* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please check with an FP administrator before proceeding.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this file.

Title: The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 5 (1820-July)

Date of first publication: 1820

Author: Various

Date first posted: March 6 2013

Date last updated: March 6 2013

Faded Page eBook #20130310

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






Vol. II.           JULY, 1820.          No. 5.


Entitled, "Regeneration stated and explained according to Scripture and Antiquity, in a Discourse on Titus iii. 4, 5, 6." A new Edition. pp. 61. Rivingtons. 1806.

St. Paul, in the text, explains God's method of saving both Jew and Gentile under the Christian dispensation. He did it, and he does it, of free grace and pure mercy, not for or by any righteousness which we have done, or do, by our own unassisted abilities; but by the washing, or laver of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; i. e. by the sacrament of Christian baptism, considered in both its parts. The texts were thus understood by the ancients, and this interpretation is critically just. The latter part of it is nearly parallel to the words of our Lord, John iii. 5. which also were anciently, and ought to be understood of baptism. The doctrine of both texts is, that the Holy Spirit, in and by the use of baptism, regenerates the man, and causes the new birth: our Lord speaks of regeneration, the Apostle speaks of renovation also, which, though distinct in name and notion, is nearly allied in end and use: both are of one and the same origin, often go together, and are perfective of each other.

The plan and design of this discourse are,

I. To explain the name and notion of regeneration, shewing what it is, and what it contains, as also what concern it has with Christian baptism, called the laver or fountain of it.

II. To consider what the renewing, mentioned in the text means; and how it differs from, or agrees with, regeneration:[Pg 162] and what connexion both have either with baptism here, or with salvation hereafter.

III. To draw some proper inferences from the whole, for preventing mistakes in these high matters, and for our better improvement in Christian knowledge and practice.

I. Regeneration, or the new birth, means the spiritual change wrought upon any person by the Holy Spirit in the use of baptism, whereby he is translated from a natural state in Adam, to a spiritual state in Christ. The name was used by the Jews to signify the admission of heathen proselytes into their church by baptism, after which they considered them dead to their former state, and born anew to the privileges of the children of Israel, and the church of God. Our Lord adopted the name, and sanctified the rite, to higher and holier purposes: he improved the notion also, by introducing the mention of the Spirit, and extended the ordinance, and made it universal, by requiring every convert to Christianity to be baptised. Every one must be born of water and the Spirit, not once born of water, and once of the Spirit, so as to make two new births; but once born of both, born of the Spirit in or by water, while the Spirit primarily or effectively, and the water secondarily or instrumentally, concur in the same birth ordinarily the result of both, in virtue of the divine appointment.

It was common with the ancient fathers to consider the Spirit and the water under the emblem of a conjugal union, as the two parents, and the new born Christian as the offspring of both. Whatever may be thought of the figure, it at least proves, what the ancients thought concerning regeneration; and Dr. Wall has proved, beyond controversy, that the Greek and Latin fathers not only used the word for baptism, but appropriated it to baptism, so as to exclude any other conversion or repentance from being signified under this name; so that regeneration was either baptism in both its parts, or the change of state wrought by the Spirit in or through baptism. There can therefore be but one regeneration, because there is but one baptism. Again: regeneration, as to the regenerating agent, is the first admission; and as to the recipient, the first entrance, into the spiritual state; and therefore, as there cannot be two first admissions, or two first entrances, neither can there be two regenerations. The analogy between the natural and spiritual life, teaches the same truth: nor are there more than three lives, or three births in which any Christian is concerned; viz. 1.[Pg 163] the natural birth; 2. the spiritual birth of water and the Holy Spirit; 3. the birth of the resurrection into a life of glory.

This regeneration is spoken of by St. Peter, in an active sense, ("God hath begotten us again to a lively hope:") and in a passive sense, ("being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God," i. e. by the words used in the form of baptism, or by the word preached, conducting men to faith and baptism.) These texts speak of the new birth, as a transient thing, once performed, but always retaining its virtue. When the phrase "born of God," is used to denote a permanent state, it is to be understood of a person who has been born of God, and abides entirely in that sonship or spiritual state; and such is the import of the kindred expression, "born of a woman." It is God who regenerates or makes the grant; man merely receives, or is acted upon; though sometimes he is active in qualifying himself, as in the case of adults; and sometimes entirely passive, as in the case of infants. All the blessings of this regeneration may be reduced to two, namely, remission of sins, and a covenant claim to eternal happiness. These blessings may be forfeited, or entirely lost, if the person revolts from God, either for a time or for ever; and such person is no longer in a regenerate state, as to any saving effects; but the original grant of sonship, nevertheless, remains unimpaired, to be applied upon the person's repentance, in the event of which, he will require not to be regenerated, but to be renewed. The two integral parts of complete regeneration are, the grant made over to the person, and the reception of the grant, the latter varying according to the condition of the recipient, the former remaining always the same.

II. Renovation is a renewal of heart and mind; in adults, it is a capacity for regeneration, rather than regeneration itself; in infants, for the time being, it has no place at all. In adults, it may be, and should be, both before, and in, and after baptism. Preventing grace goes before, producing faith and repentance, which are qualifications previous to baptism, and necessary to render it effectual: in baptism, the Spirit, as it were, fixes his abode with the person, and if his motions are complied with, after the baptism, the renovation continues and improves through the whole life.—Therefore, though no Christian is exhorted to be regenerated, there are several exhortations to renewal; e. g. "Be[Pg 164] ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind." So the inward man is said to be "renewed day by day." Of Christians, who have fallen off, and are restored, it is not said, that they are regenerated, but that they are "renewed to repentance." Of this renovation may also be understood the several phrases of "putting on the new man," of "putting on Christ," and that of "the new creature;" although the last text may very properly be referred to regeneration, as including and comprehending renovation under it.

This distinction between regeneration and renovation, has been carefully maintained by the Lutheran divines, and by our own Church, in the Offices of Baptism, in the Catechism, and in the Collect for Christmas day. The difference will be more easily seen, if it be drawn out into distinct articles; 1. Regeneration and renovation differ in respect of the effective cause; the former is the work of the Spirit singly, in the use of water; the other is the work of the Spirit and the man together: man renews himself at the same time that the Spirit renews him; but man does not regenerate himself, except as he qualifies himself for regeneration, if he be an adult. 2. Regeneration is ordinarily in or through baptism, a transient thing, which comes but once: renovation in adults, is in, before, and after baptism, continuing and increasing through the whole spiritual life: in infants, regeneration precedes renovation. 3. Regeneration can never be totally lost, or need to be repeated; and once regenerate, always regenerate, is true doctrine, if it be not meant, that regenerate men cannot fall from grace: renovation may be totally lost, and may need to be repeated.

Regeneration and renovation agree and are allied, inasmuch as the one is an integral part or necessary ingredient of the other; and therefore in adults, both must go together, or the regeneration will not be complete or salutary. This will be more easily understood in the consideration of four particular cases.

1. The first case is that of adults coming to baptism, fitly prepared by faith and repentance, and persevering in them to the end. These, in the primitive times, formed the most numerous class of candidates for baptism, to which, when properly prepared, they were admitted, in order to be effectually born of water and the Holy Spirit. Faith and repentance, though antecedently gifts of the Spirit, were not supposed ordinarily to regenerate them without baptism, which[Pg 165] was dispensed with only in extreme cases, and without which the Church judging by the ordinary rule, deemed no man regenerate. Without baptism, there is no stipulation between God and man; there is no dedication to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; a man is not buried with Christ in his death, nor planted again in the likeness of his resurrection; he doth not put on Christ, nor is he entitled to the privileges of the Gospel. In baptism only does the new birth, the death unto sin, and the new life unto God, commence. It is then that renovation, which was in some degree previous to regeneration, becomes its fruit and complement, and grows more and more by the in-dwelling of the Spirit.

2. The second case is that of infants. Their innocence and incapacity, are to them instead of repentance and faith, and they are capable of being savingly born of water and the Spirit, and of being adopted into sonship, and into all the privileges of that relation. They stipulate and enter into contract by their sureties; they are dedicated to God; the privileges of the covenant are made over to them; and the Holy Spirit translates them from a state of nature, to a state of grace. We therefore pray for them, that they "may be sanctified with the Holy Ghost;" that they "may receive remission of their sins by spiritual regeneration;" that they may be "born again;" "that the old Adam may be so buried in them, that the new man may be raised up in them." We declare afterwards, that they "are regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church:" and we give thanks to God, that "it hath pleased him to regenerate them, to receive them for his own children, and to incorporate them into his holy Church." It may be presumed, that from the time of this regeneration, the renewal of the heart commences, and that it proceeds gradually, according to their capacity, in a manner imperceptible to us, but known to the regenerating Spirit, whose they are, until they are defiled with actual sin. In their case, renovation can only follow regeneration, though infants are probably capable of internal grace sooner than is commonly imagined.

3. The third case is that of those who fall away after having been once savingly regenerated. The covenant state of such persons stands, notwithstanding their disobedience, but not in its full saving sense, because one of its integral parts, present renovation is wanting. But as a house, whose walls are standing, requires not to be rebuilt, but to be repaired;[Pg 166] so a person having received regeneration, and losing the salutary use of it, requires not to be regenerated but renewed; that his regeneration, once decayed, may again become whole and entire. Perfect regeneration is to the spiritual life, what perfect health is to the natural: and the recoveries of the spiritual life, time after time, are not a new regeneration, but a restoring or improving of the old.

