Page images


1827. The Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church. 55 of Christians in relation to this sub- turous and enterprising, we dare ject, and the interesting considera- not say in a spiritual sense, that tions by which that duty is en- the wilderness in its wide extent forced. We know that sermons, has budded and blossomed as the and extracts of sermons, are often passed over, when they appear in “Now, whilst it is acknowledged periodical works; but we do hope that much of this irreligion exists that every reader of the Christian in despite of means, or in regions Advocate will not only read, but where the gospel is ably and faithponder, on what follows—The text fully proclaimed, who will deny of the sermon was Matt. ix. 36–38. that a large proportion of it is ma" But when he saw the multitudes, nifestly attributable to an entire he was moved with compassion on absence of divine ordinances ? It is them, because they fainted and alas! most true, that the message were scattered abroad as sheep of reconciliation has never yet having no shepherd. Then said he reached many sections of our reunto his disciples, the harvest truly publican union; that its attractive is plenteous but the labourers are invitations have not been heard to few; pray ye therefore the Lord of recal sinners from their estrangethe harvest, that he will send forth ment-nor its plenteous mercy unlabourers into his harvest.”

folded to cheer the drooping spi

rits of the desponding-nor its glo“Conceiving ourselves as now rious promises proclaimed to esoccupying a centre, let us imagine tablish' hope and give energy to a circumference which shall merely faith. Hence, to such, life has include the limits of our city, and none of the pure enjoyments of we shall find a community numeri- piety, and death none of its suscally great, for whose eternal well- taining influence—their existence is being Do adequate exertion is em- a fluctuating and boisterous ocean, ployed. Let the circle be extend- and the anchor of their hope has ed to embrace our state, and not no lodgment within the vail! Is only neighbourhoods but counties this a condition to be envied ? Is it will be disclosed to view, enshroud- not pitiable and sad—so sad as to ed in ignorance more dense than demand the sympathy of Christians, their mountain mists—where lite- and to require the interposition of rature has no consecrated asylum, Him, who having long proffered and our holy religion scarce an al- peace to Jerusalem, wept over it tar-where a spirit of grovelling when it was doomed; even of Him worldly-mindedness is predomi- who when he saw the multitudes, nant, and eternity has few joyful was moved with compassion, beand intelligent expectants. And cause they fainted and were scatall this is true of a commonwealth tered abroad, as sheep having no which may be styled veteran, from shepherd. This we are sensible is the comparatively ancient date of but a picture, in outline, of the augits political organization. As we mented necessities of the commufollow westward the tide of emigra- nity of which we are a component tion, we may therefore expect even part-it might receive much coless religious devotedness among Touring from the pencil of truththose who are zealously occupied but our object is accomplished, if in felling the forests, planting vil. it impresses you with the necessity lages, and encouraging the growth of furnishing labourers for a harvest of their yet infant settlements. already prepared for the reaper. Whilst in a natural sense the soli “But the prospective enlargetudes are made glad by the increas- ment of this field should not be ing indux and bustle of the adven- disregarded. Our country is mul

tiplying her population by a ratio enriched, and it still regards them perpetually increasing—the wilds as one of the available means of its are converted into territories, and defence, stability, and glory. The territories into independent com- fervent prayers of the righteous monwealthsfeeble provinces have are never powerless—they wrestle already become an empire, and with Jacob's God, and prevail with that empire is pursuing the march the God of Israel—they are the of her political greatness, and en- precursor of Zion's jubilee, and circling within her extended arms present in themselves an unassaila. a community, which by establish- ble phalanx, against the foes of the ed rules of increase, will amount church. We regard it, therefore, in a century to nearly 200 million! not only as the reasonable but inThe prospect is mighty! It is emi- cumbent duty of Christians, in all nently gratifying to pational feeling, their addresses to a throne of and proudly exemplifies national grace, to give prominence to the prosperity; but upon the presump- object contemplated in the texttion that the means of religious in- they should pray for the multiplistruction are to be multiplied only cation of faithful heralds of the according to the present ratio of cross, and they should pray with increase, the prospect becomes de- fervour and importunity. plorable; for the existing dispro “ Sincerity in prayer, however, portion between the harvest and always implies external acts of chathe labourers will then be immea. rity. Of this Christ and his apossurably greater, and hundreds of tles have proposed themselves as thousands will be destitute of that an example, for they not only praygospel, the proper entertainment ed much, but evinced their sinceof which, by any people, is their rity by demonstrations the most surest exaltation in a moral, and unequivocal. Let the apostle their securest safeguard in a poli- James illustrate this subject. If tical, point of view.”

a brother or sister be naked and

destitute of daily food, and one of “ An explanation of the duty of you say unto them, depart in peace,

