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Title: The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 6 (1820-August)

Date of first publication: 1820

Author: Various

Date first posted: October 29, 2014

Date last updated: October 29, 2014

Faded Page eBook #201410N0

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Ross Cooling & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Extracts from Bishop Jeremy Taylor’s considerations upon the Crucifixion201
On Mysteries in Religion204
The Elder’s Death-bed209
Dr. Jarvis on the Religion of the Indians in North America219
A Sabbath Evening’s Conversation230
Moravian Mode of Worship233
Society for promoting Christian Knowledge236





Vol. II.     AUGUST, 1820.    No. 6.



Jesus was led out of the gates of Jerusalem, that he might become a sacrifice for persons without the pale, even for all the world; and the daughters of Jerusalem followed him with pious tears till they came to Calvary, a place difficult in the ascent, eminent and apt for the publication of shame, a hill of death and dead bones, polluted and impure, and there beheld him stript naked who clothes the field with flowers, and all the world with robes, and the whole globe with the canopie of heaven, and so dressed, that now every circumstance was a triumph. By his disgrace he trampled on our pride; by his poverty and nakedness he triumphed over our covetousnesse, and broke in pieces the fetters of concupiscence. For as soon as Adam was clothed he quitted Paradise; and Jesus was made naked that he might bring us in again. And we also must be spoiled of all our exteriour adherences, that we may pass through the regions of duty and divine love to a society of blessed spirits, and a clarified, immortal, and beatified estate.

And now behold the Priest and the sacrifice of all the world laid upon the altar of the cross, bleeding, and tortured, and dying, to reconcile his Father to us: and he was arrayed with ornaments more glorious than the robes of Aaron. The crown of thorns was his mitre, the cross his pastoral staffe, the nails piercing his hands were instead of rings, the ancient ornament of priests, and his flesh rased and checkered with blue and blood instead of the parti-coloured robe. But as this object calls for our devotion, our love, and eucharist to our dearest Lord, so it must irreconcile us to sin, which, in the eye of the world, brought so great shame, and pain, and amazement upon the Son of God, when he only became engaged, by a charitable substitution of himself in our place; and, therefore, we are assured, by the demonstration of sense and experience, it will bring death and all imaginable miseries as the just expresses of God’s indignation and hatred: for to this we may apply the words of our Lord, in the prediction of the miseries of Jerusalem. If this be done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? For it is certain Christ infinitely pleased his Father, even by becoming the person made guilty in estimate of law: and yet so great charity of our Lord, and the so great love and pleasure of his Father, exempted him not from suffering pains intolerable; and much less shall those escape who provoke and displease God, and despise so great salvation, which the holy Jesus hath wrought with the expence of blood and so precious a life.

In the midst of two thieves, three long hours the holy Jesus hung, clothed with pain, agony, and dishonour, all of them so eminent and vast, that he who could not but hope, whose soul was inchased with divinity, and dwelt in the bosome of God, and in the cabinet of the mysterious Trinity, yet had a cloud of misery so thicke and blacke drawn before him, that he complained as if God had forsaken him; but this was the pillar of cloud which conducted Israel into Canaan: and as God behind the cloud supported the holy Jesus, and stood ready to receive him into the union of his glories. And we follow this cloud to our country, having Christ for guide: and though he trod the way, leaning upon the crosse, which, like the staffe of Egypt, pierced his hands, yet it is to us a comfort and support, pleasant to our spirits as the sweetest canes, strong as the pillars of the earth, and made apt for our use by having been born and made smooth by the hands of our elder brother.

In the midst of all his torments Jesus onely made one prayer of sorrow to represent his sad condition to his Father: but no accent of murmur, no syllable of anger against his enemies: instead of that he sent up a holy, charitable, and effective prayer for their forgiveness, and by that prayer obtained of God that within 55 days 8000 of his enemies were converted. So potent is the prayer of charity, that it prevails above the malice of men, turning the arts of Satan into the designs of God: and when malice occasions the prayer, the prayer becomes an antidote to malice. And by this instance our blessed Lord consigned that duty to us which, in his sermons, he had preached: that we should forgive our enemies, and pray for them, and by so doing ourselves are freed from the stings of anger, and the storms of a revengeful spirit: and we oftentimes procure servants to God, friends to ourselves, and heirs to the kingdom of heaven.

Of the two thieves that were crucified together with our Lord, the one blasphemed, the other had, at that time, the greatest piety in the world, except that of the blessed virgin; and particularly had such a faith, that all the ages of the Church could never shew the like: for when he saw Christ in the same condemnation crucified by the Romans, accused and scorned by the Jews, forsaken by his own Apostles, a dying and distressed man, doing at that time no miracles to attest his divinity or innocence, yet then he confesses him to be a Lord and King, and his Saviour: he confessed his own shame and unworthiness, he submitted to the death of the crosse, and by his voluntary acceptation and tacite volition of it, made it equivalent to as great a punishment of his own susception; he shewed an incomparable modesty, begging but for a remembrance onely; he knewe himself so sinful, he durst ask no more; he reproved the other thief for blasphemy; he confessed the world to come, and owned Christ; he prayed to him, he hoped in him, and pitied him, shewing an excellent patience in this sad condition. And in this I consider, that besides the excellency of some of these acts, and the goodness of all, the like occasion for so exemplary faith never can occurre; and until all these shall, in these circumstances, meet in any one man, he must not hope for so safe an exit after an evil life, upon the confidence of this example. But now Christ had the key of Paradise in his hand, and God blessed the good thief with this opportunity of letting him in, who at another time might have waited longer and been tied to harder conditions. And, indeed, it is very probable that he was much advantaged by the intervening accident of dying at the same time with Christ; there being a natural compassion produced in us toward the partners of our miseries. For Christ was not void of humane passions, though he had in them no imperfection or irregularity, and therefore might be invited by the society of misery the rather to admit him to participate his joys; and St. Paul proves him to be a merciful High Priest, because he was touched with a feeling of our infirmities; the first expression of which was to this blessed thief: Christ and he together sat at the supper of bitter herbs, and Christ payed his symbol, promising that he should that day be together with him in Paradise.

By the crosse of Christ stood the holy Virgin-Mother, upon whom old Simeon’s prophesie was now verified; for she now felt a sword passing through her very soul: she stood without clamour and womanish noises, sad, silent, and with a modest grief, deep as the waters of the abysse, but smooth as the face of a pool, full of love, and patience, and hope. Now she was put to it to make use of all those excellent discourses her holy Son had used to build up her spirit and fortifie it against this day. Now she felt the blessings and strength of faith, and she passed from the griefs of the passion to the expectation of the resurrection, and she rested in this death as a sad remedy: for she knew it reconciled God with all the world. But here hope drew a veil before her sorrow; and though her grief was great enough to swallow her up, yet her love was greater and did swallow up her grief. But the sun also had a veil upon his face, and taught us to draw a curtain before the passion, which would be the most artificial expression of his greatness, whilst by silence and wonder we confess it great beyond our expression, or, which is all one, great as the burthen and baseness of our sins. And with this veil drawn before the face of Jesus, let us suppose him at the gates of Paradise, calling, with his last words, in a loud voice, to have them opened, that the King of glory might come in.




(From the Christian Remembrancer.)

It is a favourite thesis in the schools of infidelity, that religion ends, where mystery begins. It would facilitate the establishment of this position, if it could be vindicated from a very obvious exception; that there is no department of science or philosophy which is exempt from mysteries; that is, from difficulties, which the sagacity of man cannot unfold, which no sense can penetrate and no language express, and which speak peremptorily to the curiosity of the enquirer, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther. The science of demonstration itself proceeds from a point, which can be described only by its negative qualities, and of which the position is assumed; from this point issues the line, of indefinite length, but suppositious breadth; and this line is the only measure of the circle, of that figure, which having neither beginning nor end, is the suitable emblem of eternity. In astronomy, the diurnal motion of the earth on its axis, is a secret unknown to the multitude of men, and seems to contradict the senses of the uninstructed beholder. Beneath the earth are metals, possessing different qualities; the fact is admitted, but the cause is unknown, and the investigation of it is unattempted. The air which we breathe, is confessed to be impalpable, and invisible; properties, sufficiently abstruse and inscrutable; and to these may be added, agreeably to our Lord’s reference to religious mysteries, that we know not whence it cometh or whither it goeth. The constitution of man, fearfully and wonderfully made, involves a series of mysteries, which however illustrated and explained by comparative anatomy, elude the grasp of actual experiment and positive science. The seat of life; the organs of digestion; the process of animal secretions and excretions; the composition and decomposition of flesh, and blood, and bone, defy the search of man, and must be left to the infinite wisdom of him, who made them, and fixed the laws of their operation.

If in these things, which are submitted to the human senses, and which are the proper object of human investigation, our knowledge must be comprehended within certain limits, which it cannot pass; is it an offence to our reason, that in the things which are invisible and spiritual, there should be some difficulties, which cannot be explained; some mysterious articles of faith, true in themselves, but inexplicable in their nature and circumstances? In the revelation, which the infinite wisdom of God has addressed to the finite understanding of man; in the things of which it was foretold, that the eye had not seen, nor the ear heard, neither had it entered into the heart of man to conceive them[1], mystery is so far from invalidating, that it recommends and confirms the truth. If every part of revelation was obvious to the human faculties, where was the need or necessity of it? or why could not reason at one time discover, what at another it is capable of explaining? He, who dwelleth in light inaccessible, can neither be drawn from his secret dwelling, but by his own revelation of himself; nor when he hath revealed himself, can he be understood beyond the measure of knowledge, which he vouchsafes to communicate. The being of God, and the hope of eternal life, are doctrines, which are now supposed most congenial to the feelings of our nature; but let it be remembered, that even these doctrines were never known with any degree of certainty, but by revelation, and that the little glimmerings of knowledge, which are seen in the isles of the heathen, are but the spark of a glimmering and exhausted tradition, which nothing but the light of the Gospel can rekindle.—The same tradition has preserved other doctrines, as the necessity of propitiating the Deity with sacrifices, which prevails every where, and a belief of the Incarnation and a Triune God, which embellishes the intricate mythology of the East, and is not undiscernable in the poetry and philosophy of Greece and Rome. Derived from a common origin, the primitive traditions afford collateral aid to revelation, and repress the presumption of the adversary, by yielding irrefragable proof, that these mysterious and incomprehensible principles were not considered offensive to reason, at a time, when all the energies of the human mind were called into action, and man had no external light to direct him, in maintaining or rejecting the popular doctrines of the age.

