« PoprzedniaDalej »
ship, he finally became, and now is, an excellent parish minister of the Established Church of England. For many other instructive anecdotes concerning the author, his prayer-meetings in the wing of his ship, and several young, officers, . who became pious through his ino strumentality, the inquisitive reader is referred to the book itself, which is hereby cordially recommended to our Christian friends. | E. S. E. | |
The JMissionary Efforts of the present Day, considered in Relation to - the Moral Discipline of the Christian Church.
God never suffered his church to be persecuted, but with a view to its moral discipline. He never permitted a fire to burn around it, but to purify it. A time of rest has always been to the Church a period of decline. The favour bestowed upon it, during the reign of | Constantine, was disastrous to its best ins terests. Down almost to the last century, o persecution, in some form, seems to have been indispensable. But such has been the advance of civilization, that open persecution can no more be expected in Christendom. The Church, however, as much needs a severe moral discipline now, as ever. Christians of this age are essentially the same, as those of former ages. What, in the providence f God, will be done? What has been done * When the church began to feel the paralyzing effects of prosperity; when atheism began to scowl on the world; when the enemy was coming in from all quarters;–at that crisis, exertions,—extensive, systematic, and efficient, commenced, for the moral renovation of man. We do not say, there were no efforts before. There were efforts; but they were not remarkable, in their results in regard to the heathen; nor general, in their influence on the churches. These enterprises, viewed as extraordinary means of moral disci| pline, may be considered as purposely reserved, in the moral administration of God, for a grand expedient, to be used in the more advanced stages of civilization, as well to preserve the purity of the Christian church, as to extend its limits. We say, God designed this work, in part at least, for the moral discipline of his church;—and for this it is admirably adapted; much better adapted than persecu. Christian is called upon to perform, with this out of view, generally appear to him, observation and experience will give abundant and satisfactory testimony. Lastly, A neglect to engage in this work, is as direct, and palpable an act of disobedience to a known and acknowledged command of God, as the history of the world affords. And how can the Church, under such circumstances, expect a large share of the gracious, sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit? The result is most animating. The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; and we live in a most interesting period of the work of redemption. God is about to exalt his church to greater dignity by bringing it into a higher state of moral purity;-and is even '. engaged in this work of sovereign, infinite mercy, doing it by means of the extended efforts of the church itself for the salvation of a world lying in wickedness. In conclusion, let us take a brief view of the mannex, in which God has seen fit to discipline his Church in past ages, marking the variations in the divine economy down to the present time. From Abraham to Joseph he gave it no jlace of rest. It was in Egyptian bondage rom Joseph to Moses. Then it was forty years in the wilderness. From Joshua to the coming of Christ, it was often poor, almost always harassed, and once was sent captive to Babylon. Then it spread among the Gentiles. But the efforts of that period were not sufficiently systematic, to exert a general and powerful influence on the churches; neither, as the world then was, could they be. Besides, they were not *
tion. It places the church on higher ground. It does not drive; but it draws most powerfully. It marks an advance in the economy of redemption. The active virtues of the Christian may be improved by it to a higher degree, than by persecution; and, as a final result, he may be raised to a more elevated state of moral excellence. It is better adapted to strengthen, expand, and bring into action, the virtue of benevolence. It is better adapted to invigorate faith, That is a prodigious effort of faith, which apprehends, as certain, the conversion of the world, and nothing gives a livelier view, than such an effort, of the efficacy of the atonement, and of the power and goodness of God. If self-denial is produced, that self-denial has greater moral worth, than if produced by persecution: because there is more that is voluntary, in the method of its production. And thus, with most of the Christian graces. As confirmation of what we have said, respecting the effect of missionary efforts on the Christian character, look at facts. In what town of our land, has a missionary spirit been generally excited, and the exertion for missions become extended and