4. The last case is that of persons who receive baptism in impenitence or hypocrisy. Of these it must be affirmed, that they are born both of water and the Spirit, or neither of water nor the Spirit: otherwise a person might have two new births, one of water, and one of the Spirit; and the first birth being of water only, could not constitute true and valid baptism. Are then the impenitent in baptism born of the Spirit? This can neither be affirmed nor denied, without proper limitations and distinctions; and it may be useful to observe, 1. The Holy Spirit is concerned in every valid baptism; and in this sacrament, God never fails on his part however man may fail. 2. The Holy Spirit is in some sort offered to all that are baptised; for it is the very nature of a sacrament, that the grace shall accompany the sign, neither could men receiving the one, be guilty of rejecting the other, unless both were offered. 3. The Holy Spirit consecrates the persons baptised in an outward and relative sense, and the consecration has its effect in their salvation, or their greater condemnation, as they do or do not repent. 4. The unworthy are placed by baptism in a spiritual state, into which no new baptism is requisite to introduce them, and therefore they must be supposed to have the privileges of the Gospel conditionally made over to them, although not actually applied. This grant, if they repent not, will increase their condemnation; if they repent, the conditional grant, of which the saving effects were previously suspended, will at length take place effectually, and their regeneration, begun in baptism, like an indenture executed on one part only, will at length be complete and salutary, not by a formal regeneration, as if nothing had been done before, but by the repentance of the man, and the renovation of the heart, through the Spirit, which had before been wanting.

From these four cases it may be collected, 1. That regeneration, including a grant of remission, and of a covenant claim to eternal life, is a very different notion from renovation, which is only a renewal of heart and mind. 2. That regeneration especially in infants, is not only different in notion,[Pg 167] but really and actually separate from renovation for the time being. 3. That in other cases, regeneration, either including renovation, or being incomplete without it, differs from renovation, as the whole differs from a part. 4. That in all cases, the words stand, or ought to stand, for different notions, and never ought to be used as reciprocal or convertible terms.

III. The following inferences may be drawn from the preceding argument. 1. Persons who have been baptised, should be exhorted to repentance; but it is highly improper to teach them, that they require to be regenerated, or to lead them to a new birth. There is no example in the Scriptures to justify such exhortations: the only text which seems in any degree to countenance a second regeneration, is Galat. iv. 19. "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again till Christ be formed in you." But there is an infinite difference between a minister's instrumentally forming the minds and manners of his hearers to faith and holiness, and the Spirit's authoritatively adopting them into divine sonship. The one, like the renewals of the Spirit, may fail, and need to be repeated; the other wants not to be reiterated, because it cannot be made void. The mistake has been to misinterpret texts which relate to water baptism, of a baptism of the Spirit only. Thus was baptism separated from regeneration. Renewal of state was next confounded with renewal of heart, or regeneration with renovation. Conversion and repentance were afterwards considered as terms equivalent to regeneration: and by these means, infant regeneration first, and infant baptism next, were brought into disrepute. Such mischiefs arise from the misuse of words.

2. It is not only very improper, but it is very mischievous, to call upon men to be regenerated. For, 1. To teach the common people that they should be regenerated, rather than that they should repent, is to give them an obscure lesson, instead of a clear one. 2. To accustom them to a wrong sense of the word, in opposition to that in which it is used in our public offices, where they are taught, that they have been already regenerated, will both confound their understandings, and fill them with many vain scruples. 3. They will thus be called away from considering their baptismal vows, and directed to an unedifying pursuit. 4. They will be led to neglect the severe examination of their past lives, and to search for what they call impulses, or inward feelings[Pg 168] of the Spirit. 5. When they have once persuaded themselves, that they are full of the Spirit, they will be prone to follow any imaginations of their own, and have the presumption to impute it to the blessed Spirit of God. When repentance is laid aside for regeneration by the Spirit, it is an easy transition to inspiration in its proper sense; and when men once mistake their own presumptions for the dictates of the Spirit, they will not scruple to set up a new rule of Christian faith and conduct, in opposition to the Scriptures.

3. The only marks of renovation, or renewal of heart and mind, (for "marks of regeneration" is most improper language,) are a good conscience, to satisfy ourselves; and a good life to satisfy others. These are infallible marks, which every good Christian has, and every bad one wants; and nothing is more dangerous, than to trust either to warm impulses or to godly intentions, without first strictly inquiring into the nature of the acts, and the lawfulness of the means to be employed for obtaining the end desired.

4. It is right that all our passions should be brought to centre in God, but they should also be accompanied with reason and discretion, in the use of just and proper means. Zeal must be contented with the prescribed method of reforming the world, nor may any private spirit be put in opposition to the Scriptures, by which every spirit must be tried.

Lastly. As we have received regeneration in our infancy, let us preserve, or repair and improve it, by a daily renewing of the inner man, by a regular obedience to all the commandments of God. This will be the only mark of our love to God, and of his love to us; and let the wisdom of the serpent always accompany the innocence of the dove, and religion and discretion go hand in hand together.


On Saturday the 23d inst. upwards of one hundred young persons were confirmed in the Parish Church at York, by the Lord Bishop of Quebec. It was pleasing to see so many come forward to renew their baptismal vows, and to ratify and confirm with their own mouths, the promises made for them by their god-fathers and god-mothers.

[Pg 169]The Church was filled at an early hour, and the whole ceremony was deeply interesting. Many who had entertained prejudices against Confirmation, were not only much gratified, but felt that no religious service could be wiser, or better calculated to establish Christian principles in the mind, or to prepare youth for encountering the temptations which the world into which they were about to enter incessantly offers, than this public profession and solemn ratification of their faith. Whatever doubts, therefore, might have been cherished by any of the audience respecting the great efficacy and importance of this ordinance, were soon dissipated, and all became convinced that it must be attended with the most precious benefits. It seems indeed impossible for serious persons to reflect upon Confirmation in the spirit of candour, without feeling their hearts as well as their understandings enlisted in its favour. Nor can even such as are at other times little interested in religious ordinances, witness all the youth of a large neighbourhood coming forward into the presence of God, in the midst of his holy temple, surrounded by their parents and friends, to relieve their sponsors from that deep and awful responsibility assumed at their baptism, and voluntarily to acknowledge that they were bound to believe and do all those things which had been promised for them, without great emotion and fervent prayers to Almighty God, to give them the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness, that they may increase more and more in the manifold gifts of Grace, until they come into Christ's everlasting kingdom.

After the Morning Service, the Lord Bishop went to the Altar, and the persons to be confirmed were called up by the Minister of the Parish. As they approached the Altar, they delivered their tickets of preparation and approbation to the Chaplain, and as many kneeled on the steps as could conveniently find room. The Parish Minister then read with an audible voice the preface to the office of Confirmation, explaining its nature and end, showing it to be a solemn renewal of the baptismal vow. This being ended, the Lord Bishop, in his impressive manner, said to the youth, "Do ye here, in the presence of God and this Congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow that was made in your name at your baptism; ratifying and confirming the same in your own persons, and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe and do all those things which your god-fathers[Pg 170] and god-mothers then undertook for you?" To this every one answered, "I do." The Lord Bishop then pronounced the short ejaculations which follow, the youth repeating the responses by which they acknowledge that their help is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and entreat that their prayers may be heard. The Bishop then prayed as follows:

"Almighty and everlasting God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and has given unto them forgiveness of all their sins, strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of council and ghostly strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen."

Having thus recommended them to the protection of heaven, the Lord Bishop laid his hands upon the heads of those kneeling on the steps of the Altar, and as he touched every four he pronounced with an affectionate feeling, which thrilled through every heart, "Defend, O Lord, these thy servants with thy heavenly grace, that they may continue thine for ever and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit more and more, until they come unto thy everlasting kingdom." Having gone round all those kneeling, they retired and others came in their room by rotation until the whole were confirmed.

There was something so heavenly, so strikingly affectionate in this ceremony, and which so forcibly reminded us of the innocence we had lost, and of which this was a means of regaining, as could not fail of producing the most salutary influence on the hearts of all present. The parents saw their children devoting themselves to the service of God through Jesus Christ. They recognized in this holy act the commencement of a new life, attended with all the blessings so devoutly prayed for. The god-fathers and god-mothers were also deeply interested, not so much from being relieved from the vows they had taken, as in beholding the good seed springing up which they had anxiously sown in the hearts of their children. The spectacle was altogether so interesting and lively, as to draw tears of affectionate sympathy from the eyes of many of the spectators.

The Lord Bishop after finishing the Confirmation, prayed that what he had done might not be an empty and insignificant sign, saying first the Lord's Prayer, which ought not to[Pg 171] be left out of any office, and afterwards the two beautiful and humble collects which follow:

"Almighty and everliving God, who makest us both to will and to do those things which be good and acceptable unto thy divine Majesty, we make our humble supplications unto thee for these thy servants upon whom (after the example of thy holy Apostles) we have now laid our hands to certify them (by this sign) of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them. Let thy Fatherly hand, we beseech thee, ever be over them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who, with thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

"O, Almighty Lord and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul, through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen."

The Office was then concluded with the blessing, an epitome of the whole administration, which is but one continued and solemn benediction.