It was in a country, which had made but little progress in human philosophy, and by men, with one illustrious exception, wholly uneducated, that the truths which Christ delivered, were registered and recorded for the instruction of all succeeding generations. The writers of the New Testament had no skill in weaving the web of metaphysical subtlety, and satisfied with the form of knowledge which was presented in the law, they probably knew nothing of the traditions of the heathen; they were content to repeat what they had heard, and to report what they had seen. Their minds were naturally liable to the same prejudices as other men, and if any doctrine was unreasonable or absurd, why were not they offended as well as their disciples in the present day, especially since they have not scrupled to record of themselves, that on various occasions, they were offended? When, however, in his several epistles, the most learned of their body introduces the mention of mystery, he is very far from excepting against it himself, or endeavouring to accommodate it to the views of his disciples. It is true, that the mystery, on which he principally insists, is the participation of the Gentiles in the privileges of the Gospel; and this mystery he describes as one which had been kept secret, but was at length made manifest. But he speaks also of mysteries, which were still hidden and unexplained. Such is the mysterious change, which shall take place at the resurrection: Behold! I shew you a mystery; we shall not sleep, but we shall be changed[2]. The union of Christ with his Church was equally impenetrable: This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and his Church[3]. The mystery of godliness[4] is also declared to be confessedly, incontrovertibly great.—What then is this mystery? It is a manifestation in the flesh: but is it a strange or incredible thing, that a man should be seen among men, be baptised, converse with his companions, and that his doctrines should be propagated and embraced? This was the case with the Apostles themselves, and was so far from being a confessedly great mystery, that it was no mystery in any conceivable sense of the word.

It may nevertheless be conceded, that the mysteries, which God hath revealed, and which are contained in the Scriptures, may be multiplied by false expositions of the faith, and that simple truths may be rendered intricate and perplexed, through the perverseness of men, in aspiring to wisdom beyond that which is written, and vainly attempting to explain, what is in its nature inexplicable. It may be important, therefore, to fix a standard of distinction between real and fictitious mysteries, between the sublime infinities of divine revelation, and the mere perplexities of injudicious interpreters. If mysteries, however superior, are not contrary to reason or to sense; if they are described as mysteries, and the rejection of them is denounced as heresy, and imputed to unbecoming motives; if the evidence on which they rest is sufficient to establish their authenticity, and they are not deduced from a single text, but from many texts agreeing with the general tenour of the Scripture, and concurring in one consistent truth, they may be pronounced true, and of divine original. Let these rules be applied to the doctrine of substantiation, by a comparison of which with more authentic mysteries, the credulous have attempted to support an error, and the unbelieving to depreciate the truth. Transubstantiation is contrary to reason and to sense, because not only do the bread and wine undergo no visible alteration, but the body of Christ, which is in heaven, cannot be eaten upon earth. The supposed doctrine is never mentioned in the Scriptures as a mystery, nor is the heresy of rejecting it foretold. It is deduced from several texts, but those texts are but different records of one identical saying of our Lord, and that saying requiring from the context, and from the familiar usages of the Jews, a different exposition.

Let the same rules be applied to the divinity of the Son of God. The doctrine is not contrary to sense, for the divinity is not the object of sense, nor of reason, for reason confessedly cannot comprehend it. It is described as a mystery[5]; the rejection of it is denounced as a damnable heresy, and imputed to the most offensive principles[6]; and every thing which bears the appearance of caution[7], or qualification, or reserve, is urged against the opposite doctrine. It is frequently, and under a variety of expressions, maintained in the Scriptures, and the inefficacy of every attempt to give a different, and at the same time a perspicuous view of the texts in which it is conveyed, affords a strong presumption in favour of the received interpretation.

It has been objected, that the acknowledgement of mysterious doctrines is not consistent with the simplicity which is in Jesus. It is natural to examine the exception by the text of the Apostle, from which it is evidently borrowed: “I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus[8].” The Apostle illustrates the method of falling from Christian simplicity, by referring to a mysterious fact, which involves in itself the mysterious doctrines of the being and power of Satan, and that fall of the mother of us all, in which originated the necessity of the incarnation and atonement. This is perhaps the only text in which the word simplicity is used in connection with Christian doctrine: and if the Apostle in this instance had meant it to be exclusive of mystery, he would hardly have alluded to the subtlety of Satan, and the temptation of Eve, and by his allusion have given authenticity to a person, and to a transaction, which some would fain resolve into an allegorical fable.

Mysteries are therefore not incompatible with Christian simplicity. The writers of the New Testament do not condemn them; nor can they with any degree of reason be suspected either of inventing or of borrowing them. There are clear standards for distinguishing the sublime truths which flow from a divine revelation, from the absurd figments of credulity and superstition; and there is no science and no philosophy, which is free from inexplicable difficulties. We conclude therefore with rejecting the position of the adversary, and with maintaining, that mysteries may consist with religion, without prejudice to Christian simplicity.

Isaiah lxiv. 4. 1 Cor. ii. 9.

1 Cor. xv. 51.

Ephes. v. 32.

1 Tim. iii. 16.

Col. ii. 2. 1 Tim. iii. 16.

2 Pet. ii. 1. Jude 4.

Col. ii. 8.

2 Cor. xi. 3.




(From Blackwood’s Magazine.)

It was on a fierce and howling winter day that I was crossing the dreary moor of Auchindown, on my way to the Manse of that parish, a solitary pedestrian. The snow, which had been incessantly falling for a week past, was drifted into beautiful but dangerous wreaths, far and wide, over the melancholy expanse—and the scene kept visibly shifting before me, as the strong wind that blew from every point of the compass struck the dazzling masses, and heaved them up and down in endless transformation. There was something inspiriting in the labour with which, in the buoyant strength of youth, I forced my way through the storm—and I could not but enjoy those gleamings of sunlight that ever and anon burst through some unexpected opening in the sky, and gave a character of cheerfulness, and even warmth to the sides or summits of the stricken hills. Sometimes the wind stopt of a sudden, and then the air was as silent as the snow—not a murmur to be heard from spring or stream, now all frozen up over those high moorlands. As the momentary cessations of the sharp drift allowed my eyes to look onwards and around, I saw here and there up the little opening valleys, cottages, just visible beneath the black stems of their snow-covered clumps of trees, or beside some small spot of green pasture kept open for the sheep. These intimations of life and happiness came delightfully to me in the midst of the desolation; and the barking of a dog, attending some shepherd in his quest on the hill, put fresh vigor into my limbs, telling me that lonely as I seemed to be, I was surrounded by cheerful though unseen company, and that I was not the only wanderer over the snows.

As I walked along, my mind was insensibly filled with a crowd of pleasant images of rural winter-life, that helped me gladly onwards over many miles of moor. I thought of the severe but cheerful labours of the barn—the mending of farm-gear by the fireside—the wheel turned by the foot of old age, less for gain than as a thrifty pastime—the skilful mother, making “auld claes look amaist as weel’s the new”—the ballad unconsciously listened to by the family all busy at their own tasks round the singing maiden—the old traditionary tale told by some wayfarer hospitably housed till the storm should blow by—the unexpected visit of neighbours on need or friendship—or the footstep of lover undeterred by snow-drifts that have buried up his flocks; but above all, I thought of those hours of religious worship that have not yet escaped from the domestic life of the peasantry of Scotland—of the sound of psalms that the depth of the snow cannot deaden to the ear of him to whom they are chanted—and of that sublime Sabbath-keeping which, on days too tempestuous for the kirk, changes the cottage of the shepherd into the temple of God.

With such glad and peaceful images in my heart, I travelled along that dreary moor, with the cutting wind in my face, and my feet sinking in the snow, or sliding on the hard blue ice beneath it, as cheerfully as I ever walked in the dewy warmth of a summer morning, through fields of fragrance and of flowers. And now I could discern, within half an hour’s walk, before me, the spire of the church, close to which stood the Manse of my aged friend and benefactor. My heart burned within me as a sudden gleam of stormy sun-light tipt it with fire—and I felt, at that moment, an inexpressible sense of the sublimity of the character of that gray-headed shepherd who had, for fifty years, abode in the wilderness, keeping together his own happy little flock.

As I was ascending a knoll, I saw before me on horseback an old man, with his long white hairs beaten against his face, who nevertheless advanced with a calm countenance against the hurricane. It was no other than my father, of whom I had been thinking—for my father had I called him for twenty years—and for twenty years my father had he truly been. My surprise at meeting him on such a moor—on such a day, was but momentary, for I knew that he was a shepherd who cared not for the winter’s wrath. As he stopped to take my hand kindly into his, and to give his blessing to his long-expected visiter, the wind fell calm—the whole face of the sky was softened, and brightness like a smile, went over the blushing and crimsoned snow. The very elements seemed then to respect the hoary head of fourscore—and after our first greeting was over, when I looked around, in my affection, I felt how beautiful was winter.

“I am going,” said he, “to visit a man at the point of death—a man whom you cannot have forgotten—whose head will be missed in the kirk next Sabbath by all my congregation—a devout man, who feared God all his days, and whom, on his awful trial, God will assuredly remember. I was going, my son, to the Hazel-Glen.”

