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I SEND you the following IMPROMPTU by a gentleman in England, Alumnus of Harvard University, and respectable for his talents and character. It arose literally out of the circumstances mentioned. It contains a moral, which the intelligent reader will readily apply to every sentiment, forced upon the public mind by custom or antiquity, and unsupported by reason or scripture, whether such sentiment relates to church or state, to war or peace. Some of the party present, devoted to high church and to the national ecclesiastical establishments, were a little indignant, and thought the reader, who was educated a moderate dissenter, had evinced a want of reverence for the only true church.
In a conversation with a few friends on church government, a clergyman who was of the party said, "No one was enti tled to administer the offices of the church, who had not received Episcopal ordination; for wherever the episcopal succession is preserved, there only is a true Church. "Nulla Ecclesia sine Episcopo." Tertullian.
The opinion of the gentleman being required, he replied, There is in the history of one of the Indian tribes in America an anecdote somewhat analo. gous, which with permission I will read. Taking down a book, he apparently read what follows:
* Ferunt, si justum est credi, etiam ignem cœlitus lapsum apud se sempiternis foculis custodire-Amm. Marcellinus.
ables us to draw fire immediately from the great day-star. With this the Tuscaroras arc accustomed to light their pipes. (A belt of wampum)
"Our young men are expert at the tomahawk; our squaws are ingenious at roasting prisoners; and the arm of Commemoroonah has not lost its vigour." (Three belts of wampum)
In the succeeding moon the scouts of Tuscarora gave notice of the approach of Alpequot. Commemoroonah dressed an ambuscade. A battle was fought; and the bones of the Chippewas now lie bleaching on the plains of Musking: H.
ANTICIPATED FULFILLING OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE
Dr. INCREASE MATHER in his "Exhortations to faith and fervency in prayer," published in 1710, makes the following remarks.
more should we be in prayer as we see the day approaching when the glorious prophecies and promises shall receive their accomplishment. We are "The providence of God is assured that when the sixth calling us to prayer. Great trumpet, called also the second things are doing in the world. wo, has done its work, the Wonderful revolutions there seventh trumpet, called the have been in our days, and third wo, will come quickly. greater are expected. Are not Now there is reason to hope the nations in travelling pains? that the second wo is past, that We see the beginning of sor- is, that the Turk shall be no rows. Are not the judgements more such a plague to the of God abroad in the earth? christian world as for ages past The sword is devouring in ma- he has been. At the time ny places, and in some the fam- when the second wo passeth ine and pestilence. A vial is away there is to be a great pouring upon the earth and if earthquake; in that earthquake we consider our state, does it one of the ten kingdoms over not call for prayer? What which Antichrist has reigned frowns of heaven have been will fall.*"_" There is a great upon us! And so much the earthquake among the nations, page 87.
BE THAT TENTH PART OF THE
MAY THE KINGDOM OF FRANCE REVOLUTION THERE! We
CITY WHICH SHALL FALL!
INDULGENCE FOR ROBBERY.
JOHN TETZEL, a Dominican inquisitor, employed to sell the indulgences of Pope Leo X. travelled throughout various parts of Europe persuading the people that the moment any person had paid the money for his indulgence, he might be certain of his salvation; for all his crimes, however enormous, would be forgiven. At Leipsic, it is said, that after he had "scraped together a great deal of money from all ranks of people," a nobleman who suspected the imposture, put this question to him-" Can you grant absolution for a sin which a man all intend to commit in future?" "Yes," replied the frontless commissioner, "but on condition that the proper sum of money be actually paid down." The nobleman instantly produced the sum demanded, and in return
A MAN of letters on viewing the destruction of his library by fire, observed, "I should have gained but little improvement from my books, if I knew not how to bear the loss of them."
LESSONS USEFUL AND ENTERTAINING.
WHEN Fenelon lost his library by fire, he exclaimed "God be praised that it is not the cottage of some poor family " This was characteristic
received a diploma sealed and signed by Tetzel, absolving him from the unexplained crime which he secretly intended to commit. Not long after, when Tetzel was about to leave Leipsic the nobleman made inquiry respecting the road he would probably travel, waited for him in ambush at a convenient place, attacked and robbed him; then beat him soundly with a stick, sent him back again to Leipsic with his chest empty, and, parting, said, "This is the fault I intended to commit, and for which I have your absolution !"
This humorous story is related by the cautious Seckendorf, and may serve to show the almost incredible lengths to which the popish agents proceeded in the detestable traffic so clearly laid open by this anecdote. Am. Baf. Mag.
of the amiable archbishop of Cambray, and expressive of his compassion for the poor. By his tenderness towards the poor peasants, his kindness to them in their distresses, his habit of visiting them to impart to them of the good things of this life and the consolations of religion, he gained their affections in a remarkable manner. They regarded him as a father and venerated his name long after his
death. "There, they would say, is the wooden chair in which our good Archbishop used to sit amongst us;" and weeping they would add "Ah! we shall never see him more !"
