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house-partly from the want of some conveniencies in point of build. ings and other preparations designed but not accomplished at the moment of our beginning; and more especially from the many
obstacles in the way of introducing a new and strict moral discipline we were for a time struggling against oppressive odds in our essays at good moral order and general decorum, with but little apparent success. But the good leaven has been slowly, although for a time almost imperceptibly, transfusing itself throughout the great mass, and for some months past a growing and decided improvement is manifest to all in every department of the Institution; insomuch that we have seldom or ever witnessed so many diligent, orderly, and attentive students in proportion to the whole aggregate, in any literary institution. Our intermediate examination of all the classes in April, as respected proficiency in the different departments of study, presented a very respectable progress in most of them, and in some of them rather an unexpected intimacy and familiarity with the more recondite principles and elements both of language and of science.
But, better than all, a good moral influence seems to be now in the ascendant, and a general determination on the part of the students to maintain a high standard of moral excellence and decorum in all the details of social intercourse. This becomes more and more easy as the number of professors of religion in this institution is still on the increase, and now more than half our number are members of the Christian church. If there be any one point in the science of morals more than any other universally accredited and enforced, it is, that the fear and reverence of God, sometimes called piety, constitute the only sure and infallible foundation of morality and good manners. Solomon himself says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and to depart from evil is true science.
From the Genius of Christianity.
Never was a pleasanter moral couched in sweeter language, than the following gem, froin the mind of seme sensitive heart:
A LITTLE word in kindness spokent,
A motion or a tear,
And made a friend sincere.
A word--a look has crush'd to earth
Full many a budding flower;
Would bless life's darkest hour.
Then deem it not an idle thing
A pleasant word to speak:
A heart may beal or break.
THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION.
No. V. A few more facts on the subject of apostolic precedents, deduced from the book of their acts and deeds, indicative of their views of the unity and co-operative character of the church, may be gleaned from other tours of Paul beside that of him and Barnabas. We shall, there, fore, examine the details of the tour of Paul and Silas.
Through Syria and Cilicia they took their journey, commended to the favor of the Lord by the Antiochan brethren; and as they went they employed themselves in confirming the churches. It was not episcopal confirmation, by imposition of hands; but the communication of more light on the faith and hope of Christ. The decision of the Apostles, Elders, and Church in Jerusalem on the great questions concerning Gentile rights and immunities, prepared the way for much mental enlargement on the genius and character of Christ's gospel. Its aspect to Jew and Gentile, so full of grace and equality, so benign and so impartial, was a fruitful topic for many a lesson and many an exhortation.
At Derbe and Lystra Timothy appears upon the stage. He stands before Paul well reported of by the brethren of two churches.The churches in Lystra and Derbe both gave their commendation of him to Paul, indicative of their conjoint interest in this young man. Paul would take him from them both, in order to educate him for a larger field. His horizon greatly transcended theirs; and as he was half Jew and half Greek, (a noble extraction,) Paul would make him a whole Jew, so far as the outward circumcision would go, that he might have the freedom of the Jewish church and Jewish nation, whithersoever he might wend his way in Paul's peregrinations. Passing through the cities they handed to the brethren the ordinances of the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem. The sacred style is, “They
delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained by the Apos. tles and Elders which were at Jerusalem.” The consequence was, "the churches were established in the faith and increased in number daily."
Being forbidden to preach the gospel in Proconsular Asia, which then, in contradistinction from Asia Minor, contained only Ionia, Æloia, and Lydia, and also forbidden to visit Mysia, they went on to Troas, Called thence to Macedonia, they visited Philippi; converted the household of Lydia, and the Jailor with his family; and thence advancing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they visited Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens in succession. Thence Paul, in advance of his company, went on to Corinth, and there, preached the word with all power till Silas and Timothy came to him from Macedonia For eighteen months Paul labored in Corinth without much interruption, and he yet continued some months longer. Finally, taking leave of the brethren, he departed into Syria and went on to Ephesus. Tarrying not long, he returned to Jerusalem, promising to revisit the Ephesians if the Lord permitte:t. Landing at Cesarea, in Palestine, he went up to Jerusalem, saluted the church, and hasted to Antioch, in Syria, and there he spent some time. So ended his second grand tour.
On his way from Corinth Paul was accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila, whom he left at Ephesus to assist in the great work. Here, when the eloquent Apollos, from the Alexandrian school, visited Ephesus, preaching only what he had learned in Egypt, he was corrected and better qualified for the work of the Christian ministry by the teachings of these two unassuming disciples. The brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him when he went into Achaia; and safely arriving there, he helped them much who had already believed; and also convinced and converted many more.