I knew well in childhood that lonely farm-house, so far off among the beautiful wild green hills—and it was not likely that I had forgotten the name of its possessor. For six years’ Sabbaths I had seen the Elder in his accustomed place beneath the pulpit—and, with a sort of solemn fear, had looked on his steadfast countenance during sermon, psalm, and prayer. On returning to the scenes of my infancy, I now met the Pastor going to pray by his death-bed—and with the privilege which nature gives us to behold, even in their last extremity, the loving and the beloved, I turned to accompany him to the house of sorrow, resignation, and death.

And now, for the first time, I observed walking close to the feet of his horse, a little boy of about ten years of age, who kept frequently looking up in the Pastor’s face, with his blue eyes bathed in tears. A changeful expression of grief, hope, and despair, made almost pale cheeks, that otherwise were blooming in health and beauty—and I recognized, in the small features and smooth forehead of childhood, a resemblance to the aged man whom we understood was now lying on his death-bed. “They had to send his grandson for me through the snow, mere child as he is,” said the Minister to me, looking tenderly on the boy; “but love makes the young heart bold—and there is One who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.” I again looked on the fearless child with his rosy cheeks, blue eyes, and yellow hair, so unlike grief or sorrow, yet now sobbing aloud as if his heart would break. “I do not fear but that my grandfather will yet recover, soon as the Minister has said one single prayer by his bedside. I had no hope, or little, as I was running by myself to the Manse over hill after hill, but I am full of hopes now that we are together; and oh! if God suffers my grandfather to recover, I will lie awake all the long winter nights blessing him for his mercy. I will rise up in the middle of the darkness, and pray to him in the cold on my naked knees!” and here his voice was choked, while he kept his eyes fixed, as if for consolation and encouragement, on the solemn and pitying countenance of the kind-hearted pious old man.

We soon left the main road, and struck off through scenery that, covered as it was with the bewildering snow, I sometimes dimly and sometimes vividly remembered; our little guide keeping ever a short distance before us, and with a sagacity like that of instinct, showing us our course, of which no trace was visible, save occasionally his own little footprints as he had been hurrying to the Manse.

After crossing, for several miles, morass, and frozen rivulet, and drifted hollow, with here and there the top of a stone wall peeping through the snow, or the more visible circle of a sheep bught, we descended into the Hazel-Glen, and saw before us the solitary house of the dying Elder.

A gleam of days gone by came suddenly over my soul.—The last time that I had been in this Glen was on a day of June, fifteen years before, a holiday, the birth-day of the king. A troop of laughing schoolboys, headed by our benign Pastor, we danced over the sunny braes, and startled the linnets from their nests among the yellow broom. Austere as seemed to us the Elder’s Sabbath-face when sitting in the kirk, we school-boys knew that it had its week-day smiles—and we flew on the wings of joy to our annual Festival of curds and cream in the farm-house of that little sylvan world. We rejoiced in the flowers and the leaves of that long, that interminable summer-day; its memory was with our boyish hearts from June to June; and the sound of the sweet name “Hazel-Glen,” often came upon us at our tasks, and brought too brightly into the school-room the pastoral imagery of that mirthful solitude.

As we now slowly approached the cottage, through a deep snow drift, which the distress within had prevented the household from removing, we saw peeping out from the door, brothers and sisters of our little guide, who quickly disappeared, and then their mother showed herself in their stead, expressing, by her raised eyes, and arms folded across her breast, how thankful she was to see, at last, the Pastor beloved in joy and trusted in trouble.

Soon as the venerable old man dismounted from his horse, our active little guide led it away into the humble stable, and we entered the cottage. Not a sound was heard but the ticking of the clock. The matron, who had silently welcomed us at the door, led us, with suppressed sighs, and face stained with weeping, into her father’s sick-room, which, even in that time of sore distress, was as orderly as if health had blessed the house. I could not help remarking some old china ornaments on the chimney-piece—and in the window was an ever-blowing rose-tree, that almost touched the lowly roof, and brightened that end of the apartment with its blossoms. There was something tasteful in the simple furniture; and it seemed as if grief could not deprive the hand of that matron of its careful elegance.—Sickness, almost hopeless sickness, lay there, surrounded with the same cheerful and beautiful objects which health hath loved; and she, who had arranged and adorned the apartment in her happiness, still kept it from disorder and decay in her sorrow.

With a gentle hand she drew the curtain of the bed, and there, supported by pillows as white as the snow that lay without, reposed the dying Elder. It was plain that the hand of God was upon him, and that his days on the earth were numbered.

He greeted his Minister with a faint smile, and a light inclination of the head—for his daughter had so raised him on the pillows, that he was almost sitting up in his bed. It was easy to see that he knew himself to be dying, and that his soul was prepared for the great change; yet, along with the solemn resignation of a Christian who had made his peace with God and his Saviour, there was blended on his white and sunk countenance, an expression of habitual reverence for the minister of his faith, and I saw that he could not have died in peace without that comforter to pray by his death-bed.

A few words sufficed to tell who was the stranger—and the dying man blessing me by name, held out to me his cold shrivelled hand in token of recognition. I took my seat at a small distance from the bed-side, and left a closer station for those who were more dear. The Pastor sat down near his head—and by the bed, leaning on it with gentle hands, stood that matron, his daughter-in-law; a figure that would have graced and sainted a higher dwelling, and whose native beauty was now more touching in its grief. But religion upheld her whom nature was bowing down; not now for the first time were the lessons taught by her father to be put into practice, for I saw that she was clothed in deep mourning—and she behaved like the daughter of a man whose life had not been only irreproachable, but lofty, with fear and hope fighting desperately but silently in the core of her pure and pious heart.

While we thus remained in silence, the beautiful boy, who, at the risk of his life, had brought the minister of religion to the bed-side of his beloved grandfather, softly and cautiously opened the door, and, with the hoar-frost yet unmelted on his bright glistering ringlets, waited up to the pillow, evidently no stranger there. He no longer sobbed, he no longer weeped—for hope had risen strongly within his innocent heart, from the consciousness of love so fearlessly exerted, and from the presence of the holy man in whose prayers he trusted, as in the intercession of some superior and heavenly nature. There he stood, still as an image in his grandfather’s eyes, that, in their dimness, fell upon him with delight. Yet, happy as was the trusting child, his heart was devoured by fear—and he looked as if one word might stir up the flood of tears that had subsided in his heart. As he crossed the dreary and dismal moors, he had thought of a corpse, a shroud, and a grave; he had been in terror, lest death should strike in his absence, the old man with whose gray hairs he had so often played; but now he saw him alive, and felt that death was not able to tear him away from the clasps and links and fetters of his grandchild’s embracing love.

“If the storm do not abate,” said the sick man, after a pause, “it will be hard for my friends to carry me over the drifts to the kirk-yard.” This sudden approach to the grave, struck, as with a bar of ice, the heart of the loving boy—and with a long deep sigh, he fell down with his face like ashes on the bed, while the old man’s palsied right hand had just strength to lay itself upon his head. “Blessed be thou, my little Jamie, even for his own name’s sake who died for us on the tree!” The mother, without terror, but with an averted face, lifted up her loving-hearted boy, now in a dead fainting-fit, and carried him into an adjoining room, where he soon revived: but that child and that old man were not to be separated; in vain was he asked to go to his brothers and sisters; pale, breathless, and shivering, he took his place as before, with eyes fixed on his grandfather’s face, but neither weeping nor uttering a word. Terror had frozen up the blood of his heart; but his were now the only dry eyes in the room; and the Pastor himself wept, albeit the grief of fourscore is seldom vented in tears.

“God has been gracious to me a sinner,” said the dying man. “During thirty years that I have been an elder in your kirk, never have I missed sitting there one Sabbath.—When the mother of my children was taken from me, it was on a Tuesday she died, and on Saturday she was buried.—We stood together when my Alice was let down into the narrow house made for all living. On the Sabbath I joined in the public worship of God—she commanded me to do so the night before she went away. I could not join in the psalm that Sabbath, for her voice was not in the throng.—Her grave was covered up, and grass and flowers grew there; so was my heart; but thou, whom, through the blood of Christ, I hope to see this night in Paradise, knowest, that from that hour to this day, never have I forgotten thee!”

The old man ceased speaking—and his grandchild, now able to endure the scene, for strong passion is its own support, glided softly to a little table, and bringing a cup in which a cordial had been mixed, held it in his small soft hands to his grandfather’s lips. He drank, and then said, “Come closer to me, Jamie, and kiss me, for thine own and thy father’s sake;” and as the child fondly pressed his rosy lips on those of his grandfather, so white and withered, the tears fell over the old man’s face, and then trickled down on the golden head of the child at last sobbing in his bosom.

“Jamie, thy own father has forgotten thee in thy infancy, and me in my old age; but, Jamie, forget not thou thy father nor thy mother, for that thou knowest and feelest is the commandment of God.”

The broken hearted boy could give no reply. He had gradually stolen closer and closer unto the old loving man, and now was lying worn out with sorrow, drenched and dissolved in tears, in his grandfather’s bosom. His mother had sunk down on her knees, and hid her face with her hands.—“Oh! if my husband knew but of this—he would never, never desert his dying father!” and I now knew that the Elder was praying on his death-bed for a disobedient and wicked son.

At this affecting time the minister took the Family Bible on his knees, and said, “Let us sing to the praise and glory of God part of the fifteenth Psalm,” and he read with a tremulous and broken voice, those beautiful verses:

Within thy tabernacle, Lord,

    Who shall abide with thee?

And in thy high and holy hill

    Who shall a dweller be?


The man that walketh uprightly,

    And worketh righteousness,

And as he thinketh in his heart,

    So doth he truth express.