The Confirmation being ended, Dr. Mountain, the Lord Bishop's Official for Lower Canada, preached an excellent discourse on the interesting parable of the rich man and Lazarus: "The condition of these two persons was indeed extremely different; on the one hand, a wicked man loaded with wealth and wallowing in sensual pleasures in the present life, but miserable and wretched in the next; on the other, a good man oppressed with poverty and complicated affliction here, at death translated to perfect and never-ending bliss." After making many striking and original observations on the different parts of the parable, and pointing out with acute discrimination, the moral doctrine which our Saviour wished to inculcate, viz. that hard heartedness towards the poor, an unfeeling indifference to their situation, and a continued disregard of their wants when it is in our power without trouble to relieve them, are sufficient to exclude us from mercy; and on the contrary, poverty and affliction, when sustained with resignation and fortitude, are rewarded with eternal felicity; and hence deducing the necessity of charity, in the practice of which, the rich man was totally deficient, the Preacher took occasion to show[Pg 172] that no branch of that Christian grace is more useful or important than that of teaching the young the principles of true religion and then bringing them forward when they begin to be in danger of temptation, to receive strength in Confirmation by the gift of the Holy Ghost. In this way, the benefits of our holy faith are communicated from the old to the young, from parents to children; the first lessons are lessons of devotion, and the first breathings of the infant lips are aspirations of prayer and praise.

Erratum.—In the first line of this article, for "Saturday" read Sunday.


Delivered before the New York Historical Society, Dec. 20th, 1819 by Samuel Farmer Jarvis, D. D.

We have derived great satisfaction from hearing that the learned and zealous author of this essay, has been selected to fill the important station of Minister of the new and elegant Church which the friends of Episcopacy are building in Boston. We rejoice in the wisdom of this appointment, not so much from the conviction that Dr. Jarvis will discharge conscienciously and with ability, the more immediate duties of his Ministry, for this far many of his brethren are fully competent, but because few of them are equally able to dispel the cloud of infidelity, which at present darkens that unhappy city.

We had felt something of indignation, that so promising a Divine, the son of one of the most cheerful and devout Bishops of North America, should have been left so long in obscurity, and were surprised that he had not been selected to preach to some of the more learned and select audiences of New York, near which he has resided several years. For, judging of him from his publications, not having the pleasure of his acquaintance, we deem him second to no person in that Diocese, except the truly learned and Apostolic Bishop Hobart. But Providence directs all things wisely, for, Dr. Jarvis in Boston, will be infinitely more useful to the cause of religion, than he could have been in New York.

It appears that while his excellent talents were in a great degree lost upon the laity, his brethren of the clergy knew[Pg 173] their value, and had chosen him to superintend the Theological School established for the purpose of preparing young persons for the Ministry, when this greater opening for usefulness, at Boston, was presented.

In this commanding station, we anticipate great benefit from Dr. Jarvis's labours. He will shew the youth of Massachusetts, that the rational Christianity, so much boasted of by Socinians, is not Christianity, but modified Deism.—That, in their hands, the true faith is mutilated and perverted with the most unsparing violence. That many of the most important passages of the New Testament are twisted from their acknowledged sense, by forced constructions, at once unnatural and unauthorised. That they deal in confident assertion and gratuitous assumption, instead of reasoning; and when they attempt to reason, their premises are generally false, and their conclusions contrary to the spirit of the Gospel.

To deny the Divinity of Christ, his blessed atonement for the sins of the whole world, and his mediation between God and man,—is not merely to shake the whole basis of Christianity,—but to deprive it of all its distinguishing principles. These doctrines are the foundation of the system; and without them it ceases to be a new religion. The Socinian, therefore, has nothing to distinguish him from a Deist; for, if he has recourse to Scripture, he has mutilated and perverted it so much, to suit his pre-conceived opinions, that it ceases to have any weight with those against whom he contends. After giving much attention to our controversy with Socinians, we have never been able to distinguish any real difference between them and infidels, and we have felt that the same mode of refutation applied to both.

We shall take another opportunity of entering more minutely into this important subject; and in the mean time we look for great exertions on the part of Dr. Jarvis, to arrest the march of infidelity. That he will on all occasions inculcate the discriminating doctrines of our religion, and shew the inhabitants of Boston, that to reject Christianity, without deep enquiry, and sincere and anxious examination, is a proof of a weak but not a vigorous mind. On such a watch tower, he must neither slumber nor sleep, but employ most unremittingly his learning and abilities in contending for the Faith, as it was delivered to the Saints.

But it is time to proceed to the discourse before us, on the Religion of the Indians of North America. The subject[Pg 174] is interesting; and the way in which it is handled, reflects much credit on the author, as well as on the Society to which it was addressed.

Dr. Jarvis says, that on surveying those portions of American history from which he might select a subject for investigation, it appeared to him that the Religion of the Indian tribes of North America, had not been viewed with that largeness of observation which is the characteristic of enlightened philosophy. He then proceeds to mention the probable causes of this neglect. First, terror, so long as the Savages continued formidable: and contempt, since their degradation and loss of original character. To these he adds, what we believe to be the greatest cause of all, the little disposition found among the Indians to communicate any thing respecting their religion.

He justly remarks that "Those, also, on whom we rely for information, have either been too little informed to know what to observe, or they have been influenced by peculiar modes of thinking, which have given a tinge to all they have said on the subject.

"The various speculations, for example, on the question, whence America was peopled, led to many misrepresentations of the religious rites of its inhabitants; and affinities were discovered which existed no where but in the fancy of the inventor. Gomara, Lerius, and Lescarbot, inferred from some resemblances of this kind, that America was peopled by the Canaanites when they were expelled by Joshua; and the celebrated Grotius, adopting the sentiment of Martyr, imagined that Yucatan was first peopled by Ethiopians, and that those Ethiopians were Christians!

"The human mind derives pleasure from paradox, for the same reason that it delights in wit. Both produce new and surprising combinations of thought; and the judgment, being overpowered by the fervours of imagination, becomes for a time insensible to their extravagance."

The remarks on Volney, that hypocritical enemy of Christianity, who trembled and prayed in the moment of danger, and ridiculed every thing serious when placed in safety, deserve to be quoted.

"Volney, in opposition to the sentiments of Rousseau, has endeavoured to sink the character of the savage in the same proportion as that eccentric author sought to raise it. On the subject of the Indian religion especially, no[Pg 175] one should be read with greater caution. He who could imagine that Christianity was only an astronomical allegory, and that birth of our Saviour meant no more than that the sun had entered the constellation Virgo, can hardly be considered perfectly sane, even when he treats on the religion of Heathens. We need not be surprised, therefore, at the assertion, that the Indians have no regular system of religion; that each one employs the liberty allowed him of making a religion for himself; and that all the worship they know is offered to the authors of evil.—Never was there an assertion more unfounded; but it enabled him to quote that maxim of the Epicurean poet, which is so frequently in the mouths of unbelievers, that all religion originated in fear:

"Primos in orbe Deos fecit timor."

The author very properly rejects the singular and certainly extravagant hypothesis, that the Indians are the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel, and consequently retained something of the pure religion of their fathers.—Their origin he considers still uncertain, and only to be discovered from an accurate comparison of the Indian with the Asiatic languages. Who will be found able to make such an accurate comparison?

After some very pertinent remarks on the religion of the Patriarchs, from which it appears manifest that the worship of the true God had not become extinct, even when the Children of Israel took possession of the land of promise, and became the peculiar people of Jehovah, Dr. Jarvis enters more particularly into the subject, by first enquiring into the notions entertained by the Indian tribes of the Supreme Being. From this part of the discourse we are induced to make rather a long quotation, not only as giving a fair specimen of the author's manner and style, but as communicating much interesting information, in a great degree new to most of our readers.

"1. Having thus seen, that all false religions are, in a greater or less degree, departures from the true; that there is a tendency in the human mind, to form low and limited views of the Supreme Being; and that, in fact, all nations have fallen into the corruptions of polytheism and idolatry; we should conclude, even in reasoning a priori, that the religion of the Indians would be found to partake of the general character. Accordingly, the fact[Pg 176] is amply attested, that while they acknowledge One Supreme Being, whom they denominate the Great Spirit, or the Master of Life, they also believe in Subordinate Deities, who have the chief regulation of the affairs of men.

"Charlevoix, who had all the opportunities of obtaining information which personal observation, and the united testimony of the French missionaries could give, is an unexceptionable witness with regard to the Hurons, the Iroquois, and the Algonquins. Nothing, says he, is more certain, though at the same time obscure, than the conception that the American savages have of a Supreme Being. All agree that he is the Great Spirit, and that he is the master, creator, and governor of the world.—The Hurons call him Areskoui; the Iroquois, by a slight variation, Agreskoue‘. He is, with them, the God of war. His name they invoke as they march. It is the signal to engage, and it is the war-cry in the hottest of the battle.

"But, beside the Supreme Being, they believe in an infinite number of subaltern spirits, who are the objects of worship. These they divide into good and bad. The good spirits are called by the Hurons, Okkis, by the Algonquins, Mannitous. They suppose them to be the guardians of men, and that each has his own tutelary deity.—In fact, every thing in nature has its spirit, though all have not the same rank nor the same influence. The animals they hunt have their spirits. If they do not understand any thing, they immediately say, It is a spirit. If any man performs a remarkable exploit, or exhibits extraordinary talents, he is said to be a spirit, or, in other words, his tutelary deity is supposed to be of more than ordinary power.

"It is remarkable, however, that these tutelary deities are not supposed to take men under their protection till something has been done to merit the favour. A parent who wishes to obtain a guardian spirit for his child, first blackens his face, and then causes him to fast for several days. During this time it is expected that the spirit will reveal himself in a dream; and on this account the child is anxiously examined every morning with regard to the visions of the preceding night. Whatever the child happens to dream of the most frequently, even if it happen to be the head of a bird, the foot of an animal, or any thing of the most worthless nature, becomes the symbol or figure under which the Okki reveals himself. With this[Pg 177] figure, in the conception of his votary, the spirit becomes identified; the image is preserved with the greatest care—is the constant companion on all great and important occasions, and the constant object of consultation and worship.

