Imágenes de páginas

•The churches ought to be very cautious of tempting students to leave the schools of the prophets, before the term of education bas been completed. This is an age of activity, more than of study, and therefore a young man should be well instructed, for he is sure to meet with many interruptions to self-improvement, when he becomes a pastor. An inefficient minister is the cause of many disturbances; and that inefficiency, where it does exist, is to be often traced up to a contracted term of education.' pp. 189, 190.

We were pleased to observe in this book what we have often noticed in the productions of other Pedobaptist writers, when the subject of baptism was not in their minds; namely, a very distinct recognition of principles which if thoroughly applied to religious sentiments and practices would inevitably put an end to the sprinkling of infants and others as a religious ordinance.

'It is not enough to plead the authority of example, or of mere feeling, as a reason for any religious service. These are insufficient pilots on the troubled ocean of theological opinion, where opposing currents, stormy winds, and concealed rocks, endanger the safety of the voyager to eternity. Our compass is the word of God, reason must be the steersman at the helm to guide the vessel by the direction of the needle; and that mariner is accountable for the consequences who is too ignorant or too indolent to examine his course.' p. 22.

In dissuading from the practice of occasionally administering the Lord's supper in private houses for the sake of sick persons, Mr James remarks, "There is not a single instance of any company of Christians, whose meetings were merely occasional, and who were not united for the purpose of stated fellowship as a church in a particular place, observing the ordinance of the Lord's supper. And as we have no scriptural example, so we have no precept for such things, not so much as a hint that they may be done. Should ministers, therefore, without the shadow of scriptural authority, consent to them ?

As a precedent, the practice is dangerous: for if the Scripture mode of observing the Lord's supper be departed from in one way, it may in another. If ministers depart from the regulations of the New Testament for the advantage of the sick, may they not be led on to do it in other cases, till even the purposes of faction shall be promoted by the practice ? p. 187.

As an illustration of this last remark, one can scarcely help remembering, that the baptism (so called) of sick persons who could not be removed from their beds, held an important place in the gradual corruption of this institution.

Would that the principles enforced in the preceding extracts could have full operation ! But so long as leaders in the church are disposed to search for the will of God respecting baptism "in some other way' than in the law and the testimony" respecting baptism, and so long as they persuade themselves and others that it is quite immaterial what a Christian believes and practises respecting it, so long we fear that baptism, unembarrassed though it be as presented in the Bible, will continue" a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence."

[ocr errors]

We are glad that this book which bids fair to obtain an extensive circulation does not consider any thing as immaterial, which is exhibited in the Bible for the belief or the observance of Christians. 'It is admitted,' says Mr James, 'that, as in the human frame, so in the system of divine truth, there are parts of greater and parts of less importance; and the man who would put the principles of church government upon a level with the doctrine of the atonement, and represent a belief in the former as no less essential to salvation than a reliance upon the latter, betrays a lamentable ignorance of both. Still, however, although the hand is of less consequence to vitality than the head or the heart, is it of no value ? Will any one be reckless of his members, because he can lose them and yet live? So because church government is of less moment to spiritual and eternal life than faith in Christ, will any one abandon it as a vain and profitless subject? Whatever God has made the subject of revealed truth, should be guarded on that account from being considered as too frivolous to deserve our attention. pp. 13, 14.

"Away with that morbid insensibility which exclaims, “It is of no consequence to what church or denomination a man belongs, provided he be a Christian.” Such a spirit is a conspiracy against the throne of truth, and is the first step towards a complete abandonment of the importance of right sentiments. Admitting that error is to be measured by a graduated scale, who will undertake to fix upon the point where harmless mistakes end and mischievous ones begin ? Every thing relating to religion is of consequence. In the temple of truth not only the foundation is to be valued and defended, but every point and every pinnacle.' p. 22.

To Mr James' statement respecting the officers in the Christian church, we cannot wholly assent. On page 18th he says, as indeed is commonly said, that bishop, elder, and pastor, are only different terms for the same office.' That the bishops, or pastors, were also called elders, we doubt not; but that the term elder necessarily indicated a bishop or pastor, we question. The term elder was, probably, a general term equivalent to our word officer ; and thus it could be applied to a pastor, or to a deacon; and the elders of a church included the pastor or pastors and the deacons. That the term is applied to pastors is evident; that the deacons are also included in this appellation, appears from 1 Timothy v. 17. “ Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” Here a manifest distinction is made between the elders; they all rule, or govern, but some of them labor in the word and doctrine,' or teaching. These latter are the preachers; the other elders are the deacons. The preceding context favors this view of the passage ; for the support of indigent widows is treated of, an object which came under the management of the deacons.

We know that a different exposition is sometimes given of this passage; and that the distinction between the elders is made to rest upon the word labor;' thus distinguishing the more diligent, laborious pastors from those who did not so entirely devote themselves to their work. To this interpretation Mr James inclines: see the note on page 55th, which note we would respectfully suggest it may be well to omit in the future editions of the work. We should hardly suppose an apostle would recommend as worthy of double honor a minister of Christ who was known to be deficient in his duties.

Mr Choules deserves the thanks of the churches for his labor in preparing this American edition. We trust the work will be widely circulated. Its influence must be salutary

The Story of Aleck, or Pitcairn's Island; being a true Account of

a very singular and interesting Colony. 18mo. pp. 54. Amherst, Mass. J. S. & C. Adams. 1829.

This is, indeed, a remarkably interesting little narrative. It is well adapted to enlarge the views of the young, to awaken the thinking powers, and to leave on the mind a salutary impression. It is actual history; and we are assured that the author 'is not aware of having added the slightest embellishment to reality.' And yet the story is of such a nature, and it is told in so happy a manner, that many a group of little prattlers will have their attention fixed, and many a youthsul eye will sparkle with curiosity and delight.

All, of whatever age, who read it, will feel a gratifying consciousness of having increased their knowledge; and in the striking facts brought to view, all will have matter for useful reflection. The work,' says the preface, 'is designed for the use of children, and is commended to all who wish to promote in them a love of reading; especially to any, who think it best for youth to seek amusement and instruction, not in the airy regions of fiction, but in the rich field of historic truth.'

We join heartily in the commendation. For we have long been of opinion that if proper subjects for true history were selected, and if proper talents were employed, and proper pains were taken to render it attracting, the specious arguments for fictitious histories and religious novels would lose their power. We hope that the Author, who, we understand, is a distinguished classical scholar, as well as a gentleman of piety and of taste, will be encouraged to lay before the public additional demonstrations of the attractiveness which may be given to real history.

Pitcairn's Island, our readers will recollect, is one of the verdant spots that adorn the Pacific ocean. But we do not wish to make any abridgment of the story.

The whole can be purchased for a few cents; and in any family, it would be a valuable addition to the children's library. About the middle of the thirty first page, there is a statement in which, perhaps, we ought not to acquiesce without some little qualification ; we mean, in respect to the alleged becomingness of the ceremonies at baptisms. What thuse ceremonies were, we are not particularly informed; nor is it important to know. It is important, however, to remember that, strickly speaking, no ceremony can be becoming which displaces, and in effect, makes void what our Saviour has commanded.

The benevolence which breathes throughout this historical tract, is happily poured forth at the close in asking, 'Who will not pray that all who are born on the surf beaten islaud, may become newborn heirs to the home of the saints !—That the children of Aleck, and his children's children down to the latest generation, may ascend from their dwelling amidst the roarings and tossings of the mighty deep, to find a surer and a sweeter rest in the broad, peaceful ocean of a Creator's glory and a Redeemer's love ?


