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ings be such as becometh Christians. Then our prayers will not return empty. "He who knoweth our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking, will have compassion on

THE HARMONIST SOCIETY.*

THIS Society had its origin in Wurtemburg, in Germany, about the year 1785, and was founded by George Rapp. The Lutheran religion was then predominant in that country; but in the opinion of Mr. Rapp, it was made an engine of power rather than a principle to regenerate the mind and regulate the life. He soon obtained a number of adherents who form ed themselves into a society. But they were despised and persecuted, subjected to fines and imprisonments, for their dissent from the dominant party. In 1803, Mr. Rapp with some others, as deputies for the society, arrived at Philadelphia; and, passing into the western country, they fixed on a situation about 25 miles from Pitts burg.

our infirmities; and those things which for our unworthiness we dare not ask, with all that is necessary, he will vouchsafe to give for his mercy sake.” A.

Having determined an a place of residence they wrote to the Society in Germany. In 1804 the whole Society consisting of about 150 or 160 families embarked in three vessels at Amsterdam. One of the vessels arrived at Baltimore, the other two at Philadelphia, where Mr. Rapp was waiting to receive them. In November, 40 of these families moved to the westward, a journey of 320 miles, built 9 log houses in

which they resided during the winter. In the spring 50 more of the families arrived to join them; and the Society was organized by a constitution grounded on Acts iv. 32" And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."

Thus constituted they laid out a town, and in commemoration of their unity in sentiment and brotherly affection, they called it Harmony. This year they built 46 log houses, a largebarn and a grist-mill, cleared 150 acres of land for corn, 40 for potatoes, and 15 for a mead

OW.

In 1806, they built an inn, partly of stone, a framed barn 100 feet long, an oil-mill, a blue dyer's shop, sunk a tannery, cleared 300 acres of land for corn and 58 for meadow. In 1807, they erected a brick storehouse, a saw-mill and a brewery, 400 acres of land were cleared for grain and meadow, and 4 acres of vines were planted. In 1808, they built a meetinghouse of brick 70 feet by 55, a brick dwelling-house, a frame barn 80 feet long, and a bridge over a cr of 220 feet.

In 1809, they built a fulling

*The principal facts now to be given relating to this amiable Society have been collected from the "Travels" of John Mellish.

mill, a grist-mill, a briek warehouse, and another brick building. A considerable quantity of land was cleared, and their produce was 6000 bushels of corn; 4500 of wheat, 4500 of rye, 5000 of oats, 10,000 of potatoes, 4000 lbs. of flax and hemp, and 50 gallons of sweetoil, made from the seeds of white poppy.

In 1810, a wool-carding machine and two spinning jennies were erected for the fabrication of broadcloth from merino wool, a framed barn 100 feet long, and a brick house, the lower story for the accommodation of 20 weavers' looms, the second for a school-room.

When Mr. Mellish visited the Society it consisted of about 800 members. The operative members were nearly as follows100 farmers, 3 shepherds, 10 masons, 3 stone-cutters, 3 brick-makers, 10 carpenters, 2 sawyers, 10 smiths, 2 waggon-makers, 3 turners, 2 nailers, 7 coopers, 3 rope-makers, 10 shoe-makers, 2 saddlers, 3 tanners, 7 tailors, 1 soapboiler, 1 brewer, 4 distillers, 1 gardener, 2 grist-millers, 2 oilmillers, 1 butcher, 6 joiners, 6 dyers, dressers, shearers, &c. 1 fuller, 2 hatters, 2 potters, 2 warpers, 17 weavers, 2 carders, 8 spinners, 1 rover, 1 minister of religion, 1 school-master, 1 doctor, 1 store-keeper with two assistants, 1 tavern-keeper with one assistant.

When the Society was first established here, the whole of their property, after defraying their expences, amounted to about 20,000 dollars. This was soon expended in the payment for their lands and in support

ing themselves till they could bring their industry into operation. But when Mr. Mellish was at Harmony, their property was estimated at 220,000 dollars, and they had cleared 2,500 acres. Frederic Rapp, son of George Rapp, was the principal manager and superintendant.

The youth of the Society are kept at school till the age of 14. The school hours are in the forenoon-the afternoon is devoted to such labour as they can easily perform, it being a branch of their economy to teach their children to labour as well as to read and write. They are taught both the German and English languages, with writing and arithmetic.

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The town is watched by night by two men. At nine o'clock the watchman is heard to say, Again a day is past, and a step made nearer to our end-our time runs away, and the joys of heaven are our reward.' They repeat the latter sentence at eleven, twelve, one, and two o'clock, and at three they call - Again night is past, and the morning is come-our time runs away and the joys of heaven are our reward.'

"In the evening, says Mr. Mellish, the Society assembled for divine service, and we attended. The church was quite full, the number of persons being not less than 500. The women sat all at one end, and the men at the other. They were singing a hymn, in which they all joined with one accord. After singing they all knelt down to prayer. We followed their example, and never did I pray more devoutly. I did not understand a word of the prayer;

but I saw that this interesting Society were under the influence of the spirit of God, and that they worshipped him with reverence and godly fear. Tears of joy came into my eyes as I exclaimed mentally-This indeed is true Christianity, this is worshipping God in spirit and truth. It contributes to true felicity here, and prepares the soul for consummate bliss hereafter. After prayer, Mr. Rapp delivered a sermon with great animation, to which all the congregation paid the most devout attention."

"The basis of the Society is religion, and all their temporal concerns are managed in subservieney to it. The greater part of the people were bred in the Lutheran persuasion, and their views of religion are nearJy in conformity to it; but the principles which bind them to gether as a Society may be shortly expressed--Love to God, good will towards man, purity of life and a community of goods. The pastor is considered as having the call of God. His prayers and sermons are delivered extempore. If he be absent the Society meet and confer on religious subjects. He is assisted in the management of the religious concerns by elders and deacons appointed by the Society."

