Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]

Extract of a Letter from a Member

of the Mission Family, destined to the Great Osages of Missouri, to a Gentleman in Philadelphia, dated June 5, 1821.

“We are now at St. Louis, and expect to start from this to-morrow morning:But one of our number sick (Miss Wel. ler), and she is fast recovering, we trust. Things, as yet, appear encouraging, except the prospect of an Indian war, which, it is thought by governor Clark, will involve the Great Osages, as well as the Osages of the Arkansaw. Perhaps the great adversary of souls is, in this way, come down with great wrath, determined to prevent, if possible, the good to be derived from these missions to the 'poor Indians. But I trust his counsels will be crossed, and that he will be foiled by his own weapons, and be agonized by seeing good come out of this evil. The way of the Lord may be preparing by means which, to us, might seem least likely to produce the effect; while, in ignorance, we might be ready to say all these things are against us, a better knowledge of things might show that they are for us."

Extract from a Sermon of the Rev.

Dr. Chalmers, “ On the vitiating
Influence of the Higher upon the
Lower Orders of Society.

“Now, what we call upon you to mark, is the perfect identity of principle between this case of making a brother to offend, and another case which obtains, we have heard, to a very great extent among the most genteel and opulent of our city families. In this case, you put a lie into the mouth of a dependent, and that, for the purpose of protecting your substance from such an application as might expose it to hazard or diminution. In the second case, you put a lie into the mouth of a dependent, and that, for the purpose of protecting your time from such an encroachment as you would not feel to be convenient or agreeable. And, in both cases, you are led to hold out this offence by a certain delicacy of temperament, in virtue of which, you can neither give a man plainly to understand, that you are not willing to trust to him, nor can you give him to understand that you count his company to be an interruption. But, in both the one and the other ex. ample, look to the little account that is made of a brother's or of a sister's eternity; behold the guilty task that is thus unmercifully laid upon one who is shortly to appear before the judgment seat of Christ; think of the entanglement which

is thus made to beset the path of a creature who is unperishable. That, at the shrine of Mammon, such a bloody sacrifice should be rendered by some of his unrelenting votaries, is not to be wondered at; but that the shrine of elegance and fashion should be bathed in blood that soft and sentimental ladyship should put forth her hand to such an enormitythat she who can sigh so gently, and shed her graceful tear over the sufferings of others, should thus be accessary to the second and more awful death of her own domestics—that one who looks the mild. est and the loveliest of human beings, should exact obedience to a mandate which carries wrath, and tribulation, and anguish, in its train-0! how it should confirm every Christian in his defiance to the authority of fashion, and lead him to spurn at all its folly, and at all its worthlessness.

“ And it is quite in vain to say, that the servant whom you thus employ as the deputy of your falsehood, can possibly execute the commission without the conscience being at all tainted or defiled by it; that a simple cottage maid can so sophisticate the matter, as, without any violence to her original principles, to utter the language of what she assuredly knows to be a downright lie; that she, humble and untutored soul, can sustain no injury when thus made to tamper with the plain English of these realms; that she can at all satisfy herself, low, by the prescribed utterance of “not at home," she is not pronouncing such words as are substantially untrue, but merely using them in another and perfectly understood meaning and which, according to their modern translation, denote, that the per. son of whom she is thus speaking, instead of being away from home, is secretly lurking in one of the most secure and inti. mate receptacles. You may try to darken and transform this piece of casuistry as you will; and work up your own minds into the peaceable conviction that it is all right, and as it should be. But be very certain, that where the moral sense of your domestic is not already overthrown, there is, at least, one bosom within which you have raised a war of doubts and of diffi. culties; and where, if the victory be on your side, it will be on the side of him who is the great enemy of righteousness. There is, at least, one person along the line of this conveyance of deceit, who condemneth herself in that which she al. loweth ; who, in the language of Paul, esteeming the practice to be unclean, to her will it be unclean ; who will perform her task with the offence of her own conscience, and to whom, therefore, it will indeed be evil: who cannot render obedience in this matter to her earthly

superior, but by an act, in which she || alarm, will the outcry of freedom in dan. does not stand clear and unconscious of ger be heard throughout the land. But guilt before God; and with whom, there there is a conspiracy of a far more maligfore, the sad consequence of what we nant influence upon the destinies of the specan call nothing else than a barbarous cies that is now going on; and which seems combination against the principles and the to call forth no indignant spirit, and to bring prospects of the lower orders, is that as

no generous exclamation along with it. she has not cleaved fully unto the Lord, Throughout all the recesses of private and has not kept by the service of the and domestic history, there is an ascenone Master, and has not forsaken all at dency of rank and station against which his bidding, she cannot be the disciple no stern republican is ever heard to lift of Christ."

