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The Baltimore Unitarian Book Society has published a small Catechism for young children, which was originally drawn up by Dr. Carpenter. Parents will find this a plain and easy compend, exceedingly well calcu-' lated to communicate the first principles of christian faith and practice. Many of the answers are in scripture language; and they are all clothed in such simple and familiar terms, as to be adapted to the understanding of the earliest learners. To this Catechism are added Dr. Watts's Catechism of Scripture Names, and also Prayers and Hymns for Children. Subscribers to the Baltimore Unitarian Book Society, can receive this Catechism towards the amount of their subscription.
The first part of the Geneva Catechism has lately been published by the Boston Publishing Fund. We consider this work among the very best of the kind for instructing youth in the christian doctrines, faith, and duties, and we are glad it is coming before the public under the auspices of a Society, whose labours promise so much for the cause of morals and piety.
We have received a respectful communication asking us many important questions concerning some of the higher points of theology. They are of such a nature as renders it impossible for us, consistently with the limits and purpose of our work, to reply to them in such a manner as to do them justice. We know not, that we can give our correspondent any better satisfaction, than to refer him to such books as will furnish him with the information he desires; namely, Warburton's Divine Legation; Prideaux's Connexion; Michaelis' Introduction to the New Testament; Lardner's Credi. bility of the Gospel History; Priestley's Corruptions of Christianity; Priestley's History of Early Opinions; Archdeacon Blackburne's Confessional; Schleusner on the word tye vplc; and the Preface to Lowman's Paraphrase and Notes on the Revelation of St. John.
From a Brief Account of the Theological Seminary at Princeton lately published, it appears, that there are now eighty students in the Institution. The number of persons, who have been prepared for the gospel ministry in that Seminary since its foundation in 1812, is two hundred and thirty seven. The instructers at present are a Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology; a Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government; and a Teacher of the Original Languages of Scripture.
The Rev. ABNER KNEELAND, of Philadelphia, is engaged in preparing for publication an edition of the New Testament in Greek and English. The Greek is to be the text of Griesbach; and the English on the basis of the Improved Version, with such further improvements as in the judgment of the author may be adopted from the translations of Campbell, Macknight, Wakefield, and Scarlett.
A Letter on the Atonement is necessarily deferred to the next number.
Preaching of the Apostles. I have always considered the fundamental doctrines of christianity to be obvious truths, which no one, who reads the Bible, can mistake. It is not denied, that there are many difficulties not easily solved, and many truths, which must be sought after as hidden treasure, before they can be found; yet I do not believe that any of these can be reckoned among the essentials of a christian faith.
Doctrines of inference may be true, they may be useful and important, but not such as can affect the conditions of salvation. It is not to be admitted, that Jesus came into the world with a special mission from heaven, relating to the condition and duty of men, and neglected to make known in the clearest possible manner the terms of that salvation, which it was his great and only purpose to bestow. One of the best methods, it appears to me, of ascertaining what the apostles themselves deemed the prominent articles of christian doctrine, is to examine the manner of their preaching, and observe upon what topics they chiefly dwelt in teaching the religion of Jesus. No one can doubt, that they were explicit and full in declaring all the counsel of God, and in preaching every thing requisite for a true christian convert,
In the Acts of the Apostles, is given a historical narrative of the travelling and preaching of the apostles, in converting heathens and Jews to a belief in the gospel. Several of their discourses are preserved at considerable length; and from these I will select a few pas. sages particularly illustrative of this subject.
In Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, he said to the people, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts, ii. 38. And again, “Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” iii. 19. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, he ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." v. 42. At the beginning of his discourse to the family of Cornelius, it is said by Peter, “Of a truth I perceive, that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." x. 34, 35.
To the people of Antioch Paul declared, “Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” xiii. 38. At Athens, this same apostle "preached Jesus and the resurrection.” xvii. 18; and to the jailer at Philippi, he said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” xvi. 31. The eloquent Apollos “convinced the Jews publicly, showing by the Scriptures, that Jesus was Christ.” xviii. 28. To the elders of the church at Ephesus, Paul declared, “I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” xx. 20, 21. To Felix he preached faith in Christ, and “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.” xxiv. 25. He also “showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” xxvi. 20. And lastly, during his bondage at Rome, he was “preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.” xxviii. 31.
In these short extracts, we have the entire substance, so far as doctrines are concerned, of all, which the apostles are recorded to have preached in promulgating the christian religion. By examining these passages, we shall find three particulars chiefly insisted on; namely, the Messiahship of Jesus; the doctrine of repentance; and the resurrection of the dead. If we may judge from all we know of their preaching, these were the topics upon which they mainly dwelt,
First, they preached that Jesus was the Christ, or the person foretold by the Patriarchs and the Prophets, as coming to release the Jews from the bondage of their ceremonial law, to make known the will of God, and establish a religion, whose blessings should extend to the whole human race. The Evangelist John tells us, that his Gospel was written for this express purpose, that they, who should read it, "might believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God.” John, xx. 31. Mr. Locke has written to prove from the Scriptures, that this is the only essential article of Christian