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revivals; but especially to their existence among the more enlightened and reading classes of the community; and such is the character of those who are assembled at our literary Institutions.
2. Collegiate rivalships, and those enterprises that have engaged the attention of the governments of our Institutions, to raise the standard of American literature, and to give greater eligibility to their respective establishments, have probably contributed a share of influence to the aggregate cause under consideration. It is a source of congratulation, that the standard of our literature is rapidly advancing, and that there have been accessions to the means of facilitating this advancement, by appeals to public patronage, and by importations from the other side of the Atlantic. But similar are the causes of spiritual declension in individuals and in associations of individuals. External allurements are, in both cases, pernicious. The standard of Christian deportment will graduate the ardor of religious feeling; and the spirit that is indulged in the maintenance of public and private relations, is direct and invariable in its influence. The competition of our literary Institutions for public favor, forms a species of rivalship, which, far more than that of individuals, is to be deprecated.
3. The character of the intercourse of religious students, with each other, and with their other associates, claims here to be conzidered. It is a singular fact, that young men, who would have travelled many miles from their paternal homes, to spend a few hours only, with one, who cherished the same Christian hope, and who contemplated the same holy purposes, on becoming daily associated with many of a similar character, neglect, often to a great extent, the advantages of Christian intercourse. But it is more to be lamented, that by mutual confidence they often feel less the need of circumspection—that they prove snares to each other, and that they occasionally become mutually the subjects of suspicion, jealousy,envy, and even of secret or open abuse. Such a result does not necessarily flow from the intimate intercourse of Christians, nor are Christians, associated together for the purpose of study, more exposed to such evils, than if they were for the same time, and to the same degree, associated for any other purpose. On the contrary, the employments of Christian students may become very conducive to their advancement in true love to God, and love to man. members of literary Institutions, are necessarily connected with others who make no pretensions to religion. Their failings, consequently may be observed, and may considerably hinder the effect of efforts for the religious welfare of their fellow students. May these evils be found less frequent, than it is feared they are.
But as it has been our design, to point out the causes of the late suspension of divine influence in our literary Institutions, it is suggested, that though the number of professors of religion in them has increased, yet a spirit of circumspection and sedulous concern for the promotion of piety may not have been cherished; and thus students, even professedly pious, may have afforded occasion for this species of relapse, and its deleterious consequences.
4. Our last topic of remark needs but to be named, as we are persuaded, that its application will be readily perceived and carefully investigated. It is proposed as a question, whether our instructers feel, and act under the impression, that the spiritual welfare of their students, claims their first, their constant, their unceasing regards? Is eminent personal piety constantly cultivated as a most desirable associate of their other various qualifications?
The preceding observations may appear deficient without some direct and appropriate suggestions, relative to a removal of the barrier to spiritual prosperity in our public Seminaries. These are, however, deemed unnecessary, as they may easily be supplied by every reader of this article. Let it suffice, that we call upon our brethren and fellow laborers in the interesting and responsible charge of instruction, to make a faithful examination of this subject; and that, while they strive with us to effect the rentoval of all causes of offence to the blessed Spirit, they will unite with us in seeking humbly and most importunately the renewal and more abundant blessings of his holy energies.
THE TITLE D. D.
I was peculiarly gratified to discover in the last number of the Magazine, a communication from our Missionary, the Rev. Adoniram Judson, declining the title, Doctor of Divinity. And I was not less pleased, at seeing previously in the Columbian Star, a request from the President of our General Convention, the Rev. Robert B. Semple, that his brethren would never attach the same title to his name.
As they liave voluntarily relinquished the title, and prefer to be addressed in some other manner more consistent with their views of Christian humility, and ministerial equality, it is to be hoped that their wishes may be gratified.
It is very possible that several others, who have had this degree inflicted upon them without their desire or consent, may not think this an unfit opportunity for them to follow the example of two such men as Judson and Semple. Some, I am confident, would have so refused at first, had they not been fearful of displeasing their friends, or of incurring the imputation of a 'voluntary humility.'
It would be truly a delightful spectacle to see all those servants of Christ, in the United States, who have received this degree, come forward, like these brethren, and signify their wish that the title may never again, in any way, be prefixed or affixed to their names.
MATTHEW xxiii. 8.
A Memoir of the Rev. Legu RICHMOND, A. M. Author of the
Dairyman's Daughter, Young Cottager, fc. 12mo. pp. 364. Boston : Crocker & Brewster. 1829.
We are not among those who can see nothing good or great out of our own denomination. Neither do we consider it a liberal or a discreet policy, to keep our readers ignorant of the bright examples of piety which have been exhibited by individuals of other sects. We would have them remain steadfast in the truth and order of the Gospel, but we would also have them know and imitate, whatever is lovely and of good report among Christians from whom in some things they conscientiously differ.
With these views, we would most cordially recommend for their perusal the Memoir of Legh Richmond. It is written with ability and candor, and exhibits, in an interesting light, the conversion and labors of a truly eminent servant of Christ. Mr Richmond was a clergyman of the established church in England. But notwithstanding the unfavorable influences to which he was exposed as a member of a national church, he abounded in the 'work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.' His name will long be held in delightful remembrance as the author of the Dairyman's Daughter, the Young Cottager, and several other interesting tracts.
As a preacher he was instant in season and out of season. He was not satisfied with performing the regular duties of the Sabbath. Although village preaching was peculiarly odious to his clerical brethren, yet he established lectures in destitute places, regardless of all their opposition. As a pastor he was much devoted to the religious interests of his people. He taught them from house to house, and 'ceased not warn every one night and day with tears.'
