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Wappenoskee Plantation, near Pean Grove Post.Cffice,
Parisk of Carroll, Louisiana, April 19, 1840. We have reason to thank God our heavenly Father, that his blessings have altended our humuble efforts in this land of collon hales and worldly-mindedness, in planting the glorious standard of the Cross, and contributing a mile in spreading his truth in a region where, we may almost say, it tiad never been seen or felt before in that simplicity, beauty and power which attended it in the days of its unicorruptuess and purity.
I juformed you that our labors comuenced and were confined io our own plantation, where, on every Lord's day, we assepulled all our family, black and white, and spent a portion of that day in reading the scriptures, and in religious instruction and edification. During the past summer we had the inexpressible pleasure of hearing the declaration of the faith, and witnessing the immersion into the name of our blessed Lord Jesus, of some five or six. On last Lord's day we were again called upon to reader thauks to God for his tender wercies to us waid. Our meelings for soule ujme previous had been deeply interesting, and a visible alteratiou for the better liad teen observed iu dany of our famly; and one day twenty one case forward and made the good confession, embracing all ages, from the strippling of 12 to old age. I confi-ss, my dear brother, that the occasion filled my heart and mind with more than I cau utter. T'he idea that my brother and self, along as it were, in this distant country, separated many miles from any church of our fellow disciples, in a region of country where the truth in its ancient simplicity was never before presented, had been made the instrument, under God, of planting the glorious standard of Immanuel, and of gathering a lew names in the roll of inimortality for the blessed Lord-that a portion of the waters of the nighty Mississippi had in this region been, for the first time, consecrated as the Jordau of baptism and enblematic burial of so niany of our fellow-creatures and they too of our own household, through our labors and instrue. tions, I couless filled ay soul with more than ny feeble language can express. We were the first to trouble the mighty water-a portion of our family were the first, who, in obedience to God's command, was, in the name and by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, iminersed beneath its wavr; but who shall be last eternity will only tell. Bliss the Lord, O! my soul, and he not forgetful of his benefits! Along the banks of Wappa. noekee were assembled, for the second line, in that day, alout one hundred and inty souls, lo participate in, and wituess the soieumi scene. May it oti be repeated! May the Jittle church thus set up be long watered by faithful disciples of our Lord, that God may give the increase, fill the knowledge of his name he sounded aloud through ide length or ihis laud, is our ear uest prayer for his name's sake
We break the loaf every Lord's day, and upon that occasion, bad the felicity of garber. ing aronnd the table of the Lord to the number of 37.
I Trust in the Lord that the liule congregation that is now building up here in our own family, may extend aud exert au influence far and near over our planters, and that God may so bless bur hunutile endeavors in his cause, as will work a revolution in the govern. ment and managements of estates here, as will convince all that the religious instructious of the Bible, and Binle alone, will achieve more for all concerned than task-nasters, penal codes, &c. &c. have ever been, or will ever be, alile to accomplish beside. We inay tail of nur nopes for want of knowing how best to act; but we feel conscious that God's word, knowii, lelt, and obeyed, will and cau make belter masters, better servants, and a happier society ibau all else lieside. Do you not think that something can lie done now to effect this revolution? Will you be so youd as to give us your thoughts, and make such suggestions as may be useful to aid us in this effort I would be glad to hear from you on this topic. You know our southern people, manners, customs, and I may say, prejudices 100, sufficiently well to give us many rotections that may be advantage ous. Sivuld we be able, under our Divine Master, to effect this, or even lay a foundation for others to build upon, our removal 18 this land frow uur beautiful Keniucky, will not have been iu vain in the lorit. Our efforts in this cause cannot be subjected to the draw. backs allendahl upon any effiirt made elsewhere. Our identitication of interest, in one exciting topic, will all-of our fellow citizens, must free us from the paralysing counter. actions, which must and will attend any effori, however benevoleni, began any where else than at home.
B. H. PAYNE.
Rio Nunidad, Teras, January 5, 18-12. We stand in the game attitude to Mexico as we did in 18. 6. Overtures have been made for the purpose of securing an amicable adjustment of difficulties; but as often as made they have been rejectód. Theretore, until i disposition is evinced on the part of Mexico lo solicit friendly relation, it is probable Texas will neither incur the expense nor risk thie degradation of tarther advances I am of opinion that il is incompatible with the dignity and interests of Texas to interfere with the revolutions of Mexico; neither do I believe it would he the policy of this govoriment to invade Mexico at this time Let hier alone.Her civil commotions will exhaust her resources and diminish her means of aggression, while emigration to Texas will give us a population and resources which will enable us to resist aggression.
I would be glad to see a treaty effected with the United States, of a more definite cher racter than that which constitutes the basis of our present relations Our contiguity with your country, and our intimate and daily intercourse with ils citizens, ecem to render this desirable.
