice, and waiting our report. But, as the Preacher hath said, "there is a time to mourn and weep, as well as a time to rejoice or sing,"—and when this season overtakes us, the lyre of Apollo himself would be an intrusion! Such,
indeed, happens to have been our fate for,the last three months; nor is the cloud yetdispersed. A severe domestic affliction has hung our harp upon the willows, and left us little relish for the charms of melody.
« . Smitten friends
Are angels, sent on errands full of love;
Our reason for now noticing the articles
Discourses suited to the administration of
a descendant (grandson) of Mi. Brown, of
Haddington, whose Self-Interpreting Bible is so well known among the English community of Christians. Though a young minister, he has already distinguished himself by several pieces issued trom tne press, which have given us the most tavourable prepossession of his views ot divine truth, and of his abilities for stating and illustrating it. In this respect we do not hesitate to say, that he is rising into enviable distinction, and has given ample pledges of future excellence, should it please the Great Head of the church to continue him in his vineyard, and prosper his labours. Mr. Brown takes his stand among, what in Scotland is termed, the Secession—in England we should say, the Dissenters or Nonconformists; but it is remarkable, that among the Burghers and Antiburghers of Scotland, there should be almost as much set form and parade kept up about the Lord's Supper as is observed in the National Church; and it is painful to find such men as Mr. Brown and Mr. Belfrage still adhering to the traditions of the Elders, in relation to this institution, amidst all the light that shines around them. Apologizing for something of this kind, Mr. Brown thus concludes his Preface:—
"It is scarcely necessary~to~ remark, that in the arrangement and composition of the whole work, a regard has been paid to the manner in which the ordinance ot the Lord's supper is dispensed in the Scottish Presbyterian churches; and that to promote a fervid, yet rational devotion in their members, when engaged in this service, is avowedly its primary object. At the same time, as there will be found nothing sectarian, either in its sentiments or spirit, the author ventures to hope, that it may be of general use and interest, as a view of Christian doctrine and duty in reference to this ordinance; and that it may also serve the subordinate purpose, of exhibiting a picture of the manner in which the Scottish Presbyterian churches observe this solemn rite of Christian worship."
The volume comprises twelve Discourses on the nature of the Lord's Supper, its design and obligation, &c.—the death of Christ, his priesthood, &c. with addresses and exhortations to the communicants; and the whole are, in our opinion, unexceptionably excellent. We do not give any extracts, not because we do not wish to do it, but because we earnestly recommend the volume to our readers. If we except Dr. Blair's Sermon on John xvii. I. and one or two of Logan's, we recollect nothing that will bear a comparison with Mr. Brown's, considered as Sacramental Discourses; and we conclude with adding, that upon a fair estimate we should be inclined to give the latter a preference to the former.
To the Editor of the New Evan. Magazine. Astrachan,Dec. 16,1823.
My Dear Sir,
I ought long ago to have acknowledged the receipt of your very kind letter of the 9th of April, which came to hand in September, along with the parcel which you had the goodness to send me, containing a copy of your Magazine for last year, and up to April for the present year, together with a copy of your History of the Christian Church, in 2 vols. Having written to my brother a short time after these came to hand, I requested him to inform you of their having oeen received, and desired him to express to you my thankfulness for such a valuable present. I now beg leave to express my gratitude to you with my own hand, for your disinterested kindness; and although I have been long in getting an opportunity of doing this, I can assure you it is not the less sincere. Your Magazine I esteem very highly, not only for the general information it contains in regard to the present state of religion, both at home and abroad, but principally for the many valuable and well written papers introduced into it, on different subjects, which, together with the Reviews, render it one of the most valuable repositories of religious knowledge I have yet met with. Your History of the Christian Church I had read before with great satisfaction, and had set it down for one of the most concise and impartial creatises on Church History 1 had ever seen in print; but I little expected ever to have a copy of it in my own possession. Nor is it likely, secluded as we are in this distant corner, that I ever would have possessed it, had I not, through your generosity, been furnished with a copy of it.
Some passages in your History of the Waldenses drew my attention to the German Mennonites,* many of whom have of late years emigrated to this Empire, where they have got a large portion of land assigned to them by the Russian Government, and have the free exercise of their religion secured to them. Judging that a short account of these emigrants might be interesting to you, for more reasons than
one, 1 made application, through the medium of one of my brethren at Karass, to a young man who is employed as a schoolmaster among them, for a short sketch of their history, and the following is the account transmitted by him. The numbers refer to the questions proposed* and which have been answered as they occurred, without any regard to order. They have not been answered so fully as I could have wished; but, imperfect as they are, they will tend to give you some faint idea of the situation of this interesting people. The letter was written in the German language, and the original has, some time ago, been sent to our Secretary in Edinburgh.