The small congregation sung the noble hymn of the Psalmist to “Plaintive martyrs worthy of the name.” The dying man himself, ever and anon, joined the holy music—and when it feebly died away on his quivering lips, he continued still to follow the tune with the motion of his withered hand, and eyes devoutly and humbly lifted up to heaven. Nor was the sweet voice of his loving grandchild unheard; as if the strong fit of deadly passion had dissolved in the music, he sang with a sweet and silvery voice, that to a passer by had seemed that of perfect happiness—a hymn sung in joy upon its knees, by gladsome childhood before it flew out among the green hills, to quiet labour or gleesome play. As that sweetest voice came from the bosom of the old man, where the singer lay in affection, and blended with his own so tremulous, never had I felt so affectingly brought before me the beginning and the end of life, the cradle and the grave.

Ere the Psalm was yet over, the door was opened, and a tall fine-looking man entered, but with a lowering and dark countenance, seemingly in sorrow, in misery, and remorse. Agitated, confounded, and awe-struck by the melancholy and dirge-like music, he sat down on a chair—and looked with a ghastly face towards his father’s death-bed. When the Psalm ceased, the Elder said with a solemn voice, “My son, thou art come in time to receive thy father’s blessing.—May the remembrance of what will happen in this room, before the morning again shine over the Hazel-Glen, win thee from the error of thy ways. Thou art here to witness the mercy of thy God and thy Saviour, whom thou hast forgotten.”

The minister looked, if not with a stern, yet with an upbraiding countenance, on the young man, and said, “William! for three years past, your shadow has not darkened the door of the house of God. They who fear not the thunder, may tremble at the still small voice—now is the hour for repentance—that your father’s spirit may carry up to heaven tidings of a contrite soul saved from the company of sinners!”

The young man, with much effort, advanced to the bed-side, and at last found voice to say, “Father, I am not without the affections of nature—and I hurried home so soon as I heard that the minister had been seen riding towards our house. I hope that you will yet recover—and if I have ever made you unhappy, I ask your forgiveness—for though I may not think as you do on matters of religion, I have a humane heart. Father! I may have been unkind, but I am not cruel. I ask your forgiveness.”

“Come nearer to me, William, kneel down by the bed-side, and let my hand find the head of my beloved son—for blindness is coming fast upon me. Thou wert my first-born, and thou art my only living son. All thy brothers and sisters are lying in the church-yard, beside her whose sweet face thine own, William, did once so much resemble.—Long wert thou the joy, the pride of my soul—ay, too much the pride, for there was not in all the parish such a man, such a son, as my own William. If thy heart has since been changed, God may inspire it again with right thoughts. Could I die for thy sake—could I purchase thy salvation with the outpouring of thy father’s blood—but this the Son of God has done for thee who hast denied him! I have sorely wept for thee—ay, William, when there was none near me—even as David wept for Absalom—for thee, my son, my son!”

A long deep groan was the only reply; but the whole body of the kneeling man was convulsed; and it was easy to see his sufferings, his contrition, his remorse, and his despair. The Pastor said, with a sterner voice, and austerer countenance than were natural to him, “Know you whose hand is now lying on your rebellious head? But what signifies the word father to him who has denied God, the Father of us all?” “Oh! press him not so hardly,” said the weeping wife, coming forward from a dark corner of the room, where she had tried to conceal herself in grief, fear, and shame, “spare, oh! spare my husband—he has ever been kind to me;” and with that she knelt down beside him, with her long, soft, white arms mournfully and affectionately laid across his neck. “Go thou, likewise, my sweet little Jamie,” said the Elder, “go even out of my bosom, and kneel down beside thy father and thy mother, so that I may bless you all at once, and with one yearning prayer.” The child did as that solemn voice commanded, and knelt down, somewhat timidly, by his father’s side; nor did that unhappy man decline encircling with his arm the child too much neglected, but still dear to him as his own blood, in spite of the deadening and debasing influence of infidelity.

“Put the Word of God into the hands of my son, and let him read aloud to his dying father the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the eleventh chapter of the Gospel according to St. John.” The Pastor went up to the kneelers, and, with a voice of pity, condolence, and pardon, said, “There was a time when none, William, could read the Scriptures better than couldest thou—can it be that the son of my friend hath forgotten the lessons of his youth?” He had not forgotten them—there was no need for the repentant sinner to lift up his eyes from the bed-side. The sacred stream of the Gospel had worn a channel in his heart, and the waters were again flowing. With a choked voice he said, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest thou this? She said unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

“That is not an unbeliever’s voice,” said the dying man triumphantly; “nor, William, hast thou an unbeliever’s heart. Say that thou believest in what thou hast now read, and thy father will die happy!”—“I do believe; and as thou forgivest me, so may I be forgiven by my Father who is in heaven.”

The Elder seemed like a man suddenly inspired with a new life. His faded eyes kindled—his pale cheeks glowed—his palsied hands seemed to wax strong—and his voice was clear as that of manhood in its prime. “Into thy hands, O God, I commit my spirit.”—And so saying, he gently sunk back on his pillow; and I thought I heard a sigh.—There was then a long deep silence, and the father and mother, and child, rose from their knees. The eyes of us all were turned towards the white placid face of the figure now stretched in everlasting rest; and without lamentation, save the silent lamentations of the resigned soul, we stood around the death-bed of the Elder.





(Continued from page 180, Vol. II.)

Doctor Jarvis proceeds to remark, that the belief of a future state of rewards and punishments has been kept alive among all heathen nations by its connexion with the sensible enjoyments and sufferings, and the consequent hopes and terrors of man. He considers it a divine revelation which once communicated would be clung to with persevering anxiety. The history of the North American Indians justifies this observation; for they all believe in the immortality of the soul, and speak of the country of souls, an abode which they consider at a great distance, and to which the journey is difficult and dangerous. To have been a good hunter, brave in war, fortunate in every enterprize, and victorious over many enemies are the only titles to enter this paradise. But what is very singular, and requires, we conceive, stronger proof than this discourse affords, Doctor Jarvis says, that those who have been put to death as captives, or who have been killed in war, are supposed to be excluded from this abode of bliss. How different this belief, from that of the Scandinavian nations, from whose heaven all were excluded who died ignobly in the common course of nature!

In noticing the religious observances of the Indians, the Doctor makes a proper distinction between traditions merely oral, and traditional ceremonies. The former may be discoloured or distorted, and so changed in a period of years, as to present no sort of resemblance to their first form; but the latter are more steady, and continue long after the course of their first establishment has been forgotten. Hence it is inferred, that in endeavouring to trace the affinities which a corrupt religion may bear to the pure, if we wish to be successful, we must confine ourselves to its outward observances. Perhaps this inference goes too far; for though public observances are most to be depended upon, neither ought oral tradition to be rejected; for, in the hands of the judicious inquirer, they will frequently throw light upon one another. It appears that the custom of offering sacrifices, both to the Great Spirit and to the subordinate or intermediate divinities, is universal among the American tribes, as well as among all heathen nations.

“Loskiel, who has given a minute account of the sacrifices offered by the Lenape or Delawares, and who is said, by Heckewelder, to have almost exhausted the subject, affirms that they are offered upon all occasions, the most trivial, as well as the most important. ‘They sacrifice to a hare,’ says he, ‘because, according to report, the first ancestor of the Indian tribes had that name.[9] To indian corn, they sacrifice bear’s flesh, but to deer and bears, indian corn; to the fishes, small pieces of bread in the shape of fishes; but they positively deny that they pay any adoration to these subordinate good spirits, and affirm, that they only worship the true God, through them: for God, say they, does not require men to pay offerings or adoration immediately to him. He has, therefore, made known his will in dreams, notifying to them, what beings they have to consider as Manittoes, and what offerings to make to them.’[10]—‘When a boy dreams, that he sees a large bird of prey, of the size of a man, flying towards him from the north, and saying to him, ‘Roast some meat for me,’ the boy is then bound to sacrifice the first deer or bear he shoots to this bird. The sacrifice is appointed by an old man, who fixes on the day and place in which it is to be performed. Three days previous to it, messengers are sent to invite the guests. These assemble in some lonely place, in a house large enough to contain three fires. At the middle fire, the old man performs the sacrifice. Having sent for twelve strait and supple sticks, he fastens them into the ground, so as to inclose a circular spot, covering them with blankets. He then rolls twelve red-hot stones into the inclosure, each of which is dedicated to one God in particular. The largest, as they say, belongs to the great God in Heaven; the second, to the sun, or the God of the day; the third, to the night sun or the moon; the fourth, to the earth; the fifth, to the fire; the sixth, to the water; the seventh, to the dwelling or House-God; the eighth, to indian corn; the ninth, to the west; the tenth, to the south; the eleventh, to the east; and the twelfth, to the north. The old man then takes a rattle, containing some grains of indian corn, and leading the boy, for whom the sacrifice is made, into the enclosure, throws a handful of tobacco upon the red-hot stones, and as the smoke ascends, rattles his calabash, calling each God by his name, and saying: ‘This boy (naming him) offers unto thee a fine fat deer and a delicious dish of sapan! Have mercy on him, and grant good luck to him and his family.’[11]

“All the inhabitants of the West Indies offered sacrifices; and of these, the Charaibes were accustomed, at the funerals of their friends, to offer some of the captives who had been taken in battle.[12] I scarcely need advert to the well-known fact, that human sacrifices were offered by the Mexicans. Of these, all the Spanish historians have given the most horrid and disgusting account, and they are described more especially by Bernal Diaz, who was an eye witness, with the most artless and affecting simplicity. Of this practice, however, there are no traces among the present Indian tribes, unless the tormenting of their captives, as Charlevoix seems to intimate, be considered as a sacrifice to the God of war.”[13]

The Indians seem to have no regular priesthood; their public sacerdotal offices are performed by their chiefs, and in their private ceremonies the head of every family, like the Patriarchs of old, becomes their priest.

