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PURSUANT to previous notice, the Western Conference of Lutheran Ministers and Candidates in the State of New-York, met in the Lutheran Church at Stone-Arabia, Montgomery County, on Thursday, January 1, 1829.
The following Members were present, viz:
Rev. E. L. HAZELIUS, D. D.
G. A. LINTNER,
G. B. MILLER,
64 J. D. LAWYER.
At 10 o'clock A. M. the Rev. G. A. LINTNER delivered a Discourse to a very numerous and attentive Congregation, from Luke xiii. 6. 9. After which a missionary collection was made, for the benefit of the f. Young Men's Auxiliary Domestic Missionary Society of StoneArabia."
At 2 o'clock, the Conference again met in the Church, and proceeded to business. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Lintner. The Vestry of the Church at Stone-Arabia, several Theological Students from Hartwick Seminary, and Representatives from Churches within the bounds of, the Conference, were invited to take seats and participate in the deliberations of the Brethren. The Rev. Chairman (Dr. Hazelius,) then addressed the Conference. He expressed his gratification in meeting the Brethren at this particular season, when they exchanged their friendly and affectionate congratulations, on the commencement of another year. He adverted to some of the difficulties and blessings which had attended their professional labors during the past year. He stated that the general condition of the Church afforded every inducement for renewed exertions in the cause; and he concluded by exhorting the brethren present, to continue their labors with untiring zeal for the salvation of souls and the glory of God.
The officers were re-elected for the ensuing year. The Minutes of the last Synod were read and adopted. The Rev. Chairman submitted to the Conference several letters and communications which were referred to a committee for them to consider, and report thereon.
The condition of a number of our vacant Congregations and destitute settlements was then taken into consideration. The Conference were informed, that the Board of Directors of the Domestic Missionary Society of the Lutheran Church in the State of New-York, had
appointed a Missionary to visit several destitute Congregations and Settlements in the Western parts of this State. But that the Congregations in the Counties of Lewis, Jefferson, and Onondaga, which were recently vacated by the removal of the Rev. Messrs. Senderling and Wieting, were left entirely destitute. Information was received from a number of other Congregations within the bounds of the Conference, which required missionary assistance. These vacant Congregations and destitute places were recommended by the Conference to the attention of the Domestic Missionary Society, and to the Missionary Committee of the Synod of our Church in this State. The majority of said Committee being present at the meeting of the Conference, it was agreed that a portion of the funds in the hands of the Committee be appropriated to the relief of feeble and destitute Congregations that have applied to the Conference for assistance.
A communication was received from a Sunday School Union, in the village of Johnstown, Auxiliary to the American Sunday School Union, offering to furnish the Conference with books from their Depositories for the use of Sunday Schools in our Congregations, and inviting the co-operation of the Conference in promoting the objects of said Union.
The communication having been read, several members of the Conference fully expressed their views on the subject. They stated, that they were willing to encourage every benevolent enterprise, so far as was consistent with their duty to the Churches and Congregations whom they represented. But that they could not co-operate with any Sunday School so as to form a connexion with an institution which is chiefly under the direction and control of a particular denomination, opposed to us in its religious sentiments and doctrines. They further stated, that they regarded the selection of Books for the use of our Sunday Schools, as a matter of the greatest importance-that upon this selection, the formation of the religious principles and views of our rising generation in a great measure depended-and that they could never consent to introduce into our Sunday Schools, books which are at variance with the established principles and doctrines of our Church. They expressed a hope, that the period was not far distant, when we should be no longer left dependant upon other denominations for Sunday School books; and they said that they had no doubt that the Lutheran Church in this State, would soon follow the example of several other denominations in forming her own Sunday School Union, and establishing her own Depositories of Books, for the use of our Sunday Schools.
The Committee appointed to examine the letters and communications submitted to the Conference, reported, that the papers referred to them, related chiefly to the concerns of the vacant and destitute Congregations which were recommended by the Conference to the at
tention of the Domestic Missionary Society and Missionary Committee.
The business of the LUTHERAN MAGAZINE, was then called up for consideration.
The Resident Editor and Treasurer of the Conference presented his Report; from which it appeared, that the whole amount due at the last meeting of the Conference, for printing, furnishing paper and other necessary expenses, for the first volume was paid, and a small balance left in the Treasury, at the disposal of the Conference.
Since the commencement of the second volume, the circulation of the work was considerably extended. A sufficient number of Subscribers was procured to meet the expenses of the Magazine for the past year, and if all was collected, some profits might be devoted to Missionary purposes. But so many notices of discontinuance were received, that the Resident Editor stated it as his opinion, that the work could not be sustained for the ensuing year, without renewed exertions.
After a full consideration of the subject it was resolved to continue the publication of the Lutheran Magazine, on the terms proposed by Mr. L. Cuthbert, at Schoharie; and to engage Mr. CHARLES A. SMITH, a theological student of Hartwick Seminary, as travelling Agent, to collect dues and procure new subscribers for the work.
The brethren then entered into a full conversation on several subjects connected with the doctrine and discipline of the Church. They stated and explained to each other their views on some of the most important doctrines of the Gospel, and distinguishing principles of the Church. They spoke of the various difficulties and embarrassments connected with their professional labours, and encouraged each other in the faithful and conscientious performance of their duty.
