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Germany and Mr. Brockleman.
.371 Annual Sermon preached before the Ameri-
.344 can and Foreign Christian Union......197
.275 Appeal in behalf of Evangelization in
Prohibitors Liquor Law in Maine.. 226
Progress of Romanism in this country.. 34
.337 Rev. Mr. Morehead's Labors in Italy.. 34
Sunday Services in the London Theatres....226
The Italian Premier on Religious Liberty..105
The New Roman Catholic Council.
The New York Methodist Conference.. .161
The Religious Question in Mexico... .7, 47, 74,
Turn Out! Turn Out!”.
BOOK NOTICES : ....35, 66, 194, 227, 322, 382
.146 RECEIPTS: ..35, 66, 99, 131, 161, 194, 227, 259,
290, 324, 355, 382
WE greet our friends and readers with a happy New Year! That it may prove so to them and us, is our most earnest desire. The wonderful providences of God have brought this Society to a period of immense responsibility. As it stands at the very threshold of the year, and views the work that now lies before it, it almost shudders at the prospect. Nearly one-fourth of the globe, which until lately seemed shut up, barred and ironed, by the impregnable walls and bolts of superstition and error, is open before it. Kings and nobles no longer band together to uphold the throne of a religious tyrant. Monarchs are not now seen creeping upon their hands and knees, as suppliants pleading for a smile from one who calls himself the Vicar of God. Two hundred millions of souls stand waiting to know at least what all this means. They have hitherto accepted a creed forced upon them ; now they find themselves free to hear, think, receive and accept. And what shall they accept ? Infidelity stands ready to throw its dark and fatal mantle over this great mass of immortal beings. Skepticism whispers doubt and uncertainty, and appeals to the past as evidence of the uncertainty of creeds and prayers and religious ordinances. Foes within and foes without of the cross of Jesus, battle day and night for victory. Is this great multitude freed from thraldom, to be rushed into a state worse by far than the one from which it is escaping ? Christians of America ! we must in a great measure answer the question.
Here stands a Society which the united Protestant Church of this land has constituted for the work of evangelizing nominal Christendom. For years and years it could only send men to blow the trumpet around the walls. Now they may enter in, and walk to the very seat of the beast, scattering as they go leaves from the tree of life. It is with grief that we are obliged to tell you, Christian friends, that this Society has not one-fourth the means necessary for the work you have assigned it. Every dollar that we received last year might be appropriated for Italy alone, and leave much, much to be done there. And what shall become of Mexico, and the great continent that lies south of us ? which in a religious sense should be under our care. There is no other Society in this country organized for this work. Shall it go on this year in its enfeebled state ? or shall it keep pace with the chariot wheels of God's providence ?
With earnest prayer to God that He may incline some of the benevolent, wealthy men among the thousands of our readers to ask themselves, What should we do for South America ? we ask :
Are there none to give us this year one hundred thousand dollars for the evangelization of that great continent ?
Are there none to give us the same for Italy, Hungary, Greece, and Mexico ?
This has proved an age of munificent charities. Rich men have been led to feel that wealth given to benefit the masses is wealth, safely invested. Will such names as that of Peabody and Stewart and Dodge and Roberts ever die ? And yet does not the act of that noble gentleman, Mr. Ackerman, who gave so large a sum a few weeks ago to spiritually enrich the poor heathen, transcend even their deeds ? No building will perpetuate his name. No monument will commemorate his praise, but will not souls welcome him in heaven as saved from degradation and idolatry through his means ?
Christian brethren ! you who have the means and can do it, will you not invest a hundred thousand dollars this year in South America ?
Italy has now taken her place among the free nations of the earth. In a political sense, she has been born again. Her great statesmen hesitate not to denounce, in unmeasured terms, the Papal hierarchy, and look forward to its complete humiliation as a foregone conclusion. Men who love the souls of their countrymen look to the Church of this land for aid, and they tell us if we will help them now in their endeavors to Christianize that beautiful land, it will soon place itself beyond the point where pecuniary assistance will be needed. This Society has now in that field three American missionaries, who have under their care nearly fifty Italian assistants, ministers, evangelists, colporteurs, and Bible-women. They need hundreds.
. If churches will take up each an evangelist or a colportenr, he would communicate throngh us with the church that supports him, and thus keep up an interest which no other course could so well secure. The Sabbath-school at Penn Yan has adopted this plan, and has furnished the means to employ an evangelist. Who will follow this good example ? Our missionaries have promised to translate the letters.