"As soon as a child is informed what is the nature or form of his protecting deity, he is carefully instructed in the obligations he is under to do him homage—to follow his advice communicated in dreams—to deserve his favours—to confide implicitly in his care—and to dread the consequences of his displeasure. For this reason, when the Huron or the Iroquois goes to battle or to the chace, the image of his okki is as carefully carried with him as his arms. At night, each one places his guardian idol on the palisades surrounding the camp, with the face turned from the quarter to which the warriors, or hunters, are about to march. He then prays to it for an hour, as he does also in the morning before he continues his course. This homage performed, he lies down to rest, and sleeps in tranquillity, fully persuaded that his spirit will assume the whole duty of keeping guard, and that he has nothing to fear.

"With this account of Charlevoix, the relations which the Moravian missionaries give, not only of the Iroquois, but also of the Lenapes or Delawares, and the numerous tribes derived from them, perfectly accord. 'The prevailing opinion of all these nations is,' says Loskiel, 'that there is one God, or, as they call him, one great and good Spirit, who has created the heavens and the earth, and made man and every other creature.' But, 'beside the Supreme Being, they believe in good and evil spirits, considering them as subordinate deities.' 'Our missionaries have not found rank polytheism, or gross idolatry, to exist among the Indians. They have, however, something which may be called an idol. This is the Manitto, representing, in wood, the head of a man in miniature, which they always carry about them, either on a string round their neck, or in a bag. They hang it also about their children to preserve them from illness, and insure to them success. When they perform a solemn sacrifice, a manitto, or a head as large as life, is put upon a pole in the middle of the house. But they understand by the word manitto, every being to which an offering is made[Pg 178], especially all good spirits. They also look upon the elements, almost all animals, and even some plants, as spirits, one exceeding the other in dignity and power. The manittoes are also considered as tutelar spirits. Every Indian has one or more, which he conceives to be peculiarly given to assist him and make him prosper. One has, in a dream, received the sun as his tutelar spirit, another the moon; a third, an owl; a fourth, a buffalo. An Indian is dispirited, and considers himself as forsaken by God, till he has received a tutelar spirit in a dream: but those who have been thus favoured, are full of courage, and proud of their powerful ally.'

"This account is corroborated by Heckewelder in his late interesting history of the Indian nations.

"'It is a part of their religious belief,' says he, 'that there are inferior manittos, to whom the great and good Being has given the rule and command over the elements; that being so great, he, like their chiefs, must have his attendants to execute his supreme behests; these subordinate spirits (something in their nature between God and man) see and report to him what is doing on earth; they look down particularly on the Indians, to see whether they are in need of assistance, and are ready at their call to assist and protect them against danger. Thus I have frequently witnessed Indians, on the approach of a storm or thunder gust, address the manitto of the air to avert all danger from them: I have also seen the Chippewas, on the lakes of Canada, pray to the manitto of waters that he might prevent the swells from rising too high, while they were passing over them. In both these instances, they expressed their acknowledgment, or shewed their willingness to be grateful, by throwing tobacco in the air, or strewing it on the waters. But amidst all these superstitious notions, the Supreme Manitto, the creator and preserver of heaven and earth, is the great object of their adoration. On him they rest their hopes—to him they address their prayers, and make their solemn sacrifices.'

"The Knistineaux Indians, who inhabit the country extending from Labrador, across the continent, to the highlands which divide the waters on Lake Superior from those of Hudson's Bay, appear, from Mackenzie's account, to have the same system, of one Supreme, and innumerable subordinate deities. 'The Great Master of Life, to use their own expression, is the sacred object of their devotion.[Pg 179] But each man carries in his medicine bag a kind of household God, which is a small carved image about eight inches long. Its first covering is of down, over which a piece of beech bark is closely tied, and the whole is enveloped in several folds of red and blue cloth. This little figure is an object of the most pious regard.'

"It is remarkable, that the description given by Peter Martyr, who was the companion of Columbus, of the worship of the inhabitants of Cuba, perfectly agrees with this account of the Northern Indians by Mackenzie. They believed in the existence of one supreme, invisible, immortal, and omnipotent creator, whom they named Jocahuna, but at the same time acknowledged a plurality of subordinate deities. They had little images called Zemes whom they looked upon as only a kind of messengers between them and the eternal, omnipotent, and invisible God. These images they considered as bodies inhabited by spirits, and oracular responses were therefore received from them as uttered by the divine command.

"The religion of Porto Rico, Jamaica, and Hispaniola, was the same as that of Cuba; for the inhabitants were of the same race, and spoke the same language. The Carribean Islands, on the other hand, were inhabited by a very fierce and savage people, who were continually at war with the milder natives of Cuba and Hispaniola, and were regarded by them with the utmost terror and abhorrence. 'Yet the Charaibes,' to use the language of the elegant historian of the West Indies, 'while they entertained an awful sense of one great Universal Cause, of a superior, wise, and invisible Being of absolute and irresistible power, admitted also the agency of subordinate deities. They supposed that each individual person had his peculiar protector, or tutelary deity; and they had their lares and penates, gods of their own creating.' 'Hughes, in his history of Barbadoes, mentions many fragments of Indian idols, dug up in that island, which were composed of the same materials as their earthen vessels, I saw the head of one, says he, which alone weighed sixty pounds. This, before it was broken off, stood upon an oval pedestal, about three feet in height. The heads of all the others were very small. These lesser idols were in all probability made small for the ease and conveniency of being carried with them in their several journies, as the larger sort were perhaps designed for some stated places of worship.'

[Pg 180]"Thus, in this vast extent of country, from Hudson's Bay to the West Indies, including nations whose languages are radically different, nations unconnected with, and unknown to, each other, the greatest uniformity of belief prevails with regard to the Supreme Being, and the greatest harmony in their system of polytheism. After this view, it is impossible not to remark, that there is a smaller departure from the original religion among the Indians of America, than among the more civilized nations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The idea of the Divine Unity is much more perfectly preserved; the subordinate divinities are kept at a much more immeasurable distance from the Great Spirit; and, above all, there has been no attempt among them to degrade to the likeness of men, the invisible and incomprehensible Creator of the universe. In fact, theirs is exactly that milder form of idolatry which 'prevailed every where from the days of Abraham, his single family excepted,' and which, after the death of that patriarch and of his son Isaac, infected, from time to time, even the chosen family itself."


The 25th of July, 1820, will ever be memorable in the ecclesiastical history of Upper-Canada, for on that day the Lord Bishop of the Diocese pronounced his first charge to the clergy within the Province.

The morning service having been read by the Rector of the Parish, the Rev. George Okil Stuart, Official for this part of the Diocese, delivered an appropriate sermon from Matt. iv. 16. "The people which sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up."

The Preacher was naturally led by his subject to point out the vast superiority of the light of the Gospel to that of former revelations; but in adverting to the sermon, we state rather the impression that it has left on our minds, than its expressions. He that draws a comparison between the Jewish and Christian dispensations, will perceive, that the former appears a feeble and tapering light,[Pg 181] while the latter is the rising sun, sent to dissipate moral darkness, to reveal God in all his benignity, and reconcile mankind to him through Jesus Christ; to make their dwelling places resound with the voice of rejoicing and salvation, and to do for them what ten thousand material suns cannot do, light them to heaven. Even now, this divine light is working its way through every corner of the world. It spreads from place to place, diffusing its holy radiance in every direction, and through the divine aid operating on the labours of its friends, we shall see it advancing still more rapidly, till the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, and he shall "reign for ever and ever."

The Jewish dispensation was confined to one nation; it was hedged round with ceremonies, which in time usurped the place of its more important duties, and from the corrupt additions of its ministers, it became of no effect; yet it communicated the most sublime descriptions of the Divinity, which must ever be true, as they regard an unchangeable Being; it not only pointed out the heart worship that ought to be paid to God, but the duty of man to man; and this likewise remains unaltered, though fenced by new sanctions; because man still continues weak, and feeble, and corrupt.

Christianity goes much farther; it points out our relation to God; that he is not the God of the Jews only, but of all men, who are his children: it brings life and immortality to light, and reveals the true road to future happiness; and while it discovers the beginning, the purpose, and end of all created things, it proclaims man's moral weakness, and his need of extraordinary assistance; and by shewing that this aid is ready in the sacrifice and mediation of our Redeemer, it rejoices his heart, and prepares him for the kingdom of heaven. In closing such a subject, which presented a wide field of interesting and valuable discussion, it was easy to expatiate on the obligations that his brethren were under of spreading the light of the Gospel, and the deep responsibility which they must incur should any person within the sphere of their influence continue, through their neglect, to sit in the shadow of darkness, and ignorant of that precious light of which they are the dispensers.

What employment is there so glorious, or more gratifying to the feeling heart, than that of diffusing the truths of Christianity[Pg 182] and the benefits of her worship? for such an employment, conscientiously discharged, will confer on us a crown that fadeth not away.

It is now 17 years since the Lord Bishop assembled his clergy, although during that period he has made many journeys through his extensive Diocese. He was induced to postpone this important part of his duty on account of the great distance which some of the clergymen had to travel. But the number being now greatly increased, he considered it expedient to call them together, that he might adhere in "his practice to those venerable institutions of our Church, to which, among other advantages, it owes both the excellency of its order and the stability of its discipline."

