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more than does the oath of the witness who is a Christian, that he will speak the truth, strengthen his obligation to do so as a Christian. . In either case the party but obeys a requirement to enable him to perform his duty in the premises.
I will not protract this essay further. I agree with much that you have said, and object only to your main propositions. These are radically wrong, in my conception; and, as I said at the beginning, may “produce difficulties in the church and throw obstacles in the way of one of the reformatory movements of the age.” I wait to hear from you again. If I have "the popular side of the question,” of which I am by no means certain, the conduct of this discussion, brother Campbell, is in your hands; which, together with the great authority your name bears with thinking men and with the church, more than balance the account against me. Yours with Christian affection,
GEO. W. WILLIAMS. If my “main propositions” are “radically wrong," it matters nothing how far, brother Williams, you agree with me “in much that I have said.” But as I have not time to respond to this essay, I will only say, that if they are wrong, you ought to have shown it, and not to have expended your strength in an attempt to show that in other matters I am as far wrong as yourself; for suppose that point were as fully settled in other minds as it seems to be in yours, still you have gained nothing for the Sons of Temperance, unless to prove me wrong in one proposition proves you right in another, or in all.
Still I am willing that my readers should reflect upon your essay for a whole moon, without any response from me, should I not be permitted to respond to it til} the December number. Yours truly,
ALEXANDER CARSON, LL.D.
Bacon COLLEGE, Sept. 23, 1848. Dear brother Campbell—The Millennial Harbinger for September has just arrived; and, as usual, I have examined its contents with the liveliest interest. As you have alluded to the fact, that Bacon College conferred the degree of LL.D. on Alexander Carson, it will perhaps be interesting to your readers to inspect the correspondence between him and myself on that occasion. You will observe, that in my letter, and by means of the Discourses, which I sent him, (viz. my Sermon on the Commission, and that on Christian Union,) he was fully aware of the religious views of those, by whom Bacon College was established, and sustained. His reply must be read in the light shed upon it by this connexion, to be pro
perly appreciated. Viewing it in this light, your readers, and per. haps yourself, may be somewhat surprizerl to find from the pen of the justly celebrated Carson the following endorsement (unqualifieil shall I call it?) of our religious sentiments:—“The liberality of the principles on which your Institution is founded I entirely approve. The rejection of all sectarian names is a principle on which the church, over which I preside, has already acted. But, without farther preface, let us come to the correspondence:
BACON COLLEGE, Harrodsburg, Kentucky,
U. S. of N. America, Nov. 19, 1841. Dear Sir-In consideration of our high regard for your distinguished talents, extensive erudition, great moral worth, and untiring devotion to the cause of truth, the Trustees of Bacon College, (over which I have the honor to preside,) have conserred upon you the honorary degree of LL.D. This degree was conferred last spring; and I have now to apologize, that information of the proceeding was not communicated at an earlier date. Bacon College is located at the centre of the central State in the Union; was chartered by the Legislature of Kentucky in the winter of 1836–7; and is sustained principally by that large, intelligent, and rapidly increasing body of Christians, who reject all sectarian names, as indicative of carnality; and who plead practically, as well as theoretically, for “the Bible, the Bible alone, the religion of Protestants.'
Of such importance did I think this infant Institution to the cause of education and Christianity in these United States, that I hesitated not to relinquish a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, in a richly endowed State Institution, for the promise of - dollars in this. I send you a few pamphlets, through our mutual friend, Elder Archibald Maclay of New York, viz. a Sermon on the Commission, and one on the Terms of Christian Union, both published while I was President of the College of Louisiana, together with my Inaugural Address, as President of said Institution, and that delivered as President of Bacon College. I should be glad to be informed of the receipt of these pamphlets, and also your acceptance of the honorary degree conferred by this Institution. With all due respect and consideration, your Christian brother,
President of Bacon College. Elder ALEXANDER CARSON, Tuübermore, Ireland.
TUBBERMORE, IRELAND, Jan. 10th, 1842. My dear Sir— The token of approbation of Bacon College, I accept with the most lively gratitude. I beg you will have the goodness to acquaint the Trustees of your learned Institution, that I feel highly honored and encouraged in my labors by this distin. guished mark of favor, which they have bestowed on me.
With respect to yourself, I have, since the visit of Mr. Maclay to this country, been aware of your favorable sentiments towards me, SERIES NI.--VOL. V.
for which I return you my warmest acknowledgments. The package, which you sent me, I received a few days before your letter. It gave me much satisfaction to find, that an Irishman had met with so distinguished success in different parts of America; and that, with so enlightened and philosophic views of education, you are in a situation to make this advantage so extensive for the prosperity of your country, both as to letters and religion. It will be an incalcu. lable advantage to the State of Kentucky, to have Christian prin ciples as the foundation of scientific education. The views, which you suggest, on this subject, in your inaugural addresses, are admirable; and very much coincide with those of my learned friend, Dr. Bryce, Principal of the Belfast Academy-a man every way distin. guished for excellence.
The liberality of the principles, on which your Institution is founded, I entirely approve. The rejection of all sectarian names, is a principle, on which the church, over which I preside, has always acted. With respect to baptism, though for some time past we are almost without exception agreed, yet we have never made it a term of admission.
I am greatly pleased with the zeal of the people of America on the subject of education; and that so many learned institutions are supported in the States. With all my heart I wish that they may succeed in raising the country to a most distinguished name in both literature and science. The old establishments of learning in Great Britain affect a contempt for other Institutions, which is very arrogant. There is no reason why each of all the Literary and Philosophical Institutions should not take rank with any of the proudest seats of science in England. The Institutions of your country have the incalculable advantage, that they are not encumbered with useless forms, and exploded trifles. I am, my dear, sir, must truly yours,
ALEXANDER CARSON. PRESIDENT SHANNON, Harrodsburg, Ky. North America.