his voice--though it be an ascendency, “And let us just ask a master or a mis so exercised, as to be of most noxious tress, who can thus make free with the operation to the dearest hopes and best moral principle of their servants in one interests of humanity. There is a cruel instance, how they can look for pure or combination of the great against the correct principle from them in other in majesty of the people we mean the stances? What right have they to com majesty of the people's worth. There is plain of unfaithfulness against themselves, a haughty unconcern about an inherit. who have deliberately seduced another ance, which, by an unalienable right, into a habit of unfaithfulness inst should be theirs—we mean their future God? Are they so utterly unskilled in and everlasting inheritance. There is a the mysteries of our nature, as not to deadly invasion made on their rights perceive, that if a man gather hardihood we mean their rights of conscience; and, enough to break the Sabbath in opposi in this our land of boasted privileges, are tion to his own conscience, this very har the low trampled upon by the high-we dihood will avail him to the breaking of mean trampled into all the degradation other obligations that he whom, for their of guilt and of worthlessness. They are advantage, they have so exercised, as to utterly 'bereft of that homage which fill his conscience with offence towards his ought to be rendered to the dignity of God, will not scruple, for his own advan. their immortal nature; and to minister to tage, so to exercise bimself, as to fill his con the avarice of an imperious master, or to science with offence towards his master? spare the sickly delicacy of the fashionthat the servant whom you have taught ables in our land, are the truth and the to lie, has gotten such rudiments of edu piety of our population, and all the virtues cation at your hand, as that, without any of their eternity, most unfeelingly plucked further help, he can now teach himself to away from them. It belongs to others to purloin ? and yet nothing more frequent fight the battle of their privileges in time. than loud and angry complaints against But who that looks with a calculating eye the treachery of servants; as if, in the on their duration that never ends, can general wreck of their other principles, repress an alarm of a higher order? it bea principle of consideration for the good longs to others generously to struggle for and interest of their employer--and who, the place and the adjustment of the lower at the same time, has been their seducer orders in the great vessel of the state. -was to survive in all its power, and all But, surely, the question of their place its sensibility. It is just such a retribution

in ete

is of mightier concern, than as was to be looked for. It is a recoil how they are to sit and be accommodated upon their own heads of the mischief in that pathway vehicle which takes them which they themselves bave originated. to their everlasting habitations. It is the temporal part of the punishment “Christianity is, in one sense, the which they have to bear for the sin of greatest of all levellers. It looks to the our text, but not the whole of it; for bet. elements, and not the circumstantials of ter for them that both person and pro humanity; and regarding as altogether perty were cast into the sea, than that superficial and temporary the distinctions they should stand the reckoning of that of this fleeting pilgrimage, it fastens on day, when called to give an account of those points of assimilation wbich liken the souls that they have murdered, and the king upon the throne to the very the blood of so mighty a destruction is humblest of his subject population.-required at their hands.

They are alike in the nakedness of Go The evil against which we have just their birth. They are alike in the sureprotested, is an outrage of far greater ness of their decay. They are alike in enormity than tyrant or oppressor can in the agonies of their dissolution. And flict, in the prosecution of his worst de after the one is tombed in sepulchral signs against the political rights and liber magnificence, and the other is laid in his ties of the commonwealth. The very sod-wrapt grave, are they moșt fearfully semblance of such designs will summon alike in the corruption to which they every patriot to his post of observation; moulder. But it is with the immortal naand, from a thousand watch-towers of ture of each that Christianity has to do;

