« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
a translation conformable to its own ||tures. Infidels are not often overburcreed. By the simple principle of the thened with solid learning and extenBible Society, this confusion is happi- || sive information; they may, however, ly prevented. Amidst the heat of learn from history, that philosophy has controversy, the shock of parties, and never been equal to the task of weakthe collision of argument, it is highlyening, much less of destroying, the gratifying to a benevolent mind to dis-powers of idolatry and superstition. cover a temple of peace, at the gates in the states of Greece, where philosof which weapons of hostility are ophy shone in her brightest splendors, thrown away, and where all may meet the people worshipped thirty thousand as fellow-citizens of the Heavenly Je-deities, while Jehovah, the Lord of the rusalem. Admitting that we have universe, was the unknown God; and truth on our side, we may very rea- | modern Bengal furnishes an example sonably be grieved, that others should of a similar kind. Only by the Gospel set up systems in direct opposition ;|| were the Pagan altars overturned, eibut, surely, it is unreasonable, it is lit-ther in Greece or Rome. Deism is a tle short of madness, to be angry with tare which flourishes only in the field one another, because we happen to where the seeds of Christianity have think alike, and that upon a question previously been sown.
Hence a senwhich, by universal suffrage, is ofsible Deist, conscious of the insufficienparamount importance. The disunioncy of philosophy to promote his de recommended by the opponents of the signs, must be a friend to the spreadSociety, would effectually defeat the ing of the Gospel in Pagan nations. object of all parties, without providing Idolatry, with its sanguinary rites, beany thing as a remedy for so greating overthrown, the lurid gloom of sua damage. What is it that constitutes perstition dispersed, and the notion of the glory of this institution, and reflects one God generally established, then is honor upon the name, Christian, the the time for the Deist, with his false highest style of man? It is the principle philosophy, to work, persuading manof union and co-operation. What is it kind that this knowledge is the offspring that charms down the dæmon of dis- of nature alone, and that revelation is cord-lessons the features of deformi- unnecessary.
Thus infidelity may ty, which the fogs of prejudice had | look favourably on the dispersion of magnified, and even converts deformi-the Bible, hoping that thereby its inty into beauty, amongst contending par- terests will be eventually promoted by ties? It is the principle of union and introducing the Golden Age of Reason, co-operation. What is it that secures | the Millennium of Infidels. the dispersion of the Scriptures, pure Christians and feilow-citizens, let and unadulterated, according to the no opposition damp your generous arauthorised version ? It is the principle dour or weaken your exertions. Your of union and co-operation. What is it object is good, it is bumane, it is God. that creates the hones and the muscles, like,--to send the Apostles and the the nerves and the blood of the sys- | Prophets to preach to all nations, in tem, and gives life, motion, and ener-| their own languages, the wonderful gy to the whole economy? It is the works of God. Your success is cersame principle of union and co-opera- tain: Omnipotent Love is engaged in tion. Disunion would stain our glory || your cause, and it must prevail. and paralize all our exertions.—Gen-|To exceed the limits of your comtlemen, it may probably appear para-| mission is impossible.
