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Title: The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 1 (1820-March)

Date of first publication: 1820

Author: Various

Date first posted: February 24 2013

Date last updated: February 24 2013

Faded Page eBook #20130226

This eBook was produced by: L. Harrison, Marcia Brooks & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net






Vol. II.           MARCH, 1820.          No. 1.



An Extract from three Sermons of Bishop Horsley on the divine institution of the Sabbath Day, in which are set forth the duty of all men, from the beginning of the world, to observe it; and more particularly the increased obligations of Christians to keep the Lord's Day holy.

"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark ii. 27.

An opinion has been for some time gaining ground, that the observation of a Sabbath in the Christian Church is a matter of mere consent and custom, to which we are no more obliged by virtue of any Divine precept than to any other ceremony of the Mosaic Law.

I shall first, therefore, show you, that Christians actually stand obliged to the observation of a Sabbath—that is, to the separation of some certain day for the public worship of God. I shall, in the next place, inquire how far the Christian in the observation of his Sabbath, is held to the original injunction of keeping every seventh day, and which day of the seven is his proper Sabbath. When I have shewn you that the obligation to the observance of every seventh day actually rests upon him, and that the first day of the week is his proper Sabbath, I shall, in the last place, inquire in what manner this Christian Sabbath should be kept.

To the general question, what regard is due to the institution[Pg 2] of a Sabbath under the Christian dispensation? the answer is plainly this:—Neither more nor less than was due to it in the patriarchal ages, before the Mosaic covenant took place. It is a gross mistake to consider the Sabbath as a mere festival of the Jewish Church, deriving its whole sanctity from the Levitical Law. The contrary appears, as well from the evidence of the fact which sacred history affords, as from the reason of the thing which the same history declares, the religious observation of the seventh day hath a place in the Decalogue among the very first duties of natural religion. The reason assigned for the injunction is general, and hath no relation or regard to the particular circumstances of the Israelites, or to the particular relation in which they stood to God as his chosen people. The creation of the world was an event equally interesting to the whole human race; and the acknowledgment of God as our Creator, is a duty in all ages and in all countries, equally incumbent upon every individual of mankind. The terms in which the reason of the ordinance is assigned, plainly describes it as an institution of an earlier age: "Therefore, the Lord blessed the seventh day, and set it apart;" (that is the true import of the word "hallowed it.") These words, you will observe, express a past time. It is not said, "Therefore the Lord now blesses the seventh day, and sets it apart;" but, "Therefore he did bless it, and set it apart in times past; and he now requires that you his chosen people should be observant of that ancient institution." And in farther confirmation of the fact, we find, by the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, that the Israelites were acquainted with the Sabbath, and had been accustomed to some observance of it, before Moses received the Tables of the Law at Mount Sinai. When the manna was first given for the nourishment of the army in the wilderness, the people were told that on the sixth day they should collect the double of the daily portion. When the event was found to answer to the promise, Moses gave command that the redundant portion should be prepared and laid by for the meal of the succeeding day; "for to-morrow," said he, "is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: on that day ye shall not find it in the field; for the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days." He mentions the Sabbath as a Divine ordinance, with which he evidently supposes the people were well acquainted; for, he alleges[Pg 3] the well-known sanctity of that day to account for the extraordinary quantity of manna which was found upon the ground on the day preceding it. But the appointment of the Sabbath, to which his words allude, must have been earlier than the appointment of it in the Law, of which no part was yet given: for, this first gathering of the manna, which is recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, was in the second month of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt; and at Sinai, where the Law was given, they arrived not till the third. Indeed, the antiquity of the Sabbath was a thing so well understood among the Jews themselves, that some of their Rabbin had the vanity to pretend that an exact adherence to the observation of this day, under the Egyptian servitude, was the merit by which their ancestors procured a miraculous deliverance. The deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage, was surely an act of God's free mercy, in which their own merit had no share: nor is it likely that their Egyptian lords left them much at liberty to sanctify the Sabbath, if they were inclined to do it. The tradition, therefore, is vain and groundless; but it clearly speaks the opinion of those among whom it passed, of the antiquity of the institution in question, which appears, indeed, upon better evidence, to have been coeval with the world itself. In the Book of Genesis, the mention of this institution closes the history of the creation. An institution of this antiquity and of this general importance, could derive no part of its sanctity from the authority of the Mosaic Law; and the abrogation of that Law, no more releases the worshippers of God from a rational observation of a Sabbath, than it cancels the injunction of filial piety, or the prohibitions of theft and murder, adultery, calumny, and avarice. The worship of the Christian Church is properly to be considered as a restoration of the patriarchal, in its primitive simplicity and purity, and of the patriarchal worship, the Sabbath was the noblest and perhaps the simplest rite.

The observation of a Sabbath was not only a general duty at the time of the institution, but, in the nature of the thing, of perpetual importance; since, in every stage of the world's existence, it is man's interest to remember and his duty to acknowledge his dependence upon God as the Creator of all things, and of man among the rest. The observation of a Sabbath was accordingly enforced, not by any[Pg 4] Apostolical decree, but by the example of the Apostles after the solemn abrogation of the Mosaic Law.

Thus, I trust, I have shewn, that the observation of a Sabbath, as it was of earlier institution than the religion of the Jews, and no otherwise belonged to Judaism than as, with other ordinances of the Patriarchal Church, it was adopted by the Jewish legislature, necessarily survives the extinction of the Jewish Law, and makes a part of Christianity. I have shewn that it is a part of the rational religion of man, in every stage and state of his existence, till he shall attain that happy rest from the toil of perpetual conflict with temptation—from the hardship of duty as a task, of which the rest of the Sabbath is itself a type. I have therefore established my first proposition, that Christians stand obliged to the observation of a Sabbath, I am, in the next place, to inquire how far the Christian in the observation of a Sabbath, is held to the original injunction of keeping every seventh day; and which day of the seven is his proper Sabbath.

The spirit of the Jewish Law was rigour and severity. Rigour and severity were adapted to the rude manners of the first ages of mankind, and were particularly suited to the refractory temper of the Jewish people. The rigour of the Law itself was far out done by the rigour of the popular superstition and the Pharisaical hypocrisy—if, indeed, superstition and hypocrisy, rather than a particular ill-will against our Lord, were the motives with the people and their rulers to tax him with a breach of the Sabbath, when they saw his power exerted on the Sabbath Day for the relief of the afflicted. The Christian law is the law of liberty. We are not, therefore, to take the measure of our obedience from the letter of the Jewish Law, much less from Jewish prejudices and the suggestions of Jewish malignity. In the sanctification of the Sabbath, in particular, we have our Lord's express authority to take a pious discretion for our guide, keeping constantly in view the end of the institution, and its necessary subordination to higher duties. But, in the use of this discretion, I fear it is the fashion to indulge in a greater latitude than our Lord's maxims allow, or his example warrants; and although the letter of the Jewish Law is not to be the Christian's guide, yet, perhaps, in the present instance, the particular injunctions of the law, rationally interpreted by reference to the general end of the institution, will best enable us to determine[Pg 5] what is the obligation to the observance of a particular day, what the proper observance of the day may be, and how the practice of the present age corresponds with the purpose and spirit of the ordinance.

The injunction of the Sabbath, in the fourth Commandment, is accompanied with the history and the reason of the original institution. Both the history and the reason given here are the same which occur in the second chapter of Genesis. The history is briefly this—that "God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it." "He hallowed it,"—that is, God himself distinguished this particular day, and set it apart from the rest; and "he blessed it;"—that is, he appropriated this day to religious exercises on the part of man; and he engaged on his own part, to accept the homage which should on this day be offered to him. He promised to be propitious to the prayers, public and private, which should be offered to him on this day, in the true spirit of piety, humility, and faith. This is, I think, the import of the phrase, that God "blessed the day."—He annexed the promise of his especial blessing to the regular discharge of a duty enjoined. The reason of this sanctification of the seventh day, was founded on the order in which the work of the creation had been carried on. In this business, we are told, the Divine power was active for six successive days; on the sixth day all was finished; and on the seventh God rested; his power was no longer exerted in the business of making; the whole world being now made, arranged and finished.

From the reason thus assigned for the institution, it is easy to understand, that the worship originally required of men on this day, was to praise God as the Creator of the universe, and to acknowledge their dependence upon him, and subjection to him as his creatures. And it is evident, that this worship is due to the Creator from all men in all ages, since none in any age are not his Creatures. The propriety of the particular appointment of every seventh day is also evident from the reason assigned, if the fact be as the letter of the sacred history represents it, that the creation was the gradual work of six days. It hath ever been the folly or the pride of man, to make a difficulty of every thing of which he hath not the penetration to discern the reason. It is very certain that God needs no time for the execution of his purposes. Had it so pleased him, the universe, in its finished form, with all its furniture and all[Pg 6] its inhabitants, might have started into existence in a moment. To say, "Let the world be," had been as easy to God, as "Let there be light;" and the effect must have followed. Six days God was making the heaven, and the earth, the sea, and all that therein is; and rested on the seventh day. This fact, clearly established by the sacred writer's testimony, in the literal meaning of these plain words, abundantly evinces the perpetual importance and propriety of consecrating one day in seven to the public worship of the Creator.