If we would judge accurately of a minister's piety we must follow him from his pulpit to his family, and witness the spirit and conduct which he manifests there. It is in the unreserved familiarity of domestic intercourse, where a minister throws off, in a degree, the restraints of official decorum, that you may best learn his true character. Here Mr Richmond gave constant evidence, that his was not the Sabbath religion of a parish priest, but the daily religion of a man of God. The regulations of his family devotion, the affectionate and pious instruction which occasionally he gave in private to his children, and the letters which he addressed to them, all show that he was a Christian of no ordinary grade.
There is another view which the Biographer of Mr Richmond gives of his character that deserves particular notice, especially, as it constitutes a large and most interesting portion of the work. He is described as a man of enlarged public spirit; and when we read the utterance of his heart in his correspondence, and follow him in his journeyings, we are overwhelmed with the conviction
that the description is a just one. We see that he was not only a good minister and a devoted pastor, but he looked abroad, and felt most intensely for all who were perishing for lack of knowledge, whether in his own country or among the Heathen. pathies were not expended in useless regrets: He saw that much was to be done, and gave his heart and hands to the work.
To meet the wants of the poor and illiterate at home, he wrote for gratuitous distribution some of the most interesting Tracts that have been published in any language ; and his feelings of commiseration for the heathen, led him to become a most zealous and intrepid advocate for the religious charities which had been established for their benefit. He did not wait till these Institutions were popular, but volunteered his services in their support, when he knew that it would subject him to reproach. For a long period he annually made excursions from four to eight weeks at a time, for the purpose of pleading the cause of the unbelieving Jews and the idolatrous Gentiles.
His success surpassed his own most sanguine expectations. In one journey he collected over three thousand, and in another, over five thousand dollars for these objects. In this way he probably raised more than thirty thousand dollars, for the societies of which he was so efficient a member. What is still more gratifying to know, he performed all these services without the least pecuniary reward. But his usefulness is not to be measured by the amount of funds which he procured. He excited a deep Missionary feeling which still exists; and wherever he went, he greatly promoted, by his conversation and preaching, the interests of vital religion.
If we are not mistaken, we have closed this book with feelings of deep abasement. We have experienced emotions of self-reproach, while we recollected how little we had done, when compared with him, for that cause which is professedly so dear to us; and have determined, with divine aid, to follow more closely in his steps. Hoping, that the same effects may be produced on the minds of others, we are exceedingly desirous that this volume should be possessed by all classes, but especially by the ministers of the gospel.
Memoir of the Rer. Pliny Fisk, A. M. late Missionary to Pales
tine. By Alvan Bond, Pastor of the Congregational Church in Sturbridge, Mass. Svo. pp. 437. Boston: Crocker & Brewster: 1828.
(Continued from p. 98.) [Our readers will recollect, that, in our last Number, we left Mr Fisk distributing tracts in Smyrna.]
In March he proceeded up the Nile to Cairo, where he remained a few days, and visited the pyramids, “those wonderful monuments of antiquity.” Thence, having heard of the arrival at Malta of a fellow missionary, the Rev. Daniel Temple, he proceeded to
that island, to welcome him to the field of labor and peril. While there, however, he was not inactive, but was constantly engaged in some “ labor of love,”—either “getting or doing good."
Early in January, 1823, iu company with the Rev. Mr King, from America, and the Rev. Joseph Wolff, from London, he sailed for Alexandria in Egypt, where they labored together, endeavoring to enlighten the minds, and save the souls of Jews and Catholics, Greeks and Mahometans. In conversation with four Jewish Rabbies from Constantinople, Mr Wolff attempted to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah. When closely pressed in reference to the interpretation of Zech. xii. 9, 10, they made the following evasive reply, which we quote as a specimen of the Hebrew idiom :
“My lord, we are come from a distant land, and by sea were sick with a great sickness; and therefore our mind is a little confused with confusion, and we cannot therefore speak to day words of wisdom, and understanding, and skill; for you must know, my lord, that we are wise with wisdom, and we are comely men, and honored with great honor, and sit in the first seat at the table of the rich. We will return unto you, and open our mouth with wisdom, and speak about the Holy One, blessed be he, and blessed be his name; and then you will be astonished with great astonishment.” p. 232.
After ten laborious, and not improfitable days in Alexandria, Mr Fisk and his associates went up to Cairo, where they were employed, as usual, endeavoring to do good by every judicious and practicable method. They next made an excursion into upper Egypt, and visited the stupendous ruins of the renowned Thebes, “one of the most ancient, and one of the most magnificent cities of the world, which is said to have had one hundred gates, and to have been able to send out ten thousand soldiers from each gate.” After an absence of forty-six days, they returned to Cairo, continually prosecuting the good work of preaching the gospel in various languages, and distributing in that land of darkness, the light of eternal life.
April 7, 1823, Mr Fisk, in company with Messrs King and Wolff, commenced his journey from Cairo to Jerusalem. He passed through the same desert in which the children of Israel wandered, and where God exhibited to them so many wonders of mercy and justice. Their caravan, at first small, was soon enlarged, and on the third day consisted of seventy-four, a large proportion of whoin were far from being agreeable. The weather was exceedingly warm, and their mode of travelling inconvenient, and they suffered not a little from the want of good water, as well as the pestilent annoyance of strolling Arabs and Bedouins. The journal of this pilgrimage, written by Mr Fisk, contains much that is interesting. Under different dates he says:
“ April 8. In looking off upon the desert, we have observed at a distance the appearance of water. The illusion is perfect, and did we not know that it is a mere illusion, we should confidently say that