Christians in general, in relation be ye warmed and filled; notwithto this subject

standing ye give them not those ** Pray ye the Lord of the har- things which are needful to the vest, that he will send forth labour. body, what doth it profit?' And ers into his harvest.' Here it is way we not with equal justice say, intimated that the cordial interest what will your prayers profit, if they and co-operation of Christians in be the offspring of a heart which is the concerns of the church, are re. a stranger to every generous imquisite--that its well-being is in pulse, and cold and unaffected unno small degree dependant upon der appeals which might stimulate their zeal, and that through their the most penurious to active beneinstrumentality, its cords are to be volence? We pronounce such relilengthened and its stakes strength- gion to be vain-it will be neither ened.

honourable nor profitable to the “ It becomes the duty of all who possessor, nor available for the love the gospel, to entreat the Lord church, nor acceptable in the sight of the harvest to designate, by his of God. How, we ask, is the gosSpirit, suitable labourers for the pel to be propagated, except work. The intercessions of believ- through faithful pastors and misers are invaluable-the chiefest of sionaries? And how can these the apostles thus estimated them preach unless they be qualified and when he besought an interest in sent? And by whom are they to be them-by thein has the church been sent, if professed Christians turn

1827. The Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church. 57 from the subject with frozen apa- miliation, his active beneficence, thy, and contribute as seldom and his costly redemption, are the ingrudgingly as if the sacrifice were contestable proofs of his desire to too mighty ever to be repaired? meliorate man's spiritual condition. Your charity is needed, to multiply He has presented us an example most and perpetuate the means of moral worthy of imitation, and has enand religious reformation-the ene- forced that example by his authorimies of God must triumph, if you tative command. are indisposed to apply any coun “ Did he who so well knew the teractives, and the church, must value of the immortal soul, feel solanguish, if its professed friends are licitoas for its welfare and shall converted into unconcerned spec- we, who profess to have drunk of tators, and withhold their fostering the same spirit, regard its destruccare. Our Theological Seminary tion with indifference? Did be sais still a dependant; and although crifice his life for thankless and reits efficiency has been practically bellious sinners? and shall we feel tested, in sending forth streams no concern that our fellow men which have gladdened the city of should never hear of this great salour God, its necessities still sug. vation? When he has apprized us gest the propriety of subordinate that a harvest of souls may be seEducation Societies, which shall cured through our instrumentality, act the part of auxiliaries, in re shall we suffer the blessed occasion lieving promising piety and talent to be lost through cold indifference? from discouragement, and in pre. Forbid it Lord rather arouse our paring the way for their active em- dormant energies, and enlist us in ployment in the church. It is in this godlike charity-let thy examthis behalf we appear before you, ple induce, thy command constrain and we feel honoured in the per- us, to make our cordial offerings at mission to plead, however feebly, the altar of this holy service. the cause of an institution which "2. Again, the duty to which has intrinsic claims to your atten we are called involves high respon. tion, and has received the sanction sibilities. As the stewards of God, and countenance of our highest ec we are required to be faithful, and clesiastical judicature. The Board as the stewards of God, we must of Education merits your patron- render an account. Perhaps in the age, and if properly supported it neglect of duty we may bribe conwill occupy a high rank among the science to silence, and succeed in judicious means for supplying the justifying ourselves before men, Lord's harvest with labourers. who may need from us similar in- ,

"To engage your co-operation in dulgence and complaisance; but is this charity, we propose to suggest not that eye of omniscience upon in the last place, some inducements us, which observes our actions imwhich should prevail with every partially, and before which are disChristian.

closed every feeling and motive of “1. Our Lord Jesus Christ is in- the heart? Upon this occasion, terested in the success of such en- therefore, we solemnly ask, that each terprises, and requires your con- should act as in the sight of God, currence and aid. He was moved and in prospect of the day when with compassion, when he beheld the secrets of all hearts shall be the multitude, because they fainted known. and were scattered abroad as sheep “ 3. The object in behalf of which having no shepherd,' and he spake we plead is, in our opinion, unobto his disciples, to awaken in them jectionable in principle. Perhaps a similar sympathy. Christ's mis- you may question its utility, upon sion to earth, his unparalleled hu- the presumption that it presents a VOL.V. - Ch. Adv.