"Forms of this kind were not empty and unmeaning ceremonies, they are not the work of weak or vain men, but are in their essence and tendency, of genuine importance, the result of experienced wisdom and consummate prudence." Yet still attending to the convenience of his clergy, while he neglected his own, his Lordship divided his Diocese into two Provinces, holding one visitation at York, and proposing to hold another at Montreal.

The Lord Bishop, after the sermon was ended, taking his place opposite his clergy, all standing, delivered a charge which must have been heard to form an adequate conception of its excellence and effect. The venerable dignity of his appearance, the melody of his voice, and the earnestness of his manner, and chaste propriety of his action, added to the strong truths which he delivered, made such an impression as will not be forgotten. Of the charge we feel ourselves incapable of giving even a feeble outline; but it is the less necessary, as we have reason to believe, that it will soon be published. In the mean time, it may gratify your readers to know something of his Lordship's former charge, which was no less admirable in its matter and style.

"The view that I have just taken," says his Lordship, "of the country and of the situation of the clergy, in the different parts of the two Provinces, as it could not but increase the strong sense I entertain of the imperfect and very insufficient state of our establishment, so has it likewise impressed my mind with a renewed and lively feeling of the difficulties and discomforts to which you are individually subjected.

"Different obstacles to the attainment of that consideration[Pg 183] in society to which you are justly entitled, and to that success in your ministry which I trust you have seriously at heart, naturally arise out of the different situations in which you are respectively placed."

Among these obstacles, he notices the Church of Rome on the one hand, and the Protestant sectaries on the other. In reference to both he says:

"Industry in inquiring, and candour in deciding, better information, and more unbiassed judgment, might correct the opinion, and subdue the prejudices of both parties; and shew them the real excellence of the Church of England, happily placed, in the true medium between extravagant, and dangerous extremes.

"But industry in inquiring, and candour in deciding, are qualities, unhappily, as rare, as they are precious: and as it is impossible to entertain any reasonable hope of a sudden change of opinion in our favour, we have only to consider, how, though we cannot remove the prejudices, we may yet soften the asperity of those who are opposed to us.

"Permit me, therefore, my Reverend Brethren, to observe to you the effect which the observation and experience of these prejudices in the minds of others, ought in all reason, to have upon your own.

"First, they should prompt you to free your own minds, as much as possible, from all prejudice, and to adopt, upon all occasions, the most charitable and liberal principles of thinking and judging.

"Secondly, they should generate that noble and dignified ambition, which aspires 'to overcome evil with good;' to disarm enmity, by a gentle and conciliating demeanour, by a correct and blameless behaviour; to enforce respect by the exercise of more conspicuous prudence, more enlightened piety, and more unwearied zeal: In a word, to add to superior knowledge, superior goodness; to convince by the soundness of your reasoning, those who cannot be won; and to win by the kindness of your deportment, those who will not be convinced.

"As in the various modifications of the human mind varieties of opinion will inevitably arise, upon every question that can be proposed to the human understanding, nothing can be more palpably unreasonable and absurd, than to persecute and hate each other, because we differ, more widely than we need to do, upon points, where it is scarcely[Pg 184] possible that we should all think exactly alike; and where it is to be presumed, or at least to be hoped, that we all endeavour to think as rightly as we can:

"As from the condition of our nature, we are all liable to error, nothing can be more preposterous, than to condemn men without mercy, merely because we are persuaded that they err! A truly philosophic and well-governed mind, adheres to its opinions with firmness, because it has adopted them upon fair examination, and with proper caution; but adheres to them without obstinacy, because it is nevertheless conscious of sharing this universal liability to error; it is prepared to listen patiently, and with candour, to all that can be advanced in favour of an opposite persuasion; and however distinctly perceiving fallacy in argument, or perversity in judgment, never loses sight of Christian forbearance, nor treats its adversary with asperity or contempt.

"On the contrary, they who take up opinions upon trust, influenced by imagination, impelled by passion, or passively submitting to the authority of others, who choose without inquiry, and decide without knowledge; these persons are always most firmly fixed in the notion of their own infallibility, and most inaccessible to every species of argument.

"Nothing is so obstinate as ignorance.

"Upon these principles, in which I am persuaded you will perfectly agree with me, you will found a system of conduct at once consistent with a just attachment to our Church, and a steady endeavour to maintain, in all their integrity, her worship and her discipline; and with that due degree of Christian benevolence, that liberal indulgence, and that exemplary moderation, which leave to others the free exercise of their own judgment, and which may be disposed, in all things not essential, to compromise even with their prejudices."

The beauty of style which characterises this passage, is only surpassed by the Christian charity which it breathes. But however great the pressure of difficulties and discouragements, the clergy must not despond, who are his Lordships trusts, prepared to fight the good fight of faith.

"In the exercise of your Divine Office, there are motives for exertion of infinitely greater force, there are encouragements to perseverance, of infinitely greater power and worth, than any that can attach to merely temporal, and secular concerns.

[Pg 185]"They who contend for the eternal interests of their fellow-creatures, should surely, under the most accumulated difficulties, suffer no abatement of their ardour. They who in the conflict in which they are engaged, can look up, with steadfast hope, to the aid of an Almighty Power, should feel, surely, no diminution of their confidence or courage.

"Of all men living, the servants and soldiers of Jesus Christ, have most reason for confidence and courage; most reason for loyalty, and attachment to their Master; most reason to be indefatigable, and fearless, in the cause of their fellow-creatures.

"But, trusting to Divine Providence for assistance and support, you must nevertheless exert your own strength to the utmost; and avail yourselves of every help, that industry, activity, and circumspection, can supply, not only to make good your defence, but to be 'more than Conquerors' in the cause of truth.

"As knowledge is no longer given by immediate inspiration, the defect must, as far as it can, be supplied by human learning. If you would confute gainsayers, if you aspire to convince the infidel, you must yourselves be masters of your argument, 'Workmen who need not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.'"

The truth and ability which mark the following passage, and how applicable to the present state of this Province, must forcibly strike every reflecting person:

"That a number of sects have found footing in this infant Diocese, a number of itinerant Teachers, of every denomination, have met a welcome reception from the people, (and more especially in the Upper Province) is, no doubt, in a great measure to be ascribed to the yet insufficient state of our Establishment; and to the paucity of regular Ministers of the Church: but the boldness with which error is propagated, and the rapidity with which it spreads, have yet another and a most prolific source, in the radical defect of knowledge in those self-appointed Teachers, who overrun the country; and in the idle curiosity, and easy credulity of those who hear them. A great deal more is necessary to the due understanding of writings of so remote a date as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, than many people will readily imagine.

"Not to speak of the necessity of possessing the learned languages—with which few of these persons, I believe, pretend[Pg 186] to have any acquaintance—in the beautifully simple and lucid lessons, even of our Saviour himself, there are perpetual allusions to the Religion, the Laws, the History, the Government, the Manners, the Customs, the Traditions, the Corruptions of the Jewish Nation; to their domestic habits, their climate, the natural productions of their country; without some knowledge of which, the expounder of the Gospels will find himself frequently perplexed.

"But to the understanding of the Epistles, a larger scope of information is necessary. It is not only with the History of the Jews, but with that also of all the nations in which the early Churches were planted, that the Teacher of the Christian Religion should be intimately acquainted. He should know the modes of Belief, the species of Idolatry, the nature of the anterior Corruptions, the character of the subsequent Heresies, connected with the condition of these Churches severally; and consequently, the errors of different descriptions, the deviations from the true Faith, of greater or less obliquity, which it was the object of the respective writers to oppose and correct.

"Without this preliminary knowledge, the Writings of St. Paul in particular, are in a great degree unintelligible; and become the ground, in the hands of presumption and fanaticism, of endless and most pernicious errors.

"Even by the confession of an Apostle of our Lord himself, there are in these Writings, 'Things hard to be understood; which they who are unlearned, and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.'

"The Apostle speaks of what actually existed when he wrote; but, it is highly probable, with a prophetic allusion to that future period, when, from the lapse of time, with increasing difficulties in the writings themselves, and necessarily with more imperfect information in those who should interpret them, the danger of wresting them to destructive purposes, must inevitably be increased; yet these are the very Writings, upon which the most inexperienced, and illiterate teachers take upon them peremptorily to decide; from these, with a bold and unhesitating spirit of interpretation, they draw the leading Doctrines, upon which, according to them, Redemption exclusively depends; Upon these they found their infallible system of saving Gospel Faith, and genuine Christian practice: The mechanic deserts his occupation, the artificer throws away his tools,[Pg 187] and steps forth from his shop, a fearless, and as he conceives, unerring expositor of that which nothing less than direct and immediate Inspiration can make it possible for him to understand: he handles without doubt or caution, those abstruser doctrines, which the learned and the wise, do not presume to touch, but with reverence, and diffidence; he deals around his censures upon all regular teachers, and all authorised Divines; and openly claims to be the only true expounder of the vital Gospel; the only evangelical preacher of the Word of Life! Unhappily he obtains too easy credit; the folly and arrogance of his pretensions, are, if possible, exceeded by the credulity of the unhappy and deluded people who attend him."