"On Sunday the Society meet in their religious capacity at 9 o'clock in the school-room, to examine the children, who exhibit different specimens of their performances. This ends about 11; they meet in the church at 12, when they go through the same exercises as those before noticed, which last about an

hour and a half. They have another meeting at 6 o'clock in the evening; and besides the meetings on Sundays, they have a sermon two nights in the week."

"There is no instance of the church being neglected by those who are well and able to walk. It is their delight to attend it, and the religious and moral deportment of the whole Society is highly praiseworthy. There are no vicious habits among them. There is not an instance of swearing or lying, or debauchery of any kind; and as to cheating, so commonly praetised in civilized society, they have no temptation to it whatever. As individuals they have no use for money and no fear of want."

Mr. Mellish further observes, "It has been doubted whether the Society will continue united, on which alone depends their prosperity. From the principle on which the connexion is formed, and the objects they have in view, I am of opinion they will not only continue united but that they will, in all probability, be a model for other Societies. If their union continue, their prospects are bright indeed, both for time and eternity. Here they have the mutual aid of each other, and are free from a thousand temptations to which mankind in general are subjected. Having no fear of want they have literally no care for the morrow-they have no use for money, the love of which is the root of all evil. In health they have the fellowship of people of the like mind with themselves-in sickness, they have the advice and as

sistance of friends on whom they can rely with perfect confidence of a medical man, who can have no wish but to render them a service,—and of a minister of religion, to pour the balm of spiritual consolation into their wounded spirits without money and without price. At death they can resign their offspring to the charge of the Society in the full confidence of their well being-which single circumstance disarms the grim messenger of more than half his terrors. And the purity of their life having fitted them for the enjoyment of God, they can resign their spirits into the hands of the merciful Father of spirits; and their bodies being consigned to the dust among the abodes of their brethren, their graves are so many memorials of their virtues.”

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Any person may join the Society; and the mode of doing so is equally simple with all the other regulations. They have no religious test. The candidate intimates his intention, and is received on trial one month, during which he lives at the tavern. If he is then satisfied, and chooses to conform to their principles of morality, he is forthwith admitted as a member, and entitled to all the privileges of the Society. If he is rich, he deposites all his property in the common stock-if he is poor, he has no lack, all his wants are supplied out of that stock."

We have now given the principal facts recorded by Mr. Mellish respecting the Harmonist Society. Within a few

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years this people sold their property in Pennsylvania and removed still farther to the westward, and settled, if we mistake not, in Indiana. If the account of them by Mr. Mellish, and by others who have visited them, be correct, they are justly entitled to a very high rank among the many denominations of Christians. Perhaps there is not one in our country which has higher claims to the character of disciples of the Prince of peace. As becomes his followers they are decided in their principles against war, and disposed to live in peace, not only among themselves but with all men Yet, like their Lord and Master, they were traduced and persecuted in their own country.

Let Christians of other denominations who adopt a human creed as a test of character, compare themselves and the people of their respective sects with the Harmonist Society, and then ask themselves, whether the Harmonists do not succeed better without such a test than others do with one; and whether there can be any better test of character than the moral precepts of the gospel. After all the contentions among Christians and all the censures which they have passed on one another, it is not Lutheranism, nor Calvinism, nor Arminianism, nor any other ism of human manufacture, which constitutes a person a follower of Christ; but it is keeping the commandments of God delivered by him.

INCONSISTENCY OF CHRISTIANS.

WHEN We consider the vast extent of the christian morality, and compare it with the inadequate conceptions of duty which many christians entertain, it may well be thought surprising that men should have discovered so much more solicitude to erect standards of faith than standards of practice. The utmost care has been taken to preserve uniformity of doctrine and speculation. Men have guarded the articles of their faith by every possible barrier; and have considered the church in danger when their formularies have been departed from, or their absolute perfection doubted or denied ; but seem never to have thought it equally necessary to vindicate a system of duties. Diversity of sentiment on the subject of practice has been thought a less dangerous heresy than on that of opinion. A church or synod cannot be shown in ecclesiastical history that has established a creed of morals. And though no man who undertakes to collect the opinions of different Christians on this subject of christian purity and require ment, but will discover that their notions are extremely im perfect and erroneous; yet this does not appear to have excited any alarm. The defenders of the faith do not here rush to gether to support the cause of truth; and there is comparatively little anxiety lest the law which Jesus delivered should be invalidated by any unhallowed freedom of inquiry.

Yet are there not some duties of a Christian of which they appear to have no adequate sense? Are there not others which seem to have been set aside by common consent as impracticable or unnecessary? Whence this strange inconsistency then in our religious zeal ? Is it because a standard of duty is not worth erecting? Is it be. cause the intentions of scripture are more plain upon this subject than on articles of faith? Or is it because the love of domination is more flattered by subjecting other men to the rule of our speculations, than by taking care that they do not mistake their duty ? Whatever answer may be given to these questions, no one who makes the scriptures his study need be more surprised or concerned at the variety of doctrines which men have attempted to draw from them, than at the imperfect notions which still exist on the subject of duty. The cause is to be sought, not in the obscurity of our Saviour's precepts, for in general their spirit cannot be mistaken; but it is to be sought in our ignorance of ourselves, in our slavish subjection to custom and fashion, in our evil hearts and thoughtless lives, and. above all, in the great reluctance which every man feels to suffer the standard of duty to be raised much higher than the point to which he has himself attained.

B.

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