I say one day in seven. In the first ages of the world, the creation of the world was the benefaction by which God was principally known, and for which he was chiefly to be worshipped. The Jews in their religious assemblies, had to commemorate other blessings—the political creation of their nation out of Abraham's family, and their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. The Christians have to commemorate, besides the common benefit of the creation, the transcendent blessings of our Redemption—our new creation to the hope of everlasting life, of which our Lord's resurrection to life on the first day of the week, is a sure pledge and evidence. You see, therefore, that the Sabbath, in the progress of ages, hath acquired new ends, by new manifestations of the Divine mercy; and these new ends justify correspondent alterations of the original institution. It has been imagined that a change was made of the original day by Moses—that the Sabbath was transferred by him from the day on which it had been originally kept in the Patriarchal ages, to that on which the Israelites left Egypt. The conjecture is not unnatural; but is, in my opinion, a mere conjecture, of which the sacred history affords neither proof nor confutation. This, however, is certain, that upon our Lord's resurrection, the Sabbath was transferred, in memory of that event, the great foundation of the Christian's hopes, from the last to the first day of the week. The alteration seems to have been made by the authority of the Apostles, and to have taken place on the very day on which our Lord arose; for on that day the Apostles were assembled, and on that day sennight we find them assembled again. The celebration of these two first Sundays was honored with our Lord's own presence. It was, perhaps, to set a mark of distinction upon this day in particular, that the intervening week passed off, as it should seem, without any repetition of the[Pg 7] visit to the eleven Apostles. From that time, the Sunday was the constant Sabbath of the primitive Church. The Christian, therefore, who devoutly sanctifies one day in seven, although it be the first day of the week, not the last, as was originally ordained, may rest assured that he fully satisfies the spirit of the ordinance. Had the propriety of the alteration been less apparent than it is from the reason of the thing, the authority of the Apostles to loose and bind was absolute.

I must remark, however, that their authority upon this point was exercised not purely in consideration of the expediency, but upon the higher consideration of the necessity of a change—a necessity arising, as I conceive, out of the original spirit of the institution. The original observation of a Sabbath on every seventh day, was a public and distinguishing characteristic of the worship of the Creator, who finished his work in six days, and rested on the seventh. This was the public character by which the worship of the true God was distinguished, that his festival returned every seventh day; and, by the strict observance of this ordinance, the holy Patriarchs, and the Jews their descendants, made as it were a public protestation once in every week against the errors of idolatry, which, instead of the true God, the Creator of the universe, paid its adoration either to the works of God, the Sun and Moon, and other celestial bodies, or to mere figments of the human imagination, misled by a diabolical illusion—to imaginary beings, presiding over the natural elements, or the departed ghosts of deceased kings and heroes—and, in the last stage of the corruption, to inanimate images, by which the supposed influences of the celestial bodies and physical qualities of the elements were emblematically represented, and the likenesses of the deified kings, supposed to be pourtrayed. To this protestation against Heathenism, the propriety of which binds the worshippers of the true God in all ages to a weekly Sabbath, it is reasonable that Christians should add a similar protestation against Judaism. It was necessary that Christians should openly separate, as it were, from the communion of the Jews, who, after their perverse rejection of our Lord, ceased to be the true Church of God: and the sanctification of the Saturday being the most visible and notorious character of the Jewish worship, it was necessary that the Christian Sabbath should be transferred to some other day of the week. A change[Pg 8] of the day being for these reasons necessary, the choice of the Apostles was directed to the first day of the week, as that on which our Lord's resurrection finished and sealed the work of our Redemption; so that, in the same act by which we acknowledge the Creator, and protest against the claims of the Jews to be still the depositories of the true religion, we might confess the Saviour whom the Jews crucified.

(To be continued.)



One of your correspondents, Agricola, requests your thoughts on the subject of Infant Baptism. I shall be happy to supply you with some remarks on that important doctrine; which you are welcome to introduce in the Christian Recorder, if you think them worthy of a place in that useful publication.

The ordinance of Baptism is not well considered by many professors of religion; and of course their views and knowledge of it are very erroneous and deficient. A slight acquaintance with Scripture, will not unfold the nature and foundation of the institution, and the duty and advantages of performing this sacrament.

The subject admits of a great deal of illustration, but at present I shall confine myself to a few leading points in proof of the propriety of Infant Baptism.

In the institution of the sacrament by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when he admonished his Apostles to go and teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, there is no distinction expressed of country, sex, or age; and children make a great proportion of every nation. The Apostles would not think of leaving them out of the covenant and Church of Christ, unless they were expressly desired to do so; for the children of Jews and of Gentiles proselytes to their religion, were always admitted into the Covenant and Church of God. All the male children were ordered to be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth; and in them all the nation, or children of both sexes, were represented;[Pg 9] and in the book of Deuteronomy, chap. 29, we read, that their captains, their elders, their officers, their little ones, their wives, and the stranger, should enter into covenant with the Lord their God. The children of Christian parents are surely as capable of being entered into covenant with the Lord as the children of Jews were. We cannot well suppose that the privileges of Christian parents and children are diminished by the Gospel. It has succeeded in the place of the law, and baptism in the place of circumcision. St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans, writes of circumcision as being a sign of the covenant with God formerly, and a seal of the righteousness which is by faith. To the Colossians he says, "Ye are complete in Christ; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; Buried with him in baptism." Here the Apostle compares Christian baptism with the Jewish circumcision, and shews that the signification and spiritual intention of both were one and the same; and it follows from his discourse that baptism is as extensive in its import, and as complete for us in the initiation of our children into the Church of God as circumcision was anciently. The Jews were the Church and Israel of God formerly, now Christians are. To the Galatians, St. Paul writes, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise:" and in the preceding verse he says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

When young children were brought to Christ that he should put his hands on them, and pray, he said "Of such is the kingdom of God: and he blessed them." "If children are capable of benefit by Christ, if capable of his blessing on earth and presence in heaven; if they are subjects of his kingdom of grace, and heirs of his kingdom of glory, then, they may be baptised: for they that are in the covenant of grace have a right to the seal of the covenant. If Christ do not deny them the kingdom of Heaven, which is the greater, what reason have ministers to deny them the benefit of baptism, which is the less."

St. Peter, on his first preaching after the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, when the Christian dispensation was in a manner complete, and the sacraments had[Pg 10] been lately instituted by Jesus Christ, said to the people, "Repent, and be baptised everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call." The best exposition of these two verses, which I can give you, is I believe, the commentary of the pious Burkitt on this passage. It is as follows: "Learn hence, that baptism is a solemn ordinance and sacred institution of Jesus Christ, which is not to be administered to any out of the Christian Church, till they profess repentance and faith in Christ, and sincere obedience to him: 'Repent and be baptised every one of you." The argument which the Apostle uses with his hearers, by way of encouragement to persuade them to repent and be baptised, is, "The promise is unto you and to your children;" that is, to you Jews of the seed of Abraham, and to your seed, and to as many of the Gentiles and their seed, as shall be called by the preaching of the Gospel to profess faith in Christ, and subjection to him, where by the promise, is meant the gracious covenant of God, whereby he offers pardon and peace to such as will accept them. Now this acception is two-fold; 1st, cordial, which entitles a person to all the benefits of the covenant, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And 2dly, professional only, which entitles a person and his seed to church privileges only. Hence learn, that when God takes believing parents into covenant with himself, he takes also their children or seed into covenant with himself likewise. And if so, then the seal of the covenant, which is baptism, ought to be applied to them. It is evident, that under the Old Testament children were in covenant with God, as well as their parents. And do we any where find that ever they were cast out under the Gospel? The Apostle does not say, the promise was to you and your seed, but still is, for otherwise children would be in a worse condition under the Gospel of Christ, than they were under the Law of Moses; but surely the privileges of the Gospel are not straiter and narrower than those of the Law.

It is to be observed, that the covenant of grace was made under the Old Testament; that Abraham believed in Christ; and that it is called the New Testament or covenant only in regard of its more perfect dispensation and completion in the advent and Gospel of Jesus Christ. The[Pg 11] covenant and Church of God are one and the same now in their essential nature, foundation, and principle, as they were before the coming of Jesus Christ, but they are enlarged and fulfilled. The Psalmist says, "He hath remembered his covenant for ever; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham," &c. Ps. cv. 8, 9. The Church is always called in Scripture, "The Church of God," in the new as well as in the Old Testament.

