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nature away from him. He was sinless, from having no opportunity for the commission of sin. He should think only as directed; and freedom of action, if not intentionally, was in fact denied to him. His duties were such duties, as his spiritual superiors imposed upon him, and were obediently performed. His calling, trade or avocation was generally assigned to him, and frequently without regard to his capacities or genius. While he remained unmarried, the means to make life comfortable, were provided for him, and he possessed but little or no property of his own. He had no incentive to avariciousness. His capital in trade was generally the property of the society, and the profits went to the support of the general establishment. No public or secular amusements were permitted, or perhaps thought of. Social intercourse between the sexes was prohibited to youth, and when the period for marriage arrived, the parties chiefly concerned, had the least to do in the choice of a partner. Religious duties were the chief och cupations after the hours of necessary labor had terminated. All were expected to live in readiness to take an active part in the extension of the kingdom of Christ, be the field at home or abroad, and all by their training were prepared for the labor. - That no fears for the support of old age might give distress, an ample though frugal provision was provided for the superannuated laborers, as well as for the support and education of their children. To obtain holiness here, and a blissful immortality hereafter, wäs ordained the main spring of every thought and action, and the end and aim to which life was consecrated. From the least to the greatest, all submitted to these regulations. The rulers fared no better thani the most humble; thus no feelings of jealousy could arise, and imiplicit obedience was expected from all.
Under a high state of religious zeal and devotion, favored by many happy co-operating circumstances, this system, in its commencement was found very beneficial, and doubtless, as pure a degree of religious attainments as have ever been acquired since the days of the Apostles, was reached by the early Herrnhut brethren. Doubtless this happy condition of affairs contributed to rivet many things upon the Church which are oppressing it. The previous experience of the early brethren was not duly considered. It should be remembered that they had lived in the world, where they had been subjected to grievous temptations"; they had been offered the world with its joys and endearments, on the one hand, or loss of home and country, persecution and martyrdom on the other. They had passed through the Refiner's fire. They had been purified by it from the dross of corruption and sin, and had come out bright and unsullied metal. They were victorious over temptation. Thus they were prepared for a refined state of sanetified seclusion.
But the case of their descendants was widely different. They had not passed through the same severe ordeal, although the pious example of the parent long influenced the child. As generation gucceeded generation, the high degree of religious purity wore away and was displaced more or less by formalism calculated to deceive the judgment. The heart may be in a complete state of alienation from God, without the commission of open sin or flagrant wickedness. Man may perform all the forms required by a religious sys. tem, and yet be estranged from God. Yet the proof of this is not easily detected, for externally all is in order and the individual himself is liable to be deceived. No wall is so strong, no system 80 perfect, as to be invulnerable to the assaults of Satan. To the outer observer such a community must possess great attractions. All is harmony and peace within. The cares and vexations which disturb the world are unknown to it. An earthly competency is secured to all, and a heavenly mansion equally guaranteed. It is natural, that from the infirmities of our nature, a false security and rest should delude those within, while those without should be anxious to possess a citizenship in so fair and promising a community. Therefore the danger, its unnaturalness, and its opposition to the plans of God.
In a community of strict conventional forms, under continual restraint, confinement and watchfulness, and where the relations of life undergo a daily supervision, a most unnatural and equivocal course of things must ensue. The mind must be deprived of all healthy spring and energy. It must become enervated, dependent and contracted, and the more the rulers do for the people, the less they are capable of doing for themselves. The result must be a general deterioration of character. Even when matters are much relaxed and modified, still where the main features and principles are retained the system will not operate much more beneficially, and in many respects may be for the worse. When freed from restraint the reaction will naturally diverge towards the opposite extreme of supineness, carelessness and neglect of duty. If we look into the practical working of our system for a century past, the conclusion will be fully sustained.
Again, man is constituted a dependent being. He is hourly in need of the aid of others. He is to render as well as to receive assistance. The more industriously he traverses the world and inter-mixes with his fellows, the more expansive his mind, and greater his capacity for usefulness. As with individuals, so with communities and nations. Those that shut themselves up from intercourse with other bodies become stagnant, and imbecilitated as a people, They are opiniated and fall far below their more liberally constituted neighbors, in proof of which it is sufficient to instance the Indian, the Mahomedan, Chinese and Oriental nations generally. How crude, erroneous, and often monstrous are the notions of these people in regard to the great truths of science, knowledge, government, religion, etc. How wanting in power, and debased in morala and intellect. How little do they contribute to the general comfort, prosperity and welfare of mankind. While at the same time they are boastful of their superior understanding and advancement, and đespise all other people as barbarians, unworthy of notice or of intercourse with them. They are wrapped up in a conceited. idea of their own grəatness.
Then again how great the difference in the degree of intelligence and usefulness in christian nations. They seem prosperous and just in proportion to the prevalence and purity of the Gospel among them. In countries where the doctrines of Christ are most defiled and perverted to the purposes of human aggrandizement, there knowledge, happiness and wordly thrift stand at the lowest point. As the scale rises in purity so prosperity and intellectual superiori. ty increase. Contrast the depraved Roman Catholic countries with those where evangelical religion prevails. In the former misery, ignorance and gross darkness cover the people while in the latter the fruits of science, information, prosperity and happiness bless the land. And the nations that explore and traverse the world most diligently, that cultivate and disseminate religion most devotedly and successfully are the most powerful, happy and flourishing.
From all this we conclude that the Church must be in the world in order to bless the world ; that there is its place and its legitimate sphere of action and usefulness; that there it is to fight the battles of Christ ; that there it will prosper and there will the Captain of salvation be with and bless it and its people; that there will be developed the Christian soldier; there he will become bold and stalwort by his resistance of, and struggles with trials, temptation and sin; there will his cowardice and treachery, or his prowess and faithfulness be proved and known. He “must go into the world, if he would not be worldly." He “must observe the spirit of it if he would not wish to contract its spirit.”
A SHORT ACCOUNT of the Centenary Jubilee of the Moravian congregations in Wachovia, held
at Bethabara, November 18th, 1853.
It having been resolved upon, to celebrate the Centenary Jubilee of the Wachovia congregations at Bethabara, in memory of the arrival of the first twelve brethren, on the spot, where now stands Bethabara, on the 17th of November, 1753, the necessary preparations were made for this purpose. An invitation was given to the sister congregations of the district, to join in this jubilee. Many others, should the weather prove favorable, might be expected from the neighborhood. The contracted space within the church
would in that case not afford sufficient accommodation. To meet this exigency, a number of plain temporary benches had been constructed in the spacious yard on the south and west sides of the church, to seat about 1200 persons; while at the south-gable a covered platform had been erected for the accomodation of the ministers, and on the opposite side of the yard a similar one for the musical choir. In the course of the morning of the 17th, the first day of the jubilee, many brethren and sisters from the congregations of Salem, Bethania, Friedberg, Friedland, Hope and Philadelphia arrived, as well as a large number of friends and neighbors; and besides the ministers of the Wachovia district, one minister of the Methodist Episcopal church attended, as a welcome guest.
At 10 o'clock A. M., the solemn strains of choral-melody by the trombones called the assembled people to the first meeting. This meeting was then opened by an anthem, sung by the choir, followed by a suitable hymn of praise. Prayer being then offered, and the 103d Psalm read, a short address, in explanation of this jubilee celebration, was delivered. Immediately after this first meeting, the reading of the historical account of the first arrival of the brethren and some of the more marked subsequent events, drawn up for the occasion, took place; this was listened to with great attention by the large assembly. At the close another anthem or hymn was sung. The weather having been cloudy in the morning, now became more favorable, and the clouds of mist yielded to the cheering rays of a bright autumnal sun.
At two o'clock P. M. we met again; the choir opened with the anthem : “ All glory to the sovereign good,” &c. Prayer was then offered up, and the jubilee-sermon preached from the daily word of the day : “ Now is it in mine heart, to make a covenant with the Lord.'' 2 Chron. 29, 10; after which followed a suitable exhorta. tion by the Methodist minister. The meeting was closed by a hymn.
About half past six o'clock in the evening, those ministers, who had not returned to their homes, and a large number of persons, who had remained for the purpose, went in solemn procession by torchlight, preceded by the choir of trombones, across the meadows, up the adjacent hill to the burial ground, where an hundred torches had been placed, which, surrounded by the forest trees, afforded an impressive view. Here in the stillness of a calm night, solemn hymns were sung, expressive of the happiness to be at home with the Lord, and in remembrance of those, who within the century past had fallen asleep in Jesus, and whose mortal remains were here deposited ; after which all returned to the church, where, as the closing solemnity of the day, prayer was offered up, and praise rendered once more unto Him, whose mercies had been unfailing during the century past. The number of persons in attendance continued about the same, as during the meetings of the days probably upwards of one thousand having been present; notwithstanding which the utmost order was preserved, and a respectful attention exhibited by this numerous assembly throughout the day. An equally large number assembled again on the 18th, the weather proving very fine. The morning meeting commenced about 10 o'clock with the singing of a suitable anthem by the choir, and a hymn by the congregation. After an introductory prayer, a sermon was preached from the doctrinal text of the day : « Keep that which is committed to thy trust.” 1 Tim. 6. 20. The meeting closed with an exhortation, and singing a hymn.
About 2 o'clock P. M. about 1200 persons assembled at a solemn lovefeast, when, on account of the presence of many strangers not used to this kind of meetings, occasion was taken to explain this usage of the Church. Hyms of praise and anthems were sung alternately by the choir and congregation. A congratulatory apostolic letter from our dear brethren of the Unity's Elders’ Conference was communicated, and listened to with marked attention; and the wish was expressed, to return hearty thanks for this token of affectionate remembrance. A similar written salutation from Litiz in Pennsylvania, through the brethren of the Elders' Conference of that congregation, giving evidence of their cordial sympathy with our festive joy and thankfulness for our happy union in Christ Jesus, our Lord. An affectionate parting address was then delivered, our God and Saviour once more implored to be with us for good, and to own us as his people, through the newly commenced period of time, and the solemnities were closed with the blessing of the Lord.
The same devout demeanor on the part of those present, which was shown at the first and following meetings, continued throughout, until the last word was uttered. We felt that the Lord had manifested his love and saving power, and have reason to believe, that many a word, spoken in season, had not fallen upon barren ground, but that an abiding blessing will be the result of this jubilee celebration
HOME MISSION DEPARTMENT.
Report of a visit to Iowa, by Br. Charles Barstow.
STEAMBOAT “ NEW YORK,” Mississippi
River, November 19th, 1353. Dear Brethren :
We are now homeward bound, and having spare time, it shall be devoted to reporting to you whatever seems worth noting of my trip to Iowa.