Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

980; and of females under twenty one, AMERICAN BEBLE SOCIETY. 136. Among the two latter classes THE President of the United States were five of 11 years of age ; seven of and the Several Heads of Department: 12; seventeen of 13; thirty two of of the general government, havo'by 14; sixty five of 15; 121 of 16; 132 their respective contributions become of 17."--Christian Observer for Sept. members for life of the American Bi1817, p. 610.

ble Society. This is a melancholy and disgrace. From the First Annual Report of the ful account: Melancholy as it relates Committee of the Reading Ladies to the victims of transportation ; and Bible Association. both melancholy and disgraceful in Ar this early period of their estabrespect to the government and police lishment, your Committee cannot but of Great Britain. The whole number regard it as a circumstance of pecutransported, male and female, in a Jiar encouragement from Him, who alittle more than four years and a half, lone “giveth the increase,'? that they was 4659—about 1000 annually—83 are enabled to record some most inmonthly and nearly 3 every day for portant personal benefits resulting the whole term of time,

from their pleasing labour. The folNow At it be considered that the lowing anecdote reported by one of rulers of a nation are called fathers, the District Committees, will, they and that they are bound to exercise trust, communicate to the hearts of towards their subjects parental care, their fellow labourers in the Vineyard, affection and tenderness, to seek their a portion of the cheering fervor which welfare in this world and in the world animates your comınittee in relating to come. Can it then be consistent it. with the duty of rulers to suffer little “One of our subscribers, after havchildren to grow up in ignorance and ing given us the usual sum, and as we vice, exposed to every temptation and were departing, smiled and said, this allurement, and then condemn them, is not all, I have something more to even before they are capable of pro- add connected with a little tale you viding for themselves, to a transporta- will rejoice to hear. A few weeks ation as little adapted to reform them, go, a young man

came to my shop, as sending them directly to hell. What where the subject of the Bible Sociegood parent could endure thus to ex- ty was mentioned ; on this, his indigile children from 11 to 16 years of nation immediately kindled, and he zge, and doom them to spend their expressed, in unbecoming language, days in the society of abandoned vil- the rancorous and bitter sentiments of lains and prostitutes !

his heart; he was, at this time, so litBotany Bay is an English Purgatory tle master of his passion, that any refrom which it is believed very few ever monstrance would have been ineffect. returned reformed. The most splendid ual-we made no reply, and he soon efforts of the British Christians to ex

I mentioned the circumtend the blessings of the gospel abroad stance to my little girl, then on her can never atone for their dreadful neg- death bed, who, though young in lect of the poor population of their years was old in christian experience on own country.

and asked her what should be done ; But any one who is acquainted with "O father!' she replied, subscribe the history of that nation-with the for a Bible for him! This we did, anıI number of men employed in the work I presented it to the young man, at of slaughter and devastation-with the the same time informing him, who ha? immense appropriations of money for induced us to procure it for him. military establishments and for reward- Forcibly struck with the dying child's ing their heroes; will be able to ac- anxiety to supply him with a Bible, count for the prevalence of vice and he received it with gratitude-he took pauperism, and for their neglect of it home, he read it; deeply impress. educating the poor in the paths of ed with the nature of its contents, hi. virtue, without imputing all the blame wished to share with others the pleas-tp Adam and Eve

ure he himself enjoyed; he read it la

left us.

his fellow servants, who soon imbibed formed in the usual order by Rev. a similar feeling; and one of them, Mr. Bartlett, ef Marblehead; Rev. ardently wishing to be in possession Professor Porter, of Andover ; Rev. of a volume, so unspeakably valuable, Mr. Thurston, of Manchester ; Rev. immediately paid down six shillings, Dr. Worcester, of Salem ; Rev. Mr. Jonging for the time to arrive, when Emerson, of Salem ; Rev. Mr. Edshe could say, this precionis book is wards, of Andover. mine. We received the money with peculiar interest, and with inereased

ORDINATION. conviction, that the work is of God, In Utica, N. Y. Feb. 4, Rev. S. A. and that nothing shall impede its glo- Aikin. cious and triumphant progress.

