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ideas of God's spirituality, that sense may be, still we must admit no "i secondary or figurative sense,” but only say, It is “awfully mysterious.” Without supposing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and, the only begotten Son of God, in the literal,“gross and carnal” sense, we believe, that he is God's well beloved Son, and that the love of a buman parent to an only son, furnishes a "just,” though faint and very inadequate idea of the Father's love, in giving his Son Jesus to die for sinners.
The Synod say, they “ have not forgotten the text, in Luke i. 35. But they ask, “If this be the proper foundation of his Sonship, how could his calling himself the Son of God, or his saying that God was kis Father, infer a claim of equality with the Father?” We answer, His being the Son of God proves him to be the true Messiah ; and from the predictions of the Old Testament, the Jews justly drew the conclusion, that the true Messiah, when he should come, would be a Divine person : hence, when Jesus said that God was his father ; they considered him as 'making himself God.' The next head of Testimony is,
“ The Mediatorial Person of Christ.” The sentiments advanced under this head, we consider as saund and scriptural. We object to two expressions only; one of which implies, that Christ was the Son of God before his incarnation, and
the other—tható a great multitude of Hopkinsians” are disposed to 3 unite with “ Jews, Herod, Pontius Pilate, Arians and Socinians” in
acting so "hellish a part” as to "manufacture arguments to diminish the glory and dignity of Christ! The former we attribute to erroneous apprehensions; the latter, to uncharitable feelings.
(TO BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT NO.)
FOR THE HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE. Immortality! Its very name works wonders. It nerves the arm, it enkindles emotion, it imparts inspiration to the soul. "The poet surveys with rapture the monuments of ancient genius, that have entwined the brows of: the sons of song with the wreath of immortality, and presses onward in his career of glory. He plumes his faculties anew, and soars aloft into the regions of discovery. He wanders unconfined over the unexplored fields of nature, gazes with wonder on her eternal sublimities, and “rides on vollied lightnings through the Heavens." He labours for immortality.
The thoughts of acquiring an immortal name fires the breast of the historian with an uncommon ardour. While he contemplates the histories of former times, that have won a deathless fame for their authors, he exultingly anticipates the day, when his own name and works shall be associated with those which have preceded him. In his visions of future glory, he beholds them descending the stream of time as imperishable monuments of intellectual achievement. He labors incessantly, foregoes the comforts of life, and looks to immortality for his reward.
The same thought enkindles rapturous emotions in the breast of the philosopher. He scans the writings of ancient sages, notes the points at which they forsook the guidance of truth, and thus learns to reason with greater accuracy and success. He heeds not the call of pleasure; he looks with pity on the bustling multitudes, who are chasing the phantoms of ephemeral ambition, or wasting their vigour in the tumults of dissipation; and plies all his powers to the speculations of wisdom. Immortality is the goal of his ambition.
All the sons of genius and of art are stimulated to vigorous exertion by this imposing sound. There is something fascinating in the very thought of having one's name transmitted to posterity, and of being associated with the master-spirits of former ages.' This boasted immortality, however, is but an empty name, a delusive charm. Its foundation is not sure. It is based on the opinions and fickle humours of men. It cannot withstand “the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds;" nor can it give its votaries the least title to that “ hope” which is “as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” When the sinner shall appear trembling before his Judge, it will avail him nought to say that he acquired an immortal name on earth; but the reflection that he did it at the expense of his eternal interest, will sting his soul with anguish, and render him speechless. He has caught the shadow, but lost the reality. He has secured his earthly fame, but lost his soul.
In the gospel, life and immortality are brought to light. The humble follower of the Saviour has laid the foundation of his fame on an immoveable basis. He seeks not the honor that comes from men, but “that which cometh from God only." While the sons of genius are wasting their vigour, destroying their health, and making their way quick to the grave, to acquire a name among the great ones of the earth, he, penitent and humble, hears the voice of God, obeys and" lives forever." Enwrapped in silent contemplations on the character and perfections of Jehovah, he adores the riches of divine grace, and awaits with triumphant hope the our, when he shall wing his way to glory. With the apostle, he can say, “ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteonsness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.” When the elements shall melt with fervent heat,” when ruin shall fiercely stalk wherever the power of God has energised, when time shall be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity, his deathless spirit shall appear before the throne of the Eternal, bright with the light of Immanuel's countenance, and decked with the robes of a blissful immortality.
ORDINATIONS AND INSTALLATIONS. 1828, March 26th, Ordained Rev. THOMAS AYER as Pastor of the Cong. Church in Albany, Me. Sermon by Rev. Allen Greely of Turner.
1828, April 16th, Ordained Rev. MARTIN TUPPER as Pastor of the Cong. Church in Hardwick, Mass. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Ely ot' Munson.
1828, April 9th, Installed Rev. Calvin CUTLER as Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Windham, N. H. Sermon by Rev. Z. S. Barstow of Keene.
1828, April 10th, Installed Rev. Thomas H. SKINNER, D. D. as Pas, tor of the Cong. Church in Pine-Street, Boston. Sermon by Rev. Edward Beecher.
1828, April 17th, Installed Rev. SAMUEL WHELPLEY as Pastor of the 1st Cong. Church in East-Windsor, Conn. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Hawes of Hartford, from Matth. iii, 12.
1828, April 30th, Ordained Rev. CHARLES Fitch as Pastor of the Cong. Church, Woodstock, Abington Parish, Conn. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Judson of Ashford.
1828, April 23d, Installed Rev. Daniel Dana TAPPAN as Pastor of the Cong. Church in Alfred, Me. Sermon by Rev. B. Tappan of Augusta, from Acts v. 20.
FOR THE HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE. MR. EDITOR_The following discourse was preached before the Oneida Association, May, 1827, on occasion of its semi-annual meeting. If you think it will promote the cause of truth, you are at liberty to insert it in your Magazine.
