« AnteriorContinuar »
to the poor.
ally ready to say, “I am distressed for thee, my brother, very pleasant hast thou been unto me." The writer of this article remembers well the sensations which affected his soul, when he opened the letter which announced, “This morning at half past eight o'clock, our dear brother Angell fell asleep in Christ." Nor will the pain of that moment be forgotten while memory holds
In his family, he was kind and affectionate. Few men are better husbands than he was ; few widows have more occasion for mourning than his. He was tenderly attached to his children; and in his death his fatherless boy has lost what can never be repaired. Every thing relating to his family, was attended to in season, and with the strictest economy. This he did from principle, as well as inclination. His economy was so far from penuriousness, that it was practised to enable him to be hospitable to all, and especially
He also felt it his duty to provide for a day of need, and for his family when he should be taken away. His family worship was an interesting and highly profitable service. He daily committed his family to God; never omitting liis child in his prayers. His people were always in his heart; he daily presented them before God in his prayers.
Thus his family was always a kind of sanctuary. His personal piety was deep and uniform; he prayed in secret, like Daniel, morning, noon, and night. In this way the fire was kept constantly burning, and prepared him to enter on every duty with interest to himself and to all with whom he was connected. It gave success to his labors; the church was benefitted, and souls were converted. In times of declension, instead of suffering himself to decline, he wrestled with God like Jacob, and exhorted the people till the Lord visited them again with his mercy. This course of prayer and action accounts for the repeated revivals under his ministry.
Mr Angell was the decided friend of the benevolent operations of the day, and he exerted himself to promote them. At the time of his death, he was engaged as an agent of the Board of the State Convention. In his own congregation, he did much for various public objects. It delighted his heart to see the kingdom of Christ extending. In the Association to which he belonged, he was a most valuable member, and by his persevering efforts greatly promoted the interests of that body.
His views of doctrine were evangelical; the all-sufficient atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ was the foundation on which his ministry and his hope rested.
There is another attitude in which he ought to be distinctly viewed. While he was deeply interested for his own people, he was consulting for all the churches in his region. His counsel and his services were much sought. He often visited those that were in need, and encouraged and helped them as their exigencies required. In revivals of religion he visited and conversed with all, on the concerns of the soul, with great effect. He made constant efforts
to assist the destitute, by procurring for them preaching and ministers. In short, he seemed continually impelled to exert himself to do all the good in his power. And the good which he effected can never be fully known, till the virtuous deeds of the just shall be disclosed to the universe.
TIIE OBJECTS OF WILLISTON ACADEMI.
The encouraging success at South Reading in your own State, and at New Hampton in the State of New Hampshire, is a matter of congratulation, and calls for devout thankfulness. The subject of establishing a school, of an elevated character, under the special patronage of the Baptist denomination in Vermont, has recently excited considerable attention. A writer in the Vermont Telegraph, among other important suggestions, remarks thus: We would claim for the institution no higher name than that of an Academy; for under this general and highly respectable name, we can include every thing in reality that our case requires. And if we call it an Academy, and yet make it something more than an ordinary Academy, the advantage, in a comparison with other Academies, will be all in our favor. We may let its objects be,
1. To give our youth a good English education generally; and also with special reference to preparing teachers for common schools.
2. To fit for college those who wish and ought to take a collegiate course.
3. To fit others for entering an institution where a regular and extended theological course is pursued.
*4. To give, besides the advantages of the requisite preparatory assistance, such a course of theological instruction as may be found practicable and expedient, in the case of those whose age and other circumstances prevent their going to any other institution.'
The following, which is, in substance, a copy of a communication occasioned by the preceding, and addressed to the worthy editor of that paper, is now communicated for the Magazine, under an impression that the subject presents considerations the importance of which is not limited to one State in the Union. May its discussion be followed by discreet and vigorous measures, begun and prosecuted with becoming reliance on the blessing of Heaven. It is a good thing to enlighten and train our youth for usefulness, and to aid our brethren in multiplying the talents which have been committed to them. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The objects of Williston Academy, as proposed in the preceding extract, will, I trust, be regarded as worthy of all commendation and support.
'1. To give our youth a good English education generally; and also with special reference to preparing teachers for common schools.'
It is too manifest to require proof that in this way the Academy will be adapted to the wants of a great portion of the community; and that it will indirectly, but most efficiently, extend its benefits to hundreds and to thousands of children and youth in our common district schools.
‘2. To fit for college those who wish and ought to take a collegiate course.
The importance of the object here proposed has too often been overlooked. And the fact that most Academies and Colleges have been under the control of Pedobaptists, has repelled many of our brethren and friends from participating in their advantages. I hope it will soon be felt by every one that we have as good a riglit to these advantages as others have; and that we intend, in the fear and love of God, to exercise our rights, and make the best use of our opportunities. Let those of our own sons, and those of our own pious young men, who wish and ought to take a collegiate course,' be fitted, and well fitted, for it; and then let them repair to College, under a deep impression of the truth that unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Let them go, not because they wish to avoid labor, but because they are willing to labor hard. Let them go, because it is their duty, if they can obtain the means, and are sufficiently young, to lay a deep and broad foundation for their future studies and usefulness. And let no religious young man forget that it will be his own fault, if he do not grow in grace while at College, and by a holy, Christian example, and by affectionate and discreet conversation, shed around him an influence that may be blest to the everlasting welfare of many of his fellow students. I would say, Young brethren! Be not deceived; God is not mocked.
'3. To fit others for entering an institution where a regular and extended theological course is pursued.
It is gratifying to perceive that while the importance of a collegiate education is duly appreciated, it is not overrated; and that there is beginning to be employed, on the subject of training men for enlarged usefulness in the ministry, some of the common sense that is employed on other subjects.
On the one hand, some have seemed to think that if a man is to preach, it is indispensable for him to go through College, whatever may be his age or circumstances. As in the fable, he must be stretched to the length, precisely, of the iron bedstead. On the other hand, if I may be permitted to continue the figure, some have been so shocked at this unnatural procedure as to discard the legitimate and beneficial use of bedsteads. Now I am glad to see both extremes avoided ; and, at the same time, to see a due estimate set upon a suitable theological course.
Suppose a man is about twenty-five years of age, and has five or six years that he can employ chiefly in exercising himself unto godliness, and enriching his mind with useful knowledge, and yet,
at the age of about thirty, become the Pastor of a church. And no man who commences his studies after the age of twenty-five, and who knows himself, and knows what belongs to the duties of the Pastoral office, will be eager to bear the responsibilities of that office, previously to his attaining to the maturity that John the Baptist had at the time of his shewing unto Israel.' Is it not a dictate of wisdom that he employ a portion of this time in being fitted to enter profitably on theological studies, and then the remaining portion in attending thoroughly to these studies?
And by these studies, or a regular and extended theological course, I mean not the vain speculations and systems of men, but the Holy Scriptures themselves, and the various things that may enable the student to understand, and illustrate, and enforce the sacred oracles, as long as he lives. The man devoted to the law, who has been prevented from obtaining a liberal education in early life, attends to a comparatively short literary course, and then studies his profcssion thoroughly. So does he who is to be a physician. Whatever else he may omit, he feels the importance of being well acquainted with what pertains to his appropriate calling.
Great facilities for securing the benefits of a thorough theological course are now presented to our brethren whose early youth has passed without much literary and scientific discipline. Every facility of this kind is a talent intrusted to them. Let them not be discouraged. Let them remember that it becomes them to make vigorous and persevering efforts to avail themselves of advantages which were never presented to their fathers in the ministry, those men of God, whose praise is in the churches, and whose record is on high ; men who have used faithfully what was committed to them, and who, in many instances, by their unwearied labors, and Christian spirit, and practical knowledge of the Bible, have put to shame the pretensions of the superficial and self-conceited.
•4. To give, besides the advantages of the requisite preparatory assistance, such a course of theological instruction as may be found practicable and erpedient, in the case of those whose age and other circumstances prevent their going to any other institution.'
It is manifestly our duty, in our plans, to have a regard to the existing state of things, and to the actual dealings of God with his people. He calls men to the ministry at various periods of life, and in various circumstances. And if we wish for his approbation and blessing, we must, with gratitude, receive men as he presents them to us, and employ the means which he also gives for increasing their usefulness. What is here proposed wisely provides for the wants of 'those whose age and other circumstances prevent their going to any other institution.' And can any attentive observer of what is passing before our eyes, doubt the expediency of taking some measures for helping brethren like these, and giving them such instruction as is adapted to their case ? Who can doubt that in this way their ability to promote the cause of God, might be greatly increased? They feel oppressed by various discouragements. But let them not be disheartened. Let them be taken by the hand, and led aright, and encouraged. Let them remember
that their advantages are greatly superior to those of hundreds who have gone before them, and turned many to righteousness. And let them rejoice in the still greater advantages of some of their brethren. What is the gain of one, is the gain of the whole. 0 how important and impressive the sentiment expressed by our Lord, All ye are brethren.
Sermons : by the late Rev. EDWARD Payson, D. D. Pastor of
the Second Church in Portland. 8vo. pp. 503. Portland : Shirley & Hyde: 1828.
This volume, we doubt not, will continue to be perused with intense interest not only by the individuals who were blessed with the personal ministry of their author, but by many who never knew, or heard, or saw him. It will obtain an extensive circulation. It is richly impregnated with qualities which will preserve it from the oblivion to which vast multitudes of printed works quickly descend.
The Discourses before us are eminently original. They are the production of a mind endowed with uncommon powers of inven. iion; a mind whose movements were rapid, yet accurate; whose conceptions were remarkably clear and distinct.
Dr Payson was gifted with an imagination singularly excursive, brilliant, and creative; but it was controlled by religious principle, and consecrated to the service of his Creator. He was capable, beyond most men, of throwing around his subject such a flood of light, that you instantly perceived you never viewed it so fully and definitely before : what had appeared distant was brought near; what had been seen dimly, as in a mist, was presented before you in full relief, showing forth distinctly and accurately its various forms and colors. We feel, on reading this volume, that it contains many thoughts which had not been suggested to us before; yet they appear so obvious, we wonder they had not occurred to us, and so evident that we in: stantly admit their truth. There are also not a few thoughts which, though not original, are exhibited with such force and clearness, in such various combinations, and with such vivid illustrations, as give them the charm and attractiveness and power of original conceptions. We view these sermons as a striking confirmation of the truth, that the "things of the Spirit are inexhaustible in their depth and variety."
In saying that these compositions are characterized by their originality, we are far from meaning that there is in them any display of originality. Here is no appearance of effort to say new things, or to pass off trite and lame thonghts with novelty of language. The preacher's aim was infinitely higher than to be admired by men for his originality.