The Conference then adjourned to meet again in the Church at SHARON, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Weiting, on Saturday the 2nd day of May next. The concluding prayer was offered up by the Rev. Chairman, and after singing a hymn, the brethren separated.
THE following Communication, from a highly respectable source, is inserted in the Magazine unsolicited by the author. It came to our hands as a private communication-but we deem the sentiments of the writer worthy of publication, and recommend them to the serious attention of our readers.
"THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, GETTYSBURGH,
DEAR SIR,-That the present is a period of increasing activity in the cause of religion, must be evident to every superficial observer
When we attend to the information daily received, concerning the plans pursued, the measures adopted in support of this highly important and glorious cause, we see that there are, at least, some in the various sections of the Christian Church, who are sincere and active friends of Zion, and appear to feel that attachment to her which her interesting character demands. There is, indeed much cause for the warm-hearted Christian to be grieved, by reason of the lukewarmness and entire indifference, yea, even treachery, of some of her professed friends; to weep at her desolation, and the success of the enemy in supporting his tottering throne, and retaining immortal souls in "worse than Egyptian bondage." But amidst all the gloomy and discouraging circumstances, we behold much that is calculated to excite in our hearts, pleasing emotions, and thankfulness to God, who has so highly favor ed His Church, and poured upon her His choicest and most abundant blessings.
Among the various and efficient means employed in advancing the interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom, and as evidences of increasing effort, we regard the great interest felt in Sabbath Schools, having for their object to instill correct principles into the youthful mind, and to present to it subjects deeply affecting and intimately connected with its present and everlasting peace, whilst it is most susceptible of impression, and not yet hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We also see the the glorious project of distributing the good word of God, and of presenting every family, that will accept it, with that invaluable treasure, in successful operation. Tract societies, also, are beginning to receive that attention, which their importance is calculated to attract. Finally, but not as least important, we would mention the formation of Missionary Societies, for the purpose of sending to the destitute and benighted, the glorious news of salvation through a crucified Saviour.
But it would, perhaps, have a salutary tendency to pause here a little, and enquire, who they are that are thus engaged. Are they not generally of our sister Churches? Have they not outstripped us far? Has not our Church evinced too little concern; participated too slenderly in the laudable work? We ought to rejoice in the success of of others, and pray God for a more abundant blessing upon their labors; but by considering their conduct when compared with our's, we must be humbled, and should be excited to double our diligence in future. Their success should be our encouragement. But I might be supposed to censure our Church too much, and represent her as entirely inactive. This I would be sorry to do; my attachment to her is too strong, and I am happy in feeling myself justifiable in saying, that, although heretofore far behind some of our sister Churches, in Christian exertion, we believe it will not long be the case. Already have the slumbers been broken in many places, and her members are beginning to act with vigor, and we hope that the spirit of her departed heroes
may animate many of her present members. In confirmation of what we have advanced, as to her present prospects, we need only refer you to the spirit manifested in the Synods of North-Carolina, Maryland and Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania, and the association, under whose auspices your useful Magazine is published. May the members of these Synods, and all others, imbibe more and more of the spirit of their Master, and by prayer and entire devotedness to the great object of their calling, become the honored instruments in the hands of God, bringing many souls from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan into the liberty of the children of God.
"That we may obtain all the important information respecting the operations of our Church, particularly those of your body, several others in connection with myself, have come to the conclusion to become subscribers to your Magazine, viz:-Rev. L. Eichelberger, Winchester, Va. M. Jacobs and myself, Gettysburgh, from the commencement of the work, if you can furnish it, and C. Weyl, Gettysburgh, from the beginning of the third Volume. Enclosed, you will find ten dollars; for the first three mentioned, three each, and the last, one.
"May the Lord bless you abundantly, and make your Magazine useful in promoting His cause."
From Blackwood's Magazine, for November.
A TALE OF THE THIRTY YEAR'S WAR."
WHILE Lower Saxony was oppressed and exhausted by the Austrian and Bavarian troops in the Thirty Year's War, the circle of Upper Saxony had been preserved for a considerable period from military outrage by the cautious or timid policy of the Elector, John George. At length the advance of the savage Tilly into his States, in consequence of his refusal to recede from the treaty of Leipsic; and the successive capture of Merseburg, Naumburgh, and other places of strength, compelled the Saxon Prince to relinquish his temporizing policy, and to embrace the proffered alliance of Gustavus Adolphus.- . This unexpected accession of strength determined the Swedish monarch to abandon the defensive system he had for some time pursued, and to advance immediately upon Leipsic, which had also opened its gates the Catholic general. At this dreadful crisis, when intelligence of the rapid advance of Tilly had spread consternation throughout the Electorate, and the dread of Austrian barbarity overbalanced the hope of deliverance by the Swedes, I had been officiating several months as curate in the populous village of B. in Upper Saxony. The atrocious cruelty of Tilly at Magdeburg was still fresh in our recollection, and the consternation of the villagers impelled them to seek relief from incessant and devout attendance at Church. The bells were tolled hourly, and fervent prayers for divine assistance were succeeded by the sublime hymns of Luther, while around the portrait of the immortal Reformer, large tapers were constantly burning, as before the altar of a saint.