Images de page

temperance movement; and in endeavoring to show this, in the July number of the Harbinger, one of the strongest objections which you urge against the Sons of Temperance is, that their meetings are usually opened by singing an ode and prayer. In how much does the old movement differ from the new, in this particular? So far as my acquaintance with the old movement goes, and that is of some eighteen years standing, nothing was more common than to open and close the meetings of the old society with singing and prayer,at least quite as common was it to open and close the meetings of the old society with singing and prayer as it is in the new. And yet you would have “a Christian man kneel down in this Noah's Ark of an institution, with every thing clean and unclean, (for you yourself praise the old society for taking into its membership all sorts and conditions of men, women and children) and pray with them merely because they happened to be in the same ark.” Now it must be apparent to all, that so far as this objection goes, the old society was equally as liable to it as the new; and therefore, he who might unite with the old, may, so far as this objection goes, with the same propriety unite with the new.

But there are other objections stated, which, with your leave, I will at some future time take notice of. With sentiments of high respect,



My dear Sir-Some apparent contradictions have been noted between Paul and James, between Paul and Peter, between Paul at one time and place and Paul at another time and place; but as yet no one has been able to sustain a real contradiction in all he ever wrote, either as respected what himself or any other Apostle had spoken or written on any subject, or on any occasion. I would not, of course, plead from such assumptions and facts that I have not, at any time, or on any subject, during thirty years, ever really contradicted myself. All that I would legitimately conclude from the observation is,-that apparent contradictions are not real contradictions; and that no person, however eminent, is to be regarded above the possibility of saying and unsaying, or of contradicting at one time what he may have spoken or written at another.

In the specifications alleged by you I find no real contradiction; nor do you. There is no subject more difficult to keep in a proper position before the public mind of this generation, than the true and real difference between the true and proper church of Jesus Christ and the world. We have, now-a-days, a Christian church and a “Christian world." But no ecclesiastic metaphysician, on many occasions, can say where the former ends and the latter begins. They are not so well defined as the colors in the rainbow, or as the glim.

merings of the morning star setting in the dawn of day. Still at heart the world is wicked, because under "the WICKED ONE,” and its very "ploughing of the earth is sin.” “What concord has Christ with Belial? What communion hath light with darkness? What fellowship has he that believes with an infidel?”

In the days of the “Christian Baptist,” Missionary, Bible, and other Societies called Christian, were composed of the world and the church, or of men not even professing Christianity, and of those who did profess it. As such I repudiated them then, and as such I still repudiate them. I never objected to the church, as such, resolving herself into either a Bible, Missionary, or any other sort of meeting connected with the duties and obligations of the church to bless the brotherhood, or to evangelize, illuminate, and sanctify the world by converting it to God. I am sure brother Broaddus can himself very easily draw the line between an incorporated church and world Bible Society, composed of Baptists, Pedobaptists, Jews, and Gentiles, and one composed of immersed professors. I do not, indeed, like the titles and designations by which these church meetings sometimes choose to designate themselves in the discharge of their duties to the brethren and the Lord—to the church and to the world. But on this account alone, I would not refuse to attend their meetings, to participate in their deliberations, and to contribute my mite to the great objects of their benevolence. What I object to is, their sending Christ a-begging to Satan for money to demolish the Devil's own kingdom. Under whatever name or form that is done, I abjure it. And if brother Broaddus will show that such is the position of any one of these societies, I will withhold from it my countenance and aid.

In any matter that is purely political or educational, I will, and I do, co-operate with my fellow-citizens so far as I approve their measures and their proceedings; provided only, they do not convert it into a sort of religious institution and propose a religious or Christian intercommunion as the basis of our co-operation, or as a preliminary to our proceedings.

The principle by which my action in these particulars is governed is this,-a Christian and an unbeliever cannot pray together: "How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?" Therefore, to pretend to pray with him, is hypocrisy and deception. The unbelieving party is deceived, because he is led to think that he is doing God service; or, if he looks upon it as a mere form, he must despise the profession of him who acts the formalist for the sake of public approbation, or because of the tyranny of mere custom.

I trust, then, that, with your usual acuteness and sagacity, you will conclude with me that no enlightened man has any good reason to think or affirm that I am opposed to all charity or alms-giving “except by or through the church,"or that I am "decidedly opposed to all attempts by Christians at ameliorating the world, or doing acts of charity through any other medium than the church.” There is no one who can convict me of such an aberration of opinion.

It will be equally obvious to you, my dear sir, that my opposition to certain Bible, Missionary, and Tract Societies, as well as my opposition to Free Masons, Odd Fellows, and Sons of Temperance, has proceeded from one and the same principle-viz. a professed communion of the kingdom of Christ with the kingdom of Satan, or the voluntary co-operation of the subjects of both as though under the same master; and again in their sanctioning their meetings and their measures by the most solemn acts of Christian worship. Other objections besides these may be urged against some of these; but this is one grand characteristic feature, ingredient, or attribute of them all. Now I would not secede from a Missionary, a Bible, or a Tract Society, were I a member of any of them, because some one not known to me as a Christian, should cast.his dollar or his cent into the treasury of that society unsolicited for it. But did he ask me for leave to do it, I should say to him, First give your heart to the Lord, then your money to his service. Paul and his companions received favors from a Roman governor who is not known to us as a Christian, but he received them as a token of his personal friendship and esteem for him, and not as given for Christ's sake or in aid of his cause.