FENELON wrote against the Jansenists, believing that their doctrine was dishonorary to God and injurious to man. What a terrible Being, said he, do they make of God! For my part I consider him as a good Being And I can never consent to regard him as a tyrant, who having fettered us, commands us to walk and then punishes us because we cannot obey him."
Still however Fenelon was averse to every mode of persecution. "Let us be," said he, "with respect to them, what they will not permit the Divine Being to be with regard to mankind, full of mercy and indulgence." He was told that the Jansenists were his avowed enemies and omitted no opportunity of decrying him and his doctrine;" a more forcible reason still, said he, to forbear and forgive them."-Fenelon had learned of him who was meek and lowly of heart.
On a certain day Louis XIV. attended church and was much astonished to find only one of his court present. He demanded the reason of the major of the guards. "Sire, replied the officer, I had given it out that your majesty would not attend divine service this morning. I was happy in your having an opportunity of knowing for yourself, those who come hither to pay their devotions to God, and those who only come to pay their court to your majesty."
"ON complicated questions men will always differ in opinion but conscious each of the weakness of his own understanding and sensible of the bias which the strongest minds are apt to receive from thinking long in the same track they ought to differ with charity and meekness.
LORD chancellor King, in a conversation with Mr. Whiston, vindicated the practice of some of the English clergy, in subscribing articles of faith which they do not believe-"because, said he, we must not lose our usefulness for scruples" Whiston asked his lordship "whether in his court they allowed of such prevarication ?" The chancellor answered, “We do not." Whiston replied, "suppose God Almighty should be as just in the next world as my lord chancellor is in this, where are we then !"
CANDID REFLECTIONS BY AN ORTHODOX CONTROVERSIAL WRITER.
Since unhappily there are still so many subjects of debate among those who name the name of Christ, it is doubtless every man's duty, after divesting himself as much as possible of prejudice, to investigate these subjects with accuracy and to adhere to that side of each disputed question which
after such investigation appears to him to be the truth; but he transgresses the favourite precept of his divine Master when he casts injurious reflections or denounces anathemas upon those who with equal sincerity
From the N. Y. Christian Herald. RELIGIOUS CONVENTION OF CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS.
Ar a meeting of Ministers of the Gospel and Christian brethren of different denominations, convened on the 18th of December, 1817, at Clear Creek Church, near Washington, in the State of Missisippi, pursuant to information publicly given, for the purpose of mutually reciprocating the expressions of Christian friendship, and endeavouring unitedly to promote the common interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom; the following ministers were present;--Rev. David Cooper, Rev. William Montgomery, Rev. James A. Ranaldson, Rev. Daniel Smith, Rev. Lawrence Scarborough, Rev. John M. Menefee, Rev. Benjamin Davis, and Rev. Elias Cornelius, Missionary, Rev. Wm. M'Mahon.
The Rev. David Cooper was chosen Moderator, and Rev. E. Cornelius, Secretary.
may view the matter in a different light, and by his want of charity does more harm to the religion of the Prince of Peace, than he would do good were he able to convert all mankind to his own orthodox opinions."
The Meeting having been opened with divine worship, it was moved and seconded, that all officers of any Christian Church who might be present, be considered as forming a part of this Religious Convention: when it appeared that the following officers of churches were present:-Messrs. John Henderson, Abraham Galtney, Joel Pate, Wm. Foster, Wm. Snodgrass.
At request, the Rev. Mr. Montgomery rose to explain the objects of the meeting as originally contempla ted by the Rev. Joseph Bullen and other ministers of the gospel, at whose request the appointment had been made. These objects it appeared were in a high degree benevolent, and such as every real friend of Christ, of whatever name, could not but regard Vol. VI.-No. 4. 16
with equal concern. It was conceived that in all countries, and particularly in this, where the harvest is great and the labourers few, there there should be as strong a bond of union among the different denominations of Christians as possible. As the grand object is one, so their efforts to obtain it should not be weakeded by unnecessary divisions. It had long been a desideratum among the good, that practical demonstration should be given to the unbelieving and the ungodly, that however much the followers of Christ might differ upon subjects of smaller moment, they have in fact, a common interest -a common cause- -the cause of virtue and of God. With the view of unitedly and effectually promoting this cause the present meeting had been called; and it was hoped by the help of God it would soon appear that it had not been called in vain.
These sentiments were followed by the most cordial and animated expressions of mutual approbation by the brethren present, who all seemed to partake of the same spirit of love, and to be governed by the same purpose of united efforts for the promotion of true piety and Christian morality.
The Rev. Mr. Bullen having arrived, united in expressing his congratulations on the occasion "of the meeting, and explained still further the subjects originally contemplated for discussion, particularly the expediency of an annual meeting of the different denominations of Christians in this country for the purpose of increasing and perpetuating those happy results, which he believed could not fail to be produced by such an extensive concentration of Chris