At a subsequent meeting, the Col- CANDIDATES FOR THE MINISTRY. lectors delivered the following pleas- Mr. Thomas Tracy, Cambridge. ing conclusion to this gratifying anec

Jonathan P. Dabney, do. dote. 66 The remarkable change

Samuel Gilman, do. wrought in the heart of an individual

Thomas Savage,

do. by the perusal of the word of God,

P. Osgood,

do. who, from a bitter enemy, became a

Alvan Lamson.

do. realous advocate for the Bible, was

James Walker, do. lately noticed ; since that time, we F. W. P. Greenwood, do. have been informed, that he earnestly Andrew Bigelow, do. endeavours to improve in the knowl- John Graham Palfrey, do. edge of divine things, and that his ac

Seth Alden.

do. tions prove the sincerity of his profes- E. Q. Sewall, Concord. sions ; he considers the offer of a Bible to a friend as the highest token of

OBITUARY. sincere regard ; and for this purpose Died-in Stratford, Conn. Rev. N. rve have received nine shillings, with Birdsey, aged 103. He had 12 childthe acknowledgement of the privilege ren, 76 grand children, 163 great grand he felt it, to obtain so great a treasure children and 7 of the 5th generation. for so trifling a consideration. Surely In Philadelphia, Rev. Absalom if this were a solitary instance of suc

Jones, aged 72. cessful exertion, this Association In Griswold, Conn. Isaac Hernekwould not have been established in 97. He had 19 children, 92 grand vain !-Appendir to.the 13th Report children, 182 great grand children and of the British and Foreign Bible So- 1 of the fifth generation ; two brothers ciety.

were at his funersl, one aged 93, the

other 81. INSTALLATIONS.

In Salem (N. J.) Henry Plat a black In Plymouth Mass, on the first of

man-106. Jan. Rev. W. S. Torrey, over the At New Haven, General David Third Congregational Church in that Humphreys.

First prayer by the Rev. Mr. At Brookfield, Rev. Ephraim Ward, Huntington of Bridgewater.. Sermon aged 79. from Acts 20, 20. by Rev. Mr. Weeks, In Worcester, Mrs. Mary Chamberof Abington ; consecrating prayer by lain, widow of the late Deacon John Rev. Mr. Dexter, of Plympton ; Chamberlain, aged 70. Charge by Rev. Mr. Riohmond of In Portland, Capt. Timothy Small, Halifax ; Right Hand by Rev. Mr. Colburn, of Abington, and concluding In Hampton, N. H. Hon. CHRISprayer by Rev. Mr. Paine of Middle

TOPHER TAPPAN, aged 83. boroug!).

At Cornwall, Con. Feb. 17, Henry in Beverly, Feb. 16th, Rev. David Obookiah, aged 26, a native of Om. Oliphant, over the Second Church in hyhee, and a member of the Foreiga that place. The services were per- Mission School.

town.

aged 73.

TIIE

CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE.

No. 4.

APRIL, 1818.

Vol. VI

FREEDOM OF ENQUIRY.

For the Christian Disciple.
Mr. Evitor,

We may determine the mer. I have sometimes heard it it or the mischief of free ensaid, that those who respect quiry, by reflecting on its purthe holy scriptures as they poses. These are two, to disought, will not indulge in cover, "Ist what is scripture ; free enquiry ; and that this in- and 2nd what is its meaning. * dulgence of itself, is proof of May we not do this in consisdeficiency in proper respect tency with perfect respect for for them. I cannot accede to the Scriptures ? the truth of the remark. I Let us consider. The first think I have a full and une- object is, to discover what is quivocal respect for the sacred scripture. Now the reason volume, and yet am not able that we are to reverence the to persuade myself that I am Bible, is that it contains a reve forbidden the most thorough elation from God ; and if any and free examination of its part of it should be found not meaning It is true, such to be a part of his revelation, freedom may degenerate into then of course the reverence boldness, imprudence and rash- we fuel from that cause must ness, so that sacred truths

Thus the books called may be treated with unbecom- apocryphal, were found not to ing familiarity. But this is have the necessary authority, , an abuse of it ; and that it were put by themselves, and may be abused, is no proof at are not treated by christians all that it is not useful and with the same respect they right in itself. The best things pay the other books. So too may be abused, and any thing Luther had no respect for the in its excess is bad. Zeal,one epistle of James. ' If we desire of the best things in the chris- to have the pure word of God, tian world, is bad, when it we cannot but be anxious to becomes intemperate enthusi- know whether all the books

which have been handed down ** It will be seen by this, that the views of the writer are limited to the study of the scriptures, and have no concern with the free enquiry in its larger meaning as applied to those who speculate beyond the limits of the s acred writings. Vol. VI.---No. 4.