Hear once doxicalit is nevertheless, a truth more the solemn mandate: “Go ye that the Deist, if a man of sense and forth unto all the world, and preach humanity, in order to act consistently the Gospel to every creature." By with his own sentiments, ought to take the invention of the art of printing, a part in the distribution of the Scrip- the construction and application of the
mariner's compass and the subsequent|| lence of the whole Empire ; amongst improvements in the art of navigation ;| forty societies, auxiliaries to the parby the discovery of countries, for agesent institution, which have all done lost in impenetrable obscurity : by ex-well, without ostentation, thou holdest tending the British empire to every | the pre-eminence. May thy glory nepart of the globe; by opening a com-|| ver depart! May thy resources never mercial, or at least, a friendly inter-|| be drained! Mayest thou ever contend course between those distant countries|(it is an honest warfare) for the highand our own: by directing the sons of|est place in the scale of benevolence. science to the Eastern world, as to a field of ancient literature unexplored ; LETTER FROM MR. WILBERFORCE. by making many of the Heathen, at
The following paragraphs are extracted different times, acquainted with some from a letter lately received by the Rev. Dr. of the leading doctrines of Christiani-|| Morse from the Hon. William Wilberforce, ty; by rousing the attention of the re
Esq. a gentleman whose excellent character ligious world,
particularly in Britain, and admirable exertions for the promotion Germany, and America, Providence
of buman happiness, are familiarly known in hath been employed for many centu
this country. Dr. Morse, in the letter te ries, preparing facilities for the execu
which the following is an answer, had lation of your designs. And now, Gentlemen, is the time for action; the mented the existing war between G. Britain fields are already white unto the har- and the United States, particularly as it imvest. Press forward in your glorious pedes the efforts of Christians in both councareer. If angels are spectators of what tries for the diffusion of Christianity. Par. passes here below; if their be joy a “ North London, March 17, 1814. mongst them over one sinner that re My dear Sir, penteth; however they may look “ I am so very unwilling to loose this down, with pity or contempt, upon the opportunity of exchanging, from the agitation of the childish and criminal heart, your peaceful salutation, that I passions of mankind, they behold you instantly lay aside some very pressing with peculiar approbation; they mark | business, in which I was engaged, for your progress, and attune their hea-| the purpose of scribbling a brief and venly voices, as you advance, to strainshasty reply to your most welcome such as the shepherds of Bethlehem epistle. once heard; Glory to God in the high “The wise man, or rather the Wisest; on earth, peace, good will to-dom of Revelation, has compared wards men.” Oh, England! England ! "good news from a far country” to my native country, I love thee from the gratification of the most importumy heart: and, while yet a nook is nate of our bodily wants and appetites; left where English minds and manners | and surely this news is justly more may be found, shall be constrained to grateful, when it conveys the accents love thee. Great are thy crimes, but of peace and love from a country, once great are thy virtues. Awful and dig-a land, literally as well as figuratively, Dified is thy posture; firm amidst the of brethren, but since rendered not onwreck of kingdoms; that by the be-ly strange but hostile; and when those nevolence of thy sons, the od of accents are strictly in unison with the mercy may send forth the Gospel of feelings of the person to whom they salvation to all the world. May Om-l are addressed, and, as potes in unison nipotence ever be thy bulwark !And are wont to do, call forth responsive thou, O Bristol ! who hast been eyes tones of kindred harmony. Indeed, to the blind, and feet to the lame; in my dear Sir, I have scarcely been able whose bosom misery, in every form, to confine myself to metaphorical has found an asylum, and who 'nobly language, while I have been writing exhibitest an epitome of the benevo-|| the above sentence.' We do bot la
ment the death of a wife, or a child in “Farewell, my dear Sir. I rejoice couplets, but in broken and rude sen to think, that amid war and misery tences; and I have with difficulty re- the sources of peace and happiness, strained my pen from more simple (their only true sources,) are multiplyexpressions of unaffected grief op ac- ing, in the number and exuberance of count of this sad war, in which our their healing streams, in both our coun two countries are engaged.”.
tries. The great, yet still growing suc
cess of the Bible Society, (the British “ It is balm to my wounded feel- and Foreign of course I mean,)-the ings to indulge, as I justly way, the re-i increased yet still increasing prevaflection, that these feelings of mine lence of the missionary spirit—the adare by no means peculiar to myself, vanced and the continually advancing but that they are those of almost all progress of education among adults, good men among us; and surely this and even the aged, as well as among consideration may both lead us to children, with various other particulars hope, that the war will not be of much which I could specify above all, longer duration, and also that, when the increased and increasing number peace shall once more be restored, it of pious and truly enlightened and ferwill be peace indeed, and the two vent ministers of our Church Estabcountries will not be likely again to lishment, as well as the success and suffer themselves to be drawn into a growing charity of various classes of rupture. But I must turn to other to- Dissenters_all these quite warm mỹ pics, and hasten to a conclusion of my heart, and fill me with hope, as well hurried scrawl; for by keeping it be- || as, I trust, with gratitude. It is with yond to-day, I may lose altogether the difficulty, that I force myself to conopportunity of conveying it to you. clude with begging you to remember
“It rejoices my heart to find, that me and my wife, and dear children, in the friends of religion, on your side of your prayers, and assuring you that, the Atlantic, are interested for the be- I am with, real esteem and regard, my nighted millions of our Indian empire. | dear Sir, I will take the liberty of sending you a
Yours very sincerely, copy of a publication of two of my
W. WILBERFORCE. speeches (put together) on that subject. The Christian Observer's kind partiality spoke of my efforts on that
RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. occasion so favorably, that, were rep- ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUutation my object, I should have abstained from printing my speeches.
