Imágenes de páginas

Bible is to their religion what their spirit is to their body--the life and activity thereof. The Bible to such a person is the medium of conversation with the Lord of Life. He speaks to Heaven in the language of Heaven, when he prays in the belief of its truth, and the Great God speaks to him in the same language; and thus the true and intelligent Christian walks with God and converses with him every day. One hour of such company is more to de desired than a thousand years spent in intimate converse with the wisest philosophers and most august potentates that earth ever saw. A. C.



[From the Christian Baptist, Vol. III.]

Unity of opinion, abstractedly considered, is neither desirable nor a good; although, considered not in itself, but with reference to something else, it may be both. For men may be all agreed in error; and, in that case, unanimity is evil. Truth lies within the Holy of Holies, in the temple of knowledge; but doubt in the vestibule that leads unto it. Luther began by having his doubts as to the assumed infallibility of the Pope; and he finished by making himself the corner stone of the Reformation. Copernicus and Newton doubted the truth of the false system of others before they established a true one of their own. Columbus differed in opinion with all the old world before he discovered a new one; and Galileo's terrestrial body was confined in a dungeon for having asserted the motion of those bodies that were celestial. In fact, we owe almost all our knowledge, not to those who have agreed, but to those who have differed; and those who have finished by making all others think with them, have usually been those who began by daring to think for themselves; as he that leads a crowd must begin by separating himself some little distance from it. If the great Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, had not differed from all the physicians of his own day, all the physicians of the present day would not have agreed with him. These reflections ought to teach us that every kind of persecution for opinion is incompatible with sound philosophy. It is lamentable, indeed, to think how much misery has been incurred from the intemperate zeal and bigoted officiousness of those who would rather that mankind should not think at all, than not think as they do. Charles V., when he abdicated a throne, and retired to the monastery of St. Juste, amused himself with the mechanical arts, and particularly with that of a watch-maker: he one day exclaimed, What an egre

gious fool must I have been, to have squandered so much blood and treasure in an absurd attempt to make all men think alike, when I cannot even make a few watches keep time together!' We should remember, also, that assent or dissent is not an act of the will, but of the understanding. No man can will to believe that two and two make five, nor can I force upon myself the conviction that this ink is white, or this paper black.”—National Gazette.

It is

This is all very good; but in the Christian religion there are no new discoveries, no new improvements to be made. already revealed, and long since developed in the apostolic writings. We may discover that there are many new errors and old traditions, which are alike condemned in those sacred writings. But truth is at least one day older than error; and what many now call "the good old way," was two or three hundred years ago denominated a wicked innovation or a chimerical new project. Old things become new when long lost sight of, and new things become old in one generation. But truth is eternal and unchangeable.

A. C.


[From the Christian Baptist, Vol. III.]

In some eastern papers "the Rev. Spencer H. Cone, a Baptist clergyman," was reported as recently dubbed D.D. But this was a mistake. It was the Rev. Samuel H. Cox who was dubbed, and refused the honour. We are sorry to observe a hankering after titles amongst some Baptists, every way incompatible with their profession; and to see the remarks lately made in the Columbian Star,' censuring Mr. Cox for declining the honour. Those who deserve honorary titles are the least covetous of them. We have not met with any Baptist Bishop who is more worthy of a title of honour, if such these double D's be esteemed, than Robert B. Semple of Virginia; and when the degree was conferred on him, he, like a Christian, declined it.

[ocr errors]

The following remarks are worthy of a place in this work.

[ocr errors]

"In the New York Observer' of the 26th ult., we find an article occupying nearly two closely-printed columns, with the signature of Samuel H. Cox, Pastor of the Light-street Presbyterian church, New York, in which the writer, after stating that he had seen a newspaper paragraph from which he learned that the trustees of Williams' College, Massachussetts, had taken with his name the very customary liberty of attaching D.D. to it, says, I ask the privilege of announcing that I will not accept of

that appendage: And, after some other observations, he adds, It is high time-the spirit of the age demands it-that this mania of graduating should itself be graduated, and that without favour in the enlightened estimation of the public. Itaque illud Cassianum. Cui bono fuerit, in his personis valeat. The cui bono question, in reference to these academico-theological degrees, and for the best possible reason, has never been answered. It is an affair that belongs to another category. It has nothing to do with good, but only with honour!"

Having disavowed any disrespect to Williams' College, or to his clerical brethren, especially the order from which he repudiates himself, he makes the following remarks :—

"The purely academic and literary or professional degree, such as A.B., or A.M., or LL.D., and such as merely indicate office or station, and which colleges do not confer, as V.D.M., or S.T.P., are out of the argument, and against such there is no law.' If doctorates in divinity meant anything, they would sometimes be libellous. There are those, it is too notorious, who need a great deal more than collegial or colloquial doctoration to impart to them intellectual, or literary, or theological, or (I blush to write it) even moral respectability; and whose doctoration, while it is the acrimonious laugh of the million, becomes a solid reason, were there none better, to those who prize good company, for abdicating the eminence of being classed with them in the associations of the community. Unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united.""