P. D. J.
Psalm, XII. 1. Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth ; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
From the first settlement of this country, we have been increasing in wealth and numbers, beyond any thing to be found in the annals of time. Great things have been done for the people of this land. The blessings, which Providence has bestowed upon us, are as numberless as they are signal and unmerited. The resources of these States are capable of sustaining vast multitudes of human beings, in ease and affluence. Since we took our station among the nations of the earth, we have lived in the full enjoyment of all the blessings of rational liberty, both civil and religious. Our venerable forefathers, who were voluntary exiles from their native land, laid the foundation for all our greatness. They were wise and good men. Their wisdom and virtue appear, in the civil and religious institutions, which they left behind them. They were not only a moral, but a religious community. They were rich in faith. They had received in their purity, the great doctrines of the Reformation ; and these they brought with them to this then wilderness; and these they taught their children. Hence, for more than a century after the landing of the Pilgrims, the people generally continued to be what their fathers had been. But from that period down to this hour, there has been a visible decline; sometimes more and sometimes less rapid in its progress. How has the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed !—There is, then, great need of divine help ; for the godly man ceaseth ; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. These words are very significant, and expressive of the real state of things, in this age of the church, and especially in this country. Accordingly, I shall mention some things, which make it evident, that the godly man is ceasing, and the faithful failing from this land of our nativity. And,
1. Our venerable ancestors sanctified the Sabbath, and observed it with great strictness. They regarded it according to its original import and design. Though they were obliged to labor most assiduously six days, they were careful to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. They exercised the authority vested in them, and effectually restrained all who came within their gates from violating that sacred institution. And so it continued to be for more than a century after the first settlement of the country. But how is it now? has there not been a visible, and an awful decline ? so that the sacred institution of the Sabbath is openly and most grossly profaned and violated from the remotest village in Maine to New-Orieans, and from the shores of the Atlantic to the western settlements of Missouri?
2. Another thing, which makes it manifest, that the faithful are , failing, is the great increase and desolating march of intemperance. Our pilgrim-fathers were very regular and temperate in their habits; and they took measures and exerted themselves to form the same habits in their children. Drunkenness was scarcely known in the land for many years. Laws were made against riot and excess; and rigorously enforced. Men were selected to fill the offices of government, who were well known to be temperate in all things. But alas ! what a change in this respect? For many years, intemperance, and especially drunkenness, has increased beyond all description. This vice, which is so mean and degrading in its nature, has become extremely common and fashionable among us; and is to be found among all classes of community. Men have been chosen to fill some of the most responsible offices, and elevated to the highest stations in society, who were confirmed and notorious drunkards.
3. Another thing, which makes it certain, that the godly are ceasing, is the manner in which multitudes treat the name of their great Creator. Because of swearing the land mourneth. Among our forefathers, profane cursing and swearing was scarcely known. Concerning them, it was said by an eminent minister in a discourse before the house of Lords and Commons, and the Assembly of divines, at Westminster; 'I have lived in a country seven years, and all that time, I never heard one profane oath ; and all that time, I never did see a man drunk in that land.'
But now, profane cursing and swearing is a common thing. A serious and devout man can travel in no direction without having his ears saluted with oaths and imprecations. The high ways are often filled with children, who are fast learning and using this language of the damned. Men seem to take a malicious and savage delight, in venting their malignant feelings against their Maker. They can sport with the name of that being, the mere mention of whom fills all heaven with reverence and joy, and carries despair along the legions of hell.
4. Another thing, which makes it manifest that the faithful are fail. ing, is the very general neglect of family government. God said of Abraham, I know him, that he will command his children and his
household after him. The pilgrims, and their descendants to the third and fourth generation, followed his example. They were vig. ilant in governing their respective families. They restrained their children; and taught them to respect their superiors in age and office. But is it so now? Is family government maintained according to its original import and design ? Are children generally made to reverence their parents, and respect their superiors ? Do they rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear to take the name of God in vain ? It is certainly painful to reflect, that the conduct of so many parents is such, as will ultimately ruin their children. They neither guard them in their young and inexperienced days, nor restrain them from insulting the aged, nor keep them from those places, where they will be eminently exposed to temptation.
5. Another thing, which makes it evident that the godly man is ceasing, is the very general neglect of family instruction. For many years, after the first settlement of this country, parents were unceasing in their exertions to give their children and households religious instruction. They spared no pains to teach them the great truths of the gospel. More than one hundred and fifty years, the Assembly's Catechism was almost univeasally used in families, and in common schools. But very little is now done in families to teach children and youth the peculiar truths and duties of the gospel. How few who have the care of families, call them together on the evening of the Lord's day, and improve the time in communicating important religious truth? It is true, something is done in Sabbath Schools ; but they can never compensate the loss of family instruction. It is to be feared, that a strict examination into the conduct of parents generally, would demonstrate an almost tota! neglect of this duty. The Catechism is laid aside, and the Bible is even rejected from many of our common schools.
6. Another thing, which makes it certain that the faithful are failing, is the want of care in selecting suitable instructers for our common schools. Our fore-fathers did not commit their children and youth to the cáre, guidance and instruction of incompetent and unskilful teachers. As schools were established by law, the character and qualifications of instructers were accurately defined. They employed none as teachers, who were not moral in their outward deportment, and but very few who were not decidedly and eminently religious. In this they acted wisely; and are worthy of high commendation. But the scene is now greatly changed. Persons are often employed, in many places, who are not only despisers and contemners of serious and sacred things, but manifestly and openly immoral. Thus, the laws are evaded, the virtuous example of our fathers is disregarded and forgotten, and children and youth are committed to the care and instruction of those, whose example, if follow