« PredošláPokračovať »
pend on foreign auxiliaries. We ancestors, would
would have been must then defend ourselves by thought a monster in religion, soldiers and weapons of our own. and deemed unworthy the ChrisOn such an emergence, what
tian name. can be more necessary or happy, But in places, where these than to have a vigorous band of fundamental errors do not preyoung men, already trained for vail, there are nevertheless great this holy war, armed with the divisions and contentions about whole armour of God, and ready doctrines of less moment, and alfor the attack? Of what unspeak- so about rites, modes, and cereable importance then must an in- monies in worship, and forms of stitution be, in which may be discipline. While “ one says I formed such a phalanx for the am of Paul ; and another, I am defence of the Christian cause ! of Apollos ; and another, I am of
But dismissing, if it be possi- Cephas ;" how few are content ble to dismiss, all fear of prevail
we are of Christ !” Is ing infidelity ; is it not an indu- it not for a lamentation, that so bitable fact, that the intermediate many, who bear and profess this space between pure Christianity sacred name, have departed from and genuine deism is already the simplicity of the gospel of crowded by errors of every name Christ, and are divided into sects, and kind ? We have lost, not on- mutually opposing each other, ly that unity of spirit, but that and sometimes with a spirit of uniformity of doctrine, by which acrimony, that would disgrace our pious forefathers were dis- heathens ? Surely it must be the tinguished. To them there was ardent prayer of every one, who but " one faith and one baptism,” loves the Lord Jesus Christ, that as well as “one Lord, and one all his professed followers keep God and Father of all.” But the unity of the spirit in the bond among us how many in efect de- of peace; that, as they ny that sacred name, into which called in one hope,” they “ be of they were baptized! While oth- one spirit, having one Lord, one ers, who do not thus deny “the faith, one baptism.” Lord, who bought them," greed- What can more divide the ily embrace many erroneous Christian church, or more disdoctrines, relating to our state tract the minds and alienate the by nature, and to the powers of affections of its members, than to the human mind; to the dignity, be instructed and led by teachers atonement, and mediation of of opposite views, zealously enChrist, to the agency of the di- gaged to propagate their respecvine Spirit in regeneration and tive peculiarities, and each to insanctification, the duration of fu- crease the number of his adheture punishment, and universal rents ? On the other hand, can salvation. These and other like the mind of man conceive any errors are now openly avowed thing so necessary and conducive and publicly taught ; errors so to unity in faith and affection gross, so contrary to the gospel among Christians, as that those, of Christ, that, whoever had em- who are to inculcate the doctrines braced them in the days of our and duties of the gospel upon Vol. III. No. 7.
others, be themselves united in of education, then, we may rea. the same mind and in the same sonably hope, will be productive faith? This union among the of similarity in opinions. As teachers of religion is the natur- far, therefore, as the prevalence al result of saneness of educa- of religious error and the multi. tion, studies, and babits, which is plication of sects among us have not to be found but at a public arisen from difference in the the. institution. Diversity of senti- ological education of our clergy, ment, and not unfrequently pre- so far the increase of these evils judice and disaffection, is gener- in future may be prevented, and ated by difference of education. their growth checked, though If the clergy of New England, they may not be wholly eradicatfrom its settlement to this day, ed, by applying the natural remhad been all educated in one the- edy. This remèdy, it is need ological seminary ; is it suppose- less to say, can be no other than able, that our ministers and the establishment of a public churches would have been so di- and well endowed Theological vided in opinions, and so oppos- Institution ; to which candidates ed to each other, as they now are? for the gospel ministry in all If the appeal be made to fact, it parts of our country, and at whatwill be found, that so long, as the ever college educated, may re clergy of this country were edu- sort for the acquisition of that cated at one college, there was fund of knowledge, which is nevery little difference of opinion cessary to qualify them to be able on religious subjects, and that and eminently useful public the churches were almost uni- teachers of religion ; at which versally of one denomination ; a they may enjoy the same in'sectary was then scarcely known. struction, assistance, and counBut during the last half century, sel ; where they will naturally in which colleges have been so form similar habits of thinking, multiplied in our country, and reasoning, and acting; where candidates for the ministry, not, daily intercourse, candid comas was the ancient custom, at a munication of sentiments, and public institution, but in private, reciprocal interchange of the and under direction of gen- purest energies of the mind, will tlemen of opposite opinions, have efface local and other prejudices; made preparation for the desk, wbere several years continued errors and sects have been mul- residence in one religious and tiplied beyond calculation. happy family will beget fraternal
This being the deplorable sympathies and lasting friendfact, we are pressed by the im- ships; and where, devoted to portant question : How can the the same object, pursuing the evil be remedied? The answer is same course, seeking the same prompt ; by retracing the steps divine guidance, and being knit and correcting the course, by together in love, they may grow which we have erred.