After impressing on the minds of his brethren the duty, when a great evil prevails, of examining and correcting themselves, he exhorts them neither to fall in their sermons into the extravagant and outrageous declamation of erring and modern enthusiasts, nor into the cold moral disquisitions, pronounced with frigid indifference, by many of the clergy, he proceeds:

"Uninfluenced by any exterior circumstances, you will, I trust, feel it to be your duty to preach the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ; to withhold from the people nothing that can augment their knowledge, or increase their faith; that can contribute to their edification, or to their instruction in righteousness.

"Our blessed Saviour did not come into the world as a mere Lecturer in morals. He did, indeed, teach a more pure and perfect morality, than the world had hitherto known; He made men better acquainted with the Nature and Attributes of the Supreme Being; he brought life and immortality to light:—these were great and glorious discoveries; but this was not the whole, nor the principal of the advantages derived from his appearing in the flesh.—Man was a fallen, a sinful, a corrupted creature. Of what avail was it to him, who was the slave of irregular appetites, and imperious passions, to have a degree of purity and sanctity pointed out to his observation, which his feeble powers, and degraded propensities, made it utterly impossible for him to attain? How was he benefitted by a superior knowledge of the Attributes of God, when that knowledge could only serve to show him to himself as an object of just indignation to the Most High? What comfort was he to derive from the prospect of an eternal existence, when[Pg 188] his own conscience assured him, that he was entitled only to endless misery and ruin?

"No, it is not by this part of the Christian scheme alone, great and glorious as it is, that the sinner is to be 'converted from the error of his ways,' that the corrupted mind is 'renewed unto holiness,' that 'the contrite and broken heart is bound up, and healed,' that faith and hope spring up in the bosom, and charity, purity, and sanctity, follow in the conduct and practice, and bear fruit unto life eternal.

"The welcome doctrines of the grace of God which leadeth to repentance; of the atonement made for the sins of the penitent, by the Blood of Christ; of the assistance of the Holy Ghost to guide us into all truth, and sanctify us in heart and life, to support us under difficulties, to purify us by trials, to raise us after lapses and errors; these are the peculiar and characteristic doctrines of Christianity, which alone can give men confidence towards God; which, through all ages, have been the comfort of the penitent, the joy of the pious, the strength of the weak, the solace of the miserable. This is the Gospel which was preached to the poor; that is, to the great bulk of mankind: this it is, to which they will listen with eagerness, which they will follow with gladness, to which alone they will cleave, with the fondness of a determined and settled affection.

"These doctrines, therefore, it will become you to endeavour to rescue from the disgrace and contempt which has been brought upon them, by the wretched cant of illiterate enthusiasts, and the wild ravings of designing hypocrites: to rescue them, not certainly by leaving them to cold neglect, and endeavouring to supply their place by lectures, merely moral, which set before the people, in a series of learned argument, the relative and social duties of the man, and the citizen, but by freeing them from that opprobrious mass of errors, with which they have unhappily been mixed up; and bringing them, in their original strength and purity, home to the understandings and the hearts of your people.

"By you, my Reverend Brethren, I cannot possibly be mistaken—by you it will not be imagined, that I am depreciating the moral precepts of the Gospel, or dispensing with the necessity of good works.

"You will understand me to mean, that, though these must be strongly and incessantly inculcated, as essential to[Pg 189] salvation, yet, that the doctrines to which I have alluded, must lay the firm foundation of the Christian faith, and hope. Separated, neither the one, nor the other, are of any avail; properly understood and justly combined, the object of the Christian scheme is obtained; the character of the Christian is filled up.

"Let then the moral precepts, the Divine discoveries, and the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, have their due place and order, their just and fit proportion, in the discourses which you address to your people; and, unless my observations have greatly deceived me, one cause, at least, of the desertion of the Church, in favour of the Conventicle, will be entirely removed."

The Bishop next calls the attention of his clergy to personal religion. Their lives and conduct must illustrate the purity of their faith; if they would successfully preach the Gospel, they must feel its vital energy within their hearts.

He concludes the whole in the following beautiful and affecting manner:

"In fine, my brethren, be but in earnest in your desire to promote the salvation of men, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ; lay but to heart the importance of your office, the extent of your duties, the momentous consequences, both to yourselves and others, annexed to the discharge or neglect of those duties;—cherish but in your minds a sincere love of your Divine Master, and an honest ambition, in your humble measure, to carry forward the great work of Redemption, which He hath begun upon earth—and in spite of the discouragements and difficulties that may surround you, in spite of the efforts of profligacy, and machinations of infidelity, you shall yet, by His Grace and with His Blessing, reap the full fruits of your faithful and unremitted exertions—even though you should go on your way, now, with labour and sorrow, yet, 'bearing forth good seed', you shall doubtless come again with joy, and bring your sheaves with you."


(From the Christian Observer.)

Among the evil practices of those who are seeking to subvert our constitution in church and state, there is none more[Pg 190] conspicuous, at the present moment, than that of ridiculing the existing authorities of the country. The system has been of late carried to an excess, which, unless timely checked, must soon destroy all the outworks, and at length the very essence, of our civil and religious polity. Even the tribunals of public justice, which had been hitherto usually exempt from every species of attack, and where "contempt" has been wisely guarded against by the power of inflicting exemplary punishment, have been subjected to this injurious abuse. In every place in which the fomenters of our political evils have had occasion to appear, the ordinary respect for rank, and station, and official dignity has been attempted to be set aside. Even our venerable administrators of justice, men usually as conspicuous for their urbanity and patience, and disinterested attention to all parties, as for their legal knowledge and scrupulous decorum of language and conduct, have been interrogated and retorted upon with a want of courtesy, which, by themselves, would scarcely have been exhibited towards the most undeserving profligate before their bar. The customary forms of respect are systematically infringed; and from the court of a country coroner, to the highest tribunals in the metropolis, every effort is made to raise a suspicion or a laugh (it matters little which) against those who support the dignities, or administer the justice, of the nation.

It was well observed by that wise and meek defender of our Ecclesiastical Polity, Richard Hooker, that "he that goeth about to persuade a multitude, that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers; because, they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject; but the secret lets and difficulties, which in public proceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider." And because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of state, are taken for principal friends to the common benefit of all, and for men that carry singular freedom of mind—under this fair and plausible colour whatsoever they utter passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech, is supplied by the aptness of men's minds to accept and believe it. Whereas, on the other side, if we maintain things that are established, we have not only to strive with a number of heavy prejudices, deeply rooted in the hearts of men, who think that herein we serve the time, and speak in favour of the present[Pg 191] state because we thereby either hold or seek preferment, but also to bear such exceptions as minds so averted beforehand usually take, against that which they are loth should be poured into them.

Actuated probably by considerations of this kind, there are those among us whose reiterated and only theme is, the grievances, real or imaginary, under which we labour; and it is but too true, that they seldom or never want "attentive and favourable hearers." The brighter side, is, by many, not thought worthy of exhibition. To descant upon our great and numerous mercies, to shew how highly we have been favoured, nationally and individually, to dwell upon "our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life, but, above all, upon the inestimable love of God in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ," would be far less welcome to the ears of many than to give a misanthropical view of our condition, and to represent even our privileges but as the badges of an overwhelming slavery. Certain it is, that the indecorous conduct in question is but too well received among those who mistake arrogance for honest boldness, and audacity for truth. Even the most common-place dulness and imbecility are construed into wit and sprightliness, when the object of their attack is invested with official dignity. The more grave or sacred the occasion, the more credit is assumed by our self-constituted heroes, for their violation of the rites of ordinary deference and decency. A sneer at a prelate, or a petulant reply to a judge, is retailed from lip to lip as a happy instance of patriotic ability; while a jest upon the Bible itself is considered more poignant still, because the felicity of the sarcasm is measured by the sacredness of the subject.

Under circumstances like these, it becomes important to recollect, that a respectful demeanour to constituted authorities is a Christian duty, and one which ought especially to be encouraged and enforced in this age of unbounded innovation. Names, it has been said, are things; and it is very certain that the exterior forms of respect for any office have seldom been violated with impunity, without the office itself being soon exposed to contempt. If those who minister in our courts of justice, no matter what their rank or order, are to be brow-beaten and insulted in the discharge of their duties, justice itself must soon become a name, and the boasted privileges of British jurisprudence sink into the capricious arbitration of a popular assembly.

[Pg 192]It may at first sight appear somewhat invidious, and at all times wholly unnecessary, to obtrude observations like these upon the pages of a religious publication; but if we consider how deeply the germ of this propensity is seated in almost every human heart, and how much need there is of Christian humility wholly to extirpate it, it will not appear unnecessary, in times like these, to have touched upon the subject. Men naturally dislike the superiority of a neighbour, and too easily learn to feel a secret pleasure, when those who are exalted above them in station are exposed to any little inconvenience or mortification which appears to reduce them to their own level. Hence the propensity to exult over the insults cast upon constituted authorities. The misplaced repartees of the most abandoned character before the legislative assembly of the nation, or the indecorous flippancies of a parodist or libeller before the tribunal of his country, are treasured up and repeated with avidity and conscious satisfaction, by many who have neither ear nor heart for the maxims of sober wisdom which are usually heard in such assemblies.

By persons who choose to confound the decent forms of a well ordered society with that glozing insincerity which the Gospel commands us to avoid, it is asked, "Why should we affect or assume a respect which we do not feel; or address with the language of deference a public officer, for whose private character or opinions we entertain a secret contempt?" Questions of this sort are seldom answered satisfactorily by the rules of casuistry. Indeed, they are not often asked with the intention of their being answered at all. To those who really wish to know their duties to constituted authorities, the Scriptures furnish an unequivocal guide.—The obligation to decorum and respect, even towards evil governors, is there so frequently and forcibly displayed, especially in our Lord's own recorded observations, and in the writings of his Apostles, that any remark upon the subject on the present occasion would be quite superfluous.