There is a passage in St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, which must not be passed over. He says. "The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, (who believes,) and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, (who believes;) else were your children unclean; but now are they holy:" that is, the conjugal state is sanctified to the believer; and the children by the faith of the believer are made holy. They have not an inherent, internal, personal holiness, for the holiest man's child is born in sin, and by nature a child of wrath; but they have an external, relative, and federal holiness: they are not common or unclean like the children of infidels, but they are fit to be partakers of the privileges of the Church, and to be admitted into covenant with God, as belonging to his holy people. He has assured his people, that he will be the God of them and of their seed. Some objectors to infant Baptism have attempted to explain the words "holy" and "unclean," in this passage, by the construction of legitimate and illegitimate; but this sense of them cannot with truth or reason be made to apply to the subject matter or question before the Apostle, or to his answer, all which, regarded the cases of husbands and wives, whose children were legitimate. Besides, "in all the New Testament the word holy never once signifies legitimacy, but is always used to signify separation to God." The attempt to misinterpret the word holy, in this text helps to prove its force in support of infant Baptism. The concluding observation of Burkitt on this text is this: "If the holy seed among the Jews were therefore to be circumcised, and made federally holy by receiving the sign of the covenant, and being admitted into the number of God's holy people, because they were seminally holy; for the root being holy, the branches were also holy; then, by like reason, the holy seed of Christians ought to be admitted to Baptism, and receive the sign of[Pg 12] the Christian covenant, the laver of regeneration, and so be entered into the society of the Christian Church."

It is true, that we are not any where in the New Testament told that children were baptised. If it were plainly declared to us, there could not be any doubt entertained on the subject by any Christian: but, we read of families or households being baptised. For instance, the household of Stephanus was baptised at Corinth, and that of Lydia at Philippi, and also, the Jailor and all his house.

I hope that what I have advanced has proved to your satisfaction the propriety of infant Baptism. Especially I would beg you to reflect on the considerations offered, which show that children before the coming of Christ were ordered to be entered into the covenant and Church of God; that no where in Scripture they are ordered to be put out of the covenant and Church of God; and that the Gospel dispensation has not diminished the privileges of Christian parents and children. But there are a few more important remarks to be made on the subject which ought not to be passed over in silence, and which should be kept in mind.

I shall briefly observe, that in the commencement of planting the Church, the first object of the Apostles was to convert and bring to Christ all their hearers. The preaching of the Apostles was addressed to them, to persuade them to repent and be baptised. It was necessary that they should be entered into covenant with the Lord before their children could be eligible; and the admission of these was a secondary consideration.

It is not requisite that all who join in a covenant or sacrament should be competent to the performance of it in all its parts. Minors are made to covenant in many things, according to the will of their guardians, without their own consent. Jesus Christ was baptised with the Baptism of repentance, although he was without sin, and needed no repentance; so, children are baptised on the faith of their parents or sponsors who promise they should be instructed in their covenant and duty. Here I shall observe, that the Baptism of John was not Christian Baptism. It was the Baptism of repentance in preparation for the kingdom of Christ. Christian Baptism was not instituted till immediately before the ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven. Faith and repentance must be performed by unbaptised persons, who are adults, before they enter into the covenant of Christ;[Pg 13] but this does not prove, that children ought not to be entered into the covenant because they cannot perform them. They promise them both repentance and faith by their sureties in Baptism, which promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform. Accordingly, in the Church of England, and in most of the Churches of Christ, sponsors promise to the covenant in Baptism, in the name of the children, in the same way that grown up persons promise for themselves. These obligations, which are entered into on the part of sponsors and children, we are persuaded are acceptable to the Lord, and that they will be blessed to both parties, in proportion to their respective faithfulness in conforming to them. In general, they greatly contribute to the religious education of the children who are baptised, parents and sponsors being bound to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; which is one great advantage flowing from infant Baptism. If the children afterwards depart from the promises entered into in the covenant, they will not benefit by it unless they repent; neither will they benefit by any privilege of which they do not make improvement. So it was with regard to circumcision; for St. Paul said, "Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

One text is sometimes brought forward by the objectors to infant Baptism, which I should notice. It is this: "He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved." This objection shows how carelessly erroneous ideas or weak arguments are sometimes adopted; and how necessary it is to read Scripture with some attention, and not to build our faith on a few texts or scraps of texts, selected for a particular purpose. The whole verse here is, "He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned." It plainly follows, that if infants are not capable of Baptism, because they cannot believe, neither can they be saved, because they cannot believe; for faith here is more expressly required to salvation than to Baptism. It is therefore sufficient to observe, that this text cannot apply to the subject of infant Baptism, but that it does apply to the case of all persons come to years of understanding, where the Gospel of Christ is preached; and let us all seriously consider it, and every one apply it carefully to himself.

We would ask Baptists when our views and practice with[Pg 14] regard to infant Baptism, were introduced into the Church; and whether they were not certainly prevalent in the early ages of the primitive Church, and continued down from that time till the present without interruption? Do not the writings of the Fathers, and the ancient histories of the Church support us in these arguments; and are they not confirmed by the general tenor of Scripture? I shall not at present quote the writings of the Fathers, or ecclesiastical history, on the subject; this evidence, however, I must observe, none will despise except the ignorant and the presumptuous. The most ancient Fathers mention infant Baptism; and in the third century a question was started in the Church in Africa, whether infants might be baptised before they were eight days old, because that was the day on which circumcision was formerly administered. In a general council of the Church at Carthage, it was unanimously agreed that it was not necessary to delay the Baptism of infants till they were eight days old.

I have shewn you evidently, I hope, that infant Baptism prevailed in the primitive Church; that it is founded on Scripture; and that the children of believers have been entered into the covenant and Church of God from the beginning of his Church or peculiar people, in the time of Abraham. I must add that this is the uniform practice of all the Church of Christ, of all Christian Churches and denominations, with a very few exceptions; and I ought not to close my letter without informing you that all the passages which I have quoted in illustration of my subject are taken from the excellent commentary of Burkitt on the New Testament.

I am, Sir,                            
Yours, &c.                

[Pg 15]

To the Editor of the Christian Recorder.


If you approve of the following Reflections and give them a place in your Christian Recorder, I have only to hope, that they may be read at a moment when the heart is disposed to listen to the dictates of conscience, that silent monitor, ever ready to confirm our best intentions, and that that moment may prove the crisis from which may be dated that happiness which is prepared in the mansions of the blessed, for all those who do the will of their Father which is in heaven.


"I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?—This do in remembrance of me."

This is the particular charge which our Lord gave when he was going to lay down his life for us. Men commonly observe religiously the charge of a dying friend, and unless it be very difficult and unreasonable, they pay to it implicit obedience. But this is the charge of our best friend, nay, of the greatest benefactor and friend of all mankind, when he was preparing to die in our stead, and to offer up himself a sacrifice for us; and can we deny any thing to him who was about to do so much for us? Can we refuse to comply with this his command, so little grievous and burdensome in itself, so infinitely beneficial to us? Had such a friend, in such circumstances, bid us do some great thing, should we not have done it? How much more when he has only said, Do this in remembrance of me, when he has only commended to us one of the most natural and delightful actions as a fit memorial of his wonderful love to us, and his cruel sufferings for our sakes; when he has only enjoined us, in a thankful commemoration of his goodness to meet at his table, and to remember what he had done for us; to look upon him whom we have[Pg 16] pierced, and to resolve to grieve him no more? Can we without the most horrible ingratitude neglect the dying charge of our Sovereign and our Saviour, the great friend and lover of our souls? a command so reasonable, so easy, so full of blessings and benefits to the faithful observers of it.

Nor can we abstain from this table of the Lord, without forgetting, indeed without so far renouncing, our relation to Christ crucified, and thereby declaring ourselves utterly unworthy of that holy name whereby we are called: verily, verily, except we eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, we have no life in us. If all people were but as sensible of this as some are, they would neglect no opportunity of receiving that holy sacrament; and they who do so, have too much cause to suspect that they care not for any of the blessings which God hath promised, nor whether they live in heaven or hell hereafter, so they may but live in ease and plenty, and credit, while they are in this world. This is plainly the foundation of that gross neglect of the sacraments, which is so visible among us, to every one of whom our blessed Lord hath said, "Do this in remembrance of me." Can any human being, whose heart is alive to love, to friendship, to gratitude, neglect this earnest call of our best Friend? Can any one believing that our Mediator is one day to become our lawful judge, ever dare, with closed ears and averted head, to turn from this peremptory command? Can the young, the gentle, the feeling, and the happy, listen with cool indifference to this affectionate invitation, this flattering request, "Do this in remembrance of me," and refuse to partake of a benefit which must give zest to all their enjoyments? Can the aged, the infirm, and the distressed, be so hardened, so lost to their own best interests, as to deny themselves the sure comfort and support offered to them in this blessed communion? The condition of every human being must be improved by this proof of our grateful love and obedience, by this public avowal of our steadfast faith; it will add brightness to the prospects of the gay and happy, and it will solace those who have no other comfort. Can reasonable souls reject so many strong inducements to this their bounden duty? Can Christians feel ashamed of the profession to which they are called? Dare they hesitate to proclaim him their Master, who has said, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, of the same shall the Son of Man[Pg 17] be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory and that of his Father, and of the holy Angels." What more dreadful threat than this can be devised, to rouse the inconsiderate from their fearful lethargy, and awaken the slumbering from their sleep of death! Can any well-disposed and virtuous mind resist these encouraging words: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," addressed to every being made after the image of his Creator, and uttered by him who gives them eternal life? Would not the most hardened sinner, could he be brought to reflect, sacrifice the indulgence of his most favourite sin, to become heir to the blessed hope of entering into the joy of his Lord. How then can so many, with minds candid and open to conviction in all other points and who are called upon only to examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life, have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death, and be in charity with all men? How can they hesitate to remove the little passions which disturb their peace, and lay hold of this aiding rod and staff, which will not only assist them to root out all that is gross in their hearts, but will lead them in safety and comfort, even through the valley of the shadow of death?