13

cease.

asm.

we

or

to us, have the necessary au- and dangerous in us to receive thority. Does it indicate any the addition with as much rewant of respect to ask the ques. spect as we receive the rest ? tion ? Is it dangerous to ask It is a false, superstitious revthe question ? For has it not erence for these books, which been asked and answered, by would make us afraid of purmen capable of enquiring and suing such enquiries, as if deciding, and are not these it were impious to satisfy ourdiscussions in our hands, and selves whether they are now yet do we not as firmly believe exactly as the holy men wrote and honour our bible, as them. It is yet worse, when should have done otherwise ? an error has been pointed out,

But then, some books in this still fondly to cherish it, as if it volume were written nearly were the word of truth when two thousand, and some more it is not. Perhaps a man will than three thousand years ago; say, that if we admit there is and during this period have one error, we must another, been copicd again and again and then alıother, and so on by different persons. The without end. But it is not so, question naturally occurs, is These enquiries have actually it not possible that a few mis. been made, by men who had takes may have crept in ? means and opportunity, dili. that some designing men may gently, faithfully, honestly. have made unwarrantable ad. And what is the result ? That ditions ? When such ques. scripture is uncertain ? Not tions arise, it cannot be from at all, but quite the contrary. disrespect that we seek an an- The result is, that during near swer. May we not say, that two thousand years, these holy

one thing has greater books have passed down to us genuine regard for these writ. almost unaltered. Our confiings been manifested in the dence in them, as the sure christian world, than in those guides of all faith and conduct, diligent researches which have is confirmed. It is idle to be been made to detect and ex. frightened at their errors ; for pose the corruptions which we know what they are, we have crept into them; and know how to correct them, - which have now given us such and they cannot lead us astray. fixed assurance that providence Therefore such a mode of enallowed but few, that we can quiry concerning the Scriptrust our faith and our souls to tures, so far from being inthem with unhesitating confi- consistent with proper respect, dence. If any one give us for appears to me the truest and the word of God what is not strongest proof of it which can so, ought we not to reject it? be given. and if so great a wo is de- The same is true in regard nounced against those who to the second purpose of free should take away from the pro- enquiry--to determine the phecy of the book of Revela- meaning of the scriptures. tion, would it not be wrong Here is a volume of writings

in no

US

[ocr errors]

which claim divine authority ; ciated in our minds, are not every thing delivered here is easily persuaded that they can to be received as true and be erroneous. For instance, obeyed without dispute. Its to baptize, has from out infandoctrines and laws are unre- cy conveyed the same meanservedly binding upon us. ing to our minds as to sprinWhat enquiry then can bekle ; therefore the image of more important than this sprinkling rises before what are these doctrines and whenever we meet the word lays ? With respect to many in the New Testament, and of them, different opinions how difficult to fancy it with have been entertained among any other meaning. It is the .christians. Some have learn- same with innumerable other ed that baptism belongs only words. But when we see thx to the grown, while others others, our equals and supethink it enjoined likewise on riors in religious knowledge, .children. Some understand understand such language difthe bible to teach that man is ferently, must we not think it utterly incapable of doing any possible we may be mistaken? thing toward his own salva. Is it any mark of proper retion ; others understand the spect for the scriptures to in.contrary. Some learn from it sist that we cannot be mistak, that the one God exists in

en ; to refuse to enquire three persons ; others think it whether we be or not? Is it teaches there is only one per- not rather a blameable confi. son as well as one Being. dence in our own correctness? There are many other differ- There are some who have ences of equal importance. an unconquerable dread and Can it be irreverence or dis- horror of every thing that can respect to search out very be said to show, that any pascarefully and freely on such sage in the bible means any subjects; what the real inten- thing different from what tlcy tion of scripture is ?-Is it not have always thought it to rather a mark of regard to

If you attempt to ex. them ? For are not our pre- plain a text which they have vious ideas, and our first inter- misunderstood, they think it pretations of scripture lan- dangerous to listen to you ; guage, the result of our edu. they are afraid you intend to cation, rather than our actual destroy their faith and their knowledge ? We have been souls ; they almost think it a educated to understand the sin to put themselves in the expressions of scripture on way of hearing what you have these subjects in a certain to urge. This, they think, is sense-the sense which honouring divine truth, and they were understood by those proving their veneration for with whom have lived. The oracles. But they err, and We have learned to affix cer- deceive themselves, They tain ideas to certain phrases, but too much remind us of the and, having these firmly asso. Jews in the days of our Si.

mean.

in

we

« НазадПродовжити »