It was the character of certain seducers mentioned by St. Peter, that they were not afraid to speak evil of dignities. It is impossible that a person can be scripturally included under the name of a Christian, to whom this character applies.—Not only does Christianity enjoin the more substantial duties which constitute just submission to authority, but even those minuter acts of respect, which, as Mrs. H. More observes on another occasion, are a sort of dead hedge to preserve the quick. St. Paul, whose manly sincerity of character[Pg 193] will not be suspected, could say even to a heathen judge, and one of no very excellent private character, "Most noble Felix." It is true, we find this eminent apostle on one occasion violating, for a moment, the respectful demeanour which he at other times uniformly inculcated and practised towards constituted authorities; but even that exception became incidentally the means of confirming the general rule. This occasion was very remarkable. Being summoned before the tribunal of the High Priest as an atrocious criminal, for embracing the Gospel, and preaching it to the Gentiles, he began his defence with a reference to his general character, protesting that he had lived conscientiously before God unto that day. His object was evidently to explain his motives, and to prove his innocence of intention. But scarcely had he uttered the first sentence of his defence, before the High Priest most iniquitously and illegally commanded him to be smitten on the face. The Apostle immediately reproached him with his duplicity in pretending to sit to judge him after the law, and yet to command him to be smitten contrary to the law; adding a prediction, which was remarkably fulfilled, of the punishment which God would inflict upon him for his criminal conduct. Here surely was a case which might have seemed to justify the severest invectives. This unjust judge in his official station had acted wantonly, cruelly, and illegally; and completely excluded himself from the protection of the laws which he sat to administer. Had such a case occurred in our own country, no reproach would have been thought too great for the occasion; and had the sufferer in the warmth of his indignation broken out into a torrent of invective, or even inflicted summary vengeance for the insult, it would by many have been thought not more than the occasion might justly demand.

But how different were the sentiments of the Apostle!—"And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's High Priest? Then Paul said, I wist not that it was the High Priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." His apology was as prompt as his offence. "It is probable," observes a justly revered commentator, "that the Apostle meant to allow, that in the warmth of his spirit he had not adverted to the person who had given the orders, or was not aware that he was the High Priest." (Scott in loco.) He felt that no provocation could justify the want of decent respect towards the constituted authorities of his country. If they had acted illegally, or[Pg 194] vexatiously, redress must be had in another manner; but contumely was a weapon which even an Apostle, and in a most equitable cause, had no prerogative to employ.

But, why should we say an Apostle, when even angels themselves are recorded to have experienced a similar feeling? Michael, the archangel, though justly indignant at the conduct of the great enemy of God and man, "durst not bring against him a railing accusation." Archbishop Tillotson accounts for the fact, by saying, that he believed angels had neither talents nor disposition for railing, and that probably Michael thought that Satan might be too hard for him at such a weapon. St. Jude, who relates the circumstance, intimates that all persons were not so conscientious as this seraph, and well knowing that detraction and ignorance are not unfrequently companions, he adds, "These speak evil of things which they know not." It is to be feared that this last circumstance is but too applicable to many of the railers at existing institutions; for among the most vehement opposers of established usages will be always found those who, from their education and station in life, must necessarily be unacquainted with the bearings of the subjects which they profess to discuss. In religion and politics, as in other things, knowledge is usually the parent of modesty, and those who see farthest will most dread and deprecate the unmeasured censure in which ignorant and short-sighted persons are too apt to indulge.

St. Peter, the contemporary of St. Jude, we have already seen, places "speaking evil of dignities" among the sinful practices of certain teachers, who should infest the church of Christ; and, like Jude, urges the example of the angels, who would not bring a railing accusation even against Satan himself. If angels are acquainted with human affairs, what must those beings think of the obloquy, with which it is now so much the custom to load our civil and ecclesiastical dignities? Even if it were proved, that they deserve all that is said to their disparagement, the practice in question would still be unjustifiable; how much more then, when without proof or argument, upon the slightest report or suspicion, and often upon the mere invention of designing men, the authorities of the country, from the lowest to the highest, are assailed with the invectives of an unbridled press, and the vituperation of ungoverned tongues!

If civility and courtesy be due to all men, and if, without the decent usages of respect, no affairs, public or private,[Pg 195] can be satisfactorily conducted, the practices in question are as hostile to the well-being of society, as they are contrary to the Gospel of Christ. Indeed, the two are essentially connected; for, in proportion as Christian usages prevail, the well-being of society will be secured. Even admitting that magistrates and judges may be wrong, the violation of the exterior marks of deference, and the ordinary language of respect, will only tend to increase the evil, and to prevent the remedy. Every uncourteous expression, by exciting irritation, throws an obstacle in the path of justice, and raises prejudices which cannot be easily overcome. Indeed, such is the nature of man, that honorable spirits will not long be found to act in offices to which popular obloquy is attached. So that among the surest modes of rendering the "dignities" of a state the least deserving of its members, is to encourage the practice of "speaking evil" of them, and infringing the decorum of conduct towards them which their station so justly demands.

But to the Christian the conduct of his Saviour must ever be the strongest argument; and what that conduct was, in reference to the subject in question, needs not be formally recited. It is impossible to read his life without observing how completely he performed the part of a loyal and obedient citizen, and that not only in the more substantial points, such as "rendering to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," but even in the minuter forms of respect and civility, to every recognised authority. His meekness, his submission, his patience before the tribunal that condemned him, form a noble contrast to the captious petulance, and but half-suppressed audacity, by which, in the present day, some think to gain credit with the unreflecting multitude. And what adds infinitely to the force of the argument is, that His was a righteous cause; while in the case of those who employ the weapons in question, their cause is often as evil as their conduct, and the candour and forbearance of their judges as much to be admired as the malignity and disingenuousness of those who judged our Lord were to be condemned.

It has already been remarked, that the spirit of the present age is, generally speaking, too little inclined to those respectful usages which are necessary to the very being of society. The language and conduct of the young to the old, the servant to the master, the child to the parent, have undergone a remarkable change within the last century. In[Pg 196] some respects, the change may, doubtless, be an improvement. But in others it is fraught with evil; for to mankind at large the prescriptive usages of distant respect are a more powerful safeguard to the just balance of society, than the deductions of reason and political expediency. The times imperatively require, that every parent should teach his child, and every preceptor his pupil, that "to order himself lowly and reverently to all his betters," is not an unmeaning part of his catechetical instruction, and that much less is it a mark of a servile and degraded mind. "To esteem others better than ourselves" is the duty of us all; and in proportion as true humility of heart reduces it to practice, shall we feel disposed "to render to all men their due," as much in matters of decency as of justice. A captious satirical spirit, in judging of the words and actions of those in authority, little comports with "the mind that was in Christ Jesus;" and to find gratification in the evidence of this spirit in others, is equally inconsistent with our holy profession. He who is our great Exemplar pities while he corrects his wayward creatures; how little then does a disposition, prone to accuse and backward to justify, become those whose very existence depends upon the exact contrary of such a line of conduct towards themselves on the part of their omniscient judge. The Christian learns his duty to his fellow creatures in the reflections that humble him before his Creator. Conscious of his own "sins, negligences, and ignorances," he can in some measure be touched with the feeling of the infirmities of others, as his all-meek and merciful Redeemer is with his own. Such an habitual feeling will lead to the very contrary of every thing like petulance of speech, or harshness of construction. It will employ that restless activity which too many evince in scrutinizing the failings of others, to discover and amend our own. A disposition like this will lead to the best of all reforms; a reform radical as our sins, and co-extensive with our evil passions. Arduously engaged in casting the beam out of our own eye, we shall have little leisure or inclination to insult our brother for the mote that may be in his. The gentle graces of the Christian character, the kindness, the forbearance, the candour which we all need, and should all learn, in return, to bestow, will exercise more extensive influence over our hearts. Thus will society be united by closer bonds; thus will the period advance when discords shall for ever cease; and thus will be fulfilled that apostolic injunction: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

[Pg 197]


On Thursday May 11th, 1820, at 12 o'clock, in pursuance of the resolutions of a meeting of the Committee appointed to superintend the erection of a Protestant Episcopal Church at Chambly, Lower Canada, and subsequent arrangements made thereupon, the gentlemen composing the Committee, together with the principal ladies and gentlemen of the place, accompanied Samuel Hatt, Esq. in procession, to the site of the intended Church, to witness the ceremony of laying the corner stone, which was conducted in the following manner, amidst a considerable concourse of spectators.

Samuel Hatt, Esq. having deposited the stone, and considerable donations by himself and the ladies and gentlemen present, for the workmen, having been laid thereon, an English translation of the following Memorial intended to be deposited with sundry coins in the stone, was read by the Rev. E. Parkin, Rector:


Chamblæi, Canada Inferiore.