To the Editor of the Christian Recorder.


I have been so little in the habit of composition, that it is with extreme diffidence I venture to submit to your judgment the following reflections. They will, I fear, by many be thought common-place, and have perhaps but few claims on the attention of your readers on the score of novelty; but I trust that in a subject of this nature the intention will go far in mitigating the severity of criticism, and that those who are inclined to judge harshly of my attempt,[Pg 18] will bear in mind the difficulty of publishing perfectly new ideas, in a style of writing in which our best authors have already nearly exhausted every subject. To your decision I leave it whether this be entitled to a place in your Christian Recorder.

There is perhaps no feeling more strongly implanted in our minds than the desire of acquiring the good opinion of what is termed the world, and we seldom perform even the slightest actions of our life without a tacit reference to it. Indeed, by an extraordinary contradiction, even the most wicked and vicious of men, though they have not strength of mind to resist the allurements of sin, still try to clothe themselves in the garb of virtue, and assuming the appearance of good qualities they possess not generally add to their other vices that of hypocrisy, solely from the dread of encountering the merited censure of the world, and a wish to secure the opinion of other men, though conscious of their own unworthiness.

This desire of gaining general esteem and admiration, may at first sight appear truly laudable, but there are minds in which it may be attended with the most baneful consequences. I allude to its effects on the actions of those who, incapable of making a just discrimination, do not reflect that it is to the opinion of the wise and good alone they ought to show deference, and not to that of the misjudging crowd of beings who surround them, and upon whose judgment taken individually, they would scorn to rely. How many men there are who with the best intentions, are still such slaves to opinion, that they allow the fear of it to fetter and confine the noblest and most generous feelings they possess, and who with a consciousness of acting wrong, still persevere in the path they fain would quit, and persist in their error, entirely from the same principle and motive, which, at another time and under other circumstances, would perhaps prompt them to the best of actions. The motive I refer to is the opinion of the world. It requires but little observation to be convinced of the truth of this remark; and if we carefully examine our own conduct, I fear we shall have but little cause to pride ourselves upon our superiority in this respect.

These are the effects of this feeling upon weak minds. Let us now turn to those who are guided in their actions by the wish of acquiring the esteem of the wise and good.[Pg 19] How often will they find the very circumstances they have flattered themselves would ensure the good opinion they covet, so misrepresented as to deprive them of any chance of obtaining favor in the eyes of those with whom it is most desirable; and even should they have succeeded to the utmost of their wishes, a false and malicious report, a word invidiously spoken, may rob them of their well-earned fame and good report, and ruin them in the opinion of those who, although accounted good and wise, it must be recollected, are only men, and therefore not infallible in their judgment. It is then that they find that it is not upon the judgment of men alone they must rely; that the wisest may err in forming an opinion on the motives which have influenced us in our most virtuous acts, and that disappointment must generally be the fate of those who trust entirely to the "opinion of the world." They will then look to themselves for consolation, and seek for it in their own approving conscience; they will submit their cause to that just Judge in whom they ought sooner to have confided, without putting their trust in men, to that Almighty Being who fathoms our deepest thoughts, weighs the minutest actions of our life, and from whose all seeing eye the most secret motives of our hearts escape not; they will humbly acknowledge Him the only one capable of appreciating truly their virtuous actions, and will look to Him for that regard which the world cannot give.

Let us then endeavour to give up the vain system of referring all our actions to the opinion of the world. Let us select a more competent Judge, one with whom nor slander nor misrepresentation can avail; let us carefully examine our hearts and ask ourselves whether each deed we are about to commit be strictly according to His Law, and such as shall not cause us to shrink from the record, when called to our dread account before Him on a future day.

If we then strictly conform to the answers from our own bosoms, and rule our conduct by their dictates, we shall, at the close of every day, be able to look back with satisfaction upon its transactions, and find how infinitely more valuable is an approving conscience than the "opinion of the world."

York, 18th March, 1820.

[Pg 20]


"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah lix. 19.

To the Editor of the Christian Recorder.


At a moment like the present, when all the powers of darkness appear to be sent forth to disturb the fountain of living waters, when gross infidelity stalks abroad in open day, under the most fascinating and spurious forms, it appears to me to be the duty of every sincere Christian to offer in the best manner he is able, his testimony to the real Truth; in order to thwart the designs of those misguided creatures, who, not contented with speaking ill of the sacred Scriptures, issue out works calculated to mislead the unwary and inexperienced. With this view, and an humble reliance on Him who only can give effect to the weakest endeavour, I beg leave to collect and produce such proofs of the Divine origin of Sacred Writ, as have lately come under my consideration, which I pray may be made instrumental in establishing the opinion of the wavering, and more particularly of changing the views of those who have hitherto been so blinded as to place any reliance on such dreadful productions as Mr. Paine's Age of Reason. I would say to these misguided men, in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah, (viii. 8.) "How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly, in vain made he it; the pen of the Scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?"

It must be clear to all who reflect on the propensities of human nature, that we are formed capable of religion and have an internal consciousness that it is our duty to worship some Superior Being, and it may be observed that amongst the Heathens around us, and in all other places where the Bible is unknown, that no Religion has yet been discovered which is worthy of God. Uncertainty, confusion, and mistake have overpowered man's reason on this important subject, and the wisest of Pagans have thought a Revelation from the Deity as exceedingly desirable, in order that they might offer an acceptable worship which would procure them happiness—yet it will be found that none but Christians[Pg 21] have discovered this "one thing needful" and they only have rejoiced in the trying scene of death with the hope of a triumphant admission to glory through him, who has revealed to us "the way, the truth and the life."

Reflecting men have been induced to submit to the authority of the Bible, and to believe that it is the revelation of God, nor has the few immaterial mistakes which in a long course of time have crept in through the errors of transcribers, created any difficulty to the humble and teachable enquirer; though this cannot be said of the self-sufficient, or those who take up the Book of Truth with a criticising spirit to cavil and object; for "the Lord taketh the wise in their own craftiness."

The history of the Bible is of far greater antiquity than any other records extant in the world, and agrees in an extraordinary manner with the most authentic accounts which remain of the events, customs, and manners of the countries and ages to which it refers—the rise and fall of empires—the revolutions that have taken place in the world—and the grand outlines of Chronology as mentioned in Scripture accord with those stated by the most approved ancient writers. How could any one suppose that Moses and Aaron could persuade the whole nation of Israel that they had witnessed the Plagues of Egypt, that the waters of the Red Sea were piled up on either side of them that they might pass through, that they gathered manna, and witnessed other wonders recorded in their history, if no such events had actually occurred? And if that generation could not be imposed upon, when could the belief of such extraordinary transactions have commenced? It would surely have been impossible in the next age to persuade them, that their fathers had seen these things when they had never before heard a single word of them. The miracles by which writers of the Scriptures confirmed the Divine mission to their contemporaries afford also a convincing proof.—These miracles were published very soon after the time, and at the places in which they were said to have been wrought in the most conspicuous manner and before vast multitudes of enemies as well as friends, yet this public challenge never called forth any man to deny that they were actually performed nor was any attempt of the kind ever made till long after.

It must be pretty clear to all sensible persons, that bad men could never have penned a book which plainly condemns all manner of sin; and it is as certain that no good[Pg 22] men would have deceived mankind by pretending that an invention of their own was a Divine Revelation, particularly when likely to get by the deception, only reproach, imprisonment, torture, and death.

The Bible, well understood, enables us to explain those events which have appeared unaccountable to men in every age; and the more minutely any one watches and scrutinizes all the motives, intentions, imaginations, and desires of his own heart, it will clearly appear to him that the sacred mirror presents a just picture of his disposition and character; indeed it is beyond a doubt, that man is just such a being, and the world in such a state, as the Bible describes; and if this be a faithful explanation of the Record of Divine Truth, I must digress a moment to ask, how can we account for man's thoughts, hopes, fears, joys, and conversation, being almost entirely occupied by the perishing trifles of time and sense? It is surely a convincing proof of our blindness and ignorance by nature, that every vague and uninteresting report receives more attention than the glad tidings of salvation; that every science is preferred to the knowledge of Jehovah; that any question is thought of ample importance to set the ingenuity of men at work, whilst the grand question, What shall I do to inherit eternal life? is not deemed worthy of an answer. What a lamentable proof is this of that depravity of the human heart, which the Bible discloses! How true is it, "that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

It is admitted that the sacred Writings may sometimes be difficult to understand; but it will be found, that what we are most concerned to know, God has made plain and obvious; "though clouds and darkness are round about him, yet righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his Throne," and we should remember, that "secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the works of his law." And the cause of our not understanding passages of Scripture, is frequently because they are beyond our comprehension, and not because they are contrary to our reason; for, whilst they are "hid from the wise and prudent," they are "revealed unto babes."

But the most obstinate objectors to the Bible that I have met with are those who on inquiry I have discovered never[Pg 23] to have read it, to say nothing of "searching" it; and I am of opinion, that the reason the Divine Oracles are so much doubted, is chiefly owing to their not being more consulted. Almost every Englishman, and (thanks be to that unparallelled institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society) many foreigners possess them; yet, how much is it to be deplored, that the Sacred Record lies too often neglected on the shelf from year to year, unless it is perhaps occasionally used as a Register for births, baptisms, &c. as if it were supposed that the mere possession of the Word of God, or the being born in a Christian country, would save us; just as wisely may we expect to be cured from a dangerous bodily disease because we are regularly supplied with prescriptions by an eminent physician, whilst we neglect to take the dose he prescribes.

I would affectionately recommend all who doubt whether the Bible is of Divine origin, to read it carefully, with prayer for the aid of the Spirit of Wisdom—to reflect on the Prophecies in general, but especially on those respecting the dispersion of the Jews, and of the Incarnation of the Son of God—how completely have many of them been fulfilled, whilst others are fulfilling. Consider how exactly our blessed Saviour foretold the principal events that should befall him, whilst veiled in human flesh, and "how that he should rise again the third day." How then can any one suppose that the Scriptures were not written by "holy men of God, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost?" Well might Locke say in speaking on this grand subject, "they have God for their author; salvation for their end; and truth without any mixture of error, for their object."

Much more might be said to prove that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God;" 2 Tim. iii. 16. but I will conclude with one more extract, and leave

"All in his hands whose promise I seek,
Whose frown can disappoint the proudest strain;
Whose approbation prosper even mine!"
February, 1820.

"As one of the objects of Paine's Age of Reason is to strike at the foundation, by denying the Mosaic account of the creation, and by asserting the improbability of maintaining a regular chain of evidence, the following statement is made as it stands recorded in the Bible, and a more lucid[Pg 24] and uninterrupted connexion of testimony cannot be found in any historical work."


"The following persons lived and conversed many hundred years with Adam, and also with Noah, and consequently, were enabled to impart to Noah a most circumstantial account of the creation of the world, and the departure out of the Garden of Eden, as related to them by Adam himself, who died at the age of 930 years."


NAMES. Born in the
year of the
Lived and
with Adam.
Lived and
with Noah.
Died in the
Year of the
    Years. Years.    
Cainan, great-grandson to Adam, 325 605 179 1235 950
Mahalul, 395 535 234 1290 895
Jarad, 460 470 366 1422 962
Methusalah, 687 243 600 1656 967
        The Year of the Deluge.  
Lamech son of Methuselah & father of Noah, 874 56 595 1651 777
Noah, 1056     2006 950


"Shem, (who witnessed the whole of the stupendous scene,) also lived 150 years with Abraham and 50 years with Isaac, and (undoubtedly) acquainted them with all the information which he had personally received from Lamech and Methuselah, of what had been imparted to them by Adam himself, respecting the creation: and then (from his own personal knowledge) could also acquaint Abraham and Isaac of every circumstance relating to the Deluge: therefore no record can be more uninterruptedly clear than the history of the Creation and the Deluge, as related in the Book of Genesis."

"The account of the Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, are beyond dispute."

[Pg 25]

To the Editor of the Christian Recorder.


At the commencement of the present year, I perhaps presumptuously offered a few reflections, which you received most kindly, more particularly intended for the benefit of those elders, on whom devolves the charge of children and servants, and whose happiness here and hereafter must in all probability depend much upon their proper performance of this sacred duty. Encouraged by your flattering reception of my attempt, and knowing that example is frequently to the young, what precept may be expected to be to the more "advanced in life", I venture to address to you, and through you, if you please, to the public, a little Tale, selected for its entirely religious import; uncertain of its fate, I only transmit the first part for your next Christian Recorder.


Fortune smiled not on the birth of Eveleen; but a gracious Providence in her infant years placed her in a situation peculiarly fitted to draw forth and improve the amiable qualities which composed her character; and so confirmed in her were all the most attractive graces and virtues, that excellence seemed the spontaneous effusion of unadulterated nature, when it was in fact the result of deep reflection and fixed religious principles, implanted on no common soil. Good seeds which fill the very air we breath, and which the Giver of all good is for ever scattering round us, in her heart found wherewithal to take root, were nourished by her sensible mind, and yielded fruit which gave her more lasting pre-eminence than ever did golden apple to Heathen beauty.

Eveleen, it is true, was an acknowledged beauty; but hers was the beauty of holiness; it was goodness invisible, attainable by all human beings, which glowed in her countenance; it was that gentleness which is from above, that threw the powerful charm over the face and person of Eveleen, which drew to her so many hearts and rendered[Pg 26] her so highly distinguished. Her figure interested rather by its truly feminine delicacy than by either its symmetry or perfect proportions; her forehead was indeed the seat of truth and innocence; but it was the soul illuminating her soft blue eye, that gave it intelligence. It was the best feelings of a warm heart which gave the delicate expression of paleness to her fine countenance, and the roseate tint which bashful modesty kindled in her cheeks, lent their brightness to the glossy locks that shaded her animated face. A feeling heart, a cultivated mind, subdued passions, and a regulated temper, were the lovely features which, proclaimed by a smile of serenity and contentment, made Eveleen beautiful. It may, perhaps, astonish my female readers to hear that all Eveleen's arts, and she had many, for improving and preserving beauty, were gathered from her Bible, and that even her person was embellished by the instruction she obtained from the holy Scriptures; there she read, your adorning; let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, or wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in sight of God of great price; and the correction of her heart became her first care, while the neat arrangement of her simple attire, evinced a mind at ease with itself, neither ruffled nor disturbed by any of that restless fickle vanity, only to be appeased by change of apparel and outward adorning.

As Eveleen never ventured to commence the duties of the day until she had consulted the sacred pages, she was constantly reminded that the same proportional increase is expected from the possessor of five talents, as from him who has but one, and industry became with her a peremptory duty. The cultivation of her mind, the acquirement of useful knowledge, of agreeable and graceful accomplishments, in her might be called a religious exercise. It was this pious spirit by which she was for ever actuated that enabled her not only to gratify the pride of her indulgent parents, by her proficiency in showy accomplishments, but also, to minister to their daily comfort, and anticipate all their wishes, without neglecting the duty she owed to her neighbour, or the calls of society; a sparrow could not fall to the ground unperceived by her heavenly Father, how then could she, distinguished by so many proofs of his[Pg 27] divine favour, doubt for one moment that an eye too pure to behold iniquity, was bent on her; and believing herself accompanied in her course by Divine presence, could she ever give her mind to idle and vain thoughts, or her time to selfish and unworthy pursuits? She was strictly commanded by her Bible to love her neighbour as herself, how then could she ever allow herself to be amused by that converse which delighted to dwell on the misfortunes, failings, and unamiable qualities of her fellows, knowing that it was by the all seeing Eye above they could be rightly judged? She was ever ready to excuse when excuse could be admitted without depreciating virtue, and where error must be acknowledged; she not only refused to lend a hand in lifting the veil which uncertainly drew over the infirmities of her fellow-creatures, but she held a glass to the many perfections to be found in the heart of those who bear the image of their great Creator.

"Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." This she read in the book of truth, and could she dare, by mischievous whisperings, by silly speeches and mean gossiping, to wound the peace of the unsuspecting, and sow dissension where peace ought to abound, even amongst those who ought to brighten each others days, and implant discontent in the bosoms of those who as members of the same body, depend for their happiness on mutual good offices? Enjoined to weep with those who weep, and to rejoice with those who rejoice, how could she be indifferent to the joy or woe of any dweller on earth? how could she enjoy her good, whilst another needed what she had to bestow? God granted her health, time, abilities; should she not then use these blessings in the service of his creatures? The blessed Son of the most High came down from heaven, endured ignominy and death to save the soul of the meanest human being, as well as hers, and could she neglect to pour oil and wine into the wounds of suffering mortality? No, to do good and hurt not, was her sacred duty, and hers was that charity which vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, thinketh no evil, but rejoiceth in the truth; it was, indeed, the very bond of peace and all virtues.

Eveleen's religion cast no gloom about her, far otherwise; it brightened all around her, and that sunshine in her breast, the constant offspring of true religion and good actions, springing from that highest of all principles, shed[Pg 28] its rays on all within her sphere. Religion has lent the finishing grace to illustrious characters; but it was the foundation stone on which hers was built. Her unaffected piety, her uniform attention to whatever could adorn the Gospel and increase its influence, gave charity to her otherwise simple character, and importance to all her actions, not alone amongst the low and ignorant, but in the gay circles, where she never failed to charm, not only by her gentle virtues, but by her wit and vivacity, the same voice which with earnest benevolence strove to instruct the poor and ignorant, and to open their minds to that great blessing which they enjoy in common with the richest and most learned, often in the hours of social mirth, by gentle reproof, made a good and lasting impression upon some light mind, which but for that meek rebuke, might long have continued in its error; and the same eye, which beaming with generous sentiments encouraged the simple and weak, could, by a glance of superiority, awe the rude and gay, who never forgot the respect due to her presence. Such was Eveleen, unconscious that such she was, and that few were like her, performing every duty from the purest motive and fully enjoying every pleasure from the happy consciousness of striving to do the will of Him whose word was a lantern unto her feet and a light unto her path—of the Lord who knew of her down sitting and her up-rising, that mighty Power, who knew all her thoughts, even before they were conceived by her, that Comforter who was about her path, and about her bed, and directed all her ways.