From the foregoing document, may it not reasonably be inferred, that Alexander Carson, though claimed by the Baptists, was far from sustaining them in any of their sectarian peculiarities? He was a great and good man; and as he has gone to his reward, the following items of his life are worthy of being preserved in the pages of the Millennial Harbinger. They were communicated to me in a letter, which I received from Archibald Maclay of New York, dated, "London, 16th of March, 1816,” while I was President of the College of Louisiana. The following extracts from this letter are entitled to the greatest confidence:
"He graduated in Glasgow University, in the year 1799, and took the highest honor of that Institution. Dr. R. Wardlaw was a fellow-student, and graduated at the same time.
He has been a close student ever since, and has bestowed more
attention on the subject of philology, than, perhaps, any other man now living.
His work on the proper principles of Biblical Interpretation, is a masterly production, and must become a standard work.
His last work is entitled, “The Knowledge of Jesus, the most excellent of Sciences," and is a work of no ordinary merit.
He is now writing on Divine Providence, a work which will embrace the principal circumstances in the sacred scriptures, which relate to the subject, connected with an Essay illustrative of its general nature.
In several instances, he has been employed by the Presbyterians to write reviews of important works, both in Scotland and in Ireland-a circumstance at once complimentary to his ability as a scholar, and his integrity as a Christian.
I spent several days at his house, and was truly delighted with him. He has had a family of thirteen children, all of whom have been brought to know and love the Lord. Four of them have been removed to a better world. Nine of them are still living and walking with God.
Dr. Carson, although one of the best scholars of the age, possesses the simplicity of a child, and is one of the kindest hearted men I ever knew.
He has written a great deal, and has always written well. Every subject he touches, is discussed with the hand of a master, in his own graphic style. The ten or fifteen years past he has brought out a new volume annually.
Several of his very able publications are out of print. I have endeavored to obtain a complete set of his works; but though I have had occasion to visit Scotland, England, and Ireland, and made all suitable inquiries, I have not been able to succeed.”
Carson's work on Baptism is a masterly production, and would be an acquisition to any library. If you think the foregoing items worthy of a place in the Harbinger, they are at your disposal. Your friend and brother,
LETTERS FROM HON. JOHN Q. ADAMS TO HIS SON,
ON THE BIBLE AND ITS TEACHINGS.
LETTER VIII. The whole system of Christianity appears to have been set forth by its Divine Author in his sermon on the mount, recorded in the 6th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew, I intend hereafter to make ther the subject of remarks much more at large; for the present I confine myself merely to general views. What I would impress upon your mind is infinitely important to the happiness and virtue of your life, as the general spirit of Christianity and the duties which results from it. In my last letter, I showed you, from the very words of our Saviour, that he commanded his disciples to aim at absolute perfection, and that this perfection consisted in self-subju. gation and brotherly love, in the complete conquest of our passions, and in the practice of benevolence to our fellow-creatures. Among the Grecian systems of moral philosophy, that of the Stoics resembles the Christian doctrine in the particular of requiring the total subjugation of the passions; and this part of the Stoic principle was adopted by the academies. You will find this question discussed with all the eloquence and ingenuity of Cicero, in the fourth of his Tusculan disputations, which I advise you to read and meditate upon. You will there find proved, the duty of subduing the passions. It is sometimes objected that this theory is not adapted to the infirmities of human nature; that it is not made for a being so constituted as man; that an earthen vessel is not formed to dash itself against a rock; that in yielding to the impulses of the passions, man only follows the dictates of his nature; that to subdue them entirely is an effort beyond his powers. The weakness and frailty of our nature it is not possible to deny-it is too strongly tested by all human experience, as well as by the whole tenor of the scriptures; but the degree of weakness must be measured by the efforts to overcome it, and not by indulgence to it Once admit weakness as an argument to forbear exertion, and it results in absolute impotence. It is also very inconclusive reasoning to infer that because perfection is not absolutely to be obtained, it is not therefore to be sought. Human excellence consists in approximation to perfection; and the only means of approaching to any term, is by endeavoring to obtain-the term itself. With these convictions upon the mind-with a sincere and honest effort to practise upon them, and with the aid of a divine blessing which is promised to it, the approaches to perfection may at least be so great as to nearly answer all the ends which absolute perfection could attain. All exertion, therefore, is virtue; and if the tree be judged by its fruit, it is certain that all the most virtuous characters of heathen antiquity were the disciples of the Stoic doctrine. But let it even be admitted that a perfect command of the passions is unattainable to human infirmity, it will still be true that the degree of moral excellence possessed by any individual is in exact proportion to the degree of control he exercises over himself. According to the Stoics, all vice was resolvable into folly: according to the Christian principle, it is all the effect of weakness. In order to preserve the dominion of our own passions, it behoves us to be constantly and strictly on our guard against the influence and infection of the passions of others. This caution above all is necessary to youth; and I deem it indispensable to enjoin it upon you,-because, as kindness and bejevolence comprise the whole system of Christian duties, there may be, and often is, great danger of falling into errors and vice merely for the want of energy to resist the example or enticement of others. On this point the true character of Christian morality appears to me to have been misunderstood by some of its ablest and warmest defenders. In Paley's View of the Evidences of Christianity,'there is a chapter upon the morality of the Gospel, the general tenor of which (as of the whole work) is excel. lent, but in which there is the following passage:-“There are two opposite descriptions of character, under which mankind may gener