efficient, and there has not, at the same
time, been a very perceptible rising in the tone of Christian feeling? We are prepared to assert, with little fear of being contradicted by thinking, observing, and serious men, that, great as has been the good produced, in heathen lands, by our Missionary Societies, there has doubtless been greater good produced by the influence, which they have exerted on the churches at home. We go further. There is nothing in the word of God—nothing in the constitution of the human mind—nothing in observation, or experience, which will warrant the belief, that the churches can ever be carried to their highest pitch of moral purity, or can ever comprehend within their limits the mass of our population, united in a holy brotherhood, without such enterprises as the Foreign Missionary Societies of our land are now carrying forward. In other words, the church in this land, or in any other land, can never expect to be remarkable for its graces and its numbers, unless it engages extensively in efforts for the promulgation of the Gospel throughout the world. And this for three reasons. First, it neglects to avail itself of that mean of moral discipline, without which all other means must, as things are constituted, prove inadequate. Secondly, Such is the constitution of the human mind, that the sphere of its operation must appear large, and the work great, and the call for effort loud and imperious, to bring into constant and efficient action, all its energies;—and how all other works, which the
The Treasurer of the Trustees of the General Assembly of the Presbyteria
designed, by the Head of the Church, to be permanent; as is evident from their want of system, and from the result. Persecution, therefore, raged all the while, till the reign of Constantine. Then, by actual experiment, it was demonstrated, that, as the world then was, persecution was essential to the best interests of the church. Again the flames burned against it, and continued to burn, down to a late period. And now, when the progress of intellectual and moral light has put an end to persecution in Christendom, a milder, more efficacious, more heavenly economy, is adopted. The Providence of God is urging forward the whole Christian church to systematic and extended efforts for the conversion of the world. This is what God has substituted for persecution, as a means of moral discipline; and it throws additional glory over the divine administration. It allays the fear of any permanent decline in the missionary efforts, and other efforts of a like nature, of the present day;-unless we suppose that persecution may again return. It identifies the personal efforts of the Christian, with his advances in holiness; and shows most clearly, that we enjoy a happier age of the world, than any which has preceded; when God, in his manner of preparing men for heaven, sees fit to combine that which is most lenient, with that which possesses the highest efficiency—that which is most grateful to all the feelings of a sanctified nature, with that which is most purifying in its tendency. - R. [Miss. Herald.
Church, acknowledges, the receipt of the following sums for their Theo
o logical Seminary at
inceton, during the month of October last, viz.
Of Rev. John Codman of Dorohester, Massachusetts, per Rev. Professor Lindsly of Princeton, the first annial payment on his generous subscription for ten
years, for the Contingent Fund, ;
zł - - . . Of A. V. Sinderèn, esq; from sundry individuals of the Presbyterian Church in > stated to be the last instalment on their subscription
of Rev. Dr. E. S. Ely, from Rev. Samuel W. Doak's Congregation, in Tennes
see, for do. , - .
Of Rev. Professor Lindsly, from Job S. Halsted, esq. of Newton, Sussex County,
New Jersey, for do. o
the Permanent Fund,
Of James Whitehead, esq. of Philadelphia, in full of his subscription, for do.
Of Rev. Dr. Ashbel Green, the 3d instalment on his subscription, for the Professorship to be endowed by the Synod of New York and New Jersey.
Of Rev. John Goldsmith, the annual contribution in Newtown, Long Island,
endowed by the Synod of Philadelphia.
6 00 10 00
700 00 50 00
- - - - - 30.06 of Rev. Dr. E. S. Ely, from his Congregation, towards the Professorship to be.” #o
Infidel, Account of a dying, 431.
Janeway, Sketch of the Life of John, 45.
Keeping Secrets, Discourse on, 243.
Lectures on Biblical History, 348. 385.
|Righteousness, the Lord our,439.
Sacrifices of the nine, Livingston on,
Sheppard’s Sincere Convert abridged, 28.
— John A Getty, 449. .
Revivals of Religion, Thoughts on, 21.71.