I have neither room, nor do I feel it necessary to elaborate this point farther, as if it was a very recondite matter. Indeed, I rather wonder that you, my dear sir, should feel the semblance of either difficulty or contradiction in my course. One of your comprehen. sion and discriminating mind can doubtless perceive that there is a grand principle involved in this matter. It is, Can Christians, according to the New Testament, professedly unite in any act of worship with unbelievers, as such; or solicit to co-operate with them in the cause of Christ men of the world, who have money or means of aiding it, as a duty incumbent on them as aliens from the blessings of Christianity? Can they enter into a social compact with them in distributing Bibles, in sending out missionaries, in disseminating religious tracts, or enter as brethren into the lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, and Sons of Temperance!-!

As to other difficulties suggested, or incongruities supposed, in

giving aid or comfort to any society, educational, literary, or benevolent, on the part of Christians, without any religious tests, worship, or Christian communion, so-called, I need not say muchindeed, I cannot say much. I feel no difficulty in assisting a Son of Temperance or any benevolent Pagan in lifting up a drunkard out of the gutters, or in giving a shilling to an hospital, a free school or a college, or any one of a hundred other benevolent objects, efforts, or associations, when these acts of benevolence do not oblige me to desecrate religion or unite the church and the world in some accredited act of devotion. You certainly, my dear sir, will feel neither difficulty nor incongruity in this. But I hope to hear still farther from you, and am much obliged to you for your contributions in aid of my efforts against Christians becoming Free Masons, Odd Fellows, or Sons of Temperance.

Wishing you health and comfort, as ever yours in all Christian regard.


LETTERS FROM EUROPE-No. XXXII. My Dear CLARINDA:- On the evening of the 26th we returned from Liverpool to Mollington, to recruit for the meeting at Chester, commencing the 1st, and continuing to the 3d of October. I never enjoyed a respite more than this one. The weather was pleasant, and I rambled round the fields at Mollington as a horse turned out to pasture. But a few days only made me feel how much I had suffered from my confinement in Glasgow, and my excessive labors before and after. The meeting at Chester was indeed a very pleasant one. Brethren from Scotland, England, and Wales, were in attendance. The great question of co-operation, and of the necessity of more evangelical labors by our itinerant ministry, was kept before the minds of the brethren assembled, during much of the meeting, and some important resolutions were adopted, of which I cannot now speak particularly.

A fund had been raised, much more than sufficient, to defray the expenses of our visit to Great Britain, and on our refusal to receive any thing more than mere travelling expenses, the brethren voted one hundred pounds sterling to Bethany College, which has been appropriated to increase, with some other funds, the philosophicai and chemical apparatus of the institution. We had the honor to receive very elegant presents at this meeting, presented by the brethren in Scotland. To brother Henshall was presented an ele. SERIES IIJ.-VOL. V.


gant copy of the English Hexapla, containing the six English versions of the New Testament, made from 1380 to 1611-Wickliffe's, Tyndale's, Cranmer's, Geneva, Rheims, and the authorized version, together with Bagster's Chronological Atlas, a complete series of New Maps, an elaborate chart of General History, with a Geographical Index and Concordance of Scripture occurrences. To myself was presented a superbly bound and gilded copy of the most elegant and valuable work ever issued from the English press-an immense folio, titled;—“Biblia Sacra Polyglotta. Textuos Archetypos Versionesque praecipuas ab ecclesia antiquitus receptas necnon Versiones recensiores Anglicanam, Germanicam, Italicam, Gallicam, et Hespanicam Complectentia," &c. &c. Londini Sumptibus: Sam. uelis Baxter-1831. In our language thus:

The Polyglott Holy Bible, containing the original texts and the principal versions anciently received by the Church; also the more recent versions, viz: the English, German, Italian, French, and Spanish,prefixed are presatory desertations upon the literal sense of the original texts, Hebrew and Greek, and of the ancient versions, by the author, Samuel Lee, Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Lee is also Professor of Theology, and an honorary member of various literary and theological institutions in Britain, France, and Germany.

To this admirable work are added various readings of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and of the received text of the New, with those of the Hebrew-Samaritan Pentateuch.

Of this folio Polyglott, the Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge says—“This is one of the most splendid volumes ever published, containing the Bible in the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Latin, English, French, and Italian languages." My copy has also a Spanish version. It costs some 70 dollars, bound and embellished as this volume is, in a style, so far as I have seen, never surpassed.

The reasons and occasion of the presentation of the volume as inscribed in the volume itself, in the most splendid chierography, and orally in the presence of the brethren assembled, by brother Robert Macdougald of Edinburgh, has laid me under new obligations to devote more of my time to the study of these Divine Oracles, providentially furnished as I now am, with means so numerous and various for this purpose, and pressed to it by the requests of so many brethren in the Old World and in the New. To this most acceptable token of the Christian affection and esteem of these my Scotch brethren, were added "Bagster's Chronological Scripture Atlas” before mentioned, with other mementoes from Dundee, which altogether greatly oblige me to labor for the promotion of that greatest and

« PrécédentContinuer »