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citous to incorporate its principles into his system of administration, and to enforce the wholesome laws of government by its divine sanctions.
Every discerning father of a family realizes the importance of our religion to the harmony, peace, and happiness of his household, and to secure the obedience, fidelity, and usefulness of its members; he is anxious they should be educated under the principles of the Gospel, and formed to habits of Christian virtue. The individual who seriously studies the sacred Oracles, is deeply impressed with the view of the destiny which the Gospel assigns to man, he is elevated by the prospect which it presents to his contemplation beyond the grave; solemnized by reflections on death, judgment, and eternity, he is animated to live soberly, righteously, and piously in this present world, in hope of glory, honor, and immortality in Heaven.
Human authority has been the great cause of the corruption and abuse which have prevailed in the Christian Church. It is of slight consideration whether the seat of usurped power be at Rome or Geneva. It matters not whether the mandate to suppress inquiry, and to exercise dominion over conscience, issue from a Papal college, or a Protestant conclave. Religion is a concern between God and the souls of men, with which human authority may not intermeddle.
In our land of light and freedom, we shall be self-condemned if we do not stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. That system of Christian doctrine can alone be holden with satisfaction, which has been established as the result of a diligent and impartial examination of the inspired Scriptures. Those Christian services can alone lay a sure foundation for rational confidence and hope, which flow from an enlightened mind, as well as from an approving conscience.
Art. XI.-THE MESSENGER'S AFFINITIES.
BY J. F. C., LOUISVILLE, KY.
A friend put into our hands, the other day, a number of the “Baptist Cross and Journal,” published in this city, containing an article on our humble work. This article is to be found in the paper of July 24th, 18.35, and bears on its front the words, “TESTS--AFFINITIES.” On examination, the object
of the article appeared chiefly this:—to apply a Test to "The Messenger, No. 1," in order to detect and expose the character of this new comer upon the stage of literary and theologic action. And this Test turns out to be an inquiry into the AFFINITIES of our Journal, and terminates in a discovery which may be compared to the late marvellous observations, made by Sir John Herschel, in the moon-namely, that we, Unitarians, are strong friends of the Catholics, the German Infidels, and the followers of Alexander Campbell
, of Bethany, Va.Now, here is a wonderful thing. Our affinities are truly of a heterogenious kind. It is very much as if we should say, of a stick of wood, that it has affinities for fire, water, and a handsaw--for Catholicism and Neology are about as hostile as fire and water; and whenever the Christian Baptist or Millenial Harbinger, has come in contact with the Unitarians, it has been with teeth sharpened to cut them asunder, and lay them waste. This startling fact, at the very onset, might reasonably induce our Baptist friend to doubt of the correctness of his test; but this is by no means the case. He thinks that it takes altogether too much time and pains, to put off
' condemning a man till you have heard him and known what he doeth. It would be as tedious as the process of a court of equity, and we should never be able to condemn any body if we had to take the trouble of finding out what their real opinions and actions are. The company they keep is proof enough against them; this is an easier way, a readier test. So argues
and reasons our reviewer.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged," Mr. Reviewer! Your affinities in this matter, 'would bring you into close contact with some ancient personages who held the same opinions on this subject, but with whom you would not much like to be classed. There were, in former centuries, certain influential characters, who thought it too much trouble to look into the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to the Messiahship. . They had “an easier way, a readier test.” They judged him by “the company” he kept. He is a friend of Publicans," say they. *This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” “Have any of the chief Priests or Elders believed on him?” “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?” These were the Tests applied by the Pharisees to the Savior, and they bear a singular resemblance and affinity” to those professed by our critic. They appealed to the prejudices, instead of the reason, of the people, just as he has done in the present article.
We would inform our friend, that it is our peculiar boast
and crown of rejoicing, that we have affinities with what is good in every denomination. Far from being ashamed, we glory in the fact that there is hardly a sect so despised by the chief Priests and Elders of Orthodoxy, but we can find some little leaven of good about them. Every joint, we hold, supplieth something to the body, and helps fitly to hold it together. When the Presbyterian church solemnly votes in full Sanhedrim, that the Catholic is no church of Christ; thus assuming the high prerogative of the great Head over all things -imitating the worst feature of Romanism itself, and debarring from covenant mercies the whole host of saints, and holy men, and martyrs, who adorn that communion—why, we have affinities for the Catholics, then, for they are the persecuted and abused party. And when a solemn pedant, who knows neither what he says, nor whereof he affirms, is thrown out of his latitude by getting among some learned men, and undertakes to denounce what he cannot understand, and to call a whole body of pious and excellent men infidels, and a great nation, deists—then we have affinities with the misrepresented Neologists. And we also have affinities with Campbell and his friends, just to the extent that their views appear just. And these kind of Affinities we hope to cherish and enlarge.
There is one thing, however, with which we have no affinity, and wish for none. We are at war with that exclusive and narrow spirit which cannot look over the palings of its own sect, or see anything good out of that body to which it is attached. We are at war with that spirit which is always applying its Tests to see what is wrong, instead of wishing to find something good and right-which is more opposed to error than in love with truth and which fosters and stimulates those fires of Party, and prejudices of the people, which ought to be checked and opposed by every friend of Christ.
AN AUTUMN LAY.
In life's proud dreams I have no part,
No sbare in its resounding glee-
Are in the grave, with thee.- Otway Curry.
Away-away, from book and pen!
I cannot coin my brain to-day; I cannot be the slave of men;
I cannot be their-What care they! The mind this mortal frame may wear
With constant effort— Thought may plough
Its furrows in the ample brow,
The heart that dares but to aspire,
May burn as with a quenchless fire-
And Age come long before we're old-
And struggled, with the strong and bold-
Yet, if we heap and hoard not gold,
Away-from book and pen, away!
That rise above our noble river!
That tinkle down their sides forever!
Of what they are, and what sho be
One moment, on futurity,
The Past has had so much of strife,
The Present hath so much of gloom: 'Tis but the mockery of life!
Where ends it?--Only in the tomb.
-Dear mother, unto thine How oft my wandering feet incline! And pausing by the fresh-heap'd earth, Unconscious of surrounding mirth, The many lessons thou hast given Throng up, like whispered words from Heaven; And better feelings come again, Dispelling thoughts of wrong and pain. Mother-dear mother--me forgive,
If ever in my wandering mind
“ Love as thy brethren, all mankind!”
Mother--dear mother--from my heart,
While threading Life's bewildering path,
And torture, till it turns in wrath;
But if mine e'er its strength essays,
Oh, let thy Voice of Other Days
A tone of mind, till now unknown-
Which lulls me with its fitful moan,