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IN THE FORM OF DESULTORY REMARKS, LEAVING the first principles and the theory of Christianity. let us proceed to perfection. Aud what is the perfection of Christianity, as it respects life and character, but a godly behaviour? An enlightened understanding, a pure heart, and a holy life,—are the native fruits of the Gospel. The gospel is the bright shining of the Divine philanthrophy, irradiating the understanding, warming the heart, refining the affections, and giving a moral lustre to the tem. per, discourse, and demeanour of man. It plants the seeds of celestial goodness, righteousness, and truth in the heart, which blossom and bear fruit in the words and actions of the regenerate.
Conversiou in ancient times, was not a change of creeds or systems-it was not a fit of passion or feeling—a sudden transition of thought,—but a translation from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God,-a change of heart, state, and character. The converted were children of light-walked in the light-wrought righteousness-lived soberly, righteously, and godly in this world. But what are the fruits of our modern gospels. - the conversions of a sectarian age? Are they generally distinguished (for we speak of the majority) for a heavenly temper, for a moral deportment, for a devout life? Is the proinise of a Christian, generally as good as the bond of an infidel? Is punctuality, justice, or fair dealing, characteristic of the Christian profession? We ask not for the piety of the convert, but for his morality. For whatever plausibility there may be in supposing the existence of morality without piety, there is not the least pretence for piety without morality. There is no greater abuse of words, than to call a bargain-breaker, a liar, a thief, a violator of a promise or a pledge--a Christian. Did Jesus Christ teach or practice any thing of this sort? It is most revolting to our feelings, to ask such a question. And had not our acquaintance with professors assured us, that there are many whose promises are as faithless as Satan, whose contracts and covenants are made to be broken, except when interest binds them, whose word and sealed promise, are not worth five dollars,— I should not have put such a question. But injustice and unrighteousness head the long catalogue of crimes which call to heaven for vengeance on this apostate generation.
"Sir," said a preacher to a sceptic, “why do you not join the church of Christ ?” “Where is it?" replied the sceptic. “Here," said the preacher, pointing to a congregation which had just been celebrating a communion season. Do
call these the church of Christ ? ” answered the free-thinker. “I do, sir,” responded the
preacher: "I heard many of them relate their experience; and I doubt not their genuine conversion to God.” “I thought," continued the man of doubts, “ that Christ taught his followers to keep their promises, to be just, and honest, and love one another.” “ And will you insinuate,” said the preacher, in an angry tone, that these professors are not men of truth, justice, and integrity ?” “Of them, sir," rejoined the sceptic, “ I know, but little; but, sir, I know a congregation with whom these people are in fellowship, as you call it; and about two months since, I was present at their communion
I was, sir, a merchant for four years in that village, and this gave me an opportunity of knowing them all pretty well : and while they were handing to each other, the bread and wine, I was thinking of their circumventions and rascalities, as I call them, which they used to practice upon each other, and the other citizens of that neighbourhood. The two deacons that havded them the bread and wine, were both insolvent to the amount of six or seven thousand dollars each ; and by a cunning manauvre in law, held the property of their creditors, and fared sumptuously every day while a number of the members partaking with them, who frequently complained to me of their proceedings, have so often violated their pledged word to me, that I had at last to refuse them credit, and sue them at law for their accounts. But this was not the worst of it: for before the 'squire, two of them, the greatest talkers in the church, sought to disprove certain charges against them, by the testimony of their own children and relations, which I set aside by my clerk, to the fall satisfaction of the justice, and obtained judgment in both cases.
And such talking and backbiting I never heard in any society, as was practised by the members of that church. Now, sir, if I joined your church, would I not have to fellowship with that church; for you call it a church of Christ too?" The preacher changed the subject of conversation, by saying, " Ah, sir! They are not all Israel, who are of Israel:"-"The tares and wheat must grow together till the harvest."
Miracles and Apostles could not sustain the cause of Christianity in the world, while the majority of professors are worse than intidels in their morality. And while Europe and America are filled with wars, and frauds, and tyranny, slavery, and oppression, with all injustice, and unrighteousness, their missionaries to foreign lands and at home, can achieve nothing, or next to nothing. But we are called reformers; and would to God, we may be found not merely reformers of false theories, but of false practises.
Let moral actions rather than abstract opinions, be principal subjects of discussion ; and let the reins of discipline be drawn more and more closely, till the disciples be elevated to the standard of Christian morality, as it is taught and enforced in the New Testa
may not be reduced to the rule of human philosophy or logic; it transcends them all. Just as clear and obscure, has just as many beauties and blemishes, is replete with just as many difficulties and apparent contradictions, as Infinite wisdom saw necessary in order to make it, like all the works of God, perfect and unique. This one perfect book is the sacred deposite in the hands of the Church. It has been deposited with the injunction “ Freely have ye received, freely give. Wo be to the man who attempts to obscure the lamp of heaven. It is the peculiar glory of the last half century, that the Christian world has awakened to the duty and importance of giving the sacred word “ to all lands.". Praised be God for Bible and Missionary Societies the peculiar institutions of modern times. May their efforts be enlarged a hundred fold, until their work is consummated_until the Bible is translated and published in every language under heaven, and a copy of the sacred volume deposited in every palace and house and hut inhabited by man.
DR. WATTS TESTIMONY In favour of the need of Reformation, and a more thorough knowledge
of the Sacred Writings. “Nor should a student of divinity imagine that our age is arrived at a full understanding of every thing which can be known by the Scriptures. Every age since the Reformation has thrown some further light on difficult texts and paragraphs of the Bible, which have been long obsured by the early rise of Antichrist: and since there are at present many difficulties and darknesses hanging about certain truths of Christian religion, and since several of these relate to importaut doctrines, such as the origin of sin, the fall of Adam, the person of Christ, the blessed Trinity, and the decrees of God, &c. which do still embarrass the minds of honest and inquiring readers, and which make work for noisy controversy; it is certain there are several things in the Bible yet unknown, and not sufficiently explained; and it is certain that there is some way to solve these difficulties, and to reconcile these seeming contradictions. And why not a sincere searcher of truth in the present age, by labour, dili. gence. stuzly, and prayer, with the best use of his reasoning powers, find out the proper solution of those knots vnd perplexities which have hitherto been unsolved, and which have afforded matter for angry quarreling ? Happy is every man who shall be favoured of Hear in to give a helping hand towards the introduction of the blest age of ligh and love !"
WHO ARE THE GREAT ? It is not improbable that the noblest human beings are to be fouvd in the least favoured conditions of society, among those whose names are never uttered beyond the narrow circle in which they toil and suffer, who have but “two mites” to give awav, who have per: haps not even that, but who “desire to be fed th the crumbs which fall from the rich man's table;" for in this class may be found those who have withstood the severest temptations, who have practised the most arduous duties, who have confided in God under the heaviest trials, who have been most wronged and have forgiven most; and these are the great, the exalted. It matters nothing what the particular duties are to which the individual is called—how minute or obscure in their outward form. Greatness, in God's sight, lies not in the extent of the sphere that is filled, or of the effect which is produced, but altogether in the power of virtue in the soul, in the energy with which God's will is chosen, with which trial is borne, and goodness loved and pursued.-Channing.
POPERY, NOT THE CATHOLIC RELIGION. MR. Downing, in his recent defence of the Protestant scriptures, against Popish apologists for the Champlain Bible-burners, adds the following note to the 65th page:
" In employing the terms Papists and Popery, where Papists themselves would use Catholic and Catholicism, I use them not as terms of reproach ; but simply because, in my estimation, they are the correct terms. When I speak of Popery, I cannot call it the Catholic religion, because I believe that it possesses less than any other system a claim to this title. The primary meaning of Catholic, as given by Webster, is ‘universal or general ; ' the second meaning is liberal ; ' not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted.' Now as Popery possesses no claim to the term Catholic in either of these senses; and in the latter, less claim than any other system which has ever passed under the name of Christianity, it is not the catholic religion. The term Papist comes from the Latin word for Pope, (Papa,) and the term Popery from the English word. These terms are, therefore the most suitable and fair descriptive words that can be employed. I hope Protestantism in future will universally avoid the inconsistency of applying the term Catholic church to a community which they believe to he nothing more nor less than the grand anti-christian Epostacy."