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marriage service appeared to me to be generally addressed to the whole party, the clergyman was scrupulously exact in obtaining the accurate responses from each individual."
Amongst the benevolent institutions of Manchester, we notice one of great importance—"The Society for promoting National Education.” Much has been recently said on this subject in England, of which we may take some notice again. But in proof of the need of a very general investigation of this whole subject, I will give you an extract from a Report of the Rev. Baptist Noel, of whom you have heard much, and whom I heard for some minutes in his own church in London. These are spirited sketches:
“The Rev. Baptist Noel, in his Report of the State of Education in Lancashire, leaves a very unfavorable impression on the mind, in thus describing a Dame School he visited, frequented by children of the poor:—'I found thirty-one children, from two to seven years of age. The room was a cellar about ten feet square, and about seven feet high. The only window was less than eighteen inches square, and not made to open. Although it was a warm day, towards the close of August, there was a fire burning: and the door through which alone any air could be admitted, was shut. Of course, therefore, the room was close and hot; but there was no remedy. The damp subterraneous walls required, as the old woman assured us, a fire throughout the year. If she opened the door, the children would rush out to light and liberty, while the cold blast rushing in would torment her aged bones with rheumatism. Still further to restrain their vagrant propensities, and to save them the danger of tumbling into the fire, she had crammed the children as closely as possible into a dark corner at the foot of her bed. Here they sat in pestiferous obscurity, totally destitute of books, and without light enough to enable them to read, had books been placed in their hands.'
“This same gentleman gives another graphic sketch:— Not far from this infant asylum I entered a common school. It was a room on the ground floor, up a dark and narrow entry, and about twelve feet square. Here forty-three boys and girls were assembled, of all ages, from five to fourteen. Patches of paper were pasted over the broken panes of the one small window, before which also sat the master, intercepting the few rays of light which would otherwise have crept into the gloom. Although it was in August, the window was closed, and a fire added to the animal heat, which radiated from every part of the crowded chamber. In the front of the fire, as near to it as a joint on a spit, a row of children sat with their faces towards the master and their backs to the furnace. By this living screen the master, though still perspiring copiously, was somewhat sheltered from the intolerable heat. As another measure of relief, amidst the oppression of the steaming atmosphere, he had also laid aside his coat. In this undress he was the better able to wield the three canes, two of which, like the weapons of an old soldier, hung conspicuously on the wall, while the third was on the table ready for service. When questioned as to the necessity of
this triple instrumentality, he replied that the children were 'abrupt and rash in their tempers,' that he generally reasoned with them respecting their indiscretion, but that when civility failed he had recourse to a little severity.
There was no classification of the children; and the few books in the school were such as some of the parents chose to send.'
“No doubt school-rooms like these might be found in Manchester; but it cannot be supposed that such sketches will apply to the generality of even those frequented by the poorest part of the population.”
I have been thus diffuse in my notes on the metropolis of manufactures because we Americans are likely to be the second, if not the first, manufacturing people on the globe. I am glad to say that all that I have visited any where in the United States, especially in New England, stand in the most favorable contrast with those of which we have been speaking, so far as the general appearance of all necessary comforts on the part of the operatives isconcerned. But when the American peopłe learn that the cotton growers of the United States received from Great Britain for their cotton crop of 1846 only thirty-five millions of dollars—that is, for the growth, picking, bagging, conveying to market, and selling expenses of her erop, while Great Britain received an accumulated value on the same crop for labor performed upon it, amounting to the sum of sixtynine millions of dollars, in the ratio of two to one—that is, Britain makes two dollars for manufacturing our cotton for every one we make by growing it:- I say, when we learn that fact as a nation, we will certainly become a still more manufacturing people. If so, then, from the data here presented, and it is but a drop of a bucket full at our command, it is expedient that we profit from her experience, and timously provide for the education, intellectual and moral, the general comfort and ample remuneration of our operatives, that we may not, in ereating a thousand "cotton Lords,” create also a million of pappers. I cannot think that these details can be so interesting to you as they may be important to many of my readers; bnt we must all occasionally, at some expense to ourselves, yield a little to the instruction and comfort of others.
Since our visit to Manchester, concerning which I gave you some information before, I was glad to learn, at the general meeting at Chester, before leaving England, that a union was formed between our brethren there and a Baptist church on the other side of the river. I know of no field of labor in Great Britain more promising of an abundant harvest, under a judicious evangelical culture, than the town of Manchester and its immense environs. Your affectionate father,
DISCIPLINE.-No. IV. The question to which we have now come, is one not only of the greatest importance, but one about which there long have been, and still are, many different opinions. Its solution involves, necessarily, the discussion of another question, to wit—the proper scriptural organization of a church. The manner in which any body will administer the various laws of its code, will depend, of course, upon the form of its constitution or organization. We cannot go to Russia to learn the civil jurisprudence of England, nor to England to discover the forms by which justice shall be administered in these United States. We must look to the organization of each of these governments to ascertain both the authorized functionaries and their appropriate functions, before we can determine the formality or informality of any act, legislative, judicial, or executive, they may decree. So in the Christian church. To decide upon the propriety or impropriety of the manner in which it may discharge any duty imposed upon it, or exercise any authority legitimately committed to it, we must look to its constitution-determine the various faculties which it possesses, and the true and proper functions assigned to each.
This would appear to be no very easy task-for though many strong minds have been employed upon the question, and for centuries controversy has been rife, the result has been, that in the midst of much learning and much ingenious argument, counsel has been darkened, and the religious world are farther from unanimity than ever; and that, too, upon this very question. Investigation seems to have deepened obscurity, and each new effort to determine truth but established some new modification of error. Papacy, Prelacy, Presbyterianism, and Independency, in its various forms, not only differ in their creeds but in their organization or church polity; and, consequently, in the manner in which they attend to the business of discipline. We will not now stop to detail these forms, nor to inquire into the history of their origin, or the reasons assigned for their adoption; but proceed to the business more immediately before us, to wit—the determination of the proper scriptural organization of a church.
To him who is conversant with “Acts of Apostles," a book given us by Luke, and of incalculable value upon all questions connected with the inquiries before us, nothing can be more evident than that most of the first congregations of disciples were formed in Jewish synagogues, and continued to worship in them, in most cases, till
some difficulty or disagreement led to a secession. The first gospel sermon was most probably preached in the open air, by the side of some of those thronged streets leading to the Temple, whither the people were repairing for their morning devotions; for it was about 9 o'clock, the Jewish hour of morning prayer. The spectacle was extraordinary and sublime. The few trembling adherents of Jesus crucified, though smitten and scattered, have rallied from their discom fiture. The illiterate Galileans, rude and uncouth of speech, are suddenly gifted with all the languages of the earth and inspired with an eloquence which shakes the locked fountains of the most wicked hearts. The astounding proclamation is boldly uttered “This same Jesus whom you have crucified, God has made Lord and Messiah;” and, like a sharp two-edged sword, it goes to the conscience, bringing to immediate obedience three thousand souls. Of these, we are told, that they converted their property into money, appropriating of it to the relief of the needy; that they continued unanimously in the Temple every day, and breaking bread from house to house, they partook of their food with joy and simplicity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people; and the Lord daily added the saved to the congregation. Acts ii. 46–7.
Here we find the place of daily resort to be the Temple, and Peter's second address is delivered in the Temple, in Solomon's porch, as also the third; after which he and John retire “to their own company,” and we find them with one accord lifting up their voice in prayer to God for power to speak the word with freedom, and for accompanying signs and wonders, through the name of his holy son Jesus. The death of Ananias and Sapphira occurred also in Solomon's porch; and the Apostles, after their release from prison by the messengers of the Lord sent by night, were commanded to present themselves in the Temple, and "there speak to the people, all the words of this life.” So, again, in the conclusion of the fifth chapter of Acts we are informed that “daily in the Temple, and from house to house, they ceased not to teach and declare the good news that Jesus is the Messiah." Up to this period, then, it seems that the common place for rendezvous for what is called the congregation, was the Temple; and that there was no organization of any kind. The zeal of the first converts, who were doubtless from the more pious part of the Jewish worshippers—their national custom of resorting daily to the Temple for devotional exercises-the presence and example of the Apostles—the eagerness of all to learn more of the new and strange doctrine, and the intimate sympathy arising both from the joy and the danger of the common
faith, all conspired and were sufficient to bring and to keep together those who constituted the congregation of disciples. The Apostles not only directed, but did every thing of a public character themselves. To the promiscuous crowds of -Jews who thronged the porch of the Temple, or waited in the court for the benediction of the Priest, they proclaimed “the good news that Jesus is the Messiah;" and from house to use, they taught the disciples the "all things" which the Lord had commanded them. The money, too, which was contributed for the common necessity, was laid at their feet; and, under their supervision, distributed to each according to his need.
But the number of disciples, in a short time, being greatly multiplied, this attention to the present wants of the needy became too burdensome a duty for the Apostles; and the Hellenists, who, from their inability to speak the Syriac dialect, the language of the Jews of Palestine, and the consciousness of some prejudice against them on the part of the Hebrews, were naturally sensitive to any seeming neglect, felt aggrieved at the share of attention which their widows received in the daily ministrations, and murmured. This induced the Apostles to relieve themselves of the invidious burden altoge, ther; and, having called the multitude of disciples together, they ordered them to select seven men from among themselves whom the Apostles might set over this business. These, from their Greek names, were most probably of the Hellenist party; among them, was Stephen, the proto-martyr; and in a little while we find him disputing with some of a certain synagogue. There were many synagogues in Jerusalem-four or five hundred—and the Hellenists, it seems, and even particular schools, had their respective places of assembly specially appropriated. In these, it would be most likely, some of these seven new officers would be found; and accordingly in that of the African and Asiatic Jews, Stephen appears true to his vocation, speaking with a wisdom which they could not resist. Persecution was the result; and Stephen, invoking mercy upon their sin, falls before their fury, the first martyr of the Christian church.
Thus were the fires of persecution kindled, and the havoc that ensued drove into dispersion, through the regions of Judea and Samaria, the whole congregation, the Apostles only excepted. With the dispersion went the glad tidings of great joy, and from the hands of Philip, Samaria and Ethiopia receive it. But persecution follows, and the young man, Saul, who held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen, still breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the