1st. The first establishment of the Mennonites in the Ukraine, which lies north of the Crimea, consisted of eleven villages, built in the year 1804, upon the rivers Moloshna and Kurisha. The quantity of land assigned them by the Russian Government' in that country, amounts to 120,000 dessatines, (each dessatine is nearly equal to three acres.) In the years 1810,11,18, 20, 22 and 1823, the number of villages has increased to twenty-five,t in consequence of the arrival of new emigrants from Germany. With each of the villages are connected, upon an average, twenty farms, consisting of sixty-five dessatines of land each. The whole number of farms at present, amounts to 755. Of the 120,000 dessatines, 65,000 have been thus apportioned into villages and farms, and 55,000 remain for emigrants who may still join them._ Besides those who have farms, there are about 300 families, who support themselves by commerce, by trades, and by day labour. Belonging to the community there is a sheep-fold, consisting of Spanish sheep, a cloth manufactory, a brewery, a distillery, and several corn mills.
2. Besides the Mennonites upon the Moloshna and Kurisha, there are fourteen villages in the district of Chortiz, lying about eighty versts to the north, these were built in the year 1783, by emigrants from west Prussia; there is also a village of them at Michelin near Machnovka, in the Government of Kiew—three villages near Ostrog, and one village near Dubno, in the Government of Volhynia, but my correspondent could not inform me of the year in which they were established, nor the number of families living in them. All that he could discover was, that nearly thirty-six years ago, about twenty Mennonite families emigrated from Pfatz, Alsace, and Zweibruck, and settled in the vicinity of Dub us.
• It may be useful to some of our readers to explain, that the Mennonites are descended from that branch of the Waloensrs, who, to escape from the persecution to which they were exposed hi the valleys of Piedmont, fled, in the latter part of the twelfth century, into Flanders, and settled in the provinces of Holland and Zealand, where they maintained their principles, and led simple and exemplary iive». Mr. Adam, in his Religious World Displayed, Second Edition, 1823, Vol. II. p. 186, tells us, that From the History of the old Dutch Waldenses of that period, and from the doctrines they then held, and during tbe following; centuries, a striking similarity is apparent between them, and the ancient and later Dutch Baptists. And though there is no particular reference to Baptism in any of the Confessions of Faith of the Waldenses, it ;ls mentioned, on the authority of Hieronymus, Verdussun, Cligny, and other Roman Cathol ic Authors, that the Dutch Waldenses rejected the Baptism of children, and appl ieil the ordinance to adults alone."—Editor.
t Here the account is somewhat'obscure. It states the number thus, "In the years 1810,11,18,29, till 1SS3, from new emigrations twentythree villages have been built, and this year two more, ko MM it is not very evident whether Hie number of villages, in all, be twenty-five or thirty-six.
3. All the Mennonitae who live on the Moloshna, (excepting nine families, who came originally from Zweibruck on the west side of the Rhine,) as well as those in the Chortiz district, have emigrated from the west of Prussia, between the rivers Wechset and Nogat, and from the cities of Danzig, Elbing, Marienbiirg, and Marienverder. The causes of their emigration were various. The poorer class, with a view of bettering their condition;—those from Prussia, because thev were afraid of their former freedom, rights, and immunities, being encroached upon;—and those who left Pfatz and Alsace, about thirtysix years ago, in order to withdraw themselves and their sons from military service.
4. Almost every year a few families from Prussia join them. Every stranger received into their community must be baptized again. My correspondent does not say, whether they have received adult baptism or not, but I suppose he must mean the latter.
5. Every head of a family, is master of his property.
6. Every possessor of land pays a tax of fifteen kopeks per dessatine, which for a farm, amounts to nine rubles, seventy-five kopeks, and twenty-five kopeks for supporting the post. Head money is also paid, nut the rate is not fixed. At one time it amounts toa ruble and sixty kopeks; and at another, only seventy-five kopeks. This tax is paid to the village overseers, who transmit it to the chief superintendant, by whom it is sent to the rent office.
7. Their civil affairs are managed by a district Superintendant, two Assessors, and two Writers. The Superintendant and Assessors are changed every three years, but the Writers hold their office for life.
8. They have special privileges, but different from those of the Moravians in Sarepta. They are under the guardianship of the office for Foreign Affairs, in the Government of Ekaterinaslav.
9. 'With regard to their religious tenets; they swear no oath—they abominate war— acknowledge the validity of Adult Baptism only, and of course reject that of Infants. Thej are divided into two sects; the Flamigier, and the Friesen. My correspondent promised to send me two of their Catechisms, to give me a better view of their faith, but they have not yet come to hand.
10. The ordinance of the Lord's supper is administered twice or thrice a year, always in the forenoon. The Flamigier receive it sitting, the Friesen standing. The old Friesen, who formerly wore long
beards, have also the ceremony of washing the feet after the dispensation of the ordinance.
11. Each congregation has an elder, four teachers, and two deacons, who are chosen from among themselves. The manner in which the election is gone about is as follows :—When the office of elder or teicher is vacant, the elders of the community, in a circular letter, require all the fathers of families to pray to the Lord, that he would shew them whom he hath chosen to fill the vacant office, at the same time, intimating when the election is to take place. On the day appointed, one of the elders addresses the meeting; and after the votes have been taken, he who has the majority is considered as duly elected. 'Ihe district in which my correspondent resides, is divided into four parishes, viz. Petershagen, Orlof, Alexandervohl, and Rudnerveide. The two first parishes have the Brother Berend Fort for their elder; Alexandervohl, Brother Peter Wedel, and Rudnerveide, Brother Frang.