Perhaps it is owing in a great measure to our unsettled situation with Mexico, which prevents some of the more respectable citizens of the United States from emigrating to our country. Pardon me for indulging in matters which may not he very interesting to you.
In order that you may have some idea of the nianners and customs of latitude 31, I will give you a few extracts from a letter which I received from broilier Cox not long since:
*Ai a meeting of some of the members of our church, they formally excommunicated me from their fellowship (only three of the members acting) on a charge of Campbellism, without explanation or proof-Mr. Murrell, of the Guadalupe, in the chair- my friends, by request, submitting. So we staud disconnected.”
He then remarksil'o give you some idea of our plan of our future operations, I will just remark that we will continue to receive applicants to baptism on a declaration of their faith. And where our churches have not been organized on the word of God we will reorganize them onihe word of God alone. We hold that faith, repentance, and obedience constitute the Chris. tian character. Our desire is to restore the ancient order of things in the church as nearly as we can according to the New Testament, regardless of the opinione of men."
There are four churches resolved as above. I do not desire to conclude without informing you that we have organized a little con gregation in this place on the last Lord's day in October last, consisting of 8 persons; one since has united. As we have the same Lord, the same faith, the same bope with the first Christians, we have vowed to do as they did. We certainly owe as much to the Lord as they, and ought to love, honor, and obey him as much as they.
PROPOSALS, For publishing at Paris, Tennessee, by Messrs. Dunn, Gist, and Aden, a Monthly
Periodical, to be entitled THE BIBLE ADVOCATE; to be edited and conduoted by DR Jonn R. HOWARD, The object of this periodical, as its name imports, is to plead the cause of primitive Christianity, as it emanated pure and uncorrupted from its Author and his inspired Apostles, and as set forth in the Bible, the only fountain of heavenly wisdom and kinw. ledge, and to defend it against the thisrepresentations, cavils, and aspersions of its enemies.
In connexion with this design it will discuss the following topics:--The Evidences of Christianity-the True Interpretation of the Language, Principles, and Sentiments of the Bible-rne Design and Mearing of its Institutions-the Interpretation of Prophecy Educatioil, religious and iutellectual-Conduct aud Duties of Christians-Office Dutirs, and Support of Evangelists and Bishops, fc It will also report the Progress of the Gospel and the statistics of the Churches; and will endeavor to impress as much as possi. ble the duty and inportance of practical Religion.
The Bible Advocate will be published in inonthly numbers, of-16 pages each, in double column, oclaro, folded, but not stilehed or covered; and at the low price of one dollar per annum, always in advance. Those who remit five dollars for five copies shall re. ceive the sixth copy gratis. - It shall be sent gratis to all Evangelists who request il and who are hereby authorized to act as agents
It is intended that the net proceeds, after defraying all necessary and contingent ex penses, shall be devoted to the support of the gospel.
The want of a religious periodical in the South, devoted to pure and incorrupied Christianity, added to the solicitations of several southern hrethren, and the many m.isre. presentations to which we are constantly exposed, has induced the undersigned to enter upon the present undertaking When the cheapness of the paper is considered, and its design, and the purpose to which the proceads are to be appropriaied, they confidently believe and hope that the brethren generally, and particularly in the South, will exert themseives to sustain the undertaking. The publication of the paper will depend upon no contingency, as the undersigned are determined to commence it as soon as sufficient arrangements can be made. Remittances way therefore be forwarded for it, with the names of subscribers.
* All communications to be directed (postage paid) to the Committee of Publication al Paris, Tennessee.
& Those who may hold the Prospectuses will please forward the names of subscri• bers by the 15th of July, if possible.
K Remittances can be made through the medium of Post-Masters, who are anthorized by law to do so.
J. H. DUNN,
Committee of Publication.
CHRISTIAN PSALMODY-No. II. We have said that notwithstanding that love of variety and of num. ber displayed in behalf of voluminous and expensive psalters and hymn-books, there is no individual, family, or community, that delights in singing many songs. The Scotch and Irish Presbyterians, indeed, at home and abroad, believing that their psalm-book was all inspired, found themselves in duty bound to sing it all through, if not annually, at least in as short a time, as a regular series of singings twice or thrice a-day would despatch the whole one hundred and fifty. This made this most delightful part of Christian worship, both in the family and congregation, more ceremonial and formal than edifying or refreshing. The incongruity of times, seasons, and feelings, so often appearing in soch systematic wholesale singing, by the volume, became disgusting, of at least tiresome and unedifying to the community; and frequently, almost always, after one or iwo rounds, was abandoned for a more rational and congruous system of making the song ani the occasion agree. Finally, however, the favorite songs became more and more manifest by their frequent repe:ition, and the community insensibly, and without any formal agreement, became addicted and devoted to a select few which happened to touch the more common sympathies and native sensibilities of the intelligent and pious heart.