We intended to have followed this judicious writer through that curious part of his essay, in which he gives an account of the conjurors or false prophets among the Indians, and to have made some general remark on the style and arrangement; but we are anxious to close our analysis in order to proceed to the practical improvement that may be made of our more intimate knowledge of the Indians, and as a proper introduction to what we have to say upon this important subject, we quote Doctor Jarvis’s animated conclusion:

“We have seen that, like all other nations unblessed with the light of Christianity, the Indians are idolators; but their idolatry is of the mildest character, and has departed less than among any other people from the form of the primeval truth.—Their belief in a future state is clear and distinct, debased only by those corporeal associations which proceed from the constitutional operations of our nature, and from which, even Christians, therefore, are not totally exempt.—They retain among them the great principle of expiation for sin, without which, all religion would be unavailing—and they acknowledge, in all the common occurrences of life, and even in their very superstitions, the overruling power of Divine Providence, to which they are accustomed to look up with an implicit confidence, which might often put to shame the disciples of a purer faith.

“Provided, then, that their suspicions respecting every gift bestowed by the hands of white men, can be overcome, the comparative purity of their religion renders it so much the easier to propagate among them the Gospel of Salvation. In this view, is it possible for the benevolent heart to restrain the wish, that the scanty remnant of this unfortunate race may be brought within the verge of civilized life, and made to feel the influence, the cheering and benign influence of Christianity? Is it not to be wished, that the God whom they ignorantly worship, may be declared to them, and that together with the practices they have so long preserved, may be united that doctrine which alone can illumine what is obscure, and unravel what is intricate? If this be desirable, it must be done quickly, or the opportunity will be for ever lost. Should our prejudices prevent it, we must remember that their faults will be obscured, and their virtues brightened, by the tints of time. Posterity will think of them, more in pity than in anger, and will blame us for the little regard which has been paid to their welfare.

“Hapless nations!—Like the mists which are exhaled by the scorching radiance of your summer’s sun, ye are fast disappearing from the earth. But there is a Great Spirit above, who, though for wise purposes he causes you to disappear from the earth, still extends his protecting care to you, as well as to the rest of his creatures.—There is a country of Souls, a happier, and a better country, which will be opened, we may charitably hope, to you, as well as to the other children of Adam.—There is the atoning blood of the Redeemer, which was shed for you, as well as the rest of mankind; the efficacy of which, you have unwittingly continued to plead; and which may be extended, in salutary influence, even to those who have never called on, because they have never heard, the name of the Son of God.”

Many attempts have been made to convert the Indians of North America to the Christian Faith, but hitherto with little success. It appears indeed impossible to make any great or permanent religious impressions upon them without first effecting a radical change in their mode of life and moral habits. So long as they live in small parties or detached families, and exist principally by hunting, they must remain savage. For it is evident that in this state the great difficulty of procuring subsistence, and the unavoidable alternative of extreme fatigue or absolute repose, the Indian men have little leisure to resign himself to meditation, and little inclination to enrich his mind with the discoveries of the Gospel. We have, indeed, been told, that there were no nations so barbarous as might not be reduced to the yoke of Christ; and certainly all must confess, that the power of God is sufficient for this, and still more glorious purposes; but the history of the progress of Christianity affords no just ground for entertaining such expectations. Human exertions are necessary and the minds of the Indians must be expanded, and directed to new wants and enjoyments.—Their necessary wants which now depend chiefly upon chance and the seasons, must be supplied by means less precarious; and they must not only be taught, but made to feel the greater comfort and superior independence of a more fixed way of living. The hunter’s life appears inconsistent with such a degree of civilization as becomes necessary for a knowledge of Christianity. We do not say, that examples may not be found of Indians that have been serious, and even believers; but we do not think that a tribe or nation of such believers will ever be found. We are aware that many pious men arguing from the omnipotence of the Deity and the beauty of the Gospel, think differently, and even ridicule the notion that men must first be civilized before they can be Christians; but a little reflection might teach them, that such ridicule is misplaced, and that the very associations of an erratic or wandering life—the vicissitudes of hunger and plenty—the fears and anxieties with which it is attended, are all unfavourable to the receiving the truths of that religion, which breathes a spirit so lofty and divine, and which from the very nature of the service it requires, and the social duties it inculcates, presupposes a considerable degree of information and mental improvement. Perhaps, however, the difference of opinion turns more upon the various degrees of refinement attached to the word civilization, than to any radical discordance. Few will consider it necessary that the Indians should be expert artizans, agriculturists, tailors, carpenters, and bakers: all that we desire is that they be collected in villages, and depend principally upon their crops and cattle for their subsistence. On this small advance in civilization, the Missionary may with confidence commence his labours, and he will find that though religion required some knowledge before its principles could be understood, yet that on this small beginning it produces the most rapid improvement.

It is easy for ignorant men to cry out that this reasoning rests on secondary causes, and excludes the first; but let such men give an example of the performance of a miracle, when human exertions, diligently employed in humble dependance upon God, were sufficient; or, of a Christian nation which has still continued hunters.

The nations converted by the Apostles were much more civilized than the Indians. The Greeks, the Romans, and Eastern nations had attained to a considerable degree of refinement, and were acquainted with many of the arts, the duties and conveniences of social life. Their knowledge of their moral defects, of the inefficacy of their religion, and of their inability to direct their steps, in some measure prepared them for the reception of Christianity. In all these respects, the American Indians are inferior. Of those who argue that the most savage nations are at once capable of receiving the Gospel, it may be asked, why so long preparation was deemed necessary and the whole providence of God employed to render the world fit for its appearance?—The first labours of the Missionary should therefore be directed to that of collecting the Indians into villages; he must shew them how to cultivate their lands, and instruct them in the more simple occupations of domestic economy; they must feel the substantial advantages of settling around him, and finding that he has made their condition in time more comfortable, they will give him their confidence, and more readily attend to what he tells them about eternity.

Missionaries ought not to attempt the conversion of Indians singly.

The Missionaries must not be deprived of social intercourse, by which, instead of elevating the Indians, they are in danger of sinking into the savage state. They ought to settle among the Indians in numbers, four or five, with their families, and in their conduct they must never forget their motto, “be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”—If they are able to prepare their people for the reception of the Gospel, after long and severe labour, they are in the way of their vocation and have much reason to be thankful, nor ought they to be impatient, but continue zealous in their duty patiently waiting for God’s good time.

It is to be feared that many Missionaries, hurried on by a zeal not according to knowledge, think that the nations to whom they preach should be converted at once, and that every sermon should produce a visible effect, and when these unwarrantable expectations are not realized, they become discontented, address the people in wild incoherent harangues, and denounce against their unbelief, which they have taken no pains to remove, the terrors of hell, and eternal misery. The faithful messenger acts very differently; he spares no pains in removing the prejudices of his flock; he convinces them by experience of the advantages of a sedentary home, and the greater certainty it gives of food and raiment, and although his moderate expectations are often disappointed, he never wearies in well doing, but prays to God for strength to redouble his exertions, and to open the eyes of his people, that they may see and understand. Yet, at times, his soul will be cast down, and if removed from all intercourse with kindred spirits, he may frequently find himself unable to decide how to act, in moments of difficulty and peril he may sink under the burden, or decide unwisely. At such a time, the advantage of two or more Missionaries will be strongly felt. They can hold sweet council together; they can give mutual assistance; should one fall into an error, he has brethren ready to restore him to himself and to God: they are refreshed and encouraged; their various talents are brought into action, in promoting the great work of salvation among the heathen; but in different ways impediments disappear from before them, which would have appalled them singly. In fine, they are doubly armed against temptation, and in all their griefs and anxieties they are comforted with the tear of sympathy and the voice of affection.

Among the American Indians, the Missionaries ought not only to instruct, but have authority to exclude from their villages every white man; for without this power, their labours will produce little or no effect; not that this power should be exerted in a manner offensive to the chiefs of the tribes; it must be done with their consent, nor must it be ever exercised otherwise than through them, as the proper organs; but the whites must know, that without the Missionary’s permission, they are not to settle in any Indian village and that they must leave it if their conduct is not such as he can approve. The great evils produced by the introduction of spirituous liquors among the Indians; the violence, feuds, and murders, which it produces, and the diseases and deaths which follow, will hardly be credited by those who are not acquainted with the causes which have nearly destroyed this unfortunate people. Nor is the wicked example of the whites much less pernicious than the liquid poison which they introduce. In their conduct the Indians too often behold an open disregard of those principles which the Missionary tells them ought to be the rule of the Christian’s life, and the most intelligent of the heathen will not fail to draw conclusions unfavourable to this new religion from the wickedness of its professors. They may become attached to the Missionary himself; they may admire the great excellence of the truths he is teaching; but why exchange the religion of their fathers for one which fails in making those good who are best acquainted with its doctrines. One cause of the great success which has ever attended the Missions of the Jesuits, was the possession of this power; no person was allowed to bring ardent spirits to their flocks, nor any of their countrymen to reside in the villages which they formed, unless such as behaved themselves with propriety. If it should be objected that this power might, in the hands of many Missionaries, be attended with pernicious effects; we answer, that this would seldom be the case, if such men were selected for the conversion, as we shall describe.

After forming villages, the Missionaries must pay the greatest attention to the instruction of the young. They may frequently fail in making a deep impression upon the old, but they may, through the Divine aid, bring up the children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. It is to the faithful performance of this important duty that the Missionaries ought chiefly to look for a happy issue to all their labours. There they can prevent the seeds of superstition from taking root, and direct the views of the children to the most pious and elevated objects. Bearing in mind that man has both a heart and understanding which are intimately connected, they must be equally attentive to the affections of the one, as to the convictions of the other. In this, the Apostles and Evangelists present the Missionaries of the present day with the most perfect example. They reasoned with their hearers, praised their docility and their searching the Scriptures; they addressed themselves to their hopes and fears, to their principles and feelings; and on all occasions, suited themselves to the various capacities, habits, and circumstances of their hearers.

The truths of the Gospel are much more easily communicated to youthful minds, than is commonly apprehended. The sublimity of the Godhead, his omnipotence, goodness, and mercy; the lovely character of our blessed Redeemer; his tenderness, condescension, and unwearied charity—his death and sufferings, are singularly calculated to rouse and interest the infant mind. And in the common intercourse of life, it is easy to prove, even to children, the advantage of truth and sincerity—of obedience, humility, and self-denial; that many vices produce misery, even in this life, and many virtues, happiness.

