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appeared of a powerful renovating influence. The gospel seems to be finding its way, and sending forth its gentle beams, into the regions of darkness and superstition; and new efforts, prompted by zeal, and aided by ample means, are pushing the triumphs of light and Christian liberty far into the domains of ignorance and moral slavery. We would cheerfully contribute to the benevolent design, and we do offer our fervent prayers for increasing success. We yield to the delightful vision, which seems opening to our eyes, and hail the approach, and, as we fondly flatter ourselves, the commencement of a new and brighter era; and fancy that we see in prospect the nations of the East and the tribes of the South flock ing as doves to their windows, laying down their prejudices, and renouncing their superstitions, receiving with thankfulness the new light imparted to them, and submitting with cheerfulness to the new authority imposed on them. We see the ancient monuments of superstition sinking into ruins, the fabric of ignorance crumbling into dust; and the fair temple of truth rising in its maj. esty and beauty to be beheld and admired, and to become the resort of the world.
But our fancy receives a check, and our expectations are chas tened to a soberer character, when a nearer view, and a retros pect of the past, present to us the obstacles that are yet to be encountered, the causes which yet remain to counteract every good purpose and effort for the conversion of heathen nations.
We have heard of the ardent zeal, the incredible labor, and unconquerable firmness, intrepidity, and perseverance, which carried the gospel two centuries ago into distant regions of the East, and of the power with which it went forth; idolatry, superstition and ignorance falling before it, so that its final and complete conquest seemed to be fast approaching. But where are now the monuments of that success-where the remains, or the descendants of the converts, which were then made? The arts of a worldly policy were seen to mingle with the efforts to propagate Christianity. The designs of avarice and of power were discovered. And at the touch of such detection, the splendid vision vanished. Christianity sunk under the supposed bypocrisy, & detected avarice, and love of power in those who attempted its propagation.
It would strengthen our confidence in the present promise of extensive spread and prevalence of the gospel, could we discern none of the same counteracting causes in operation, which have before proved so fatal. But we cannot shut our eyes against facts that force themselves on our notice. The whole intercourse of the nations of christendom, with the southern and eastern hemisphere, has not been calculated to inspire confidence in the disinterestedness of their views and designs. It has not been calculated to prepare them for the reception of their principles and institutions. The miserable Africancan he soon forget that the Chris tian who now invites him to receive a doctrine of peace, humanity, and
mutual affection, is the same that trine, the teachers of a pure mofor two centuries has been stir- rality, the heralds of the glad ring up ferocious wars among the news of salvation, will be heard tribes of his country, and trans- with respect and confidence, and porting his ancestors and his the Christian faith be once more brethren to a cruel and a hope- extended beyond the limits, to less slavery? The wretched Hin- which centuries have confined it. doo sees around him the monu- It is delightful to look forward ments of his country's wrongs- with such a hope, and to cherish the permanent records of the ava- the belief that it may not be disrice, and fraud, and violence, and tant. It is delightful to notice rapacity of those Europeans, who and acknowledge the symptoms are now coming with so much of its approach, in any change in zeal and benevolence to impart a national policy-by which the religion which teaches righteous most flagrant wrongs are in some ness, and truth, and charity. Will measure redressed or preventedhe distinguish between the Chris- by which some check is given to tian teacher and the Christian unchristian rapacity and violence, conqueror, on trader? Will he lis- and thus some better hopes and ten to the words of the missiona- greater facilities are furnished— ry, and be blind to the deeds of at least some obstructions removthe unprincipled adventurer? ed, by which fairer prospects are still more, to what must seem to opened to those who are ardent him, whatever it may be in really looking for the conversion of ity, an authorized system of fraud the heathen world. and pillage, of violence and op pression?
In proportion as a more just and humane policy is pursued by Christian nations in their political and commercial intercourse with heathen nations, and measures are adopted to restrain and prevent individual wrongs, and indications thus appear, that they make the principles of the religion they offer them in some measure the basis of their own public policy, and the rule of their individual transactions-we may rea sonably hope, that the prejudices which have prevented the spread of the gospel will subside; that past injuries will be gradually forgotten, and the memory of other examples effaced; that the messengers of a heavenly doc
We see with unfeigned satisfaction, and with admiration, the generous ardor that is displayed, and the honorable efforts employed in the nation from which we originated, to spread abroad the light of the gospel, and impart its blessings and hopes to distant regions. Nor would we refuse the tribute of applause to that zeal, and piety, and charity.which from our own country have sent a tributary stream to join with the larger current which they have supplied, and directed to a remote land. Yet may we not be allowed to hope, that our own efforts, though less splendid, and less adapted to attract the public notice and admiration, may not be less useful*-may not be less promotive of the Christian cause
This discourse was delivered before the society for propagating the gospel among the Indians and others in North America.
or less acceptable to our common Master? While we honor the enlarged charity, which lends its wealth, and the intrepid zeal and piety, which offers its personal services in foreign missions, may we not feel a reasonable satisfaction in our humbler efforts; and believe, that in furnishing religious in struction to the scattered inhabitants of our new settlements, and in offering the gospel to the unconverted savages near our borders, and the half civilized tribes within our own territory, we may do something for our Master, and promote as certainly and as effectually the progress of his religion in the world? We are apt to be dazzled by appearance, and carried away in admiration of that, which is showy and magnificent. That charity seems cold, and mean, and narrow, which goes not beyond the circle of our neighborhood or country. That only appears heroic and
praise-worthy, which, leaping over the common limits, that confine our sympathies, and bound our exertions, seeks the objects of its regard in distant climes; traverses foreign regions, and flies over seas to offer the news of salvation to the remotest parts of the earth.
But it is not our so
berest and correctest judgment, that overlooks and despises the common and useful, to admire the rare and splendid. While thousands of our brethren through poverty and the circumstances of their situation, unprovided with the regular instructions of our religiou, are calling for our aidand thousands more of the natives on our own shores, groping in darkness, and perishing for lack of vision, lay claim to far more of our benevolence, than can be spared from still nearer objects, we have little reason to think meanly of that charity, which thus limits its provisions.
CHILLINGWORTH'S PLAN FOR UNITING CHRISTIANS.
"LET all men believe the scriptures, and them only, and endeav. or to believe them in the true sense, and require no more of others, and they shall find this not only a better, but the only means to restore unity. And if no more than this were required of any man to make him capable of church communion, then all men, so qualified, though they were different in opinion, yet, notwithstanding any such difference, must be, of necessity, one in communion.
"The presumptuous imposing of the sensesof men upon the gene
rat words of God, and laying them upon men's consciences together; this vain conceit, that we ean speak of the things of God better than in the words of God; this deifying our own interpretations and enforcing them upon others; this restraining the word of God from that latitude and generality, and the understandings of men from that liberty wherein Christ and his apostles left them, is, and hath been the only foun tain of all the schisms of the church, and that which makes them immortal. Take away these walls of separation, and
EFFECTS OF THE TORPEDO.
ON paraphrasing the scriptures, Dr. Campbell has the following observations:
"We are told of the torpedo that it has the wonderful quality of numbing every thing it touches. A paraphrase is a torpedo. By its influence, the most vivid sentiments become lifeless, the most sublime are flattened, the most fervid chilled, the most vigorous enervated. In the very best compositions of this kind that can be expected, the gospel may be compared to a rich wine of a high flavor, diluted in such a quantity of water as renders it extremely vapid. In all those paraphrases we have had occasion to be acquainted with, the gospel may more justly be compared to such a wine, so much adulterated with a liquor of a very different taste and quality, that little of its original relish and properties can be discovered. Accordingly in one paraphrase Jesus Christ appears a bigotted Papist; in another, a flaming Protestant. In one he argues with all the sophistry of a Jesuit; in another he declaims with all the fanaticism of a Jansenist.
In one you trace the metaphysical ratiocination of Arminius; in another, you recognize the bold conclusions of Gomarus; and in each you hear the language of a man, who has thoroughly imbibed the system of one or another of our Christian Rabbis. So various and so opposite are the characters which in those performances our Lord is made to exhibit, and the dialects which he is made to speak. How different is his own character nd dialect from them all!" Philosophy of Rhetorick, p. 437.
This passage has the appear
ance of severe animadversion. But is it not a fact that the severity consists in the pertinency, force and justness of the remarks? And may we not with propriety say, that all these observations are as perfectly applicable to human creeds as to "paraphrases" of the language of scripture? Let the phrase human creed be substituted for "paraphrase," aud will not all the observations appear correct? "A human creed is a torpedo." It produces the effects ascribed to paraphrase. In the best compositions of this
kind, the gospel may be compared to a rich wine of a high flavor, diluted with water." In many of them "the gospel may more justly be compared to such a wine-adulterated with a liquor of a very different taste and quality.""In one human creed Jesus Christ appears a bigotted Pa pist; in another, a flaming Pro testant. In one he argues with all the sophistry of the Jesuit; in another he declaims with all the fanaticism of the Jansenist. In one you trace the metaphysical ratiocinations of Arminius; in another you recognize the bold conclusions of Gomarus; and in each, you hear the language of a man, who has thoroughly im
bibed the system of one or other of our Christian Rabbis."
The Dr. admits that in some instances "paraphrase" may be useful; we admit the same of human creeds. But when these creeds are established as tests of orthodoxy, of piety, of admission to Christian privileges, or ministerial fellowship, they are TORPEDOS emphatically. They have "the wonderful effect of numbing" Christian liberty, free inquiry, candor, and kind affections; of chilling brotherly love, or changing it into mere party attachment; of dividing the church of Christ and transforming Christians into partizans, and enemies one to another.
THINGS TO BE FORGOTTEN.
In an essay 66 on the amusements and punishments proper for schools," Dr. Rush has the following remarkable paragraph:"We suffer so much from traditional error of various kinds, in education, morals and government, that I have been led to wish that it were possible for us to have schools established in the United States, for teaching THE ART OF FORGETTING. I think three fourths of all our schoolmasters, divines, and legislators, would profit very much by spending two or three years in such useful institutions."-Essays, p.
We are not likely very soon to have such schools as Dr. Rush wished for; but it may not be amiss to mention some of those "traditional errors," from which
"we suffer so much," that it is desirable to forget them.
Some school-masters would do well to forget the barbarous modes of governing schools by terror and storm; and instead of these to adopt the modes which are dietated by wisdom, kindness, and love. The first care of a schoolmaster should be to gain the love of his scholars, by the display of a kind, conciliating temper, that his pupils may be induced to regard him as a friend, and not as a tyrant; that they may obey him from respect and not from slavish fear; and that they may esteem his admonitions and reproofs as the fruit of good will, and not of ill nature.
The same observations will apply to many parents and heads of families. The modes of govern