In assigning reasons for refusing the honorary title of D.D., Mr. Cox makes the following remarks :—

"I believe that the principle of ministerial party is both evangelical and important, and that the system in question is very inimical to it; that there is no higher earthly honour in the relations of life than that of a minister of Jesus Christ, who loves his master, and understands the truth, and magnifies his office; and, consequently, I dislike a system that so evidently and popularly implies something unintelligible more, and arrays one ministerial brother in an adventitious superiority over his peers; and that it is anomalous for a secular and literary institution, without any faculty of theology, to come into the church universal of Jesus Christ, and diversify his officers, and confer permanent degrees of official honour, which neither deposition nor excommunication, should they succeed, has power to annul ; and all this where he hath said, Be ye not called Rabbi; for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. It is also a grand reason that I think it a 'scarlet' relic of papacy, and that demands retrenchment; but the greatest reason is, that it is earthly, and at variance with the spirit, if not with the very

[ocr errors]

letter of the Gospel. The passage in Matt. xxiii. 5-12, appears incapable of a fair solution in coincidence with the innocency of doctrinal honours in the church. Many other scriptural references might be made. Take a few more: Matt. xviii. 1-6, v. 19, Luke xxii. 24-27, xx. 45-47, John xvii. 18, xii. 25—43, v. 41, 1 Cor. 1–5. Rev. iii. 21, xii. 4, xvi. 15, xvii. 12. The Old Testament contains much to the same purport.

"To conclude, I believe that the usefulness, the moral worth, the genuine respectability of the sacred profession, and, of course, the honour of our common Master, require the abjuration of doctorates."





On Lord's Day, March 15, 1835, a large majority of the disciples meeting for worship in King, formerly of Hudson-street, formed a union with the brethren meeting for worship in Laurens-street.

On the Lord's Day above-mentioned at three o'clock, P.M., the brethren of King-street with all their office-bearers, (excepting one of the elders, Jonathan Hatfield, who was prevented being present through sickness,) assembled in Laurens-street, and took their seats on the right hand of the elders; (the elder of each church being seated together.) After singing and prayer, Elder Barker of the Laurens-street church read Romans, chap. xii.; then stated the interesting object of the meeting,— the union of the two churches into one body, following it with some very appropriate remarks, showing that the New Testament alone is the, only foundation of Christian union; that all humanisms, commandments and speculations of men, should have no place among the disciples; but that the word of Christ should dwell in them richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another from the Living Oracles alone. And in a very forcible manner enlarged on the blessings that would result from such a union among Christians, in their peace and edification; and by their combined efforts, to be the happy means of saving others. Thus, being united in one body, of one heart, and one soul, speaking the same things to saints and sinners, in the manner the Scriptures address each, would realize the great blessings contained in our Lord's Prayer, recorded John, chap. xvii. After which the elder of each church, gave to each other the right hand of fellowship, in the name and behalf of the members of each society;-which at that instant constituted us one congregation in the Lord. There was a solemn pause for a moment, when the elder of the King-street church arose and addressed the brethren with much feeling, by saying he had for a long time ardently desired the union of the two societies, who had, in this great city, taken the New Testament as their bond of union; that we had now seen

our anticipations realized. To our great joy, we are no longer two, but one congregation, surrounding one table of the Lord.

Our brother closed this most solemn and impressive address with reading a hymn or song of his own composition on the importance of Christian love and union, when all the disciples rose up and sung this hymn with gratitude in their hearts to the Lord.

There were probably 120 or more disciples present on this solemn but joyful occasion. After which all the disciples present were affectionately invited to partake of the Lord's Supper. We closed this feast of love with this suitable spiritual song :—

"How pleasant to behold and see,
The friends of Jesus all agree;
To sit around his sacred board,

As members of one common Lord!"

and concluded with the apostolic benediction; when a mutual interchange of brotherly feeling and congratulations took place among the disciples. We appeared to separate from this heavenly place, realizing the blessings of Christian unity foretold by the inspired penman in the 133d Psalm," Behold how good and pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Our present number (as on the day of Pentecost,) is about 120 disciples. On each Lord's Day we meet in the morning, at half past ten o'clock, for divine worship, reading the Scriptures, teaching, &c. In the afternoon, three o'clock, we assemble more especially as a church, to break bread, the fellowship or contribution for the poor saints, singing and prayer, reading the word, and mutual exhortations of the brethren; and in the evening, seven o'clock, to proclaim the Gospel to those who are without. On Monday evenings the church holds a Bible class, to examine the Scriptures and each one to give their views. On Wednesday evenings, social worship, teaching, &c. and on Friday evenings for prayer, and mutual exhortations of the brethren.

[ocr errors]

A few months before the union, a large and important field of labour was left unoccupied by the decease of our highly-esteemed and aged brother, Elder Robert Scott, who had devoted more than half a century to preaching the "unsearchable riches of Christ.' He not only preached but exemplified the effects of the Gospel in his life, by making it without charge, labouring with his own hands, and by his good works, and by his ready submission to all its requirements. He was 14 years an elder of the church at Rhinebeck, Duchess county, New York, in which place he rested from his labours, in the joyful hope of a blessed immortality, on the 28th of last September, aged 74 years, leaving behind him his decided testimony to the truth of the apostolic Gospel in all its parts, as fully developed by the Holy Spirit on the ever-memorable day of Pentecost, and in the subsequent preaching of the Apostles, as recorded in that sacred book of the Acts of the Apostles. For three or four years Elder Barker, and others of the brethren of New York, occasionally visited and laboured among them; but, on the decease of our aged brother, the church in Laurens-street set apart brother John Black as a missionary, and sent him out for six months to labour his whole time at Rhinebeck and its vicinity, on the east side; and

« AnteriorContinuar »