There is, indeed, great delicacy and attention required to communicate religious instruction to children. They must be treated with unwearied tenderness; it must not be forced unseasonably upon them, nor appear to deprive them of necessary relaxation. Their hearts must be won by their teachers, by mixing occasionally in their little amusements, directing their activities, encouraging their projects, and adding to their pleasures. In such a work, the true Missionary will be vigilant, and never for a moment forget, that he has to do with immortal souls. He may not be able to rouse the old, and dispel the darkness which surrounds them, but the children are a promising crop committed to his care, and of whom he must give a faithful account. His example must illustrate his doctrine; it must admit of a direct appeal, and while they listen to his friendly communications, to his tender and gentle remonstrances, they must see that he now is himself, what he wishes them to be. Hence they are convinced, that he is in earnest for their good, and willingly attend to his instructions. Such a Missionary is the representative of God in his village, and becomes the noble instrument of bringing the souls and bodies of his people, a sweet smelling savour, to the foot of his throne.—On such a flock, our heavenly Father will shed the gentle and holy dew of his blessing; he will be a Father to them and they will become his sons and daughters.

But who are equal for these things?

It is indeed obvious, that few are qualified for the arduous task of converting the heathen. They must not only have a devoted love for the cause, but be endued with strong intellectual powers, of which, a quick discernment and good sense must be predominant. They who give themselves to this labour must have only one object in view, the glory of their heavenly Master, and be ready to spill their blood in honor of his holy name. We admit that a Mission among the Indian tribes of North America, is the least splendid of any that is offered. In the East, the Missionary stands upon public and elevated ground; the eyes of thousands are upon him, and millions of heathens stand before him; but here, only a few wretched families can be collected, and, when most successful, the Missionary can only hope for a small number of converts, purchased with much difficulty and peril, in poverty and obscurity: if he translates the Scriptures, they can be read only by a scattered tribe and few are anxious for his success or regard his labours.

Yet the Missionary who is truly alive to the truths of the Gospel, will not be cast down; he will derive consolation from those very circumstances, which depress the worldly minded; his perils, his obscurity are to him sources of comfort; he may be neglected by men, but he is seen by that God whom he serves, and that Saviour whom he loves.—The poverty and wretchedness of that small portion of the human family, for whose salvation he is devoted, and who seem to be the outcasts of mankind, left to perish without pity, instead of disgust, excites in his soul the greater compassion; and, while thousands are pressing forward to share the glory of converting the Eastern nations, he becomes more and more satisfied with his choice; it assimilates him more with our Redeemer, who preached to the poor and neglected and shunned public notice and regard. Let the Missionaries ever remember that they are associated with the Apostles and Evangelists, who claimed the glorious work of converting the heathen as their own. It was the post of danger and of labour, and therefore, the post of honor, and is so still. They have the same message to communicate, the same armour to put on; they wield the same sword of the Spirit; on its double edge hang life and death; they have placed before them the first honors of the Church, their Master’s cup, his baptism and fellowship in his sufferings.

But it may be said, what are the Indians to us, they are rapidly disappearing from the face of the earth, and in a little time they will be no more seen?

To us they are much, both as men and Christians. As men, they have the claims of brethren; as Christians, they are united in the same Lord. Have we not reduced them to a mere handful—deprived them of their lands, and taught them our vices; and shall we not endeavour, before it be too late, to rescue the small remnant that is left, by communicating to them the imperishable blessings of the Gospel? Nor ought we to despair of success, for our religion adapts itself most wonderfully to all ranks and degrees of men. When the Missionary points out to the heathen our fallen state, and discovers the remedy; when he shews them that they are all transgressors against God, and reveals the medicine of repentance and forgiveness; when he detects their propensity to do evil, and shows how they may learn to do well; their doubts and misgivings fly away, and the Sun of righteousness rises upon them with healing in his wings. The Gospel speaks home to their untutored minds; it presents them with life and immortality; it wins its way to their affections, and accommodates itself to their wants and circumstances.

In fine, the practicability, the duty and necessity of propagating the Gospel among the Indian nations, must appear manifest to every Christian; the difficulties to be encountered are not unsurmountable, nor such as ought to make us doubt of a successful result.

This may account for the following statement by Charlevoix: “Presque toutes les Nations Algonquines ont donne le nom de Grand Lievre, au premier Esprit. Quelques uns l’appellant Michabou; d’autres Atahocan.” Journal, p. 344.

Loskiel, p. 40.

Loskiel, part i. cap. iii. p. 42-3.

Edwards' West-Indies, p. 47, 51.

“Il semble que ce soit des victimes qu’on engraisse pour le sacrifice, et ils sont effectivement immoles au Dieu de la Guerre: la seule difference qu’on met entre ceux et les autres, (the adopted prisoners) c’est qu’on leur noircit entierement le visage.” Journal Hist. p. 246.




between Theophilas and Demas

Theoph. I was very sorry, neighbour Demas, to observe, as I was returning from public worship today, that you and several of your workmen, were employed in getting in wheat.

Dem. True, I did get in some. The weather, you know, has been bad for several days; my grain was all spoiling in the field, and as this was a fine, bright day, I thought, that if I did not improve it, possibly I might lose the whole. I was sorry that it happened so; for you know that I do not allow myself to labour on the Lord’s day.

Th. I had supposed that you did not; and, therefore, was both surprised and grieved. I was apprehensive that your example would have great influence, and that many would be encouraged by it, to incur the guilt of sabbath-breaking. But, do you suppose that you are doing right?

Dem. I thought that I was, at the time; nor do I, as yet, see any reason to alter my opinion.

Th. Does not God, in the institution of the sabbath, expressly forbid all kinds of labour on that day?

Dem. Very true. But then, you know, works of necessity have always been admitted as an exception; and I considered it to be a work of necessity to preserve my grain.

Th. What is a work of necessity? May not every one, who is inclined to labor on the Lord’s day, justify himself by saying, that he considers it to be a work of necessity.

Dem. I think not. I would not, on any account, go to chopping, or ploughing, or any such labor, because I do not consider such to be necessary: but when much property is exposed to be lost, and can be saved only by laboring on the sabbath, such labor I consider as a work of necessity.

Th. If this, then, be the rule, by which to distinguish works of necessity, it will follow, I think, that it is justifiable to labor on the sabbath, whenever any thing can be saved by it. Neighbour Crispus, the shoemaker, who generally works on this day, might justify himself by this rule: for his maxim, you know, is, that time is money. He might say, therefore, “If I am idle this day, I shall lose so much valuable property: it is right, then, for me to work and save it.”

Dem. You misapprehend my meaning. I would not profane the Lord’s day for a trifle. You know, that I had a great quantity of wheat out this morning; and as I had so much exposed, I really thought it a duty to secure some of it, if I could.

Th. It seems, then, according to your account, that the sabbath has its price. For a considerable sum you think it a duty to profane it.—If this be correct, it must be of some consequence to ascertain the precise quantity that must be exposed, in order to render its preservation a necessary or justifiable labor. If you can find any rule, in scripture, applicable to this point, or, indeed, any passage, which justifies us in laboring on the Lord’s day, for the sake of preserving property, be it little or much, I could wish you would point it out; for it is something which I never, as yet, discovered.

Dem. I do not, just now, recollect any passage, which comes directly to the point. But then it appears to me, that this conduct cannot be wrong.

Th. The occasion of its appearing thus to you may possibly be, because you are under the influence of a worldly spirit, rather than a spirit of obedience to the divine commands. When I have been examining the Scriptures in relation to this point, I have found, that our Lord justified his disciples in rubbing ears of corn, to get out the kernel to eat, when they were hungry, on the sabbath day; from which I conclude, that we are allowed to prepare the food, that is necessary on that day. I find, also, that our Saviour healed the sick on the sabbath; from which I infer, that if it be needful to labor for their comfort, or restoration to health, we may do it. But I never found any thing, which appeared to give liberty to labor for the sake of preserving property. And I cannot but think, that the rule, which you have laid down, will not bear trying by the sacred scriptures.

Dem. Well, I do not know but that I must give up this point; but then, I think, that I can defend my conduct on another ground. It may be considered as an act of mercy: for if I had not secured my grain, some, perhaps, might have suffered, or even died, for want of it, before the year came round; and God says expressly, I will have mercy and not sacrifice.

Th. Very true. But if this is applicable to your case, who is there, that might not justify laboring on the Lord’s day, in his own case? For might not every one discover a possibility, that some dreadful calamity might follow, if he were to neglect working on the sabbath?

Dem. This, I must confess, is something, which I never thought of before. But would you have advised me to let so much grain stand, and be lost, when it is like to be so scarce, rather than secure it on the sabbath?

Th. But how do you know, that it would be lost? Do you know, that to-morrow will not be as favourable for getting in grain as to-day has been? And, by labouring to-day, have you not distrusted divine providence?—God says, If ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land; but you have said, I am afraid that I shall not eat of the good of the land, unless I am disobedient.

Dem. Why, to confess the truth, I did not think much about being taken care of by Divine Providence. Had I thought much on this, and had much confidence in the promises, I think it probable, that I should have let my grain stand as it was this morning, and trusted to having an opportunity to secure it to-morrow or some other day.

Th. Perhaps this fine day was sent on purpose to try you, and me, and others. As though God had said, “In the midst of this bad season, I will send them a clear sabbath; and then it will be seen, among those who profess to have some regard to me, and to my commands, whose profession is so sincere, that it will bear trying.” Having put this purpose into execution, and looking down from above to see its effect, he says, “There is Demas. He will not bear trying. Weighing him in the balance, I find him wanting.”

Dem. Why truly, neighbor, this is placing the subject in a more serious point of view, than I ever contemplated it before. I do not know, but that I have been discovering a very wrong state of mind.