temptation to men to select the “Is the soul precious ? Is its re-
ministry for its respectability and demption desirable? And where is
emolument. Conceding that this the Christian who will not eagerly
charity, like all others, may be oc- attempt to avert the calamitous
casionally abused--that in some in-, fate which impends over the unin-
stances beneficiaries may be actu-' structed and irreligious. Oh, pro-
ated by unworthy motives, and that fane not the name, insult not the
unsuitable men may thus be uno spirit of Christianity, by ascribing
happily assisted in their views them to those whose feelings are
still is it not incontestable that such all selfish, and whose hearts were
instances are rare, whilst many of never open to the cry of those
the most devoted, laborious and ready to perish! My brethren,
successful ministers of the gospel, shall any be eternally doomed
have been introduced into the through our default? Shall any fail
Lord's barvest, through the gene- to achieve a victory over death
rous interference of others. Of this and hell, when a little temporary
we might quote abundant proof, if sacrifice on our part, would furnish
decorum did not forbid.' Those them with the means? Is the gospel
most conversant with the operation our hope, and shall we deny it to
of these institutions, have acknow. others. Shall we board up the pal-
ledged their utility, and afforded try pelf of earth, at the sacrifice of
them their aid and countenance; Christian duty, and at the expense
and is their testimony to be dis- of immortal souls? Such wealth
regarded—whilst the oft repeated will be dearly accumulated, for
and groundless objections, which its rust will be a witness against
the enemies of the church have ori. the possessor, and eat his flesh as
ginated, constitute the professed it were fire.'
Christian's apology for withholding “ If then you would jllustrate
his dues from the Lord's treasury? the philanthropic spirit of the gos-
Far be it from me, to prefer the pel--if you would redeem you cha-
charge against any of you, for we racter for Christian consistency-
anticipate the exhibition of a dif- if you would eternally benefit man-
ferent spirit this night.

kind if you would honour your « 4. Finally-The charity in Lord, we present you an opportuwhich we would enlist your co-ope nity; and may neither conscience, ration, affords the best opportunity nor the God of conscience, rebuke for the display of noble, generous, you for neglect. With you we and humane feeling.

confidently leave our appeal.”




of the General Assembly. It will OBSERVATIONS ON THE GENERAL AS

be understood that we do not make SEMBLY OF THE

ourselves responsible for any thing

that may appear in this discussion, To the following letters, sent us unless we state our sentiments, in by a valued correspondent, we give remarks avowedly our own. If any a ready insertion in our pages. one shall choose to controvert the They relate to an important sub- opinions of the letter writer, we ject, which we think the ministers will publish whatever may be temand members of the Presbyterian perately written with that view, church would do well to consider with as much readiness as we have carefully, before the next meeting done the present communication.

[ocr errors][merged small]

present time.

Mr. Editor, If you think the that a majority shall govern: and following letters worthy of a place consequently that appeals may be in your useful publication, they may carried from lower to higher judi. perhaps lead to a more full discus- catories, till they be finally decided sion of a subject, very interesting by the collected wisdom and united to the Presbyterian church at the voice of the whole church.

These principles I hope to see Yours, truly,

preserved without any infraction.. and I feel persuaded the more they

are examined and tested, the more

dear they will be to the PresbyteLETTERS TO A FRIEND.

rian church.

Character and Influence.
Dear Sir,-You know my attach-
ment to the principles of Presbyte-

On these radical principles, the rianism, and my opinion that the Presbyterian church, in the United time has come when a different or- States of America, has hitherto ganization of the General Assem- been conducted and prospered. bly is necessary to preserve the The unity of the church-judicatounion, fellowship, and prosperity ries for government, organized on of the several branches of the the representative principle-the church under its care. Allow me majority governing

the revision to submit to your inspection some and control of proceedings in lower thoughts on the radical principles of by higher judicatories—constitute Presbyterianismthe character and the scriptural ground; at the same influence of the Assemblysome ex- time, they produce the most efficient isting evils—and the remedies pro- influence, and present the most poposed. My intention is to prove, pular aspects of our form of governin perfect accordance with Presby- ment. terian principles, that it has be These principles have, doubtless, come necessary to organize the contributed largely to the rapid inGeneral Assembly by a representa- crease of the Presbyterian Church tion from Synods, instead of Pres- in this country, within the last byteries.

quarter of a century. Nor will the

principles be liable to become less Radical Principles of Presbyte- efficient, or popular, so long as the rianism.

form of our civil government rePerhaps I shall not be able to mains unchanged, and the conduct state these better than by an ex of our ecclesiastical courts accords tract from “ Form of Government,” with the great design of their orchap. xii. page 363, note. “The ganization. I have no apprehenradical principles of Presbyterian sion that the principles of Presbychurch government and discipline terianism will, for a long time to are:–That the several different come, lose ground in this country. congregations of believers, taken On the contrary, it seems to me collectively, constitute one church probable, that their influence will of Christ, called emphatically the extend over the whole class of our church; that a larger part of the country's population, agreeing with church, or a representation of it, us in matters of faith and terms of should govern a smaller, or deter communion.The signs of the mine matters of controversy which times warrant such an expectation. arise therein ;-that a representa

I have no wish to see the power, tion of the whole should


and or influence of the General Assemdetermine in regard to every part, bly diminished, nor its relation to and to all the parts united; that is, the whole church altered. Let it

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »