« PoprzedniaDalej »
where Mr. Miller delivered his lectures, will show the legitimate effects of his labors.
Immediately after the lectures were closed, Mr. Fleming writes: “Things here are moving power, fully. Last evening about 200 requested prayers, and the interest seems constantly increasing. The whole city seems agitated. Br. Miller's lectures have not the least effect to affright; they are far from it. The great alarm is among those who did not come near. Many who stayed away and opposed seem excited, and perhaps alarmed. But those who candidly hear are far from excitement and alarm.
“The interest awakened by his lectures is of the most deliberate and dispassionate kind, and though it is the greatest revival I ever saw, yet there is the least passionate excitement. It seems to take the greatest hold on the male part of community. What produces the effect is this-Brother Miller simply takes the sword of the Spirit, unsheathed and naked, and lays its sharp edge on the naked heart, and it cuts ! that is all. Before the edge of this mighty weapon, infidelity falls, and Universalism withers. False foundations vanish, and Babel's merchants wonder. It seems to me that this must be a little the nearest like apostolic revivals of anything modern times have witnessed."
A short time after, he wrote again, as follows: “There has probably never been so much religious interest among the inhabitants of this place generally as at present; and Mr. Miller must be regarded, directly or indirectly, as the instrument, although many, no doubt, will deny it; as some are very uns willing to admit that a good work of God can follow his labors; and yet we have the most indubitable evidence that this is the work of the Lord. It is worthy of note, that in the present interest there has been comparatively nothing like mechanical effort. There has been nothing like passionate excitement. If there has been excitement, it has been out of doors, among such as did not attend Br. Miller's lectures. “At some of our meetings since Br. Miller left, as many as 250, it has been estimated, hare expressed a desire for religion, by coming forward for prayers; and probably between one and two hundred have professed conversion at our meeting; and now the fire is being kindled through this whole city, and all the adjacent country. A number of rum-sellers have turned their shops into meeting-rooms, and those places that were once devoted to intemperance and revelry, are now devoted to prayer and praise. Others have abandoned the traffic entirely, and are become converted to God. One or two gambling establishments, I am informed, are entirely broken up. Infidels, Deists, Universalists, and the most abandoned profligates, have been converted; some who had not been to the house of worship for years. Prayer-meetings have been established in every part of the city by the different denominations, or by individuals, and at almost
every hour. Being down in the business part of our city, I was conducted into a room over one of the banks, where I found about thirty or forty men, of different denominations, engaged with one accord in prayer, at about eleven o'clock in the day-time! In short, it would be almost impossible to give an adequate idea of the interest now felt in this city. There is nothing like extravagant excitement, but an almost universal solemnity on the minds of all the people. One of the principal booksellers informed me that he had sold more Bibles in one month, since Br. Miller came here, than he had in any four months previous. A member of an orthodox church informed me that if Mr. Miller could now return, he could probably be admitted into any of the orthodox houses of worship, and he expressed a strong desire for his return to our city.”
Similar accounts might be given from most of the places where he has given a full course of lectures, to a society; the minister and church co-operating with him. We could name Rostoa, Cambridgeport, Wa. tertown, and numerous places; but
we will refer to one more, viz. Portsmouth, N. H. The same glorious effects followed his labors in this place, as at Portland. We simply wish to give the testimony of the Unitarian minister of that town, relating to the character of the revival. We are the more par. ticular on this point, because the advocates of revi. vals have charged Mr. Miller with getting up “fa. natical excitements.” Now we have an impartial witness on this point. Hear bina; he says:
“If I am rightly informed, the present season of religious excitement has been to a great degree free from what, I confess, has always made me dread such times, I mean those excesses and extravagances, which wound religion in the house of its friends, and cause its enemies to blaspheme. I most cheerfully express my opinion, that there will be in the fruits of the present excitement far less to regret, and much more for the friends of God to rejoice in, much more to be recorded in the book of eternal life, than in any similar series of religious exercises, which I have ever had the opportunity of watching, **
Will the Rev. Parsons Cooke join with the editor of the “Trumpet” in ridiculing such revivals as these? Will he now pronounce these lectures "more demoralizing than the theatre ?" These are the legitimate fruits of Mr. Miller's labors. Let his accusers beware, lest they be found fighting against God.t
* Sermon on Revivals, by Rev. A. P. Peabody.
The above testimony to the salutary influence of Mr. Miller's laboru must suffice. If it were necessary, we could add a volume of similar testimony from ministers of almost all denominations.
RULES OF INTERPRETATION.
In studying the Bible, I have found the following rules to be of great service to myself, and now give them to the public by special request. Every rule should be well studied, in connexion with the scripture references, if the Bible student would be at all benefited
PROOFS. I. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.
Matt. v. 18. II. All scripture is necessary, and may be understood by a dili. gent application and study.
2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17.
Deut. xxix. 29. Matt. III. Nothing revealed in the , 26, 27. 1 Cor. ii. 10.
Phil. in 15. Isa. xlv. scripture can or will be hid from 11.
Matt. xxi. 22. those who ask in faith, not wa
John xiv. 13, 14. xv.
7. James i. 5, 6. 1 vering.
John v. 13, 14, 15, IV. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together
on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its
Isa. xxviii, 7-29. proper influence, and if you can
XXXY. 8. Prov. xix. form your theory without a con- 27. Luke xxiv. 27, 44, tradiction, you cannot be in an James v. 19. 2 Pet. i. error.
19, 20. V. Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of it. Ps. xix. % 8, 9, 10, self. If I depend on a teacher 1. cxix. 97, 98, 99, to expound it to me, and he 100, 101, 102, 103, 104
105. Matt. xxiii. 8, 9, should guess at its meaning, or 0. 1 Cor. ii. 12, 13, desire to have it so on account 14, 15, 16. Eze. xxxiv.
18, 19. Luke xi. 52. of his sectarian creed, or to be Mal. ii. 7, 8.
Acta ij. 17. I Cor. x. 6. Heb. ix. 9, 24. Ps.
PROOFS. thought wise, then his gruessing, desire, creed or wisdom is my rule, not the Bible.
VI. God has revealed things to come, by visions, in figures and parables, and the same things are oftentime
Ps. Ixxxix. 19. Hos. revealed again and again, by xii. 10.
Hab. ii. 2. different visions, or in different figures, and parables. If you lxxviii. 2. Matt. xiii.
wish to understand them, you Dan. ii. vii. and viii. must combine them all in one. Acts x. 9–16.
VII. Visions are always mentioned as such.
2 Cor. xii. 1. VIII. Figures always have a figurative ineaning, and are used much in prophecy, to represent future things, times and events; such as mountains, meaning, gove ernments; beasts, meaning king- Dan. ii. 35, 44. vii. doms. Waters, meaning people.
Rev. xvii. 1, 15.
IX. Parables are used as comparisons to illustrate subjects, and must be explained in the same way as figures by the subject and Bible. Mark iv. 13. See explanation of the ten virgins, Miller's Lectures, No. xvi.
X. Figures sometimes have two or more different significations, as day is used in a figurative sense to represent three different periods of time. 1. Indefinite.
Eccles. vii. 14.
Ezek. iv. 6.