Like into him in all things, who is the causes produce like effects, and head, even CARIST."" From vice versa. Difference of educa- such a fountain, we may indulge tion, we find, has produced dif- the pleasing hope, would naturference of opinions. Sameness ally dow such streams, as would
make glad the churches of our faith, to the suppression of sectaGod. From such a seminary rian errors in opinion and pracwould proceed pastors, who tice, to the mutual assistance of would feed the flock with the the ministers of Christ, to the orsame heavenly food ; who would der, peace, and harmony of Chrispreach the same divine truths ; tian churches. How beneficial, and endeavour to preserve the how desirable, how necessary inust unity of the faith in the bond of that institution be, which alone perfectness. By such a body of can ensure such an education ! ministers much might be done To the remarks, already made, to silence heresy and error, tò it is scarcely needlul to add that, heal the divisions, and allay the whatever produces the preceding animosities, which have long dis- effects, must directly tend to the graced the Christian church ; increase of true religion in genand much to promote that spirit eral. Next 10 the unholy lives of love, by which Christians were of professors, Christianity has at first distinguished. For this suffered most from those divissameness of education will nat- ions, contentions, and animosiurally produce, not only unity of ties, which heresy and sentiment, but union of soul. have excited in the Christian At a period of life, when friend- church. Here indeed it ought ship takes root in reason, and the not to be forgotten, that the unsensibilities are alive to all the holy walk of many professors, charities of social intercourse, it that stone of stumbling to multimay well be expected, that se- tudes, is to be resolved into the rious and pious young men will erroneousness, as well as weakcontract those strong attach- ness of their faith. Correctness ments and that mutualconfidence, of life depends in great part upwhich in after periods will occa- on correctness of principle. So sion delightful recollections and far from truth is the modern docrecurrences; and lead them, as trine, “ that it is of little consecircumstances may permit and quence, what a man believes, if require, to assist and consult his life be good,” that to his life each other in the duties and diffi- being good, it is of the greatest culties of the ministerial office. consequence, that his creed be In consequence too of having correct
. But the injury to religformed at such an institution a ion, now contemplated, bas prinmuch larger circle of substantial cipal reference to the effect of and pious friends, every such min- error, not in an individual, but ister would have in times of trial, social view. Error, especially in a larger number of able protec- the momentous concerns of retors, interested to support him. ligion, leads directly to contenThis harmony and mutual sup- tion; and, where contention is, port of regular ministers would there is every evil work. To also have a powerful influence in sow discord among brethren, by promoting the order, peace, and scattering the seeds of error, is harmony of our churches. Such to ensure a copious harvest to the is the importance of a public, adversary of souls. Men of the solid, and uniform education for world, not distinguishing, as they the ministry to the cause of ought, but judging of Christianievangelical truth, to unity of ty from the lives of professors,
too hastily conclude that this of the gospel; there is the best religion cannot be of God. reason to hope, that true religion Christianity is therefore abandon- will generally fourish in princi. ed by them, if not exposed to ple and practice. In the divine ridicule and blasphemy. Thou- economny, means are adapted to sands, especially among the ends. Did nof the defence of the young and thoughtless, thus con- gospel depend, under God, upon tract a fatal prejudice against that the ministers of Christ; he would name, by which alone they can not appoint them to this service. be saved. In this way unknown Were not their conduct influential multitudes become, if not pro- in forming the religious characfessed, yet practical infidels. ter of men ; ministers would not How important is it, then, that be enjoined to be examples to the floodgates of error be shut, them in conversation, as well as and that free circulation be given in doctrine. The language of to evangelical truth ; not only as St. Paul on this subject is decithis would lessen the number of sive, importing that able and infidels, but as it would establish faithful ministers, “ by taking the minds of many weak and heed to themselves and to their wavering Christians, and give to doctrine, and by continuing there. Christianity an opportunity of in, shall both save themselves, producing its genuine effects on and them who hear them.” The the hearts and lives of professors! necessity and extensive utility of Ministers would then have more gospel ministers are figuratively leisure to dwell on heavenly represented by salt and light, ele. themes, to unfold and recom- ments essential to the life and mend divine truth in all its beau- comfort of all creation. What ty and sublimity; and private efforts then ought not to be Christians would let their light made for training up a learned, so shine around them, that oth- pious, and harmonious clergy, 10 ers, seeing their good works, be the sait of the earth and the witnessing their pacific temper, light of the world ! David of old and heavenly conversation, would swore unto the Lord, and vow. also be excited to glorify their ed unto the mighty God of Ja. Father, who is in heaven.
