« PrécédentContinuer »
translators of the Hebrew Scriptures, and is always so rendered in the Common Version. Why any one should turn away from this most definite, long established, ancient, and universally admitted signification of the term Sabbath, as used by the Hebrews, and attempt to discover in the rubbish of idolatry and the mists of mythology, some strange sense for it, by which to prove Moses a mere manufacturer of a new superstition out of the materials of the heathen nations around him, is a question which must find its explana. tion in something else than the good sense or sound learning of him who does so. It is beyond a plausible cavil, either of literature or science, certain that the Mosaic account of the origin of these terms, and the authority of this usage, is more rational, authentic and ancient, than any other that has ever been offered.
No other, indeed, can claim any thing more than a confusion of much learning, or a perversion of exact science. A sound and comprehensive view of the antiquities of the world, has always been found to corroborate the statements of Moses; and science, in all its wondrous developments, is as harmonious with the history of things as recorded by this distinguished servant of God, as with that of our most approved popular and scientific authors on astronomy. The student and lover of the Bible as the word of God, need have no fear that its authority can ever be overthrown by truth, and error is only formidable when truth is not free to combat it.
We have other strictures to offer on this production in the Westminster Review, but have we not, already, wearied out the patience of the reader? If so, and he has fallen into a doze while reading my argument, we beg leave to wake him up, to hear a brief recapitulation of what we have done : 1st. We have shown, that the fact that many ancient people called the days of the week by the names of planets in their system of astronomy, or of divinities in their my. thology, does not at all effect the question as to the origin of the week itself, as this was anterior to the naming of the days, and espe. cially as these names are not used in the Hebrew Scriptures. 2d. That the attempt to discover the origin of the words seven and Sab. bath, as well as of the hebdomadal division of time in the terms and customs of the Druid worship, Saba-ism and the Indian lunar festi. vals, not only violates the soundest principles of interpretation, and forces the facts of science to an application which they will not bear, but is, in fact, based upon a total mistake as to the etymol. ogy of the words in question, and a consequent error in supposing them to be equivalent, either in their form or in their meaning. 3d. That the Mosaic account of these terms and this custom is not only
the only rational one that has ever been offered, but that it is also the most ancient, the best authenticated, and the most widely received, among the more enlightened portion of the civilized world.
W. K. P.
JERUSALEM MISSION. We copy from the Christian Intelligencer the following article, from the pen of Bro. J. W. Goss, of Virginia, concerning the best means of supporting our missionaries, and commend it, especially, to the attention of the brethren, not only in the different States mentioned, but also in other States, ere their numbers or their wealth may be sufficiently great to justify their adopting the scheme which he proposes :
Dear Brother Coleman: The last Intelligencer furnishes the gratifying intelligence of the safe arrival of Dr. Barclay and suite in Valetta, the capitol of Malta, an island in the Mediterranean.
His safety, after storms so numerous and perilous as those which he and his family encountered, should be a source of devout thanksgiving to the Great Preserver of imperilled missionaries. The cheerful and hopeful spirit which seems to have animated our missionaries amid their sufferings and dangers, evinces an adaptedness to the work in which they are engaged, which augurs favorably for success. May the great Head of the Church safely conduct them to their destined field of labor, and give them wisdom, courage, and zeal to prosecute their great work!
But the chief object we had in writing, was to stir up the minds of the Virginia Disciples with regard to their honor and duty, touching this enterprize. Dr. Barclay and lady, and daughter, and two sons, the members which compose this legation, have all been chosen from our midst. We know them; their disinterestedness; their zeal; their aim. Now, it seems to me, that Virginia ought to sustain this mission herself. I do not mean that she should act independently of the Cincinnati Society, but through that body. That Society, with fraternal deference, has heard all our objections, and promptly and fully wiped them from its constitution. then, in the spirit of confidence and fraternal love, send to that Society funds enough to sustain that mission. Let Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, follow suit, and they are all able (if willing) to do so; and instead of one, we shall have six foreign stations, with their suites of missionaries. Is not this both desirable and practicable? Yea, should not a community numbering from two to three hundred thousand, and comprising as much intelligence, energy and wealth, as any other community of like members, sustain six foreign and important missionary stations? Having the means, more than any other people, we are compelled by our principles, to give the word and the missionary to the heathen. The Bible is not a dead letter with us, but Heaven's two-edged sword, ordained for the conversion of the world. Then let us send it to the heathen. With us, the Spirit converts vot without the Word. Then let.us send to heathen, dom this great instrumentality.