Paul, Silas, Timothy, Aquila, Apollos, &c. are the principal cooperants that appear in the second tour. From their conjoint movements and labors certain facts strike our at'ention. The commendations given to Timothy by the brethren of Lystra and Iconium, were judged necessary to his favorable reception with Paul. And that he might travel with Paul acceptably, he accommodated his education and training to the times and people amongst whom he had to labor. So ought churches still to commend persons worthy of the ministry to those who may make them more useful and circumcise them of their ignorance, prejudice, and vulgar notions. There is matter for a very edifying sermon in the words of Paul to Timothy in his letter to him-"That you may be a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
There are, then, two great defects among us moderns in sending out public functionaries. In the first place, they are not always recommended to the work by the brethren in Lystra and Iconium, or even by a plurality of competent vouchers, to say nothing of whole communities. And, in the next place, their qualifications are not such as to elevate them above shame-provided only, they are persons of much sensibility.
It is of much advantage to a person to be sent, and to be sent out by a community respectable for intelligence and moral excellence.To be called neither by God nor man to the work of a Christian minister, but by one's own impulse, is rather a humiliating reflection.And some such persons I have seen. They acknowledged they were not providentially nor supernaturally called on the part of Heaven, and that the church had rather accepted of their services than solicited them. The honor of a Christian minister, whether he be called Bishop, Elder, Evangelist, or Deacon, is one that ought of right to be conferred, not assumed. And to give a person much authority with the community, he ought to have the commendation of Lystra and Iconium, or, at least of some Apostle of high standing with the brotherhood and the world. I speak, of course, of public and general functionaries. All the ancient and primitive ministers were called. Apostles, Evangelists, Bishops, and Deacons—all were called either by the Lord in person, his people, or his providences; and so ought it ever to have continued. In the Christian organization this is essential to the influence and dignity of the public servants. A plurality of persons or congregations, as the case may be, should always concur and co-operate in such appointments as concern themselves.But after a person has been invested with the all-important office of a Christian Evangelist, or Elder, that he may be "a workman that needs not to be ashamed," much devotional study of the Holy Book is es. sential to his proper division and application of the word of truth.The Christian organization should demand this.—Paul commanded Timothy, even after his commendation to him from Lystra and Iconium, and his own teaching and example for a considerable time, to give himself wholly to the work that his profiting might be apparent to all.
How few public preachers and teachers at this day are there that need not to be ashamed of their aptitude to discriminate and apply the holy oracles! Ought not many to blush who presume to speak by a divine call specially to them addressed, for their ignorance of all the laws of language, the force of words, the logical point in an argument, the meaning of the sacred style, and their inaptitude to expound and apply the word of truth! How many ought to blush for their irreverent manner of speaking in the divine presence-their rapid and most irreligious way of pronouncing the divine names and attributestheir profanation of the privilege of prayer in the most undevout style of addressing God, and of speaking to him merely for the sake of speaking to men-correcting what they deem popular errors, and eulogizing kindred spirits while addressing the awful throne of God! The times are sadly out of joint in all these respects. Public prayers are sometimes mere sermons preached to God—critiques on doctrine, satires on rival dogmas, protracted efforts at saying something commendable, random attempts to be eloquent, monotonous gibberish, or empty, loud, and vehement vociferations. For all this insolence to Heaven and for all these lamentable defects we have neither jurisdiction nor tribunal! We certainly have not, if every individual may send himself and authorize his own acts; or if a small, weak, irresponsible community may send out whom it pleases into the world.
The cause of reformation would ere now have overrun the whole community but for two causes-one is the great masses of neglected new converts, who are not taught the Christian religion in scriptural churches, and who consequently lose confidence in themselves, return to the world, or remain dry and barren branches in the mystic vine. The other is a class of unsent, unaccomplished, uneducated advocates who plead it; amongst whom, too, have been found
number of persons of immoral character, who have assumed the profession as a cloak of covetousness—as means of imposing themselves on the unsuspecting and benevolent.
Hypocrites, or mere pretenders, whether in the common ranks or amongst the file leaders of any cause, have ever been a most grievous pestilence. Paul wept over this more than any other misfortune that impeded his career. His words are, speaking more of private than of public men, “Many walk, of whom I have formerly told you, and now again I tell you, even weeping—they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.”
We have bled at every pore through the lacerations of many such. And had not our cause possessed more than mortal strength—had it not been of celestial origin and divine power, it had long since been prostrate through traitors, pretenders, incompetent disciplinarians, and impotent administrators. True, indeed, we have had a numerous host of mighty men-potent in intellectual vigor, moral worth, enlarged knowledge, heroic courage, ardent zeal, and indefatigable assiduity-men who have sacrificed every interest but that of truth. Still they have had an immense load of obloquy, reproach, and mismanagement to