and, in both the one and the other, does to say, that fashion has of late been it behold a nature alike forfeited by guilt, making a capricious and accidental move. and alike capable of being restored by ment on the side of principle—and to be the grace of an offered salvation. And blunt, and open, and manly, is now the never do the pomp and the circumstance fair way to be fashionable and a temper of externals appear more humiliating, of homelier quality is beginning to infuse, than when, looking onwards to the day itself into the luxuriousness, and the effe. of resurrection, we behold the sovereign minacy, and the palling and excessive standing without his crown, and trem complaisance of genteel society-and the bling, with the subject by his side at the staple of cultivated manners is improving bar of heaven's majesty. There the mas in firmness, and frankness, and honesty, ter and the servant will be brought and may, at length, by the aid of a printo their reckoning together; and when ciple of Christian rectitude, be so interthe one is tried upon the guilt and the woven with the cardinal virtues, as to malignant influence of his Sabbath com present a different texture altogether panies-and is charged with the profane from the soft and the silken degeneracy and careless habit of his household esta of modern days. blishment-and is reminded how he kept “And that we may not appear the both himself and his domestics from the champions of an insurrection against the solemn ordinance-and is made to per authority of masters, let us further say, ceive the fearful extent of the moral and that while it is the duty of clerk or apspiritual mischief which he has wrought prentice to refuse the doing of week day as the irreligious head of an irreligious work on the Sabbath, and while it is the family--and how, among other things he, duty of servants to refuse the utterance under a system of fashionable hypocrisy, of a prescribed falsehood, and while it is so tampered with another's principles as the duty of every dependent, in the serto defile his conscience, and to destroy vice of his master, to serve him only in him-0! how tremendously will the little the Lord-yet this very principle, tendbrief authority in which he now plays his ing as it may to a rare and occasional act fantastic tricks, turn to his own condem. of disobedience, is also the principle nation ; for, than thus abuse his authority, which renders every servant who adheres it were better for him that a millstone to it a perfect treasure of fidelity, and atwere hanged about his neck, and he were tachment, and general obedience. This cast into the sea.

is the way in which to obtain a credit for “And how comes it, we ask, that any his refusal, and to stamp upon it a noble master is armed with a power so destruc. consistency. In this way he will, even to tive over the immortals who are around the mind of an ungodly master, make up him? God has given him no such power. for all his particularities: and should he The state has not given it to him. There be what, if a Christian, he will be ; should is no law, either human or divine, by he be, at all times, the most alert in serwhich he can enforce any order upon his vice, and the most patient of provocation, servants to an act of falsehood, or to an act and the most cordial in affection, and the of impiety. Should any such act of autho most scrupulously honest in the charge rity be attempted on the part of the mas and custody of all that is committed to ter, it should be followed up on the part him—then let the post of drudgery at of the servant by an act of disobedience. which he toils be humble as it may, the Should your master or mistress bid you contrast between the meanness of his of say not at home, when you know that fice and the dignity of his character, will they are at home, it is your duty to re only heighten the reverence that is due fuse compliance with such an order: and to principle, and make it more illustrious. if it be asked, how can this matter be ad. His scruples may, at first, be the topics justed after such a violent and alarming of displeasure, and afterwards the topics innovation on the laws of fashionable in of occasional levity; but, in spite of himtercourse, we answer, just by the simple self, will his employer be at length consubstitution of truth for falsehood-just strained to look upon them with respectby prescribing the utterance of, engaged, ful toleration. The servant will be to the which is a fact, instead of the utterance master a living epistle of Christ, and he of, not at home, which is a lie-just by may read there what he has not yet perholding the principles of your servant to ceived in the letter of the New Testabe of higher account than the false deli ment. He may read, in the person of his cacies of your acquaintance-just by a own domestic, the power and the truth bold and vigorous recurrence to the sim of Christianity. He may positively stand plicity of nature—just by determinedly in awe of his own hired servant-and, redoing what is right, though the example garding his bosom as a sanctuary of worth of a whole host were against you; and by which it were monstrous to violate, will giving impulse to the current of example, he feel, when tempted to offer one com. when it happens to be moving in a pro mand of impiety, that he cannot, that he per difection. And here we are happy dare not.”

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


to Abraham of old, “a seal of their Communications. interest in the righteousness of

faith.” And by parity of reasoning,

when a careless or profligate sinner, Brief Review of a Debate on Chris a heathen, or infidel, under the pre

tian Baptism, between Mr. John sent dispensation, is morally conWalker, a Minister of the Seces

vinced that he is a lost and perishsion, and Mr. Alexander Camp ing sinner—that Jesus is the only bell, a Minister of the Baptist

Saviour of sinners—that in order to Church; in three Letters to a

obtain an interest in his atoning Friend.

blood, and the regenerating influ(Continued from page 264.)

ences of his spirit, it is the command

of God, and his duty and privilege LETTER II.