(To be continued.)

(From the Christian Journal.)


St. Paul says of godliness, that it "has the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come:" here is an object of sufficient magnitude for human desire and endeavour. In another place, he comprehends the whole[Pg 29] of human duty in "living righteously, soberly, and godly, in this present world." Which shows, that the last term is commensurate with our debt of piety. He also speaks of "women professing godliness:" implying, that there is no higher grade of profession called for. In truth, the term "godliness" involves the principle of vitality.

Therefore there is tautology in the phrase "vital godliness." The only pretence for it, within the knowledge of the present writer, is what we read in 2 Tim. iii. 5.—"having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." This is irrelevant; since, the form not being the principle itself, there is no need to supply a supposed defect in the language of Scripture. But the place in the Epistle to Timothy is misapprehended. What is there called "a form of godliness," does not signify any thing commendable even in the exterior profession, but the appearance of the contemplated subject, which may be a false appearance, and was so, in the persons spoken of. The original signifies no more: and among the various ways in which this appearance may be made, is one man's saying of another, in order to bring unmerited reproach on him, that he is destitute of vital godliness. It may be the effect of some faulty passion: and in this case, there is the appearance or the form of godliness, without the power.

What can have been the origin of the unevangelical term in question? With all the allowance for those who use it from habit, begun they know not how; and for others, who use it without thought as to its precise meaning; the avowed patrons of it have something to inculcate, extraneous to any state of mind included in Scripture under the simple term "godliness." Hence they are led, perhaps unconsciously, to fill up the phrase answerably to their own ideas.

What is this extraneous matter? It is a species of animal sensibility, of which a man may possess much without religious affections; although, doubtless, the principles may be associated in the same mind.

It is here supposed, that when a distinction is taken between the habitual exercise of an affection of which the mind is conscious, and any of those livelier sensibilities which agitate the animal frame, the boundary between the two must be perceptible; although the latter may be occasionally attendant on the former. Even then, the animal sensibility makes no part of the evidence of a gracious[Pg 30] state; which must be tested by dispositions of a more calm and steady cast. If the other be considered as the test, it ought to rise in esteem, in proportion to the height of its animation. For this reason, some of the favourers of such devotion do not act consistently, in objecting to the grades to which it is carried by the people called "Shakers;" and by those who, in meetings for religious exercises, have sensation suspended by the terror of what they conceive to be devotion. The subjects of these feelings, consider other descriptions of persons as not only far beneath them on the religious scale, but as hinderers of the work of God. This is correct, on the principle common to both the parties.

If the superaddition to what godliness requires, were to have no other consequence than the extravagances in discourse and conduct, which bring religion into contempt; this itself ought to be a reason, to guard against the tumultuous breakers of sensations merely animal. But in addition, they have generally the property of unsteadiness: and eventually, make the mind the easier susceptible of licentiousness: and even sometimes conceal from it the malignity of malicious passion. The last circumstance has been manifested in sundry instances, in which the patrons of the phrase in question, under the evident government of ambition or of envy, have applied it to charge defect of piety on those, who, so far as there is evidence to the world of their real characters, have more to recommend them than their accusers.

It is not here unattended to, that the sentiments delivered would be considered by some estimable persons, as indicative of religious views void of spirituality. There would be a breach of duty in declining, on that account, to speak agreeably to the Word of Truth: and it ought to be held "a light thing, to be judged of man's judgment." Of the kind of animal sensibility faulted, there is no example in the New Testament, nor in the Old; unless in the devotions of those worshippers of Baal, whom the prophet Elijah ridiculed: counselling them to "cry aloud," lest their god should be "journeying, or pursuing, or asleep and to be awaked."

W. W.

Postscript.—Similar to the phrase discoursed of, is that other of "vital piety;" as if there could exist piety, without the principle of vitality. However well intended or[Pg 31] accidental the phrase in some mouths, it proceeds from others for nefarious purposes.

Mrs. Hannah More, writing a book under the title of "Practical Piety," does not seem to have perceived any call to the defining of it as "vital" also. And yet, who, after reading her admirable treatise, will withhold the commendation, that it is an appeal to the best affections of the human heart, and an excitement of them? It would not be surprising, however, if some spiritual hypercritic were to discover from the title of her book, that she favours piety no further than in what relates to the practice of its forms.

W. W.

(From the Christian Journal.)


The variety, beauty, and magnificence, which are every where displayed in the works of nature, are fitly adapted to raise the mind of man to sublime contemplations respecting that glorious Being, who pervades, supports, and governs the universal system. If we cast our eyes around, and only slightly survey the objects which appear on every side, we must be instantly struck with the idea of a reigning Power. But though the creation exhibits to our view innumerable instances of the wisdom and goodness of the Deity; yet it is plain, from the little proficiency which we are able to make in the knowledge of the productions of nature, that they were not given to lead us into the intricate labyrinth of accurate investigation, but principally to afford us the noblest ideas of him who is "unsearchable in all his works and ways." Indeed, if the limited reason of man could fully comprehend whatever he has an opportunity of examining, he would not entertain such awful veneration for his incomprehensible Creator. It would have the direct tendency to excite and cherish that pride, which it is his interest to mortify and suppress. Also, where every thing is open and plain to the mind, there can exist but little grandeur or sublimity. Could we see the process of growth in the vegetable world, or search into the cause[Pg 32] that so gently, so imperceptibly, and without intermission, produces the rise and spread of plants, all the mystery would be removed, and, in this instance, we would have less reason to adore the wisdom of God. But now, surrounded as we are on every side with objects of wonder, we are more easily led to meditate on the glorious and unalterable perfections of that Being, who shines illustrious in every thing which his wisdom has seen fit to create.

Having premised thus far concerning the works of nature, let us, from this subject, bestow a few reflections on the absurdity which prevails with some in rejecting a revelation, because it contains truths too lofty for their conceptions, too abstruse for their penetration, and sentiments contrary to their natural perverse inclinations.

If it was not so very evident that man needs instruction from God, the opposers of revelation might be more justifiable in their conduct. But wherever we turn, we see the necessity of assistance. What ravages do we observe in our world? From what source do they spring? What will remove them, and bring all things again into universal consistency? If these queries could be answered by any other system of doctrines, as reasonably as by the Bible, we would not expect the latter to be so soon embraced. But since the greatest philosophers have been very absurd in their notions about religion; since after all their studies and advancements in knowledge, they could never form a scheme by which past guilt could be expiated; and since the Scriptures alone are a "light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths," surely we would deem that man, or that nation, who should doubt their authenticity, desperately insane. What then shall we think of those who, from childhood, were instructed in their precepts, and taught their doctrines, not only shamefully neglect them, but exert all their powers of argument and raillery, to extirpate them entirely from the face of the earth, and root their principles out of the hearts of those who receive them? Such preposterous behaviour in creatures called rational, is, at first thought, inexplicable. But if the cause that influences their minds was duly scrutinized; if the motives from which they act were minutely inspected; a sordid self interest would be found predominant, and biassing them against that, to which, (if their passions bore not the sway,) they would immediately accede. We know that light can have no union with darkness. We are well assured that sordid sin[Pg 33] cannot find the least pleasure in pure holiness. The word of that God, whose sceptre is from everlasting, exclaims loudly against all wickedness, without exception. The man engaged in fulsome pleasures, would almost as soon part with his life as with those sensual enjoyments; and, therefore, will, without any consideration, reject, as austere, the precepts it contains.