cob; surely I will not come into In the object of the gospel the tabernacle of my house, nor ministry, as stated in the scrip- go up into my bed; I will not tures, we read its importance. give sleep to my eyes, nor slumMinisters are there represented, ber to my eyelids, until I find out as set for the defence of the gos- a place for the Lord, a habitation pel, and to be examples to believ- for the mighty God of Jacob.” ers, in word, in conversation, in Surely Christians, under the goscharity, in spirit, in faith, in pu- pel dispensation, ought not to be rity. When, therefore, the cler
less anxious, that his “ priests sy consist of men of distinguish- may be clothed with salvation," ed talents, learning, and dili- thoroughly furnished for every gence ; when they stand fast in
good word and work, “ that his the same faith, and are united in
saints may shout aloud for joy." the same spirit; when in their conduct and conversation they
N. B. The outlines of a contemplated
Theological Institution will be given is exemplify the purity and charity
our next number.
if God incarnate shedding his As you are your own accusers; precious blood for guilty men as you are repeatedly exposing cannot? What subject so deservyourselves to fresh guilt and disc ing your most serious attention grace before many witnesses, as this ? When the Redeemer your crimes need not be proved. expired, the rocks were rent, the Unaffected with your guilt and earth quaked, the graves opened, folly, neither the voice of the the dead arose, the sun was darkpreacher, the important truths ened, and a centurion exclaimed, he delivers, the eyes of specta- “ This is the Son of God !” But tors, nor even the presence of God you, more obdurate and unfeel. himself, have hitherto restrained ing, present to a disgusted Chrisyou. Suffer one among the tian assembly a yawning countemany, whose feelings have been nance, when the wonders of redeeply affected, and whose devo- deeming love are declared from tion has been interrupted by the pulpit. You declare by your your indolence and folly, to ad- conduct, that an idolatrous Gendress you in the plain, faithful tile soldier felt more like a Chrislanguage of friendship.
tian than you, who have been all What mean ye, O sleepers, by your days under the light of the choosing the day of the Lord, gospel.' You may profess to be above all others, for a day of Christians, and you might be slumber, and the time of his displeased with any one who worship, above all other times in should call your sincerity in that sacred day, for sloth? What! question : And is your sleeping have you not houses to sleep in, in God's house the evidence you that you must convert your seats give of it? Is this the fruit by in God's house into places of re- which we must judge of your pose? Have you no time for faith? Enter the mosque of a sleep, but that which he has set Musselman, the pagod of an Inapart for his service? Will you dian, or the synagogue of a Jew, find an excuse from the nature of and must you not allow, if atten. the service? Will you plead that tion be the criterion, they are the gospel of Christ is so unin- better worshippers than you? teresting, or the exercises of Yes ; it is the infamy of assem. the sanctuary so unengaging, blies called Christian, above all that it is difficult to preserve others, thus to dishonour their your attention to them? Think, religion, and insult their God. what evidence such pleas afford And at your door, O sleeper, this of the hardness and carnality of infamy lies. Where is your reyour hearts. What can engage spect for your minister, your
your attention, if the glori- profiting by his labours ? Un. ous discoveries of the gospel; happy man! thy hearers tell