The following lines have been communicated for the Magazine by one of the most accomplished literary ladies of our country, one of those .honorable women' whom the grace of God has taught not only to diffuse a benign influence around them in their families, and throughout an extensive circle in this country, but also to reach forth the hand of Christian kindness to the daughters of Greece, and to pray for the benighted and needy wherever sin has made its desolations.

The communication was accompanied by a note addressed to Mr Knowles, the insertion of which may be beneficial to some who have not seen the work that is mentioned.

• Rev. Sir,

• May a stranger be permitted to express to you the deep satisfaction with which she has perused the Life of Mrs Judson, written by yourself, and her conviction that its clearness of arrangement, judgment in selection, and felicity of style, contribute greatly in aiding the impression which a character of such energy, disinterestedness, and sublime piety, is calculated to make on every reflecting mind. With sincere wishes that the cause to which her best years were devoted, may continue to become more interesting to Christians,

I remain yours, Sir, with high respect,


I saw her on the strand.-Beside her smild
Her native land, and her beloved home,
With all their pageantry of light and shade,
Streamlet and vale. There stood her childhood's friends,
Sweet sisters who had shar'd her inmost thoughts,
And saintlike parents whose example rais'd
Those thoughts to Heaven. It was a strong array !
And the fond heart clung to its rooted loves.
But Christ had given it panoply, which earth
Might never overthrow.

And so she turn'd
To boisterous ocean, and forsook the clime
Whose halcyon bowers had nursed her joyous youth.

Again I look'd.-It was a foreign shore.
The tropic sun had laid his burning head

On twilight's lap. A gorgeous palace caught
His last red ray, while hoarse the idol song
To Boodh, mingled with the breeze that curl'd
Broad Irrawaddy's tide. Why do ye point
To yon lone prison? Who is he that gropes
Amid its darkness with those fetter'd limbs ?
Mad pagans! do ye thus requite the man
Who toils for your salvation ?

See that form
Bending in tenderest sympathy to sooth
The victim's sorrow. Tardy months pass by,
And find her still intrepid at the post
Of danger, and of disappointed hope.
Stern sickness smote her, but she felt it not,
Heeded it not, and still with tireless zeal
Carried the hoarded morsel to her love;
Dard the rude arrogance of savage power
To plead for him, and bade his dungeon glow
With her fair brow, as erst the angel's smile
Arous'd imprison'd Peter, when his hands,
Loos'd from their chains, were lifted high in praise.

There was another scene, drawn by his hand
Whose pallid pencil blotteth all the grace
And loveliness of man. Keen anguish pours
Its fiercest darts into that martyr's soul,
Who is about to wash her garments white
In the Redeemer's blood, and glorious rise
From tribulation to a world of rest.

Dark Burman faces are around her bed,
And one pale babe,-to hush whose wailing cry
She checks the death groan, and with fond embrace
Still clasps it firmly to her icy breast,
Even till the heart-strings break.

He comes! He comes !
The wearied man of God, from distant toi).
His home, while yet it seems a misty speck,
His glance descries,-half wondering that the step
Of his beloved glides not o'er the heath,
As wont, to meet him.

Ah! what heathen lip,
In its strange language, told him, that on earth
Nothing remain'd, which to his throbbing heart
In that hour's desolation he might press,
Save that poor, famish'd infant. Days of care
Were measur'd to him, and long nights of grief
Weigh'd out,—and then that little, moaning one
Went to its mother's bosom, and slept sweet
’Neath the cool branches of the Hopia-tree.

'Twas bitterness to think that bird-like voice,
Which conn'd sweet hymns to charm a father's ear,
Must breathe no more. This is to be alone!
Alone in this wide world. Yet not without
A Comforter. For the meek heart that trusts
Its all to Heaven, and sees its treasur'd things
Unfold their hidden wing, and thither soar,
Doth garner up its hopes more firmly there,
And toward that blessed hour look joyously,

Which binds its sever'd links, to break no more.
Hartford, (Conn.)

L. H. S.

« AnteriorContinuar »