The Bible holds up a Redeemer to our view, through whom alone our guilt can be pardoned, and our persons accepted. The self-conceited man thinks that he has no need of such an Intercessor. His pride will represent himself as virtuous, and capable of gaining heaven, and his Maker's favour, by his own exertions. In the revelation from above; from that God, "who worketh on our right hand unseen, and on our left in hidden gloom," we may reasonably expect some unsearchable truths. Yet this very circumstance gives umbrage to many. Some persons are possessed of abilities so discerning, and of erudition so refined, that whatever cannot be fully known by them, must, without doubt, be a palpable inconsistency. Logic has been their favourite study, every species of the mathematics their delight, and philosophy their mere recreation. What is there that they cannot demonstrate? What that they have not made themselves masters of? What in nature that they cannot follow to its origin? Why, have they not traced rivers to their sources? Have they not marked the rise of nations and their fall? And should men of such extensive knowledge suffer the world to be imposed on by the erroneous doctrines contained in that deceiving volume, falsely designated the Word of God? Their goodness will not allow it, and, therefore, they do their utmost to disburden the people of the vain and weighty charge. But let such persons only reflect, that there are things even in nature unsearchable. What is the impulse that rolls the worlds, revolves the seasons, and shoots forth the produce of the earth? How is one body supported by another? and what preserves all in universal order, and in the most delightful harmony? How are the soul and body united, and in what manner does the former actuate the latter? These are mysteries, and in all probability will so remain. Then if these are truths, and yet unknown, is it absurd to believe the Scriptures, though they may contain some things too deep for mortals to comprehend? Rather let us embrace them sooner, expecting hereafter to be made[Pg 34] capable of knowing things more wonderful than these. Can its plain and simple language be any objection to its Author's divinity? We know that puerile niceties, and studied elegance are conspicuous in the works of men. The Word of God stands in no need of these. As well might we say, that the sun, who follows his course through the heavens, required the assistance of a glimmering torch, before he could diffuse his light and heat around, as to expect that the embellishments of human art could add the least dignity to the Scriptures: for in the most unadorned style majesty gleams; in the simplest narration grandeur swells. As it is not twinkling tapers, however artfully or variously disposed; nor small figures, however decorated with variegated hues; but forked lightnings, darting, with awful glare through the heavens, and objects of vast magnitude, that give an adequate idea of the sublime: so it is not fine words, arranged in accustomed order, or painted with human skill, or made pleasant to the ear by practical art; but representations that raise the thoughts to God, rouse the whole man, and make the soul thirst for immortality, that can be said to proceed from a source divine.

The writers of the Scriptures appear to have nothing in view but the glory of God, and the edification of men. They knew too well the value of an immortal soul, to flatter any in their sins. They represented the actions of men in their true colours, and feared not even the face of kings. For which genuine candour many of them were cruelly persecuted, and brought to violent deaths. If the penmen of Holy Writ had received remarkable advantages from their writings, or had been exalted to dignified stations in the world, then we might, with more probability, suspect some invention of their own. But since it proved the contrary, what can prompt us to imagine that they were not sent by an Almighty power? They humbly acknowledge their own weakness and unworthiness; point out what is blamable in others; aim not at their own exaltation; but deliver the word of God in its purity. Had they been actuated by improper motives, each page would savour of insincerity, levity, and carnality. They would never have painted sin in such awful colours, and of such fatal consequence. They would not have represented heaven as a place pure, and free from sordid enjoyments; nor would they ever have informed us, that God is angry with the wicked every day, and that he will assuredly punish them with the most steady and undeviating justice.

[Pg 35]Let us mark their noble scope, and view their ultimate design. Is it to picture man of low capacities, and deduce him from mean origin? Do they teach that wild chance "bears her silly sway, and governs all below?" Can we, from them, infer, that the merciful Creator is unmindful of his creatures, and has made them for mean enjoyments? Or do they say, that man was formed by a Divine power, and rendered capable of holding communion with his Maker? Do they assert the wise government of Providence, and "vindicate the ways of God to man?" Do they represent the Almighty as being very mindful of his creatures, and designing their happiness? Then are their writings planned for noble ends, and exalt the Deity more. They are intended to bring all things into universal consistence, and to abolish every disorder. They point to our wounds, and exhibit a remedy. They draw the curtain of futurity, place God on his throne, and summon the nations to his bar. They lead the virtuous into seats of happiness, and regions of undisturbed bliss; and sentence stubborn offenders from the presence of God. What more consonant to reason than this? If it places our true character before us, our means of attaining blessedness, and brings honor to the universal King, surely we must, without hesitation, pronounce its author God.

Where beauty dwells and offers itself to our sight, we feel touched with a sense of its loveliness, and there desire to tarry. To an attentive mind, and unbiassed judgment, the word of God possesses beauty throughout. Not, as we have said before, in fine expressions and studied variety, but in the grandeur and sublimity of its thoughts. The sense of beauty is greatly heightened when it has usefulness for its associate. A field, clothed with flowers of different colours, would be a sight pleasing enough to the eye; but the idea of unfruitfulness coming in at the same time, would materially lessen the sense of beauty. So, in the Scriptures, the different authors have different degrees of beauty. But then the knowledge of their beneficial tendency, comprises the whole under one view, and blends the various parts into one noble and useful plan. The word of that Being, who is beautiful in holiness, and lovely in all his perfections, is not void of those qualities, even in expression, which, while they please the taste, improve also the heart. But have the Scriptures no advocates among men? None who have embraced them with cordiality? None who have expressed the highest regard for their precepts? Where is that band of heroes who suffered death in their defence? Where are those who were tortured on the rack, and who gave up all their enjoyments for the sake of that Word which upheld them in all their distresses? Let them come forward. Bloody evidences against infidels. If they cannot now affect those stubborn mortals, they will be formidable witnesses against them in a future world. Who can imagine that these men would have exposed themselves to infamy, persecution, and death, if they were not experimentally assured of the truth of the Scriptures; and if that Being, at whose name the devils tremble, who is clothed with omnipotence as with a garment, had not upheld and comforted them in these severe trials?



(Continued from page 482, Vol. I.)

In our quotations from the Heathen writers, who flourished in the infancy of Christianity, we have freely given expressions of negligences or of contempt with which they described the new Religion. But their disdain cannot affect the truth. We stand upon evidence, and not upon opinion. The source of error among those haughty and accomplished minds, was contempt before examination. No power of argument can force its way against this predetermined sentence. The state of religion among the Heathens naturally tended to give its thinking men a scorn of all religion. There were six hundred different kinds of religious rites in Rome. By the more intelligent they were habitually, as they were justly, fables. A new religion was added to this heap of impostures; it came from a quarter nationally despised; its story had nothing in common with their conceptions—"a Jewish peasant, who died on a cross between two criminals, come to redeem the world!" The new doctrine, to the eye of the Roman, living in the schools of a proud philosophy, or plunged in the sensual life of what was virtue at the court of the Emperors, was covered with extravagance. The language of its principles must have sounded remote and barbarous; redemption, grace, justification by faith, mediation, the shedding of Christ's blood for the washing away of sin, were all a new language, startling or absurd to their haughty and precipitate philosophy. Those celebrated men did not inquire even when they must have had full opportunity; all their conceptions of Judaism appear to have been ignorantly insolent. They calumniated the Jews as worshipping even baser idols that their own. Tacitus,[Pg 36] in a professed dissertation on the Jews, declares that they worshipped the image of an ass. Plutarch repeats the absurdity. The want of magnificence in the equipment of Christianity, its application to the lower ranks, its familiarity of exhortation degraded it before men accustomed to the contact with dignity and distinction. The men of learning were habitually impressed with the idea, that morality and the worship of the deity, after the manner of their fathers, included all religion. All novelty of belief was thus excluded. It is palpable that the cause of Roman infidelity was contempt before inquiry. If they had inquired, they would have written about it. Its claims were too high, and its discoveries too attractive to curiosity, not to have engrossed some prominent share of their description. But when men, from prejudice or contempt, resolve not to examine, the subject is naturally the last that employs their pen. The letters of the younger Pliny are a striking instance of this maxim. From his correspondence with Trajan, we know that Christianity had excited his attention, and that he had inquired into the matter just as far as the Roman Governor might be expected to inquire, namely, whether its opinions were dangerous to government; but it is obvious, that he had made none but the most vague and popular inquiry into its doctrines, records, or proofs. His language is that of a man palpably unacquainted with its principles beyond the common report of his officers. It is a further and curious evidence of the governmental light in which he looked upon Christianity, that in his more than 240 remaining letters, he has never again alluded to the subject. He had made his inquiry as a magistrate, had sealed up his despatch for Rome—his public duty was now done, and he felt no further inclination to think of a religion propagated by a few wanderers and Jews.