But some way question the ability of Virginia to sustain this mission
alone. She is fully able. The cis-Alleghany churches, numbering not less than sixty, cau raise for this mission $900, by contributing $15 each. Is $15 more than the average ability of these churches? Hardly. But few are unable to give that much, and many can and will treble it.
The expenses of the Jerusalem mission are estimated, I believe, at $1200. This will leave $300 to be raised by the trans-Alleghany churches of Vira ginia; and our zealous and indefatigable Bro. Bullard will see that $150 are raised in South-Western Virginia; and Bro. Wm. K. Pendleton will see that the reinaining $150 are raised in North-Western Virginia.
If Virginia would promptly claim the privilege of standing by and sustaining this mission herself, what a noble example of Christian benevolence and enterprize would she set to the wealthier sister States!
In order to accomplish this end, I suggest to the churches the propriety of immediate action. On next Lord's day raise the funds, and let them be sent to the Spring Meeting, which convenes at Smyrna, in King and Queen, the Friday before the 3d Lord's day in May. Will the elders lay this matter before their respective congregations on next Lord's day? Or, as too many of them think their duties fully discharged by meeting with a few disciples on Lord's day and attending to the weekly routine of worship, I would suggest that any brother or sister who has a heart to feel for the perishing heathen, should stir up the pure minds of their fellow-disciples to come forward in this work. “Let us work while it is day, the nightcometh when no man can work."
J. W. G. Bro. Goss has ventured to pledge me for the raising of $150 in North-Western Virginia, without consultation, but I acknowledge the obligation, and hereby bind myself, with the divine aid, to raise, for the purpose designated, the sum for which he has pledged me. Will not Bro. Bullard do likewise? I doubt not that he will; nor do I doubt that the whole plan may be easily reduced to practice, if our evangelists and elders will give their attention to the collection of the money. I am much pleased with this proposition, and think that it may be made productive of much good. It cannot be objected, that it proposes State divisions from sectional or anti-catholic feelings, for it recognizes, in the most cordial terms, (our) “the Christian Missionary Society" as the common medium through which the contributions shall be applied. It only distributes the work to be done, with a view of creating a more immediate and personal sense of responsibility, and thus a more efficient effort in the great and noble cause of foreign missions. We know the truth of the old adage-"What is every body's business, is no body's business”—and it does appear that, scattered as our brethren are over such an immense exlent of territory, unless we do resort to sectional or State divisions, by which to determine the respective parts that the brethren must bear in this benevolent enterprise of foreign missions, it will die of neglect. Each one is awaiting and expecting some one else to take care of it, and provide for it, and thus it perishes, not because there are not enough who would willingly help to keep it alive, but because they have not been person." SERIES IV.--VOL. 1.
ally called upon for aid, nor made to feel that it looks to them for at least a certain quantum of its support; that, in fact, it cannot live without it.
We need plans of operation more practical than any we have hitherto adopted, not only for sustaining the missionary enterprise, but for many other good works, of common interest and duty, projected among us. If the plan proposed by Bro. Goss is favorably responded to, we have no doubt that Virginia will raise the $1200 necessary to support Bro. Barclay; but if it is not acted upon, and this State is left only to the private promptings of individual benevo. lence, we venture the prediction that she will not raise the half of it. Sister States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee, will you not take this matter into pratical consideration, and let us hear from you generously on the subject? Do not let our Missionary Society prove an abortion, and all our benevolence but an empty echo of Pharisaical words. Here is a proposition to covenant with the Lord, who is faithful, and will richly repay.