This Society held its fifteenth annuBut they contained some passages, al meeting in Boston, on the 24th and (extracted from the ponderous vol. 25th days of May last. The meeting umes of East India Documents laid was opened by singing an appropriate on the table of the House of Commons, psalm, after which the Rev. Dr. Springs during the progress of the measure,) in the absence of the President, offer. which appear to me decisive on the ed a prayer. The Society then attendcontroverted points, of the moral char-ed to the following acter of the Hindoos, &c. therefore, as the only way of providing for the diffusion of these, I consented to the pub Brethren, lication. On consideration I will send The season has again returned, at you four copies, as you may perhaps which it is made the duty of the Truse be able to circulate them among your tees to report to you their doings, and religious friends and connexions in such information as may be interesting other parts of America."
and useful, in regard to the great object for which we are associated.
SETTS MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES.
At the last anniversary, such infor-/ remarkably blessed with effusions of mation was communicated as had then the Holy Spirit, and as being in a ve. been received from Messrs. Schermer-ry prosperous state; but many thou. horn and Mills, who, ander the patron- sands around them are unsupplied with age, partly of this Society and partly the stated means of religion, and are of other Societies, were engaged in a famishing for the word of life. missionary tour in the western and In the state of Ohio, containing a southern parts of our country. But population of more than 330,000, there they had not then returạed; nor was are 78 Presbyterian or Congregational the Board then in possession of a full churches, and 49 ministers; between account of their mission. As general | 20 & 30 Methodist preachers, employe intelligence for the use of missionary ed in different circuits; 10 or 12 Bapsocieties was a great object of that mis- tists societies; several societies of gion, and as the two missionaries were Friends or Quakers; considerable num. remarkably industrious in collectingbers of a sect called New lights ; a few intelligence; it is thought right to re-Halcyons, a few Swedenburghers, and port a brief summary of what, since too many Universalists & Deists. The their return, they have largely com-|| district of this state called New-Cons municated, as the result of their obser-necticut, the inhabitants of which are vations and inquiries. The summary in great part from the states of Con is as follows:
necticut and Massachusetts, has receiv, In the state of PENNSYLVANIA, Wested very particular attention from the of the Allegany mountains, there are Connecticut Missionary Society, has about 20,000 inhabitants; 101 Presby- been recently favored with special di. terian* churches, and 57 ministers; vine influences, and, on the whole, two Methodist circuits, in which are presents a comparatively pleasing and employed 12 itinerant preachers; ve- hopeful aspect. In some other parts ry few, if any Baptists; a few Halcy-|of the state some attention is paid to ons; and a society of Germans, who religious institutions, and a few flourishhave all things in common, are remark-ing churches are established; but in able for industry, sobriety and order, the state at large the means of religion and have a preacher, zealous in direct- are but scantily supplied and lightly ing their attention to divine things.-esteemed, and the apparent conseIn this district there are two small col- | quences are such as might reasonably Leges, whose pious instructors make it be expected. The Sabbath is awful. a very particular object to preparely disregarded, gross ignorance of diyoung men for the ministry; but the vine things is general, and great laxity means of general education are scan- of morals prevails. At Marietta, ty. The Synod of Pittsburgh, com- Messrs. Schermerhorn and Mills sucposed of Presbyteries partly within ceeded in obtaining the establishment this district and partly within the ad- of a Bible Society, which received the joining state of Ohio, acts as a Mission-support of the pious of different denoary Society; and expends annually, minations; and by which three minabout one thousand dollars for mis-i isters were appointed to ride through sionary objects, a considerable part of the state to preach on the subject, which som has been applied for the shewing the importance of such an inbenefit of the Wyandot Indians. The stitution, and soliciting subscriptions churches within the limits of this Sy- and donations. Rod, are represented as having been In the state of VIRGINIA, containing *Under this name are included, not only are only about 70 churches, Presbyte
a population of almost a million, there The Presbyterians connected with the Gen. eral Assembly, but also those of the Asso-|| rian or Congregational, and about 40 ciate Reformed and of the Associate Synod|| ministers. In what is called Old VirGovenanters, and Congregationalists. ginia, or the part of the state from the
I VOL. II.
