Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

that our

pressed upon us. But why those good things which God should we earnestly desire or will not deny to our requests, pray.

existence

may be cannot be the possessions of the prolonged to old age ? Perhaps present world, and of conseGod designs to take us away quence, we cannot be too guard. from the evil that is to come; ed in our petitions for temporal and therefore this very hour favours. Perbaps I may say, may be the fittest season for the we should never ask them unsoul to leave its earthly cares less with minds so chastised and enter on a durable inheri. and disciplined that we should

At best, life protract. submit with resignation and ed is protracted woe. Old composure if God should be age brings with it a train pleased to refuse our desires. of new sorrows and new trials, Otherwise we may indulge a which might tarnish the lustre worldly mind, at a season when of former ages and darken the of all others, we should be most prospeets of futurity.

free from its influence, and the From this induction of par. earnestness of our requests may ticulars it is evident that we are be the very reason why it is incapable of judging with any proper for God to deny them. degree of certainty what condi- The benefits which, from our tion -of life is best calculated own observation, we perceive for our ultimate good. What to be most directly obtained by we deprecate as evils may be our prayers, and which must blessings in disguise, may be correspond with all the reprethe best proofs of God's love sentations of this duty, and with and mercy towards us—and all the exhortations and encourthose things which we most ear- agement to it which the gospel nestly desire as peculiar bles. Aas conveyed to us, relate to the sings of heaven might becoine improvement of our own charthe means of onr misery and acters, perdition. If in connexion with I therefore observe in the our ignorance respecting the second place influence of temporal blessings That with respect to spiritual on our character, we consider, blessings, to whatever may assist that it is the design of Chris- our progress in piety and our sianity 10 render us superior to advancement in holiness, we canthe present world, to cause us not be too earnest or too particto sit loosely to its enjoyineuts ular. With respect to these and possessions; that a worldly we are involved in no particumind is the grave of all good lar uncertainty, whether they affections and all genuine pioty; will contribute to ultimate good. that the form of prayer which We know that for whatever our Saviour left his disciples pertains to the increase of contains one and only one peti. good affections and virtuous tion for earthly possessions, and habits we cannot possibly ask that for the bare necessaries of amiss. life ;~from these considerations God has created and placed it must be evident, that those us in the present world that we objects promised to our prayers, might be formed to virtuc so as

[ocr errors]

to be capable of happiness, that our prayers into the presence of we might attain, as far as our that God in whom all the fam. natures will permit, a conformi. ilies of the earth are blessed, ty to his character; and whilst let us not forget our bretbren we strive and pray for the ac- according to the flesh. Let us complishments of his purpose, intercede with him for the wel. for the possession of those mor- fare of those, with whom we al qualities which give us are peculiarly interested-1bat nearer resemblance to him, and his favour may return on all render us more worthy his fav- those who have shown favour eur, we may be assured that he to us--that Goil way forgive will not be displeased with our and bless all those who have anxiety and solicitations, or per- been unforgiving and injurious mit our sincere prayer to return to us. We should express our unaccompiished. Whatever sympathy for all those who latends to our moral improve- bour under mental distress or ment, whatever may advance are bowed down with affliction, the kingdom of God and his remembering that we are also righteousness, is surely to be in the body. included among those good Let us not neglect a duty that things which prayer has a nat. contributes so much to our wel. ural tendency to produce, and fare and improvement in this which God bas directed us to world and which is indispepsa. ask with an explicit assurance ble to our preparation for hapthat if we are sincere we shall piness in the world to come. obtain.

For I know not how any man I observe in conclusion : can expect to enjoy the presence

That our petitions should not of God in heaven, who has not have an exclusive reference to had intercourse with him on ourselves. No man liveth to earth. But let not our prayers himself. As we are connected be the effusion of a worldly by a community of wants, of in- mind, neither let our petitions terests and dependencies, we are bind us

more closely to the bound to desire and promote the earth. Let them evince our welfare of others.

trust in God, the ardour and Our Saviour inculcates this sincerity of our pious desires, diffusive benevolence which and the fulness of our kind and gives us an interest in the moral benevolent affections. improvement of the human fam- Let our most ardent prayers ily, by directing us to pray that be for minds enlightened by God's name may be universally heavenly wisdom-for passions reverenced that his kingdom disciplined and obedient-for anay be established over every kind and benevolent affections region and in every heart that for resignation, and patience, men may every where seek their and hope that God would forhappiness in the love and prac- give what is past and strengthen tice of goodness; and thus God's and support us in the futurewill be done on earth as it is that our lives may be adorned in heaven.

with tie beauties of holiness, Whenever then we come with and our temper and par feel.

ings be such as becometh Chris- our infirmities, and those things tians. Then our prayers will which for our unworthiness we not return empty. “ He who dare not ask, with all that is knoweth our necessities before necessary, he will vouchsafe to we ask, and our ignorance in give for his mercy sake.” asking, will have compassion on

A.

THE HARMONIST SOCIETY. * This Society had its origin which they resided during the in Wurtemburg, in Germany, winter. In the spring 50 more about the year 1785, and was of the families arrived to join founded by George Rapp. The them; and the Society was Lutheran religion was then pre- organized by a constitution dominant in that country ; but grounded on Acts iv. 32—“ And in the opinion of Mr. Rapp, it the multitude of them that bewas made an engine of power lieved were of one heart and rather than a principle to re

one soul; neither said

any

of generate the mind and regulate them that ought of the things the life. He soon obtained a he possessed was his own, but number of adherents who form- they bad all things in common.” ed themselves into a society. Thus constituted they laid But they were despised and per- out a town, and in commemorasecuted, subjected to fines and tion of their unity in sentiment imprisonments, for their dissent and brotherly affection, they from the dominant party. In called it Harmony. This year 1803, Mr. Rapp with some they built 46 log houses, a large others, as deputies for the soci- barn and a grist-mill, cleared ety, arrived at Philadelphia; 150 acres of land for corn, 40 and, passing into the western for potatoes, and 15 for a meadcountry, they fixed on a situa- In 1806, they built an inn, tion about 25 miles from Pitts- partly of stone, a framed barn burg.

100 feet long, an oil-mill, a blue Having determined an a place dyer's shop, sunk a tannery, of residence they wrote to the cleared 300 acres of land for Society in Germany. In 1804 corn and 58 for meadow. In the whole Society consisting of 1807, they erected a brick storeabout 150 or 160 families em- house, a saw-mill and a brewebarked in three vessels at Am- ry, 400 acres of land were clearsterdam. One of the vessels ed for grain and meadow, and arrived at Baltimore, the other 4 acres of vines were planted. two at Philadelphia, where Mr. In 1808, they built a meetingRapp was waiting to receive house of brick 70 feet by 55, a them. In November, 40 of brick dwelling-house, a frame these families moved to the barn 80 feet long, and a bridge westward, a journey of 320 over a creek of 220 feet, miles, built 9 log houses in In 1809, they built a fulling

* The principal facts now to be given relating to this amiable Society have been collected from the “ Travels" of John Mellish,

[ocr errors]

acres.

mill, a grist-mill, a brick ware- ing themselves till they could house, and another brick build- bring tbeir industry into operaing. A considerable quantity tion. But when Mr. Mellish of land was cleared, and their was at Harmony, their property produce was 6000 bushels of was estimated at 220,000 dol. corn ; 4500 of wheat, 4500 of lars, and they had cleared 2,500 rye, 5000 of oats, 10,0 0 of po

Frederic Rapp, son of tatoes, 4000 lbs. of flax and George Rapp, was the principal hemp, and 50 gallons of sweet- manager and superintendaat. oil, made from the seeds of wbite The youth of the Society are poppy.

kept at school till the age of 14. In 1810, a wool-carding ma- The school hours are in the chine and two spinning jennies forenoon-the afternoon is de. were erected for the fabrication voted to such labour as they can of broadeloth from merino wool, easily perform, it being a branch a framed barn 100 feet long, of their economy to teach their and a brick house, the lower children to labour as well as to story for the accommodation of read and write. They are 20 weavers' looms, the second taught both the German and for a school-room.

English languages, with writing When Mr. Mellish visited and arithmetic. the Society it consisted of about The town is watched by night 800 members. The operative by two men. At pine o'clock members were nearly as fol- the watchman is heard to say, lows :-100 farmers, 3 shep-Again a day is past, and a step herds, 10 masons, 3 stone-cuts made nearer to our end-our ters, 3 brick-makers, 10 carpen- time runs away, and the joys of ters, 2 sawyers, 10 smiths, 2 heaven are our reward.' They waggon-makers. 3 turners, 2 repeat the latter sentence at nailers, 7 coopers, 3 rope-mak- eleven, twelve, one, and two ers, 10 shoe-makers, 2 saddlers, o clock, and at three they cali 3 tanners, a tailors, 1 soap- — Again a night is past, and boiler, 1 brewer, 4 distillers, 1 the morning is come-our tine gardener, 2 grist-millers, 2 oil- runs away and the joys of heaymillers, 1 butcher, 6 joiners, 6 en are our reward." dyers, dressers, shearers, &c. 1 “In the evening, says Mr. fuller, 2 hatters, 2 potters, 2 Mellish, the Society assembled warpers, 17 weavers, 2 carders, for divine service, and we at8 spinners,'1 rover, 1 minister tended. The church was quite of religion, 1 school-master, 1 full, the number of persons bedoctor, 1 store-keeper with two ing not less than 50o. The assistants, 1 tavern-keeper with women sat all at one end, and one assistant.

the men at the other. They When the society was first were singing a hymn, in which established here, the whole of they all joined with one accord. their property, after defraying After singing they all knelt their expences, amounted to a- down to prayer. We followed bout 20,000 dollars. This was their example, and never did I soon expended in the payment pray more devoutly. I did not for their lands and in support- understand a word of the prayer;

a

sermon

but I saw that this interesting hour and a half. They have Society were under the influence another meeting at 6 o’elock in of the spirit of God, and that the evening; and besides the they worshipped him with rev. meetings on Sundays, they have erence and godly fear. Tears

two nights in the of joy came into my eyes as I week.” exclaimed mentally-This in- 6. T'here is no instance of the deed is true Christianity,--this church being neglected by those is worshipping God in spirit who are well and able to walk. and truth. It contributes to It is their delight to attend it, true felicity here, and prepares and the religious and moral de the soul for consummate bliss portment of the whole Society hereafter. After prayer, Mr. is highly praiseworthy. There Rapp delivered a sermon with are no vicious habits among great animation, to which all them. There is not an instance the congregation paid the most of swearing or lying, or dedevout attention."

bauchery of any kind ; and as “ The basis of the Society is to ebeating, so commonly pracreligion, and all their temporal tised in civilized society, they concerns are managed in sub- have no temptation to it whatserviency to it. The greater ever. As individuals they have part of the people were bred in no úse for money and no fear The Lutheran persuasion, and of want.” their views of religion are near

Mr. Mellish further observes, ly in conformity to it ; but the “ It has been doubted wbether principles which bind them to the Society will continue united, getber as a Society may be on which alone depends their shortly expressed--Love to God, prosperity. From the principle good will towards man, purity on which the connexion is formof life and a community of ed, and the objects they have in goods. The pastor is consider- view, I am of opinion they will ed as having the call of God. not only continue united but His prayers and sermons are that they will, in all probabilidelivered extempore. If he be ty, be a model for other Socieabsent the Society meet and ties. If their nnion continue, conler on religious subjects their prospects are bright inHe is assisted in the manage- deed, both for time and eterniment of the religious concerns ty. Here they have the mutual by elders and deacons appoint- aid of each other, and are free ed by the Society."

from a thousand temptations to “On Sunday the Society meet which mankind in general are in their religious capacity at 9 subjected. Having no fear of o'clock in the school-room, to want they have literally no care examine the children, who ex- for the morrow they have no bibit different specimens of their use for money, the love of performances. This ends about which is the root of all evil, 11 ; they meet in the church at In health they have the fellow12, when they go through the ship of people of the like mind same exercises as those before with themselves--in sickness, noticed, which last about an they have the advice and ab

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »