Imágenes de páginas

tion, that they ara entirely ignorant of the principles of the gospel ? Are there not hundreds and thousands of professors of religion in our church, who possess none of the characteristics of true christians ? Are there not many protestants who, like the Roman Catho. lics, cherish mistaken notions of christianity ?-Are there not too many Lutherans who dishonor the name and disgrace the profession of Evangelical religion ? On this subject, it must be contessed, we have too much reason to indulge in humiliating and painful reflections. But we feel no inclination at present to pursue this subject, and indulge in these reflections. We would, however, exbort our readers to humble themselves in the dust, in view of the state of religion in our church, and earnestly pray to God, that he might pour out his holy spirit upon us, and revive his work in our midst. Let us all endeavor, with the help of God, to live more consistent with the profession of evangelical christianity. Let us act more worthy of our illustrious descent, and our high and glorious calling. While we venerate the names, let us follow the examples of Luther and the founders of our church. And while we thank God for the establishment and preservation of our Evangelical Lutheran Zion, let us labor and pray, that she may arise and shine in the splendor of her former glory.


Such an event may well be anticipated, whether we form our calCulations from the existing political state of those countries, or from the predictions of Scripture, pointing, out the approaching judgments which are to befal them. We know from the sure word of prophecy, that the dismembered kingdoms of the Old Roman Empire, including almost all the states of Europe, (England among the rest,) are to be broken in pieces, and that these events are to precede the final establishment of the kingdom of the Son of Man. That we are on the eve of the accomplishment of these prophecies, seems probable, from the present state of society: all the old governments and establishmets of Europe, seem to be coming to an endi: not being suited to the present state of public opinion. Founded in the presumption, that the few had a prescriptive privilege to think and act for many; the people who have begun to be enlightened upon the subject of civil rights, are not disposed to be oppressed without their own consent. But if war, general and desolating, is permitted to sweep over the fair face of Europe, it becomes a question of no little interest to the Christian pbilanthropist what will be its influence upon the cause of religion, and the spread of the gospel-?. If England is involved in war, it must have the most retarding operation upon all the great movements for the regeneration of the world. From that country have gone forth nine-tenths of all the men and money, and Bibles, and Tracts, &c. &c. which have been dispersed for the propagation of the gospel in Heathen lands. If her resources are di

verted by the necessaries of war, who shall stand up in her place ? From whence are those supplies to be provided, which shall maintain the streams of benevolence, which have been flowing over the moral desert of the world, so bountifully filled from the benefactions of British Christians ? Shall they be permitted to dry up ? Forbid it Lord! Forbid it the American Christians! Upon them must de. volve the burden of labour and responsibilities. But what can the churches in America do, more than they are now doing? Do they not already begin to relax in their efforts ? Are not the calls of the great societies loud and long for help, which seems to be afforded two slowly? Can any thing be expected here, to meet such vast demands ? Yes. If God will grant his blessing upon the means of his grace. If the Holy spirit shall descend as on the day of Pentecost, and convert our fellow citizens by hundreds and by thousands. The silver and the gold are the Lord's, and the hearts of their possessors are in his hands. Then let the crisis come, and let America be regarded as the last hope of the moral world. She will redeem the expectation. She has enough of every necessary for the work, and would rejoin in the responsibility dovolved upon her. We ask no greater favour of heaven for our beloved country, no higher glory, than that she may be an instrument of taking up and carrying for. ward those plans of mercy, which have respect to the regeneration of the world.-Philadelphia' Recorder.


The celebrated preacher, Dr. Chalmers, of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, some time since published a work called “The Book of Scotland," from which the following statements are taken.

"The population of Scotland, by the census of 1921, was 2,093,456. It may be assumed that the number is now increased to about 2,600,000, and calculating by the usual proportion, 600,000 of these are under ten years of age.”

“Roman Catholicism is progressing fast in Scotland, chiefly by the emigration of Irish, and the conversion of Presbyterian outlying Highlanders. The Roman Catholics have now some remarkably fine chapels, and the clergy are universally known as quiet and unobtrusive men. The Roman Catholicism of Scotland is, on the whole a very mild kind. Neither Methodism nor Quakerism seem to have been successful in Scotland; of Methodists there are scattered congregations, principally of the dregs of the population of large towns ; of the society of Friends there is only one association in Edinburgh, formed by some of the most respectable and wealthy citizens. The sect which is making the most perceptible progress after the Roman Catholics, is, the Unitarians. The chief rallying place of the party is in the West of Scotland, where the Socinian doctrine meets with a ready support from the operative manufacturers. We are however of opinion, that the number of professing Unitarians'. Vol. V. No. 12.


gives a very imperfect idea of the actual amount of this species of belief, which it is to be feared, is now spreading its influence among all classes of Presbyterians."-[Gospel Messenger.


The religious state of France at the present moment is deeply interesting. It seems almost certain that with comparatively little effort, a moral and religious reformation can be effected in that country, scarcely less important in its effects upon the world, than that which spread three centuries ago over the north of Europe.-Now is the moment for effort. The Bible Societies of Great Britain and America ought to throw a million Bibles into France in the course of the next two or three years. The London Christian Observer for October, says:

Our Protestant friends are putting forth their energies with zeal ; and great numbers of persons who have hitherto professed the Roman Catholie faith, or no faith at all, are crowding to the Protestant chapels to hear for themselves the doctrines of the Bible, as professed by the reformed church. Popery is almost every where unpopular; and upon the efforts which shall now be made by the friends of Protestantism to promote religious education, scriptural preaching, and the knowledge and perusal of the word of God, may probably depend, under Divine Providence, whether France shall become a nation of avowed infidels, or Protestant Christians.


From a letter received by the Editor of the Sunday School Journal. from Hartstonge Robinson, Esq. Secretary of the Sunday School Society for Ireland, the following extract is made:

You will perceive that we have had an increase during the last year of 135 schools, 10,906 scholars, and 1,157 gratuitous teachers, making in the whole, connected with our Society, on the first of January last, the period of making up our returns, 2418 schools, 196,396 scholars, and 17,994 gratuitous teachers. Our progress since has been considerable, and we continue to receive from our correspondents, the most gratifying accounts of the increased effects of the system. We are happy to perceive a growing spirit of inquiry amongst many of our population, and we have reason to believe that notwithstanding the ignorance and superstition still existing in the country, the influence of the circulation of the Scriptures and scriptural instruction, is much advanced. In reference to our own Society, we have not only an increase of the schools and scholars, but a more general impression as to the importance of the system, and more matured plans for its advancement are at present in operation. "In many places, Sunday School Unions and associations have been formed. In this city there have been established, within little more than a year, nine Parochial Associations, and besides a number of children, nearly 700 adults have been brought under scriptural instruction. In the county and city of Cork, like measures continue to proceed with vigour; and in the city (Dublin) alone, between 5 600 adults have been brought into attendance upon Sunday schools.

“A clergyman from the North 0: Ireland has lately informed us; that in his neighborhood, nearly one thousand children, who twelve months ago, spent their Sabbath in idleness or vice, are now enjoying the benefits of Sunday School instruction. These facts, we trust, will prove interesting to you, and may serve, in some measure, to exemplify the present state of our Society's proceedings. But though such circumstances are encouraging, and call for much thanktulness, there are many obstacles still opposed to the progress of scriptural knowledge, and the free circulation of the word of God in this country. But that which now letteth, shall we trust, be taken out of the way ; the people that sit in darkness shall, ere long, we indulge the hope, come to the light, and Ireland, blessed in the enjoyment of her growing privileges, shall shake herself from the dust and seek the salvation of God. We sincerely hope the cause of Sunday School instruction makes progress amongst our Trans-Atlantic brethren, and may it throughout the world, be made happily instrumental to the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom.”


In the state of Pennsylvania there reside two families, whose his. tory may be instructive to others. They present, in striking contrast, the the effect of parental influence.

They have both lived in the same town for many years ; they have enjoyed the same privileges, belonged to the same religious denomination, and listened to the same preaching. Both the heads of each family have been professedly pious for a long period. In the family of Mr.R- the power of religion was happily exhibited in the daily deportment of the parents. The morning and evening sacrifice were offered on the family altar with solemnity and devout feeling. These exercises were not hurried, formal and unmeaning ceremonies. They were impressive and deeply interesting. Long will the writer remember the occasional seasons at which he was privileged to unite in the morning and evening devotions of this family. Their memory is grateful and sweet. Religion had rendered the parents kind affectionate, and deeply interested for the spiritual welfare of their children. Salutary Christian restraints were imposed upon them.They were instructed, not occasionally, but habitually, in the great and important doctrines of the Bible, and had them enforced on their consciences by parental love and affection. In short, religion was exhibited before them in the most lovely attitude. But in the family

of Mr. W- religion was not so happily exemplified. Evening devotions were indeed performed, but often in a hurried and unimpressive manner. The children, instead of being interested and benefitted, were rather disgusted, and contracted a disrelish for all religious exercises. Scarcely any restraints were laid upon them. Instead of spending the Sabbath at home in studying their Bible themselves, or l'eceiving instruction from it through their parents, they were in the company of Sabbath breakers, or reading some novel, or otherwise desecrating holy time. Seldom were they seen at the conference room. In short, little effort was made by the parents for the spiritual good of their offspring. And such was their conduct, at times, towards their children, and such their want of a Christian temper, that 1he children would often, in the most emphatic and passionate language, express their doubt of the Christian character of their parents. Now what has been the influence of these parents upon their children? Let facts give the reply. The children of Mr. R- , six in numher, have all become hopefully pious, except the youngest, who is only about twelve years of age ; and even his mind has been occa. sionally under serious impressions. Two have entered on the stage of active life, and are now occupying stations of usefulness and great importance to the church. One son has lately been licensed to preach, and another has just entered on a course of preparation for the ministry. Of the children of Mr. W-_-, not one has yet given any evidence of piety. They are indeed what the world calls respectable; but having been suffered to be much in the company of the gay, thoughtless and profane, they have adopted many of their habits, and cherish many of their feelings in reference to religion. To what else, but to the influence of the parents, can we ascribe the difference in these children? Let every parent, who may read these Tacts ponder them well ; and let them remember, that their influence will materially affect the eternal interests of their beloved offspring.

Pastor's Journal.


I am grieved to hear any remark made by old Christians that should lead the feeble, the lambs of Christ, to think that persecution should be made the test of their acceptance with God. I am led to say this from having heard several times of late remarks made in The pulpit calculated, as they were unexplained, to induce the young Christian to conclude within himself that he is deceived in relation to the hope that is within him, because he has never met with any persecution.

Is persecution any sure test at all ? Does not the gospel contemplate the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ? when all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest ? Who will then be left to persecute ? And may there not be hundreds, nay, thousands of sanctified Chris

« AnteriorContinuar »