Why could not this also be done in South America ? Mr. Gilbert
has asked the question, and stands ready to appoint as soon as funds are furnished. How many of our churches' might thus have, besides their own, a minister in South America and one in Italy, preaching the upsearchable riches of Christ !
We have in South America five ordained clergymen, and Mr. Trumbull, whom we still look upon as our missionary, will soon return—the sixth, and father of South American missionaries.
Fathers and brethren, we long to say to Italy, and South America, and Hungary, and other Roman Catholic countries, We wish you a happy New Year, and here is the evidence that we are sincere-the Bible and the living preacher! Shall we send such greetings ?
THE RELIGIOUS QUESTION IN MEXICO.
We publish this month the first of a series of articles, abridged from the course of lectures prepared by Col. J. Rivera y Rio, on the history, condition and prospects of his native country. Our readers will thus have a good opportunity to learn the truth on many important points, concerning which we have had no sufficient or authentic means of information.
Mr. Rivera y Rio was distinguished at home as an author of popular books, in prose and poetry, a journalist, and a deputy in the General Congress. He has studied our institutions during his exile, and has thus been able to contrast them with those of his own land. He says:
“I shall endeavor, with all possible brevity, to give a sketch of the facts most important to be known, which have been the origin of the disturbances that have so frequently occurred in that country, so richly endowed by Providence with the elements of prosperity, and so worthy of a far better fate. I wish that the facts which I shall present, may. serve to call the attention of this sister nation, which, so near to ourselves, exhibits so many proofs that a Republic and Liberty are compatible with Peace, with social aggrandizement, with prosperity in all departments, and with perfection in moral and religious instruction, which serves this nation as a precious chain of union, and has recently prevented its overthrow, and enabled it to take that gigantic step in the history of its civilization and social improvements, which has long been desired by the world : the emancipation of a race of men, who now bedew with tears of gratitude the holy pages of that book of progress and liberty—the Bible !
It will be gratifying tu see the Mexican people, who have been so many years struggling for the good cause, beginning to enjoy the benefits of a lasting peace, and then engaged in learning and teaching the
lessons of that divine book, which the tyrants of the church of Rome do not allow to be inculcated, unless surrounded with commentaries and notes, to interpret the text and falsify the word of God.
The customs of the American people, their civil and religious advancement, their system of instruction, will doubtless be soon taken to Mexico; because an emigration of distinguished men of that country could not contemplate with indifference so many advantages in moral order, so great progress in the sphere of ideas without importing them into their native land at whatever cost.
Persons who are not acquainted with that country, believe it to be given up to anarchy and misgovernment, and tell us ironically, that we love revolutions and delight in war. Lamentable error! It is true that we love revolution as our rights demand it, as nations accept it, as a means of obtaining a more durable peace. We love revolution, when the state of the country does not satisfy us. Then we desire improvement, which is the constant longing of human nature. We love revolution, when an avaricious and proud clergy divide the power with the authorities, and deny us the right of choosing our functionaries ; when military dictation weighs upon a people eminently republican, when tyranny imposes limits to our prerogatives as citizens, and we are forbidden to think, write, teach, learn, gain instruction and make progress and become worthy of the age in which we live.
If we did not like revolutions, we should still be governed by the Viceroys of Spain and watched by the holy office of the Inquisition.We should still be the tributary colony of three centuries ago, and we should not enjoy the few social advantages which are enjoyed by our old rulers, as is now the fact in Cuba, which has a censorship over the press and slavery sanctioned by the laws—those miserable abuses of power which ruined the country of Isabella Second.
There is no country more opposed to educating its colonies than Spain ; and to prove this, it is sufficient to compare the present legislation of the Antilles with that of Canada, that of Mexico, some years ago, with that of British America.
It is for these reasons that we have liked war, that we might place ourselves on a level with the United States, and cast off the opprobrious yoke of our rickety Cæsars. We have desired to emerge from a shameful tutelage, under which we learned nothing more than to found monasteries of recluses and misanthropes ; under which we had no better public spectacle offered us than that of the auto de fe; while the reading of a Protestant Bible would have caused the burning of a whole family at the stake. We desired a life of our own, constitutional law, and liberty of conscience. We wished to abandon our life of Pariahs; and we made a revolution—the first of our revolutions. Is