He loveth a cheerful giver, and will prosper the hands of the liberal. There are a few brethren in each of these States, whom I could name, in whose power God has put it to introduce and carry out this arrangement. There are, doubtless, many, and they should commune with their consciences on the subject. If any one feels that he could contribute to the getting up of a plan of operations so widely benevolent and useful as this; if he is conscious, from the position and influence to which God has raised him, that it is in his. power, if he will but direct his energies to the work, to induce the brethren in his State to undertake for the support of one missionary, either home or foreign, to be under the direction of our Society, then I will ask him, since God has given him the influence, whose fanlt is it, if it is not exerted, and upon whom must fall the responsibility of that moral waste and spiritual desolation which he might have caused to be cultivated and cheered by the love and light of the gospel ? As faithful stewards of the manifold riches of God, let us labor for his cause, with the capital he has given, whether moral, intellectual or pecuniary, and the walls of our Zion will go up, and the day of the Lord be hastened.
W. K. P.
TIME tries the characters of men, as the furnace assays the quality of metals, by disengaging the impurities, dissipating the superficial glitter, and leaving the sterling gold bright and pure.
BROTHER BARCLAY IN JERUSALEM. We take pleasure in laying before our readers the gratisying intelligence, that our first missionary, with all his family, has arri. ved in health and safety, at the ancient city of David. The following communication from him, addressed to the Secretary of the Society, will be read with the deepest Christian interest by all who desire the progress of gospel truth. We have, all along, been convinced, that Bro. Barclay's field of labor was one, hitherto regarded as difficult and unpromising, and we fervently pray that he may have grace to sustain him in his arduous and self-sacrificing labors. He desires, and should enjoy, the intercessions of all the saints every where, for his protection and success. He and his tender family are environed by many dangers and exposed to many hardships; but they went forth humbly but fearlessly relying upon Him in whose service they are enlisted, and let us not doubt, but always pray that he will not desert them, and, shall we add it, Brethren, let us not desert them ourselves.
W. K. P,
JERUSALEM, February 28, 1851. My Dear Brother: At length, after encountering so many dangers and delays, I have the happiness (“the Lord being merciful unto us,") of addressing you from this ancient city, the bourne of my travels. Learning, unexpectedly, that we could reach our destination more expeditiously and cheaper by a steamer, which touched at Valetta, while we were there awaiting the sailing of the Hebe, than by pursuing our intended route via Alexandria, we took passage in her, and, in six or seven days, had the pleasure of landing at Beirut.
It was with much regret, however, that we left the Hebe, for great preparations were just being made to assemble, on the next day, the English and Americans, then very numerous in Valetta, to hear the ancient gospel proclaimed under the "Bethel flag.” It was all, however, unknown to me until the hour of my departure, as was also the fact, that the captain and second mate had decided to be baptized; of which I was not apprised until our fare had been paid, and the very moment of our embarkation arrived, when it was certainly too late to administer the ordinance. One of the sailors had previously requested me to baptize him;
ut such was his ignorance of " the truth as it is in Jesus” (Episcopalian though he was) that I had come to the conclusion not to administer the ordinance until we should reach Alexandria, by which time he would have been sufficiently well "instructed in the way of the Lord” to obey intelligently and satisfactorily, and, as I confidently believe, would be accompanied by others. I have seen so much evil, both to the cause of truth and to the preacher, result from hastily thrusting into “God's building” improper materials of "wood, hay, stubble,” that I am perhaps too much afraid of precipitancy, and acted with too much caution in this instance.
But still, whether or not we should « baptize the same hour" that application is made, must, in my opinion, depend somewhat upon circumstances. Will you favor me with your views upon this subject?