This tendency of the mind is perfectly intelligible if we analyze with care the laws of human action. Amidst all the varieties of animal sustenance, and the almost incalculable aliments provided for our common wants, but a few of them are universally or even generally acceptable; and were the products of all climes daily accessible to all mankind, but a few of them would become the standing entertainment and grateful repasts of the millions of guests that daily assemble around the tables of earth's innumerable spacious diping halls. Man can live on many things on which he desires not to live; and even of the desirables but a few are of high relish and esteem. So is it of authors and their works. Few are universally pleasing; few are even generally acceptable. There are, however, some rare productions that captivate millions. Amongst the simple narratives and affecting anecdotes with which sacred and common literature abounds, there are only a few pieces that universally please. The story of Joseph and the adventures of the youthful David engage every heart; while comparatively few delight in the wars of Joshua and the anecdotes of the Judges and Kings of Israel. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is read with interest by eyery one who understands our vernacular; while his Holy War is VOL. VI.--N_S.
pleasing but to a few. Milton's Paradise Lost has a thousand admirers for one who can endure his Paradise Restored.
Amongst the fruits of earth the same law obtaing. The apple and the peach are eaten by all mankind; while the orango, the citron, and the lemon are preferred by only a part. The milk, the honey, and the butter are favorites in every land and language; while fish, and fowl, and flesh have not the freedom of all the cities of the world. So is it it in things spiritual. There is a specific spiritual taste which is as common as the Christian faith.
There is a homogeneity of feeling in all the family of God. Begotten by one Spirit, affiliated to one Fathes, heirs in common of one inheritance, inspired by the same hopes, and feasted on the same banquets of joy and love, their souls are cbarmed by the lyre of David and southed by the harmonies of praise as they ascend from pure hearts baptized in the blood of the Lamb. I never knew a Christian whose heart responded not to the melodies of the true grace of God. There are themes connected with redemption and its Author, thai "like a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon," are delightful to all. The chords of every Christian heart vibrate in holy sympathieg with the sweet breathings of the Holy Spirit; when, like the balmy zephyrs coming from the mountains of spices, they fall with heavenly sweetness upon the circuincised ears of enlightened and consecrated worshippers.
The great points on which all sanctified spirits meet are fountains of holy delight. They are the sublime truths, the ineffable hopes, the inconceivable joys of ihe true gospel of the grace of God.
•Our aims are one, our coin forts and our cares." Let a song that touhces any of these themes, well composed, clothed with the charts of acceptable poetry, in a style as elevated as the conceptions of which it is the expression, be sung in corresponding strains of the grave sweet melody; and what Christian tongue could refuse to join in the blissful concert of grateful homage to our Immortal King!
But it may be said, 'Let us have all these songs in one book, and then it will be a large volume.' If so, I too say, Let us have a large volume. Where, however, shall we find a large volume of this sort! All the hymn-books known to me have in them some fustiansome of them, a great deal. Hence I soir etimes take up books containing handreds of hymns that are sung neither in the family nor the durch once in five years. In our own little book there are several songs that I have never heard sung by any church or society, and yet they are in doctrine and good sense sound even in England, Scotland, and Protestant America. Still they are not sung because there are
others better. Now if we had a hundred better than any we have, not one of those now in uso would ever be sung. But this is out of the question. Many of them have seldom been equalled, and none of them excelled by any compositions in our language.
But before we inquire into the character of those songs to wbich we allade, let us first institute an iuquiry into the proper subjects of sacred song. This is a subject on which little, very little has been written or said during the current reformation, and it is one on which some thing ought to be said. What, then, we shall first loqnire, are the proper subjects of sacred song?
Ist. Not definitions of words, Faith is thus defined by Dr. Watts, one of our best English poets at least in the department of sacred melo dies:
Falth is the brightest evideuce
or things beyond our sight,
And dwells in lieav'nly light.
Brings distant prospects home,
Or thousand years to come.
By God's almighey word;
By faith obey'd the Lord
Built by the eternal nands,
Tuathcav'uly building stands.
Not all the outward forms on earth,
Nor rites, which God has giv'u,
Can raise a soul to heav'n.
Creales us leirs of grace
A new peculiar race.
Blows on the sons of fles!r,
And forms tie man afresh,
From the long sleep of death;
And pra've employs our breath. The ode to faith, or of faith, is a pretty ode, good poetry, good sense; but it is no part of the worship of God to sing the definition of a word or a thing. Christian psalters ought not to be poetic dictionaries, nor rhyming grammars. The definition of regeneration, however true in theory, is also a more poetic definition of the poet's view of a biblical term. No one can either praise God or refresh the soul of any one by singing it.