Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

stance since the commencement of visit to brother Rhenius, I was not missions in the East,” says the Cal- personally acquainted with him, alcutta Englishman, " has there been a though I had several times corresman in whom missionary excellences ponded with him. I had heard such have shone so conspicuously, or contradictory opinions respecting him through whose influence so much

and his proceedings at Tinnevelly, religious good has been effected as that I concluded to visit the place myby Rhenius. He was possessed of self, for my own satisfaction and that very considerable missionary qualifi- of my friends in Europe. cations, combined with a natural I remained about twelve days at suavity and uprightness of temper and Tinnevelly, and had sufficient opporconduct, which eminently qualified tunity to examine into every thing that him for his work. For twenty-four I saw. My observations certainly led years he pursued his labours, amidst me to the conclusion that the four the depressions of an Indian climate German brethren, Rhenius, Schaffter, and all the internal trials of mission Muller, and Lechler, are working tolabour, with a cheerful and buoyant gether in the greatest harmony and energy, seldom depressed and never friendship. Although Rhenius, as dismayed. He was successful beyond naturally follows from his age and exany missionary since the days of perience, has the direction of the Schwartz. Hundreds of natives were whole, yet, in his conduct towards the brought by his influence within the other brethren, I noticed nothing like walls of the Christian Church, and assuming authority ; nor, in theirs, any were trained to the discharge of the appearance of improper subjection. public and social duties of Christian They rather gave me the impression life, as well as instructed in the mys- of men feeling like brethren of the tery and cheered by the hope of our same family, in which one brother is holy faith.”

older and more experienced than the We trust that some of the friends rest. Several questions were discussed of this excellent and devoted mission- by them in my presence, arising out ary, will apply themselves to the task of various plans and occurrences in of giving to the public a faithful re- the mission; and the independence cord of his life. Though the task with which the younger brethren exmight not be a very easy one, we pressed their opinions, plainly indicated think the recent events connected that they felt themselves responsible with this mission, of which he was to the Lord, and not to brother Rhethe centre, would, if faithfully narra- nius only: and he was so far from inted, furnish deep instruction. They sisting on his own views in any point, would at least shew to what an extent that in several particulars he gave way the sectarianism and divisions of the to the united opinion of the rest. It Christian Church, impede the progress is a fundamental principle in their of the gospel In the meantime, we conferences, that any one brother gives present our readers with the following up to the opinion of the other three. translation of a letter from Mr. Start, I may say, that the love and harminister at Patna, in Bengal, to Mr. mony which reign amongst them made Gosner, which gives an impartial and a deep impression upon me; and the graphic sketch of his proceedings testimony of one of my friends, who from the Neuesten Nachrichten. lived six months in the same house

July 9, 1838.

with them, confirms this impression. My dear BROTHER IN THE LORD, The

fact that the three younger You have desired me to give some brethren gave up their connexion with account of what I saw during my visit the Society, which secured them a certo Tinnevelly last year. Before this tain income, and joined Rhenius, who

very

had nothing to offer them, excepting a a faithful father to his spiritual chilfraternal participation in whatever the dren; cares for them with the tenLord might provide, is a sufficient derest affection; assists them in all proof of their love and confidence, and their little difficulties, both by word abundantly refutes the imputation of and deed; and considers nothing that Rhenius tyrannising over the brethren. concerns them too trifling for him to

I saw more than one hundred cate- attend to. If one or another of them chists, and many members of the con- has quite teased and tried him, the gregation, collected in the mission- very next day he will feel and act tohouse, and partook with them of the wards him as if nothing had happened. Lord's Supper. It was very attractive The missionaries are often so provoked and touching to see so many natives, by the falsehood, the hypocrisy, and who once, in blind superstition, served the avarice of the natives, that they the prince of this world, now “clothed are ready to give up all labour with and in their right mind," approaching them, and all hopes of their real conthe table of the Lord, where they all version. But those who are intimately eat of the same bread, and drink of acquainted with Rhenius, cannot suffithe same cup, in remembrance of the ciently admire how little impression death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Al.

such sort of experience makes upon the though not naturally exciteable, yet I the turn of his feelings. was deeply moved and touched by this 4. Like Schwartz, he possesses the unusual scene. And it was a great confidence of all the natives, converted additional satisfaction, in witnessing it, or unconverted. The pleasure and to know that the missionaries admitted confiding look with which they at all none to partake of the communion, of times meet him, bears witness to this. whose real conversion they are not I will only mention one fact, of which convinced. Time does not permit my I was an eye-witness. The natives giving a circumstantial account of all of a large village some distance from that I saw.

I will therefore only en- Palamcottah, had had a long-standing deavour to give a little sketch of the dispute amongst themselves, about the character of brother Rhenius; the division of a piece of common land; materials for which are furnished part- they wrote to Rhenius, represented ly by my own personal acquaintance their case, and begged him to send with him, partly by what I have learned some one in whom he had confidence, from several Christian friends in India, to remain with them, conduct the prowho have long known him, and partly ceedings, and divide to each his proon the acknowledgments of his ene- per portion. They unitedly bound mies.

themselves to abide by his decision. 1. Brother Rhenius is unanimously I was present at the time that Rhenacknowledged, both by friends and ius received this letter, and read the foes, to possess very unusual qualifica- names subscribed to it, about twentytions for the work of a missionary. He eight in number.

eight in number. This circumstance is a perfect master of the Tamul lan- is the more remarkable, as all the guage. I have been assured by per- people were heathens : there was not sons in civil and military stations, as a christian in the village : it is a long well as by missionaries, that no other way off ; and brother Rhenius had missionary can compare with him in

never yet preached there. He told this respect.

me that such propositions were often 2. He possesses great energy of

made to him. Such a fact seems to character, and extraordinary elasticity me worth volumes of argument, for of spirits,-things of inestimable value

by experience, how difficult it to a missionary, especially in India. is, especially for Europeans, to gain

3. Like the revered Schwartz, he is the confidence of the natives : nothing

I know,

but many years of irreproachable and conscientious conduct will obtain it.

The society itself (Church Missionary) cannot deny all this, they are obliged to acknowledge that Rhenius was one of the most distinguished and efficient missionaries, that they have ever had.

Time does not permit me to go more into details; but I am glad to have the opportunity of bearing this testimony to dear Brother Rhenius, because I am convinced, that his labours and success have not been estimated as they ought, by the Christian Church

*

*

*

[ocr errors]

MISCELLANIES. Bishop of Algiers.-" The Bishop of Al- last, after a long and painful illness. He giers quitted Rome, the 27th of December managed this institution for twenty-two or last, for his post, taking with him among or twenty-three years. During this period, other gifts from the Pope, the last joint of more than one hundred and fifty missionone of tbe toes of the Apostle Philip, under aries have been trained at Basle under his the patronage of which the Cathedral of direction for their arduous work. Algiers is placed; he also was the bearer of Baptism of a disciple of Zoroaster.-An a parcel of the bones of St. Augustine.” interesting ceremony took place, the 1st of

Emigration from Prussia.—“The pastor January last, in the Temple de l'Oratoire at Stephan, accompanied by five other ministers Paris. M. Juilleras, president of the Conand seven hundred adherents, embarked at sistory, received into the Church, by baptism, Bremen, the 14th of last November, for an adult, the son of a Mameluke, and North America. M. Stephan and his com- him self brought up in the religion of Zoropanions are, as they call themselves, aster.- From the Archives du Christianisme.

Primitive Lutherans:" they have withdrawn from the persecutions to which they Hymn by the Reverend WILLIAM JOSIAH have been subjected, and now are seeking IRONS, Minister of St.Peter's, Walworth. an assylum where they may worship God in peace according to their conscientious be- The following composition, as vividly dislief. It is sad to think that a Protestant

playing the superstition of baptismal regovernment should, by its intolerance, occa

generation, and infant baptism, we offer to sion such emigrations."

our readers. Persecution in Bohemia.—The Evangeli

HYMN, cal Gazette of Berlin, relates revolting facts

To be sung by the Children of St Mary, concerning the conduct of the Papal clergy,

Newington. assisted by the civil authorities towards the evangelical Christians of Bohemia under the

Lord of the countless worlds above! rule of Austria. Chains, imprisonment,

Saviour ! bow down thine ear and hear! conscription, horrible physical and moral

While we, the children of thy love, tortures, these are the means which men

Within Thy Holy Church appear; who dare to call themselves ministers of Beaming upon our brow Thy Sign Jesus Christ, resort to in order to hinder Of love and grace, the Cross Divine. the progress of the Gospel of the grace of We of thy fulness have received, God, and keep the souls of men enslaved to

And grace for grace-a plenteous showersuperstition.

And though thy Spirit we have grieved Occupations of the Pope.—The pope is Too oft since our baptismal hour; now occupied in introducing five new saints, Now, Lord, we come, that here we may into heaven and into the calendar. These CONFESS, AND BE ABSOLVED, and pray. five personages (one of them belonging to the fair sex), are to be solemnly canonised

And though, O God, Thou art so high, in the course of this year. The miracles

Yet for the lowliest thou dost care; which they have performed are recognised

And children may Hosanna cry, as genuine, for thus the pope and cardinals

And infants in Thy house of prayer ! have recently decided in a secret consistory,

Thus to Thy Church on Earth is given Occupations of the Romish Hierarchy. To be the type and pledge of Heaven. A certain number of bishops and arch- Therefore we bless Thee, Mighty Lord, bishops are on the point of assembling at For joys below, for hopes above; Aix to deliberate on the best means of oppo- And in our choral hymn record sing the progress of Protestantism,

Our Church's care-our Jesu's Love ! Death of Dr. Blumhart.—Ihe venerable With Angels' and Archangels' host, Dr. Blumhart superintendant of the Mis- Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. sion-house at Basle from the commence

W. J. I. 1837. ment, fell asleep in Jesus, the 19th Dec.

THE INQUIRER.

MARCH, 1839.

What saith the Scripture ?—Rom. iv. 3.

THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD.

CHAPTER I.

The History of the Church is a record of the effects produced by the incarnation of the Son of God. We take “the church in the strictly Spiritual sense of the word, not in the vicious and secondary meaning of a sacerdotal caste, but as expressive of that Holy body of followers of the Son of God who have become partakers of the Divine nature, and have been sanctified by the Spirit of Holiness especially imparted to them by the Eternal Father,

The incarnation of the Son of God is the great fact of the Christian Religion. It is the root of the whole tree, the foundation to which the thoughts of a Christian must continually recur, the substratum of every thing which can be said concerning the Christian faith.

But the greatness of this fact consists in the Deity of him who assumed the human nature : he was God before he became incarnate, he was creator of allthings, one with the Eternal Father in power and glory before the creation of the material universe, truly and essentially Divine. When we say this, we only repeat that which is on the lips of all the faithful, and is a part of their creed; but the surpassing grandeur of this mystery cannot be explained to any purpose beyond the simple assurances of revelation. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." That the Jewish nation expected such a manifestation is well known; for their Prophets had frequently predicted it, and the expectation of the Jews was not unknown even to their heathen masters who despised their superstitions, but could not be altogether ignorant of that hope which animated all the Hebrew people. The Romans* knew that the Jews expected, according to the prediction of their prophets, the appearance of some great one who was to become Ruler of all the Earth, but they did not particularly investigate the grounds of this expectation, as the whole fabric of the Jewish religion was in their eyes an unsocial and austere superstition, as despicable as it was disgusting. But the Jews, who had the writings of the Prophets, and diligently read and searched their Scriptures, saw that he

“Pluribus persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum litteris contineri eo ipso tempore fore ut valesceret Oriens, profectique Judæâ rerum potirentur.”—Tacitus, Hist. v. 13.

VOL. II,

I

who was to appear amongst them, the Messiah, was not only to be universal ruler but God incarnate. The Prophet Isaiah, more than seven centuries before the incarnation, had said, “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” And this illustrious testimony, one amongst many others, would teach those who believed in the divine instructions of the Prophets to wait for nothing less than the appearance of Deity amongst men. But when a fact of so marvellous a theme had been announced and accepted as true, what must have been their expectations of the nature of this stupendcus epiphany? The Jewish people had not in vain received the divine oracles; they had, by the guidance of Scripture, learned truly the nature of God, and by long and severe discipline had been drawn off from any idolatrous defamation of his Holy attributes: they knew that he was pure unmixed spirit, wholly separate from any thing of flesh and matter, and that he enjoyed an excellency entirely remote from a corporeal condition: they knew that he was the only God, the Maker of all things, and Judge of all men; that his power and knowledge were infinite, and that by his providence he superintended all things done upon earth, but had a peculiar regard for those who knew his name, and worshipped him in faith and holiness, as he had taught them by the Patriarchs and Prophets of their nation. By the holiness of the nature of God (which we may with confidence declare was asserted in the Jewish theology alone, and never had been propounded in any other religion whatever), they understood that sin was opposed to the distinguishing attribute of the God whom they worshipped; that against sin he had uttered terrible denunciations; and that the object of his covenant with the Fathers of Israel, and of his revelations to the Prophets, was to point out the guilt of man, and the remedy for that guilt. The Ceremonial law, with all its variety of sacrifices, and its elaborate ritual of purification, taught them the same lesson, that God abhorred sin, and that all his worshippers must approach him not without atonement,-not without the shedding of blood to remove the guilt which all possessed who might invoke the name of Jehovah.* Every sacrifice was for sin (Lev. v.); and the slaughter of the lamb every morning and evening expressed the perpetual abhorrence of whatever was evil, by him who had instituted the worship of the law. The rising sun awoke Israel to the work of expiation: the setting sun saw the chosen people propitiating the Almighty with a bloody sacrifice. Their very acts of worship were considered infected with the inherent guilt of human nature, and therefore the high priest, in an eminent part of his sacerdotal office, was said to bear the iniquity of the holy things of Israel” (Exod. xxviii. 36). And once every year with the blood of victims, did he, in the highest exercise of his pontifical functions, enter into the most holy place to make atonement for himself, for the priesthood, for the people, for the altar, and for the sanctury.

*“I heve given the blood to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Ley. xvii. 11.

« AnteriorContinuar »