Th. I would wish to ask you a few serious questions, and hope you will answer them as seriously. Are we not all dependent on a divine blessing, for all the good things that we possess?

Dem. I confess that we are; for if God were to withhold either rain or sunshine, the earth would yield us no increase.

Th. If, then, we are dependent on a divine blessing, is it not much more likely that we shall receive it, if we are obedient to his commands, than if disobedient?

Dem. I conclude that it is.

Th. Well, then, if you had observed this Lord’s day, as you are commanded, would it not have been more likely, that you would have received a blessing, than it now is? The grain, which you have gotten in, may spoil in your mow, or be burnt up, or destroyed some other way. I could mention many instances, in which persons, by disregarding the sabbath, have lost much more, than they have saved.—And, indeed, many, in which they have lost their own lives, as a righteous judgment on their wickedness.

Dem. Well I do not know but that I have been acting against myself. If it were to do again, I believe I should consider a little more seriously what I was about to do.—In the mean time, I thank you, neighbor, for your plain dealing. You have suggested many important considerations, which never occurred to my mind before, and I shall regard the sabbath, in future, with greater reverence than in time past.—Vermont Adviser.




There is perhaps too much freedom in Protestantism to satisfy a certain religious austerity, which may seize upon a man who is overwhelmed by great misfortunes; sometimes even in the habitual course of life, the reality of this world disappears all at once, and we feel ourselves in the middle of its interests as we should at a ball, where we did not hear the music; the dancing that we saw there would appear insane. A species of dreaming apathy equally seizes upon the bramin and the savage, when one by the force of thought, and the other by the force of ignorance, passes entire hours in the dumb contemplation of destiny. The only activity of which the human being is then susceptible, is that which has divine worship for its object.—He loves to do something for heaven every moment; and it is this disposition which gives their attraction to convents, however great may be their inconvenience in other respects.

The Moravians are the monks of Protestantism; and the religious enthusiasm of northern Germany gave them birth, about a hundred years ago. But although this association is as severe as a Catholic convent, it is more liberal in its principles. No vows are taken there; all is voluntary; men and women are not separated, and marriage is not forbidden. Nevertheless the whole society is ecclesiastical; that is to say, every thing is done there by religion and for it: the authority of the church rules this community of the faithful, but this church is without priests, and the sacred office is fulfilled there in turn by the most religious and venerable persons.

Men and women, before marriage, live separately from each other in assemblies, where the most perfect equality reigns. The entire day is filled with labour; the same for every rank; the idea of Providence, constantly present, directs all the actions of the life of the Moravians.

When a young man chooses to take a companion, he addresses himself to the female superintendants of girls or widows, and demands of them the person he wishes to espouse. They draw lots in the church, to know whether he ought to marry the woman whom he prefers; and if the lot is against him, he gives up his demand. The Moravians have such a habit of resignation, that they do not resist this decision; and as they only see the woman at church, it costs them less to renounce their choice. This manner of deciding upon marriage, and upon many other circumstances of life, indicates the general spirit of the Moravian worship. Instead of keeping themselves submitted to the will of Heaven, they fancy they can learn it by inspirations, or, what is still more strange, by interrogating chance.—Duty and events manifest to man the views of God concerning the earth; how can we flatter ourselves with the notion of penetrating them by other means?

We observe, in other respects, among the generality of Moravians, evangelical manners, such as they must have existed from the time of the Apostles, in Christian communities. Neither extraordinary doctrines nor scrupulous practices constitute the bond of this association: the Gospel is there interpreted in the most natural and clear manner; but they are there faithful to the consequences of this doctrine, and they make their conduct, under all relations, harmonize with their religious principles. The Moravian communities serve, above all, to prove that Protestantism, in its simplicity, may lead to the most austere sort of life, and the most enthusiastic religion; death and immortality, well understood, are sufficient to occupy and to direct the whole of existence.

I was some time ago at Dintendorf, a little village near Erfurth, where a Moravian community is established. This village is three leagues distant from every great road; it is situated between two mountains, upon the banks of a rivulet; willows and lofty poplars environ it: there is something tranquil and sweet in the look of the country, which prepares the soul to free itself from the turbulence of life. The buildings and the streets are marked by perfect cleanliness; the women, all clothed alike, hide their hair, and bind their head with a riband, whose colour indicates whether they are married, maidens, or widows: the men are clothed in brown, almost like the Quakers. Mercantile industry employs nearly all of them; but one does not hear the least noise in the village. Every body works in regularity and silence; and the internal action of religious feeling lulls to rest every other impulse.

The girls and widows live together in a large dormitory, and, during the night, one of them has her turn to watch, for the purpose of praying, or of taking care of those who may be ill. The unmarried men live in the same manner. Thus there exists a great family for him who has none of his own; and the name of brother and sister are common to all Christians.

Instead of bells, wind instruments, of a very sweet harmony, summon them to divine service. As we proceeded to church by the sound of this imposing music, we felt ourselves carried away from the earth; we fancied that we heard the trumpets of the last judgment, not such as remorse makes us fear them, but such as a pious confidence makes us hope them; it seemed as if the divine compassion manifested itself in this appeal, and pronounced beforehand the pardon of regeneration.

The church was dressed out in white roses, and blossoms of white thorn: pictures were not banished from the temple; and music was cultivated as a constituent part of religion: they only sang psalms; there was neither sermon, nor mass, nor argument, nor theological discussion; it was the worship of God in spirit and in truth. The women, all in white, were ranged by each other without any distinction whatever; they looked like the innocent shadows who were about to appear together before the tribunal of the Divinity.

The burying-ground of the Moravians is a garden, the walks of which are marked out by funeral stones; and by the side of each is planted a flowering shrub. All these grave-stones are equal: not one of these shrubs rises above the other; and the same epitaph serves for all the dead.—“He was born on such a day; and on such another he returned into his native country.” Excellent expression, to designate the end of our life! The ancients said, “He lived;” and thus threw a veil over the tomb, to divest themselves of its idea; the Christians place over it the star of hope.

On Easter-day, divine service is performed in the burying-ground, which is close to the church, and the resurrection is announced in the middle of the tombs. All those who are present at this act of worship, know the stone that is to be placed over their coffin; and already breathe the perfume of the young tree, whose leaves and flowers will penetrate into their tombs. It is thus that we have seen, in modern times, an entire army assisting at its own funeral rites, pronouncing for itself the service of the dead, decided in belief that it was to conquer immortality.[14]

The communion of the Moravians cannot adapt itself to the social state, such as circumstances ordain it to be; but as it has been long and frequently asserted that Catholicism alone addressed the imagination, it is of consequence to remark, that what truly touches the soul in religion is common to all Christian churches. A sepulchre and a prayer exhaust all the power of the pathetic; and the more simple the faith, the more emotion is caused by the worship.

The allusion in this passage is to the siege of Saragossa.




The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge has, since the last Report, increased its members to 13,300; and the number of the diocesan and district committees of the Society, established at home and abroad, amounts this year to two hundred and nine. We pass over the list of diocesan and district committees at home, as their transactions consist of details entirely local, and not admitting of analysis.

From India, the Calcutta diocesan committee report, that the demand for Bibles, Testaments, Common-prayer books, and other religious books and tracts, has greatly increased; and many applications have been made for the Family Bible. The district committee at Madras have been actively and zealously engaged during the present year, both in promoting the general designs of the Society, and in the superintendance of the concerns of the East India mission. At Bombay, a large number of books and tracts had been distributed, and almost entirely gratuitously; but still the demand for Prayer books was much beyond the means of supply; school books were also in great request; and tracts for the use of soldiers and sailors, were more required than others. The archdeacon suggests the expediency of translating into Arabic, Persian, and other languages of India, some of the Society’s religious books and tracts, and more especially books for the use of children in the native schools. Some plain and short treatise on the evidences of Christianity, he thinks, would be read by some of the more learned natives, and would excite a spirit of thought and enquiry which could not fail to be attended with good effects. This suggestion is now under the consideration of the Society.

From Ceylon, the Rev. G. Bissett observes: “The very liberal supply of three hundred Prayer-books will have a most beneficial effect in attaching the native Christians to our Liturgy, which is already in great demand, whether the whole be given in English, or detached prayers in Cingalese and English, such as we have already circulated. By the last despatches from England, the grateful intelligence was received of this island being subjected to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Calcutta, and of the erection of an archdeaconry, in the person of the Hon. and Rev. T. J. Twistleton.—This measure will, I conceive, not only tend to bring the native Christians into the unity of the Church of England, but also greatly promote the general propagation of Christianity. A wide door is opened in Ceylon for the introduction of the Gospel. If it should be the door through which the King of Glory shall enter to establish his blessed dominion in the East, the respected members of the Society will hereafter reflect with joy upon their zealous readiness in contributing to further the gracious designs of Providence.”

In the diocese of Nova Scotia, the Halifax diocesan committee have forwarded their fourth annual Report. The following is the statement of books and tracts since their last account: 280 Bibles, 284 Testaments, 361 Prayer-Books, and 9751 books and tracts. The Report concludes with a very satisfactory account of the progress of education in the diocese.

The diocesan committee at Quebec have transmitted an account of their proceedings; from which it appears, that within a very short period from the institution of the committee, they have forwarded a list of upwards of seventy new members of the Society, and that they were anxious as early as possible to establish a local depository of books. They advert with much satisfaction to an early object of the Society, the fixing parochial libraries throughout the plantations, especially on the continent of North America; and observe, that “if more than a century ago this was considered of essential importance, it is now become a matter of paramount and indispensable obligation. In proportion as emigration from the mother country increases, new settlements are every day advancing into the wilder and more uncultivated parts of the two provinces: and scattered as these people in general are in small detached parties, and not unfrequently in single families, they are of course cut off from every means of religious instruction, except such as books can supply. The inhabitants of a more populous, or a more civilized country, can scarcely appreciate the treasure which a person in such circumstances must possess, in his Bible, his Prayer-book, or the tract which contains the grounds and justification of his faith.”