sea board back to the Blue Ridge, the || are nevertheless active. In 1812 no fess Episcopal church, which formerly than 3 infidel publications issued from held a complete ascendancy, and was the press in Lexington; a copy of one endowed, is now in a deplorable con- of which, elegantly bound, was predition. To about one hundred Epis-sented to each member of the legislacopal societies, which have still some ture. In this state there are very few existence, the number of clergymea is schools, owing, it is said, in great part computed at less than thirty. The so-to a prevalent Baptist influence, uncieties have for a considerable time friendly to learning. The mass of been dwindling and the houses decay- the people, extremely ignorant, are ing; and the district at large, com- either entirely regardless of religion, prising nearly : three fourths of the or lamentably blown about by every whole population of the state, though wird of doctrine. The Sabbath retraversed by itinerent Methodists and ceives very little religious regard; and Baptists, yet exhibits, in a religious res- intemperance, profanity, gambling pect, an extensive and dreary waste. and lewdness are prevaleat vices. The district between the Blue Ridge TENNESSEE, with more than 260and the Allegany mountains presents 000 inhabitants, has 79 Presbyterian a different aspect. With scarcely a churches, and 26 ministers; 19 itinerseventh part of the whole population | ant Methodist preachers, employed in of the state, it contains just about one several circuits; 126 Baptist Churchhalf of the total number of the Pres-es, and 74 preachers; a few New Lights, byterian or Congregational churches and some of various other denominaand ministers; and these churches are | tions. The Presbyterian interest is insaid to be in a more flourishing con-creasing. In east Tennessee, the two dition, than any elsewhere to be found Colleges, one at Knoxville and the othin the Southern States. In the re-er in Green County, are great blessings. maining district, comprising the coun- At the latter, (of which the Reverend ties west of the Allegany, there are Charles Coffin, D, D. is President,) but twelve Presbyterian churches and there were several students preparing three ministers; but the Methodists for the ministry, when our missionaand Baptists are considerably numer-ries were there. In this district also, ous.--In this ancient and great state there has recently been established a there is a most melancholy famine of Society, Missionary, Tract, and Bible, the word of the Lord.
the only Missionary Society, exceptKENTUCKY, with a population of ing the Synod of Pittsburgh, west of more than four hundred thousand, has the Allegany. In relation to this so91 Presbyterian churches, and 40 min-ciety, the Rev. President Coffin, in a isters;
20 Methodist circuits, in which letter to Mr. Schermerhorn, says, about as many itinerant preachers are “For our Society we expect more employed; 293 Baptist societies of members than means,and more ground different descriptions, and 148 preach-than our missionaries can occupy. I ers; two Episcopal churches ; sever-|| should anticipate great good were the al societies of New-Lights; a consid- Massachusetts Missionary Society to erable number of Roman Catholic 90-turn some attention to this, state. I cieties; some Shakers, Dunkers, and was one who assisted to organize Universalists;and many Infidels. Of the that S; I greatly rejoice in its inBaptists one entire Association, com-crease, and have reason to hope they prising 28 churches, is Arian or Socin- will try to aid us to the extent of their ian. The Roman catholics have a Bish-power."-In West Tennessee, the op; a College, a Nunnery, several Rev. Mr. Blackburn is of opinion, chapels in different counties, and are that many churches might be organizsaid to be increasing. The Infidels, ed, if there were a proper person emtho' less open and bold than formerly, ployed in the business; and regrets