Hoc Ædificium
Contributione communi erectum,
in agellum eo sepositum
ab Excellente Peregrino Maitland,
Equite, K. C. B. Politiæ hujus
Provinciæ Procuratore,
&c. &c. &c.
Dei Omnipotentis assignatur cultui
secundum rituum præscriptorum librum
In Ecclesia Protestante Episcopali
Primumque in ejus Consortio extat
Templum Chamblæi.
Lapis angularis
Dei Ascensionis Dominicæ, Feria
quinta, Maii undecimo
positus est
Anno Domini millesimo octingentesimo
vicesimo, primoque Domini
nostri supremi
Georgii Quarti Regis,
a Samule Hatt, Armigero, Domino
adjuto a
Reverendo Devereaux Baldwyn,
Rectore Sancti Jacobi, Dorcestria,
Reverendo Edwardo Parkin,
Rectore Chamblæi.
Gulielmo Pardey, M. D.    } Ædituis
Isaaco Germain, Genereso,} ejusdem
Communique Cœtu Parochiali.
Subsidium insigne huic cœpto sacro
redditum ab
Admodum Reverendo Jacobo Mountain,
Domino Episcopo Quebeci,
Honorabili Reverendoque Carolo
Stewart, D. D. Sacellano ad
Reverendoque Georgio J. Mountain,
D. D. Officiale et Rectore Quebeci,
ejus Processui maxime contulit.


Part of the 84th Psalm was then sung, after which, the following address was delivered by the Rev. E. Parkin, Rector:


"My Christian Brethren,

"Assembled, as we now are, to witness the interesting spectacle of laying the corner stone of the first Protestant Church in this place, I cannot suffer an opportunity so favourable for calling the attention of the spectators to the momentous concerns of another world to pass by, without some attempt at a suitable improvement. Whilst, therefore, I most sincerely congratulate you on the important event which has this day brought us together, suffer from me, my brethren, at the same time, the word of exhortation.

"Believers in the Christian Revelation, we cannot be uninterested in the great truths and duties of Christianity, since, upon our reception of the one, and performance of the other, depend our chief happiness in this life, and in these views we all concur; and therefore, after the example of our Christian brethren, in all ages and in all countries, feel it a duty incumbent upon us to provide some suitable public edifice, in which we may assemble together, to pay that homage to our Creator and Sovereign Ruler, which our religion requires from us, and to be instructed in those doctrines and duties which it inculcates. This is the method appointed by the Great Author of Christianity for disseminating its truths, and propagating it; the[Pg 198] world. He himself has appointed and commissioned men to the office of the Christian Ministry. To his Apostles and their coadjutors he gave this important and extensive charge, 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature,' or as it is expressed by another Evangelist, 'Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.' This commission, sanctioned and enforced by the solemn declaration connected with it, 'He that believeth and is baptised, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned,' was by them faithfully and successfully executed, as long as the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls saw good to continue their labours to his Church.

"And though since they have ceased by their personal instructions to teach mankind, many corruptions have obtained admission in different ages, and have, for a season, partially obscured the light of the Gospel, the Christian Church has never been left destitute of a faithful succession of Apostolic and Evangelical Ministers, from its first establishment to the present period. Relying upon the gracious promise made to them by the Great Head of the Clutch, 'Lo! I am with you always, even to the end of the world,' they have zealously and intrepidly pressed forward through all dangers and difficulties, to the accomplishment of the charge committed to them; and great has already been the fruit of their labours. In the old world, and in the new, on every continent, and in almost every empire, kingdom and state, and, in the present day of Christian zeal and exertion, in almost every island, the name of Christ is heard, and the standard of the cross unfurled. The day is fast approaching, when, according to the language of the Prophet, 'the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the whole earth,' and when all 'the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ.'

"You, my brethren, have most of you enjoyed the benefits of Christian instruction and Christian ordinances in your native land; but in this remote Colony, at a distance from the mother country, many of you have been for years deprived of those advantages. It is true, Christianity has long been planted in this Province, but under a form, in which you as members of the Reformed Church, could not conscientiously worship; and from this circumstance, and the want of religious ordinances adapted to your own views of Christianity, it is to be feared, that in too many, an indifference to all religious worship has been contracted, and almost become habitual. You have now, however, by the Divine blessing, increased in numbers and in substance, and have been enabled, with the generous assistance of your Christian brethren around you, to commence the present undertaking, under the most favourable circumstances, and God being our Helper, I trust we shall ere long see it accomplished to our heart's desire. 'Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy name be all the glory!' And now, brethren, as you have witnessed the laying of the corner stone of this building, allow me to remind you of the foundation of all our hopes for a better world, even Jesus Christ 'the tried stone, the precious corner stone, the sure foundation,' which God hath laid in Zion, the spiritual building of his Church. Remember what the Apostle Peter himself, whom some have wished to place in that situation—remember what he has said, 'other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' On him rest all your hopes of mercy and acceptance with God; and let the love inspired in your hearts towards him by faith in his atonement, operate in your lives, by the uniform and consistent practice of all Christian duties towards God and towards men. Let[Pg 199] me beseech you also, my brethren, to rouse yourselves from that slumber and from that lethargic indifference, which may have grown upon any of you, from the circumstances I have before alluded to, and to manifest by your diligent attendance on the ordinances of God's House, a wish to redeem, as much as possible, the time past; cultivate also Christian affections one towards another. We are yet few in number; let us then be united in Christian charity, and O take heed, I entreat you, that 'ye fall not out by the way' to your Father's house above.

"In conclusion, permit me to request your earnest prayers in conjunction with my own, that as thro' the tender mercy of God, 'the day spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace,' and we are now preparing 'a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob,' he will graciously be pleased to 'arise into his rest, he and the ark of his strength.' On this day, we commemorate the Ascension of our blessed Lord, to take possession again of that glory, which he had with his Father from the beginning, and which he for a season laid aside for our sakes.

"From his exaltation at the right hand of his Father, he still beholds his Church, and watches over it, and thence according to the promise by the Prophet, 'He will still pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground, his blessing upon our seed, and his spirit upon our offspring.'

"Thus under the benign influences of the ordinances of our Church, venerable for her antiquity, having stood the test of ages; venerable for the holy lives and triumphant deaths of her martyrs; venerable for the scriptural purity of her articles, homilies, and liturgy; venerable, in short, as the great bulwark of our country against the inroads and encroachments of Arianism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, Deism, and Infidelity; and the faithful depository of evangelical truth for many generations.

"Thus, I say, the Redeemer's name shall endure for ever: 'his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.' Thus, in a spiritual sense, even this comparative 'wilderness shall become like Eden, and this desert, like the garden of the Lord.' 'Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar, shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.'"


After the Address, the 100th Psalm was sung, which was succeeded by the following Prayer, by the Rev. Devereaux Baldwyn, Rector of St. James's, Dorchester:



Almighty God, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, look with favour upon this our undertaking, and prosper with thy blessing our humble endeavours to establish thy worship in this sacred edifice, dedicated to thee, and as thou hast built thy church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner stone; grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable to thee, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord. Of thy only gift it cometh, that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service: grant, therefore, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; and as we do believe thy only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, grant that we also may thither ascend in heart and in mind, and with him continually dwell by faith, until at length we attain thine everlasting kingdom, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. The peace of God, &c.

The blessing, &c.

[Pg 200]


At the fifth Anniversary of the Russian
Bible Society.

Every where, (he remarks) the Spirit of the Lord is inclining men to receive that word of Salvation which nourishes to eternal life; every where labourers are raised to go into the vineyard of the Lord; every where the harvest is ripening. "Behold, the day is come," it may now truly be said, according to the word of God, by the mouth of the Prophet, "Behold, the day is come," saith the Lord, "that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes, him that soweth seed, and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt."

On the manifestation of the Divine Hand in raising up instruments to prepare the Scriptures, the Prince forcibly remarks:

"But there is exhibited to the attentive eye of the Christian, a singular and most striking feature in the accounts respecting that vast field in which the Word of Life is now sowing: namely, a most indefatigable zeal, in preparing versions of the holy Scriptures, in the languages of all the unenlightened nations scattered on the face of the earth.

"And in our own country, this is no less manifest. In the different Governments, both near and remote, in the desert and in the village, in snow-clad Siberia, and on the mountains of Caucasus and Uralia, are to be found lovers of the Word of God, who of their own accord, and without any selfish views of gain, are engaged in the work of translating the Gospels and other parts of the Bible, into the various languages and dialects spoken by the tribes who inhabit Russia—people who never before even heard of this Divine Word.

"What prospects of advantage can prove an inducement to undertake a species of labour, which promises to the labourer so little renown? These translations are likely to remain for ever the property of a people of limited knowledge, and to be unrecorded in the splendid annals of the civilized world! For what end do they thus toil, when neither the insatiable thirst for gain, nor the desire of the empty and vainglorious honors of the world, receives any gratification? The solution of these questions lies in the power of that Word itself which these men translate.—Animated by the Spirit who inspired it, and constrained by the love of Christ the Saviour, they burn with holy desire to communicate the blessing to their neighbours; and they behold a neighbour in every one of the race originally created in the image and likeness of God! And thus what is written in the Scriptures is exactly descriptive of them.—'He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him:' and again, 'If we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another.'

"It is not surprising, therefore, that these holy servants of the Lord should employ themselves, day and night, in teaching His word, and take upon them the labour of translating it into the languages of those nations among whom they live, in preference to every other occupation."

Of the increasing reception and inculcation of the Scriptures, the Prince says:—

"The reading of the Holy Scriptures is also becoming more and more general among us and among our villagers, who, in many places, assemble together on the Sabbath, and many other holidays, to spend them in reading their Bibles; and in some places, even the youth are occupied in the instruction of their parents who have not before been taught to read. The soldiers and sailors are likewise, of their own accord, seeking this spiritual food. They experience, that in their families, the Bible supplies them with lessons for the regulation of their lives, and with an abundant source of daily comfort and edification."

Transcriber's Note

[The end of The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 5 (1820-July) by Various]