The general Board next proceed to state the transactions of the Society at large, with regard to its general designs.

In reference to its proceedings respecting education and schools, it appears that the number of returns from the diocesan and district committees amounts to forty-six, and that in the schools to which they relate 110,283 children, receive the advantage of a religious education. But this number falls very far short of the number of diocesan and district committees, by whose exertions the several schools throughout the kingdom are wholly or in part supplied with books. The whole number of books, &c. distributed on the terms of the Society, and gratuitously, during the year, is,


Bibles (exclusive of the Society’s
Family Bible) 32,150
New Testaments & Psalters 53,905
Common Prayers 91,621
Other bound Books 74,889
Small Tracts, half-bound, &c. 913,483
Books and Papers, issued
gratuitously 261,760
Total, 1,427,808


The following are the new tracts admitted on the Society’s catalogue during this year.


Pastoral Advice after Confirmation, by the Bishop of Chester. 3-4d.

The Englishman directed in the choice of his Religion, broken into Questions and Answers. 4d.


The sub-committee appointed in Oct. 1817, “to consider of books suited to the formation of a supplemental catalogue, containing publications, combining amusement with general instruction,” have made their first report; in which they recommend the following works:—

Bishop Burnett’s History of the Reformation, 2 vols. abridged; Bp. Tomline’s Introduction to the Bible; Bp. Hall’s Contemplations, 2 vols.; Gilpin’s Latimer, and Bernard Gilpin; Gilpin’s Wickliff; Gilpin’s Trueman and Atkins; Gilpin’s four last Dialogues; Walton’s Lives, entire;—Bingley’s Elements of Useful Knowledge, 3 vols.; Bingley’s Animal Biography, 3 vols.; Josephus’s Wars of the Jews, 2 vols.; Lessons for young Persons in humble Life; Pilgrim Good Intent; Sturm’s Reflections, abridged; Well’s Geography of the Old Testament, 2 vols. The sub-committee have also recommended several books and tracts to be placed under the head of Instructive Tales, Biography, &c. The Book of Common Prayer, including the whole of the offices, together with the ordination and consecration services, has been correctly translated into the Gaelic language, and the printing of the work was nearly completed.—Two of the tracts on the Society’s catalogue, viz. “Bp. Beveridge’s Sermon on the Common Prayer,” and “Bishop Kenn’s Directions for Prayer,” have already been printed in the Gaelic language, and dispersed generally among the Highland Episcopalians, by whom they were received with great thankfulness and gratitude.

The Society’s Family Bible has recently been completed by the publication of an index to the principal matters contained in the notes.

The receipts of the Society from April 1818 to April 1819, amounted to 55,939l. 8s. 8d. and the payments to 55,146l. 19s. 2d. Several important benefactions have been received in the course of the year; and among others, an anonymous one, by the hands of Archdeacon Owen, of 1028l. towards supplying the army with the Book of Common Prayer, and useful tracts. The late Earl of Kerry has bequeathed 10,200l. money, five per cents, subject to annuities of 240l.

The general Board, in the last place, communicate the proceedings of the Society in the remaining department of their designs; namely, the state of their missions in the East Indies.

Two promising young men, the Rev. L. P. Haubroe, and the Rev. D. Rosen, having been recommended to the Society by the Bishop of Zealand, by whom they had been ordained as Missionaries, a Charge was delivered to them at a special general meeting of the Society, Jan 29, 1819, previously to their departure as the Society’s Missionaries in India, by the Rev. Dr. Wordsworth. This charge is so characterized by Christian benevolence and piety, that we could gladly transcribe the whole. After a variety of affectionate remarks to the Missionaries, Dr. Wordsworth goes on to urge the duty of such exertions. On this head he justly remarks:—

“Our reasoning applies alike to the gifts of nature, and of grace; or such difference as there is, will be found to be in favour of the latter: as well because they are more valuable gifts, for ‘the things which are not seen are eternal,’ as also, because being out of the reach of men’s natural faculties to attain unto, they fall especially under that gracious consideration, in which our blessed Saviour himself has placed them, ‘freely ye have received, freely give.’—An especial duty, therefore, lies upon us to impart of our spiritual treasures to them that are in need. And in this view, reverend brethren, we have no small joy to be the instruments in the hands of Divine Providence in calling forth, and giving exercise to your Christian and charitable zeal.

“This, I say, would be the case, such would be our duty, and our rejoicing, even if there were no precept in holy Scripture prescribing the obligation, and no special considerations presented there, peculiarly appertaining to this division of the labours of love. But we all know that this is quite otherwise. ‘Go ye, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Go ye, and teach all nations, baptising them.’ These were the commands of our King, when by the hands of his ministers he was laying the foundation stones on which he would erect a universal dominion.—Such also is the import of the proclamation of the Heavenly Father, ‘I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth;’ words appealed to by inspired Apostles as a warrant and command to preach the Gospel to the heathen. Such also is the import of the voice of all the prophets; and if, passing from earth to heaven, we penetrate under the guidance of another Apostle within the veil, what do our eyes behold there, but ‘a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne, crying with a loud voice, Salvation unto our God and unto the Lamb?’ And yet, ‘How shall they call,’ as the Apostle has argued, ‘on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!’

“Therefore, from these considerations and the like, the obligation has long been recognised of endeavouring to communicate the knowledge of Christianity among the Pagan and Mahommedan nations of the eastern hemisphere.”

Dr. Wordsworth proceeds to show the beneficial results of the Society’s missions in the East, appealing to the testimony of the Bishop of Calcutta and Dr. Buchanan for the pleasing character of the Tanjore Christians. The following remark forms a strong argument for the usefulness of the occasional and anniversary meetings of the charitable societies.

“These very solemnities themselves have not been without their fruits of blessing. I doubt not they have, from time to time, brought home to many bosoms an inward sense of the privileges, happiness and duties of our own favoured condition; a sense of sympathy and fellowship with the afflictions of humanity in distant climes; and have given birth to Christian desires and endeavours to overcome the evil that is in the world with our good.”

We know not how to abridge the following pathetic and truly Apostolic appeal. We pity the reader whose heart does not vibrate to the string so feelingly struck.

“If we lift up our eyes, what do we behold but the appalling sight of more than sixty millions of Pagans and Mahommedans and a vast territory, fallen under the dominion of the civilized nations of this quarter of the globe; and that a territory and a people augmenting every day?

“Must we not inquire, then, what is this territory; and what are these mighty millions of mankind—what are they to us? You will allow me to ask, what are they especially to this our beloved country? We have seen the common duties which bind us all, as we have opportunity, to do good to all our fellow creatures. These Mahomedans and Hindoos, are they not such? And have they not the pleas upon us also of necessity and misery? Are they not all sitting in the region of the shadow of death? Have they not been all sorely bruised and marred, like the wayfaring man, by Satan, the robber and murderer? Have they not the claims upon us, I say, of our common humanity?—But what, again I ask, are this vast territory, and these mighty millions of mankind: what, I mean, are they to England? Alas! they are, as we might almost say, ‘bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.’ Do we not breathe their air? Is not the soil ours? Have we not poured out our English blood, and mixed it in their sands? Is there a rock, or fortress, of their almost inaccessible fastnesses, where the British standard does not wave? Are we not placed in such relations towards them as these—that some we have vanquished in open war; others have called for our protection and help, and have willingly submitted to our mild and equitable sway? Do we not make profit and merchandise by their hands? Do we not live among them, and carry on with them such various intercourse as belongs to those who are our friends, dependants, labourers, servants, and subjects? These, doubtless, are the considerations which appropriate and bring home, the general duties of humanity, to us in particular. Other nations may and ought to pray for the conversion of the Hindoos: but England must do this, and much more. We have taken this empire to ourselves; have set it apart, and fenced it round, and erected it, as it were, for a theatre wherein to display ourselves, and to act our part in the sight of men and angels. I am saying nothing in what way, by what steps, we have attained this eminence. But so it is. There we stand. We are upon our trial.—We have voluntarily undertaken a tremendous responsibility: and it is in no way impossible, as I conceive, but that as a nation, we shall be accountable in this world for our trust; and further, as individuals, shall many of us be called to a reckoning, perhaps in this, but assuredly in the next world.

But, again, in our transactions with these nations, has any thing ever interposed to taint the purity of our track; any thing ever intermixed itself of a corrupt lust of gain, of a secular ambition, of a mere desire of military aggrandizement and glory, any thing interposed of oppression, or spoliation, or perfidy? If so, if in any cases we have taught them our vices, and made them partakers and companions of our sins, if alas! we have repelled them yet farther than where they were before from the light of truth, and the life of God, and from the reception of Christianity, by exhibiting in their sight, the lives of wicked Christians—by affecting that the name of Christ and his doctrine should be blasphemed among the heathen through our offences; if there be any truth in these charges sometimes made against us,—these all are considerations which, in their degree, darken our responsibility; and may well awaken in good men’s minds, an extraordinary compassion and sympathy; and arouse them to put forth so much the more strenuous efforts to make good the deficiencies, and repair the injuries of the years that are past.

(To be continued.)



Transcriber’s Note

* Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

* Pg 211: “...eyes beathed in tears...” to “...eyes bathed in tears...”

* Pg 212: “...Hazle-Glen...” to “...Hazel-Glen...”

* Pg 223: “...the Indian [**unclear] have little leisure...” to “...the Indian men have little leisure...” [best guess]

* Pg 223: “...and [**unclear] inclination to enrich his mind...” to “...and little inclination to enrich his mind...” [best guess]

* Pg 239: “...Dr Wordswith...” to “...Dr. Wordsworth...”

* Pg 240: Mahomedans / Mahommedans [left spelling as is, as considered alternate spellings]

[The end of _The Christian Recorder Vol. 2, Issue 6 (1820-Aug.)_ by Various]