This is all the length my correspondent goes in his account of the Mennonites. I have heard from others, that among their neighbours, their character stands high for sobriety and industry; yet, I fear, there are many things among them that would require to be set in order. A Missionary from Britain, of their own sentiments on the subject of Baptism, might, I have little doubt, through the blessing of God upon his labours,- be the means, not only of drawing their attention to the scriptural order of the ordinances of the Gospel, but likewise of stirring them up to active exertions for making known the Gospel to the Tartars, many of whom are resident in their neighbourhood. I have lately been informed, that an individual from amongst them was so much affected with the state of the Tartars, that he hired himself as a servant among them, for the purpose of learning their language, and thus qualifying himselt for preaching the Gospel to these poor deluded followers of the Arabian Prophet. He had made considerable progress in the acquisition of the language, when some family affairs made it necessary. for him to return, for a time, to his native city. He was expected to return last summer, and, I suppose, has long before now resumed • his disinterested labours among that people. May his labours be" rewarded by seeing many turned from the error of their ways. The Tartars in that quarter and in the Crimea, present a most interesting field for Missionary exertion; and I trust the time is at no great distance, when labourers shall be raised up to cultivate it.
I remain, my dear Sir,
Yours most affectionately,
AN APPEAL TO CHRISTIAN BENEVOLENCE IN BEHALF OF THE FATHERLESS AND THE WIDOW.
Mr. George Cook, late of Wells, in the County of Somerset, was a man of the strictest integrity, and unblemished reputation. The principles of Christianity .vere exemplified in his character, which was generous, pious, hospitable, and humane.
He began the world with a moderate fortune, and succeeded his father in the business of a Woolstapler, by which that fortune was acquired.
At a suitable age he married an amiable and pious woman from the neighbourhood of Lymington, Hants, who also -.possessed a handsome property; and so rare was the domestic felicity which they enjoyed, that scarcely an unkind expression passed between them during the period of their union often years.
The only drawback upon their happiness seems to have been the want of religious advantages, suited to their sentiments and wishes. Mr. Cook, indeed, lamented the circumstances of many around him in a religious point of view, and with a noble generosity expended his wife's fortune in the purchase and fitting tipofa place of worship, which was supplied by students from the Bristol Academy, whom he generously paid, and hospitably entertained; and when & congregation was collected, and a stated minister obtained, he liberally contributed to his support, by which means a religious society has been established at Wells, which, unless poverty prevent, bids fair to be a.per. manent blessing to the place.
The alteration in the state of the times, which so deeply affected the landed interest, had a correspondent effect upon the wool trade, by a fall in the prjee of which, and by bankruptcies . among the clothiers, Mr. Cook lost in oneyear to the amount of £1500. Loss succeeded loss, and one misfortune trod upon-the heels of another so fast, that he could not look upon his affectionate wife and beloved family, without the melancholy prospect of seeing them reduced to poverty and ruin.
His eye affected his heart, and his pale and haggard countenance became an index, which pointed out what was passing within. Melancholy took possession of her victim, and seemed to
mark him for her own, till at length consumption finished what misfortune had begun, and dismissed him to the regions of happiness and joy in the autumn of the year which has lately closed. He died triumphantly in the full assurance of faith, leaving his wife and children in the hands of Him, who is the father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow, but without a shilling on earth to call their own.
The disclosure of his circumstances, which was made to his wife upon his death-bed, was like the voice of thunder in her ears. But recovering from the shock, she remembered that she had a friend above, and hoped also a friend on earth, whose counsel ami exertions might perhaps be advantageously employed for her benefit, and that of her family. She therefore applied to a neighbouring minister, who has made application on her behalf to several persons distinguished for their benevolence, and obtained a present supply. But it is hoped that the religious public, especially those whom Providence has favoured with opulence, will think it a privilege, in such a case, to lend their aid, and contribute to the support and comfort of a family—the head of which manifested such generosity and zeal in maintaining that cause which they professedly espouse, and that an appeal will not be made in vain to them on account of the desolate widow and helpless-orphans.
As a testimony of our-approbation of
the above statement, we the Minister
and Deacon of the Baptist Church at
Wells, do cordially affix our signatures,
Such is the affecting case, in behalf of which the benevolence of the friends of Jesus is now earnestly and affectionately implored. The Editor of the New Evangelical Magazine begs leave to add, that from the letters and papers relating to it which have been submitted to his inspection, he is fully satisfied that it is one which has powerful claims upon their sympathy. Mrs. Cook, is left by this bereaving and inscrutable providence, a desolate widow with four or five children, the eldest of whom is little more than eight years of age. These are to be fed, clothed, and educated; and at proper ages placed in situations to provide for themselves,