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“LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE.”
R w as a native of S , a town, in Connecticut: how much of his life was spent there I have not the means of knowing. At the age of forty he became an inhabitant of the town of M., in the state of New-York; then a poor man, with a small family, and actually owing more than he was worth ; but he loved the cause of Christ.
The church of which he was now a member was very small, and Mr. R- felt it his duty to afford all the assistance possible in sustaining the preached gospel. Unlike too many professea Christians, who do little or nothing for God while they are in debt to their fellow men, Mr. R- ventured to give while he was thus encumbered. He often said, here his prosperity began.
His location being favourable to the mechanical business which he pursued, he was soon able to discharge all his debts, and provide himself with all the necessaries of life. In the mean time he opened his hand liberally to all the benevolent objects of the day, and his influence soon became very salutary and extensive.
At a certain time, the church and society of M., after struggling with much difficulty for two or three years to support preaching half the time, held a meeting to see what should be done, and were about to relinquish the object, and do'without the gospel, because too poor to support it, when Mr.
R a rose and said “Brethren, I cannot endure the thought of living without preaching; I do not feel as though I could afford to be without the gospel ; I am unwilling to give up the object without another trial;” and stepping up to the table he took his pen doubled his subscription, whieh was already known to be very liberal. His example was followed, and on the spot enough was raised to secure the desired object.
From that moment the society continued to prosper, and in the year 1825 they were able to settle a minister with a salary of 600 dollars. Soon after this Mr. R- called on his pastor, and mentioned, that in a certain portion of the township, (it being very large) there were many souls without religious instruction; and multitudes of children without the benefit of Sabbath schools, and that something must be done for them. At bis suggestion the minister visited, and thorourhly explored that part of the town described, and found it in great need of help. On relating the particulars of his visit to Mr. R- , he said, with much meaning, “Something must be done for them—they must have a missionary, and we must help them : they are our neighbours, and we ought to care for them.” After imploring the divine direction, Mr. R-- said, “My family will give forty dollars.” Encouraged by such an example, efforts were made, and two hundred dollars were soon raised, a missionary was obtained, two hundred dollars more were raised by the people on the ground where he laboured, and the result is, that two meeting houses have been erectel, tivo churches resuscitated and reorganized, a goodly number of souls have been born again, and they are now.. able to support the gospel without foreign aid..
About this time Mr. P.--- heard that a small church in a neighbouring town were without a place of worship, and that they had not the means, or courage enough to attempt to provide one. Unsolicited he sent them forty dollars, to be appropriated for a meeting house in that place. This donation has been the means, under God, of securing to that people a house of worship. Many other facts might be mentioned to show the benevolent spirit of this good man, which must be omitted, least the reader should be wearied with the length of this article. Suflice it to say, he lived to DO GOOD. His life, for several years, was one continued series of good works, tending constantly to advance the interests of piety, and to spread the triumphs of the cross. To lay up for his children was not his calculation; they well understood that their father cared much more for the welfare of Zion than he did for their worldly prosperity. In this they seem well satified; and their respect and affection for their parent corresponds with the degree of interest which he felt for the welfare of the church of Jesus Christ. In this is illustrated the important truth, that the most certain way to secure filial respect, is to set before the household an example of consistent piety.
Mr. R- died of the consumption, February, 1828, after a confinement of several months, during which time his faith increased, until hope was “swallowed up in fruition." It was affecting to see his family hang around his dying bed ; they loved their father, and they saw in him an earnest of immortal joys; the bri htening hopes of heaven glowed in his countenance as he decended to the tomb. On the day of his death the writer of this was with him several hours, but not when he expired. I said to him, “Brother R- , is all peace ?" He opened his eyes, and with an expression on his countenance which I can never forget, for it told of heaven, replied, “O yes, I can say, I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he will keep that which I have committed to him until that day." His family were all present, watching with deep interest the lingering moments of their beloved parent ; several other friends were also there. I left him, though with great 'reluctance. All along he had told his children their father had no fear of death, because the Savio'ir lives. They saw it true when he sunk into the arms of death. All was now still. The eldest son looked calmly on, holding the arm of his dying father, to ascertain the exact mo-. ment when the soul should leave its earthly tenement for the abodes of immortality. His end was perfect peace; and when the silent palm had told the solemn truth that he was gone, the pious son laid the lifeless arm upon the breast, closed the unconcious eyes, then turning to his brothers and sister, wish a smile, “Now let us fall down and thank the Lord that we have had such a father.”
While the closing scene of this good man's life showed the high respect and affection of his children for their father, their subsequent conduct exhibits no less clearly the happy effect of his example upon them. It is enough to say, they walk in his footsteps, and a systematic course of benevolent action proves, that the ruling prin-, .ciple in most of them is, the love of doing good.
I cannot close this interesting account, without going back, and noticing more particularly the influence of this good man upon the church of which he was a member. His charities were judi. cious and systematic ; to him it was a pleasure to do good. It will be remembered that he was comparatively a poor man. His example had an effect, not so much from the amount which he actually contributed, as from the spirit with which it was done, and its proportion to his income.
At a time when less than thirty dollars a year was contributed at the Monthly Concert, in aid of foreign missions, Mr. R- put in regularly one dollar per month. When this was known, others more able began to say, “If brother R- can give one dollar per month, I can;" and these collections soon increased to one hundred and fifty dollars a year. Moreover, the salary of their own minister was now more punctually paid than it had ever been, while, for the various benevolent objects of the day, nearly one thousand dollars a year have been raised by this church, which, but''six years ago, was scarcely able to raise seventy five. All this, too, while the real strength of the society has, if any thing, decreased, by deaths and removals.
In producing this happy result, nothing, probably, has had greater influence than the example of this benevolent man; and as I cast my eyes over the multitude of feeble churches scattered through our land, I am constrained to exclaim, o that each of them were bles sed with one such character as the good Mr. R Let me also appeal to the heart and the conscience of every member of all our churches, and ask, will not some one or more in every church, raise out of the selfishness, the covetousness, and worldliness with which most Christians are enthralled, and be to the church and to the world wbat this good man was. Then your example would bless a whole community; then you might confidently expect the full assurance of immortal glory in a dying hour, and hy the side of your sleeping: dust, a devout son, in the full tide of filial respect and affection, might pour forth the utterance of a grateful heart in thanksgiving to God, that he has had such a father. -American Pastor's Journal.
PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.
It is stated in the London Times of July 23d, that the clergyman who preached the funeral sermon of his late majesty, offered pray: ers for the repose of his soul ! and that the Bishop of Bath and Wells did the same at the funeral of the Princess Charlotte. We are surprised that these popish, superstitious rites should be resorted to by Protestants on any occasion Even if it be supposed that the spirit of the old leaven, adheres in some instances to those protestants who have more of ceremony and prescribed forms, in their worship than others, yet, as abuses of this kind were one of the principal causes of the reformation, it is remarkable that one of
the reformed should introduce them when they are known to be directly contrary to the doctrine of their church. In the liturgy, it is said, there is nothing that sanctions the use of prayers for the dead; and we are gratified to see that this unexpected resuscitation of a popish rite is condemned by writers of the Episcopal Church. The British Magazine remarks in speaking of this fact- We think it of such importance as to call for an explicit declaration from our church on the subject. We think it is a considerable approximation to the doctrine of purgatory, which our articles declare to be a fond things vainly invented,” and we shall soon see the “orate pro animabus” revived upon our tombstones.
NOTICES OF THE PAPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED
STATES. (Continued from No. 10. Page 317.) “The same Pontiff, in his instructions to his agents in Poland, given in 1808, professes this doctrine, that laws of the Church do not recognize any civil privileges as belonging to persons not Catholic ; that their marriages are not valid ; that they can live only in concubinage ; that their children, being bastards, are incapacitated to inherit ; that the Ca. tholics themselves are not validly married, except they are united according to the rules prescribed by the Court of Rome; and that, when they are married according to these rules, their marriage is valid, had they, in other respects, infringed all the laws of their coun
Instead, therefore, of joining in the laudatory acclamations with which some appear ready to great the emissaries of the Court and Church of Rome, we must be permitted, from a sense of the dan. gers of our spiritual Zion, and of our immunities and blessings, arising from this quarter, to continue a little farther the translation of such lately published documents as appeared in a previous number of this Journal. These, it seems to ans, must open the eyes of our brethren and fellow citizens, and urge to renewed and evangelical effort.
The following letters and extracts relate to the Mission of Ohio."
From Cincinnnati. the Bishop remarks to a friend in Europe : "I am consoled, and filled with gratitude toward the noble and benevolent Monarch of France. I beg you, on every occasion that may offer, to be the interpreter of my sentiments and sincere thanks to the patrons of the mission; answer them that I daily pray for them, and that while I live I shall not cease to pray the Lord to reward their zeal and charity.
“I have at last yielded to the solicitations of my friends, and the *Pp. 66, 67 ; 129, 150.
necessity caused by a visible increase of Catholics. I have resolved to build a cathedral ; it is already covered ; our new chapel, though very small, will become my seminary. But I expect to enlarge it, if I can procure a contiguous spot of one hundred and fifty feet, for which two thousand dollars are demanded : we greatly need it, to complete our establishment; and I hope that, with the aid of Divine Providence, you will assist me in accomplishing this design.
New Lisbon, preaching on the right hand and on the left, and administering all the sacrements, orders excepted. In all the congregations I have at times administered three or four different sacraments* to the same persons, in the same day. I cannot recollect how many I have baptised and confirmed. I have neither a priest nor domestic to accompany me across these thick forests : our poor people could hardly lodge and feed two ecclesiastics, without famish
wretched beds. My journey lasted three months; and I was often so exhausted in talking, praying and preaching, that I had hardly, enough resolution to take my nourishment. You know by experience how it is. How many times have you not breakfasted and dined on the same meal, at four or five in the afternoon! Well are you able to repeat : Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco.
"I have found that all my congregations increase, so to speak, daily. We have eleven churches or chapels built or building, and two more are in prospect. At Zanesville, Canton, and near New Lisbon we have well-bruilt brick churches, but they are covered only, for want of pecuniary means. They have neither floors nor windows. Every body applies to me for assistance, as if I had transported Peru from Europe. My resources, at present, are only the funds which the charity of my benefactors has procured for me in Europe. But the great and indispensable expenses for building my cathedral ; the cost of journeys, conveyance of articles, tolls, &c. have already consumed the greater part. I have with me three priests, one female domestic, her husband, and a single child belong ing to the choir, whom I must feed, clothe, &c. You see I have enough to do in organizing the diocese, and making preparation for a Seminary. If I can only finish my cathedral, and buy the adjoining land in order hereafter to enlarge it, when necessary and practicable, I shall be satisfied. For a legacy to my successor I have no, goods but this establishment only-and it is hardly half finished. As soon as the funds on which we subsist at present shall be exhausted, I shall be obliged, if more be not furnished, to quit the country, or · undergo the lot of insolvent debtors. I do not receive enough from my chapel and the whole of my diocese to pay simply the expenses of my horse or of my letters. I could never have imagined that the postage of letters would have amounted to three, four, and sometimes five dollars a week; while the collection made,
*The Papal Church, as is known, reckoning seven sacraments. Vol. V. NO. 11.