to attend on the means of grace apFrom the view I have given of the pointed by Christ, and diligently church and her ordinances in my attends on these means for this purlast letter, you will have perceived, pose, then that person is to be plantthat I do not consider circumcision ed by baptism in the church of God and baptism as primarily designed also, and his minor offspring with for the purpose of building up be him; and when he or they bring lievers in holiness; but as ordi forth the fruit of a justifying faith, nances designed for the conversion baptisın is to them also, a seal of of sinners of a certain character. their interest in the righteousness My view of the subject is briefly of faith; and they have, moreover, this :- When a Gentile, or Jew a right to the ordinance of the sup.not circumcised, was morally per per, designed to build up believers suaded that Jehovah was the true in holiness, and to strengthen them God that the ordinances delivered in their journey through this world by him to Moses were the only true to Immanuel's fair land. means of


and mediums of ac I have no doubt, that every Bapceptable worship—that it was the tist, and some Pædobaptists, are command of God, and his duty and now ready to assail me, and say, privilege to attend on these means does not one apostle say that “withthat he might obtain grace; and un out faith it is impossible to please der this impression attended with God ;” and another, that « faith diligence on these means for this without works,” or a speculative important purpose; then he was by faith, “is dead:” and will you say circumcision to be planted in the that such a faith, though attended church of God, and his children with with a conviction of sin, entitles him; and when he, or they, brought a person to admittance into the forth the fruit of a living faith, then, church of God? To this I reply, circumcision was to him or them as that I believe as firmly as any of Vol. I.

2 U

you, that there is no work really skin was not circumcised, should be good that does not proceed from a cut off from the people of God;" or living faith that without it there should not be considered as belongcan be no acceptable approach to ing to his church. I would now ask the table of the Lord; and that with my Pædobaptist readers, who beout it, no adult person can be saved: lieve with Stephen, that “Moses but it does not follow that a specu was in the church in the wilderlative faith, accompanied with a ness,” if you can believe that all deep sense of guilt, may not, by di these, with all their countless offvine appointment, answer the end spring, to the coming of the Mesof a qualification for admittance in siah, were true believers. But the to the visible church. We do not dif

command was given by God, who fer about the importance and neces.

knew the heart and could not be desity of a living faith; our difference ceived. There is no way of accountis concerning the nature and design ing for this matter, but by admitting of the church. You consider it as that circumcision was appointed as designed for the reception of rege a mean for producing “ the circumnerated persons only: I consider it cision of the heart." And, indeed, as designed not only for the recep this view of the subject perfectly cortion of such, but as primarily de responds with what Jehovah himself signed for the regeneration of sin says of his vineyard, or his church, in ners of a certain character through the 5th chapter of Isaiah, already albaptism, as the appointed mean. A luded to.

My beloved had a vinespeculative faith and sense of guilt, yard in a very fruitful hill; and he in adults, is necessary, in the nature fenced it, and gathered out the of things, for this purpose. Consi stones thereof, and planted it with dered abstractly, they are not evil the choicest vine, and built a tower exercises of mind, in themselves, in the midst of it, and also made a and answer a valuable purpose as wine-press therein. And he looked far as they go; for you will grant that it should bring forth grapes." that it is exceedingly wicked not to Whatever difference of opinion believe that there is a God, and that there may be about the meaning of Christ is the Son of God; and not the fencing, gathering out the stones, to be sensible of our miserable situ the tower, and the wine-press; one ation as guilty and morally polluted | thing is incontestable, that all this sinners. Now that this faith and

care and apparatus was, that the this feeling entitles adults to ad

vine planted therein should bring mittance into the church by baptism, forth grapes. Our blessed Lord's I hope to make appear from an ex parable of the vineyard, in the 13th amination of the terms of admit chapter of Luke, corresponds also tance into it, both under the former, with this view of the church under and present dispensations of grace. that dispensation, and is almost a

For this purpose I would now ob copy of the foregoing allegory. “A serve, that when it pleased God that certain man,” says he, “had a figthe church should assume a more tree planted in his vineyard, and he visible and compact form in the came, and sought fruit thereon, but days of Abraham, he expressly com found none.

Then said he to the manded that not only that distin dresser of the vineyard; behold guished patriarch himself, “with all these three years I come seeking his seed,” but that all born in his fruit on this fig-tree, and find none: house, or bought with his money of cut it down, why cumbereth it the any strangers, should be introduced ground. And he answering, said into the church by circumcision, de unto him, Lord, let it alone this claring at the same time, “ that the year also, until I dig about it, and man-child, the flesh of whose fore- || dung it. And if it bear fruit well ;

« PoprzedniaDalej »