If the two letters between Pliny and the Emperor had been lost, would it not have been argued that Christianity was too obscure to attract notice, or that it had not existed? Tacitus calls Christianity a pernicious superstition—exitiabilis superstitio—and this completes his description: this is evidence that he had made no inquiry into the religion. No sceptic of the present age would apply this epithet, however he might deny the divine origin of revelation. It is obvious, that Tacitus took the idle report of the day in Rome, whose paganism began already to feel alarm at the religion which declared a determined war against idolatry. If he had inquired, he must have met with the letters which St. Paul had, but a few years before the period of which he speaks, been sending to all the churches as their general rule of conduct. The mind of a man like Tacitus must have honored principles like these—"Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Mind not high things; but condescend to men of low estate. Recompense to no man evil for evil; provide things honest in the sight of all men. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Knowing the time: that it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." It is not possible that, after seeing a[Pg 37] document of this order proceeding from the highest authority, and acknowledged as law in the infant church, he could have called Christianity a pernicious superstition. But we are to remember the infinite superiority of modern life in all that facilitates knowledge: the most uncivilized portion of Christian Europe has advantages in this respect immensely superior to the most civilized and opulent empire of all antiquity; and much of this may be owing to the influence of Christianity itself. Turkey divided from Christendom by an imperceptible physical bound, is divided from it by an immeasurable desert in the conveniencies of social life: standing physically by the side of European society, she is morally flung back from it two thousand years, and stands beside ancient Rome. In our age, the rapidity of communication, the press, the habit of public discussion, the higher cultivation of the general mind, make knowledge rapid, easy, and secure. Where Tacitus wrote, there was no daily transmission of intelligence; no comment on its value perpetually soliciting the public eye; no implied necessity for the general acquaintance with a subject remote, religious, and which was not to be discussed in any public meeting of the legislature. There are at this hour a multitude of sects among ourselves, for whose tenets we must look into books. What conception could be faithful, that had no firmer assurance than the vagueness of conversation, or the exaggeration of common rumour? But when Pliny saw it on the spot, does he join in the brief and disdainful sentence of the Roman historian? We have already observed, that he examined as a magistrate simply to ascertain, whether the new doctrine tended to shake the allegiance of the provinces. His answer to the Emperor gives as the result, that he could discover nothing beyond their meeting together on a fixed day before day-light, when they sung a hymn to Christ as a God, and bound themselves by an oath, not to the commission of any wickedness, but to shun the guilt of theft, robbery, and adultery—never to falsify their words—never to deny a pledge committed to them when called upon to return it, the common crimes of the populace of the empire. Pliny having thus far ascertained their harmlessness as subjects, examined no farther. The error of Tacitus may be a lesson to modern scepticism. His knowledge of Christianity was evidently obscure and negligent. Had he applied himself to investigate the question, he must have given a more respectful or at least a more detailed account of it. A religion professing to be the great promised wisdom which was to convert the earth—which came with the assumption of a heavenly sanction, and which alone of all religions declared determined hostility against all the rest, must have offered an object of eminent interest to the philosophic historian, if he had known more of it than the vulgar rumour of the day. It is, plain, that what was called the "superstition" of the Christians, was the worship of a person unknown to the Roman calendar; and that its "perniciousness" was its opposition to the opulent and ancient Polytheism. Religion was not, in his day, a matter of the anxious investigation, which our deeper knowledge has made it; it had no attraction then to place it on a rank with politics—with the arts—with the labours of the imagination; it was a system left to soothsayers and sacrificers; to the statesman an useful assistant, and therefore not to be disturbed; to the philosopher a system of fable, and therefore its security or its struggle unimportant; to the populace a dispenser of largess and festival; in some instances a protection for licentious passions; and in all, an habitual depository of the traditions, customs, and history of their nation. A fair conclusion from this hasty opinion of Tacitus is the little reliance to be placed, even upon acute judgments,[Pg 38] in matters to which they come with a contemptuous prejudice. Had not Christianity lived to prove its own doctrines, it must have been branded as a "pernicious superstition;" and the authority of the great historian would have been quoted triumphantly as decisive of the question. It is also obvious that this contempt, prior to examination, is an intellectual vice, from which the first understandings are not free. We have no idea of ranking the brute absurdity of modern blasphemers with the scepticism of Tacitus; they know, and yet deny what they know; they hazard the lie for the sake of the lucre. The Roman was ignorant, and spoke from his ignorance. But by men of educated intellects, it must not be forgotten, that their besetting sin is pride; that the very consciousness of powerful faculties tempts to a rash decision; that the habit of rapid judgment is dangerous where the investigation is to be made out by careful and humble inquiry; and that the deduction of sweeping conclusions may involve the most important truth in the general contempt for contending impostures. Another plain result from the testimony of Tacitus, is the cessation of our surprise at not finding Christianity a common subject among the writers of the age. The noblest of them mistook its character. The rest might be expected to look upon it with negligence, or speak of it without knowledge. Jortin's remarks on this subject are rational:—"Men of rank and of abilities are often found, even in the Christian countries, to be surprisingly ignorant of religion and of every thing that relates to it. Such were many of the Heathens. Their thoughts were all fixed upon other things—upon reputation and glory—upon wealth and power—upon luxury and pleasure—upon business and learning. They thought, and they had reason to think, that the religion of their country was fable and forgery—a heap of inconsistent lies, which inclined them to think that other religions were no better. Hence it came to pass, that when the Apostles preached the Gospel and wrought miracles in confirmation of a doctrine every way worthy of God, many Gentiles knew little or nothing of it, and would not take the least pains to inform themselves about it. This appears plainly from ancient history." The great division of the Roman public, and peculiarly that of its educated men, seems to have been into those who rejected Christianity without inquiry, and those who inquired and received it; for we know that it was received by a great multitude in Rome, and even in the palace of the Cæsars. The writers of the age would also be of two classes; those who were silent about Christianity; and those who were Christians. A good man, who attended sufficiently to the doctrine, would become a Christian; after which, his testimony of course ceased to be Pagan, and he was excluded from arbitration as being Christian. Where the evidence of miracles was pressed upon the Heathen, they were imputed to magic; as they had been by the Jews imputed to the assistance of demons. We now know, that those pretexts were absurd subterfuges; but the use of the subterfuges proves the contemporary belief of the facts of the miracles, and the acknowledgment that they transcended the ordinary power of our nature.

Miracles were mentioned as one of the great evidences of Christianity. When Jesus wrought wonders before the Jews, and they said "he casteth out devils by Belzebub, the prince of the devils," he appealed to their common sense—he bade them combine his doctrine with his power, and ask their consciences, whether the power of evil would be lent to propagate good? "If Satan be divided against himself, he cannot stand." Christ came abolishing falsehood, enjoining the love of God, dependence on him as Father, and homage for him as the King of Creation. To substantiate this hallowed[Pg 39] doctrine, he performed wonders which transcended all human power. He came to communicate truths from God—he wrought miracles to prove that those truths were divine. He required nothing to be believed on his simple testimony.—"Believe me for the work's sake." If at this day we saw a man healing the blind with a touch, commanding the lame into the instant possession of his limbs, and raising the corpse already three days buried; and saw him do those things in confirmation of doctrines new to us, yet not contradictory to our natural conceptions of the Divinity, we must believe him to tell truth. If with this power he uttered blasphemy, we must still believe him to be a being gifted with extraordinary power, but from an evil source. Our reason exercised in humility is given to us as an original guard against deception, and to our reason we must adhere. But the combination of the holy doctrine with the supernatural power, would form an irresistible testimony to his divine mission. The miracles of Christ differ from all the alleged miracles of other teachers and times, by strong peculiarities. 1. They are narrated in contemporary history. This distinction strikes down the miraculous history of Pythagoras, written eight hundred years after his death; the prodigies of Livy's history; the poetic wonders of the heroic ages; the whole of the Greek, Roman and Gothic mythology; the life of Apollonius Tyanæus, written a hundred years after his death, and dependent on the solitary testimony of his biographer Philostratus; and the legendary histories of the Popish saints, seldom written till a century or two after their deaths.

2. The miracles were published in the places where they were performed. This excludes accounts published in one country of what happened in another, without any further proof that they had occurred in that other. The Church of Christ was planted in Judæa. The miracles of Apollonius Tyanæus are related to have been chiefly performed in India, without proof that those miracles even were ever heard of in India. Those of Francis Xavier, and others of the Indian missionaries, fall under the same objection of distance.

3. The story supported by the Christian miracles did not perish. This excludes the multitude of transient rumours of wonders done, without any consequence to be traced.

(To be continued.)

[Pg 40]


We acknowledge a communication from a "Friend to pure religion" on "Amusements," which the writer must excuse us from inserting, as any further discussion would be unprofitable after the very able paper in our Number for December, in which the weak reasoning, inaccurate application of Scripture, and unfair inferences, so frequently used by zealous but ignorant writers, are anticipated and exposed and the subject placed on its true basis.

In thanking the author of "Eveleen," we must request that the remainder of the story be more plainly written, or we shall not be able to insert it.

We recommend to the particular attention of our readers, the eloquent defence of Christianity, taken from a London paper, entitled "Carlile's Trial", we have seldom met with a more able appeal to our understandings and our hearts.

We are happy to announce that all the original articles of this Number, have been furnished by Correspondents. Hitherto we have had little aid, though that little was extremely valuable, and from persons whose names were we at liberty to mention them, would confer honor on this or any periodical publication.


By a communication lately received from a near relative of this distinguished Chief, the Editor learns with regret, that the biographical sketch in the Recorder, has given offence to his family and friends.

As it was intended to exalt rather than depress the character of the deceased, he begs leave to state, that the materials of the sketch were furnished him, many years ago, by a bosom friend of the late Captain Brant, who knew and loved him for more than forty years, and his motives for putting them in form, were two:

1st. Mr. Campbell, the most eminent of the Poets of the present day, in a popular poem, had given a very inaccurate account of the expedition to Wyoming, in which he deeply implicates Capt. Brant. From this the Editor exonerates him by relating the true causes of that expedition.

2d. That from the reports of several religious Societies, it appeared that Captain Brant had been deprived of the honor, and not a small honor, of having translated a portion of the New Testament, and this the Editor likewise sets right.

Truth of History rendered some notice of his failings necessary, but these are touched slightly, and so far was the Editor from supposing that he had given offence to Capt. Brant's friends or relations, that he thought he merited their thanks.

He is however extremely sorry that any thing drawn up by him should have given a moment's uneasiness and the more so that any cause of offence should have been found in a work from which it has been anxiously sought to exclude any discussion that could involve private feeling.

Transcriber's Note

[The end of The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 1 (1820-March) by Various]